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Subject: Existential Meltdown...Ready...Begin. rss

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Mark
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The date of our first Necromunda 2017 campaign rapidly approaches. This will be the first Necromunda campaign I've participated in over a decade (and that's being generous). Now, I'm not saying this is the most important thing in my life right now. But, it might take me a while to think of something that is more important. Oh wait, there's...um...no...OK, don't rush me!

I've spent a fair amount of time getting ready for this. Preparing myself mind, body, and credit card. Getting all my ducks in a row.

First, I bought EVERYTHING. I'm, um, decades old myself (more like half a century). With enough success in real life to afford what is one of the more affordable hobbies out there. This pales compared to golf, hunting, boating, skydiving, space ventures, or dabbling in Tuscan wineries. For, the record, the marketing of this game is um, unlovable. I absolutely don't blame anyone for not obtaining EVERYTHING.

Because my OLD gaming gang sorta moved on to grey-haired, hard-of-hearing pastures, I have had to inculcate myself with the new crowd. So far, so good.

And, in my spare time, feverishly paint up the two gangs in the boxset (Goliath and Escher). I am a Maestro of Mediocrity. Meaning I paint entirely adequately, in entirely adequate time. So, both gangs ready to go (including a leftover legacy Escher gang, for backups).

I've even had time and occasion to play a few games. Actually 6! Which exceeds the number of original Necromunda games I've played in a decade. Played with and against both flavors of gangs. Managed to not lose two games. Have formed very ironclad fluid opinions on both. I am absolutely sure I have absolutely no idea which gang to choose for the upcoming campaign.

Believe me, I can wax poetically about the merits of both gangs. Or whine incessantly about their respective shortcomings. DO NOT get me started! I so wish this was one of those delicious dilemmas. Like choosing a Chaos God for a new 40K Daemon Army (Nurgle). Or, picking the proper ringtone for incoming calls from my teenage daughter (get that one wrong, might as well leave town and enter the witness protection program).

Just to mention the ground rules, I like both gang's models. Heck, I love them. Slight edge to Goliath for not quite making me lose a little of my will to live when building them. Unlike the Eschers did. Yes, there was that Damn Cigar! And, Goliath's for ease of painting. But, oh those Escher crazy coifs! Tragically lacking enough hair to cover my entire head, I'm a bit of a follicle connoisseur. Those Eschers do have the go-to 'Do's!

Yes, Goliath's are bigger, tougher, stronger, better armored, and have a Cool stat that must be a typo. But, their weapons are so short ranged. When there's not enough cover, they just suck. I've managed to lose with them.

Give the Girls some decent firing lanes, and they shine. Give them lot's of terrain, and not so much. Their weaponry is OK. Their Cool is abysmal. As soon as they start taking Bottle Checks, they start checking out (I've had 5 leave to powder their noses, in one turn!). I've also beaten Goliaths with them.

So, here I sit, neck deep in indecision. Burly Boys or Girly Girls? I'm not a power gamer. I'm not obsessed with the win. But, if I make a poor showing in front of the new guys, they may not like me. It's Sixth Grade all over again! I gotta feeling I'm gone stew (and spew) for while longer. 'Cept, time is running out rapidly.
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Graham
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It’s a tough decision.

I’ve not played enough to have an idea how flexible each gang is, in terms of weapons, strategies, so on. If I were playing a campaign, I’d likely go for the gang with more options. At least then you could have fun impressing the new kids with unpredicatable strategies later on in the campaign.

Of course, there’s also the hired guns...
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Tom Hill
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Flip a coin! When you see the result, you'll know the answer!

Hope you keep us posted with your progress in the campaign.
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Mark
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Decar wrote:
Flip a coin! When you see the result, you'll know the answer!

Hope you keep us posted with your progress in the campaign.


No need to flip a coin. After much deliberation, and intense study of both gangs, and the campaign itself. I decided the choice is obvious...

I'll wait till tomorrow.
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Mark
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Well, after careless consideration, I chose Goliath’s. Because they have better stats and better Special Weapons. For now. Would not be surprised if an imminent FAQ falls like a ton’o bricks. Off to the game store where we play our first campaign evening. Some lessons learned (the hard way)...

Not having played a campaign game, I made some dubious roster choices. I wanted at least 7 gangers to mitigate Bottle rolls (I know, I could choose Iron Will and do the same thing). But, an extra body is never a bad thing (I know, I could have added a Juve or two, but they don’t make models for them, and I don’t think they are as vital as they were in the old game). So, I saved on Champions. Bringing only one. Without realizing that, unlike the old game, gangers can’t work territories. Only Leaders and Champions. MUST have as many of them as you can to earn the most income, or visit the doc, or buy goodies. Plus, if they are forced to go into Recovery, they can’t do anything, post-game. Sucks for me.

We paired off, and it was Goliaths vs Goliaths. Um, OK.


Next, I’ve played the first scenario a few times. So, we rolled up a random scenario. Not a good idea. Some scenarios have harsh post game conditions. Like the possibility of losing Reputation or Turf. Things a new gang can’t afford to lose.

We rolled up Border Dispute. Of course, my Leader was randomly chosen as a Reinforcement. Not on the board as the game begins, But, not terrible. And, my only long-range weapon, my Grenade Launcher was randomly chosen to be the schmuck who is placed next to the center point of the battlefield. And, my opponent’s random fighter was decked out for close combat. Not bad. Terrible.

I did win the First Turn Initiative and my Grenade Launcher dude sprinted away. Only to get pinned in the open, for like two turns. Crud! I did not win the Initiative again for 3 more turns. Sucks x 3.
Then, I simply had one of those stupid streaks of dismal luck. Like rolling a “1” to hit four shots in a row. Sucks x 4.

But, the lesson to be learned is to not get obsessed with shooting that one enemy fighter in the open that just won’t go down. Forgetting to defend your relic. Dumb x 10!

I know better. But, as this was the first game night for the group, and not everyone has a rulebook (I hate the marketing for this game) we were doing a lot of fact checking with the my basic and Gang War rulebooks for our game, and the game next to us. Kind of lost focus being kind of kind and helpful for others. Lesson? Do unto others can get you confused and screwed. Getting old is sometimes only a little better than the alternative.

So, when his two guys gun down my two guys, and his other two guys standing in the open gun down my four guys, despite all the abysmal shooting I could muster. And, I can’t touch two of his guys in close combat. Even the one I outnumbered! Out of Action x 6!

Here, I discover another hidden jewel. The Lasting Injury Table sucks x D66! It is harsh, ya’ll. Not only did I rack up a couple of Ballistic Skill reducing Eye Injuries, and a Movement reducing Hobbling, and a Strength reducing Spinal Injury for my Leader, but 5 of my 7 fighters will miss my next game. So, I’m probably going to lose the next game, and fall further behind. Noooo! x 2.

And, I notice the Trading Post sports cheap, common Telescopic Sights. And, a bunch of Rare sights. Those were really hard to get in the old game. Now, you just need to roll a little above average on two dice, and spend some creds. I have a bad (Shadow War: Armageddon) kind of feeling about a plethora of gun sights. Lot’s of effective shooting = less fun. Foreboding x 2+. Hope I’m wrong.

Anyway, the jerk that beat me was a great guy, and we had a fun game. It’s not his fault my guys couldn’t hit the broadside of Hive Primus. It is his fault he played a solid, near error-free game, and kept focused on the Victory Conditions. My Bad x So Sad.

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Tom Hill
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Nice little report, sorry to hear it didn't go a planned. 6xOOA, that's crazy bad luck. I've yet to delve into a campaign, but it sounds like there's a chance of using bionics to fix those injury-rolls. Hope you campaign improves! Keep us posted. What's the name of your gang?
 
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Mark
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Decar wrote:
What's the name of your gang?


The Punishers


Ironic? cry
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Tom Hill
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You can always make the 'r' and 'd'


...not sure about the 's' though
 
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Mark
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Decar wrote:
You can always make the 'r' and 'd'


...not sure about the 's' though

The Punishers-ish?

Another lonesome loser's gang had a really bad round of rolls and had three guys die! That Lasting Injury Table is a Deus ex Machina!

A quick, tear-blurred perusal of the rulebook failed to find the rules for scrubbing a gang and starting over.
 
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alex bermudez
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Yeah from what I remember you're basically forced to stick with one gang for the entirety of the "season" (I forget the terminology) unless your team gets so destroyed you can't legally put them on the table. Could be wrong though.

That was a great writeup and I literally cringed when I read about the injuries you took. Super harsh, man!
 
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Mark
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Before we get in another game, I thought some between-game lessons learned might be of interest.

My Leader and one Champion both went Out of Action. So, both had to roll on the ominously named Lasting Injury Table. Which has a high probability of a Recovery result. A result both got. So, not only can they not fight in the next battle, they also could not work my Turf for credits. So, my only income was D3 x 10 from the scenario, for 30 credits.

Recovery is a Mother! Fighters miss their next game. I only have 2 out of 7 available to fight the next battle. Plus, not only can't Leaders and Champions in Recovery not work turf for D6 x 10 creds each this battle, they can't for the NEXT battle, either. Because "Fighters Recover" comes AFTER "Post-Battle Actions." That's RAW, and if not corrected by FAQ, the campaign has problems.

Another gang had THREE dead, and two in Recovery! He loses a game's worth of income, and probably his next game (unless we play each other). And, will be spending future income on new fighters, while playing at a disadvantage for a few more games, instead of just the next one.

Gangs that won, and rolled up income well, will be buying useful gear straight away. So, even more advantaged by the time we get back on our feet. Interesting times ahead, indeed.

Off topic, but it is interesting to compare with two other recent GW 40K Universe games with campaigns. Shadow War: Armageddon has a very benign post-game Injury Table. Death is very rare. Injuries are not harsh (better triage and trauma treatment?). And, half the gang don't miss the next fight. Income is guaranteed. And, spending it is required and not dependent on any losses. Gangs of Commorragh's campaign has a little higher death toll than SWA. But, no real injuries, and income can come from every fighter working territories, not just Leaders and champions. Admittedly, neither game has an extensive and detailed campaign system.
 
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Tom Hill
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It's been a long time since I played the original Necromunda. From what I recall, it could be similarly brutal. Though it sounds as though a lot less income is being generated. This was always an issue for outlaw gangs (scavvies and redemptionists), it was nearly impossible to recover from losing 1-2 gangers, early in a campaign.

It's important of focus on campaign missions that aren't simply 'kill-the-other-team' and make sure you're earning reputation, experience and income even if that means losing the mission. Having said that though, after each mission the more powerful team can also draw more income and the differential between strong/weak gangs widens.

It doesn't sound like GW have tried to change too much here, I guess that's the harsh realities of the Underhive, hopefully there will be modifications for alternative campaign systems that can address these issues.

I'd hoped that the rules about break-away gangs, would reduce the impact of larger gangs, essentially producing a max-cap. But I'm a long long long way off determining how functional that is!
 
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Mark
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Decar wrote:
It's been a long time since I played the original Necromunda. From what I recall, it could be similarly brutal. Though it sounds as though a lot less income is being generated. This was always an issue for outlaw gangs (scavvies and redemptionists), it was nearly impossible to recover from losing 1-2 gangers, early in a campaign.

It's important of focus on campaign missions that aren't simply 'kill-the-other-team' and make sure you're earning reputation, experience and income even if that means losing the mission. Having said that though, after each mission the more powerful team can also draw more income and the differential between strong/weak gangs widens.

It doesn't sound like GW have tried to change too much here, I guess that's the harsh realities of the Underhive, hopefully there will be modifications for alternative campaign systems that can address these issues.

I'd hoped that the rules about break-away gangs, would reduce the impact of larger gangs, essentially producing a max-cap. But I'm a long long long way off determining how functional that is!


Yes, and no-ish. Yes, a string of bad die rolls on either the old or new table could result in multiple deaths. And, in the case of the other unfortunate the gang I mentioned, because he lost the players needed to keep his gang going, he can start anew. Which is fortunate. He can come back wiser and stronger.

What surprised me was how easy it is to have injured gangers go into Recovery and miss the next game. And, also not be able to collect income, buy new stuff, or recruit new fighters. That's different from the previous game. In fact, if your Leader and Champions get put in Recovery (or die!), you are stalled for at least another game. Is that backbreaking? We'll see. Don't have a feel for how the gang's progress.

Sure, I get what you are saying about the harshness of the Underhive. But, there's a difference between a setback and crippling a gang (even temporarily). A not particularly improbable campaign result that leaves a gang being too weak to win its next scenario is taking the fun out of playing the campaign.

Gangs of Commorragh's campaign has a similar vibe. It's routine for injured gangers to miss the next game. Which has similar effects. The gang can't fight its next game very effectively, and struggles to collect income. Which can become a repeating cycle that is hard to break.

Trust me, I love an Underdog as much as the next guy. Except, this campaign doesn't reward an Underdog or Goliath killer like the old campaign. So, it's kind of - whatever. I'm going to go to our next game night knowing I'm going to lose my next (and only) game that night. Unless I try to get it over with quickly, and set up again. Messing up the next game is an odd intent of the campaign.

Anyway, these are just dispatches from the Underhive. I'm not drawing conclusions, yet. Just keeping y'all apprised. Pray your mileage may vary.
 
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Mark
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Because I am sure sitting on the edge of your seats gets uncomfortable, sit back and relax. Game two is in the history books.

First of all, the last thing I wanted was to drive to the game store to play a game with just 2 gangers available (thanks to the Recovery results on the Lasting Injury Table). And, because my opponent had his Leader captured, and his Champion and two gangers died, he only had Juves left. Which forced him to disband and start again. The Lasting Injury Table is the devil my friends!

Because it limits each gang to 4 Gangers, we settle on the silly Intro scenario that is played in the box bottom (so, my 2 vs his 4). Cute, quick, and easy. I lost. And, one of my available guys got a Critical Injury. What f'n'evs.

Now, here's a conundrum. I can use my Leader and Champion in the post-game, because they are Recovered. I can let them both work Turf for D6 x 10 creds each. OR, I can let one of them escort the Critical Injured Ganger to the Doc. And, pay 2D6 X 10 to the doc to try to heal him. One chance for a full recovery, 4 chances to get a lasting injury, or once chance for a dead. Goodbye. For the forfeit of 3D6 x 10 creds, total. Odds were I could not afford it. So, I let him expire (and can keep his Grenade Launcher). I did roll it out for fun anyway. It would have cost too much, and he would have died on the operating table, anyway. I'm thinking that healing is only for the most important folks in the gang.

Instead, I recruited a Champion (you MUST max out on a Leader and two Champions!). And, a Juve, for fun.

Playing the campaign is illuminating. In the old game Juves were cool, and so were Gangers. In the New Necro, Juves are fodder, Gangers are whatever, and it's all about Leaders and Champions. Because, they fight better, allow for multiple activations, advance faster, and are the only ones who can work territory and buy goodies.

I'm not sure if the gangs stay level. I'm kind of back to square one, except between them, my guys have 2 x (-1 Ballistic Skill), 1 x (-1 Strength), and 1 x (10 Movement). I am sure you want to take other gangs Leaders and Champions out of action to keep a good gang down.

EDIT: Wrong on two counts, here. Leaders and Champions cannot work turf in the post-game that they come out of Recovery. Because Recovery takes place AFTER earning income. Which is brutal for a gang's long term success. Secondly, when a fighter dies of a Critical Injury without taking him to the Doc, you lose his weapons and gear.
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Corey Wilke
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A good point to learn is that lasting injuries are rolled mid game, when the dude goes ooa. This is important so that you can use this information to willingly bottle and flee. This helps avoid the too many in recovery issues as you can balance the choice, opponent sucks at rolling on the lasting injuries? Push your luck! First two go critical? Might want to bottle out for the long game.
 
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I kind of stopped blogging in this thread. So, I if I could update quickly.

We finished the six game cycle and began another. My gang never really fully recovered from the first game. The "missing another opportunity to earn income due to Recovery" was too much. And we house ruled it out, for the new cycle. Two gangs ran away with the campaign. I think it is critical to have a pre-campaign sitdown to make sure everyone is doing the inbetween battle stuff the same way. Or, you can get some really strange campaign results. The other four gangs, including mine, did OK.

And, yes, voluntary Bottling became a thing. Bottling is an all-or-nothing thing. Often a gang can stick around forever. Especially if it starts with 9+ fighters. Most scenarios allow all gangers to participate. And, Leaders and Champions can buck up the rest of the crew. Plus, the entire gang does not flee at once. This can lead to a ridiculous amount of destruction for both gangs. Or, you just voluntary bottle as soon as things go South. That can lead to games where setting up the table-top takes longer than the game. I would have prefered something in between all-or-nothing. Like the old game.

Another observation has to do with setting up. Despite my initial scepticism, the 2D Zone Mortalis setting is fun. It's tactical, and the game was really better designed for it. More so than the 3D table-top (just little things here and there). Plus, it's much easier and more convenient to slap down boards, doors and barricades, than it is to build a 3D table-top. Due to logistics, our last game night was at a place with minimal terrain. So, every game was played on the Zone Mortalis boards. In fact, in this second cycle, my first four games were on ZM boards.

The only drawback with ZM is there isn't as much maneuvering-to-contact on the boards. Some games start with a BIG shootout. Most Zone Mortalis games are bloody. And, when you and the opponent are really trading blows up close and personal, you just don't want to Bottle because you are only a few good rolls away from winning. And, so is the opponent. Tends to put a lot of fighters into Recovery (or worse). You spend a lot of your ill-got gains replacing KIA's. Who knew fighting in tunnels and sewers was so bloody?

 
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Corey Wilke
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Sounds more fun! I too am worried about the too short game. I plan on not allowing auto fail of the bottle check itself (Just the cool checks that result. Instead you can take a six on the bottle check brings it more in line with the original.

Also didn't notice the delay when I kinda necro'd the thread. Thanks for responding!
 
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