N18 "Assign Forces" campaign concept

NoOneII.

Ganger
Honored Tribesman
Oct 6, 2021
245
456
83
Germany, Hessia
I am probably gonna run a campaign somewhen in the not too far future, with the goal to have it half "RPG" like, with me as the narrator. The other half should be vying for ressources, territory etc.

I want to find a modus operandi that keeps the snowballing somewhat in check, so that a well off gang has good chances to have more impact on the campaign on the whole, but won't dominate every single game played.

All this is, at this point, just rambling and loose ideas. I'd love your feedback on those concepts, potential issues you see, etc.

The fleet commanding game "A billion Suns" by Mike Hutchinson has two very interesting concepts I want to steal for this campaign:
  • It's played on several tables simultaniously, with several mission objectives. i.E. On Table A, theres an Asteroid to be mined. On Table B, there's a distress call from a science station, on Table C there's a pirate fleet in need of being put down. Jumpdrives & Gates make it relatively easy to travel from table to table, but pewpew things cannot shoot that far.
    So players are forced to split their efforts and shift them around as needed.
  • The game is started with not a single ship on any of the tables. Credits are used to dispatch ships. Credits are also the victory points, because the players are profit oriented corporations, not political entities. If you can do a messenger job with a small, cheap fighter, you won't send a battleship to do that job, because your CFO will pinch your butt for doing so.
    But what if the other corp really wants to earn that money, and is willing to send two corvettes instead of just a fighter? Will you send MORE? Or will you let them have it, and put more ressources onto other goals?
Obviously, we won't have three tables of Necromunda set up and actually have them play simultaniously. (The lack of Jumpdrives on most gangers would make that unfeasible/useless, anyways.)
But for each gaming cycle, the Narrator could reveal X worthwhile targets to go for. In Cycle I, rumors have it that
  1. a new vein of Ore has been uncovered.
  2. a bounty is set on the head of an Ambull chewing on important cables
  3. the spicefruits have ripened collecting them from the fungal caves will earn good money
  4. an enforcer skiff with a shitload of good guns has crashlanded in the wastes near the hive
  5. etc.
Players will then secretly commit their forces to those targets.
  • Either on individual ganger base (Spiff, Dice and Slice will go hunt the Ambull while Slash, Bob and MarySue will fetch some guns from the skiff.)
    • very narrative
    • lots of bookkeeping
    • fiddly force composition
    • suggests everything goes down really at the same time, or suggests long travel times.
  • or value based. (~300 credits worth of gangers towards the fruits, ~500 credits towards the guns, whopping ~750 towards the Ambull.)
    • much easier to handle
    • Allows for a multiplier. Each cycle you can send 1.5x your gang rating. Or 1.2. Or 0.5. Whatever feels right to get good games.
    • you cannot send a certain ganger out twice, unless everyone else has been sent once at least, to somewhat simulate that aforementioned lack of jumpdrives on gangers
  • Priority tokens (Each Gang can pick three targets, with high, medium and low priority.) Depending on Priority, the gang can send A percentage of their gang value or a fixed amount of Points, appropriate for the scenario and the total amount of Gangs showing up.
    • This would help keeping the games themselves in a fun size and avoid tooo overwhelming odds.
  • ⚠️Other fundamental concepts very much welcome!
The Narrator has to make sure:
  • there's no freebies, with only one gang showing up, or just a singe juve going there, grabbing all the goodies.
    • Narrator can play some "neutral" opposition (Cultists, Wasterats, Enforcers, Animals etc.) As the Narrator is not "rewarded" for winning those games, he/she can just pick strenght of force that seems appropriate for a good match. Or arbitrarily be a bit more lenient on a struggling gang, or give a stronger gang some more opposition. Or there could be some kind of factor as well, if you want it more regulated. (The gang brings 600 Credits, depending on their standing in the campaign the Narrator can bring that x0.8, or x1.0, or x1.2 or whatever. Abstractly, this would mean that those gangs that more rarely fight against neutrals have an advantage, because they don't suffer casualties without also hurting their competition.)
  • Having 200 credits run into 1500 credits and being shot dead on the spot probably is as unfun as deciding to concede on the getgo.
    • There could be some kind of intelligence/scouting happen, so that players get to rearrange. Larger troop movements are easier to get wind of, or something.
      • Not sure on how that would go, yet.
    • Some Neutral forces could show up to somehow level the playing field a bit or at least mix it up a little.
      • Can be tons of fun, but can also feel very much like favouritism, as it would need a lot of arbitrary decisions (whom to shoot with that neutral plasma gun...)
    • There could be some minimum/maximum force allowance for each scenario, so values won't drift apart too far. Playing 500 into 800 is not *fair*, but it's not 200 vs. 1500. And it's Necromunda, *fair* is for nicer planets.
  • Games generally are in a reasonable size. 4 Gangs each bringing 15 People probably is a bit much. 2 gangs bringing 1 juve each probably isn't worth the setup.
  • ⚠️ Any other major impediments you can see, any flaws in the concept?

This is how far my brain got so far. Lemme know your thoughts, if you so wish!
 
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NoOneII.

Ganger
Honored Tribesman
Oct 6, 2021
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Germany, Hessia
Hmmm.... Too wordy, I guess?
I have to be excused, I was unsupervised!

TLDR:
A campaign in which each gang has to split and allocate their forces to different Scenarios each gaming cycle.

:censored:
 
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MysticWolf

Juve
Nov 15, 2020
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Honestly I love this kind of concept. It also makes havjng big gangs so worthwhile and possible because, "hey, so I'm going to use these 7 guys to attack player X's territory, but leave 5 in the hab block and 8 back home defending the outpost." And the way you kind of have it planned sounds interesting and thought through. I'd love to hear how this goes if you try it.
 

NoOneII.

Ganger
Honored Tribesman
Oct 6, 2021
245
456
83
Germany, Hessia
Aye!
I will probably just keep posting my musings and experiences here, as a publicly available notepad, basically.

Main goal is to *both* allow successful gangs to be successful in the campaign, but also allow less successful gangs to be successful on the scope of a single game.

Another Idea I came up with:
Have players secretly split forces without assigning them to a location. And then have them publicly announce their goals one by one, starting with the largest force, working down.
 

Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
666
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I like the concept, its reminiscent of the Necromunda Underhive PC game in that your served with a few options and gangs have to decide what to go for..

I can see some challenges with either side, I can see uneven match up happening a lot so you'll have to be clever with scenarios so that its not just a "who sent the most wins" situation, perhaps setting a credit or ganger range per "opportunity" would help manage this, so all gangs consider sending 3-5 gangers, rather than one gang sending 2 bodies whilst someone else commits their whole gang.

The other challenge is that bigger/stronger gangs will be able to compete more strongly across more games, which may make their snowballing worse. Personally I'm fine with that as players have some agency in how they deploy their gangs. Perhaps an answer is players indicate which scenarios they're going for that round, and they all got told who else is going for what BEFORE they commit resources, so they can make a call "oh the alpha gangs running for this scenario, I'll send my big hitters..."

...its a really cool concept, would love to see how it works out in practise
 
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NoOneII.

Ganger
Honored Tribesman
Oct 6, 2021
245
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83
Germany, Hessia
Thanks for the feedback, @Heart of Storm !

I will probably plan the details of the scenario only after I know which players send how much personnel.
Setting up the win conditions, deployments etc. is much different, depending on if there are two Gangs sending 8 guys each, or 3 vs. 8 or if its three parties sending stuff, or even four.
Likewise, if four gangs decide to show up in full force, that comes with real life scheduling challenges. (certainly worth it, but still a challenge. :D )

Setting up ranges is something I have considered. Feels a bit restrictive, but might be very beneficial for the overall fun in the games.

The possibly increaded snowballing on the campaign level is a good thought. But as long as the snowballing does not translate into each single game too badly, I am not even overly concerned with it. The whole thing is narration driven, and being "last" on the table between games is not too much frustration, I think, as long as it feels fun and worthwhile to set up your minis for a not totally lopsided game.
"Yeah, life is unfair. Suck it up, ally with those nice torch-and-stake-fellas over there and claw them down."

I guess I will have to gather some experience with scenario design for 'Munda, first.
As they are written in the books, the ones I scrutinized so far seem to be very... not well written, mechanically.
"The Butchers try to eat civilians, the cops try to save them and send them home. Set up your gangs, and then alternate setting up civilians right besides your butchers or cops so it doesn't result in an actual game. Oh, btw. eating a civilian gives one point, sending one home gives two. Cops win." XD
 
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Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
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Yeah many of the scenarios are wonky, and often its easier to kill the other gang than try achieve the objectives... does remind me I should ask the Community Edition guys if working on scenarios was in scope or not...