Monday, January 30, 2012

MNM: Delay

Whoops. Seems I forgot to send myself the blog post. Expect it tommorrow, and a better one next week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Terrain A Go Go!

Terrain A Go Go!

Let's face it people, there ain't nothing better then putting down a fully painted and converted force on a fully painted and converted game board. It's the tops. It makes an average game seem so much more impressive and memorable. Hell, I've done some crazy stuff when it comes to terrain. I once modelled a scale replicate of a strip club with stripper models for my D&D players to fight in. That was a memorable adventure!

Now, that I've gotten you thoroughly off the beaten track (HAHA PUNS!). I want to talk about Terrain, and a bit more specifically how much terrain you need. See, Mordheim is different. In most games, terrain exists as something that breaks line of sight.

In WHFB terrain is there just to break up the battlefield so that you don't just have two armies lining up and charging at each other (even though that is generally what happens anyway). In 40K, terrain provides cover to crouch around and get better saves from massive weapons. Mordheim is different. It combines both of those features, and more.

IN those games terrain is almost an afterthought. Mordheim it is part of the setting, part of the game, and a major part of your strategy. Mordheim boards need to be THICK with it. Lots of levels and areas breaking up line of sight, places to hide, and places to snipe from.

All the rules are built to take advantage of the terrain. There's the 'pick your target' rule for being high up, there's the 'falling' rule, and of course, there's the ever popular 'hide' rule. So really there's some things you need to take into consideration when deciding on what to use for Mordheim terrain.

1. A high place.
2. So low lying SOLID fences to hide behind.
3. Medium (2-4 inch) tall buildings.
4. Some walkways. I don't know why they are around in Mordheim, its just one of those 'Rule of Cool' things. It doesn't make sense for a near Renaissance city, but it does make for a kick ass battle field.

So I talked a bit about the types you need, and next time I want to spend some time talking about building the cheapest board possible.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

RPG Thoughts; GM Questionnaire

Saw this around the net- GM questionaire from D&D with Pornstars. Great name, not a follower, but an interesting idea.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?

Ah, that would be the expanding caltrops that get eaten and then expand in the stomach. Lots of damage, then save or die from massive damage. Mucho fun.

2. When was the last time you GMed?
Real GMed? Like with a group? Maybe two weeks ago.

3. When was the last time you played?
As a player? Undoubtably back in december.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
A chase scene that actually worked!

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
Take calls.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
Whatever I want, but I prefer Peking Duck.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
No, why would it be?

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
Running a Death Company.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
Not really, all games are only semi-serious to begin with.

10. What do you do with goblins?
Have them kill each other in interesting ways.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
There's an episode of Dr Who that will be making its way to the table soon enough.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
I still think the funniest thing I ever did was releasing some undead mice that sent an entire group of fellow players first into a panic, and then into a kill me mood.

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
Uh, that would probably be one of the birthright books, more information, I guess.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
Tony DiTerizzi, love his planescape stuff, or Brom with his Darksun work, its just so evocative.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
Only rarely.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
Loved running Expedition to Castle Ravenloft.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
A good table, adequate lighting, and comfortable seats.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?
Uh, probably Call of Cthuthu 5th Edition and Marvel RPG (Saga version)

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
I would say the various game groups that I've been involved with, each one is a unique set of players that makes the game work differently.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
One who thinks, but is unafraid to act.

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?
Uh. Not sure.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
More Alternity game stuff.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: The Possessed

While I do have a undying love of Undead, it is the Possessed that I actually spend most of my time with. The Possessed have everything that I look for in a wargame faction. They have fun looking models, tons of chances for conversion, and they are eeeevil. The problem with the Possessed is one of too many riches. There's a ton of choices for them, and what you choose makes a huge difference. So like my previous article, I want to break it down and talk about some things you want to do with each unit type.

Magister- The magister is probably the most generally usable magic users in the game. They don't have half bad stats, and almost none of their spells are scrubs. Given the general power of the warband in general, they tend to be over looked, compared to other members of the warband they are weak, but compared to other warbands, they are decent to much better.

Mutants- Mutants are a pain in the ass. In the early game they are expensive, the cheapest you can get them is with a Daemon soul, which really isn't that helpful. The good thing about them is that once they die (and they are your expendable heroes), you can buy a new one with all sorts of combat goodies.

The Possessed- The namesake of the warband. They are almost as tough as Ogres, and if you buy the right mutations they become unstoppable beasts. In the early game, though, resist that urge. Take them without Mutations, you can also replace them later in the game when money becomes less of an issue.

Beastmen- Beastmen are your best warband members. They are quick, strong, and limited in number. They are excellent shock troops. I would suggest arming them with two hand weapons, or one two-handed weapon.

Darksouls- Darksouls are much like Flagellents. They are fearless, strong, and have crap WS. The best use of them is to either arm them with a flail or a two handed weapon and have them walk in as clean up.

Cultists- Ah the humble cultist. They are the exact same stat line as the standard dude from any other warband. The real use of the cultist is to shore (shoar?) up some of the inherent weaknesses of the warband. If you need more hitting power, cultists. If you need more ranged fighting, cultists. If you need some filler, cultists.

Some common tactics:
1. Cultist Spam- early in the game you want to leave out the really expensive warband members, and just get the numbers up with generic cultists (possibly armed with clubs). As they die, replace with more expensive things like Darksouls and Beastmen.
2. Herd is the Word- One of my favorite tactics is to have Beastmen run forward to engage the enemy, and then have them followed up by darksouls arriving a turn or so later.
3. Pimp my Mutant- Keep your mutants out of combat at all costs early in the game, that way you can earn as much gold as you can. What you want to then do is spend that cash on New Mutants (Hello, Cannonball!), or possessed with better combat mutations.
4. Sitting Ducks- Your Possessed are targets, big delicious targets. They are expensive, and effective. Everyone will be taking aim at them with their ranged weapons. This is exactly what you want. First speed skill you get, you want to take step aside. Then run the Possessed forward, LET him take all the shots. This will allow much of the rest of your warband to move up in a safer manner. The Possessed may be taken out of action (especially by those armed with crossbows), but the benefit outweighs the drawbacks.

Friday, January 13, 2012

RPG Thoughts: Risk By Way of D&D

Hi, I'm LAZ, and I have gamer ADD.

I admit it, hell, I embrace it. Since last year at this time I've run/played in homebrew D&D, Ravenloft, Alternity, Vampire; The Masquerade, Spelljammer, Planescape, Mordheim, and now, I'm starting Birthright. I'd probably play even more if I had more time/opportunities.

The thing is that the reason that we change games so often is generally due to work. I play at work, so if we get busy, our game gets abandoned. Sometimes we get back to it, sometimes we don't. Right now, there is a big gearing up for a major promotion, so it looks like we are going to be busy for the foreseeable future.

I'm tired of not gaming when we're busy. Funk that jazz! (See the pun?) So I needed something that we could keep going regardless of how busy we are. I needed something that wouldn't necessarily require any type of stats. I wanted to do something Epic. Not Epic level, that's just dumb. I hated that book, its whole solution was 'bigger monsters', which misses the point.

I wanted to do something political (which is really what VtM is about, but the PCs always miss that). So after trying to jury rig something, I remembered that I owned Birthright. Birthright was the right idea. It was massive and sprawling, and it really didn't require that much conversion.

Birthright is a unique campaign, and I think that most people who bought it used it wrong. Hell, I played it wrong for years before I realized how it SHOULD be played. Every campaign I was involved in was Adventurers who were Kings! Which is the wrong emphasis. It is Kings who happen to adventure. That's a huge difference, one that most people missed. The thing is that the Kings are supposed to be like the Kings of old, leading armies, fending off assassins, and doing diplomacy. Adventurers wander around looking for fights, Kings have fights brought to them by their subjects. Roleplaying out a diplomatic session should be paramount, not shaking down informants for information.

That's the great thing. The rules for the Domain turn (IE the Ruling part of the game) are pretty divorced from the normal rules of D&D, so I don't have to spend a bunch of time figuring out a ton of stuff like I did when I converted Ravenloft II from 1st Ed to 3.X. Right there is a big reason that I want to play this game, I can continue using the same rules that I'm already comfortable with.

So that's one point in its favor, the other is that it is practically custom made for a PBM (play by mail) game. Which is exactly how I plan on running this. Each day people will email me their domain actions, and I'll compile it all and send out a world update. Which is perfect. Those who play can make their decision at some point of the day and send in what they want to do, I come home, compile everything, declare what happened, and send out an update. So we all continue playing, but we do so in our own time at our own pace. So the game continues, and I don't really have to do anything that extraneous.

To keep everyone up to date, I created another blog (yes, another one); The Thousand Year Game. Check it out if you are interested. There's still a few unclaimed territories, and I wouldn't be opposed to someone else joining in.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Industry Notes: Joining the Mob of 5th Edition Blog Posts!

Well, it seems the vast majority of people have already started blogging about 5th edition of D&D, and how it is a make it or break it edition. This might be true. The thing is I expected a lot of vitriol. That doesn't seem to be happening. Maybe its because I don't read anything 4th ed, or maybe there is just a lot of hope in the air. Lots of people are seeming to have their own opinions on what 5th needs to be.

Right now, I've signed up for the playtest, and hopefully I'll be selected. If I am, I'll probably have to get an honest to god group together. Not kids, not a group for playing at work, but a real 'Let's get together and play group'.

The thing is that I need more information. Chances are the only thing that is currently on the table is; Roll a d20 to hit and maybe a class/level system. Those are the only two things that I can think of that have been in every edition. There's a simple elegance to that, though. At the end of the day though, I need more crunch. The rules cannot be evaluated until they've been seen. The thing is that everyone and their RPG playing mother is talking about is what kind of direction that 5th Edition needs to go in.

The majority of the talk is mainly about branding, product distribution, and other business like things. Those decisions won't come any time soon. They won't come until much later, and while I really like what some people are talking about, I have no idea if the development team will actually look at them. I am probably hindered in my views since I don't hang out at WOTC or read any 4th ed stuff.

What I am more interested in is the crunch. The development team has been silent about the crunch. There's no rules. There's nothing beyond an announcement. So I want to talk about what I think will probably be the sacrosanct, the stuff that won't go away.

1. Roll a d20. Let's face it 3.X has been called the d20 system for a reason. The D20 is as iconic to D&D as the unique shape of an American Football is to the NFL. You walk around with a D20 and everyone knows that you play RPGs and exactly which RPG you play.
2. Classes. I don't think that the class system will go away. What classes will there be? That's a great question, but I think that at the very least there will be the Four Archetypes- Warrior, Wizard, Priest, and Thief. Change the name, change the edition, they are the same four dudes. Even the other classes are more or less of the others blended together for a different combo (for example;Paladin= Warrior Priest).
3. Races. To be honest, there's quite a bit open when it comes to races. There are only three true races. Humans, elfs, and dwarfs. Hobbits, Gnomes, Tieflings, and Dragonborn (WTF?) are all optional. Some of them are downright silly (Dragonborn), but beyond the HED anything else is strictly optional.
4. Armor Class will still be Ascending instead of Descending. This is one of the stupidest arguments I've ever come across. People will blast me and state that I'm in favor of addition over subtraction, or some other such non-sense. At this point we have had two editions of Descending, and two of Ascending. I think that for sheer ease it will stay ascending. Especially since there was no cap on the ascending AC. Seriously, Neg Ten as the best? The only way that I could see Descending making a comeback is if ALL armor class was negative, and it was then a modifier to your roll. It would still be silly.
5 Signature Monsters will remain the signature monsters. Illithids, Beholders, Drow, and chromatic dragons will be part and parcel of the game. They are D&D- without them, it just isn't the same. Chances are given the way that the past few 'starter' sets have gone, it will be an abandoned mine with goblins, kobolds, and a few orcs with a hatchling chromatic dragon in charge. That's probably what the initial rules will contain.

Now, that's the only things that I will go to the bat with. I think those are going to be the things that remain. Now, if I were to speculate as to what was POSSIBLY going to be in 5th Edition, I think that the following will be there.

1. The Durations of 4th Ed. To be honest, this was about the only thing I liked about 4th Ed. The duration of stuff was through a single encounter, instant, day long, or permanent. That made sense. How often did you really need a particular spell to last beyond the encounter? Not often, hell, most of the time we ended a spell because the combat had ended. Not only that, but the minutes long durations of some spells were just dumb. Combat rarely lasts multiple minutes.
2. Miniatures. This is too big of a revenue stream to ignore. I'm sorry, but cheap plastic minis are here to stay. However, I do think that they will stop the random blister type thing, and go with a more established grouping.
3. Feats/Powers, these have now become part and parcel of the game. They are expected as the 'what cool thing can my character do?' part of the game. I do think that they will work a bit differently then in 3.X or 4th, how, I'm not sure, but they will be different.
4. The class/race min/max for a role in the group. This is something that had always kinda been around, but has been really reinforced by games like WoW. This was really apparent in 4th ed, and I think that it is here to stay (unfortunately). The fact that they are 'strikers, leaders, and artillery' makes them more like the HQ, Elite, and Heavy support of WH40K then a RPG. Should a group work together? Of course, but it should not be game breaking if everyone in the group decided to play a rogue.
5. Monster Builds. This started at the end of 3.5 and continued onto 4th, and it is something that I liked a lot. Instead of just having the 'basic' monster of the MM, there was a the footsoldier, the sergeant type, the chieftain type, and the shaman type. There was always a mention of something like that, for instance in 2nd it would be written as 'For evey 10 (X) encountered, one will have 3HD'. So instead of us having to do the brain work to figure out the stats for something like that, it was already provided to us. This made plug and play easier, since not everything had to be done over and over again.
6. Epic level gaming. Since it started with some real rules in 2nd Edition, epic level play has become more and more common. I don't think it will be going anywhere. As for it being in the main book like in 4th Ed, that I cannot say, but there will be something for it.

So those are the things that I think are very likely to appear in 5th Ed, but there's one last category that I want to talk about, the stuff that I think definitely will NOT appear in the new game.

1. Flumphs.
2. Card based system. Saga was great for Marvel Super Heroes, but it failed utterly for DragonLance the 5th age.
3. Ability/skill/non-weapon proficiency checks where you have to roll UNDER your ability score. Those were just dumb and made the game weird. Works amazingly well for Alternity, not so much for D&D.
4. Adult Content rules. FATAL, anyone?
5. Some old school cash. I mean it. Some of the other 'not appearing' were jokes, but this one is totally serious. There's tons of people out there who already have lots of gaming material. Anyone who tells you that you must have more then the core three to play is lying. You can play a game with the core three infinitely. There are many of us out there who having been merrily playing whatever edition that they feel comfortable with for years, and have not and will not buy any more books. In my own case, unless they come out with the books for an affordable price around my birthday, I probably won't be buying them. Will I read them? Of course, but I'm probably not going to plunk down any hard earned money for them. I'm not the only one. The problem with books is that they are good forever as long as they are well taken care of. For many of us, there's just no need for them. It's not like many other games where you need the latest and the greatest rules to stay competitive (cough-40K-cough).
6. Greyhawk. I'm sorry to see this happen. Greyhawk was a fantastic world, one that I never played, or even delved that hard into, but I liked the concept of the 'Original D&D World'. I liked that, and I'm sorry to see it go away. 5th might revisit some of the old campaign settings, but I doubt that GH will be one of them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: The Walking Dead

Monday Night Mordheim; The Walking Dead

I must confess, I love the Undead. There's just something about a Vampire who is out there kicking ass and taking names rather wailing against his fate, wearing fancy clothes, and whining like an emo bitch.

The whole Undead mystique and look is cool. Badass vampires in armor, Necromancers in robes adorned with skulls (not that it makes them the least bit different from anything else that GW puts out), the Igor-like Dregs, the emaciated ghouls, and the shambling zombies. It's all done right. It's like a street gang from the 80's heavy metal bands crossed with some sort of sick Anne Rice wet dream. Damn, they are COOL.

While cool, they are hard to play in Mordheim. While almost every model in the bunch causes fear and is really hard to get to stay down, they are a tricky bunch to get to win. They dominate the early-mid campaign, but loose steam the longer they go one. Part of that is the lack of troops who gain experience, and another is the lack of hired swords.

Let's break it down by the Model;
The Vampire- easily one of the best beasts in the game, as I mentioned in an earlier post it is easily on par with the Big Guys, with the added benefit of not being stunned. The Vampire can also be customized since it has one of the widest array of skills for any of the Heroes. It is the soul true killer in the Undead Warband.
Necromancer- Let's face it, the Necromancer is there in case your Vampire bites the dust. While the Necromancer's spells are nice, but in an of themself are not a combat monster. They are nice to keep in the back and just add weight to the warband, and search for treasure.
Dregs- Dregs are overlooked, in my mind. They are cheap and expendable heroes. They are the standard of any other low level heroes (regardless of fluff and model looks). The dreg is there to fill in spots you might not be able fill otherwise. They advance quickily and with the right skills they can become competent killers.
Ghouls- Ghouls are the only henchmen who can gain experience. While they start out better then most other henchmen. The Ghouls tend not to stand up very well against other henchmen of equivalent experience levels.
Dire Wolves- All the benefits of zombies, and probably the fastest henchmen in the game. They are great for getting to the fight quickily. The problem is that they have a hard time finishing the deal if they don't do it in the first round.
Zombies- Wow. The zombies are bad, probably the WORST henchmen in the game, the only benefit to them is that you can take as many as you would like, but they really only act as speed bumps. Zombies aren't killers. At best they can tie up others until a real killer like the Vampire shows up.

We've reviewed the basic units, but there's more to the Undead then that. The way you set them up is crucial, especially in the campaign. Here's a list of some of the best ways to start out.
1. Zombie Spam- One Vampire, 14 zombies. Kit out your vamp as best as you can. Use the zombies to tie up your opponents models. Generally in the beginning of the game, you can tie up the models, and then use your boss Vampire to knock them out of action. This is a great way to get your Vampire tons of experience from the get-go. The main drawbacks are that you do not gain much in the exploration phase, and if that all important Vampire goes out of action, you might be out of the running.
2. The Quick and the Dead- Vampire and five dire wolves. You have the fastest overall warband in the game. Even Skaven seem slow compared to these guys. Running forward and then trying to kill quick is the name of the game here. Force the Rout check and you can walk away with the win. Allow yourself to get bogged down, and you're going to lose.
3. Ghoul Spam- this is a later in the game build, but it is probably the only one worth doing later in the campaign. After building up everything to the maximum number of warband members, you NEED to start replacing them with Ghouls. Since they are the only ones that gain experience, they are needed.
4. Hired Swords- Hire them, and hire them quick! Get the ones you can as soon as you can. The longer you have them the better they are, and the other warbands get better on you fast!

Breaking News- FUCKING FUCKS FUCK- Goddamn. 5th? Fuck you Hasbro. I'm done for the night. Rage will come later. Going to dig into a project. Might as well work off the excess energy. Nothing creative will happen tonight.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Philosophy and Games: Math Makes Worlds III- Remaking the Wheel

So continuing on a theme here, Math Makes Worlds. Today, I was at work, and a tad bit bored, since half the gang either left early or had called off. So I came up with what I thought was a BRILLIANT idea. A high level campaign based on building up political power...

So I quick jotted down some rules, I got a in a grove. I thought that a three month time frame per game turn, and some influence rules, and man, I was writing a mile a minute. Then I started on some quick military unit rules, and thought about a quick way to lay them out on 3x5 cards to represent units. Then I realized something.

I was channelling Birthright.


Why re-do what has already been done? It's there, all for the taking, but it is an interesting thought, especially when Von and Porky comment on one of my Blog Posts. They both had a really good point, though. With all the RPGs out there in the world, there are tons of rules. It's like a bad translation of a Mac advert, 'We've got Rules for that'.

The point that I was trying to make, and completely missed out on, which is pretty typical me, is that the rules are what make the worlds. Each system has inherent in its Maths what is acceptable and what is not. The Math is what drives it. The thing is that the Maths are enablers and preventers of actions.

The prime differences between games are what the maths allow you to do. When you boil it down, in a game there is no difference between the any particular roll of the dice, the flip of the cards, or whatever weird mechanic that Deadlands used. They are all statistics. What is your percentage chance to take an action or complete an action? It doesn't matter if its a sword swing, a bolt gun blast to the skull, or a charming evening with your intended prey. It is the fluff that makes the Math work.

However, the Maths do double duty. Besides just becoming the crunch that makes the fluff go round, it influences what the fluff allows. That's the point of the whole thing. The limits of the Maths. Everyone talks about 'breaking the game' and oh dear, can I think of some damn good game breakers. It doesn't just happen in wargames with lots of spam, it happens in every game.

Just off the top of my head here's three;
1. World of Darkness- 8th Gen vampire with Clerity 5, 15 actions per round.
2. D&D 3- Monkey Grip, Improved Trip, Knockdown, get a free trip attack if you cause more then 10 damage, and monkey grip allows a Huge weapon. So with an average of 2d8 damage and add in your strength modifier, and instant trips.
3. Trenchcoat- Tales of the Floating Vagabond, pull ANYTHING that is less then 8 pounds out of your trenchcoat.

Now, the Maths made those rules. All right and legal as a judge. Were they properly play tested? Probably not. The Maths are king of all. How the Maths interact with the fluff is the king of all. There has to be a crossing over between the Maths and the background.

In a wargames, since all the action takes place at a birds' eye view, the maths are quick and dirty. The faster you can determine things on the back end, the quicker that you can get on with the game.

In an RPG, the math is more personal, since it was developed as a single player system. Yes, there is a group, but it is the individual that makes it work.

The best way to illustrate this is to flip the roles. Trying to run a mass battle with RPG rules bogs down and takes forever. Trying to run an RPG with wargame rules leaves much to be desired, it is too simplistic. The degree of abstraction strikes again.

The rules are math. The Math is Rules. I really wish that I could explain it better, my lack of education fails me again. The Math creates the reality that the fluff hints at. I think that if I continue I'll just write in circles. So I'm going to stop now, and go and see if I can find my old Birthright stuff, why remake the wheel?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!


Ah, the first post of the year, and I thought it would be appropriate to discuss something that is often over looked when it comes to planning a game session, and where those thoughts drag me.

Food and Drink.

Now, the addition of food and drink are really a unique situation. Each group and even each session is a bit of a single piece. Now, the reason I am thinking about it is because today at work we got some Peking Duck. Now, I love me some Peking Duck, and it put me in mind of our last Mordheim session.

In game sessions I've had the gamut of food from nothing to pizza and beer to a full course meal. What I want to do is go over each type of foods and weigh their benefits and detriments. Which doesn't just apply to Mordheim, but all games. Then I will talk about an idea that I've had about elaborating food in Mordheim.

1. The Cheap Shit:
A. Chips and Pop- the ultimate basic foods. Everyone brings their own chips and their own pop. The great thing about this is that it is cheap, everyone does their own thing. Maybe some cross trading of Doritos for Lay's Wavy. However, chips are greasy and well, you will leave grease marks on your warband sheet.
B. Spaghetti- We used to do what we called 'Too Much Spaghetti Nights', and we'd make spaghetti for the entire game group. The great thing about this is that you can feed an entire game group for REALLY cheap. Go to your local cheap store, pick up between two and three boxes of spaghetti, which should be like $1-$1.30 and a couple jars of sauce, which is like another $1-$3 depending on quality. So for like $6 you feed everyone. The only main problem with this is that you cannot eat and game at the same time, you really have to stagger it.
C. Fast Food Run- Everyone troops off to the local Mickey D's or whatnot and buys what they want. Then brings it back to the game. While grease may be a problem, I think the main problem is the cut into game time.

2. The Middle of The Road:
A. The Junk Food Option- This is not a cheap option, if you think about it. Though it can be the best for a 'party' like atmosphere. A thing of nachos with melted cheese and salsa, cookies, a bag of assorted candy, and a bunch of pop. The great thing is that most of this stuff is finger food, so you can eat and play at the same time.
B. Pizza and Beer- To be honest, this is probably one of the most common things in the world to do. A case of decent beer and everyone chips in for pizza. It's not the cheapest option in the world, but the cost is generally spread across a couple of people. The main problems are that pizza is greasy (more ruined sheets!) and well, some people don't understand how to stop drinking the beer. Then you've got a big ruined set of ruins from where Frank puked all over the terrain.
C. Barbeque- I love this option. Some potato salad, hamburgers and hotdogs off the grill. Not cheap, but not too pricey. A great one to do in the summer. Especially if the person hosting has a pool, cause then you can bring family and they can swim while you stomp on some opponents. The main deteriment to it is the same as with spaghetti, you can't do it at the table.
D. The Pot Luck- Depending on your group, this could be a great option, or a horrible travesty. Everyone brings some sort of food for the night. If your group is those with a bit of culinary skill this can be a great option, I've had groups where there was Keilbasa, chocolate chip cookies (from SCRATCH), and some Potatoes Au Gratin. Then I've had groups where there were six bags of ranch flavored Doritos. I think that the benefits and detriments are pretty apparent.

3. The Expensive Stuff;
A. The Feast- We used to do this every Thanksgiving. We'd bring home the left overs from two different Thanksgiving meals, and we'd heat them all up, and it was like a third Thanksgiving dinner. Now, that's a cheap option. If you truelly want to go all out and cook a whole feast, then you will definitely win the 'Best Host' award. However, it will be a split session (food and gaming separate), and there is a significant chance that someone will be so full that they will barely be able to move, yet alone pay attention to what your archers are doing (so that COULD be a good thing).
B. PEKING DUCK- The king of Chinese food. This is an expensive option, since one duck only feeds about four and costs about $30. Though it is great cause it doesn't have to be something where you play separately. Its a tad greasy, but you can really control that if you are a good eater. Almost perfect, since it is fairly clean, and very filling, the only downside is the cost.

Let me know about your own gaming with Eating and Drinking. Love to hear those types of stories.

So that's the food. Add in your drinks of choice and price accordingly. Now, we've got your mind on food, I want to talk about Mordheim specifically. Those of you here for general game stuff, can stop reading now.

One of the main campaign phases is the upkeep phase. Now, I think that a fun little addition would be to change a bit how it works. Normally, depending on how many warband members you have, it changes the amount of money that you pull in. It is a determined not specifically by how many members, but what category that they fall into.

Normally, the upkeep is standard. That would imply that you get what you need to keep everyone fine. Standard implies that is what required. I have a suggestion, two more categories. Impoverished and Opulent.

If you choose Impoverished, then you count as one warband member category lower then what you actually are for the terms of upkeep (warbands with less then 5 members gain 5 extra GC). The main problem is that everyone is hungry, so they take a -1 to all Ld values. However, you might just earn enough in that one game to make it worth it.

If you choose Oppulent, then you count as one warband member category higher then what you actually have (those who already have 20, lose an extra 5 GC). The benefit of this is that everyone is well feed and has been having a rip-roaring time in the pubs. This translates as a +1 to Ld values. This is a great way for low Ld warbands to get some extra for that tough fight against the Undead and other Fear causing enemies.