Synthoids and Aquatic Empires

Final Faction Kharn Synthoid action figure used as a 28mm wargame miniature.

Final Faction figures keep providing cheap inspiration for unique wargaming miniatures (see here and here).

This is a Kharn Synthoid with some of its “evolution” upgrades. To get this particular model at Dollar Tree you will need to spend $2.50 at your local Dollar Tree, half for the Synthoid figure and half for its evolutionary add-ons. Or you can just go for $1.25 for the basic figure, which would also work pretty well, though it’d be restricted to close combat.

I really like this figure. In fact, I think it’s the best in the line and immediately it offers all kinds of possibilities for sci-fi wargames. Its use as a Tyranid or Klendathu ‘arachnid’ weapon for Warhammer 40k or Starship Troopers are obvious, but to me its appearance — particularly the flared, swept-back shape of the head with the suggestion of gills — marks it as the product of an aquatic civilization.

I have long used the Saharduin in the background of my Shadow Serpents legion. The Saharduin are a long-forgotten 40k species last mentioned in 2nd edition, a kind of fishmen who are obviously derived from the Sahuagin, an anthropoid aquatic monster from Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor setting that was later incorporated into general D&D. In my cosmos, the Saharduin invaded and colonized one of the Shadow Serpents vassal worlds, a thinly-settled world of mostly islands with a vast, global ocean named Ixion. The Saharduin were well entrenched beneath the seas of Ixion by the time the Shadow Serpents identified them, and a brutal, century-long war was required to finally dislodge them. Or so it is hoped.

A fully aquatic race like the Saharduin would not be able to develop technology in the same way as humans did, because their environment would not allow smelting or the development of metallurgy, chemistry, or electricity and so forth. Therefore, I speculate that their course of technological development was biology-centered, first through aquaculture and husbandry and later on through genetic manipulation. Eventually they were able to construct devices that allowed them to survive on air and move about on land, so developments along the traditional human line are comparatively stunted and only lately developed.

Their equipment and vehicles, even ones as large as this mech-sized war machine, are primarily biological and symbiotic in nature, using muscles and bladders instead of hydraulics and pneumatics for locomotion; bioelectrics or radioactive heat harvesting instead of combustion for power generation; and poisons, bioelectrics, and main strength instead of propellants and directed energy for weapons.

You can see one of these Saharduin brutes next to a Shadow Serpent warrior and a Contemptor Dreadnought to give a sense of its imposing size.

Size comparison with Kharn Synthoid action figure, GW Space Marine, and Contemptor Dreadnought

Once again, these are meant to be in scale with 1/18 scale action figures like GI Joe, Star Wars and the like, so it is mighty big on the table compared to even Ultra Heroic 28mm (aka 32mm) miniatures like this GW Space Marine, but as an alien war machine, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Does this inspire other ideas for you? What would you use it for? Let me know!

One response to “Synthoids and Aquatic Empires”

  1. This particular mini reminds me of some of the “Angels” from Evangelion, or maybe the kaiju from Pacific Rim.

    You could use these guys in Mighty Monsters/Samurai Robots Battle Royale from Ganesha Games. It uses their “Song of…” system with individual kaiju parts/weapons as the activated units.

    I’ve played it with Pacific Rim Heroclix – pretty fun!

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