Mordheim Warband - Part I

When reading other people's blogs, I often find the most useful pieces to be on the breakdown of a project - how it was conceived, executed and delivered.  I always forget to chart my progress as I go, so I'm pleased to report that myself, Kieran, Coldsteel Dan and a few others are starting a Mordheim campaign soon.  More excitingly still - I'm going to document the whole thing, and this is the first post in that series. 

Part I
The Plan

Oh, Sergeant Bilko, will you never get things right?
For my plan I'm going to have to work out what I want to get out of this project, and how to get there.  Well, I want a Mordheim Warband - that first one was easy.  Or is it?  Which warband is the question.  Here is the shortlist I started with:
  • Human - deliberately vague, I wanted a general band of ordinary 'humans', be they citizens of the Empire, Bretonnia, or some other principality.  They would deliberately avoid most of the stereotypes and just be an ordinary band of people trying to survive in a hellish world - a bit like the Imperial Guard in 40K.  Verdict - interesting idea, but might be a bit boring to model.  That interest might not translate to the board.
  • Dwarves - ah, trusty Dwarves.  My favourite race in Lord of the Rings, I love the aesthetics and historical ties they have with Vikings and others.  They would also fit right in to Mordheim, I'd have them as miners and gold prospectors, seeking their fortunes.  Verdict - I found some cool models, but in the end I thought the narrative was a bit flat and couldn't come up with a better one.
  • Undead - I really like the idea of a withered old Vampire (very 'classic' and old school, Dracula-like), hiding away in his castle with an army of shambling skeletons to protect him.  And, as well as liking the fluff I was sure I could find some great models to represent it.  Verdict - ticks both the boxes!
So I was settled.  A nice, traditional Whitby vampire.  Like a loyal GW customer, I went on to their website to find some vampire models.  I was confronted by things like this:

And this...

Can't I just have a normal vampire?  Not a massive winged, armoured lunatic?  That's the whole appeal of vampires - understated, subtle, well-dressed nobles harbouring a dark and clandestine secret!  Can you imagine one of these mentalists turning up to a masked ball?  I think he'd be sussed before he hung his coat up.

So rather than let my blood boil with rage I decided to just ignore GW and find some other nice models.  This is what I settled on:

That's more like it!  The original, and literal, femme fatale!  A lovely model from Reaper Miniatures, very decently-priced, I duly ordered one with an Evil Wizard model to use as a Necromancer.  We're getting somewhere...

Really very nice models indeed, now I've opened them up.  Great quality and really enjoying the thought of painting up something totally different.

Tune in next time to see what we do for zombie/skeleton hordes!  Until then...



  1. Hey dude, check out this blog for some awesome ideas, if you're short for them ;)

    Looking at GW product line, I'm saddened to see that the Mordheim and Collectors Vampires weren't just included into the WHFB Vampire Counts line. They were small and subtle wmpires, only equipped with simple swords and halbards.

    1. Thanks for the link, that looks really good - plenty of inspiration there for the hordes.

      Yes, those are my thoughts exactly. A shame they couldn't even have them as you say, as a 'Collector's' option.

  2. oh, you saucy little devil, you! a Female vampire is an awesome idea! I can see her using her feminine way to strip the will of mortal men and strike at them while their guard is down

    Awesome stuff buddy

    1. Very saucy indeed ... I was planning on giving her a great weapon / double-handed sword, as a 'counts-as' for her bite attack. High strength, slow speed etc. Me and Ollie have some good ideas saved up for a campaign weekend...

  3. Kool; Nice to see a reason for something.

  4. I like the idea of the more subtle vampires for Mordheim. Likewise, it opens up a terrific amount of potential for so many models across quite a few of the WFB and myriad of other company lines.

    I'm no GW apologist but I always figured that the reason for the shift from subtle Bram Stoker to the roided up 'Tepes according to Beheim' was the megalomania and insanity on the part of the vampires who lead the large-scale 'Vampire Counts' style armies. All the clever, subtle, reasonable vampires are in places like Mordheim, Nuln, Altdorf, Mousillon, or Artois blending in with the nobility and acting like any other slightly erratic member of the higher echelon.

    I always pictured the subtle vampires organize their own little bands: whether they have their own blood cults, hidden away in the forest as lost children leading packs of voracious wolves, or retinues of loyal human thralls mesmerized by the power of their leaders, they were small scale. They're leading typical Empire forces against other counts and bergers or being boogy-men in the countryside (a la Mordheim).

    It would take a staggering egotistical and decidedly unsubtle loon to tack on a bat-cloak, lick a bloody sword, be seen sporting newly lacquered pain-maile, and mount up on a worm-riddled zombie dragon. That or they got outed in their moody phase and are just trying to make a statement leading a 'vampire counts' host rather than an ensorcled human army.

    The more I look at the empire general the more I have my suspicions about that fella being a vampire.

    Anyhow, do you happen to have any plans about a clandestine set of ghouls or wights to match that lovely vampiress?

    1. Actually, you're right for the Vampire Counts army that they have. Carriages, artillery, dragons and the like - they call for something a bit more visually impressive. And yes, I admit that my own personal distaste aside they are some technically impressive models.

      I suppose my objection is because I'm a bit behind the times with Warhammer. I still like to go for large armies of regular troops, and very few (if any) special units. This stems from a love of Dark Omen I think, and I like the idea of a horde of hundreds of zombies shuffling across the battlefield with one Bram Stoker-esque vampire in a tower somewhere watching them. I think that's why we're doing Mordheim as opposed to Warhammer, and me and Kieran have decided on historicals to 'scratch the Warhammer itch' as it were.

      Without spoiling the next post too much I think it's going to be a zombie based horde - I'm going to make zombified versions of all my opponent's warband members, so that when I beat them in close combat I can add them to my ever-growing army of the Undead...

    2. I'm liking FE's take on the background. It makes sense, within the context of WH, of course; I don't want to sound like a fruitcake here....

  5. Whilst I think you chose best with the Vamps and the minis so far are great, I think the human team had more options than you listed mate. Tillians(s/p), Estalians, Border Princes could all add flavour to a human party. Anyhoo, jus' sayin'.

    In Mordheim, do they account for daylight effects in the rules against Vampires?

    1. I think Kieran has proved with his excellent Stirlanders that I suffer from a crippling lack of imagination in the Human Warband department. Perhaps you're right. I must confess to having thought up the Vampire idea already when I sat down to decide my warband, making the whole process very unfair.

      I don't think they do... yet! Rules for shadows, perhaps? Watch this space...

  6. Love the thought gone into this and the fact that you shared it all. I can't really put much on the table without some thought behind it, perhaps even over thinking it. I've gone for boring humans in the form of shoeless Stirlanders, but hopefully the bits I stole from the Wicker Man, Field in England, Lovecraft and Hammer Horror makes them a bit more interesting...

    1. Well as Dai said, I think that's the beauty of the Human warband that I failed to appreciate - you can give them all sorts of cool dynamics as they're so malleable. I know for a fact your models are really impressive anyway, even discounting the cool fluff.

    2. Very kind of you sir, to be fair I just have one idea that I crowbar into every project... I can't wait to see more of your undead gribblies, and I think it will be good to see some non-humies. I have a couple of the old Counts books around if you fancy a peruse...

  7. Nice to see another project kicking off my good Colonel. My attention to my nasceent Reiklander Warband has waned as the Marnes have moved to the fore, but they are still sat on my paint desk and will see more prushes waved at them soon.

    Reaper have a brilliant range for alternative minis - I dont think you will be short for choice with an undead theme.

    Shall enjoy following this project from the other side of the world- once again drat you lot and your close proximity to each other!

    1. I know, another one! There are a few more in the works at the moment as it is... I'd love to see the finished Reiklanders but the Marines are equally nice to look at, so I'm happy either way!

      Yes, I came across them by a rather brute Google search but I'm hearing a lot of good things about them now. The bulk of the zombies may end up being GW as I want to do some extensive kitbashing but character models will probably all be Reaper.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts