Illustration and UI for my beloved nerdy hobby

This is a personal project about illustration, graphic design and little plastic toy soldiers. Because I love tabletop skirmish games.
Moving the characters you created through miniature landscapes, bending over the battlefield to check if your creepy eldritch stargod worshipping sniper spy can target the crazed fanatic with the burning hat behind the ruined statue and to see him succeed or fail by a roll of the dice always harboured a fascinating lure to me. Nothing encapsulates this fascination better than the skirmish game "Necromunda" from Games Workshop.
On Necromunda, a dystopian nightmare world of atmosphere-piercing Hive Cities, separated by polluted ash wastes, players take control over a ragtag gang of outcasts, weirdos, cults and cops represented by painted plastic miniatures. In their fight for dominance and survival in the Underhive gangers gain experience, buy new equipment, get injured or might simply die a meaningless death. Such a campaign often gains a narrative momentum on it's own as feuds ensue and the gangs' many unique specialties unfold.

To boil down the very complex set of rules to ease entry for new players I modified the beginner-friendly, fan-made "Minimunda"-Campaign brought to us by the fantastic people from On top, my players should get some practical, yet aesthetic, handouts to track their gang's successes and failures during the short campaign. This called for graphic, but also (analogue) UI-design, thumbnail icons for boons, a gang logo and a cool illustration of the most important fighter of the gang (as a treat).
Contrasting the gritty, grimey, gothic grimdarkness of the far future, I included some decent neon colors to highlight the overall over-the-top-ness of the setting.
The gang I decided to tackle first were "The Lepermen", a colony of the terminally ill adherent to House Cawdor. The rank and file of the House of Faith consists of the downtrodden, paupers and pariahs that find solace in the radical Creed of the Redemption. The Lepermen believe their suffering is a gift bestowed upon them by the God-Emperor himself, freeing them from the human folly of self-preservation and embracing martyrdom in the battles against heretics and mutants. The Chirurgeon, a high-ranking Deacon of the Redemption, accompanies the gang, staying vigilant for any shifts in doctrine and ready to cut out the ulcer of heresy with chirurgic presicion – and a giant chainsaw.​​​​​​​
Playing around with chromatic abberation for more punkyness and sketching the next gangs' champions.
In total, I needed three sheets to accomodate all the information I wanted to convey. One for the gang fighter's cards (with their stats and special rules), one to track the gang's campaign progress, and one to reference the advancement and critical injury tables.
In my vision, the three sheets should be unfolded like a GM screen, resembling a tryptich, easy to transport and conveying the medieval flavour of the Warhammer 40k universe.
I started with the campaign tracking sheet, because I wanted to get a feeling how to balance typography, boon icons and background illustration. Also, I was keen to design something like a logo, some heraldry or an icon or relic that represents the gang during the campaign.

In this step I decided to use magenta as a color loosely coded for danger or harm, most prominent of course on the critical injuries.
Critical Injuries like Missing Fingers, Broken Ribs or Constant Migraines permanently alter a fighters stats.
Concerning the gang symbol, I first wanted to take a simple heraldric approach, a coat-of-arms with some feudal underhive iconography. When I thought about the background of House Cawdor, (and the importance of gang relics in the game) however, I remembered the gangers sifting through underhive detritus and the trash of millenia, eager to find something of (perceived) religious importance. And so the legend of St. Lazitus was born, Patron Saint of the terminally ill, the shattered remnants of a statue, covered in bandages (in the hope that his virtue would transfer to a chosen bearer), candles and purity seals (because Warhammer) and marked with an X (reminiscent to the Plague where an X marked the doors of those infected).​​​​​​​
However, I had a lot of other ideas in mind, searching for a system by which other icons could be easily assembled as well. I imagined three different sets of components that make up such a gang relic, a background, a centrepiece and varying little details that can easily be added. Due to space and the overall busyness of the sheet, however, I later decided to drop the background.
On the sheet, everything had to come together and though playfulness and atmosphere were very important to me, practicability comes first, so some sacrifices had to be made. For clear readability (and the trickeries of print) I wanted the text information to be on a white background, so large rolls of parchment perfectly match both the theme and my requirements. To make more space for information, I parted from the gothic arches and decided for classic green scifi screens for the headlines to strike the visual balance between medieval, futuristic and punk aesthetic and strengthen the hierarchy between the different blocks.
Sacrifices had to be made. Bye, extra gothic arches ...
To help the players keep track I added some little skulls to the sides of the text to mark which bonuses they already earned, gave the win condition a special treatment, tweaked some icons to accomodate the lighter background and implemented the gang relic and the first of the three sheets for seven gangs was done. For now.
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