AT-43 is (well was) a Tabletop Game
and can by summed up as a Lighter and Softer
version of Warhammer 40,000
The story is centred around the human homeworld Ava, which, thanks to precursor artefacts, created a small (compared to other races; a mere 200+ planets) empire in a thousand years after finding them. However, Ava's first colony Hades, aggravated by Ava's total free marketing ideas (i.e. no workers' rights), revolted and turned
collectivist, taking fully half of Ava's colonies with them and renaming themselves the Red Blok. This forced Ava to cancel the debts of, and grant full membership into the U.N.A., to the remaining colonies in other to stop them from joining the revolt. Civil war soon followed.
Then the precursors showed up, with giant chain-smoking apes
with big guns.
Turns out the Therians, a race of Transhuman
Internet junkies are the real
humans having reached The Singularity
over half a million years ago. One of their pet projects happens to be taking over the universe in order to stop it from dying in about 25 billion years. They do this by seeding worlds with humans, giving them databases of information to speed up their development and waiting until the planet's resources are used up, whereupon the Therians come in and blow it up so they can use what's left to make a Dyson Sphere, which the Therians then move.
However they did not foresee the U.N.A. and the Red Blok joining forces and driving them out before they could destroy Ava, but not without a heavy price: the Red Blok lost a large bulk of its forces and half of Ava's population was killed by the Therians altering the planet to be more Earth-like. This marked the first time in over one hundred thousand years anyone had defeated the Therians. This event is known as The Trauma
to all parties involved.
43 years after The Trauma the U.N.A found the Therian world that launched the invasion (for a Therian it's more like a transport ship), Damocles.
The main factions of the game currently are:
- U.N.A.: the main "heroes" of the game. Basically Objectivist Americans, the Jacks of All Trades.
- Red Blok: The polar opposite of the U.N.A., i.e. Space Commies. Weak and inaccurate weapons but make up for it by sheer numbers and More Dakka (in addition, their walkers are tougher than the U.N.A.'s).
- Therian: The Big Bad of the game, all culture is based on MMORPGs and Internet forums, they have the most powerful and numerous units and weapons, but lack any form of effective strategy.
- Karmans: A race of giant apes created by the Therians. Very small numbers and fragile vehicles but most weapons have very high rate of fire and are very powerful.
- Cogs: Aliens that look like the Greys, whole race of clones and old enemies of the Therians, somewhat of the Glass Cannon of the armies.
- Oni: the local Mega Corp., hires their legions of zombies and mercenaries armed with U.N.A. and Therian weapons to anyone. Only faction so far with tanks.
- Krygs: An upcoming race, not much is know about them other than they fought the Therians and Karmans long ago, with the Karmans believing they'd killed them all.
Currently its company Rackham
has been liquidated, but Cyanide Studio has recently acquired the game along with Confrontation
another game from Rackham with the potential to make a new game from it just as they did with Confrontation.
AT-43 provides examples of:
- The Atoner: Most Karmans believe that they have a debt to the Therians for the creation of their species. The Nova faction believes this debt to have been payed after committing genocide on the Krygs.
- Abusive Precursors: The Therians are the ones who created the Karmans, and Humans in Ava. They have no problem with taking out any of them to achieve their goals.
- Awesome but Impractical: All Therian weapons are in fact this, they're still winning anyway.
- Bad Ass Boast: "Even if the entire universe united against us,note we will still come on top"
- Blood Knight: Therian Warroir Guild.
- Body-Count Competition: The only thing Cog Counter-Snipers talk about.
- Body Horror: Oni Zombies. New Born Cogs are often stated to have missing body parts (as they're going to be replaced by cybernetics anyway) ranging from their legs or a respiratory system to everything but their brain.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Urush is what amounts to transhuman Will Wright, making simulators that are often over the top because it's more entertaining, he's also one of the best tactical planners in the universe.
- Chekhov's Gun: Oni, Cogs and Krygs were all mentioned in the background long before their armies are released.
- Cloudcuckoolander: THE THERIANS. Honestly, the only reason why they fail at all is that they've forgotten how to properly apply military strategy (despite having a history of warfare behind them), and are more comfortable with letting the Karmans do their dirty work.
- Crack Fic: In-universe; Therians have one called "I love you, 01100010011000010110001001111001!" about a unit of Storm Arachns (12 mini Spider bots that blow up) falling in love with a Wraith Golgoth (Spider Tank). They enjoyed a long lasting relationship of 28 seconds.
- Companion Cube: Cog Gunmen are brainwashed into thinking their BFG is their only friend
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted for the most part, played a bit more straight with Cogs but only for their type 3 (who are 95% machine) but that's what brainwashing is for!
- Crapsaccharine World: Great place to live, everyone doesn't hate each up for the most part, no one is really evil, but there's the fact that Therians outnumber and outgun everyone by a factor of a billion to one and are only delaying their victory because war is too much fun.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: The UNA lives in this trope, there is a reason why their motto is "Better is Better".
- Enemy Mine: Both U.N.A and Red Blok joined forces temporarily to fend of the Therian invasion on Ava.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Urush was the head planner (kinda) of the invasion of Ava. When it failed, his punishment amounted to... all his Facebook friends taking him off their friends list. (Okay, it sounds silly to us, but in Therian society that makes him an Un-Person.)
- Genius Ditz: Since they think of war as a game, Therians often make some very stupid decisions. They have a literally infinite amount of tactical knowledge and resources to draw on, have the most advanced technology and aren't exactly lacking in the numbers department either, but they're too rash to properly apply these.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Given their general intentions, you could make the argument that the Therians are not that evil, and it's not like the other factions are saintly either. It's stated that they even allow those species that don't actively oppose their project to live.
- Guns Akimbo: Cogs and Karmans seem to like this.
- Instant A.I., Just Add Water: Babel was formed by UNA hackers messing around the EMI Grid (the Therian Internet).
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Averted, laser weapons are always portrayed as far better, but kinetic weapons still have their place.
- Laughably Evil: Dear lord, Therians. Frankly, it's hard to believe that these guys are the scourge of the universe on occasion.
- Little Hero, Big War: The Ava front is in fact just a normal route mission for the Therians who's only real importance is that they lost.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: The Therians think it's so awesome that once they found out that the Universe was to die in a mere 25 billion years, they launched a massive invasion of the universe in order to stop it.
- Machine Worship: The Therian Web Spider faction and the Cog A-volution Line.
- Mega Corp.: O.N.I.
- My Hero Zero: Babylon/Nina Zero
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: An odd positive result — during the invasion of Damocles, UNA politics caused the Therians to be so confused it delayed their already delayed counter-attack.
- Our Zombies Are Different: O.N.I. Zombies have two types, one is your normal mindless zombie, the other, the super zombies, is fully sentient with all the memories and personalities they had; they're also still on the payroll.
- Send in the Clones: Only four Cogs are non-clones.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Therians are Internet junkies and gamers; sounds Narmy until you realize that they are killing trillions and blowing up countless planets all over the universe because it's their hobby and only lose battles because winning too quickly is boring.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Averted with UNA's Captain H. Newton. As the daughter of Ava's president, she is very much aware of this trope and made sure that her mother's position never gave her any special treatment. Played a bit more straight with Shogun Natalya Bokov, one of Oni's directors and leader of V-Swat who was chosen because she (like everyone on the board) is a descendant of Oni's founder Okamura Kazuo. It helps she's also a ruthless General Ripper.
- Shout-Out:Lots of them concerning the Karmans. Let's begin with their battlestation being called Zaius.
- The Smurfette Principle: there are no models of female regular troops, and the only unit that has more than one female model is a unit of medics.
- However, about half the special characters are female.
- Space Whale Aesop: Don't overmine or alien robots will show up and blow up your planet!. Especially if they planted their artifacts all over the place to accelerate your progress.
- Spider Tank: The Therians main AFV's.
- That's No Planet: The Therian factory-ship Damocles is a Dyson sphere built around a white dwarf; it's about twice the size of the Earth and about 80% of its energy output is used to constantly alter its Therian passengers' environment to their whims. The remaining 20% is used to pump out millions of war machines in preparation of their conquest of Ava. And this is just one of billions of such stations (at the very least, the whole Milky Way was converted).
- Did we mention that the Therians think Damocles is a small crappy ship compared to their real homes?
- The Karmans built themselves their own planet-sized ship, the Zaius, and recently the Cog faction T-Regulator has begun construction of one as well. It seems that in this setting, you're not on the map unless you have a planet-sized warship.
- Transhuman Aliens: The Therians.
- Walking Tank: UNA and Red Block have these as their main AFV's.
- We Have Reserves: Therians already have a number of galaxies under their control and can easily replace any losses.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Most of the factions can be seen this way; the UNA are fighting for their survival, the Cogs are fighting for their independence, and the Therians are conquering worlds to preserve the galaxy.
- Zerg Rush: The Therians, during their war with the Cogs, threw millions upon millions of ships at the front line without any real plan other than hoping their numbers and tech would win the day (as it always had before). This time, it didn't.