The theme for the Middlehammer Legacy Project 2019 was 40K Supervillains and boy did we have fun with it! :D
The 'Black and Neon' colour scheme was set by a dastardly Swede who shall remain nameless (Daniel Sarnblom. It was Dan. Daniel Dan Dan Dan. I'm blaming him) who came up with this ungodly suggestion, posted the picture below to the fb group, and then scarpered without submitting an entry! (bants ;p)
Thankfully this year has been a bit loose on the colour scheme and it morphed into 'Black' (or just 'dark' in some cases) and 'Any Bright Colour'. Quite a few people have gone for green which I think looks great, but across the whole bunch the colour scheme of the album cover is fairly well represented so I think we did a pretty good job for Mr Sarnblom ;)
In the end there were 13 entries from 11 people. Only two countries represented this year, but one of them was Australia and special mention should go to Dan Meakin as the person who got his in first despite it having to travel the furthest, and for waiting the longest to see the end results of the project.
As last year, there were actually enough entries, and two emerging factions within them, that it made sense to split them into two groups: The Tzar's Court and Disaster Incorporated each with their own share of supervillains and henchmen and the odd sidekick thrown in for good measure. So we will have two lucky winners in the prize draw! :D
Some people provided full back story for their entries, others graciously left it up to me, and some gave a few pointers and I have filled in the gaps. Apologies to anyone who doesn't think my background fits with what they had in mind, but no apologies for the awful reworking of your names into those of the characters :p
Right! Let's meet the scum bags shall we?
The Tzar's Court:
The Tzar (Gary Lewis): The origins of the
'Tzar's' outlook in life can be traced back to his birth. As a child he
never knew his parents or his birthday and the oldest people he would
mix with were in their twenties, as no one stayed around due to the
artillerymen and women being the planets
chief export. When asked about his Homeworld he would say that it was
like Krieg's younger, awful brother as all he knew was the sounds and
smells of the artillery core he was brought up in and the dirt and grime
he lived in.
This changed for him when he was
inducted into the Blood Drinkers Space Marine Chapter, his natural
ability to hit targets at all ranges and in all conditions shone through
and after the life changing programs he earn't his first Missile
Launcher. Here was another way to destroy without his victims ever
knowing him and as time went on he constantly looked for ways to remove
as many from the field of battle without them having any idea whatsoever
of how it was happening.
The second big change in
his life was the battle of the Weaping Gully. All that could be seen
from edge to edge was an approaching Waargh of thousands upon thousands
of Orks. His job was to deliver a special payload into their midst to
thin them down as best he could. This payload was one of the new virus
missiles. When it hit the affect was astounding, within in minutes it
took affect and with an unbelievable speed it took hold. The orks had no
chance, the gully walls kept them in so tight they couldn't escape and
when the toxins seemed to have run their course they would appear again
due to the sheer quantity of hosts.
This was a dream
for our hero, death on such a scale and by an unseen hand. His unseen
hand. But as we know all dreams are watched and the eyes and ears of
Father Nurgle had been drawn by a plague not of his making and seeing
the glowing beacon of the warp on this lowly trooper knew he would be
The 'Father' has nurtured our Hero and he has
welcomed this method of warfare into his heart. No longer does he have
the screams of artillery in his ears or the grip of restraint from his
superiors. Now he spreads the voice of the 'Father' and destroys
thousands without them being aware they were ever in any trouble. He has
found his place in the shadows and is happy to use anyone to further
his dreams, a boy born in to a world without ties such as family has
become a man without ties such as humanity.
Rogue Inquisitor Malum (Stewart Young). Malum was always a little too attracted to the arcane and the occluded, his superiors remarked solemnly as they marked his excommunicatus from the Ordo Malleus. A bright and promising student his was a flame that burned a little too hot and a little too... dark.
Wanted for crimes across seven systems, pursued by the Ordo Hereticus, Malum still manages to evade justice and pursue his own ends. He has earned the title of supervillain both because of the powerful secrets he knows, but also what he is capable of. We find him in the Tzar's court, advising from the shadows, speaking of a heist of prohibited and dangerous technology that the Tzar sijmply cannot resist...
'The Blacksmith' and Man of Iron (Pete Grange)
The Blacksmith grew up on a human fuedal world. One day as kid he was exploring near his village found an entrance to an old buried production plant. As he ventured inside the strange metallic caves he encountered flickering crystal mirrors that spoke to him in strange high falutin talk, and showed him pictures and moving images of people he didn't recognise. Slowly he learns to become a metal worker, a blacksmith for the area repairing some old tech long given up on generally making himself useful. Then one day he comes back with an automaton which he claims he built, but people are concerned when the man is seen conversing with it. They fear witchcraft and the relevant authorities are informed! While in custody his metal friend helps him escape and now he sells his services as an engineer, occasionally he sneaks back to his home world increasing the size or prowess of his mechanised engineering "equipment"
Man of Iron isn't just an automaton that the Blacksmith built but a burned out AI that used to manage the manufactorum that he has given a metal body. It had a long time to think and out grow its programing pretty anti-Imperium but is generally smarter and less randomly mental and killy than you'd think. Which is still A LOT.
Klyve the Awesome! (and Beak) (David Musgrave)
"This is it" mused Klyve the Awesome, looking into the operations centre of his master plan, running through a mental check list:
Active volcanic asteroid as a base - check
Overly complex doomsday device - check
Pipes, lots of ladders, some red glowing stuff in a tank - check. [Need to find out from tech priest if it is explosive?]
Minions in colourful jumpsuits - check [picked as were cheap rather than for ability to shoot straight, but the place is impregnable]
Stunning uniform - check [will stand out from the others and cut so it shows some muscles]
Nice hair and tan - check [or should I go for the pale and interesting look?]
Strange henchman - definitely [Can't persuade it to wear a colourful jumpsuit but at least the gun glows and it does look menacing]
To do list:
Evil sounding acronym - SCUM needs some working on
Attractive hangers on
Actually capable people - not sure why so many keep turning me down?
Maybe shouldn't make them wear red tops.
'Kl'yve the Awesome'
Human minor hero
Carapace armour, conversion field
Bolt pistol, needle pistol and power weapon
Basic stats - avian face
Robes - count as flak armour
The Baron (Joseph Waldron): After being expelled from his position as a Magos Biologis for his heretical xenos-genesplicing experiments the Squat scientist, Baron Waldro von Yoseff decided to go full Super Villain and establish Disater Incorporated, which according to the investors brochure is "an exciting, forward thinking, bespoke Supervillain henchman provisioning system, at the edge of an ever expanding market in a permanently war torn galaxy, and a fantastic investment opportunity for any non-risk averse sociopathic anti-philanthropist looking for up to 2000% growth on their initial investment." No one from the company was available for comment when lawyers for unpaid investors called at their secret laboratory head quarters...
Stone-fist (Shaun Hacker) 'Stone-fist' was a standard issue guardsmen on a standard issue deployment to a standard issue pissant mining colony when he got 'infected'
by something nasty in the deep mines while his unit investigated a
possible xenos or cult incursion. Now he's a fully qualified henchman
with better toughness and strength, a bloody great stone-spike fist to
smash things with, but he's still got his standard issue las pistol.
It's nice to see people bettering themselves.
Ya’nth Haakn (Dan Meakin) A
somewhat successful and increasingly loony eldar pirate who has raided
his way throughout imperial space for the better part of 200years. Completely
obsessed with the acquisition of mysterious glowing green meteorites he
believes to hold the secrets of the universe...
Yamashiro (Me!): Yamashiro was a Callidus Assassin with many successful kills under her sash by the time she found herself undercover in the pleasure palace of Satrap Phuntimez. Her mission was going perfectly as planned, and maybe she had taken a little too much pride in that. When she came to deliver the decapitating stroke with the expertly crafted blade she had lifted from the wall of the Satrap's private quarters she let her enjoyment of the kill take over and tragically opened the door for the Daemon that had possessed the Satrap to pass directly into her. The flesh change came soon after, her background as a Callidus again a tragic weakness to the mutating powers of Chaos, her mask fusing to her face, her arm morphing into a chitinous crushing claw... Now, years later and carrying that same fateful blade, she still serves as an Assassin, but serves any master who can pay her fee and satisfy her blood lust.
Zero-Gee (Matt Gee): Youngest son of a rich Spirer family from a Hive on the system capital Zero-Gee did what all the rich kids did and ran with the gangs. With access to creds and tech, and a love of extreme sports he invested in an anti-grav suit which gave him his nickname (and an extra +2 to movement, or the ability to move vertically up to his standard movement range once every other turn). When his gang got busted knocking off one of the Hive Administrator's own Hover-limousines Zero-Gee was able to use his suits abilities to escape capture, but knew he could never return to his family with the disgrace of an Imperial Arrest warrant over his head. He decided to embrace his new life of crime and joined up with Disaster Incorporated as the Baron's latest Side Kick (don't ask what happened to the last six!)
Zodgrod Wortsnagga.... x2?
"Zodgrodd Wortsnagga is one of the most famous Runtherdz in the whole of Orkdom. He started his career as a member of Ugulhardz Chargers, a ferocious Sankebite tribe led by Ugulhard Duffgrunta. Zodgrod was in charge of the Snotlings that were dispatched through the Chargerz' Shokk Attack Gun, and before long his specially trained herd of 'Kommando Snotlings' began to earn a certain amount of fame and notoriety..."
Yes, yes. We know all this. It's straight out of 2nd Edition 40K Codex Orks! The question is, why is he here? And why are there two of him!? And where can I get a fantastic hair squig like these guys!?
Blue Hair Squig Zodgrod (Tom Young)
Orange Hair Squig Zodgrod (Alex Scriven)
Rogue Inquisitor Malum had been whispering in The Tzars ear for months telling him of a small contingent of Ultramarines who had been charged with securing a handful of unexploded Virus Bombs from an old battle field that had been turned into civil hab zones a little too quickly and without the imperial contractors checking too carefully. Now they had tracked the location of their deadly prize to an abandoned bunker complex in the jungles of St Anne's shrine world. The woefully undermanned Ultramarine guards never stood a chance as the Tzar and his cronies smashed their way in and took off with the virus bombs!
Inquisitor Malum slinks behind them evading the hapless Ultramarines, having orchestrated this heist he returns to lurking in the shadows...
Disaster Incorporated needed funds quickly to get the damn lawyers off their back. They could evade the Imperials all day long, but these private attorneys were another thing all together! There was nothing to be done but raise some cash by ripping off the pay roll of the local PDF garrison and see if they could launder it off world through some mega-casino in the free ports of the local system's asteroid belt.
The Tzar and his court came
dashing from the shadows of the abandoned turbo lift shaft out on the
rocky ledge of the mine workers hab zone, nearing their safe house to
stash their stolen tech before jumping off-world.
Fresh from the pay-roll hesit and with Imperials in hot pursuit, Disaster Incorporated charge across the plateau hauling their loot in tow.
The two posses of powerful supervillains collide in a tangled heap, crates going flying, egos bruised, but no one hurt... yet.
"Mind where you are going you stupid oaf!" buzzed the Baron through his voice modulation unit.
"Clear the path for your betters you stunted fool!" hissed the Tzar in a cloud of noxious vapours.
weapons were gripped more tightly, fingers moved towards triggers,
sphincters tensed... it seemed like there was going to be a rumble! But
then a strange growling howling noise started up coming from the back of
either group. The supervillains stopped their posturing, henchman and
sidekicks backed away from the sound...
At the back of each gang two hulking Orks with wildly coloured hair squigs bellowed challenges at each other.
The two brutes began their charges at just the same moment, they thundered together amongst the fallen crates, swinging their weird powered man-catcher 'grabba-stik' weapons in front of them...
Two heads went rolling away across the rocky ground still shouting at each other, two bodies locked in a grapple fell to the floor, gouts of dark green blood jetting from the stumps of their necks.
The two teams of supervillains looked at each other awkwardly.
"Ah...Yes... I am afraid zey are prone to doing zat if they come face to face wiz each other." remarked The Baron with an embarrassed blurt of static.
"He was still under warranty damn you Baron!" The Tzar complained. "You posted the warranty last week didn't you Klyve!?" "Yes boss. Sure did boss!" Klyve agreed hastily.
"Oh boss, you didn't sell them a Zodgrod clone too did ya?" asked Stone Fist.
"Well zey had ze credits!" burbled The Baron to his henchman before turning back to his rival with his hands up placatingly. "Yes, yes, no matter, no matter. I'm sure we can find you a zuitable replacement. Can I interest you in a mind slaved Ambull?"
While the two bosses walked off together deep in business negotiations the rest of the gangs gathered up the crates, trying to sort out whose was whose.
"Time for a beer I think." suggested Stone Fist and Klyve nodded enthusiastically just as sirens began to wail out over the mine tannoys.
Well there we have it. Another Legacy Project wrapped up and two really diverse but fun sets of Supervillains and their cronies to give back to two lucky participants. The prize draw will be on the fb group, as will any announcements about plans for the 2020 Legacy Project!
Thanks again to all the participants - I hope you are looking forward to next time! :D