The Orieni Empire for ACTA and the B5 RPG?

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Nerroth
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The Orieni Empire for ACTA and the B5 RPG?

Postby Nerroth » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:46 pm

Hi!


In case you missed it, I started a thread at the RPG board about the idea of introducing the Orieni into the two current B5 systems out there (and maybe in WWE too?).

I wasn't sure if having two threads about the idea would be a good idea (in case both RPGers and wargamers have good ideas which don't cross-pollinate) so if you find the Orieni of interest - or are curious as to why they would be so - please follow the above link and post your comments there!


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Postby chaos0xomega » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:11 pm

Too busy too read your other post, sorry. Could you perhaps post a summary of what/who they are and what there tech/ships look like?

I am generally supportive of any proposition to include a new race in any game system, so you have my support... I think?
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Postby Shadow Queen » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:16 pm

All i saw was B5W ships no race info
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Postby tneva82 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:22 pm

chaos0xomega wrote:Too busy too read your other post, sorry. Could you perhaps post a summary of what/who they are and what there tech/ships look like?
Seems like bunch of Vorlon fans :D Much like drakh and shadows. Centauri kicked them bad few hundred year pre-B5 events. From quick reading of fan fiction they got pissed off at younger races for driving off vorlons and launched campaign against Minbari in 2268(too much stuff happening at that time!).

Seems like heavily based on medium sized ships. Aparantly the swarms of their fleets were able to bring Minbari fleet to brink of destruction with even ISA white star fleet unable to turn the tide on their own so had to bring practically every race from ISA barring EA :roll:

That's my biggest grief with the fan fluff part(haven't been able to read the original fluff which detailed events of the fall of their empire at the hands of centauri). They seem to be bigger threat to Minbari than shadows were during shadow war! And Drakh? Seems to pale in comparison...

Nice fluff but I think author went "bit" overboard in their lethality. The ease in which even Minbari main fleets were getting their butt kicked just didn't "feel right". Seems their empire has VASTLY superior space fleet to EA for example.

Yea yea casualties of shadow war and all that. Still 7 years and their fleet would have rebuild atleast part of their fleet(oh and I don't buy their line of minbari ship construction after shadow war being zero either. No space faring race wouldn't start to rebuild their fleet after shadow war. ISA or no ISA).

Oh and if above sounds negative do keep in mind I just have few issues with the great crusade supplement which is fan fiction. The race itself sounds interesting and if they are made with taste(and not "we'll kick minbari into scrap whereas EA wasn't able to score even single victory barring black star incident" uber fleet) they would be cool addition to the game.

Edit: Oh and how I would have approached the issue: Would have basicly kept the things basic ideas EXCEPT! Since the thing is around middle of drakh war(if not fudge years a bit) have them be credible threat to Minbari NOT through military power but by Minbari's having Drakhs(which by any stretch of logic ARE more of a threat...I mean comeon. Race that has access to shadow technology and have lived with them for ages vs race that was demolished by centauri's nearly to stone age and having had to rebuild their empire? I would say drakhs would be of bigger issue...Especially if drakh war had centauri's as drakhs allies openly) to deal with.

So Minbari would have had to divide main bulk of their fleet around centauri borders to deal with drakhs which would have left smaller partion to deal with this new threat. Tadaa! No need for them to seemingly appear as quite possibly THE most powerfull younger race(which is what the great crusade supplement makes them look like IMO...) and yet could believably fight in even terms(ie it would make interesting story) with minbari's and small support from ISA.

That's how _I_ would have tackled the issue. Frankly non-canon race like this shouldn't be able to practically wipe the floor with fleet of the most advanced younger race B5 has, the Minbari. So if Minbari has to be the enemy(and albeit it's the logical target) then limit their resources! Oh and this would allow the silly "minbari's haven't built single ship since shadow war" excuse be dropped.

Just my take on how the idea could have been improved and made more belieavable for B5 background.
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Postby captainsmirk » Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:52 pm

The Orieni actually had fleets which were extremely polarised. A small number of very large command ships backed up by lots of smaller frigates/corvettes. They were extremely religious (their gods being the Vorlons), they used lots of kinetic weapons and remote controlled suicide fighters...

They and the Centauri battered the hell out of each other a few hundred years before the series (in fact they should be in the middle of it right now if I remember the dates).

The fanheads won...


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Postby WickedE » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:45 pm

The Orieni ended up getting hosed preeettty good by the Centauri if I remember correctly, even though the fanheads didn't come out smelling like daisies either. They ended up using WMD'S on each other towards the end, so a lot of planets got slammed to deserts.
By the point in this Great Crusade, They might have had a stable economic infrastructure for...oh...a couple decades? Yeah, they might be at a point where they could attack the Minbari, and considering the Minbari's technological stagnation it's quite possible they'd be a serious threat especially with the Drakh Happenings. It'd be an interesting facet to explore.
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Postby tneva82 » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:00 pm

WickedE wrote: Yeah, they might be at a point where they could attack the Minbari, and considering the Minbari's technological stagnation it's quite possible they'd be a serious threat especially with the Drakh Happenings. It'd be an interesting facet to explore.
So you think it's viable they are vastly superior to for example Earth Alliance?

I find that bit of far fretched that THE most powerfull younger race(Minbari) would be kicked big time by this non-canon race that was not so long ago nearly wiped out by centauri.
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Postby WickedE » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:51 pm

Actually having read some of what the guy wrote now, I think he's underestimating the Minbari quite a bit. For one thing, there is no way the Minbari would not have been making new ships, even if this is seven years after the Minbari Civil War.
The Fighter advantage the Minbari have alone would negate the effectiveness of the Hunter Killers, which would be very effective against the Minbari, as shown in the Earth/Minbari war where Ramming ships could take out a Sharlin, so a cloud of Hunter Killers could certainly damage a Minbari ship, but the Nials would be able to intercept and destroy a lot of them before they got close.
Another thing this guy isn't taking into account is the Stealth features of the Minbari. Their ships could jam a lot of races sensors, so the Orieni would definitely have more problems just locking on.
Then again, this thing he wrote gives me vibes of Stargate: Atlantis and the entire Ancient Vs. Wraith conflict. The Ancients, while being FAR more advanced, were simply so outnumbered they ended up losing.
Am I mistaken or wasn't the Black Star destroyed by Sheridan, so why does it show up in here?
The idea, however, that the failing economy really helped seal their defeat, which is also kind of what happened against the Centauri according the the one B5W supplement I read, is really kind of neat. It shows the Orieni really didn't LEARN anything...What's the saying..."New Packaging, Same Product."?
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Today we tell them the Lion of the Galaxy is not dead, and shall tear them apart if they oppose us!
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Postby Lone Gunman » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:22 am

I once wrote a complete Conversion of the Orieni of Wars of the Centauri Republic as well as The Great Crusade for ACTA, including older Centauri Hulls.

Otherwise, the Plot for the Great Crusade was quite overconfident with the Orieni. They simply laid waste to the Minbari Protectorate and that without notice of the Federation? No way!
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Postby Alexb83 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:34 am

WickedE wrote:The Orieni ended up getting hosed preeettty good by the Centauri if I remember correctly, even though the fanheads didn't come out smelling like daisies either. They ended up using WMD'S on each other towards the end, so a lot of planets got slammed to deserts.
By the point in this Great Crusade, They might have had a stable economic infrastructure for...oh...a couple decades? Yeah, they might be at a point where they could attack the Minbari, and considering the Minbari's technological stagnation it's quite possible they'd be a serious threat especially with the Drakh Happenings. It'd be an interesting facet to explore.
Minbari technological stagnation? Where does this impression come from? They have held and maintained a massive technological advantage over every other younger race for thousands of years. And now they have Vorlon technology to add to their own, too. How can this be called stagnation?

Just because Mongoose decided to put a blurb in the Crusade Era fleet description about how EA commanders /think/ that the Neroon is the dying gasp of the Minbari fleetyards, doesn't mean that this should be the way the game goes. I sure hope it doesn't.
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Postby tneva82 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:04 am

WickedE wrote:Actually having read some of what the guy wrote now, I think he's underestimating the Minbari quite a bit. For one thing, there is no way the Minbari would not have been making new ships, even if this is seven years after the Minbari Civil War.
Yup. I found that pretty "funny" excuse myself.
Am I mistaken or wasn't the Black Star destroyed by Sheridan, so why does it show up in here?
They gave name to new flagship?

However I still maintain it would have been better off justifying Minbari trouble by having main fleet dealing with Drakhs leaving only smaller partion of Minbari fleet with less of the most advanced ships there. Much more belieavable than "oh Minbari didn't build single ship in 7 years and got beaten militarily in fair fight..."
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Postby WickedE » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:49 pm

Anyway. I agree the Division of forces between Drakh concerns and this Orieni invasion, that's a better plot point than outright annihilation.
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Postby demiurge » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:03 am

Yeah, the Great Crusade story arc was a little ambitious for the Orieni.

However, there were a couple of plot points that could have made it more balanced.

For one, using the Drakh as a counterpoint. This is especially poignant as the Drakh actually manipulated the Centauri-Orieni war in the first place. The Orieni saw themselves as servitors of the Vorlons in the same way the Drakh were servitors of the Shadows. Only one problem - the Vorlons never chose them for that role, instead perfering to work through the Minbari. That alone could have been a sufficient driving point to start a conflict. And the Drakh were the Great Betrayers - them using the Orieni again in that fashion might have been a better storyline. Tacit Drakh/Centauri support of the Great Crusade would make for a fascinating arc, especially if the Orieni were being manipulated again for the Drakh gain.

Diviseness in the Minbari also would have been interestintg. With the rise of the dominance of the Worker caste in the Grey Council, I could see them changing their priorities, especially in ship building. The Minbari could have been at an initial disadvantage due to demilitarization with the weakness of the Warrior caste with the tacit support of the religious caste.

And the Religious caste I could see trying to resolve the dispute with the Orieni, which could have led to broken diplomatic promises and betrayals, which could have put the Minbari in a poor tactical situation. The Orieni are fanatics, but at their core they were an orderly race with great religious devotion. That would have appealed to many Minbari, who might have gone an extra mile to attempt to work out an understanding, not realizing they were blamed for the death of the Orieni gods. In addition, with their previous war of near genocide against Earth, there might be many Minbari wishing caution.

And two things to note in favor of the fan supplement the Great Crusade and Showdowns-11. While giving a resurgent Orieni too much credit, it was actually several hundred years since their defeat at the hands of the Lion of the Galaxy. So a rebuilding of their economy within that time frame was certainly feasible, even if they proved not to be able to compete over the long term with the Minbari (outside of the Ancients, who can?).

And the initial battles in the Minbari Proetctorate would have been against second rate Minbari ships given over to the Protectorate races themselves, not crewed by Minbari. And most importantly, without their stealth/jammer capabilities! I could see a resurgent Orieni overruning the Protectorate, or even holding once clan such as the Wind Swords to a standstill. However, if they awoke the entire Minbari race to wrath, they wouldn't be long for the galaxy.

So politically they would have to make sure that didn't happen.

Overall, the Wars of the Centauri Republic was one of the two best supplements for AOG's B5 Wars system (along with the stellar Dilgar War supplement). The Orieni were a very interesting race to play, forming their fleets around capable mother ships guarded by many destroyers and escorts, and utlizing their HKs to devastating effect.
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Postby Alexb83 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:01 am

I think the notion that the Worker caste dominance led to military decline is a bit farfetched - if anything between S5 and LotR we see that the arrival of the ISA on Minbar, the new Vorlon technologies given to them during the Shadow War and the Worker caste dominance led to a bit of a cultural and technological renaissance of in the Minbari.
Minbari losses during the shadow war are never mentioned, but considering the Minbari economy had been geared for 1000+ years for the shadow war, and the disparity in the no. of ships seen at the battle of the Line and Coriana 6, it's doubtful that their military might was reduced (also, during the civil war I believe the Religious caste surrendered quickly rather than lose many lives, and the worker caste abstained from involving themselves). Then consider that in the 7 or so? years between then and the Great Crusade, they have had time to rebuild any losses & develop new and much more powerful ships taking advantage of first one tech.
I think it's very plausible that a dilgar style all-out attack could quickly seize the protectorate, but the notion that they could bring the entire Minbari federation fleet to its knees is somewhat ridiculous. They would anger the bear, and it would come out and maul them. Even if the grey council had diplomatically softened, all it takes is for the Religious and Warriors to agree, and for them to sway 1 worker, and you have another genocide.
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Postby tneva82 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:51 pm

demiurge wrote:And the initial battles in the Minbari Proetctorate would have been against second rate Minbari ships given over to the Protectorate races themselves, not crewed by Minbari. And most importantly, without their stealth/jammer capabilities! I could see a resurgent Orieni overruning the Protectorate, or even holding once clan such as the Wind Swords to a standstill. However, if they awoke the entire Minbari race to wrath, they wouldn't be long for the galaxy..
a) I don't see why their 2nd line ships wouldn't have their stealth as well in some form of other.
b) they didn't just kick 2nd line ships there but ships of main fleets when they arrived, including even sharlins!
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Postby WickedE » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:25 pm

The Hunter Killers would be able to do a lot of damage to any Minbari capital ship, if they could get through the Nials.
A similar plot point could be the Centauri, aka the Drakh, secretly supplying advanced technology to the Orieni to aid in their war against the Minbari.
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Postby Burger » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:35 pm

Servents of the Shadows supplying servents of the Vorlons? I think not!
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Postby Locutus9956 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:19 pm

The Minbari protectorate had some Minbari fleet ships protecting them but just to clarify: The protectorate is NOT Minbari, its a bunch of other minor races/colonies under Minbari protection. The Minbari gave them some older ships to defend themselves with so they wouldnt have to devote much of their fleet there but they did NOT give them their stealth technology as they did not want to risk it falling into the wrong hands!
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Postby demiurge » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:51 pm

Yeah, the protectorate isn't the Minbari. It does have access to some Minbari hulls, sans jammers/stealth - mostly smaller and older models. Even Raiders have had some significant successes against the Protectorate in the past. If the Orieni had rebuilt anywhere near their previous abilities, they would be far more than the Protectorate could handle by itself. Also one of the plot points is that the Orieni had absorbed two minor but no less potent races into itself during the Great Crusade era - the Usuuth and Rogolons.

The protectorate was an AOG invention for Showdowns-3 IIRC. So it's lack of jammers is as canon as any of these wargames gets.

If you are interested more in the Orieni than check out www.richbax.com - he's one of the original developers, and has two or three supplements out for that era (around now real time, actually) for many different B5 races, including the Abbai, Drazi, Vree and Raiders. Rich also did the Drakh counters, and has done some ACTA work - hopefully he'll do more as he has time. Excellent game designer.

Alexb3 - I don't think we really know whether Minbari military strength was affected after the Shadow war. Yes, they do give the ISA support, but we also aren't seeing a lot of new innovation from them for their own designs. I think it's safe to say that they are experiencing a cultural rennaissance, but one of the points of the ascension of the Worker class to dominate the Grey Council was that their warriors acted dishonorably and had sullied their standing. I would expect a decrease in military funding after that - probably huge gains in infrastructure and industrial capability, so if the Minbari were threatened switching over to a war time economy would if anything be easier.

But a reasonable assumption that money was being funnelled away from the Warrior caste requests and more funding for a joint ISA venture would mean less overall resources for the military.

Pure speculation, I agree, and you could make a case for other responses. But I think it makes sense given the information we have.
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Postby demiurge » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:59 pm

Burger - not quite that simple. Orieni aren't servants of the Vorlons - they want to be, but evidentally were found wanting. The Vorlons ignored them.

And the Drakh did support them before - actually getting involved on both sides of the war, manipulating events some both powers came off weaker than before. They helped arrange House Smyna to rise up against the Empire, and also arranged for the assassination of the Emperor.

In the final days of the war they promised to ally with the Orieni. While they wouldn't attack the Centauri directly, they promised to garrison Orieni planets, allowing the Orieni to launch one last attack to knock the Centauri out of the war. When that failed and their forces were depleted, a vengeful Centauri came storming back after them and found - nothing. The promised garrison ships disappeard into hyperspace, leaving the Orieni capital almost completely defenseless. Remember also that even 200 years later the Minbari didn't know who the Drakh were - they were extremely stealthy and subtle as befitting their role as the foremost servitor race of the Shadows.

The Orieni would never trust the Drakh again, but might not realise who it was that was aiding them. And it would fit the Drakh's pattern to attempt to manipulate them into attacking the Minbari.

Another fun alternative would be the Orieni finding another religion to follow. Perhaps not all of the Ancient Ones actually left. Imagine if they became devotees of a Kirishiac Lord.... :)

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