I am slowly working my way through the Necromunda back catalogue of ‘House Of’ and ‘Book Of’ titles – not in any systematic way, but just dipping in and out of titles on a whim to see what sparks creativity. Like the 40k Codices and AoS faction books, these are essentially ‘army lists’ with the mechanics for creating and playing your Necromunda gang. However, given the rich focus on background lore, scenarios, campaign play and NPCs they are much more akin to role-playing game supplements than traditional GW army books.
If you think of it purely in terms of game mechanics it is an unfeasible amount of material to get your head around and so it can be a bit bewildering to know where to start, but if you look at it through the RPG lens then it is really just giving you an ever expanding toolkit of options to craft your own stories – you don’t need to know it all, just pick n mix what works for you.
For me the Book of the Outcast offers perhaps the most flexible & tantalising way of crafting custom gangs in Necromunda to date – as well as the ‘build a bear’ options to pick custom backgrounds you can literally pick any of the dramatis personae with a points value from any the other Necromunda books.
There are so many ways you could go with an Outcasts gang, but I figured the safe option would be to simple create a bunch of basic Hive Scum as starting core – these can easily be tacked onto other gangs as hired guns or used as NPCs for campaign games. At some later date I will kit bash some more premium looking leader types, but for now I have a good number of rank and file gangers. The core GW Hive Scum kit is very nice, if a bit limited. It is a single small sprue with 4 main core body poses – so no quite so much variation as the standard house gang sprues, but a bit more flexibility with weapon load outs and head swaps that the current 40k easy fit / monopose kits. I did pick-up a set of the Imperial Guard Catachan Command squad and managed to mix in some of the bits from that for added variation. I will have to take a look at some 3rd parties to get some different female, non-Esher looking heads at some stage. Some of the new Stargrave sets might be a good option – I did have one left from the Trooper sprue and with hindsight I should probably have built a bit more of a stub neck out of green stuff, but then again Hive Scum come in all shapes and sizes and you wouldn’t say no to armour in the under hive even if it wasn’t a perfect fit would you?
Having painted the Nomads and Orlocks, the terrain was the last thing I needed to complete in order to finish the boxed set.
I already had a set of the scatter terrain barricade pieces painted up from previous Necromunda releases and so to mix things up with this set, so I combined them with some basing bits from Micro Art Studio and Mantic Deadzone/Sci-Fi terrain.
So in a mock pretence of frugality, I had to attempt to convince myself that I hadn’t bought an entire Nurgle’s Rotters Blood Bowl kit just to be able to kit bash up a couple of Pestigor for my Blight Bringers Necromunda gang.
Dwarvenforge makes for a pretty if expensive wargaming terrain option, but it is very durable and flexible. I had a bit of a Covid lockdown splurge on the Wildlands kit starter on the basis that you always need at least three time more than you think in order to get good board coverage.
My order finally shipped in May and so I have been feverishly painting it between other projects. I now have a respectable looking 3’x’3 Swamp board for Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago when combined with a themed mat from Deep Cut Studios.
More Necromunda quick paints! While I enjoyed painting up the Orlocks they are definitely a very ‘vanilla’ faction by ‘Munda standards. The Nomads on the other hand are much more alien and mysterious in styling.
The Necromunda Ashwastes set was a must buy for me: I was already planning on doing an Orlock gang, the Ashwastes Nomad bug riders were definitely in my wheelhouse and the outland hab terrain units offered something which looked like they would be a good fit in for my Stargrave and Sci-Fi RPG interests too.
I decided to go with a simple blue/denim colour scheme for the Orlocks which I think suits the biker gang/Mad Max style vibe of the gang.
I think it will be a while before we end-up playing a proper Ashwastes Campaign as there are still many faction specific vehicles to come out and I still have plenty of leftovers to make some additional ‘upgraded’ versions of the more basic gangers.
The local ‘KitchenMunda’ Dominion Campaign is still going strong and I have actually managed to get in 8 games so far, with my gang now pushing just under 3,000 Credits.
Playing weekly has been very motivating and so I have been working through more ‘high-end’ purchases: a Heretek, Wurmspat Blighting for use as a Mutated Ogyrn/Warp Horror, Wurmspat Fecula Witch for use as a Mind-Locked Wyrd, kit bashed Pestigor to act as Gang Champions/Disciples, Scrapcode Infected Ambot, a gang shrine objective token and a very mutated Rogue Doc.
Having greatly enjoyed my first few intro games, we are now diving into a full blown Dominion Campaign and so I decided to dip my toe in by kit bashing & painting up some Nurgle Themed Cultists.
Since I still had a bunch of Dark Vengeance Cultists leftovers, I quickly assembled a core force in their stock load out. After that I then focused on kitbashing the Leader and Champions to be more bespoke. This then quickly escalated to me making some ‘upgraded’ versions of the stock Cultists to aim to recruit or equip for later campaign. I still have enough left over that I should be able to make a few more mutated alternate versions too. Lots of fun and I am now eyeing up some of the new pending Chaos releases for Killteam and 40k to further bolster them down the road. When does a Necromunda gang become a 40k army?
I have previously always regarded WH40k Orks as something I preferred to ignore in the setting – in a Grim Dark setting of Gothic Warp Horror, they always seem more than a bit goofy for my taste.
Don’t get me wrong, while I don’t play 40k much anymore I’m not completely without a sense of fun. Back in the day when I did play regularly, I used to fight against Orks frequently and I loved playing against them as they do tend to attract players with a fun, casual and devil may care mindset to gaming rather than a desire to turn the game into a chess match.
In contrast, I find with my hobbying these days that painting something in a certain style can become very appealing to my hobby obsessive brain. Since I really enjoyed adapting DanaHowl Guide to Painting Orks for use on my Atlantis Miniatures Troll and so I resolved to do another small project using the colour scheme.
Enter the new Ork Boyz models. They do seem to be a bit of an oddity when compared with the new era GW kits. The sculpts are really great and much less goofy/derpy than the old Oak Boyz models which I really appreciate. However, they are very close to being monopose/push fit which is really odd given that Orks tend to be a horde style force – sure with plastics you can easily do some kit bashing and chopping to swap a few bits around and add some variety, but I still find it an odd decision. Equally odd is the fact that this doesn’t replace the existing old Boyz kit which looks like it is still available. I might be reading too much into this, but perhaps a clue is to be found in the new Killteam Chaos Space Marine release – it is essentially the latest Chaos Space Marine boxset, but with an extra sprue added for more variety. Maybe something similar will be done with this new Ork set at some point and then they will discontinue the old Ork set then?
Either way, I really enjoyed painting these sufficiently, that I then immediately picked up the old Runtherd/Grotz set so that I would have more than enough Orks to play as a Stargrave Crew. No plans on going Crazy and making a big horde Ork army for 40k play, but some of the new releases do look like they will be fun to pick-up. I may yet end up joining in on Orktober painting challenges this year! The new Ork Commando looks like a great kit and I do enjoy playing the new Killteam too.
Painting these has also shown me that for most of my painting, Contrast paints are simply hands down the best route for me to go. I can get the same or better quality painting done than I managed to do with layering in around 1/2-1/3 of the time.
After cranking through the Frostgrave Crews in Jan & Feb, early March hobby time was spent on critters for use as wandering monsters aka the more random Salute purchases.
First up we have some giant cobras – generic enough that these will do fine for Frostgrave Archipelago or Rangers of Shadow Deep. I cannot remember which Salute vendor I grabbled these from.
The bear is another generically useful purchase for the ‘Grave games. A really nice sculpt from Atlantis Miniatures.
Ditto for these werewolves. They had a bit more flash than the bear, but all resin so easy enough to clean-up. I got them for specifically playing the RoSD Blood Moon scenario, but they are also good for Frostgrave, Silver Bayonet & Oathmark
The final mini from Atlantis Miniatures is this Stone Troll, which is also my favourite Salute 2021 purchase by a large margin. He came out a bit more yellow than I was planning, but I think the colour scheme works overall.
Next up is a giant Black Goat Demon from Crooked Dice. I wanted something which seemed a bit more classical rather than GW daemon for Silver Bayonet and this fits the bill.
Penultimate Salute 2021 is a Shoggoth from Fenrus Games. This really was bought on a whim – no particular game in mind, although it makes a perfectly good demon or chaos spawn!
Finally, the Toad King from Black Scorpion was purchased for use as a Snob leader for Turnip28. Much like the pirates I painted from Black Scorpion the other month, this is a really great sculpt, packed with details & character. Minimal flash and great fun to paint.