N18 Starting gangs for Homebrew Minimunda campaign

Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
My partner and I recently played through a mini-munda campaign from the Goonhammer article of the same name to scratch our 'munda itch and had a blast, we're now looking to run another campaign in a similar format with some friends who are newer to 'munda as its a nice simple format.

I'll be pulling together rules similar to the mini-munda campaign for victory awards etc, and have been creating the starting gangs. The creation rules are simple, house list only, 450 credit limit, no leaders and only one champion (non-specialist) to start with but otherwise following the gang creation rules from GotU / Dark Uprising / House of...

I've been creating the starting gangs for the campaign, the idea is to have fun gangs that are relatively equivalent in starting power levels, without being min/maxer hell, one criticism of the Goonhammer mini munda gangs is that both the Escher and Cawdor lists struggled in our games due to poor equipment choices (Cawdor being built around an expensive heavy crossbow ganger, Escher having models loaded with grenades and only toting las weapons).

So my ask of the hive mind here is, do the gangs listed below achieve that? Are there any tweaks i should/could be making for better balance/fun.

I'll add gangs to this as a coax people to join us, but thus far we have:

House Cawdor:
Champion - long rifle, mesh armour (hurl)
Ganger - blunderbus/polearm, flak armour
Ganger - blunderbus/polearm, flak armour
Ganger - reclaimed autogun, flak armour
Ganger, reclaimed autopistol, flail, smoke grenade, flak armour

The main issue with the Goonhammer Cawdor gang was so many points were sunk into a crossbow champ, if he didn't so work the gang lost, this is an attempt to spread the threat potential of the gang, also, is there a better skill choice for the champion? I forget how bad Cawdor skills are.

Matriarch - stiletto sword, needle pistol, mesh armour (Spring Up)
Specialist - Needle rifle, lasgun
Sister - shotgun
Sister - lasgun
Sister - lasgun

This will be my gang in the campaign, Escher soundly lost our original campaign using the Goonhammer list so this is my attempt to give them a bit more punch, went for bodies over armour as 6+ isn't that great.

Genestealer Cult
Acolyte - long las, autopistol, mesh armour (Overwatch)
Neophyte (3rd gen) - autopistol, chainsword, hazard suit
Neophyte - Shotgun, hazard suit
Neophye - Autogun, hazard suit
Neophyte - Autogun, hazard suit

Theres a really dirty build for this gang which drops the Acolytes loadout and the 3rd gen Neophye to instead have a specialist neophyte with a grenade launcher, and a second one for the acolyte, but I figured that was going to be really OP. The melee acolyte isn't optimal at all but I though would be a fun, thematic model for the cult.

Goliath (GotU)
Champion - Renderizer axe, furnace plate (Nerves of Steel)
Ganger - Boltgun, furnace plate
Ganger - stub cannon, frag grenade, furnace plate
Ganger - stub gun, axe, furnace plate

Using GotU as i don't own House of Chains, yet. The frag grenade here seems superfluous, I guess could be replace with stim slugs but again that seemed a little strong for what is already a strong starting gang.

An alternate gang I'm considering (in place of either GSC or Goliath is an Enforcer list, but they're really hard to juggle in a 450 cred list, I even mocked up a 3 model list based around an SLHG subjugator but that seems to be the hard mode option..
For Enforcers, something like:

Subjugator Sgt - Grenade launcher, Assault shield, <Skill>
Palanite Patrolman - Boltgun
Palanite Patrolman - Boltgun/Shotgun

3 bodies is super-low, but it's really awkward to fit more in. You could do something like:

Subjugator Sgt - Grenade launcher, <Skill>
Palanite Patrolman - Boltgun
Palanite Patrolman - Concussion carbine
Palanite Patrolman - Naked (Well stubgun...)

You'd really have to sacrifice a lot of weaponry to go beyond 4 bodies.

You can fiddle around with weapon setups on the 3-body loadout, so swapping a Boltgun/Shotgun for a Concussion carbine gives you enough creds to grab Flash grenades on the Sgt for Concussion/Flash shenanigans. Dropping the Assault shield for Krak grenades works and gives you 3 pretty solid fighters.

You could try and build a melee Sgt using Stub gun, Shock stave, Assault shield?
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So the two configuration I was toying with were:

Palanite sergeant - concussion carbine (got your six)
Palanite trooper - long rifle
Palanite trooper - boltgun
Palanite trooper - shock stave


Palanite Sergeant - combat shotgun
Palanite Trooper - boltgun
Subjugator Trooper - SLHG

For the first lot the shock stave ganger sticks out like a sore thumb, I don't like melee for enforcers at all..

I do like the idea of a subjugator sergeant in retrospect but I do worry a 3 model gang in a meta of 5 member starting lists is going to spend its life suffering activation poverty, 4+ BS compensates for better starting weapons
This could be a case where a houserule to allow Enforcers to buy Rookie Patrolmen might be needed, as I agree 3 models is going to cripple the action economy of the gang until they can afford ~120creds for another Patrolman + weapon.

Escher Juves with +1 WS, +1 I (30 creds in advancements) are 20creds so add in an undersuit, flak armour, and Stub gun (40 creds) a Rookie Patrolman could be costed out at 30creds.

That'd get you two bodies and some change for the price of a Ganger, which might make a 4-model setup feasible.

Or maybe allow the Enforcer to start with a 'free' Rookie? You'll still need to pay for their gear, and a Rookie with just a Stub gun is barely worth fielding, but it might be needed as the crippling cost of Enforcer models is really restrictive in this game mode.
So we ended up going Delaque and Corpse Grinder to round things out, 3 games in and Cawdor are currently the top gang (playing first to 5, they've won every game so far) followed by Corpse Grinder and Goliath.

Cawdor seem to be the hard counter to Corpse Grinders, templates do an absolute number on the hungry boys, what was interesting is how hard Goliath find CGC to deal with, that average willpower of 9 really hurts when you're trying to take down champions!
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