Jarvis, we’re back in hardware mode!
That is, I’m done writing for a little while and I’m back to that other thing I do…converting and painting miniatures.
As I threatened I would do just last post, I have submitted a first draft of the next Caine book to my publisher, Skull Island. About time, too! It’s due to release sometime around October, after all. So I figured while I’m waiting for revision notes to come back, I might as well get some minis together for play testing the upcoming Road/Kill expansion, Vendetta.
If you’ve already tried Road/Kill, you know it features car combat over a series of highway missions. Players can control between 1 to 3 vehicles at a time, though most play with 1. Vendetta changes the game in a few ways. First of all, it introduces the major factions of the game, each with their own perks, gimmicks and warlords to hold over the other. Next, Vendetta switches the battleground up. Gone are suspended highways of the Steelback, replaced with the duelling grounds of the Wastelands. But most important, Vendetta puts the focus on team building! Players now control teams of between 2-4 vehicles at once, and even have access to a variety of supporting units, like infantry, artillery, field guns and drones.
Anyways, I thought I’d start by taking the individual cars I’ve painted for Road/Kill and adding teammates for them. Luckily, these cars were already painted in faction colors (it’s like I knew this day was coming, or something), so now I’m building/painting a few cars and units to go with them. I could just use proxy models for playtest (and have already), but honestly, if I can make the real thing why not?
So here’s a look at my first team, the relentless horde of the cyborg cult, the Scions!
So this is a typical team in Vendetta. Just like in Highwaymen, you start by choosing a budget per car, and agree to a team size. If playing a mission where support is available, you also get to spend that same budget to deploy whatever units you like. So to be ready to play Vendetta missions, you’ll need 2 vehicles at least. For a full-sized game, you might have 15-20 models on the table.
What can I say about the Scions? They’re a cult of cyborg nomads, wandering the wastelands and scavenging for metal and flesh alike. If you have a pulse or even if you don’t, their insane and insidious prophet Rastor Crae will find a use for you. He keeps a tight grip on his flock, linking their minds to his own with something he calls the mind-net. This allows them some dirty tricks in the game to be sure. Thematically, the Scions are something of a cross between Warhammer 40k Orks, Fury Road’s Buzzard Clan and Star Trek’s Borg.
First of all, they are the undisputed masters of melee in Road/Kill. So much so, even when they’re shooting at you, it’s really just to pull you close or slow you down. Think Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. What’s that line of his again? Go on, say it!
The Scions feature a circular saw blade as their icon and that’s for good reason. They alone get to use the Ripper Claw weapon (see above), which literally tears armour from their victims in a collision. Scion vehicles are also distinct for mounting spikes, extra armour plates and of course harpoons. All of these things make them tough enough to make it across the table and start swinging when they get there. They also feature the sickening ability to repair themselves, so when fighting them, you really need to make your hits count!
The support units I chose were predominantly drones, which is in keeping with Scion tendencies. Drones are also great skirmishers; they move up fast to harass and disorient, which is just what a melee focused team could really use!
Now the idea with Vendetta is that the rules accompany the next wave of miniatures. The minis will consist of new parts and weapons like what you see above (disclaimer: the above vehicles feature conversions while we’re sculpting the real thing) to convert existing vehicles to match the faction of your choice. The minis will also include all-new vehicles exclusive to each faction, not least of which the warlord of the faction himself. Finally, all of the support units will also be available to fill out your team.
Right. So I’ll probably take the week to finish painting the Scions. Next up I’ll introduce you to my square-jawed, straight shooting Guard team, the closest thing to the law in these lawless lands. See you in a week or so!