Saturday, November 26, 2016

Radlandz - Origins of the Cult of the Yellow Sign

Radlandz is a skirmish-level tabletop war-game created by my friend VomKrieg. It is set in a post-apocalytpic future where rivals gangs fight each other across a devastated wasteland for precious loot, fleeting glory, and their own survival.

VomKrieg wrote the game is a fever-like frenzy earlier this year. It combines a number of cool elements from different war-games and board games that we all love, as well as few of his own new, innovative ideas. It is a very good game and a lot of fun.

One of the appealing elements of the game is that it is miniature agnostic, meaning a player can use figures from a range of different product lines. There is also a Necromunda like campaign system, which can see your gang rise up from the wastes to become the kings of the Randlandz.

Building a gang in Randlandz first involves choosing an identity, which is really the key defining feature of your gang. That largely anchors both the play-style and the theme of the gang.

As one of the play-testers for the game, I had to build a gang, which as a first step involved choosing an identity for it. This was a rare case of having a clear concept in mind before I started creating something.

I knew early on after hearing about Radlandz that I wanted to play a gang of cultists inspired by Hastur, and his wicked, beguiling Yellow Sign.

"Tell me, have you seen the Yellow Sign?
So began the Cult of the Yellow Sign. I liked the concept of a group of raving mad cultists roaming the wastes of the Radlandz led by a Lovecraftian wizard who is slowing growing his insane congregation, like a fringe Pentecostal movement. In this way, I wanted the Yellow Sign to be both a symbol of the gang, and a representation of their madness.

Looking down the list of identities, Arcane seemed the best thematic fit for my concept, with access to powerful spells, some pretty neat specialist characters, and some nasty weapons.

I also liked the idea of having a corrupt avatar of Hastur - the King in Yellow - as the cult leader, slinging spells across the battlefield and spurring his gibbering followers on to even more depraved acts.

I will cover the models for the gang in a future post (when I have finished painting them), but I knew there would be some common thematic elements that I wanted to have: masks, robes, wizards, and wicked close combat weapons. I also knew yellow and black would be the dominant colours.

Below is a first model I painted up as a test for the cult. I selected one of the wonderful Chaos Cultist miniatures that Games Workshop released a couple of years ago, which are perfect for Radlandz.

Certainty a work in progress
In terms of combat, I also know that I wanted the gang to favour melee over shooting, given the are all raving madmen. Thankfully Radlandz put an emphasis on close-combat as being the 'pointy end' of the game, and this approach is supported by some handy special skills for the Arcane identity.

In the next post I'll go through more of the gang and how they all fit together.

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