Captive honour

Posted by  | Saturday, November 24, 2012  at 4:30 PM  

Captive warriors is a topical subject. It happens to be a topic I have been burning to write about this season. I recently relabelled all my topics on Liber Malefic accordingly.


Further campaign information on what Dark Elves and Chaos Dwarf warbands can do with captives can be referenced in my Hired Swords compilation article: Swords of the Empire - Mordheim Compendium of Hired Swords
Prisoners of War
One of the by-products of the Mordheim campaign rules is that warriors can be taken captive by another warband. When a Hero is captured as a result of rolling on the Serious Injuries Chart, limited options are available.

Playing a Border Town Burning campaign or using Hired Swords, can lead to other situations where warriors are captured. Consequently, despicable warbands being played in the spirit of their character might fulfil the unpleasant objective of taking prisoners and putting them to work or death.

Dark Elf and Chaos Dwarf warbands will never consent to freeing captured warriors. Any captured once-proud individuals can be put to far better use as a slave. Browbeaten warriors suffer the same humiliating fate, to be chain-ganged then forced to search for treasure and scavenge for wyrdstone!

After a battle nominate which captured warriors are being assigned to search for treasure and wyrdstone. At the end of the Exploration procedure roll a D6 for each captured warrior who was nominated. Add the results to the total score from the Exploration dice result used to calculate the number of wyrdstones shards or treasure found.

Furthermore, on a roll of 1 the captured warrior has mustered the strength and courage to bite back against his oppressors! The warrior has slipped past the fiends guard and returns to his original warband a Hero. Treat a Henchman as receiving 'The lads got talent' and the Hero gains D6+2 Experience points. If the roll made was a 6 the prisoner has been overworked, exposed to too much wyrdstone, and suffered so terribly at the hands of his tormentors that he has expired! Either result means removing the captured warrior from the Dark Elf or Chaos Dwarf player’s roster.

If Hired Swords or Dramatis Personae are captured then they are treated in exactly the same way as any other warrior. Alternatively, if the Hired Sword is eligible to be hired by the warband then treat the warrior as having been hired. No hire fee is necessary but any upkeep cost must still be met after each battle.
Models that cannot be captured by a Chaos Dwarf with a man-catcher (or Clan Skyre/Moulder Hero armed with a spike-jawed snatcher, yes skaven can buy man-catchers in Marienburg!) should be easily determined by checking the entry for the target model. If it counts as being large then it cannot be grabbed!

I have uploaded a scenario from 'Mutiny in Marienburg' called Powder Bridge that includes some material on non-player character hostages.

This is not my full package for guidelines on this subject. I have written a special scenario for the campaign called Swap Meat which Eliazar played during his recent visit. This scene provides more detail on using hostage markers as scenario objectives.

Captured models from enemy warbands form collateral in campaigns. While it is true that players can become despondent when capture experiences occur, there are a number of ways this can happen in the game rules; Serious Injury, Man-catcher, Bounty Hunter Hired Sword, Slaver Hired Sword, Ogre Slavemaster Hired Sword.


In the Marienburg setting there are a few additional means for this situation happening. These include;
1. Slaver* special skill for Mobsters warband.
2. Slaver* special skill for warband leader from a warband achievement from completing objectives from 'The Body Trade' plot.
3. Warriors being placed under arrest by warbands following the 'Guardians of the Peace' plot. Guidelines for this will be included with a scenario called Dead Freight.
*There may never be more than two warriors with this skill in the warband at any one time.
In my campaign the matter of captured warband members has become a hot topic. It is still a delicate subject. The principals for freeing captured Heroes and Henchmen (remember Hired Swords count as switching sides when the capturing warband can normally hire them!) are on page 119 in the Mordheim Rulebook;
1. The warrior may be ransomed at a price set by the captor or exchanged for one of their warband who is being held captive.
2. Captives may be sold to slavers at a price of D6x5 gold crowns.
3. Undead may kill their captive and gain a new zombie.
4. The Possessed may sacrifice the prisoner. The leader of the warband will gain +1 Experience if they do so.
5. Captives who are exchanged or ransomed retain all their weapons, armour and equipment; if captives are sold, killed, or turned to Zombies, their weaponry etc. is retained by their captors.
Using campaign achievements earned through completing warband objectives, I have found it is possible to reinterpret how a certain kind of warband must respond when taking captives. The reason for this was to provide agreeable stories that will allow players to return Heroes to their starting warband! Here are some examples of this.
Plot: Drowning the Witch - 10 Campaign Points
Warbands: Witch Hunters, Sisters of Sigmar and Mercenaries hiring a Warrior-Priest of Sigmar may follow this plot.
Torture: Instead of searching for a rare item during the post battle sequence, the leader of a Witch Hunters warband can organise an interrogation to coax information out of an unwilling suspect. On a successful Strength test, the torturer prizes a secret from a captured Hero. The Witch Hunters gain 1 extra Campaign Point. Whichever warband the captured warrior belonged to loses 1 Campaign Point and the warrior is returned to their warband. The captured Hero is released after being interrogated.

Plot: The Body Trade – 10 Campaign Points
Warbands: Dark Elf Corsairs, Mobsmen, Norse Explorers, Arabyan Raiders, Brionnese Pirates, Maneaters, Marauders of Chaos and Chaos Dwarf warbands may follow this plot.
Slaver Ring: The warband joins a slaver ring. The warband may trade any captured warriors from other warbands. The warband leader gains the 'Slaver' skill. There may never be more than two warriors with this skill in the warband at any one time. Any Hero or Henchman put out of action in hand-to-hand combat by a Slaver will automatically be captured (see 'Captured' on the Serious Injuries chart, p.119 of the Mordheim Rulebook). Heroes or Henchmen captured may not be eaten or ransomed to another warband during the post battle sequence. Heroes or Henchmen captured may be exchanged with their starting warband for hostages or captured warriors. Whenever another player sells captives to slavers at a price of D6x5 gold crowns, they should be offered to warbands in the slaver ring. If two or more warbands join a slaver ring roll dice to determine who buys each captive.

Plot: Gaze of the Gods – 5 Campaign Points
Warbands: Beastmen and Fimir warbands, Cults of Chaos including Cult of Possessed, Carnival of Chaos and Stromfels Reavers may follow this plot.
Sacrificial Stone: Any Hero or Henchman captured by the warband must be sacrificed, despite any arrangement with a Hired Sword that was hired by the warband. ie, Slaver. Instead of searching for a rare item during the post battle sequence, one or more of the Heroes in the warband may visit the Sacrificial Stone to participate in a ceremony of sacrifice. Roll once on the Ceremony of Sacrifice Chart for each sacrifice offered to the Ruinous Powers. Apply a +1 modifier to the roll for each Hero beyond the first to participate in a ceremony. On a roll of 1 the captive will always escape: 1-5 Escaped. The warrior has slipped his bonds and returns safely back to his starting warband. The warrior (or his Henchman group) gains D3 Experience points. 6 Sacrificed. Blood of the victim is spilled across of the altar. Each Hero participating in the ceremony gains 1 Experience point.
After one recent battle, Bob's Fimir warband returned a Hero to Webby's Mobsmen by purposefully letting him escape during a sacrifice! The two players have entered into a treaty of sorts. Ok so if he had rolled a 6 then the Hero would have been slain but it makes for a compelling story!

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