“Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah.” -David Bowie
In writing a blog about a topic, you usually expect that people will have at least a vague familiarity with the subject matter. I'm not going to make that assumption with this blog one iota, because as every person who knows about wars is well aware: most people have no idea what it is. The name WARS itself is a bit of a puzzle: it doesn't connote anything in particular about what the wars going on in WARS are. Why is it in all capital letters? Is it an acronym? Worst off, it doesn't actually tell you that the setting is in any way science fiction, or hint at the interesting parts of the setting that have nothing to do with WARS at all. So those of us who are fans of WARS are stuck trying to explain a property which doesn't even explain itself well, and which when typed into Google brings up mostly Star Wars references. So what is WARS? And why should you care?
WARS is science fiction universe, card game, roleplaying game, series of stories, soundtrack album, and series of unrealized dreams set in the year 2391. In this future, pretty much all of Asia has left Earth to colonize Mars after a giant meltdown of a series of computer linked nuclear power plants all running off of the same program. With all of Asia an irradiated mess, Earth sends the survivors en-mass to Mars where they form a new society, turn communist, let a computer run their entire planet, built some giant robots, and then throw a revolution because who liked Earth anyways. The Gongen military promptly takes up their role as space samurai with jetpacks with honor.
Earth, which is a planet-wide corporatocracy run by a company called the CGC (the Central Governance Corporation) doesn't like that, and so it sends its navy of spaceships to try to retake Mars. Unfortunately, they didn't anticipate the giant robots, and the benefit of your military planning being done by a computer big enough to run a planet, and get their asses handed to them despite their soldiers dressing like Megaman. This victory by Mars is called the battle of Phobos. Mars then renames itself Gongen, gives a lot of patriotic speeches, and probably re-instates Pluto as a planet since within the WARS Universe everyone says it is.
Meanwhile on the Rim, a wide variety of gangs, pirates, smugglers, and simple folk trying to make their way in the universe called Mavericks go about their business doing crime and making money. In more than one way, they are cyborg cowboys. Some of them scam one or both sides during Phobos, and fly off in their spaceships into the sunset, but not literally into the sunset because its space and I'm not even sure that exists there. Earth shakes its immaterial fist at them, and vows it will wrangle those lawless thugs into order and maybe also mine the asteroids and moons they are on while they are at it.
But everything changes when the Mumon Rift opens.
The three factions, Earhers, Gongen, and Mavericks all assumed they only had to worry about each other, and planned their wars accordingly. Unfortunately for all of them, none of them could have seen a giant tear in reality appearing in the middle of space, glowing blue and brilliant in the darkness, and spewing out alien spacecraft and an entire new world. Now the Solar System has a 10th Planet, Seyal, home to a bunch of dolphin-skinned floating telepathic aliens called the Shi who are nearly immortal due to having nano-bots that repair their bodies and have spent untold millenia cutting open rifts in reality in order to pose as gods and take over the worlds of “lesser” species.
Lucky for us, they're not doing so hot because they're closely followed by the Quay, a species giant radiation filled insects that were enslaved by the Shi, but just got their revenge a few minutes ago when they blew up the Shi's sun. The Shi responded by cutting the biggest hole in reality they could and popping their whole planet through to escape. Usually the holes close, but this one didn't, though no one who has tried to go back through it has come back again. So essentially the Shi and Quay are both stuck here in our solar system, the Shi's planet isn't doing so hot from going through the Rift and they want a new one, the Quay want to kill the Shi at any cost, and basically everyone is at war with everyone.
But something else funny happened when the Rift opened: people started getting superpowers. The people who got them, now called Kizen, are suddenly able to do things far beyond the capabilities of a normal person, from sending thoughts to each other, to shooting lightning out of their hands, suddenly all of the rules of what being human means have shifted. The time is ripe for change, for opportunity, and for conquest. That's the setting of WARS, and that's where we begin.
In this blog we will be exploring the history of WARS as it was developed and released, going through every story, card set, and roleplaying book released for the game, with a few pit stops along the way for other topics. If you want to learn about WARS, this is a good place to start, and if you already know about it, we should be able to teach you something.
About the Blog:
This blog will be posted a minimum of three times a week, monday-wednesday-friday. Posts will range in topics from analysis of the Short stories released about WARS, to the Card Sets, Roleplaying Games, and Novellas, as well as a few other pertinant topics. A schedule of Blog posts will follow soon, but here is what is coming soon:
- Monday, July 7th: WARS: An Introduction
- Wednesday, July 9th, WARS TCG announced to Launch
- Friday, July 11th, Welcome to WARS Radio!
- Monday, July 14th: A Matter of Life or Death, by Michael Stackpole
- Wednesday, July 16th: Followers Have Neither Peace Nor Rest, by Michael Stackpole
- Friday, July 18th: Even in Defeat, a Beautiful Performance, by Michael Stackpole.
This blog is heavily influenced by the work of Dr. Elizabeth Sandifer at her amazing blog Tardis Eruditorum, and it would amiss to not pay my respects to the great work she has done there.
I hope you enjoy this blog as it continues, and that you spread the word about WARS so everyone can join in in celebrating its wonderful 10th Anniversary!