a loose guideline on how to wreck stuff and have fun in Imperium Nova written by Xavios vi Britannia.
Preamble: This isn’t a guide to villainy; it’s just a sort of general scenario (a step by step guide taking in all possibilities would be bookworthy) that’s based on military strikes and intended to be achievable by any House in any galaxy – mainly aimed at smaller Houses. Cut, alter and tailor this broad situation to your own. Also, I feel the need to clarify that this isn’t how to grief Houses. It’s actually pretty easy to grief Houses, but that’s another story. Another note: remember that the Houses you’re conducting your villainous deeds against are people too, so feel sorry for them when you kick them in the face, but not for their House. It’s important to separate your IC and OOC feelings. Or something. Anyway, let’s get to it. Oh, another note: anytime I’m vague and say usually or probably, it’s because I’m referring to something based of RNG mechanics, and the RNG in Imperium Nova is… infamous for having funny things happen. Oh, another note: this scenario requires that you have some understanding of how military and things in general work in IN, because I realised half way through I had to be vague to keep the word count down. ANYWAY…
There are some things this scenario assumes, some more obvious in the writing than others (and some I completely forgot to mention):
If you really want to be a badass villain, you're gonna' have to start knocking things over, blowing things up or burning things down sooner or later. Hopefully this short essay will make your eventual downfall as fun as possible for you. To do this, you're gonna' need two things: money and legions. Money is the big part, as legions eat solars for breakfast lunch and dinner. You'll either need a stockpile of funds, secret funders or some sort of economic base you can defend. A combination of all three is preferable, though the last one is hard to achieve. Ideally, you’d have a stockpile for launching attacks, healing legions and moving around, and backers to pay for your monthly expenditures, like simply owning legions. It honestly shouldn’t be too hard to secure some subsidies from bigger Houses in your galaxy. The best route to achieve this is deceit – offer them something you can do for them while on your roaring rampage of re…negade. They’ll have enemies, or just Houses they don’t like the crest of. Just tell them you’ll knock down that Houses stuff if they fund you for a bit of fun. Be creative. You will of course turn around and betray them in the end for comedic value and so that they get their comeuppance for funding a villain! …but that comes later.
So, presuming you’ve secured some financial backing for your villainous activities – even 50k/month is useful, that’ll covering for nearly 30 legions with military primary. Now you need to work on your stockpile. Hopefully you’ve done it before now, because how much money you have depends how long, or how eventful, your villainous rampage will be. For the sake of this exercise, let’s pretend you have two million solars in the bank – enough for a good bit of fun and not too hard for even a Minor House to achieve (if they sit on their ass for a while…). In this run, I’m going to ignore the possibility of having an economic base that you can rely on. (But, if you wanted one, the best single planet economic base will always be a high percentage mysticism world. If you have one with 99.1% faith, use it! It’d act as your base of operations because you wouldn’t want to lose that valuable income!)
So, you’ve got your solars in the bank, your backers (keep an eye on them, I wouldn’t trust them more than I trust you!) and now you need your tools of villainy. This is where you can take two routes: you can be a dickbag and hire a hundred companies, or you can be a REAL villain and hire forty or so legions. The reason I am so critical of company based villainous activities is that it doesn’t require as much effort: you simply mass attack undefended facilities, cause millions in damages and no one likes you for a while (also you get dealt with fairly quickly. Companies don’t have the longest lifespan…). If that’s the route you want to take, go for it, but I wouldn’t suggest it. Besides, the best rewards of villainy are the hardest earned ones. (Also, I should take this point to drill something into your heads. Villainy requires RP! I cannot stress this enough. Give your villainous activities a nice RP lead up – leave it ambiguous, you don’t want people knowing that shit is going to go down, but you want them to people to go ‘so THAT’s why Count von Doom was talking to that man on the phone in that other RP! Aha!’When you’re finally ready to get Villainous, write a nice long post detailing the untold horrors you’re about to unleash upon the galaxy, or a certain alliance, or your area of space. Whatever. Follow up reactions, send PMs, threaten and extort people for solars (this works hilariously well), just make sure you’re having fun writing your villain. Again, be creative. Villainy THRIVES on creativity, in RP, war, subterfuge, etc.)
Now, you’re going to need to start hiring troops eventually. Hopefully you’ve got some troops lying around (if you don’t, you’re not a very safe IN player – renegade villains can strike at any time, after all!). Let’s say you have 15 or so legions. That’s a reasonable amount for a smaller House in normal galaxies, and a reasonable amount for a medium sized House in Draco and Gemini. You’ll want to hire about 25 more legions. I’ve never tested it, but for the villainous scenario I have planned I’m fairly sure 40 legions is the optimal amount. I’ve had success with less, maybe you will to. Just tailor the number to your aims. This is where you have to think carefully: how long between hiring the extra legions and going berserk do you have? Make sure your already hired legions are at least veteran (it’s really not that hard to get them there) because you might not have much time to train the rest before go time. Make sure you’re at least running Military tertiary for this part, having your legions spawn at Standard saves time, and time is money! Let’s say the worst case scenario is occurring and you don’t have any time before your legions running off the factory line and your villainous escapades beginning (for whatever reason). This isn’t the end of the world! Standard legions aren’t that great, but they’re definitely not useless. And they’re only a few bouts of combat away from being Veteran themselves! So, you’ve got 15~ veteran legions and 25~ standard legions. You’ve got 2m (or 200k or so less if you didn’t take hiring into account), and you’ve got the peaceful galaxy you inhabit sitting in front of you. At this point, you’re basically a kid in a candy store.
So, first of, you want to grab the best f…damn candy you can. In other words, go after things that’ll help you long term. Tailor your villainy to assist with this. You’re going to be fighting from now on, so you’re going to have to think smart. What helps you fight? Technology level and legion rank. Luckily, by getting one you can get the other. Prior to you beginning your rampage (I should’ve mentioned this earlier, actually) figure out a list of targets based off the Top 10 Tech list. Tech pyramids, or if your galaxy doesn’t have those or they’re too ridiculously defended (3 indomitables or more I wouldn’t bother with in this time frame), tech stacks, or HQs. Explaining the method of getting each of these would take too long, but basically if you hit a tech pyramid you’ll probably get a significant tech boost and be able to move straight on to the defend stage, whereas if you hit tech stacks and HQs you want quantity. Work out what method you want to use to steal tech (and exploration data if you go after HQs), and then get to work – remember, this is primarily the haul you’ll get from your villainy. Tech, hidden planets, respect of your peers and the deaths of thousands. Anyway, to do any of these you’re probably going to have to go through some Indomitable Fortresses.
Cracking Indomitable Fortresses (henceforth to be referred to as indoms) isn’t as hard as it seems, even if the player you’re attacking is online (I’m not going to bother explaining, you should have figured it out after your second wave is mincing legions stuck outside the fort). You’ll want to use your veteran legions in waves of 5 as your “point men”. When attacking, I generally use 66% retreat, less if I don’t care about the legions. But since you now only have 40, and you’re not gonna’ get anymore, 66% is your best bet. Taking down an indom usually requires two or three waves – depending what’s inside. Since you’ve got 40 legions to play with, this is how I would split your forces in your opening attack: 3 waves (1 vet, 2 standard) at target 1, 3 (1 vet, 2 standard) waves at target 2, 1 wave (standard) in reserve and 1 wave (veteran) on patrol above your base point. You’re going to knock down 2 heavily defended targets, and still let your troops retreat behind cover of a patrol. The patrol also stops triggerhappy Houses knocking down your HQ while you wait. If the patrol becomes compromised – or you think it will be - throw up a second one with your reserve. I’d hold of doing it right away in case you need to throw some support at target 1 or 2.
Alright, now you should’ve flattened a tech pyramid/hit a few tech stacks/hit a few HQs (choose 1), you should have a bit of a tech boost, maybe know about a few secret planets (I don’t know, maybe you could sell the information, or make the House you stole it off pay to keep it private – test the water first, you don’t want them revealing it). Your legions should be arriving home, and people should start to panic and stare in horror at the menacing post you made in your local forums. Also you’re probably a Renegade now (embrace it). So, what do you do now? Heal your legions and take stock of the situation. Is your patrol above your HQ still okay? Are the Houses you attacked online? Are the allies of those Houses online? Are opportunistic Houses that’d attack a renegade simply because they could online? Is the Emperor online? These are all variables that’ll affect your next move. If you’ve managed to cause chaos so far without being noticed (maybe it’s 12am Christmas morning, you magnificent bastard), throw up another patrol, pick another target and get to work, but be CAREFUL. If they have taken notice of your nefarious deeds, it’s time to move on to phase two: the defence!
Defending against the wrath of the righteous is both easy and hard at the same time. If you do it right, it’s easy. If you botch it a little, you’re going to lose legions. So, listen (or read) carefully. There is an art to defending a single position, and guess what, you have the perfect number of troops to do it. No really, the 40 legions isn’t just for fun, this is all based around research on defending I did in Draco (Where I had 25 legions hold off 10 waves with no losses). 40 legions should in theory form an invincible shield that will stay up as long as you’re online. Basically, what you do is cycle manoeuvres. If you’re unfamiliar with intercepting attacks with manoeuvres, long story short they basically just function as cheaper, shorter patrols mechanically. Split your 40 legions into two groups of 4 waves. To begin your heroic (or rather, villainous) defence, throw up 4 manoeuvres of 5 legions. It doesn’t matter where your veterans are, by the end of this your standards will be veterans and your veterans might even be elites. As the first wave of enemy attacks hits your first lot of manoeuvring legions, open a can of energy drink and start watching the battle carefully. Once your legions drop to dangerous levels, or when the attack is beaten off, retreat that manoeuvre and redeploy another.
The next wave of enemy attacks should be landing soon. When it does, it’ll be intercepted again. About half way through this battle, your injured troops will land at your HQ, nice and safe. Forget about them for now (by memory you can’t heal units overstacked on forts while manoeuvres are under attack on that planet). When those legions get home, send another 5 legions out. When you beat off the second attack, quickly heal your injured legions and go back to waiting. By now you should appreciate the tactic. It just involves cycling manoeuvres until the opposition runs out of legions to throw at you. Do not deploy all of your legions in manoeuvres at once! If you need to buy time for whatever reason, or you want to start killing enemy legions, get creative. Have a wave of enemies wear itself out on one of your “patrols”, then retreat it half way through the battle. You’ll get a pause between now and the next engagement, allowing you to go pee or eat or whatever. When the injured enemy legions hit your fresh wave, they’ll be hurt bad, and that’s where you’ll start seeing lots of enemy legions die. This is actually the most effective way to kill enemy troops. Anyway, eventually you’ll get the hang of your cycling, and you may realise you have spare legions. Send those out to cause chaos while you defend, and eventually the attacks will peter out.
By now, if your Doom Fortress™ is still standing, your enemies should have a grudging respect for you, and you’ll now have around 40 veteran and elite legions on your hands. You’ve gone from a crazy renegade to a certified (and dangerous) villain, congratulations. Assess your warchest, analyse targets, gauge galactic feeling, RP a bit, then get back to work. From here on you’re on your own. You know how to attack hard targets, how to defend using manoeuvres, you’re in the middle of some great RP, and your galaxy sure as hell isn’t sleeping anymore. Everything should spiral out of control nicely from now on. Have fun.