Scummers Pilgrims! As a bit of a companion piece to our House Cawdor guide, today we’ll be looking at how to best use House Cawdor’s special rule: Articles of Faith. We’ve mentioned how much we like this set of rules before, so let’s take a deeper look at what they do and how to use them!
I’ve been having kind of a thing with Cawdor lately. House of Faith has turbocharged their rules to a really impressive degree, and they’re quickly turning into one of the most fun and powerful gangs in the game. Like everyone else, they’ve got their own set of gang-specific special rules, and in this case, they’re called Articles of Faith and reader, they’re an absolute doozy. So much, in fact, that I’m writing an entire article about them!
The most important thing about them is that they’re entirely free. Every other gang (with the exception of House Orlock, but their special rules are so weak it doesn’t really matter) has to pay to use their rules. Goliath gene-smithing and Delaque psychometric whispers add credits to the cost of the fighters, Escher chem alchemy is really rather pricey, and Van Saar cyberteknika is both expensive and predicated on Lasting Injuries.
In contrast, each and every Cawdor gang simply gets to use Articles of Faith for free, in every game they play. It’s a pretty good deal for the trashiest gang in the Underhive. Let’s take a look at how best to use Articles of Faith!
How Articles of Faith are Used
Articles of Faith are heroic and miraculous feats that Cawdor fighters can perform during battle. To do so, the player has to take a threshold test using faith dice. Each Article of Faith has a specific number that has to be equalled or beat by rolling any number of faith dice. It’s up to the player to decide how many faith dice to roll, but more on that in a moment. A fighter can attempt to perform an Article of Faith at the beginning of their activation and must carry out the instructions as written in the Article’s description.
A quick note: both Cawdor and Redemptionist fighters can generate faith dice and perform Articles of Faith, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll be referring to both as “Cawdor fighters”.
First, it’s important to talk about how faith dice are generated. In the End Phase of each turn, the Cawdor player rolls a dice for each non-seriously injured Cawdor fighter they have currently on the table, and on a 5+, that dice can be moved to the faith dice pool, where it can be used to roll for threshold tests to perform Articles of Faith. Right off the bat, we can infer two things from these rules:
- Articles of Faith can generally only be performed on turn 2 and after. There are exceptions for this, but it usually takes a turn to really get the zeal wheels rolling.
- Successful use of the Articles of Faith system is highly correlated with how many fighters you have on the board. A large Cawdor gang will generate more faith dice and therefore have more successfully performed Articles of Faith. Keep this in mind when building your gang. Have some extra Bonepickers on hand to juice those faith numbers!
If you’re planning on performing a lot of miracles out there, then it might behoove you to keep your fighters safe for the first turn. As always, smoke grenades and line-of-sight blocking terrain are your friends!
If a fighter isn’t going to be an important part of your game plan this turn, they can perform a Beseech the God-Emperor (double) action. If they do, they stand around praying, but you roll 3 dice for this fighter when generating faith dice in the following End Phase. Finally, faith dice carry over between turns, but if the number of faith dice exceeds the number of friendly Cawdor fighters on the battlefield, you must discard them until the numbers match up.
Rolling Faith Dice
As stated above, each Article of Faith has a threshold that has to be equalled or beat for the Article to be performed. The threshold values are between 2+ and 11+, though, curiously, no Article of Faith has a 10+ threshold. The player can commit any number of faith dice in the pool to roll a threshold test, and that begs an interesting question: how many dice should a player roll to have a reasonably good chance of performing an Article of Faith?
My totally arbitrary threshold for what a “good” chance of success is 70-80%, so whatever is around that, I’ll probably recommend that number of dice.
- 2+: 83.3% on 1d6. All you need to know! Recommendation: 1d6
- 3+: 1d6 will get you a 66.7% chance of success, 2d6 will get you a 97.6% and 3d6 will automatically pass. I’d recommend living dangerously for a 3+ threshold and going with 1d6. Recommendation: 1d6
- 4+: 50% for 1d6 is iffy, but you’re looking at a 91.7% chance of success on a 2d6, so go with that. Recommendation: 2d6
- 5+: With 2d6, you’re looking at an 83.3% chance of success, which is really enough for me, so we’ll go with that. Recommendation: 2d6
- 6+: You’re looking at a 72.2% chance of a 6+ on 2d6, which is fine, but it doesn’t meet our exacting standards. However, on 3d6, you’re looking at 95.4%, which is probably too many dice to roll for a 6+. I’m going with 2d6, here! Live a little! Recommendation: 2d6
- 7+: With 2d6, you’re only looking at 46.5% success for a 7+, so it’s officially time to move on from 2d6. With 3d6, you’ve got a 90.7% chance of success for a 7+, which is perfect. Recommendation: 3d6
- 8+: You’re looking at an 83.8% chance of success for an 8+ on 3d6, and that’s exactly what we need. Recommendation: 3d6
- 9+: On 3d6, you’re looking at 74.1% success, which is pretty good. On 4d6 it’s 94.6%, which is probably overkill. Recommendation: 3d6
- 10+: lol
- 11+: 84.1% on 4d6, so there you go! Recommendation: 4d6
So, when making your decision to roll however many dice for your Articles of Faith, you now can reference (or memorize) this handy little chart and not waste your faith dice. Let’s move along and talk about the powers themselves!
The Paths of Faith
One of the questions I’ve been getting is, “what’s the best Path of Faith for my gang to follow?” The answer is, honestly, whatever path fits your gang’s story best! They’re all good, so you can’t really go wrong! There are four described paths and one do-it-yourself path. Each of the four pre-made paths comes with 6 articles of faith and a bonus condition that allows for extra faith dice. For the DIY path, the player picks 4 powers and does not gain any way to generate bonus faith dice. While a player can certainly cherry-pick the best 4 powers, losing the bonus to faith dice generation is pretty rough. Let’s get to the paths!
Path of the Faithful
Our first path represents what the majority of house Cawdor believes. In game terms, most of the articles here are defensive or buffs, though there is a nice one to remove an enemy’s ready marker. For each article of faith, I’ll have the name followed by it’s threshold cost in parentheses, and then a little blurb about what it does and when I think it’s best to use.
Faith dice bonus: Path of the Faithful Leaders and Champions roll an extra dice each to generate faith points, making them even more valuable.
- “And Contempt shall be My Armor!” (4+): While in effect, this fighter and any friendly House Cawddor fighters within 6” can’t be targeted by and are immune to psychic powers. However, if the threshold test is failed, the fighter loses 1 Willpower for the rest of the battle. A Delaque player’s nightmare, this article turns off psychics in a 6” bubble. You’re probably not going to see a ton of use with this power in every game, but when it’s needed, it will be extremely useful. The 4+ threshold makes it trivial to cast on 2d6, and can even be worth it on 1d6 if you’re in a bind. Get ready to bring this article out if you’ve got Delaque or Helot Cultists in your campaign!
- “And Lo His Gaze did Illuminate them!” (3+): The fighter can see through smoke and ignores Pitch Black, and can add 1 to the dice when taking an Initiative check vs. Flash. Generally, Cawdor players are going to want to employ lots of smoke grenades, as their gang is best when up close and personal, and they’ll want to cover their advance. But smoke grenades are a two-way street and can block their own long-range shooting just as effectively as the enemy’s. But with this article, the Cawdor player can comfortably place their firebase anywhere! It should be noted that when using this article of faith, the fighter can see through smoke, but their enemies still can’t, allowing them to blast away with impunity. And at 3+, this power is easy to use on 1d6, saving some faith dice for other, more expensive powers. This one’s a clear winner, as it easily synergizes with what a Cawdor gang already wants to be doing.
- “And the Word fell upon them, and they were Broken by it!” (5+): Enemy fighters within 9” and LoS must take a Nerve test. If the Threshold test is failed, then this fighter must take a Nerve test. An excellent tool for disruption, this article can really throw a wrench into enemy plans. Just don’t try and use it against Goliaths, as they’ve got universally good Cool stats.
- “And by their Works shall They be known!” (5+): One enemy psyker within 12” and LoS to this fighter must pass a Ld check or roll on the Perils of the Warp table. Another anti-psyker article, this one is kind of a coin flip. Since this perils roll is done without an attached attempt at manifesting a psychic power, the 4-5 result on the test doesn’t really apply, here (where the psyker is now the target of the attempted psychic power). Your arbitrator might want to houserule it, but, for the Cawdor player, you’re looking for a roll of 2-3 or 6-8 on the Perils table, as anything above 8 is actually beneficial to the target. If you plan on using this article, do yourself a favor and use it after the target is activated, to make sure you don’t have a possessed psyker running around for a turn. Trust me on this one!
- “And the Heart of the Heretic was easily cowed!” (8+): One enemy fighter within 12” and LoS must pass an Intelligence check or lose their Readdy marker if they have one. If the Threshold test fails, this fighter’s action immediately ends. Oh yeah, here we go! This one’s a true gem. Intelligence values are low across the board (except for Van Saar) in Necromunda, so stopping your opponent’s best or most pivotal characters from activating for this turn is huge. Imagine not being able to use your leader for a turn because a Bonepicker yelled some scripture at them. That would be awful! This is the kind of thing that the Cawdor player should be trying to use every single turn. Go forth and cow some heretics!
- “And those of Warped and Twisted Limb shall be Despised!” (7+): This fighter, and all friendly Cawdor fighters within 6” and LoS can reroll hit rolls against Brutes, Spawn, pets, critters, or enemy fighters with mutations. Brutes, like Ambots, Arachni-rigs, and that big Goliath jerk can be very hard to deal with. So how about you whip up some extra hatred in your gangers and put the boots to them?! While the use case might be somewhat slim, especially if you’ve got a lot of templates in your gang, this one will be extremely advantageous in the right circumstances. Ambots beware!
Path of the Fanatic
The Path of the Fanatic is all about combat, and getting into combat. With this path, a Cawdor gang can begin to resemble an Escher gang in their ability to move about the battlefield, or a Corpse Grinder gang in their ability to make ridiculous charges. Additionally, the Path of the Fanatic’s articles of faith are all priced to move in terms of faith dice. If you’ve kitted out your gang for close combat, strongly consider following the Path of the Fanatic, for it will do you well!
Faith dice bonus: Friendly House Cawdor fighters who are Engaged roll an extra d6 to generate Faith dice. Combat rarely lasts more than one round, so this bonus might not factor in that much in game terms, but it’s certainly a nice-to-have.
- “And Lo, I did spread my Wings and the God-Emperor carried me aloft!” (5+): The fighter can add 3d6” to their movement when attempting to leap a gap or reduce distance by d6+2” when jumping down a level. Note: the player has to declare the leap or jump before the threshold test is attempted, and must follow through with it even if it is failed. This is easily the most hilarious article in the Path of the Fanatic. Imagine, if you will, an eviscerator-armed Zealot making a 12” jump between two buildings, landing it, and then setting a bunch of awe-struck enemies on fire with their flaming chainsaw gun. Is there anything more Necromunda than that? Not a chance! Important to keep in mind: attempting to leap a gap includes an initiative check! Only Bonepickers and Zealots have an Initiative stat better than 4+ (3+ for both). So, regardless of whether or not the Threshold test is passed, you’re still looking at a 50% fail rate for non-Juve fighters.
- “And by our Pain shall He Judge our worth!” (5+): The fighter increases their Toughness by 3 until the start of their next activation, and will suffer a Flesh Wound at the start of their next activation. If the Threshold test is failed, the fighter immediately suffers a Flesh Wound. Increasing Toughness has a passive effect on the fighter’s defensive stats. Generally this article will get a player to T6 or maybe T7, which is good to force a 5+ or 6+ to wound on most attacks. However, you can’t really control when a fighter gets attacked, or by what. I’d suggest that you use this one before a fighter plans on making a Charge action, in case the combat lasts more than one fighter’s activation.
- “And without thought He Smote Them Down!” (6+): The fighter may make an immediate Charge (double) action, in addition to their other actions, but has to apply a -2 to hit modifier for the remainder of this round. If the threshold is failed, then the fighter has -2 to hit for the rest of the battle. This is a supremely powerful article, as it allows for multiple charges by one fighter during their activation. Even with -2 to hit, it’s still an extremely useful tool to have in the toolbox, especially when you’re talking about a character who’s been kitted out for combat. Imagine this: a Redemptor priest with a chainaxe and the Rain of Blows skill: using this article, that character can Charge and then Fight two more times that turn, potentially mulching multiple enemies in a multi-combat. Impressive!
- “And His Feet carried him into the fray!” (2+): The fighter immediately makes a free Move (simple) action and immediately suffers a Flesh Wound, regardless if the threshold test was passed. Another great way to get a fighter in position for a successful Charge (double). Or sprint a fighter across the board to unleash a devastating template weapon attack. Or perform the dreaded “move-shoot-move” maneuver. Suffering a Flesh Wound isn’t the best, but getting that vaunted 3rd action during a fighter’s turn is absolutely worth it.
- “And He stood Defiant upon the mountain!” (5+): The fighter becomes immune to Pinning while this article of faith is active. The fighter cannot make the Take Cover (basic) action or benefit from partial cover. Pinning mitigation is huge for any fighter that needs to get close to do damage, like a combat Leader or blunderpole Brethren. Having an easy way to ignore one of the game’s core mechanics for one fighter per turn is a HUGE advantage.
- “And He Gave Unto Them the Emperor’s Mercy!” (5+): Use this Article of Faith when a friendly Cawdor fighter is chosen as the target of a Coup de Grace (simple) action. The target fighter can interrupt the Coup de Grace with a free Fight (basic) action. Call an ambulance…but not for me! The Cawdor fighter finds some last reserves of faith and determination and can lash out in the face of certain death. Interrupting the opponent’s turn is an extremely powerful tactic in Necromunda, and doing it to save a fighter from an automatic Out of Action result is obviously very strong. With this Article of Faith, your opponent has to tread extremely carefully with their Coup de Grace actions. This article is functionally equivalent to a “fight on death” strat from 40k, where if your opponent can’t score an Out of Action or sufficient Flesh Wounds after a combat where they do score a Seriously Injured, you can interrupt the free Coup de Grace they get to make to take immediate and potentially devastating revenge. If you run Path of the Fanatic, always have 2 faith dice on hand for this one!
Path of the Doomed
Followers of the Path of the Doomed know that they, along with everyone else, are already dead. With that knowledge, they are truly free to spread the word of the Redemption without any reservations. In game terms, followers of the Path of the Doomed gladly sacrifice themselves and their companions for any advantage. The Path of the Doomed is my personal favorite of all of the Paths of Faith, and I think you’ll figure out why. Because of the higher threshold ratings for the Path of the Doomed gangs, it’s important to have a lot of fighters on the board, and then several more in reserve.
Faith dice bonus: If the gang’s Leader is Seriously Injured or has been taken Out of Action, or the gang has failed a bottle test, faith dice are generated on a 4+ rather than a 5+. Not the best bonus, but a lot of times, victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat in that weird part of the game where both teams have failed their bottle rolls.
- “And the people Rose Up in their multitudes to aid Him!” (8+): The fighter who performed this Article of Faith gives up their turn and the controlling player may immediately add d3 fighters not in the starting crew to the battle. These new fighters are deployed immediately, with Ready markers, touching the battlefield edge nearest to the activating fighter, but not within 9” of an enemy fighter. If the threshold test is failed, one randomly selected fighter from this gang that is NOT in the starting crew is immediately captured by the opposing gang. No lie, this is probably the best of the Articles of Faith. Extra fighters synergize with everything a Cawdor gang is trying to do, and can provide a critical push to win the battle. Indeed, even a battle that has lopsided starting crews can be surmounted with the regular application of this Article of Faith. As soon as you get 3 faith dice, start rolling this Article, and don’t stop until you run out of fighters!
- “And by the manner of his Death did the Emperor judge him!” (5+): The activated fighter immediately makes a move action and then explodes with a 5” blast template that does an automatic (to all fighters under the template) Str 3, Ap-, D1 hit, centered on the activating fighter’s base. The activating fighter then goes Out of Action. With nothing to lose, and eternal life with the Emperor to gain, Path of the Doomed followers will gladly become suicide bombers. This is the perfect Article to use with a cheap Bonepicker or Brethren when you absolutely need to disrupt the other player’s plan. The hit profile won’t be sending a ton of enemy fighters to the Rogue Doc, but it will knock them the hell down, giving you the edge in the action economy. It’s also a hilarious way to collect Lasting Injuries.
- “And in the Grace of the Emperor even Death was Defied!” (8+): While this Article is in effect, the fighter who performed it ignores the effects of Seriously Injured and cannot be taken Out of Action until the end of their next activation, at which time they will automatically go Out of Action. Got a character who’s, miraculously, still alive and in combat with a Corpse Grinder? What about someone who’s Prone and Seriously Injured somewhere in the opponent’s backfield? Time to wake ‘em up with this Article of Faith and give them one more turn before they burn out. Another powerful way to get extra activations out of characters who were on their way out in the first place.
- “And in His Light were they struck down!” (5+): Any fighter within 6” of this fighter (including this fighter) can’t make ranged attacks against targets more than 3” away, nor can they be targeted by a ranged attack made by a fighter that is more than 3” away. A fantastic defensive tool to cover the approach of your melee specialists and template weapon-bearers. It’s like free smoke grenades! Who doesn’t love that?
- “And a river of blood did Drown Them!” (11+): The next time the enemy makes a Bottle test, they must count the Seriously injured and Out of Action members of this gang as well as their own towards the test. The tide of violence becomes too much for the opposing gang leader to take, and away they start to run! At 11+, this Article of Faith is extremely hard to pull off, but it can be the factor that ends the game in the Cawdor player’s favor extremely early on in the battle, especially if the opposing gang is small. Slave Ogryns and tricked-out Goliath and Van Saar beware, because the game might end a lot sooner than you were thinking!
- “And upon a Fortress of Bone shall my Strength be built!” (6+): While this Article is active, the fighter gains Strength and Toughness equal to the number of friendly Gangers who have gone out of action this game, to a max of +3. However, if the threshold is failed, the fighter loses a point of Strength and Toughness for the rest of the battle. A great way to supercharge that combat monster late in the game. This one’s highly situational, but I can see it being pivotal for when an enemy Brute or monster needs to be taken down.
Path of the Redeemer
The Path of the Redeemer is all about buffing your characters and disrupting the opponent’s actions. Players with a tendency towards kitted-out Cawdor fighters will love this path, as it can help their fighters become extremely dangerous.
Faith dice bonus: The player can roll a dice for each enemy that became Seriously Injured or went Out of Action that round.
- “And each Blow shall be a Barb unto my enemy’s flesh!” (5+): Enemy fighters must take a Willpower check when attacking this fighter in melee. Failed Willpower checks result in a Flesh Wound. While this Article doesn’t stop melee from happening, like a Corpse Grinder Butcher’s mask, it’s still worth it just to spread Flesh Wounds around the enemy gang. Remember, a Str 2 Scattershot weapon looks a lot scarier when you’re rolling 4’s to Wound!
- “And Flame shall Burn Away their sin!” (3+): The fighter’s melee or Versatile weapons gain the Blaze trait. If the threshold test is failed, the activating fighter gains the Blaze condition. Based on the emails we get, a ton of people out there hate the Blaze condition. That alone should get you psyched to use this Article in battle. Let ‘em burn, Scummers.
- “And with Iron Teeth shall they be Devoured!” (5+): The fighter can reroll to Wound rolls with chain weapons while this Article is in effect. Pretty cool! A nice way to make those chain weapons really hit hard.
- “And Agony brought the unbelievers Low!” (7+): Any enemy fighters that have a Flesh Wound and are within 6” and LoS of this fighter can only perform 1 action during their activation. If the Threshold test is failed, then this fighter may only perform one action during this activation. This one really synergizes with the 1st Article in this section. Canny use can completely shut down an enemy gang, especially if they rely on melee!
- “And in His Gaze were they Found Wanting!” (9+): The fighter can pick one enemy fighter within 9” and LoS. The chosen fighter must take a Willpower check. If failed, they cannot perform actions in their next activation. Willpower is generally low across the board, so this is a very good way to take an important fighter out of the game for a turn.
- “And Death could not stay His Righteous Wrath!” (7+): If this fighter is taken Out of Action before their next activation, one enemy fighter within 6” and LoS of this fighter takes an automatic Str 5, Ap-1, D2 hit. That’s a big hit that you can trade for, potentially, a very cheap fighter who could never expect to hit that hard, unless they jumped off of a building. Great way to trade a bad fighter for a better one in the early game.
Articles of Faith is easily the most fun, flavorful, and, arguably, effective gang special rule we’ve seen so far. Hopefully, with this little guide you’ll have an easier time using these cool new powers in game. Don’t be scared to have more than a few fighters spend their first turn praying to bank up a bunch of faith dice to use at pivotal moments. They’ll carry over, and you might need to perform a miracle or two later in the game to win it!
Have fun with these new rules, Pilgrims! If you have any suggestions on what you want to see from us in the future, or want to show us your sick-ass setup, drop us a line over at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you. Walk in His Divine Light, Pilgrims! Or else…