Rebellions

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Tyrel Lohr
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Rebellions

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

I am working on some of the rules for the "Colony Phase" in Galaxies and I'm staring at rebellions and got to wondering again how other players have dealt with these in the past, and what the general preference is?

I've always played it where ground troops rise up and the system can eventually become a neutral minor power in its own right. However, I'm wondering if it would be better for the base rules to just have rebel colonies be non-productive and have that be the extent of it?

In 1E the militias were always too weak to really do anything, so that was never a concern. One or two troops were always enough to wipe them out, even if it took a few turns. The 2E rebels have more teeth, but they still seem to be more of a nuisance than anything else.
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Re: Rebellions

Post by murtalianconfederacy »

Maybe a staggered response? They start of merely being non-productive, but after 6-12 turns, if the rebellion isn't put down, they then become a minor power in their own right--view it as the rebellion getting the beginnings of a governmental structure and sounding out potential avenues of support. That way, the miner's rebellion on Zatak IV is put down quickly and is merely viewed as an internal action, but the widespread rebellion on Chiron II which manages to defeat the forces sent to bring the colony back into the fold then starts being a force for an independent Chiron Republic

EDIT: Missed your 'eventually' in the second paragraph.

As for me, I've always played it as 'colony fails rebellion check-->independent colony which is automatically at war with parent power', but maybe I should have done what I suggested up above.../shrugs
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Re: Rebellions

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

1E was pretty vague about what to do, and I corrected the other direction but I'm not sure it was the best way of handling it.

I think having some ground forces spawn to represent the rebel troops isn't a bad idea, and then just have a timer that if you don't eliminate the rebel troops within 12 turns then the system flips to neutral.

If the total cost of troops was something like 2 x Census, so a 3 Census system would spawn 6 EP of ground forces, would work out about right. That would be just enough opposition to cause some headaches for players, but still generally defeatable if you can get some troops out to deal with them fast enough.
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Re: Rebellions

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

Okay, some more random thoughts regarding rebellions to throw out there.

In working on the raider rules and trying to update them for Galaxies, I started wondering if a new approach for rebellions would be to have the rebels be treated more like raiders on all sides. Before we just had just ground forces involved, but maybe there should be a combination of forces at work to make a rebellion more than just troops on the ground? I think troops should still be the main focus, but having a small rebel fleet show up to protect the system might be interesting, too.

On the aspect of ground forces, in 1E you only had rebel troops show up if you tried forcing Census to keep work and then you had to roll for each Census and they somehow got converted into Militias which were too weak to ever have any bearing on combat. I understand what it was trying to do, but it required a lot of extra steps to resolve.

A simple and straightforward method would be to either have 1 Militia form for each Census in the system, or have some chance of them rising up. I would want the chance to be high, like a 3-4+ on a d6 die. Otherwise a rebellion is not going to have much teeth behind it.

If we go with the above, then we can reincorporate one element of the 1E rules where the death of a rebel Militia would have a chance of killing the associated Census. I would restrict this to a 6+ on a d6, but that would add some teeth back into putting down a rebellion, and opens the door for "butchers" to exact retribution on the population for story purposes.

The possibility of having rebel fleets move in might be something that we want to handle differently. I could see saying that the system gets RAW x Productivity construction cost of fleets move in right away. The other potentially better option is to use the +20% raiding chance modifier that I added to the rules to simulate this. That way the chance of a raider attack in the system increases when the system is in rebellion, and now these raiders aren't pirates but the rebel fleet forming to secure the system.

I'm not sure we want to worry about the accession of a rebel colony to full blown nation status. We could by saying that if the system is free of loyalist forces for 12 turns they breakaway and become a neutral power, but I think that gets a bit too specific for the base rules.

EDIT: I think the bigger question is if we want to have active rebellions where rebel ground forces appear and you have to fight to retake the colony, or if we want passive rebellions where the system sits at Morale 0 until the situation improves. There are merits to both approaches. The passive rebellions give a player more opportunity to correct the situation, and it becomes more of a nuisance than an active threat. Placing rebel troops in the system escalates the situation considerably.

The middle ground here would be to make a roll for each Census to see if they have raised a Militia, but maybe put the chance as like a "2" or less on a d6. That would be a 1/3 chance per Census. That way you get the chance of an active rebellion, but it's more likely that the system will just sit there not producing anything until you move in the troops to impose martial law or use Intel to improve the situation.
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Re: Rebellions

Post by Emiricol »

I like the simple +20% Raider chance for rebel space fleets to appear.

At first glance, my preference in the base game is for the system to simply produce 0 while in rebellion.

Then, as an optional Basic Galaxy rule, if the system remains in rebellion for 12 turns it could become a simple NAP/NPE (the one where they basically do nothing and are there to trade with or conquer). It would then begin with Non-Intercourse relation if you have no troops on-planet, or War if you do have troops on-planet.

Full-on rebellion spreading throughout the Empire to form a secessionist Power is, I think, better left for a companion guide. Simply allowing them to purchase Universal List ground units, with EP = Census, at the beginning and then at each year-end phase, would be a simple add-on for a more complicated rebellion subsystem. Throw in your idea of a "6" result on 1d6 = census killed, checked for when the unit is destroyed, adds flavor. All that would be missing is a mechanism for the rebellion to spread (which I think is best left out of the core Galaxy rules).

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Re: Rebellions

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

Emiricol wrote:All that would be missing is a mechanism for the rebellion to spread (which I think is best left out of the core Galaxy rules).
That is actually there in the sense that systems that are adjacent to a rebel system must make a morale check each turn, and a failure drops Morale. The chance is low, but it does open up the possibility of a rebellion spreading organically through nearby systems.

When I rewrite the civil war rules, I want to make the event be tied to the total Morale in your empire vs. total Census. That way if overall Morale dips too low, that's when you end up sparking the civil war and splitting out units ala the 1E Companion rules for secession and rebellion.
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Re: Rebellions

Post by Emiricol »

That's a great idea. The empire overall has to be unhappy to have popular support anything larger than a local rebellion of people with specific grievances.

Given that it's going to be an in-depth sourcebook focusing on one thing (civil wars), maybe there's room for something like a penal colony, or allowing dissenters to colonize a new system (with terrible Morale) to remove their negative influence from the parent systems' general happiness? Just because I'd love to have some rules that let me set up an interstellar power's version of Australia. The optional rules that could ripple out from such a thing could be wildly fun, too, for a tinkerer like me...

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