Monday, 9 January 2012

... there is only civil war

This is a bit of an experiment linked with 40K...

During the Armageddon project I put up stats for Citizens using the 40K ruleset, and the concept came back to me recently when I was looking for inspiration for a civil war militia for Rogue Space.

They were designed to work under the hive interior combat system, so some special rules weren't very useful in general 40K. I thought they might benefit from an update.

They also resonate with the series Jervis has running on civil war in WFB, a discussion I read over at The Secret Sun on possible intranational relations, and this post on D&D.

I've reworked the entry below, but left the special ability table blank to see if we can do some development in the comments; the original table is here. Given the stats are for humans, what abilities would YOU put in there to suggest citizens of the Imperium?



Cost: 3 points per Citizen (?)   Type: Infantry   Size: 10-30 Citizens

    Citizen     2   2   2   2   1   2   1    6   -

Weapons: Improv   Special rules: The Idea Lives On, Fabric of Society
- - - - - -
Improv: Improvs are firearms fashioned from everyday items, production machinery and other material salvaged as the opportunity arises, as well as antique, ceremonial or recreational devices adapted for use in combat.
    Improv       6”     2    -    Assault 1
The Idea Lives On: If a unit of Citizens drops below five models, it may be removed permanently by the controlling player in lieu of movement in one of its subsequent movement phases. Removed in this way, the unit and its models are not counted towards any total in determining victory.
Fabric of Society: Units of Citizens command a range of skills. Before each game, roll a D6 once on the following table for each in the force.
    1.   ?
    2.   ?
    3.   ?
    4.   ?
    5.   ?
    6.   ?



garrisonjames said...

Six skills for Citizens?
How about:
1. Office worker/Paperwork: trained to shuffle documents in a variety of media including digital document recovery systems.
2. Management: trained to coordinate the efforts of workers.
3. Loyal Consumer: Trained in shopping and all current fads and media initiatives.
4. Professional Recreater: Competitive video/holo-gaming, participant in various reality contests,etc. Includes athletes, entertainers, impersonators and polticians.
5. Maintenance: Trained to keep things working despite best efforts of 1-4.
6. Professionals: Academics, critics, reviewers, censors, re-translators, book-stampers, librarians, expurgators, and others trained to attend to the ideological hygiene of the masses.

Hmmm...that came out a bit Orwellian. Sorry about that. You might want to add Service Industrialists, Hedonic Engineers, and a few other essential occupations...

Porky said...

You probably know 40K well enough to know our present isn't too distantly related to the grim darkness of that far future. So we could use a lot of those ideas.

Next, the game system all but requires us to relate these ideas in some way to destruction, in a more direct way than they already are of course.

With that indirect connection only, I'm wishing there were more subtle means available, or rather I'm interested in finding those means, to represent the way these seemingly innocuous activities could be thrown in the mix, connections be made and revelations experienced, and with hard work the good people of the Imperium could turn up trumps.

The living objectives idea shows how easy it can be to get basic interactions to produce more complex effects. Something like that.

SinSynn said...

Hey Porky!
Thought I'd give this a go. Hope you don't mind (as usual, thinking out loud here! Thanks for having a great place to do that!)

I've always felt that Citizens of the Grimdark were a fairly capable lot, being that they hafta live in the Grimdark, an' all.
So here goes...

1) On a roll of one, this group of citizens represents 'average civilians,' with no special skills.

2) Administratum Adepts: These servants of the Empire have Ld 7. Loyal servants of the Emperor, they will fight to the last.

3) Schola Progenium Adepts: Children of the elite citizenry in training to serve the Empire, these citizens receive +1 to WS and BS to reflect the skills they've learned.

4) Ecclisiarchy Adepts- Fanatical devotees of the Emperor, members of the Ecclisiarchy are fanatical fighters! They receive +1 to WS and Str and are Fearless.
They are limited to CC weapons only, but gain Furious Charge.

5) The Sarge is here!- This group of citizens is led by someone who 'knows what they're about.'
'The Sarge' is considered an independent character permanently attached to his group of citizens.
He has an Imperial Guardsman's statline, and the citizens he's attached to have Ld 7 due to his inspiring presence.
The sarge carries a lasrifle and frag grenades.

6) Old Soldiers Never Die- This group of citizens is actually a bunch of retired guardsmen!
They use the 'Infantry Squad' entry from Codex: Imperial Guard, and all options may be purchased, as these wily old gents have quit an arsenal stashed away, 'just in case.'
(They may NOT have a transport, however!)
Old Soldiers suffer -1 to BS and WS, however- they're a little older, a little softer around the middle and a tad out of practice!

Old Soldiers Never Die- Special Rule:
A squad of Old Soldiers may re-roll failed Morale Tests, as they all cry 'For the Emperor,' and attempt to charge towards glory one last time.

That made the lil' hamster in my head spin a bit...

Porky said...

I like it a lot. It's clearly very Imperial, digs into the background and the upgrades not only make sense for the groups you've chosen, but also remind us of the value of even the standard guardsman. No. 5 especially brings that home.

Linked to that sarge idea, we could even imagine that only a part of the unit in options 2, 3, 4 and 6 is actually that type, but they've been recruiting fast in the emergency situation, maybe to maximise their relative influence for a stronger position in the command structure. The inductees in the unit could be in impromptu training and raising their game to match the gravity of the situation.

Going with the rising value across the range of results makes good sense, to get that spread of Imperial elements, and the upredictability shouldn't be an issue, in that we can imagine most often just the one unit would be used in a normal game, or Citizens would be the bulk of the force in a scenario. In the first case, an extreme result would have a small impact, and in the latter the results could be expected to average out.

You've got me thinking now about a full citizen force, and using no. 1 to add some more options based ideas from garrisonjames. It would be going a more second edition or Rogue Trader route to have a subtable like that, but it could be justified if it would only be rolled on for one in six units on average, and it would effectively be standing in for the added complexity of army-wide special rules, or the larger range of effects across the full FOC in a major faction. The subtable could cover minor skills or knowledge with a minimal impact, maybe representing local people not part of any official group. So locals could know the terrain and maybe allow the movement of one piece a given distance after setup, or to match up with garrisonjames' Maintenance entry a group of machinists could upgrade the Improvs of one unit. Maybe a famaily connection could allow a reroll on your main table, to represent a family member or acquaintance pulling strings.

We need a proper outlet for your design skills. Maybe some of your posts at HoP or World of Wonder could be rules posts? You could do new army entries for the factions that seem to need it most at any given time, or even a new faction, with each post being a step towards a minidex? Bryssling took over Rules Manufactorum recently, which put out a lot of new material, so he might be glad of another writer for the rules side - the merged blog is here. If you haven't already seen them, you could take a look at how Sons of Taurus did the LatD, and Lantz's AdMech of course, TKE's Eldar and Ethereal's many projects, to name just a few. And really, who better than you right now to create a whole new alien power?

SinSynn said...

Porky, thank you so much for the compliments. I am humbled in your presence, sir.

I'll be honest- the '1 through 6' mechanic is pure GW.
In GW land, a roll of 1 can result in actual punishment and bad things!
I thought of maybe working that in there- 'This group of Citizens turned to chaos/xenos sympathizers!'
I think punishment can be more unbalancing than reward in most cases, so I didn't go there.
No punishment, no reward for a 1...
Just 'shucks,' and roll for the next squad.

A roll of 2 is always 'a little meh, but it's something.
Ld 7 is shaky, for sure, but maybe those fools will hang around for another turn, huh?

Sometimes GW makes 3, 4 and 5 virtually interchangeable, depending on what you're into (CC perk, shooty perk, toughness perk), but there's usually a subtle rise in goodness, if you I went with that.

Sigh...when I thought up 'The Sarge,' I suddenly realized what the years of reading 40k Codexes and Black Library books have done to me, and how deep this stuff goes in my tiny little mind.

I'm glad you like The Sarge...I do, to...
I wondered if I should give him a CC weapon and laspistol and let him keep the grenades?
In hindsight I think that may be better...and the grenades may be a bit much...
But there's a chance he's a an Arbiter, or something?

Ah, 6...
A roll of 6 is da awesome in 40k, isn't it? Heck, in most games.
We celebrate the 6, or curse it, if some knucklehead across the table is rolling them.
Regardless- 6 gets rewarded.
I debated dropping their Strength by a point, but I figured these guys would still be 'strong as an ox,' and a bit tougher than the 'average' Imperial Citizen as well.

And yeah, someone had to get a special rule, although it needs a suitably GW-ish name, like 'They Don't Fade Away, Either!'
Gw is so good at funny little references, at times.

I appreciate the encouragement, Porky!
I plan on turning my mind to Mission Design soon, with Flames of War.
There's only one mission in that game (this includes the upcoming 3rd edition missions) that allows you to deploy your entire army.
Despite the fact that 'Free for All' is the most popular mission for one-off games, and is almost always featured in tournaments both big and small, there's still...just free-for all.
I've got some ideas...We'll see what happens!

I'd happily help with the Citizens, and now I'm thinking a PDF thing would be cool- Grizzled Vets, young recruits, all somewhat poorly equipped (or maybe not, on some planets!), but defending their homeworlds with Imperial vigor!

Fun stuff!

Porky said...

I'm impressed you got that GW mood, and you picked out the pattern at all. I'll bet we all absorb a fair amount of what we read like that, but we might not all recognise it. Growing up with a particular approach especially, we can get locked into one form of presentation, so it starts to come naturally. All well and good unless the creator is overly proprietary, in which case we can argue to some degree they own part of our thinking. At any rate, it's perfect here for possible Imperial material.

I like the idea of a result having the unit go over to the other side, with the opponent just deploying and controlling the unit as if part of his or her list. After all, pressure and disinformation are sadly a natural part of conflict. I'm writing the rules for that civil war militia I mentioned in the post, for Rogue Space, and in the background I'm going a similar route, having them very susceptible to propaganda, the concept being that they're the epitome of human.

If it was going to be a full list, the unit leader's equipment could even be optional, and the individual could have one of various backgrounds, each with its own benefits. Having an arbite come in might unlock other options, with weapons being broken out of the armoury say.

You working on Flames of War is definitely a win for the player base. I'd love to see more homebrew on the blogs generally, for whatever system. It's a big platform we have, and we can do a lot to energise the wider community, get more ideas out there and get more people taking ownership, living the dream, drive innovation and offer some healthy competition to the established brands. That's good for everyone, on many levels.

SinSynn said...

GW has certainly helped pattern my 'hobby mentality,' but I'm cool with it!

A full list would definitely require some sort of Planetary Defense Force entries!
A tiered-list system of some sort, to reflect the level of funding they receive (and hence equipment), along with troops of varying quality (and cost!)
Mix and match to make a list.

Combined with Citizens (and Arbites, maybe), a few Characters- from bog-standard Regents, Rulers and Ecclesiarchy types to 'Heroes/Legends from various planets' for wacky flavour (yes, I use GW's spelling for that!), there's just so many ways to go with stuffs like this!

Hamster...spinning furiously now....

Porky said...

I'm very interested in this, but I'm thinking it could be taken in an unusual direction. Why not create an entirely new force, not Imperial, but human - or near-human, or posthuman, maybe part-alien? A lost offshoot of humanity's expansion in whatever wider context. It could use all of these generic ideas, but much more too. A potential new faction for 40K, but not actually 40K.