Some more notes on armed conflict

Is this your first visit to the site? If so, we recommend you start by reading the overview on the homepage, which sets out the key facts of our setting.

To understand the different types of armed conflict, we must first understand the different types of settlement.

The major settlements house millions of families in self-enclosed habitation zones with significant orbital defences. Anyone hoping to get “boots on the ground” must first win a space battle, which makes them very hard to invade. The Interstellar Society could do it, as could the Balog Empire, but the belligerence between them is a mostly cold war with occasional skirmishes. At the time of writing, neither has much to gain from escalating the conflict.

Major settlement, Interstellar Society
Major settlement, Balog Empire

There are, however, lots of smaller settlements in the galaxy, including research stations, new developments, and mining colonies. These are formally classed as expeditionary outposts, and the people who live there are called “spuds” (from the second syllable of “expeditionary”). The spuds have little in the way of orbital defences, which means they are at risk of hostile forces landing on their planets and attacking their habitation zones.

Expeditionary outpost, Interstellar Society

After making planetfall, most military units travel on foot or ride modified lifeforms. For the latter, they exploit the difference between Moller Time and real-time to guide the evolution of candidate animals. For instance: in the armed forces of the Interstellar Society, they often use giant birds, descended from ornamental peacocks that originally came from Earth.

Mounted soldier, Interstellar Society
Mounted soldier, Krulaks

Live mounts may seem anachronistic, but they do have some advantages. In an ecosystem with megafauna, they are virtually invisible to long-range monitoring systems, which struggle to distinguish them from other animals. The factions who don’t use them are the Cult of Pharphex, who lack the patience for animal husbandry – preferring to steal and repurpose industrial transports – and the Automatons, who build their own armoured vehicles.

Quad bike rider, Cult of Pharphex

Previous: Further detail on the Cults of the Maddening

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