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Warhammer 40K’s big announcement has nothing to do with Space Marines

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Welcome to the Ash Wastes of Necromunda

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Warhammer 40,000 spin-off game Necromunda is getting a massive new expansion called Necromunda: Ash Wastes. The announcement, made live from the Las Vegas Open tournament late Thursday night, was fairly vague, but that’s par for the course with Games Workshop. It could be a complete boxed set, a bunch of kits, a hardcover sourcebook, or some combination of all three. Whatever the plan, fans are thrilled at this long-awaited expansion to the cult favorite miniatures skirmish game. We’ve included the animated trailer above.

The original Necromunda game is a small-unit skirmish game that requires just a handful of models to play. It was released in the mid-’90s, and was supported by novels and even a magazine. The base game received a lavish reboot in 2017, and the setting writ large has since grown into one of the most exciting aspects of the Warhammer 40,000 hobby. There are several boxed sets with terrain, individual model kits, a series of sourcebooks, and even a fairly decent first-person shooter video game. But fans have been hoping for the Ash Wastes expansion to come back for some time.

Traditionally, the action in Necromunda takes place inside the towering hive city on a planet that goes by the same name, a kilometers-tall tower called Hive Primus run by violent, heavily armed gangs. The Ash Wastes represent the rest of the surface of the planet. That’s where roving bands of nomads eke out a meager existence while massive armored convoys move from point to point.

It’s basically Mad Max in the year 40,000, and the community is stoked.

“I was freaking out, absolutely,” said “Hivescum” Steve Uden in an interview with Polygon. He and and Chris “Underhiver” Iddon are co-hosts of the Necromunda-themed podcast Sump City Radio. What’s shocked him the most, however, has been the positive response among the tight-knit community of hobbyists online.

“I can’t recall having seen a single negative response,” he continued. “There’s been the ones where it’s like, ‘It’s not what I hoped for.’ But there’s not people, you know, being very, very negative about it as a which for online communities with regards to miniatures is quite a big [deal].”

According to Games Workshop, the product is currently in development, but we don’t know what phase of development and we don’t know when the release date is. But that’s actually great news for hobbyists, who can get started kitbashing — that is, slapping together bits from different unrelated model kits — right now. Will your wacky troops and rusty vehicles actually work in the game? Maybe. Maybe not. But it will be good practice for when official rules and kits start rolling out.

The Ash Wastes are so popular, in fact, that players have been building vehicles and soldiers for years now, with some going so far as to homebrew their own rules. We’ve included some of the best examples — curated by the gang at Sump City Radio — below.


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