Battle Bros Season Four, Chapter VI: The Quest for Tacos

THE BROS ARE BACK and they’re not alone. See which innocent souls they’ve dragged into the foolishness of Necbromunda. Battle Bros is an ongoing bi-weekly column where Drew (PantsOptional) taught his brother Chris (head58) how to play Warhammer 40,000 and now is being hoisted by his own petard as he learns Necromunda. Catch up on their past adventures here.

Meet the Battle Bros


The older of the two brothers, and for once the more experienced in what is to come.


The younger brother, slowly realizing the horrors he has unleashed upon himself.


CHRIS: Recently I once again ventured out to the Western Sump for some tasty Necromunda goodness and hopefully even tastier tacos. At least I got one of those, maybe, so that’s not a terrible average?

A quick recap of the first week of the campaign: The opening shots were fired in the war to control a long abandoned theme park deep within the Underhive. I did some light homicide against Josh’s Squats and earned the Ticket Booth (Toll Crossing) territory. Allan did some heavy homicide on Drew’s Eschers, perma-killing two of his Barbie Corps, but Drew managed to win and take control of the festering, charnel-strewn Backstage Area (Corpse Farm). Refer to this awesome handout made from pilfered graphic assets to play along!

This time the Bros would be mixing it up – my Goliaths would take on Allan’s French-chef themed Corpse Grinders, while Drew’s Eschers faced Josh’s classic Squat-colored Ironhead Prospectors. We all convened at the store out in Drew and Allan’s end of the state bright and early on a Saturday… and found the store was not open. Not a promising start to the day. Knowing full well that you braying savages would have our hides if we did not provide you Top Quality Content we started to worry a bit. I’ll admit I was looking around for rocks and sticks we could use to play Parkinglotamunda if it came down to it.

DREW: They’re not here for Top Quality Content. That stuff lives in other articles.

CHRIS: Fortunately we were soon rescued as the manager came tear-assing into the parking lot mumbling something about how the dude who was supposed to open was sick. The day was saved!

Now, because it’s a pain in the butt to schlep out there we had decided to do a double header game day, covering weeks/rounds 2 and 3 of our campaign. This column will cover the first set of those games, but you’ll have to come back in two weeks for the pulse-pounding conclusion.

I pulled together a list of scenarios ahead of time which seemed promising based on Necromunday’s excellent prior coverage. Conveniently, I identified six scenarios and we all somehow managed to have six sided dice on our persons. Making decisions is not something which runs strong in our bloodline and allowing fate to be decided by a die roll removes us from blame.

Allan and I ended up with Archaeo-Hunters. This is a fun little scenario dating way back to the Gang War books. The idea is there’s this big impenetrable vault door, and no amount of spud-jacking or missile launching will take the door down. But there happens to be an old mining automata lying around nearby, which I guess makes sense. The automata can open the door! Great! But it’s powered down.

DREW: Just… god, I’m so tired. Just assume I made the hacky froyo reference here and move on. It’s better this way for all of us.

CHRIS: Here’s where we probably should have backed up and picked a different scenario. Powering up the automata requires an Intelligence test. I’ll give you a minute to go look up the stats for Goliaths and Corpse Grinders, or to revisit the earlier Ghast Harvest adventures. These gangs are not rocket scientists. They likely do not know what a rocket is, possibly thinking it is a small marsupial. They’re familiar with scientists at least – they’re the people you shove in lockers/remove from lockers and consume, respectively. But we were also too dim to realize what a really bad time this scenario was going to be, so we boldly plunged onward!

Corpse Grinders hungwy, Goliaths made of meat. Simple math.

I was seriously terrified of Allan’s gang. I’ve never played against Corpse Grinders before but have read enough to know they’re a real pain to deal with. The good news was that his Butcher (Leader) was recuperating and unable to participate in the fight. Thank you, Drew!

DREW: I am so glad to be of service to you as a human speed bump.

CHRIS: The bad news was that one of his Cutters (Champion) picked up some Horrid Scars last time, meaning he picked up the Fearsome skill. Out of his eight gangers, I would need to make a Willpower test to charge four of them, and two of them needed tests to even shoot at them. Goliath Willpower isn’t great, but it’s not quite as bad as their Intelligence. It’s close though.

Allan was able to Infiltrate with his Initiates (Juves), and in retrospect this may have been what cost him the game. Because I didn’t need to make any Willpower tests to attack the Initiates, and oh look they were starting off much closer to me than the super scary murderbois who want to wear my skin. It also did him no favors that my dice were absolutely on fire. I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever rolled as well. I of course apologized for every 6 that came up, and by the end of the game I actually meant it. I failed a decent number of Willpower tests but not enough to turn the tide.

Allan didn’t have as much luck with his dice, although he did manage to roll double sixes to save against a stimmed-up Pizz. I think he used all his dice mojo on that one roll. He played to the scenario, but could not fire up the automaton no matter how hard he tried.

Two dudes completely unable to find the button. Tale as old as time.

DREW: I’m incredibly surprised that two gangs which are musclebunch beefbois with the intellectual horsepower of a skeletonized raccoon couldn’t rustle up the wherewithal to push a single red button marked “push”. Honestly after four seasons of this column I fully and truly identify with that level of dumbassery.

CHRIS: I play armies I can relate to, what can I say. Three rounds in enough Initiates and Skinners had been taken out of action that Allan’s gang bottled, and he decided discretion was the better part of face eating. It was the right call because the automata wasn’t going anywhere and he was starting to rack up some nasty lasting injuries. We figured out that even if he got the automata running it was eighteen inches from the vault door and only had a Move of 4”. Even with double moves it wouldn’t reach the vault for three more rounds, and it powered down at the end of every round. Honestly it and the vault may as well just not have been there. Had Allan’s Butcher been able to participate, and had my dice been aware of the law of averages, it would definitely have been a closer game and I’m not sure it would have swung my way.

An Opinion on all those sixes

The territory at stake here was Professor Winkie’s Wonderful World of Science (Archaeotech Device), an educational park attraction which would let me add the Blaze, Rad-phage, Seismic, or Shock trait to any of my gang’s weapons. The predictable side effect is that they also gain Unstable, which is extremely hazardous to the wielder. But remember that I spent actual credits to purchase a prospect with a storm welder, which has a ridiculously high chance of blowing up and killing the user. I laugh at danger! I would also entirely forget to use this territory ability in my next game. Womp womp.

DREW: Over on our side of the store we ended up with Takeover. It’s a perfectly fine mission, if a little dull. One side is the attacker, one is the defender, and the defender lays down three landmarks which the attacker has to control in order to win. If that sounds a little like 40k laid out Necromunda-style to you, that’s because in a lot of ways it is. Honestly a Necro player who’s never played 40k before could use this as a half-decent entry point because it teaches you the absolutely imperative lesson “just play the goddamn objective already.”

CHRIS: Playing to the scenario is for cowards who can’t just murder everything their opponent sets on the table. I am very intelligent and have a proven record of wargame victories. Subscribe to my YouTube coaching channel.

DREW: Eagle-eyed readers may already have spotted the peril in the prior paragraph: the defender places all of the landmarks. While the scenario stipulates their placement to a degree and protects them all from simply being clumped together on the defender’s side of the board, the Attacker will definitely have an uphill battle especially if there’s a nasty tangle of terrain in the middle. Since there was no challenge issued for this battle the roles of attacker and defender were randomized. Go on and guess how that turned out for me.

just a little preview of how well things are gonna go for our girls

Eschers vs Squats is a strange matchup especially for this scenario. My Murder Mommies are very mobile and have lots of good cheap long range weaponry, while the Rock and Stone crew have some really good medium range guns and compensate for their relative slowness by being a little tougher to take down. As I type this out I realize we essentially created an Elves vs. Dwarves matchup, with the unfortunate twist: the Elves in this scenario have to run toward the Dwarves. Charging ahead may have worked out well at Sarn Athrad, but unlike the Elves of Ossiriand the Eschers of Barbie World are not made of raw and true Elemental Bullshit and in fact can (and will) lose fights due to factors other than hubris.

This one idea really lays out the tale of the tape. Armed with relatively low strength long range guns, my extremely fragile scary ladies had to maneuver to medium range with a bunch of tough guys who excel at close to medium range. The scenario has a ten turn timer so it’s not like I could hang back and try to snipe for a while before taking the landmarks. In essence, it did not look good for ol’ Dreezy.

CHRIS: I will not be calling you that.

DREW: Don’t make me get out the Do It to Julia Box. That’s basically how it went down, with the hilarious side effect that we were something like three turns into our game before you had even started since both side just wanted to run around a lot. Writer Barbie took up a sniper’s position atop a building and plinked away at some Squats but ultimately didn’t really do much besides knock them down. Weird Barbie and President Barbie tried to rush a flank but the lack of any ladders or staircases meant they took far too long to climb up there and provide any real threat before the Squats were too close for comfort. We won’t even talk about poor Barbies Proust and Lawyer, who made a valiant but stupid attempt to take the landmark on the other side of the board after Writer Barbie’s first few shots. In the end I got too close and I paid the price.

Of course the two with plasma pistols ended up just out of pistol range…

CHRIS: Rather than Tolkien it was more like the end of Black Adder Goes Forth but with brightly colored mohawks.

DREW: Close, but not quite: I guarantee you I did not cry at this game. On the upside, the postgame was much kinder to me this time. Nobody suffered anything worse than being knocked Out Cold, which means they had no real consequences, and I ended up with enough credits to hire on a Little Sister (the Eschers term for a Juve). I didn’t have enough credits to give this child the good chems so I just handed her a lasgun and a stiletto knife, which seems roughly as responsible a decision as loading her up on drugs and throwing her toward the enemy in the hopes of distracting them. If the second plan sounds immoral to you, take it up with Bruce Wayne.

CHRIS: That man has two great passions in life: beating up the poor and mentally ill, and child endangerment. He could have a promising future in American presidential politics.

DREW: I will reserve my response to that extremely shitbrained take on Batman for a Denny’s parking lot fistfight, where it belongs. Josh also walked away with the territory Big Promethium Mountain, which I believe is where Salamanders go when they die. It’s also our reskin of the Mine Works, which nets him a little bit of income, a little bit of Reputation for being Dwarves what own a mine, and most disturbingly the ability to force captured fighters to work in the mines. Please note that there is no way to voluntarily free the enslaved fighters, even if you capture the mine and your own fighters are toiling down there. What in the actual hell?

CHRIS: Considering all the fates that could befall me on Necromunda, and in the 40K universe in general, being forced to work in a mine for Squats is pretty goddamn idyllic. They’re significantly less likely to work you to death, wear your skin for a mask, and then force your skull to live on in eternal servitude to them pulling a mine cart with your teeth.

With that we wrapped the first game of our doubleheader day, and we set out to the market/taqueria across the parking lot… but they were closed! What the hell? I would not have driven halfway across this blighted Commonwealth had I known I wouldn’t be eating awesome tacos! And since that game store is moving soon I may not be back there again, which makes it even worse. This must be how Custodes players felt a couple weeks ago. Fuck my life.

DREW: It’s nice that you focus on the important things which you think the readers care about. The game? Sure, you guess it happened, whatever. These clicks are generated by tacos, dammit. Let’s be real here for a second, though: not getting the tacos you want is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you, a middle-aged white nerd.

CHRIS: I’m glad you understand my pain. The good news is there was another Mexican restaurant right across the street, an arrangement usually reserved for Dunkins. Back in the day when I went to college out there this place was a Chinese buffet restaurant with karaoke and soft-serve ice cream. Truly the promised land. Now, it was fine. Maybe it was actually good but having been denied the amazing market tacos my burrito tasted like ash in my mouth. Sad.

DREW: “Fun” addendum: later on, the (now defunct) Chinese place added all-ages Goth Nights on Wednesdays in what can only be seen as a bid to add the most random words to its sign. It could only dream of approaching the glory of the “CIGARETTES GUNS FIREWORKS AND HAM” sign I saw on the (sadly now also defunct) sketchiest gift shop in the world on the cursed and/or clown-haunted Delmarva Peninsula (an area also known as the Freak Zone) back in 2001.

CHRIS: Thus fortified with adequate burritos we returned across the street for the second half of the doubleheader. The big marquee match you’ve all been waiting for, me vs Drew! Would Drew avenge his previous, extremely shameful loss or would history repeat as Pizz danced in the sprinkler yet again? Would I remember to use my tactics cards? Will these two ancient fossils manage to stand at a table for two consecutive games without requiring medical assistance? Also, Allan and Josh will play a game.

Next Time: Back to Back “Champions”

It was the T&T Gift Shop in Cape Charles. Go Google it, seriously. Deeply cursed.

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