Necromunday – Core Rule Book Review

The long-awaited updated Necromunda Rulebook is here, featuring some important tweaks, mostly at campaign layer, and alternative Dominion campaign rules. It also contains consolidated Scenarios, an updated Trading Post (rolling in the contents of the Black Market), and brings Vehicles and Psykers into the main Rules. Many thanks to Games Workshop for providing us an early copy of the book for review.

This tome largely replaces the venerable 2018 Rulebook, the leftover bits of Gangs of the Underhive, and most of the goodies for sale in Book of Judgement and Book of Peril. After going through all the new rules we will highlight where – vexingly – certain elements of those books have been left out.

Necromunda is frequently criticized for the sheer amount of rules content scattered, partially replicated and sometimes differing across many books. This new Rulebook is a welcome consolidation, but it is a partial fix and maintains some of the same design philosophy – it is not clearly labeled as ‘Necromunda 2nd Edition’ or anything. The designers have clearly tried to avoid outright invalidating earlier rules, for example by refraining from any changes to weapon profiles or equipment cost in the Trading Post. It does not fix Necromunda’s chaotic sourcebook situation. What it does do is improve key elements of the game and campaign experience, so let’s dig into the changes.

It also has an index – praise the God Emperor!

Murder Hornets Van Saar Gang. Credit: Kevin Genson

History & Background

The hive world of Necromunda has a long and complicated history, and this rulebook dedicates a whopping 49 pages to art & lore. Starting with the god-emperor of mankind and the 40k setting as a whole, the book covers bossman Gerontius Helmawr (with a full-page picture), the various factions fighting for scrap, dangerous environs in which to battle (Hive Secundus, the Eye of Selene, Ash Wastes, et al), and just about every major story beat from Necro lore so far. 

Of particular interest to the mega-nerds: the history section confirms the identity of the lost house (though it seemed pretty clear after the last Aranthian Succession book)! Overall, it’s a pretty neat addition for noobs and veterans alike. The quality and presentation of art in the Necromunda supplements goes up with every release.

Rules Updates

Game Rules

Here is a summary of the changes to rules interactions on the actual tabletop:

  • Shooting a Blast marker at a point on the table, rather than centered on an enemy Fighter, now imposes a -2 to hit penalty. This is a much-demanded change which mirrors many groups’ house rules. Blast weapons of all types have been top picks due to their ability to not only clip multiple fighters, but avoid any cover penalties to hit while doing so. This fixes that by giving a penalty equivalent to firing into Full Cover whenever you want to get cheeky.
    Blast weapons can still fire normally at a single Fighter in the open, or in Partial Cover, but lose the ability to adjust the Blast marker to clip as many targets as possible. We are universally a fan of this change, it reins in the negative play experience of being hammered by Blasts regardless of how you try and use cover.

    • Genghis Cohen: Some balance implications here beyond just the obvious ‘Blast weapons are now worse’. They still have value in trying to clip Fighters totally hidden behind corners, which normal weapons can’t reach. The chance to affect 2-3 targets at once can be worth a to-hit penalty. Similar to the Full Cover rules, a skillfull Fighter can still achieve reliable BS attacks using a Blast weapon to target a point on the table. Assuming 2+BS, Aiming will still let you place your Blast on a 3+. A Mono-Sight or a range bonus would take that back to 2+.
      We see this as a well needed change for Blast, but it’s still a very nice trait for weapons to have. We also pour one out for those facing the Corpse Grinder Cults, who will be a bit less accurate while trying to circumvent the punishing Willpower tests to directly target them. It is also a big hit to Grenades, which due to their short range will frequently be unable to center the marker over an enemy Fighter.

Necromunda Old Orlock metal
Classic Orlocks. Credit: Fowler

  • This was actually in the last, Ash Wastes, Rulebook but we log it as a change from the 2017 rules: Fighters who are Prone and get Charged will still stand up automatically to fight, but will take -1 to hit on all reaction attacks, just as if they’d turned to face someone charging them from behind. A sensible change which gives some incentive to keep your enemies’ heads down as you rush in.
  • If a Fighter charges an enemy outside Line of Sight, they have -1 to hit on their free Fight action. This was presumably implemented because it was seen as a negative play experience for shooting gangs to receive charges from enemies they couldn’t target. 
    • Genghis Cohen: I think this is unneeded. There is a short range on most Charges relative to shooting, they are already restricted as Double Actions, and it is to stay in Total Cover if you actually want to Charge, especially if you’re not a super tough Fighter with a way to avoid Pinning. All these factors combine to mean that a lot of Charges will be from outside LoS.
      To launch a Charge from LoS you are relying on luck to win a Priority roll, for your opponent to miss a shot at you, or to pass a Nerves of Steel/Spring Up skill check, or just hoping your opponent makes a tactical mistake. The Injury changes below already make shooting much better, I don’t think this change to Charges is a great idea.
  • All Serious Injury rolls after the first count as Flesh Wounds. Example, a 1 Wound Fighter fails a save against a Damage 2 weapon, and rolls 2 Injury Dice. If they roll 2 Serious Injuries, previously that would be the only result. Now, they are Seriously Injured by the first dice, and suffer a Flesh Wound from the second. This is a very serious boost to multiple Damage shooting weapons, which are much more likely to take targets out of the game, especially in conjunction with the Recovery changes below.
  • When rolling for Recovery in the End Phase, rolling a Serious Injury inflicts a further Flesh Wound. This means that Seriously Injured Fighters will definitely not hang around bleeding on the floor. Unless assisted by an ally (see below) they will get worse, and approach that 1T benchmark where even rolling a Flesh Wound will put them Out of Action. 
    • Genghis Cohen: The implications here are that clearly being Seriously Injured is more dangerous, Fighters are less likely to remain stable and possibly recover, more likely to bleed out, unless assisted. It is also a real buff to shooting tactics. Previously, melee combat had a serious advantage because in most situations Serious Injuries were converted into Out of Action results by the victor performing a Coup de Grace. That gap in Injury results has now been closed a bit.
      Previously, if a Fighter was already Seriously Injured, shooting at them, especially with D1 weapons, was usually fruitless, because when rolling the Injury dice 2/3s of the results were another Serious Injury which had no effect. Now you can probably shoot a Seriously Injured Fighter off the board, provided they are not in Cover and hence can be targeted. 
    • This also makes high-Damage shooting weapons a reliable way to take enemies Out of Action. A D3 weapon which gets a successful hit through on a 1W, T3 Fighter will take them out – either the results will contain an OOA, or 3 Flesh Wounds, so bob’s your uncle, or a combo of Seriously Injured and Flesh Wounds will the fighter on T1, so they will go OOA when Recovering. Note that since now a Serious Injury result when trying to Recover also incurs a Flesh Wound, that hypothetical fighter certainly isn’t going to make it to the next Round.
  • If gaining an assist from a Standing friendly fighter, a Seriously Injured fighter will not take another Flesh Wound when recovering at the end of the round. Assisting still gets the previous benefit of rolling two Injury Dice and picking one, but also, the result you pick will not give the injured Fighter a Flesh Wound, either when staying down or when Recovering to Prone and Pinned status. So getting help to your Seriously Injured guys is now more rewarding, and may indeed may be the only thing letting them get back up even once.
    • Genghis Cohen: I really like how this change makes it more meaningful to run to the aid of their fallen brethren. House of Iron, leave no-one behind! While I am cautious about how the Serious Injury changes will affect shooting/melee balance, it will make games faster and more dramatic that wounded gangers are done unless you make an effort to help them, rather than hanging around, likely to stay in place and more likely to roll over and get up than to bleed out.
  • The Webbed condition has changed, partly in how it compares to the above changes and partly in relation to Capturing fighters (see Lasting Injuries and Post Battle Sequence below). Web weapons still inflict Webbed if they Wound successfully, bypassing Saves, and Webbed is still largely similar to Seriously Injured. But, when rolling Recovery, a Fighter does not take a Flesh Wound on a Serious Injury result, only on a natural roll, in which case they are no longer Webbed. If the Webbed fighter rolls a natural OOA result, they roll specially for Lasting Injury: Out Cold on a 1-4 and Captured on a 5-6.

Necromunda Orlocks.
Necromunda Orlocks. Credit: The Sex Cannon

Exotic Beasts

Overall the rules for Exotic Beasts are now much clearer and explicitly spell out a number of details. These are all broadly sensible and reinforce the thematic distinction between the animals and the actual gangers:

  • Exotic Beasts being injured or taken out does not incur Nerve tests for nearby models.
  • Exotic Beasts do not in any way affect Bottle Tests, neither counting toward your starting Crew size for the Scenario nor counting as casualties taken. Essentially, disregard them for all Bottle check calculations.
  • Actions which interact with the battlefield, such as picking up Loot Caskets and operating doors, are now gated behind the Beast’s Strength or Intelligence characteristics as appropriate. Very thematic and interesting, while imposing some balance constraints on, for example, sending out swarms of Necromundan Giant Rats to collect Loot Caskets!
  • All the normal rules, which are basically unchanged, on how Beasts accompany their masters, run back to them and Rally, etc are clearly and comprehensively spelled out. Good to see.

Note that this book contains rules in the Trading Post section for the following Exotic Beasts: Caryatids, Grapplehawks, Gyrinx Cats, Hacked Cyber-Mastiffs, and Necromundan Giant Rats. As far as we can tell these are all the ‘available to any gang’ options, bar the Milliasaur/Ripperjacks which are tied to the Outland Beastmaster (in the Book of the Outlands). The book doesn’t contain any rules for gang-specific Beasts, such as Cyber-Arachnids. 

Necromunda Ash Waste Nomads
Ash Waste Nomads. Credit: Colin Ward

Wyrd Powers

Psykers have received an intriguing new trick, in that they are now able to use Maintain Control as a free action if they forgo the bonus (they can still choose to use it as a Basic action with a +3 to their Willpower). This does prevent them from casting any additional powers during that activation, but formerly cool-but-useless combat spells might be viable. We’ve always wanted to run weirdos with Quickening or Flame Blast or Hardening, and it looks like now we’ve got a shot!

There’s a ton of crazy builds to try out now, though players outright will be limited to the six powers in this book. The selection is the same as the old Ghast table, with specific verbiage updated to reflect each power’s wording in Book of the Outcast

If you’re using Non-Sanctioned Psykers in a campaign, do take note that if captured, your psyker is able to be sold to the Guilders for their full credit value immediately, without a chance for a Rescue Mission. The passage that mentions this has been for Hired Guns in the past, so we’re a bit torn on whether this is a deliberate change or an oversight. Maybe the incoming crop of combat wyrds will make this necessary! We’re inclined to always allow folks a chance to get their guys back, but your campaigns may vary.

Vartijan Exo-Driller Credit: Fowler

Brutes, Hangers-On, Hired Guns

No changes here, we just want to note that this book contains rules, amongst those for building gangs for either campaign or skirmish play, for how to include all of these categories of fighters. It does not include the profiles, stats, costs etc for any particular examples, which is something of an issue since they are scattered amongst other books, including the old rulebook and Gangs of the Underhive, which are getting superseded!

Genghis Cohen: Bit of a rant here. Brutes and Hangers-On are emblematic, to me, of the issues with Necromunda’s rule format of ‘cool stuff, terribly formatted’. Why are they drawn from the same recruitment pool? They serve wildly different purposes in the rules and are thematically very diverse. A gang retaining the services of a cook is not, on the face of it, similar to a gang buying a massive killer robot.
It’s sort of understandable that both would be tied to Reputation, although how you gain and lose that resource in campaigns has separate issues. But, having introduced these two Fighter types together back in 2018 or so, they are now tied to it because all the existing sourcebooks reference it. Mad, and a minor example of why I would have liked a hard reset rather than this incremental change Rulebook update. 

Vehicle Rules

The rules for Vehicle states and actions have been folded into the main body of the rules, and how your resolve damage against them, Loss of Control, Restarting in the End Phase etc are likewise covered alongside the other aspects of core gameplay. 

Although all of the rules necessary to play with vehicles in a scenario are faithfully transcribed here, the Core Rulebook does not contain profiles or loadouts for any of them, nor are any items from the Vehicle Wargear table included. If you’re looking to ride out with any of those, you’ll still need to invest in Book of the Outlands (or your relevant Aranthian book, for Goliath/Escher/Cawdor). 

Necromunda Slopper & Scabber. Credit: Dylan

Some actual changes:

  • The repair costs for vehicles overall have been slashed. Now, roll a D6 and on a 1-3, repairs cost 25% (of the vehicle and upgrades) and the vehicle get a Persistent Rattle; 4-5 repairs cost 25% and is fully fixed; on a 6 they cost 10% and are fully fixed. This is half the previous amount, and while Jury-Rigged vehicles still cost double to repair, this change means the actual credit penalty is far lower. 
  • The Manoeuvre (Simple) Action had a 90 degree restriction on turning removed, making it more permissive, essentially the ability to move a vehicle freely up to half its Movement stat. This makes the Drift (Basic) action rather pointless, outside of very niche situations where you could, and would want to, move the vehicle sideways but obstacles or other vehicles are so close you can’t rotate without hitting them. 

Updated Skills

    • (Savant) Medicae: Completely reworked, does not interact with Assists for injured Fighters any more. Instead, the skill-user can make a Basic action to roll a 3+ to have a friendly Fighter within 1” either regain a lost Wound, or remove a Flesh Wound (player’s choice). There is a use case for this skill, regaining Wounds or losing Flesh Wounds are both quite impactful things to do. However we are doubtful here at Goonhammer about any Skill that requires Actions to work. Actions are a key currency of the game, and in most situations, you have to use them to smash the enemy.
      Spending those precious Actions to try and repair some of the damage those enemies have done you, while sparing them, seems misguided. Additionally, your Fighters with Skills tend to be the scariest ones you’ve got. Medicae seems like a useful ability on a weaker, lightly armed guy to support your heavy hitters, but inefficient on a tooled up Champion who should really be looking to do work on the enemy.
    • (Leadership) Overseer: Praise Lord Helmawr, one of the least fun skills in the game has now been reined in slightly by requiring a Leadership test to work. It will still provide brutal combos of slingshotting Brutes across the table in long charges, or double-firing Group Activated multi-meltas, but at least there’s a chance your opponent will fail the roll now. Quite a small chance, many Leaders who’d want to take this skill have Leadership 5+ or thereabouts.
    • (Brawn) Iron Jaw: Now offers +2 Toughness against any weapons with AP-, not just unarmed attacks. Still pretty bad, as there aren’t many weapons in the game that have AP- but still constitute a serious threat. We can only think of a few exceptions, like Orlock Servo-Claws. Any enemy who’s seeking out close combat with one of your Champions will likely be carrying something that circumvents this Skill. Even if it’s improved, it’s still one to avoid.
  • Merton: You’ll notice that technically this skill does not trigger for the +1 AP of everybody’s favorite dumb weapon, the Maul. Don’t worry about it. Just let it happen.
    • (Brawn) Hurl: Hurl receives a buff that will quite possibly enable more narrative moments than any of the other skill changes listed here, in that you are now able to use this action on the charge instead of only in later rounds of combat. Barrel in and chuck an enemy off of a catwalk, or onto a clump of their friends? Hurl’s got the momentum now.
  • (Brawn) Headbutt: Upgraded to a Free action, previously a Basic. This doesn’t quite allow for the same shenanigans as new Hurl, since fighters are still going to be limited to using it alongside their Fight action during engagements lasting more than one turn. However, it is worth pointing out that if you lead with a Headbutt in that second turn and manage to down your opponent, you’ll still have both actions able be able to charge off into somebody new! (Eschew the usual Coup de Grace and it’ll be even easier, since you can Consolidate 2” first, instead!) 

The Lasting Injuries Table

There’s a significantly revamped D66 table of Lasting Injuries:

  • A new result, Convalescence, has been introduced, taking up some of the previous likelihood of Out Cold results. It is also attached to a couple permanent results which previously incurred Recovery. A Convalescent Fighter cannot perform any post-battle actions or work a territory (in the Dominion campaign) in the post-battle sequence.
  • There are no results that are just ‘go into Recovery’, Recovery is now only a consequence of other actions.
    • Genghis Cohen: Interestingly, most of the Dominion campaign material later in the book still references fighters in Recovery, I don’t see anything that references Convalescence. This still works, but makes me wonder if they actually carried through the changes. 
  • The table has become more extreme, and in our opinion more interesting. As a D66 table there are 36 results:
    • 1 remains Lessons Learned, granting D3 Experience, but incurring Convalescence.
    • 3 new results are positive, respectively granting D3 experience, +1 Cool, the Fearsome Skill, and the Berserker skill (this one is only when facing the inflicting gang). All will count as Out Cold if rolled for a second time.
    • 8 results are Out Cold.
    • 6 results are Convalescence. 
    • 2 results are interesting new permanent results with minor effects. 1, Old Battle Wound, gives a ⅙ chance to go into Convalescence at the end of every battle the Fighter takes part in. 1, Partially Deafened, has no effect until it has been rolled twice, when it incurs -1Ld. 
    • 7 results cover the classic permanent injury results, ie -1 to all the different stats. One of these, Humiliated (-1Ld and -1Cl) incurs Convalescence, the rest incur Recovery
    • 1 result is the terrifying new Multiple Injuries. Roll D3 further times on the Lasting Injury table! However you re-roll all the super bad results (Multiple or Critical Injuries, Captured, or Death) as well as any Out Cold results. So you have 9 chances of permanent injury, 6 chances of convalescence and 4 positive results. Quite dicy, about a 50% chance to take a permanent stat decrease, rolled D3 times, although it does also give you a chance of a reprieve and you can’t actually die. Nerve-wracking.
    • 2 results are a risk of being Captured. This causes a D6 roll-off after the battle. The basic chance, if the injured fighter’s gang won, is a 4+ to escape but enter Convalescence, they are Captured on a 1-3. This gets worse if their gang drew the game (-1), lost (-2), or if the fighter was Webbed when they went OAA (-2). A 6 to escape always succeeds. See the Post-Battle Sequence section for the implications.
    • 5 results, same as before, remain Critical Injury, visit the doc. However the odds of a successful surgery have gotten slightly more forgiving – see the Post-Battle Sequence section.
    • 1 result, as ever, remains a Memorable Death and +1XP to the killer. Roll them boxcars! 
  • Vehicle crew also receive an updated Lasting Injury table, with the inclusion of Convalescence results on the lower and middle probabilities. All in all, less chances to get stuck in Recovery, more chances to get back on the road for the next battle.

I want to see if we can do a pie chart showing rough categories of good/bad, to help people envision chance – maybe save for a future Hammer of Math. The new version has fewer ‘boring’ results overall, by cutting out plain Recovery. There are more chances to roll a positive, which is always a nice experience at the gaming table. However permanent injuries of one sort or another did get more common, starting at 41 on the D66 table, rather than 46, albeit two of those are very minor and two are from moving Captured into this mechanic, which we think is eminently sensible.  

  • Genghis Cohen: I love to see Impressive Scars and Horrid Scars (Fearsome and +1Cl) make a return from some similar elements of classic Necromunda. Great opportunities to build a narrative from the dice there, as with Bitter Enmity (situational Berserker). Can’t wait to roll one of those, or see my opponents do it. 

Necromunda Bounty Hunter
Credit: Evan “Felime” Siefring

The Pre- and Post-Game Sequence

Capturing Fighters

Capture is now a specific Lasting Injury result. 1 in every 18 Fighters taken OOA can expect to be Captured, so it will come up every few games. This is definitely an improvement on the previous rules. We can’t tell you quite how frequent that was – it depended a lot on the conditions for winning the Scenario, since it keyed off whether the winning gang was the only one left on the table – but in practice most of our groups just forgot to check for it! 


With the new system, players will have set any potentially Captured Fighters aside at the point of injury, so at least this will get resolved. As mentioned, a potentially Captured Fighter in a winning gang has a 4+ chance to escape. If they drew, they’d need a 5+, and if they lost a 6+. We expect to see a fair few more gangers being dragged off into captivity here. 


  • Not only do Web weapons make a Captured roll more likely if a fighter succumbs to being Webbed in the Recovery phase, there is a -2 penalty to the roll to escape for a Fighter who went OOA while subject to the Webbed condition. This means it’s not just Fighters who got Webbed, and were unlucky enough to roll OOA in the Recovery phase, it’s any fighter who got Coup de Graced whilst Webbed – but they would have to naturally roll the Captured result on the Lasting Injury table in that case. An odd example of how the rules treat two similar, branching outcomes quite differently.

Mathematically, this should mean that far fewer casualties will be potential captives, and even fewer than that will actually be caught. Will that be balanced out by folks actually remembering to make the rolls now? Time will tell.

Rogue Doc and Gang Lookout. Credit: SRM

Medical Escort (Visiting the Doc)

The cost for visiting the doc remains the same, 2d6x10 credits. The outcome is less risky though. It remains a D6 roll, die on a 1, Recovery but no permanent ill effects on a 6. 2-5 is now, instead of a random stat decreasing permanent injury, another roll on Lasting Injury, but excluding another Critical Injury, Captured or Death. So overall a much lower chance to have your Fighter permanently adversely affected – you might even get some cool scars! Your Fighter will always go into Recovery though.

  • Genghis Cohen: I like this change, still an element of risk but it prevents the most common result being a Fighter who you’ve paid 2d6x10 to keep, being left with a debilitating stat decrease. I would go further, I think the cost is too high in early campaign stages, because it will likely be higher than the cost of hiring a fresh body! But now is not the time to discuss my House rules as an Arbitrator, dubbed by my group ‘the Necromundan Health Service’. 



This is a highly anticipated and now welcome change, a major feedback point from many experienced players of old-rules, pre-2017 Necromunda was that the modern game is slower in XP gain. We have pointed out in previous articles how the rate of Injury and equipment gain generally outpaces XP, resulting in gangs being fully tooled up and sometimes crippled by wounds, while only having 1-2 Advances per Fighter.
That’s not to say that some Fighters won’t shoot up in XP in campaigns, but it tends to be concentrated amongst melee-focussed Leaders and Champions who can go on the rampage and generate multiple OOA results per game. So we are glad to see the following changes and additions to XP gain:

  • Instead of only gaining XP for putting an enemy OOA, Fighters now get 1XP for Seriously Injuring an enemy, and 2XP for putting them OOA. These are exclusive, you can’t collect both XP rewards for the same target in one Activation. This will seriously increase XP gain throughout campaigns, and it also makes shooting-focussed Fighters nearly equal in XP gain to their close combat colleagues.
    • Genghis Cohen: Interestingly, this means a Fighter who Seriously Injures an enemy with Reaction attacks in melee, then Activates themselves and performs a Coup de Grace to take their enemy out, does gain 3XP in total! Or there are a couple interactions, like you could Seriously Injure an opponent in melee, and choose not to Coup de Grace. That would get you 1 instead of 2XP – but if you had another Ready Fighter close by, they could approach and Coup de Grace during their Activation, gaining the 2XP themselves, for the highest overall reward for the gang. Go team!
  • If the target who was injured/taken out was a Leader or Champion, the Fighter responsible gains an additional +1XP. More of a format change as this parallels the previous rules.
  • Wrecking a vehicle gives a Fighter 2XP.
  • A Fighter gains 1 XP for giving an Assist to a friendly fighter who Recovers from Serious Injury in the End phase. This is a nice change which further incentivizes getting help to your injured mates. That element of play will be more important going forward.
  • As before, Fighters gain 1XP if they Rally during the End phase, and Fighters gain 1XP for taking part in a battle – this was previously included in most Scenario rules, but not all. It is explicitly clarified that this 1XP gain replaces those Scenario rules, you don’t collect it twice!


Genghis Cohen: I am definitely excited to see quicker XP growth in future Necromunda campaigns. I think getting Advances is a very fun part of the game, and as mentioned above, I think the Advances needed to come a bit quicker for models to keep up with the pace of permanent Injuries. I would have liked to see the XP bonus for taking out Leaders/Champion extended to Brutes – as an Arbitrator, I tended to give it for takedowns of a lot of 2W models, such as Bounty Hunters, leaders of allied delegations etc. 

Escher Death Maiden. Credit: Highly_Entropic
Escher Death Maiden. Credit: Highly_Entropic


    • In a possible best change in the book, Skills from Fighters’ Secondary Skill trees can be picked for 12XP! Hallelujah! They can still be rolled randomly for 9XP if you’re mental. Note that while this opens up options, it’s the cost of +1W or +1A, so beelining for that key Secondary skill definitely has an opportunity cost. Still, great to have. This addresses Goonhammer’s longstanding complaint that Secondary skills were basically meaningless, as no one would ever spend huge amounts of XP rolling randomly for them. 
      • Genghis Cohen: this is absolutely great for variety in developing campaign gangs. 12XP is really steep, but sometimes there are key skills that have always tantalized players from just out of reach in that Secondary category. I’m talking Gunfighter on an Orlock Road Captain, or Munitioneer on an Ironhead Squats Charter Master. Skills that open up new roles and builds but were previously out of reach. Very much looking forward to this. 
  • Merton: I’m giving my Overboss Rain of Blows immediately, and I am going to use my Arc Welders to punch apart a Ridgehauler. I guess Nerves is on the table too now, but that doesn’t sound like quite as much fun.
  • Ganger advancement remains random, but becoming a Specialist does at least grant a random Primary skill. We like this, as previously, while that result opened up access to special weapons, and let you control any future Advances, it didn’t actually make the Fighter any better, which made it a bit of a let-down in many instances.
  • Juves and Prospects can now promote after a mere 3 Advances during campaign Downtime, making this more likely in a Campaign. 
    • Genghis Cohen: Some of the other balance issues with Advances remain the same. Promoting a Juve/Prospect to a Champion still gives you a Fighter who is only about as good as a normal starting Ganger, even if they avoided any permanent injuries. That’s admittedly not a real problem for Campaign play, it’s still fun to promote your youngsters. But the whole system of Advancements increasing your Gang Rating remains unchanged and really irks me.
      If I took a Prospect from any faction, and Advanced their stats to the level of a starting Champion, they’d cost a couple hundred credits more. In my opinion these costs should have been reworked. On the other hand, maybe I’m being uncharitable and the Advances’ impact on Gang Rating is carefully considered to represent that the experienced gang has no doubt put a lot of time into selecting optimized stats and skills on their most dangerous fighters.

The Trading Post and Equipment

It’s all in here. Everything from the original Rulebook and the Trading Post PDF, the full Black Market from Book of Judgement, even the weird stuff from Book of Peril like fake Mung Vases and Giant Rats.

The main change mechanically is a simplification of how Outlaw and Law-Abiding gangs trade, with the separate Black Market eliminated, and all equipment in the Trading Post classified as Rare or Illegal with a given number value. Law-Abiding and Outlaw gangs both roll the Availability level of equipment in exactly the same way, but a Law-Abiding gang takes -4 to the Availability level when buying Illegal gear.

  • Example: An upstanding, Law-Abiding gang visits the trading post and rolls 8 on 2D6. They have 2 Champions making trade actions (+2) and their reputation is over 10 (+1) so they may buy any equipment of up to Rare(11) or Illegal(7).
    If the same gang gets Outlawed and returns the next week, does the same actions at the same Reputation and rolls the same, they can buy anything up to Rare(11) or Illegal(11). 
  • Yes, this does mean that Outlaw gangs have easier access to any Illegal equipment without any trading-specific downsides. It’ll be up to players to decide whether declaring their gangs to be Outlaws will be worth it, as many campaign systems have various disincentives baked in for law-breakers.

The combination Trading Post/Black Market/Taco Bell also receives a quality of life improvement, as the Rarity and credit costs are now included in the very same table as the weapons’ full statline. Always handy to see if you can afford a gun at all while you’re deciding if it’s worth buying!


There aren’t any modifications to any rarities or costs for any items that we’ve noticed so far, so 20 credit Ablative Overlays will remain one of the many items that Arbitrators may have to keep an eye on. A few things did get fixed and/or clarified, though!

    • Ceremite Shields can now be equipped in addition to a fighter’s normal armor.
    • Paired weapons do not grant a bonus attack or activate on a charge for mounted fighters.
    • Booby Traps of all forms now trigger on ‘models’ rather than ‘fighters’, allowing them to be used against vehicles.
    • Exotic Xenos weapons from the Black Market now largely have the new Esoteric trait, which prevents them from ever being upgraded with modifications like Infra-sights.
  • The Concussion trait has had a typo fixed that previously caused it to accidentally improve the victim’s Initiative score by 2. 


Campaign Rules

Gang Tactics

As well as reprinting in this book a list of 27 universally-available Gang Tactics and a list of Underdog Tactics (these seem to be all reprints from previous books, Goonhammer will do a full run-through in the near future) the rules now give some guidance on how Gang Tactics should be treated during a Campaign. Three options are given:

  • Preset Method. Choose a table from one of your books, roll on that one table the requisite number of times. 
  • Custom Method. At gang creation, generate a list of 18 Gang Tactics from those available to your gang. Create a table (this is the language used in the book, but this method would work fine with cards) and roll on it each game. In the post-battle sequence you may remove up to 2 Tactics and replace them with other choices. Interestingly, this method specifically calls out ‘mulligans’, if you randomly generate a Tactic which is impossible to trigger during the game, e.g. it requires targeting a vehicle and there are none in the enemy Crew or Reinforcements, you can re-roll.
  • Limited Method. This is noted as being especially suitable for cards over book tables. Take 30 Tactics, use them as randomly generated throughout the Campaign, once they are played they are removed from the deck. 
    • Genghis Cohen: This method, RAW, obviously doesn’t account for the fact you can still easily end up drawing 10+ extra cards in a game to make up for a disadvantage in starting Crew Rating. I would foresee a lot of Campaigns where some players ran out entirely by Downtime. Clearly Arbitrators would need to make some allowances, for example letting players create a new deck (possibly with limited overlap of previous choices) once the old one is used up. It hardly seems possible for Gang Tactics to be a truly limited resource, while still handing them out to balance Scenarios.
      However the intent, to stop the same cards being played game after game, is admirable. To achieve that, players could use any number of cards, the important bit would be that once you’ve played a given Tactic, it is set aside and never put back in the deck during the Campaign. 

Dominion Campaign

The original campaign format from the 2017 Rulebook returns. Themed around gangs controlling different Territories in the underhive, this is the archetypal setting for Necromunda. 

  • The recommended timeline of the Campaign is unchanged: players spend 3 Campaign Cycles (a new and less confusing name for the old Campaign Weeks) fighting over unclaimed Territories in the Occupation Phase. Downtime happens, fighters Recover, everyone gets and must spend 250 credits, any Juves/Prospects with 3 or more Advances (this was tweaked down from 5) can promote. Then gangs spend 3 Campaign Cycles fighting over each other’s Territories, before various Triumphs are declared. The gang which fought most often, holds the most Territories, has the highest Wealth, Reputation, Gang Rating, etc.


Territories still grant Boons and/or Income to the controlling gangs. Most are unchanged from the 2017 version, which is honestly a bit of a let-down as there are some well known balance and fun issues here.

  • The Rogue Doc and Workshop territories now only grant their respective free Hangers-On to Law-Abiding gangs. Outlaws shake them down for credits instead.
  • Enhanced Boons for certain territories like the Narco Den and Smelting works have had their credit rewards increased if controlled by the correct Houses.
  • We regret to inform you all that Drinking Hole and Gambling Den are the exact same as they were before. Remind your local Delaque player that it’s okay if the other person has fun too.

Campaign Variants

This is where the real meat is. Is there really just plain ol’ Dominion in this book? Sure, but this time they’ve heavily expanded all of the tweaks you can make to the basic framework to make it feel like something new and different. While we doubt anybody’s going to be salivating at Old Kingdoms, there’s some stuff here that could have easily been worked into a fully distinct system dropped in some future book instead.

Old Kingdoms

This one’s simple, everyone draws two random Territories, and those are the only Territories available during the campaign. Rather than Occupation and Takeover phases, you simply run two Takeover phases, separated by Downtime as normal. If anything, this is a simplification of the normal rules.

Into the Unknown

All Territories are unknown, they are randomly generated as facedown cards (we suppose if you were managing this digitally, the Arbitrator would generate them and assign each Territory a number, keeping them secret). Players fight challenges during the Occupation phase as normal, but only after challenging do they find out what Territory is at stake. In the Takeover phase, players can choose to challenge over any remaining undiscovered Territories, just as before, or can challenge for the known Territories held by other players.

Escalation Campaign

Something of a nuclear option, in this variant players disregard all credit rewards from Territory or Scenarios. Instead, a gang simply gets 250 credits of income after each battle (this is limited to 500 credits income per campaign week, or two battles, presumably to remind Arbitrators they should stop their players fighting a load of small-crew, quick and easy battles, and raking in thousands). 

That level of credit gain isn’t unheard of, some of us have probably averaged around that during Law & Misrule campaigns, which tend to be big earners. But it’s a very steady march to big money. Interestingly, it does flatten the tendency in Necromunda campaigns for gangs to spiral up into success or down into despair. An enterprising Arbitrator could use this model and simply alter the credit reward, e.g. give every gang 100 credits per battle. 

Classic Campaign

It’s old-cromunda baby! This is one of the best fleshed out options in the book and a real highlight. There’s a full page of changes to the ‘normal’ campaign rules:

  • Common kit: gangs can only start with Trading Post items marked ‘Common’ availability, and equipment that is completely exclusive to their House Lists, e.g. Goliath Brute Cleavers. No one starts with armour and flak and mesh armour are adjusted to Rare(10) to keep them out of reach. That same principle, Common and gang-unique items only, applies when normally visiting the Trading Post post-battle as well.
  • Seeking Rare equipment is more random: each Leader/Champion making a trade action rolls to see if they are offered a Weapon, an item of Wargear, or a piece of Armor. They then roll again to see what type. E.G. a weapon would be Pistol, Basic, Special, Heavy or Close Combat. They may then buy a single item of any Rare/Illegal level from that category (provided they have the credits).
  • A gang can never contain more than 2 special/heavy weapons.
  • No Hangers-On or Brutes.
  • No Gang Tactics.
  • Underhive only: no vehicles or Mounted fighters.
  • Each player chooses 3 Territories from those available to start. Player may select the same Territory from the list of availables, it looks like that just creates a duplicate.
  • Games do not automatically stake Territories, the normal challenge rules are not used. Instead, if a gang takes at least 3 times as many Fighters OOA as their enemy during a game, they seize one of their enemy’s Territories in the post-battle sequence. A gang can never have their last remaining Territory taken away.
  • No campaign cycles or Downtime, duration is at the Arbitrator’s discretion. 
  • Optional rules are recommended: Hail of Bullets, Wild Grenades and Shells, and Exploding Weapons. These largely imitate the old-Necromunda ammo and shooting rules.

Ironman Campaign

This campaign starts out with a massive infusion of creds at 3k, but that’s all you get! Any money not invested in your starting gang can only be used for rogue doc trips… which are way more likely! The lasting injury table is just a D6 now – 1-3 is out cold, 4-5 is a critical injury, and a 6 is memorable death! Hive Scum, Bounty Hunters, and Dramatis Personae are permanent adds to your team, so load up on friends!

Dome Rush

In this variant, gangs quickly exploit captured territories and move on! Instead of gaining income over time, you get all the creds for owning at once and abandon it. May be a happy medium for playgroups that want faster credit gain, but don’t want to face down the punishing Iron Man campaign.

Last Gang Standing

Multiple gangs battle to the last for a single territory… at the same time! Another mode in which gangs cannot add new members. All fighters that go out of action die, and gangs that bottle out lose D3 random ones! As all of the battles in this campaign variant are multi-player, so expect chaos.

Hive Empires

Another 3,000 credit campaign, but this one ties your gang size to terrain holdings. This is a map-based variant – you are only able to attack territories adjacent to you. Take control of territories to increase your gang’s resources – lose ground and your fighting force will become smaller!

Nomads of the Underhive

Credits are very tight in this campaign – gangs only start out with 700, and only an additional 300 for vehicles / mounted wargear for Ash Wastes battles. Income is extremely limited, and a number of restrictions keep the power curse quite low.

Helmawr’s War

The Purge has come to Necromunda! Well, the Gang Purge. One too many uprisings, Helmawr has opted to boot out ALL of the gangers. Factions are split between two opposing groups (dealer’s choice as to who is fighting – purge supporters vs gangs trying valiantly to stop it, Sharks vs Jets, whatever groups make sense). Gangs deputized by the Guilders actually get a 250 credit boost. The win condition here is to pick up all of the territories.

Perpetual & Semi-Perpetual Campaigns

What if a Necromunda campaign never had to end? The name of the game here is to determine a fair way for new gangs and powerful ones alike to live in harmony.  Unstoppable gangs might retire, their champs may suddenly show up to lead splinter crews. This type of campaign may require a bit more coordination to ensure that disparities in gang rating don’t goof things up too much. Which leads right into…

Underdog Mechanics

2017-onwards Necromunda has frequently been negatively compared to the old version for its less robust underdog mechanics. The old rules had large, scaling experience bonuses for weaker gangs fighting more powerful ones. It also imposed post-game costs on gangs based on their number of fighters. In current Necromunda the main tabletop balancing mechanics have been handing out additional Gang Tactics cards, including powerful Underdog Tactics (some of which included XP and credit gain for the weaker gang) where the gap in Crew Rating was over 400 credits.

In this new book, the Underdog mechanics are slightly expanded. Guidance is given to Arbitrators to consider allowing a table of bonuses to the weaker gang in a mismatched game, and it’s important to remember that these are a framework for individual Arbitrators, and thinking about them as ‘the rules’ may be mistaken. That said, as the printed guidance they will form a natural starting point for most groups. These really kick in at 400 credits’ difference, any gap below that is seen as solvable by extra (normal) Gang Tactics. The framing for this is the Arbitrator gives the weaker gang a notional amount of credits equal to the difference in Crew Rating – those credits are then immediately spent. First option, the weaker gang can randomly draw one Underdog Tactic for 200 credits, or pick one for 400 credits. A full table of Underdog Tactics are printed out in the book, and don’t seem altered from their previous effects. 

Added to that, there is a new option for the weaker gang to spend those credits on Hired Guns, Gangers or Juves equipped from the House equipment lists, or even a Brute! These don’t have a fixed cost, you literally just hire the goons in with the Arbitrator-awarded credits, which remember, are equal to the difference in Crew Rating. All the fighter types have a limit set on how many you can take, but those don’t exclude each other. For example you can take 0-1 Dramatis Personae, but also 0-1 House Agent, and 0-1 Bounty Hunters. Hell, Juves, Hangers-On and Brutes are unlimited. [Genghis Cohen: why are Brutes and Hangers-On joined at the hip like this? It makes no sense. Mental] So practically you can make up any Rating mismatch with extra models. Honestly this is very direct way to handle mismatches in Crew strength, and our issue is that it almost works too well – the weaker gang can spend the whole credit award on Hired Guns and then they will hit exactly the same Rating as their stronger opponents, so they are no longer at any sort of disadvantage. Indeed, since they can (given enough models available) tailor in Hired Guns that match up well to their opponents’ weaknesses, or cover holes in their own roster, they might be considered stronger! This is especially an issue in games where both gangs have already filled an equal max Crew size, say Custom(6). That would mean the weaker gang suddenly equals their opponents’ Crew rating, and have more models on the table, which is a big advantage in Necromunda.

  • Genghis Cohen: I would be super cautious with this as an Arbitrator. It absolutely needs to be discussed with the group before starting a campaign. Spiraling success/failure, and sometimes games where one gang is in trouble from the start, have always been features of Necromunda. They do sometimes lead to negative play experiences, but if you remove them entirely, and make sure any big mismatch returns to total equality, it might reduce the impact of the campaign/gang development layer. Players could feel there is no reward for carefully nurturing their gang, because while it increases their absolute strength, it will never get them a big advantage over their opponents. It would be an easy house rule to say that the only balancing mechanic will be the actual Underdog cards, or an Arbitrator could limit the total number of extra models added to a Crew, or only allow them if they fit within the Crew size for the Scenario. 


On the campaign layer, the most common balancing mechanism is the House Favours table, found in various forms across previous sourcebooks, typically with little details changed for thematic links to the specific House or faction’s features. A gang-agnostic version is printed here, and works very much the same – roll 2D6 and add a bonus for every gang in the campaign with a higher Gang Rating. The rewards gained are all returning unchanged from other versions of the table. The guidance given is that a gang may roll on this table during the pre-battle sequence, but of course the word ‘may’ is doing a lot of work here. As this is in the Arbitrator Tools section, our reading is that whether a gang gets to roll on House Favours should be up to the Arbitrator, not treated as an automatic right.

  • Genghis Cohen: I like the House Favours table, but I have been in loosely arbitrated campaigns before where the Arbitrator said ‘we’re using it’ and every player just took that to mean, roll on it every game! That is fine if your group wants it, but Necromunda campaigns already escalate Gang Rating quickly, and the House Favours table is mostly giving out free stuff. In my opinion, the bonus for the gang being lower down in the rankings isn’t enough to balance out random chance. I would advise giving out these rolls only one by one to specific gangs, not allowing everyone a chance at them or allowing them to be rolled regularly. Up to your group, and something to discuss to ensure all your players find it fair. 

Scenarios and Special Rules

Hybrid Crew Selection

In addition to Custom (pick your fighters) and Random (roll for it) Selection, players will now sometimes see the Hybrid Selection method for starting Crews. Hybrid Selection 4+D3, for example, would be picking 4 Fighters you want, and then generating D3 random Fighters from the remainder of your gang roster. Perfectly simple, and a nice middle ground between picking your Leader, Champions and Specialist every time, and having to accept the luck of the dice and sometimes ending up with nothing but unarmoured Juves facing your opponents’ Brute. 

Sentries and Sneak Attacks

Players still roll off, but now it is simply to pick which Sentry activates, and the chosen Fighter is always moved by the defending player. So while bad luck can still frustrate the defender by forcing them to activate Sentries who are far from the action, there will be no more idiot Sentries facing into a corner while the attacking models sneak right up to them. 

Spotting rules have also been streamlined in favor of the sentries. Silenced shots raise the alarm half the time, and shooting something louder or initiating any form of close combat does the same. The Alarm is now raised no matter what happens at the end of the third round, so the days of going full ninja-mode may well be over. Sneak Attack, in this new form, is more of a protracted positioning mechanic, in which a stealthy gang hopefully lines itself up for one big kill before the game continues as normal.

  • Genghis Cohen: I see this as a good thing. I have had several experiences where new players, understandably showing up to the table expecting a fair wargame rather than a comedy-of-errors roleplaying experience, had a genuinely unfun time playing the defender in Sentry missions. It can be very frustrating to just sit there, unable to properly react, while the attacker has 90% of the decisions. It was especially galling for the defender if they felt the attacker knew the rules well enough to squeeze every advantage out of the Scenario, only raising the alarm after inflicting one-sided casualties and getting into position to win the game. Anything that puts a restriction on that negative play experience is good, in my opinion.

Pitch Black

No longer a flat 3”, Pitch Black has been rolled into the Visibility(X”) mechanic. Any callouts to the rule now roll on a d6 table that can generate a Visibility for the battlefield that ranges from 3” (Full Night) all the way up to Visibility 24” (Full Day). Infra-Sights and Goggles extend their bearer’s range by 9”, so their functionality remains the same even in the dimmer end of the spectrum.

Included Scenarios

For the new spin on Dominion, players roll for their mission on a new table that includes a choice between three Underhive and three Ash Wastes scenarios. The Underhive options are now Border Dispute, Smash and Grab, and The Trap. These aren’t the most complex fights with full extra pages of bespoke rules, but they’ll go a long way towards creating more objective-based fights beyond the Stand-Offs of Yore.

On the same table, players can elect to play Fuel Hunt, Settlement Raid, or Cargo Run, if they’re looking to take the fight to the open road. These scenarios are mechanically the same as they appeared in the Ash Wastes rulebook, but the crew sizes are now a bit smaller and use Hybrid selection. Although actually implementing vehicles into a Dominion campaign generally requires the profiles found in Book of the Outlands, Fuel Hunt and Settlement Raid can be played fully dismounted if you’re on a strict book budget. 

These scenarios also benefit from the new Hybrid style of selection, where a Crew of “Hybrid 2+3” allows gangs to guarantee at least two of their fighters, while leaving the last three to whoever randomly decided to show up. It’s a neat way to allow for a bit of chance, without getting stuck in an unwinnable game because your Random 3 turned out to be two juves and a ganger with a bum leg.

Table 3 in our Necromunda event, terrain from TinkerTurf.

There’s also the obligatory Rescue Mission, on the off-chance that lightning finally strikes and one of your fighters manages to get captured. This is the same variation as seen in Ash Wastes, though the attackers are now thankfully limited to 10 models in their crew. (There is one minor exclusion in this printing of the scenario, in that the sentence that mandates the Sneak Attack rule is missing. We’re going to ignore that and play it with sentries anyway.)


Ghast Harvest, Shootout, and Murder Cyborg also make an appearance as off-table narrative options, and are still great missions that everybody should be playing. Ghast is capped at two bags per fighter, Shootout is Hybrid selection, and Cyborg is Custom 8 now. Beyond that, they’re the same as they’ve always been, and they’re still great fun. Give ‘em a shot!

  • Genghis Cohen: My group loves a Shootout. I think the Reputation gain may have been reined in slightly on that one, but I can’t remember. Either way, a great mission and a natural pick to run as a ‘Gang Raid’, ie a quick game that maybe doesn’t let players gather a full round of territory income, in situations where two people want a game, but have already played more games in that Campaign Cycle than the other players. 


What Doesn’t This Book Contain?

Sensibly enough, this rulebook contains the stock guidelines for building a gang – how many Fighters of various types you can pick – but no profiles, House equipment lists etc. The Necromunda rules model remains that you need separate sourcebook(s) for your gang. This makes sense for exclusive Fighters – it makes complete sense that if you want an Orlock gang, then your Road Captains, Gunners, Wreckers etc, as well as the unique Cyber-Mastiff Exotic Beast, Lugger Brute, Prize Fighter and other unique Hangers-On, are siloed into the House of Iron sourcebook. Where it becomes problematic is for widely-available stuff. This rulebook contains profiles for some non-exclusive Exotic Beasts. However there are non-exclusive Brutes & Hangers-On scattered all through other sourcebooks which are not included here – including some which were found in the 2018 rulebook and Gangs of the Underhive. We are not sure without doing a lot of checking whether any models’ rules are now going ‘out of print’ by having appeared only in the 2018 book and Gangs of the Underhive.

Certainly, some of the content of this new rulebook is drawn from the Book of Peril and Book of Judgement. Yet it does not include all of that content. It’s completely understandable to not include Venator Gangs, Enforcer Patrols, or the Law and Misrule campaign. There is a clear precedent that gangs and campaigns get their own sourcebooks. It does appear to include nearly all the Trading Post content from those books, but is annoyingly missing a few things, like the Iron Automata Brute from Judgement and gunk bombs/ammo types from Peril. It is fine to cut down the number of Scenarios – Necromunda has a huge number and keeping unique Scenarios for other sourcebooks works. Rules for Underhive Hazards could be justified as thematically kept exclusive to the Book of Peril. But surely, common Hired Guns like Scum and Bounty Hunters would be included in this main rulebook for the future. They appear in some ‘House of’ sourcebooks but not in others, and the same applies to non-exclusive Brutes like Ambots or Ogryns. We are genuinely surprised that popular plastic models, which are not restricted to one gang, didn’t merit inclusion in the book. Necromunda continues to have a problem with collecting all its rules into one place. The design philosophy is to accrue a hell of a lot of different options, and that is part of the charm, but the partial overlap, where some bits are reprinted in several books, and others are exclusive to one, and there is no hard rule for what categories of rules get either treatment, is infuriating. 


As an example, if a new player wants to know where to find rules for the Brutes they can include, not only are they not collected in one place, the only sure way to check all the options is to ask an experienced player, or assemble the double-digit number of current sourcebooks and check all their table of contents. There’s no clear system that all generic Brutes are in the Book of X and your gang-exclusive Brute is in your ‘home’ sourcebook. 


The other missing elephant in the room is that this rulebook has been very cautious with changes to the rules. Yes, some of the weaker skills got reworked, but they still do not in any way compare to the stronger skills in other trees. Changes to XP and Advances are very welcome, but the designers could have adjusted the effect of Advances on Gang Rating, or the XP costs for different Advances, given that every rising star in every gang is at least considering picking a Toughness Advance, and no one has ever been seen to pick Advances in Leadership, Willpower or Intelligence (and rolling any of those for a Ganger is just a kick in the pants). In the Dominion campaign, which received wonderful expansion options and alternative systems, a couple of Territory Boons were tweaked, but most remained untouched, including the widely acknowledged best and worst options. There were no changes, beyond errata and tidying presentation, to any costs, stats or effects of weapons, armor and wargear. That last point could be tied not just to design philosophy, but to the sourcebook problem – the writers cannot change the cost or effects of Mesh/Flak Armor, because the new book would contradict almost every other sourcebook, worsening confusion for new players. 


Ultimately this book is a much-desired, long-awaited update to the Necromunda rules. It is beautifully presented like all the Necromunda material. Simply bringing the vehicle rules and Wyrd powers, alongside other minor additions like the Driving skill tree, under one cover is very helpful. Tabletop changes to Injury results, targeting Blasts, Charges, and Wyrd powers are all very interesting and should help the game, although we will have to wait and see if the tactical result is a move towards shooting over melee combat. Changes to accelerate XP gain, allowing fighters to pick Secondary Skills as Advances, giving Gangers promoted to Specialists a random Primary skill, are all wholly positive and one major highlight of the book. The updated Lasting Injuries table, tweaks to how Critical Injuries are treated by the doc, and adjusted Capture mechanics are also very positive, making the post-battle effects more interesting. 

The other major highlight is the renewed Dominion campaign – not the base version, which is almost unchanged, but the variant options, particularly the Classic Campaign. This gives a simple and robust change to run a campaign with the excellent modern rules for fighting battles, picking Scenarios, etc, with the more basic equipment of classic Necromunda. It will no doubt be very popular with older players who hold an affection for that approach, which is in many ways a different setting, and more fleshed out in fiction. The old wild west Necromunda of quick-drawn stub guns and sharp knives tends to fade into the background on the modern tabletop, where multi-meltas blow up Ambots and the plasma fire rains down like hail. Some grognards will be happy to return to the simpler times. The optional rules given to Arbitrators mirroring the old-Necromunda ammo and weapon rules, are also available, but we are glad to see they have been separated from the actual Classic Campaign rules to allow mixing and matching, or importing them into any other Campaign type. 

While the trading post has been simplified, and is now much better presented (credit cost shown on the same page as weapon stats – what a time to be alive!) it is still not truly exhaustive. Given the number of Necromunda sourcebooks, a living-document online Trading Post is always going to be the best reference, and it remains to be seen if GW will update the online resource to the new format, and continue to maintain it going forward – we sincerely hope so.

Other sourcebooks will still be needed, there will always be some missed opportunities and rules that could have been included but weren’t. Those categories are opinion, not fact, and every reader (especially the Arbitrators) will have a slightly different list of what they wanted to see in a rules update. The most frustrating element of Necromunda remains the inconsistent scattering of different types of rules between sourcebooks. This rulebook does not fully grasp the nettle – it neither fully overwrites earlier sourcebooks, nor wants to change any profiles, credit costs, stats or equipment effects outside the core game rules. In changing the core game rules, it makes incremental changes rather than a major renewal. 

Despite all that, this rulebook is a good thing for the game, it will work much better than the previous books: a player should be able to use it as a single volume reference, alongside one gang-specific sourcebook. Groups wishing to run different campaigns will need at least the Arbitrator to have a copy of the relevant sourcebook, e.g. the Ash Wastes rulebook to run an Ash Wastes campaign. Although it may vex us completionists to have other rules salted away in different volumes, those aren’t needed to play. Enthusiasts who want to see all the options available to their gang can browse the long list of other sourcebooks at their leisure.

Got any burning questions for the Necromunday Team? Drop us a line at!