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Some ranting, then a question.
My friend and I have been playing Mordheim for a while, but took a break to try some other things for a bit. We've started back up, and I decided to try out a very different sort of warband. We put together some "adventuring company" rules so we could make warbands out of just about anything we wanted to pull in. (no changes to stats or costs for the most part)
I went for an UBER-SMALL highly-armored warband. When first made, it consisted of a Saurus Totem Warrior, Dwarf Warrior, and a Cleric. That's it. All three were kitted out to the max and used up all 500gp to make the beginning band.
(Don't yell, I know that band has 'issues', but I'm experimenting!)
Anyway, I didn't realize exactly how horribly armor sucked for its cost! I finally put together a quick mathamancy look at how the odds are stacked with armor.
Theoretically, since a Merc Warrior with Heavy Armor, Shield, and Club costs the same as 3 Merc Warriors armed just with a club each, the fight should be pretty even. It's not. Not even vaguely close.
Three Warriors with clubs: 28gp each. (84gp)
Warrior with Heavy Armor, Shield, club (83gp)
Without charging and without critical hits:
The armored attacker needs 4+ to hit. 4+ to wound.That's a 25% chance to wound.
Three plain attackers have 4+ to hit. 4+ to wound. Then armored guy gets 4+ AS.
That's a 12.5% chance to wound for one of them, and with three of them it's a 33.0078125% chance that they'll wound the armored warrior.
And that's just on the first round! The armored warrior needs to wound them three times, and they just need to wound him once! (it get sworse considering that he won't necessarily be taking them OOA every time, and so they might recover and fight again) And, don't forget the Heavy Armor imposes a -1 Movement penalty!
As part of the game as a whole, stuff like that is slightly mitigated by some of the rules -- a larger warband gets less gp than a smaller one for selling wyrdstone, and so the smaller one might be wealthier. And, assuming the smaller warband has few or no henchmen, then they might be leveling up a bit faster than the larger warband which would presumably have more henchmen who would be making some kills but not getting any experience.
Still!!! That makes armor REALLY suck!
Here's the question - does anyone have any suggestions on how to make armor somewhat more useful or realistic?
We lowered the penalties to AS which critical hits have. We're considering lowering armor's cost some (down 25% rounding down to the nearest 5gc), and maybe lowering the Ithilmar and Gromril armor's rarity.
Does anyone have some more/better suggestions?
It represents the rarity of heavy armour utside all but th emost elite troops. I wouldn't suggest an ultra-well armoured warband, and certainly not whilst you have better things to spend GC on. Wounds count for more than armour early on, only when you start bringing in heavier weapons does the armour become more viable, but even then the cost/benefit often is not worth it. Protecting your heroes is one thing. Equipping a whole warband with it?
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Yes, I realize that, and part of the decision on making this warband the way I did was to fit our campaign theme - shining heroes wading through the hordes of evil armed with valor, honor, and nice shininess!
It's not very Mordheim-y, but we're running a somewhat campy campaign to vanquish evil wherever it may be found with minimal conflict directly between opposing players. (they'll fight each other if we get in each others' way, but hordes of evil have descended and we're going to be busy fighting that for the most part - our opening battles were against a Necromancer and TONS of his minions)
If I had realized exactly how much armor sucked, though, I think my shining heroes would have had more in the line of 'retainers' and 'sidekicks' to fight at their side. All glory, of course, going to the heroes. :-)