We will crush the Rebellion in one fell stroke!”
Crush the Rebellion is a structured storytelling game with an emphasis on competitive worldbuilding. What does that mean? It’s an RPG where the players are working against one another to accomplish their own agendas and build and establish the setting.
Designed by C. Steven Ross of Triumph & Despair, Fourthcore Team Deathmatch, and DDE Adventures (man, this guy gets around!). The game is a bit of an Apocalypse World hack, but also contains a lot of elements of Night Witches.
In the game, each player will take on the role of elite imperial agents working for the Emperor himself. These characters each have specific an secret agendas they must accomplish in order to win the game. There is no single game master. Instead, that role shifts around the table as the game progresses.
The game mashes up elements of Star Wars, Dune and Warhammer 40,000 to create a multi-galactic-spanning empire with mystical abilities and dark secret agents. The Emperor is reclusive, but a known prophet. Each player holds a piece of prophecy the Emperor has told them, which will factor into their actions during the game.
Speaking of actions, the actions you can perform in the game are on a large, sweeping scale. You don’t “Move” and “Attack”, but instead “Betray an Agent,” “Travel,” perform an “Operation”, or even “Face the Emperor”. Actions have long-reaching consequences, and operate on a large scale. As an example, in The Empire Strikes Back, Admiral Ozzel’s tactical operation of dropping the Imperial Fleet close into the Hoth system would be a “Prepare” action, attempting to get the upper hand on the rebellion. Unfortunately, it failed, requiring General Veers to perform an “Operation” action, which would act to fulfill the entire Battle of Hoth.
The game utilizes both cards and character sheets in order to randomly ascribe secret identities and agendas to each player, keeping everyone in the dark as to everyone else’s true motives.
The art in the book is simple and straightforward, utilizing Galactic Empire iconography, as well as nazi wardrobes (even more nazi than Galactic Empire regalia is anyway). A few pieces of art call to mind Dune as well. They are straightforward, simple line drawings, but they get the point across.
With a few hours with your friends, you can create a fascinating story of triumph and betrayal as you and your friends take up arms and Crush the Rebellion.
DDE Adventures sent a copy of Crush the Rebellion to Dice Monkey for our perusal and review.