World:Crux Europa

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Crux

noun

\ˈkrəks, ˈkru̇ks\

1: a puzzling or difficult problem : an unsolved question

2: an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome

3: a main or central feature

They call it The Coil. A festering wound at the heart of the continent of Europa, countless generations of mankind have shed endless rivers of blood to control the raw resources that are cast into the world from the void of this abyss. To control the Coil is to control the fate of Europa. Dynasties rise and fall in time to the heartbeat of the land, and every few years the earth shudders and weeps magma as the Coil rearranges the land in every direction. Then the profiteers emerge, eager to claim resources and drink in the rewards.

The most recent eruption was nearly as long ago as the dark fate of the last nation to try to dictate the flow of Ebontium. Fifty years before the present day, the signing of the Lysian Pact ended hostilities between the Lavathian Combine and the Machine-State of Orlon and created the new nation of Cendria, the first Republic to inherit the ashes at the center of the continent following yet another catastrophic resource war.

But Cendria has flourished nonetheless, and with the timing of the Coil's next eruption long overdue the powerful nations of Europa are again focusing their gaze inward at the heart of the continent.

Contents

Rules

Crux Europa (Often simply referred to as Crux) is a hex-grid tactical war game based on the Skirmish Quest and Iron Hearts rules developed by Monday. The game uses d10 dice exclusively. By far the most common rolls in the game are to determine success of shooting or melee attacks. In the unit sheets, a "Hit Rating" is a number from 1 to 9 surrounded by a square. When you attempt to perform the indicated action, roll #d10 where # is how many attacks you are granted by your chosen action. Remember to multiply die rolls by the number of surviving combat-ready members of your squad who are making the attempt. 3 Riflemen shooting rifles with Hit Ratings of 1 x |6| would each roll 1 dice, for a total of 3d10.

The result on the die indicates success or failure, with lower rolls being better. In the case of the riflemen above, any dice that rolled a 6 or under on their d10 would have scored a hit, and any who rolled a 7 or higher would have missed with their attack.

Rule 0 - Let's face it. Whether it's an inspiring speech to rally some non-combatants to your side, a tense negotiation with an enemy general or neutral party, or stopping a doomsday missile from firing by reversing the countdown, at some point you're going to want to do something that isn't covered by a rule. When this is the case, spend Actions (as seems appropriate to the activity) and roll 1d10... or, if the activity you're attempting is particularly complex or might affect multiple targets, more dice as seems appropriate. You'll need to exercise some discretion. Command will then interpret the results of your actions in the turn update!

The actual results depend on how well you roll, how difficult it would be to achieve the desired effect, whether or not the daily supply of coffee rations have run out yet, and how much Command likes you.

Factions

The nations of Europa (and, indeed, of every iteration of Crux) represent collections of ethnic groups united under an ideal or set of ideals. Each nation fields a wide array of infantry, ground armor, and aerial combat vehicles.

Each Faction is portrayed on the field by Lists comprised of unified military forces. Each faction has a Primary List, representing a relatively well balanced force of the Regulars of their nation's military, and an Alternate List which specializes toward a particular style of play. Most factions' Alternate Lists are still in development.

It should be noted that the Lists typically represent relatively well trained soldiers compared to more common soldiers, often referred to as "mooks," which are unplayable and sometimes appear as weaker NPC allies or adversaries.

Each nation has an "Experience Model," or a means by which their soldiers utilize experience gains. This is a campaign-only mechanic, and will only be utilized while the players are a part of the concerned faction.

The Republic of Cendria

The Republic of Cendria is the inheritor of the vast material wealth cast forth from the maw of The Coil. The capital city of Lyorift stands as a testament to the will of the Cendrian people to harness these raw materials; a floating city suspended above the mouth of The Coil, sustained by the concentrated efforts of hundreds of high ranking Geomancers.

The most important resource is Ebontium, a unique mineral that occurs only as a product of the Coil itself. This mineral, when alloyed in specific ways, can make weapons of unparalleled quality, from the Ebontium swords and armor worn by Voltigeurs, to the APDS rounds used by Lanciers and the Renault MBT. Cendria is also in possession of the most advanced medical technology available throughout Europa, able to bring soldiers back to fighting condition even in the midst of combat.

Experience Model: Mentors

Cendrian soldiers are trained to be versatile, and to respect the experience of veteran soldiers. Cendrian soldiers can change their class between missions, keeping any universal upgrades but losing the class upgrades in their previous classes. They can spend any existing EXP on universal upgrades as normal, but lose 50% of any remaining experience.

Soldiers with an excess of experience can choose to donate experience to other soldiers, helping them buy upgrades.

Primary List: Cendrian Volunteer Corps

The Cendrian Volunteer Corps is unique among Europan military forces for being comprised entirely of volunteer soldiers; hence the name. Compared to Provincial troops and Militia forces, Volunteers are well trained, well equipped, and possess a strong esprit d'corps. Falling directly under the command of the central government as opposed to Provincial governors or mayors, the Volunteer Corps are the first to mobilize in the event of a threat from outside forces. The Cendrian Volunteer Corps are comprised mostly of ethnic Lysians, but a wide variety of other races can be found among their ranks, including Argyllians and even men of Orlonni descent.

The Cendrian Volunteer Corps possess high mobility, range, and staying power. They excel in situations where their mobility and range can be exploited to allow them to skirmish from outside an enemy's effective threat range while using their considerable healing abilities to stay combat ready. However, they lack in direct striking power, leaving them at a disadvantage in a direct confrontation.

Also known for stylish finger-less gloves.

So far, the Cendrian Volunteer Corps is the only faction list whose units have more or less been revealed in their entirety.

Alternate List: Argyllian Highlander Regiments

The ethnic group which hails from the Highlands of the Argyllian Isles has fought in many prominent military forces throughout history, notably serving as distinguished auxiliaries in the ancient Valtic Empire. It is said that the Argyllians are great at winning battles, but bad at winning wars. The disparate Highlander Clans have never been able to unite for long enough to win a war against an organized foe, having been conquered several times over the course of history. Each time however, it is almost inevitable that the Highlanders will eventually find the resolve to revolt, becoming a free people... free, at least, to war amongst each other, as little can be done to keep their aggression in check.

The Highlanders' relationship with Cendria is a unique one, as it is a result not of conquest but of mutual agreement. Argyllians in Cendria typically form dedicated Highlander Regiments, barring recruitment to non-Argyllians for reasons of “physical and mental disparity.” Argyllians tend to be physically larger and more imposing than other Europans, and possessed of an extremely aggressive and tenacious mentality, valuing personal courage and martial prowess above all things. When the Cendrian military needs a force suited to direct assault, Highlander Regiments are called in, as little can be done to stop the charge of a horde of screaming, claymore wielding Argyllians.

The five Highlander Regiments are organized into a single Division. The Divisional motto is "Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"; "No one assails me with impunity."

1st Regiment: Republican Argylls Borderers.

2nd Regiment: Republican Highland Fusiliers.

3rd Regiment: The Black Watch.

4th Regiment: The Cameronians.

5th Regiment: Argyll and Cendria Highlanders.

Speculative Highlander units:

Armuinn: Two man teams of tough heavy infantry, armed with Ebontium Claymores.

Highland Rifles: Tough two man teams of ranged infantry, armed with Rifles and Rifle Grenade attachments.

Cateran: Relatively tough light infantry, excelling in raiding actions.

Mormaer: Solo heavy infantry melee officer, armed with Ebontium Sword and Targe. Able to organize Highlander units in a devastating charge attack.

Druid: A practitioner of ancient rituals that beseech the spirits of the land, Druids operate in a similar manner to Geomancers, but use Standing Stones as the focal point for their esoteric power. They are mostly dedicated to enhancing the abilities of the other Highlanders, but with a large enough group of Stones (known as a Henge) they can unleash powerful weather magics.

Schiltrom: Highlander Assault Walker, armed with a Lance and Axe.

The Machine-State of Orlon

Bordering the wasteland which marks the cataclysmic destruction of the Mu Dynasty, the once proud nation of Orlon was the inheritor to the martial tradition of the ancient Valtic Empire. Orlon has always been known as a military powerhouse, able to field large bodies of well trained soldiers. This continues on even to this day, although it is now a matter of necessity rather than pride.

When the Dragon Empress unleashed her world shattering attack against the Mu Dynasty, Orlon was caught in the destruction and large swathes of her land died under the attack, leaving the State as a broken shell of it's former glory. The Machine-State of Orlon is now a nation whose every asset has been turned to war; every man, woman and child contributes, either training to become soldiers in the Kriegsmacht, working the factories to produce weapons of war, or educating themselves to advance the administration of the State's resources.

The people of Orlon now fight for their very survival, as one hand, one heart, and one soul. They will not, and cannot stop fighting; in some cases, not even death will stop them in their relentless struggle for victory.

Experience Model: Instructors

Orlon specializations are too strict to change between missions, and soldiers are locked into their particular class throughout a campaign.

An Orlon soldier with at least one Doctrine fully unlocked can become an Instructor; they are removed from the campaign, but allow new soldiers of their class to unlock a single tier 1 upgrade from any doctrines they have mastered for free. Any existing soldiers can unlock an upgrade in a similar manner, and any soldiers who have already bought such an upgrade receive an experience refund to use elsewhere.

Primary List: Orlon Heer

The Orlon Army, The Heer, is a military force where uniformity and discipline are highly enforced. The individual is broken down through training to forge a soldier who upholds a high standard and is dedicated to fighting for Orlon. The Heer has a high proportion of weapons capable of unleashing incredible firepower in a short amount of time, and soldiers well suited to surviving any attack long enough to retaliate with devastating firepower. However, they lack mobility, and an enemy that they cannot come to grips with and rapidly destroy can pick them apart piecemeal.

The Heer can perform Maneuvers, special orders that grant a formation of soldiers a series of unique benefits depending on what other soldiers are also part of the formation. These maneuvers are very powerful, but require a well organized and coordinated team to pull off successfully. The two most practiced maneuvers are Blitzkrieg, or Lightning War, which focuses on quickly closing with and destroying the enemy in a rapid assault, and Feuerunterstützung, or Fire Support, which focuses on laying down tremendous firepower from static positions.

Alternate List: Orlon Fallschirmjägers

The Ten Commandments of the Orlon Fallschirmjägers:

  1. You are the elite of the Kriegsmacht. For you, combat shall be fulfillment. You shall seek it out and train yourself to stand any test.
  2. Cultivate true comradeship, for together with your comrades you will triumph or die.
  3. Be shy of speech and incorruptible. Soldiers act, cowards chatter; chatter will bring you to the grave.
  4. Calm and caution, vigor and determination, valour and a fanatical offensive spirit will make you superior in attack.
  5. In facing the foe, ammunition is the most precious thing. He who shoots uselessly, merely to reassure himself, is a man without guts. He is a weakling and does not deserve the title of paratrooper.
  6. Never surrender. Your honour lies in Victory or Death.
  7. Only with good weapons can you have success. So look after them on the principle—First my weapons, then myself.
  8. You must grasp the full meaning of an operation so that, should your leader fall by the way, you can carry it out with coolness and caution.
  9. Fight chivalrously against an honest foe; armed irregulars deserve no quarter.
  10. Keep your eyes wide open. Tune yourself to the top most pitch. Be nimble as a greyhound, as tough as leather, as hard as alchemized steel and so you shall be the Orlon warrior incarnate.

Speculative Fallschirmjäger units:

Pioneers: Three man teams of engineers. Can reinforce allied armor or break enemy armor.

Sappers: Three man teams of light infantry. Equipped with short ranged proximity mines and smgs.

Fallschirmmenschen: Stealthy variants of the Heer's Untermenschen. Come in teams of two.

Sturmschutzen: Two man teams of paratroopers, armed with automatic rifles. More mobile variant of the Heer's MG teams.

PanzerJager: Solo light infantry, armed with a Panzerbusch.

The Empire of Tyria

Primary List: Tyrian Dragon Cult

Alternate List: Tyrian Legion

Crux Pacifica

The flames of war stir in the East. Striking out from their secluded home islands, the resurgent Yamato Shogunate has laid claim to all of the territory of the greater Pacifica region. If rumor is to be believed the greatest priests of the Shōgun's court were all simultaneously struck by visions of the long-missing Great Spirit of Substance, Sarutahiko, beseeching them to find him and thus secure Yamato's divine mandate.

Even as island nations topple before the unstoppable armies of the Shōgun and his Daimyō, a new power has arisen to contest Yamato's ambitions. Calling themselves the United Tribal Federation and hailing from the mysterious continent of Verazan, this nation of proud warriors follows the will of their ancestor spirits. Lately the ancestor's rest has been troubled by signs of the Spider Grandmother's return. The creator of the stars in the sky and patron of the spirit world, this goddess' return would herald a new era of prosperity for their people. However, the ancestors warn that if Yamato could fulfill their goal of recovering the Great Spirit of Substance it would ultimately result in a disastrous war in the spirit realm between their gods... a war whose ripples could tear apart the physical world.

Welcome to the Pacifica Front.

About

The brainchild of the player TXTypewriter, Crux Pacifica represents a pan-oceanic war between the Pacifican powers; The United Tribes Federation, the Yamato Shogunate, and the Novgoriy Union.

Factions

As with Europa, the factions of Pacifica are collections of people united under one ideal. However, while the nations of Europa focus on material wealth as a means to power, the factions of Pacifica gain strength from spiritual rituals and esoteric forces.

United Tribes Federation

The United Tribal Federation is a coalition of the once-scattered warrior cultures of the Verazan continent. Like Orlon, they achieve an overall balance of focused ability through the use of widely-differentiated units, making them equally effective at attack and defense with complementing threat ranges. Where the similarity ends, the Federation has a better numerical advantage in exchange for slightly less Elite troops, and a more reactive method of handling combat casualties.

Tribal Federation magic draws from benevolent ancestor spirits and the souls of recently-slain warriors to benefit their soldiers with an even mix of buffs, healing effects, and attack spells. Whenever soldiers of the Federation fall in battle, the Shamans may draw upon the assistance of the slain warriors before their souls permanently depart for the Spirit World. Even if no casualties have recently befallen the Tribe the Shamans may practice lesser rites that grant the power of the Spirits to the Federation.

Experience Model: Ancestors

UTF soldiers are divided into two types: Tribals and Moderns. UTF soldiers can switch between classes of their type, using the same rules for universal upgrades and experience retention as Cendria.

When a UTF soldier is killed, the total experience they have (including any they have already spent) is added to a pool; any new or existing soldiers start with or gain an amount of experience equal to this amount divided by ten, rounded down. For example, if there is a total of 100 experience in the pool, new soldiers start with 10 free experience, and existing soldiers gain 10 free experience (Presumably, they will have gained free experience over a period of time as the unit takes casualties).

This free experience does not count towards the pool in the event that the soldier dies. Essentially, when a soldier with free experience dies, the amount of experience they contribute to the pool is equal to their total experience minus the free experience the pool provides.

Yes, this does mean that if you lose enough people you can start with a fully upgraded soldier. This is what happens when you fight an enemy whose soldiers don't die even if they're killed.

Primary List: UTF Joint Expeditionary Forces

the UTF Joint Expeditionary Forces represent two distinct styles of combat; the traditional, Verazani way of fighting, using archaic weapons such as Tomahawks and Bows, and the Europan method, using firearms and other advanced weapons. However, they all make use of Totemic spirit guides to enhance their abilities.

The premier rules mechanic for UTF JEF is the Totem system. Tribal infantry are tactically flexible, using their Totems to change their abilities to best suit the current combat situation. Most Tribal infantry have a choice between two different Totems to use at the start of each of their turns. Announce your current Totem loudly and proudly in your turn orders, and put it into the proper space on your unit data card! Indicate in your turn orders whenever a Totem effect gives you a bonus to actions you are taking. This will help ensure that your orders are processed correctly.

G.I.s and Rangers have pistols (see the Rules Manual). No other Tribal unit has a Pistol. All have a basic Melee attack.

Alternate List: UTF Joint Special Operations Command

The UTF JSOCOM, as it is often abbreviated, is a highly secretive organization that recruits only the top percentage of the most talented and capable from among UTF soldiers. A combination of training, experience, and raw talent make these soldiers living weapons whose sole purpose is bringing swift death to any adversary. A JSOCOM Strike Force is a collection of some of the most lethal individuals on the face of the planet.

UTF SpecOps are trained to fight independently of any support. They do not use officers, and need only the most limited support to continue operating in the field. All JSOCOM soldiers operate alone, and do not come in teams. Beyond generally having more actions, UTF JSOCOM soldiers are much more skilled than ordinary, rank and file soldiers. UTF JSOCOM has a blanket +1 hit rating with all weapons, and impose a -1 penalty to all attacks against them. The hit rating is already accounted for in weapon entries on their unit cards, but also applies to their basic melee attack and pistol, making their melee attack 1x[7] and their pistol 1x[5].

Speculative UTF Joint Special Operations Command units:

Raider: Heavy Assault Infantry, armed with a Shotgun.

Green Beret: Basic Ranged Infantry, armed with a Battle Rifle.

SEAL: Stealth Capable Heavy Weapon, armed with a Light Machine Gun.

White Feather: Dedicated Counter-Sniper, armed with a Sniper Rifle.

Predator: Stealth capable Melee Infiltrator, armed with Combat Knives and Javelins.

Yamato Shogunate

The Yamato Shogunate uses their Bushido warriors backed up by the more numerous Ashigaru field troops to rapidly sweep aside their dishonorable enemies. Their overall design is a bit of a mirror of Tyria, as the individual might and skill of their warriors is emphasized with lots of abilities that can make even a single soldier very threatening in the right location. Unlike Tyria however, the Shogunate has very little numerical advantage in their favor and relies on aggressive and rapid attack (using a closer-to-even split of ranged and melee combat) rather then a Turtling/Combo Engine melee strategy.

Yamato magic harnesses the fickle and powerful divine nature spirits known as Kami, summoning them for a variety of aggressive Attack-focused effects and buffs. However, Kami are vain beings who are notoriously quick to visit their painful vengeance on those who try to exploit their power. The Shogunate's Kannushi and Mikos therefore rely on a carefully-balanced series of rituals using Ofuda paper talismans and seals to harness the Kami's power. The effect of this is a Risk-Reward balance of powerful spells that can be cast earlier in battle than the magic of other factions... at the cost of potentially catastrophic effects upon failure.

Primary List: Yamato Daimyo Bushido Butai

The Bushido units of the Yamato list have the Recharge mechanic. Many Yamato infantry are oriented towards the attack, and the Recharge mechanic rewards aggressive play by returning a limited use ability when the unit has a successful turn of melee combat. If for any reason you are in doubt as to the results of your attacks in gaining a Recharge, ask Command for clarification following Yamato turn processing.

No Yamato units have Pistol sidearms. All have a basic melee attack, but most are better with another form of melee.

Alternate List: Yamato Ashigaru Rikugun

Novgoriy Union

The Novgoriy Union relies on massed ranks of hardy infantry, durable Armored tanks, and the steely gaze of their Commissariat to keep the masses in line. Their overall design is similar to Cendria, insofar as the emphasis is not on complex army synergies or specialized troop types. Instead most units are fairly flexible in capability and can fulfill a few different roles with some overlap. However instead of fast skirmishing potential, the Union is best at a slower tempo of Attrition-based warfare.

Union magic relies on evoking the harshness of their homeland's conditions for a variety of mostly Defensive effects. Their Strannik pilgrim-monks draw their magical ability from the dour nature of the country's People... the more Union infantry units they can position around themselves, the more potent their weather-changing and divination magic becomes.

Primary List: Novgoriy Armiya

Alternate List: Novgoriy Krasnaja Gyardia

Crux Mediterrania

The quest for immortality has driven the disparate nations of the Mediterran Sea for age after bygone age. The ascension of humanity into something more perfect began eons ago, when the First King of Valt united the barbaric land and ushered in an era of enlightenment, foresight and law. The secrets of that flourishing utopia would be forever lost to time, were it not for the Ark of Heaven that rests in the heartland of flowering Cydoni. For miles upward, the Ark stretches to the stars, unbreachable by any craft known to man. For acres outward, the Ark is engulfed by towering wildlife, almost unnatural in its vitality and brilliance.

A tower of uncertain properties, rumored to hold the secrets of the gods.

To the Cydoni Synarchy, it is Yggdrasil, the sacred source of all life on earth. To the Lavathian Combine, it is Babylon, the gateway to their promised land. To the Anubian Triarchy, it is the tomb of Osiris himself, keeper of the secrets of eternal life.

I know, I know, why can't they all just get along?

About

A standalone expansion pack for Crux, designed by Ironblue. Alternate lists are a day one DLC for $5 each over Paypal.

Factions

Cydoni Synarchy

Lavathian Combine

Anubian Triarchy

Lore

Ethnic Groups

Europan

Lysian
Orlonni
Argyllian

Mediterranian

Lavathian
Cydoni
Anubian
Yhudim

A population displaced by the fallout of the cataclysm, the Yhudim can be found in almost any nation in varying capacities. The Yhudim is an ethnic group whose identity in religious, national, and ethnic senses were highly intertwined. Any ethnic born Yhudim is part of the Yhudim religion, and, when they still had a nation of their own, converts to their religion were allowed (and often provided) safe passage to become citizens. The Yhudim believe they are the chosen people; that the Spirits have chosen them specifically for some greater destiny over non-Yhudim, who they term "Goyan". They have faced many hardships over the course of their history, but this belief may hold some weight; the Yhudim have managed to survive and prosper despite historic widespread persecution, and are now valued members of several nations.

The Yhudim are stereo-typically known for their skills in financial management, but when roused to war, they conduct themselves with equal measures in calm, caution, and ruthlessness. Though not known for any outstanding physical attributes, they are highly dedicated to any cause they fight for and are not easily disheartened by desperate situations; why should they be, when they as a people have fought their way through desperate situations numerous times over the course of history?

Currently, the highest concentration of Yhudim can be found in Cendria, making up a significant portion of the population. Most are either laborers or bankers, but many have enlisted with the Volunteer Corps or been accepted as Geomancers. Perhaps most notably, high ranking Yhudim Geomancers were the ones who developed techniques to summon Elementals, or Golems as they are commonly known; automatons created through Geomancy from the elements commonly shaped through this art.

Verazani

Yupik
Lakotan
Coromantee

Pacifican

Yamato
Mu
Daehan

The Daehan are the inhabitants of a small, mountainous peninsula attached to mainland Mu. Physically larger than other people from the far East, the Daehan are nevertheless considered relatively peaceful. Until recently, the Daehan were divided between three separate Kingdoms existing side by side for at least a full millennium, having established mutual trade agreements betwixt each other and never having the motivation to enter into a three way conflict. For many years, the Three Kingdoms fought against an imperialist Yamato Shogunate which had suddenly and violently surged from their home islands without warning and apparent reason. The Daehan, with a long standing reputation as excellent sailors, used their superior naval forces to hold the Shogunate at bay. It seemed certain that the Three Kingdoms would prevail, as they began massing a mighty armada to besiege the Yamato home islands to end the war once and for all.

It was at this time that the Dragon Empress of Tyria unleashed her devastating attack upon the Mu Dynasty. Given their proximity to the Dynasty, the Daehan were caught in the destruction; the entire Northern Kingdom was annihilated, along with most of the amassing fleet. Weakened as they were, the Daehan were eventually overrun and conquered by the Yamato Shogunate. The Yamato transformed the Daehan Peninsula into a hub dedicated to supporting the Shogunate's growing army, producing resources such as food and raw materials and sending them to power the Yamato war machine. The Daehan have suffered greatly under Yamato rule, having been deprived of most liberties, their resources siphoned towards the Shogunate without much thought given to leaving enough to feed the native population. It is no secret that the Daehan despise their new rulers.

Other

Technology

Night Vision Devices

Rare and expensive, most military units subsist upon the tried and true method of simply shining visible light upon their enemies during night operations as opposed to fielding Night Vision Devices. However, the advantage of being able to see the enemy without them seeing you or knowing that they have been spotted is undeniable, and so these pieces of advanced equipment are used in various capacities throughout the globe.

The Cendrian version, simply known as an IR Scope, is a large and cumbersome affair, fitted to select Hotchkiss support walkers. The original intent of the device was to allow the spotting of air threats during night operations without the use of highly visible spotlights which would make for very inviting targets, but Cendrian ingenuity saw it being turned to use for spotting enemy infiltrators on the ground. This device would end up inflicting heavy casualties on unprepared opponents who suspected themselves safe under the cover of darkness.

Orlon and the UTF both field smaller, firearm mounted varieties of the design. Unlike the Cendrian vehicle mounted IR Scope, which uses a passive system, these smaller scopes are active systems and incorporate IR spotlights, essentially high powered lamps with filtration lenses that only allow IR light through. The scopes themselves will detect this light, making them, more or less, spot lights whose light can only be seen through an IR scope. The Orlon Vampir is significantly heavier than the UTF Snooperscope but the effects are the same; reliable night vision in a (relatively) compact package. Both versions are used in limited quantities, carried only by specifically trained team leaders. The Orlon Vampir is mounted to specially fitted Assault Rifles, and their carriers are referred to as Nachtjäger, or Night Hunters. The UTF Snooperscope is mounted to Carbines, and was put into service to repel night time Yamato Shinobi infiltration tactics during the Pacifica campaign. It is thought that fully 30% of Shinobi casualties during the war were inflicted by Carbines mounted with the Snooperscope.

Logic Engines

A marvel of Orlon engineering, Logic Engines are automated data processors capable of making large scale calculations quickly and precisely. The most powerful and famous Logic Engine, usually simply referred to as The Logic Engine, is in fact at the head of the Machine-State itself, processing decisions related to industrial output and training programs and dictating the direction of the Orlon war machine. While Logic Engines make efficient and obviously logical decisions, they are not self aware, and lack the capacity for creative thought. Lacking this capacity, The Logic Engine makes for the perfect head of state; it does not desire power or the furthering of it's own needs, because it has none, and treats all citizens as truly equal.

Another kind of logic engine are the highly experimental Fire Direction Engines, which are the central feature of the King Tiger's automated defensive turrets. This system automatically engages enemy targets around the walker's perimeter, freeing up human crews to perform the more complicated tasks of driving and operating the vehicle proper.

Alchemy

Like Geomancy, Alchemy is considered more of a science than a magic by it's practitioners. State Alchemists of Orlon receive their education at the State Alchemical Academy in the capital city of Moktengart, learning the basics of the Opi and the fundaments of shaping minerals. Alchemy is capable of achieving numerous diverse effects which are divided into two separate branches. The first is Minor Opus, or Lesser Work. This focuses on the bonding of materials to create combinations which would otherwise be impossible. Alloys created through Minor Opus are much higher quality than could otherwise be achieved, and Alchemized Steel, the most common type of alchemical alloy, is used to create armor of superior quality. Minor Opus is also capable of repairing and reinforcing existing structures, and is the means by which the Orlon Army keeps and maintains it's weapons of war.

The second branch is Magnum Opus, or Great Work. This branch, much more difficult to achieve and previously thought impossible prior to the significant research efforts of the Orlon Alchemical Academy, is the art of Transfiguration; the transformation of the base properties of a material into a new substance. This power is both wondrous and terrifying, capable of achieving unthinkable feats. While the first thought is the transformation of lead into gold, Orlon uses the Magnum Opus much more creatively, capable of transforming flesh into any of a myriad of substances. Hushed rumors persist that it is through the Magnum Opus that some Alchemists are able to even bring soldiers back from the beyond, transfiguring death into life and life into death.

The Arts

Orlon Army Field Manuals: Fibels

Although the struggle for survival has left Orlon largely bereft of arts such as painting and poetry, there is one significant vestige for the arts left in Orlon society; the illustrated, humorous, and often racy Orlon Army Field Manuals, termed Fibels. The first Fibel introduced was the StuGfibel for the StuG IV Walker Destroyer. In comparison to earlier Orlon manuals, which described parts and details at excruciating length, the StuGfibel was worded in parts with humorous rhymes and illustrations, personifying the walker as an attractive but athletic female whose appearance and performance should be maintained at all times. Each chapter in the manual would begin with a short comic detailing an interaction between the StuG and her crew, always leading into a lesson pertaining to the chapter it appears in.

The StuGfibel was met with praise by crews, so more manuals written in the same style were commissioned, starting with the armored vehicles and continuing on with such things as firearms and body armor. Sturmpanzerfibel (Assault Armor Manual) and Sturmgewehrfibel (Assault Rifle Manual) are currently the two most published field manuals. These manuals have been so successful in maintaining soldiers' attention that a comic strip, published in weekly Orlon Kriegsmacht newspapers, has been commissioned, detailing interactions between various personifications who will either be interacting with each other, their nameless crews, or both. The most popular as of now is the interaction between the StuG IV and the Leopard, who apparently have a hot-blooded rivalry with one another.

Almost every Fibel illustrated the subject matter in question as an attractive female, but one rather obvious exception was made, perhaps spurred by the increasing number of female soldiers in the Kriegsmacht; the King Tiger, who is depicted as a large, boisterous, and overbearing yet overly protective older brother figure to the other walkers, usually referred to as Panzer Mädelen, or "Armor Gals".