Everyone knew the civil war was coming. When old King Charles took ill on his seventieth birthday, with no son nor daughter nor even a wife, everyone knew what it meant. They were right: upon the King's death, three cousins each claimed the throne, each more distant than the next. Though one did not pursue her claim to the bitter end, already being the ruler of a neighboring land, Adelheid Fitzgreene and Johan von Kenner-Krantuck both declared their right to take lordship of Avalon. Two years of brutal fighting later, the War of the Avalonian Succession hangs on the edge of a knife. That's where you come in: the Joint Command is a new effort by Fitzgreene's Loyalist forces to break the stalemate on the Eastern Front, by combining the brightest and most promising - or at least, the best-connected - officers in the Loyal Army aboard the dirigible Capricorn, a flying command center from where you will plan the defeat of the Usurper forces. Prepare your battle plans and study the forces and subordinate officers under your command. War is coming. *** This AC has been a long time in the making. But I'm very excited to finally try it out! First things first: You are a Brigadier in the Loyalist Army of Avalon, serving the rightful heir to the throne, whatever the other team says. You've been pulled aboard the Capricorn as part of a new joint command initiative, and you can have whatever opinion of that you like. This AC will be heavily RP-based. There are almost no hard numbers, and the meat of the game will be spent aboard Capricorn. Most likely, in the exact same room aboard the ship. Your goal is to combine the units and subordinates at your disposal to create battle plans that achieve strategic objectives, and then make on-the-fly changes as the enemy's plans clash with yours. Success will come based on your understanding of military strategy and tactics, not from combining advantages and hard numbers. What numbers we do have: your character's Traits, your Units and Commanders, and SP. Your Character: Repeat after me: there is no character sheet. You should provide your name, description, bio, etc, but format it however you want. Keep secrets, or don't, or whatever. Here is the only part that requires real calculation: Traits. At the beginning of the game, you have two Traits and one Flaw. You can take a third Trait, but it requires taking a second Flaw to match. You cannot go any higher than that. Trait and Flaw Lists: Spoiler : Traits: Take two. You may take a third if you desire, but it will cost you an extra Flaw. Star of Valour: Prior to or during command, you were a decorated and dashing soldier yourself. Odds are, you haven't forgotten how to handle yourself if the fight ever makes its way to you in person. Aggressive: Your men are determined to finish the enemy, and hound him mercilessly for the best results. Cautious: Your subordinates don't tend to rush headlong into what could be traps, usually for the better. Ground Pounder: Your Infantry units perform better than others'. Crawlerman: Your Steam Armor units perform better than others'. Trickster: You have a gift for subterfuge and misdirection, and your plans involving them tend to be quite successful. Commando: You have a knack for leading small-unit raids when separated from supplies. Flexible: Your subordinates are quite capable of reacting on the fly to rapid changes in plans, often for the best. Surgeon General: Your casualties tend to be lower than others'. Mechanist: Your Support units perform better than others'. Clockwork Dragon: Your Dirigible units perform better than others'. Elite: You are a gifted leader of men. Begin the game with one extra SP. Trusted: Your men think a lot of you, and their willingness to follow you and your orders is high. Flaws: Take one. Take a second Flaw if you took a third Trait. Inflexible: Your command operates on detailed plans and outlines. Asking them to improvise on the fly is a fool's errand. Reckless: There's aggressive, and then there's this: your men don't look before they leap as often as they perhaps should. Timid: There's cautious, and then there's this: your soldiers see traps everywhere, and are perhaps too risk-averse. Supply Guzzler: Your soldiers need a lot of supply, and being disconnected even temporarily will hit them harder than other commands. Desk Officer: The last time you used a gun yourself was...have you ever? There are reasons you avoid active war zones. Let's just hope they continue to avoid you, too. Zealous: Your men will obey and follow you into the mouth of Hell. And they won't listen to anyone but you, no matter how important it is. Head-on: Your style is brash and thunderous - and your command's capacity for more complex evolutions is suspect at best. Independent: Your subordinates don't take orders very well, and that can lead to problems. Feared: You've got a reputation, and it's the kind of reputation that makes your enemies fight harder just to spite you. Laughingstock: For one reason or another, your men don't take you as seriously as they should. Underequipped: Your soldiers always seem to draw the short stick when it comes to supplies and equipment, leaving them often operating on secondhand leftovers at best. Your Units: This is where it gets slightly more in-depth. You start in command of two Units, from a list of four types. Any combination is allowed. Each Unit has a Commander, whom you are encouraged to provide description, bio, etc, for in great depth. All Commanders have a high chance of appearing in the RP sequences, and of having semi-subplots of their own. For starters, here are the four types of units: Infantry: Your basic soldiers, equipped with muskets and bayonets and hand grenades. In the open, they're dead meat, but they're lethal when entrenched, and the only units capable of occupying heavy cover areas. Steam Armor: Steam Armor is formed from tracked and crawling vehicles designed to punch through infantry trench lines. Highly mobile and heavily armored and armed, these units are your spearpoint - but they're very vulnerable to Dirigible attacks, and suffer in constricted terrain. Dirigibles: These are combat fliers and airships loaded with armor-piercing rotary cannons and rocket pods. They fly over most terrain obstructions and make short work of Steam Armor, but are highly vulnerable to Support units' anti-air brigades. They cannot occupy territory, but can carry Support or Infantry at a one-for-one ratio. Support: Support units are engineers, medics, mechanists, and anti-air batteries that make them a Dirigible's worst nightmare. They can hold their own if well-entrenched, but Steam Armor tears through them, and Infantry can clear them out of fortified positions with ease. You are encouraged to provide a nickname and designation for each of your units, plus any battle honors and history you'd like. Have fun with it all! Once you've done that, name the unit's Commander, providing them a rank between Major and Colonel at your discretion. Any other details you want to provide, do it! SP: You begin the game with 3 SP. SP are used to level up your Units and Commanders. Every Unit and Commander will have a unique promotion tree, drawn from a common pool of abilities. Once you list out your Units, I'll provide you their tree, with a complete explanation of all their abilities. Spoiler Sample Promotion Tree : Every unit will have 3 tiers of abilities. Taking two Tier One abilities unlocks Tier Two, and taking two Tier Two abilities unlocks Tier Three. Note that this is an unlock mechanic, not a pyramid setup: once you take those first two T1 abilities, you never need to go back for any others to keep moving. Abilities are split between Unit and Commander abilities, though they exist on the same tree. All abilities cost 1SP to take. It's up to you whether you focus on making one of your units the best it can possibly be, or try to even out your capabilities. Promotions: Spoiler : Training Montage: This Promotion is available at all times to all units, and can be taken multiple times. Upon taking it, merely state which aspect of the unit's function you would like to improve. IE, attack, defense, engineering, etc. Commander Promotions, Tier One: Doctrinal: This Commander understands that procedure exists for a reason. They're not incapable of adaptation, but they're loathe to disturb set orders even if they don't make much sense, putting good faith in their superiors. Initiative: This Commander has a brain and uses it ruthlessly: almost always for the better, they are capable of taking stated orders and adapting them on the fly. Veteran: This Commander has fought in person with great gallantry on many occasions. He or she will perform better when personally "stuck in". Know Thine Enemy: This Commander is intellectual and studied, and combines experience and research to know all the capabilities at the enemy's disposal. Unit Promotions, Tier One: High-Spirited: This unit's complement has very high morale, and all that entails. Adaptable: This unit is highly adaptable and well-equipped for any terrain challenge that could reasonably arise, and as such takes much lighter terrain penalties of any description. Bayonet Ya: Infantry Only. This Infantry unit has trained extensively in bayonet drill, and performs better in constricted close-combat than other Infantry units. Attached Mechanists: Steam Armor Only. This Steam Armor Unit is accompanied by an engineering brigade, which helps keep it functional and moving even when presented with terrain challenges. Air Superiority: Dirigibles Only. This Dirigible unit is well-trained in air-to-air combat, and performs better at it than most units of its type. Gatling Guns: Support Only. This Support unit is accompanied by a Gatling Gun detail, which significantly improves their combat strength against Infantry. Commander Promotions, Tier Two: Bushwhacker: Ambushes, traps, and tricks are this Commander's stock in trade: their unit will perform much more effectively when fighting dirty. High Speed Low Drag: This Commander grasps the value of speed far better than most, and can move their unit from one point to another faster than other Commanders would think possible. Night Fighter: This Commander has a near-instinctive grasp for the realities of decentralized night combat, and as a result, his or her unit will perform better in the dark. Combat Engineer: This Commander has extensive experience with fieldworks, from trenches to pontoon bridges and everything in between. Psychological: This Commander knows just how to get into their opponent's head, playing off their fears to make their command seem far more dangerous than it actually is. Unit Promotions, Tier Two: Experienced: With a solid core of veterans, this unit performs slightly better at all tasks than a regular company. Fast March: These soldiers appreciate the importance of speed in action, and can push further and faster than others would imagine. Bloodthirsty: The men of this unit are bold and aggressive in the best possible way, and they fall on the enemy like a whirlwind of death. Defenders: This unit is nearly immovable when it entrenches, and performs better on defense than others. Lightning War: Steam Armor Only. This Steam Armor unit understands the principles of high-mobility armored combat, and both moves faster and hits harder on offense as a result. Firebomb Rush: Infantry Only. This Infantry unit has trained with close-in firebomb ambushes, making them perform far better against armored units in close quarters. Flame Tanks: Support Only. This Support unit is equipped with heavy flamethrowers, enabling it to burn Infantry and other Support out of cover. Heavy Airlift: Dirigibles Only. This Dirigible unit has been modified with heavy lifting airships, and as a result can airlift not only Infantry and Support, but Steam Tanks as well. Commander Promotions, Tier Three: Savant: This Commander has studied and trained for a long time, and over the course of their career, has become very skilled at what they do. As a result of all this effort, this promotion grants the Commander's PC superior 3SP for immediate spending however they see fit. Tactical Genius: This Commander has a gift for war that many would kill for, and their unit works slightly better on all counts for it. To The Last Man: This Commander would rather see their unit come to pieces around them than lose a fight, and will inspire their men to those same heights. The unit will now never retreat unless ordered. Unit Promotions, Tier Three: Band of Brothers: This Unit is the best of the best, simply put, and performs slightly better at all tasks for their experience and grit. The Adjutant: This Unit's second-in-command is a quick study who knows their current CO quite well. In the event that the commander is killed or incapacitated, their adjutant will immediately step up to fill their place, already having mastered all their known skills. May only trigger once. Crawler Killers: Steam Armor Only. This Steam Armor unit is supplemented by a company of dedicated Crawler-Killer Armors, giving them substantially increased combat strength against other Steam Armor units. Supply Wizards: Support Only. This Support unit's logistics division regularly works miracles, and as a result, it can support one full additional unit regardless of circumstance. Rocket Crawlers: Infantry Only. This Infantry unit is supplemented rocket-bearing assault crawlers, giving them increased strength against Dirigibles and slightly more against Steam Armor. Micro-Missiles: Dirigibles Only. This Dirigible unit is equipped with micro-missile pods, increasing their combat strength slightly in all areas. Unless stated otherwise, you earn 1SP for each completed mission, win or lose. Achieving bonus objectives and dramatic successes can earn you more. The War: Overall, the war is fought by studying the provided maps and information of the local area, comparing it to the enemy's known goals, and positioning your units accordingly, with fallback plans in mind. Once a battle plan is agreed upon in session, I'll start calculating it while the PCs can RP with each other and NPCs. As the plan progresses, I'll bring up the tactical SNAFUs that inevitably ensue for reactions. Your units will take losses in action, and you'll have to decide whether to commit the time to reinforcing and resupplying them or throwing them back in without a pause. Remember things like morale and equipment failure are real. Supply will be a serious consideration for extended operation without enough Support units in the immediate vicinity - a Support unit, roughly, can supply itself and two other nearby units, not necessarily from your personal command. Teamwork will be critical to success, as will thoughtful consideration of the tactical situation. Pay close attention not just to the geography and obvious hooks, but what the enemy's actual goal is - and your own. Don't get caught up fighting street-to-street if all you want is to knock out their refineries on the edge of town. And remember the first rule of military planning: no matter what your objective is, it will be simpler if you have routed the enemy force and face no organized opposition. I don't know what times work best for whom, but I am tentatively planning on running this AC on Wednesday evenings at 5PM EST. Talk to me if that's an issue: I'm flexible. Good luck, Commanders.