I’ve been playing Mordheim: City of the Damned of late. Quite a lot. It’s become my new World of Warcraft, to be honest; if I don’t have any work to do and it’s too bright outside and the house isn’t intolerably filthy, I fire up Mordheim and then four hours later I wonder why it’s gone dark outside.

Despite the initial frustration displayed in m’tutorial videos (released every Sunday throughout July, back for $1 on Patreon and you get to pick my warband for a Let’s Play, back for $2 and you get to be in the warband), I actually quite like Mordheim.

I’ve even come to terms with the story missions. The first couple were… well, yes, they were a bit difficult, especially that one in the library with the colour-coded teleport pads, and the one in the palace with the fucking Daemonettes one-rounding whatever they touch and making everyone else Stupid.

What really annoyed me, though, was how they often collapsed into slow backtracking across the map, or frustrating ‘find the thing, then manage your inventory with an inventory system that only lets you drop and pick up via some of the interactive objects)’ dreck, or how the nesting of new objectives behind the old ones dragged them out into more doubling back.

BUT… I came to terms with them in the end. Act 2’s missions were generally much more flowing and sensible, with a more logical route from location to location and objective to objective, and fewer discrete items taking up space in the inventory. Most of the things that went wrong with the Act 2 missions were my fault, attributable to things like “not looking closely at the map and seeing what’s highlighted differently now a new objective has unlocked.

The last couple were basically fun. So much so that the rather arbitrary ‘end’ to the Undead campaign makes me… a bit sad, really. There’s a definite sense that more story missions were supposed to happen (I mean, there’s a whole plot that unfolds with Mannfred starting to work against the Von Carstein family’s best interests, and that’s not revealed until the closing narrative for the last mission!) before the development time was funnelled into Necromunda instead. I’m holding out for more content down the line.

BUT none of this addresses the word ‘synchronicity’, does it? Bear with me here.

Obviously, I named my first Vampire ‘Jimothy’, because I was going to use him for a Let’s Play until it became obvious that Mordheim is a game you get good at and then make videos about. My second one was saddled with Ionaton Von Bitte by the random name generator, which tickled me greatly ’cause Hark put on an episode of Nathan Barley and… ‘Bitte’ is the German equivalent of that vague ‘yeah’ in the one guy’s name, and… look, it’s a reference and a bilingual pun and it’s probably not funny to anyone but me (I should have called the warband ‘the Trashbats’ or something, why didn’t that occur to me earlier?).

ANYWAY: I named my first Dreg Boris, because of Boris the Wonder Dreg from back in the day, and he did turn out to be quite Wonderful. So the ground was set for some synchronicity to occur.

It did. The story missions felt like they synched up with what my original Mordheim warband did, and how they grew into the foundations of my actual WFB army. Which, oddly enough, set me to thinking about Warhammer Total War, and how that game is… well, it’s hardly proper rank and flank Warhammer, because it bears resemblance to eighth edition (I’m still lobbying for ‘Noncehammer’), but it’s close enough. It affords room for building up the Von Carstein empire and trying to take over the world, anyway.

So I’ll probably play that next. I reckon it’ll scratch an itch.

Author: Jon

Sententious, mercurial, and British as a bilious lord. Recovering Goth, lifelong spod. Former teacher and amateur machine politician, now freelance writer and early-career researcher.

One thought on “Synchronicity”

  1. Additional: the Sisters of Sigmar campaign missions can get to fuck. Tunnel fighting, in a slow-moving turn-based game, with a map that only shows the surface, i.e. not the space you’re actually trying to navigate? SHIT. DESIGN. These fucking story missions, and the weird way difficulty is set (the AI is shit at moving and sometimes goes out of its way to leave your guys alive, but its individual warriors tend to overpower yours because it doesn’t have to find money to train skills for its warbands, which is good for learning what skills and spells do but creates some weird imbalances in what should be ‘normal’ missions) are a disgrace to what’s otherwise a compelling game.

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