From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Last Sunday there was a short message on the Warhammer Community site that prompted much rejoicing.
This both surprises and doesn’t surprise me. The surprise factor involves the presence of Shadowwar: Armageddon. With this game in circulation I had thought that a Necromunda relaunch would involve nothing more than a supplement, perhaps called Shadowwar: Necromunda. Clearly this game will have a different role than Shadowwar.
The not surprise part is by simply looking around to see what else has been done over the past 18 months. With Warhammer Quest and Blood Bowl having successful relaunches, it is clear that other fondly-remembered non-core games from the 1990s would be up for the relaunch treatment. On that basis, Necromunda makes sense.
So, what is it?
Necromunda is a game of gang war in the vast underhive of Necromunda, a planet of the Imperium in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Players pick from one of six merchant houses, whose gangs each have distinctive appearance and fighting preferences. These gangs range from the tech-maniacs of House Delqaue to the pseudo militia of House Van Saar. The original box came with two gangs in plastic, House Goliath and House Orlock. Other gangs were available in metal.
Above is my Van Saar gang, badly in need of repainting. Behold the wonders of the 1990s!
Players choose one of these houses and build a gang consisting of a leader, a heavy, several gangers, and perhaps a juve or two. Battles are typically one gang versus another, either as a skirmish battle or else one of several scenarios supplied in the rule book. A gang which loses too many members to death or injury is likely to fail its bottle test and flee the field entirely, leaving the spoils of battle to their adversary.
In between battles gang members can gain stats or lose them due to injury. They can also gain skills. Like a Blood Bowl team, this progression over time creates a sense of attachment in the player towards their gang, and crucial in-game successes or failures remain memorable even years later.
An expansion for the original Necromunda added more gang options beyond the six houses, from outcast muties to murderous spyrers, visiting nobles from the hive spires hunting gangers for sport. Over time the game became quite expansive, with battles moving between the plain ‘underhive’ to the ash wastes or even more organised precincts with an arbites presence.
While I’m not sure what the new game will bring, other than some impressive new plastic figures I find myself looking forward to it.