Crisis in Elysium
by Alex Beck
29th February - London Irish Centre, Camden
£30 per player
It is the early 22nd Century; Mars has been colonised for over fifty years and is now home to nearly two million people. The first attempts at terraforming the planet are underway to create a new home for all of humanity, yet the world stands on the brink of civil war and all that has been achieved could soon be lost.
After years of growing resentment and violence, groups of radicals and revolutionaries are gathering in the planet’s capital city, Elysium. Each group is pushing their own vision for the future of Mars. These range from a pristine independent Mars free from terraforming, to an anarcho-communist paradise. Each group is vying to win over the population and silence their rivals with political rhetoric and, if necessary, violence.
“In another week of demonstrations, shootings and kidnappings, the bombing outside the Olympus Mons Transit Terminal was particularly shocking, with over thirty dead and dozens injured. Red Mars have claimed responsibility, stating that the high speed rail link to the mountain is an abomination against nature.”
BBC News Report, 12th January 2113 (Earth Date)
Meanwhile the most powerful Governments on Earth wish to retain their control over the colony and have deployed military forces to the city to ensure that in the chaos none of their influence is lost, either to the radicals or to other governments. For the moment, these forces are constrained by their rules of engagement and tightly defined objectives yet, as the violence increases, their home governments are likely to allow them greater and greater latitude to act.
“It is estimated that more than two dozen separate groups form the Utopian organisation. However we rate only New Ares and the Martian Revolutionary Front as high level threats and are recommending that only they are targeted by additional intelligence assets and Tier 1 operations.”
USNA Intelligence Briefing, author, date and recipient unknown
In the midst of all this chaos, the Martian Colonial Authority (the MCA) tries to maintain peace and find some kind of long-term settlement. They are hampered by an increasingly corrupt and brutal police force, a lack of real authority and the malign influence of so-called “loyalist” radical groups.
Tension has been increasing for months, and just days ago there was a huge bombing at the Elysium Spaceport. Hundreds of MCA and Earth Government employees were killed, and dozens of ships were destroyed. No one knows who was responsible and none of the major groups have claimed responsibility. The Governments blame them all equally and radical groups are more than ready to take advantage of the current instability. Elysium, and the whole of Mars, is now just one step away from civil war.
“We were not responsible for the bombing of the Elysium City Spaceport and we do not condone the murder of innocent Martian workers in the act. However the Earther oppressors must know this will keep happening until they leave and grant the people the freedom that is their birth right! Free Mars!”
Green Mars statement to the Martian Media
The teams in Crisis in Elysium are as follows:
United States of Northern America (USNA) - A rich and democratic nation which covers much of North America and parts of the Caribbean. Publicly committed to peace and prosperity for all, though privately often more interested in creating new markets on Mars and securing interplanetary trade routes.
European Union (EU) - A united European nation that stretches from the Atlantic to beyond the Caucuses. Whilst democratic they have a reputation for covertly meddling in the affairs of other states in an attempt to create other nations in their image.
Greater Chinese Republic (GCR) - A nation that remains publicly committed to an out-dated communism, whilst also embracing capitalism with a fervour that embarrasses older converts. Such political philosophy is in practice irrelevant to the key goal of using economic and military pressure to extend the control and power of the nation’s ruling class.
Federated States of India (FSI) - A nation defined and dominated by commerce - every action whether political, diplomatic or military is designed to further FSI commercial interests. Any deal or agreement is acceptable as long as in brings in profit,
Red Mars - A radical group dedicated to the protection of the Martian ecosystem, stopping all terraforming and ensuring it remains in a “pristine” state. They think human impact on Mars should be minimal and that humanity should adapt to the planet, the small numbers living there changing to fit Mars, not the other way around. Considered by many to be violent extremists they nonetheless have the support of many first generation colonists.
Green Mars - Green Mars are the most mainstream of all the radical groups with the aim to create a fair, democratic, capitalist and terraformed Mars. This would create few issues for many Earth governments if it were for not for the wish that such a society should be on an independent planet, free of control from Earth.
Utopians - A varied group of political visionaries, anarchists and violent extremists who see the new world of Mars as the place to begin a new era for Humanity. Their exact methods and vision for this utopia differ quite widely within the group meaning they are often poorly coordinated, but for the moment they happily work together to complete the immediate goal of breaking free of Earth.
One Humanity - This radical group are unusual in that they are fighting for Mars to remain on its current course. They are loyal to the MCA and wish to retain close links to Earth, currently fighting to stop an independent Mars and end all of the ideologies the radicals are pushing. Predominantly supported by those with most to lose from a change in way Mars is ruled.
The Church of the True Martians - A radical religious group who believe in a race of aliens who once lived on Mars and are just waiting for an opportunity ot return. Many consider them slightly unhinged but they have growing numbers of supporters across Mars and are becoming increasing violent in their rhetoric and calls to purge the unbelievers...
The Martian Colonial Authority (MCA) - Originally created to manage the first multinational colonisation efforts of Mars, the MCA has subsequently become the main governmental body for the planet. It controls and manages key infrastructure facilities in Elysium and across Mars. They are also responsible for providing local security and policing on the planet via the Elysium City Police Department (ECPD), who are the largest armed group on Mars. However the MCA and ECPD are riven by factionalism, corruption and split loyalties.
Martian Daily News - The premier news service on Mars who will try to make sense of the chaos and deliver the facts to the people of Elysium.
What Kind of Megagame is it?
Crisis in Elysium has rules of moderate complexity with some background material to be read. Gameplay is split fairly evenly between operational elements, where players are using various units on the three maps of Elysium, and political elements, where discussions agree the future of Mars. Most roles fit predominantly into one element, though all will have the opportunity to explore all parts of the game along with their teammates.
Sign Up to Crisis in Elysium
The game is on the 29th February at the London Irish Centre in Camden, London and we are taking sign-ups now. Just complete the form below letting us know you are interested in playing and if you have any preference in team or role. We absolutely welcome team sign ups too - so if you want to play with a group of friends that let us know all their names and email addresses at the same time.
As with all our games a player role is priced at £30 for the whole day (those selected for Control will play for free) - you can sign up now and we'll ask for payment about two months before the event. This delay is included to ensure players are still able to play the game and avoid unnecessary cancellations. However it is still possible to cancel after payment and you can read our refund policy here.
As with all our games we will be sending out the cast list a month before the game and handbooks two weeks before the game.