A Tale of Common Things Take up the White Man's burden-- No tawdry rule of kings, But toil of serf and sweeper-- The tale of common things. The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread, Go mark them with your living, And mark them with your dead. -Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden" Please bring all OOC Talk to the Pre-Thread. Orders deadline: Friday, November 1st. Introduction & FAQ What is A Tale of Common Things? Simply put, this NES represents the culmination of the efforts of both myself and resident sexpert flyingchicken at doing a Victorian-era NES with style and class. The idea started about a year ago. In the best manner I know how, I will attempt to capture the conversation that started it all – the veritable flash point, nay, genesis of this entire endeavor: [font=”Courier New”]<%fc> czerth, we should do an 1800s nes together <#Crezth> ok[/font] Figure 1: History in the making A Tale of Common Things is a NES that’s all about the age of imperialism. Although this was a time of great tragedy, it was also a very dynamic period in the history of Europe and the world. The evolutions in political thought, economics, and natural philosophy did much to shake the foundations of the old order, and what resulted was a brave, new world unlike anything that had ever been seen before. As of Victoria’s coronation as Queen of England, the world was putty in the hands of those with the will to mold it. An historical start NES, A Tale of Common Things will start in 1836 with the world as you knew it then – more or less. You will be playing as the government or ruling faction of a country and you will have a variety of useful stats and figures to help guide your policy-making. It’s up to you to find out how to harness your country’s resources to forge a truly great power. Obstacles will be various: economic, political, financial, and diplomatical. Balancing your many obligations and managing to effect positive change won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. Finally, fc and I are co-mods, and we’re to be considered equal authorities in this NES. Will this be canceled after having only completed three updates? Good question. I want to keep it going for the long-haul, but I know I’ve made and broken such promises before. I’ve constructed a very elaborate system and ruleset, with what I hope involves very little overhead, to support this NES. I am prepared to keep the NES running strong to as far as 1936, but empty promises are just that – empty. However, I promise you that if we work together on this, help one another out, and are patient and understanding, we will be able to keep trucking update after update. I will be very forthcoming about delays and issues and I will always be available to contact in some manner or another. What about CNES? The CNES project is on hold indefinitely while I graze greener pastures. I love the idea and look of CNES but I think it’s an idea that needs a lot of work. At any rate, the promise of A Tale of Common Things is great, and this will be the focus of my NESing creative energy for a long time to come. I heard from (so-and-so) that this NES is going to be complex and- Stop right there, friend! I want to say that this NES is not meant to be overly complicated. The big numbers in the stats may seem intimidating, but they’re there for feedback purposes primarily. You don’t need to be extremely well-versed in the witchcraft of economics to play this NES – after all, I am most assuredly not and yet here I am. I welcome everyone to play in this NES regardless of your background or experience. If you want to play, I will work with you to find a country that works for you. Some countries – such as the UK, Russia, France, and others - I will want to reserve for players who I can rely on to participate, but there are in total 44 player slots and that means I should be able to find a fit for everyone. The Rules Stats Sample Stats: Tag: #UK United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Government: Liberal Monarchy Ruling Faction: King William IV - Whig Party (ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR) Politics: Whigs (L/35), Conservatives (C/52), Tories (R/13) Population (Growth): 33,861,000 (+1.19%) GDP (Trend): £675,188 K (Booming) Development Agriculture: 17508 Industry: 5998 Development: 5 Army; 8 Navy; 9 Commerce; 5 Culture; 8 Industry Focus: Navy Government Treasury: £33,759 K Budget Surplus: £11,280 K Net Revenue: £29,630 K Net Spending: £18,351 K Tax Rate (Max): 5.00% (60%) Tariffs: 30.00% Military Army: 86000 Infantry, 16000 Cavalry, 150 Artillery Army Stats: Average Training; Average Leadership; 2 Experience Army Supply: 10.00% Navy: 517 Frigates, 61 Man-o'-Wars, 1 Steamers Navy Stats: Superb Quality; 2 Experience Navy Supply: 35.00% Supply Cost: £5.51 (Limited Exports) Tag The “tag” of your country is a simple call-number that you can use to easily find your country’s stats in the dropdowns below. Country Name In simplest terms, this is the official name of your country. Sometimes it may be more or less “official” but I won’t be very rigorous about that. Government This is the style of your government, described using one of those pithy categories such as “Democracy” or “Dictatorship” that people are usually so fond of. I will attempt to be consistent and descriptive with these categories, and the type of government affects a variety of things to do with the efficacy of your regime. Your government may change passively over time with changes and reforms. Generally speaking, the more repressive your regime, the more people will be inclined to pack up and leave for greener pastures. On the other hand, a more controlling government will mean that all of your administrative efforts are more effective. Ruling Faction This stat lists the current faction that is in power as well as the current head of state. In specific terms, this is what you can be considered to be “playing as.” Your efforts should attempt to align with the policy goals of the ruling faction. There are a number of different kinds of factions. The vanilla factions, and their usual policy goals, are as follows: Conservative (C) – Conservative factions aren’t looking to institute reforms and will favor conducting business as usual. Liberal (L) – Liberal factions favor liberalizing political reforms, but oppose social reforms. Reactionary (R) – Reactionary factions are usually weak, but when in power they will violently oppose liberalizing influences and will attempt to roll back reforms. Socialist (S) – Socialist factions are usually weak, but when in power they will attempt to institute social and political reforms. The sworn-enemies of the Reactionaries. Socialists won’t exist from the start of the NES. Keep in mind that when your actions do not align with those of the ruling faction (consider, briefly, that your Reactionary Japan attempts to abolish the Shogunate), you will face severe repercussions. This does not apply in all cases – for example, a Conservative Britain facing down the barrel of a socialist uprising may consider social reforms to be preferable to civil war – however you must attempt to understand the desires of your ruling faction before you attempt to make big changes, or consider incorporating the big change over a long period of time with a soft touch. There are always consequences for your actions, so be prepared. Politics This is a very brief summary of the different factions in your country by name, their political orientation (given by a letter indicator), and their relative power (out of 100). Relative power dictates who will be taking power in the next elections – the highest value faction will be taking the stage. Relative power increases and decreases for factions based on dissent (displeasure with the ruling faction will erode its relative power), and increases with effective policy. Whenever a major reform is instituted, the relative power of the Conservative and Reactionary factions will increase by a concomitant amount. Population The total number of people directly ruled by your government as well as the change over the past year. This number increases more quickly with immigration and food self-sufficiency, and increases more slowly with emigration and famine. In cases of extreme instability, you may see an enormous increase in emigration. GDP The total market value of all goods produced and sold in your country this year. This is not a value you can impact directly, nor can you directly control this wealth. However, taxation and tariff rates will take your GDP into account when it comes to raising revenue. Agriculture The crop yield produced by your farmers in no particular units. The larger this value in proportion to your total population, the better fed your people are. You can’t impact this directly, although it should give you an indication of how effective your agricultural development is. Industry The manufactured goods produced by your craftsmen in no particular units. The larger this value is in proportion to the total industry produced by all nations in the world, the more powerful and competitive your industry is. Development The level of development your nation has acquired in five different categories – army, navy, commerce, culture, and industry. Development is obtained passively based on the quality of education in your country and how open your people are to new ideas and pluralistic thought. At the start of the NES, only western countries will be able to accrue development – eastern countries will need to obtain the political capital necessary to institute westernizing reforms before they can pursue development. Generally speaking, more development points improve your country in a variety of way. Development is graduated so that it is difficult to pull ahead of the rest of the world, and relatively easy to catch up – however, even small advancements can sometimes be crucial. Broadly speaking: army development is about the type and quality of equipment your army uses, as well as how advanced your doctrine and professional culture is. Navy development is about the type and quality of vessels your navy uses and about how advanced your naval supply, navigation, and naval doctrine is. Commerce development is about the evolution of your financial institutions, businesses, and markets. Cultural development is about how advanced are your social thought and natural philosophy. Industrial development is about the quality and availability of advanced manufactured goods, and the availability of advanced agricultural machinery. Development is a numerical value that increases slowly over time. The “maximum” development value is 30, which represents the level of development that the west had achieved by 1930 in OTL. Focus This is your developmental focus – it indicates the area of development you are most likely to see advances in. You can change this, however in doing so you will cause developmental instability which will slow down all development by a very small amount for several years. Treasury This is the wealth your government has stowed away for a rainy day. A large treasury can be good as it decreases the danger a budget deficit poses. You may spend money out of your treasury on a variety of projects and for a variety of purposes. If your treasury ever drops into negative numbers, you will automatically take out loans which you must pay interest on. If this debt ever drops to below a critical proportion of your GDP and stays there for a long period of time, you will be considered insolvent, and every bank and financial body that had given you those loans will lose those assets permanently. When the threat of insolvency is looming, your stats will show a warning. Budget Surplus This is your revenue minus expenditures. A positive budget surplus indicates how much money will be added to your treasury every year. A negative budget surplus (or budget deficit) indicates how much money is subtracted from your treasury every year. You do not manage your budget manually! You do not need to micromanage aspects of taxes, tariffs, and expenditures. The results of your budget situation are based on your policy, and you will rarely ever run a deficit within reason. However, in situation where spending needs have gone up precipitously (such as when you need to increase army or navy supply), the spending situation will require your attention. Additionally, sometimes for political reasons you may wish to institute new taxes or tariffs, or repeal the same. This is the extent to which you are needed to weigh in on budget issues. I want to be clear that what is expected of you is not to micromanage every aspect of your budget. This information is all FYI. Net Revenue Total amount of revenue your government earns from taxes, tariffs, bonds, and other sources of revenue. Net Spending Total amount of spending your government has to pay from year to year due to military, education, and administration expenditures, plus paying interest. Tax Rate The nominal tax rate. This is how much of your GDP your government aims to seize for governmental purposes. The actual tax rate is much lower and is dictated by your administrative efficiency and commerce development. You cannot set the nominal tax rate higher than your max tax rate, which is determined by your commerce development. You may set tax rate manually, however you do not need to – you may be vague in your spending instructions. Tariffs This is the import duty collected on imported goods as a percentage of those goods’ value. High tariffs make foreign goods less competitive than domestically produced goods, however they can also restrict the access that your markets have to goods that cannot be obtained domestically. Tariffs are generally more efficient than taxes, and there is no maximum tariff rate; however, tariffs can’t gather as much wealth as taxes can. You may set tariffs manually. Army The total number of soldiers and large guns in active service. Not listed are the size of the reserves nor the number of men who can be raised via mobilization. During war, your reserves are automatically depleted to refresh the strength of your armies. When your reserves are not large enough to completely reinforce your armies, a warning like (MANPOWER LOW) will appear in your Army stat. Mobilization During times of war or emergency, you can mobilize your poor strata and press them into service. This gives you an enormous boost to your reserves and immediately raises a portion of your reserves as irregulars. Recruitment & Maintenance When you find a need for a larger standing army, the time has come for recruitment. To recruit, you need two things: money and men. When your manpower is low, it’s probably not a good time to recruit additional soldiers, although you may desire to do so anyway in order to have as many men as possible deployed to the field. In terms of money, new units cost certain number of labor or supply. The cost of supply and labor changes from country to country (see the related section below), and the cost of units is as follows (unless otherwise stated, the costs provide just one of the given unit): Infantry: 1 Labor Cavalry: 3 Labor Artillery: 10 Labor, 200 Supply Irregular: Free* *Recruiting a large amount of irregulars in a short amount of time is "mobilizing the reserves" and can have Consequences. The cost of recruitment is taken out of your treasury. Once recruited, the unit will be in your army until you dismiss them or until they are destroyed and cannot be reinforced. Infantry are semi-mobile units equipped with light arms. They are integral to all aspects of warfare and perform normally on the attack and defense. Cavalry are highly mobile units equipped with light arms. They are quick and devastating on the offense, however their mobility is wasted on the defense. They can give chase much better than infantry. Artillery are non-mobile, lethal weaponry that perform normally on the attack and defense. Though they are expensive, an artillery gun will last for a long time, and are not destroyed as easily as infantry or cavalry. Irregulars are like infantry, but less mobile, poorly trained, and less effective when casualties are incurred. Army Quality The quality of your army in three stats. These stats are all roughly equal in importance but points in each are acquired in different ways: to increase training, you must regularly pay an appropriate level in army supply (see chart below). To increase experience, your soldiers need to be active fighting wars. To increase leadership, you need dumb luck and a good martial culture. Good leaders are hard to find and there’s no absolute formula, however they tend to make themselves known – once a good leader has distinguished himself, his good qualities will rub off on the rest of your army the higher he is ranked. The training-supply relationship is thus. Note that increasing army supply does not guarantee an increase in training, but it is necessary. Training – Supply Nonexistent – 0% Poor – 5% Average – 10% Good – 15% Excellent – 25% Army Supply The amount of your army’s total needs which are met by spending. The higher this is, the higher your military expenditures will be, and the higher your logistical effectiveness will be. Note that keeping army supply low makes sense for peacetime, when your soldiers do not need to be totally combat-ready, but it will severely inhibit their ability to fight come war. Keeping army supply high during peacetime is costly, but it will help keep training up and it will increase your readiness for war. You may set this manually. Army Upkeep The square root of the army supply percentage indicates how much of the following base upkeep costs you pay per year per unit: Infantry: 1 Supply/year Cavalry: 4.5 Supply/year Artillery: 100 Supply/year Irregular: 0.75 Supply/year Note that these are base upkeep costs paid at 100% supply rates. In practice you will rarely ever pay the full amount. Furthermore, these costs are altered by a variety of hidden factors. Specifically these factors are: quality of the army's leadership and training, quality of the army's equipment, level of development of the army. So high-quality armies with advanced guns and great officer corps will cost more to upkeep than low-quality armies with pikes and bored aristocrat leaders. Furthermore, there is an additional hidden army upkeep cost called "salary" which is derived from the cost of labor (see relevant section below). Salaries are always paid at the "full" rate, until they can't due to government problems. As you can imagine, failing to pay the salary can have... Consequences. Navy Total number of vessels in your navy, other than the fact that this involves your navy it is the same as the Army stat. Fleet-Building Adding new vessels to your navy is quite important. Although they are expensive to build, navy vessels are resilient and versatile. The building costs are thus: Frigate: 2000 Supply Man-O’-War: 4000 Supply Steamers: 5000 Supply (Requires 7 Navy Development) Junk: 1000 Supply (Can be built with 0 Navy Development) Note: You may substitute 10 Labor for 1 Supply when building a ship, for up to a maximum of 50% of the total Supply cost converted this way. Frigates are quick clippers with a decent number of guns, the mainstay of a navy. Man-O’-Wars are cumbersome beasts with a large number of guns, the true measure of naval power. Steamers are very fast and maneuverable, can’t match the firepower of frigates. Junks are slow and come in all sizes, but either have no cannonades or very few. Once you have passed your navy force limit - a number that indicates the number of ships your nation can safely support - there will be a warning like (MAX) that appears in this section of the stats. If you see this you should consider retiring or selling some vessels. Navy Quality Navy Quality is represented in two stats: quality and experience. Quality refers to the make and maintenance of your ships and, like training, is maintained by regular naval supply spending. Experience is like army experience. Navy quality, like army quality, requires certain naval supply: Quality – Supply Awful – 0% Poor – 5% Modest– 10% Good – 20% Superb – 35% Navy Force Limit The force limit is the maximum number of ships your many ports and naval bases are capable of safely and reliably supporting. Beyond a certain point you simply lack the infrastructure to care for any more ships. The force limit is in absolute # of vessels, which means that capital ships, schooners, and steamers are all counted the same. The exception is junks, which are not counted in your navy force limit at all. But they suck so don't think building 3,000 of them is a good substitute for a real navy. Once you have passed the navy force limit, your supply costs skyrocket and the quality of your navy will deteriorate at an accelerated rate. Navy Supply The amount of your navy’s needs that are met by supply. Be warned that keeping this value too low for too long can and will erode naval quality as your ships become poorly maintained. Navy Upkeep The upkeep cost, in units of supply, that your ships demand are as follows: Frigate: 1000 Supply/year Man-O’-War: 5000 Supply/year Steamer: 2500 Supply/year Junk: 750 Supply/year Keep in mind that passing your navy force limit causes these costs to increase exponentially. Supply Cost This is the cost of a single unit of “supply.” This value is based on your agricultural and industrial production compared to the rest of the world’s. As a rule of thumb, high industry gives you an advantage, and low industry gives you a disadvantage. Supply units dictate the cost of just about everything you can buy. Note that when you buy things that cost supply, you won’t be required to list the cost of what you’re buying – those calculations are just FYI, in case you want to know what kind of expenses you should be expecting to incur. Please note that supply is in units of single pounds, where GDP/treasury/surplus/revenue/spending are in units of thousands of pounds. So make sure to take that into account when trying to find out how much supply you got. Importing Goods/Supply If your own supply cost is too high, or the equipment your own people produces too lousy, you may decide to import goods from other countries to do things like arm your soldiers and do special building projects. In this case, you must use the supply cost of the country you're importing the goods from increased by your tariff rate (so a 0% tariff rate means you only pay the base supply cost, whereas a 100% tariff rate means you pay twice the supply cost, or 200%). You don't need to negotiate with the foreign government to do this, however be aware that importing goods like this counts as foreign exchange. Since you're placing an order on foreign goods, there's no immediate guarantee that it'll go through - in case it doesn't, the money you would have spent on the supplies is refunded to your treasury. However, some countries have rules limiting the kinds of exports they will put out. Depending on the security of their export laws, you will be limited in what you can buy. Next to the Supply stat in a nation's stats is a short descriptor of the export situation. A quick legend on what those descriptors mean for somebody who wants to import goods from that country follows. Please note that the export liberty level indicates the general case: if you make a negotiation with that country's government, they may give you special access which will not be apparent in the stats. Column 1 Column 2 Export Liberty Import Limitations No Exports Cannot import goods. Limited Exports Cannot import weapons, clippers, steamers, or army materiel. Free Exports Can import all types of goods. Please note again this is a rule of thumb. To give an example, suppose the Prussians have access to an advanced type of small firearm, but they practice Limited Export. If you wanted to buy that firearm from the Prussians, you'd have to ask for permission ahead of time. If it was granted, you could proceed as you wanted buying weapons to arm infantry with from the Prussians. If it wasn't, then you'd have to look somewhere else. However, the Prussians don't have export limitations on I-beams, timber, and coal; so you decide to build a railroad using equipment bought from Prussia. You would be free to do so in a Limited Exports case, although in a No Exports case you would, again, need to ask for permission. Labor Cost This stat indicates the cost of one unit of "labor," which is roughly analogous to the average annual wage earned by the most menial of laborers. Like Supply, units of Labor are used to do stuff. You'll note that sometimes your Labor cost is drastically different from your Supply Cost. This is usually because more advanced economies have more valuable labor, and therefore the demand for their work is higher than in less advanced economies. Labor is the saving grace of non-industrial economies as you may not have scads of industrial goods, but you do have scads of cheap manpower ready and able to work. Note that labor, unlike supply, cannot be easily imported nor exported, so you're stuck with the labor cost of your country.