Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Thinking About Home Brew

Well, good evening, and welcome to the latest installment of Monday Night Mordheim. Before we get started, I want to thank the over one hundred people that viewed this blog in the last week. Now, chances are that I didn't get real traffic, just some odd overflow since one of the labels I used last week was 'whipping'. I always try to put something silly in my labels, because that's the type of thing that makes me laugh. Lesson learned, more humor, less potentially misleading labels.

Now, as I mentioned last week, this weekend was Cub Scout weekend. Me and the kids went to the local state park where we did some cabin camping. So lights, but no heat. It rained and was freezing. However, the mess hall had a full kitchen and a fire place, so in between snipe hunting, fishing, and helping the rangers stock the creek with rainbow trout, we had a lot of time that we normally would have been running around in the woods spent inside.

So what did we do? We play board games. Lots of board games. The nice thing about our troop is that I am not the only geek. So there were games of Rio Grande's Masons, Munchkin, and of course the old standby Scramble. Now, me being me, I brought my terrain box, some models, and my paint (the idea of painting in an idyllic forest setting in natural light appealed to me, but I neglected to check the weather forecast).

Naturally Eldest Child wanted to play Mordheim, as did some of his buddies. Yet again, we had a bunch of lookie-lous. The guy who played Chaos last time wanted to play something different. He knew since I had Isle of Blood that I had plenty of Elves. However, I have no rules for Elves. He was disappointed and decided to play Undead instead.

So that got me to thinking again. There's a Shadow Elf list online, and some Dark Elf list. Neither one appeals to me, they come across a bit like the Elf Blood Bowl team. Over powered and way too killy. Now, the thing is that I rather like the IoB High Elf models. I think they're keen. So over the next few weeks, I'm going to be working on creating a warband wholesale from nothing but the other things that around. I'm going to refer back to the Mordheim rule book, the High Elf Rule Book, and possibly the good intentions of others (that means you my constant readers!)...not to mention lots of numbered lists.

The first thing that I want to do is set down my goals. I think that's very important for homebrew to set out some goals before getting to work. If you know what you are setting out for, its easier to keep your eyes on the prize.

My Goals for A High Elf Warband:
1. Balanced. I do not want something horribly powerful. I want something that will play out well against everything else.
2. Thematically relevant. I want the HE warband to feel like High Elves. If they play like Mercanaries or worse, skaven, then I missed the point.
3. Using only the models from IoB. Granted a bit of a stretch, but I do not plan on buying a bunch of new models for this.
4. Use as much already published material as possible. Why re-work the wheel?

Now to get a good start, I think the first thing that I am thinking of is what heroes will be. That's a good starting point. Most warbands have 4-5 starting heroes. Given the more elite status of HE, I think that four is better, especially since that is what Dwarves (also special rules heavy) have.
1. High Elf Captain
2. High Elf Mage
3. Sword Master of Hoeth.
4. Sword Master of Hoeth OR Shadow Warrior.
Right now, I'm not sure which to include. I think that having three options from the 'Special' section of the Force Organization chart is a bit over the top. So I want to limit to one or the other. However, I have a fun option for troops broiling in my head. However, that will have to wait until next week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: A New Topic

Well, its time now for a new topic. I've talked and talked and talked about new players, and hell, other bloggers are doing it now. More eloquently at that. However, I want to talk about a topic that everyone in wargames uses constantly, but I've never seen discussed at length.

Measuring Devices.

Ha-ha! Did you catch the pun there? In all seriousness, though, it seems like for something that we all use so much we really don't talk about them that much. To be honest there's a reason I'm bringing this up now. I bought a couple new tape measures. They were in the remainders bin at a local discount shop. For fifty cents each, I thought I was getting a good deal. They are tiny, and well, I got what I paid for.

The thing is when considering what measuring device you want to use there are certain things that need to be considered. Size, length, legibility, and flexibility. Some of these are obvious and some are not, and well, I like to list things almost as much as does- so well, here's a break down list. And then I'll have another breakdown list of the different types of measuring devices!

-Size. This one seems to be pretty obvious doesn't it? Well, it is a bit more complicated when you get down to it. This is almost a second thought for most people, especially those who play big games on open fields like WHFB or 40K. In Mordheim, though, it is much more of a consideration. If your measuring device is too big, you will have a hard time getting around terrain. In Mordheim you want a tape measure that is less then two inches by two inches. Smaller would be better, but any larger then that and you are running into some serious problems.

-Length. Ah, the whole thing that everyone talks about. The thing is that in most wargames, you really don't need that long of a tape measure. To be honest, if you are trying to shoot at something more then 48 inches away, then you are worrying about the wrong target. That's why most smaller tape measures are great, they top out around five feet. Now, there are reasons for an even shorter length, but those are typically specialized equipment.

-Legibility. I cannot stress this one enough. If you can't read it, what's the point? It's even better if your opponent can read it from a distance as well. Not necessarily mandatory, but helpful.

-Flexibility. This is a different one, and in most cases less flexible is good, however, there are times when a bit of flexibility is good. I like a very flexible measuring device, especially when playing Mordheim. There are times when you want to walk around something and if your measuring device is too rigid then it is difficult to measure accurately. The flipside of this is that if you want to measure long distances, less flexibility is preferred since flexibility will cause your targeting to be droopy.

So while I talked a bit about the things to think about when getting a measuring device, but I also want to talk about the three most common types of measuring devices.

The Whippy Stick: Now, for those of you who have ever bought a GW starter box, these are the 18 inch long red sticks. I like calling them Whippy sticks, cause they are AWESOME to smack your opponent with. They are bendy enough to get a great smack, but that's about all they are good for. They are too large to get in between even WHFB terrain, too short for most distance shooting, too inflexible to use in small games, and they are the most illegible things for measuring that I have ever come across.

Tape Measures: The ultimate tool. It's easy the most legible, and the most common. While being flexible enough to kinda bend around corners, most of them are rigid enough to measure distance easily. The recoiling action of them is also great for saving space. The main thing about them is getting the right tape measure. Anything will work, but to be honest, I would skip out on the GW ones, and I'd spend the extra couple of bucks for a name brand one from a tool company. I personally love the three Stanley tape measures I have. One of them is rather small and I got from a set of screwdrivers, the others I stole from my dad years ago. They are all over ten years old and have no rust or wear on them. Now, my Eldest Child has stolen one of them for his Star Wars RPG game. The cycle goes on.

String and Sticks: Now, bear with me here. I like string and sticks. I think they are great. The main problem is that they are inherently illegible. The thing is that they work. You need to get permission from your opponent, and chances are that the opponent will spot check your measurements. I like to use strings since I can just lay them down where I want to go, and boom there is the distance I can travel. Sticks are great for distance. The thing is that you can have a different string/stick for each different measurement you have. Most warbands (and most games for that matter) only have a couple of different ranges. So a few strings roll up comfortably in almost nothing. Sticks are a bit more, but if you have a max range of 12 inches, they are a treat. It's a bit different, but it is cheap and effective. Which is something I like, if you haven't noticed.

Well, that's all for now. Next week, I might not have a post, its Cub Scout weekend, so taking the kids away for a weekend of fishing, dodge ball, and we might just be able to get some games of Mordheim or Star Wars d6 RPG in (weather depending).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Still Talking About New Players

Well, yet again, here I am talking about new players. I love talking about new players, and I rather fancy that my blog here is for both new players and veterans. Now, the thing is that people all over are hitting on new players pretty hard. Love that, especially since I've been doing that for so long.

Let's take a look at some of the stuff out there.

From House of Paincakes:

From Bell of Lost Souls:

FrontLine Gamer:

So Quite a bit out there. Not to mention my own contributions, which are intriguing and well worth the read. I won't do the links, since they are all there on the left hand side of the screen, which is an amazing little thing to go into. The thing is that they call talk about the same thing, the cost of entry. Granted Bigred is probably the most on point about it, and Frontline Gamer is probably the most prolific. This doesn't change the fact that I primarily started playing Mordheim and blogging about it because of the price increases of GW.

So I am still going on about it for a long time since I was first inspired. These guys have added to the argument, and I think its worthy of continue to talk about it. That's whats getting to me right now, is that there's a great conversation going on, and I on the other hand have either said what I need to or are exhausted to add new stuff to the comments. So I'm out for now. I'll be back next week, and I promise that I'll be hopefully done with talking about new players (at least without just linking). I apologize with the lack of quality this week, but I am hoping that I'll get a energy boost, or at least a new topic to beat like a dead horse.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Is Mordheim Too Small?

So again, I'm linking back to something that I was reading earlier. Man, that Frontline Gamer gets my stuff thinking. Even when its not on his blog, its still worth a read.

In that post, Lauby made a point that WHFB has grown so large in scale that Mordheim isn't really a valid entry point since the warband you create will not even provide a fraction of the models that you need for a full scale WHFB army. An excellent point, all around.

Except for one thing. There were never enough models in a Mordheim Warband to be a viable beginning for a WHFB army. Maybe back in editions older then I remember it would have been. However, Mordheim didn't exist back then.

I love Mordheim, and I even have a soft spot for Necromunda, and I think that I might just pick up Bloodbowl eventually. The model count is secondary, it was really a way to allow people who already had armies to get into a small campaign based game.

Mordheim IS too serve as an intro game. I've crunched the numbers here before figuring out what it would cost for each warband using only the regular WHFB troop boxes. While each one sets you back a pretty penny, at most you have two, maybe three units for a WHFB army. This is not a viable way of starting an army.

The thing of it is that Mordheim was intended as a standalone game, always was, always will be. Is it a good way to get people involved in GW? Yuppers. It introduces the basic concepts of GW games (like what to roll). It also introduces the campaign play, which I find more critical then other people do.

That's all I'm going to say for right now, I've been busy this weekend, and I'm plum out of ideas, energy, and synonyms. Works been hell, family's been hell, car's been hell. All around hell. I haven't been thinking about stuff like I should be. I'll be coming back GOOD to stuff soon, right now, I'm treading water until I get my energy left.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Thinking about New Guys

Well, its been almost two weeks since the fateful night when I took Mordheim to Boy Scouts. Tonight, I went to pick up Eldest Child from the Cub Scouts where he is a den chief (learning more about the intricacies of the BSA is one of the added benefits of this blog), I saw one of the other guys who had played Mordheim with us. He had been interested since he had inherited some Chaos (Both of the 40K and WHFB varities).

So I got around to talking about stuff that I like to tell new players. There's a bunch of stuff. So I wanted to think a bit about what I consider important.

1. The Location of the Good Game Store: There are four game stores that sell GW stuff in Pittsburgh. ONE of them is worth dropping cash at. Especially since the others don't have discounts, or a bits bin filled with used and old minis.
2. GW Paint: Been having a lot of conversations about this recently (most likely due to the new paint releases). I suggest regular craft paint-with a few exceptions. The metallics are better quality then just about any craft paint. The washes, are in my mind not bad and a good way to get used to them. Are GW the best? Probably not, I've heard good things about Vallejo and PP paints. However, price to quality to volume, I'm not seeing a big enough difference between GW's stuff and Applebarrell or Americana.
3. Paint Techniques: Luckily the new guy's mom knows her crafts. So I just dropped some terms, which she picked up on right away. Over brushing, dry brushing, blending, and base coat. I could spend a whole afternoon talking about that stuff along with color composition and army paint theory. I dig that stuff.
4. My favorite Places on the Net: Seriously, this is a resource that you are using RIGHT NOW. It wasn't available to me when I started, so I picked up techniques and tips and tricks much slower then I did. You can see all the links I sent to him in the Mordheim Links section of this website (plus a few more that I didn't send him).

Those are my top four things I like to impress on New Players. I thought this list would be longer. I really did. Which is why I thought it would be a good blog post. Unfortunitly, I'm a bit short on ideas lately. We've been busy at work, so all that time I spent thinking about cool stuff is going to mundane things like remembering everything that I am supposed to so that I can keep my job. Hence, short post, unless you guys can think of other things that are good to tell new people.