Autumn of Nations

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by J.K. Stockholme, Apr 16, 2022.

  1. Terran Empress

    Terran Empress Hornet

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    The Union of States also condemns Babylon's continued warmongering against neighboring sovereign states. This continued fascist aggression cannot stand!
     
  2. J.K. Stockholme

    J.K. Stockholme Right Opposition

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    National Populations, 2000
    Statistical Society of Sweden

    Every year since the abandonment of the Population Statistics Division of the Soviet-American Security Council, the Statistical Society of Sweden has worked hard to fill in the gap. Here are our best estimates of the national populations of the world's sovereign states in the year 2000. Of special note, "Western Europe" remains the Society's preferred terminology for the territories claimed by Soviet forces in the European conflict.

    In the year 2000, the human population of the entire world is 5.87 billion people.

    Here are the top fifteen countries by population measured in millions of people:
    1. China: 1117.7
    2. East Asia: 612.9
    3. Hindustan: 420.6
    4. Bengal: 395.6
    5. India: 371.8
    6. Western Europe: 219.1
    7. Eurasia: 195.6
    8. Nigeria: 176.0
    9. Union of States: 143.6
    10. Babylon: 141.8
    11. Brazil: 127.3
    12. Afghanistan: 121.5
    13. Argentina: 107.6
    14. East Africa: 103.4
    15. Mexico: 98.9
    OOC: Let me know if you feel any numbers would be substantially different than the ones computed in the linked Google sheet.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2022
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  3. J.K. Stockholme

    J.K. Stockholme Right Opposition

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    THE YEAR 2003

    Fronts, Power Centres, Player Countries:
    Year 2003 Stats



    DEVELOPMENTS

    Olympomachy
    (Super Worldwide Social Control Front): The decline into obscurity of the Olympic Games came about before the Autumn of Nations. After a brief detente, the Soviet Union and the United States boycotted each others’ games, and games hosted by their allies all the way until 1991, when the world order completely reorganized and the games simply stopped aside from a paltry version hosted once by Australia. Technically the International Olympic Committee still exists, and those few private patrons that want to see the games revived are hoping that the Great Powers of the world can come together to unite people with sport.
    Rules: Progress represents the creation of an international sporting super-event that happens every four years, rotating between players and NPCs as per the agreed upon terms of the players. The hosting player in any given year will generally be conferred a bonus (+1 or +2) if they carry out an action that they can persuasively convince the GM will be benefited from the sporting super-event (e.g. using the Olympics to improve your national image in a Social Control action, or using the Olympics to bring in investment money for other projects as an Economy action). Regress represents efforts by the highest rolling player to create a politically subordinate sporting super-event that is controlled by their own state as a Power Centre.
    Reward: Either a rotating Social Control bonus or a Power Centre worth at least 0.8 Social Control, 0.4 Economy, and 0.1 AP.

    Novel Pandemics (Special Front):
    New Events:
    • Front Collapses (4 out of 4 Collapse Points), rolled on a table of diseases
    The local KMT government of southern China has informed the world that an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus has led to the infection of a few hundred people since November of this year. Not much is known about this new type of coronavirus.
    Changes:
    • new Front: Coronavirus
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Novel Pandemics (Special Front): Vaccination campaigns, improved sanitation, and improved healthcare systems helped eliminate smallpox and mitigate numerous other diseases in the developed and developing world. Nonetheless, novel diseases emerge routinely, whether from isolated endemic diseases spread to the globalized world, or new diseases mutating and jumping from animals to humans. The threat of pandemics is ever-present, but only are they sufficiently dangerous to warrant global concern.
    Rules: is Front resolves by GM fiat when the entire player base has collectively developed medical technologies, systems of pandemic response and mass vaccination that the GM deems sufficient to end the curse of pandemics; time this Front escalates the GM will roll a 1d10 against a table of diseases; escalations will always be structured so that the turn the escalation is announced, players can react preemptively; the next turn, if the pandemic escalates out of control, that particular pandemic will take the place of the Novel Pandemics Front until resolved
    Rewards: none (avoiding bad things is the reward)
    Coronavirus (Special Front): Information is scarce on the novel coronavirus reported in China this year, which has yet to even receive a name. Several hundred people have been infected and a few dozen have died, but thus far the outbreak is limited to a handful of hotspots among food and healthcare workers in southern China. Doctors there report the infected suffer flu-like symptoms such as dry cough, shortness of breath, and lethargy, with several deaths attributable to concomitant pneumonia. It remains unclear what the fatality rate will be and if transmission is airborne or a less infectious means like droplets, both factors that will decisively influence whether the disease peters out or emerges as the first global pandemic since HIV/AIDS.
    Rules: This Front will collapse next turn, and the players will discover the virality and lethality of the novel coronavirus - but it will also by that time be too late to prevent its initial spread. The Front’s target number will then be re-adjusted; if the disease will peter out, the next collapse will end the Front of its own accord, if the disease is a pandemic, the next collapse will begin a new worse phase of the disease. Players can respond to this Front however they wish, whether ignoring it, attempting to stop the spread of this virus even before knowing if it's a serious concern (a “full success” would equal 2 Front Points and therefore beat the virus’s collapse points), or other actions. Actions taken this turn will have a far more profound influence on the course of the disease than actions taken next turn when you have more information, but have let the disease go ahead on its natural schedule for a full year.
    Rewards: none

    Islamism & Jihadism (Super Worldwide Social Control/Espionage Front):
    New Events:
    • Front Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
    A string of al-Qaeda claimed attacks have terrorized people from East Asia to India to East Africa but most especially in Babylon this year. The attacks included a surface-to-air missile strike with ex-Soviet equipment against an Indian commercial airliner landing in Nairobi that blew up the plane and killed all on-board; a car packed with explosives that ran over civilians in a crowded marketplace in Jakarta and then exploded, killing two hundred people; a group of riflemen who attacked a communist party office in Hindustan gunning down a dozen people; as well as lesser attacks, some foiled, in Afghanistan, Maghreb, Ethiopia, and Burma. The worst was saved for Babylon, as was amateurishly explained in a VHS tape distributed to global media outlets by al-Qaeda’s leader, who decried Babylonian “paganism” taking hold deep in the heart of Islamic lands and beseeched Muslims the world-over to carry out a violent jihad against them. Babylon was targeted more than any other country, with several suicide and car-bombings in Baghdad, Aleppo, Cairo, and among the then still active warzone of Turkish borderlands. The greatest of these attacks was the hijacking of Mesopotamian Airlines Flight 159 which nose-dived into a Babylonian destroyer undergoing repairs at a dockyard in Kuwait, killing hundreds and causing a raging fire across the wider military base that will be costly to rebuild.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: al-Qaeda’s strength as a terrorist organization is growing and their number one target is Babylon
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Islamism & Jihadism (Super Worldwide Social Control/Espionage Front):
    New Actions:
    • Argentina: rolled 5, failure. -1 FP for social science efforts representing Regress
    The bizarre story of two Argentine academics arrested while visiting Babylonian Egypt helped journalists uncover a seemingly innocuous Argentine charm offensive carried out across the Islamic world this year. The pair were allegedly on sabbatical and visiting friends at Cairo University, but were arrested by police who rounded up a dozen other instructors and students, some with confirmed links to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Argentinians, it turns out, were indeed academics, but were also under orders from the Argentine state to persuade Islamic scholars of a synthetic Islamic-technocratic model of social theory. Although Babylonian intelligence was on high alert for Islamists this year in unrelated events, the academics were also just plainly untrained in the art of international intrigue. From the moment they landed at the airport the academics aroused suspicions with the Babylonian secret police who tapped their calls, followed them to their meeting, arrested them and their co-conspirators, and interrogated out the details of the wider plot. The academics were extradited back to Argentina, but only after a spate of arrests on campuses across Babylon, Libya, Kush, and Persia. Though barely denting the wider Islamist movement, the potential technocratic turn has been pretty well snuffed out. The ivory tower overtures are believed to have failed more or less anywhere they went even outside the neo-traditionalist regimes, with local professors showing disdain at Argentine Catholics and atheists bringing in ideas that were seen as too religious (Afghanistan), not religious enough (Bengal), or just antithetical to pre-existing ideological ethos of the academic and student bodies (Oman).
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: the great majority of technocratic Islamic thinkers are imprisoned in Babylon, Libya, Kush, and Persia
    Trajectory: Technocratic Islamist ideas will wither away while their believers rot in jails; other strains of moderate Islam takeover in their stead, making technocratic Islam a historic footnote in less than a decade (2009). Argentina will receive 1 XP for failing this Front.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Islamism & Jihadism (Super Worldwide Social Control/Espionage Front): Despite decades of Babylonian and American suppression, most prominently with the smothering of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its cradle, political Islam continues to be a powerful undercurrent throughout the Islamic world. This undercurrent is fluid and in desperate need of a major role model to decide its fate in the early twenty-first century. The two current pulls across the Islamic world are those between the moderates of Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and Islamic Congress of East Asian Indonesia, and the fanatics like al-Qaeda and the Bengali Islamic faction. Moreover a niche technocratic angle on Islam as a religion of science has taken hold among guerrillas in northern Nigeria. Should a decisively religious Islamic society emerge in world affairs, whether in Bengal, Egypt, Indonesia or elsewhere, it could serve as a role model to determine the future character of Islamic activities.
    Rules: Regress represents efforts to eliminate moderate Islamic Republicanism and bolster/harness fanatical Islamism, Progress represents the bolstering of moderate Islamic Republicanism and crushing of fanatical Islamism; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: consolidation of global Islamic politics around an ideologically preferred axis
    Related Fronts: Indian Tensions

    Filibuster War (Regional Mexico Warfare Front):
    New Events:
    • Argentina: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for intelligence activities
    The so-called Filibuster War kicked up dust for the first time in years, as the ex-American military forces based out of Mexico City began a renewed offensive against Suzukian rebels in the south of the country. The attacks started in summer after a hugely consequential fracturing among the Suzukians in the early months of the year: rebels controlling Yucatan and Chiapas declared their intention to formally petition to join the Plurinational Republic of Central America. This dramatic split made an opening for the filibusters to push out the now weaker Suzukian resistance. The sequence of events is not well understood, but most intelligence assessments believe Argentine agents cavorted secretly among disaffected leftists and Central America. Argentina is also assumed to have carried out these spying activities due to their fairly public disbursement of funding to the filibusters, who reporters attest have lavishly wasted Argentine money on mansion and other luxuries instead of the war effort. Although the filibusters claim to be científicos in the tradition of Porfirio Díaz, Argentinian attaches are bristling at the filibusters’ indifference to technocracy, which is used merely in rhetoric and rarely in-practice. Nonetheless, the filibusters are on a warpath to take over the country, though territorially reduced due to the impending departure of Yucatan and Chiapas into Central America. The impending doom of the Suzukians has forced them to shift tactics to more desperate measures, including an increase in eco-terror bombings of oil rigs around Veracruz, which are blow up at a concerning pace.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: the filibusters’ commitment to technocracy is opportunistic and politically cynical, they are mainly corrupt self-interested authoritarians
    • new World Fact: Mexican oil rigs are harassed by eco-terror bombings
    • new World Fact: Yucatan-Chiapas rebels intend to politically unify themselves with Central America
    Trajectory: The Filibuster War will be long and hard-fought over less than a decade, but the filibusters appear on route to be triumphant (2010). By that time, Yucatan-Chiapas rebels will politically separate from Mexico and join Central America, and the Mexican petroleum industry will be seriously undermined due to eco-terror attacks.

    Spoiler 2000 :
    Filibuster War (Regional Mexico Warfare Front): The United States military maintained a reactionary ideology in many of its divisions that was at odds with everything the Rainbow Republic stands for. This was true especially in American-occupied Mexico during the 1989-1991 collapse, when American forces defected from the United States and joined the local American puppet regime, bolstering it against a new wave of guerrilla activity in the north and south over the course of the 1990s. The conflict has been stale for a few years now, with no movement from any side, but interest from one of the Great Powers could push a final resolution to the conflict in a matter of years. (see NPC description for Mexico for factions of this civil war)
    Rules: factions supported by the top two rolling players will be the sides that contest for victory, the other falling apart
    Rewards: unification of Mexico under your preferred civil war faction

    Babylon-Turkey War (Regional Turkey Warfare Front):
    New Events:
    • Babylon wins the Front (2 out of 2 Front Points)
    Turkey and Babylon ended hostilities this year, agreeing to a ceasefire in summer and negotiating a final settlement to the war by November. Babylon and its fledgling neo-Ottoman client state slowly acquired air supremacy over the first half of the year, after which point they rolled into Ankara with few casualties. Despite control of the sea, the skies, and most of western Turkey, Saddam Hussein graciously proposed the same demands as last year, which would merely slice off Aegean Turkey and Marmara into a neo-Ottoman state and hand Rumelia over to Yugoslavia, a deal believed to have been brokered behind closed doors among the Great Powers. The DEP accepted the deal, a final straw for many Turks in the republican air force, who joined one last wave of defections to the Sublime Ottoman State where the balance of aerial power now lies, though substantially reduced from its pre-war glory. The DEP has also renamed and begun the socialistic reorganization of the now former Republic of Turkey into the Plurinational Republic of Turks, Kurds, and Armenians (otherwise known as Anatolia). Meanwhile Babylon exits the war with over ten thousand dead soldiers, a lot of lost hardware, and an unpopular client state whose supposed claimant has refused offers to leave his happy life in New York City.
    Changes:
    • the Turkish Air Force Power Centre’s proficiency scores are reduced by half
    • Babylon controls the Turkish Air Force Power Centre
    • new NPC: Sublime Ottoman State
    • new NPC: Anatolia
    • defunct World Fact: the armed forces of Turkey have splintered between neo-Ottomans and republicans who fight on opposite sides of the Babylon-Turkey War
    • defunct World Fact: Kurdish and Armenian guerrillas control eastern Turkey and are preparing to fight an asymmetric conflict
    • new World Fact: Anatolia has a small but exceptionally experienced air force
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Babylon-Turkey War (Regional Turkey Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Union of States: voluntarily withdraws (free action)
    • Babylon: substantially narrows war goals (free action)
    Saddam Hussein graciously delivered a much less ambitious peace package to the Turkish government this year, which was swiftly rejected with patriotic calls to continue to fight. The terms of the deal would see the Bosporus and Dardanelles region alongside most of Aegean Turkey ceded to a neo-Ottoman breakaway state, with Babylonian troops withdrawing from the rest of the country, and a minor cession to Yugoslavia. Although the Turks continue to fight, Rainbow Republic arms shipments quietly petered out over the course of spring, which has allowed Babylon to start making slow progress toward their war goals, which will put them in a position to simply declare “mission accomplished” by the end of next year.
    Trajectory: Babylon will seize the Marmara and Aegean regions of Turkey and the Turkish-DEP government will accept the peace terms, creating a new NPC in neo-Ottoman western Turkey within a couple years (2003). The Turkish Air Force’s proficiencies will be divided in half and assigned to neo-Ottoman Turkey (under Babylonian influence), representing officer defections, equipment captures, and neo-Ottoman experience from war, while DEP Turkey will receive a World Fact related to their air force, and will also rename and restructure itself.
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Babylon-Turkey War (Regional Turkey Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Babylon: rolled 15, hard success. +1 FP for the invasion of Turkey representing Progress
    • Union of States: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for arms shipments representing Regress
    In a decisive 24 hours, as Babylon’s Mediterranean Fleet reached the Bosporus, the Turkish neo-Ottoman officers attempted a coup in Ankara and Istanbul against the left-wing Kurdish-Armenian-led Democracy and Labour Party (DEP). The coup was supported by Babylonian missile strikes but met unexpected resistance from a large contingent of the republican-conservative Turkish military, which sided with the DEP due at least in-part to what was later discovered to have been secret signals of support from the Union of States in the days preceding the Babylonian move on the Bosporus. The illusion of a quick victory was dispelled within hours as Babylonian and Turkish forces squared off outside the Dardanelles and over Anatolian skies. Suddenly afraid the neo-Ottomans would fail to secure Turkey’s small nuclear arsenal, Babylon struck out with missiles all over the country in the desperate and barely successful effort to knockout Turkey’s nukes that came at the great cost of activating a vast patriotic upswell from the Turkish people in support of the DEP. Over the following week, the pro-Babylon neo-Ottoman officers secured Istanbul and its surroundings, saw a wave of defections from the Turkish military to their cause, and declared the recreation of the Sublime Ottoman State, which is being run as a military junta while they petition the childless Ertuğrul Osman, head of the Osmanoğlu dynasty, to return to Turkey from his quaint apartment in Manhattan. Backed by the anti-Babylon portion of the Turkish military as well as arms shipments from the Union of States via Yugoslavia and the Mediterranean, the DEP rallied Turks, Kurds, and Armenians alike with calls to defeat the invader and defend their multinational republic. Over the rest of the year, Babylon executed a full-scale war, routing the Turkish navy, securing the Bosporus, accepting the surrender of numerous defecting Turkish units, and making gains across south-central Turkey, but failing to achieve air supremacy against the veteran Turkish Air Force, and stalling on all fronts due to well supplied and armed enemy forces. The Babylonians also made zero headway past the mountains of eastern Turkey where Kurdish and Armenian guerrillas are preparing for yet another long insurgency should the west fall. The provision of American arms is tenuous, relying thus far on the difficulty of distinguishing between non-military and military vessels, and the occupation of the Babylonian navy in fighting the Turkish navy and supporting a complex invasion of the Bosporus. Moreover, the Rainbow Republic’s “Arsenal of Liberation” is finite and will eventually deplete to levels that would put them in jeopardy should another conflict arise. Neighbouring governments have issued a mix of responses. Ultranationalist Greece has been unusually muted given their oft-stated territorial demands against Turkey, perhaps waiting on a Great Power to promise them something, Yugoslavia is openly accepting a wave of Turkish refugees and letting American arms freely flow through its borders, while Great Britain has issued a strongly worded letter condemning the Babylonian invasion and reminding Babylon that they will defend the Commonwealth realms of Cyprus and Rhodes if provoked.
    Changes:
    • defunct World Fact: Turkey has a few nuclear missiles
    • new World Fact: the Turkish people are hostile toward Babylonian invaders and are patriotically mobilized in support of the DEP
    • new World Fact: the armed forces of Turkey have splintered between neo-Ottomans and republicans who fight on opposite sides of the Babylon-Turkey War
    • new World Fact: Kurdish and Armenian guerrillas control eastern Turkey and are preparing to fight an asymmetric conflict
    • new World Fact: the Babylon-Turkey War has created a wave of Turkish refugees, which are largely leaving to Yugoslavia, where they are openly accepting them
    • new World Fact: the Union of States is provisioning the Turkish armed forces via tenuous supply routes over the Mediterranean and Yugoslavia
    Trajectory: Babylon’s advance is stalled, with thousands of soldiers dying. Meanwhile the Rainbow Republic’s stockpile of arms is depleting. Since both sides are equally matched in Front Point generation (+1 for both sides), the trajectory of this Front is collapse. The Rainbow Republic will run out of war materiel (leaving it extremely vulnerable for a few years after that point) and Babylon’s will be understaffed from casualties and demoralized (leaving it extremely vulnerable for a few years as well) after less than a decade of fruitless conflict (2008). Babylon will keep what it currently has achieved (including a puppet government over the Bosporus), Turkey will be economically ruined, the Turkish Air Force Power Centre will remain independent, and the left-wing DEP will remain the government of Turkey. Both Babylon and the Union of States will gain 1 XP for mutually losing this contest to collapse when it does so.

    Omani Ultimatum (Regional Oman Warfare/Administration Front):
    New Events:
    • Babylon & India: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for compelling democratization
    Babylon broke nearly a decades-long streak of successful neutrality for Oman this year when Saddam Hussein began another military mobilization in January. Babylon’s forces, still busy in Turkey, took the better part of a year to martial together a force that could tackle Oman, but were appearing poised to do so as offensives were finishing off in Turkey during summer. The Omani princes and their lethargic sultan panicked at the prospect of war, tossing around wild threats that they would mine the Strait of Hormuz to cut off Babylonian oil exports, which would plunge the world (including Babylon) into an unprecedented energy crisis. In this atmosphere of panic Indian negotiators swooped in and triaged Babylonian demands with Omani fears into a masterstroke of diplomacy: Babylon would leave Oman independent on the condition that their technocratically minded princes ceded power to a democratically elected parliament, and also cede a large stake in Oman’s oil wealth to the Mesopotamian Petroleum Corporation (India would also take a share). Finalized in August, Oman arranged for a constituent assembly and the sultan approved a democratic constitution, with national elections scheduled for next year. The student movement and liberal-minded civil service have taken centre-stage in the fast-action political liberalization.
    Changes:
    • n/a (changes will take place when the Front succeeds)
    Trajectory: Next year (2004) the democratic consolidation will wrap up with liberal students and reform-minded officials (blue) becoming the government and technocratically-minded princely elites (tan) becoming the opposition. Since the princely elites operate the Gulf Forum Power Centre and this Front could/should be able to decide its fate, Babylon and India can, as a free action taken jointly, assign the Gulf Forum to either one of themselves - if they cannot agree, it will remain unassigned to any Great Power. This decision must be made before the completion of the Front (i.e. this turn).

    Poor Southern Campaign (Regional Southern Republic Espionage/Social Control Front):
    New Events:
    • Union of States: rolled 12, hard success. +1 FP for poor white dissidence
    The red hot rhetoric wildly spewing forth out of the Southern Republic somehow managed to get even more apocalyptic this year in the wake of what they allege to be further agitation efforts by the Union of States. Several alleged “agents” of the Union of States have been captured in high-profile and well-publicized arrests, sometimes so well publicized News Corp-affiliated film crews live-broadcasted raids alongside cooperating law enforcement. The international press however perked up to the hyperbolic assertions when a Southern mutual aid group rushed in to help those affected by an accident in an Appalachian coal mine, and soon thereafter saw the mine unionize. When the President of the Southern Republic reinstated military conscription, there was a wave of conscientious objectors, almost all poor whites, whose legal advocacy support appears to have been partially funded by the same mutual aid network. These incidents have been noted by the foreign press as evidence that the government’s grip over its lower class is slipping. Nonetheless, conscription and the slow building conflict in the Caribbean is portrayed by the Southern Republic as an attempt to deter the Union of States, whom the Southern Republic has this year begun to baselessly accuse of planning to invade. In an additional important development, white supremacist and evangelical groups in the Union of States itself have also become activated in the increasingly tense milieu. White supremacists seized and declared independence on behalf of a few square kilometres in Pennsylvania where a farm and a historic barracks are located - a few days into the siege they were killed by Union forces. More successfully, Jerry Falwell and other popular televangelists and radiovangelists have operated huge legally grey rallies in rural and conservative parts of the Union of States against the government and for de-escalating tensions with the Southern Republic. These god-fearing rallies have unnerved officials in the Union of States as they have quickly realized through their extensive system of mass communication and legitimation that these evangelicals are popular among a wide swath of the country’s rural whites.
    Changes:
    • notes: this action was almost too similar to the previous action to be counted as “qualitatively distinct”; be careful with future orders in the Southern Republic that use Espionage as I am liable to consider them invalid since two separate and similar actions using Espionage have been undertaken now
    • defunct World Fact: Southern whites (whether Appalachian or Dixie) are being whipped into an anti-Rainbow Republic jingoistic frenzy
    • the Union of States stress “forces of reaction” adds 4 Collapse Points, triggering an escalation in the form of a new short-term Stress: Great Awakening
    Trajectory: A pink opposition will emerge in the Southern Republic’s mainland territories composed of rural Appalachians and poor southern whites organized through unions, mutual aid groups, and other social organizations, within half a decade (2009).

    Great Awakening (Union of States Short-Term Stress): Much of the lands the Rainbow Republic governs are rural and populated by proud conservative Americans who have been impervious to government attempts at political conversion. Having managed to evade censorship, religious pastors preach their message over radio and television and found a deeply loyal audience among these conservative strongholds. Although the mainstream media of the Union of States maintains that it has not directly agitated the Caribbean resistance movement nor recent unionization and draft dodger activities in the Southern Republic proper, conspiracy theories and coded political language among televangelists have captured the imagination of the conservative religious rural right. Evangelical activists have gathered people in huge outdoor rallies against the Union of States and in-support of the Southern Republic against instability and war and in favour of god and his dominion over earth - all totally at odds with the political hegemony of the government.
    Rules: If this Stress is not resolved before it collapses, it will transform into a long-term Stress. Resolution of this Stress can be indirect (i.e. as a secondary consequence of an Action on a semi-related but distinct Front) or direct (i.e. making a Front specifically targeting this issue).

    Green Valley (Super Worldwide Science Front):
    New Events:
    • East Asia: rolled 24, full success. +2 FP for investments in clean tech
    East Asia’s raison d'être since Suzuki’s rise to power has been environmentalism, focusing the populous and developed nation’s industrial might and creative wits toward clean technologies well before the turn of the millennium. Even for the world’s foremost environmental power, the practical realities of clean technology have been challenging. Solar and wind power remain expensive, while nuclear power is unpopular (especially among environmentalists), forcing even East Asia to continue to rely on oil, gas, and coal for energy. Moreover, even cheap solar and wind would still have issues of regularity, as the modern battery remains unsuited to the job of grid-sized electrical storage. Mass transit and cycling are nice but no replacement for the automobile, for which a hydrogen or electric design that is cheap remains elusive, even if energy efficiency has eliminated urban smog. To solve these problems, a coterie of National Champions, F11 universities, and other laboratories and science bureaus have increasingly concentrated their resources into an integrated and dynamic clean tech hub in western Japan that has this year been dubbed the Green Valley, in honour of Silicon Valley in North America. The economic integration is a self-conscious effort on the part of the economic managers and elite of East Asian society to bring the cost of clean tech production down in three key areas so that they compete with their fossil fuelled competitors on international markets: (a) solar and wind for energy production, (b) electric vehicle for transportation, and (c) lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. Although this does not solve the emissions problem inherent to other fields (aviation, shipping, cement, chemicals, etc.) it is a powerful first step.
    Changes:
    • n/a (changes will take place when the Front succeeds)
    Trajectory: In a little less than a decade East Asia will have consolidated a Power Centre in the form of the Green Valley, which will hawk its clean tech wares on international markets at costs competitive with their rival fossil fuel tech versions (2009).

    Bratva (Regional Eurasia Social Control Front):
    New Events:
    • Eurasia: rolled 12, hard success. +1 FP for auditing the mob
    The war on guns has expanded in Eurasia to a war on the Russian mafia this year. The top Eurasian strongmen decided not to send law enforcement after these criminals, nor use their widely rumoured connections to the Russian mafia among their intelligence services, but instead opted to hand the task over to accountants and civil service bureaucrats. Although some attempts to audit the mafia as instructed from the strongmen were made at the start of the year that fizzled out, the Eurasian civil service is one of the most agile in the world and developed a couple trick-shot avenues of approach that will at least mitigate the Bratva if not eliminate it. First the administration put further pressure on government officials who could be more realistically audited and targeted for corruption, which helped remove a lot of bad apples with criminal connections to the state outside the arms trade. Second, the civil service got the government to approve a wide ranging package of social policies aimed at reducing crime, from support for neighbourhood watches to partially decriminalizing prostitution to targeted welfare for families at high-risk of criminality. These efforts however ran up against multiple problems outside of the civil service’s scope of expertise, including more mafia-linked assassinations that have made working for the civil service a life-threatening job. The other major headache has hit Eurasia at the heart of its politics, as the regional strongman in-charge of Poland decried being prejudicially targeted by the civil service and has made public statements hinting at the possibility he might raise the spectre of Polish independence if the national bureaucracy doesn’t stop picking away at his subordinates and his other corrupt dealings.
    Changes:
    • the Eurasia stress “secessionists and nationalism” adds 2 Collapse Points
    • the Eurasia stress “inflexibility and corruption” adds 2 Collapse Points
    Trajectory: Eurasian civil service agents will slowly but surely shrink the power of the Russian mafia through social policy and aggressive audits such that they become a relatively more marginal force than they are in the present by the end of the decade (2010).

    OLD NEWS

    Spoiler Soviet Civil War :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Soviet Civil War (Super Europe Espionage Front):
    Trajectory: The British blockade will continue to indirectly help other factions of the Soviet Civil War grind out the French ultranationalists until 2007, when the flow of arms will dry up for everyone in the civil war due to Eurasian anti-arms trafficking efforts. The terminal point of the conflict will then be the collapse and balkanization of all factions and finally a recognition of the end of hostilities in the distant future (2020).
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Soviet Civil War (Super Western Europe Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Eurasia: rolled 10, failure. -1 FP for arms smuggling representing Progress
    The colossal quagmire across Western Europe saw a serious escalation this year. Great Britain, having remained merrily neutral about a continental conflict in which no side threatened to become a hegemonic power, spotted increased activity among airliners and cargo ships originating from Eurasia. After months of quiet observation, the Royal Navy abruptly seized a Eurasian vessel in summer and claimed to the world they had discovered guns, munitions, as well as chemical and radiological weapons hidden among grain and other foodstuffs. With their majority in parliament, the Tories have approved an indefinite military blockade of European coastal regions controlled by the French ultranationalist faction of the Soviet Civil War.
    Changes:
    • rules note: the negative Eurasian FPs do not benefit any particular faction, they merely hurt the French faction; i.e. the net negative points accumulated will not benefit another power taking up a different faction, they are just there as a reminder the French faction is dying, which I’ll keep track of somewhere else should another power step in before that actually occurs
    • new World Fact: Great Britain is enforcing a military blockade against ultranationalist France
    Trajectory: The British blockade will choke the French ultranationalists of war materiel and ultimately grind them into dust over the course of a long painful decade (2010). Eurasia will gain 1 XP for losing the contest.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Soviet Civil War (Super Western Europe Warfare Front): In August 1991, members of the Soviet Ministry of the Interior, secret service, and military came together and relieved their reformist leader of his position. The instantaneous and widespread public backlash was met with martial law and a breakdown of civil order across western Europe, where the hardliners still held substantial control of the military and organs of government. Since then, the Soviet Civil War has raged on across the three core territories of the former union: France, Germany, and Italy. The battle lines have hardened over the past decade of conflict and global economic turmoil, but with the return of Great Power competition, this increasingly stagnant conflict could restart should the status quo be disturbed. (see NPC description for West Europe for factions of this civil war)
    Rules: best two rolling players will promote the military expansion of their chosen faction, eliminating other factions with no backer or worse rolls; if a hegemon emerges, a new player may be invited to the game to play them
    Rewards: unification of West Europe under your preferred ideology
    Spoiler Wonder Drugs :
    Wonder Drugs (Super Worldwide Science Front):
    New Actions:
    • East Asia: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for pharmaceutical research
    The East Asian economic miracle of the late 1980s and 1990s is often attributed to Takayoshi Suzuki’s National Champion system, a suite of market reforms that created several large and internationally competitive semi-private corporations. One of these National Champions is Takeda Pharmaceutical, which received an enormous investment from the government this year. The terms of the deal aren’t precisely known, but Takeda released information in its annual report promising an ambitious plan to establish itself as the world leader in pharmaceuticals. The report outlined several short-term drug projects with commercial potential, including an anti-arthritic injection exiting clinical trials, to new marketing techniques for painkillers and antidepressants, to an erectile dysfunction medicine whose research was bought with the help of New England immigrants attracted by East Asia’s scientific poaching policy. After satisfying investors, the report further went on to try to satisfy the government, declaring Takeda’s long-term intention to develop hitherto unheard-of vaccines for malaria and HIV/AIDS. The expanded vision of Takeda however was matched almost immediately a round of state and private investment in Takeda’s numerous rival firms in China, which have historically ignored East Asia’s patents and created their own counterfeit or reverse-engineered drugs, undercutting East Asia’s international pharmaceutical sales. Moreover, hardliners critical of the National Champion system are already accusing Takeda’s painkiller and antidepressant marketing as corrupting doctors, causing addiction, and driving society to medicate its problems rather than solve them naturally and socialistically.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: opioid and antidepressant sales in East Asia, especially Japan and Korea, are increasingly every year
    • new World Fact: Chinese pharmaceutical companies are undercutting East Asian sales by ignoring patents and counterfeiting and duplicating East Asian drugs
    Trajectory: East Asia will establish its pharmaceutical industry as the best in the world by the end of this decade (2011), creating an economic Power Centre in Japan centred around Takeda Pharmaceutical. East Asia will also create World Facts related to the first vaccines for malaria and HIV/AIDS.
    Spoiler Sahara Conflict :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Sahara Conflict (Regional Maghreb-Libya Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Babylon: rolled 16, soft success. +1 FP for intrigue against Saharan rebels
    The cold conflict spanning the southern regions of Maghreb and Libya restarted in fits this year, with the recognized governments running short, targeted offensives against individual Tuareg and fundamentalist groups. Although the details are clouded in the fog of war, analysts believe that the attacks were timed to coincide with the fracturing of the rebels under a Babylonian negotiation and assassination campaign. Although the Maghrebi Tuaregs were defiant, Babylon was able to break off some Toubou nationalists out of the Islamist fighters in southern Libya, creating room for Libyan forces to move in against the disfavoured fundamentalists such as Ansar al-Sharia. Though it is unclear what promises were made, the Toubou fighters have not put down their arms or surrendered to Gaddafi’s government, and have declared their wish to re-create the ancient Saharan civilization of the Garamantes. Meanwhile Maghrebi forces appear on a path to victory against their insurrection that Babylon boosted without itself gaining any allies among the Tuaregs.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: Toubou nationalists in Libya have struck ambiguous deals of support with Babylon that don’t involve surrender or cooperation with Gaddafi
    • this Front’s target number is lowered from 6 to 4
    Trajectory: Libyan and Maghrebi forces will crush the Tuareg and Islamist rebels over the course of a slow but easy few years (2005). The new Libyan opposition will be Toubou neo-traditional nationalists.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Sahara Conflict (Regional Maghreb-Libya Warfare Front): Due to drought-induced famines of the 1980s throughout the Sahel and resentment against secular authorities, Tuareg and Islamist guerrillas started waging a low-grade conflict over the interior of northern Africa. Algerian and Libyan armed forces have had a hard time projecting power deep into their interiors, but the Tuareg and Islamist fighters have yet to receive support from an outside power that could shift this status quo.
    Rules: Progress represents Islamist or Tuareg takeover of the entirety of the interior of Algeria and Libya in a new state, Regress represents efforts to crush their rebellion
    Rewards: elimination of oppositions to Algeria and Libya as well as undermining of fanatic Islamism, or establishment of an entrenched new NPC in the interior of the Sahara
    Related Fronts: Islamism & Jihadism
    Spoiler Merchants of Death :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Merchants of Death (Super Europe Espionage Front):
    New Actions:
    • Eurasia: rolled 18, soft success. +1 FP for anti-corruption activities
    Corruption in Eurasian armouries and the Soviet Civil War helped make Eurasia the involuntary exporter of most of Europe’s black market guns by the end of the 1990s. These illegal armament flows create chaos at a time when the world desperately needs more order, or so say the various regional strongmen who have coordinated administrative resources towards a “war on guns.” The main vehicle for this push is an anti-corruption drive in the military, among the arms makers, and the national armouries, an effort which dramatically revealed the depths of corruption and links to the Russian mafia (Bratva) in these sectors of Eurasian society when state agents were found dead in their hotel rooms shortly after firing corrupt officials in one munitions depot in southwestern Ukraine. This was just the beginning of a criminal backlash against Eurasian agents, who nowadays wear body armour and travel with law enforcement, as the year was punctuated with random shootings, attempted assassinations, and even in one instance the sudden explosion of a munitions depot due to sabotage. Eurasian agents, apparently some of the most capable in Europe, are undeterred, and have even expanded the war on guns to co-operative anti-corruption and law enforcement in Babylonian occupied Marmara, Greece, and to a lesser extent, Zapadoslavia, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Although volatile, anti-arms trafficking efforts are expected to eliminate gun-running out of Eurasia and establish effective data tracking for other European states with an interest in stopping the flow of arms.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: criminal organizations are assassinating Eurasian anti-corruption agents
    Trajectory: Eurasia will mostly eliminate the European illegal arms trade in a few years (2007), after which criminal violence against Eurasian state agents will subside. This will also balance the flow of arms favourably for the suffocating French ultranationalists, and negative Front Points will stop accruing to that Front at that time.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Merchants of Death (Europe Regional Espionage Front): The demise of communism and the post–Soviet civil war in Western Europe have together created a black market of military hardware dealers, like “Sanctions Busters” Viktor Bout and Karlheinz Schreiber, who are nimble in moving arms over borders and disappearing state stockpiles. The situation promotes corruption in Eurasia and across Europe, and to a lesser extent in north India and the former United States, while providing a steady stream of arms to any regime or rebellion willing to pay, regardless of ideology.
    Rules: Progress on this would make illicit arms trading much harder, Regress would harness this arms trade for the evil ends of whichever country rolls highest to do that
    Rewards: if harnessed, your very own Merchants of Death cabal as a Power Centre worth 0.4 Warfare and 0.8 Espionage, and 0.1 AP
    Spoiler Petropolitics :
    Petropolitics (Super Worldwide Economy Front): Born in Baghdad, OPEC died in Baghdad. The era of co-operation between oil producers that helped them control the price of oil and use it to threaten oil dependent countries ended dramatically when Saddam Hussein made the decision to simply annex the oil rich regions of OPEC’s Middle Eastern members. The oil cartel was abandoned in the 1980s but since the double-collapse and the stabilization of a multipolar world order, politicians in oil rich countries like Babylon and Eurasia have begun to promote the idea of a new OPEC for a new era. These politicians point out that if just the top six oil producing countries were to band together (Babylon, Eurasia, Colombia, Scandinavia, and Buffalo-Caribou), they would command more than half of the entire world’s oil output, allowing them to control the price of oil, or even threaten or actually enact oil embargoes to get their way against governments that depend on energy imports.
    Rules: Progress represents the creation of an international oil cartel. The nature and makeup of this organization are up to the founding players. For every Great Power that participates (i.e. spends 1 AP), the organization will possess 0.1 AP as part of a special Action pool. Whenever the organization accrues 1 AP, it can enact a petroleum trade-related action that the participating players agree to by the organizations decision mechanisms (voting, rotating leadership, etc.). This can be used to allow players to carry out multi-state actions without each having to individually spend AP to carry it out (e.g. instead of 3 players spending 1 AP each to “hike the price of oil” or “enact an oil embargo against x country”, the oil cartel spends 1 AP and all the players’ relevant agents act on that 1 AP expenditure). Regress represents efforts to crush the creation of an international oil cartel and/or to create an international energy market that cannot be unduly influenced by any one state.
    Rewards: The creation of an international oil cartel, or the frustration of such a cartel and the establishment of a global apolitical free market for oil.
    Spoiler Global Reserve Currency :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Global Reserve Currency (Super Worldwide Economy Front):
    New Actions:
    • India: rolled 15, hard success. +1 FP for monetary efforts representing Progress
    Global investors have taken note of a combination of fiscal and monetary policies in India this year that appear aimed at establishing the rupee as the world’s most stable and reliable currency for central banks and international trade. Indian oil imports from Babylon, Eurasia, and to a lesser extent East Asian Indonesia, already helped build up a central bank reserve of rupees in three of the world’s foremost economies. The Indian government further cemented this trend by constitutionally reinforcing the independence of their central bank, which has begun to lower interest rates, promised a 2% inflation target, and is helping make Indian securities easily accessible to foreign buyers. Buzz among economic elites is making India’s central bank the most prestigious in the world, attracting both India’s best economists, as well as some from the former United States and Great Britain. India's open long-term currency strategy has nonetheless created problems in the short-term. Firstly, politicians in oil rich countries whose central banks are India’s first currency foothold have started promoting the idea of a new OPEC that could give them bargaining power against oil dependent countries like India. Secondly, transnational criminals have already begun to ramp up rupee counterfeiting, especially in the illegal drug production hubs like the Amazon, Afghanistan, and the rainforest borders between Southeast Asian countries. Thirdly, a strong rupee will ultimately make the cost of labour and goods made in India more expensive, which some forward-looking Indian companies have taken as their cue to begin planning industrial investments abroad in markets where labour will remain cheap.
    Changes:
    • new Front: Petropolitics (see below)
    • new World Fact: criminals in the world’s three drug production hubs are ramping up rupee counterfeiting
    • new World Fact: Indian companies are planning to shift industrial investments abroad to low-wage labour markets
    • new World Fact: the Indian central bank is constitutionally protected from political interference
    Trajectory: Years of effective monetary policy and a good reputation will position India's rupee as the global reserve currency in less than a decade (2009).
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Global Reserve Currency (Worldwide Super Economy Front): The collapse of the American dollar and the instability in post-Soviet Europe contributed to the 1990s currency crises, particularly the European financial crisis of 1994 and the Latin American financial crisis of 1997. Although the Pound Sterling is the most used, central banks rarely hold more than 20% in that or any other currency, conferring only a minor economic and political benefit to Great Britain. Should a currency emerge as the primary tender in international trade and central bank reserves, the currency’s issuer would benefit mightily.
    Rules: best roller is Progress, second best is Regress; another entrant replaces the Regress if they roll higher but lose any points accrued by that side; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: winner establishes their national currency as the global reserve currency, giving them World Facts that allow them to more easily sanction entities, run higher trade deficits, and prevent currency crises
    Spoiler Natural Disasters :
    Natural Disasters (Special Front): From earthquakes to hurricanes to volcanic eruptions, from the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs to the Dust Bowl, nature has exacted its capricious whims upon life on earth since time immemorial. Nonetheless, modernity has proved that some disasters are predictable, preventable, and manageable. Hurricanes once killed thousands as they flooded low-lying coastal settlements, but meteorologists can now provide advance warning so that people have time to evacuate, almost eliminating flooding deaths during hurricanes. Proper forest stewardship and firefighting can minimize fires and give people time to evacuate. Even more ambitiously, rocket scientists claim that with more investment they can detect life-threatening meteors and push them off their trajectory with earth, while academics in other fields are eager for funding of technological advances that might end the threat of numerous types of disasters. For now, many of these, from weather control to earthquake dispersion, remain in the realm of science fiction - but perhaps one day they will become reality.
    Rules: This Front resolves by GM fiat when the entire player base has collectively developed technologies and worldwide disaster prevention/detection systems that the GM deems sufficient to end the curse of natural disasters; when this Front collapses the GM will roll a 1d20 against a table of natural disasters.
    Rewards: None (avoiding bad things is the reward).
    Spoiler An Assembly of Nations? :
    An Assembly of Nations? (Special Front): The threat of nuclear annihilation between the communist east and capitalist west was tempered during the Cold War through a small diplomatic club composed of the superpowers and their entourage: the Soviet-American Security Council (SASC). Although nowhere near as ambitious as proposals for a League of Nations or a World Court that were briefly in vogue during the 1920s and 1940s, the SASC had become the world’s best vehicle for military de-escalation before it disintegrated with the Autumn of Nations. In a world of escalating conflicts, institutional internationalism is fashionable again, with lawyers, diplomats, and academics across many countries promoting the idea of a global forum of nations that could vote on matters of war and peace and would be provisioned with the resources and authority necessary to enforce the will of the world’s sovereign states. Should the contemporary Great Powers participate and encourage the creation of some sort of assembly of nations, it might be capable of finally bending the arc of history toward peace and security.
    Rules: Progress represents the creation of an effective international peace and security organization (i.e. a United Nations with teeth). The nature, makeup, focus, and authority of this organization are up to the founding players. The resources and strengths of this organization will be based on what Proficiencies players use to create it. For every Great Power that participates (i.e. spends 1 AP), the organization will possess 0.1 AP as part of a special Action pool. Players may put forward resolutions they wish to see enacted and if they pass (dependent on the players’ voting structure, e.g. one vote per country, one vote per Great Power, something else), the organization will pursue those goals, rolling against its own stats. Regress represents efforts to create an alternative global body or to frustrate and dispel the dreams of any global body of this nature. Only the winning side will get the bonus Action Point pool and resolution passing mechanics.
    Rewards: The creation of an international peace and security organization with its own stat block that can accrue and spend Action Points on resolutions agreed to by its members.
    Spoiler Caribbean Resistance :
    Caribbean Resistance (Regional Caribbean Espionage Front):
    New Actions:
    • Union of States: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for Caribbean resistance support
    American apartheid never ended in the South, which incorporated the occupation forces of Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico in 1991. Movements for revolution and independence were regularly crushed by American invasions throughout the twentieth century which left behind only the toughest terrorists and the softest civil rights groups, the latter of which eschewed violence throughout 1990s. This strategy has made their cause massively popular, but totally failed to impress the white supremacist leadership of the Southern Republic, who continue a policy of brutal violence against dissidence in these three neo-colonies. This decades-old routine was upended this year when occupation forces, used to brutalizing peaceful demonstrators without incident, were surprised by gunmen in the crowd of a Havana protest. The ensuing massacre created a pile of at least one hundred bodies, some of which were later identified as members of the Black Panthers in the Union of States. The Havana massacre sparked a wave of armed protests across Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, while hard-left terror organizations like the Los Macheteros have claimed bombing attacks against radio stations and other infrastructure. The mild demands for civil liberties have also been replaced by agitators with calls for full independence. The Southern Republic’s leadership has used the violence to fan the flames of racial animosity and paranoia against the Union of States, whom they immediately blamed for the unrest. The South further asserted, without evidence, that the Union of States was trying to sway poor whites to communism and had crossed the border into Appalachia to carry out terror attacks. Combined with jingoistic rallies opposing Caribbean independence and the Union of States, the widespread propaganda effort has blocked out alternative viewpoints from the white population of the South and anti-Union narratives have even energized white supremacist and evangelical groups in the Union of States itself. By the end of the year, the violent Southern response to the armed protests is already spiralling out of control, and should this continue for too long, a truly enormous wave of resistance like nothing the South has ever seen before may overwhelm their forces and compel them to withdraw.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: Southern whites (whether Appalachian or Dixie) are being whipped into an anti-Rainbow Republic jingoistic frenzy
    • the Union of States stress “forces of reaction” adds 4 Collapse Points
    Trajectory: Mass protests will reach a crescendo so enormous that Southern occupation forces will have no choice but to withdraw in a matter of years (2005). This will create a loose federation of Caribbean states as a new NPC and a Power Centre out of veteran resistors influenced by the Union of States.
    Spoiler Military-Industrial Complex :
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Military-Industrial Complex (North America Super Economy Front):
    New Actions:
    • India: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for integration efforts representing Progress
    • East Asia: rolled 16, soft success. +1 FP for poaching efforts representing Regress
    Both India and East Asia this year attempted to save the old American arms industry from rusting away. Indian companies and economic elite rallied resources toward the re-integration of each constituent of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC). The Indian government and Indian arms manufacturers placed a flood of new orders to restart production in California, Utah, Texas, the Southern Republic, and New England, creating new business partnerships and bringing in investment. Initially skeptical, these ex-American states were relieved and impressed to see that the Indian strategy involved boosting their own economies, easing both anti-democratic and, in the Southern Republic’s case, racist attitudes toward the Indian overtures. The robust effort has put people back to work at Textron, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and many other firms. Indian businesses found some stiff competition from East Asian universities, the Nissan Group, and the most integral core of the East Asian state itself, the Socialist Association of Science and Technology, which seized on the weak pay, job insecurity, and general malaise in the American arms industry to poach engineers and scientists out of North America to noticeably more lucrative opportunities in East Asia. The academic poaching campaign faced a number of obstacles, from the lack of Japanese or any other East Asian language proficiency among potential targets, to the sizable ideological gulf between average MIC workers and the state ideology of East Asia. These were overcome, at least for the time being, firstly by promises of high salaries and interesting, cutting edge work. These salaries, it turns out, had to be well above the normal distribution for East Asia in-order to beat North American standards and to a lesser extent Indian offers. Moreover, interesting cutting-edge positions have put Americans in important and desired research jobs. These two policies have created resentment among domestic East Asian scientists and engineers who covet the higher pay and have had to watch Americans take spots on the next rung of the career ladder. These tensions are further exacerbated by the MIC workers and scientists stubbornly refusing to integrate, whether that be learning an East Asian language or respecting the socialist society’s norms (and sometimes laws) against bad-mouthing East Asian industrial standards and its form of government.

    Changes:
    • new World Fact: American MIC workers are frustrating East Asia-born colleagues due to their comparatively high pay, prestigious placement, unwillingness to integrate, and anti-government speech
    • new World Fact: the economies of California, Utah, Texas, the Southern Republic, and New England are getting a growth boost from Indian arms orders and MIC integration
    Trajectory: India will fully revitalize and integrate the Military-Industrial Complex of the former United States into its own arms industry in less than a decade (2008) creating a new Power Centre spread between India and the ex-American states, East Asia will have poached a notable cohort of aerospace and armaments engineers in that time (World Fact) and gain 1 XP for losing the contest.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Military-Industrial Complex (North America Super Economy Front): The breakup of the United States left the military-industrial complex in shambles. Spread out over numerous states, the great American arms production supply chain was disconnected from each other throughout the 1990s, and being essentially right-wing in character, arms makers moved as much as possible out of the Rainbow Republic in that decade. Although a substantial portion of the human and physical capital ended up in Texas (Lockheed Martin, Textron, Boeing, General Dynamics), critical elements of the this system remain in California (where naval production is centred), the Southern Republic (where military software for jets and missiles was developed), and New England (where MIT pioneered new military technologies), not to mention supply chain components made in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. If left to waste away, these assets will be reconstituted into domestic supply chains much weaker than the sum of the system.
    Rules: the top two rolling countries will be Progress and Regress in a contest to reconstitute the American Military-Industrial Complex as part of their own arms supply chain; collapse will either partition the system or create domestic supply chains that are weaker than the sum of the whole
    Rewards: your very own Military-Industrial Complex as a Power Centre worth 0.8 Warfare and 0.8 Economy, and 0.2 AP
    Spoiler Second Dot Com Boom :
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Second Dot Com Boom (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front):
    New Actions:
    • Argentina: 18, soft success. +1 FP for entrepreneur immigration efforts representing Progress
    The internet has had a rough first decade, limited largely to academics and wealthier people in cities next to a tech hub. Moreover the greatest place of IT innovation, Silicon Valley, suffers from its erratic dictator, who swings wildly from pro-business free market fanaticism to authoritarian anti-communist paranoia and censorship, the latter of which puts a chilling effect on businesses that don’t know what will or won’t be banned. This year Argentina extended a hand to the beleaguered founders languishing in California, poaching them to labs, universities, and companies around Buenos Aires. Many of these Californians switched out of their initial job offers at established Argentine companies and universities a few months after arrival to make independent startups in Buenos Aires, often co-founding with locals. Already they have created burgeoning contenders for the world’s best browser, the Silver Lance, and search engine, Microscopio. The unorthodox west coast culture of these immigrants has imbued the dot com boom in Argentina with their penchant for aggressively exploiting legal loopholes or legal grey areas to “disrupt” stable industries, create internet monopolies, avoid taxes, avoid regulations, avoid unionization, avoid respecting intellectual property, and generally continue the steady rise of income inequality. Moreover, the success in software has not been replicated by Argentine firms in the expansion of broadband, with the Spanish company Telefónica dominating the broadband revolution across Argentina and in other parts of the Spanish speaking world.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: immigrant American tech entrepreneurs are creating legally grey internet businesses that promote inequality
    • new World Fact: Argentine broadband and internet infrastructure depends on the Spanish telecom company Telefónica
    Trajectory: Argentina will develop a globally unparalleled tech hub with Silicon Valley cultural quirks over the course of the next half decade (2006) creating a new Power Centre in Buenos Aires
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Second Dot Com Boom (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front): The internet began in 1982 but adoption was limited to academics until the advent of the World Wide Web between 1989 and 1993. Fallout from the collapse of both superpowers blunted mass adoption of the internet. Although academics, universities, and laboratories continued to develop browsers, servers, and HTML, the American businesses at the forefront of computer technology spent the 1990s relocating to New England, Texas, and California and scrounging for capital in a recessionary environment. A clunky but technically open internet is in desperate need of user-friendly browsers, search engines, faster replacement for dial-up internet, and all manner of software services. The race to replace Silicon Valley is on.
    Rules: best roller is Progress, second best is Regress; another entrant replaces the Regress if they roll higher but lose any points accrued by that side
    Rewards: winner receives wins a first round of internet startups (browsers, search, broadband) as a Power Centre worth 1.6 Science points and 0.1 AP
    Spoiler War of Ideas :
    War of Ideas (Special Front): As Francis Fukuyama wrote in his 1992 book, The Beginning of History and the First Man, the morally bankrupt platforms of the Cold War era United States and Soviet Union have been swept away, replaced by a host of more convincing alternative systems of governance. Between Argentine technocracy, the American new left, Indian liberal democracy, East Asian environmentalism, Eurasian pan-nationalism, and Babylonian neo-traditionalism, the war of ideas rages on. This ideological multipolarity is untenable in a globalizing world, and one belief system will emerge as a frontrunner for revolutionary change as each of these regimes is scored by the audience of the world in the coming decade.
    Rules: this Front resolves by GM fiat when a) the entire world’s geopolitical situation appears to have clearly swung in the direction of one player’s ideology, and b) that player’s ideological activities have broadened its appeal of the ideology through visible deeds in such a way that it would inspire hundreds of millions of ordinary people
    Rewards: a global wave of enthusiasm for your ideology that will last for a large part of the 2010s and will translate into a) at least one or two revolutions, b) one or two oppositions or governments converting to your ideology, and c) other logical narrative benefits from ideological momentum
    Spoiler China's Warlords :
    China’s Warlords (Super China Warfare Front): After the KMT took control of China half a century ago, the country returned to a state of decentralization and corruption over years of mismanagement. Today’s China is governed by numerous minor cliques and warlords that orbit four major factions, one in the east, north, south, and west of the country. Although there are no open clashes, since the 1990s the ideological splits have become so profound that a new conflict between the warlords could be sparked by any minor slight. If a truly unified and reinvigorated China were to emerge, it would rival the other Great Powers in the world. (see NPC description for China for factions of this decentralized society)
    Rules: best two rolling players will promote the military expansion of their chosen faction, eliminating other factions with no backer or worse rolls; if a hegemon emerges, a new player may be invited to the game to play them
    Rewards: unification of China under your preferred warlord
    Spoiler Amazon Conflict :
    Amazon Conflict (Super Brazil-Colombia-Peru Warfare Front): The war in the Amazon has gone on for decades. Once upon a time, communists were in-charge of Brazil, and then Peru, appearing to dominate the continent, until Argentina invaded and ousted the Brazilian communists and the Peruvians turned on themselves and forced their enemy leftists into the jungle where they began cultivating cocaine that they could sell for cash to buy guns. These formerly Guevarist communist have turned to Suzukianism as a unifying force across numerous groups, and as a means of cementing their ties to indigenous peoples of the Amazon river basin. The low-grade civil conflict stretches between Colombia, Brazil, and Peru, with no obvious end in sight.
    Rules: Progress represents destruction of the guerrillas, Regress represents the guerrillas push out and takeover one of the three affected states, and entrench their position in the other two
    Rewards: stabilization of the Colombia, Brazil, and Peru regimes, or the collapse of one of those regimes to Suzukian rebels
    Related Fronts: The Drug Trade
    Spoiler Kongo-Sudan Conflict :
    Kongo-Sudan Conflict (Regional Kongo-Sudan Warfare Front): The interior of Africa between Kongo, Uganda, and Sudan has suffered numerous social breakdowns due to post-colonial ethnic conflicts, exacerbated by its isolation and the lucrative mines that dot the interior. Hardened by these conflicts, a Dominionist Christian militia movement emerged around a charismatic and unusually erudite soldier who, taking Ivory Coast, Angola, and Argentina, as well as the Lord thy God, as his inspirations, has rallied thousands of rebels into a sprawling insurgency between southern Sudan and eastern Kongo. Religious extremist groups have fought low-grade conflicts since the late 1980s, but only in the latter half of the 1990s did disparate insurgencies organize into a more unified rebellion of Domionist technocrat worshipping rebels. The bizarre ideological mixture makes some suspect the leader of the rebellion could be swayed to a wildly different ideology, should it be politically expedient.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to displace either the Sudanian or Kongolese government with Domionist rebels, Regress represents the crushing of the Domionist rebels
    Rewards: the toppling of one or the other afflicted regimes or the destruction of their oppositions
    Spoiler Blockbusters :
    Blockbusters (Super Worldwide Social Control Front): If there was one front of the Cold War the United States dominated, it was entertainment. The Hollywood studio system, from big budget films to Walt Disney’s pioneering animation, delivered American-made pro-American media with gusto and panache to the entire world. The breakup of the United States and the dislocation of Hollywood under ever more repressive Reaganite censorship has left a gap in the international film and television market, as well as the markets for music and other forms of entertainment. In large part, people have turned to local film and television with smaller budgets, weaker production values, and relatively stagnant cinematography and storytelling. This leaves the market ripe for a Great Power to restore the golden age of international pop culture.
    Rules: top two best rollers are Progress and Regress, new entrants replacing Regress and starting from zero; a close finish will split the pot between the two sides
    Rewards: the creation of a Power Centre representing a major cultural export of your country (e.g. K-Pop, superhero movies, manga, etc.)
    Spoiler The Land of Opportunity :
    The Land of Opportunity (Super Worldwide Administration/Economy Front): Once upon a time the Land of Opportunity for the toiling masses of Europe was America, where anyone could get land and be free. Nearly a century of racist immigration restrictions in America, which were copied to lesser or greater extent in Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, forced migrants seeking a better life to other ports of call, though never enough in any one nation for any place to become the world’s foremost nation of immigrants. For millions of migrants, there is no obvious choice of where to go to better one’s socio-economic chances, but should any of the Great Powers become a beacon of economic opportunity, they could benefit greatly from the intelligence and grit the world’s immigrants have to offer.
    Rules: top two best rollers are Progress and Regress, new entrants replacing Regress and starting from zero; a close finish will split the pot between the two sides; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: the establishment of a Nation of Immigrants/Land of Opportunity World Fact that represents a huge pull of immigration to the winning Great Power
    Spoiler The Drug Trade :
    The Drug Trade (Super Worldwide Espionage/Social Control): The 1990s were a boom period for the international illicit drug trade centred on the world’s three big production hubs in Afghanistan-Persia, Southeast Asia, and inner Latin America. The vast majority of the world's opium is made by farmers in the Golden Crescent in Afghanistan, where the Khan government turns a blind eye to poppy cultivation. Heroin is largely produced with the tacit support of the Buddhist regime in Burma and corrupt KMT officers in lands saddling the rainforested borders of Thailand, Indochina, Burma, and southwest China. Meanwhile cocaine is cultivated by left-wing insurgents in the Amazon, Colombia, and Peru. The illicit drug trade promotes addiction in buyer countries and strengthens criminal networks along their supply routes, especially North America and Europe, though increasingly also to Argentina, India, and East Asia.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to clamp down on global drug trade operations, Regress represents harnessing these criminal forces to serve the interests of your state; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: end of the drug trade (and resultant economic/political effects on other Fronts, regimes) or creation of a Drug Trafficking Power Centre worth 1.6 Espionage, 0.4 Social Control
    Related Fronts: Amazon Conflict
    Spoiler Indian Tensions :
    Indian Tensions (Regional India-Hindustan-Bengal Espionage/Front): The breakup of North India has left furious unresolved problems on the subcontinent. The Hindustani People’s Republic based out of Delhi, with nuclear arms and the world’s largest army by soldier count, regularly taunts and threatens rhetoric about retaking Mumbai or invading Bengal. The Bengalis, for their part, do the same over their own territorial grievances. This makes the Indo-Bengali-Hindustani border one of the most militarized in the world, and a place where inevitably a miscalculated military decision will escalate the armed peace into a nuclear war. Such a crisis could emerge when the fractious and untenable coalition government of Islamists and ultra-nationalists in Bengal finally collapses into a dictatorship of one or the other, which is seen as a likely next event in the ongoing tense geopolitical situation.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to prevent war and reach a stable political settlement across India, while Regress represents efforts to stoke a conflict.
    Rewards: peace or war on the subcontinent, also regime direction in Bengal
    Spoiler Ethiopian Revanchism :
    Ethiopian Revanchism (Regional Ethiopia Espionage Front): After a humiliating defeat at the hands of two liberal democracies in East Africa and India, the young king of Ethiopia is eager to prove his valour and reclaim lost glory. His propagandists make no effort to conceal their desire to ultimately invade East African Somalia, and a military build-up continues, though at a slow pace given Ethiopia’s rugged terrain, isolation from international markets, and lack of a domestic arms industry. Should a Great Power bridge these gaps between Ethiopia’s dreams and its present reality, the war path might be cleared for King Zera.
    Rules: Progress represents a military-build up that would pose a serious threat to East Africa, Regress represents the frustration or prevention of war erupting over Somalia
    Rewards: prevention or inauguration of a war led by Ethiopia against East African Somalia
    Spoiler Greater Hungary :
    Greater Hungary (Regional Hungary Espionage Front): In the state press of the Hungarian state, the lands of the Crown of St Stephen were wrongfully stripped from it in the aftermath of the Austro-Hungarian collapse, as well as the numerous border rectification treaties of the communist era. It is believed as well in the intelligence communities of most European countries that Hungarians are a major purchaser of illicit arms from dealers in Eurasia and Western Europe, which by themselves would put Hungary on a path to the military-buildup it would need to start a war, though slowly, and with which of its neighbours, it is unclear.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to build-up Hungary for a war with one of its neighbours (which is up to the player that causes the Progress to succeed), Regress represents efforts to prevent a war and establish a more lasting commitment to peace between Hungary and its neighbours
    Rewards: war or stabilized peace with Hungary and its various claims, potentially also the alignment of Hungary’s military Power Centre
    Related Fronts: Merchants of Death
    Spoiler Arabian Nuclear Program :
    Arabian Nuclear Program (Regional Arabia Espionage/Science Front): Ever since the Babylonian invasion of the Kingdom of Arabia, the Saudis have made it an open secret that they are looking for help to build the bomb. Tentative info sharing occurred between Arabia and North India in 1989, but this ceased as North India collapsed into two warring states. Arabia continues to put feelers out for assistance in building a nuclear program, but to date no Great Power has shown interest. The hermit king of Arabia rules absolutely, and could change the tune of his government perhaps a lot more easily than other regimes, should he get what he needs against the only thing he really cares about: protecting himself from Saddam Hussein.
    Rules: Progress represents advances by Arabia to build a WMD arsenal, Regress represents efforts to permanently crush the possibility of such an arsenal forming
    Rewards: the rapid ideological switch of Arabia to whoever helps them build a WMD program, or the elimination of a potentially threatening WMD program in Arabia
    Spoiler Hawaiian Allegiance :
    Hawaiian Allegiance (Regional Hawaii Administration/Espionage Front): Remaining inside the Rainbow Republic was never an option for the business-friendly Republicans governing Hawaii back in 1991, but independence for a small, strategically located nation like theirs is untenable without a patron among the Great Powers. Hawaii boasts one of the former United States’ best military ports and still harbours two of its aircraft carriers alongside a notable fleet and its experienced sailors and officers who defected to Hawaii. Although Australia has made diplomatic overtures to Hawaii, the local Republican Party sees them as a last resort and are hoping for another Great Power to guarantee their independence against interference in their affairs from either East Asian and Rainbow Republic, who’s sympathisers fill the ranks of opposition movements.
    Rules: Progress represents swaying the Hawaiian regime into your sphere, Regress represents the advance of either Suzukian or Rainbow opposition groups, whichever rolls higher
    Rewards: access to Hawaii as a naval port and the restitution of a Power Centre out of the Pacific Fleet worth 1.6 Warfare and 0.1 AP
    Spoiler Untouchable Global Elite :
    Untouchable Global Elite (Worldwide Super Social Control/Administration Front): In the shadows, moving from corporate board rooms to fancy estate to ski resorts, there have always been the Eloi, the haves, the untouchable elite whose wealth you don’t even see. They can enter countries without a passport, hide their true wealth behind numerous shell companies, and have powerful connections everywhere that matters. This globalized power class hails from every nationality and knows no borders, but should they see one of the Great Powers as serving their interests, they might be inclined to do them favours in-exchange.
    Rules: best two rollers are sides Progress and Regress, replacing the losing side if they join in after two sides are established
    Rewards: a geographically unlocated Power Centre representing the power elite and the wealthy 0.01% worth 0.1 AP, 0.8 Economy, 0.4 Espionage, 0.4 Social Control
    Spoiler HIV/AIDS & Malaria :
    HIV/AIDS & Malaria (Africa Super Science/Administration Front): Two diseases haunt Sub-Saharan Africa, one ancient and one modern. Malaria, spread by mosquitoes in equatorial climes, kills 800,000 people annually, while HIV/AIDS has pulled down societal life expectancy by 10-20 years in the most afflicted areas in East Africa, Azania, Mozambique, and Equatorial Africa. Although drugs have been developed to manage HIV/AIDS and cure malaria, they are not distributed widely in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria
    Rewards: none (it’s just a nice thing to do)
    Spoiler Warming Trend :
    Warming Trend (Special Front): Since the late 1970s scientists identified the threat posed to the biosphere and humanity from greenhouse gas emissions in the form of global warming. Average surface temperature relative to the 1800s has risen by the turn of the millennium to 0.75° Celsius, with climate models warning of rising sea levels, longer droughts, more intense hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The economies of the world, through modern agriculture, manufacturing, energy production, transportation and other sources, emit 35 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and other gases annually. The impacts of global warming will manifest throughout the decades ahead, and the solutions to this global problem will be numerous given its scope.
    Rules: this Front resolves by GM fiat when the entire player base has collectively satisfied the GM with numerous energy transition and climate mitigation Fronts of their own diverse choosing; when this Front collapses it’s collapse timer starts again; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: none (avoiding bad things is the reward)

    World-Building Request: Pop Culture

    What are the hit movies, TV shows, songs/music genres, video games, or other forms of entertainment and popular culture that are hip right now? Is Pokemon a thing in Suzukian East Asia? What films is Bollywood cooking up? What’s on television in the Union of States? What’s the music scene in Buenos Aires and Moscow? What are the propagandists in Babylon making everyone watch and listen to?

    GM Notes

    I made a mistake in the previous turn where I forgot to add the Collapse Points for every Front (woops). That means I also forgot to carry out the Novel Pandemics collapse roll, and my intended desire to stagger the global warming related events one turn after novel pandemic events is messed up. I’ve opted to trigger Novel Pandemics this turn and delay Warming Trend to next turn (i.e. cut its Collapse Point pool by 1 so it times out how I intended).

    New rule: Power Centres are indivisible. Players cannot divide Power Centres in two, splitting their stats. Moreover, players cannot jointly create a joint Power Centre or two separate co-equal Power Centres unless each one does something substantially and qualitatively distinct (i.e. they really are actually *two* separate Power Centres).

    I intend to formalize the NPC government/opposition system into the stats for next or next next turn's Google sheet. I've left an unfinished version of it in the current stats but you can ignore it if you see an inconsistency with the updates thus far.

    Orders are due Sunday June 19th 9:00 AM PST.

    Mobilization deadlines are:
    • Friday June 10th 9:00 AM PST (for a +4 bonus)
    • Saturday June 11th 9:00 AM PST (for a +2 bonus)
    • Sunday June 12th 9:00 AM PST (for a +1 bonus) - no mobilizations can be declared after this point (and therefore no wars can be engaged in)
     
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  4. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,029
    Beginning with Indian independence in 1947, a series of flags have been proposed and used by various successors to the British Raj. Common themes and colors circulate, though these later diverge as the various nations abandon mutual claims and develop their own identities.



    First used in 1931, the Swaraj flag is the basis for many Indian flag designs. It was used by the self-rule movement supporting Indian independence from Britain. The spinning wheel was proposed by Gandhi.



    Also known as the Commonwealth flag or Mountbatten flag, it incorporates the general design of the Swaraj flag but adds the British flag as a canton and replaces the spinning wheel with the more symmetrical Ashoka wheel. Considered a humiliation by Indian nationalists, India's dependence on western support made this accommodation necessary.



    Adopted in the 1970s by the military dictatorship, the Republican flag abandoned the canton as India formally left the Commonwealth. The tricolor in general remains a symbol of pan-Indian centralism to this day.



    Adopted in the 1986 Saffron Revolution, the Lotus flag is the modern Indian flag. Indian nationalists in the 70s and 80s turned towards older symbols as part of a broader decolonization movement under the military dictatorship and the Lotus popular because of its involvement in the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. The Lotus was widely used as a symbol of the democracy, allegedly a plant able to grow from a seed stored for a thousand years, and early versions of the lotus flag were used by demonstrators in the streets of Chennai and Mumbai.

    But "India" isn't the only state on the Indian continent: its northern neighbors have their own history diverging from India in 1947. Over the decades they've diverged more and more from their common routes as they established their own national identities.



    Used by Azad Hind under Bose, no official design was ever adopted so this is a captured memento in an Indian museum. The spinning wheel in the center of the tricolor is replaced with a tiger, or a lion, with the exact design varying. The term "Tiger Flag" is associated with ultranationalists.



    Adopted by the People's Republic of India, the north Indian communist state, following Bose's fall from power. It continues to use the tricolor to reflect its claim to the south, while the hammer and sickle linked it to the German-led Third International.



    Following the break with the Soviet Union and the détente with the South, the People's Republic adopted an aggressive new flag focused on global ideological appeal. It features the constellation Ursa Major, sacred to Hindus, on a field of Marxist red. It thoroughly abandons the tricolor design, and the implied pan-Indian ambitions.



    The Bengali flag, used by the Bengali rebels fighting the North Indian government, has a huge number of variations. The base design of the flag comes from the pre-colonial Bengali Sultanate. The Bengali flag code allows central symbols to be changed and that is often used to reflect political affiliation. Many rebel groups just slapped their existing symbols in the center, though a few predominate:



    This variant of the Bengali flag uses a crescent and star and is frequently flown by Islamists.



    This variant of the Bengali flag uses the pan-Indian nationalist sun, drawn from the Mughal flag.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2022
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  5. Belgarion95

    Belgarion95 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    88


    “The President
    feels himself to be a master of the past through the spinning of theories and analogies in the same absolute way that he actually is a master of the present. He does not think of himself as a liar, but as a theorist whose current reality is always ‘proof’ of any assertion he chooses to make.” – Samir al-Khalil

    The Executive Council dominates Babylonian society and is composed of President Saddam Hussein, his ministers, and his advisors. Saddam associates himself with symbols of both ancient Babylon and Islam, and is often depicted riding a white horse or carrying Sharur, the great talking mace of the god Ninurta. He claims that Babylon is the true source of Islam and of Arabic; the two are fused, and he relies on Islamic tradition, secret knowledge from God communicated to him by Marduk, and bold historical revisionism to elaborate upon his unquestioned worldview. Saddam believes in the Unyielding Will, a loose conceptual mixture of Nietzschian philosophy, realpolitik, and Hammurabic form. Strength must be unquestioned, and routinely demonstrated through forced submission.



    Overlapping factions vie for power in Saddam's inner circle. Flattering the president (hoping for factional endorsement), securing placements for their faction, performing great deeds of warfare, construction, or propaganda, satisfying the Council of Ancients, and implementing their faction's preferred policy, the Executive Council is dynamic. Factions include:
    1. Neo-Akkadians - argue that Babylonian policy should focus on domestic concerns, most especially the advancement of neo-Akkadian culture and the economy. Many faction leaders claim titles in Germany, though demographically diverse in its membership. Primary policy goals are increased funding for Akkadian-language education, media, and scholarship, decreased trade barriers, and the creation of a network of planned, elite-dominated city states run on solar power, linked by mag-lev trains, and dominated by monumental temple complexes that function as launching pads for ultralight commercial rockets.
    2. Integrationists - believe in a united Arabic-speaking world, lead by Babylon, which has a "high Arabic" culture owing and should rightly lead the region. While they appreciate their history, they think it's about time to acknowledge that there is no God but God. This faction is composed of Arabic elites, particularly those incorporated from surrounding polities during Babylon's rise. Tact is essential for this faction. They support funding Madrassas (in addition to the Universitats, mosques, and developing friendly relationships with other Islamic and Arabic states – some are even Pan-Arabists and tell themselves that Saddam is too.
    3. Fusionists – work to codify various claims made by Saddam, i.e. ‘in my youth, I walked for seven days through the Sinjar Mountains, and came upon a figure I took to be an angel who told me his name was Marduk,” and, by addition of lore and theory, develop syncretic Babylonian Islam. Enki, the creator-god of ancient Babylon, is believed to have in fact been in fact God; Marduk and the remaining gods of ancient Babylon were angels, and in that blessed time ruled alongside human rulers. This is further wedded to Ba’athist economic theory to produce mainstream neo-babylonian traditionalism. Many fusionists joined the government with the Ba’ath party.
    4. Monumentalists - conceive of a civilization as continuous so long as it continues to preserve and elaborate upon its monuments; to re-build Babylon, to continue the ancient traditions irrigation by megaproject, to carve a mountain into a roaring lion. This faction is highly educated and composed primarily of scientists and engineers.
    5. Militarists – aim to expand Babylon’s military size and capabilities and are eager to demonstrate the military’s strength and value. Often generals and admirals who are holdovers from President Qasim’s administration, many militarists attach themselves to other factions in their bids to succeed Saddam.
    Over mighty deeds, Marduk abides.

     
  6. J.K. Stockholme

    J.K. Stockholme Right Opposition

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,208
    Location:
    Canada
    THE YEAR 2004

    Fronts, Power Centres, Player Countries:
    Year 2004 Stats



    DEVELOPMENTS

    A Smart Phone (Super Worldwide Science Front): The cellular revolution of the 1990s was stalled in its progress towards the universalization of mobile telecommunication due to the volatile world economy. Nonetheless, slow technical progress in the background has begun to inspire confidence in some mobile phone companies that a breakthrough is on the horizon in touchscreen technology that might allow for a revolutionary new type of phone. As of today none of the big phone makers are devoting serious resources to the idea, though should Ericsson (Scandinavia), BlackBerry (Quebec), Nokia (Baltofennia), HTC (China), or Motorola (New England) get significant foreign investment they might be able to take the lead. Alternatively, perhaps a young company in a dynamic tech hub like Buenos Aires would be better suited to disrupt the phone industry.
    Rules: top two rollers are Progress and Regress
    Rewards: a smartphone manufacturer Power Centre

    Death of Reagan (Middle California Social Control Front): Californians were shocked but unsurprised by the public announcement that their declining leader had finally perished. The brief optimism that California might see a political opening was dashed by the quick and effective power struggle among the Reagans and the regime’s elite, who swore in Michael Edward Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s eldest surviving child, as the new President of California. The undemocratic transition of power sparked a wave of protests in San Francisco and Los Angeles that were brutally crushed, though energy remains in the air about the future of the country.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to secure the Michael Edward Reagan’s leadership and curb the liberal opposition; Regress represents efforts to oust Michael Edward Reagan and institute free and fair elections; collapse will cause either the government or the opposition to switch ideologies so as to adapt to changing times (by random 50/50 coin flip)
    Rewards: elimination of the liberal opposition or ousting of the neo-traditional government

    Warming Trend (Super Worldwide Science Front):
    New Events:
    • Front collapses (4 out of 4 Collapse Points)
    Three powerful cyclones struck Bengal this year, devastating the country’s coast over the course of two weeks. Ferocious winds, rain, and flooding killed two hundred people and displaced 3 million Bengalis. Scientists have declared the event a once-in-a-century coincidence of high-power cyclones, but also note that these kinds of disasters will become more common due to global warming. The enormous number of people displaced combined with the scale of ruins have caused a sharp increase in illegal border crossings between Bengal and India, with Indian border patrols in a couple of instances simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of people desperate to cross. Those who remain on the Bengali side have had to huddle in rescue shelters, while the economic impact of the floods are ricocheting through the Bengali interior and may portend future unrest.
    Changes:
    • the India Stress “refugee crisis” adds 2 Collapse Points
    • the Indian Tensions Front adds 1.5 Collapse Points
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Warming Trend (Special Front): Since the late 1970s scientists identified the threat posed to the biosphere and humanity from greenhouse gas emissions in the form of global warming. Average surface temperature relative to the 1800s has risen by the turn of the millennium to 0.75° Celsius, with climate models warning of rising sea levels, longer droughts, more intense hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The economies of the world, through modern agriculture, manufacturing, energy production, transportation and other sources, emit 35 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and other gases annually. The impacts of global warming will manifest throughout the decades ahead, and the solutions to this global problem will be numerous given its scope.
    Rules: this Front resolves by GM fiat when the entire player base has collectively satisfied the GM with numerous energy transition and climate mitigation Fronts of their own diverse choosing; when this Front collapses it’s collapse timer starts again; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: none (avoiding bad things is the reward)

    Coronavirus
    (Middle China Science Front):
    New Events:
    • Front collapses (2 out of 2 Collapse Points)
    • Argentina: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for disease control and research
    Argentine universities, doctors, and pharmaceutical firms leaped into action at the behest of their government this year, flying halfway around the world to crush a disease whose lethality and virality was still unknown. They quickly established local connections among hospitals, doctors, and the Chinese pharmaceutical giants that helped smooth out the political obstacles posed by the anti-technocratic KMT government in the south. Together the Argentine and Chinese experts prepared a strategic disease control plan that slowed and reversed the spread of the virus, whose genome was genetically sequenced by Argentine scientists in spring and has become known in the press as “SARS” (formally SARS-CoV). The strategy worked, with only a couple cases identified outside of China that were quarantined, and a total of 6,000 people infected with about 400 deaths. The smashing success was heralded in the Chinese press, particularly in Shanghai and the east-central technocratic parts of the country, who praised the Argentinians for their scientific and managerial excellence, but also correctly identified the vital role of China Chem & Pharma Co, whose drug makers and drug design knowledge (stolen from East Asia) were necessary in-conjunction with Argentine expertise to prevent the SARS outbreak from turning into a national or even international pandemic.
    Changes:
    • Front changes from Special to Middle challenge rating due to Collapse
    • new World Fact: Chinese experts and the Chinese press have a favourable view of Argentina due to their intervention against SARS
    • new Power Centre: China Chem & Pharma Co
    • Argentina controls China Chem & Pharma Co
    Trajectory: Argentina crushes the coronavirus curve before it even breaks out of China, developing treatments and traditional flu vaccines that basically eliminate the virus by the end of the year (2004). The Chinese pharmaceuticals World Fact will evolve into an pro-Argentine Power Centre by that time as well.
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Coronavirus (Special Front): Information is scarce on the novel coronavirus reported in China this year, which has yet to even receive a name. Several hundred people have been infected and a few dozen have died, but thus far the outbreak is limited to a handful of hotspots among food and healthcare workers in southern China. Doctors there report the infected suffer flu-like symptoms such as dry cough, shortness of breath, and lethargy, with several deaths attributable to concomitant pneumonia. It remains unclear what the fatality rate will be and if transmission is airborne or a less infectious means like droplets, both factors that will decisively influence whether the disease peters out or emerges as the first global pandemic since HIV/AIDS.
    Rules: This Front will collapse next turn, and the players will discover the virality and lethality of the novel coronavirus - but it will also by that time be too late to prevent its initial spread. The Front’s target number will then be re-adjusted; if the disease will peter out, the next collapse will end the Front of its own accord, if the disease is a pandemic, the next collapse will begin a new worse phase of the disease. Players can respond to this Front however they wish, whether ignoring it, attempting to stop the spread of this virus even before knowing if it's a serious concern (a “full success” would equal 2 Front Points and therefore beat the virus’s collapse points), or other actions. Actions taken this turn will have a far more profound influence on the course of the disease than actions taken next turn when you have more information, but have let the disease go ahead on its natural schedule for a full year.
    Rewards: none

    War on Terror (Regional Islamic World Social Control/Espionage Front):
    New Events:
    • Babylon & East Asia: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for counter-terror activities
    The governments of East Asia and Babylon have jointly announced a multi-national “war on terror” across the Middle East and Asia this year. Their target: al-Qaeda. With the combined resources of Babylon and East Asia, numerous terror plots were foiled, though apparently at the concerning price of some build-up in non-fundamentalist popular resentment. The most dramatic of these terror plots would have involved the hijacking of two airliners in the Philippines bound for Tokyo, which were intended to target the tallest towers in the city. On a tip from Babylonian intelligence, the East Asian Ministry of Justice were able to catch the attackers at the airport. Both Babylon and East Asia have also permanently enacted new strict airport security measures to prevent future hijackings. Nonetheless al-Qaeda got off a few car bombings in Babylon and the Philippines, with the governments of both countries claiming to have thwarted several times more plots in Indonesia, Babylon, and among Babylon’s other client states. Recruitment to al-Qaeda was slowed in East Asia by the Islamic Congress, which united moderate Islamic preachers in condemning al-Qaeda and preventing youths from straying to fundamentalist thought, while top leadership inside Babylon and its client states were captured or killed by the Mushussu. The Ministry of Justice and the Mukhabarat also announced their findings about the potential location of al-Qaeda’s top leader and its main base of training, ruling out all but two countries, either Bengal or Arabia. For its part, al-Qaeda’s anti-colonial and anti-imperial propaganda, and the already pre-existing resentment of many people across both Babylon and East Asia, have dovetailed into something of an unspoken popular sympathy for al-Qaeda’s goals if not its methods, knowledge of which escapes outside the two restrictive countries through the foreign press. These journalists note that resentment towards Japan is high in Indonesia and the Philippines, especially among Muslims, and that al-Qaeda’s attempted attack against Tokyo was able to provoke unconcerned neutrality all the way to enthusiasm from everyday people interviewed. Meanwhile in Babylon, similar sentiments escaped into the foreign press from anonymous members of the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who have seized on some of the resentment to build their moderate Islamist anti-Babylonian membership.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: Babylon and East Asia employ strict airport security measures to prevent aircraft hijackings
    • the Babylon Stress “Egyptian Islamism” adds 2 Collapse Points
    • the East Asia Stress “anti-Japanese sentiment” adds 2 Collapse Points
    Trajectory: Babylon and East Asia will stamp out al-Qaeda in both of their countries respectively, eliminating that terrorist organization from their own countries within a few years (2008) and making it much easier to curb fanatical Islamism; al-Qaeda will continue to terrorize other states and the Islamism & Jihadism Front’s collapse will cause terror attacks elsewhere, while the al-Qaeda Power Centre will continue to exist until al-Qaeda’s removal from its primary host country, which is either Bengal or Arabia

    A Special Relationship (Regional Great Britain Administration Front):
    New Events:
    • India: rolled 17, soft success. +1 FP for alliance formation
    International speculation was abuzz as Indian and British diplomats intensified negotiations over a deal throughout the year. By fall the details emerged publicly: Great Britain and India would re-enter into a military alliance for the first time since 1962. Officially called the Millennium Defense and Mutual Assistance Alliance, the security partnership’s preamble waxes poetic about democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law. Its substantive articles promise mutual defence in the event of a foreign attack on either country, and grant mutual access to ports that would, in-practice, allow the Indian navy to operate out of Hong Kong, Singapore, the Caribbean, Maritime Canada, Cyprus, and of course the British Isles themselves. Although any outsider observer would see India as the senior partner in a bilateral relationship with Britain, the Tories have behaved brazenly confident of their equality and even on occasion implied their seniority to the Indians, who have taken the strategy of massaging the British ego to get the deal done. This has had the undesirable side effect of setting a British expectation about the security deal that it is supposed to be equally or even largely beneficial to Britain’s security interests, and may have ramifications for British willingness to participate in Indian adventures that don’t benefit Britain. In any case, the pact is expected to be signed next year, with officer exchanges, training programs, and joint exercises to begin thereafter. Civil-military collaboration and wider military harmonization that will allow the Indian and British navies to operate cohesively will then be another year out from completion.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: Britain’s participation in mutual military activities with India will be half-hearted unless it's clearly in their direct interest
    Trajectory: India will cement a comprehensive military alliance with Britain and thereby obtain control of the Royal Navy Power Centre within three years (2006).

    Omani Ultimatum (Regional Oman Warfare/Administration Front):
    New Events:
    • India & Babylon: agreed that the Gulf Forum will be controlled by Babylon
    • India & Babylon win the Front (4 out of 4 Points)
    Oman’s first elections were a smashing success in democracy, launching hitherto unknown figures from the civil service into power on the back of an energetic student-led campaign for the nation’s now dominant Democratic Action Alliance. The nation’s close call with Babylonian invasion has put foreign affairs at the top of the new government’s agenda, with the country’s first Prime Minister making big gestures of cordiality toward both India and Babylon. Meanwhile the sullen princes and princesses of the Sultan have mostly resigned to their fate. Strangely enough the globetrotting Gulf Forum has taken a “keep your enemies closer” strategy toward Babylon, now courting their Akkadian elites and tossing out the old technocratic do-gooder talk in-favour of nihilistic power politics for themselves. It is rumoured that Saddam Hussein himself even participated in an orgy the Gulf Forum hosted in Babylon’s capital this year - but this is of course just a rumour.
    Changes:
    • Babylon controls Gulf Forum Power Centre
    • new government in Oman: liberal students and reform-minded officials (blue)
    • new opposition in Oman: neo-traditionalist princely elites (grey)
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Omani Ultimatum (Regional Oman Warfare/Administration Front):
    New Events:
    • Babylon & India: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for compelling democratization
    Babylon broke nearly a decades-long streak of successful neutrality for Oman this year when Saddam Hussein began another military mobilization in January. Babylon’s forces, still busy in Turkey, took the better part of a year to martial together a force that could tackle Oman, but were appearing poised to do so as offensives were finishing off in Turkey during summer. The Omani princes and their lethargic sultan panicked at the prospect of war, tossing around wild threats that they would mine the Strait of Hormuz to cut off Babylonian oil exports, which would plunge the world (including Babylon) into an unprecedented energy crisis. In this atmosphere of panic Indian negotiators swooped in and triaged Babylonian demands with Omani fears into a masterstroke of diplomacy: Babylon would leave Oman independent on the condition that their technocratically minded princes ceded power to a democratically elected parliament, and also cede a large stake in Oman’s oil wealth to the Mesopotamian Petroleum Corporation (India would also take a share). Finalized in August, Oman arranged for a constituent assembly and the sultan approved a democratic constitution, with national elections scheduled for next year. The student movement and liberal-minded civil service have taken centre-stage in the fast-action political liberalization.
    Changes:
    • n/a (changes will take place when the Front succeeds)
    Trajectory: Next year (2004) the democratic consolidation will wrap up with liberal students and reform-minded officials (blue) becoming the government and technocratically-minded princely elites (tan) becoming the opposition. Since the princely elites operate the Gulf Forum Power Centre and this Front could/should be able to decide its fate, Babylon and India can, as a free action taken jointly, assign the Gulf Forum to either one of themselves - if they cannot agree, it will remain unassigned to any Great Power. This decision must be made before the completion of the Front (i.e. this turn).

    Great Awakening (Regional Union of States Social Control/Administration Front):
    New Events:
    • Union of States: rolled 19, soft success. +1 FP for religious social policy
    The Union of States started several religious programs this year to combat extremism. The collection of social policies aim to privilege progressive churches over right-wing televangelists, as well as promote indigenous and neo-pagan religions in-place of Christianity. Without taking right-wing televangelists off the air through enforcement of the law, the Union of States has instead opted to surreptitiously deprioritize and undermine right-wing voices over left-wing ones, which has left the right-wing televangelists with only their most ardent audience members. Meanwhile progressives are seeing solid and continuous growth in ratings and viewer/listenership for their preachers, from Neo-Anabaptists to Episcopalians to a Sojourner (Jim Wallis) to others, who focus on Christ’s tolerance, charity, and universal love, his life of poverty, and more subtly Christ’s role as a proletarian carpenter and his teachings on communal property. The radio and television presence is accompanied by aggressive incentives for progressive churches to build and expand in-person, which is taking off more slowly. Although the strategy is mainly working, these progressive preachers do stray from the government line on some matters (like abortion); meanwhile leaving last year’s rally organizers free men has allowed them to continue movement building among the most ardent religious right-wingers - should the Union of States carry out another aggressive action against the Southern Republic, at least within the next few years, these still well-known televangelists will be positioned to spring into action again. As a secondary approach to progressive Christian social policy and institution-building, the Union of States is also cultivating old faiths and new faiths independent of Christianity, in-particular indigenous religious revival as well as neo-paganism. Indigenous groups have readily taken government incentives and affirmative action programs, with their ideas beginning to spread to hip non-indigenous non-industrial workers in major urban areas and to students and professors on university campuses. Meanwhile attempts to fuse together new faiths have resulted in an uptick in New Age beliefs on the west coast and diverse neo-paganism on the east coast, though both with concerning ideological deviation. For the west coast, New Age belief leans left-wing in character but state data collectors point out the concerning ease with which Suzukian messaging can work on this group. For the east coast, prominent neo-pagan biker gangs such as the Hells Angels based in Quebec and Ontario are thought to have many links among the newly forming neo-pagan religious groups between New York, Ohio, Ontario, and Michigan. Again, the groups outwardly display left-wing qualities like charity and solidarity, but their primarily young militant male base and potential connection to neo-traditionalists have state officials nervous over the currently dormant issue.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: neo-pagan and New Age movements are taking off in the Union of States, but are potentially susceptible to neo-traditional and Suzukian influence respectively
    • new World Fact: pro-Southern televangelists are prepared to organize mass rallies again should the Union of States interfere in the Southern Republic, at least until the Great Awakening Front closes
    Trajectory: The Union of States will capture most of the popular Christian sentiment in progressive Christian churches and programming within a few years (2008), just in-time to prevent right-wing religious thought from consolidating into a long-term stress. Neo-pagan and indigenous religion will also be successfully promoted in a big way by that time.
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Great Awakening (Union of States Short-Term Stress): Much of the lands the Rainbow Republic governs are rural and populated by proud conservative Americans who have been impervious to government attempts at political conversion. Having managed to evade censorship, religious pastors preach their message over radio and television and found a deeply loyal audience among these conservative strongholds. Although the mainstream media of the Union of States maintains that it has not directly agitated the Caribbean resistance movement nor recent unionization and draft dodger activities in the Southern Republic proper, conspiracy theories and coded political language among televangelists have captured the imagination of the conservative religious rural right. Evangelical activists have gathered people in huge outdoor rallies against the Union of States and in-support of the Southern Republic against instability and war and in favour of god and his dominion over earth - all totally at odds with the political hegemony of the government.
    Rules: If this Stress is not resolved before it collapses, it will transform into a long-term Stress. Resolution of this Stress can be indirect (i.e. as a secondary consequence of an Action on a semi-related but distinct Front) or direct (i.e. making a Front specifically targeting this issue).

    Bratva (Regional Eurasia Social Control Front):
    New Events:
    • Eurasia: rolled 16, soft success. +1 FP for controlling the mob
    Eurasia’s strongmen finally decided to deploy their secret criminal-connected intelligence capabilities this year, the Orderkeepers. These criminal networks directly responsive to the strongmen were increasingly agitated by the past two years’ onslaught against the mob, though it was precisely in that light that the Orderkeepers could so easily corral the remaining elements of the mafia. Some criminals were released from trial and prison, while the numerous attacks against state officials reduced to almost none by the end of the year. The primary focus of criminal integration appeared to foreign correspondents to be in Poland, where the local strongman, Wojciech Jaruzelski, was unusually proactive in facilitating the Orderkeepers activities. Journalists report that some officials believe Jaruzelski’s embrace of the central government’s efforts are deliberate and strategic, and that Jaruzelski believes the integration goes two ways - the central government has the power to command the Polish mafia, and the Polish mafia can feed information to Jaruzelski. These speculations are of course unproven and it is entirely unknown what Jaruzelski would do should the central government more seriously attempt to undermine his power.
    Changes:
    • this Front’s target number is lowered from 8 to 6
    • this Front's challenge rating reduced from Super to Regional
    • new World Fact: the Polish strongman, Wojciech Jaruzelski, maintains considerable power over Poland and its criminal networks
    • defunct World Fact: criminal organizations are assassinating Eurasian anti-corruption agents
    Trajectory: Eurasian civil service agents and the Nightguard will more or less completely wipe out the Russian mafia by next year (2005), and though the mafia in Poland will remain tightly controlled by the local strongman.
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Bratva (Super Eurasia Social Control Front):
    New Events:
    • Eurasia: rolled 12, hard success. +1 FP for auditing the mob
    The war on guns has expanded in Eurasia to a war on the Russian mafia this year. The top Eurasian strongmen decided not to send law enforcement after these criminals, nor use their widely rumoured connections to the Russian mafia among their intelligence services, but instead opted to hand the task over to accountants and civil service bureaucrats. Although some attempts to audit the mafia as instructed from the strongmen were made at the start of the year that fizzled out, the Eurasian civil service is one of the most agile in the world and developed a couple trick-shot avenues of approach that will at least mitigate the Bratva if not eliminate it. First the administration put further pressure on government officials who could be more realistically audited and targeted for corruption, which helped remove a lot of bad apples with criminal connections to the state outside the arms trade. Second, the civil service got the government to approve a wide ranging package of social policies aimed at reducing crime, from support for neighbourhood watches to partially decriminalizing prostitution to targeted welfare for families at high-risk of criminality. These efforts however ran up against multiple problems outside of the civil service’s scope of expertise, including more mafia-linked assassinations that have made working for the civil service a life-threatening job. The other major headache has hit Eurasia at the heart of its politics, as the regional strongman in-charge of Poland decried being prejudicially targeted by the civil service and has made public statements hinting at the possibility he might raise the spectre of Polish independence if the national bureaucracy doesn’t stop picking away at his subordinates and his other corrupt dealings.
    Changes:
    • the Eurasia stress “secessionists and nationalism” adds 2 Collapse Points
    • the Eurasia stress “inflexibility and corruption” adds 2 Collapse Points
    Trajectory: Eurasian civil service agents will slowly but surely shrink the power of the Russian mafia through social policy and aggressive audits such that they become a relatively more marginal force than they are in the present by the end of the decade (2010).


    OLD NEWS

    Spoiler Novel Pandemics :
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Novel Pandemics (Special Front):
    New Events:
    • Front Collapses (4 out of 4 Collapse Points), rolled on a table of diseases
    The local KMT government of southern China has informed the world that an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus has led to the infection of a few hundred people since November of this year. Not much is known about this new type of coronavirus.
    Changes:
    • new Front: Coronavirus
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Novel Pandemics (Special Front): Vaccination campaigns, improved sanitation, and improved healthcare systems helped eliminate smallpox and mitigate numerous other diseases in the developed and developing world. Nonetheless, novel diseases emerge routinely, whether from isolated endemic diseases spread to the globalized world, or new diseases mutating and jumping from animals to humans. The threat of pandemics is ever-present, but only are they sufficiently dangerous to warrant global concern.
    Rules: is Front resolves by GM fiat when the entire player base has collectively developed medical technologies, systems of pandemic response and mass vaccination that the GM deems sufficient to end the curse of pandemics; time this Front escalates the GM will roll a 1d10 against a table of diseases; escalations will always be structured so that the turn the escalation is announced, players can react preemptively; the next turn, if the pandemic escalates out of control, that particular pandemic will take the place of the Novel Pandemics Front until resolved
    Rewards: none (avoiding bad things is the reward)
    Spoiler Islamism & Jihadism :
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Islamism & Jihadism (Super Worldwide Social Control/Espionage Front):
    New Events:
    • Front Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
    A string of al-Qaeda claimed attacks have terrorized people from East Asia to India to East Africa but most especially in Babylon this year. The attacks included a surface-to-air missile strike with ex-Soviet equipment against an Indian commercial airliner landing in Nairobi that blew up the plane and killed all on-board; a car packed with explosives that ran over civilians in a crowded marketplace in Jakarta and then exploded, killing two hundred people; a group of riflemen who attacked a communist party office in Hindustan gunning down a dozen people; as well as lesser attacks, some foiled, in Afghanistan, Maghreb, Ethiopia, and Burma. The worst was saved for Babylon, as was amateurishly explained in a VHS tape distributed to global media outlets by al-Qaeda’s leader, who decried Babylonian “paganism” taking hold deep in the heart of Islamic lands and beseeched Muslims the world-over to carry out a violent jihad against them. Babylon was targeted more than any other country, with several suicide and car-bombings in Baghdad, Aleppo, Cairo, and among the then still active warzone of Turkish borderlands. The greatest of these attacks was the hijacking of Mesopotamian Airlines Flight 159 which nose-dived into a Babylonian destroyer undergoing repairs at a dockyard in Kuwait, killing hundreds and causing a raging fire across the wider military base that will be costly to rebuild.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: al-Qaeda’s strength as a terrorist organization is growing and their number one target is Babylon
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Islamism & Jihadism (Super Worldwide Social Control/Espionage Front):
    New Actions:
    • Argentina: rolled 5, failure. -1 FP for social science efforts representing Regress
    The bizarre story of two Argentine academics arrested while visiting Babylonian Egypt helped journalists uncover a seemingly innocuous Argentine charm offensive carried out across the Islamic world this year. The pair were allegedly on sabbatical and visiting friends at Cairo University, but were arrested by police who rounded up a dozen other instructors and students, some with confirmed links to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Argentinians, it turns out, were indeed academics, but were also under orders from the Argentine state to persuade Islamic scholars of a synthetic Islamic-technocratic model of social theory. Although Babylonian intelligence was on high alert for Islamists this year in unrelated events, the academics were also just plainly untrained in the art of international intrigue. From the moment they landed at the airport the academics aroused suspicions with the Babylonian secret police who tapped their calls, followed them to their meeting, arrested them and their co-conspirators, and interrogated out the details of the wider plot. The academics were extradited back to Argentina, but only after a spate of arrests on campuses across Babylon, Libya, Kush, and Persia. Though barely denting the wider Islamist movement, the potential technocratic turn has been pretty well snuffed out. The ivory tower overtures are believed to have failed more or less anywhere they went even outside the neo-traditionalist regimes, with local professors showing disdain at Argentine Catholics and atheists bringing in ideas that were seen as too religious (Afghanistan), not religious enough (Bengal), or just antithetical to pre-existing ideological ethos of the academic and student bodies (Oman).
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: the great majority of technocratic Islamic thinkers are imprisoned in Babylon, Libya, Kush, and Persia
    Trajectory: Technocratic Islamist ideas will wither away while their believers rot in jails; other strains of moderate Islam takeover in their stead, making technocratic Islam a historic footnote in less than a decade (2009). Argentina will receive 1 XP for failing this Front.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Islamism & Jihadism (Super Worldwide Social Control/Espionage Front): Despite decades of Babylonian and American suppression, most prominently with the smothering of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its cradle, political Islam continues to be a powerful undercurrent throughout the Islamic world. This undercurrent is fluid and in desperate need of a major role model to decide its fate in the early twenty-first century. The two current pulls across the Islamic world are those between the moderates of Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and Islamic Congress of East Asian Indonesia, and the fanatics like al-Qaeda and the Bengali Islamic faction. Moreover a niche technocratic angle on Islam as a religion of science has taken hold among guerrillas in northern Nigeria. Should a decisively religious Islamic society emerge in world affairs, whether in Bengal, Egypt, Indonesia or elsewhere, it could serve as a role model to determine the future character of Islamic activities.
    Rules: Regress represents efforts to eliminate moderate Islamic Republicanism and bolster/harness fanatical Islamism, Progress represents the bolstering of moderate Islamic Republicanism and crushing of fanatical Islamism; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: consolidation of global Islamic politics around an ideologically preferred axis
    Related Fronts: Indian Tensions
    Spoiler Filibuster War :
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Filibuster War (Regional Mexico Warfare Front):
    New Events:
    • Argentina: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for intelligence activities
    The so-called Filibuster War kicked up dust for the first time in years, as the ex-American military forces based out of Mexico City began a renewed offensive against Suzukian rebels in the south of the country. The attacks started in summer after a hugely consequential fracturing among the Suzukians in the early months of the year: rebels controlling Yucatan and Chiapas declared their intention to formally petition to join the Plurinational Republic of Central America. This dramatic split made an opening for the filibusters to push out the now weaker Suzukian resistance. The sequence of events is not well understood, but most intelligence assessments believe Argentine agents cavorted secretly among disaffected leftists and Central America. Argentina is also assumed to have carried out these spying activities due to their fairly public disbursement of funding to the filibusters, who reporters attest have lavishly wasted Argentine money on mansion and other luxuries instead of the war effort. Although the filibusters claim to be científicos in the tradition of Porfirio Díaz, Argentinian attaches are bristling at the filibusters’ indifference to technocracy, which is used merely in rhetoric and rarely in-practice. Nonetheless, the filibusters are on a warpath to take over the country, though territorially reduced due to the impending departure of Yucatan and Chiapas into Central America. The impending doom of the Suzukians has forced them to shift tactics to more desperate measures, including an increase in eco-terror bombings of oil rigs around Veracruz, which are blow up at a concerning pace.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: the filibusters’ commitment to technocracy is opportunistic and politically cynical, they are mainly corrupt self-interested authoritarians
    • new World Fact: Mexican oil rigs are harassed by eco-terror bombings
    • new World Fact: Yucatan-Chiapas rebels intend to politically unify themselves with Central America
    Trajectory: The Filibuster War will be long and hard-fought over less than a decade, but the filibusters appear on route to be triumphant (2010). By that time, Yucatan-Chiapas rebels will politically separate from Mexico and join Central America, and the Mexican petroleum industry will be seriously undermined due to eco-terror attacks.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Filibuster War (Regional Mexico Warfare Front): The United States military maintained a reactionary ideology in many of its divisions that was at odds with everything the Rainbow Republic stands for. This was true especially in American-occupied Mexico during the 1989-1991 collapse, when American forces defected from the United States and joined the local American puppet regime, bolstering it against a new wave of guerrilla activity in the north and south over the course of the 1990s. The conflict has been stale for a few years now, with no movement from any side, but interest from one of the Great Powers could push a final resolution to the conflict in a matter of years. (see NPC description for Mexico for factions of this civil war)
    Rules: factions supported by the top two rolling players will be the sides that contest for victory, the other falling apart
    Rewards: unification of Mexico under your preferred civil war faction
    Spoiler Babylon-Turkey War :
    Spoiler 2003 :
    Babylon-Turkey War (Regional Turkey Warfare Front):
    New Events:
    • Babylon wins the Front (2 out of 2 Front Points)
    Turkey and Babylon ended hostilities this year, agreeing to a ceasefire in summer and negotiating a final settlement to the war by November. Babylon and its fledgling neo-Ottoman client state slowly acquired air supremacy over the first half of the year, after which point they rolled into Ankara with few casualties. Despite control of the sea, the skies, and most of western Turkey, Saddam Hussein graciously proposed the same demands as last year, which would merely slice off Aegean Turkey and Marmara into a neo-Ottoman state and hand Rumelia over to Yugoslavia, a deal believed to have been brokered behind closed doors among the Great Powers. The DEP accepted the deal, a final straw for many Turks in the republican air force, who joined one last wave of defections to the Sublime Ottoman State where the balance of aerial power now lies, though substantially reduced from its pre-war glory. The DEP has also renamed and begun the socialistic reorganization of the now former Republic of Turkey into the Plurinational Republic of Turks, Kurds, and Armenians (otherwise known as Anatolia). Meanwhile Babylon exits the war with over ten thousand dead soldiers, a lot of lost hardware, and an unpopular client state whose supposed claimant has refused offers to leave his happy life in New York City.
    Changes:
    • the Turkish Air Force Power Centre’s proficiency scores are reduced by half
    • Babylon controls the Turkish Air Force Power Centre
    • new NPC: Sublime Ottoman State
    • new NPC: Anatolia
    • defunct World Fact: the armed forces of Turkey have splintered between neo-Ottomans and republicans who fight on opposite sides of the Babylon-Turkey War
    • defunct World Fact: Kurdish and Armenian guerrillas control eastern Turkey and are preparing to fight an asymmetric conflict
    • new World Fact: Anatolia has a small but exceptionally experienced air force
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Babylon-Turkey War (Regional Turkey Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Union of States: voluntarily withdraws (free action)
    • Babylon: substantially narrows war goals (free action)
    Saddam Hussein graciously delivered a much less ambitious peace package to the Turkish government this year, which was swiftly rejected with patriotic calls to continue to fight. The terms of the deal would see the Bosporus and Dardanelles region alongside most of Aegean Turkey ceded to a neo-Ottoman breakaway state, with Babylonian troops withdrawing from the rest of the country, and a minor cession to Yugoslavia. Although the Turks continue to fight, Rainbow Republic arms shipments quietly petered out over the course of spring, which has allowed Babylon to start making slow progress toward their war goals, which will put them in a position to simply declare “mission accomplished” by the end of next year.
    Trajectory: Babylon will seize the Marmara and Aegean regions of Turkey and the Turkish-DEP government will accept the peace terms, creating a new NPC in neo-Ottoman western Turkey within a couple years (2003). The Turkish Air Force’s proficiencies will be divided in half and assigned to neo-Ottoman Turkey (under Babylonian influence), representing officer defections, equipment captures, and neo-Ottoman experience from war, while DEP Turkey will receive a World Fact related to their air force, and will also rename and restructure itself.
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Babylon-Turkey War (Regional Turkey Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Babylon: rolled 15, hard success. +1 FP for the invasion of Turkey representing Progress
    • Union of States: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for arms shipments representing Regress
    In a decisive 24 hours, as Babylon’s Mediterranean Fleet reached the Bosporus, the Turkish neo-Ottoman officers attempted a coup in Ankara and Istanbul against the left-wing Kurdish-Armenian-led Democracy and Labour Party (DEP). The coup was supported by Babylonian missile strikes but met unexpected resistance from a large contingent of the republican-conservative Turkish military, which sided with the DEP due at least in-part to what was later discovered to have been secret signals of support from the Union of States in the days preceding the Babylonian move on the Bosporus. The illusion of a quick victory was dispelled within hours as Babylonian and Turkish forces squared off outside the Dardanelles and over Anatolian skies. Suddenly afraid the neo-Ottomans would fail to secure Turkey’s small nuclear arsenal, Babylon struck out with missiles all over the country in the desperate and barely successful effort to knockout Turkey’s nukes that came at the great cost of activating a vast patriotic upswell from the Turkish people in support of the DEP. Over the following week, the pro-Babylon neo-Ottoman officers secured Istanbul and its surroundings, saw a wave of defections from the Turkish military to their cause, and declared the recreation of the Sublime Ottoman State, which is being run as a military junta while they petition the childless Ertuğrul Osman, head of the Osmanoğlu dynasty, to return to Turkey from his quaint apartment in Manhattan. Backed by the anti-Babylon portion of the Turkish military as well as arms shipments from the Union of States via Yugoslavia and the Mediterranean, the DEP rallied Turks, Kurds, and Armenians alike with calls to defeat the invader and defend their multinational republic. Over the rest of the year, Babylon executed a full-scale war, routing the Turkish navy, securing the Bosporus, accepting the surrender of numerous defecting Turkish units, and making gains across south-central Turkey, but failing to achieve air supremacy against the veteran Turkish Air Force, and stalling on all fronts due to well supplied and armed enemy forces. The Babylonians also made zero headway past the mountains of eastern Turkey where Kurdish and Armenian guerrillas are preparing for yet another long insurgency should the west fall. The provision of American arms is tenuous, relying thus far on the difficulty of distinguishing between non-military and military vessels, and the occupation of the Babylonian navy in fighting the Turkish navy and supporting a complex invasion of the Bosporus. Moreover, the Rainbow Republic’s “Arsenal of Liberation” is finite and will eventually deplete to levels that would put them in jeopardy should another conflict arise. Neighbouring governments have issued a mix of responses. Ultranationalist Greece has been unusually muted given their oft-stated territorial demands against Turkey, perhaps waiting on a Great Power to promise them something, Yugoslavia is openly accepting a wave of Turkish refugees and letting American arms freely flow through its borders, while Great Britain has issued a strongly worded letter condemning the Babylonian invasion and reminding Babylon that they will defend the Commonwealth realms of Cyprus and Rhodes if provoked.
    Changes:
    • defunct World Fact: Turkey has a few nuclear missiles
    • new World Fact: the Turkish people are hostile toward Babylonian invaders and are patriotically mobilized in support of the DEP
    • new World Fact: the armed forces of Turkey have splintered between neo-Ottomans and republicans who fight on opposite sides of the Babylon-Turkey War
    • new World Fact: Kurdish and Armenian guerrillas control eastern Turkey and are preparing to fight an asymmetric conflict
    • new World Fact: the Babylon-Turkey War has created a wave of Turkish refugees, which are largely leaving to Yugoslavia, where they are openly accepting them
    • new World Fact: the Union of States is provisioning the Turkish armed forces via tenuous supply routes over the Mediterranean and Yugoslavia
    Trajectory: Babylon’s advance is stalled, with thousands of soldiers dying. Meanwhile the Rainbow Republic’s stockpile of arms is depleting. Since both sides are equally matched in Front Point generation (+1 for both sides), the trajectory of this Front is collapse. The Rainbow Republic will run out of war materiel (leaving it extremely vulnerable for a few years after that point) and Babylon’s will be understaffed from casualties and demoralized (leaving it extremely vulnerable for a few years as well) after less than a decade of fruitless conflict (2008). Babylon will keep what it currently has achieved (including a puppet government over the Bosporus), Turkey will be economically ruined, the Turkish Air Force Power Centre will remain independent, and the left-wing DEP will remain the government of Turkey. Both Babylon and the Union of States will gain 1 XP for mutually losing this contest to collapse when it does so.
    Spoiler Poor Southern Campaign :
    Poor Southern Campaign (Regional Southern Republic Espionage/Social Control Front):
    New Events:
    • Union of States: rolled 12, hard success. +1 FP for poor white dissidence
    The red hot rhetoric wildly spewing forth out of the Southern Republic somehow managed to get even more apocalyptic this year in the wake of what they allege to be further agitation efforts by the Union of States. Several alleged “agents” of the Union of States have been captured in high-profile and well-publicized arrests, sometimes so well publicized News Corp-affiliated film crews live-broadcasted raids alongside cooperating law enforcement. The international press however perked up to the hyperbolic assertions when a Southern mutual aid group rushed in to help those affected by an accident in an Appalachian coal mine, and soon thereafter saw the mine unionize. When the President of the Southern Republic reinstated military conscription, there was a wave of conscientious objectors, almost all poor whites, whose legal advocacy support appears to have been partially funded by the same mutual aid network. These incidents have been noted by the foreign press as evidence that the government’s grip over its lower class is slipping. Nonetheless, conscription and the slow building conflict in the Caribbean is portrayed by the Southern Republic as an attempt to deter the Union of States, whom the Southern Republic has this year begun to baselessly accuse of planning to invade. In an additional important development, white supremacist and evangelical groups in the Union of States itself have also become activated in the increasingly tense milieu. White supremacists seized and declared independence on behalf of a few square kilometres in Pennsylvania where a farm and a historic barracks are located - a few days into the siege they were killed by Union forces. More successfully, Jerry Falwell and other popular televangelists and radiovangelists have operated huge legally grey rallies in rural and conservative parts of the Union of States against the government and for de-escalating tensions with the Southern Republic. These god-fearing rallies have unnerved officials in the Union of States as they have quickly realized through their extensive system of mass communication and legitimation that these evangelicals are popular among a wide swath of the country’s rural whites.
    Changes:
    • notes: this action was almost too similar to the previous action to be counted as “qualitatively distinct”; be careful with future orders in the Southern Republic that use Espionage as I am liable to consider them invalid since two separate and similar actions using Espionage have been undertaken now
    • defunct World Fact: Southern whites (whether Appalachian or Dixie) are being whipped into an anti-Rainbow Republic jingoistic frenzy
    • the Union of States stress “forces of reaction” adds 4 Collapse Points, triggering an escalation in the form of a new short-term Stress: Great Awakening
    Trajectory: A pink opposition will emerge in the Southern Republic’s mainland territories composed of rural Appalachians and poor southern whites organized through unions, mutual aid groups, and other social organizations, within half a decade (2009).
    Spoiler Green Valley :
    Green Valley (Super Worldwide Science Front):
    New Events:
    • East Asia: rolled 24, full success. +2 FP for investments in clean tech
    East Asia’s raison d'être since Suzuki’s rise to power has been environmentalism, focusing the populous and developed nation’s industrial might and creative wits toward clean technologies well before the turn of the millennium. Even for the world’s foremost environmental power, the practical realities of clean technology have been challenging. Solar and wind power remain expensive, while nuclear power is unpopular (especially among environmentalists), forcing even East Asia to continue to rely on oil, gas, and coal for energy. Moreover, even cheap solar and wind would still have issues of regularity, as the modern battery remains unsuited to the job of grid-sized electrical storage. Mass transit and cycling are nice but no replacement for the automobile, for which a hydrogen or electric design that is cheap remains elusive, even if energy efficiency has eliminated urban smog. To solve these problems, a coterie of National Champions, F11 universities, and other laboratories and science bureaus have increasingly concentrated their resources into an integrated and dynamic clean tech hub in western Japan that has this year been dubbed the Green Valley, in honour of Silicon Valley in North America. The economic integration is a self-conscious effort on the part of the economic managers and elite of East Asian society to bring the cost of clean tech production down in three key areas so that they compete with their fossil fuelled competitors on international markets: (a) solar and wind for energy production, (b) electric vehicle for transportation, and (c) lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. Although this does not solve the emissions problem inherent to other fields (aviation, shipping, cement, chemicals, etc.) it is a powerful first step.
    Changes:
    • n/a (changes will take place when the Front succeeds)
    Trajectory: In a little less than a decade East Asia will have consolidated a Power Centre in the form of the Green Valley, which will hawk its clean tech wares on international markets at costs competitive with their rival fossil fuel tech versions (2009).
    Spoiler Olympomachy :
    Olympomachy (Super Worldwide Social Control Front): The decline into obscurity of the Olympic Games came about before the Autumn of Nations. After a brief detente, the Soviet Union and the United States boycotted each others’ games, and games hosted by their allies all the way until 1991, when the world order completely reorganized and the games simply stopped aside from a paltry version hosted once by Australia. Technically the International Olympic Committee still exists, and those few private patrons that want to see the games revived are hoping that the Great Powers of the world can come together to unite people with sport.
    Rules: Progress represents the creation of an international sporting super-event that happens every four years, rotating between players and NPCs as per the agreed upon terms of the players. The hosting player in any given year will generally be conferred a bonus (+1 or +2) if they carry out an action that they can persuasively convince the GM will be benefited from the sporting super-event (e.g. using the Olympics to improve your national image in a Social Control action, or using the Olympics to bring in investment money for other projects as an Economy action). Regress represents efforts by the highest rolling player to create a politically subordinate sporting super-event that is controlled by their own state as a Power Centre.
    Reward: Either a rotating Social Control bonus or a Power Centre worth at least 0.8 Social Control, 0.4 Economy, and 0.1 AP.
    Spoiler Soviet Civil War :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Soviet Civil War (Super Europe Espionage Front):
    Trajectory: The British blockade will continue to indirectly help other factions of the Soviet Civil War grind out the French ultranationalists until 2007, when the flow of arms will dry up for everyone in the civil war due to Eurasian anti-arms trafficking efforts. The terminal point of the conflict will then be the collapse and balkanization of all factions and finally a recognition of the end of hostilities in the distant future (2020).
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Soviet Civil War (Super Western Europe Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Eurasia: rolled 10, failure. -1 FP for arms smuggling representing Progress
    The colossal quagmire across Western Europe saw a serious escalation this year. Great Britain, having remained merrily neutral about a continental conflict in which no side threatened to become a hegemonic power, spotted increased activity among airliners and cargo ships originating from Eurasia. After months of quiet observation, the Royal Navy abruptly seized a Eurasian vessel in summer and claimed to the world they had discovered guns, munitions, as well as chemical and radiological weapons hidden among grain and other foodstuffs. With their majority in parliament, the Tories have approved an indefinite military blockade of European coastal regions controlled by the French ultranationalist faction of the Soviet Civil War.
    Changes:
    • rules note: the negative Eurasian FPs do not benefit any particular faction, they merely hurt the French faction; i.e. the net negative points accumulated will not benefit another power taking up a different faction, they are just there as a reminder the French faction is dying, which I’ll keep track of somewhere else should another power step in before that actually occurs
    • new World Fact: Great Britain is enforcing a military blockade against ultranationalist France
    Trajectory: The British blockade will choke the French ultranationalists of war materiel and ultimately grind them into dust over the course of a long painful decade (2010). Eurasia will gain 1 XP for losing the contest.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Soviet Civil War (Super Western Europe Warfare Front): In August 1991, members of the Soviet Ministry of the Interior, secret service, and military came together and relieved their reformist leader of his position. The instantaneous and widespread public backlash was met with martial law and a breakdown of civil order across western Europe, where the hardliners still held substantial control of the military and organs of government. Since then, the Soviet Civil War has raged on across the three core territories of the former union: France, Germany, and Italy. The battle lines have hardened over the past decade of conflict and global economic turmoil, but with the return of Great Power competition, this increasingly stagnant conflict could restart should the status quo be disturbed. (see NPC description for West Europe for factions of this civil war)
    Rules: best two rolling players will promote the military expansion of their chosen faction, eliminating other factions with no backer or worse rolls; if a hegemon emerges, a new player may be invited to the game to play them
    Rewards: unification of West Europe under your preferred ideology
    Spoiler Wonder Drugs :
    Wonder Drugs (Super Worldwide Science Front):
    New Actions:
    • East Asia: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for pharmaceutical research
    The East Asian economic miracle of the late 1980s and 1990s is often attributed to Takayoshi Suzuki’s National Champion system, a suite of market reforms that created several large and internationally competitive semi-private corporations. One of these National Champions is Takeda Pharmaceutical, which received an enormous investment from the government this year. The terms of the deal aren’t precisely known, but Takeda released information in its annual report promising an ambitious plan to establish itself as the world leader in pharmaceuticals. The report outlined several short-term drug projects with commercial potential, including an anti-arthritic injection exiting clinical trials, to new marketing techniques for painkillers and antidepressants, to an erectile dysfunction medicine whose research was bought with the help of New England immigrants attracted by East Asia’s scientific poaching policy. After satisfying investors, the report further went on to try to satisfy the government, declaring Takeda’s long-term intention to develop hitherto unheard-of vaccines for malaria and HIV/AIDS. The expanded vision of Takeda however was matched almost immediately a round of state and private investment in Takeda’s numerous rival firms in China, which have historically ignored East Asia’s patents and created their own counterfeit or reverse-engineered drugs, undercutting East Asia’s international pharmaceutical sales. Moreover, hardliners critical of the National Champion system are already accusing Takeda’s painkiller and antidepressant marketing as corrupting doctors, causing addiction, and driving society to medicate its problems rather than solve them naturally and socialistically.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: opioid and antidepressant sales in East Asia, especially Japan and Korea, are increasingly every year
    • new World Fact: Chinese pharmaceutical companies are undercutting East Asian sales by ignoring patents and counterfeiting and duplicating East Asian drugs
    Trajectory: East Asia will establish its pharmaceutical industry as the best in the world by the end of this decade (2011), creating an economic Power Centre in Japan centred around Takeda Pharmaceutical. East Asia will also create World Facts related to the first vaccines for malaria and HIV/AIDS.
    Spoiler Sahara Conflict :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Sahara Conflict (Regional Maghreb-Libya Warfare Front):
    New Actions:
    • Babylon: rolled 16, soft success. +1 FP for intrigue against Saharan rebels
    The cold conflict spanning the southern regions of Maghreb and Libya restarted in fits this year, with the recognized governments running short, targeted offensives against individual Tuareg and fundamentalist groups. Although the details are clouded in the fog of war, analysts believe that the attacks were timed to coincide with the fracturing of the rebels under a Babylonian negotiation and assassination campaign. Although the Maghrebi Tuaregs were defiant, Babylon was able to break off some Toubou nationalists out of the Islamist fighters in southern Libya, creating room for Libyan forces to move in against the disfavoured fundamentalists such as Ansar al-Sharia. Though it is unclear what promises were made, the Toubou fighters have not put down their arms or surrendered to Gaddafi’s government, and have declared their wish to re-create the ancient Saharan civilization of the Garamantes. Meanwhile Maghrebi forces appear on a path to victory against their insurrection that Babylon boosted without itself gaining any allies among the Tuaregs.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: Toubou nationalists in Libya have struck ambiguous deals of support with Babylon that don’t involve surrender or cooperation with Gaddafi
    • this Front’s target number is lowered from 6 to 4
    Trajectory: Libyan and Maghrebi forces will crush the Tuareg and Islamist rebels over the course of a slow but easy few years (2005). The new Libyan opposition will be Toubou neo-traditional nationalists.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Sahara Conflict (Regional Maghreb-Libya Warfare Front): Due to drought-induced famines of the 1980s throughout the Sahel and resentment against secular authorities, Tuareg and Islamist guerrillas started waging a low-grade conflict over the interior of northern Africa. Algerian and Libyan armed forces have had a hard time projecting power deep into their interiors, but the Tuareg and Islamist fighters have yet to receive support from an outside power that could shift this status quo.
    Rules: Progress represents Islamist or Tuareg takeover of the entirety of the interior of Algeria and Libya in a new state, Regress represents efforts to crush their rebellion
    Rewards: elimination of oppositions to Algeria and Libya as well as undermining of fanatic Islamism, or establishment of an entrenched new NPC in the interior of the Sahara
    Related Fronts: Islamism & Jihadism
    Spoiler Merchants of Death :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Merchants of Death (Super Europe Espionage Front):
    New Actions:
    • Eurasia: rolled 18, soft success. +1 FP for anti-corruption activities
    Corruption in Eurasian armouries and the Soviet Civil War helped make Eurasia the involuntary exporter of most of Europe’s black market guns by the end of the 1990s. These illegal armament flows create chaos at a time when the world desperately needs more order, or so say the various regional strongmen who have coordinated administrative resources towards a “war on guns.” The main vehicle for this push is an anti-corruption drive in the military, among the arms makers, and the national armouries, an effort which dramatically revealed the depths of corruption and links to the Russian mafia (Bratva) in these sectors of Eurasian society when state agents were found dead in their hotel rooms shortly after firing corrupt officials in one munitions depot in southwestern Ukraine. This was just the beginning of a criminal backlash against Eurasian agents, who nowadays wear body armour and travel with law enforcement, as the year was punctuated with random shootings, attempted assassinations, and even in one instance the sudden explosion of a munitions depot due to sabotage. Eurasian agents, apparently some of the most capable in Europe, are undeterred, and have even expanded the war on guns to co-operative anti-corruption and law enforcement in Babylonian occupied Marmara, Greece, and to a lesser extent, Zapadoslavia, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Although volatile, anti-arms trafficking efforts are expected to eliminate gun-running out of Eurasia and establish effective data tracking for other European states with an interest in stopping the flow of arms.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: criminal organizations are assassinating Eurasian anti-corruption agents
    Trajectory: Eurasia will mostly eliminate the European illegal arms trade in a few years (2007), after which criminal violence against Eurasian state agents will subside. This will also balance the flow of arms favourably for the suffocating French ultranationalists, and negative Front Points will stop accruing to that Front at that time.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Merchants of Death (Europe Regional Espionage Front): The demise of communism and the post–Soviet civil war in Western Europe have together created a black market of military hardware dealers, like “Sanctions Busters” Viktor Bout and Karlheinz Schreiber, who are nimble in moving arms over borders and disappearing state stockpiles. The situation promotes corruption in Eurasia and across Europe, and to a lesser extent in north India and the former United States, while providing a steady stream of arms to any regime or rebellion willing to pay, regardless of ideology.
    Rules: Progress on this would make illicit arms trading much harder, Regress would harness this arms trade for the evil ends of whichever country rolls highest to do that
    Rewards: if harnessed, your very own Merchants of Death cabal as a Power Centre worth 0.4 Warfare and 0.8 Espionage, and 0.1 AP
    Spoiler Petropolitics :
    Petropolitics (Super Worldwide Economy Front): Born in Baghdad, OPEC died in Baghdad. The era of co-operation between oil producers that helped them control the price of oil and use it to threaten oil dependent countries ended dramatically when Saddam Hussein made the decision to simply annex the oil rich regions of OPEC’s Middle Eastern members. The oil cartel was abandoned in the 1980s but since the double-collapse and the stabilization of a multipolar world order, politicians in oil rich countries like Babylon and Eurasia have begun to promote the idea of a new OPEC for a new era. These politicians point out that if just the top six oil producing countries were to band together (Babylon, Eurasia, Colombia, Scandinavia, and Buffalo-Caribou), they would command more than half of the entire world’s oil output, allowing them to control the price of oil, or even threaten or actually enact oil embargoes to get their way against governments that depend on energy imports.
    Rules: Progress represents the creation of an international oil cartel. The nature and makeup of this organization are up to the founding players. For every Great Power that participates (i.e. spends 1 AP), the organization will possess 0.1 AP as part of a special Action pool. Whenever the organization accrues 1 AP, it can enact a petroleum trade-related action that the participating players agree to by the organizations decision mechanisms (voting, rotating leadership, etc.). This can be used to allow players to carry out multi-state actions without each having to individually spend AP to carry it out (e.g. instead of 3 players spending 1 AP each to “hike the price of oil” or “enact an oil embargo against x country”, the oil cartel spends 1 AP and all the players’ relevant agents act on that 1 AP expenditure). Regress represents efforts to crush the creation of an international oil cartel and/or to create an international energy market that cannot be unduly influenced by any one state.
    Rewards: The creation of an international oil cartel, or the frustration of such a cartel and the establishment of a global apolitical free market for oil.
    Spoiler Global Reserve Currency :
    Spoiler 2002 :
    Global Reserve Currency (Super Worldwide Economy Front):
    New Actions:
    • India: rolled 15, hard success. +1 FP for monetary efforts representing Progress
    Global investors have taken note of a combination of fiscal and monetary policies in India this year that appear aimed at establishing the rupee as the world’s most stable and reliable currency for central banks and international trade. Indian oil imports from Babylon, Eurasia, and to a lesser extent East Asian Indonesia, already helped build up a central bank reserve of rupees in three of the world’s foremost economies. The Indian government further cemented this trend by constitutionally reinforcing the independence of their central bank, which has begun to lower interest rates, promised a 2% inflation target, and is helping make Indian securities easily accessible to foreign buyers. Buzz among economic elites is making India’s central bank the most prestigious in the world, attracting both India’s best economists, as well as some from the former United States and Great Britain. India's open long-term currency strategy has nonetheless created problems in the short-term. Firstly, politicians in oil rich countries whose central banks are India’s first currency foothold have started promoting the idea of a new OPEC that could give them bargaining power against oil dependent countries like India. Secondly, transnational criminals have already begun to ramp up rupee counterfeiting, especially in the illegal drug production hubs like the Amazon, Afghanistan, and the rainforest borders between Southeast Asian countries. Thirdly, a strong rupee will ultimately make the cost of labour and goods made in India more expensive, which some forward-looking Indian companies have taken as their cue to begin planning industrial investments abroad in markets where labour will remain cheap.
    Changes:
    • new Front: Petropolitics (see below)
    • new World Fact: criminals in the world’s three drug production hubs are ramping up rupee counterfeiting
    • new World Fact: Indian companies are planning to shift industrial investments abroad to low-wage labour markets
    • new World Fact: the Indian central bank is constitutionally protected from political interference
    Trajectory: Years of effective monetary policy and a good reputation will position India's rupee as the global reserve currency in less than a decade (2009).
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Global Reserve Currency (Worldwide Super Economy Front): The collapse of the American dollar and the instability in post-Soviet Europe contributed to the 1990s currency crises, particularly the European financial crisis of 1994 and the Latin American financial crisis of 1997. Although the Pound Sterling is the most used, central banks rarely hold more than 20% in that or any other currency, conferring only a minor economic and political benefit to Great Britain. Should a currency emerge as the primary tender in international trade and central bank reserves, the currency’s issuer would benefit mightily.
    Rules: best roller is Progress, second best is Regress; another entrant replaces the Regress if they roll higher but lose any points accrued by that side; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: winner establishes their national currency as the global reserve currency, giving them World Facts that allow them to more easily sanction entities, run higher trade deficits, and prevent currency crises
    Spoiler Natural Disasters :
    Natural Disasters (Special Front): From earthquakes to hurricanes to volcanic eruptions, from the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs to the Dust Bowl, nature has exacted its capricious whims upon life on earth since time immemorial. Nonetheless, modernity has proved that some disasters are predictable, preventable, and manageable. Hurricanes once killed thousands as they flooded low-lying coastal settlements, but meteorologists can now provide advance warning so that people have time to evacuate, almost eliminating flooding deaths during hurricanes. Proper forest stewardship and firefighting can minimize fires and give people time to evacuate. Even more ambitiously, rocket scientists claim that with more investment they can detect life-threatening meteors and push them off their trajectory with earth, while academics in other fields are eager for funding of technological advances that might end the threat of numerous types of disasters. For now, many of these, from weather control to earthquake dispersion, remain in the realm of science fiction - but perhaps one day they will become reality.
    Rules: This Front resolves by GM fiat when the entire player base has collectively developed technologies and worldwide disaster prevention/detection systems that the GM deems sufficient to end the curse of natural disasters; when this Front collapses the GM will roll a 1d20 against a table of natural disasters.
    Rewards: None (avoiding bad things is the reward).
    Spoiler An Assembly of Nations? :
    An Assembly of Nations? (Special Front): The threat of nuclear annihilation between the communist east and capitalist west was tempered during the Cold War through a small diplomatic club composed of the superpowers and their entourage: the Soviet-American Security Council (SASC). Although nowhere near as ambitious as proposals for a League of Nations or a World Court that were briefly in vogue during the 1920s and 1940s, the SASC had become the world’s best vehicle for military de-escalation before it disintegrated with the Autumn of Nations. In a world of escalating conflicts, institutional internationalism is fashionable again, with lawyers, diplomats, and academics across many countries promoting the idea of a global forum of nations that could vote on matters of war and peace and would be provisioned with the resources and authority necessary to enforce the will of the world’s sovereign states. Should the contemporary Great Powers participate and encourage the creation of some sort of assembly of nations, it might be capable of finally bending the arc of history toward peace and security.
    Rules: Progress represents the creation of an effective international peace and security organization (i.e. a United Nations with teeth). The nature, makeup, focus, and authority of this organization are up to the founding players. The resources and strengths of this organization will be based on what Proficiencies players use to create it. For every Great Power that participates (i.e. spends 1 AP), the organization will possess 0.1 AP as part of a special Action pool. Players may put forward resolutions they wish to see enacted and if they pass (dependent on the players’ voting structure, e.g. one vote per country, one vote per Great Power, something else), the organization will pursue those goals, rolling against its own stats. Regress represents efforts to create an alternative global body or to frustrate and dispel the dreams of any global body of this nature. Only the winning side will get the bonus Action Point pool and resolution passing mechanics.
    Rewards: The creation of an international peace and security organization with its own stat block that can accrue and spend Action Points on resolutions agreed to by its members.
    Spoiler Caribbean Resistance :
    Caribbean Resistance (Regional Caribbean Espionage Front):
    New Actions:
    • Union of States: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for Caribbean resistance support
    American apartheid never ended in the South, which incorporated the occupation forces of Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico in 1991. Movements for revolution and independence were regularly crushed by American invasions throughout the twentieth century which left behind only the toughest terrorists and the softest civil rights groups, the latter of which eschewed violence throughout 1990s. This strategy has made their cause massively popular, but totally failed to impress the white supremacist leadership of the Southern Republic, who continue a policy of brutal violence against dissidence in these three neo-colonies. This decades-old routine was upended this year when occupation forces, used to brutalizing peaceful demonstrators without incident, were surprised by gunmen in the crowd of a Havana protest. The ensuing massacre created a pile of at least one hundred bodies, some of which were later identified as members of the Black Panthers in the Union of States. The Havana massacre sparked a wave of armed protests across Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, while hard-left terror organizations like the Los Macheteros have claimed bombing attacks against radio stations and other infrastructure. The mild demands for civil liberties have also been replaced by agitators with calls for full independence. The Southern Republic’s leadership has used the violence to fan the flames of racial animosity and paranoia against the Union of States, whom they immediately blamed for the unrest. The South further asserted, without evidence, that the Union of States was trying to sway poor whites to communism and had crossed the border into Appalachia to carry out terror attacks. Combined with jingoistic rallies opposing Caribbean independence and the Union of States, the widespread propaganda effort has blocked out alternative viewpoints from the white population of the South and anti-Union narratives have even energized white supremacist and evangelical groups in the Union of States itself. By the end of the year, the violent Southern response to the armed protests is already spiralling out of control, and should this continue for too long, a truly enormous wave of resistance like nothing the South has ever seen before may overwhelm their forces and compel them to withdraw.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: Southern whites (whether Appalachian or Dixie) are being whipped into an anti-Rainbow Republic jingoistic frenzy
    • the Union of States stress “forces of reaction” adds 4 Collapse Points
    Trajectory: Mass protests will reach a crescendo so enormous that Southern occupation forces will have no choice but to withdraw in a matter of years (2005). This will create a loose federation of Caribbean states as a new NPC and a Power Centre out of veteran resistors influenced by the Union of States.
    Spoiler Military-Industrial Complex :
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Military-Industrial Complex (North America Super Economy Front):
    New Actions:
    • India: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for integration efforts representing Progress
    • East Asia: rolled 16, soft success. +1 FP for poaching efforts representing Regress
    Both India and East Asia this year attempted to save the old American arms industry from rusting away. Indian companies and economic elite rallied resources toward the re-integration of each constituent of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC). The Indian government and Indian arms manufacturers placed a flood of new orders to restart production in California, Utah, Texas, the Southern Republic, and New England, creating new business partnerships and bringing in investment. Initially skeptical, these ex-American states were relieved and impressed to see that the Indian strategy involved boosting their own economies, easing both anti-democratic and, in the Southern Republic’s case, racist attitudes toward the Indian overtures. The robust effort has put people back to work at Textron, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and many other firms. Indian businesses found some stiff competition from East Asian universities, the Nissan Group, and the most integral core of the East Asian state itself, the Socialist Association of Science and Technology, which seized on the weak pay, job insecurity, and general malaise in the American arms industry to poach engineers and scientists out of North America to noticeably more lucrative opportunities in East Asia. The academic poaching campaign faced a number of obstacles, from the lack of Japanese or any other East Asian language proficiency among potential targets, to the sizable ideological gulf between average MIC workers and the state ideology of East Asia. These were overcome, at least for the time being, firstly by promises of high salaries and interesting, cutting edge work. These salaries, it turns out, had to be well above the normal distribution for East Asia in-order to beat North American standards and to a lesser extent Indian offers. Moreover, interesting cutting-edge positions have put Americans in important and desired research jobs. These two policies have created resentment among domestic East Asian scientists and engineers who covet the higher pay and have had to watch Americans take spots on the next rung of the career ladder. These tensions are further exacerbated by the MIC workers and scientists stubbornly refusing to integrate, whether that be learning an East Asian language or respecting the socialist society’s norms (and sometimes laws) against bad-mouthing East Asian industrial standards and its form of government.

    Changes:
    • new World Fact: American MIC workers are frustrating East Asia-born colleagues due to their comparatively high pay, prestigious placement, unwillingness to integrate, and anti-government speech
    • new World Fact: the economies of California, Utah, Texas, the Southern Republic, and New England are getting a growth boost from Indian arms orders and MIC integration
    Trajectory: India will fully revitalize and integrate the Military-Industrial Complex of the former United States into its own arms industry in less than a decade (2008) creating a new Power Centre spread between India and the ex-American states, East Asia will have poached a notable cohort of aerospace and armaments engineers in that time (World Fact) and gain 1 XP for losing the contest.
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Military-Industrial Complex (North America Super Economy Front): The breakup of the United States left the military-industrial complex in shambles. Spread out over numerous states, the great American arms production supply chain was disconnected from each other throughout the 1990s, and being essentially right-wing in character, arms makers moved as much as possible out of the Rainbow Republic in that decade. Although a substantial portion of the human and physical capital ended up in Texas (Lockheed Martin, Textron, Boeing, General Dynamics), critical elements of the this system remain in California (where naval production is centred), the Southern Republic (where military software for jets and missiles was developed), and New England (where MIT pioneered new military technologies), not to mention supply chain components made in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. If left to waste away, these assets will be reconstituted into domestic supply chains much weaker than the sum of the system.
    Rules: the top two rolling countries will be Progress and Regress in a contest to reconstitute the American Military-Industrial Complex as part of their own arms supply chain; collapse will either partition the system or create domestic supply chains that are weaker than the sum of the whole
    Rewards: your very own Military-Industrial Complex as a Power Centre worth 0.8 Warfare and 0.8 Economy, and 0.2 AP
    Spoiler Second Dot Com Boom :
    Spoiler 2001 :
    Second Dot Com Boom (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front):
    New Actions:
    • Argentina: 18, soft success. +1 FP for entrepreneur immigration efforts representing Progress
    The internet has had a rough first decade, limited largely to academics and wealthier people in cities next to a tech hub. Moreover the greatest place of IT innovation, Silicon Valley, suffers from its erratic dictator, who swings wildly from pro-business free market fanaticism to authoritarian anti-communist paranoia and censorship, the latter of which puts a chilling effect on businesses that don’t know what will or won’t be banned. This year Argentina extended a hand to the beleaguered founders languishing in California, poaching them to labs, universities, and companies around Buenos Aires. Many of these Californians switched out of their initial job offers at established Argentine companies and universities a few months after arrival to make independent startups in Buenos Aires, often co-founding with locals. Already they have created burgeoning contenders for the world’s best browser, the Silver Lance, and search engine, Microscopio. The unorthodox west coast culture of these immigrants has imbued the dot com boom in Argentina with their penchant for aggressively exploiting legal loopholes or legal grey areas to “disrupt” stable industries, create internet monopolies, avoid taxes, avoid regulations, avoid unionization, avoid respecting intellectual property, and generally continue the steady rise of income inequality. Moreover, the success in software has not been replicated by Argentine firms in the expansion of broadband, with the Spanish company Telefónica dominating the broadband revolution across Argentina and in other parts of the Spanish speaking world.
    Changes:
    • new World Fact: immigrant American tech entrepreneurs are creating legally grey internet businesses that promote inequality
    • new World Fact: Argentine broadband and internet infrastructure depends on the Spanish telecom company Telefónica
    Trajectory: Argentina will develop a globally unparalleled tech hub with Silicon Valley cultural quirks over the course of the next half decade (2006) creating a new Power Centre in Buenos Aires
    Spoiler 2000 :
    Second Dot Com Boom (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front): The internet began in 1982 but adoption was limited to academics until the advent of the World Wide Web between 1989 and 1993. Fallout from the collapse of both superpowers blunted mass adoption of the internet. Although academics, universities, and laboratories continued to develop browsers, servers, and HTML, the American businesses at the forefront of computer technology spent the 1990s relocating to New England, Texas, and California and scrounging for capital in a recessionary environment. A clunky but technically open internet is in desperate need of user-friendly browsers, search engines, faster replacement for dial-up internet, and all manner of software services. The race to replace Silicon Valley is on.
    Rules: best roller is Progress, second best is Regress; another entrant replaces the Regress if they roll higher but lose any points accrued by that side
    Rewards: winner receives wins a first round of internet startups (browsers, search, broadband) as a Power Centre worth 1.6 Science points and 0.1 AP
    Spoiler War of Ideas :
    War of Ideas (Special Front): As Francis Fukuyama wrote in his 1992 book, The Beginning of History and the First Man, the morally bankrupt platforms of the Cold War era United States and Soviet Union have been swept away, replaced by a host of more convincing alternative systems of governance. Between Argentine technocracy, the American new left, Indian liberal democracy, East Asian environmentalism, Eurasian pan-nationalism, and Babylonian neo-traditionalism, the war of ideas rages on. This ideological multipolarity is untenable in a globalizing world, and one belief system will emerge as a frontrunner for revolutionary change as each of these regimes is scored by the audience of the world in the coming decade.
    Rules: this Front resolves by GM fiat when a) the entire world’s geopolitical situation appears to have clearly swung in the direction of one player’s ideology, and b) that player’s ideological activities have broadened its appeal of the ideology through visible deeds in such a way that it would inspire hundreds of millions of ordinary people
    Rewards: a global wave of enthusiasm for your ideology that will last for a large part of the 2010s and will translate into a) at least one or two revolutions, b) one or two oppositions or governments converting to your ideology, and c) other logical narrative benefits from ideological momentum
    Spoiler China's Warlords :
    China’s Warlords (Super China Warfare Front): After the KMT took control of China half a century ago, the country returned to a state of decentralization and corruption over years of mismanagement. Today’s China is governed by numerous minor cliques and warlords that orbit four major factions, one in the east, north, south, and west of the country. Although there are no open clashes, since the 1990s the ideological splits have become so profound that a new conflict between the warlords could be sparked by any minor slight. If a truly unified and reinvigorated China were to emerge, it would rival the other Great Powers in the world. (see NPC description for China for factions of this decentralized society)
    Rules: best two rolling players will promote the military expansion of their chosen faction, eliminating other factions with no backer or worse rolls; if a hegemon emerges, a new player may be invited to the game to play them
    Rewards: unification of China under your preferred warlord
    Spoiler Amazon Conflict :
    Amazon Conflict (Super Brazil-Colombia-Peru Warfare Front): The war in the Amazon has gone on for decades. Once upon a time, communists were in-charge of Brazil, and then Peru, appearing to dominate the continent, until Argentina invaded and ousted the Brazilian communists and the Peruvians turned on themselves and forced their enemy leftists into the jungle where they began cultivating cocaine that they could sell for cash to buy guns. These formerly Guevarist communist have turned to Suzukianism as a unifying force across numerous groups, and as a means of cementing their ties to indigenous peoples of the Amazon river basin. The low-grade civil conflict stretches between Colombia, Brazil, and Peru, with no obvious end in sight.
    Rules: Progress represents destruction of the guerrillas, Regress represents the guerrillas push out and takeover one of the three affected states, and entrench their position in the other two
    Rewards: stabilization of the Colombia, Brazil, and Peru regimes, or the collapse of one of those regimes to Suzukian rebels
    Related Fronts: The Drug Trade
    Spoiler Kongo-Sudan Conflict :
    Kongo-Sudan Conflict (Regional Kongo-Sudan Warfare Front): The interior of Africa between Kongo, Uganda, and Sudan has suffered numerous social breakdowns due to post-colonial ethnic conflicts, exacerbated by its isolation and the lucrative mines that dot the interior. Hardened by these conflicts, a Dominionist Christian militia movement emerged around a charismatic and unusually erudite soldier who, taking Ivory Coast, Angola, and Argentina, as well as the Lord thy God, as his inspirations, has rallied thousands of rebels into a sprawling insurgency between southern Sudan and eastern Kongo. Religious extremist groups have fought low-grade conflicts since the late 1980s, but only in the latter half of the 1990s did disparate insurgencies organize into a more unified rebellion of Domionist technocrat worshipping rebels. The bizarre ideological mixture makes some suspect the leader of the rebellion could be swayed to a wildly different ideology, should it be politically expedient.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to displace either the Sudanian or Kongolese government with Domionist rebels, Regress represents the crushing of the Domionist rebels
    Rewards: the toppling of one or the other afflicted regimes or the destruction of their oppositions
    Spoiler Blockbusters :
    Blockbusters (Super Worldwide Social Control Front): If there was one front of the Cold War the United States dominated, it was entertainment. The Hollywood studio system, from big budget films to Walt Disney’s pioneering animation, delivered American-made pro-American media with gusto and panache to the entire world. The breakup of the United States and the dislocation of Hollywood under ever more repressive Reaganite censorship has left a gap in the international film and television market, as well as the markets for music and other forms of entertainment. In large part, people have turned to local film and television with smaller budgets, weaker production values, and relatively stagnant cinematography and storytelling. This leaves the market ripe for a Great Power to restore the golden age of international pop culture.
    Rules: top two best rollers are Progress and Regress, new entrants replacing Regress and starting from zero; a close finish will split the pot between the two sides
    Rewards: the creation of a Power Centre representing a major cultural export of your country (e.g. K-Pop, superhero movies, manga, etc.)
    Spoiler The Land of Opportunity :
    The Land of Opportunity (Super Worldwide Administration/Economy Front): Once upon a time the Land of Opportunity for the toiling masses of Europe was America, where anyone could get land and be free. Nearly a century of racist immigration restrictions in America, which were copied to lesser or greater extent in Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, forced migrants seeking a better life to other ports of call, though never enough in any one nation for any place to become the world’s foremost nation of immigrants. For millions of migrants, there is no obvious choice of where to go to better one’s socio-economic chances, but should any of the Great Powers become a beacon of economic opportunity, they could benefit greatly from the intelligence and grit the world’s immigrants have to offer.
    Rules: top two best rollers are Progress and Regress, new entrants replacing Regress and starting from zero; a close finish will split the pot between the two sides; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: the establishment of a Nation of Immigrants/Land of Opportunity World Fact that represents a huge pull of immigration to the winning Great Power
    Spoiler The Drug Trade :
    The Drug Trade (Super Worldwide Espionage/Social Control): The 1990s were a boom period for the international illicit drug trade centred on the world’s three big production hubs in Afghanistan-Persia, Southeast Asia, and inner Latin America. The vast majority of the world's opium is made by farmers in the Golden Crescent in Afghanistan, where the Khan government turns a blind eye to poppy cultivation. Heroin is largely produced with the tacit support of the Buddhist regime in Burma and corrupt KMT officers in lands saddling the rainforested borders of Thailand, Indochina, Burma, and southwest China. Meanwhile cocaine is cultivated by left-wing insurgents in the Amazon, Colombia, and Peru. The illicit drug trade promotes addiction in buyer countries and strengthens criminal networks along their supply routes, especially North America and Europe, though increasingly also to Argentina, India, and East Asia.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to clamp down on global drug trade operations, Regress represents harnessing these criminal forces to serve the interests of your state; collapse is recurring
    Rewards: end of the drug trade (and resultant economic/political effects on other Fronts, regimes) or creation of a Drug Trafficking Power Centre worth 1.6 Espionage, 0.4 Social Control
    Related Fronts: Amazon Conflict
    Spoiler Indian Tensions :
    Indian Tensions (Regional India-Hindustan-Bengal Espionage/Front): The breakup of North India has left furious unresolved problems on the subcontinent. The Hindustani People’s Republic based out of Delhi, with nuclear arms and the world’s largest army by soldier count, regularly taunts and threatens rhetoric about retaking Mumbai or invading Bengal. The Bengalis, for their part, do the same over their own territorial grievances. This makes the Indo-Bengali-Hindustani border one of the most militarized in the world, and a place where inevitably a miscalculated military decision will escalate the armed peace into a nuclear war. Such a crisis could emerge when the fractious and untenable coalition government of Islamists and ultra-nationalists in Bengal finally collapses into a dictatorship of one or the other, which is seen as a likely next event in the ongoing tense geopolitical situation.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to prevent war and reach a stable political settlement across India, while Regress represents efforts to stoke a conflict.
    Rewards: peace or war on the subcontinent, also regime direction in Bengal
    Spoiler Ethiopian Revanchism :
    Ethiopian Revanchism (Regional Ethiopia Espionage Front): After a humiliating defeat at the hands of two liberal democracies in East Africa and India, the young king of Ethiopia is eager to prove his valour and reclaim lost glory. His propagandists make no effort to conceal their desire to ultimately invade East African Somalia, and a military build-up continues, though at a slow pace given Ethiopia’s rugged terrain, isolation from international markets, and lack of a domestic arms industry. Should a Great Power bridge these gaps between Ethiopia’s dreams and its present reality, the war path might be cleared for King Zera.
    Rules: Progress represents a military-build up that would pose a serious threat to East Africa, Regress represents the frustration or prevention of war erupting over Somalia
    Rewards: prevention or inauguration of a war led by Ethiopia against East African Somalia
    Spoiler Greater Hungary :
    Greater Hungary (Regional Hungary Espionage Front): In the state press of the Hungarian state, the lands of the Crown of St Stephen were wrongfully stripped from it in the aftermath of the Austro-Hungarian collapse, as well as the numerous border rectification treaties of the communist era. It is believed as well in the intelligence communities of most European countries that Hungarians are a major purchaser of illicit arms from dealers in Eurasia and Western Europe, which by themselves would put Hungary on a path to the military-buildup it would need to start a war, though slowly, and with which of its neighbours, it is unclear.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to build-up Hungary for a war with one of its neighbours (which is up to the player that causes the Progress to succeed), Regress represents efforts to prevent a war and establish a more lasting commitment to peace between Hungary and its neighbours
    Rewards: war or stabilized peace with Hungary and its various claims, potentially also the alignment of Hungary’s military Power Centre
    Related Fronts: Merchants of Death
    Spoiler Arabian Nuclear Program :
    Arabian Nuclear Program (Regional Arabia Espionage/Science Front): Ever since the Babylonian invasion of the Kingdom of Arabia, the Saudis have made it an open secret that they are looking for help to build the bomb. Tentative info sharing occurred between Arabia and North India in 1989, but this ceased as North India collapsed into two warring states. Arabia continues to put feelers out for assistance in building a nuclear program, but to date no Great Power has shown interest. The hermit king of Arabia rules absolutely, and could change the tune of his government perhaps a lot more easily than other regimes, should he get what he needs against the only thing he really cares about: protecting himself from Saddam Hussein.
    Rules: Progress represents advances by Arabia to build a WMD arsenal, Regress represents efforts to permanently crush the possibility of such an arsenal forming
    Rewards: the rapid ideological switch of Arabia to whoever helps them build a WMD program, or the elimination of a potentially threatening WMD program in Arabia
    Spoiler Hawaiian Allegiance :
    Hawaiian Allegiance (Regional Hawaii Administration/Espionage Front): Remaining inside the Rainbow Republic was never an option for the business-friendly Republicans governing Hawaii back in 1991, but independence for a small, strategically located nation like theirs is untenable without a patron among the Great Powers. Hawaii boasts one of the former United States’ best military ports and still harbours two of its aircraft carriers alongside a notable fleet and its experienced sailors and officers who defected to Hawaii. Although Australia has made diplomatic overtures to Hawaii, the local Republican Party sees them as a last resort and are hoping for another Great Power to guarantee their independence against interference in their affairs from either East Asian and Rainbow Republic, who’s sympathisers fill the ranks of opposition movements.
    Rules: Progress represents swaying the Hawaiian regime into your sphere, Regress represents the advance of either Suzukian or Rainbow opposition groups, whichever rolls higher
    Rewards: access to Hawaii as a naval port and the restitution of a Power Centre out of the Pacific Fleet worth 1.6 Warfare and 0.1 AP
    Spoiler Untouchable Global Elite :
    Untouchable Global Elite (Worldwide Super Social Control/Administration Front): In the shadows, moving from corporate board rooms to fancy estate to ski resorts, there have always been the Eloi, the haves, the untouchable elite whose wealth you don’t even see. They can enter countries without a passport, hide their true wealth behind numerous shell companies, and have powerful connections everywhere that matters. This globalized power class hails from every nationality and knows no borders, but should they see one of the Great Powers as serving their interests, they might be inclined to do them favours in-exchange.
    Rules: best two rollers are sides Progress and Regress, replacing the losing side if they join in after two sides are established
    Rewards: a geographically unlocated Power Centre representing the power elite and the wealthy 0.01% worth 0.1 AP, 0.8 Economy, 0.4 Espionage, 0.4 Social Control
    Spoiler HIV/AIDS & Malaria :
    HIV/AIDS & Malaria (Africa Super Science/Administration Front): Two diseases haunt Sub-Saharan Africa, one ancient and one modern. Malaria, spread by mosquitoes in equatorial climes, kills 800,000 people annually, while HIV/AIDS has pulled down societal life expectancy by 10-20 years in the most afflicted areas in East Africa, Azania, Mozambique, and Equatorial Africa. Although drugs have been developed to manage HIV/AIDS and cure malaria, they are not distributed widely in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Rules: Progress represents efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria
    Rewards: none (it’s just a nice thing to do)

    World-Building Request: Enterprise

    Every country has big players in its particular industries, what are yours? What are the details of the Mesopotamian Oil Company in Babylon, or what are the other major firms of note? What are the other National Champions or what are the details of the major ones known so far in East Asia? What are the most valuable stocks on the Indian stock exchange? What are the businesses that the Eurasian strongmen own or favour? What are Argentina’s up-and-coming startups? And what are the big firms in the Union of States, especially given the turmoil of secession and left-wing takeover?

    GM Notes

    This is just a general note that naval military actions do require that you have a friendly port within range to carry them out from. Nations that are ideologically aligned will not necessarily provide that port, so having a very strong relationship with an NPC or a controlled Power Centre inside an NPC would probably do the trick.

    I didn't get around to updating the NPC tab nor fixing the Front status indicator repeating "collapse" states that are intended to only repeat on an interval, but it's not urgent and so I'll get around to it before another update.

    Orders are due Thursday June 30th 9:00 AM PST.

    Mobilization deadlines are:
    • Saturday June 25th 9:00 AM PST (for a +4 bonus)
    • Sunday June 26th 9:00 AM PST (for a +2 bonus)
    • Monday June 27th 9:00 AM PST (for a +1 bonus) - no mobilizations can be declared after this point (and therefore no wars can be engaged in)
     
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  7. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,029
    The Federal Republic of India condemns the Californian governments crackdown on peaceful protesters. We urge the Reagan administration to enter a dialogue with these nonviolent activists, as instability and arbitrary use of force threatens the nation's stable business environment that India is heavily invested in.
     
  8. Belgarion95

    Belgarion95 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    88
    Babylon mourns the death of President Reagan; his accomplishments are too many to name, and his shadow looms proudly across the history of the Americas.

    Long live President Reagan. The strength he demonstrates in such dark days does his father proud, exemplifying the true Western spirit.
     

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