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Old 01-11-2019, 10:26 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
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Default Alien Invasions

So, there are a number of scenarios where alien invaders are just going to kick the stuffing out of the human species. At TL8, with minimal orbital infrastructure, there is nothing that prevents a TL10^ alien fleet from coming out of hyperspace, leisurely moving into GSO, and using orbital lasers to dismantle human society until humanity surrenders. At that point, the aliens would send down a token occupation force to oversee the surrender and leave a small flotilla behind to support it while they go somewhere else.

It becomes even worse if that hyperspace technology requires massive spacecraft (similar to W40K assumptions). If hyperdrives are SM 15+ components, the smallest spacecraft with them are going to be SM 14 (using the large component rules for the SM 15 hyperdrive and the SM 15 reactor). In that case, any resistance would be futile, as even a dozen 'raiders' would represent 12 million tons of spacecraft, and the main fleet may have been 240 million tons of spacecraft.

At that point, where do you start your campaign? Are your players part of the Resistence? Are your players opportunists who seek adventure among the stars? Are you players collaborators who welcome their new alien overlords?
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

I think it would be interesting if the campaign started before the invasion and the PCs encountered the alien pre-invasion scouts.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:43 AM   #3
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The oppression is not that bad, but if there is resistance they destroy a city from space.

Players are collaborators by necessity. One mad group can make one strike and have the aliens retaliate. Do you remember what happened to Kopenhagen, Mumbai, or Chicago? You might even try to find reasons to justify the aliens.

What kind of capabilities do the aliens have and what kind of control can they exert? They might have robots that automatically tap any communication or nanodrones that are listening _everywhere_, making resistance totally useless.

Most alien invasion movies have aliens whose technology is only slightly better than humans. How is yours?
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

This dilemma is part of the XCOM series too: Embracing the aliens or building a resistance? Personally I like the idea of fighting back.

Under the assumptions of WH40K, I would give provide humans with –secret– Necron-esque technology/knowledge at their disposal (especially now that Necrons and Ancient Egyptians are “close relatives”). Maybe earth itself is a super weapon which fires its beams from Giza or the moon.

I like Boomerang’s idea, fighting scouts sounds like a good thing to begin with “Kill the mutant, purge the unclean, burn the heretic”.

Maybe humans found a larger ʻOumuamua crossing the solar system and received an alien signal which humans were able to decipher because it was similar to a certain ancient human language (i.e. Egyptian). Then a small fraction of humanity is prepared.

If you are a larger creature you don’t bargain with the small ones. For example, people don’t bargain with ants (but some keep them as pets). Now if ants were intelligent enough to understand humans and their ways, maybe they could offer something in exchange. But killing your own race sounds pretty anti-natural (for a hero, IMO).
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

In the scenario envisioned, the humans are TL8 while the aliens are TL10^, with the technology being locked to specific types of biological signals and thought patterns unique to each species. The aliens would not be looking to occupy the Earth beyond a token force, they discovered radio signals from the Earth a couple of years ago and just wanted to absorb a neighbor before it became a threat. If the humans resisted too much, the aliens would cut their loses and redirect Eros 433 and Ganymed 1036 to collide with the Earth to eliminate the problem permanently.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

There are limits to what you can do with orbital bombardment. You need to put boots on the ground if you actually wish to rule. With the thread of large scale indiscriminate violence you can usually obtain the following:
  • One-side privileges for visitors
  • Trade concessions, up to and including tribute
  • removal (but not establishment) of current government
You can see traces of this principle throughout history, from the bronze age to the modern time. Distant application of force can topple a government, but establishing a successor requires a lengthy and successful occupation. Conquerors can replace kings after winning a siege, but changing the base culture requires drastic measures. It is easy to exact tribute, but difficult to stop cultural practices.

This may or may not be enough for the aliens. It all depends on what their motives are.

With 80 ships 700 meters long, you have enough space in your fleet to transport substantial numbers of troops. Your ship-board personnel are likely to number a million and a half just to run your ships, and if you make half of them troop transports with 10 habitats of troops, that's 8 million foot soldiers... though if you want to give them vehicles and other supplies you may have less.

With half of that, you outnumber the militaries of any two nations put together: its actually enough to conduct a proper invasion (which is rare in sci-fi. congratulations! you have a sense of scale). Though that may change when people start conscripting soldiers.

When gaming an alien invasion, I tailor the alien forces based on whether I want the players to explore fighting conventionally, fighting asymmetrically, or adapting to an alien occupation. With the forces you're listing, I'd expect the last. You've sent a truly overwhelming force. Just don't expect to win without landing those millions of troops you can bring.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In the scenario envisioned, the humans are TL8 while the aliens are TL10^, with the technology being locked to specific types of biological signals and thought patterns unique to each species. The aliens would not be looking to occupy the Earth beyond a token force, they discovered radio signals from the Earth a couple of years ago and just wanted to absorb a neighbor before it became a threat. If the humans resisted too much, the aliens would cut their loses and redirect Eros 433 and Ganymed 1036 to collide with the Earth to eliminate the problem permanently.
Ok, then what the aliens really want to do is get the trade privileges, one-sided extradition deal, and make sure that the existing government is nominally loyal. Your model in history is western relationships with china and Japan in the 1800's.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

TL10^ infantry will probably have a massive advantage over TL8 resistance, and I imagine that they would take out the five largest militaries from the safety of space with their orbital weapons before landing their token occupation force. With the alien equivalent of Commando Battlesuits and Gauss HMG, they can take any soft targets (they would call in orbital laser strikes against hard targets). As for attacking scouts, what could the Earth do against a SM 14 scout (the smallest hyperdrive capable spacecraft in this scenario)?
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
The oppression is not that bad, but if there is resistance they destroy a city from space.

Players are collaborators by necessity. One mad group can make one strike and have the aliens retaliate. Do you remember what happened to Kopenhagen, Mumbai, or Chicago? You might even try to find reasons to justify the aliens.

What kind of capabilities do the aliens have and what kind of control can they exert? They might have robots that automatically tap any communication or nanodrones that are listening _everywhere_, making resistance totally useless.

Most alien invasion movies have aliens whose technology is only slightly better than humans. How is yours?
Is subjugation actually tolerable? There are plenty of times when it is because one can survive it and the conquerors aren't actually worse then the ones before. But once in a while there is an enemy that there is no point to yielding to anyway.

There are all sorts of ways to fudge that. There might not be many aliens. Maybe they cannot have a ship on station all the time and so their new colony has to compete for survival in between times like any human state.
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Last edited by jason taylor; 01-12-2019 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
As for attacking scouts, what could the Earth do against a SM 14 scout (the smallest hyperdrive capable spacecraft in this scenario)?
Not the scout spaceships, the tentacles-on-the-ground scouting party.

What about turning it around? Have the PCs be the alien scouts, while the GM handles Earth's reaction.
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