As I explained in Part I, there are two different kinds of Necromunda Campaigns, Dominion and Law & Misrule. Depending on the one you choose you’ll get access to a different set of territories/ rackets. Since there are quite a lot of them, and they vary wildly between them in usefulness, I’ve rated them from best to worst for new players getting into the game.
If you’re playing a Dominion Campaign you have to be aware that you’ll get less credits each game than you would in Law & Misrule, mainly because of how much Intrigues give when compared to sub-plots, and as such you have to plan accordingly. Don’t expect to reach the 2000 rating until you’ve already played a lot of games.
This means that things that give you credits get much more valuable, and should be a priority for you. Equipping Uphive Raiments on your leader and all your champions, getting a Cred Sniffer, income-giving territories, the Fixer skill, etc, etc… They all become better in Dominion.
Note that some territories give enhanced boons for an specific house, which I’ve noted between parentheses and, in general, should be rated higher for that house, but any gang can control them (and in some cases they should).
So, which territories should you get? Let’s make a run-down:
- Corpse Farm (Cawdor): completely broken and should be banned, at least for Cawdor. In a campaign that gives you free juves, being able to dispose of them and gain d6x10 credits is already nice, but in the case of Cawdor they have juves for 20 credits and can “sell” them for 2d6x10, meaning they can get into an almost infinite loop of gaining credits by buying juves at every phase and removing them at the following one since they literally can’t lose credits doing it and gain additional ones 35 out of 36 times.
- Gambling Den (Delaque): another broken territory. The income has a very low risk but can be very rewarding (more or less like 2d6x10 creds), which is quite good for Dominion, but the problem comes with the Delaque special bonus that leaves an enemy fighter out of each battle, which is bonkers and you will find yourself in clear disadvantage when playing against it, specially if your campaign also allows the History of Violence card, since it isn’t unusual for gangs to have some very important and expensive fighters, and directly not playing with two of them (and one without replacement) can be crippling for many gangs. Gambling Den and Corpse Farm are ranked first in this list because my recommendation is for non-Cawdor non-Delaque players to agree between themselves on attacking this territories first unless they are banned or reworked in your group to avoid those two gangs from having a huge advantage through the campaign (and besides, their generic bonuses aren’t bad either).
- Tech Bazaar (Van Saar): while not simply broken as the two first choices, the Tech Bazaar is the best income generating territory in a campaign where ways of generating income are very important. The d6x10 credits are already good (and 2d6x10 if you’re Van Saar and control the also great Archaeotech Device are even better), but you will also end up saving a lot of credits in equipment with this, as well as getting increased chances of being able to buy at least one high rarity item. I would say that (excluding the two above) the Tech Bazaar is the safe bet for a successful campaign, since it’ll provide a very solid source of income, while the Needle Ways below are the risky option since it makes winning games easier, which can be even more rewarding, but risks more your fighters and is less reliable.
- Needle Ways (Delaque): allows for devastating alpha strikes, especially if you can guarantee winning priority (through a mission special rule or the gang tactic card that does it), by infiltrating your leader with two other gangers with some good weapons and doing a devastating group activation first thing. Also gives a huge advantage in missions where you need to get to specific places, like those that ask you to escape through the borders of the board or grab caskets placed through the table. Obviously this is even better with Delaque which gets to do it with 6 fighters. To be able to activate all of them at the same time I would consider Frenzon Collars, as 6 gangers equipped with a mix of plasma guns and webbers (both common for Delaque) deploying anywhere and activating at the same time before your enemy can react can pretty much obliterate any gang in the game.
- Settlement: your starting territory is actually pretty solid, d6x10 income is good, as is getting +1 rep, and many gangs can make great use of juves. Worth considering getting additional ones as the campaign goes on.
- Stinger Mould Sprawn (Escher): re-rolling injuries will end up saving you medic credits, and also keeping your key fighters from getting their important stats reduced, making this an extremely useful territory for anyone. For Escher gangs it’s even better since they can save their boon in case they need to re-roll a Memorable Death and, if they don’t, just remove the most important injury suffered once the relevant fighter gets out of recovery.
- Generatorium (Van Saar): this is an extremely powerful territory but needs you to build your gang around it, giving everyone Photo-goggles or Infra-sights and not relying on long ranged weapons, because playing under Pitch Black conditions like this against an unprepared gang is a huge advantage. Van Saar benefit more from this not only because of the reputation bonus, which is pretty minor, but because they get Photo-goggles as common equipment and both plasma and melta are specially deadly at short range. The only reason this isn’t rated higher is because it’s relatively easy to counter by also getting the appropriate equipment.
- Workshop: Ammo-Jacks are great hanger-ons unless you play really melee-centric gangs, and will undoubtedly help you more than once through the campaign, so while the boon they give isn’t mind-blowing it’s one that benefits almost every gang.
- Archaeotech Device (Van Saar): if you’re planning on getting this territory you better prepare for some unreliability, since you’re going to make loads of Unstable rolls. However all of the traits you can choose from are pretty good, though I think Blaze is the most generally useful. If you play Van Saar this becomes much more powerful, especially if you run plasma spam, as it becomes even more deadly if you also give those the Seismic and Shock traits (even though their effects don’t stack).
- Tunnels (Orlock): clearly worse than Needle Ways due to their random nature and the border restriction, making them not a good choice for alpha striking. However they can still be incredibly useful for achieving mission objectives and getting less important fighters into a better position. I wouldn’t rate it much higher for Orlocks, as having 6 fighters randomly arriving through the course of the game seems like too much randomness, so probably even for them I wouldn’t use it on more than three.
- Rogue Doc Shop: while not very impressive at first sight, Rogue Docs can really save your day after a bad game, where you can get an important fighter sent to the doc and not gain too many credits, so it’s handy to have one for free around.
- Synth-Still (Escher): Toxin and Gas weapons are very powerful, so reliable access to them is pretty sweet. However this goes to one of the highest ranked territories for Escher gangs, since they should be buying a lot of this weapons through the campaign and a 50% discount is a big deal.
- Bone Shrine (Cawdor): 2d6x5 credits is actually quite good, but for Cawdor it’s even greater as it doubles income and gives them +2 reputation.
- Mine Workings (Orlock): worth it for the income alone, and gets considerably better if you manage to get captives, so rates higher for gangs with Web weapons (though get prepared to play a lot of rescue missions). The added reputation is just the icing of the cake for Orlock.
- Promethium Cache: free weapons are great for free juves, specially when they’re 5″ blasts, but this territory really shines if you have a lot of blaze weapons in your gang, so usually much higher rated for Cawdor.
- Sludge Sea: very similar to Promethium Cache, but I’d rate it lower as even though gas is an awesome rule, the 5″ blast from Blazing Charges helps the kind of cheap fighters you’ll be giving free weapons too. Probably better for Escher though as they can buy Chem Synths cheaply and want to carry choke gas grenades anyways.
- Wastes: depending on your campaign rules and if your leader has a high Intelligence score can be very worth it to avoid losing territories, since Ambush is really favorable to the attackers.
- Fighting Pit (Goliath): free Hive Scum can be useful in case you need more chaff, and can even be given handy wargear for the gang in the form of Smoke Grenades. For Goliath this rates a bit higher thanks to the additional reputation.
- Drinking Hole (Delaque): situational but not too bad if it’s still available, because cool is usually the most important non-physical stat, as well as coming with the perk of giving +1 reputation. Not too much better for Delaque unless they use cursed weapons, but still not a bad choice.
- Collapsed Dome: too risky to be really worth it, as even only rolling 2d6 it’ll fail 1/6th of the time.
- Old Ruins: d3x10 creds isn’t much, and dome runners are pretty lackluster, so I would pass on it.
- Narco Den (Escher): d6x5 credits isn’t usually worth a territory, I would only consider it with Escher if you’ve already got the Synth Still and there are no Settlements left.
- Slag Furnace (Goliath): just as the Narco Den, and for Goliath it’s like a Settlement that gives less credits but more reputation, which usually is a bad trade.
- Smelting Works (Goliath): again not enough income to consider a good option, and for Goliath it requires the Slag Furnace to become better, which isn’t a great territory either.
- Toll Crossing (Orlock): never control this territory if you’re not Orlock because you actually want to be able to pay them for priority. If you are, this goes up to one of the higher rated territories, not only because auto-winning the first priority can be awesome in many scenarios, but also because of the many credits you will get from other players.
- Refuse Drift (Cawdor): 2d6x5 isn’t bad, but the risk is too big. Of course it’s better if you run Cawdor, but gets completely outshined by the Settlement as they really appreciate free juves.
LAW & MISRULE CAMPAIGN
In a Law & Misrule Campaign you get credits more easily than in Dominion, partly because rackets generally give more income than territories, but also because some Intrigues can give you a shitload of credits. This means I usually wouldn’t bother on investing in even more credit-giving stuff, but it is true that some gangs can really benefit from getting a massive amount of credits each game, specially in longer campaigns (Van-Saar come to mind).
In this ruleset it is even more important carefully planning which rackets you plan on getting, since controlling linked ones gives enhanced bonuses that usually involve more income and can be pretty strong, meaning sometimes a low ranked racket is worth getting to unlock the enhanced boon of something else. Because of it I’ve included linked rackets after each review.
As for the rackets themselves, here’s how I would rank them:
- (Insert guild here) Guild Bond: every guild but the Iron Guild gets one of these which ensures their special fighters can always be chosen without need for rolling. For Outlaw gangs it gives a free Bounty Hunter and up to two Hive Scum, which are in addition to what their allegiance might give them. And if these weren’t enough, it also gives D6x10 credits, adding one to the roll for each other racket you control. This combination of helping in games and giving some income makes Guild Bonds the best rackets to start with, though unfortunately you can’t have more than one at a time.
- The Resurrection Game: the standard boon can and will save your important fighters not just from death but also very punishing injuries such as -1T. The extra income is nice and the other special boon can give you even more credits through the campaign.
- Whisper Brokers: all the boons it gives are useful, specially the first and the last one, as extra chosen cards are very nice, and the Ambush scenario is quite advantageous for the attacker. Linked: Life Coin Exchange, Peddlers of Forbidden Lore.
- Peddlers of Forbidden Lore: probably just as good as Whisper Brokers, re-rolling priority every round can win you some games, and getting income is nice, but the real deal is the second enhancement that gives you the same save as a Displacer Field, though having to take Wyrd Trade isn’t great. Linked: Wyrd Trade, The Resurrection Game.
- Gambling Empire: the income is nice, but what is really amazing is the enhanced boon. Not as broken as the Gambling Den from Dominion, as you can’t choose to leave out leaders or champions, who usually are the most dangerous fighters, but it still is very powerful. Note that getting the second linked racket gives you nothing. Linked: Blood Pits, Whisper Brokers.
- Proxies of the Omnissiah: re-rolling every ammo check is amazing and makes your gang much more reliable unless you’re completely focused in melee. Bionics as common can also save your day. Also the second special boon is very good, as both Shock and Seismic traits have their uses, though don’t get too crazy on it since unstable can be quite punishing. Linked: Archaeotech Auctioning, Promethium Guild Bond.
- Bullet Cutting: as just stated above, re-rolling ammo is very good, however having Proxies of the Omnissiah as a linked racket, and the two of them not stacking, makes me rate Bullet Cutting lower. That said, the increased common threshold gives you access to loads of interesting options, and the income for enhanced boons isn’t that important, so this is still a great racket.
- Spire Patronage: while the income is nice, this racket shines because of its first enhanced boon, as all the Extravagant Goods are handy to have. The free Caryatid is also nice, but it requires owning the Blood Pits racket which isn’t too good. Linked: Proxies of the Omnissiah, Blood Pits.
- Settlement Protection: there are some great Hanger-ons to have, from a Scabber for the extra Savvy Trader to a Rogue Doc to save your day after a nasty game. Combined with some income generation, it leaves the Settlement Protection as a pretty solid racket. Linked: Guild Bond (any), Bullet Cutting.
- Archaeotech Auctioning: Imperial Weapons have some great options such as the Grav Cannon, making this already a good racket, which added to a good source of income is pretty nice. Rolling doubles gets much easier though once you get linked rackets, so be careful about that. Linked Rackets: Proxies of the Omnissiah, The Cold Trade.
- The Cold Trade: some Xenos weapons are also really powerful, and getting one for free is amazing, as is treating them as common. This is even better for Law-abiding gangs who would otherwise need to check for alignment for carrying illegal equipment (technically it stops being illegal if you treat it as common). The income is nothing to write home about, so getting linked rackets isn’t fundamental. Linked: Out-Hive Smuggling Routes, Spire Patronage.
- Witch Seeking: getting the Shock rule on every melee weapon is quite good for assault focused gang, since they’ll get a lot of mileage from it. The enhanced boons are less impressive though, since claiming bounties is quite unreliable. For Outlaws this turns into the Wyrd Trade racket which is pretty weak. Linked: Redemptionist Backers, Slave Guild Bond.
- Narco-Distribution: pretty fundamental for gangs which plan on capitalizing Gas & Toxin weapons except for Escher, who already get most of it as common. The income it gives is also really nice, especially if controlling the linked rackets. Linked: Out-Hive Smuggling Routes, Ghast Prospecting.
- Life Coin Exchange: while getting a free Bounty Hunter for free is an amazing bonus, you can never add more than one to your gang, and Law-abiding gangs already get it with enough reputation, while for Outlaws the Guild Bond rackets are plainly better. You can still recruit Hive Scum though, which can be useful in some scenarios. The enhanced boons are pretty meh, though gang-wide Fearsome can really screw up some enemies. Linked: Whisper Brokers, Corpse Guild Bond.
- Redemptionist Backers: the Cawdor racket, since they maximize the most re-rolling ammo checks for Blaze weapons, but gets completely outshined by Proxies of the Omnissiah or Bullet Cutting that gives ammo re-rolls to every weapon. The income from the enhanced bonuses isn’t impressive, but both linked rackets are useful anyways. Also this can’t be controlled by any of the three cult gangs. Linked: Promethium Guild Bond, Witch Seeking.
- Ghast Prospecting: Ghast is one of the worse chems in the book, but if you already have the linked rackets the income is quite nice. Linked: Out-Hive Smuggling Routes, Caravan Route Control.
- Out-Hive Smuggling Routes: rackets that only generate income aren’t as valuable in Law & Misrule, specially since other rackets give more income in addition to other effects. Linked: Ghast Prospecting, The Cold Trade.
- Caravan Route Control: exactly the same as the above. Linked: Guild of Coin Bond, The Cold Trade.
- Wyrd Trade: as mentioned before Ghast is quite bad, but the income gained through enhanced boons is the same as the rackets above. Linked: Peddlers of Forbidden Lore, Whisper Brokers.
- Production Skimming: gives the same income as the above but isn’t a linked racket to any other and has Caravan Route Control as linked. Linked: Caravan Route Control, Guild Bond (any).
- Blood Pits: Hive Scum aren’t that useful to have around, and even then you can get them for free through other better ways, specially if you’re an Outlaw. And fighting in the pits with your leader or champion is usually a bad idea, since you don’t want to be rolling unnecessary injuries for them and the skills they get are random (so might end up with something like Disarm or Bulging Biceps). Linked: Slave Guild Bond, Xenos Beast Trafficking.
- Xenos Beast Trafficking: neither Grapplehawks or even less Grynx Cats are powerful enough Exotic Beasts to justify wasting a racket for them (simply use up some credits), and the income it can give isn’t great either. Linked: Out-Hive Smuggling Routes, Blood Pits.
In the next article of the series I’ll be reviewing the difference between being Law-abiding or Outlaw and the different allegiances available to them with the different boons they provide.