Chapter Eight: Irregular Combatants
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For a lot of SpaceMen, the blood, gore, and agonizing death their weapons
of mass destruction cause among their enemies is only half the fun.
To them, the piles of steaming enemy corpses are only appetizers in anticipation
of the main course of terror and lifelong trauma that they can cause by
staging their battles in the midst of innocent and unsuspecting Civilians.
Civilians come in all styles and flavors, and there are any number of ways
to handle them. The Civilians can be allied with one side or another
in a given battle; they can be paid for, or supplied along with the scenery;
they can be controlled by one player or the other, or control can be divided
between the players. Civilians aren't usually going to have a whole
lot of effect on the outcome of the battle (unless your SpaceChampion refuses
to fight until he gets some doughnuts, in which case you'd better hope
one of the Civilians is a SpaceBaker); they're just there to add a little
light-hearted fun and casual casualties, so there's no need to stress out
over how their inital placement and control are handled. Just go
with whatever your personal playing style suggests.
Before the game actually begins, the players must work out whether
or not they're going to have Civilians in their game, whether or not they're
going to have Normal Buildings and Normal Vehicles and all kinds of other
Normal Things like Normal Mailboxes and Normal Fire Hydrants, where and
how many of these things are going to be scattered around on the battlefield,
and who's going to take care of moving them around. The way we play
it, each side only pays for the 'Normal Professional' Civilians and their
equipment who are used in the employ of the Civilization (diplomats, spies,
systems analysts, college interns, etc.), and all other Civilians are put
on the battlefield free as 'scenery'. After both players move their
military units and Normal Professionals and fire (and they may fire at
the Normal People), both players get half of the remaining Normal People
to manipulate into doing normal, mundane activities. This can slow
the game down a bit, but if you really get into a silly mood, you can even
make them have complete conversations.
Civilians may also form small armies of armed rabble. It's sometimes
fun to play out battles in which one or both armies are made up of mostly
Civilians, just to watch the Normal People get blasted in a futile attempt
to fight off vastly superior forces. Civilians will sometimes be
assisted by SpaceMen with whom they have shared their pizza or nachos.
Normal People are the denizens of the BrikWars universe that are not
usually involved in war-like activity. Normal People are simply
everyday folk who inhabit the buildings and cities where most wars take
|The Normal Person
Most Normal People don't have sense enough to get the hell out of a war
zone, and end up stumbling across a street filled with Gyrofire and exploding
vehicles on their way to work at the office, barber shop, sporting goods
store, or local eatery. However, sometimes Normal People are part
of a riot, uprising, or revolt that takes place on a remote planet.
Or perhaps the Normal People get really tired of continued SpacePirate
raids, and take it upon themselves to try to fend off the brigands.
In these cases, the Normal People take up arms and fight for themselves
in their best interests, or so they think. Usually, they just end
up getting shot.
Normal People cannot use Rifles and Death Guns, or any 'military only'
weapons like Grenades and Assault Helicopters. They can figure out
how to use sidearms and Close Combat weapons, but don't expect them to
be very successful with them.
Some Normal People are a little screwy and break this standard, becoming
obsessed with weapons and killing and death. If they act on this
obsession, stockpiling weapons and ammunition and training themselves in
the Deadly Arts, they become Somewhat Less Normal or even Abnormal People.
|The Abnormal Person
||1 per 10 Normal People
Every now and then you'll be fighting a battle in some urban area, mowing
down stray Normal People as usual, and then suddenly some Psychotik will
do something totally unexpected, like blow up a bridge, mow down SpaceMen
in his monster truck, or install MkIII Lasers all over his house.
The most generic Abnormal People have the stats listed above, but crazier
types can be assigned other point values depending on exactly how Abnormal
they are. Most Abnormal People fall into the category of Mad Bomber,
Paranoid Arms Stockpiler, and Suicidal Maniac. Invariably, they come
in one of three 'flavors:' the unshaven, blue-collar psycho who's
missing a hand, arm, leg, or face; the jet-setting businessman sociopath
with his suit, briefcase, and sunglasses; or the homicidal maniac postal
worker. There are no restrictions to the kinds of weapons these types
of people will find some way to stockpile and use. Better yet, they
don't care at all who else gets mowed down in their quest to reach their
Normal Belligerent People
While most Normal People spend a battle doing Normal Things, there
are some who don't react well to violence. Some even go out of their
way to find violence to react badly to.
|The Belligerent Person
Usually these are the people who live and work on whatever land you've
chosen as your battlefield, who consider it their personal duty to protect
their community. In more modern communities (such as SpacePeople
or TownPeople), these will be policemen or guardsmen. In more primitive
cultures (like MedievalPeople, IslandPeople, or TribesPeople), these will
be hunters and warriors. More primitive warriors won't be able to
use modern weaponry, but they'll have put more priority on musclebuilding
and close combat, and will get Close Combat
||Shotguns, Revolvers, some armed vehicles, airplanes
||Pirate weapons, cannons, sea vessels, horse-drawn carts
||armor, crossbows, catapults, horses, swords
||bows, spears, horses, islander masks, feather headdresses
||clubs, spears, fire, grunting
Belligerent People may be groups of Smuggling People defending their
hideout with Impact Pistols and jury-rigged MkI Lasers, or it might be
a bunch of Islander People throwing spears, or a castle full of Medieval
People jousting around, lopping off SpaceMen's heads with battleaxes.
Unlike the Abnormal People, their primary goal is to keep their communities
safe, rather than kill as many SpaceMen as they can. If you keep
clear of their communities, they'll leave you alone. On the other
hand, they're pretty weak, so it's not a big deal if you really want to
send a squad out to shoot up the town.
The most dangerous group of Belligerent People are those in the Wolf Rebellion.
These political malcontents range from civilly disobedient left-wing activists
to heavily armed right-wing militiamen. These disparate groups rally
under the banner of the Wolf's Head, and are opposed to the constant warfare
and oppression under the rule of the StarShip Civilizations. Wherever
there is a government presence, these guys are starting riots and strikes,
organizing terrorist attacks, raiding supplies, destroying infrastructure,
and being extremely inconsiderate in general. If there are any Wolfen
Rebels on the battlefield, they'll do everything they can to disrupt your
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In addition to native minifig populations, many planets are also swarming
with dangerous wildlife. Stats and point costs differ depending on
how dangerous the animal is. Remember that a peaceful deep-sea black
octopus from Risley IX looks just like a vicious Brain-Sucking Land Blob
from Antares III, so feel free to make up new stats and animal abilities
for all your creatures at any time. Animals that Civilians ride around
on should be treated as One-Piece Vehicles.
Over the chaos of thousands of years of Galactic War, a lot of things have
been lost or forgotten throughout the millions of inhabited worlds.
Among them have been bases, fleets, and divisions of troops. After
a few centuries of abandonment, these forces forget their Civilization
and now their fanatic loyalty extends only to each other. A SpaceMan
who doesn't fight isn't much of a SpaceMan, so rather than battle among
themselves, they hire themselves out to the highest-bidding Civilizations.
||1 per 10 Mercs
Mercenaries place a lot more importance in personal survival than SpaceMen,
since they don't have the resources that let the StarShip Civilizations
pump out troops mass-production style. The average Mercenary gets
a lot more training and personal attention, and more highly-tuned SpaceArmor,
making a single Mercenary more than a match for a single SpaceMan, and
a single Specialist has all the skills of a Mechanik, Medik, and Technik
combined (depending on which Tools he's carrying). That's little
consolation, as SpaceMen outnumber Mercenaries by millions-to-one on the
Galactic level, so the Mercenaries have to pick their battles carefully.
Mercenaries are great for a Civilization that wants to bring some extra
force to a battlefield quickly and cheaply. The Civilization still
has to pay full price for the Mercenaries' equipment and vehicles, but
hiring their troops is so much cheaper than breeding and training troops
of their own, it almost makes you wonder why Civilizations don't just use
Mercenaries for all their engagements. Well, besides the fact that
there aren't enough Mercenaries to go around, there are a number of restrictions
on the way Mercenaries can be used.
First of all, Mercenaries on the battlefield are considered a seperate
'team' from the Civilization that employs them. If you have the chance,
you should actually have a separate player control them. A Civilization
commander cannot spend more than half of its points on Mercenary troops
and equipment, and two sides cannot send Mercenaries from the same Mercenary
group to fight each other (in fact, Mercenaries are reluctant even to fight
Mercenaries from rival Mercenary groups, so you'll want to avoid sending
opposing Mercenary groups straight at each other). One regular Mercenary
in every Mercenary group is chosen to be TacOps Commander, who has the
only CB Radio that can be used to communicate with Civilization commanders
if the need should arise for mid-battle renegotiations. Mercenaries
don't like to share their section of a battlefield with SpaceTroopers,
and they never 'squad up' with SpaceMen. Mercenary groups never 'split
up' to accomplish multiple objectives; they are hired to accomplish one
major objective, and the secondary and other peripheral objectives are
the jobs of the SpaceTroopers. Mercenary Specialists do not go out
of their way and never risk their own lives to give Medikal aid to the
troopers or Mechanikal aid to the vehicles of the Civilization employing
them; their skills are primarily reserved for their Mercenary brethren.
Furthermore, while Mercenaries have an obligation to accomplish their
mission objectives to maintain their professional reputation, you have
to make sure that you give them the support they need to accomplish their
objective, because they have no particular loyalty or trust for your Civilization
and they're liable to get ticked off if they think they're getting the
raw end of a deal. A Reasonable Objective and Adequate Support are
standard clauses on every Mercenary contract, and if they decide that you
haven't supplied one or the other, they're likely to Ditch you and refuse
to give you a refund. On the Mercenaries' sixth turn on the battlefield,
they have to have made Reasonable Progress toward their objective, or else
they decide that you haven't lived up to your terms of the contract and
they will Ditch you. For this reason you may choose to delay the
Mercenaries' entrance onto the field of battle until you've cleared the
path to the objective and softened up the enemy a bit. While they
are still waiting off the edge of the battlefield (and you have to specify
which edge they will be entering from before the battle begins), you can
negotiate a different objective for them to attempt if it turns out their
previous one isn't going to be as easy as you thought. Once they
arrive on the field, their objective is set.
One example of an objective might be to take and hold a position, such
as a fortification or base. If, on the Mercenaries' sixth turn, they
are pinned down by enemy fire and haven't even reached the target position,
they have not made Reasonable Progress and will Ditch. If, on their
sixth turn, they have eliminated or taken control of most of the defenses
at the target position, then they have made Reasonable Progress and will
stick around to mop up the remaining defenders and set up a defense perimeter
of their own. If, on their sixth turn, they are engaged in battle
for control of the position, and it's unclear who has the upper hand, it's
harder to say whether or not they have made Reasonable Progress.
Their decision to Ditch may be affected by how many casualties they have
taken, their chances for eventual success in their current objective, and
how well their allied SpaceTroopers have supported them. Sometimes
they are looking for any excuse to Ditch their current commander because
of his reputation for treating his Mercenaries badly, and sometimes they
have a tendency to be lenient towards the enemy commander because he has
treated them well in the past. Hopefully, a strong case can be made
one way or the other; often, it can't. When it's hard to decide whether
you've made Reasonable Progress or not, roll 1d6. A roll of 6 means
the Mercenaries decide that they have made Reasonable Progress and stick
around to complete their objective. A roll of 1 means they Ditch.
Any other roll means they keep fighting, and try to decide again next turn.
Even if they have made Reasonable Progress and stuck around for twenty
turns or so, they may still decide to Ditch if the tide of battle has turned
seriously against them. If their forces are getting ground into hamburger,
their allies have abandoned them, and it's obvious there's no way they're
going to hold their position, they're going to start looking for avenues
A Mercenary group that Ditches does not necessarily abondon their objective
or their allies, they just make keeping themselves alive their new priority.
This may mean they try to retreat from the battlefield, or they may try
to take up a defensible position and try to hold out until one side or
the other wins. They may move to take cover in their allies' base
(if the allies still trust them after they Ditch), or their TacOps Commander
may try to negotiate a truce with the enemy forces. As a Civilization
commander, you might want to arrange things so that their best chance for
survival when they Ditch is to stick with your team and finish taking their
objective, but Mercenaries who are manhandled in this manner are likely
to get ticked off and will try to stab you in the back as soon as it is
practical, and Mercenary groups hold grudges for a long, long time.
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The most significant group of Mercenaries in the galaxy are the descendants
of a lost division of Kraan BlitzTroopers, who dress in black and white
uniforms with big neon-green B's emblazoned on their chests. Lately,
however, their preeminence among the Mercenary groups has been challenged
by the thrill-seeking X Brigade, who dress in mostly-black uniforms with
a red X emblazoned on their chest and back.
SpacePirates are not an organized Civilization. They are the ruffians
of the BrikWars universe. Hailing from every corner of the galaxy,
SpacePirates are those people who think only of themselves, only of money
and personal gain, and only of killing and pillaging.
||2 per Cap'n
SpacePirates constantly perform raids against Civilization outposts, seeking
to steal the vital supplies they need to survive on their own secret bases,
usually hidden in the recesses of large asteroid belts and dark nebulae.
Some Pirates actually have a great cause towards which they strive, possibly
even a noble cause, but most of them just don't want to do any work for
themselves so they pillage and steal. None of them are particularly
smart, since any Pirate with enough intelligence to realize that you need
a helmet and AirTanx to survive the vacuum of space quickly asphyxiates.
Only the select few have the stupidity to survive the airless void.
Often, SpaceTroopers will undertake the destruction of a Pirate base,
but rarely have any real success. A Pirate base that is brand new
is not very different in appearance or utility from the debris of a Pirate
base that has been blown to smithereens. If a group of SpacePirates
was off pirating when their base was destroyed, they often don't notice
when they get back.
The equipment of SpacePirates is temperamental to say the least. PirateArmor
is different for each Pirate, and the armor that saves a Matey from an
Impact Rifle one moment, may fail utterly when hit by a simple fist. PirateArmor
is unpredictable, but can actually provide more protection than SpaceArmor,
in rare cases. Some Pirates go to battle in only a tank-top!
Close Combat is the Pirates' specialty. It seems as if SpacePirates
were born for fighting at close quarters, and countless bar brawls and
pit-fights serve only to hone the skills of the strong, and weed out the
weak members of a pirate band. All Pirates get a +2 Close Combat
bonus, even if they have no arms, legs, or heads.
SpacePirates are just as temperamental as their equipment. Every
turn, there is a chance that the Pirate Fleet will Mutiny against their
Cap'ns. At the beginning of every movement turn, the Pirate player
must roll 1d6. If he rolls a 1, then the fleet revolts against their
Cap'n. Whether or not a crew decides to Mutiny has nothing to do
with whether they are winning or losing, whether their Cap'ns are heroes
or cowards, or whether they are in good moods or bad. The Cap'ns
and their FirstMates must then try to regain control of their fleets by
making heroic speeches and striking heroic poses. All Cap'ns and
FirstMates add their Skill Rolls together. If the number rolled is
greater than the number of mutineers, they successfully rally their troops
and the turn can proceed as normal.
If the rolls fails, then the opposing player takes control of all Mateys
and vehicles and tries to kill the Cap'ns. The Cap'ns and FirstMates
may make one Control Roll for every movement phase that they remain alive.
If all the Capn's are killed, the SpacePirates withdraw from the battle,
to party down and elect a new Cap'n.
SpacePirates (or just "Pirates") have a number of restrictions on the
types of vehicles in their Fleet. Pirates cannot have ANY land vehicles;
all of their vehicles must be Flyers. This is because Pirates do
not take well to the land and except for Mateys who take to the ground
as foot-soldiers, Pirates rarely set foot on earth. Those who spend
their lives planetside are known as LandLubbers and are distrusted by SpacePirates.
Pirate Flyers are highly customized and can use Mk1 - Mk5 weapons, unlike
normal Flyers which can only use Mk1 - Mk3 weapons. The limit of
4 weapons per Flyer, however, must be obeyed by SpacePirates. SpacePirates
can also use Boats as huge antigravity ships, at Boats' standard costs
and statistics. There are rumors of enormous Pirate SpaceGalleons
roaming the galaxy loaded with SpaceBooty.
Each type of SpacePirate roughly corresponds to a certain type of SpaceMan.
A Cap'n has all the abilities of a SpaceChampion (including three Stupendous
Feats per turn), a FirstMate is roughly equivalent to a SpaceHero (with
one Stupendous Feat per turn), a Matey
functions as a SpaceMan or SpaceDriver, a Doc works the same as a Medik
(rolling at 1d6 rather than 1d10), a MateDroid works like a Synthetik,
and Parrots and Monkeys work like SpaceScouts. (It is unknown how
the Parrots and Monkeys relay their targeting information back to the Pirate
fleet, since they don't carry CBs, but that doesn't seem to bother any
of the Pirates. Monkeys can move vertically just as fast as horizontally,
and Parrots can fly over any obstacles. Monkeys can carry a weapon
in each of their four hands, so watch out for them!)
A Cap'n is represented on the battlefield by the pirate captain minifig,
of course. FirstMates look like Mateys except they get epaulets and
a tricorne hat, and generally look handsomer. Mateys just look like
whatever they feel like looking like. Docs look like Mateys except
they wear only red and white clothes. Docs do not need Medikal equipment,
since their standard Medikal procedure is to walk over to fallen Pirates
and kick them to see if they wake up. The parts of Parrots and Monkeys
are played by parrots and monkeys. PirateDroids are represented by
Synthetix whose brains have been replaced with Monkey brains.
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The 48 StarShip Civilizations are not the only inhabitants of the BrikWars
universe. Most of the time, the Other People can be safely and anonymously
grouped under the Normal People heading and ignored. Sometimes the
innocent bystanders are not just Normal People. There are plenty
of alien empires, unaffiliated colonies, rebel outposts and smuggler's
dens. These Other People rarely start battles themselves, but sometimes
get caught up in larger issues, and often have agendas of their own.
are all sorts of Alien People. New kinds of Alien People are always
being discovered. The easiest way to create a new alien race is to
pull off a minifig's head and replace it with a new and unusual piece.
Sometimes the new species is somewhat viable (like the Groovy Flower-Headed
Peace Children), and sometimes it is just ridiculous (like the Motorcycle-Headed
Most Alien People are similar to Normal People, except for one or two
slight statistical and behavioral differences. Most of them cost
3 points. Examples include:
- The Coneheads, who have normal heads with yellow cone-pieces on top. Their
Skill is 1d6+1, and they tend to flagrant yuppieism.
- The Blockheads, whose heads are the 1x2 Brik with a hole in the side. Their
AV is 5 and they are fanatically bureaucratic.
- The Enormous-Head No-Limb People, who are about the height of normal minifigs
but about 4x4 in width. They move at 3" and have an AV of 1d6 + 5.
They behave like duplicitous children.
- The Large Stumpies, who evolved from the Enormous-Head No-Limb People,
but their heads are not quite so enormous and they have limbs. They
are taller than normal minifigs, and have an AV of 1d6 + 2 and a Skill
- The Porous Giants, who are very tall and skinny, and whose limbs are perforated
with many 1-dot holes. They are technical geniuses and run around
at 8" per turn.
- The Genetically Defective People, who are the minifigs that occasionally
end up in your PBB collection when your well-meaning but uninformed aunt
buys you PBBs from one of the less worthy companies. They have -1
to all stats, and act like absolute dunces. They only cost 1 point,
and all normal minifigs are disgusted by them.
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Awful Green Things From Outer Space
One of the most entertaining alien species yet discovered is the race of
horrifying amorphic blobs of ghastly ooze known as the Awful Green Things
From Outer Space.
|The Awful Green Thing From Outer Space
These frightening blobs can strike fear into even a hardened SpaceTrooper's
heart. They defy all understanding: They don't have any hands to
wield weapons. They speak without mouths (though they only seem to
repeat sounds they've heard). They seem to be able to understand
orders, although they have no system of intelligence that is understood
by SpaceScience. They can sometimes withstand a blast of a Mk5 missile,
and sometimes they die when you step on them. If the die comes up
20 when the Green Thing rolls its AV, not only does it automatically resist
the attack, it splits into two identical Green Things! As far as
the top SpaceZenoBiologix can explain, "they're just really weird."
Green Things creep slowly
across floors, walls, even ceilings, waiting to drop on their prey. When
a Green Thing comes in contact with another minifig, it rolls 1d4 per turn.
On a 4, it manages to eat its opponent's head and now has complete control
of the body (replace the head with the Green Thing). The host's Skill
value becomes 1d4, but still moves at the same speed and has the same AV.
If the host is killed, the Green Thing dies with it. At any time,
the Green Thing can consume the host's body to create another Green Thing.
Green Things are often allowed
to feed on captured Normal People. They are also sometimes used in
trapdoor pit traps in bases. Although naturally green, a Green Thing
can change its color to that of its allied army. A green thing is
just a collection of three to five random bricks of the appropriate color.
It can stretch itself to unnatural lengths (maximum 5") or contract into
a small tentacled ball. It can never suffer knockback or falling
damage. Normal People will always attack or run from a Green Thing
on sight, regardless of alleigance.
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