Saturday 22 July 2023

Necromunda Rulebook 2023 review

Hi all

Good News!
At long last, the labyrinthian scattered rules of Necromunda are almost in one place!
This is going to be an almighty book with over 300 pages of grimdark grimness!

The first thing that struck me was the artwork, there are some stunning pieces especially in the first few pages.
My favorite being the smog chocked sky of a hive city with various light cruisers hanging ominously in low orbit.
Artwork from more recent books are included aswell, includng the Lord of Necromunda himself.
While this isnt an artbook, it certainly contains brilliant pieces.

I've always skipped over the timeline of most warhwmmer related books, the details are light as theyre just snippets of previous events.
However the one event that caught my eye was the forge of flesh....
Where House Goliath "built a wall of corpses" from those who tried to take one of their forges.
Ah it feels questionably good to read Necromunda lore.

This book is designed for those who are new to the game as there are sections dedicated to each relevant environment, landmark, season, political organizations and more outlaw-ish groups.
It really does wonders to set the scene for this hopelessly complicated and bloated world, that somehow has a gargantuan resource output that is immensely valuable to the imperium.

Now for the big stuff.
All the important rules from the last 6 years are compiled into one place.
This will allow players to play in the underhive and ashwastes.
The movement, shooting, assault and end phases includes how regular fighters on foot and vehicles interact on the battlefield.
From what i've read online, exotic beast kind of get forgotten about which is a shame considering how fluffy they are.
I'm not sure if it will help but exotic beast have their own page attached to the core rules section, with actions available and levelling up possibilities.
It certainly something to make ke consider taking one in my next campaign, i'd like my own personal grapplehawk.

Actions are consolidated as expected for fighter and vehicles, including how actions are limited under certain conditions like insanity.
Something I do appreciate is theres a short fluff scentence prior to the action, which gives context as to why a fighter might choose to perform it.
Its easy to apply the imperosnal warhammer 40k logic to necromunda, forgetting that these skirmishes are desperate struggles for survival, of everyday people.
I personally would like to see more models taking cover voluntarily (especially if they have spring up)

These sections are quite heavy, with lots of information per page. I'd highly recommend using colour coded page markers.

The trading post and black market have been combined! Into the trading post....
This is good, as all the standard and esoteric (also dangerous) stuff is available in one place.
Items are simply common, rare or illegal, with their respective search roll value attached.
This is so much better than needing 2-3 books.

Gaining XP for fighters has had a slight change but wilp make a difference over the long run.
Fighters can now gain XP for causing serious injuries, considering how common this occurs in games, i can see even the humble ganger or even Juve starting to gain advancements.
For a might 12XP, you can choose from a fighter's secondary skill list! While not efficient, it may be worth it for fluff reasons or for the odd combo.
Either way its welcome.

Psykers are a weird one in necromunda, their powers can be very effective or utterly useless. Also theres a hefty penalty of you get perils from the warp, but i'd recommend taking one because of the randomness which feels right for this game system.
To ass more utility, Psykers can deny the witch, giving you a chance to cancel an enemys power however you can perils from this too which is utterly brilliant.

Onto the most important part of the book in my opinion.
The Arbitrator's section offers all kind of additional bits to add on to the campaign to make it feel more immersive.
Dont fancy playing a standard dominion campaign? Well there are 10 alternatives to choose from.
Feel like grenades still arent unpredictable enough?
Add in the rule where if a grenade scatters, there a chance it blows up in the throwers hand.

This book does a good job of consolidating the scattered core rules of necromunda and streamlining certain areas to make this system feel less unwieldy.
You'll still need your own gang's house book and campaign supplement (to get access to vehicles for example) but it reduces the amount of books you need considerably.
As a fan of this world and system, i'd certainly recommend picking it up.

They still have fixed ablative armour though...

Honourable mention to Servo skulls. 

Battle Bunnies
The Gorey Crow. 
@the_gorey_crow on Instagram

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