Archive for July 10, 2010

Our Stargrunt Setting

Posted in Blather, Games with tags , on July 10, 2010 by stingersix

The Stargrunt crew in these parts has made up, together, a setting in which we fight our Stargrunt battles. You’ve heard me drop tidbits of it here and there in various battle reports, but I thought I’d spell it all out for everyone to see.

Each player came up with three aspects of one of the states, factions or power groups. We built on each others ideas too, incorporating some of them into our own. The result was a setting with lots of conflict and lots of room to explore. Here goes (warning: this is long) –

Stargrunt Campaign Setting

It is the year 2257 and humanity has colonized over 120 worlds within 200 light years. The area of human colonized space is known as the Human Sphere. Most colonies originally belonged to nations or corporations, but some have achieved their independence, usually through revolution, but occasionally through diplomatic means.
On Earth, major nation-states still exist but have formed into three huge super-states. Earthly power struggles continue but the threat of total nuclear or nano-annihilation of the homeworld means most “wars” are low-intensity proxy conflicts.

It is the off-world colonies of mankind which now suffer the scourge of war. National armies and fleets still exist, but corporate armies, rebel armies and mercenaries do the bulk of the fighting.

As humanity pushes its frontiers outwards, it is starting to make contact with alien races, sometimes hostile ones. The human lust for control, wealth and new planets to exploit ensures that there will only be more conflict with these aliens in the future.

Pan American Union
* The Pan-American Union (PAU) has spread out across the stars based on the belief that they have a manifest destiny to control the Milky Way Galaxy.
* They have been in conflict with the Trinary Alliance, religious fanatics who fled Earth in the wake of the Humanist Expansion.
* The PAU recently colonized the planet Alpha Theti, which holds the ancient ruins of a long lost culture.

Confederated European Union
* The Confederated European Union (CEU) comprises the largest coalition of national governments on earth, with many allies both on Earth and off-world.
* The CEU contested with the PAU and the Han Empire for early control of habitable colony worlds during the Humanist Expansion.
* Many individual CEU member states are having a hard time maintaining control over their colony worlds; many independence movements have turned into full-blown rebellions.

Delta Hyperion Pirates (DHP)
* The Delta Hyperion Pirates are based out of the star cluster of the same name. Because of the current political climate, no government has been able or willing to commit appropriate forces necessary to deal with the pirates, and as such the dozen worlds in the Delta Hyperion star cluster have suffered under their raids and hostile embargos.
* PAU intelligence suggests that the DHP forces may be led by renegade PAU Admiral Byron Wade, as his command vessel, the CSV-91 “Ticonderoga” has been identified in support of pirate vessels in orbit over BLV-7d “Bel Valis IV” during the seizure and looting of the Grandia Orbital Colony.
* The DHP lack sufficient ships and manpower to acquire significant territory, but their reach and capacity for raiding extends as far as trade vessels and national borders allow. Current trade sanctions and heightened security by the Han Empire and PAU appear to have great success in combating the threat of raids, but also seem to be pushing free traders and corporations into the ranks of the DHP.

Ramstar Heavy Industries

* Ramstar is one of the largest mega-corporations in the Human Sphere with its headquarters in the Earth L4 orbital habitat. Ramstar underwrote many early colonization efforts for the PAU, and managed to secure exclusive, extra-territorial colonization rights to several resource-rich systems. Ramstar colonies are nominally under PAU governance but in practice, Ramstar colonies are wholly corporate owned.
* While maintaining a sizeable military force of its own (the famous/infamous Ramstar Striker Battalions) Ramstar often subcontracts PMCs (private military corporations) to carry out any military or paramilitary operations on its colony worlds. Ramstar also has a PMC management company called Sandline Interstellar which brokers PMC contracts to select clients.
* Ramstar’s activities on the frontier have increased of late, with heavy investment in research missions with high probability of alien contact.

The Xind Compact

* The Compact is a coalition of seven alien races who, after warring for decades, unified when they discovered ancient structures built by an unknown race they call the Progenitors. The structures contained symbols and traits from all their cultures, which show links to their religious and cultural myths. The Compact is made up of the following races: Xinthi, Movat, Eal Tran, Tzitzimime, Shal, Reaqti, and Morbundi.
* The Xind Compact has recently lost contact with an archeological survey team on Na’Jal-Shih (Theti Alpha on human starcharts) that was studying Progenitor ruins. The last recorded image transmitted back to Compact relay stations showed warriors from an unknown race, all bearing the emblem of a four-pointed star with a strange, curled-horned animal in the center.
* Ramstar Heavy Industries has recently sold the rights to Alpha Theti at a rate well below the standard Survey and Exploration fees to the PAU. The PAU, desperately in need of new colony worlds, didn’t ask questions.

United Democratic Socialist Systems

[UDSS] (a.k.a. Liberated Workers Union)
* As Ramstar Heavy Industries expanded rapidly across the human sphere, they needed cheap and expendable labor to build and operate facilities. The further Ramstar moved from the sphere of influence of the United Nations of Earth (U.N.E.), the more liberties they were able to take with how they treated their workers. On many distant worlds, the workers were nothing better than slaves overseen by Ramstar’s private armies. Any demands by workers were met with threats, violence, and sometimes murder. In 2223, workers lead by Sidney J. Hill, rebelled when a private army attempted to break a recently formed union on Obregón III. The bloody rebellion would last three months, but the workers emerged victorious, with the private army withdrawing claiming “cost overruns” to Ramstar. In control of an interstellar communications array and a ragtag fleet of ships, they fomented rebellion across the sector. After 12 years of fighting, and 20 liberated worlds later, the United Democratic Socialist Systems was born.
* The Delta Hyperion Pirates were essential to the success of the workers’ revolt. Without the pirates’ ships, they wouldn’t have been able to hold off the Ramstar counterattack. Now, they are indebted to the pirates and forced to form a loose alliance. While that works when you are rebels, it doesn’t work when trying to establish diplomatic ties and pirates start raiding your own trade ships. The UDSS is trying to work their way out of the current arrangement, but they lack starships and the public will to do so.
* As of late, the Han Empire and the PAU have been engaging in minor skirmishes with UDSS troops. That combined with Ramstar declaring bounties on UDSS ships and Trinary Alliance missionaries trying to subvert their government, the UDSS Workers’ Council quickly learned that governing isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.

The Han Empire
* On Earth, the Han Empire controls or dominates Asia and the Indian Sub-continent (after a long and terrible war that only recently ended). Pacific nations such as Indonesia, Japan and Australia are client states fully dependent on the HE for their livelihood.
* The Han Empire controls an economically and scientifically significant string of contiguous colony worlds which it rules with an iron fist – there have been no successful rebellions in the Han colonies, though there have been numerous uprisings. The CEU covertly supports and foments some rebel movements on Han worlds. Where Han space and CEU space meet, skirmishes occasionally break out.
* The Han Empire conducts active and extensive espionage and counter-espionage operations in all areas of human space, against all power-blocs. Outside of their own sectors, they are well known for hiring mercenaries to further their aims.

Beckert’s Battalion (War Pigs)

* Beckert’s Battalion (more commonly known as the War Pigs) is a battalion-sized (and getting smaller) mercenary infantry unit operating primarily on colony worlds on the PAU frontier. The commander, Colonel Beckert was once a * Ramstar employee who resigned his commission after the pacification campaign against the rebels of the Altair mining colony.
* The War Pigs have taken contracts with certain worlds of the UDSS (not all of which were successful). This has often brought them into conflict with other PMCs hired by Ramstar. They’re far from the best, but certainly one of the cheapest mercenary units money can buy. While unable to stand against heavy armored units, they are most suited to light infantry missions.

Calico Jack’s Hellcats
* Jacqueline “Calico Jack” Sage was once Commodore of the PAU Vanguard fleet “68th Hellcats”, though after multiple life-threatening injuries sustained in the “Calico Conflict” (an anti-insurgency operation on the planet Calico), she was unable to continue her service. After three months in rehabilitation, she was medically discharged and deemed unfit for the rigors of PAU fleet command. However speculation from unknown sources believes these “Hellcats” are the PAU’s indirect way of dealing with the piracy issue that currently deters them from faster colonial growth.
* The Hellcats are currently on contract to Ramstar, with planetary transportation and protection provided by PAU fleet elements.
* A battalion sized mercenary unit specializing in jungle and urban combat, operating modified PAU military hardware. Known for their use of use of bi-pedal walkers and armored transport carriers that are rarely seen outside of PAU forces.


* Osiris was originally a CEU based multinational that built heavy-lift rockets and was instrumental in humanity’s move into space. By 2257, Osiris was fully extra-territorial, with its headquarters on Alpha Centauri’s corporate enclave. Osiris is now active in colonization efforts throughout the human sphere.
* Osiris Interstellar Security is a division of Osiris that provides security consultant contracts. Unlike most mercenary operations, Osiris Interstellar operates only small teams of specialists assembled for specific purposes. O.I.S. hires exclusively from special forces and intelligence services, usually employing them as training cadre for local military forces. O.I.S. can assemble strike teams for more direct action, and has done so on numerous occasions, though these teams are usually never more than company sized.
* Osiris works mostly with colonial governments within the PAU and CEU, and has worked with the Han Empire but only in a limited capacity. O.I.S. operatives have been involved in conflicts with governments of the UDSC, including the notorious pacification of the Deneb colony.

* The Tzitzimime are one of the more belligerent species among the members of the Xind Compact and their military forces have skirmished with humans on certain Compact/Human Sphere border worlds. Based on observation of Tzitzimime raiding tactics, Human xenobiologists have surmised that their society is loosely organized around powerful and charismatic leaders, somewhat like the old Earth vikings. The largest Tzitzimime military force yet encountered was the equivalent of a human infantry brigade.
* Physically, the Tzitzimime resemble 8-foot tall grasshoppers, naturally earning them the nickname “Bugs” or “Spugs” by the humans that have encountered them. While insect-like in appearance, they are four-limbed vertebrates and do not live in hives. Technologically, the Tzitzimime are on par with humanity, though they appear to employ more advanced plasma technology.
* Tzitzimime raiders have until now only hit human colonies and expeditions on the PAU frontier. It is not known if their territory extends to other regions of the human sphere.

Kryton Corporation

* The Kryton Corporation is primarily involved in financing the development of colonies belonging to all three of the major Earth powers, the PAU, CEU, and Han Empire. Their business relationship with the PAU is the strongest, and Kryton Corp is often along on CEU ventures. The Han Empire deals with Kryton more out of necessity, and is actively looking for ways to reduce their dependence on the Kryton financial monopoly on off-Earth investment.
* Kryton Corp also underwrites expeditions to new worlds on the frontier, particularly those with the goal of discovering resource-rich worlds.
* Kryton maintains no standing military force, instead contracting out to mercenaries on a per-job basis. Kryton does however, have a long record of hiring Ramstar to do its dirty work for them.

Tomorrow: The History of the Altairian War