Friday 13 November 2015

Bending the Rules: Making up your own Game

Recently I have been talking about Necromunda and getting into playing that. However before we do, I had the idea of using the rules of the game for something a little different. We can take the basic rules of the game, and then twist them a little to make something new, and hopefully fun. So what I have proposed to my friends is that we play the basics of Necromunda, but we set it somewhere else, and a few things will be a little different. In this game, the gangs won't be fighting for territory, they will be fighting for survival.


On a Hive planet close to the eye of terror, chaos attacked the imperial cities. A force of Nurgles finest, daemons, renegades and Chaos Marines descended upon the planet. The planet was a frozen waste land apart from two Hives. One consisted of the Elite of the planet, the nobles and officers, but also the ammo stores, military storage and control over the planets weapons systems designed to protect the planet, Hive Dominus. The other, Hive Servus mainly consisted of workers, miners, all hard labour was done there, before getting shipped over to the main Hive.

The majority of the defence force was stationed to hold Hive Dominus, while only a small contingent protected Hive Servus. For 36 hours the defence force held back the invaders, but eventually the defenders buckled. Small pockets of resistance formed across the Hives, but Dominus fell first. Being the most important of the two hives, the forces of Nurgle concentrated on that and only a small amount attacked Servus.

After the defence forces fell, what few military survivors were left formed pockets of resistance. The Arbites attempted to stop the forces of chaos from their precinct but after it fell upon the eyes of the Daemons, very little was left. The populous of the hive banded with the few surviving resistance but with no real training, this was more of an annoyance to Chaos, so the next stage of their invasion began, the clean up. So they didn't spend many resources removing what little Imperial resistance there was left, they released the zombie plague. The dead started to rise and walk, attracted to the sound of resistance. Each resistance member bitten, scratched or sometimes even just covered in the blood of the zombies, created more zombies. As loved ones came back and attacked their kin, the small pockets of resistance fell apart. Those left scattered and ran into the underhive, hoping to survive in the maze of tunnels below, waiting for the Imperium to free them.

The Game

With this background in mind, I will be hosting a game set in Hive Servus, down in the underhive. Three friends will be taking the role of the survivors. I will give them a set number of credits each (not decided how much yet) and they will be able to buy survivors and equipment. The regular rules for creating a gang will apply, so each person will all be from 1 house, maximum of two heavies, no more than half of the people they buy can be juves, but I will leave it up to them to see if take a leader or not. They will have to pick carefully what equipment they have to start with, as I'm not going to let them just pop the shot after each game. I will let them find new equipment, but it will depend on the mission and how well they do.

The idea for each mission will very, but its going to focus on survival. So the first one will be the survivors going out looking for supplies (food, water etc...) despite it being very dangerous. It will just be to ease them into the game. The band of survivors will go out into the ruins, and they will come across a few zombies, and will have to choose between attacking them, or trying to avoid them. Either way the mission will be get in, grab the loot, maybe explore, then get out.

Exploring will be a rather important part of the game, and I will be taking inspiration from another specialist game, Mordheim. The exploration will mostly be how they will find extra weapons, and maybe a special encounter for after the battle. They will still find credits but that will be more for hiring new gangers than anything else, as I will expect a few of the originals to die or be turned into zombies.

Rules Changes

Apart from the recruiting changes some other rules will be altered. The basics will be the same, so movement, shooting, overwatch etc will be just the same. So no real changes there, this allows any one to join in if they wish and it won't be too different from regular 40k.

I will be introducing a new rule, Noise. Each time a gun if fired it will add a noise token to the game. The more noise they make the greater the chance of neighbouring enemies being drawn to the battle field. This will make more of an impact in some scenarios than others. If a heavy weapon is fired it will produce 2 noise tokens, as they are bigger and louder.

The main enemy that the survivors will be facing, will be plague zombie. Looking at the rules for them in the outlanders rules, I feel they need to change a little bit to be easier to handle in large numbers. I will change their movement characteristic from 2D6 to 4, it will make them slow and predictable. The zombies will also walk around in straight lines, and I won't turn them unless they get distracted by Noise. Zombies will turn to face the noise if they are in 12 inches of the origin of the noise, unless more noise is made afterwards. This way it allows the players to sneak around them, trying to avoid the flesh eating undead is some cases will be the better idea, especially if they are outnumbered. However if they are foolish enough to walk into the zombies line of sight, regardless of noise they will give chase, and sudden bursts of speed aren't out of the question especially when I want the zombie to charge.

Wounding the zombies will be changed as well, currently with the rules they ignore flesh wounds (i'm keeping that) but they still go down on a 2-5. I'm not happy with that so I will use the following table.

Injury Roll
1 – 2
Flesh wound (ignored)
3 – 4
Cut in half
Out of action

This table allows me some freedom with the injury of the zombies, I have just messed about with the rolls required, so a 1 or 2 will do nothing. 3 or 4 will knock the zombie down and we will need to see if it gets back up later on. On a 5 the lower part of the zombie has been blown off or at least no longer works, so it will still crawl after them, and possibly attack them. They will be easier to attack, and avoid, but still a threat. Still a good old 6 will be a head shot killing the zombie. This might not work, its all theory, but I think it will be easy enough to keep track of in game.

In the rules for the zombies it allows for survivors to be infected if they are beaten in combat, I will be keeping that but I will keep it secret from most of the players. I want to add in a little bit of a role playing aspect to the game, if some one gets bitten, its up to them if they share it with the other survivors or keep it secret. If they keep it secret it will have effects in the game as they progressive get worse, and possibly turn mid game. If they tell their comrades, maybe they will try to help them (maybe raid a local chaos strong hold to try and find a cure?) or just put a bullet though their brain and stop the inevitable. I will leave it up to the players, and possibly wing a scenario if they come up with something truly unexpected and genius. The table for finding out if a model gets infected is rather forgiving so I might just use that and if no one gets infected, I will change it up later on.


I will be adding in exploration, more akin to the Mordheim rules, but this will serve two purposes. First it will give the group of survivors credits to hire more survivors, but it will take a game or two before they can add afford it. Second it will be how they find more ammo, guns and equipment.

After each game, count up the survivors which are still on their feet and roll a D6 for them (instead roll a D3 for a survivor if they went down but stood back up later, as they aren't exactly fresh). Add up the total and that is how many credits you gain for your stash. However keep a note what each die showed, and if you get any doubles, triples or more, select the highest number (e.g. if you had 1,2,2,3,5,5 you would select double 5 over double 2) and look at the table I will be making soon, it will take some time to do you see. But some examples that I have come up with (which will likely change):

(2,2) – Hand full of bullets: You find enough Dum Dum bullets for 1 game.

(3,3) – Dead survivor: Roll a D6, 1-2 you find nothing, 3-4 D6 credits, 5-6 a lasgun

(5,5) – Abandoned ammo: Roll a D6, 1-3 dum dum bullets, 4-6 bolt ammo for a shot gun

(6,6,6) – Lost survivor: roll a D6, 1 – a juve joins your survivors, 2-5 a ganger joins you, 6 – Ganger with +1bs joins you.

(5,5,5,5) – Injured Enforcer: You can help the enforcer by taking him back to your camp and heal him. He will join your force but will not suffer chaos to live, he will always attack chaos worshippers or possibly infected members of your gang. Or you can kill him and steal his shotgun and carapace armour. Your choice.

They are just examples and I will need to come up with more.

And this reminds me of one other rule I'm adding: Running out of Ammo.

If a weapon uses a special ammo, such as dum dum bullets or hot shot ammo, after each game roll a D6: 1-2 the ammo runs out and can't be used, 3+ you still have a few bullets left. The same will be true for grenades as they will be hard to find, but will be very useful if you find them.

First Scenario: Scavenger Hunt

Survivors hiding in the deep Underhive may have a small amount of protection from the invading chaos forces as the underhive is a maze of ancient ruins almost impossible to navigate if you have no knowledge of it. However protection only gets you so far, food, water and medicines are all very important if you are waiting for the Imperium to liberate your planet. Rumours have spread though the camp that the PDF set up a stronghold not far from the camp and they may have supplies for others. A hand full of survivors have left the camp to find supplies while the rest protect the camp. Reaching the stronghold its evident that they were overrun by plague zombies, you need to get in their find anything of use and run for it.


The terrain will be set up as a maze of ruined buildings, with the old stronghold in the centre on a 4 x 4 table. Once the terrain is set up, 6 Search counters will be placed in important buildings in the centre and the outskirts. Each search counter will allow survivors a chance to find something of value if they are in the building with it.

Once all of the terrain has been set up 2D6 + 6 zombies will be placed over the table, showing where the straggling zombies are still lurking around the base. After this the survivors will be able to choose which table edge to enter from, but they must all be placed within 6 inches of the centre of their edge.


If a survivor is in a ruin with a search counter on the same level as them, and no enemies are in the ruin, they can try to search instead of shooting. Roll a D6, on a roll of 1, remove the counter, there is nothing here, 2-3 you find nothing, but maybe if you look over there... On a 4+ they have found something of value and place it in their pocket, remove the counter from the table. The survivor keeps this unless they go out of action in which case its lost.


While many of the zombies have wondered off its not to say that they aren't still in the area. At the end of each turn add up the number of noise tokens and consult the following chart:

Noise tokens
Enemy reinforcements (zombies)
0 - 3
4 – 6
7 – 9
3+ D6

The zombies will enter from a random table edge.

Ending the game

The survivors can end the game at any point by moving their gang off the table by any table edge. Models which are down when the rest of the gang have fled must make an injury roll to see their fate (and lose their supplies). Which the survivors don't need to search before ending the game, if they do not leave the table with at least 3 supplies the camp will suffer later on.


Fighters who take part in the scenario gain experience points as noted below:

+D6 Survives: If they make in it and out with out dying they gain D6 experience, even if they go out of action.

+5 per zombie taken out of action: If a zombie goes out of action you gain +5 experience

+5 per valuable: for each valuable found from searching you gain +5 experience

Anyway, what do you think? Anything you like or don't think will work?


  1. I like it, sounds very interesting. Might be worth a look at Deadzone Infestation ( I think that the supplement ) as it has some rules & scenarios for being chased by AI controlled Zombies.

    Might be something you can adapt?

    Also looking at the taking out a Zombie table, it might be something you want to modify by the BS / WS of the attacker?

    I.e BS 2 or less -1 to the table
    BS3 - straight roll.
    BS4 - +1 to the table
    BS5+ - +2 to the table.

    After all the longer they survive and the better they shoot the more likely they are to kill the zombies.

    You could even make it that despite the BS of the model they have to survive XX games, and then they get a skill that allows them to use those bonuses, and the skill is just free (no exp cost) but it also means if someone managed to get a higher BS straight away that wont help till they have enough combat experience?

    1. Thats a really good idea which im going to totally steal. I like the idea of surviving and you just naturally gain the skill. Thanks Kraggi.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great idea and a fantastic way to adapt the game to your collections.

    Are you going to be playing with multiple gangs on the table for this first game? If so is there an xp bonus for taking out enemy gang members?
    Will the survivors be competing in games for resources.

    1. To start with all of the gangs will be working together as they wont be many models for each player.

      However as the campaign goes on and food becomes hard to find they might brake up into gangs again.

  3. Heavy weapon fire adds 2 noise tokens.
    Heavy weapon adds +2 to injury table vs. Zombies.