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Tzacol Concepts

 Post subject: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:57 pm 
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Hello all - I have decided to create a new thread specifically for brainstorming ideas for the Tzacol miniature line.

This thread can be used to discuss the models themselves, army and cultural concepts, rules for your game system of choice, whatever.

I hope the 6mm community as a whole can come together and craft this line from the ground up. It should be an interesting ride! :)

So lets here your thoughts, see your art, whatever you have and watch this line grow!

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Back porting my posts with actual content from the Model thread to this one (where they belong)

Quote:
Vehicles, if you can even call them that, should levitate and be covered in Mayan / Aztec / Toltec styled designs / engravings. Weird stuff like entire temples pulled from the ground zapping things as the float along should be seen. Maybe living statues glowing with barely contained energy are woken by their tech shamans to do battle.


Quote:
Also just to point out but most amphibians display sexual dimorphism. I think that might give some interesting ideas with big heavily decorated frogs (females) directing smaller male hunters/warriors. As the males grow older (eg mate) they begin to change and specialize and tend to be embedded / implanted / spliced into these weird contraptions as they are no linger needed to reproduce and way back when the first evolved they'd just of died. Instead now they become the wet ware to run much of their technology instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:11 pm 
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To get the ball rolling - I'd like to share some of the art work created by the talented DasBilligeAlien:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Tadpoles.
No, seriously - an immature form and a mature form, on the lines of what jimmyzimms suggested.

A double-headed serpent with a head at each end (check out the British Museum!)

Hovering monolithic carved heads - as per the cartoon Atlantis, which also offers some good ideas for skimmers.

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:21 pm 
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the concept art is phenomenal, particularly like the orb-riding froggy dude....

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:23 pm 
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I can imagine them being the creators of the Pharaons, setting these up as a military, in the hope that they would no longer have to go to war. Unfortunately (for all concerned) the Pharaons went rogue and split from the empire. But do the Tzacol still control/influence the Pharaons or do they live in fear of them?

Intreague, doubt, back story. Great scenario making stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:37 pm 
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I like the idea of omnipotent big fat toad aliens floating around on geometric platforms. These guys would be "detached" from our universe - existing in multiple timelines and dimensions at once. They direct cosmic events to favor the Tzacol and have glowing eyes which stare into existences beyond our reality.

Basically - when these guys appear, your ass is in for trouble. They use their incredible power to pull Tzacol military forces to them through space and time, activate and animate ancient Tzacol Guardians, create rift gates in space, manipulate the time stream, etc.

Model wise - I'd like to mix the above concepts with the "universe model" idea - as shown in these examples:
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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:43 pm 
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The Tzacol were ruthless warlords who once attempted to control the entire universe in a futile attempt at "galactic order" until their "great awakening", after which they retreated to the galactic core to live a life of enlightenment and a never-ending quest to become one with all things - some of them have, thus becoming the transcended leaders of the Tzacol race.

I'd imagine that a LOT of races out there hold a big grudge against these guys including the Pharaons, who - in order to escape their oppressive rule, transmuted their entire race into beings of pure energy until the time was right to return and exact their vengeance! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:01 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
Back porting my posts with actual content from the Model thread to this one (where they belong)

Quote:
Vehicles, if you can even call them that, should levitate and be covered in Mayan / Aztec / Toltec styled designs / engravings. Weird stuff like entire temples pulled from the ground zapping things as the float along should be seen. Maybe living statues glowing with barely contained energy are woken by their tech shamans to do battle.


Quote:
Also just to point out but most amphibians display sexual dimorphism. I think that might give some interesting ideas with big heavily decorated frogs (females) directing smaller male hunters/warriors. As the males grow older (eg mate) they begin to change and specialize and tend to be embedded / implanted / spliced into these weird contraptions as they are no linger needed to reproduce and way back when the first evolved they'd just of died. Instead now they become the wet ware to run much of their technology instead.


Hi!

I fully endorse this vision!!

The mayan/aztec flavor is a must, also males being lead by females with older males evolving into specialized roles is highly evocative.

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:02 pm 
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kyussinchains wrote:
the concept art is phenomenal, particularly like the orb-riding froggy dude....


Hi!

This.

This concept art is what they should be, any and all of it!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:06 pm 
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OK reposting ideas from previous thread (glad you like them):

Quote:
I think before we begin, we should also dump our conventional thinking about vehicle and infantry types. Familiarity with non-western doctrines is always a good thing when crafting a new army (for example, just plucking an idea from the news, Spetsnaz is often called the Russian special forces or the Russian SAS. Their real role and organization and training is so completely off-the-wall by US standards that people have trouble thinking about them without continually stuffing them back into the western model again and again). For the Froggies, we have to step even further back and revisit the foundations of their doctrine and capabilities or else we'll create "super-frog-tanks", backed up by "super-frog-VTOLs" and fire support from "super-frog-SP-artillery" until the "super-frog-infantry" shows up.

You might also want to consider re-visiting your modeling as well. New capabilities might give you the ability to do things that simply <i>look</i> eye-catchingly different on the playing field.

Have you considered partnering with Litko or Corsec? You could have them do a bazillion transparent acrylic disks with laser-etched symbols on them, and have those represent vehicular shields.

One easy thing you could do is haul out the standard science fantasy supertech and pull from that. Force fields and teleportation are obvious choices. Here's another: Let's look at the fundamental mechanics of a ground game and ask ourselves what kind of crazy things we could do that break those rules in the name of mind-twistingly dangerous super-science?

Here's some brainstorming:

  • Teleporting out of assault: instead of normal withdrawal, a unit simply nominates a position some number of centimeters away and moves their figures to there. Assault's over, sorry guys.
  • Energy tokens: Perhaps have some kind of energy mechanic where you can spend tokens to get something (shields? firepower?)
  • Shields: Not your garden-variety ablative ones. These are "you shall not pass" invulnerable types. Attacks must come from the flank or rear to have any effect at all. Maybe in exchange the froggies can't fire through the shield either.
  • Terrain-changing: Either to represent seismic changes, or perhaps an energy field between two froggie units. So anything crossing a line between two froggie units treats the ground as dangerous. Or anything coming within X centimeters. Or, hell, weird games with dimensions let you MOVE a terrain piece.
  • Time travel: Sure, let's screw with causality! Nominate a unit. Put a copy of that unit on the board, anywhere you choose, at any time (even during the opponent's turn). Place a "time rift" marker next to the unit. Any kills scored by the copy are put to the side. If the nominated unit is destroyed before the time rift closes, then the copy is removed and all its kills are returned to the board next to the rift as the paradox resolves. The froggie player can close the rift voluntarily by moving the nominated unit into contact with the rift. (Obviously, we'd need some mechanic to allow the unit coherence rules to work, but you see what I mean.)
  • Spacial rifts. Number up some pairs of "spacial rift" tokens. A unit can move freely between rifts, and a unit can even remain adjacent to both tokens-- as long as each half is in coherence with itself and one of the two tokens, then the whole unit is fine. Now we have a way for our frogs to hop!
  • Artillery: Normally, with some exceptions, indirect fire follows the barrage rules and direct fire uses the shooting rules. Why not reverse it? Nasty, carefully aimed shots arc around obstacles, while direct fire unleashes a firestorm of sheer, unmitigated heck.
  • Soul sucking: ok this is a stretch, but I wanted to think of something totally off the wall. How about having your weapons do no damage but attack their opponents' sentience directly? That is, the intellect, so it affects robots and bioconstructs too. Every attack is essentially anti-personnel, and numbers rather than armor or shields is the only defense. That makes infantry very strong but vehicles very vulnerable. Obviously, this creates a long list of balance and feasibiliity problems, but it came to mind and this is brainstorming.

ANyway, these are just a barrage of suggestions. The key is to make them both headscratchingly weird and also very powerful. So they kind of play an entirely different game from the other armies, and force the other armies to develop entirely different tactics to face them. Once we have that in mind, we can figure out what kind of hardware they use to implement their weirdness.


In terms of inspiration, how about we add a few races from fiction. In addition to the obvious one, I propose the Orz from Star Control, and the Vorlons from Babylon 5. Both are mysterious, possibly involved in our original evolution, and so hideously advanced that it's difficult for them to comprehend us, let alone vice versa.

How do you get vital war intelligence from a captive? A human would question and possibly torture the captive. The Phaerons digitally upload the enemy brain and reprogram it into cooperation. The Frogulans? They follow your worldline backwards and forewards to learn your entire history, planting sensor portals all along your existence, just out of sight along some hypergeometric pathway. They either release you, so your worldline can intersect with the enemy army again for still more information, or simply suspend you in time until needed.

They're not cruel, simply efficient and have a much longer and broader sense of the universe. They (reluctantly) act as soldiers on the scene themselves simply because their last attempt at a servant race ended in the Phaerons. They don't really have the stomach to control a race the way the Stygians' masters do. Their empire is as large as it needs to be, in fact, probably too large because it's a legacy from a time in their history when they needed to use naturally occurring space-time rather than simply manufacturing it themselves. Meanwhile, they've been in a war with various higher beings, including the Stygians' masters, for millions of years-- most of that in the future or quasi-time, and are trying to avoid being out-flanked into a world-line where the other minor races either become pawns of their enemies or ascend and destroy the Frogulans themselves. The very few volunteers from each generation who want to be warriors are more than enough to deploy vast armies, aggregated over thousands of years.

In terms of factions, the Frogulans are politically/culturally unified in a conventional sense; however, different points in their unimaginably long history (and different versions of them from different timelines) produce vastly different policies, color schemes, strategies, etc. These are called "epochs" and are for all intents and purposes factions. Since they all travel in time, and become more or less close to the current timeline depending on how the war is going, many epochs can be intervening at once in the same event, sometimes against one another, and sometimes even actually fighting one another. It's not uncommon for a frogulan emissary to casually reveal that he's dealt with you before in other timelines, or even to mistake you for an alternate "you". They'll sometimes do this on purpose to get an edge in negotiations; sometimes they want some stupid piece of trivia because it'll be useful maneuvering against you in some other timeline. To the frogulans, these are like different cities in the same country. To humans, it's arcane, abstruse, and a little scary.


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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:14 pm 
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Deacon, time to hire Wellspring. :D
Seriously, that's just...WOW.

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:16 pm 
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WOW! good stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Hi!

Wellsprings thoughts + DasBilligeAlien concept art= AWESOME MINIS LINE!!

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 Post subject: Re: Tzacol Concepts
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:38 pm 
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Yep, this is shaping up nicely! And the work has only begun! :D

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