Gangs of Commorragh Review

GANGS OF COMMORRAGH (Games Workshop)

Commorragh is the vile and vicious home of the Drukhari or Dark Eldar race. After eons of rule over the universe, unchallenged lethargy turned to such hideous vices that it spawned a dark god. Instead of repenting from these ways like their Craftworld Eldar brothers, the Drukhari delved deeper into their vices within the safety of the seemingly infinite Webway city of Commorragh… safety from everyone but each other. In Gangs of Commorragh, players control rival murder-packs of Hellions and Reavers, fighting over territory, tortured slave trade, drug hoards, or just for the unparalleled pleasure of fighting itself.

A miniatures game played on a 3′ by 3′ surface or larger, Gangs of Commorragh is a head-to-head battle between two players. Battle rules and campaign play effect deployment and victory conditions, but the standard battle starts with one murder-pack ambushing the other determined by a roll off. The ambushed player sets up in the middle of the table, while the ambusher sets up at a table edge determined by rolling against the Random Direction Dial. Depending on the difference between the initial ambush roll, the ambushed player can make an emergency turn to try and face their enemy and after that the game is ready to begin!

Turns for Gangs of Commorragh are divided into four rounds with the first player determined each round with a roll off. The first round is Select Hunters and Quarry, where if a model is following within 18″ of an enemy model – with the model in it’s Front Arc facing their Rear Arc – the player may declare that their model is a Hunter to that Quarry. Being a Hunter gives a significant bonus on hit rolls, but while a Hunter’s Quarry is still alive they can’t attack any other models. The second round is Move Hunters and Quarry, with Quarry models moving first followed by their Hunters. After both players have moved all Hunter and Quarry models, the third round is Move Remaining Models followed by the final round of Attack with All Models.

Movement is the most engaging aspect of Gangs of Commorragh. Minimum and maximum movements for both Hellions and Reavers instill the setting of highspeed aerial combat while Maneuvers make for the memorable moments of each battle. There are shared Maneuvers like break turn, half loop, sideslip and barrel roll, along with great themed Maneuvers like Reavers dropping caltrops, blasting ahead with turbo and slashing with their bladevanes, and Hellions zero movement air brakes, and throwing out chains for hook turns and grabbing enemies.

A great reason to pick up Gangs of Commorragh is if you’re a Drukhari player in Warhammer 40,000. Outside of this game box, the same miniatures cost $129, but inside of the game box, along with all of the rules, additional counters and scenery pieces, the game costs only $60. It’s a great deal on some beautiful models – both of which units are teased for big improvements in the upcoming codex now available for preorder. A copy of Gangs of Commorragh and the Start Collecting! box are a nice start to a battleforce that doesn’t break the bank.

But even if you aren’t just looking to enlist a few murder-packs into your army, Gangs of Commorragh is a great game. It’s not just a condensed version of Warhammer 40,000, meant to immediately shuffle you into further purchases for bigger battles, but it’s a delve into “breakneck combat in the Dark City” as the front of the box proclaims. Models zoom across the board, wonderfully performing or disastrously failing at hairpin Maneuvers. Hellions slash with their brutal Hellglaives while Reavers blast through the grey skies with mounted Splinter Rifles. It’s a lot of fun! And that’s just one battle, while the game offers rules for other ways to play and a longer campaign of adding new gear and leveling up your riders.

Regardless of your reason for picking up Gangs of Commorragh, the thing with all Games Workshop games is that playing is only part of the hobby. Models come on sprues and need to be carefully cut out, then assembled and painted. This makes for a lull between purchase and play, as assembling and painting can take weeks. But painting and assembling can be fun too! Look into Warhammer’s rich universe of novels and codexes for backstory that gives inspiration on uniforms and patterns or make up your own for a truly independent murder-pack. Add some extra horns and be the Chapter of the Pointed Bone. Throw on some extra arms or even tentacles and make a back story about the mutations of living within the webway. It’s all a story you get to tell with some glue and paint, some dice and a friend, and your imagination.