To surmise in a single paragraph. My love affair with Hive Primus - Palatine (and lately the dark events leading to the eventual fall of Hive Arcos) started many years ago: seven years under half a lifetime ago in fact. A while ago, around the same time the Corvus virus entered everyone`s lives. Hillers poor old Dad`s funeral was a while passed, all the official solicitor paperwork etc had been sorted. And some time later we discovered he had put aside a special gift for Hils and myself. A little bit of money ONLY to be spent of something very special for ourselves. He wanted it to be for something that meant a lot to us.. a little treat (we wouldn`t ordinarily be able to afford) to be treasured. A small memento of his memory. A lovely touch from a lovely old man I thought, and it moved me deeply. This ol` fella could talk about his experiences as a child during the war (like Uncle Albert in "Only Fools and Horses"), or his life working on the docks of Felixstowe, or his memories of trains back in the glorious age of steam. So this little `separate` will proviso deserved a special appreciation. For my half of the windfall I invested it wisely into "Necromunda: Dark Uprising." A game I never in a million years thought I might one day own in any magnitude, yet had silently lusted after it ever since I saw it being played So I bought it, the seven gang box sets, and the beautiful hardback core book and four of its (optional/essential) core system campaign books.
.... and the game sat there. I knew this was special. Beyond special. So wanted to be sure that when I cracked open the lid, I would be in a position to finish what I started. This article is about my experiences with this rich and colourful.. grimdark pageant.
Let me start by saying, this is (to my best of knowledge) the biggest box set Games Workshop has ever made. Weighing in at around 20 lbs. Its a collection of a myriad of terrain sprues, allowing you to create a fully realised three dimensional multi levelled 2` by 2` play area (which can be doubled up in size by purchasing the exquisite 4 tile plastic terrain floor base set - which I did). In addition, the box comes with its own heavy campaign book, with special Dark Uprising Campaign rules included.. just for this box. All the dice, templates, and stat cards needed; including blank ones for making up your own homebrew gangs, personalities and monsters. A nice touch I thought. Then we come to the two complete gangs you need to play the campaign itself (two gangs... both unique to the box set). Its fair say this box contains everything you need play the Arcos Uprising from day one right through to its climatic conclusion 4000 or so days later. Trust me when I say, if you are a gamer willing to commit to a single project for a good year or so, this box contains all you need. Its truly epic and utterly stunning in its sheer brilliant scope and potential for fantastic game immersion. Part narrative skirmish wargame, part role playing game, this game does what it says on the tin.. as the old Ronsil Paint advert says.
In brief, the campaign centres around a group of Hive workers who deal with turning human remains into re-processed food product, necessary to feed the teeming billions who live on the planet (but like in the film Soylent Green). But unbeknownst to the disgruntled, underpaid depressed workers, a dark evil has crept into the lower Hives factory levels, into the worker guild`s hearts and minds, known to the as "The Lord of Skin and Sinew." And before they even realise it, Korne has them in its grip... which is the TRUE identity of this dark entity. But by this time it is too late. By now few even care. They are fed, free of slavery, and enjoying a new level of debauchery, and thus the cannibalistic Corpse Grinder Cult is born. The lords above are unaware anything is amiss in the lower Hives until it is almost too late: and scramble to put down the growing unrest... and eventual uprising as quietly as possible (not wanting their inability to control and master the Hive to reach Imperial ears). So they send in their own personal police force to deal with things... The Subjugator clades of the Palanite Enforcers: a virtual army, almost as powerful and skilled at the Space Marine Corps themselves. This is by far the darkest, grimmest tale of woe Games Workshop has ever unleashed on its customers... and I love it.
Now, eventually every Necromunda gamer is going to thirst for more options to add to his or her game. Foolish hobbyist might try to `play the completist` and buy the other seven gangs box sets (Escher, Goliath, Orlock, Van Saar, Delaque, Cawdor, and Genestealer Cult). But you won't need any of these until you have exhausted all the fun this Dark Uprising Campaign had to offer, but the exponential possibilities of including them (in time) makes these a worthy addition to be sure. Just don't make the mistake of buying the gang boxes because you can`t help yourself. Buy them because you are ready for them and need them for your game, not just because they're there, whispering seductively "buy me." Same applies to the additional hardback tomes. Each will add new layers to your Nercomunda games, but again trust me: you`ll have your hands full getting to grips with the big book that come in the Dark Uprising box let alone any more stuff, not for a very, very long time. Me, I have it all because a kindly ol` man left us some money to do something special with, and so I put my gift into taking up a subject I knew I was going to get a lot of pleasure out of.. God willing, for many, many years to come. But even my spare figure sets and expansion books are sitting firmly on the shelf, where they will remain.. still sealed in their cellophane until I have explored the big box campaign to utter exhaustion.
Interesting thing about the newest rendering of the Necromunda game. Some gamers may well remember the original version that hit the stores in 1995. It was fantastic for the time and caught the imagination of many vivid grimdark hobbyiets. Then in 217 the game was rereleased, but the gaming public was largely unhappy with this newer version, which came on a flat board, so it felt more like a sci-fi boardgame (like Zombicide or Massive Darkness etc). "oh man, where is the 3D terrain the original game came with?" they all cried. So Games Workshop listened to their public outrage, quietly retired the game.... redesigned it from the ground up, and bought out "Dark Uprising" COMPLETE WITH ALL THE 3D TERRAIN ANY BOY COULD EVER WISH FOR. "Oh Man, I can`t afford that, it's too expensive" the public all cried.
*chuckles, and shakes my head* You just can`t win sometimes. Of all the editions Ive ever seen, this is by far the best. But I won't lie, the price tag on that big box is simply huge. You have to know you want this game badly to be able to afford it`s humongous recommended price tag. But is it worth it.. YES. But only if you really REALLY plan to get your money`s worth out of it. I liken it to buying an expensive Hornby model train set. If you just want to dabble with trains for a while, or buy a set from your kid at Christmas. Then buy a nice affordable set that fits your wallet. But if you have a passion for trains and think you are going to spend many happy years immersing into this brave new venture.... then sure, go all out and buy one of the deluxe box train set boxes, and let your grand layout build slowly from there.. adding a bit at a time, as time and funds allow. You have a life time to enjoy, so take your time and love and appreciate every moment... don`t just horde stuff.
However, £150 will simply be too steep an entry fee for many to buy into this Necromunda set. With today's throw away society of buy a game, toss it aside a few months later.. it certainly won't be for most people. But if you want a good, complete, solo playable, fully fleshed out thematic campaign, containing a deluxe box of treasures, with enough delights to keep you enthralled and focussed for a very long time to come, with ample potential to expand upon as you go... then this one is worth saving your pennies to buy: because it really does contain everything a sci-fi grimdark player could ever wish for in his or her wildest dreams... including an awesome rules and campaign system well worthy of taking the time to master. What`s more, if you happen to own any of the Battle System terrain sets, that stuff could almost have been tailor made to enhance to your Necromunda experience.
Much of the Necromunda world ethos has already been defined through years of existing gamer input. Sadly this means the majority of stuff you see will look like carbon copies of the same game. That`s a problem with Games Workshop miniatures. HIGHLY detailed though they are, and demands a considerable skill level to paint to the standard norm.. which is second to none (just like with Warhammr 40K collections) it can end up all looking a bit samey.. as every collector models using the same GW paints and washes, uses the same techniques, and usually paint to the official codex of colour schemes laid down as standard canon in the books. I wanted to get away from that a little bit. Does anyone remember the Joss Whedon series "Firefly?" It was a cool hardcore science fiction setting, which had a distinctly wild west feel to it. In fact Joss himself says the series was a dressed up retelling of the a defeated South right after the events of the American Civil War... set to a future setting. So it's got tone elements of sheriffs and deputy marshals, gun slingers, home stead ranchers, outlaws, roving gangs, small shanty towns, and the inevitable bank and train heists, all thrown in. Now put that in a Necromunda Hive world (and outlying wastes) and you have yourself a real `Edge of the Empire` setting in which to base your games. And what`s more you can start to assemble and create your `gangs` to recreate this unique feel. It's put me in a euphoric state of rapture for sure, and has me as motivated about this venture as Greg is for his Samurai.
I`ve not been very active on the blogs lately (yes Ive been enjoying assembling and painting my cool stuff), but mostly this has been for a few reasons. The new Google blogger interface is not only hard to use in an enjoyable way..but because of my slow internet speed, makes doing anything take waaaay longer than it used to, especially if I want to add lots of nice pictures and photos. I can tell you now, if it weren`t for Greg and how much pleasure he has bought to TGC, I would have left blogging entirely... in disgust, and gone back to running a paid, dedicated Weebly website. On top of this, I`ve simply been enjoying playing a lot of big table top games and painting hundreds of figures this last several months (none of which has made it to the blog). The motivation (with this horrible new blogger interface) has diminished a lot of the pleasure for me. But also... no, not burn out, far from it. But everyone`s been super busy lately, and without their enthusiastic input, I have been finding many of my normal TGC ideas have been taking a back seat as of late... simmering on the back burner, rather than brewing away at a full boil. You could call it laziness on my part, but that would be very far from the truth. I`ve just been doing a lot behind the scenes, but for myself.. and most of it to further and indulge the solitaire part of my hobby.
So nothing is wrong, nothing is amiss. Priorities have shifted slightly over the last while, and who knows what tomorrow will bring. More of the same TGC shenanigans' as normal, with a few new subjects to write about? Or perhaps even more diversity? Only time will tell hehe. That`s one of the wonderful things about our hobby. Different things grab our attention at different times. I think the key here is never to drop a thing..... just set it aside sometimes, until the desire to see it live again, returns with full driving vengeance.
PS I had a lot more photos to add. It just wouldn`t let me put them in this time.
PS I had a lot more photos to add. It just wouldn`t let me put them in this time.