Necromunda – holy fk, the rules are a mess

I got in a casual CASUAL game of Necromunda last week and what in the flying fuck happened to the organization of these rules? Seriously, this couldn’t be worse.

First, these are not overly complex rules, but there are tons of situational rules that enrich the game and the system. What is a drop rig? What does it do? What does Toxin do? What if something is on fire? Anyone that has played all but the simplest RPG’s (most of which are SHYTTE) will be familiar with these types of questions and it usually takes just a few minutes to look up the rule (and if there is a GM, they may make a rule on the spot to save time which is usually spot on for the situation anyway). Necromunda being a competitive thing most of the time, these questions need solid answers and can’t be hand waved by a GM. While the rules are certainly all there, they are scattered FUCK ALL throughout a ton of different books with the added bonus of having the original 2018 rulebook split between Basic and Advance rules (no one plays with the basic rules).

So the answer to the multi-rulebook issue would be to download and print on LULU the massive community version of the rules that includes errata and all that one needs to play, right? CORRECT, with the exception of that book being as FUCK ALL organized as the original books; going from core rules part 1 to special cases on tiles on the board game version, and then back to core rules. Or going from core rules to stats for a bunch of gangs and creatures that will rarely see play BEFORE going into the weapons and skills sections. In addition, it doesn’t even have an INDEX. Absolutely fuck all.

The Warcry rules are CLEANLY organized. Killteam’s rules are CLEANLY organized. What happened? This is not to say that the new Necromunda is bad at all, quite the opposite as it deals with a lot of the issues with the original version, but why the fuck would the rulebooks be like this? I can only imagine that they didn’t know that the Necromunda line would be as successful as it has and everything grew organically like some indy game where the designer has a day job? It’s really inexcusable for GW.

Anyway the game was good, though slow. Melta traps went off, there was renderizing and web-gauntletting (both brutal close combat weapons), toxic attacks, back stabs and hallway collapsing. A great time. I should have taken a bunch of pictures of the carnage, but I had my nose up the crack of the books the whole damn time!

Solution for next time: print the damn consolidated rules by UNIVERSAL HEAD.

Van Saar – test model WIP

I wanted to start the year as I mean to go on, and PAINT SOME SHIT. I’ve actually done quite a bit of painting recently trying to get my copy of The Others to a state where I can play a game with all painted minis, but this week, with (almost) no more Goliaths to paint, I started a test model for my Van Saar gang.

I started with a spare Eldar Guardian to test out the scheme and it turned out almost good enough to continue on to one of the Van Saar models from the excellent but very difficult to build GW kit. I have a bit of patience for painting, but NONE for putting shit together. Please help me.

I’m a very sloppy painter, so fantasy miniatures and grungy stuff (like Goliaths and Orlocks) are much easier for me. The Van Saar will take a lot of precise edge highlighting, which is not my strong suit.

Any way here’s the guardian:

And here is the progress on the Van Saar.

Base Colors
Just after doing the metal, lots left to do but hard parts are done.
Getting close to done.

The female heads in this kit have no hair, and it can look OK with just a pure bald head, but as I looked at it more, I just thought it looked lame with this color scheme as the skin color is not totally far from the high armor color, so I did a light grey wash over her tonsured scalp and there you go–looks a lot better. I’m going to get the Forgeworld Van Saar heads for the other females and other dudes. Those gals have hair!

She ended up looking a bit like Thug Rose (not that a Van Saar would ever smile).

Anyway, a start to the year of painting at least. If I can get these guys done by summer, it will be a miracle.

Necromunda – the release we’ve been waiting for!

Holy Shit. After what I can only assume was a successful run with Necromunda Underhive, GW has brought out the big one: a $290 set with a crapload of beautiful, modular, lego-like terrain and two full gangs.

One of the reasons I think Necro has done well, other than being awesome, is that the gang boxes themselves are VERY well priced at 35$ for 10 models in the kit, and the Underhive box was not super expensive either. At MOST you will need 2 gang boxes which, for 70$ being all you will ever need for a gang is fairly reasonable (Forgeworld weapon and head sets aside). You want to get a gang and play with a bunch of books and prigles tubes for terrain? Fucking go for it. 35$ and some of the special dice and you’re rolling. Barrier of entry is very low.

I won’t go into the way they sold the books much, but that was a bit of a gouge and for early purchasers like me, annoying. The specific gang tactics cards being printed once and then never again is also SHIT but that can easily be fixed with your own set of cards printed at gamecrafter or something similar. As for the books, I would trust the community rulebook at this point more than anything GW comes out with going forward. Like all these small games from Blood Bowl to Epic, the community typically owns the rules at a certain point and I think Necromunda is there.

So this new set…the cost… is horrifyingly high. at $200? yeah! $290? Wow. That said, the terrain in the box looks simply amazing. I just don’t know if this is the best thing for starting Necromunda players because of the cost.

The old set from 1995 had a good, low cost solution to the terrain problem inherent in this type of game, but it was cardboard and did drop you out of the immersion quite a bit. When we played a lot (’95-’96), we tended to just leave the exact same map set up because it was fragile to take apart and put together. I still have all of it minus a crapload of bulkheads.

Despite the cost, I definitely want the new set– it’s just how to justify that much, especially since I have the HULK in the basement which is TOTALLY READY FOR NECROMUNDA any time. I get a fucking massive woody thinking about the new terrain pieces combined with the Hulk.

The hobby project around the new set is also looking insane, but as far as I can tell, almost all of it is non-glue so that just leaves the priming and painting, which can be done in stages…. very looongg stages….

“Finished” Goliaths

Since I got my Goliaths finished (at least the first 10), we played this weekend for the first time with the new version and I was very happy with it. It was far too long coming to really sit down and give it a go as I purchased the first Underhive set the week it came out. I was worried about the switch from IGOYOUGO to chess style but it flows well with the ‘leader moves’ mechanic from the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. If people didn’t notice, GW has been maintaining a ruleset similar to Necromunda for a long time now with the LotRSBG.

I was also concerned with the close combat being boring compared to the old Necromunda (2E 40K) which was fantastic, but it works very well– the acting model has an advantage but if the defender survives, they get a counter.

One thing that was odd to me was NO OVERWATCH. I had my leader stuck around a corner between two groups of adversaries and didn’t know what to do and I was like: oh can I put an overwatch counter on him? Nope. You can’t just sit back and automatically get the drop on someone in the new Necromunda and while strange at first, I think that improves the gameplay flow throughout.

The game is more complex with gangs in the beginning as you get skills right out of the gate. In the old Necro, all the gangs were the same at first except for their equipment choices. In the new one, any Champions and your Leader get a skill at the start.

Anyway, looking forward to more Necromunda. Here’s some shots from the games this weekend which were played on the tiles rather than the 3d board.

Lots of burning…
Escher on Escher Action!
This is a blurry shot, but my leader was trapped on a bridge over green muck by three gangs!


We are getting real close people to release day for the new Necromunda. I picked up the November White Dwarf (and it’s a heavy fuckin mag) and I’m pretty pumped about the game. There’s a long interview with the developers about how they started out using 40K 8th (a good ruleset mind you) but it just didn’t quite fit so they made changes, the largest one being model to model turns rather than IGOYO that 40K and WFB have.

Now, I think that the 40K 2nd edition rules that power Necromunda1 and Gorkamorka are some of the best skirmish rules there are, and many have tried their hand at making something better with mixed results (Mordheim: no, LotR SBG: in some ways yes), so I have some hesitation about changing from 2E 40K… but I will certainly pick up the box set and go from there.

Needless to say, the models this time around are superlative. While the old models from 1995 were OK in most cases, some of the gangs looked pretty stupid in retrospect (the Van Saar). Yes, the Eschers (by Jes Goodwin) were excellent and I have a bunch of them. Getting a good look at the new ones I am quite impressed. The meatbag Goliaths are a massive improvement over the old models.

Where do I have some trepidation? First, this is going to be an expensive buy in to start with the core set and gang war– probably close to 200$ all told. Second, I haven’t been painting all that much in the last few years. My eyes (as predicted by my eye doctor) have gone to SHIT. While I have glasses to handle the mid and long distances, my close range is not too good. Yet, 10-15 models won’t be all that bad.  Lastly, the 3d terrain is going to be pricy, however, if you’ve seen my other posts on necromunda, I’ve got the old sets and the HULK (plus some AT-43 terrain) that should work just fine.


Necromunda news

Been a long time since we’ve heard anything about Necromunda out of GW.   This was posted today to the Warhammer Community.  Not a lot of details on the game itself, but you can see the minis.  Much bigger, on bigger bases.   Sort of like going from 25mm to 28mm heroic to 32mm.  Most of the original Necromunda line was good, but not great with the exception of the Eschers which appear to have been sculpted by Jes Goodwin himself.   I’m looking forward to seeing the rules.  Hopefully they don’t oversimplify (AOS) the game and leave it close to the original.  Like I’ve mentioned many times, I think the W40k 2nd edition close combat system absolutely rules and should have been used for Mordheim as well instead of what they came up with.  Let’s hope enough of 2E lives on in the new version.  In any case, we will get new minis and terrain!

Updated rumors:  Will have eshers and goliaths in the box, will not be IGOYG (i go you go) but will have IMPULSE move/act like AT-43.  Will have skill trees, etc.  Again this is just announced today.

Check here for where I got this info.



Necromunda – Cawdor vs Eschers

Got in a good shooting yesterday with the Scavengers scenario.   Matt had a brand new Eschers gang vs my dead-hard Cawdor (with 4 games under their belt) and it was a bit of a slaughter, though in the end, both gangs had to start taking bottle tests which was surprising.  The core issue was that the Eschers were full on close combat, and they had to move across some areas where they got shot up bad.   Also, I had some crazy lucky rolling throughout the whole game.

Matt had the idea to use the Talisman cones (which are USELESS in Talisman) for the status of Overwatch, Running, etc. in Necromunda.  I’m going to pull those things out and throw them in next game.

The new weapon from the community rules I hadn’t experienced before was the heavy flamer.  That thing is super beast.


Shotguns can work well on overwatch.

Shotguns can work well on overwatch.


Things are about to get real nasty…

Necromunda community edition book

I took the 2015 Community PDF’s for Necromunda, slapped them together, threw on a front and back cover and a few weeks later here’s the book.  It took about 45 minutes to make and the rest was waiting for the mails.


It’s not perfect, the text starts too low on the page, but nothing cuts off and the print reads perfectly.  I went for color because the community added rules and addendums are colored red throughout the text, and this is essential for plucking out the changes where  you think you know the rules.  This ran about 30$ plus shipping, so it wasn’t cheap, but now I can abuse this when we play rather than my actual books or shitty photocopies of the community edition with their goddamn staples falling out.

Back cover, I know it's not exactly Necromunda but you gotta love the bolter bitches!
Back cover, I know it’s not exactly Necromunda but you gotta love the bolter bitches!

Interior with color.
Interior with color.


After 19 years, it hit the table again.  Read that again– 19 years.  I found a penny in one of the Necromunda boxes that was shiny new– from 1996.  It’s amazing that:

  1. This hasn’t been played forever
  2. I still have all this stuff and it hasn’t been destroyed somehow
  3. it’s in pretty good shape
  4. and I remember the exact point when we stopped playing it and I packed up the hive terrain from the ping pong/gaming table for good wonder if that would be the last time we played and it was.

Enough reminiscing.  We played for about 10 hours yesterday, with breaks for lunch and dinner, but only got in about 3-4 games per player– so i’m not of the mind Necromunda is a short game any more– it can take a long time.  I would really not recommend more than 2 games in a day as it’s just too much to process and plan between games in addition to the shootings themselves.

Set up of all the terrain. Luckily I had enough bulkheads!
Set up of all the terrain. Luckily I had enough bulkheads!

Since I had them painted, I played as the Cawdors again.  The models are OK, but unfortunately the Cawdors are a bit of a close combat gang– and none of the ganger models have close combat weapons!

Here is my initial buy for the Transanal Eviceration gang.

  • Leader with Chainsword, bolt pistol and frag grenades.
  • Heavy with Heavy Stubber
  • Heavy with Flamer
  • 2 Juves with Autopistols (and knives)
  • Ganger with Shotgun (manstopper, scatter, solid)
  • Ganger with Lasgun
  • Ganger with 2 autopistols and frag grenades
  • 2 Gangers with Autoguns

This gives you 5 gangers to harvest your territories, a leader who can hammer in close combat and a second back up close combat guy, along with a lot of stuff to flush people out of cover (frag grenades, flamer, shotgun).  While I do believe the heavy stubber sucks, it’s only 120 points, can shoot across the whole board, and you will get a lucky roll from time to time to make it worthwhile.  No one has armor, so don’t bother with the heavy bolter until later.  The flamer is amazing (but we forgot that it requires an ammo roll after every shot…).

Lasguns are the most boring weapon in the warhammer universe, but they are super reliable and shoot far.  Autoguns are nearly as good with their +1 to hit at close range, but they go out of action far easier.

My territories were crap, but I did get Vents which lets you place guys around the board after set up– yet I NEVER remembered to use it.

In the four games, overall my leader had the most ‘kills’ with the flamer heavy second most.  The leader was able to get into close combat with a bunch of enemies in two games and tore them up (except for a lucky juve) and that’s because of the chainsword. Swords are cheap and allow parrys, which cut down on some of the swingy rolls your enemy might have against you. Well worthwhile.

There were three other gangs getting on on the good shootings:

Hate Boat– a Delaque gang of unpainted (but primed) minis

Vaginal Force 1 – Eschers (obviously)

The Crustables – a Van Saar gang represented by the excellent and drool worthy miniatures from the new Dark Millenium 40K box set. If you have any interest in Necromunda, these are definitely worth picking up.  They would do in a pinch for any gang, but would especially fit as Cawdors with their masks.

The first game was the Hate Boat vs the Crustables and I’ll admit that my grip on the rules was loose.  Things were going against the Hate Boat after the Crustables got into good shooting position far above their cover and they got to explore the falling rules fully. Hate Boat had to make multiple bottle rolls, but in the end it was Crustables that bottled out on their first roll!

Lots of guys having a lie down.
Lots of guys having a lie down.

My first game was being ambushed by the Crustables, a fitting beginning for Transanal.  Luckily, I was able to position a few groups of my gangers to ambush the Crustables.  After a few turns it was obvious that the Crustables ambush was turning into a bloodbath, with 3-4 gang members on each side out of action, including the Crustable’s leader who had been burned by a flamer. After a turn or 2 more, the Crustable’s bottled out and ran for the vents.

Ambushed! note the mix of AT-43 and 40K terrain.

My heavy about to get beaten down-- cause he can't hit with that stubber!

My heavy about to get beaten down– cause he can’t hit with that stubber!

Couple things to remember about Necromunda that I had forgotten.  First your gangers aren’t the bravest and will run away pretty quick when things go south nearby. Second, shooting into cover is pretty difficult.  You can start to have to take bottle checks when a mere 2-3 of your guys are out of action.

The Crustables gang leader crawling through a pool of his own blood and urea after getting hit with a flamer.
The Crustables gang leader crawling through a pool of his own blood and urea after getting hit with a flamer.

A good time for sure and a game that should probably be played a bit more than once in 20 years.

Necromunda rumored to be the first Specialist Games project

Wow. I was thinking of dusting off the old Necromunda stuff for some holiday destruction in the underhive (not for nostalgia’s sake, but because it’s a great game that should be played!) and lo and behold not only are the rumors of Games Workshop’s Specialist Games returning true, but the newest rumor is that Necromunda is going to be the first on the slab for a remake/re release.

Killing the Delaques– always a good plan.

Stuff I think they should update:

  • Make ‘hero’ characters have detailed advancement and have ‘gangers’ have simplistic advancement. This is just like Mordheim/Legends of the Old West and cuts down on the TON of book work between Necromunda games.
  • Add Vehicles. I was REAL sad that Gorkamorka was about Orks and not an expansion for Necromunda that added the Mad Max shit. Gorkamorka is a good game, but they missed the boat there. They could have had a space hulk with Orks on it crash into Necromunda if they wanted to add the Orks into a Necromunda vehicle expansion, but yeah.. odd decision that.
  • Two girl factions/ girls in the other gangs. It was odd that all the gangers are dudes in all factions except the beautifully sculpted (and fun to play) Eschers.
  • Let me use my old Miniatures. Just like Blood Bowl, I don’t mind changes on a team and new minis and will buy them, but if I have painted gangs of Necromunda, I want to be able to play them.
  • Better Spyrer models.  I have all the Spyrers, and they look like ass pretty much except for the Malcadons.
  • Vehicles? Did I say that already? Yeah.

So– I’m pumped for this. It will probably be out in a few years at the earliest but it’s great news, especially after this Age of Sigmar dreck.

Otherwise I’m taking a hard look at FROSTGRAVE from Osprey as something to replace the rather poorly designed Mordheim.

…and Blood Bowl was on the list of the four games Specialist with get to as well. That’s going to be a tough one since the fans are RABID about the rules, but needless to say with the quality of miniatures that GW has been putting out, that’s all they really need to do.