Thalenchar asked me to write a short comparison between Necromunda and BotA – Book of the Arbiter (AKA one of the many versions of =][=, Imunda, INQ28, Inquisimunda am I missing any names?)
I prefer Imunda, for those of you who don’t know what Imunda is; let me start with a brief explanation.
Imunda is basically a mix of Gamesworkshops Special list games Necromunda and Inquisitor often with a little Mordheim on the side. A Skirmish game set in the 40k universe; it works best with a GameMaster/Arbiter as often the players end up with a situation that requires a GM’s guidance/rules/interpretation/story telling and what not. But of course it can be played without, which in my eyes just makes it a fancier version of Necromunda. (And that’s still a good thing!!)
So with all the versions of Imunda going around we (Balephon and myself) found one in particular that appealed to us the most it goes by the name; Book of the Arbiter.
And credit where credit’s due, BotA was written by Torben Kastbjerg and can be found here Book of the Arbitrator .
So with this book (99 pages of house rules) we played our first 3 games, nothing fancy, just 5 dudes 1 of which had to be the main character, one could be a character, and 3 Henchmen.
So let’s start comparing BotA with Necromunda, The first thing you’ll notice is the overhaul of the turn sequence.
Initiative: Instead of rolling of who goes first at the start of the battle, players Roll for Initiative, every turn.
Maintenance Phase: Once Initiative has been determined you move on to the Maintenance Phase, during this phase both players get to stand up certain pinned units, workout certain psychic effects, workout the fate of units that caught fire and some other things, at the end of this phase both players declare which units go into overwatch.
The Action Phase: Starting with the player who has the initiative for that turn, players in turn activate one (in bigger games this can also be a group of henchmen) of their units, that didn’t go into overwatch, let me explain; let’s say Balephon activates his Leader, he can now perform any allowed action, moves like sneak/walk/run/jump/charge etc, shoot, use psychic powers often these actions can be combined, once his leader performed all allowed actions, it’s my turn to activate a unit, who in turn can perform one or more of his allowed actions.
Close Combat Phase: During this phase all models that got into combat during the Action Phase get to perform their combat actions, some psychic powers get activated at the start of this phase, after that punches start to fly and blood starts to flow.
So were Necromunda gives one Gang the option to perform all actions before allowing the other player the same, BotA allows each player to activate one of his units, before allowing the other player the same. I prefer the BotA way over the Necromunda way, because this gives certain gang a fighting change, I.e. a Hand to Hand gang vs a shooting gang, BotA’s way gives the HTH gang a bit more survivability.
Another thing of which I like BotA’s way over the Necromunda way is shooting.
BotA allows units to shoot heavy weapons while making a normal move, shoot Basic and pistols when running, of course modifiers apply, but this gives a game of BotA a lot more action over Necromunda. In my example, I had 4 Marksmen (DV Chaos Cultists) with an Autogun, which could fire 3 shots per gun, while running!!!! Ok they had a -2 negative modifier, -1 for running, and -1 for firing full auto, so BS 3 suddenly becomes BS 1….and shooting doesn’t go as planned….(well in my case it did, Balephon was not happy I tell ya) even while having a -3 modifier (an extra -1 for shooting at someone partially in cover) requiring a roll of 6 and then a 4 to hit…..and still hitting 1 third of my shots!!!
Of course I could write about everything BotA has to offer, but I won’t, just before I tell you that you should give this rule set a try, I want to talk a bit about what I like most about BotA and that is Gang/Crew creation.
Where Necromunda gives you an x amount of fixed Gangs, BotA gives you a set of Races with basic profiles to work with, almost all races have access to 4 Classes, those classes are
1: Warrior; The fighter class, this class gives an extra WS as starting bonus, and can become true combat monsters
2: Rogue; the Lone wolves of any society, the only class that has the option of increasing their movement, though starting with an extra initiative
3: Marksman; Snipers, gun fighters, starting with an extra BS
4: Sage; Academics, priests, sorcerers, start with either an extra Will power or Leadership.
With the given races, Human, Ork, Eldar, Squat, Ratling, Ogryn, slaan, Tau, Kroot, etc etc you can create virtually ANY possible gang/crew you would like, you could even field a group of space marines,….though stat wise they are almost unbeatable and on the other hand they are incredibly expensive and can’t start with Power Armour…….
Now BotA is far from perfect, but it’s one of the, if not THE best Imunda rulesets I’ve found on the web. Balephon and I are currently looking to Improve/change aspects of BotA to match our Gaming groups “vision”. One example during the activation phase you are not allowed to activate a unit that you activated last during your last turn. When down during the maintenance phase, a roll of 1-4 gives a flesh wound, 5 remains down, 6 is out. The +1 bonus for standing still when shooting only applies to basic weapons and pistols that fire single shots only, etc etc. of course we require input of the gaming group, but these are just a few examples of stuff we find require altering.
Now this might not have been a proper comparison, but that’s just because there’s too damn much to compare!! I can only say you should give this rule set a try!!
I know I enjoyed the 3 games I played against Balephon (perhaps because I also WON them, which doesn’t happen very often) I really hope BotA kicks in with my/our gaming group, and will “replace” Necromunda because BotA’s options are just to Awesome not to use!!.
So now before I hit an extra page (writing in word) check out BotA and make sure you thank the writer for his hardwork!!!
p.s there was a 4th game but I prefer to think it never happened.