Necromunda: at last!

Hey everybody,
Tuesday is of course game day, and this is one that I’ve been looking forward to featuring on my blog it seems like forever! Of course, I’ve talked around it for years, but at last, it’s time for Necromunda!

The Game
There are a ton of rules for this game that make it a really immersive, RPG-style experience, but this is my first game so I’m keeping it simple. It absolutely isn’t going to be my last, however, so I’ll be exploring more of these rules in future blogs! I’ve covered a lot of the basics in my earlier Getting Started with Necromunda blog, but let’s revisit that to begin:

The Basics
Necromunda Underhive is a skirmish game where players control the members of a gang, vying for supremacy in the Underhive. At its most basic, the game is quite straightforward, consisting of three phases in each round. To begin, players roll off to see who gets Priority for that round, then all the fighters are readied.

The Action phase sees each gang member activated, alternating between each player. Each fighter can take two actions. There are a number of different actions available to players, grouped into basic actions (which can only be taken once in each activation), simple actions (which can be taken more than once), and double actions (which take up both action slots for the fighter). So for instance, moving is a simple action and so can be taken twice, while shooting or fighting is a basic action that can only be taken once, and charging is a double action (though it does allow for a fighter to make a free fight action if he or she ends that charge in base-to-base contact with an enemy gang member).

Resolving both shooting and close combat attacks works exactly the same as regular 40k, whereby fighters make a ballistic skill / weapon skill check, and if it is successful, make a roll comparing the weapon strength to the target’s toughness and referring to the usual to-wound chart. The target gets the chance to save against the attack (unless the weapon’s AP value negates that), and damage is inflicted. If a fighter is reduced to 0 wounds, they are taken out of action. There is an end phase which, in the basic rules, is only there to mark the end of the round.

Necromunda Underhive

For this game, I was basically soloing my way through, controlling both Delaque and Van Saar gangs that approach the 1000-credit mark. They’re fairly similar in make-up, with a Leader, a Champion carrying a fancy weapon, and one Ganger with a fancy weapon. Van Saar, as a more expensive gang, unfortunately have one less ganger, but we’ll have to see how each side fared!

My Delaque gang consisted of the following:
Leader (flechette pistol, shock stave, throwing knives) – 185 credits
Champion (grav gun, web gauntlet) – 260 credits
Ganger (long rifle) – 90 credits
Ganger (shotgun, stun grenades) – 100 credits
Ganger (paired autopistols) – 70 credits
Ganger (autogun, stiletto knives, smoke grenades) – 110 credits
Ganger (web pistol, bio scanner) – 170 credits

985 credits in total

In contrast, my Van Saar gang was just:
Leader (combi las/melta, hystrar-pattern energy shield) – 310 credits
Champion (rad cannon, rad grenades) – 265 credits
Ganger (paired plasma pistols, frag grenades) – 205 credits
Ganger (suppression laser) – 115 credits
Ganger (las carbine) – 95 credits

990 credits in total

Necromunda Underhive

Van Saar are known for being very shooty, and very expensive, and this is very clear here – two fewer gangers than the Delaque bunch, although early in the game this didn’t seem to matter. The ganger with paired plasma pistols was able to take advantage of the mistake of the Delaque leader in coming out in the open like we’ve seen above, and was able to get an embarrassingly clear shot at him!

This is the first place where I got a bit lost in the rules. In regular 40k, you’re trying to reduce units or characters to 0 wounds. Here, however, we’re not quite doing the same thing. When a fighter takes enough damage that he is reduced to 0 wounds, you roll an injury dice to see what happens – either a Flesh Wound (which reduces the fighter’s Toughness characteristic), Serious Injury (which knocks the fighter prone, turned face down on the board), or Out of Action (removed from play). At the end of the round, you have a chance to then stand back up or remain prone, by rolling the dice again. Now, any flesh wounds reduce the toughness, and if the fighter is reduced to 0 Toughness, they are then removed from the game. It’s a nice mechanic to ensure that your model isn’t going to be one-shotted into oblivion (although, of course, that is possible by rolling Out of Action!) and once I’d gotten my head around it, it was nice to see that the game will actually let you play with your toys, you know?

Necromunda Underhive

There is a definite need to have plenty of bodies on the table, which put the Van Saar at the disadvantage here, as mentioned. It’s good to have fancy weapons, for sure, but it’s no use if the fighter wielding that weapon cannot get to use it! Which brings me on to learning point number two!

My Van Saar Champion has a rad cannon, and being Van Saar, he’s hitting on 2s. Along with a d6 each time you roll to shoot, you also roll the Firepower dice, which has the ammo symbol on one face that shows the weapon is out of ammo. The first roll with my rad cannon guy, I rolled a 1 and the ammo symbol, so I did the grand sum of nothing on my turn, and was then shot by the Delaque Leader, causing him to be prone and pinned. On each End Phase roll, he remained prone and pinned, meaning he did the grand sum of nothing for the entire game! 265 credits wasted!

Necromunda Underhive

Something that I think is really, really cool about this game is the depth into which the rules go for pretty much everything. Once you get the basic flow down, it feels like a very real game. For example, on your fighter’s activation, you can use one action to Aim (Basic) to add 1 to the hit roll, and then use the second action to Shoot (Basic), where you may find yourself rolling the ammo symbol on the dice. The shot will still be fired, but if you survive to your next activation, you then need to make an ammo check to Reload (Simple) before you can then attempt to Shoot (Basic) once again.

Something that I really like, and hadn’t realised until about halfway through the game, is that a fighter wielding two weapons with the Sidearm trait can shoot with both as part of the same Shoot (Basic) action – normally you can only make one such action on your turn, as you can’t make the same Basic action twice on your activation. Sadly, the Van Saar ganger dual-wielding plasma pistols had run out of ammo on one of these at the time I realised this, but I still had my Delaque ganger with dual autopistols. Fabulous!

Necromunda Underhive

A lot of the game, I feel, will come alive when you play through the scenarios and link everything in a campaign. There are so many rules that involve stuff like opening loot caskets, gaining credits and advancing gangers with different weapons and gaining skills. I’ve not had a chance (or, really, the need) to properly investigate the rules for campaign play, but it seems absolutely like the RPG-feel that I was expecting.

For those of you wondering, the game resulted in a Delaque victory. I was playing a vague sort of scenario whereby the Van Saar gang was trying to re-take some territory from the Delaque. The first round was a lot of positioning, then there were two rounds of shooting and door-opening, before the fourth round resulted in utter carnage! Two Van Saar gangers were reduced to 0 Toughness, and two Delaque gangers took advantage of pinned and prone Van Saar fighters to charge and administer the coup de grace. Seeing his entire cohort killed off, the Van Saar leader conceded.

I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to get the game to the table, even if it was just a solo adventure to see how the whole thing works. Much as with Warcry recently, though, I felt as though it was an entirely fine way to play, getting to grips with the rules interactions and so on. However, I’ve got something lined up hopefully for the day when we can play games with actual living people once again! Delaque vs Orlock, should be a lot of fun!

This game is awesome, and I can’t wait to share more here on the blog as time goes on, and more games are played! Exciting times!

Decadence & Decay: The Warhammer Preview!

Decadence and Decay

This weekend, we’ve had another Warhammer Preview from the Community team, looking at a whole bunch of stuff from across a multitude of game systems. Let’s take a look!

We’ve got a new campaign coming, which looks like it might be the start of bringing out these lieutenant models that were teased a while ago: Death Guard vs AdMech (with Imperial Knights, and my favourite Drukhari!), which should be fun! I’m a bit curious about the title for the book, “Act One”, which seems to imply there’ll be more where this came from, which sounds a lot like another Vigilus. Remember when we had Shield of Baal, which was a Blood Angels vs Tyranids, with some Necrons and Sisters action on the side? When we had Warzone Fenris that was just Dark Angels, Space Wolves and Thousand Sons? 7th Edition had a lot that needed to be fixed, but at the same time, it was nice when a campaign had a much tighter focus. To me, it doesn’t matter if my Necrons aren’t featured in the current campaign – if I have a different campaign coming up that might have them front and centre instead. By trying to have all of the factions involved, it seems to dilute something from it, and can make a lot of it seem forced. But I guess we’ll see!

Getting back to the Drukhari, though…

Oh man, we’re going to be the first xenos codex of 2021! Hopefully we’ll be able to play actual games with it soon after, too! I’m very excited to see what is on offer, as I’ve heard we’re going to lose that penalty for mixing Kabal, Cult and Coven. I mean, I’d been experimenting with a mixed force that went back to the Index days towards the end of 8th edition anyway, so this will be good to find out more!

We’ve been promised “lethal combat damage across the board” – I hope that transpires to making a lot of the Cult units truly horrible. Whenever I’ve taken Wyches to games, they have rarely (if ever) made up their points in terms of the damage output. I mean, they should be truly terrifying to come up against, but end up just being a bit… meh…

The Dark Angels are also getting their Codex, with promise of more stratagems to hunt the Fallen. I mean… they’re really pushing the theme on this, fair play, but it’s very niche, don’t you think? I’m sure if you’re a Dark Angels player, and have regular matches against Chaos Marines, you’d benefit, but so many of these rules specifically mention the Fallen. I don’t really know what you’re going to expect from the new book, but I’ve definitely moved away from the army (despite loving the aesthetic!)

Okay, let’s get to something that I’m really excited for now! House of Artifice is coming to update House Van Saar in Necromunda, guys!

I am very excited about this! As we’ve seen for three gangs already now, we’ll be getting new leader-types and new juve-types – but my goodness, we’ve got juves on hover boards! I mean, Christ! This looks fantastic!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the rules are around these leaders as well, with their spider-arm weaponry up top there. They look great, and while I do love the main gang box, I do like their posture!

I’ve been somewhat on the fence about the new Direchasm set, although the fact that it has Slaanesh mortal units in there, I will most likely be picking it up in due course! However, these Slaves to Darkness do look really wonderful, and not just for the board game – that sorcerer character looks great, and I think I’ll definitely be picking up a box!

Speaking of Slaanesh, though…

Oh my good god, YES!

Sigvald the Magnificent was the first Warhammer novel I ever read, and I’m probably always going to have a soft spot for him (steady!) This miniature looks utterly amazing, and I absolutely love it. Some of these re-imaginings of Old World characters have been a bit… off… but I really love this new Sigvald – he’s definitely looking magnificent, don’t you think? It’s got just everything, and I really want to get this model…

In case you aren’t sure – I like it!

And this isn’t all for Slaanesh…

We’re getting Slaanesh mortal units! The Myrmidesh Painbringers look like the kind of perfect warriors that I’ve been expecting from the Prince of Pleasure, and I think they personify that excess that the god is all about. Looks like a dual kit, as well, with these Symbaresh Twinsouls:

Where the Painbringers are perfect soldiers, the Twinsouls are just weird. Slaanesh isn’t just about sex and drugs, of course, and there is so much more to explore when it comes to the Dark Prince, I’m so glad we’re now getting to see this.

I thought we were being spoiled when we had all of that good stuff last year, with the new Keeper of Secrets at the head of the range of plastics. Now, we’re finally getting to explore the mortal side of things, and we’re seeing Sigvald at the head of his own Decadent Host! It’s a glorious time to be alive – dare I say, it’s magnificent!!

2018 in review

Happy New Year, everyone!
It’s time to go all traditional, and all, and look back at my hobby year for 2018!

It’s been quite the year, I have to say! Despite some monumental events, including getting married in September, I’m glad to have been able to keep going with hobby stuff. I’ve definitely built more than I’ve painted, but of course that is always the case, really! Starting really quite early, I built this beautiful beast 12 months ago, though he sadly still languishes in the same state after all this time!

I really need to get a move on and make some decisions as regards my Tyranids.

I’ve done quite well with the Great Reanimation of my Necrons, getting a good number of units painted up, including the beautiful new Cryptek model. I’ve still got a way to go with the army, for sure, but having only had one unit of Immortals painted in the new Thokt dynasty scheme back in 2017, this year has seen a real surge! Splendid stuff.

2018 saw me start a couple of armies, most notably the Tau. I’m in a bit of a weird position with this army now, as I feel like it was a bit of a distraction for me while I was waiting for the Dark Eldar codex. I did enjoy building up the models, for sure, and I think there is still a place for them in my collection, but probably nowhere near as many models as I have ended up with! So I’m going to be looking through both the Tau and Tyranid collections in an effort to thin out some of the dead wood, so to speak, and make sure I only keep enough models for small forces of each that I want to actually play with. Famous last words, probably, but still!

I’ve made significant strides with yet another xenos force, the Genestealer Cults!

I was really quite surprised that I even managed to finish these guys, as I’ve been working at them for a long time now, but always seemed to be putting them off for one reason or another. Kill Team, in that respect, was a good thing for me, as it made me finish painting them up, and indeed to get moving with more models for the force:

Being a horde army, though, I’m still nowhere near to having the required number of models for the force, but I think I’m suitably inspired to keep going. Slow and steady, and all that!

I’ve been steadily progressing with my Dark Eldar, though having painted up pretty much the entire army in 2017, 2018 has definitely been a slower year for the dark kin. I’ve got plenty built up, for sure, mainly due to having formed the plans for the army during 7th edition, but we’ll see how many models get painted during 2019…

In terms of smaller scale games, I’ve painted up some Van Saar gangers for Necromunda, and have started work on the Elucidian Starstriders, but this is where things get interesting, as I started looking back into fantasy after all these years, with the new iteration of Warhammer Underworlds.

It was a lot of fun, and it has led to getting myself into a very ghostly mess!

The Nighthaunt models are beautiful, but I’m also vacillating between Idoneth Deepkin and Chaos Beastmen in creating my first army for the new Age of Sigmar. It’s definitely going to be one of them, though I’ll most likely also be picking up some of these new grots models in time. I do enjoy squigs!

Finally, I’ve been working on some of the Chaos Cultists that I’ve had hanging about for years, inspired by the weird and wonderful underbelly of 40k that we got to glimpse in Blackstone Fortress!

This game was quite the boon to me, as it inspired not only the Cultists but also work on the Electro-Priests that had similarly been hanging about for years – all in all, then, it was very much well-received!

I wonder what 2019 will see for my hobby! Hopefully some of those models that I’ve built up over the last year will see themselves finished!!

I’ve definitely enjoyed my hobby time this year, but in order to make sure I stay focused during the coming year, I’ve drawn up a list of hobby resolutions as a lot of folks have been doing over on instagram:

There is a nice mix, I feel, between some of the more wide-ranging stuff with the Grey Knights and the Nighthaunt, and more focused goals for things like the Neophytes and Doomsday Ark. There is bound to be more that distracts me as the year goes on, of course – I’m looking forward to the Genestealer Cults getting their bikers, for sure! Whether Inquisitors come out for Kill Team is anyone’s guess, though I’m fairly positive I’ll go heavily into this one!

I’m going to be writing up my Hobby Progress blogs on the last day of each month as 2019 goes on, so it should keep me motivated to stay on track. Exciting times ahead, at any rate!!

Let’s pause for a minute…

Wow. Just, wow.

As you probably know, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog for any amount of time, I’m a big fan of Warhammer 40k, and really enjoy what’s been happening with all the new stuff right now. But I feel a bit like there’s almost too much coming at me right now, that I can barely keep up with it all and contain my excitement! Let’s recap, first of all.

Kill Team was announced at the GAMA Trade Show, as an updated version of the skirmish game, and I was extremely excited. I love the idea of small-scale games, and I’m really intrigued as to what they mean with making it a fully supported and distinct game system. Should be a lot of fun, not least because it will also be coming along with more terrain, which is always good!

Overall, very much looking forward to getting some of this in my life!

At the same time, we also had House Van Saar announced as the fourth gang coming out for Necromunda, and I was also incredibly excited by the look of these guys. I do love the biker aesthetic of House Orlock, as I’ve mentioned on this blog already, but there’s something about Van Saar that I can’t quite put my finger on. What I do know is, I’m going to be getting these chaps, too!

I think I’m pretty much dedicated to following Necromunda for all of the new gangs, as I’m just really in love with the feel and the look of them all. But yeah, there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on about this gang that is making me really intrigued to try them out.

So that’s another resounding success!

While they were also announced at GAMA, we had to wait until Adepticon this week for the reveal of the next faction for Age of Sigmar, the Idoneth Deepkin. And my goodness me, what a reveal it was!

This video, and stills from it, seemed to take over my facebook feed for 24 hours straight, it was quite amazing! While they’re not the Fishmen we’ve been waiting for all these years, the Deepkin take as their basis the Black Ark Corsairs subfaction of Dark Elves from the World-That-Was, and they really go to town with it! GW’s miniatures have improved so dramatically since the Corsairs were a thing, and it really shows with these guys.

I’ve not played Age of Sigmar since 2016, and I believe it’s come a long way since then. While I haven’t really kept up with it, there have been numerous things coming out that have really got me wanting to invest in the game system, not least of which the Daughters of Khaine release that came out recently. I think the new-style fantasy miniatures from GW are just stunning, and while it is a subjective thing, I do think that anyone who says these things look terrible is just being ridiculous. However, my heart does truly belong to 40k, so I doubt I’ll be buying into a fantasy army (despite having made some purchases of late…)

But it won’t stop me getting some of these Deepkin to convert for my Dark Eldar…!

I’m still pretty excited for these guys, anyway!

Of course, lots of other tidbits have come out of Adepticon, such as the next three Codexes after Drukhari (rumoured to be out on 7 or 14 April), news of some huge Knight that mocks the idea of this being a miniatures game, an Age of Sigmar CCG, and of course, the confirmation that plastic Sisters of Battle will be coming out in 2019.

Of course, I’ve been feeling pretty burnt-out on the Sisters rumours for quite some time now, so even despite this news, I’ll still believe it when I see it. However, it’s nice to see the community feedback finally taken seriously on this point! And no doubt, when they come out, I’ll want an army of them like most other people!

Along with all of this, we have the Forgebane game coming out tomorrow, and the Necron Codex is due over the Easter weekend. I’ve already been excitedly starting a Tau army, which is once more vying with my Necrons for my attention. To say nothing of adding yet more miniatures to my Dark Eldar, which I’ll doubtless be in the mood for in another couple of weeks when their Codex comes out!

All of this stuff has got me feeling a little bit like I’m on some kind of hobby treadmill, and I’m in actual danger of falling off!

See, like many folks, I have a whole load of hobby projects that I’d like to get on with, but it’s getting to the point where I’m not sure where to begin with tackling it all. Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, I have:
– get on with painting the Tau that I’ve been building up recently;
– get moving with painting/re-painting my Necrons in Thokt Dynasty colours;
– finish painting all of those half-complete Dark Eldar models;
– paint the Orlock and Escher gangers for Necromunda;
– also think about building and painting the Goliath gangers;
– think about the terrain for Necromunda;
– paint all of that Sector Mechanicus terrain I built last summer;
– carry on with the AdMech/Tempestus Scions army;
– finish painting up those Deathwatch miniatures;
– finish painting up those Novamarines, too;
– finish building and paint the Thousand Sons and Death Guard models;
– make a more serious effort with painting the Genestealer Cultists;
– decide if I want to have all of those Tyranid models, as well…

I’m sure there’s plenty more on the agenda that I’m just not thinking about right now!

First-world problems, for sure, but I think I’m in danger of getting into some kind of hobby overload once more, and I think I need to take a step away and almost move all the half-complete projects to the side while I concentrate on just one! I had a real issue when trying to paint the Genestealer Cultists that I discussed in my Tau blog here, in that I felt like I was out of practice with painting in general. I still haven’t yet made any concerted effort to remedy this, but until I do, I’m not feeling confident enough to get moving on things like the Deathwatch, Thousand Sons, or Necromunda minis. I need to focus on a much smaller array of stuff, and in fact I think I need to actually fully paint up a single unit to get my head back in the game, as it were!

Something that is increasingly difficult with all of this wonderful new stuff coming out left and right!

But looking at it from the opposite side: what a glorious time to be in this hobby!!