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 Adding a new player into an old campaign.

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PostSubject: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Sat 1 Mar 2014 - 17:08

We have a new player to our group, we've had a half a dozen or so games to our warbands and he seems to be trampled by any opponent, often losing more than he gains and therefore being at an even bigger advantage next time.

Are there any good ideas as to how to start out as an already improved warband? Should we just use the rules for a one-off game with more money that's at the back of the rulebook?
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Sat 1 Mar 2014 - 17:55

We mostly solve this by the sink or swim method. If you have only played a half dozen or so games, he should be able to catch up quickly through underdog bonus. We encourage new warbands to play for honor (and experience) rather than for the win. So they generally rout after the minimum 25% casualties unless an amazing upset is happening because of the scenario.

Also I try to have a beginning warband available to play new players so that they can ease into the game if they desire to.

However if he is trying to match experienced warbands blow for blow, that will not work as his losses will indeed mount. I'd suggest he change his tactics or play a Skaven warband  Very Happy 
(Skaven tend to be able to jump right in there against warbands of higher strength.)
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Sun 2 Mar 2014 - 6:45

We have a Skaven player and yeah, I can definately see them as one of the stronger warbands. Razz

I guess Sink or Swim is the best way to go at it. He plays Shadow Warriors, any good ideas as to how they might overcome the odds not being in their favour?

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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Sun 2 Mar 2014 - 7:02

The funny thing is Shadow Warriors would be next on my list of warbands to play against experienced warbands.  After a couple of games of underdog bonus that warband is obnoxious.  Twisted Evil 

My other suggestion is to play multiplayer games as the new player can often chose to hang back and pick his fights, plus there is often extra treasure laying about.

Edit:
So I did a quick search and found this topic from back when more folks commented rather than lurked--
http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t1769-new-warband-existing-campaign?highlight=new+player+existing+campaign
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Sun 2 Mar 2014 - 7:55

True, with some advancements he could probably do fine, it's just not easy when you end up losing more than you win after the first game.

There are some good advice in that thread, thanks for the help Von Kurst Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 5:28

The Underdog Bonus is actually such a huge bonus that the more time you spend as an underdog getting the bonus, the more powerful your warband members are (although you may be behind in terms of money and equipment).

This sounds like a controversial statement, so let me explain.

Generally, experience comes trickling in to your warband, as well as the occasional loss or injury. Oftentimes, you have to make difficult choices when gaining skills. Do you try to focus on this character becoming a sharpshooter? A combat master who can dish out lots of attacks? A can opener who counters high Toughness, highly armored opponents? The guy who can use exotic weapons?

Skills are sometimes a scary choice because you might get one at a time that no obvious specialization path is open to you. For example, a character who gains +1 Str, +1 Str, +1A, +1A, and then gains a Skill has a multitude of combat options that buff his bonus strength and attack flurries. Similarly, someone who gains +1T, +1T, +1W, +1W, and then a skill gets an entirely different way to abuse those awesome gains, where you might go with the flow and make him even more of a defensively-oriented warrior or maybe branch out into something that complements him being so safe and secure with some more offensive combinations.

Now, instead, imagine you get a skill increase first and decide this character's future goal just might be as a sharpshooter and pick a skill for guns or crossbows... who immediately gains the strength and attack bonuses in his next few levels.

This is frustrating, as you essentially 'wasted' an increase, or alternatively are recreating your character as a jack-of-all-trades (which are generally not as good as a specialist).


In contrast, the underdog bonus is AWESOME. It's so awesome, I wish I could play entire campaigns as an underdog instead of starting out on equal (or not-so-equal) footing. I generally play Skaven, so I start with a little more experience and have to carefully manage my opponent's as well as my own experience gains. The worst thing that you can do is get "experience bloat", where your models get lots of experience but don't necessarily have the best skills and upgrades or you have lots of models but they're not very 'good' at killing; this is just 'giving away' experience to other players, especially in the form of Underdog, and experience earned in clumps is better than the same amount of experience earned over a stretch.

However, consider the exact opposite of that - gaining the normal experience for playing out a game followed by multiple points of experience means that you'll get at least one game (possibly two or three) where you get multiple advancements all at one time. Being able to see all of your advancements at once lessens the chance of 'dead picks' for your skills and means that each of your characters more quickly settles into a niche, allowing you to hyperfocus their eventual roles much quicker.

Generally, your new player just needs to play conservatively while threatening his enemy's strongest units. In a 'safe' game, nobody wants to risk their heroes on what should be an easy win. Additionally, it's OK to lose as an Underdog so long as you lose by the minimum amount and keep your heroes up - you want to avoid getting injured and maximize your experience gain. Ideally, you don't overequip your initial guys - if you're going to have casualties, make them be henchmen and definitely don't lose equipment on these initial fast games.

Also, some games don't require being a better armed or equipped or skilled warband. Treasure Hunt is a good example of a scenario where you might be better than an opponent because you outnumber them and have more expendable bodies, allowing you to screen their power units away from your fast units, snatch a treasure chest, and flee off the board while your pickets get the snot beaten out of them. Having a quick, fast warband vs. inferior numbers on Breakthrough means you can spread out and make a break for it, maybe sneaking your Leader and a big squad of five Henchmen across the other side for a whopping 13 experience points before even counting anything else that the rest of the party did.

Of course, this is easier said than done and requires some experience to know how campaigns generally play out, but this is what you should be teaching the new player. Point out how experience is gained and how the Black Boxes work, as well as skill synergies and the differences in scenarios. They'll quickly become a force to be reckoned with.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 6:06

We went with the "Road To Mordheim" from Von Kursts link, it worked out fairly well. He was still an underdog, but he had a little more to his warband, being able to afford a nicely sized warband and equip them with bows and so. Although he must've rolled +1 Initiative on at least 5 advances across his warband.

Overtime he will get a better hang of the rules and tactics as well, so far it's looking good. :)He even won the Multiplayer battle, by being a pansy sitting in the corner with bows Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 9:30

I just jumped into an existing campaign using Skaven, and I at least partially agree with The Nick about how powerful the underdog bonus is. This is somewhat balanced by the fact that I'm still way behind on gold (and keep rolling death for my OOA heroes, but after only 4 games I now have the second highest warband rating in the league!)
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 11:40

Quote :
I just jumped into an existing campaign using Skaven, and I at least partially agree with The Nick about how powerful the underdog bonus is. This is somewhat balanced by the fact that I'm still way behind on gold (and keep rolling death for my OOA heroes, but after only 4 games I now have the second highest warband rating in the league!)

You didn't happen to lose a rat with a blunderbuss recently did you?

Quote :
The Underdog Bonus is actually such a huge bonus that the more time you spend as an underdog getting the bonus, the more powerful your warband members are (although you may be behind in terms of money and equipment).

Nick, this is very true if the warband in question is say, ten games behind. It doesn't hold so true if the underdog is jumping into a league that has been running for a full year. There comes a point where there's such a disparity between warbands that even with the bonus experience, the games just won't be fun.

So here one suggestion.

My old gaming group has been running a Necromunda campaign for over a year, and the way we counter Warbands hitting critical momentum is through use of the Adeptus Arbites.

For those who don't know 40k, the Arbites are the hive city's armed police enforcers. Rather than being a bunch of backbirthed gang scum with decades old autoguns, these are superbly trained professional soldiers with heavy armor, high-quality weapons, and cybernetic attack dogs. In our league the Arbites act as something of an environmental enemy. We've played around with the rules through the years, but the general idea is that most powerful gangs have a chance of attracting police attention every turn. Whether you've grabbed too much territory too rapidly, moved a little too much money, or killed a Spryer in self-defense, no-one evades the Arbites forever.

Rather than the Arbites being the warband for a single player, they are shared by the league (though of course someone owns the models). If one of the top 2-3 gangs does something to attract the attention of the Arbites, their next opponent can choose to play against them using the Arbites rather than their warband (and if a league-runner is present fighting the Arbites will not be optional).

The Arbites don't take permanent losses, they rout at at 50% losses, and they get tons and tons of goodies. At league-start, a warband that grabs too much territory might go up against a half-dozen enforcers. But a 15-man gang with heavy weapons and hired guns might find twice that number of cops, and a net-launching landspeeder coming down on their heads.

The point I'm driving at here, is that we allow the league's least-successful players to control the Arbites. This allows the guy who's getting his ass kicked week after week to take a turn at the helm of a hilariously OP warband. It also serves to keep a single warband from becoming completely unstoppable.

I've often thought Mordheim would benefit from a mechanic like this. You'd need a sufficiently active player-base, but some sort of OP environmental enemy could allow new players to feel like they're impacting the league, while also slowing the momentum of powerhouse warbands. Fluffy solutions could be Daemons, Sisters of Sigmar, or just a Phalanx of Reiksguard knights.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 12:12

Major Sharpe wrote:

The point I'm driving at here, is that we allow the league's least-successful players to control the Arbites.
That sounds like a nice idea. The least-successful player's own warband wount delevelop if he is playing Arbites on a regular basis, though, right?
NoisyAssassin wrote:
but after only 4 games I now have the second highest warband rating in the league!)
At least you wount have to worry about the bonus much longer then  Laughing 
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 12:44

Grimskull wrote:
That sounds like a nice idea. The least-successful player's own warband wount delevelop if he is playing Arbites on a regular basis, though, right?

It depends. The Arbites aren't necessarily a regular thing. A gang that is behaving in a risky fashion has maybe a 30% chance of attracting their attention between every game. For example, one specific scenario in which a low-success player gets to control the Arbites is if their territory is being invaded or exploited by a powerful gang, or alternatively if they're attempting to take on a powerful gang. This scenario represents the weaker gang giving up the wanted gang's location and then getting out of the way. In this scenario, which would have been a direct confrontation between the player's gangs, the weak gang would get a form of reduced salvage rights if they win, but only one experience for the gang leader and no one else.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 12:54

Major Sharpe wrote:

You didn't happen to lose a rat with a blunderbuss recently did you?    

I did, and it made me very, very sad.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 13:50

I rather favour Von Kurst's approach.

In my last few campaigns I've 'fixed' some of the pairings. By scheduling battles to face players whose warbands have lower ratings the new entrants can be eased in gently.

For the special guest players, who are exclusively playing one-off (usually multi-player) battles there is additional coinage (varies from +500 gold crowns to +1500 gold crowns, dependent upon stage of campaign) allocated. In addition, the occasional favour of introductory experience points, meaning pre-battle skill rolls being made. This is hardly my preferred system but when the stakes are high enough (they are at my annual birthday bash!) it permits guests to make a splash. I've also allowed off-list equipment purchases to be made to characterise guest gangs.

If someone is new to the game or late, just let them use a Dark Elf warband from Lustria setting. Ought to be a fair way to allocate druchii corsairs. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Adding a new player into an old campaign.   Today at 16:50

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