Face justice

Posted by  | Wednesday, February 26, 2014  at 10:13 AM  

Five years ago I was washed up on Fisherman's Steps in Marienburg, after my companion Herr Templin & I completed the arduous though rewarding task of envisioning the original theatrical stage production Border Town Burning. After our journey I began describing concepts and themes to him based on my ideas for what could dare follow such an epic project! My confidant was curious. I had a lot of work to put in before I could claim to have something comparable to what my conspirator already had in his hands when I first discovered him skulking around in the Cathayan Borderlands!

My name is Ruprecht Drinkwater, heretic playwright, street performer and suspected were-creature and this maritime manifest was to be my sentence.

Cianty: Every Mordheim setting should convey a unique feel, not only atmospherically but also ruleswise. This is often attributed to a different environment represented by the terrain and weather rules. The Empire in Flames supplement introduced the open plains of the Empire, filled with forest sections and small village dwellings and fields. In Border Town Burning we had a similar environment, a rather open gaming board with forest sections. Ruleswise EiF introduced wagons and carts and this theme was expanded on in BTB with the Merchant Caravan warband and the feel of journeying (also represented in the objectives). Now we are back in the Old World, again, expanding and continuing the previously introduced concepts and ideas. So what is the overall feel and theme of Marienburg? Have a guess...

Werekin: On the surface Mutiny in Marienburg is all about piracy. The supplement certainly is about fulfilling smuggling missions! More than pirates, it is about devotion to fighting crime & committing crime in a port-city metropolis.

An account of the city's political struggle between it's powerful guild rivals.
A Mutiny in Marienburg
Composed by criminal mastermind Rev Larny

A campaign in a commercial port must capitalise on expanding the scope for trade deals. The fundamentals require me to broaden player's perception of currency beyond treasures/wyrdstone shards, gold crowns and what equipment or contraband items (poisons, drugs, tainted items & Chaos artefacts) they can spend it on. Corpses, stragglers (NPC models) and captured models offer alternative revenue streams. Mordheim warbands or Marienburg gangs ability to control unique locations in the campaign and tap into the special uses of these encampments. Beyond paying ransoms and meeting usual bargains, bribery becomes another serious consideration.

Malign forces will compete to commit the most horrific acts. Constabularies naturally combat these destructive threats first if they can, depending on whose agency has jurisdiction! Other factions will be tempted to commit less harmful felonious activity for ill-gotten gains only to become brigands themselves.

"We have ways of making you talk..."
The way that Witch Hunters will deal with a suspected heretic is quite different to how the City Watch handles matters. Campaign objectives and scenario rules see to that nicely. For instance a watch patrol may consider interrogating a suspect while a witch hunters warband will torture the suspect!

New objective
Plot - Drowning the Witch
Witch Hunters, Sisters of Sigmar and Mercenaries hiring a holy Warrior-Priest of Sigmar may follow this plot.

Cianty: Stu has been wanting to introduce trade to Mordheim for a long time now. Based on the concept of the Merchant Caravan, he wanted to see more trading, bargaining and fencing. Now I will leave it to him to talk further about this concept and the mechanics. What I want to do here is describe a mechanic somewhat independent of the trading itself, yet blending in with it perfectly. I think this is a great way to create a coherent feeling: providing numerous rules that are independent of each other, but contribute to the same greater goal.

My little part I am talking about here is 'bounty hunting'. For whatever disgusting reason I have always felt attached to this concept (in wargaming, that is!). I guess it is because I enjoy the social interaction between the players that goes far beyond the usual mutual head-bashing.

In Mordheim we already have the Captured result on the Heroes' Serious Injury chart. Capturing people and selling them back is a kind of trading, yet it is nicely independent as it can be done without using any advanced trading rules, but at the same time it can be covered by those rules as well.

Werekin: I will never forget the Bounty Hunter that Eliazar hired in when his Reikland River Brigands swept through during the 2nd series of our campaign! Bounty Hunters remain one of my firm favourites and definitely the number one most overlooked Hired Sword. They fight for any side when the price is right and they allow all kinds of interesting interactions with different warband objectives! Despite the motives of your gang, the Bounty Hunter proves one of the most flexible sell-swords. Whether a player leads a patrol of Watchmen trying to bring down a dangerous outlaw, or a criminal syndicate organising an abduction of innocent milkmaids the Bounty Hunter will always help to take the prize! He can assist in placing suspected felons under arrest, or simply aid in snatching victims off the docks!

"The punishment has to fit the crime..."
Rules for placing warriors under arrest appear under Scenario 9: Dead Freight. Also included are details for what happens to models after arrests have bee made. The outcomes are decided using the Conviction Chart which I created to encourage some entertaining situations between crime-fighters and convicts!

Cianty: I have always greatly enjoyed Nick Kyme's 'Fortune Hunters' article in issue 13 of the Town Cryer magazine. One of the cool Hired Swords presented therein is the Bounty Hunter. This guy had to have a triumphant comeback in Marienburg. His ability to capture opposing Heroes is a great mechanic to push the captives in the game. Additional rules for Captives? All models caught by the Bounty Hunter Hired Sword are brought to a Marienburg Prison (or a version of it). The Prison is a building. (Stu: Should models be granted access to) the Prison by playing a certain scenario?

Werekin: Yes, why not. Henceforth in Marienburg, buildings and fortifications plus other special locations are being referred to as encampments. These can be contested by playing scenarios designed to fit the purpose. There are two in the Rules section (Scenario 5: Stockade & Scenario 10: The Sting). As a consequence of playing a scenario that contests an encampment, it could be possible for a player's warband to free a friendly model that has already been captured or placed under arrest.

When a player holds an encampment, another player may take the opportunity to contest it. Motives may vary depending on the value of a location to each side. The outcome can be decided according to scenario guidelines or the players can agree this amongst themselves based on what is currently at stake in their campaign story.

e.g. Witch Hunters have established a Torture Chamber in the city. Cult of the Possessed decide to contest the encampment. The players fight a scenario and against all odds the followers of Chaos win! As the Torture Chamber is only of use to the torturous Sigmarites, the Possessed cultists raze the structure freeing any captured models in the process. When the Witch Hunters return to their encampment they find that it must be restored before being used again.

The restoration would be achieved in accordance with the guidelines for restoring encampments as described in the Epic Campaign Rules article, based on rules that first appeared in the Border Town Burning supplement.

Disclaimer - This blog post features some content originally composed by the heretic scribes Chris Templin & Stu Cresswell five years ago! Join us in celebrating the anniversary of Border Town Burning.