The Rat Pack: Mordheim – City Of The Damned

“There are only so many eyes and limbs a unit can lose before they’re out.”

Mordheim: City of the Damned is a squad-based tactical combat game set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, in which an injured unit might return to the titular chaos-infected city with a pegleg. It’s entering Early Access this month and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ve already enthused about the game, although I was looking at it rather than playing it so bring a bag of salt to those impressions, and the video below goes into detail about the unusual implementation of action points and other mechanics so you can learn all about it and join me in the Excitement Chamber.

Procedurally generated skirmishes, multiplayer and a full single player campaign? Oh, you are spoiling us Mr Ambassador. Here in Mordheim we’re usually content to chew the tentacles that are erupting from the palms of our hands when we find ourselves in need of a hors d’oeuvre. And your hybrid real-time/turn-based system is a main course fit for a king. Would that our king had not been reduced to a writhing puddle of sentient eyeballs that occasionally sprouts a mouth simply to scream sweet songs of agony and prayer directed toward the memory of dread Nagash.

The initial Early Access launch will be a sample, with the full feast rolling out incrementally over the coming months.

But how long will we have to wait for Skaven?

The available Warbands at the Early Access kick-off in a few days are: the Human Mercenaries from the Empire, and the Skaven from Clan Eshin. Your warmongering will take place on two procedural maps with randomized elements, and two unique maps, in the classic deathmatch mode. New players need not worry, as basics will be served through four tutorials introducing them to the game!

There will be no waiting. The Skaven are on the frontline.

29 Comments

  1. Mr Eyl says:

    I’m looking forward to this- I’ve been waiting countless squeaks to play it.

    • Greggh says:

      I honestly cringed at this CHEESY beginning of a pun thread.

      • Kaben says:

        I cant wait to hear more tails of RPS’ adventures in this game world.

        • Kollega says:

          Now we just need some mousy journalist to gather more impressions for a full-blown review. Hopefully, no-one will rat that hypothetical journalist out.

          • Rizlar says:

            Look forward to reading some battle reports – the combat looks pretty dicey, one miscast and you are a whisker away from death.

          • Senethro says:

            There sure are a lot of RATS in this game

  2. Jamesworkshop says:

    they better bring in some undead dammit

  3. sonofsanta says:

    There will be no waiting. The Skaven are on the frontline.

    And only right too. Humans and Skaven were the warbands in the box. It’s almost as if the developers actually owned and played the original game!

  4. FireStorm1010 says:

    It looks really promising, but liek you wrote in the article, lets wait hands on gameplay.

  5. Chiron says:

    *fap fap fap fap fap* Please ignore my Slaanesh gifted tentacles, I’m just really happy, honest.

  6. airmikee says:

    Added to my Steam wishlist, looks interesting enough that I’m going to ignore it until closer to final release to avoid building up any expectations. :)

  7. Penguin_Factory says:

    I am getting a fairly hefty Valkyria Chronicles vibe off of this, which is kind of funny given that game’s unexpected PC release.

    Looks pretty cool, I might check it out.

    • Gothnak says:

      That’s what i don’t like about the look of it.

      I prefer the isometric tile based style for understanding the battlefield shape, cover and location. Also knowing if things can reach me in their turn. The full 3d, multiple height thing doesn’t add a huge amount tactically, but does make understanding your options more difficult.

      I had the same problem with Valkyrie Chronicles back on the PS3.

      • Penguin_Factory says:

        Actually you raise a good point here- in VC I didn’t mind not being able to see movement range and such from the tactical screen because the characters all use guns, but with melee weapons that might become a problem.

        Judging by the video it seems like units have pretty hefty movement ranges though.

      • Hex says:

        Yeah here’s hoping they end up including some kind of top-down view.

  8. Tomhai says:

    From their website
    “Turns are not taken in their entirety team by team, so much as through the initiative ladder per unit, dictated by the amount of initiative points each unit have.”

    This is the thing that essentially “ruined” Divinity: OS and Wasteland 2 for me. Despite them being RPG-s not tactical turn based combat games. I can appreciate them as RPG-s but the combat is lackluster.

    Initiative order by character takes a lot of possibiliteis away because you can’t combine your characters movements. It’s essentially one less decision to take, which means one less possibility ot outwit your opponent. It works for games like HOMM where you want a bit streamlined combat or pen-and-paper RPG where too many combat options will drag the game down afwully. But for a computer turn based combat game…? I dont know how they are gonna compensate for this.

    • Kaben says:

      I dont agree.
      Having units take turns by initiative order makes perfect sense and adds another layer to the tactics of building a team/choosings race. Do you choose untit with high initiative but can deal less damage/ are more squishy in the hope you can out manoeuvre the enemy? Or do you go for slow heavy bruisers?

      Its hardly a new trope and once the sequence of initiative has been set it will be the same each turn (barring stuns etc) so you will still be able to build your strategy of squad interactions just the same as if you took sequential turns with your oponent. NOt being able to rely on moving your whole team being moved at once means you have to be careful not to overplay your hand and leave alternative strategies open because your opponent could really screw up your perfectly laid plan. It also prevents the team who goes first from having such a huge advantage.

    • Hex says:

      I know in Wasteland 2, you see the turn-order at the top of the screen, so you can plan accordingly. To my mind, it adds additional tacticality(?) to the proceedings, as I’m forever scrambling to come up with a plan which will allow me to use the resources available to take down another ridiculous machine-gunner or what-have-you.

    • MisterFurious says:

      I Go You Go systems usually result in the first player having a serious advantage.

    • Keymonk says:

      Pretty sure that’s the system they use in Warhammer too. The initiative stuff.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      I have to disagree as well. Sure, an enemy might get a chance to throw a wrench in the works of your fun/interesting/powerful combos but is that not what is called tactics? If you want your plans to work, you have to take that in to account, and have a backup plan… as opposed to just clicking a bunch of abilities that combine well and watch the results.

    • airmikee says:

      That’s the way initiative has worked going all the way back to paper and dice D&D, Battletech, GURPS and Shadowrun. Each player rolls their own initiative die, the DM rolls for each NPC/monster, and it goes in turn from there across both sides of the fight until one side is no longer in the fight.

      I don’t mind the other way of doing things, with squads moving and acting all together each turn, but I disagree with you that individual initiative breaks games. I think it adds an added touch of realism and strategy, forcing me to focus on the closest/quickest enemies sometimes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Can you delay your action? The fast guy having to choose between going right now and getting the drop, or giving up the initiative to synchronize with the slow guy, is a very interesting tactical choice.

      • crustierpie says:

        Yes you can choose “delay stance” forgoing ambush/overwatch or a defensive stance which moves the troop back 3 places on the ladder.

  9. MisterFurious says:

    This looks really good. I’ve heard of Mordheim but I’ve never played it. Is there a FUMBBL equivalent for it out there?

  10. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Is that the same narrator as in that Styx demo? He’s got a really weird way of speaking, with odd emphasises all over the place. Not bad, just…weird.

    Also, skaven being in from the start is a good move, I wouldn’t be interested until they’re there. I shall be watching to see if this goes on sale (a nice bonus of early access at times).

  11. Elusiv3Pastry says:

    Would that our king had not been reduced to a writhing puddle of sentient eyeballs that occasionally sprouts a mouth simply to scream sweet songs of agony and prayer directed toward the memory of dread Nagash.

    Are there any artists reading this? I’d like to commission a painting of this scene.

  12. Buzko says:

    Looks cool.

    Necromunda pls.