Necromunda: We Need Cultist Rules ASAP

Necromunda is coming back in all it’s Turf-War glory and it needs to come with rules for “Cult” Gangs, too!

I have always had a soft spot for Necromunda’s crazy Gang/Turf-War skirmish setting. There is something about it that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the idea of the tribes of gangs fighting over chunks of area in an enclosed industrial hive. Maybe it’s the tight spaces and the stories they hide among them. Perhaps it’s just the thought that you can play on a crazy-dense board and it looks super cinematic. Or it could be I just like the fact that I only need to paint a handful of models.

Necromunda is coming soon. November in fact! It’s launching with two gangs in the box: House Goliath and Escher. That’s fantastic! the models look awesome and they look like they have VERY different styles of play.

Swift and Nimble vs Big and Heavy

I am all about this – I want to see Games Workshop bring out a ton of cool models and we know more Gangs are on the way. I’m pretty sure between Necromunda and Bloodbowl the sculpting/model team is having lots of work dumped on their plate.

But let’s go back to Bloodbowl for a moment. It was a pretty solid release but how long did it take before we got just two extra teams? The Skaven were released in November of 2016. The Dwarf team didn’t launch until February of 2017. The Goblin Team hit the pitch in May of 2017. That’s a lot of time to wait for more teams for a “new” game, don’t you think? (Bloodbowl wasn’t new, but it was a new version with new minis…)

I’m not saying it’s bad strategy for boxed game. Keep the releases rolling and keep people interested. I get it. But for a game with a fan base that was as devoted as Bloodbowl that pace had to feel glacial! Especially when GW had been teasing the Dwarf Team for MONTHS.

I’ll crush you…eventually.

While it’s not a bad strategy I do feel like timing the releases that far apart was…ineffective. I think a better strategy would have been to release the two teams in the box set and the next two teams within the next month. Why? Because people want to PLAY with THEIR gang. Not everyone wants to run House Goliath or Escher. I want my Orlocks or VanSaar, or Delaque and Cawdor! People want a handful of gangs to start (I’d think 4-6) and then they can slow down the release schedule of “other stuff” – like Arbites or Redemptioners.

Will that be what Games Workshop does with the release schedule? I hope so. I want to see Necromunda succeed and I want to see the game get Gangs at a faster pace than Bloodbowl has gotten teams. A much faster pace (still waiting on those elves).


But I’ve got a suggestion for Games Workshop: Release Cult Gang rules when Necromunda Launches. I don’t care if they are in the boxed game, a PDF download from the Website, or in a White Dwarf issue – but Cult Gangs need to be in the game ASAP. This will do two things: 1) It will get people playing Necromunda – folks that already have Genestealer/Chaos Cult will have models to port over and play thus giving the game a larger player base day 1. 2) It’s going to sell more models for both Necromunda and 40k because people will buy both types of models to play Necromunda!

Folks that really like Necromunda won’t just play with they Chaos or Genestealer Cultists – they are going to pickup the Box and probably another Gang (or two) – IF the product is available to purchase while they are interested. How do folks stay interested? If people are still playing the game on game nights. What keeps people playing the game on game nights? Leagues! You know what kills leagues? Lack of diversity in teams/gangs.

We’re already here – USE US NOW

You following my train of thought? A steady flow of releases is good – we’ve seen how that works. But giving people 4 options at launch for league play vs 2 seems like a no-brainer solution. GW doesn’t have to create new kits for the two Cult Gangs – they just have to create rules for them! That could take anywhere from an afternoon to a couple days for the art department to make them look fancy.

I doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see that having 4 options at launch is a more interesting game than only 2. So GW, if you’re reading this PLEASE whip up some rules for Chaos Cultists and Genestealer Cultists for Necromunda – the fans will thank you for it!


Am I wrong on this one? Does anyone NOT want to see GSC or Chaos Cultist Gangs fighting in Necromunda, too? Let me know why in the comments below!

  • Iconoc1ast

    Gsc will def be my first choice for a gang.

    Perhaps a return to house cawdor too….

    • memitchell

      Cawdor was my first gang. GSC was my first love in all of GW gaming. And, my first 40K army.

      There never was an an “official” GSC gang. There were fan-written rules published in one of the various Necro magazines (I think Gang Wars, I’m too lazy to go find it). And, various fan-written online rules (including my own). They all suffered the same problem to varying degrees. How to put the Genestealer into the Genestealer Cult, in the Underhive, without just ruining somebody else’s day.

      The ONLY official GSC “gang” rules were with Shadow Wars. And, because the gang, er, Kill Team was fashioned from the Neophyte box set, it ended up about the weakest gang in the game. Basically, a Delaque gang with some interesting hired guns. When or if they do make a GSC gang, I hope they spice it up. My secret, bucket list desire is that the twice proposed GSC infested Hive Secundus be like the Lustria setting for Mordheim. A whole ‘nother level of danger and intrigue.

      • Gary Pearce

        Although there *were* rules for most every member (if not all) of the GSC in the origina necromunda rulebook…

      • Iconoc1ast

        I have the journals with the rules for gs covens and chaos cultists…. they were so badass. My brothers nurgle cult was the stuff nightmares are made of.

  • benn grimm

    You can use the models as a human gang till they get rules. Nicely represents them as they were before they revealed themselves as cultists maybe. Or use the Shadowmunda rules.

    • 6Cobra

      You’re exactly right. I’ve got a Chaos Cult.. er.. Cawdor Gang, and a Genestealer Cult.. uh.. Skavvies (or Delaques) looking at me from a shelf as I write this. Regardless of the release schedule or whether specific “cult” rules come out, I’ll have CC or GSC minis probably involved in my very first Necromunda game with the new rules.

  • Rainthezangoose

    I do think with a plastic crack so high quality and cust the space between the teams makes sense, but I completely agree that it only sucked because two little was available at launch.

  • memitchell

    “So GW, if you’re reading this PLEASE whip up some rules for Chaos Cultists and Genestealer Cultists for Necromunda – the fans will thank you for it!”

    GW, please don’t. And, no, they wont.

    You want to make sure New Necromunda is an epic fail? Encourage people to use other 40K models, and 40K based armies, er, teams, er, gangs. Unless the game has changed, Necromunda is a campaign game. It worked because it is a unique setting. It required people to commit to campaigns, instead of one-off games. The less unique the setting the less the commitment to the campaign. The easier it is to go back to 40K. This is why Shadow War: Armageddon has been forgotten 5 months after it debuted.

    Again, I don’t know what the New Necro will be like. It’s either all about the campaign. Or, its a different game. But, I do know for sure that the more it is like 40K, the less it will be like Necromunda. And, the more likely it wont last. Like Shadow War.

    • BClement

      wait, what? You are actually saying you DON’T want more options for Necromunda? You DON’T want to see GSC or Chaos Cultists to fill in as a stop gap until more gangs come out? You DON’T want to have an instantly larger player base day one?

      Because you don’t want to see 40k models in Necromunda…

      You’d rather wait 3 months between gang releases and watch the player base shrivel-up and die because they got bored waiting for another gang to come out? Because if the Necromunda release goes like Bloodbowl that is exactly what will happen to it.

      Only having two gangs as an option at launch is why BB floundered and died in my area. It’s boring to have a “Campaign” with two options. We wanted League play with new kits and new teams.

      BTW, the Author isn’t saying to add Space Marines and Orks – he’s asking for two “gangs” (which already have model ranges) to get rules so that Necromunda WON’T suffer like Bloodbowl. These two factions are also heavily hinted at in the old fluff anyways.

      So yeah, I disagree with your assessment. I don’t want to see Space Marines and Eldar in my Necromunda games – but I totally want to see GSC or Chaos Cultists as an option to increase the odds this game sticks around longer than a flash-in-the-pan!

      • memitchell

        I get what your are saying. Your not wrong to disagree. I know what I’m saying is counter-intuitive. But, we’re working from a Strawman argument. If we accept that the new game wont have more than two gangs for the first six months, then yes, that’s a drawback. Do we know that for sure? Do we know that enthusiasm for a new Necromunda is so fragile, anyway? If so, I fear this cure is worse than the disease.

        We have a recent example. What we do know is that Shadow War had 14 “gangs” right from the beginning. All from 40K box sets. And, and an easy to use (if not very compelling) campaign. Could not have been more attractive, and more easy for 40K players to give it whirl. Give it a whirl, most did not. Granted, for more than one reason.

        I speak from bitter experience from the many years I played Necromunda and ran campaigns, actively. You just won’t get a larger player base. First of all, how many more 40K players have GSC and Cultist figs? Your talking a thin slice to begin with. And, once that door is open, you have to start turning away folks who want to use Terminators. Then, how many of those will get into the game? Finally, what are you asking of them? You don’t want them only to try a game or two. That wont cut it. In fact, that can screw up your campaign. The well meaning guy that does a drive-by with GSC or Cultists (or, I-Guard, or Eldar), using his 40K figs can really screw up somebody’s long, hard work building their gang. This ain’t 40K. You can’t really adjust your gang to the foe you face. And, if you take permanent damage, you don’t just start anew with a new list. You can lose players, instead of gaining them.

        You want them to join in a campaign, or two (again, assuming the new Necro is structured like the old Necro). Get invested, stick around. Share the risks and rewards.

        Am I against more options for Necromunda? No. But, don’t start there. Develop the player base around the core game, instead of esoteric alternatives. Get players to get that they are playing with gangs, not expendable, adaptable, start-from scratch armies. Get them to get into Necromunda, instead of just using their Necro figs to play Necromunda.

        • Handsome Jack

          Old Necromunda had OFFICIAL rules for Genestealer Cults and Chaos Cultist.
          Also, the Goliath Truck is a civilian truck that could be used for the different factions, better than a chimera or a leman russ in the vehicle advanced rules.
          Obviously factions like GsC and CCs would be Outlaws.
          Another factions that could fit in Necromunda from Shadow-war could be:
          -Imperial Guard (PDF or IG Deserters)
          -Mechanicus expedition

          • memitchell

            No, there were fan written “approved” rules. But, nothing from the design studio. It wasn’t’ until Specialist Games started up again in full swing that Necromunda magazine rules came from GW designers. I know, I was a SG forum moderator and was asked for input by Jake Thornton when he re-wrote the Skavvy rules. The new Plague Zombie table was mostly me. The rest, I don’t take credit (or blame). Those were “official” rules. BTW, did you ever play against the Chaos Cultists? Redmptionists with mutations and psychics!

    • 6Cobra

      The author isn’t calling for Necrons, Wraithlords, or Mortarion to be running around in the Underhive. He’s calling for rules for factions that – seriously – are already there in the Underhive. There are probably several million chaos cultists alone in the lower reaches of Hive Primus. But having a bunch of guys with autoguns, gas masks, and maybe a tentacle or two duking it out with the Eschers would somehow break the game?

      I agree with what I think is your sentiment for the vast majority of the 40K range, and I appreciate that with both the cults there’s a slippery slope before they start “summoning aid” from the 40K versions of both those armies, and you suddenly have Patriarchs and Plague Terminators wiping out whole gangs. But that dynamic can be easily accounted for and countered by both the cult rules and by the leagues (assuming thats still a driving force in the new Necro.)

      • memitchell

        Forgive me if I’m arguing on two fronts. That last post was edited a bunch of times to pair it down from ridiculous to still too long. I get what the author is saying. And, the slippery slope doesn’t lead to Necrons and Wraithlords (although, Specialist Games did once offer us a “special” Farseer model and bodyguards and rules for Necromunda). What he is calling for is an instant gratification addition to the game, before it is even completely released. And, one that not only opens the door, but invites in the devil. I’ve played against the original “chapter approved” Chaos Cultists, and I’ve played with the no less than 5 various GSC fan written gangs (including my own). It ain’t that easy to account for, or to counter unbalance.

        But, that ain’t the problem. My concern is, and always was lack of commitment. People that at least buy a gang (for Necro, not for their I-Guard army), and start with a basic house gang tend to stick around much longer than people who substitute 40K figs for their gang.

        Ironically, this can have the opposite effect. A mature house gang can harbor some Juves-to-Gangers that have mad skills. Like, 40K hero skills. A newb with a new shiny Arbite gang may not appreciate that. Until he gets worked. And loses faith in the program. I’ve seen it happen to good men, and bad ones alike.

    • Wildcard1980

      They had both gangs in the original game. Most people just used the redemrionists for the Chaos cultus they just changed the leader ship rules for the use of wyrds and under hive scum. There where also in the book rules for Genstealer cults in the game GW just never realist any of the models. So to say that they would break the game or change it from the original is off the mark. There where also rules from white dwarf and the short lived necromunda magazine that had rules for using 40k models in games. Tho they where more for special scenarios then regular game play.

      But I agree with the vast majority of 40k models staying as far as possible from Necromunda. Out side of possible special scenarios you should never see SM, eldar or any main army models in a campaign.

  • Skeksis

    ”Necromunda is coming back in all it’s Turf-War glory”

    Highly debatable

    • Brian Griffith

      The folks who got to play it at NOVA are saying it’s good.

    • Wildcard1980

      I am more optimistic now that I know that the board game is not the focus and that there will be a seperate gang wars book that’s coming out at the same time as the board game. But my worries still runs from things I have seen in SWA and how they attemted a campaign setting in that game. If Necromunda is just a slightly upgraded version of that then I think the game will fail. I’m also worried if they are carring over the 2d6 for ammo rolls because the ammo rolls was a big part of how the game run and the ammo rolls in SWA are just a joke. I don’t mine if they are a little different but I hope they still keep range modifiers and hard vs soft cover. The 2nd 40k rules always worked better in Necromunda then they did in the larger battles.

  • SilentPony

    Unless every campaign ends with an Imperial Fist Chaplain coming and collecting your best male gangers, it’ll never be REAL Necromunda…

    • memitchell

      Space Marines recruited young males. Only they could endure, and mature into the genetic and surgical transformations to become a Space Marines. Admittedly, a “mature ganger” was probably not very old. But, probably too old for a SM recruit. Nice reference to Watson’s book.

  • LankTank

    Oh dayum yes please.Then I could Buy the Necroumunda Box, use my current Horde of Cultists and that sweet FW Renegade Commander that I have for no other reason than his model AND have a great excuse to buy some GSC models for my nids. 4 Armies off the bat

    • memitchell

      The slope gets more slippery.

      • Wildcard1980

        Not really if they make rules in 40k for the models in Necromunda it doesn’t necessary mean they have to go the other way.

        • memitchell

          OK men, this looks to be the end. May the Emperor’s blessings be upon us.

          Commissar, look! The..uh. Tyranids are retreating! The Necrons are sleeping! And, the Chaos Marines are surrendering!

          Can…it…be? Yes! Boys, our prayers are answered! Praise His name! The Eschers are coming! The Eschers are coming!

          • Wildcard1980

            lol I like the sound of that. Besides being from the military and deployed to combat zones. I will tell you there would be worrest things you could tell the troops then there are a bunch of women coming to join the fight.

      • LankTank

        Also being able to have MORE gangs being able to be used with players current collection would mean more engagement from the get go as long as a) They stick to gangs compatible with the lore (so no Marines, Orks, Pointy ears etc) and b) the mechanics of Necromunda are sufficiently different to 8th ed 40k.
        In fact when sticking to lore is there anything more than Cultists and GSC?
        You need to worry if GW says, the rules for GSC models in 40k are the exact same in Necromunda

  • Knight

    This article makes complete sense. GW will never do it.

  • Wildcard1980

    Besides the gang I want to see is my Pit Slave gang.

  • Pete Croucher

    Mad thought! What if, before we add in xenos and chaos factions, we get models for the six Houses, the four Outlander gangs, Pit Slaves and Enforcers? Wouldn’t starting with those twelve be a treat?

    Honestly hoping they release all 6 House boxes with the base game. All they need to do. The 5 Outlanders can come later, and the Enforcers can come waaaaaaaaay after that.

  • Wildcard1980

    My thought go that this will be similar to how the gangs came out last time. This gang wars book that’s coming out at the same time as the board game will have at the very least all the main house gangs. Maybe the 4 main Outland gangs but I’m thinking those come out just before Christmas or close after its hard to know how much there going to be pushing necromunda with how much they have for 8th edition they want to avoid wallet fatigue as much as they can.

  • Kiskatona

    I was considering getting some GSC for Shadow War, but that got pushed back due to me re-purposing some old minis and having a bunch to paint. Though if GSC could pull double duty in Shadow War and Necromunda, that would probably translate into some cultists purchased by me.