The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

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The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Nugget and Skull on Fri May 16, 2014 5:24 pm

Author's note: this guide was written with another community in-mind. Tolerance of resistance activities, both OOCly and ICly, are varied for every community so some portions of this guide may be extremely strict or extremely lacking.

Resistance or Rebellion?
Here you are, tired of being under the thumb of the Combine and you must act. What do you do? Fight? Flee? Hide? Anything and nothing can be employed at your discretion, but you must also decide what your goals are. Do you plan on simply being a hindrance to the Combine, or do you hope to overthrow them? These guidelines will help you understand the differences between resistance and rebellion, as well as the context provided for the server and timeline.
The difference
When you’re putting together your goals and ideas, keep one of two in mind. Do you plan to rebel, or resist? There is a clear difference between the two.

In a resistance, your actions are meant to be as silent and as unnoticeable as possible. Drawing attention to yourself is literally the antithesis of your goal. Whether you plan on helping civilians escape the city, or just live underground to stockpile supplies, you want to make sure that your footprint is as small as you can make it. Resistance is not about fighting back, but about staying in the shadows as long as possible. You want to hinder, not fight back.

In a rebellion, your actions aren’t entirely silent. You want to chip away at the Combine as efficiently as possible. These actions will no doubt bring attention to the city so you’ll want to make sure you’re ready before you even try to liberate the city. The more guns you have and with more trusted or trained hands, the better. You will be outmanned, outgunned, and outsmarted, so you’ll want to exploit everything you can as quickly as you can. Rebellion is the more dangerous route, but to be a rebel is more than just firing a gun, it requires a strength of character.
The consequences
No matter which path you choose, your impact will have certain consequences, though the impact for if you fail will be slightly different for the separate paths, though not vastly changed.

In a resistance, your time spent covering your tracks will be important. Your goal is to be silent and leave a minimal trail, if any trail at all. If the Union finds out what you are doing and roots you up, your small trail will be easy for them to cover up. This doesn’t mean they can go back to normal, though. They’ll need to sweep apartments to find remnants, look for places you could have hidden things, and up until they feel safe, the city will be on a stricter operation set. Curfews will be put in place, but if you handled yourself well enough, the impact may not be permanent. If you fail, at least you won’t create an intensely worse situation for citizens.

In a rebellion, you will have killed multiple MPF units and possibly even a few OTAs. If you fail, the city will not do well. Your cell will be round up, your bases looted, apartments searched, and for a long time the city will no doubt operate on a high alert status. Citizen rights will be taken away, strict expectations will be put in place, curfews will be set into motion, and you will leave the city worse off than when you started. If you fail after a large scale revolution, there is a chance everyone that is not essential to the Union will be killed to handle widespread “corruption” of the populace.
Your allies
Now that you know the difference between a resistance and rebellion, it’s important to find out who you can trust. This will be daunting as a single informant for the Union can shut down any group you make with ease. You’ll need to figure out everything you can about a potential prospect before you can even consider approaching them for your cell. So, who can you trust?
Anti-citizens- These individuals are people singled out by the MPF for breaking enough laws or breaking a single, major law. This is who you want, right? Wrong. An anti-citizen may agree with you on certain aspects of your cell, but that doesn’t mean they’re an anti-citizen for turning against the Union. For all you know, they are an anti-citizen because they killed another citizen, or are just a general problem. Don’t completely remove them from your potential prospects, but caution is advised when approaching them.
Sub-citizens- These citizens are ones that were labeled anti-citizens, but are instead labeled that because of breaking incredibly minor laws repeatedly. They are less of a potential threat, but yet again you want to be careful with them. A sub-citizen is on regular surveillance and even need to check in frequently for record checks and questioning. If you determine they are trustworthy, don’t rely on them to be a spy or an item runner as they are constantly watched.
Normal citizens- These will make up the majority of your cell as they are the most common and easily the least watched. This doesn’t mean they should be immediately trusted, however. They could easily be a Union informant, or someone working their way up the social ladder to become loyalists and onward. You will want to use caution when speaking to any citizen, but they will be your core.
CWU- These citizens are not someone you want to approach without knowledge. Their apartments are searched frequently, they have a proven loyalty, and they have a direct line to the MPF on most cases. It is lucrative to approach them as they have access to areas locked specifically for them as well as higher quality food and even sometimes extra clothing. If you plan on approaching them, either be deceitful, or make sure you know they are sympathetic towards your cell. They can provide an advantage if handled correctly, but they can also turn you in if you are careless.
MPF units/off-duty units- These are incredibly dangerous to approach. Why? They have a radio, a gun, and a stun baton as well as armor. If they’re off-duty, they’re almost impossible to find. They can be anyone you know and they can fake their personality to throw you off their trail. However, MPF spies are not unheard of. You will need a careful approach as some will help you on certain conditions while others will support you more openly, though most are loyal to the Union. They can provide ammo and, if they go rogue, training which is incredibly important for your cell. Approaching them would require an extreme caution and preparation as everything can fall apart if handled inappropriately.
Vortigaunts- These aliens will almost always assist you if your desires and goals are just. It is not easy to find a freed one, but it is very possible to free one, though incredibly difficult to do so without a plan.
No matter who you approach, always keep caution in-mind. Even the most anti-Union citizen can turn around on you if it benefits them in some way. Also keep your goals in-mind when you are looking for helpers. In a resistance, you may not want the most aggressive people yet, while in a rebellion timid members aren’t always helpful in a firefight, though rule of thumb states your goals will determine who you can trust and why you can trust them.
Meeting places and meetings
When you need to meet with your cell, do so where patrols are limited or non-existent, as well as ensure your group is quiet and careful. A large group of citizens heading to the same place will stand out like a sore thumb whereas a slow trickle over an incredibly long period of time can deter suspicion. How do you find these places? With care. Never spend a long time in them and, if you can help it, avoid being tailed by anyone for any reason. There are rumors of secret rooms in different places in the city, but if they exist, spreading their location would be risky as it could reach the ears of the MPF. Even if you do find a secret place, spending a long time in it would be a serious risk. If you can find a place to meet, then meetings themselves must be handled carefully.
How do you refer to yourselves? Do you trust the group? Can you expect eavesdroppers? These questions are incredibly important to consider when gathering so you have one of two obvious options: use your real names or fake names that are usually nicknames? For the most part, using fake names is done most commonly so that way, even an informant can’t give your real name out. There’s little you can do about your description which can easily lead the MPF to you, but without a real name, it may mess up their search patterns. If you can help it, create a language of your own using code words so you can stump eavesdroppers. A secret code is the best as not only can you discuss the topics in the open but also possibly even pick up new allies if they understand what you’re using doubletalk about.
Propaganda
You want to recruit or create some sort of interest in fighting back? The last thing you want to do is kill an MPF and make a painting out of their blood. The second to last thing is to make a poster saying “RESIST!” in bold and underscored letters. Both of these bring attention down on you. Subtlety is the best way to handle propaganda so if it looks pro-Union at a glance, it will serve your cause remarkably well. Make sure to have underlying messages for the readers to pick up on, but even if you fail outright to make a poster that reaches the appropriate audience, the sheer amount of Union propaganda that is around the city will drown out your own failed message, simply becoming just another mural praising the Union. Try using song or poetry to spread your message as you could put secret messages in, while also making it look pro-Union to avoid attention. Ultimately, any medium you use will be hard to work with as you don’t want negative attention, but you still want to create a sense of urgency for civilians. If all else fails, always remember that discretion is the better part of valor and if you can only stick up the “RESIST!” poster, do so as quickly as possible and then run like you’re already being chased.
Weapons, armor, and general combat gear
Think it’s easy getting the stuff needed to fight? You’re wrong. Guns are rare and those that aren’t in the hands of the MPF or OTA are usually pretty beat up and not taken care off, making them dangerous to even use. Any sort of protective gear is outlawed by the Union so wearing it openly is foolish, but fighting without some is doubly so. Anything to help assist combat is also illegal, almost to the point of a death sentence to get. So how do you get it? With patience, planning, and a lot of luck. You can get a gun by killing an MPF officer or knocking them out and taking it. The issue with this is this will be reported and is a major issue the MPF will deal with. You’ll either want to get a man on the inside or make it look like an accident… or hide until the heat blows over. The same can be said about armor, though a full MPF uniform is simply not possible unless you manage to kill one that is your same height and build without totally ruining the suit. The downside to attempting all of this? You’re underfed while they’re given nutritional surplus and combat training. Without numbers and willpower as well as surprise, you have no chance.
You can still try, but it’s not recommended you go asking around for it, either.
The mark of a resistance/rebel
Want to have a symbol to rally behind? Think of something meaningful that applies to humanity (or the group you hope to pull in). In Half-Life 2, they used the Lambda because it dealt with the Black Mesa incident. That is where it all started and that is where Gordon Freeman helped stop an end of the world scenario (though the war can certainly be seen as an apocalypse). In this timeline, Gordon was killed in Black Mesa and the whole thing was covered up. The lambda, though still a usable symbol, shouldn’t be your go to idea (or at least, ICly it shouldn’t be unless it holds meaning to your character). You should pick something you find is powerful and then use that as your mark. No matter what you pick though, avoid overly using it at soon enough the MPF will notice a sudden burst of these symbols and find it a bit strange. As stated before, discretion is the  better part of valor.
Cells and other structures
So here you are, ready to make it official. How do you structure your resistance? This part is entirely up to you, but one recommended method is through the use of a cell or cells. Create multiple pockets of resistance, but make sure they know nothing about one another. If it is one pocket, it is a cell, but if there are more than one than obviously they are cells. Each pocket should have a leader figure, or at least someone with a level head to dole out orders. Have them operate on a rare basis, if at all, and make sure no one knows anything about the lives of the other members. Should one cell be captured, this prevents the exposure of other cells. There are downsides to this as it prevents a cohesive feeling among the ranks, but it is a single structure out of many potential ones. When crafting your group, keep in-mind how you want it to work together.
Closing notes
Always remember your actions can have serious consequences within the city. Success or failure requires a deeper thought process than just “shoot everyone you see”, but your goals don’t have to include being a hero. In the end, resisting or rebelling is just as unrestricted as it is restricted. Your progress is put on you and you alone. Always remember that your choices must be planned out and that failure should never be an acceptable option.
Good luck.

The Rogue Addendum
So you aren't a normal citizen, it seems. You're part of the MPF, but you're low enough rank to still keep your humanity. This means you can assist the rebellion or resistance, right? Perhaps, but you must always keep issues on the forefront of your mind that normal freedom fighters wouldn't normally even have to think about. You could be incredibly careful and therefore silently assist them, but without careful consideration you can, and will, be declared rogue, effectively making you enemy number one.

The Disadvantages
Going rogue literally means you have been caught doing actions against the Union and this means you lose everything. Your clearance, your biosignal access to the Nexus, your quality food. All of that and more is gone and guess what? They have you hook, line, and sinker. Like it or not, serving the Union forced you to surrender a few things to them, effectively making you traceable. Your face is immediately recognizable to a scanner or a diligent unit. Walking around in public with your old uniform? Terrible idea. Being even in the public eye? You might as well shoot yourself now. It's horribly difficult to help any anti-Union element without being caught, but after being declared rogue just basic survival is even harder. (Let's not forget that those guys you were helping out might not want you now that you're being searched for, essentially by alien bloodhounds.)

The Advantages
So, with your supply of ammo and good food cut off essentially, how does going rogue have its advantages? You might be surprised. As a low rank, you aren't a tactical powerhouse, but you do have basic training on your side. You can pass this training on to groups you deem worthy, maybe even giving a few security codes in the process (basically defunct ones because you going rogue no doubt caused an entire system cleaning and retooling to prevent access by a lucky outside, but you never know what might slip a mind or two). If you managed to slip away masterfully, your armor and uniform may be in pristine condition, giving you a nice edge if a unit glances at you only for a moment instead of getting up close. Your weapon, if you took it with you (or if you had one), could also have a few magazines and be in relatively good shape. This is a good turnout if you plan on fighting back, but you would want to lay low so the attention blew over at some point to prevent bringing too many eyes to the group you intend to help.

The 'I'm still not caught yet' Phase
What if you aren't caught yet? Well, my dear potential rogue, keep this close to your heart: subtlety is the key to success. You may have access to resources, but the usage of these resources is closely watched and any discrepancy has the potential to ruin your very life or career. You don't want to hand guns out because your excuse for losing a weapon will never be good enough, but perhaps a small chunk of your payday could go to 'charity' as you try to help citizens pay for everyday things. Being generous isn't exactly frowned upon so reward citizens for good deeds, but never go overboard. A ration reward isn't for every good deed done in the city.

While you're still incognito, you'll want to try and retain a facsimile of loyalty to keep eyes off of you. Follow protocol, but not to the point where it catches attention in a positive or negative way. Do your job and be done. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you stand out, you can be picked out or picked off.

Willingly/Forcefully Moving to Rogue
So, your incognito spy/sneaking didn't go as well as you planned or you were ready for phase two and moved on. How did you prepare? I'll tell you this: if you didn't start by stashing food, you might as well give up now. Food is a resource you will not stumble across easily and going hungry for too long will degrade your body rapidly.

Did you manage to sneak ammo out? Good. How much? Yes, you're correct, very little and over an incredibly long spread of time. Using a magazine for the firing range makes sense, but using seven? That draws attention. You'll be lucky to even have three mags for use if you were rushed out, but following a plan may and I man MAY leave you with a bit more.

Did you make contacts? I certainly hope so. Doing what you did needs to be worth risking your life over and without people you can trust, you're essentially throwing yourself to the dogs for free. You'll need to act carefully to prevent suspicion from the Union or potential allies as being part of the MPF, you're expected to meet certain criteria on and off-duty. Too much collusion with the 'riff raff' and your superiors may take notice while an overzealous interest with 'fighting the man' may make potential allies into potential enemies if they see you as a spy.

Preparing to go rogue is difficult as being caught with anything needed to fight or hide is paramount to murder in the eyes of the Union. You're a loyal unit, you'll no doubt try to convince your interrogator, that just happened to make a bad decision. It won't work so, like always, use subtlety. Cameras and spies are everywhere. Don't act too quickly or too brashly. Breaking away won't happen overnight so plan, plan, plan and, when in doubt, plan some more.

Going From Here
So you planned appropriately, did a good job, and now you're out on your own. What do you do? Who do you trust? What should your goals be? Well, now you must consider if you're resisting or rebelling. The previous portion of this guide should help cover this.
Good luck, unit. The odds are not in your favor.


Last edited by Nugget and Skull on Tue May 20, 2014 1:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by RawrDinosaur77 on Fri May 16, 2014 5:41 pm

Very good read Smile it's definitely given me some new ideas.

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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Nugget and Skull on Fri May 16, 2014 5:48 pm

That's part of the idea. A lot of my posts are from/for other communities so they don't always work well here, but if it helps RP somewhat then I'm willing to stick a little flag in the ground and say veni vedi vici.
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Duspende on Fri May 16, 2014 7:06 pm

You're welcome Wink
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Nugget and Skull on Sat May 17, 2014 1:10 pm

Duspende wrote:You're welcome Wink
Thanks for the bump. Best thing I've ever seen you do on the forums since the baby BBQ contest. Truly, this day will be remembered throughout time and space.
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Duspende on Sat May 17, 2014 1:41 pm

That, too.
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Nugget and Skull on Tue May 20, 2014 1:46 am

Updated it to include a portion about rogues. I'm currently localizing my guides so if any staff members would like to make a suggestion, I'm free to PM or message on Steam at any time. I can't promise immediate edits, but I can promise to touch on what you bring up.
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Sir Trolled on Sun May 25, 2014 1:12 am

Make sure to add the part about being edgy and killing people who annoy you left and right.
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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Golden-Spy on Tue May 27, 2014 12:20 pm

That would be how your char died.

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Re: The (VERY UNOFFICIAL) Resistance or Rebellion? (Rogues, too) Guide

Post by Nugget and Skull on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:21 am

Since the server's down and I'm planning on adding to my guides, is there anything you guys think should be added? I've got the time to add things and I believe I should up the quality since there's been a big push for teaching new players. Guides shouldn't always be the first resort but it never hurts for new players to have references.
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