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- Abnormal Ammo: Oh boy, where to START?
- The African League fire mutated chickens and razor-sharp diamond dust.
- The Combine utilize exotic particles, irradiated accelerated particles, and bacteria that EAT metal.
- The Industrial Guild likes to fire spiked steel balls at their enemies. Also exploding ship containers.
- The Contingent have Metalstorm Rounds - bullets that "explode" into shards of depleted uranium when they hit their target, turning into a close-range shotgun blast.
- A Commander Is You: They too have a variety of faction principles.
- African League: The Mario and Ranger. High ranged units with multiple uses and no conventional tiers, but all in all not very strong.
- Technocratic Combine: Ranger/Technical. High range and armor overall, but low damage per second and slow expansion hampers offensive capabilities and requires alternative means of gathering strength through various upgrade paths.
- Industrial Guild: Industrial Superiority. Units can be made in both the Quality and Quantity flavor and are made to win a battle in one rush.
- Southern Contingent: Classic Brute Force. Most things are powerful, but speed and durability are only secondary.
- American Unionists: A mix of Technical and Unit specialist. Their infantry might be powerful, but requires garrisons to work at the maximum effigency. They also have shades of "Industrial"-gimmick, since they can build their fragile bases fastly.
- Greater Indian Commonwealth: Spammer/Unit Specialist. Large numbers of infantry divided into several different catagories, with vehicles for support instead of the center of the force.
- Cybernetic Federation: Support and Technical; many of their units need each other to be truly effective.
- Always Female: Commandos.
- The League and the Syndicate.
- The Pahit and the Guild.
- The American Unionists to the Soviet Union, and well, Communism in general
- Earth Is a Battlefield: Oh boy, is it ever...
- Punk Punk: While not as all-present as in Paradox, the Expanded Universe has a few:
- Technocratic Combine - Decopunk: Retro-futuristic technologies, Art Deco and Streamline Moderne aesthetics, pulp and noir influences, and World War 1 tactics.
- Industrial Guild - Industrial Punk: Heavily industrialized factory-cities, neovictorian stylings, Gilded Age safety standards.
- Cybernetic Federation - Transitor Punk: Wires, late 60s electric displays, and gauges reading how far until you're in the red
An African diamond mining mega corp, the African League have a thing for ancient Egyptian imagery and utilise a variety of high-range weaponry and sturdy technology to take parts of Africa under their control, which quickly prosper. Their biggest nemisis in terms of warfare as well as economy is the Mediterranean Syndicate, who happens to be their neighbor, globally speaking.
- African Terrorists: Subverted. The Emirates tend to quickly get rid of anyone trying to destabalize regions they have power in.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Khalid, the Sultan for the League, prefers to command armies himself as opposed to just letting people do it for him. He isn't a slouch in combat either, and that's before the fact he gets dibs on the best stuff.
- Beam Spam: The basic idea behind the Emirates's pulse laser technology. Taken to ridiculous extremes with the Scatterbeam Cannons, which are essentially Gattling Laser Shotguns. Beam Spam, indeed.
- Bulletproof Vest: A lot of League personnel are equipped with diamond-weave combat vests.
- City of Gold: Diamonds are an extremely plentiful material for the Emirates. Their cities do have gold and platinum as well, though.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Averted, due to the fact the League isn't quite advanced enough to pull this off yet. Their aesthetic is still too bulky, but it's heading in this direction.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Diamonds are not only pretty to look at, this faction generates electrical power with diamonds and lasers.
- Guns Akimbo: The Emmissary wields dual ramjet pistols.
- Humongous Mecha: The War Derricks. Especially the Anansi War Derrick.
- LEGO Genetics: League Mutagens end up applying under this, even though the Emirates don't have particular control over the DNA itself.
- Mechanical Monster: The Anansi War Derrick - it's a huge mechanical spider.
- Mega Corp.
- More Dakka: Pretty much the idea with the Volley-based weapons. Somewhat overlaps with Gatling Good as well.
- Psycho Serum: When League mutagens on animals fail to work properly, it acts like this. Particularly with the uberchickens for the Akachi Bomber.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The League increasingly becomes this as their hatred for the Syndicate goes out of control.
Composed of the United Technate in Latin America and associated international groups, the Technocratic Combine was created in order to bring about Utopia and world peace as seen through the lens of 1930s Art Deco futurism. Though they greatly admire peace, they are fine with using violence, war, or questionable and dangerous means to achieve that end. Though still using outdated weapons and tactics from both World Wars 1 and 2, their capacity for scientific and technological improvement as well as their penchant for morale warfare allows them to offset their limited offensive capabilities.
- Alluring Anglerfish: Not an actual anglerfish, but a fifty-foot long viperfish.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant Ants, Genevieve's giant spider, everything from Project Bone Sword...
- Biopunk/Dieselpunk: Ottensian Dieselpunk is the heart of their aesthetic with Art Deco buildings, Streamline Moderne vehicles, and an optimistic view of the future, while Biopunk features in their more questionable areas.
- Combat Pragmatist: Trench, chemical, biological, and psychological warfare are all used, both in-game and in lore.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Bat bombs, pidgeon missiles, mole mines, head-sized wasps, GIANT ANTS, enraged chimpanzees...noting a pattern?
- For Science!: DUH!
- Gaia's Vengeance: They use more animals and other living organisms in their forces than any other faction.
- Mad Scientist: Subverted AND Double Subverted. Subverted in that the Combine appear to be mentally sound in how they approach using and handling the efforts of their mad science and logically explain their reasons for doing so, and doubly subverted by the fact that their logic is often severely distorted or paradoxical.
- Mother Nature, Father Science: Averted. Animals, plants, and other living organisms figure heavily in their warfare, even their robots.
- Terror Hero: Types 3 and 4, attempting to become Type 5 with the (distorted) logic that if everyone is too scared to fight you, then no one will want to and there'll be no more war.
- The Roaring '20s: Takes the trope and runs into the distant retro-future with it.
- Utopia Justifies the Means
- The Plague: The Fungal Zombies, which can turn infantry they kill into more Fungal Zombies.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The goals of the Combine are the unification of humanity and the progress of technology to increase the standard of living and end war, poverty, suffering, etc. They're willing to delve into some pretty questionable or dangerous areas to achieve those goals, and anyone who voices dissent is therefore in their minds being against humanity's wellbeing...
A revolutionary group with a love for Victorian stuff, the Industrial Guild are based in Indonesia. Huge numbers of willing soldiers and tanks equipped with all sorts of classic weaponry fight for freedom. With huge factories guzzling out material and smoke alike, the Guild reuse many classic designs.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Sleuths and inventors are generally seen as superior officers.
- Battle Butler: The Butler Battle Car. .
- BFG: The Nemo Cannon.
- Car Fu: Quite a lot of it, if only for the Montgomery Transport.
- Cartoon Bomb: The Brickston is an example.
- Cool Airship: A fleet of them! Literally. The ultimate Mascot of the Guild airship fleet is probably the Taylor, a battleship lifted into the air.
- Cool Hat: Top hats aplenty.
- Cool Plane: The Guild use Biplanes. Their effectiveness is dubious, however.
- Drill Tank: Turner.
- Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age: They have quite a few of those.
- Fast Tunnelling: Pops up in multiple ways. an obvious way would be the Lyell, a less obvious one would be all the protocols involving mining activities.
- Forklift Fu: Lifters, though technically not forklifts but DAF ponies, count. apart from them, an entire branch is dedicated to supporting your army with heavy mining vehicles, which occasionally do this.
- High-Class Glass
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Arguably, the Guild have the tendency to do this. A proper example would be the Waste bomber, the end product of their whole Biggeris Better philosophy. * Parasol of Pain:their commando,Victoria uses a shotgun disguised as a parasol. * Sapient Cetaceans: they have made an alliance with sperm whales in exchange for protecting the whale`s territory. * Ramming Always Works: Plenty of units.
- Steam Punk / Diesel Punk
- The Aesthetics of Technology
- We Have Reserves: Subverted. Despite the Guild's ability to gain massive numbers of units, they prefer to build up until they know they can win a battle the first time but they do not spend more material than needed.
A coalition of Australia, New Zealand, and a few surrounding states, the Southern Contingent were part of the Allied Nations but refused further cooperation to ensure survival on their own. Instead, they build up their own military force, using gunslinger cowboys, aircraft, and gravitational manipulation with great efforts. Good on defense and offense alike, the Contingent can react fast on various dangers and prove that their region of the world is dangerous for quite a few reasons.
- Artificial Gravity: One of the Contingent's major technological advances.
- Cool Starship: Somewhat subverted. Atmospheric command is, as the name implies, not in space.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: In a more mundane form, Depleted Uranium.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: ...If you are in the Contingent's way.
- Gravity Master: The Contingent have complete mastery over gravity.
- Gravity Sucks: Inverted, gravity pulls. That said, it can still rip a building to pieces...
- Irony: The Contingent missed out on discovering nuclear fission, but noticed Depleted Uranium's use as a weapon. Nowadays, they keep the "valuable" depleted Uranium while disposing of the "useless" enriched stuff!
- Improbable Weapon User: The Contingent use cannonballs with some of their units. This is aided by the fact that said cannon balls are made of depleted Uranium and gravity-guided, however.
- Kill Sat: Subverted. Their version of a Kill Sat is within the atmosphere.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: All Contingent weapons (bar the occasional gravity weapon or grenade) are kinetic. Not only that, they hit HARD, thus playing this trope straight.
- Land Down Under
- Laser Sight: Of a sort: instead of lasers, particle beams are used, which have the benefit of hurting the thing you are aiming at.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: The Southern Contingent is comprised of Australia... and New Zealand.
- New Old West
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Since the Contingent sees enriched Uranium as useless, the stuff they don't bury is sold to "American research colleges", who have a great interest in the stuff. Three guesses who they are.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: However, said research colleges find depleted Uranium useless, and so when they produce it they send it to Australia to get rid of it...
- Ramming Always Works: The Sawfish, which explodes like a shotgun when striking something.
- Roboteching: The Contingent uses gravity manipulation to fire CANNONBALLS this way.
- Selective Gravity: One of the advantages of controlling gravity. The Contingent use this to the point that their command centers, certain high-level military equipment, and even a Kill Sat equivalent in the upper atmosphere.
- Shiny-Looking Spaceships: Averted, as with the Space Western style.
- Shiny New Australia: Subverted. While the Southern Contingent was formerly part of the Allies and is apparently under Talon control, they are VERY unwilling to fall into the hands of anyone else.
- Space Western: Apart from the "space" part. They are working on it, though.
- Stand Your Ground
An American Civil Defense Force created for the sole purpose of Americanism and the stomping out of Communist influence in the USA. After being all but diminished in the early 60s, they became revitalized after Moskovin's failed invasion of New York and the Rise of the Confederate Rebellion. The CIA (American Sub Division of the ACIN) has taken a great intrest in this group, and has been secretly integrating it more and more into their control. Only time will tell where that will lead...
- Dirty Communists: They are trying to save the world from them! Problem is that their idea of what is communist is a bit wider than many others...
- Eagleland: Stradles a fine line between the two flavors.
- Government Conspiracy: The modus operandi of American Unionists.
- Manchurian Agent: Named "Guam Candidates" for the testing done on Imperial prisoners on Guam.
- More Than Mind Control: They use post-hypnotic suggestion to train their troopers.
- Stepford Suburbia: A faction of it.
Greater Indian Commonwealth
Focusing on a specialized branch unaffected by Allied Nation's regulations, the GIC has invaded Pakistan and other surrounding nations for the goal of supporting the massive numbers of poor that are part of the national population with their new Frontier Corps. They have also started taking evidence from their Reservist expeditions to what remains of China for technologies to scavenge to improve their war machine.
Exploratory elements of a "Meritocratic" society that has slowly deformed into a social Darwinistic and deeply totalitarian society, the Imilki Ecumene both use and subvert most common alien invader tropes and have come to our world. Officially the fleet parked around Jupiter is there to engage in a rather destructive method of combating creative sterility by observing, probing, and disturbing new found societies before paving the way for an eventual conquest fleet for assimilation. But it's quite difficult for the average Ecumenical Citizen to determine what is and isn't true in an ancient government with a depth of information control that Oceania of 1984 fame could only dream of.
- Alien Invasion: A decidedly nonstandard Alien invasion, starting at first with subversive techniques, and then escalating too much more full-scale assaults as time goes along.
- The Social Darwinist: What they actually are when you peer past the claims of equality and egalitarianism. Certain figures such as Vra'Kul'Mal exemplify this much more strongly than others.
- Sliding Scale Of Liberterianism And Authoritarianism: Strongly towards the Authoritarian end. There are few checks and balances against those higher in the meritocratic ladder against those below them save for their own superiors. The assumption is that as everyone is where they should be due to the efficiency of their merit determining computers; there's little reason to question the judgment of your superiors, they're superior to you after all.
- Space Nazis: Not quite in terms of aesthetic, but they certainly lean heavily towards it in terms of being totalitarian social Darwinists.
- State Sec: The Enforcers are a shining example of this trope, possessing a completely separate chain of command from the observational and military forces, being given broad and sweeping powers in both military and civilian fields, functioning as one of several kinds of secret police in the Ecumene, and being comprised out of those who value loyalty over morality. Though lacking in-game units, the Enforcers are noted to have distinctive black and green uniforms.
The eventual result of Paradox's many, many conspiracies, the Network are essentially your local conspiracy theorist packed up for war. Everyone from survivalists to storm chasers are part of the Network, centered around the mysterious "Third Eye".
- Cassandra Truth: Sure, they might be on some points, but still...
- Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Where do we even begin...
- While they are right about quite a few things, like the existence of the Electrical Protectorate, the war between the Order and the Cult, and the fact that the Imilki Ecumene is secretly observing them. They also believe that World War II was staged, Cherdenko is a super-psychic, the Shogun Executioner's destruction of Odessa was filmed on set, the African League made a pact with aliens made of crystal...
- Historical-Domain Character: Art Bell acts as one of the Network's leading voices.
The Phoenix Front
The result of the Syndicate seizing power in Belfast, the Phoenix Front is the result of Irish Republicans and British Unionists focusing their collective anger on the Syndicate and Allied Nations that allowed the takeover of Belfast to occur, though no one has quite factored in how long it will take to achieve victory.
- Arms Dealer: Of the gangland gunrunner variety.
- Cold Sniper: The Front's snipers aren't as technical as the other factions, but they're just as skilled with their weapons and can even upgrade to an anti-materiel rifle.
- Fighting Irish
- We ARE Struggling Together: Only in Paradox would the original factions of Northern Ireland even consider coming together.
Arabian Socialist Government