Built around the sluice gates and locks of the sump swamp, Cruelwater had never been a large settlement but its position on one of Rockridge's trade routes ensured it had always been a vibrant and bustling place. The numerous drinking and narco dens vying for prominence welcomed all with enough creds to make use of them.
That welcome seemed in short supply as Janitor and the rest of the Clean-Up Crew moved through the place. The neon lights that once bathed the settlement with bright lurid colours were gone, replaced by skeletal filaments that haunted the darkness they now inhabited. Furtive eyes peered out of the gloom watching the gang's every move, quickly retreating into the shadows when a Goliath made to approach them. A pall of fear hung heavy over Cruelwater, suffocating what little life remained.
The Goliaths didn't know who or what had brought about this malaise......but they were determined to find out....
Having previously fought our way into the settlement of Cruelwater our heroes need to find out what is going on. The only way to do this is to convince the few remaining locals to talk.
We decided that for our next game of Necromunda we would take advantage of the Psychological Stats that each ganger has. Each ganger has four Psychological traits. Cool (mainly used for bottle tests), Willpower (used for casting psychic powers), Intelligence (used for opening locked doors or caskets) and Leadership (used for certain skill abilities). Unlike 40k, the Leadership characteristic is hardly used in Necromunda at the moment.
Meet The Locals
The few (eight) remaining locals of Clearwater were placed equidistant on the board at the start of the game and would scatter D6" at the beginning of every turn.
Both gangs are attempting to convince as many locals as possible to come with them.
In order for a ganger to persuade a local to come with them they must move into base contact with the model and pass a leadership test (basic action). If they pass, the local inhabitant has been swayed by their argument and is removed from the board. If it is failed, the local stays where they are until the beginning of the next turn, when they will move off by rolling a scatter die and a D6.
It isn't a particularly complex rule but I've found that keeping it simple is usually the best approach to take when it comes to additional scenario rules.
It did prove to be a great success in our game and I'm now thinking about other psychology tests to represent different actions in future games.
Janitor ordered his crew to spread out and start questioning the unfortunate wretches that still called Cruelwater home.
With three of their sisters missing, the Voodoo Dolls concentrated around the Southeast corner of the settlement.....
With Maman Brigitte and the Juve Cinders moving up through the centre.
Both gangs moved cautiously through the town unsure what to expect. Being the young Juve that she was, Cinders threw caution to the wind and accosted a local, 'convincing' him that she was here to help.
The Dolls' Champion Kat scaled a Slag heap and moved closer to a local, carefully remaining out of sight of the approaching Goliaths......
...that had taken shelter behind a local drinking den.
The Dolls' other Juve moved moved towards another local throwing a smoke grenade to cover her approach.
Janitor and a ganger moved through the swamp towards a local inhabitant, using the sunken building as cover....
....from the watchful gaze of the Dolls' champion Kimaris and her Heavy Stubber.
The Goliath's champion Sinister couldn't escape Kimaris' gaze though and despite having hard cover and being at long range the Escher champion hit him four times with her Heavy Stubber taking a wound from him!
Gun fire echoing across the settlement did not nothing to calm the jittery locals but the Janitor managed to persuade one the local girls that she would be safer with him....
...the same couldn't be said for all of the inhabitants though. The hulking Goliath ganger couldn't persuade the skittish child and, as he made to grab her.....
....Calypso put him down with her Hot Shot Lasgun.
The Clean-Up Crew's Juve was having no luck either trying to convince the locals, as the inhabitant broke away from him, Brigitte and Cinders cut him off from his gang mates...
Realising his predicament the Goliath Juve rushed headlong towards his Escher counterpart but fell short.
Over on the East-side, Kat convinced a local that his interests were best served coming with the Voodoo Dolls.
Cinders charged Grimey on the West-side and both Juves showed their inexperience with neither able to land a telling blow.
The Goliath ganger Ronin moved up to help out the Juve, trading shots with the Escher leader but both of them were distracted by the Juves and missed their targets.
Kanu, the Goliath's special weapons guy, moved out from the drinking den and pinned the Escher Champion with his Grenade Launcher.....
....As soon as his grenade left its launcher, Long-poke Kari put him down with her Long-Las.
After several attempts trying to talk a local girl to come with her, Jinx finally convinced her she would be safer with the Voodoo Dolls.
Cinders ducked under Grimey's lumbering attack and drove her Stiletto knife into the Juve's leg, the blade's fast acting toxin quickly taking him out of action.
The Goliath's champion, Sinister moved out from behind cover and took aim at the Escher leader with his shotgun. The resounding clang as the solid shot hit the cargo container rang out across Clearwater.
Eager to avenge his fallen brother, Ronin charged into Cinders...but the young Escher Juve proved too quick for his clumsy blows and she laughed at the two flesh wounds he caused.
With her bolter out of ammo, Brigitte couldn't return fire, so instead she charged Ronin to help out her wounded Juve....
.....taking him out with her Needle pistol and Stiletto sword.
On the East-side Janitor shot at the Escher champion Kat with his Plasma pistol. The shot missed its mark, no doubt due to the covering fire from the Escher Heavy Stubber and Long-Las which had him pinned in place. Kat scooped up the child to give sanctuary to another bewildered local.
Sinister realised that the Escher leader was out of ammo, so instead focused his attentions on the nearby local inhabitant, making her an offer she couldn't refuse.
The lull in activity gave Maman Brigitte all the time she needed to convince another local that they were safe with them.
With so many Goliaths out of action or bleeding out, Janitor ordered them to fall back. Hopefully, the two locals they had taken would be enough to give them the information they needed.
"Nobody goes there now, it is the domain of the Puppet Master." He said shaking his head.
Brigitte poured him another drink and waited patiently for the old man to continue. He took a sip of the liquid and held it on his tongue, savouring its taste and the burning sensation as it slid down his throat. Brigitte noticed his calloused and grubby hands, testament to a lifetime spent digging in the nearby slag heaps, she thought to herself.
"It is a place of nightmares now. His creations lurk in the shadows and His Servo-Stalkers prowl the area searching for fresh meat to serve at their Master's table. It is an Emperor-forsaken place where no sane man would tread."
"Lucky for you we ain't men" interrupted Cinders. "Point us in the right direction and we'll take care of 'em for you, no problem!"
All of the five locals that they had rounded up, stared in mute horror at the Juve.
They were scared of Cinders. The ballroom mask that covered her face didn't quite hide all of her scars. The taut and raw flesh around her eyes hinted at the horror that lay beneath and Brigitte understood the unnerving effect that Cinder's appearance had on them.
The Escher leader pushed back her chair and stood up, breaking the spell that the Juve's visage had cast upon them.
"Look, you can stay here and wait until they come for you, or you can show us where they are and we can rid you of this nightmare" announced Brigitte.
All of the locals began remonstrating against this idea and Brigitte feared she had lost them.
"I'll take you." said a diminutive voice amid the din.
Everybody looked around at the small girl sat cross legged in the corner.
"I'm tired of been scared and hungry" she continued, "So I'll show you the way."
The old man let out sigh, "Okay, we'll show you where they are....but after that you're on your own."
Until next time.....may Our Lady grant you her number 😉