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Tinarg



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PostSubject: Alternative Turn Sequence for Mordheim   Mon 12 Sep 2016 - 4:11

Alternative Turn Sequence Rules for Mordheim
(unofficial supplemental rules)
While Mordheim is a favorite skirmish miniatures game for a lot of players out there, one of its greatest drawbacks is how outdated the mechanics of the system have become. For instance, some of the most prominent skirmish game systems tend to either constrain the usage of resources at the disposal of the players (limited command pool, random allocation of actions, etc.) or/and provide the opponent with ability to react to what the active player is doing during his turn. Mordheim does not allow for that. This supplement aims at completely changing the turn sequence of the original rules and replace it with a system, which, while extending the play time, will make players make a choice between higher risk and higher reward, on one hand, and lower risk and lower reward, on the other.

I. General Structure of the turn sequence: Forget about the different phases that the original turn sequence was split into. Instead, the game is split into rounds. A single round comprises of a turn (or multiple turns, as will become clear later) for each player. However, the players’ turns within the round alternate according to a mechanism, explained later in this supplement. In addition, during each player’s turn, opposing players may be entitled to reacting to that player’s actions.

II. The Beginning of the Game: At the beginning of the game (i.e. scenario), each player rolls 1d6 to determine the general order of the players in a round.

III. The Round: At the beginning of the round, before the first player starts his/her first turn, each player rolls for rout tests, leadership tests for fleeing models, etc. One exception is Animosity. If a player has to test for Animosity, this is done right before the player’s first turn during the round, instead of the beginning of the round.

IV. An active player: A player whose turn it is within the round is called “the active player”. The active player may activate any of his models. To do so, the active player simply points at a model and rolls 1, 2 or 3d12. Each d12 that shows a number less or equal the activated model’s leadership results in an action for the chosen models. Actions may be spent in a number of different ways, as will be detailed in the following sections.

V. Reactions: Each failure on the activation roll (the 1,2 or 3d12 roll detailed in the previous section) may be used by the opposing players to react. Any player that wishes to react rolls a d6. The player with the highest roll may react. The reacting player choses a model that will react and allocates the reactions to it. A model may react only once in a round. To do so, the reacting model rolls as many d6 as the number of reactions. Each die that shows a results equal or less than the initiative of the reacting model counts as an action that may be used by the reacting model, preceding any actions by the model, chosen by the active player. After the reactive player has finished reacting, the turn passes to the active player, who continues with his turn until he/she has activated all his/her models.

VI. “Buying” the turn: Alternatively, whenever the active player activates a model and rolls 2 or more failures, the reactive player may choose, instead of spending the failures on reactions, to “buy” the turn at the cost of two reactions (the reactive player does not need to roll for reactions – he/she simply declares that he/she uses the two action failures of the active player to start his/her own turn). In the case of 1 action and 2 failures by the active player, if the reactive player decides to “buy” the turn, the active player still has to spend his/her action on the chosen model. After that, the reactive player’s turn begins. In the case of 3 failures by the active player, the reactive player may choose to “buy” the turn and roll for up to one reaction, as long as he/she has models to react with (remember, each model may react only once each round). Hence, a player’s turn continues either until he/she has activated all of his/her models or until another player “buys” it and then the same happens to the new active player and so on until all players have activated all of their models (note that not all models may have reacted). Then, the round ends.

a. A note on activations/reactions – A model may activate only once per round. A model may react only once per round.

VII. Cost of actions:

a. Move (1 action) – the model may spend 1 action to move up to its movement speed.

b. Run (2 actions) – a model may spend 2 actions to run as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook.

c. Hide (0 actions) – a model may spend 0 actions to hide as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook.

d. Climbing up or down (1-2 actions) – a model may spend 1 action to climb up or down as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook. The model may spend a second action to climb up to two times its movement speed.

e. Jumping horizontally (1 action) – a model may spend 1 action to jump horizontally as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook.

f. Jump down (0 actions) – a model may spend 0 actions to jump down as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook.

g. Shoot (1 action) – a model may spend 1 action to shoot as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook. A model may not shoot more than once per round (regardless of actions available to it) unless a special rule or some other ruling allows the model to do so.

h. Make a close combat attack (1 action) – a model may spend 1 action to make a close combat attack against an adjacent enemy model as detailed in the Mordheim rulebook. The model may spend more actions, if it has both the actions available, as well as the number of attacks on profile (or provided from special rules, skills etc.) If a model has the ability to make more than 3 normal attacks and wants to make more than 3, it still needs to spend 3 actions from its activation/reaction rolls.

i. Make a close combat attack with an off-hand weapon (0-1 actions) – A model does not have to spend extra actions to make attacks with off-hand weapons, as long as the number of off-hand attacks made does not exceed the number of normal attacks made. Otherwise, for each attack with an off-hand weapon, exceeding the number of normal attacks, the model needs to spend an extra action, if available. If a model has the ability to make more than 3 off-hand attacks and wants to make more than 3, it still needs to spend 3 actions from its activation/reaction rolls.

j. Reload (1-2 actions) – some ranged weapons require actions to be spent for reloading. This will be detailed in following sections.

k. Charge (1-3 actions) – When a model charges, it moves from being unengaged to engaged with one or more enemy models. If a model spends 1 action to charge, it may move up to its movement and make one attack (plus up to one off-hand attack). If a model spends 2 actions to charge, it may move up to twice its movement speed and make one attack (plus up to one off-hand attack) or it may move up to once its movement speed and make up two attacks, if it has that many on profile (plus up to two off-hand attacks). Finally, a model that spends 3 actions to charge, it may move up to twice its movement speed and make up to two attacks (plus up to two off-hand attacks) or it may move up to once its movement speed and make up three attacks, if it has that many on profile (plus up to three off-hand attacks) or it may move up to three times its movement speed (if it has the Sprint special skill) and make one attack (plus up to one off-hand attack).

l. Use a miscellaneous item (0-1 action) – generally, most miscellaneous items do not cost an action to be used. They may be used as activations or reactions. The exceptions are detailed in part XI.

m. Casting spells/prayers (1-3 actions) – Whenever a player, controlling a model with the ability to cast spells/prayers, wants to cast a spell or a prayer, the model uses actions to generate dice (e.g. spend 1 action to use 1 die or spend 2 actions to use 2 dice, etc.). Then the player controlling the model rolls the dice and compares their sum with the level of difficulty of the spell or prayer as detailed by the rules in the original Mordheim rules. Note that in this way spells and prayers may be cast as reactions.

n. Recover from knocked down (1 action) – Contrary to the original rules, a model does not automatically recover from being knocked down at the beginning of the round or the beginning of the player’s turn. Instead, the model may activate/react and if this activation/reaction results in at least on action, the model may spend it to stand up from being knocked down.

o. Recover from stunned (1 action) – Similar to the recovery from knocked down, a stunned model does not automatically become knocked down at the beginning of the round or the controlling player’s turn. Instead, the model may activate/react and if this activation/reaction results in at least on action, the model may spend it to become knocked down from being stunned (note, that a stunned model may not spend 2 actions in the same activation/reaction to stand up as it may seem logical – instead, if the model wants to stand up from being stunned in the same activation/reaction, the model needs to spend 3 actions).

p. Command (1 action) – All heroes have the ability to issue commands. A hero may spend 1 action to issue a command. The possible commands are as follows:

i. Regroup – Up to 3 models within the commanding model’s Ld (not including the commanding model) may regroup. To do so, the active player may roll up to 3d12 as if activating a single model (use the lowest Ld among the regrouping models). Each successful activation counts as an action for each of the regrouping models. However, these activations may be spent only on movement actions for the purpose of bringing the 3 models closer to each other.
ii. March – Up to 3 models within the commanding model’s Ld (not including the commanding model) and within 6” of each other may march together. To do so, the active player may roll up to 3d12 as if activating a single model (use the lowest Ld among the marching models). Each successful activation counts as an action for each of the marching models. However, these actions may be spent only on movement actions for the purpose of moving the marching models in a given direction together.
iii. Concentrate fire – Up to 3 models within a commanding model’s Ld (not including the commanding model) and within 6” of each other may shoot together. To do so, the active player may roll up to 3d12 as if activating a single model (use the lowest Ld among the shooting models). Each successful activation counts as an action for each of the shooting models. However, these actions may be spent only on shooting and reloading. Special skills may not be used when concentrating fire.
iv. Group charge – Up to 3 models within a commanding model’s Ld (not including the commanding model) and within 6” of each other may charge together. To do so, the active player may roll up to 3d12 as if activating a single model (use the lowest Ld among the charging models). Each successful activation counts as an action for each of the charging models. However, these actions may be spent only on charging and potential additional close combat attacks.

q. Alternative Activation – Instead of rolling for activation, the active player may decide to use alternative activation as long as there are no enemy models within 12” of the activating model. The alternative activation does not require rolling of any activation dice. Instead, the activating model receives automatically 2 actions but they may only be spent on movement, running, hiding, climbing and jumping.

VIII. Additional special rules for the warbands:

a. Mercenaries:
i. Swordsmen and Champions get the Military Drill special rule:
1. Military Drill – This model may add +1 Ld when rolling for activations. This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.

b. Witch Hunters:
i. War hounds get the Guard Dog special rule:
1. Guard Dog – This model may add +1 Ld when rolling for activations if there is a standing friendly human model within 6” of it.

c. Sisters of Sigmar: none

d. Cult of the Possessed:
i. All models of this warband have the Will of Chaos special rule
1. Will of Chaos – This model may re-roll up to one activation/reaction die when rolling 2 or more dice for activation/reaction.

e. Undead:
i. Zombies, Ghouls and Dire Wolves have the Call of the Dead special rule
1. Call of the Dead – This model may subtract 1 from the result of up to one die when rolling for activation.
ii. Zombies and Dire Wolves have the Necormancer’s Knell special rule
1. Necormancer’s Knell - This model may add +1 Ld/I when rolling for activation/reaction if within 6” of an allied, standing Necromancer. This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.
iii. Ghouls have the Thirst for Flesh special rule
1. Thirst for Flesh – This model adds +2 Ld when rolling for activation if within 6” of an enemy living model (undead and demons do not count as living). This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.

f. Skaven:
i. All skaven, including giant rats but excluding rat ogres, have the Packrat special rule
1. Packrat – This model gets +1 Ld when rolling for activation if there is another standing friendly skaven model (but not a rat ogre) within 6” of it. This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.
ii. All skaven have the Strength in Numbers special rule
1. Strength in Numbers – This model may roll up to 4 dice when activating as a group.
iii. Rat ogres have the Obedient Monster special rule
1. Obedient Monster – this model gets +2 Ld when rolling for activation if there is at least one standing friendly skaven model (not rat ogres or giant rats) within 6” of it (+3 Ld if the friendly skaven model is a hero). This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.

g. Orcs and Goblins:
i. Goblins and Squigs have the Hordlings special rule
1. Hordlings – This model may add +1 Ld when rolling for group activations. In addition, groups comprised only of models with the Hordlings special rule may include up to 5 models instead of 3. This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.
ii. Orcs have the Combat Instincts special rule
1. Combat Instincts – This model may subtract -1 from the result of single die when rolling for reactions.
iii. Trolls have the Little Boss special rule
1. Little Boss – This model gets +2 Ld when rolling for activation if there is a standing friendly goblin model within 6” of it. This special rule does not stack with the effect from the Leader special rule.

h. Dwarfs: none

IX. Weapons:

a. Close Combat
i. Spear – Change the Strike First special rule to “Whenever a model armed with this weapon is charged while being unengaged, it gets one reaction that may only be used for an attack against the charging model. This rule applies even if the reacting model has already reacted during the current round.”
ii. Great Weapon – Change the Strike Last special rule to “Whenever a model armed with this weapon activates while being engaged, all adjacent enemy models may roll for up to 1 reaction each. Successful reactions may only be used for an attack against the activating model. This rule applies even if the reacting models have already reacted during the current round.”

b. Ranged
i. Crossbow – In addition to the original rules, crossbows require 1 action to be spent for reloading after every shot.
ii. Sling – In order to shoot twice with a sling, a model armed with it needs to spend 2 actions.
iii. Repeater Crossbow – In addition to the original rules, repeater crossbows require 1 action to be spent for reloading after every shot. In order to shoot twice with a repeater crossbow, a model armed with it needs to spend 2 actions.
iv. Crossbow Pistol - In addition to the original rules, crossbow pistols require 1 action to be spent for reloading after every shot. Also, using them in close combat requires and extra action.

c. Black Powder
i. All black powder weapons require 2 actions to reload after every shot.
ii. Pistols require 1 action to be spent when used in close combat, regardless of whether one or a brace of pistols are used.

X. Special Skills/Rules

a. Combat Skills
i. Combat Master – The extra attack does not require an action (treat it as an off-hand attack).

b. Shooting Skills
i. Quick Shot – Extra shots, allowed by this skill, require extra actions (e.g. two actions to shoot twice with a bow and 3 actions to shoot twice with a crossbow during the same activation, due to the required reload).
ii. Pistolier – Change this skill to “A model with this skill needs to spend only 1 action to reload a pistol instead of 2”.
iii. Hunter – Change this skill to “A model with this skill needs to spend only 1 action to reload a handgun or a long rifle instead of 2”.
iv. Knife fighter – Each additional thrown knife costs an extra action.

c. Speed Skills
i. Leap – The added distance does not cost extra actions. This skill may be used only once per round.
ii. Sprint – Allows running and charging to move the model up to 3 times its movement speed. Additional activations are required.
iii. Lightning reflexes – A model with this skill has the Strike First rule when armed with any close combat weapon (except a Great Weapon).

d. Mutations
i. Great Claw – The extra attack counts as an off-hand attack for the purpose of whether an action should be spent on it.
ii. Scorpion Tail – The extra attack counts as an off-hand attack for the purpose of whether an action should be spent on it.
iii. Extra Arm – The extra attack counts as an off-hand attack for the purpose of whether an action should be spent on it.
iv. Spines – Change “at the beginning of the combat phase” to “when attacking the mutant”.

e. Skaven
i. Black Hunger – The extra attack counts as an off-hand attack for the purpose of whether it requires an action to be spent on it.
ii. Tail Fighting – The extra attack counts as an off-hand attack for the purpose of whether it requires an action to be spent on it.
iii. Art of Silent Death – Any extra attacks count as off-hand attacks for the purpose of whether they require an action to be spent on any of them.

f. Orcs and Goblins

i. Animosity – The test happens at the beginning of the first turn of the controlling player during the round. If after a roll of 1 the active player rolls a the “I ’Erd Dat!” or the “I’ll Show Yer!” result, the respective Orcs and Goblins model must roll 3 activation dice and proceed as detailed by the original rule.
ii. Minderz – Change the rule to “Each Cave Squig must always remain within 6" of a Goblin Warrior, who keeps the creature in line. If a Cave Squig finds itself without a Goblin within 6" at the start of the active player’s turn, it will go wild. From that point on, always roll 3d12 when activating the Squig and move the Squig 2D6" in a random direction during each time it moves. You may choose how to spend the model’s actions but if it is not engaged, it must always spend at least one action on movement and if it is engaged or becomes engaged, it must spend at least one action on a melee attack. If its movement takes it into contact with another model (friend or foe), it will engage the model in hand-to-hand combat as normal. “

iii. Ball and Chain
1. Random – Change the rule to “The only way to wield a Ball and Chain is to swing it around in large circles, using your body as a counter-weight. Unfortunately, this is not a very controllable fighting style, and as soon as he starts swinging his Ball and Chain, a warrior starts to lose control. The first turn he starts swinging the Ball and Chain, the model is moved 2D6" in a direction nominated by the controlling player. In his subsequent actions spent on movement, roll a D6 to determine what the model does: D6 Result 1 The model trips and strangles himself with the chain. The model is taken out of action. When rolling for Injury after the game, a roll of 1-3 means the model is out permanently, instead of the normal 1-2. 2-5 The model moves 2D6" in a direction nominated by the controlling player. 6 The model moves 2D6" in a random direction. If the player owns a Scatter dice (available from Games Workshop stores), roll that to determine direction. If not, then roll a D6: 1 – Straight Forward, 2-3 – Right, 4-5 – Left, 6 – Straight Back. If the Ball and Chain wielding model moves into contact with another model (friend or foe), he counts as charging into close combat, and will engage in close combat until the next turn of the active player. Opponents wishing to attack a Ball and Chain wielding model suffer a To Hit penalty of -1, as they must dodge the whirling ball to get close enough to strike. The Ball and Chain wielder cannot be held in close combat and will automatically move even if he starts the controlling player’s turn in base contact with another model. If the model moves into contact with a building, wall, or other obstruction, he is automatically taken out of action. In addition, a ball and chain wielding Goblin is much too busy trying to control the spinning weapon to worry about what others are saying about him behind his back, so ignores the special rules for Animosity. A ball and chain wielding model always rolls 3d12 for activation.”

g. Undead
i. Charge (Dire Wolf) – The second attack counts as an off-hand attack for the purpose of whether an action should be spent on it.

XI. Miscellaneous Items
a. Most miscellaneous items do not require a specific action to be used. The following exceptions require actions to be used:
i. Blessed water – throwing a vial of blessed water requires 1 action, just like taking a shooting action.
ii. Net – throwing a net requires 1 action, just like taking a shooting action.
iii. Healing herbs – using healing herbs requires 1 action and may only be done by using an action, generated during activation.

XII. Spells
a. Payers of Sigmar
i. The Hammer of Sigmar – Instead of testing in each shooting phase, as detailed in the original rules, a model under the effect of this prayer needs to pass a Ld test at the beginning of each round to keep the effect lasting.
ii. Shield of Faith – Instead of rolling at the beginning of each turn in the recovery phase (which would not make sense in this ruleset), as detailed in the original rules, roll at the beginning of each round.
iii. Armor of Righteousness – the effect of the prayer lasts until the beginning of the next round.

b. Necromancy
i. Re-Animation – Replace “One Zombie that went out of action during the last hand-to-hand combat or Shooting phase” to “One Zombie that went out of action during this round”

c. Chaos Rituals
i. Lure of Chaos – Replace “until the model passes a Leadership test in his own recovery phase.” with “until the model passes a Leadership test at the beginning of a round.”

d. Lesser Magic
i. Luck of Shemtek – Replace “The effect lasts until the beginning of his own next turn.” with “The effect lasts until the beginning of the next round.”
ii. Sword of Rezhebel – Replace “Take a Leadership test at the beginning of each of the wizard’s own turns” with “Take a Leadership test at the beginning of each round”.

e. Magic of the Horned Rat
i. Black Fury – Replace “this turn’s hand-to-hand combat phase only.” with “this round only.”. In addition, the bonus attacks do not require actions spent.
ii. Sorcerer’s Curse – Replace “The target must re-roll any successful armour saves and to hit rolls during the Skaven hand-to-hand phase and his own next shooting and hand-to-hand combat phases” with “The target must re-roll any successful armour saves and to hit rolls during this round”.

f. Waaagh” Magic
i. Led’z Go – The next time the chosen orc or goblin rolls for activation; any failures do not allow any opposing player to roll for reactions.
ii. Fooled Ya! – Replace “during their next turn.” with “during this round”

XIII. Final notes – These are all the rules that I find need to be modified to accommodate this different activation/reaction turn sequence. While I admit this will slow down games of Mordheim, it will introduce a number of additional tactical elements like balancing risk and reward, minding the formation of the warband at different times and weighing the possibility of different outcomes from various chains of actions by the players. Having made this draft there may very well be parts of the rules that I have missed. Here are some general guidelines: any rules that mention the beginning of some of phases from the original rules should be reworked so that they are relevant to the beginning of the round or the beginning of the next round or the beginning of the turn of the active player, etc. The activations framework is quite flexible in accommodating any type of actions, should players decide to implement actions not in the rules for Mordheim. Finally, for any updates, mistakes and typos, let me know on the following e-mail address: (will appear in 7 days)

XIV. Couple of observations:

a. Some of you might think that dwarves are favored by this system because of their high Ld. But they have low initiative and numbers, which means that they will have small chance of reacting and, also, dwarves tend to have a low number of models.
b. It may seem that, with this ruleset, warbands have an incentive to stick around the warband leader, as this will give them higher Ld and allow them to make easier group moves. However, if that becomes too much of a problem, one can change the rules so that the Ld bonus from the leader may not count for the activation rolls. Additionally, scenarios that require the warband to be split in groups may be helpful.
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