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28Apr/105

Fighting in the Streets

The other night my Saturday gaming group took a night off from the polyhedrals to take a vaction in lovely downtown Mordheim. It had been a while since we hit the boardwalk for a wyrdstone-cream cone and a Sigmar's Sizzling Sausage (don't ask, but Chad's obsessed with them). It was just like Coney Island, but with more rat-men, mutants, undead and witch burning and less fun and games.

Mordheim's strength has always been the aspect of play where yoru warband gains experience and suffers injuries as you continue to play it. Unfortunately the customizability and organic warband evolution was tempered by a clunky system and obtuse rulebook. So we decided to give Coreheim a try.

Half of the players had played Mordheim before, but for most of them it was the first time assembling the warband of their choice. We went with a team game over a free-for-all to speed things along, so we had the Undead, Posessed, and Night Goblins against Reiklanders, Witch Hunters, and Skaven in a straight-up brawl. After the forces closed, both sides started suffering attrition fairly quickly.

The Reiklanders who held the center of their lines were the first to fail a rout check after their leader fell to the Undead warband's vampire. Soon the Witch Hunters - who had flanked my Possessed that had come up the middle to help the Undead with the Rieklanders - caused enough damage that my band failed their command check as well, followed quickly by the Skaven and Night Goblins. The Undead and Witch Hunters started grinding down to start forcing rout checks and in the end the Witch Hunters failed first, giving the Undead force's allegiance side the victory.

Overall it was a fun night of gaming. Our first stab at the Coreheim rules went well enough to try them again in the future. None of us play Warhammer, so the move towards a slightly more War of the Ring-based rule system hasn't been a problem for us. That said, one of my biggest problems overall was the slowness of models in Mordheim compared to the long missile ranges. While Coreheim shrunk missile ranges somewhat, they also shortened movement, something we'll likely undo when we play again.

The Coreheim ruleset did have some downsides, like the movement reduction listed above.  In addition some of the short articles the Corheim web site do not come off very mature.  I don't want to be too harsh, but the authors are doing themselves a disservice with those documents.

Even so, there's still some interesting concepts in Corheim that I think we'll be able to tweak into something that works better for us.  Mordheim's a now-and-then game for us though, so it might be a while before we can put theory into practice again.

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  1. That’s one item that tends to push me away from “miniature” based games. There’s no real “experience” tracking. Its just an expanded game of risk, after awhile, it’d just become formulated like the game of Axis and Allies (before they fixed some rules).

    Although seeing the skill you can put into painting miniatures really is an interesting factor. But … I’m not that good. If Redbrick ever starts putting out miniatures again, might have to start practicing.

  2. Thanks for this little report.

    Movement and ranges (or even just movement) can easily be fixed back up to normal Warhammer distances. In time, maybe we will even release a mod that does so.

    We are always interested in hearing about experiences and areas of the rules that you think could be improved. We hope to hear from you once you have a few more games under your belt.

  3. What other downsides were there to using these rules?

  4. There were a few little things, but some of the ones other players brought up were:

    * Defender’s WS no longer factors into attack roll, meaning high WS heroes aren’t dodgey and are easier to kill now.

    * No penalty to shooting over half range. That has its ups and downs but some of the warbands still felt too plinky to some folks.

    * Magic lists are just the same spells reskinned between lists. I don’t mind myself but it felt less flavorful. Seems there’s optional rules for that but we didn’t want to venture out of the core set at first.

    * No Sisters of Sigmar. They were a fun fluffy warband that were taken out, when it would have been preferable to see them with their costs tweaked tweaking and some of their weapons modified/removed to be less overpowered.

    I really wanted to get to character advancement to take a closer look at that but everyone had to leave after the game finished and we didn’t get to it.


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