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Monday, May 3, 2010

GWvsJohn talks Necromunda, Part 2: Building your gang


Ok, so you've chosen your House (this article is only about House gangs, sorry to all you Outlanders out there), now it's time to start putting your crew together. While Necromunda is all about having fun and looking cool, it still helps to put a little thought into your choices. This article is going to assume you want to build the best gang possible.

The first thing you want to think about is numbers. The income table has a few "sweet spots" where you can maximize both the numbers of models in your gang and the amount of credits you earn in the post game. The brackets break every 3, so gangs of 1-3 models earn, the same, 4-6, 7-9, etc. Since gangs of 10 and 12 models earn the same, and (all other thing big equal) a gang of 12 models is more likely to win a game, you'd much rather have 12 (or 6 or 15...) models than 10. For a House gang 6 models is just too few to have a realistic shot of winning. As we start buying and equipping gangers, you'll see that 12 models is just too many to actually have effective men. So, really, for a starting gang, your plan should be to recruit 9 members in your gang. Now, how are we going to divide those 9, and how are we going to equip them?

Leader: every gang needs a leader, so, congrats, you now have 1 man down. Your leader is your best shot (at BS 4) and fighter (at WS and I 4), he has the best LD, which you use for bottle tests while he's alive and anyone in 6" can use and he can break pins by himself. Your leader is basically an all-around beast and you should probably equip him as such. I think a chainsword is almost mandatory for every leader. S 4 and a parry in CC is very useful and you can pass it down to a ganger or juve when you eventually get better equipment to replace it. I think a solid pistol is a very good companion to your chainsword. Plasma pistol if you can get it, or a simple bolt pistol give your leader a deadly shooting attack to use his high BS. Even with the Bolt Pistols ammo roll of 6 and the possible recharge time of the high power plasma pistol, I don't think a backup weapon is needed for the leader. Leaders can also get special weapons, but I'd probably save those options for a high theme or specialized gang.

Heavy: some places might advise you to only start with 1 heavy, but to me that's crazy. Recruitment is the only time you're going to have guaranteed cash to spend and heavy weapons are pricey. I think every gang needs 2 heavies. For the vast majority of starting gangs, the heavy stubber is a no-brainer. Huge range, S 4, sustained 2,... the stubber can really dominate the table. Even at BS 3 your heavy stubber will be taking a few enemies down every game. For the second heavy, you have a few options. A second stubber is a very good idea, but it's also expensive at 120 credits. The plasma gun is a good option too. Decent range, high impact, sustained 1 and can move and fire. A stubber/plasma gun combo provides a powerful shooty base for a new gang. Finally the flamer is a good option for a gang that plans to get up close in the vast majority of games. A S 4 flamer template in Necromunda is very, very scary. Outside of those 3 weapons, I don't think there's any other good options for a new gang. The autocannon, heavy plasma gun and lascannon are just too expensive to be a realistic option. The heavy bolter is a very nice gun, and reasonably priced at 180 credits. However, I think it's more of an upgrade option once your heavies start getting some techno skills. Sustained 2 and 6+ ammo just won't fly without weaponsmith. The frag missile launcher isn't terrible but you're paying over 200 credits for S 4 hits you can get with the stubber. For specials, the meltagun is decent, but I just don't think it's 25 credits better than a plasma gun. Like the heavy bolter, I think it's a weapon that might find a place in a more experienced gang. Move-or-fire make the grenade launcher almost worthless when compared to a stubber. However, if you start getting some of the crazier grenades (plasma anyone) the GL starts to become a possibility. I think heavies need a backup weapon, especially to start , because you WILL fail ammo rolls. I tend to go with autoguns for stubber and plasma heavies (the 5 point savings over a lasgun outweighs the ammo roll for a backup weapon) and autopistols for flamer heavies (here, the 5 point upgrade over a stub gun is worth it)

Gangers: the heart of your gang (did the name give it away?) You need these guys to work territory to get income. Since you start with 5 territories, I think you need 5 gangers to start. Credits are tight for even very experienced gangs; throwing them away because you don't have enough gangers is foolish. For equipment, I like to keep it simple and cheap, which means no bolters or bolt pistols. I try to bring gangers in 3 varieties, long range, medium and CC. Long range guys get lasguns (save mod and ammo roll are worth 5 points over the autogun) and usually baby sit my heavies. Ideally they sit near the heavy, but 5" away and closer. Medium gangers get shotguns (manstopper is basically +1 to hit for 5 points, yes please). They tend to screen my CC teams and end up taking a lot of wounds. CC gangers get autopistols (no -1 at long range >> better ammo roll) and, if you're Escher, swords. In fact, for Escher. I'd give everyone without a heavy weapon a sword. For other Houses, non-sword CC weapons just aren't worth it. Suck it up with knives and waste some rare rolls the first few games to get swords for anyone who plans to be in CC.

Juves: with a Leader, 2 Heavies and 5 Gangers, that leaves 1 Juve if we're going to hit our target of 9 models. Juves are bad at everything to start, so keep them cheap and expendable. I'd go with autopistols and that's it (+2 to hit at short is worth 5 points over a stub gun, even for a Juve). Once they start advancing you can expand their equipment. If you play it really tight in the rest of your gang (no backup weapons, autopistol on leader, no manstopper, etc) you might be able to afford 3 or 4 Juves. I'd say 11 models isn't terrible (leader, 2 heavy, 5 ganger, 3 juve), but I would never bring 10 (leader, 2 heavy, 5 ganger, 2 juve).

So there's my quick guide to a starting gang. If you have any questions or a have a specific topic you'd like me to address, shoot me an email or post it as a comment.

-GWvsJohn

5 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

I'm liking the shooty leader more and more. He starts at BS4 and can unpin himself on his own, so it's easy to drop a plasma gun in his hands and give him that chainsword as a back up. Very good for just about any gang to have a nice firepower leader who doesn't have to worry about getting taken OOA in combat.

Lasguns, man-stopper shotties and autopistols are about all I'd put on gangers to start, in varying ratios depending on your House. Flexibility is important early on since your advance rolls could well turn your shooty ganger in a combat machine.

Juves are awesome. They start terrible, but can get really good really quick.

chaosgerbil said...

How can you diss on swords, sword parries ruled the day when I used to play. I guess you have to build up to them a bit but ideally almost every ganger should have at least one sword.

This reminds me of a swearing filled video against swords: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0X40l_VsVM

GWvsJohn said...

I didn't diss on swords. Swords are the bomb.

Only Eschers can start with swords and I said (almost) every Escher should have one. This article was solely focused on your initial recruitment. I'll talk about getting swords fo non-Eschers in a later article.

chaosgerbil said...

Oops, It has been so long I forgot that only Eschers could start with swords. Still, that video series "Cautionary Tales Of Swords" is hella funny.

The nice thing about Juves is that when leveled up, they will cost you less in gang rating than a comparable ganger. But yeah, more than 3 or 4 and your starting gang might be pretty weak.

I used to play Delaque and Scavvies once we got past the inevitable Golitath / Orlock conflicts. My scavvy gang is now over a hundred strong if you count all the mutants I've made.

akuro888 said...

I've got a nice and OP Escher gang started up. Lets see if we can't get in a campaign now xD

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