At about 12 years old I developed a life long gaming addiction, beginning with Dungeons and Dragons and eventually increasing to encompass the fantastical imaginary worlds of so many other role-playing games…
… by about age 14, I found that I had gained another, related but far more specialized addiction…painting miniatures.
From there I was hooked on anything played on a tabletop, and still am! Flash forward in time! Now, as a middle-aged Dad, I still fit in at least an hour of hobby time a day. I don’t think I have gone a single day since the age of 14 without holding a brush.
That isn’t to say that I’m some sort of ‘professional’ painter, far from it. I paint to a level that is as good as I can get..which is good enough for me.
The end result being; ‘this is finished for my next game’ rather than ‘this is a modern masterpiece, 80 hours in the making’. I guess I need to keep busy with constant noodling, so I try to choose projects that are both interesting and long-reaching…
I want modelling and hobby challenges and projects to do. The eventual end goal: playing games that look great and are fun.
If you do the math though, you find I’ve been doing this for a while. Every couple years (sometimes less, sometimes more…) I switch it up and begin a new project.
This time, I feel a strong urge to revisit a key tabletop universe from my youth: Necromunda.
Most miniature gamers will have a passing knowledge of this industrial cesspit of a planet, but to the uninitiated; what is it?
In the beginning, Necromunda was a sort of amalgam of lots of other cool science fiction properties. Think Dune meets Judge Dredd, smeared with a bit of Games Workshop iconography and you start to get the concept.
This new edition, 20 some years later, sees a new Necromunda that is a fully realized world in its own right, a delight for a crusty old gamer for certain!
Pop culture has an awful way of re-doing things and completely missing the mark, usually resulting in buyer’s remorse and a cheapening of the enjoyment once procured from the original property. Not so here. New Necromunda is a beautiful, rough and sprawling beast. There is such a wealth of information and gaming stuff in the new books that the mind boggles at all the potential projects…
Herein lies one of the big concerns of new players, “Where do I begin?”
Well, begin with me and let’s have a good look over the next several articles!
Unlike more ‘traditional’ tabletop games, Necromunda is a role-playing environment in which to have a miniature game. It is unlike any other miniature game currently available on the market and deserves your hobby time…but it isn’t for everyone.
I would recommend it to you if you are a tabletop hardcore, but the complexities may be too much for a less experienced gaming group. Another way to look at it is: a special type of gaming mutant is required for 100% enjoyment. The game action takes place amidst the clutter and decay of old refineries and slag pits and games are expected to contain lots of scenery.
Basically, two or more gangs will be shooting and stabbing at each other with really cool future weapons, so cover and firing positions are essential. The hive city you are fighting in looks much like a termite mound and on the tabletop, the easiest representation of this is vertical height, the higher the better. So, without even thinking about what models I might want to paint and play with, I already have two fairly massive terrain projects: lots of scatter terrain and as much height as I can build.
Getting started is the hardest part and Necromunda has so much stuff it can be daunting. Two boxed sets and five books as well as cards and dice, and, and, and.
Here is what I did. Buy the first boxed set. Necromunda: Underhive is excellent value for new players. Two gangs, two sets of dice, two sets of cards, markers, plastic scenery and Zone Mortalis tiles (more on this in future articles…).
The rulebook is outdated though, so I also purchased the Necromunda Rulebook and Gangs Of The Underhive books. There are more books but these will do until I get acquainted with the basic rules and gameplay.
Weighing in at 192 and 160 pages, there is so much information here to immerse yourself in the world. With these, I should be able to run my first several campaigns.
Now onto the project! When starting a new project I always go through my ‘Bitz Box’, all long time modellers should have at least one. Necromunda has a very specific look and I want to honour that on the tabletop as much as possible with my model choices.
I managed to find a half dozen old Necromunda models as well as a few other assorted sci-fi figures which should get me started. Luckily, I have a near mint set of the old cardboard scenery, which will get a retrofit with some of the snazzy new Games Workshop plastic scenery kits in the next article. Allowing me to get into the action as soon as possible!
So, it would seem that my childhood nostalgia and my adult hobby excitement have finally come together in a satisfactory way, ensuring many months (hopefully years…) of fruitful futuristic fun.
Check in next month and see my first plans come to fruition.
– Uncle Mike
Uncle Mike is a game designer but more frequently he is a game player. His specific sub-genre of nerd is miniature games and he boasts a large and varied collection dating back into the antiquity of gaming itself. Here he talks and talks about the things he likes.