N18 Idea for a simplified monster horde mechanic


New Member
Sep 1, 2021

I'm currently trying to create a framework for monster horde scenarios that don't take the better part of a day to play and still have a larger number of monsters in it. My current idea is to use a single model to represent a group of monsters:
  1. When a monster group is deployed, a D6 is rolled and placed next to the model. This shows the number of monsters in the group. The Wounds & Attack characteristic of the whole group is equal to the number on the dice. So each monster contributes one attack and has one wound. The group is acting as a single model, except for when they are attacked by a weapon with either the Blast or the Template trait. In this case each individual monster is affected by the attack.
  2. The damage an individual monster receives is set to 1, unless the damage value of the attack is not numerical (e.g. Smoke grenades). This avoids that a single target weapon like a Meltagun can take out multiple monsters with one shot.
  3. When an individual monster would be Pinned and not taken Out of Action, the whole group is Pinned instead. All effects that cause a Flesh Wound or Serious Injury are instead Out of Action. Each OoA reduces the dice value by 1 (and thus W/A as well). If the dice value would be reduced to 0, the monster group is completely OoA and removed from the battlefield. Only the fighter who takes the last monster of the group OoA receives XP for it. This removes a lot of bookkeeping and difficulties on how to handle e.g. a partially Seriously Injured monster group.
What are your thoughts? Am I missing some obvious interactions with other game mechanics that result in a conflict of rules? I'm sure there are some, but at least for niche situations I will simply arbitrate case by case.
1.The dice idea is elegant, I like using the same sort if thing for keeping tabs on Ash Wastes mount movement (a D20 for tracking the inevitable knock down damage). Means you don't have to rely on movement trays for many models which would be a nightmare on a Necromunda board!

Might want to put a hard radius on the swarm (like an oversized base, or stacks of oversized bases for height) so shooters don't have only one little target to shoot (which isn't very horde-like). Or a use a large elastic band or string circle as a proxy for the engagement area if you want the horde's tableprint to be able to flex around the terrain.
Recommend Movement 4, charges add D3 to movement but a result of 1 is always rerolled (because the horde lurches and lunges). Movement is affected by terrain as usual.

No attack stat. Have fighters in base-tobase contact with the horde count as being engaged.

Engaged fighter's roll an initiatuve check to avoid being grabbed by the horde, then roll below their Strength stat on a fail to avoid being knocked down (treat as if SI). Fighter's knocked down/SI by the horde have to recover before the horde next moves forward over them or they take an automatic wound. An engaged fighter who has passed their first horde-prompted initiative check can make an attack action, if they manage to wound the horde they can "reverse consolidate" 2" away from the edge of the horde without drawing a reaction attack, or stay in place and engaged and make an initiative check to avoid being grabbed by the horde again (this time with no follow-up opportunity to attackIf successful).

Horde gains a wound at the end of each round, or it it takes a fighter OOA. Maybe let it gain an OOA fighter's start-of-game wound stat in wounds?

2. Maybe make it: all damage from each hit against the group is reduced to 1, and one damage will reduce the dice by one wound and remove one model from the horde. That means a rapid fire weapon can theoretically take out between 0-3 models per attack. Sever and Rending trait weapons do an additional damage if the fighter rolls a six to hit (because saw= good against hordes) - no other bonuses to damage.

3. If these are zombies I'd make then toughness 4 to reduce the chance they'd be trivialised by autoguns or dual-wielded autopistols, only well-placed auto or lasgun shots will hurt them. Also consider looking at the starvation rules in Book or Ruin/Necromunda Apocrypha re: what happens when fighter's lose the ability to make rational decisions and start eating folk. Give them strength 3, or more if mutated.
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Thanks for the reply! That's a lot of food for thought and a lot of it makes sense to include. Though, I'd like to keep the extra rules for using these hordes to a minimum, considering that this game has enough rules on its own. But I'll definitely have a look to incorporate some of it for a test scenario.