Greetings, friends and fellow Necromunda fans.
We hope that this message finds you well, and that you’ve enjoyed our previous Gameplay Overview #1 DevBlog. As promised, we’re back today with a new exciting entry, in order to cover the multiple Game Modes that will be available to you in Necromunda: Underhive Wars.
And so, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
A NOTE ON THE COMMUNITY FEEDBACK REGARDING THE NUMBER OF FIGHTERS IN YOUR GANG’S ACTIVE CREW
Before we begin covering today’s subject, we’d like to take a moment in order to address a topic from our previous DevBlog that generated a lot of feedback from community members and content creators alike over the past week - and that is the 5-member limit for Active Crews.
While we understand this comparison, we feel it’s important for people to regard this information as part of a broader picture, and the result of an overall design orientation consisting of multiple moving pieces, all working together to provide you with a dynamic, original and engaging twist on the classic Necromunda mechanics.
Up to four Gangs in each Match, for a total of up to 20 Fighters per Map.
Each of Underhive Wars’ three main Game Modes, which we’ll be presenting in detail today, allows for up to 4 gangs (in various Team or Free-for-All configurations) to be facing-off simultaneously in the same battles.
This means that players will often find themselves in situations where anywhere between 15-20 gangers will be present in the same map, each with their own turns to play, movements to accomplish and numerous actions to perform.
Redefining the classic formula by adding different Objectives
Underhive Wars will bring lots of twists to the classic Necromunda tabletop recipe, and one of the major ones is through the addition of different Objective Scenarios - special victory conditions, mechanics and sub-goals added to each match, in order to provide players with incentives to accomplish other goals than simply eliminating the enemy force(s)... although going in guns blazing (or chainsword swinging) is still definitely an option.
These Objective Scenarios will also be present in all three of the title’s Game Modes, offering new and interesting sets of opportunities and challenges with each battle fought.
Certain Objectives will sometimes also be accompanied by limited (albeit generous) Turn timers and Round counters, in order to reduce the downtime and ensure that the moments you spend in the title are less about waiting, and more about playing, strategizing, fighting and managing your Gangs. We’ll be covering more details regarding these various Objective Scenarios in an upcoming update, along with the Environments (26 hand-crafted vertical Maps) you’ll find them in!
No “Bottle Test” Mechanic
Players who are familiar with the classic Necromunda tabletop game know that Gangs often see their numbers dwindle as battle rages on - something called the “Bottle Test” - a series of dice rolls (called “Cool Checks”) performed by Fighters of a Gang after seeing one of their own becoming Seriously Injured, or being put Out of Action. Failing these checks can lead the remaining Gangers (and sometimes, whole Gangs as a result) to immediately flee the battlefield.
Underhive Wars has no such Bottle mechanic. While you will be able to manually extract Fighters from the battlefield, at specific locations and for specific reasons (securing a captured Objective Item, for example), it will be entirely YOUR choice of when to do so.
In other words, each member of your Active Crew will be able to hold its own during combat, provided he or she remains alive - a system designed to make each battle a very engaging and tense affair until the very end.
Striking the right balance - both in and out of combat
Over the past few months, we’ve spent a lot of time putting all the game’s systems to the test - striving to achieve a right balance of gameplay momentum, pacing and strategic choices on different levels. One thing to keep in mind in this regard is that Necromunda: Underhive Wars has two main, complementary elements: Battles and Gang Management.
Instead of focusing on one-off engagements, we’re putting together a complex-yet-approachable formula that will allow you to witness and forge the evolution of your Gang, to get attached to its members, and see them evolve from one encounter to another.
Rather than making each engagement drag on, we want you to be able to partake in multiple explosive scenarios in every play session. Whether you’re managing injuries (something bionic limbs and implants can help with), swapping Fighters to take full advantage of synergies between different career compositions, or experimenting with the Stats, Skills and Equipment systems - we want to give you ample tools to upgrade and tweak your Gang and its members in a meaningful way between each battle.
All-in-all, we’re absolutely convinced that the 5-member limit for Active Crews will make perfect sense when you finally get your hands on the game - it’s something you’ll have to experience for yourself in order to truly understand how all the pieces fit together.
GAME MODE #1 - AN EPIC STORY CAMPAIGN WRITTEN BY NECROMUNDA VETERAN ANDY CHAMBERS
Now, back to today’s topic!
Let’s dive in the three action-packed Game Modes you’ll discover in Necromunda: Underhive Wars - the Story Campaign, Operations and Online Skirmishes.
The very first thing we (strongly) recommend that all players do when first entering the game is to jump straight in the immersive and explosive single player Story Campaign.
Spanning 15 action-packed missions and written by acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 author Andy Chambers, this story-driven adventure will have you follow the fate of 3 infamous Gangs as they delve deep into the entrails of Hive Primus.
Led by a colourful cast of protagonists, these rival factions will be set on a true collision course with one another, as they race into the depths of the Underhive in search of the most valuable of long-lost treasures, encountering all kinds of dangers and memorable characters along the way.
Necromunda: Underhive Wars’ campaign will feature more than an hour of fully-voiced cinematics*, and will also serve as an in-game tutorial that will slowly guide you into learning and mastering all the tools you’ll need to fend against the numerous perils that await you in this dark and dangerous place.
*Full voice-over available for both English and French versions of the game.
2 - OPERATIONS
The Operations game mode aims to provide you with an endlessly replayable single-player gameplay loop, where meaningful decisions both in and out of battle will determine the rise or fall of your Gangs. In it, you’ll travel to different sectors of the Underhive and secure their resources, while defending your HQ against the constant threat of rival factions...as well as putting their own defenses to the test!
This mode will allow you to create your own Gangs and experiment with deep customization mechanics, allowing you to tailor every (Gameplay and Cosmetic) aspect of the Fighters you will lead in battle. See them grow stronger with each hard-fought victory, as well as risk their lives with every new encounter!
Start by choosing a District
When beginning a new Operation, the first thing you’ll want to do is select a District where to send your forces. Each one will consist of multiple locations to explore and a corresponding set of available Missions.
District selection will allow you to modulate:
- The overall content difficulty.
- The “High Alert” duration - that is to say the number of Shifts (1 Mission = 1 Shift) during which previously attacked HQs will become impossible to raid again.
- The base amount of XP gained by Fighters after each battle.
- The number of other enemy Gangs present, and whom you might encounter.
- The Enemy Crew Rating (the relative strength of enemy Gangs)
- The Sector Rewards (potential Salvageable Resources from all Missions in this District)
Each District will also have its own associated House Request - a special, randomized and optional challenge that you can accomplish for additional Completion Rewards.
Setup Facilities and use your growing Infamy.
When entering a new District, you’ll be given the opportunity to select up to 2 different Facilities, which will grant you different bonuses at specific intervals. In the same way, you’ll also be able to spend your acquired Infamy Points - a resource bound to your entire Player Profile, meaning it can be spent on any of your created Gangs - to purchase and upgrade Infamy Skills, which are modifiers that will be implemented in the current District.
While Facilities will only provide benefits, Infamy Skills will sometimes require you to make a trade-off decision, for example increasing the HP or damage output of all enemies in the Sector, in exchange for extra Credits and Reward Caskets at the end of Missions.
You will be able to gain more Infamy Points by completing numerous and various Infamy Tasks - akin to Profile Achievements - that can be earned in all 3 Game Modes (ex: Put 10 Brawlers Out of Action / Win a Contest battle in PvP / Complete Story Mission 5 / etc.).
Enter the fray!
You’ve set the table, now comes the meal.
Every Shift, each Gang Commander present in the District (that means both you and the AI) will select a Mission they wish their Gang to undertake. Since the number of Missions available at any given time will be finite, this will lead rival Gangs to encounter one another on the battlefield, vying for the same resources and trying to accomplish the same objectives before the Sector’s entirely depleted.
Here comes the first twist - Gangs won’t know what Missions others have selected before confirming their choice. This will lead to very different possible scenarios. You could, for example, be the only Gang entering a location - in which case you’ll automatically succeed the Mission and reap its rewards. On the other hand, you and 3 other rival Gangs could all choose the same target - in which case all four of you will deploy your forces on the same map… and you can imagine what’ll then happen next.
There will be instances where 2 or 3 AI Gangs will select a Mission different from your own, in which case they’ll battle it out between themselves, and you’ll receive a Mission Report indicating who came out on top.
Another kicker comes from the emergence of certain events, which will influence your strategic opportunities and decisions on the District Map. Pieces of intel will sometimes lead to the discovery of incredibly valuable artefacts, inciting multiple Gangs to rush to their location. It is also possible for you - and rival factions - to uncover the emplacement of one another’s Headquarters (HQs). When this happens, you’ll be given the opportunity to attack/defend these fortified locations to steal your enemies’ hard earned resources, or to protect your own.
Maintain, grow and customize your Gang and Fighters
Between each Mission, you’ll be able to return to your Hideout, in order to manage the members of your Active and Reserve Crews - recruit new Fighters to replace the fallen, swap members in your roster, upgrade Stats, Skills and Equipment loadouts, as well as heal Injuries by replacing limbs with Bionics, install Implants, and more.
An endlessly-replayable loop to strengthen your Gang before bringing it online
While Operations are meant to offer all players an endlessly replayable loop of fun and challenging single player content, this mode will also be the perfect place to experiment with all of the game’s interrelated systems in order for you to create, grow and customize the perfect Gang - one you’ll be able to take online to prove your absolute dominance of the Underhive over other players!
3 - ONLINE* SKIRMISH: TEST YOUR METTLE AGAINST OTHER PLAYERS!
*Offline Custom Skirmish Matches against the AI will always be available.
Now that we’ve covered the single player aspects of the game in more details, let’s take a look at what Necromunda: Underhive Wars will offer to players eager to take their Gangs online against other players and/or AI opponents!
If you’re looking for PvP (or PvPvE) action, you’ll be able to find it in two different ways - Contest and Exhibition - in either Matchmaking or Custom Matches - all featuring a multitude of different Objective Scenarios and rulesets to create tense and action-packed matches in one of the game’s 26 sprawling hand-crafted vertical environments.
No-holds-barred online action: Contest and Exhibition
Whether you’re aiming for a more casual play experience, or looking to up the stakes of battle, we’ve got you covered! The Contest and Exhibition online modes will both allow you to play 1v1, 2v2, Free-for-All and Custom scenarios against other players, while presenting different rewards and consequences.
Exhibition - Practice makes perfect
If you’re just looking for a friendly match, Exhibition is the mode you’ll want. This setting will allow you to create casual bouts (either in matchmaking or custom matching) that act as practice, consequence-free battles. Exhibition matches will not impact your Gang beyond the scenario, but will offer no specific rewards to the winner(s).
Contest - Where legends are born, rewards gained, and lives lost
Once you’re confident enough in your Gang’s abilities, and your own skills as a commander, you’ll naturally want to head to the infamous Contest grounds. This high-stakes multiplayer mode will offer the same customisable settings as Exhibition, but with more...permanent repercussions.
At the end of every Contest match, the winning Team(s) will be recompensed with a Reward Casket. All items looted from the environment by your Fighters over the course of the battle will also be yours to keep - including any equipment stolen from fallen enemies!
The flipside is this: negative consequences will also carry over, meaning Contest matches always involve a possibility of losing gear and receiving injuries, which might sometimes even lead to death for unlucky Fighters.
Matchmaking vs Custom Matches
Whether you’re playing in Contest or Exhibition, you’ll be able to select between automated Online Matchmaking, or to create your own Custom Matches.
Matchmaking will allow you and up to 1 party member to measure up in 1v1 or 2v2 matches against random opponents, sporting a Crew Rating similar to yours in order to ensure balanced match ups.
This setting will randomize the type of Objective and Map upon which scenarios are played, and comes with a default turn timer. Using matchmaking will also reward all players who remain in-game until the end of the match with a Participation Casket.
Custom Matches, finally, will allow players to host private matches with 1-3 other party members and/or AI Gangs, in order to create tailor-made scenarios.
These Custom Matches will allow you to:
- Choose the number of Gangs (1 to 4) taking part in the Mission.
- Set the composition of teams (anywhere from 1-4), allowing you to create any type of team game or Free-for-All encounter: 1v1 / 1v1v1 / 1v2 / 1v1v1v1 / 2v2 / 1v3 / 1v1v2.
- Choose a desired Scenario Objective
- Select a specific Map
- Set custom Turn Timers
This concludes today’s second entry of our DevBlog Series, and we sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this preview of all the different Game Modes you’ll find in Necromunda: Underhive Wars. As always, we want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to read through today’s entry.
Between the explosive 15-mission Story Campaign, the endlessly replayable Operations and all the options available for both online and offline Skirmishes, we’re absolutely convinced that you’ll find plenty of content to sink your tactical teeth - and Heavy Bolters - into, once the game finally releases!
The Rogue Factor and Focus Home Interactive teams