Tactica Tuesday: Back to basics – basic weapons in Necromunda

I feel like I’ve been writing about Epic Armageddon a lot recently, so I thought I’d take a break this week and delve into the deep and dark underhive of Necromunda. I’m now on my third gang, and really enjoying not only playing them but also seeing them develop. So this week, I thought I’d take a look at the basic weapons of Necromunda and what I favour arming my gangers / cultists / Enforcers with.

First off, I have to talk about the humble Lasgun. Often mocked and derided as the butt-end of jokes in 40K (What do you call a Lasgun with an attached flashlight? Twin-linked!), the Lasgun really comes into the spotlight in Necromunda. Valued at a mere 25 credits (for House gangs), the Lasgun boasts an impressive statline. The 24″ range is enough to threaten targets at longer distances, while the +1 to hit at short range makes it a more deadly weapon if the enemy tries to close in. Its strength of 3 is less of an issue in Necromunda, where you’ll be fighting toughness 3 humans rather than the T4 3+ save opponents that seem to populate 40K games. To finish it off, it even has a -1 save modifier in case anyone does decide to come in armour, and has the lowest ammo roll in the game of a 2+. All in all, it’s a reliable weapon that works at both long and short range, and I tend to arm the majority of my gang with Lasguns where I can. In fact, my current black-ops ex-military mercenaries are almost exclusively armed with Lasguns – albeit as much for the thematics and the limited model selection as for the effectiveness!

The sister weapon of the Lasgun, the Autogun is a little less effective in Necromunda. It comes in a little cheaper than the Lasgun at 20 credits, and while it retains the +1 to hit at short range it loses the -1 armour modifier. This by itself isn’t too big a deal – armour is pretty scarce in Necromunda, and rarely that effective (I say that as a man who regularly runs Enforcers). However, the main problem I have with the Autogun is that its ammo roll drops to 4+. This makes it a far less reliable weapon, which means that you’ll probably need a backup pistol – and suddenly those 5 credits you saved have been spent, probably along with more since your cheapest common pistol is 15 credits. I’ve always thought that it’s worth spending those 5 extra credits to get a far more reliable weapon, rather than cutting (very little) corners and potentially running out of ammo in the middle of a firefight. However, having said that I like to run small, elite gangs, so if a horde is more your thing then Autoguns may be worth it – for each 5 Lasguns, you could buy 5 Autoguns and a Juve for the same price!

While we’re talking about cheaper weapons, it’s worth covering the Shotgun. The iconic and favoured weapons of zombie hunters and lawmen alike, the Shotgun is a force to be reckoned with in Necromunda. At 20 credits it’s a good alternative to the Lasgun, though it (understandably) loses out on range. However, it makes up for this in versatility – coming with both solid and scatter shells – as well as the potential hitting power. The solid slugs are great for dealing with targets you really want to put down – a strength of 4 means you’ll be wounding your average enemy ganger on a 3+, and while you’ve got a -1 to hit at long range (4″ – 18″), Underhive boards are generally twisted enough that you’ll be able to get fairly close. The scatter shot, on the other hand, offers a way to help with all that terrain and the cover that models inevitably get since it literally ignores all cover modifiers. It’s only strength 3, but it does have a +1 to hit at short range and so is ideal on lower BS models such as Juves. It’s also worth remembering that failing an ammo roll only means you run out of ammo for that particular type of shot – so if you fail your ammo roll when firing a solid slug, you’ve still got your scatter shot to fall back on. All in all, the Shotgun is a pretty good option for a mere 20 credits, and you can always hope to pick up some of the brutal Manstopper shells!

Finally, we move on to the iconic weapon of Warhammer 40k. The holy firearm of the Space Marines, the beast at 35 credits – the Boltgun. It’s by far the most expensive and the most unreliable of the basic weapons, but it certainly packs a brutal punch that can put people down with ease. The Boltgun matches the Lasgun for range, with the same +1 to hit at short range ensuring that it’s suitable at both long and short distances. It comes apart from the Lasgun in its strength, boasting a str 4 shot. This might not seem like much of an increase, but the ability to would your average enemy ganger on a 3+ instead of a 4+ should not be underestimated. After all, once you’ve wounded an enemy model they’re unlikely to contribute anything to the game and can almost be ignored / finished off at your leisure. It’s top-end ammo roll of 6+, though, does drag it down a bit and makes a sidearm almost compulsory. Despite this, it’s a great weapon to have on your leader or any other good shot – since it’s not only effective at putting down average gangers, but will also retain its usefullness as the enemy gang starts obtaining stat increases. I like to have one or two in an ideal world, offering those extra couple of strong shots without having to worry about where my Heavy Stubber is.

As always, please feel free to chip in on the comments section if you want, it’d be great to hear from you. I’m all set for my first Legends of the Old West game this Friday, so Tactica Tuesday next week may well be recounting Sheriff Conagher’s exploits!

Thanks for reading, and take care,

Ben

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