- Involved with /tg/heim
Mordheim Houserules Collection
A collection of various house rules for Mordheim currently not in use in the Open League, but may be interesting for those trying to set up a private league. The rationale and other comments behind the rules are in italics.
Campaign and League Options
Allow Leaders to be Sacked - Leaders may be dismissed from a warband and will pass on the Leader skill and any other abilities as if he had died. You still may not hire a new leader.
By a strict RAW interpretation, leaders actually do not pass on their leader ability (and other abilities if applicable) if dismissed from a warband, or if forced to retire from other causes, like being blinded in both eyes. This is a quick and simple patch to allow players to retire a leader who has a lot of career-ending injuries, but still makes losing a leader just as rough.
Apothecary (30gc) - You may hire the services of a apothecary to attend to serious injuries after a battle. This costs 30gc per serious injury roll, but you may pay for treatment after selling wyrdstone. An Apothecary cannot be hired multiple times to re-roll the same serious injury.
For Hero injuries, you may re-roll the "ones" d6 on the d66, and you may take either the new result or the old result. For henchmen, a "dead" result can be canceled by rolling 6 on 1d6. An apothecary cannot be hired to re-roll "Robbed", "Captured", or "Sold to the Pits" results (though he may be hired for injuries resulting from a pit fight).
This option doesn't particularly reduce the chance of death and keeps Mordheim fairly lethal (only 1 in 6 chance to avoid death), but is more intended to allow warriors to cancel out a very bad multiple injuries result, or allow you a little more control over the fate of an injured warrior - after all, some injuries are worse than others depending on the warrior's specialization. Being able to choose between the lesser of two evils is the big draw for this option.
Undertaker (40gc) - You may hire the services of an undertaker in the case of the death of a character in your warband, who, aside from giving your (wo)man a decent burial, may salvage some equipment. Roll a d6 for each item the dead warrior possesses (roll separately for each pistol in a brace); on a 5+ the item is salvaged and returned to your warband's inventory. Other items are lost as normal. You may pay for an undertaker after selling wyrdstone, but you cannot buy the services of two undertakers for the same model!
This option provides some insurance for a very, very expensive warrior. You are likely going to lose a lot of equipment on death, but you might be able to salvage some. A fairer model might make the cost scale to the value of the warrior's equipment, but it may come across as a little gamey.
Surgeon (50gc+10gc upkeep) - If you play with this variant, roll on the Serious Injury table every time a character is taken Out of Action (do not roll them in the post-game). Warbands may hire a surgeon (or necromantic specialist, or daemon healer, whatever is thematically appropriate) for 50gc +10gc upkeep, that gives one reroll on the serious injury table per battle. When a warrior is seriously injured, you may choose to use your Surgeon's reroll on it - but only one reroll is allowed per battle. If the Surgeon reroll is not used immediately, then the serious injury result stands.
Field Surgeon (skill) - similar mechanic as above - roll for serious injuries immediately. This is considered an Academic skill that appropriate heroes and hired swords can learn. In order to use the reroll, the model with this skill must move in base to base contact with the downed model you wish to treat(obviously, do not remove OoA models from the board, or if you do, place a marker indicating their last location). Models are still considered out of action for the rest of the battle even if they do receive medical treatment (they may not return to combat, and heroes may not roll in the Exploration phase, etc.). Only one reroll per battle is ever allowed in this way, regardless of the number of field surgeons the warband has. Multiple models may still take the skill as backups(as it's possible a field surgeon may be knocked Out of Action before treating anyone, and two field surgeons can more easily reach different models).
These two provide more potent injury treatment than the Apothecary option, but can only be used once. Having you roll the serious injuries progressively also forces you to think about whether you want to spend that reroll immediately or save it for a potentially worse case. I recommend using either the Surgeon option *or* the Field Surgeon skill, not both. If desired you can also combine this with Apothecary and Undertaker rules.
Alternate Henchmen Advances for Large Groups - Roll for a number of advances equal to the size of the group, and then pick ONE advance for the entire group. If you roll "the lads got talent", you may pick that and a different advance for the remaining henchmen. Note henchmen are still subject to typical henchmen maximums.
This helps even up the discrepancy between small henchman groups and large groups. Having lots of small groups, under the basic rules, is better because you have more chances to get talent rolls, and you have total freedom in equipping them, but is rather meta-gamey. With this change, larger groups are still inflexible equipment-wise, but give you greater control over how they grow, and provides an incentive to buy henchmen in large groups.
Underdogs may take free Hired Swords - Underdogs may trade the xp bonus for a free hired sword. 1 xp allows you to take 1 free hired sword for the battle, 2 xp allows you to take 2, and so on.
One issue with underdog matches - send a couple sacrificial mooks forward, let them get put OoA, voluntary rout, just to collect xp. This is an attempt at giving the underdog band some ability to actually win the scenario.
Exploration Phase rerolls can be used for any income-related roll in the postgame, not just wyrdstone income. For example, if you discovered the Fletcher encounter, you could choose to re-roll the D6 that determined what you found (assuming you didn't already spend your reroll on wyrdstone income). Similarly you could reroll a Well Toughness test, a treasure chest loot roll, etc. These could be from any source - Maps, Wyrdstone Hunter, etc.
By RAW the Exploration Phase actually refers to the entire income segment, so one could make the argument you could use rerolls at any point in the income process. May result in more rare/nice items turning up in campaigns as a result of encounters - but good ones are fairly difficult to get anyway without rerolls for multiple results.
Roll for Encounters in the Exploration Phase as normal, but wyrdstone income is always 1D3 shards; the winner of a match gains an additional 1D3 shards. Effects that grant an exploration dice reroll instead allow you to add +1/-1 to the dice. Thus at the end of the match each player rolls exploration dice for the number of heroes they have that have not been put Out of Action, resolves encounters as normal, but earn only 1D3 shards for income (the winner gains 2D3).
This idea attempts to de-link income from hero count without having to re-write the entire income table. There's also a much bigger potential gain for winning a match, and income is still gained even in a situation where most heroes are knocked Out of Action. Over the long term this makes the loss of a hero less crippling as well - and heroes are already valuable fighters in their own right. The bigger gains should encourage taking more risks and more "heroic" actions by heroes; and within a league setting hopefully keeps warbands at a much more even rate of progression. Keeping heroes alive is still incentivized by the fact some Encounters are quite good.
Territory-based Campaign Brainstorming
Various ideas for a Territory Campaign using the Mordheim city map. Objectives are to:
a)provide an overarching campaign objective that can declare a winner without requiring the warband to have the best win/loss record (but still advantages a good win/loss record)
b)provide ways and methods to buffer against catastrophic loss *without* allowing for greater snowballs
c)provide incentives for actually fighting, staying, and trying to win scenarios, rather than playing with a "mitigate loss" mentality.
Home bases for Territory Campaigns: Every Warband starts with a home base which grants an additional benefit.
- Mercenaries may start in any location except the Pit.
- Witch Hunters may only begin in Brigandsburg, Cutthroat's Den, or Sigmar's Haven
- Undead and Skaven may only begin in Cutthroat's Den or Black Pit Settlement
- Possessed may only begin in Black Pit Settlement or The Pit
- Sisters may only begin in Sigmar's Haven
Need to do some brainstorming for other warbands, if they are included.
Brigandsburg - 10% off cost of common items
Cutthroat's Den - You may re-roll one die when rolling for henchman XP, but you must accept the second result.
Sigmar's Haven - Proper funeral services net you 1d6gc in funeral offerings for every warrior that is killed in action.
Black Pit Settlement - Easy access to vices means you can count your warband as one man (not one step) less when selling wyrdstone.
The Pit - You may re-roll one die when rolling on the "Rewards of the Shadowlord" table, but you must accept the second result.
Most of these bonuses have to do with the postgame. Some of them probably allow for easier snowballs, but the intent is to provide easier ways of bouncing back after a bad defeat or pyrrhic victory.
Turn Actions: During a league turn, a warband may engage in up to two actions - either a:
- Expedition - roll on the Expedition scenario table. This will consist mostly of "income-earning" scenarios such as Wyrdstone Hunt, Hidden Treasure, Chance Encounter, etc.
- Assault - made against another player's controlled territory, or a territory both players want. Roll on the Assault scenario table - this will include more direct conflict engagements like Skirmish or Surprise Attack. Players may spend wyrdstone to influence the probability of getting a certain result.
- Warpstone Fragment Recovery - see below.
Wyrdstone income from Territory Control: At the end of a league turn, you make an exploration roll, rolling 1d6 for each territory you control and gaining wyrdstone based on the exploration table. Ignore any results from the Encounter table - only wyrdstone is earned. Warbands who did not engage in *any* actions this league turn may roll an extra d6. You may not sell this wyrdstone immediately; it goes straight into the warband treasury, but it may be sold in post-battle segments as usual.
This is an attempt to allow warbands some sort of buffer against poor income phases. Since you can't sell their wyrdstone immediately, warbands who do well on Exploration gain a more marginal benefit; while bands who have suffered can still get back on their feet. Hopefully this, coupled with encampment bonuses, will enable players to take more risks in battle.
Warpstone Fragment Recovery: A warband may pay 3 wyrdstone (before Territory Income? After?) and attempt to claim one of the 12 Warpstone Fragments around the city. If the territory is controlled by their warband, they gain control of it. If the territory is not, they will have to smuggle it out from the territory's owner! Play a modified Wyrdstone Hunt scenario, using only the Warpstone Fragment(s) in the centre of the table. The Fragment is encumbering and halves the movement of a warrior carrying it; two warriors may work together to move the Fragment at full speed. If victorious, the claiming player may move the fragment to a territory under his control that is closest to the original location. Include all players that are attempting to claim the same fragment (which means you could have a multiplayer scenario).
Fragment Names: Crescent Fragment, Waxing Fragment, Gibbous Fragment, Halved Fragment, Full Fragment, Waning Fragment, Slivered Fragment, Eclipse Fragment, New Fragment, Moonrise Fragment... etc. Various lunar phenomena.
Warpstone Fragment Bonus: Each Warpstone Fragment held will provide some sort of strategic or tactical bonus, such as allowing Rout Test rerolls.
League scoring: After X turns, each warband is scored based on territory control, Warpstone Fragments held (should be the biggest contributor), and possibly number of wins. Highest score wins.
Two Weapon Fighting Penalty - either:
- -1 to all attacks if two weapons are used
- -1 with the off-hand only. (and possibly -1S on the offhand attack)
- -1 to the two weapon attacks (but extra attacks from the attacks characteristic and other sources as normal)
- Possible addition to any of these is to create a new Ambidexterity skill under the Combat skill list that removes TWF penalties.
Shields give +2 Armour save in CC
In terms of the actual math involved, in order to have a hand weapon/shield combo roughly equivalent to weapon/weapon combination, in terms of wounds inflicted, you need to implement -1 to at least the two weapon attacks and +2 armour save from shields in CC. This doesn't account for the increased chance of rolling a critical hit with two weapons, or the versatility of carrying two weapon types, but it brings both closer together.
Making multiple attacks in CC gives -1 to hit regardless of the source. You may always choose to make just 1 attack at your base to-hit
One issue with Two-Weapon Fighting penalties is that things get kind of thorny regarding definitions. It also doesn't solve the fundamental problem that a +A advance, or warriors with multiple attacks base, are far and away the best sort of upgrades you can get. This one is a blanket fix to make multiple attacks more of a tactical decision.
Double-handed weapons strike first on charge
Makes double-handed weapons quite potent and almost a direct upgrade from the flail. Use caution, many do not recommend this.
Critical Hit Confirm - any critical hits scored must be "confirmed" by making a WS test with the attacking model.
Makes crits less frequent and makes swarming a highly skilled enemy with mooks and hoping to get lucky a little more difficult. Heroes will confirm crits a lot easier due to their ability to get high WS growth.
More Armour Friendly Crit Table - 1-2:double wound, 3-4:double wound, -1 armour save, +1 injury rolls, 5-6:double wound, -2 armour save, +2 injury rolls
Another way to reduce the power of the crit jackpot. Armour actually can save you against critical injuries (and perhaps may be the only defence against them). Playing with the wound/modifier/injury bonus numbers and tiers (or removing them altogether) can drastically alter the power of critical hits. Use with caution - crits are what make Mordheim swingy enough that a bunch of scrappy dudes can beat an Ogre.
Break Tests for warriors - if a warrior is knocked OoA, all warriors of his warband currently within 6" must take a Ld test or flee. (as per the Necromunda rules, tinkering with this)
Leadership tends to matter only for fear and Rout tests, which makes the Leadership characteristic rather marginal. This is an attempt at making battlefield morale a little more important, and this also makes high leadership much more important for swarm warbands like Skaven!
Charging Multiple Opponents Clarification (Type A) - if you declare a charge on two models and can only reach one of them, treat the result as a failed charge. However, if the regular move distance from a failed charge result can bring you into base contact with at least one target of the charge then you may count this as a charge.
Charging Multiple Opponents Clarification (Type B) - if the most direct charge path to a model allows you to be in contact with 2 enemies, you have the option of charging them both, but if you have to add distance or change the direct route to get base contact with 2 enemies, you cannot charge them both.
Charging Multiple Opponents Clarification (Type C) - Select only one target for your charge. If your movement allowance is enough to allow you to get into base-to-base contact with more models, you may choose to place the warrior in base to base with multiple models and count as charging all of them.
Various rulings that make tying up several models with a multiple charge more difficult and/or more clear. Type B also has the effect of making interceptions on a multiple charger a little more straightforward (one of the pair can no longer "step in front" to intercept).
Overwatch. Warriors with ranged weapons can go into overwatch mode. Any model moving into their LOS is shot at at a -1 penalty (prepared shot weapons such as Handguns/Pistols need to be eligible to fire, and count as having shot in the player's turn that just passed if they do so). Quick shot, flurries, or other special abilities that increase the number of shots fired may not be used.
Hopefully this idea isn't too unfamiliar to anyone who knows skirmish/tactics games (this was back in 2e 40k in the early 90s, even). This adds a lot of tactical depth with even just a pair of shooters, allowing you to control lanes and attempt to herd/suppress your opponent.
Brainless warriors (such as zombiess), animals, cavalry, and large warriors may not hide.
Cavalry, large warriors, and animals may not climb.
Both of these give "normal" warriors a bit more tactical flexibility and an incentive to use them over cheaper animals or zombies, or more powerful cavalry/large warriors, without being completely illogical about what can and cannot hide. The latter is a bit of a clarification - some animals specifically state they're unable to climb in the entry, while some cannot - why not make it a universal rule?
All armour has bonus increased by +1. Armour saves always fail on a 1.
Clunky way to improve the power of armour but at the same time not a character capable of becoming invincible.
Use AP values for weapons instead of save modifiers. Armour saves always fail on a 1.
Makes high saves immensely more potent. Borrowed from 40k and as such may not work very well in Mordheim's environment (where there are less models, and less predictable access to armour-hunting specialists).
Parries force attacker to reroll successful hit. 6s still may not be parried (although this could be overturned). Similar mechanic to older 40k editions.
Makes parry somewhat more predictable, and generally more useful on high WS characters (as characters with low WS could easily be hit again). Under the current iteration, it's actually easier for a low-WS warrior to pull off successful parries. Note this may not play well with specialized parry rules - use at your own risk!
Parry roll is added to defender WS, then compared vs attack roll + attacker WS. If the parry value is higher, then the attack is parried.
Similar to the above houserule, makes parry stronger on high WS warriors and weaker on low WS warriors. Doesn't break as many additional special parry rules as it still requires getting a value over.
Handgun improvements - many, many ideas, grouped by their general variation (increasing strength, improving injury results, removing move/fire, changing cost/niche):
- Handguns are S5
- Handguns are S5 when in short range only (makes handguns a high risk/reward option, as short range means you're probably not getting a second shot...)
- Handguns give +1 to injury rolls
- Handguns roll 2 injury rolls for each injury (possibly too good)
- Handguns may move and fire (possibly with no penalty)
- Handguns may move and fire. Handguns may be fired every turn if the firer has not moved. Regular reloading rules apply if the firer moved. (possibly also add this to Crossbows)
- No modifications but reduce cost to similar to Crossbow (specialized anti-armour weapons that need to reload)
- Reduce cost to 15gc (same as longbow), and Handguns take a -2 penalty on long range attacks (makes them cheap short range punch that takes time to reload)
- Handguns force an All-Alone test if they hit a target who is eligible (i.e. not packed in with a group, representing the devastating psychological impact of a salvo)
- Exclude Crossbows from Quick Shot (not exactly a "fix for handguns", though...)
- Use custom critical charts and only allow handguns to ignore armour saves on a critical hit result
An attempt to give these much maligned black powder weapons some usefulness. You could do two options but it might make them too good. Then again shots are few and far between...
EquipmentPrice rebalances: A lot here - some already mentioned under the handguns entry or armour entry.
- Make Clubs/Maces cost 5-7gc. At 3gc the humble mace is really the no brainer henchman option and Concussion kicks in a lot more than the more expensive Axe armour penalty.
- Halve cost of mundane armours across the board.
- Long rifles cost 75-100gc. The ability to pick a target is rather marginal considering it's not hard to find a building to climb.
Complete Rules Makeovers
These rulesets consist of dramatic changes to Mordheim and thus may have a slightly different overall 'flavour'.
Rebalanced Core Warbands
An attempt to flatten the power/expense curve between the core warbands.
A complete rules overhaul, focused on standardizing rules concepts and making battlefield performance more predictable. Notable changes include:
- Removal of WS comparison table. WS works exactly as BS for determining hit numbers - a linear increase
- Only includes Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Skaven, Possessed, and Undead bands.
- Friendly models block LOS for missile weapons
- Many changes to equipment niches/functions/prices, as well as warbands, in an attempt to remove 'dud', 'underpowered', or 'trap' options
- Charges may be done out of LOS up to full movement with an I test
- No run restrictions due to enemy presence (instead a warrior's M characteristic defaults to double (i.e. 8" for a human), and to shoot you must make half-moves)
- If attacker has double S to target's T and hits, you may choose to auto-wound (without the possibility of a crit).
- Various psychological effects give a more consistent effect (Fear causes -2WS in all circumstances, for example)
Overall the changes create a more "predictable" game - where it's easier to estimate how well a warrior will do in combat based on his statline, his opponents, and the overall situation. Lucky streaks are still possible but a better warrior will consistently do better. Some may consider this a lot blander than regular Mord though.
Uses the Coreheim base rules, but overhauls the warband list in an attempt to add back in more diversity, albeit with a stronger Warhammer flavour.
- Splits Mercenaries into 3 completely different lists - Riekland, Middenheim, and Marienburg - with completely different hero and henchmen options, unique skills, etc.
- Many warbands get a henchmen choice that is exactly the same as a hired sword option (but without the hired sword upkeep and other normal drawbacks). Hired Swords are still available as usual.
- Henchmen options are generally much wider and much more diverse - usually 4 or 5 different henchmen types (compared to 3 or 4 in normal Mordheim).
- Some hero skills changed and tweaked compared to Coreheim
Overall has a stronger "Warhammer Fantasy Skirmish" - the extended options in each list means that two bands using the same warband rules can look very different! As it uses the base Coreheim rules some of the same caveats apply.