The Fourth French Empire is a semi-constituional monarchy consisting of some 30 worlds and many habitats in 6 sectors. Located in the galactic North-East, it shares said region of space with the United Kingdom of New Anglia, the Federated Ascendency, the Union of Four Stars, and the Prussian Star League. With a population of 270 billion and a GDP of $58,000, New France is a respectable power in the galactic stage.
The Rise and Fall of the Third EmpireEdit
The decades before the 23rd Century were a time of great joy for the House of Bonaparte. In the mid to late 21st Century, the people of France had grown sick and tired of the increasing corruption of their government, which had done little to remedy her problems. To make matters worse, the Great Jihad of 2072 had rocked Europe to the core, with France being at the forefront. Desperate for a remedy, France’s citizens would elect a relative newcomer to the political area: Jean-Baptistse Napoleon Bonaparte.
Scion of the House of Bonaparte, Jean-Baptiste was a magnificently charismatic and intelligent young politician, having gain notoriety in the Assembly beforehand. Riding on a populist platform that appealed to all, the Prince-President, as he was nicknamed, easily won the elections in 2073. Elements within the National Assembly immediately took a disliking to him, with the President of the Radical Party, Gabriel Durand, calling him “a smug little brat that we’ll lead by the nose” in private. Indeed, many of the more corrupt, entrenched elements of the French government believed that Jean-Baptiste would be easy to manipulate and control. Unfortunately for the opposition, the Prince-President was a much more cunning and skillful political wrangler than any of them could have imagined, using his intellect to impose his decisions on them and his charisma to gain widespread public support. Although Jean-Baptiste had made significant inroads, he knew that the current political situation would prevent any of truly grand reforms. And with his opponents seeking whatever method they could find to block his actions or even remove him from office, Jean-Baptiste knew that the only way to restore France was to strike at the root of the problem.
Gathering his most trusted confidants, ministers, and military officers, Jean-Baptiste began to plan his final strike against the decayed remains of the Fifth French Republic. Waiting until public opinion towards the National Assembly was at its all time low, Jean-Baptiste would carry out his now famous coup d’etat on May 18, 2076. With the backing of the citizenry, Jean-Baptiste would carry out his great reforms, removing the corruption of the Fifth Republic and squashing the pathetic remains of the supposed ‘Great Jihad’. Eternally grateful, the people of France would clamor for Jean-Baptiste to take the throne as Emperor, like his ancestor did centuries ago. With consent by the Senate and Assembly, now rubberstamps of Bonaparte, Jean-Baptiste would be crowned Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French two years after his coup. The Third French Empire was born.
Napoleon IV’s successors would do much to continue his line of work as the years went by. The EU would give way to a collection of supranational blocs, with the French Empire at the forefront (albeit under the auspices of the UN). Although extrasolar colonization was slow and painful in the pre-hyperspace years, France still managed to begin a colonization program, with New France being the pride and joy of France. As a leading member of the UN Security Council, France’s position as a leading great power was seemingly assured, at least before the Great Upheaval.
While the actual causes of the Great Upheaval are many, its roots in France stem from a wave of radical neo-socialism that swept over Europe, as well as pockets of outright fascism that emerged in response. Soon enough, the old balance of power began to crumble rapidly on Earth, as the United Kingdom was the first to suffer its effects, the neo-socialists of that country forcing the King off the throne and taking over the government. Jean-Baptiste III, upon hearing of the news, became aghast of the situation, and quickly began to take measures to prevent the madness from spreading to France. Unbeknownst to the Emperor, though, it was far too late to stop its effects.
In many aspects, France’s dealings with the Great Upheaval were far worse than the United Kingdom (though none could compare to the grizzly and blood-soaked collapse of Spain). With radicals and neo-fascists fighting it out in the streets of Greater France, Jean-Baptiste III knew that the French Empire was on its deathbed on Earth. The colonies, however, were a different matter entirely. Separated by the chaos on Earth by sheer distance and time, France’s possessions were free of the poison that was ravaging Europe and Earth. It was in exile among the stars that the Empire would be reborn while the Old Empire was left to die. Gathering what ships they could find, His Imperial Majesties government would evacuate itself and as many French citizens as they could to the colonies. As raging fires crippled Paris and the radicals slowly took over what was left, Jean-Baptiste III could help but weep for all those left to suffer in the madness. His only wish now was to make sure that all those who had suffered during the Great Upheaval, all those who were left behind and couldn’t escape were not doomed in vain.
The Early YearsEdit
As the Imperial French government and the first wave of French refugees settled in the New France system, the young Emperor Jean-Baptiste III quickly went to work to rebuild something out of the remains of his empire. It is unknown what Jean-Baptiste was thinking of when his government relocated to New France, or what he thought of the situation when he was first briefed on the colonial situation in New Paris. While New France was decently developed, the outlaying colonies were nothing more than rugged outposts, communities plopped down only to secure the planetoids in the name of France and begin the process of colonization and exploitation. Certainly no one could blame people like Prime Minister Blah Blah, who, after touring his new domain, remarked in private “somehow I doubt our return to the glory days”.
Such uncertainty wouldn’t deter Jean-Baptiste III, however, who passionately believed in the ability of France to rebuild itself from even the most disastrous of pitfalls. With that work ethic in mind, the Emperor enacted a series of widespread programs meant to transform the New France system and its minor colonies into the heart of the new French Empire. With the millions who had been evacuated during the Great Upheaval working round the clock to build up New France and, later, with a steady flow of European immigrants from Earth and Nova Terra seeking a better life, the Fourth Empire, as it styled itself, managed to thrive in the decades following the end of the Upheaval. New colonies were already being planned for development in the untamed border systems, while trade with the neighboring minor powers of the Kingdom of Hispania and the Republic of Genoa began to boom. New Paris fully expected a major colonial expansion within the coming decades, the end result of a growing population and need for resources, as well as the eventual integration of Hispania and Genoa, a move Jean-Baptiste III had been working on for years. It finally seemed as if the Fourth Empire would finally regain the prestige of its predecessor. Of course, things never turn out exactly the way people want them to.
Jean-Baptiste III had become an old man by the time the security of the Fourth Empire had been secured. A mere forty years old when he took the throne, the Emperor was now approaching 160, old during the time when France’s genetic engineering program hadn’t yielded its full results. Eventually, the Emperor passed away on October 14, 2460, with his son Gregoire-Napoleon taking the throne. Napoleon VI’s reign was a relatively just and prosperous one, with unprecedented expansion taking place. It was short lived, however, when the Emperor, alongside much of the immediate Imperial Family, was assassinated in 2490, supposedly by a bomb planted by anarchists. With much of the lineage dead, Napoleon VI’s brother, Henry-Napoleon, would take the throne, leading to a dark period of French history that was rivaled only by the Reign of Terror in its brutality: the Century of Darkness.
Henry I didn’t start out as a bad ruler, at least not in the beginning. While he did preside over continual expansion and prosperity, the influence of another group was quickly overwhelming him. Known as the Traditionalists, the group of reactionary, neo-Fascist leaning nobles and politicians had become increasingly concerned over what was perceived to be the moral corruption of New France. Indeed, many in their circle viewed Napoleon VI with contempt, believing him to be far too soft in regards to what they considered to be dangerous deviant philosophies. Viewing themselves as the saviors of France, the Traditionalists arranged for the untimely death of Napoleon VI and his family, paving the way for the selection of the arch-conservative Henry-Napoleon, the dominant player in the Traditionalist movement. Over the decades, France became increasingly oppressive and authoritarian, with many freedoms restricted and pointless conflicts with New Anglia being waged for little to no gain. When the fractured kingdoms of Lorenthal were discovered, the Traditionalists eagerly began planning for the merciless exploitation of the ‘primitive savages’. Eventually, the situation degraded to the point that Emperor Henry I had converted what was once a democratic semi-constitutional monarchy into a near autocracy based on a rabid and state-enforced cult of personality.
Naturally, many in France had seen through the deception and realized the magnitude of the perversion of the Throne and of France’s ideals. Among the fiercest opponents to the New Regime was the House of Bonaparte-Bourbon, the cadet branch of the House of Bonaparte, and its head, Admiral-Prince Louis Napoleon Juan Carlos Bonaparte-Bourbon. The nephew of Henry I and oldest son of Prince Alberto Yves, the former head of the family, Prince Louis inherited his father’s position after his ‘accidental’ death in a supposed interstellar accident. Like his father, Louis came to despise the actions of his uncle and the Traditionalists who were pulling the strings. Knowing that France was heading for an eventual civil war, Louis secretly began gathering his followers, preparing them for the time in which they would remove Henry I from the Throne and purge the government of the Traditionalists.
Henry I, by this time in his reign, had become considerably paranoid, his secret police monitoring the actions of countless individuals and many of those who could even remotely be considered a threat disappearing. When word arrived at Paris that Prince Louis was plotting a coup d’état, the Emperor became hysterical. Without giving it a second thought, Henry I ordered his military machine to march on Hispania and the other Reformist strongholds, hoping to annihilate his enemies and set an example to any other would-be rebels.
When Battle Squadrons 2.1 and 2.2 arrived at the Hispania system, they were greeted by 5th Fleet, Louis’ command, and the Hispania System Defense Flotilla. What should have been an easy occupation on the part of Henry I’s fleet turned into an overwhelming disaster. It was only due to the wisdom of the pacification force’s commander that the task force avoided complete annihilation and successfully escaped. Throughout the entire Empire similar events played out, with Reformists winning in some instances, such as the Battle of Bourbon, and the Traditionalists emerging victorious in others, such as the brutal suppression of the Flandre Uprising. Henry I’s worst fears had now come true, as the Empire was split right down the middle between the Traditionalists and the Reformists. The French Civil War had begun.
The French Civil WarEdit
Formal Name: Fourth French Empire
Common Name: French Star Empire, Fourth Empire
Short Name: New France, France
Government Type: Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Louis-Napoleon II, by the Grace of God, Emperor of the French, King of Hispania, of New Holland, of Tuscany, of Lorenthal; Archduke of Quebec, etc.
Capital: Paris, New France
Legislature: Bicameral Parliament consisting of the lower National Assembly (Assemblée nationale)and Senate (Sénat). Assembly members are elected in direct universal suffrage via an open-list proportional system for a five year mandate. Senators are elected indirectly or, in some cases, appointed by the Emperor, and serve life terms.
Judicial Branch: Supreme Court of Judicature (Cour de Cassation) acts as the highest court in France after the Appeal and Interior Courts. The Council of State (Conseil d'État) acts as the court of last resort in matters of challenges to national-level administrative decisions. The Emperor reserves the right to pardon individuals or commute sentences.
Major Political Parties: Socialist Party (Democractic Socialism), Democratic Movement (Centrist), Imperial and Royal Alliance (Populist Bonapartism, Royalist), Union for a Popular Movement (Liberal Conservatism)
Minor Political Parties: Peoples Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), Movement for a New Order (Neo-Fascist; Outlawed following Civil War of 2550), Radical Republican Party (Left-Wing Republicanism), Royalist Action (Reactionary Ultra-Royalist), Pacifist Alliance (Leftist), Liberal Democratic Party (Center-Left)
Religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Islam, various Lorenthalian faiths. 45% of the population lists itself as atheists or agnostics.
Languages: French (Primary language), Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish (Second language of Hispania), various Lorenthalian dialects, including Mid High Corin.
Economy:The economy of the Fourth Empire is guided by the concept of Dirigisme, a mixed free market/centralized planning system where the government exerts strong directive influence. While the state owns most of the infrastructure services, it controls only a minority of the general industry. Instead, the state makes active use of incentives to encourage free market enterprise to follow its economic plans (developed by the government’s economic planning AGIs).
Armed Forces of the French EmpireEdit
The Imperial French Armed Forces can be divided into three services: the Imperial French Star Navy, the Imperial French Army, and the Imperial French System Defense Forces.
Imperial French Star Navy:The senior service of the Armed Forces (due to the fact that most of the Navy escaped Sol during the Upheaval), the Imperial French Star Navy is a large and well equipped military machine, charged with safeguarding French space and projecting power throughout the region. Generally speaking, the IFSN has always been a wall of battle force, preferring its dreadnoughts and battleships over fleet carriers. While there has been a more gradual use of carriers recently, the Star Navy is still dominated by its ships of the wall.
Imperial French Army (Grande Armée): The main branch of the Armed Forces dedicated to engaging in planetary warfare and occupation. Compared to other star nations, the Grande Armée is a relatively small force. What it lacks in numbers, however, it makes up for in quality, discipline, and elan. The Grande Armée is primarily a mechanized force, preferring to use armor, artillery/aerospace support, and battlesuited infantry in decisive manner to break enemy lines. In addition to controlling the Air Army, the Grande Armée also controls the Imperial Guard, the elite shock troops of the Army, and the
Imperial French System Defense Forces: The least prominent of the Armed Forces, the System Defense Forces are charged with protecting French systems and worlds. To this end, the SDF controls the orbital forts and planetary defense centers in operation, as well as the planetary garrison forces, some starfighter wings, and defense maritime warships. The SDF is almost always a purely defense force, though, in times of war, its garrison divisions and starfighter wings may come under the control of the Grande Armée if deemed necessary.
Sector and Military StatisticsEdit
Nouveau France (Home Sector)
Sector Population: 60 billion
Sector Planets: Nouveau France, Lyon, Marseilles, Brittany, Toulon
Sector GDP: $14,000
Warp Gate and Hyperspace Junction
Pay-Bas (Core Sector) – 5 pts.
Sector Population: 50 billion
Sector Planets: Hollande, Nuova Toscana, Flandre, Wallonie, Rhénanie
Sector GDP: $10,000
Maghreb (Core Sector) – 5 pts.
Sector Population: 50 billion
Sector Planets: Maghreb, Nouveau Algérie, Tunis, Casablanca, Tripoli Sector GDP: $10,000
Hispania(Core Sector) – 5 pts.
Sector Population: 50 billion
Sector Planets: Hispania, Valencia, Novo Portugal, Madrid, Granada
Sector GDP: $10,000
Versailles (Midrange Sector) – 3 pts.
Sector Population: 30 billion
Sector Planets: Versailles, Fontainebleau, Bourbon, Nouveau Quebec, Triomphe
Sector GDP: $6,000
Lorenthal (Midrange Sector) – 5 pts.
Sector Population: 30 billion
Sector Planets: Lorenthal Majeur, Lorenthal Mineur, Cortallia, Arcuren, Gorgaris
Sector GDP: $8,000
Hyperspace Junction +1
Total Population: 270 billion (45% human, 20% genmod, 25% Lorenthalian, 10% sapient AGI)
Total GDP: $58,000
Total Points Used: 23 out of 23
Star Navy Budget: $45,070
Grande Amree Budget: $12,930
Budget - $45,070
Napoleon IV-class superdreadnought (650 pts, 2600 pts total)
Ships in service – 4
IFS Napoleon IV
The largest warship to ever emerge from the shipyards of the Empire, the Napoleon IV-class superdreadnought is a titan within the wall of battle. Nigh endless rows of capital graser batteries, gravity guns, and torpedo tubes can annihilate clouds of lesser ships, while the superdreadnought’s Grand Cannon can punch through even the strongest screens and thickest armor with trivial ease. Tertiary battlescreens and extensive armoring allow the behemoth to fight on for hours or even days at a time. The only setback to this monster is its astronomical cost, which has limited construction to only four of these giants, one for each of the main battlefleets.
Redoubtable-class flag dreadnought (550pts, 3850 pts total)
Ships in service - 7
IFS Josephine I
IFS Jean-Baptiste II
IFS Charles de Gaulle
The sister ship to the Napoleon IV-class, the Redoubtable-class dreadnought is the stepping stone between the superdreadnought force and the lighter dreadnoughts and battleships in use. As its class name suggests, the Redoubtable-class flag dreadnought is often found leading battle squadrons and in the thick of battle, its massive greaser batteries demolishing warships.
Furieux-class dreadnought (400 pts; 6000 pts total)
Ships in service – 15
A part of the New Fleet Program pushed for by the Star Navy, the Furieux-class dreadnought replaced the earlier Vengeance II-class dreadnought that had been in service for decades. As with all new generations of ships of the wall, the Furieux-class features improved weapons, defenses, and powerplants, enabling her to stay in the battle for a greater amount of time. The design has proved so successful that production of the smaller Richelieu-class battleship was halted in favor of more Furieux’s. At least ten more dreadnoughts are expected to be built to modernize the ship of the wall force.
Richelieu-class battleship (300 pts; 3000 pts total)
Ships in service – 10
A fading sight in many battle squadrons, the Richelieu-class battleship is mean to act as a standard heavy combatant and escort for larger vessels, such as the Colosse-class fleet carrier. Once enjoying a considerable amount of popularity, the increasing popularity of the dreadnought over the battleship, coupled with interest in carrier warfare, has effectively doomed the design from ever seeing more of its kind. It is doubtful that the battleship line will be continued, and talks are already underway to reclassify the Richelieu-class as a large cruiser.
Colosse-class fleet carrier (200 pts; 2000 points total)
Ships in service – 10
Born out of the increased interest in carrier warfare by the Admiralty, the Colosse-class fleet carrier has enjoyed a surprising amount of popularity among flag officers. Capable of carrying some 1200 starfighters and 160 gunboats, the Colosse-class can unleash havoc upon enemy fleets and bases with its relentless horde of parasite craft. The carrier itself, though, is minimally armed and armored, requiring it to stay outside of the main engagement and to travel alongside ships such as the Richelieu or Devastator-class.
Jean Bart-class heavy cruiser (150 pts; 3000 pts total)
Ships in service - 20
Known for its long reach and ability to put down any manner of trouble, the Jean Bart-class heavy cruiser is commonly seen heading up cruiser squadrons and divisions, or aiding its larger brethren in putting down enemy incursions or pirate activity. Like many other cruisers, the Jean Bart-class can operate alone for extended periods of time without having to worry about resupply.
Lafayette-class light cruiser (75 pts; 4500 pts total)
Ships in service – 60
Forming the backbone of the Star Navy’s spacelane control fleet, the Lafayette-class light cruiser was originally envisioned as an escort for the fleet’s battleships. With the dreadnought and superdreadnought force becoming increasingly favored over the lowly battleship, the Lafayette-class found new life as a compliment to the destroyers and frigates of the Star Navy, its longer range and heaver firepower providing much needed muscle in more dangerous patrol zones.
Hallebarde-class light carrier (70 pts; 1400 pts total)
Ships in service - 20
Acting as a compliment to the much larger Colosse-class, the Hallebarde-class light carrier is meant to provide additional starfighter and gunboat support in situations where a dedicated fleet carrier is overkill but where a Jean Bart-class can’t provide enough starfighter support. The carrier’s 210 strong starfighter compliment and 28 gunboats can provide crucial fire support and pinpoint strikes against a wide assortment of targets, making them invaluable for their task force. Most of the light carriers of the Halledarde-class are attached to roving patrols.
Rapière-class destroyer (60 pts; 9000 pts total)
Ships in service – 150
A solid design that has served for years, the Rapière-class destroyer is the common screening unit, escort, and patrol ship in use by the Star Navy. A solid weapons load out and good speed allows the destroyer to rapidly respond to emergencies alongside the more powerful cruiser fleet and put down minor threats. During major military engagements, the Rapière-class screens the larger ships against more nimble opponents and chases down battered ships which try to flee.
Sorcier-class frigate (45 pts; 9630 pts total)
Ships in service – 214
A bog standard frigate, the Sorcier-class is meant for light spacelane control, presence operations, and pirate suppression missions. It’s small, decently armed, and fast, which makes it perfect in keeping the peace in the colonies. In major naval engagements, the Sorcier-class screens the rest of the fleet against enemy fighters, small warships, and incoming ordnance.
Majestueux-class star yacht (9 pts; 90 pts total)
Légion de Spectre: ($1293) 1,034,400 Spectres @ 20,000/$1 with 25x kit multiplier
The black operations arm of the Grande Armée, the Légion de Spectre (Ghost Legion) is charged with undertaking the most dangerous, suicidal, illegal, or ethically dubious missions available. To this end, its operators, nicknamed Spectres or Ghosts, are some of the deadliest and well equipped commandos in existence, with virtually all of them having become transhuman or posthuman in order to take on the worst of the galaxy. Everything from CI-controlled super-heavy infantry forms (Grenadiers) to superhuman cyborg commandos in re-entry capable battle armor to artificially augmented espers can be found in the ranks of the Légion de Spectre. The only drawback to their existence is their dramatic cost, and, some would say, the tendency of its Spectreus to retire (assuming they survive) as souless husks after spending decades or centuries seeing sights not meant to be seen by any sapient.
Garde Impériale: ($3879) 51,720,000 Guardsmen @ 40,000/$1 with 3x kit multiplier
The pride and joy of the Emperor, the Garde Impériale (Imperial Guard) is the elite striking arm of the Grande Armée. Tracing its origins from Napoleon the Great’s original Imperial Guard and the Imperial Guard division (formally the 5th Infantry) created by Napoleon IV, the modern Garde consists of those soldiers who have proved themselves skilled and experienced enough to form the cream of the crop of the Armée. In addition to better pay, Garde divisions, which cover the full spectrum of modern warfare, enjoy access to more advanced weapons and technology. In combat, the Garde Impériale acts as the decisive shock force, its soldiers dealing the crippling blow alongside the more numerous Armées de la Ligne
Armées de la Ligne: ($7758) 310,320,000 soldiers @ 80,000/$1 with 2x kit multiplier
The core of the Grande Armée, the Armées de la Ligne (Armies of the Line), while not as glamorous as their counterparts, are vital to the ability of France to fight a surface conflict. Existing in a bewildering number of forms, including rifle, armored, aquatic, vacuum, and aerial, to name a few, the Armées de la Ligne pride themselves in their highly disciplined and well-equipped nature, preferring to use their overwhelming firepower and high quality equipment rather than sheer numbers to defeat their opponents. While humans make up most of the Armée, a substantial number of genmods and Lorenthalians can also be found within their ranks.
Total Men at Arms: 363,074,000 soldiers