Necromunda House of Iron Review and Gang Stronghold Unboxing
Fans of Necromunda will be happy to see a load of new goodies up for pre order today, and we have been lucky enough to get sent the brand new House of Iron supplement to review and share with you all! Necromunda has gone from strength to strength and the “House of” series has expanded each gang in turn, this time turning to the Orlocks! If you would rather read our thoughts rather than watch the YouTube video then keep scrolling down!
If you would like to help support the site then why not order from our affiliate Element Games and save yourself 20% too!
I was a massive fan of the Zone Mortalis range when it came out last year, and ended up picking up 3 of the Dark Uprising boxes after absolutely falling in love with the terrain – so I was really excited when I found out that Games Workshop were expanding the range with the Gang Stronghold kit
Just like the existing Zone Mortalis range, this is really modular and can be left in separate subassemblies letting you make your battlefield as interchangeable as possible. I followed the box art for mine, but by leaving this in separate parts I can use it in a couple of different layouts!
It’s an absolute joy to paint up, and I already can’t wait to pick up another set so I can build an even bigger fortification! As you can see below it fits in really nicely with the existing kits and will also click into the Zone Mortalis tiles if you have them!
The Gang Stronghold is just one of the awesome releases coming to Necromunda this week however, another is the eagerly anticipated House of Iron!
House of Iron
Necromunda has grown a lot since the release of Underhive and the original supplemental Gang Books, with a brilliant update in the form of the Dark Uprising box the game is currently in a great place. This has been supplemented further with the “Book of” range that explored other factions within the underhive and more recently the “House of” range that has greatly expanded the options available to specific gangs. For those who havn’t got into the game yet these are essentially the Necromunda equivalent of a “Codex” in that they give you all the information and material you need to play your chosen gang.
House of Iron covers the gangs of House Orlock, the masters of the Necromundan wastelands. Something that I have really enjoyed about these volumes is the amount of lore that we get to build on what we know about each gang. In House of Iron we learn the entire history and timeline of House Orlock from the dusts of Necromunda to the Iron Lords themselves. We also learn of the house structure and the industries and operations then run upon the planet from mining ore to brewing the rather potent Wild Snake liquor! We also learn a little about the wastes surrounding the hives that House Orlock run the transport routes of, and this is a nice little glimpse into life outside the Underhive and the exciting possibilities of vehicles and Ash Waste Nomads!
House Orlock Gang List
The main draw of this book for people who want to run an Orlock gang is the new gang list that has some much expanded options available to craft your gang!
We get some restrictions on how you create your guild in that you have to have at least many members that have the Gang Fighter skill as you do models without – essentially this means that no more than half of your gang can be Leaders/Champions, however it appears that the rule regarding having a maximum of 2 Champions at gang creation is not present in this list.
Orlock Road Captain (Leader)
The new and renamed Leader for the Orlocks is the Road Captain, who actually gets a 15 points cut compared to Gangs of the Underhive and has access to a lot more weapons at creation such as Mining lasers and Seismic cannons in the expanded equipment list that they have access to, giving them a lot of new options!
They can also take up to three guard dogs in the form of Cyber-mastiffs!
Orlock Road Sergeant (Champion)
Like their Leaders, the Champions (Now called Road Sergeants) also get a 15 point discount and again have access to more weapon options! Just like the Leader they can also take Cyber-mastiffs, but a maximum of 2.
Arms Master (Champion)
These are the new Champions out of the new plastic box and they cost 15 points over a Road Sergeant, but get a WS of 3+ which makes them a great option for loading up with some tasty weapons such as the Arc Hammer hitting at S+3 with a damage value of 3! Pair that up with the Servo harness to make him a terrifying Strength of 8 in close combat! That load out will cost over a quarter of your gang, but he will leave a bloody path behind him! Like his Road Sergeant palls they can also take a pair of Cyber-mastiffs too!
Orlock Wrecker (Prospect)
These guys are really cool! Essentially a hot-headed ganger with a jump booster strapped to their back they can leap from platform to platform while peppering shots from advantageous positions, or simple use their booster to fly headlong into the enemy increasing their Strength and to hit by 1! With their mobility, fairly low cost and Gang Fighter rule the Wreckers look a really good choice for filling out your gang! The only thing letting them down is a lack of special ranged weapons, but otherwise I really like these!
Orlock Gunner (Ganger)
The standard ganger gets a price decrease, but no longer come with armour so will be more expensive if you buy that but otherwise has the same profile the previously did – if you don’t give them any armour then you can save some credits here possibly.
Orlock Greenhorn (Juve)
These again get a small points increase, but no longer are restricted to items that cost less than 20 credits on gang creation.
Robo-doggos are the beast of choice for the Orlocks, and all of your Leaders and Champions can take multiple making these a common appearance in the Underhive! as well as some extra bodies over your starting crew, these also give you a bonus to sentry checks and a defence against Coup de Grace attacks as long as the dog is standing – a little expensive in credits but undeniably cool!
Hangers-on and Brutes
In addition to Hangers-on and Brutes we have seen in other books, we get some new crew members you can add to your gang (Including some that other gangs can take too!)
First up we have the bullet merchant, a hanger-on who treats all types of ammo as common and changes limited ammo to scarce – for 25 points to Orlocks this guy is amazing! Other gangs can also take one, but they cost 75 points each making them less of an autobuy.
The Grease Monkey is really good in a Wrecker heavy gang as he allows either Jump Boosters to gain additional movement, or to pick one of their brutes and give them +D3 movement and attacks! There are downsides however so be careful before you eagerly get your Grease Monkey tinkering with them!
The Prize fighter is an interesting hanger on who can do bareknuckle boxing between games to earn up to 120 credits each time, but there’s a chance that he either earns nothing at all or gets himself killed! Not a bad option if you want to gamble on some post game income.
The Orlocks get a new Brute in the form of a Cargo Servitor – part power loader, part weaponised lobotomised big guy – he is a big chunk of points but has a pretty tasty profile and can put out some serious hurt with him weapons.
The Orlocks also get a 30 point discount on Ambots, which is pretty cool considering the Grease Monkey can give them up to +3 movement and attacks…
As we have seen in the other “House Of” books, the Orlocks can form alliances with some of the various guilds and factions on Necromunda – these come with both benefits and drawbacks, but look pretty fun! As someone who works in Credit I fully approve of The Guild of Coin who can aid you in tolling and taxing to earn some extra coin, however they will take their cut at the end of the battle – they can also call the aid of Toll Collectors to join the gang to battle, but as with some of the similar mechanics in previous books there is a chance that they will refuse to send this aid as the gang gets stronger.
We also see fallen houses as an option for an Outlaws who gain a benefit for fighting against Law abiding gangs and get the option of taking a free Rebel Lord who has a decent statline and weapon options!
Finally we see House Ran Lo who are the bankers of the Underhive – and trust me, you dont want these guys to come and do an audit on you! As you would except from a guild of bankers this alliance will line your pockets, but once the coffers dry up they may part company.
We also get a lot of extra supplemental content that we have seen in other “House Of” books such as Orlock specific house favours, Sub Plots and an Orlock unique skill line “bravado” which contains some really cool stuff such as being able to taunt an enemy to attack them and only them, or to gain a discount on hiring Bounty Hunters and Hive Scum which with some of the credit generation seen in this book can make an Orlock gang rather rich!
They also get “Legendary Names” that can be bought randomly as an advancement for 3xp or picked from the list for 6xp – these are essentially additional special rules that can be added to your Champions and Leaders with some pretty cool abilities on offer such as forcing an enemy to pass a cool check before they can shoot you, or being able to ignore the first serious injury or out of action you suffer in a game. Across 3 different charts you have a total of 18 different Names to take, which adds a massive amount of customisation to your gangers.
We also see some Orlock specific terrain that you can purchase such as the remains of an Orlock vehicle that has been turned into a relic dedicated to the road! I really hope we see some resin kits from Forge World to represent some of these, as there is some really fun stuff here so it would be cool to see miniatures to use as them!
In House of Iron we also get a pair of suitably Orlock themed scenarios (though these could easily be used for other gangs!)
The first is a really cool mission that represents one gang trying to break through another’s trade route – with the defender forming road blocks along a single road that winds from one side of the battlefield to the other with the rest of the battlefield forming impassable terrain! The attackers will need to work their way along the road destroying the roadblocks in place and try to exit via the other end. I can’t wait to give this scenario a go, as it sounds great fun!
The other scenario is Big Bar Bawl, which does exactly what it says on the tin! All fighters are unarmed and unarmoured, and are simply trying to drink themselves into a stupor while being the last person standing! Each turn you get the option to drink or stagger D6 inches, with an intoxicated token being placed after each drink. After this you then get to make an action to attack other drinkers. The more drunk you are the more likely it is you will pass out at the end of the turn however you gain +1 toughness for each token on you! This continues until a single player has gangers still standing. This seems like great fun, and could also be played with multiple gangs fighting in the same bar!
The book closes with a detailed reference section collecting together the stats of all weapons, equipment and traits along with illustrations of all the weapons to make it easy to identify which weapon on the sprue is which! In a continuation of a great move seen in the other House Of books, we get a full list of the Orlock gang tactics, which gives every player with the book access to these, even if they miss out on the Gang Tactics cards. This is great and I’m really happy these are now available to everyone as this was one of my pet peeves of the previous cards.
So what do I think of House of Iron? I have really enjoyed the entire range of Necromunda supplements so far, and this is another worthy addition to the range. Not only does it expand the lore about House Orlock, it also adds an absolute truck load of gaming material for your Necromunda campaigns and makes for some really fun additional rules and abilities with which to add to your Orlock gang! We are halfway through the original gangs now, and I hope we see further books after these perhaps exploring other elements and aspects of the Underhive that we have not seen before. If you play Orlock then I would day this is a must buy in order to get the most from your games of Necromunda, but even for non Orlock players there is some really fun stuff in here such as the additional Alliances and Hangers-on available for your gangs. The Necromunda team have been knocking it out of the park, and House of Iron well deserves your attention!
House of Iron is available to order today
Games Workshop provided a copy of House of Iron to Sprues and Brews for review purposes.