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 Reflections on an Ostland warband

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Wyrdstone Dave
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PostSubject: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Sun 7 May 2017 - 21:31

I've run an Ostlander warband through 10 game in a campaign. When I started the warband, I wasn't sure how it would perform. The decision to build one was based on the availability of cool minis (NOT the GW "Ostlanders" but mostly Frostgrave plastics). I pictured them as a ragged peasant warband with a big pack of hounds.

My warband, the †Bokenhof Residents Association, is based around the extended family of Sebastian Plopp. His parents are the ďBlood brothersĒ and most other members are also from the extended family. You can see them here http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t8863-ostlanders-gonna-ostle

In terms of list building Ė I chose a full complement of 4 heroes, an ogre henchman, two ruffians and three jaegers. The ogre takes a long time to gain advances and is very powerful so I wanted him in from the start. The warband had minimal equipment to start with.
As its progressed, the Ostlanders have become pretty good. With some lucky rolls I have added a jaeger hero and a ruffian hero. The ogre still gets most of my warbandís kills, which is a waste of XP. It was worth taking him from the start. The main thing is to support him with henchmen. My Priest of Taal has the blessed ale spell, which keeps the ogre in the game. With a difficulty of only 5 and the ability restore all lost wounds, itís a great support for the ogre.

The lack of hired swords hurts me a bit. Iíve agreed with my gaming group not to hire an ogre bodyguard at the moment. Two ogres was a bit overpowered in the early stages of a campaign. We do this with the Possessed warband too and only take one Possessed to keep things balanced. I may reconsider when my opponent gets a rat ogre!

My Jaegers hadnít contributed much. The bow isnít a great weapon and handguns are useless. They havenít managed to get a BS advance. However, Iíve given them blunderbusses and they are much more useful now. Since I mainly face Skaven, a S3 hit on a bunch of ratmen usually does some damage. They have melee weapons for backup.

The Ostlander special skills are quite good I think. Iím looking to give a hero Foul Odour (-1 to be hit in melee) and bull rush (will hit most opponents on a 3 and auto knock down). Two of my heroes have animal friendship and the warband currently has two wardogs. Iím looking to add another two. They arenít the best warriors, since they only have one attack and canít progress. However with WS 4 and S 4 they do get kills and their M 6 keeps them in contact with the ogre. Since they donít count towards total warband size, the dogs are worth having late-game. Iím aiming to have 12 of them (the Warlord Games mastiff pack is my friend here).

In summary Ė the Ostland warband is solid. The ogre henchman is great if you stop him getting isolated and can keep healing him. Having only 4 heroes to start with means youíll be poor but it leaves two gaps for henchmen to advance rapidly. They are quite entertaining and I enjoy the drunken yokel fluff around them.
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Mon 8 May 2017 - 11:33

Thanks for the thoughtful review. Never played Ostlanders (or Averlanders either for that matter). I had totally ignored the animal friendship rule (as had the guys who tried Ostlanders in our campaigns). Thanks for reminding me.
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Grimscull
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Mon 8 May 2017 - 12:02

Thanks for your thoughts. I like the fact you are using all henchmen-types and are going with the Ostlšnder-specific special skills though I agree there are some good ones anyways. Bull Rush is really mighty against certain foes. Does this feat mean you can auto-knock down enemies with multiple wounds left?
About 12 dogs I'm not so certain. I always field 1 or 2 for "tactics" if I have the chance, but 12? While they don't count towards total warband size, they DO count for routing, right? So especially in late game, where you want to have that many, they should be easy XP for an opponent and you will have to rout sooner.
I was lucky enough to play the Priest of Thaal + Blessed Ale + Ogre (bodyguard in my case) combo with my Horned Hunters and the Ale is BY FAR the best spell in the list IMO. I'm sure your Ogre wouldn't have performed nearly as well without it. Earthshudder looks like a possible gamebreaker too but this is only me theory-heiming.
Dave, Nouveau Riche looks like a bugger, how did you cope with that Special Rule?
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Wed 10 May 2017 - 2:03

+1 for Animal Friendship. I have an Ostalnder warband and have completely disregarded that special rule (no more!).

I agree with you on the uselessness of handguns in the RAW. In our campaign we have dropped the Move or Fire rule from all blackpowder weapons. We feel it brings a good balance to weapons which can blow up in your face.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Mon 22 May 2017 - 22:35

Thanks for the comments Wyrdstone Dave. I have an Ostlander warband (unpainted) and have yet to use them. Your review has got me thinking about them again and I think its time to get them on the table to give them a try! Keep us updated as they progress please Wink
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Wyrdstone Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Wed 7 Jun 2017 - 1:14

Grimscull wrote:

About 12 dogs I'm not so certain. I always field 1 or 2 for "tactics" if I have the chance, but 12? While they don't count towards total warband size, they DO count for routing, right? So especially in late game, where you want to have that many, they should be easy XP for an opponent and you will have to rout sooner.

Dave, Nouveau Riche looks like a bugger, how did you cope with that Special Rule?

Good points Grimscull. Nouveau Riche hasn't been an issue yet. I've had 6-7 games and so have been buying more henchmen each game. Then I've spent the remainder on blunderbusses or other fairly expensive items.

I hadn't really thought about the dogs being a liability later in the campaign. I think they would count for routing. All the rules about warhound apply except that they don't count towards maximum warband size. Perhaps I'll limit myself to 6 or so. They still move fast and have a S4 attack. While they won't be much of a danger to heroes, they can still pick off henchmen.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Wed 7 Jun 2017 - 10:38

I always thought that the Nouveau Riche rule was removed when the updated rules for the Ostlanders were released in Mordheim Annual 2002. In that warband listing, the only special rule is that they are self sufficient and may not hire a Hired Sword other than an ogre. Which version is correct?
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Wyrdstone Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Wed 7 Jun 2017 - 16:25

Actually, I think you're right. I don't have the 2002 Annual and work off a .pdf of the warband.
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Thu 8 Jun 2017 - 11:45

If you join the facebook group they have a good files section with the annual (if you know the code words since publishing a scan by the given title seems to be beyond the members occasionally...)

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Wyrdstone Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Sun 11 Jun 2017 - 17:22

Von Kurst wrote:
If you join the facebook group they have a good files section with the annual (if you know the code words since publishing a scan by the given title seems to be beyond the members occasionally...)


Which facebook group?
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Mon 12 Jun 2017 - 9:55

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2254256510/
Hopefully this is a link, but its a closed group so it might not link for you.

It should show up if you search the word Mordheim. Joining is fairly painless (and I only recommend it for the easy files access, rules discussions are awful).

I joined because of werekin (back when he was posting MiM events on the Oldhammer group), but its also where Tuomas P posts occasionally, which is always fun to see.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Mon 26 Jun 2017 - 16:32

Thanks Von Kurst.

I've had a few more games with the Bokenhof Residents Association and have a few findings:

1. the wardogs are starting to struggle against enemy henchmen. The single attack and lack of weapons is a disadvantage. I think I will cap the pack of hounds at 6 for now. The fast move and WS4, S4 attack is still handy but not so dangerous. However they look cool and that is important.

2. Cousin Otto the ogre is still a henchman but has picked up an extra attack. His good buddy the Priest of Taal follows him everywhere and casts Bear's Paw to give him 4xS6 attacks and Blessed Ale to patch him up. My main opponent is getting really sick of the sight of those two! Last game the ogre wasted a rat ogre in a single charge.

3. I can't believe I've only just started using blunderbusses! Against T3 Skaven they are devastating. They don't kill a lot of things but they knock down and stun enough to disrupt attacks and prepare the way for my own charges. This isn't really an Ostland thing but yokels with big guns are cool.

I'm still really enjoying the warband.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Tue 27 Jun 2017 - 14:01

Good to hear.

Yes use blunderbusses!
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Tue 4 Jul 2017 - 4:34

Great overview, and beautiful band. Thing with the Ostlanders is, being fun as the most unique Mercenaries band, it almost forces you to build a close combat setup if you start with the Ogre because it's high cost... and he's the very reason to run this warband so, animal friendship sounds great to give the Ogre some companions not left behind by his high M. Maybe giving the underrated Leap to the Priest to follow the group may help, also.

Never played with this band, but Ruffians seem usseless unless you plan to have many games against the Undead. Foul Odour is great IMO, and consider keeping the Jaegers in you next list. I'd said use them for CC instead ranged where they suck, keep in mind those are the ones you want to be promoted to heroes. Take blunderbuss (+leap) and pistols for your promoted heroes, pistols are awful for henchmen and blunderbuss hurt your wallet quite a bit if your henchman dies, but those are great for low exp. heroes as they develop fast as pistolier specialists, and Ostlanders have the most awesome arsenal. Close combat setup with Ogre and mid range and priest support souds pretty solid to me. They may develop slower than other mercenaries, but the starting Ogre is a blast.
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Wyrdstone Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Tue 4 Jul 2017 - 18:43

bitxo wrote:
Never played with this band, but Ruffians seem usseless unless you plan to have many games against the Undead.

You are right. They are not much use. But they are fun to model. One of them is now a hero and has had quite good advances.

The other promoted hero is a jaeger who has a very high BS, crossbow, quick shot and trick shot. He's annoying to opponents but has to watch out for return fire!
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections on an Ostland warband   Wed 5 Jul 2017 - 4:52

The Ogre + Blessed Ale. Gimmick is beardy. If you get the spell you have a D5 infinite wounds ogre.. if you don't get the spell you build your warband like a normal mercenary band.I love the warband rules but it's too RNG for me.

As far as the person who suggested house ruling move or fire... what does your group do with NimbleŅ
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