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Space barbarians

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I realized the mechanic of "alien invaders" in my game is actually "disorganized space barbarian hordes that invade the civilized player's empire" :) So I want to pursue the barbarians idea.

 

Do you have some story idea/rationalization why there are "space barbarians"? And who they are, why they did not formed some sort of space empire, etc?

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You could base them on Genghis Khan or the Golden Horde. A barbarian empire that was high-tech (for it's day) that spread out of their own land and conquered half of Asia/Europe.

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You can have it be a Hannibalian group- as in, a multiracial(cultural) force that is lead through the efforts of some honcho capable of bringing them together. That allows you to have diversity in the enemy forces.... But yeah, they can have highly diverse technologies and tactics derived from each of their host planets, and recombinations and mixtures of enemy troops lead to particular requirements in dealing with them. I dunno, what others said are pretty good.

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I realized the mechanic of "alien invaders" in my game is actually "disorganized space barbarian hordes that invade the civilized player's empire" smile.png So I want to pursue the barbarians idea.

 

Do you have some story idea/rationalization why there are "space barbarians"? And who they are, why they did not formed some sort of space empire, etc?

 

I realize this reply may be a bit late, but perhaps it will help others as well...

There are already a couple good ideas for rationalizing  why there are "space barbarians" but here's a few more...

 

Piracy - a quasi-legal group of mercenaries that seek out the enemies of large governments and often step outside the law for personal gain.

Large groups that are the last remnants of an old empire that has fallen apart, blew itself up, had their sun go nova, etc, etc.

Large space travelling itinerant groups that like to move around a lot and doesn't respect any laws except their own.

Escaped prisoners, war criminals or prisoners of war belonging to a destroyed world.

Religious zealots - they don't need a reason for doing crazy things.

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A mysterious species of Space Barbarians. No one knows why they're all dressed like He-Man, or why they ride giant space dragons (their ships), how they can be so dangerous when they use swords and axes, or where they even go next as their attacks seem so random and without any larger strategy. Rumors say their appearance hides their incredible intelligence and weapon technology, others say their dragons give them magic powers that they channel through their swords, yet others say their speed is so incredible that they easily evade your blasters/lasers to get within reach of attack; but in one thing they all agree: that no one sees a Space Barbarian fight and lives to tell the tale (then where did the rumors come from, I wonder?).

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Perhaps the same technology that got them into space had some bad affects. Maybe their intelligence is suited to building spaceships and piloting but not many other aspects of "civilization." I read a sci-fi series once about bio-engineered aliens that overran their creators. What affects would growing up in a weightless environment have? Perhaps a complete lack of survival-of-the-fittest led to a drop in intelligence over time. Maybe their spaceships are run by a slave race? Maybe they undergo metamorphoses in life that leave most of them barbarous. Perhaps they are impanted with intelligence dulling chips by something else. Maybe it's a result of being able to interface more closely with their ship systems. 

 

Lots of options.

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You could base them on Genghis Khan or the Golden Horde. A barbarian empire that was high-tech (for it's day) that spread out of their own land and conquered half of Asia/Europe.


Or the Vikings. Simple farmers at home and expert boatbuilders, but with dreams of riches far beyond the horizon and violence the primary way to get it.

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You could base them on Genghis Khan or the Golden Horde. A barbarian empire that was high-tech (for it's day) that spread out of their own land and conquered half of Asia/Europe.


Or the Vikings. Simple farmers at home and expert boatbuilders, but with dreams of riches far beyond the horizon and violence the primary way to get it.

 

Hmmm, Vikings... Maybe they could use mechanic like that: They have core world and occupied worlds. They live on core worlds and conquer nearby systems and use as occupied worlds. Now the twist, every 50 turns they abandon all occupied worlds and go back to their core worlds then there is 25 turns of peace and they start conquering again.

(lore rationalization: they have change of leadership or some other internal ritual/custom also they raid these worlds for goodies/tribute, not to live there)

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Why did I instantly think about Conan the barbarian jumping around with loincloth and a space helmet.

Edited by Jooseppi

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Lets not confuse the "Conan the Barbarian" with what "Barbarians" actually were. Two most notable Barbaric groups from actualy history are:

Mongols, who were technologically superior and focused on 'conquest without government' - which is to say they primarily said 'You belong to us and we'll be back later to steal your crap.'  - Which is just fine when you're basically defenseless against them.

 

Then we had the Germanic Barbarians, who fought the Romans. These were small groups of people who, due to changes in climate, were forced south to survive. They banded together sometimes to face the organized Romans, but for the most part were slightly lagging technologically and majorly lagging in their organization... but they were desperate and, due to the same climate change (Wheat Rust) the Romans eventually found themselves stretched too thin and the Barbarians were able to overcome their organization.

 

So here we have two very different barbaric ideas: The first is a technologically superior group focused on what basically amounts to large scale looting of "planets" (in this case), who use hit and run methods and simply come back to re-loot every now and then (also, re-rape, which is why so many people are related to Khans).

 

The other is a technologically inferior, disorganized mass being pushed by some greater force towards you, an organized and well defended planet. A relentless tide ever present and ever eroding your resources that would be put to better use if only they'd go away for a while.

 

Seems like both could fit a sci-fi setting pretty easily!

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The other is a technologically inferior, disorganized mass being pushed by some greater force towards you, an organized and well defended planet. A relentless tide ever present and ever eroding your resources that would be put to better use if only they'd go away for a while.

 

A common sci-fi topic is the dangers of exponential population growth, either because of above-replacement birth rates or the existance of life extending technology. First one world fills, then another, then two more, then four more...

 

You could imagine such worlds continually throwing out desperate individuals searching for a home anywhere, building or stealing any ship they can. Perhaps a region of the galaxy has fallen into chaos and can't manage their populations and send desparate wave after wave towards your worlds. If you lose your grip on a planet, it becomes a source too. If you conquer the out of control planets and help them manage their population growth, the "barbarian" waves reduce in size until peace returns to the galaxy.

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you could go with a "spiritually advanced barbarian" concept, eg. macross 7.

 

a dynamic like being psychic would justify some ai coordination, and justify disinterest in technology.

 

maybe the technological culture (player) is somehow affecting something precious to the barbarians, that the player is unaware of.

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I'm probably more of a fan of the less-technologically advanced barbarians, since mongol-like ones are a little flatter in the story department. Barbarians in the Roman sense involved a negative outlook from the Romans. It was the Romans' opinion that being not Roman made these people uncivilized. Thus, maybe you could do a spin where the player plays as a some-time aggressor, though the "space invaders" certainly counter attack in return. Perhaps they're a tribal people that have very different cultural aims, but have been attacked by the player's group in the past, and feel threatened by you. Or maybe they launch raids to sustain themselves, since they will not join you, since that would prevent them from living according to their culture.

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A common sci-fi topic is the dangers of exponential population growth, either because of above-replacement birth rates or the existance of life extending technology. First one world fills, then another, then two more, then four more...

You could imagine such worlds continually throwing out desperate individuals searching for a home anywhere, building or stealing any ship they can. Perhaps a region of the galaxy has fallen into chaos and can't manage their populations and send desparate wave after wave towards your worlds. If you lose your grip on a planet, it becomes a source too. If you conquer the out of control planets and help them manage their population growth, the "barbarian" waves reduce in size until peace returns to the galaxy.
I like this mechanic. But don't like the "because worlds were overpopulated". Something along those lines (chaos, chaos is good :D) but without the overpopulation (or at least not as the main reason).

 


you could go with a "spiritually advanced barbarian" concept, eg. macross 7.

a dynamic like being psychic would justify some ai coordination, and justify disinterest in technology.
Hmmm, yes... some weirdness like that might work.

 

Actually, I have a primitive insectoid The Hive that is controlled telepathically by overminds which act as barbarians. But would like some humanoid barbarians too.

 

 


I'm probably more of a fan of the less-technologically advanced barbarians, since mongol-like ones
Yeah, exactly. Barbarians being primitive technologically simply "fits" :) That's what you expect when you hear the "barbarians" term. Uncivilized, primitives without the culture, law or order using primitive tools but yet having this annoying strength which is problematic. They have to be stopped ot made civilized and assimilated by our superior culture.

 

(BTW, in the history of China there is this recurring theme of barbarians invading it, becoming the new rulers, after a generation or two assimilated into China culture and then being replaced by the new wave of barbarians :D)

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