Warhammer Underworlds is more of a board game than a classic tabletop wargame. However, the opportunity to paint up the handful of miniatures that each "team" consists of is a nice idea, and great for when you want a break in a big project.
Greenskins were my first army in any tabletop wargame, as I formed up ranks upon ranks of identical goblin spearmen from the 4th edition starter box for Warhammer Fantasy Battles. So it was hardly a surprise that I picked up the Orc warband of Ironskull's Boyz as my first purchase.
I wanted to paint a pretty classic colour scheme, and went with a mostly red one. The camera is acting up on me so the pictures look slightly more orangey than they are in real life. Reds and greens generally work well together, and I decided to use white to break up the two colours on the henchmen, and black and blue on their leader. That means that they still look uniform while the main honcho still stands out.
Initially I tried using golds and steel colours instead on various henchmen's armour plates to differentiate them, but that looked really bad. It was a reminder for me that you should not be afraid to go back and adjust your paint scheme if you are not satisfied. With so few models as these you can experiment quite a lot before committing to your colours and do the fine details.
I wanted the leader to stand out from the rest, so instead of a plain cape I gave him a ragged flag, taken from some unfortunate victim of his crew. This was a reminder of how little I practice freehand! The phone camera also acted up a lot for me, so I ended up getting a grey sheet of cardboard for a background instead of the black I used before. It helped a lot.
Hakka, Basha and Bonecutta
These three gentlemen got similar painting schemes, but with some different details to keep them interesting.
On Basha here I tried a slightly different skin colour, toning from green to an almost human flesh. It worked OK I guess? Still not sure if I prefer it to an all green look or not.
Even though I haven't been able to get a first game in yet, I picked up a new warband at my local game store this week. This time it will be a hunting ogre and his cat companion, as well as some tiny greenskins that might be assistants, might be bait, or maybe just portable snacks? Who knows! I can totally see these warbands becoming addictive.
Back in the 90's, I mostly played Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. But as an avid White Dwarf reader, I would pour over the battle reports and new releases of the other games, so Space Hulk, Epic, Man O War and Battlefleet Gothic all made their mark even though I didn't play them.
One game that I especially liked the look of, but never got around to, was Necromunda. So when the suggestion came up to try out Games Workshop's re-release of the game, I was very easy to persuade.
If you haven't played it, Necromunda is a game where you play a small gang (about a dozen minis at most) that scrapes by in the deadly underbelly of a huge Spire city in the 40K universe. I really liked the idea of a miniature game that was so close to a roleplaying game, since I was also played a lot of RPGs with my friends back then. So while I never got to play Necromunda in the 90's, let's see how the re-release turned out!
With several boxes available, I went to my local game store and picked up a starter gang for Escher, the all-female gang that specializes in poisons, toxins and similar dirty tricks.
The new Necromunda range is based on gang boxes and a few add-ons in plastic, combined with a bunch of extra minis and weaponry sets released in resin by Forgeworld, a part of Games Workshop.
The good thing is that each plastic box sets you up with a rather affordable start for your gang. The unfortunate part is the box has a certain set of weaponry, while some popular options are only available in the rather expensive resin kits. For example, since I wanted a single plasma gun for my gang, I had to buy a weaponry set which costs as much as the entire gang, which includes a lot of stuff that I don't see myself actually use. The Escher starter box also doesn't include any heavy weapons at all, again sending you off to those weaponry sets. Based on what I've read, some starting boxes are more prone to this than others.
The actual miniatures are nice, with the "new" GW style where they have abandoned the extreme multi-pose options to get more dynamic poses than the old squatting, arms to the sides look. One word of warning: I didn't notice how hard it is to align the heads properly with the necks. The potential gaps turned out to be extremely obvious up close once painted. I'm used to most miniatures allowing quite a lot of lee-way with posing heads, so I'll be sure to be more careful next time.
Another big difference from the 90's is the sheer amount of details on these plastic miniatures. It has some pro's and cons, as the extra details makes the minis take far longer to paint and will also mess up your colour scheme if you planned it based on the older, much more straight forward miniatures.
Making My Escher Gang
You have a lot of options when making a gang, including how to equip each member. This can feel a bit daunting when you haven't played any games yet and have no idea what is reasonable or not.
I used the Goonhammer blog's Escher article as a starting point, and also googled for what other people had written about them. I didn't want to just make an optimal list though, so I used that information combined with building some models that I just liked the look of. My starting gang only used 9 of the 10 included minis, so I saved one for future recruitment or alternative load-outs if my gang found some nice weaponry later on.
I went with a rather 90's painting scheme, heavy on yellows and pinks. There's a bunch of turquoise in there as well, though some of it came off as white due to the lighting when taking photographs. They didn't come out exactly as I planned, again due to the huge amount of extra details and stuff that made the scheme look a bit more messy than I hoped. But as my first foray into sci-fi miniatures in ages, I'm pretty happy with them. Especially now that I have a gang that's ready for the tabletop
A Necromunda gang comes with specialist like leaders, champions and juves, and the more generic gangers that back them up. For the first group I decided to vary their hair colours as a simple way to tell them apart, mixing white, striped or turquoise hair colours. Armed with plasma guns, combi-needler, plasma pistols or dual pistols, they will be the focus of the narrative of the gang as they gain skills from experience and find new, deadlier weaponry or useful equipment.
Click for larger pics
The gangers play a secondary role, beefing up the gang but without the same personality. To easily tell them apart I gave them all pink hair, and most of them carry lasguns which the Eschers can buy at a discounted rate. They'll stay back and fire at long range, hopefully making it hard for the more melee oriented gangs to get in close and personal.
With the Escher freshly painted, I've picked up a starter box for the sneaky Delaque gang. But there are more releases for the Escher in the future, and I'm sure I'll add some more later on to allow for new weapon load-outs and equipment.
As a club that mainly play historical game, we'll also need to get some suitable terrain for our gangs. Luckily I backed the Deadzone kickstarter years ago, so I have all that terrain available. Maybe a quick summer project? Games Workshop has also released quite a lot of nice looking terrain that is suitable.