Build a Mordheim Warband
In the game of Mordheim, a table-top war game similar to Warhammer fought with Collect Toy Soldiers, you need many things to begin playing; scenery, dice, measuring tape and paper. However, above all else, you need a war band to begin playing. War bands are groups of plastic "soldiers" that you create to play skirmishes, set in the once great city of Mordheim. There are many to choose from, so if you're bewildered for choice and don't know where to start, it may be time for some research.
- Choose which warband you want to collect and build; there are many to pick from so take your time deciding. Here's a rough example of the more common, official war bands that are available, although many more unofficial warbands exist and you can always create your own:
- Human Mercenaries - Human mercenaries are the basic warband types which are good if you are beginning to play Mordheim or want a well-rounded army; Reiklanders, Middenheimers and Marienburgers are the three dominant types available, but there is also the likes of Averlanders, Kislevites and Ostlanders. All these warbands come from the region called The Empire based in the Warhammer world. Although they are not exceptionally good at any one thing, they have few disadvantages and are perfect if are about to collect your first warband.
- Witch Hunters - Although they are humans, this warband is built for close combat and has access to prayers (used like magic), a feature the human mercenaries lack. The witch hunters are comprised mainly of fanatical witch hunters who loathe magic users and demonic entities. In addition to foot troops, this warband also has the choice of including war hounds in their group.
- Sisters of Sigmar - The Sisters of Sigmar are similar to witch hunters, except that their warband is comprised entirely of female nun-like warriors. They too hate demons and witchcraft and have prayer systems of their own. Other than the sling, the Sisters of Sigmar have no missile weapons and thus are built to fight in hand-to-hand combat.
- Dwarves - Dwarves, although tough, are very slow in regard to movement. Out of all the warbands, the Dwarves have the biggest advantages and the biggest disadvantages; they're slow, but very tough. They're few in number, but they're much better at finding treasure and although their weapons are more expensive, they're characters are much more skilled than other races'.
- Shadow Warriors - Basically High Elves, Shadow Warriors are fast, nimble, good shots and lethal. Although the Shadow Elves were one of the first warbands to be released, many gamers now consider the list to be "broken", which is gamer-slang for overly-advantageous, and the warband has been often been banned from tournaments and campaigns. Shadow Warriors are great shots and have a higher movement rate than most other races.
- The Undead - One of the more popular warbands, the undead are comprised of living corpses lead by necromancers and vampires. None of the warriors, other than heroes, may use weapons of any kind, but to make up for this, the whole warband cause fear which is useful in hand-to-hand combat. The undead also have access to dire wolves, which like warhounds, have a high movement rate.
- The Possessed - Comprised of demonically possessed fanatics and sorcerers, the possessed are designed to represent the forces of Chaos in Mordheim. Although they have limited equipment, some members are allowed to have mutations, which are a result of the demons inside them creating extra appendages. Although they have very little missile fire, the warband is very good in close quarters fighting.
- Orcs and Goblins - This warband is predominantly for fun; with fun magic and characters, this warband is fun to play and allows access to trolls. Trolls can technically never die in a campaign, as they never have to roll for injuries. With little missile fire, the warband is good in hand-to-hand fighting, but has good magic and upgrades.
- Skaven - Skaven are great at hit and run tactics, being highly mobile and great with special weapons and abilities. The warriors in this warband are a lot cheaper than other races, so you can have a lot more for your gold coins. The warband also has access to magic, which is short-ranged but deadly.
- Other Warbands - There are many other unofficial warbands (Amazons, Bretonnians, Tomb Kings, Beast men and Pirates to name a few) which you can use if your opponent gives you permission. See which warband suits you the best and if need be, try it out before you decide.
- Buy the warband models. Although any old model can be suitable depending on which race you're playing, it's best to try to acquire box sets such as those for The Empire in Warhammer if you're playing as Human Mercenaries or Orc regiment boxes if you're using them. If you use your imagination and modelling skills, any model can be converted to make a certain character or hero.
- Check what equipment they will use before assembling the models. It's no use giving a hero a mace when the model clearly shows he's holding a sword and bow! Rules and army lists can be downloaded online for free or be bought from model stores and off online traders. They contain the equipment lists and how much you can spend on your warband; in campaigns you can only spend 500 gold coins (600 if you are using a Marienburg warband) which can only buy you so much equipment and warriors.
- Decide what you want to have your army fighting with before you start making the models.
- Assemble them. Use pieces which relate to what equipment the model's using and make sure you've got all the pieces before you being building the models. There are several ways to build Mordheim models, or any plastic soldier for that matter; find what's best for you.
- The Fast Way - If you don't have time and you just want to get your warband together as quickly as possible, then use the principles of this technique. First of all, clip off all the pieces you need to make the models from the plastic sprue. Get an adhesive (Plastic glue works best for binding plastics together while super glue is best for metal-on-metal or metal-on-plastic) and stick the pieces together in the correct fashion (IE, don't stick the arm on the back or the legs the wrong way round). Attach the model to a plastic base and you're quite welcome to play with the model as is. You can add further detail by then painting the model if you want; if you want a fast paint job, then use flat coloring with little detail.
- The Detailed Approach - This way is for those of you who want to play games, but want your models looking great whilst on the battlefield. After you've removed the components from the sprue, you can either glue them together and then de-mold line them or you can de-mold line them first before you stick the pieces together. Remove Mold Lines from Plastic Miniatures (Also known as filing) involves removing the mold lines from the model using either a craft knife or file. After this is complete, you can then glue the pieces together. Again, you can play with the model whilst it's in this state, but if you want it looking great, it's best to paint it. This time, try using better detail when painting, using techniques such as highlighting, dry brushing and washing to make the model really stand out. It pays to spend a bit more time on your heroes, as they will be the ones that people will look at the most.
- After you've painted your models, you can also "base" them; this includes adding static flock to the base, or sand or grass, which gives the effect that the model is standing on actual ground.
- Write down all the names and strengths of your warband on a roster sheet. You can have games and participate in campaigns. If this is your first warband, you'll probably now have the confidence to start another one for some variation.
- Mordheim and the wargame Warhammer Fantasy are very similar and use many of the same models, rules and pieces; looking for heroes and models in the Warhammer range is a good start if you don't have any Mordheim models, seeing as Mordheim is no longer sold in most stores.
- There are a good range of modelling books out there to help with the finer points of building, painting and playing with plastic miniatures.
- Get your friends and family involved - it's no fun playing by yourself and having someone there to help you build and paint is always helpful.