Necromunda is a skirmish-level wargame designed to be played in an "open campaign" format. Originally released in 1995, it was overhauled in 2017 and re-released with a new box set and updated weaponry reflecting the expansive lore changes to the Warhammer 40k Universe.
Although released in 1995, it is so 80s (even in its new edition) it makes you want to snort a kilo of coke and vote Ronald Reagan's corpse into office.
- 1 System 2017
- 2 System 1995
- 3 Setting
- 4 Necromunda:Underhive Wars
- 5 See Also
- 6 External Links
- Gang War: Goliath & Escher Gangs. Rules for campaigns
- Gang War 2: Orlock Gangs, hired guns (Bounty Hunters and Scum) and hangers on.
- Gang War 3: Van Saar Gangs, Gang Brutes, Trading post updates
- Gang War 4: Cawdor Gangs, Exotic Beasts, more Gang Brutes, Dominion campaign rules, and rules for psykers.
- Gangs of the Underhive: Delaque gangs, but also combines the abovementioned books.
- Book of Peril: Venator Gangs, more hired guns, alliances, and rules for Badzones.
- Book of Judgement: Enforcer gangs, Trading Post updates, Law and Misrule campaign rules, and Criminal Alliances.
- Book of Ruin: Expanded rules for Chaos Helots, Genestealer Cults, and Corpse-Grinder Cults.
- House of Chains: Expanded rules for House Goliath, introducing Goliath-exclusive upgrades, skill trees, Hangers-on, and Champion types. Also adds a new type of gang member called a Prospect. Introduces the Ogryn Slave Gangs.
- House of Blades: Expanded rules for House Escher.
- House of Iron: Expanded rules for House Orlock.
- House of Artifice: Expanded rules for House Van Saar.
See the video on the Necromunda website: https://necromunda.com/start-playing/ A video from a Necromunda demo game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxGWIcTGKJs Link to PDF (official Necromunda website) where some actions and other info is found.
Rather than each player taking turns to move their entire gang, players take turns to activate a single model with two action points; actions such as moving, shooting, taking cover, or reloading consume one action point, while some will require two action points, such as charging or hitting. Some single-point actions cannot be taken twice, such as shooting. A model can only shoot at the closest enemy model unless they pass a coolness check or something farther away is easier to hit. The gameplay borrows a lot from the simplified hitting and wounding mechanics of 8th 40k; the starter set also bears a strong resemblance to Shadespire, with character cards of predefined characteristics and loadouts to speed starting (without the special combat dice, though Necromunda has special dice to decide the affect of wounds rather than rolling against a table like in the classic version), whilst the full game still looks to old school Necromunda, with extended character stats such as coolness, willpower, and intelligence, and terrain/skill combat modifiers, as well as plenty of wargear and weapon options.
The game turn is divided into activations; every activation encompasses 1 miniature, although some special rules modify this - for example, a "Leader" can activate up 2 additional models within 4", or a "Champion" can activate 1.
First, every mini gets a ready token, and you and your opponent roll off. The player that rolls higher may choose 1 ganger and activate it for two actions, consuming that mini's ready token. After one ganger has played, your opponent may do the same for one of his gangers, and so on. Once there are no more ready tokens on the board, you resolve end-of-turn effects, and then repeat.
"Simple" actions take up 1 action point, and can be spammed; "basic" actions take up 1 action point, but can only be used 1/activation; "double" actions take up both action points.
Starting your Gang
First off, you have to pick a faction for your gang. Factions determine your choice of starting wargear, the basic statline of your gang members, and the skill trees they have access to.
The six Great Houses are still the main factions:
- House Cawdor - Not the richest of houses, Cawdor is the stronghold of the Cult of the Redemption. To many, they are known as "The House of Redemption" due to these deep ties. Their trademark appearance is the use of masks in public when around anyone outside of their House, along with rags because they can't afford real clothing. They run most of the recycling on the Hive, scouring the waste for potential relics and holy objects. This also generated a rather interesting House Equipment in the previous version that allowed for a bit more flexibility then many of the other houses, and in the current version gives them a bunch of cobbled-together scrap weapons that shouldn't be underestimated because of their shoddy design, such as improvised crossbows and crude imitations of Guardian Spears.
- House Delaque - House Delaque is very dark and secretive, and other houses are justifiably suspicious of them. Many of their agents look like your average diver dealer flipping fake watches on the corner. Most of this house is pale and bald-headed, which have led some people to suspect they've been infiltrated by a Genestealer Cult. Traditionally, they have been a very range focused faction with next to no melee support in either equipment of skills.
- House Escher - Millennia of exposure to the alchemical processes used to create their pharmaceuticals have altered this house's Y chromosomes. Without exception, the males of House Escher are docile troglodytes, and breeding is done in a lab. This has created a strong matriarchal structure with Escher women doing virtually everything needed to keep society running, including acting as their soldiers and hired guns. Their gang lists mostly consist of agile melee fighters who compensate for sub-par strength with a plethora of poisoned weapons. Las weapons are also a house specialty and can be procured for next to nothing during the gang creation process.
- House Goliath - House Goliath values size and strength above everything else, with its members using enough gene-mods and stims to match a Space Marine in bulk. The furnace and foundry workers of Necromunda, they consider the hivers of other Houses to be weak and lazy. The other houses view them as barbaric, unsophisticated, and unpredictable. In game they have improved strength and toughness stats compared to the other houses which makes them very durable and extremely deadly in melee combat. Much of their starting equipment list is comprise of industrial tools converted to blast and bash their way through the Underhive.
- House Orlock - In control of most of the mines and refineries of the Hive, House Orlock is a hardened and fearless group since its Gangers see plenty of action defending their convoys and logistics lines. They are in constant tension with House Delaque due to acquire the Ulanti Contract, one previous held by Delaque. Despite their loose-leaf internal leadership, they are actually one of the most unified and disciplined Houses. Their equipment list is very practical, favoring ballistics weapons, and combined with their skill selections, are considered the most balanced House. They can match other houses where they are strong, and then take advantage of their opponents' weaknesses.
- House Van Saar - Perhaps the richest of the houses, House Van Saar provides most of the other houses with their most technological items and needs thanks to the STC they found a while back. Their suits keep them from dying as a byproduct of their STC's malfunctioning, as it constantly leaks radiation that would otherwise leave them dead from radiation sickness. Trademark gang look is high-tech range weapons, with their own special brand of lasguns, energy shields, plasma weaponry, and a cannon that fires radiation!
Other playable factions include:
- Genestealer Cults - The gribbly-worshippers we know and love; it doesn't seem like they get full-fledged Genestealers this time, but that's not much consolation for the ganger facing the hammers of a Genestealer Aberrant. They also follow different rules for gang composition and cannot benefit from Guilder Contact territories. Updated rules are found in the Book of Ruin.
- Chaos Cults- Chaos Cults also have a slightly different ruleset for gang composition, but the important take-away is that they can bring along rogue psykers and even you-know-whats. They can also call upon the Ruinous Powers to empower a gang member, granting them bonuses based on the Chaos God that they dedicate their rituals to. Chaos is notoriously fickle, however, and a champion seeking power from his gods might end up with far more than what he bargained for. Updated rules are found in the Book of Ruin.
- Venator Gang- A brand new faction representing
the best from every gang with no negativesa group of Bounty Hunters. A white Dwarf release with no hint of balance (they can pick any model/weapon/bit of gear from any gang or the trader lists and carry up to 5 weapons each rather than the usual 3). The closest to a disadvantage that they get is that they are a bit pricey and in a campaign they don't hold territory so won't get as much money unless they get lucky with capturing fallen gangers. Balance issues aside they let you take any model you like and use it, which can be a modders dream and give you a legal way to field whatever group of models take your fancy, so bar the cheese are a nice idea that could lead to some awesome modelling opportunities. Rules included in May 2018's White Dwarf and slated to be overhauled to address balance issues.
- The Guilders- A brand new faction representing the divisions of the Merchants' Guild that keep up the supply of vital resources to the Hives, such as the Water Guild, the Power Guild, and the Corpse Guild. They don't appear directly in the game, but other gangs can ally with them for extra benefits...if they're willing to deal with the costs of doing business.
- Palanite Enforcers - The Hive law enforcement are coming in August 2019. These guys aren't the Adeptus Arbites professional FBI, they're the US police. They're here to shoot your dog and enact gratuitous violence. They don't take shock batons because they plan on taking you alive, they use shock batons because they hurt more than stabbing you. Load up and savour the sweet sound of police brutality. And when things get really tough, they bring out the riot shields, assault rams, and grenade launchers because there is no such thing as collateral damage.
- Corpse Grinder Cults - A bunch of closet Khorne worshippers, down to wearing skull masks and wielding a variety of chain weapons originally intended to process dead bodies into corpse starch. Interestingly, they are the first view into the aforementioned Corpse Guild, being menial workers who went insane from constantly cutting up corpses and devoted themselves to "the Lord of Skin and Sinew" as cannibals. Introduced with The Book of Ruin.
- Ogryn Slave Gang - These cyber-Ogryns are similar to House Goliath in that they value brawn over brains. They've risen up against their masters and now fight for their freedom in a classic slave revolt. As a result, your army has a rather static loadout and you absolutely have to watch out for enemies who try to capture your troops - they're worth more than a pretty penny as prisoners! Introduced with House of Chains.
When you first make your Gang - and any time you add members to it - you must obey the following rules:
- At least one "Leader". Starting out, you get to recruit an actual "Leader" model, which has a superior (or mostly superior) statline to your other choices, but costs the most credits; at any time in the future when you need a new Leader, such as the old one dying, or you're starting a new Gang by splitting an old one, you have to promote a non-Leader to Leader, which typically means a worse starting statline and worse efficiency in terms of statline per credit (relevant in case your opponent captures them alive and sells them off, for example). As a result, you will never again get the chance to recruit a Leader.
- "Champions", from 0 to at most 2 + 1 for every 10 Reputation points (e.g. a total of 4 at Reputation 24). Champions recruited fresh cost the second most, but typically have the second best statline. Champions can come both from promoting up Gangers and Juves, or be recruited - only in the latter case does the restriction apply. Future books will introduce house-specific Champion types such as the Goliath Stimmer.
- "Gangers" at least equal to the number of all non-Gangers (Juves, Champions, and the Leader) combined. Gangers can only be recruited - you have no way to promote them from any other role. These typically have the third highest (second lowest) cost, with a statline to match. Gangers can also can become Specialists, which lets them take skills without counting against any specific limits.
- You can have as many "Juves" as you like, subject to the Ganger tax; they are usually your cheapest, and usually have the worst statline, although for most Gangs, they actually have a better Move stat than the other roles. Juves and Specialists can promote to Champions, or, if necessary, Leaders directly, Gangers can promote to Specialists, and Champions can promote to Leader.
- House of Chains introduces Prospects, Juve-tier Gangers who have the chance to upgrade to another model type (usually a Champion).
Genestealer Cults set up their Gangs like so:
- At least one Adept, who acts as a Leader-equivalent. Unlike normal Leaders, they do not have skills to start with but gain access to unique abilities that only they can use as well as unique wargear like boneswords and toxin injector claws. Additional abilities can be bought like secondary skills.
- Acolytes, following the same rules as Champions from any other gang. However, they can take four weapons instead of the usual three.
- 0-2 Aberrants, which have the Unstoppable skill inherent in their profile along with very high stats and powerful melee weapons. They follow the same advancement rules as Gangers but cannot promote to Specialists.
- Neophytes, which follow the same overall rules as Gangers in terms of both promotion and recruitment.
Chaos Cults set up their Gangs as follows:
- One Demagogue, who acts as a Leader-equivalent. They can learn skills like regular leaders, but start with the special "Cult Leader" skill (any fighters from the same gang within 9" use the Demagogue's Cool and Willpower for checks).
- Up to two Disciples, who are Champions for all intents and purposes.
- Up to one Witch, a rogue psyker with lower accuracy than even the Cultists and cannot be made the replacement Leader if the Demagogue is slain, but is otherwise roughly equal to a Disciple in its statline and activation ability. Obviously, they start with one psychic power and can buy more as if they were secondary skills.
- Cultists, which follow the same overall rules as Gangers in terms of both promotion and recruitment.
- The Unnameable Beasts, which are not recruited via conventional means and have the following special rules:
- They are not recruited normally in campaign battles, and instead occur when a Dark Ritual roll with a gang member as its focus dramatically fails. The former cultist is considered dead for the purposes of the gang roster and fighter limits, and any gear the victim might have been carrying is lost. Up to two can be taken in a one-off skirmish.
- They have d6 Movement (changing every time it moves or charges), and their Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Wounds, Initiative, and Attacks are randomly generated upon creation. They have no score for the other stats; Willpower and Cool tests always pass, but Leadership and Intelligence tests always fail.
- They cannot gain Experience or Advancements, and are unable to use weapons and equipment. Additionally, the only actions they can make are Move, Charge, Fight, and Coup de Grace.
- They cannot be Pinned and ignore Flesh Wounds, Serious Injuries, and Lasting Injuries. However, they are difficult for a cult to control; in the post-battle sequence, up to three Cultists not taken out of action or Seriously Injured must be nominated to restrain their former comrade. A d6 is rolled for each nominated cultist, and if at least one scores a 4+ they keep the thing under control- otherwise, the abomination breaks loose and flees into the underhive, effectively removing it from the Roster. Any cultist who rolls a 1 gets a Lasting Injury as the freak lashes out at them.
Enforcers set up their gangs like so:
- 1 Captain (Leader), who may be either a Palanite or a Subjugator.
- 0-2 Sergeants (Champions), either Palanite or Subjugator.
- At least 2 Patrolmen (Gangers), who must be the same type of Enforcer as the Captain. The number of Patrolmen must be equal to or greater than the total number of Captains or Sergeants in the gang.
- Enforcers cannot start out with Rookies (Juves), but may take one for free each time an enemy they defeated dies or is retired during the post-battle sequence.
Gangs have two major attributes: Rating and Reputation.
Rating is the sum cost of every Fighter (and remember, a Fighter's cost is the sum of their personal cost and their gear cost). A high Rating is bad if the difference between your Rating and your opponent's is very large; having a higher rating than your opponent means you're less likely to be able to choose the scenario you're fighting in and gain worse reputation rewards (every scenario so far awards the participant with the worse rating +1 reputation per full 100 points of rating they are below their opponent). Consequently, it's unwise to fight against a gang with a lower rating than your own since you have less to gain from a victory and have less control over the scenario.
Reputation on the other hand is always good - a higher reputation means you can recruit more Champions, find rare equipment more easily, and the two highest reputations at the end of a campaign fight over who wins the entire campaign, with reputation serving as their tiebreaker if they draw during the scenario.
Gangs can also form Alliances for the duration of a campaign, symbolizing a connection to a prominent group like one of the guilds or a criminal organization. These grant benefits such as expanded Wargear options or adding free Hired Guns to a scenario, but they also come with drawbacks such as having less control over which scenario is chosen or giving up part of their gained credits. These drawbacks can be ignored, but the other party won't like it- they may temporarily deprive you of the alliance's benefits or end it entirely.
The Law and Misrule campaign type adds Alignment, which determines whether or not your gang abides by the laws of Necromunda. This determines what kinds of Hired Guns they can use, as well as a mixture of other benefits and drawbacks depending on whether or not the gang is on the wrong side of the law. While it is possible to switch alliances partway through a campaign, doing so comes with steep costs.
Advancing your Gang
Leaders and Champions can buy stat points and skills (skills are special rules and/or actions only available to the model that has them) for experience points (which you mostly earn by murdering the enemy, but also by Rallying, ironically meaning it can be optimal to get your models to fail their Cool checks, so you can Rally them later for experience), which also raises their credit value for game effects like being sold off by enemy gangs; when they do so, they pay a base experience amount, plus 2 per Advancement (an Advancement is any time they buy one of these things). "Specialists" are basically unlucky (or lucky, depending on your point of view) Gangers who can do the same thing; this is how you promote one of them to Champion. Typically, Leaders have cheaper access to more skills (particularly the Leadership skills) than the other roles, while Champions have cheaper access to something than the others. Experience costs vary by what you are buying - some stats cost more than others, some skills cost more than others depending on your role and House, and so on.
Juves and non-Specialist Gangers do not have to pay escalating costs for Advancements, but have some restrictions to go along with that. Juves typically have the least access to cheap skills, compared to Leaders, Champions, and Specialists, and if you end a campaign (referred to as a Turf War) with any Juves that have 5 or more Advancements, they must promote to Champion, immediately forcing them to begin paying Advancement taxes. Non-Specialist Gangers have no access to skills at all, but buy stats by paying a non-escalating cost and then rolling 2d6; if they roll a 2, a 12, or any result that would force a stat above its maximum, they promote to Specialist, gaining access to skills but being forced to pay Advancement taxes. Any other result, depending on what it is, raises your choice of one of 2 stats. The nature of the table is that, starting with their second Advance, they pay less experience per stat gain than anyone but a Juve, but can't buy skills at all, and run a constant risk that slowly goes up over time of promoting to Specialist and being forced to pay taxes.
Leaders and Champions bought new start with one Primary skill of their choice; for everyone else, there are 4-5 ways to gain skills as an Advancement. For all of the options below, the way to handle rolling a random skill you already have is to re-roll it, which is identical to rolling a smaller die type (1d1, 1d2, 1d3, 1d4, or 1d5, although the d4 or the d5 will require non-d6 dice on hand - the easiest way to handle both cases at once is to keep a d20 around), but isn't actually supported by the rules. All of them cost experience points and add to the fighter's credit cost - aside from the downside of making the entire gang's rating go up, this also makes the fighter a larger liability, since they're worth more to the enemy when captured.
- Pay 6xp and gain 20 credits in value to gain 1 random skill from a chosen Primary skill tree.
- Pay 9xp and gain 20 credits in value to gain 1 chosen skill from a chosen Primary skill tree.
- Pay 9xp and gain 35 credits in value to gain 1 random skill from a chosen Secondary skill tree.
- Pay 12xp and gain 40 credits in value to change roles from Specialist to Champion and gain 1 random skill from a chosen Primary skill tree.
- Pay 15xp and gain 50 credits in value to gain 1 random skill from a chosen skill tree.
Typically, Juves have 1 Primary skill set and 2 Secondary, while Specialists have 2 Primaries and 2 Secondaries, and neither has Leadership as a Primary or Secondary. Champions have 2 Primaries and 3 Secondaries, while Leaders have 3 Primaries and 2 Secondaries, but the "additional" skill set they have is always Leadership - Secondary for Champions and Primary for Leaders. That said, it is typical for roles to have other "unique" skillsets within their House - for example, only Goliath Juves have any access to Agility (which they do as a Secondary); as of the current set of 6 gangs, only 2, Escher and Orlock, have skillsets such that Leader>Champion>Specialist>Juve - for everyone else, there's at least one exception, such that promotion can make the Fighter worse at collecting skills they were going after. Skill sets are listed below by name, but these groupings only trend towards being similar to each other, and a single skill set may provide wildly distinct abilities - for example, under Cunning, Backstab makes you more useful with a melee weapon, while Overwatch makes you more useful with a ranged weapon - and at least one skill, "Savvy Trader" under Savant, is capable of providing absolutely no buff at all (it makes the Fighter better at finding rare items, but only Champions, Leaders, and/or Fighters with the separate Connected skill are capable of even attempting to find rare items).
|1||Catfall||Bull Charge||Combat Master||Backstab||Berserker||Commanding Presence||Fast Shot||Ballistics Expert|
|2||Clamber||Bulging Biceps||Counter-attack||Escape Artist||Impetuous||Inspirational||Gunfighter||Connected|
|3||Dodge||Crushing Blow||Disarm||Evade||Fearsome||Iron Will||Hip Shooting||Fixer|
|4||Mighty Leap||Headbutt||Parry||Infiltrate||Nerves of Steel||Mentor||Marksman||Medicae|
|5||Spring up||Hurl||Step Aside||Lie Low||True Grit||Overseer||Precision Shot||Munitioneer|
|6||Sprint||Iron Jaw||Rain of Blows||Overwatch||Unstoppable||Regroup||Trick Shot||Savvy Trader|
Later expansions added unique skill categories usable only by specific gangs, such as the Savagery, Palanite Drill and Muscle skill categories.
Similar to Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda is a fairly fast paced skirmish game focusing on a small fight between two gangs. Gangs are chosen from the roster below, named, and equipped as the player sees fit. Gameplay represents each man or woman in the gang moving 4", but can run to double the distance or charge to the same effect. Shooting differs from Warhammer 40,000 as the game is less about a fixed ballistic skill and more about modifiers to represent more detailed scenarios of a firefight. Close combat relies on fixed weaponskill and modifiers representing the detailed scenarios much like the shooting phase's mechanics.
Gangs are bought with a set amount of starting cash, along with all weapons and other equipment. The gang grows, levels up, and gains superior equipment between battles, adding a roleplaying element. Lasting injuries can cripple characters, and a few lucky territory rolls can grossly overpower a gang. Basically, fun.
- To start off you need to pick a house to build your gang from. The big six "House Gangs", the base non-expansion gangs, are below. Each gang is more or less identical in practice (i.e everyone has identical stats), but their weapon options differ - e.g. Goliaths don't get swords that can parry but do get Final Fantasy style greatswords, while Escher is vice versa. Each gang has access to a different set of skill tables as well, differentiating them a little more. so in the long run a Van Saar gang will have a different playstyle from an Escher.
- House Cawdor - Holier-Than-Thou extremists. Think Jake Busey from Contact. Heavily converted to the worship of the Redemptionist creed.They favour combat with their combat, ferocity, and agility accessing don't expect much shooting with minimal ranged weapons and no shooting skill access.
- House Delaque - Sneaky Molemen/Matrix hybrids. The sneaky, shooty gang. 8e claims that they are somehow in league with the descendants of the planet's long-lost native inhabitants, but the few who might have heard of this rarely if ever believe it.
- House Escher - Crazy man haters with a cyber-punk style of dress. The agile melee gang. Themed as Science Fantasy Grimdark Amazons. 8e even retcons that they use archaeotech to reproduce through parthenogenesis, as the few men born to the clan are inevitably deformed and retarded due to severe mutations in their Y chromosomes.
- House Goliath - Roid Raging skinheads. The slow, not very good melee gang. Big mutual hate-on for House Escher, because they're the uber-Macho House and Escher thinks they're idiots. 8e makes them ironically dependent on Escher for the super-science gene-mods and stimulants they use to maintain their bodies.
- House Orlock - Bikers, except they don't have bikes and they're miners. The Jack-of-All-Trades gang.
- House Van Saar - The hell is up with their Eldar-esque suits? 8e retconned that they actually have a semi-functioning STC, but it also poisons them. The suits keeps them from dying quicker. Techy-Shooty gang; they excel in trying to spam the inventor skill and wrecking face.
- Then we have the expansion gangs.
- Scavvies - Shittily armed and diseased, they use zombies and lizard hybrids to help with the fighting. They favor melee and can make a pretty badass horde
- Pit Slaves - Escaped cyborgs armed with industrial digging equipment. Slow, not so good melee gang but they have this scissors weapon and it's like so totally broken it like kills you in one hit. This is true and rather annoying.
- Ratskin Renegades - The native American archetype. They are sneaky, use shitty, shitty guns and are pretty good in melee. Playing them forced the game to be played using the "Treacherous Conditions" table, but they themselves were immune to any of the crazy shit that could be rolled, such as poison gas, rampaging vermin hordes or the ground collapsing.
- Redemptionists - Cawdor on crack. A horde style gang; believes heavily that you can kill it with fire.
- Spyrers - Super 1337 and best armed gang. They are the spoiled rich kids from the hive bored out of their skulls. The gang is tiny, usually consisting of 3-8 models. It's stupid when the other guy pins your entire gang with overwatch, which makes them tricky to use. Fun as hell to play, though. Also, once per campaign, you can take the Matriarch and Patriarch (both in one game if you feel like royally fucking someone's day). If you do this, the game is essentially Slender with miniatures.
- Fenrisian Wilders - A gang of savage shapeshifters that haunt the wastes outside the hive
- Enforcers - The riot cops of the underhive, Two sets of rules exist for them, One treating them more like a regular gang and one that treats them exactly like you would expect from a police force. Tend to get all their equipment for free, it's pretty good equipment too. downside is you may only every use 5 enforcers a match (though if your opponent is a hard ass the rest of your 10 men put down their paperwork to help on out) Largest skill access of all gangs (everything bar agility and techno for their regular enforcers. handler and sarge get techno)
- Ash Waste Nomads - These guys live outside the hive, and have vehicles. Good luck convincing anyone to let you play them unless you leave out their rides.
- Vampyres - An attempt to cash-in on the popularity of Buffy the Vampire slayer during the 90s. Were included as a gang of a few superhuman mutants followed around by useless Thralls whose main purpose was as food.
- Chaos Cultist Coven - Laughable in regular 40k, but in the Underhive you get to see what Chaos is really like.
- Genestealer Cults - Yes, they even got Genestealers and with a Weapon Skill of 7, four attacks and all at strength 6, you bet your ass is grass.
- Ork Gang - Why have Orks in Necromunda when you have Gorkamorka? LISTEN UP YAH GROT. VENATORS GOT T4 GITZ WIV BS5+ SO NOWS WE GOT RULEZ AN WE GOT ‘REZUNS’ - SUM ‘OOMIE INQZTOR SAID SUMMINK N’ NOW WEZ ‘ERE! TA FIGHT FER TEEF!! ...BUT NOT YERR STINKIN’ WEEDY ‘OOMIE TEEF!! CUZ WE’Z DA ONES GOT DEM PROPPAH TEEF... NOT YOO STINKIN’ ‘OOMIES!! BUT DAT INQUIZZY GIT SAID DERE WOZ A SKRAP SO ‘ERE WE IZ!! - ”Reasons” never were Grombragg Git Slappa’s strong point.. but he belligerently jabs you in the chest with a big green finger while telling you them all the same.. Seriously tho. According to lore hive cluster currently known as The Skulls was at one point invaded by orks and held by them for some time until joined operation of PDF and Iron Fists who actually came to necromunda specifically to get rid of those orks did. It destroyed those hive cities, but you know orks. Once they make planetfall it is impossible to get rid of them completely with anything less than complete exterminates of planets biosphere (and even than it is worth to doublecheck). So there is sizeable population of mostly feral orks in the wastes and presumably in The Skulls ruins.
- Wyrd Gathering - A bunch of psykers and their pets as a gang.
- Squat Miners - Even though Squats were on their way out, Specialist Games still remembered them. They play very similar to Dwarfs in Mordheim.
- Guilder Gang - Now you play as the merchants! Good for getting a lot of money.
- Hive Prospector Team - Basically a merging of the main house gangs and Guilders.
- Shanty Town Gang - The dregs of society. Hope you love having to recruit half of your gang after they get hit by a stiff breeze.
Starting your Gang
Once you have picked your "faction", then you get to the nitty gritty of actually building your starting force which most tabletop gamers will be familiar with. You start with 1000 credits (read points, at least at this stage) with which you purchase your gang-members and equip them.
The original six gangs are all built the same way, with the same selection of membership options, though they have access to different tables of starting gear depending on the faction you choose. The other more specialised gangs will have access to different character archetypes depending upon their fluff, but basically your gang's minimum size is three models and you can go nuts from there.
- Gang Leader: Most gangs have a "leader" equivalent who you must take if he's available to your gang. He usually starts off as a WS/BS4/I4/Ld8 Veteran. He's good because you need him to keep the gang together and take most of their leadership tests, as well as determining what happens between battles. He also gets access to some of the best gear, making him one of your most effective warriors in addition to his statline.
- Gang Leaders invariably start out with a lot of experience to account for all the cool stuff they do. This usually equates them to about ninth level on the advancement scale, meaning they can only accumulate a few more advancements before maxing out.
- Ganger: After that, most gangs will have the equivalent to a squaddie, who represents your rank-and-file warrior. They have the same statlines as imperial guardsmen, and you just need them because most gangs have a minimum number of these guys you need to take. They're good because they cover most of your bases and they level-up readily.
- Heavies: Then you have the specialists, but some gangs have a variant which works in a different way (eg: Techno / Mastiff-Handler / Totem Warrior / Zealot). Usually, these guys are veterans of equivalent level to your Gang Leader, but often only have similar statlines to your regular Gangers. This sounds like a poor deal, but even at their most basic, they get access to the biggest guns, making them really useful in laying down the pain during your battles. They will also have access to different upgrade options, often acting as the techie dudes that fix the rest of the gang's broken shit.
- Some gangs do it differently, and have these specialist dudes perform a more unique function. These guys will have different special rules depending on the faction you've chosen, but generally you're always going to want a few in your gang for the utility they bring.
- Juves: Not all specialist gangs have access to them; they are usually the last things you consider, but they have some of the greatest potential. They start out as WS/BS2 conscripts and they don't have access to basic (ie: rifle) weaponry. However, they are cheap to add to your gang, and they start at level zero which is actually a good thing in the long run. That is four advances behind regular gangers, therefore when they upgrade to the same level they will have earned themselves several skill or characteristic bonuses that make them stand out and excel. If you build them correctly, who cares if they keep their BS2 through-out their whole career if you made them into power-sword champions? They eventually earn the right to carry rifles later anyway so if they turn into ace marksmen you can hand them the gang's good weapons.
The Hive World of Necromunda, originally restricted to Hive Primus, but with the current expansions, also includes the Ash Wastes (the shithole desert immediately outside Hive Primus, infested with motorcycles, pointy elves, and homebrew Orks.)
Also of note is that the comic The Redeemer by Pat Mills, Debbie Gallagher, and Wayne Reynolds centers around one of the Redemptionist cults on Necromunda, led by a psychotic mofo named Klovis, who lights his head on fire and leads his men to murder shit-tons of mutants and zombies led by a chief Ratskin by the name of the Caller.
Formerly known as Araneus Prime, the planet now known as Necromunda was settled during the Dark Age of Technology as a mining and manufacturing colony. During the Age of Strife, it had remained in contact with other planets in its system thanks to a network of Warp Gates, and by the time of the Great Crusade Araneus Prime had become the capital of a human civilization called the Aranean Continuity.
The Imperium of Man stumbled over the Continuity by accident when a squadron of Imperial ships entered their territory, which were boarded and overrun by the cybernetically augmented warriors that formed the Aranean military. When the Imperium sent envoys demanding that the Aranean Continuity swear fealty to the Imperium, the Technobility that ruled the Continuity responded with its own demand that the Imperium should become their tributary instead.
Two months and one intervention from the Imperial Fists later, the Aranean Continuty had surrended to the Imperium of Man.
Unfortunately, the Imperium would not be able to celebrate its victory for long. Something was coming out of the Warp Gates and was in the process of destroying every planet in the Continuity. By the time the VIIth Legion had destroyed the Warp Gates to keep more of the mysterious invaders from getting through Araneus Prime was the only planet in the Aranean Continuity that was still inhabitable, and even it had been left a ruined shadow of its former glory. It was at this time the planet came to be called Necromunda in recognition of how it had survived its near-annihilation by the unknown xenos.
The legendary leader of a slave uprising against the guilders and Spartacus stand-in. A pit fighter that turned on his masters when a fellow slave/love interest of his was denied medicine and died. Ended up liberating a town and several slave trains before guild mercenary armies cut it apart and paraded Bull Gorg around before his execution. His legacy has since been taken up by one Gor "Two Guns" Coran, a Hive scum that became convinced he was Gorg's long-lost son after a run-in with a Ratskin shaman who claimed that Coran was the offspring of a great hero of the underhive.
Perhaps one of the most famous and recognisable characters to come out of the setting. The bastard son of the Planetary Governor and Inquisitor Jena Orechiel, who described his conception and birth as "one of the unpleasant things one has to do for the Imperium". Jerico is a dashing figure who dual wields master-crafted pistols and acts as a swashbuckling hero whose guns and uncanny good luck get him out of trouble as easily as his mouth gets him into it. Despite his devil-may-care attitude and considerably long list of people who want him dead, he's still one of the most successful bounty hunters in Hive Primus.
- Scabs - Jerico's half-Ratskin sidekick. Originally a Hive Scum whose heritage made him a perpetual outsider, Jerico recognized his good heart and hidden talents as a scout and Scabs reciprocated his acceptance with loyalty. As the voice of reason to Jerico's bon vivant, Scabs's pragmatism and knack for finding hidden paths in the underhive has gotten the duo out of more than a few predicaments.
- Yolanda Catallus: The heiress of the Noble House Catallus, at least before she ran away to join and later lead a House Escher gang as "Outlaw Annie". Jerico and Scabs had accepted bounties for Yolanda's return and Outlaw Annie's capture only to realize that they were the same person. They were able to capture her, but Yolanda's threats to use her family ties to ensure Jerico's slow and painful death impressed him enough to give her a chance to escape- or more precisely, he left her tied up in a sewer tunnel figuring she'd be able to get away before the local giant spiders found her. She later become a bounty hunter herself with a rather complicated relationship with Kal culminating in their marriage.
One day, a rogue-psyker stumbled into the underhive from the spires above to get away from all the voices he kept hearing and the dreams he kept having. He was promptly assaulted by plague zombies... though bitten, Valois' psychic talent was enough to keep him the zombies at bay while the disease ate through his brain. He "survived" the ordeal but remained infected by the plague, giving him mastery over zombies (essentially making him the Zombie king... with a crown and everything) which he can bring with him into battle and boost them from "Night of the Walking Dead" undead to "28 Days Later" undead, without losing the original's durability. He's also a telepath, and he can suck the life out of his opponents... badass.
- Trivia: Valois (pronounced "Val-wa") is probably named for the real-world king Charles Valois VI (better known as "Charles the Mad") of France, who is immensely more hilarious because it actually happened: Valois suffered schizophrenia (hallucinations/delusions, which bring on erratic behaviour), probably brought on by some sort of genetic problem like porphyria (a disorder that can also cause victims to break out in blisters when exposed to sunlight, like a really sucky Vampire); he went around the castles howling like a wolf, attacked and killed his servants because he was convinced they were traitors, pissed himself in public, thought he was made of glass, and even had holes drilled in his skull to relieve pressure because it was considered to be a cure for mental illness at the time.
Klovis the Redeemer
The other (and arguably most) highly recognizable character from the setting, owing to being the focus of an insane-as-fuck comic. Originally from House Cawdor, Klovis turned out to be way too fanatical to control and thus was exiled. In response, he managed to round up a bunch of rabble, beat them into shape, and began leading a self-proclaimed holy crusade to spread his holy word to the outcasts and underhivers in the Ash Wastes, common sense be damned. His chief instruments of justice are his eviscerator and his headpiece, which triples as a flamethrower and impaling implement.
- Deacon Malakev - Klovis' semi-servitorized pet lackey/chronicler and sycophant bar none. He'd be totally useless if it weren't for him having the Liber Excruciatus, the big book of torture.
- Phanta Claws - the 40k equivalent of Santa Claus
- Farseer Yrthrian Mardawn - The only known Eldar on the planet. He isn't 100% alone, accompanying him are two Fire Dragons. Originally from Saim-Hann. His purpose in the Underhive is to find someone who will fight for his family back on the Craftworld so that they will win whatever power struggle they are currently embroiled in.
- D'onne "Mad Donna" Ulanti - A crazed daughter of a nobleman from the Ulanti House. She was kept locked up, Rapunzel style, where something made her go off the deep end. Once her dad figured she was old enough to be married off to another nobleman, shit hit the fan. After killing her husband-to-be and his guards along with more people during her trip down to the Underhive, she got employed by the Eschers. Known for having a plasma pistol and a chainsword. The sword is not for show as she had the unique rule "Psycho-Bitch" which basically made her into a Khorne Berzerker. To emphasize just how bat-shit insane she is, the reason she wears an eyepatch is because when some guy tried to hit on her in the Underhive, she gouged out her own eyeball so nobody would call her pretty again.
- Brakar, The Avenger - A Ratskin heavy with a heavy stubber. He is unique since Ratskins can't have "proper" heavies.
- Grendl Grendlsen - A mercenary and former bodyguard for a Rogue Trader, who came down to the Underhive after his master was killed in a bombing. Most notable for being the first official Squat miniature in over twenty years.
- Gor Half-Horn - A Beastman bounty hunter with a background shrouded in mystery. Some believe he's the sole survivor of an Imperial Guard abhuman auxiliary, others say he was part of an Inquisitor's retinue but went rogue, and there's even a claim that he was a noble whose mutations manifested later in life and fled to the Underhive. Regardless of the truth, he's a nasty son of a bitch.
- Eyros Slagmist - A scavenger who discovered a strange archaeotech device that fused with his body, allowing him to extract clean water from anything. Or anyone, as his unlucky companions discovered when the thirst generated by the device got the better of him. He now sells his services as a bounty hunter, working with the gangs and providing his water in exchange for new victims to "drink" from. He now resembles a nightmarish mass of water tanks, pipes and cables, and it's unknown if there's anything left of him that can be called human underneath the machinery.
- "The Deserter" - A nutty old man who once served in the Necromundan 8th, whose original identity and reasons for ending up in the Underhive are unknown. He's well-known for his skill at setting up ambushes and working with explosives, but most gang leaders learn to send only the guys they don't particularly care about when trying to get his services. Mostly because every path leading to his warren is loaded with booby traps.
- Belladonna: The daughter of a powerful Escher matriarch, she was engaged to the Tzakwon Ran Lo, heir of the Ran Lo Stratoplane Empire. Surprisingly for an arranged marriage, they were deeply in love- but the wedding ended in tragedy when one of the wedding gifts turned out to be a ravenous Crotalid beast that devoured the groom and several guests. She managed to kill it at the expense of an arm, a leg, and an eye, and she now works as a bounty hunter in the hopes of finding the people who arranged for her husband's death.
- Krotos Hark: A member of House Goliath with an uncommon degree of intelligence, he works as a bounty hunter and armorer in pursuit of an unknown agenda. Observers note that he takes a strong interest in jobs opposing House Goliath, making them wonder if he seeks to make himself its new leader.
- Grub "Lumpy Nox" Targeson: Grub used to be an average Guilder until the lump began to grow on his back. At first it was nothing a looser coat couldn't hide, but it wouldn't stop growing...and then it began to talk. Nowadays he wanders the underhive selling his services as a hired gun, and while most people assume his whispered conversations with his hump just mean he needs to cut down on the drink, some swear that they can hear it whisper back- and it seems to know an awful lot of things Grub couldn't possibly know on his own.
A new turn-based tactical RPG game is being developed by Rogue Factor and Focus Home Interactive, which is a video game adaptation of Specialist Games Necromunda. Current information is limited, but apparently there will be INFINITE PIPES! So far we've seen two Gangs: the Goliaths (who have red scrap armor) and the Escher (who wear yellow scrap armor) who look almost identical if not for a the color of their paint. More worryingly, there is a claim of a skull machine that munches skulls, so it has yet to be seen if the game will reach GrimDerp levels of stupidity.
Also of great concern is the Escher gang leader who has a Plasma Pistol(!) something a gang probably shouldn't have unless it's ultra expensive end game gear.
The core gameplay is going to be very similar to Rogue Factor's previous game, Mordheim, meaning e.g. movement will be in real time, not turn-based; the game is basically being developed from Mordheim as a starting point. Changes include levels being less procedurally generated and more hand-crafted, although there will still be a strong general reliance on procedurally generated level elements. Hopefully they will release all standard and extra factions as DLC's before stopping development like it happend in Mordheim. Witch is sad indeed.
- yaktribe.org, hosts a community-maintained Necromunda rulebook.