Your Opinions on Juves? Juve Tactics Discussion

Commissariat

Ganger
Mar 9, 2017
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Maine
Firstly, I was a player who ran as many Juves as possible in ORB/NCE. They were perfect long-time investments and really came into their own with plenty of stories to tell. I was the "Juve Guy" in the group because I swore by them and always had them carrying weight.

However there seems to be a change in the air; it seems that the spirit of Mary Poppins has abandoned the Juves....

N17 Juves keep disappointing me more and more in this edition... but perhaps I am missing something. I am going to list out a series of Pro/Cons that I have noticed, if any of you have counter-arguments or your own notes please share them below. I want to love my Juves, and I have included 1 in my gang for the pure narrative of it because that is something I need in my life, but it is hard to in N17. Help me see the light of the Juve!

Pro
  1. Cherry-picked advances
  2. Cheap bodies
  3. Goes straight to Champion, unlike Gangers who take an additional step to get there.
  4. +1 Move and Leader-Level Initiative
Con
  1. Bad combat and mental stats making it hard to claim those OoA XP unless they can survive Coup De Grace duty.
  2. Bad equipment options, see #1
  3. Juves, by the time they can be equivalent to Gangers in effectiveness, have a massively bloated rating making it costly to include them in your gang if you want to limit reputation/scenario-picking of the enemy.
  4. Stat Caps means they can not be as good as a good ol' straight up Champion or Leader in stat increases. The stock-champion and leader will be more efficient rating-wise and can get more wounds/attacks. In the case of goliaths, they also get better strength and toughness than Juve-Champs. Is +1 Movement really that great of a trade-off?
  5. Gangers can advance about as fast as Juves can and trade random table for: starting with better stats all around, special weapon and loadout options, and armor.
Theoretical Uses for Juves
  1. Use them as Savant-Slaves in Orlock/Van Saar, keep them out of scenarios and just rely on those Savant Skills to carry their weight in the gang.
  2. Template-Truckers. Get them skills and Cool as advances and then throw a Flamer or Grenade Launcher in their hands at Champion status. If they get a chance, they'll make up for bad combat stats with forgiving template mechanics.
  3. Use LoS, good Cool upgrades or Leaders, to shoot at models in the back of a row of models so that you can get stray-shot bonuses to likely hit people anyways even if they were probably harder to hit or out of LoS. (Stray Shot has been a silly rule, making it possible to snipe people or bean your own guy by simply missing. Talk about failing forward!)
  4. As mentioned by @JmOz01, Juves can be used to "safely" grant free bonuses for your real fighters if they simply choose to not fight after charging.
How much value are Juves giving you? Are the only good Juves ones that you get for free from a Settlement? Please prove my thoughts wrong, I know I must be missing something...

-Commi
 

Kairae

Gang Champion
Dec 29, 2017
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Australia
I like your idea of ‘Savant slaves’, a Machinist Juve would be tactically useful.

I think Escher get it good with Juves (assuming that strength is irrelevant once Toxin is fixed):

Additional Pros:
As good in CC as a Ganger (for 30pts less)
Ideal platform for Agility skills
Same weaknesses as a Ganger (so you should already be mitigating them)

I think the way to make Juves work is abuse their Agility function in missions like Looting/Sabotage/Rescue. My 5 upgrade Escher Juve is going to be: +1 Move, +1 WS, +1 Cl, Sprint, Random Agility skill. 21” Sprint with an Overseer Leader will be amusing.

But, yes: Juves get cruelled by the upgrade Mechanics and lack of Armour. I haven’t done the maths but a base-Champion equivalent Juve must be ~200 Creds rating. I think the upgrades are extremely badly balanced from a Gang Rating POV: a Juve-Champion should be a 1/1 transition if you pick the same stats/skills (equally ganger to specialist to Champion).

Same goes for comparing two Gangers: if an Escher and Goliath ganger have the same stats they should provide the same Gang Rating (excepting the difference in cost between Flak Armour and Furnace Plates).
 

Commissariat

Ganger
Mar 9, 2017
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Maine
Are they as good as Gangers in melee? When everyone can bring two weapons in addition to their primary, Gangers are 1/6 better at hitting in melee than Juves and get armor..
 
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Kairae

Gang Champion
Dec 29, 2017
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Juves are 4+ to hit for Escher. The only advantage Ganger’s get is Armour and potentially better weapons. That seems reasonable for 30pts.

I basically agree with you premise: Juves seem gimped in the new version. But that’s a result of how expensive upgrades are. But Escher are weird because +1 M, +1 WS and +1 I are basically ideal for their play style (and ideal for a ‘grab the loot and run Girl, we’ll deal with their fighters’).
 

Stoof

Yakmarines 2nd Co. Word Priest
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Jun 1, 2016
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As has been mentioned - if you're playing Escher then Juves are a worthwhile investment. If you're not playing Escher then as it stands they are much less useful than a basic Ganger and the cost saving is not enough to make up for their shortcomings.

I took a solitary a juve in my N17 Goliath gang and honestly think I'd have been better off spending the cash on gear. Admittedly we aren't far in the campaign yet.

I always took at least one - usually two - juves in ORB/NCE. Usually ended up with some good stories. But in N17 they don't feel worth it.
 

sumpthing

Hive Scum
Honored Tribesman
Jun 14, 2017
228
286
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Perth, Australia
I don't have any juves in my starting list but will probably pick one or two up early in the campaign. It's like to me like gangers will level just fine as long as my leader is around (he has mentor)
 

Geekchef

Juve
Nov 26, 2017
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63
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Everett WA USA
There is a disagreemeant over whether promoted Juries start with zero advancements or the 5+ they had at promotion to champion.

This is a big deal because of the exp tax advancements build up to. Also it is unclear to this tax effect normal gangers.

Seeing as fighter growth has always been a cornerstone of Necromunda, Gang War leaves way to much to interpretation and house rules
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
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It's so so much than they are unclear, it's that they are not trustworthy.
If the rules were to be followed to the letter, you would have to mark advancements for Juves (and Specialists) but not Gangers (GW p16-17). Compare:
The fighter's card is updated accordingly, the appropriate amount of XP is deducted from their total and the number in their Advancements box is increased by 1.
and
The Ganger's Fighter card is updated and their value amended accordingly.
Then again it could be argued that, following the same logic, the value of non-gangers is not increased when they gain advancements, which of course makes non sense...

Still, the rules strongly imply that juves do mark advancements and that those stay when the become champion:
Juves are particularly fast learners - as such, they ignore this rule, and always use the cost shown on the table, regardless of the number of Advancements they have.
Juves don't forget their advancements, they simply ignore them when calculating the cost of new ones.

I think this whole system doesn't work very well anyway. The +2XP tax render low-XP advancements very unattractive (+1 Int/Wil is not the most exciting thing but 3 XP is not much, however, when you factor in the real cost (3XP now, +2 XP for every single subsequent advancement this fighter will get), it becomes really bad)
 

Kairae

Gang Champion
Dec 29, 2017
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Australia
I think this whole system doesn't work very well anyway. The +2XP tax render low-XP advancements very unattractive (+1 Int/Wil is not the most exciting thing but 3 XP is not much, however, when you factor in the real cost (3XP now, +2 XP for every single subsequent advancement this fighter will get), it becomes really bad)

Honestly the 'interesting' examples are already very expensive: random primary skill upgrade for a leader is ~2-3 Victories and a primary / secondary skill is ~5.

If you just capped all Physical Stat upgrades at Ganger +2 and all Mental Stat upgrades at Ganger +4 and apply the 'advancements cost' as +2 per Skill it'd be much more reasonable.
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
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The way I see it, Skill advancements are not very attractive already, except for the 9XP "choose a Primary skill" one (or perhaps the 9/12XP "get a random shooting skill" for those that can't outright choose it). There is no reason to further penalize them by making them the only taxable advancements.
The problem is that skill advancements cost more than most stat increases but that many skills are worse than them (Backstab and Bull charge, for example, are both strictly worse than S+1), so I'm assuming most fighters will first max S/T/WS/A/W or T/BS/W (depending on melee/ranged preferences) before they get any random skill.
Cl and maybe I and Ld (for specific support leader builds) seem to be the only other stats worth taking advancements for (up to 4+ for Cl/Ld, before the diminishing returns hit too hard). I'd be suprised if anyone ever take a Int/Wil advancement.

The other issue I have with this system is that the skillset table for Specialists is utterly useless. The first and only advancement any Specialist should ever take is the 12 XP one that make them a Champion. I see no reason whatsoever to delay getting an additional Champion, considering how useful they appear to be.
 
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Gunkaiser

Spyrer Superior
Honored Tribesman
May 24, 2017
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I'm finding myself wondering if Gang War 3 isn't going to just re-write a whole swath of the rules.

I'm much preferring the SWAg handling of advancements over what we're seeing in the rulebook.
 

Geekchef

Juve
Nov 26, 2017
48
63
18
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Everett WA USA
@Gunkaiser We may see some rewritten (ie fixed) skill lists and trading post listings in gw2 but its focus seems to be Orlocs and hangers on and other support staff. So a lot more rules!

And given just how confusing and just plain badly written the main rule book and gw1are I don't have much faith in Games Workshop editing department right now.
 

Trafalgar Law

Gang Hero
Mar 14, 2017
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The whole XP system seems to be poorly thought out in my opinion. It seems to take too much XP to get anywhere and you get XP far too slowly. Skills are often weak in comparison to stat increases so they won't be taken very often especially as you can't usually pick the skill you want (except the pricey 9xp choose a primary skill advance). The +2 XP advancement tax makes this even worse.

Juves need too much XP to reach champion level, e.g. an Escher Juve will want ~28XP to create a usable character (+1 BS, +1 S, +2 Cool, +1 WS/BS or a skill) and even then they'll still be inferior to a bought champion. That's a lot of games to level up even a single Juve.

Like Thorgor says the specialists need some reason to stay as a specialist, as currently they'll just get advanced to an extra champion asap. Access to different skill tables would be the obvious solution.

I'm probably going to make/recommend the following changes for any future campaigns: D3 XP for surviving the battle, +1 XP advancement tax (may drop this entirely), halve the XP price of skills. Possibly, Juves pay 1 XP less for each advancement.
 

Commissariat

Ganger
Mar 9, 2017
238
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Maine
The way I see it, Skill advancements are not very attractive already, except for the 9XP "choose a Primary skill" one (or perhaps the 9/12XP "get a random shooting skill" for those that can't outright choose it). There is no reason to further penalize them by making them the only taxable advancements.
The problem is that skill advancements cost more than most stat increases but that many skills are worse than them (Backstab and Bull charge, for example, are both strictly worse than S+1), so I'm assuming most fighters will first max S/T/WS/A/W or T/BS/W (depending on melee/ranged preferences) before they get any random skill.
Cl and maybe I and Ld (for specific support leader builds) seem to be the only other stats worth taking advancements for (up to 4+ for Cl/Ld, before the diminishing returns hit too hard). I'd be suprised if anyone ever take a Int/Wil advancement.

The other issue I have with this system is that the skillset table for Specialists is utterly useless. The first and only advancement any Specialist should ever take is the 12 XP one that make them a Champion. I see no reason whatsoever to delay getting an additional Champion, considering how useful they appear to be.


Skill vs Stats depends on the gang. Basically any gang that doesn't have option to Shooting Skills are going stats. Skill advancements in Shooting are vastly superior to Ballistic Skill advancements because there are sights to pick up the slack in accuracy.

The downside of promoting a specialist to champion is not being able to buy more champions and capping out before getting the advancement-champions to maximize champions. Champions and their group activation is only so useful.

XP tax is a bother, so is the massive rating increase from stats. You almost don't want them to advance or else you are pouring Reputation into the hands of your opponents thus enabling them to get more (Store-Bought) Champions.

You always want to cap out your nearest Champion cap before getting people to advance to champion and a Specialist with +BS is good enough to go to work.
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
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The downside of promoting a specialist to champion is not being able to buy more champions and capping out before getting the advancement-champions to maximize champions. Champions and their group activation is only so useful.
Champions also do post-battle actions (D6x10 credits at the very least), but you are nevertheless correct. With the current rules, a player may find themself in a situation where firing a promoted Juve/Specialist so that they can hire a brand new Champion would actually be beneficial. Which feels strange.

I'm torn on whether it creates interesting choices for players to make or if it's just bad game design...
 
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Kairae

Gang Champion
Dec 29, 2017
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Juves need too much XP to reach champion level, e.g. an Escher Juve will want ~28XP to create a usable character (+1 BS, +1 S, +2 Cool, +1 WS/BS or a skill) and even then they'll still be inferior to a bought champion. That's a lot of games to level up even a single Juve.

And that Juve will have a Gang Rating before equipment of 110. Which is ridiculous.

I think you could get away with just the XP cost of the advancements (so that Ex-Juve would be 48 Creds); even if you need to round them to the nearest 5 (Ie:
Cost Advancement – Leaders, Champions, Juves, Specialists Value
3 XP Improve the fighter's Willpower or Intelligence by 1. +5 credits
4 XP Improve the fighter's Leadership or Cool by 1. +5 credits
5 XP Improbable the fighter's Initiative by 1. +5 credits
5 XP Add 1'' to the fighter's Movement. +5 credits
6 XP Improve the fighter's Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill by 1. +5 credits
6 XP The fighter gains a random skill from one of their Primary skill sets. +5 credits
8 XP Increase the fighter's Strength or Toughness by 1. +10 credits
9 XP Pick a skill from one of the fighter's Primary skill sets. +5 credits*
9 XP The fighter gains a random skill from one of their Secondary skill sets. +10 credits
12 XP Increase the fighter's Wounds or Attacks by 1. +10 credits
12 XP Specialist only: promote the fighter to Champion. They gain a random skill from one of their
Primary skill sets. +10 credits
15 XP The fighter gains a random skill from any skill set. +15 credits)

I wouldn't drop the price of Skills yet. I have a feeling that easy access to 'good Skill trees' (ie Shooting) will be paid for in other ways (actually, that's probably wishful thinking but it would be one way of doing it). And even then 2/3rds of the cost sounds more reasonable (so you can risk randomly getting Bull Charge for 4XP, grab the actual skill you want at 6XP or just get a Strength upgrade at 8XP).
 
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Kairae

Gang Champion
Dec 29, 2017
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Australia
Champions also do post-battle actions (D6x10 credits at the very least), but you are nevertheless correct. With the current rules, a player may find themself in a situation where firing a promoted Juve/Specialist so that they can hire a brand new Champion would actually be beneficial. Which feels strange.

I'm torn on whether it creates interesting choices for players to make or if it's just bad game design...

I don't think it's a choice (if you have the Creds) and particularly not if you're sitting around 2000Creds Gang Rating (so need to remove bloat from your Gang). Bought Champions are ridiculously more efficient for their cost and will almost certainly have better across the board stats. They also get to choose their primary skill (unlike Specialists)

And it's worse if you don't allow Juves to refit on becoming Champions: they're stuck with 2 'Juve' weapons.

Narratively, you can just pull a sleight of hand as well. Call your 'new' Champion the same as the old Specialist/Juve, and just alter the mechanics of their statline.
 

Commissariat

Ganger
Mar 9, 2017
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If only it were as easy as Middle-Earth: Battle Companies Community Edition where there was a clear point value per stat point that you could use.
(ie: Rohan Warrior costs 6 points and represents the default Man Profile; a Helminga is Strength 4(+1 stat) which increases point value by 1)
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
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I don't think it's a choice (if you have the Creds) and particularly not if you're sitting around 2000Creds Gang Rating (so need to remove bloat from your Gang). Bought Champions are ridiculously more efficient for their cost and will almost certainly have better across the board stats. They also get to choose their primary skill (unlike Specialists)
In this case, the "choice" would be to keep Specialists stuck at Specialist level to avoid finding yourself in this situation in the first place.
For Juves, you can either not hire them in the first place, or keep them at 4 advances if it's not a good time for them to evolve. This also let you stack XP and spend everything at once to get a fifth, sixth etc. advance without suffering from the 2 XP tax.

But I don't think either of those behaviors should be encouraged, so I'm leaning towards bad game design.
 

Gunkaiser

Spyrer Superior
Honored Tribesman
May 24, 2017
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I'm kinda thinking that not allowing Specialists to become champions and not counting previously earned advances against Juve Champions is the way to go.

Probably would let Specialists carry special weapons too...