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Necromunda: Open Hive War Card Pack

Greetings one and all,

Today I’m doing a product review of the Games Workshop Necromunda: Open Hive War Card Pack. Unfortunately, this isn’t a sponsored review, but as I just bought used the pack recently, I wanted to give my thoughts.

So what is the Necromunda: Open Hive War Card Pack? Simply put, it’s a pack of cards with four (technically five?) different decks. These decks are; Deployment, Objective, Perils, Loot, and two cards explain how to use the pack. When you and your opponent want a quick game, you divide up the pack into these decks, shuffle them, then draw one Deployment, one Objective, and one Peril to create a unique scenario. You then each draw a Loot card without showing your opponent. This is an extra objective for you to achieve in the battle.

So, I’ll go over a couple of the cards in each deck to give you all an idea of what you can expect.


This covers how your gangs will be set up and include cards for Reinforcements and Sneak Attacks. One of Build Monkeys' favourite Deployment cards is ‘In Your Face’, where the two gangs are basically set up within spitting range of one another, so you know that the upcoming battle is going to get brutal quickly. For my part, I’m rather fond of the ‘Ambush’ Deployment, preferably as the attacker, but I’ve had plenty of success as the defender too.


Sometimes you just want to throw two gangs at one another and see who ends up on top, and while there is an Objective card for that (it’s ‘called Last Gang Standing’ in case you're curious), in my opinion it’s more interesting if the object is something a bit more nuanced. Take ‘King of the Hive’ for example. It’s basically King of the Hill, a game mode we all know from countless FPSs; you need to control the centre, but also keep the other gang away from it, while also suppressing them so that they don’t pick off your gangers holding the centre. Another interesting one is ‘Survival of the Meanest’, which has the winning condition for the defender of just having a model on the battlefield by the end of round 9. Obviously, this would create a situation where the defender was being very elusive, while the attacker would have to commit to a very aggressive style of play.


Possibly one of my favourite features, these really make each game utterly unique and I love the little differences these cards add. Okay, so let me give you an example. There is a Peril called ‘Rotten Walls’; I played a game with this peril recently and it was great. We were just blasting each other through what would normally be solid terrain features, so it meant we both had to rethink what was safe cover for our gangers and what now wasn’t. It was a lot of fun. However, there are Perils that make a game a whole lot more lethal if you're not prepared and the ‘Radioactive Rain’ card is one such peril. Giving every weapon the “Rad-Phage” trait is horrible, and made even worse if your opponent has their gang kitted out in Hazard suits so it doesn't affect them… Just like our local Orlock player has. That was painful.


A secret objective for your gang to achieve, this really adds some extra spice to a game and helps give it a thematic touch (well, more of a thematic touch anyways). In one of my recent games I drew ‘The Package’, and I really liked the idea of my Escher basically being on a drug run, and having to fight through an enemy gang to make their delivery. I found it very fitting indeed. ‘The Hit’ is another interesting card. Of course we’re always trying to take out the enemy gang's leader, but this card gives an extra incentive… Credits. The extra incentive is credits.


We drew up a couple of examples of the kind of games you could be playing with these cards and the first one is pretty interesting; In Your Face, Last Gang Standing and Poisoned Air. Luckily you're close enough that you might not have to move much, but that does mean any ranged gang is going to have trouble pulling back. Golithas and Corpse Grinders would love this scenario.

Backstab (reinforcements), Tunnel Clash, and Falling Debris is another interesting combination and might make for a more drawn-out game as each gang slowly builds its numbers, seizing an objective before reaching critical mass and punching to control that final objective and holding it. Falling Debris would be lethal around my group, as we all have a grenade launcher in our gangs, so that would be a lot of saves being made and could be used effectively to pin enemies so you can charge into an objective without getting shot at.


So what do I think of this product? Personally, I really like it. Is it balanced? No. Will you sometimes be a bit screwed? Yes. Is it worth buying? Well, it gives you roughly 17,296ish different scenarios to play, so you’re certainly getting your money's worth if nothing else (that's roughly 0.054p a scenario). But yes, I would say it's totally worth buying. Though at the time of writing, you’ll have to get it via a secondary source as GW isn’t printing them at the moment, but if they ever do again, get yourself a pack right away.

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