Monday, April 3, 2017

The Imperial Navy

We find that the Romans owed the conquest of the world to no other cause than continual military training, exact observance of discipline in their camps, and unwearied cultivation of the other arts of war.
-Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.

The Empire is, at its core, a militaristic organization. The motion towards empire began with the adoration of a military leader, resulting in sufficient military power and the worship of that power to topple the democracy that had so long ruled the Galaxy, and now, that military power serves its empire by constantly expanding its borders and acquiring their wealth to feed its own war machine.

Most of the rest of the Imperial organizations exist either to support the military or to keep its power in check.  The Imperial Ministry researches military weapons, provide propaganda to support its recruiting efforts, and manage the tax revenue that pays for its acquisitions and soldiers. Justice and Imperial Security watch over the might of the Imperial Navy, ensuring that it doesn't turn its power on the Emperor and overthrow him.

In Star Wars, the Empire was its military force.  We never saw any aspect of the Empire except its Star Destroyers, its stormtroopers and its tie fighters.  This means I had a paucity of material to work with when it came to other aspects of the Empire of Psi-Wars, but too much to work with here.  Now, I need to strike a slightly different note... or not worry about it excessively.  Between technology and more careful work on military doctrine, we have a somewhat unique force forming.

The Imperial Navy

Ostensibly, the Imperial Navy falls under the purview of the Ministry of Defense, but in practice, the Ministry of Defense acts as the bureaucratic toadies to the true movers-and-shakers of imperial power, the Admiralty, headed by the Grand Admiral himself, who answers directly to the Emperor.

The Imperial Navy safeguards the Empire, and it does so preemptively and proactively.  If the Empire judges that something is a threat, or that something could be a threat, the Navy flies to the Empire's "defense."  They often work with the Ministry of Affairs, using military force as an extension of diplomatic pressure and vice versa.  If a world is under genuine threat, the Imperial Navy should always move to protect or relieve it

The Imperial Navy divides into fleets, and each fleet is run by an Admiral, who has a great deal of leeway in how he runs his military.  The Empire, constantly aware of how dangerous military power is, keeps close tabs on its admirals and expects them to follow Imperial orders: the Empire would rather risk defeat than have an excessively proactive officer on its hands.  That said, galactic distances being what they are, admirals often have enough of a leash to act on their own, conquering worlds without official Imperial permission and then gaining sanction after the fact, and usually some honors in the process and, of course, if some treasure disappeared from the conquered world, the Empire isn't going to look too closely into it.  Thus, a post in the Admiralty is perhaps one of the fastest tracks for personal advancement in the Empire.

Ground forces fall under the purview of the Navy.  They have their own leadership hierarchy and administration and is classified differently under the Ministry of Defense paperwork, but ultimately, the army falls under the jurisdiction of the Grand Admiral, and thus serves the navy; there is no "Grand General."

Agendas of Imperial Navy

The Imperial Navy, like any other organization in the Empire, works to advance the interest and careers of its top brass, but it also serves to protect the Empire from external threats and, more importantly, to expand imperial power by invading other worlds. Examples of Naval Agendas might be

  • Diplomacy has failed. The Ministry of Affairs has already quietly evacuated the most important personnel from the world under the pretense of a change of staff and brought with it vital intelligence about the location of garrisons and the layout of the land, plus evidence (fake or otherwise) of the local regime’s cooperation with the Rebel Alliance. The Empire wants to strike now. Thus the local admiral is tasked with arranging sufficient manpower to conquer an entire planet, which must be coordinated with the timetable of the Ministry of Affairs, for their release of their evidence, and allowing for the installation of the leader they wish to have in place, all while keeping the affair quiet enough to keep from tipping off the locals. After all, the last thing the Empire wants is actual cooperation with the Rebel Alliance.
  • An alien power has ambushed and defeated a flotilla of Imperial ships, even going so far as to capture a dreadnought and its commodore. While the Ministry of Heritage scrambles to spin the defeat, the Imperial Navy must assign responsibility for the debacle (ensuring that no blame gets back to the Grand Admiral), then reinforce its position to prevent further incursion, then dispatch a new flotilla to recover, or destroy, the captured ship and officer.
  • A world proved too difficult to take or to hold, so the admiral ordered it cleansed. Total destruction followed as an entire Imperial fleet opened fire on the rebellious world and left nothing but a burning carcass of a world behind. And now, the Populists in the senate cry foul. The Navy needs to concoct evidence of weapons of mass destruction and imminent threat from the now-dead world to explain the fierce action, or, barring that, find a way to pin the blame on a lower officer. Either way, the admiral who ordered the destruction has no intention of going down for the deaths of a mere billion rabble!

Imperial Navy as opposition

 The Ministry of Defense, like most Ministries, won't field anything more dangerous than aggressive secretaries and is seldom a major threat.  It's usually BAD -0 to -2.  On the other hand, it seldom has anything more interesting than accounting books, payment schemes, personnel files, and communiques to the other Ministries.  It seldom has anything extraordinarily interesting or useful, though particularly cunning investigators might begin to suss out larger plans from the dregs of Defense data.

Real power rests with the Admiralty, which is typically Bad -2 to -5.  Where possible, the Imperial Navy tries for BAD -5, but often, the huge demands for personnel and reality being what it is pushes its forces down to BAD -2, though high level Admiralty is usually surrounded by BAD -5 minions and security.

The Imperial Navy bristles with combat-oriented personnel and military vessels.  Personnel includes:
  • Troopers armed with combat carbines and light hardsuits
  • Elite troopers armed with cutting-edge blaster carbines and heavy hardsuits
  • Combat Engineers armed with flamers, explosives, mines and construction equipment
  • Recon commandos armed wtih sniper rifles and forward observation gear
  • Combat Pilots
The Imperial Navy also fields vehicles including:
  • Recon grav bikes
  • Tanks
  • Infantry Fighting Vehicles
  • Mobile Artillery
  • Close Air Support ships
  • Drop Ships
  • The Typhoon-Class fighter and its variants
  • The Empire-Class Dreadnought
  • A Planetary Assault ship
  • Imperial Cruisers that support the larger dreadnoughts

Serving The Imperial Navy

Imperial Security Ranks

10: Emperor
9: Grand Admiral
8: Admiral
7: Vice Admiral, General
6: Commodore, Colonel
5: Captain, Major
4: Commander, Captain
3: Lieutenant
2: Midshipman, Chief Petty Officer, Sergeant
1: Petty Officer, Corporal
0: Crewman, Trooper

Enlisted naval crews begin as Crewmen, who serve any role required of them (Gunners, janitors, technicians, etc).  Teams of crewmen fall under the leadership of Petty Officers, who serve under the guidance of the Chief Petty Officer.

Naval officers begin as Midshipmen, who command enlisted directly, often acting as crew leads in smaller vessels and assistants to lieutenants in larger vessels.  Lieutenants serve as bridge crew assisting the command of a vessel, or commanding a department on the ship.  Commanders either serve as Executive Officers, assisting the Captain of the vessel or command smaller vessels, such as Corvettes or fighter squadrons.   Captains command capital ships or dreadnoughts.  Commodores always command at least a dreadnought and usually command formations of capital-class or dreadnought-class ships.

Beyond this we move into the Admiralty.  Admirals command entire fleets which serve in interstellar regions.  They'll subdivide their fleet into task forces and place these under the command of Vice Admirals, who usually govern all the ships in a star system, or Commodores, if it's a very small task force.  All the Admiralty answer to the Grand Admiral himself, who answers to the Emperor.

Ground forces, because they need to be transported from world to world, fall under the jurisdiction of the Admiralty.  Even so, they have their on ranks and classifications.

A given trooper is a trooper.  Troopers form fire teams of 3-5, headed by a corporal, and then into squads of 10, lead by a sergeant.  Together, three to five squads form a platoon, led by a lieutenant and his sergeant.  2-4 platoons for a company, which serve under a Major, with a Captain as his second in command (who may lead one of the company's platoons directly).  Beyond this runs into regiments, run by Colonels (who will often command all troops on a particular dreadnought) or a General, who acts as the administrative head for all ground forces under an Admiral's command, and may command the forces of a Legion-class Assault Carrier directly.

Tanks are generally run by troopers and commanded by sergeants, just like squads.  A group of three tanks is a "tank platoon," and is governed by a Lieutenant with a sergeant assisting him.

Favors of the Imperial Navy

Entry Clearance (Pulling Rank p 13): The Imperial Navy has secured facilities, such as its shipyards or fortresses, that it doesn't allow just anyone to enter.

Consultation and Specialists (Pulling Rank p 15): The Imperial Navy can offer Contacts with skills like Administration, Intelligence Analysis, Leadership, Strategy and Tactics, representing military attaches or military advisors.  They're usually between Skill 15 and 18.

Files (Pulling Rank p 15): The Imperial Navy (and the Ministry of Defense) has detailed personnel documents.  The Imperial Navy itself has deployment records and the specifications of its ships.

Gear (Pulling Rank 16): The Imperial Navy can offer up its astonishing arsenal to its members.  Because it's a 30-point patron, this comes in with a default +6.  This generally includes nearly any trooper gear or access to a combat vehicle like a fighter.

Evacuation (Pulling Rank 17): The Imperial Navy to the rescue!  Dreadnoughts will descend from the sky and send shuttles racing to pick you up.

Treatment (Pulling Rank 17): 
The Imperial Navy also maintains extensive hospital facilities for its wounded soldiers, who will happily patch up its members..

Facilities (Pulling Rank 18): The Imperial Navy has superior ship-repair yards, which it might open up to those who serve it.

Fire Support (Pulling Rank 19): The Imperial Navy backs up its words with firepower, and its commandos can call down that inferno upon their enemies.  The most common forms of Fire Support are artillery fire, close air support, a flight of typhoon fighters or bombers, or an orbital strike from a dreadnought's spinal cannon.

The Cavalry (Pulling Rank 19): The Imperial Navy doesn't to anything gentler than this.  It will send a full platoon of troopers (BAD 2), between 10-15 elite troopers (BAD 5) or 5-10 fighters for a space-based request.

Character Considerations

Requirements: Characters serving the Imperial Navy must have a minimum of Wealth (Average) [0], MIlitary Rank 0 [0], and Duty (12 or less or 15 or less, Extremely Hazardous) [-15 to -20].

Taking the whole of the Imperial Navy as one's enemy is too much.  A single Admiral as an Enemy is worth -20 points by default.  Admirals also make interesting Patrons, worth 10 points.

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