Necromunday: Gangs of the Underhive – Palanite Enforcers

Howdy scummers! It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Helmawr’s muscle on Necromunda – the Palanite Enforcers. While we brought you initial impressions before, we are back with a more in-depth look.

Enforcers are a consistently popular gang with both new and experienced Necromunda players. In the game of brutal gang warfare in the 40th millenium, it makes a lot of thematic sense to have at least one player as the cops in this grimdark version of cops and robbers. Very new players who (unusually) haven’t come to Necromunda by way of Warhammer 40k, may have to learn that as Enforcers you are certainly not playing the good guys, even relative to the other gangs! Regardless of whether the player envisions their Enforcer gang as the thin line holding the chaos of the hive cities in order (albeit with brutal measures) or the repressive fascist jackboot stamping on the underclasses, there are a lot of storytelling possibilities. Enforcers also strike many new players as the elite, heavily armoured, defensive gang – but this isn’t entirely reflected in the rules, as we will see. With older players, who have vague memories or hard experience of old Necromunda (any time from the mid-90s to 2017) they may remember the days when Enforcers genuinely were very elite, with a level of equipment and training far beyond all but the most experienced underhive gangs. In that iteration they were intended as an Arbitrator tool to offer an antagonist to strong players’ gangs, as much as an option for players, although that use proved very popular as well. 

The flashlight is what makes this tactical. Credit: Jack “BenBooley” Hunter

In fact Enforcers are a gang with mediocre to poor stats, but good starting equipment and early-mid campaign equipment options. They lack as many in-built options as other gangs for building truly powerhouse Leader/Champion fighters. But options in Necromunda are very wide – Enforcers certainly aren’t held back compared to other gangs if you have the wherewithal and imagination to use the Trading Post to complement your normal equipment lists in the late campaign. Their Leader, Champions and Specialists/Juves, if you happen to get any of the latter (not guaranteed, due to their gang composition rules, see below) do have some strong Skill choices available which open up characterful options for reactive, defensive play, as well as straightforwardly strong Shooting skills.

This article (written May 2022) is revisiting our initial impressions of Enforcers gangs since their release in the Book of Judgement. The game has moved on a bit since then, with the Clan Houses receiving their detailed Books (of Chains for Goliaths, of Blades for Escher etc) which updated and expanded how fighters are organised and equipment purchased, as well as introducing new unique mechanics for each gang. Enforcers currently sit at sort of a half-way mark to those House gangs’ level of rules flavour. They have their own unique skill tree, Palanite Drill, and a strongly flavoured equipment list, but there are some oddities with how their Champion/Ganger/Juve equivalents work.

Five-oh comin’ up, y’all. Credit: Games Workshop

The Rules

First of all, where to find the rules for Enforcers? The rules for founding a gang are available in the Book of Judgement and in the Dark Uprising version of the rulebook. If you are looking to get into Necromunda now, and aren’t just borrowing a friend’s books or relying on online resources, the Book of Judgement is very useful as a resource for extra equipment and the Law & Misrule campaign type, while the Dark Uprising rulebook has the Uprising campaign type, and of course the actual rules for playing the game. There are some pertinent points in the Necromunda FAQ that update Enforcers’ rules and certain weapons, which will be mentioned in this guide. The Enforcers’ unique exotic beast, the Hardcase Cyber-Mastiff, currently only has printed rules via the Forgeworld special character, Scrutinator-Primus Servalen. But it is available as a generic option and you should access the rules for it online if you want to use those (very effective) metallic canine friends.

There are some unique aspects to the Enforcers’ rules you may want to note:

  • Models are classed as Palanites or Subjugators. This is decided at Gang Creation or Recruitment of new fighters and cannot be changed during a campaign. The pros and cons are discussed below under Fighter types. But this determines their base sizes (28mm for Palanites, 32mm for Subjugators), starting armour and equipment options. You might want to discuss with your Arbitrator how random Territory or Racket-based recruitment bonuses work. Many campaigns have a mechanic where you roll per Campaign Cycle, and may recruit a new Ganger for free. Most groups would play this as giving you a Palanite Patrolman, if you are determined to run a Subjugator-themed force you might want to ask if your group is prepared to create a more detailed rule for you.
  • Enforcers cannot hold territories in Dominion campaigns (the campaign in the 2018 Necromunda Rulebook), instead disrupting other gangs’ control of theirs. This basically cripples their income generation across the campaign, causing all but the most successful players to fall behind the power curve. We strongly recommend that if you are playing Enforcers in a Dominion campaign, you simply talk with your Arbitrator/group and disregard this rule. It’s an unnecessary restriction on a gang that isn’t particularly powerful. 
  • Enforcers can use weapons from the Trading Post, and indeed Black Market! This is in the FAQ. This gives them flexible options beyond most House gangs. Indeed, many groups may wish to restrict this beyond the RAW and limit Trading Post weapons to Leader and Champions, although it’s not an imbalance/advantage unless an Enforcer player sets out to abuse certain overpowered weapons. 
  • Enforcers can only have 2 Sgts (Champions). Now Enforcer Sgts are probably the second-worst champions in the game, just ahead of Genestealer Cult’s. They have 2 Wounds, but only 1 Attack, and the same 4+ WS/BS as a Patrolman. They blow. Despite this, as in all Necromunda gangs, the Group Activation, ability to perform post-battle actions, and extra Wound make them a better deal than lesser Fighters. So if your group commonly recruits >2 Champions, as most players would if playing without additional house ruled restrictions, we suggest allowing Enforcers to do the same. There’s no reason they should be restricted here. 
  • Enforcers cannot recruit Rookies (Juves), these are only obtainable through special Campaign recruitment, e.g. via Territories/Rackets, or by losing a Fighter (dead, captured & sold, or retired) from your roster. In that latter case, you receive a free Rookie to make up the loss. Oddly enough, this does mean they cost 0 credits, and to the chagrin of many a min-maxing new player, no, you cannot start your gang with 5 free warm bodies and give them 5 combat shotguns to circumvent their poor BS. 
  • Enforcers cannot recruit Specialists at Gang Creation. They can only obtain them by a Patrolman rolling 2 or 12 on the Ganger Advancement Table (to become a Specialist) or promoting a Rookie with 5+ Advances during Downtime or at the end of a Campaign. Of course those can happen, although promoting Juves really does require a long campaign or freakish luck. Enforcer Patrolmen aren’t barred from using Special or Heavy Weapons, so this only keeps them spending XP randomly and prevents them gaining Skills.
    • FAQ point. In the Book of Judgement it seems to imply that all Enforcer Patrolmen spend XP like Specialists, this is confirmed not to be the case. Patrolmen gain Advances like Gangers, Rookies like Juves. Note that Rookies apparently do not have the Fast Learner skill which helps most Juves/Prospects avoid paying fees for repeated Advances in the same stat.
Bravo Oscar Bravo 8135th Precinct by Beanith

Fighter Types 

Common Equipment

All Enforcers come with a stub gun, armoured undersuit, Magnacles (this is clarified in the FAQ) and armour. For the Palanites that is Flak Armour. For Subjugators, Layered Flak Armour, which grants a 5+ save, 4+ against templates or blasts. All of this equipment is included in the cost of the fighter, so most groups would rule it can’t be sold. You’d rarely want to discard it or transfer it to another fighter, since all fighters come with it. The exception is the Stub Gun. Fighters can only have 3 weapons on their fighter card in Necromunda. So clearly that Stub Gun stands in the way of creating some loadouts. RAW you cannot discard weapons, but this rule is commonly ignored by many groups. Consider discussing this equipment with your Arbitrator and setting some guidelines on what you can do with it. Please don’t try to get cute by taking the Layered Flak off injured Subjugator Patrolmen to equip Palanite Sgts, or anything like that.

Enforcer Captain 

Like all gangs, Enforcers must have 1 Leader, the Enforcer Capt. This model can be a Palanite, or upgrade to a Subjugator for +10 credits, and you must include 2+ Patrolmen of that same type in your starting Roster. So that choice substantially shapes your initial line-up. For the Captain himself, it’s hard to argue that he is better suited for life as a Subjugator. With 3+WS and 4+BS, and being your only model with 2 Attacks, he’s a natural pick as a melee model, and in itself, the improved armour of a Subjugator is worth the price. Suggest build for a Subjugator Captain would be as a close-in brawler, using melee weapons (the Shock Stave is the best of a bad lot in the Enforcer armoury, but you should consider Trading Post options) and a Vigilance Assault Shield to try and keep him on the table. The stand-out close combat related Skill available to a melee Capt is Threat Response. Alternatively, a Palanite Capt can still take shooting-relevant skills and wield an effective weapon, if you’re emphasising ranged power in your gang, he’s just no better at it than a Palanite Sgt (see below).

Enforcer Sgts

Ugh, Enforcer Sgts are not great. 4+ WS/BS. 1 Attack. They’re just not great compared to other gangs’ equivalents. However they do get Group Activation and 2 Wounds, as well as a free skill. Enforcer Sgts can access the Shooting Skill tree, Cunning, and Palanite Drill. This gives them multiple nice options to bolster their shooting options, and only one option, Threat Response, that does anything to improve their close combat utility – and even then, a counter-charge skill isn’t going to allow that 1A on 4+WS to do much to any serious threat. Therefore our advice is definitely to build your Sgts as Palanites, or as Subjugators using their heavy weapon options. Or, if you plan on going to the Trading Post for some punchier ranged options, the only difference between the two types is paying 10 credits for heavier armour, which is a steal.

Suggested builds for Enforcer Sgts would be Overwatch shooters. Some players really like to pair this skill with a sniper rifle, which is thematic, and not at all bad if you play on big, open tables. Personally I think a boltgun is a more flexible choice, and Damage 2 makes a huge difference. Alternatively, there are strong Shooting skills (Trick Shot/Fast Shot) which make any of the ranged weapons better. Even Hip Shooting enables some nice tricks, although it is strongest with a good template weapon – Sgts should consider pairing it with an Enforcer Shotgun or going to the Trading Post. Infiltrate is a very powerful skill that can benefit a range of weapon loadouts. Honestly, being able to deploy so freely can trivialise some scenario objectives to the extent it becomes unfun. But be cautious, if misused Infiltrate can result in a valuable fighter appearing in an isolated position, taking one swipe at the enemy and then being destroyed without support from the rest of the gang.


Palanite Patrolmen are your all-purpose weapon carriers. Their Basic/Special weapon options are uniformly excellent, so despite their high cost and mediocre stats they can hold their own as the basis for a shooting-oriented gang. After all, Armoured Undersuits being included may not be what you’d choose at Gang Creation, but it’s decent in the long run. The challenge their cost gives you is fitting in enough bodies at the start of the campaign to keep up your activations and avoid a death spiral if you have a few fighters in Recovery at once.

Subjugator Patrolmen are better envisaged as the spicy topping on the nourishing corpse-starch of the Palanites. Their weapon options are mediocre melee tools, or a krak-less grenade launcher. In our experience, you need/want fewer of these than you do the flexible shooting tools the Palanites can access. The defining feature of Subjugators is their armour, paired with the Vigilance Assault Shield. Where a Palanite has a 5+ save, 4+ against blasts, a Subjugator with a shield has a 4+ save, 3+ against blasts, or 3+ from shots in the front arc, 2+ from melee attacks in the front arc (or from blasts/templates in the front arc). This means that your Subjugators can risk body-blocking many attacks, until your opponents start accumulating -AP weapons. It does mean you need to be extra careful about their facings, it makes a big difference to their survivability to be facing the right way when the enemy come calling. You should probably also consider marking their bases with 90 degree front arcs, if the model doesn’t make it completely obvious. You can try to keep your Subjugators nearer the enemy than the Palanites, to force Cool checks if the enemy want to target the lighter-armoured fighters. Just be careful of Stray Shots from your own Palanites. You can avoid Stray Shots by keeping the firing model in base contact with their ally, but of course that sort of close up, shieldwall formation, while very fluffy and cool looking, is going to leave you vulnerable to templates – a better save doesn’t quite make up for not having several models get hit at once!

Subjugator patrolmen tend to be used as melee threats, in which case you should be mindful not just of their survivability, but how far to push it – 1A at WS4+ is not a close combat powerhouse, while you can try to batter an unsuspecting Ganger or Juve, or push forward to Coup de Grace the miscreants your Palanites have downed with shooting, you don’t want to try and take on any melee Champions with these guys. Versatile close combat weapons are your friend to help avoid Reaction Attacks, as are Knockback weapons like the shield, although the latter are riskier. On a melee Subjugator we think grenades, especially Photon Flash, are a great buy, as indeed the launched versions are for grenade launcher Subjugators.

If you are planning to buy a Patrolman his weapons from the Trading Post, Subjugators are a better buy than Palanites – 10 credits is a bargain for a better save, and the shield is one of the items that can’t be replicated or bettered from the TP. We should mention future-proofing your gang though. As seen with the House of books, the trend in Necromunda has been to restrict Gangers/Juves to their House weapons, and keep TP weapon options for Leaders, Champs, and Prospects. So as great as a Subjugator with a Webber would be, you may find in a future update that model will have to represent a Sgt going forward.


If you happen to get a Rookie, they’re free, so at least there’s that. Strictly inferior to Patrolmen, and unable to be Subjugators, they do have the same weapon options as other Palanites. Our suggestion would be to keep Rookies cheap, running around with their free stub gun, achieving objectives and threatening to Coup de Grace injured enemies… or buy them an Enforcer Shotgun. 5+BS is rough, but when you have a Scattershot teardrop template it doesn’t matter! They can then use their XP towards enhanced Movement and/or the Hip Shooting skill, or perhaps Infiltrate. Grenades would also work on these cheap and cheerful newbies. 

Orlock Cyber Mastiff pet
Hardcase Cyber-Mastiff. Credit: Fowler

Hardcase Cyber-Mastiffs

Exotic Beasts, universally referred to as ‘pets’, sort of blur the line between Wargear and Fighter. They are strictly speaking part of a Leader or Champion’s equipment, they accompany that one fighter whenever they take part in a Scenario. This does mean they can take you over your Crew size for a scenario – e.g. in a Crew of 3 fighters, you can take 2 Patrolmen and 1 Sgt with his cyber-mastiff. In terms of pure stats, a Hardcase is a damn good deal. T4 with a 4+ Save. 2 Attacks at WS3+, at S3, AP-1, but with Rending and Shock. Frankly these guys are better in melee than almost all of your Enforcers. They also have nifty special rules, in that enemies can’t Coup de Grace their owner while the Hardcase is still standing within 3”, and if they are taken Out of Action before activating in a Round, they can take their Activation before you remove them. Nice! That said, there are some limits on how big a role they can play. You may gain Advances (randomly) but you won’t ever get upgraded weaponry. They’re fundamentally built to savage vulnerable Gangers/Juves/Prospects, they won’t be able to take on elite enemy combatants. They must also stay within 3” of their master. So a Hardcase, or even two, is a useful helper for a melee Capt or a Sgt built for close-in fighting. For a fighter built to shoot from further back, they’re more of an insurance policy against sudden melee attacks by the enemy. Hardcase Cyber-Mastiffs are a highlight of the gang, and you can make frenzied growling noises when you activate them, but make sure you have enough non-pet fighters before you take a couple of these. 

The Armoury

Enforcers don’t have restrictions on their basic Patrolmen (or indeed Rookies) using things like Special Weapons. Instead, the house list is divided into Palanite and Subjugator options, so that’s how we will look at them:

Palanite Weapons

Enforcer Boltgun: What if you took the best Basic weapon in the game, and addressed its only weakness, then shaved a bit off the price? Boltguns are great for any gang that can take them, and here they have their Ammo Roll dramatically improved, plus a small price cut to 50 credits. An absolute steal, these things would be absolutely spammable if it weren’t so hard to get enough fighters into your starting roster. Even as is, only the unique capabilities of the other Palanite weapons stop the Enforcer Boltgun from being an auto-take. It’s usable out to 24”, which is often all you ever need, and accurate within a generous 12” – this also makes it pair well with a cheap Telescopic Sight from the TP. Rating: A+, no patrol is complete without some.

Concussion Carbine: Holy special weapon traits, Batman! This thing may look underpowered compared to the boltgun, at S3, -1AP, D1. Its range is also a bit worse, although still flexible. The beauty of the carbine lies in its special rules. Blast weapons rule. Not only can you affect multiple models at once, which is gold dust, they are inherently more accurate than most weapons, since by firing at a point on the table, you avoid Partial or Full Cover penalties to accuracy, and even a miss can clip enemies as the shot scatters (this is also a risk to your allies, I admit). Knockback is situationally handy as careful positioning can net you +1 Damage, or make your opponent risk falling damage. Concussion inflicts a -2 Initiative malus on your target, which pairs excellently with Photon Flash Grenades. Seismic means a target hit must be Pinned, even if they have Nerves of Steel, are a Chaos Spawn (*though this is an interaction that could still use a bit of errata clarification) or Lobo-Slave, etc. It also makes hits ignore armour saves on a Wound roll of 6, which is surprisingly handy. For their bargain price of 30 credits, one of the cheapest non-grenade blast templates in the game, Concussion Carbines are a mainstay at Gang Creation and the Concussion and Seismic rules will keep them useful throughout a campaign, unlike many lighter weapons. Rating: A

Enforcer Shotgun: the classic combat shotgun, it doesn’t get any additional benefits the way an Enforcer Boltgun does, but in fairness it is still pretty good. The reliability of the auto-hitting teardrop template at a relatively low price is a great tool to have. Unfortunately, although the Enforcers’ price is slightly discounted from the TP version, it has been FAQ clarified as a different weapon, meaning it cannot use Firestorm Rounds, the best additional ammo type in the game, which transforms the generic combat shotgun into a Heavy Flamer with Suspensors. You will want 1-2 of these shotguns in any patrol to inflict mass pinning, and if you’re lucky some casualties, on the enemy, but you will find their actual killing power is highest in the early campaign, and falls off as opponents Advance their Toughness and buy armour upgrades. Rating: B+

Sniper Rifle: this is very similar to a Long Rifle, with Rending (not a bad little rule, extra Damage on 6s to Wound). It’s usable to 48”, gaining an accuracy bonus >24”, which makes it the premier option in the gang for truly long-ranged firepower. That will either be a great capability or a bit of a waste, depending on what sort of tables you play on, and we can’t emphasise enough how much those terrain realities will impact your enjoyment of the weapon. If you rock up to your friends’ coffee table and play 2×2’ Zone Mortalis games every week, even if you think snipers are cool, don’t bother! If you commonly use a misappropriated 40k table at your FLGS or club, then go nuts. Just remember that it’s only D1, so unless you can cunningly set up Knockback shots, you won’t often be doming Champions in one shot, unless Rending kicks in. Rating: B, higher if you play on big open tables. 

Credit: Greg Chiasson

Subjugator Weapons

Vigilance Assault Shield. Awesome name, awesome kit. This thing is really half armour, as gone through above, its stacking with the Layered Flak Armour and Armoured Undersuit is the greater part of its usefulness. But it is a weapon, meaning not only can you use it to hit people in close combat, if you want to use it as one of dual weapons (to claim the +1 Attack bonus) you must allocate half your attacks to it. It gives no bonuses to Accuracy, Strength or AP, so this is a double edged sword (or shield – sorry not sorry). My Subjugator Capt charges an enemy. He has 2A, +1 for charging, +1 for dual weapons – 4A. He has to take 2 attacks with the Assault Shield, leaving only 2 for the fancy Power Sword he bought at the Trading Post last week. It would probably be better to swing 3 times with the Power Sword, as he would do if he’d left his shield at home. Unfortunately, most players and Arbitrators would agree that if you don’t use the Shield as a weapon, you can’t claim its protective benefits in melee.

The one upside of the VA Shield as a weapon is it has Knockback, so by rolling high on the hit roll, you can push your opponent back, either gaining Damage or moving them out of engagement and thus unable to make Reaction Attacks without Versatile weapons. Remember that using a Knockback weapon in melee does give you the option to ‘follow up’, moving the 1” in pursuit of your target. This obviously keeps you in Engagement if the target survives, and you survive their Reaction attacks; it also gives you the chance to Coup de Grace if your hits subsequently wound them, pierce their saves and Seriously Injure them. There are a lot of times when you’d rather some enemies stayed Engaged with your Subjugator, who remember has a 2+ Save against melee attacks in his front arc.

As armour more than as a weapon, the Vigilance Assault Shield is the iconic piece of kit for Subjugators, and realistically all of yours will end up with one, unless you are carrying a heavy weapon and your group won’t let you trade in the starting Stub Gun. Rating: A, basically mandatory.

Shock Stave: Versatile is a very, very useful trait for Melee weapons. It essentially lets you use melee Attacks at close quarters without actually entering enemies’ Engagement range, so you’re not locked in place (to be fair, neither are your opponents) or risking Reaction Attacks. Compared to shooting at very close range, this means you can swing a couple times, at least off the charge, while a Shooting attack is only ever one hit roll. The actual hitting power of the Shock Stave isn’t that great unfortunately – you can batter the odd 1W, poorly armoured fighter, and mitigate the risk by using Versatile against your targets, but you won’t be taking down tougher enemies with this. Rating: B, usable but uninspiring. 

Shock Baton: Even more anaemic than the Shock Stave, without any of the Versatile utility. A piss poor melee weapon and overpriced at 30 credits. Parry is a nice rule, but there are TP options that have it which are also excellent melee weapons for the same price! Rating: C- (at best). 

Subjugator Grenade Launcher: a ‘normal’ Grenade Launcher costs 65 credits and is widely agreed to be an excellent budget special weapon. This is partly because of the Blast & Knockback rules (see Concussion Carbine above) on Frag grenades, but it’s also because of how punchy Krak Grenades are. My group often finds that unless you can catch multiple targets in one blast, or the only realistic chance to hit is by using the blast to avoid Cover penalties, we default to firing Krak Grenades. The Strength, AP and Damage are too good to pass up. The 50-credit Subjugator Grenade Launchers do not include Krak Grenades, you have to pay 35 credits extra. Now at 85 credits, Grenade Launchers aren’t so great. 

The difference is you get Stun Grenades. Hmmm. S2, AP-1 grenades with Concussion. They also have a 3” blast, as per the FAQ. That’s a great little special rule, which you can get on a cheaper Carbine which is also S3 for actually damaging enemies. You’re only going to fire these if there’s some specific reason (usually Photon Flash related) to reduce enemy Initiative, otherwise you’d fire a Frag. Just buy Photon Flash grenades for the launcher for 15 credits (see the grenades entry for how these work). Now I’m blinding perps from 24” away. Rating: B with just Frag/Stun; B+ (fine but overpriced) with Frag/Krak; A- with Photon Flash.

Heavy Concussion Ram: Please note that this weapon has a 3” blast – in the initial Book of Judgement release (and maybe in your copy now) it lacks that crucial info, you have to look in the FAQ. Makes a world of difference, because as noted, Blast weapons rock. However, this weapon, while not Unwieldy, does take up two weapon slots, and it costs 70 creds. For that budget, you get S4 over the carbine’s S3, and you get much better range, shooting to 30” and accurate within 15”. We’re lukewarm on this. If you play on bigger tables, it clearly has a use. But a Subjugator with this costs 150 credits, a Palanite with a Concussion Carbine costs 100. Rating: B-

SLHG Assault Ram. This is a weird one. For 90 credits, it’s a rather powerful Versatile melee weapon, which includes a grenade launcher. Unlike the regular Subjugator grenade launcher it has Frag and Choke grenades. The latter is a 3” blast Gas attack – it doesn’t pin, but a failed Toughness test causes targets to roll an Injury dice, circumventing armour and Wounds. Really not too bad a capability to have. As a melee tool, it’s the punchiest in your arsenal – S+2, AP-1, D2, with the useful Knockback and Pulverise rules. All the good points about Versatile (see Shock Staves above) apply. It’s still kind of an awkward weapon. It’s a lot of melee investment for models with 1A at 4+WS (ie everyone except your Capt). It takes 2 weapon slots, so RAW you can’t use it with a shield, unless your group lets you drop your starting Stub Gun and it’s awkward to model with a shield; some groups may object on WYSIWYG or ‘realism’ grounds, as it doesn’t look intended for use with a shield. This is an issue, because that means using one of your most expensive/dangerous models with less protection than the lesser threats around it. That said, it’s the best way outside the Trading Post to make a truly threatening melee Captain, who would have a usable medium-long range shooting attack as well. Rating: B

Stub Guns and Dum-Dum Rounds. We commonly see new players add Dum-Dum Rounds to their starting Stub Guns. This is not a great use of your credits, our advice is really to save up for equipment that makes more of a difference – a Stub Gun is still a Stub Gun, does the bump to S4 make that huge a difference, especially if you’re sacrificing accuracy to do it? Perhaps if you are using a Patrolman without any better ranged weapons, to make up the numbers and run interference. But in that case the whole point is to save credits and just use the extra body on the table. Rating: B+ for Stub Guns, they’re free after all, B- for Dum-Dum Rounds

Autopistols and Special Ammo. Many gangs can make a reasonable choice between Stub Guns and Autopistols, but when you get the former for free, why would you ever pay full price to upgrade to the latter? The Manstopper (S4) and Fragmentation (-1AP) Rounds get top marks for coolness, but either is an additional 10 credits on top of the Autopistol, and you lose them permanently on failing an Ammo Roll. These upgrades can’t compete with the excellent Basic/Special weapons that Palanites get, and on Subjugators, since you are probably wielding an Assault Shield you want an actual melee weapon to accompany that. Rating: C+

Enforcers can access Shooting skills, which opens up Gunfighter builds with two pistols. This is very thematic if you want to convert a loose cannon detective (sorry, Scrutinator) who doesn’t play by the rules and jumps through the air while firing two guns and screaming. That might even be tempting under the impression that you’re accessing a starting ‘build’ for a Leader/Champion without spending many credits. But ultimately the pistols in the Enforcer Armoury aren’t punchy enough to make a Gunfighter worthwhile. You’d have to go to the Trading Post, something we’ll come back to later.


Hardened Upgrades. Both types of Enforcer can buy ‘Hardened’ versions of their armour (Flak and Layered Flak). This reduces incoming AP by 1, to a minimum of -1. It’s sort of like an extra point on your Save, but only affects weapons with AP-2 or greater. That’s not terrible, especially on Subjugators, who are on such a good save already against low-AP weapons. It will only become massively relevant later in a campaign, high-AP weapons are expensive, so uncommon at the outset. But you’d have to consider it against the generic (Trading Post) armour upgrades available. For Palanites, we don’t recommend this upgrade because it’s outclassed by simply swapping to an armour that’s not Flak! Again, see the TP section. 


Photon Flash Grenades. Basically a flashbang to blind your opponent’s fighters, is both highly thematic, rather cheap, and extremely powerful. It has the short range of all grenades, but it is a 5” blast. When they hit, you are forcing enemies to take Initiative tests to avoid losing their Activations. So of course they are non-lethal, you are only delaying the enemy rather than taking them out. That will eventually be a problem, since you roll Ammo whenever you chuck a grenade and you can expect to run out after 1-2 uses per game. But they circumvent armour, Toughness and Wounds, as well as many special protective rules. So it’s a way that any Enforcer, for the low price of 15 credits, can (temporarily) neutralise the beefiest Goliath Forge Tyrant or rampaging Brute. Of course the usefulness will be less against gangs with good Initiative (or enemies wearing Photo-Goggles, which adds +1 to their roll). You can increase the odds by smashing the enemy with Concussion weapons before chucking the Photon Flash, for -2 Initiative. We cannot recommend these things highly enough. It is a good idea to scatter them liberally around the patrol. I especially like them on melee Subjugators. Your Palanites have a job to do already firing their awesome ranged weapons. The Subjugators don’t necessarily want to charge forward, not if the enemy is actually good at melee – much better to stand back and chuck Photons, you can move forward and take some unconscious perps into custody after they’re seriously injured. Rating: A, one of the best tools in the game against hard targets.

Infra Sights. These are an excellent improvement to any powerful weapon, except they can’t be put on any Rapid Fire or Blast weapons. So their use for Enforcers’ ‘house’ weapons is restricted to sniper rifles. That’s fluffy and cool, but paying 40 credits to improve the accuracy of a 35 credit weapon which isn’t especially punchy is a luxury purchase. Consider these after you’re happy with your weapons and armour, and remember to weigh them against the other weapon attachments in the Trading Post. Rating: B

Magnacles. All Enforcers carry these for free, as noted in the FAQ. You can use them by making a Fight (Basic) Action, or as part of a Charge instead of fighting. Essentially the target makes an Initiative check, if they fail they cannot move, make ranged attacks, and can only make melee attacks at -2 to hit. They can only break free with a Double Action and a difficult roll (equal to or under Strength on 2d6). This is obviously pretty strong against models that are great in melee but have poor Initiative. What’s not entirely clear is if successfully using Magnacles on a target prevents them from making Reaction Attacks back, or if (as would be our interpretation) they can make them at -2 to hit. Magnacles are a strong, situational alternative to fighting that all your Enforcers have for free. Rating: A,probably wouldn’t ever buy them, but hey, they’re free!

Credit: Games Workshop


Palanite Drill

The Enforcers’ unique skill tree is available to all of their fighter types as Primary, and there are two great skills here:

  • Got Your Six. This skill lets you interrupt enemy charges against a friendly model, taking an immediate shot at them and stopping the charge entirely if you at least pin them. This is a more focussed version of Overwatch (see below) – it only works against Charge actions specifically, so will only frequently come up against gangs that are including significant close combat threats. On the other hand, it does not require the skill-user to be Ready, or remove that Ready marker if they have one. So unlike Overwatch, where you give up your Activation for a single Shoot Action at the right time, with Got Your Six you aren’t giving anything up. This is damn powerful and ideal for punchy mid to close range shooters. It will be intensely frustrating for melee-heavy gangs trying to get into combat with you, if you position models with this skill correctly. Rating: A
  • Threat Response. This is a very similar skill but in melee version – when an opposing fighter charges a friendly one, you can counter-charge them, and fight before they do! Hardcase Cyber Mastiffs start with this skill. As well as acting before your opponent, always a good thing, remember that by getting a second model into the combat before dice are rolled, you will usually be gaining Assistance and inflicting Interference (+/-1 to melee Hit rolls). But of course, as with all melee fighting in Necromunda, you need to be better at fighting than your opponent to justify the risk. Declaring that a Hardcase Cyber-Mastiff, or Subjugator Sgt, is using this skill to interrupt an Escher Juve’s charge is a nice move. Doing so against a kitted out Delaque Nachtghul or Goliath Stimmer is foolhardy, unless you are very lucky and take them out immediately, you’re just feeding them more of your models to carve up. Unlike Got Your Six, this skill does require a Ready marker which you give up to use it. So it requires more care in positioning and the order you declare activations in. Also note that this is the only specifically melee-leaning skill Enforcers can pick. Rating: A-

One other skill is worth mentioning:

  • Team Work: This is functionally identical to the Leadership skill Commanding Presence. Lets you activate an additional model in Group Activations. Group Activations are a powerful way to get the drop on your opponent once gangs are in full contact with each other, so it’s not bad. Just be aware that making full use of Group Activations (for any gang) is a really fine art. It requires you to stay clumped together in a way that makes you vulnerable to blasts and templates (how much do you really trust your flak armour?) and while it may let you activate more fighters before your opponent, it then causes you to run out of activations sooner in the round, leaving your opponent to take some final moves you can’t respond to. RATING: B

The others are more or less crap:

  • Helmawr’s Justice: Roll twice on the lasting injury table when the skill-bearer performs a Coup de Grace, and pick one. This is a terrible skill, as it does zero to get you closer to performing the CdG in the first place. The only argument in favour of this skill is an extra chance for a memorable death for a credit bounty in the Law and Misrule campaign. It’s not even Win More, it’s just a recipe to lose friends. RATING: D
  • Non-Verbal Comms: The bearer of this skill can use a double action to trigger a Cool check on a friendly model within 6” to have a 360° vision arc for the remainder of the round. This is.. bad. We’re not quite sure how a skill with this many trigger restrictions can possibly be attached to a result this minor. Facings are not very significant in Necromunda. You could ensure a vulnerable Subjugator can use their shield in any direction, or that a model which might get charged doesn’t have to turn to face in melee. Those are really pretty minor benefits, and you need to give up a Double Action (on one of your better fighters) and there’s a pretty big chance it won’t even work? Why? Like some other crap skills in Necromunda, there’s barely any imaginable situation that you would use this instead of just moving, shooting, fighting or in any other way addressing the threat. RATING: F
  • Restraint Protocols: Giving an Enforcer this skill allows them to restrain a seriously injured opponent in lieu of a Coup de Grace, giving your end of game capture check a +1 for each opponent restrained in this manner. Capturing an enemy allows you to ransom them back to their owner at whatever price you set or to sell them to the guilders for a percentage of their credit value, which is always great for a quick payday.  This action also puts the target Out of Action (clarified in the FAQ). So this is really a campaign layer skill, it won’t help you win games but may offer some monetary advantages. It depends how your group feels about Capturing as a rule. The chance to sell enemy fighters is nice, especially if your group tends to barter them back to the owner for credits/concessions immediately. But the owning player has the right to force the captor to play the Rescue mission. Which offers a good chance, as long as the gang ratings aren’t too far apart, to give the captor a hell of a kicking and probably get the captive back as well. RATING: C


Perhaps the best skill tree in the game, this has a lot of great choices for Enforcers fighters, which complement their good special and basic weapon choices, but work equally well with Trading Post weapons. It is available to Captains, Sergeants and Patrolmen specialists as Primary (but not at all to Rookies):

  • Fast Shot. If you’re in position to shoot, shooting twice is obviously great. Bear in mind that even your Capt and Sgts have a starting BS4+, not Van Saar’s infamous BS2+, so it’s not quite the same. This skill is still straightforwardly powerful, especially since you can access good weapons that aren’t Scarce or a 6+ Ammo Roll. Rating: A
  • Trick Shot. My personal favourite, this basically equates to +1BS in most situations. A major reliability boost throughout a campaign. Rating: A
  • Gunslinger. Enables some fun with 2 pistols. Probably better if you really lean into it with Plasma Pistols from the Trading Post, wielding Stub Guns akimbo isn’t going to scare anyone. Rating: B-, would be better if Enforcers had natural equipment for it.
  • Hip Shooting. This is a powerful skill because it enables shots when your opponent thinks they’re safe. Best of all with auto-hitting teardrop template, since they avoid the -1 to-hit penalty. In the Enforcers’ arsenal, the Enforcer Shotgun is the only such weapon, and it does well in the early campaign. If you swing by the Trading Post, this skill pairs very nicely with a normal Combat Shotgun with Firestorm Ammunition, or with a Webber. Rating: B, moving up to an A if you invest in the right weapon for it. 
  • Marksman. Double damage on a 6 to hit, and ignore target priority tests – this is good, but not quite as reliable as some other options in this tree. Rating: B
  • Precision Shot: Ignore all saves on a 6 to hit – again, good, but not as good as some other choices. Rating: B


This skill tree has 2 particularly useful skills for Enforcers:

  • Overwatch. A popular reactive skill, very similar to Got Your Six from the Palanite Drill tree. It does require (and cost you) a Ready marker, but you can interrupt and shoot at any activating model, not just one making a Charge action. Which of these skills you take is down to how much melee fighters are a threat in your own group. Rating: A
  • Infiltrate. Deploy after all other models, anywhere not visible to the enemy and not within 6” of them. This skill opens up a lot of options, provided you aren’t using such wide open tables that you can’t find anywhere to deploy out of sight (and you shouldn’t be). It is most commonly used to get destructive short range weapons or melee fighters into range, but that runs the risk of the user being isolated and destroyed in turn. We only advise using Infiltrate aggressively if you have a fighter geared up enough to inflict a devastating blow. It can also be used to seize safer, longer range firing positions, which is great for some Sergeants. 

The other big use of Infiltrate is to seize objectives. Lots of Necromunda scenarios involve gangs starting either end of a table, and interacting with an objective or objectives placed in the middle. If you can be there at the start, the game is halfway won. Be cautious with this, not because it’s not effective, but because the skill sort of breaks these scenarios. After the first time or two, your friends might fairly object to losing simply because you can be running away with that loot crate before they’ve even got near it.  Rating: B+

Credit: Greg Chiasson

Overall Starting Gang Composition

Our advice in previous articles has always been ‘boys before toys’ with the aim of fielding 10 models, or close to it, in a starting gang. This is a stretch with Enforcers, especially if you want to use Subjugators. Because of their included gear, the base bodies are expensive (70 credits for a Palanite Patrolman, 80 for a Subjugator). The cheapest effective fighter you can get is a Palanite with Concussion Carbine, for 100 credits. Because of this, Enforcer gangs often include one or more fighters with a simple stub gun at the outset. These (relatively) cheap fighters let you have sufficient activations in early games. But as we’ve discussed in previous articles, what you really need in Necromunda is for each fighter to have one good weapon they can use to hurt the enemy. So don’t use too many at once, and have a plan to equip them after the first game, even if it means swapping models or playing some options as not WYSIWYG. It’s hard to get more than 7-8 models into a starting Enforcer patrol. 

Some example starting gangs:

The Palanite Firing Squad

If you only have access to Palanite models, say because you only bought that one box, it makes sense to focus your starting gang on shooting. Bear in mind the 10-model kit comes with options for 4 boltguns or shotguns, but only 2 concussion carbines and 2 sniper rifles, so some proxying may be needed. 

Palanite Captain: boltgun, Got Your Six – 190 credits

Palanite Sergeant: boltgun, Trick Shot – 150

Palanite Sergeant: boltgun, Fast Shot – 150

Palanite Patrolman: concussion carbine – 100

Palanite Patrolman: concussion carbine – 100

Palanite Patrolman: concussion carbine – 100

Palanite Patrolman: sniper rifle – 105

Palanite Patrolman: sniper rifle – 105

Total: 1000 credits, 8 models

Flexible Mix

Here we can use a mix of Subjugator models, to lay the groundwork for a passable melee Captain and some resilient models, and Palanites for fire support. This isn’t as good in the first game of a campaign as the purely shooting-focussed Palanites above, but it will give you more variety and options to develop during a campaign:

Subjugator Captain: shock stave, vigilance assault shield, Threat Response – 215 credits

Palanite Sergeant: sniper rifle, Overwatch – 135

Palanite Sergeant: boltgun, Fast Shot – 150

Subjugator Patrolman: vigilance assault shield, photon flash grenades – 135

Subjugator Patrolman: vigilance assault shield, photon flash grenades – 135

Palanite Patrolman: concussion carbine – 100

Palanite Patrolman: boltgun – 120 

Palanite Patrolman: sniper rifle – 105

Total: 990 credits, 7 models


Do you think Subjugators are rad? Do you have little regard for common sense and a righteous fury to nightstick the revolting subjects of Lord Helmawr? Is your gaming group a long way from competitive? Try roleplaying an all-Subjugator battalion!

Subjugator Captain: vigilance assault shield, Team Work – 190 credits

Subjugator Sergeant: vigilance assault shield, subjugator grenade launcher, Overwatch – 200

Subjugator Sergeant: vigilance assault shield, subjugator grenade launcher, Fast Shot – 200

Subjugator Patrolman: vigilance assault shield, photon flash grenades – 135

Subjugator Patrolman: vigilance assault shield, photon flash grenades – 135

Subjugator Patrolman: vigilance assault shield, photon flash grenades – 135

Total: 995 credits, 6 models

Developing your Patrol through the Campaign

As outlined in previous articles, a priority for any Necromunda gang is to get to 10+ members, so you’re not outnumbered in large-crew scenarios; but not too far above, because then you are diluting your strength for scenarios with smaller crews. Make sure everyone has a punchy weapon, then invest in armour. Get a brute, get Hardcase Cyber-Mastiffs to stack on top of your fighters, get some income-producing hangers-on to improve your economic situation.

Trading Post Options

Many guides to Necromunda gangs focus on Gang Creation, and thus on the initial lists of available weapons. We can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes to use the full gamut of options in the wider Trading Post. When people say that a given gang has access to X good weapons, well, in most cases, everyone has access to those weapons, they just have to take a post-battle action and relatively easy rarity roll to buy them. Enforcers are more flexible than most gangs at time of writing – all of their fighters can use external weapons. Again, you may want to discuss that with your group, since House gangs don’t have this luxury for Gangers or Juves, and it may change in a future book or FAQ update.

But for now, there are a lot of powerful weapons available to Enforcers. The most straightforward advantage is that you can go ham with powerful Special/Heavy weapons. Bigger guns are one of the most cost-effective ways to spend creds in Necromunda. Plasma guns, melta guns, heavy bolters – the world is your oyster. You can also spend on Enforcers’ armour – they start out with more investment in this than most gangs, but it can easily be improved. Here are some suggestions for adding effective, thematic weapons to Enforcer gangs:

Heavy Weapons

Enforcers’ long range (>24”) firepower in their armoury is restricted to Sniper Rifles and the Heavy Concussion Ram. If you play on big open tables, there is a lot of value in classic long-range Heavy Weapons, although they are expensive, and being Unwieldy practically require an additional upgrade, Suspensors for 60 credits, to work well. Heavy Stubbers are useful, but the Heavy Bolter is a lot meaner (although it will run out of ammo sooner or later). Missile Launchers, Autocannons and Lascannons can all be converted for Enforcer models and are worth using. The fearsome Multi-Melta, which is more mid-range since it’s usable to 24” and terrifying within 12”, is probably the deadliest weapon in the game.

Variety of Basic Weapons

There’s a lovely piece of special ammo for regular shotguns in Necromunda – Executioner Rounds. These S4, AP-2, D2 weapons, with an accuracy bonus at 4-16”, have been in the background for years, as seeking rounds used by the Adeptus Arbites. How are they not an option for Enforcers!? Fix this injustice by buying a shotgun and Executioner rounds (total cost 50 credits) for one of your fighters today. 

The Trading Post is also a good way to give Subjugators some punchier ranged weapons. First of all, the generic Grenade Launcher with Frag/Krak (65 creds) is a better value weapon than the Subjugator version with Frag/Stun. It would also be cool to have Subjugators with Combat Shotguns (with Firestorm Ammunition!), Boltguns or even Storm Bolters – all would look awesome being fired around an Assault Shield. 

World Wide Web

I think the Webber, a weapon designed to non-lethally incapacitate groups of enemies, should have been a weapon available to the cops. Obviously the fact it’s one of the most effective weapons in the game is just a coincidence. Ignoring armour and circumventing Wounds and the Injury Dice, Webbers are infuriatingly good. As an auto-hitting template weapon, they go great on Rookies or on Sgts with Infiltrate. I don’t think they would be as easy to convert and make look good, but Web Pistols and Web Gauntlets are also great.

Melee Options

As discussed above, Subjugators have a great armour save in melee combat, but their hitting power isn’t up to scratch. Enough credits can solve that problem. One themed option for a Captain is a Power Sword. It hits hard and Parry can help avoid hits, even from other Power weapons that would threaten to breach your armour. At the prestige end of the spectrum, there are Imperium-friendly options like the Thunder Hammer which hit incredibly hard. That sort of spending is hard to justify for your ham-handed Sgts or Patrolmen, but how about a humble Power Maul? At 30 credits for S+2, AP-1, D1, but with the excellent Power rule, these compare very favourably to the Shock weapons in your armoury. They lack Versatile but have a much better chance at putting opponents down. I personally love the look of the spiked-head Imperium power maul (there are some good bits available from Genestealer Cult kits) and wish they had been an option in the Enforcer armoury. Chain Swords or Axes are of course great value, as are most of the Corpse Grinder weapons, although you’re straying further from the law-enforcement theme there.


Mesh Armour is one of the best values in Necromunda, and you should at least consider swapping your Palanites into it, even though they get Flak Armour for free. Subjugators’ Layered Flak Armour is a bit better already – and it’s available from the Trading Post for 20 credits! An Enforcer gang can always consider buying Layered Armour for its Palanites. As well as being fairly effective, this opens up some cool modelling possibilities, using the beefy Subjugator models as Palanites and giving them Enforcer Boltguns, Shotguns and other cool toys. It’s a shame it costs 20 credits when upgrading a Palanite to a Subjugator normally costs 10, but that’s a fair price to pay to retain access to the good ranged options in the armoury. 

Down the line, Carapace Armour (Light and Heavy) is rather high priced option in Necromunda. It’s highly thematic for Enforcers but most patrols will struggle to fit it onto every fighter, and could find themselves outclassed by competing gangs who simply bought good guns. Field Armour is worth looking into late in a campaign when opponents start to accumulate a lot of high-AP weapons. Reflec Shrouds (30 credits from the Black Market) are one of the best armours in the game if you face a lot of las/plas/melta weapons. It gives a 5+ save, but counts all such weapons as AP ‘-’. This is a good way to end friendships with Van Saar players, so maybe speak to your Arbitrator.

We have seen several new Enforcer players ask for advice and be told that Ablative Overlays are a great way to make their patrol effective. Seriously, we advise all Necromunda groups to either ignore these items or house-rule them in some way – they are very effective, they’re too effective, if you don’t curtail their use they become omnipresent and very annoying.

Other Wargear.

You already get pretty much all the grenades you need (Photon Flash) from your armoury. Obviously Incendiary, Blasting and Demo Charges are all great, if not particularly fluffy for Enforcers. Weapon sights are useful, I get a lot of value from a simple Telescopic Sight (25 credits) for a Boltgun, or a Concussion Carbine. But those are luxuries to consider after you’ve got enough weapons. 

They’re kind of weird, and not as good as the wonderful Hardcase Cyber-Mastiffs, but Grapple-Hawks could be a very cool, interesting conversion for Enforcers.  

Converted Squat Enforcers. Credit: Fowler

Final Thoughts

Enforcers bring a slightly unique approach to the Underhive. Although their stats are far from elite, Palanites have excellent weapons available and Subjugators have excellent armour. They have the capability to be an absolute force in the beginning and middle of a campaign. If you’re not forced to play Dominion campaigns with your hands tied, or to abide by the 0-2 limit on your Champions, Enforcers can still keep up with the House gangs later on, but they need to make smart use of the Trading Post to compare to other gangs’ special Champions and extra mechanics. With their access to good skills, equipment and helpful cyber-mastiffs, they can be one of the scariest gangs in a campaign.

Have any questions or comments about Enforcers? Want our opinion on adding them to your campaign? Want to share photos of your rad Enforcer gang with us for us to feature in a future article? Feel free to start a conversation with us in the comments, hit us up on Facebook, or email us at We’d love to hear your thoughts about Enforcers or the Book of Judgement or whatever else! We’ll be back next week with another Necromunday column, so make sure to check back. Thanks for reading, now get out there and indiscriminately stomp some bad guys, rookie!