Warpath is a gaming system for playing sci-fi battles, and along with new sets of rules there will also be a new Two Player Starter Set replacing The Fate of the Forgestar. It’s called Operation: Heracles, and it features two opposing forces of Enforcers and Forge Fathers.
Below is Part 1 of the full story behind Operation: Heracles, as well as a detailed look at some of the miniatures that make up one half of the two-player starter set. We’ll cover Part 2 of the story and the Forge Fathers in a future blog very soon.
A World At War
Located in the fifth sphere of corporate expansion, far to the galactic west of the safe and secure GCPS, Triton is a world seemingly at war with itself.
Its skies are darkened by electrically-charged clouds of ash and terra-formed gases. Storms can break out at any moment, lightning and rain violently blasting the plains and valleys below like artillery from the gods.
On those plains, vast calderas of purple and violet water steam and boil in the heat of subterranean magma channels. The magma runs close to Triton’s surface, building and bubbling in great chambers until incalculable pressures force it up and out to form volcanoes. There are hundreds of them, all over Triton, each one like an angry red mouth roaring back defiance from the planet’s core to those same gods.
Triton is a dangerous, unstable place, but it is not entirely without promise or value. Because of that, it is now the scene of a different kind of war.
Beneath the magma streams lie extensive seams of various useful and marketable metals. The constant churning of the planet’s crust and the crucible-like nature of the chambers beneath the volcanoes also create numerous novel alloys and compounds. Even initial samples of the aquatic bacteria have revealed the potential for manufacture of several saleable biotic compounds.
The leases for Triton’s Exploitable Assets fetched a considerable amount of credits for the GCPS treasury when they were auctioned off. They were bought by Intergalactic Futures, a conglomerate of companies with expertise in the various stages of planetary reduction, united under the corporate branding and logo of ‘What IF?’. The slogan was designed to promote positive thinking and openness to challenge so IF’s owners were not put off by the distance and danger inherent in working a world like Triton.
After terraformers brought Triton’s atmosphere to conditions tolerable for human habitation came the mining groups, setting up camps that quickly grew into townships, and then the bio companies, building huge rigs designed to extract and process biomass from the lakes. The stripping of Triton’s assets for export back to the core was underway and might have continued unabated for generations, were it not for a single fist-sized chunk of grey ore recovered from a mine near the Northern Belt, a string of nearly three hundred volcanoes stretching most of the way across Triton’s northern hemisphere.
Mining Outpost 223 retrieved the sample from an exploratory adit running nearly two kilometres deep. On-site laser and magnetic analyses of the sample were inconclusive, although its interference with high-frequency scanning equipment was unusual. Nonetheless, the ore was warehoused and the scanning data transmitted back to the core for later investigation.
How the Forge Lords of the Star Realm obtained that data is the subject of much speculation…
Rumours of Asterian ghost ships shadowing corporate vessels and stealing their secrets have competed with whispers of dwarf agents embedded within the core almost since the very birth of the GCPS. But while paranoia and suspicion are popular diversions in bar rooms and pleasure pits across human space, all that is certain is that when word of the discovery on Triton reached the Star Realm, the Forge Fathers reacted immediately.
The legends of the Forge Fathers are numerous and are fondly retold over many a hearth fire on Ward ships and the worlds within the Star Realm. None is so well known or held so dearly as that of Farangir and the Forge Fires of Creation.
According to the legend, before the birth of the universe Farangir was the greatest and richest of all dragons. He possessed an ingot of valuable metal, known as the ‘primordial metal’, and guarded it jealously. But Farangir was tricked, fooled into breathing fire onto his ingot, thus melting it and, in doing so, creating all the known elements. In his anger, he flapped his vast wings and scattered the new material he had created, forming the galaxy we see today.
This is undoubtedly a fanciful explanation for the Big Bang, but the existence of the metal, known in the GCPS as trutonium, is indisputable. It is too rare a metal to have found any widespread use in corporate industries but is highly coveted by all Forge Fathers.
Aside from its legendary status, the heat-tolerance and gravitic profile of primordial metal make it particularly valued by Forgemasters constructing heirloom-quality forge hammers. A very wealthy lord may even use it as decoration for his battle armour. While such ostentation is frowned upon by many, most great lords will have a hoard of primordial metal in their most secure and well-guarded vaults and will go to any length to obtain more. The miners on Triton were talking about a potential mile-long seam of the stuff.
So, as Intergalactic Futures freighters delivered more heavy mining equipment and personnel to Triton’s surface, the Ward ship ‘Bruderheim’ entered the system, accompanied by a cloud of supply ships and troop landers. The Forge Father armada made its way towards the planet, destroying several megatons of valuable shipping along the way and sparking panicked calls for help from the human colonists now marooned at the edge of space.
The ruling Council of Seven receives a constant stream of requests for intervention and protection from the corporations under its care and cannot, or will not, answer them all. The cases of houses like Intergalactic Futures are as often as not simply lost, tied up in the bureaucracy of secondary and tertiary chambers of government, designed to keep them away from the Council’s ears as much as to resolve them.
But, within days of beginning an application to Core Command for military aid on Triton, IF headquarters was informed that an Enforcement Protocol Group, code-named Heracles, was already on its way. Its mission would be to defend corporate interests on Triton and its surrounding space by eradicating all threats to the correct exploitation of legally acquired assets in the area.
While Triton’s owning group publicly expressed their gratitude to the Council for their foresight and benevolence, in more guarded circles the managers of IF wondered what price they might pay for the Council’s unusually rapid help. Would Triton be made more stable by a war between two of the mightiest armies in the galaxy? What if these forces were instead the ones that finally tore the planet apart?
Part 2: Coming Soon
Operation: Heracles – The Two-Player Starter Set
Operation: Heracles is a set designed to allow you and a mate/partner/pet to get started playing Warpath. It include two basic starter forces, handy if you don’t know which you want to choose or don’t want to go ‘all in’ on one particular faction.
Below we take a look at the Enforcer contents in the set – we’ll cover the Forge Fathers in a future update.
Enforcer Lt. Roca*
It is a common misconception that the Enforcers value uniformity above all else. Their standard grey uniforms reinforce this idea, but, in fact, after obedience, imagination is one of the most highly prized personality metric in the corps.
Commander Roca, operating under the callsign ‘Rocker’, proved himself to be both loyal and imaginative during the first decades of his career serving the Council of Seven. As an operator with Strike Teams across the galaxy, Rocker fought with distinction against every threat presented to the GCPS. From Marauders to Elastopods, there are few alien races Rocker has not prosecuted with élan and efficiency and he has also been instrumental in the termination of more than twenty rebel cells along the frontier.
Such versatility and long service would normally see an operator being moved either into the Pathfinder arm of the corps or promoted to a senior command position. But Rocker had no desire to quit frontline service so he was instead promoted to Commander and reassigned as a Forward Observer.
Rocker had been operating in Triton’s sector of space for some time before the arrival of the Bruderheim on a highly classified mission to investigate a recent surge in losses in shipping moving through the area. Piracy has always been an issue in fringe space, and even an uptick in reports of Veer-myn numbers discovered aboard vessels moving coreward was not viewed as particularly disturbing. But reports of ‘ships of the damned’, fleets of vessels previously reported as missing that slide into orbit, answer no hails, but instead immediately attack any other vessels nearby, did cause alarm in Corporation Central.
Solid evidence was hard to come by. Nonetheless Rocker’s recommendation was to increase troop numbers and fortify a number of worlds within the fourth sphere, particularly in lanes likely to be used by vessels moving from the Death Arc. Triton is one such world.
* This miniature variant is exclusive to the Warpath Kickstarter.
The basic building block of most Enforcement groups across space is the Strike Team – Enforcers carrying Genling 45’s and 58 Burst Lasers, working in unison. But their ubiquity does not make them any less elite. Each man or woman in the team is a highly engineered and trained professional killer, built to function with equally cold-blooded efficiency as an individual as in a team, and wears the best armour credits can buy. Their support network is also without rival – no team really works alone, all of them being co-ordinated by the best communications technology and strategic minds in the GCPS.
Enforcers are the mainstay unit of any Enforcer force, highly trained soldiers that carry the best equipment the Council of Seven can buy.
As you can see above, the Enforcer Trooper sprues come with enough options to arm the Enforcers with an Incinerator or Burst Laser. You can also build the miniatures as Assault Enforcers, foregoing the Genling rifles for pistols and wristblades.
Even amongst the ranks of the Enforcers, the Pathfinders are an elite and highly specialised group. Their role demands that they avoid direct contact with the enemy wherever possible and their standard equipment and weaponry reflect this. Deployed ahead of the main force, the Pathfinders are tasked with gathering all the necessary Intel required to support a successful campaign, while eliminating any obstacles that may hinder the deployment of the main Enforcer vanguard.
Armed with deadly sniper rifles and supported by the D.O.G. Drone, the Pathfinders are the vanguard of the Enforcers, scouting ahead of the main force. Check out the sprues…
The jump packs built into Enforcer armour were originally designed to aid in zero-gravity ship assaults. The iterations since have seen their use expanded and developed, until today they provide additional mobility in even above-standard gravity, and can to be used in low-altitude insertions directly into combat or behind enemy lines. However, the limited space in the armour’s housing and other considerations means the packs’ capacity is limited to immediate operational surroundings.
The Xian Seng Corporation’s XSG-65 jet bike was designed to fill the gap in the Enforcers’ operational capability, where a greater range of transport was required and drop ship support was unavailable or uneconomical. Though the XSG-65 appears to hover through the air, movement is actually achieved through lift generated by the on-board jet engine and aerofoils. A series of hyper-localised gravitational fields along the chassis provide a high level of stability at low speeds, but true ‘flight’ is difficult at best with the bike’s light frame, and not recommended in combat situations. However, the XSG-65’s speed and manoeuvrability means that over short to medium distances it is often quicker for a squad to respond by jet bike than drop ship.
The Enforcer Jetbike, I think, is one of the best miniatures we’ve ever done. The kit is made up of 2 bikes in hard plastic and includes a variety of underslung weapons.
Each rider is totally separate from the bike, and actually have the same fittings as the plastic Enforcer troopers for extra customisability (yes you can totally make dual pistol wielding riders. Not very practical, but totally badass!)
The Warpath Kickstarter is now on! Please check out the page and the great deals on offer. The campaign ends on the 11th October, so please be quick!