Necromunday: Ash Wastes Box Set Roundtable

Howdy scummers. It’s Monday which means it’s time for even more Necromunday! We just reviewed the Ash Wastes Box Set on Saturday and we are getting the band back together to drop a few more thoughts about this release. 

necromunda ash wastes
A squat force faces off against a Delaque ambush. Credit: necromundabirmingham

Now that we’re finally stepping outside the Hive, what are your thoughts on the newest campaign and rules?

DYLON: My first thought of the campaign rules was that they mashed up Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and Mad Max. I’m extremely here for this. 

Primaris Kevin: This owns. It’s a great campaign system (that doesn’t necessarily require vehicles to work), and the vehicle rules should add a dynamic aspect once everyone gets a ride. One thing that’s apparent from playtests and battle reports is that exposed infantry can be vulnerable to the heavy weapons and spiked bumpers of vehicles. Just like with any other wargame this is heavily influenced by terrain. The Ash Wastes terrain, with plenty of high walkways for infantry and room for vehicles underneath, looks well suited for it. I think you probably want a lot more though.

Fowler: I cannot stress enough that the vehicle rules are a blast. Folks got a bit of a taste with the batrep on WH+… running gangers over, mobile weapons platforms raking targets with hits, vicious drive-by attacks – it’s good chaos. Gorkamunda. I have gotten woefully few test games in, which is something I hope to solve. Anyone who has talked to me is probably sick of hearing about it but the Great Bone Road Race is a joy. Post-apocalype Wacky Races on a scrolling board.

The campaign suggests +400 credits just to use on vehicles at the start, which given the examples so far seems like it will go a reasonably long way. Don’t sleep on the new Battlefield Conditions / Weather / Seasons either – it’s an entirely new Badzone system that evolves through a campaign and adds a ton of variety.


Necromunda Orlock Sentinel
Beginning my “civilian” vehicle conversion shenanigans. By Fowler

With an MSRP of $300/£180 this is one of the most expensive boxes GW has ever released. Do you think it’s worth it?

DYLON: At first glance, it’s a hefty price and that will turn away some. That said…. If you consider just the base kit costs of the 2 gangs and quads/helamites, you’re sitting at $200 USD already. On top of that, a good chunk of terrain, the book and assorted accoutrements in the box and the value is there. This is NOT a starter box in my mind. Hive Wars is a starter box. For me, this is a splash release box to get the new kits out with a book at the same time. This is for Necromunda perverts like us.

Primaris Kevin: I disagree with Dylon; this is a starter box for Ash Wastes. It’s two full gangs, terrain, and rules to skirmish both. In that way it’s practically identical to a starter box for Warhammer 40k or AoS. What it isn’t is a comprehensive resource for everything you could need for every gang. 

I see this box as well suited for three groups of people. The first being a pair of friends who want to get into Necromunda and will split the gangs and fight some skirmishes. The second is someone who wants the campaign rules or terrain but will sell off the bits they never plan on painting. The third are sickos who have already preordered the box and are reading this article because it’s Necromunda content and they can’t get enough. You know who you are.

Fowler: When Dark Uprising’s price made the rounds, there was much gnashing of teeth about how absurd it was. Fast forward to years later, and among the 20 or so people in my IRL Necromunda circles – we collectively own about 1 and a half copies of Dark Uprising each. I generally think about these boxes much more as a set of physical objects than a rule dump. Even having a review copy in hand (thanks again to Games Workshop for providing one) I am already thinking about picking up another one – hoarding more terrain and Nomads, and likely having a spare rulebook for campaigns. This is definitely a premium luxury good – but if you want all (or a split) of what is in the box and it is in your price range, it could be a “good” deal. 

Colin: I fall firmly into the first group of people Kevin mentioned. I haven’t played Necromunda since the 90’s, but have very much enjoyed being a Necro Voyeur for the past 4 years as GW has built up the range and the setting. When I saw the concept art for the Ash Wastes Nomads in 2019 (?) I knew they were the gang that was going to get me into Necromunda. When I saw the first previewed model I was sold. One of the things that attracted me to Ash Wastes in particular was the nature of the terrain and the gaming board. Necromunda in the Underhive is extremely terrain intensive to get full immersion. Ash Wastes is much more open and free flowing, which seemed much more achievable for me.

Full disclosure: GW sent me a preview box, which made the decision to get into Necro much easier. I’ll be giving my friend the Orlocks out of the box so we can play the game out of the box. Because I want to make my own Ash Wastes board (and have that board double as a 40k board), I ordered a second Ash Wastes box on Saturday. I’ll keep the terrain and the foot Nomads, sell the Helamites and the Orlocks and my friend will get the book/dice/etc. Is it an expensive box? Yes. But I think the value is there for getting started in the Necromunda setting. Two boxes and we each have large enough gangs to sustain us for a long time as well as enough terrain to really fill out a board and have a themed table to play on. I’ll be adding some pink foam rock outcroppings and some other terrain as needed, but I’m excited to play the campaign out of the box and start my long walk into the Wastes.

Ninja Turtles Party Wagon Style. Credit: Fowler

Our impression is that the Ash Wastes box is largely self-contained and that a supplement is needed soon so that everyone can play. How do you feel about that, and what are you hoping to see released next?

DYLON: I’m unphased by this. Realistically I’d want to build up gangs and terrain for the Ash Wastes, so what we’ve been given so far can just inspire and get us prepared for having the rest of the rules. I’m so deep in existing Necromunda Projects that I can’t be and am not in a rush to play the new thing. I’ve got a ton of ideas for terrain though… I’d love to see the Cargo-8 get released with more vehicle rules. There’s a bunch of existing “civilian” kits out there with loads of possibilities.

Primaris Kevin: It feels incomplete and I really hope they drop additional rules soon. Getting vehicle rules that I can have my Van Saar use means I’m just a space pickup truck away from failing Initiative checks and leaving red smears on the dunes. My hope is that we see a variety of rules for the different vehicle types listed in the book (tracked, wheeled, hover) and plenty of models to go with it. We already know that the Cargo-8 is coming, and the Goliath from GSC would make a lot of sense as well. 

On the other hand, I get it. There’s already a lot in this box and adding even more rules would just make things more expensive. If GW continues the trend of previous releases then the box will be the only way to get the campaign rules and everything else will be in a couple supplements. Hopefully Ash Waste Nomads will have their rules in whatever vehicle book GW releases since they don’t seem really viable for a Hive based campaign.

Fowler: The new Warhammer World diorama has Atalan Jackal bikes, an Achilles Ridgerunner, and a Goliath Truck. We will likely get plenty of universally usable toys soon! I originally suspected that we’d get a “Book Of” supplement with Nomad and generic vehicle rules on day 1 – but now expect to see it in the near term. While it would be nice to have that now, even two weeks in I’m not done building the box, let alone painting it! Once I am finished with some Ash Wastes box stuff I will be switching back to more Orlock Atalan Jackal conversions in the “to be painted” pile. It’s a marathon, not a race.

Colin: I feel like additional rules will probably be out before I’ve even had a chance to play Ash Wastes, to be honest. I’m not too fussed about being ready to play in a couple weeks, but I understand that people want new toys for their gangs. This is just the start of the Ash Wastes setting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what GW has planned. I’ll be patient and work within the Ash Wastes box for the time being. That being said, I have fever dreams of bizarre beasts and mechanical constructs stalking the Wastes, so I’m excited to see where it goes.

And that’s it! We are all very excited to fail loss of control tests and just absolutely eat it. Our crew has plenty more Necromunda ready for you before the box shows up at your FLGS, so watch this space! As always, if you have any feedback, questions, or pet pics, will put your words (or cat) directly in front of our eyeballs.