N18 Leader Killed in First Activation of Campaign

MarkSosbe

Juve
Jan 1, 2020
12
35
13
Short version: The leader of my Goliath gang was killed in the very first activation of the campaign.

Long version: So a series of events lead to the death of my leader in the very first activation of the campaign, and I'd like to tell you about it.

My buddy and I are starting up a Dominion campaign. There's only two of us, and there's no Arbiter. I'm playing Goliaths and he's playing as Escher.

We roll on the alternative scenario selection table from Goonhammer, and we select Border Dispute. We've both heard good things about this scenario, and it seems balanced so we go for that.

We roll our starting crews (D3+3 each, randomly selected) and we both get 6. I have 7 people in my gang total, he has 11. We randomly select our crews. I select everyone but one of my champions. He gets both his champions and his leader, plus 3 gangers.

In Border Dispute, you randomly select one member from each gang to be setup 1" away from the centre of the battlefield. The idea being that the two gangs were having a meeting and it all kicks off.

I randomly select my leader (Grenade Launcher, Power Axe)
He randomly selects one of his champions (Las Pistol, Power Sword).

We set up those two, then set up the rest of our gangs as per the instructions.

We roll for priority. He wins.

His champion charges my leader. She hits him twice with her power sword, one of which is a 6 (meaning that attack does two damage). It's S4 vs my T4, so he needs 4+ to wound. He wounds me with both.

Because of the AP of the weapon, I get no save (and the 6 from the power weapon would have negated any save anyway).

He rolls for injury. Gets an out of action.

Rolls on the Lasting Injury chart, he rolls 64. Dead unless seen by a doc.

...my leader, who cost 245cr out of my 980cr list (25% of my total value) is dead before I've even activated a fighter.

(Also, because it's Border Dispute, you have no tactic cards in the first round, so I couldn't play Unstoppable Behemoth or something).

So from that moment on the remainder of my gang (6 guys) went up against 11 Escher, outnumbered almost 2-1.

I did everything that I could, but had awful rolls. My champion with a power axe (3 attacks on the charge, 3+ to hit, wounding on 2+) failed to kill a ganger. I shot the champion who killed my leader in the face with a Krak grenade and she took a flesh wound. There was a point where I had 4 of his gangers seriously injured (including his leader and both champions) but they all recovered to flesh wounds, and I was never in a position to Coup de Grace because I was being pinned by las gun fire (good play on his part).

Unsurprisingly, I lost and ended up voluntarily bottling out.

When we rolled for income, he rolled 40 credits, I got 10. I killed one of his fighters (the only one I managed to take out of action), but he then got a replacement juve from his settlement (unsurprisingly, I didn't).

So, going in to the next game I have 3 fighters not in recovery against his 11.

I know this'll mean I'll get the extra tactic cards from being the underdog next time. (If I'm lucky I might get that one that lets me place a duct, woohoo!)

Right now, I genuinely can't see any way back / any point carrying on. I'll never be able to get to full strength again, and even if I do, he'll be way out ahead by that point.

I don't mind losing, of course. When I've made some tactical error, or moved a guy to an exposed position when I shouldn't have. Fine. But to have my leader randomly selected to go in the middle, and then to die before I've even got chance to use him? Nah. That's not fun, and it's soured the entire campaign going forward.

I'm not asking for a solution. I know there isn't one. This is just me shouting in to the void about how a few moments of fate can disrupt the campaign from the get go. Which is a shame, as I was really enjoying Necromunda in the 6 pre-campaign skirmish games we played.

Ahh well.
 

TopsyKretts

Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
6,054
6,198
193
Norway
Yes, one of many problems with Dominion campaign. Many of us share your pain. I've discussed it heavily before and come up with some sweet house rules to fix it:

There are many solutions:
  • Easiest: Restart your gang. This is quite common in Necromunda, Blood Bowl and similar games.
  • Modify Leader (and champ) weight on gang rating. I use a house rule where Leaders and Champs have to double their base cost when calculating gang rating! This is similar to NCE (which has much better campaign system).
 
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MarkSosbe

Juve
Jan 1, 2020
12
35
13
Thank you for that @TopsyKretts We're trying not to use many house rules, especially as it this stage it may seem like I'm trying to manipulate things to give myself an advantage, which I wouldn't want. After this cycle is done, we'll probably look at house ruling in some underdog stuff.

As for the solutions, I shall see how this next game goes (we're going to do one of the gang raids, so hopefully it won't be too stacked against me, but I fear a reset of the gang may be on the cards.
 

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
10,582
14,828
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Tilehurst, U.k.
we'll probably look at house ruling in some underdog stuff.
Why not look to the actual underdog stuff? house patronage things if your gang is more than 400 below his rating. That will seriously even the score.

Otherwise, yeah, you might be in for some tough games but it can swing back, just it'll be a long shot. Restarting now might be an option as you are only a game in, but depends what you are feeling.
 

Gdolkin

Gang Hero
Jun 25, 2017
737
2,446
113
Nottingham
I understand your disillusion, but that was some crazy serious bad luck.. I've just had my cherished Goliath leader killed in the first few activations of two games on the trot, both before he'd even activated, but they were luckily just practice skirmish games (or it couldn't have happened twice). I'd advocate sticking with it, it'll be all the sweeter if your remaining guys can pull back and pay back :D
 
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Scabs

Gang Champion
Feb 4, 2014
496
597
103
San Diego. CA, USA
OK, before we House Rule, before we give up, before we decide Necromunda is no fun...consider, what a great story! Yes, it's a remarkable series of bad luck. But, you have to look far and wide to find another game that generates such moments.

I'm Old Skool, played Necromunda from when it all began (1995), till it petered out (early Aughts). And, since N17 hit, gloriously continuously . In all that time, I've only had one Leader die (good luck, not good skill). And, that was Big Mak, the infamous Goliath Leader who was killed in the 11th game of a ridiculously long 12-game campaign (btw, around game 9, it stops being fun because everyone is so well-equipped). Guess what? Losing the big guy still stings. I feel your pain.

First, the basics. Did you elect to go to the Doc? You can roll up his asking price, and then decide to pay up, or not. Only costs you a post-battle action. Typically, only worth it for a Leader. But, it also means you can keep his equipment (assuming you didn't have anyone left on the battlefield to recover his equipment).

Second, speaking of his equipment. NO, (and I mean NO) self-respecting, combat-monster Goliath Leader brings a Grenade Launcher to a sword fight! Yes, he might have been killed no matter what. But, you were going to be disappointed with him, anyway. Every Action he would have taken that did not get him into hand-to-hand combat would have been wasted.

Third, Border Dispute can cause someone to lose and eye, or worse. Just say'n.

And, lastly, it's a two person campaign vs Eschers. Eschers! What's the worst that could happen. Oh, right, THAT was the worst.

So, what to do? You could suck it up, promote a Champ to Leader, and soldier on. Or, reset. Last night (our first night of a Dark Uprising campaign), my opponent lost his Leader, DOA. Bad luck, too. He elected to go to the Doc, and got a Hand Injury (-1 WS). In the DU campaign, there's no Bionics to repair that. It's Orlock's, who cares if the Leader isn't awesome in H2h? But, my buddy thinks he needs to reset. Damn Millennials!

Anyway, you have a great story! Thanks for taking the time to share it. With Necromunda, you know bad things happen to good people. Your gang isn't crippled, or you can reset. Don't let one dumb thing ruin the game (OK, a bunch of dumb things like rolling up a whopping 10 creds!). And, the very fact you thought of playing a Gang Raid because of having only 3 fighters available shows you get the game/campaign. You got this!
 

MarkSosbe

Juve
Jan 1, 2020
12
35
13
Why not look to the actual underdog stuff? house patronage things if your gang is more than 400 below his rating. That will seriously even the score

Being fairly new I'm not super familiar with those, don't think I've come across them yet. I'll certainly look into them, thanks.

Lots of encouraging stuff

Thanks dude, I really appreciate your encouragement, and urge to stick with it.

Concerning your question about going to the doc, I think I fluffed that a bit as I wasn't really thinking all that straight, so it didn't occur to me. Lesson learned on that one.

I am going to try and stick it out to see what happens, give them at least another shot. I'd rather try and continue and then, if they eventually do come good, it's a better story to tell (as you say), than resetting now.

Thanks again. :)
 

MarkSosbe

Juve
Jan 1, 2020
12
35
13
House patronage

Just to add on to this, thanks again for pointing me in the direction of those House Patronage rules. I only get White Dwarf intermittently, and have been relying on physical copies of the rulebooks, so wasn't aware of them but they seem to go a long way to solving the issues of one gang getting brutalised and trying to limp through their next game until they get back on their feet.

I was familiar with the inducement rules from Blood Bowl, and always found it odd something like that wasn't included in Necromunda (I mean, there's the extra tactics cards, but they can be pretty underwhelming in my experience. Exceptions apply, of course).

Also, I've been kitbashing some Bounty Hunters, but knowing how not-great the hired gun rules are (pay 200cr for a guy who might leave after a game), I wasn't really seeing how I'd ever use them. But these Hive Patronages make hired guns much more possible.

So, in short: hope for the future of the campaign, and renewed reasons to keep making bounty hunters.

Thanks again for directing me to those rules, most helpful :)
 

Ben_S

Hive Lord
Yak Comp 3rd Place
Honored Tribesman
Jul 26, 2015
6,628
11,846
208
Southampton, UK
I don't think there's anything wrong with restarting your gang in these circumstances. (Not saying that you have to, only that it's an option.)

Just like many small businesses fold in their first year, I assume many gangs get formed but don't last very long. Obviously it's more interesting to play one of the more successful ones.
 
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TopsyKretts

Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
6,054
6,198
193
Norway
OK, before we House Rule, before we give up, before we decide Necromunda is no fun...consider, what a great story! Yes, it's a remarkable series of bad luck. But, you have to look far and wide to find another game that generates such moments.

I'm Old Skool, played Necromunda from when it all began (1995), till it petered out (early Aughts). And, since N17 hit, gloriously continuously . In all that time, I've only had one Leader die (good luck, not good skill). And, that was Big Mak, the infamous Goliath Leader who was killed in the 11th game of a ridiculously long 12-game campaign (btw, around game 9, it stops being fun because everyone is so well-equipped). Guess what? Losing the big guy still stings. I feel your pain.
12 games is a long campaign? I've played much more than that and my gang is struggling to survive. When I say house rules, I'm not saying take away the stories. The house rules I suggest emphasizes on stories, and in this particular case, motivates continue playing the gang even if the leader dies. If you drop all house rules, you are rewarded for restarting (and thus losing the story).
 

Scabs

Gang Champion
Feb 4, 2014
496
597
103
San Diego. CA, USA
12 games is a long campaign? I've played much more than that and my gang is struggling to survive. When I say house rules, I'm not saying take away the stories. The house rules I suggest emphasizes on stories, and in this particular case, motivates continue playing the gang even if the leader dies. If you drop all house rules, you are rewarded for restarting (and thus losing the story).
I think I might be leaving a trail of destruction. I don't love house rules, but don't hate'm either. I advise a new player to try it the way it was written, and then they have a feel for what they like, or not. I just want new players to have faith in the game as designed. We've played that way for two years. Admittedly, there are glitches and issues.

Longer than 12 games! Ya'll are heroes or masochists. Or, both. We have had the issue with folks falling out of contention mid-campaign. I think the Alliances systems would have been more useful for gangs struggling mid-campaign, instead of everyone getting them right out of the gate. Hey, that might be a good house rule...Doh!
 
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TopsyKretts

Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
6,054
6,198
193
Norway
We are now on the 3rd year of our campaign and I don't see any reason to stop. Proper munda runs smooth eternal. Strange to fall out after 12 games when some of us are still playing after 25 years.
 
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UnderhiveGangstar

Gang Champion
Jun 6, 2018
351
189
43
UK
As it is this scenario that punished you and not your decision making, you could simply make all gangs first game a simple standoff. That way all gangs are on an even footing, then you can only blame yourselves or the dice, not an unfair mission.

Once all gangs have played their first standoff game, dice roll as normal for the mission.
 

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
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So, in short: hope for the future of the campaign, and renewed reasons to keep making bounty hunters.

Thanks again for directing me to those rules, most helpful :)
No Problem. Also to note, you cna ignore the limits on hangers on... 650 rating behind? 3 ambots you say? or jsut an ambot, a couple of ammo jacks, a rogue doc (to help with the risk of a costly doc visit), bounty hunter, kal jerico and your set.

It's really really useful. The main thing to try and do is get it so its your men doing the coup'de'gra or scenario actions that grant xp.
 
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MarkSosbe

Juve
Jan 1, 2020
12
35
13
@MarkSosbe, if it's any consolation, you should know that you have truly been blessed by Nuffle! Such an unlikely series of event...

Ha indeed! I might buy a lottery ticket this weekend as I feel I'm due an avalanche of good luck to balance this out..

No Problem. Also to note, you cna ignore the limits on hangers on... 650 rating behind? 3 ambots you say? or jsut an ambot, a couple of ammo jacks, a rogue doc (to help with the risk of a costly doc visit), bounty hunter, kal jerico and your set.

It's really really useful. The main thing to try and do is get it so its your men doing the coup'de'gra or scenario actions that grant xp.

Great advice, and good to know. I have just finished painting up a couple of Ambots, as it happens.. thanks again :)
 
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Mcnabb

Ganger
Sep 28, 2018
197
132
53
Bournemouth
@MarkSosbe

Man i feel your pain, I have just had a very similar experiance with my Orlock gang and like you we have only two of us playing, however we have 3 gangs each (to add a bit of variance and we are very good at taking each others gangs and going for the win regardless of which team we are controlling)

However first game of the campaing wasn't best suited for my 7person team of orlock (I had dumped so much money in a heavy bolter i was i felt short 1 person)

It was mortalis against goliath. Now we were winning oh god we were anihilating the goliath, 4 out of actions 2 down and only their leader remained. I had only sustained one fighter down but not out. (He had 2 fleshwounds so if he got back up he would bleed out) My leader was 'guarding/assisting' the down fighter while my champion with the heavy bolter was anihilating the goliath. Got the perfect shot on the goliath leader heavy bolter 3 hits 3 wounds 0 saves, 4 skulls (a fleshound and a down) Then THE card is played is played this leader that should be oh so dead with 4 skull rolls is still alive and now not even pinned. He charges my leader and oh yea my leaders dead 66 nothing else i can do. (we discussed if he should still have to roll four injury dice for the 4 skulls and agreed he would and guess what.... goliath leader gets away with just missing the next game)

Luckily my heavy bolter had taken out all 7 of enemy gang, (with the other gangers doing good assitant shots) So he gains all the xp he gets promoted. Next game, was a 4 way battle, he takes down another 5 on his own. He is now better than my leader was. (Although not got the 3 wounds) I've left him as the leader he's doing all right.

Although i've got a game tonight which is "The Trap" against Enforcers and we have 0 close combat capability (I haven't even got them knifes or stub pistols yet i spent all my loot on an Ambot that's out of action for this battle) So i get the feeling i'm probably going to get pwned tonight.


But moral of the story.... buy a heavy bolter... those things are worth it!
 

MarkSosbe

Juve
Jan 1, 2020
12
35
13
Hah cheers for the solidarity @Mcnabb that sounds like quite the game. Perhaps the spirit of my departed leader drifted through the ether and bolstered the Goliath leader in your game :)

Necromunda certainly does seem to generate these memorable moments. I know for a fact I'm going to be saying to my friend "...I still can't believe you killed my leader in the first turn" for years from now, ha.

Best of luck tonight, hope it's not too painful.