N18 House of Chains (general discussion)

Baffo

Gang Champion
Aug 2, 2018
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As the title suggests, this thread is meant to 'collect' all our random speculations, predictions and/or wishlisting about the upcoming House of Chains 'expansion book' (and by extension what the other houses' codexes might bring).

So far the GW reveals at the Nuremberg Toy fair 2020 represents most of the information we have:
https://www.warhammer-community.com/2020/01/29/new-reveals-from-nuremberggw-homepage-post-1/

The first thing we see is the usual 'hype trailer' about the House of Chains expansion book (aka Codex 'supplement' Goliaths) - we had known for 1-2 weeks prior to this that something classified as Necromunda: House of Chains was coming (due to shipment details from China to GW storehouses), but nobody at the time guessed it was an expansion book focused entirely on House Goliath (I myself expected it to be a paperback novel).

Next we get the Stimmers revealed:
Goliath gangers respect physical strength above all else, and sometimes that results in an obsession with growth and combat chems. Such is the case with the massive Stimmers – over-muscled brutes wielding massive weapons as though they’re mere playthings.

From the pictures it was not immediately obvious to me, but these Stimmers appear to be on 40 mm bases (others came to the same conclusion based on the pattern visible on the base, especially since Textured Necromunda 40 mm bases have only 1 'variant' of design), meaning these new fighters are effectively Brute-sized.
When we first heard about this Plastic kit expansion for each House gang (more than 1 year ago at this point), the devs referred to new Specialist champions and Prospects, so the prevailing opinion is that these Stimmers are the aforementioned Specialist champions (which in turn would mean that each gang will get their own unique Specialist champion-type fighter), but some people think these might actually be an additional or substitute Brute for Goliaths (in 1 year the devs might have changed the terminology or their plans for this gang structure expansion). For myself I am hoping they are special Champions rather than Brutes, mainly because that would leave them open to more weapon/gear load-outs and cool possibilities for conversions and model variants (which would be in GW's interest, since it would encourage players to buy multiple boxes of this new kit).
Now, speculating about possible rules, based on the fluff blurb and the 2 pictures, we can expect the Stimmers to come with at least one special rule/skill tied to their 'fighter type' (much like all the CGC fighters), more specifically Bulging bicepts (or a unique variation of that skill, to allow the Stimmer to fire Heavy ranged weapons as normal or even just be able to carry and use 2 Unwieldy weapons at the same time), since the melee focused Stimmer appears to be holding 2 Renderisers. Admittedly the Devs could just as well have created a limited list of paired Unwieldy weapons usable only by Stimmers, but I would prefer the new giants to be able to mix and match massive weapons at will (again more for conversion possibilities than game balance - just imagine a Stimmer with 2 Power fists or 2 Heavy Rock saws!). If it turns out to be a brand new special rule for the Stimmer, I expect it might limit him to using only large unwieldy weapons (normal weapons are maybe too small for them).
The more interesting prospect however is in the Ranged focused stimmer, who appears to be armed with 2 belt fed rapid fire large calibre guns of some sort (they do look like Grenade launchers if you ignore the ammo feeds) - now this is most likely a brand new gun, probably unique to house Goliath, but we have no idea if it is just a Heavy ranged weapon that could also be used by normal Goliath champs, while the Stimmers can use them in pairs, or if it is exclusively available to the Stimmer. Personally I would prefer it if these were just 'normal' heavy weapons, which would mean Stimmers could be armed with other paired Heavy guns and (more importantly) could maybe be armed with a Heavy gun on one arm and a Heavy melee weapon on the other arm (basically treating the Stimmer as an oversized Champion with integrated Suspensors) - I find the idea of a Stimmer armed with a Heavy bolter and a Heavy rock cutter quite interesting visually (it is such an expensive load-out that it isn't really a competitive option, but it would look pretty cool if you managed to get one on the table).
From that past open day when we first heard of Specialist champions, it was also reported that these specialists did not have access to Exotic beasts or Leadership skills (which probably also means they can never take command of the gang if the leader dies - they are probably too stupid/specialised to take up that role), but on the other hand this could open them up to another Skill table. Being Stimmers they are guaranteed to have Brawn as one of their primary skill tables and hopefully they kept Ferocity as a primary as well (so we can give them Nerves of steel from the start without necessarily relying on Frenzon collars, although if you were planning to give them Frenzon anyway, you might as well chose a different starting skill in that case), while probably keeping Combat and Shooting as possible secondary skill tables (none of the other normal tables seem to make any sense for them); the only other Skill table I could see stimmers getting access to is possibly Savagery (in which case any melee stimmer should probably get Slaughterborne as their starting skill and a Frenzon collar after the first game), but it is equally as likely for specialist champs to just have the standard 4 skill tables their gang has normally access to (just removed Leadership).

Anyway, right after the Stimmers we got to see the Forge-born Prospects:
At the opposite end of the spectrum are Forge-born – prospects trying to prove their worth to the gang by undertaking the most dangerous missions. Holding underslung weapons with two hands and sporting a lean-and-mean look, these awesome models are sure to find a place amongst your Goliaths.

In the picture we see 4 models, 2 bodies (1 male and 1 female - First female Goliath models!!!) each in 2 poses armed with either an Arc-welder or a presumed Heavy rock saw. We know these are on 25 mm bases, so they are significantly leaner than regular Goliath gangers, making them into ideal Juve models (if the kit includes arms with pistols and cheaper melee weapons they might actually be official Juve models, but otherwise plenty of people will 'convert them with the appropriate arms/weapons to be used as Juves anyway).
Now the whole idea of Prospects is somewhat unclear - in the aforementioned Open day when they showed the gang structure diagram, Prospects were listed at the lowest level in the gang (beneath Juves), which is puzzling, given that Juves are already cheap as chips and generally trash as actual fighters, so what can you get that is 'even lower than a Juve?' That said I don't think Prospects are actually weaker or cheaper than Juves, but rather they are Ganger level fighters that are considered 'lower than Juves' just because they are not yet part of the gang. Their fluff blurb (and even the first foggy descriptions we got on them a year ago) focuses on them using dangerous weapons to impress the gang and their official models all seem to carry unwieldy weapons, which is again a somewhat puzzling 'design choice': giving a big unwieldy weapon to a Juve/Ganger is already a sub-optimal choice and if you were to give them a 100+ creds weapon (like a Heavy rock saw), it is downright foolish - we know the Devs have an erratic grasp of Game balance and 'weapon pricing conventions', but for Prospects to be an even remotely viable choice, their big weapons would need to be absurdly discounted and certainly Unstable (Reckless is in no way a sufficiently severe drawback when compared to Unstable; 90% of situations Reckless has no effect), if not an even more severe/dangerous new trait (probably reserved to Prospect weapons even in future gang expansions).
Since it seems to be a trend in recent GW development, I expect Prospects will also come with a free skill/special rule tied to their fighter class to represent in game their foolhardy bravado/recklessness and/or the gang not considering them a true member of the crew (something like 'Prospect auto-pass Cool/Nerve checks and do not cause Nerve checks in nearby allies when Injured or take OoA'). Besidees that I also expect they will have access to a limited weapon list (of these dangerously Unstable weapons) and have a way to 'evolve' into a normal Ganger (much like Juves can 'evolve' into Champs), thus losing the special rules tied to the Prospect class, but gaining acess to normal weapons and gear.

The reveal article section about necromunda ended with:
The House of Chains is a huge update for Goliath gangs, including house alliances, unique scenarios, themed terrain features, and even Slave Ogryn gangs. We’ll have more news from the underhive soon.
Lets speculate about each underlined entry in order:

- House alliances: referencing back that same old Open day the devs there mentioned Guild alliances, Criminal alliances and Noble alliances; so far we've seen the Guild and Criminal alliances and I suspect the mentioned Noble alliances refer to these House alliances, as in allying with a particular Noble house 'branch' within the House clan (think of it as sub-factions within clan Goliath). This is complete baseless speculation on my part, but GW in the past 2-3 years has been adding sub-factions/chapter tactics/army traits to all the factions in all their game systems and I am guessing this is is the form it might take in Necromunda.
If that turns out to be true, we might have 3 or 6 Noble House Goliath alliances that shift slightly how the gang works (more in unique weapon/gear/brutes availability than special rules or traits added to the base goliath gang).
For example I can easily see a Goliath branch specialising in manufacture/forging (greater availability and/or discounts on specific weapons and armor), while a second one focuses on the use/capture/training of Slaves (granting access Ogry slave brutes) and possibly a third one focuses maniacally on Pit fighting (discounts on Melee weapons and Stimmers). Another simpler approach might be that the house branch alliance only grants a slightly different House Favour table and a few specific weapon/gear discounts and/or additions on the HWL. This way would be easier for the devs to 'pad-out the list up to 6 House alliances' even if they don't have particularly good ideas to justify options 5 and 6 on the list (6 alliances/sub-factions seems to be the target number they seem to aim for, regardless if they have enough ideas to properly flesh out those 6 options).

- Unique scenarios - It will probably be 6 'narrative' scenarios; I can think of 3 likely candidates: Champions tournament (1-on-1 short pitfights in rapid succession), Pit fighters/Slaves rebellion (the clan's slaves rebel/flee and your gang must recapture them or put them out to make an example), Forge's Sabotage (classic sabotage reworked around one of the themed terrain feature of goliaths).

- Themed Terrain features: I expect these will be a number of ideas/rules for Forge/Furnace or Fighting pit themed terrain pieces and maybe a section on how to convert/scratch build them from existing GW kits. It would be exceedingly cool if GW released a new themed terrain kit (compatible with the Dark uprising terrain/boards) with each Gang expansion (much like armies in AoS get their own Endless spells and Terrain piece when their Battle tome gets updated). Obviously for Goliaths this would be a Forge, Furnace or Smelter of some sort.

- Slave Ogryn gangs: Ok, wtf are these? I am pretty sure it won't be a gang made entirely of Ogryns, rather a gang with a Goliath overseer leader and champs and access to Ogryns as a class of special ganger (somewhat like Aberrants in GSC gangs) and maybe even human pit fighters as the regular Gangers/Juves.
These Ogryns will probably cost at least 120-150 creds each (assuming they are limited to melee only and discounted like CGC fighters), meaning such a gang would be cripplingly small/elite (and Goliath gangs are already on the lower end of starting gang average numbers) and probably totally ineffective on Sector mechanicus tables (out numbered, out-activated and probably constantly pinned down by enemy small firearms, due to the greater difficulties of hiding melee Ogryns behind sufficient cover on the approach). Unless they get discounts on par with CGC I doubt Ogryn slaves will be much good (power-gaming wise), but if they have at least interesting rules/options they will make a fantastic 'conversion project' (personally I am thinking of getting the Ogre Blood bowl team to use as the base for my Ogryn pit fighters).

Now, thinking about the possibilities for the future expansions, I expect Goliaths will end up being one of the 'less powerful' codex supplement (when compared to the other House clan supplements), partly because they are the first 'codex' released in this new paradigm, but also because Goliaths are one of the more simplistic/strait forward gangs in the game: they are big, tough and hurt in melee, so obviously their Specialist champion is just a bigger and buffer fighter and their Prospects are pretty much Heavy machinery wielding Kamikazes.
These new fighter classes don't really offer a different way of fighting to the gang, just more of the same; btw I have nothing against it, I am just pointing out Goliaths have a rather limited 'scope' in their specialisation, while other Houses might get much more unique and/or inventive Specialist champs and Prospects: I could see the Orlock Specialist champ being a burly Biker (on Bike) and their Prospects being Acrobatic bikers (Mad Max Warboys) on far less reliable dirt bikes, while Cawdor Specialist champs might be a Preacher (possibly with access to Redemptionist Skill table or Prayers) and their Prospects being fanatic Suicide bombers... Anyway I am rambling at this point, we will get a better idea of what the future House clan expansions might bring once we get the House of Chains in hand.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you agree with my random conjectures or do you have some different ideas/expectations than what I mentioned so far?
Anyway, cheers!
 
Hi @Baffo !
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I fully agree with you on all points.

Now if I remember correctly, the rules on Juve equipment is not a "standard" rule per se, but one that is repeated in every house list.
This made me think that, just like the Initiates of CGC do not follow what we have come to consider the "standard" Juve loadout limitations, the same can happen to the Goliaths here. Maybe, the prospect are de facto the new Juve and the term Juve will disappear form the house.

As per the possible "flavour" that could be given to a Goliath band, I think we can take some hint from the cover of the book itself. For example the Goliath on the left seems to be more a furnace worker than a fighter. It could just be a depiction of a Prospect, or it could be a ganger part of a group more focused on Foundry works than fighting. From what the image show us, it seems to wear more armor/protective gear than your "Vanilla" Goliath, so maybe that will be their flavour.
The one on the right on the other hand appears to be older and fatter than the standard. It gives me a "slaver" vibe, but there is really nothing much to work on.

I am really excited for this new supplement and I cannot wait to lay my hand on it (and on the next ones too... dammit)
 
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reough

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Mar 19, 2015
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I'm tentatively looking forward to house of chains - the book avalanche might be annoying but new models and options are always good. Between the prospects and stimmers, and whatever slave ogryns turns out to be there'll be lots of new stuff to work with.

There's also huge potential for every other gang when they get their turn, exploring other parts of necromunda will be fun.
 

Thorgor

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My thoughts:
  • Stimmers need to come with Bulging Biceps and a forth weapon slot to be usable as presented (or any 'new' special rule with the same effects). The ranged weapon we've been shown is probably a twin-linked heavy weapon (as carrying two identical heavy weapons at once would be a tremendous waste of ressources). If we are lucky, it's a twin-linked heavy stubber (as already carried by the Stig-shambler), otherwise, it's a brand new weapon (we already know what Goliath heavy bolters and GLs look like, and that's not either). They'll be a regular fighter type (not Brute, even though the models can obviously be used as a base for the Zerker), but probably one other fighters cannot evolve into, and that cannot evolve into anything else. I wonder whether or not they'll be allowed to do post-battle actions, and how those new fighter types will affect the gang composition rules

  • Prospects are probably the same kind of fighters as CGC initiates: 'juves' who can do everything gangers can and come with a free skill but still benefit from being juves (fast lane for advancements and low low cost). At best, I expect them to have a special rule that gives Reckless to all their weapons as a 'drawback' (since the writers don't seem to realize it doesn't do anything to CC weapons in practice). If we're lucky, their weapons are bog standard Arc welders (already carried by Ogryn servitor) and Heavy rocksaws, with maybe an additional one-handed variant for the latter. If I'm correct, regular juves will be all but erased from the game (even more so than they already are) if not the books. If all their weapons have Unstable for some reason, then they are DoA.

  • The plastic kit should be quite similar to the Subjugator kit (in that it only has 3 bodies per sprue) and the CGC kit (in that it mixes big and lean bodies on the same sprue). Hopefully, having only 3 bodies on the sprue (and no shield) means there is a lot of space left for weapon options that haven't been pictured yet.

  • I expect the Ogryn slave gang to be a relatively low effort endeavour, based mainly on the Ogryn servitor profile but with a few more options and variants. Think Ogre Blood Bowl team level of silliness (and lack of balance). They'll probably be quite different from the (freed) slaves of old in term of flavour, as it's difficult to imagine an Ogryn leading any kind of rebellion so I expect at least their leader to be a human slave-master. Hopefully, they'll be either generic or open for every gang to lead (as they all employ slaves of some sort, especially House Orlock who is far more into slavery than House Goliath)
 
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Chitriel

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Stimmers need to come with Bulging Biceps and a forth weapon slot to be usable as presented (or any 'new' special rule with the same effects). The ranged weapon we've been shown is probably a twin-linked heavy weapon (as carrying two identical heavy weapons at once would be a tremendous waste of ressources). If we are lucky, it's a twin-linked heavy stubber (as already carried by the Stig-shambler), otherwise, it's a brand new weapon (we already know what Goliath heavy bolters and GLs look like, and that's not either).

Isn’t the ranged weapon pretty much identical to the Goliath grenade launcher though?
All we can see from the current picture is the following:
  • The weapon is underslung on the forearm
  • Clear(ish) view of the weapons barrel
  • The weapon is belt fed from drum magazines on the back
Regarding the first point: The “new” weapon is carried exactly like the Goliath grenade launcher (this of course is not uncommon among Goliath weapons).

Regarding the second point: The “new” weapons barrel (the only part of the weapon we can see clearly) is identical to the barrel of the Goliath grenade launcher. Even down to the cross shaped holes in the muzzle brake.

Regarding the third point: Lots of weapons have drum magazines including Goliath grenade launchers), not much can be gleaned from this.

My money is on it being some kind of twin-linked grenade launcher or similar weapon.
 

Kiro The Avenger

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Apr 4, 2018
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I'm more inclined to agree with Thorgor.
I suspect the Specialist Champions will have a very limited weapon selection, perhaps with their own house list akin to the Enforcers.

Prospects will almost certainly either make Juves absolutely pointless, or be even more pointless themselves.
And this may well vary by house.
 

TopsyKretts

Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
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The Enforcers doesn't handle their weapon selection at all. Have a look at the following 2 Enforcers:

  1. A Subjugator armed with a boltgun (ammo 6+) from the trading post.
  2. A Palanite with upgraded hardened layered flak armour from the trading post (better than what the subjugator starts out with!).
These 2 fighters are effectively represented by the same model, a subjuguator miniature armed with a boltgun. Except they are different fighter, have different boltguns and different armour o_O 😲 Could very well be the same with the new ones. They should really just be able to choose between weapon A,B and C, but could get access to trading post, so why not give them a kroot rifle and power fist?
 
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Baffo

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Thinking about the other gangs expansions:
- Cawdor
If each House gang will get their own 'sub-gang' (what Slave Ogryns are to Goliaths), the first option that comes to mind for Cawdor has to be Redemptionists, but as far as we know Necromunda is still limited to 1 plastic kit per release cycle (= quarter) and we can assume for the next 6 releases that kit will always be the House gang 'reinforcement' kit with their Specialist champion/Brute and their Prospects/Juves, but on the other hand Redemptionist is a proper gang with its own nostalgic following and whenever they get their rules in N17+ it would make sense to give them their own 10 models 'base gang box' (since Enforcers and CGC got their own boxes)... Anyway what I am driving at is that Redemptionists will certainly be mentioned and might even appear in the form of an Alliance option for Cawdor gangs in their own 'codex', but I doubt they will get 'full gang or even sub-gang rules' yet, meaning Cawdor's sub-gang needs to me something slightly different, so how about a Penitent or Repentant-sub gang?
Ogre slaves sub-gang sounds (much like all the exotic beasts, brutes and alliances so far) like a 'side-project' for Forge world (if they'll ever get around to it) and (mostly) Converters, so I expect all the other sub-gangs to follow a similar logic: a new gang with an unusual structure/composition that can be converted from other kits in the GW/Froge world lines.
We know Sisters of battle have one Fortress monastery on Necromunda (if I remember correctly is in the same Hive as the HQ of the Redemptionist cult) and by then their entire plastic new line will be released and available, so I am guessing the devs might make up a gang led by a Cawdor or Redemptionist preacher or even a Battle Sister dominar with a following of sister Repentia, Arco flagellants and possibly even a Penitent engine as their own Brute (it is only a 50 mm base I think and now we have Goliath champions on 40 mm bases, so it isn't that much of a stretch).
- Orlock
I already mentioned the possibility of the Specialist champ and prospects for Orlock being Bikers of some sort, but another alternative to implement this 'theme' could be their sub-gang (since these sub-gangs might be where the devs really let loose with weird gang composition and models), as in a Biker gang.
The main inspiration for this 'prediction' is that we already have access to GS biker kits that many hobbists already use to convert biker models for several gangs (but most often Orlocks since it is part of their aesthetic and lore) and it might serve as an introduction to bike and vehicle rules to N17+, in which case the Orlock themed scenarios might very well all revolve around these Vehicle rules (an updated Caravan heist/escort missions and most likely a Death race scenario), possibly giving all gangs the option of having/using a generic vehicle (a buggy converted from GS or Ork kits, like everyone is already doing).
 

spafe

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Cawdor sub:
Redemptionists (the fanatics)
Scavies/mutants (the downtrodden)
Echliesarchy (sp) (the orthodox faithful)

Escher:
Poison cultivators
Beast tamers (chrimerax and such)
???

Orlock:
Biker brotherhood
Miners/prospectors
Watchmen (enforcer/bouncer types)

Van saar:
Tech heretics (experimental biologists)
Omisiah linked (weapons production)
???

Delaque:
Psyker secret squirrel clan
Espionage clan
???
 

alexflagg

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Nov 3, 2016
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Aside from the obvious Codex-ing of Necromunda plus the chance to release a Juv...ah, "prospect"/Brute sprue and complete each House line in plastic, I expect the House Of... convention is part of a bigger pivot to Necromunda18 long term:

* Enforcers, Corpse Grinders and their alternate structure (different rules on composition, use of experience, skills on all fighters based on rank, etc) is not an anomaly, but a look at the long-term future of the game. I fully expect every gang to lean away from the classic Necromunda structure of all gangs starting the same, weapons and skills notwithstanding, into individualized organizations.

* This is in keeping with the long arc of Necromunda, which since Outlanders has strained against the "all gangs are the same" approach into more and more individualized rules, through N17/18 which added starting skills and skill choice to Champs and Leaders, to today.

* The reason this is happening now, before Outlander gangs return, is to prevent the thing that always happens when Outlanders are in the game - they suck all the air out of the room, because they are mechanically and thematically more interesting. Look already at what's happened to House Gang popularity with the Venators, then GSC, then Enforcers and especially Corpse Grinders - chances all of us see most if not all these gangs in our campaigns, while there are missing House gangs. And why? They are individually cool - they've got Wyrds, crazy masks, free juves, psychic familiars, rare gear access, etc. There's a lot of design space in this game, but I think GW is wise to make sure House Gangs are just as interesting and (attention) competitive with these other gangs and ones yet to come - both financially and from a game health standpoint.

* As part of this effort, Prospects will be effectively replacing Juves, not because they are substantially different but because Juves are "tainted" by the decisions already made. Juves will remain an option, if a sub-par one, but only as the fourth fighter option in Gangs of the Underhive (which will gradually become just like the Indexes made at the beginning of 40k 8th Ed - the generic gang rules to get you started).

* I also suspect the 3 man brute + 2 prospect sprue will include sufficient bits to also do previously existing brute options (in this case, the Zerker), meaning gangs will likely have muliple Brute options, AND they can sell these boxes to players disinterested in the new book.

* Likewise, this Slave Ogryn gang will use the new Ogryn Servitor box as the base (including additional gear options) to sell lots of those, in addition to any player who is using the existing Ogryn Servitor for their gangs.

* Going forward, I would speculate new House brutes will very likely be variations on the existing theme (e.g. Delaque brutes will all be psykers, with the Spyker being the telepathic variant) and prospects will have cool new weapons or unique configurations to ensure they are actually used rather than ignored or treated as corner-case choices as Juves are now.

* Also, I believe we won't see any Outlanders gangs until this entire release cycle of the House books is complete. So probably this is what we'll be seeing for Necro for the next 18 months.

* Finally, I think is all a very good indication of GW's confidence and long term expectations for the game. N18 has been extraordinarily cheap for them to support and extremely profitable - before Dark Uprising, the entire commitment was 10 plastic sprues (1 for each House gang, 1 for Enforcers, 1 for the Ambot, and 2 for the Underhive walls and doors), a series of books (cheap) and lots of cards (even cheaper), which in turn enabled them to sell TONS of existing terrain kits, GSC Acolytes, and Kill team bundles. Now, they're literally doubling their material commitment to the game, and really trying to give it depth and background its never had before.

I'm ambivalent about the bloating of the game, as part of Necro's appeal is always how low the barrier to entry is, but something that awards long-term campaigning and "perpetual play" in the manner of Blood Bowl hopefully will come along in the next major box set or revision of the rules.
 

Unslain

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Looking at the cover art, it looks to me to be a portayal of civilian, ganger, ruling caste - I would guess this social cross-section will be a common cover-art format across these house books.


The trailer:
Seven seconds into the trailer vid, there is a section of text visible (word fragments in parentheses are my own best guess):
...ky is something of a … (Pri)mus. Having escaped … the Ogryn leads an … (dep)ths of the underhive … servitors and even … and they have … rag-tag … (u)se of his … eyes
Not much at all to go on, but that reads to me like an ogryn hired gun. I would expect a few Goliath-themed or ex-Goliath characters like that as an effort to sell it to all players. The ogryn servitor sketch from the gangs book was labelled as "Sparky" so this may be an expansion of that character, either as a hired gun or maybe a named brute. But perhaps it's a sample background to go with expanded options for (or if we're unlucky, a rewrite of) the servitor ogryn. My money would still be on a hireling though.

At 21 seconds, the fat crowned Goliath image is I suspect the ganger-turned house master, Hectork Scrak. But whether he will be the king referred to previously, I wouldn't want to guess. Personally I dount think Slate Medena has been popular enough to warrant other "heroes" being released as a priority.


The models:
  • The plastic kit should be quite similar to the Subjugator kit (in that it only has 3 bodies per sprue) and the CGC kit (in that it mixes big and lean bodies on the same sprue). Hopefully, having only 3 bodies on the sprue (and no shield) means there is a lot of space left for weapon options that haven't been pictured yet.

I'm not so sure that stimmers and prospects will be on the same sprue. For a standard box, there'd certainly be room for one stimmer and two prospects per sprue but if so then we have likely seen every weapon and head option these models get in plastic. Thorgor you're probably right but I'll hope for them being separated though, probably in packs of two identical sprues for £10-15.

As to those indeterminate guns, I'm in the grenade launcher camp; belt-fed is no great difference to drum-fed but maybe they get to re-roll failed ammo checks due to the amount they're carrying in those massive drums.
Wild speculation: maybe they're heavy grenade launchers that get Blast(5"), or rapid fire for absolute filth! Perhaps what stimmers get is access to twin-linked special weapons; that way they're still able to move and fire (the body pose doesn't suggest Fire(Double) to me), and also aren't treading on the toes of brutes like the stig and lugger with their big guns.

Meanwhile the standard renderiser doesn't have a circular saw blade at the tip, so it's possible that those melée weapons aren't unwieldy but probably are restricted to stimmers only.

Assuming the gang hierarchy set-up hasn't changed, I wonder if prospects won't be a form of hanger-on (that allow for 2 with one 'slot' maybe, or just have unique weapon access). Otherwise they could be a (very cheap) hired gun that have to pick from a small HWL as appropriate - fluff-wise we know they're trying to impress but there's nothing about a gang ever letting them in. Either of these options would place them below juves in a hierarchy.

Alternatively, maybe they're just a form of juve that evolves into a ganger. Again that would place them below the current juves. Maybe you will need half the gang members to be gangers and prospects going forward.


House Alliances:
To be honest, I'd expect this to largely be which clan houses can ally with each other (and why Orlock/Delaque won't happen), with perhaps a campaign event table to provide varied combinations: this week Delaque and Escher can't fight each other without being penalised in the post-game sequence or something. Or enmities, such that affected gangs get bonus XP for fighting their given rival-of-the-week. Maybe linked to the new scenarios, if those aren't just re-skins of existing ones.


Slave Ogryns, sub-faction gangs and future books:
The ogryn gang worries me, mostly because if they are an attempt to shift existing 40k kits then in my view it gets risky. Arcoflagelants for Cawdor and skitarii for Van Saar doesn't seem too bad at first blush, and maybe tempestus scions representing road-guard elites for Orlock. But if this is the case, what do we risk getting for the Delaque and Escher? I suppose admech sicarians are/were assassins so could fit in with Delaque's sneaky theme. For Escher however, all I can think of in a similar vein would be dark eldar wyches or harlequins.

Hopefully my fears are unfounded though. In which case Spafe's list seems pretty comprehensive; the only things I can think to add would be ash-waste/shanty gangs to Cawdor (at least until they get around to an ash waste expansion proper), with hunting parties or chem-soldiers for Escher, recycling the idea of gland-war veterans from Inquisitor.

But at that point, most every sub-faction feels to me like model options would be covered by a conversion kit for the parent house-gang models, if not just left to players. Redemptionists would only need more pointy hoods and nicer guns to go on the Cawdor plastics (if the Red Redemption is still wealthy now that Cawdor is the poorest clan house), while the Abominable Intelligences of Lord Otto Van Saar could be made by just sticking with helms on the existing Van Saar models. Which would make ogryn gangs (whether led by a human or a bone'ead) a real oddity and potentially disappoint fans of the other houses later on.

Bikers for house Orlock are unlikely until an ash waste setting, I think - if only because it reduces the amount of terrain you want on a 3D table and would be really awkward on the ZM tiles. Servitor squadrons could be a thing though, given the Lugger brute. Meanwhile their new champs might have servo-rigs as standard since industrial-tech seems to be their flavour now, while prospects could be mining helots with las-cutters, grav-guns, ore-grinders and the like.

I struggle for champion and prospect ideas with the other houses. Cawdor getting a preacher/deacon/zealot (with eviscerator!) would be fairly obvious and allow for a Redemtionist flavour to standard gangs, maybe prospects with tox bombs and/or chain glaives. Maybe inventor types for Van Saar with experimantal weaponry - hopefully just guns not available elsewhere, rather than random profiles or upgrades to range, armour pen etc. that can be bought (just because some combinations would be bound to end up hideously under-costed). Escher could perhaps get a beast handler that gets common access to phyrr cats and maybe an extended range on them, otherwise I've no clue. And all I can think of for Delaque would be access to a super-sneaky sniper gun or else a minor wyrd for their champion. And I really hope it's not another psyker, even if they get the Immortal Cult as a sub-faction gang.

One thing I do note is that there was some word-play on "spyre" on WarCom last year but with these new house books, anything spyrer-related has presumably been pushed back. My suspicion is that the brutes were all supposed to have forgeworld offerings either released or nearly so by now, and delays there have caused a knock-on effect (I just can't see plastic spyrers being financially viable, unfortunately).

Do people reckon these house books will follow the same order as the original releases? Or is there a consensus that Goliath was just the least popular house and are getting boosted first as a result?
 

alexflagg

Juve
Nov 3, 2016
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Oh, one last bit of speculation:

* A rerelease of house focused books is an opportunity to re-release old, or to release new, House tactics decks. Perhaps with card revisions, or even a fixed deck, ala Shadespire. That would go MILES for fixing the terrible state of Tactics cards in the current environment, which no amount of additional releases will actually fix.

This would explain why we've never seen a new or revised master tactics deck, and why card play is entirely unaddressed in any of the recent supplements - they knew they'd be fixing it alongside the House releases.

IMO the best thing that could possible happen for N18 RAW is to change how cards are randomly drawn out of massive piles of OOP cards, to either fixed tactics deck based on "core" generic tactics spiced with House specific stuff, or customizable deck rule (say, build your own deck of 20-30 generic + House cards) ala Dropzone Commander. The latter would improve sales, since GW can get everyone trying to grasp for advantage to buy every pack, so I would expect that's the path they'd choose.
 
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Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
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I'm not sure the Ogryn slave gang is supposed to be closely related to House Goliath. It strikes me as a generic thing thrown in so that even players who are not interested in Codex: Goliath would still be tempted to purchase the book.

Do people reckon these house books will follow the same order as the original releases? Or is there a consensus that Goliath was just the least popular house and are getting boosted first as a result?
I'd go with the former. Goliath -> Escher -> Orlock -> Van Saar -> Cawdor -> Delaque.
Let's hope their new investments will allow them to speed up the pace, as with only one release per quarter it won't be complete until spring 2021.

A rerelease of house focused books is an opportunity to re-release old, or to release new, House tactics decks.
Assuming cards and dice are outsourced to the same Chinese manufacturer than the books, it looks like it's not gonna happen, as House of Chains was the only thing Necromunda related in the manifest.
 

Unslain

Gang Hero
Nov 29, 2014
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Another thought on prospects - what if they are from outside of the relevant Clan House?
The fluff in the Gangs book says that most members of House Goliath are vat-grown, the better to pump them full of growth hormone and other cocktails. To judge by the female model, the prospects are at least pubescent which makes me wonder if they're too small to be born goliaths.

This line of thought hasn't helped me fathom their gameplay role at all, but fluff-wise if they're not born to the house then that might explain their position in the gang hierarchy.
 
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Unslain

Gang Hero
Nov 29, 2014
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A combined box of 2 Stimmers and 4 Forge-born confirmed on WarCom and up for pre-order with House of Chains on the 15th, alongside an "updated" Goliath tactics cards set. And none too soon; I lost two gangers in the first game of our new campaign last Friday and some cheap prospects would be really handy!

Meanwhile I must resist picking up the warcry not-sphinx to make into a khimerix.
 

Baffo

Gang Champion
Aug 2, 2018
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Meanwhile I must resist picking up the warcry not-sphinx to make into a khimerix.
I had the same thought, but looking at some of the preview pictures (where the not-Sphynx is near other models) she appears to be way too big for a House brute (to me it looked to be twice as tall as the larger Warcry human fighters).
The Lion-like beast in the Untamed beasts warband or the Sabertusk in the newly released Ogre Hunter Shadespyre warband are probably better fits size-wise (or at least those are models I am considering getting for it when I get around to fielding my Escher gang).