Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SWN Faction Turns: January 3200

The map is drawn, the combatants are stated up, and the pieces are in place.  It's finally time to begin the Redshirts Stars Without Number faction game for the Ptolemy sector.  I am sad, though, that I did not think to include an ASTEROID WITCH.

For those who have come late, or never paid attention and suddenly want to, here are the blog entries detailing the setup (but you probably don't need to really know any of it):

Galactic End Game
SWN Factions: The Begining
SWN Faction Game: Movement and Geography
SWN Factions: The Alliance of Independent States
SWN Factions: Aquila Union
SWN Factions: Almagest Rebellion
SWN Factions: Skorpios Empire

The Redshirts campaign began on Groundhog Day, 3200 CE, and has been going on for at least ten months in game.  That's a lot of travel time while they have been frozen scout-sicles.  I'll start the faction game one month earlier, and take it in one month turns until we've caught up with the PCs.

In the faction game, the first bit is initiative.  That's page 113 in the fancy (core) Stars Without Number rule book.  There are four players, so a d4 will do.  The order of the factions will be (dice roll please,)the  Alliance of Independent States, the Almagest Rebellion, the Skorpios Empire, and last, but not least, the Aquila Union.

Alliance of Independent States - They AIS gains four FacCreds for this month, and has no maintenance charges, giving them a total of four FacCreds in the bank..  The Alliance decides to take the action of Use Asset Ability, sending their Demagogue, Surveyor, and stealthed Psychic Assassin assets from Atlas to Cicada via their Covert Transit Net.  This moves almost all of their assets out of their realm of control, but their intelligence is good and the Alliance knows that the Aquila Union will be busy with Skorpios for a while.

NEWS BLURB - Labor leader, human-rights activist, and well know seditionist Harry Freedonia arrived at the Cicada system on the January 5, 3200.  "I'm simply here to speak to the natives - the so-called Klakkers - about their unalienable rights to freedom and self expression.," he told the PXL news service.  The Aquila Governor's office on Cicada issued a statement shortly thereafter, indicating that they had detained Harry Freedonia upon his arrival, but had released him and his staff within hours after they were unable to find official links between him and the Alliance of Independent States.

Almagest Rebellion - The Rebellion scrounges up two Fac Creds in January, and has no bills to pay.  Looking at the Goals, I think I assigned one that is far too unrealistic - that of seizing the planet.  I'll reassign a goal that is more plausible, without punishing the poor rebels.  Blood the Enemy requires eight HP of damage to be done to the enemy, which is far more doable.  With that, the rebellion chooses the Attack action, sending their Zealots and Vanguard Cadres into battle vs. the Skorpios Postech Infantry on Almagest.  They must come out of stealth to do the attack.

In the Vanguard Cadre battle, d10 + rebel's cunning vs d10 + empire's cunning result in 2+4 vs. 1+7 or 6 vs. 7 in favor of the Skorpios Empire.  The Postech Infantry's d8 counterattack did 6 hp to the Vanguard Cadre, leaving it with 6 hit points.  The zealots lost as well, 8 to 16, and took 2 hit points.  As zealots, they damaged themselves with a d4 resulting in 1, leaving them with only 1 hit point.  In seeking to do eight points of damage, the rebellion's assets took nine points instead, and exposed their positions.

NEWS BLURB - Scattered reports from Almagast City over the first two weeks of January indicate a major offensive by the Skorpios Empire into the city's sewage infrastructure.  On January 12, Scientist-Theologan Yuri Azov announced via The Mouth of Truth News, "The womb-born slave malcontents of Almagast made a paltry and pathetic attack on the Chernobyl Barracks, but were massacred where they stood.  We've taken the liberty of gassing the sewers to root those maggot-eaten rats out of their fear holes.  All is calm now, and we are in control.  Praise Emperor-Scientist Andropov!"

Skorpios Empire - The most powerful faction in the sector pulls the biggest income at 6 FacCreds for January.  Like Almagest, I probably chose an unrealistic immediate goal, and will pick Expand Influence instead.  The Alliance decides to take the action of Use Asset Ability and sends the stealthed assets Surveyors and Treachery from Argo to Aquila held Corvus via it's Beachhead Landers for 2 FacCreds.

This movement sets off the Tripwire Cells that Aquila had placed on Corvus.  Rolling vs. Cunning against each asset, The tripwire ties with a 4+5 vs. 2+7 against the Surveyors, and looses to the Treachery at 4+5 vs. 6+7.  So, the Surveyors and the Treachery land stealthed on Corvus, safe and sound.

NEWS BLURB - The PXL news service had learned that due to a complete lack of suspicious activity along the Corvus/Argo border, military leaders are relaxing protocols, calling for a parade in the capital, followed by a planet-wide leave on January 21st.  "While we will still be on high alert," said General Wallace McKenzie, "I've got a feeling that the Skorps don't have much fight left in them.  After all, they've been getting their nose bloodied by the rebels on Almagest.  I think we'll be perfectly safe.

Aquila Union - The union gains 5 FacCreds this round.  While I would have normally had the union continue to build up militarily against the Skorpios Empire, I am going to go with the Tripwire Failure above and have Aquila turn its attention to the Demagogue Harry Freedonia who is making trouble on Cicada with the alien Klakkers.  Aquila will decide to buy an asset, specifically the Saboteurs asset on Cicada for 5 FacCredits.  This will probably cost them against Skorpios in the long run.

NEWS BLURB - On January 30th, the Aquila Governor's office on Cicada announced the formation of the Inland Relationship Service, a governmental organization tasked with improving relationship with the native Klakker populations.  "Its been centuries since the Terran Mandate put down the Great Klakker Rebellions," said Governor Alice Vidalia.  "The Klakkers left on Cicada mean us no harm.  They live in their little mud heaps out in the jungle and get on with their lives.  I think they are perfectly safe, and have no intention of building another Death Fleet intent on wiping humanity from Known Space.  We've assembled some highly talented teams to teach them the art of papier mache, how to perform classical theater, and each Klakker will receive a Rubik's Cube which will spray them with Happy Pheromone F-3000c when they complete the puzzle successfully.  I think these are excellent building blocks for an improved relationship with our impoverished alien hive-mind neighbors."

This has actually been pretty damn enjoyable.  It's pretty quick and simple once you get the hang of it.  The abstractness of the system lets me use my imagination in ways I wouldn't have expected, and writing up those news blurbs has been really fun.

So, that's it for the month of January.  Three days after the Klakker announcement was released, the Redshirts blasted out of a surprise Skorpios Naval Blockade on the Schwarzkopf Rim and began their adventures in The Void.

Oh, for those that have read down this far and still have some sort of clue as to what is going on - and care - here is a sector map detailing the large scale movement assets of the factions and some places of interest.

- Ark


  1. This is really cool!
    Although I think you should work in the Asteroid Witches Faction at some point! Maybe make them another thorn in the side of the Skorpios Empire.

    1. Thanks Bill. Funny you should mention more factions, but I just had a request for a robot faction via email. So, I guess I'll add both robots and Asteroid Witches - I just need to think of a good faction name for a pack on androids. :)

      - Ark

    2. Glad you are going to include them. How about "Steel Dawn" for the robot faction? Sounds kinda Militant Terrorist to me? Outside of it being the name of a B Movie from the 80's.

    3. Bill - Steel Dawn is perfect.


      - Ark

    4. : )
      Looking forward to your posts!