from Town Cryer #9
The blastedcity of Mordheim has called to many a Pirate Captain with the song of easy riches, as the nearby rivers are filled with ships laden with either gold into the city or departing with wyrdstone. Using the perpetual fog and dust which fills the air around the ruins, a ship can navigate the city via the deep rivers running through it. With lightning speed, the pirate ships can appear from nowhere and attack a ship, quickly looting it of any valuables. Some Captains have even found safe harbours for their vessels, and lead frequent raiding parties into the city itself. These brave pirate bands have become new additions to other groups of adventurers, fanatics, and nightmare creatures that dare enter the remains of the City of the Damned.
Swabbies: Pirate warbands can 'recruit' new members to join the adventuresome life of a pirate, sometimes willingly but oftentimes more as an alternative to walking the plank! Only humans can be recruited in this manner though - not even the most bloodthirsty pirate would ever trust Skaven or Beastman, and other races even though friendly to mankind would normally never follow a mere human into battle! the following special rules apply to certain situations in Mordheim game play:
Kidnapped! Enemy human Heroes who after the game rolled up the Captured result (D66 rolls of 61 or 62) can be 'offered' one opportunity to join the pirate crew (usually at the point of a cutlass!). As an alternative to exchanging/ransoming the captured Hero back to their original warband (or selling him to slavers), the Pirate Captain can instead add the captured enemy to the ship`s crew as follows. Both players roll 2D6, with the Pirate player adding the Captain`s Leadership and the enemy player adding the Leadership of the captured Hero. If either side won that game, it may add +1 to it`s score.
If the Pirate player`s result is higher, the Hero renounces his old ways for the life of the high seas! She or he joins the Crew, either starting a new Crew group or joining an existing one if it has four models or less. There is no extra cost to add him to a group which has accumulated experience points, and any equipment or weapons he had are immediately sold off to buy him the proper weapons and armour to match his new unit in an even swap. His skills and charachteristics are changed to those of a starting Crewman, or to match those of his new crewmates if joining an existing group.
Otherwise, the Hero has resisted the siren`s song og the sea, and is forced to become a Swabbie (see Swabbies below). He is stripped of his equipment and weapons; these are handed out as the player desires. He does retain any skills and keeps his original characteristics, but can only be re-armed with weapons listed in the Swabbie equipment list.
Enemy human Henchmen taken Out of Action during the game and then lost from their original Warband for good (a 1-2 was rolled for them post-game) also have a chance of joining up too! roll another D6 for each: on a roll of 4+, the Pirates manage to drag them away or otherwise make them up on the ship. The Pirate player can then test to see if they will join and adding it to the Captain`s and the Henchman`s Leadership. This test can only be done if Pirates win the game, so the Pirate player will always get a +1 to his roll.
Hired Swords and Special Characters are too skilled to be taken off in this manner, and can never be recruited - they have their own agendas to pursue, and will ensure the pirate life is not part of those plans.
Well now matey, have you ever considered pirating as a career? If the Pirates encounter Stragglers (result 44) or Prisoners (result 333) when searching, there is a chance they may sign up to sail under the Jolly roger. Either of these options may be used instead of the regular options listed for these situations.
If a Straggler is found, the Captain can try to convince him to join the crew by making a successful Leadership test. If passed, the Straggler joins as a Swabbie (he`s too unhinged even to become a member of the Crew!).
If Prisoners are found, roll a D3 to determine how many are rescued. If the Captain passes a Ld test (he must make a separate test for each one), the Prisoner eagerly joins his rescuers as a member of the Crew, either starting a new Crew group or joining an existing one if it has four models or less. If he is starting a new Crew group, he will start at the normal characteristics levels for a normal Crew member and at Zero experience. There is no extra cost to add him to an existing group which has accumulated experience points, and his skills and haracteristics match those of his new crewmates. The player must pay though to equip and arm the new Crewman as per his new unit. If the player cannot pay, the Prisoner must join as a Swabbie. If the test is failed, the Prisoner isn`t quite so convenced of the worthiness of the sea dogs and is added as a Swabbie.
Unless noted otherwise, Pirate Warbands have the same access to Hired Swords & any other items as for a regular human Mercenary Warband, and follow all the normal rules for them as well. They must however pay an additional +20 gc in upkeep if they have both Dwarfs and Elves together in the same warband (the ship is only so big, and the confines make them more irritable than usual!).
In one-off games, a Pirate Warband starts with two Swabbies for free.
Succession: If the Captain is killed, one of the Mates will yake over in the same manner as a Champion taking over for a Mercenary warband.
A Pirate warband must include a minimum of three models. You have 500 Gold Crowns which you can use to recruit and equip your Warband. The maximum number of warriors in the Warband is 15 (this represents the landing party; the rest of the crew are aboard the ship in case some other scurvy sea dogs dare to attack!).
Ship's Captain: Each Pirate warband must be lead by a Captain no more, no less!
Mates: Your warband may include up to 2 Mates.
Cabin Boys: Your warband may include up to 2 Cabin Boys.
Crew: Your warband may include any number of Crew.
Gunners: Your warband may include up to 7 Gunners.
Boatswains: Your warband may include up to 5 Boatswains.
Swabbies: Your warband may include up to 5 Swabbies. Note that you may never have more Swabbies than you have Crew though!
The Captain starts with 20 experience.
Ship's Mates start with 8 experience each.
Cabin Boys start with 0 experience each.
All Henchmen start with 0 experience.
Pirate Heroes may use the following Skill table instead of any of the standard Skill tables available to them.
The pirate is renowned throughout the seas as one of the greatest singers aboard a ship, able to raise the spirits of any crew with his stirring renditions of 'The Sloop Johan Bee', 'What do you do with a Drunken Halfling?', and other famous pirate ditties. At the start of his Close Combat phase he can suddenly burst out in song, distracting one opponent in base contact of his choosing. That enemy must pass a Leadership test, or loose 1 Attack that turn. This does not effect Undead or other non-living creatures, such as Possessed.
Even in the strongest seas, the pirate has learned to keep his footing and equilibrium. If he Falls during a battle, he may ignore the effects of the D3 hits on a roll of 4+ (make a single roll to see if the any of the hits take effect or not). In addition, if he is knocked down or stunned within 1" of a precipice he may re-roll his Initiative test to see if he falls down or not.
These short, single bladed swords are the mainstay weapon of any pirate crew, and in the hands of a trained seaman they are superb weapons for close quarters fighting. If the pirate is equipped with a Sword, this skill will give him the additional benefit of also being able to parry successfully if the player rolls equal to number rolled to hit, not just higher as normal. This extra ability only apply if the Pirate is not in the open; ie., only when in cover or in a building, within 2" of a terrain feature like a wall or tree, etc.
(Captain only) The Captain has spent many a battle bellowing orders to his crew, yelling above the roar of the cannons and the screams of the enemy. Once per turn, the captain may shout encouraging words (or threats) at any one pirate within 8" who just failed his test to see if he runs away from combat, or to stop running away if he was already fleeing. That pirate may then re-roll the test. This can only be done if the Captain is on his feet, but not if the Captain is in close combat himself.
Many months at sea, and especially many months eating hardtack, have hardened the pirate's body to effects that would cause a lesser man to collapse. During the battle, the pirate may ignore any Critical Hits on a roll of 5+ (the wound is treated as normal if the roll is successful). If the roll is failed, the Critical Hit is worked out as normal.
The pirate cuts a dashing figure in combat, mixing dazzling swordplay and acrobatic feats with charm and witty comments. Even the basest villains in Mordheim respect (and curse) his ability to always seem to effortlessly slip from their grasp. The pirate may make a Leadership Test at the end of any Hand-to-Hand phase (pirate's or enemy's turn) if he is still in base contact with any enemy models. If he passes he may make a normal movement away from the enemy (he may not run or charge), without the enemy striking any blows on him. If he fails the test he remains in combat and must fight as normal in the following turn.
The following lists are used by Pirate warbands to pick their weapons:
60 Gold Crowns to hire
Only the roughest toughest sea dog can rise to become captain of his own ship. A good Captain has to be bold and decisive in combat, and a forceful personality to hold together his unruly followers. Though often elected by the Crew, he must command their respect and fear, and more importantly ensure their continued loyalty with plenty of gold!
Weapons and Armour: A Pirate Captain may be equipped with items chosen from the Pirate Equipment list.
Leader: Any pirate within 6" of the Captain may use his Leadership characteristic when taking any Leadership tests.
35 Gold Crowns to hire
Each ship has several Mates to serve under the Captain and ensure his orders are carried out properly. They also keep a careful eye on him as well for any signs of weakness or hoarding from the Crew, as each Mate would love nothing more than to become Captain himself one day. Until that day though they readily obey his commands, oversee the Crew and the ship, and stand with their Captain ready to plunder and ravage any ships they find.
Weapons and Armour: Mates may be equipped with items chosen from the Pirate Equipment list.
15 Gold Crowns to hire
The lure of the sea often calls many young men to leave their boring lives behind and take up the exciting life of a pirate. Some are the youngest sons of nobles who know they will never inherit, or whose families have fallen to disgrace or poverty. Others are simple farmboys yearning for the open sea and adventure. All though, show some glimmer of talent which the Captain decides is enough to allow them to serve as Cabin Boys, where they can learn not only the basics of seamanship but also the more important lessons of how to run a pirate ship. Assuming the live through the years of training, they will go on to become feared Captains of their own!
Weapons and Armour: Cabin Boys may be equipped with items chosen from the Pirate Equipment list.
(Bought in groups of 1-5)
25 Gold Crowns to hire
The backbone to the ship, the crew are drawn together by the lure of the sea as well as the lure of plunder! As sailors, crewmen are experts in seamanship and ship operations. As pirates, they also quickly become proficient in swordplay and in using a variety of weapons especially pistols. It is said a good pirate crewman needs to know how to read the skies, weather, and winds, but most importantly the moods of his Captain!
Weapons and Armour: Crew members may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Pirate Equipment list.
25 Gold Crowns to hire
Gunners tend the artillery and ammunition of the ship. Their keen knowledge of blackpowder weapons is essential to prevent the potential disaster of a cannon bursting, overheating, or recoiling out of control. In battle, Gunners oversee the banks of cannon, and on land they tend to be armed with the best pistols and other blackpowder weapons from the ship's stores.
Weapons and Armour: Gunners may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Gunner Equipment list.
Swivel Guns is Dangerous, Matey! Gunners are known to be amongst the bravest of pirates, given their close proximity to blackpowder weapons, but even among themselves they stand in awe of any Gunner who takes a Swivel Gun into battle. Usually they stand in awe quite far away from him - even they can't be sure when one might blow! If a Pirate Warband includes a Swivel Gun, the Gunner wielding it will always be considered an individual and can never have anyone else with him. Since a Pirate Warband may only have one Swivel Gun, if a Gunner is equipped with one then he must either be a new Gunner, or split from an existing unit. If the latter, he retains all Experience and Skills he had previously.
32 Gold Crowns to hire
Boatswains (or Bosons as they are often called) are responsible aboard the vessel for the upkeep of the rigging, the hundreds of lines and cables throughout the ship which keep the sails operating properly. They are experts at moving throughout the ship's maze of ropes, swinging from one yardarm to another to ensure the overall soundness of the rigging. In the ruins of Mordheim, these same skills serve them well in moving throughout the building wreckage and craters which litter the former city.
Weapons and Armour: Boatswains start with a Rope & Hook, and may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Pirate Equipment list. Note that they can never sell off or give away their Rope & Hook - a Boatswain would never be without his ropes!
Expert Riggers: Boatswains are highly trained in using their ropes, as they are the ones who maintain the complex network of rigging throughout the ship. They may re-roll failed Initiative tests Leaping over Gaps, Jumping Down, and performing a Diving Charge, as well as the normal test for Climbing Up or Down that a Rope allows.
Special Recruitment rules (see above)
Not all members of a Pirate Warband are there entirely voluntarily. Some have been captured from enemy vessels, or rounded up on the docks or harbour fronts when the ship was in need of extra men. Kept under a watchful eye by the Mates, the Swabbies know they had better carry out their duties as assigned, lest they face a keel-hauling or worse! Many have grown accustomed to their lot, but given a chance many will run for it, even into the unknown dangers of the hellish city ruins.
Weapons and Armour: Swabbies may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Swabbie Equipment list.
Not Hired: Swabbies are not hired, they follow the special 'recruitment' rules above.
Never Gain Experience: Swabbies generally aren't interested in proving their worth to the crew, they are interested in survival and hopefully escape! Swabbies never gain experience in games.
Rabble: Swabbies do not need to be armed all the same. Each may be given different equipment, but only items listed in the Swabbie equipment list. Swabbies can never use magic, or cast spells of any sort, no matter their original background or abilities.
'Blimey, they got away!' If the Pirate Warband itself Routs, any Swabbies who have already left the table in previous turns are presumed to have made a successful escape, and are never seen from again. Remove them from your warband roster as if they had been killed.
'Don't mind them mates, they ain't true pirates!' The rest of the crew barely notice if any Swabbies run away or go Out of Action - they know they'll find them later on and give them 30 lashes if they're lucky! Any Swabbies who are running away or have been taken out of action do not count towards the need to take a Rout test for the warband.
Pirate Warbands make use of trading between ships at sea, as well as the regular trading & merchant locations on land. Also, the landing parties can bribe their mates on the ship to rig up special weapons or items for them with the gold they gain in their adventures on land. Thus Pirates may also purchase the following in their after-game trading. Note that some items are included in the equipment lists above, meaning they can be bought in initial Warband creation as well.
A typical ship contains hundreds of these short lengths of carved wood. They are set up in racks in convenient places in the ship, around which the running rigging can be secured or belayed. These also make good weapons, and pirates quickly become proficient with hurling them as short range weapons.
Thrown Weapon, +1 Enemy Armour Save. Models using Belaying Pins do not suffer any penalties for range, but still suffer a -1 to hit penalty if they use them after moving that turn. They also do not hit very hard, so strike at User Strength -1 and give the target +1 to its armour save (or a 6+ if they have none), exactly as if the enemy had been hit by a bare fist.
These are normally used to pull in ropes or other objects from the water, but their long reach and wicked metal catches makes them also useful in combat.
Range: Close Combat
Strike First, Two Handed. Boat Hooks are used in Close Combat. They allow the user to Strike First in the first round of any close combat, no matter which model charged, but require both hands to use. Models using a Boat Hook in combat cannot use any other weapons, or gain benefit from a shield or buckler, while in close combat.
Order is often maintained aboard the ship with the threat of the lash. In battle the long barbed whip of the Cat is also seen, but this time dealing out punishment to the enemy!
Like the Steel Whips of the Sisterhood, Cats cannot be parried by swords or bucklers, have a 4" range, and hit with the user's Strength. However, since they are made of rope and not steel, they give the enemy model a +1 to his armour save (6+ for no armour), like a hit from a fist or dagger. Other than this exception Cats follow all the rules for Steel Whips.
Pirate Gunners sometimes construct and carry into battle a smaller and lighter version of the real swivel cannons normally attached to pivoting mounts on the ship's railing or sides. Though smaller than regular cannons, swivel guns are larger than normal handguns, so big that they must be held up with the support of wooden support. They are cumbersome, and prone to failure due to imperfect castings or poorly mixed blackpowder, but most gunners agree that they make up for it in sheer power.
Swivel Guns follow most of the rules for Blackpower weapons, Move or Fire, Prepare Shot, but have some exceptions as noted below. A Pirate Warband may have only one Swivel Gun at a time, due to the time it takes the ship's Master Gunner to construct one.
Cumbersome: The user is at -1 Initiative and -1 Movement throughout the battle. Also, Swivel Guns may never be fired twice per turn, or fired if the user moved, no matter what Skills the user may have.
Blackpowder Rules: The normally optional rules for Blackpowder weapons on page 164 are always in effect for Swivel Guns, due to unpredictable nature of the local materials used in their construction.
Special Ammunition: Swivel Guns use nonstandard ammunition types, which must be bought for each game. Each type only lasts one game, so if it is used in a game it cannot be used again until another supply is bought. Before firing, the Gunner must declare which type is being used, if he has more than one type available in the game.
A Swivel Gun firing these heavy lead balls can stop even a charging Ogre dead in his tracks!
Concussion: The impact of the heavy lead projectile is enough to rattle even the hardiest warrior. Treat any resulting Injury Rolls of 2-4 as a Stunned result.
These lengths of chain and linked metal don't cause as much damage, but can entangle an enemy model and bring him to his knees.
All Wrapped Up! Enemy hit by Chain Shot which are not wounded are Knocked Down on a roll of 4+, even if they normally can never be Knocked Down.
Very small pellets, rocks, metal scrap, even rock salt are poured into the barrel from prepared canisters, producing a cloud of shrapnel when fired.
It's Everywhere! If a hit is scored, D6 other enemy models within 4" of the target and also in Line of Sight will automatically take a single hit. If the original target was in the open, no hits can be applied to models in cover though (only if the original target was in cover can hits go to models in cover as well). The closest enemy model to the target must take the first hit, then the next closest, and so on. Models in Hiding will also count towards being close to the target, and can be hit as well. There is no Armour Save modifier from Grape Shot hits. Pirates know to duck out of the way when they hear a Swivel Gun going off, and thus are never hit by friendly Grape Shot.
There is nothing like many months at sea to really toughen up clothing! Covered with crusted salt, spilled rum, and other less savoury materials, many a pirate has found his long coat to have stiffened up to a very hard finish, and even offers some protection in combat.
Toughened Leathers work exactly like Light Armour, giving the wearer a 6+ Armour Save, but cannot be combined with the effects of any other armour except a Helmet or Buckler. This includes using a shield - most pirates find they get in the way when fighting in the stiff leather, resulting in falling into the briny deeps when trying to board a ship!
Whew, that's ripe Matey! Once bought (or broken in), a pirate's Toughened Leathers cannot be given to another pirate or sold back at the Trading Posts - the stench alone is enough to drive away even the most desperate of new owners!
A compass can be a big help on the land as well as at sea, by helping the pirates navigate faster and more accurately around the seemingly random ruins of the blasted city. In any scenarios where players roll to see which side deploys first, then his warband may re-roll their result. This can only be done if the pirate with the compass is not missing the game though! Note that only one re-roll is allowed, even If multiple pirates have a Compass, and if both sides have one then no re-rolls are allowed.
(one per model, one use only)
Any Pirate may bring some of these dense breads to eat during a battle, filling him with… well, something pretty dense and bread-like (the ship's cook refuses to divulge the exact ingredients). At the start of any one of his turns the pirate may pop some in his mouth as long as he is not already in hand-to-hand combat. His Toughness is temporarily increased by +1 for the duration of that turn and the following enemy turn, with the effects generally wearing off afterwards. Roll a D6 after that turn; on a 1 his biscuits were tainted and filled with maggots (yuck!). Make a note of his name - the pirate must miss the next game as he recovers (and thumps the cook a few times to boot!). If the Pirate winds up missing a game because of other effects, the losses will add together and he will miss the next two games.
(one per model)
Pirates who have lost a hand or arm due to a Hand Injury or Arm Wound can be fitted with a sharpened metal hook. The wearer of the stylish new device cannot use any two-handed weapons, but will always count as having a close combat weapon in that hand. The hook strikes in close combat in the same manner as a dagger.
A new pirate joining the warband, either during initial warband creation or as a new hire, may also start out with a Hook Hand. If the wearer gets a Hand Injury or Arm Wound in further battles, these can be ignored on a roll of 4+ as the hit was taken by the Hook Hand instead.
(one per Warband)
Ah, the sight of the Jolly Roger waving in the wind is enough to bring a tear to the eye of even the toughest old salty dog. Any Hero may carry the Jolly Roger; the cost represents the effort to have the ship's sail makers create a smaller version that one man may carry on a long pole.
Any Pirates within 12" of the Jolly Roger never count as being All Alone in combat. Carrying the banner takes up one hand though, so that model may not carry or use any two-handed weapons during the game. Note that Swabbies, lacking the true Pirate spirit, do not gain any benefit from the Jolly Roger.
(Captain and Mates only)
Squawk! Pieces of Wyrdstone, Pieces of Wyrdstone! A well trained parrot is excellent at distracting opponents, either by shouting out loud at them or flying around getting in their way. All enemy in base contact with the owner will be at -1 to hit in their first round of combat with the pirate unless they can pass a Leadership Test.
(one per model)
Any Pirate suffering a Leg Wound or Smashed Leg can opt to have his ruined leg replaced with a stout wooden peg leg. This will reduce his Movement (and maximum possible Movement characteristic) by -1, but offers a chance that stray hits will strike the leg instead. This gives him a special saving throw of 6+, which can be taken whenever he fails any other saving throws allowed against any wounding shooting or hand-to-hand hits. This save is not modified, and can be used even if no saving throw is normally allowed. A new pirate joining the warband, either during initial warband creation or as a new hire, may also start out with a Peg Leg. If the wearer gets a Leg Wound or Smashed Leg in further battles, these can be ignored on a roll of 4+ as the hit was taken by the Peg Leg instead.
A pirate can use his trusty spy glass to examine the combat ground, spotting any yellow dogs who try to sneak about! At the start of his turn, the owner can try to detect one Hidden enemy model to which he has normal Line of Sight. On a roll of 4+, the model looses his Hidden status. The spying Pirate can move as normal in that turn, but cannot run or charge.
(one use only)
Pirates may use a Treasure Map instead of regular exploration of the city ruins. It represents the location (possibly) of a treasure stash another pirate band was forced to bury, before they could bring the booty to a safe hide away. Roll a D6 after the game to determine where the map leads you (note that any gold crowns found represent the profit after all shares have been given to the crew).
1. The map turns out to be a fake! However, you do manage to return and trounce the bilge-drinking swine who sold it to you, and he gives your Warband D6x5 gold crowns to make amends (and prevent himself getting keel-hauled!).
2. The map leads your crew to a minor stash. After some hours digging, the find a chest containing 1 shard of wyrdstone and some jewels worth 2D6x10 gold crowns.
3. The map reveals one of the fabled alestashes of Long Drong Slayer himself! You uncover several barrels of the finest rums, ales, and other assorted spirits. One is a barrel of Bugman's XXXX, which can be used as per the rules for Bugman's Ale. After 'sampling' many of the other barrels, the remainders are sold off for 2D6x10 gold crowns (after the crew wakes up, of course).
4. Buried deep in the ruins of an unassuming hovel you find several chests filled with fine clothes, plus several notebooks outlining blackmail information for many of the local trading merchants. You realise this must be one of the stashes left by Facio, the great Tilean trickster and rogue. Armed with your new clothing and information, on your next visit to the trading posts you may buy any one item listed on the regular Price Chart as if it was Common (except any other Pirate Warband unique items, such as Swivel Guns or Treasure Maps), assuming you have the money. Once the transaction is complete, you turn around and sell the notebooks to his competitors for 2D6x10 gold crowns, and make any other trading post purchases as normal.
Also, if in your next game your warband captures anyone, or finds any Stragglers or Prisoners, the fine clothing impresses them quite a bit! The Captain's Leadership is increased by +1 when testing to see if any join your warband.
5. The treasure chest that is found has been carefully booby-trapped! One of your Heroes must try to penetrate the maze of poisoned dart-shooters and collapsing pathways that surround the chest by passing an Initiative test. If he passes, his expert approach reveals a Lucky Charm near the chest (which he claims for himself!), and 3D6x10 gold crowns in the chest itself. If he fails the test, he must sit out the next game as he recovers, but the crew do manage to open the chest now that the traps have been set off and gain the gold as above. They do not find the Lucky Charm though as it is drawn back into it's hiding place, there to await a more careful adventurer.
6. Your crew bow their heads in reverent silence, as the map has lead them to one of the legendary secret burial spots used by Black-Wyrd the Pirate King, first and finest pirate to ever ravage Mordheim. Known for tying shards of Wyrdstone into the thick strands of his hair and beard and then setting them alight so they set off sparks of unholy fire, he was rightly feared by all Warbands throughout the land and sea. Though only a small chest is found at the site, when opened it reveals 2+D3 shards of Wyrdstone, plus a Mordheim Map!