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The Midnight Technocracy


The first trip through the Gateway was somewhat random, the ambassador starliner came across a suspiciously quiet system. They had expected to see a spaceship or two on their radars, at least satellites in orbit but they found nothing. The system was dead quite but clearly the Gateway was still active. Had the inhabitants of the system wiped themselves out in the Long Night?

After a more through scan was conducted, the Scarlet Gala cruised above the only planet that was giving them any reading. According to the ancient starmaps that were created before the Gateways closed, the planet was called Vystrallia, a lush continental world. The life form scans were saying there was roughly three billion people, give or take the normal inaccuracies of such systems.

The few living crew on board discussed how best to proceed. There was clearly life and human on some level, but the technology level of humanity wasn't there. Concerns were brought up about possible transmission of diseases, difference in language and general culture shock questions. It had been three centuries since humanity was first isolated and there was a legitimate concerned that the planet below them was no longer technologically advanced enough to have realized that humanity came from Earth.

The Scarlet Gala hung above the atmosphere, extending a communications array in an attempt to intercept communication signals to try and uncover language. There was a remarkable lack of electronic communication. One of the Wights joked that maybe they should be looking for smoke signals instead. After some frustrating searching, the crew managed to cobble together enough of the local language to try and make something approximating a friendly greeting.

They dropped out of orbit and hung above the largest urban center they could find, assuming that it was the capital city or at least an important planetary location. Now with a closer view, the crew was only more confused. It looked idyllic, like a mix of rolling hills, romantic fields and smoke clogged factory streets. It looked like some paintings from Old Earth's history, if you ignore the occasional jarring anachronism of clearly futuristic looking constructs. The nearest port had a mix of wooden sail ships and steel cargo haulers. Remera and Isoph looked at each other, then at the Wights and then at their Reanimated. They had been expecting to see the unexpected, but this was entirely baffling to them. Regardless, they continued with first contact.

From the Scarlet Gala, a shuttle dropped out of its hull and headed towards the nearest empty space where it could land. Upon arrival, a pair of beautiful people walked out, one darkly handsome male and one enchantingly ethereal woman. Behind them were masked guards who seemed more statue than person, not even moving to breath out of order. The language they spoke was foreign to the peasants who gathered around them, sounding harsh yet flowing in a sort of elegant way. Then, to their collective surprise, the extraterrestrial aliens spoke their own language, albeit with a heavy accent.

"Hello. We represent Midnight Technocracy, we like speak to leading citizens, officials. We come in no harm."

The arrival of a foreign probe was only slightly unexpected with the reopening of the gateway. When it first arrived, it blasted a message over every single frequency on the planet, much to the annoyance of practically everyone. TV channels and radio networks were stunned silent as it played and Vladimir quickly scrapped together an official press release saying that the Council had assembled a group of linguists, historians and cultural experts to try and discern the message and for everyone to please remain calm. With only its message to go on and little more to give insights as to the language, translating the probe's message was hard enough. Any thoughts of replying in a full message was out the window as there was just too many gaps in vocabulary. Replying in Triferan wasn't likely to net anything of value either as the origins of the probe was still unknown. In the end, it was decided to simply try and send back what words they could make out from the message into their own.

"Hail. We meet own kind? One are lost mean through stars? We voyage our own. No harm."
@MetalWeight I see, is there anything in particular I should mention or where I should end my post? I'm thinking of having the ship hover in orbit above the largest city on the planet and end my post with the two ambassadors come down on a shuttle or some kind.
@MetalWeight How do you want to do this? Collab? Me writing a short post of the Starliner going into your gateway/meeting your people in space or on the ground?
@Tortoise The ECU clearly follows the YA protagonist school of first contact.

@MetalWeight How would you feel about Augustilia meeting the Vampires?
The Midnight Technocracy

It was a cool winter night and the Blood Tithe had just been collected. Now a hundred hands worked to label and sort the hundreds of vials by age, sex, location and health. Each sample was triple checked for purity and illness for quality before being neatly organized into containers and rows. To the Vampires of the Midnight Technocracy, it wasn't just enough to simply drink blood, they had to indulge in it. The blood samples would be later mixed and combined to form vintages, aged like wine and consumed as such as with their heightened senses, the vampires could make out the subtle tastes, the bloody aromas and the notes of life lived. One of several reasons that the Technocracy went out of its way to give its subjects an easy life is that they found over the decades that stress and environmental pollutants sour the blood of men in acrid and bitter ways.

Lord Director Vladimir Karamazov took regular sips of one such vintages from a crystal chalice as he read over reports in his underground chambers. The ceiling was high like an imposing cathedral and its supports were carved of marble, shaped into pillars depicting beautiful women wrapped in silks or clutching great swords. Each one took over a year to carve and most were made by Vladimir himself. Much of the decoration in his chambers were as was befitting a man of his status. Oil paintings, woven tapestries, scrimshaw, inked diagrams, hand carved wooden trinkets and ornate jewelry, all could be counted to have been made by his centuries old hands. Fascinating the amount of things one could accomplish when mundane mortal considerations like sleep went from "survival necessity" to "occasional idle luxury".

"Milord." A hunched man opened the expensive dark wood doors and strode down the fine crimson carpet towards Vlad's desk. He was a Wight, one of Vladimir's own distantly related relatives, sired about a century ago by one of his sister's children. His body was failing but the man refused to die. Years of gene therapy, surgery and cybernetic augmentation had prolonged his life to now where he even at age 120, he barely looked a day over 70. "I bring urgent news."

"What of it?" Vladimir did not look up from his work. A new geological survey discovered that a cavern once thought stable may indeed possibly collapse within the next century. From a mountain of detailed reports, the Lord Director was personally creating new building codes to ensure the stability of the cave system. It was a huge pain to have to unbury the Reanimated post cave in. "I am occupied Jergan, leave the report on my desk, I will attend to it shortly."

"Dear, you will want to see this." Vladimir looked up at the voice of his wife, Isolde, her pale, ethereal youth standing in stark contrast to the age of Jergan, "I took a look for it myself and it says that the the Gateway has reopened."

Vladimir looked up, "The Gateway has reopened? As Old Earth sent forth an envoy?"

"Nay, milord. So far nothing has come out of the Gateway. Adjunct Erend has already begun mobilization of a makeshift fleet to guard it and 300 additional Reanimated are being delivered to the neighboring station to bring it back up to capacity."

Vladimir rose from his plush chair and walked over to a terminal in front of a window that overlooked a vast underground personal archive the size of a stadium and two dozen feet sunken into the ground beneath the floor of the room. Below, unblinking, uniformed undead toiled endlessly to categorize and record all of the incoming data to fill even larger empty shelves. With the press of a few buttons, a DCI floated out of the terminal, its form incorporeal and flickering, and scoured the shelves of the archives for books and ledgers. As he waited, Vladimir combed his white hair with a comb as ancient as he was. It was a simple thing really and practically worthless; just a plastic black comb but with the sigil of the long dead Party emblazed upon one end. Vladimir had been one of the first researchers to imbibe the Void Blood, the comb was an eternal reminder of the masters he had once served in life, and whose power he now surpassed in unlife.

The ledgers that were delivered were some of the oldest in Vladimir's possession as they hadn't been written by himself. In fact, it was the Party's scribes who wrote the books. They were a guideline as for what to do if the Gateway ever reopened while the Party was in power. How to establish legitimacy, form diplomatic connections, first contact protocols, basic safety guidelines and how to make first impressions. Vlad felt that most of what was written was pandering fluff, meant to boost the egos of the Party leaders, but some kernels of value were located within. Isolde and Jergan waited patiently as only those unconcerned with age could as an hour past and Vlad read through volumes of books, constantly searching for another passage or requesting another reference until he had formulated a plan, written down upon several scrolls.

"Jergan, ready one of the Council's Starliner science ships, preferably one with wide panoramic views. Have it be retrofitted for diplomatic purposes, order your Reanimated to decorate it as if it was for a gala. Follow the insturctions outline in this scroll. Deliver this scroll to Adjuncts Remera and Iosph Kerdaal, their expertise in rhetoric and linguistics will prove invaluable in any first contact situation with the lost children of Earth. Have them ensure their Reanimated are well dressed and looking animated, we only have one first impressions."

"Of course milord." Jergan took the scrolls and with the snap of his fingers, a score of zombies appeared in the door way, parting away as he made his way out with his orders.

"Now as for you my dear..." Vladimir turned to his beloved wife and smiled, "I believe as leading citizens of Trifera and the Council, we are obliged to create a message for the Kerdaals to deliver to whoever they meet on their journey."

(If you want to have some opening inter actions, let me know and I will write something up and we can talk OOC).
@Tortoise I feel like the Vampire Technocrats is what the Oligarchs wish they were/think they are. I'd love to see some mildly racist Oligarch try to grandstand a Vampire with trivia or knowledge only to get absolutely verbally slammed in response. 100 years of studying and personal research seems more productive than a few decades of partying.

@datadogie Glad you like, I'm always a little worried about the liberties I take with theses lol
@datadogie Because I'm on a roll and am shit at doing actually important things, here's one for you.

Codex: Zelrio Corporation

For some colonists, living on a hostile world despite constant dangers and threats is a mark of skill and bravery. For the wise its a sign of stubborn stupidity that's likely to get you killed. The Zelrio Corporation has spent lifetimes among the stars, becoming masters of rapid deployment and precision orbital attacks. Their resources are vast and their forges never tire. Hardened by the void and taught by the lessons learned at the hands of the Vacuarians, Zelrio is about striking fast and striking hard for prolonged wars are costly and wasteful. For Director and Company!

Special Rules

  • Feet First into Hell - At the start of a game, up to half of your army can be put in Deep Strike reserve to land from orbit starting from Turn 2. When a unit lands, they reroll failed hit and wound rolls for the rest of the turn.
  • Drone - Units with this rule are Unbreakable and Vulnerable to EMP. In addition they may benefit from Combat Protocols.
  • Drone Controller - Units with this rule can change the Combat Protocols of Drone units.
  • Orbital Strike - Once per game, for every full 1000 points of units you have, you can make d3 artillery strikes per 1000 points to represent a orbital bombardment.
  • Strategic Redeployment - Units with this rule automatically gain an additional 3" of movement when they are within 6" of an enemy but are not in melee with them.

Play Style

Zelrio is practically SAS but in spaaaaace. And with robots. They're all about lighting warfare and hitting hard on the turn they drop and praying they don't get into melee. It turns out spending most of your life in 0G isn't great for muscle density. Its very easy to annoy and frustrate your enemy with your movement gimmicks and your deep striking. With half your army in reserve, when turn 2 comes you could easily have soldiers in every free bit of board there is.

Your human forces are pretty good all things considered. Marines and Combat Controllers are good fighters with a number of upgrades although they can only take one per unit. Flashsmoke Bombs let them withdraw from melee combat when they are charged but BEFORE the enemy does damage rolls that can be combined with Strategic Redeployment. Targeting Beacons is basically an unkillable high altitude drone strike good at taking out heavy armor. Drone Command Nexus lets your guys give a Combat Protocol to 1 Drone unit within 6" of them. Vacuarian Veterans are interesting as they replace the bonuses you'd normally get the turn you jump out of a drop pod with flat stat boosts; you'd basically trading the upfront damage Zelrio normally relies on for more consistent performance after they land. Reinforced Drop Pods is just and expensive meme: instead of taking something actually useful you can opt to have your troops land on an enemy target as basically a kamikaze as once they get out, they're stuck in melee with no way out and you have to roll a d6 for every model inside and on a 1, they take a Mortal Wound. Security Forces are your worse performers but their special rule of having each model count as two for purposes of Objective Secured makes them great at camping contested points. Give them Vacuarian Veterans so they can actually do something in a fight and have them sit on objectives.

Drones make up the much cheaper bulk of your army and where most of your consistent heavy firepower comes from. Combat Drones are cheap chaff that just spew bullets but take to what few buffs your army has quite well (seriously, they're super cheap. A full unit is only little more than half the cost of a Marine unit). Sniper Drones are long ranged high AP snipers who can take Hyperkinetic Coilguns to let them snipe enemy characters, ignoring cover, Line of Sight (as long as another unit can see them) and Look Out Sir. Breacher Drones are your most heavily armored unit, coming with a pistol and an alloy shield. ALWAYS give the the shotguns they can take, their pistols are literally more effective as melee weapons than ranged weapons due to the Breacher's high strength and lower ballistic skill. Suppression Drones are basically walking fire support that can take either a heavy machine gun or a flamethrower. The flamethrower is more directly lethal but their machine guns literally cut any charge roll against them in half so you can put them in front of your other units to stop zealous units from charging them head on.

Drone Walkers, Howitzers and Conveyors are the only ground vehicles you can use. Drone Walkers are just shit. They're too expensive and don't do enough although you can pull off some cheese with them put sticking a Sniper Drone on top for instant high ground combined with some defensive abilities like Guardian Protocol. Howitzers are your horde breaking units unless you want to kamikaze units with a Reinforced Drop Pod. And Conveyors are glorified APCs that your guys can come in on instead of dropping in. Looks bad on paper but Commander Heperd lets you gain the bonuses from Feet First into Hell when disembarking out of a Conveyer. And you can get back into Conveyers as well. Refreshing combat buffs anyone?

The most important part about Drones however is their Combat Protocols. Each Drone unit can be assigned on Protocols at a time and have to be changed by someone else with the Drone Controller special rule. If they aren't given a new Protocol, they will stick with their original Protocol unless destroyed or changed. Guardian Protocol grants a 6+ Ward save to all units in a 6" bubble. Assault Protocol grants additional movement and additional attacks in melee. Firefight Protocol lets Drones reroll 1's to hit. And Distraction Protocol decreases enemy hit rolls by -1 in a 6" bubble around the Drone.

Note: Due to how the rules are stated, you can have a force entirely made up of Drones if you feel like LARPing as the CIS from the Clone Wars. If you do this, BRING A DRONE EXPIDITIONARY MANAGER. He lets you bring back fully destroyed Drone units as deep striking units the next turn. Its rainin' men drones! Hallelujah!

Zeliro also comes with a host of solid characters but rather specialized in what they can do. Drone Network Specialists let up to 3 Drone units within 18" get Combat Protocols while Orbital Engineers are poor in combat but can repair vehicles, bring drones back from the dead on a 5+ and destroy terrain or lay powerful mines with Mining Explosives. Named characters like Captain Pryce give even more buffs to Combat Controllers when they jump out with FFIH and even the Corporate Representative has a use as a super cheap item bearer. Take the Vacuarian Remains for the leadership bubble, Laser Designator marks a target and gives any unit +1 to hit against it and Shield Drone Escort grants a 6+ Ward bubble that stacks with Guardian Protocol. Hazard Pay is useless though, don't use it, it rewards you for getting closer to melee which is something you do not want to do. The Bombardment Spotter is a noob trap, unless you have a huge list with a ton of shots, he's just too expensive and can't do anything besides giving you the maximium possible number of Orbital Strikes, doesn't even increase their power.
@Sigma Thanks I'm glad people are enjoying them
@Ordsmed Looks good so far, you can keep the Iron Widow if you want or can replace her and I'll change Ironwit's stuff. Also we have a new player in the discord whose looking to be a vassal house in the Norther. They should be making themselves known shortly.
@Tortoise Think that as GM, you ought to get one now

Codex - Earth Cultural Union

Lights! Camera! Action! New Hollywood demands a show and the ECU's army will give a performance worthy of Old Earth. Through the power of showbiz and literal movie magic, the ECU military will dazzle, woo and wow both the viewers at home and the divergent, degenerate abhumans before them. The ECU alone are the true heirs of Mother Terra and the paragons of humanity. With the lessons of the Savants to guide them, victory is all but assured!
Special Rules

  • Hardlight Hologram - Units with this rule are unbreakable and have a 4+ Ward save against all attacks. EMP attacks however automatically wound if hit.
  • Purity of Form - Units with this rule gain Hatred against any non-baseline human unit, allowing them to reroll attacks and wounds. This rule does not apply to alien or non-human units.
  • Student of the Savants - Units with this rule may take a Savant's Lessons upgrade.
  • Star of the Show - At the start of the game, designate one character as the "Protagonist". Reroll a failed saves on this character and any unit within 12" can use the character's leadership instead of their own. However, killing the Protagonist nets the opponent double the amount of points normally they'd normally gain.

Play Style

PURGE THE UNCLEAN The ECU is an army with mediocre units boosted by some excellent rules and synergies. Which is good since unlike most other factions, you're stuck with unaugment humans. You don't even have near-unbreakable troops like Augustilia. But unlike Augustila, the ECU excels at weakening the enemy to the point they can fight them, especially with their Purity of Form special rule.

Before we get into units, we need to talk about the cornerstone of the ECU: the Lessons of the Savants. There's both selfish, self buffing ones and AOE aura buffs. These can dramatically change how a unit behaves from giving new abilities to simple stat improvements. However, only Oligarchs can take them (you can take them on Oligarch Heirguards and Enforcer Captains but Heirguards prefer self-buffing ones and Captains require you to also buy a Script of Wisdom for them). Thus keeping your Oligarchs protected and safe is very important to get the most out of your boring, unaltered troops. Also always refuse Challenges, you can take the Leadership hit and discretion is the better part of valor; its not cowardice, its survival. Good luck getting an Oligarch to 1v1 a Vampire or Enhanced Hierarch.

Holograms make for incredible tarpit units, on par with the Midnight Technocracy; they won't kill a lot but they can hold for an insane amount of time given that they're unbreakable and have a 50/50 chance of straight up saying "no u" and not taking a wound. Lessons of Savant Gabor makes them even more sticky by increasing their ward save to a 3+ and letting you resummon 1 hologram per turn on a 5+. Not exactly the vampire's undying horde but Holograms are arguable stronger than them anyways. Once your enemy is bashing their head against a hardlight wall, feel free to either flank around and destroy them or go grab objectives. EMPs though are your enemy and you have no easy way of stopping it.

ALT: Instead of just using them as tarpits, Holograms can be used in a supporting role as well. Holographic Horrors already give an 9" AOE fear to everything around it and the Rod of Romero gives any unit Fear for a turn. A blob of 30 Holograms suddenly turning into a blob of shimmering monsters can fear a lot of units if they're in base contact. Throw a Holo-Controller into your list to give your Holograms some more toys to play with. "Spectral Dazzle" forces enemies to reroll 6's to hit which gimps a lot of powerful exploding 6's abilities and "Iron Curtain" projects a wall that either gives a -1 to hit from range or force enemies to reroll charges and take the lowest. "Illusionary Support" isn't as good as it used to be as its not capped at 10 temporary holograms who can't even cap points. For even more troll-tastic fuckery, give your non-Hologram units Spotlights and/or Firework Cannons to blind and slow enemies even more.

The biggest downside to Holograms is that they don't have Purity of Form but that is where you Protectors and Enforcers come in. Free Hatred on most of your army is good, but Lessons of Savant Byrne makes it even better. Having an Oligarch list of Byrne's ramblings give you exploding 6's to hit, giving you a free attack for every 6 to hit. The ECU also has access to one of the strongest single items in the game: Relic of Old Earth. Usable once per game, it basically gives any unit Killing Blow, letting them completely ignore any armor, ward or invul save. An Oligarch with a Lessons of Savant Byrne and Relic of Old Earth can make a fully kitted out Augustilian Duke or Vampire sweat nervously hilariously enough. Even a unit of Stagehands with the same buffs can grind through Chosen Enhance Hierarch Guard or Augustilian Grenadiers with good rolls.

Special mention to Savant James Herald. This silver fox stands alone among all named characters and he's the only motherfucker who lives up to the title of "Savant". He can take up to three (yes, THREE!) Lessons on himself for an easy deathstar build. While his combat stats are just barely better than a normal Oligarch, his Neo-Matrix Training ability and Bullet Timer Watch item makes him insanely hard to kill or snipe out without the need for Star of the Show. Note: Herald must be the general of any army he is a part of but SotS doesn't have to be. You can make a pretty cheap meatsheild Oligarch with SotS, Lessons of Savant Irons and Hardlight Defense Field to "dramatically and heroically sacrifice themselves" by tying down the enemy and taking challenges for Herald.
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