Journeying into the Dark – Missions in Mordheim

My friendly local gaming club, the Surrey Spartans, are starting a Mordheim campaign. It’s to run over the next three months (I think, correction pending) and of course I’m getting involved – any professing warband style game is immediately appealing for me, and besides what I fear will be an infrequent Ninja Allstars league I’ve got nothing on at the moment. So I put myself down for a dwarves treasure hunting party and assumed I would be able to run up a list in no time.

This was until I saw I could play Forest Goblins and give them Giant Spider mounts. Cue the creation of the Order of the Golden Snotball:

Sir Dick Spiderlin, Lord of the Order of the Golden Snotball (Chief)

Giant Spider, Spear, Shield, Light Armour. (115gp)

Rob Anybody, Spider-Knight of the Golden Snotball (Brave)

Giant Spider, Spear, Shield, Light Armour. (95gp)

Twatter, Squire of the Golden Snotball (Brave)

Axe. (25gp)

Scatgob Oddball, Weirdo (Shaman)

Light Armour, Shield. (65gp)

Stabhack, Stabber of Men, Hacker of Elves, Lover of Spiders. (Red Toof Goblin)

Giant Spider, Axe, Axe/Sword, Light Armour. (95gp)

Murk, Moss Farmer (Slugga)

Throwing Weapons. (35gp)

Slink, Grass Hermit (Slugga)

Throwing Weapons. (35gp)

Midge, Moth Herder (Slugga)

Throwing Weapons. (35gp)

Warband Total: 500gp

This list may be somewhat of a post-revisionist Goblin list in the eyes of some gamers out there – e.g. there’s seven models when I could have got ten for 150gp – but I think it’s quite characterful. Not only do I get to imagine my Spider-Knights being well spoken English gentry types leading a hopefully increasing number (and variety) of goblin peasants to war and glory, but it’s a massive bully boy list. I also already own most of the models (painted) so that’s a plus too.

My plan is for the Spider riding guys to roam around and grab objectives/look scary while the dudes of foot (Twatter, Scatgob and the motley thrown weapons crew) take on smaller numbers of henchmen as a group. The three Sluggas get to chuck their shit (possibly literal) three times a turn, hopefully resulting in an average of one hit a ‘shot’ from each of them. This should be enough to take a henchman or two out, and Scatgob will hopefully get some kind of useful spell to support this ‘artillery fire’. Twatter will then kick anything knocked down in the dangly parts, or hit it with his axe. The cavalry will arrive when and if they can all get into base contact with the same person, hopefully knocking them down with the two spear wielders striking first. This will let Stabhack stab and hack them apart while mostly defenceless.

This doesn’t get around the fact that it’s quite possible I’ll be outnumbered by Dwarves, Elves and other ‘high point per model’ races in the first round. Sure, I can recruit more Goblins in droves (15gp a time before equipment, 20gp if I want to get more Sluggas or Red Toofs) later on but initially I’ll have to be fairly tactical. Or cowardly. So how will I deal with threats?

High quality infantry: Mug individuals and pick off stragglers/flankers. Gang up with as many dudes using the same thing as possible.

Being Outnumbered: Kill anything fast first, preferably at range. Do not get entangled in long melees, hit and run wherever possible but don’t take risks. Spend a lot of time hiding and waiting for the enemy to split into smaller groups under the mistaken impression a pincer tactic with infantry is the best way to deal with a cavalry/ranged enemy.

Being Outnumbered by High Quality Infantry: Err. Shoot them to thin numbers and throw everything I can at their most expensive models. Hopefully something should stick and they’ll be knocked down. Once they’ve been broken up as a group, the cavalry can pick on stragglers/front runners with shock tactics.

Large Creatures: Having neglected to get a Gigantic Spider (serious temptation but in the end having multiple cavalry and more models won out) I have nothing that can really go toe-to-toe 1v1 with Ogres, Trolls, Minotaurs or whatever other big guns people bring along. However, I should be fast enough to evade it while the cavalry picks on smaller chaps. I’ll probably leave it to Scatgob and the Sluggas to wear it down with attrition, ranged attacks and old age.

Being Outranged: I know there’s at least two Empire players and one Dwarf player in the league, so it’s pretty likely that someone will have the smart idea of just bringing crossbows. My last Mordheim league featured 8 pluck dwarves with crossbows and it was terrifying. I was running six skaven chaps, mostly heroes, with warlock pistol braces and a Night Runner who regularly impersonated a psychopathic Spider Man – I met with lots of success but my lack of armour meant the crossbows took me apart in games where I couldn’t just stay hidden. In this campaign I either have a head long rush, Charge of the Light Brigade style, at the shooters or try to manoeuvre around terrain until I can get to them in one turn. Or just run and hide.

So my strategy is pretty much run and hide until my opponent makes mistakes. I can live with that, as long as I don’t get too bloodthirsty and continue charging through and enemy warband after meeting some initial success.

What are my goals for future progression? Ideally, everyone gets their own spider and Dick gets a Gigantic Spider. That’s going to be expensive though. Really I want three more Sluggas with throwing weapons, five Red Toofs on foot with twin axes, five normal Goblins with spears and shields, two more combat types on spiders and the three most veteran Sluggas mounted on spider-back. Or all of them. So we’re looking at spending another 1,025gp for the ideal warband.  Before getting people light armour. Good.

Realistically two more combat spider riders, three Sluggas on spider-back and six combat goblins on foot with spears and shields would be great. And much more affordable at 570 before any light armour, which would only really be bought for people on spider-back. First order or purchase is likely the spear-goblins to bump up my numbers, probably extending to five spear-goblins and five axe wielding Red Toofs for ‘shock’ counter charges. It does largely depend on how successful I am in my games, which I fear may be not very.

One of the guys is playing to vampiric nobles, a Lahmian-Blood Dragon couple, who take their pet wolves for walks in the city and are set upon by various adventures. This is the smallest warband in the league, to my knowledge, but I only just outnumber them two to one. None of that sounds good for the Order of the Golden Snotball, but I’ll role-play the hell out of it. And who knows, one vampire might get knocked down by a hail of random objects being thrown at them. So far the lists I’ve seen haven’t featured many Ogres, Treemen or other large, tough targets so that’s nice for me I suppose. Hopefully games one through three will be done on Sunday so I’ll post an update for you all then! 

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