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Mercenaries

Grade: 1a
Source: Mordheim Rulebook (PDF)
Setting: Mordheim

This is a time of unremitting war, civil strife, violence and famine. A time of orphan children and wanton slaughter. For warriors these are good times! Since the discovery of wyrdstone Mordheim has become a magnet for fighting men from all over the Empire. Nobles, merchants, and the Temple of Sigmar itself offer rich rewards for shards of the mysterious stone. Foremost amongst the patrons of mercenary warriors are the three most powerful contenders for the Emperor’s throne: the Grand Prince of Reikland, the Count of Middenheim, and Lady Magritta of Marienburg – favourite of the merchant guilds.

As a mercenary warband you must decide which of the three contenders for Sigmar’s throne you are fighting for. Warbands from different places will vary in many respects, offering different benefits as well as having a unique appearance and character.

Reikland

Reikland lies at the heart of the Empire and its greatest city is Altdorf, home of the Grand Theogonist and seat of the Temple of Sigmar. Reiklanders are devout followers of Sigmar, the founder, first Emperor, and patron god of the Empire. The Grand Prince of Reikland (as Siegfried, the ruler of Reikland, styles himself) is supported in his claim to the throne by the Grand Theogonist and opposed most strongly by the Count of Middenheim and the Priests of Ulric.

Throughout the Empire Reiklanders are commonly supposed to embody the discipline and loyalty of the professional warrior. Brave and well-versed in the arts of war, Reiklanders disdain fashionable clothing in favour of well-made and practical wargear. In battle they often wear coloured ribbons as marks of identification or authority. They are justly proud of their dynamic and ambitious Grand Prince and contemptuous of other claimants to the throne, especially the Count of Middenheim, Mannfred Todbringer, whom they sneeringly call the ‘lap-dog of Ulric’.

special rules

Reikland Mercenaries are accustomed to the demands of military discipline and have a strongly developed loyalty between officers and men. To represent this, fighters may use their Captain’s Leadership if within 12" rather than the usual 6".

A strong tradition of martial training is also responsible for the high standards of archery amongst the people of Reikland. All Marksmen therefore add +1 to their Ballistic Skill, whether they are recruited when the warband is first formed or added later.

Middenheim

Middenheim stands on a mountain pinnacle surrounded by dark forest in the centre of Middenland, and is also known as the City of the White Wolf after Ulric, the old god of wolves and winter. The Priesthood of Ulric is still strong in Middenheim where Ulric is venerated as the patron of the city. The tradition of rivalry between Middenheim and Reikland goes back hundreds of years, and the Count of Middenheim, Mannfred Todbringer, is one of the chief contenders for the Emperor’s throne. As a result there has always been a great deal of friction between Middenheimers and the Temple of Sigmar.

Middenheimers are typically large, strongly built men with a well deserved reputation for ferocity. Many wear wolf pelts which custom decrees to be the mark of those who have slain a wolf with their own hands. These grim warriors are famously contemptuous of danger. They frequently go into battle bare-headed, scoffing at those who choose, for reasons of good sense, to wear helmets. As Middenheimers favour long hair and beards their lack of headgear makes them look especially fierce when they charge upon their enemies howling their brutal battle-cries.

special rules

The men of Middenheim are famous for their physical prowess. To represent their advantage in size and bulk, the Champions and Captains of a Middenheim warband start with Strength 4 instead of Strength 3.

Marienburg

Marienburg is the largest and most prosperous trading city in the Old World. Many call it the City of Gold which alone conveys a good idea of the wealth of this sprawling cosmopolitan city. Nowhere else can be found the vast array of shops selling goods from as far away as the Elven kingdoms of Ulthuan in the west and distant Cathay in the east. The city’s craftsmen represent every skill known to man, and a few others beside, so that it is said in Marienburg there is no activity that cannot be quickly turned to profit.

Many mercantile guilds have their headquarters in Marienburg, most important of all the secretive High Order of Honourable Freetraders which represents the elite amongst mercantile society. This large, rich, and ambitious body of men feel themselves shackled by the old order and are eager to seize power for themselves. Their champion for the Emperor’s throne is the Lady Magritta. Thanks to the unseen influence of Freetraders throughout the Empire all the minor Electors were persuaded to support the Lady Magritta’s claim. It was only the Grand Theogonist’s refusal to crown her that denied Marienburg the throne driving a wedge between the City of Gold and the Temple of Sigmar.

Warbands sent to Mordheim are sumptuously dressed and armed. Though Marienburgers are often ridiculed as foppish and effete, their skill at arms and complete ruthlessness has earned them grudging respect. Their chief skills lie in duelling and in the use of poisons and other clandestine fighting methods. Richer individuals dress flamboyantly and wear jewellery. However, the bulk of most warbands are recruited from the dockland thugs, ships’ crews, and stevedores who favour a simpler appearance: leather coats, bandanas and short swords that are easy to conceal.

special rules

As natural traders with contacts in the merchant guilds Marienburg warbands receive a +1 bonus when attempting to find rare items (see the Trading section for rules).

To reflect their enormous wealth Marienburgers start off with an extra 100 gold crowns (600 in total) when fighting in a campaign. In a one-off game they are permitted an extra 20% gold crowns when recruiting a warband. For example, in a 1,000 gold crown game a Marienburger warband will have 1,200gc.

Ostermark

Ostermarkers are used to harsh odds and battling alone to defend their farms against mercenaries and other brigands. Their years of isolation and self-reliance have made them hardy warriors indeed, and, as such, they do not give up easily or balk in the face of outnumbering foes.

special rules

Ostermarkers follow the rules for Mercenary warbands. In addition Ostermarkers (Heroes and Henchmen) may re-roll a failed Leadership test for being all alone and routing. A warrior or warband must accept the second roll, however, regardless of the result. Furthermore, the men often use hounds to guard their farms and raise the alarm against trespassers. Any captain of an Ostermarker warband may have a wardog as part of his starting equipment to represent the beast who once protected his farm and holdings from bandits and other, fouler creatures.

Choice of warriors

A Mercenary warband must include a minimum of three models. You have 500 gold crowns available to spend. The maximum number of warriors in the warband may never exceed 15.

Captain: Each Mercenary warband must have one Captain: no more, no less!

Champions: Your warband may include up to two Champions.

Youngbloods: Your warband may include up to two Youngbloods.

Warriors: Your warband may include any number of Warriors.

Marksmen: Your warband may include no more than seven Marksmen.

Swordsmen: Your warband may include no more than five Swordsmen.

Additional Hero profiles

If using Hired Swords from Grade 1b, the following warriors can also be hired:

Starting experience

The Captain starts with 20 experience.

Champions start with 8 experience.

Youngbloods start with 0 experience.

Henchmen start with 0 experience.

Mercenary Skill Table

Reikland Mercenaries

CombatShootingAcademicStrengthSpeed
Mercenary Captain
Champion
Youngblood

Middemheim Mercenaries

CombatShootingAcademicStrengthSpeed
Mercenary Captain
Champion
Youngblood

Marienburg Mercenaries

CombatShootingAcademicStrengthSpeed
Mercenary Captain
Champion
Youngblood

Ostermark Mercenaries

note

The Ostermark warband was published without a skill table. When clarified at a later date, it was said the player could choose their set from one of the other Mercenary options above. That said, Middenheim is the most aligned with Ostermark culturally and thematically.

Mercenary equipment lists

The following lists are used by Mercenary warbands to pick their weapons:

Hand-to-hand Combat Weapons

ItemCost
Dagger1st free/2 gc
Mace3 gc
Hammer3 gc
Axe5 gc
Sword10 gc
Morning star15 gc
Double-handed weapon15 gc
Spear10 gc
Halberd10 gc

Missile Weapons

ItemCost
Crossbow25 gc
Pistol15 gc (30 for a brace)
Duelling Pistol25 gc (50 for a brace)
Bow10 gc

Armour

ItemCost
Light armour20 gc
Heavy armour50 gc
Shield5 gc
Buckler5 gc
Helmet10 gc

Marksman equipment list

This list is for Marksmen only.

Hand-to-hand Combat Weapons

ItemCost
Dagger1st free/2 gc
Mace3 gc
Hammer3 gc
Axe5 gc
Sword10 gc

Missile Weapons

ItemCost
Crossbow25 gc
Pistol15 gc (30 for a brace)
Bow10 gc
Long bow15 gc
Blunderbuss30 gc
Handgun35 gc
Hunting Rifle 200 gc

Armour

ItemCost
Light armour20 gc
Shield5 gc
Helmet10 gc

heroes

1 Mercenary captain

60 gold crowns to hire

A Mercenary Captain is a tough professional warrior, a man who will fight for anyone or against anything so long as the price is right. Mordheim offers such a man the chance to become rich beyond his dreams, though at great risk. But as ruthlessness and lack of mercy and pity are the hallmarks of a successful Mercenary Captain, it is no wonder that they flock to Mordheim.

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Weapons/Armour: A Mercenary Captain may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Mercenary Equipment list.

SPECIAL RULES

Leader: Any warrior within 6" of the Mercenary Captain may use his Leadership characteristic when taking Leadership tests.

0 – 2 Champions

35 gold crowns to hire

In any Mercenary warband there is one warrior who is bigger, stronger (and often uglier) than his comrades. These men are called Champions (or berserkers, first swordsmen and various other names). Champions are amongst the toughest and the best fighters in the warband. They often answer challenges issued to the warband and, after the Captain, they get the pick of any equipment and loot.

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Weapons/Armour: Champions may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Mercenary Equipment list.

0 – 2 Youngbloods

15 gold crowns to hire

These are young fighters who are still inexperienced, but eager to win their spurs in the savage fighting in and around the ruins of Mordheim.

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Weapons/Armour: Youngbloods may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Mercenary Equipment list.

henchmen

(Bought in groups of 1-5)

Warriors

25 gold crowns to hire

These dogs of war are grim, seasoned fighters, fearing no man as long as they have their weapons and armour. They form the core of any Mercenary warband.

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Weapons/Armour: Warriors may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Mercenary Equipment list.

0 – 7 Marksmen

25 gold crowns to hire

The archers and hunters of the Old World are famed for their skill, and it is said that they can hit a coin from 300 paces with a long bow. In the savage street fights of Mordheim they snipe at the enemy from the windows of ruined buildings and pick out enemy leaders with their arrows.

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Weapons/Armour: Marksmen may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Marksman Equipment list.

0 – 5 Swordsmen

35 gold crowns to hire

Swordsmen are professional warriors, experts at taking on and beating several opponents at once. They are much sought after by warband leaders, as their skills are ideally suited for fighting in Mordheim.

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Weapons/Armour: Swordsmen may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Mercenary Equipment list.

Special Rules

Expert Swordsmen: Swordsmen are so skilled with their weapons that they may re-roll any failed hits when charging. Note that this only applies when they are armed with normal swords, and not with doublehanded swords or any other weapons.