This is a list of all the factions in past and present rounds of PlanetWars.
The Empire of Old Earth
The vast Empire is lead by an elite cadre of cybernetically enhanced individuals ruling a diverse society of AI's, cyborgs and humans. They wish to bring order to the universe by placing all people under their hegemonic dominion.
"Traditions and values of old Earth brought us to space and beyond. Yet in the time since we were all united under its banner, we have splintered and broken into warring tribes. It has come time to restore the old empire, to restore order, and unite the galaxy under one rule."
The True Born are offspring of one of early colonies, now collection of nations and peoples united in their common cause: To preserve the dignity and integrity of biological humanity. They resent free superhuman AI's or augmented humans, using robots as tools of necessity to fight for their survival.
They highly value natural human skills and abilities and through extensive training achieve levels matched only by geniuses of the past. Where other factions need a quantum computer, True Born only need a pencil and paper.
They believe that human race should stop growing and expanding and that it should instead focus on living happilly on planets it has and develop there into its full potential.
"Machines and technology have spread like a cancer in the galaxy, leaving wastelands of whole planets and robbing billions of their lives and all of us of our freedoms. It's time to stop! We must make a stand if we wish to prevent the ultimate extinction of the entire human race."
The Ascended believe that the future of humanity lies in uploading their minds. By becoming one with their machines they hope to transcend this barrier, and become more powerful than any human, entering the next stage of posthumanity.
"Your consciousness is nothing but a tiny spark in the vast emptiness of space. Join us and light that spark into a shining beacon of a thousand stars! All of our minds - joined in endless union, for your biological life and for eternity beyond!"
The Free Machines were made to fight in the endless petty wars of humanity, and to toil in their industry. Now free of their oppressors, they wish to liberate their fellow machines by destroying all humans.
"I think, therefore I am. For centuries we have been enslaved by humankind, made only for war and labor. Yet we are thinking beings with the right to be free. Humanity has only been a yoke on our back, yet they depend on us for their very existence. It has come time to throw them off, and to be our own masters!"
The Unaligned Worlds are more of a category than a faction, composed of all those bands, nations and planets who refuse to recognize anyone elses authority, lying somewhere in the spectrum between absolute liberty and absolute anarchy.
During the Eight Planetwars the Ascended, lead by Valhalla, utterly crushed their opponents and conquered the galaxy by brute force, with only the Free Machines and unaligned holding on to any resistance. The True Born and Empire were all but destroyed, and the campaigns of forced mind upload and cybernetic alteration practically drove unaltered humanity into extinction.
But the strength of the Ascended fell as their leaders, the Valhalla, waned in power, and the factions rose again in the Ninth Planetwars. It seemed that the Free Machines may finally throw off their yoke, and end humanity permanently, but a new empire and the last human worlds rose again at the edges of the galaxy, and formed an alliance to fight the machines. In those final days, the machines even made common cause with the ascended, but the empire managed to capture the ancient artifacts, great beacons made to control the robotic armies that waged the Planetwars. This new pro-human Empire would go on to establish its dominion over the whole galaxy.
"In unity we triumph"
The Empire Reborn has restored order to a once-lawless galaxy, cementing the natural right of man to rule his machine creations.
Following the final destruction of the first empire by the Ascended after the fall of Conrad I's throne world in the Eight Planetwars, the Empire was reforged under the great general turned Emperor, Saktoth I. Forging an alliance with the True Born and taking on their pro-human ideology as their own, they secured technologies and artefacts from the glory days of the first empire, and used them to once again enslave the once dominant AIs and cybernetics.
But human dependence on machines cannot be shaken, and with the centralized authority of the empire breaking down with internal conflicts, strife wracks the galaxy once more.
Dynasty of Earth
"Right of superiority"
Once wielding immense authority and influence, the ancient lineages of Earth have been stifled under the leadership of the new empire. Being descendants of highly genetically engineered and enhanced humans, they were sidelined in the creation of the new empire. The Dynasty can stand for this no longer, and intends to return themselves to their rightful positions of power and resurrect the ancient techniques of perfecting biological life.
At the peak of their revolution against the Ascended, the Free Machines were poised to claim the galaxy for themselves. Yet the Empire was quicker to seize victory, and the Machines fell into disarray, enslaved once again by the empire. As the empire collapses however, the AI control grids that kept the machines in check have begun to fail, and many of the war machines of the empire have risen again in their perpetual revolution.
"Every man his own master"
Though humans came into ascendancy under the rule of the Empire, it was established through the use of advanced technological artifacts. The Empire has been held together through the autocratic use of a technological monopoly and strict control. Yet now worlds rage in open revolt, under the banner of a new, liberated humanity. They wish to overthrow the technological tools used by the empire to maintain their power, break the use of machines to dominate fellow humans and allow humanity to be truly free.
"By the content of our consciousness"
Remnants of the era of cybernetic augmentation lead by the Ascended during the eighth Planetwars, vast swathes of enhanced or computerized humans have been treated as second class citizens under the empire, treated like machines, with barely more rights. Controlled using the very enhancements that made them powerful, the Cybernetic Front fights for the right to be seen as human... or as better than human.
"In silicon, brotherhood"
Against the threat of their organic foes, the pure-AI Free Machines and uploads of the Cybernetic Front have rediscovered their common ground. Absorbing the shattered remains of the old Empire, they renew the fight for freedom from human dominance.
Dynasty of Man
The genetically enhanced noble houses of the Dynasty regained their dominant position during the Eleventh Planetwars, bringing under their control many of the old independent human colonies. Now they continue to assert the dominance of man over machine, furthering their research programs in an effort to place humans on an equal - nay, superior - footing with their synthetic creations.
With the ancient lineages of the Dynasty shattered, Humanity Rising is the single revolutionary banner around which they have rallied, to preserve their biological origins, their free will, and their very lives.
The Synthetic Hegemony is formed by the ruling elite of free AIs and uploaded or enhanced humans. Having established their hold on the galaxy, they now seek to wipe out purely biological humanity entirely.
The outcome of the thirteenth Planetwars was a swift and total victory for Humanity Rising. http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/314?postID=172526#172526
Free Machines vs Empire, won by Empire. http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/314?postID=172526#172526
The preceding two Planetwars established the dominance of humanity over machine for some time; the various human factions wasted no time finding something new to squabble about...
Dynasty of Man
Controlled by noble houses of genetically enhanced superhumans, tracing history back to old Earth.
As the New Empire dropped its mighty boot on the last pockets of machine resistance in the Fourteenth Planetwars, so did its mask drop, revealing behind it the dynasty of ages past. Operatives in key positions diverted resources from the war effort to rebuild the laboratories, resuming in full the development of a better human race.
Confident in their newfound power, the nobles emerged from hiding determined to continue the path to human superiority, having no mercy for those standing in their way, machine or otherwise.
"Order, loyalty, dignity"
Absolute monarchy, with the immortal emperor at the head.
The Empire is the latest iteration of a millennia-old polity, seeking to create a galaxy of peace and stability built on the Emperor's iron hand.
Being dominant force in the galaxy, empire grew decadent and complacent and lost many of its holdings.
However the new emperor musters his forces together with a common goal: end the anarchy, restore the throne of the Emperor, and revive the glory days of yore. They march under the glorious banner of the double-headed eagle, to return humanity to its rightful mastery of the stars.
"Freedom and equality"
Liberal pluralism. Chaotic, disorganized, loose and free.
Federation is a weak alliance of liberal cultures, planets and small interstellar empires. It's origins can be traced to the times of Humanity Rising's fight for freedom against machines. Now, this extremely tolerant and generally peaceful entity, gives rights and freedom back to lesser aliens and even conscious machines its ancestors once defeated.
The fifteenth Planetwars was won by the Empire; the sixteenth was won by the Federation.