From the announcement:
Congratulations to Nils aka "Black Cavalier" of Sacramento, California!
We asked players to develop an intersting and creative background for their army and submit a photo and force structure. To pick a winner priority would be given to the background story while painting would be a minor consideration. "Warfare in the Age of Madness" is focused on fun and convenience so we feel it should be as easy as possible to get a colorful force on the table as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. But that force should also be as interesting as possible and meaningful to the player. Unlike other games with canned "factions" Age of Madness encourages players to build their own factions with our flexible force and vehicle design systems.
Nils' entry, "Zorlak's Salvage Service", was selected for its extraordinary creativity and use of the "Age of Madness" background. Nils, known as Black Cavalier on various wargames forums, also demonstrated the system's ability to "repurpose" troops from other games with his basing system.
In "Age of Madness" factions represent the player's personal, company-sized warband on a post-apocalyptic Earth in the year 2066. Their mission is to survive by scavenging supplies from Earth's desolate landscape and from enemy casualties while denying enemies loot from their own casualties.
Zorlak's Salavage Service pushes the limits of this background by introducing an interstellar flavor to the story. The official background involves an Earth-bound human society only slightly more advanced than current tech. Prior to the collapse of global civilization in 2066 humanity has developed technologies such as advanced carapace body armor and "mechs" but has not yet achieved interstellar travel. Troops can be anything from a civilian militia, former regulars from a third world country armed with Cold War-era gear, current regular forces, to slightly more advanced troops armed with bleeding edge technology. Enter Zorlak's alien salvage service.
As Nils writes in his entry, "Zorlak has built his salvage business up from nothing by being shrewd, ruthless and knowing how to read a planet's collapse. The trick is to wait for the society to fall far enough so there'll be minimal resistance from the natives, but not so far that their technology has started to deterioriate and lose its value."
And yes, the force includes cows. You have to read the force description to understand why...
Nils' full entry is available in PDF form and we strongly encourage you to give it a read. It demonstrates just how creative you can be with your "Age of Madness" troops. We should also note how Nils repurposed his troops for use with "Age of Madness". The rules use elements as the basic unit. Each element is a base/stand of 2-5 15mm figures. Bases can be round, square, or rectangular and any size from (very) roughly 25mm x 25mm up to 30mm x 50mm. Base size and shape is really up to the player and the rules are designed to avoid benefitting or punishing particular base sizes and shapes. Nils' troops are individually based and simply clumped together into elements. Since element size and number of figures don't matter in the rules this approach works perfectly well with "Age of Madness".
Nils won a $30 gift certificate at Scale Creep Miniatures with an additional $7.95 to cover any shipping costs. An infantry-based army for Age of Madness usually costs under $30 so he was able to use the full value of the prize for his new army.
Thanks to all who entered and stay tuned for our next contest after the holidays. That contest seek the most creative kit-bashed vehicle design for "Age of Madness". Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines!