Thursday, May 11, 2017

Insurgency Tactics

Unlike the Empire, insurgencies do not have a single, cohesive doctrine. Each has their own strategy, approach and tactics. Thus, the following list of tactics represents suggestions of tactics and agendas that an Insurgency might use to fight the Empire. No insurgency will use all tactics, rather, they are offered so that a GM can pick and choose from among them when designing his insurgency movement.

Each contains common insurgency types associated with the tactics. These are offered only as suggestions, to allow a GM to pick an insurgency type or two and quickly get an idea of how it might operate; GMs who wish to mix and match strategies and ideologies are free to do so! Each tactic also contains a list of suggested contact skills, which represent the sort of training necessary to carry out the tactic. Consider adding some of these to an insurgencies contacts or personnel.


Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Explosives (Demolitions), Forced Entry, Mechanic, Throwing.

Few things disrupt a society like the sudden and total disruption of their peace. For some insurgencies, this is the whole of their goal: proving the ineffectiveness of the Empire at keeping them safe and demanding change in exchange for freedom from terror and chaos. For most insurgencies, though, bedlam is a form of distraction, a way of keeping the authorities busy while the insurgency gets on with more important matters.

Bedlam requires bombs. Some insurgencies will steal or rent hovercars, rig them with bombs, and park them in the city. Others will simply rove through the city with pockets full of weaponized c-cells or other explosives and plant them in interesting locations. On the appointed hour, they’ll blow their bombs. This is usually simultaneous, but some organizations gain great mileage out of staggered explosions, or even having multiple bombs in the same area, so that when first responders arrive to help the injured, the second bomb can hurt them too!

Once the bombs have been set off, some particularly aggressive insurgencies rove the chaotic streets, attacking civilians or authority figures. This is particularly popular if they’ve already incited a riot (above).

Box Ambush

Common Insurgency Types: Freedom Fighters and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Explosives (Demolitions), Tactics.

If an insurgency wants to hit a mobile convoy, a column of troops, or get at a target in a moving vehicle, some use a “Box Ambush.”

First, the insurgency insurgency needs to know the target’s route, the general area and ideally the composition of its guard. The insurgents must prevent the target from simply escaping during the attack, and so looks for some location with an obvious ingress and egress that can be blocked off, and with walled-sides, such as a narrow alleyway, a bridge or a canyon. If they cannot find such a location on the route, then they must find a way to change the route, either via people on the inside rerouting the convoy, or with sabotage that forces a detour.

Once they got their location, they need to block the entrance and exit. The exit can be blocked with a simple blockade, provided that this isn’t sufficiently obvious that the target is warned before going into the “box." for example, the alley or canyon has twists and turns so that the blockade isn’t obvious until the convoy is already inside. Alternatively, the insurgents plant mines at both ends: when the convoy reaches the exit, the insurgents blow up the first vehicle, blocking the exit with burning wreckage, and then do the same at the exit, blocking the convoy in. Those with heavy vehicles may instead, suddenly move their vehicles into the entrance and exit; this has the added advantage that it can happen nearly anywhere: insurgents with access to large vehicles can swoop in to block a vehicle on all four sides.

Once they have the vehicles blocked, they erupt from their hiding places. Insurgents place forces at both the entrance and the exit, opening fire to prevent people from approaching either exit. From above or to the sides, the force unleashes its snipers or rocket-armed soldiers. Some groups also place anti-personnel mines in the center of the “box” and once security personnel or soldiers have disembarked to fight back, they blow the mines.

Caught in a four-way cross-fire, most convoys or targets simply die. However, hardened security or military vehicles might stand up to the fire and call for reinforcements. After the initial barrage, the rebels will usually quickly depart, ending the attack almost as quickly as it began.

Incite Riot

Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Current Affairs (Local), Observation, Propaganda, Public Speaking, Streetwise

Insurgencies often need to incite riots, in the least to remind the people of the need to fight, but often as a distraction for a larger operation.

Riots do not arise in a vacuum. They require some grievance from the populace. Characters with Area Knowledge might already know of a common grievance, otherwise, the character might need to uncover something irritating the people. Current Affairs tells the character of any unusual recent events that might stir up the people, and Streetwise gives the character the “word on the streets.” If no grievance can be found, one can generally drummed up with a Propaganda campaign, which can stoke existing tensions to a breaking point.

Once a grievance has been found, the insurgency needs a large crowd. They can arrange for some kind of event (Propaganda, again), or they can look for an existing event (a sporting event, a parade, a speech by an imperial official). Then, at that event, the Insurgents can attempt to incite the people to riot. A quick survey of the crowd tells the insurgent if they’re ready to riot (Observation or Per-based Public Speaking). If the possibility exists, the character can make a Public Speaking roll, with a bonus or penalty depending on the mood of the crowd, +1 to +4 if they have a legitimate greivance and +2 if the propaganda campaign succeeded. Success opens the floodgates of existing animosity.

The Empire often defends against this by placing large numbers of riot troopers between the citizens and any event arranged by the Empire. While the Empire intends to prevent riots before they start, this show of force can have a detrimental effect, especially if the Empire suddenly opens fire on its own people. Insurgencies can use the same mechanics for inciting a riot to put imperial officials on edge. Once the imperial troopers become convinced that it’s “us or them,” then the insurgents have only to mask up, draw weapons and attack. If they do it from within a crowd, the Empire won’t know who started it, and will lay into the entire crowd, which will turn a previously peaceful event into a full-blow riot.

Hostage Crisis

Common Insurgency Types: Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Diplomacy, Electronics Operation (Media), Explosives (Demolition), Intimidation

Some insurgents want to strike home just how vulnerable the populace is, and how helpless the Empire is to help them. They choose a well-populated environment that they can reasonably secure. Then, they simply march in (usually without visible weapons or armor), close all the doors, and open fire until they have everyone’s attention. They’ll secure each hostage, usually using electronic cuffs or cuff tape.

Insurgents who wish to take hostages usually bring two additional tools. The first is a bomb of sufficient size as to seriously damage, or destroy, the building. The second is a holo-cam that they can use to film the proceedings. Once they have the bomb set up (usually deep in the heart of the building, set to a dead-man’s switch), they’ll begin to film the hostages and send out information about the affair to the outside world, and open up lines of communication with the Empire (or other local authorities) to negotiate for their release.

The point of the hostage crisis is theater. If the Empire is cold and refuses to negotiate (as is usually the case), then the insurgents record this and send it out as proof that the Empire doesn’t care. If the Empire tries, instead, to negotiate, the insurgents can use this as proof of imperial weakness. Meanwhile, every sobbing hostage is carefully filmed and holograms of the atrocity sent out to terrify the populace; terrorists then drag a hostage up and executem them for dramatic impact when necessary.

The hostage takers constantly face the danger of reprisal. A complete cell typically takes on the task, with the cell leader handling negotiations, and at least one handling the filming. The remaining split their duties between roving among the hostages to check for escape attempts or to silence conversation, while others, carefully away from the windows to frustrate snipers, keep an eye on how the Imperial response unfolds.

The end-game of a hostage crisis is the trickiest part, and many young insurgencies neglect this and die. Smarter insurgencies coordinate with other cells. First, they might have a hidden escape route that they can use to escape once they’ve received their demands or (more likely) when it’s clear that the Empire intends to attack. During the latter scenario, the insurgents blow the bomb after they’re clear, killing the hostages and many Imperial security agents. Alternatively, they’ll have other cells positioned in the area as snipers and attackers, or they’ll arrange for some distraction (see Bedlam or Sabotage for examples). Once the Empire is in position to attack, the other cells ambush the Empire, causing sufficient confusion that the insurgents can make their escape and, again, blow the building.

Mobile Strike

Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Freedom Fighters
Common Contact Skills: Pilot (Contragravity), Tactics.

If an insurgency wants to hit a mobile convoy, a column of troops, or get at a target in a moving vehicle, some use a “Mobile Strike.”

The insurgents need to either know the target’s route, or they need to find him and trail him. Once the target reaches a stretch of relatively open road, moving at speeds that make a quick stop to fight a treacherous one, the insurgents speed up and intercept.

Treat this as a Chase Scene. The insurgents make Move or Move and Attack rolls while their passengers simply make Attack rolls, preferably using pistols, assault blasters and missile launchers. The ideal situation is to catch directly up with the target vehicle (that is, travel along side it) and open fire on the occupants. Alternatively, especially if the insurgents have access to heavy vehicles, they’ll Force the target vehicles into a dangerous situation (such as off a bridge), or towards a Box Ambush.
Once the attack is complete, all the insurgents have to do to escape is drive in a different direction from the authorities, as they’re already at full speed and in full motion.


Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Freedom Fighters
Common Contact Skills: Computer Hacking, Electronics Operation (Electronic Warfare, Security, Surveillance), Explosives (Demolitions), Forced Entry.

Rather than inflict damage on random civilians, some insurgencies prefer a more carefully targeted approach, directly hitting only what they want to hit. This professionalism tends to intimidate the Empire more, and does nothing to harm the image of the insurgency. It requires superior infiltration and demolition skills, however. This is rarely done “for its own sake,” but in coordination with some other action. The most common targets for sabotage are surveillance systems, propaganda machinery, the power grid and military infrastructure (especially defense systems).

First, the insurgents must gain access to the system they wish to undermine. They use a variety of techniques from GURPS Action, but far the two most common are either directly storming the facility or subverting a target. If directly storming the facility, heavily armed insurgents simply kick in the doors and open fire on the security forces inside. This works best when attacking poorly defended facilities (such as propaganda studios, rather than planetary shield facilities). Alternatively, they find someone “on the inside” who has a grievance against their employers, and then Subvert them. When it comes time to sabotage the system, the traitor simply holds the door open for them.
The most common means of sabotage is simply to blow a well-placed charge or, alternatively, to place an EMP round a strategic location. Alternatively, once on the inside, the insurgents can access central Imperial computers, where they can directly hack into them to take control of them. Some insurgents particularly enjoy uploading propaganda messages up onto the Empire’s own mass screens and holograms, subverting their message.

Either way, the Empire will soon be alerted to the attack. The entire sabotage event must complete in minutes.

Targeted Assassination

Common Insurgency Types: Ideologues and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Observation, Shadowing, Stealth.

Rather than create a huge, paramilitary assault to get at a single target, some insurgencies prefer greater levels of stealth. This makes the attack more difficult to prevent, and creates the perception that anyone, anywhere, can be killed, and often avoids the collateral damage of more extreme attacks.
The ideal of a sniper taking his target out from hundreds of yards away, or slipping directly into the target’s house at night, evading all security systems and then slitting the target’s throat, are beyond the skill of most typical insurgents. Instead, they prefer to use blasters (especially blaster pistols or holdout blasters), grenades and blades.

Most assassins case their target (Observation and Shadowing). Once they know their target’s routine, a team of assassins will arrange themselves in the target’s path, or make their way to the target (say, at the cantina where he enjoys his lunch, or to his office) while wearing plainclothes. Once they have their target surrounded, they’ll spring into action, opening fire from a relatively close distance (less than 10-20 yards), or closing in to stab their target or, for insurgencies that care nothing about civilian casualties, by tossing grenades at their target.

The attack takes only seconds, and once they’ve finished the attack (success or failure), they immediately disperse.

Coordination Tactics

Clandestine Cells

Suggested Insurgency Types: All
Common Contact Skills: Filch, Observation, Smuggling

If an insurgency leader wishes to coordinate his entire insurgency, he must issue orders via a carefully isolated hierarchy. He divides up his “big picture” strategy into parts, and gives each part of his strategy to one of his commanders. His commanders each command a team of agents, and they further break up the orders they have into tasks and give them each to one team. These teams run cells, and they divide up their orders and give specific instructions to each of their cells.

Each member of a cell knows his direct superior and his direct subordinates (that is, a cell leader knows his controlling officer and his cell members), and everyone in a particular unit knows one another but nobody else (all members of a cell know one another, but of no other cells). This isolates groups from one another so that if one part of the organization is compromised, the other parts of the insurgency survive.

This approach is by far the most common. It protects the organization from infiltration and betrayal, but it demands total loyalty of subordinates, who have no “greater picture” to explain why they need to do what they do. It can also break down if vital links between organizational elements die or are captured. For example, if a cell leader is killed in combat, who contacts the controlling officer?
Individual cell members know each other and can communicate in person or via common means (wrist comms). Between vital, organizational links, communication occurs via either the use of predefined communication devices that they only use for that purpose (for example, a dedicated holographic communicator), or an agreed upon drop site where the cell leader can pick up his orders and drop off his reports. To prevent a total break down should a cell leader be compromised or his means of communication broken off, all members of both sides of an organizational link (that is, all members of a cell and of a controlling team) know of an “emergency drop site” where new communication equipment or orders will be dropped of in case of emergency. This site is more vulnerable to interception (if Imperial Security nabs a single member of a cell, they’ll learn of the drop site), so it tends to change from time to time, and it never takes precedence over the standard means of communication; it is only to be used in times of emergency.

Flash Insurgency

Suggested Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Propaganda, Teaching

Some insurgencies prefer to avoid the fragile bonds of cell structures by creating a far more robust, but far more difficult to control, decentralized structure. In this version, a leader directly commands a small cadre of agents who act as provocateurs, advisers and trainers. Instead of issuing direct commands, the leader and his cadre create training material, contact points and strategic suggestions. They then disseminate them. Agents might directly bring this information to known sympathizers, or they might create temporary “flash” documents on the data-net, or they might spread “black data chips” with the information.

Whatever form they take, the information provides details to whomever reads them on how to engage in insurgency, in method, means and goals. Those who follow the instructions soon learn how to build bombs, acquire weapons, and what vital weaknesses in the Imperial command structures might be. The information usually includes illicit ways of maintaining anonymous contact with one another, such as bulletin boards or graffiti tags; a common trick is to create a data-net account and store “drafts” of documents on it, and then disseminate the account information. Members can log in, read and write drafts that contain vital information, and then delete the drafts when finished; this means no information actually passes over the data-net for security to intercept.

The result is an amorphous mass of resistance that’s difficult for Imperial Security to pin down, as it has no hierarchy, no command structure, to dismantle. As long as the information spreads, like a virus, rebellion ripples in its wake. Even coordination occurs, albeit spontaneously, as various isolated groups find ways to contact one another and forge temporary alliances.

This approach has several downsides. Namely, the leader can quickly lose control of his own movement; most leaders of such organizations either see themselves as initiators and trend-setters rather than as commanders, or they only use the chaos caused by these splinter groups as a distraction for a better organized branch of his resistance. Second, the information is very easy to intercept; agents who disseminate the information attempt to be discrete, but it only takes one bad egg to reveal the whole plot to Imperial Security. Decentralized insurgencies must always assume that their information falls into enemy hands, and thus they put nothing that can deliberately harm the organization in their sedition-how-to documents. Finally, because the training documents almost always fall into Imperial hands, the insurgency must always treat their central communication means as corrupted; the result creates an instant tension between cells, as no cell knows which communication they can trust. Decentralized organizations take all such communications with a grain of salt, and this creates an ever-evolving internal lingo as insurgents learn to read between the lines and to say what they want to say without outsiders picking up on their true meaning.

Irregular Command

Common Insurgency Types: Freedom Fighters and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Leadership, Soldier

If an insurgent leader can bring enough of his fighters together to form an army, he can command his fighters directly. Insurgencies which follow Irregular Command structures behave like military organizations, except they keep all commands close and personal. Most leaders have a cadre of elite agents as well as strategic commanders. Commanders directly command their soldiers, often in meetings wherein he can see each and every person to whom he gives information, while agents go out and give commands to more distant sections of the organization and enforce the will of the leader. Irregular militaries do use communication equipment (especially wrist communicators or dedicated holographic communication), but expect regular “meet-ups” to discuss major strategic initiatives.
Irregular command is more difficult to infiltrate than most other coordination forms, but once infiltrated or compromised, the lack of compartmentalization can inflict a great deal of damage. Insurgencies that prefer this method operate beyond the reach of the Empire, usually in rural areas, and have sufficiently large numbers that they can begin to act as cohesive military forces.

Supply Tactics

Criminal Enterprise

Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Freight Handling, Merchant, Smuggling and Streetwise

An insurgencies weapons and supplies need to come from somewhere. Some insurgents cultivate contacts in the criminal world and directly buy their weaponry. Agents need to get to the location (usually off-world), find a seller, negotiate for a decent price, and then make the exchange and then either return with the weapons (which requires Smuggling), or arrange for a trusted courier to deliver the weapons. This works best when the insurgency isn’t directly under the eye of the Empire, or when the insurgency operates in an area rife with crime.

Naturally, the insurgency needs to be able to pay for their equipment. The money can come from anywhere, but given that insurgencies that buy from criminals have already cultivated contacts in the criminal world, most such insurgencies turn to crime to pay for their weapons.

From On High

Common Insurgency Types: Freedom Fighters and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Diplomacy, Savoir-Faire and Smuggling

Rather than purchasing or crafting one’s weapons, insurgencies can ask for donations. This typically involves going to a larger political power (most often the Houses of the old Federation) and pleading your case. If the political organization is amenable to your plea, they may agree to supply your insurgency or even assist you in your fight, but they always have conditions that, if allowed to go too far, turn the insurgency into the arm of the political body. Some insurgencies do not mind this and, in fact, already wanted to work closely with this larger body, but for those who fight for indepedence, this often involves a deal with the devil.

Once the deal has been closed, the larger political organization usually handles the details of delivery.

Home-Made Munitions

Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Armoury (Body Armor, Heavy Weapons, Small Arms), Chemistry, Electrician

Reliance on outside organizations, whether they be criminals or political entities, always opens an insurgency up to betrayal, and too often, the insurgency finds itself on its own. So, rather than rely on outsiders, the insurgencies builds its own weaponry and, especially, bombs.

This requires access to fabricators and parts, which still requires swaps, trades and scavenging, but tends to alert the authorities less quickly to your intentions than trying to get through customs with your ship’s belly full of missiles. It also requires extensive training, making it more popular with decentralized flash insurgencies or irregular paramilitary groups. The resulting weapons tend to have distinctive signatures and appearance, meaning that the Empire will never mistake who engaged in an attack.

Imperial Loot

Common Insurgency Types: Terrorists and Freedom Fighters
Common Contact Skills: Electronics Operation (Security and Surveillance), Forced Entry, Lockpicking

Why hunt for weapons when you’re presented with weapons everyday in the hands of Imperials?These insurgencies regularly fight and kill Imperial soldiers, and regularly raid their bases, giving them access to their armories. Once they’ve finished, they simply take the Imperial weapons with them, which means every successful attack leaves the Empire weaker and the insurgency stronger.
The Empire quickly picks up on this sort of tactic, especially when it realizes it’s fighting enemies with Imperial weaponry and armor, and so begin to booby trap their equipment with tracking devices. Insurgencies who use this tactic must remain constantly vigilant against any such tricks. They also have to find ways to differentiate themselves from Imperials: if your insurgency all wear imperial armor and wield imperial carbines while fighting imperials in imperial armor and wielding imperial carbines, friendly fire becomes much easier! Thus, they need to not only eliminate any lingering security traps, but they need to personalize the gear so that it stands apart from Imperial equipment.

Influence Tactics


Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Fast-Talk, Diplomacy, Intimidation.

Why rely on the good will of others? Instead, some insurgencies prefer to expose the hypocrisy of the Empire, or to simply turn that hypocrisy against itself. The insurgency seeks evidence of wrong-doing on the part of a useful target or, if none can be found, manufacture some (common examples include having an attractive woman suddenly kiss a married target while capturing the moment with a holo-cam, or smuggling illegal goods past a lazy customs official, then depositing credits in his account to make it look like he was bribed). If neither of these can be done, they can also kidnap someone beloved by the target.

Once the secret has been uncovered or manufactured, the insurgents reveal the evidence they have to the target and make a Diplomacy or Intimidation roll to either negotiate or demand compliance, with a bonus equal to how severe the secret is (typically a bonus worth 1/5th the value of the Secret) or how beloved the target is and a penalty based on how extreme the demands are, in a quick contest with the target’s Will. Success forces the target to capitulate to their demands.


Common Insurgency Types: Idealogues and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Brainwash, Intimidation, Pharmacy (Synthetic), Psychology

Rather than persuade someone to assist, some insurgencies break a person down and rebuild him from the ground up.

First, they kidnap the target and bring him to an isolated location. Thereafter, they use a variety of techniques to brainwash him. Some brutalize the target whenever they do something “bad,” and reward them when they do something good, instilling a deep terror for his captors and a subconscious desire to please them; others “love-bomb” the target, encouraging a deep sense of connection with his captors, and then ostracizing him (tossing him back in a cell, taking away privileges, expressing deep dissatisfaction) when he fails to assist properly; yet others will directly address the target in hour after hour of exhausting interviews where the interviewer pounces on mistakes the captive makes and uses them to leverage deeper into the psyche of the captive and force the captive to rethink his perspective until he begins to see the world the way the interviewer wishes. Once the subject has become sufficiently submissive, he is released and given his task, to be activated later.

All such efforts use Brainwash, and some use Intimidation or Psychology as complementary skills. The right drugs offer an addition a +1 to +2, and psionic characters can directly manipulate the brain of the target for +2 for most powers, or +4 for extreme powers (like Suggestion).

Note that brainwashing in this manner is best used against NPCs as a plot device, or a way of explaining how an insurgency subverts targets.  PCs should generally be able to resist brainwashing attempts.

Preach and Protest

Common Insurgency Types: Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Acting, Carousing, Public Speaking, Writing

Insurgents need to bring entire crowds to their side, and some do this through personal magnetism. First, they cultivate a persona (Social Engineering page 61) for a +1 to Public Speaking rolls for persuading people. Then they make a point of interacting with the average person, speaking to him, persuading him, either via the written word (in pamphlets or on the data-net) or directly in person, addressing large crowds about the evils of the Empire (Public Speaking). Success turns some portion of the crowd to the speaker’s side, and can result in an impromptu protest.

Preaching creates high-profile insurgents, which paints a target on the back of anyone who does it. Insurgencies either use this tactic naively, not realizing what the Empire will do to their spokesmen, or consciously intending to create martyrs of their preachers.


Common Insurgency Types: Freedom Fighters and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Acting, Architecture, Carousing, Electrician, Engineering (Civil), First-Aid, Mechanic, Propaganda, Savoir-Faire

All organizations engage in propaganda, but some do so via direct service to their community. They stop and listen to the ills of the people, they make a point of expressing sympathy, they give candy to kids, they offer medical assistance and rebuild ruined homes. Some insurgencies engage in these acts out of love for their community (indeed, many insurgencies begin because of a love of a community, and to right the wrongs inflicted by the Empire), but successful insurgencies who engage in service seek to benefit from it, reminding the citizenry that they act in their best interests, where the Empire does not. All such acts offer a complementary bonus to Propaganda rolls.


Common Insurgency Types: Freedom Fighters and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Acting, Body Language, Carousing, Diplomacy, Sex-Appeal, Psychology

Insurgents need allies. The Empire is rife with disgruntled minions, citizens and officials, all of whom make excellent additions to a insurgency cell, or as a temporary ally. Those insurgents who prefer to subvert targets typically learn to flirt and chat and in what sort of circles the most disgruntled tend to travel. There, they float through and look for someone who seems particularly unhappy and chat them up. They seek both common ground (manufacturing it if necessary) and a reason the target might oppose the Empire. Once they’ve found a mark who have both traits and whom hits it off with the agent, they agent continues to build a relationship with the target over days, similar to a courtship: “accidentally bumping into them,” offering gifts, performing favors, sharing “secrets” and so on, until they feel they have earned the trust of the target enough that they can approach them with a request. This request usually combines the depth of their relationship with the anger the target feels towards the Empire to “flip” the target.

Evasion Tactics


Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists
Common Contact Skills: Acting, Fast-Talk, Obseration, Lockpicking.

Rather than evade the enemy, some insurgents allow themselves to be captured or, in the inevitable event that they are captured, use the opportunity to spread disinformation. While being interrogated, the insurgent does not resist questioning, but instead answers the questions directly with a careful mixture of lies and truths, constantly spinning yarns that are compelling enough that the interviewer cannot afford to dismiss them outright. The fact that the insurgent answers all questions makes it pointless to torture him, and forces the interrogator to instead focus on parsing truth from lie while the insurgent stalls for time.

The insurgent also takes the opportunity to note what the interrogator already knows, based on the direction of the questions (faking appropriate shock and fear to make the interrogator feel as though he’s in a position of strength), as well as observe what he can about the Imperial facilities. Then, once he’s done, he attempts to escape.

Endless Patience

Common Insurgency Types: Idealogues
Common Contact Skills: Meditation, Mind Block, Philosophy, Public Speaking.

In the inevitable event that the insurgent is captured, some make good use of their time in prison. When interrogated, the insurgent “shuts down.” He begins to meditate (and, if skilled enough, reaches Autohypnosis levels of meditation, giving him extreme levels of pain resistance and increased Will). This allows the insurgent to resist all but the most expert forms of interrogation and even torture in stoic silence.

Once returned to the prison populace, if word of his resistance gets out (as the frustration of the guards inevitably shows), the insurgent takes advantage of his improved visibility to preach to the gathered crowds of prisoners, spreading his ideology and his particular brand of insurgency. He may even do the same to his guards, or his interrogator, attempting to convert anyone and everyone he comes into contact with, until the Empire is forced to kill him (making him a martyr) or release him to just get hi out of their hair.

Go to Ground

Common Insurgency Types: Anarchists and Ideologues
Common Contact Skills: Acting, Disguise, Forgery, Holdout, Shadowing, Stealth

Once an operation has been completed or uncovered, it’s time to vanish. Insurgents with this strategy never rely on technology that really makes them stand out. Once the operation completes, they simply discard whatever weapons they used, or secret them on their person, ditch whatever mask they wore, and simply vanish into local crowds, becoming indistinguishable from the rest of the citizenry. This has the advantage of turning the insurgent into a needle in a haystack, but it can also frustrate the Empire enough that they start inconveniencing or attacking innocent citizens, further emphasizing their oppressive ways. This works best in large crows (Shadowing), or when the populace has a high opinion of the insurgency.

If the Empire uncovers the actual insurgency and comes to arrest its members, insurgents never keep anything more incriminating in their “base” or homes than a few easily disposable weapons, perfectly innocent technology that happens to be useful during an insurgency, and some forged ident-chips and cred-sticks. They have only to pocket anything incriminating, make a few changes to their appearance, and walk away with their new ident-chip, head to a new safe house and notify the insurgency of the crackdown.

Retreat and Regroup

Common Insurgency Types: Freedom Fighters and Terrorists
Common Contact Skills: Explosives (Demolition), Hiking, Pilot (Contragravity), Running, Survival.

Once an operation has been completed, or the Empire has discovered your larger operation, it’s time to high-tail it out of there. If they’ve finished with an operation, they’ll simply run: they’ll physically run away as quickly as they can, or either steal a vehicle or use their own vehicle to put as much distance as possible between their pursuers and themselves. This typically involves a Chase scene, where the pursued makes use of his superior Area Knowledge to help him get away. All insurgencies of this type has an agreed-upon “regroup” point, and a maximum duration that the rest will wait.

Insurgencies that follow this tactic keep loaded vehicles in their base (or their base itself is just a set of tents and vehicles that can easily pick up and move), ready to go at a moments’ notice. They also rig any incriminating material with explosives. Should the Empire suddenly raid their facilities, all non-mobile items and incriminating evidence is immediately destroyed (though some insurgents wait until the imperial troopers are right on top of the explosives, to take some of the bastards down with them), and the insurgent escapes on foot of by vehicle to regroup at the “regroup” point.

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