N18 Solution to scenarios that end in firefight

Heart of Storm

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Mar 8, 2019
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Isn't the point of objectives to allow weaker gangs to at least get something out of a game?

Random selection can result in you having a deeply sub-optimal gang for any scenario, if i find myself rolling all juves and cannon-fodder versus my opponents Van-Saar champion gunline its going to be a pretty miserable game that I'm going to bottle out of as soon as I can, however if there is a chance I could get some credits out of it by trying to snag a loot crate or two theres an incentive for me to play.

Its pretty clear that Necromunda scenarios are situational, they're not particularly balanced and there's a good few which are downright unfair - that leads me to believe that scenarios are designed for narrative play, not for creating a perfectly balanced tournament scenario where objective play is as viable as tabling your opponent.

With that in mind, my view has always been that objective play is the "consolation prize", and that the attitude of your group to playing the game will have the largest impact on whether or not anyone bothers with it
 

JawRippa

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Mar 31, 2017
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Loot crates are supposed to be that, but they fail miserably at their job. D6 credits is not worth spending an action (with a chance for it to fail to open a loot crate) and a chance for it to be a booby-trapped crate. It should have been at least D3x10.
 

Kiro The Avenger

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Apr 4, 2018
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Loot crates are supposed to be that, but they fail miserably at their job. D6 credits is not worth spending an action (with a chance for it to fail to open a loot crate) and a chance for it to be a booby-trapped crate. It should have been at least D3x10.
There's objective loot crates and there's scatter loot crates, which function very differently.
You're describing the scatter crates, which are really more ammo caches imo. But you're right they're mostly useless and I rarely use them.

I've found that the weaker gang is unlikely to be able to run forwards, grab a crate, and pull it back to their deployment before they're knocked out or their gang bottles and retreats.

An interesting mission type that I've seen is a sort of "take the ground" type affair.
The gang with the most models within range of an objective at the end of the round controls it.
It remains under their control until their enemy captures it.
The gang with the most objectives at the end, wins.
This means staying back and shooting isn't a viable way to win, as unless you knock the enemy OoA, they can still control the objective.

Although I think a big change will be time limits on games. The fact that games continue until one gang retreats, and the last gang standing generally wins means there's no reason to rush.
I also think this approach would be more realistic. I can see both gangs having to break and run because the Enforcers are coming - much more understandable than the remaining gang getting bored and going home as soon as they're not getting shot at anymore.
 
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JawRippa

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There's objective loot crates and there's scatter loot crates, which function very differently.
You're describing the scatter crates, which are really more ammo caches imo. But you're right they're mostly useless and I rarely use them.
Wouldnt they make for a semi-viable sideobjective to try and go for? If you are losing the scenario, you still may try and get a few crates opened with a juve of yours. The only problem is that a bigger and killer gang will probably get access to more crates or shoot you while you are trying to reach yours.
 

Kiro The Avenger

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That's the problem with side objectives, the winning gang will be able to achieve them better, so you're still handing more credits to the winning gangs.

IMO what Necromunda really needs is some mechanic(s) which favour weaker gangs.

Something that I think had a lot of potential is that you get an experience for going OoA.
This means the losing gang will gain more experience than the winning gang (where ATM the winning gang gets more). This'll give them some advantage of a small but experienced gang from the school of hard knocks.
It also takes the edge off of being taken out by providing a silver lining.
 

DarKnife

Juve
Jan 26, 2020
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Can’t a lot of this be solved by play style and arbitration rather than changes to mechanics?

Denser terrain means less shooting. Smoke grenades and drop rigs make for more tactical play. Scenarios chosen to not give unfair advantage or that give it to the underdog balance outcomes.

Sometimes the suboptimal play is the more fun one, or the one that is easier on your friend across the table.
 

Kiro The Avenger

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Not really, denser terrain just means this standoff occurs at short range instead of long.
Smoke grenades are hard countered by wargear and are temporary otherwise.
Nor does it really matter which scenario you play - they all have this problem.
 
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JawRippa

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  • Scenario objectives should definitely be easy to do and not consume more than 1 action (or be possible to do while pinned). The nature of the game is that if an objective is placed in an open field, chances are your fighter will get shot once they reach it and after that won't be able to stand up and do a double action. This is why "Take over" works as a scenario - you just have to "tag" an objective to capture it.
  • Another thing is that objective should not require you to drag stuff to the very edge of the board, especially if it slows you down, because a usual firefight is resolved in 3-4 turns, while dragging something from the center of the board towards it's edge can take a lot more than that. So, say, for a scavenge scenario a fighter should be able to pick up loot tokens by moving through them like in NCE, but instead of taking them to the edge of the field, let them be claimed by double action (regardless if fighter is standing or pinned).
  • Also I've never seen a fun game where one of the gangs has to escape the board (by crossing the entire field) and other has to shoot approaching enemies like usual. One of the sides is motivated to do nothing but move, other simply shoots them up. In these types of scenarios either getting a single person out should net victory, or, make it similar to Hit&Run from NCE, make it one of the many objectives that defender has to look out for.
  • Another way of promoting players to do objectives, is to make objectives directly affect the power of the deployed squad. For example, in "Propaganda" extra bodies can easily tip the scale. Or perhaps allowing fighters to draw tactical cards or get reinforcements whenever they claim objectives would be enough for a motivation.
  • Unfair scenarios like "Ambush" (or its variations like "The trap", "Hit and Run") should only be available for Underdogs fighting against overwhelming opponents, as they put a lot of advantage for one of it's sides. Makes sense to allow loser gangs to catch up this way.

As for the Underdog, I think that each scenario having a time limit - and underdog getting compensation if they didn't bottle out for that number of turns and "chipped" an opponent (inflicted at least a single wound, SI or OOA status) would promote people sticking to the field and trying to put up a fight even against overwhelming odds, if the compensation is good enough of course.
 
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KA7777

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Jan 19, 2018
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As for the Underdog, I think that each scenario having a time limit - and underdog getting compensation if they didn't bottle out for that and "chipped" an opponent (inflicted at least a single wound, SI or OOA status) would promote people sticking to the field and trying to put up a fight even against overwhelming odds, if the compensation is good enough of course.

That feels like it would lead to turtling strategies, which imo is the opposite of what the game needs.

I like the ideas around objectives that give tangible rewards. Many of the best games I've had -- from Mordheim through both Necromundas -- occurred while playing various scenarios that had valuable loot scattered around the table. Greed is a pretty powerful motivator. It incentivizes risk-taking and disincentivizes strategies like putting a gunline on top of roofs or refusing to budge from fortified positions. Although that doesn't apply as much if the victor gets to sweep up all the loot automatically. But the victor not being able to do that is also kind of immersion-breaking. Honestly don't know what the ideal solution is, but I do know I'd like more opportunities for gangs to secure resources during gameplay.

Btw the loot crates worth D6 credits are insanely hilarious. AFAIK there's no item in the game that costs less than 5 credits, and all items cost multiples of 5 credits. So if you roll 1-4 credits on a crate, you can't do anything with the amount you received. If you roll a 5, nice. If you roll a 6 you'll bank 5 for an actual purchase and then be stuck with the remaining credit forever (or until you open another idiotic crate).
 

Kiro The Avenger

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I agree that removing the autowin for being the last man standing will go a long way to reducing gunlines.
But as you say leaving it otherwise as-is is deeply unsatisfying.

IMO the solution is set game length. Either fixed or with some variability. If one gang bottles out early, well their opponent has the remaining unopposed to quick-play through turns to grab loot.
Narratively this could easily be explained. Perhaps the Enforcers arrive, perhaps the gunfire is attracting the beasts, etc etc.

Maybe you could add an interesting gambling mechanic where it's up to gangs to flee, but any fighter left when the game ends received an injury if they're caught in the crossfire or something.

Options include;
Fixed game length (eg, after 5 turns, the game ends).
'Traditional' variable length (eg, on turn 5, roll a dice. On a 3+ you go to turn 6).
'Historical' variable length (I see this a lot in historical games); the game lasts for 1 hour, every turn roll a d10 and that many minutes pass. Once the cumulative total is over 60, the game ends.
I'm sure there's others, and obviously you'd tailor the lengths to the mission.

One concern this raises though is it makes stuff like grav cutters and wreckers even more powerful as they're great for darting in and grabbing objectives.
Creating a disparity between the haves and have-nots.
 

TopsyKretts

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You point out critical elements to make scenarios interesting. Unfortunately it seems GW is doubling down on the type of scenarios where one side has to run across the board to win, or worse, drag loot back again. Referring to some of the new scenarios we are getting in the latest books.

It could be useful to compare with other games, such as blood Bowl and kill team. Both allow for focusing on the kill. But also have hard win condition that is mostly or entirely objective based (you can win without killing any opponents). And both are turn limited. Unfortunately they don't compare with the bottle mechanics as it is super rare for blood Bowl or doesn't even exist at all. I wish Necromunda had the same kind of dynamics as blood Bowl where completely different teams could have an interesting match against each other. A highly developed chaos/nurgle kill team could have an interesting match against a lesser fast & agile team like elves or Skaven. Even if the weaker agile team will suffer injuries or death, they always have the potential to score more goals and can get star players or other goodies as inducements.
 
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KA7777

Gang Champion
Jan 19, 2018
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I agree that removing the autowin for being the last man standing will go a long way to reducing gunlines.
But as you say leaving it otherwise as-is is deeply unsatisfying.

IMO the solution is set game length. Either fixed or with some variability. If one gang bottles out early, well their opponent has the remaining unopposed to quick-play through turns to grab loot.
Narratively this could easily be explained. Perhaps the Enforcers arrive, perhaps the gunfire is attracting the beasts, etc etc.

Maybe you could add an interesting gambling mechanic where it's up to gangs to flee, but any fighter left when the game ends received an injury if they're caught in the crossfire or something.

Options include;
Fixed game length (eg, after 5 turns, the game ends).
'Traditional' variable length (eg, on turn 5, roll a dice. On a 3+ you go to turn 6).
'Historical' variable length (I see this a lot in historical games); the game lasts for 1 hour, every turn roll a d10 and that many minutes pass. Once the cumulative total is over 60, the game ends.
I'm sure there's others, and obviously you'd tailor the lengths to the mission.

One concern this raises though is it makes stuff like grav cutters and wreckers even more powerful as they're great for darting in and grabbing objectives.
Creating a disparity between the haves and have-nots.

One issue with this is that I'd have difficulty describing what an "average" game length is in Necromunda. I've had games where fighters deploy in close proximity, exchange vicious fire, and someone bottles after two rounds. I've also had games where fighters deploy far away from each other and scuttle around for four rounds before any meaningful violence occurs (something like this happens in a lot of Sentry games, but it's not exclusive to those).

And I've actually really loved that variety, Games in a lot of systems unfold fairly predictably, but Necromunda is good for surprises.

Some of that may owe to quirks of my own gaming group, though, since we always play on dense terrain, and roll scenarios on a modified table that includes every scenario, instead of the small, boring chart standardized for campaigns.
 

Jacob Dryearth

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Sep 6, 2016
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The Law And Misrule campaign has Intrigues, which are a type of subplot that replaces the normal House variety. They can have pretty great rewards, and work as a good alternate objective in my experience. I more than doubled the amount of Intrigues in my last campaign by borrowing some of the better House subplots (core rules) and writing few of my own.

I just thought of a way to make losing less painful, but it isn't scenario based, but rather campaign based. When you are challenged to a battle in the first half of a campaign the challenger picks a Territory or Racket as the stake which the winner gets as normal, but the loser gets a random Territory or Racket as well. That way gangs may not get what they want, but do get something so they don't fall completely behind in the credit game.
 
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TopsyKretts

Hive Guilder
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That sounds like a huge bonus, too bad I didn't think of that before. We ended up falling back to everyone having always 5 territories (from old Necromunda).
 

JezzaC

Juve
Jan 27, 2016
14
17
23
Perth WA
Isn't the point of objectives to allow weaker gangs to at least get something out of a game?

The best reason to have objectives is to give players some tactical variety and emphasize things other than killing power. Which doesn't really work when too many missions end up with ignoring the objective and wiping the other player being the best approach anyway.

Its pretty clear that Necromunda scenarios are situational, they're not particularly balanced and there's a good few which are downright unfair - that leads me to believe that scenarios are designed for narrative play, not for creating a perfectly balanced tournament scenario where objective play is as viable as tabling your opponent.

Great point. The fact that sometimes things happen that are just unfair is a big part of Necromunda. Not just in missions and force selection, but also injuries, advances, money, the whole lot. It is very much about creating the narrative of an underhive gang in a chaotic environment, not a tournament system.

So yeah, I don't have a problem with scenarios cropping up that advantage one player over the other. My issue is with how few scenarios really allow for approaches other than just killing the enemy.
 

JezzaC

Juve
Jan 27, 2016
14
17
23
Perth WA
Sometimes the suboptimal play is the more fun one, or the one that is easier on your friend across the table.

Generally the idea with mechanics is to make the optimal play the most fun one. This isn't always possible for lots of reasons, but there's no reason not to use mechanics to encourage more fun versions of play.