By Gregg Giles
Oddly enough, wars have classifications given to them through the course of time. Many are vague and several have more than one name. However, when it is all boiled down, it is still simply “war”.
Civil War: Very similar to a revolution except that total military and industrial commitments are made by the belligerent member states to defeat the other. Civil wars also tend to last several years and can become extremely bloody. “The Rebellion” is a civil war.
Colonial war: A conflict between a parent nation and its colonies. The difference between a colonial war and a rebellion is that fighting takes place between full-fledged member states and their colonies, and not between full-member worlds (as in a revolution). The British Empire of ancient Terra fought a colonial war in the “Boer Wars”.
Coup d’e tat: A quick and often bloody overthrow of a government in power. Typically led by a military “junta” made of only a handful of members.
Frontier war: A conflict fought between separate states in a frontier region of space. The Third Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate have fought five frontier wars.
Good war/Bad war: A phrade made popular by mercenaries. In a “good war”, nuclear weapons are not used, the “rules of war” are applicable and repatriation bonds are acceptable. A “bad war” is a conflict in which no limitations are made and restrictions are unenforceable; use of nuclear weapons is possible, and repatriation bonds do no more than bring a good chuckle to the party it is presented to.
Interstellar war: A war which occurs between two or more states, whose purpose is to defeat the others or make substantial territorial gains. Unlike a frontier war, an interstellar war is fought in a civilized region of space. The Third Imperium and the Solomani Confederation fought an interstellar war in the “Solomani Rim War”.
Pacification campaign: An effort that is made by one state to bring an area under its control by using economic and diplomatic means, and through use of military forces if necessary. Such campaigns are generally waged through peaceful means, but fighting may erupt when a faction resists absorption.
Revolution: A conflict that arises inside a state between separate factions. Revolutions are often referred to as rebellions and insurrections. Though considered a revolution, the American Revolution on ancient Terra is actually a colonial war. A better definition can be found in the two Russian revolutions of 1917 AD.