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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:42 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:37 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Bellingham, WA
I have been a bit disappointed with the 'point and click' nature of a lot of powerful netlists lately, which has pushed me to try a new approach to Warhammer. I love a combined-arms approach, with mutually supportive elements coming together to push the tides of battle in your favor. Tooled-up lords that can solo-win the game, Monster mashes, and deathstars that either win every combat, or never see one, are getting a bit stale to me, so I thought about how that could be fixed.

Corehammer is an idea that I'm developing, in which 75% of the army must be core, and no lord choices may be taken. Does anyone have any experience with this approach to playing Warhammer?

I did a quick mental check of all army books, and I think it does a great job balancing the current lineup. Warriors of Chaos seem like the strongest book, with their ability to take extremely elite forces, but they will always be outnumbered. Ogre Kingdoms comes in a close second as they are more mobile than most, and have some of the toughest hero level characters. In all, I can't think of a bad army to take; even Beastmen have an awesome lineup with chaff, chariots, and re-rolls to hit.

I really got excited about the idea of having a campaign using Corehammer army lists, but adding in rules inspired by Mordheim, Skirmish, and The General's Compendium (if you are unfamiliar with these older Warhammer resources, I highly recommend that you check them out, they are full of awesome ideas for the hobby!). I wrote out some rules for this new approach to the hobby, and I would love to get some feedback.


Mordhammer is designed as a campaign system that uses basic Warhammer rules and some of the rules found in Mordheim to create a more interactive and tactical experience. Mordhammer works best as a multi-game map based campaign following the Mighty Empires rules, and can be played with any number of players. Campaigns with a specific objective are best, but each army may have a different objective.

The armies playing Mordhammer must have at least 75% of their points comprised of Core models. No Lord level characters are allowed. Each army needs at least one character to lead it, taken from the Heroes section.

Battles are played in the exact same manner as a normal Warhammer game, but with the following rules added on:

Retreat - At the beginning of a player's turn, they may declare a retreat. At this point in time they may nominate the table edge they are retreating to, and continue their turn as normal. During the remaining moves sub-phase the player may move his units off of the table from the retreating table edge. Models that leave the table in this manner are to be recorded, as they have left the battlefield safely.

Fall Back!During an organized retreat some generals will sacrifice units to buy time for the others. When a general declares a retreat, he may choose to have some of his units break from close combat. Breaking from close combat is a dangerous affair, however, and is not guaranteed to work.
The retreating general can choose to have any units Fall Back. If they do so, treat the unit as having made a Flee charge reaction, but nominate a direction towards the retreating table edge.
A unit that chooses to Fall Back from close combat immediately turns around following the normal rules for breaking from close combat with the following exceptions.
- Any models in base contact with a retreating unit gain +1 to hit, as the retreating warriors are more concerned with running away than defending themselves.
- Before the retreating unit can break away from combat, the attacking unit gets one final round of close combat attacks.
Once the attacking unit has made its attacks, the retreating unit (if it has survived!) moves 2d6 inches towards the retreating table edge following the same rules as fleeing models.
- Models fleeing in this manner can never rally. Take dangerous terrain tests for fleeing models as described in the warhammer rulebook.

Casualties – Battles are intensely bloody affairs, and it is expected that not all of the participants will survive. After the battle, each army's doctors work tirelessly to heal wounds suffered in combat, but many warriors will never fight again.
- Units that fled off of the board or left the table during a retreat are not counted as casualties.
- Roll a die for every model that was removed from play from combat, shooting, and magic.(including units that were run down). Models survive the battle on the roll of a 3 or higher.
- All characters removed from play must roll on the Mordheim Character Injury Chart.
- Update your army's roster after suffering casualties.
*Should units that get taken below their minimum unit size be placed in reserves to be refilled later?*

Advancement – As wars go on, novice warriors gain experience and become tough, seasoned veterans.
Units (and characters) gain +1 experience for every enemy unit they:
- caused to break from close combat
- caused to panic from shooting
- destroyed (through close combat, shooting, or magic, or running down while fleeing)
Units on the victorious side that survived the battle gain +1 experience.

When a unit gains enough experience to advance, roll on the advancement table to see what characteristic increases. Be sure to follow the maximum characteristic table for your race.
* I need some advice on maximum characteristics, not sure what to do for some races.*
** I also need feedback on the leveling chart. I was thinking it should be every 5 exp for the first 4 levels, then every 10 exp**

Roll a D6
1 = +1Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill
2 = Roll again:1-3= +1 Strength 4-6= +1 Toughness
3 = +1 Attack
4 = +1 Initiative
5 = +1 Leadership
6 = Skill! Roll again on the skill chart (if the unit already has that skill, roll for a different skill):

Roll 2D6
2 – War Scars: Unit causes fear
3 – Seasoned Veterans: Unit is immune to psychology
4 – Bloodthirsty: Unit gains the Frenzy special rule
5 – Intimidation: Unit gets a +1 bonus to combat resolution
6 – Blessed by the gods: Unit gains a 6+ ward save, or increases it's existing ward save by +1
7 – Aim for the weak spots!: Shooting and close combat attacks have the Armor Piercing special rule
8 - Reckless: Unit gains the Devastating Charge special rule
9 - Disciplined Unit is immune to march-blocking and can automatically passes it's first Ld test
10 - Iron Willed Unit gains the Stubborn special rule
11- Lucky! Unit may re-roll a single die per phase (Hit, Wound, or Armor Save only)
12 - Choose an ability from the list.

Generals can spend gold to buy new recruits after the battle at the regular point value found in the army book with the following exceptions:
- Each advancement a unit has increases the base cost of the model by 1
- Units that have been reduced below minimum starting size may no longer be taken in battle, but can be "left in reserves" until the controlling player purchases replacements.
- Units lose Veteran Status if they replace more than 1/2 of their models.
- Veteran units may not be increased above their size in the initial army list.

This is all I have so far. I would love to hear your questions, and any feedback!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:33 am 
The White Star Captain

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:16 pm
Posts: 2814
Location: Cothique (QLD)
It's a good idea.
I'd like to add though that unless you have a good income system, as it is the campaign will collapse.
The deaths of models is less likely in Mordheim because they have the injury chart. I'd suggest you either come up with a good and balanced income/reward system or you reduce the deaths of removed models down to 1 only and survive on 2+, or both.., you also need to include the injury chart for characters at least anyway. Having permanent injuries on characters in a game of warhammer is savage, unless their injuries only last D3 +1/-1 games, no one will want to play having a character that has died/removed once or twice and is only as powerful as a special/rare champion.. Esp when that character is their general, or only character.

The rules for retreating are great, although the fall back rules are a little complicated, as they could simply be an auto-fail for breaking, but if they are caught the caught models may re-roll their failed death rolls, to represent them escaping in the chaos. Or rolling an extra D6 and discarding the lowest for their flee/fall back roll, as they are 'in control'.

The rules on limitations indicate you want to play smallish games, what size games are you thinking about for Mordhammer?
If they were to be smaller games around 500-1000 or as high as 1500pts the unit sizes could be halved (rounding up) to accommodate a better tactical game at that size.
Magic is also terrifying in small games, perhaps a limit of lv1, or no upgrades..?
Even in bigger games, were death is a real factor to worry about, even small spells can destroy units with a roll of the dice.
Halving the damage of spells might be a good idea. And perhaps only rolling 2D3 for winds..?

Have you thought about the effects of KB and HKB affecting the death rolls, flaming attacks and poison would be longer lasting, as would being sucked into the warp.

The experience chart/tally could probably be copied from Mordheim for characters, remembering that they start at 8-20exp. The unit's exp could be linked to the size of the unit. Being 50% of the models cost needs to be won/acquired/killed in VPs, per model basis and not that of the current vp system in warhammer. 50% per exp point, and unit exp tallies for rolls on the exp chart being: 3 (cost of their own unit + survive), 7, 12, 18 and 25.
Causing an enemy to break/flee could be worth 25% of the said unit's cost to the but only earned once per test, per unit, per game. Fear tests 10% but cumulative, Terror 25% as above.

Then there's undead models and Necromancy/Undeath to consider.

I could give you a list of all the races max stats for 8th in Warhammer if you like?

There's a few other things but this should do to help at the moment.



Head of the Ninth Age 'High' Elves of Light Army Support.

The Mighty Pen (App) Link coming soon

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:47 am
Posts: 3550
Location: PA, USA
If you're looking for some more options in terms of campaigns and experience, etc you should try checking out the old Mighty Empires rules. They include all of this and a lot, lot more. They are definitely over-complex IMHO but could be a source of some good ideas. I imagine they are pretty easy to find on the net these days given that they have been OOP for over a decade (I think).

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:54 am
Posts: 339
Location: The Free Republic of Amsterdam
Sounds great. You migt want to simplify the retreat rules a bit.

When you announce to retreat, all or any units may do the following during the movement phase:

A) Disengage from combat: Roll leadership; if succesful, retreat one half move backwarts from combat. This cannot be pursued, but diuring the opponents turn he may charge. The uit must keep retreating, either throug A) or B) or C). If the check is failed, the unit flees and can be pursuid as if having lost a round of combat.
B) Retreat: make a leadership test: the unit may move backward a full move instead of a half move. If the leadership tes is failed, the unit flees.
C) Controlled retreat: the unit moves backward as normal, turns around and moves/marches etc..

When a unit has completed A) or B) once during the game, it is considered retreating and must retreat toward the table edge ome way or another, using the maximum move for the formation. It may not charge or stop retreating. It does fight back, MAY disengage as per A, pursuits as per the rules, but after normal play resumes it must resume its retreat. Characters are considered to be in control and are free to move, even in and out of retreating units. You may decide tot retreat with one,some or all units at any time during the game. You may keep units in the fight to gain objectives, protect retreat or whatever reason; as long as a unit has not committed to A) or B) it is free to continue combat as normal.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:03 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:37 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Bellingham, WA
You guys bring up many good points, so I'll do my best to address all of them.

Wait...My army is dead!!
I was hoping that the death rate would encourage generals to be more cautious, and promote more sustainable practices (such as double-fleeing instead of parking an eagle or a unit of reavers in front of a unit to die), as well as encourage players to think more tactically about where their army is on the campaign map. It is likely that an army could be severely crippled in a face to face battle, as it is fairly standard to lose about half of your troops or more in a typical 6-turn game of Warhammer. However, without extremely smashy elite units, and no Lord level casters, I think that the death rate in Mordhammer will be much lower.

Permanent injuries on characters is very scary indeed!! However, it is crazy to expect to come out of a war unscathed. Keeping your characters alive is suddenly very important, and moving your poor L2 wizard out of his bunker to be used as a last-resort redirector suddenly has very real consequences. The last time I looked at the injury charts in Mordheim and The Generals Compendium about half of the results didn't seem too dire, although about 1/6th of them were horrible, haha.

Perhaps the solution is that a character removed from action has to roll on the injury chart if he fails a Toughness test? That would be 1/2 of the time for us puny elves, which doesn't seem too bad, as characters don't die to core troops that often.

Maybe I wasn't clear here. Units that aren't engaged in close combat can still act normally, e.g. shoot, charge, and fight, but are now allowed to move off of the table (on the retreating edge).

Models in close combat can choose to keep fighting and may break as normal, or they can get an extra 2D6 flee move away after getting attacked. I think this is both realistic (it would be hard to just turn around and run away without getting hit) and it gives the unit a decent chance to escape, unless they are in combat with a cavalry, or other unit with swiftstride, as they will be able to move about 7 inches. Granted you could still get run down when the enemy charges you on his turn, but I think that is just part of the risk of ordering a general retreat. Regardless, even if you get run down, only 1/3 of the unit will actually die.

What Points Level?
I was planning on playing this at 500-2000 points, depending on the scenario. For skirmishes, like raids, scouts and pickets, and ambushes, I think 500-1000 points would be better, while larger battles, like defending a location, securing a beach head, or a fortress under siege might work better at 1500-2000 points. Keep in mind that even at 2000 points it is easy to get over 120 boots on the table for High Elves. 75% core means a lot of models at any level.

I don't think any Hero level wizard could do too much damage at this level. It is very hard to get big spells of without miscasting, and miscasting can have dire results for a character with only 2 wounds. Not only that, but spell selection would be much harder! A L2 has a hard time getting Dwellers every time.

Which leads me to my next question:
If you were playing a campaign, would you roll for spells every game? Would you have to keep the same lore from game to game? From a fluff standpoint, all of our wizards know every spell in the BRB, right? Or would they roll as the character was generated, and then only know those spells? Regardless, I want to incorporate hero level upgrades for wizards to learn more spells, as 2 makes it hard to make a difference in the magic phase. One will get dispelled, and there is a good chance (with only a L2) that the other might not even go off.

Great point about HKB, KB, and being sucked into the warp. I hadn't thought of those yet. My first reaction is to say that your character would just be dead, but then bloodletters would be totally broken! *They have Killing Blow, right?* Being sucked into the warp... It is hard to see how a character could make a comeback from that in a timely manner (if at all) so I'm not sure how to deal with that. I would love to get some other people's ideas on what would happen to your character after he/she got sucked into the warp or chopped in half.

Finally, could you elaborate on your experience idea? I think I get it, but an example would really help. If a unit of 10 archers with full command (130 points) I can post that much, right? Shot at a unit of fast cavalry worth 70 points and killed 2, panicking it, how much experience would they get?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:19 pm 
The White Star Captain

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:16 pm
Posts: 2814
Location: Cothique (QLD)
Oranion wrote:
Great point about HKB, KB, and being sucked into the warp. I hadn't thought of those yet. My first reaction is to say that your character would just be dead, but then bloodletters would be totally broken! *They have Killing Blow, right?* Being sucked into the warp... It is hard to see how a character could make a comeback from that in a timely manner (if at all) so I'm not sure how to deal with that. I would love to get some other people's ideas on what would happen to your character after he/she got sucked into the warp or chopped in half.

Finally, could you elaborate on your experience idea? I think I get it, but an example would really help. If a unit of 10 archers with full command (130 points) I can post that much, right? Shot at a unit of fast cavalry worth 70 points and killed 2, panicking it, how much experience would they get?

A lot of Army specific rules are required to make Mordhammer smooth.
I've created several sets of rules in combinations and over several editions, to better suit reality and tactical play with samll and large single and campaign games.

Economy, Resources and Medicine are very important in campaigns.
Territories are usually the best things for the first two, while Wizards or skills bestowed are fantastic to add actual balance for perma-injuries.

I've tried the characteristic test method before but in a slightly different way, having the injuries only affect the character on failed rolls. ie: T tests for physical injuries while Ld tests for psychological injuries, and also characteristic tests for the afflicted stat, ie: S test for Strength/body/muscle injuries, M test for movement/leg, WS test for Weapon Skill/arm, BS for eyes, etc.
They all work well but having a dedicated 'Doctor' is far more effective in tandem, and very much mimics actual life in a magically dominated world.

For instance; Lifebloom Lore Attribute (heals instantly), Regrowth Life spell (brings models back from the "brink" of death), Earth Blood Life spell and Regeneration in general (stitches tissue and bone back together), Apotheosis High spell (Heals and imbues energy, originally it 'summoned' a character back from the Aethyr. Like Good Necromancy) and Necromancy in general.
Healing Potions could be used after a battle to heal a characters wound instantly...

Fire could be used to cauterize battlefield injuries (in base contact) without having to cast an actual spell, or just if the model has Flaming attacks.
Life magic would undoubtedly be the same, Necromancy (Lore of Vampires/Undeath) and Nehekharian Incantations (Lore of Nehekhara) for Undead models.

Scouts and Vanguard troops would have days of supplies with them, a rudimentary first-aid kit would almost definitely be included, at least by smart races..

Indeed all Wizards and similar beings; be they Shamans, Seers, Magi, Witches, Druids, Clerics, Priests, Sorcerers/Sorceresses or anything else would have at least a basic knowledge of Alchemy, Botany or other studies more efficient in healing in some fashion.
The basics come before the advanced, the the advanced is what we see as spells on the battlefield. Most of them would have apprentices that could heal their master if they were injured as well.

Killing Blows can be categorized into minor and major injuries by S vs T. If the S is equal to or more than double the T the attack would surely 'cleave' through body part/s completely, and be major, or can be a simple T test. Minor Injuries can be healed quite efficiently so to speak with the afflicted model only missing D3-1 games. Majors actually meaning a real permanent injury, but then again most of these characters would get a prosthetic limb like a peg leg or a weapon harness for their arm or stitched/hammered straight into the bone, a corset made from Gromril, Ithilmar, Meteoric Iron and the such to compensate for body injuries. Not much can be done for the mind, but even Skaven have bionic-eyes.

Sucked into the Warp (or back to the warp for Daemonic Instability), or crumbled to dust (for Undead), are difficult to create rules for. Daemons and Undead use magic (and/or rituals) as a main means of conjuring/animating their hordes. How do the dead of the living play into the winning Undead side's ingredients?
Simply removing the result on the miscast table and replacing it with: The Wizard is knocked unconscious for the remainder of the game and is treated as a casualty for purposes of Injuries, would do the trick and alleviate any grey areas.

Deducing that the winds of magic are always present and not only when two armies decide to war. Magical energies would be very abundant for everyone.

Dwarves don't/won't use magic but would have advanced medicines/techniques so to speak.

All Elves would excel at healing, as would Life Wizards, or any model that has access to Healing spells/prayers/incantations.

The Death rate as you say does indeed make player much more cautious about where they place their units and how they use them, but most take a game or two to get into the swing of it, so you may need to run a practice round to show how everything works in game (and post-game).

The Army composition usually takes a big turn as well, as you see missile troops and wizards dominate the battlefield and combat troops dwindle as games go on. Ammunition for missile troops don't always grow on trees, and require time and ore to be mined, smelted, forged, shaped etc.
I usually forced a cap on such troops in such campaigns to balance the armies even more.

Spells can be rolled anew for each game, or keep the rolls they make during the first game (or prior), and can even lv up, taking the Sig spell first then number 1 then number 2 and so on, these could be unlocked as the wizard gains experience.
Then while on Wizard exp, they usually cause the most damage and therefore the most VPs and casualties, earning themselves the most Exp in the game and they tend to Lv up very quickly, in any rendition of exp charts.

With your example its hard to comment, is the unit only 5 strong?
I'll take it as such; 65pts being 50% of the cost of the Archers, so what needs to be earned for each Exp pt. 14 pts/model in the case of the enemy Fast Cav unit, so the Archers would've earned 28 VPs for 'killing' 2 models, then 25% of the unit's (full) cost for Panic, earning another 17.5 (18 rounding up) for a total of 46 VPs, only needing another 19pts to gain an exp pt, this may not sound like much, but this is from a single round of shooting.

You can also very definitely post total costs, you just can't post individual costs like so:
Warriors x 20 at 10pts/ea, with shields at 1pt/ea, a Champion 10 pts, Musician 10pts and Standard 10pts and a Magic Kill You banner worth 25pts, with a total of 275pts.
But you can say:
Warriors with Shields x20, with Full Command (or listed individually) and Kill You banner for 275pts.

I can 'pass on' my rules if you want to help you get a greater understanding of all of the armies needs, along with their army specific rules?



Head of the Ninth Age 'High' Elves of Light Army Support.

The Mighty Pen (App) Link coming soon

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