Scum’s Thoughts – Part 2

There’s been a lot going on in with Necromunda lately and needless to say, although my brushes have been busy with Blood Bowl, at least part of my brain has remained focussed on life in the Underhive. Various new models have been previewed over the last little while, with the most attention grabbing additions being the new recruits for house Van Saar. The House of Artifice will be getting a box with six additional fighters, including the Archeoteks, champions who have mastered the most powerful technologies available to them.

Van Saar 1

When I first saw the Van Saar models a couple of years ago I didn’t really see the appeal. My attention back then was captured by the brutish tech-barbarians of House Goliath and the amazing punk-amazons of House Escher, and the Van Saar looked a little clean and sleek for my taste. Needless to say they grew on me a great deal, and I now have a band of these high-tech killers stalking the dirty streets of the underhive at my beck and call. Will I be adding the newcomers to their ranks? Of course I will!

In my opinion the Archeoteks are some of the coolest looking champions we’ve seen for the game, standing alongside the Orlock Armsmasters. However much of the attention given to these reveals has focussed instead on the hot-headed young Neoteks who speed through the air on what can only be described as hoverboards.

Van Saar 2

They’re utterly ludicrous of course, but then Necromunda in general is fairly silly. After all this is the place where a demonically possessed lunatic can be seen fighting to the death against an angry cat (or an exploding rat) so why not throw in a flying skateboard or four? If they’re too silly for your taste, don’t use them – but there’s no hiding from the fact that Necromunda is silly (in fact the whole 40k setting is silly), and that’s a big part of why we love it.

Speaking of angry cats we’ve also seen a preview of the new Phyrr Cats which will be joining Escher gangs early in the new year.

Phyrr Cats New

Rules for these beasts have existed since way back in the early days of the new edition but, as with a lot of things in the underhive, models haven’t been forthcoming until now. To be fair we did see a pair of models previewed for them a long while back, and everyone tended to agree they were pretty much duff. Luckily GW agreed with us and retired them unreleased.

Phyrr Cats Old

In search of an alternative I grabbed myself a set of Hoar Cats from Wyrd Miniatures which have been running around with my gang ever since.

Lately I have been thinking that they look a little plain I might be tempted to repaint them with some stripes or something similar, especially now that Contrast paint has made adding patterns to animal fur so much easier. Of course I could be tempted by a pair of the new cats, price and other projects depending.

Outlaw Brutes

The latest issue of White Dwarf brings us rules for four more brutes, exclusively available to Outlaw gangs (that being those gangs who’s operations are even more shady, criminal and liable to earn the ire of the Enforcers than all the others). As if the more civilised parts of the hive cities weren’t grim enough there are all kinds of twisted horrors lurking in the badzones, just waiting to be “tamed” by a gang low on options and full of deranged opportunism. Let’s take a look at our four new options…

Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot

As if taking a huge, predatory burrowing alien and wiring its brain into a big mining robot wasn’t enough of a health-and-safely violation, it’s not unknown for an Ambot to become corrupted with a tech-virus – either by accident or as a result of the tampering of a downhive heretek. I already have a pair of ambots but I’ll admit I’ve had a longstanding temptation to pick up a second pair and turn one of them into a spiky, Chaos infused abomination with which to horrify right-thinking tech-adepts everywhere. For the other I plan a slightly more involved conversion to create a “dreadnaught” with a wounded purestrain genestealer inside. Will I ever get around to either project? Who can say – although I’ll admit these new rules do make it more likely. Of course first of all I probably ought to finish painting my normal Ambots…

Mutated Ogryn

Just because an idea is obvious doesn’t mean it isn’t good. My Blackstone Fortress Chaos Ogryn has been rocking out with my Chaos Cultists for ages, now GW have come along and made it official.

Warp Horror

Whilst the previous two concepts are cool, it’s the second two which really allow one to get creative and start cooking up crazy conversions.

For those who want to be really Chaotic and devote themselves even further to the will of the Dark Gods there’s the Warp Horror. Even criminal scumbos won’t generally go near these but Chaos Helots and Corpse-Grinder Cultists aren’t nearly so fussy. These are not so much the rampantly mutated monstrosities that are Chaos Spawn but rather a creature infused by the power of the Warp, perhaps even born directly from it. The article suggests using the various Nightmare Hulks from the Kill Team Rogue Trader box. I think this chap will fit in nicely alongside my hungry Corpse-Grinders, and it gives me a bit of encouragement to paint up the rest of them as well. Later on I’ll probably come up with the odd part-daemonic converted monstrosity as well…

Sump Beast

Last but not least, the Sump Beast. This is a real convertors goldmine, with all the shackles off. This is a chance to make anything from a many-limbed monstrosity with a prehensile tongue to a shambling giant with a lashing tail. In this instance I don’t actually have any set ideas in mind, but I know there’s going to be something lurking in the dark beneath Ironhouse that one of my gangs will tame. I just need to have a rummage around in the bits box and see what I can find…ย 

The House of Iron

I had hoped to be able to talk a bit about the latest in the “House of…” series, House of Iron, which covers the Orlock gang and their affiliates. Unlike some of the other houses it took me a while to really get excited about the Orlocks, it’s very easy to just see them as the ordinary Joes of the setting, and a little bit dull in comparison to some of the more obviously outlandish or showy gangs. In time I’ve grown to really like them however and I was hopeful that House of Iron would give me the push to start working on my own gang. Unfortunately I made the error of pre-ordering my copy of the book, and the new miniatures, alongside a few other odds and ends, from Element Games, and – over a month later – they’re still sitting on it like Smaug in his cave rather than sending it out. Apparently one of the other items I ordered alongside it has gone out of stock and had to be backordered and this is taking longer than expected. These things happen, and when this has happened in the past they’ve just sent out a part-order and waited for the rest to arrive, but not this time. It’s a shame, Element used to be one of the best places to buy miniatures in the UK, with excellent prices, fast turn-arounds and impeccable service. Sadly I’ve noticed a real decline from them over the last few months of which this is just the latest. Hopefully it’s just a phase they’re going through, probably suffering with the pandemic and the economic turndown like the rest of us, and they’ll get their shit together in time. In the meantime though its left me very much disinclined to order anything else from them.

Anyway, enough grousing, I’m sure eventually they’ll give up my book and miniatures and let me get a proper look at the Orlocks, at which point I’ll undoubtedly have a bunch of ideas to share here. Who knows, this guy and his pals might even get painted at last.

Look To The Future Now

Finally we got a nice little preview of the release schedule planned for 2021. There’s nothing here that’ll come as wildly out of the blue to the dedicated fan, the Van Saar (not shown) had previously been announced as coming early in the new year, and it made sense to assume that Cawdor and Delaque would follow.

Roadmap

Naturally I’m curious to see what additions these latter two gangs receive, especially given the high quality of the new models for the other four. As I recall it was announced early on that five of the gangs would receive new champions and prospects and the other would receive “something different”. (Don’t quote me too closely on that of course, my interest in Necromunda may be a little obsessive but my memory is far from perfect, as my fiancรฉe often reminds me…). Anyway, my money is on Delaque being the ones to get “something different”, in keeping with their general air of mystery and strangeness. I’m also curious to know how GW will handle a book which reveals everything about the house in wonderful detail and depth – as the previous “House of…” books have – whilst still maintaining the inscrutable ambiguity that forms a big part of why we love the lanky goths. I’m guessing it’ll be written entirely in cipher.

As for the Cawdor I’ve heard a few people speculating that the Redemptionists, who have long been closely linked to the House of Faith, will be rolled into this release. Frankly I hope not. Back when the Cawdor gang box was released Andy Hoare (reigning Necromunda big cheese) commented that many people expected Cawdor and the Redemptionists to be combined into a single faction but that he intended to separate them out into two more clearly differentiated factions (again, see note above regarding my obsessive interest vs questionable memory!). Certainly this would be my preference, why have one faction when you could have two after all? Furthermore there’s a lot more to the Cawdor than simply being Redemptionists, this is a working society, fully integrating into the wider world of Necromunda, and that gives designers plenty of room to explore. The Redemptionists on the other hand retain a laser focus on burning heretic scum and are, I suspect, less likely to put in time taming rats or sorting scrap.

Of course there’s no denying that the Redemptionists are “problematic”, to use a word popular with keyboard warriors and the rage-filled-for-a-cause these days. When the Cawdor special character known as The Headsman was previewed online wearing a tall, pointed hood, knickers suddenly found themselves in a terrible twist.

Headsman 1

Faced with a barrage of spittle-flecked fury worthy of the Redemptionists themselves, GW – understandably uncomfortable about what claims that they were in some manner supporting the KKK might do for their sales – dialled things back a little before the final model was released.

Headsman Cawdor 2

Perhaps then, they have come to think that it would be easier to just tuck the Redemptionists into a corner of House Cawdor and forget about them rather than risk committing the cardinal sin of releasing a range of miniatures which, if you look at it through the right set of cultural biases, squint really hard and wish upon a star for an excuse to get offended, might just prove to be “triggering”. Personally I hope that common sense prevails and we get a full set of new Redemptionists someday. Remember, painting a miniature does not automatically mean subscribing to vaguely similar real-world ideologies (something fans of historical miniatures managed to come to terms with some time ago). A friend of mine collects Tyranids and to the best of my knowledge he’s never eaten anyone…

Moving on we can look to this time next year, where something mysterious lurks on the horizon. What exactly we might be seeing in terms of releases that far out remains anyone’s guess but it’s always nice to be reminded that Necromunda is going from strength to strength. Whilst fans of 40k and AoS can sleep at nights knowing that very little short of the apocalypse is likely to occur which really affects the market dominance of their chosen games. Those of us who enjoy the so-called Specialist Games are always uncomfortably aware that we’re living on the fringes and, in a landscape of increasing economic and social turmoil, should GW need to protect the power-armoured golden goose it’s likely to be our heads on the block. Thus that mysterious “And More” in the final quarter of next year’s roadmap serves as a comforting reminder that there’s life after Delaque.

Finally this we also got a reminder of the art for the Water Guild, alongside the comment “weโ€™ll be seeing some of the Necromunda characters that already have awesome artwork make their debuts as models. So we might be seeing this Master Nautican in the underhive before long…”.

Water Guild

Now whilst this is a deliberately vague statement, and the phrase “before long” could mean almost anything in the Necromundan release schedule,  this is still an exciting confirmation that the Water Guilders are on their way, and indeed that other Guilders are likely to follow. The Guilds contain some of the most interesting concepts in the entire setting, and the Slaver’s Guild were excellent miniatures, so my hopes are high. Of course the price is likely to be equally high but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Anyway, I’m feeling that I’ve probably wittered on long enough – and if I feel that way you probably do too! As ever if you have thoughts or opinions you’d like to share, the floor (or the comments box) is all yours.


16 responses to “Scum’s Thoughts – Part 2

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Looks like your future shopping list has been taken care of. All you need to do now is leave strategically about for Christmas and your birthday! If that’s to subtle then put a bloody big arrow pointing at it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pete S/ SP

    Really looking forward to the new Van Saar stuff. The specialist games stuff is great for ‘fan service’ those nods to RT40k- like the hover boards./they should give a slow moving gang a bit of oomph for sure.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, the Van Saar stuff looks really interesting – they’re a gang that’s really grown on me. I know what you mean about these little bits of fan service (the squats being another good example). It’s nice to see ideas from that era being kept alive.

  • Alex

    Good stuff mate and thanks for posting – I do enjoy it when you put out posts like this, and as an added bonus, thatโ€™s me all caught up on Necromunda!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

  • Kuribo

    I really like the Van Saar minis much more than the previous ones. They kind of remind me a bit of Infinity minis in terms of how sleek they are (I’d say they would benefit from glazing to really make them look nice which is a pain and time consuming) but I also like the “bug” helmets as well. The flying hoverboards are great too. They kind of are a cooler version of what the Dark Eldar ride around on.

    Speaking of new models those new cat things look really cool too. GW is really doing well with creature models across all of their lines lately. I like your more “normal” cats though too. They look fierce and fit Escher very well.

    That Cawdor mini is one I will probably get next time I order from Forge World. I love how grim it is and it looks like it’d be great fun to paint.

    I always look forward to seeing your thoughts on Necromunda. It is a game I’d play if I had a regular opponent and I love the aesthetic and world GW has created. Most of the models look fun to paint and the overall environment and terrain is just awesome. I probably will never get the game to play since it isn’t solo-friendly but perhaps I’ll get a display piece done one of these days ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wudugast

      I know what you mean about the Infinity vibe you get from the Van Saar, I thought the same thing when I first saw them. It actually put me off them for quite a while, they looked too sleek and nice for 40k. In time though they really grew on me, and for the same reason, that this was a chance to see a different aesthetic in the setting, whilst still hinting at the darker side of the gang. I did toy with the idea of glazing mine but I must confess it seemed like a lot of work so I went with edge highlights instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yeah, I do like those new cats. I like my old cats too but new is always tempting isn’t it? They do seem to be adding a lot of new animals lately which is cool.

      I’d love to see you take on a display piece, the quality of the Necromunda models is really high, with your skills I’m sure you could paint something awesome. Maybe that Cawdor headsman would be the one to go for? I keep toying with the idea of one of the new Van Saar neoteks flying a hoverboard through a big pipe – I’ve not done much with dioramas before though so it might be an ambitious place to start!

      It’s a shame that Dark Uprising seems to be the only boxset they’re doing these days, it’s awesome but it’s quite pricy even for an established fan – it’s a hell of a lot to pay if you’re just curious about the game. I got the previous boxset as my starting point, that gave me everything for playing in a 2d warren so it was fairly quick and easy to get a couple of gangs ready and then start convincing mates to try it out. I don’t have any regular gaming buddies myself, my friends that live locally aren’t really into this kind of thing (not that we’re allowed to meet at each other’s houses these days anyway) but I’ve got a few mates further afield who’re into it. Most of them don’t paint that much (if at all) but if I invite them over and have the models ready to go they’re up for a game. Just means I need to paint a couple of forces for any game I’m interested in (another reason I’m drawn to skirmish games over massive armies these days). Sounds like you’ve done something similar with Fallout?

      • Kuribo

        The neotek flying through a big pipe is a great idea. If you can figure out how to do the pipe, I’d say you’ll be well on your way towards making that one honestly! I haven’t been able to figure out what to do with the Cawdor headsman that would be interesting in terms of a background around the model but maybe if I keep thinking about it, something will hit me ๐Ÿ™‚

        I completely agree on the Dark Uprising’s price. It is also the scale of what you have to paint. The squads are very doable but the terrain will take some serious time to get done and while I’m sure I would enjoy it, I am reluctant to buy a game for that price that I’m taking a gamble on whether I could actually play. I’m sure a scaled down starter box would interest me though. I just like the world and find it interesting and unlike either Warhammer, I’d be curious to read the backstory. I’d probably buy all the faction books just to see all the scenarios and lore are to be honest! With that said, I also know that Necromunda is designed to be a campaign game and I think it is best suited for gaming clubs and not individuals (though having a few friends willing to play like you have would also probably tempt me into buying it). To finally answer your question, yes, that is absolutely what I’m doing with Fallout. I only have two factions that I’ve gotten roughly 8-12 minis painted but I have a new faction ready to be painted when I’m ready to start it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Wudugast

        I reckon a smallish section of building pipe, decorated to bring it into the right scale would be a good place to start. Oh dear, I’m giving this a lot of thought for something I keep telling myself I don’t have time or space to do..! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Regarding Dark Uprising the problem as I see it is, when Necromunda first relaunched lots of people complained about a lack of terrain in the box. After all Necromunda is all about fighting over these amazing, 3d structures, and all you got was a few barricades and cardboard tiles. “Back in the 90s you got loads of terrain in the box”, the complainers went on to complain, “why not now!” To which the rest of us retorted that in the 90s the terrain was mostly made of cardboard and wasn’t very good and if anyone seriously thought that GW was going to release something cheap and flimsy in 2017 they’d clearly not been paying attention. If they wanted a box full of terrain then they were going to have to pay big bucks for it – which turned out to be very prescient of us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even when Dark Uprising came out I thought it was fine because there were two boxsets available, the original one for ordinary people wanting to try out the game and Dark Uprising for hardcore fans who wanted to build their own metropolis. Now that the original has gone out of stock though we end up with the problem that we’ve described above. Plus all the books and optional content, which I think is really cool and adds a lot to the depth of the setting, is bound to be off-putting to new players, who must end up feeling like they need to buy and read a library just to get started. Of course, if you’re anything like me, you end up hooked and buying all the books just to immerse yourself in the lore anyway!

      • Kuribo

        Nothing left to do but go ahead and make it now, I’d say mate ๐Ÿ˜€

        I completely agree about the two starter sets. I know the original game let you do the 2D version of the game or mostly 2D anyway and I think I might have preferred to play like that if I were going to play solo. It makes it so you don’t have to do a garage’s worth of terrain to play the game and makes the painting load fairly reasonable. Maybe you can paint all of the different gangs instead of doing terrain for several months that way for example. Dark Uprising is cool and a great value but definitely intimidating due to the cost and insane amount of plastic in the box. I like the fact that there are so many books being released for Necromunda personally. It just seems like it has to have a lot of depth when GW releases so many supplements. That and it surely fleshes out the lore and world too. Now you can see why I go back and forth and really want to play Necromunda but also what keeps me from starting it. I can talk myself into and out of it quite easily! Sometimes even in the same conversation! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Fran

    Posessed? There are no rules for that

    • Wudugast

      Well, I’ll admit I mostly used the phrase “demonically possessed lunatic” for dramatic effect but, as you’ve asked the rules I was thinking of are from the Back From The Dead article in White Dwarf Issue 453 (pg 138 onwards) which offers eight ways to resurrect a dead gang member, daemonic possession being one of them. I think those rules are a lot of fun, it’s a shame they’re not easier to find by being in one of the main books, but they’re well worth looking for if you don’t have that issue. There’s also the possessed hivers which are horrors of the underhive (pg98 of The Book Of Ruin). And there’s the Eightfold Harvest Lord and Alyce Shivver, both of whom I would argue are possessed special characters (Alyce certainly is, the Harvest Lord may well just be a full on daemon at this stage). And yes, it is sad that I know these things! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • patmcf

    Hey mate those Hoar cats are new to me, they look great!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers mate, glad you like them. They’re just nice, straightforward cats – nothing too crazy or out there about them, which means I can fit them into all kinds of things (although I can’t think of that many situations that call for 3 28mm cats – if it happens though I’ll be prepared!) ๐Ÿ™‚

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