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So what is a POD?

Bluntly put a POD is a Programmable Operating Device. Destroid IV is overpopulated in them. They are a programmable subservient automaton designed to conduct and fulfil a particular function, be it a form of labour, scientific measure or in a military capacity. PODs are used extensively throughout the Atraedan Empire as a means of complimenting and assisting an otherwise much smaller body of human colonists, enabling and enhancing their output by a ratio according to POD numbers. During peace time the PODs are generally happy to go about their business with very little back chat, argument or "passing of the buck" and are an efficient and dependable work force. In times of conflict however... if a POD gets wet! (no just kidding) if a PODs threat analysis matrix identifies a problem or it is attacked the PODs self defensive reactive programming is designed to initiate a 'state of defense' function override... this is affectionately known as "Going Warpod". The threatened POD will immediately override its primary programmed function and adopt a new combat function, acting both accordingly and with furious descrimination until the identified threat has passed or has been terminated. Once initiated however the function override cannot be reset unless by authorised human intervention.

Anyway so back to the release... In Warpod: Malfunction the Riggers are the quintessential good guys, having survived relatively unscathed during the unleashing of the Kontagion virus during the Negatroid Syntactic they were engineered to autonomously manage and maintain the city-sized oil platforms (known as Rigs) that populate the vast salt water bodies that cover much of the moons surface. Planetary environs such as the blackwatered Burgron Acid Pond and the infamously hazardous Drogan Channel. Oceans and waterways so harsh to organic life they cannot be successfully inhabited or operated within by humans. The Riggers who are systematically designed to weather such extreme environments are highly dependable, sturdy little workhorses.

Aptly nicknamed Riggers because of this line of function (ie- they operate the Rigs) the battery existence expectation for a Rigger before corrosion is approximately 60 years. The Rigs huge integral engineering bays coupled with the Riggers acute maintenance oriented programming allows the Rigger work force to construct, repair and refit any machinery found on the moon and enhances their ability to extract and refine oil and other precious resources from deep within the earth, providing them with an almost inexhaustible fuel supply. All of these benefits and the fact that their platform fortresses are protected by a near endless sea of highly corrosive acid serves them well in the struggle here now and to come...

The Battle Grid covered in the first instalment...

The Riggers

The Clankers

The Tinkers

The Wreckers

Riggers of the 21st Thunderhead Battalion drag up the rear scouting for survivors as the main thrust of the armored spearhead rumbles off in the distance. The 9 bot squad depicted in this pic is typical of a standard Rigger Grunt Squad. Organized into two separate patrols each containing 4 grunts, and led by a 2nd tier command bot. Packing an assortment of rifles and support weapons they can also rely on mortar support at the Platoon level. Rigger Platoons comprise of 2-3 squads, a Platoon Command team and attached support teams.

Nothing wrecks a fortified Clanker stronghold better than a well placed mortar round, and despite faulty optical focal sensors and corrupted targeting software patches none tend to drop these explosive goody bags on Clanker heads better than the hardy, tube pounding bots in the Rigger Mortar Squads. Deployed as a complete Platoon of three Mortar Squads or attached independently to Rigger Grunt Platoons it matters not, wherever, whenever the need for indirect fire support is called across the comm-channels the grunts can rest assured accurate, well timed demolition warheads are inbound... well, semi accurate at least!

Leading the Rigger assault forces into battle requires bots with a certain kind of nerve. Tough, battle hardened and fearless in the face of overwhelming adversity. Those who survive the peril of war long enough and maintain functionality will progress through the ranks, their oil has been spilled, their metal tested, that have not been found wanting. Such bots form the headquarters units of the Rigger platoons. Packing extra equipment, ammunition and specialist weapons they not only lead with effect but lend their hand to bolster the initiative when the going gets tough. There are five Pods to a Rigger Platoon HQ unit, A 2nd tier (Sergeant) Rigger, the lumbering (Rattler Assault Cannon Armed) Rigger Sentinel (Heavy Weapons Specialist). A Bombardier (Grenade Launcher Armed) Rigger. A Blitzer AA cannon armed Rigger and the tiny Gamma Chassis operating Pilot Rigger that serves as the Runner/Fetcher between Platoon HQ and the Companies 'Old Man'

Sneaking deep behind enemy lines, sabotaging supply routes, exploding ammunition dumps and targeting highly sensitive enemy targets is what the Rigger Commando teams do best. Whether its because old age model obsolescence, a 2-stroke oil deficiency or one too many knocks to the motherboard have made them become withdrawn or anti-social it's anyone's guess but the fact remains, these bots do not play nice, even with their own side. Humping loads of specialized equipment and packing the best weaponry that Rigger High Command can provide the Commandos of the Rigger Special Forces start beeping like an malfunctioning gaming machine in a spaceys parlour whenever the prospect for destruction is offered up to them!

The ubiquitous DF3(A) Groat all purpose Light War Crate. Able to carry a four Pod fire team onto the battlefield this transport model is one of seven varieties of Groat which range from anti-aircraft platforms, to tank destroyers and engineering vehicles. Groats in such a mundane role normally do not get named by their crews, nor even really acknowledged by those they serve tirelessly... but without them the war efforts of all of Warpod: Malfunctions protagonists would slow to a grinding halt. 

Chugging up behind the Crabs come the DF5 Mule Medium War Crates. Providing a faster strike capability the Mules are the most prolific armored asset in the Rigger arsenals... Introducing Big Dong, Bad Mood and Eight Ball (homage to the screen legend!)

 Introducing Thump, Thud and Thor... three DF10 Crab Heavy War Crates rolling out of a Rigger Garrison in the desert sectors of Destroid IV. (Disclaimer: The use of the BP logo was done so without permission. No challenge intended to BPs status as a global oil megacorp... it just so happens they are still around in 10,000 years time and have supply and trade agreements with the Atraedan Empires oil extraction operation on Destroid IV)

'Reconnaissance In Force', a Rigger foot patrol scouts a blasted forest for presence of Clanker ambushing forces, in their wake a lumbering DF10 Crab War Crate follows, its warcannon training for signs of impending threat. During the Battle for Junker Forge many such patrols pre-empted the Rigger armies push for territory, but the fighting ahead was anything but an easy task for the brave pods and the devastated landscape soon became a scrapyard of unprecedented proportion. These Riggers belong to the "7th Junkyard Dog" a sister unit to the "Filthy 13th" both of whom during Junker Forge adorned their vehicles and equipment with the emblems of their destroyed enemy (note the Dead Skulls insignia on the side of the Crab War Crate)

Rigger forces: This picture depicts a patrol of the 13th Battalion, also known as the 'Bulkhead Bombers' or more affectionately the 'Filthy 13th'. Charged with the task of liberating 'Cog Beach' during the 'Battle for Junker Forge' the 13th suffered 175% casualties before finally digging out the last of the Clanker defenders. 175% you ask? but how so?. The engineers and mechanical support pods of the 13th worked tirelessly throughout the course of the mission performing hasty battlefield repair jobs and ramshackle modifications to get the wrecked robots back in the fight. Crude but effective many pods were saved from the smelting factory that day, although the 13th at the conclusion of the mission was nothing more than a twisted string of rent metal and scorched steel. Excuse the lovely laser lighting and special photographic effects... these are robots after all and being robot mad around here I simply cannot help myself!

Clanker forces: This picture depicts a defense patrol of the 6th Clanker Regiment, infamously known as the 'Dead Skulls' Regiment. Nicknamed so because of their role during the 'Negatroid Syntactic' in turning upon and expelling with intense prejudice the human defenders on Destroid IV. The efficiency of the 6th Regiment under the command of veteran Commander Chank Thermo had served previously as a planetary defense garrison force, only a mere handful of the thousands of human colonists that dwelt on Destroid IV ever made it to the escape shuttles. During the 'Battle for Junker Forge' the 6th Regiment made up the backbone of the Clankers defensive line on 'Cog Beach' and were responsible for over ten thousand confirmed enemy destroys, before being routed to regroup and reload later on the 23rd Parraloid.

 

 The Triggerswitch Trenchers... well one of them at least!

If the Rigger commando troop known as the "Triggerswitch Trenchers" were renowned for anything, it was their unorthodox methods of bringing the pain to the Clanker legions. Of this unruly bunch Gunnery Sergeant Shaft Silo, a veteran of the Planetfall Campaign and the Siege of Stardock Seven was perhaps the most unconventional. Before "The Kontagion", Silo served as a robotic council worker of sorts, a slave-bot whose core directive was pest control... a programmed role he excelled at.

Over the three decades in this function Silo was single handedly responsible for the total eradication of three species of Link Bug, and the virulent Worpal Rat. So handy with the P-9 Pinger rifle was he that his prime function was immediately upgraded to Sniper-bot at the time of the Great Rearming, where he handed over his pest control rifle and received something, a little more... deliberate.

These days Silo prefers to spend his time well ahead of the main body of Trenchers, where he can utilise his honed optical enhancements and keen sense of detection to better serve his battle-bot brothers. Slinking through the undergrowth and battlefield debris Silo utilises cover and camouflage with extreme precision, cloaked in an anti-EMP thermo-cloak, and chaff threaded recon fatigues, this hardy little robot blends into his environment like a Mottle-backed Gwiffle*.

Accompanied everywhere by his carnivorous pet "Wutzel", a Gronkel Beetle not dissimiliar to the pests he used to persecute. Silo is a highly dependable battlefield asset, responsible for countless Clanker wrecks. His battle-bot brothers may not see him but rest assured he is there plying his deadly trade to their advantage somewhere not too far away.

(* A small 6 legged amphibian native to the swamplands of Destroid IV)

 Of Riggers and Clankers...

Led by the fear nullified Rox Reboot, the pod commando unit known as Unit 7 "Reboots Rustbuckets" is a melting pot of some of the most disfunctional mechanical mercs in the Rigger arsenal. Sent ahead of the main clunk of the Destroid Planetary Expedition Force, the wily Lieutenant "Rox Reboot", his comrades the bombastic bombardier bot Sergeant "Bolt Boomstick", the gatling cannon toting weapons bot Sergeant "Data Drillbox", pyromaniac flamethrower bot Sergeant "Chink Charcoal" and the malfunctioning grenadier bot Sergeant "Gronk Gearbox" create havoc and mayhem amidst the Clanker forces holding the besieged satellite.