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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, April 30, 2010

GWvsJohn talks Necromunda, Part 1: Choosing your gang

So the Vassalmunda campaign is well under way. I've gotten 6 games in so far and others (cough, professor curly, cough) seem to play 6 a day.

For those who don't know, our google group is here and the Necromunda rules are here. If you haven't joined yet, well, what are you waiting for?

By no means am I a Necromunda expert, but my gang is 6-0 so far and I'm starting to get a feel for the rules and flow of a game and an entire campaign. I'll be writing this series as a guide to help (mostly) new players get their feet wet with Necromunda.

The first article will be on choosing your gang. I'll be talking about the House Gangs and Spyrers in (some) depth, then the other outlaw gang quickly, because I haven't played with or against them yet.

House Gangs: all the House Gangs are fairly similar. They all have leaders, heavies, gangers and juves. They have access to the same territores, advances and rare items. The differences lie in the house weapon lists and house skills. For those not familiar, you can only buy from your house list when your gang starts, and you can buy any weapon from your house list at any time during the post game. If you want a common weapon that's not on your list, you need to "spend" one of your d3 rare item rolls. For skills, a skill advance is about 75% going to restricted to your house list and 25% from any list. So the differences while seemingly small, have a serious effect. Skills matter most to Juves and Gangers, as they will be getting the most advances, Leaders can access almost any list and Heavies will be going 100% Techno (which they can all access) until they max it.

Let's look at each house.

Goliath: commonly considered the worst House, and with good reason. They don't have lasguns (arguably the best basic weapon) or plasma guns (arguably the best special weapon) on their house weapon list. Plasma guns can be compensated, but lasguns are a significant loss. It only gets worse with skills. Muscle is a poor skill list and it's the primary for Goliath. You'll probably need to try for an unorthodox shotgun and CC gang with Goliath, but they don't get easy access to Stealth skills that would really help.

Orlock: pretty standard weapon list. No plasma gun, but the meltagun is an interesting option for a leader. Same for skills. Shooting and Combat are both decent options. The Orlocks look like a very run of the mill gang and they will probably play that way. You'll have a mix of shooting and combat, and be good, but not great at both. A solid gang for a beginner.

Van Saar: my house, and as I get into the game more, I think it's the best option. Weapon list is nice, with plasma guns in special and plasma pistols as an excellent choice for a shooty/CC combo leader (as most tend to be). No boltgun anywhere is a bit of a pain, but is less of an issue when you see the skill list. Techno for everyone. I'll go into more detail in my skill article, but Techno is probably the best skill list. Gangers and Juves with Techno can lead to a lot of special weapons floating around (no boltgun? Buy a plasma gun. BS 2? Buy a flamer) If your goal is to dominate a league, Van Saar is an excellent choice.

Cawdor: as written, the best gang in the book, hands down. A single shot flamer than can be swapped out for CC? For everyone? Yikes. Give your whole gang that and an autopistol and roll your campaign with ease. If you houserule Hand Flamers (our league disallows them for now), their weapon list is still decent. Non-sword CC weapons aren't great, so no loss there and bolt pistols and bolters for everyone is nice. For skills, Ferocity/Combat/Agility has good synergy, so it's pretty good. Overall, plan to build an up-close gang that might do best starting with 2 flamers (heavy and leader). Probably not the best choice for beginners, but looks to be a fun, competitive gang.

Delaque: another solid weapon list like Orlock. The grenade launcher for plasma gun swap is a good one if you ask me, and the Delaque leader can get both types of bolt weapons. It's probably the best list so far (depending on your views of the plasma pistol on Van Saar vs. the Bolter on Delaque). The Delaque skill list is nice as well. Stealth is one of the better skills list IMO, and it work with both CC and ranged gangers. You can build a wide variety of effective Delaque gangs. A great choice for a beginner.

Escher: the best weapon list, and I don't even think it's close. It has every good weapon mentioned so far (both plasma, flamer, bolter) except for the bolt pistol. But most importantly, unlike every other list, it has the sword. A quick read of the CC rules and parries should show why the sword is the only good "basic" CC weapon. At a measly 10 points, I'd probably give one to every member of the gang except maybe heavies with stubbers. The skill list is good. Stealth and Combat are a very nice combo (especially when everyone has swords). The girls make the best CC gang, but with lasguns and plasmaguns, they can shoot too (unlike Goliath). A solid choice for a beginner or a vet looking for a CC gang.

If I had to rank the House Gangs (assuming no Hand Flamers), I think I'd do it this way:
Van Saar

In reality, I think Van Saar and Escher are superior, Delaque, Orlock and Cawdor are standard and Goliath is inferior.

Now the Outlaws.

Spyrers: are you feeling lucky? In most games the gang will be outnumbered, often more than 2:1, but then there's the Mom and Pop. The Matriarch and Patriarch each show up for 1 game per "hunt" and when they do, lookout. If you're facing Spyrers when either is around, hope for the best and enjoy your underdog bonus XP. Outside of those 2 games, the Spyrers need an experienced hand to be used properly. From what I've seen and read, the Yeld seems to be the best option, with the tough Jakara second. This gang is for someone who wants to run a small, elite gang with crazy rules. Spyrers leave little room for error. Not for beginners.

Scavvies: the "horde" gang. Sorta like the opposite of Spyrers. A mass of poorly equipped dregs hoping for the best. Another gang for a vet who wants a challenge. The "followers" rule where your leader attracts a pack of ghouls, zombies or rabid dogs each game might be the coolest rule in all of Necromunda.

Ratskins: I'm not that familiar with this gang to be honest (other than using the pdf to find the outlaw trade rules when researching Scavvies). From what I've read they're waaaay underpowered and should only be used if you want a challenge.

Redemptionists: another gang I don't know much about. The general consensus is that their "official" pdf is extremely overpowered (we don't allow it in our group). There are some well-regarded fan lists that I'm going to look into soon.

So that's a quick intro to the gangs of Necromunda from a rules standpoint (you can read the fluff on your own). Hopefully this might help you choose what gang to run, or encourage you to join the group in the first place :)

Next time we'll look at actually building a roster.


2 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Take it from the Necro failure, it's a fun game but you have to know what you're doing with Cawdor. I don't know if I'd be doing any better with hand flamers out the yin yang since I can never close before I bottle. That or I get blitzed and wtfpwned.

Make sure you know all the rules before playing and have a flexible plan, otherwise you're in big trouble.

Good read so far Jeevie, you deaf, scarred, hand-injured, old battle wounded fucker :P

Arcades Dolor said...

Ratskins are pretty underpowered... right up until you run into the hazardous terrain table, at which point things get ugly QUICK. Ratskins are immune to hazardous terrain, because they are Hive Injuns or something. Your awesome Spyrer gang? Not quite so much. Sometimes the terrain table comes up nothing, and Rats are hard-pressed. Other times, your visibility is reduced to a measley 8 inches (did you invest in a photovisor? Of course not! Who needs low-light vision?). Or there will be Hivequakes. Or toxic gases. Ratskins are really the dark horse, and in the hands of an experienced user, will give the more conventional gangs a run for their money.

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