Tag Archives: Ash Waste Nomads

Scum’s Thoughts – Part 7

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…

Orlock Buggy

…whilst the Ash Waste Nomads, not to be outdone, will be scurrying out of the dunes on the back of giant fleas. 

Ash Waste Nomad Flea

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.

Ash Waste Nomad

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. 

Goliath

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. 

Escher

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! 

Van Saar

The obvious choice is something similar to the Grav Cutters, but a little bit bigger. 

Grav Cutter Van Saar

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. 

Cawdor

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. 

Delaque

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. 

Piscean Spektor

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.

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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. 

Enforcers

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).

Genestealer Cults

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.

Atalan Jackle GSC Bike

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! 

Redemptionists

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. 

Hive Scum

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. 

Ogryns

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!”. 

Ash Wastes

…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!


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 6

Us Necromunda fans have a fairly good idea of what’s coming our way over the next few months. Gang warfare on the polluted planet has traditionally centred around the six great houses, each of which received a set of plastic models in the wake of the game’s 2017 relaunch. In January 2020 the Goliaths were bolstered by the addition of new gang champions and prospects and this pattern has continued ever since at a rate of roughly one house per quarter (Covid related delays notwithstanding). Now the reinforcements for House Cawdor are almost upon us and the shadowy agents of House Delaque are only a few months behind. I’ll confess my love for the new Redemptionists has waned somewhat since they were first revealed but that’s just left me wanting to kitbash and improve them until they look the way they ought to.

Redemptionists

However what I’m wanting to talk about today is the final section of the “road map” revealed by Games Workshop, the part which covers the last quarter of 2021 (and beyond). Now that we’ve seen the key releases from the “House of…” series it’s time to turn our attention to the further future. Care to join me for some baseless speculation and wild guessing? 

Roadmap

Despite their significance there’s a lot more to Necromunda than just the big six houses. In this edition we already have rules and models for Enforcers, Genestealer Cults, Helot Cults, Corpse-Grinder Cults, Slave Ogryns and Venators.  The possibilities don’t end there either. If they want to Games Workshop have a host of possibilities and potential new factions to explore. Indeed I would argue that this is exactly what they intend to do. It’s understandable for fans to fear that support for Necromunda may be inconsistent, or even nonexistent, in the future. GW have already dropped the game entirely from their catalogue once back in the 2000’s and even now support for some of the other “specialist games” like Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis remains patchy and even Blood Bowl hasn’t seen much attention since last autumn. When the going gets tough, as it has in the wake of the Covid outbreak and Brexit for instance, the specialist games suffer so that the big cash cows like 40k can continue to thrive. Still, I don’t think it’s wishful thinking to suggest that Necromunda is well placed to remain an established part of the GW catalogue for a long time yet. At least, let’s hope so. Anyway, let’s leave those worries for another day and indulge in some guesswork instead! Here are a few of the gangs I think might be tearing up the underhive near you over the next few years – I’m sure we can all look forward to having a good laugh at how wrong I turned out to be!

Ash Waste Nomads

It may be grim in the hive but it’s even worse outside. The whole planet is a hellish, polluted wasteland, the only water is the toxic run-off from the great factories, storms of scouring wind and acid rain sweep over the tortured landscape and the people you encounter are as wild and dangerous as any underhive scummer. You wouldn’t think anyone would be mad enough to live out there but the Ash Waste Nomads have been getting the odd mention in recent books – with the Orlock book in particular offering some choice titbits on these outlanders. A couple of years ago we even saw some concept art, albeit fairly vague, for these road warriors…

Ash Waste NomadsAsh Wasters

… not to mention their dangerous looking steeds…

Ash Waste Riding Beasts

Dust Striders 2

The (un)Dead

Somewhere else which has been getting a lot of mentions in the recent Necromunda books is Hive Mortis, enough to have caught my eye and got me thinking.  A terrible plague has run rampant through the hive, leaving the entire population dead and their possessions unguarded. If you’re a ganger who wants to get rich quick and isn’t frightened of a little thing like plague then this is the place to go. However not all of the locals have taken death lying down. Plague zombies have been a part of Necromunda for a long time and Hive Mortis is apparently crawling with them. 

The Corpse-Grinder Cults have already brought us a Necromundan spin on Khorne which leaves me wondering how long before the other Chaos gods try to get in on the act. Could the pudgy hand of Nurgle and his ghastly, disease-ridden cultists be reaching out from the fallen hive even as we speak? 

The Immortal Cult

The Necromunda core rulebook also contains a brief description of the Immortal Cult, a cabal of rogue psykers who seek to bring about a psychic awakening in all of mankind. The cult first appears around the 34th Millennium and is still active in the setting’s “present day”, gathering outlaw wyrds who would otherwise be taken to the Black Ships to their banner. Just as the Corpse Grinder Cults put a new, and distinctly Necromundan, spin on Khorne and Hive Mortis could well be the start of a Nurgly invasion, so these sound to me like the Tzeentchian equivalent. House Delaque may think they’ve cornered the market in unsanctioned psykers but there are plenty more witches lurking in the depths of the hives…  

Pitslaves

If you’re looking for entertainment in Hive City and getting cheated and shot in a Delaque gambling den, or drinking until your innards explode with a bunch of down-and-out scummers in an Escher bar doesn’t sound like sufficient fun then you need to head to the fighting pits! Here you can enjoy the sight of cybernetically-enhanced, stimmed-up gladiators beating the hell out of each other or fighting against monstrous wild animals.

Of course, when it comes to finding people to actually get in the ring and fight demand tends to exceed supply and although Goliaths are known to enjoy getting stuck in most fans prefer to watch from the sidelines. Fall foul of the Guilds, fail to pay your debts or otherwise end up on the wrong side of the law however and you might just find yourself sold into a life as a pitslave, and rewarded with a few “enhancements” to make your life of vicious, crowd-pleasing violence and mayhem a little more interesting for the spectators. However it turns out that taking a bunch of hardened criminals, throwing in a few honest citizens who’ve suffered one punishment too many, arming them to the teeth and giving the best combat training available by making them fight each other until only the strong survive, might not be a good move in the long run. Pitslaves are known to revolt, butcher their way to freedom and enjoy a life on the run down in the underhive – where things are no less violent but at least they get to keep the profits.

Pitslaves have been a part of Necromunda for many years but back in the old days the models were, to be frank, less than inspiring. Imagine how good they could look now though…

Pitslaves

Spyrers

Whilst most people in the underhive are just trying to stay alive and avoid catching too many bullets, the Spyrers are there for a little fun. Rich arseholes from the upper part of the hive these spoiled young nobles have spent daddy’s money on the best guns around and have headed down into the very worst part of town to live like common people and do whatever common people do – which on Necromunda means “shoot each other”.

Spyrers

I know a lot of people really want to see these making a comeback but frankly I’m not entirely convinced. By my memory they always seemed disastrously powerful in game back in the old days, not to mention a little out of place amongst the rag-tag gangs, and as a result I never really liked the spoilt gits. That said I’m not going to lie to you, if GW produces some models my addiction to Necromunda will probably see me starting a small army of them. Plus I’d not be averse to seeing how the braying oiks enjoy a kicking from an ambot! I’d still rather see something else though. Speaking of which…  

Scavies and Muties

At the very opposite end of the Necromundan social hierarchy from the Spyrers we have the scavies, muties and their ilk. Hive City being the polluted pit that it is the odd minor mutation like an extra finger is given a bit more leeway than it might be elsewhere in the Imperium but any more than that and it’s only a matter of time before either the Redemptionists or the Enforcers turn up to “have words” (and by “have words” we mean, kill everyone and burn the settlement down to make sure). If it turns out that the reason your friend, family-member or neighbour never takes off their hood or ragged robe is because they’re hiding a couple of tentacles then the best thing to do is to drive them off into the underhive as fast as possible. There they can do what muties do best, sneaking around in the dark and gobbling up unwarey hivers.

Only those who’ve fallen on the very hardest times, houseless scummers without the common decency to drink themselves to death, would sink so low as to fight alongside these muties or join scavie gangs.

Scavies Art

Needless to say I have a real love for the muties and scavies. Back in the old days they would drive herds of mindless plague zombies into town to spread mayhem, employed hulking mutants known as “scalies” as enforcers and even had their own mutant dogs. I’d absolutely love to see them making a comeback and in the meantime I’ve even made a few of my own.

I already have my eye on turning a few of the new Kruleboyz Gutrippaz into scalies. A nice new kit for these dregs of the hive would be a dream come true though – and undoubtedly well received by anyone looking to spice up their collection of chaos cultists for 40k as well.

Gutrippaz

Ratskins

For some strange reason that’s never been made entirely clear, the overpopulated, polluted, industrial hell of Necromunda gave rise to a race of carbon copy Native Americans (as envisioned by spaghetti westerns at least). I’m sure people can and do enjoy many a happy hour debating (read: yelling at each other on social media) over whether they actually were racist or just seemed racist, but one thing that can’t be denied is they were woefully out of place and extremely lazily designed.

Ratskin Art

Something you could never accuse the writing for modern Necromunda of is laziness however. A vast amount of love and attention to detail has been poured into the world in recent years and it’s paid off with some wonderfully well developed factions. It can be hard to overlook the rather heavy handed Native American aesthetic of models for the Redskins – sorry, that should be Ratskins! – and the use of terms like “chief” instead of leader and “brave” instead of ganger (and yes, that is a bit racist). However if you strip away these trappings, at their heart this is a tribal people, trying to live a peaceful, spiritual life away from the rest of Necromundan society, but who keep being bothered by local thugs shooting up the place until they have nowhere left to run to – and that’s a concept with a lot of potential. Cut away the “cultural appropriation” before the online activist brigade work themselves up into a collective aneurism, get back to the core concept behind the Ratskins and have the current writers rebuild them from the ground up and I reckon they still have a lot of potential.  

Ratskins

Beastmen and Squats

No, not all together in the same gang. However something that Necromunda has done very cleverly has been to dig back, not just into the game’s own history in the late ’90s and early 2000s but even further back, to the very earliest days of Warhammer 40k itself. Until recently the vast majority of us didn’t really expect to see Squats stamping around the landscapes of the far future ever again, and then Grendl Grendlsen showed up in the underhive and proved us all wrong.

Grendl Grendlsen

Whether or not we ever see Squats taking to the battlefields of the Warhammer 40k in force, and taking their well deserved revenge on those Tyranids at last, remains to be seen. Likewise I’m not holding my breath for regiments of beastmen to be pressed into the Imperial Guard (nice new models for ordinary humans in the Guard seems like a big ask at the moment so let’s not set our sights too high!). However there are still plenty of us who love these old factions, and though Games Workshop’s moneymen may not, in their infinite wisdom, be willing to invest in whole armies of them, a Necromunda gang might be a fine place to give them a home and keep them alive. Or perhaps I’ll have to finally make good on my promises and pick up a box of Gors and a box of Kharadron Overlords and make my own.

These are just my thoughts however – now it’s your turn. Was there something obvious I missed from my list that you’re just itching to see unleashed in the hive? As ever the comment’s box below is the place for you to get it all off your chest!