Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For King and Country! A Look at Propaganda and the Iron Kingdoms. Part One

As it so happens, one of the reasons why I love Warmachine is because of the way it fuses the things I love together. Often with robot enhanced explosiveness. One of the biggest reasons I play Khador is because of the wonderful marriage of two of my interests: steampunk and Soviet era shenanigans. Having a Warcaster who's a godless killing machine doesn't hurt, either.

Now, being a weird creative type/ history nerd, I also have a brain boner for vintage propaganda. Being the awesome brother that he is, DwarfishBook tracked down this gem of Canadiana for my walls ages ago:

As soon as my droogs and I got serious about Warmachine, I knew that we needed stuff like this for our table. Plus it would take our existing terrain from being generic 28mm-tabulous, to something straight from the battlefields of the Iron Kingdoms.

And thus was born a project where I plan on making one propaganda poster for each faction or about each faction at least. I doubt Lord Toruk really needs to motivate his nightmareland of lich lords, zombies, serfs, and zombie serfs that much. Also, I don't think the literacy rate in Cryx is that high given how much of the populace has had its eyes rotted away.

While I'm a fairly decent graphic designer, or at least decent enough to trade my skills for money, cat food and ammunition at times behind the bus station. (If only my other business ventures behind the bus station were as profitable, but some things you just gotta do for the love of the game.) I am not the best artist. Fortunately, I've got a great partner in crime with Beth Porter. A smallish, yet talented drawist who loves propaganda, cats, and robots as much as I do. You could check her stuff out at, but that would be blatant pandering.....

Our first poster was inspired by the Irish hero poster up top. I saw it and knew right away that Cygnar needed something similar. After a collaborative process of obsessing over fonts, stealing fonts, sketching junk out, mucking about on Retronaut, and revising our schemes all to the tune of an 80's power ballad montage, this happened:

We captured the spirit of the original, and gave it some IK flair to boot. It's just the sort of thing ol' King Leto needs to get the men to sign up. I think Cygnar might be the only place that actually asks people if they'd like to be soldiers. Khador-conscription, Cryx-serfs turned to parts for un-nameable horrors, Protectorate-sense of holy duty. Maybe Ord does, but all we see of them is bagpipers, wooly buccaneers and saucy courtesans.

People seemed to like it, local players went wild, many upvotes happened on Reddit, and they were printed off and placed without attribution/ permission by Green Leaf Terrain for the beautiful dockside table they made for Miniwargaming.

Because remembering the usernames/ possible meatnames of the folks who made the posters is so hard. Yes We Caine Guy, I feel your pain.  And by Yes We Caine Guy, I mean Tossy from the Privateer Press forums. Wasn't so hard, was it? Eh?

Anyways, right afterwards we needed to do one up for Khador. After all they are Cygnar's main... Who am I kidding it's my army so the Big Red Machine was pretty high up on the queue. Now, the people of Khador don't need as much prodding to serve their country as those weak southerners do. But, I guess we should do something to convince the fine people of Llael that they are in good hands after our glorious Empress decided to liberate Llael from the Llallese for the Llallese.

In this one I decided we needed to tug at the heartstrings a bit. Look at that foppish noble being led away by the brave men and women of the Winter Guard. After all, Llael's aristocracy has been kind of a nuisance to the people for ages. It's time those meanies got what was coming to them!

Now, we're getting into TL:DR territory so we're ging to stop here. In Part Two we'll look at Cryx and the Protectorate of Menoth. And some ideas you can use for your own posters. There are even some ideas for the Hordes factions in the works as we speak. As a certain Farrow player will not stop bothering me.


If you want to print these off for your table, go for it. Some Redditors have even printed off the Protectorate one you'll see here in Part Two into a gorgeous wall scroll. I really can't sell them without PP's legal team rolling up on me all Hulkamania anyways. The Green Leaf guys did minorly chap my ass becuase they didn't list the names of any of the people they grabbed posters from, and they got paid for their table.

Didn't even give so much as a "hey cool" when Beth and I popped up in the comments on the table. Lame.

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