Game Time: Necromunda pt. 1

Game Time: Necromunda pt. 1


This is next blog post from our winter break gaming sessions. Here I get to tackle the Games Workshop (GW)  game “Necromunda”. I never played the original, but have wanted to for years and years. So, when the game got re-released by GW, it felt like “now or never!”. I bought pretty much everything as it came out, and we have played a few quick games prior with the rules from the Underhive boxed set.

This post will mostly be about the prep, with some notes about minis and the followup post will mostly be about playing the game itself.

The Scramble

Last year when my niece came to visit, I showed her some of the Goliath gang I had been working on and she thought they were pretty cool.  So I showed her the teams and asked her which one she would be interested in. Feeling pretty good about the whole painting thing, I told her I could probably have the Eschers (she chose) painted up when they next visited (last month). Well, time passed and the Escher didn’t paint themselves. I got enough of the Van Saar painted that our son’s team was pretty much ready.

Knowing that this was a big opportunity to play this game, I thought “What is the minimum amount of work can I do to get the Escher models on the table?”. They need to be somewhat assembled of course, and need to be on a base. Both challenging aspects when the bases are not ready and the miniatures are in a sub-assembly state. First things first, start painting more bases. At the same time, start looking at the minis and figure out what base colors would need to be applied to attach the minis to their bases (mainly black and leadbelcher) and what base colors to put on to get arms, heads, etc. attached (mainly black, yellow, few others). So I started with the minimum and kept going as I had extra time. The end result was 6 gangers with pretty much all their arms attached and mostly base colored. Not bad. Also around this point, I snagged the digital copies of the two newest rulebooks, as they wouldn’t arrive in the post in time.

Over the course of the week, they ended up looking like this. Some I got mostly done before the first game, some I kept working on. Note, some of the minis are still missing an arm. Oh yea, I also had to relocate my painting space. Like a crazy man, I was able to setup a small table, lamp, etc. in our walk-closet. Score one for crazy Faust! Sure nice to have my old painting space back after the guests left though!

Minis in Games

1) No one really cares. One thing I learned about playing games with miniatures, is “no one really cares”. Seriously, we could have been playing with pawns from a chess set. Not once did anyone pick up a mini during the game and go “Oh wow!”. So was all my effort for naught? Not really, as there is a difference in our head. No one might have said anything, but it helps set the mood and tone of the game overall. Pawn pieces or little lego people wouldn’t have the same effect. Although I likely could have base-colored the minis and varnished them, and it might have had the same effect. I had one team I painted for Blitz Bowl, which was just straight up base colors and I didn’t find them to be any less fun to play with than the fully painted Dwarf team. Will I continue to go the extra mile to shade, highlight, etc.? Yea, more than likely.

2) No matter how much I try and make the mini identifiable, the son will probably still get stumped. Figuring this would happen, I printed out character sheets which included photos of the actual mini. In Blitz Bowl, several of the minis had position labels on the front. Did the son still get confused about which character he was using? Yep. Probably as he gets more accustomed to things, this will change. But just goes to show, you can only do so much.

3) Magnets are great and they are not. Having made magnetized arms for the Van Saar gang was pretty awesome for weapon swaps and helping the son get a custom gang put together. In game though, it proved a challenge for him. He would often pick up the mini and the arms would fall off, then struggle to get them back on. Due to the size of the minis, I can’t say it’s really his fault. It is a bit fiddly. Made worse by the majority of his team having magnetized arms. I’m now contemplating just gluing the arms on at this point.

4) Always need more minis. Originally I assembled and painted 6 Goliath minis for a gang, and then slap dashed another 6 each for the kids’ gangs. Well, after the first battle, one of them recruited a Juve and another Ganger…*grumble, grumble* Ok, slap dash two more together. Yay, crisis averted…nope. Another battle, TWO more…oh, maaan. There was only so much I could throw together in a short time. I ended up with a completely armless ganger in the last battle and I think the last Escher was just a partial paint We got the game played, but next time I would make sure to have at least 10 minis ready at the start.

One quickly painted “Juve” ganger. Coming right up!

Character sheets

Having got things mostly ready on the miniatures side, I had the kids make their gangs using the Yaktribe interface. Mostly smooth, though we ran into a couple small issues with the interface and a few glitches where costs were not adding up (possibly our fault?). The line for weapon effects also gets truncated, which is a bit of a pain. I was hoping that an abbreviated description for weapons would be included, but they are not. Still, it’s free. So I can’t complain. I might very well end up making our own character sheets with abbreviated weapon effects though.

Painting Diary

Haha…seriously, had almost no time to keep track of what I was doing this time around. I developed a ‘sort of system’ where I used the same set of paints for different things, so I do know that much. But last night as I sat down to take a look at some of the minis I had started, the who, what, what , and where of washes was not clear at all. Which reminds me that I will be revising my diary process at some point, as I got better idea of how to be more efficient on that front.

Wrap Up

Getting minis hurriedly painted for a game is “interesting” to say the least. What’s the minimum you can get away with? How quickly can you apply given colors that will make a mini identifiable and ready to be assembled? It’s like a game unto itself. Those couple of weeks certainly gave me lots to reflect on. Also on the plus side, it gave me a head start on getting things completed for 2019, which I’m really happy about. I don’t know that it will end up majorly changing my painting procedures overall, but will see.

Next time – the Game begins!

16 thoughts on “Game Time: Necromunda pt. 1

    1. Haha, thanks man! It’s interesting, because we tend to play a lot of boardgames when we get together. The war-game stuff though, is at the next level, not just in record-keeping but the amount of work on my part to make it look interesting. Luckily I enjoy it most times, and feel like there is some payoff in the end.

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  1. Good on you for painting a team for your niece to play with! Sounds like it all kept you busy but you enjoyed it. If it helps you plan and paint in the future, that’s a bonus. I’m looking forward to hearing about the games themselves.

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    1. Thanks JNV! Game play will be next, and yep, the painting kept me super busy. Felt like planning went out the window, but now that things are starting to normalize I’m trying to regain my bearings for the next round.

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  2. There’s a reason we talk about “tabletop standard” or “display standard” or “tournament minimum” for Models. Even just a minimum three colours can bring a lot of life to a force, and when you’re actually playing, the difference between tabletop standard and display standard doesn’t really come out that much. Of course, the higher the quality of the paint jobs, the cooler it is, but something like what you’ve got for those Eschers there is plenty to generate engagement for a game. Which, once you’ve got the kids involved, is what is really needed. Well done on providing a fun gaming experience for them!

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    1. Thanks Alexis! I don’t know that I’ve ever heard definitive definitions of those terms, but I like yours. Last night I was ruminating in the term “pro painted”, which you see on Ebay quite a bit, with very mixed results. If I ever got around to selling my Blood Bowl Dwarf Team, I’m not sure if I would give them that label or not.

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      1. I don’t know that there are hard definitions of them (other than Tournament Minimum), but as loose categories, they can be very useful when it comes to budgeting time and effort for getting stuff done.

        “Pro Painted” is kind of an odd one, since, technically, all it means is that, at some point, you have been paid for painting. There is really no other hard definition for it, so it ends up covering a lot of ground, and really isn’t very useful as a descriptive term.

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        1. Ah, yep, definitely wasn’t paid to paint! I’m not planning on selling anytime soon anyways, just a thought if things should ever change later.


  3. They look great, I hope she liked them. Out of interest what is the pale skin colour, I really like the shade. I am not sure how old your son is but could you colour code the base edge, this can be easily and quickly repainted. Red the Heavy, gold the leader etc whatever suits really. I know it will distract from the mini, but it might be a quick and easy way to help him out. Alexis is right in her comment when looked at from 3 feet away you can’t really tell the difference. It’s about enjoying the game really.

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    1. Thanks MF! The light skin color is Rakarth Flesh. I’ll likely wash with Reikland Fleshshade. The end result will look like the Van Saar finished models I did. I started with Bugmans Glow on the darker ones, and going to try to get a dark/mid tone skin tone with some of those. Will see! I’m probably most eager to see how those end up looking after I’m all done. Still quite a bit of work left though.

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    1. Thanks Mark! It’s kind of been my mission in life, since I had a younger brother, it was up to me teach.

      As for painting, would certainly be great, but doesn’t look like it’s in the cards. I’ll be content with just playing. 😉

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  4. Even though they’re not your top-tier painting effort/unfinished, they still look pretty good to me and I’d certainly be happy to play against them on a tabletop. So how did the games go?

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  5. Thanks man, they are sweet to paint! I think I had hit them with some wash already, so the colors got a little duller than I want. I need to break them out and finish them up at some point, but I’m aiming to finish some Blitz Bowl teams first.

    Games went pretty good. New post will fire up today!

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  6. Interesting mate. I can’t “not” paint every miniature to as best I can. I get the tabletop standard thing but, I guess, because I rarely play any games I like to have every mini looking his/her best. Nice to get the youngsters involved. My five year old is very keen

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    1. Oh, definitely. The minis aren’t done, and it will be awhile yet. I was under the gun though, as the niece lives over 500km and we only see them a couple times a year or so. So my choices were ‘scramble some half-assed minis to play’ or ‘wait another year to really try out the game’. And from my blog post, you can tell which option I chose. 😉

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