Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Dev Diary #35: The Syndicate Faction Part I

Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Dev Diary #35: The Syndicate Faction Part I

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LennartGS

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Hi there, today we’ve got the (EDIT- first part of) Syndicate Faction Dev Diary for you. We'll be first looking at lore and the conceptualization. Many of the races in Planetfall have a sinister touch, but the Syndicate out do them all.

Syndicate_Illustration_MK_FINAL_Rich2.jpg

(Click for wall-paper size image)​

Lore:

The Syndicate is a reformation of the trading enterprises that spearheaded the discovery and exploitation of the universe in the early days of the Star Union. The Houses administered entire star clusters, commanded private armies, and monopolized trade of exotic resources, including Kir’Ko slaves. The Houses developed their own feudal societies and waged bloody wars among themselves.

Branding_Race_Syndicate_01_.jpg

After power became consolidated in the era of the Imperial Star Union, Territories held by the Houses had to submit to Union control, or face annihilation. Some submitted and were rewarded with hereditary positions, while others didn’t and fled to the Outworlds. The Houses continued to practice their business in secret, until the Fall of Star Union created a new opportunity for the survivors.

They formed a new collective, called the Syndicate ensuring they would never again lose their freedom to do business their way.

Conceptualization:

If there is a real-world culture that resembles this faction most it’s likely the medieval Venetians. Flamboyant opulence mixed with ruthless trading practices.

Syndicate_CharacterConcepts_01.jpg


Their opulence is reflected in the leader’s dress sense, fondness of expensive accessories and skin tone altering cosmetics.

Syndicate_CharacterConcepts_02.jpg



Their city’s spire glitter in the sun. They are the elite, with heritage going back many centuries and they like to show it. Their ultimate units, the Zenith ships are the pride of the Syndicate Houses, their blast the House Anthem over the battlefield boosting morale and damage.

Syndicate_City_Icons.jpg


In additional to the Venetian references, there is also a bit of modern Italy crime culture mixed in. In the Syndicate’s their mob-like operations where conducted in secret under the Rule of the Star Union. Its reflected in their wide range of clandestine cloak and dagger abilities as well as unit name and functions.

Syndicate_CharacterConcepts_03.jpg


Welp, this dev journal is getting excessively long with the many images. At the last moment I decided to cut it in two. Come back next week for Syndicate gameplay. Ensure to check out the cool spot light video released last week.

Finally Here's a first teaser of a unit card to ease the pain:

Unit_Assassin.jpg
 

TheGrinningMan

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So how'd they end up wielding psionics as a major field? Experimentation on the Kir'ko? Applying the scientific method to "supernatural" phenomenon that had proof as extraordinary as its claims? Messing with interesting spices harvested from a hostile desert world?

Also, why do terrible people almost always have the best fashion sense?
 

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These guys mean business! Really love the art. Always great to see the early concept arts. Looking very much forward to trying them out and especially the Subjugator. Who doesn't love evil fat guys in a floating chair? Only missing the white cat on his lap. :D

Oh and lovely icons too. That puppet-on-a-string icon looks very fitting!
 

Jean-Luc

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The concept art here is just wonderful. Hopefully the commander customization options for Syndicate are just as flamboyant. :)
 

AC1632

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So how'd they end up wielding psionics as a major field? Experimentation on the Kir'ko? Applying the scientific method to "supernatural" phenomenon that had proof as extraordinary as its claims? Messing with interesting spices harvested from a hostile desert world?

Also, why do terrible people almost always have the best fashion sense?
Perhaps the Star Union took to some pretty extreme means of crimefighting and they were forced to develop countermeasures to keep control of their own brains?
 

Haruspices

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This is great! I hate them already from the depth oft my plebeian heart. Too bad the Dvar went capitalist exploiters too (but it makes for good enmity with the Amazons), or I'd play nothing but Worker's Revolution.

Oh, well, Kir'ko Slave Uprising works too. And there there is still the Assembly left ...
 
Last edited:

Ridixo

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I don't like this Dev Diarie, it's too short :)
This poster, which only proves that the syndicate has the well-being of all people in mind, gets me curious. There is some translation for what it says, other than "We are the Syndicate, we like short stairs and mildly high places"? :)

why do terrible people almost always have the best fashion sense?
Because in the Syndicate they are men of wealth and taste :)
 

AC1632

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Too bad the Dvar went capitalist exploiters too (but it makes for good enmity with the Amazons), or I'd play nothing but Worker's Revolution.
You can always roleplay revolutionary Dvar, I'm sure. Heck, that even sounds like a lot of fun. Set up a map with yourself and some mean establishment Dvar to argue over economics with.
 

Haruspices

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You can always roleplay revolutionary Dvar, I'm sure. Heck, that even sounds like a lot of fun. Set up a map with yourself and some mean establishment Dvar to argue over economics with.
Well, if it's a good argument about economic-political theory, it should be six Dvar factions, all fighting to the death over minutiae in the interpretation of neo-statist-communal-union-reconstructivism ...

... and one Syndicate, winning. But I can see the appeal there.
 

Gyor

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I don't like this Dev Diarie, it's too short :)


This poster, which only proves that the syndicate has the well-being of all people in mind, gets me curious. There is some translation for what it says, other than "We are the Syndicate, we like short stairs and mildly high places"? :)



Because in the Syndicate they are men of wealth and taste :)
It's in 2 parts .
 

Gyor

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This is great! I hate them already from the depth oft my plebeian heart. Too bad the Dvar went capitalist exploiters too (but it makes for good enmity with the Amazons), or I'd play nothing but Worker's Revolution.

Oh, well, Kir'ko Slave Uprising works too. And there there is still the Assembly left ...
The Dvar appear to be a mix of a mining Megaorporation and Cooperatives, I think.

The Amazons origins are Terratech Megacorporation.

The Syndicate are an alliance of rich families/Corporations, like the Walmart Family, The Koch Brothers, the Iverings, and so on that each owning multiple Corporations and other investments.

The Assembly I don't know honestly, perhaps a Cybernetics corporation or or Cooperative.

The Vanguard served the Imperial Government, so Crown Corporation.

Kir'ko former Alien slaves, who rebelled.

The Spacers, ordinary people left behand to survive.

Paragons, perhaps those Syndicate Families that served the Star Union instead of leaving for the outer worlds?!?

Psifish, Eldrich Horrors accidently brought into this Universe by the Star Union.

Automns, AIs that firmily served the Star Union, previously owned by the Star Union.

Growth, experimental plants that gained sentience, and escaped I think Terratech.
 

Gyor

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Hi there, today we’ve got the (EDIT- first part of) Syndicate Faction Dev Diary for you. We'll be first looking at lore and the conceptualization. Many of the races in Planetfall have a sinister touch, but the Syndicate out do them all.

View attachment 472422
(Click for wall-paper size image)​

Lore:

The Syndicate is a reformation of the trading enterprises that spearheaded the discovery and exploitation of the universe in the early days of the Star Union. The Houses administered entire star clusters, commanded private armies, and monopolized trade of exotic resources, including Kir’Ko slaves. The Houses developed their own feudal societies and waged bloody wars among themselves.

After power became consolidated in the era of the Imperial Star Union, Territories held by the Houses had to submit to Union control, or face annihilation. Some submitted and were rewarded with hereditary positions, while others didn’t and fled to the Outworlds. The Houses continued to practice their business in secret, until the Fall of Star Union created a new opportunity for the survivors.

They formed a new collective, called the Syndicate ensuring they would never again lose their freedom to do business their way.

Conceptualization:

If there is a real-world culture that resembles this faction most it’s likely the medieval Venetians. Flamboyant opulence mixed with ruthless trading practices.

View attachment 472424

Their opulence is reflected in the leader’s dress sense, fondness of expensive accessories and skin tone altering cosmetics.

View attachment 472423


Their city’s spire glitter in the sun. They are the elite, with heritage going back many centuries and they like to show it. Their ultimate units, the Zenith ships are the pride of the Syndicate Houses, their blast the House Anthem over the battlefield boosting morale and damage.

View attachment 472425

In additional to the Venetian references, there is also a bit of modern Italy crime culture mixed in. In the Syndicate’s their mob-like operations where conducted in secret under the Rule of the Star Union. Its reflected in their wide range of clandestine cloak and dagger abilities as well as unit name and functions.

View attachment 472440

Welp, this dev journal is getting excessively long with the many images. At the last moment I decided to cut it in two. Come back next week for Syndicate gameplay. Ensure to check out the cool spot light video released last week.

Finally Here's a first teaser of a unit card to ease the pain:

View attachment 472428
So far the units we know of are the Indentured, Runners, Subjectators, Guild Assassins, Overseers, Wraith a Psionic floating tank, a Psionic Aquatic Ship (name unknown), Syndicate Colonizer, some kind of Syndicate Plane thing, the t5 Syndicate Unit the Zenith Ship (we haven't seen it yet).
 
Last edited:

Gyor

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Is the Zenith Ship the same ship as a Syndicate Colony ship that creates your first colony, because I noticed a picture of the Syndicate Colony Ship mixed with that of other syndicates units? There is also another syndicate unit I don't recognize, perhaps the Syndicate Oracle Unit mentioned in one of the Psifish blurbs?
 

mr_stibbons

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So far the units we know of are the Indentured, Runners, Subjectators, Guild Assassins, Overseers, that Psionic Tank (name unknown), a Psionic Aquatic Ship (name unknown), Syndicate Colonizer, some kind of Syndicate Plane thing, the t5 Syndicate Unit the Zenith Ship (we haven't seen it yet).
We also can infer that there's some sort of artillery piece that has yet to be revealed. I'm kinda surprised how infantry heavy the lineup is, though it does work-they're just running you over with legions of slave-soldiers.

BTW-what happened to the Amazon dev diary? I thought you just discontinued these, but they're back!