Necromunda – the Riot WIP

As mentioned recently in my glorious return to actually posting about a miniatures game here on Rats East, Necromunda is up and running here, and I have been painting. I’ve finished some of the minis I was working on, and started more, so today is going to be primarily a gang post. Painting details on some, nothing on others; some of these I’ve posted about previously (likely during other Necromunda seasons, when I painted them).

So, without further ado, I give you…

The Riot.

Ayesha, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, Queen of the Riot.

Painted for previous Necromunda seasons. From the Raging Heroes jailbirds crew box. Name from Haggard’s novel She and the bonkers sci fi film that’s so loosely based on it.

Reggie Belmont, Matriarch

Started during a previous season, but finally finished the other night. Cracked open and remixed a bunch of paints that haven’t been used in entirely too long. Also from the Raging Heroes jailbirds crew box, with a gun from Judge Dredd. Name from Night of the Comet.

Sam Belmont, Matriarch

Previously painted. From Hasslefree. The miniature is named Louise but it’s basically post-apocalyptic Velma. Reggie’s blood sister, name also from Night of the Comet.

Rebecca ‘Newt’ Jordan, Specialist Sister

Previously painted for Infinity. This is the old Caledonian Volunteer miniature, painted with a little nod to Tank Girl. Name from Aliens.

Hundra, Wyld Runner

From the new Escher box. Just getting into this one. The pants design seems pretty bonkers, though, doesn’t it? Like, she puts on pants. Then her weird hip-wader boot/chaps hybrids. *Then* she pulls a series of concentric rings up over those? Very extra, as the kids might say, haha. Name from the movie Hundra, of course.

Nicodemus and Jaeger, Phelynxes (Exotic Pets)

More fun from the new Escher box. The third one may or may not find its way into the gang before season’s end (these things have been a bit of a bust for me so far). Names pulled from The Secret of NiMH and Finder.

Daria, Little Sister

More Hasslefree. This girl started the season with only fleshtone painted, so she’s come a long way. Daria and Tisa are both named for the leads in Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity.

Tisa, Little Sister

Tisa here, also from Hasslefree, was painted by my friend Rob. Looks pretty great.

Vic, Little Sister

Another Hasslefree, another work in progress. This one’s more dwarf-scaled. Turquoise and Vermilion, just Vallejo thus far. Name from A Boy and his Dog.

BL00D, Ambot (Brute)

Painted last season, almost two years ago now! Name also pulled from A Boy and his Dog (Blood is the telepathic dog).

Rachael, Shivver (Hanger-on)

This miniature came out of the Kickstarter that Hasslefree did a few years back. Jaguar Boudi. With all the dark yellows and light browns, I’m wondering if maybe I should have gone with one of Citadel’s more pinkish fleshtones, but it is what it is. I’ll have to see what I can do with washes and further layers to differentiate a little more. Name from Blade Runner.

Vasquez, Ammo-Jack (Hanger-on)

Not much has changed here since last time. Barely started. Another name from Aliens.

Trixie, Rogue Doc (Hanger-on)

Trixie is from Statuesque. I fielded her as a juve in a previous season, but this year she’s my doc. She saved a Phelynx, so I guess she at least paid for herself. Name is from The Crazies.

And that’s the current roster. Might add a couple more before the season ends, and of course some of these have some more painting to go, but for now, that’s The Riot.

Necromunda – We’re back!

I painted!
As we careened into the first covid lockdowns almost two years back, I thought to myself, “wow, I’m going to get *so* many miniatures painted.” But then I couldn’t actually play the games with anybody, and miniatures sorta fell off my plate as a result. So instead of painting so many, I painted nothing. I watched some movies, played some video games, read a bunch of books… But no painting.
I thought about it. Part of me knew I enjoy it and should do it again, but the longer I waited the harder it was to convince myself. My painting space was cluttered, my miniatures were put away… honestly they were all terrible excuses, haha. Not painting was just easier and there was no extra push from their impending use.
But now? Necromunda has started up again! There’s only a few of us and we’re all in masks but – oh! – we’re playing a miniatures game and it feels glorious! And I am fielding some new miniatures, and some totally new units, and they’re in need of paint!

So this week I painted. I started with some brush on primer, just getting a bit of a feel for the brush against some totally unpainted stuff. And then I broke out some paints that were very badly in need of a shaking. The Vallejos are mixing up pretty nicely but the Citadel colours are a real chore so far. Probably doesn’t help that the first one I broke out was Cadian Fleshtone, which I hadn’t used in ages even when I *was* painting regularly. Anyhoo, some works in progress:

Daria the Little Sister (let’s run with House of Blades terminology since that’s what I’m using to play this time). I put fleshtone and nothing else on this a long time ago, so no idea what colour it was, but a Vallejo of some variety. Added some Vermilion Red for the clothing and Charcoal Grey for the hair. The bear is Flat Earth. I feel like I’ve totally forgotten my processes so it’s like I’m starting all over again. Changing colors too frequently and not working on enough miniatures simultaneously, but we’ll get there. Miniature by Hasslefree.

Tisa the Little Sister.
I play Necromunda with a fellow named Rob that is a fantastic painter, and he asked me if he could paint Tisa because he loves the miniature. My immediate thought was ‘no’ because I foolishly think I need to paint everything myself, but then I thought about my mountains of unpainted miniatures and thought better of it. So no paint on Tisa right now, but she’ll eventually be painted (post-campaign) and I’ll post her up then. Figured I’d get the ‘before’ in now. Another Hasslefree mini.

Hundra the Wyld Runner.
Barely started, but I’ll be very impressed if I get this fully painted without breaking it, especially that collar and leash(?) that she’s holding. These new miniatures are gorgeous but I’m very concerned for their survival. This is where I used that Cadian Fleshtone. I actually broke it out to paint some phelynx mouths but I think maybe it’s too light for that. Thinking she’ll get some yellow, but don’t know where yet. An actual official miniature from GW.

Jaeger and Nicodemus, the Phelynxes. Plus one.
More official GW miniatures. So far Hundra is only fielding with two but a third might be in the cards at some point so I’m painting it at the same time. I’ll be honest, at this point in the campaign these things and Hundra are a point sink. I’ve done pretty much nothing with them. I field them, I flub it, they go into recovery. Repeat. They’ve spent half the campaign in recovery, they all have have lasting injuries, and Jaeger would be dead if not for Trixie (more on her later). Mostly I am just really bad at using them (I only sort of understand how to, and in the heat of battle I forget the details of keeping them useful). Here’s hoping a paint job helps!

Trixie the Rogue Doc.
Welcome to hangers-on territory. Another one I started so long ago I don’t know all the colours anymore, but I started adding more detail. Boots, gloves, and belt by Vallejo. I have had really rough luck on the lasting injuries rolls so this was my first hanger-on. She saved a Phelynx one of her first days on the job, and he only lost an eye which was useless to him anyway, so she’s already paid for herself. This one’s from Statuesque.

Vasquez the Ammo-Jack.
Last week I added a Workshop to my territories, which came with an Ammo-Jack. Don’t know if I’ll get around to painting her but she’s at least assembled and primed at this point. She’s an Irmandinho from the Infinity range of anybody’s curious.

Rachael the Shivver.

The last hanger-on. Not sure which mini I’ll use, but leaming towards the Hasslefree one on the right.

And that’s it so far. Obviously that’s not my whole gang, but it’s all I’m working on painting at the moment. Maybe I’ll introduce the rest of The Riot in a follow-up post. More posts would be good, ha.

Review – Indians on Vacation by Thomas King

“If you had more friends, maybe you wouldn’t spend so much time with your demons.”

Thomas Blackbird Mavrias is a Greek-Cherokee former writer that feels long past making a difference with his words. Finding himself retired and in middling health, the one-time activist is vacationing with his long-time partner Mimi Bull Shield, with the shared goal of tracking down a long-lost Crow bundle. The bundle – taken to Europe by Mimi’s Uncle Leroy when he fled to Europe a century earlier – provides the impetus behind their regular international travels while a collection of Uncle Leroy’s postcards provides direction.

Thomas King’s latest novel, Indians on Vacation, follows Bird and Mimi to Prague. Bird, in turn, is followed by his various demons: Eugene (self-loathing), Cat/Kitty (pessimism), Didi (depression), Desi (despair), and Chip (of the ‘on the shoulder’ variety). Bird’s personal demons are fully fleshed out characters with thoughts and opinions that they aren’t afraid to share, and their dialogue provides a peek into those aspects of his personality that he tries to keep tucked away and out of sight. It’s Mimi that named them, that brought them out in to the open, just as she tries to bring Bird out of his shell. The two are very different people, and their differences provide no shortage of gentle conflict in the close proximity that travel forces upon them.

King’s characters are complicated individuals and the relationship they share is not always simple or smooth. The primary framework of the story takes place in Prague, but there are many digressions and remembrances scattered throughout, where the reader is provided the opportunity to see the man Bird has been, both at other stages in his life and in other stages of his relationship with (and without) Mimi. There is a lot of love between Bird and Mimi, but there are also silences and frustrations and pain, all of which come alive in clever heartfelt dialogue and illuminating prose.

Indians on Vacation is a novel woven from many stories, and those stories are full of the nudges and winks that Thomas King excels at. It’s filled with love and humour, but is also steeped in hard realities and sad truths that, along with Bird’s demons, shape a narrative that’s both a pleasure to read and a rough reminder that the world could use a lot of work.

This review was originally published by Cloud Lake Literary in September of 2020.

Necromunda 17 – Amanda the Raven

As long as I was on a roll, I finished up another member of my Escher gang this week… my gang leader, Amanda the Raven.

I got impatient with this one, and didn’t really give the shades enough time to really set. Unfortunately this led to some messy drybrushing that I’m not entirely happy with. Instead of a highlighting effect, it’s more of a shoddy mush, but I can’t be bothered to redo it all. Good enough for the tabletop, anyway…

In case anybody’s curious, the miniature is from Bombshell, I think (it’s been a while, haha).

Necromunda 17 – Jane the Whirlwind

Well, I have made good on my promise and finished painting Jane in recognition of her Pitfight win on the 8th.

We’re mostly just talking about some drybrushing and base work at this stage; most of the primary painting effort was done when I posted last week.

I like a lot of things about these Raging Heroes miniatures, but I do have a couple minor complaints. There a lot of low-relief detail that’s hard to pick out until after it’s been painted, and that sword, oof. Super crooked and twisty on arrival. It’s resin, so that’s sorta expected and it was pretty easy to reshape with hot water, but I never really felt like I got it perfect. Even after straightening, it feels a bit shifty.

Necromunda 17 – Mittens

Mittens is complete!

My friend Cadie joined me last night for an evening of painting miniatures. She had some weird little fantasy commissions to work on for another friend of ours, and I took the opportunity to paint Mittens. I got the bulk of it done last night (we painted until about 130) and finished up this morning while my boys did some painting of their own:

They were very excited to join in!

I went with a mixed bag approach, an Ambot that’s been sourced or repaired using multiple donor bots. Unless otherwise specified, any named paints are Vallejo.

The torso and right arm are painted in an Olive Drab that’s a little more military than my original goal, but it’s also a nice subtle core to wrap the more interesting colours around. The left pauldron and right leg are a Heavy Red, and the left limbs are both painted in a construction-themed combination of Deep Yellow and Black. Machine parts and cables are a varied mix of Bronze, Brass, Oily Steel, and some Citadel Warplock Bronze. A few joints are done in a Vermilion Red/Gory Red mix to give them an industrial casing sort of feel.

Overall I’m very happy with how he turned out, and excited to field at least 2 freshly painted models next weekend.

I gave him a bit of wear and tear to finish him up. I’d thought about working some rust pigments into the machine parts and joints and such, but ended up just settling for a bit of Burnt Cadmium Red in those spaces. Full blown rust effects just seemed unnecessary, and not entirely in line with the rest of the work I’d done here (especially since I tend to go a little overboard with the rust weathering, haha).

I *did* add a bit of light gore to go along with the weathering. Nothing too insane, but a bit around the sawblade hands, plus some under the lifted foot. Sorta like he stepped on somebody and now he’s tracking them around. Grin.

I cannot wait plop this guy down on the table next time. Hoping he’ll scare the bejabbers out of somebody,

Necromunda 17 – Jane the Whirlwind and ‘Mittens’ WIP 1

I recently fielded a long-primed but as-yet-unpainted Raging Heroes miniature in a multiplayer Necromunda scenario. I told my friends/opponents that if she came through and won the event, that Jane the Whirlwind would get painted before the next session in a couple weeks. I haven’t painted in a while, so this was a good opportunity to put myself on the hook, and sure enough she triumphed.

So here I am painting her up. I feel super out of practice (I haven’t really painted anything since my Saga vikings a while back) but it feels good.

Evening #1 was mostly just a few base colours, trying to get a feel for where I’d be heading, plus I put some grit down on the base. That particular jar of gritty stuff is getting a bit dry, but I’ve got a fresh one waiting in the wings. At this point I’m already noticing I didn’t clean this miniature up much, but I don’t want to start over. I’ll just have to pay better attention in the future. It would have been easy to get these mold lines off, but I’ve been picking away at this mini over so long that I think I just missed that step.

Evening #2. I’m not entirely sure I like the hair, but again, I don’t dislike it enough to set myself back. At least hree variations on brownish added, plus I blacked the parts I’d potentially be putting metallics on.

Evening #3. Washes, details, metallics, and a nice crackly power sword blade. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish her up and get started painting Mittens.

Right, Mittens. I put an Ambot in my necromunda gang, so that will probably be the next thing to get painted. For now, I spent a couple evenings putting him together before painting up Jane the Whirlwind.

There are a ridiculous number of nooks and crannies in this fellow so I’m sure parts of him won’t get much paint, but hopefully I can make him look pretty cool. Thinking I’ll mix a few colour schemes to suggest some donor parts, and maybe some rust effects. Nothing so intense as my Gaslands cars, just enough to make it look like it’s done some time in the bowels of the underhive.

Mittens feels like a pet’s name while referencing his ‘hands’; it was just a funny idea at first but it’s grown on me significantly. I’ll keep you posted!

Necromunda 17 – Downtime/Pitfight!

We have reached the halfway point in our current Necromunda campaign, which means everybody has recovered, we all got a pile of cash to buy some gangers and hangers-on, and we played a little multi player scenario called Pitfight.

Downtime first, I suppose. I spent an evening making some careful decisions to maximize the effectiveness of my 250 credits. A nice mix of gangers and juves. And then our Arbitrator said yes to Brutes being Hangers-on, and I tossed most of those plans out the window, because when else am I going to get my hands on enough credits to buy an Ambot? Muahaha! I had some credits left from the previous session, too, so I also picked up some better armour and a power knife for my close combat champion, Jane the Whirlwind. Then I tested her mettle in the pit…

Pitfight is a free-for-all where each player sends one champion into a ‘pit’ that’s only 24″ square; last champion standing wins. Limited ranged options for the first few rounds. Only three of us made it out to play, so the stakes weren’t as high as they could have been, but we did end up dishing out some pretty rough Lasting Injuries. James and I both fielded Eschers, and Rob’s Venator gang sent in a Goliath.

Rob’s Goliath held back for the first couple rounds while James and I closed and started an absolutely epic fight.

Both of our Eschers had Step Aside (which is pretty dynamite on an Escher) so that was one hit pretty much negated every time. James’s ganger had some rapid fire potential, but I had a parry and a 4+ armour save to keep me in the game. Rob had a few rounds to hit us both with shredder templates before I managed to get clear of James and take on Rob.

I ended up with a bunch of reputation and experience and a little bit of cash, and the other two ended up with head injuries. I had the only unpainted model, so I promised early on that I’d paint Jane the Whirlwind if she won. That will have to wait for another post, though.

Looking forward to fielding my Ambot next time. I just gotta spend some credits first…

Necromunda 17 – some very late initial thoughts

After preordering the box, and buying all the Gang War books, and the hardcover rewrites (with slipcase!), and some extra Escher cards, I have *finally* played a couple actual games of the new Necromunda.

I like it.

That said, let’s get the worst out of the way. The rulebooks. The Gang War supplements are a tire fire (tyre fire?) of retcon design, full of ‘Replace pages 17-24 from your first supplement with the following…’, etc. The fact that they parceled out the rules in this manner angers me to no end. It’s like the hardcopy version of offensively designed DLC; imagine you paid $90 for a videogame only to find out when you got home that it was episode 1 of 5 (providing only 4 hours of gameplay) and that each additional episode would be $35. Oh, and a year later $99 would get you the whole thing, with all the bugs worked out.

The hardcover rewrites are a definite improvement, but still manage to kind of fail all over the place, in glorious Games Workshop style. The rules are of course split (rather arbitrarily it sometimes seems) between two books, and constantly reference other rules in other parts of the book (or the other book) while rarely providing page numbers or anything else. It’s like everything is cross – referenced but with no actual references. Oh, and there’s no index. Just a minimal table of contents that’s pretty much limited to what are essentially chapter titles. Kind of reminds me of the second edition of Infinity; it reads okay, but looking anything up is a nightmare. Except that Infinity provided an amazing online wiki that pretty much negated any need to look anything up in their rulebook, and also *fixed* those shortcomings when it came time to release 3rd edition. The Necromunda hardcovers are literally the clearer *rewrite* of the new Necromunda rules and the only real improvement they seem to have bothered to make over the Gang War supplements is that they reduced the number of books from 5 to 2, and deleted the paragraphs that were retconned out of the rules. Grr. I like this game, but GW has pretty much hung themselves out to dry as far as my hobby cash is concerned.

K, just needed to get that out the old system, thanks. Moving on.

Necromunda 2017. First off, the game uses an alternating activation system that feels like they ripped it directly out of the Frostgrave rulebook, right down to Leaders and Champions having the option of activating additional models alongside themselves (models within 3″, even, haha). I’m fine with this – it’s a great system that keeps everybody more engaged and provides additional tactical depth – but I totally find myself mixing up the details with the Frostgrave method. Good thing they’re so darn similar, haha!

Close combat is *not* a face to face roll of any kind, which threw me off in my first game. Unlike Frostgrave, Infinity, or even the old Necromunda, being the one that charges in and attacks is a pretty big deal. If you can take somebody out fast enough, they won’t even get to strike back. I’m still up in the air about this, but I don’t hate it. I think I just need to get used to it. Might make armour more useful in this iteration. If they release a ‘slow’ gang at any point (I’m thinking of Mordheim’s dwarves right now), I expect they’ll be pretty much boned.

Shooting is pretty much what you’d expect, although they’ve tried to ‘simplify’ the stats as they’ve done with so many games recently. So your ballistic skill will be 4+ instead of 3; means the same but fewer charts. Makes some of the modifiers actually feel *less* intuitive, but that’s quite possibly just because I’ve used so many variations of the old system for so long that it feels more natural than it is. A lot of the heavy weapons are cheaper than they were in the old Necromunda, but on trying to use them in game, I think it balances out. ‘Unwieldy’ (N17’s trait for move-or-shoot) is pretty brutal. By making heavy weapons a double action instead of single (rather than just requiring no movement), one is prevented from aiming carefully, or even from using most of the sights and other upgrades. A suspensor modification negates this, but effectively increases the weapon costs by 60 each. Like I said, seems to balance them out okay, but it also means that some of the basic and special weapons seem a bit undercosted. Hopefully nobody tries to play this competitively, or you’d probably see a lot of lists spamming a lot of identically outfitted minis.

The one and only time I thought to take a picture.

I think that’s all I’ve got to say at the moment. I like the new Necromunda, and hopefully will continue to.