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Thunderdome

Draconic

Gang Hero
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Hi Fellow Yakkers i would like to draw on your vast experience with running logistics in an NCE campaign please.

So far our play group has had one campaign (thats still barely running). There is no Arbitrator, no rules other than whats in the NCE and OCE, and no end point. It bugs me a bit but its what was initially agreed upon.

It started off ok imo, but now a few "eager" gangs have charged forth in the number of games played and have got to a point that the more casual guys aren't interested in playing them. I bowed out as the Spyrers as i heard many complaints that they were broken by a few of the players, despite still having the lowest gang rating.

I would like to offer up a fresh or side campaign where i don't have to be an hardass arbitrator but can still be a competing player but has some base rules that can keep it fair and fun. Can you guys help me with this? I was thinking maybe having a minimum 2 games per month, and max 3-4 than the lowest number of games played?

Also if anyone has creative ideas to share that would be great too. I would love to offer up some kind of territory map idea also.
 
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chef0death

Ganger
Nov 8, 2017
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I ran a few long term campaigns way back when, our first two campaigns worked great, we kept it simple I arbitrated and my mate who had some experience co arbitrated which seemed to help players feel like all was fair. We both participated in the campaign also, i dont feel its fair to be arbitrator and non participating.
We developed a very public rivalry which led to some awesome story event opportunities.
Otherwise, we limited games to twice per meet up, three if time allows, but that meant everyone had to play that many games per meet and no more. Only games that allowed income, exp and territory gains outside of the weekly meet up were catch up games. All games outside of this were considered friendlies only.
Id put on a major story event or tournament every so often to advance the "story" or to add new territories up for grabs.

I suppose the thing that kept the balancing factor was having official campaign games and everything else was considered friendly matches. If somebody was involved in another campaign they had to run a separate gang roster for that campaign.
 
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Azzabat

Hive Guilder
Yak Comp 1st Place
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I’d second @chef0death’s comments about having a storyline running thru the campaign as it keeps peoples interest.
In all the campaigns I’ve run, I’ve created a “Battle Report” afterwards written from the viewpoint of a murky character who watches everything from the shadows, but is never seen.

Personally I like to have a set number of games with a semi-definite end date usually broken down into 4 quarters. We all have a lot of differing interests so saying we’ll play until Christmas, Summer, Dave's dog’s birthday etc. Helps motivate folks. Again personally I think this makes it more special, a bit like a limited edition miniature.

Keeping everyone playing the same number of games is pretty important IMHO. You’ll always get the guys that can make it every time, and those that just make it once or twice. Keeping them level without destroying the reward of advancement is difficult. I’ve sometimes “cheated” when running campaigns by allowing either a wandering Bouny Hunter to join the lower gang, or have 2 lower gangs, gang up on a stronger weaker one.

I’ve also found if you have some sort of “special” scenery for the campaign this can help. Nothing fancy, just something new. For example one of our campaigns involved a whole new area of the Hive being opened up after a Massive explosion in Goliath territory. The Goliaths has tried to barricade their territory and the new opening to keep everyone out, so I knocked up a long length of wall (about 6 feet of it). We had a multiplayer game where we all had to get past the wall and into the settlement, thru the Goliath territory and over the barricades into the new area of Hive.

The Wall became a reoccurring piece of terrain in the campaign as we were either trying to get over it, around it, or skirting the edge of it. I’m pretty sure parts of it were used in every battle during the campaign even if they were just on the edge of the table as a visual reminder.

Ultimately though it comes down to the players you have. Some will be ultra competitive, some laid back. The secret is having the right mix.
 

Draconic

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Sweet cheers guys! Yeah we def had the battle reports ripping! a few of us get right into the fluff and story of our gangs. I used to write up my reports and fiction with a soundtrack also lol (throwback from my rpg GMing). We use discord which has been very handy for this. I guess i was more after a way to stop the stomp without arbitrating too much.. a few of our players had quickly realised the added survivability they could gain by playing more frequently. I banged on about keeping it fair games played wise over rating but the casual guys appeared to not care whilst the competitive guys played weekly with whoever they could rope in. It left the campaign with 3 guys at the top.. a straggler in the middle who couldn't win games and was losing enjoyment and the casuals scared off. Im looking to revive our crew with a fresh start and I'm keen to run my slaves. Chef i like the idea of dual GM, and side casual games. Azza i love the terrain idea and wall!! id love to incorporate something like this with a kind of graphic territory map of some kind.
 
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Azzabat

Hive Guilder
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If you have 3 guys at the top, run a separate campaign with them, and a second with the casual ones.

I’m an irregular, laid back player so I know how difficult it can be to keep enthusiasm when someone’s leaping ahead and you have zero chance of winning.

That’s why our campaigns are always “everyone plays, or no-one plays” as it stops runaway gangs.

Good luck with your next campaign.
 

Ben_S

Hive Guilder
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You’ll always get the guys that can make it every time, and those that just make it once or twice. Keeping them level without destroying the reward of advancement is difficult.
I have more experience of Blood Bowl, but this is a familiar problem (even though BB has an inducement system to mitigate it).

If it stems from some people being more available and others struggling to make meetings regularly, then one possibility would be to have those in the former camp run two gangs (roughly alternating fights). This isn't so much help for those who start keen then lose enthusiasm, though at least if that's due to performing poorly it would only happen if both gangs are performing poorly.
 

Draconic

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Cheers Ben, I raised that idea.. funnily enough they didn’t bite. I suspect they just like having a more advanced gang to play with and make the time to keep up their games played as some of the others had to miss weeks here and there due to other commitments. So far I’m thinking of calling it a side campaign with a rough cap and minimum commitment. That way I’m hoping if they want to play more games they can in the other campaign.
 

Draconic

Gang Hero
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Hahah! Go gigax on their ass! Lol tbh im more a friendly keep everything fair and everyone having fun kinda guy. I shoot for the ideal although realistically it will never happen :D! It’s nice to see that others have had similar experiences. I think this time around we have learned from the first campaign. And hopefully the guys at the top have realized their actions have left them high and dry for games now. Hopefully I can inspire the casual guys to enter the ring again now for a fresh start!
 
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oddball300

Gang Hero
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Hey man...I mean if the shoe fits do the thing. Lol mind you that's the most extreme circumstance. Eh we've all played with "that guy" so we know what's up. And in the even and most dire of circumstance you can just not invite them but that's like not cool.
 

Kitcar

Gang Hero
Jan 3, 2017
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Except me though, I intend to win them all and still be allowed to return!!! bwahhh ahahuuh. Dreaming on for the win part...

If you keep multiple gangs in your line up you could play out-of-campaign games...in a game where others are in the campaign.
 

Draconic

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Cheers! Our current campaign has devolved into basically casual status anyway. We are trying a lot of 4 player scenarios at the moment for fun. We did a "lord of the spire" last night which was pretty fun and my base level slaves held up ok considering 2 of the gangs had guys with up to 9 advances. I think i have found my solution though and i got a side campaign cooking up at the moment! ill post up my ideas soon! :)
 

FluffyBunny

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Multiple gangs for the regulars is an obvious one if they go for it, but another one we tried was neutral gangs. So arbites, spyrers, etc weren't owned by anyone, and a player that gets ahead can play them for a bit of variety, and do their post game. Then you have an enemy which progresses as the campaign does, and an excuse to use more random models. But its not a second gang, so they don't have to get invested in it, but rather can take 1 week off to let the slower players catch up a tiny bit.
 

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
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Depends how organised you group is for ameet up, but a campaign setting where you play as much as you like, gaining exp and injuries in games, but everone does one round of income per month... It's a big change to a core idea, but means those gangs that play lots will pick up more injuries and not be able to replace a easily
 

almic85

Gang Hero
Oct 30, 2014
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Palmerston, ACT, Australia
I'm running N17 campaigns but the only real way to stop gangs from running away is to limit the number of games they can play so everyone plays the same or a similar number of games. It's the same in NCE/LRB/ORB.

If there are guys that want to play more games then they can start a second gang and go from there.

If everyone knows the rules on max games played per week/month/whatever then the serious gamers will just make a second gang and the casual gamers will play one and keep up.

The main thing is though if you give the serious gamers a choice to play more games they will. They may not intentionally want to unbalance the campaign or make it less fun for the other people, but mot people will simply focus on their own gang and enjoyment more than the other persons and leveling their gang is part of their fun.

For my campaigns I limit it so each gang can only play each other gang once per cycle/fortnight (except for rescue missions). This coupled with N17's rules that give extra rep for taking on different gangs means that everyone wants to play against the casual gamers and that they have the power of choosing who they take on when game night comes around.

The casual gamers also like that they will always get a game when they turn up and that everyone wants them.
 
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Draconic

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So a few months back i retired my Spyrer team from our casual campaign. Now that we have just started a new narrative campaign that i have been working on i thought i would share my hunt end fiction spiel. We have a go at battle reports and sometimes the odd fluff but none of our playgroup are that well versed in the 40k universe. If there is a more appropriate part of the forum to share fiction please let me know.

Four weary demons survey the autoshop battleground for Ozzymandias, the unofficial unappointed leader to the hunting party. The remaining Escher gangers scurry off as Kruger roars in elation continuing to hail bolter fire in the air till his launchers click empty. A big smile on his face as they turn tail. A gratifying result after the hunts embarrassing first clash with them in the luminous slime sprawled Omni dome. An echoing crash is heard as nearby barrels topple over and with them a wounded Ozzy clutching at her bloody right hand. “Ash, your alive” they run over to her as Sphinx quickly activates his bio-booster to quarterize the wounds from her lost fingers.

Five crescendo beeping sounds emit from their com modules and their holo-trid projectors activate. a beam of blue light shoots up from their wrists in a reverse pyramid. It seems the trid playing is a map showing coordinates. Norman slumps to the ground signifying his relief. Today marking their 60th solar cycle in the Underhive. Was this really it? Had they earned the experience required to live up to their powerful house names.

Scene soundtrack:

Five figures blend into the bustling rabble of the main hub district in Hadley's Hope for the last time. Hoods up, wearing drab worn looking ponchos, in an attempt to not draw attention. Some inebriated Goliath ganger creating a nice distraction at the nearby Atomic cafe. Once out past the hub walls they raise their map for reference and start heading up the gangways of an abandoned ore excavator. This is the spot. Their ARO stops here up on the highest gangway platform. Extremely rickety and rusting away, a part of something once great, the plight of man. Scouring the planet for every last drop of resource it could possibly give. It rests now as one of the many scars upon Necromunda’s ravaged face. In its centre, a towering mess of pipes and broken laddering heading upwards into the darkness.

A further five crescendo beeps chime whilst coinciding with the cut of the holo-trid transmission. The small green lights of their suits fading to a lifeless grey colour last seen when hanging from Einsmiths rack in the Spire. Sphinx’s wings begin artfully folding in on themselves. various clicks and servo whines apparently signifying their suits powering down. “I guess this is our final challenge?” They begin the blind climb. After hundreds of metres of risky sidesteps, laybacks, and sidepulls, Ash starts to struggle. She locks in her weakened right hand and reaches up to a piece of broken laddering with her other. The dilapidated beam snaps suddenly mid step. The bulk of her weight hangs from her wounded hand and she gives way falling off the strange almost never-ending structure. For the first time feeling guttural fear she freezes in a moment of true desperation only to feel a firm jolt as she’s stopped suddenly in mid-air.

Ron’s giant Orrus fist suspending her above the dome by her suitpack. From here the lights of the megastructures below glisten and blink and reflect off the native flora. In a strange way, a rare and beautiful view of the underhive is witnessed if only for a moment. Ron abruptly cuts the occasion by mouthing off as he swings her back into the piping. The team rest for a bit to gather some energy and then continue. Once entered the haze at the top of the structure the roof to the underhive is visible and the floor beneath is long forgotten. The team collapse off the piping onto a floating steel cross beamed suspension cage. It doesn’t take long for them to find the hidden hatch and they use their last shred of strength to work its seized-up mechanism to open up the gateway. A ladder leading up to what they could only suspect as home. Like Andy Dufresne they spew out of the manhole into the rain soaked back streets of the spire. They look to the widowing haunts of the gothic spire buildings stabbing at the bleak and sparse patches of sky. A group message befalls their comlinks. It’s an invite to Kray Manor for midday, allowing them a mere hour of time before facing their families. The Krays being the biggest and most influential of their hunt members houses.

qizxo7f.jpg


Scene Soundtrack:

The clock strikes noon. Ash walks up the ample and decidedly stark steps toward Kray Manor. She pushes open the heavy towering medieval style doors to the grand dining room. Dim lighting barely highlighting the curtained walls and rich tapestries depicting a time now forgotten. Servants imbedded amongst the backdrop with shadowed facial features standing almost lifeless waiting on even the most trivial command. In front of her, a giant rectangular dining table overlaid with all manner of rare and opulent foods that would likely be barely touched and then discarded later without a thought. In the centre of the table an oversized chess board map littered with hand carved house sigils. Many knocked over or strategically placed. A loveless chamber of draconian rule.

At the head of the table the Patriarch and Matriarch of House Kray sit with heavily ringed fists clenching their bevelled chair arms. Their twin sons, Ron and Reggie sit either side of them in casual attire laughing whilst clenching shanks of meat and tearing it off in their teeth. The other house parents around the table with the other members of the team sitting sternly beside them. A vacant seat next to the matriarch of house Draco. Ash begins to confidently stroll towards the table. It doesn’t take long till they all realise she’s still in her suit and the filthy commoner’s poncho. Fresh blood slowly running downs the crevices in her armoured suit leg leaving a bloody footprint. As she reaches the opposing table head silence befalls the room.

She places a hand onto the table and slides over a bloodied flashing transponder control unit that’s been freshly cut from her upper leg. The control lights to her activated suit now emitting that cool green hue again. In a flash, her mother launches sternly upright and then freezes in place. A look of sheer terror plastered across her tightly pulled back face. Not a hair misplaced, stabbed back in a bun behind her by sharp looking crossed sticks. A restricting black corset not hiding her emotional breathless response. The iron grip of her worried looking husband’s hand holding her firmly in place by her forearm. Ash looks to her peers. Tywin nose up, cleans his mouth and looks away. The twins once full of bravado and testosterone now speechless and stricken in fear. Normans eyes showing a willingness to follow but not the confidence to act on it. She turns and walks to the door flipping her hood up. Down the steps she marches and back to the manhole.

For now, this is where the tale of the Demons hunt ends. Legend has it that an unrestricted Jakara suit still frequents the industrial belly of Necromunda. Death still stalks the Underhive by that of legends fable. But who knows, it might just be a tall tale after all
 
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Draconic

Gang Hero
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As far as the new narrative side Campaign goes its fairly unoriginal but im hoping it will solve our play groups issues and be some fun. What i have gone with is a campaign setting that i found on the net called slaughter house. Its a basic hunger games kinda deal. Tv show pitting gangs against each other for entertainment. Couldn't help myself from calling it Thunderdome and i have my 5 gangs (mine included) being falsely lead into the "New Dome" by a narrative to be trapped in the game. Without sharing too much (due to some potential prying eyes) It will run along similar lines to the running man.. with hopefully some narrative developing toward a semi spire uprising. As far as logistics go i have used the core rules but made a few little changes.

1. 3 seasons of Thunderdome where each gangs fight off twice per season. Im hoping this will slightly help the runaway gang issue, if players want to play more they can play in the original casual campaign.
2. The seasons will end with a special episode that will include all 5 gangs and be GM'd by an outside mate who cant commit to the full campaign. They will be custom made scenarios with a narrative theme and special terrain. Ill share them as i get there as i don't want to give too much away. Just before the game ill tell everyone the scenario rules and there will be a lot of randomness that i will work into it giving my guest GM some creative license. The idea being that i will be in the same position as the other gangs without an advantage.
3. I will be rewarding the best and fairest at the end of the campaign, and also whoever is the crowd favourite. The crowd favourite will be whoever has the highest rep rating which can be earned (or taken away per game) Im using the list thats supplied in slaughterhouse as i hope this promotes more exciting gameplay and people taking some risks other than playing it safe. I have removed the element of harsh punishment though as i could see that part of the game not working well for my players.
4. Im making a house rule “The lay of the Land” If BOTH players agree before a game that they would like to create a themed table together then they can disregard the individual turn placement rules. This must only be done before a scenario roll is made. I reiterate, both players must be happy to use the rule. Treacherous conditions may still be called for like normal after scenario is decided. If Lay of the Land is activated, please take photos of your awesome table setup and share
5. Im hoping that the players might choose to writeup after games either from the gangs perspective, a guest host, or something else equally creative.

We just kicked it off the other night so hopefully it goes ok!
 
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Draconic

Gang Hero
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Im running pitslaves in this campaign.. and in my 6 games prior with my test gang (jims mowing) in the casual campaign, I'm finding they really suit my play style.. (up close and personal). Here is the intro i used for my slave escape.

Pit Slaves: Chapter 1 The Wheel of Pain
Soundtrack to scene:

It’s the early hours of the morning inside the bowels of the renowned Domitian Junkyard fighting arena. Sharp sounds of angle grinding and occasional bursts of spark from weld points echo throughout the compound. The arenas lay bare and cold as the lights are off now. Blood well and truly dried into the blasted earth. Rusted cars that line the walls of the arenas creak in the wind.

Down below a lone Mechanic by the name of Joe Pineapples does his best to repair Mongrol, one of the current longest surviving pit slaves. Narrowly avoiding fate yet again tonight as Joe welds up his grafted armor plates and does his best to reattach his giant mecha arm. He boots up the command protocol and Mongrol twitches back to life or what little left there is inside this machine. Before he finishes he slides a small parcel wrapped in an oily rag between Mongrols armor plates and whispers to him quietly. “He’ll be out the south gate in an hour” being careful not to draw the attention of the distracted looking guilder guard. “Thanks Doc” Mongrol disconnects his weapon and checks it in before being escorted to his cell.

An hour later the snoozing guilder guard has his throat slit. He bends over clutching at his throat coughing blood in his final moments. Mongrol with rusty knife in hand drags his body to a dark corner. He puts the knife in his belt and pulls out a key as he walks past the other cells to a central cell at the far end. The door lock clicks free and the heavy steel door creaks as he pushes it open. The Champion of the bay area kneels with his back to the door in front of a small collection of belongings. King Caulder as he’s being coined by the guilders. “Its time”, Mongrol mutters. Caulder reaches down and picks up his forged gladiatorial helmet and slides it onto his head. A gift awarded to him by one of his affluent sponsors. Legend has it no one has seen his horribly scarred face and lived to tell the tale. “Get Metro, Hammerstein, Blackblood, Midas, and… “, He’s abruptly cut short by Mongrol, “Surely not Boss…” “He’ll be a liability..” King Caulder lifts to his feet and turns with a look of steely conviction. “No one is left behind”

Mongrol quietly lets out the remaining slaves and finally comes to another large solid door with the words "Happy Shrapnel” crudely etched into the metal service port. He unlocks the door and steps in. A hulking figure with cloth tied around his eyes and missing both arms slowly turns towards the door then lurches forward to be stopped short by chains attached to it's waist. Snarling viscously, his large grafted armor plates clunk as he writhes in his chains. The surrounding walls lined with grimy looking mattresses. “Happy said he doesn’t want visitors” “f**k off!!” Mongrol begins to unlock the chains whilst muttering to himself, “man this is a bad idea”

The Slaves begin silently creeping around the complex whilst coup de gracing sleepy and unaware guilder guards. “King said not to get our weapons yet, they are too noisy” Metro starts sloshing liters and liters of gasoline around the camp at the foot of the guard buildings. “Shit where’s Happy?” Next moment the noisy whir of a chainsword can be heard tearing into flesh as a guilder guard screams alarming the sleeping complex. Happy decapitating a begging guard mercilessly. “Where’s the boss” Hammerstein hells, “I don’t fuckin know, he said he had to take care of something”, “there’s no time light it up!” Metro ignites the fuel and the remaining slaves equip their weapons and lay into the unsuspecting guards as their domiciles burn to the ground around them.

Through the flames trudges King Caulder, behind him he drags Morghum the overweight guilder responsible for these fighting pits. Cujo and some of the other junkyard pitbulls rip and tear at his bejewelled sleeping attire as his bleeding legs struggle to support his weight. “We got to go boss, backup will be here any minute.” “Not yet Mongrol, Grab the others and head to the south gate to meet Joe” Caulder Lifts Morghum up onto a large metal disc inside one of the arenas. Morghum whimpering and begging for dear life. “You know this game don’t you, you bloated spineless sack of shit” “Welcome to the Wheel of Pain”. You get the same chance the rest of us had, good luck! Caulder lashes Morghum to the wheel and kicks off the generator firing up the large rusty buzzsaw. The wheel begins to mechanically clunk around bit by bit as Morghum struggles with his Bindings and the Buzzsaw inches closer and closer to his crotch. “Cmon you big pussy. We escaped this with only one arm whilst you all leered on stroking your cocks. The begging continues as Caulder stuffs an old rag into his mouth. “That’s it, Sick of your shit Morghum”. “Ill see you in hell”. The buzzsaw rips into Morghums crotch splattering Caulder in his blood.

Caulder grabs Cujo and meets the others at the South entrance where they have already met Joe. “You’re a good man Joe” “They will hunt you for the rest of your life for this you know” “Eh, you mean what little is left of it” A figure approaches them out of the darkness. “Jesus he’s just a kid!” Mongrol sneers. A dirty, malnourished looking youth in a wild animal pelt climbs out of the rubble. Caluder greets him “What’s your name kid?”“Ah I don’t think he knows how to speak” chimes Joe, “I usually just make signs or draw things out for him”. The kid turns to walk off. “I hope you know what you’re doing Joe”. “So do I!” responds Joe as the ragtag bunch unknowingly follow the guide into the wastes. “He knows a place we can lie low for a while. Apparently there’s even mushrooms we can eat and only some of them can kill you, but he can’t tell us which ones”. “Sheeeeeeeeeet, I should’ve stayed in my cell” Laughs Blackblood as they all trudge off into the sunrise of the new day.
 
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