on Aug 24, 2013

Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders offers three playable factions.


Sol Force: Sol Force is the empire of the Human race. The Ground Forces branch of the service was founded on January 21, 2408 to recruit and train security forces for off-world colonists and naval bases. During the Hiver War (2408-2436), the ranks and the field of operations for the Ground Forces branch increased enormously in scope, as the brave Ground Pounders fought multiple campaigns on over twenty planets and moons. By the time the Armistice of 2436 was signed, their heroic efforts had helped to forge the first interstellar empire and establish thirteen core colonies and multiple smaller outposts in the star systems surround Sol, the Human home system.

In terms of military doctrine, Sol Force units are designed for deployment in mutual support positions, concentrating on combined arms.  Spearhead assaults are most effective with a heavy armor point unit backed up by enveloping infantry.  Behind the point will come supporting artillery, which either aids in the offensive or provides the point unit with defensive fire support.  Vulnerabilities tend to be along the sides of the spearhead, where over-eager unit commanders may under-supply or even sacrifice fire support missions on the flank in favor of the tip.

Hivers: The Hivers are a race of eusocial aliens who resemble terrestrial insects, in particular the praying mantis. The First Contact between Humans and the Hiver race occurred on January 10, 2408, when Terra, he Human home world, was attacked and bombarded from orbit by a rogue Hiver fleet. Although the Human race managed to drive off their attackers by means of ballistic missiles, Sol Force declared war on the Hiver race immediately and pursued a genocidal campaign of vengeance which spanned almost 30 years of war across multiple worlds and star systems. When you play Ground Pounders as the Hiver faction, you will be assuming the role of one or more Prince Commanders tasked with the defense of the Hiver people.

The Hiver military is based on a web of mutually supporting units moving forward across a united front.  Where other races strive for the breakthrough, the Hiver military mind sees it as a tactic of last resort and finds comfort in a coherent and unbreakable front line.  When enemy units do manage a breakthrough, secondary Hiver units tend to englobe the intruders while heavy front line units move in from the flanks to seal the breach.  Many a Tarkasian or Human commander has been toasting a successful rupture of the Hiver lines only to have the ground slide out from under him and the sky fall on his head…


Tarkasian Empire: The Tarka are a reptilian race, first encountered by Sol Force in 2415 at the Battle of Kam’Kir. By the year 2417, despite early diplomatic efforts, full-blown hostilities had broken out between Sol Force and the Tarkasian Empire, and brutal planetary battles raged along the Tarkasian border for nearly twenty years, with more than one key colony exchanged before the Armistice stabilized the border between the two empires at Junction. When you play Ground Pounders as the Tarka faction you will be playing as the Han Faru, the “Star Cavalry”.

In terms of military doctrine, the Tarka Army is all about speed–achieving the breakthrough, and then going on the Hunt.  The Tarkasian High Command places great value on the destruction of enemy formations–almost more than they notice or care what those enemy formations actually consisted of, in terms of practical assets.  This can lead to some chaos and missed opportunities after a breakthrough, but it is often balanced out by how much damage is done to the enemy’s support units, given that Tarka units are faster than their Human or Hiver counterparts, and the Tarka have exceptional expertise in maintaining long supply lines. When a Tarka Warlord looks over Human military history, he doesn’t wonder why Moscow didn’t fall at the end of the first summer. He wonders why it didn’t fall in the first HALF of the first summer…