Mordheim: City of the Damned is an adaptation of the now abandoned Games Workshop board game Mordheim. The board game itself was an offshoot of the Warhammer Fantasy game with a greater focus on small skirmishes and team based combat rather than big battles the Warhammer miniature games are famous for.

I know very little about the physical game but what I can see of Mordheim: City of the Damned on its Steam store page looks very enticing. Though it leaves me with one question.

How have I never heard about this before today? The Warhammer universe is by far my favorite fictional setting (though I'm more of a 40k guy) and I love a good tactical RPG, yet Mordheim completely slipped under my radar.

 If you're completely in the dark, much like how I was, allow me to give you a "brief" rundown of what Mordheim is.

The setting and story are simple to grasp, everything takes place in the Imperial city of Mordheim which has descended in to chaos ever since a meteor hit it dead on. And since burned ruins wouldn't be very exciting the rumors of an artifact called the wyrdstone appearing in the city have invited a whole host of treasure seekers, mercenaries, monsters and other nasties all of which hope to aquire it for their own goals.

Gameplay wise this is first and foremost a tactical turn-based RPG, you control one of four factions all of which have their own unique playstyle as well as strengths and weaknesses. The factions (or warbands as they are called) are: Human mercenaries, the Skaven clan of Eshin, the Sisters of Sigmar and finally the Cult of the Possessed.

Once you chose a warband you'll then be able to chose what type of characters you want (spellcasters, melee, tanky guys, the usual) in order to shape your group for whatever playstyle you prefer. A really cool thing about this system is that your characters can be equipped with gear you gain from missions as well as with new talents and abilities but they can also be wounded, permanently.

So if your main fighter gets his leg mangled by a Chaos demon you're going to have to compensate for that, maybe hire some mercenaries to help take the load off him and so on.

The above mentioned Chaos demon, doesn't he just look friendly

While I haven't played the Mordheim yet I absolutely love when games make your squad more than nameless grunts you send around because when you have something to lose with their death the entire game becomes a whole lot more interesting.

The actual gameplay is what you would imagine for a turn based RPG although with one big difference. Instead of turns being team based they are determined by the initiative score of each character. So teams with faster members (which will most likely sacrifice health or damage for speed) will get the benefit of being the first to strike, potentially disrupting the enemy's plans before they've even started.

As far as game modes go you have the four campaigns, one for each warband with their own unique story, and a multiplayer mode where you get to face off against other players. Sadly it doesn't appear like there is any co-op.

In the campaign you will be given a single powerful leader unit who will then "lead" your hand picked squad. From there you can do missions that either progress the story or allow you to acquire some piece of equipment.  And given that the campaign is probably going to last a while, you'll want to make sure that your veterans are well taken care off.

That's pretty much the short of it, if you want the full rundown of all the details and lore head over to Mordheim's website. I'm most likely going to get Mordheim myself though I'm not entirely sure if I'll have time to do a review on it, but we'll see. For now, I leave you with the gameplay trailer.

 

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