A Few Reasons You Need Necromunda: Gang War

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Gang War adds a lot to Necromunda. Even if some of it is in a future supplement.

Let’s talk about the Gang War supplement for Necromunda. And I spell it out thusly because it feels weird to say, “hey gang, let’s just talk about the 5 reasons you need Gang War in your life.” Right? So with that out of the way, let’s talk about what Gang War adds to Necromunda, and what you’ll get out of this nascent game.

Campaign Rules

First off: Gang War has the campaign rules in it. I’ve been assured multiple times that this is the way the game was meant to be played. Sure, you can just play the game out of the box, but that’s just basically a skirmish using some finicky 40K-derived ruleset. If you want the real dyed in the wool Necromunda experience you want to be able to add upgrades to your Gangers, to take a bunch of juves and see them earn their keep. To wince as you lose some of your best fighters for a mission because you were careless with the position of your fighter your opponent cheated, but you’re determined to win anyway. Necromunda is a cycle of turf wars with players building up towards an apotheosis–which is a showdown between the top dogs of the gangs. And this is where you get the rules for that.

Terrain Rules

It’s also where you get the rules for using actual 3d terrain. Necromunda works with a board just fine, those zone mortalis tiles are pretty cool–but if you’ve got Sector Mechanicus terrain, or if you’ve just got some stuff you’ve been playing 40K on, and now you’re thinking, yeah I could have a fight on that–Gang War spells out the rules for terrain in the game. Mostly it’s the same, but there are a few key differences. Like you’re only able to hop up levels of a certain height, or you have to make use of ladders or overhangs.

They get super granular with how difficult terrain works, with how movement is affected by climbing, and when a model is in partial cover vs. full cover. It adds a lot of depth to the game, and gives you a little more stuff to consider when playing it–but it’s more things to take advantage of in a fight.

Custom Gang Rules

Plus there’s the customize your own gang list. Obviously you can already build a list of gangers that you can equip with weapons in the normal game. But Gang War adds skills, personalized equipment and statlines, it adds a sense of growth to your gang. It also adds the rules for juves, who learn fast, but start off weaker than most.

Want a list of skills for each of your gangers to potentially grab? Gang War’s got you covered. Build a silent close combat killer who specializes in backstabs and sprinting. Or a burly brawler whose iron jaw and ability to throw an opponent makes them a nightmare in a fight. Also seriously, the whole book may be worth it alone for the Hurl rules.

As I’m writing these you might see that each of these entries is very rules-oriented. Well that’s what Gang War is–a book of rules that adds more depth to the game. It takes the tools of the boxed set game and rounds them out, makes them feel complete. Honestly I don’t know why you can’t find one book that has them both included–I suppose they really want to push the boxed set, but these books feel like they’re meant to be together.

Doubly so considering how Gang War mentions rules that will be covered in a future supplement. I’m imagining it’s hinting at the future Outlander supplement, or maybe some kind of mercenaries/hired guns book. But, in the meantime, if you want to take your showdown between Escher and Goliath to the next level, you’ll need Gang War in your life.

Wait, no not that kind of gang war, I meant the rules…the ruuuuules

  • Jack

    I played the new Necromunda last night. It was ok. Nothing to write home about

    • 415Native

      cool, you got any actual feedback on it? Stuff you liked, stuff you didn’t?

    • benn grimm

      Nobody writes home any more, they just post photos and glib rubbish on social media…

  • benn grimm

    Imagine all the rules you’ll ever need to play the game, all in one awesome hardback…oh wait that’s been done…


    • Bootneck

      I am almost half tempted just to play the old rules with new models and new scenery.

      • benn grimm

        I will be, soon as I can get the new Eschers painted up.

    • SYSTem050

      My redemption cult and spyre’s would beg to differ

      • benn grimm

        (Palms face) You do realise they are in that book? No, of course you don’t otherwise you wouldn’t have just said that… That book is the combined original rule book and outlanders, it’s a marvellous thing. If you ever get a chance, buy one.

        • Cordova

          In fairness, there’s 2 rulebooks with the cover you showed – the original version that came with the boxed set which doesn’t have the Outlanders rules, and the subsequent hardback version which does.

          • benn grimm

            They are pretty similar, which is why I specified hardback. But fair point.

    • LankTank

      Oh? Did this rule book come with 2 complete customisable, awesomely detailed plastic armies, a board/limited terrain and everything for a new player? All for $75 USD back then?

      • benn grimm

        Notice where I said rules. Rules. How is a book going to contain models? Pretty sure it has copious pages dedicated to making your own terrain though, handily enough.

        • LankTank

          Yeah cause that is the same as preprinted gaming tiles and plastic bulkheads… But more the point there are so many “veterans” hung up on the 2 books instead of one while blatantly ignoring how awesome this release is. I understand players feeling gutted their particular army is not available yet, and hell those players who play a different house questioning how they can have best access to the rulebook without investing in houses they have no interest in (not too hard really, onsell the minis for about 2/3 of the underhive purchase price), but players need to really accept the phenomenal good with the slightly annoying part of buying 1 extra book

  • Splitting the rules between the boxed set and this supplement still feels like a con.

    I was really pumped over the return of Necromunda but so far its leaving me pretty cold.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      It was done to keep the core set as an self-contained boxed game that did not need anything else to play and could be played quickly after opening the box – rather than having to also build enough terrain for a reasonable game. Also the intention is not to overload new hobbyist new or hobbyist unfamiliar with the idea of Necromunda with mountains of rules to learn.

      • 6Cobra

        Yes of course.. that must be it! Wouldn’t want to overload anybody on rules – people might hurt themselves. How NICE of Games Workshop to be so thoughtful of new hobbyists!

        • LankTank

          Your sarcasm kind of proves why GW cares more about NEW hobbyists.
          I’ve seen so many comments from middle aged men bemoaning how they cannot afford a cheap supplement book to turn tight skirmish games into the full blown Necromunda they apparently love so much.
          I for one am buying the Underhive, Gang War and 2 more boxes of gangs. Fully pumped and as I have only played Necromunda twice, new to THIS game.

          • I_am_Alpharius


          • Allaire

            It’s not that people can’t afford a “cheap” supplement, btw $30 is not a cheap supplement, this tactic seems more of a money grab than a favor to new players. Also for us middle aged men that played or are playing the older Necromunda the boxed game is a board game instead of a 3d skirmish game.

            GW seems to be forgetting that the have a lot more competition now than they did in the 90’s and pulling this crap is really not going to help them.

          • LankTank

            Well the presales of this game are suggesting that this is going well. And has anyone even paid attention to tge reviews? Apparemtly underhive is quite solid, but lets face fCts. Its not the 3d that players miss the most. Thats apparently 2-pages. Its the full roster/campaign/exp. And that is similar to 40k. You can play with the starter and datasheets, but for avid gamers, you need another book, a codex, and to use points

      • LankTank

        People seem to struggle to understand that being the embittered old vet/sack who only wants THEIR way is not healthy for the long term longevity of 40k and it’s lore. Somehow it’s not enough the GW is doing the same amazing revamp they did for Blood Bowl for Necromunda.

        • I_am_Alpharius


      • That was the reason GW gave but I think they want you to but their plastic mechanicus terrain. They didn’t want to sell the boxed game with a great deal on plastic terrain like Shadow War and they didn’t want to undermine their sales with card terrain.

        For GW 40k & Age of Sigmar are the two big games, that’s where the real money is made and both have 3 different entry levels, very affordable for beginners.

        Necromunda has never been an entry level game, this decision was purely made with sales in mind.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Andy Hoare said they considered including the Mechicum terrain in the set. Yet to put enough terrain in the set to make a ‘reasonable’ tables worth of scenery would have put the price point of the box set far to high. Card terrain was dismissed as it would be a step backwards in terms of the product they now release. It would be like mobile phone company releasing a brick phone from the early 90’s; or a car company releasing a car to the same spec as one in the 90’s – why would any company want to do that?

          Don’t be so cynical.

          • The original boxed game didn’t have enough terrain for a decent game either and it didn’t stop them putting the plastic terrain in the Shadow War boxed game. GW also used to encourage players to use regular household items, books etc, as a terrain stop-gap.

            Some people still love card terrain, check out Battle Systems, though personally its not my cup of tea. As you say though they felt including card terrain would undermine the sales of the plastic terrain.

            I’d say realistic rather than cynical. GW is a business and so they are focused on making money otherwise Necromunda and the Specialist Games would not have been dropped in the first place. There is nothing wrong with them making money but I am free to disagree with the choices they make and express my opinions.

            If you disagree with me then that’s fair enough.

        • LankTank

          Good points. I would love to invest in the mechanicus terrain but honestky, I struggle to have the restraint. There is always a shiny model XD well apparently the new necromunda has 3-stages. A basic one in underhive, an advanced version im underhive, and then for returning pros there is gang war. Similar to their current 3 levels of play for 40k

      • Ritchie Bearfield

        The Gang War rules could easily have been added to the back of the core rules look under an “Advanced” section and everyone would have been happy. As it stands, a Necromunder boxed game is not complete without campaign rules however you look at it.

        If they wanted to do something else then they shouldn’t have used the name. Simples. The moment you bring out a second edition of anything, be it a game or a text book, it should have the same content plus the new additions. Otherworldly aw its a step back and something different entirely.

        I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people (be they of any age) to expect Necrmunder to contain all the core concepts that make it what it is and not have to fork out £30 or whatever it is.

        I’m not understanding the ferocity people have here about defending the (marketing) decision to encourage more money out of people.

  • Tshiva keln

    Reason to buy gang war: it’s the actual game. Admittedly I’m an old school player but to me this seems like the box set is a chess set that only comes with the pawns. Sure you can use them and play checkers or something, but it’s not chess. You need to buy the expansion to get the rest of the pieces and play the actual game.

  • LankTank

    Valid point. In fact isnt the latest D&D actually free to download? I personally am fine with the seperate gang war supplement. I would have liked to see the rulebook seperate to underhive so those with a valid collection already could go for that option. I have a few friends though who will be getting double kits and selling the rulebook. I would imagine that would be quite common

    • Rainthezangoose

      Yeah almost all the rules for D&D are available for free. It’s not lite either. The three core books basically covered in various degrees across two PDFs which from loose memory are 200 – 300 pages, which is ace for free, in fact that genius to me states a confidence in rules, I bought alot of book after trying the free stuff.
      As for NU I did something similar but different. I bought all the scenery, tiles and two half gangs off a scalper for £38. Then I’ll get all the core rules of different sources online. Won’t be complete but enough to play five aside to test. If I like it I’ll buy underhive and have twice as much to play around with or if I don’t I can liquidate all the stuff I bought into other projects.