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Renegade Legion

Entry updated 19 June 2023. Tagged: Game.

Cardboard models based Wargame series (from 1987). FASA. Designed by Sam Lewis, Jordan Weisman.

Renegade Legion is set in the sixty-ninth century, when the Terran Overlord Government (TOG), a human Galactic Empire deliberately modelled on Imperial Rome, oppresses the galaxy. Its only significant opponents are the egalitarian Commonwealth and its allies, the eponymous Legions, who have defected from the TOG. The milieu is perhaps best summarized as a conflict between an idealized British Empire and an Imperial Rome made more decadent and savage, fought with near future Technologies and Faster Than Light drives. The setting also includes several interesting Alien races which, while often warlike, are depicted with some subtlety. Many of these species have psychological traits based on an extreme reflection of some aspect of human nature; one race, for example, has completely separated love and reproduction, while members of another go through regular transitions after which their personalities are changed and their past lives forgotten.

The Renegade Legion Wargames are designed to work together as a single system, so that players can combine them to represent entire campaigns. They typically emphasize detailed rules for vehicle damage, including templates which represent the physical profiles of impacts and flowcharts which determine the systems affected. The first to be released, Renegade Legion: Interceptor (1987 FASA) designed by Jordan Weisman, Sam Lewis, Albie Fiore, is a turn-based game describing combat in space between single pilot starfighters. Renegade Legion: Centurion (1988 FASA) designed by Jordan Weisman, Sam Lewis deals with conflict between armoured ground vehicles and infantry with Antigravity backpacks; the rules resemble those of Battletech (1984). Renegade Legion: Leviathan (1993 FASA) designed by Jordan Weisman, Sam Lewis, L Ross Babcock III models conflict between large ships and fleets in deep space, while Renegade Legion: Prefect (1992 FASA) designed by Sam Lewis, Karl Hiesterman combines space and ground combat in its depiction of the invasion of an enemy held solar system. While players of Prefect operate on a much larger scale than those of Interceptor or Centurion, any of the previous games can be integrated into its strategic model. Renegade Legion: Legionnaire (1990 FASA) designed by Michael A Stackpole, A Peters is a Role Playing Game set in the same milieu; player characters will typically be sent on military missions for the Commonwealth or the TOG, but may also become involved in the complex and decadent social rituals of the Terran Overlords.

Two Videogames have been developed using the setting. Renegade Legion: Interceptor (1990 Strategic Simulations Inc [SSI], DOS; 1991 Amiga) is a direct conversion of the Wargame of the same name to a turn-based Computer Wargame. The implementation is competent, but suffers somewhat from the lack of a storyline; the player fights in an eternal campaign for which new missions are continually generated for as long as they wish to continue. Renegade: The Battle for Jacob's Star (1995 SSI, DOS) is a real time Space Sim focusing on starfighter combat in which the player flies missions for the Commonwealth; reviews compared its gameplay unfavourably with that of its contemporary, Wing Commander III (1994) (see Wing Commander).

Related works: Renegade Legion: Circus Imperium (1988 FASA) designed by Jordan Weisman, Sam Lewis, L Ross Babcock III is a light-hearted Wargame based on races between Antigravity chariots pulled by genetically altered beasts in the TOG; opponents are removed from the race if they are eaten by another contestant's animal. This game is not integrated with the other Wargames in the series. Several novels were written using the background: Renegade's Honor (1988) by William Keith, and Renegade Legion: Damned If We Do ... (1990), Renegade Legion #2: Frost Death (1992) and Renegade Legion: Monsoon (coll of linked stories 1992), all by Peter L Rice. [NT]


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