Thursday, February 3, 2022

Cruthanarc: The Infected Colony Part 3

I realize that I have yet to mention the name Cruthanarc in a series called Cruthanarc: The Infected Colony. This is, in part, because the existence of Cruthanarc came late in the creative process of bringing my version of the Sirius Sector to life. I also wanted to lay some of the ground-work that existed before I was inspired to create Cruthanarc. It also allows me to heap more praise on One Page Rules.

One of the reasons I love miniature war-gaming is the "ooh" factor of seeing a sculpt that you want to paint and see on your gaming table. Since the rulesets OPR have produced were created with proxies in mind, rather than a vehicle with which to force their customers to buy over-priced lines of miniatures that you may or may not want to paint (I see you Games Workshop), I am free to use whatever miniature I want to represent the stat-line in the army I want to play. It also means that I can bend the army concept to fit the look of my army on the table.

If you read the army lists of OPR closely, you will find this little blurb:

This army was created in collaboration with The Makers Cult, a small team that’s creating awesome 3D printable miniatures for any wargames.

Should you bother to check them out, they are indeed awesome. They just released a multi-part miniature set called Misc - Hazmat Infantry. For me, these most definitely have that "ooh" factor. Here is one that I just printed out:

How badass do you have to be to
go into a sci-fi battle armed
with just a saw?

Given the fact that these were created under the category "Miscellaneous" they weren't really designed to belong to any specific army list. Since this guy is in a hazmat suit armed with a portable saw, I was inspired to try and fit him into the Infected Colonies army list. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite fit. The Infected Colonies exist to fill in for the Walking Dead/Zombie trope that has dominated the sci-fi scene for a number of years now. Here is the meat of the background blurb:

Infected Colonies are (usually) human settlements that have been infected by a mysterious virus which mutates them into blood-hungry warriors. Those that have been infected are categorized into different stages, with each stage having a different effect on the mutated subject.

At the early stage of the infection the subjects maintain most of their original form and are still capable of using firearms and other equipment. As the infection spreads however the subjects start to deform into unrecognizable beasts, one more brutal and grotesque than the next.

The problem I have with this set-up is that I find zombies divorced from the supernatural and demonic not only to be boring, but they stretch my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Therefore, if I am to use this concept of a disease-driven army list, the concept needs to be tweaked.

This is where the idea of biological uplifting becomes important. It allows me to imagine the disease as an unintended consequence of an uplift-related experiment. It also allows me to imagine an established human colony quite capable of countering the disease before it gets too out of hand. Thus, rather than seeing the Infected Colonies army list as a bunch of blood-hungry zombies, I can see it as an army of soldiers infected with a disease they have no cure for hell-bent on preventing from spreading out across human space. 

In other words, my little friend above is here to tell you that you have two choices now that you have landed on Cruthanarc: you either stay and become a productive member of society or you stay buried six feet under ground.

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