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Post feature RSS Faction Feature #1: EMPOL

Introducing our first faction feature - EMPOL, the human faction in Star Villains and Space Heroes.

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Welcome to the first of our Faction Features, featuring EMPOL - the human faction.


EMPOL, the Earth-Milky Way Political Organization, is humanity's central authority for interplanetary governance and interstellar relations. It administers the various federal governments of Earth as well as her colonies.

EMPOL was created in 2280, after humanity made contact with the Andrasi Federation. The Andrasi were at that point the oldest civilization in the galaxy, and maintained order though their Galactic Forum. Humanity took its place on this forum, and became a close ally of the Andrasi. However, the sudden disappearance of the Andrasi upset the galactic peace. EMPOL attempted to continue to enforce Andrasi-style order in the Milky Way, despite being nowhere near as large or powerful. They developed a reputation as upstarts and interventionists amongst their rivals, though their allies tend to interpret EMPOL's actions as generally good, if naive. Eagerness to involve themselves in galactic politics would famously culminate in one of the galaxy's most destructive conflicts ever: the EMPOL-AIAD War.

Today, after achieving victory against AIAD, humanity is emerging from the largest catastrophe in their short history, retaining little of their pre-war innocence. Difficult questions remain about humanity's place in the Galaxy. Now, with hard lessons and experience bitterly earned, humanity seems focused on new goals: with the war over, they are free to make their own place in the world, and create their own legacy.

Earth, third planet in the Sol System, birthplace and cradle of human civilization. Earth itself was attacked by AIAD forces four times during the EMPOL-AIAD War. Three Sol raids penetrated as far as Earth, inflicting moderate damage. In one pivotal battle, AIAD forces reached Earth orbit, and began to bombard the surface. Of the nearly 3 billion Humans killed in the war, over 50 million were killed during this attack. No fewer than 10 major cities, including Cairo, Tokyo, and Boston were bombed from orbit using nuclear weapons and railguns.

Human soldiers fighting AIAD Troops on RAYNET-B, during the EMPOL-AIAD War. While the conflict was predominantly fought in space, numerous troop engagements occurred in situations where seizing an objective, rather than destroying it, was the goal.

Several humans, including male and female officers in EMPOL Space Command. Humans stand roughly 8-11 IS-increments tall, with females typically ~90% the height of males. Human skin tone, eye color, hair color, and other attributes are also subject to a wide variance.

While humans have two "strict" genders, several transitional genders also exist, and enjoy equal treatment. Human coupling may be symmetrical, or asymmetrical although only symmetric couplings may yield reproduction.

Humans communicate verbally, by modulating sound waves with modified respiratory system components. They also express feelings and emotions through gestures and the movements of their faces.

New York City, USA, Earth. New York is one of Earth's most populated cities, and is the home of the EMPOL Trade Organization Headquarters. Note the Providence Spaceport in the foreground, whose carbon-fiber cables allow "space elevators" to climb the distance to space.

A political map of EMPOL's territories. While 30 star systems and about 45 stars fall within EMPOL's borders, only 16 have distinct colonies. Several systems are also home to mining operations, military bases and even resorts. Note the proximity to both the Solonar Empire [East] and AIAD [North].

The narrow Taurus Corridor is a DMZ as stipulated in the EMPOL-AIAD Treaty, to allow shipping between the two civilizations, and as a buffer against further border tension.

Of the 16 colony worlds in the EMPOL sphere of influence, six are habitable terrestrial planets, with O2 atmospheres. On colonies where breathable atmosphere and/or UV protection is unavailable, large domes have been fashioned to encompass cities. Worlds with lower gravity employ the same gravity technology used on EMPOL starships distributed beneath city streets, so that parts of the planet enjoy Earth-normal gravity.

The Orion Systems are a large expanse of mainly unexplored systems in the Greater Orion Arm of the Milky Way. Since the end of the war, more expeditions to these worlds are underway.

A group of EMPOL Cruisers. The two vessels above and on the right side of the image are Kilo Class cruisers. These vessels are tasked with patrolling EMPOL borders and forming the basis of battle-groups and cruiser squadrons.

The similar but larger Vegas Class heavy cruiser, pictured below and to the left, is a more specialized class of ship. It includes large bays to accommodate mission-specific modules such as additional missile launchers or electronic warfare equipment for combat operations. In peacetime these bays can be used to house scientific equipment, humanitarian supplies, and additional reaction mass for long missions. Because of the Vegas class' strong shields and powerful weapons, it is also frequently operated as a flagship for EMPOL battle-groups and task forces despite its reduced agility and acceleration.

Due to formatting restrictions here, you can check out a more fully formatted version of this article on our website here. Click on the EMPOL logo.

We will soon roll out similar features for the other factions in the demo, as well as individual starship features. Watch this space!


"No fewer than 10 major cities, including Cairo, Tokyo, and Boston were bombed from orbit using nuclear weapons and railguns. "

Cairo+Tokyo+Boston means that the AIAD could hit ANY city they chose.

So for a robotic race governed by a central computer, You`d think it would first target the capital, New York and cut the space elevator.
Or nuke the polar caps and flood the planet.
Or BETTER yet, nuke the MOON, fragment it and let the rubble destroy the planet one meteorite at a time.

But nooo, this highly advanced robotic-ly LOGIC race just bombs randomly like a drunken space captain.

And 50 million is a SMALL number. Current tokyo population is 13 milion, by 2080 let`s say 20 milion, just Tokyo alone. Cairo today 11 milion, 18 million by 2080. Boston today 800,000, 2080 2 milion. Just 3 cities total 40 milion people. 10 milion/7 cities = 1.42 milion each. That is NOT a major city if the total global population is around 10 billion!

If you spend your time creating a realistic story, at least back it up with solid logic, not just throw random numbers and data out. Or find someone that spots faulty story logic( like me ) and fix it before featureing it.

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Hi! Thanks for you interest, and bringing up those points. I hope I can clarify some things:

-The robots actually targeted lots of cities and things in the battle. Their targets were dictated by the hemisphere they were facing during the points in the battle when they had an opportunity to attack the planet. Defenses against orbital attacks exist on Earth, and were able to intercept some incoming weapons.

-Those weapons which hit the targets listed did not kill everybody in those cities. Some warheads air-burst short of their targets, after being hit by defensive fire. Humanity had also been fighting this war for years, and was reasonably prepared. Not all of the cities were attacked with nuclear weapons, as it said in the text.

The numbers are meant to reflect that things don't always go as planned during war. The idea is that the robots were fighting an uphill battle against the entirety of Earth's defenses, and took what shots they could. Even successful hits aren't always as damaging as planned. I defiantly remember people projecting that as many as 50,000 people could have been killed during 9/11. The actual number was far lower, due to mitigating factors.

-The numbers aren't made up on the spot! Growth projections for 2080 are fine and good, but the story takes place many hundreds of years from now. We alluded to regional wars, and resource scarcity between now and then, all of which can influence population distribution. Look at Detroit, or Syria.

-The robots are defiantly logical, but we also just posted an article about them. You might find some interesting info about some factors which make them act illogically as well. Feel free to check it out.
I hope that clears some things up. There's only so much space we can devote to this kind of thing on indie db. We have plans to create a wiki in the future though, We'll be happy to go into this kind of detail there!

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* I missed your point about nuking The Moon. I like the idea, but The Robots were near Earth during the battle, meaning that warheads fired towards the moon would take several hours to get there, since it's about 2.5 light seconds away. This would give EMPOL plenty of time to intercept them.

Additionally, The Moon is the fifth largest moon in the solar system. I just did some Googling to see if anyone had run the numbers on this, because I feel like it would take many bombs. One estimate arrives at a minimum of ~592.6 billion of the most powerful hydrogen bombs, and that's if we could distribute them throughout The Moon with tunnels.

The Robots attacking the system were composed of two main battle groups, armed with a standard load-out of tactical nuclear weapons, as well as two ships armed with strategic weapons. This means that they fell short of having almost 10 million times more nuclear weapons than humanity has built to date ;)

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Good, I see you analized it a little deeper than just posting text.

1.And from the AIAD feature, before the war ended they were folowing the orders of a non-emotional supercomputer. Why would a supercomputer start a war when the chances of victory were so small? Just for fun?

2. Why didn`t they just launch 1-2 nukes directly at Yellowstone, the giant supervolcano that once erupted would cause a nuclear winter on the planet? It only takes 1-2 good nukes, it`s a park so no anti-AIAD protection and it would cause far more longterm damage than any city they hit,

3. Why didn`t AIAD use bio-warfare? If I were a sentient machine, biological warfare would be the first thing i`d use when fighting, since it will never affect me nor my food supply nor my industry. One Killer Airborne agent into earth`s atmosphere and gameover for Earth. Even if humans manage to seal themselves in, plants would be dead. NO plants, no oxigen. CO2 rises, polar caps melt, water boils and it becomes a perpetual level1 storm on the entire planet.

4. IF you want to inflict the best damage, you don`t attack cities. You attack food supplies and industry and let the people kill each other for food and gadgets, also forcing colonies to send their supplies to earth, weakening the colonies as well.

5. When EMPOL reached AIAD homeworld, why didn`t the supercomputer just move to another safer planet? Or better yet turn to guerrila tactics and move it`s fleet between the stars and create temporary asteroid factories? They don`t need air or bio-food so they are not stuck to planets like humans. And why did AIAD fight with it`s citizen robots instead of creating killer-robots designed to fight humans?

Either you underestimate the capabilities of a supercomputer, or that said futuristic supercomputer is below the capabilities of a human from centuries ago.

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1) But a supercomputer isn't omnipotent. It was wrong. At a certain point predicting the future is impossible, even for a really good computer. Since their goal was only to seize a few systems, they expected EMPOL to Capitulate. Turns out they're bad at predicting human behavior. See: The Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein thought he could seize tiny Kuwait without starting a war, and was wrong.

2) I'm pretty sure it's impossible to cause Yellowstone to erupt using a couple nukes. Even so, if they just wanted to kill humans, a couple cobalt 60 bombs would irradiate and kill everyone on Earth. They may be robots but they're not... dare I say, inhuman ;) Their goal was to force a surrender, not to exterminate humanity.

3) See above answer. Eradicating the biospheres of entire planets, not to mention whole civilizations is also seen by most other groups as a sort of galactic war crime. Humanity had powerful allies, like the Integrated Group, who chose to remain neutral. Something like that might have changed their minds.

4) You do, actually. Cities are centers of industry, finance, communications, markets, and government in most civilizations. During the cold war cities like London were targeted by dozens of nuclear weapons. Each weapon was usually reserved for a single target, like a factory, an air port, or a center of communication.

5) The Human forces held their home planet hostage to force a surrender. If they had simply bombed the Robot Homeworld into submission, the Robots would have kept fighting, as they had a distributed enough civilization to do so. But they really revered that supercomputer, and didn’t want it harmed. Being sentient, sometimes illogical robots, they also probably have some sentimental value for the planet their race evolved on, and which houses all the feats of their civilization. If the supercomputer (which by the way is not mobile) had been able to move, the Humans would have destroyed it, if it tried to leave.

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P.S. Why didn`t the supercomputer just hack EMPOL`s cibernetic grid and shut us down without firing a bullet? I think SUpercomputer beats any human hacker that could try to defend the grid.

P.P.S. "Humans communicate verbally," - Sintetic Telepathy is beeing researched by the US Military since 2008. You`d think they`d perfect it in a few centuries and give it to the public...yes? :)

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The humans don't use any centralized cybernetic controller for all of their forces. While the Robots proficiency at computer science was difficult to deal with in the context of electronics warfare, their ability to simply take over computer systems was limited by differences is computer architecture.

Regarding telepathy, Lots of species in our universe have developed to the point where they've integrated themselves with technology in some way, or uploaded themselves into machines. After fighting wars with beings like this, most Humans see their biological nature as a point of pride. Still, while they don't really use telepathy, they do have a lot of technology which lets them interface with technology better, and many medical treatments involve cybernetic implants.

Thanks for the questions!

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You missed a question:

1. "And why did AIAD fight with it`s citizen robots instead of creating killer-robots designed to fight humans? "

2. Why do AIAD citizens need headlights when they can see in multiple spectrums? That`s like beeing able to see in the dark but lighting up a match to help your enemy see you better.

3. You can set off yellowstone with 2 high-yield nukes planted at the bottom of the lake in Yellowstone, causing the supervolcano to erupt and creating a nuclear winter.

4. Ok, let`s say AIAD considered that bio-weapons on enemy civilians bad, but why didn`t they use them on the AIAD homeplanet? That way EMPOL could NOT take it hostage or land on it. Heck, use this technique on all AIAD systems and there would be NO POINT in EMPOL taking the now useless planets back.

5. What was the exact number for the human population at the start of the war?

6. Why didn`t AIAD ask SOLONAR Empire to be their allies, promising them half of the EMPOL empire in return? - The name Empire is a dead giveaway that it allways tries to expand (Like the Klignons) so with the proper proposal and bribes AIAD could have easily made them enter the war.

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1) AIAD has all kinds of killer robots as well

2) It's how they evolved.

3) That's interesting, though I feel like the robots might have had trouble burying bombs on Earth during a battle.

4) Most AIAD worlds are already really inhospitable to Humans, and humans are capable of waging ground battles in many environments, including biological warzones. AIAD wasn't taking planets from EMPOL, but rather, from allies of EMPOL. EMPOL took the AIAD homeworld hostage via a fleet in orbit, not a ground force, so bio weapons wouldn't have done much good.

5) You can find the human population numbers in the full EMPOL feature on our site, there's a link at the bottom of this article. It was about 31 billion before the war.

6) That's a lot of assumptions about a civilization we haven't even described yet in detail. For your reference, the Solonar and AIAD are also rivals, and would be unlikely to ally. The Solonar empire is so called by EMPOL, they describe themselves as the "Solonar Federation." They prefer to expand by subversion and cultural absorption, so they'd be unlikely to be very interested in joining the AIAD in a war just for fun.

Thanks for your questions!

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1. Homeworld: PGC-1655a < Is this a reference to Stargate? Because it looks awfully similar to how SGC designates the names to new planets explored.

2. From the AIAD bio: "Several ancient relics contain records from before that time, but the data has never been decoded, as it was probably intended to be read by the aliens who built the initial probe. "
My question is this: How could a sentient robot evolve WITHOUT understanding it`s own coding language? Coding may increase in complexity over time, but the initial source remains the same. The AIAD initial source is the creator alien`s own language.
Part 2 of the question: In 10000 years AIAD didn`t manage to decode a few data files? You don`t send a probe with pentagon-level protection code to explore a few rocks. And even then, if you leave a hacker with the data for 10,000 years...he will decode it.

3. Why didn`t AIAD use EMP pulses to blackout enemy cities rendering them useless? 1-2 kamikaze ships with long-range EMP`s and poof, Stone age for the monkies without killing them.

4. "Space travel for over 250 years" Can you please define what you mean by space travel? Because if it took over 200 years for humans to colonise 16 colonies and reach 31 bilion... .

5.And for how long did the other races have space travel? Because if AIAD had space travel for even half of it`s history, 5000 years, it would have allready colonised the majority of current EMPOL space while the monkies were still building the piramids. It`s logical to claim strategic places first, and then develop them.

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1) It stands for Planetary Galactic Co-ordinate index. The number is the parent star's entry in the index. The letter refers to the planet.

2) We evolved without understanding our source code at all, until very recently. They started out totally non-sentient, reproducing based on blueprints. Heuristic algorithms could analyze data gathered, and incorporate minor revision to the blueprints for subsequent iterations. This process eventually gave rise to complex and sentient beings.

I don't believe I ever referenced a 10,000 year timescale, but the issue isn't their inability to access the information contained within the relics, they just have no idea what it means for the most part. Like, if the voyager probe turned into a sentient machine, it probably wouldn't be able to read the English on its golden record.

3) EMP is a by-product of any old nuclear explosion, and is actually really easy to shield against. Most modern day military tech is hardened against EMP effects. And like I said, cities affected were prepared, and they were able to restore power grids.

4) I can't quite tell if you're concerned that that's too much time, or not enough time. But to answer your question, humans spent a long time with only a few outposts inside The Solar System. FTL travel is new enough for humanity that most of their population still resides on Earth, and a handful of habitable worlds. Other colonies are as small as dome colonies with like ~100,000 people. 250 years refers to the time humanity has had deep space travel.

5) Being around for longer doesn't equate to continual expansion. Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth, yet Syria does not rule the world. And yes, most of them have been in space longer than Humanity. Humans also benefited from technology sharing after contact, which brought them up to relative parity with their neighbors.

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6. AIAD : "Weaknesses:Few guided weapons" Why do they still have no guided weapons? All they needed was to see 1 advanced guided wepon, copy it`s programing and then mass-produce it. And I would dare say that they saw plenty of guided weapons during the war. I`d say the strongest point of a sentient machine is to assimilate other technology and replicate it.

7. Did AIAD develop nano-technology?

8. What is the current year? The only year refferances I found are " pre-2389 borders," and "EMPOL was created in 2280,"

I do have more questions, but i`ll stop here for now.

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6) The AIAD See guided weapons as a poor answer to insufficiently advanced target prediction. They also see projectiles containing computers as an exploitable weakness. If you try to use missiles against them, they’ll usually send them back to you.

7) Yes, nano tech has existed in their ‘biosphere’ for a long time. Everyone has Nano tech to varying extents.

8) The demo we’re releasing features missions which take place at various times in the vicinity of the 2380s/90s. The full game takes place a few years after the EMPOL-AIAD War, which ended in 2389.

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