Hello everyone! It's time for another SPOTLIGHT ON! This time we will be looking some of the various factions of the Dark Star setting, starting with those factions that are currently in production, most having figures and vehicles in both 6mm and 15mm scales, then moving to some new forces that we have in the works. Everybody ready? This is a long one!
The Federation- Originally composed of 6 close star systems that united to pool their resources for both trade and protection from the Khiff menace, the then-named “Self-Defense Federation” has slowly evolved to include almost two-dozen systems as full members and many others as client states. Often seen as a beneficial force for stability (especially in their own eyes), it is not unheard of for Federation armed forces to intervene in conflicts in an attempt to calm the situation and preserve life. Called “The Do Good Brigade” by Solar Hegemon politicos, Federation involvement is not always welcome. The Federation immediately borders both League of Free Systems and Khiff zones of interest, with a small overlap with Venturian and Garrhul spheres.
Venturians- the Venturians are a humanoid people that are definitely not Human. Encountered just 25 years ago, their influences and interests have spread very rapidly through human space. The Venturians have a very confusing social and governmental structure, centered almost entirely around clans that are both business interests and self-governing nations called "Ventures", which are entirely consumed with the protection of their own patents and licenses for various products and techniques. Each Venture is controlled by a collection of Citizens that are mostly original founders or are promoted due to meritorious or heroic service to the Venture. Anyone can become a Citizen, having to first complete military service in one of the Ventures before deciding on a future home. Citizens generally stay with their chosen Venture for their entire life, or may start their own Venture upon discovering or creating a new patentable technique or product, starting their own little empire and drawing workers/pleebs from all over Venturian space. The composition of the lower ranks (or pleebs/serfs) of each Venture is almost completely non-citizen Venturians, who do the majority of manufacturing, entertainment, social services, etc. In material terms, there is not much difference between Citizens and Non-Citizens. It is only in the realms of privilege, respect and leadership where there is a dividing line. It is not unusual for Ventures to clash, especially if infringement of interests is suspected, however most hostilities are low-grade and by design try to not damage property of harm innocents. Combat with non-Venturians, especially if patent or license infringement has occurred, is not quite as restrained.
The Garrhul- more than 400 years ago Terran scientists uplifted canines to full sapience. It wasn’t the first time this had been done, previous attempts being both short lived and poorly received, but it was the most successful. Originally designed to be soldiers to supplement various armed forces in the reconquest of Earths rebelling colonies, these dog soldiers became stigmatized based on false reports of their savagery and atrocities committed (often by their human cohorts), and their “removal” was eventually demanded by the general public. Certified as “people” through the efforts of many activists, the canids were exiled rather than having to face genocidal parents. More than 600,000 individuals were placed on ships and sent far out into the frontier of Human space to settle a system upon which many wished they would perish. Instead, they forged a society and national identity, created their own technology base and began their own colonization projects. Now, the Garrhul inhabit half a dozen systems of their own and at least some live on approximately 40% of all human planets, having a penchant for trading and mercenary work. Though most are “productive members of society” a large number have turned to piracy and raiding, competing with the Khiff for “public enemy #1” in the eyes of many militaries.
Khiff- The worst possible merge of predatory lizard and weasel, the aggressive and clannish Khiff are a scourge that falls upon other races in order to enslave and often eat them. Luckily the Khiff are a fractious race and rarely are able to hold large numbers together for long enough to do much more than raid easy targets, such as frontier colonies. But an exception has recently surfaced, a small Khiff nation has been formed by a trio of systems that have become weary of the carnage that comes from reprisal attacks and the spoiling expeditions launched by the Federation and other forces. A stable and effective government seems to be able to hold the member states together, and has been utilizing the Khiff’s high technology base to create a streamlined armed force from the ragtag raiding hardware commonly used by "standard" clan Khiff. This nation seems to have learned many harsh lessons and it is known that several battles have recently occurred between “Nationed” Khiff and clan Khiff, with the later coming off the worse. The worry now is: will the “Nationed” Khiff be a stabilizing influence on their brethren, or more of a threat to everyone else.
The following are factions that we are currently working on briging to the table, so more info on them will appear as things progess.
Solar Hegemony- Including the Sol system and an octet of immediately adjacent colonies, the Solar Hegemony is often seen by outsiders as one of the interstellar Boogeymen bent on taking over every Human settlement possible, and eradicating dissent from their rule wherever found. Those outside viewers may not be wrong. With several very high population worlds but only moderately high technological base, the Hegemony has made it their mission to expand to relieve social pressure as well as to “bring historical territory back into the fold”. Having such an ominous name to their nation as well as a large military has not allayed the fears of those beyond their borders, especially when said military has begun disgorging from assault ships on their doorsteps (Federation troops call Hegemonic invasions “lowering the bar” as both a quip towards the SH emblem as well as their habit of causing a lot of damage to infrastructure during their take-overs). Solar Hegemony territory abuts the League of Free Systems as well as the Han sphere.
The League of Free Systems- Faced with impending hostile take-over, 11 systems banded together about 15 years ago to form the League of Free Systems in order to keep the Solar Hegemony at bay. Nominally an ally of the Federation, the League rarely calls out for military help, instead taking it upon themselves to keep their citizens out of Earth’s clutches. Almost all planets of the League have suffered a Hegemony raid at one time or another, and several conflicts are always afoot in the systems between the SH and LFS. As hostilities continue the League is gradually shifting towards a wartime economy, with a tightening of freedoms that comes with it. For now the League utilizes a hodgepodge of weapons and vehicles of both Federation and Venturian make while their home-grown military industry winds up for the protracted conflict conflict with Earth.
Han- The Han Sphere is a group of systems of majority Chinese ethnicity. Targeted early on for generation-ship colonization, the capital of Loya (originally Luoyang) was settled by faster ships almost 200 years before the original colony ship arrived. Much had changed in society by that time and the “old ways” were not all that welcome, nor was the slow acting viral plague the late-coming generational colonists brought with them that could cause sterility in both sexes, a relic of biological conflicts that raged on Earth in the far past. It took Han scientist the better part of three decades to find a cure and stop the slide of population decline. The result is a racial hatred of all things Earth, with a corresponding hostility towards the expansionist Solar Hegemony. The Han are possibly the second most technologically advanced Human polity, and the 3rd largest population wise (behind the SH and Federation). Besides Earth, the Han seem to only have conflict with Khiff and Garrhul pirates and the occasional tiff with Venturians.
Docent- No longer considered to be Human, the Docent are a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Very little truth is known about them, only inferences, but it is thought that the Docent began as colonists in cold sleep aboard one of the many generation ships that were sent into the void, never to be heard from again. Something their ship encountered changed or assimilated the humans on board, and now they are part of what is assumed to be an alien intelligence. But that is all just guess work. What is known is that the Docent have very high technology, including nanites and limited bioware, are very haughty, and have a some overarching mission which leads them to generally disregard everyone and everything else. They claim to exist to help foster and mentor all other races and nations toward some greater good, but more often than not they just appear some place doing something unfathomable and then just vanish. Sometimes a small Docent force arrives on a battlefield and engages one side or another, or maybe just passes through the crossfire without even hesitating or taking part. Sometimes a lone individual appears on a planet out of thin air and says a few words to an unlikely individual and then vanishes. On at least one occasion a massive force arrived in orbit of a sparsely settled planet, bombarded a small location way out in the wilds for a few hours, then departed without a word or other action. They have even not fought back when attacked, just going about their mysterious business, while other times slaughtering any witness to their activity. They declare themselves to be emissaries and shapers, but all they truly seem to be are unfathomable and dangerous.
...and there you have it! Factions galore! Stay tuned for more SPOTLIGHT ON articles, as well as updates, sneak peeks, and other Darkest Star Games news!
The "Pilum" Strike Battle Armors are now finally available! (Get them HERE)
These mecha figures, expertly painted by MASTERGUNZ PAINT WORX, are stuff of nightmares for those who have to face them. Coming in bewildering variety of loadouts, the Pilum is a battlefield juggernaut capable of fulfilling many different mission profiles, especially if they involve destroying things. Various mission packs are usually available to units in the field to be able to customize their rides to the days mission simply by popping a different weapon or module onto the rear attachment points and maybe changing out forearms modules or hand weapons.
The quartet shown above are the notorious "Cherry Daggers", a sometimes-mercenary-sometimes-vigillante group. These scallywags use the Strike variant of the Pilum, shedding cumbersome back-mounted weapons for booster modules, hand weapons and combat claws. This loadout allows the "Cherrys" to move a lightning speed to their objectives and get out in one piece. Jumping, flying, and power boosting through any terrain, the Cherries prefer urban operations and have both had conflict with and worked beside Sec-Sec forces on multiple occasions. Regarded as a nuisance, it's only a matter of time before they push the envelope too far...
Pilum Combat Armors, actually named the Kombit Mashink-14 "Svird Bist" (Blade Beast) by the manufacturer Haitmar Progaktiks, are a manned unit where the pilot sits enfolded in the chest area with their knees drawn in. Rather than having a waldo-type control system like the Pugio Combat Armor, the Pilum uses an brain-wave interface coupled with minimal movement magnification. This system takes a lot of practice to use, and virtually guarantees that someone untrained cannot just run off with the expensive hardware and cause havoc at will.
One of the Pilum's oustanding weapons is it's combat claw arm. This module can be used on either the right or left arm, and besides having a wicked 3-proged slashing and crushing device the module is able to accept a wide variety of internal weapons. Caseless machineguns, auto grenade launchers, gas pellet bursters, or even short duration beam weapons can be switched out with minimal effort in the field. A real boon for any unit facing changing battlefield conditions or sudden mission profile shifts.
Most recently, Pilums in Strike configuration have been used on two occasions by the Popular Humanist Front to cause terror and destruction in Constance City in an effort to derail a voting referendum on simulacrum rights. In both cases Spec-Sec Pugios were able to destroy or disable the attackers after they had cut through Parmas the Police had deployed as a precaution. Despite being unsuccessful in their efforts, the PHF and others are sure to be deploying more Pilums in the near future...
Welcome to the inaugural posting of "Spotlight On"! For this first posting I thought I'd give a brief rundown on the background of our Colony-15 miniatures line and cover a little bit about how it came to be.
I've always been a big reader. As I grew up, my uncle kept me well supplied with old novels from the 50's onward. A lot of pulp sci-fi, adventure, as well as a good dose of fantasy. Doc Savage, Lensmen, Little Fuzzy... the list is extremely long. We also had a friend of the family that was a writer, with westerns being his preferred genre, though he wrote about more than just Cowboys and Indians! Eventually I turned to the harder stuff, and by that I mean books like the Dune series, Ringworld, Hammer's Slammers and The Fleet. I also was playing the heck out of the Traveller RPG and D&D. But, I've always had a soft-spot for those old adventures.
When the opportunity to open Darkest Star Games came along I knew I wanted a line of miniatures that brought back the flavors of my childhood readings, and that was a bit less "hard" sci-fi than the Dark Star line. I had just reread Space Viking by H. Beam Piper for the uptinth time and it all clicked. I didn't want this new 'verse to be set inside any previously developed background, so I was off and creating!
The figures for Colony-15 are in essence a distillation of my old reads: The Magravate Militia are not the "minute man" force their name suggests, but more of a post Civil War US Cavalry analog. They not only respond to trouble in their troop's territories but also conduct long range patrols and maintain contact between the far flung settlements on the high plains
The Zonii could almost be considered Native American tribesmen, the planets first settlers "gone native" both spiritually and through genetic tinkering to survive in the original much more hostile environment.
And then there's the Star Marauders. Part viking, part bandido, all ruthless. A combination of many of the classic bad guy tropes from the old paperbacks.
Being as this figure line was meant to be something of a sci-fan sort of shindig I commissioned Bob Naismith to sculpt up some retro-ish figures in a throw-back sculpting style. He's not only been around for a while, but he is one of the few people out there able to sculpt in more than just his own style. He really gave the initial figures that "classic" feel without having to resort to time travel or necromancy.
Slowly but surly the Colony-15 line is being expanded, never you fear! In the works we have native fauna (mostly dangerous), civilian vehicles and farm equipment, and assault craft and conveyances for the Star Marauders so they can do their looting, burning, and chicken stealing!
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned!
Heya folks, it's update time! So what is coming up from Darkest Star Games? Well, the next release will be for the Spec-Sec line, those evil looking Pila type Battle-Armors previewed way back here. Should be along in 2 weeks or so.
We also recently send off the 15mm versions of the FD21 Python MBT and FD23 Griffon IFV to be printed, with separate tracks and hover skirt options for each. Still working on a 1st generation grav option, but it will not be long in the offing. Hopefully the turret for the the Cobra MBT can also be sent out soon and make it in time for the Python's release. In addition, 15mm stowage and tools have been reworked from the set that was included in some Kickstarter pledges waaaaay back when, and should be appearing soon as well.
On the 6mm front (haven't forgotten about you all!), the Garshaw GMBT and Paghgaw GIFV will soon be sent off for 3d printing! Rumor has it that there may also be more 6mm Garrhul vehicles in the works, as well as a lander. But that's a just well founded rumors, dontchaknow....
And finally, we will soon begin a series of blog posts called "Spotlight On ____" which will feature fluff and details of the various models and miniatures we produce and the universes they inhabit. These articles will include answers to such burning questions as "just what is that small inset box on the port side of the Puma?", "why did the Venturians just about nuke the colony of Neu Xeria over some coffee synthesizers?", "how many Federation Council Members does it take to screw in a light bulb?", "how come the Venties keep their vehicles free of knickknacks and external stowage?" and many other topics to boot!
Keep your eyes peeled, and happy gaming!
The Garrhul are now available for purchase! Get them HERE!
15GA01- Garrhul Merchant Prince and Body Guards (3 figures)
15GA02- Garrhul Pack Troops with helmets (10 figures)
15GA03- Garrhul Pack Troops (10 figures)
15GA04- Garrhul Lone Wolf Sniper (1 figure)
These bad dogs, painted by Leon Locke, can not wait to board their distinctive triangular grav tanks and APCs and raid and pillage settlements across the Expanse!
Castings of the 2 Garrhul squads, the Lone Wolf sniper, the nefarious Pirate/Trader and his pair of Body Guards are ready! (They just need to be sorted and bagged)
These space doggies will be released next week!
Hey all, we've released new 15mm stuff! Spec-Sec finally receives the first shipment of the long-awaited "Pugio" Combat Armor, and a whole slew (5!) of new cars and trucks (4!) have hit the market! Hit the Spec-Sec page for details and purchasing.
Time for another sneak peek!
The Garrhul are almost here!
The master mold for the new canine race arrived yesterday, as well as a set of castings from the mold. They are so hot out of it that I haven't even cleaned any of the flash off yet. Production molds will take some time just based on the sheer number of figures in this release. As you can see, there are both bare headed and helmeted poses, as well as a trio of "player character" types (at the top).
More to come on these beasts of war. Stay tuned!
Here's the news! Both the newest batch of sci-fi cars and the newest Spec-Sec battle-armor (now to be called the Pugio strike-type) are soon to be released! Very soon. Can't wait!
And what could go better with our valiant Spec-Sec defenders new high-power toys than something the "bad guys" can bring around to do a little "street rock tango"? The Think-Heads call this the Pila type battle-armor:
Designed by the nefarious (and talented!) Charles Oines, these nasty brutes are stripped down military-grade purveyors of destruction. Though a Landmate style armor similar to the Parma and Pugio, the Pila's operators "master" arms remain within an armored body rather than exposed. In the mostly urban environments where Spec-Sec is forced to operate, exposed "master" arms are not seen as a liability, allowing the Parma and Pugio to be both lighter and more agile than battlefield types of combat-armors. The Pila, however, has greater survivabillity when large explosions and flying shrapnel are the tune of the day. And rather than being weighed down with the normal military over-the-shoulder heavy weapons typical of battlefield deployment, this group has been modified with jets allowing for fantastic leaps and high speed ground-effect flight. All in all, a very effective weapon in the hands of a terrorist or enemy agent...
More on the Pila later! We just sent these beasties off to be printed. There are 4 poses, and 6 different pairs of arms. I know the images above shows only 6 arms, but there will be mirrors of those made so we have 3 right arms with guns, 3 left arms with guns, 3 right arms with claws, and 3 left arms with claws. Yes, you'll be able to make dual-wield pistoleers or double clawed smash-beasts! (and who wouldn't!)
More info as soon as we have the masters in hand and are ready to start casting. Stay tuned!
Hello all! I didn't realise it had been so long since we last posted...
But here's the news:
As you saw in our last post some new 15mm Sci-Fi vehicles are coming, and they really are! We are looking to release them next week!
Next in line will be the new Spec-Sec Battle Armors previewed not too long ago, just waiting for their heads to be 3d printed and then casting will begin! (in resin this time).
For those patiently waiting for the Parma Battle Armors to come back to the shop... the new molds didn't solve the problems with the final castings to our satisfaction so it appears we will have to put them into 3d and have new masters printed up. The originals were hand sculpted and did not survive having molds made, so there is now no real alternative. The bad news is that it's going to take a while longer before they are ready, but the good news is there will be more poses that will be available!
Keep an eye out for the release announcement for the new cars, it's coming soon!
Darkest Star Games
Established in September of 2012, Darkest Star Games strives to bring you the best in 6mm and 15mm miniatures!