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Make-A-Wish and GW gave Warhammer fan his own Necron dynasty

Secondary school student Samuel Badcock collaborated with the Games Workshop studio to create an original Necron Dynasty, thanks to Make a Wish

Warhammer 40k Necron lord of the Flayerszahkt Dynasty - a black and teal Necron from a custom dynasty designed by Samuel Badcock via a Make a Wish partnership with Games Workshop

Samuel Badcock is a Warhammer 40k fan and proud Necron collector. The British year 10 student, equivalent to a US High School Freshman, also suffers from a severe illness. Wargamer spoke to Sam and his dad Chris about how he achieved a wargaming dream; creating a whole new Necron Dynasty for Warhammer 40k, with help from Games Workshop and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Sam has been a Warhammer 40k fan for five years: “I heard a friend talk about it and my curiosity led to me joining the school club and ordering the 8th edition start collecting Necrons kit alongside the 8th edition First Strike” 40k starter set. Though he’s spent a long time playing as Nihiliakh and Mephrit dynasties, he says he “definitely will be playing Flayerszakht”, his custom dynasty, until Warhammer 40k 10th edition changes the rules.

The connection with Games Workshop was made by Sam’s Make-A-Wish caseworker Erica in December 2022. “Games Workshop sent questions over and I would get a big notepad and write down answers, draw pictures of what I imagined things would look like”, Sam says. “There were a few months of it, they’d say What would you like your Dynasty’s abilities to be like, and the lore, the head character?”.

GW shaped up Sam’s ideas into the Flayerszakht Dynasty, creating lore, a paint scheme, and balanced faction rules, though Sam notes “My dynasty has not been playtested”. The Flayerszahkt are a melee focused dynasty, greatly afflicted by the Flayer Curse, from the Veiled Region on the southern edge of the Warhammer 40k galaxy.

Samuel Badcock visiting Warhammer World as part of a Make a Wish wish in partnership with Games Workshop

Sam visited Warhammer World with his family on April 26, where a surprise was waiting for him. “I was looking around the Xenos exhibition… looking at everything. This display case caught my eye. I read the top of this White Dwarf magazine that was in the display case…” It was a custom printed Warhammer 40k Codex Supplement, made by the White Dwarf team, with original artwork for the Flayerszahkt dynasty, and a small army of pro-painted Flayerszahkt minis.

What was going through Sam’s head? “Excitement, realisation that this was the moment”, Sam says, adding that he might have had a big emotional comedown had the family not gone straight to Bugman’s Bar for some food. There, GW presented him with the Flayerszahkt collection to take home, including a poster of the cover art and five copies of his super-rare Codex supplement.

Warhammer 40k Necron display of the Flayerszahkt Dynasty - a black and teal Necron force, custom designed by Samuel Badcock via a Make a Wish partnership with Games Workshop - the display includes a custom White Dwarf magazine

As is traditional for a trip to Warhammer World, Sam left loaded down with goodies. Unusually, he didn’t have to pay for them. “[GW] walked off to the shop area whilst we were eating and came back with a Tesseract Vault and the Necron Royal Court set”, Sam says. The Tesseract Vault build is still in progress, thanks to a house move.

Sam has a lot of positive things to say about the role Warhammer plays in his life. “If I’m feeling stressed out, I can just sit down and get going with them… there’s no urgency in it. Putting things together, painting them, getting them done, ready to play with”.

Dad Chris echoes the sentiment. “I tend to like building and painting miniatures. When Sam was going through treatment during COVID lockdown, we had to be in isolation, even at home so we could go back into the hospital. Pretty much all I could do was paint – I found it very soothing, a bit of mindfulness making models and then painting them”.

Warhammer 40k Necron lord of the Flayerszahkt Dynasty - a black and teal Necron from a custom dynasty designed by Samuel Badcock via a Make a Wish partnership with Games Workshop

Sam has his sights set on the future: once the current round of exams is out of the way, he’s considering studying business and economics. Chris is keen to emphasise just how grateful the whole family is for the support of the Make-A-Wish charity and Games Workshop:

“We would like to publicly thank both the Make-A-Wish charity and Games Workshop”, Chris says, adding “It’s been absolutely amazing. This is unique to Sam. And it’s playable for the rest of his life, he can even pass [the minis and custom White Dwarf] on to his kids”. Sam shoots his dad a sharp look at the mentions of grandkids – for the time being, he’s focusing on school and Warhammer.

With thanks to the whole Badcock family, including Sam’s mum Kate who originally shared photos of the family’s Warhammer World trip to Twitter, and who set up this interview.

Sam’s Wish was organised via the UK Make-A-Wish charity which raises funds and organises Wishes for children living with critical conditions. It’s an affiliate of Make-A-Wish International.