Things took a bit of a turn with my Necromunda projects. The Van Saar hangers-on are under coated and ready for paint, I even got a couple of bounty hunters prepped. But then the Underhive box arrived.
I ordered it mainly for the Zone Mortalis tiles, for playing this version of the game but also to use for backdrops for some photos. I was going to sell the rest off to recoup a bit, but a seed had been planted. ‘Why not just build a new gang? It will be good to have two.’ Said that voice in my head. All it took was a quick look at their options to cement the idea…and thus the Vatforged were born…
This is Arn, the leader, and his pet croc, alongside his twin brother Vito.
Both birthed from the same gene-vat, they were born into the Goliath way of life. Arn took to it like a fish to water, rising swiftly. Vito struggled to begin but with the help of his brother, he has fought a hard and bloody path to earn his place.
Still a bit of green stuff work to do on these to polish them off but what you see here is pretty much how they’ll look.
Next up is the rest of the gangers…
I went for a bit of a mix with these and still want to add a bit more, especially the tank tread armour as I’m especially pleased with how that looks. I’m thinking of continuing that theme to Arn, and replacing the crotch chains with treads.
But then that voice spoke up again, ‘Why not do an Escher gang as well?’. Well, I might as well…
I’ve been busy with a lot of other projects and dealing with some health issues but I’ve still managed to find a little time here and there to add some more fighters to my Van Saar gang.
I’ve added another champion, with combi-plas, shield and power stave. A powerful shooter but someone who can also deal with threats up close.
I’ve also added to the ganger count with 4 new bodies. 1 Lasgunner, 2 Las-carbines and a Suppression laser. This alongside my other couple of gangers gives me a good solid base for any other additions I want to make.
Next up for painting though, it’s going to be the hangers-on. These are likely to be very different from the Van Saar, so should be an interesting change of pace.
A brand new expansion book coming alongside the brand new, and plastic, Kal Jerico & Scabbs. The Book of Peril adds various new and funky elements to campaigns and standard games as well as resurrecting some of the iconic elements found in the original Necromunda.
The book itself is shorter in length than the big ones, more akin to the Gang War books but features a good variety of content, Guild alliances, Badzones, Venators, Badzone trading post and a spattering of new Dramatis Personnae. So let’s delve in and see in more depth what’s on offer…
The mainstay of the fluff in the book is focused on the strongest and most powerful Guilds of the Primus underhive. It’s all a fantastic read, finding out the Guilds functions and how they add to the economy of a hive, or how they might interact with gangs, such as the water Guild coming to reclaim an overpayment of water, ‘the Guild apologises for the clerical error, and wishes the survivors well’!.
Eight guilds are represented in all, Pyros(promethium), Nautica(water), Pallidus(corpse), Sanguis(slave), Gelt(coin), Lux(electro), Temperium(air) and Munda(iron).
This background comes alongside the rules for making alliances with 6 of these Guilds. The Air Guild and Electro Guild currently unavailable.
The alliance rules only take affect in campaigns, with no way to use in skirmish. They offer you the opportunity to receive a benefit alongside a disadvantage from the guild. For instance the Iron Guild will reduce the rarity of firearms as well as thier cost from the trading post, but will ask for all the weapons and war gear from your dead fighters. There are ways around these, or additional benefits, but these will require you to test the alliance, a chance that the Guild will break the deal and leave.
Each alliance offers another opportunity, a delegation from the Guild. Favouring lower reputation gangs, a roll in the pre battle phase will determine if you are joined by a delegation. A small force, 3-4 models, that can give you an edge in the coming battle. Operating as a sub-gang, with thier own leader.
Each delegation offers it’s own unique twist and characterful links to thier Guild, whilst remaining at a good power level so as they don’t feel like they could make or break a game, but could give a weaker gang the edge they need to stay in the game.
The badzones and environment rules make a very welcome return, adding an unpredictable element to your games.
The badzone rules can be split into three main categories, Battlefields, terrain and events.
There are 6 main badzone battlefields for gangs to play on, Ancient Manufactorum, Stygian Depths, Sump Sea, Dome Jungle, Warp-tainted and Unstable Dome, all offering thier own unique twist to how the game will be played.
These all change the set up of the game giving special instructions on what to do. For instance the Sump Sea is played above ground level and encourages you to build an area with lots of walkways and paths from one side to the other. The ‘floor’ being the sump sea that can suck fighters down to thier doom.
They are a great selection but thier are some restricting factors. Two Badzones are Sector Mechanicus only, and a couple do require some elements of the Badzones Terrain to really have full effectiveness.
Badzones Terrain covers rules for nearly all the Games Workshop terrain available so far. So rather than just offer you some cover, there’s a lot more opportunity for interaction. Cranes can now be used to pick up or damage enemies, barrels can be shot at to make them explode, flamers pulling fuel out of pipelines. The rules here offer so much to add character to your games and give a feeling of the underhive being alive and real.
Badzone Events are where the real random factor kicks in. Twenty different events can affect you and the opposing gang. You roll, or draw if you have the card deck, at the start of the game and the start of each turn there after adding multiple effects over the course of the game. In the end phase you roll a dice for each one to see if they dissipate, or they dissipate automatically after they’ve been around for 3 turns.
There really is a huge variety to these, from the classic Toxic Downpour to Brainleaf outbreaks(zombies!), they’re that random element you can never plan for. For instance my Van Saar where tackling a Sump Sea game, something they were already struggling with with thier low initiative, when high winds struck. The Gang was all but blown away into the sea!
Badzone Trading Post
A new selection of trading post goodies, brings back some old favourites. The new selection is fairly small offering a selection of new ammo and a small offering of war gear.
It’s the wargear that’s really got me excited. Old classics like the Blindsnake Pouch and Ming Vase make a return. In fact most of the wargear is fluffy, offering fun and interesting mechanics during a campaign without seeming overpowered. Such as the Necromundan Giant Rat, an alternative exotic beast that any gang can take. It’s not as funky as the house specific one but is cheap and more importantly very common.
This sees the Venators join Chaos Cults and Genestealers with some up to date rules and some awesome background. They remain much what they were, a build your own gang template. There is a clarification on Houses and House legacies. Venators can take brutes, but only the generic ones, Ambot and the Ogryn Servitor. House exotic beasts can can be purchased by those with that house legacy.
Another selection of famous names of Necromunda are brought to life with 9 new bounty hunters:
Kal Jerico & Scabs the most infamous of the lot and you can tell with the cost to hire the pair!
Freikstorn Strix an ex Van Saar who’s utilises his winged jetpack and harpoon gun to hunt his prey.
Shadows of Cattallus, noble brother and sister duo, a duelist and sniper.
Mortanna Shroud, a very powerful psyker who talks with her skull collar.
Apollus Cage, an ex Orlock with a chip on his shoulder.
Thaetos 23-2, a slightly less potent psyker.
Rex Spires, the demolition expert and his partner, Vorgen ‘Gunner’ Mortz, a stubber wielding ex guardsman.
A must buy for those who love to add more fluff to your campaigns, if you play Necromunda more competitively it may not be the book for you. It offers a vast array of ways to spice up and add variation to your games.
It’s also a fantastic sign of things to come,as more thematic ways to play is nothing but a good thing for the future of Necromunda.
A mysterious denizen of the Iron Maze, wherever he is seen wandering a herd of shambling Ambots is not far behind.
This one is a weird idea I had when the Ambots were first released. Originally I thought a man sized model, and may switch back to this, but the Techpriest Dominus was too tempting not to use. I wanted him to be a bit Mechanicus, a bit Xenos and a bit unknown.
I want to use him as an encounter of sorts, and a territory special rule. Who ever controls the Iron Maze has an opportunity to seek help, in the form of Ambots, from him or there will be a chance he appears in games fought on the territory. If you have any ideas for this i would love to hear them.
His first companion will be the ‘pack horse’ Ambot I already have…
But I will be adding at least one more box to add a couple of buddies and to make it more of a herd.
I also picked up this beastie…
I got it because it is a gorgeous model I want to paint but it’s also a good excuse to throw him into a few games, especially since theres a profile from the Warhammer Community page…
My wee section of the underhive is filled a little bit more with the addition of some of the galaxies finest warriors. The first of these is the Space Marine, a fallen hero of the Imperial Fists brought low by the enemies of the Imperium and swallowed up by the vast beast that is Hive Primus.
This gent will be used for a special scenario, a chance to gain the favour of one of the founding Chapters. I’ll go into more detail once I’ve actually written the thing, but I know it will be a free for all with the victor gaining an awesome reward. I’m going to finish off the model with plenty of dispatched foes from this awesome kit…
Next up is the ‘Space Marine’. This one will be the master of the Fleshworks, a combination of fighting pits, slave markets and ‘food’ production(there’s a great supply of fresh produce in the area).
The tales tell that he is a recruiter for the Imperial Fists, and the armour and mighty stature seem to back this up. The ignorance of the denizens of the underhive only help the tale to spread.
With that in mind, what do you think, should he be an imposter, an overgrown Goliath lucky enough to have found some marine armour or should there be some truth to the tale, he is in fact a recruit of the Imperial Fists. An aberration that failed the initiation process but managed to escape into the underhive? Let me know what you would do.
The Clockwork Queen and her mechanical cohort take thier place in the underhive. Another character that will be added to the campaign but one that has been more of a slow build, fluff wise and model wise. I am going to add some cogs and gears, from a bag of watch parts purchased from Ebay, to really stick home the clockwork theme but heres the base models I’ll be working from…
I’ve used the Rogue Trader from the Kill Team Rogue Trader set as the basis, although still working out what I may want to change or add.
It’s likely that the Clockwork Queen herself will be a primary antagonist and thorn in the gangs sides, backed up by a techy bodyguard of droids.
Heres the first and biggest mech…
I used the droid from Blackstone Fortress as the base, with a home made hammer, shield and shoulder mounted missile launcher.
I also used some Sicarians as a base for a couple of heavy bodyguards…
I’ll be sticking with the mechanicum models as a base for things to come, as I think they work really well for the role. I do plan on expanding this with a few smaller additions, probably ‘pilots’ for the droids. But as I say it’s still melding together in the old noggin.
It’s time to round out my hangers-on with the missing three. All I need for a full roster is a Domerunner, one more Ammo Jack and a trusty slopper!First up is the cook, an ex guardsman turned ‘gourmet’ chef.
I made a wee stove for him out of some bits, including a steaming pot made from the back of a search light for the pot and the incense sensor from a servo skull. The chef himself was made from some tank crew parts, a renegade militia arm and a combat knife.
Next up is Ammo Jack number three, plenty ‘o’ shells…
Still have a bit of work to do in blending areas together, particularly on the ammo belt. Another Valkyrie gunner body with assorted tank crew bits, as well as as many ammo belts from CSM bolters I could find.
Last up is the Domerunner…
A simple arm swap on this one converts the Genestealer Cult Sanctus. I used a Hellion arm for a cool grappling hook/axe. I am going to build up the base with more ruins, make it look as though he’s on a run now.
And that rounds out the Hangers-up giving me the full roster…
Ortrex Gellion, leader of my Van Saar gang, has been painted and he’s brought along a couple of his eight legged friends for support.
Ortrex will be the current leader of the Gellion clan, a group of Van Saar archeotech hunters. I’ve still got plans for the background for the clan, and am peicing it together bit by bit.
I’ve used a Sicarians sword to give him his exotic power sword. I’m still unsure if the colour and pattern are what I should go for, and may revisit this later with a more traditional blue scheme. Let me know what you think.
I also managed to finish these two creepy fellas…
I like how they’ve come out in the gang colours, especially alongside the rest of them. In fact I’m just really chuffed with these 2 they really look the part.
Time to move onto some basic gangers to make up my numbers. Back soon with another update.
After having built 19 gangers I felt it was time to move onto the support elements of the gang, and an opportunity for some cool conversions, the hangers-on.
There’s no official models for these yet, although a few have been teased by Forge World, so the only option was to kit bash up a few or find some suitable proxies.
The most obvious model to use was the Doc from the Rogue Trader box…
She looks the part, although maybe a little too clean, and she’s generic enough to fit in with most gangs. I picked her up from Ebay, a great way to get single models from these big boxes.
My next rogue doc was much more themed around my Van Saar…
I’m really pleased with how this one came out, so much so that I’m tempted to make him into a Medicae bounty hunter.
The base model is a Van Saar ganger, with the addition of the case and ‘gun’ from the Scions command set. I added the aerial, cam, and the vials on the gun from parts in the Skitarii and Sicarian kits. He was finished off with some shoulder pads, I think from the Valkyrie gunner.
Onto the ammo jacks…
Like before I have a Van Saar specific one and something more generic.
The Van Saar one I went all out on a themed model…
I used the Genestealer Cult Nexus as the base, but changed the holographic display to a gun bench. One of the hatch sections from a rhino worked well to cover the hole, and a mix of a lasgun from the Van Saar kit, some guitar string and watch parts, provided the gun being worked on.
The man himself had a head swap for a Van Saar head, and some minor customisation to his right arm. I swapped in a bolt pistol, modified with componenets from the Forge World servo skulls, to be a tool of some sort and removed the pack below to add in a bolter.
Not sure how much being on a 40mm base will affect him in game, but I really beleive in the rule of cool.
The next ammo jack was a complete kitbash using components from a lot of different kits. The body and legs are a Valkyrie gunner, the arms from the Astra Miltarum heavy weapons team and a necron, with a dark eldar hand. The head is from a tank sprue, something Imperial Guard. His equipment and pouches are from Sicarian, Space Marine, Tau, Van Saar and other unknown kits.
Still a wee bit of greenstuff work to do on all of these to get them fully finished, then onto painting! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it, I would love to hear your feedback!