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 Undead underpowered? How to fix it?

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jymmy
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PostSubject: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Tue 21 Jul 2015 - 5:16

Hello everyone. As far I can see, the undead is a warband that suffer from a lot of issues, as:

1.Crapy magic
The less problematic point, probably no need to make changes here.

2.Crapy heroes (dregs)
No movement skills for a already slow warband, high price for a sad profile. I've seen people change one dreg for a wright, what do you feel about that?

3.Crapy basic troops (zombies)
I think that this is the biggest issue, is not only that they not gain experience,but the fact that you can't expect anything from them apart from rout tests. They are too slow to make it to combat, with a large probability of dying to shooting and doing nothing at close combat. What is worse: they take slots and reduce your income of wyrdstone. Any way to improve them? Maybe making that they can fast deploy from a diferent side of the board?

4.Crapy "elite" choices (wolves)
The problem with the wolves is that 50 gold crowns for a 3 toughness guy is obscene, as their survival rate is minimum. Maybe their cost should be reduced to 40?. I've been thinking that they share with the zombies the problem of dying too much to prove useful, so maybe changing the wound table for undead minions can be a solution, so they die only on a six.

Probable the only unit that doesnt need changes at all are the ghouls. A common change seems to be granting the ghoul hero the the posibility of using weapons if they tale the weapon training skill. Is truly needed this?

Waiting for your opinions! I love this band, but im fearing that as it comes in the ruleset it cant compete with the rest!
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Tue 21 Jul 2015 - 7:36

A previous discussion--
http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t3204-are-the-undead-horrible?

I am amazed at the difference a player can make in his approach to the warband. Last year we had two beginning players who chose Undead.

One rarely lost, one rarely won. Same warband choices, but each had a different style of play and a different approach to the warband. It showed in their records.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Tue 21 Jul 2015 - 11:55

In my last campaign in the city of the damned, our Undead player retired his warband midway through as it was winning everything (he got a lot of good level ups on his Vampire and a bunch of ghoul heroes early on). If anything, people were suggesting the list was too powerful!
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Wed 22 Jul 2015 - 16:48

I have never played Undead myself, but I have played against them a lot and the only time I have seen them do anything better than mediocre is when the Undead warband was lucky *and* other warbands had only average or worse luck.

In my group we give the Necromancer the ability Zombie Herder. This allows the Necromancer to, if they wish, roll on the henchman table when they get a level up. If they do, that level up is applied to all Zombies and Dire Wolves the warband has or gains in the future. If they roll TLGT they may pick any stat to increase (subject to the usual Henchman limits, of course). We also count the Vampire as a Wizard that can cast Necromantic Magic - they just don't start with any spells*. Also, if a Zombie takes an enemy OOA within 6" of the Zombie Herder then the Zombie Herder gets the xp.

This gives the henchmen a needed boost late game when they need it and two casters of Vanhel's means 2-4 (with Magical Aptitude) zombies/dire wolves are more likely to be where they need to be.

*We have a house-rule that allows wizards to pick their first spell and then roll randomly for the rest. The vampire does get to do this, when they eventually start getting spells.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 23 Jul 2015 - 5:22

I've played undead almost exclusively since I moved to Mordheim about two years ago. The sad truth is that zombies really are just a waste of space and warband rating. Trying to incorporate them into your strategy will only hurt you as it gives the opponent too much free time to get into positions. The necromancer is usually a wasted slot as well unless he rolls the spell of doom but atleast he can run and keep up with the rest. And he starts out with better combat stats than the dregs...
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 23 Jul 2015 - 5:35

With the right increases, a Vampire is a one man army. It really all comes down to him. The Necromancer can be a pain in the ass; Ghouls are always pretty good in the offense, but sucks in the defense. It's all about getting in your opponent's face, and Zombies just aren't getting there. However, 1 - 2 Ghoul Heroes tagging along with a Dire Wolf or two and the Vampire is a force to be reckoned with. Also, the Necromancer with Lifestealer (or spell of Doom, depending on your opponent) and Sprint and/or Leap can do some serious damage (try get a Training Manual as well).
I'd definitely go for at least 3 Ghoul Heroes and a single Dreg for those heavy hitting attacks, and for when you need to defend an obstacle. Ghouls cannot use armour, so they're really all about bringing the enemy down, before he gets to hit back. Also, I'd definitely get a Dark Elf Assassin (if you allow those), as it brings Dark Venom for your Vampire, getting him potentially to Strength 10 (7 is fine as well) as well as some shooting power, which can Leap ahead and shoot a bit.
Undeads really have little equipment they can get, so they have plenty for Hired Swords, of which they can use a few, despite their looks and personality.

All in all, they are very dependant on good increases on both the Necromancer and the Vampire. The Dregs are really bad, I agree with that, but you have the potential of getting 1 Vampire, 1 Necromancer, 4 Ghoul Heroes, 2 Dire Wolves and 7 Ghoul Henchmen (with some nasty increases). I'd probably go for a single Dreg myself, simply for the armour save and that he's better at standing still and taking some hits where you need him. Still not too good, but you need him for Tarot Cards & Wyrdstone Pendulums as well, if you don't want to fall behind. Otherwise, we allow for Master Maps to be used on Ghouls.
And again, I must mention the Hired Swords (Imperial Assassin/Dark Elf Assassin/Ogre Bodyguard/Warlock/Witch), as you can get quite a few without it hurting your warband. I'd recommend getting a Gromril Armour for your Vampire first, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 23 Jul 2015 - 5:39

I can't seem to edit my previous post on my phone so this'll be a double one. Anyway, as thematic as they are, I think you'll find the warband less troubled of you disregard the zombies entirely. The ghouls pull their own weight and don't have an upper cap on the number of them you can have.

And like Aipha above me said, the ogre is a perfect mercenary to use.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 23 Jul 2015 - 5:47

Another double post, I'm sorry, but you'll also find that you get varying mileage from fear depending on what you're fighting against. I seem to run into dwarfs all the time which is a bother since they disregard fear pretty much entirely. Fear is a costly ability to have and also the undead's greatest defense so it's doubly annoying when it won't come into play.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 23 Jul 2015 - 9:33

Thabks for your responses. I understand that the ghoul is the only useful henchmen, but a warband wuth a single troop seems somewhat boring. Fot now, I will propose the zombie herder ability and see if my group agrees on. Of course, I welcome any other consideration!
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 23 Jul 2015 - 23:06

I'd say that, while expensive, dire wolves can be very useful. Only the zombies are total duds and most warbands tend to have one worse type in them. I do hope you'll be able to find something cool, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Mon 27 Jul 2015 - 2:32

The only times I think I've seen a Zombie be useful, is when the caster has Re-Animation (interestingly, I actually think we've never rolled Call of Valhel as a spell, despite I believe we have about 3 - 4 Undead warbands each, my roomie and I). I remember a time where my opponent had a lot of troops on the other side of a building about to move to the upper floor. On my side, there was this kind of pit, where he Re-Animated his Zombie into. Since I'm an EXP hoarder, I went straight for it, resulting in a few of my men either trying to climb up and down into the pit, or trying to charge his troops on the upper floor and falling down in the pit afterwards, where the Zombie could eat me while I was stunned or knocked down.

That was pretty devastating to my warband.

Other than that: Stay away from Zombies.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Wed 5 Aug 2015 - 15:58

@Jymmy, have you gotten anywhere with this?
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Fri 14 Aug 2015 - 2:51

I'm currently playing Undead in my campaign (and did so two campaigns ago as well), that has roughly 8 players - all with different bands. I feel Undead may be a bit underpowered, but not significantly. As other have said a lot is dependent on your Vampire. In my current campaign my Vampire sucks (ha....ha..), he has gotten two initiative advances and a couple skills along with a Chest Wound. In my last campaign he ended up a WS5, S5, T5, W3, A3 murder machine.

As far as zombies....eventually you want to have very few (or none depending on your Necro's spells), but I think people are underestimating their value a bit. In my current campaign, my Necromancer has reanimate, and my three zombies has ruined many a day. They suck in combat, can't gain experience, etc......but they are are wonderful charge blockers. I like to position them to intercept my opponents heavy hitters while my ghouls chew up the softer figures. And if ones goes out of action, no biggie, bring him right back up blocking another important charge. That said, this strategy is very important on what spells you get, but it has worked wonders for me (especially in this campaign where my Vampire is all but useless).

That said, I do think Zombies in particular need a boost. Normally (not this campaign, as we have several brand new players) we play with the house rules that Zombies only count as half a model for warband count and rout tests (like Goblins in the O&G list). Additionally we house rule an academic skill that allows all zombies to run with 6" of the individual (Necromancer mainly).
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Fri 14 Aug 2015 - 7:52

At the moment we are playing with the rule that the undead henchmen only die on a wound roll of 6 (wich turned to be pretty irrelevant since the wolf died from a slingshot in the first shot of the game). We played skaven, possesed and undead and I was the first to do the rout test by a huge way(Im not even using zombies) altough is true that I ended being the one getting between the two rival warbands and got the highest amount of wyrdstone (yolo teleporting warlock).
The zombie herder skill didn't was accepted in my group, so maybe i'm going to propose the house rule mentioned above of making the zombies count as half a model...
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Sun 6 Sep 2015 - 1:07

What about if the Necromancer always got re-animation as the starting spell and then rolled for another at the beginning, would that at least make zombies more useful (would also make thematic sense)?
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Sun 6 Sep 2015 - 13:49

Since zombies are kind of the topic of this thread I want to share something of a zombie moment I had in a game a week ago. It was a multiplayer game where I was fighting against dwarfs and lizardmen. I bought a single zombie to push my warband to 17 members (including hired swords, of course) and I decided to let the poor thing go its own way right to the middle of the board. Later in the game the zombie was charged by a saurus and was knocked down, but then the dwarfs shot a blunderbuss through a mass of models, hitting the close combat and taking the saurus out of action. The zombie was now free to charge a saurus hero and I chose to do it to stall the saurus from charging me later. I roll a 6 to hit, a 6 to wound, a 6 to determine what type of critical hit it was (5-6 unarmed: no armour saves with +2 to the injury roll), roll a 3 for injury = 3 + 2 = 5 = saurus hero taken out of action by a charging zombie, ending up with a hand injury for a permanently reduced weapon skill.

Keeping a token zombie around might not be such a bad idea. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Mon 7 Sep 2015 - 2:06

MasterSpark wrote:
Later in the game the zombie was charged by a saurus and was knocked down, but then the dwarfs shot a blunderbuss through a mass of models, hitting the close combat and taking the saurus out of action. The zombie was now free to charge a saurus hero and I chose to do it to stall the saurus from charging me later.

Epic cheers

Though, I have a question: The Zombie was knocked down, then the shot came and then in your turn you charged? As I recall, models who have just recovered are not able to charge.


Last edited by Aipha on Mon 7 Sep 2015 - 5:59; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Mon 7 Sep 2015 - 2:18

Sorry, I was unclear: the zombie made the charge not in the following turn but later on. The blunderbuss made that possible by saving the zombie from going out of action.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Thu 8 Oct 2015 - 3:23

The undead are tought to face in the early games of a campaign. I've found the vampire a dire wolf to be a good, fast moving strike force. The ghouls, with T4 and fear are decent too. The zombies are to the Undead warband what the zealots are to the Witch Hunters.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Sat 14 Nov 2015 - 8:44

I agree with André... I mean Wyrdstone Dave, while zombies are somewhat sub-par, the warband is still well able to hold their own, and even if Wolves are on the expensive side, they tear through most regular warband-members, with only monsters and maybe Beastmen Chieftains, Dwarfs, Orc Bosses and other Vampires really able to hold their own against them.

Dregs aren't there to fight, they're there to live and gather Wyrdstone Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Fri 20 Nov 2015 - 19:40

Hide.

It's weird, but have those slow moving guys hide as much as possible. If you're not going to get close to the enemy, make them get close to you.

Doing this one tactic has entirely changed the face of the warband for some of my fellows in past years.
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PostSubject: Re: Undead underpowered? How to fix it?   Today at 14:18

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