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.