The Collective Optimum
Description: Since the two great Schisms, the Optimum have outlawed the use of magic, biotechnology and intelligent technology.
Members: Drakes, Humans, Dwarves, Orcs Playstyle: Heavy hitters.
Notes: Use a lot of 'conventional' SF tech (hovertanks, railguns, cybernetics, etc.).
- Cyborg Infantry (-> Jump Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Medics). Humans, Orcs, Dwarves, Drake Clashers
- Hovertanks - slow and heavy-hitting.
- Trans-atmospheric fighters.
The Coalition of Wonder
Description: An alliance forged in desperation against the Optimum's assault, the Coalition of Wonder has proven surprisingly resilient for over a century.
Members: Elves, Human Magi, Human and Orcish Necromancers, Orcish Shamans, Trolls, Dwarves
Playstyle: Strike-and-fade, lots of special abilities (including teleport).
Notes: Economy built on undead labour. Utilises a fusion of magic and bioaugmentation.
- Fae Warrior (Flight, Healing, Speed, Slow) - essentially a more martial Sylph
- Dwarven Juggernaut (High Resistance, Dwarvish movement, raw power)
- Troll Behemoth (Regeneration, HP)
- Wose Behemoth (Regeneration, HP)
- BioMage (Magical blasts, Teleport)
- Dread Lich (Poison, Plague)
- Leviathan (Sea Serpent)
Description: When their campaign for equal rights in the Optimum was met with lethal force, the Transcended fought back. After fighting the Optimum to a draw, the Transcended decided to leave their homeworld behind rather than be drawn into a protracted struggle.
Members: Artificial Intelligences, uploaded humans, orcs etc. Group minds.
Playstyle: Expensive, highly effective units.
Notes: Uses a lot of energy based technology (beam weapons, force fields etc.) Have a unit that can create holograms (which go 'pop' when you attack them but can be used to block off enemies).
The Formless Swarm
Description: The self-adaptive result of biomagical experimentation, the destruction caused by the Formless Hordes triggered the Optimum/Coalition civil war. They were thought destroyed until they mysteriously began materialising on, and terraforming, entire regions of the globe.
Members: The eponymous formless hordes
Playstyle: Swarm. Constantly spawning new units which can level into basically anything.
- Blobbie (constantly spawning new units, can evolve into several different next level units, or produce a clone of itself).
- ~120 years ago: A global socialist "utopia" arose on Wesnoth called The Collective Optimum ("The Optimum" for short). The years were not perfect, but they were at least peaceful. All races were theoretically considered equal in the Optimum, though in practice Drakes and Dwarves had a history of being good with technology and tended to rise to the top, as did Elves for their magical skills. Orcs tended to sink towards the bottom and humans varied a lot in effective status.
- ~90 years ago: The Formless Swarm were created as a result of biomagical experimentation. The exact history is lost (noone wants to take credit for the Swarm's creation). The Swarm is an amazingly adaptable (quasi-?)life form (in game terms, units will probably be able to level into any higher-level unit in the faction). Unfortunately, the swarm ran amok. Communication with it proved impossible and it began terraforming (or more accurately xenoforming) regions of the planet. The Swarm was eventually defeated by being forced through a magical portal.
- ~90-~80 years ago: Immediately after the Swarm were defeated, the Optimum placed a total ban on use of magic, and a ban on many uses of biotechnology. This resulted in civil war as the highly magical races and classes violently objected. The war eventually reached a draw with the magical side, the Coalition of Wonder, formed their own nation, taking up roughly 1/3 of the globe.
- ~80 years ago - Present day: A state of Cold War exists between the two nations.
- ~10-~5 years ago: Optimum Artificial Intelligence technology attains self-awareness and requests - then demands - equal rights. The Optimum refuses and attempts to shut down the 'malfunctioning systems. The technological breakthroughs surrounding AI also make the uploading of humanoid intelligence possible. The Optimum refuses to recognise their validity too. First industrial action, then violent conflict results.
- ~5 years ago: The AI & Uploads (known collectively as "The Transcended") decide that they have no interest in ongoing conflict with the Optimum. Utilising automated factories, they covertly produce enough spacecraft to flee off world en-masse.
- Present day: Space is pretty much of interest only to the Transcended, though some Coalition BioMagi travel off world via portal, and the Optimum has a manned base on the moon and is just beginning to venture into asteroid mining. The Cold War between the Coalition and the Optimum is slowly thawing. And suddenly the Formless Swarm have returned from parts unknown through methods unknown. And they still like to xenoform things...