Welcome back, Scummers, to another edition of Necromunday! This week, we’re taking a look at the brand new Outlaw Brutes you can find in White Dwarf 458. There are some really cool and flavorful aspects to these heavyweights, so let’s take a look!
It’s not every month that something cool for Necromunda gets published in White Dwarf, so we were very excited to see rules for a brand-new set of brutes in the last few pages of this month’s issue! White Dwarf 458 is currently available in stores, but, as of the writing of this article, sold out on the Games Workshop website. If you can get your hands on it, we recommend picking up a copy, because these Brutes are seriously fun, and really rather good!
The first takeaway here is that these Brutes are available only for Outlaws to hire. The “outlaw” tag really only means anything in a Law & Misrule campaign, but many Arbitrators out there like to have their players choose whether they’re Outlaws or not in regards to accessing the Black market, and using certain Hired Guns, Alliances, or Dramatis Personae. Some gangs, like Slave Ogryns, Corpse Grinders, Helot Cults, or Chaos-Corrupted gangs, are always Outlaws.
So, what about these Brutes? Well, we’ve got four of them: a Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot, a Mutated Ogryn, a Warp Horror, and a Sump Beast. Our initial take on these baddies is that they’re good. Real good, in fact. Outlaw and Chaos-aligned gangs are always a great place for awesome conversions, and these Brutes really open the door for creative players to go hog wild! Reader beware, though: there are no kits for our four new friends. You’ll have to use other kits that fit their bills, or convert your own miniatures to represent these models on the tabletop!
Our first entry in this new category of Brutes is the Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot. Rules aside, this idea is awesome! Finally, a reason to use that 2nd Ambot that comes in every Ambot box! Grab some spikes and red paint, because it’s time to evil-up Ambot #2!
Anyways, the Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot is really dang good. It comes in at a very reasonable 220 credits, only 5 more than a stock Ambot (for most gangs), and it gets a lot meaner than the stock version, but loses some of the innate sneakiness. The corrupted Ambot’s profile is largely the same, except for +1 A and -1 Wil and Int. It gives up its Infiltrate skill, but gains the Berzerker and Nerves of Steel skills instead. It loses the Cranial Governors and Excavation Automata special rules, but gains a new one called Machine Madness, that makes all of the corrupted Ambot’s attacks reckless, and can occasionally cause the Ambot to gain the Insane condition when it kills or maims an opponent. Skill access is unchanged.
A Scrapcode Corrupted Ambot has access to three upgrades. The first is an upgrade to a Grav-fist, which is identical to a regular Ambot. Thing is, a Reckless Grav-fist has the potential to be catastrophic if turned against friendly fighters, so it might not be in the best interest of the corrupted Ambot’s gang leader to arm it with a Grav-fist. Second, the corrupted Ambot can upgrade their armor to Heavy Carapace Armor for an extremely reasonable 55 credits. This gives a 3+ save in the Ambot’s front arc, making it very survivable and tough, especially in the early goings of a campaign. Finally, the corrupted Ambot can take Armor Spikes, which can deal very lightweight damage to any fighters in base-to-base contact.
All in all, the Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot is an extremely interesting choice for an Outlaw gang. While it gives up the ever-useful Infiltrate skill, often used to help maneuver the ponderous Ambot into position, it gains the inbuilt toughness of Nerves of Steel and access to a better armor save, making it one of the toughest Brutes available. If asked to choose between the two, the standard Ambot is probably slightly better, but you cannot go wrong with the horrorshow that is the Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot.
Second on the list is the Mutated Ogryn! If you have a Renegade Guard army from Forge World, then you’ve probably already got a few of these lying around. If not, then you can grab the Chaos Ogryn from Blackstone Fortress for a ready-to-use proxy. However, it’s clearly the best idea to create your own Mutated Ogryn from kits drawn from the “big & scary” section of your local hobby center!
The Mutated Ogryn weighs in at 210 credits, and packs a similar profile to that of the ‘Jotunn’ H-Grade Servitor Ogryn with a couple of tweaks: +1 WS and A. The Mutated Ogryn loses the loyal rule, to no one’s surprise, but gains Murderous Brute which gives it a free, random Ferocity or Savagery skill. Both skill trees are good, so that’s awfully nice! The Mutated Ogryn also has the Slow Witted special rule, excluding it from any Group Activations. The Mutated Ogryn loses the oft-forgotten Headbutt skill, and gains the far more useful True Grit skill, giving it a lot more staying power.
For equipment, the Mutated Ogryn only comes with two Open Fists. Unfortunately, those aren’t going to cut it. So, for this Brute, you’ve got to consider the upgrades mandatory. You can swap in 1 Power Maul for 30 credits, and 1 Horrific Appendage for another 20 credits. Power Mauls are solid combat weapons, and the Horrific Appendage is indeed suitably horrific. Damage 2 with Pulverize and Rending? Frighteningly forceful! Finally, the Mutated Ogryn can take Furnace Plates for 15 credits, which, if you’re already spending 260 credits on a tricked out monster Brute, you might as well spend the 15 more to help keep it alive!
The Mutated Ogryn is an absolute wrecking ball of a Brute, and will give any Outlaw gang all the close combat support they need. Excellent weapons and good stats, however, are balanced out by crappy armor and a spire-high credit cost for what you get, especially when compared against either variety of Ambot. But hey, if you’ve got a Scary Ogryn that you’re dying to use, the Mutated Ogryn will not disappoint!
It’s Warp time, Scummers! The Warp Horror is a terrifying combat monster that can only be hired by Chaos-aligned gangs: Corpse Grinders, Helot Cults, and Chaos-Corrupted gangs. While the first two entries are well defined by their namesakes, the Warp Horror can be represented on the tabletop by anything at all! In White Dwarf, they use the three-headed monstrosity from Rogue Trader, but any medium-sized Chaos gribbly will do the trick, here. In fact, a Chaos Spawn model can do double duty in a Chaos gang by representing a Spawn or a Warp Horror! The possibilities are limitless, just like the permutations of Chaos!
The Warp Horror’s stats are indicative of a very strong melee-focused fighter. A natural Strength of 6 means that they’ll be wounding most gangers on 2’s with their Horrific Appendages. They’re only Toughness 4, but they have a terrific defensive ability in Terrifying where their opponent must pass Willpower checks to attack the Warp Horror. The Warp Horror also comes equipped with the Nerves of Steel skill, and a Cool of 6+ to easily avoid getting pinned. However, such a powerful manifestation of the Immaterium cannot last long outside of the Warp, and the Warp Denizen trait illustrates that: As the game progresses, the Warp Horror is more and more likely to collect Flesh Wounds, so don’t stand around on ceremony with this monster!
The Warp Horror can take advantage of 3 upgrades. First, we have Massive Tentacles for 50 credits. This slimy set of appendages is a 4” Versatile weapon with Drag! That’s both really cool, and really bad for any unlucky gangers in the vicinity! 50 credits is a lot for this upgrade, but the opportunity to drag an enemy ganger into base-to-base so they can then be slaughtered by the Warp Horror’s Horrific Appendages might be too fun to pass up! Then we have Warpfire Breath, which is a 90-credit Hand Flamer. Not that impressive. Finally, we get a defensive upgrade in Undulating Skin. In lieu of armor, this upgrade will reduce incoming damage by 1, to a minimum of 1. Not too shabby for a Brute that is already difficult to even target! Undulating Skin is probably a must-buy for 40 credits, but for the other two, we’ll leave it up to player preference.
Ask any Corpse Grinder player how good their Butcher and Cutters are. The “pass a Willpower check to even shoot at this thing” mechanic is punishingly good, so get your gribbly guys ready, Chaos players. You’ll want a Warp Horror on the roster.
The last of the quartet of brand new Brutes is the Sump Beast. With 3 different profiles to choose from, a Sump Beast can be represented by anything with claws, teeth, or horns! A Sump Beast is some sort of mutated horror that a gang’s leader has abducted as a young beast and raised to be a loyal (most of the time, at least) protector.
As stated before, the player can choose from one of 3 profiles for their Sump Beast. This is done to represent what kind of beast they are: a shambling horror, a lightning-quick hunter, a chitinous abomination, or whatever else it ends up being. Generally, the three profiles reflect the beast’s resilience and combat prowess but they all have one important thing in common: 4 wounds! A Sump Beast comes with the Untoppable, Fearsome, and True Grit skills, highlighting just how tough they are. The Underhive Monster rule show us the Sump Beast’s true nature, though: if there is a Seriously Injured fighter (friend or foe!) within 6” when the Sump Beast activates, it must take an Intelligence check. If it fails, it must act to remove the poor fighter from the game by Charging or performing a Coup De Grace. On a bad day, a Sump Beast will be responsible for more deaths than the entirety of the opposing gang!
At 200 credits, the Sump Beast looks like a bargain, but there are some definite must-buys in the Upgrade category. First, Multiple Legs adds 2” to the beast’s movement and gives it the Clamber skill, all for a measly 20 credits! Second, spending 40 credits to give the beast a Scaly Hide grants it a 4+ save, which is necessary for an investment like this. The other four are all weapon-based mutations: Lashing Tail is a 6” range Versatile weapon that can Impale its targets! Crushing Claws are seriously powerful melee weapons. A Prehensile Tongue is a short-range Versatile weapon that can drag enemies into base-to-base to be crushed or ripped to pieces. And finally, the Venomous Bite adds the Toxin trait to the beast’s Ferocious Jaws.
The Sump Beast rules! Even on its slowest profile, the option to give it Multiple Legs means that it can be a credible melee threat in any iteration. Lashing Tail and Crushing Claws are cool, but they’re quite expensive at 50 and 70 credits respectively, so it might be best to just choose one. If you end up taking Crushing Claws, don’t take Venomous Bite, as you’ll be using the vastly superior claws in combat instead of the beast’s inbuilt Ferocious Jaws. Finally, the Prehensile Tongue is cool, but probably not worth the 60 credits. Whatever you end up taking, the Sump Beast will be exactly that to your opponents: a beast!
Verdict: These Rules Are Pretty Great
What a pleasant surprise it was to see these rules in the back of White Dwarf 458. These new Brutes are all excellent additions to the less-scrupulous gangs out there, and are as good a reason as any to go Outlaw in your campaigns! If anyone’s got sick conversions for these Brutes that they’ve done, we’d love to see them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hit us up!
Thanks for reading, Scummers! Next week we’ll be back with another roundtable where we talk changes and how to deal with them. Make sure to drop on by and give it a read!