Earth-Based, Politics Oriented Campaign?

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Tyrel Lohr
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Earth-Based, Politics Oriented Campaign?

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

Would anyone be interested in playing in a more politics-oriented VBAM campaign? Despite most of my time being eaten up by VBAM writing and end-of-year bookkeeping, I am getting a bit stir crazy and just wanted to test the waters and see if there would be sufficient interest to run a campaign where each player begins as a terrestrial faction and begins expanding outward from there to colonize/conquer the solar system.

The idea is that all of the terrestrial powers are to the point of developing their space forces. The players will take on the rolls of one of the planet's major powers. I don't want to have TOO many players, but for a game like this we could get as many as 12-15 and still be viable, even if some player positions would end up not being as affluent as others (I would still try to keep things balanced).

The United Nations would act as the diplomatic/political heart of the campaign. All nations would begin with membership in the UN, and have certain associated responsibilities. Each organ of the UN would have a separate function; what level of authority it has, though, will depend on the players and their actions. Election to key rolls/positions will provide some benefits to the player.

The intent is to create a campaign environment where player interaction is more important than simple conquest. This is not to say that a specific power couldn't decide to go to war with another power and try to conquer Earth (Earth will be broken up into separate locations for purposes of RAW/Capacity and the like), or end up invoking a MAD scenario where everyone will start lobbing WMD at each other.

The benefits for me as CM is that I don't have to generate a huge universe right off -- at least at first, we will be dealing with slow movement through the solar system.

Tech development is always a stumbling block in campaigns like this. For that reason, I am using my CM wand and will just generate ship stats that are as fairly balanced as I can. Players will be awarded "Design Points" as a result of tech advancements which can be spent to create new design prototypes. For new units, the player will just have to say in general terms what they want -- not specific stats , just the general concept of what they are going for. Some specifics are okay, but in some cases -- based on previous starship designs -- you may just not be capable of designing something of a certain magnitude. If we do get a campaign started, I will try to be fair and probably offer 2-3 design candidates that the player can choose from.

So, what do people think? Does anyone find this concept interesting in the least?

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Post by nimrodd »

Sounds like this could be a fun campaign. Kind of like the Terran Imperium campaign might have been.
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Tyrel Lohr
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Post by Tyrel Lohr »

nimrodd wrote:Sounds like this could be a fun campaign. Kind of like the Terran Imperium campaign might have been.
Yeah, and I am learning from that particular debacle. I tried biting off way more than I could chew, and it just didn't get off the ground.

Starting from Earth and expanding outward will give us a nice, fairly limited starting map to worry about (especially as I intend to have advancements in strategic drives available, so that for the first bit traveling the inner system will probably be slow, but it will become progressively faster as time goes by). Turn generation will also be a bit faster, as there will be less "stuff" to do each turn -- play will put more focus on exploration and diplomacy than combat and warfare.

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Post by Iron Knight »

Sounds cool, I'm interested. :D
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Post by Tyrel Lohr »

Great!

When it comes to the factions available, a lot will depend on how many players we end up with. In most of my Earth-based settings I end up breaking the nations down as follows:
  • North American Confederation (Canada, US, Mexico)
  • European Union (present EU + most of eastern Europe and Turkey)
  • Russian Federation
  • Holy Republic of Islam (most of northern Afrida, Middle East, and east to Pakistan)
  • African Union (sub-Saharan Africa, mostly, with Ethiopia and South Africa as the major players)
  • Asian Economic Alliance (China, India, Indonesia, Unified Korea - basically a catch-all that ends up in China's economic sphere of influence)
  • British Commonwealth of Nations (UK + Australia)
  • Unasur (Union of South American Nations) - (as name suggests, the economic union of South America)
That is eight major factions right there. I could see breaking Japan and India out as separate powers to increase that total to 10. If we end up with enough players, a few of the other factions could be subdivided, or other neutral powers created. There is also the possibility of a few extremely small countries getting equal weight in the UN, but actually be "political entities" that use a version of the Underworld Empire rules to gain Influence (rather than corruption) and earn income that way.

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Post by Iron Knight »

Oooowww, I'd be up for North America or Unasur, if your looking for players already.
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Post by MarkG88 »

I'm in, anything to expand my experience with core VBAM is always of interest.

I'd be interested in Russian Federation, European Union and British Commonwealth of Nations but I'll take pretty much whatever is available.

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Post by murtalianconfederacy »

Might as well try my hand...

I'd like the British, but I could have either Unasur or Africa...
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Rainer
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Post by Rainer »

I'd be interested in the Russians or China as that should be a fairly interesting experience.

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Nice place

Post by gstano »

Tyrel,

I completely forgot that this board existed. I have since fixed that error!

I know I am joining the party late here, but I am interested as well, especially after my interest in the Terran Imperium game. At this point, I will play where there is space or if you need a bit part player somewhere.

Thanks!
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Post by jygro »

If you got room, I'd love to have a spot, but you might have way too many players. Perhaps the best thing is to have me on the sidelines to maybe see how to GM this kind of game. It sounds awesome.

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Post by Tyrel Lohr »

Thanks for the responses! Here are the slots that have been filled:

North American Confederation (Player: Iron Knight)
This faction is an economic union of the former United States of America, Canada and Mexico. The NAC is one of the most powerful economic blocs on Earth, owing in no small part to the synergy between the three component states. The existing NAC space force is one of the largest and most advanced in existence. It places a special emphasis on carrier doctrine. Census 12, Morale 9, Productivity 9, Capacity 12, Output 54

European Union (Player: Kevin Curow)
The European Union has grown over the past century to encompass most of Europe, including most of the remaining former-Sovient satellite states (including Ukraine, but excepting Belarus). The EU tends to be more conservative than other states, which is likely related to its status as a mature economy. Census 9, Morale 8, Productivity 9, Capacity 9, Output 54

British Commonwealth of Nations (Player: Alexander Gage)
The venerable British empire continues to rule over its dwindling collection of former colonial possessions. The United Kingdom and Australia are its principal territories. While its power has waned, the British government continues to wield a large degree of influence on the world stage. The Royal Navy's star forces put a special emphasis on the battlecruiser. Census 6, Morale 5, Productivity 6, Capacity 8, Output 36

Commonwealth of Independent States (Player: Mark Gladman)
A resurgent Russia was able to strengthen the remnants of the former Soviet bloc under its control in the CIS. Russia is no longer a dominant power, though it maintains respectable industrial might. Census 8, Morale 6, Productivity 6, Capacity 12, Output 36

Republic of India (Player: Geoffrey Stano)
India has thus far prevented itself from being subsumed into China's economic sphere. India maintains a small but capable star force. Its greatest threat comes from overpopulation. Census 8, Morale 6, Productivity 6, Capacity 6, Output 36

People's Republic of China (Player: Rainer Graber)
China's power continues to grow, as does its population. This nation is prepared to finally ascend to superpower status; the only thing holding it back is a lack of available funds. Census 11, Morale 7, Productivity 5, Capacity 9, Output 30

Unnamed Japan/Korea Alliance (Player: Antony)
This position combines Japan and a unified Korea as a single entity (as far-fetched as that might be). They likely joined forces in order to compete against the power of China. This power has less outright economic might than some of its neighbors, but it tends to be more advanced in some fields. Census 5, Morale 4, Productivity 4, Capacity 4, Output 24

Unasur (Player: Keith Tracton)
This South American economic union is dominated by Brazil. Generally neutral in the past, Unasur is not as economically robust as other world powers. Census 10, Morale 7, Productivity 7, Capacity 12, Output 42

African Union (Player: Sean/smh.lvg)
The southern African states, from Ethiopia to the Cape, form the African Union. This stable economic union is still a minor power when compared to the might of some super-states, but it still wields some authority. Census 7, Morale 6, Productivity 5, Output 30, Capacity 7

North African League (Player: John Voysey)
Once part of the African Union, the NAL membership opted to remove itself from that organization. Most of the northern Muslim African natures are members of NAL. Census 7, Morale 6, Productivity 5, Capacity 7, Output 30

Holy Republic of Islam (Player: Jay/xsiberia)
Governed from its capital in Dubai, this progressive Muslim state encompasses all of the Middle East and most of Central Asia. These oil-rich nations invested their wealth into investments in high-tech power generation systems, which has in turn continued to fuel their economies. Census 7, Morale 6, Productivity 7, Capacity 7, Output 42

Unnamed Latin American Power (Player: Steve Fielding)
This power comprises the remainder of the states in Latin America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. They are a loose affiliation of states that are outside of the control of either of the other two major powers in their hemisphere. Census 5, Morale 4, Productivity 4, Capacity 5, Output 24

South East Asian Economic Alliance (Player: Jimmy Simpson)
This collection of South East Asian states is led by Indonesia, though it often finds itself yielding to political pressure from China or India. Census 7, Morale 5, Productivity 5, Capacity 6

Neutral Powers (Player: Noel Johnson)
There remain several powers in the world that remain non-aligned. These nations have opted to avoid foreign entanglements in order to prevent their sovereignty from being compromised by extra-national organizations. Census 4, Morale 3, Productivity 3, Capacity 4, Output 18

The sole remaining territory on Earth is then Antarctica, which has 10 Capacity free. It is up to the UN (or the players!) as how to deal with who gets that real estate...

If I missed anyone, please let me know. If we have any late comers, they will likely have to appear as underworld empires of one flavor or another; I about ran out of usable playing positions for the available players as is (which is why Noel got saddled with the less than desirable Neutral Powers positions).

Hopefully everyone is happy with the positions that they have received. If not, please let me know and we can see if anyone would be willing to swap locations.

This weekend, in between other work, I will prepare starting force lists and starting resources, as well as draft the additional rules. I am hoping to start the game sometime in early March. Unlike the Terran Imperium campaign, though, I am not going to get things completely off the ground until I have starting position information to everyone!
Last edited by Tyrel Lohr on Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Tyrel Lohr »

jygro wrote:If you got room, I'd love to have a spot, but you might have way too many players. Perhaps the best thing is to have me on the sidelines to maybe see how to GM this kind of game. It sounds awesome.
Though I ended up with a pretty full house, I could use you as an underworld empire type agency, Bren! We have to have someone to help control the raiders and the like ;)

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Post by murtalianconfederacy »

Well, I seem to have a little problem--I don't know much of the North African nations--what their customs are, etc, so I'm not going to be entirely true to character.

So do I have Western Africa (like Nigeria, Benin) or is it purely nations with a coastline on the Med?
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Post by Rainer »

Any reason why Unasur is so strong economically? The same applies to the African powers.

I also have a question regarding the overpopulation rules in the CC. Do you really want to make a morale check against 2 for India and China EVERY turn? I somehow doubt that that will be good for game balance.

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