N18 So Guild Bonds, How do they work?

Jun 16, 2018
44
14
8
Orange Park, FL
Startting a Law and Misrule campaign and umm.. how do Guild Bonds work?
Questions:
1. You can declare at start of campaign you have an alliance... I guess don’t do that until you see what your starting rackets are in case they are for a different guild? You can also declare before any battle, so do it before first battle if don’t get a guild bond?
2. if you draw 2 Guild Bonds for starting Rackets... I guess return the 2nd one and draw a new card until you get something not a Bond? Can’t control two Guild Bonds.
3. Do you never have to test the alliance if have a Guild Bond? If you do have to test, what happens if you lose alliance? Does the Bond go back into the pool of unclaimed? If in Justice phase is it just gone? Or maybe if you fail an alliance test you have to take the 2nd paragraph option for rest of phase/campaign?
4. If you already lost one alliance this phase, does winning a Guild Bond get you a new one? I think yes? You could gain and lose as many guild alliances as games you play (divided by 2)?
5. If you have a regular alliance with a Merchant Guild, can you challenge for a Guild Bond?
6. The second paragraph under Recruit begins “Alternatively, or if this Racket is controlled by an Outlaw gang...” the “Alternative, or” implies to me that a Law Abiding gang could choose this option instead of the Merchant Guild alliance in the first paragraph, is that right? Could they choose this if they already had a “regular” alliance and gained a Guild Bond for a different guild? Does this answer my question 1&5?
7. This not a rules question, but wouldn’t it make (more) sense to have Rackets for the criminal alliances too? Could solve the weirdness of the Imposter.
8. Not only Rackets, but anytime you get a “free” Bounty Hunter or Hive Scum, can it be a Dramatis Personae?
 

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
243
435
73
Ljubljana
Startting a Law and Misrule campaign and umm.. how do Guild Bonds work?
Questions:
1. You can declare at start of campaign you have an alliance... I guess don’t do that until you see what your starting rackets are in case they are for a different guild? You can also declare before any battle, so do it before first battle if don’t get a guild bond?
2. if you draw 2 Guild Bonds for starting Rackets... I guess return the 2nd one and draw a new card until you get something not a Bond? Can’t control two Guild Bonds.
3. Do you never have to test the alliance if have a Guild Bond? If you do have to test, what happens if you lose alliance? Does the Bond go back into the pool of unclaimed? If in Justice phase is it just gone? Or maybe if you fail an alliance test you have to take the 2nd paragraph option for rest of phase/campaign?
4. If you already lost one alliance this phase, does winning a Guild Bond get you a new one? I think yes? You could gain and lose as many guild alliances as games you play (divided by 2)?
5. If you have a regular alliance with a Merchant Guild, can you challenge for a Guild Bond?
6. The second paragraph under Recruit begins “Alternatively, or if this Racket is controlled by an Outlaw gang...” the “Alternative, or” implies to me that a Law Abiding gang could choose this option instead of the Merchant Guild alliance in the first paragraph, is that right? Could they choose this if they already had a “regular” alliance and gained a Guild Bond for a different guild? Does this answer my question 1&5?
7. This not a rules question, but wouldn’t it make (more) sense to have Rackets for the criminal alliances too? Could solve the weirdness of the Imposter.
8. Not only Rackets, but anytime you get a “free” Bounty Hunter or Hive Scum, can it be a Dramatis Personae?
1. I'd say you can wait to declare Guild alliances until after your group draws their starting Rackets.
2. Keep 1 guild bond, put the other Guild bond back in the 'pile' and draw another Racket until you get a non-Bond one.
3. I would say you still have to Test the alliance even with the matching guild bond and you can lose the alliance in spite of the bond; if that happens you still control the bond Racket but you can't re-establish any alliance until the next Downtime (as per normal 'broken alliances consequences) and you can only use the 'Alternative' Boon of free Hired guns.
4. No, if you broke an alliance you can't form another one until the next Downtime. The Guild bond 'forces' you to form an alliance with the matching guild, but it is still subject to normal alliance rules/limitations (meaning that if you already are in an alliance with a different guild, the 'Automatic alliance' part of the bond does not 'trigger' and again you just use the 'Alternative' boon for free hired guns. That also means you can't cycle trough alliances by swapping Guild bond rackets with other gangs.
5. Yes, but as mentioned above it will not 'trigger' a new alliance, just be another racket using the Alternative boon.
6. I'd say that even if you are currently allied with the guild linked to the Guild bond, you always have the choice of either calling in the guild enforcers or use the alternative free hired guns.
7. It would be mechanically symmetrical to the Merchant guilds, but I should also point out that Guild alliances (without a guild bond) are less likely to send help to a gang, the higher the gang's reputation becomes and the Guild bonds get around this drawback (if you have the guild bond and an active alliance you can always call the guilders for help and they will come regardless of reputation), while criminal alliances don't have this limitation (you can always call them for help, regardless of your reputation), so a Criminal bond racket would have no real benefit (other than being a differently flavoured copy of the guild bonds).
8. Personally I always interpret any such recruitment boons (mostly from Rackets and territories) as meaning generic Hive scums (30 creds + 60 creds of equipment) and generic Bounty hunters (90 creds + 150 creds of equipment). If you were to allow any such instance to recruit free Drammatis personae, you could end up with multiple Kal Jerichos and Scabbs running around the table for free. In my group we house ruled that whenever you gain Free hired guns, it is meant to be generic hired guns of their type, but you can chose to 'combine' 2 generic Hive scum free slots to hire a Named Hive scum (like Scabs) or combine 2 generic free bounty hunter slots (let say you have a Guild bond, and the Life exchange racket, or high enough Rep to get the free hunter) to hire a free named Bounty hunter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neil McLellan
Jun 16, 2018
44
14
8
Orange Park, FL
Is it possible that Guild Bonds are intended to only provide the Entourage and not any of the other benefits/drawbacks of an alliance with a Guild?
The box out on page 72, titled “Guilder Bonds” says that if you have the Book of Peril you can take the Entourage instead of Hired Guns but doesn’t mention any other benefits? Is the alliance mentioned in the Guild Bonds alliances with a lower case a and the ones with a capital A are the full ones as described in the Alliances section, giving full benefits? Like Corpse Guild Bond gives you a Corpse Harvesting party, but doesn’t allow rerolls of serious injuries, nor do you have to sacrifice critically injured gangers? To get the whole deal, would have to have a regular Alliance.
 

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
243
435
73
Ljubljana
Nope.
If they intended to give you access to a Guild entourage without forming the alliance, it would be worded differently; RAW it says you 'form an alliance and, if you do, you can always bring the entourage'. I believe the Guild bond rackets are a patch on the initial Guild entourage rules/limitations (since we can see the devs choose not to include those same limitations in the later released criminal alliances).
Given how poorly written/proof-read Necromunda rules are, you can't really make a case/argument that ''Alliance'' is meant to mean something mechanically different than ''alliance'' (the Devs are too inconsistent with their Word usage in rules for such a distinction to have any intentionally different meaning).
 
  • Like
Reactions: TopsyKretts
Jun 16, 2018
44
14
8
Orange Park, FL
This also has what I call the Rogue Trader problem: you don’t know what minis you need for your army until a random determination. Not quite as bad as now they are not metal so easier to convert and have the internet so not reliant on what local store has, and for Necromunda only talking about a max of 4 and only once a campaign. But I already converted one Guild and there is a not insignificant chance that was a waste of time.
35 years later I still don’t know what you were supposed to do in Rogue Trader, throw out your minis every time you made a new army and buy and paint new ones? I would like Rick Priestly to draw me a flow chart of how he envisioned playing by the base rules would work. Of course the answer was you ignored the base rules and played with points so you could use your collection, but even with the army lists from White Dwarf and Realms of Chaos, there was still random stuff requiring you to convert metal miniatures, just less of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TopsyKretts

Squee

Ganger
Jan 11, 2019
98
105
43
Alternatively, you could disregard Guild Delegations and Criminal Allies altogether, since they're unbalanced as hell. That way you don't need a new book, you don't need to convert minis or think twice whether it's actually fun to play against that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TopsyKretts

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
243
435
73
Ljubljana
I thought all the pictures people were posting to social media where they made conversions for every ally were just for fun, now I realize sort of required for a Law and Misrule campaign.
Well, yes and no.
- If you randomly draw a Guild bond at the start of a Law campaign and don't have the appropriate guild delegation ready, you can always opt to choose the Alternative recruitment boon from the racket. The only real problem with guild Delegations are the specific scenarios where the Guild delegation 'automatically' join the battle (Caravan heist and such).
- If you made the effort to convert a specific guild delegation and want to field it, I would suggest declaring your chosen gang's Guild alliance 'before drawing the random rackets' (so that if you draw a different guild bond, you are already in an alliance and can ignore the 'automatic alliance' with some other guild you are not interested in) and after the initial random drawing you can challenge for the Guild bond racket you want as your first game or even trade Guild bonds with other gangs (gangs can trade territories and rackets after all).
- If you and your group are annoyed by the Random factor (Rogue trader's problem as you call it) in the 'each gang randomly draw 2 rackets at the start of the campaign' you (as a group) can House rule it to limit the randomness; for example:
1. You could take Guild bonds out of the pile of rackets all gangs Draw from at the start of the campaign (so nobody will end up with a guild bond they don't want) and make them 'claimable' only by direct challenge for them.
2. Your group could House rule that the starting rackets aren't drawn randomly but instead each gang chooses 1 Racket to start with (rather than randomly drawing 2) and these 'starting rackets' do not take away from the Pool of 26 claimable rackets for the campaign (this would mean you would have some rackets duplicated on the 'campaign map', but this way everyone has an equal access to any starting racket they want, an equal chance of challenging for any rackets during the campaign and can't be screwed over by the randomness of the initial draw) - this is what my group is doing for our upcoming campaign.
Necromunda isn't 'a perfectly balanced game system' (far from it): it has 1-2 overworked devs that are developing/testing rules for expansions/releases 2-3 years down the line and therefore aren't too successful at keeping all the minute rule interactions and corner cases we, the community, eventually find whenever a new Book comes out (due to sheer weight of numbers and arguably 'more competitive mindset' actual players have compared to GW Devs) and their Proof-reader is terrible at their job... What I am trying to say is that Necromunda expansions/rules should be treated more like D&D expansions: a compilation of suggestions and background for the setting (Necromunda in our case) that a Dungeon Master (= Arbitrator) uses to 'craft a narrative' for the player to 'role play in'.

I know many Necromunda players would like for the rules to be tighter, properly balanced and better worded, but that would require a substantially bigger/more competitively minded Dev team, than GW is apparently willing to commit to this particular 'side branch game', so we have to deal with what we have to the best of our ability... Personally I love the setting and aesthetic of Necromunda and the modelling/conversion opportunities offered by all the gangs, guilds and hired guns, so I (being our group's Arbitrator) try to stay up-to-date with the new expansions and then whenever we find a problem, try to work out a sensible rule interpretation or House rule to suggest to my playing group and add to our 'living house rules document' (so that everyone in the group can see/check what our agreed understanding or a rule is - as long as everyone is on the same page things work).

Hope that helps somewhat.
Cheers!
 
Apr 10, 2018
32
49
38
Reading
We're currently interpreting 'Forms an automatic alliance' as an ongoing thing, meaning that the Guild Bond effectively allowing you to ignore failures when testing the Alliance. The test is technically still made, but breaking the Alliance is impossible while the Bond locks you into it and you stay Law Abiding. Admittedly that means outright ignoring the downsides of the Guild if you have their bond (which may turn out to be too powerful- just as well that the Iron Guild doesn't get a bond), but it also means none of the flexibilty of being able to switch Guilds part way through the campaign.

Possibly worth mentioning that we're also playing with allied parties adding to crew/gang rating, so bringing them along to every game runs the risk of giving your opponent a significant boost via House Patronage which should also weaken the Bonds slightly.

Of course, my group might be reading things all wrong.
'Forms an automatic alliance'... the more I think about it, the less I feel like the intention is to prevent breaking the alliance in the future, thought running things as we have been so far does let us ignore some of the other vaguely worded rules around the Bonds. What do you think @spafe ? You're the only one of us to be running a Bond so far.
 
  • Like
Reactions: spafe
Jun 16, 2018
44
14
8
Orange Park, FL
So if you have a Guild Bond at the start, or really any time you have a reputation of 1 to 3, the part of the Guild Bond that says you can “Always” include the entourage, really isn’t doing anything, right? Because if you didn’t have the Guild Bond, and instead had a regular Alliance, and had to roll to include the entourage, well, you can “Always“ roll less than a 9 or whatever on a d6+1. So the only real advantage you are getting is the income, and any one way links you may acquire from other Rackets.

More importantly, how do you handle the case of when a gang “resents” the inclusion of the Entourage? I mean, the missions where the guild says you “have” to take the entourage, and you have to roll and add your rep, and if that sum is too high then your gang resents it and you have to test alliance. Do you ignore that if have Guild Bond, “I was going to take them anyway.” It seems weird that you might take them every mission, but risk losing them when you do the missions they want most.
 

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
243
435
73
Ljubljana
Well, keep in mind many of the Intrigues you would play in a Law and Misrule campaign have Reputation gains (+1/+2/+4 Rep or +1/+2 Rep per enemy character taken OoA) as the reward, so dependin on the luck of your draw with Intrigues (you get to draw 3 per game) you could gain 3-5 Rep in a single game, before taking in account any Rep rewards for the scenario itself, so a gang can build up Reputation 10+ very quickly under the right circumstances, in which case the Guild bond becomes mandatory if you want to field a Guild entourage (because in that case, regardless of what you roll on the D6+Rep will always be above the limit for the guild to send help).

On the second point, as mentioned, if you interpret the 'automatic guild alliance' to mean 'the gang can never lose the alliance', then you can flatly ignore any drawbacks from the alliance (you don't need to pay them tribute, sacrifice critically injured fighters or ever play the scenarios the guild wants, since you can always 'test the alliance' and ignore the result), which is why I believe that is not the intention with the Guild bond rules and why my group uses the 'rule interpretation' presented earlier in this thread.
 

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
9,475
12,338
283
Tilehurst, U.k.
@BearsWillEatYou , I think we house rule something, as otherwise it seems very... odd for our campaign (as I can use the free hired guns, then ally with someone else as the guild bond effectivly doesnt bring any meaningful benefit over a normal alliance, I say this because rep will go up fairly quickly, meaning you can get the enfocers to show up but then they will cause the testing alliance and break it).

As we are assigning the value to the alliances, I would say, ignore the tests/resenting the help side of things completly if using a bond, and that if you dont pay/sacrifice etc side of the bargain, you test, but if you fail then instead of breaking you miss the bonuses next game or similar. But as you say, I have the guild bond so far so happy with whatever we decide (jsut like to have it confirmed before I convert up a team as depending on how it pans out I might jsut take the HGs)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neil McLellan
Apr 10, 2018
32
49
38
Reading
Alright for the time being lets go with that suggestion:
You still have to test the alliance under most normal circumstances for doing so, but 7+ does the same as 5-6 normally would (i.e. losing the bonus for the next game). The Bond lets you choose when to bring the allied party, so there's no test for resenting the help- but the Guild can still force you to play particular scenarios unless you test. If that sounds okay I'll add it to the house rules and let the rest of the group know.
 
Jun 16, 2018
44
14
8
Orange Park, FL
So drew Rackets for campaign today. I did not get a bond. One of other players did get Corpse Guild, which is the one I converted and painted minis for.
The good news is, I could still ally normally with Corpse Guild and/or when we get to Justice phase fight the other guy for the Corpse Guild Bond but...
My first two Rackets were Witch Finding and Blood Pits, which both have Slave Guild Bond as a linked Racket, so should probably go for that, and it is unclaimed so just have to win a game to get it.
We haven’t played any games yet.