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!