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The New Wave of ‘Necromunda’ is Here and It’s Beautiful
G&S Painters GuildG&S Painters Guild

The New Wave of ‘Necromunda’ is Here and It’s Beautiful

Love minis, but don’t know how to paint them? Geek & Sundry’s Painters Guild is our show where host Will Friedle goes on a journey to learn how to paint miniatures. Last season, he learned basic techniques, and in season 2, he’ll be improving his miniature painting skills as guests join him and teach him new tips and techniques. Join him on Alpha paint those #happylittleminis!

All is finally right with the world. Necromunda without Orlocks just felt wrong. They were originally included in the boxed game back in ’95 and I actually think it was a fantastic idea to swap in the Escher for the house of iron, but it still felt like something was missing; not anymore.

One of the best aspects of this re-imagining of classic ‘Munda is the new take on gangs. Each of the factions thus far has been injected with new character and color befitting their role. You have Goliaths hauling rivet cannons and Escher wielding poison and whips. The reinforcement of asymmetry is a huge boon, and the Orlocks follow in lock-step.

These blue-collar warriors hit the hive wielding a plethora of shotguns, auto pistols, and a bitching new harpoon launcher. The latter is a heavy weapon that allows you to physically drag another model towards you. That’s the definition of cool and highlights the renewed narrative focus behind the philosophy of the design.

While the miniatures of the Orlocks are beautiful as ever, the rules for the models are found in the new Gang War II supplement. To complete the roster, you’ll need to pick up their separately sold set of cards as well. This piecemeal approach to expansion content is a bit of a turn-off as nothing feels quite complete without a secondary acquisition.


Fortunately, you’ll want to nab the new softcover book anyway. It includes the rules for Hired Guns – essentially mercenaries that were a key concept in the original 90s game – as well as a new concept of Hangers-On.

This new idea of basically hive groupies is genius. It reinforces the unique color of the setting while adding a mechanical twist that is delightful. Now, when your gang attains suitable rating, different vagrants and assets will be attracted to your territory. At the moment you can acquire extra medical or ammo assistance. These Hangers-On don’t typically fight in battles, but have a chance to appear if you’re battling on your home turf. Fantastic.

One of the most surprising elements of this new wave of Necromunda supplies is the additional 2D tileset. The Bad Zone Delta-7 set features a slew of perils that are fully detailed in the Gang War II supplement. You can perform cult rituals, fall through collapsed sections of the hive, and push hapless Juves into turbines.

What’s compelling about this inclusion is the dedication Games Workshop is showing to the non-3D version of the game. Since Necromunda of old derived a solid portion of its personality from battling upon multiple stories of twisted steel, I’m surprised to find the design team supporting the flat surface battles with new material. The best way to play this game is, in fact, bouncing between both modes to keep the experience fresh, and it’s great to see this support.

As we inch further along Necromunda’s new lifespan, clarity upon the direction begins to emerge. It’s nice to see weapons from all of the supplements combined together into a single table in the new booklet, as I hope to see that philosophy continue. The challenge of a player remaining familiar with so many rules booklets and changing forces is real and continually experienced by players of larger games like 40k, but it’s not something we’re exactly used to a skirmish design such as this. How Games Workshop manages that going forward will tell us a great deal about the future of this game.

Necromunda has always been one of the best skirmish games designed. The seamless integration between one-off fights and an extended campaign is tantalizing. The setting is engrossing and Newmunda is all about shoving the throttle to full burn.

Have you checked out the new Necromunda? Tell us about it in the comments. And for tips to get those Orlocks (or any other minis) painted, check out Geek & Sundry’s Painters Guild on Alpha. Don’t have an Alpha subscription? Get a free 30-day trial at

Featured Image Credit: Games Workshop

Image Credits: Charlie Theel

Editor’s note: Samples of the Orlocks and Gang War II were provided by the publisher

In addition to Geek & Sundry, Charlie Theel writes for Ars Technica, Tabletop Gaming, Miniature Market’s The Review Corner, and co-hosts the gaming podcast Ding & Dent. You can find him on Twitter @CharlieTheel

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