Bane Star is a science fiction megagame inspired by the Wars of the Roses. The megagame will take place on Saturday 22 July 2023, at Porirua College, 10.30am to 5.30pm. It may finish earlier.
You can buy tickets from Lil Regie.
To secure your preferred role in the game, please fill out the casting poll at this link. If you do not fill out a casting form, you will be assigned a role by the Control team at random.
The Commonwealth was settled by refugees from the collapse of the tyrannical government known as the Cosmocracy. Deep inside the Commonwealth is one of the Cosmocracy’s ancient terror weapons – a Bane Star – which was damaged and rendered incapable of operations by the bravery and sacrifice of space pirates and local militia ships.
The Commonwealth has many internal factions. Some factions are based on powerful families descended from the captains of Cosmocracy era starships. Other factions include worker’s unions, technology guilds, and the diplomats from other interstellar powers.
Game play is broken down into rounds of roughly twenty minutes duration. Each round is either a peace round or a war round. A key part of a megagame is that the clock keeps ticking, and players need to be disciplined with time management to be successful.
In a peace round, each player will usually focus their attention on one of the two subgames.
- The political subgame features voting in the Grand Parley of Captains and Crew that is the representative government of the Commonwealth. This allocates civic offices (which often have economic power) or martial offices (with military power and fuel stockpiles) to different players.
- The economic subgame involves mining resources, trading various economic tokens, industrial production by the guilds, loans from foreign powers, and taxation. In preparation for war, most players will have combat cards, missiles, and disruptors that they want to build.
- Two other events that can occur in peace are court trials for a player suspected of treason to the Commonwealth., and gambling mini-games for fame and credits.
In a war round, each player commands a small military force. Several war rounds may be fought in a row, until the Control team adjudicate that one faction has the upper hand, or all factions appear exhausted.
- Players form factions and muster their combat cards, then start moving their tokens on the game boards. Skulduggery actions can be used to try and recruit pirates and rebels, and foriegn mercenaries can be hired.
- One common strategy in these wars is to raid and devastate the economies of your rivals, or to defend your own holdings by using disruptors to blockade potential invasion routes.
- A riskier strategy is to try and defeat your rivals in battles. Combat involves two player decisions (1) how many munitions do you spend, and (2) will you betray your allies? Battles are normally won by the side with the highest combat score.
- At the end of each battle, a mortality card is drawn. If your character’s name is on the card, you perish in the battle and your remaining forces stop fighting. If slain, you re-enter the game as your heir as soon as peace breaks out.
A point of difference between megagames and board games are “special actions”. Players can use their imagination and create injects into the game that are not part of the rules, but which are plausible actions based on the game’s scenario. The outcomes of these special actions are adjudicated by the Control team.
For Bane Star, the special actions will be called Skulduggery Actions. This means the special actions should be roguish intrigues, underhanded, unscrupulous, or dishonest behaviours and activities. After all, most of the people in the Commonwealth are proud descendants of space pirates!
For example, if you want to grow your economic influence, then a special action to force another player out of a key market or mining region by underworld intimidation, replacing them with your own workers, would be a reasonable proposal. If you are playing a long game, you might use a Skulduggery action to set up a network of spies, or to bribe minions in the employ of another player. Military skulduggery might involve ambushes and sabotage, or even trying to find a way to repair the Bane Star!
The following roles exist in the game:
- Captain: descended from one of the bold captains of yore that helped neutralise the Bane Star, you control one or more star systems at the start of the game. This is a role with political and military power. Some captains are “independent”, while other captains are part of the three great branches of the Draca family that have always controlled the office of Lord protector of the Commonwealth.
- Guild: science and technology are held in suspicion in the Commonwealth, a legacy of the surveillance capitalism of the Cosmocracy era. The Guilds control a small number of industrial worlds, and trade munitions, fuel, and other goods for the resources they need to survive.
- Union: descendants of the crews on board the original settler ships. While they lack political and military power at the start of the game, the unions produce the bulk of the resources that the Guilds and Captains need.
- Diplomats: representatives of foreign powers. Diplomats seek to ensure the Commonwealth pays its debts, and to increase their economic influence within the Commonwealth. Diplomats also have mercenary forces that can be hired out to factions in the Commonwealth (only if more than 20 players).
- Media: this is a public speaking role, where you will summarise game events for the other players, and award honour and dishonour points for specific deeds (only if more than 30 players). Honour and dishonour are important for all characters running for office – or at risk of being executed by a Bill of Attainder.
- Control: part of the team running the game and helping all the players have a safe, fun experience. If this role interests you, please contact Dillon ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org