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Old 10-27-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Last War vs Factory States scenarios?

The Factory States era is an intentionally vaguely defined wide open playground, plot-wise. There is relatively little detail and virtually no defined history, so we're all much freer to set the parameters on Factory State scenarios than we are for Last War scenarios.

In the Factory States era, governments are all much smaller, more local, and frequently run by AIs (factories, sentient Ogre veterans of the Last War, etc). Ogres are much rarer (the Factories aren't dumb enough to be building any more since the War ended), conflicts are likely to be much more local and self-contained, and multipolar battles involving 3 or more factions might be significantly more common. Many factions may have significantly less access to new military hardware, so scenarios would be smaller and forces may be substantially less likely to fight to the last unit. Rogue Ogres (that have not established a power base for themselves over (or in cooperation with) a human community and/or an AI factory) are not uncommon and represent a serious threat to any stable city-state. Factory states are centered around manufacturing facilities of widely varying levels of specialization and maintain extensive trade amongst themselves to obtain goods, services, and software that they cannot build for themselves. Military skirmishes to resolve trade disputes are far from uncommon, as there is no such thing as international law, and treaties have no more strength than the personal characters of the signatories. Skirmishes involving trade disputes, and defense against rogue Ogres (singletons or (eek!) small packs) would constitute the most frequently occurring types of battles. As the article says, the Factory States Era, while not the epic global nuclear apocalypse of the Last War, is far from peaceful.

So generally speaking, you'll see a lot more "Raid" and a lot less "Ceasefire Collapse".

What few Ogres exist might only generally join battle in genuinely desperate defensive situations, although I could also see scenarios that involve Ogre "kings" leading their city's force from the front, like medieval nobility: the knights squaring off in single combat while the axe-wielding peasant crowds hack each other to pieces around them.

What you would NOT see would be:
  • Enormous armies clashing across hundred kilometer fronts
  • Scenarios representing a small action that affects a much larger strategic situation
  • Forces fighting to the last unit
  • Isolated Ogres on the offensive (any battle important enough to draw our machine overlord from his castle/bunker will certainly involve his bodyguard unit, and likely as much of the rest of his army as can be mustered)
  • Large quantites of Ogres (more than 1 per side, in the vast majority of cases)
  • Cruise missiles and missile crawlers (though some state finding one and waving it around could provoke a large, coordinated action by the combined forces of their neighbors)
  • More than trivial amounts of reinforcements during skirmish scenarios
  • Wholesale destruction of town hexes and infrastructure, just for destruction's sake [war in the Factory States Era is much more the continuation of politics by other means than total war]
The article on this website goes in to more detail about the sorts of reasons why battles would occur in the Factory States era, but I think this list captures some of the differences in the character of the battles of that era that would be apparent in a battle played out using the boardgame.

Last edited by HeatDeath; 10-27-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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