N18 Is the Iron Guild alliance too good?

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
51
75
28
Ljubljana
I've finally got my copy of the Book of perils and after my first read-trough my gut impression is that the Guns, guns, guns! benefit from the Iron guild is too good, arguably Broken.
The way this special rule is written, it grants a D3x10 (which you can easily upgrade to a D3x20) credit discount on every single ranged weapon bought from the Trading post (down to a minimum of 5 creds).
It isn't specified in the rule wether you roll the D3 once and apply the same discount to all purchases for that trade visit, or if you should roll for each item separately (I lean toward the second interpretation, otherwise 1 decent die roll discounts everything by 60 creds), but either ways this can net you a massive 'profit' in the form of spamming a whole bunch of usually expensive guns after 1 game...
To explain my worry, let us take a look at a bunch of popular guns for Necromunda gangers:
- Boltgun (55 creds): if you go for the 'mild discount' this will cost you from 45 to 25 creds per bolter; if you go for the 'extreme discount' you'll pay from 35 to 5 creds per Bolter.
- Combat Shotgun (70 creds): Minor discount = 60-40 creds; Major discount = 50-10 creds per Shotgun.
- Grenade launcher (65 creds): It will be either 55-35 creds or 45-5 creds grenade launchers.
Any ammo type and gun that is less than 50 creds (most are usually around 30-ish credits) will get most often discounted down to 5-15 credits per item.

Basically a gang can play normally a few games with House favors and House sub plots in play, then, whenever they manage to save up 150-200 credits, they can start the alliance with the Iron guild for one game, after the game test the alliance to get the max discount (at no risk of failing, if this is the first time the gang Tested the alliance with the guild, which is likely) and arm the entire gang with Bolters, grenade launchers and Combat shotguns at 20 credits per gun (on average), jumping up their gang rating by 500 credits in one go.

I tried rolling some dice, for a few 'trade phase' simulations for the 2 gangs I am currently playing in campaign play, based on their current condition and gang members (rather than just theorizing of buying 15x Bolters in a row) and for both gangs, I ran out of gang members to arm with all these discounted guns, before I ran out of my 200 credits theoretical budget, and the gangs rating sky-rocketed.

I realize anyone can ally with any guild and the ''even if the mechanic is broken, since everyone has equal access to it, it isn't broken'' argument, but none of the other guilds offer such a massive 'income boon' or even remotely comparable other effect, which makes all other guild rather pointless by comparison.
I mean, Necromunda was never meant to be a truly balanced game system, it is more about the narrative and the progression and growth of the gangs, but the Iron guild effectively gets you the biggest credits boost seen in the game overall up to now...

Am I overreacting?

For the sake of fairness, there are some limitation to this apparently OP guild:
1. The discount 'only' applies to ranged weapons, which means all Basic, Special, Heavy weapons, Pistols and their Ammo types, but not hand grenades or gun attachments (small mercy, I guess).
2. Due to the massive discount, most gangs will run out of fighters to arm, before they run out of money to buy more cheap guns, at which point they might stock up on Limited ammo types to keep in the gang stash, but they'll inevitably reach a point where the gang is set for life with guns and ammo and has to spend their money on normally priced equipment and more fighters (at which point they can simply break up the alliance and return working for their House agenda like before, except they now have a massive armoury).

I think most gangs will (or should) end up treating the Iron guild as an early campaign 'mini quest', as in stock up some cash in the first few guild-free games, then struck up the alliance with the Iron guild, pushing for the max Discount at every occasion to quickly grab all the guns they can and when the guild breaks off the alliance after 1-2 games (due to the gang testing the alliance with these discounts and them simply refusing to give up the war-gear of their deads), they'll just carry on after their accelerated rating/level boost.
If every gang does this at some point in the campaign, things should remain roughly 'equal' (or at least within manageable levels), but if they don't there will be a massive 500-1000 rating gap between the Guild allied and the non-allied gangs.

I think I'll put it up for a vote within my Necromunda campaign gaming group, on weather we should simply BAN the Iron guild from the campaign, or if everybody is fine with it and would enjoy 'exploiting' it like everyone else to all quickly have higher rating fully armed up gangs... Maybe the Iron guild could have limited access, determined by the arbitrator, as a different balancing tool, to help lower gangs dragging behind in the campaign to make up lost ground/rating?

So returning to the opening question: Is the alliance with the Iron guild too good? What do you fine Hivers think about it?

Anyway, Cheers!
 

Paupoi

Gang Champion
Jul 6, 2013
281
691
128
Barcelona, Sabadell
I think the only sane way to play it is to check your alliance every time you want to buy a ranged weapon after the first one and limit it to two weapons with discount between games. Remember that you add 1 to the result for every other time you checked the alliance in the same cycle.
So it would work as a free D3x10 discount on one ranged weapon and a D3x20 discount on another ranged weapon after passing the check. Rest of the ranged weapons you buy in that visit get no discount.

This is not the way it is written though.
 
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Benoksen

Ganger
Mar 15, 2016
167
240
48
47
Oslo
I don't have the Peril book yet. Anyway, the concept of the same dieroll range discount on items whatever their original cost, like when selling things in the trading post, is just stupid, for lack of a better word. Why not use percentage? It's been tried in the real world.
The Iron guild definetely sounds broken - or close to- as described, and with the need for proper houseruling. But then again, most of the game needs houseruling.
 

Valombre

New Member
May 5, 2019
9
0
1
Hey, I just re-read it. Sounds definitely broken. A shame, as the fact that they don't have an "entourage", just Scums, would have made them the first choice to include...
Well, pourcentage, as @Benoksen suggested, sounds fine, as well as limiting it : 2D6 would seem quite good already / or a fixed amount - don't forget that there's already the reduced rarity which is really nice !
 

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
51
75
28
Ljubljana
After thinking about it for a while, what if the Iron guild alliance granted something like the 'Savvy trader' (Savant) skill to fighters taking the trade action?
Provides a fixed discount (10 at the base level, 20 if you Test the alliance) and the same 'rarity boost' like the actual guild benefit, but it is limited to 1 discounted item per Leader/champ going to the Trade post.
I think this would bring the Iron guild somewhat in line with the 'power level' of the other guild benefits, providing basically a 10-20 creds discount per character (Leader and champs) in you gang.
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
2,911
6,329
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Issy-les-Moulineaux 92130 France
As written, it looks to me that the Iron Guild's benefit can be used to generate infinite credits:

You can make trading post actions multiple times in any order, meaning nothing stops you from purchasing a bunch of guns, then selling them, and repeat ad nauseam.
You sell guns for price-1D6*10 credits and purchase them for price-1D3*10 credits so one may think a priori that it's not profitable, but both are floored at 5 credits, meaning that, as long as you never purchase a gun for more than 5 credits, you cannot lose money.

So, here is what you do:
  • if you roll a 1, purchase a lasgun for 5 credits and sell it for 5 credits
  • if you roll a 2 or 3, purchase a longlas for 5 credits and sell it for 5 or 10 credits
(both items are common so it doesn't matter what your rarity roll is)

Given enough time, you are guaranteed to make any arbitrary amount of credits this way (as long as it's a multiple of 5 of course). All you need is a 5 credit seed to start the infinite engine. Sure, only 1 in 9 loops (on average) will generate credits (and only 5 of them), but it doesn't matter as you can repeat the loop as many times as you wish.
That's if you roll for each purchase individually though. If you roll only once per post-battle sequence, then you only have 2/3 chance for it to work.

Anyway, I think we can agree that an infinite credits engine breaks the game, regardless of how many players have access to it.
 
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Ml2sjw

Gang Hero
Nov 25, 2017
645
862
113
United kingdom
My reading is that alliances are selected at the start of the campaign so you are locked in from the beginning.

Infinite credits is one of the rules exploits that in a game like necromunda shouldn't come up (in the world according to me) but does. Behaviour like this should be mitigated by the arbitor.

D3 + 2 scum is potentially very powerful as you can (models allowing) tweak your load outs against each opponent
 

Alobar

Gang Hero
As written, it looks to me that the Iron Guild's benefit can be used to generate infinite credits:

You can make trading post actions multiple times in any order, meaning nothing stops you from purchasing a bunch of guns, then selling them, and repeat ad nauseam.
You sell guns for price-1D6*10 credits and purchase them for price-1D3*10 credits so one may think a priori that it's not profitable, but both are floored at 5 credits, meaning that, as long as you never purchase a gun for more than 5 credits, you cannot lose money.

So, here is what you do:
  • if you roll a 1, purchase a lasgun for 5 credits and sell it for 5 credits
  • if you roll a 2 or 3, purchase a longlas for 5 credits and sell it for 5 or 10 credits
(both items are common so it doesn't matter what your rarity roll is)

Given enough time, you are guaranteed to make any arbitrary amount of credits this way (as long as it's a multiple of 5 of course). All you need is a 5 credit seed to start the infinite engine. Sure, only 1 in 9 loops (on average) will generate credits (and only 5 of them), but it doesn't matter as you can repeat the loop as many times as you wish.
That's if you roll for each purchase individually though. If you roll only once per post-battle sequence, then you only have 2/3 chance for it to work.

Anyway, I think we can agree that an infinite credits engine breaks the game, regardless of how many players have access to it.

I'd be interested to know what people think on whether the roll is for each individual purchase, or just one roll per post-battle sequence??? It's not clear in the book, from what I've seen. (my copy doesn't arrive until the end of this week and I don't have a digital copy)...
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
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I'd be interested to know what people think on whether the roll is for each individual purchase, or just one roll per post-battle sequence??? It's not clear in the book, from what I've seen. (my copy doesn't arrive until the end of this week and I don't have a digital copy)...
Yeah, it's unclear. The way it's written, you may even roll only once when you contract the alliance. Here is the full text of the benefit:
Guns Guns Guns said:
While the gang is allied with the Iron Guild, reduce the Rarity of all Trading Post ranged weapons by 2. In addition, the cost of Trading Post ranged weapons is reduced by D3x10 credits to a minimum of 5 credits. If the gang wish, they can roll to Test the Alliance and reduce the cost of Trading Post ranged weapons by D3x20 credits to a minimum of 5 credits.
My guess is that you roll for each weapon separately.
I wonder if they forgot that you can now purchase as many items from the TP as you want during each post-battle sequence, maybe they think it's limited by the number of Trade actions your gang takes, like in Turf War?

Also, I don't think the discount (or rarity modifier) is supposed to apply to special ammunition (them being listed amidst the ranged weapons is just a quirk of the trading post layout, that doesn't make ammunition weapons)
 
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Ml2sjw

Gang Hero
Nov 25, 2017
645
862
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United kingdom
I reckon it's once per post battle sequence as it applies to all weapons same as the rarity of all weapons is reduced by 2 and the cost of all weapons is reduced by d3 x 10 which to my eyes implies a single amount (decided by a dice roll) that all weapons costs are reduced.

Special ammunition does appear to be its own category as @Thorgor said. The badzones trade post includes special ammunition on its own rather than a subset of ranged weapons
 
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Graphite

New Member
Nov 19, 2015
1
0
6
It seems to me that the Iron Guilds balance is that their scum assistants are awful.

They don't have the "guild delegation" rule, and hence count as d3+2 individual fighters. So for crew selection you have to take them, instead of potentially five fighters that you'd actually want.

Also, re-reading the rules- scum are _awful_ aren't they?
 

enyoss

Gang Hero
Tribe Council
Jul 19, 2015
1,116
1,692
163
SL
Scum seem decent to me as you able to arm them up with whatever tools best complement your gang. Plus you can send them on suicide missions you wouldn’t want to risk a gang member on.

For the Iron Guild though I guess you’re right in that they add to crew rating and take slots used for other gangers, which normal guild delegations don’t.

I’d actually be tempted to put a gang rating value on the guild delegations. I reckon they add around 350 or more in value, so weird they don’t get accounted for.
 

rippounet

Ganger
Apr 29, 2016
170
228
48
Paris
Funny, I like the corpse guild myself, because a re-roll on the lasting injuries table (for *every* roll) seems insanely powerful to me (sure, you might lose a guy to the guild once in a while, but that's *after* the re-roll anyway so you'll be fine most of the time AND you can always just test the alliance if it's a champion/leader).

But yeah, on second thought, the iron guild is broken because you can just pick that alliance at the start of the campaign to buy all the weapons you want and then switch to another one in the next cycle. If you keep some creds at your gang's creation you could end up saving hundreds of creds and having an insane amount of special weapons...
 

Vonvilkee

Gang Hero
Jan 7, 2018
566
399
68
Bellingham, Washington USA
I want to limit the discount in someway linked to the number of games equal to the number of discounted weapons. That would be hard without additional tracking...

What if you can buy a number of discounted items equal to the amount of experience your leader currently has? Now you have to balance buying upgrades for the leader with discounted equipment. What you all think?