Welcome to Mordheim, City of the Damned!
Mordheim is a game of combat that takes place during the short but intense period when scores of warbands fought hundreds of bitter skirmishes throughout the city.
This book contains all the information you will need in order to play Mordheim, as well as background information, advice on starting a warband, running a campaign, collecting and painting your own warband, etc.
In Mordheim, the opposing factions – warbands – are represented by models, assembled and painted by you, each representing a single warrior. Your tabletop becomes part of the City of the Damned: the scene of the action, with ruined buildings, overhangs and walkways where the battles take place.
The aim of the game is to outfight your opponent, which requires a mixture of skill and luck. You’ll soon learn how to arm and equip your warband effectively, and how to exploit the ruins and other terrain to your best advantage.
You’ll probably want to expand your basic warband as you and they gain experience. This is easy as there are lots of models available for the warbands and new miniatures will be coming out all the time. With these you can expand your warband, equip your warriors with different weapons and armour, and hire mercenaries to join them.
building a warband
At first you will probably want to play individual games (see the Warbands section for more details) rather than a campaign. This will allow you to learn the rules, and also give you the opportunity to decide which type of warband is most suited to your particular style of play.
If you are playing in a campaign, you will have the chance to expand and improve your warband after each game. By winning battles your warband will gain riches and wyrdstone, discover magical artefacts and may also have the opportunity to recruit mercenaries.
In a campaign, every time your warband fights, its warriors gain in skill and experience. Raw recruits quickly progress to become fully fledged warriors, and your Heroes will learn new skills which will make them even better in combat.
Each warband has its own objective and motivation for fighting in Mordheim: be it riches or political influence. Through countless battles and street skirmishes you can try to achieve your ambition and emerge victorious from the city!
If you’re new to Games Workshop games you’ll be reassured to know that finding other players is not normally a problem – you’ll be surprised how many there are!
There may be a Games Workshop store near to you where you can buy models, paint and games supplements. However Games Workshop stores are not just shops, they are hobby centres, where the staff will happily help you to learn the rules, show you how to paint, and suggest ways to develop your warband.
If you already play Warhammer, the basic rules of Mordheim will be familiar to you. Remember though, Warhammer is designed for fighting battles between entire armies, whilst Mordheim represents individual action between a dozen or so warriors.
As a result, some of the rules developed for mass combat in Warhammer do not apply to Mordheim, such as unit Break tests and rank bonuses. On the other hand, there are new rules for wounded warriors, climbing, parrying and other aspects of individual combat.
what you will need
As well as this book, you will need the following items to play Mordheim.
You will need enough miniatures of the appropriate race/type to represent the warriors in your warband. It is a good idea to work out your warband on paper first and then purchase the miniatures that you require. Almost all possible weapon variations can be added using the Mordheim equipment sprues. As you will see in the Warbands section, each warband fights in a particular way – some are expert bowmen while others are better in hand-to-hand combat. When choosing which warband you want to lead you could choose one that reflects your preferred playing style, or you could read the background section and choose one that really captures your imagination. A good way of picking a warband is simply to pick the one with the models you like the best.
You will also need something to play your battles on. Any firm, level surface is best, such as a tabletop or an area of floor – most kitchen tables will do. It’s a good idea to use an old sheet or blanket to protect the table from scratches. Some players make a special gaming board from chipboard or other similar material (divided into two or more pieces for ease of storage) which they can use on top of a table to extend the playing area. Whatever you use, you will find that a square area approximately 4 x 4' is about right for most battles.
The bitter struggles of a Mordheim battle take place in labyrinthine streets, ruined buildings and on derelict walkways. Pre-cut card and plastic scenery is available from Games Workshop, but many gamers enjoy making their own. As a rule, a table packed with scenery will lead to closer and more exciting games.
Throughout the book you will find photographs, drawings and descriptions of Mordheim. These should give you plenty of ideas for producing your own scenery. Games Workshop’s book How to Make Wargames Terrain is also a good source of ideas and practical hints on all asp
Counters can help you keep track of things on the tabletop. You can always keep notes about who is hidden, carrying treasure, etc, but counters are a convenient memory jogger and speed the game up.
Above are some examples of counters you could photocopy and stick onto thin card if you wish.
All dice rolls use a standard six-sided dice (usually shortened to D6). Sometimes you will be asked to modify the result of the dice roll. This is noted as D6 plus or minus a number, such as D6+1 or D6-2. Roll the dice and add or subtract the number indicated to get the final result. You may have to roll a number of dice in one go. For example, 2D6 means roll two dice and add the scores together. You may also come across the term D3. As there is no such thing as a three-sided dice, use the following method for determining a score between 1 and 3. Roll a D6 and halve the score, rounding up: 1 or 2 equals 1, 3 or 4 equals 2 and 5 or 6 equals 3. If you are given the opportunity to re-roll a dice roll, you must accept the second score, even if it’s worse than the original.
For measuring ranges you will need a tape measure marked in inches, or a couple of plastic range rulers.
You will also need pens and paper to record details of your warriors’ weapons and other details. You can use roster sheets for this, and blank ones are included at the back of this book. We recommend you photocopy them rather than use the originals.