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.