Welcome to the Underhive!
Greetings, friends and fellow Necromunda fans.
We’re extremely happy to take to the Forums again today, in order to bring you this first iteration of our DevBlog series, aimed at shedding more light on some of the cool elements you can expect to find in Necromunda: Underhive Wars. Today’s entry will not be focusing on a single feature, but will instead provide you with a first overview of the game’s basic gameplay mechanics.
And so, without further ado - get comfortable, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s dive right in!
Answer the Call
Before testing your mettle in Necromunda: Underhive Wars’ multiple Game Modes (which we’ll cover in more details in an upcoming DevBlog), the first thing you’ll need to do is create a Gang - your Gang, which will belong to one of the planet’s infamous Great Houses.
At launch, players will be able to choose from Houses Escher, Goliath and Orlock, each of which will come with their own flavour, special House Perk and Bonus Stats. Many of the skills that your Fighters will use in battle will also have special variants, depending on the House your Gang belongs to.
Assemble your Crew
You’ll then want to assemble and customise an Active Crew of up to 5 Fighters, in order to represent a force capable of facing the multiple dangers of the Underhive. Each Fighter will fill a specific battlefield role, first determined by its chosen Career: Deadeye, Brawler, Heavy, Saboteur or Lay-Mechanic.
Each Gang will be able to recruit a total of up to 15 Fighters at once, with 10 members held in Reserve - in case Active Fighters get injured, or to create different character combinations and synergies depending on the situation. Players will be able to freely rotate Fighters between each mission.
Each of the 5 different Careers will grant Fighters a unique Signature Skill, as well as special Career Perks and bonuses to certain stats. In terms of fighting capabilities, all Fighters will be able to learn and use a great number of general Skills, but many abilities will also be exclusive to certain Career paths.
Your Gang will also always need a Leader - a Fighter of any Career who has reached (or been recruited at) a higher experience level. Leaders will have access to a special selection of “Heroic” and “Order” Skills, extremely powerful (but sometimes limited) abilities meant to inspire their allies and tip the scales of battle in tense combat situations.
Before jumping into battle, you’ll also want to make sure all your Fighters have the best possible loadout, which includes Stats, Skills and Equipment.
Stats are used to represent and measure a Fighter’s attributes and proficiency. Stats are separated in two main categories - Primary and Secondary. The 9 Primary Stats are the ones you’ll be able to upgrade whenever a Fighter ranks-up. Each of these will directly affect two of the 18 Secondary Stats, which will be used and modified by Skills, Equipment and other factors (such as Injuries) in combat.
Skills come in two main categories - Passive (which will automatically trigger when certain conditions are met), and Active (which need to be performed manually). Depending on their level, each Fighter will be able to learn, upgrade and use a loadout of up to 5 Active and 5 Passive Skills at once, and successful players will make sure to create synergies across the abilities of multiple Fighters in order to increase the effectiveness of each individual unit, and the Gang as a whole.
Equipment will also play an important role in Necromunda: Underhive Wars, with each Fighter being able to equip various Weapons, Armour and Consumable Items (of both Tactical and Offensive nature), as well as Implants and Bionics. While some equipment pieces will be restricted to certain Careers, a great majority will be available to use by any Fighter. From dual-wielded Laspistols, to devastating Heavy Bolters and iconic close-quarters Chainswords - the choice of how you want to build and specialize each of your Fighters will be entirely yours!
Of course, you’ll also be able to apply extensive cosmetic customization to your Gang and Fighters, but we’ll cover this feature in its own upcoming, and dedicated, Blog Post.
Once your Crew is ready, you’ll be able to select from multiple Online and Offline Game Modes (a topic for a future DevBlog) in order to face off against rival Gangs in the Underhive! Whilst there are many mechanics and tactics that will be important for you to master in order to be successful, let’s review the very basics for today.
Rounds and Turns
Necromunda: Underhive Wars is a turn-based strategy game, but with a twist. Each battle will be split in a number of Rounds, during which each of the participating Fighters will get their own Turn to act. At the beginning of each Round, every Gang will be able to select one Fighter to put into action - the Initiative stat of each of these chosen characters will then be compared to determine the order in which they take their Turn within the Round.
Moving and Performing Actions
Knowing how to maneuver through the battlefield and how to use all the tools at your disposal is half the battle, or so they say. In combat scenarios, performing most Skills will require Action Points (AP), while each meter moved will require a Fighter to spend one Movement Point (MP).
Movement Points will only be spent when either ending a turn, using a Skill or suffering the effects of one (such as triggering a Trap or receiving damage), meaning that you will normally be free to move your Fighters in real time before committing to a move.
Up High & Down Low
The battlefields upon which your forces will wage combat are humongous places, desolate and covered in wreckage from times long forgotten. Although these locations are very different from one another, they all have one thing in common - Verticality. From Makeshift Bridges, ancient Ziplines, winding pipe works and disused cargo Elevators, you will have to make the most out of all three dimensions in order to survive the brutal fights that await your Gang.
On top of letting your Fighters traverse the terrain more efficiently, making use of verticality is also useful for gaining Height Advantage, which will provide your forces with accuracy bonuses when targeting less elevated enemies with ranged weaponry.
Using Verticality, Terrain and Cover to your Advantage
In Necromunda: Underhive Wars, cover is dynamic, and it is based on the percentage (%) of a target’s body that is visible by attackers. Kneeling behind crates, concealing oneself around tall objects, or getting to higher floors will make combatants harder to hit. At the opposite, getting caught off-guard on open ground will most likely be an open invitation for a carefully placed - and most fatal - Heavy Bolter hit to the head.
While most default attacks will always target random body parts, some Offensive Skills (such as the Aimed Shot pictured below) will also allow Fighters to aim at specific body parts (in exchange for a higher AP cost to use the skill) - a prime occasion to focus attacks on unarmoured locations, or body parts clad in armour pieces that are weak to a weapon’s particular damage type.
Tactical Tools at your Fingertips
While it may be easy to become disoriented inside the Underhive, fear not! Necromunda: Underhive Wars will provide you with a host of powerful and user-friendly tools to get your bearings, and to maintain your battlefield awareness at all times.
Special view toggles such as the Tactical Overlay and Strategy View (3D Map pictured below) are extremely useful to plan strategies, allowing players to visualize the location of all Fighters, Objectives, Interactable Objects, Extraction Zones and other objects of interest.
This concludes today’s first entry into our DevBlog Series. Thank you for taking the time to read through this Blog Post, and we sincerely hope you liked it!
Although we’ve only just scratched the surface of all the game has to offer, we sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this first foray into Necromunda: Underhive Wars’ gameplay coverage - there’s plenty more to come in the near future, starting with a first look at the different Game Modes the title will have to offer at launch, later this Summer!
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to join our official Discord, as well as follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitch to be among the first to know more about Necromunda: Underhive Wars.
The Rogue Factor and Focus Home Interactive teams