Friday, December 30, 2022

Mordheim 2022: Witch Hunter games

As a follow up to Eric’s two posts about his experiences playing his Undead warband at the Mordheim 2022 event, I wanted to describe my experiences. As followers of this website may know, of my brothers and I, I do not do much in the way of building models and painting, largely due to mental health issues, which you can hear more about on episode 91 of our podcast. When I attended the Mordheim 2019 event in Helsinki, Ana Polanšćak was kind enough to build a Witch Hunters warband for me to use. After the event, she very generously gifted me four of the miniatures from the warband. For this new event, I decided it would be fun to use those miniatures and explore what has happened to them in the three years that have elapsed since. 

The events of Imperial Calendar 2019 in the ruined city of Mordheim were not kind to Strivelyn’s ardent group of Witch Hunters, leaving only Strivelyn and three of his brethren to pick up the pieces. In that time, Strivelyn has only become more fanatical in his convictions, now intent to see all life extinguished from the Cursed City. Sigmar saw it fit to punish the hedonism of the denizens of Mordheim by destroying the city with the Twin-tailed comet, and after watching the degeneracy of the city in the 23 years following its destruction, Strivelyn has found it wanting.

To replace the ranks of his party, Strivelyn was forced to look to the surrounding countryside, calling upon a primitive tribe of humanfolk, none of which are fully devoid of the corrupting touch of the nearby city.

The tribe of recruited warriors was led by a giant of a man, Rivland the Wailing Furnace.

The warband had three flagellants armed with vicious weapons constructed of bone.

Three zealots rounded out the warband, also armed with cruel implements of bone.

Game 1 - Greg's Witch Hunters vs Jon's Cult of the Possessed  (built by dark_ages_workshop):

Witch Hunter Strivelyn and his band of miscreants arrive back in the ruined city via the Port.

Watching Strivelyn’s arrival is a twisted Cult of Possessed, its Magister intent on extracting whatever magical knowledge he can find in the city and enacting whatever violence he can along the way.

Tribe Leader Rivland leads his brethren off the ship, as Strivelyn and his veteran Witch Hunters stay behind to survey the area.

It does not take long before Rivland finds himself face to face with two monstrous Possessed, each a fury of snapping claws and roiling tentacles.

A torrent of teeth, tendrils, and rending claws make short work of Rivland and his compatriots, leaving them bleeding on the cobblestone.

After seeing all of his newly recruited tribesmen so easily dispatched, Strivelyn orders the rest of his group to retreat. Clearly Mordheim has not become any less dangerous in his time away.

Witch Hunter Loss

Game 2 - Greg's Witch Hunters vs Alex's Sisters of Sigmar warband:

Strivelyn and his battered warband retreat into the sewers of the city in a desperate attempt to escape the onslaught from the Cult of the Possessed. Rivland makes it out with his life but loses an eye, though a total of five other warriors are not so fortunate. As Strivelyn and his warriors descend into the dank subterranean recesses of the city, it quickly becomes apparent that they are not alone, with a cohort of Sisters of Sigmar cautiously making their way through the murky confines.

The Sisters of Sigmar attempt to escape the sewers but their efforts are thwarted by tendrils rising from the fetid water.

The leadership of the Sisters of Sigmar detach from the rest of the group in an effort to free themselves from the sewer creatures, but they are still hounded by them.

Strivelyn and his brethren find themselves in vicious combat with a hired Ogre and more denizens of the sewer.

The Sisters of Sigmar Matriarch escapes the sewers as the Witch Hunters remain locked in grueling combat with writhing tentacles.

Witch Hunter Loss

Game 3 - Eric's Undead and Greg's Witch Hunters vs Adam and Alex's Sisters of Sigmar warbands:

With a monumental effort, Strivelyn’s Witch Hunters drag themselves out of the grasp of the tentacled monstrosities, and make it back onto the streets of the dock. Almost immediately, Strivelyn senses a perceptible change in the air and knows a malevolence is descending upon the dockyard. He feels something of a kinship with this baleful force, knowing in his bones that it means to see an end to all that breathes in this degenerate place. He will see that this force is successful in returning everyone to the infinite blackness from which they came, and hopefully allow himself to meet that blackness as well.

The Sisters of Sigmar arrive in force, not being perturbed by the icy chill that is unnaturally spreading across the shipyard.

Flickering spectrums, the imprints of twenty years of suffering within the Cursed City, tear into the iron wall of the valiant Sisters of Sigmar. The Witch Hunters advance behind in support, intent on demonstrating how their convictions towards Sigmar are supreme.

At the heart of the throbbing malevolence is a vampiric creature, virtually invisible until it is covered in the viscera of its foes. Rivland and his tribesmen follow in its wake, but it does not leave much for them to fight.

A monstrous equine braying is the first thing that announces the arrival of a procession of incorporeal decaying horses. There is a rumor in the Cursed City that any sort of revelry, bloodletting or otherwise, will summon these beasts intent on devouring the souls of any hapless victim.

Undead/Witch Hunters Victory

Game 4 - Jimmy's Cult of Possessed and Greg's Witch Hunters vs  Bill's Ostermark warband and Eric's Estalian mercenaries:

After the carnage at the dockyard, the fell wind which brought the vampire dissipates, and leaves Strivelyn and his Witch Hunters to themselves. There is never time to rest, as talk has spread of two new Empire warbands roaming in the general area, one a hardy expedition from the League of Ostermark, and the other a group of treasure seekers from Estalia.

Strivelyn and his Witch Hunters assemble amidst the ruined hovels of the city, hearing the clamoring of Empire soldiers in the distance.

Ansgot and Valance begin their climb up a towering dilapidated building, hoping to find a vantage point with which to turn their crossbows against their foes.

Also setting their sights on the Empire warbands is a Cult of the Possessed, doubtlessly intending to use some bloodwork in their Dark Magicks. Strivelyn hopes that the upcoming battle will leave both the Cult and the Empire warbands weakened, such that his Witch Hunters can sop up the remains.

The Magister and his Darksoul champion usher forth the writhing madness of three poor souls possessed by Daemons of Chaos.

Estalian crossbowmen spot the approaching Possessed and set up position to rain bolts down upon them.

The Estalian captain Gonzalo Esparsa and a hired Warlock gaze across the city and prepare themselves for the coming onslaught.

Chaos Cultists make their way through the city streets, their domineering red robes making sure that everyone is aware of their coming.

Marksmen from Ostermark train their bows on the steadily advancing Possessed, hopeful that they can put them down before they are close enough for hand-to-hand combat.

A hired Warlock does battle with the Chaos Magister, and is quickly dispatched, being no match for such a powerful champion of the Ruinous Powers.

Ansgot reaches the top of a ruined building and loads his crossbow.

Stefan Prechtel, the leader of the Ostermark detachment and an imposing character in his own right, shouts commands to his archers, hoping to lay low some cultists.

Stefan Prechtel stares down the approaching cultists and readies his blackpowder pistol.

The Ostermark arrows prove ineffective in slowing the advance of the cultists.

After making short work of the hired Warlock, the Magister turns his attention to the Estalian crossbowmen.

As the skirmish starts to wind down, Warrior Priest Bohumil confronts Estalian captain Gonzalo Esparsa in close combat.

Possessed/Witch Hunters Victory

Those were the four games I was able to play with the Witch Hunters at the Mordheim 2022 event! It was awesome being able to field the Witch Hunters again after my experiences with them in 2019. Beyond the joy of being able to actually play Mordheim, I cannot overstate how thrilling it was to be able to meet and spend time with so many other hobbyists as excited about Games Workshop’s creations as my brothers and I. A special thanks needs to go out to Bill Ford for coordinating the event and for asking me to be a part of it!

- Greg Wier

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