It’s not massively complicated, of course, but since I’ve been working on painting the Goliath Maulers, I’ve been off-and-on trying to work out how vehicles work in Necromunda. There are loads of rules for them, both in the new Ash Wastes rulebook and in Book of the Outlands, but it’s interesting (to me) how the internet generally only talks about adding them to your gang, but not playing with them.
I’ve got a game of Necromunda coming up later this week, so thought I’d dummy up a session to try to remember the rules, as it has been a very long time since I last played – and indeed, I’ve never played with the new Ash Wastes stuff. Having recently finished painting the Goliath gang, it was great to get them out for a spin, as well!
To start with, then, vehicles are almost the same as any other fighter – they can take actions, they can attack or be attacked, etc. The vehicle will usually have a weapon, and a crew, who will be responsible for firing that weapon. Vehicles begin the game mobile, but can become stalled or wrecked as the game goes on. The various conditions a vehicle can be subjected to determine which actions they can perform. So you can move, you can shoot, you can ram, you can move and shoot (moving half your move value to do so), and so on.
When you move, you go in a straight line. This may cause you to collide with terrain and stuff, but you can manoeuvre during a move, if you need to pivot to get around things. Otherwise, you only get to change your direction at the start or end of a move. It really makes you think about what you’re trying to do, especially if you’re trying to do a drive-by – you can’t just curve around things without thinking things through.
There are many game effects that can see the crew losing control of the vehicle, too. This is kinda funny, but it reflects the somewhat difficult terrain and the ramshackle vehicles they’re driving.
You can, of course, attack vehicles, and it works similar to attacking other fighters. Vehicles have front, side and rear Toughness, and you resolve your hit depending on which you’re shooting at (or beating up). Once a hit has been scored, damage is inflicted via the vehicle dice – special location and damage dice that allow you to score glancing, penetrating or catastrophic hits against the body, engine, crew or drive of the vehicle. Depending on which type of hit is scored and where, different effects will take place. So for instance, a glancing hit to the drive will force a loss of control test (more in a bit), while a catastrophic hit to the engine will remove two hull points and reduce its move value by half for the rest of the game.
In my test game today, the Orlock champion scored a catastrophic hit against a Goliath mauler with his heavy bolter, destroying the vehicle in one shot!
When a vehicle is reduced to 0 hull points, it becomes wrecked and can essentially function as terrain. The crew will be thrown clear, which I hadn’t realised, but that does mean you potentially need to have more models painted up for this!
Vehicles have a handling value, which is used when making a loss of control test. If failed, you roll a d6 and the Control dice, which is another new type of dice for the vehicle rules. This result will determine if the vehicle swerved, jackknifes, of rolls when the loss of control test is failed, with the d6 determining which direction it moves, left or right. Rolling vehicles can end up on their side or the roof, and will consequently wreck.
It’s a pretty good system, when you get into it, and I think it’ll be fun to try out more vehicle battles in the future. The rules for Necromunda are quite dense anyway, and while the vehicular additions can be seen as making that worse, in all honesty I don’t think they’re all that bad – I mean, it’s just more of the same, in many respects. However, adding in this new type of “fighter” does really open the game out in so many ways, and as I’ve already said, I can’t wait to see what other vehicles will be making their way into the wastes!