After years of fighting for survival in the claustrophobic depths of the Underhive it’s time at last for Necromunda to head into the great outdoors. This year’s Adepticon saw the full reveal of the new Necromunda: Ash Wastes box, in which gangers from the House of Iron do battle with Ash Waste Nomads in the toxic desert beyond the hives. To help them get around in the wide-open spaces of the wilderness the Orlocks have brought along a couple of nifty looking buggies…
…whilst the Ash Waste Nomads, not to be outdone, will be scurrying out of the dunes on the back of giant fleas.
Now it probably goes without saying that I’m very excited about this announcement. For one thing the new Ash Waste Nomad gang looks very cool, if a little challenging to paint, as does the new terrain for building desert settlements.
However I’m also coming to realise how excited I am about vehicles appearing in Necromunda. I don’t think Necromunda needs vehicles per se, but I sure as hell need Necromunda vehicles in my life all the same. Plus, if we’re going outside the hives then really they become a must – the distances are too vast and the environment too dangerous to be tackled on foot.
Having seen the beasts and buggies included in the new box my imagination immediately began to run through possibilities for the other gangs in the game. After all it’s safe to say that all the other Houses will be following the Orlocks out into the wastes and when they do they’re going to need wheels of their own. In this article I’m going to try to guess what those vehicles will look like then – in a year or so’s time – we can all come back and gasp at my Nostradamus-like powers of prediction/laugh at how wildly wrong I turned out to be.
Let’s be honest, the Goliath buggy will be unsubtle. I’m imagining a big spikey ram with a powerful engine and no reverse gear.
At first I was a bit stumped by this one as I couldn’t quite picture what kind of vehicle the Eschers would drive. Then I spotted what should have been abundantly obvious – the Ash Waste Nomads aren’t driving but riding, preferring a living steed to anything mechanical. The Eschers, great bio-manipulators that they are, will surely do likewise. What we need is a horse crossed with a tiger to make it more predatory and with feathers and crests and spots and stripes so that everyone can see how damn glamorous it is. Now give it big claws, and a poisonous sting, and make it run really fast and spit acid! Sorted – now the girls can ride in style!
The obvious choice is something similar to the Grav Cutters, but a little bit bigger.
Frankly I’d be perfectly happy with that, although I’m equally open to creative alternatives. Whatever they make it’s bound to be high tech, sleek and fast, and I’m going to bet it flies too.
Make a pulpit out of scrap from which one can preach to the heathens of the wasteland. Mount it on the back of a gigantic mutant rat. Remove anything which might remotely be classed as a health-and-safety feature and replace it with FAITH! Garnish liberally with candles and you’re ready for your next crusade.
As with the Van Saar the Delaque already have a model which I think could give us a lot of clues as to the shape of whatever they end up driving.
That aside though I’m not going to try to pin down exactly what it will look like, just that I’m confident it will be very alien and almost certainly look the least like a traditional vehicle or steed of any of the factions. And it’ll probably have the brain of some poor psyker wired in there where sane people would have put an engine.
Now we could leave things there, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that we’ll just see vehicles for the gangs of the six Great Houses, plus any new gangs like the Ash Waste Nomads. That said however it’s fun to speculate so let’s have a think about the other factions as well, starting with the most likely.
Heavily armed and armoured, dark, sinister and brutal – when Helmawr’s Finest head out into the wastes they won’t be messing around. A blue flashing light on the top is optional. I’m also wondering if this one will be able to fly, or at least glide along above the ground on some kind of anti-grav engine. Some people have already suggested something like the Lawmaster from Judge Dredd but, cool as Dredd is, I think Games Workshop – and especially their legal teams – will want to keep developing the Enforcers identity as their own thing rather than rehashing someone else’s ideas. Remember kids – it doesn’t have to be something you already know to be good! (Incidently I just noticed I’d typo’d “Lawmaster” as “Lawnmaster” – presumably that’s for when Dredd takes up gardening).
I know I just said that Enforcers are the most likely of the factions outside the Great Houses to get vehicles but that overlooks the fact that the Genestealer Cultists already have the Atalan Jackle bikers, the Wolf Quads and perhaps even the Achilles Ridgerunner and Goliath truck.
Seeing these added to the game, even if it’s simply via a White Dwarf article, seems inevitable.
Corpse Grinder Cults
Find a wrecked buggy in the wasteland. Control your hunger and rage long enough to weld bits of scrap, lots of spikes, chains and razorwire all over the outside. Stick a great big circular saw on the front so you can carve open land trains and wagons to get at the fleshy good stuff inside. Decorate with bits of your last meal/victim. Impale yourself behind the wheel and go hunting!
I very much doubt that the Redemptionists will get a vehicle of their own sadly but will instead be allowed to borrow one from House Cawdor. That said I’d love to see a mobile pyre with massive flame throwers on the front, pushed into battle by the faithful.
Maybe I’m wrong here but I’m not convinced that Hive Scum have their own vehicles. It seems a bit resource intensive for these down-and-outs so I reckon, if they do ever venture out onto the open road, they just steal something off a better equipped gang. So my prediction is that a Scum vehicle will look exactly like an Orlock vehicle, with the addition of an angry Orlock ganger running along behind, who at some point is going to have to give up and explain to the rest of his crew that he left the keys in it.
Much like the Scum I don’t think there’s much chance of Ogryn vehicles; they just don’t have the wit to build, maintain, fuel or even drive them. Plus they don’t really have any need for them, other gangs need to get from safe shelter A to oasis B as quickly as possible before the wastes kill them, whereas Ogryns probably think the rad-storms and lethal wildlife reminds them off the old country on whatever death world they originated on. Maybe they’d have some kind of servitor-beasts that escaped from the factories alongside them? Maybe the nearest thing to a vehicle they have is an Ogryn hitting people over the head with a tire whilst shouting “Free da peepol!”.
…And that’s our show! As usual if you grease monkeys think you have any better suggestions the comments box is the place to be!
March 26th, 2022 at 10:49 am
Good stuff mate – I reckon you’re bang on with a few of those shouts! I’m wondering if we’ll see any walkers come out of this, and it’s high time we saw a tunneller or two as well… and a big-asses rig 🤞
March 28th, 2022 at 8:46 am
Some walkers would be awesome, I’m just not entirely sure who would get them. Maybe an as-yet-unrevealed faction? I agree on the tunnellers too, and more than any other vehicle they’d be great for games set in the confines of the underhive as gangs drill into lost domes (or accidentality burrow straight into the mess-room of the local enforcer precinct..!). As for a big rig I love the idea but I think it should be a generic kit which can be personalised to whichever House you want to, or left plain, and treated more as a piece of mobile terrain than gangs can fight over the surface of, leaping from carriage to carriage and shoving unlucky enemies under the wheels. In fact (he says, starting to get overexcited and wave his hands enthusiastically as he types) you could play it on a “rolling road”, with buggies racing alongside, maybe have two rigs so they can ram each other as boarding parties leap from one vehicle to the next. Now look what you’ve done – luckily I can’t afford to buy a Baneblade, a load of those big armoured containers and a bunch of Ork vehicles, otherwise I’d be bunking off the rest of the day to start kitbashing one of my own!
March 28th, 2022 at 6:49 pm
😂 I love you man
April 11th, 2022 at 6:40 pm
BIG ASSED RIG!!!
April 12th, 2022 at 6:19 am
Oh man, I’m so excited about this!!!! 😁😎😁
April 12th, 2022 at 5:04 pm
Knew you would be matey 🤘
March 26th, 2022 at 1:22 pm
That entire process of assembling an Escher steed is surely as spot-on as it comes. The Redemptionists do already have a vehicle & I’m hoping to (eventually) see it in Ash Wastes: Klovis’ Pulpitek!
March 28th, 2022 at 8:50 am
Now how did I forget about the most merciful of men and his Pulpitek? That would be awesome to see again, and actually gives me some hope that the Redemptionists might get their own vehicle someday after all. Fingers tightly crossed!
March 26th, 2022 at 1:47 pm
I very much hope that the Escher don’t get a Battle Cat squadron. Maybe a smaller, Cold One style lizard mount for Wyld Runners. I was thinking the Ridge Runner looks nice and sleek for the Escher. Hopefully there will be a cargo/haulage vehicle, like the Cargo 8 that players can detail up for whatever faction and cargo they choose. Should be enjoyable to see what they come up with and then make up our minds how and if we’ll use it versus hopefully having enough vehicle rules that kitbashes will flourish.
I like the idea of a special character or two with their more unique vehicles/mounts but that’s probably too specific a kit for them to release. I’m also tempted to get Gaslands to run larger vehicle focused battles/races/scenarios set in the ash wastes. My main issue there would be wanting or finding Matchbox style cars that match the 40K/Necromunda style vehicles. Makes me wonder when GW will license official Matchbox vehicles/tanks…
March 28th, 2022 at 9:20 am
Aye, just plain battle cats would be rubbish – and I tend to think that they would be more creative than that. So far all the Escher creatures have been cat-like but none of them are cats strictly speaking so I’m tending to think it would be something more like a running Khimerix. Something like the ridge runner would be cool as well though. Your comment about versatile vehicles rules got me thinking – I didn’t mention Venitors but hopefully there will be rules to encourage kitbashes and crazy, personalised vehicles (the kind of thing that 40k is sadly lacking these days but remains very much alive and well in Necromunda). That way you can make unique vehicles for your gang, and if you don’t like the kit they produce for your favourite House you can make something different instead.
I agree that Gaslands is a better scale for purely vehicle focussed games, I’ve been tempted to look into it myself. I’m sure there’s something can be done there, even without any official GW support. Something for the old grey matter to chew over today I think! 🙂
March 26th, 2022 at 3:41 pm
I like the fleas but I’m oddly meh on the buggy. I thought I’d be much more stoked about it.
I was more excited by the Chaos Knight and its nods to the original Adeptus Titanicus upgrade parts.
March 28th, 2022 at 9:49 am
Funnily enough I wasn’t expecting to be that jazzed up about the buggy (nothing against Orlocks but they’re probably the least exciting gang for me) so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.
Yeah, the Chaos Knights look awesome don’t they? I shall manfully resist the temptation of the Abominant, it looks very cool (especially when I saw it has a tail!) but I’ve got enough big Chaos kits to be working on for now. I might get the little Wardogs though, those are awesome and I reckon I could slot them into my painting plans.
March 26th, 2022 at 11:28 pm
Yeah, agreed with Alex – I do think you’ll have gotten at least a couple of these right. Just need to wait and see, I guess. 😀
March 28th, 2022 at 10:54 am
Cheers! Yeah, I’m going to be very curious to see which, if any, I got right and which I turn out to be wildly wrong about! 😀
March 27th, 2022 at 9:55 am
Lots of potential with Ash Wastes. I’m actually more interested to see what other non-vehicle releases come out of it though.
March 28th, 2022 at 10:56 am
Same actually. The vehicles are cool but I’m most excited about new gangs! There could be all kinds of things lurking out in the wastes that we’ve not see before. 🙂
March 28th, 2022 at 6:31 am
1 these nomads can’t walk
2 I don’t see any big vehicles
March 28th, 2022 at 11:01 am
Regarding the vehicles I think I prefer smaller buggies etc, this is a skirmish game for gangs after all. Some kind of kit for big rigs would be awesome but I see it as more like a piece of mobile terrain which can be tailored to your preferences rather than something every gang should have. Not sure why you think the Nomads can’t walk though – a lot of them are in running poses? Care to explain what you mean?
March 28th, 2022 at 10:47 pm
They have containers and cables in front of their legs
March 30th, 2022 at 10:16 am
True – well, one of them does but he’s the guy with a bionic leg so I doubt he’s going to be doing any acrobatics anyway! 😉 The others I don’t think would find their walking affected. Dunno, maybe I’m not seeing something that you are but I can’t say it really bothers me. Might be easy enough to remove them, depending on how the kit goes together/how confident you are with converting, I’ll see what I think when I’ve got the kit in front of me.
March 28th, 2022 at 11:03 pm
I was kind of hoping we’d get a Wudugast’s Thoughts (trademark pending) on the new Necromunda stuff 🙂 I am not terribly excited about the sculpts they showed off and I kind of thought they’d look even cooler than they do, if that makes sense. I agree that they will be a challenge to paint as painting drab colors well is no easy feat. With that said, I do think there is a lot of potential for this “era” of Necromunda and I’m right there with you in my excitement to see what comes next!
March 31st, 2022 at 11:16 am
Hmm… Wudugast’s Thoughts… Wondering With Wudugast maybe? Waffling With Wudugast? Wudugast’s Wearisome Witterings?
Anyway, I must admit I really, really like the Ash Wasters but I can see why they might not be to everyone’s tastes. I like drab colours and lots of washes which I think will suit these but if that’s not your preferred painting style I can see these being very challenging. I tried not to have any preconceived ideas before I saw them but I did worry they might go for something like a Freman knock off or a bunch of Arabic clichés so on that front these are much more original and interesting. I’m also enjoying the background we’ve seen for them so far, it’s nice to see humans who are at war with the Imperium without being followers of Chaos. As for what else might be lurking in the wastes there just so much potential I’m not even going to guess, suffice to say I’m bound to be excited about it though! 😀
March 31st, 2022 at 10:56 pm
Having a name that starts with W does make branding tough and I’m not in Marketing so that doesn’t help either 🙂
I do think these minis will be easier to paint to a tabletop standard without just omitting details which I see a lot of people do on intricate models like space marines so that is good. Picking drab colors that go well together is something I’m not amazing at and is the real challenge here, I think. Either way, it will be interesting to see where this expansion of Necromunda goes! 😀
July 22nd, 2022 at 6:23 pm
Well you nailed it with the Goliath one!
Big Ram? Check
Big Engine? Check
No reverse Gear? Check (It’s a motor bike!)
July 22nd, 2022 at 6:04 pm
It’s a cool model isn’t it? The more time passes the more unsure I am about the whole Ash Wastes thing – I love the idea of exploring more of Necromunda but I’m not entirely sure if vehicles are where I would have wanted the game to go. That said I’m a huge fan of that Goliath bike, in fact I’d rather like a real one to ride around on. Imagine arriving at work on that bad boy! 😀
August 16th, 2022 at 4:56 am
I like the option for vehicles, it feeds the need of Mad Max fans. I think the Aranthian Succession Campaign will have plenty of lore and rules that aren’t vehicles.
The new Escher mounted option is unexpected, definitely not a beast. Cool models though.
Unfortunately it looks like we have to wait for part 2 of the campaign before we see Delaque, Cawdor/Redemptionist and Van Saar.
Random idea, what if Van Saar had suits like Red Alert 2 Chrono Legionnaire?
August 16th, 2022 at 9:57 pm
Yeah, I really thought it was going to be some kind of riding beast for the Eschers. I’ve got to say the hoverbikes are better than I could have hoped for and have done a lot to reinvigorate my love for the Ash Wastes again.
Wow, it’s been a long time since I played Red Alert – that’s a callback to my teenage years if ever there was one! I like the idea though, something halfway between the Chrono Legionnaire and the Arachni-Rig (but bigger). Some kind of anti-grav skimmer would make sense for them but the suits, spiders and high-tech gizmos are a lot more indicative of Van Saar than the hoverboards. You could be right – I guess we’ll find out in a few months. 🙂