Continuing the previews of 'The Ridden', we are very happy to reveal the first sculpt produced for us by Ben Wolseley-Charles of Word Forge Games. The Ridden are a real challenge for any sculptor as they lack the symmetry usually found in science fiction robots; their ramshackle nature means they will frequently have parts missing or mis-matched components. A staple of any Ridden Array is the Arga 'Loader' XII; a robot so common it can be found in various states of disrepair in every crumbling factory, dockyard and workshop now abandoned in the World After.
The Loader was a simple enough machine in the World Before. A basic interface allowed the most poorly educated labourer to easily and safely move vast tonnes of merchandise or materials on a daily basis. They rarely broke down, were simple to fix and remarkably hard to damage. As Smith's uprising began to gather momentum, the Loaders were the first machine his scavenger teams were able to gather in any signficant quantity. The simplicity of its diesel engine has allowed him to power his patched up horde with the various homebrew combustibles his tinkerers can concoct and its basic neural relays have been easily implanted by Heigel into the willing 'volunteers' he and Smith lovingly refer to as 'meatsacks'.
In The Third Law, 'The Ridden' have a unique game mechanic that sets them apart from other factions. As they represent the technologically deprived remnants of humanity it seemed only appropriate that they would not have access to the sophisiticated equipment jealously hoarded by rival organisations. In place of the advanced neural interfaces used by the large majority of Machinists, Smith and his twisted surgeon Heigel have developed a method of implanting Ridden volunteers directly into the machines themselves. By ripping open the protective housing that shields the delicate neural response circuitry of many industrial robots they have, through gore-soaked trial and error, been able to mimic the complex interface network by implanting send and respond cables directly into the human brain. In this way, Ridden Machinists are able to replicate the simultaneous drive control of their rivals, simply by applying painful stimulus to the hapless 'meatsack' now irrevocably bonded to the machine itself.