Tag Archives: Redemptionists

Scum’s Thoughts – Part 4

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to put on your favourite mask, set fire to your hat and say a prayer to the God Emperor – the Redemptionists are back in town and if you don’t look suitably devout they’re going to want to know why! I’ve been using this blog as a platform to bump my gums about the Redemptionists for a while so now we’ve had a good look at them, via Games Workshop’s latest round of previews – the appropriately titled “Faith and Damnation“, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to talk about them some more!

Klovis the Redeemer Purge

I’ve previously discussed some of the controversy around the Redemptionists and frankly it’s something I’ve hashed out more than enough. Anyone who wants to can look back at the previous posts, today let’s concentrate on some models! 

Redemptionist 1

Now let’s not beat about the bush here, I think these are fantastic. Necromunda, not to put too fine a point on it, has always been a bit silly. Nowhere in the entirety of 40k, indeed in any of Games Workshop’s universes, do we see such depth devoted to a single setting. The “House of…” books have only built on this, adding layer upon layer of nuance and complexity, showing us in unrivalled detail the history of the world, it’s industries, societies, economy, even languages. If you want to take something in the Games Workshop stable seriously then this is it. However that shouldn’t distract us from the fact that it’s also unbelievably daft and OTT.

It would be easy to see the Redemptionists simply as grim, even scary; the worst excesses of religious fanaticism – already a scourge that has made a hell on earth out of countless real world societies – running amok in the overcrowded nightmare cities of the distant future. If I imagine myself living on Necromunda there’s no faction I think I’d like to meet less, with the possible exception of the Corpse Grinder Cults (and if you don’t know what kind of people they are – well, the clue is in the name…). The sinister, eyeless Delaque, the brutally authoritarian Enforcers, even the daemon worshipping Helot Cults, seem to me less frightening than the thought of the Redemptionists and their heretic pyres.

This is balanced out however by characters like Klovis the Redeemer (who appeared in the cartoon that opened this article). It’s easy to paint the Redemptionists as the worst of all men, but that is to overlook the bombastic, tragicomic, and – most importantly – satirical aspect of them. It’s hard to see a man who arms himself with a chainsaw almost as big as he is and then straps a flamethrower to it because it still isn’t deadly enough, then sets his hat on fire and goes out looking for a fight as anything other than a figure of ridicule. These models play that up with aplomb. The tall hoods and unsubtle nods to the KKK are out but who cares because these are still Redemptionists through and through.

Redemptionist 4

I think regular readers will already be well aware that I’m no fan of sculpted flame on models. It’s not a hard and fast rule, sometimes it’s appropriate and works well – although GW in my opinion have a tendency to overuse it. All too often however it just ends up looking static and lumpy. I did worry that they were going to apply the fire effects liberally here but it seems that common sense has prevailed, and the fiery effects have remained most concentrated around the flammable headgear department.

Redemptionist 3

Looking at these models it’s easy to get excited about them as Redemptionists and forget that they are also intended as an expansion to House Cawdor. Following the relaunch of Necromunda in 2017 (hard to believe it’s coming up for four years already!) each of the six major houses got a box of models with which to make up a gang. Starting in early 2020 each then received a second box of models, with which to add various house specific specialists. These new Redemptionists can either be added to a House Cawdor gang or used to form a standalone gang of their own. As a result the sculptors have had to walk a fine line – make them too different to Cawdor and they won’t fit in to an existing gang, make them too similar and they won’t stand out as something different if you decide to go it alone. As Redemptionists these are pretty much spot on, but as Cawdor they miss the mark in a number of crucial ways. Take the weapons for instance. The weapons wielded by House Cawdor all appear to have been cobbled together from scrap. The same men who think strapping bombs to rats is a wise idea use bones, candles and scavenged machinery to make flamethrowers. These chaps on the other hand wield weapons which might be utterly ridiculous but at least appear to have been professionally manufactured.

Redemptionist 6

Compare these newcomers to the Redemptionists of yesteryear and you’ll see that, despite the odd tweak here and there, these are much the same as the ever were. Indeed they have a lot more in common than their predecessors than some of the other gangs.

Redemptionists 3

However part of me does feel that we who follow House Cawdor might have been a little bit short-changed here. The Redemptionists may have had a long and close relationship with Cawdor but they are not the same thing – as the issue with the weapons described above serves to demonstrate. By keeping these models fairly close aesthetically to the Redemptionists of old they’ve had to make some sacrifices on the side of tying them into Cawdor. I always knew it was wishful thinking but wouldn’t it have been nice if Cawdor had enjoyed a new set of Champions/Prospects just like the other houses AND we’d got new Redemptionists at a later date as well. Is that greed? Ratskin fans would say we should be bloody grateful to have new models at all. 40k enthusiasts would argue that a faction without at least a dozen kits to its name is woefully underrepresented. At the end of the day we didn’t get a bolt-on to Cawdor like the other houses, we got (admittedly kickass) Redemptionists instead.

Anyway, this is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully the resources freed up by turning this release slot over to the Redemptionists will be reinvested in the setting and we’ll see another new faction added once the House of… series is concluded (something I intend to talk about in a future post). If that happens I’ll forgive them.

Redemptionist 2

Something that does have me curious however is the number of models we’ve been shown. Each Necromunda kit (and this is true of Blood Bowl also) follows the same format – two identical sprues are packaged together and each model can be built in one of two standard patterns (with the possibility of kitbashing available to the more adventurous hobbyist). Observe for example the Death Maidens and Wyld Runners kit for House Escher.

Escher Death-maidens and Wyld Runners

In this kit we see two Death Maidens, two crouching Wyld Runners, two Wyld Runners standing tall, two leaping Phelynx and two prowling Phelynx. The core of each model appears twice but by adding different arms, heads, weapons, and so on you end up with very different models – or at least models which are different enough to fool the eye. Sure enough the same trick is carried out with the Redemptionists as this handy image shows.

Redemptionist Group

You’ll notice that the two models to the right of the screen are based on a single core, as are the two in the centre and the two on the left. You’ll also notice that there are six of them. The Eschers I showed above also have six human models, plus four alien cats. Likewise the Orlocks have six human models… and two dogs. The Van Saar have six human models – four of whom are flying around on great big hoverboards. The Goliaths just have six models in their gang expansion – but two of those are the enormous Stimmers who tower over almost every other human in the game. The Enforcers also have just six human models in their gang-expansion, the Subjugators, but again these have above average bulk and are lugging around riot shields which eat up a lot of space on the sprue. My point is this – the basic gang box for each house manages to fit ten miniatures onto each pair of sprues. The gang expansions have only six human models per pair of sprues, plus various extras that fill out the remaining space. With the Redemptionists we’ve only seen six models, and none of them nearly as big and bulky as the Goliath Stimmers or Enforcer Subjugators. What’s taking up the missing sprue space?

My initial assumption was that with this reveal they’d shown us everything that’s coming in this kit, but part of me can’t help but look at these models and wonder if something has been obfuscated. After all there doesn’t seem to be sufficiently more weapons, heads and other gubbins on these models in comparison to the Orlocks or Van Saar to be using up the same amount of space as a dog or a couple of hoverboards. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but we’ve come this far and damn it, I’m going to think wishfully!

If you doubt that there’s more to come here I can’t blame you but – before you leave a comment to tell me I’m talking mince take a look at this, the very first teaser image which Games Workshop showed for this release just over a month ago.

Redemptionist Preview 1

Now look back at the group shot of the six Redemptionists previewed today. The book you’ll recognise as the one being clutched by the gang’s leader – but where, oh where is that skull from?

If you want to start a Redemptionist gang, rather than adding these to a Cawdor gang, then you’re starting off with only six miniatures – four less than any other gang gets in their core box (apart from Slave Ogryns and Subjegators but don’t split hairs – I’m probably boring people as it is!). Maybe the missing space – if it really exists out with my fevered speculation – is given over to more alternative heads and weapons so that, even if it means buying two sets of these models, you still have loads of options for outfitting a purely Redemptionist gang. Yeah, that sounds like reeeally wishful thinking to me too… More likely is an upgrade set from Forgeworld with alternative heads and weapons – and much as I would mutter about having to part with my hard-earned cash I’d be happy enough with that.

At the end of the day though as a fan of the Redemptionists I’m very happy with this kit. As a fan of House Cawdor I’m a little disappointed – I’d have liked to see more options coming our way, just as the other Houses have enjoyed. Then again Cawdor are the poorest House, and making do with the scrap others leave behind is in our nature. I’ve already kitbashed more Cawdor gangers than I have members of any other gang and I’m showing no signs of stopping – indeed once I’ve got them all painted up I won’t have a gang but a small army. Perhaps I don’t actually need another kit when I’ve managed to get so much mileage out of the one we already have?

Cawdor Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Anyway, it probably goes without saying that I’ll be painting my new Redemptionists in traditional red and starting a gang of them separate to my Cawdor. After all if the Cawdor were doing their job properly and purging all the heretics like they’re supposed to I wouldn’t need a Redemptionist crusade to come storming in and set everything on fire now would I?

All that will have to wait until we get our hands on the new models, and that won’t happen for a month or two yet I’d estimate. In the meantime maybe I ought to paint some more of my unfinished Cawdor…

I’ve tried to keep this post themed to Necromunda and focused on the forthcoming Redemptionists but before I go it’s worth giving a nod to some of the other things that were revealed in this preview. Needless to say it’s not just the thought of setting fire to the underhive that has me excited!  As a long time fan of the Orks the thought of seeing fresh recruits for da boyz has me very keen to get back to my greenskin army in earnest.

New Orc

In addition the new undead range, the Soulblight Gravelords, are absolutely gorgeous (for a given value of gorgeousness of course!) and as a fan of the Vampire Counts range of old I won’t deny I’m very interested in some of these. The old zombies kit was probably the worst thing in GW’s catalogue so seeing those replaced can’t come a moment too soon. The new version are a huge improvement and avoid the slightly gimmicky look of the  batch which come with Cursed City, every one of which is carrying the top of their grave around on their back.

Zombies

The new Blood (Dragon) Knights are also stunning models – although I suspect that when I see the price I’ll suddenly find myself feeling a lot less enthusiastic!

Blood Dragon

 It also gives me hope that some of the other old ranges – and here regular readers will know I’m thinking of the Skaven most prominently – will be given a similar treatment to the Vampire Counts and Night Goblins (or Soulblight Gravelords and Gloomspite Gits if you prefer) rather than being heavily reinvented for the Mortal Realms like the Dwarves or High Elves. Anyway, I’m going to sign off now before I get completely distracted from Necromunda and turn this into a broader discussion of the forthcoming releases in general. Suffice to say that, from my point of view, this is the most exciting preview we’ve had lately. As a fan of the Cawdor I’m a little disappointed but as a fan of the Redemptionists, the Orks and the Vampire Counts I’m a very happy chap indeed! Did anything in this preview take your fancy? Will you be joining me in purging the underhive of heretic filth or will you be taking a stand for law and order (even if only by Necromundan standards!)? Do you have any ideas where that mysterious skull might belong? As ever the comments box is all yours!


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 3

On Friday Games Workshop, in one of their regular updates regarding Necromunda, announced that we’ll soon be seeing new models for the Cult of the Redemption. Admittedly what they wrote was more of a teaser, and the word Redemptionists was never actually used, but so little subtlety was employed that, to anyone familiar with the game or it’s setting, they might as well have announced “Redemptionists are coming soon” in twenty-foot tall letters of fire, fuelled by burning heretics.

Obviously I’m excited about this, the world of Necromunda is probably my absolute favourite aspect of Games Workshop’s various universes and the models that have been released so far have been uniformly excellent. The thought of seeing pyromaniac religious extremists thrown into the mix can only be a good thing in my book. We’ve yet to see any sign of actual models, beyond these two little snippets, but – without wanting to sound blindly fanboyish – I’m optimistic that they’ll maintain the high standard we’ve seen for the game so far.

Redemptionist Preview 1

For those readers who’re unfamiliar with the backstory of Necromunda the Cult of Redemption is a splinter of the Imperial Creed (the state religion of the 41st Millennium which holds that the Emperor of Mankind is the one true God, that heretics, mutants and aliens must be abhorred and that the orders of one’s superiors must be obeyed unquestioningly). The Cult of Redemption takes this a bit far, as they do with everything, adding that the End Times are upon us, that mankind is unworthy and that all are sinful and must be purged – but for a tiny minority of the righteous of course. Nowadays you can find the exact same people preaching their creed of hatred on Twitter, but by the 41st Millennium they’ll be venturing into the Underhive to bring the light of the Emperor to unbelievers. And when I say light I mean the kind that comes out the business end of a flamethrower or springs from a heretic’s pyre.

Redemptionist Preview 2

Late last year a “road map” of forthcoming releases was announced, with House of Faith, the expansion for House Cawdor, due to be released in the second quarter of this year. Given that the Redemption is the official religion of House Cawdor it’s impossible to see these things as anything other than intrinsically linked. As it stands I’ll surprised if the new models for House of Faith and the Redemptionists turn out to be anything other than one and the same.

Roadmap

I am curious however as to exactly how the appearance of these models is going to be handled. Redemptionists were one of the key factions of Necromunda in years gone by and since the relaunch of the game there have been plenty of people, myself included,  bumping our gums about exactly when they’d be making a return. Their popularity, and their intrinsic role in the setting, makes it hard for Games Workshop to push them onto the back burner forever. However the Redemptionists of old had a very distinctive aesthetic, and – to borrow a word from online activists – that look is “problematic”. If you’ve just joined the Cult of the Redemption and you want to make an impression, going out dressed in a long flowing robe and a tall pointed hood is an absolute must.

Redemptionists 3

I must confess, and here I know I’m showing my cultural bias, but I never really thought there was anything offensive about their look. Back in the early 2000’s when I first encountered them I just accepted them for what they were, mutant-hating, fire-starting bigoted bastards in big hoods. Then, a couple of years ago, Games Workshop previewed a new special character for House Cawdor – the Headsman.

Headsman 1

At the time I was a lot more connected to social media than I am now and I was struck by the response of the fanbase. In Europe the sentiment seemed to be “Oh cool, a new Redemptionist”. Here we had a modern interpretation of an established concept; a hooded executioner, which references the look of the Spanish Inquisition but transposed to the far future where he had ample time to indulge his hobbies of collecting candles and nooses and burning to death anyone he reckons is sinful. Across the pond in the United States however pearls were clutched and knickers were twisted as the fanbase reacted with horror. Some people were quite rude to me and others on Twitter for daring to think it was acceptable (mind you, everyone is rude to everyone else on Twitter all the time so there’s nothing particularly special about that). Clearly – a vocal element within the fanbase declared – Games Workshop were in league with the KKK. Games Workshop, presumably fearing what might happen to their profits if one of their largest marketplaces suddenly got it into their heads that the company had some kind of racist agenda, toned the model down a bit to create something a little more sensitive to the America customer before it was released.

Headsman Cawdor 2

Since that time of course news channels around the world have been dominated by the rise of violence, rioting and extremism in the United States, with race a key issue fanning the flames of division. Now it should go without saying, but alas I’d better say it anyway before someone writes in to tell me I’m a Nazi, that I’m staunchly opposed to racism and bigotry in all its forms and I find the actions and beliefs of the KKK and their ilk abhorrent. What’s more I’m conscious of the fact that Games Workshop are a global company and the US is the world’s largest economy so treading with care here is understandable, especially as that country undergoes what appears from the outside to be an almighty social upheaval. Add to that an increasing sensitivity to issues around race on both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond) and I pity the poor designer who must have worked on these models with representatives of the legal team hovering on one side of his desk and the PR department on the other. Meanwhile social media is rife with the kind of paranoid aggression and frothing rants that the Redemptionists themselves would approve of. Maintaining a public image in this climate is a delicate business and the Redemptionists are exactly the kind of models that could easily provoke outrage amongst those looking to be provoked. Honestly I’m worried that someone will decide they ought to “cancel” me with extreme prejudice just for acknowledging that this is an issue people are sensitive about. More and more it seems that, online at least, people are either walking on eggshells or spoiling for a fight. Calm discussion and the exchange of ideas is, like, soooo last decade.

Still, it’ll be a shame if the Redemptionists, when they do appear, stray far from the concepts of old. To me the Redemptionist models were amongst the best in the old Necromunda range and their aesthetic was particularly iconic. I would much prefer to see the old concepts reborn in the form of nice new kits rather than a redesign that strays too far from what came before. However here I find myself comparing them to the Ratskins, those tribal underhive natives who so often found themselves the victims of the Redemptionists’ purges – when they weren’t able to slip away into the darkness of course.

The Ratskins are a tribal people who, like the Redemptionists, had a range of models in old Necromunda but have yet to appear on tabletops of the new edition. Uniquely adapted to the underhive the Ratskins rely on sound and smell to track through the dark, hidden passageways and vaults deep beneath the hives. They worship the hive itself as a great spirit, care little for the world of the gangers and even less for the industry of Hive City and prefer to live peaceful lives in the dark depths. Some however get pushed that little bit too far by uphive gangers acting like dicks, or become addicted to the booze and drugs supplied by their more “civilised” neighbours and end up taking up arms and getting involved in the tabletop violence that we all know and love. After all a range of models that slips silently away through hidden passageways and avoids violence doesn’t make for the most exciting gaming opportunities.

Ratskin Art

The concept is cool and I’d love to see them brought back into the game but unlike the Redemptionists a revamp of their aesthetic really wouldn’t go amiss. Whilst the story of the Ratskins paints a picture of a unique tribal culture the models were pretty blatantly just Native Americans in space.

Ratskins

So why exactly would I like to see the Ratskins revamped and the Redemptionists brought back much as they once were? Partly it comes down to the fact that, much like the Space Wolves and their unashamed plagiarism of Viking culture, it’s hard for me to believe that a planet as toxic and industrialised as Necromunda would somehow produce carbon-copy Native Americans (especially as even on Earth Native Americans were not one homogenised culture). It breaks my sense of immersion in the setting to have to account for something so wildly out of place. The Redemptionists on the other hand feel a bit more like their own entity. Yes they borrow aesthetic elements from the Spanish Inquisition (something no-one was expecting) but they appear rooted in the 41st Millennium. The Ratskins meanwhile belong much more to the school of thought that gave us various 40k factions imported root-and-branch from modern and historical cultures; the previously mentioned Space Wolves and various Imperial Guard regiments foremost amongst them.

Then there’s the fact that the Redemptionists echo an uncomfortable truth – that bullies and religious extremists will always be with us. It is part of the human condition that some amongst us will allow hatred to define them, and will latch onto a creed or cause to justify the violence they crave. Whilst a world like Necromunda would be unlikely to miraculously produce Native Americans it would undoubtedly be full of those who, filled with bitterness at the hardship and oppression of their lives, would recognise in the preacher’s words a call to lash out against those unable to fight back.

Redemptionists 2

I opened this article with the idea in mind that the Redemptionists will appear as a bolt on to House Cawdor, and I stand by my theory that this is what we’re most likely to see in a few months time. There is, however, another option. The Redemption spreads far and wide on Necromunda and draws all kinds of individuals to its cause. House Cawdor may have embraced it wholeheartedly but there are plenty of others who fall under the sway of its hate-filled doctrine. Could we see the option to field a gang made up entirely of Redemptionists or would the new models, much like recent releases for the Goliaths, Eschers, Orlocks and Van Saar, only be available as champions in a gang which draws its rank and file from the Cawdor? Alternatively could we see something akin to the existing rules which allow for a gang to fall under the sway of a cult? Already we can modify a gang taken from one of the major houses so that they can devote themselves to one of the Chaos Gods, or become infested by a Genestealer Cult. Could we be so lucky as to see two new kits, one which brings new champions and prospects to House Cawdor gangs and one which builds Redemptionists which can then either be used to form purely Redemptionist gangs or to convert house gangs which have abandoned their old loyalties and devoted themselves to the fury of the Redemption? The latter seems overly optimistic but who knows, I certainly didn’t expect gangs of Slave Ogryns either.

Regardless of how things turn out I’m going to be watching this release with great interest. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to start a pyre…


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… 

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 fiancée 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 “we’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.