Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Horror

Time to quit my slack off and start writing these things, or the weight of backlog games will wear me down rather sooner than later. Oh, these burdens.

A week ago I played a game of Mordheim with my Carnival of Chaos.

Opponent was Reiklanders, and we had about twenty point difference in warband ratings. I had higher, and so when scenario was Surprise attack, Reiklanders got the bonus of being attackers.

Now that I'm reading the scenario, I see one small detail we played wrong. We thought that I roll 4+ for each model in my warband to see if they're there at the start of the game. It should have been for each Hero and each Henchman group. Well, that doesn't bother me too much because the way we played made for one hilarious set-up for me, when I passed only two (2) 4+'s for my party of fifteen models. Brute with two handed weapon and one nurgling.

The nurgling isn't even showing in the first picture, but there sure are some Reiklanders in there...

Reiklanders started the game, and they shot the nurgling dead right away. But thankfully my three-wounded Brute survived a storm of crossbow bolts. One critical hit took away two wounds, but that was not enough to bring him down.

Brute tried to look for some cover in the small ruin behind him, as he was not able to charge anywhere. And... that was my turn.

Turn 2 Reiklanders managed to stun that Brute, but I was mostly just happy that he hadn't been taken out-of-action.

Carnival got another nurgling, plague bearer, the plague cart and the carnival master as reinforcements. Nice number of models I guess, but still one and half less models than what average expectations would have brought. Luckily they didn't come up from the farthest table edge, and considering reinforcement composition I guess it was good that they didn't arrive exactly from behind of Reiklanders either.

This was the turn when The Horror started. The Horror that is the Plague Cart. No, I don't mean it's menacing presence on the board... I'm talking about the rules it has. Or rather, the lack of rules. The rules for that model were spread all over the Empire in Flames supplement. In some cases the rules didn't cover what was different with the Plague Cart, and making up rules on the fly and trying to interpret something that defies all reason (= no text to interpret at all) is very distasteful for me. Playing with the Cart felt awkward, and skimming through the rule book took quite a lot of time from actual playing.

My personal tabletop nightmare. Well, at least rules-wise. Of course it might be more distressing if I accidentally flipped the table, somehow managing to smash only opponents' models, and the falling table breaks his or her spine and is in a half-coma for seven years. Maybe.

Anyway. Reiklanders shoot the brute out-of-action, and one brave soul charges the Plague Cart. Yet again, even if the Plague Cart doesn't cause fear to models on the table, for sure it will cause terror for opponents from now on. Even figuring out how the darned thing is attacked took a while to resolve. And the end result was - nothing happened.

Next turn I get exactly one (1) nurgling as a reinforcement. Thank you lord Nurgle! But I guess I shouldn't complain, for this was a very special nurgling indeed. It single handedly/appendagedly took down the Reiklander who charged Plague Cart, so we never had to spent ten minutes in trying to search how the Cart Guardian was supposed to attack.

Reiklander shooting wasn't too effective in the following turn. They only stunned the heroic nurgling, and possibly depleted Carnival Masters' Lucky Charm.

Then was, what, Carnival turn four? Finally I get some heroes to play. Both Tainted Ones show up from the directly opposed table edge from Plague Cart. So I still had four models who were nowhere to be seen. The were sure taking their time... Though at least I had been lucky with the table edges for the reinforcements.

Both Tainted Ones get to charge, and western flank tries to press aggressively... though what did I really have on that flank? A RNG 6 RAT 3 stream of corruption, two nurglings and a plague cart that I was almost afraid to play myself? Only Carnival Master there had a respectable BS 5 Quick Shoot bow attack. But I guess balance there was okay-ish, since Reiklanders were shooting as badly as I was returning any fire.

Jester Tainted One does nothing - not even dies. The other one scores a kill. Still not even remotely close enough to cause rout tests for opponent.

Reiklanders shot one of the nurglings dead and "only" brought every Hero I had to only one Wound remaining. Could have been worse, I guess. Still no need for a rout test for me neither.

Turn five I get the hiding Brute and the sleeping nurgling to battle. I started to wonder if the last clowns would ever actually even get to the fight... Yet again I was lucky with the table edges, since they came right from the deployment edge of Reiklanders. They didn't get to charge anywhere, though, but came closer nonetheless. Perhaps threat saturation would work here.

I have no more pictures of the game, but I think Carnival Master shot one of the snipers off the roof. Plague Cart trod close to the barricade, and I gave up there with the Cart. I decided it wouldn't move anywhere at all any more, because I didn't even want to know if it could cross small enough obstacles with various tests. Perhaps "use common sense if rulebook is unclear" rule took priority here and said that walls are walls.

Reiklander turn six was nastiest so far. Of course I may have lost some models on my own turn six, but round itself cost me all nurglings, plague bearer and the Reiklanders also had the insolence to punch the clown in the belly. Jester went out-of-action. Plague Cart was at least useful in soaking a couple of bolts from Reiklander shooting that could otherwise went to a Brute nearby. Bolts killed a horse from the Cart. All this was more than enough to cause a rout test for Carnival, which I managed to pass.

Sixth hero and henchman group showed up, and I can imagine that Carnival Master uses a megaphone to shout "All right! Now everyone has arrived. Ladies and gentlemen, the show's on! Come one, come all! For tonight only!"

Brute charges in (I actually think he had a nurgling with him, so it probably died in my own combat phase.) Shooting from Brethren Hero and Carnival Master (and even Plague Bearer...) downed one Reiklander, Brute and at least imagined nurgling in the middle either killed two, or killed one and stunned another. The lone Tainted One skewered somebody also, aided by the henchman. Henchman was a sidekick who's only purpose in the play was to eat a sword, but not through his mouth.

The Carnival Master's clich├ęs from the megaphone were too much for Reiklanders to bear, so they routed voluntarily.

The henchman who showed last turn and died right away was dead for real. "Tommy... hey, Tommy. Are you okay? I think you did that one trick wrong... the sword is sticking through your ribs..."

Shame, since Tommy had maximum experience for a henchman.

--

And then.

Since it's been quite a few games with the same warband, I think I'll compile a little bit more detailed warband composition. Instead of writing a small entry about upgrades to the end of the report I'll just add everything here instead.

Heroes so far for Serial Entertainers:

"Jack", the Carnival Master
M: 3, WS: 4, BS: 5, S: 4, T: 4, W: 2 I: 3 A: 1 Ld: 8
+ 45xp

Equipment: Sword, bow, rope & hook, lucky charm

Skills & injuries: Wizard (Stench of Nurgle... used for real purpose 0 times so far)
Quick Shot
Leg wound
--
Marc Bile, Brute
M: 4, WS: 4, BS: 0, S: 4, T: 4, W: 2, I: 2, A: 2, Ld 9 (whee... at max)
+31xo

Equipment: Ithilmar 2-handed weapon, lucky charm, tarot cards

Skills & injuries: (Strongman)
Resilient, Step Aside, Sprint (new)
Immunity to fear (injury result 63), Bitter enmity (Reiklander warbands)
--

Albert Eel, Brute
M: 4, WS: 4, BS: 0, S: 4, T: 4, W: 3 (max), I: 2, A: 2, Ld: 8
+32xp

Equipment: Double handed weapon, lucky charm

Skills & Injuries: (Strongman)
Sprint, Resilient, Strike to Injure, Jump Up
Old Battle Wound
--

Wayne Gassy, aka "Jester", tainted one
M: 3, W: 3, BS: 3, S: 3, T: 4, W: 1, I: 3, A: 1, Ld: 7
+13xp

Equipment: Axe, hammer, lucky charm, rope & hook, cured leathers

Skills & Injuries: (Cloud of Flies, Hideous)
Jump Up, Step Aside, Sprint
Old Battle Wound, Leg Wound, Madness: Frenzy
--

Jeffrey Laughter, tainted one
M: 4, WS: 3, BS: 3, S: 4, T: 3, W: 3, I: 4, A: 2, Ld 7
+24xp

Equipment: Sword, hammer, rope & hook, cured leathers

Skills & Injuries: (Stream of Corruption... what was I thinking?)
Sprint, Dodge
Hand injury
--

Brethren Hero, aka The Brethren Hero (Shoot + Academic)
M: 4, WS: 3, BS: 6(max), S: 3, T: 3, W: 2, I: 4, A: 1, Ld 8
+20xp

Equipment: Hammer, shield, light armor, bow, rope & hook

Skills & Injuries:
Wyrdstone Hunter
Hand Injury

Henchment:

2x Brethren armed with short bow and hammer. Group was purchased right now so I won't bother to list statistics.
4x Nurglings
2x Plague Bearers
Plague Cart

13 gold in treasury and two Wyrdstone Shards in stash.

Stored equipment:
1x each: short bow, sword, flail

Rating: 240

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