Mordheim – City Of The Damned is the latest adaption of the Warhammer tabletop game from Games Workshop, Rouge Factor & Focus Home Interactive. Let’s get this out there, this game, well this game is hard. In every aspect, as I started a new game I was heavily prompted to go through the tutorial. Thank god I did as I would have been horribly out of my comfort zone if I had have just “winged” it. This is an RTS based in the Warhammer fantasy realm, so gone are the towering marines, with their classic weaponry. They are replaced by 4 different factions (5 if you have the Witch Hunter DLC): Human Mercenaries, The Skaven, The Sisters Of Sigma and The Cult Of The Oppressed. These factions (or Warbands as they are called in-game) play fairly similarly: you have melee, ranged, magic and tank to expand your Warband with, with each Warband focusing more on one aspect than the other. All in all, you can build a fairly well-rounded team that will hopefully secure you some wins.
This game is about the preemptive attack. You have to pick the right passive and aggressive buffs/skills before you start. Figure out your gameplay style and stick to it. This game will punish the cautious and lazy. You have a plethora of skills to pick from that range from assisting your team such as buffing success of climbing or reducing fall damage to increasing attack power and keeping team morale high. There is a lot to take in when you first start, be prepared to lose. This is a game about learning and sharpening your tactic skills.
This doesn’t rely on such headings like *You Will Die*. This isn’t hard for the sake of hard like Dark Souls and this has many more layers of depth than Xcom. This is a game for fans of Warhammer. If you lack any knowledge about the series, then this is going to give you a very rough start. Once you have gone through the steep learning curve, though, the outcome is very rewarding: every match/mission is harder than the last. If you manage to eke out a victory, then the feeling of relief/pride or just sheer enjoyment is all the reward you need/want before you start your next game and go through the same scale of emotions again.
*Capturing a Skaven’s good side proved easier than I imagined*
Does this game look good? Sure, it looks like a last generation game. It is passable. That isn’t what this game is aiming for though. This is close combat/tactical based war, it looks murky, it looks grey, it looks depressing. That all adds to the mood and character of this game. It’s a filthy beast. One that can’t just be tamed. It has to be wrestled to the ground, choked out and caged… otherwise, once it gets back up, this game will beat you to death as punishment for being weak and not seizing your moment. Where this game does excel is in the voice work. The actors they got in clearly threw themselves into the role. Think how absurdly British and over the top the orcs were in the Lord Of The Rings films. It’s grimy, it’s over the top, it’s slightly comical, it’s done so well though and brings an air of comedy relief, which this game benefits from greatly.
Gameplay is primarily turn-based, ala X-Com. You have your set amount of action points for each member of your team that you have to divvy out through movement, then combat. Where this game mixes up that formula is through exploration. You are given the ability to backtrack over spent AP and regain them giving you much more freedom to explore the maps and reconsider your strategy and attack positions. This freedom of movement does not make the game any easier though. AI are out for blood in Mordheim: they are an intelligent, unrelenting force, who will flank, gang up and just straight up charge you if your positioning is wrong or you have just let your mind wander briefly for a few turns. The few wins I have collected in this game have not been through the annihilation of the other team. My wins have been through making the Warband circuit (???) and stealing their idol and taking it back to my Warband. This increase in tactic leads to very experimental gameplay. Experimenting is key – YOU WILL NOT WIN ANY MATCHES IF YOU JUST TRY TO BULLY YOUR WAY TO VICTORY!!! This is a game of tactics, of strategy, use them smarts you got. Make me proud, do it for the Skaven!!!