The game combined concepts inspired by a range of aesthetics and ideas. Elements include: song lyrics from David Bowie and the Industrial music scene, cyberpunk fiction (including Blade Runner and Max Headroom), anime / manga (including Akira, Appleseed, Bubblegum Crisis, and Trigun), and the growing cultural obsession with the media (including 24-hour news services and the Gladiator TV Show).
There is a very rich background and SLA Industries itself is a fictional corporation run by a mysterious and seemingly immortal creature called “Mr. Slayer”, whose upper management team includes two other creatures like himself, “Intruder” and “Senti”. The corporation is headquartered in “Mort City”, a densely populated city-sprawl larger than Eurasia and surrounded by the urban ruins of the “Cannibal Sectors”. It is all located on a vast planet (also called “Mort”) that had been stripped of its natural resources to the point that the ecology had been utterly destroyed. SLA Industries controlled an undefined but vast number of planets, collectively referred to as the World of Progress, and governed them in accordance with Mr. Slayer’s Big Picture. The setting is bleak and surreal, with much left deliberately ill-defined in the source material.
Players take the role of freelance employees of SLA Industries, called Operatives, living in Mort City and taking care of odd jobs assigned to them by the corporation. These jobs usually involve keeping the peace—chasing serial killers, hunting monsters in the sewers, quashing riots, foiling terrorist plots, and silencing dissidents are common themes. Appearance, style and branding are emphasized in the game world as much as combat ability, due to the omnipresence of television; for ambitious Operatives public persona and TV ratings are often as important as professional abilities. A supplement, the Contract Directory, also provides the option for players to play as celebrity gladiators called Contract Killers. As a role-playing experience, the game tends to be predisposed towards splatterpunk horror, noir, dark satire, and/or gunbunny high action. However, the complexity and Byzantine politics of the setting allow for slower-paced campaigns based around subversion, inter-departmental rivalry, and cut-throat power struggles within the company.
Along with humans, playable races include the drug-addicted mutant humans called “Frothers”, the stealthy feline “Wraith Raiders”, the formidably violent saurian “Shaktar”, and the two ‘Ebb’ / pseudo-magic using races: the emotionally sensitive and charismatic Ebon, and their more sadistic and violent evolution, the “Brain Wasters”. There are also a variety of biogenetic vat-grown warrior races called Stormers, produced by SLA to fight in their endless wars.
Now that is the background and a petty messed up “World of Progress” it is, but there was never a range of figures to go with this RPG, much to my disappointment, even though there was rumours, over the years that suggested that there might be one in the future and this is where Daruma Productions stepped in and said this…
“SLA Industries: Cannibal Sector 1 – Tabletop Skirmish in the World Of Progress
Whats this, a range of SLA figures and a skirmish game, please tell me more went the voice in my head, actually it screamed “SLA toys, I want them all” and what is this Kickstarter thing and I jumped in. So after looking further into this, meeting the chaps from Daruma at a couple of shows and their love for this is off the scale, safe hands I think, I jumped in on the Kickstarter, thanks Beast of War for pointing me in the direction of this game, and brought some of their minis and this is the start of my fun.
There are six different factions:
Shiver Units operate chiefly as SLA Industries’ main police force, but they also serve as the primary line of defence along the Sector Wall. 24 hours a day, the men and women of the Shiver Units patrol the perimeters, and more increasingly, journey into Cannibal Sector itself to drive back its ferocious inhabitants. To work in the sector the Shivers give up the green armour for grey, and switch from the standard ball bearing round for the lethal flechette in their Gauss Rifles. They are brave, loyal, and, most importantly, expendable.
Many consider the Scavs to be the greatest new threat in the Cannibal Sector. They are a race of beings cloaked in mystery; their faces hidden behind gas masks and bodies shrouded in piecemeal armour and filthy rags. Despite their dishevelled appearance, Scavs are a force to be reckoned with, having an intellect to match their towering statures. They work ceaselessly to gather scrap from the city ruins to then convert their recovered junk into powerful weapons and vehicles. Only their low numbers stand against them, but each individual Scav is an equal match to a SLA Operative.
SLA Operatives or SLAops
The rules are available for download from here and are very quick and straight forward but I will tell you more about it later.