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""Firefly" Unification War?" Topic

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851 hits since 2 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Coelacanth02 Jan 2018 5:46 p.m. PST

How do you see Firefly's Unification War? We weren't given a lot of particulars in the series, so a wide range of artistic licence is possible without contradicting the show.

This topic (and a recent re-watch) prompted me to post. Personally, I would see the tech as similar to Aliens, but with perhaps a bit more Space Opera flair (and no aliens).


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Jan 2018 6:00 p.m. PST

Tomorrow's War with some re-labeling and filing of serial numbers. I could see the Browncoats using the DPRA stats but with a more CSA style of politics. Federal forces modeled on the more "super power" forces.

Mardaddy02 Jan 2018 6:57 p.m. PST

I see it as almost exclusively ground engagements (non-WMD), planet-hopping campaigns with boarding actions in space.

I see the spacefaring tech as not high enough nor common enough that either force is comfortable doing ship-to-ship combat.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 7:27 p.m. PST

There's a lot of post-show fluff on the Firefly wiki, mostly for the RPG, I believe. I've only ever skimmed any of. (I don't have a link, but GIYF). It does give both sides armed and armored ships (including armed Firefly class vessels( huh?). I also recall a mention of the Alliance engaging in full orbital bombardment late In the war against Mal's home moon of Shadow, destroying it (including Mal's mother's ranch). Personally, that doesn't make sense given his character— he's just too upbeat to have been the victim of *that* level of loss, IMHO (I think someone was taking the theme song too literally). It's one thing to be disillusioned after a war and just want to travel around, staying out of government reach, and another to have had your whole family murdered. The former works; the latter would produce a more extreme response. But in any case, there's plenty of game material in there.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 8:55 p.m. PST

he's just too upbeat to have been the victim of *that* level of loss

Is he *really* that upbeat? Under his cavalier snarkiness, he's a deeply haunted and rather broken fellow. A powerful will and sense of purpose keep thing in check. And his extended dysfunctional space-family…ESPECIALLY Zoe.

Besides, the series definitely pushes the "get busy living, or get busy dying" worldview of frontier/early modern life.

(Keep in mid that I, too, know little of the "expanded universe" of Firefly- It sounds intriguing, but I prefer to stick within the confides of "The Series that Was"- namely fourteen measly episodes. grin

Prince Rupert of the Rhine02 Jan 2018 10:14 p.m. PST

14 episodes and 1 movie.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

"What movie?" Oh, that. IDNH. They're all still out in the Black, takin' jobs and keepin' flyin'.

Oh, Mal is haunted. But he's haunted by his personal experience of the war, both the victory of the Alliance and the betrayal of the Independents' higher command. Serenity is the name of the ship, not Shadow.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 8:08 a.m. PST

Oh, yes, and one movie. I watched it again the week before Christmas.

Serenity is the name of the ship, not Shadow.

OK, good point!

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

So, if you're born on a moon named Shadow, what would you be called?


Covert Walrus03 Jan 2018 1:06 p.m. PST

Malcolm? :)

While the destruction of Shadow as a habitable world is clear, its vague as to why it's in that state – strongly implied that the Alliance bombed it, most like with mass drivers , which destroyed the viable biosphere – but that implication Is from Browncoats so could be some bias creeping in. Maybe the locals let off dirty bombs to deny it to the enemy as a place of symbolic triumph a fact ignored with all else going on and something went awry with the terraformingmaking it uninhabitable which could still be blamed on the Alliance.

Either or, not much word on what happened to folks on Shadow – might be they ended up displced persons or 'fugeez someplace. Captain Reynolds sure ain't elaborating.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 11:48 p.m. PST

Mal's mom apparently had a big ranch on Shadow.

I think he confesses that to Saffron (Our Mrs. Reynolds) or to Nandi (Heart of Gold), or perhaps both.

EDIT (Excerpt from Our Mrs. Reynolds)

MAL – That's good work. My momma had a ranch, back on Shadow where I'm from. Ran cattle, mostly – wasn't nobody ran 'em harder or smarter. Used to tell me, don't brand the cattle, brand the buyer – he's the one likely to stray.

SAFFRON – She raised you herself?

MAL – Well, her and about 40 hands. I had
more family for a kid who -

(He stops looking at her.)

MAL (cont'd) -Well, that is odd.


MAL – I just don't – I'm not one talks about his past. And here you got me…

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2018 2:06 a.m. PST

Yeah. I have a solid feeling that Mal's extremely deep hatred of the Alliance must have started around the time his world was destroyed.


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

What I want to know is where does the war on Klendathu fit in? Is it before or after the Unification War? :)

Or … do the people who were left back on "Earth that was" continue on a separate conquest of space of their own?






Prince Rupert of the Rhine04 Jan 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

yet interestingly in the Serenity valley battle scenes, in the series, the Alliance look like the archetypal space Nazi

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

Lol. Nazis? They could be late War WW1 too.

I guess they opted for something slightly less redone by Hollywood than just more damn Nazis. :)


Prince Rupert of the Rhine04 Jan 2018 2:04 p.m. PST

Well my guess is they wanted to show everyone who the good guys were in those scenes. Hence the brown coats all look like space GIs and if you want your bad guys to look bad give them a WW2 German style helmet everyone knows that means bad guy.

Why the opted for Starship trooper outfits in a later episode is anybody's guess maybe they couldn't find enough Stahlhelm.

Zephyr104 Jan 2018 2:21 p.m. PST

Probably got a cheap costume rental rate… ;-)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

I heard in a documentary that the Train Job was filmed first and was going to be the pilot for the series.

If that's the case, then by the time they filmed the 2-part episode called Serenity, there must have been a shortage of the ST Mobile Infantry outfits and they had to go back to Hollywood's usual Plan B (the damn Nazis)..


Prince Rupert of the Rhine04 Jan 2018 3:09 p.m. PST

looks like the Starship troopers outfits got a run out in a Power ranges series as well some one got their moneys worth out of those costumes :)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2018 2:09 a.m. PST

Lol. Power Rangers? I didn't know they had started that show again. Too funny.


Coelacanth06 Jan 2018 6:25 a.m. PST

Getting down to it, what to use in an actual game? For the Alliance, anything with the Verhoeven Starship Troopers look would be fine, but the Browncoats should look a bit more motley. I don't see either side using any vehicles that can't be carried in a dropship (maybe a few heavies in well-established garrisons), and for some reason I don't envision giant robots (or any robots) in the Firefly 'verse.


ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa06 Jan 2018 8:20 a.m. PST

From the series the war always seemed relatively low intensity and infantry based with some heavy weapons – though there was mention of armoured vehicles, but I'm guessing the series budget only stretched so far…. Though aero-space support was clearly a significant arbiter. I've got a couple of comic books which don't contradict that (they do include a big combat drone, but that clearly a post-war development). So TW or may be FUBAR for something simpler would work nicely. A platoon or two a side, give the Alliance an AFV or two and the Independents some emplaced heavy weapons.

For figures I'd go Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, or facsimile there of, for the Alliance – the 'space Nazi' look's a bit silly and vary bargain basement. Though they're are a coupe of options in 15mm, Eureka, and 28mm, Dream Forge. For the Independents virtually any colonial ranges would seem reasonable – though head swapping a WWII US helmet onto something with a long coat would be most 'accurate'. I suppose in 15mm you might get away with using WWII US infantry in greatcoats?

Hey You07 Jan 2018 5:16 p.m. PST

Italeri, Set 6069, Russian Infantry (Winter Uniform)

I think I found a stand-in for Jayne Cobb in that set, since I prefer 1/72. The figure that I am looking at is 4th on the top row. The only problem is that I don't remember Jayne wearing a greatcoat.

Jayne stand-in 4th figure on top row.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa08 Jan 2018 12:44 p.m. PST

The Italeri US infantry (winter uniform) set would give a closer match with the US helmets…

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

I see the spacefaring tech as not high enough nor common enough that either force is comfortable doing ship-to-ship combat.

Oh I really doubt that was the case since in the Movie there was a fairly large space battle against the Alliance and the Reavers.


Oh and the Reavers lost but that Alliance Fleet took some major losses.

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