Today we’re making pre-orders live for a brand-new faction for Vanguard: the insidious Ratkin! The Ratkin have been part of the lore and background for Kings of War since the original Uncharted Empires, however this is the first time we’re releasing a full warband and it’s also the first time we’ve made many of the models.
Later this week, we’ll be going into some tips and tactics for using this new warband but, until then, we wanted to give you a bit of background about the Ratkin.
In the deepest, darkest depths of the Ratkin lair you will find the bloated, near-blind monstrosity known as the Brood Mother. The Brood Mother lives to further the cause of her horde. Only females are allowed in her musty cave and she is tended by a plethora of birthing-daughters – carers for the mewling, sightless Ratkin pups.
From the safety of her lair, hidden deep in the nest, the Brood Mother leads with a ruthless cunning. She dispatches her birthing-daughters to scurry throughout the clan and deliver her commands. However, it is not uncommon for these messages to be interpreted in a way that will greatly benefit the receiver and the birthing-daughter.
A Ratkin nest will typically only have a handful of Warlocks among its ranks, yet they are respected and feared almost as much as the Brood Mother and her birthing-daughters. They are respected because many claim to still hear the whispers of the Wicked Ones and recite these words as though they were religious texts. Once touched by magic, a sort of fever descends on the Ratkin in question, pushing them to master more and more powerful magic, which can often lead to madness… or death.
From the realm of the Warlocks, you travel up to the home of the War Chiefs and their strongest warriors and shock troops. A Ratkin nest will have many War Chiefs all vying for the attention of the Brood Mother. Like children fighting to gain the recognition of an uninterested parent, the War Chiefs push themselves to greater feats of cruelty and violence to rise through the ranks of the pack.
Along with the warlocks and their obsession with arcane sorcery, many Ratkin are inspired by the intricate machines used by other races across Pannithor. Within the ranks of the scientists there are two distinct camps – engineers that favour to build machines powered by arcane alchemy and splicers that prefer to work on live subjects. Unsurprisingly there is bitter competition between these two camps, with both trying to prove their methods are the most successful.
In the labs of the splicers you are likely to find all-manner of twisted and desperate beasts. Under the command of the Brood Mother and her birthing-daughters, the splicers toil away to create bigger and more lethal living death machines. From the towering Nightmares and Brutes, to the mindless Night Terrors, the Ratkin have had some crude success in so-called ‘fleshcrafting’.
However, the vast majority of a Ratkin nest is filled with wretches – the lowest ranks of Ratkin that can only dream of leaving the squalor of their pits and gaining some form of power. In battle, countless hordes of wretches swarm onto the battlefield, forming a filthy mass of brown fur and dagger-like teeth.
When roused to war, the wretches are let loose from their pits and herded into battle by the Brute Enforcers. Many are trampled to death in the initial rush for freedom but the Brood Mother does not care, there are always more to replace them.
In our next blog, we’ll be going into how the Ratkin play in Vanguard. Don’t forget, you can pre-order the Ratkin direct from Mantic or your FLGS. The warband starts shipping February 8th.