Same Struggle, Different City
Earlier this year, Games Workshop decided it would be better for them if their antipodean fans bought their product from local stores instead of taking advantage of very favourable exchange rates. I’m not going to get into whether this was a good idea or not in this post, I’m merely using this event as a framing device.
When this happened a number of gamers took advantage of their last chance to buy models at cheaper than local prices one last time, and I was one of them. At the time the Dark Eldar were the latest big thing, and they had a number of great looking plastic kits that I was itching to try out. I took the plunge and ended up ordering one box each of the new Warriors, Wyches, and Hellions; as well as pre-ordering the Scourges.
The models and the last-minute shopping deal was so popular it taking a few months for my order to arrive. Once it did, however, I tore into the models with a fair amount of zeal. The sprues were just as good as they had looked on Games Workshop’s site, and the level of interchangeability seemed quite high, too. Not quite Space Marine levels of plug and play, but pretty close.
After gluing together a couple of models I started wondering. I didn’t have enough for an army, nor could I see myself buying any more models any time soon. It didn’t take too long for the idea to hit me – I could use these models to make a Necromunda gang!
For those of you born after 1995, Necromunda was a skirmish-level game based on the 2nd Edition 40k rules that featured human gangs duking it out in the bowels of a vast hive city. While Dark Eldar did not feature in the original game (they weren’t really around until 3rd Ed), large amounts of fan-written material has appeared since then and it is possible that someone had already come up with the rules themselves.
Sadly, it was not to be. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to track down any appearance of even a single Dark Eldar. I came close with an Eldar Farseer, but not close enough. I didn’t let this dishearten me, though. I simply decided to strike out on my own and move Necromunda somewhere a little more Dark Eldar friendly. Somewhere like Commorragh.
In the 40k universe, Commorragh is the home of the Dark Eldar. A vast city, hidden deep in the Webway, lit by the light of stolen suns and relatively safe from both invaders and the perils of the Chaos Gods. Safe really isn’t the best word to use, however. Infighting and backstabbing means the city is just as dangerous as any other part of the universe.
Before I could set about converting Necromunda to have pointy ears and a taste for pain I needed to do a little research. I knew a bit about the Dark Eldar, mostly gleaned from their 3rd Ed Codex and Dawn of War: Soulstorm, but not a lot about Commorragh itself. Thankfully, there’s a fair bit of information available on the internet, so I was soon up to speed.
I decided that I wanted to keep Commorragh as structurally close to Necromunda as possible, if only to make my job easier. To this end I decided to start with six main factions that would replace the Houses in Necromunda. The ‘gangs’ would represent young Dark Eldar seeking a role within the faction. After a quick glance at the unit types and a little more fluff I chose the following factions (and their respective strengths):
|Warrior Kabal||Heavy Weapons and Armour|
|Wych Cult||Melee Weapons and Combat Drugs|
|Hellion Gang||Hoverboards and Melee Weapons|
|Haemonculi Coven||Weird Tech and Brute Strength|
|Incubi Shrine||Heavy Armour and Melee Weapons|
|Beastmaster Pack||Hoverboards and Tamed Beasts|
I tried to give each group something unique, while still keeping the power levels as balanced as possible. I also thought about a group incorporating the Scourges, but thought that might be a too unbalanced to have a group that focuses on both heavy weapons and high maneuverability.
This is only the beginning, however. I’m planning an almost complete rebuild of Necromunda. Okay, maybe not the base rules. I figure that if they’ve been good for 15+ years then I don’t have much chance of making them any better. The rest of it is going to get a good going over, though. It will also give me an excuse to glue my Dark Eldar models together in non-Codex way, which is always a good thing.
Next time, I’m going to look at the setting in more detail and how to twist it to suit the game better.