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Remember the Splinter Factions??

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  • Remember the Splinter Factions??

    The original files for those guys are trapped on the HD of my old (and quite dead) computer. Eventually, I'll be able to get them outta there, but in the meantime, I had a request for them....anybody still have a copy of that stuff out there? If so, can you mail me a copy? LOL

    The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.

  • #2
    Excuse my ignorance, but what were the splinter factions?
    We're back!


    • #3
      The Splinter Factions were an odd-ball idea I had quite some time ago....the essence was to create seven new factions (this was pre-smacx) that could be mixed and matched with the original seven, or played as a group. The challenge there, was to balance them not only against each other, but against the original seven as well.

      IIRC, the Splinter Factions were (and you'll recognize some names if you read the Spartan Chronicles....when I was writing with that group, I used a number of these names to create characters in my story segments....many of whom are still causing trouble, I see!)

      Honshu's Militia (broke away from Santiago)

      The Circle of Ashaandi (broke away from Yang)

      The Heretics of Chiron (left Miriam to keep her head)

      Energy Masters (got kicked out of Morgan's territory)

      Mother Washington's...? (I forget what I called 'em) (Left Lal's PK's...ideological differences)

      The Cult of Chiron (made before the appearance of Cheesedong, this wound up being prolly the most powerful of the Splinter groups....Cheesy-on-steroids??) (broke with Dee)

      The Data Pirates? (or somesuch) - actually, they were constructed very similarly to what Roze's group is now....had a minor research bonus, probe bonus, and sharetech (split off with Zak)

      I tried to go back and find the original thread, but was nowhere to be seen...


      The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


      • #4
        Finally found what I was looking for.....I copied and pasted the original notes here:

        Part of how I'm getting myself out of the dreaded writer's block I'm stuck with at present is to shift my focus a little bit. I was very slow and actually quite reluctant to get in and start mucking around with the Alpha.txt file and such, but once I started playing I couldn't help myself.
        To that end, I began thinking of scenario ideas, and the first one I came up with was an "alternate worlds" scenario, so to speak. The gist of the idea is this:

        The original seven faction leaders all have such strong leanings that it follows there might be rifts among their followers. People with other ideas (perhaps similar, perhaps not so similar) who feel they could do a better job than the people currently in power.

        What I have done then (taking that line of thinking one step further) is to derive seven "splinter factions," each drawing from some elements of the faction they were spun off from, but incoroporating a new set of abilities and limitations to correspond with a new agenda.

        So far, I've gotten the seven factions fleshed out and am currently trying to figure out how to edit the pcx files (and find some suitable faces) so I can put the finishing touches on the files themselves, and then on to figuring out how to work the scenario editor, make a map, assign some objectives, and get the whole thing up and running.

        To give you a foretaste of what I've got in mind, I'll outline the splinter factions below....let me know if any of them sound interesting, and as the project developes, I'll send you the files needed to test out the scenario....

        The Splinter Factions:

        Honshu's Militia: Honshu broke from Santiago's faction based on the belief that she "sold out" once she began styling herself as a member of the World Governance Council. He sees her as having gone soft, and, because of that, led the entire Division of troops (and their families) under his control away from her faction to start fresh. Like Santiago's group, his minions get the benefits of good morale, but taking a page out of Yang's playbook, Honshu decided that it should be mandatory that all his bases have some facility built in. Given his militaristic bent, he opted for Command Centers (which plays nicely with his inherant Morale bonus). This did not come without a price, however, and he pays that with a hefty -2 hit on Economy (again, Yang style). Despite being cash poor, in my initial tests, it has made for quite a powerful faction.

        Like the faction they split from, they begin the game with Doctrine: Mobility

        Specifics so far:
        +2 Morale
        +1 Support
        -2 Economy
        Command Center at Every Base
        (The faction also begins each game with two colony pods and two scout patrols (the extra troops representing the forces he brought with him)

        The Ashaandi Circle:
        An elite group of assassins led by one Haraand Ashaandi (at least that's ONE of his aliases) who broke from Yang, fearing for their own safety. They had gotten far too good at their jobs, and knowing Yang's paranoia, the group co-opted a portion of the population to take with them and basically enslave.

        Borrowing from their former master, they get a healthy does of Police bonus, but break with him about everywhere else. Due to their expertise in the area of espinoage, the get a probe bonus, and, because they're basically uncaring bastards, they also get hit with a planet and efficiency penalty. The upshot though is that they also get 1 point of research each turn for each base they have (again, representing in some fashion their infiltration of other factions)

        Specifics so far:
        +2 Probe
        +2 Police
        -1 Planet
        -1 Effeciency

        Their troops are only average, but they are subversion-proof....kinda handy (and it fit in nicely with the faction premise)

        Though the faction does not begin the game with any base facilities built in, they DO get two techs (Zak-style). They do not, however, get to choose one of them. They always begin the game with Doctrine: Loyalty and Information Networks.

        This comes with a price, however, and they must suffer with the drone problem (1 extra per four citizens) that Zak faces (this reflecting the basically unhappy lives of those who were coerced into following them).

        The Heritics of Chiron: This group broke from Miriam, believing her stoic fundamentalism to be both misguided and extreme. Rather than face a good nerve stapling, the brave Alexandra Highcroft led nearly twenty thousand of her faithful away from Miriam's wrath to begin anew.

        Like the mother faction, the group faces an uphill climb where research is concerned (some habits are hard to break), but unlike Miriam and her disregard for Planet, the Heritics see Chiron as nothing less than the New Eden, and so they take lessons from Deidre, netting them a Planet bonus.

        Game Specifics:
        +1 Morale
        +1 Planet
        +1 Probe
        -1 Research

        They begin the game with Centauri Ecology and no facilities free at each base. Again, representing the flight of her people, the faction gets a Unity Rover in addition to the normally seen Scout Patrol. Also (to help jumpstart their research), the Lady Highcroft made off with an Alien Artifact....

        The Hearth Guild:
        This is a breakaway faction from Lal's Peacekeeping forces. Their leader, Hannah "Mother" Washington sees Lal as good hearted and well intentioned, but a politician nonetheless, and more likely to spend his time debating what is to be done in committee meetings than actually taking action. So, she led a portion of his followers away to try something different.

        Where Lal is a humanitarian, Mother Washington is a Humanist. Similar, but not quite the same.

        Because tending to the very human needs of her people is such a priority, the faction gets a support boost (a very team spirited society). Also, learning a lesson from Lal, they get an efficiency kick as well. Unfortunately, no one from the faction really likes to be away from home, so they pay the price for both of these advantages with a Morale hit (see below).

        Game Specifics:
        +2 Support
        +1 Efficiency
        -2 Morale

        The faction begins the game with two techs (Social Psych and Ethical Calculus), and they start the game with a Children's Creche at every base (which negates the moral thing, so long as the troops remain within their borders).

        Also, the faction begins the game with a former (again, gotta look after those basic human needs)

        The Energy Masters:
        Broke away from...guess who? LOL....They are by one Phillipe Christo, and they are a devious bunch, and totally driven by the endless quest for cash.

        Borrowing from their Morganite cousins, they get an conomy kick, but they also are masters of efficiency, and they get a bonus there as well. The down sides are a support hit (hard to leave those lavish tastes behind), and they also take a morale hit (undisciplined hired guns for defense)

        They begin the game with Industrial Base, and get an Energy Bank free at every base. They also get an initial kick in money, though not quite as large as Morgan's (50 credits at start). They are not seen as having many legitiimate business interestes (viewed more as Loan Sharks) and, as such, they do not get Morgan's commerce bonus as other factions tend to shy away from trading with them, and the Energy Banks represent their way of coping with that deficiency.

        Game Specifics:
        +1 Economy
        +2 Efficiency
        -1 Support
        -1 Morale

        The Virtual Pirates:
        A breakaway group from Zak, led by one Lawrence "Psycho" Freeling. His followers are drawn from the "Hacker" sub-culture which would undoubtedly spring up in a society with such easily penetrated networks (and, given Zak's drone problems).

        The Pirates are good researchers, though not on par with the Professor himself, and as such, they get a research kick. They've also learned a thing or two about network security, so they get a probe bonus as well. On the downside, they don't like police much (go figure) and they tend to be reluctant to leave their beloved machines, so they suffer an Industry hit as well.

        This is more than made up for by their sharetech ability (Sharetech 3, again, representing their ability to get in and wrangle other people's data, and making the Planetary datalinks a pretty useless SP for them).

        They begin the game with Information Networks, but have no facilities free at each base.

        Game Specifics:
        +1 Research
        +1 Probe
        -2 Police
        -1 Industry
        Sharetech 3

        The Builders' Coven: Led by Doctor Franklin Pavel, this group broke away from Deidre for a number of reasons. Mainly though, their Archaeologist leader had a much greater interest in the secrets the Builders left behind than Deidre did, and was able to persuade a sizable number of her flock to join him in his explorations of these and other matters of Chiron.

        Like Deidre (and even more than the fair Lady's faction), they get a Planet Bonus. They also get a hefty bonus from all fungus squares. However, they are so focused on their own particular field of research that procreation is something of an afterthought, so growth takes a dive.

        They begin the game with Biogenetics and have a Recycling Tank built into every base. They also start the game with a cute little larval mass, to accompany their customary Scout Patrol.

        Game specifics: +1/+1/+1 for fungus squares (couldn't figure out how to give them a Monolith bonus, so I went with a fungus bonus instead)

        +2 Planet
        -2 Growth
        The faction also gets a bonus when engaging in Psi-Combat, and their units are immune to mind controlling techniques.

        In my initial testing, the two big "momentum" factions appear to be the Ashaandi Circle and Honshu's militia. The Heritics can hold their own Momentum style, despite the research hit, but are equally adept at builder play.

        The game, as it stands now, seems fairly evenly balanced, though more testing will reveal chinks in the armour, and I'm currenty involved with playing a complete game out with each faction as listed here. Playing against six of the original seven factions (loading the current faction I'm working with in the place of the group they splintered off from). So far, they don't seem to be terribly unbalancing, but again, more testing needs to be done, which is the reason for this post.


        The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


        • #5
          Actually, there's a very important thing you should've mentioned: The AI/SE priorities.

          What is their agressiveness set to? Which of the four research paths do they each go after? Which SE variable is considered their main one? Which SE choices do they like and dislike?

          Other than that....I can't say any of them look too strong or weak or anything. I like how you went with large positive modifiers balanced by large negatives, it's how I did it when I rebuilt the SMACX factions a alittle while ago....


          • #6
            Yikes - +1/+1/+1 in fungus?! Every fungus square at 2/1/1 from CentEco - that's gotta hurt....

            To be honest, I am amazed - how do you do it, Vel? These may well be the original SMACX factions - do you reckon Firaxis took the original ideas from this lot? I do....

            I would concur with Sindai in that the SE settings need to be decided....but this is fantastic work, congratulations!
            We're back!


            • #7
              Lol...the funny part is, I actually ended up giving the Gains +1/+1/+1 in fungus as well when I re-did all the factions.

              That reminds me, I should proabbly getting around to posting all of those some times. Several of the factions have gone through very drastic changes, and I really like the new feel some have gotten.


              • #8
                They sound great! I like how you've backed them up with a storyline. I could get some graphics happening for you, at least get some some new faces in the pcx files for a start. I find it distracting seeing the old faces on my new creations! Check out my site below if you like to see some examples.

                –III THE NETWORKNODE III–
                Custom Factions for SMAC & SMACX
                Submit your own Faction!
                > the networknode <
                Custom Factions for SMAC & SMACX


                • #9
                  Yeah Vel, good factions- perhaps you should check out the Network node and the CGN forums.

                  Networknode has some good faction graphics design.
                  -->Visit CGN!
                  -->"Production! More Production! Production creates Wealth! Production creates more Jobs!"-Wendell Willkie -1944


                  • #10
                    Talk about a shameless plug....not a bad site, BTW
                    We're back!


                    • #11
                      You guys are kidding aren't you?? I am struggling to drag the Gaians out of the fungus, let alone modify the .txt files, and you people are creating whole new games.


                      Originally posted by mark13 on 01-15-2001 02:44 PM
                      To be honest, I am amazed - how do you do it, Vel? These may well be the original SMACX factions - do you reckon Firaxis took the original ideas from this lot? I do...

                      Firstly, having just been sent Vel's strategy guide by the man himself, I am even more amazed and impressed than Mark13 possibly could be. How many hours are there in one of your days Vel? Secondly, I would bet my left testicle that, if not the original idea then at least a lot of the flesh came from Vel's 'splinter factions' for smax.

                      You may call it an odd ball idea Vel, but your post's and some from a few others around here should be copy-righted 'cos' they are making money from this one - no doubt!!

                      Keep up the great work guys, you are a lot of help to a lot of us

                      -you become responsible for what you tame-
                      [This message has been edited by Artemis (edited January 15, 2001).]
                      -you become responsible for what you tame-


                      • #12
              's been so long since I looked at them, I don't really remember what their SE preferences and so forth were, and looking back on it, there are a number of things I'd change and tweak, but they really were a lot of fun to play! After this latest round of editorial madness is done, I might go ahead and take the the dark mysteries of the scenario editor, see if I can scrounge up a copy of that wierd map I made and improve on it, or, barring that, just start from scratch, and include it, and seven new factions as a...what's the term...modpack? or, something close to it.

                        I've also been thinking that you could dramatically alter the feel and flow of the game by figuring out where to edit those mid-game text blurbs that come up....if I could change those around, I could essentially use Chiron as the backdrop and create an entirely new story....same conclusion of course, as I can't do anythig to re-write the victory conditions but...hmmm...or maybe I can...I seem to remember that you can specify certain victory conditions from inside the scenario editor....It's been so long though, that I'll have to go back and take a much closer look....anyway, it'd be kinna cool to create an entirely new, largely interactive story, but I think before I get my brain wrapped up too heavily in that, I'll finish my editing work here...LOL

                        As to the genesis of the "SMAX Seven," I'm sure their ideas were already on the drawing board in some form or fashion at about the time, and possibly before I started tinkering with the Splinter-Group idea, but I'd be flattered as hell if they DID see those postings and decided to use them to model a faction or two....that'd be cool beyond words!

                        As to the copyrighting's a good one, but...::shrug:: I figure, I've gotten so much enjoyment out of being here, participating in this forum, playing the game and writing stuff on it, that I don't really mind some co-opting of ideas....and now that I think a bit further on it, I guess I will be copyrighting my latest work, what with publication looming and so forth....Hmmm....still having a hard time getting my brain wrapped around that one....three years of banging my head against the wall, and then...POOF...everything clicks into place at the same time....amazing....and I love it! What a great way to start the new year!

                        And thank you both, Artemis and Mark13. I think the "how" and the "how many hours in my day" questions can be answered with the same response...LOL...I average about three hours of sleep a night, drink waaaay too much sweet tea (the drink of choice for all good "Suthern Boys") and eat lossa tortilla chips with liberal amounts of conqueso dip....all that combines to create these vivid, exhaustion-driven hallucinations which....hey! What are the Men-In-White-Coats doing here? It can't be time for another treatment yet! Noooo...

                        We're sorry to interrupt this post,'s time for Vel's um....treatment....

                        Happy Valley Medical Staff

                        [This message has been edited by Velociryx (edited January 15, 2001).]
                        The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


                        • #13
                          The copyright comment got me thinking of some old discussions we had when starting the Spartan Chronicles. I believe that the rights to all derivative works automatically belong to the holder of the copyright of the original work (in this case, whomever owns SMAC, be it Firaxis or Activision or whoever), unless explicitly waived for each case. Thus, any splinter factions, as well as fanfics, belong to Firaxis, unless written permission is obtained from them.

                          Not sure about strategy guides. On the one hand, you would not be making any money at the expense of Firaxis' original copyright. On the other hand, you are still profitting from the orginal creation.

                          Firaxis has been pretty cool through-out (oh boy, here come the flames from the virulent 'Patch it NOW' crowd), so I doubt they would take issue with anything we do here. But Vel, if you haven't already, you might want to get something in writing from Firaxis before your Guide gets published and on the market.


                          • #14
                            An excellent point, brother Kinjy....I think I'll also check with Prima, to see how THEY go about it....if they don't need permission to do a guide....

                            The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


                            • #15
                              I remember those splinter factions. I played a few games with only them. I never got around to mixing them in with the original 7.

                              I did a double check of my HDD, I think I found the zip you were emailing to everyone requesting them but Winzip says its corrupted. =(