Necromunda was the buzzword for the event, I'll try to break this down into some semblance of order!
Andy spoke to us about the release itself. The box is sculpted by the Specialist Games team, but made in plastic. The boxed set is designed to be ready to play and to start with includes two gangs - Goliaths and Escher. These two gangs have 10 models each, which is made of two 5 model sprues. The kits, as I mentioned, will be plastic, and semi-multi pose in a way not dissimilar to the Scion kit - the torso/leg combinations each have close combat and ranged options, and the heads are/may be interchangeable and free to be posed as we wish.
The gangs themselves consist of the same classes as before; Leader, Heavy, Ganger and Juve. They now have a different activation system, which I will get onto below. A key feature Andy spoke about was the progression/market/adding to gangs. They seem pretty keen for us not to destroy/convert our models once finished - think back to the old Gorkamorka models who would be cut up and re-built because an Orc lost an arm! If, for example, you wanted a lascannon, but had a heavy bolter Heavy. Rather than have that Heavy buy a lascannon at the market, you would add a lascannon Heavy to your gang. This way a gang becomes quite large, up to 20-30 miniatures. This is then countered by the use of a crew for each mission.
Each mission will have information of how to build your crew. This might be do-it-yourself, it might say you must take x, y and z, or it might give you a random selection from your gang.
Similarly, we asked how the rule set works. Expecting this release to be based on Shadow War rules, or even just a straight re-print, we were surprised to find that it uses a completely new rule set based on 8th Edition. Andy described it like this: Necromunda (Based on 2nd Ed) was easy to play because players knew 2nd, and learned the added special rules. Now most people dont know/play 2nd, but they do play 8th. The team want this game to share that familiarity, and so players of 8th Edition can pick this game up, and play safe in the knowledge that they know the basics. However, Necromunda 2017 has some key differences - first off they are doing away with the you-go-I-go system. Now there will be an alternate/split activation system where each model has 2 actions. These actions could be run, jump, shoot or other action that might be necessary. Each class (Leader, Heavies, Gangers and Juves) has different activation options. In this example a Leader can activate himself and then two other models in range. Heavies activate themselves and one other model in range, whilst Gangers activate themselves only. Poor old Juves can only activate themselves if they pass a dice roll similar to bottle/cool/Ld etc. In addition to this change in turn sequence the 8th edition base gets an expanded stat line with things such as Will power, Leadership and Cool.
Timing was difficult to pin down. We had heard November from one source, but Andy seemed to suggest this would be sooner with the base game next month (Andy said "Very soon, not this month but very soon"), then hardback rules 2018 some time. Similarly, additional gangs, missions, objectives, hired guns and their respective rules would be released as supplements as time goes on.
I tried to press Andy for some information regarding terrain. His answer was cryptic, but when I said "so there is no plastic terrain in the box", he said"No, but the box is ready to play". Card stock terrain?
Going forwards we can expect FW upgrades to the plastic kits, as well as new plastics for other gangs.