Friday, July 21, 2017

Patreon Preview: the Alliance

Not what I had in mind
but sure, why not?
Alright, I've been dribbling out Alliance details for awhile now, but now I've well and truly got it finished, and for those of you who aren't patrons, it's scheduled already through August (in what will prove to be a very hectic posting schedule!).  If you are a $3+ patron, though, you can have it now!  It clocks in at 45,000 words, plus a 15,000 word personnel file.  No wonder it took so damn long to write!

This explicitly includes aristocratic space knights, revised versions of the "dueling styles" (the destructive form, the graceful form and the swift form), and four new noble houses (the beautiful Sabine, the haughty Grimshaw, the tragic and lethal Elegans, and the gruff Kain).

If you're a patron, you can check it out here (If you're seeing this, that means I haven't had a chance to put the link up yet, but you can just go to my patreon below and get your juicy preview)!  If you're not, as usual, I'd love to have you.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Alliance Militia Personnel

Militia Strategies

Militias focus almost exclusively on defense, and each militia has its own approach to defense (which makes coordinating between multiple militia somewhat difficult!). To simplify, consider three strategies below, each of which offers some optional traits that members of a militia following that strategy might have.


The militia uses trench warfare, embanked guns, minefields and planetary shields to create impenetrable zones of control that the enemy cannot bypass.

Optional traits:

  • Barricade Tactics [1]. Militia in cover apply an additional -1 to opponents attempting to shoot at them, giving opponents a -3 rather than -2.
  • Cool under Fire [1]. Militia ignore the -2 for pop-up attacks (this increases all “Fire from Cover” Tactics by +2!).
  • Enhanced Dodge (Dive for Cover) [5]. Militia have +1 to defend from explosions.


The militia relies on mobility, vehicular supports and “defense in depth” to defeat the enemy. The create a flow, flexible defensive line that can absorb the enemy’s advance, and flow around the enemy lines for a counter attack.

Optional traits:

  • Move Under Cover [1]. Assume the NPCs always find cover, if any is remotely available, at the end of a move on foot.
  • Motorized Training [1]. Ignore penalties for firing from a moving vehicle if a passenger. Gain the following tactic:
    • Fire on the Move (+1 to base skill): While aboard a moving vehicle (-0) as a passanger, make an All-Out (+1) Sighted attack with your weapon, firing a single shot at your opponent. You may not defend (but your vehicle may).
  • Basic Move +1 [5].


The militia fights using asymmetrical tactics against a superior foe. They prefer to fade into the terrain, to break apart under attack and reform later, which makes them maddeningly difficult to defeat, though it does little to actually protect the land or infrastructure.

Optional traits:

  • Dead Eye [1]. The nameless NPC may aim for 4 turns for a maximum accuracy bonus of +3 (rather than +2). Gain the following tactic:
    • Careful Aim (+Accuracy+5 to base skill): After aiming for 4 turns, apply full accuracy +3 from weapon and make an All-Out (+1) Sighted attack with your weapon, firing a single shot at your opponent. You may not defend.
  • Sure-Footed (Terrain): Ignore up to -2 to attack penalties for a specific terrain, or -1 to defense penalties for a specific terrain.
  • Fit [5].

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alliance Militia Materiel

The Alliance military is defined by a strategy of distributed defense. Where the empire manages the defense of all member worlds, the Alliance expects their military forces to manage their own defense, and where they cannot, the alliance calls upon aristocrats to ride to the rescue of member worlds with their highly mobile fleets. Thus, we might expect that each world has unique armaments informed by the nature of their worlds. To keep things simple, I’d rather focus on some basic core strategies likely common to all worlds, and then expand it out a bit to emphasize the unique nature of each world.

The commonalities of strategy mainly come in that distributed defense. The Alliance offers very little money to its worlds for defense, expecting them to defend themselves and, of course, quietly enforcing a dependence on the nobility who can come in to “rescue them.” This means that most militia soldiers are less professional soldiers and more reservists with a modicum of training combined with enthusiasts who like to practice on their own. It also means that their gear tends to be cheap, and usually what they already had on hand. The result might be less disciplined than a typical BAD -2 army, but it’s close enough to BAD -2 for my purposes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alliance Militia

The Alliance believes strongly in independent sovereignty, and a key component of that sovereignty is independent military power, a feature of the Federation violated only once, a violation that caused the rise of the Empire. Each member world has the right to its own defensive force, called a Militia. In fact, the Senate sees a militia not as a right but as a duty, and typically sanctions worlds that leave their defense to the rest of the Alliance. One reason the Alliance has survived as long as it has is because a blaster lurks behind every blade of grass.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Alliance Constabulary: Personnel

Just as criminal players dealing with the Empire will need mooks to fight, so too will criminal players facing down the criminal justice of the Alliance.  But, again, we find that the Alliance has wildly varying law enforcement.  This results in a highly customizable set of mooks that require a little bit of work from you, dear reader, to put them into action.  Once again, we have three different broad sorts of law enforcement, and we also have three different sets of equipment (the most common being Rook & Law and Stellar Dynamics).  You'll have to put the pieces together, just like you have to with insurgents, but I do have a "standard example" available for each entry.

Let me know what you think of the approach, and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Alliance Constabulary: Materiel

Our space cops need guns.  While the Empire has a single supplier, the Alliance has many varied suppliers and needs, which means that what sorts of arms and armor our constables might have vary depending on their intent and on where they get their weapons from.

A huge variety of guns resulted from my working on this post, not all of which are listed below, but I want to thank GURB once again for providing much needed variety for my weapons.

This design process went through quite a few steps, so you'll see me revisit again tomorrow when I look at Personnel, but that's because Materiel articles are design journals, while personnel documents actually make it into the final work.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Alliance Constabulary

The Alliance expects each planet to govern itself, which means it expects each planet to have its own laws and to enforce them.  That seems simple enough, until one crashes headlong into the fact that alliance members regularly intermingle and each has their own law.  What happens when a nobleman and members of an independent corporation run afoul of the law on their planet?  How do the locals handle that arrest?  How do they handle people who have fled justice on their world and have tried to find sanctuary on some other world?

Where the Empire allows its law enforcement to be judge, jury and executioner, the Alliance most definitely does not. It demands rule of law, not just out of sheer righteousness, but also out of the necessity of so many different legal systems rubbing elbows with one another.  If you're going to accuse a nobleman of breaking the law, you must present evidence to the House that governs him if you want to see justice done!

The result of this is a wild variety of law enforcement systems and approaches to the law meant to deal with the veritable chaos of the Alliance legal system.  I offer a few ideas below.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Patreon Preview: Alliance Planetary Personnel

Planetary Governments, naturally, need planetary militias and planetary law enforcement.  After all, the senate expects each world to be sovereign, independent and able to engage in its own defense and to handle its own criminal.  However, that independence means that each planet will have its own approach to these things.  The result turned into one of those highly varied documents full of opponents that I'm never quite sure what to do with, so I held off on releasing it and, with the release of planetary government, I offer it now to my Patreons as a preview.

Ultimately, the document revisits the ideas presented in Iteration 4 on law enforcement and alliance military personnel, with a greater focus on variety and specific strategic or law enforcement doctrines.

This is available to all $3+ patrons.  If you're a patron, check it out!  If you're not, I'd love to have you.  For the rest of you, they'll be up soon enough!

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Planetary Governments of the Alliance

As I wrote the Alliance, it became clear that the divide between planets and the aristocracy was a crucial element of the political landscape of the Alliance.  On a particular world, one faced the military and law enforcement of a planetary body, but that might technically fall under the purview of an interstellar aristocracy, and certainly off-world, one faced the naval power of the aristocracy.  So for the next couple of weeks, I want to stop and take a look at the sorts of worlds that exist within the Alliance, which will be a fairly generic exploration (given that any world that serves the Alliance could just as easily fall under the sway of the Empire, or be independent).  Today, we'll kick off this little series with Planetary Governments themselves.

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