Back in the Underhive

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to play a proper game of Necromunda...the first in a very long time. With Shadow War out, I have had some interest, but for my money, nothing beats the original Necromunda. Let's look at the game in some detail.

My opponent went with a Delaque gang with a couple of heavies while I led a band of Cawdors focused more on numerous lightly armed fighters. The fighting took place in a small shanty in the ruined outskirts of a settlement. The Delaques, fresh from a night of gambling and drinking, had accepted a job from the local gambling boss Jerry ‘Snake-Eyes.’ Believing they’d endeared themselves to the gambling boss, the Delaque gang has taken their winnings and agreed to clear the nearby shanty of several scum who have been causing trouble for the settlement. Little do they know that ‘Snake-Eyes’has led them to a trap, angered by the Delaque’s apparent luck at the tables. The shanty they are to clear is already empty, cleared recently by a venomous Cawdor gang who have recently purged it of all life. The Cawdor gang, eager to train their new recruits and purify more scum, are waiting.

The game went pretty quickly. Even after some 12 or so years since playing a proper game, most of the rules were still stuck in our heads and, aside from looking up weapon profiles, we managed to get through a game without constantly looking at the books.

The Delaques took a traditional strategy, splitting into three groups. The bulk of the force deployed along the right, navigating their way through the ruins, while the leader and bodyguard stayed mostly central to cover whatever threats presented themselves. A Heavy with Stubber took the left flank, setting up on high ground overlooking the shanty buildings. His juves deployed alongside key members of the gang and would follow them the entire game, ensuring the top fighters would be able to avoid pinning.

I and the Cawdor’s took a different tactic, splitting into two large groups. On my left flank (to counter his fighters among the larger buildings and ruins) I put the bulk of my force including gangers with shotguns, a boltgun, my lone Heavy with flamer and Leader. Supporting them from above were two gangers with lasguns, who would maneuver to high ground and support my mid range fighters while looking for openings to take down the Heavy Stubber set in the opposite corner. The second group consisted of one ganger armed for close combat and four juves. They would deploy on the right, across from the Heavy Stubber in the tower among the shanty dwellings. Their job was to keep the stubber focused on them as they zig-zagged their way through the buildings. Eventually, they would be close enough to challenge the Heavy, but as long as they kept him on overwatch, they were doing their job.

As all good Necromunda games go, the first couple of turns involved little fighting and instead saw each gang positioning themselves for advantage in the upcoming firefight. The Cawdors among the ruined buildings set up shop behind a series of barricades and opted to wait and take down whatever targets presented themselves. Their supporting lasgunners made their way to the catwalks above the battlefield, nervously keeping an eye out for the Heavy Stubber.

The Delaque’s took the bait and advanced, popping out from behind walls and barricades to take shots at the Cawdor but the barricades were too high and the Cawdor too close together. The opening shots had little effect. On their own first turn of shooting, the Cawdor leader and Boltgunner both emptied their clips into the Delaque to no avail, sneered, and switched to their pistols. A shotgunner did the same and I was thankful I’d given them all stubguns as backups.

The shooting continued round after round. The lasgunners from above had managed to hit a target or two but most of the fighters on both sides had hit little, run their weapons dry and had switched to pistols, crouching behind barricades and rattling of any shot they could find. One Cawdor fell, another’s pistol jammed and the leader took a shotin the neck and collapsed between his brethren. As he shook it off, he clenched his teeth and ordered his Heavy and accompanying ganger to end the engagement.

With a start, the Heavy threw down his shotgun and readied his flamer, jumping over the barricade and running towards the Delaque still hiding among the ruins. Another ganger with shotgun advanced in front of him, laying suppressing fire into the shadows. They caught the Delaques off guard, spewing flame into the barricades and sending the last few of them running for cover.

On the other flank, the Cawdor juves weaved their way in and out of the cluttered alleyways, the Delaque Heavy watching them and taking shots where he could. The Delaque leader, seeing the stalemate among the barricades and the advancing juves opted to meet the later threat and headed towards the shanty.

The Cawdor juves had advanced far enough to begin taking shots at the Heavy while he continued to blister the shanty with Stubber fire. One juve dropped in a blur of hot metal and the others felt their situation growing dire. The older fight with them barked for them to keep moving and they reached the edge of the shanty, desperately firing towards the glowing barrel of the stubber. They had advanced as far as they could without jumping out into the open and as they did, the Heavy poured fire down onto them. Angered at their display of stubbornness, the Delaque leader rallied his bodyguards and emerged from cover to confront the Cawdor youth. This was enough to make the Heavy pause and in the sudden quiet a single lasbolt streaked across the battlefield, as the Cawdor lasgun finally found its target. The Heavy dropped to his knees.

Emboldened, the Cawdor elder barked for the juves to fight. The Delaque leader charged, swinging the barrel of his shotgun wildly into the Cawdor's chain flail. The flail crackled furiously as it wrapped around the shotgun and for a moment, the Cawdor believed he'd disarmed his opponent. The smile bent as a lasbolt exploded under his chin and he collapsed in a wheezing heap as the Delaque leader cackled and readied his laspistol for its next shot. His bodyguard had been engaged by one of the juves and he watched as the experienced ganger faltered, left himself exposed and was beaten to the ground by the ravenous youth.

The leader paused and surveyed his surroundings. Two juves still skulked among the buildings, taking potshots at him and the majority of the rest of his fighters were down. He sneered and cursed the gambling boss. He called out into the shadows for his men to back down, fired several rounds into the juves and made his escape.

The game was an absolute blast and it was a joy to play Necromunda again. In time, I'll feature some more content on this blog, as there is a lot I've done with Necromunda that never really made it here and some stuff I've never had a chance to share with anyone. For now though, let it suffice to say that there will be more to come.



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