Hello, and welcome back to Monday Night Mordheim. Things are turning over nicely around here, got the schedules all settled, and everything is going well with everything getting back in the groove. It's all about the planning. I get the stuff done. School is easy, its the other stuff that's hard.
See, that's the thing I like, the other stuff. Scouts, and that sort of thing. That's why one of my absolutly favorite things about Mordheim is the optional critical hit table. The thing is that a lot of people choose not to use it. There's two main reasons for that. The first is that it is optional, which means a lot of people skip over it. The second reason is that some people feel that some of the optional critical hit table is not as powerful as the regular one.
The thing is that the second group is right. I've always been in the mind that the optional critical hit table is what was really intended to be in the main game, not tacked on at the end. The main critical hit table is deadly. Overly so. Like 1st Edition D&D 'Tomb of Horrors' deadly. The main critical hit table has caused games to flip over on me on a number of times. Both for the better and for the worse.
On the other hand is the optional critical hit table. I personally find it much more useful. Like above, I have two reasons for it, (parity HAHA!). The first is the crunch is much less likely to crush you. The optional critical hit table is a bit more forgiving. I find this important since there are so few models in Mordheim, each one is as important as a rook or a bishop in chess. You can't afford things to get taken off the table from what basically equates to really good luck. While luck will always have a part to play in any game where the main mechanic is dice based, the main critical hit table really really over emphasizes it. Too many games have swung drasitically from one way to the other because of a couple of rolls on the critical hit tables. The other thing that I really like from the optional critical hit table is that the optional rules are more favorful. There's slight changes to the rules depending on the type of weapon that you are using. I especially like one of the spear rolls, where you skewer someone and can potentially drive them off a ledge or something. That's the kind of thing I want to see in a critical hit table, interesting things that don't necessarily change the whole game, but make the particular combat that they are happening in more memorable. Seriously, no one remembers doing extra wounds with no armor save and bonus to the damage result table. Everyone remembers when a goblin pushes some dude off a bridge down three stories.
That's the thing, Mordheim is a wargame, but it has an element of style harkening towards a more RPG center. I can go on about that for days, but I'm not going to. The thing is that Mordheim more then most wargames is a shared story experience. When you can, why would you choose boring mechanics that are potent over mechanics that make the play experience so much richer. If you've been playing, and you haven't been using the optional critical hit charts in the back of the book, stop right now. Go play a game with them, you'll find yourself immensely pleased. Especially if you use a variety of weapons when playing.
That's about all I got in the tank for tonight. I'll see you fools next week!