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Foxhole has two player-selectable factions: the Colonials and the Wardens.
The general gameplay of the two factions are identical. However, each faction has unique weapons and vehicles that can operate differently and tend to fall into faction specific themes. For example Warden tanks have more armor than Colonial tanks but less health. Some vehicles are identical between the factions but have differing models such as the standard truck. Players can use any equipment, including those produced by the opposite faction except uniforms. This includes vehicles, but they cannot build or (for tanks) repair the armor of those made by the opposite faction. Both factions can build the same structures, except for Emplacements.
|“||''Dominant. Unrelenting. No army in the world holds a candle to the Mesean Colonials. So, when northerners marched on our border, it ignited a flame that refuses to be snuffed.
If they want to test our legions, let them try.
For the end, is our glory.''
|— Faction selection screen|
The Colonials are the soldiers of the Mesean Republic. During a typical World Conquest the Colonials control the southernmost regions of the world map. Some map configurations deviate from this standard.
The Colonial Anthem is called "For the End is Our Glory".
Before the appearance of the Republic, there existed the Golden Empire of Mesea. Not much is known about it, except that it was ruled by an Emperor and it expanded aggressively throughout Raka. Eventually it would collapse, leading to the creation of many successor states such as Kraunia, Veli and Estrella; as well as the Mesean Republic proper.
After some time, the Republic would begin expanding again to recover many of its lost territories, one of these being the Kingdom of Veli. Eventually this would lead to a Civil War in Veli between the monarchy and the Republican Colonials, aided by Mesea. After this conflict, the largest part of Veli with its capital in Damokratos would join the Republic.
During the time of the Great Wars, Mesea would continue expanding into many other territories. This includes neighbouring states such as Kraunia (which may originally have been a Mesean ally) and Estrella (whose membership of the Republic is a hotly debated topic), as well as others far beyond such as Leiloa Fa and even other continents like Katoma.
Culturally, Colonials are based on different real life identities, which depend greatly on whichever state of the Republic they come from. Colonials from Mesea proper are more Latin/Italian, those from Veli are Greek, while those from Kraunia are French-inspired. There also exist other cultures, many of which are likely not Romance or Hellenic inspired, but we are not sure on the specifics. It is possible that Mesean culture proper is being forced upon the other member states.
Socially, Colonials are very militaristic, with a lot of importance being put into serving the state and dying for it, which can be seen in their motto: "For the End is Our Glory". They also appear to have a very collectivist mindset, with little care for individuals unless they have performed some great service to the Republic. This is reflected in their hate of statues and paintings, which they deem "lifeless" and a symbol of vanity.
In terms of religion, Mesea and nearby states like Veli or Kraunia appear to worship the ancient Roman and Greek pantheons of our world. We do not know if this is the state religion of the Republic or merely tolerated by its government.
The army of the Republic is the Colonial Legion, which gives the name to the faction. As the name suggests, they are an inherently colonising force, not just an insult used by their enemies. This has been confirmed to be the developer's intention.
The Legion proper is itself divided into smaller legions, which could be equated to real life army groups. The most famous of this was one nicknamed as the Swords of Maro. In terms of ranks and command, this is a theoretical (and incomplete list) of those known to us:
- Legatus Prime: Possibly the leader of the Legion as a whole. Also theorised to be a purely commemorative rank. This was the rank given to the great Velian commander Silas Maro.
- Legatus Domini: Rank likely equivalent to that of a "Field Marshall". This was the position held by Thea Maro at the time of her passing.
- Legatus: Commander of a single legion.
- Gladius Prime
There also exist forces within the Republic separate from the Legion, such as the Republic Rangers.
The name of the navy given to us is that of the Republic Coastal Legion. However, it is theorised that this may only be some sort of coastal force separate from a larger open water fleet.
The Republic is a classical republic, governed by the Mesean Senate. The Senate has the ability to command the Legion and its forces and has jurisdiction within all of the Republic's member states and colonies.
It is composed of representatives from all across the Republic. The highest rank within the senate are the Magisters Prime, of which there are five. Underneath are the State Consuls, each representing one of the many states within the Republic. There also exist other lesser positions but we do not know about them.
There is evidence that these representatives are not elected democratically, and an argument could be made that, at least in theory, these positions are attained through merit. However, there is also evidence to the Senate being run a corrupt oligarchy, with members of many prominent families being seen within its ranks.
As of the year 1005, the Senate had sixteen State Consuls and thus sixteen Member States. Each member state is itself divided into Provinces, which may be ruled by governors known as Prefects. There also exist autonomous City States within the republic that do not appear to belong to any Member State, and seem to be lower ranked within the senate. A notable example of this is the city of Dimiourg.
Colonial equipment is generally meant to be very utilitarian, with a focus on practicality and mass-production. While a lot of it is self-produced by each state, it is common for designs from other places to be adopted. As such, you can see Kraunian tanks or Mesean rifles being used in the Velian front.
The current Colonial uniform consists of a dark green helmet, (similar to that of the American M1 Helmet), a tan long sleeve military jacket complete with a dark green capelet over the shoulder, military pouches along the belt, dark grey cargo/military trousers & light brown boots. The design of the uniform has similarities with that of the second world war British Paratroopers, or the American army in WW2. The capelet is one of the few examples of Colonials choosing aesthetics over utility, and can be see on many other Colonial uniforms (usually altered to not get in the way of the uniform's specific purpose).
|“||''The Caoivish built an empire out of the cold treacherous north, but the Great Wars have taken a toll on our once proud nation. Those southern savages left our home shattered and broken.
It's not just our home they threaten, but our history, our legacy.
Take it back.''
|— Faction selection screen|
The Wardens are the army of Caoiva (pronounced "See-vah"), the country where the majority of the playable map is located. During a typical World Conquest the Wardens control the northernmost regions of the world map. Some map configurations deviate from this standard.
The Warden Anthem is called "Dreaming of the Sun".
Long before the current date, in the Less Sophisticated Times, the lands of proto-Caoiva was split into several petty Kingdoms and independent states, many ruled by different family clans. Despite their differences they still recognised themselves as Caoivish ("See-vish").
At some point, a series of petty squabbles and rivalries between the Clans escalated into a conflict of monumental proportions that lasted for decades and ravaged the country, which became known as the Breaking. It would come to an end when the legendary Iain Callahan would bring together many of the country's powerful Clans and unify the country under his rule.
He would bring prosperity to the nation and turn it into a powerful trade empire, although officially Caoiva never held such a title nor was Callahan an "Emperor". He would also begin the construction of the Bulwark, a mighty wall spanning from sea to sea, in fears of aggression from the Mesean Republic.
Callahan would die during the events of the Velian Civil War, being felled in battle during its final stages. He would be avenged at the Battle of Red River by his son, Fionn Callahan, who would become the next leader of the country and annex large portions of northern Velian lands.
During the Great Wars Caoiva would end up locked in battle against the Republic, managing to resist despite many disadvantages. However, they would suffer great defeats in the form of the Breaching of the Bulwark and the latter offensives by Thea Maro that became known as the Boreal Wars, being forced into exile and joining the Nevish Alliance.
Culturally, the Caoivish are loosely inspired by different Celtic cultures, mainly Gaelic. Despite their general aesthetics, their culture is not based on France or, as some may believe, Germany.
Socially, the Caoivish are a proud nation with a great focus on honour and tradition. They put great importance in craftsmanship and aesthetics, which is reflected in their equipment. They also put great importance on individuals, naming things after themselves and honouring great figures of their nation with statues and memorials.
Religiously, the Caoivish seem to worship a pantheon of gods of which the most important is Father Sun. The symbol of this religion is the Sunflower, and it has an organised clergy and many churches that can be seen throughout the map. This religion has seemingly been spread to many other regions through the use of missionaries.
The ruler of the Caoivish state is the Archon. This position has always been held by the Callahan and Mercy Clans, who have fought over the mantle for centuries. The one exception was that of Duncan MacConmara, whose rule was timed with many unfortunate events in the country's history.
The Archon is chosen by the Witan, a council composed of the original Clans that founded the country alongside Callahan, and can only do so among themselves. It also appears to have some influence over the Archon, overseeing his rule and keeping him in check.
The government used to be based in the old Caoivish capital of Sunhaven (now known as the Abandoned Ward), but after its fall they were forced into exile to Whedon's Row, a heavily fortified city state to the northeast.
The Wardens are the military of Caoiva, although it is debated if it only refers to the army or it includes other branches of the armed forces. They were founded during the times of Iain Callahan and their original purpose seems to have been purely defensive, despite their latter use in expansionist campaigns.
There also exist forces separate from the Wardens within Caoiva, in particular the Hands, who act as the Archon's personal enforcers and bodyguards.
Despite what some have theorised, the Wardens are not the combined army of the Nevish Alliance. As they have been clearly described as specifically Caoivish. The members of the Alliance all have distinct armies of their own.
It is known as the Caoivish Naval Command, which implies it to be a branch separate from the Wardens within the Caoivish armed forces. It is likely heavily supported by allies in the Nevish Alliance, and is known to use designs provided by them such as the nevish Nakki submarine. However, it is known to still retain some notable naval capabilities, with several Callahan Class battleships remaining anchored in Whedon's Row.
In stark contrast to the Colonials, Warden equipment is meant to follow the ideas of "quality over quantity", creating very specialised and advanced designs that can remain relevant for long periods of time. They also have a tendency to be over-engineered, with a lot of importance being put on craftsmanship and the equipment's aesthetics.
Not all Warden equipment is of homebrewn design, as some of it has been imported from other members of the Nevish Alliance (for example the Ahti pistol and the Niska halftrack, both made by the Kingdom of Nicnevin).
The current Warden uniform is somewhat more old-fashioned than the Colonial uniform. It appears to be based on the French Horizon Blue, and their helmet looks like a mix between a French Adrian helmet and a British Brodie helmet. In contrast to their Colonial counterparts, most uniform variants are not particularly different in a visual sense- Caoivish designers struck on a winning formula decades (perhaps even centuries) ago and haven't felt the need to change it. Even the more specialized uniforms consist of the same basic set of clothing (blue double-breasted jacket, brown pants, leather boots, belt) with extra equipment and a selection of headgear based on combat roles. A notable exception to this rule is the officer's uniform- while Colonial officers wear normal fatigues with slight changes to denote higher rank, Warden officer uniforms have numerous small improvements that set their wearers apart from those worn by soldiers under their command, possibly a nod to the fact that commissioned officers traditionally come from noble backgrounds.