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Treguard2

Mercenary Scum!

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So you're a great and all-powerful ruler with a burgeoning galactic empire. A payrolled mercenary, having the displeasure of depending on his services, has been ordered to stand down and await further instructions; last sightings of him settling on a nice little border world within your domain, tourist complex and everything. You'd even consider vacationing yourself were you not so busy in these trying times.

Now you're getting reports that the same outpost is on fire.

The little ***, left to his own devices for just two clicks has incited planet-wide unrest, costing untold amounts in both property damage and loss of life. It's an internal affairs catastrophe.

So: Why can't you just kill this clown? He's disgraced your empire and caused untold chaos.

A better question is then why oh why do I lose control of a planet when there is only a mercenary stationed there? I would understand were it to have become empty, as in susceptible to peaceful annexation and the like (having no political affiliation with me, the scum that they are), but neutral (sans control marker)? It boggles the mind. Especially since this is the confirmed ruling in the FAQ. Madness!

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A merc typically looks for his/her own benefit. This makes sense to me, as they are not to be trusted on their own. Why can't  you kill them? Well, you have no army to command to take out the order not to mention they're usually pretty elusive. They only thing you can do is stop paying them. 

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They look out for themselves, sure... but by inciting local unrest, essentially becoming an enemy of the state? If you're on the government payroll, the paper trail alone would make such an act suicide.

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Treguard said:

They look out for themselves, sure... but by inciting local unrest, essentially becoming an enemy of the state? If you're on the government payroll, the paper trail alone would make such an act suicide.

 

Exactly, this mercenary ruling is ridiculously stupid. Why does the planet revert to Neutral Status because the Mercenary is present alone? Is it because you have no military presence? In which case, why wouldn't a planet revert to neutral status if you simply had control markers on it but no neutral units? The entire ruling implies that the Mercenary takes control of the entire planet all the while jumping ship. Because apparently it's in his as well as the planet's interest (???).

 

It is beyond stupid. It's double-digit IQ stupid. If it was deemed necessary to make Mercenaries a liability while alone, why not just make them abandon your cause? They've got payment but runs off with it. End of story. It fits the Merc concept and it punishes you (wasted Trade Good payment AND a complete waste of picking Trade III in the first place) severely. Making the planet revert to neutral is ludicrous.

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The funniest thing is, after screwing over a planet for, he's still technically on your payroll and will expect to get paid next trading phase! These mercs are downright psychotic!

I hope your digestive tract has been augmented to handle hot lasers, Mister Merc, as you'll be soon eating a lot of them. partido_risa.gif  

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I don't see a problem with it.  Mercenaries are historically unreliable.  If the money stops flowing or a better offer comes along, you should expect them to leave you hanging.  In the case of a planet, this makes sense.  If you don't have someone there keeping them in line they can effectively claim the planet with no resistance and gain it's resources for themselves - and even the worst planet's income is arguably more valuable than the tg you pay them with.

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The problem however is that this isn't triggered as part of any real negligence on your behalf, ie you failing to pay them. I could possibly see an argument for a powerful merc going rogue and setting a vendetta against you upon being jipped. However, this triggers any time they set foot on a planet with no ground forces (even the very first planet you place them on upon hiring!) and you don't lose the merc upon this occurring, so apparently it is par for the course of any mercenary dealing that I should possibly sit back and let one person upset control of an entire planet that had once been deemed safe? I would essentially be paying a mercenary to sack my own planet. This would be like Han Solo declaring himself king of Yavin IV when all the X-Wings were scrambled..

If this was the intent of the developers with mercs then they could have highlighted this rather potent risk with mercenaries in the manual a bit more than the sidenote it currently is (...oh by the way you'll lose a planet if they're ever left unattended)

Are we really supposed to believe that all mercenarys have such a rabid predeliction to mindless anarchy that they'll burn everything they touch without a minder present? Or maybe, just maybe, the ruling is incorrect?

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Or one could simply make sure that one doesn't leave a mercenary alone on a planet. Ever. After all they ARE capable of interstellar flight and you don't HAVE to land them on any planet. Besides, they can act as an extra destroyer by guarding against oncoming fleets.

Now if the mercenary-turns-your-planet-neutral effect happens due to an enemy attack (in the highly unlikely event the merc is the ONLY unit left on the planet after an invasion combat) or the AC "Local Unrest", that's a different thing alltogether. Then the merc is just doing what mercs do and plays it safe by leaving that dangerous place until the heat's off. I mean, who wouldn't?

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Iorveth said:

Treguard said:

 

They look out for themselves, sure... but by inciting local unrest, essentially becoming an enemy of the state? If you're on the government payroll, the paper trail alone would make such an act suicide.

 

 

 

Exactly, this mercenary ruling is ridiculously stupid. Why does the planet revert to Neutral Status because the Mercenary is present alone? Is it because you have no military presence? In which case, why wouldn't a planet revert to neutral status if you simply had control markers on it but no neutral units? The entire ruling implies that the Mercenary takes control of the entire planet all the while jumping ship. Because apparently it's in his as well as the planet's interest (???).

 

This seems more like a mechanics issue.  If Bounty Hunters could claim neutral planets, it would unbalance them terribly.  Having to get and carry around ground forces in a slow carrier is much more difficult than getting a Bounty Hunter who could freely go between land and space all by themselves.  You could complicate things by ruling-- okay, they can't claim planets for you, but if you already own the planet, then they can be there all by themselves and it's still your planet.  However, then you have this weirdness where sometimes a bounty hunger alone on a planet means you own it and sometimes it doesn't.  Sure, you may be able to use planet cards or be more careful with control markers, but that is rather sloppy exception to the standard rules.  

The only real problem seems to be thematic-- which is usually just a matter of using one's imagination.  I think it would be easier to conure thematic reasons, if this ever ends up happening, per the given situation, rather than making a catchall reason.  For example, the natives noticed the bounty hunter's role and take it as a sign of weakness or duplicity on the part of the controlling faction, so they rebel and become neutral.  Or perhaps in another situation the bounty hunter steals funds supporting the colony, and their loyalty depended on said funds.

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Thematically the neutrality-turning is not that unbelievable.

I mean, can you truly trust a mercenary? After all their loyalties lie to cold hard cash rather than political views.

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