Best Scenarios for Underdogs

Feb 13, 2018
So I'm around the middle of the rankings in my current campaign, but the top gangs are really starting to pull ahead after 3 or 4 games. What do you think the best scenarios are to choose when you're outnumbered AND outgunned? And what is the best tactical aim? Is it a leader assassination, or just to take out a juve or two then break and run? What is the way to claw the most advantage from the jaws of a certain pasting?
Ambush is probably the way to go, with luck you will have position and numbers on your side.

With a decent chance of taking out a chunk of your opponents gang before they get to fire a shot
If you're just starting: Border Skirmish, the only downside is you lose Turf (but 1 Turf is practically meaningless). Basically, you're looking to do as much damage as possible on your first turn. Ideally you have more fighters and you have the initiative: this should result in 1 enemy casualty (at least) with the enemy bottling on a 5+ or, if you went particularly well, even lower numbers. Don't be afraid to bottle early: you're basically hoping that you get lucky with Crew Size and Priority and even then you've only got a very brief window to win it (on average a 10 fighter gang will have all their fighters on the board after 3 turns).

If you've been going a while ask yourself what will benefit you the most:
A) more creds? Border Skirmish, Sabotage or Looters*
B) taking out some of your opponents fighters? Ambush
C) taking out one of their Special Territories? Sabotage

The other question is, what sort of gang are you?
For the Underdog to win at Border Skirmish you need to push HARD early. You want to make your opponent Bottle before they have a chance to bring their numbers to bear. Even if they hang around to fight it out, there's a fairly good chance that you'll thin there numbers through failed Cool checks (this mission doesn't usually involve friendly fighters being too close to each other, and may not see Leaders / Champs at all early). This means it's a good mission if your gang has some tools that can get you early kills.

For Sabotage to be effective, you really need a couple of gangers with 'bunker busting' weapons. +S CC weapons, Krak Grenades, Plasma Weapons etc are all ideal for this. Without those though, you're relying on weight of dice.... and you're likely to Raise the Alarm that way. Ideally, with Sabotage you blow the objective on the turn you Raise the Alarm and then just run. Don't try to fight the Sentries unless you have overwhelming numbers. If you don't have bunker busting weapons, perhaps Looters is a better option.

With Ambush: you need to be careful about who you Ambush. It's one reason why I advocate getting to 10-12 fighters early: you really want to have more than 8 fighters ready to go for an effective Ambush, or there's a decent chance you won't outnumber your enemy. Skills like Inspirational are HUGE in this mission: the ability to re-roll Cool checks means you're more likely to get 2 Actions. Equally, Templates / Blast is really your friend for this mission: the ability to take out / pin multiple enemy with a single activation allows you to continue pouring on the heat.

* I'm assuming you've house ruled the ability of the Defenders to Bottle in Looters and deny the Loot to the attacker.

What is your objective in this Turf War?
If you're middle of the pack, then you're probably not making a play for Top Dog. What you're probably trying to do is just crawl a little further up the ladder. You do this in two ways: first, you fight battles gain Rep, Experience and Creds; second, Gangs higher than you get crippled and fall.

I'd try to organise a fight with the people around my power level.

In a Stand-Off, if I'm fighting down, I'd try to:
A) keep my Champs/Leader alive (the surest way to drop is to lose a Leader / Champ)
B) maximise Rep gain

In a Stand-Off, if I'm fighting up, I'd try to:
A) keep my Champs / Leader alive (yup, no change here)
B) take out my opponent's Champs / Leaders (even if you don't get lucky and kill them/Critically injure them, simply stopping them working is a significant cost)
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Some good points, thanks. It really is more critical than I first thought to get those gang numbers up. It's so easy to be suddenly down to a crew of 4 if your last fight went bad. There's also a lot of discussion about how to win in the forums. I think it's good to think as well about how to minimise losses, like keeping champs and leaders alive etc.
I think i'll be keeping a tight focus in my next game, set myself a manageable target like loot, kill or smash, then scarper on completion and hope the inter-game sequences go well for me and badly for my opponent
Having read the scenarios again (got the book back from a friend) it looks like looters is a good scenario to really set the odds in my favour, especially if I play really dirty and don't go after any crates. My crew of 7 against four in turn 1, five in turn 2, 7 in turn 3 etc. If I focus purely on taking out his defenders it could be really nasty for him. As soon as the balance looks like tipping, I leave the field via the exit edge, maybe without even bottling out. I'm back to full strength next game, he suffers a crippling blow and risks slipping down the rankings. If things go really well, I grab the crates and win. What could possibly go wrong?
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Ambush + any attacker with the new multi-melta heavy weapon = instant victory over ambushed opponent. All you have to do is fire the multi-melta at the setup point the attacker gets to designate. Strength 8 hit, no armor save, and automatic ooa if within 12 mu. Very easy to setup in ZM tiles.
It might be a liiiiittle while before my struggling gang gets their grubby mitts on a multi-melta. You think 3 lasguns pointing at the same spot will do the same thing?
I have been leaning towards ambush. That's a bunch of enemy gangers with seriously limited options right from the start. I have four long range weapons, three CC fighters, that means most shooters get an escort and they can merrily blaze away from the get go
Not even close. The closest thing replacing a 5" blast weapon is a grenade launcher fired krak grenade, with the just add nails tactics card.

Killing enemy gangers generally requires a gang to focus on boltguns from the beginning.

In the campaigns I have played, I almost never get into close combat except to kill off an opponent.
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As there is no real underdog mechanic, run-away gangs really are hard to stop.

If you have high strength weapons (Krak, renderizer, Melta, plasma) a sabatoge can really rack up the cup to get an advance. Again, don’t fight the senteries.

Border... interesting. A big gamble. But it could turn up big for you depending on the roll. I’d rather use this scenario to face off with someone on my power level who has more turf. Though a few infiltrators/tunnels/vents can net you a quick win if you mess with their gang icon.

Ambush is a good choice too. No real rewards except keeping the enemy from having solid model count next match (if that’s even against you). Multi Melta seems broken good - same with plasma cannon. Blasting charges look excellent on paper in this case.

Have yet to play looters. But the slow trickle of reinforcements seems like a solid option if you house rule the defender bottle option.

If you house rule to have the scenario chooser Defend the Gauntlet (WD feb) that could be a decent option too
Border isn’t particularly a big gamble: Turf is only meaningful in aggregate, if you only have 1 Turf, then losing it isn’t a big deal. Particularly not if your opponent has 3+ Turf and Special Territories. The potential pay off for a starting gang is huge, whereas the loss is manageable.

If you get lucky with the initial set up (ie 5/6 vs 4 and you get Priority) it’s quite winnable. Particularly vs low Cool opponents.

Priority is really the key in that match though: you really need to take the central fighter down and preserve your own. Shotguns (of all types) are huge for this. I’m a big fan of deploying my fighter within 2” of some scatter and then Shoot + Dive for cover.

But if that first turn doesn’t go your way, then bottle. You get +D6x10 credits, bonus Rep for Fighting up and preserve your Leader/Champs. But yeah, if you haven’t forced your opponent to Bottle in the first 2 turns, I’d probably bottle as the Underdog unless I’d already achieved a numbers superiority even accounting for your reserves.