Shades of decay

Posted by  | Thursday, August 6, 2015  at 1:22 AM  

When death falls upon the Free City of Marienburg, fractious citizens witness the exploits of apocalypse. The End Times have come. Renegade personalities clash in a fight for survival. In a city shattered and leaderless, rival outfits face off to stake their claim on Marienburg. Rich thieves in a safe place became dead men on a long rope.

For this years 5th annual Mordheim battle day it was originally my intention for the player's warbands to fight in a united front against a Plague Fleet spearheaded by the brothers Glött. Inevitably realising plan A* couldn't be orchestrated without a Nurgle general volunteering to lead a few thousand points worth of Chaos despoilers through my decaying port-cityscape we resorted to plan B.

*Oldhammer Nurgle fleetmasters apply herein and we may yet re-enact this.

The back up plan discussed with my conspirators Dan and Chris was to entertain ourselves with a series of two player battles by starting off with new warband lists. Veterans of our campaign have been playing the same gangs on and off for the last four years. The consensus was that most of us prefer to start afresh for this get together. With a bunch of new recruits joining rusty veterans for the weekend, I devised a simple map-based system of area control broken down into districts and boroughs.

Each of 16 wards or ghettos was represented with a different scenario and the players could agree between themselves which ones they wished to play, or randomise a scenario if they failed to agree, then move on to face another opponent based on current whereabouts on the Great Map.

A crude tagging system was employed to mark out victories with coloured spots determining which warbands were asserting their dominance over the city.

All of the games were staged in the loft flat my girlfriend and I have moved into. We've been lucky enough to find a place with adequate space in the spare room for my Marienburg table to be set up full-time. Yet as I write this a good chunk of my terrain collection is currently boxed up as I've just returned from another weekend event with the Oldhammer community! It's been a busy month for Mordheim activity and this years battle day featured 10 players.

João (Dwarf Rangers), Michelle (Strigany Gypsies), Chris (Skaven Warp-Engineers), Stu C (Norse Explorers), Stu W (Dark Elves), Phil (Ogre Maneaters), Bob (Fimir), Dawn (Dwarf Treasure Hunters), Enys (Sisters of Sigmars) & Dan (River Watch)

Witch Hunter General Dave made a brief guest appearance during the course of Saturday to say hi to the group. Another new face to Bournemouth Mordheimers was Kawe Weissi-Zadeh who visited during set up week with his goblins, trolls and some unreleased halflings. Kawe ended up missing the battles due to work commitments so we are planning another night for some games soon with a smaller group.

João and Bob grabbed some super snaps of the action through the day. My own photography featured here occasionally is not the best. João shot some excellent pics of the main Marienburg table terrain in my spare room. He was able to capture over 200 shots at Oldhammer Weekend whilst I was running participation games of Mordheim.

In addition to the main 6'x4' table, a second table 4'x4' was prepared in the living room by draping a Dreadfleet seascape mat across my (large enough to do this) coffee table to represent the Reiksmouth Estuary. With the excess terrain being supplied by João we had more than enough to create 10' worth of tabletop across the two boards.

Additionally the dining table was used to play Mordheim Quest games in the Marienburg sewer network with the 'Border Town Collapsing' scenario plus four tavern brawls were fought using the scenario 'Last Orders!'

Some time was spent drawing up warband lists on Friday evening. Most of the games took place on Saturday beginning in the morning and finishing quite late as has become tradition. Some of the survivors who arrived late on Saturday reconvened on Sunday for a couple more games. As the sound of battle died down it was clear that the most successful outfits had been the Dark Elf Corsairs, Skaven Warp-Engineers and Fimir Ambushers.

Everybody attending the get together brought something unique of their own making to the exploratory return to the City of Islands & Bridges. In the case of Enys and Dan that meant a supply of mead, for Michelle two tins of baked banana bread cakes, and Chris rocked up with his deadly concoction of home-brewed stout.

João took the opportunity to limber up his camera skills in preparation for the Oldhammer Weekend which the two of us had booked in for at Stoke Hall in Newark, the home of Wargames Foundry owned by 'The Mighty Avenger' Bryan Ansell. I took this opportunity to familiarise myself with Marienburg terrain to help select the best scenarios to go on the road with up to Nottinghamshire for the annual Oldhammer community event 'Bring Out Your Lead' (BOYL) III.

Although we did not get around to playing through all of the scenarios, there were some firm favourites seeing repeat play throughout Saturday. Our newest guests took the liberty of making the most of the abundance of scenery conjured up by João Sousa, Carl Merrell and I. We also made use of some new ships that Chris & I have been constructing in the hope of taking the waterfront actions beyond the limits of Fisherman's Steps, Oyster Dock and Candle Wharf. Boarding actions and danger chasing false beacons in the Reiksmouth Estuary beckons.

There was the usual spate of post battle scrambling about for desirable rare items. We kept the amount of visits to special Marketplace locations to a minimum, yet thanks to the Wasteland Exploration tables there were still some unexpected visits to the Infamous Haunts found in seedier corners of the city-port! Skaven and Fimir Heroes jostled over wyrdstone shards (1 in 6 chance of finding tainted treasures) to take to the Alchemist and the amphibious Fimm nobles felt the touch of Chaos upon them more than once. Speaking of Warp-touch rolls, we took a break from the tabletop for dinner and discovered the taint of wyrdstone upon a menu board in one of the local fast food restaurants on Charminster High Street! Another recommendation for the Infamous Haunts chapter.

The cramped streets and docks of Marienburg caused the usual amount of cursing from Phil as he led his Maneaters through the Old Money Ward for perhaps the final time. The ogres faired well enough beneath the Dead Canal on a smuggling run through the sewer network.

The lascars of Crime-lord Salaman Singh were once again absent as the Pirate-King's usual warband commander Stu Webb had chosen to lead a crew of Dark Elf Corsairs down the Reik onto Marienburg's South Dock.

Despite the absence of lockstocked holy templars with their smoking flintlock barrels we enjoyed the divine presence of Sigmar in the feminine form of an orderly visitation by Sisters of Sigmar. Our new pilgrim on the dock Enys led the ladies in a fervent charge across seaweed-strewn cobblestones to liberate orphans. Waterfront witches or heroines with halos, the Sigmarites faced the Lords of the Marsh with all their zeal.

Despite being bitch-slapped in an opening encounter by swampbound monsters they bounced back with proud posture. Righteousness prevailed in the rolling fog as the united sisterhood held their ground while craven fiends clawed at their buxom forms.

The Marienburg Secretariat repelled an assault from drunken barbarians across Powder Bridge at great cost.

River watchmen were plunged like sinking torpedoes into the Poultice Water yet with enough reinforcements the law fought hard enough to press the hoary heathens back as far as Norse Town.

The Reiksmouth Estuary ran thick with blood. An recurring aquatic menace threatened civilians each time that an eerie mist descended upon the port.

From the relative safety of priestess-blessed skiffs the fallen Sisters find they are less welcome sailing the canals than they had imagined in Manannshaven as they disembark for Temple District on their pilgrimage.

Lords and ladies. Marsh daemons biting off as much as they can chew in the shape of whip-toting she-devils. Well that's what Witch Hunter General Dave would call those feisty matriarchs.

Wharf rats slumming it down on Sour Dock. Strigany gypsies will take any kind of work. They won't do it honestly because of shadowy traditions they can never escape from. The past has a habit of catching up with river pirates! They won't be the first crew of cut-throats to dance from a gibbet in Marienburg. As the End Times approach they could well be the last!

There are some enormous vermin reported to be infesting the city. This one must have sat on a warpstone slab!

Sigmar's Solace provides safe haven for the least favourable priesthood in Marienburg. The God-King was never popular in the City of Secret Deals. Worship of Handrich is a perpetual state and the following of Stromfels rise with the tide.

What everyone wants to see right now. More pictures taken by João. Enjoy the scenery! There will be more of it in our report of Oldhammer 2015 weekend.


Von Kurst said...

Thanks for the write up! Lots of great photos to drool over

Alexander said...

Lots and lots of beautiful terrain and miniatures. It sounds like you had a blast, as usual. I would love to attend one of your game days.

Benjamin Neale said...

It sounds like an excellent weekend. You have some great terrain and João did well with the camera to capture it.

Sidney Roundwood said...

Looks fantastic, and great fun. That's a fine barrel of stout, as well. Anyone bringing that along is bound to be welcome at any Mordheim Games Day!

Erny said...

Great looking terrain, glad I got to see some of it. Fun games too. Did you photoshop the Warp menu?

Werekin said...

Ha bizarrely no that was actual menu in a Charminster chicken shack. Warp-tainted fowl must be a cult dish and a ghetto favourite.

Benoît Dumeaux said...

Bien beau tout ça !!

Odin said...

Fantastic photos and scenery! Looks like great fun too! And where are those halflings much character!

Anonymous said...

It's been 2 years without updates :(

Werekin said...

Too few heroes have survived the End Times! All of the file links from my public folder have been rendered obsolete by the new Dropbox management system. For the time being at least the best place to discuss Marienburg adventures and seek file sharing is through our spiritual sanctuary Tom's Boring Mordheim Forum.

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