The three active factions and their goals this month are:
- Corinthian Scout Service – Expand Influence; establish a base of influence on Halfway.
- Celestial Empire – Planetary Seizure of whatever the world is at hex 0002. One of the beauties of SWN as a sandbox is that I don’t need to work out the planetary details first, as you’ll see.
- Halfway Combine – Peaceable Kingdom; avoid becoming entangled in war or politics for the next four turns..
Working from page 114 of Stars Without Number, the CSS has 3 FacCreds, the Empire has 7 and the Combine 5. No-one has any maintenance costs this turn. As per p. 114, I dice for the order of activity; it’s the one I’ve used above.
First, the CSS attempts to establish its base of influence. It can do this if it has any other asset insystem, and the Dolphin is a Covert Shipping asset, so they’re good to go once it arrives. (At the PC level, this means Arion arrives at Halfway, and drops off Dmitri, who starts setting up a network.) They will spend all 3 of their FacCreds to do this, giving it 3 hit points if successful. As per p. 115, all factions now roll 1d10 + Cunning; the CSS gets 8+4=12, the Empire gets 1+5=6, and the Combine gets 4+5=9. As the CSS got the highest score, no other faction can attack the fledgling base. Success! The CSS gains no experience for this, but now has a toehold from which it can expand.
Next, the Empire tries to seize 0002, whose name has not yet become important. Since I haven’t worked it out yet, I use the default faction for a planetary government: Backwater Planet. I note from p. 115 that the Empire can only attack the faction with assets already on-world, so I change the action – they have to move assets there first, so they will use their Extended Theatre capability to move Space Marines two hexes to the world, although those cannot attack until the next turn.
Lastly, the Combine sits tight and tries not to be squashed. The odds of not having to fight anyone for four turns are pretty good, since the CSS is worse at fighting and the Empire needs to build some Deep Strike Landers before it can reach Halfway.
As Arion arrives at Halfway Station, the news is full of the sudden appearance of Imperial Marines in the skies of a neighbouring world.
“Looks like the boss was right,” says Dmitri. “We’ve got a problem.”