Necromunday: Ash Wastes Reveal Roundtable

Howdy scummers! It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another round of Necromunday. This time around, we gathered the crew to talk about the Ash Waste box reveal from Adepticon. We are pretty pumped for the next era of Necro, and all the toys it will inevitably bring!

Vehicles, big tables, sparse terrain… what do you think about Necromunda heading out into the wastes?

SRM: 40k and Necromunda have always had plenty of Dune and Mad Max in them, so let’s lean into it. I think it’s a sensible place to go for Necromunda; it’s been there before in the old days, and it’s something that’s been talked about in every rulebook for every edition of the game. I’m curious how much of modern Necromunda’s identity will be lost under an open sky, but even if it’s way different I don’t see why you couldn’t include both this and the more classic scenarios in a campaign. 

DYLON: Yo….. Ash Wastes are a quintessential part of Necromunda, have been since Confrontation introduced Necromunda to us. I’m excited to explore the wastes and see what the game play is like, knowing that it gives us a second way to play the game we love. I loved Gorkamorka when that came out, so I’m here for vehicle shenanigans. 

SRM: Counting down until someone plays a Oops! All Goliaths campaign and has Gorkamorka in all but name.

Fowler: As a Necro fan that also loves Gaslands, this one is a slam dunk for me. I’ve already done a handful of vehicles for my Orlocks: a couple of bikes, a Sentinel, a Ridgerunner, and a Goliath Truck – with a second batch getting kicked off now. I only managed to play a few games of Gorkamorka, but that is exactly the kind of chaos I am hoping for here. While I have occasionally grumbled about the increasing level of the average ganger’s gear… I think it starts to make a lot more sense when you’re staring down an oncoming truck!

Ash Waste Nomads. Credit: Dylon

The Ash Waste Nomads have gotten a refresh. How do they stack up against other models in the line?

Ash Waste Nomads. Credit: Games Workshop

SRM: I like that they’re not leaning into any tribal stereotypes. I dig their cobbled-together-even-for-Necromunda aesthetic, and that they have a distinct identity from any other gang. Their goggles remind me a little of Van Saars, their coats a little of Death Korps dudes, and their salvaged gear reminds me of some of the Cawdor weirdos. It’s hard to make a desert dwelling scavver that isn’t going to look like a Fremen, Tusken Raider, or a Mad Max weirdo, and they did it here. The lack of any exposed skin really makes sense too, since more than one piece of lore is out there about ash wastes stripping skin from bone whether that’s on Armageddon or Necromunda. 

DYLON: A few years back I painted up a gang of the original Ash Waste gang, from Confrontation (with a few of the Fanatic era minis mixed in.) I’m very excited for these minis, loving their vibe, how they’ve mashed up a bunch of scifi desert raider tropes and made something that feels at home in this setting, with the layers of fabric and the cool back banners. 

Fowler: I’ve wanted an excuse to paint up models like the Weedians from the cover of Sleep’s Dopesmoker for a long time, and here it is. I dig the aesthetic, and their gear (long rifles… MISSLE LAUNCHER?) seems like a lot of fun as well. Quite interested to see the other options and specialist units these guys get!

Dustback Helamite Riders. Credit: Games Workshop

This box pits Orlocks on Double-Dash style choppers vs Nomads riding mega-fleas. Thoughts on the first round of vehicles?

SRM: There’s been Orlock fluff and design cues alluding to Orlock road gangs since at least this latest iteration of Necromunda, and I’m here for it. I’d love to see more – Orlock dirtbikers, truckers, and so on, but I enjoy their little Marneus Karts. The Nomad riders are harder for me because while they’re equal parts inspired and beautifully sculpted, they remind me of the cricket infestation my house in Massachusetts had back in 2019. The only thing that would have made the thumb-sized black crickets crawling up from my basement and out of my drains worse would be if little men were riding them. 

DYLON: The bug riders… are very cool, definitely landing outside of what I had considered for the gang. I’m already thinking about a paint scheme, and while the brown of the studio scheme works, I’m thinking about something chitinous and creepy. There’s something about quad that alway look a little off for me, but the Orlock ones are cute. Ultimately I think this is the part that I’m not the most excited for, but I’m glad they exist.

Outrider Quads. Credit: Games Workshop

Genghis Cohen: I actually really like the giant flea riders. Some proper weird post-apocalyptic shit. Oddly enough, even though I’m mad for Orlocks, I’m more lukewarm about their vehicles. They’re cool, they just don’t blow my mind. I’ll probably get some, but I’d still be planning on ork vehicle and/or Genestealer bike conversions to go alongside them. 

Fowler: I was hoping to get beasts eventually, and having them right off the bat is a treat. The bug and rider combo gives me serious Moebius vibes – with the right paintjob these fleas will really sing. As an Orlock player, I really dig the quads. At time of writing, I’ve built an entire box worth of Atalan bike / quad conversions – and these certainly fit right in with that design. It will be interesting to see the range of customization available to both of these kits.

Necromunda: Ash Wastes sells itself as everything you need to play the game; how are we feeling about the terrain and board?

Ash Wastes box contents. Credit: Games Workshop

SRM: I’m more interested in the cowboy town dustup sort of scenario than what this box looks to contain, as I’m extremely worried about what the open space will do to a closer range gang. Obviously that’s all up to the players to set out, but GW is setting the tone one way or another. Aesthetically it all owns; the stilthouses have a real 70s sci-fi aesthetic to them. 

DYLON: As a noted Necromunda terrain maker and haver, I’m very excited for this stuff. I love the vibe of the stilthouses and want to add in rock spires and some ancient ruined pipework. I’m thinking about doing a single terrain board and have pieces to place on top.

Genghis Cohen: I was struck by the same retro sci-fi feel. One concern for me is there doesn’t seem to be much of a footprint to the terrain? But it remains to be seen how much you need to play well with the vehicle rules.

I also think that Ash Wastes as a setting will play really well amongst the existing Sector Mechanicus gantries, pipes etc. It will also give a lot of scope for talented modelers (if they have storage space) to do full on scenic boards. I think ‘indoor’ Necromunda works well with tiles or mats, but the great outdoors and their rolling, highly toxic ash dunes would look great on a fully modeled scenic board. 

Fowler: One of the things that makes me most excited about Ash Wastes is that in a club setting, it would be trivial to use our stash do 4 or 5 tables with the density and footprint of what comes in that box. Of course we need to actually play some games to get a feeling for what makes a good table, but I’m optimistic that the extruded foam mesas will feature in plenty of Ash Waste tables.

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

What do you want to see from the Ash Wastes line… campaigns, models, terrain, gangs…

SRM: I want every gang to have one big vehicle and one small vehicle or equivalent, plus some more generic vehicles everyone can use. If there was a big War Rig like we saw in that first comic book trailer, I’d be pretty stoked to play on or in that. Playing a mission where you’ve got gangers fighting inside The Land Train Playset while vehicles race around outside would be so dang cool. 

DYLON: I think I want what SRM wants. I want cool vehicles for each gang and the ability to make some custom stuff from the large range of vehicle kits that exist. I’m very interested to see what the game is like with vehicles and how it changes the game.

Genghis Cohen: Here’s hoping! It would be a hell of an effort for them to release vehicles for each gang, but then again we got a specialist champions/prospects box and a weapons box for each gang, so it is possible. I know we’ve had rumour engine teasers already for what will probably be the caravan-type vehicle shown in the animated trailer, so that seems a surety, we just don’t know if it will be Orlock-specific or usable by any faction. 

Provided the vehicle and campaign rules are fit for purpose, I think conversions will provide the answer anyway. What I really most hope for is integrated campaign systems. I’d love to arbitrate a campaign where each gang had a roster of fighters, and a separate motor pool, and had to crew each vehicle in order to set up for outdoor games. 

Fowler: Options! The story of modern Necro has definitely been about customization and I suspect that will be the same for this cycle. At the end of the day, all I really want is a bunch of new toys to push around the table, and more excuses to do cool conversions. Maybe it’s asking a lot with new vehicles and terrain on the horizon, but upgrades for the last few missing house weapon options would be excellent!

“I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.” Orlock biker by Fowler

Final thoughts?

SRM: While I’ve got some worries (will my Goliaths ever get into melee again?), I think people should be optimistic here. I don’t feel like the underhive setting had been exhausted – far from it – but I can imagine the design team wanted to spread their wings a bit. Modern Necromunda has certainly evolved since it started, but has largely been home to some of GW’s most inspired designs and ideas.

DYLON: I’m excited for this, excited for a new way to play this dumb game and super excited for all the modeling opportunities that this will bring us. I already have too many ideas for terrain, but I’m waiting until I have the box in-hand before I start anything.

Genghis Cohen: Yeah, to me Necromunda is the real shining star of the current GW offerings in terms of creativity and consistently interesting tone. I hope Ash Wastes and regular old underhive Necromunda continue on in tandem. Time to start up some vehicles!

Fowler: According to an interview with Midwinter Minis and Andy Chambers, Gorkamorka started out as a Necromunda supplement. It just took an extra 25 years for it to come back home. Very excited to do whatever the Ash Waste equivalent of “fall off of a ledge” is!

And that’s it! Reader… we are always jazzed for new Necro stuff, but this is the beginning of a whole new release cycle. We’re excited to wander out into the wastes! As always, if you have questions or suggestions, hit us up at Necromunday@Goonhammer.com.