Necromunda means a lot to me. When I was thirteen I was introduced to the game by a school friend and it was my introduction to the weird and wonderful world of miniatures wargaming. We had our first gang fight one rainy Saturday afternoon and I haven't looked back since.
For me nothing has come close to capturing my imagination like the Underhive of Necromunda. Every game felt like you were participating in a full fleshed out, living breathing world. It was part 2000AD part Mad Max, it's like it was made for me! A small scale skirmish game where you control rival gangs fighting in an almost post-apocalyptic setting. Your gang members progressed and levelled up the more games you played and you became attached to them. They had their own personalities you it was a real gut punch when your Gangers sustained horrible life threatening injuries.
The new versions of Blood Bowl and Warhammer Quest are out already and they are excellent, for me that bodes well for this new Necromunda. There is no official release date yet but I have been thinking about what I am hoping for for the new edition. Here are my thoughts on what I'd like to see and what I'd imagine we will see...
New Rules or not?
When Games Workshop released Blood Bowl in November they barely touched the rules for the game. It was pretty much the same game as the third edition from 1994 with a few tweaks here and there. At first I was a bit disappointed as I would have love to have seen if they could have updated the game and made it a bit more streamlined and modern but it actually makes sense that they would keep the rules the same. Blood Bowl has an extremely active fan base and tournament scene and always has, even when the game was out of production. I think if they changed the game to much there would have been up roar and, to be honest, Blood Bowl is an extremely fun game and didn't really need much changing.
Necromunda does have a very active fan base but nothing to the scale of Blood Bowl (not hat I know of any way) so maybe we will see a more streamlined version of Necromunda. I would actual be quite happy with a big rules update for the game. For me I think a good change would be to get away from the IGOUGO activation, maybe making it ebb and flow more with reactions and the like. This may be asking a bit much for Games Workshop though.
The best thing about Necromunda was it's campaign system. It was detailed but simple and as I said above made the game feel like it too part in a full leaving and breathing world. I would be very surprised if they got rid of this element of the game. It is what makes Necromunda Necromunda at the end of the day. I just hope it is as exciting and engaging as the original campaign rules.
What'll be in the box?
The original Necromunda boxed game was an amazing thing. You got two plastic gangs, dice, the rules and the usual amount of counters and rulers and the like. I'd imagine we would get all this in the new box but the one thing from the original box that really stuck with me was the card and plastic terrain. Whenever I see one of the old plastic bulkheads I get a huge pang of nostalgia. The card scenery included with Necromunda as perfect. I used it for every Sci-Fi game I used to play.
In the years since the game came out Games Workshop have produced lots of excellent plastic scenery kits so I would imagine that the starter box will have hard plastic scenery and I'm sure it'll look awesome. Saying that though Games Workshop recently released a boxed game called Gangs of Commorragh which is a game between rival Dark Eldar gangs that included a campaign system (sounds kinda familiar eh?) came with very basic card terrain. Maybe a good way of keeping the cost of the box would be to have basic card terrain and then have more detailed plastic scenery an option add on to buy later (these sets could be like Mantic Games awesome Battle Zones modular sets of terrain!) I'm all for lowering that initial buy in to make it more accessible and I'm sure even card terrain from GW will be exceptionally good quality!
This brings me to the plastic Gangers. The ones in the original box were very basic and had limited customisation option. You basically just had a couple of different arms with different weapons to choose from, they were pretty cutting edge for their time though. As you know the quality of what Games Workshop can produce in plastic now has come on leaps and bounds and I would love to see new, multi-part, hard plastic Necromunda gangs. I'd imagine this is what we would get in the box. The new Blood Bowl had two awesome snap fit plastic teams but as Necromunda is all about gang customisation I'd like to think that we will get a more customisable kit akin to the squads that you buy for Warhammer 40,000 and the like. I'd also imagine that they will be Orlock and Goliath...but who knows?
Games Workhop have been releasing stand alone boxed games again recently but I feel that Necromunda is more than that. They have been doing excellent things with Blood Bowl (yes I have been using Blood Bowl as an example a lot!) supporting it, having rules for the extra teams for free, having the Death Zone expansion out on the day of release and slowly releasing extra teams (the Dwarfs and Skaven are out already) and Star Players in resin from Forge World. I'd imagine they would use this model for Necromunda. Two gangs in the box set then newer gangs released throught the year as seperate box set. There is space for an expansion like the Outlanders set for the original game and Forge World could make some excellent special characters like the Hired Guns and Bounty Hunters in resin! Blood Bowl is proving to be extremely popular and I can imagine that Necromunda will be just as successful!
Of course this all just my opinion and speculation. Nothing has been officially said about the release yet but I'd imagine it will be 2018....I am hoping for much sooner though!