Aennri, the Green Autocracy
|BW1998 example faction|
The Aennri Civilization does not figure greatly in most interstellar wars. Their primary desire is to be left alone. Their StarShip has been either hidden or destroyed, and they hide their colonies on forest and jungle worlds, using an advanced stealth technology to hide themselves from enemy scanners.
The Aennri have an almost supernatural ability to blend in with their natural surroundings. Their bases are indistinguishable from rocks and trees. In battle, they use BoobyTraps and hit-and-fade ambushes to divide enemy forces, cut them off from supplies and reinforcements, and whittle away at their numbers.
From the Old Wiki:
The Aennri do not tend to use large-scale advanced technology, because large energy signals cannot be hidden by their stealth devices. For the most part, their Bases are hidden caves tunneled into the sides of mountains or thick tree trunks, or web-like arrangements of ropes and bridges in the tops of trees. (Ropes, bridges, and ladders are free; treetop platforms are bought at normal building costs.) Occasionally they build bases in the bottoms of lakes. Enemy forces will not discover Aennri Bases unless they actually see an Aennri troop using one of the secret entrances. This is difficult: if the Aennrienne is not in an enemy's line of vision, not within 5", or has any sort of cover, the Aennrienne is effectively invisible. (The 5" rule does not apply in open terrain, so Aennriennes always place their bases in forests or jungles.) Aennri forests are littered with hiding places such as hollow trees and camouflaged foxholes. A designated Aennri hiding place costs three points. An Aennrienne hiding in such a spot is absolutely invisible to enemies. The hiding place is revealed if an enemy directly sees an Aennrienne entering or exiting it. Enemies can then attack the hiding spot, which usually has an AV of 1d10.
Aennriennes are too smart to get caught by their own traps, except on purpose in extreme circumstances (such as setting off the volcano under their base when hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded). Aennri BoobyTraps are invisible until they activate. They are considered Exceptional Landscape Features (or ELFs), so their point costs vary wildly. The rules for creating custom Siege Close Combat weapons work well for designing BoobyTraps. For mechanical traps (like beartraps, covered pits, etc.) add one point to this cost. For traps that require energy sources (like explosives set off by laser tripwires), add 3 points for stealth coating. For traps that require computer control (like a computer-targeted sniper rifle turret hidden under a rock), add 5 points. Most traps will have 1d10 AV and 1d6 Skill.
Very rarely, an Aennri base will have a large Siege Weapon mounted nearby. There is no way to hide such a large power source from enemy scanners, so you can be sure it will be surrounded by lots of BoobyTraps. It is always placed some distance from the Base, so as not to give away the Base location.
Aennri troops must take constant advantage of their stealth and cunning to survive in battle, because of the limits on their armament. All Aennri SpaceTroopers have -1 AV, which they have to sacrifice for their stealth devices. They have -1 skill for any post-medieval weapon (like Gyro Rifles and ChainSaws) but +1 close combat bonus. Consequently, Aennriennes spend most of their time ducking in and out of hiding spots and ambushes rather than engaging in head-on fighting.
An Aennrienne's location is revealed if he discharges an energy weapon, or moves with a rifle or any weapon whose damage rating is measured in d10's. In some cases this may reveal the location of a base or hiding place. Aennriennes try to avoid that whenever possible.
Aennri armies are often composed entirely of SpaceMen (who, like all Aennri SpaceTroopers, wear Thieven Hood hats) and Normal Medieval People. SpaceHeroes are rare, and Mechanix and SpaceDroids are unheard of. SpaceDrivers are unnecessary because Aennri vehicles don't get any larger than horse-drawn carts and almost never have any Siege Weapons. Their one special troop type is the SpaceTinker. They have the following Base Stats: Move 5, Armor 4, Skill d6, Ratio 5, Cost 7.
The Aennri SpaceTinker is part special-effects technician, part sadistic landscaper. His deathtraps are not only carefully arranged to destroy enemy troop cohesion, but to create a beautiful aesthetic whole. He might create a fairytale scene by planting a vibrant bed of wildflowers beside a charming rustic stone bridge crossing a placid stream. The wildflowers hide a covered spiked pit, there is a computer-guided impact pistol mounted under the bridge, next to the bridge foundations which are designed to collapse and detonate. The stream is lined with razor tripwires which set off a flash flood and release the SpaceAlligators.
SpaceTinkers must carry around one tool to build and repair their traps. They come equipped with pockets full of electronic eyes, pressure sensors, and tripwires. A SpaceTinker can automatically reset a trap that has gone off and is undamaged, but more complicated tasks require die rolls. If a SpaceTinker is trying to repair a trap that has been destroyed, he rolls 1d6. On a 5 or more, he can repair the trap completely, or salvage all the parts. On a 3 or more, he can salvage half the parts (his choice). A 1 or 2 means all the parts are broken and useless.
A SpaceTinker can also create new traps in the heat of battle. This takes a whole turn. An attempt to create a new trap entirely out of available spare parts succeeds on a 3 or more on 1d6. He can include parts of the landscape with his traps, like rigging trees to fall or bridges to collapse. Common sense must be employed to decide whether or not a SpaceTinker is actually capable of creating a given trap. For instance, he might want to rig a cliffside to collapse, but he must have some reasonable method of loosening the solid rock.
A SpaceTinker may attach Stealth Computers (2 points each) to his traps. The SCs are represented by 1x2 flats with computer consoles printed on them. A trap with an SC on it can be activated whenever the Aennri player wants. Otherwise, the SpaceTinker must create a 'trigger' to set off his trap. This might be a tripwire, pressure plate, or electronic eye. When an enemy unwittingly activates the trigger, a roll of 3 or more on a 1d6 means the trap has activated. Some traps don't require a die roll. For instance, a covered pit always activates when a SpaceMan steps on it. For most mechanical traps, it will be pretty easy to see whether the SpaceMan then takes damage. For instance, if you've built a big log with spikes sticking out that swings down from above, just swing the log down and see if it hits the minifig. Finally, SpaceTinkers have all the skills you'd expect of an all-purpose handyman. Due to the primitive nature of Aennri Bases and vehicles, SpaceTinkers can work on them as if he were a Teknik or a Mechanik (usually all it requires is a little carpentry). He can't work with the more modern Bases and vehicles of other Civilizations.
A SpaceTinker is represented by a green minifig with a hood, wearing a basket on his back to carry Stealth Computers and spare parts.
Running raids on Aennri bases is a lot of fun, but it can also be difficult to play. Both players must be able to agree quickly on point costs for random traps and vaguely-defined bases, and be willing to fudge on which Aennri troops are really "visible." The raiding player must be able to pretend that he really doesn't see all those traps and ambushes. This has the potential to raise a lot of arguments over nitpicking details. If you and your opponent find yourself in the occasional dispute, try settling it with a die roll. If you are arguing all the time, you should probably try playing a civilization other than Aennri.
Armies that attack the Aennri are going to want to use a lot of Explosives, since the AreaEffect damage will often destroy the units and traps you can't detect. It's also a lot of fun to start setting trees on fire and watch the Aennriennes run around with FireExtinguishers trying to contain the fire while still staying hidden.
Aennri battles work best if you can create a truly enormous forest landscape - the more complex, the better. Mountains, valleys, rivers, rockslides, castle ruins, and medieval cities all add to this scenario. Try to make the landscape as uneven as possible, with rocky cliffs and rolling hills, and remember to use lots and lots of trees and shrubs.