Gangs of Commorragh: Zooming Into a Turn

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Checkout a detailed rundown of a turn of GW’s latest boardgame – only days away.

The game is coming this saturday and quite the deal:

Gangs of Commorragh $60

GW’s designers showed off the game and put it though it’s paces this week. One keen observer was furiously taking notes to pass onto the community:

Gameplay Basics and Big Picture Overview

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We’ve noted some interesting details in red.

via B&C’s Halandaar 1-19-2017

Initial Setup

  • The board looks super sparse; like a 4×4 will just a black sheet or something over it, and about 6 bits of tiny card terrain.
  • Each players rolls an “event” before the game; Phil rolls 12 which signifies “Home territory”. This would be more significant in a campaign
  • You split your gang into murderpacks and send them out on missions; you then randomly select which of your packs you end up using in the game so don’t pack one side with all your good stuff.
  • “Ambush roll” is the first thing to determine who gets the advantage; numerically smaller gangs get +1 to their roll
  • They’re tracking the rolls for ambush; the difference between the rolls signifies what amount of maneuverability the ambushed gang has at the beginning of the game
  • The “ambushed” gang is deploying in the centre; the ambushing gang then deploys on a randomly determined side from them
  • Phils (ambushed) starter roll was 2 less than James’ (ambusher), so he gets to rotate up to 45 degrees with his guys before the game starts. if the roll was only 1 different, he could rotate up to 90 degrees

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Sample Turn

  • The beginning of every phase has a roll off to see who goes first
  • Skills being described: the arena champion has an ability that gives him a passive 3″ boost to movement, the helliarch can reroll kill-shots
  • Phil is attempting to make a “breakturn”; usually you can only pivot once during movement (at the beginning or end of the move). The maneuvre roll is essentially “roll lower than the combined score of riders agility and piloting skill”. Phil passes, so he splits his 18″ reaver jetbike move with a turn partway through
  • All models have a minimum move to represent the pace of the flying around
  • After phil moves one, it’s now James’ turn; alternate unit activation
  • James attempting to maneuver “sideslip”; move to one side (45 degrees) while facing the same direction. Hellions move 12″
  • A double 6 (fail) on the maneuver roll can actually damage you
  • Random info: “Heavy weapons” like a Heat Lance reduce the agility value of the jetbike
  • Various other movements happen
  • There are markers to signify which models have moved
  • The attacking phase begins, again its a roll off to see who acts first; looks like shooting and close combat are resolved in the same phase
  • To-hit roll for shooting is basically, roll higher than the target’s agility; target can opt to jink, in which case you cant attack later in the turn but the shooter has to beat the combined total of agility+piloting skill
  • Random info: “Agonisers have a 6″ whipping range”
  • Phil hits but fails to kill with heat lance; the target takes a damage marker (which means further attacks against him will be at +1)
  • James’ makes an agoniser attack against one of the jetbikes and passes the kill-roll, knocking him out of the sky
  • Shooting past (“through”) other models grants target a 4+ cover save.
  • If you lose a third of your force, you have to take a break test
  • Orientation affects difficulty to hit; because in turn one it was head-to-head, no modifiers
  • You can get a 2+ to hit if your in somebody’s rear arc, but if you get on their tail (hunter & quarry) you get 5+!
  • That’s the end of the turn!

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Thoughts

There are mechanics in there to diminish the power of big scary gangs, like having to dive up your gang and roll to see which portions plays.

Alternating turn sequence – Nice. Get used to honing your activation sequencing skills.

No stopping and minimum moves keeps the action going, so no turtling up in this game.

Random roll-offs per turn for who moves and fires first keeps everyone on their toes.

Balancing mechanics for taking deadlier weapons vs maneuverability.

Break test after 1/3 casualties (so about 2-3 deaths), should keep this game quick.

I’m not going to say this is a copy of X-Wing, because it lacks the hallmark movement templates of that that game, but it feels like the aviation/dogfighting category more generally – transposed into individual 40K models.

I have no idea if there will be add-ons, but Scourges are a very obvious expansion opportunity.

Overall this seems like a very light, easy and fast game at a great price that will serve as a gateway into 40K. It would be a fantastic “gift game” for someone on the fence about tabletop gaming (of yourself).

 

 

 

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~ZZZOOOOOM!

 

 

 

  • I think Hellions can stop as they kinda pull up on the board but it does tend to leave them as a sitting duck. The game looks fun, I’ll be pre-ordering tomorrow. I’m actually feeling pretty pumped for 40k, the first time in ages.

    Those spires are growing on me but they are crying out for the edges to be blacked up with a marker pen.

    • ILikeToColourRed

      if nothing else they’re good inspiration for people to make DE themed terrain

      • euansmith

        Indeed, those cardboard “spires” could have been made a bit more impressive. I guess they serve as a movement hazard, but look a bit underwhelming.

        • If they had included a paper mat they might have looked a bit better. If the game proves popular then I’m sure it won’t take someone long to sell a mat & some better towers.

          I quite like the idea of making some towers…maybe with some trophies or even a n abandoned & impaled jet bike.

          • ZeeLobby

            I was just thinking how much better the game would look with a paper mat, and some different shaped/sized towers.

        • zeno666

          Its just another GW board game that won’t stick.
          And this one doesn’t have any space marines in it, so the terrain was just made up by old shoe boxes 😉

          • euansmith

            Maybe they could add a Space Marine expansion? 😉 Adding the old Jetbikes and Skyboards?

          • What about burgle marines powered by their own…power… 😉

          • euansmith

            “By the power of Space Marine Power Armour! I’ve have that power… erm… armour…”

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. I wish. Just like the new Silver Tower game, I doubt we’ll see any expansions in the new future.

          • Frank Krifka

            Supposedly an expansion/something for Silver Tower is right around the corner

          • ZeeLobby

            Hope so. It pretty much dropped and was forgotten. Was fun to play through once. Wouldn’t mind more content.

          • Frank Krifka

            Well, not entirely forgotten. They released a bunch of new hero cards after the game dropped with repackaged box sets.

            But, to be fair, the game isn’t that old (Just over six months). I’ve only just gotten around to putting mine together. I also play other mini-based board games (like zombicide) and expansion releases or updates were at least a year apart.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, maybe we’re just used to harder games. Our local store group just seemed to breeze through the content. Tried it a couple more times and it just seemed really repetitive and ez. Not the biggest fan of zombicide either though. Fun party games. With zombicide being half the cost (or even less), i feel like it’s the better value (looking at just gameplay here).

            I was hoping Silver Tower would have continued with some progression or depth. I mean Warhammer Quest of old had some great expansions and depth to it. Guess I’m waiting for that. But if it is really “right around the corner” then I’m excited to see what’s next.

          • Ty Hayden

            Or perhaps Assault Marines?

        • ZeeLobby

          Heck, if they had just made them different heights and sizes it would have been more interesting. Or a paper playmat of the city below to put them on.

          • My thoughts exactly, I may well play about with some plasticard…or maybe try sculpting something. If the game is good I’ll have to try and sort a board too.

      • Ben_S

        Probably easy enough with some spare Raider bits.

    • Luca Lacchini

      Based on previous papercraft experience, india/china ink (the waterproof type) and a round tipped brush work better than a marker pen.

      • How comes it works better, does it soak up easily? I’d have thought it’d be a bit messy…but maybe thats just me 😀

        • Luca Lacchini

          The ink from marker pens may soak a bit too much, seep in the card fibers and “bleed” into the printed parts (something less of a problem with such dark images).
          The india/china ink does not, and the waterproof type is super durable too and helps prevent the edges from fraying.

          • Ah thanks Luca. I’ve heard of the runny superglue being used to seal the eyes of card and prevent fraying but not ink.

          • memitchell

            I edged my Space Hulk tiles with a black, big-size Sharpie marker. Works fine, looks good.

    • rtheom

      I’m probably going to be tempted just to use old boxes and make my own larger spires.

  • zeno666

    Big suprise, lots of random tables…
    I’m suprised the movement isn’t random.
    Just lazy game design again.

    • SYSTem050

      Why?

      Disagreeing with a mechanic and saying it’s lazy with out explanation seems like lazy commenting

      • ZeeLobby

        I don’t necessarily know what zeno666 is referring to, but randomization is always a lazy mechanic, unless every outcome is a balanced modifier on the gameplay. It’s kind of how GW gets around balance though. When you throw buckets of D6 with rerolls it basically becomes a game of pure chance rather than tactic. Again, not saying this is true of this game, as I have yet to play it, but in general, random events are usually more of a narrative addition than an aspect of strong game design.

        • zeno666

          Exactly this.

  • kloosterboer

    Looks like a brilliant bit of play! ..and a chance to dust off models I already own.

  • Muninwing

    this looks like Hellions as they never managed to perform in 40k.

    and i agree with the article — i’m surprised that Scourges are not involved.

    reducing some of these mechanics or converting them to their less speedy versions would make a quality skirmish game, like a rebirth of Necromunda. i wonder if this is a testing…

    • bobrunnicles

      I bet Scourges will be in a White Dwarf article….

      • Moonsaves

        That’s what I was thinking too, along with maybe Harlequin bikers.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Wych Cult would be better off if their Dodge save worked like Jink, and also applied to shooting, and was for all Wych Cult models.

  • bobrunnicles

    You know what would be cool? If there are six spire pieces of terrain in the box, make 6 same height ‘larger’ spire pieces out of black foamcore or something similarly chunky then use them to lay a piece of Perspex on (or similar from a walmart poster frame for a few bucks) that’s the size of the playing area, add the GW spires ‘on top’ of where you placed the homemade ones and voila! a much better ‘these guys are all flying’ game experience than just buzzing about on a plain tabletop 🙂 🙂

    Given that the minis are all plastic and there aren’t that many of them on the table at once, I think that could potentially work and look pretty cool too. Just a thought anyway!

  • Jared Swenson

    This does sound really really cool. I was originally going to get the box to boost my DE numbers, but now I think the game is definitely worth looking into. Additional rules for scourges in a white dwarf would definitely be cool.

  • memitchell

    What if somebody said, make a game like Necromunda or Gorkamorka (gangs, campaign, etc.)? But, make it faster and easier to play, like Imperial Knights: Renegade. Make it easy and quick to set up (so, no schlepping or storing lots of terrain, much less assembling terrain; ain’t nobody got time for that). Keep the model count low. Do not open the door to adding every damn thing from every damn race in 40K (but, if we see a special character Harlequin Skyweaver in a WD, who’s gonna complain?) . NO Imperium (every other damn post on BoLS complains 40K is all Space Marines, all the time). Keep it simple, fast and furious. And, lets’ try the alternating actions thing one more time.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Only question: when will the game go live on the US GW site? Can’t even pre-order it yet.