Today’s post contains my first balance concern: Is there any army that even wants lemurs? Old and New Monkeys both have comparable primates available to them. I’m thinking maybe I should scale them back to something cost 8, that way they can be a bit more like the tarsiers, low cost options that free up scrap for use elsewhere.
The Prosimian (Prosimii)
Prosimians aren’t recognized as proper clans and don’t get representatives on clan councils. Their small size puts them at a serious political disadvantage, and this is compounded by their relative scarcity. Unlike New Monkeys, they do not have the numbers to demand respect. Considered barely even primates by most monkeys and even some apes, prosimians are occasionally allowed to tag along with troops and often targeted by frequent raids otherwise. Because they are largely nocturnal, the response of most of the prosimians is to become secretive, and sometimes vengeful.
Lemurs form a sort of primate outcast caste. Like New Monkeys, they are small, but unlike New Monkeys they don’t have numbers or any kind of legitimacy derived from the Precursors. Lemurs are often recruited into troops because they are effective nocturnal fighters, especially for troops that rely heavily on Old Monkeys and thus can’t recruit night monkeys. Lemur communities are frequently raided by wandering troops, which is why most of them are hidden. Some lemurs leave these hidden communities to join troops, which is often considered a betrayal by the other lemurs.
Speed: 24 squares
Lemur Racism: Lemurs resent monkeys and apes for the raids on their homes. Lemurs take a -1 Morale penalty if any primates other than lemurs are in their squad.
Arboreal: Lemurs move at full speed when climbing, but treat any flat terrain that is more than two inches/squares from any climbable terrain as difficult ground.
Nocturnal: Lemurs do not suffer any Accuracy penalties in the dark.
Lemurs are equipped with SMGs by default.
Tarsiers are tiny, nervous wrecks. Because of their small size, tarsiers in troops like to attach themselves to bigger primates for protection. Although not nearly smart enough to repair Precursor technology on their own, they’re perfectly capable of following simple instructions and they can fit into lots of very tight spaces, and for this reason they are often taken under the wing of orangutans for use as assistants. Tarsiers are often found crawling through tiny maintenance tunnels or ventilation ducts for their orangutan patrons, twisting screws, taping over gaps, and cutting or replacing wires.
Speed: 18 squares
Tarsier Racism: Tarsiers cannot be in the same squad with different primates, with the exception of sergeants, who must be bigger than the tarsiers.
Arboreal: Tarsiers move at full speed when climbing, but treat any flat terrain that is more than two inches/squares from any climbable terrain as difficult ground.
Nocturnal: Tarsiers do not suffer any Accuracy penalties in the dark.
Tarsiers are equipped with pistols by default.
The clan names in this document are based on, and mostly accurate to, actual scientific classification of the relevant branches of the evolutionary tree. Except sometimes I cheat in order to get a name that sounds better or just because I don’t keep up with the latest in primate evolutionary science.
For example, the apes are actually included in the parvorder catarrhini, but I used that name for old world monkeys exclusively because it sounded better with the new world monkeys’ platyrrhini, and plus the scientifically accurate term for old world monkeys is cercopithecoidea and wow that’s hard to say. Since the game is about monkeys, requiring people to stumble over complex scientific names detracts from the spirit (I still wish I could find something better for the gibbons than Hylobatidae Clan without deviating from the theme of fancy Precursor words for formal clan names). For similar reasons, marmosets are referred to as the Mico Clan even though they’re actually the callitrichidae family, and mico is a specific genus.
Tarsiers are actually closer related to monkeys and apes than they are to lemurs, but the science on that is relatively recent and the websites I used for research didn’t update to account for that until partway through the project (that, or they were just flat-out wrong and were later corrected). It turns out primates are actually divided up into simiiformes, tarsiiformes, and lemuriformes, which is a cool-sounding dichotomy, except that tarsiiformes and lemuriformes contain exactly one clan while simiiformes cover over a dozen.
The explanation for all this is that monkeys aren’t geneticists and don’t even know that the clan names they inherited from the Precursors have anything to do with evolutionary descent, or what evolutionary descent is.