Thursday, 21 February 2019

Necromunda Underhive Gaming aids/Tools

In getting into Necromunda Underhive, I have found a number of great gaming aids which helped me massively, Yaktribe, Battlescribe, and Rollz.

Yaktribe - This is more than a website, first and foremost for Necromunda fans it’s a free list builder, but more importantly it’s a Campaign manager.

I started using Battlescribe, as I was used to the format and function within Heresy and 40k, I'd still say that Battlescribe is a great tool, and will go into some detail later, but Yaktribe swung it for me. Here are some justifications below.

Auto-make Ganger cards:
This was the clincher, with one click you can see your gang presented as a printable set of gang cards which you can cut out and mess around with, this is a great bridger between those feeling comfort from physical cards, and those who are used to the apps.

Ganger level management:
The way that Yaktribe manages progression is fantastic, want to buy an advancement? Yaktribe will tell you how much it costs, and will change your profile and ganger value with one selection.
Get XP from a scenario? Hit a button and up your XP. Get an injury? Hit a button and select from the injuries-your ganger profile will be amended, the injury listed on the ganger card, and they will be sent into recovery. Kill a guy? Boom, red-lined and off to the bottom of the pile.

Trade post
All the kit is here, and it tracks in line with your gangs available credits and having a slider for Rarity value. Great fun to go shopping after a successful battle.

Hangers on, Brutes, Pets
Them too, the gangs all here. A hanger-on Card also gets added if you buy for them, so that if they are unfortunate enough to be nearby when you are caught in a home turf battle, you can!

Campaign management:
Another great tool is that you assign a gang to a campaign, and manage it as well. Add territories to a campaign ‘pool’ of territories for dominion and make a decent hex-grid to see the spread of things. You can see these represented in your Territories tab, and summary rules for Boons too.
You can add friends gangs to your campaign and rep is all tracked too.
Whereas the Battlescribe community could take several months to get new lists published and up, the Yaktribe community does it in weeks or days.
Also, each of the Battlescribe lists can have small foibles, for quite some time certain gangs were poorly represented by the community supplied list, issues and all. It seems Yaktribe has greater maturity in this area and fact-checking. I’m yet to find an actual error which I know to be different in the books.

Website not an app:
The fact that it’s a website means that in some cases you can get a far better user experience if you wanted to use it via PC, you can edit your gang wherever you are, you can see history and changes, edit profiles and make easier corrections as the information doesn’t need to bloat app data. Take a photo of your guys and upload it,  share the gang with others.
It can have a far greater presence and weight because its not limited by application size and phone-based limits.

Customisable rules:
If you want, you can make your own rules up, create a new weapon or character type. Great for adding things you think should have been included.
I’ve got a hankering to do an entire campaign based on a Gulag-style Dome in Necromunda where everything is crap, bullets are so rare that close combat is the way to go. So I created a ‘Shiv’, a 5 cred purchase for Ap-1 to your CC attacks. Would love to add more ammo types and exotic weaponry like Tau pulse rifles etc.

Forums and the like.
The side of yak that I use most is the gang manager, however, the forums here are more active than r/Necromunda, and more up to date. Only the various Facebook groups have more photos added, but if you want an in-depth conversation into rule and builds, here’s where it’s at.
This doesn’t even cover the events that Yak runs, nor does it cover the fact that Yak has been supporting Necromunda (original) greatly and with an active community all round.

It’s the yaks-nuts.

Battlescribe itself is still great, you can still do around 75% of the elements in Yaktribe as you can in Battlescribe and one of the great pluses from within Battlescribe is that it has a host of sharing options.

Port your gang list over to another format, share it within Phone applications and more, even though it doesn’t put the gangers in nice pretty cards like the boxed game, the view list function is really handy.

And in the bargain the lists can sit alongside the other lists that Battlescribe presents, so you can export and transfer then normally.

Battlescribe does have one big plus over Yaktribe in that the rules themselves for special weapons, abilities and such can be shown in-app, whereas in Yaktribe only the weapon profiles such as range are shown.

This is immensely handy when you have a specific ‘crew’ and want access to the rules readily, again, slightly let down by the pace of updates, but great nevertheless.

Like me, when the game is done and the hour is late you probably forget, or can’t do some of the post-game actions that you want to do. How often do you realise you forgot to roll that dice and earn those credits for a champion with Fixer for example? I do it loads.
Rollz is a great solution to that. Its an only dice rolling forum with personalised ‘rooms’ for groups.

What this means is that I can send my friend a link to the Rollz forum saying something like ‘I forgot to do this, but here are my rolls for last week’.

This means that you don’t have to try and remember all your stuff in one go, as its not the end of the world.

Its basically a forum format, you type #2d6 or #d3 or #d6+1 and get a randomised number, great for running through stuff.

The other element this is good for is that you can look back over older logs, to see if you actually did do the roll you thought you had done.

So, those three are recommended. There’s a couple of streamlined ways that we’ve tweaked how we play Necromunda. A couple of house rules and a few different ways to play that I’ll detail next time.

For now give em a go!

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