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.
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!
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.
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.
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!