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 The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding

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PostSubject: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 25 Sep 2008 - 17:22

So this has been gone over again and again, but i feel compelled to start a new topic.

The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding has always irked me in Mordheim. Last time i complained about this the +1 armor save in Close combat when wielding a hand-weapon and shield was everyone's favorite quick-fix. It is pulled from Warhammer and is also popular as a part of many of the experimental rules fixes found here:
http://forum.specialist-games.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=7

Since then i have read all the arguments on the specialist games forums regarding their experimental rules. Bear in mind that since there will be no more rules reviews, this is the most up-to date information we have on what would have been the most invasive and potentially game breaking/making change Mordheim has ever seen. I am fairly certain that one of these options would have been the main focus of the next rules review which sadly we will never see. Options A,B, or C, or a combination of the three if you look into the commentary thread, all seek to deal with these two perceived problems.

So for those of you who have read the arguments, and in some cases contributed to them, what are your thoughts? Do you use one of these options or the simpler one we settled on last time?

To add to this confusion, I suggest ignoring armor modifiers for strength all together, or maybe adjusting the chart so -1 starts at strength 5. Not my idea of course.

I myself cannot convince my group to playtest any of them, but i will draft my version of these rules changes at some point to share with all of you.

And i'm sorry for digging up a tired old topic... Undead
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 25 Sep 2008 - 17:37

my favourite is getting protection against out of action roles as it makes sence. If your shot with a crossbow in the neck with no armour, you die. If your shot with a crossbow and you have armour, you could just be bleeding alot (ok ALOT). so it seems like an option.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 25 Sep 2008 - 17:53

There may be another rules review, it has been challenging to get all parties involved. I am on the RR Committee.

There will be no gaming mechanics changes but there will be more FAQs on matters.

SG feels the game is sound enough and if people want can use house rules to tweak the mechanics.

My group used the Warhammer rules like you noted and they worked fine, yes it is possible for someone to get a 1+ armor save but it never happened in our group.

Anyway that is what critical hits are for.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 25 Sep 2008 - 18:04

We also use the +1 armour save rule and it works unbelievably well, considering that it's such a minor tweak. It's crazy how this little rules makes shield + weapon viable (5+ save is nothing to laugh at), as well as making axes useful at last. I love that rule!

We did have an Orc Boss with Gromril armour (4+) and shield (3+ ) on War Boar (1+) with the orc special skill that adds +1 to the armour save (0+). So what? Get yourself some mighty blowing Strength 4 heroes that wield double-handed gromril swords - works great as a can opener.

@Andy: It's a shame that the rules commitee is struggling to get another review out. If not for the sake of clarifications, it would be awesome to show people that it's not dead - even from a GW point of view and still at least somewhat supported. It could be so easy...

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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 25 Sep 2008 - 20:55

Something that popped into my head was granting bucklers a +1 to saves in CC as well as the parry. This would only be if shields got the additional boost. It was just something that I thought about after playing WH Ancients.

It would make Bucklers a bit more common I think. Currently paying 10g for a sword that can parry and grant an extra attack seems a far better option than a 5g parry.

Just a quick spot of brainstorming. Feel free to rip it to shreds. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 25 Sep 2008 - 23:48

Sorry for intruding, but this topic interests me. If you don't mind me hijacking the thread slightly, then what would be the most viable armour/shield/weapon setup with the "official" rules? Playing my first game against a Sigmar player and another Ork, and I'm alittle lost as whether to go all out with Light Armours and Shields on everyone able to, in my Ork band or concentrate on punching through with some heavy weaponry scratch
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 1:17

With the current rules, disregarding any special weapons your warband might have, you will always buy your models for +3 gc a mace/hammer/club for a second attack (free dagger). For valuable heroes you might like to buy a +10 gc sword instead of the mace. SO that's really the only decision you'll be making: pricey sword for additional defensive power or a cheap mace to save the extra gc.

Unless you're playing WYSIWYG, which might force you to buy axes instead because of the model, this is the common way and it's damn boring.

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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 1:26

I really like the simple tweaks of -1 WS if fighting with a 2nd hand weapon, the maniac warrior skill to ignore this, and a 5+ armour save for using a shield in CC. I am also using them, but not extensively, as I don't really have anyone to play.

On the club-issue, I think, as many do, the "sling, club and a thousand verminkin"-people should just start playing for fun and start to enjoy creating a colourful warband with a variety of equipment (they do look better, anyway) instead of designing it for cost/effectiveness only.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 1:46

I don't like the Rule with -1 WS. In my opinion Mordheim is more like a great Movie and I would not miss crazy boys like the Slayer or Sword/Dagger-Fighter like the Swordsmen.
We try this:

light Armour: 5+
heavy Armour: 4+
and so on

A shield spent +1 to the armoursave.
+1 for the shield in CC is only for the Sword. 10 GC only for parry is not the best.
But I think, we have to change this. Now the sword is too good. Very Happy

The intention wasn't only to make armour more interessting. With a higher save Handguns and Morningstars become more interessting too.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 1:58

SirLeon wrote:
I don't like the Rule with -1 WS. In my opinion Mordheim is more like a great Movie and I would not miss crazy boys like the Slayer or Sword/Dagger-Fighter like the Swordsmen.

You can always have your crazy dual wielding killing machines at a later stage (read: after your first skill adavancement). However, considering fluff, the beginning warbands usually are a ragtag bunch of all sorts of people and not a collection of your standard invincible fantasy warrior. Yes, that's what I think Wink And, above all, it's a rule to make shields and armour more attractive.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 2:07

Eliazar wrote:
SirLeon wrote:
I don't like the Rule with -1 WS. In my opinion Mordheim is more like a great Movie and I would not miss crazy boys like the Slayer or Sword/Dagger-Fighter like the Swordsmen.

You can always have your crazy dual wielding killing machines at a later stage (read: after your first skill adavancement). However, considering fluff, the beginning warbands usually are a ragtag bunch of all sorts of people and not a collection of your standard invincible fantasy warrior. Yes, that's what I think Wink And, above all, it's a rule to make shields and armour more attractive.

I never thought of it like that, but I like what you're getting at. I'll go out and buy my first warband pack (Boyz probably) and stitch them together to look realistic, not "power gamer effective", so sure. I might lose horribly to my experienced friends but I guess that's part of being a greenskin. They fight for fights sake, not really caring if they lose or not.

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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 3:12

Eliiazar..touched on something and a maniac skill. I think that would be great.

-1 WS without the skill seems ok, espcially for the 2nd weapon hand.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 5:19

My group uses a combination / alteration of the proposals on the specialist games forum:
- dual-Wielding is at -1 to hit
- armour costs are lowered: light 10 GC, medium (the old heavy) 20 GC, heavy (plate
armour) 50 GC
- critical hits inflict 2 wounds but do not affect armour at all

We have used this in 20+ huge four- or five-player games so far (and numerous one on one games) and it makes people use armour much more often. Nearly everyone protects their heroes with it, in some cases from the very beginning of the warband. Henchmen occasionally get armour, too (but mostly late in the campaign).
Shields are another thing, one player loves them and uses the weapon + shield combo almost exclusively, some use it once a model gets two attacks and/or against missile fire and some nearly never use them. Mathematically two attacks at -1 to hit are still slightly better than one unmodified attack, and most seem to feel that a +1 to armour save does not make it worthwhile to forego that additional attack.
So for better balance shields should probably get another benefit like the warhammer rule mentioned above, but personally i don´t like that rule since it seems that the parry rule is intended to adress that particular advantage Wink .
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 9:20

Eliazar wrote:
SirLeon wrote:
I don't like the Rule with -1 WS. In my opinion Mordheim is more like a great Movie and I would not miss crazy boys like the Slayer or Sword/Dagger-Fighter like the Swordsmen.

You can always have your crazy dual wielding killing machines at a later stage (read: after your first skill adavancement). However, considering fluff, the beginning warbands usually are a ragtag bunch of all sorts of people and not a collection of your standard invincible fantasy warrior. Yes, that's what I think Wink And, above all, it's a rule to make shields and armour more attractive.

But the Duellists from the Tilean Warbands could not get this skill.
Why try it our way and it is running. But I think we would use the +1 in CC for the Shield not only for the Sword.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 13:39

I like the idea of the bump for shields and the -1 to Hit or WS when duel wielding. In fact i am certain that this widely accepted change to Hand weapon and shield combo is the key to any fix and I think that these two alone might tip the balance.

But i am in some ways against the Specialist Forum proposed versions where the Maniac Warrior (bad name) skill is added because it messes with too many hired swords, and as pointed out the Duelist (changing the cloak rule to simply a +1 save in cc is an easy fix).

I think that with enough WS advances you can overcome the duel-wielding penalty rather than wasting a skill on this pursuit. Or for those that insist on a skill, combine it with weapons training so that skill sees more use.

The question of whether to make it -1 WS or -1 on the hit roll is a biggie. Notice that the average henchman(3) attacking the average hero(4) suffers no penalty in the case of the WS modifier which only encourages duel wielding henchie groups. The table offers to many odd occurrence like this and will cause needless references that will bog down games. While -1 To Hit is more severe, it is easier to use in game if you haven't memorized the hit table.

Also the table never gives a hit chance better than 3+, so -1 to hit is actually much more disadvantageous in the long run than -1 WS. This is no doubt the root of the Maniac Warrior skill, plus it is a counterpart to the Strongman skill. I can see warriors starting out sword and shield and either specializing in duel-wielding, nutcracking with a double-hander, or a rare few in durability by sticking with the shield.

So with the slight annoyance of modifying a bunch or hired swords, it seems to work in retrospect, yes i am flip flopping my oppinion in the course of a single post! I still think combining it with an existing underutilized skill in the way to go though...

Please note that some play it as a -1 To Hit on the offhand weapon only and forgo the additional skill; this simplicity has it's own appeal as well...

The save vs. injury is a strong incentive for armored heroes and i liked the idea in Necromunda (where armor has a similar issue). As armor is priced now i think this would make it worth the cost. Some suggested that the save should be taken after injury rolls if desired to alter the result to a Deep Wound, which i find more realistic than a Full Recovery. This too has it's issues with logic, the circumstance of avoiding a Madness injury with body armor and no helmet springs to mind.


This is a little off topic but while i'm talking about skills how about a new combat/strength skill called Armor Proficiency which allows you to use armor not on your warband list and ignores the first -1 modifier to you armor save? It would clear up the confusion of who can use Ithilmar/Gromlir armor as well...
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 14:13

Pathfinder Dubstyles wrote:

Please note that some play it as a -1 To Hit on the offhand weapon only and forgo the additional skill; this simplicity has it's own appeal as well...

We do it this way in our group. It's nice and simple and easy to remember in game.

I don't like -1 ws because it's harder to remember and doesn't really effect most warriors fairly. This can hurt a ws 4 more than a ws 3 warrior which doesn't make sense. ws4 vs ws3, ws4 hits on 3 and 4 while ws3 hits on 4 and 4. The lesser warrior gets no disadvantage. This doesn't work for me.

As far as armour I don't like to make changes. I think the fundamental thing which people don't talk about is that armour is rare and hard to find. You don't have a town with a smity guild backing you up making armour for everyone. The only way to buy things is from a vendor who carted it in or find it somewhere in the ruin. This is why it's so expensive.

As far as effectiveness it's fine if it's not great. I've played plenty of fantasy games where 2 heros have a 1+ save and just bounce off each other round after round, that just makes for a boring game. Want to save your warrior? get parry with reroll, step aside, lucky charm, and shield + gromril armour. I fought against a warrior with all this in my last game, do you think I was able to wound him? No I didn't.

Oops, sorry. I read this again and it kinda has an unintended negative tone, guess I got a little carried away, were all friends here after all! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 14:19

HA! I just thought of a great scene which fits perfect. Monty Python, Holly Grail, the black night gets his finishing move off on the green night! 6 to hit and 6 to wound, 6 on the crit table, OOA. No armour can save a flying sword through the eye slit!
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 18:03

Armor is one of those things that would be challenging to ever fix


Last edited by Da Bank on Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 20:32; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 18:15

I agree that armor is expensive, but not that it is so rare that it must be imported in. There are 3 settlements on the outskirts of Mordheim set up as base camps for adventurers; Cutthroats Den, Sigmar's Haven and Black Pit. I would wager they have their own smiths for outfitting anyone who can afford the luxury.

While everyone has their own opinion as to how to fix armor (or not fix it), it is my belief that there are too many weapon/skill combos that make it obsolete long before it is affordable. In my mind it must be made more viable by doing one or more of the following but not changing the price:

a) increasing the shield and or buckler's usefulness to encourage more armor
b) make it better with rules like save against injury
c) my completely original idea of an armor proficiency skill to balance out the offensive and defensive skill options.

I'm going to quote the topic creator (who i can only assume is on the RRC) on the Specialist Games forum here to back up my point:
JaronK wrote:
if we look at Warhammer, the cost of armour in that game is far cheaper than in Mordheim. For example...an Empire Captain costs 50 points, and can buy light armour for 2 points, heavy armour for 4 points, or full plate armour for 8 points, so his increases in armour save cost 1/25, 1/25, and 1/12 his cost, respectively... a 4+ save for this guy costs a total of 8 points, just 1/7 (ish) of his total cost. In fact, in Warhammer armour usually costs about 1/20th to 1/50th the cost of the model to improve by one...Meanwhile, let's look at Mordheim... a Mercenary Champion costs 35gc. Improving his save by one with light armour costs 20gc, more than half his cost. Improving it by an additional point will run him an additional 30gc, which nearly is his total cost... armour in Mordheim costs between 1/4 the cost of the model and the actual price of the model... and it's far harder to get to really high levels of armour, since Gromril often costs two to three times the cost of the model just to improve that save over heavy armour by a single point.

From all this we can see that armour in Mordheim costs about 20 to 40 times more per point of armour save than in Warhammer... is it anywhere near 20 to 40 times better? Absolutely not... in fact it's worse, since every model in the game can critical hit to bypass armour, and it's incredibly difficult to get the really strong (1+, 2+) saves found commonly in warhammer. In fact an Empire Captain in Warhammer who wants a 1+ save can buy full plate armour (8 points) and a barded warhorse (14 points), plus a shield (2 points) for a grand total of 24 points, about half his total cost. By comparison, a Mercenary Champion would have to fork over 150gc for Gromril Armour, 5gc for a shield, 80gc for his warhorse, and an additional 80gc (I believe, I don't have that in front of me right now) for barding, coming in at 265gc for his 1+ save, over seven times his cost. Ouchie. The difference is especially brutal in a game like Mordheim, where models can die after the fight, thus losing your investment to a single die roll.

Now i understand the difference of 538 years of history, well funded armies vs. scavenging low-lives, the invalidity of comparing different games,and the overall place armor occupies in Mordheim as opposed to Warhammer. I don't want to see every model wearing heavy armor and using a shield, just make it a viable option after the initial huge investment in gold crowns. Speaking from a strictly game mechanics perspective and ignoring all fluff reasoning, armor simply stinks as it is!

You have to bear in mind that there are additional skills and equipment in Mordheim that make heroes more survivable as Ash pointed out that are ignored in the rather long quote above.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 19:21

JaronK is not on the RRC and has not been active on the SG forum in many many years.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 26 Sep 2008 - 20:38

The Warhammer ideology doesn't fit as with Warhammer fantasy you have a lot more models that have Strength 4 or above attacks and are dealing with battles in large scale.

The current costing methodology for Mordheim might be a bit high but your gaming group can house rule it.

Weapon combo skill are not that big deal as you could have a crit with a fist or dagger wipe out someones armor.

Ian who posted most of the stuff on the whole armos is on the RRC and this was thinking about being tackled but SG doesn't want to change the mechanics. In all, Mordheim rules are pretty solid.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Sat 27 Sep 2008 - 10:39

Thanks for the correction Da Bank, I'm not sure who was/is on the RRC. So i'm assuming you were a part of the last rules review correct? I'm curious about your opinion on spears.

I think that the core rules are solid and that such a huge change to combat will never be accepted by all players, so in some ways i am glad this will not be part of the next review if it ever happens. But reading the ideas is still fascinating to me, and having the options available for all to choose from or inspire other house rules might be better than imposing one solution as the "best".

I'm still curious to know how others handle armor and duel wielding. I'm sure the majority of players simply accept it as it is or perceive no huge problem worth fixing.

My main gripe is that i like to have varied equipment and if i want to arm warrior with a sword and shield i have to accept the fact that they will be at a disadvantage when compared to the obvious choice. But then i guess i am paying a price for style!
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Sat 27 Sep 2008 - 20:38

Spears are confusioning. I agree they should be unwiieldy and you can not carry two in HTH.

This next part is purely my opinion and are not cannonized. Dual wielding should be only for Heroes. I believe henchmen should be limited to one HTH weapon but can gain an attack skill or maybe just maybe allow for one level up to all 2 HTH weapons.

Heroes can be dual wielding but one hand at a -1 and then they can gain a "Maniac or Expert Fighter) that allows 2 HTH weapons but no -1.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Fri 17 Oct 2008 - 11:12

my 'ten denk'...

in our new Mordheim campaign we'll be playtesting the following...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1- ALL one handed weapons will recieve 'the WH bonus' -ie- + 1 save in close combat if u have a shield. we feel this makes shields work a little better (over having 2 hand weapons) and doesnt make swords too good ;-)

2- (the complicated/not really tested that much part)
we forsee our warbands using 3 types of armour.. toughened leathers, light armour (chain)+ heavy armour (plate).

in the game armour works as normal (taking into account 1 above), AFTER the game... if yr armour wearing model has been taken out of action roll 1d6- the scores below show the number needed for the model's armour NOT to be destroyed..

leather-6+
light armour-5+
Heavy armour- 4+

IF the armour isnt destroyed u may add the following bonus to yr roll on the seriuos injury table..

Heroes

leather- + 5 on injury table
light armour- + 10 on injury table
Heavy armour- + 15 on injury table

Henchmen
leather- no effect
light armour- +1 to 'injury roll'
Heavy armour- +2 to 'injury roll'..

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

yes yes.. i know! this means Hvy armour is very unbalanced for henchmen.. but these 'armour fixes' are only experimental Smile

suggestions/comments... welcomed/expected Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Thu 27 Nov 2008 - 3:16

Well, in my gaming group we have a series of new rules that have made armor really worth it. These are...

1. Heavy Armor+Shield is -1 initiative instead of movement
2. Shields give +2 AS in close combat, +1 vs. shooting
3. Bucklers give +1 AS in close combat
4. Dual weapons give you a -1 to hit penalty (there is the idea of changing this a bit though, as few people dual weild at all now. We are thinking of making is -1 to hit on the off hand.)
5. New Combat Skill: Manic Warrior, which lets you ignore dual weilding penalites
6. Critical Hits: 1-2 (2 wounds), 3-4 (2 wounds, no armor save), 5-6 (+2 to injury rolls)

#6 is a huge one. It has made armor really, really worth it. You wouldn't believe the amount of times someone with light armor and shield has saved a critical hit that in the past would have decapitated him.

This has led to the following:

* Many people taking shields
* People saving up to get heavy armor (one beastman player, using chaos warrior models has really taken this to heart)
* Axes being the most common hand weapon choice, followed by hammers and then swords
* People hating my dwarf heroes (I started a 3 man warband that has grown to 8. Both the noble and engineer have gromril armor and shields, which has saved both of their lives on numerous occasions. Neither can get a kill, but they are tanks.)

For the most part these changes have met with very positive reviews, even from those who have suffered from them (the poor vampire, for example, whose warband routed before he could hack through the engineer's armor).

I would really suggest trying it out. I've played Mordheim ever since it was first released and this campaign has run completely different from everyone before it. Trust me, when using this ruleset you will actually be happy that you bought your captain heavy armor and a shield instead of buying two warriors with dual clubs, and when that moment comes it will feel good.
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PostSubject: Re: The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding   Today at 8:26

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The weakness of armor and the preponderance of duel wielding
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