Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A quick primer on Mordheim

So you want to play Mordheim? Here's a little guide to get you started.

...but what is Mordheim?

Mordheim is a table-top skirmish game by Games Workshop. It is modeled on their Warhammer wargame, and is set in the same universe, using the same miniatures, but rather than focusing on large armies clashing against each other, it revolves around small warbands of 3 to 15 members. It is also campaign-based, with warbands growing and evolving over time through earning rewards and gaining experience.

These skirmishes take place in the shattered remnants of Mordheim, a once prosperous city in the heart of the Empire, that was destroyed violently when a twin-tailed comet fell from the sky and landed right in the middle of it. As a result of this apocalyptic disaster, shards of precious Wyrdstone are scattered throughout the ruins. Wyrdstone is essentially raw magic trapped in a solid form, and is highly valued for its mystical properties.

Soon, the city is filled with religious fanatics drawn to the site of what they consider to be a sign from their vengeful god, fortune hunters seeking the wealth the wyrdstone will bring them, and dark cults who worship the raw chaos that permeates the city in the wake of this disaster.

What do I need to play?

The Rules:

Mordheim is sadly no longer in print, but Games Workshop has very kindly put up all of the core rules on their Specialist Games website for free download. www.mordheimer.com is another source, and they also have a lot of the expansion content that is otherwise no longer available, as well as a wide variety of fan-made material.

Friends to play with:

Mordheim as a campaign works best when you have a nice variety of opponents to face off against. The more friends you can get on board for the long haul, the more rewarding the experience will be.


Games Workshop does still sell a few of the official miniatures for it through their online store, but they're not strictly necessary. Being set in the Warhammer universe, they have many suitable models in their current fantasy range, and you could easily make most warbands using their range of plastic regiments.


A variety of ruined buildings to represent the blasted landscape. Ladders and bridges are useful too. Finally, you want some small walls, barricades and other bits of clutter for your vulnerable warriors to seek cover behind.

 Elladan over at www.elladan.de has this awesome step-by-step guide of how he made some ruins. It's pretty advanced and detailed, and it's World War 2, rather than fantasy europe, but it's pretty good for inspiration, and really just looks amazing.

Other Equipment:

• A table, a nice big one, at least 3' x 4' to get good play area.
• Some standard six-sided dice. You'll need at least 2, but the more you have the better. It's also quite useful to have different colours, and something to roll them into so that you don't have dice flying all over the table and knocking over your carefully painted figures or getting lost in the deep recesses of a ruined building somewhere.
• Something to measure range and movement. A ruler marked in inches will do, but a tape measure is best.
• (Optional, but totally recommended) a laser pointer to check line-of-site.

Warband Roster:

You need something to keep track of your warband's stats and progress. The official roster is available for download over here. I'm not a big fan of theirs though, so I designed and refined my own which we've been using for many years. That one is available here.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Kev's Lounge is playing Mordheim

Kev's Lounge is, as I've mentioned before, where games are played. My friends and I get together once a week or so, and socialise while playing something. We play a lot of different games, especially now that one of our friends has opened up an online store selling them. Mordheim's a bit of a favourite among some of us, and once a year we'll start up a campaign. We've just started the 2012 one, and today I'm going to introduce you to some of the Kev's Loungers who are participating in it, and over the next few weeks I'll have some articles that tie in to the game and our campaign. There will also be a few Kev's Lounge sets and other resources that the Mordheim players out there might find useful.

Rian: Sisters of Sigmar

Rian loves his Risk 2210, and REALLY loves his Mordheim. He particularly loves calculating the perfect combination of soldiers and weapons... while the rest of us will just grab what looks cool and cut out whatever throws us over budget, Rian will actually go and stat up 3 or 4 different warbands and weigh them up before picking one. Rian loves his warbands shooty, and has had a lot of luck with Reiklanders, Pirates and the Norse. Sisters are a new experience for him as a warband that is lot more hands-on and not all that impressive in the ranged department.

Devin: Undead

Devin likes his warbands evil and powerful, and the undead certainly fit that description to a tee. He's also particularly fussy about which minis he uses, going out of his way to avoid the big grandiose sculpts, figuring that the big ones are easier to see and harder to get into cover. (If he could, he'd make an entire warband of miniatures in a leopard crawl pose). He's no stranger to the undead, having played them a few times before. Last time his vampire got nicknamed The Meatgrinder after singlehandedly wiping out an entire beastman warband that he'd caught in a bottle neck during a dungeon crawl mission.

Gavin: Possessed

Gavin has played many different warbands over the years, but keeps coming back to the Possessed, just because they're so effective at absolutely demolishing the opposition through sheer brute strength (and acidic blood.) Gav tends to name his warbands and their members with a pop culture theme.

Colin: Skaven

Colin cycles between the undead, beastmen and skaven, and does pretty well with all of them. With Skaven he takes the Gank 'Em All approach, picking quantity over quality to devastating effect. Colin also tends to have the most insane luck with dice, seemingly rolling an absolutely outrageous number of sixes in any given session.

Rick: Dwarf Treasure Hunters 

True to form, Rick will stubbornly stick to the Dwarves campaign after campaign, despite their short-comings (pardon the pun). He tends to favour Pratchett-esque names for his beardy little warriors. In the last campaign, his Dwarf Noble missed half of the games due to injury... This time around, his Noble is a gromril-clad invulnerable tank.

Kevin: Witch Hunters

And then there's me. I tend towards human warbands, from mercenaries to pirates and the norse. Witch hunters seemed a good choice this campaign, what with all the shambling dead and chaos-mutated possessed running around.

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