Updated: Jan 16
Greetings one and all,
Continuing our trend of Necromunda articles, the next two will be concerning your gangs Hangers-On in a handy alphabetised list. So please read on and enjoy.
In a game where reputation is important, the Agitator could be a useful purchase. These skilled hype people can be used in the pre-battle sequence to tell hivers of your gangs impending victory. If you do win, you will gain an extra D3 reputation, however, if you lose, then you’ll lose an additional point of reputation instead. On top of this, Agitators improve recruitment for the gang, allowing the gang to roll twice to see if they gain a free fighter from their territories. Furthermore, if they happen to be on the board, they come with the skill Inspirational, allowing them to make a Leadership test if a friendly fighter within 6inches of the Agitator fails a cool check. If the Leadership test is passed, the cool check also counts as being passed and with a Leadership of +6, there's a greater then 50% chance of the roll succeeding.
Also, they only cost 30 credits each, which is somewhat of a steal for the bonuses they offer. Sadly though, there is a catch , in that they are only recruitable to Outlaw gangs. If you’ve already brought the essentials and are an Outlaw gang though then you could do worse than hiring an Agitator.
Ammo Jack 0-3
One of the most useful and, in my opinion, essential Hangers-On is the Ammo Jack. It has the special rule Gun-Smith, meaning that fighters can re-roll failed ammo checks on the roll of a 1. What's even better is the more Ammo Jacks you have, the higher the re-roll triggers, so for 2 Ammo Jacks, the re-roll triggers on a 1 and 2, and for 3 Ammo Jacks the re-roll triggers on a 1, 2 or 3. Furthermore, the Ammo Jack has a fairly good stat-line with the +3 Ballistic skill being particularly nice. They also have the Skill Munitioneer, which gives this model and any ganger with 6inches a re-roll on failed ammo checks (take note though, you cannot re-roll a re-roll).
Ammo Jacks are limited to a maximum of 3 per gang, but at a cost 50 credits each, it's well worth it in my opinion.
Apprentice Clan Chymist 0-1
An Escher only Hanger-On, the Apprentice Clan Chymist is a must for any Escher gang wanting to use Chem-Elixirs. Their experimental Elixirs special rule knocks D6x10 credits off Chem-Elixirs to a minimum of 10 credits. Furthermore, they have another Special rule, Last Rites; If an Escher Gang Matriarch or Gang Queen is killed, the player may roll a D6. If the result is equal to or less than the number of advances the fighter has, then the player may add a Death Maiden to their gang for free.
Moreover, the Apprentice Clan Chymist is a money-making machine as it not only saves you money on Elixirs, but also has the Fixer skill which gives an additional D3x10 credits in the rewards stage of the post-battle sequence. This means although she isn’t cheap at 75 credits, she will more than pay for herself in money saved and earned. The Apprentice Clan Chymist is a must for any Escher Gang.
Brute Handler 0-1
At 110 credits or 55 credits to Goliath gangs, the Brute Handler has the special rule Training, which allows them to train one of your brutes that are not in recovery. They do this by making the Brute make an unmodified willpower check and if they fail, the Brute gains D3 experience. However, if the Brute passes the willpower check then it’s deemed too wilful and the training doesn’t work.
The Brute Handler also gets the special rule Part of the Crew, which means they count as a fighter in your gang roster but unlike other fighters, they cannot gain experience.
Brute Handlers also have the skill Iron Jaw, which counts this fighter's Toughness as 2 higher when another fighter makes an unarmed attack. Personally, I think the Brute Handler is too expensive for what it does, but if you’re running a lot of brutes it could be useful, I guess.
Bullet Merchant 0-1
At 25 credits for the Orlocks and 75 credits for everyone else, the Bullet Merchant is an 'eh' kinda Hanger-On. Their special rule is High Calibre Hook-Up, which allows the gang to treat all ammo types at the trading post and black market as common, as well as changing any ammo with the trait Limited to Scarce. This actually sounds a lot better than it really is as there's not a great amount of limited ammo types, unless your using shotguns or dumb-dumbs. This is slightly more useful for Orlock gangs, but again, there are better Hangers-On's available.
The Bullet Merchant does have the fast shot skill though, which allows the fighter to treat the shoot action as a simple action rather than a basic. But it's only really useful if the Bullet Merchant is on the board and even if they are on the board, they’re only armed with a Stub Gun or Auto Pistol anyway. There are better Hangers-On's out there.
Cadaver Merchant 0-1
An Outlaw-only Hanger-On, a gang can sell their dead for profit to the Cadaver merchant (bar Hired Guns, Hanger-On's, Brutes or Exotic Beasts) to earn the gang D3x10 credits. During an uprising campaign, the Cadaver Merchant also brings their gang bodies, which gains them an additional portion of meat in the post-battle sequence.
The Cadaver Merchant also has the skill Fearsome, meaning a fighter that wishes to charge him have to pass a willpower check. If they fail, the fighter cannot move and their activation ends immediately.
At 20 credits this guy should make his cost back quickly, but it does rely on your fighters dying, so this is a rather mediocre Hang-on.
Chem Dealer 0-1
At 50 credits (or 25 credits for House Goliath) the Chem Dealer is a great Hanger-On if you’re going to be using a lot of Chems, as their special rule Steady Supply allows you to buy all chems at the trading post and black market at common availability. Furthermore, before a battle, you can buy a single dose of any chem or item containing chems without expending credits. In the post-battle sequence though, the gang must pay for the item. If they are unable or unwilling to pay, the Chem Dealer leaves the gang and the gang is unable to hire another for the rest of the campaign. I find the wording “any chem or item containing chems” to be a little vague though, so I would make sure you double-check with your arbiter what items count in this rule and which don’t.
The Chem Dealer also has the Fixer skill which gives an additional D3x10 credits in the rewards stage of the post-battle sequence, meaning the Chem Dealer will pay for itself pretty fast. Overall, if your gonna use Chems this is a must-have; if you're a Goliath player with 25 credits to spare, this is a strong pick as the Fixer skill will add up fast.
Cogitator Core Servitor 0-1
This is one of the most expensive of the Hangers-On out there at a cost of 100 credits, but it's a Van Saar only Hanger-On and at the cost, it had better be good... And it is, it really is, but you have to have the right kind of build to your gang to really make the most out of it.
The Cogitator Core Servitor has 3 special rules, the first is Mind in the Machine; if the Van Saar is defending they can, at the end of any end phase, choose to turn the lights off or on, which if the former is chosen immediately brings the pitch-black rules into effect. If you've loaded up on Photo-Goggles, Infra Sights, or Ocular Cyberteknika, then your able to completely dominate the battlefield which is a huge advantage. Secondly there's Hostile Environment; if the Van Saar is defending, they can place D3 booby traps anywhere on the battlefield that is not within 6inches of an enemy fighter. Lastly there is Security Measures; if the Van Saar is defending, enemy fighters are at a -1 modifier for Intelligence checks when making an Access Terminal or Bypass Loot Casket lock action.
The Cogitator Core Servitor clearly swings any battle where the Van Saar are the defender in their favour. It's not something to buy right away, but once your gang is fully equipped with a load-out of Photo-Goggles, Infra Sights, or Ocular Cyberteknika then there is no reason why you should lose a defensive battle with this Hanger-On. Its a must-have for later in any campaign for anyone running a Van Saar gang.
Data Scrivener 0-1
At only 20 credits, the Data Scrivener is cheaper than most weapons and there is a reason for that; it’s very situational. Its special rule is Data-Hacked; this allow you to roll 3 dice and pick the lowest 2 on any Intelligence checks. Useful if you play with loads of locked doors and chests, but otherwise it’s a bit meh.
The Data Scrivener also has the skill Gadgeteer from the Book of Artifice Tech Skills list, allowing them to change the plentiful trait on a weapon they are carrying to have Knockback, Pulverise, Rending or Shock. Alternatively, they can add an extra point of Rapid-Fire to a weapon.
As you might have guessed though, this Hanger-On has to be in your gang starting selection to use either Data-Hacked or Gadgeteer, which of course leaves them rather vulnerable, especially when their statline is less than stellar. So like I said, not a great pick. Bring an extra Lasgun instead.
Dome Runner 0-1
At only 20 credits the Dome Runner is very cheap, but it's still potently rather useful. Their special rule is Scout Ahead, which allows you to re-roll a D6 when opening a Loot Casket in order to determine it’s contents. (However, the results of the re-roll must be taken even if the result is worse.)
The Dome Runner also comes with the skill Lie Low; if the fighter is prone, enemies can only shoot them if they are within the weapon's short-range. Great for keeping your Dome Runner alive.
Overall, it's not a super powerful Hanger-On, but it's certainly a useful one.
At 50 credits, the fixer is a bit of a bargain for what you can get out of it. It has a special rule that applies a -2 to the dice roll made to test the Alliance of organisations allied to the gang (Water Guild, Merchants Guild and the like), as well as having the ability to be removed from your roaster if you carry out any actions that might make you an Outlawed gang, in order to avoid becoming an Outlawed gang if this isn't what you want.
As for skills, the Fixer has, well, the Fixer skill, which gives an additional D3x10 credits in the rewards stage of the post-battle sequence. Personally, I find any chance to gain the use of this skill a great deal, as they’ll be paying for themselves pretty quickly even with some average rolls.
This Hanger-On is only available to Outlaw House Cawdor gangs for 30 credits. The Flagellator is, okay, but it's quite situational. It’s special rule Purification Through Pain allows the gang to attempt to bring one of its fighters out of recovery during the pre-battle sequence, specifically after the battlefield has been set up but before the crew has been chosen. The fighter that’s being taken out of recovery makes a Toughness check, which if they pass, they leave recovery and may take part in the battle as normal. However, should they fail this roll, they still join the battle, but they start it with a flesh wound.
The Flagellator does also has the Fearsome skill though, meaning fighters that want to charge him have to pass a Willpower check. If they fail they cannot move and their activation ends immediately.
Not my first pick for a Hanger-On, but it could be useful.
Gang Lookout 0-1
At 20 credits, the Gang Lookout is cheap and, for what they seem to be, priced about right. So what do they do?
The Gang Lookouts' special rule is Heads Up, where-in if the gang that has a Gang Lookout is the defender in a scenario that uses the Sneak attack rules, add 1 to determine if a sentry spots the attackers. Furthermore, in a skirmish game, add 1 to the dice to decide who is the attacker or the defender.
The Gang Lookout also has the Evade skill, which means ranged attacks while the fighter is not in cover suffers a -1 to hit at short range, which is increased to a -2 at long range. This is a rather useful Hanger-On, as the ability to give yourself a better chance at getting the role you want in a skirmish game can be incredibly useful. Not a bad little pick-up for mid-campaign I think.
Grease Monkey 0-1
An Orlock only Hanger-On, the Grease Monkey will set a gang back 40 credits. It has the special skill Overcharge, which can be used to Overcharge one of the gang's Brutes or the Jump Boosters of the Wreckers. An Overcharged Brute has its movement and attacks characteristics increased by D3, but if a 1 is rolled it takes 1 unsavable wound instead. An Overcharged Jump Booster on the other hand adds D6 to the Wreckers movement whenever they are activated. However on the roll of a 1, the Wreaker gains no extra movement and can only make a single action that turn.
The Grease Monkey is a gamble. There's a good chance of a bad dice roll and I don’t believe that the bonuses gained counteract the risks with this Hanger-On.
An Outlaw only Hanger-On, Hereteks will cost your gang 40 credits and I think this could be a fun Hanger-On for those that like to play it risky. Their special rule is similar to the Van Saar Gadgeteer skill, in which at the end of step 5 in the pre-battle sequence, you select 1 fighter from your crew; 1 weapon they are carrying gains 1 of the following: Blaze, Concussion, Power, Rad-Phage or Shock as chosen by the controlling player. However, the weapon also gains the Unstable trait if its a ranged weapon, or Reckless if it is a melee weapon. This effect lasts until the end of the battle.
Like I said, it’s a high-risk high reward play, but it could be quite fun to use with a more thematic gang.
The Heretek also gain access to the Skill Munitineer, which gives this model and any fighter with 6inches a re-roll on failed ammo checks (though take note, you cannot re-roll a re-roll). This does mean to use this skill you have to have the Heretek on the board, but he comes with mesh armour and either a Plasma Gun or Grav-Gun, so they’re certainly not gonna weigh you down like some other Hanger-Ons.
Hive Preacher 0-1
An Outlaw-only House Cawdor Hanger-On costing 70 credits, the Hive Preacher gives tremendous bonuses to a gang's Faith Dice. The Hive Preacher's special rule is Sermon, which allows the Hive Preacher to roll a D6 at the end of any pre-battle sequence and add the number rolled to their Faith Pool. Further, if the Hive Preacher is on the board and not seriously injured, he also counts as 3 fighters as opposed to only 1 when determining the number of Faith Dice generated.
The Hive Preacher also has the special rule Part of the Crew, which means the he counts as part of your gang and can be taken into battle like any other fighter, but like any other Hanger-On they can't gain experience.
Lastly, the Hive Preacher has the skill Inspirational, allowing him to make a Leadership test if a friendly fighter with 6 inches of the Hive Preacher fails on a Cool check. If the Leadership test is passed, the cool check also counts as being passed and with a Leadership of +5, there's a greater then 50% chance of the roll succeeding.
Overall a very nice Hanger-On, but the price does seem a little steep.
At 30 credits the Narker is a must-have for any gang mid-way through a campaign. The Narkers special rule allows them to modify the result of the Determine Scenario roll by 1 in either direction. As you can have up to 2 of these, this effect is accumulative, so you'll be able to change the result by 2 which could be very useful.
The Narker also comes with the skill Lie Low, meaning that if the fighter is prone, enemies can only shoot them if they are within the weapon's short-range. A very useful Hanger-On and as some Scenarios are notoriously unbalanced. You can avoid them with the Narker.
Pit Trainer 0-1
At 75 credits this Goliath only Hanger-On seems a bit expensive, but hold up there, as this guy has the potential to be bloody fantastic.
Their special rule is Combat Ready which is used between games. The Pit Fighter can train up to 3 fighters that aren’t in recovery, enabling them to gain 1 random skill from their primary or secondary skill tree (if you roll a skill you already have, you can pick which skill you want them to have from their primary or secondary skill tree instead). However these skills only last until the end of the next battle, then they are lost.
This isn’t without risk though, as when a fighter trains with the Pit Fighter you have to roll a D6. If the result is a 1, they must immediately make a roll on the lasting injury table. If they suffer an injury during training that puts them into recovery, they must miss the next battle instead.
In addition to Combat Ready, the Pit Trainer also comes with the skill Mentor; whenever another friendly fighter within 6inches gains a point of experience, make a Leadership test. If the check is passed, that fighter gains 2 points instead. This skill requires your Pit Trainer to be on the board though in order to use this skill, so its usefulness is debatable. But the ability to gain skills on gang members going into battle is really powerful, especially as Goliaths get access to some really good skill trees. Well worth picking up.
And that is the first half of the Hangers-On the second half will be released in two weeks' time cause there are a lot of these guys, gals and in between. Until next time have a good one.
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