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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Farming in Mordheim makes you a douche

 I’ve been playing Mordheim regularly now for the last coupleof months and I feel like I’ve learned a couple of things from the game.

1) It has a good balance of simple and complex systems tomake it easy to learn and fun to master. 
2) With the experience mechanic, the game is constantlydeveloping as new challenges and goals are generated and achieved. 
3) The best games are those that are played in the rightspirit.

It’s this third point that I’d like to focus on.  As my local opponents will know, I’ve beenusing my Middenheimers regularly for the last three weeks, playing as manygames as I can and as a result growing in strength and prestige.  In the last two games however, the luck formy warband has gone sour, losing no less than 3 high level heroes across bothgames (tow of them being my Mercenary Captain and his subsequent replacement).   Looking over the most recent games I’venoticed that some have not been as fun as they could have been.  Puzzled, I decided wanted to know why.  I mean, it’s Mordheim.  It should be fun right?  The conclusion was pretty clear.  In some of our games, the fun aspect wasdiminished because player’s warbands were getting farmed by a singleplayer. 

Of all the things I expected to find in Mordheim, farmingwasn’t one of them.  Unlike in MMO’sfarming in Mordheim isn’t about hoarding coin for real-world sale, in Mordheim,farming is all about min-maxing your Warband with the most powerful unitsbefore setting out to destroy the weaker player’s warbands with extremeprejudice.  Now before I get started,let’s be clear – This is not a whine about how broken some units are in Mordheim.  The city of the Damned called such for areason and rightfully, there should be some really scary mutherfuckers outthere that go bang in the night.  Theyare the combat monsters that kick ass and take names and there’s nothing wrongwith that.  I’m here today to rant aboutWAAC opponents who play the game purely so that they can repeatedly kill eachand every member of your warband while you’re forced to sit there andwatch.  In our club, we’ve instated ahouse rule where we can only voluntarily rout if we reach 50% starting strengthas opposed to the standard 25%.  Which isfair enough, I understand how a voluntary rout at 25% could be exploited.  But I shouldn’t have to watch some piss-ant’s4-man over-powered (and nigh un-killable) warband romp across the table, ignorethe objectives complete and single-handedly destroy every hero in my warbandand STILL get the underdogbonus because they fucking refuse to buy more models and boost their warbandrating.  I’m not a 4th EditionNecron army and as such I don’t expect my opponent to ignore everything elseand play for phase-out.  NO PLAYER SHOULD BE FORCED TO PLAY AGAME WHERE THEY’RE ONLY REAL HOPE IS TO REACH THE POINT WHERE THEY CANVOLUNTARILY ROUT. That’s not a game, that’s just watching your opponentroll dice while you get the ‘opportunity’ to take your models off thetable.  For the player using themin-maxed warband, it might be seen as fun to watch your four or so men go up2, maybe three levels a game, every game; but if that means your game plan isrevolving entirely around finding the weakest opponent and utterly destroyingthem before they get the chance to play - you’re farming.  And farming in Mordheim makes you a douche. 

 ‘Now wait’, I hearsome of you exclaim ‘If I want to takeonly a warband made entirely of heroes, then I should be allowed to right?  I mean, compared to your 12 or 15 guys, I’moutnumbered at least 3 to 1.  Besides, nothingin the rules says I can’t do it, nor does it say that I have to play to themission.’  This is entirelytrue.  The rules don’t state that youshould have a balanced warband.  Itdoesn’t even state that you should go for the objectives in any givengame.  But you know what?  The rules also don’t state that you don’t up-endthe gaming table or throw your opponents models across the room either but Idon’t see you doing that.  Interestinglyenough, the rules also do not state that I shouldn’t punch you in the face forconstantly adopting a smarmy-assed attitude while telling your opponent ‘Don’tget cocky’ when they’re forcedto send no less than 6 guys in to fight 1 of your heroes because they’vewatched a trio of heroes from another warband try to take him on two turns backand get slaughtered for their troubles (It’s now a house rule though – Ireserve the right to punch in the face any smug son-of-a-bitch who plays like adick on my gaming table).  So no, therules don’t state that you can’t act like a total ass-hat and be a gamey c**t,but it also doesn’t say I have to play you either.  The one thing the rules DO state though, is that all models should be WYSIWYG.  So you can take your proxy models (yes,proxying in a 4-man warband) and jam them. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have a Middenheimer warband to rebuild.  

Rant over


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Legion of Everblight Update – Shredder the Third!

As a strange turn of events, I’ve been painting my Legion models whenever I’m lacking the motivation to paint anything else.  It turns out that these little spurts of activity have paid off once again with the completion of my third Shredder model.  Like the second one, I wasn’t really paying attention to how the model was progressing and once again I was somewhat surprised to see him finished (I forgot to do the base and marker on the second one it seems.  Oh well).  I happily finished off the base with some clump foliage, an ID symbol and a frontal arc before sealing the light warbeast with a coat of Estapol.   

This brings my total number of painted Legion models to 3 – all of them Shredders.  There’s only one more left before I mode onto another miniature (as you can see by the WIP pic below, he's well on his way to being done!), though I’m yet to decide on what that mini will be.  Best not get ahead of myself though, I’ve barely managed to paint half the models that come in the Legion’s starter box (and they’ve all been the smaller models).

Catch you all later


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mordheim Update – Hunters are done!

After a burst of motivation last weekend, I managed to make great strides in getting chunks of my Mordheim Warband Painted.  I’m very happy to say that all my hunters have now been painted and the bases done save for the snow flocking.    These guys have been a blast to paint and they’re always fun to run in my games as well.  I’m hoping that as a group they’ll continue getting stronger, gaining extra skills along the way.  My Norse Warband could use a 6th Hero and I’m secretly hoping it’s going to be one of my Hunters that get the spot. 

With the hunters done, I’ll move on to working on my Youngblood / Bondsman armed with Double-handed weapon.  While he is yet to prove himself remotely useful in any of my games, his continued survival will mean I have a Hero that can be groomed for taking over the warband, should my Jarl or Mercenary Captain fall in battle. 

Catch you all later


Friday, April 6, 2012

Mordheim Update: The Hunters become the Hunted

Over the course of many games of Mordheim, I’ve come to learn a couple of things – Never send a guy into a fight alone and shooting gives you a distinct advantage.  While I can’t really utilise my hobby skills to address the first point, I can for the second.  My Norsemen have a group of Henchmen known as Hunters which can be armed with a wide assortment of missile weapons from throwing axes to bows.  In my current warband, I sport three of the fellows, all of which are armed with bow, spear and shield, a fine defensive combination when facing off against the horrors that inhabit the shadows of Mordheim.  Due to their experience garnered in battle, they've received a BS increase as well as an extra attack, making them BS4 with 2 attacks a piece.  Armed with a Spear they gain Always Strikes First (ASF) in the first round of combat, meaning that if I can get a couple of them in combat with a single model, it’s more than likely going to die, or at least hit the ground relatively hard. 

At this stage, the other two hunters are in painted to various stages of completion and I’m hoping to have the two of them done in the near future.  Once they are done, I intend to start work on a new Jarl to lead the army, one made entirely of plastic components scavenged from various kits while hopefully utilising a new green stuffing process Mark from Project Circle brought to my attention.  It’s a process used by Miniature Tim and when done correctly, looks positively ace. 

Catch you all later