Friday, 1 March 2019

Unholy Rituals - a Necromunda Campaign Finale

The scene of dark rituals and death.

Wilhelm the Witch lay giggling atop the slag heap crowned with its altar to the dark gods. The psychic jolt of warp energy he had received after the success of the ritual still caused his limp body to twitch and stutter in the dirt. Next to him lay the body of Lady Jayne – the bearded psychic consort of Thrubb, clad in her gaudy yellow dress embroidered with red flowers never seen here in the underhive of Necromunda. Next to Lady Jayne, Thrubb himself, the bombastic mouthpiece of his own personality cult, was slumped and bleeding heavily. The bodies of many of the Cult of Thrubb were also scattered over the broken slag piles.

Bro'og the cow-faced chaos spawn didn't last long after being targeted by a heavy bolter.

As for the Benevolent Brothers and Wilhelm’s own sibling Jakob – they lay in crumpled bloodied heaps around the foot of the slag heap. They had been charred by plasma. Dismembered by heavy bolter rounds. Scorched by lasers and poisoned by toxins. But in doing so they had been sacrificed to the great ritual!

Militaristic discipline from the Hive Queens.

Van Saar get all the best kit!

The Supernovas of House Escher
Wilhelm was unsure where the idea had first come from. He couldn’t now recall whether he received a vision, whether a Delaque had whispered from the shadows, or whether Thrubb had made a proclamation. But the idea had crystalised. A ritual would take place. Three witches would converge, and a powerful being would be created. Perhaps the being would champion the Benevolent Brothers’ campaign of openness and equality for mutants and norms alike. Perhaps it might aid Thrubb to gain the power desired by his ego. Perhaps it would assist The Fade of House Delaque to greater intrigues. And so Wilhelm the Witch, Lady Jayne and The Fade’s grotesque Spyker conceived the ritual. Of course, it was expected that rival gangs would discover the plans and seek to foil the plot. This was part of the ritual: each death was as much part of the ritual as the psychic incantations by the trio of witches.

Thrubb surrounded by his fawning acolytes and the Delaques of The Fade.

Golgothus of the Bone Town Boys has a fine collection of pets.

The Houses of Van Saar, Escher and Goliath banded together to foil the ritual, and perhaps to seek favour with the noble Houses. They encircled the slag heap as the workshift lumins were beginning to brighten. They had emerged from the gloom, and as the light levels rose let loose with a terrifying concentration of firepower. Cultists, mutants and Delaques died. And the ritual was fed.

Most gangs brought out their nastiest fighters, including an ogryn and Goliath 'Zerker.

After my previous post (where I talked about the trophies I made to award at the end of my gaming group's Necromunda campaign), there were some calls for a battle report of our planned big multi-player finale. I don't really enjoy writing battle reports, and usually forget to take photos. But I do like writing a bit of narrative, and my friend Jimmy Smith ( let me use the excellent photos that he took on the night. So that's what you've got!

In terms of the mechanics of the game, ably GM'd by Mike, two chaos cults had entered into a nefarious deal to conduct an arcane ritual, using the combined powers of two witches and a Delaque Spyker. Seven other gangs were pitted against these three, all aiming to halt the ritual, and the assumed dire results that could materialise. Each player was allowed to select seven members of their gang (these generally turned out to be the most badass fighters with the best gear).

Contrary to popular belief, trainee Van Saar don't always die first!

The perfect positioning to shoot rivals in the back.

The ritual would be completed after the ritualists had accrued 40 summoning points between them:
  • 5 summoning points were awarded for a successful summoning action by a psyker (a double action requiring a successful willpower test).
  • 1 summoning point was awarded any time any model on the table went out of action.
  • The final points of the 40 had to be gained through a successful summoning action.
But of course this was only known to the ritualists - the other gangs had no idea that indiscriminate killing would aid the ritual, and that the key to stopping it was to target the psykers.

In addition, each gang also had an individual secret objective, scoring points for achieving different goals. By way of example, the Benevolent Brothers would score 3 points each time Wilhelm the Witch successfully passed a willpower test to cast a psychic power, 1 point each time one of the cult went out of action (and was sacrificed to the ritual) and 10 points if Wilhelm was the psyker who completed the ritual.

And then it happened! The last blasphemous words of power escaped Lady Jayne’s lips. The hidden dark mark within an Escher fighter of the Hive Queens drew the being to it, and with a terrifying shriek it erupted from the warp. Lightning of pure chaos crackled and foul psychic winds swept through the dome. The obscene daemon creature was huge, the colours of smoke. A deadly beak the length of a long rifle protruded from its black close-feathered head. Its lumpen grey-feathered body ended in vicious clawed feet, partially hidden by its plumage.
Golgothus tackles the beast in a fit of seeking the limelight.

The daemon slashed and rent in a bloody slaughter. Some of the hive gangers retrained their weapons in the hope of harming the creature. Others took opportunity to seek revenge on rivals for petty slights. Golgothus the Beast of House Goliath bellowed a challenge and grappled the daemon at close quarters. The Rad Hazards knelt around their leader before spontaneously giving themselves to chaos and then launching themselves at their former Van Saar brothers. The cultists atop the altar still fell and great gouts of warp energy spurted from the daemon as it was attacked from all sides.

The result of the ritual turned out to be the summoning of a Lord of Change*, randomly spawning into the body of a ganger who had either previously gained a hidden mutation, taken ghast or cast a psychic power earlier in the campaign. A giant, 20-wound creature with terrifying stats. As you might expect, most of the gangs decided to take a cautious approach, blasting at the daemon with their most powerful weapons from a distance. The Bone Town Boys of House Goliath took a more up close and personal approach as befits their character!

The Alpha Minxes tackle a follower of Thrubb.

And finally, the Alpha Minxes of House Escher cast the final blow. The daemon shattered into blinding splinters, leaving nothing behind but mangled corpses and tortuous scorch marks. In the sudden silence, firing ceased. Gangers tended to the wounded or slunk back into the shadows. But Wilhelm giggled. This too, was part of the ritual…

As the dust settled, we all tallied up our points, and it turned out that the Cult of Thrubb had emerged triumphant, having accrued big points from speaking the final words of the ritual. Whether any of the gangs will seek to heal their wounds and recruit new members for the next campaign, that remains to be seen!

*You might see a fluffy penguin rather than a mind-shattering daemon form. What greater demonstration of the insanity of chaos is there?!


  1. A fitting daemon for the Lords of Change. A great report

  2. Great looking game man (including the penguin!!).

    1. We're lucky to be able to play on the fantastic Warhammer World tables, and there are some really nice looking gangs involved in the campaign :)

  3. Oh, that is awesome! Thanks for the write-up. That's a great scenario, and sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    1. Not a problem! Hopefully it captures the feel of the game well enough. It certainly was a lot of fun!

  4. Haha! Absolutely awesome! Looks like it was one heck of a fun time, good stuff!

    1. I can't wait for the next one to start now!

  5. Seems like a great game! Loads of great miniatures on hand too.

    Also, LoL at those "Trainee" shirts.

  6. Bravo! Everything looks fantastic, even the Greater Daemon (which of course presented itself under a harmless shape so the poor mortals approached carelessly) :D

    1. Thanks Suber! It was certainly a great deal of fun!

  7. Apart from the penguin, that really looks like an absolutely definitive game.

    Totes jel ;)

    1. The custom scenario really made it a truly fitting finale :)

  8. Brilliant!
    Thank you for taking the time write this, it was well worth the effort and I enjoyed it immensely.

    1. You're very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it :)