Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mordbuddy: Teaser

So sometime in the near future I plan on getting an android tablet, mostly to have one. More then just to have one I want an easy and small computer device when I head over to Games Workshop, and most of all to track my mordheim warbands! The paper has worked alright for me so far, but after a few games and eraser marks stuff gets hard to read. Am I happy enough with just an xml file though? Not really so that leads me to coding my own application "solution" in today's lingo to track all of my warbands and will be touch screen orientated.
Sadly though I can't freely distribute it as it would infringe upon Games Workshop lawyer stuff and I don't want them breathing down my throat. However I can tease you guys and gals with pictures and information about it (like I'm doing now).

Anyway onto the fun stuff, pictures! I tried making the best legal disclaimer I could on the front to make it stand out to everyone that this is just for private use and I'm not distributing their copy-written materiel. (It's gotten other people in trouble before)

It is still in a non-working state (only build 0.04 right now) as I'm still building a solid foundation (mostly visuals to be honest). I've only been working on it during my free time when I'm not hobbying or doing anything else at all.
I've got to say that I love how the experience bar for heroes has come out so far and it is my favorite part of that panel. Before I just showed how much total experience you had in a number along with how many times you've leveled since the last time you hit "new battle". However now there is a sweet visual that shows experience up to this battle (red, yellow for levels) and experience gained this battle (green, light green when you leveled up) and where upcoming levels are (gray). And it is in the same format as the play sheet! Though I've still got to figure out how to fix that silly dark gray bar to the side of it. (along with some other gui glitches)

For being in an early alpha state though, I think I've gotten some pretty cool stuff done so far. I'm happy with it at least and that is all that really matters on a program for private use anyway.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cheap Mordheim: Cult of the Possessed

As the number of official warbands dwindle it gets harder and harder to find workable cheap sets that can set each warband apart from another besides painting guys from the Empire Malitia differently. When looking at the Cult of the Possessed entry I've tried to mull over how to best model them without dishing out for some cool chaos spawn models for my possessed.
The biggest difference between Cult of the Possessed and other human warbands is the use of green stuff. In order to set your different characters apart from each other and normal unenlightened humans is your gifts of mutations. These range from extra arms, tentacles, a tail, poison blood, and ugly faces. To show these things you can glue on extra bits and blend them in with green stuff or just use the green stuff to show things like boating or non-standard appendages. Thinking about how they would look modeled and since Empire Malitia is pretty overused already I'd say that Marauders of Chaos would be a better fit in this case.
The biggest thing Marauders are missing is bows though looking at the warband they are close combat orientated anyway, and if you need bows there is always the ability to model them (cut up sprue / green stuff on the base). Yesterday was my first game playing with something besides my Reiklanders (mostly ranged) for my new Orcs and Goblins warband against my own Reiklanders though we did remove their lucky charms, rabbits feet, and skills to make it slightly more even (100 rating vs 230ish). This taught me a lot about how powerful long bows can be, but also how devastating my Orcs can be in close combat.

In all close combat warbands speed and combat skills are the most important, you need to race across the map between cover (hopefully complete so you won't get shot) and getting into combat with nasty skills like Strike to Injure. It is very intimidating when an enemy model can move 12" or more. The cult also has a very interesting addition to it in the form of mutations and the Rewards of the Shadow Lord. You can get extra arms, hooves (+1 movement sexiness) and more reasons to bedeck your heroes with all manner of cool looking modeling magic. (glue an arm on their back, some green stuff to blend it in, and bam!)

If done right the cult can be one of the most interesting warbands to model and paint up along with being extremely fun when you get a few skills under your heroes belts. I'd probably start them myself one day out of bits I have laying around and a Marauders box but that is for another day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mordheim Tactica: Staying Alive

Staying alive, staying alive. Ah ah ah yeah.

In mordheim there are a lot of ways to improve the longevity of your heroes which is very important since when they go out of action you're losing out on crowns and on top of that they could die or get seriously injured. Of course this means there is a lot of defenses you'll have to get through yourself.

One of the first things that comes to mind on defending your heroes is armour and a shield. They benefit you with a 6+ to a 3+ save (Gromril with a shield). This save is enhanced by getting hit with a dagger (+1 to save with a basic of 6+ so you could have a 2+ save!) or hindered by the strength since every strength above 3 decreases your save by one until you lose it. Not only can the strength of the hit decrease your armour's efficiency but some weapons also have negative armour modifiers like axes along with critical hits having a chance to ignore it completely! So why would you take armour, the biggest reason would be against shooting attacks since they are normally strength 3 or lower. Crossbows and black powder being strength four though black powder grants a -2 to armour. In almost all of my games I've played only dwarves take armour (there are a few exceptions but hardly anyone takes it). The best time to buy armour is when you have nothing else to buy such as more men (or other species) and other equipment.

The next thing that pertains to armour but is separate is a helmet which is the number one defensive armour to take. It is cheap and on a 4+ you go from a stunned to a knocked down result so if you are facing two opponents alone your character won't be automatically put out of action since knocked down results still need the opponent to roll to wound (One more dice roll between you and out of action). This also means that if your helmet works, you're character can stand up and fight in your next turn instead of just rolling over that turn.

After armour you have some rare equipment you can purchase (besides gromril armour) that can help you out. These are of course lucky charms (the first thing most people search for) because ignoring the first hit on a 4+  is worth it. In one game this has saved three of my heroes in the first round of shooting (he rolled to see what would have happened and my leader would have been KO'ed by a critical arrow). The next piece of rare equipment that is on the extended list is a rabbits foot which lets you reroll once (lucky charm or even an injury roll!) and if you didn't use it you can reroll an exploration die. The biggest thing I'd use the rabbits foot on is to reroll the injury table so a knocked down turns into an out of action followed by rerolling a lucky charm or step aside / dodge. Just remember that they are both once per battle items though they can be used every battle.

The next thing that many people take is swords for that parry save. Against one attack in close combat where the strength isn't equal to or over your strength you can attempt to parry it by beating the roll to hit (so if they roll a three and you parry with a four you ignore that hit).

Finally the next thing that can save your heroes are some certain skills, these are more reliable then armour but are less likely to show up since you need to roll a new skill and be able to learn the skill. They can also be used more then once a battle making them better then a lucky charm. The top two are step aside (a chance to ignore every close combat wound on a 5+) and dodge (ignore ranged hits on a 5+). Step aside is extremely helpful because it can be used against critical hits. Dodge is also very sweet because it happens before lucky charms so you don't have to use it if you can dodge first. Another two useful skills include lightning reflexes which ignores all knock down results that aren't caused by things like successful helmet saves. Finally resilient is useful since your opponents are striking at -1 strength against you in close combat. Out of them though Dodge and Step Aside are the most useful as you'll want to get some more offensive skills with your spare skills like strike to injure.

The best thing about most of these is that they stack so in close combat you can Lucky Charm, Parry, Armour save, Dodge, Helmet and use a rabbits foot to reroll any of these. At most that is five dice rolls your opponent has to get through to knock your hero out of action. I've tried to organize them in relation to how useful they are but I'll display a list of most to least useful saves based on my own personal tastes and ideas.
  1. Dodge and Step Aside (depending on if your hero will see more ranged or close combat, my marksman hero uses dodge while my young blood uses step aside)
  2. Lucky Charm (once per battle 4+ to ignore the first hit)
  3. Parry (can't parry criticals (unless a dwarf has a certain skill) but you're just buying a weapon with a save attached, buckler not really that useful since that second weapon is very nice)
  4. Helmet (For when that attack goes through but you have a chance of not being useless or auto killed for a round of combat)
  5. Armour (expensive and lots of things negate it but good later game when you have money to burn and against arrows)
  6. Shield (Same with the buckler, in most cases a sword and club are more useful)
  7. Buckler (I'd personally rather have a second weapon then a re-roll-able parry)
  • Finally the rabbits foot, as it is not a direct save and just a reroll it isn't listed but it is really good.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cheap Mordheim: Beastmen Raiders

I have to say that beastmen raiders are an interesting warband to go with since they have zero ranged weapons. The only ranged attack you can get is from magic from your shaman and that is it since most hired swords don't work with beastmen. Since your primary focus is close combat their biggest advantage is speed since they have a Movement of 5" instead of the universal 4". Taking this into consideration you'll want to give your heroes a speed skill or two to increase their maximum threat range to make up for the lack of 16" to 30" range attacks.

For this Leap and Sprint are very useful abilities since you can move triple your normal movement (15" charge range) and with leap you can increase that by one to six inches. I've seen this setup on a ghoul in an undead warband and it was scary to deal with.

I'm a little torn between what box to use for the base of the warband, since there are no ranged weapons the Ungor box's bows are useless, but the Gors box doesn't have any two handed weapons for a lovely strongman + double handed weapon, also since there is a minimal amount of swords (two in the Ungor box) you'll have to give up that parry on most characters. Good news though is that if you use the Ungor box you'll be able to make halberds with the spear and axe head. On the Gor box you'll get all the swords you want.

So after thinking about it, I'd say the Ungors box will probably be the better deal though if you want to get a second box to expand to the full 15 members before halfling cookbooks are added I'd also say get the Gor box too. Sadly though one of the Beastmen Raiders heroes is a Centigor so unless you want to green stuff some bodies together you'll need to get one more box to get all your heroes (it sucks not having them all). The best news about this though is that a single Centigor is fairly cheap compared to other single models (all of my necron finecast). It is interesting that the three centigor choices costs the same as the mordheim centigor so it all depends on which one looks best to you. (I'd choose this one and make his spear into a halbert for that +1 strength)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cheap Mordheim: Night Goblins

Ah an experimental warband that I'm actually almost done painting right now, and it isn't even overpowered compared to some other experimental ones so I'll be able to use it after a few tweaks in our League. The reason why I chose to start this instead of Orcs and Goblins first is mostly due my wanting to paint them first. The box to get of course is very easy to choose and that is the Night Goblins Regiment!
There isn't much options on the night goblins equipment sheet but they are all covered by the box with swords, clubs, spears, short bows, helmets and light armor (under cloak), and shields. they even have models for nets. Modeling them where pretty easy except I'm still trying to figure out what to do to separate my normal bosses from my henchmen night goblins, my Big Boss and Shaman stick out fairly well since one has a pretty head and the other has a moon icon on a pole (club).

One idea I came up with was to stick a shield on their back (after shaving off the hand attached to it) so they stick out a lot but I got lazy and didn't do anything yet. I'll probably do something along the lines of detailing their cloaks and / or adding rune like symbols on their swords though having the heroes blend in might not be that bad of a thing.

Speaking of not bad things I found one of my favorite combo's for a henchmen group. I have a group of three henchmen with a spear and short bow who's job is to advance in front of my main force and shoot their short bows at whoever I can. Of course I don't expect to hit much with 16" Range henchmen who moved but that isn't their primary job anyway. What they are really there for is intercepting charges. When someone tried to charge my heroes I can intercept with my spear goblin and get to attack first even though my opponent charged, and if my spear golbin lives I can charge my heroes at the model and throw that much more dice for a one, two punch.

My two Night Goblin henchmen groups, one with club and sword, and the other spear and short bow for that one, two punch.
 Then we got my six heroes, four bosses with sword and short bow. The Big Boss with his moon sword and short bow, and the shaman with his two clubs (The moon icon is getting called a club by me).
And of course my Fanatic, he's not part of the warband yet but he will be after I play my first game with them.
And finally my three "fully almost fully" painted models in the front followed by all the others. I really like the Green and Purple color scheme I've got going for them. I especially like how good they look on the Fanatic with his jack-o-lantern flail. (Yep he's fighting with a pumpkin!)

To paint them I primed white (be very careful on air conditions) and then washed almost all of the colors on with a few base colors like yellow, purple on two models (bet you can't tell which ones got a purple base coat in the last image), and details like teeth. If you haven't painted your models teeth yet then you'll be surprised how amazingly good they suddenly look. Also did I mention how much I love washes shades and glazes now?

PS: Metal on white does not look good, paint that stuff with a very dark base coat first or you'll regret it (I washed with nuln oil to make metal less flat but still I wish I did black first)

PPS: nuln oil on white primer with 'ardcoat looks exactly like boltgun metal.

PPPS: Be careful with flock, a small drop goes a lot further then I thought it did. (see shaman base)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cheap Mordheim: Witch Hunters

One of the first warbands I've faced and I've been waiting to play against them again (everyone who played them in the league switched to a Norse warband). This was one of the more difficult warbands to decide what would be the cheapest way of running them as all human warbands can of course use the Empire Militia box, but their main thing is centered around the flagellant henchmen group which the militia box just doesn't give justice too. The box I'd suggest for this warband is the Empire Flagellant one that will provide you with all the crazy bearded guys you'll need.
It comes with flails, morning stars, clubs, torches (clubs with FIRE!), books (holy in this case), and some crazy people. It is the first box I've suggested without access to swords and ranged weapons (that parry is always nice to have) so you will probably want to supplement the list with some Militia if you want some ranged weapons. You can build a very nasty close combat warband with just this box though since flails are scary in the first turn of combat (strength 6 means -2 to armour saves and models with Strength 3 can't parry).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mordheim Suppliments: Hired Swords

So in my current campaign I've gotten hired swords for free due to an encampment bonus. Every warband in the campaign gets an encampment with different between game bonuses and disadvantages. Some examples include losing D6x5 gold crowns or getting a free hired sword for one battle. This is nice since most of my gold crowns are still going to equipment instead of warband size and it gives me another character that I don't care if it gets Out of Action.

I've mostly been limited to humanoid hired swords since I don't have many other Mordheim usable models. A lot of the hired swords are very useful and can really pay for themselves every battle. The two hired swords I've fielded most recently (pretty much because they are both in the rule book) is the Warlock and the Elf Ranger. Both have served me well, but I like the warlock a bit more since my Mercenaries are lacking in magic without him and that sword spell is nasty.

Some of the coolest hired swords include the witch who can concoct potions to increase another characters stats (+1 strength is really nice) and she has some very powerful spells that makes me want to take her any chance I can. (hopefully I can bring her in our campaign) The Bard is also very handy since being able to reroll any leadership test within 6" with a +1 to the result which is very nice for things like rout tests and keeping your magic sword up on a magic user.

Another nice hired sword to take would be a halfling scout since he grants +1 warband size so you can get that one extra henchman to run around with. I've also been eyeing an ogre bodyguard as a way to soak up arrows with his three wounds. In most cases your opponent will focus a lot of his / her shooting attacks to the ogre since it can move faster and hit harder then most warband characters (3 attacks with base two + two weapons and movement 6 is deadly) though the possibility of it surviving through a battle goes down a lot with all the ranged attacks that is likely to go into him.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mordheim Suppliments: Wardogs

So your warband can bring puppies or you want to get some war dogs as equipment (still counts toward max warband size) but they are very important and useful for the adventurous (not skavens though). The most advantage of getting a wardog or two be it a henchmen group or equipment (or even a Wolfin for Norse) is their speed. Especially in breakthrough and wyrdstone hunt along with being able to hit and run stragglers very easily.

Now I've seen a few dog models offered by GW and some are metal (wood elves got two in a set), chaos warhounds (spikey bits and has 10), undead warhounds (they're corpsy), and space wolves wolves (5 models). Out of the four options I saw I lean the most between chaos warhounds and space wolves since at the moment they cost the same and it is really just depends on your taste and if you want to shave / remodel some spikes for normal wolves.

At the moment I've been using Squigs for my war puppies as the war dog equipment does not necessarily have to be a dog / wolf. However there was a recent addition to the war puppy list of options thanks to The Hobbit's Fell Wargs. There is six of them however one down side is circle bases compared to the standard square ones on Mordheim.

After a few battles with testing war puppies I've grown to like them a lot especially due to their speed. Take a slow warband like Dwarves, with 2/3 things running at 8" even in breakthrough they'll be able to just push the puppies across and win.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cheap Mordheim: Undead

Unlike other cheap Mordheim options the undead warband isn't as cheap. This is because not only because you have two heroes that are not all...dead looking, but you also have three fairly different groups. Ghouls (they look nasty in a good way), zombies which are rotting flesh, and dregs which are still unrotten but could probably could use zombies for them and just make them not as dead looking. So this will probably be the most expensive cheap warband if you don't want to buy the Undead Warband itself!

After thinking about it and much searching, I believe I found an okay substitute for your necromancer and vampire boxes themselves and that is the Battle Mages box for the Empire (shown below) since you can have that cool flaming sword for your vampire and a wizard look for your necromancer.

And then all you need is henchmen which a box of Zombies should be able to do what you'll need for disposable bodies, (and with a magic spell they can come back in battle!) Also as I said before depending on how you paint a few less disembodied ones you'll get your dregs.

For an idea on how to run your two box warband (ghouls are awesome by the way) is to make your vampire fast to jump into combat with stragglers (hit and run kind of thing, it fits them pretty well too) since after a few battles they will be beasts. The necromancer's hope is to support all the undead who bodyguard him and reanimate any that fall. Just remember that if both your Necromancer and Vampire goes down, you'll be in bad luck. Finally ghouls, ghouls, ghouls. If one gets "Lads got Talent" you'll have a lot of fun doing the same hit and run tactics as the vampire with him. The guy who has an undead warband in our campaign has both a nasty vampire and a nasty ghoul hero are the two things I fear the most (ghoul has around a 30" threat range with sprint, leap, and lots of attacks).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cheap Mordheim: Orcs and Goblins

Being bored without power at my local GW to play at I've decided to put out another Cheap Mordheim post. As you can tell I've already done two (skavens and most of the mercenaries as they can use the same box) and I got a few more to go before most of the cheap one box warbands are done. Hopefully this will help people who are interested in Mordheim get into it with the most bang for your buck. I'll also be buying these boxes myself for my own warbands or already have so of course I'm searching for the cheapest things myself too.

Orcs and Goblins is another official warband but sadly it isn't as inexpensive as the last two. To do this warband you'll need some orcs for the heroes and henchmen but the goblins, squigs, and troll don't come in the same box. For a single box of orcs, I've found that the Savage Orcs is your best bet. It has spears, swords, daggers, axes, bows (Orc Boyz don't and archers come in 3's), and shields.

 Sadly there is only ten models this time instead of the twenty like in the other two but it is the best box on the GW website right now. Good news is that you'll only need 8~10 Orcs to start the warband with and you can expand from there with a Troll, more Orcs, or some goblins (I suggest a night goblin box, you'll see why later). Good news though is that you can still field a strong list with just 10 models for a few games into a campaign as you can / will spend most of your income on lucky charms, rabbits foot, other equipment upgrades, and hiring any henchmen that died. (After 5 games my Reikland is still only 11 strong, but I'll be expanding them soon)

Just remember to do something to set your heroes apart along with your Shaman and Boss. For giggles I'd probably put the big choppa on the Boss as he'd have the biggest stick (and it would look cool) and use the banner as my Shaman club / axe / spear / whatever I can count it as. Spearing of spears though one of my favorite things to do is to run a group of henchmen with spears and have one escort another henchman / hero through the battle for counter charging. If you are anything like me you'd wonder why I'd give up two attacks with a parry (sword+other) for a single spear as if you are also like me then 90% of the time that single attack will miss (unless it is a bow), but here is the trick. Spears attack first in close combat regardless of any other modifiers such as charging in the first round of combat, so you have a chance at killing the guy who charged before he gets to go, and if he kills your spear henchmen, at least it wasn't your money maker hero. This is why my newest models for my warbands contains a few Spear + Bow models (shot in my turn, intercepts charges in theirs).

PS: The way we play and as I understand the rule for spears (unwieldy) is that it doesn't let you use another weapon or a shield in close combat but you can use a pistol / bow / crossbow / rifle in the shooting phase.