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Help me want to play Necromunda!


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So I've tried the new Necromunda twice, after missing the boat on the original. And I really, REALLY want to play, because the models GW keeps releasing are so incredibly stellar. BUT... the game's mechanics just drive me bonkers, and I was wondering if y'all could help me figure out what I'm missing.

My key complaint is the way combat works (pretty big issue, I know.) So here's what bugs me. Say I have, I dunno, an Orlock with a lasgun (I know, that's not available to them to start, but it's just for the sake of argument.) Just random ganger. He's BS 4+. An Imperial Guardsman in Kill Team is, as well, same as 40k. So far, so good. Here's where I get hung up. That Orlock gets one shot with his lasgun and hopes to hit on a 4+ on one die, no matter what the range is.. If he doesn't hit, he sits there with his thumb in his ear. The Guardsman, if we're playing Kill Team (which is my primary basis for comparison) gets one shot out to 24", but inside 12", he gets two. That's twice as many chances to actually get something done. Now, granted, the Orlock ganger has the possibility to get more "hits" depending on what his firepower die rolls up, but he has to actually hit his target on a 4+ first. And that's assuming that, for both guys, their target is standing inside 12", out in the open, like a doofus. If you start factoring in modifiers, it gets worse. Outside of 12", sure, the Orlock has a better chance to do something, but the fact that he can only get it done if he hits with one die is annoying. 

Now here's where it REALLY bugs me. That Orlock is sitting there blazing away, full auto, doing his best Cyril Figgis impression. Meanwhile, some 'roided up Goliath bozo can roll into my face from a gazillion inches out and hit me with 5 dice to hit at like strength 6 or something and turn me into hamburger (this happened to me in one of the first games I played.) It feels like the only way to hit your target with a gun is to get so close that you're in serious danger of being charged in the following activation unless your sad, pathetic little ganger manages to actually hit his damn target. Ranged combat for your average John Q. Ganger seems like a waste of time, while melee specialists feel so hopelessly overpowered that they're game breaking.

Clearly, I'm wrong about something. Necromunda is a hugely popular game, people play a wide variety of gangs with a variety of play styles, and have success with it. And hell, maybe this is just me being grouchy about nothing; I used to LOVE Mordheim back in the day, and when I think about it, it was much the same way; you only got one or two dice to do something with per dude. And after typing all this out, it does feel like my complaints are... perhaps a bit nitpicky. But they're serious roadblocks to enjoying a game that I really, really want to enjoy. So is there anyone here who can help me figure out what I'm missing? Is it just that I'm bad at the game? Am I rage quitting before I even give the game a chance, because I'm not good at adapting to new things? I just don't know what I'm missing here.

 

EDIT: After watching a couple videos on the YouTubes, I found out I have some of the weapon abilities wrong. So I need to learn a bit more about that, I guess.

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Goonhammer has a good article that explains some of the nuance that separates Necromunda’s ranged combat from other GW games. Action economy, activation sequencing, importance of cover, yadda yadda yadda.

It should also be noted that, from a narrative standpoint, the gangers of the Underhive (and even the “elites” of the Palanite Enforcers or the Bounty Hunter guilds) are meant to be absolutely lousy compared to the Imperial Guard. Worse equipment, no training, nonexistent morale, and so forth. Your Orlock with a lasrifle might be a vicious, nasty, cold-blooded criminal... But his weapon is held together with scavenged copper wire and recycled duct tape, he hasn’t eaten in three days (and that was just some corpse-starch paste and mildly radioactive water), and he’d much rather run away from the Goliath with the rusty chainsword than fight him. The  Orlock’s gang boss is frightening, but he’s no Commissar.

The real joy in playing Necromunda stems from how unbalanced it is, as counter-intuitive as that might seem. It’s all about the XP growth of the gangers, the hijinks that result from asymmetric scenarios, and seeing how things progress over the life of a campaign. Necromunda can be played as “one off” games or even as “matched play” tourneys, but it loses a lot of its charm.

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Yeah, the campaign is really what draws me the most to Necromunda. I just got so frustrated the first couple times I tried it, because it felt like it was so unbalanced as to be not fun. I'm used to GW's games not being balanced. GW wouldn't know a balanced game if it bit them in the ass. But it just felt like it was so far around the bend that I just couldn't enjoy it. I'm trying to do some research and learn more about it, and maybe give it another shot once all this stupidity is in check.

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For what it’s worth, Joseph McCullough (the designer behind Frostgrave and Oathmark) is due to release a new sci-fi skirmisher called Stargrave sometime this spring.  Previews in various magazines and designer commentary on his blog promise that it won’t just be Frostgrave with the word “crossbows” scratched out and “laser rifle” penciled in... But it should still focus on the same sort of no fuss gameplay his other games have.

Frostgrave is very much a spiritual successor to Mordheim, dealing with the same sort of gameplay niche but doing away with a lot of the “fiddly bits.” A leaner game with less “paperwork” between sessions and streamlined mechanics during play.

I don’t know much more about it than that... But I’m looking forward to it immensely.

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1 hour ago, Ish said:

For what it’s worth, Joseph McCullough (the designer behind Frostgrave and Oathmark) is due to release a new sci-fi skirmisher called Stargrave sometime this spring.  Previews in various magazines and designer commentary on his blog promise that it won’t just be Frostgrave with the word “crossbows” scratched out and “laser rifle” penciled in... But it should still focus on the same sort of no fuss gameplay his other games have.

Frostgrave is very much a spiritual successor to Mordheim, dealing with the same sort of gameplay niche but doing away with a lot of the “fiddly bits.” A leaner game with less “paperwork” between sessions and streamlined mechanics during play.

I don’t know much more about it than that... But I’m looking forward to it immensely.

I'm really curious about Stargrave, too. My biggest issue with Frostgrave was that only two members of your warband ever advanced. I hope that they expand at least a little bit more than that in the next one.

16 minutes ago, Inquisitor66 said:

I think you may have missed out on dropping prone when shot, you cant stand and charge so it's very hard to get in melee if you just keep getting shot.  Shooting is more of a delay than really lethal since the game is more about objectives and surviving than getting kills.

I think I missed out on a lot of things. I wasn't given very good teaching, mostly a "here are the rules, let's play a game" followed by the appropriate dick-stomping that a newbie gets (unintentionally, in this case) when going up against an experienced opponent in their early learning games.

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1 hour ago, Sgt. Rock said:

My biggest issue with Frostgrave was that only two members of your warband ever advanced.

Actually, it can be up to three members of the warband who gain experience: your Wizard, his Apprentice, and the Captain (from the Sellsword supplement). 

I actually like that you don’t need to micromanage the redshirts in the gang, but I understand why it’s something other people miss. 

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I’d say disconnect comparing to Kill Team.  The systems are just different enough to not be a good comparison.

Shooting for most gangs is just a component in their gameplay.  You have to assume that it really is just a prelude to getting close and personal. If you are leaning into a shooting focused gang, then you have to think in terms of fire teams.  And don’t forget the power of grenades and other blast weapons.  A model that’s hit, just hit by a shooting attack gets pinned. So they are not going to charge that turn.

most of all, Necromunda is a game that playing to the mission is critical.  Most of us have had games where we got tabled, but still won the game because of the mission objectives.

Once the pandemic clears, the campaign will start up again at the club.  The core folks are keen on having a near role playing experience in that regard, so even the lowest ranked gang won’t get left behind.

 

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A common mistake I see from a lot of people (myself included) in Necromunda is letting their gangers run around solo. This almost always ends badly.

Pair your gangers up, at a minimum. Better still if you can bunch them up in groups of three or four (the scenarios don’t always let you have enough bodies on the table to do this). Supporting fire, covering multiple angles, morale checks, and having a friend in mêlée are huge in Necromunda.

Necromunda doesn’t have the ARO system of Infinity, but you still gotta pay attention to sight lines, choke-points, and kill boxes. 

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