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TheEmptyRoad

The TAG's we've gotten and what they might mean

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I've been seeing hints of a future power struggle of some kind between Merovingia and Rodina, the TAG's issued to Vanilla, CHA, and USARF point to an interesting situation. 

I may be reading too mich into this but while Caledonia gets the Anaconda (which is affiliatied with Merovingia and financed by the Nomad Black Hand), Vanilla and the USARF recieve Scarface instead. 

This leads me to believe that the Black Hand will likely back Merovingia in any future internal Ariadnan power struggle and that Caledonia will also side with them, given their ties to the Anaconda squadron as well. 

Vanilla (bascially the Kazak-dominated Federal Government) and USAriadna not getting Anaconda indicates to me that the Kazaks and Americans do not have Nomad backing, as Scarface seems to be the generic go-to TAG for those factions that don't actually have one yet. 

This then leads me to think that USAriadna will likely side with Matr in any future 'family squabble', likely parlaying their assistance into greater influence in the Federal Government. 

As an additional note: Scarface has done a lot of work with Haqqislam has he not? Perhaps his inclusion indicates that Haqq might prefer Matr over Marianneborg?

Discuss! :)

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The main reason Caledonia doesn't get Scarface is because Caledonians hate the guy and have a bounty on his head. During the worst of the Teseum Rush, Scarface (along with the Druze Shock Teams) engaged in numerous atrocities against Caledonian settlements that refused to vacate their land for the various mining corps.

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It's a nice conspiracy-style theory, but I have to agree with Counting_Kittens. The Druze and Scarface, who was contracted alongside them, did some horrible stuff in the Commercial Conflicts, stuff that's been deemed war crimes. And for that, he can't return under pain of death. So I think CB saw they couldn't give CHA Scarface for fluff reasons, but for TAGLINE they needed a TAG, so went with the other mercenary option open to them. MRRF isn't seen as an attractive sectorial by CB at the moment anyway, so giving the Anaconda to the Caledonians as well maybe was just meant to give it some additional time on the table. Who knows?

That being said, there could be something in it. We'll have to wait for the next book(s) to see how the story pans out. There is some separation between the governments in Matr and Mariannebourg for sure, and the Black Hand is aware of this.

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Forgot about Scarface's history with the Caledonians. Then that begs the question of why any Ariadnan government would hire him? 

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I rather like that thought about a buildup of Ariadna vs Ariadna.  If CHA got the Anaconda for fluff reasons, CB could have just as easily given the Anaconda to all the Ariadnan Sectorials.  The fact that there's a clear delineation between CHA/MRRF getting one option, while Kazaks/USAr receive a different option, is still an indicator of political stratification.  It tells us that some elements on Dawn maintain beliefs or prejudices that are not universally shared, which could still be hinting at a future civil war.

For all we know as well, MRRF's redesign could implement Nomad units/technology in the same way that QK does.  MRRF is able to trade for off-world tech, and they have at least some mercenary connections as indicated by the Alguacile Hacker.  Incorporating some genuine off-world units, as we saw with the Anaconda, could be an interesting way of differentiating the Sectorial from the other Ariadnan units.  This is doubly true since Ariadna hasn't really been able to take advantage of the "resources" that Dawn provides (no examples of T2 or heavy Teseum units, only dogface/wulver/antipode is a relatively expensive AVA1 character.)  MRRF's advantage comes from offworld tech (Viral, Adhesive, linkable MSV1, and formerly the only Hacker and TAG for Ariadna.)  Formally bringing in Nomad units would enhance this distinguishing characteristic and bring it in line with a power level that fits the current game. 

I'm ready for MRRF's AVA1 Kriza Borac.  Also, Duo Mirage Teams with Sensor, provided by an offworld supporter...

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If they had given the Anaconda to USARF, I'd have one on my order list :)  Probably a lot of opportunities missed if they truly wanted to sell old TAG's.

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I'm considering getting an Anaconda to paint up in Caledonian blue & white, even if I can't use it for very long. . . or if they have better options in the form of Cameronians and McMurder.  Mostly I guess I'm just jealous that Caledonia doesn't normally have a TAG, and it's the one thing that the rest of the Human Sphere possesses that I wish I could run...

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true sons of Caledonia need not put their faith in any other steel than that with which their swords are forged.

Take to the enemy machines in righteous combat and cut them down!

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I am yet too see what he bring to the table, that you otherwise won't get? He is a bit tougher first round, although if you want firepower, there are far better options out there. After he kills something, things just go downwards for his survability. So even if I had him as a model, I don't know if I would want to use him. Might borrow friend's TAG to proxy, and see how it plays out. So for a bit of survability(1 'wound' extra over vet kazak...) he packs less fire power, costs more, is less survivable,hackable, can't fit through the door...

After playing with Achiles, it's hard to beat that kind of destructive package, wrapped into small package, heh

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I dunno if it's the direction they're taking it, but I think using this as a step to redefine FRRM's direction would be a good thing, since USAR now arguably do the "rapid response" thing equally well, if not better. Focusing instead on their trade and diplomatic ties to Nomads, Haqqislam and various off-world mercenaries could allow them to carve out a niche in Ariadna, and also present a very real threat to the current power structure. Giving units like Zouaves, who are currently fairly directionless, access to a Sensor profile or E/M grenades, adding AVA 2-3 of mercenaries like KTS and Druze (with either duo or haris options) or more mercs from Nomads or Haqq to plug current gaps in the army (Yuan Yuans or Jaguars maybe for smoke coverage), that can make the force more versatile and unpredictable, while also separating them from the other Ariadnan factions through less access to things like AP and T2 ammo. I'm just thinking out loud here and I'm sure there are mechanical and fluff reasons why some of these ideas are rubbish, but if CB feel that FRRM are uninspiring (and I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that's the case) then maybe it could be an interesting direction for them.

Sorry, this turned into wishlisting for Merovingia all of a sudden. :P

That aside I do think there's another power struggle coming, but I see Matr and USAriadna being a lot more insular and less likely to seek help from off-world. Trade and diplomacy has always been Merovingia's card, and it's been the way they've stayed relevant and gained power, so I dunno if off-world nations are likely to side against them (one would imagine that most of their trade agreements are handled through Marianneborg after all).

 

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I was going to counter your argument by pointing out that the only spaceport in Ariadna is in Mat'r. . . but then that raised a red flag about the Commercial Conflicts that I'm going to raise in a different thread.

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On 14/10/2016 at 3:17 PM, Shotgunhorse said:

Giving units like Zouaves, who are currently fairly directionless, access to a Sensor profile or E/M grenades, adding AVA 2-3 of mercenaries like KTS and Druze (with either duo or haris options) or more mercs from Nomads or Haqq to plug current gaps in the army

KTS could be acceptable. Druzes, not gonna happen because of fluff.

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On 10/11/2016 at 6:23 PM, TheEmptyRoad said:

Forgot about Scarface's history with the Caledonians. Then that begs the question of why any Ariadnan government would hire him? 

Because they want to sell Scarface?

 

Honestly, I think they have some kind of 'vision' within their design studio that we don't have access to or never made it into the light of day because Campaign Paradiso made it abundantly clear that all of Ariadna has a hatred of the Druze Shock Troops because of the role the Druze played in being hired by companies like MagnaObra and the ridiculously outlandish massacres/atrocities that the DST committed while employed.

So there's definitely something we haven't seen regarding the reason why Scarface is available for any Ariadna faction. They could have done Geckos, Iguanas, or Anacondas as part of the Ariadna TAG availability for this event.

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On 10/14/2016 at 3:15 PM, McClendon said:

I was going to counter your argument by pointing out that the only spaceport in Ariadna is in Mat'r. . . 

Marrianeborg is building it's own, on the down-low. Likely with Nomad help. (per the Paradiso Campaign book fluff)

On 10/14/2016 at 5:17 AM, Shotgunhorse said:

That aside I do think there's another power struggle coming, but I see Matr and USAriadna being a lot more insular and less likely to seek help from off-world. Trade and diplomacy has always been Merovingia's card, and it's been the way they've stayed relevant and gained power, so I dunno if off-world nations are likely to side against them (one would imagine that most of their trade agreements are handled through Marianneborg after all).

I'm inclined to agree actually, it's another thing separating Merovingia from Matr and Mt. Zion. 

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Just now, TheEmptyRoad said:

Marrianeborg is building it's own, on the down-low. Likely with Nomad help. (per the Paradiso Campaign book fluff)

It's not just Nomad help. Haqqislam is investing in it as well.

Just now, TheEmptyRoad said:

I'm inclined to agree actually, it's another thing separating Merovingia from Matr and Mt. Zion. 

I think it a bit silly to say that Mt. Zion wouldn't seek help from off-world. Trade and diplomacy has been Merovingia's card because of its unique placement and situation.

USAriadna? They ended up being insular from their own situation. To an extent, the same thing happens with Caledonia.

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3 minutes ago, Kanluwen said:

I think it a bit silly to say that Mt. Zion wouldn't seek help from off-world. Trade and diplomacy has been Merovingia's card because of its unique placement and situation.

USAriadna? They ended up being insular from their own situation. To an extent, the same thing happens with Caledonia.

Mt. Zion is USAriadna's capital, do you mean Matr?

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1 hour ago, TheEmptyRoad said:

Mt. Zion is USAriadna's capital, do you mean Matr?

No. Matr has sought help from off-world; that was the whole point of them controlling the only starport so that they control the flow of technology(both military and non-military types) and trying to set down an aggressively insular policy to try to prevent any of the other Ariadnan nations from being able to legitimately become independent in a meaningful way.

 

By that same vein, we know that USAriadna at least has violent contact with off-world through the fact that they maintain the Ariadnan Exclusion Zone. Smugglers, businesses trying to establish illegal teseum operations, etc are all part and parcel for their society.

We do not know for certain whether or not there is trade between USAr and those off-world entities who do not try to force their way into the AEZ, but given that the USAr has some pretty hefty technological base in the form of the NASA contingent's descendants and whatever kind of educational system/research programs that were established as part of that initial colonization? It's a bit silly to say they would be flat-out isolationist.

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1 hour ago, Kanluwen said:

No. Matr has sought help from off-world; that was the whole point of them controlling the only starport so that they control the flow of technology(both military and non-military types) and trying to set down an aggressively insular policy to try to prevent any of the other Ariadnan nations from being able to legitimately become independent in a meaningful way.

 

By that same vein, we know that USAriadna at least has violent contact with off-world through the fact that they maintain the Ariadnan Exclusion Zone. Smugglers, businesses trying to establish illegal teseum operations, etc are all part and parcel for their society.

We do not know for certain whether or not there is trade between USAr and those off-world entities who do not try to force their way into the AEZ, but given that the USAr has some pretty hefty technological base in the form of the NASA contingent's descendants and whatever kind of educational system/research programs that were established as part of that initial colonization? It's a bit silly to say they would be flat-out isolationist.

The Southern states might be more isolationist but the Northern ones probably not. The cities of Fairview (being a tech hub with a huge airport) and Riverside (being the center of political intrigue and government contracts) in particular would likely see the benefits of clandestine contact with the sphere

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And you see, this is feeding into the point that I was reticent to bring up before because I felt it was off-topic, but here goes.  Spaceports aren't even necessary.  They make it easy, sure, but they cannot be the only way to land and launch trans-orbital craft.

 

The nature of the Commercial Conflicts is such that mercs and megacorps were landing troops in the wild areas of Dawn, meaning unimproved surfaces, and they had to be able to launch those craft again to ferry down more troops and supplies, take out casualties, etc, as well as evacuate when the Conflicts were ended by O-12 decree.  Troop landers don't have to be that big, so sure, I can buy small trans-orbital craft being able to operate on unimproved surfaces.  But remember what the Conflicts were being fought over: mineral wealth, mostly teseum.  Which means that these invaders had to bring with them mining equipment, pre-fabricated structures to build the mines and support bases, and enough people to run the mines.  That means we're talking about heavy equipment haulers.  Since you need some way of moving large amounts of raw ore off-world, that means we're basically talking about bulk freighters capable of hauling tons of rock and metal from an unimproved launch pad into orbit.  It's the equivalent of an orbital-capable C-5 Galaxy, and not just one.  Every off-world expedition had to possess that kind of vehicle or else what's the point?  Which means it's commonplace.  It's not just PanO and the Yueys that have them, everyone but Ariadna has them.

 

Which leads up right back to my question: what's the point of a spaceport?  Sure, it makes things easier by providing an improved surface to conduct launch and landing as well as providing a workforce, a logistics center, and the necessary equipment to load and unload trans-orbital craft.  But it isn't necessary, so if you're Mariannebourg (for example), why go through the expense?  Plus, if a spaceport is anything like a modern-day airport in terms of size and infrastructure, there's no way to build it quietly, so the Kazaks have to know what's going on.  If they're that determined to retain their authority over the rest of the country -- and the Separatist Wars suggest they are -- then the Kazaks are not going to take that kind of a construction project laying down.

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57 minutes ago, McClendon said:

Which leads up right back to my question: what's the point of a spaceport?  Sure, it makes things easier by providing an improved surface to conduct launch and landing as well as providing a workforce, a logistics center, and the necessary equipment to load and unload trans-orbital craft.  But it isn't necessary, so if you're Mariannebourg (for example), why go through the expense?

I can think of a few reasons. Economically and socially, it's a huge project that would result in mobilizing a workforce for construction and funds would be put into the economy for material/workers. Couple that with the job prospects available upon completion for relatively menial tasks(loading/unloading vessels, handling freight, and even security) and it makes a bit of sense.

Also the fact that there would be a 'safe harbor' so to speak for vessels to arrive in and get their goods to and from markets would be huge. Remember that Mariannebourg is already a big deal because of it being a crossroads for the trade that exists within Ariadna...and given that the Merovingians are considered to be a bit more metropolitan/"civilized" than the other Ariadnans it might even result in being a bigger deal than the one spaceport ran by the Russians.

 

 

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@McClendon I think the only practical purpose of a spaceport is to legitimize Ariadna in the eyes of the human sphere. It also serves as the LZ for any official and or legal business between Ariadna and the sphere (ie a diplomatic delegation isn't going to want to land in Antipode country). Since MATR is the official seat of Ariadnan power it's the only place the expense makes sense. The other Ariadnan regions could make due with hard packed earth in a remote locale.

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1 hour ago, McClendon said:

  Plus, if a spaceport is anything like a modern-day airport in terms of size and infrastructure, there's no way to build it quietly, so the Kazaks have to know what's going on.  If they're that determined to retain their authority over the rest of the country -- and the Separatist Wars suggest they are -- then the Kazaks are not going to take that kind of a construction project laying down.

I dunno, something like that could theoretically be built quietly...if you found a good location to site it and the persons you had to worry about(Kazak intelligence agencies for example) relied upon your nation's merchants as a big source of human intelligence within the various Ariadnan nations.

 

Hell, it could even just be that the spaceport is being built in such a way that it's underground or within the mountain range that runs through Merovingia.

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With Merovignia's involvement on Paradiso I wouldnt be surprised if they ignite a secret space race with the Kazaks. 

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I'd like to point out that the original posit about a potential Merovingia+Caledonia vs Rodina+USAriadna civil war is kinda invalidated since as of the most recent update to Army 6, MRRF has access to Scarface as well as the Anacondas. So Caledonia not getting Scarface probably has more to do with the history thing then any subtle foreshadowing.

 

As for the value of a spaceport: A C-5 Galaxy can take off from a rough field, but a rough field doesn't have the facilities to service and repair it the same way a proper airfield does. Ariadna would build them for the same reason there's a paved runway in Mawali in the real world. It makes it easier for the pilots and allows faster and safer turnaround. From a strategic perspective it's good to be able to mobilize quickly, even if Ariadna doesn't really project force beyond Dawn other than special operations teams. And from a trade perspective, it creates a central gateway for goods to move through and be taxed. Rodina may not even necessarily object to Mariannebourg having it's own spaceport since it creates strategic redundancy and improves the economy Ariadna as a whole. Especially the Kazaks since they're the industrial seat of Ariadna. More throughput for foreign trade means more markets for local production, even if that production isn't much more than refined teseum.

 

Also, remember that the Combined Army is just one wormhole away. I don't think any of the nations of Ariadna really want to risk a civil war in case Paradiso falls. And, considering that the next book is going to be 'Acheron Falls', we can be pretty sure that Paradiso will fall. 

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I don't necessarily agree.  I was given to understand that Paradiso will remain an ongoing campaign while Acheron is a second front where the CA pulls out a win.  But I could be wrong.

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