navigating the Ash Wastes

Evening folks, it’s been a while since I have written a piece that is general enough for everyone to have a read of and hopefully get something from. As you all will have seen, I have been running Necromunda campaigns with the folks at my local club – Aftermath Gaming Club Norwich.

At the time of the release of Ash Wastes last year, our club Dominion campaign was already in full swing. It created a fair amount of buzz, and lets face it, who doesn’t want to go full mad max in a post apocalyptic sci fi setting… and Necromunda really is a rather dystopian post apocalyptic setting. The desolate wastes the outcome of massive industrial climate change on a global scale.

Now that we are starting a new campaign, the players have asked me about the key aspects of creating a gang that is different from playing in your typical Underhive campaign.

Creating a Gang Fit for the Ash Wastes

First of all, the key thing here is to remember that you start by essentially doing the same thing you always have done in Necromunda in that you start with 1000credits with which to buy your gang. Specifically, your basic gang as in the fighters and their equipment – NOT the vehicles, yet…

On top of the 1000credits you get when starting out with your gang, you get an allowance that is purely for the vehicles for your gang. Bikes and beasts, so far, have counted as ‘mounts’, there might be some exceptions with some vehicles as I haven’t read through everything just yet. But by and large, you have mounts and then small, medium and large vehicles.

Ash Wastes books that feature your house gang etc will include new, house specific vehicles. If you are not overly fussed by that, you can hit up the Book of Outlands which includes the vehicle building rules that you’ll come to love, as well as some generic rules for some vehicles that you can already get for some armies in Warhammer 40,000 such as the Ridgerunner or the Goliath truck.

Essentially you can use profiles for light, medium and heavy vehicles as well as a profile for a walker vehicle based upon the idea of the Astra Militarum Sentinels. There is also the option to make vehicles tracked. So there is plenty to play around with, so much in fact, that you may end up wishing there were more credits.

Key things to look out for when building vehicles is that “crew” when purchasing them for your vehicle is both singular and plural. That means, if you buy a vehicle and want to have a crew of both a driver and a gunner, you pay the one price for the “crew”. If you just have a driver, it’s the same price for the “crew”. In other words, you pay the fee and gain the crew which is then specified by you.

What are mounts?

Mounts differ from vehicles in that they don’t have crew so to speak. So far they have usually been classified as personal equipment. This obviously is a marked difference to a vehicle that has it’s own crew in that it’s classed as an item assigned to that fighter.

Now, the other important thing to consider at this point is that if you intend to use said gang in both Ash Wastes and Underhive games you will need to have both mounted and unmounted versions of the models who have mounts as vehicles and mounts are not able to be used in Underhive games. Crew, it would appear, never leave their vehicles in such a way as to use them as additional fighters on foot.

Mounts also have a few other rules which are fun, fighters can be knocked off their mounts by shots… you don’t need separate models on foot for this as they simply then have to test to get back up on their mount, and this is their only option.

The upside of this is that mounts grant their owner the ‘Ride By’ rule which is essentially as it reads. Mounted fighters can move within an inch, or versatile weapon range, of a single enemy model during their move. When doing so they may interrupt their movement to make a single close combat attack. The enemy fighter will get the opportunity to make a reaction attack, but lets face it, it’s as cool as hell! Whips on bikes or lances on Hellamites!

The only thing left to say at this point is to go fourth and conquer those dusty dunes and hope that you come back with enough loot to make up for the inevitable losses you will suffer!