Return to the Underhive – Enforcers vs Orlocks

Damn, it it’s happened again.

My former housemate/sneaky Delaque friend is someone I keep meaning to play more games with (seeing as he is close by, a good friend and someone who is fun to play against). However, thanks to the churn of life, we have ended up missing out on a few opportunities until literally on Monday he popped up and asked if I fancied some Necromunda this week. And after pulling myself out of the Vietnam Flashback of the last campaign we played, we agreed to jump back into one of our favourite games. Although we did change it to the Tuesday, as I already had plans on the Wednesday.

Our original idea was to get out and build up two new gangs (myself with some Escher (as you can see above with my Stubber girl with big coat) and Former Housemate with the new spooky Ash Waste Nomads) for an unpainted new mini fight. But then Monday happened and we realised our folly, leading to us instead going into our boxes and breaking out our existing figures. I went for my team of tooled up Enforcers, who would find themselves ambushed by a gang of Orlocks named the Blue Suns while navigating the tunnels beneath the hive city.

This is actually a really fun scenario, using an unusual cross shaped arrangements of tiles to give the attackers a choice of four angles, without filling in a mass of space to run around. I got a quite nice and defensible tile (read: no pit) which I then barricaded up to cut down the firing arc. Additionally, the deployment is interesting – I deploy my groups of gangers at different times, rolling to see if they deploy in the centre or give me the chance to flank. Unfortunately the dice gods were not on my side, so both of my group deployed in a central position – obviously my Enforcers had fallen back to a defensible point just as the trap was sprung.

Against me, the Orlocks were… much MUCH more numerous. By picking out a group of gangers tooled to the gills (including a heavy bolter for comedy), I was definitely leaning on the quality of my armour and gear to fight back the Orlocks. Statlines are pretty comparable, but thanks to the opposing force being on the cheaper side (and the Juves missing their armour) I was outnumbered 2 to 1. Made worse once the Orlock player dropped a tactics card and added a crazed Rebel Lord with a pair of terrifying weapons (played here by one of my chaos warriors).

And then the game started, the attackers had priority and with the first activation from an autogun wielder, my Heavy Bolter was immediately taken out of action. Well it’s fine, I’ve got a guy with a shield and frag trap ready to defend…

Oh. Damn. The first and last round (thanks ammo checks) from the Orlock Champion’s boltgun ripped the shield carrying Enforcer apart, luckily without setting off the frag trap he had been given for this job. On the other hand, his death did cause both the Sgt and the Grenade Launcher equipped Enforcer to make a break for it, leaving only the Rookie to hold their cool.

At this point, my opponet looked me in the eye and asked if I wanted to reset. However, I said no – let us descend into the madness of Necromunda, and maybe the game will turn around.

Thanks to my rookie it immediately did. Striding forward to the barrier, a gun in each hand, the muzzle flash lighting up the tunnels as they fired at the oncoming attackers. The stub gun hammered away into nothing but the burst from the auto-pistol took out one of the attackers, showing the enforcers were not out of the game yet.

The third group of Orlocks started flanking on the left side, leading to a bit of a fire fight between my grenade launcher wielding Subjugator and a shotgun totting Orlock. Well, I say fire fight – the first shotgun blast plinked off his armour while the return grenade knocked the ganger off his feet. Unfortunately, my opponent dropped a Click card on me so I suddenly had one less useful crowd control weapon to use.

The gunfire from my Rookie had forced the harpoon launcher to flee towards cover and get away from the line of sight of this steely eyed newcomer. Luckily for me, it also moved him away from the Dreaded Pit which has claimed most of our fighters in previous games.

However when he activated, harpoon boy was quickly up to his predictable tricks, moving to the edge of the pit and attempting to drag my Champion into the darkness and out the game. Everything seemed to be going wrong as the harpoon hit, went through and then started dragging him forward. Luckily, it didn’t drag him far enough (although it was closer than I would have liked). Even better, the harpoon ran out of ammo.

Meaning it was the perfect time for me to spring a counter attack! Out of the gate, my Hardcase Cyber-Mastiff sprung into the attack, hitting the harpoon guy and taking off one wound. This was closely followed by my Champion moving into position to take a stub pistol shot, causing a serious injury and knocking him down, all ready for the dog to provide the finishing blow the next turn.

You can also see the Orlocks attempting to shoot my champion in the back, although this did little more than piss him off.

In contrast, attracting the attention of the Rebel Lord led to my grenade launcher getting his limbs ripped off by a chainsword and whip. Having to deal with 4 attacks on the charge, most of which do rending or cause multiple damage per wound is pretty nasty, leading to another out of action.

At the same time, a shotgun blast also seriously injured my Rookie, forcing them to crawl into cover while frantically trying to reload their manstopper rounds.

Speaking of nasty wounds, despite having managed eliminate one of the Orlock Juves and seriously injure /prepare for dog food an Orlock ganger, the Enforcer champion then found himself in close combat with both an Orlock Leader and an Orlock Champion, fighting off a dangerous combo of servo-claw and chainsword. Despite pummelling his opponents and almost putting the Champion down, a servo-claw to the jaw does a pretty good job of knocking you out for the count. Luckily, having an angry dog is handy to stop anyone even attempting to stomp you.

Now, it can’t be understated just how all out this Rookie went. From the inital blast putting me back into the game, to distracting the attacking Orlocks rushing in, Cassidy is now propped up against the barricade, blood bubbling out of her mouth as her blood slick hands finished reloading her pistols. The Rebel Lord stood over her and… at the end of the turn, she recovered from her serious injury and stood back up for a last standing. Choosing between her two opponents, a blast of Stub and Autopistol blazed out… and took off one wound from the Rebel Lord. Close but not close enough. A chainsword and shock whip sent her back to seriously injured, at which point the Orklock autogunner, pumped up after having killed the Heavy Bolter at the start of the game, ended the game with another ganger out of action.

Of course, my rookie wasn’t the only one to stand back up in the Recovery phase. My Champion, having turned his serious injuries into a second flesh wound that diminished him to Toughness 1, now came under attack from the Orlocks again. Seeing as we’re now into the stage where anything but ones would cause damage, I managed to breath a sign of relief when the Orlock Champion rolled snake eyes.

In my counter attack, the Enforcer Champion brought his shock baton down and smashed his attacker to the ground, dealing serious injuries.

However, this glorious defence could not last forever. Even with his hound beside him, the return of the servo-claw meant I ended up taking two more damage. With the last dice roll of the game, my champion fell, quickly followed by the curbstomp to my Rookie. The Orlocks had sprung their trap successfully and walked away with a pretty solid victory, even if I ended up wiping out half the gang.

Overall, Necromunda continues to be a really fun game. Its approach to balance (“Balance, what balance”) leads to a game that can go wildly well or terribly from the start. It’s exactly the type of game I like – less focus on making something competitive but instead making something emotive, something that setups a story and lets you play through it. We could have restarted after I lost two figures at game on, but instead pushing on presented us with a much more heroic last stand.

I’m also reminded how much I love the guys I made. Between building them up with all my custom parts and then statting them up over a campaign, I’ve made a set of characters I’m really connected to. Ser Hjalte, my champion, is 305 points by himself (well, with him and his dog) and includes a pretty dangerous stat line; but it also includes the bionics that was required after his back was broken in the previous campaign. It made me really think about not rushing my assembly of the Eschers – to instead take the time to make a gang I can be as excited about as my green armoured mercs.

Finally, and most importantly, it was also fun to get a game in with my Former Housemate, as well as getting in some hang out time. We’ve already booked in our next game session in a few weeks, and I’ve offered to run BPRE 28mm. Which means, I have some models to paint before then.

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