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Rob Dean

Fantasy Skirmish/Warband Campaigns

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So, in our group we have been playing campaign Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago for the past several years.  This has whetted my appetite for some other war band campaign rules.

 

What do people like?  What I already know that I have includes Osprey/Oathsworn Burrows and Badgers, the Song of Deeds and Glory supplement for Song of Blades and Heroes, and Rangers of Shadowdeep.  (I have enough stuff that it's possible I have something else without realizing it...::P:

 

I don't have a copy of Mordheim, but that's clearly in this same sub-genre.

 

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Mordheim is a true classic. In many ways Frostrgrave is the spiritual successor to Mordheim (although, in Frostgrave, only the wizard and his apprentice gain experience). If you want a really nice set of rules I'd recommend Twelve Elements of War by Sword & Board Games (in Australia). It's a lovely set of rules that I'd love to play more often. It's a fairly generic fantasy game but with no racial factions. The factions (Miner's Guild, Necromancers, Guardsmen, Engineers etc) all accept members of every race so you can use whichever miniatures you want. It also has a surprisingly good campaign system and a nice magic system which utilises .. twelve elements (hence the game name).

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Mordheim is, indeed, the true classic of this style of game - and remains my all time favorite miniature game, many, many years later.

 

There is also Mantic Games Vanguard - where your warband is tied to a larger army, and functions as an independent unit, in ways similar to Intelligence Officers during the Napoleonic Wars.

 

The ties to the larger army are important because the actions of your unit of troublemakers can affect a larger battle.

 

So, one side might have a mission to light a signal beacon, while the other has orders to stop them.

 

If the beacon gets lit then the enemy is prepared, and has some extra reinforcements.

 

Like most warband style games the warbands acquire both experience and injuries over time.

 

An expansion is coming out in a short while,  Abyssal dwarfs vs. Northern Alliance - and adds weather to the game.

 

Megan is working on a map based campaign, but I don't know much about it yet.

 

*EDIT* The Battlefield Objectives set is worth getting, even if you don't play Vanguard - the signal beacon is in two parts, so it can be lit or unlit, and there are some rather nice standing stones as well - I have used the Objectives more in RPGs than for Vanguard itself. ::):

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Unfortunately, it does not include the Ronnie the Minstrel figure that came with the KS version. (Ronnie Renton - CEO of Mantic - dressed as a minstrel with a full one man band rig. There is a scenario where both sides are trying to kill him. ::P:

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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There's a living rulebook for Mordheim here. https://gurth.home.xs4all.nl/mordheim/Mordheim Living Rulebook.pdf It was our most played game back in the 90s and I still love the "idea" of it. After playing Frostgrave and other games I wanted to play Mordheim with the kids. The combat is soooooo slow compared to other games and for us that ruined it. Roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to see what the wound did. Kind of like the knock down and stand up parts. Have been toying with the idea of making Mordheim based warbands using the Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadowdeep rules. 

 

One I have but haven't played yet is Five Leagues from the Borderlands by Nordic Weasel. Like a lot of the ideas in it and have been thinking of adapting them to ROSD as they are what the kids really like right now instead of teaching them a new game. 

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Holy crap! I was in Grump's Mordheim campaign in the 90s!

 

YEARS before I thought I first met him!

 

I thought I first ran into him at a LARP, but it was Mordheim, when I was ten years old! ::o:

 

He was running it at a game store in the back of a barber shop! :blink:

 

The campaign was great!

 

The last game was a beast, everyone fighting to get on the last ship out of Mordheim, or make it out the gates, before the newly crowned Magnus the Pious burned the city.

 

Witchhunters, Reiklanders, and undead against everyone else. BIG table, in an L shape. Undead were Von Carstein's, and he was trying to keep his seat among the Elector Counts.

 

I remembered the game PERFECTLY, but forgot GRUMP! :lol:

 

My warband made it out, mostly.

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You have no idea how glad I am that neither one of us remembered that. :blink:

 

I do remember a little girl named Megan, but thankfully I never made the connection.

 

It would have scared the bejeebers outta me.

 

The Auld Grump

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We just played a game of Mordheim - Street Fight, two fresh warbands - Undead vs. Pirates. Megan's Pirates were an all female crew.

 

I won with the Undead, but mostly by just barreling past her, using sacrificial zombies as a screen for as long as I could. (The zombies couldn't run, anyway, so I had them charge in and die. I took down one of her pirate henchmen with them - but he survived, as did two of the zeds. The third decided to compete in the two meter daisy push, but managed to tie up Megan's Captain for a couple of turns.)

 

My dregs moved and shot with bows for the first two turns - not very effectively, then ran pell mell for the end of the street.

 

My necromancer had Lifestealer... short range, high difficulty, I would not have shed many tears had he died. (Instead he showed his true colors, and ran like a bunny.)

 

My Vampire may deserve the name Sir Robin of Brettonia... 'When danger reared its ugly head, he turned about and bravely fled'.... He won the bonus point for First Off The Table. (He doesn't have a shield yet, but... I know his heraldric device. ::P:)

 

Dire wolf likewise beat feet across the table.

 

Aside from two plinking shots each from the two dregs, and the zombie suicide run I did not try to engage in combat at all. (I did fake it with the vamp - pretty sure Megan expected me to charge her Captain, not run right past him and have a zed charge the Captain instead.)

 

Most scenarios I would not have been quite so craven - but Street Fight is more a race off the table than a battle, Objective wise. (I have had a battle where neither side engaged at all, just ran past each other - and went so far as to arrange it between the two Leaders. (Reiklanders vs. Undead. The Von Carstein Connection.)

 

Exploration wise - I found three pieces of Wyrdstone, and another at the bottom of a Well (double ones on my exploration dice). Sold all four off immediately, getting enough to hire a ghoul in place of the dead zed and a weapon upgrade for one of the Dregs.

 

Megan found 4 GC on a still warm corpse, as well as three pieces of Wyrdstone.

 

None of us gained enough experience to advance.

 

The Auld Grump

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He went "Meep! Meep!" As his vamp went streaking by. <_<

 

 There was no real winner or loser, the only figures taken out of combat was one crewman and three zombies, and only one of the zombies stayed down.

 

The game is REALLY won or lost in the exploration and injury phases. It's really all about the wyrdstone.

 

Grump uses zombies as rabid sacrificial lambs.

 

He may think of his vamp as Sir Robin, but, really, he is Shaggy.  I wonder if anyone makes an undead Great Dane mini? Ruh roh!

 

I need a scenario where my Bonnie Lasses can kill things and gain XP.

 

Challenging Jon or Julie next, bring them into this thing. No meta plot, just a short campaign. Half a dozen players if we can get them and each playing a dozen games.

 

So Jon and Julie owe each other a game, and if I can bring Chris and Amber in we can have an all married couples campaign.

 

Or maybe Dennis and Jen, not married, but a couple. Again. They've broken up six times by my count, then keep getting back together. No rancor when they break up, and six months to a year later, they are back together. I guess that is just part of their dynamic?

Edited by PaganMegan
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Recruited Dennis and Jen.

 

Dennis is playing orcs, Jen is playing Sisters.

 

One game each week for each player.

 

Miss a week, there will be no make up game.

 

If your opponent shows and you don't then your opponent wins, and we will assume Street Fight.

 

Exploration and Injury rolls take place with the group, but battles can take place wherever and whenever in the week, as long as both players agree on what happened to whom.

 

Jon and Julie are playing tonight. Julie is playing Dwarf Treasurehunters. Jon is playing Averlanders.

 

After the first game we will be drawing lots for who fights whom, with people who have already fought being removed from the lots.

 

So I could face Jen, Julie, Jon, or Dennis, but not Grump.

 

Trying to get Chris and Amber too, but they are less likely.

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