Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Crap...

Hello, and welcome back to Monday Night Mordheim. This week, I'm going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I think that after over a year of weekly (or nearly weekly) posts, I can't think of a thing that I have not previously talked about. I got half way through a post about how to build mercenary warbands, and I realized that everything that I wrote was already things that I had already documented in the past. So right now, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I really don't want to end this, as everything else Mordheim keeps ending, but with a game that is dead, you really can cover everything. So for right now, I'm going to take a bit of a break, recollect my thoughts and come back next week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim; Numbers Games

Welcome back to Monday Night Mordheim, the one and only outlet for my Mordheim thoughts. The thing is that I really don't get to think about Mordheim as much as I would really like. I would love to be able to do nothing but talk about Mordheim because I've been playing it. However, in reality, I do more thinking about it then I do playing it or even doing anything with it.

Conversely, I play a lot more other games then I talk about here. These games effect my thinking about Mordheim. The things that those games force me to think about are strange. For instance, I've been playing around with the Dungeons & Dragons Next playtest. Which is fun, and great. However, it is limiting. There's quite a bit missing that I'm used to having. I've been trying to monkey around with it to try to make a workable game, since it is missing the things that I want to have (such as levels higher then 5). So I've been doing quite a bit of strange maths to try to do that. Now, unlike Mordheim, the maths are archaic and not easy to crack, and if I wasn't completely sure that there was some sort of plan behind it, I would swear that some of it had been made up on the spot. With these strange geometries I've been working with, my mind falls back to the good old standby of Mordheim.

In Mordheim, the maths are simple, and easy to pick apart. However, what makes them so dastardly is that you can throw some philosophy behind them. The best example of this that I can think of is the whole 'well-equipped warband' vs. 'poorly equipped  but lots of members' theories. To be honest, I think this comes down to the type of warband that you are playing. Those with a small maximum warband members, should equip to the max, every thing to provide the best chance of survival. Those with high maximum amounts should just go for the pure numbers game. Some people argue this with me, and insist that pure numbers of warbands are the important thing. That is vaguely true. In early games, the one with the numbers will probably win. However, equipping the crap out of everyone but one guy to die to give you the option to take a rout is horribly beneficial in early games. If your only concern is winning the game that you are playing, then yes, take numbers. If you are trying for better long term survival, loosing the first few matches can be beneficial.

Hmm, it seems that I've talked about stuff I've talked about in the past, its funny how that happens some times. I'll really have to dig deeper for next week. Perhaps a warband work over...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim; Friends, Enemies, and Acquaintances

Well, here it is time for another Monday Night Mordheim, and I bet that you guys are wondering how I am going to do another post about this grand old dame of a game, since I've covered just about anything and everything that can be talked about. So for awhile I'm going to spend some time on some of my favorite subjects, those that have little to do with Mordheim, but everything to do with the hobby of wargaming in general (I seriously detest when it is refered to as just 'The Hobby', it doesn't deserve the caps.).

The heart of the matter is that wargaming is not a hobby you can do alone, at its very heart it is a social game. There are few games as intentionally social as wargames. You can make an argument for role-playing games, sports, and maybe even board games. However, only sports has the really unique factor in common with war games. In both sports and wargames it is not only the norm, but expected to play people you don't know. Most RPG groups are fairly insular (not forbidding, but it takes a while before a new person gets invited to a group), and board games are played almost exclusively by families or very close friends (even that guy who flips the board when loosing at Risk).

Wargames are social, you need an opponent, and it is expected for you to play someone that you are not familiar with. Playing with friends is great, and playing with a stranger is better. Now Mordheim is not the game that you would turn to for a one off battle. The rules support campaign play much more then single battles. However, starting a campaign is a good way to connect with people. There are lots of people who play Mordheim, and even quite a few who don't but could be easily swayed.

That's what I like. You take an Acquaintance, and you turn them into an Enemy, and then inexplicably they become a Friend.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Night Mordheim: Allies, Partnerships, Betrayal, and Tactics

Hello, and welcome back to Monday Night Mordheim, your semi-regular dosage of all things Mordheim. While I realize that I'm talking about Mordheim, there's quite a few things in 40K right now that apply as well. Which makes it difficult, since I've basically given up on GW's big box games as far too expensive to be worth the effort. So I'm probably getting some hits here from people clicking thinking I'm giving some nice crunchy advise for the 6th Edition 40K allies, but too bad. I haven't even read the rules yet. Maybe around January I'll have enough cash for it.

So in the meantime, you and I will just have to content ourselves with talking about allies as it applies to Mordheim, which is the real reason most of you are here anyway. That and the occasional rant about something I don't like in the game industry (which for right now is doing everything in a manner inconsistent to how I would do things, but that's neither here nor there). Last week I talked a bit about the Chaos on the Streets matches in Mordheim. I really love these matches, they're great for ending a round of a league, or even wrapping up a league. They bring a bunch of people together in a single game, and it plays out with allies and betrayals, and everything in between.

So I thought I'd take some time and do a bit of tactica on the different types of  Chaos on the Streets matchs. So here's a numbered list! (WOOT!)

1. Treasure Hunt, Street Brawl, The Pool, and Ambush!- these are the most basic of all the Chaos on the Streets scenarios. They are basically multiplayer versions of the standard scenarios. I really think that they were included in the list to work as training wheels to get everyone used to the rule changes before getting into the more involved scenarios.
2. The Lost Prince- This is one of my favorite scenarios, even though I've rarely ever had a chance to play it. The key to this scenario is speed and toughness. You need both. Speed to get to the Prince first, and toughness to hold him. The key to winning this scenario is to team up with someone who can give you what you lack, and then reinforce them. People who are good at ranged combat should pair up with someone fast, then defend the dude who gets to the Lost Prince first from your mutual opponents. Speed people should pair up with tough people to soak up damage. This is one of the scenarios where betrayal can lose everything.
3. The Wizard's Mansion- The obvious thing here is for everyone outside the mansion to gang up on the guy on the inside, but nothing could be further from the truth. Assuming you are one of the people on the outside, ally yourself with the person on the inside. The point is to agree for the wealth to be split, equally. You might get routed early, but those other people you take out increase the ability of the person on the inside to survive and thus grab the treasure. Now, if you just happen to be the last two standing, then you might want to consider stabbing the dude in the back, to try to take all the treasure for yourself. However, only do this if you are absolutely certain that you can win, because half the take is better then none of the take.
4. Monster Hunt- This is the only scenario where you practically never want to betray anyone. Being on the same side is very beneficial to everyone. Everyone sends in one bruiser, and nothing else. This is a calculated risk. By only sending one (or two depending) of your best fighters, you are putting the rest of your warband at less risk. This allows everyone to reap the benefits of defeating the monster, and everyone's leader gets the pip for winning the battle. Now since everyone is sending people against the monster, it decreases the chance that it will kill your character, and you still have a good chance of wounding it, and if you are lucky you might fell the killing blow.

Well, I've written for a bit, so I'm off for another fun filled week of technical support, scouts, and gaming. I'll see you next time.