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"What Would A Firefly-Like Unification War Look Like On Mars?" Topic


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873 hits since 18 Feb 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2018 1:48 p.m. PST

Let's assume 100-150 years from now, on a partially terraformed Mars* populated by a few hundred thousand mostly-mining colonists …

Multinational Mars colonies decided to unify and to seek independence from Earth, but the nation's of Earth (or an Earth Alliance) decided to forcibly keep them.

How would the war between the Earth Alliance and the Mars Independents unfold as a game?

Keep in mind that the objective of the Earth Alliance is NOT to destroy their overall planetary investment, or to make the planet uninhabitable. The goal is to bring all the prospectors, adventurers, pioneers, settlers, farmers, explorers, terraformers, frontiersmen, miners, etc, on Mars once again under the yoke of Earth government, and to crush the separatist movement. Earth government of course dismisses rumors that there are groups of genetically engineered humans on Mars, specially the rumors that ancient Martian DNA was discovered and used in the enhancement process to adapt settlers to some of the conditions on the planet.

Do you think the end result would be pretty predictable, as with the Unification War described in the Firefly series?

I'm thinking of using the Rebel Minis' Titan Marines as the Earth Alliance forces:

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Thoughts?

Dan
* With a few low areas with denser breathable air, but still needing respirators over the rest of the planet.
PS. This is one possible option for a flag of the Martian Confederacy:
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Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2018 2:40 p.m. PST

You can look at Two Hour Wargames' "First Contact" scenario book for ideas:

"First Contact is a supplement that can be used with both 5150 Star Army and 5150 Battalion Commander. Just download the free conversion PDFs at the bottom of the page to see how to do it.

First Contact tells the story of a rebellion on the Earth Colony of Mars. The colonists, known as the Sahadeen, have decided to fight for independence.

But what starts out as a local conflict erupts into something larger as the rebels receive help from an unexpected source, the ever-expanding empire of Gaea Prime."


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Tgunner18 Feb 2018 2:49 p.m. PST

Oddly enough, Ed at THW did something about that a while ago.

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Tgunner18 Feb 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

SB beat me to the punch… what I get for leaving my computer to do what my wife asked me to do.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

LOL! Funny also that until that scenario book I always assumed that Earth was the center of the future 5150 Gaea Prime setting, instead turns out we're a backwater.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine18 Feb 2018 3:05 p.m. PST

I guess it would be pretty much Asymmetric warfare rather than a stand up fight a few hundred thousand colonists verses the billions of Earth (with the technology edge to boot) doesn't leave the independents much choice.

On the plus side for the independents if the Earth forces are worried about causing to much collateral damage to the Mars infrastructure it gives the independents a better chance of fighting a guerrilla war. I guess the independents
will want to make it to expensive and costly for the earth forces in a hope that the political will on earth to bring Mars back into the fold is lost.

DyeHard18 Feb 2018 3:10 p.m. PST

This is a premiere from and old SPI board-game:
BattleFleet Mars (1977)
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This is the out-space combat side of the same idea.
Cool game because it worked hard to use real physics for space combat.

You had to keep track of the relative positions of the inner planets and transit time to and from:

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And had real 3D combat:
This was tracked by having two markers for each ship. One for the X-Y grid and one for X-Z grid:

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Stryderg18 Feb 2018 6:51 p.m. PST

I would think it would become a security force vs insurgents type of game. Martians trying to make life miserable for the Earthers:
1. Blow stuff up (like an Earth-Mars spaceship
2. Assassinate an Earther VIP
3. Sabotage life support equipment
4. Sabotage Earther vehicles
5. Lots of dis-information campaigns, political rallies, etc.

Coelacanth18 Feb 2018 7:55 p.m. PST

At T-plus 455 hours, elements of the Martian Expeditionary Force came under fire from Seperatist insurgents. The SEPFOR battery was silenced by the timely action of the corvette Arbalest, but during atmospheric descent the escort boat Damselfly and the infantry landing boats J.133 and J.108 were hit before the battery ceased to be operational. Both Damselfly and J.133 were observed to break up during their respective descents, but J.108 was last observed relatively intact. Her last known flight path seemed at least under some measure of control, but she went down in an area controlled by SEPFOR. With such significant loss of personnel at the beginning of the operation, no elements will be detailed to attempt recovery until the Seperatist threat is subdued.

Nothing to get the ball rolling like a good military disaster, eh? Of course, most of the troops aboard J.108 survived (there being little dramatic potential in a lifeless debris field), but how are they to make it back to the friendly forces? Also, I'm sure that the Terran commander now faces the challenge of a well-entrenched insurgency versus his own under-strength Expeditionary Force.

Earth government of course dismisses rumors that there are groups of genetically engineered humans on Mars, specially the rumors that ancient Martian DNA was discovered and used in the enhancement process to adapt settlers to some of the conditions on the planet.

"Dark they were, and golden-eyed."

I'll be watching this thread!

Ron

Lion in the Stars18 Feb 2018 7:58 p.m. PST

It'd look about like Vietnam or Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria, big nasty counter-insurgency fight.

Except that the Insurgents can drop dinosaur-killers on Earth if they're pressed too hard (and are actually supply-independent from Old Earth).

Read Michael Z Williamson's 'The Weapon', specifically the third arc.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2018 9:06 p.m. PST

Coelacanth

What if the first ones altered were combined with DNA from Tardigrades (Water Bears)?

What would such a hybrid look like? Smaller than average humans?

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They would probably keep to themselves in the deeper deserts, away from non-tampered humans. That's why they are believed to be a myth.

Dan
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Earl of the North19 Feb 2018 3:42 a.m. PST

Not exactly the scenario above, this is more near future with the colonization of mars leading to conflict.

Episode 1

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The Ivonium War on Mars

Episode 2

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US Space Marines fighting the Chinese on Mars.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART19 Feb 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

Thanks for the memories Dye Hard. I've been watching 'The Expanse' and BF Mars came to mind.

..oh, remember, Mars has a gravity well too.

Coelacanth19 Feb 2018 7:15 a.m. PST

Cacique,

The Tardigrade thing works for a hard SF setting, but my own views on Martians are inextricably bound to Bradbury. I read him when I was young, years before reading Burroughs, and so his dreamlike Mars is the one that lives on in my imagination.

Ron

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2018 11:14 a.m. PST

I reluctantly* cite Kim Stanley Roberson's Red Mars trilogy, which presents a Mars rebellion in the second novel. It rightly points out that the Mars rebels have little space power and live in pressurized domes. Earth operatives figure out which dome has the leadership, up the O2 level, and lob in an incendiary from space. End of rebellion.
(*While KSR's science is fairly good, and his action believable, his economic and political theories are unrealistic, his characters almost totally unlikeable, and the final novel should be re-titled "Fifty Shades of Red Mars" and come in a plain brown wrapper. :-P )

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 7:15 p.m. PST

Coelacanth

How do you imagine the Bradbury Martians? Other than skin and eye color, basically humanoid?

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Also, in the awful movie Doom, were the ancient Martian remains they were extracting DNA from humanoid in form?

Dan
PS. I think Bradbury would be an awesome name for a Mars Colony, by the way. Burroughs too. :)

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EDIT
I guess they look humanoid in Doom:

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Coelacanth21 Feb 2018 8:31 p.m. PST

Cacique,

I "missed" seeing the Doom That Came unto Cinemas so I can't help you there.

As for Bradbury's Martians, I see them as unusually slender, with an overall "golden" look -- but not literally metallic. The only overtly alien feature they would have is six digits on each hand and foot. Something about their movements is just too quick and too graceful for them to be Earthlings.

I'll let Mr. Bradbury describe them himself:

Mr. and Mrs. K had lived by the dead sea for twenty years, and their ancestors had lived in the same house, which turned and followed the sun, flower-like, for ten centuries.

Mr. and Mrs. K were not old. They had the fair, brownish skin of the true Martian, the yellow coin eyes, the soft musical voices. Once they had liked painting pictures with chemical fire, swimming in the canals in the seasons when the wine trees filled them with green liquors, and talking into the dawn together by the blue phosphorous portraits in the speaking room.

-- Excerpted from "Ylla" in The Martian Chronicles

I note that in the story which I have quoted the Martians consider a Human man standing six feet one inch to be a giant, so for the most part Bradbury's Martians are small people (If I remember right, he also occasionally describes them as being very tall -- he wasn't too interested in being internally consistent). The mention of six-fingered hands is in another story, I can't remember which.

Ron

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2018 11:01 p.m. PST

Ron

Thanks! I know that in one story a Martian kept shape shifting, but I couldn't recall the actual Martian description by Bradbury.

Dan
PS. This isn't a terraformed Mars, but the colors look amazing. It's from an Image Comics comic book called Drifter.
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And for more frontier planet ideas, there's another comic book called Copperhead:
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