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Tabletop Game / MERCS

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In the year 2121, in a response to the increasing socio-economical instability across the world, the various nations of the EU, Asia and the US place a moratorium on merger and monopoly litigation. This resulted in various companies getting free rein to buy up or merging with their competitors across the world, forming global Mega-Conglomerates that rapidly grew to usurp many traditional functions of the state. Eventually, these MegaCons merged with or replaced the state itself, effectively supplanting the nations of the world altogether. By 2145, the world was divided between 16 different, trans-continental corporations, each of which control territories the size of several countries.

By the year 2183, as a result of the MegaCons heavy focus on profit, and the large amount of collateral damage that they cause, wars as fought during the 20th and 21st centuries have effectively seized to exist. Instead, the armies/corporate security of the MegaCons, known as Military Economic Reconnaissance Counter Security (MERCS), perform covert (and overt) actions against rival MegaCons, ranging from corporate espionage, to assassination of key targets, to the capturing and holding of territory.

Note: Despite the name, most MERCS are NOT mercenaries.

This tabletop-game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Several MegaCons make use of these; CCC uses diamond laced bullets, the FCC have irradiated bullets, KemVar has magnetic sniper rounds, etc.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: The USCR Booster is seen doing this.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Cães de Guerra, KemVar's most distinguished unit, who managed to see off the combined FCC/Texico/ISS assault on Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro). This effectively made them into national heroes.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The African MegaCon, sefadu, was effectively dissolved in 2184, after coming under repeated assault by the FCC and CCC. This means that, while their MERCS unit still operate as PMCs, they no longer have the funding of a nation-sized corporation backing them.
  • Corporate Warfare: MERCS forces in a nutshell.
  • Faceless Goons: Most MERCS wear face-consealing helmets, with the one exception being the FCC.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Besides the name of the MERCS forces, many of the MegaCons also have these: Commercial Corporate Continuity (CCC), United Social Corporate Republic (USCR), Free Corporate Control (FCC), etc.
  • Guns Akimbo: The USCR Commissar, KemVar Heavy, and CCC Assault Leader all wield their guns like this.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: What Texico and, to a lesser extent, EUInc. are suffering under. EUInc. still has old money to keep them afloat, but Texico has been reduced to holding so few assets that they're almost broke. The only thing keeping Texico relevant is the Panama Canal which they control... until KemVar made the decision to occupy it.
    • Since the 2184 Paradigm Shift campaign, sefadu has suffered from this more than either of the above, having effectively seized to exist as a MegaCon.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: The USCR Commissar has access to a single-shot grenade launcher that fires an Ice Grenade. The grenade itself is filled with liquid nitrogen and corn syrup.
  • Invisibility Cloak: KemVar's MERCS make use of stealth suits with Active Camouflage, though the stealth function of the previous iterations was notoriously (and sometimes fataly) unreliable. The current version, version 2.7, is the most reliable iteration to date, but it should still not be entirely relied on.
  • Kicked Upstairs: What KemVar's board of directors are trying to do to Jorge Machado, the leader of the Cães de Guerra, (when they're not trying to get him killed) lest his popularity with the masses makes him a threat to them.
  • Kill It with Fire: There are several MegaCons trying to legislate against the use of flamethrowers, because there is such a thing as being unnecessarily cruel to your enemy.
  • Legacy Character: All Behemoth operators have their names legaly changed to Kir Petrovic, in honor of the first Behemoth operator who held back the FCC advance into Kolmna, saving the USCR from dissolution.
  • Living Weapon: The KemVar Worm Grenade. When the grenade is thrown, it agitates the Sugue Worm inside, and when the grenade touches a suit of MERCS armor it magnetically attaches to the armor, allowing the angry worm to eat its way out of the grenade and into the MERCS body.
  • MegaCorp: What the corporations of the world turned into during the first half of the 22nd century, before eventually growing into nations unto themselves.
  • Nanomachines: What the CCC infuse their armor with, allowing it to self-repair during combat.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: What every country in the world has effectively become, with the (technichal) exception of the FCC.
  • Powered Armor: The USCR make extensive use of these, and their suits of armor are the heaviest wielded by any MegaCon. Its Behemoth suit is so large and heavy, it effectively serves as a walking tank.
  • The Mole: Most MegaCons, including their MERCS units, seem to have at least one FCC sympathiser in their midst. This turned out badly for sefadu during the 2184 Paradigm Shift campaign.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The FCC consists of several different "houses", each of them fighting to bring down the MegaCons. Unfortunately, the houses do not always cooperate with each other, and many times actively work against one another. For instance, House 9, in cooperation with Texico and the ISS, could have brought down KemVar's corporate headquarters and capitol, if House 6 hadn't tipped off KemVar's MERCS forces to the attack.
  • With Friends Like These...: sefadu being the CCC's main diamond provider didn't save it from being attacked by its "ally".
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The FCC; if you're MegaCon, they're terrorist (when they're not working for you to terrorize your competition). If you're Lost Margin, or otherwise unaffiliated with the MegaCons, they're either fighting back against the oppressive system, a lesser evil, or just a different type of evil.