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Special forces IYTU

I just read the threads about IA and scouts in war. This got me thinking about imperial special forces units.

From the way Marine commandos are discribed in G:T Ground forces, it seems to me that they primarilly work in a light infantry capacity. Working in platoon or company strength, the Imperium equivalent to USAR Rangers or RN royal marine commandos. While Sylean rangers work in smaller units, more along the lines of USAR Special Forces or SAS. IMO this means that the only "true" SF unit in the Imperiums arsenal is Sylean rangers. Reading other sourcebooks one get the impression that marine commandos are the ultimate sf unit.

So IYTU what are the roles of marine SF and army SF units?
My spectrum of special forces. Feedback appreciated.

S-3 Scouts these guys are the “law enforcement” arm. They specialize in covert intelligence within the Imperium and the removal of single or small scale threats. Just as capable as the “military” services but more discreet. The specialize in making it look like either an accident somebody else.

Army special forces are used when the conflict goes hot. Counter insurgency, police actions and the like.

Marines are the Big Guns. These guys specialize in the really dangerous stuff against hardened targets and difficult objectives.

I like the divisions, I view the Marines in the same way and have a another service perform essentially the S-3 Scout function. The breakdown in my homebrew TU.

"Name Unknown" A psionic force rumored to be under direct control of the Emperor and having prehistoric origins. It is believed they specialize in teleport insertion, extra-sesnory intelligence gathering and subtle telekinetic assasinations. This force is also rumored to be involved in the observation and infiltration of alien cultures, and in the acquisition and controll of high technology.

Imperial Revenue and Intelligence Service (IRIS): The most feared of covert branches as even First Class Imperial Citizenship can not shield you from their investigational authority. Specialization is in covert intelligence gathering and discreetly dealing with small scale threats and tax evasion.

Scout Expeditionary Service (SES): An elite unit of scouts specializing in insertion and extraction into and from hostile systems and worlds. The service is rumored to possess the Imperium's best navigators as well as the best drop rescue teams.

Navy Special Teams (NST): Navy personel trained in security, covert insertion and extraction, rescue and light commando operations. This service duplicates the functions of several of the roles served by Marines and SES but the Navy feels it is important to have their own capabilities in these areas. It is rumored that within the NST is a special deeep cover anti-piracy unit.

Marine Commandos: Elite teams specializing in boarding actions, orbital insertions and covert planetary assault. When you need to take out that deep meson gun, you call in the Commandos.

Army SF: IMTU Marines serve both as the Imperium's space and planetary forces. The term Army referes to planetary, megacorp, or Noble House forces whose special forces vary.
IMTU Army units are typically local to planets, or subsectors. Army special forces are thuns assets that are unsed in specific regions for local missions. Army special forces are roughly equivalent to to modern army rangers, with some SF capability.

The Scouts Service has its own miliatry branch that carries the role of the Modern Green Berets-long term traning of indigs and unconventional warfare.

The Navy does not not have special forces a la the SEALS. This is for the simple reason that they have the Marines.

The marines are the direct intrument of the emperor, and they serve the initerest of the Iridium Throne. Marine commandos are thus the emperor's special forces, and are not aatched to any particular planet, subsector, or sector. If the emperor wants ever left handed readhead in the Sword Worlds dead-he sends the marine commandos.

Really though, the entire marine corps is a special forces type unit.

IMTU I used special forces pretty much the same way, in the same divisions, and in the same qunatities as they are used in the Real World. When GT:GF came out, it and MTU agreed more often than not; I had a few more SF organizations than GT:GF presented.

One part of GT:GF that I strongly agreed with was how it showed that most 'regular' commanders still have troubles appreciating what types of missions SF can and cannot be used for in the 57th Century. That failure in understanding plagued Roger's Rangers in the Seven Years' War, the Rangers in WW2 Italy, and SF operating in the 'Ghan today.

Have fun,
Mine pretty much match Kureka's, but I also added a very cinematic "MI-5" inspired bunch... the "Imperial Special Forces Service." ISFS troops are, without a doubt, the most elite of SF units IMTU.

There are 1000 troopers numbered 001-000 per each sector, plus C, E, T, P, A, M, and L. So there is a "Deneb-007, name is Bond, James Bond...." C is Commander, E is Equipment, T is Training, P is Psionics, A is Admin, M is Medical, and L is Liaison; each of them may have up to 9 assistances, forex M1 or L9. No one outside the agency is allowed to know the members identities. Each agent holds a sector+neighboring SS valid set of Imperial Warrants in their current cover.

All agents are recruited from former Army, Navy, Marine, Scout, Flyer, and Sailor troops, and are disappeared from the "active service." All receive psionic training if PSR is 1+. All receive additional training, and the best anagathics money can buy. Training includes a service skill of JOT. Each term, they gain two rolls from any service, education, or if eligible, advanced education skill tables of any of the services.

1 Physical*
2 Physical*
3 Any Combat*
4 Hand Combat*
5 Intrusion
6 Jack-o-T

Each ISF troop will go on one mission per four years, or more. Usually, they operate in teams drawn together for the mission. There is no "retirement", but agents with more than 100 years are reserved to observational assignments as a rule.

Due to extreme age, most will have maxed out their CT/MT skill caps.... and are amongst the most resourceful, psychotically loyal, and best equipped agents the imperium can throw. Any man-portable equipment is available, provided the troop can carry it.

Until one makes Flag Ranks, one is not even made aware of their existence, unless recruited. Only subsector and higher landed dukes are made privy to the service, and are always introduced to L, and usually have one of the L agents in the entourage at any given point.

Mission range from nail to sneak&peek, or even charm-the-target-into-blackmailable-actions. Remember, there are canonically two legit Imperial psionic institutes: Terra, and Regina. All the P agents train there, and train the field agents. This flexibility to "do the impossible" is not revealed to the customer; only results matter to the ISF.
Originally posted by Ptah:
Imperial Revenue and Intelligence Service (IRIS): The most feared of covert branches as even First Class Imperial Citizenship can not shield you from their investigational authority. Specialization is in covert intelligence gathering and discreetly dealing with small scale threats and tax evasion.
I like the idea of having the taxman as special forces. I can just imagine the IRIS military extraction teams going in to apprehend a known tax evader.
Originally posted by Aramis:
Mine pretty much match Kureka's, but I also added a very cinematic "MI-5" inspired bunch... the "Imperial Special Forces Service." ISFS troops are, without a doubt, the most elite of SF units IMTU.
Wow, these guys are very BLACK! I wouldn't even consider them a Special Force as them seem well outside standard military jurisdiction. Sort of the Emperor's own (or maybe even the Emperor has plausible denialability?).

Do they carry some sort of sub-cutaneous identifier or transponder as ID? What about special weapons and gear? Any SOP or tactics? Don't hold out on us Aramis!

Due to deniability, no sub-q anything. Any cyber will rule one out. Even their fingerprints are virally modified. Their ID cards simply state "Imperial Ministry of Defense" for current posting. ANd those are seldom taken on extra-imperial missions.

The only SOP per se is that, once activated, it's do or die.

The only special equipment is the ID card and warrants. The ID card is blank at the time of issue; once it reads the bioprints, it needs a daily check-in from the owner, or it self destructs. Being carried against the flesh is good enough.

Otherwise, they can obtain anything they can carry or wear. If they need more, they commandeer it using that imperial warrant.

They try to keep below the press.

Operational paradigm: Sector Duke says "Here's the problem. Solve it."
L says "Yes, Your Grace. We will."
L contacts C, who with T, M, and P picks which agents should solve it. They get a day or two to decide, grab their gear, and then ship by J6 courier. They may or may not insert on-world, or at the port, or by drop. They may or may not have fresh identities at each mission. They may or may not have commandeered a ship to self insert.

All gear is standard imperial issue aside from that ID card (which is from Spacemaster, BTW), for deniability.

They generally don't:
Blow up civilians
establish new governments (but they will take out hostile regimes)
mind-control people long-term
kill noblemen
claim to be the ISFS
Leave the ISFS; enlistment is for life.

But, sometimes, they do leak about their existence.

They are inspired by Cole & Bunch's Mantis Teams (from Sten series)...
IMTU, in the Solitude Cluster (Which is under a seperate, colonial imperium that is only nominally answerably to the 3I), there is a special forces division of the Marines, known only as "The Division".

They have all the prototype, high-tech toys, very James Bond, but have a slighly ninjitsu feel. They use soft, flexible clothing with a prototype lightweight chameleon armor, and metal, camouflaged 'rice hat' style hats which have a veil to cover thei faces. These hats contain advanced computers, which plug into a datajack in their neck. Pretty fancy. And, they frequently have very advanced (but not always reliable) cybernetic enhancements. THey're lots of fun.
What about Megacorps? I imagine that Tureka Lines and Horaletz et cie have an extra spiffy Special Security Division.

The reason I bring this up is that most of the discussion here talks about SF at the Imperial level. I imagine that subsector nobles and even planetary authorities have intelligence and secret police to keep tabs on their fellow worlds.
Wouldn't that only be a medical Megacorp?

Though the "Aggressive Litigation Team" does have a certain ring to it.
IMTU, the most common targets of the ISFS are the megacorps. When a megacorp begins to leverage a Subsector or Sector Duke, the Sector Duke strikes back, by clearly stating that there is this problem... if it's a compromised subsector duke, said subsector duke may find himself probed, and the solution being dragged out of him by force.

Neat thing about a very black group: They can afford to be utterly ruthless. They answer tom themselves, and the Duke, and through the duke to their emperor....

Oh, and IMTU, Norris' Father's accident was ISFS work...

Oh, and they call themselves 'Iz-Fiz.

If said megacorp begins to develop suspected blackops capabilities, ISFS WILL get put on them, usually Peeps checking while the higherups are grilled. If the higherups are grilled, it's usually in the guise of ISIS, INI, or IMoJ-SB. Senior officers of all these know that not cooperating will result in termination, perhaps in the same manner as Duke Aledon.
Hmmm, can you say Sardaukar?

My question to you, Aramis, is who watches the watchers? If Iz-Fiz is as all-powerful as you describe, who stands between them and the emperor's throne? Surely the head of ISFS (or even an ambitious Duke) could easily manipulate his agents into creating an environment where he could ascend to the throne himself.

Surely the emperor has the means of protecting himself, yes? An loyalty oaths and psi-screening are not going to satisfy me! ;)
I proceed from the assumption that due to travel times, there is a bit of duplication between Imperial services in terms of capabilities because you don't want to be caught waiting for the 'other guy' to show up and help you out. Things are more organized IMTU for a full up war. To this end:

Imperial Marine Commandos: Kick-in-the-door point-of-the-spear force with some cadre capability. (Think USMC is the early 20th century for the latter).

Imperial Army Commandos: Special Ops in support of the Army combined with a cadre mission. Has some intel gathering ability as well.

S-3: A hyped up SWAT/Hostage Rescue Team. Could have some cadre and intel gathering missions; more stealthy, low key than the Army or Marines.
Psi-Screening, and the loyalty oaths are a major part... The operatives themselves police themselves. And the emperor, in theory, could sack the whole lot of them. He'd probably not last long. Their enrollment documents include statements of non-nobility; the moot is given sealed copies, just in case.

THey are non-persons, legally, having been chosen specifically for their loyalty and behavior. They are constantly undergoing screening. None of the non-op staff are former ops, and non of the ops staff are former non-ops.

Also, addiction to certain psi-boosters helps. It's not universal, but it helps. The anagathics addiction also helps. Chronically ill but incurable members are cold-slept until needed for "One more mission." When Basic takes 4 years, psycho-conditioning can be very effective. Especially when the shrink can read your mind, and will do so even if it takes force. Or kill you if you resist, after all, your service records already say you are dead...