Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WAR MACHINE: Zodanga, Predator City!

"Zodanga, the predator city. Moving, devouring, draining Barsoom of energy and life." --Tars Tarkas
The city of Zodanga as portrayed in the film John Carter makes for one hella huge war machine! The John Carter wiki calls it a "walking refinery" which is a good start if you want to make a carnivorous metal monster.
In the movie, the city moves in an undulating, centipedal fashion atop dozens of enormous fingered-foot gear. Every mile, it's stirring up a dust cloud as it claws its way across Mars' arid landscape. With the Martian surface being marred with craters, canyons, and canals, the city's tapdancing spine could also act as a land bridge, allowing it virtually limitless passage. I imagine anything that lies in it's path is summarily rendered to rubble--including enemy settlements.

"Nothing speaks more powerfully than pictures and to see a city moving across the landscape, leaving a scar in its wake--it's ugly, and nothing says 'bad guy' faster than that."
--Andrew Stanton (Director, John Carter)
While the city doesn't seem to have any sort of (giant) primary weapon (unless you count it's feet, which is more like force of nature!) but it does carry a formidable complement of airships atop it's launch deck.
John Carter: "That doesn't look like a fair fight."
Tars Tarkas: "Zodanga never fights fair."
Airships are armed with a variety of short-range radium cannons for ship-to-ship, broadsides-style combat. According to the film there's also a fairly healthy number of soldiers (air marines?) aboard for when things get dicey and they need to overtake a captured vessel.

I'd wager there's probablly plenty of radium cannons (short-and long-range) mounted to the city itself, turning it into a mobile fortress of sorts.

Funny thing--after seeing Zodanga on the big screen last year, I was instantly reminded of the cover of Epsilon Cyborgs:

Though that looks a little like an evil cruise ship with giant tank treads, it's still pretty badass! For a Gamma World or Mutant Future campaign, Zodanga would make one awesome hideout for an evil sorcerer or a formidable clan of wasteland thugs.

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  1. from tbhe series by ERB

    ZODANGA: the capital city of this red Martian empire is located in Barsoom’s southwest hemisphere; however, at one time, its mines, canals, farmlands and territories stretched from pole to pole. The capital city’s gates had “no regular guard, but are covered by sentries, who patrol the avenue that encircles the city just within the walls as our metropolitan police patrol their beats. . . The walls of Zodanga are seventy-five feet in height and fifty feet thick. They are built of enormous blocks of carborundum, and the task of entering the city seemed, to my escort of green warriors, an impossibility.” (PM XIV)
    At the height of its power, Zodanga could field ground forces of one million warriors and a navy of three thousand battleships. “The bravery of the Zodangans was awe-inspiring.” (PM XIV)
    The hereditary enemy of Helium, this red Martian empire also “had for years waged a ruthless campaign of extermination against the green men, directing special attention toward despoiling their incubators.” (PM XIV)
    Zodanga has not fully recovered after its capitol was sacked by a mighty alliance of 150,000 Green Martian troopers lead by John Carter and Tars Tarkas of Thark. “Behind us we left the stricken city in the fierce and brutal clutches of some forty thousand green warriors of the lesser hordes. They were looting, murdering, and fighting amongst themselves. In a hundred places they had applied the torch, and columns of dense smoke were rising above the city as though to blot out from the eye of heaven the horrid sights beneath.” (PM XVI)
    After Zodanga was conquered, Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium appointed Zat Arras as the new Jed of Zodanga. Zat Arras was a man of thin, cruel lips who turned out to be a disappointing successor of Than Kosis (former Jeddak of Zodanga who was killed by John Carter). Zat Arras was an ambitious coward, who rather than face the Prince of Helium in combat, turned, ran and “sprung to the rail and hurled himself headforemost into the awful depths below.” (GM XIX).

  2. Thanks Clovis, this is a great summary!