- 10 Sep 2019
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Sometimes in the underhive, it’s very easy to get sidetracked by the pursuit of victory at any cost. Fortunately, Necromunda playtester Johnny is on hand to remind us that sometimes you just need to look around and smell the barbed venomgorse.*
Johnny: Necromunda is an absolute gold mine when it comes to background material and is an incredible system for building narrative campaigns. Each of the books contains a thousand details, any one of which could lead you down innumerable rabbit holes.
Necromunda is at its best when you’re taking full advantage of the narrative side and fleshing out the backgrounds of your gangs and their surroundings. The following is a series of basic things that I do when entering a campaign in order to immerse myself and take full advantage of the experience.
Decide who you are
Every truly great Necromunda gang needs to start with a little background – not just the gang as a unit but for the individuals too. Who are they? Where do they live? Why are they fighting? Just where did that disciple of house Cawdor get a Lascannon?!? Build a story to act as a springboard for your forthcoming adventures!**
Hold a grudge
Rivalries will naturally arise during the course of a campaign. Grab every opportunity for a new enemy with both hands. You’re guaranteed to have particularly tough battles or even opponents that will twist the knife rather than showing mercy. When this happens, take note and swear to the God-Emperor/Ruinous Powers/Holy Exploding Rat that you will have your revenge. Never say “I’m not playing THAT gang again”, say “NEXT TIME!!!” instead.*** Then, when you claim vengeance in your rematch, your victory will feel that bit sweeter.
Fight like you mean it
In a campaign, you’ll find games where you’ve bitten off more than you can chew and it feels like a good idea to throw the game to avoid taking a kicking. This is a rookie mistake! Don’t bottle out early – if you’re going down, take somebody with you. Think about this game and not the next one. If you take heavy casualties there will always be more gangers and juves willing to swear loyalty to your gang. Underdogs are the things that legends are made of.
Take on all comers
Multiplayer battles are among the most fun you can have in the underhive. While the start and end of the campaign are perfect opportunities for one of these games, a canny arbitrator should be able to come up with an excuse to throw a few in throughout the campaign.
There are a number of reasons why a fighter or two from each gang might find themselves in an arena forced to fight each other, a seemingly insurmountable alien foe, or even better, BOTH. These games are where the real fun is… Backstabbing allies, inciting violence on others and taking revenge on any number of enemies all in one game! These are where the best stories are written and where the glory really is.
I cannot encourage you strongly enough to follow these ideas and work together to build the narrative of your next campaign. Before you know it, you’ll have transformed a series of games with a group of friends into a bitter turf war where you must crush every single rival into the dirt of the underhive floor. And isn’t that what we all want when it comes right down to it?
Thanks Johnny! How have you been keeping the spirit of Necromunda alive? Have you started a Sumpkroc rodeo, formed a Venator gang or cleaned up the streets with the Palanite Enforcers? Let us know over on our Facebook page.
* Please DON’T smell the barbed venomgorse. In fact, don’t go anywhere near the stuff.
** Don’t get too attached to your fighters though – the underhive is a very unforgiving place!
*** We recommend shaking your fist angrily while saying this.