First-time tabletop game designer Peter Vigors has created a free, micro-scale, undead-themed skirmish wargame called Necropolis28 that marries the long-running Inq28 Warhammer fan scene with potent Dark Souls and Bloodborne vibes. The creation of a Warhammer conversion fanatic, Necropolis28 won ‘Best in Show’ at the UK’s South East London Wargames Group event in October. You can download the beta rulebook now for free from its Discord server.
According to the rulebook, the game’s focus is on “quick play, brutal combat, and game-changing spells”. Players create a ‘Gathering’ of two to six undead (or similarly abominable) miniatures, which they’ll use to explore the ruins of the ‘Endless City’ in pursuit of their eldritch ambitions. The game is played over tiny 16” x 16” boards, which the rulebook describes as “mini dioramas.”
With a low model count and small boards, the game invites players to go to town on detailed conversions – the bread and butter of the Inq28 community, a group of Warhammer model kitbashing fanatics that originates from Games Workshop’s earlier narrative wargames Inquisitor and Mordheim.
Vigors tells Wargamer the game’s undead theme isn’t just thematic or aesthetic, but baked into the rules. This is especially true for the game’s combat, Vigors says. “[It’s] about cutting your opponent apart, as you cannot inflict pain,” he explains. When a model attacks, the player will try to roll its ‘Violence’ stat on a d10 – but even if they fail their roll, the attack will glance and still cause some damage.
Martin McCoy, a tattoo artist and the main illustrator for the indie wargame magazine ‘28’, was a huge inspiration for Vigors when he started the project. “I fell in love with his work and Mordheim-y aesthetic”, Vigors tells us. He’s since commissioned McCoy to illustrate the rulebook.
Necropolis28 has been in development since January 2022, when inspiration struck, and Vigors decided he wanted to create his own game: “I think I just sat down, being close to 40, and thought: I need to put out a game before I die.” Since then he’s playtested it with friends, game groups, and with a growing Discord community he created for the game. He’s since exhibited Necropolis28 at an October 2022 gaming show run by the South East London Wargames Group, where it nabbed the ‘Best in Show’ award.
Vigors says he hopes to release version 1.0 of the rules in the spring of 2023. He says he plans to keep the rulebook free forever, but fans can chip in to a Patreon to fund more illustrations.
If you want an official Dark Souls tabletop experience, there’s an official Dark Souls board game. If you’re inspired by Necropolis28 to build up your collection of undead minis, Warhammer Underworlds: Gnarlwood contains the ghoulishly gorgeous Sons of Velmorn.