Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Free Cities in Brief

The Free Cities are independent outposts of Martian humans, who survive in the shadow of the Ancients through stealth, tenacity, and misdirection.  Like the Greek city-states of ancient Earth, they are small societies, with a keen sense of martial pride.

In designing the Free Cities, I emphasized the following core traits:


The Free Cities look archaic, with the swords, shields, ships and spears of ancient Greece or Rome, but they actually have higher-tech than the Colonists.  The shields contain force-field generators, the ships fly on anti-gravity, and the pikes fire blast rays.  The humans of the Free Cities do not understand the science of the technology they have stolen from the Ancients, but they know how to use it.


The armies of the Free Cities are combined-arms forces.  Each Triad consists of a mixture of troop types, specialized to a particular role:

  • The Lanceatores are long-ranged specialists.  Their raygun pike has a high Rate of Fire 3 when stationary, but only Rate of Fire 1 when moving and a lowly Rate of Attacks 1 in melee.
  • The Scutari are close-combat specialists.  The lack any ranged armament, but have heavy armor, and  a high Rate of Attacks 3 in melee.
  • The Venatores are maneuver specialists.  They have short-ranged gun with a Rate of Fire 2 either moving or stationary, but with a shorter 18" range.  They don't fear melee either, with a respectable Rate of Attacks 2.  There's no reason not to move these guys, and keep them moving.
In addition, they have a selection of elite, specialized support units, such as cavalry, light vehicles and monsters.

The Free Cities' player will need to use the strengths of their troops in combination to achieve victory.


 Free City forces are highly-skilled.  The regular, standing Legio troops are Skill 3.  Even the militia, drawn from the citizen population, are Skill 2, equal to most colonists.  The elite Praetorians are Leadership 3+.


The Free Cities love a good swordsman.  They have a strong melee element, suitable for the clash of sabres on the deck of a flying ship, or a duel with enemy warlords or dastardly minion.

All Free Cities forces wear armor.  Most of them are rated Armor 2, meaning most weapons will need a 3+ to wound them.  The heavy Scutari and Cataphracti are Armor 3, meaning most weapons will need a 4+ to wound them.

You can find the Free Cities Force Book PDF here.

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