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 Post subject: Coalition Base Defenses
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:58 pm
  

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I don't recall any of the books detailing this (maybe a Rifter?), but if they do kindly point me in the right direction. Otherwise, I would assume someone has needed this in their own game.

My group is planning a stealth mission to break into a small CS outpost, they're wanting to hack a server and get classified intel. What they don't know yet is if they succeed, this will lead them to a bigger CS base to get the item they're after. (My assumption is without internet at best the CS is doing the equivalent of sneakernet between bases via death head transports so if the players get into the server at this small base they would see in the records a placeholder that says the item is at the other base).

The second base would not be huge like Chi-Town or Lone Star, just a more standard stronghold, maybe something halfway between Chi-Town and Lone Star keeping the corridor open and as a place for corridor patrols to trade off, rest, etc.

How would you set up defenses at coalition bases? I would assume sky cycle patrols and SAMAS patrols at a greater distance, but am not too sure on how far out they'd go or how often. Infantry or ground vehicle patrols at a shorter distance. Turret weapons on the walls. Skelebots in the courtyard and any nearby cover like wooded areas, swamps. Dogboys at every entrance to the base, the landing area, and some patrols. But once they get inside, is it all security badges (chips in armor for the armored troops, or chip implants under the skin) and video cameras?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:20 pm
  

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the first thing is there's a LOT of empty space around any base that expects any kind of trouble. you've got patrols os SAMAS or sky cycles further out, and most likely troops on foot closer in, but these are patrolling a lot of flat land so you will get challanged a LONG way off if you don't have some very well-planned way to the door. no military force is letting there be any meaningful cover anywhere near their perimiter if possible and you can bet they have bulldozers when they set these things up.

security checkpoints are less likely to be computer chips and more likely a mix of keycards (easy to revoke, don't require you to track who has something implanted since once their permission is pulled they have to hand the card in) for the low-lvel stuff and biometrics like fingerprints (hard to duplicate, and uniquely human- just what the CS loves) or retinal scans for anything important with cameras (with dual channel that covers IR scanning) keeping an eye on things in the security area. i wouldn't expect a small base to have enough dogboys to have them at all posts at all times, but they would be roving around and security would certianly hold anyone suspected of psi-powers or worse until they're brought in to approve entry unless a very good reason is bluffed argued, preferably from a higher-up.

all of this is getting around the first line of security of any military base- the thing is going to be very confusing to walk through for someone not used to their designs lots of winding corridors, minimal and sometimes straight unhelpful guide markers junctions that seem to guide you right back to security (because they're angled to do just that) mean that anyone who isn't an actual trained soldier is going to stand out like a sore thumb to any MP worth their salt.

of course this requires the CS army to not hire a bunch of oversealous clowns, but like murphy says "they will always build a better idiot if something has been idiot proofed"

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:38 pm
  

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Skelebots up the wazoo if they can afford them...tripwire robot patrols roaming about or waiting in likely ambush sites.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:51 pm
  

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LostOne wrote:
I don't recall any of the books detailing this (maybe a Rifter?), but if they do kindly point me in the right direction. Otherwise, I would assume someone has needed this in their own game.

My group is planning a stealth mission to break into a small CS outpost, they're wanting to hack a server and get classified intel. What they don't know yet is if they succeed, this will lead them to a bigger CS base to get the item they're after. (My assumption is without internet at best the CS is doing the equivalent of sneakernet between bases via death head transports so if the players get into the server at this small base they would see in the records a placeholder that says the item is at the other base).

The second base would not be huge like Chi-Town or Lone Star, just a more standard stronghold, maybe something halfway between Chi-Town and Lone Star keeping the corridor open and as a place for corridor patrols to trade off, rest, etc.

How would you set up defenses at coalition bases? I would assume sky cycle patrols and SAMAS patrols at a greater distance, but am not too sure on how far out they'd go or how often. Infantry or ground vehicle patrols at a shorter distance. Turret weapons on the walls. Skelebots in the courtyard and any nearby cover like wooded areas, swamps. Dogboys at every entrance to the base, the landing area, and some patrols. But once they get inside, is it all security badges (chips in armor for the armored troops, or chip implants under the skin) and video cameras?


Don't worry about "realism". Instead think about this: do you want it to be possible for the PCs to accomplish the mission, or not? Either way can work depending on what you're doing. What you need to focus on is suspension of disbelief. You need to make the obstacles they encounter are hard enough and nail bitingly tense enough that the players will believe this is the force that desperately wants to grind the world under their jackboot and has made even the strongest rival powers like Lazlo believe that the only option is to roll over and let them do whatever they want.

So... make it hard. At the same time make them believe it's possible even though it's hard. Crank up the tension as much as you can so that if/when they succeed they feel like they earned it and if they fail they believe it's a legit failure.

Everything else is set dressing and technobabble. Make the obstacles and skill checks hard and explain what's going on well and you're golden. You generally want the defenses to look like a balance between having reasonable security and force to deal with the threats they're likely to face in the area. The whole point of player characters is that they aren't a reasonable threat anyway, it still makes sense that they can get by things other people can't.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:01 am
  

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taalismn wrote:
Skelebots up the wazoo if they can afford them...tripwire robot patrols roaming about or waiting in likely ambush sites.

And Dog Boys up the yin yang. I always figure these two would make up the bulk of security around any facility.

MadGreenSon wrote:
Don't worry about "realism". Instead think about this: do you want it to be possible for the PCs to accomplish the mission, or not? Either way can work depending on what you're doing. What you need to focus on is suspension of disbelief. You need to make the obstacles they encounter are hard enough and nail bitingly tense enough that the players will believe this is the force that desperately wants to grind the world under their jackboot and has made even the strongest rival powers like Lazlo believe that the only option is to roll over and let them do whatever they want.

So... make it hard. At the same time make them believe it's possible even though it's hard. Crank up the tension as much as you can so that if/when they succeed they feel like they earned it and if they fail they believe it's a legit failure.

Everything else is set dressing and technobabble. Make the obstacles and skill checks hard and explain what's going on well and you're golden. You generally want the defenses to look like a balance between having reasonable security and force to deal with the threats they're likely to face in the area. The whole point of player characters is that they aren't a reasonable threat anyway, it still makes sense that they can get by things other people can't.

I second this but most important, to me at least, is making it fit your characters skills and abilities. Try to tailor any weaknesses in the security to your characters strengths. Also, just getting the information on the bases security can be an adventure in and of itself.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:35 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
I second this but most important, to me at least, is making it fit your characters skills and abilities. Try to tailor any weaknesses in the security to your characters strengths. Also, just getting the information on the bases security can be an adventure in and of itself.

Absolutely. Plus, if your players are clever, they can find ways to apply what they're good at that you don't even anticipate. I always get a kick out of that.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:41 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I second this but most important, to me at least, is making it fit your characters skills and abilities. Try to tailor any weaknesses in the security to your characters strengths. Also, just getting the information on the bases security can be an adventure in and of itself.

Absolutely. Plus, if your players are clever, they can find ways to apply what they're good at that you don't even anticipate. I always get a kick out of that.

That is actually something I wanted to say but forgot. When I do something like this in my game I don't actually create the base with a way in. I wait for the players to ask about specific ideas and when they come up with one that I think is good enough I put an opening they can use. Think of it as your characters getting the Death Star plans but then they have to analyze them for a weak point and then work up an attack plan or just watch the A-Team movie if you want a touch of the absurd. I always worry that f I design a base with a specific way in that I will railroad my players because well I did that a lot when I was a high school GM.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:44 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I second this but most important, to me at least, is making it fit your characters skills and abilities. Try to tailor any weaknesses in the security to your characters strengths. Also, just getting the information on the bases security can be an adventure in and of itself.

Absolutely. Plus, if your players are clever, they can find ways to apply what they're good at that you don't even anticipate. I always get a kick out of that.

That is actually something I wanted to say but forgot. When I do something like this in my game I don't actually create the base with a way in. I wait for the players to ask about specific ideas and when they come up with one that I think is good enough I put an opening they can use. Think of it as your characters getting the Death Star plans but then they have to analyze them for a weak point and then work up an attack plan or just watch the A-Team movie if you want a touch of the absurd. I always worry that f I design a base with a specific way in that I will railroad my players because well I did that a lot when I was a high school GM.


and even if you don't want them to succeed avoid the implication of PRE-GM knowledge, IE don't obviously have the defences specifically tailored to defeat the exact plans and ideas the players come up with. I had a GM do that and I am still ticked about it over 10 years later.

people always talk about "pre-player Knowledge" which is where the players use out of game knowledge to "game" the system with stuff their characters wouldn't know.

to use another example we were playing a gurps game, and my character was a "tony stark" knockoff, basically wealthy, super genius, and capable of building tech that was significantly (2 tech levels) above what was available. I had to build all the tech personally, but the bad guys ALL had unlimited access to however much gear they wanted that was at the same level as what I could build/prototype.

to use an analogy, you have tony stark (ironman) building 1 off ironman suits, and he goes up against Hydra, and EVERY single Hydra agent has ironman suits just as good as the one tony just barely got done making.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:28 pm
  

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World Book 23 Xiticix Invasion details out a CS base. One large - held like an entire division or so. Another smaller one held a brigade or regiment I think.

World Book 10 had several defenses built by the CS.


You could probably review the "Internal Security" options from Rifts Mercenaries for some other options.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:35 pm
  

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Thanks everyone. I'm not trying to make it impossible, just starting with feasible/believable defenses and then see what they come up with. There's a Psi-Tech and Psi-Ghost in the group so if they can get to the door without raising an alarm, or by drawing guards away with a distraction somehow, they'll get inside. It's just a matter of getting to it through the no man's land empty space and avoiding dog boys. They have a source for dead boy armor so that'll help too.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:35 pm
  

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Dustin Fireblade wrote:
World Book 23 Xiticix Invasion details out a CS base. One large - held like an entire division or so. Another smaller one held a brigade or regiment I think.

World Book 10 had several defenses built by the CS.

You could probably review the "Internal Security" options from Rifts Mercenaries for some other options.


Thank you, I will definitely check these out.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:40 pm
  

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Adventure Sourcebook Black Vault also has some Coalition defenses, but they're pretty hefty. Worth checking out though.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:19 am
  

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narcissus wrote:
Adventure Sourcebook Black Vault also has some Coalition defenses, but they're pretty hefty. Worth checking out though.

While true, I sorta doubt the average military base is gonna have the same defenses as where they store the dreaded Techno Wizard Toasters. :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:35 pm
  

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Whatever you choose to do, remember that drones, semi-/autonomous robot systems work best as a first line of defense.

They can be easily and rapidly deployed in most terrains and don't get tired/bored/hungry/distracted. And with realtime electronic monitoring, the Dog-boys, psi-stalkers, and flyers can be ready for rapid backup as necessary.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:41 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
narcissus wrote:
Adventure Sourcebook Black Vault also has some Coalition defenses, but they're pretty hefty. Worth checking out though.

While true, I sorta doubt the average military base is gonna have the same defenses as where they store the dreaded Techno Wizard Toasters. :lol:

Think CS navy talked about some defenses that a town has. They might be used for CS bases. Low MD towers with laser canons, that would serve as guard towers.
One of the CS war books had stats for a stuff like razor wire. (in the info on CS Nazi style camps think it was in cs overkill.)
Add some mine fields and that would be what I expect at a low risk base.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:32 pm
  

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Comment: The only bad character is the one you didn't put on paper.
If you want "real" for your story; (1) look at who would want to attack that specific base and how you would defend against that threat or (2) decide what is being protected and decide how important it is, the more valuable, the harder you want to make to get through each line defense and more lines of defense

Passive defenses (tripwires, cameras, microwaves, motion activated devices, etc) can be tripped by environmental factors (wandering animals, random travelers, active storms and such) as easily as who they are supposed to defend against. These can be used as diversions or trip them so many times they use valuable assets to guard against an area you never plan to attack.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:41 pm
  

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Blackwater Sniper wrote:
If you want "real" for your story; (1) look at who would want to attack that specific base and how you would defend against that threat or (2) decide what is being protected and decide how important it is, the more valuable, the harder you want to make to get through each line defense and more lines of defense

Passive defenses (tripwires, cameras, microwaves, motion activated devices, etc) can be tripped by environmental factors (wandering animals, random travelers, active storms and such) as easily as who they are supposed to defend against. These can be used as diversions or trip them so many times they use valuable assets to guard against an area you never plan to attack.

I would think cameras could be set up to a AI to help rule out false triggers. (but in rifts the bad guys could be shape shifted to look like normal animals.) Random travers coming up to your base and crossing your defense line is something you want to deal with. A base with risk of attack should have a clear line of sight for a few hundred yards/meters.

Typically modern military basses have fences minimal, in combat zones they also have guard towers, and blast absorbent barriers. They also make use of thermal optic systems and drones to detect approaching people. A base will always have personal assigned to security, monitor sensors, guard towers and QRF (quick reactionary force, a group of troops on stand buy with their gear able to respond to any location on base in minimal amount of time.) The CS would have them stand buy in full body armor, or have bunkers of skelebots around the parameter. The smaller the window is before QRF arrives to fight off attackers the safer the base and less likely to be attacked. The job of QRF is to stop small forces or tie down attackers until the main force can get in the fight. The size of QRF would depend on different factors like available troops risk of attack and work rest cycles. A dedicated QRF means you do not need to send out an alarm to all forces to check every time sensor is tripped and having multiple QRF teams means you could deal with multiple sensor trips at once. If all your QRF is responding to multiple alarms that is typically when you do a generally when you do full base alert.

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Soon my army oc clones and winged-monkies will rule the world but first, must .......

I may debate canon and RAW, but the games I run are highly house ruled. So I am not debating for how I play but about how the system works as written.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:31 pm
  

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Aside from remote recon outposts which are by nature covert, I'd say that a CS base would be pretty much impossible for even a large player group; hire some mercenaries to help. At least a reinforced platoon, but a full battalion would be better.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:54 pm
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Aside from remote recon outposts which are by nature covert, I'd say that a CS base would be pretty much impossible for even a large player group; hire some mercenaries to help. At least a reinforced platoon, but a full battalion would be better.


Actually it would be just the opposite.

The larger the base, the more (and varied) points of entry there will be. Think of your own workplaces and

A small hut (squad): everyone knows everyone else on sight, by voice, and mannerisms. You can't just sneak around and try to blend in.

A building (platoon): you work with each other enough to know who belongs and who doesn't, but a random person dressed appropriately with the right answers "delivering parts/ammo/food" will more likely be allowed to enter and exit unmolested.

A campus (company): you are friendly with most everyone, but are just as happy to go about your business if no one but immediate friends talked to you. As long as you get your character past an entry-point, you should be able to BS your way around if you have the right uniform and PB (Charm %)

Anything above the size of a campus (battalion+): you are just another one of the cogs on the wheel. As long as you look busy/important or the opposite, too stupid to warrant attention, the common areas are your playground. Getting into specific areas without triggering an alarm becomes harder as then the groups act more like the platoon or squad and will identify that you have no reason to be there.

If you are going for pure destruction, "He who rules the skies, rules the battlefield" -- Giulio Douhet (unless the politicians call the shots and sets the RoE... then you're screwed).

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:42 am
  

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Blackwater Sniper wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Aside from remote recon outposts which are by nature covert, I'd say that a CS base would be pretty much impossible for even a large player group; hire some mercenaries to help. At least a reinforced platoon, but a full battalion would be better.


Actually it would be just the opposite.

The larger the base, the more (and varied) points of entry there will be. Think of your own workplaces and

A small hut (squad): everyone knows everyone else on sight, by voice, and mannerisms. You can't just sneak around and try to blend in.

A building (platoon): you work with each other enough to know who belongs and who doesn't, but a random person dressed appropriately with the right answers "delivering parts/ammo/food" will more likely be allowed to enter and exit unmolested.

A campus (company): you are friendly with most everyone, but are just as happy to go about your business if no one but immediate friends talked to you. As long as you get your character past an entry-point, you should be able to BS your way around if you have the right uniform and PB (Charm %)

Anything above the size of a campus (battalion+): you are just another one of the cogs on the wheel. As long as you look busy/important or the opposite, too stupid to warrant attention, the common areas are your playground. Getting into specific areas without triggering an alarm becomes harder as then the groups act more like the platoon or squad and will identify that you have no reason to be there.

If you are going for pure destruction, "He who rules the skies, rules the battlefield" -- Giulio Douhet (unless the politicians call the shots and sets the RoE... then you're screwed).



LOL I'm afraid that even a military screwed up by bad/ weak civilian leadership isn't that easy to work around; a working military would be a different thing... especially with dog boys, skelebots, and the soldiers in general to deal with. Then there's the equipment they'd be using.
I get that civilians don't have a grasp of these things, but to a veteran/ active duty military, games like RIFTS look a lot different.
(I do try to avoid conversations about the Tolkeen thing but...)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:39 am
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Blackwater Sniper wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Aside from remote recon outposts which are by nature covert, I'd say that a CS base would be pretty much impossible for even a large player group; hire some mercenaries to help. At least a reinforced platoon, but a full battalion would be better.


Actually it would be just the opposite.

The larger the base, the more (and varied) points of entry there will be. Think of your own workplaces and

A small hut (squad): everyone knows everyone else on sight, by voice, and mannerisms. You can't just sneak around and try to blend in.

A building (platoon): you work with each other enough to know who belongs and who doesn't, but a random person dressed appropriately with the right answers "delivering parts/ammo/food" will more likely be allowed to enter and exit unmolested.

A campus (company): you are friendly with most everyone, but are just as happy to go about your business if no one but immediate friends talked to you. As long as you get your character past an entry-point, you should be able to BS your way around if you have the right uniform and PB (Charm %)

Anything above the size of a campus (battalion+): you are just another one of the cogs on the wheel. As long as you look busy/important or the opposite, too stupid to warrant attention, the common areas are your playground. Getting into specific areas without triggering an alarm becomes harder as then the groups act more like the platoon or squad and will identify that you have no reason to be there.

If you are going for pure destruction, "He who rules the skies, rules the battlefield" -- Giulio Douhet (unless the politicians call the shots and sets the RoE... then you're screwed).



LOL I'm afraid that even a military screwed up by bad/ weak civilian leadership isn't that easy to work around; a working military would be a different thing... especially with dog boys, skelebots, and the soldiers in general to deal with. Then there's the equipment they'd be using.
I get that civilians don't have a grasp of these things, but to a veteran/ active duty military, games like RIFTS look a lot different.
(I do try to avoid conversations about the Tolkeen thing but...)

Yeah, it's better to just roll over and let them do whatever they want. You can't do anything to them, they will always win, and no one has a chance of impeding them in any way.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:29 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Blackwater Sniper wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Aside from remote recon outposts which are by nature covert, I'd say that a CS base would be pretty much impossible for even a large player group; hire some mercenaries to help. At least a reinforced platoon, but a full battalion would be better.


Actually it would be just the opposite.

The larger the base, the more (and varied) points of entry there will be. Think of your own workplaces and

A small hut (squad): everyone knows everyone else on sight, by voice, and mannerisms. You can't just sneak around and try to blend in.

A building (platoon): you work with each other enough to know who belongs and who doesn't, but a random person dressed appropriately with the right answers "delivering parts/ammo/food" will more likely be allowed to enter and exit unmolested.

A campus (company): you are friendly with most everyone, but are just as happy to go about your business if no one but immediate friends talked to you. As long as you get your character past an entry-point, you should be able to BS your way around if you have the right uniform and PB (Charm %)

Anything above the size of a campus (battalion+): you are just another one of the cogs on the wheel. As long as you look busy/important or the opposite, too stupid to warrant attention, the common areas are your playground. Getting into specific areas without triggering an alarm becomes harder as then the groups act more like the platoon or squad and will identify that you have no reason to be there.

If you are going for pure destruction, "He who rules the skies, rules the battlefield" -- Giulio Douhet (unless the politicians call the shots and sets the RoE... then you're screwed).



LOL I'm afraid that even a military screwed up by bad/ weak civilian leadership isn't that easy to work around; a working military would be a different thing... especially with dog boys, skelebots, and the soldiers in general to deal with. Then there's the equipment they'd be using.
I get that civilians don't have a grasp of these things, but to a veteran/ active duty military, games like RIFTS look a lot different.
(I do try to avoid conversations about the Tolkeen thing but...)

Yeah, it's better to just roll over and let them do whatever they want. You can't do anything to them, they will always win, and no one has a chance of impeding them in any way.



Is that what's called a straw-man?
I'm just saying that some things require a bigger force than others.
Reading the canon on the CS military (and I wonder how they get the manpower and resources for such things), even their patrols would be... difficult for a typical player party, unless they're fairly high-level with above-average gear.
To attack a CS base, yes, I'd say you need to hire a free company (Rifts: Mercenaries)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:13 am
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Is that what's called a straw-man?

Not really. I'm just annoyed by how the Coalition gets better plot shields than the freakin Draka.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:33 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Is that what's called a straw-man?

Not really. I'm just annoyed by how the Coalition gets better plot shields than the freakin Draka.



I try to ignore plot armor as much as possible.
Actually had a CS fanboy screaming-rage-quit on me because of it, but everyone else was fine with that as well.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:13 am
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Actually had a CS fanboy screaming-rage-quit on me because of it, but everyone else was fine with that as well.

Now this is a story I want to hear.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:47 am
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Is that what's called a straw-man?

Not really. I'm just annoyed by how the Coalition gets better plot shields than the freakin Draka.


I try to ignore plot armor as much as possible.


Generally when people here complain about CS plot armor, it's because they're overlooking the plot armor of pretty much everything else.
I don't consider the CS to even HAVE plot armor, because the key to plot armor is characters surviving when they realistically wouldn't; enemies that kill everybody else, but for unknown reasons they capture the MCs instead of killing them, or an explosion goes off, but the MCs miraculously survive, and so forth.

Nothing like that has happened with the CS.

There's been some crappy deus ex machina writing, like Holmes' crew going through xiticix territory, but that's no more "plot armor" than Tolkeen's anti-nuke magical defense.
These things aren't plot armor, just bad writing.

Considering the numbers we're given for the CS, the descriptions of their technology, and so forth, I think there's a stronger argument that the rest of North America has plot armor saving them from the CS's expansion.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:27 pm
  

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Comment: The only bad character is the one you didn't put on paper.
If you are trying to sneak in, get the info, and get out without being detected, a large force will only complicate matters and put everyone on a higher alert status.

When no attack is happening or directly imminent, people become complacent, let down their guard, think about what they will do when their post rotates, and such.

People watching monitors may glance at a few of them every once in a while, but they won't stare at them for an hour or more day in and day out waiting for an infiltration that may or may not happen on their shift. It's also hard on the eyes.

Guards performing patrols who have set points to hit are more likely to put in the motions knowing everything looks exactly as it did their last walk-through and the last days' and weeks' walk-through...it gets boring. If they don't do the same areas on a regular basis, they won't know if something looks wrong: pallets stacked against a wall, vehicles parked in front of roll-up doors after working hours, or unlit locations where spotlights are vital.

Putting more experienced (elite) forces in to perform routine guard duty is a waste of assets. And if I see elite troops guarding an area of a base on a daily basis that should be guarded by a regular, I know it's a place worth guarding.

You want to keep them at their lowest state of readiness as long as you can.

I would see this as a long term game to pull off and be fun; you need to make sure you have the right location, futuristic RFID/HID cards that have access to areas you need (maintenance usually has the best access cards), uniforms/clothes that blend in, and people to pull off each aspect of the mission. The more outside people who know what you are trying to do the more likely they will talk to the wrong person and word gets back to the Coalition (accidentally).

I'm pulling most of my opinions from 8 years in the Army, 20+ years in corporate security with the last 5 teaching active shooter protocols, and now, most importantly, retired and a part-time worker at Publix in the Deli.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:44 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Generally when people here complain about CS plot armor, it's because they're overlooking the plot armor of pretty much everything else.
I don't consider the CS to even HAVE plot armor, because the key to plot armor is characters surviving when they realistically wouldn't; enemies that kill everybody else, but for unknown reasons they capture the MCs instead of killing them, or an explosion goes off, but the MCs miraculously survive, and so forth.

Nothing like that has happened with the CS.

There's been some crappy deus ex machina writing, like Holmes' crew going through xiticix territory, but that's no more "plot armor" than Tolkeen's anti-nuke magical defense.
These things aren't plot armor, just bad writing.

Considering the numbers we're given for the CS, the descriptions of their technology, and so forth, I think there's a stronger argument that the rest of North America has plot armor saving them from the CS's expansion.

It's the same thing as with the Draka. They get all the breaks so that things go really well for them in ways that facilitate their growth and expansion and any apparent setbacks end up not mattering at all. You're also right, with everything they've been given, they should already be owning most if not all of the continent. There really doesn't seem to be any reason for them to hold back either, especially since the only factions left to oppose them are really small and there seems to be a brainbug among some of them that it's somehow morally wrong to fight the CS at all.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:50 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Generally when people here complain about CS plot armor, it's because they're overlooking the plot armor of pretty much everything else.
I don't consider the CS to even HAVE plot armor, because the key to plot armor is characters surviving when they realistically wouldn't; enemies that kill everybody else, but for unknown reasons they capture the MCs instead of killing them, or an explosion goes off, but the MCs miraculously survive, and so forth.

Nothing like that has happened with the CS.

There's been some crappy deus ex machina writing, like Holmes' crew going through xiticix territory, but that's no more "plot armor" than Tolkeen's anti-nuke magical defense.
These things aren't plot armor, just bad writing.

Considering the numbers we're given for the CS, the descriptions of their technology, and so forth, I think there's a stronger argument that the rest of North America has plot armor saving them from the CS's expansion.

It's the same thing as with the Draka.


What's a Draka?
:?

Quote:
They get all the breaks so that things go really well for them in ways that facilitate their growth and expansion and any apparent setbacks end up not mattering at all.


What breaks?

Quote:
You're also right, with everything they've been given, they should already be owning most if not all of the continent. There really doesn't seem to be any reason for them to hold back either, especially since the only factions left to oppose them are really small and there seems to be a brainbug among some of them that it's somehow morally wrong to fight the CS at all.


It takes manpower to hold territory is the main thing, especially in a world where rifts can open up and demons can pour out.
If the CS decided to, for example, take over The Magic Zone, and they could do so without weakening their hold on existing territory, they'd be constantly dealing with problems that could never be entirely put down. Dweomer is basically unfindable as far as the CS is concerned, and Stormspire moves around, so taking either of those places--or even destroying them--would be incredibly tricky, not to mention all sorts of monsters and such.

They've got basically Illinois' current population, only spread out across 4 states, one of them being a big chunk of Texas, and they've got significant enemies all over. The Xiticix population flat-out dwarfs the CS from what I can tell, in pretty much the same way the CS dwarfs the other human powers in North America. Frankly, I think it was a big mistake for them to even go after Tolkeen; they should have left that city as a buffer against the real enemy to the North.
And there's Free Quebec, which the CS doesn't want to invade.
And there's Splugorth bases on the coast still, IIRC, with slavers coming much further inland for prey. The CS could definitely hold territory against slavers, but if they did Atlantis might object after a bit.

So far, the CS's main strategy has been trying to turn existing territories into allies, then partners. Their only outright official aggressive act so far is Tolkeen, I believe, and their attempt at FQ which basically ended in a draw.

The CS's main advantage is that they're by far the second biggest single power north of the Rio Grande, after the Xiticix. If all or most of the other powers united against them, that'd put them in a bad spot, but all the other powers have their own conflicting agendas and issues that keep them from making that kind of alliance, as the Tolkeen war showed.
Lazlo and New Lazlo aren't going to ally with Free Quebec or the Federation of Magic (not the TRUE federation anyway), for example.
The main thing that would unite these powers is if the CS invades them, kind of like how when the US goes into the Middle East, we get opposition from any number of organizations across the region, not just the place where we invade, and sometimes they join forces against us, or it nets out the same.
(Not to get into real-world politics)
Without the current manpower and resources to capture and HOLD all that territory, if the CS wanted to wipe out the competition in North America, they'd have to lead an extermination campaign, just smashing down other nations and killing as many people as they can, then moving on. Which would definitely create new alliances in opposition to them, and would go against the CS' "Humanity First" view of the world because they'd have to kill tons of regular humans along with the mages, psychics, and so forth.

At least, that's how things sat as of Aftermath. If anything in the demon invasion book(s) changes that picture significantly, I haven't really heard about it.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:38 am
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

What's a Draka?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Domination


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:02 am
  

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Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:37 am
  

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Everyone's posts are pretty amazing.

I'd also think of what the weaknesses are that you want to make exploitable for the PC's.

Most real world bases end up having a local economy just outside the gates. Maybe 100 meters from the gates, maybe a kilometer away.

This is where you get tattoo parlors, bars, clubs, drugs, stores selling non-regulation items, and a black market. If this economy doesn't exist, patrols will make wider search patterns to hit local towns that are too distant from the base to be considered 'safe' by the Base Commander.

Traveling shows would be similar to the U.S.O. Approved by the military high command for off base only, but secretly an enemy owned endeavor to keep tabs on various bases and to question personnel to gain intelligence.

These would give player characters access to drunk and disorderly servicemen to steal badges, gain intel, bribe and/or otherwise learn of the weaknesses you have created for plot driven needs.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:28 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.


Well, let's look at the data...
CS Total Population: Unknown
CS Total Military Population: Unknown
CS Infrastructure Technology: Unknown
Requirements to support CS Population: Unknown


NOT sure how you're coming to any kind of hard conclusion there.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:30 am
  

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Klaus027 wrote:
Most real world bases end up having a local economy just outside the gates. Maybe 100 meters from the gates, maybe a kilometer away.
This is where you get tattoo parlors, bars, clubs, drugs, stores selling non-regulation items, and a black market. If this economy doesn't exist, patrols will make wider search patterns to hit local towns that are too distant from the base to be considered 'safe' by the Base Commander.


THAT's a pretty good point!
:ok:

There has to be some place off-base the soldiers go for R&R, unless they have everything they need--including bars, clubs, drugs, etc. inside the base, in which case there'd be some kind of black market way in.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:35 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.



Which is part of the plot armor for the CS.
Like I said before, I don't see how the can maintain their manpower and resources.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:06 pm
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.



Which is part of the plot armor for the CS.
Like I said before, I don't see how the can maintain their manpower and resources.


Why not?

For all we know, running the CS farms, mining for clay for ceramics, and all the other labor needed to support the CS is done by a million people, and they have a HUGE surplus population that doesn't have much else to do except use a huge surplus of goods to make war.

Since we don't know what it takes to maintain their manpower and resources,
and we don't know what their manpower and resources ARE,
I'm always confused by the kind of claim you're making here.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:22 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Why not?


Numbers don't matter as much because it's implausible. It breaks the willing suspension of disbelief by invoking the "Oh you've got to be kidding" effect. When descriptions of what the Coalition had going on made me start rolling my eyes rather than having interest, I knew I'd hit my limit.

You know what they need to do? Fail. They need to try to take new territory, beat a perceived enemy, or accomplish a goal and not succeed. The Minion War would have been a good place for it, honestly. Make it so the player characters and/or another faction needs to step up because the Coalition just... failed.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:40 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Klaus027 wrote:
Most real world bases end up having a local economy just outside the gates. Maybe 100 meters from the gates, maybe a kilometer away.
This is where you get tattoo parlors, bars, clubs, drugs, stores selling non-regulation items, and a black market. If this economy doesn't exist, patrols will make wider search patterns to hit local towns that are too distant from the base to be considered 'safe' by the Base Commander.


THAT's a pretty good point!
:ok:

There has to be some place off-base the soldiers go for R&R, unless they have everything they need--including bars, clubs, drugs, etc. inside the base, in which case there'd be some kind of black market way in.

Most prolonged noncombat zone bases. Ones where attacks are likely their is nothing just outside base. If abase was the type expecting an attack you would not find it.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:10 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.


Well, let's look at the data...
CS Total Population: Unknown
CS Total Military Population: Unknown
CS Infrastructure Technology: Unknown
Requirements to support CS Population: Unknown


NOT sure how you're coming to any kind of hard conclusion there.
(I could have sworn at one time we where given number of troops and population for the CS but hey lets take a look.)
The US with over 300 million people has maintained around 1.3 million troops total army air force, navy and marines. North Korea has over 25 million people with an armed force of 608,000. Given the few number of cities it would be hard for the CS to have a the same population as north Korea. (Part of the reason north Korea economy is so bad is over military spending.)

The final siege CS numbers where 320,000 +308,000(not counting losses) and an addental 100,000 dog boys. That means just the forces in Tolkeen are stretch to be able to afford economically, add in the home guard and troops about 6 corps of 11K per state and the 50-60 K coming from the FQ front you are looking at at least 700,000 people in the military that are accounted for. CS does not pay slave wages to its soldiers, so they would need a high national income, their trade is limited because their are few large nations for them to trade with.

We do have numbers for the some of the Cities. thanks to CS War campaign pg 200.
Wulkeen has 700,000 people.
CHI Town 1.3 million (chi town pre war forces where 36+ corps of 11K troops. over half the size of North Korea army)
Most other cities will rarely more than 200,000.
(Given that I would be suprised if the CS had much more than 10 million people.)

We also know that 1.2 million civilians that work in support the army before the war with Tolkeen.
We are looking at about 700,0000 troops at the end of the siege on Tolkeen that we know about.

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Last edited by Blue_Lion on Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:07 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Why not?


Numbers don't matter as much because it's implausible. It breaks the willing suspension of disbelief by invoking the "Oh you've got to be kidding" effect. When descriptions of what the Coalition had going on made me start rolling my eyes rather than having interest, I knew I'd hit my limit.


It doesn't break mine, so I'm wondering why it breaks yours.
What about the CS having massive resources and a much higher population than other nations in North America specifically makes you say "Oh you've got to be kidding?," in a world with magic, psychics, vampires, dragons, glitter boys, etc?

Quote:
You know what they need to do? Fail. They need to try to take new territory, beat a perceived enemy, or accomplish a goal and not succeed. The Minion War would have been a good place for it, honestly. Make it so the player characters and/or another faction needs to step up because the Coalition just... failed.


This doesn't happen in your games most of the time when the CS goes up against PCs?
I get it; "that's not the same thing."
You're talking about metaplot losses, not the fact that most tables that play Rifts tend to use the CS as punching bags and loot pinatas.
But I think there should be some level of comparison between the two.

The role of the CS (one of them) is the growing threat that somebody (usually the PCs) need to stop before they consume everything.
Like Sauron's armies in LotR, the Empire in Star Wars, the spice traders in Dune, the White Walkers in ASOIAF, and so on, and so forth.
How many major losses did any of those villains rack up in general metaplot, without the Main Characters directly stopping them?
None, because that's not how these things go.
It's not as exciting battling villains who are thwarted off-screen in major battles, as a rule.
You act like it's just been win after win after win for the CS, like they can't fail, but they lost battles in Sot, they didn't stop the Mechanoids (unless the PCs were playing CS troops), they failed to get the bioweapon in the Xiticix and the Green Death adventure, they get killed off in flavor text in books like Psyscape just to show how cool certain classes are, they failed to kill Aliaster Dunscon, they didn't stop the queen from being murdered/kidnapped back in the day, they failed to retake Free Quebec, and I doubt that's a complete list
Of all the adventures, adventure ideas, and hook/line/sinkers, I can't remember any at all where the CS is intended to win out. It's certainly nowhere near the majority.

What have they won?
Juicer Uprising, in which they took much longer than they should have to win, getting their noses bloodied.
The Tolkeen war overall, which again took much longer than it should have considering the two armies in question. They won through bad writing and deus ex machina, but that's like Mike Tyson only beating Pee Wee Herman through deus ex machina; it wouldn't be a sign that he's undefeatable, but rather a sign that he's much weaker than expected.
The Minion Wars (which I really don't know much about, but I'll take your word)

Am I missing something? Are there a lot of other CS successes I've forgotten about or never heard about?
They haven't gone up against any opponents in their weight class in any wars, except maybe the Minion War stuff, so losing would be unexpected and unrealistic.
And it's not like there's a LONG list. Very little has happened in the game-world metaplot in the 30 real-world years Rifts has been out.

It's basically complaining that the Nazis had plot armor because they were able to take Poland and France; the overall war wasn't even really gearing up yet.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:51 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

It doesn't break mine, so I'm wondering why it breaks yours.
What about the CS having massive resources and a much higher population than other nations in North America specifically makes you say "Oh you've got to be kidding?," in a world with magic, psychics, vampires, dragons, glitter boys, etc?

Dude, come on, that's bargain basement whataboutism and demonstrates nothing.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:58 pm
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.


Well, let's look at the data...
CS Total Population: Unknown
CS Total Military Population: Unknown
CS Infrastructure Technology: Unknown
Requirements to support CS Population: Unknown


NOT sure how you're coming to any kind of hard conclusion there.

(I could have sworn at one time we where given number of troops and population for the CS but hey lets take a look.)
The US with over 300 million people has maintained around 1.3 million troops total army air force, navy and marines. North Korea has over 25 million people with an armed force of 608,000. Given the few number of cities it would be hard for the CS to have a the same population as north Korea. (Part of the reason north Korea is so bad is over military spending.)

The final siege CS numbers where 320,000 +308,000(not counting losses) and an addental 100,000 dog boys. That means just the forces in Tolkeen are stretch to be able to afford economically, add in the home guard and troops about 6 corps of 11K per state and the 50-60 K coming from the FQ front you are looking at at least 600,000 people in the military that are accounted for. CS does not pay slave wages to its soldiers, so they would need a high national income, their trade is limited because their are few large nations for them to trade with.

We do have numbers for the some of the Cities. thanks to CS War campaign pg 200.
Wulkeen has 700,000 people.
CHI Town 1.3 million (chi town pre war forces where 36+ corps of 11K troops. over half the size of North Korea army)
Most other cities will rarely more than 200,000.
(Given that I would be suprised if the CS had much more than 10 million people.)

We also know that 1.2 million civilians that work in support the army before the war with Tolkeen.
We are looking at about 600,0000 troops at the end of the siege on Tolkeen that we know about.


The CS population as of 101 PA was 14 million humans, 10 million D-Bees/mutants/nonhumans as per SB1 pages 12-13
10% of their "overall population" was made up of Dog Boys, so about 2.4 million of the non-humans are Dog Pack.
We're never given hard numbers on their overall military strength, and it's not even clear whether their population numbers are including their military or not.

Since the, the CS has lost an unknown number of people, and gained an unknown number of people.
Discounting random deaths and births, they've lost the population of Free Quebec, and gained the population of a few other territories.
We don't know the CS birth rate or death rate, but it's been about an in-game decade since those numbers were accurate. That's not a lot of time to significantly grow the population in a nation like the US, but the CS might well have drastically different views on reproduction than we do, being more equivalent modern adherents of the Quiverfull theological view that all families should be as big as possible, so birth control and sterilization is shunned among their members.
The average quiverfull family has 8.5 kids, but the CS could likely double or triple that number without much effort using fertility-boosting technology.
One woman cranking out triplets every year for 10 years, for example, could crank out 30 kids in a decade, NONE of which would be expected to die prematurely due to CS medical technology.
If the 50% of the 14 million humans in 101 PA were female, and they had an average of 30 kids each over the in-game decade since those numbers were printed, that'd be 210,000,000 kids.
The CS doesn't seem to actually HAVE that kind of population, so apparently they're not that hardcore about it and/or there are lots of other factors keeping them from reaching those numbers, but it does show that the CS could have gone from 14 million humans to easily double, triple, or quadruple those numbers in the decade since we were last given their population, even with the loss of Quebec and the deaths of various soldiers and civilians due to monsters.

Comparing the modern US or North Korea to the CS won't give you an accurate picture because:
1. The modern US is not under any credible threat of invasion, and has zero hostile nations/kingdoms/giant insect armies/etc at our borders.
A better comparison would be during WWII, when the US was serious about war.
Our total population at the time was 132 million people.
Our total military personnel was 16 million, and we weren't fully geared up for war, much less a nation that had been surrounded by hostile and powerful forces, effectively at war, for generations.
2. Neither the modern US or the modern North Korea have the Coalition's technology.
The CS can make nuclear batteries and power plants seemingly effortlessly (and no, they're not the only ones who can; this tech is pretty common on Rifts Earth, for major powers and businesses)
The CS has genetically engineered crops and livestock that are a lot healthier than anything in American history, and certainly more than what North Korea has. "An army marches on it's belly" as the saying goes, and traditionally one of the restrictions on military size is how many soldiers the nation can feed. The CS can feed a LOT. The CS state of Missouri--which includes 1/2 of modern Iowa--is mostly farmlands, and CS farms are far, far more efficient than what we have today as per Lonestar.
Also as per Lonestar, most modern illnesses we have today are unheard of in the CS states due to their medical technology. Between advanced medicines and IRMSS kits and such--and the nature of mega-damage combat--the need for military medical personnel would be a drastically smaller percentage than any point in real-world history, freeing up a ton of people to fill combat roles.
Their computers are 10x better than today's equivalent, and already modern computers have put tons of people out of jobs, and stand to put even more out of work. So the CS would have a much larger percent of their population freed up for military service, as the civilian workforce would be significantly smaller. Not just from medicine and computers, but from superior technology across the board; technology reduces the need for labor, and CS technology is far beyond our own.

As a matter of correction, North Korea's reserve forces are 600k. Their active duty forces are 1,280,000. So that's a total of nearly 2 million out of a nation of 25 million whose resources are stretched beyond capacity.

To picture what the CS forces might look like, take the propaganda levels and fanatacism of modern Korea, but apply it to a civilization where most modern support jobs would be obsolete in the face of new technology, so much more of the population is able to focus on the ongoing glorious wars to protect and expand the nation's borders.
Oh, except also amplify the propaganda levels beyond North Korea's levels, because--again--vastly superior technology would make that a lot easier as well.
PLUS they have a similar--but arguably even stronger--incentive to militarize than the US did during WWII.

Looking at what modern nations might be able to field in the way of armies is necessarily aiming way too low for what the CS could field, based on the official descriptions of the CS.

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Last edited by Killer Cyborg on Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:01 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

It doesn't break mine, so I'm wondering why it breaks yours.
What about the CS having massive resources and a much higher population than other nations in North America specifically makes you say "Oh you've got to be kidding?," in a world with magic, psychics, vampires, dragons, glitter boys, etc?

Dude, come on, that's bargain basement whataboutism and demonstrates nothing.


:?

NOT whataboutism, nor a demonstration of anything.

I'm asking you why your suspension of disbelief breaks on this particular point, not constructing any kind of argument or distraction from that question.

If you can't explain why your suspension of disbelief breaks when it comes to CS military numbers, that's cool; we can't always articulate our thoughts fully enough for other people to understand them.
I'm just curious, because it seems odd to me.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:34 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

NOT whataboutism, nor a demonstration of anything.

I'm asking you why your suspension of disbelief breaks on this particular point, not constructing any kind of argument or distraction from that question.

If you can't explain why your suspension of disbelief breaks when it comes to CS military numbers, that's cool; we can't always articulate our thoughts fully enough for other people to understand them.
I'm just curious, because it seems odd to me.

Mostly? It's because they're the only ones with this curious glut of population and resources with zero explanation as to how or why. Everyplace else is pretty underpopulated and poor and I see no particular reason why Illinois is the post apocalyptic promised land full of resources and fertility drugs/cloning vats.

Also, and this might be controversial, I really don't think they're interesting enough as a faction or even as villains to have so much space dedicated to them. Especially with so much time spent trying to backpedal and say that they aren't all evil. Hell, let 'em be evil. They sure have enough evil alignments at the high ranks and corrupt officers, just embrace it! The milquetoast way they're presented with qualifiers saying "no really, some of 'em are great guys and the civilians are all feckless morons suckling the propaganda teat!" while at the same time making their society pretty much unassailable by any means and having their own Night of Long Knives in the Burbs where the feckless moron civilians engage in wholesale murder while still trying to sell the idea that there's ambiguity to them.

Let. Them. Be. The. Bad. Guys. It's okay, not everything needs to be morally ambiguous, especially things that draw so hard on Nazi imagery.

By refusing to embrace it an go all out, it just sucks the juice out of the whole thing. Not everything needs to be complicated, especially in this terribly implemented way.

Truthfully? I blame the late 80s and most of the 90s, this kind of pseudo-ambiguous villainy was huge then.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:38 pm
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.


yeah, but they sell books. so if they help keep palladium economically sustainable, they get to be too. dang their snazzy outfits and weapons! :P

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2021 3:59 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.



Which is part of the plot armor for the CS.
Like I said before, I don't see how the can maintain their manpower and resources.


Why not?

For all we know, running the CS farms, mining for clay for ceramics, and all the other labor needed to support the CS is done by a million people, and they have a HUGE surplus population that doesn't have much else to do except use a huge surplus of goods to make war.

Since we don't know what it takes to maintain their manpower and resources,
and we don't know what their manpower and resources ARE,
I'm always confused by the kind of claim you're making here.


Well, we know that the CS went up against Tolkeen with a lot of people, most of whom they lost... and replaced completely in less than a year. Same goes for all of the equipment, vehicles, and so on.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:00 pm
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
Honestly given the number of people in the CS their army should not be economically sustainable.



Which is part of the plot armor for the CS.
Like I said before, I don't see how the can maintain their manpower and resources.


Why not?

For all we know, running the CS farms, mining for clay for ceramics, and all the other labor needed to support the CS is done by a million people, and they have a HUGE surplus population that doesn't have much else to do except use a huge surplus of goods to make war.

Since we don't know what it takes to maintain their manpower and resources,
and we don't know what their manpower and resources ARE,
I'm always confused by the kind of claim you're making here.


Well, we know that the CS went up against Tolkeen with a lot of people, most of whom they lost... and replaced completely in less than a year. Same goes for all of the equipment, vehicles, and so on.


Yup.
The issue is whether or not it's "realistic," and I can't say that it's NOT, although I do think it would have been more interesting if there'd been more of a setback for the CS after losing that many people.
Then again, I don't think they should have lost anywhere near that many people, so I can overlook it.
And IIRC, most of the people they lost were burbite new recruits, so I don't know how much they dipped into their actual military. Been a while since I read those books.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:18 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

NOT whataboutism, nor a demonstration of anything.

I'm asking you why your suspension of disbelief breaks on this particular point, not constructing any kind of argument or distraction from that question.

If you can't explain why your suspension of disbelief breaks when it comes to CS military numbers, that's cool; we can't always articulate our thoughts fully enough for other people to understand them.
I'm just curious, because it seems odd to me.

Mostly? It's because they're the only ones with this curious glut of population and resources with zero explanation as to how or why. Everyplace else is pretty underpopulated and poor and I see no particular reason why Illinois is the post apocalyptic promised land full of resources and fertility drugs/cloning vats.


The CS has more explanation of their history and how they got there than any other faction I'm aware of.

As to Why Illinois?
Why not?
Least likely place to be nuked, for starts, once Chicago is gone. There are lots of resources, and we're kind of in the middle of America, so survivors from each coast and everywhere in-between could get here more easily than a lot of other places. We're boardered by the Mississippi River, the Wabash River, and the Ohio River, not to mention some Great Lakes, so there's a lot of natural transportation, as well as some natural boarders against vampires.
For the same reasons Chicago is a city today, it would make a decent amount of sense for another city to crop up in the same general area, but with the original Chicago in ruins, being somewhat south also makes sense.

Only four groups initially came out of the 200 years of Dark Ages with mega-damage manufacturing:
Chi-Town
Ishpeming,
Free Quebec
and Wilk's.

And they're all located relatively near each other, except maybe Wilk's, which I don't remember any specific location for.
Chi-Town stated making alliances, and the Coalition States were born.
What's the puzzle there?
Why would "why" apply any more to Illinois than to any other place?
:?

Quote:
Also, and this might be controversial, I really don't think they're interesting enough as a faction or even as villains to have so much space dedicated to them. Especially with so much time spent trying to backpedal and say that they aren't all evil. Hell, let 'em be evil. They sure have enough evil alignments at the high ranks and corrupt officers, just embrace it! The milquetoast way they're presented with qualifiers saying "no really, some of 'em are great guys and the civilians are all feckless morons suckling the propaganda teat!" while at the same time making their society pretty much unassailable by any means and having their own Night of Long Knives in the Burbs where the feckless moron civilians engage in wholesale murder while still trying to sell the idea that there's ambiguity to them.

Let. Them. Be. The. Bad. Guys. It's okay, not everything needs to be morally ambiguous, especially things that draw so hard on Nazi imagery.


Eh. I find settings to be more interesting when they're less black-and-white, and more realistic in their portrayal of societies, and the idea of the Coalition as a nation where the people are mostly Good, but the evil leadership and the systems the people find themselves in prompt them to do bad, racist things, makes sense to me somehow.
Almost seems familiar.

There are plenty of unambiguous evils out there, faceless masses that characters can always kill in good conscience without moral repercussions: demons, monsters, vampires, splugorth and their minions, Archie bots, and whatever else.
Part of what drew me to the setting in the first place was the bleak moral dilemma of having the average person's best chance for protection be essentially Nazis. It's a hell of an interesting quandary, to me anyway.
But this is just personal tastes, so I don't see much point in arguing about it, unless for some reason you'd like to.
:ok:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:11 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

NOT whataboutism, nor a demonstration of anything.

I'm asking you why your suspension of disbelief breaks on this particular point, not constructing any kind of argument or distraction from that question.

If you can't explain why your suspension of disbelief breaks when it comes to CS military numbers, that's cool; we can't always articulate our thoughts fully enough for other people to understand them.
I'm just curious, because it seems odd to me.

Mostly? It's because they're the only ones with this curious glut of population and resources with zero explanation as to how or why. Everyplace else is pretty underpopulated and poor and I see no particular reason why Illinois is the post apocalyptic promised land full of resources and fertility drugs/cloning vats.

Also, and this might be controversial, I really don't think they're interesting enough as a faction or even as villains to have so much space dedicated to them. Especially with so much time spent trying to backpedal and say that they aren't all evil. Hell, let 'em be evil. They sure have enough evil alignments at the high ranks and corrupt officers, just embrace it! The milquetoast way they're presented with qualifiers saying "no really, some of 'em are great guys and the civilians are all feckless morons suckling the propaganda teat!" while at the same time making their society pretty much unassailable by any means and having their own Night of Long Knives in the Burbs where the feckless moron civilians engage in wholesale murder while still trying to sell the idea that there's ambiguity to them.

Let. Them. Be. The. Bad. Guys. It's okay, not everything needs to be morally ambiguous, especially things that draw so hard on Nazi imagery.

By refusing to embrace it an go all out, it just sucks the juice out of the whole thing. Not everything needs to be complicated, especially in this terribly implemented way.

Truthfully? I blame the late 80s and most of the 90s, this kind of pseudo-ambiguous villainy was huge then.



I liked how the RMB had the CS as Anarchist or Evil... Except for rare exceptions, such as player characters and unique NPCs.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:19 pm
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
I liked how the RMB had the CS as Anarchist or Evil... Except for rare exceptions, such as player characters and unique NPCs.


RMB 49
[Emperor Prosek] and his advisors are cruel manipulators and exploiters of the people. They are as evil and demonic as anything that crawled out of a rift.
Howeer, this does not mean that every person who is a member or citizen of the Coalition is just as evil. Most have no idea about the government's indiscretions and lies. The majority believe their propaganda and think of their lives as fruitful, good, and happy. Sure, everybody has their complaints and concerns (especially the poor), but few think of the CS as evil or maniacal.
The Coalition soldier is no different. He or she is just one of the concerned citizens who believes in, and loves, their emperor, life, and country. Being in the army will frequently mean the character is a little more militant, gung-ho, and pro-government than the average citizen, but that doesn't make them evil either. In fact, most of them see themselves as heroes.


And this was expanded on in SB1 17-19:
Generally, the average citizen is of a good or selfish alignment.
And
The majority are well-meaning people who try to eke out fruitful, happy lives without ever hurting anybody.
And
The average soldier is not much different than the average citizen. These men and women are not inherently evil, but often the unwitting tools of the emperor and the government. Their alignments range the full gamut of good, selfish, and evil.

And so on, and so forth.

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