Tweaking Witch Hunters & Dealing With The Unofficial

February 10, 2014 in Fantasy, Fantasy Wargaming, Games Workshop, Mordheim, Warhammer Fantasy by brennon

Last time I was talking to you about Mordheim, or more specifically Coreheim, I was contemplating the game as a whole and introducing my range of heroes and miscreants that would be taking to the streets of this City of the Damned. My Witch Hunters are now ready to head out in search of Wyrdstone and the finished warband list is below…

They Signed Their Name…

Full Warband

Templar (60) Dagger (-) Sword (7) Pistol (15)
Light Armour (25) Shield (5)
= 112gc

Priest of Sigmar (35) Hammer (5) Shield (5)
Prayer: Might of Sigmar
= 45gc

Witch Hunter (30) Crossbow (25) Sword (7)
Shield (5)
= 67gc

Witch Hunter (30) Hammer (5) Shield (5)
= 40gc

Witch Hunter (30) Great Weapon (10)
= 40gc

2x Zealots (40) Short Bows (10)
= 50gc

2x Zealots (40) Swords (14) Shields (10)
= 64gc

2x Flagellants (60) Great Weapons (20)
= 80gc

498gc

2gc Remaining

I’ve kept the warband around the same as before with a few tweaks following on from a demo game I played a couple of weeks ago. I realised how powerful shields were going to be, especially when combined with the Nimble rule giving them that +1 to their armour saves. With that in mind I now have all but Ulrich Von Lichtenstein (the Witch Hunter with the great weapon) carrying one. This is going to give them a 6+ save against most shooting and a 5+ save in combat, which can be key.

Richter & Gottfried

The only other slight tweak amongst my heroes was that Richter Haustman, the Templar (still refuse to call him an Inquisitor), now wears light armour as well. This means against shooting he’s ducking and diving around with a 5+ save and in combat he can get up to 4+. With the option of a pistol he can also look to take down a potentially dangerous target and not have to deal with it in combat at all.

Waldemar

When it comes to the warband itself I decided that most of it was fine as it was. The Zealots with Sword & Shield had done their job admirably. The Flagellants too had proved themselves and could be reliable upon to smash apart some enemies with their great weapons. The one change however was with the Zealots with bows. I had previously armed them with the mid-range option but I realised early on that I wasn’t going to need that much distance on their shooting.

Ulrich & Rudiger

A Mordheim/Corheim board is almost always coated in terrain and so getting a direct bead on an enemy from long range is fairly hard to do. With that in mind the basic strength of both the bow and short bow is three, so why spend the extra points? I did of course need to shave some points off some of my warband in order to afford the armour and shield elsewhere, but I think it was a fairly good decision considering I’d be sacrificing a lot more from more tried and tested areas of my warband to do so.

The Stakers

The Brothers Grimh

My aim therefore with archers, pun most certainly intended, is to use them for knocking down and potentially stunning enemies from close range shooting before the others lunge in for the kill. If I can at least knock down a foe and harass them then I’ll have the drop on some potentially deadly enemies. The key here is that they have to used in tandem with another part of the warband to be of any use. If there remained three of them then I’d have been tempted, as I was in the demo game, to hang back with the crossbow wielding hero Waldemar Branh. While the Witch Hunter  could handle himself in combat the bowmen certainly couldn’t and I’d have a fairly weak back line if something were to ambush my men. Therefore I’ll most likely be using the archers in concert with my Zealots with swords and possibly Rudiger Howard (Witch Hunter with the Hammer & Shield) to make sure they are getting the drop on the enemy.

One of my other niggles surrounded the Warrior Priest Gottfried Von Otun. His Prayer of choice was Might of Sigmar and I was almost considering changing it around for something else considering it served him well but very few others. But, I have had a change of heart. For one it seems characterful that he would retain this ‘Might of Sigmar’ as the Priest and not trust Richter despite being part of his entourage. He is after all carting around two Chaos Worshiping scum as flagellants. Added to that I have a nice selection of hammers/clubs in the warband and he can lend his aid elsewhere if needs be. Hopefully this helps me deal with some of the more dangerous foes like the Possessed, Vampire and Troll of the Night Goblins.

The Damhned

As it stands I think I have a fairly robust warband. One of the things that has somewhat annoyed me about the Witch Hunters is our seemingly unreasonable lower limit when it comes to building the warband. While most human warbands have a choice of 15 slots Witch Hunters only have 13. I did a bit of digging and the reasoning behind it is that we have a rather good set of dangerous heroes, our ‘caster’ can wear armour and Flagellants are dangerous. I can see the point behind this but it does make choices much harder in the future.

The fluff hound in my heart wants to build in more deranged killers and zealots to keep things within the remit of a renegade Witch Hunter looking for similarly fired up friends. The narrative twitch in my head though, and my love of Dwarfs wants me to pick up a Troll Slayer at the earliest convenience. It will be a bit of a drain on my funds as a warband but I love the idea of a mad, bad slayer joining the group. But, would he trust a human who consorted, or indeed unleashed Chaos scum on others instead of stamping it out entirely? Something to think about with the narrative I feel.

How Unofficial Is Unofficial?

This talk of Dwarfs brings me around to something else that came to mind as I was playing around with the list and looking up what other people thought of Coreheim. At it’s heart the modification of the original rules set is balanced without sacrificing the fun that we’ve come to like from Mordheim. However, many people have been wondering where the rest of the warbands went. One of those being Dwarfs.

The reason behind these being absent according to the creators is that they just don’t think they can be bought over from the original design and made to fit into the feel of Coreheim. Dwarfs have been stated as having no ‘bad troops’ so it’s hard to get them to mix in with the rest of the warbands. Orcs have been almost transmogrified into Night Goblins but have almost the same problem. Unless you want to destroy the Night Goblin warband there really is no reason to include Orcs.

Dwarf Treasure Hunters

But, I did a bit of digging and found a chap on Scribd who had made himself warband lists for Dwarfs, Beastmen, Dark Elves and High Elves. Now this really did make me think about running Dwarfs and I looked through it, thinking most of it looked about right with the existing Coreheim ethos. I then raised the question of using them in the campaign and a friend raised an eyebrow in return saying “but they aren’t official”. I readily accepted that at first and sulked for a minute or two before reminding myself I had a cool Witch Hunter warband to play. In the end I decided to stick with the zealots but it did make me think.

When it comes to a modification of the rules like this, which with the best of intentions is never going to be as ‘balanced’ as the original game was, is there a harm in sticking in things like this? I guess the real answer has to come with play testing. So, with that in mind I knocked up a quick Dwarf warband and might see what my other campaign mates think of it.

Thane (65) Dwarf Axe (10) Shield (5) Heavy Armour (60)
= 140gc

Engineer (50) Axe (5) Shield (5) Crossbow (25)
Light Armour
= 110gc

Slayer (45) Axe (5) Club (5)
= 55gc

2x Warriors (60) Hammers (10) Shields (10)
= 80gc

2x Thunderers (60) Crossbows (50)
= 110gc

495gc

5gc Remaining

You can check out the full rules for the Dwarfs along with the other warbands by following the link above to Scribd. There you’ll see that the Dwarfs have a considerably higher cost and some rather expensive equipment. So, they might be good at what they do but they do cost an arm and a leg to make it happen. That’s why there’s only seven of them!

Admittedly I could have made this warband differently using Beardlings, the answer to the ‘there aren’t any bad troops’, instead of warriors. But I think the Dwarfs suit this small but elite fighting force.

BlackChapel Dwarfs

Hopefully some of you who are more rules orientated will be able to have a look over the documents and see what you think of these unofficial unofficial warbands. I don’t see them as being too unbalancing but I might be looking at them through rose tinted glasses. Maybe I could get around to using those awesome BlackChapel Dwarfs above!

Pack Your Bags…

I think in the end it all comes down to having some fun. With Mordheim this was always the case. No-one, especially around me, really took it that seriously and liked to play with unbalanced sides in crazy narrative surroundings. I guess the real crux of that is when something becomes broken and that’s what I would love to avoid when it comes to the potential of using Dwarfs in this campaign.

For now it’s back to the zealots and the hope that my changes work out for the best. Time to pack your bags lads, we’re off to the City of the Damned proper this time and I don’t think we’ll be coming back quite the same.

Next time I’ll be through the gates and tell you tales of my first games!

"...my love of Dwarfs wants me to pick up a Troll Slayer at the nearest convenience."

"Time to pack your bags lads, we’re off to the City of the Damned"