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Quick question about Necromunda


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Somehow never played it back in the day, though I'm a long time Blood Bowl player and was heavily into Mordheim.


The Blood Bowl relaunch didn't alter the ground rules or rosters to speak of, but then that's had more official support than Necromunda ever did and has had an active computer version of the TT game for about a decade.


I'd guess the new rosters are pretty much the same as they were. You may have better luck asking on a 40K forum somewhere, though.

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On 11/26/2017 at 12:25 PM, JmOz said:

Came out a couple weeks ago, Did not know myself until yesterday...Need to wait till Friday to pick it up, but really wanted to rebuild my Cawdor...


Squee!  House Escher represent!


Necromunda was the only GW game I could actually afford to play.  Did they nerf the goddamn Redemptionists?


edit: New rules for old gangs at https://necromunda.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/11/ENG_Necromunda_Gangs_Of_Legend_Download.pdf .  No Escher.  :weep:

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Don't have it yet, from what I understand the rules only have 2 gangs in it, with a supplement coming out in a month or two with the other 4 base gangs, then a third book down the road a bit more.  A quick conversion document is available for the 4 other classic gangs...


So I don't think redemptionists are "back" yet...

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4 minutes ago, Old Man said:

Some googling suggests gangs start at 1000 points.  Should be good for 8-12 gangers depending on how many worthless juves you field.


YOU ARE DA'MAN,  Old Man...I have been googling it for two days and could not find diddly on it...

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This is basically how they did it with the Blood Bowl release last year. Humans and Orcs in the release box set and a .pdf document to cover the other teams until they received their own release. Except they do seem to be more stingy with Necro - the Blood Bowl "Teams of Legend" covered every other official team bar Slann (which GW refuse to re-admit). Of course, Blood Bowl has a couple of dozen teams.

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Actually I was wrong.  According to this quasilegal transcript of the new underhive rules you start with1500 credits for gangers and gear.  The 1000 point figure came from a reference to the old rules.


edit: Nope, wrong again.  That transcript actually contradicts itself, saying that campaign gangs start with 1000 credits.  I suppose there's a difference, although I never played Necromunda outside of a campaign.

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Blood Bowl never stopped being popular, kept up its tournament scene, spawned online leagues such as FUMBBL and had a big revival from the release of the PC versions. Also has fans going back to 1985 (including me). None of the other squad management/warband games have that.


I think GW would have liked to forget Blood Bowl, but it's still the best thing Jervis Johnson ever designed and he's one of the few old timers still working for the company. Plus it demonstrably makes money for them, even without releasing any new kit (gods know I've spent hundreds of dollars on Warhammer regiments to convert to Blood Bowl Teams...).


The physical components for it date back to 1993, so it was a fair enough decision to totally redo those. They made a decision to increase the proportion of the pitch size too (squares to suit 30mm bases instead of 25mm), although nothing actually changes as long as you're using the right scale range ruler for passing. And that's all in line with general GW scale creep anyway - I'm guessing the new Necro minis will be scaled to match current 40K ones. (There was also one practical reason to upsize the squares; sometimes you have a lot of Big Guys close together and it can get tricky to place them on the old pitch...)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

The OP is a few months old, but in case someone ends up on this thread via a search (as I did), I'll answer the questions for posterity.


Necromunda 2017 comes in two basic forms: a big box core experience and ala carte supplements / terrain / and gang kits.


The big box contains the basic rulebook, plastic sprues sufficient to make up to 10 Escher and 10 Goliath with enough of the new Necromunda bases which are much nicer than the old slotta-bases, blast and flamer templates, a set of yellow and a set of black dice including a special rapid fire / ammo die, an old-school GW scatter die (the die with arrows and a "hit" symbol) and custom Injury dice (1 Out of Action result, 3 Seriously Injured result (go face down but stay on the battlefield) and 2 Flesh Wound results (take a -1 Toughness modifier marker but remain able to fight on). It also has a stack of very nice quality double sided geomorphic tiles that are not quite a foot square each. There are some other miscellaneous chits and markers for various game states and effects. There are also plastic sprues with stand-up barricades, doors, and miscellaneous stuff like door unlock terminals and loot crates. A couple of cheat sheets and nice cardstock tactics cards and fighter cards are also included. The inside of the sturdy box is also usable as a large chamber in the underhive, having tile art printed on it.


By default, the game gives rules for a version of the game it calls "Zone Mortalis" (ZM for short), played on the tiles. Though it evokes memories of Space Hulk for some, it's not. This is Necromunda, just without the verticality of original versions. However, despite my initial misgivings, I gave ZM a fair chance and I have to say it is a lot of fun. 


The rule book gives the core rules of the game for what it calls "Skirmish" mode, which is to say played more like a board game, some simplified rules, and simplified gang lists for Escher and Goliath to make gangs with using 1500 credits each. After a starter scenario, the rulebook goes on to add on more advanced rules which elevate it to proper Necromunda and some weak campaign guidance.


You get a lot of value for the money out of the box if you want to play either Escher or Goliath, but if you aren't interested in either gang or the Zone Mortalis style of play, the money doesn't make a lot of sense. While you can get all the plastic sprues separately, and gang-branded dice packs, you can't get the rulebook as a standalone product or the core tileset. For a while, you could get stuff via eBay ala carte, but that has dried up. I was able to get a couple of extra tilesets in that way, for instance. You can get a copy of the rules unofficially with a little bit of googling around, and this has the advantage of collating the somewhat scattered rules into a single coherent and searchable document. Most people that I know of who play use that copy of the rules as their reference copy. Just saying.


As a game product, the boxed set serves as a great intro to Necromunda and is a complete out of the box experience, minus glue to stick together the fighters. For old-school Necromunda fans however it is a bit jarring as the repackaging is not quite what you likely remember as "Necromunda" in the way of skirmishes across multi-level urban ruins. But it definitely is Necromunda at its heart, not just a name stamped on a box for a cash grab.


The game mechanics are pretty similar to old Necromunda, but with some changes and expansion in the characteristics profiles. For instance WS and BS are now roll overs vs flat numbers, and instead of one stat "Leadership" there is Leadership, Cool, Willpower, and Intelligence. Unfortunately, the game overly favors Cool while Willpower and Intelligence have little utility aside from very niche situations, and Leadership is basically only used by the actual Leader and sometimes a Champion. This gives gangs like the Goliath who have a very good Cool stat a somewhat unfair advantage while gangs like the Escher with a poor Cool stat are very skittish. The game also inherits the GW practice of putting a lot of value on the Wounds stat, but unlike 40k for instance fighters do not automatically go out of action when they reach 0 Wounds...so the Wounds stats impact is diminished in actual usage. Similarly the game undervalues Movement but in the tight tactical skirmishes of Necromunda even 1'' of movement over or under average is very significant.


But minor gripes aside, the game engine plays pretty smoothly and is one of the better GW rules systems I've played over the many years I've been at it.


Gang War I is a separate supplement (splatbook style) that adds on a few pages of rules to expand the flat tile based core experience to vertical terrain. By default the game assumes you are using the "Sector Mechanicus" line of terrain GW sells for use with Shadow War Armageddon, 40k, and now a new game called Kill Team which is basically Necromunda style play using 40k units (which is also what Shadow War: Armageddon was...remember, this is GW so it doesn't have to make sense). However the rules are loose and usable with whatever terrain you happen to have handy.


Also included are proper campaign rules, and replacement Escher and Goliath gang lists meant to entirely replace the versions in the Core rules book, and intended to be started at 1000 credits. For the most part this feels like a "fix" but editing and / or play balance issues abound...for instance the price of Goliath Grenade Launchers dropped to 55 points which is absurdly cheap and unbalancing (many believe the intent was to buy the GL without ammo and buy the grenades separately, which numerically adds up properly, but that somehow got muddled in the design phase). All in all, the product is good but it feels a bit like a draft copy awaiting a post-playtest edit.


This will be Necromunda as vets remember it, and it is good, but a bit wonky in places. Still only two gangs officially written up at this point, but a pdf for "legacy gangs" was posted that had basic rules for Orlocks, Delaque, Cawdor, and Van Saar.


Gang War II is another supplement released a few months later. It contains rules for the Orlock, and special rules for a the Bad Zone Delta tileset sold separately for use with the Zone Moralis style of play.


It also introduces Hangers-On and Hired Guns such as Bounty Hunters and things like Rogue Docs and so on. The mechanics themselves are ok-ish, but the credit costs involved made people wonder if the person(s) making the rules had ever actually played the game. The costs are literally all over the place, ranging from remarkably economical (Rogue Doc) to absurdly expensive (Bounty Hunters). As anyone who has actually played Necromunda in campaign mode knows, credits are hard to come by. Again, the broad strokes are good, but some post-playtesting tweaking would have been ideal.


The rest of the book is composed of reprinted material, attempts to fix some of the errors in the Core Book and Gang War I that were hampered by the introduction of new errors or unpopular changes such as nerfing the Bulging Biceps skill so hard as to make it basically useless. There was turnover going on at GW as apparently the main guy working on Necromunda quit somewhere in the mix and the product that was shipped, while usable, is not amazing. 


Gang War III is a separate supplement that introduces the Van Saar, and a massive amount of new gear, new campaign options, a random events table, pets, and so on. I was pleasantly reminded of Rogue Trader era products, just lots of ideas crammed in here, some better than others, but oozing with flavor. The Van Saar are a bit on the strong side, having gained exclusive Radiation based weapons and some sweet gear, but they gave up some stuff too (lower average Movement being the most immediately obvious thing). All in all, this is a very good addition to the game and has people optimistic for Gang War IV which will re-introduce the Cawdor.



The new ranges of plastic miniatures are very nice, and have been well received. Each gang box comes with two copies of a sprue containing 5 fighters for 10 total fighters.The modularity of the kits allows for unique combinations up to a point, but the legs are generally fixed, so there's 5 distinct leg poses total no matter how you swap around bits. You can of course always chop and customize if you are a serious enough hobbyist, and the casual player probably doesn't care anyway, so its all good.


The main issue is the range of weapon choices available on the sprues. There is a fair variety, but if you want all your guys to have the same good gun, or a more esoteric option not represented on the sprue, then you're out of luck. Forge World has been (slowly) releasing weapon kits that expand the range of available weapons, but in typical GW / Forge World fashion they can't seem to figure out how to have those ready for release in conjunction with the release of the plastic kit they are meant to go with. For instance, Van Saar came out a few months ago, and I'm still waiting for FW to release the Van Saar weapon kit before putting the gang together.


Personally, I generally prefer some of the older metal figures, particularly the Escher because I'm an old grumpy bastard. But I like the new plastic Goliaths quite a lot, and the new Van Saar look MUCH better than the old metal models. The Orlocks I'm on the fence about, I like many of the old metals, but the new plastics are also legit. 


There's been a sort of renaissance of sorts on eBay for Necromunda models. I still had my old school Escher, Orlock, Spyrers, and Ratskins from back in the day, but I didn't want to mess with them so I bought new ones via eBay. I was even able to get a new in box Orlock set still in the shrink wrap and blisters from an old game store going out of business. Crazy that this stuff is still laying around after more than 20 years.



Anyway, in summary, this is a legitimate re-release by GW, not a one and done boxed set. The rules are, in time honored GW tradition, not 100% perfect but good enough to have many hours of fun playing with. I played Necromunda in its original version extensively and loved it to death. It was one of my all time favorite games and even many years later was referred back to. I can honestly say that this new iteration of the game is even better and I've had even more fun with it in the last 7 months. 






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  • 4 weeks later...

Gang War IV is out, and adds rules for the Cawdor. The majority of the book is made up of extended rules for skirmish (i.e. non-campaign) play, one and two day tournaments, and a high page count section offering an alternative campaign mode called Dominion that has different objectives than the Turf War campaign mode described in Gang War I. Despite being at least 85% the same, rather than print the difference between the new campaign mode and the extant campaign mode, the new campaign mode option has a full explanation and is thus mostly a re-print that you have to read very carefully to spot the differences in. I understand why they did this, to avoid complaints of having to own both books if they had only printed the delta, but the Gang War 1-6 splatbook approach they've taken does basically require you to have all the books...so...yeah.


There's some other stuff in the book as well. There is a half-baked psionics rules section with promises of more to come which you can't really use yet aside from a pre-gen hired gun; it would have been far better to either put all the psionics into this one and make it an actually usable / complete system, or just hold the very small amount of content that involves psionics from this book and put it all into the next book. There are some more "Brutes" which are extra powerful hangers-on first introduced in GW3; personally I'm not a fan as these things are so uber that it takes attention away from the members of a gang, and for me Necromunda campaign play is all about seeing lowly gangers rise up to become competent bad asses. There are also a handful of new scenario types, which I haven't gone thru carefully yet...and for the most part need to be played to truly assess; but several of the new scenarios given in GW3 have proven to be flavorful but poorly balanced...lending themselves to casual or skirmish use but very risky to allow in a campaign as they can be extremely destructive to gangs in an unfair way (i.e. in some of them, one player or the other is at a significant and even lethal disadvantage). So, my default stance on the new scenarios given here is one of initial skepticism; I'm nervous to introduce them to our campaign without careful vetting. 


All in all, I was disappointed by Gang War IV; it felt more akin to GW2 in terms of utility, with a fair amount of mildly updated and re-printed material, and questionable new content.



Meanwhile, our campaign continues to roll along. A few of our gangs got up above the 2000 rating mark this past weekend after a flurry of battles, and are getting pretty big for their britches. 







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