In the distant past, the ancestors of the Boromites were bio-engineered for hard and dangerous work in extreme environments. As a result they are able to endure extremes of pressure and temperature that would soon kill any other human – thin atmospheres, low gravity and extreme temperatures. Boromites are amongst the most visibly different of all panhuman mutants, with their broad, robust bodies and thick, gnarly hides studded with horny nodules.
Their name derives from the mining colonies of Borom, a system that consists of a densely packed asteroid annulus but no planets. Today the Boromites have spread throughout Antarean space and can be found upon worlds and in systems within the Panhuman Concord, the Isorian Shard, and beyond. They have no worlds of their own, instead, forming an itinerant work force with its own distinctive cultural identity and secretive customs. They easily avoid becoming absorbed into the societies they live amongst because their primitive minds do not interact freely with the Integrated Machine Intelligences of more sophisticated cultures. As a consequence they remain almost entirely hidden, even amongst highly regulated autocratic societies, a reclusive and insular sub-culture with its own values and social mores.
Although they are spread throughout Antarean space, Boromites maintain strong contacts with each other via the trading networks of the Freeborn. Boromite labour gangs are but one of the services regularly traded by the Vardos of the Freeborn. Individual work gangs are small social units – clans that comprise a number of closely related families – multiple gangs are formed into competing Guilds. These Guilds and labour gangs also form the basis for military action.
All Boromite workers are also warriors, and their labour organisations also provide the basis of their military organisation. Although competing Guilds are rivals, sometimes bitterly so with vendettas or turf wars lasting for generations, different Guilds will often band together to fight a common enemy – which is pretty much everyone else as far as the Boromites are concerned. Several Guilds have to work in concert to undertake a major operation, such as to secure a mineral rich planet or asteroid. Because they are spread throughout space, Boromite gangs can also be found in the fighting forces of other societies, where their hardiness and determination make them highly valued mercenaries. Boromite gangers carry the common weapons of Antarean space, but in addition they uniquely make use of weapons developed from mining tools, including mass compactors, tractor mauls and frag borers. Reflex shielding is also common – the metallic nodes that support the enclosing armour field are often fixed directly into the wearer’s thick hide.
Key to understanding Boromites is the deep‐seated respect – almost reverence – that they have for their womenfolk, at the heart of which are the are aged and much feared matriarchs – whose word is law. The female Boromites, whether matriarchs or guildesses, head up the families. Presumably because mortality amongst the Borom asteroid mines was extremely high, the creators of the Boromites designed them to be profilic. Also, to keep the ranks of workers at full strength it was necessary that Boromites reach physical maturity quickly. A five year old Boromite is as tall as a man of any other race and far stronger. As well as growing up fast, most Boromites are the children of multiple births, twins and triplets being usual and five or six common. The oldest Guild Mothers might have dozens of offspring, hundreds of grandchildren and thousands of living descendants. This is one of the chief reasons why Boromite clans are so tight knit: they are all closely related.
Boromite Labour Guilds are organised for self-protection and held together by insoluble ties of honour and obligation to the family. In some respects Boromite Guilds have all the hallmarks of organised criminal gangs, and are behind many of the subversive activities throughout Antarean space.
Military – on the table
The Boromite clans are mostly comprised of ordinary workers who pick up their tools and use them on the battlefield. As they are used to defending themselves, many Boromite mining groups have dedicated security contingents, frequently armed with mag weapons. There is a two-part article on the weapons – or tools – of the Boromites.
Free Online Army Lists complete with all stats and weapons for each faction are available from the A2 PDF Army List page.
Descriptions of the Boromite units can be found on the following entries:
- Boromite Command: Rock Father & Overseer
- Boromite Command: Matriarch and Guildess
- Work Gangs – a Boromite clan disturbed at work
- Security Gang – the backbone of Guild forces
- Lavamites – a lavan breeder takes to the battlefield
- Rock Riders – fast-moving, deadly raiders
- Workface and Guild Weapon Teams
- Matronite Brood Mother
- Scout Probes – mechanical and micromite
- Boromite Engineers
How do the Boromites play?
The short answer is ‘tough and with a great deal of flavour’. They are primarily a close-in, assault army as might be expected from miners using tools. Whilst they have a wide array of support options, their only longer-range tactical options are the command squads and the Gang Fighters. The latter are armed with mag guns and are highly effective at putting key pins on opponents before the close-combat troops such as the work gangs and the incredibily deadly lavamites come into play. The command squads, such as the Overseer team (see right) tend to be equipped with more expensive plasma carbines.
Their toughness comes from two sources: the first is their Co stat which, as a force, is the highest in the game, and secondly from a combination of their strength and armoured skin – even unarmoured Boromites are tough! They also have some unusual threats in the form of the powerful lavamite unit which involves a handler herding the geneered mining creatures towards enemies and the partially contained (and only partially controlled!) matter/anti-matter containment vessels known as vorpal charges.
The Boromites’ drawback is in their lack of real initiative – they are naturally obedient – and in their reliance on support weapons and gang fighters for long range shooting.