8 Apr 2010

Dust Rats playtesting notes – Part 1

Filed under: Campaign Stuff, Ere Be Stuff, Experimental, House Rules

dr-pt-1At the end of March we began playtesting of a new mob type for Gorkamorka – the Dust Rats. I’m not going to lay out all the details of the faction for now, mainly as it’s still being tweaked and refined, but work is in progress.

We played We Woz ‘Ere Furst with the Dust Rats facing off against a mob of ork freebootaz (another ork faction, created by Neil Plews) and found a few interesting things out about the rules we’d created. You can read the battle report of the game here.

First off, they weren’t hugely overpowered, or underpowered. This was of course a pleasant revelation as we were concerned that they’d be too good, although this is going to require more testing. Principally this is because the orks did not strike at their weak spots – hand to hand combat and pinning.

Weakness testing

Dust Rats, like Diggas and Rebel Grots, are vulnerable to pinning when shot at. This doesn’t apply when they’re on a vehicle, as far as we understand it, but when they’re on foot, firing a few shots in their direction will make them go to ground. We shall have to test this out a bit more to see how well it works, but at the moment this is one of their major Achilles’ heels.

Secondly, apart from their Comanding Officer and Veteran, they are quite poor at Hand-to-Hand combat, with a starting WS of 2 for Grunts and 1 for Planks (ork boyz start with WS3, yoofs with WS2, if you need an orky comparison). Given how deadly melee can be, this can also be an excellent way to put Dust Rats out of action.

Lastly, their basic vehicles have quite light armour and are therefore vulnerable to even normal shooting weapons, although not enough shots were fired for us to see whether the armour values that have been assigned are low enough.


What we did find was that their ranged abilities were quite useful, particularly using overwatch and vantage points. This makes them distinctly different from all but muties, who themselves lack the ability to traverse tight spaces and climb.

We are considering whether the long rifle (the veteran’s sniper rifle) should become move-or-fire, but this will require further games as it may just have been fortune in this case.

Speaking of fortune – the orks were incredibly unlucky during the game, so we may well switch the Dust Rat mob to another player and see how they fare against another mob of orks commanded by someone else.

Where we go from here

We now know that the basics aren’t too broken, but in the next game we need to see how the Dust Rats cope under fire, both against warriors on foot and their vehicles. We also need to know whether their WS is a sufficient disadvantage compared to their raised ballistic skill. In theory it should be, as shooting is not particularly deadly in GoMo (intentionally so, according to the game design notes at the end of Da Uvver Book).

We also need to try out their other, heavier vehicle – the SSV. Its rules are still being discussed – it’s supposed to be significantly slower than most other vehicles, but it also needs to be able to work in Da Chase, so we’re not quite sure as to the specifics just yet.

We also need to come up with a decent Dust Rat skill list, an equivalent to Da Dok’s Serjury, and any new gubbinz or items they will be able to purchase between games.


One Response to “Dust Rats playtesting notes – Part 1”

  1. First Dust Rat vehicles unveiled :: The Unnamed Gorkamorka Site Says:

    […] April we had our last playtesting session for the Dust Rats, our new GoMo faction, but since then we’ve not said much. However, that shouldn’t be taken to […]

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