Recently my best mate and I decided to give Necromunda a go and so we set aside a full day to play this classic old-school game. This was a game that we both really wanted to play back in the nineties but never got around to; however twenty years later we have finally managed to bring these adolescent dreams into fruition... and it was great fun!
The rules themselves were first published in 1995 and are heavily based on Warhammer 40,000 Second Edition (which was the contemporary version of this system at the time) and as such the two games share a very strong common heritage. As I am a keen WH40K Second Edition player it was very easy for me to slip into Necromunda and quickly learn the additional rules that come with this small scale skirmish game.
Over the course of this twelve hour gaming session we were able to play seven games of Necromunda in total which was an epic undertaking to be sure! In fact we were able to squeeze a whole campaign (which usually takes months) into this one day.
The rules are excellent and ideally suited for these low-level encounters which results in fluid and efficient gameplay for all involved. The first battle we played was the ubiquitous 'Gang Fight' where two factions essentially just decide to shoot at each other. This was fun and we found that it is better to have a lot of moderately armed troops than to excessively invest in a couple of well-equipped individuals as they can be quickly surrounded and butchered. Thus my opponent swiftly swapped out his hugely expensive heavy plasma gun for a far cheaper heavy stubber!
We then played a 'Scavangers' scenario where the two gangs are fighting over 'Loot' markers that are worth valuable credits; this was an excellent mechanic for ensuring that both forces close the distance quickly and are forced to engage each other in brutal short-range firefights.
One key feature in the game is that once a gang has taken 25% casualties it is forced to take a 'Bottle Test' to see if it continues to fight or decides that discretion is the better part of valour and concedes the field. More gung-ho gamers (including me) may begrudge their force bottling out of the fight, however on occasion it is beneficial to leave the skirmish early in order to prevent a force sustaining heavy casualties which could cripple its martial power for the remainder of the campaign.
A key part of Necromunda is the book-keeping/administration between battles and that was no different in this campaign. Both of us took great fun in monitoring the development of our gangers as they gradually gained experience and increased their prowess by acquiring new skills... However it was slightly less fun to watch well-loved characters succumb to their injuries and die!
Overall this was a great gaming session that acted as an exciting introduction to Necromunda for both of us, we are now steadily expanding our forces and recruiting new gamers for a much bigger campaign in the near future.
There is a more in depth battle report with additional photos on my blog at: