Necromunday Presents: Mini-Munda

An article by , and    Necromunda        0

Scummers, it’s clear that those of us on the Necromunda beat for Goonhammer are passionate about our favorite little RPG-esque skirmish game. But not every tabletop gamer is!

In this edition of Necromunday, we are going to put forth a way to ensnare the rarest and most treasured of prey: a new Necromunda player.

It Is Hard to Get Into Necromunda.

It is legitimately difficult to get into Necromunda if you don’t have context (old Necromunda) or aren’t already a miniatures gamer. There are 600+ pages of rules, a shelf full of books, and the important info is all scattered all over the place.

It’s not that bad once you get used to it, but it can be a lot all at once. (Credit: Games Workshop)

Most new players start playing Necromunda for the most classic of reasons: they have a friend who plays it, and they want in on the fun. Either they’re using a Necro veteran’s second gang, “piloting” the VIP or monster in a custom multiplayer scenario, or have been gifted a gang box by a friend. Most of these new players are already familiar with tabletop war-gaming, so getting into Necromunda is really just an extension of their previously extant proclivities.

Most of us Necromunda players are always on the lookout for new blood, and most of us are already engaged in some sort of hobby “apprenticeship” program to some degree. This is important: a necessary step to help grow the hobby.

But What About the Brand New player?

The player who doesn’t have an existing scene to slot into? The player who’s never played a tabletop game before? To even get into this game, there are a ton of questions to answer. Questions like, “what books do I buy?”, “how should I build my gang?”, and “what kind of terrain do I need?” None of these questions have straightforward answers.

The Underhive beckoned. (Credit: Games Workshop)

In the beginning, there was the Necromunda: Underhive boxed set, but nowadays it’s both out-of-print and packed with obsolete rules. The Dark Uprising box is certainly a great set, but for a new player it might be extremely daunting. It’s enormously thicc, very expensive, and comes with two of the more difficult-to-master gangs available. We’re not going to claim that it isn’t a great value, but it’s a hard pill to swallow for two people who’ve never touched the game before!

Clearly, Necromunda has an accessibility problem. So, we thought that it would be a good idea to come up with an easy way for new players to get a taste of Necromunda with minimal buy-in, in a manner that would allow two brand new players to get into the game entirely on their own. There’s no easy solution, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a new simplified starter box in the same vein of the Underhive box from Games Workshop.

So, being as the three of us have nothing better to do as we continue to wait for House of Blades, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to embark on a project that imagines what a Necromunda Introduction ruleset would look like. Here’s what we came up with!

Small crews. High Stakes. (Credit: TheArmorofContempt)

Presenting: Mini-Munda

The concept for this project is twofold:

  • Allow two or more brand new players to give ol’ Necromunda a solid test drive, in a manner that costs them the least amount of cash.
  • Give them a good idea of what the game is all about, without the typical requirement of an experienced player to show them the ropes.

With that, all you need to play Mini-Munda is:

  1. A friend
  2. Some six-sided dice
  3. A tape measure
  4. One sprue per player, from any of the house gangs
  5. The Necromunda Rulebook
  6. Gangs of the Underhive

We realize that the two books are what is going to drive up the price here, but there’s no way around that! You’ll be referencing the Rulebook for most of the mechanics in play for Mini-Munda, and Gangs of the Underhive is packing all of your weapon traits. It’s true that the second book is very gradually being phased out as the House Of books replace each gang entry, but it’ll be over a year from now before that comes to full fruition. In the meantime, it’s a necessary purchase both for right now and for when players graduate to the full game!

As far as these Van Saar are concerned, these Escher are already way too close. (Insta: @40khamslam)

Houses of the Underhive

Each of the crews you’ll be fighting with have been designed to be internally balanced against each other, with a general power rating of roughly 450 credits worth of bodies and weaponry. Our intent is to have every gang be buildable from a single sprue and to avoid recommending any bogus equipment that might make sense here but’ll end up being a liability in a future full game. We’re aware that the Escher Chem-Thrower looks totally sweet, but you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether it’s worth building one for your own gang later on.

We’ve also included secondary stats (Leadership, Cool, Willpower, Intelligence) on full, even though most of them won’t come heavily into play in these initial games. For now, keep in mind that these four are rolled on a 2d6 whenever their tests come up.

On to the gangs!

On second thought, let’s see what’s behind Door Number Two. (Credit: Merton)

Cawdor – The Oathkept

The unwashed masses of The Oathkept are hell-bent on spreading the Emperor’s love the only way they know how – by overwhelming the unbelievers with overwhelming numbers armed with their signature salvaged (and mostly-working) reclaimed weapons! 

(Fighter Cards and Crew Roster on Yaktribe Here)

Gang Roster - Click to Expand

Caul the Keeper (Champion)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+3+3324+25+6+7+6+
  • Caul is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
  • Step Aside: If Caul is hit in Close Combat, make an Initiative check. If passed, the attack misses. This ability can only be used once per enemy in each round of combat.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
(Frag) Heavy Crossbow15”30”-1414+Blast (5”), Knockback, Unwieldy
(Krak) Heavy Crossbow15”30”-162-26+Unwieldy
Reclaimed Autopistol4”12”+1315+Sidearm, Rapid Fire (1)

 


Baldrum (Ganger #1)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+17+7+7+7+
  • Baldrum is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
PolearmE2”-1S+11Melee, Unwieldy, Versatile
(Grapeshot) BlunderbussT216+Plentiful, Scattershot, Template
(Purgation) BlunderbussT316+Blaze, Scarce, Template

 


Cottle (Ganger #2)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+17+7+7+7+
  • Cottle is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
PolearmE2”-1S+11Melee, Unwieldy, Versatile
(Autogun) Polearm8”24”+1315+Rapid Fire (1)

 


Tippet (Ganger #3)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+17+7+7+7+
  • Tippet is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Reclaimed Autogun8”24”+1315+Rapid Fire (1)
AxeES+11Melee, Disarm


Delaque – Coven of Lies

The Coven, like all Delaque, thrive on misdirection and subterfuge. They use smoke to mask their movements and to shield their snipers from counterfire, as they creep ever closer to drown their foes in a hail of Autogun bullets. Their leader is shrouded in even more intrigue, and rumors claim that she’s already been briefly glimpsed, skulking well behind her enemy’s lines.

(Fighter Cards and Crew Roster on Yaktribe Here)

Gang Roster - Click to Expand

Mithra the Sibilant (Champion)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”3+3+3324+27+6+6+6+
  • Mithra the Sibilant is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
  • Infiltrate: Instead of deploying normally, is placed on the battlefield immediately before the start of the first Round, anywhere on the table that is both out of Line of Sight and at least 6″ away from any enemy fighters.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Web GauntletE+13Backstab, Melee, Web
(Fleshbane) Flechette Pistol4”12”6+Rapid Fire (1), Sidearm, Silent, Toxin
(Solid Shot) Flechette Pistol4”12”+1314+Rapid Fire (1), Sidearm, Silent

 


Ephemis (Ganger #1)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+17+6+7+7+
  • Ephemis is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
  • This Long Rifle is augmented by an Infra-Sight, allowing the weapon to be fired freely through Smoke Clouds. In addition, targets in Partial Cover are treated as if they are in the open, and targets in Heavy Cover are treated as if they are in Partial Cover.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Long Rifle24”48”+141-14+Knockback

 


Ulzcha (Ganger #2)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+17+6+7+7+
  • Ulzcha is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Autogun8”24”+1314+Rapid Fire (1)
Smoke GrenadeSx34+Grenade, Smoke, Blast

 


Horath (Ganger #3)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+17+6+7+7+
  • Horath is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
2x Autopistols4”12”+1314+Sidearm, Rapid Fire (1)
Smoke GrenadeSx34+Grenade, Smoke, Blast


Escher – Black Orchid

Members of the Black Orchid are deadly at any range, no matter whether they’re plinking away at distant enemies with their Lasguns or dropping champions to the ground with a single slice from their poisoned blades. They may not be the toughest or the most resolute gang around, but if they can strike first, they’ll make it count!

(Fighter Cards and Crew Roster on Yaktribe Here)

Gang Roster - Click to Expand

Jerra the Stalker (Champion)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”3+3+3322+26+7+6+6+
  • Jerra is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
  • Spring Up: If Jerra is Pinned when activated, make an Initiative Test. If passed, she may make a Stand Up (Basic) action for free.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Shock WhipE3”-1-1S+114+Melee, Shock, Versatile
(Low Power) Plasma Pistol6”12”+252-15+Sidearm, Scarce
(Max Power) Plasma Pistol6”12”+173-25+Sidearm, Scarce, Unstable

 


Jett (Ganger #1)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3313+17+8+7+7+
  • Jett is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Stiletto KnifeEMelee, Toxin
Lasgun18”24”+1312+Plentiful
Smoke GrenadeSx34+Grenade, Smoke, Blast

 


Dinah (Ganger #2)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3313+17+8+7+7+
  • Dinah is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Stiletto KnifeEMelee, Toxin
Lasgun18”24”+1312+Plentiful
Smoke GrenadeSx34+Grenade, Smoke, Blast

 


Zanne (Ganger #3)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3313+17+8+7+7+
  • Zanne is outfitted with Flak Armor, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against Template and Blast attacks.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
2x Laspistol8”12”+1312+Sidearm, Plentiful
Photon Flash GrenadeSx35+Grenade, Blast, Flash


Both of them are convinced that they’ve got this one in the bag. (Insta: @crumbsmclumbs


Goliath – Bone Crushers

No one’s tougher than Goliaths, and the Bone Crushers are here to prove that they’re no exception to the rule. Bone Crushers want to get close so they can unleash the awful power of the Renderizer, the single greatest weapon name in history. This gang is all about big muscles, big axes, and big bullets. When they get close, they’ll turn their enemies into nothing more than stains on their weapons.

(Fighter Cards and Crew Roster on Yaktribe Here)

Gang Roster - Click to Expand

Turok (Champion)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”3+4+4424+26+5+8+8+
  • Turok is outfitted with Furnace Plates, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against attacks within the Vision Arc.
  • Nerves of Steel: When Turok is hit by a ranged attack, make a Cool test. If this test is passed, Turok may choose not to be pinned.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Renderizer AxeES+21-1Melee, Pulverize, Unwieldy
Stub Gun6”12”+2314+Sidearm, Plentiful

 


Sledge (Ganger #1)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”4+4+4414+18+5+9+8+
  • Sledge is outfitted with Furnace Plates, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against attacks within the Vision Arc.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
(Salvo) Combat Shotgun4”12”+1424+Knockback, Rapid Fire (1)
(Shredder) Combat ShotgunT214+Scattershot, Template

 


Mongo (Ganger #2)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”4+4+4414+18+5+9+8+
  • Mongo is outfitted with Furnace Plates, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against attacks within the Vision Arc.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Spud-JackerES+11Melee, Knockback
Brute CleaverE+1S1-1Melee, Disarm

 


Jok (Ganger #3)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”4+4+4414+18+5+9+8+
  • Jok is outfitted with Furnace Plates, which provides a Base Save of 6+. This is improved to a 5+ Save when protecting against attacks within the Vision Arc.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Stub Cannon9”18”513+Knockback


Orlock – The Sump Dogs

The Sump Dogs are the masters of the close-range firefight. Their weapons are loud, their harpoons are sharp, and their moustaches are waxed, much like their enemies. The Combat Shotgun and Harpoon Launcher can take out multiple enemies in one shot, and their big guns are backed up by reliable and dependable solid slug throwers. Once they get close, the Sump Dogs will prove that they’re all bite.

(Fighter Cards and Crew Roster on Yaktribe Here)

Gang Roster - Click to Expand

Handsome Drak (Champion)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+3+3324+25+6+7+6+
  • Handsome Drak is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
  • Nerves of Steel: When Drak is hit by a ranged attack, make a Cool test. If this test is passed, Drak may choose not to be pinned.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Harpoon Launcher6”18”+251-35+Drag, Impale, Scarce

 


Old Jon (Ganger #1)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+16+7+7+7+
  • Old Jon is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
(Salvo) Combat Shotgun4”12”+1424+Knockback, Rapid Fire (1)
(Shredder) Combat ShotgunT214+Scattershot, Template

 


Grimm (Ganger #2)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+16+7+7+7+
  • Grimm is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Autogun8”24”+1314+Rapid Fire (1)

 


Hackjaw (Ganger #3)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
5”4+4+3314+16+7+7+7+
  • Hackjaw is outfitted with Mesh Armor, which provides a Base Save of 5+.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Stub Gun6”12”+2314+Sidearm, Plentiful
Autopistol4”12”+1314+Sidearm, Rapid Fire (1)


Van Saar – Coldfire Cabal

House Van Saar makes the best equipment available in the Underhive. Unsurprisingly, their gangs are festooned with Plasma, Las, and high-tech Bodysuits. The Coldfire Cabal wants to make a splash with their fancy weapons, and are clearly the leaders in the clubhouse when it comes to mowing down their foes at range. They may not have the numbers, but they’ve certainly got the tech!

(Fighter Cards and Crew Roster on Yaktribe Here)

Gang Roster - Click to Expand

Hannak (Champion)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”4+2+3324+15+6+6+5+
  • Hannak is outfitted with Mesh Armor and an Armored Bodyglove, which combine to provide a total Save of 4+.
  • Run and Gun: As a Double Action, Hannak may move up to double their Movement and then fire a ranged weapon. This shot is made at a -1 accuracy modifier.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
(Laser) Combi-Weapon18”24”+1312+Combi, Plentiful
(Plasma) Combi-Weapon12”24”+252-15+Combi, Rapid Fire (1), Scarce
Shock StaveE2”S+11Melee, Shock, Versatile

 


Skorgen (Ganger #1)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”4+3+3315+16+7+7+6+
  • Skorgen is outfitted with Mesh Armor and an Armored Bodyglove, which combine to provide a total Save of 4+.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Laspistol8”12”+1312+Sidearm, Plentiful
(Low Power) Plasma Pistol6”12”+252-15+Sidearm, Scarce
(Max Power) Plasma Pistol6”12”+173-25+Sidearm, Scarce, Unstable

 


Fisyer (Ganger #2)

MWSBSSTWIALdClWilInt
4”4+3+3315+16+7+7+6+
  • Fisyer is outfitted with Mesh Armor and an Armored Bodyglove, which combine to provide a total Save of 4+.
WeaponSLSLStrDamAPAmmoTraits
Las Carbine10”24”+1314+Plentiful, Rapid Fire (1)

The Battlefield

Terrain in Necromunda can be as involved or as simple as you want it to be. Battlefields can be anything from labyrinthine Hive Cities custom-built for the game, to repurposed Warhammer 40k terrain pushed together for a denser feel, to a kitchen table festooned with books and soda cans.

A rare moment of peace in Hab-Block 42-A5Q. Plasticard, Styrene, GW Kits, dozens of hours of work. (Insta: @40khamslam

Ultimately, as long as you can provide enough larger pieces of something to break up lines of sight across the board, you’ll be in good shape for most scenarios. Just remember to toss down plenty of whatever you’re using for the smaller scatter terrain, too. Every fighter loves Cover Saves!

For the Scenarios we’ll be playing in Mini-Munda, the default battlefield size will be a maximum of 2’x2’. That’s not just because it happens to be the size of a pack of Zone Mortalis Tiles (if you’re lucky enough to have a set of those on hand), but because with smaller crews anything larger only leads to unnecessary superfluous turns full of gangers Move-Moving ad nauseum.

For scenarios that specify a specific size or shape based on Tiles, these battlefields can be easily approximated by assuming that a single Tile is 12”x12”.

Rival gangs battle inside of an active Goliath foundry. Kitchen counter, books, booze, garage sales. Just as valid as the Hab-Block – forge your own damn narrative! (Credit: Brandon)

Scenarios

The Rulebook starts us off with a selection of twelve scenarios, and they’re not too shabby with a little adjustment to account for our smaller crews. For right now, we’ll be skipping over the sections on Tactics Cards and Rewards – those’ll come into play in the future once we begin tracking advancements and victories.

All Crew size requirements stated in these scenarios will be replaced instead with the gangs listed here. Any scenarios that offer Reinforcements will instead use this rule:

  • Reinforcements: If a gang has had any fighters go Out of Action in a scenario that allows them to place Reinforcements, those removed fighters may be returned to play. At the start of each End Phase, that player may redeploy a single fighter who had previously gone Out of Action into their Deployment Zone.

Additionally, because Mini-Munda gang sizes are so small, Bottle Tests don’t really work as intended. Instead, add the following rule to the scenario you’re playing:

  • Bottle Tests: Whenever a player is required to take a Bottle Test during the End Phase of a battle round, instead of using starting crew size as the metric they roll against, use the highest Leadership value on the board for their gang to determine if the gang has bottled out.

We’ve written about all of the Scenarios in the game in the past, and all of the missions in the Rulebook in particular are covered right here. Keep in mind that some factors may change based on the adjustments here, but you’ll be able to get an idea of what’s in store. Tunnel Skirmish and Stand-Off are the most straightforward scenarios to get your feet wet, but we recommend graduating to Border Dispute once you’ve for the hang of things!

Apparently Delaque just like doors, for some reason. (Insta: @40khamslam)

Game Accessories

Necromunda makes liberal use of special dice for Firepower, Scatter, and Injury rolls, as well as templates for certain weapons like Grenade Launchers and Flamethrowers. Counters are used to keep track of Flesh Wounds and various status effects that fighters may be under the influence of, namely Blaze. (…and Insanity, but we don’t need to worry about that just yet!)

Dice and templates pop up pretty regularly on auction sites, and are cheap and plentiful enough that that’s really going to be our recommended path. Still, for folks on a budget or for anyone too impatient to wait on shipping, there’s plenty of options in the meantime!

Substituting in a normal d6…

For templates, Blasts are just circles 3” or 5” wide, and flame templates are a narrow teardrop just over 8” in total length. If you can’t find any online, we’ve got Printable Templates right here. Probably glue ‘em to something a bit stiffer than paper, though.

Counters are even easier since you can pretty much use anything, so just grab some tokens you’ve got laying around from other games, or just use scraps of paper!

Mo gangers, mo problems. (Credit: Games Workshop

What’s Next?

After you’ve given Mini-Munda a shot and gotten a good handle on the gameplay, the next step is to add in progression! When we say progression, we mean experience, skills, and new equipment. The best part of Necromunda is watching your gang grow (or shrink, in some cases) over a campaign.

Try playing a few games where you keep track of experience and credit rewards, and then level-up your characters and take a trip to the Trading Post! It might seem like a lot of bookkeeping, but trust us when we say it’s a good time.

After that, try adding in some narrative elements to the game: custom scenarios, grudge matches, maybe even a Rescue Mission! Necromunda is best when heavily tinkered to narrative ends, so go hog wild!

A Mini-Munda Campaign?

Thanks to some reader requests, we wound up spending the next week writing a self-contained campaign system for Mini-Munda. Check it out here!

 


New players are always a welcome addition to our favorite game, and we hope that Mini-Munda helps people get into our wonderful hobby! If you have any feedback or have given our system a shot, please feel free to reach out to us at necromunday@goonhammer.com. We’d love to further the conversation there with you! Thanks for reading, and remember to join us next week for another exciting edition of Necromunday!

 

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