N18 The fundamental flaw of all campaigns

almic85

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Oct 30, 2014
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Apologies, I was slightly incorrect in what I said previously. GW describes Leaders/Champions/Juves as 'central to a gang's narrative', while Gangers are its 'supporting cast' which is why Gangers progress via random means and all the other progress via choice.

This previously made sense as you needed ~50% of your gang to be Gangers, they really were the great unwashed of your gang. But now since both Juves and Prospects count towards the "Gang Fighter" count, and I've seen plenty of decent gangs without any Gangers at all, using Juves/Prospects to pull up the numbers, the theme has got muddled.

I’m not sure it really matters that juves fall into the same category as leaders and champions or not. The difference between having 3 lead actors and 5-6 lead actors in a show is fairly similar in that it doesn’t work very well.

What works much better in a narrative sense for a group of less than 10 people is to have an ensemble cast with each character having their own storyline that intertwined with the others.

It’s the reason why soap operas actually work as a format because all the characters are treated mostly equally along the entire narrative course. They ebb and flow but all get their time in the sun.

If you compare it to successful tv shows with 3-4 main characters (Seinfeld, HIMYM, even Friends) you will see that while the story works for the main characters but fails for recurring support actors and it would be a bit wierd if Newman turned up in every single episode as a main plot driver. This is the problem that Necromunda has in that Newman will always be there, and he will always be part of the story so the story should include him.
 

spafe

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But gunther shows up regularly (or if you take a single series as a 3-1-3 campaign rather than the whole of friends, some of the love interests that are supporting cast turn up a lot, drive the story hugely and are very much secondary characters).

Or if you wanted to use a different example, sons of anarchy (arguably much more similar, ahem orlocks!), that has 2-4 main characters it follows, but the rest of the mc members are around for pretty much all the episodes, and yeah some might drop in/out of a episode or 2, but thats the same as a scenario not having all the gang or someone eing in recovery.

Not saying i like the differences in necromunda or that xp advances are done well, but i think your analogy isnt accurate, and if the rule mechanics were done better, the format they are aiming for is legit and can work, gw just did it badly (imo)
 

Heart of Storm

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Mar 8, 2019
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^ was going to say, I've played other, non-GW squad based strategy games which have a couple of characters with cool abilities backed by generic faceless mooks, its not a new format. I just think it didn't work well in the necromunda format
 
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Daganisoraan

Ganger
Oct 25, 2021
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The problem of newmunda is that they kinda merged the oldmunda with mordheim without caring for the number of units you have.

In Mordheim, you have your leader and usually up to 4 champion-like heroes, then you have your henchmen group and you can add to that hired swords. So we're talking up to five characters who will gain skills and shoudl receive the better equipement. Although the Mordheim model isn't perfect because I've seen what happens when the number of henchmen gets absurdely high (cough cough Skaven cough cough).

In comparison in newmunda, there's no cap on the number of champions and special champions. You have 3 types of henchmen-like fighters, gangers, juves and prospects but each indivividual fighters have their equipment to manage and advancements. Add to that Brutes, pets, alliances and hangers-on. No wonder gangs get bloated.
 
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Jacob Dryearth

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Sep 6, 2016
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For what it's worth, I am including more characteristic tests, leaning into the underused mental ones, in the new campaign I am writing. They are called for in the post battle phase for random events.

I'm also requiring LD tests for Overseer.

I'm also going to experiment with requiring LD tests to call and orderly voluntary bottle. Basically if you can't pass LD tests, fighter's may stick around longer than you want them to. It's the inverse of Cool tests to stay in an involuntary bottle.

I know these are all house rules and specific to my campaign, but they are how I am addressing some of the game's shortcomings as I perceive them.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
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I'm also going to experiment with requiring LD tests to call and orderly voluntary bottle. Basically if you can't pass LD tests, fighter's may stick around longer than you want them to. It's the inverse of Cool tests to stay in an involuntary bottle.
I'm not a fan of this one. If a player wants to cut their losses and run, it should be without a test given how punishing sticking around for another round and getting injuries can be. If anything, Leadership should be used to prevent bottling.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
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I can see organised retreat being a mechanic though, like if you successfully pass you don't lose the rep or something.
Thats actually an amazing idea and has some flavour to it. You retreat either way, but in one case it is an organised retreat without losing face and the other one is chaotic fleeing, which makes your gang look like amateurs.

Mechanic wise, when voluntarily bottling pass LD with one of the leftover fighters or lose 1 Rep. It'd make having multiple decent LD fighters a needed thing, since your leader might get sniped early.
 
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Jacob Dryearth

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Yeh that's actually much less punishing than my idea... The lack of Rep for people needing to bottle is a downward spiral. They don't get trade bonuses, hangers on, brutes etc. Being able to not lose as much rep for a loss seems good.

I've also toyed with the idea of having a higher Rep gang lose more when losing to a lower Rep gang. Have 2x Rep than your opponent and lose? Lose 2x Rep.
 
Jan 12, 2021
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A friend of mine has recently been taking a dive into SPQR (a number of people in my gaming group, myself included, have the historical models required), and he was quite taken back by how SPQR handles warband sizes and rewards in campaign format - so much so that he's thinking of arbitrating something similar for an upcoming Outlands campaign.

In SPQR, the size of the warband present on the table is determined by the smallest warband involved - if a 500 denarii warband were to face off against a 700 denarii warband, the larger warband would only be able to field up to 500 denarii worth of its fighters. In addition, both warbands are rewarded a percentage of the opposite warband's total cost in denarii at the end of the battle: 30% for winning, 25% for losing.

His idea is to (after subjecting the rest of us to playing SPQR to see how it works) set it up such that gang sizes in each game will be based on the lowest gang rating involved, and a guaranteed credit reward of 25% gang rating regardless of win or loss (scenario reward being incentive to win). This may involve a bit of tweaking to sort out, mind you.
 
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Mr. M

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Does the SPQR campaign have experience points as well as denarii/credits? If it doesn't, you guys might also try a similar guaranteed experience reward along with the credits.
 
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spafe

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In SPQR, the size of the warband present on the table is determined by the smallest warband involved
Our group is currently gearing up for a BFG campaign, and it has a similar mecahnic (proof that gw could get things right bac kin the day!). Your fleet registry is your entire fleet (2k points of fleet at start, will grow), but games are either raids or fleet engagements where you draw from your registery up to either 750 or 1500 points (with some other balancing factors for how well the campaign is going for each side), leading to games being roughly balanced with a slight advantage to the person who is currently doing worse in the overal campaign
 

Kiro The Avenger

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Apr 4, 2018
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Does the SPQR campaign have experience points as well as denarii/credits? If it doesn't, you guys might also try a similar guaranteed experience reward along with the credits.
Experience creates a big problem when rating is hard capped - it means often level ups will be *detrimental* as you're required to bring fewer fighters to a game to faciliate that CGC Butcher who just earnt +1 BS.
 
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BearsWillEatYou

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Apr 10, 2018
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Percentage based rewards is an interesting way of handling things, but I wonder if it would make snowballing worse in the long run if applied to Necromunda? A 2000 credit gang would always to substantially better reward-wise out of game than a 1500 credit gang if both get 25% of their value each game. You're also commiting to a quite high-credits style of campaign which isn't to everyone's tastses. Still, I hope @ChapterAquila92 reports back on how things actually go in game. My concerns may be way off. :)

On a side note, Battlefleet Gothic also uses a variant of the somewhat impractical "challenge" system for campaign games. Until recently I'd thought that was only a thing after N17, but apparently not.
 
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Jam Warrior

Ganger
Jul 28, 2014
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Exponentially increasing income sounds like the opposite of what we’re usually trying to modify in perpetual campaigns? People praise the old-Munda income chart which reduced your income as you grew in rating rather than increased it.

As a balancing mechanism throttling back the higher rated gang rather than bumping up the lower rated one has its plus points, but I’m wary of the frustration of the higher rated player having to leave toys at home.

My experimental system currently is another variation on the blood bowl inducement system. Lower rated crew gets a pool of creds to spend on hired guns and tactics cards (at 100 creds each). First 100 creds must be on a card. No more than half the creds can be spent on hired guns.

Should give the lower value crew a leg up to a slightly more even table but not punish the higher rated crew overly for cred bloat.
 
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spafe

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Could you do it based of the other gangs rating?

so a 2k gang plays a 1k gang, the 1k gang gets 25% (if they lose) or 30% (if they win) of the 2k gang value, for 500 or 600 creds respectively, while the 2k gang would get 250 or 300 creds. So it will be a harder fight for the 1k gang, but following it the difference is now at most 800, so 200creds closer than before the game. Obvs closer matched games lead to much less descrepncy.

The logic in game can be that the props you get is way higher if you take on a massive gang, whereas no one is that impressed with beating down some nobodies.
 

spafe

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If you're scaling rewards off gang size, off the enemy gang is certainly a better way of doing things.
I think 25% is a bit eye popping for reward though, I'd say ~10%
agreed, I was only using those numbers based on the original idea.

I'd go with 10 and 15 personally
 
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Kiro The Avenger

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I'd be more inclined to say 7.5 and 10%.

Even with basic 1000cr starter gangs, 100cr is quite a lot, 150cr even moreso.
Although I do appreciate that's rather normal for current Necromunda.
 
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