Scuba's Shadow Warriors of Mordheim

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Scuba's Shadow Warriors of Mordheim

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:12 pm

Introduction

I've had many years experience playing Mordheim and joining in with communities who adapt and change the dated Rulebooks to suit newer styles and balancing.  One of the great issues and stigmas attached to Mordheim from my experience, was and still is, the Shadow Warriors.

Introduced to the game via a Town Cryer article, Shadow Warriors were immediately looked at as being far overpowered because of their Special Rules and Starting Characteristics.  I too thought the same back in the early 2000's when I used to play heavily with a group of friends.  My poor Human Warband just didn't seem to stack up against them.  The dawn of the World Wide Web forums did not help their cause either and they were soon thrown on to the "unofficial" pile pending a review.  Suffice to say, Games Workshop ceased it's venture into the World of Mordheim, which while sad as the game was fantastic, from a financial point, logical.  Therefore the poor Shadow Warriors of Mordheim would never again be classed as official...

However, years have gone by and I have grown older, and I would like to say wiser!  I've played enough games and done enough rule changes to realize there is FAR more to the game then just basic stats.  As the games progress, so do Warbands and one game can easily change the fate for the entire campaign.

Any time a new Campaign begins with a new group of players, it sadly seems logical that one must start by providing an argument or justification as to why you believe your chosen warband should be included.  With that philosophy, I thought I would start by making my claim before moving on to my actual Warband.


Case File: Shadow Warriors

I have opted to go for a revised version of the Shadow Warriors that have been changed quite drastically in many cases, some being quite harsh to please the masses and other I completely agree with.  So instead of fighting the corner for a list I have no intent on using, I will focus on the new list which can be found here: http://return-to-mordheim.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/shadow-warriors-high-elves-in-mordheim.html

So lets begin by looking at the pros

Initiative - Generally, a Shadow Warriors Initiative is is 5 (1 less than the official version), which means they will more times than not strike first, climb and jump easier as well as pass most initiative tests with ease.  Something you would expect from a High Elf with hundreds of years experience.

Leadership - A Shadow Warriors leadership is also high (generally 1 more than most warbands) allowing them to pass Leadership tests easier than most others.  This helps them not run away or face up to fear tests.  +1 is hardly game breaking though.

Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill - These are Generally 4 for both WS and BS, some Heroes being higher and some Henchmen being lower allowing them to hit easier in combat than some other warbands.  

Movement - Starting movement is 5, racial maximum is also 5 meaning they start off very fast but will eventually be caught up with.  Against Dwarves and other slow warbands, movement is fantastic for snatch and grab missions and for getting into key positions, but against beasts, they will be caught just like anyone else.

Excellent Sight - Shadow Warriors can spot hidden units at twice their initiative which is great for shooting.  No real drawbacks there.

Infiltration (Skill) - A Model with this skill may be placed anywhere on the table as long as it is out of sight and at least 12” away from any enemy models. A great skill, but not restricted to only them.

Shadow Walk (Skill) - A hidden shadow warrior restricts a units spotting range to half their initiative.  Another great rule when used right.

Sniper (Skill) - A Shadow Warrior who is hidden, can shoot and remain hidden!  Scary sounding, until you add the new bit:  If the defender survives, they can roll an initiative test to spot the Shadow Warrior making them visible.  This new change really hit hard on this skill as they're no longer guaranteed to stay hidden.  A great skill for the early campaign but as Initiative increases, less so.


Now lets look at the drawbacks!

Toughness - A Shadow Warriors racial maximum is 3 (it was 4 in the official version) making them very fragile indeed.  Especially in later games where more Strength 4 or above weapons come into play.  This means that even against hounds and beasts, they are easily tracked down and potentially killed.

Strength (Shooting) - Due to the nature of the Elves, they object to using Black Powder Weapons and require a skill to be able to use the crossbow meaning they can only realistically use the Bow, Longbow or Elfbow which are all Strength 3.  This means they're restricted on any shooting weapons over Strength 3!  Not great when warbands start running around with Armour and higher toughness values.

No Poisons - Seems like nothing, but poison is very useful in Mordheim so this is quite a drawback indeed.  Especially when you compare them to the Druchii who are masters of poison and enjoy it's use.  

Cannot hire evil mercs - No assassins or anything of the type, quite the drawback for inflicting death on the enemy.

Revised version - No more Standard of Nagarythe or War Horn of Nagarythe.  I have never been a fan of the Standard and I saw no place for it in the Mordheim game.  Sadly the Horn has also been removed, which is something you would expect them to have and to use if you're into your Elven Lore.  Regardless, in terms of comparing to the official version, this is a MASSIVE hit.

Expensive - Expensive to Hire and Expensive to kit out to effective levels.  In some cases they are double or almost double the cost of a regular human which is to be understandable when taking into consideration the stats.  However, losing one or two models can be massively crippling for the Shadow Warrior Warband.

Summary


There is no denying the Shadow Warriors are indeed a force to be reckoned with but, especially with the new rules, they are far from Broken.  The problem I have with most people's opinions of them is they are based on "I heard" or "I read" instead of actually playing the game themselves.  I've never played as Shadow Warriors, but I have played against them and they are nothing special.  Elite YES! But also Expensive.  To loose an eye or an arm on an Elf is horrible, you are as well sending them home to live out their lives.  If you take 3 Marksmen with Handguns, those BS4 S4 shots will take out the pointy eared buggers like there's no tomorrow.  
Another problem is Terrain: There is never enough of it! In Mordheim, if I have line of sight over 30 inches then the table has failed, not the game. The Game is designed to be packed full of terrain from corner to corner and watching some reports online, they fall far short of that.

So in Summary, play the game and see for yourself!

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Re: Scuba's Shadow Warriors of Mordheim

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:16 pm

So moving on to the actual modelling  Very Happy 

I decided to go for the basic colours as shown on the box as I liked the dark/light look.  These are the first 3 I have done so far.


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Elysium Wargames Society
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Email: elysiumwargamessociety@live.co.uk
Website: http://elysiumwargames.wix.com/home
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElysiumWargamesSociety

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