Howdy scummers! Guest author TheArmorOfContempt here to give you the low down on my Necromunda experience from Adepticon. If you are reading this because you want to know if Adepticon is worth your time if you only play Necromunda the short answer is “Fuck Yeah!”. Adepticon had a number of Necromunda Events throughout the weekend, three Narrative events, and two tournament style single day campaigns by my count. If you read my event overview article (shame on you if you didn’t) you will know I attended two events, one narrative, and one “competitive”.
Assault on Precinct 42
Wednesday evening I found myself sitting in a nearly empty Utopia Ballroom on the second floor of the convention center. These rooms in the past had been where Historicals and out of print games like Warhammer Epic had ended up. In this case I walked in to find a man named Joe sitting in front of a series of walls arranged into a building, Precinct 42. Joe had taken the time to set the precinct up with 4 entrances and 7 rooms, including: a large motor pool with an elevated guardhouse at the front, a central holding cell, latrine, barracks, rec room, cantina, and armory.
We were shortly joined by a man named Pete, and Joe explained the scenario for us. The Enforcers had arrested the girlfriend of the Cawdor gang boss Doug Leatherface and it was their mission to liberate her, while it was The Enforcer’s job to repulse them. There was no time limit, the gangs and models pre-built, and absolutely nothing was on the line other than a fun time rolling dice. Joe explained to us that the intent was for us to make an effort to basically build a story as we went along, and since I had arrived first I would have my choice of the gangs. Honestly, I had never played as either, but I ended up choosing Enforcers because they were the furthest from what I usually play; it would be nice to have guys who can actually make an armor save.
If my experience with Necromunda has taught me anything, it’s that The Enforcers might look capable but their talents pretty much end there. In this case my force was led by Captain Cornelius Mandrake, who was represented by a rather chunky model wielding a shield. I immediately decided Cornelius was a bully and a slob, and promptly deployed him to the canteen where he was chowing down on donuts. This isn’t to say the Captain was a pushover, or a coward, and as the leader of the precinct he definitely had the nastiest stat line out the group. Man could take a hit, and dish it out if needed. Unfortunately like all Enforcers, his innate cowardice meant that he had no way to mitigate pinning – and would fall to the ground the second bullets started to fly. Additionally, I was given: a rookie who was placed in the rec room watching the welcome aboard video, a duel wielding officer who I decided thought he was a bit of a badass (undeservedly) and thus would also be in the rec room playing pool, a weapons specialist chilling in the armory, two subjugators who I decided were also bullies who spent most of their time in the central holding cell tormenting inmates, and a boltgun wielding officer spending his time patrolling the motor pool with his faithful cyber mastiff. All of these dudes had names, but at the time of writing this I have forgotten most of them.
Its important to note that Joe had made the gangs pretty fluffy, most of my skills were mediocre to useless, and only one enforcer had been given a boltgun, with stub guns and power mauls being my chief means of law “enforcement”. My opponent had a gang of equally useless idiots with a few standouts when it came to the champions and leader. We were both told to deploy in secret with me using a piece of paper to sketch out the precinct and write down where my guys had been stationed, while Pete plotted his method of assault. He was given the option to place up to 2 gangers off the table, and some sewer grates to represent where they would infiltrate starting on round 2 and later.
Pete decided to have everyone but his two sneaky gangers assault directly into the armory. For some reason the enforcers built this place with a door leading directly to the outside where all their weapons were stored, Helmawr’s finest indeed. The weapon specialist in the armory had been equipped with a…grav-gun, I think? Its important to note that I can’t remember, because this idiot managed to survive three full rounds before he was coup de grace’d by some rando. Unfortunately he failed to land a single hit with his blast weapon on the gangers packed shoulder to shoulder as they entered the building. Its fitting that this loser died ignominiously.
On the plus side Pete’s decision to have all his guys come in from the same door (a strategy that I think came down more to Pete not wanting to move around the table) allowed my guys to rally and set up a defense. Captain Cornelius took up The Rookie and a guy I ended up calling “Hotshot” to lead a counterattack from the canteen, while my subjugators and boltgun guy attacked from the latrine. Fittingly Pete decided this was where his infiltrators would come in resulting in a brief firefight leaving one of my guys seriously injured, and both of his guys dead, while the bulk of his gang fussed about in the armory.
At this point things went pretty south for the invading Cawdor as they were caught between Cornelius’s dynamic entry into the room, and the subjugators assaulting simultaneously from now cleared latrine. Within a couple rounds almost all of Pete’s guys were out of action, and while the enforcers had numerous flesh wounds, not a single one of them had fallen since the initial attack. The game was called and we all shared a drink.
There is something about coming to a huge thousands person convention and just sitting down with a few random strangers who love the game as much as you and slinging dice with nothing on the line. At my heart I definitely lean competitive, but I’m just as at home piloting a min/maxed cutthroat gang as I am a group of inept and poorly-equipped no bodies. I would definitely sign up for this event come 2023, it was a great way to get warmed up for the rest of the convention, and put me in the right mood.
Necromunda: Dark Uprising Tournament
Now we come to main event, a 3-round tournament. While it was billed as Dark Uprising themed it was mostly to set the mood, the missions felt somewhat independent of the theme, and while we were split into Order and Chaos this distinction didn’t really feel like it had much effect on the outcome. There was no “best of faction” award at the end, or anything like that. In addition, any damage suffered by each gang was reset at the end of a round, so there were no on-going effects like one would expect in a campaign.
To save some article space I suggest you read my Adepticon article Part 3 where I cover the event’s rules, and what I had planned to bring. Some might call this lazy, and to that I say, I don’t owe you shit! We are not friends!
The event was run by John Schaffer and unlike the Narrative Events the Tournaments were all located in the Adventure Hall with the other competitive events. In fact, at its core this event felt closer to Kill Team, or at least what I had hoped Kill Team would be when they announced the second version. You still get all the crunch and jank of Necromunda, but in a tournament environment. Players were scored in several different ways, first, one gained tournament points by simply winning the mission, this awarded 3 points regardless of your score during the mission, with another 1 point if you took your enemy’s leader OoA. I thought this might be for some sort of final award for the player who killed the most leaders throughout the day, but that was not the case either. John then personally scored us on our gang’s appearance, and lastly at the end of each round we gave our opponent a sportsmanship rating, and a gang composition rating.
Round 1 – Leland’s Genestealer Cultists
In my first round I found myself on a Zone Mortalis board up against another fan of the Four Armed Emperor. Where as I was running a more “elite” team of 10 gangers, Leland had hired additional hive scum and had opted to take cheaper options to end up with an impressive 14 models on the table. In addition to a horde of autogun wielding idiots, Leland had brought an Adept with Overseer and Mind Control, a 3-armed champion with a heavy stubber, a champion with a long las, and a Nerves of Steel Aberrant specialist with shock whips. I was kind of happy to see this as I had been nervous that I might of over tuned my list, but seeing some of the more powerful choices Leland had taken, made me confident I had done the right thing.
At this point it is worth sharing that I had gone fully into the Revolutionary spirit of my gang, and had decided to name them Liberation Under Necromunda Community of Helots (LUNCH), lead by the 3-Armed Marxman, his two champions The Red Menace and Terror, aberrants The People’s Hammer and Experiment U55R, and 5 neophytes: Che, Rosa Heluxembourg, Winston, Prole, and Monty.
The mission itself involved us setting up six terminals towards the center of the board where our mission was to collect data from each terminal via an intelligence test at a -2 modifier that would become 1 easier on each subsequent turn of trying, but only to the point that it negated the -2. Success resulted in a single VP, while a failure resulted in an automatic Strength 3 hit as the terminal security systems engaged the hacker, and once data had been retrieved one could not gather it from the same terminal. Anyone who is familiar with GSC in Necromunda should immediately find this funny as this means aberrants basically can’t pass the test of their first try since their Int is 10+, and Neophytes aren’t in a much better position with an 8+. Their champions have a respectful 6+, which still isn’t fantastic odds, but both leader options have a 4+ meaning they would have to do a lot of the heavy lifting. One final mission rule stated that gangers with infiltrate could not infiltrate within 12 inches of the terminals, and with how clustered they were in the center of the table this basically meant I was better off just deploying them as I would a normal ganger.
We explained our gangs, shared a drink, and the mission commenced. Looking at Leland’s imposing numbers I tried to get a jump on the terminals and immediately moved my guys up to the ones located on my side of the board with one of my champions passing the 8+ Test on his first try. As far as I could tell there were two primary lanes between my side and his through the center. There were also two lanes on the left and right sides, but they were so far from the terminals that I decided it wasn’t worth my effort to cover either of them. This resulted in two things, my gang controlling the terminals for a majority of the match, and said gang getting absolutely shredded by Leland’s automatic weapons.
While passing my first Int test right off the start was a run of good luck, the Int tests would be some of the only rolls to really go my way. In fact, I wouldn’t fail a single test the whole mission with either my champions or my leader doing all the computer touching. Leland for his part played rather conservatively preferring to hang back and shoot me, and with his rolls this firefight was definitely going his way, resulting in numerous flesh wounded and critical injured fighters.
After scoring the terminals closest to my side I pushed my gang up to his terminals, which resulted in one of my aberrants getting domed by the heavy stubber, and the second being critically injured by his shock whip wielding aberrant, who was only saved from going OoA due to him staying out of base range via versatile, he had done this because he had not expected to do so thoroughly defeat my aberrant and wished to avoid my reaction attacks. My leader and 2 neophytes followed the aberrant and were able to kill Leland’s before it could finish mine, but they found themselves harassed the whole way by his sniper champion.
Back in the center Leland’s heavy stubber continued its work critically injuring one of my champions and flesh wounding multiple neophytes as they attempted to push forward. Honestly, at this point in the game Leland’s biggest mistake was not pushing his numerical advantage. With my aberrants out of the way his neophytes and hired guns could’ve very likely killed my guys in close combat, but instead my gang lingered on due to single damage weapons having a tendency to not take their targets OoA. By the time we approached the end of the time limit I had scored 4 of the 6 terminals, and Leland had scored none with most of his gang not in a position to do so anytime soon. I passed several bottle tests in the final rounds despite having 6 of my 10 guys OoA by mission end. His leader made her way into the center near the end where my Alpha was able to take her out up close, and with only a few minutes left and no reasonable path to victory we decided to call it.
Leland was a chill guy, and we both seemed to have a very fun time, but he admitted he tunnel visioned on trying to kill my gang instead of focusing on the mission. For my part I stuck to the mission, but most of my choices in terms of skills and weapons didn’t come into play during the mission. Leland being GSC had hazard suits, so he didn’t care much about my hand flamers, and since Infiltrate had been nerfed by the mission my champions were unable to use either of their skills (the second being Overwatch) to much effect. My aberrants on paper seemed ideal for powering through Leland’s low strength autoguns, but a hot 5! rapid fire shots from the heavy stubber dropped one outright, and the successful long charge from his own aberrant dropped both in the same round making Nerves of Steel pretty irrelevant as well.
Round 2 – Timothy’s Orlocks
Tim was the senior half of a father/adult son combo present at the event, and clearly a guy there to have fun. He was talkative, and engaging the entire mission, and was a very fun guy to play with. That being said his gang definitely came prepared with him bringing a team of 9 including: an Ambot, 3 wreckers, a 4 wound leader with boltgun, champion with a hammer, champion with a boltgun, specialist with a grenade launcher, and a regular ganger with autogun? All his guys who could take Nerves of Steel had it, and were ready to through down.
Our mission this time was called “Eggstraction”, which involved a central nest. As a simple action fighters within one inch could pick up an egg, and if they got within 6 inches of their side of the table they could unload it as a free action for 2 VP. In addition, at the end of each round each ganger holding an egg had to roll a d6 and on a 1-2 the egg would hatch and they would become infected by whatever was held within, reducing their WS/BS (or raising it in this case). If at any point a fighter’s WS/BS went over 7 they would be considered OoA. As one final twist, any fighter not OoA and infected at the end of the mission had a 50/50 chance of awarding the controlling player 1 VP. Once again infiltrators were restricted 12 inches from the center to prevent them from gaining an unfair advantage.
We set up our gangs with rather similar plans, putting most of them onto two paths that converged at the center with a few stragglers put on the edges to perform flanking attacks. Tim elected to Infiltrate his Am-bot directly behind a champion, specialist aberrant and several neophytes, while I put one of my champions behind his Leader, Champion, and Specialist that he had placed opposing my leader, a team of neophytes, and my power hammer aberrant.
Timothy won Initiative, and immediately went to work with a group activation around his leader attacking my power hammer aberrant and a neophyte hiding behind a barricade. The neophyte found himself on the ground with a flesh wound, but my aberrant emerged unscathed and unpinned through a combination of failed hit/wound rolls on Tim’s part and Cool checks on mine. I responded by having my aberrant charge into the double hand flamer wrecker that had flown forward away from the pack, mulching him. Next, Tim moved his Am-Bot out of hiding and vaporized a poor neophyte. I responded by counter-charging my second aberrant into his Am-bot, unfortunately this one was armed with a power pick and single damage attacks were not enough to down him in response, and I counted myself lucky not to lose my aberrant to reaction attacks. My last big play of the round was to move the champion I had infiltrated up to flame two of his gangers, catching the hammer champion AND grenade launcher specialist. Neither took to much damage, but I managed to set both on fire, resulting in the champion running off the table, incredibly lucky, a trend that would continue much to my opponents chagrin.
While our gangs battled it out on the edges of the zone we both made moves to put gangers near the nest. Tim moved a wrecker to the center in an attempt to steal an egg, while I had two neophytes charge in attempting to stop him, this whole affair resulted in none of the combatants hurting each other, even as I passed initiative tests to get free attacks on his wrecker who would flee with an egg later in the game. Meanwhile, Tim won initiative again and his Am-Bot finished off my aberrant. I countered by flaming his leader and specialist again effectively pinning them into place. Tim’s rolls to put out fire did him no favors as his guys ineffectually flailed on the ground as my second aberrant approached them. He attempted to continue putting pressure on my rear by having his last wrecker wrap around my flank in order to back up the Am-Bot who I had decided to attempt to keep in place via lasgun and hand flamer pinning, resigning myself to the fact that I had very little chance to kill it. The rest of my gang including my leader tried to use this opening to move towards the center and begin collecting eggs.
At this point one could’ve said either of us were in a position to win at the end of Round 2, but Round 3 would be so utterly decisive in my favor that Tim would concede by the end of Round 4. Winning initiative this time, I flamed the Am-Bot doing no damage, but successfully setting him on fire. The Am-Bot would then proceed to flee off the table when it came time for his activation. His remaining champion would utterly fail to make his hit rolls, and in return was critically injured by my leader. My aberrant and champion proceeded to charge into his prone leader and specialist, taking both OoA in short order, while a stray lasgun shot domed the flanking wrecker. To add insult to injury, at the end of round Tim failed his bottle test and proceeded to lose his remaining wrecker to a cool test. The severity of losing half his gang in a single round was not lost on Tim, but he decided to shoulder on hoping he could snatch another egg before I overwhelmed him. Seeing my opening I had my neophytes swarm the egg pile, and my leader attempted to finish off the remaining champion who had recovered with a flesh wound, but failed to do so. A few of my gangers also ended up getting infected by their eggs. Neither of us did much damage to one another this round but Tim lost another 2 gangers to cool tests leaving him with a single remaining fighter, and at that point we decided to call it as I had several gangers in the process of running eggs back to my side.
Really there is no big break down of tactics here. Two gangs collided, and in typical Necromunda fashion something hilarious and bad happened to at least one of them. If anything Tim might of been better off focusing his wreckers on egg retrieval early? Had this been Sector Mechanicus their ability to fly might of meant a completely different game. Once again Overwatch wasn’t used much during the entire game, and I very poorly played my second aberrant. Blaze once again showed why its one of the most annoying things in Necromunda aside from webbers, which are also bullshit.
Round 3 – Christian Delong’s Goliaths
So if you have been reading my other Adepticon articles, especially my event overview this name might look familiar. Christian was my roommate for the weekend, and is local to me. He is a very avid Necromunda player, and knows the game inside out. We have a bit of a history where-in his Goliaths have tended to dominate our local campaigns, with my GSC being the only gang that has been able to thwart him. We have a large number of games against one another, and honestly I was thrilled to see he made it to the top round on his FIRST Adepticon. While my matches had all gone their full length Christian had apparently steam rolled his opponents. Opting to bring only 7 Goliaths loaded to the brim with gene-smithing buffs every single one of his guys was a powerhouse of muscle and incredibly lethal in close combat. Every champion, leader, and specialist had Nerves of Steel, and every single model was Toughness 5. In addition, more than a few models had 3 wounds (one had 4?), and one even had damage reduction. I can’t give you the perfect breakdown because basically they were all tough to kill as far as my guys were concerned. We opted to play our final game on a Sector Mechanicus table, which were definitely the highlight of the event, fantastic setups.
Neither of us were hugely tooled for ranged combat, but I opted to put all of my neophytes on upper levels while my champions, specialists, and leader all formed a hunting party on the ground floor. Christian matched me putting his bolter ganger up top, along with a few melee guys to run the ramparts with his leader and deadlier champions down at the bottom to hunt my guys in turn. Our mission was simple, kill one another, but as a twist our fighters could perform a “Claim the Head” action if they were in within 1 inch of an OoA fighter. Basically OoA fighters remained on the table until this occurred, but could do nothing else until then, functioning as objective markers to be claimed for 1 VP.
After a first round of largely dancing around one another trying to maneuver ourselves into position, Christian drew first blood by exploding one of my observing neophytes with a boltgun. What proceeded up top was a brief shoot out between two lasgun neophytes and the boltgun goliath while the other two ran away from two kitted out melee specialists (one so bulky with muscle that he could only move 3 inches) firing shots over their shoulders.
Meanwhile, on the ground Christian moved his meltagun champion out of cover, but only within range of my leader if I attempted a hip shooting action. This particular champion had -1 to dmg, so I decided to go big and risk taking him out early. He had mentioned the meltagun champion had been a bit of a terror in his previous games, so I made my move to take him out. My Alpha barreled around the corner, and I decided to HAM and overcharge all 3 plasma pistols. What proceeded was both his champion and my leader evaporating in a ball of blue flame as his guns exploded in his hands, but managing to land a hit on the champion in the process that took him OoA. I found this hilarious as I rarely overcharge plasma, and feel like it almost always goes poorly.
This set Christian up in a rather good position, my deadliest threat removed from the board, however the dice had other plans. It has become recognized by both of us that whenever his guys square off with my GSC his dice have a tendency to turn bad, and today would prove to continue that trend. His leader and the champions following him squared off with my champions and aberrants, and in the ensuing fight his champions found themselves suffering the blaze condition, while his leader found himself sandwiched between both aberrants. To add insult to injury the goliaths chasing my neophytes on the ramparts all failed their initiatives tests brought on due to the narrowness of the walkways, and fell to the ground. Meanwhile the boltgun goliath jumped down from his perch in an attempt to save his embattled leader, but he was not in time to save all three of his teammates from being wiped out. He managed to down one of the aberrants, but was promptly hand flamer’d and fell into a burning heap in front of the remaining aberrant, who quickly made short work of him. This interaction basically gained me 5 heads.
And just like that, after a couple decisive rounds Christian’s team of oiled up Jojo’s extras went from 7 to 2. He promptly bottled, but this was a minor concern for the remaining fighters who all rocked 4+ Cool. In normal circumstances these two guys would still have a real chance to claim some heads, being basically untouched from the barrage of las bolts and deck plating. However, at this point overwatch finally came into play as my champions moved up close to his guys, and proceeded to set them ablaze the moment they activated. Robbed of their actions they found themselves assaulted by my aberrants and after Christian was reduced to a single remaining ganger we decided to call it.
As with my previous match I have no big critique of Christian’s tactics, if anything his dice utterly failed him from a defense standpoint. I don’t think he passed a single test to any of the following: armor, initiative test, or putting out blaze, which are pretty important for goliaths. Maybe he could’ve opted for a larger gang, but having a small team of roided out monsters is part of the fun with Goliaths.
With the final round over John pulled everyone in for awards. It seemed that everyone had a great time, and I don’t recall there being any drama. Prize support was plentiful as John had scattered a number of secondary objectives on each table that players could pick up at any point for raffle items, all of which were Necromunda related: full gangs, weapon kits, terrain, etc.
For my part my victories and painting efforts earned me best Overall, while I describe myself as leaning competitive my main goal is to hit all the aspects of the hobby meaning painting/hobby and sportsmanship are very important to me. Since I won the top award I was given my choice of two items, and I claimed an Orlock Gang and a set of Tickerturf terrain, which I gave to Christian for being such a good sport through the entire weekend, and especially for what had to have been a rough final round.
And that’s it! Many thanks to TheArmorOfContempt for giving us a super detailed rundown of the Adepticon Necromunda events. We love to see so many folks getting games in, especially at the return of Adepticon! Don’t forget to buy your tickets for Necro events at NOVA Open! Got a lead on another organized event? Want to tell us about your experience at Adepticon? Drop us a line at Necromunday@Goonhammer.com.