Necromunday: Houses of the Underhive – Delaque

An article by    Gaming Necromunda        0

The 40k universe stretches well beyond the war-torn battlefields of distant planets. In Necromunda, violent gangs clash in the tunnels and sewers of the planet’s largest hive city. Every week, Dan “Sex Cannon” Boyd and Jules “Merton” O’Hare cover everything Necromunda, reviewing new releases, talking strategy, and how to run campaigns.

Greetings fellow Scummers! Thanks for sticking with us, we’ve had a blast writing these articles so far and we hope you’ve gotten something useful out of them. This week, we’ll be taking a deeper look into the final gang released into the Underhive last year, and Merton’s gang of choice, those sneaky bois themselves, House Delaque.

The Delaque-tica Tactica (v1)

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

House Delaque traffic in information, serving as secret-brokers and racketeers, while still finding the time to engage in the occasional assassination or two. On the table, Delaque tends towards a less direct course of action compared to other gangs. What they lack in massed heavy firepower or Huge Meaty Fists, they make up for with the ability to disrupt enemy plans and activations, be it through blanketing a key firing corridor in smoke, flashbanging an approaching champion so badly that she forgets how to move until the next round, or even flipping on their night-vision goggles and turning out the lights in the entire Underhive!

All these are necessary shenanigans, as Delaque gangers are typically frail with mesh armor at best, but once they close in they’re more than capable of downing the toughest opponents with a hail of toxin bullets and web templates. This is a gang that will never win in a fair fight, mind you. That’s okay. House Delaque excels at never allowing that fair fight to happen in the first place!

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

Strengths

  • Shenanigans: Whatever grand plans the enemy brings to the battle, House Delaque exists to ruin them and turn the confusion to their advantage.
  • Deadly Shooting: Delaque crews can deal damage at all ranges, from afar with long rifles and lasguns, mid-range with autoguns and shotgun slugs, and up close with templates, toxin pistols, and melta guns.
  • Sentry Busters: With built-in silenced weapons and access to gunshrouds, Delaque have an edge in missions designed around stealth and the sentry rules. Retaining a captive in a rescue mission against them is an uphill battle.
  • Web Weapons: If you gauge an ability’s power by how many rules it bypasses, Web is hands down the strongest attribute in the game! Ignoring an opponent’s armor and remaining wounds, a Delaque ganger in template range is absolutely terrifying.
  • Public Enemy #2: Despite all of their tricks, House Delaque is rarely as vilified as the members of House Van Saar. We can’t figure out exactly why, but try not to change this. If you’re playing as Delaque; be sneaky, but try not to be a dick about it.

Weaknesses

  • Terrible at Direct Engagements: If you can catch a Delaque gang with their pants down, or somehow counteract their tricks, they’ll fold. Most gangers are nothing more than basic weapon toting Toughness 3 bodies with 5+ mesh armor at best.
  • Few High Powered Weapons: The majority of weapons fielded are Strength 3/4 and 1 Damage, even their long-range rifles. If you’re able to neutralize their plasma or melta, Delaque will struggle to take their enemies out of action quickly. This is understandably a severe disadvantage in the Sabotage mission.
  • Shenanigans?: Preparation is key. If Delaque might turn the lights off, bring flare ammunition and photo-lumens. If they’re heavy on smoke grenades, bring photo-goggles of your own. Web Guns? Get right back up with some web solvent.
  • Mostly Terrible Melee: Though the Web Gauntlet is one of the best melee weapons in the game, they are expensive and House Delaque lacks the statline and the armory to effectively equip anything else. If they don’t have a gauntlet, feel free to punch them to death. It’ll be easy!

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

Stand-Out Skills

Delaque have primary access to two of the strongest skill sets that anyone who doesn’t happen to be Strength & Toughness 4 could ask for, Shooting and Cunning! (Note: Their leader does not have primary Shooting, swapping in Leadership instead.) No ratings here, unless you would care to pretend that we put Rating: A++ Would Choose Skill Again after each one.

  • Infiltrate (Cunning): Deep Strike, any location that is both out of sight of the enemy and at least 6” away. Use it to insert a sniper into an unassailable nest, or sneak a champion with a nasty weapon behind enemy lines in an attempt to take out the biggest threat in your opponent’s crew. Try to resist the temptation to give both champions and your leader Infiltrate. It’s a blast when it works, but if your opponent can survive their initial strike, the rest of your gangers will be cut off and easy to mop up.
  • Overwatch (Cunning): As long as this model hasn’t been activated yet, when an enemy activates in his line of sight he can immediately activate and take a shot at them, stopping your opponent in their tracks if they’re hit. Not as accurate as, say, activating normally and aiming before shooting, but Overwatch gives you the ability to pin someone as they declare a charge, or splatter an enemy sniper before they can pull the trigger. Plus, if you’ve got your Overwatch on deck your opponent is going to have to second-guess every move he makes, and that means he’ll be making mistakes!
  • Fast Shot (Shooting): If Overwatch seems too reactive for your tastes, try Fast Shot. Powerful but situational on a shorter-ranged weapon (because both of your actions will be shooting instead of using one to move), this skill stands out on a longer-ranged weapon like a plasma gun, grenade launchers, or the long rifle.
  • Gunfighter (Shooting): Negates the accuracy penalty for firing two pistols, allowing your champion to fire both weapons at their full ballistic skill. Buying a skill is a bit more expensive XP-wise, compared to buying +1 to BS, but Gunfighter also allows you to choose two different targets. If you get lucky and seriously injure your target with your first shot, switch off and see if you can pull off a double with the next closest enemy!
  • Hip Shooting (Shooting): Allows you to sprint and then fire your weapon at an accuracy penalty, which does not apply when you’re using a template weapon like a web gun!
  • 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.

Weapons and Wargear

House Delaque has a bullet for every situation, and a comprehensive armory to supply the guns that deliver them! They have access to the essentials you’ll want for your basic gangers, like lasguns and autoguns and shotguns and plasma weapons, as well as several more exotic offerings.

  • Web Guns & Pistols: Web weaponry is insane. If your wound roll is successful, the victim skips his armor roll and is immediately jumped ahead to Seriously Wounded, even if he has multiple wounds remaining. Both of these are templates, so you’re skipping the hit roll already. Just get in range and roll over your target’s toughness, and he’s on the floor. The full gun is Strength 5 versus the pistol’s 4, so early on it’s a bit overkill unless you’re expecting Goliaths.
  • Web Gauntlets: Delaque are pushovers in melee, unless they’re packing a gauntlet. They’ll have to roll to hit unlike the ranged versions of the web arsenal, but a single wound from this baby will have an opponent on the floor, ready to be immediately taken out of action with a Coup de Grace.
  • Flechette Pistols: The signature pistol of House Delaque, the flechette is a reasonably priced rapid fire pistol with a gunshroud built in. Use the solid ammunition against rank and file, but make sure to switch to your toxin rounds when taking down champions and leaders.
  • Long Rifles: Capable of reaching out across the entire battlefield, and more accurate beyond 24”, the long rifle is perfect for taking out targets with precision. Strength 4 makes this weapon deadly, and pairing that with the Knockback trait makes them devastating.
  • Photon & Smoke Grenades: Despite their lack of damage, these two grenades are the most useful tools in the House Delaque arsenal. Smoke grenades remove Line of Sight through a 5” blast, letting your crew pass through the enemy’s sights without danger, while your gangers with photo-goggles can shoot through freely. Photon Flash grenades are even more disruptive, removing a ready marker from anyone caught under the blast who fail an initiative test. (Easily confused gangs: Goliath, Van Saar!) Delaque clock in at an average Strength 3, so you’ll be throwing these grenades a maximum of 9”, so consider investing in a grenade launcher if you’re able to hit the Trading Post.

Tactics Cards

GW’s rollout of Tactics cards for the entirety of this game has been less than stellar (to put it mildly), to the point that some groups have chosen to eschew them entirely. This is a shame, as the cards really do help to bring out the individual flavor of the gangs, and Delaque are no exception. If you, like most, didn’t manage to purchase one of the three packs of cards that happened to be sent to your zip code, fear not!  The Sex Cannon’s got you covered, with a ranked breakdown of the entire collection. Proxy ‘em, roll randomly for ‘em, spend 5x MSRP on eBay for ‘em, whatever. We’ve yet to encounter a Necromunda player who has been a stickler for Official GW Cardboard, and you’re hella missing out by skipping this aspect of the game.

  • Darkness Descends: From round two onward, you can turn out the lights and play in Pitch Black conditions until your opponent can roll a six to find the switch. Not everyone on a Delaque gang is going to be rocking gunshrouds and photo-goggles to take full advantage of these restrictions (you can, but it’s a bit expensive to justify on your lasgunners), but a few key shots in the darkness coupled with unimpeded movement from the rest of the crew allows this card to be a game changer every time.
  • Over Here…: When an enemy makes a move action, hijack it and instead he moves D6” in a direction that you choose. The ultimate wrench in your opponent’s plans, you can use this to redirect an enemy into an ambush out in the open, to have her retreat instead of advancing into position, or even to spontaneously decide that the correct way to traverse a catwalk is to bank sharply left into open air! Let’s say that last part again: in Sector Mechancicus games, you can use this tactic to make your enemy jump off of buildings. The Fall Damage table (Rulebook, p.72) is a glorious thing, friends.
  • Vanish: Sometimes, the mission doesn’t go your way! Play this card as you bottle out and your entire gang will flee in unison as if all your engaged and seriously injured fighters were actually standing and active. Not particularly applicable in skirmish play, but Vanish is a godsend for keeping a single losing game from spiraling into a complete slaughter in a campaign.
  • Friend or Foe?: Despite your flawless planning, on occasion you’re going to find yourself out of position, with one key member of your crew about to be demolished as soon as the next round begins. With this tactic, you’re able to give that poor unfortunate soul all the benefits of wearing a Falsehood for that round, meaning your opponent is forced to treat him as an ally! Whether you use that respite to casually stroll off to safety or to line up another perfect shot is up to you. There’s time now.

 

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

Brutes and Exotic Pets

Delaque Spyker (Brute): The Spyker is expensive, with a base 190 credit cost and a near-mandatory option for a Displacer Field at 50 credits more (take this!). He’s also an invaluable resource for any mid-campaign Delaque gang, bringing some nasty powers with him, namely Psychic Assault. Assault is a guaranteed pin on any target even out of line of sight, up to 18” away. In addition, if the target fails a Willpower check they’ll also lose a wound (which bypasses armor). That’s crazy! Did we mention the Spyker also has fly? Rating: A

Cephalopod Spektor (Pet): 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! Rating: D+

 

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

Suggested Champion & Leader Loadouts

Whether you plan on sneaking into the backline, firing away at long range from your deployment zone, or zooming across the battlefield to blast an enemy in the face point-blank, Delaque’s got you covered. Feel free to add sidearms and armor to taste, but here are some of the builds that have worked out well before (or infuriated us, if we’re on the other side)!

Long Rifle Sniper: Champion, Long Rifle or Plasma Gun
Skill Choice: Cover your crew and harass the enemy with Overwatch, or take a more proactive approach with Fast Shot to shoot twice.
Recommended Campaign Upgrades: Infra-Sights to mitigate enemy cover, Grapnel Launcher to quickly climb into better vertical vantage spots. Static Rounds (Long Rifle only)  to deal with shield-bearing Palanite Enforcers and Van Saar. Cameleoline Cloak to become almost impossible to hit at all. +1 BS stat upgrades.

Toxic Gunslinger: Champion, Twin Flechette Pistols
Skill Choice: Gunfighter, use your full Ballistic skill to fire off two rapid-fire salvos of toxin rounds.
Recommended Campaign Upgrades: Chem-Synth for more reliable toxin. +1 BS stat upgrades.

Big Gun Assassin:  Champion, Web Gun or Melta Gun
Skill Choice: Infiltrate, to start off deep behind enemy lines and take down the scariest enemy before they can harm your team, as your crew moves forward during the chaos. Hip Shooting to accomplish the same mission on an opponent’s flank, rather than the rear.
Recommended Campaign Upgrades: Displacer Field armor, if you’d like your assassin to survive past the first turn. A Falsehood will buy them a bit of additional time to get into position.

One Punch Man: Leader, Web Gauntlet and Plasma Pistol
Skill Choice: Mentor, your leader is itching for a close-up fight and she’ll be bringing her friends along to hop into the brawl with her. They might as well learn something!
Recommended Campaign Upgrades: Invest in a Holochromatic Field and/or a Blind Snake Pouch to be even harder to hit. +1 WS stat upgrades.

The Cruel Taskmaster: Leader, maybe a Stub Gun, Always Yellin’
Skill Choice: Overseer, if ya just gotta do it.
Recommended Campaign Upgrades: Pretty much only armor, as your leader will be giving up his actions almost every round to instead fuel someone else’s double activation.

 

Out of the Box Delaque Gang, 1000 Credits

Alright, time to put it all together! This gang may not have some of the more esoteric Delaque weapons, but you’ll be able to build them right out of the box and not get completely chumped by another gang. For future expansion into champions and gangers with fancier weapons, we recommend either the (pricy) Forgeworld Upgrade Packs or heading to eBay and buying individual weapon bits from Imperial Guard and Genestealer Cult kits. Seriously, the Genestealer Neophyte box has almost everything!

Click Arrow for List HERE

Leader – 110

  • SKILL: Evade
  • Web Gauntlet – 35
  • Grav Gun – 120
  • Mesh Armor – 15
  • TOTAL: 280

Champion – 95

  • SKILL: Overwatch
  • Long Rifle – 30
  • Mesh Armor – 15
  • TOTAL: 140

Champion – 95

  • SKILL: Gunfighter
  • Flechette Pistol – 30
  • Flechette Pistol – 30
  • Mesh Armor – 15
  • TOTAL: 170

Ganger- 50

  • Shotgun  – 30
  • TOTAL: 80

Ganger- 50

  • Shotgun  – 30
  • TOTAL: 80

Ganger- 50

  • Autogun – 15
  • Smoke Grenade – 15
  • TOTAL: 80

Ganger- 50

  • Autogun – 15
  • Smoke Grenade – 15
  • TOTAL: 80

Ganger- 50

  • Autopistol – 5
  • Autopistol – 5
  • Photon Flash Grenade – 90
  • TOTAL: 80

Despite missing out on some fun tricks thanks to the lack of web guns on the base sprue, this crew is capable of putting the hurt on enemy gangers as you move towards your objective. Remember to use your smoke grenades to block line of sight to your front line from enemy snipers, as your long rifle champion stays behind to pick off any opponents who poke their heads out.

A leader with a web gauntlet is a formidable threat on her own, but make sure she’s accompanied into melee by your twin autopistol ganger for a handy assistance bonus.

 

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

 

Final Thoughts

House Delaque is a resourceful gang, with all of the tools needed to counter anything the Underhive throws at them and twist it into their advantage. If you’re looking for a faction that rewards careful preparation and can utterly destroy your opponent’s plan, Delaque are the guys to do it! Just remember to stick to the shadows, play to your strengths, and always be ready to voluntarily bottle out if the battle isn’t turning to your favor.

 

Anything we missed? Still have questions? Is your Cephalopod Spektor actually both cool and good? Did we get absolutely everything completely wrong? Feel free to start a conversation with us in the comments, hit us up on Facebook, or email us at contact@goonhammer.com. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the sneakiest dudes in town, or anything at all relating to Necromunda!

 

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