Necromunday: Houses of the Underhive – Delaque

All right, Scummers, it’s time to take a look at post-House of Shadows Delaque! They’re sneaky, stabby, webby, and…tentacle-y in their newest iteration. If you’ve always wanted to take out a whole slew of charging Goliaths with sticky webs that contain nerve poison, then read on!

Legitimate businessmen, negotiating terms.  (Credit: Games Workshop)

House of Shadows has been out for a little while now, and the Delaque gang has inherited a plethora of new and interesting options for Underhive combat. We’re talking a whole new system of psychic powers, excellent new melee options, and a giant, flying, robotic squid! There’s a lot to digest here, so let’s dive in and see what we’ve got!

Right off the bat, veteran Delaque players will notice that their gang has lost access to Shooting skills. Before you all lose your minds, this isn’t the worst thing possible! Instead they’ve gained increased access to Savant and Agility skills, which are both powerful skill trees with tons of usability. So don’t fret, and read on!

Case in point; they’re already behind you.  (Credit: Simon Westlake)


  • Excellent Champions: Phantoms and Nacht-Ghuls are standout fighters. Phantoms have access to great gear and very good skills, and Nacht-Ghuls are among the best melee fighters in the game.
  • Deployment Shenanigans: The Infiltrate skill and Nacht-Ghuls’ innate deployment chicanery mean that a Delaque gang can quickly be all up in their opponents’ faces with some mean template weapons and very strong melee. It can be a lot to deal with!
  • Strong Pistols and Special Weapons: With great options in each category, Delaque gangs can come to the battle with strong optionality and a ton of effective tricks.
  • Giant, Flying, Robotic Squid: The Delaque house brute is disgusting. It hits like a sledgehammer and is priced to move, baby! You’ll want to pick up one of these big, wiggly things ASAP, as they will completely dominate whatever combat they get into.


  • Weak Basic Weapons: Don’t look to Delaque gangers to do much more than occasionally pin their enemies. Leaders, champs, and brutes do the heavy lifting in this gang.
  • Bad Prospects: Psy-Gheists are a big swing and a miss. They’re supposed to be “the psychic character” but they have willpower 8+, meaning they will fail to get their powers off more than they will succeed. Additionally, their cool wargear upgrade nearly triples the cost of a 1-Wound character, and is unfortunately a waste of credits. Also, their weapon options stink.
  • Few Long-Range Options: Effective long-range shooting in this gang includes plasma guns, long rifles, and…that’s it. You’ll have to get up close and personal with a Delaque gang and…
  • Outclassed in Short-Range Firefights, Long-Range Firefights, and Melee: Orlocks, Enforcers, and Cawdor have access to better basics, more templates, and tankier skills. Goliaths, Corpse Grinders, and Escher will batter Delaque in combat, and Van Saar, Orlocks, and Escher have better long-range options. Delaque exist on a razor’s edge, where a misstep or a bad roll can doom your gang to defeat. It’s best to exploit their innate sneakiness with Delaque, as a fair fight probably won’t go your way!

Impossibly, the masks make Delaque even creepier.  (Insta: apollinaire_minis)

Gang Comp

Masters of Shadow

The Delaque Leaders are versatile models with 3+ in both WS and BS. Their House weapons don’t include any truly powerful Basic weapons, but good Special choices and one good melee option (the Web Gauntlet). With Agility, Cunning and Leadership as skill options, the Master of Shadow is really the same thing as any of the Phantoms. Agility skills might open up some options (Spring Up is fairly reliable with a base 3+ Initiative, but a Nacht-Ghul will outdo a Master as a melee specialist), but most players would probably build theirs to take advantage of a special weapon. Building yours as a credit-saving option with Overseer is therefore understandable (and quite in-character for the Delaque). The other unique selling point is their facility for using Psychoteric Whispers with their Willpower of 5+.

  • Recommended equipment: Web gauntlet, mesh armor + armored undersuit, plasma pistol or gun, melta gun.


The ‘ordinary’ champion, Phantoms are a good deal for their price. They can take all the best special weapons and access Cunning skills like Infiltrate or Overwatch to make use of them. Most gangs would naturally build their Phantom(s) as special weapon platforms, or possibly keep them cheap (a Long Rifle is a good idea here) and use their Savant skills to build campaign momentum. There is nothing holding them back from melee except how spectacularly the Nacht-Ghul overshadows them in that area. A Phantom with a Web Gauntlet and/or a powerful pistol is as good as any other gang’s non-specialist champion melee options, but it isn’t the best melee fighter House Delaque can boast, by a long shot.

  • Recommended equipment: Web gauntlet, mesh armor + armored undersuit, plasma pistol or gun, melta gun, web gun.


Nacht-Ghuls do one thing: they pop up in the dark and scrag anyone you point them at. They have upgraded Movement, WS, Strength and Initiative over the Phantoms (and downgraded Intelligence, as if anyone cares) along with access to powerful melee weapons, and a special deployment option which lets them prey on your opponent’s most vulnerable points. We are big fans of gangs deploying both shooting and melee capability, and would heavily consider including a Nacht-Ghul in any gang from the output. It just gives you a very capable guided missile into melee. They also retain Group Activation (unlike the elite melee specialist champs of Houses Escher & Goliath), although that may not always be useful if they use their special deployment to pop up away from the rest of your gang. Nacht-Ghuls are not any tougher than a normal Phantom and their House equipment list doesn’t include any extraordinary protective gear, so consider a trip to the Trading Post to buy some extra gear for them. Such a deadly fighter, going right into the thick of things, is going to get targeted frequently! However, they can take grapnel launchers in their equipment list, and are a prime candidate for such an item, as yeeting a melee character around the battlefield in this way is both awesome and terrifying.

  • Recommended equipment: Serpent’s fangs, Shiver sword, mesh armor, grapnel launcher.

Both Champion options can take Psychoteric Whispers, but Delaque players might see some reduced returns if investing in those for carriers of expensive special or melee weapons. At the end of the day, it takes Actions to use those sweet psychic shenanigans, so you wouldn’t be using those Actions to move, shoot or charge and get the benefit from your other upgrades.


House Delaque (damn their greasy bald heads) benefit from a very well-rounded and competitively priced ‘basic ganger’ profile on their Ghosts. By which our embittered Orlock players mean they’re the same as Orlocks, but cheaper and with better Cool, for some reason. The conventional wisdom is that a Ghost is a very good deal over a Shadow. These fighters have the more basic of the Basic Weapons with no discounts, a worse situation than in some gangs, but they do have access to some powerful pistols (Grav, Plasma and Web) which can make them pseudo-special weapon carriers, while actual Specialists can access most of the really good special weapons in the game.

  • Recommended equipment: Autogun or lasgun, grav pistol, web pistol, web gun (Specialist).


Similarly to House Orlock, their Juves, Shadows, have reduced BS & WS, as well as the mental stats, in return for increased Movement and Initiative. You might consider the Juves as meatshields, to run ahead and Coup de Grace injured enemy fighters, or to chuck smoke grenades, but there’s not much reason to take them unless you simply can’t bear to roll random advances. Note that Shadows have a Skills table which states they can take Cunning Skills as their only Primary skill set, but also that “a Delaque Shadow may not gain additional skills”. Opinion is split as to what on earth the rules mean, most groups in our experience do allow Shadows to take Cunning skills, but it’s worth discussing with your Arbitrator before a campaign starts.

  • Recommended equipment: Web pistol, autopistol.

Neither of these fighter types can take Psychoteric Whispers, but remember they will increase the potency of your actual Psykers just by being positioned nearby!


The Delaque Prospects cost more than either Ghosts or Shadows, which seems odd until you realise they are already Psykers, starting with a Psychoteric Whisper option. They have the stats of a Shadow except for a 4+WS stat, and they are limited to pistols and close combat weapons from the Trading Post/Black Market (and on their House list, with the exception of Throwing Knives). This clearly points to a fighter geared for melee, which seems odd when their 2 close combat options in their House List are the Digi Laser (lol) and Stiletto Knife (ok). Then you realise the expensive Psychomancer’s Harness equipment includes some gnarly melee weapons in the form of Paired Psychomantic Claws, as well as a 2” movement boost and some ability to ignore terrain. So basically the intended uses for a Psy-Gheist are as a melee option or a Psyker. Let’s talk about melee first.

Investing 110 credits for melee gear on a 1-Wound, 1-Attack fighter is not the most competitive option (see the wargear section for more on the Harness itself) but it’s the only piece of wargear that gives any unique reason to use the Psy-Gheist for melee. A basic stiletto, or most any Trading Post melee option, isn’t particularly impactful on a Psy-Gheist. They will not be your go-to melee monsters when you have Nacht-Ghuls available. That said, every gang needs some guys to run in and kick the enemy when they’re down, at least you get 6” Movement and 4+WS in one package. But given their cost already includes psychic ability, which you can’t use if you spend your activations charging in for a Coup de Grace, we don’t really encourage melee-focussed Psy-Gheists unless you’re going all in on the Harness.

As Psykers, the benefit of Psy-Gheists is their ability to take Psychoteric Wyrms, which are the best way to extend some very powerful Whisper effects to a usable range (if a power can cripple an enemy fighter, but has a 1” range, there’s a clear issue using it – how come the caster or the target isn’t down already?), but those do cost 70 credits a pop. The problem with Psy-Gheists as Psykers is their starting Willpower of 8+. So you can invest a lot of credits into the ability to attempt a Whisper where you want it, but the effect will not actually manifest reliably until you’ve gained a few Advances.

  • Recommended equipment: Psychometric wyrm, cheap equipment. The harness is too expensive. Sorry.

Stand-Out Skills

Delaque have access to some really good skills! Cunning is one of the best skillsets out there, and their other main primaries are Agility, Savant, and Obfuscation, which we’ll break down more in a bit. But let’s take a look at some of the best skills that Delaque have access to.

  • Spring Up (Agility): Masters of Shadow have a 3+ Initiative, and Nacht-Ghuls have a sterling 2+ Initiative, so Spring Up is a fantastic pinning mitigation tool. It allows for a pinned fighter to pass an Initiative check to Stand Up as a free action, so obviously it’s useful for these fighters. Spring Up is honestly probably better than Nerves of Steel for pinning mitigation, as Pinned fighters have built-in protection from shooting, and is probably the top skill for Nacht-Ghuls, especially with their nascent deployment shenanigans.
  • Infiltrate (Cunning): Imagine starting the game with a friendly web gun within 6” of the enemy gang. Obviously, that’s a huge advantage. Additionally, Infiltrate is huge boon for melee fighters, so any web gauntlet characters can start off danger close, too.
  • Overwatch (Cunning): One of the most powerful tools in the Necromunda toolkit is interrupting an opponent’s activations. Overwatch is the one of two skills that can actually stop an opponent from continuing an activation and is thus one of the best skills in the game. Try using this skill with a Blast weapon to really end some friendships!
  • Munitioneer (Savant): Delaque use some really good weapons with some really bad ammo rolls, so Munitioneer is perfect if you’ve chosen to walk that line.
  • Fixer (Savant): Extra credits is never unappreciated. Fixer will give you 10-30 credits for every battle, just cuz. An excellent way to gain some campaign momentum.
  • Overseer (Leadership): Essentially, your leader skips their activation to allow a friendly target to activate twice. If you do a group activation with both your leader and the targeted model, they’ll be able to activate twice consecutively before the enemy can respond. It’s Overseer. It’s the strongest skill in the game. Whee. (Note: We’re openly salty about Overseer, and have toned it down in our campaigns in an attempt to foster skill diversity.)


Merton’s own Agents of R.I.M.E., who don’t quite appreciate the constant Mr.Freeze jokes.

Obfuscation Skills

Obfuscation skills were introduced in House of Shadows, and spoiler alert, they’re really good. Interestingly enough, Phantoms, Delaque’s standard champion type, are the only ones who get access to it as a Primary skill. So, we’re mainly going to be looking at these new skills through the lens of Phantoms.

  1. Faceless: Each round, until the fighter finishes their activation, enemy fighters must pass a Willpower check before attacking the Facless fighter. Obviously, this is an EXTREMELY strong skill. Stopping your fighter from even being targeted is an excellent way to keep them alive, almost guaranteeing them at least one activation per game.
  2. Psi-Touched: Reroll Willpower checks when attempting to use a Wyrd power or resisting a Wyrd power. Also, Ghast is always available at the Black market whenever this character visits it. If you’re specializing into psychometric whispers for your character, then this skill is a must-have. Phantoms have a 6+ Willpower, which is good, but a free re-roll is almost guaranteeing that each power will go off without a hitch.
  3. Take Down: When determining if fighters are captured at the end of the battle (if the gang that this fighter belongs to has won), instead of using the normal method for determining captives, roll a dice for each enemy fighter that this fighter took Out of Action by this fighter. On any 4+ results, the controlling player may decide to take that fighter captive. Only one fighter can be taken captive at the end of each battle. In a campaign, this is an extraordinary way to gain a ton of momentum. Captive fighters can be sold to the guilders, sold back to their owning gangs, and, of course, can trigger a Rescue mission scenario, which is generally one of the most fun battles you’ll play in any campaign. It would be best on a Nacht-Ghul, because they’ll always take out at least one enemy per game, but on a damage-dealing Phantom, you won’t go wrong with Take Down.
  4. Rumor-Monger: The fighter can take an Intelligence check after a battle. If they succeed, the opposing gang who just took part in the battle loses d3 Reputation, and the controlling player’s gang gains d3 Reputation. Honestly, this one’s kind of a miss. Reputation doesn’t actually matter all that much, so this one’s probably best to avoid.
  5. Fake Out: This gang can roll an extra dice when determining the scenario and choose which two to use. As we’ve discussed in many articles, there are some seriously unbalanced scenarios out there. With this skill, depending on how your campaign is choosing missions, you could potentially avoid bad ones or sneak your way into the good ones. In some cases, being the attacker or defender in a mission can guarantee a win or a loss, depending on the mission, so this skill could potentially be bonkers good. However, it might be hard to use, again, depending on how your group is selecting missions.
  6. Doppelganger: If the opposing gang’s leader fails an Intelligence check before the battle, this fighter’s gang may include an extra fighter in the game. On paper, this seems really good, but unfortunately, most gang’s leaders have Intelligence scores of 6+ or better. Cawdor and Van Saar leaders have 4+, and Orlock has 5+, so this skill is mostly useless against either gang. Goliath and Escher leaders have 7+, and Slave Ogryn leaders have 8+, meaning that this skill is more likely than not to pop off. So, unless your local group has lots of Escher, Goliath, or Ogryn gangs, this one’s not so great.

Psychoteric Whispers

Just like everyone else, Delaque get their own new suite of special rules. In this case, it’s access to a whole slew of brand-new psychic powers called psychoteric whispers. Masters of Shadow and Phantoms can be upgraded to have access to these powers when they’re initially purchased for 30 credits, and psy-gheists automatically come with access to them built in. Additionally, Masters of Shadow and Phantoms can spend 7 XP to gain access to these powers during a campaign, and this upgrade will increase their value by 30 credits. Either through credit or XP purchase, the fighter gets a new rule called Psychoteric Mastery which grants them access to one of the 3 psychometric disciplines and 1 power in their chosen discipline. The fighter can choose a new power during a campaign as if they would choose a new primary skill, either randomly or by choice. Additionally the psyker gets the Non-Sanctioned Psyker rule, which will give their opponents d3x10 credits after a battle if they can take this fighter out of action.

In an interesting corollary, nearby Delaque fighters can help supercharge psychometric whispers. For every standing and active friendly Delaque fighter within 3” the whisperer, the whisperer adds 1” to the range of the power they are using, up to a maximum of 3”. Additionally, those same nearby friendly fighters will cause the target of the psychometric to subtract 1 from their Intelligence rolls to attempt to resist the power, up to a maximum of -3.

There are 3 psychometric disciplines: Madness, Delusion, and Darkness. Madness messes with the opposing gang’s abilities and activations, Delusion can control fighters from the enemy gang, and Darkness provides defensive bonuses and allows the Delaque gang to do some sneaky stuff. With six powers in each discipline, it might be hard to choose which ones you want to use, so let’s take a look and see if we can decide which ones are worthwhile.

Right off the bat, the best powers are going to be ones that give an advantage in the action economy: stopping your opponent from taking actions with their fighters, giving you an edge. So, when choosing your powers, think about what will stop your opponent from doing what they want, and will allow you to take control of the round. Unfortunately, Darkness powers tend to fall short in this respect. Unless you’re trying to do something thematic, it’s probably best to avoid them.

Some of us are also quite sceptical about the efficiency of using these powers as opposed to using actions to injure the opposing gang. Inflicting conditions, moving enemy fighters, restricting their activations are all great moves, but you are using your own Actions to try this and against lesser fighters, sometimes a simple autopistol shot will be equally effective in neutralising them – don’t try and get too fancy. On the other hand, Psychoteric Whispers will excel against hard targets that are too armoured, Tough or multiple-Wounded to be directly taken out with your gang’s weapons.

A note on Intelligence: Most gangs have pretty average Intelligence scores, so any opposed whispers will generally have about a 50% hit rate. However, if your local group has a lot of Goliaths, Corpse Grinders, or Slave Ogryns, these gangs have a lot of poor-intelligence fighters who can easily be tricked by psychometric whispers. So go hog wild! However, if your local group has a lot of Orlock or Van Saar gangs, try and stick to unopposed powers, as these gangs are relatively high-intelligence.


  1. Existential Barrage (Simple): 1” range. Pick an enemy fighter, they take an Intelligence test or become Broken and immediately flee. If, after they’ve moved, there are any enemy fighters within 5”, those fighters must take a Nerve test or become Broken. 1” range is rough, but a simple action means you can do it twice per turn. If you’ve got enough friendly baldies or a psychometric wyrm, then this power can potentially be very powerful, as it could disrupt a ton of enemy fighters. Seems low-percentage, so this one may be best to avoid.
  2. Terrible Truths (Basic): 3” range. Pick an enemy fighter, they must take an Intelligence test or become Insane. Insanity can be extremely nasty, with a 2/3rds chance of the Insane fighter becoming Broken or turning against their own gang. However, short range and an opposed roll mean that this power might not be top tier.
  3. Psychotic Lure (Basic): 3” range. Choose an enemy with a ready marker. The opponent must activate this fighter in their next activation. This fighter cannot activate as part of a Group Activation. At first glance, this power might not seem like much, but if you can force your opponent to use their activations in a disadvantageous way, then you can potentially take control of a round. It will definitely take some thinking to get this one to work well, but when you get the hang of it, it could be one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox.
  4. Cyclopean Gaze (Double): 1” range. Choose an enemy with a ready marker. That fighter loses their ready marker. Obviously powerful, but the double activation and short range mean that your psyker is almost never moving and using this power, making it very hard to use without several assists or a psychoteric wyrm.
  5. Craven Howl (Basic), continuous effect: 5” range. Broken enemy fighters within range can’t attempt to Rally. The truth is that Broken fighters rarely end up near other fighters, especially from the other gang. Probably not worth it.
  6. Unremarkable Utterance (Simple), continuous effect: 3” range. While in effect, all enemy fighters within range can only perform 1 action during their activation. This power could be extremely powerful, especially when combined with a psychoteric wyrm, to shut down several enemy fighters. Especially since the wyrm is expendable!


  1. Spatial Psychosis (Simple): 12” range. Choose a standing enemy who is not Engaged. The fighter immediately becomes pinned. The go-to power to shut down enemy melee fighters. The excellent range and unopposed nature of the power add to its utility. You don’t even need a line of sight! Excellent!
  2. Seen Unseen (Basic), continuous effect: 3” range. Choose an enemy fighter, that fighter is considered an enemy fighter to the rest of their gang. Hyper-situational. Best used to turn off an aura or disable a Group Activation. Not awful, but again, hyper-situational.
  3. Ghost and Shadow (Basic): 10” range. Choose an enemy fighter, and immediately change the direction that they’re facing. Not sure what the point of this one is. Maybe disable an Unwieldy ranged weapon? Probably not a good choice.
  4. Deceitful Thoughts (Double): 5” range. Choose an enemy fighter. That fighter must take an Intelligence check. If they fail, the player controlling the whisperer may move the target fighter up to their move characteristic. The fighter cannot be moved off a ledge or into anything that might harm them. Opposed, but very useful. Probably not the best power of the bunch, but moving your opponent’s pieces is always good. However, the double action means that using this one might be difficult.
  5. Suicidal Embrace (Basic): 3” range. Choose an enemy fighter. That fighter must take an Intelligence check. If failed, then they immediately make an attack against themselves with one of their melee weapons. The attack auto hits, but must still roll to wound and inflict damage as normal. Obviously a great choice. The short range is somewhat limiting, but the idea of a Renderizer champ Elliot Smith-ing himself is undeniably hilarious. Great choice.
  6. Opprobrious Curse (Simple): 3” range. Choose an enemy fighter. That fighter takes a Toughness check. If failed, then the fighter takes a Flesh Wound. Unfortunately, Flesh Wounds don’t immediately incapacitate or slow down an enemy fighter unless they already have a whole bunch. Not going to help you with the action economy.


  1. Cacophony of Silence (Double), continuous effect: 5” range. All enemy fighters within range must re-roll successful ranged hit rolls. Can’t see this one getting a ton of return, especially with the double action. Avoid.
  2. Penumbral Mirror (Basic): 5” range. Choose one friendly fighter and one enemy fighter within range. Move the friendly fighter to any point within 5” of the enemy fighter, including base-to-base. It’s a good way to get a fighter into or out of combat, I guess. Seems low-utility.
  3. A Perfect Void (Basic), continuous effect: 10” range. While maintained, the fighter counts as being in full cover to any enemies within range. 10” isn’t a ton of range, and generally well within short range of any ranged weapons the enemy might have, potentially negating this effect.
  4. Eternal Slumber (Double): 3” range. All Seriously Injured enemy fighters immediately go out of action. Why don’t you just do a Coup de Grace? It’s not like Seriously Injured fighters are doing anything, anyways.
  5. Cloak of Whispers (Basic), continuous effect: 3” range. Friendly fighters within range cannot be the target of enemy gang tactics. Hyper-situational. Most gang tactics don’t even target the opposing gang, but instead add extra actions or invoke bonuses.
  6. Sight Blight (Basic), continuous effect: 5” range. Enemy fighters within range count as being affected by the Pitch Black rules. This one’s a bit confounding. We suppose that affected fighters can’t target anyone who’s not revealed or within 3”, but it seems like a really good way to get the psyker killed within the next activation. Not a huge fan of this one, to be honest.

Weapons and Wargear

Basic Weapons

  • Autogun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost]: While a little pricey for what it does, the autogun won’t win games for you, but it’s still Rapid Fire and can take a bevy of special ammo. It has value, but not a ton. Rating: C+
  • Lasgun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost]: Same price as the autogun, but far more accurate. It gives up Rapid Fire, but it has a better ammo roll. We like it a little bit more than the autogun because of its accuracy and reliability. It can also be upgraded mid-campaign with Hotshot Packs, which makes it more relevant in later games. Rating: B
  • Shotgun w/ solid and scatter ammo [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost]: For double the cost of an autogun or lasgun, you’re getting some versatility and punch. You’re also getting access to various types of shells from the Trading Post, but it’s still twice as expensive as the other basic weapons. Probably not the best choice for a gang on a budget. However, in the long term, shotguns can access useful special ammunition which makes them better across  a campaign than, say, autoguns. Once your gang is a certain size, the price difference matters less, and this is the punchiest basic weapon a Ghost can carry. Rating: C
  • Throwing Knives [anyone]: Toxin’s nice for taking out fighters with multiple wounds, but these things are Scarce, -1 to hit at long range, and reliant on the fighter’s strength for their overall range. The AP-1 is nice, though, so they’re not completely useless. However, they’re more situational backup weapons than primary offensive tools. Rating: C


  • Autopistol [anyone]: Did you know that Delaque get a 5-credit discount on autopistols? Nice! A 5-credit, Rapid Fire pistol that has access to special ammo is legitimately a good deal. At this price, autopistols supplant the stub gun in most cases, they’re useful as back-up guns if your run out of ammo and as a way of adding at least a bit of melee self-defence to your shooting fighters. Rating: B+
  • Flechette Pistol w/ solid and fleshbane ammo [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Nacht-Ghul, Ghost, Shadow]: For 30 credits, you get a silenced autopistol and rapid fire throwing knives. While this may seem really good, taking an autopistol and throwing knives is only 15 credits: half the cost of one of these. While cool in concept, flechette pistols are too overpriced to be any good. Rating: C-
  • Grav Pistol [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost]: Grav weapons are fantastic when it comes to shaping the battlefield. They have a round-persistent, 3” area where enemy fighters have to use double Movement to move through, do solid damage, and combine extremely well with photon flash grenades. And they’re not even scarce! The grav pistol is indeed pricey, but if it can stop a charging Goliath or Corpse Grinder from reaching your fighters, it’s worth it. Ghosts can take these natively, and this is a great place to put one. The Blast will mitigate their comparatively poor BS, so strongly consider bringing a Ghost with a grav pistol to every game. Rating: A
  • Hand Flamer [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost, Shadow]: In a gang where anyone can have Infiltrate, template weapons get exponentially better. However, the Web Pistol is only 5 credits more and bypasses wounds. The hand flamer isn’t bad, but it’s not top tier. Rating: B
  • Laspistol [anyone]: In a gang where autopistols are only 5 credits, the humble laspistol seems even more humble. The nice accuracy and reliable ammo roll is always good, though, so it’s not like a laspistol is a bad choice, but it’s not the best. Rating: C
  • Plasma Pistol [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost]: Plasma pistols are always good in the hands of a Master of Shadow or Phantom. As excellent damage dealers, just about every gang has a place for a few well-placed plasma weapons. Delaque have access to a lot of great pistols, though, so this category is easily quite crowded. Rating: B+
  • Stub Gun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Psy-Gheist, Ghost, Shadow]: We generally prefer the stub gun to the autopistol when the autopistol is twice as expensive, but when they cost the same, the autopistol edges the humble stubber out. Rating: C
  • Web Pistol [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost, Shadow]: These things pack a template and bypass wounds and armor completely. They won’t cause Lasting Injuries, but they will increase the chance of capturing an enemy fighter. They’re also usable by Ghosts and Shadows, and are a fantastic weapon for anyone with the Infiltrate skill. All around, the Web pistol is an incredibly good weapon, and Delaque players should have several in their arsenal. From experience, there is little worse (for your opponents) than watching a multiple-wound, heavily armoured champion/brute/leader under a web template, knowing that they are one successful wound roll from going down, and then being Coup de Graced by the next part of a Group Activation. Rating: A+

Special Weapons

  • Flamer [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Specialist Ghost]: Unfortunately for the flamer, Delaque get Web Guns for 25 credits less, and Web Guns are a whole lot better. There’s really no reason at all to take a flamer in this gang. Avoid. Rating: D-
  • Grav Gun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Specialist Ghost]: Delaque don’t get access to grenade launchers in their house list, so they’re gonna need some other type of crowd/board control. Fortunately, the grav gun is very good at this. The only issue is that the grav pistol is 30 credits cheaper, and only gives up 6” in range. A Specialist Ghost with a grav gun, however, could be a very useful and versatile tool in a Delaque gang. Rating: B
  • Long Rifle [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Specialist Ghost]: A great tool for a backfield sniper, the long rifle can reach across the entire battlefield and can do some serious damage. It’s also an unparalleled weapon for an Overwatch fighter, who can sit somewhere high in the back of your deployment zone and snipe fools all day long. On top of all that, it’s cheap as hell, too, meaning that it can be the perfect weapon for a Phantom to start out with in a campaign. Rating: B+
  • Meltagun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Specialist Ghost]: With the melta gun’s short range somewhat mitigated by things like the Infiltrate skill, this weapon really shines within a Delaque gang. It’s also absolutely necessary for late-campaign armor bloat. Rating: B+
  • Plasma Gun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Specialist Ghost]: Plasma guns are pretty much never bad. They’re the go-to ranged damage weapon, and your Delaque gang will not do poorly with one in tow. Rating: A
  • Web Gun [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Specialist Ghost]: At 115 credits, web guns are almost unfair. The number 1 weapon to stick on an Infiltrating Phantom. S5 means even Goliaths will get webbed with perilous ease. Additionally, a web gun-toting specialist is an insane counter charge threat, even to gangs like Corpse Grinders. Seriously, get some web guns. All the same points apply as for the Web Pistol – a weapon which removes all saves and the Injury roll is always going to bring in results compared to other options. Rating: A+

Heavy Weapons

  • Heavy Flamer [Master of Shadow, Phantom]: No. Rating: F

Close Combat Weapons

  • Digi Laser [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Nacht-Ghul, Psy-Gheist]: C’mon. This is a S1 weapon. At 5 credits, it’d be a waste, and at 25 it’s criminal. Use your credits elsewhere, these things are trash. Rating: F
  • Serpent’s Fangs [Nacht-Ghul]: Paired doubles the Attacks characteristics on the charge, and provides the extra attack for two weapons. Rending does extra damage on a 6 to Wound. +2 Strength puts a Nacht-Ghul at the S5 inflection point. And the new rule, Phase, ignores all armor and field saves. Why is this important? Serpent’s Fangs have all of these rules. These are easily the best weapons available to the Nacht-Ghul. Rating: A+
  • Shivver Sword [Nacht-Ghul]: On its own, the shiver sword is pretty good! But when compared to the serpent’s fangs, it truly doesn’t stack up. Unless you’re hard up for cash, there’s really no reason to take one of these. Rating: B
  • Shock Stave [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost, Shadow]: +1 S is nice, but no AP is rough. Versatile is nice, but 25 credits is a lot. While it’s not an awful weapon, it’s not going to blow you away. Rating: C+
  • Stiletto Knife [anyone]: Toxin is nice for multi-wound enemies, but it’s mostly useless otherwise. No AP and the high price tag doesn’t do much to mitigate the situational nature of Toxin, either. Rating: C
  • Web Gauntlet [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Ghost, Shadow]: S3 web is swingy, as it will mostly be wounding on a 4+, but when it does work, it will work very well. +1 to hit is nice, too, and remember, Web bypasses both Wounds and Armor saves. Web gauntlets are probably the best CCW that non-Nacht-Ghul fighters can take. Because Seriously Injured (the guaranteed result of a successful Wound roll) will usually result in an instant Coup de Grace for a model in melee, this is a great way to apply Webbed. Rating: B+


  • Choke Gas [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Nacht-Ghul, Ghost]: Again, Toxin is nice for multi-wound characters, but this is a 50-credit grenade that doesn’t pin. Spend your credits elsewhere. Rating: D
  • Photon Flash [Master of Shadow, Phantom, Nacht-Ghul, Ghost]: These things don’t do damage, but they will remove a Ready marker on an enemy if they fail an Initiative test. Don’t bother deploying these against Escher, but against any other gang, Photon Flashes will wreak havoc. Especially if you end up deploying grav weapons. Similar to webs, Photon Flashes are a great asymmetric weapon – a lot of credits that gangs invest to protect themselves, Armour, Toughness Advances etc, just won’t help at all. Rating: B+
  • Scare Gas [anyone]: Similar to choke gas, scare gas grenades don’t pin, but they might cause enemy fighters to become Broken. A little too pricey to be good, but at least they’re better than choke gas. Rating: C
  • Smoke [anyone]: Before House of Shadows, Delaque was a tricksy long-range shooting gang, but now, they’re designed for more up-close and personal engagements. With that, you’re going to want to protect your advance, and few things are as good as smoke grenades at doing just that. Rating: B+
  • Stun [anyone]: These things are trash, but if you’ve invested heavily in Photon Flash grenades, then there is at least a reason to bring some along. However, grav will do the same thing and is actually good. Avoid. Rating: D

Selected Wargear

  • Photo-goggles can be very useful if you’re specializing in Photon Flares. You’ll be able to use them with impunity in that case.
  • You can give a Psychomancer’s Harness to a Psy-Gheist, which will give them +2” to their Movement and a pair of psychomancer’s claws, which are pretty strong melee weapons. Thing is, this will just about triple the price of the psy-gheist, which is probably not worth it, but it might be fun anyways. We have seen it be effective as soon as that Prospect can get even one WS Advance though – with an 8” move wearing the harness, and 3” Versatile weapons, they can swing at enemies 12-14” away, a lot further than some of your opponents will think! Using Versatile weapons doesn’t let you automatically Coup de Grace your targets, but it does remove the risk of reaction attacks, so we don’t think this is quite as risky an option as most close-combat fighters would be with 1 Attack base.
  • Grapnel Launchers on any of your melee characters are hilarious, especially if they have versatile weapons. Grab a couple on key characters and enjoy your opponent’s horror as your melee killers bounce across the battlefield!

We’ve come a long way, baby.  (Credit: Games Workshop)

The Friend Zone: Brutes, Exotic Beasts, and Hangers-On

Just like every other House gang, Delaque have access to the “standard” set of brutes and hangers-on. But they do have Delaque-only and brand new options, so that’s what we’ll focus on here!

Piscean Spektor (House Brute, 205-235 credits)

These things are brutal. It’s a mobile and deadly close-combat Brute. Stats are fairly normal for a Brute, but note that in addition to Flying, which can make a big difference on complex 3d terrain, the Spektor’s stats feed into its fearsome Psychomantic Claws. The weapons are good enough to make a Psy-Gheist threatening, but on the Spektor they become a massive threat. A Piscean Spektor puts out 10 attacks on the charge, at Weapon Skill 3+, Strength 5, ignoring armour completely. So targeting a T3-4, 1W fighter you expect to be rolling 4-5 injury dice. This level of overkill is going to practically guarantee some hurt on your opponents’ gangs. The best move we’ve seen has been to use the Versatile rule to charge this monstrosity and split its 10 Attacks amongst 2 enemy fighters (you could even target more in some situations). Few models in Necromunda can equal this sort of effect.

Additionally, a Piscean Spektor can take psychoteric mastery for an extra 30 credits, and at Willpower 6+, you’ll actually get to use them! It might not be the best-leveraged use of your spektor, as you’ll probably want it moving quickly across the battlefield and tearing enemy fighters to pieces, but until it gets there, a power like Spatial Psychosis will only add to this fighter’s effectiveness. And since this brute is priced to move at 205 credits, adding 30 credits for more utility and power is a very reasonable ask. Make your giant, robot, flying squids psychic, for goodness’ sake!

Cephalopod Spektor (Exotic Beast, 100 credits)

We can’t in good conscience recommend the Spektor, an exotic pet clocking in at 100 credits that brings barely 40 credits worth of value. It offers a single Strength 4 shock attack in melee and a buff to Intelligence checks for its owner (which could help somewhat if you’re using a chem-synth, or opening a lot of doors). Even if you’re anticipating a lot of up-close combat, there are dozens of better ways to spend your creds!

Psychoteric Wyrm (Exotic Beast, 70 credits)

Psychoteric Wyrms have whatever profiles and forgettable weapons, but that’s not why you want one. You want one because it can travel 12” away from its owner, ignore impassable terrain when moving, and act as a psychic node where you can treat it as the owner’s model for purposes of measuring distances for psychoteric whisper powers. This is powerful when a lot of those powers have 3” or 1” range. If you have a psychic fighter in your gang, you’ll probably want one of these to very effectively extend their range. Here’s the drawback: each one costs 70 credits, which is honestly a LOT for what they do. Wyrms are a nice-to-have, but too expensive for a must-have.

Psychoteric Thrall (Hanger-On, 90 credits)

This Delaque-only hanger-on can act as a psychic node just like a psychoteric wyrm, but they aren’t “chained” to their owner and can be used as a node by any psykers in the controlling gang. Not bad, but that’s not it! When you hire this fighter, you can choose which House gang they’re from, and enemy fighters from that gang within 6” subtract 2 from their Leadership and Willpower (fighters from other gangs only subtract 1 from their LD and WP). Also, this fighter can take part in any battle as a member of the Crew, unlike most other hangers-on. They also come with a basic weapon and the Evade skill.

So, for 20 more credits than a wyrm, you get a better psychic node, actual guns, and a LD and WP debuff aura. So, we’ll ask you, dear Scummer: which one should you spend your money on?

Spyker (Hanger-On, 90 credits)

In the last Delaque book, spykers were valued brutes! They were super good then, but were also 100 credits more expensive. The only thing they’ve lost is the ability to fly (whatever), and the ability to buy a displacer field for an additional 50 credits (also whatever). They can still use their excellent powers and take part in any or every battle. They also have a 4+ Willpower, meaning that those nifty psychic abilities will go off nearly 100% of the time. And now they’re 100 credits cheaper! This is crazy! Every Delaque gang should be getting a spyker ASAP. Their pinning power is back and it’s still amazing. Get one. Get two if you have to deal with a lot of melee threats in your campaign.

Whisper Merchant (Hanger-On, 60 credits, 30 credits for Delaque)

Whisper Merchants can manipulate campaign rolls by subbing out certain dice rolls for 6’s. This is actually very, very powerful, as you can turbocharge credit rewards, help choose favorable scenarios, and even influence how many fighters you can use in Random Selection games. At 30 credits for a Delague gang, these abilities are completely ridiculous. Generally, this Hanger-On will pay for itself after 1 or 2 games, and can be totally invaluable to ramp up campaign momentum. The catch is that after 6 uses of their ability to influence dice rolls, the controlling gang has to pay their hiring fee again, which is barely a catch. Honestly, a whisper merchant might even be the first Hanger-On a Delaque gang targets, before even a Rogue Doc, they’re that good.

The Dragons Of The Black Pool, your new tricksy friends.  (Credit: Dan Collister)

Example Gangs

Delaque are a mixed bag. With some strong shooting, interesting tricks, and some isolated, but extremely good melee options, there’s a lot to work with, but you really have to be careful when it comes to engaging enemy gangs. You will get out-shot or out-stabbed by just about any other gang, so you need to be thinking about capitalizing on your gangs strengths and neutralizing your opponent’s.

Out-of-the-Box Delaque Gang

This gang assumes you’ve bought 1 Delaque box and want to get started playing. It’s not perfectly optimized, but it will get you well on your way to some good games.

  1. Master of Shadows (Infiltrate): flechette pistol, web gauntlet, mesh armor, armored undersuit, grapnel launcher [230]
  2. Phantom (Overwatch): master-crafted long rifle, mesh armor, armored undersuit [160]
  3. Phantom (Faceless): shotgun w/ solid & scatter, autopistol, web gauntlet, mesh armor, armored undersuit [195]
  4. Specialist Ghost: grav pistol, photon flash grenades, mesh armor [160]
  5. Ghost: autogun, mesh armor [70]
  6. Ghost: lasgun, mesh armor [70]
  7. Ghost: 2 x autopistol, mesh armor [65]
  8. Shadow: 2 x autopistol, mesh armor [50]

TOTAL: 1,000

Out-of-the-Box Delaque plus New Champs/Prospects/Brute

This gang assumes 1 Delaque box and 1 Nacht-Ghul/Piscean Spektor/Psy-Gheist box. Can you build an operable gang with just these two boxes? Absolutely! The new champs are great, and will easily fit into any Delaque gang, and Psy-Gheists add a ton of flavor!

  1. Master of Shadows (Infiltrate): flechette pistol, web gauntlet, mesh armor, armored undersuit, grapnel launcher [230]
  2. Phantom (Overwatch): master-crafted long rifle, mesh armor, armored undersuit [160]
  3. Nacht-Ghul (Spring Up): serpent’s fangs, mesh armor [200]
  4. Specialist Ghost: grav pistol, photon flash grenades, mesh armor [160]
  5. Psy-Gheist (Spatial Psychosis): mesh armor [ 75]
  6. Ghost: autogun, mesh armor [70]
  7. Ghost: lasgun, mesh armor [70]
  8. Shadow: 2 x autopistol [35]

TOTAL: 1,000

Next, we’ve got some example gangs written by our newest Necromunday contributor and all-around Delaque fanatic, Cody “Lucynth” Mann. We’re very excited to see what he’s got in store for us.

Faceful of Faceless

This list is all about getting up close and personal. Preferably with a sinister laugh and lots of hand rubbing. The trio of bosses appearing out of the shadows and munching on pretty much whatever you point at is particularly scary. While the Ghosts run from cover to cover, acting as a distraction and getting a couple of D2 shots off, the Shadows move up using smoke to make sure that web pistol gets close enough to make your opponent furiously flip through their rulebook(s) to reread the web special rule. This gets truly absurd if you draw any cards that allow you to infiltrate more of your crew!

  1. Master of Shadow (Infiltrate): Web Gauntlet, Flechette Pistol, Mesh Armor [180]
  2. Nacht-Ghul (Spring Up): Shivver Sword, Autopistol, Mesh Armor [200]
  3. Nacht-Ghul (Dodge): Serpent’s Fangs, Autopistol, Mesh Armor [220]
  4. Ghost: Shotgun [solid/scatter ammo], Mesh Armor [85]
  5. Ghost: Shotgun [solid/scatter ammo], Mesh Armor [85]
  6. Shadow: Autopistol, Smoke Grenade, Mesh Armor [60]
  7. Shadow: Autopistol, Web Pistol, Mesh Armor [125]
  8. Shadow: Autopistol, Mesh Armor [45]

The Long Game

While Delaque have lost access to the Shooting skill table, there is still some decent long range firepower to be found.  An infiltrating Long Rifle champ is nothing to sniff at (especially when they get Overwatch), and the new Faceless skill is pretty choice for keeping your Plasma Phantom safe until they activate.  Add a couple of Ghosts with humble autoguns for squeezing off a few rounds at distance.  Meanwhile the Master of Shadow advances under the cover of Smoke with his Shadow friends and one particularly nasty Ghost with a Web Gun.

  1. Master of Shadow (Dodge): Web Gauntlet, Flechette Pistol, Mesh Armor [180]
  2. Phantom (Faceless): Plasma Gun, Autopistol, Mesh Armor [205]
  3. Phantom (Infiltrate): Long Rifle, Autopistol, Mesh Armor, Infrasight [170]
  4. Ghost: Autogun, Mesh Armor [70]
  5. Ghost: Autogun, Mesh Armor [70]
  6. Ghost Specialist: Autopistol, Web Gun, Mesh Armor [175]
  7. Shadow: Laspistol, Smoke Grenade, Mesh Armor [65]
  8. Shadow: Laspistol, Smoke Grenade, Mesh Armor [65]

A Shadowy Mix

A bit of an All-Comers list, this list leverages the close combat power of a Nacht-Ghul and an Infiltrating Web Gauntlet Master of Shadow while still being able to lay down some covering fire for some skulking Shadows as they move up.  Able to hang back and counter attack, this list also can be used pretty aggressively with the right cards.

  1. Master of Shadow (Infiltrate): Web Gauntlet, Flechette Pistol, Mesh Armor [180]
  2. Nacht-Ghul (Spring Up): Shivver Sword, Autopistol, Mesh Armor [200]
  3. Phantom (Faceless): Plasma Gun, Autopistol, Mesh Armor [205]
  4. Ghost Specialist: Long Rifle, Infrasight, Mesh Armor [120]
  5. Ghost: Autogun, Mesh Armor [70]
  6. Shadow: Autopistol, Smoke Grenade, Mesh Armor [60]
  7. Shadow: Autopistol, Web Pistol, Mesh Armor [125]
  8. Shadow: Autopistol, Flak Armor [40]

Merton’s old Delaque gang new set of generic Hive Scummers 

Final Thoughts

Delaque are a tricky mix. While they can be outclassed by just about any other gang in a certain type of battle, they can compete in all arenas and can employ some seriously powerful abilities to neutralize enemy heavy hitters before the enemy gang can do anything at all with them. It’s best to play Delaque like a counter-fighter: play to the opponent’s gang’s weaknesses. If they’re good at engaging at long-range, get up close and personal! If they want to smash you in melee, try to tease them out, line them up, and web the lot of them! Fortunately Delaque can do it all! Just stick to the shadows and play to your strengths, and don’t forget to buy a grav cannon for your Overwatch champ. You won’t have friends if you do, but who needs friends when you’re winning games!

Please let us know what you thought of the article in the comments or at! We hope you enjoyed it, but if there’s anything we missed, we’d love to hear it!