Necromunda/Tactics

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A tactics page dedicated to Necromunda. This page will cover all three editions, yes there are three editions (or two and a half technically.) If you don't know what Necromunda is read about it here

General Tactics[edit]

  • Food, remember before you go on a shopping spree you have to pay a general upkeep fee for each member of your gang. Yes they can fight starving but that won't do you any good.
  • Two weapons are always better than one. Be sure to take at least one melee weapon and one ranged weapon.
  • Play to your strengths and use your weapon armoury effectively. Different gangs will pay different prices for the same gun!
  • Remember goggles, re-breathers and stimms can catch you opponent off guard if they don't pay attention.
  • NOTE: First/1.5 Edition has every model have a Knife for free.

First Edition[edit]

  • One-In-A-Million-Weapon - If you choose to buy a rare weapon from the merchant and you get the right roll, you get one of these. It is always a gun and it NEVER, has to make an ammo roll. When you get one of these guns, you roll to see what kind of gun it is. No matter what category you get, you can choose ANY gun from said category. So a Bolt pistol, which has an ammo roll of 6+ ,now doesn't need one.
  • Bionics - Unlike Mordheim, losing a limb isn't a bad thing. If you model gets a bionic replacement it will improve their stat-line. Bionic Leg? You can now kick in melee. Bionic Arm? +1 strength. Bionic Eye? immunity to flash-bangs and light changes.

Second Edition - Underhive[edit]

Goliath[edit]

A Goliath's primary strength is, literally his strength. And his toughness. They hit harder than any other house gang, and are harder to hurt than anyone else. Their biggest weakness apart from the weapons included on their sprues is getting close enough to make it matter so you will need cover fire or smoke grenades. Advances in movement will count for more than further advances in strength or toughness. Similarly, tactics cards that get them to combat are more important than tactics that will improve them in combat - they are badass enough already. A Goliath with his fists will often tear another gangers head clean off. Goliaths aren't actually bad at shooting, so it will probably help to have at least some dudes providing covering fire, but their starting weaponry is mostly pretty short range, and for something like a combat shotgun, you might be better off just charging at that stage anyway. With the new gang war updates, spamming grenade launchers can be a great way to lose friends really quickly as they rage quit and throw a tantrum at all their heavy weapons being taken out by the second round, other gangs are wussies anyway. The "Krumper"? ...no, don't bother. A heavy stubber or two might help lay down some much-needed support, but do you really want to hold champions back from combat? ...yes you do so the rest of your gang doesn't get pinned by Escher lasgun spam (your Champions have access to Nerves of Steel, ensuring they reach the close combat. Just don't let others charge you - even a Juve with a Stiletto knife is a mortal danger). Remember, stub pistol with dumdums, stub cannon and heavy stubber.

Escher[edit]

Eschers are far more maneuverable than Goliaths, the other starter gang, but also have better range. An Escher can standoff close combat gangs by using poisoned weapons to compensate for poor strength and her high movement to get good angles for shooting with her cheap lasgun. And at five points per lasgun, you might as well have lasguns on most of your gangers if you can't spring for needle rifles. Against gangs that are good at combat, they should not get drawn into a brawl, but another advantage of their high movement is that they can take an opportunity to charge multiple gangers into any isolated opposition. And don't forget, when you make a charge move, you may make a free fight action - you don't have to. That enables you to charge with someone who is weak in combat (even a juve, perhaps), decline to attack, avoid reaction attacks and then, in the same activation, charge moments later with someone better, who then gets the combat bonuses (or just give Juve a Stiletto and watch her murder enemy Champions with impunity). The winning strategy, pin your rival with lasgun fire then run up with your chem thrower and crop dust them. Don't forget Acid Rounds on Shotguns and Toxin on your knives - those win games, you know.

Orlock[edit]

The All Rounders in the sense that they don't necessarily excel in anything but don't suffer anything either. Based around some confused biker garb nonsense (most of their house are miners, but gangsters ensure their caravans arrive safely where they are needed and spent most of their time in the Wastes) they have a nice array of shotguns to dance around the board with clearing entire hallways with shredder blasts which is perfect for zone mortalis, in 3D games their harpoon gun (more suited for whale hunting and punching through ramshackle vehicles you're trying to rob) is great at pulling gangers off over rails and off platforms until they splat a couple of feet below, don't forget blasting charges to blow up characters and scenery in an attempt to actually make your gang seem more like miners. They can be equipped for close combat if you like watching them die or mid range if you prefer "run and gun". A good general strategy is to lead the gang with two shotgun wielders to clear hallways of critters, lay some a lot of autogun fire for pinning, have juves running around finishing off downed gangers with two to the head and harpooning any big trouble makers pulling them into shotgun range so they can be blasted into human jam!.

Van Saar[edit]

Van Saar [pronounced Van Say-ar] are the neo-Dutch pale bearded long range option, as their radiation filled suits have shrivelled their insides to the bone they can be challenging in close combat which they are not prepared for but don't let that dissuade you though as they are a very fun gang to play if you play them small and over equipped (and a pure cheese if you take 8 of them in 1000pts roster, exploiting your Champions' 2+ BS). Create a gunline of 3 or 4 so you can continue laying down fire and hiding in dark environments, flank with you rad launcher, give some of them rad grenades (those things are OP), give another champion a plasma gun or better yet, a plasma cannon with suspensor (which sits very conveniently in Van Saars' equipment) and give juves a set of carbine pistols and have them run about drawing fire or coup de gracing seriously injured. These guys should terrify you opponent with sheer gunfire and the ability to survive in all environments. Probably the strongest gang in the game right know, rocking so much firepower you won't be able to do anything against them. Also, paint them black with glowing red goggles for the extra cool factor.

Cawdor[edit]

A gang of crazed religious fanatics who like nothing better than a good ol' fashioned human BBQ. Cawdor are a swarm close combat gang more akin to scavenging rats, though they are not as strong as Goliath their swarm strategy will win out in the long run. The current sprues are no very customizable and are probably worse than the Van saar gang, fortunately, you can always use old Ork spares as cheap axes. Equip them cheap and get more bodies on the board, the more chaff/juves the better, a reclaimed auto pistol and axe will be fine. The crossbow though expensive is a must as it has multiple types of ammo great for picking off trouble makers. Your leader should have the hand flamer, its fluffy but also very effective in ending Golaith charges and Orlock cover camping, smoke grenades and goggles also make for extra annoyance, his very cool giant axe is debatable though (it's an icon , and nowhere is official rules there is a word about it being an axe, so take it). In 3D games rat bombs can be fun as they are almost untouchable behind cover right up to the moment they sneak up on rival gangs. DO NOT OVER EQUIP, Cawdor have near useless guns that are very likely to break down after a couple of shots, use them on the move to try and thin other gangs before swarming in for the kill. However, they are not as cheap as they probably should be (Cawdor ganger with reclaimed autogun cost exactly as much as Esher one with a lasgun while having worse stats), their equipment is priced strangely (oh wow, that autogun on a stick is basically an axe and a reclaimed autogun. What a shame it costs as much as an axe, autogun and reclaimed autopistol combined) or plainly wrong (fighting knives for 30 points while power knives are 25, really?), so the only way you can triumph is using their tactics cards, which are absolutely rad. For example, all your guns can gain Blaze for one turn or your Champion can temporally receive +3 to S and A, squashing Goliaths like they're potatoes.

Delaque[edit]

They're a bunch of bald slap headed Matrix wannabe freaks that seem to be a direct rip off of 'The Strangers' from Alex Proyas's Dark City, unfortunately without the wide brimmed hats ...or Richard O'Brien. These guys do not win in a fair fight, which is why you make sure that the fight is never fair. Use Smoke Grenades, Photo Goggles, sneaky Gang Tactics and their superb skill access to make everything a bit less fair and a bit more fun. They have native access to both Web guns, Grav Guns and Flechette Pistols.

Fun Combinations:

  • Stop! It's Grav Time: Get a Leader, give him Overseer, now get 2 Champions and Give them Fast shot and mayber Photo Goggles. Fill out the gang with whatever you want, for example people with Smoke Grenades. Watch your meleefocused opponent cry while you throw out 6 3" cricles of difficult terrain per turn each time you activate your leader.
  • Stop! It's Rifle Time: Get 2 Champions with Long Rifles, Photo Goggles and Overwatch and place them somewhere with decent line of sight. The rest of the gang wants Smoke Grenades. Use group activation to hurl as many smoke grenades as possible, while stopping your opponent from taking actions with Overwatch. When the battlefield is filled up with smoke, your opponent will have a hard time charging and shooting at all.

Genestealer Cult[edit]

GW strategy for you to start buying a box of figures that are not selling too well. Your Neophytes are cheap and hard to break, and Acolytes and Aberrants can put out serious hurt in melee. You also have no Trade Post territories and other gangs get extra cash for your Acolytes and Aberrants.

Chaos Cult[edit]

You have numbers and little else - the Witch works best when you keep it cheap, the Chaos spawn is unreliable to get and keep. But numbers is all you need. Basically Cawdor 2.0, doing everything those fanatics do, but better. Also, Familiars give your Champions and Leaders 3++ analog once per turn for 20 points and are not rare. They are a must-buy and enable you to triumph over basically every other big guy one on one or survive that Lascannon shot.

If you want to play a specific god, you are better served with Escher as Slaanesh and Goliath as Khorne or Nurgle. Van Saar or Delaque make a good Tzeentch.

Venators[edit]

Latin, literally "Hunters". The Mercenary gang. Highly customizable but very expensive. You also get Credits for Reputation instead of Territory, which leaves you vulnerable at the start. You gangers can buy house connections to get access to their respective weapons and price lists - one house per ganger, but you can mix and match. Diversity is key as the House gangs are more cost-effective for their specific strategies.

Enforcers[edit]

Enforcers are something that many people waited for. They got skub models and okay-ish rules. Enforcers are in theory an elite(ish) mid-to-close-range shooting gang with very limited cc capabilities. Their flavor and niche comes from their equipment and their roster. They cost an arm and leg, have pretty mediocre stats and downright disgusting Heavy Weapons, but they can be made workable, and make no mistake, when either a bolter or a combat shotgun hits, it hits hard. Several campaigns with their rules confirmed that. They are also massively underpowered in dominion campaign based on how their territories work, because they are obviously intended for "Law and Misrule".

Their main problem, as mentioned, is cost, but after a few games with Intrigues enabled you'd be swimming in credits.

Alternative take: While having a gang full of bolters is nice and hits like a truck, a 'pacifist' Enforcer gang is possible. You can load up your grenade launchers with photon flash grenades, that denies an activation on a failed Initiative check, and run concussion carbines on your standard Enforcers; that lowers the target's initiative rolls. Then close in with some bodies armed with riot shields and handcuff some ganger scum to deny more activations. Not all that effective against Escher without serious prep (and a bit of luck), but can lead to your Enforcers having more activations than a gang that outnumbers you, making up for your mediocre statline. Grab a gravgun from the trading post in the later game and you can really punish an opponent for bad positioning and control their side of the board.

Stats: Enforcers have the worst stat line in the entire game while being as expensive as Goliaths (most expensive gang model wise) models. Their leader is 3+ WS 4+ BS with 2 wounds and flak/armored undersuit while costing a whopping 140 cr. They are also only gang that has champions with WS and BS both on 4+. On top of that they can have only two champions ever. Bear in mind all your guys come stock with Armored Undersuit (25 credits), so that sweetens the pill somewhat. Yeah, so do the Van Saar, but they are OP as fuck.

Equipment: First of all their equipment is of similar cost to standard. 5 cr discount on boltguns is basically all discount they have. Their “house” armour is decent with boltguns, assault shotguns and grenade launchers that player can put on every model. Unfortunately, it lacks in department of heavy weapons with only two entries there that are very meh, one is basically longer-range boltgun with knockback and concussion but without rapid fire other is renderizer axe with an attached grenade launcher that cannot decide if it should shoot or be a cc weapon (it also looks derp). Enforcers do have access to both trading post more black market (new thing in book of judgment) as of December 2019 FAQ. Flak armor and Armored Undersuits are standard issue, giving Enforcers a gang-wide 5+ save (4+ vs Blasts/Templates) by default, with the option to upgrade into Hardened Flak for a 4+ save (3+ vs Blasts/Templates) for additional 10 cr. Be sure to exchange all that stuff for Mesh Armor for gang-wide 4+. There is also option of buying layered armor. It is very expensive at 20 or 30 cr and same stats as flack and hardened flack - 5+/4+ on explosions but what you pay extra for is ability do decrease ap of enemy shooting weapons by 1. Great, right? Well, not really, since this feature is only ever-decreasing ap to -1 at best so it is useless against no ap and ap-1 weapons which are most common in the game (there is some ambiguity on that point as versions in different languages are different: English states that ap can be decreased to minimum of 1, German that to minimum of -1 and Italian to minimum of -).

  • All Enforcers get a shiny new pair of Magnacles for free as of December 2019 Errata. Be sure to try them on Goliaths!
  • Enforcer Boltguns are one of the very good things about them. Cheaper than the usual variety by 5 cr, and come with a 4+ Ammo Check to represent their reliability. Sadly their effectiveness is hampered by gang-wide 4+ bs, which means you have to be close and personal for that +1 S range bonus.

Enforcers have access to number of template and blast weapons in form of grenade launchers (with frag and stun as standard, but no krak, which sucks) and concussion rifles (18' range and low s but small template with seismic, concussion and knockback - decent for throwing people off the ridges if you can get in range) as well as assault shotguns.

Automatic Replacement: Interesting little mechanic designed to compensate for insane cost of new fighter in case of losing one. Whenever an Enforcer is permanently killed, they are automatically replaced on the gang roster with a fresh rookie (juve) at no cost. As regular patrolmen and sergeants (gangers and champions) can be purchased normally, this free replacement method ensure there will be some models on the table. They can use Basic equipment, unlike other gang's Juves, though their stats are on par with those. Hint: template weapons like assault shotguns care not for the BS of the user...

Skills: Enforcers have excellent Primary skills with Shooting (Leaders, Champions, Gangers) and Cunning (Champions). No Leadership for the Captain, he has Brawn instead, which is sub-optimal, to say the least. However, all of them also have their own Palanite Enforcer Drills special tree, and a rather mediocre one, too.

As per December 2019 Errata you have access to the Trading Post or Black Market. Mind that even if you manage to sneak an unauthorized weapon into your stash, all of the Enforcers’ profiles state that they “may only choose weapons from the Palanite/Subjugator List.” No similar restriction for wargear.

    • Something of note, however: in FAQ there is a question, quoting here "Can an Enforcer buy and use weapons from the Trading Post and/or Black Market?". The answer is "Yes. Enforcers can use the Trading Post just like any other gang." That is confusing, to say the least: there is no actual rules corrections that'd allow Enforcers to use weapons outside of their list. Don't try to play a rules lawyer and be sure to discuss this with your Arbitrator before the start of a campaign.

Expensive Things. Cheaper bolters are good to have, but they’re still pricey, and so having them as the de-facto basic service weapon means Enforcers can’t afford to roll as deep as Cawdor, and will frequently be outnumbered except possibly against Van Saar and Goliaths. That is never a good thing. However, do remember some missions limit the number of fighters deployed, and in those you'd be the one laughing.

Limited Number of Champions. Palanite Enforcers are prohibited from having more than 2 of their version of the gang champion, the Palanite Sergeant. Not a game-breaking deal since your gangers, being cops in a place equivalent to the third world, have no weapon restrictions, but the loss of extra skills hurts. Also, they’re still able to hire hangers-on and brutes as normal, so Ambots is a welcome addition and a guarantee no one would like to get too close to you.

Palatine Drill Skills: they range from worse than useless to situational.

  • Got Your Six: Another flavor of the Overwatch skill, this one is only triggered when a visible enemy declares a charge, rather than when they activate. On the other hand, it does not require nor remove a ready marker, making this a valid side-grade option if you’d be using it to cover a fire-team that expects to be advancing towards the enemy into close range (which you will to get S range bonuses). You really don't want to be caught in melee, so giving your sniper that skill can be worth it. It is generally worse than the Overwatch though.
  • Helmawr’s Justice: Roll twice on the lasting injury table when the skill-bearer performs a Coup de Grace, and pick one. This is a terrible skill, as it does zero to get you closer to performing the CdG in the first place. The only argument in favor of this skill is an extra chance for a memorable death for a credit bounty in the Law campaign and taking out or maiming enemy dudes.
  • Non-Verbal Comms: The bearer of this skill can use a double action to trigger a Cool check on a friendly model within 6” to have a 360° vision arc for the remainder of the round. This is.. Probably the worst skill in the game, period. We’re not quite sure how a skill with this many trigger restrictions can possibly be attached to a result of this minor. Facings barely even factor into current Necromunda mechanics outside of Furnace Plates, shields and melee reactions.
  • Restraint Protocols: Giving an Enforcer this skill allows them to restrain a seriously injured opponent in lieu of a Coup de Grace, giving your end of game capture check a +1 for each opponent restrained in this manner. Capturing an enemy allows you to ransom them back to their owner at whatever price you set or to sell them to the guilders for a percentage of their credit value, which is always great for a quick payday unless of course enemy goes for rescue and massacre you gang. It also puts the target Out of Action, as per December 2019 Errata. Still it does nothing to actually improve chance of winning the game.
  • Team Work: Functionally identical to Commanding Presence, straight up. If you’re running your Enforcers as separate fire-teams, this can get you a little more initiative with your activations. Nothing flashy, but useful for Specialists or in certain builds.
  • Threat Response: After an enemy charges, any models with this skill can trade their ready marker for a guaranteed 6” countercharge that swings before the enemy has a chance to attack. Nice but situational as it requires very particular setup and a number of melee-oriented guys ready in vicinity or charges target (and not for example pinned). This is made worse by the fact Enforcers are not cc gang by any sensible definition so actually charging someone might be just adding more meat to the grinder. Remember you'll get +1 to hit, and the enemy's hit roll will be correspondingly worse for outnumbering, not that it will save your bacon from Goliath on Frenzon striking on 2+.

Enforcers weapons. Here are descriptions of weapons. Some are decent but all are expensive.

Basic Weapons

  • Enforcer Boltgun – It doesn’t get more basic than the boltgun. The Enforcer variety comes with a 4+ ammo roll instead of the stock 6+. Additionally, it’s 5 credits cheaper than the stock bolter. Bolters are great in Necromunda, and this will be your go-to for the majority of your enforcers. Sadly it’s effectiveness is somewhat hampered by 4+ bs.
  • Enforcer Shotgun – This is a re-named combat shotgun no more no less. Even price is the same. Short range is a problem (hint: Hip Shooting).
  • Subjugation Pattern Grenade Launcher – A re-named grenade launcher. It carries frag and stun grenades, but additional types are available.

Pistols

  • Stub Gun – Every Enforcer comes with one of these automatically. 5 cr save you would otherwise not spent anyway. Dum-dum is and option for increased S. If need be.
  • Autopistol – Do not buy any of these. Your characters already have free stub guns. The only reason to buy an autopistol is to create some sort of stub gun/autopistol gunfighting sergeant and please do not do this. This hypothetical character will do nothing but disappoint you, we promise. There are 2 special ammo types for this weapon in the list: one with ap-1, one with s+1. Not worth the cost mostly.

Special Weapons

  • Concussion Carbine – This weapon is situational but interesting. For 30 credits you get an 18” frag grenade launcher that auto-pins, knocks back, and has AP -1. This is an useful and relatively cheap weapon that somewhat mitigates meh BS of an Enforcer squad. It’s effectiveness is limited by its short range and fact that its most useful for throwing enemies off the ridges or into the pits... if enforcer is able to hit with it in a right way that is.
  • Sniper Rifle – Basically long rifle. Enforcers are almost entirely based around short- to mid-ranged shooting, so including one or two of these in a squad will drastically improve enforcers range. Or go full bananas and make this baby a weapon of choice, as it costs less than a Bolter by 15 points. Don't try it in ZM, of course. Possibility of good combo with overwatch on Sergeants with Infra-sights.

Heavy Weapons: there is no auto-choice here.

  • Heavy Concussion Ram – We gotta be honest with you, reader. There is no reason that we can see as to why this crappy bolter costs 20 credits more. It is same s and ap as boltgun has slightly better range but nor rapid fire. There is instead knockback, seismic and concussion. This weapon sucks, please avoid it. Now with Blast (3") so slightly more usable.
  • SLHG Pattern Assault Ram “Sledge Hammer” – This is a high-strength, versatile melee weapon similar to rendrizer axe as far as stats go, with a built-in grenade launcher with frag and stun grenades. It’s a weird one. Grenade launchers want to be far from their targets, but this is a melee weapon with an attached GL. It doesn’t make a ton of sense. It could, however, be deadly in the hands of a later-campaign champion or leader if you have cr to buy it. It is your best CC weapon... And CC is probably not the place you want to be in.

Alternate take: GL is its primary use so maintain range, when an enemy closes in you've got something to smash face with (Especially with Threat response and screening units?). Probably better on your Leader due to better WS, but as mentioned previously we aren't really in it for the CC thrills.

Close Combat Weapons

  • Shock Baton – The shock stave is better and cheaper. This thing has parry, but it’s otherwise uninspiring. Avoid.
  • Shock stave – 25 credits for +1 Strength, shock, and versatile. Best choice if someone is going for cc.
  • Vigilance Pattern Assault Shield – This is the same as a van saar energy shield. If you’re planning on making a melee-heavy Enforcer squad, this is the weapon for you. Sadly there are none of those on the sprue. And since you don’t want Enforcers to be in cc due to their stats and skills this is basically a very expensive way to get +1 AS or +2 AS in cc.

Corpse Grinder Cults[edit]

Aka Sausage Men. In pursuit to create a melee gang, Specialist Games seemingly (as this anon hasn't really played a campaign with those yet) unleashed unholy abominations upon the unsuspecting world. Their crimes against balance unique things include:

  • Masks that give each member +1 to their save (bar the leader, he has 6++) and make you take Willpower test to shoot or fight their Leader or Champion, effectively decreasing your chance of hurting them in half even before your start shooting. Oh, and you can add an Undersuit on top of that, it stacks. FUN*
  • Juves with ganger stats and with Infiltrate wrapped in a gift package for 25 points (you know, the cost of an Armored Undersuit already included in their cost,see above). Unlike other gangs, you must have fewer Skinners (gangers) than Initiates (Juves), not the other way around. Sure, they're the only one with access to shooting weapons in the band, so they have no weapon restrictions, buuuut...
  • Due to bad wording, the limitation on trading post applies only during an Uprising campaign. Any weapon can be given to Initiate and Infiltrated whenever one wants.
  • Special "paired" weapons that double the number of Attacks in your profile on charge on top of giving +1 for two weapons. That's 6 attacks on charge per Leader/Champion.
  • They have a thing called Boning Sword, also available on the Trading Post now. This is a Melee weapon that costs 20 points, has AP of -2 and D2 while simultaneously having Parry and Rending. That totally blows regular sword out of the water as it costs the same.
  • They have a limited number of Champions (0-3). However, it also doesn't matter, as with right combination of tactics cards, weapon choices and stimm-slug stash those charge 12+3d3 inches (made worse with leader - 14+d6+2d3). Need I remind one doesn't need LoS to Charge in the Underhive?

That, and other little things, make Grinders literal pay-to-win gang.