First Impressions: Spartan Federation

ColSantiago

“Superior training and superior weaponry have, when taken together, a geometric effect on overall military strength. Well-trained, well-equipped troops can stand up to many more times their lesser brethren than linear arithmetic would seem to indicate.”

— Spartan Battle Manual

It’s not hard to figure out what the Spartans are about.  Just the name itself is hint enough: they call themselves the Spartan Federation, taking their name from the ancient Greek city-state renowned throughout time for their effective breeding of superior man-for-man warriors.  It’s no surprise that the futuristic version are laser-focused on the same goal.

However, there are a few other fascinating touches here for the discerning player to pick up on.  First off, the leader’s name for this faction is presented as Colonel Corazon Santiago.  Her choice of title is interesting.  She’s taken a military rank as leader as befits her militarist faction, but she’s not claiming to be a General or Commander-in-Chief.  Nothing so grandiose.  She’s merely a Colonel.

Second, she is depicted as a fairly young, imperious Latina wearing a simple camouflage uniform.  Her name and race mark her as having South American heritage.  Coupled with her youth and her choice of title, this brings to mind the 20th Century history of military rule.  These juntas, as they were called, were usually organized by ambitious middle-ranking officers who found their civilian government uncongenial.

This aligns with the faction’s preferred social policies.  They prefer to value Power and they are averse to valuing Wealth.  For the Spartans, might makes right.  And wealth makes a man soft.  They seek to hone their ambition in austerity, not to blunt it in decadence.

Third, her introductory quote is from a textbook.  The Spartan Battle Manual is clearly a high-level text.  Probably, it’s intended to be used in a War College to train officers in the high military arts.  As befits the other factions, Santiago and the Spartans are wicked smart.  This quote is both true, insightful, and the kind of idea that if taken seriously really could serve as the foundation for a futuristic society.

As a faction, the Spartans have the strengths that you’d perhaps expect.  They have a high morale bonus, a bonus to their police rating to enable them to spend less on pacifying their drones with facilities and energy, and the ability to produce prototypes of new weapons systems without penalty to reflect their exceptional talent at military engineering.  The overall effect is that, as the quote suggests, the Spartan armies will generally be better trained and better equipped than their competitors.

However, their faction downside is both simple and exceedingly painful.  They have a penalty to their industry score, which means that their expansion and economy will invariably be behind the other factions.  Their armies may be able to defeat many times their number, but the downside is that they’ll almost assuredly need to.  The Spartans require audacity, speed, and courage to make up for their intrinsic weakness.

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