I know I shouldn't have favourites but there is a part of me that looks at The Ridden very much as I would look the most hilarious of my nieces and nephews; you know you shouldn't laugh at their bad behaviour but it's hard not to encourage it when it is so funny. This is The Ridden; the faction whose initial Machinist Specialism is called 'Anarchist'; who have an upgrade called 'Mutually Assured Destruction' and have a Wrecker we have affectionately nicknamed the 'EZorb'. If you are looking for batshit crazy... we have the faction and the straightjacket for you right here.
The Ridden represent the downtrodden masses of the World After. For every individual lucky enough to be recruited into the ranks of a faction, one hundred more scratch out a living in the bowels of shattered cities. With their sweat and their blood they strive against each other to be noticed, to make themselves useful enough that they can claim membership and be raised up into a life of relative security.
The factions know the dark truth of the world though; we have ventured far beyond the Earth’s capacity to support even the meagre population that remains after The Collapse. Whilst the deaths of millions may have gone some way towards rebalancing the scales, the millions that survive are not done with death yet. They can afford to be selective, only the most resourceful or talented Scrub is of use to them, the rest are simply a drain on resources and will have to make their own way in this new world.
Karl Smith recognises this truth. Together he and Heigel are determined to shift the balance of power. Not out of any altruistic desire to do right by the people (no matter what he may claim) but for personal gain. There is still power, wealth and luxury to be had in the world and Smith wants it for himself.
The Ridden are an unusual faction in that they do not (cannot) rely simply on robotic power to compete with the established factions. The equipment and knowledge required to develop and maintain a safe Machinist interface is rare and jealously guarded. Instead Heigel has found a way to jury rig the human brain and central nervous system, using the aptly named ‘meatsacks’ to allow Ridden Machinists to interface with their Arrays.
Ridden Wreckers are the very definition of ‘make do and mend’. They have been cobbled together out of the rusty, scavenged up, scraps of machinary left to decay in the ruined factories and abandoned docklands of the new world. This should not dismay budding Ridden Machinists however; despite their lack of sophisitication, Ridden engineers are a resourceful bunch and their Wreckers are remarkably effective in battle.
The Dunham 'Snoop' is the perfect example of this; despite its small size and relative fragility it can use its Oil Gun to great effect, immobilising threats on the battleground at critical moments. These immobile Wreckers are the perfect target for gangs of Loaders; using powerful servo-motors designed to allow them to lift and move huge ship containers, they can quickly batter vulnerable enemies wielding vicious lengths of rebar and concrete. Should the Loaders come under sustained attack from a superior enemy they can always be rescued by the multi-purpose Haulmaster, lifting the threat to a less immediate zone on the battlefield.