MOTB: 16th Law

Finished product first!

Last week we looked at the test ganger for 16th Law which I had sneakily made several months ago but with the time-bending powers of the internet made it appear like it was only seven days ago. I was dead happy with how he had come out, so it was on to the main event.

We had 1000 Credits to assemble a gang for the Callowdecks campaign. I’m running it as well as playing it, so I wanted to try a list that was a little more thematic. Bolters are cool and emphasize the slavish devotion to tradition that these guys follow, so I managed to squeeze a bolter, heavy bolter and combi-melta-bolter into the list.

I filled the rest of the gangers with some staples – an autogun, a shotgun and a Juve with an autopistol. I even managed to squeeze a grenade launcher onto the list, which has so far turned out to be one of my star players.

The huge downside to this was the lack of bodies on the tabletop – hopefully if I play conservatively in the early games I can earn some creds to add some extra techybois to soak some bullets up for my Leader.

The only thing left was to name them – I played with some Adeptus Mechanicus names but I wasn’t sold. I remembered an old White Dwarf article with a Van Saar player who named his gangers after obsolete computer systems and did some quick google-fu. Turns out, the list of obsolete programming languages is also huge and filled with really daft names. Problem solved!

These pictures are taken for posterity and we’ll look back at them after the campaign is over to see how the gang is grown!

Leader – superplan

The most expensive fighter on my list – I knew I wanted the combi-melta the moment I saw it on the House Equipment list. When Forgeworld announced the weapon kits, it was love at first sight.

He’s got nothing other than this though, and I’ve been lucky that nobody has engaged him in close combat. He might get a chainsword or something down the line once I’ve stacked some more bodies on the board.

He took the Munitioneer special ability – with so many bolters on the board, a few extra re-rolls for ammo checks wouldn’t hurt.

champion – superplan

The heavy bolter from the Forgeworld weapon expansion was just too damn pretty not to include. It’s a heavy stubber that is better in every way and kills stuff dead. The only downside is the ammo check of 6+, but that’s what his backup autopistol is for!

He took the Fixer ability – Cash is King in Necromunda, and an extra D3x10 creds at the end of every fight win, lose or draw will (hopefully) keep my gang afloat in the early games.

ganger – smalltalk

There’s more photos of Smalltalk in the previous Meanwhile On The Bench, so I won’t repeat them here. Although the shotgun/autopistol combination looked cool, it turns out that they’re a bit of a redundant combination as they operate at the same ranges and are both super-reliable. Ah well – Rule of Cool!

Ganger – Sue

Dakka dakka dakka! I couldn’t resist having another bolter ganger on the squad. I had just enough creds to squeeze on a stub pistol for when they inevitably run out of ammunition in the heat of battle.

Ganger – Bliss

Blast weapons are awesome in this version of Necromunda and the grenade launcher is a superb example, hitting and pinning multiple targets from 24″ away and the chance to avoid a miss with a good scatter roll all for 65 credits is not to be sniffed at. It also comes with Krak grenades, so you can reach out and fuck someone with a S6 D2 AP-2 hit. It’s tasty but I’ve still not got round to Krak grenading anyone yet – frag grenades are just so much fun!

Ganger – bash

A cheap body to put at the front of the pack! With such a compact gang, I can’t afford the Leader or Champion to be taking any fire. People like Bash will be there, heroically provoking Target Priority rolls and making unnecessarily aggressive flanking actions to keep the heat off the boss.

Juve – Mumps

Juvie power! It’d be rude not to include at least one Juve on the roster, and Mumps will get a buddy once the campaign gets underway. Owing to the super-tight roster he could only be bought an autopistol for his starting equipment.

I modelled him with the knife as I didn’t have the heart to snip it off and reattach it later once he had purchased it. I made my opponent explicitly aware he had no knife, and he would be purchasing one with his first lot of winnings.

Family photo!

And that’s that! They may be some of my favourite minis I’ve painted and I’m really excited to see how they’ll progress and grow throughout the campaign!

Internet time-warp note: Bash has already been killed in action, performing his job admirably. His identical brother, Bash-II, has taken up the time-honoured tradition of bullet sponge in his absence.

Mercy Crier week 1: The Callowdecks have opened

Thrills, spills and grav-gun kills in the opening week of the Callowdecks Turf War! In no less than seven different altercations and five ganger deaths already, including a Leader (RIP Jett), the gangs have set a precedent that others will be hard pressed to match.

With this week being the opening week, the gangs have been tentatively finding their feet and probing other gangs for weakness.

Only two gangs saw their Turf Size increase – 16th Law and Calorie Crooks, but what really matters is their Gang Reputation. Here’s a look at the leaderboard so far:

Fashion corner

Jett – Leader of the Sarin Sirens (RIP)

Special mention for our first Fashion Corner is the exquisite Jett from the Sarin Sirens, painted by Lawrence Williams of Hobgoblin3D. The contrast of armour and hair is just wonderful. Shame her skin tone hasn’t changed much now she’s died…

Jett of the Sarin Sirens, painted by Lawrence Williams
Juve of the week

Our first regular Juve of the Week is an opportunity for Juvies to earn their salt performing for you, the illustrious readers of the Mercy Crier. Our glorious benefactors at Dreadquill have released 30 Credits PER WEEK to give to one lucky Juve who has baffled, astounded or inspired undiscovered feelings of gang loyalty among you, the public.

Each week we will present the stories of two plucky Juves, fresh from the blood-slicked bulkheads of the Callowdecks, and you will vote for your favourite on our regular vox channels.

Job “The Humiliator” of The Inheritors

Job of the Inheritors earned his stripes in his very first match, coming up against rival gang 16th Law. He charged heroically through an open bulkhead, putting his life on the line to save his boss from autopistol fire.

After an embarrassingly long combat Job finally struck down his Juve sparring partner, doing unspeakable things to the poor Juve and causing the Humiliation lasting injury. His gangmates may never speak to him again…

You can see the full battle report here.

Renart the Fungal of the Order of the Emperor’s Sole

Renart the Fungal broke a deadlock between two cult gangs – his own and their (now) bitter rivals, Apocalypts No. When battle lines were drawn over a wide area of toxic sludge and little cover to protect the Order’s advance, Renart took things into his own hands.

With a (presumably) mighty war cry, he sprinted across open ground, autopistols blazing at the Chaos gunmen hunkered down in the corner.

He needed a 6+ followed by a 5+ and a 4+. We watched with bated breath as all three turned up sixes. Truly the Emperor was guiding his aim that day.

It was a terrible shame he was burnt to a crisp by a mad woman with flamers for eyes shortly afterwards.

Other highlights

As we have too many games to squeeze into a single Mercy Crier, we’ve got some highlights for you from other games played throughout the week.

Apocalpyts No vs The Order of the Emperor’s Sole
Emperor’s Sole face off against Slaanesh’s chosen across an open sludge pit
Renart heroically charges down the Chaos nest
The Witch has the last laugh, barbecuing friend and foe alike
16th law vs Apocalypts no
Chaos stack up while the Leader ruthlessly employs the Overwatch skill from the safety of cover
The Witch deploys her new familiar, saving her from 16th Law’s hail of bolter fire and torching Bash to death
With most of the Chaos team down the Witch rushes 16th Law’s position, requiring a bolter, a heavy bolter and a melta gun to take her down
Sarin sirens vs calorie crooks
Escher and Goliath test each other out in their inaugural brawl
Jett enjoying her only game where she doesn’t get shot in the head
The Siren’s run of bad luck means they fail to bring their powerful weapons to bear

First Blood: Orlocks vs Van Saar battle report

The first of our Callowdecks battle reports is a brawl between an Orlock gang “16th Law” (my own gang) and a Van Saar gang “The Inheritors“. We agreed on the ‘Stand-Off’ scenario to test our gangs out, using all the default rules for deployment and battlefield setup.

We rolled a 1 for determining how much cover there was going to be, and it wasn’t pretty. This was going to be a bloodbath…

Correction: Mumps (bottom left) is a Juve, not a Ganger. Don’t let him get ideas above his station.

With custom gang deployment, we both secretly picked equal gang sizes. The Inheritors (top of the board) had two gangers, a juve, a leader and a champion. 16th Law had a leader, three gangers and a juve.

A tentative setup

Although we’d played a few times before this was the first campaign game we’d both played, so we were both very conscious about lasting repercussions. I didn’t really pay attention to the victory conditions of the scenario, which is one of the biggest learning points I took away from this game, so the outcome was more luck than tactics.

The dice fell for Priority and the game commenced.

TUrn 1

I use similar tactics for Necromunda as I do for video games – run forwards as fast as possible at get as much ground as you can early on. We House Ruled that the cover terrain would nearly always confer a better cover save than corners, so that was going to be my preferred sniping spot.

The 16th Law Leader snapped a shot off at the Van Saar twin plasma-pistol wielding Champion in the opening move and took him Out Of Action immediately. We both gained a new-found respect for bolt weapons.

Both gangs exchanged small arms fire, and both the Inheritors Leader with grav gun and my own ganger with a grenade launcher failing to find targets.

turn 2

A few small arms attacks hit home – the 16th Law grenade launcher finds himself Seriously Injured by a las carbine and his buddy is pinned. A 16th Law bolter ganger finds a mark on another Inheritors ganger but only manages to pin him.

Mumps decided to earn some hero points, opened his door and fired on the Van Saar leader to no avail. He got himself charged by the rival juve and we both became very excited. Two Juves Enter, One Juve Leaves.

Both juves failed to hit with any attacks.

From what was very promising opening turn, things had gone downhill quickly for 16th Law…

Turn 3

The Inheritors Leader lands a terrible blow with his grav gun, Seriously Injuring the bolter ganger in the middle of the map. To make matters worse, the Inheritors Juve sees off the 16th Law Juve, proving himself to be King Juve of this map.

The grenade launcher ganger was recovered in the previous turn by his helpful buddy, and all three remaining 16th Law fighters withdraw out of line of sight.

I could pretend it was a cunning feint to lure the Inheritors into a trap, but really I just didn’t want any more of my guys squished by the grav gun.

Turn 4

The Inheritors Juve moves to flank the remaining 16th Law fighters but finds himself eating frag grenade in an unprecedented useful shot from the grenadier.

The Inheritors leader follows the same path to get an easy flanking shot with his grav gun, and the other Inheritors gangers keep taking pot shots at whoever they can see.

In the final throes of the combat, the Seriously Injured bolter ganger crawls back to his buddies and they help him to his feet, narrowly helping him avoid rolling on the Lasting Injuries table.

At this point, I figured discretion was the better part of valour, and opted to withdraw my gang and concede victory to the Inheritors. I’d rather live to fight another day than risk anyone valuable getting ground into paste.

Wrap-up

A tense game but very enjoyable! It was only during the wrap-up that we worked out that the victory conditions were for taking out opponents and less about last-man-standing. We added up the points and it turned out to be a 3:1 victory to 16th Law!

After that totally intentional victory, we reflected on what had happened. Grav guns are great, bolters are great and juves are adorably sucky. Amusingly, Mumps was the only person to have any permanent injury – he got the “Humiliated” result on the Lasting Injuries table, so his opponent Job got the title “Job the Humiliator”. A title I hope comes back to bite him another day…

Roll on the next battle!

MOTB: 16th Law ganger

Since Necromunda was re-released last year as Necromunda: Underhive I’ve been hankering to run a proper campaign. I’ve not been a fan of the staggered releases of Gang War books – holding back useful campaign information (such as the completed Rare Trader chart) until Gang War 4 a few months back.

With it finally released and my social obligations spent, I had run out of excuses not to run a Turf War. (I’ll do a bigger post on the Callowdecks campaign shortly, but for now keep an eye on the Dreadquill Facebook and Twitter feeds for more regular updates!) It also meant I could build a gang!

Orlocks were my first gang with old Necromunda – I really enjoyed their purity – and when they released the gang earlier this year I fell in love with the minis. They liked guns with no frills. The vanilla gang. The overlooked option. The ‘human’ option when picking a race for your character in an RPG. The starting pistol from a FPS.

I wanted to make an Orlock gang with a twist. It coincided with my realisation that for all my admiration of the Adeptus Mechanicus aesthetic, I didn’t actually have any traditional AdMech minis. I’d never painted red robes and white cogs, and this would not stand!

A Skitarii headswap was all that was needed to give it a techy vibe. It needed a little shaving down to fit in the Orlock neck hole, but otherwise was fine. A length of guitar wire to the tool kit thing on the belt completed the look of a makeshift rebreather.

The shotgun was pulled from the Genestealer Neophytes set, with a LOT of shaving away of the claw hand that held it. It was a pain in the ass, but I’m glad I did it.

The final touch was to shave the details down on the right shoulderpad and carve the edge into cog teeth. Not super visible here, but hopefully more visible on the rest of the gang. Another nod to their allegiance without breaking up the Orlock silhouette.

With a bit of green stuff in the gaps left over, the first Orlock ganger was ready to go!

colours of mars

I went for a very regal look, borrowing heavily from the standard Adeptus Mechanicus Mars palette – silver, gold, red and white.

All the colours were layered on over a black undercoat and given a hearty dousing of Nuln Oil wash. Everything was then layered again with the same colour – only the red robe got an extra highlight of lighter red to make it pop.

I wanted to emulate the traditional red robes while still maintaining the work clothes aesthetic of the Orlocks, so only the jacket and loin cloth got the Mechanicus red with a freehand cog to further cement his allegiance.

It was at this point I scratched my head about how to do the weapons. Silver and gold was a given – but what colour to do the weapon cases? Red was an obvious choice but detracted from the robes, and dark colours were too plain.

I wanted something fancy, and remembered that the AdMech modelled their super fancy laser guns after ancient Terran weapon designs, and I loved the concept that these tech-mad gangers would go out of their way to replicate that.

What better way to show your devotion to tradition than to try and make your weapons out of wood? If it was good enough for the Ancients, it’s good enough for me!

It was this line of thinking that brought me back to a personal fascination of mine – the Mysteries and Warnings of the Adeptus Mechanicus. A kind of Ten Commandments for the cogboys, these sixteen statements are what they base their weapon-worship around, and how they justify doing all the illogical (but cool-looking) things they do.

Although these gangers would be mere menials in Mercy’s weapons factories, their devotion to their Adeptus Mechanicus masters and slavish commitment to tradition meant one of those commandments stood out to me the most – “To break with ritual is to break with faith.” If they don’t make their weapons out of wood (a tricky thing to do in space), they couldn’t call themselves really devoted to the Omnissiah.

The live by the last commandment, the 16th Law, and I knew there and then that’s what their gang name would be.

I’m very happy with how he turned out, and I’m excited to do the rest of the gang now! Roll on the campaign!