Games Workshop 8 – Skirmishers

I won’t spam you with more Games Workshop stuff any more… after this post, were I take a look at the various smaller scale Systems Games Workshop put out that I consider to be of importance. There was a Path to Glory or something back then with only Chaos dudes, which I can appreciate but don’t know anything about so I’ll be silent about that. Let’s start with the giant: Mordheim. Mordheim was a small scale skirmish system which was published 1999. It focussed around the conflict for Warpstone (consider it magic Uranium if you don’t know it – worth a bunch but dangerous for you and your enemies should you be a wizard) in an imperial city hit by a comet consisting of that stuff.

The comet killed most of the population and mutated the rest. Now there are warbands sent there to recover it and become rich in the process. This is one of the systems GW advertised as specialist systems far back and silently went around the time 8th edition came and with it the restructuring of GWs website. This also meant no bits available any more. Weirdly, like with Blood Bowl, this didn’t realy hurt the system. The target audience was small anyways and without official support they began to tinker with the rules themselves a bit.

There are several fan editions out there, I mostly played a compilation of all rules that were available from the core book and White Dwarves. There was at some point an Orc and Goblin warband released in the rules, which meant you could play the gits. If you like a really complex and somewhat clottered system (but hey, if you played Warhammer in the 7th edition or earlier you’ll know half of the rules anyways) with heavy RPG elements for levelling up your characters and troops as well as a brutal table to roll on if you get injured including permanently loosing or crippling one of your guys, this one is for you. It stands the test of time well, but to a wholly uninitiated person it will probably be a lot of work to get in.

After Age of Sigmar dropped, GW republished Blood Bowl, a fantasy football game and incorporated not only the mostly unchanged rules from back then but some fan stuff as well. It was seperated in a bunch of different books though and the fan editions are still out there and the changes are minimal. GW republishing this stuff though means you can get really cheap teams and dice and templates are more readily available. There is an Orc team which can use up to 4 Goblins and a Troll and a Goblin team which only consists of Goblins and up to two Trolls as well as specialists who use bombs and chainsaws to batter the opponent. You either kill most opponents or they kill you, it’s hillarious if you don’t like winning. I lost both games so far in our league but it was still a lot of fun.

With Age o Sigmar came also fitting skirmish systems. Well Age of Sigmar is not a Rank and File in any way, but it is meant for massive conflicts, while the following systems are meant as smaller conflicts. Both are somewhat lacking in my opinion, but the intent was great. First of, there’s Age of Sigmar Skirmish. This one sees you using single miniatures in really small conflicts with barely changed rules to the bigger games. The problem though: you only have a hand full of units and the balance is far off. Orcs and Goblins can choose between a Goblin Shamen, a Savage Orc Big Boss or one of 3 Ironjawz characters, one being the Megaboss, who can flatten entire regiments on its own. Yes, that guy is overpowered. There has been a revision though lately in the White Dwarves of 2019, so maybe the game is more balanced now. It is meant to be played as a campaign and has some progression, allthough not being as much as with Mordheim.

Age of Sigmar: Path to Glory on the other side sees you playing essentially Age of Sigmar with smaller armies that progress over time. It is meant as a strictly story driven system. You have your Hero with a retinue at he beginning and have to roll on tables which unit you get next. Some are far stronger than others and out of the 3 different unit types for Bonesplitters (Archers, Boys and Morrboys) you can only get boys, while other armies have their stronger choices intact. I don’t know what they were thinking here, but the idea of a slowly growing warband collecting glory is great!

The Age of Sigmar supplements are pretty much different modes of Age of Sigmar. They are really easy to pick up and play, so thats definitely a plus. They are also pretty cheap and one of them is now in two White Dwarves in an enhanced version. The older systems are a lot more balanced (they give you boni if you play against stronger opponents), but they are really complex. This all comes down to preference in the end. I like Mordheim, but it would probably be a lot easier to find someone for Age of Sigmar Skirmish. I suppose should they ever publish an Age of Sigmar Killteam style game I’ll be in. There seems to be a thing close to Necromunda soon, but if it really only features Chaos warbands I’m out, I need my greenskins.

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