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"preparing for Mordheim / WFB Skirmish" Topic

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824 hits since 12 Oct 2017
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Queen Catherine12 Oct 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

I just haven't had any time to work on my WFB armies of late, and I switched to Kings of War for big battles, anyway. Just to have some fun in the Warhammer World, I'm thinking of doing some Mordheim or WFB skirmish.

Thanks to Major B who directed me to the free Mordheim pdf download last year.

As I look thru the rules, there's some clunkiness to it:
What are some of the rules glitches and other problems that arise typically with the game?
What solutions are there to them that have worked for you?
What characters, items, etc, break the system?
Any thoughts on counter-acting powergaming factions?

As an alternative that is similar, I was thinking about re-visiting Warhammer Fantasy Skirmish, but I can't seem to find where those rules are…I remember them being in a book, perhaps an annual? Can anyone direct me to them?

Conceptually, I think WFB is better as a skirmish game with a firm ceiling on characters, personalities and items. The Mordheim rules have plenty of flavor and I'm hoping I'll be able to at least host an occasional game, providing all the forces and rules.

Thanks for assistance!

PzGeneral12 Oct 2017 9:12 a.m. PST


Sorry if it looks as though I'm trying to hijack your thread…..I'm not a fan of Mordheim. At ORIGINS this year I played, had a Dwarven Warband. I would hit, wound, but only knock down. The opponents turn, he stood up, hit, wounded and killed. All 5 of my guys died that way…..dice rolls, maybe. But come on……

(Here comes the hijack). If it's not too late, have you thought of "Song of Blades and Heroes" from Ganesha? The base game is generic enough you can use whatever minis you have…but the system does have some "Background Specific" suppliments…..

Playable in 28 or 15mm, there are only 2 stats……We enjoy it alot thumbs up

Just my 2 cents,


PzGeneral12 Oct 2017 9:13 a.m. PST


Link to the SoBH page on Ganesha site…….

Queen Catherine12 Oct 2017 9:20 a.m. PST

Ok, so blatant thread hijacking, but it is a point worth considering, that I did already think of.

I'm going to give the rules another shot, but I found them tedious. The game mechanic is fun – no doubt about it. But it is also stupidly unrealistic. I could deal with the system better if all figs that didn't activate successfully had a sort of "overwatch" status, that had them react when attacked or something, e.g. I've a bowmen who didn't activate on my turn due to the dice. He is shot at by an opponent. He survives, then auto-shoots back [or ducks under cover, etc].

Anyway, I playtested it with some newbies, and found it clunky – very clunky – sort of like an old Fiat.

I may be able to convince a pal to playtest some medieval / fantasy skirmish games, and if so I'll hit SBH again. And if it plays the same way, I'll hit it harder.

Queen Catherine12 Oct 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

Oh, and per the Mordheim rules, p. 17, yes, you can knock someone down and have them stand up on their turn, but they strike last, so you had a free chance to at least knock them down again if you hit. So either your GM doesn't know the rules well, or you rolled appallingly.

It should be noted that a) appalling dice is entirely the fault of the player, and b) appalling dice will lose you the game in any dice game, including SBH.

Black Cavalier Inactive Member12 Oct 2017 10:04 a.m. PST

Another might be to look at Frostgrave. It's very similar in concept to mordheim, but only the gang leader (who is a wizard) can advance.

It could probably be pretty easily used to play in the warhammer world.

dsfrank Inactive Member12 Oct 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

Mantic is looking to do Vanguard – their version of Mordheim – no details yet – most certainly it will be a kickstarter & delivered way later than promised.

As a KOW fan, I'm looking forward to learning more about it – details are too few to even be considered sketchy

Not that this helps scratch your fantasy skirmish itch now

I have Frostgrave but have yet to play – hear good things about it!

ordinarybass Inactive Member12 Oct 2017 11:40 a.m. PST

Another Kings of War fan here with some rules suggestions.
I've not played Mordheime (though would like to some day).

For Warband (Mordheim skrimish) I love Song of BLades (or Advanced Song of Blades for just a bit more crunch) and I've recently enjoyed Frostgrave. Both will feel similar to KoW in terms of appropriate levels of abstraction and overall speed of play.

For Platoon skirmish games similar to Warhammer Skirmish I highly recommend Dragon Rampant.

Have you seen the Warhammer Skirmish and SBH resources at the Hour11 Gaming blog. Amazing, and the scnearios are very useable in Dragon Rampant, Frostgrave, etc.

Beowulf Fezian12 Oct 2017 11:43 a.m. PST

If you want to play in the Old World, Mordheim is for you. There is the Mordheim Compendium and Empire in Flames.

PzGeneral12 Oct 2017 12:19 p.m. PST


Believe it or not, my ORIGINS Mordheim experience was a "Learn to Play" demo game!! huh?

Giles the Zog12 Oct 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

Long time of Mordheim, but have recently swapped over to frost grave which is a much cleaner system once you get used to "opposed" dice rolls.

Same sorts of numbers per side (10-12), more focus on magic though.

Though I haven't done it changing the fluff of Frostgrave to Mordheim/Warhammer Old World would be trivial.

Also no need to change figures at all.

Queen Catherine12 Oct 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

OK, ONE thread hijacking is bad enough, but FIVE?

Really, unless you've read the post and are addressing the question, DON'T POST.

As for the rest of you…complaint filed.

Lapsed Pacifist Inactive Member12 Oct 2017 1:24 p.m. PST

OK Mordheim is one of my favourite games, yes it is clunky but nothing I've tried comes close to capturing that old world feeling it just has that je ne sais quoi. The gameplay mixed with the rpg elements make it still, after nearly 20 years one of the games I play most.

I'll try and actually answer your questions.

Main problems/glitches: No one uses armour its over priced and critical hits circumvent. Common fixes stacking armour saves with shields both in cc and against ranged attacks, cutting the cost of armour adding in the leather jerkin from the 2002 annual.

Duel wielding gives an extra attack this along with the cheap cost of hand weapons plus there availability make this the most effective loadout for just about anyone leading to pretty boring warbands. Fixes include make duel wielding a combat ability, -1 to hit penalty on your off hand or removing the rule completely.

Skaven sling spam, a horde of rat men shooting at close range (they are fast little Bleeped texts!) can be pretty much unbeatable. Fix max 50% of any warband can have ranged weapons.

Elves. Just no. There are official Elven warbands they're broken too.
Broken items, the only one I can think of off the top of my head is the lucky rabbits foot just limit it to one per warband and your fine.

A note on rules, there are some dodgy rules compilations around these contain the author's house rules and special items. I would avoid these start with the official rules, they come in three parts which need to be downloaded separately.

I've tried SoBaH and Frostgrave I found them both competent but bland.

ordinarybass Inactive Member12 Oct 2017 1:24 p.m. PST

Are you serious?

Your words were:
"As I look thru the rules, there's some clunkiness to it"
"As an alternative that is similar, I was thinking about re-visiting Warhammer Fantasy Skirmish, but I can't seem to find where those rules are…I remember them being in a book, perhaps an annual? Can anyone direct me to them?"

Certainly sounded like you were open to alternatives.

I'm hoping you didn't complain about me since I directed you to Warhammer Skirmish resources but regardless I still think your complaint is overblown.

The Beast Rampant12 Oct 2017 3:06 p.m. PST

I like Mordheim. I like Frostgrave. They're both fantasy warband skirmishes with a VERY similar theme (how odd!), but I certainly don't feel FG replaces Mordheim.

FG is quick and dirty. Henchmen are pawns, not characters- they have no customizable equipment or experience upgrades.

Apples and oranges.

Queen Catherine12 Oct 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

Hey Lapsed Pacifist, Thanks for hitting the OP.

I'd heard of the Skaven Sling Mob, somewhere, and that Elves were overpowered, now that you mention it.

Just reading the rules I had a concern about a weapon that shoots 2x as much as other ones. I can't really see that, historically, a sling is faster than a bow since you have to have a wind-up period.

The two-weapon issue is similar – twice as many attacks, much like the sling. 2-Handed fighting is quite a difficult thing to do, so I agree that it should be some sort of a special ability, or -1 to both attacks.

Historically, a dagger was used as a secondary weapon, and Roman shields could punch as well as shield, and the trusty Highland Targe had a spike on it. Perhaps the historical route would be to say that unless one pays for the special ability, you can only use a dagger or Buckler as a secondary weapon, and only at -1 to both attacks.

I'll cut'n paste and keep all this in mind…

Codsticker12 Oct 2017 7:51 p.m. PST

If you are considering adding some house rules, I think heavy armour is over priced. The movement penalty is especially onerous for Dwarves. It should be no more that 40GC at most. A Mercenary Captain with 2 swords, light armour and a helmet will almost certainly fair better than the same Captain with heavy armour and a hand bag (both are the same price).

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 1:21 a.m. PST

LP hit a lot of the main issues.

Armor can be fixed by increasing all armor saves by one. So heavy armor and shield would go from a 4+ save to a 3+ save. I think there was an extensive discussion on this at Tom's Boring Mordheim Site. I have thoroughly playtested this and it works quite well, now making armor viable again.

Dual wield of weapons is a game breaker. We just did away with it and after 3+ campaigns with 8+ different warbands we found that worked best. The -1 to hit change won't fix the problem and daggers are free, effectively giving almost everyone two attacks. It gets even wonkier if you don't add the armor change above. So keep it simple and just allow one attack.

The Skaven are a problem and overpowered. In our campaigns we only allowed one Black Vermin and I think we took its WS down to 3. Not sure about the WS skill change but definitely only allowed one. For the slings we raised the cost of these to 8 or 10gp each but kept them at two shots. Our campaigns always had a lot of terrain so shooty bits warbands didn't throw things off. Sisters of Sigmar can also have slings if I recall.

The Shadow Elf warband is total pants. Don't use it.

The Carnival of Chaos warband also has a broken spell in it somewhere. I forget the name of it but it'll mess up your campaign. We never used this warband so I have no game experience I can point to other than by comments from very experienced players in other campaigns who have.

Some of the equipment we didn't use, like a lot of the pirate stuff. It just seemed to add unnecessary levels of complexity.

Disclaimer, I do like Mordheim a lot and it is probably my favorite miniatures campaign system. I looked at Frostgrave but it just didn't do it for me. I was really hoping it would but, alas.

Giles the Zog13 Oct 2017 3:36 a.m. PST

The supplements and Town Cryer info is here.

From memory, there was a version of the skirmish rules in WHFB v6 IIRC (sorry my books are in storage so i can't confirm). The General's Compendium for v7 may also have had some rules.

Whilst agreeing with most of the points about Skaven/Elves/2 hand weapons etc, we didn't change them. I also read that the armour was expensive, as it was meant to be a prestige item, not necessarily to turn the wearer into a tin can.

The one we did change was the Rabbits foot – after each d6 roll of 1,2, 3 and it was "used up".

I would recommend looking at Frostgrave at the very least for the scenarios, which IMHO are more interesting than the ones in the core Mordheim book. they would need some tweaking to tone the magical elements but could still be useful and thought provoking.

Giles the Zog13 Oct 2017 5:00 a.m. PST

Oh, and there is an AoS Skirmish supplement out as well – saw it in GW on Sunday.
(I did have a shower afterwards, and di use the brain bleach)

Capt Flash14 Oct 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

Have you looked at Coreheim? It supposedly fixes Mordheim. Unfortunately I have not played it due to one of my players feeling that skaven have been nerfed.


Codsticker15 Oct 2017 11:03 p.m. PST

I had heard about Coreheim but never checked it out. Thanks for the link.

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