When it was announced that GW were re-releasing Necromunda, Bull and I were very excited. We had played a campaign many years ago, Bull having played several in the past with many fond memories. The release of (essentially) a board game version came as a bit of a surprise and disappointment. Necromunda is all about the 3d environment, that's one of the core aspects to the game, along with the campaign and character progression. Imagine my surprise then when it turns out there is no campaign in the main rulebook!

I had no interest in getting invested in this new version, until Bull presented me with the boxed game as a Christmas present. I went out the following week and bought the Gang Wars supplement (another £20 for the campaign and 3d environment rules!). I had a read though the books but, in true GW style, the rules were overcomplicated, leaning heavily on random elements and the layout and order of the information within the books made no sense – user experience is a thing now! People like myself get employed to make UX as smooth as possible. Of course there were the obligatory typos and lack of proof reading expected in GW publications. My friends at Anvil Eight Games take such care and attention to ensure the wording in their books is as clean and easy to read as possible, it's proofread to death and still hits deadline – GW has much bigger resources yet seem not to care for such things. Frustrates me beyond belief.

Nevertheless, Bull and I got a date in the diary to have a go, but we needed some seriously 3d terrain. In the same week I 'discovered' Red Beam Designs. They had some of their hive style mdf terrain on offer and I couldn't resist. When the parcel arrived I was overwhelmed by the mass of mdf pieces and it took me three evenings to get through it and create my pieces of scenery. I then added the magnets that were part of the package and… it was beautiful. A very well designed piece of kit, that could be broken down into smaller chunks and rearranged as I wanted thanks to the magnets. I was blown away – storage will not be an issue. Alas, I read not 24hrs later that Red Beam is closing down, which is devastating. Their kit has been so well thought through and the end result is awesome. Shame.

Alongside the terrain building, I had list building to complete. The gangs now are much more characterful, which means I am very restricted on what weapons I could take for my Goliaths. To add insult to injury, having completed my list I discover that the sprues don't have a very good weapon selection. I had to tweak my list to fit what was available on the sprues (which is actually two of the same sprue). I had only 1 – ONE – stub pistol available, with a very odd arm angle, and no – NONE – fighting knives. Bull had a similar experience with his plastic Orlocks – they weren't created for campaign players at all. Given that weapon swaps and upgrades are part of the game, it wouldn't have taken much to create a set of plastics that could swap out weapons easily – not here, if you're not building the models on the front of the box you're going to struggle. Plus there's no visible variations between Leader, Champions, Gangers and Juves – they all look the same.

I managed to get a crew together that I was reasonably happy with. Models built (though not painted – no time!) and I was ready to go. On Monday this week we finally took our first steps into the new look world of Necromunda.

To be continued…