Introduction To Black Sun Part Two – Monsters & Military

March 12, 2019 by dracs

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Lee of Crucible Crush returns for the second part of his articles series introducing us to the world of Black Sun, which is currently on Kickstarter.

Introduction to Black Sun Part Two - Monsters And Military

This time, we learn about the different factions battling it out in a Vietnam War gone weird.

Find Part One Here

In designing the Black Sun universe, we are not trying to limit anyone’s imagination or perspective of what figures or factions they would like to play. As it is pretty open, ultimately any force that moved through southeast Asia in the history of the earth could be a possible faction to use in Black Sun. The rules are quite flexible and if you know the background of our system, first published in Flint and Feather, you could use forces from any era. That being said, we are providing a list of forces that are considered canon in our version of Black Sun.

This list is not an exhaustive list either. Many players have already asked for certain troop types or forces to be added to our growing list of figures and we have some ideas about how the future of the Black Sun universe will unfold.

The US Army

Although these figures can be used for US Marines as well, for our purposes we have named them US Army. One of the main stories already being worked on for Black Sun has a unit of the 4th Engineering Division along with support from the 4th Infantry Division in an operation on the Ho Chi Minh Trail when they are swept into the Black Sun Event. These soldiers are followed by North Vietnamese troops which were protecting the trail. There are actually not many mainline units that interacted with the Ho Chi Minh Trail. However, Montagnards, Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols, and Green Berets with local ARVN troops would also be valid units to have cross over to the Black Sun Event. All this being said, it is a fantasy, so if you want General William Westmoreland himself to cross over then feel free to act this out in your own tabletop game.

The 4th Engineers were lucky enough to find a cavern complex which had once been a Lemurian temple. They currently inhabit this complex, using it as a base of operations to figure out what has happened to them and try to get home. These troops are the newest entry to the Black Sun Event, so their technology has become the dominant equipment, giving those who armed with it an advantage in combat and the upper hand in the current situation.

The soldiers have quickly picked up on the use of Lemurian technology and have put the “Bus Stop” technology to several trials, trying to get back home to the real Earth. These experiments have not always brought about the best results, and have not lead to their escape at this point in time.

Typical US Army soldiers are armed with the M-16 Assault Rifle and an assortment of other equipment including grenades, 40mm grenade launchers, M-60 machineguns, and shotguns. They are also armored with flak vests, giving them a little bit better survivability than their NVA counterparts.

The faction brings the advantage of Superior Firepower to the tabletop. This advantage gives them a bonus when choosing equipment for their troops.

The Viet Cong

This faction allows you to include the Viet Cong militia in your tabletop games. The Ho Chi Minh Trail was organized, protected, and maintained by the 559th Transportation Group of the North Vietnamese Army. The unit was organized into bases, spaced up and down the trail, called “Binh Tram", and each one was responsible for the upkeep and protection of a section of the trail. These comm-liaison units were responsible for housing, logistics, and medical care of transportation personal or trucks moving up and down the trail. In this way, a truck would have a distance to cover each day with a rest spot at the end before waking up the next day and doing it all again. Each day the comm-liaison base would send out a guide, or guides, who would travel back down the trail for about half a day, and meet the troops coming down the trail from the North.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was in a constant state of interdiction by US forces, both from the air, on the ground, and through listening posts hidden on the jungle trails. That these soldiers and workers spent the entire duration of the war moving troops and supplies up and down the trail was in itself a feat of logistical greatness. Many of the workers on the trail were also Cambodian men, women, and children pressed into the service of the Vietnamese cause. Units of NVA soldiers, engineers, trucks, bicycles, and supplies, along with Cambodian refugees could all be part of the Viet Cong faction in the Black Sun event.

The Viet Cong units are also relatively new to the Black Sun event, although your units may have been there years before the Americans have shown up as they were active on the Ho Chi Minh Trail for years before actual US Soldiers showed up in Cambodia. In fact, the time flow into and out of the Black Sun event shouldn’t be considered linear. Troops from later in the actual Vietnam War may show up previous to troops that have already been there for decades and vice versa. These kinds of events will be handled in the Campaign Rules of the Black Sun game.

The Viet Cong troops bring the AK-47 Assault Rifle and the SKS Auto Rifle with them to Black Sun, but they are also armed with an assortment of old French bolt action rifles and can have submachine guns dating back to WWII. This was typical of the troop armament during the war as many different types of assorted weapons made their way into the conflict in Vietnam.

The faction brings the advantage of Hidden Units to the tabletop. This advantage gives them a greater ability to move into and out of Ambush in the tabletop game.

The Adaro

They are called “Frogs” by the American Soldiers that have come to Black Sun, but their true name originates from the mythology of the Solomon Islands, which purports to a malevolent merman-like sea spirit. Regardless of where the name stems from, the Adaro are a race of fish-like humanoids. Male and female humans have been forced to breed with the Adaro in the past, producing hybrid offspring which have the appearance of normal humans in early life but, in adulthood, slowly transform into Adaro themselves and leave the surface to live in ancient undersea cities.

The Adaro have an undersea civilization populated in the Mekong River, which also traverses the Black Sun Event. They are one of the originating species of the event, in that as much as they know they have existed in Black Sun since the ancient past of their species. They do not have a recollection of the Lemurians, but are familiar with the event and its environs. They are a wiry and tough lot, but move much better underwater than they do on dry land.

The Adaro are divided into many different clans or groups within the Black Sun Event and may or may not be friendly to one another. They have recovered weapons and equipment in the past, but they also obtain weapons from human sources. The Adaro know that the items that appear at any given transportation machine reflect the culture or ethnicity of the people operating the machine.

They therefore require allies among the other groups in order to receive modern earth technology or weapons. To this end, various groups of Adaro have made treaties or deals with groups of human to access human modern technology. They generally keep human friends, or captives, with their clans in order to operate the “Bus Stops” for them. In the past, these allies have been North Vietnamese as they have been in the Black Sun Event for much longer than any other human faction.

This has led to interbreeding among Adaro and Humans which seems to provide access to different goods and material for a time, at least until the hybrid succumbs to their Adaro genetics and become true Adaro.

The Adaro, when armed with modern weapons, use the AK-47 Assault Rifle. They can also be armed with an assortment of old French bolt action rifles and weapons dating back to WWII. Ancient swords, spears and their own claws and teeth are also common weapons.

This faction brings the advantage of Toughness to the tabletop. This advantage gives them the ability to ignore their first “Out of Action” test when wounded in the tabletop game. They also lose 1” of movement when on dry land and move normally when in water.

The Fury Bugs

The Fury Bugs are a faction that makes use of mental powers. They use of telekinesis to work, fashioning items by sculpting objects with their mind. Their culture is dominated by telepathy and they operate on the battlefield like a hive mind. They have become known as Fury Bugs due to the fact that they change from a sanguine green colour to a violent red hue when angered. The Adaro and the Bugs strive for domination in the jungles and highlands of Black Sun. The Adaro prize the Bugs, especially the larvae, as an important food source.

The Bugs have a fascinating life cycle that starts in the swamps and ponds that lie in the lowlands and valleys of the Mekong River, or its equivalent that flows through Black Sun. Here they are born moving from an egg state in the shallow waters to live in the trees and foliage of the jungle until they get big enough to migrate into the hills that make up the highlands of the Black Sun Event. Many of the Fury Bugs are harvested in their larvae state, among the swamps and trees of the lowlands by the Adaro. This predation has forever brought the wrath of the Fury Bugs down upon the Adaro.

There are various clans, colonies, or city states in the highlands, depending on how each particular group of Fury Bugs thinks of themselves. Various groups of Bugs have fashioned tunnels and sculpted great meeting rooms in the hills to the north of the river delta valleys. It is here that the Fury Bug culture and society thrives. These tunnels house art, mostly sculptures made by the people's past and present.

It is also home of the Royal Chamber, once used by the first Fury Bugs to bring the people together out of the earth and into the burrows of tunnels that house the civilization. Here the development of their culture thrived for generations. Being a hive-minded race, the idea of an immediate family is inconceivable to them. Rather the Fury Bugs developed the power of the collective as a source of cohesion to bring the race together as singular power.

The Bugs consider the Halls around the Royal Chamber as sacred ground and when on it the collective is of the utmost importance.

The lifecycle of the Fury Bugs ends when they are ready to multiply. By this time in its life cycle, the Fury Bug will be large and intelligent. They have considerable amounts of wisdom and experience to draw upon and pass to the collective. As their time to multiply draws near, they will travel back down the hills and into the swamps or bogs and here they will die as the young within them burrow to the surface and then consume the remains of the Bug they were born from.

The Fury Bugs have a telekinesis assault they can use to cause the ground to open up and be flung at their opponents. This faction is also very deadly at Close Combat, closing with enemies and swarming over their opponents. They activate more easily than other factions using the Hive Mind column on the Activation Table. The faction brings the advantage of Fast Moving to the tabletop. This advantage gives them an extra D6 of movement when taking a Run Action.

As well, the Black Sun Universe has many physical laws that differ fundamentally from our Universe. The Fury Bugs understand and can take advantage of many of these aspects of the Black Sun reality.

Return next week for Part Three, where Lee takes us through some of the rules for Black Sun and find out more about Black Sun on its Kickstarter.

Which of these factions catches you interest most?

By Lee VanSchaik

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