Switch Theme:

Necromunda: The fundamental flaw of all official GW campaigns  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





GW release more content all the time for Necromunda, and the latest news is the Outcasts and the Outlander campaign. On that topic, it seems like many people aren't aware that all campaigns are designed to let the winner take everything and keep winning, while the loser to lose everything and keep losing. This is an attempt at explaining this fundamental flaw that exists in all campaigns (no matter if it is Dominiation, Law & Misrule, Uprising or Outlander).

First off, a clarification on statistics. The examples shown here will be the most likely outcome. Not necessarily the actual or only outcome. It is possible for a winning successful gang to suddenly have all their fighters die. That is however unlikely. This discsussion is about what is most likely, so will not take into consideration unlikely events (just note that they are acknowledge and do exist).

Second off, this discussion will make comparisons to the most relevant games to Necromunda. This should unarguably be stuff like:
- Blood Bowl.
- NCE.
- Mordheim.
- GorkaMorka.

All these games have similar contents:
- factions (gangs/teams/warbands)
- campaigns (campaign/league)
- development over the course of a campaign:
- suffer setbacks (injuries/deaths)
- gain income (gold/credits/money) from resources (territory/racket/structure) and objectives (loot/touchdowns)
- experience (XP/SPP)
- earn various bonuses

For simplification, these examples will start with 2 identical gangs played by 2 "identical" players over a campaign. All income will grant equal amount of money.
Only 2 players will be considered, in real life it will often be more players. If you want, you can consider each player a group of players, but it won't affect the outcome.
Each player will start out with identical gangs, all gangs have a "rating", meaning the total power of the gang, how injured they are, how much money they got, what expensive skills and gear they obtain, how much XP and level-ups they got.

Example 1: Blood Bowl

First battle: One random player wins, let's say A wins this one. Each player is awarded the same amount of money, X + 10 per touchdown. Let's say X is 40, winner has 3 TDDs and loser has 1 TDD.
- Player A is awarded 70 money (40+30)
- Player B is awarded 50 money (40+10)

Player A now has higher rating than player B. This will make player A more likely to win the next battle.

Second battle: Player A wins. Same result and rewards as last match.

This is the total income obtained by the 2 players over the course of a campaign:

Top graph is winner (player A), having optained a total of 750 money.
Bottom graph is loser (player B), having obtained a total of 500 money.

In addition to pure money income, the winner will increase their rating further by having earning more XP (by scored more objectives and inflicting more damage). So in total, the difference in rating will be higher than just the income alone. However, income cannot be safely stacked (there's a risk of losing money if you are above a certain limit), and even with excess money, each faction has a limited amount of stuff to buy, and buying excess stuff (like re-rolls) will bloat the rating, granting the underdog stronger bonuses like star players etc.

So let's say rating improves by 5% each battle for the winner. However the loser still gains some income and XP regardless of the result, and is able to improve it's rating by some extent, even if having to recover and repair their team from injuries and death. Let's say the loser improves rating at 1%.
Winner's rating multiplier after 10 games: 1.62
Loser's rating multiplier after 10 games: 1.10

So there's some discrepancy here, awarding the winner a stronger, bigger team than the loser.

Example 2: Necromunda

Unlike all the other similar games, there's no upkeep here, and each victory will grant a "resource" that will continue to bring income after all future battles.

First battle: One random player wins, let's say A wins this one. Player A gains bonus credits from the scenario in addition to a permanent resource which will grant extra money after all future battles. Let's say each territory grants 10 and the scenario grants 5.
- Player A is awarded 25 money (2 resources + 1 scenario reward)
- Player B is awarded 15 money (1 resource + 1 scenario reward)

Second battle: Player A is now more likely to win, gaining yet another resource.
- Player A is awarded 35 money (3 resources + 1 scenario reward)
- Player B is awarded 15 money (1 resource + 1 scenario reward)

This is the total income obtained by the 2 players over the course of a campaign:

Player A (winner) accumulates a total of 700 money
Player B (loser) accumulates a total of 150 money

Winning in Necromunda correlates strongly to inflicting most damage to the enemy, which in turns correlates to more XP, move more freely around the battlefield and can gain more loot or other objectives, which in turn correlates to more income.

To simplify:
Winning = more credits, rare items, bonuses, rating, resources, less injuries and death
Losing = less credits, rare items, bonuses, rating, resources, more injuries and death


In addition to pure money income, the winner will increase their rating further by earning more XP (by scored more objectives and inflicting more damage). So in total, the difference in rating will be higher than just the income alone. Income can safely be stored when needed (no risk of having excess money). Less money is needed to recover from injuries/death. A stronger gang not only inflicts more damage to the enemy but also suffers less damage in return (because the enemy loses more fighters and damage output). More money can be poured into expensive, competitive and rare items. There will be more champions and less fighters in recovery, giving a better modifier to finding rare items. More reputation will grant further bonuses from hangers-on and brutes.

The loser on the other hand, needs to spend more money on recovering their losses, less amount of champions, more fighters in recovery and therefore harder to find or afford rare and expensive items.

Let's say rating improves by 10% each battle for the winner. The loser still gains some income and XP regardless of the result, and is able to improve it's rating by some extent, even if having to recover and repair their gang from injuries and death. Let's say the loser improves rating at 1%.
Winner's rating multiplier after 10 games: 2.59
Loser's rating multiplier after 10 games: 1.10

Compare this to the previous result for Blood Bowl!

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/11/29 16:19:06


 
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






For Necromunda, it depends on the Mission, and how exactly one achieves victory under the mission’s rules.

Winning should come with perks, of course it should. But losing shouldn’t mean you walk away empty handed.

This is why Necromunda needs an active GM.

A gang can pull away from the pack early on not just by winning their games (player skill based, that’s fine), but by lucky rolls on the injury table, decent income rolls and lucky dice when seeking rare equipment. The latter three are all luck based, and so the GM needs to keep abreast of how gangs are doing.

Likewise, I could win my first game by a country mile, but end up with say, a Heavy and a Gang Leader properly dead, their likely expensive equipment lost forevermore. I’m then at a massive disadvantage, as those aren’t commodities so easily replaced.

If one gang really does break away from the pack? The GM needs to be permissive of things not really catered for under the rules. For instance, two or more opposing gangs forming an alliance to kick the snot out of the campaign leader’s gang.

This shouldn’t be a way to punish someone who is leading. Rather, it’s a way to stop them getting complacent. To keep them on their toes and really push them.

In extreme cases, the GM can also unleash something Bloody Awful on the leader. Perhaps the local Enforcers are getting uncomfortable with so much power being concentrated, so decide to disrupt the gang’s activities. There are lots of ways the GM could do this. Perhaps the Guild decide to seize assets/territory for themselves. Maybe they get a visit from 20 or so very heavily armed and not at all caring Enforcers. Those are two which immediately spring to mind. The aim should only be to rein them in, not break the back of their gang.

The campaign isn’t just meant to tell a story. It’s meant to be fun and engaging for all partaking. It’s meant to be a challenge, and a sandbox to play in and explore.

Heck, when I run my campaign, with the backdrop being the early then ongoing exploration and exploitation of a newly opened dome? Any break away players can expect to get the riskiest missions. Yes they might walk away even stronger - but that depends just how nasty I want to get.

In the original Necromunda, my Cawdor often clawed their way to the top of the pile quite quickly. A self moderation I imposed was to face lower down or newer gangs armed only with Power Mauls. I’d still play hard, but as Power Mauls didn’t cause Serious Injury rolls, I could duff my opponent’s gang up without any risk of crippling them.

I still got my win and the territory. They got a boatload of experience helping their gang level up, their not insignificant underdog bonus, all at minimal risk.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
For Necromunda, it depends on the Mission, and how exactly one achieves victory under the mission’s rules.

Winning should come with perks, of course it should. But losing shouldn’t mean you walk away empty handed.

This is why Necromunda needs an active GM.

Why does Necromunda need GM and Blood Bowl not? I really don't understand this argument! Would you say the same about Blood Bowl, it needs a GM or not?
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

A gang can pull away from the pack early on not just by winning their games (player skill based, that’s fine), but by lucky rolls on the injury table, decent income rolls and lucky dice when seeking rare equipment. The latter three are all luck based, and so the GM needs to keep abreast of how gangs are doing.

Yes, anything can happen. But this is unlikely to happen and therefore not the topic. What is likely to happen is winner keeps winning, loser keeps loosing. Unlike something like Blood Bowl, NCE, GorkaMorka or Mordheim for example. All of these games include crazy luck events, yet they don't need some ad-hoc random intervention to handle it.

Imagine if a Wood Elf team got extreme luck or won 5 matches in a row, then the league commissioner would step in and stomp the wood elves with a 2000TV chaos kill team, all leveled-up with mighty blow, tackle, frenzy and guard?!?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

In the original Necromunda, my Cawdor often clawed their way to the top of the pile quite quickly. A self moderation I imposed was to face lower down or newer gangs armed only with Power Mauls. I’d still play hard, but as Power Mauls didn’t cause Serious Injury rolls, I could duff my opponent’s gang up without any risk of crippling them.

I still got my win and the territory. They got a boatload of experience helping their gang level up, their not insignificant underdog bonus, all at minimal risk.

Funny you mention original Necromunda, out of the two examples above, would you say old Necromunda was similar to exponential growth or linear growth?

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/11/29 18:01:33


 
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






Without a GM? Exponential.

Now, very importantly, all my posts here as based on my experience and my opinion is informed by those experiences. Whilst my opinion is therefore rooted in fact, it’s not to be taken as gospel or universal etc.

Since I got started on Necromunda’s release day (yes, I am vintage. And a fine one at that!), me and mine have always tweaked and customised the rules as we saw fit to ensure as fun a campaign as possible.

This months explain why I’m so blasé about the flaws in the system, regardless of which era or rule set it is. Make do and mend is, to me, an indelible part of the experience.

It does not excuse poorly written rules. Please don’t confuse my being perfectly happy to iron out the kinks with me preferring not to have to. It’s just…..something I’ve always done, and happen to enjoy doing, usually with a “dry run” short campaign. That not only allows everyone to get up to speed and familiar with the rules, but can help the wider group point out issues etc.

Gang progression has long been such an issue, for the reasons already covered.

The trick as said not to punish success, but for the GM to be permissive in collective attempts to kick the snot out the leading gang. Or to create extra burdens upon breakaway gangs.

Exactly how the GM goes about that is a delicate matter. It depends on the players, and how into the narrative side of things they are as a group.

Suffice to say, this is why I was always wary of people wanting to play Spyrers. Some players could be trusted, becoming lurking terrors. Others? They just wanted a gang that became well hard super quick so they could keep on winning, and sod the post-battle side, which I consider an integral part of Necromunda and the gaming experience.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Without a GM? Exponential.

Now, very importantly, all my posts here as based on my experience and my opinion is informed by those experiences. Whilst my opinion is therefore rooted in fact, it’s not to be taken as gospel or universal etc.

Since I got started on Necromunda’s release day (yes, I am vintage. And a fine one at that!), me and mine have always tweaked and customised the rules as we saw fit to ensure as fun a campaign as possible.

This months explain why I’m so blasé about the flaws in the system, regardless of which era or rule set it is. Make do and mend is, to me, an indelible part of the experience.

It does not excuse poorly written rules. Please don’t confuse my being perfectly happy to iron out the kinks with me preferring not to have to. It’s just…..something I’ve always done, and happen to enjoy doing, usually with a “dry run” short campaign. That not only allows everyone to get up to speed and familiar with the rules, but can help the wider group point out issues etc.

Gang progression has long been such an issue, for the reasons already covered.

The trick as said not to punish success, but for the GM to be permissive in collective attempts to kick the snot out the leading gang. Or to create extra burdens upon breakaway gangs.

Exactly how the GM goes about that is a delicate matter. It depends on the players, and how into the narrative side of things they are as a group.

Suffice to say, this is why I was always wary of people wanting to play Spyrers. Some players could be trusted, becoming lurking terrors. Others? They just wanted a gang that became well hard super quick so they could keep on winning, and sod the post-battle side, which I consider an integral part of Necromunda and the gaming experience.


You think old Necromunda without a GM has exponential growth? Now that's easy to test!

My posts here are based on facts, not experiences.

Let's do the same experiment for old Necromunda then. Again, 2 identical gangs.

First battle: One random player wins, let's say A wins this one. Each player has 5 territories, giving an average of 150 credits. Let's say the winner gains +50 from any scenario loot. This is then taxed (incrementally), so let's say both has 10 models.
- Player A is awarded 200 money (150+50) --> 65 after tax
- Player B is awarded 150 money --> 45

Second battle, same thing:
- Player A is awarded 200 money (150+50) --> 65 after tax
- Player B is awarded 150 money --> 45

It gives something very similar to the following graph:

If the winner spends their money on more fighters, they will in return gain decreasing amount of money, as bigger gangs require more tax. So in reality, the curve should slow down the higher it gets.

Now that's not exponential at all, is it?


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/11/29 19:10:34


 
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






Except each player rolled up their own Territory, ideally with a third party present to ensure nobody cheated.

Each territory had its own perks and that. The humble slag heap looks poor, but at least provided a steady, reliable income.

It was possible for someone to kick off with multiple settlements, and so end up with a surfeit of Juves, and a pretty decent income.

With really lucky dice, you could roll nothing but high value territories, giving you an arguably unfair advantage should your gang get mullered, as you had a great deal of cash in hand to replace casualties with.

That’s….just Necromunda. Always has been, always will be. Charts don’t come into it. A GM does.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





Right! That could cause some problems, still the income tax would reduce MUCH of it. And if the richest gang poured all their money into extra fighters, that would just reduce the income further. Even if one gang gained 100 (before tax) and another 300 (before tax), that's hardly exponential?!? Or is your definition of exponential different than mine

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/11/29 19:36:11


 
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

In my experience players who lose the first game aren't doomed and players who win the first game aren't already campaign winners.

The key is avoiding min maxing at gang creation, and the GM can help re-shuffling things if there is the need to do that. But even without a great intervention from the GM a campaing can go pretty smooth.

However playing a campaign in a very competitive way can lead to massive imbalance and then an OP list that starts winning will certainly be ahead of everyone else for the whole campaign. Thankfully I don't know anyone who would want to play like that.

As a Van Saar player for example I don't see the point of equipping two models with plasma guns out of the 20 I own, just one should be ok, and that's what I did. I also have a grav gun, a melta gun, a rad gun, a flamer, three heavy weapons, a girl wielding two plasma pistols, another plasma pistol dude and a combi melta/shield guy. Why would I need to spam the same special/heavy weapon then? The WAAC Van Saar would definitely start with 2-3 plasma guns out of 7 dudes instead.

Same with goliaths, I see lists with 2-3 grenade launchers, but what's the point of doing that? Go with one and differentiate all the other dudes. Only cheap basic weapons should be taken in multiples.

Necromunda doesn't work without a friendly casual mentality.

 
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







If we're doing the pure optimization mindset are you calculating assuming all Mordheim warbands are Skaven sling gunlines?

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





Primarily I want to establish some facts.

- Is new Necromunda campaign exponential or linear?
- Are all other comparable campaigns exponential or linear?

In another forum people were clear and a unanimous. Here I see some hesitation and clinging to their opinions like "but the game must have GM".

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/11/30 08:49:35


 
   
Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

So what's your point?

What is your proposed solution?

Support Blood and Spectacles Publishing:
https://www.patreon.com/Bloodandspectaclespublishing 
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






I don’t think anyone is denying Necromunda campaigns can quickly become unbalanced.

What we are saying is “this is where a GM comes in”.

Someone running the campaign and for my tastes, ideally not competing in the campaign (to ensure they’re as impartial as possible).

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in us
Terminator with Assault Cannon




San Jose, CA

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I don’t think anyone is denying Necromunda campaigns can quickly become unbalanced.

What we are saying is “this is where a GM comes in”.

Someone running the campaign and for my tastes, ideally not competing in the campaign (to ensure they’re as impartial as possible).


Necromunda works best with an independent arbiter. Some of the most fun I had playing OG necro was running the campaign and not playing in it.
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Theres a huge critical flaw in this in that you assume only two players, and have also naively extrapolated that you can assume the players represent two groups instead (i.e. a winning group and a losing group).

If you have 4 players in a campaign, and in the second round the two winners from the first game face off against eachother, one of them needs to lose - ergo you do not suddenly produce this growth trend that you defined for all "winners" bas ed on the first game.Same with the two losers facing off - one of them needs to win, ergo that breaks the trend. You will not always have a person who won all their previous games facing off against a person who lost all their previous games. This implements "noise" into the trend that generally acts to prevent a runaway victor as indicated in your trends - more players usually means more noise.

As others have pointed out your analysis also fails to take into account other factors/"degrees" of victory/defeat (i.e. won the game but half your team is permanently dead and their upgrades/equipment permanently gone, etc.) which throws a wrench in the works.

In general, I am inclined to agree that the campaign systems are not well designed on the surface and pick winners and losers, but not to the extent that your simplified analysis indicates.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






In my experience players hate campaign systems where the winner gets better bonuses than everyone else and hate campaign systems where the winner doesn't get better bonuses than everyone else.

Most people want to play in a campaign system where the winner gets unfair bonuses, but they want to be the winners.

"Got you, Yugi! Your Rubric Marines can't fall back because I have declared the tertiary kaptaris ka'tah stance two, after the secondary dacatarai ka'tah last turn!"

"So you think, Kaiba! I declared my Thousand Sons the cult of Duplicity, which means all my psykers have access to the Sorcerous Facade power! Furthermore I will spend 8 Cabal Points to invoke Cabbalistic Focus, causing the rubrics to appear behind your custodes! The Vengeance for the Wronged and Sorcerous Fullisade stratagems along with the Malefic Maelstrom infernal pact evoked earlier in the command phase allows me to double their firepower, letting me wound on 2s and 3s!"

"you think it is you who has gotten me, yugi, but it is I who have gotten you! I declare the ever-vigilant stratagem to attack your rubrics with my custodes' ranged weapons, which with the new codex are now DAMAGE 2!!"

"...which leads you straight into my trap, Kaiba, you see I now declare the stratagem Implacable Automata, reducing all damage from your attacks by 1 and triggering my All is Dust special rule!"  
   
Made in gb
Growlin' Guntrukk Driver with Killacannon





Scotland, but nowhere near my rulebook

Well, you're considering a Necromunda campaign only in terms of cash. Which is not unreasonable in Newcromunda.

Newcromunda - gangs tend to get cash rich quite quickly. In the base campaign, everyone gets d6x10 creds from their settlement every game, and a free fighter every third game. Scenario rewards are often quite high compared to territory income.

Oldcromunda had the issue that you were constantly strapped for cash, and getting any much better gear after gang creation tended to require a bit of luck.

There's an awful lot of REALLY EXPENSIVE stuff to spend those creds on now. Most of this is "very cool" rather than "very effective". Servo harnesses, Brutes, great big guns - certainly one-on-one they'll be good, BUT:

- A lot of the scenarios have restricted numbers of fighters

- A lot of scenarios have randomly selected fighters

Are your cool things going to turn up every game? If they take an unlucky ping from a Juve and end up sitting out a game, does your gang's game plan revolve around one fighter (lookin' at you, Overseer leaders...)? Does your gang have depth?

What more creds can, and will, buy you is durability. If you have a gang of 10, and 2 of your guys are out of commission you hit the point where you can't field a full force. Having more bodies in the gang is a definite advantage. But, if you've considered what I say above, you've spread the cash around a bit so as not to leave yourself without The Very Important Fighter who represents 1/2 your gang rating.

The main campaign problem with this is that advancement in Newcromunda is really slow. The disadvantage of having more gang members would be to spread out the xp, and so your gangers would quickly be out-classed by their opponents. Since basically nobody advances, this can be fairly safely ignored.

In Oldcromunda skills and XP were king. Having a guy with a pair of master crafted plasma pistols was nice, but going up against a rapid-fire-3-attack-gunfighter with a brace of Laspistols would get him shredded.

I think this is at the root of runaway gangs in the current version (which certainly can exist) - it's not that rich gangs have better gear, it's that they've got more durability due to a deeper roster.

But is that a "if you win the first game you win the campaign" problem? Not really. It's more of a "if you lose the first game, you have to play the second game very carefully and probably take a loss without many casualties" problem. After that you're back up to full fighting strength.

This can certainly become more problematic in a campaign which only has two players (which, full disclosure, is the only type of Newcromunda campaign I've played). But if you've got, say, 3 players:

Game 1 - A vs B. A wins. B gets mauled

Game 2 - B vs C. B plays it safe, gets in a few licks against C, takes the lose, back up to full strength

Game 3 - A vs C - both have take a few hits in their fight against B, so it's fairly even. Lets say it's a bloody slight win to A.

Game 4 - A vs B, the rematch. On paper, A is in a good position, as he's won his last two games, is now rocking 3 territories and has bought some better gear and an extra guy. But he's a couple of guys down from his fight against C, while B, who's lost every game so far, is fighting fit on a full roster. It's probably a fairly even match.

Runaway gangs are going to kick in much later in the campaign than gang creation (and always did, in Oldcromunda as well) once someone's managed to assemble a gang which doesn't have one or two good fighters, but a core wrecking crew of 3 or 4 guys who you can consistently expect to turn up and have (Oldcromunda) terrifying skills or (Newcromunda) gear that would make a space marine look underequipped. If one or two of those guys are out of commission, it's an issue but not a catastrophe. This is one of the reasons Spyrers were so dangerous - they started out as this. The rest of the gang becomes essentially filler. Campaign problems arise when one gang has reached that stage.

An issue that Newcromunda does have that exacerbates this is that the underdog system it has is a bit rubbish. I think this is meant to be mitigated by Newcromunda campaigns being generally short, with a group running half a dozen campaigns during a year (possibly linked - i.e. run a Territories campaign followed by a Rackets campaign followed by a Law and Misrule campaign, with each gang starting fresh each campaign with "splinter" gangs. Oldcromunda basically assumed that you'd be running one campaign for ages, so the underdog system allowed newer gangs to get up to the campaign's power level relatively quickly. The way the campaign is written, with the 3 weeks/1 week/3 weeks split seems to be based on the assumption that most players will be in a club with one or two game nights a week, with each gang therefore playing 6 to 12 games. By the time it's getting really unbalanced, the campaign is over.

Why does this matter, and how does it compare to other campaign games?

Well, Blood Bowl for instance is a REALLY bad counter-example. Blood Bowl will usually be played in a league or tournament, and in addition to your team's advancement there's the league position to consider. Each game in Blood Bowl matters. If you're through to the Quarter or Semi finals of a tournament, if you lose you're out. Therefore you need a fairly robust balancing system to ensure that, in any given game, both Coaches are competing based more on skill level rather than how advanced their players are. It'll never be perfect - and the fact that Blood Bowl has Tier 1, 2 and 3 teams is an open acknowledgement of this - but due to how the game is played it's important to have this sort of short term, game-by-game balancing in place.

Necromunda, however, one game doesn't matter. Not really - it's a true campaign. If you're powergaming, you should be powergaming to try to build up that wrecking crew. More likely you're in it for the ride, and the concept of "winning" a campaign doesn't actually make sense.

Do I think the Necromunda campaign system as written works well for long-haul campaigns? No I don't.

Do I think older games did a better job of balancing this (Oldcromunda, Gorkamorka, Mordheim) - Sort of? But only in the sense that, particularly in Mordheim, the "out of game" campaign bit, which was almost completely random, would produce such huge swings on the players that it was essentially disconnected from what happened on the table. You could tip the odds, but everyone was pretty much equally at the mercy of the dice gods.

Blood Bowl, as discussed, is a completely different thing.
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Easy E wrote:
So what's your point?

What is your proposed solution?

As I said, I want to establish the fact that current Necromunda has a fundemantal flaw compared to all other campaigns from the most comparable games. It's not evident that everyone agrees with this, as can be witnessed in this thread.

Solutions have been discussed far and wide, I made my choices publically in Bookromunda so don't need to repeat that here, but I can give you a couple of keywords that should be well known for those who played Necromunda longer than 4 years: income tax, underdog XP bonus and giant killer bonus.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Racerguy180 wrote:

Necromunda works best with an independent arbiter. Some of the most fun I had playing OG necro was running the campaign and not playing in it.

That's besides the point and not really relevant. Do you prefer a balanced campaign with arbitrator or an unbalanced campaign with arbitrator? An additional benefit of a balanced campaign is that it runs smooth without arbitrators.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I don’t think anyone is denying Necromunda campaigns can quickly become unbalanced.

What we are saying is “this is where a GM comes in”.

Someone running the campaign and for my tastes, ideally not competing in the campaign (to ensure they’re as impartial as possible).

But why not have a balanced campaign instead? Here is a quote from someone who says it better than me:

You know, when you bring up legitimate issues with balance, campaign progression, etc. and some respond by pointing out that fixing those issues is the arbitrator's job, I believe they are missing something crucial:

There is a huge difference between a system that is designed to be fair but is random enough that it will sometimes require an arbitrator to intervene and set things right, and a system that is inherently unfair and requires the arbitrator to intervene constantly.


I'm relatively ok with having to bring my car to the garage for maintenance once a year, but I would object to having someone constantly work on it, including while I'm driving it!






Automatically Appended Next Post:
chaos0xomega wrote:
Theres a huge critical flaw in this in that you assume only two players, and have also naively extrapolated that you can assume the players represent two groups instead (i.e. a winning group and a losing group).

If you have 4 players in a campaign, and in the second round the two winners from the first game face off against eachother, one of them needs to lose - ergo you do not suddenly produce this growth trend that you defined for all "winners" bas ed on the first game.Same with the two losers facing off - one of them needs to win, ergo that breaks the trend. You will not always have a person who won all their previous games facing off against a person who lost all their previous games. This implements "noise" into the trend that generally acts to prevent a runaway victor as indicated in your trends - more players usually means more noise.

As others have pointed out your analysis also fails to take into account other factors/"degrees" of victory/defeat (i.e. won the game but half your team is permanently dead and their upgrades/equipment permanently gone, etc.) which throws a wrench in the works.

In general, I am inclined to agree that the campaign systems are not well designed on the surface and pick winners and losers, but not to the extent that your simplified analysis indicates.

Two winners face off in the 2nd battle. For the example they are identical, one random player wins and now has 3 territories. The other loses and have 2 (or 1 depending of if it was stolen or not).
So we end up in the same situation, one gang has won all and accumulated most, 1 has lost all accumulated exponentially lower, the rest are gradients in between the 2 extremes. You can add as many players you want, same applies.

Do you thing other campaigns are exponential or linear? You think new Necromunda campaign is exponential or linear?

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/11/30 17:51:55


 
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






There’s also player pairing to consider.

Someone not in the spirit of things might simply go up against the weedier Gangs as often as possible. Get some easy and profitable wins under their belt.

A GM can prevent this. As ever there are multiple ways you can go about this. I prefer to have my players submit their gang’s preference in secret. If I have predetermined turf for them to scrap over, they each pick on, and will end up fighting whoever else went for that. If no-one else went for it, that’s when I as the GM can field something NPC. This ensures everyone gets a game, and somewhat prevents the cherry picking of fights.

And remember. You’re only ever one disastrous game from plummeting in the standings. A single well placed grenade can scatter multiple Gangers off a walk way like 9 pins, and let the resultant plummet do the real damage. More expensive models can be mass attacked, and suffer the indignant kicking that a Coup De Grace.

This is all part and parcel of what Necromunda is. It goes further than simply “win each game”. If you’re not getting into the Narrative, Necromunda, like GorkaMorka and Mordheim probably isn’t the game you’re looking for.

A GM or Arbitrator is an essential part of it.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in us
Lead-Footed Trukkboy Driver





Gorkamorka is pretty fun cause you can just call someone a git if they’re bein unorky, trying ya give you a bad fight.
I guess unless they’re playin muties lol.

"Us Blood Axes hav lernt' a lot from da humies. How best ta kill 'em, fer example."
— Korporal Snagbrat of the Dreadblade Kommandos 
   
Made in us
Terminator with Assault Cannon




San Jose, CA

But the campaign shouldn't need to be balanced. Should it be better "balanced", of course but until necro dies again(officially) expect this trend to continue.
Playing a cooperative game like Necromunda without a 3rd party governing it is lacking something.
It's kinda like playing DND without a GM. Weird and you can do it but not as enriching as one with.

I get that you don't like how the campaign is set up and can understand not seeing the need for an Arbiter if system is fair/balanced.

The reason I see a need for an Arbiter is that they are the balancing tool & represent the unseen hand of Lord Helmwar.

One Gang gets to big for its breeches, Arbiter sends in a Palanite sweep thru their territory or like previously stated a couple gangs tag-team the front-runner.

This is significantly easier to do if there is an impartial person keeping tabs & helping/hindering those that need it.
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Some_Call_Me_Tim wrote:
Gorkamorka is pretty fun cause you can just call someone a git if they’re bein unorky, trying ya give you a bad fight.
I guess unless they’re playin muties lol.

Gorka Morka, like all other related campaigns (except new Necromunda) has self-balancing mechanics. Which makes them fun for all without random intervention.

First establish the facts:
-all campaigns other than new necromunda has income tax, spiralling expenses, underdog xp bonus, giant killer bonus
-new necromunda doesn't have any balancing mechanics
-all campaigns other than new necromunda has linear growth
-new necromunda has exponential growth

New necromunda is designed to spiral out of control. No other campaigns are. This is the fundamental flaw - a fact!

Doesn't matter how hard you cry for GM or arbitrator, some campaigns work smooth without. Should all campaigns work smooth from the core? Or should some crash and burn without ad-hoc interventions from some random 3rd person?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Racerguy180 wrote:

The reason I see a need for an Arbiter is that they are the balancing tool & represent the unseen hand of Lord Helmwar.

Do you see a need for arbiter in blood bowl?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Racerguy180 wrote:
But the campaign shouldn't need to be balanced.

Let me put it a different way: The most important aspect of a campaign is balance


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

If you’re not getting into the Narrative, Necromunda, like GorkaMorka and Mordheim probably isn’t the game you’re looking for.

You're making some bold claims here! Did you keep in mind that old Necromunda like GorkaMorka and Morhdeim have linear growth? They have self-balancing mechanics? Compare that to new necromunda: Exponential growth. No self-balancing mechanics.

What is it about these facts you don't udnerstand?



Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Graphite wrote:

An issue that Newcromunda does have that exacerbates this is that the underdog system it has is a bit rubbish. I think this is meant to be mitigated by Newcromunda campaigns being generally short, with a group running half a dozen campaigns during a year (possibly linked - i.e. run a Territories campaign followed by a Rackets campaign followed by a Law and Misrule campaign, with each gang starting fresh each campaign with "splinter" gangs. Oldcromunda basically assumed that you'd be running one campaign for ages, so the underdog system allowed newer gangs to get up to the campaign's power level relatively quickly. The way the campaign is written, with the 3 weeks/1 week/3 weeks split seems to be based on the assumption that most players will be in a club with one or two game nights a week, with each gang therefore playing 6 to 12 games. By the time it's getting really unbalanced, the campaign is over.

Thank you, exactly right! New necromunda has exponential growth without self-balancing mechanics, so the only solution is to cut it short.

Unlike old Necromunda. All campaign-based games! Blood Bowl, Mordheim, GorkaMorka.

Imagine a Wood Elf team in Blood Bowl winning 5 matches in a row, only to be stomped by the commissioner who makes a 2000TV chaos kill-team all with mighty blow, frenzy, guard, tackle and whatnot. Who would think that is fun?

This message was edited 12 times. Last update was at 2021/12/01 00:04:20


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Knight Baron in a Crusader





I've found that tactics cards like Click, History of Violence, and Dangerous Footing can be very useful for taking out a turbo-gang's turbo-best turbo-fighter and bringing their runaway gang rating down to your level. And hey, if they want to do the same thing to you... well you took out their 800 credit monster fighter and they took out... your 180 credit monster fighter. One team lost a lot more than the other...
   
Made in us
Terminator with Assault Cannon




San Jose, CA

Baxx wrote:


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Racerguy180 wrote:

The reason I see a need for an Arbiter is that they are the balancing tool & represent the unseen hand of Lord Helmwar.

Do you see a need for arbiter in blood bowl?

A League commissioner sounds like an appropriate job.
Automatically Appended Next Post:
Racerguy180 wrote:
But the campaign shouldn't need to be balanced.

Let me put it a different way: The most important aspect of a campaign is balance


Why? Personally don't think I've ever played in a campaign that was what you refer to as "balance".
You seem to be laser-focused on that, can you give an example of how you would create this magic "balance" in Necro? Linear progression and progression for progressions sake are just illusions of balance. I'm all for progression but there should also be a risk of regression. I'm not talking about losing a character & weapons, that is really equally punishing to a gang. The x factor of having a custom tailored "balancing" system is what keeps the gangs in check and a campaign from running away.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/12/01 04:37:26


 
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





As I've said, I need a common understand of the facts.

Would you say a campaign could be designed to be exponential?
Would you say a campaign could be designed to be linear?
Would you say a campaign could be designed to include self-balancing mechanics?
Would you say a campaign could be designed without self-balancing mechanics?
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






I don’t think you’ve ever played GorkaMorka or Mordheim, have you?

Both of those had the same issues as Necromunda.

The sole mitigating factor in Mordheim was henchmen being limited to a single advance in any stat, and levelling as a group.

Even then? I always played as Reiklanders. Gimme that delicious BS4 from the off, and most opposing warbands would struggle to get close enough to smash my head in.

You still had Warbands pulling away from the pack, and settling into a position of near unassailable dominance against everyone but other campaign leaders - the henchmen thing merely slowed it a teensy bit. My characters still got sickeningly hard, and I’d still have better Henchmen than you (trust me, once Reiklander Bows are BS5, I can then focus on turning them into nasty prospects in HTH too, because I only need that one advance).

I really don’t know why you’re so resistant to the concept of a campaign having an independent GM to run things. I’ve literally never, ever seen a GW campaign run without a GM, and only rarely where they were involved (which is a bad, bad idea).

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





You don't think?!? You have yet to participate in this discussion honestly. And to set aside all your lies, opinions and what you think or not, I'll put it out bluntly since asking questions leads nowhere. Here are the facts:

-I've played all related campaigns of all related games

Now onto each individual game!

Mordheim:
-Has income tax (new necromunda does not have income tax) - this is the most important and mitigating factor!
-linear progression (new necromunda has exponential progression)
-underdog xp bonus

GorkaMorka:
-Has income tax (new necromunda does not have income tax)
-linear progression (new necromunda has exponential progression)


Blood Bowl:
-Has sprialling expenses (new necromunda does not have any tax on credits)
-linear progression (new necromunda has exponential progression)
-Has petty cash (new necromunda has no meaningful/working petty cash)

New Necromunda:
-Has no balancing mechanics (unlike all other campaigns)
-Has exponential progression (not linear, unlike all other campaigns)

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/12/01 11:48:16


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




I don't know why anyone is arguing with Baxx. What he's saying is pretty obviously true.

If there are no mechanics to give you diminishing returns as you get bigger you will experience a snowball effect.

Almost everything that's come before have had these, new Necro doesn't. The old systems were generally bad, the new system is worse.

Saying you need a GM is a weak response. There is absolutely no reason to have poor campaign rules.

A GM should be making things interesting for the campaign (if you have one), not be responsible for 99% of campaign balance.
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut





Vorian wrote:
I don't know why anyone is arguing with Baxx. What he's saying is pretty obviously true.

If there are no mechanics to give you diminishing returns as you get bigger you will experience a snowball effect.

Almost everything that's come before have had these, new Necro doesn't. The old systems were generally bad, the new system is worse.

Saying you need a GM is a weak response. There is absolutely no reason to have poor campaign rules.

A GM should be making things interesting for the campaign (if you have one), not be responsible for 99% of campaign balance.

Thank you! Simple as that.
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps






Vorian wrote:
I don't know why anyone is arguing with Baxx. What he's saying is pretty obviously true.

If there are no mechanics to give you diminishing returns as you get bigger you will experience a snowball effect.

Almost everything that's come before have had these, new Necro doesn't. The old systems were generally bad, the new system is worse.

Saying you need a GM is a weak response. There is absolutely no reason to have poor campaign rules.

A GM should be making things interesting for the campaign (if you have one), not be responsible for 99% of campaign balance.

I mean, both things are true...

This is the same with RPGs, actually. A GM is needed (well, usually), but the rules must be there, you're paying for something after all.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/12/01 12:24:25


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




Sure, a GM should be there to decide - oh, this round there's a zombie invasion and you have d6 zombies spawned on a 6 each turn.

The GM should not be there to eyeball the relative acceptable strengths and advances of a gang each round.

Its not like this is particularly controversial, its pretty standard across all manner of games.

Rather than the graphs in Baxx's original post you want them to look like this :



Edit: You could achieve this by doing something like introducing an upkeep charge of (#territories - 2) credits per territory you own for example, if you work off Baxx's 10 credits per territory example.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/12/01 12:50:06


 
   
 
Forum Index » Games Workshop Board Games & Specialist Games
Go to: