Rather than use flesh-and-blood warriors, the Separatists prefer mindlessly loyal soldiers that are easily controlled. The soulless ranks of their armies are dominated by tall, thin B1 battle droids built as mechanical imitations of their Geonosian designers. Battle droids can be controlled by centralized command centers such as the Trade Federation’s enormous Droid Control Ships, or programmed for independent action. They often suffer programming glitches that manifest as personality quirks. Battle droids are dim-witted and no match for clone troopers or Jedi, but they weren’t designed to be smart – they were designed to overwhelm Republic civilians through sheer numbers, something they do very effectively.
The Confederacy of Independent Systems, also known as the Separatist Alliance, was a collection of star systems and corporate titans that left the Republic and fought for independence against the Republic’s clone armies and Jedi Knights. The charismatic former Jedi Count Dooku was the Alliance’s political leader, while its military power came from credits and assets donated by powerful galactic trade groups. No one suspected that the Alliance was actually a tool of Darth Sidious, who had engineered the Clone Wars as part of a Sith plot to rule the galaxy.
During the last decades of the Republic, the Jedi order had replaced any need for a unified military for protection. Instead, private interests maintained their own armed forces in local territories, and the engines of commerce could afford the most powerful and most effective armies. Despite legislation designed to curb the potency of any one private army, the massive corporations were able to build sizable droid forces. The dwarf spider droids favored by the Commerce Guild appeared in the Separatist ranks. The four-legged dome-shaped mechanical arachnid featured a powerful, centrally mounted laser cannon.
A harsh rocky world less than a parsec away from Tatooine, Geonosis is a ringed planet beyond the borders of the Galactic Republic. Its uninviting surface is made up of harsh, rocky desert, and the creatures that evolved on Geonosis are well equipped to survive in the brutal environment. The most advanced lifeform are the Geonosians, sentient insectoids that inhabit towering spire-hives. The Geonosians maintain large factories for the production of droids and weapons for the Separatist cause in the Clone Wars. After the Clone Wars, the Empire chose Geonosis as the construction site of the first Death Star, restricting travel to the system and sterilizing the planet’s surface.
Felucia is a world teeming with fungal life-forms and immense primitive plants. Much of the planet has a fetid, humid landscape overgrown by forests of bizarre wilderness. Many of the life-forms on Felucia are partially or completely translucent; they color the sunlight as the beams penetrate their skin. Others are opaque and imposing, like the enormous jungle rancors that roam the landscape. Beneath the hazy canopies of the enormous pitcher plants and leafy growths is a surreal color-drenched expanse. During the Clone Wars, the Jedi attempted to defend Felucia from those who would exploit the planet.
The infantry used by the Trade Federation had several major shortcomings that were carefully revisited by the battle droids' designers. From that research came the super battle droid, a bulkier, stronger, and more advanced version of the standard mechanical soldier. The super battle droid requires no overriding command signal to operate, and thus has a limited degree of independence. They are fearless and tireless, and will run at full speed into combat, their cannons extended, firing until they have reduced their targets to smoldering ruins.