Behind closed doors

Posted by  | Wednesday, October 26, 2011  at 8:32 PM  

As mentioned in the previous entry we recently gained a Witch Hunters player in our test campaign. Brother Klaus zealously smashed our custom cultists gang of Stromfels Reavers in the last round. The dark buccaneer Scurvy Dick and his crew of Wreckers took it all it good humour of course, I hope!

Periodically fellow enthusiasts ask me how the campaign development is progressing. This suggests I need to reveal more insights about the current state of my mutinous setting's plot here! Bearing in mind it took the best part of 5 years for Border Town Burning to be completed, I am in no hurry to reach the finishing post with Mutiny In Marienburg. However, knowing progress is happening always makes for great bulletins.

The frustrating thing about the playtesting we're doing (for me) is that we're not testing out any new Exploration or Random Happenings (yet!) so we're utilising the original Mordheim lists. I have notes drawn up for them but for various reasons it's not the right time to work on these chapters. This means the test campaign feels looser in theme than I would like. On the upside there are less questions being raised. I'm still devising campaign plots (for warband objectives) and this will be ongoing. It will probably be influenced by player decisions somewhat I feel. The main reason the Random Haps & Exploration are on hold is because Border Town Buring was conceived somewhat back-to-front and I don't want to have to pick-apart work and put it back together again as we did back then. LoL. We learned a lot about the game by making mistakes that couldn't be helped at the time. In the long run it all came good.

In my test campaign we are at the stage where we have some outstanding scenarios that are working. One has its own built in Random Haps meaning it functions similarly to Last Orders! scenario (from Border Town Burning & Nemesis Crown) which I hope everyone counts as a favourite because there are lots of taverns in Marienburg on the waterfronts.

I have 7 functional warband list drafts for the Marienburg gangs which players in my gaming group have been happily using. These have been tailored to waterside adventure of course. I have leaked early drafts of these documents internationally to guys who are committed to modelling & painting to a very high standard or GM's who are running their own gaming group. A gentlemen from the forum contacted me this week asking to see a copy of the rules for Sea Elf Rangers. He and others have the impression this is a Lothern Sea Guard warband! It is not. Without sounding like an ass, I'd hope for obvious reasons I cannot just dole out copies of incomplete rules and unfinished work. Please only ask if you can help!

I will take a look through folks scenario suggestions if I think they are relevant to Marienburg. We have been playing a new scenario with a rescue element that features a lagoon monster. It's not exclusively about rescue and the damsel is actually an NPC. The objective isn't to destroy the monster either which makes it far more conducive to developing tactics than other decent scenarios I've seen on the forum which share similar themes.

Got another rescue scenario in mind. At first I simply wished to include a jailbreak scenario to choose to play when warriors are being placed under arrest by the watch. The first theme that I imagined being useful was an escape proposition, based on the the prison island Rijker's in the mouth of the Reik. The subsequent idea was to employ a gallows for an execution scenario in the Hangman's Square where coaches entering the city by either gate terminate their journeys. It's one of the few open spaces in the ward, on the island of Luydenhoek. I want to use evoking themes when creating scenarios, not just employ sets of rules.

I love a lot of old Town Cryer articles so I have been reprocessing (data-cleansing!) various materials to clarify them for appropriate use and improve campaign play. On top of scenarios & warband lists, the support documents for my current test campaign are split into the following resources;

Published here under Rules:
- Corrupted Characters (mutation, tainted goods, all aspects of Chaos activity)
- Swords Of The Empire (players easy reference of HS to be more inclined to hire)
- Miracle Workers (options for holier Heroes)

- New Rules (charts or guidelines that don't fit elsewhere yet)
- Marketplace (post-battle sequence rules summary revitalising aspects of Encampments)
- Infamous Haunts (post-battle sequence rules for underworld location visits streamlining aspects of Encampments)

As for the new warbands, there isn't a Fimir warband list to speak of because it's virtually impossible to devise an original one that accurately reflects the lore. However, the Forge World team pledged in some official capacity at UK Games Day to release Fimir Warrior miniatures which is great because I did previously mention this to a few of their staff. New rules are slated for the 2nd Warhammer Forge book. It is said to be being released under the name 'Monstrous Arcana'.

I must compose some sort of grand introduction for the Gangs of Marienburg. Until I do reveal more on gangs these shadowy characters will continue to fight their battles behind the closed doors of their shady gambling den hide-outs.

Watchtower of Solace

Posted by  | Sunday, October 2, 2011  at 5:54 PM  

This Sunday afternoon I added a fresh piece of terrain to my already heavily populated Marienburg campaign table. Apologies that proper stills of the board haven't made there way into the Liber gallery just yet, there are some professional quality images being uploaded quite soon, honest!

Sigmar's Solace, Witch Hunters headquarters in Marienburg

A plastic kit Warhammer watchtower has been gathering dust on the modelling desk in my flat since the beginning of the Summer. I collected it from a local hobbyist for 5 gold crowns (well, pounds sterling) pre-assembled and had to break off the steps and reattach them so they fit properly. A few hours were spent painting the tower to loosely match it up with the rest of my buildings and fortresses which were scratch-built and kit-bashed by Carl Merrell (aka Shanks on Tom's Forum).

Watchtowers are iconic in Warhammer games. The Watchtower is symbolic of the old Town Cryer articles for Mordheim by the same name. This handy guide to reference past articles was resurrected by Chris Templin a few years ago. Here is a link to his article Rebuilding the Watchtower. These dusty gems still serve us in one format or another.

What prompted me to work on the tower was a new entrant in the campaign I am running. David Jarezembowski has brought the Templars of Sigmar to Marienburg! The classic Witch Hunters warband suits Dave perfectly. He's one of those gamers whose competitive nature gives the more casual players a fright! Dave's zeal is happily balanced with a head for the Warhammer background, so although he plans to burn or drown any witches & heretics he encounters, his motives are laying the foundations for a fun-packed adventure story. Dave is a veteran of every Games Workshop game apart from Mordheim. His vast experience of Warhammer and Necromunda set him in excellent stead for the intrigue and battles to come.

Witch hunters have absolutely no jurisdiction in Marienburg. Sigmar has little to no favour in the city-port and Imperial laws are void since is seceded from the Empire's rule! I figured that a 'temporary' base of operations for the templars was still only fitting. The witch hunter captain needs somewhere to interrogate suspects once they get a license to pursue their investigations signed and sealed by the Executive Council of the Stadsraad. A small fortified watchtower seemed perfect to represent Sigmar's Solace, or 'Sigmartrost' in Reikspiel.

One of the new scenario ideas I had for this city setting is 'Stockade'. In this core scenario a fortified tower surrounded by a defensive barrier is used as the battleground for what I originally intended to be a homage to the scenario 'Blockade' from Border Town Burning. A few of the other new scenarios have been completed for 'Mutiny in Marienburg'. We have been using these plus original Mordheim and Border Town Burning scenarios to playtest the 7 gangs of Marienburg. Yeh, that's 7 new warbands folks!

In a new scenario called 'Dead Bait' the warbands enter a fighting pit in the Marienburg underworld. The forces from each gang are split. 3 warriors are nominated as Champions to fight in the baiting pit against each other plus the hulking pit gladiators! The remainder of the warband are (supposed to be) spectators but inevitably end up baiting one another while the pitfight reaches its bloody conclusion.

This weeks scenario we've been testing is 'Creature from the Black Market Lagoon'. One warband is using a kidnapped damsel as live bait to distract an aquatic monster that is menacing their secret smuggling dock. While they load their illegal goods another warband leads a rescue party to save the damsel.

In addition to the witch hunters arrival, there are a couple more clandestine entrants to the campaign. Steve Hume (aka 'Canada') has already won his first battle using Cathayan Battle Monks. Trev (TreGod on Tom's Forum) is lining up his Elf warband. for which you can view from his WiP thread on Tom's Boring Mordheim Forum. He is plotting to foil my uranai rangers with his druchii corsairs. Trev is actually stylizing his elves based on the Sea Elf Rangers warband list, but because I am already playing with this gang in the campaign we agreed it would be more fun if he uses the Dark Elf warband list from the Lustria setting. The corsairs are infiltrating Marienburg in the guise of sea elves to wreak havoc by fulfilling their hateful prophecies.