Why activate factions?

Just looking at the numbers for a minute, activating factions seems like a costly diversion from getting your enemy’s disposition down. I suppose it can beef up your own disposition if you’re on death’s door, but it takes at least two maneuvers to do and functions a bit like an Take Action that’s capped by the faction’s rating.

I mean, obviously there are cool narrative reasons to do it! Or if elevating your faction to government is your phase objective. But am I overlooking something mechanical?

Do you normally interpret having “access to the factions assets” as providing a mechanical advantage? (e.g. resources helping dice, free or easier access to tech)?

Each faction after the first that you activate is more valuable. You’re right, Assess/Activate is costly. But Assess/Activate/Activate is much less costly – and it gives you a LOT of narrative control.


Wait, are you saying that you can assess ‘factions in general’, and then activate as many as you like on successive maneuvers? I had been thinking you had to assess each faction before you targeted it.

You don’t have to Assess each time you Take Action. You don’t have to Assess each time you activate a faction.

I think the confusion was that you don’t have to assess multiple times on a take action against the enemy dispo because you’re targetting the same thing. You could make the assumption that each faction was a separate target and as such needed a separate assess as opposed to just needing to assess “the factions” as a whole.

My confusion was that I thought you had to assess each faction separately. I’m glad you don’t, that’s very cool.

So you can activate the same faction multiple times in the same phase and keep adding it’s value to your disposition?

No, but you can Assess (factions), Activate (Merchant League), Activate (Slaves & Serfs), Activate (Cult Churches), etc.

Once one side decides to Assess and then TA the factions, that pretty much REQUIRES the other side to do so. If they don’t, they handed over a 10-point dispo swing as well as a ton of narrative control. That’s huge.

Tactical applications of narrative control in BE probably deserves its own thread.

In our current Invasion game, each side’s FFON has a Belief aimed straight at their favorite faction, which helps draw them into that fight nicely.

You have my undivided attention!