Autumn of Nations

J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
1,233
Location
Canada
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Spoiler Persian Farmers' War :
Spoiler 2007 :
Persian Farmers' War (Middle Persia Warfare/Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for crushing Suzukian resistance
Babylon abruptly pivoted its military yet again this year, shifting attention to its client state in Persia. That corrupt and widely despised puppet regime, with a military staffed full of embezzlers who abandon their posts at the first sign of trouble, depends entirely on Babylon for stability - stability that had recently come under renewed assault due to land seizures by rebellious Suzukian farmers that began two years ago. Although public information is scarce, open-source intelligence groups slowly cobbled together evidence over the course of the year of a massive air campaign and counter-insurgency ground offensive that had practically levelled every shed east of Tehran, foreclosed every university, and had putatively put 1-5 million Persians in internment camps. Babylonian media acknowledged the war by November, whereupon they immediately celebrated a victory against “Turkestani-supported Suzukian terrorists” and “al-Qaeda.” It may take many years for scholars to truly understand the scale of violence deployed in Persia in 2007, though it appears many were spared by Saddam’s mercy, especially for those who gave up arms, confessed early, or openly collaborated with the invasion forces. Many of these collaborators now appear to be owners of estates redistributed to them from interned rebels in a neo-feudal loyalty scheme. Most regular workers in manufacturing as well as oil and gas industries, including members of the world-renowned Society of Geotechnical Expertise, were left alone, while the universities, after severe purges, have been reopened under new management. Saddam’s military has already handed off maintenance of the new totalitarianism to Babylonian bureaucrats and a less venal class of Persian collaborators, freeing the troops from costly occupation duties and establishing a new and perhaps permanent state of neo-traditional hierarchy and control in Persia.
Changes:
  • defunct World Fact: Persian Suzukian-influenced rancher-farmers are violently seizing lands from drug cartel-affiliated farmers
  • new World Fact: Persian society is effectively and near-totally controlled by Babylonian imported secret police and bureaucrats alongside terrified collaborators
Spoiler Galicia Question :
Spoiler 2007 :
Galicia Question (Middle Zapadoslavia Espionage Front)
New Events:
  • Eurasia wins the Front (3 out of 3 Front Points)
After nearly a century together, the project of a single Zapadoslavic people is over, its east and its west going their separate ways. Technocratic leaders in Galicia and Slovakia were replaced over the last few years by pro-Eurasian separatists through legal mechanisms (expedited by less-than-legal intimidation and armed rallying) who formally requested independence from the central government. The top technocrats in Prague sat down in the plush tulip chairs of the nation’s Operations Room, surrounded by computers and algedonic displays, and simply signed the papers officiating the independence of the east. The new independent state lasted less than a full week, its leadership receiving membership in Eurasia almost as fast as they requested it. Meanwhile the rump state in Prague convened a congress of experts to rewrite their constitution, which has adopted Czechia as the nation’s new name.
Changes:
  • Galicia and Slovakia secede from Zapadoslavia, are annexed by Eurasia
  • Zapadoslavia changes its name to Czechia
  • defunct opposition in Zapadoslavia: paramilitary ultranationalists (absorbed into Eurasia)
  • the Eurasia Stress “secessionists and nationalism” loses 2 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2005 :
Galicia Question (Middle Zapadoslavia Espionage Front):
New Changes:
  • Eurasia: rolled 17, soft success. +1 FP for paramilitary promotion
The relatively peaceful post-Autumn status quo of Zapadoslavia was disrupted this year with a surge in pro-Eurasian separatist activity in Galicia and Slovakia. The two neglected regions of the technocratic post-communist country are rural, poor, and were the subject of Soviet super-nationalist social engineering. The result of those communist attempts to forge a left-wing Zapadoslavic identity was ironically instead the creation of a right-wing pan-Slavic identity that sees Eurasia as its role model. The highlight of the year’s pro-Eurasian activities was a highly public rally in Krakow, on the border with Eurasian Poland, where at least one hundred thousand people, some armed, marched for the independence of Slovakia and Galicia, as well as unification with Eurasia. Numerous gangsters were reported in attendance, notably including Polish and Russian mafia. Although the technocrats in Prague are trying to contain the nationalist outburst for the time being, leaked government reports suggest a sombre acceptance of the inevitability and even the desirability of eastern independence. The Prague technocrats seem to see Slovakia and Galicia as not just as economically backwards and a potential military flashpoint with Eurasia, but even a potential military flashpoint with Hungary, which, in the midst of right-wing upsurge, has been publicly reminding the international community of the territorial claims it “inherited” from Austria-Hungary.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Hungary is publicly reviving territorial demands upon Slovakia
  • the Front’s Target Number is increased from 2 to 3
Trajectory: Zapadoslavia will ultimately release Slovakia and Galicia in a matter of years (2007), whereupon its Eurasianist leadership will make a request to join Eurasia.
Spoiler Land of Opportunity :
Spoiler 2007 :
Land of Opportunity (Super Worldwide Administration/Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Front Collapses (8 out of 8 Front Points)
In a multipolar world, those seeking a better life have to make tough choices. None of the Great Powers have that unique combination of social mobility, economic prosperity, and open immigration which once upon a time made America the land of opportunity. The end of the Cold War created an opening for that to change, but alas too much time has passed. It will take another mighty change in the course of history for the tired, poor, huddled masses to truly believe in a new American Dream.
Spoiler 2000 :
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 War on Terror :
Spoiler 2007 :
War on Terror (Regional Islamic World Social Control/Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon & East Asia win the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
The collective efforts of East Asia and Babylon have crushed al-Qaeda’s operations in both of those two states. Although their efforts did not eliminate al-Qaeda the world-over, the terrorist organization is severely weakened, and inside East Asia and Babylon it has been completely dismantled. A strike against al-Qaeda’s mystery patron, which has been narrowed down to either Bengal or Arabia, could deal the final blow, but security and intelligence officials in East Asia and Babylon thus far seem uninterested in expanding the scope of an assignment that was tough enough to complete on home turf.
Changes:
  • the Babylon Stress “Egyptian Islamism” loses 3 Collapse Points
  • the East Asia Stress “anti-Japanese sentiment” loses 3 Collapse Points
  • the Front “Islamism & Jihadism” loses 4 Collapse Points
  • stat changes for the al-Qaeda Power Centre: -0.4 Espionage
  • new World Fact: Babylon and East Asia have fully dismantled al-Qaeda in their countries
Spoiler 2004 :
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
Spoiler Great Awakening :
Spoiler 2007 :
Great Awakening (Regional Union of States Social Control/Administration Front)
New Events:
  • Union of States wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
A national effort to curb religious extremism is rounding down intensive operations this year in the Union of States. Right-wing televangelists and radiovangelists have lost their edge in the competition for listeners and viewers who have turned to progressive religious voices like Sojourner Jim Wallis, Anabaptists, and others. Meanwhile, new non-Christian religious movements have been gaining popularity. On the west coast New Age beliefs in astrology, meditation, harmony with nature, among other esotericisms have been successfully fused into state-affiliated mass organizations and non-threatening private groups, which will take time to fully displace the Christian majority but are on path to do so by 2020. On the east coast, neo-paganism has taken a similar course, with the Christian majority on pace to be displaced by 2030. Both have their issues, with significant cross-border connections between the New Agers and Buffalo-Caribou environmentalists with Suzukian influence, while the neo-pagans have notable connections to the Hells Angels in Quebec - but these represent only a minority of the wider conversions.
Changes:
  • defunct 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
  • the Union of States Stress “forces of reaction” loses 4 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2004 :
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).
Spoiler Disaster Capitalism :
Spoiler 2007 :
Disaster Capitalism (Regional China Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
The famine induced by Typhoon Longwang in 2005 ended this year, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. The heroic victory was hailed in Shanghai to the energetic reconstruction and aid efforts of Argentine businesses and diplomats, who have spurred significant investment and growth in Shanghai, a pearl of finance capitalism in the east that has begun to rival Hong Kong. Argentine investment has penetrated far and wide across China in the last few years, giving Argentinians influence in the private sector of the technocratic east, the militarist north, the democratic south, and even some parts of the theocratic west.
Changes:
  • Argentina controls the Shanghai Financial Centre Power Centre
  • defunct World Fact: Argentine companies have construction and retail projects across all of China
  • new World Fact: Argentine and pro-Argentina Shanghai investors dominate private investment across all areas of China in most sectors, especially in construction and retail
Spoiler 2006 :
Disaster Capitalism (Regional China Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina: rolled 20.4, full success. +2 FP for disaster capitalism
At the news of yet another Chinese disaster, Argentine capitalists, at the behest of their professorial state, once again packed their bags and booked thousands of tickets to the embattled country. This time Argentinians landed in Shanghai, where they cavorted with the technocratic government and the city’s business elites to permit the deployment of engineering talent and create supply chains for basic goods and aid. Central China, the epicentre of last year’s floods and suffering an ongoing famine, was relieved of its calamities with diverse aid (food, clothing, basic goods) and its people rapidly rehoused by Argentine construction teams. Surprisingly, Argentine companies slickly navigated the political risks of the region, which is divided confusingly between the four Chinese “warlords” who dispute the territories, avoiding a flare-up or engendering hostility from one of the factions. Although the nominal target of Argentine aid and reconstruction was central China, as work there wound down other contracts picked up not just in Shanghai, which increasingly appears like Argentina’s very own version of Hong Kong, but across China.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Argentine companies have construction and retail projects across all of China
Trajectory: Argentina will obtain financial and social dominance of the Shanghai Financial Centre Power Network by the end of next year.
Spoiler Merchants of Death :
Spoiler 2007 :
Merchants of Death (Super Europe Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Eurasia wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
The Eurasian war on guns is over. Eurasia is victorious. The “Sanctions Busters” Viktor Bout and Karlheinz Schreiber have been busted, both apprehended by European authorities who extradited them to Eurasia for a speedy trial and punishment. They are the tip of the iceberg, with hundreds of other traffickers behind bars or dead thanks to Eurasia. Eurasian and European arms stockpiles are now under a regime of tight monitoring, with the only illegal flows happening if they have the tacit approval of the Eurasian state.
Changes:
  • defunct World Fact: criminal organizations are assassinating Eurasian anti-corruption agents
  • new World Fact: Eurasian weapons stockpiles are highly monitored and nearly impervious to theft
  • new World Fact: illicit arms trafficking among ex-Soviet countries is negligible except wherever and whenever it suits Eurasian national interests
  • the Eurasia Stress “inflexibility and corruption” loses 3 Collapse Points
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 Second Dot Com Boom :
Spoiler 2006 :
Second Dot Com Boom (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
As the new saying in Argentina goes, move fast and break things. The internet has come back in a big way in Silicon Valley’s second home: Buenos Aires. Almost every new computer around the world comes with a pre-installation of the Silver Lance, while the Microscopio company has cornered the market for internet searches. The consolidation of what is being referred to as “Web 2.0” is helping connect the entire world into a global internet community. With high-quality internet highways having been paved, internet communities have begun to flourish through forums and messaging services. All of this is moreover happening on the back of a growing internet advertising business whose profits are being made by companies in Argentina - but the internet is young, and numerous more internet business opportunities are out there.
Changes:
  • new Front: Internet Platforms
  • new Power Centre: Silicon Pampa, controlled by Argentina
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 A Special Relationship :
Spoiler 2006 :
A Special Relationship (Regional Great Britain Administration Front):
New Events:
  • India wins the Front (3 out of 3 Front Points)
The Millennium Alliance has proven itself over three years of training exercises, officer exchanges, and warming public attitudes toward the pact in both India as well as Great Britain. This year’s training included a large-scale combined arms defence of Cyprus against an unspecified invader, a culmination of efforts at reintegrating the two militaries. With integration complete, the Indian and Royal navies operate as a team, with access provided to India for every British port around the world. Although mostly unspoken, India is also now widely perceived to be under Britain’s nuclear umbrella, though some uncertainty exists about what Britain would do in a real crisis.
Changes:
  • India gains control of the Royal Navy Power Centre
Spoiler 2004 :
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).
Spoiler Sahara Conflict :
Spoiler 2005 :
Sahara Conflict (Regional Maghreb-Libya Warfare Front):
New Changes:
  • Babylon wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
The decade-long conflict in the Sahara that began with fundamentalist Islamist and Tuareg unrest in the 1990s has come to a close this year. Maghrebi and Libyan forces finished off the last Tuareg and Islamist fighters still holding out deep into the Sahara with airstrikes and infantry. While the left-wing Maghrebi dictatorship of Abdelaziz Bouteflika has eliminated all opposition to his rule, Libya’s Gaddafi has uneasily accepted the de facto independence of the armed Toubou fighters that made an ambiguous deal with Babylon to cease their fighting. The result in Libya is an end to the conflict and a recognition by Gaddafi for now at least that the Toubou region be treated with high autonomy until such a time that Babylon no longer supports them. The Toubou nationalists for their part are lobbying Babylon to force Gaddafi to recognize an independent state of the Garamantes.
Changes:
  • new opposition in Libya: Toubou neo-traditional nationalists
  • defunct opposition in Libya: militant pan-Islamists
  • defunct opposition in Maghreb: Tuareg and Islamist insurgents
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 Caribbean Resistance :
Spoiler 2005 :
Caribbean Resistance (Regional Caribbean Espionage Front):
New Changes:
  • Union of States wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
After decades of occupation and four years of overwhelming protest and violence, the Southern Republic finally pulled out of the Caribbean this year and negotiated independence. The Southern Republic’s violent crackdown in the Caribbean these last few years only triggered even more massive protests, forcing the army to carry out a wave of terror and violence that was met with bullets from Black Panthers and the riflemen they trained and armed. As the army suffered casualties, protests spread to poor whites and white students on the homefront, helping tank the President’s polling numbers, with most observers expecting his government to lose the next election to his political opponents. Those opponents are just as racist and jingoistic as the President, though they correctly point out that this is yet another South Africa (or India, or Algeria), and prolonging the inevitable only puts the Southern Republic in a state of vulnerability should the Union try an invasion. It was later revealed the Southern President began secret negotiations with the separatists as early as spring this year, which was nearly derailed by a coup plot by generals of the Southern Republic who were outed and caught. After speedy trials those generals were let off with light penalties, and the peace negotiations succeeded in granting independence to a Caribbean Federation, alongside various concessions to the Southern Republic about the economic rights of its white-owned businesses among other miscellany. Meanwhile, celebration broke out across the Union of States, where the liberation of the Caribbean is being upheld as a victory for humanity and the Union. The resounding defeat of the South, without ever firing a shot across the border, has also deflated the religious right's pro-Southern activism, which has petered out over the last year. Underground activity remains and could be reactivated, but the threat from the religious right is for now dormant.
Changes:
  • new NPC: Caribbean Federation
  • defunct opposition in the Southern Republic: multiracial social movement
  • short-term Stress "great awakening" resolved
Spoiler 2002 :
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 Coronavirus :
Spoiler 2004 :
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
Spoiler Omani Ultimatum :
Spoiler 2004 :
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).
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.

World-Building Request: Counter-Culture

Talk to me about your punks, your internet subcultures, your hipsters. What is an interesting counter-culture (whether political or otherwise) that is developing in your country? What slang do they adopt? What clothes do they wear? What makes them interesting or weird or cool?

Optional Orders: Propose a Front

(same as last turn): If you have an idea for a possible Front I could put into the world, I’m eager to hear of it! Please include it in your orders and I’ll consider adding it to the game. Fronts should generally be Regional or Super-sized, touch on something unique or which could produce a unique effect, and suit the time period and collective fiction.

GM Notes

I’ve decided to lengthen the order deadlines so that I can more easily manage updating. Likewise, I’m also going to stretch the mobilization deadlines out (basically double the time) since there’s more time for players to write orders in-general so it’s not so much of a rush.

EDIT: after posting this update I noticed a weird error; seems like I never put up the resolution to the Galicia Question last update? I've edited that passage into the 2007 Update so go ahead and read that missing passage from the prior update

Orders are due Wednesday November 9th 9:00 AM PST.

Mobilization deadlines are:
  • Thursday October 20th 9:00 AM PST (for a +4 bonus)
  • Saturday October 22nd 9:00 AM PST (for a +2 bonus)
  • Monday October 24th 9:00 AM PST (for a +1 bonus) - no mobilizations can be declared after this point (and therefore no wars can be engaged in)
 
Last edited:

Kyzarc Fotjage

Rise Up
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,231
Location
Western Washington
Country Name: European Union
Capital: Zurich
Spoiler Country Description :
The European Union is the dream of the young idealists who rose out of the ashes of Soviet Germany and in particular the founder of the GDN, Karl Wels. His persuasive oratory and skill at coalition building contributed to Germany emerging from the initial collapse of the Soviet state largely intact, rallying support from a variety of ideological backgrounds in both Germany and overseas. The European Union is a federal state divided into administrative regions that largely follow the pre-Soviet old national boundaries, with the large states broken into smaller chunks (four each for Germany, Italy, and France). These administrative regions are semi-sovereign (effectively irl German states), with the regional governments being built along similar lines to the national w/ a local parliamentary body and an elected executive who heads the bureaucracy and holds veto power. (For my own sake I’m going to treat the actual breakdown of legal authority between the administrative regions and the federal government as functionally identical to the IRL USA)

Spoiler Ideological Goals :
As a whole the government under Karl Wels and his close associates in the Parliament and Council is navigating the transition towards a free democracy, using the examples of the American Revolution, with its smooth transition from a wartime coalition into a relatively free and open democracy, as a guiding light and the French and Spanish Revolutions as warnings, where populist leaders were unwilling to pass on power to their successors and military coups were an ever-present threat. They’re further informed by the collapse of the American Republic, with its authoritarian takeover in 1916, and the more recent collapses of both the Soviet and American states, so they’re attempting to preempt concerns of corruption, political suppression, and threat of subversion of democratic processes by anti-democratic forces. They have no significant ambitions outside the current borders of the EU beyond establishing friendly ties with ideologically aligned neighbors in Europe, like the Netherlands and, to a lesser extent, Yugoslavia.

Spoiler Stretch Goal :
After enduring two decades of fratricidal warfare between the dominant Western European powers the region is tired of war. They see the enflaming of hostilities between Eurasia and Babylon as a dire portent of things to come, a future where war returns to vogue and even the paper thin veneer of civility that existed between the Soviets and United States is gone. There has been enough blood shed for a dozen lifetimes. The petty tyrants of the world have demonstrated they can’t restrain their most destructive of impulses, so they need to be taught restraint. Karl Wels dreams of a trans-national body that can enforce the peace between nation-states, one with the support of the warweary masses of the world and can force governments to the table, unlike the pathetic Security Council of decades past.

Spoiler Government :
Chancellor: Single term executive whose primary role is head of the government bureaucracy and commander-in-chief of the EU military. They’re voted into office in a state-wide election every six years and may only serve a single term. They can be ousted early by a vote of no-confidence by both Parliament and the Council, which forces another election to determine who will hold the position for the remainder of their term (the sitting president can run in this, if they believe they still have a popular mandate). They also fill the role of lead diplomat, but most foreign policy dealings must pass by the Council (and can bypass the Council through Parliament). In the event of the Chancellor being indisposed they have a chosen Vice-Chancellor that fills in for them until either they’re fit for service again or the next election cycle comes around (in the case of assassination). The current Chancellor is the German Karl Wels, founder of the GDN and with a broad base of support. He’s been vocal about his current term being temporary and his intentions to step down from political office entirely once it is over, wishing to avoid the fate of Bolivar and other populist leaders who found themselves unable to peacefully hand off power to others and thereby destroying what they sought to create.
European Parliament: Large parliamentary body whose membership is based on district and are voted on every year. Parliament holds most of the power, with all legislation originating in them and they can, with a sufficient majority, overrule most of the rest of the government. The GDN is the dominant coalition in the Parliament, composed of the New Social Democratic Party (NSP, the core of German social-democrats), En Marche (French and Italian democrats who resisted Soviet and Fascists in their respective regions), and the International Communists (CI, primarily French moderate communists who see the successes of the compromise shown in the Yugoslavian system as a better bet than a return to the old Soviet one)
European Council: much smaller body whose members are based on administrative region (1 per) and serve four year terms (staggered every year, cannot hold consecutive terms). When legislation passes through Parliament and reaches the Council they vote on whether to pass it into law or to veto it, with a veto blocking the legislation until a 60% majority is reached in Parliament.
High Court: Judicial body of fifteen judges who serve five year terms (staggered so three change every year). The judges are chosen by the sitting president and are approved by the Council. The President can bypass a veto by the Council by bringing an appointee to Parliament, where they must get a 60% majority. They usually preside over three distinct courts, one for each of Italy, France, and Germany, but can be brought together if an issue is brought before one that the other two courts deem important to the Union as a whole. This judicial body provides oversight for the criminal justice system and constitutional law.

Administrative Regions (probably should have some more, not sure on my exact borders yet):
Brandenburg
Saxony
Bavaria
Rhineland
Aquitaine
Burgundy
Loire
Brittany-Normandy
Po Valley
Caesalpinia
Central Italy
South Italy
Belgium
Switzerland


State Proficiencies:
Warfare: 4 (Ground, Air, Irregular)
Espionage: 1 (Counter-Intelligence)
Social Control: 4 (Movements, Mass Culture, Media)
Administration: 4 (Legitimization, Social Policy, State Building)
Economy: 1 (Engineering)
Science: 2 (Social Science, Education)

Spoiler Capability Descriptions :
Warfare (Ground): The EU was born out of war and carries the legacy of that. The armies of the EU are armed almost entirely with the most modern weapons the British/Indian military-industrial complex can provide and have hard-won battlefield experience that together make them a potent military threat on the ground. (basically modern French/NATO army, but way bigger)
Warfare (Irregular): The ideological factors driving the Soviet Civil War led to a militarization of the populace, with much of the civilian population contributing to the war effort in some capacity whether directly in the form of auxillary or paramilitary forces or indirectly in the form of low-pay (or entirely voluntary) labor and donations of equipment or goods to the armed forces. The most prominent of these paramilitary groups are the Gendarmerie Nationale, formerly a militarized French law enforcement agency that broke ties with the French government early in the war and formed the nexus of French-democratic resistance. (picturing along the lines of the mass civilian mobilization that occured in Ukraine near the start of the conflict)
Warfare (Air): While Indian fixed and rotary winged aircraft are usually considered adequate at best, not holding a candle to the truly exceptional planes of Babylon and Eurasia, in the hands of German and, later on, French pilots they proved quite effective. Experienced pilots of the EUAF (though they're more commonly called the Demokratische Luftwaffe or DLW) were quickly rotated off the front lines and put in charge of teaching fresh recruits their hard-earned lessons, resulting in an aerial corps whose base level of skill is exceptionally high. (Picturing the American air force/naval air force towards the end of WW2)
Espionage (Counter-Intelligence): What the EU has in raw military presence on the fields of Europe, it more than lacks for in its intelligence services. The idealistic nature of the government has left its foreign intelligence branches woefully lacking in both expertise and funding, and the only field in which they're not entirely incompetent is in recognizing foreign interference in domestic affairs, particularly elections.
Social Control (Movements): One of the keys to Democratic victory in Europe was the effective mass mobilization of the civilian population both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe around its ideals. Democratic movements provided the German military a steady supply of eager recruits and ensured that when it pulled back from Red Army advances there were plenty of loyalists still present to protest (and report) Soviet movements while when it advanced popular resistance was minimal. This expertise in organizing civilian movements, spearheaded by demagogues and with robust organizations backing them, has remained a cornerstone of EU power.
Social Control (Mass Culture): European art and languages are amongst the most widespread in the world, with Spanish, French, and German being common secondary or tertiary languages even in areas that’ve long since thrown off the shackles of colonialism. India and the German Democrats took advantage of this to push the EU as scrappy underdogs, fighting the good fight against an implacable fascist enemy. German filmmakers, writers, poets, and artists produced prodigious amounts of art to celebrate European unity and the war against Fascism, distributed by Britain and India in Europe and across the world to drive up public support for the Democratic forces. The European Media Group (EMG) was founded to consolidate and coordinate these efforts.
Social Control (Media): In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse and Soviet state media hundreds of independent news organizations popped up to inform the populace of the state of the region and the progress of the war. While some of these were directly or indirectly controlled by governmental bodies, both foreign and domestic, most were truly independent and quite small groups. In part to insure their survival in the turbulent economic and political conditions of late-war and post-war Europe, but mostly to ensure that no foreign bodies tried to interfere in European politics through media patsies, a government owned umbrella organization was formed called the Union News Group (UNG) which provided subsidies to more vulnerable newsgroups and policed them against influence by overtly political interests. While the UNG hardly has total control over EU infospace, it has been fairly effective at guiding narratives with a soft touch.
Administration (Legitimization): The legitimacy of the EU is one of its chief concerns, with the most central tenet of the German Democrats who are the backbone of the government being free and fair elections. There is a massive drive for transparency in the electoral process, with stringent oversight of anyone who runs for even local elections and small campaign funds provided to candidates rather than having them reliant on donations.
Administration (Social Policy): Terrified of another political collapse and facing a large, militarized populace without a healthy private sector to absorb them, social welfare and culture assimilation is the name of the game. Large chunks of the bureaucracy is dedicated to managing the populace, ensuring they’re relatively happy and less prone to take up their grievances with a gun.
Administration (State Building): The corruption endemic to the Soviet State has taught the civilian population of Western Europe that governments and politicians aren’t to be trusted, while the disastrous attempts to curb it that contributed to its collapse taught the young politicians of Western Europe that letting things get to that state will inevitably end in disaster. Getting the gunshy people of France, Germany, and Italy to trust again is a major goal of the European Union, and a heavy emphasis is placed on transparency with corruption cases being punished severely, both the politician and their patron facing massive fines and jailtime.
Economy (Engineering): Europe has endured a decade and a half of warfare with large chunks of the populace mobilized in some capacity while parts of it have endured blockade and the entire region never had a chance to recover from the Soviet collapse. The only truly functional parts of its economy are the road crews, military engineers, and other infrastructure companies who've become fairly good at repairing bombed out bridges, replacing power lines, and other consequences of the constant fighting. One of the newly formed EU's governments early orders was the introduction of the Civilian Conscription Corps, a mandatory conscription program that has conscripts assist in the rebuilding of critical infrastructure and opening up the path to future economic development.
Science (Education): In the aftermath of the Soviet Civil War there has been a significant reduction in the number of people currently under arms, including many former Red Army members, and one of the EU’s early challenges was retraining young soldiers into potentially productive members of society. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act is the cornerstone of this, an expansive funding bill for dozens of trade schools and universities across Western Europe that paid for the education of over a million soldiers and led to a massive importation of foreign educators to compensate for the overwhelming strain this put on the previously fragile educational system.
Science (Social Sciences): Europe hasn’t been a hotbed of technological development since before the collapse of the Soviet state, but the volatile nature of politics in the young state, the old ethnic stresses rising up, and a substantial government interest in avoiding the problems that caused the authoritarian takeover of the old American Republic and the more recent collapse of the Soviets have led to a large influx of young, excitable political theorists and sociologists looking to make their mark on history as the next Karl Marx or James Madison.

Spoiler Sources of Stress :
The Soviet Civil War has badly crippled the economies of Western Europe to the point where the only reliable source of employment is in the military or paramilitary forces. The service industry is weak, the agricultural sector collapsed, and industrial production almost nonexistent. This has led to much of the continent being largely dependent on foreign imports for most basic goods, including food.

The massive society-wide scale of the Soviet Civil War has led to a demographic crisis in Western Europe. Over the course of the war millions of young adults have died and millions more have fled to more peaceful pastures, leaving the country with a significant number of middle-aged to elderly folks.

There are substantial tensions as the government is German-dominated, with Germans holding the Chancellorship and the European Parliament, with many French and Italians viewing this is not fundamentally that different from the old Soviet days. The forced partition of the old supranations and overt gestures like making Zurich the capital have helped somewhat, but nationalists in both countries claim that the partitions were done to weaken their respective homelands to ease assimilation, while Zurich is still predominantly a German city linguistically and culturally so the gesture is an empty one.
 

J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
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Nov 15, 2011
Messages
1,233
Location
Canada
EDITED: (changed my mind on this rule due to some unintended implications)

Since it has become relevant I've edited the stats sheet to have a new column for AP, and renamed the former AP column from before to APG for AP Generation. The Action Points available to a player are always their AP Bank (APB) + their AP Generation (APG) rounded down. Action Points must be spent - use it or lose it.
 
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Belgarion95

Chieftain
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
95
The President's council has determined that Eurasia's defence of the cowardly, despotic Turkestani regime cannot continue to be tolerated. Babylon will commence mobilization for a punitive expedition into Eurasia.
 

J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
1,233
Location
Canada
The President's council has determined that Eurasia's defence of the cowardly, despotic Turkestani regime cannot continue to be tolerated. Babylon will commence mobilization for a punitive expedition into Eurasia.

CFC tells me that this occurred at 7:59 PM PST Wednesday, conferring a +4 bonus to Babylon for mobilizing. According to the rules pile-ons against Babylon or Eurasia are limited to 72 hours; since I've doubled the normal mobilization deadlines I'm going to double these deadlines as well.

Since Eurasia is being attacked and Eurasia is a player country, Eurasia automatically receives a +2 should it spend an AP specifically on defending in its home territory and does not need to declare a mobilization. Narratively, Eurasia's forces will defend Eurasia with or without Eurasia spending an AP, and if Babylon fails the roll, Eurasia would win without having to spend an AP. Mechanically, if Eurasia spends an AP on the home front, they can generate Front Points against Babylon's roll, which will have different fictional and mechanical effects depending on the configuration of rolls between the two players.

Mobilization bonus deadlines for pile-ons for this conflict are as such:
  • Tomorrow, Friday October 21st 8:00 PM PST (for a +4 bonus)
  • Sunday October 23rd 8:00 PM PST (for a +2 bonus)
  • Tuesday October 25th 8:00 PM PST (for a +1 bonus) - no mobilization can be declared against Eurasia or Babylon at this point
 

Shadowbound

Incorrugible
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
4,038
Indian Domestic Politics, Part Two
or
Threats to Democracy

The Federal Republic of India is the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy, with democratic principles enjoying broad universal support across the population and elite. At the same time it is beset by a number of internal threats which, while not always anti-democratic, are often indifferent to democracy and support it only as far as it allows them to achieve their real goals. These groups are happy to subvert democratic traditions whenever convenient or play up gridlock and indecision within the government to push their own agendas. Nonetheless these groups exist because of the “Paradox of Tolerance”. The irony of a democratic state is it must continually tolerate anti-democratic forces within itself: the same tools used by authoritarian governments to repress dissent cannot be used by a democratic government, because they will eventually be turned against contentious parts of civil society and threaten the very liberal principles that the state is founded on.

This gives the impression that India, like many other democratic nations, is a democracy under siege from within, continually one contentious election away from reverting to a dictatorship or one populist away from a soft slide into authoritarianism. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of the National Progressive Bloc and the United Democratic Front, whether you describe them as center-left or center-right, are firm supporters of democracy and liberal principles. They are fallible and willing to tolerate parts of their coalitions that lack the same democratic convictions, but are unwilling to compromise their own convictions. United and coordinated they are absolutely capable of purging opposing factions, if they perceive them as a threat in time.

The first and most prominent threat to democracy as of 2008 is Arjun Goyal, head of the Republican Labour Congress that controls Hyderabad and Andhra States. The RLC remains a democratic party, but Goyal is a populist politician who is quietly, if not secretly, nostalgic for the Centralist Period. Fervently anti-muslim and anti-communist, he’s risen to the leadership of the Telegu-speaking party through personal charisma and by stoking tensions against local migrants. While the most powerful single figure in the National Progressive Bloc, he’s been unable to parley that into overall leadership and, then, the post of Prime Minister. Goyal as head of government would launch a daily assault on the balance of powers within the Indian government, seeking to consolidate his own personal control, and greatly damage the diverse civil society that defines the Federal Republic. Goyal is just the latest manifestation of anti-refugee sentiment in the north, however, and his removal would just see another take his place until the underlying issue were resolved.

A greater threat, though somewhat more subtle, is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. A massive paramilitary and political organization defined by its guerrilla war against Red India, the RSS has a detailed ultranationalist vision of the Indian society based on the concept of Hindutva, a chauvinistic, paternalistic, ultra reactionary ideology blending modern grievances with an idealized and romanticized past. The RSS has already implemented its program in Gujarat, which it has controlled since liberation, but it is held in check by federal law and civil courts to the pretense of democracy. It holds off on subverting these because of its true goals: the RSS is one of the few organizations still advancing the cause of a united Indian subcontinent and would see modern India use its newfound military might to destroy the north, nevermind the millions of dead in the inevitable nuclear exchange. For this reason it wants a united Indian society and government; for the moment, democracy is the best unifying principle until their Hindu brothers can be convinced of the righteous of their cause.

Decades of anti-communist propaganda and on-and-off tensions with their northern neighbors have crippled the Indian Labour Movement. Labour laws and unions are incredibly weak, strengthening the Indian economy but making it absolutely miserable to be a poor worker in India (nevermind a poor migrant worker). The irony is the main groups able to advocate for better working conditions are those that are fervently right-wing and anti-communist, such as the Republican Labour Congress or RSS in the north, and the weakness of Indian labour doubtless fuels these populist groups.

The one organized leftist group in India is Travancore’s Democratic Alliance. Long a hotbed of communist sentiment, the Centralist Dictatorship placed the entire state under martial law, ruthlessly cracking down on the local communists. Martial law only ended shortly before the Saffron Revolution. The Democratic Alliance’s leadership suffered greatly, in prison or in hiding, and nearly all lost a mentor or friend to the federal government during that era. They remain deeply skeptical of the Federal Republic’s commitment to its own democratic principles, and of the Federal project as a whole, and would likely seek to secede should the government come under the control of another anti-democratic faction.

The other notable secessionist group is the People’s Front, which waged its own guerrilla war against the government to establish an independent Sinhalese state, one ended only by a peace treaty in the 90s that saw Ceylon granted great autonomy. Its leadership is corrupt but deified by their supporters for having led them through the civil war to relative success. It’s a coin toss whether they would, given the right domestic conditions, seek to secede or just seek greater concessions from the government. They are opposed in Ceylon by the Tamil Tigers, a pro-government militia that draws support on both the island and the mainland, and which isn’t picky about which political stance it adopts or which government it supports so long as they’re committed to a strong federal government.

Finally, and rarely known, is the secretive All India Research Organization. They trace a direct line of descent from the officials of the Centralist Dictatorship that survived in India’s security services and have significant influence in the financial sector and military. They have funded violent rebels in Afghanistan, the Congo, and Burma, and supported coups in East Africa and Oman. They have murdered journalists and labour organizers, blackmailed politicians and media figures, spied on foreign dignitaries. For the moment they have abandoned direct political power in favor of advancing Indian interests from the shadows until the political environment is more amenable. Their vision for India is simple: strong, stable, obedient.
 

Kyzarc Fotjage

Rise Up
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,231
Location
Western Washington
Irrational art like Dada and Surrealism has made a major resurgence as teenagers and young adults come out of decades of brutal, fratricidal warfare. Many were disillusioned by the conflict, seeing the only sane response being a rejection of the ideological basis of the war, especially Italians and French living on their shared border. This countercultural movement has become known as Unautomation, so called for their rejection of the ‘automation of thought’ that they believe is inherent to most political movements and which leads to states being able to get millions of people involved in war. Members of the Unautomation movement create art with the express intent to confuse or repulse their audience, with a particular emphasis on defacing symbols of Soviet power, with the ostensible goal of forcing their audience to challenge their preconceptions of what is acceptable and why. Ephemeral public demonstrations and performances are quite common, as is graffiti.

These artists also tend to have significant foreign influence in their work, with many having fled to the Netherlands, Scandinavia, or Great Britain during the Civil War and bringing back parts of their host countries’ culture with them. This comes in the form of adopted English and Swedish slang, wearing clothes that are evocative of the heavier coats and jackets of Northern Europe, and the use of elaborate interlace art as a repeating background motif, inspired by the Oseberg style and the Insular style. Replacing human heads with elaborate flowing lines with exposed eyeballs and cheekless mouths is particularly common, as is having exposed wounds out of which spill red interlace art.

One incident that briefly made headlines was a group of a dozen students in Paris who had been drafted in the dying months of the French Soviet state dousing themselves in entrails taken from the rubbish bins at a butchery then streaking down the streets. Another incident was a spontaneous marching concert where almost a hundred individuals, primarily composed of former soldiers and their younger siblings, assembled crude instruments from pieces of scrap metal and wood and marched down the streets of Berlin at noon, each individually playing deliberately discordant renditions of popular music. One individual who remains unknown managed to, in a single night, completely cover the interior of the long-neglected Cathedral of Notre Dame with hundreds of repetitions of the phrase “Laudem Dei”, written in fesces, blood, and a distinctive yellow paint that was used by the Gendarmerie Nationale to mark areas that were cleared of mines.
 

Shadowbound

Incorrugible
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
4,038
Adopt a Dictator - Nicu Ceaușescu

Groomed as the successor to his father, Nicu Ceaușescu never took power for himself because of the 1989 Romanian Revolution. In November 1992 he was released from prison due to ill health caused by heavy drinking and died in 1996. He really was friends with Uday Hussein.



Secretary-General of the Romanian Communist Party since 1993, with his father's retirement, Nicu Ceaușescu is notable for three things: his totalitarian grip on the country, his ideological flexibility, and his huge gambling addiction. Nicu was born in 1951 as the youngest son of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and was fast-tracked through the ranks of the party, serving first on the Central Committee as Minister of Youth Issues in 1982 at the age of 31. He would succeed his father a decade later and, with his parental grey eminence, keep his grip on the country through the tumultuous 90s through a mix of foreign support and the ruthless suppression of dissent. Under his rule Romania has remained a deeply closed society, and avoided becoming a pariah state only because of alliances of necessity with his neighbors (against Hungarian militarism) and Romania's oil wealth.

Throughout the 90s Romania aligned successively with the hardliners in the Soviet Union, Eurasia, and East Asia, switching between patrons depending on the foreign support granted. It was Romania that received the Soviet Union's foreign currency reserves, for safekeeping, in 1989 as one of the few governments that the hardliners felt they could rely on, and it was Romania that promptly traded those reserves to Eurasia in return for economic and military support to help stabilize his regime against internal dissent. Ceaușescu's negotiations to properly join Eurasia stalled in the 90s and in 1997 he purged the ultranationalists and reoriented towards Suzukist Thought in return for financial and technological support from East Asia. Much of this political maneuvering was the work of his father, who continued to rule the country after his retirement from public life.

While Romania remained a communist state, under different brandings, Ceaușescu travelled extensively abroad and accrued significant gambling debts socializing with groups like the Gulf Forum, whom he maintained ties with nominally to coordinate petroleum industries. A significant part of state wealth is funneled through him personally and exists in untraceable accounts in London, Chennai, and New York, with independent observers noting that Romania is possibly one of the most corrupt regimes in the world. This has only grown worse since his father's death in in 2001. The elder Ceaușescu at least kept his son on a budget but now he is a modern Carol II and his personal expenses rival a ministry in their own right.

Ceaușescu is also close friends with Uday Hussein, fellow dictatorial scion, and both have been known to throw wild, and dangerous, parties using their immense wealth together. His personal ties with Babylon also has a political tinge: cultivating an alternative to East Asia as a patron. The infamous Securitate has, either deliberately or through neglect, become a hotbed of neotraditionalist sentiments, and exists as one of the few viable oppositions to the mainline Communist Party, though both groups are nominally loyal to the Secretary-General and the cult of personality he inherited from his father. This isn't some grand plot: Ceaușescu is simply a survivalist with little loyalty. Even if some of the structure under him genuinely believes in communist, suzukist, or neotraditionalist ideas, his first loyalty is to maintaining his own power with the most convenient patron available. The war between East Asia, Eurasia, and Babylon over Turkestan has introduced tensions into his existing relationships. Will he preserve his existing alignment with East Asia or pivot towards Babylon? Will Romania become a battleground, or the tyrannical socialist monarchy be toppled under its inherent contradictions? Or will Nicu skate through it all as his father did the Autumn of Nations?
 
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J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
1,233
Location
Canada
THE YEAR 2009

Fronts, Power Centres, Player Countries:
Year 2009 Stats



HEADLINES

Babylon-Eurasia War Escalates, Triggers Global Energy Crisis
  • Babylonian Forces Raid Eurasian Oil Fields
  • Numerous Nations Condemn Babylon, Consider Joining Alliance
  • Egyptian Eagles of Saladin Start Armed Conflict with Babylon
  • Price Spike in Energy Causes Mali Federation Currency Crisis, Possible Famine
East Asian Investments Ramp Up Amid Energy Crisis
  • Green Valley Dramatically Cuts Cost of Solar, Wind, Batteries, EVs
  • East Asia Develops Armaments Program at Breakneck Speed
Low-Rank KMT Politicians Increasingly Corrupt Says South China’s KMT Central Committee

Indian Investment Pours into Europe Amid Massive Reconstruction

Dutch Government Accuses EU of Illegal Election Interference

Indian Rupee Becomes Global Reserve Currency

Union of States Courts Hollywood Amid Stagnant Economy

Trouble in Ceylon as Tamil Tigers and People’s Front Clash


DEVELOPMENTS

Globalization (Special Front):
New Events:
  • Raids of Eurasia “substantially interferes” with global energy markets; from the rules of this Front: This Front does not generate Collapse Points but should players or other Fronts ever substantially interfere with any globalized industry, the GM will trigger a “global economic crisis” with enormous and unwieldy ramifications.
Babylonian forces have ravaged the oil-rich southeast Eurasian regions, plunging the world into an energy crisis of massive proportions. As energy is a vital input in most economic activities, and Eurasia is the world’s second largest energy supplier, the Babylonian attacks have forced the price of energy to spike around the world - lining Babylon’s coffers while other nations struggle to import enough fuel for basic economic operations and winter heating. International condemnation of Babylon’s escalation only heightened as Babylon’s “ghazwa” against Eurasia’s southeast succeeded, galvanizing many nations for whom this aggression may finally be the last straw.
Changes:
  • new Front: Coalition of the Willing
  • new Front: Global Energy Crisis
Spoiler 2006 :
Globalization (Special Front): Despite the economically destabilizing events of 1989-1991 and their aftershocks in the 1990s, the world economy has remained remarkably globalized. By historic standards trade barriers are low, trade volume is high, supply chains are inter-continental, and markets are robustly globalized, especially in energy and food. Globalization since the 1980s has hugely boosted economic growth and technological dispersion, at the expense of economic resilience, especially around geographic bottlenecks, strategic resources, and key manufacturing hubs. An unexpected shock (e.g. an interstate war, a civil conflict, or a once-in-a-millenium disaster) over any of these linchpins could have unwieldy implications. Although there are globalized markets in many industries, the three most significant are those for food, energy, and consumer goods. Eurasia and the Union of States are the world’s two breadbaskets and whose agricultural restoration after the Autumn of Nations has brought down the global price of food, which itself underpins stability around the world. Eurasia and Babylon meanwhile are the two largest energy exporters, with the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Strait of Hormuz serving as three crucial export passageways. As energy is an input for everything else done in the industrialized world, an energy shock in either country would have disastrous consequences. Then there is the global market for consumer goods, whether electronics, appliances, furniture, apparel, or automobiles, all heavily concentrated in India, and to a lesser extent China and East Asia. The price of staple goods since the 1990s have remained low or declined alongside increases in quality as these lower wage countries have taken up the bulk of the world’s manufacturing. Together, these three sectors keep the entire world relatively stable - should a disaster strike even one, the second-order effects could be unpredictable and disastrous.
Rules: This Front concludes by fiat when the GM agrees that the world has achieved post-scarcity or the global economy has abandoned trade for autarky. This Front does not generate Collapse Points but should players or other Fronts ever substantially interfere with any globalized industry, the GM will trigger a “global economic crisis” with enormous and unwieldy ramifications.
Rewards: none
Coalition of the Willing (Regional Middle East Espionage/Administration Front): A chorus of nations across the world have condemned the Babylonian invasion of Eurasia, flipping fence-sitters into open outrage at the vast and unprecedented escalation. In the halls of power around the world, but most especially in those nations that remain independent in Babylon’s periphery, there are feverish talks about an anti-Babylon alliance or even a joint military action to stop Babylon’s seemingly endless warmongering. Yugoslavia, Anatolia, Greece, Ethiopia, Maghreb, all now realize that they could be next on Saddam’s hit-list, while other nations far and wide have also started talking about a “coalition of the willing” to forcefully intervene against Babylon if Saddam refuses to make peace with Eurasia and Turkestan. The range of possibilities is wide, from such talk fizzling out as it often does in the face of new Babylonian wars, to the formation of a regional defensive alliance, or to the beginning of a Third World War.
Rules: Progress represents efforts to create a coalition of the willing among nations in Babylon’s periphery, or even wider should players desire; Regress represents efforts to calm fears or exacerbate tensions between nations in Babylon’s periphery and therefore prevent the formation of an anti-Babylon alliance.
Rewards: an anti-Babylon alliance, or the fizzling out of alliance-talk among nations surrounding Babylon

Global Energy Crisis (Special Front): The price of energy skyrocketed this year to heights not seen in decades. Eurasian oil and gas production is down dramatically, as energy infrastructure across that country is under direct attack by invading Babylonian forces. As energy is an input in many industries, the price of energy has spiked and led to a general and sudden increase in the cost of goods across the board and everywhere in the world. This shock will trigger second-order economic crises as countries struggle with social unrest and financial instability.
Rules: Every turn this Front remains unresolved the GM will select one NPC to suffer an economic or political crisis (i.e. this Front collapses every turn and is recurring). This Front resolves when the global energy and food crises are abated. The Front collapses on its first turn (2009, i.e. this turn).
Rewards: none
Changes:
  • new World Fact: the price of energy is the highest it has been in decades
  • new Front: Mali Famine
  • the India Stress “gridlock and backsliding” gains 1 Collapse Point
  • the East Asia Stress “degrowth policy” gains 1 Collapse Point
  • the Union of States Stress “capital flight and economic chill” gains 1 Collapse Point
  • the Argentina Stress “inequality and stagnant wages” gains 1 Collapse Point
  • the Europe Stress “nationalism” gains 1 Collapse Point
Mali Famine (Regional Mali Front): The economic headwinds caused by Babylon’s invasion of Eurasia have echoed across the world, including in Mali Federation, where foreign currency reserves have been rapidly depleting due to the sudden spike in the cost of energy. While this alone might have been manageable, the Mali Federation also suffered a bad harvest this year, decreasing their export revenues and putting the country on the brink of default. If the Mali Federation defaults on their debt and runs out of foreign reserves, they will be unable to import food to make up for the difference in domestic production, creating a famine that will kill hundreds of thousands of people. If nothing is done about this economic crisis, the country’s fragile federation may suffer political instability and see violent action taken by Ghana-revivalist soldiers amidst the Mali military.
Rules: Progress represents efforts to fix Mali’s economic woes; Regress represents efforts to expedite and smooth over a coup and skip over a potentially bloody civil war. Collapse will result in a civil war that itself may collapse into a balkanized west Africa.
Rewards: preventing a famine/political crisis, regime change

Raids of Eurasia (Regional Eurasia Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon: rolled 21.4, full success. +2 FP for raiding Eurasian oil fields
In a stunningly escalatory move, Saddam ordered Babylonian forces to stretch their supply lines through the entire latitude of Turkestan and assault Eurasia itself. Striking at Eurasia’s southeastern underbelly, Babylonian commanders pulled off a challenging strategy of deception and horrific resource raiding that bluffed Eurasian commanders into concentrating forces on feigned attacks against their supply lines leading into Turkestan, rather than Babylon’s true target, Eurasia’s oil fields. Babylonian rapid action forces drove hard and fast through temporarily weaker points along the front with close-air support, captured or bombarded oil and gas facilities as well as pipelines from more isolated regions in west Siberia, and promptly retreated to defensible positions before Eurasian forces could rally a defence. What’s worse is that Babylonian commanders, apparently surprised by their success, were also able to simply defeat and occupy significant parts of southeast Eurasia by the end of the year, putting them on track to occupy the oil-rich regions they have damaged by late next year, which would also make Eurasia’s supply lines into Turkestan substantially more circuitous. Throughout public addresses this year Saddam has spoken of the Eurasian offensive as a 21st century ghazwa and tried to recharacterize himself as a defender of oppressed Muslims, a ploy that although totally ineffective (perhaps even counter-productive) inside Babylon, has unexpectedly resonated with the Muslim peoples in southeastern Eurasia, such as Tartars and the Bashkirs. Many among these ethnic groups have been engaged in civil disobedience and refusal to pay taxes since 2006 over the death of Elvira Galliamova, and more broadly endemic discrimination against Muslims. Babylonian forces have therefore had a relatively easy time finding collaborators in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, and the Eurasian invasion, while unifying the Russian public opinion against Babylon, has radicalized minorities into a militant posture receptive to the Babylonian invasion.
Changes:
  • Globalization Special Front conditions triggered (see above)
  • new Front: Victory or Death
  • the Eurasia Stress “revolt of small numbers” gains 1 Collapse Points and becomes a long-term Stress
  • when this Front succeeds, Eurasia will gain a new Short-Term Stress related to the destruction of their energy sector
Trajectory: Babylon will fully occupy southeast Eurasia by the end of next year (2010), having destroyed or taken control of the large majority of Eurasia’s oil and gas industry. This will create a new Short-Term Stress for Eurasia.

Victory or Death (Special Front): Eurasia and Babylon are two states both mired in deep and long-term social and political unrest - and their soldiers and spies have taken aim at the basic foundations of stability in each others’ lands, fomenting unrest in Egypt and damaging the energy sector in southeast Eurasia. The people of both countries may have issues with their own governments, but a victory by one of these two Great Powers over the other could rapidly fix domestic problems for the winning side - their people could rejoice in nationalistic pride and militants coming out from the shadows would realize their opportunity has passed. Such a victory would need to be clear and decisive, but if achieved, it would solve a lot of problems for the victor.
Rules: This Front resolved by GM fiat. If the GM is persuaded that one of the two participants in the ongoing Eurasia-Babylon conflict is decisively victorious (e.g. they obtain a negotiated settlement that is generous to them, or the other power simply collapses from too many stressors), the GM will remove all short-term stressors as well as reduce the Collapse Points on long-term stressors or remove a long-term stressor altogether (GM’s choice).
Rewards: removal of all short-term stressors, reduction of collapse points for long-term stressors or removal of a long-term stress

Eagles of Saladin (Regional Babylon Front):
New Events:
  • Eurasia: rolled 20.4, full success. +2 FP for supplying the Eagles of Saladin
Egypt has been rocked by a series of assassinations and terror attacks against Babylonian officials and military posts this year that have culminated in an Egypt-wide armed struggle for independence. In a grainy video spread online early in the year, the shadowy cabal of ex-Nasserist officers, known as the Eagles of Saladin, claimed responsibility for recent attacks and ominously promised Egyptians that their part to play in the liberation of Egypt would come soon. The Eagles’ attacks displayed their excellent military training and deep infiltration of the Babylonian intelligence services, killing only one Egyptian civilian throughout a dozen attacks. More concerningly, the attacks this year demonstrated their possession of a number of new weapon systems, some considerably more modern than the army leftovers the Eagles’ were thought to have stashed in the weeks prior to Babylonian victory over Egypt in the 1990s. Moreover the attacks strategically targeted Babylon’s most important agents and officials aware of events on the ground. Babylon, left mostly blind to what was really happening in Egypt, was therefore caught off-guard when numerous districts of urban areas up and down the Nile started reporting unidentified militias were simply seizing the streets and routing Babylonian security forces. Babylon’s Egyptian occupation officials mobilized the police and local army units to rescue these districts - only to get their forces slaughtered in the thousands, caught in urban death traps. Babylonian helicopters and tanks were even destroyed by rocket launchers that could only have come from a foreign power. By December, the Eagles posted videos online that declared themselves the legitimate rulers of Egypt and a continuity of government with the old Nasserist regime. Babylon is now mired in yet another conflict, one which may see them lose the crowning achievement of their many conquests.
Changes:
  • when this Front succeeds, the Babylon Stress “Eagles of Saladin” will have additional stakes for Babylon, namely the potential loss of Egypt, the loss of the counter-intel capability, and the loss of 2 Espionage Proficiency points, should the Stress Collapse a second time (the time after next turn)
Trajectory: By the end of next year (2010) the Eagles of Saladin will be fully underway in an open and popular armed conflict in Egypt and the Eagles of Saladin Long-Term Stress will gain 4 Collapse Points (i.e. it will have only 4 Collapse Points left before Collapsing again). The Eagles of Saladin Stress will Collapse again in 2014, whereupon Egypt will be an independent country, and Bayblon will lose their counter-intel Capability and 2 Proficiency Points from Espionage permanently - these will be transferred to a Power Centre in Egypt called the Eagles of Saladin that will be controlled by Eurasia.
Spoiler 2006 :
Eagles of Saladin (Babylon Short-Term Stress):
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “Egyptian Islamism” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapses Points)
Among Saddam’s conquests, Egypt is the thorniest. Half of the population of Babylon live in Egypt, packing 68 million people in a dense, almost ungovernable megalopolis stretching up and down the Nile. Half a century of pan-Arab Nasserist propaganda has cultivated an Arab-Egyptian identity practically defined by opposition to neo-Babylonianism. Moreover, before its conquest, Egypt was a stratocracy - the vast majority of the economy, from construction to real estate to industry and more - was directly owned and operated by the armed forces. Despite formally disbanding Egypt’s rabidly nationalist military after their subjugation, Egypt’s officers and soldiers were so thoroughly enmeshed across the economy that nothing short of an economic meltdown could displace them. Moreover, in the last months of the Egyptian War, the military destroyed hundreds of thousands of service records and transferred firearm stockpiles to the rank-and-file in anticipation of a prolonged resistance to Babylon. These officers and soldiers have remained socially, economically, and politically connected to each other through legal economic arrangements as well as illegal separatist organizations. These groups contrast with the Muslim Brotherhood’s mass appeal and religious fervour, instead occupying positions of power in plain sight. Many of these secret societies exist, from the Arab Salvation Army or the Egyptian Patriotic Movement, but one more than any other concerns Babylonian administrators of occupied Egypt: the Eagles of Saladin. A shadowy conspiracy of ex-Egyptian army officers, airmen, soldiers, policemen, and security forces, the Eagles of Saladin are believed to have well-hidden agents across every strata of Egyptian society. This year, Egypt was rocked by an unusual assassination - one of Babylon’s top Egyptian administrators was killed by a poisoned drink, with the only possible culprits presumed to be members of the Mushussu itself. If it's true that the Eagles of Saladin have agents within the Mushussu, this could spell the beginning of a much more damaging rot in the Babylonian state, portending a corruption that would extend well beyond Egypt.
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).
Saddam’s Concessions (Regional Babylon Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon: rolled 7.4, failure. -1 FP for appeasing the public
Surrounded by profound threats to his rule, Saddam sought to allay longstanding grievances this year through a mix of propaganda, institutional reshuffling, and genuine concessions that ended up aggravating his own elites and doing little to impress the public. Regime propagandists spread a new narrative about the Turkestani and Eurasia war as a ghazwa (or a pre-Islamic Arabic form of raiding warfare), while heroically portraying Babylon’s hand-picked defector to rule Turkestan after Babylon’s war is won, a former official in the Turkestani civil service who has renamed himself Khan Ghazi Tughlugh. Akkadian language requirements were eliminated in the military and accommodations for prayer were made, allowing Arab Muslims to become officers without having to hide their faith. Saddam expanded the Council of Ancients to include reserved seats for the Gulf Forum and putting “prominent Muslims” on the Executive Council. Saddam has even surrounded himself in Islamic iconography all year. Yet all of these concessions and reframings did nothing to improve public attitudes to the regime. Most Arab Muslims didn’t know what a ghazwa was until this year. Most Arab Muslims who wanted to join Saddam’s armies have already done so, and so the removal of the Akkadian language barrier on officership, even on top of other new perks, did little to entice new recruits. Gulf Forum members are widely despised as some of the least pious people Saddam has gotten into bed with, and since all of the country’s actually “prominent Muslims” are Eagles of Saladin or Muslim Brotherhood leaders, the seats were handed to compliant no-names that did nothing to make the general public feel included in governance. All in all Saddam’s concessions have basically not moved the needle in either direction for the general populace - it convinced no one but also did not aggravate the protest movements further. But for the neo-Akkadian elites, the reforms have been perceived as a serious threat to their privileges, and evidence that Saddam might be the wrong leader for neo-traditionalism and Babylon. Allowing Arabic speakers to access high posts in the military? What if they use those positions to conspire to overthrow us neo-Akkadian elites! Promoting Islamic iconography and deploying Islamic religious concepts in state propaganda? What if this makes the masses believe that they are entitled to a state that actually looks and believes the same things as them! Though these sorts of complaints are mere gossip and rumours for now, they could become a serious threat to Saddam should he not reassure his own upper class that he isn’t turning back on the ideological core of the Babylonian project.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Arab Muslims in Babylon are skeptical of efforts by Saddam to paint his regime as compatible with Islamic and Arab identities
Trajectory: Disgruntled neo-Akkadian and Babylonian elites will begin seriously considering a coup in 2012, creating a Short-Term Stress that itself Collapse in 2016 and become a Long-Term Stress.
Spoiler 2008 :
Days of Rage (Babylon Short-Term Stress)
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “corruption and resentment” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
Protests and civil disobedience have broken out across Babylon this year, apparently triggered by the invasion of Turkestan, but actually about deeper grievances. Citizens have regularly refused to sign up for the draft, with those of means leaving the country on sudden “vacations.” Meanwhile, reform protests have been happening regularly in major cities in the Levant and Mesopotamia, with protestors adopting a number of novel organizing tactics, involving the internet and smartphones, that have misled or overwhelmed police enough to garner international attention for their issues. These internet-based “Days of Rage” have gathered people in the thousands into rallies that appear as if from thin air, or helped move and coordinate protestors around urban spaces to avoid police blockades and minimize arrests. Moreover the normally tight censorship has been evaded by use of the internet, with examples of police brutality spreading rapidly online and compelling more people into the streets. The primary thrust of the complaints are aimed at police corruption and brutality, as well resentment against the privileges that come along with being a neo-Akkadian elite, and the indignities that the Arab Muslim majority faces for simply being who they are. It seems that these protests will be an ongoing issue for the coming years, unless something more drastic is done, and have already begun to hamper military recruitment and forced Babylon to shift personnel from their rocket forces to other branches of the military to make up the difference.
Changes:
  • Babylon suffers a penalty from having 4 simultaneous Stresses: -4 Warfare Proficiency, -Missiles Capability
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).
Nissan Heavy Industries (Super East Asia Front):
New Events:
  • East Asia: rolled 25, full success. +2 FP for developing an armaments industry
In the world of arms, there are essentially two all-encompassing equipment systems that regimes have to choose from: ex-American or ex-Soviet. For East Asia, a long-time communist and now ecological communist country, the dominant kit was ex-Soviet gear, mostly imported from Eurasia. While the Eurasians are bogged down in a possibly fatal showdown with Babylon, Takayoshi Suzuki has approved a sweeping and overdue armaments program this year, a long-time ambition for himself and the East Asian state. Mustering together enormous scientific and financial resources as part of the armament program to realize their military independence from Eurasia, a new National Champion was created, Nissan Heavy Industries. Designers at this new enterprise have begun reverse-engineering construction knowledge of the most advanced equipment East Asia currently has in-stock from the Soviets, while also accessing expert knowledge from ex-Americans who came from the American military-industrial complex to work in East Asia. East Asia is prototyping designs in every conceivable domain from tanks, to planes, to firearms, to ships. The new industry has gotten off to a great start, creating perhaps the most dynamic hub of engineers and industrialists in the arms sector outside of the Indo-American Military-Industrial Complex.
Trajectory: East Asia will create and control a Nissan Heavy Industries Power Centre with an arms Capability (accessible when they level-up their Economy Proficiency) by 2014.

Illiterati (Regional China Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina: rolled 16.6, soft success. +1 FP for corrupting the blue KMT
Although the south Chinese branch of the KMT professed a belief in democracy, the seeds of corruption were always there. Chiang Kai-shek ruled with an authoritarian hand, allowing only limited civil liberties. Even after his death in 1975, KMT officials on China’s southwest border got involved in the drug trade. And of course politicians have to do what they have to do to get pork for their constituents. While reporters might deride it, this involves unsavoury backroom deals with CEOs and monied interests to make sure projects happen in one’s locale, as opposed to somewhere else in China. With the rise of Shanghai’s financial and economic dominance throughout the country, reporters have begun noticing a pattern of late in how politics is done in the south: more and more KMT politicians are taking “donations” from groups emanating from Shanghai while major Shanghai businesses agree to set up shop in their constituencies. Meanwhile other politicians who talk too sincerely about democracy have noticed a decrease in investment inflows. The creep of this economic persuasion has alarmed the central party officials for the southern KMT, who have complained about what they believe is a concerted effort to cultivate patronage networks within their own party that are loyal to Shanghai technocrats. The lower ranking politicians the central party have accused of graft have mostly ignored these complaints, and are hardly fearful of being removed from the party, as they are the ones getting benefits to their constituents, not the central party. The downside of the spread of this pro-technocratic corruption is, well, of course, that it is corruption: a culture of backroom dealing, economic elitism, and graft for the top politicians appears to be taking the southern KMT from the bottom up, and if it succeeds, it will perpetuate itself for a while to come.
Changes:
  • the China's Warlords Front loses 0.5 Collapse Points
Trajectory: South China’s blue KMT will convert to technocracy by 2012, leaving behind a culture of corruption in the region. The China's Warlords Front will lose another 0.5 Collapse Points.

Hollywood (Regional California Front):
New Events:
  • Union of States: rolled 19, soft success. +1 FP for capturing Hollywood
Ronald Reagan was an actor before he was a politician, and thus his dictatorship took a special interest in outing and persecuting leftists in Hollywood - Reagan’s policies made the blacklists of the 1940s and 1950s look like benevolence. With the end of the Reagan dictatorship last year, the big movie and television studios have become skittish at the possibility of the cultural revolution coming full circle and causing more havoc on an industry already in terminal decline since the collapse of the United States as a single unified market for their products. This year, coming to Tinseltown’s rescue, the Union of States has entered, stage left. The Union has promised access to their domestic market, in dire need of some levity, and moreover that the Union will aggressively incorporate new Hollywood films and television into state-run institutions like community centres, library catalogues, and schools - on the condition, of course, that these cultural productions are deemed acceptably left-wing. Union research groups have begun a top-down polling program to identify popular themes and genres that might sell well in their private market too. The newborn Rainbow regime in California is also being extended administrative resources by the Union to regulate, unionize, and thereafter politically consolidate the Hollywood system into a pliable asset of the international Rainbow agenda. Many celebrity actors, writers, and directors have publicly come out since last year as secret leftists all along (many implausibly so), and the Union’s economic liferaft has energized the development of new scripts on left-wing themes. Unfortunately many of these ideas are in a tense relationship with Hollywood’s widespread culture of racism, sexism, homophobia, and generally reactionary impulses, as well as with what apolitical viewers in the Union and the world more broadly actually want to see. These factors have contributed to a lot of failed films and pilots this year, as California critics and Union censors disapprove of them, even though their high-level narrative is politically neutral or left-wing, because these films and pilots contain reactionary cliches that Hollywood directors and writers are not used to being seriously criticized for. This steep learning curve means that it will be a long time before Hollywood gets good at making left-wing films and television with popular appeal.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Hollywood films and television are pushing more left-wing narratives, but they are also not that good and have limited appeal outside California and the Union of States
Trajectory: The Union of States will control the Hollywood Power Centre by 2012.

Europe in Shambles (Regional West Europe Front):
New Events:
  • India: rolled 19.8, soft success. +1 FP for reconstructing Europe
The opening of the European market to Indian and British investors was a welcome reprieve for international finance from the wider economic turmoil caused by the global energy crisis this year. Indian companies have for a few years now been seeking places to offshore manufacturing where labour is cheaper, and given two decades of civil war and India’s persistent economic rise, western Eorope is actually a cheaper place to hire labour. Moreover Europe’s human and physical capital are still largely present from Soviet times, if underused, allowing Indian firms to create new factories without having to build them from scratch. Indian construction firms have also been involved in a massive infrastructure repair program, rebuilding power lines, roads, rail, and bridges, with the Indian government footing some of the bill on behalf of Europe to expedite their recovery. In the new context of a global energy crisis, Indian investors have also been eager to extract shale with hydraulic fracturing, a modest project at the current scale that will take years to build-out. However despite great progress on reconstruction, many issues linger since Soviet times, in-particular the highly unequal concentration of ownership that a handful of oligarchs have maintained. These oligarchs, from Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire in Italy to Vincent Bolloré’s construction interest in France, established themselves during the civil war as apolitical moguls and have been able to thwart Indians, British, and even other Europeans, from meaningfully disrupting their hold over certain industries throughout the country. Unfortunately Indian reconstruction has even propelled these oligarchs into further entrenchment by allowing them to cast themselves as patriotic defenders of national ownership of the European economy, as opposed to foreign ownership.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: ownership of the European economy is unequally skewed towards a handful of powerful oligarchs
Trajectory: India will have reconstructed Europe by 2012, giving Europe a Power Centre worth 4 Proficiency Points in a category of Europe’s choice.
Spoiler 2008 :
Europe in Shambles (Special Front): The Soviet Civil War has left Western Europe in a state of widespread destitution. Roads, bridges, power lines, and other infrastructure are destroyed, factories are closed, and cities are hollowed out both by the bombs but also because of the millions of Europeans who abandoned them to Scandinavia and Great Britain, among other safe havens. Despite this, Western Europe has tremendous potential. The victory of the German Democracy Movement has already spurred a steady flow of returning citizens, and despite the capital losses, western Europe still possesses massive latent industrial potential atop its considerable human capital. Moreover, both British and Indian aid and investment could rapidly turn things around.
Rules: Any Great Powers rolling on behalf of Progress cannot generate negative Front Points, and a failed roll will be interpreted as an especially hard success but still generate positive Front Points. Any Great Powers rolling to frustrate European reconstruction represents Regress and rolls as normal. The Target Number for this Front is 4.
Rewards: For Progress, a Power Centre for Europe worth 4 Proficiency Points in a category of Europe’s choice. For Regress, the opportunity to create a Short-Term or Long-Term Stress in Europe and prevent Europe’s rapid reconstruction.
Dutch Elections (Regional Netherlands Front):
New Events:
  • Europe: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for election interference
The Netherlands exited the Soviet Union as a labour union-dominated socialist democracy with a semi-market economy. Labour unions dominate economic and political decision-making, with the New Left Party’s popularity high from their successful protection of the Dutch from the Soviet Civil War. That era of easy election wins is now over with the consolidation of western Europe under the EU, a liberal democracy that purports to be an alternative to the still fairly rigid Dutch political-economic order. This year, the Dutch Liberal Party began a vigorous organizing drive to win the next elections, promising deeper market reforms, free trade with the EU, and selling government stakes in Dutch companies (such as the Zuiderzee Arbeiters) on EU stock exchanges. As part of this electoral drive, several forms of interference have taken place. Germans have been identified advising and even directly organizing on behalf of the Liberal Party. The European Media Group (EMG) launched a popular television show about the Soviet Civil War that has portrayed the German Democracy Movement as heroic freedom fighters. The Union News Group (UNG), which opened a Dutch outlet in the Netherlands this year, has overtly promoted pan-Europeanism, for example hosting “debates” between Dutch politicians about whether Babylonian expansionism should make the Netherlands consider joining a larger political configuration (i.e. the EU). The concerted and obvious influence campaign has been noticed by Dutch election regulators, and of course all of these activities are super illegal (being a union-led socialist democracy, the only groups allowed to make political contributions are unions). Although regulators have fined the Liberals heavily and begun proceedings to close down some news outlets, the effects of the EU’s influence campaign have started succeeding - polling has shown increased approval for closer relations to the EU and more economic liberalization by a larger and larger share of everyday Dutch voters, even if their union representatives overwhelmingly disagree. Alarmed at the possibility of losing formal political power, the New Left Party is pushing a constitutional amendment that would prevent the Netherlands from joining the EU, which the unions are advising their members to pass. Moreover the country’s unions are separately insulating companies from full privatization, demanding up to half of the board of directors be representatives from the unions on all major Dutch corporate boards, including the Zuiderzee Arbeiters. These moves would frustrate a Liberal Party government, and moreover put the New Left Party in a position to easily win back power should they be organized and convincing enough the next time around. As for the Zuiderzee Arbeiters, their union claims that the company is of such vital strategic interest that sale of its shares on an EU exchange would almost certainly result in a dominant stake for Indian investors with ties to their foreign policy establishment. With co-determination likely to reach fifty-fifty thresholds, whoever ends up owning the Zuiderzee will only have a fraction of its value as a political asset for any non-socialist owners.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: the Dutch labour movement will resist neoliberalization of the Netherlands and could easily help boost the New Left Party back into power in the right circumstances or with the right backing*
  • new World Fact: the labour union for the Zuiderzee Arbeiders has significant power inside the company and restricts its use as an asset of non-pink Great Powers
  • the Zuiderzee Arbeiders Power Centre’s Proficiencies are reduced by half (or in the case of 0.1, removed altogether) for non-pink Great Powers
Trajectory: Europe will boost the Liberal Party to power in the Netherlands by 2012, and thereby give control of the Zuiderzee Arbeiters Power Centre to India.

* Europe’s +1 FP will become 0 FP per turn should any other Great Power succeed in a roll to boost the pink government; should this Front conclude as a success for the EU and regime change, any other Great Power could still make a roll to win the next election for the pink faction (i.e. the blue faction’s control is not especially secure) and receive a context bonus for doing so

Global Reserve Currency (Super Worldwide Economy Front):
New Events:
  • India wins the Front (8 out of 8 Front Points)
Years of strategic policy by the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian government have steadily built-up currency reserves of the Indian rupee in all the major central banks of the world. The Reserve Bank’s independence from politics has been accepted across the political spectrum in India and Indian securities are easily accessible to investors in all major economies. Moreover the Reserve Bank maintained low interest rates and met their 2% inflation target for most of the 2000s, ending abruptly this year as the Eurasia-Babylon conflict disrupted the global energy market and the Reserve Bank was forced to raise interest rates sharply to head-off inflation. As a global reserve currency, India now wields financial power not seen since the Cold War, though there have been some undesired consequences. Rupee counterfeiting in the major drug production hubs has diversified criminal organizations’ incomes, meanwhile the rupee has steadily risen in comparative value to other currencies, encouraging a trend of industrial offshoring of manufacturing away from now more expensive Indian workers to workshops in China, East Africa, Western Europe, and other cheaper labour markets.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: the Indian rupee is the undisputed reserve currency used by every major central bank in the world, making it easier for India enact sanctions, run trade deficits, and manage currency crises
  • defunct World Fact: Indian companies are planning to shift industrial investments abroad to low-wage labour markets
  • new World Fact: Indian companies are offshoring industrial investments abroad to low-wage labour markets
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
Green Valley (Super Worldwide Science Front):
New Events:
  • East Asia wins the Front (14 out of 14 Front Points)
Monumental breakthroughs in solar, wind, lithium-ion battery, and electric vehicle technologies have come to fruition after decades of research and investment in East Asia. Cost reductions in the price of solar and wind have made these energy sources price competitive with coal, while battery costs have come down to a point where some fully electric vehicles manufactured in East Asia are price competitive with internal combustion engine models, at least when you consider costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. East Asia also unveiled its first battery storage power station, which although more expensive than peaker plants, is a proof of concept that with further improvements in efficiency could become a standard form of energy storage. These developments all emerged out of a dynamic tech hub in western Japan, the “Green Valley,” where National Champions and F11 universities collaborated intensively for the last half-decade in a renewed push to find ways around East Asia’s infamous degrowth policy. With commercially viable clean energy available in East Asia, other National Champions have been able to up investment into energy-intensive activities without fear of exceeding pollution limits. Despite these revolutionary achievements in science, to actually achieve an energy transition and escape degrowth the Green Valley will now need to consume vast quantities of raw materials, specifically copper, cobalt, and lithium, to produce the batteries, electric vehicles, and solar and wind components that will wind-down carbon emissions first in East Asia, then the world.
Changes:
  • the East Asia Stress “degrowth policy” loses 2 Collapse Points
  • new World Fact: the price of solar and wind is competitive with coal
  • new World Fact: lithium-ion battery costs are down sufficiently to make electric vehicles price competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles when accounting for life-time costs
  • new East Asian Power Centre: Green Valley
  • new Front: Electrostates
Spoiler 2003 :
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).
Electrostates (Special Front): Clean technology has become technically affordable, but to scale it up to the size of whole national electrical grids will require vast quantities of minerals, namely copper (a great thermal and electrical conductor) and lithium and cobalt (both necessary for lithium-ion batteries). Much like strategic resources of past eras, these clean tech resources are concentrated in a handful of places. More than half of all the world’s cobalt is located inside the African Copper Belt (also a massive source of copper as the name would suggest), where mineral rights are still up for grabs should any Great Power make a push to dominate the country’s extractive industries divided between Mozambique, Angola, and to a lesser extent Kongo. Australia possesses the next largest share of cobalt, is also the world’s second largest holder of lithium reserves, and is a notable copper producer as well, though its mining industry is well-developed and access to its resources would depend upon good bilateral trade relations. Then there’s Argentina, which is in a league of its own, home to half of the world’s lithium reserves (known as the Lithium Triangle, stretching up Chile and into Peru) and also a historic major producer of copper, also mainly in Chile. Productivity in Chilean copper mines hasn’t increased in a long time, while lithium remains underexploited, though these lands are within the boundaries of a well-recognized Great Power, making any new extraction projects contingent on their agreement. Finally there is China, which has notable quantities of lithium and copper, and the Caribbean Federation, which has the next largest cobalt reserves after Australia. The race for the resources of the energy transition is now underway.
Rules: In-order to achieve decarbonization through emerging clean technologies players must arrange the economic order so as to extract the relevant raw materials at-scale. The speed at which decarbonization can be achieved will be dependent upon both the scale of manufacturing (is only one country the hub of clean tech production, or multiple?) and the scale of resource extraction (how many of the named places have been engaged through Action Point spends into the clean tech economy, and how big are their reserves?). Who manufacturers clean tech and how many places do so, and where resources are extracted from, will have narrative impacts on the nature of the world economy in the future.
Rewards: Decarbonization, inputs for a major boost to economic development from clean tech manufacturing.

Shortage Economy (Union of States Short-Term Stress)
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “capital flight and economic chill” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
For a lot of people, living under the Rainbow Republic is better than the old USA. Segregation and apartheid are over, LGBT rights and reproductive rights are protected, and economic redistribution have lifted people out of poverty. But these achievements came at a deep economic cost. The Union’s neighbours put up trade restrictions, capital fled, social attitudes towards private enterprise soured, and supply chains were wrecked. Price controls worked for a time but the Union can no longer hide the underlying scarcity of basic goods throughout its stagnant economy. Although there’s plenty of food to feed people, the great diversity of brands and flavours and restaurants that once flourished is gone. There are few car imports and the old American automotive supply chain between Mexico, Canada, and the United States is long dead, leaving the country’s automotive stock shabby and forcing people to take inefficiently built and managed transit to work. As with most things, heating is free, but it’s scarce; this winter looks to be especially bad with what few fuel imports the Union manages to obtain to go up dramatically in price due to the Eurasia-Babylon War, forcing people to sleep cold at night. The Union exists in a shortage economy, ironically not too dissimilar to the propaganda that the old USA told about the Soviet Union - though there are no bread lines, there is a palpable malaise that, if not dealt with, may evolve into unrest.

Sinhalese Separatism (India Short-Term Stress)
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “gridlock and backsliding” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
Every so often new cracks formed in the fragile peace that has held Ceylon together since the 1990s. The Sinahelse-dominated People’s Front never gave up on their dreams of independence, and have provoked small acts of violence with the pro-government Tamil Tiger militias from time to time. This dangerous state of affairs usually ends with the federal government weighing in convincingly on the side of the Tamil Tigers, reminding the Sinhalese that Indian public opinion, and therefore India’s tremendous military, is against them. Dysfunction at the federal level in recent years however has started to change the political terrain for the People’s Front, who’s extremely popular revolutionary leaders have simply been biding their time and probing for weakness since the 1990s. A confusing outburst of violence at the border between Tamil and Sinhalese villages in the interior of Ceylon prompted small-scale mobilization of both Tamil Tiger and People’s Front militias (both sides claim the other provoked a fight over the property boundaries of a Sinhalese tea plantation that was expanding into rainforest on the Tamil side of an administrative boundary). Despite stern warnings from the Prime Minister, parliament dithered on the issue, and two weeks of violence ensued that were the worst since the 1990s. In the end the government threatened intervention and de-escalated the situation, but the damage was done: the People’s Front have started publicly demanding a democratic referendum on the independence of Ceylon, whose people are largely Sinhalese and would vote enthusiastically for their heroic leadership’s preferred outcome of independence. No plans are in-motion yet to set a date for such a referendum, and the Tamil Tigers have appealed to the federal government to quash any attempt to arrange such a referendum as a violation of the terms of the 1990s peace and not to recognize it, but agitation is in the air once again across Ceylon. The possibility of a new armed conflict in Ceylon, the high cost of energy, and the sudden increase in interest rates, have all combined together to cool the Indian economy and in-particular the construction sector.
Changes:
  • India suffers a penalty from having 4 simultaneous Stresses: -4 Economy Proficiency, -Engineering Capability
 
Last edited:

J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
1,233
Location
Canada
OLD NEWS
Spoiler Turkestan War :
Spoiler 2008 :
Turkestan War (Regional Central Asia Warfare Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon: rolled 23.4, full success. +2 FP for invading Turkestan
  • Eurasia & East Asia: rolled 17, soft success. +1 FP for defending Turkestan
Babylon shocked the world again with a surprise invasion of Turkestan this spring. Babylon’s crackdown in Persia last year camouflaged a massive concentration of forces on the Turkestani border, allowing Babylon to strike faster than Turkestan or other Great Powers could have expected. Eurasia condemned the invasion and declared a mass mobilization in-defence of Turkestan, who gladly welcomed their new ally to the fight, but this would take precious weeks that Babylon used to march through Turkestan at breakneck speed. Eurasia sent what forces it could while mobilization kicked into gear, but Eurasia and Turkestan were forced to trade space for time. Babylonian strategy in the first few weeks centred on the Caspian Sea, which further alarmed Eurasia, as Babylonian forces were able to seize every major port along the coast and nearly reached the Eurasian border in a concerted ground offensive moving from south to north. Babylonian efforts to use the Caspian as a supply route were hampered by Eurasian missiles which damaged Babylon’s Caspian flotilla and forced them to rely more than anticipated on land logistics, stalling Babylon’s advance at the Caspian depression. The Turkestani army proved so miserable at fighting that many speculated the Turkestani state had pro-Babylon traitors in its midst, a paranoia that Turkestan’s dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov, acted on early in the war, purging thousands of government officials suspected of neo-traditionalist sympathy. Though the firings and arrests were substantial, the Turkestani rot is too deep to be resolved with a single purge, though it did at least stop one major plot from firing off. One of the many arrested groups of traitors were a clique of Kyrgyz bureaucrats and local leaders credibly accused of planning to declare independence in the midst of the war. The foiling of this plot, along with many of the other arrests of actual traitors, was in huge part thanks to the assistance of foreign intelligence that many suspect was provided by East Asia. Although East Asia has not participated militarily, they condemned the Babylonian invasion of a fellow Suzukian regime and there are plenty of reports that East Asian cadres of the Green International are inside Turkestan training new recruits for a much longer conflict based out of the more mountainous regions of Kyrgyzstan and the Tarim Basin, spreading Suzukian ideology to the rank-and-file at the same time. By the beginning of summer, Eurasian air forces were contesting the skies, missile strikes were hampering Babylonian logistics, and ground forces were reinforcing the thinly manned, under-trained, and badly armed Turkestani armies, finally solidifying a front line in the south. Shifting strategy into the summer and fall to focus on the wide front in the centre of Central Asia, Babylon continued to make gains, though slowly and at the cost of thousands of casualties, capturing all of Turkmenistan and touching the edges of Uzbekistan, as Eurasia continued to play for time. Although the conflict is far more contested than it would have been without Eurasia or East Asia’s involvement (many hypothesize Turkestan would have completely disintegrated without them), Babylonian forces are better equipped, more experienced, and are projected to slowly seize the country, even if it takes several years of fighting at the current pace to make it to the Himalayas and the country's far edges. Fears that the conflict might escalate into a massive war across multiple fronts have not subsided, though there was relief that the Black Sea was quiet, with what few Eurasian soldiers were in pro-Babylo Ottoman Bosporus having left voluntarily. Babylon did close that strait to the Eurasian military, though this has had little practical effect. Internationally the war has further soured Babylon’s reputation. Eurasia and East Asia put up travel advisories eliminating transnational travel. There were numerous condemnations from countries around the world, as well as further military spending commitments made by potential future targets of Babylon’s aggression, such as Transcaucasia, Yugoslavia, Ethiopia, and the Maghreb. More pressing to Babylon and Eurasia are their own publics’ reactions to the war. Whereas Bayblon could typically rely on decisive victories abroad to prove Saddam’s seemingly supernatural military prowess, complaints of corruption and resentment over Akkadian elitism are making the Turkestan War mildly unpopular even though Babylon is winning. Meanwhile in Eurasia things are far graver, since they joined the war in the midst of multiple ongoing domestic crises, from post-communist samizdats spreading anti-government propaganda to ongoing protests by minorities over neglect and discrimination. Failure in the Turkestan War for either Babylon or Eurasia will only exacerbate their domestic woes, though the downside and the upside is higher for Eurasia, where victory or defeat could either stave off domestic quandaries with some patriotic pride, or dramatically worsen them should thousands of Eurasians have died just to stall but not stop a Babylonian conquest.
Changes:
  • defunct World Fact: military bases in the Bosporus and Dardanelles are open to both Babylonian and Eurasian armed forces
  • new World Fact: Babylon has closed the Bosporus to Eurasian military vessels
  • new World Fact: Turkestani armies are being trained in montane guerrilla warfare for an insurgency in Kyrgyzstan and the Tarim Basin
Trajectory: Babylon will slowly defeat enemy forces in Turkestan, coming to control the entire country’s non-mountainous regions by 2011, with an indefinite and long-term insurgency playing out in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and the Tarim Basin as a World Fact. Babylon will at that point control the Baikonur Cosmodrome by force, or whatever is left of it, and its associated human capital.
Spoiler A Nation of Refugees :
Spoiler 2008 :
A Nation of Refugees (Regional Union of States Administration Front):
New Events:
  • Union of States: rolled 14, hard success. +1 FP for refugee resettlement
The Rainbow Republic has declared itself a global safe haven for refugees, inviting an unlimited number of people fleeing from war-torn areas or political persecution to settle in America. The UoS government has accompanied their open borders policy with a transportation program called Rainbow Roads, which has setup offices in major cities around the world wherever they can to concentrate refugee applications and facilitate and even pay for transport to the UoS. Once refugees arrive, many are then allocated a family in the country who will “adopt” them to help integrate them into UoS society. Although a comprehensive package, the open borders and refugee resettlement system has already come under stress and backlash. The Union of States has limited international recognition and many of the war-torn countries the Union seeks to obtain refugees from refuse UoS embassies. Some canny dictators have let the UoS setup offices that are not embassies (and thus not protected by diplomatic immunity) and let the UoS collect dissidents and anti-government protestors there - only to subsequently raid the facility and imprison the applying refugees. The UoS civil service, however, is crafty as well, and despite these embarrassments, they forecast a million refugees to resettle in the coming year from places as far ranging as Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Afghanistan, Bengal, Turkestan, Kongo, and Sudan. This leads to the second issue with the plan, which is the method of integration. The UoS correctly understood that its state capacity to absorb so many refugees would be insufficient, and thus chose to rely on private support. Although many people in the Rainbow Republic are accepting of refugees in-principle, few are willing to volunteer to take on the considerable burden of integrating them into society and providing for their needs. This has put the government in a tricky position that it decided to resolve through social coercion - reports have emerged of widespread pressure on random families to share the burden of adopting refugees. In one region, thousands of people participated in a lottery with a small prize, only to learn that to receive the prize they must take on a refugee family, and that although they could technically refuse the prize and the burden, that was not actually an option they would be allowed to take without social or career ramifications. Besides these short-term issues there will be also be integration challenges that come when any new wave of migrants lands in a new place - the newcomers will have to overcome language and cultural barriers, and they will be judged at a higher standard by locals. Although these will wash away after a generation, anti-refugee backlash is likely on its way with up to four million more people expected to resettle in the coming three years alone.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: UoS is resettling millions of refugees from around the world
  • new World Fact: UoS citizens are bristling at social coercion compelling people to adopt refugees
Trajectory: The Union of States will have resettled four million refugees by 2011, establishing a Power Centre based on the Rainbow Roads system.
Spoiler Gasland :
Spoiler 2008 :
Gasland (Regional Argentina Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina: rolled 19.6, soft success. +1 FP for fracking
Innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were eagerly leapt at in Argentina, a country whose periphery contains one of the world’s largest shale reserves. The Supreme Lodge created a new state enterprise for gas extraction in the country’s north this year that has bought the rights to shale reserves in Paraguay, Argentine Brazil, Bolivia, and Patagonia. The scope of the program has been deliberately limited by the government to exclude private actors and not exploit all of Argentina’s reserves, particularly those in Argentina proper. Instead of making Argentina an energy superpower in league with Eurasia and Babylon, deployment of fracking is instead aimed at creating jobs for lower education workers and especially in the country’s neglected periphery. At that, the project appears to be a success, with polling firms reporting strong positive attitudes toward development that will bring good paying work to underrepresented regions of the country. A domestic refining industry in Buenos Aires will also help benefit stagnant wages outside of the tech industry growing in the capital too, taking a significant step forward on two major national issues. There are some downsides to the project however. The first are the environmental consequences, which are unknown at this time for a new sort of drilling operation, aside from increasing carbon emissions due to the burning of natural gas of course. Environmental activists, especially among indigenous groups in Bolivia and Paraguay, are opposed to the project on the fear that it will lead to worsening climate change and local environmental damage. Once fracking is in full swing, we will know of its true environmental impact.
Trajectory: Argentina will have a thriving energy economy among, primarily in its peripheral territories, by 2011.
Spoiler Not in My Backyard :
Spoiler 2008 :
Not in My Backyard (Argentina Short-Term Stress)
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “inequality and stagnant wages” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
The gap between the rich and the poor of Argentina increasingly appears to be turning into a gap between homeowners and renters. The wealthy and well-connected have had an easy time politically capturing the regulatory bodies in-charge of housing and zoning, especially in Buenos Aires, where suburbs have seen little development. Instead the only new developments are made strictly in poorer and working class neighbourhoods, and even so, the cumulative amount of housing being built is simply not enough to meet demand as new American and other immigrants arrive and top-earners continue to thrive in the tech economy, allowing them to bid up prices. This has put pressure on renters, who have to pay higher rates for housing that becomes relatively less abundant. This year the slated redevelopment of a working class neighbourhood into high-end condos in Buenos Aires created fierce backlash as community organizers rallied in protests demanding the government back-off from the plans. The issue might have fizzled away had the relevant regulatory body not so obtusely ignored local demands, sparking wider protests across the city and even in other cities. These protests have been peaceful and largely ignored by police, but the underlying resentment is building against the wealthy, who have an easy time preventing the construction of new housing in their neighbourhoods, allowing the price of housing to grow.
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).
Spoiler Marea Rosa :
Spoiler 2008 :
Marea Rosa (Argentina Short-Term Stress)
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “Argentine chauvinism” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
Argentina’s ascent to Great Power status came about through the annexation of numerous territories whose economic role in the domestic Argentine economy is that of peripheral raw material sources. Youth with good grades leave their homes in Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentine Brazil at a young age to be assimilated in Buenos Aires, while an increasingly bitter and old population is left behind in lands the state only sees fit for declining industries. This has created fertile conditions for a sharp left-ward political turn against the Argentine technocrats in the form of increasing labour agitation and left-wing academic-political organizing in the provinces. Although there are no general elections, the committee system in the universities has its weak points, and left-wing social science academics have linked up with union leaders and civil society groups in the provinces in an effort to wrestle away technocratic posts from neoliberals and put leftists, sometimes even Marxists, in-charge of provincial posts. An alliance of minorities and left-wing professors smacks of American Rainbow-ism and should these rabble succeed in their efforts, it will portend far more grievous political consequences down the road if the social sciences and the peripheries aren't put back into order soon.
Changes:
  • Argentina suffers from 4 simultaneous stresses: -4 Science Proficiency, -Social Science Capability
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).
Spoiler The Great Game :
Spoiler 2008 :
The Great Game (Regional Afghanistan Social Control/Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • India: rolled 18, soft success. +1 FP for arming the Islamists
While the generals and the technocrats bicker about who is in-charge and what to do, the Afghan mujahideen advance across the country. Unlike past insurgencies however, this year the Islamist fighters have the backing of India, a mighty arms producer. According to leaked documents published by WikiFiles, the strange alliance took the better half of the year just to convince the mujahideen that India’s offers of military aid were sincere and not a front for counter-intelligence or a strange psyop. The decisive factor seems to have been Indian support for moderate Islamists in Bengal, who founded a new nation in the style of an Islamic Republic this year. The persuasion finally worked and sealed a deal with the mujahideen, who shifted propaganda in the latter half of the year from advocating for a theocracy to advocating for a theocratic republic (though with far more emphasis on theocracy than republic). After that, journalists in Afghanistan began reporting the widespread use of western kit among the mujahideen fighters, which analysts figured out were being shipped from India over the Arabian Sea and then overland through Persia - which implies the consent of Babylon in this arrangement. Journalists have also noticed urban professionals involved with the democracy protests last year joining the Islamists upon the capture of new cities, collaborating in the new governance - probably another component of the deal struck with India. The Islamist fighters are expected to slowly but surely seize every major town and city across Afghanistan in a matter of years. This bold move by India has alarmed Hindustan, which condemned Indian support for religious fanatics and for disturbing the fragile equilibrium of geopolitics between them. Hindustan was already incensed by Indian intervention in its former lands in Bengal, where at least there they were able to geopolitically squeeze as much out of the situation as India. Hindustan has demanded India cease supporting the Islamists and is threatening a long list of potential consequences, from invading Afghanistan to invading Bengal to arbitrary missile strikes to new nuclear tests to an alliance with nuclear-armed Babylon.
Changes:
  • the Front “Indian Tensions” gains 0.25 Collapse Points
Trajectory: India will help the Afghan Islamists to take over Afghanistan by 2011, whereupon they will establish a theocratic republic and India will have control of them as a Power Centre.
Spoiler 2007 :
The Great Game (Regional Afghanistan Social Control/Espionage Front): Daoud Khan is dead after nearly a lifetime as ruler of Afghanistan, leaving the country in a state of crisis. Although the constitution has technically empowered a committee of civilian economists, they lack legitimacy, and several alternatives are cropping up to displace the old order. A network of criminals and corrupt officials supposedly connected to Babylon have nearly conquered the state’s most vital revenue source, opium exports. Seemingly unkillable Islamist fighters in the countryside have already begun another insurgency to topple the government and establish a theocratic strongman state loosely modelled off of Eurasia. Turkestan’s dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov, has oft spoken of his desire to right the wrongs of the Soviet Union in ceding the Tajiks to Afghanistan, while the communists of Hindustan may now see an opportunity to recover the Pashtun lands lost during the Indian civil war. Moreover, protests have erupted in Kabul and other cities that include both demands for elections, and demands for socialism, depending on the crowd. At the centre of all this chaos is the military, whose top brass could just as easily back the constitution, or break with it to co-opt some of its opponents and stabilize the country.
Rules: Progress and Regress represents the top two rolling sides who attempt to consolidate a government Faction. Collapse Points will stop being generated on this Front so long as a net positive or negative number of Front Points are being generated. Collapse of this Front will trigger a pair of d6 rolls to determine which ideology takes power and whether neighbours invade. The first roll options will be (1, 2) tan government defeats oppositions, (2, 3) black rebels seize government, defeat other oppositions, (5) military backs blues, defeats oppositions, (6) military backs greys, defeats oppositions. The second roll will be (1, 2, 3) no invasions, (4) Hindustan invades, seizes ex-territories in OTL Pakistan, (5) Turkestan invades, seizes Tajikistan, (6) Hindustan and Turkestan both invade and seize their respective territories. These outcomes are of course subject to change if the underlying fiction changes in Afghanistan or among its neighbours.
Rewards: fate of Afghanistan
Spoiler The Belt and Railroad :
Spoiler 2008 :
Belt and Railroad (Super Babylon-East Asia Economy/Science Front):
New Events:
  • East Asia withdraws from the Front (free action); since East Asia’s contribution to the Front is sizable, this downgrades the Front by one success level to a hard success
The Babylonian invasion of Turkestan has prompted condemnation and fury around the world, including their erstwhile economic partner, East Asia. Only two years into a mag-lev train network project both parties had agreed to, East Asia has pulled out entirely, leaving behind but a handful of station sites, a bunch of homeless encampments, and design documents largely inscrutable to Babylonian officials. The Babylonian head of the project has vowed to carry on - but there is no hope of using magnetic-levitation and achieving high-speeds. Instead the train network will rely on older blunter rail tracks, and also shrink to about half the originally billed scope to keep within budgetary constraints. But on the bright side, downsizing the project to come to terms with reality at least keeps its end date the same. For East Asia the political costs of continuing to work with Babylon were too great, though it does mean that a hoped for cluster of rail firms won’t have the income they were expecting to use to consolidate their foothold as the world’s foremost mag-lev makers.
Trajectory: Babylon will create World Facts reflecting a moderately sized network of regular railroads through major Babylonian cities by 2013.
Spoiler 2006 :
Belt and Railroad (Super Babylon-East Asia Economy/Science Front):
New Events:
  • East Asia & Babylon: rolled 17, soft success. +1 FP for railroading
The world’s foremost petrostate and warmonger, Babylon, has teamed up with the Marxist-environmentalist regime of East Asia on an ambitious engineering project: a national network of magnetic levitation rail lines. Billed as the Belt and Railroad, an East Asian network of engineering and design bureaus have taken contracts with Saddam Hussein’s state to build rail lines criss-crossing Babylon’s major cities. These rail lines will employ cutting edge technology that has been perfected in Japan for decades by Nissan, Obayashi, as well as the Socialist Association of Science and Technology itself, that will allow passengers to commute between major Middle Eastern cities at breathtaking speeds. Moreover, Babylonian construction companies will work in tandem with East Asian counterparts so as to help bootstrap an East Asian hub of construction knowledge on-top of their world-class design and engineering. A beautiful example of international cooperation. At least, that’s all how it is supposed to work on paper. In-practice, the first year of the Belt and Railroad has been a bit of a propaganda loss for East Asia and a minor economic bubble for Babylon. Although there were grumblings among East Asian politicians, the Belt and Railroad was far more harshly and swiftly condemned by foreign environmentalist groups in developed economies like Buffalo-Caribou and Scandinavia; how could East Asia countenance working with a fascist imperialist petroleum dictatorship? East Asian assurances that the railroad would be solar powered and help promote decarbonization fell on incredulous ears. Meanwhile in Babylon, private companies and investors pretty quickly found out the list of cities intended to get stations - which has spurred a speculative boom through patronage networks with access to the final planned rail routes. This has already pushed up housing prices in random places throughout Babylon, with a small exodus of people being evicted or simply forced out for having lived in informal housing arrangements. These people are already becoming homeless and resentful, disconnected from their social networks and ironically unable to access new housing in other cities due to the poor shape of Babylonian roads and rail.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: East Asia’s environmentalist reputation has taken a hit among foreign environmentalist groups in developed countries (e.g. Scandinavia, Buffalo-Caribou) due to the Belt and Railroad partnership with Babylon
  • new World Fact: residents along the rail route are being forced out of their homes by speculative investors, increasing homelessness and resentment
Trajectory: East Asian and Babylonian mag-lev activities will produce a Belt and Railroad Power Centre in East Asia and build-out an enormous network of high-speed rail across Babylon within a little under a decade (2013).
Spoiler Shale Revolution :
Spoiler 2007 :
Shale Revolution (Super Economy Front): Underneath the ground in vast tracts of the world are shale formations where natural gas can be found, with huge reserves in the Union of States, China, Argentina, and across Europe, among other locales. Hitherto methods of drilling have not been able to crack these reserves, but this has begun to change. New techniques, from deep earth imaging software to horizontal drilling to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), have opened up another generation of energy resources. Whereas coal and petroleum have high carbon dioxide emissions, shale reserves are mainly natural gas, a fossil fuel with a considerably lower carbon impact. A significant investment into gas extraction from shale using these new methods could partially displace oil and coal and help in decreasing reliance on dirtier fuels. Fracking could also develop profitable economies in places that really need it, like the “fly over” region of the Union of States, the impoverished interior of China, inner Argentina and Paraguay, wartorn Mexico, and wartorn western Europe. Any of these regions could be transformed into a new energy juggernaut.
Rules: the top two rolling powers represent Progress and Regress in a contest to establish a “shale revolution” in whatever region they choose that contains major shale reserves; World Facts for second place
Rewards: a natural gas Power Centre and World Facts reflecting a world-class energy production hub
Spoiler An International Space Station :
Spoiler 2007 :
An International Space Station (Super Science Front): During the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union both launched several of their own national space stations, but by the end of the Autumn of Nations both of these superpowers’ space programs weren’t even located inside the territory of their major successors. NASA was inherited by the Southern Republic, while Baikonur was left to independent Turkestan. Although the prospects appear slim, there is still scientific merit in putting yet another space station into orbit, perhaps this time a joint effort by all the space-faring nations so as to maintain the station for a much longer time period. Such a project would still be a massive undertaking costing over a hundred billion pounds or more, and undertaking it without either of the estranged space programs of the former Soviet and American regimes would be tricky - but one can dream can’t they.
Rules: Progress represents a concerted effort to launch an international space station among the Great Powers that participate. Regress represents any individual country’s effort to launch a space station of similar scope without the assistance of other powers. Possessing either NASA or Baikonor or both will greatly improve the odds of success.
Rewards: an international space station (note: not a Power Centre, but still pretty cool)
Spoiler Drones :
Spoiler 2007 :
Drones (Super Science Front): Computer science and aerospace technology have advanced to the point that “unmanned aerial vehicles” appear to be scientifically possible in the near term. There were some tentative investments made by the United States and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s but those were forgotten in the Autumn of Nations and its aftermath. A lot of technical innovation and cost reduction is still necessary for military drones to become a significant component of any armed force, and every major military is working on the problem to some degree or another - but should any of the Great Powers prioritize research in this field, they could obtain a ten-year head start in technological supremacy in the field of military drones.
Rules: the top two rollers are Progress and Regress in a contest for establishing themselves as the foremost developer of military drones; negative and positive points won’t “cancel out” - that is, it’s just a race to get generate Front Points equal to the Target Number; World Facts awarded to second place
Rewards: a Power Centre representing a drone-based military production and innovation hub, World Facts reflecting top-notch drone technological supremacy
Spoiler Mass Surveillance :
Spoiler 2007 :
Mass Surveillance (Super Science/Espionage Front): Globalization, the internet, the use of computer chips in everyday appliances, the universalization of telecommunications, the spread of the “smart phone” - all of these have combined together to create an unparalleled opportunity in espionage and intelligence gathering. Most telecommunications at present are tapped or spied on in an ad hoc, as-needed basis by the world’s premier intelligence services - but in an era of universal technology, some intelligence officials have prodded their governments about a different approach: what if we collected and stored every communication or piece of data by default. Some would say that such a program would be a massive violation of privacy, but fewer and fewer people in the know are saying that it couldn’t be done.
Rules: top two rollers represent Progress and Regress in a contest to establish a mass surveillance program for worldwide telecommunication and technological tracking; second place gets World Facts
Rewards: an intelligence agency Power Centre that performs mass surveillance
Spoiler Dictators :
Spoiler 2007 :
Dictators (Special Front)
New Events:
  • Front Collapses (4 out of 4 Front Points), chose among oldest dictators
Mohammed Daoud Khan, Afghanistan’s first and only President, has died at the grand old age of 97. The future of technocratic Afghanistan hangs in the balance.
Changes:
  • new Front: The Great Game
Spoiler 2005 :
Dictators (Special Front): Liberal political theorists have a deep literature on so-called “personalist dictatorships,” which they define as regime types where power is concentrated in a single individual, generally with a cult of personality and no clear line of succession after their death. Due to the over-reliance of the state on a single personality, these regimes typically have a rough time when their leader dies - creating a brief moment for the opposition to seize power in the chaos.
Rules: This Front will conclude when the world has rid itself of personalist dictators. Collapse is recurring, and each time this Front Collapses, one of the world’s personalist dictators (see NPC Tab of the Stats) will perish and a succession crisis Front will be created. The GM will choose the next personalist dictator to die based on their age or, if ages are similar, a roll. If the GM deems all of the existing personalist dictators to be too young to die, the GM may opt to convert one random government with an authoritarian system into a personalist dictatorship and add it to the list.
Rewards: Regular opportunities for regime change.
Spoiler Beautiful Borneo :
Spoiler 2007 :
Beautiful Borneo (Regional Borneo Social Control/Economy Front):
New Events:
  • East Asia & Union of States: rolled 18, soft success. +1 FP for kickstarting ecotourism
East Asia’s crackdown against clear-cutters and fire-setters continued this year, preventing another bout of smog and reversing some of the deforestation caused last year. Cognizant of widespread poverty and anger against Japan, East Asian officials enacted a sweeping new economic program to uplift the neglected region, declaring Borneo a Special Economic Zone for eco-tourism and voluntourism. Though only one national champion relocated its headquarters to Brunei, the tourism campaign, labelled “Beautiful Borneo,” was hugely successful in attracting massive flows of cash into new schemes. Beautiful Borneo has advertised to the wider world the wondrous natural beauty of Borneo, from its elephants, tigers, orangutans, to its coral reefs and still enormously well-preserved rainforests. The Beautiful Borneo campaign was especially successful in the Union of States, whose government agreed to promote Bornean tourism amongst its populace. Seriously disconnected from the wider world since the Autumn of Nations due to geopolitics, Americans were eager to jump at the opportunity for travel, with churches, neo-pagan groups, and naturalist clubs organizing large delegations to visit the remote island of Borneo throughout the dry season. Beautiful Borneo was also visited by folks from other places, with notable numbers of tourists among British subjects residing in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as people from China, Indochina, and India, not to mention various parts of East Asia itself. Locals have celebrated the new influx of capital and income, though already several trends have started that may take a generation to be truly felt: the loss of endangered language proficiency in-favour of Japanese, English, and Malay, the loss of cultural pride due to catering to foreign cultures, resentment toward relaxation of religious norms for the benefit of tourists, and even (to a limited extent) the poor treatment of animals used for tourist purposes.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Borneo’s tourist industry is slowly hollowing out local cultures
Trajectory: East Asia will have spurred a trend of positive economic growth for the sub-region of Borneo, growing its economy and improving the government’s reputation there, by 2010.
Spoiler People's Palm Oil :
People’s Palm Oil (East Asia Short-Term Stress):
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “anti-Japanese sentiment” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
Southeast Asia was blanked by dangerous concentrations of pollution due to a disastrous fire season in Borneo, something quite unusual for the environmentalist nation to which that island belongs. Although a decades-long East Asian effort has curbed illegal deforestation across most of Indonesia and Malaysia, desperate poor criminals still disobey the law and burn forests for palm oil production in Borneo, where anti-Japanese resentment runs high. Before the fire season, this year had already been a historic moment of unrest around the world, and it was no different in Indonesia, where spontaneous anti-government and crypto-separatist demonstrations, sometimes even supported by National Unionists, took place in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei, and other major cities in Indonesia and Malaysia. East Asian authorities took a dual-track approach of suppressing the protests forcefully, but also offering limited economic concessions after-the-fact as a goodwill gesture, including a promise to lighten policing in the region’s poorest province, Borneo. This promise, which East Asia dutifully carried out during the fire season, was a regrettable mistake that encouraged thousands of clear-cutters to burn more forest in one year than had been burnt in the entire previous decade. Although at first appeased by East Asian concessions, Borneans were quick to return to protests when East Asia brought back the full weight of its criminal justice system against fire-setters and clear-cutters. Even worse, the Borneans have rallied in support of the criminals deforesting the country, promoting them as heroic resistors to Japanese imperialism and promoters of the economic interests of the poor Bornean people. Although East Asia could concede to Bornean demands for legalization of at least some deforestation and palm oil production, something the Osaka Clique in Japan flatly endorses as overdue, doing so would threaten Borneo’s biodiversity, including species like the Borneo Orangutan, the Borneo elephant, and the rare Hose’s civet. For now the nationalistic rallying around the illegal Bornean fire-setters and clear-cutters is limited to Borneo, though the movement has momentum and could spread to other islands as well as sharpen their demands, should their currently modest ones remain unaddressed.
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).
Spoiler New Eurasian Person :
Spoiler 2007 :
New Eurasian Person (Regional Eurasia Social Control/Administration Front):
New Events:
  • Eurasia: rolled 18, soft success. +1 FP for eliminating corruption once and for all
The Eurasian oligarchy has been on a warpath against corruption for more than half a decade. Agents of the civil service have worn body armour and suffered casualties in the war on arms smuggling and the war on crime, both successful if costly operations that have practically eliminated illicit arms movements out of the country and mafia activity broadly. This year the council of strongmen have approved a last offensive on the remaining vestiges of Soviet era corruption in every department of government, from the military to social programs to officials all the way down to the municipal level across Russia and Ukraine. Informally referred to as the New Eurasian Person Policy, accountability mechanisms are being extensively deployed to detect abuse of funds, rank and compare departmental efficacy, and generally fire and replace officials throughout all levels of government. There are two wrinkles in the plan, which outside observers have been quick to note. The first is the obvious contradiction of an unaccountable council of unabashed strongmen promoting honest, accountable government. What justifies the continued rule of the strongmen if they themselves do not submit to the same exacting standards as the rest of the state? Moreover, is this not exactly the same mistake the oligarchs behind Eurasia Today made by letting high-minded principles get in the way of what really matters (namely, ultranationalism)? Although the issue is dormant while the current strongmen live on, someday they will have successors - but will they be ultranationalists or will they lose the faith and become technocrats or even liberals? The second wrinkle is Poland. Although it’s never spoken about by the strongmen themselves, it’s clear that Poland is the exception - while the anti-corruption drive runs at full steam in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, in Poland efforts are managed by the local strongman and to a great extent it’s scope is limited so that patronage can be handed out and thereby allow the local strongman to maintain his power.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: civilian and military officials in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine believe in higher principles of honesty, integrity, and accountability, veering at times toward technocratic or even liberal democratic thinking
Trajectory: Eurasia will eliminate Soviet-era inefficiency and corruption in favour of an honest and energetic military and civil service by 2010, removing Eurasia’s long-term Stress “inflexibility and corruption.”
Spoiler Radio Free Eurasia :
Spoiler 2007 :
Radio Free Eurasia (Regional Siberia Social Control/Economy Front):
New Events:
  • India: rolled 19, soft success. +1 FP for supercharging journalism
Faced with a growing crisis in Eurasia, the Sakharov Centre opened its doors to hundreds of fleeing journalists, some of the best in Eurasia and perhaps even the best in the world. With only an under-resourced radio network and old Soviet-era equipment, liberal-minded Indian investors who had caught wind of the events saw an opportunity and took a fateful trip to democratic Siberia, where Sakharov Centre spokesman Garry Kasparov not long thereafter publicly hailed a new business arrangement. A massive inflow of investment from Indian investors would come to modernize Radio Free Eurasia (RFE), allowing it to hire thousands of new reporters and set up branches in dozens of countries with the goal of becoming the world’s top news organization. With a motivated core of honest, hard-working reporters possessing experience creating such an organization from their time in Eurasia Today, progress has been swift. RFE reporters have already begun to compete on the home turf of the world’s most global newspapers, Australia’s News Corp, Great Britain’s BBC, and New England’s New York Times. Before pivoting to news last year, the Sakharov Centre’s main work was protecting and trafficking dissidents from authoritarian regimes to Siberia, contrasting the Centre’s and RFE’s ethos sharply against the respectable, detached, establishment cultures at the other networks. So committed are the journalists at RFE to idealism and disrupting rather than merely reporting on world events that they eagerly domiciled a coterie of “internet activists” in Siberia, including a controversial group called WikiFiles, who specialize in publishing leaked government documents on the internet for anyone to see. WikiFiles, who’s previous disclosures embarrassed the Australian government for various secret authoritarian programs they made public, took a broadside against Great Britain and India this year, disclosing secret documents shared between the two powers as part of regular intelligence sharing that acknowledge hitherto unreported atrocities committed by the German Democracy Movement last year against French villagers. Whereas the Sakharov Centre was previously focused on criticizing and ultimately bringing down the Eurasian state, now it shall be a beacon of truth everywhere.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: journalists affiliated with the Sakharov Centre have a penchant for publishing state secrets given to them by whistleblowers in democracies
  • Power Centre changes: Sakharov Centre gains +0.2 Economy, +0.2 Social Control, changes name to Sakharov Network
Trajectory: India will have decisive control over the Sakharov Centre and its subordinate news group, Radio Free Eurasia, by 2010, with intrepid journalists planted all around the world.
Spoiler Hawaiian Allegiance :
Spoiler 2007 :
Hawaiian Allegiance (Regional Hawaii Administration/Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for allying Hawaii
In a geopolitical surprise, leaked documents were published by an opposition newspaper this autumn evidencing “secret” talks between Argentina and Hawaii over a military alliance. The day the scoop was revealed, diplomats from both countries quickly held press briefings that acknowledged the two nations were engaged in “early talks” and that there was nothing “secret” about the matter: Hawaii’s governing Republicans have made it clear for years they are shopping for a Great Power that can guarantee Hawaiian independence from foreign threats. Embarrassingly, another leak occurred in December, showing draft provisions of a bilateral military alliance that would allow the Pacific Fleet to engage in offensive activities alongside Argentine forces, and included an Argentine pledge to defend Hawaii in the event of an attack against it by a foreign power. Responsibility for the leaks remains a mystery, though many Republican politicians have openly grumbled about deepening relations with an anti-democratic technocracy with a relatively weak military, while polling shows an unimpressed voter base with a take it or leave it attitude to a deal with Argentina. The local Greens and the Hawaiian Rainbow Coalition have both vociferously attacked signing away Hawaii to a bunch of neoliberal academic authoritarians. Despite all of this, the old guard Republicans, however thin a stratum they may be and however reluctantly, are backing the deal, though it may not even be formalized until next year, and after that, it will still take years of integration to get the Pacific Fleet fully operational and ready to work side-by-side Argentine forces.
Changes:
  • Target Number increased from 4 to 5
  • World Fact: the Argentine-Hawaiian alliance is fragile, held together by a thin stratum of old Republican bigwigs*
Trajectory: Argentina and Hawaii will have fully integrated their respective militaries in a ratified and binding military alliance by 2011, giving control of the Pacific Fleet Power Centre to Argentina.

* Argentina’s +1 FP will become 0 FP per turn should any other Great Power with a resident ideological following (i.e. blue, pink, teal) succeed in either regime change or regime consolidation
Spoiler 2000 :
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 Hungarian Militarism :
Spoiler 2006 :
Hungarian Militarism (Regional Hungary Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Eurasia: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for
Having barely liberalized since the military takeover and Croatian campaign in 1991, Hungary’s economy remains one of the most unionized and least privatized in the world. The labour union movement has therefore become the single most powerful alternative institution to the neo-Magyar military junta. This year the Hungarian junta was unsettled by unusually aggressive demands in contract negotiations with the teachers union, the airport workers union, the teamsters union, and several other public sector unions that began in summer. In the weeks after rebuffing them, the Hungarian government began sounding the alarm at border incursions by “gangsters” from Zapadoslavia, and accusing Eurasia of secretly funnelling money and guns to the trade unions and stirring minority unrest in the borderlands. As negotiations broke down, the workers went on strike, sparking solidarity strikes or partial strike actions in dozens of unrelated sectors, scaring the government into accepting the workers’ demands to prevent a contagion. Energized, activists seized the stuffy, tame, and government-choreographed annual National Council of Trade Unions in autumn (itself a normally powerless holdover institution created by the communists to control the labour union movement). It is reported that representatives tricked state officials into exiting the assembly hall, whereupon officials were barricaded out and insurgent activists began delivering fiery speeches about democracy and social justice, and exercised sweeping legal powers technically still held by the congress, until police forced their way into the proceedings. Clashes broke out between police and delegates, as the police later claimed to have arrested gangsters affiliated with the Croatian, Romanian, and Slovakian mobs, who were defending the workers. This bout of labour unrest appears to be accelerating, with furth strike actions promised by various unions and public demands for government leaders to resign. Foreign correspondence, for their part, have found the Eurasian connection asserted by the Hungarian government hard to verify - foreign reporting suggests that whatever help the workers movement is getting is in no way influencing their politics, and anti-nationalist rhetoric, including anti-Eurasian rhetoric, is common.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Hungarian leftists are immune to Eurasian infiltration
Trajectory: Hungary’s neo-traditionalist government will collapse to a workers’ revolution and the labour union opposition will take over the government in several years time (2011). This new regime will harden Hungary against further foreign infiltration by gangsters and nationalists. Hungary’s aggressive revanchist claims against its neighbours will cease with the new administration.
Spoiler 2000 :
Hungarian Militarism (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 Bratva :
Spoiler 2006 :
Bratva (Regional Eurasia Social Control Front):
New Events:
  • Eurasia wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
After years of an administrative hate-love war-alliance with the Russian mafia, the shootings among criminals and by criminals against the government have finally stopped. What was once a sophisticated and independent network of criminals, drug smugglers, and gunrunners has completely broken to the full weight of the Eurasian state. Don’t be fooled - drugs are still peddled, organs harvested, and guns run, but only where state officials see fit to sanction it.
Changes:
  • Eurasia creates a Bratva Power Centre
Spoiler 2004 :
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).
Spoiler Internet Platforms :
Internet Platforms (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front): New business opportunities on the internet are being pitched to investors the worldover now that Web 2.0 has fully come together. Startups promising utopian ideas of universal connection to friends, an online store for everything, an all-online bank, cloud-computing, among numerous other possibilities are being described not just in the new Silicon Valley of Buenos Aires, but in other countries as well. Which internet startups will triumph in these emerging industries shall be decided by competition, but one way or another the idea of “network effects” are starting to entice investors to founders talking about e-commerce, big data analytics, social networking, digital transactions, video streaming, among other business ideas.
Rules: The top two rollers are Progress and Regress. First place and second place will both get Power Centres (the first place Power Centre being stronger), dividing up the internet industries available in this phase. I encourage players to describe which internet businesses they want to capture and give me company names (feel free to go beyond the categories I wrote about in the above paragraph, but focus on companies founded between 2000 and 2015).
Rewards: A Power Centre for internet platform enterprises.
Spoiler Make India Great Again :
Make India Great Again (India Short-Term Stress):
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “refugee crisis” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
The coalitional politics of Indian democracy have started to show ominous signs of polarization, with opinion polls of both the governing National Progressive Bloc (NPB) as well as the United Democratic Front (UDF) showing decreasing faith in the two-party system. Mallikarjun Kharge, facing an even worse refugee crisis since the Bengal cyclones two years ago than he had at the beginning of his term as Prime Minister, has lost support among key conservative and far-right constituents and may lose the next election to the UDF. These lost voters have increasingly turned toward fringe ultranationalist and neo-traditionalist parties led by eccentric personalities, including ones led by a real estate billionaire and a Bollywood movie star, apparently inspired by the success of Ross Perot in Texas and Ronald Reagan in California. These political figures issue outrageous promises to deport millions of people across the border, to install CEOs as ministers in government, and to exit “bad deals” like the Millennium Alliance with Great Britain, while decrying the mainstream press as liars and the two major political parties as corrupt. How this inchoate right-wing turn evolves is yet to be seen, but unless one or both of the two major parties get their act together on this rising tide of neo-traditionalism and ultranationalism, India may have a right-ward electoral upset or two in its future.
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).
Spoiler Chaos Journalism :
Chaos Journalism (Eurasia Short-Term Stress):
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “inflexibility and corruption” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapses Points)
Eurasia’s most respected broadcaster, Eurasia Today (ET), went rogue this year, delivering news that was profoundly uncomfortable for the government for a few months, before the broadcaster was “temporarily” shut down and some of its staff arrested for spreading “misinformation,” others having fled to independent Siberia. ET was the brainchild of several oligarchs and the nascent strongmen who were just establishing their rule in Eurasia in the 1990s - they wanted a news service that would be respected even in western countries, and could present a Eurasian worldview that was also factually accurate. Inadvertently, ET’s backers had too successfully cultivated a culture of honest reporting, creating a news organization that was inevitably bound to buckle under the impossible tension of promoting state narratives and also doing journalism with integrity. Elvira Galliamova’s death proved to be the breaking point, with ET’s journalists covering the Revolt of Small Numbers on television, radio, and print, spreading far and wide the neglect of minorities to the wider Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish publics. The critical reporting expanded to all manner of other complaints even among Russians, from cases of corruption or state inflexibility and indifference, ballooning over summer and early autumn before finally the state intervened forcefully, raiding ET’s offices and shutting the broadcaster down for the rest of the year. This didn’t stop the intrepid journalists however, who, it turns out, had planned for this eventuality, with underground press and media operations that took their place, spreading post-communist samizdats through illegal Russian publishing networks, as well as on the internet. This “chaos journalism,” as the state has billed it, was also helped along by Siberia, where Garry Kasparov and members of the Sakharov Centre have integrated many of the fleeing ET journalists into Radio Free Eurasia, a broadcaster and internet news media non-profit with the explicit goal of bringing true democracy to Eurasia. It seems that cracking down on ET has only opened the floodgates, with its journalists now unbridled by the threat of censorship and publicly committed democratic regime change. Unless the national narrative can be brought back under control, Eurasia’s Russians may join the Small Numbered Peoples in protest for reform and perhaps even truly free elections.
Changes:
  • Eurasia suffers a penalty from having 4 simultaneous Stresses: -4 Administrative Proficiency, -Legitimation Capability
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).
Spoiler Revolt of Small Numbers :
Revolt of Small Numbers (Eurasia Short-Term Stress):
New Events:
  • Long-Term Stress “secessionists and nationalism” Collapses (8 out of 8 Collapse Points)
2006 has been a year of widespread civil disobedience among minorities in Eurasia, sparked by the disappearance and later discovered murder of a Tartar forest ranger and nature conservationist, Elvira Galliamova. Her disappearance was ignored by Russian Volga-Ural authorities, with her dead body found only after a community search party scoured the nearby woodlands of her majority Tartar hometown. The leaders of that effort were thereafter arrested for trespassing onto the private property of a lumber mill, where Galliamova’s body was found. The incident quickly escalated into a public outcry among Eurasian minorities, spread by Eurasia Today (ET) as well as internet forums. Far more competent federal officers arrived to solve the case and, convincingly arrested the local lumber mill owner and some of his employees, all Russians, for Galliamova’s murder. Despite cracking the case, a swift trial and conviction, and releasing the search party leaders, the political ramifications of the initial delay and neglect had already spiralled out of control - numerous other instances of neglect, malice, environmental destruction, and racism by Russians against “small numbered peoples” - from the Komi to the Nenets to the Karelians and more - bubbled up on the internet and to ET. Resistance has mostly been in the form of peaceful civil disobedience, from sit-ins at local strongmen’s offices to refusals to pay taxes or cooperate with Eurasian authorities. The resentment solidified further by autumn when demonstrators were joined by a wide array of Cossack groups (rehabilitated and revived since the fall of the Soviet Union in some localities as paramilitaries and auxiliary police), which began refusing duties and orders, causing disruption to law enforcement in Ukraine, Don, Kuban, and other regions. By December, small town and village minority politicians, left-wing academics, indigenous land defenders, and high-ranking Cossacks, had gotten together and formed the Association of Small Numbered Peoples to combat racism, environmental destruction, and also to advance the interests of indigenous and small numbered peoples in Eurasia. The similarity in structure and purpose to Rainbow coalitions in the Americas, as well as the organization’s uncomfortably Suzuki-esque interest in the environment, has alarmed the Eurasian establishment. Eurasia remains surrounded by Suzukian and leftist regimes, from Turkestan to Transcaucasia to Scandinavia to Anatolia to Yugoslavia - any of which could easily help push the Small Numbered Peoples towards more violent means or secessionary ends.
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).
Spoiler A North America Treaty Organization :
A North America Treaty Organization? (Regional North America Espionage/Administration Front): Having seceded from the United States during its collapse, the ex-American states were never members of NATO, which in any case was effectively abandoned in the 1990s. With significant left-wing unrest emerging in California and the Southern Republic, both accusing the Union of States of foreign influence and hostile objectives, the small nations of North America have begun a flurry of military and intelligence cooperation discussions. The differences between these countries are vast - from Utah’s Christian theocracy to the South’s racial supremacy to Buffalo-Caribou’s quasi-Suzukianism, there’s enough disagreement among one another to frustrate and prevent unity in the face of a common foe. Moreover only some of these states possess nuclear weapons - would such a treaty extend a nuclear umbrella across the continent? Whether these negotiations terminate in a NATO for the next millennium or collapse into ideological recriminations is yet to be seen.
Rules: Progress represents efforts to create a military alliance of North American states other than the Union of States, Regress represents efforts to prevent such an alliance from forming.
Rewards: World Facts related to military commitments between North American countries.
Spoiler A Smart Phone :
Spoiler 2005 :
A Smart Phone (Super Worldwide Science Front):
New Changes:
  • Argentina: rolled 16, soft success. +1 FP for touchscreen innovation
Motorola’s CEO, Edward Zander, announced its first “smartphone” late this year at a tech conference in Buenos Aires. The phone, dubbed the Motorola Droid 1, is named after the droids from the American movie franchise Star Wars, and features a much improved touchscreen, wifi connectivity, and a unique new model for phone design. The showcase came after a year of jet setting back and forth between the company’s headquarters in New York City and Argentina, whereafter Motorola had finalized partnerships with Argentine research centres and tech startups. These partnerships will help put Motorola’s electronics and software ahead of all its competitors, and have also included purchase agreements to outfit every Argentine university with Droids. Motorola sniped ex-Apple employees who had moved to Argentina in the last few years too, taking a stab at the tottering California tech firm. Finally, Motorola concluded manufacturing deals with some Shanghai firms, helped along by Argentine contacts. Wall Street speculators have increased the company’s stock value several times over due to these separate pieces of good news for the company, though in a surprise rebrand that modestly hurt their stock, Motorola announced they would try to become a beacon of privacy and personal safety in an increasingly fraught digital age, promising to work for its customers and not unduly sell or gather user data.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Motorola’s leadership believes in consumer privacy
Trajectory: Motorola will become the world’s best smartphone company with decisive Argentine influence on its corporate culture and decision-making in under a decade (2012), becoming a Power Centre by that date and having well established the smartphone revolution.
Spoiler 2004 :
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
Spoiler Natural Disasters :
Spoiler 2005 :
Natural Disasters (Special Front):
New Changes:
  • Front Collapses (4 out of 4 Collapse Points), rolled on a table of natural disasters
Disaster struck China this year as a typhoon made its way through Taiwan and past the shore into central China where it has caused one of the worst flooding disasters in decades. Typhoon Longwang (as it was labelled in China) slowed down as it passed over Taiwan, where only a few dozen deaths and about a thousand buildings were destroyed, and thus, when it hit the Chinese coastline, Longwang only dealt modest damage. It was the sustained downpour over central China however that caused the worst of the disaster, triggering 45 dam failures and devastating floods. A hastily put together commission between the northern, eastern, and the southern governments (all of which governing territory affected by the crisis) reports that the flooding has killed at least 25,000 people while the subsequent crop failures and ongoing famine may cause the death of another 200,000 people unless effective state action is taken. With the three “warlord” states unwilling to compromise and coordinate, it appears such action will not come to pass.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Central China is in a state of economic crisis and famine due to dam failures and flooding caused by Typhoon Longwang
Spoiler 2000 :
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 Warming Trend :
Spoiler 2004 :
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)
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 2006 :
Filibuster War (Super Europe Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • half-way point in the civil war*
The Suzukians are on the brink of total defeat in the Mexican Civil War, with the Filibusters and the Chicano-Norteño fighters having carved them up. Once their destruction is complete next year, it is widely believed the Filibusters will turn on the Chicano-Norteños, who will be far less equipped and inevitably fall to the Filibuster advance. Meanwhile the Yucatan-Chiapas breakaway faction has this year secured a military guarantee from Central America, and will formalize its entry into that union within a few years for reforms and stabilization.
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.
*this isn’t a real “event” so much as an arbitrary moment to provide a courtesy update for players; since the Filibusters are on a path to control all of Mexico (as per the rewards of the Front), it follows logically (though wasn’t spelled out originally) that they will finish off the Suzukians and turn on the Chicano-Norteño; this is posted here just to reflect that underlying reality even though no player actions were taken on this Front this turn
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)
 
Last edited:

J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
Joined
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Messages
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ARCHIVE
Spoiler Golden Crescent :
Spoiler 2008 :
Golden Crescent (Regional Afghanistan Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
A suspected multi-year campaign of criminal organizing on behalf of the Babylonian state is believed to now have come to fruition. Despite revolutionary conditions in Afghanistan, criminal violence related to the drug trade is down, with no new assassinations of government officials linked to the opium cartel. If it’s true that Babylonian agents have done what some journalists assert, then Babylon now controls one of the world’s three major drug hubs, giving Babylon a preponderant influence over the global drug trade, and also decisive influence over Afghan coffers. That being said, there are concerns that the Afghan Islamists, who appear on the march to seizing the country, could start a major crackdown on opium, a drug which they have long vowed to eradicate.
Changes:
  • Babylon controls the Opium Cartel Power Centre
  • Opium Cartel Power Center can obtain the Crime Capability when Babylon passes the next Proficiency threshold in Espionage
  • new World Fact: Afghan mujahideen oppose opium and are liable to attempt a crackdown
Spoiler 2005 :
Golden Crescent (Regional Afghanistan Espionage Front):
New Changes:
  • Babylon: rolled 12.8, hard success. +1 FP for cartel covert ops
Afghanistan has been rocked this year by political killings, terror attacks, and rare gang violence that the ageing Afghan dictator, Daud Khan, blames on covert operatives from Babylon. Afghanistan asserts, among other crimes, that Babylon has infiltrated the government with moles and informants, sent hitmen to murder uncooperative local officials, is instigating gangsterism, and has even violated Afghan airspace and sovereignty in secret helicopter night raids across the border from bases in Persia. Although the Afghan government wouldn’t provide an explanation for why Babylon would carry out these operations, the foreign press were quick to notice a pattern: the few Afghan officials caught and charged with treason were known to be heavily involved in the Afghan drug trade. Babylon, for its part, has admitted to “border patrol” activities in Persia to “combat al-Qaeda.” Combined with the unusual outbreak of gang violence and an uptick in drug smuggling-related counterintelligence inside Babylon and its client states (which serve as a major route for traffickers to get to Europe), foreign journalists believe the Babylonian efforts are directed at obtaining a decisive influence over the “Golden Crescent” drug hub, which if successful, would give Babylon extraordinary leverage over the Afghan state. For decades the secular Khan dictatorship has neglected to enforce its laws against the drug trade on an informal social contract with the vast majority of farmers who cultivate poppy, as well as the traffickers who move the product: as long as you sell your goods abroad and the state gets its share of the proceeds, you get to keep breaking the law. This has resulted in Afghanistan becoming a near total worldwide monopoly on opium production, comprising the country’s most profitable sector and the bulk of state revenues. The Afghan government has also warned its people that Babylon may be preparing for yet another war of conquest, and has slated several light mobilization efforts, from increasing the age and duration of conscription to new arms purchases, paying for these while it still has control of opium revenues. Islamist-fundamentalist fighters in Afghanistan, who despise both Babylon and the Khan dictatorship and have never relied on opium (zealously punishing farmers for cultivating it wherever they can), are well positioned to begin a new insurgency should the Afghan state’s revenue from the drug trade be abruptly cut off. Meanwhile, problems have also emerged on the Persian side of the border, where another rebellious group, Suzukian-influenced rancher-farmers who are also opposed to opium production, have taken this moment of weakness among the gang-affiliated farmers and the Persian puppet regime to begin a campaign of violent land seizures in the name of redistribution and environmental restoration.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: the Afghan government’s budget largely relies on opium production and exports
  • new World Fact: Afghanistan is hardening itself in anticipation of a Babylonian invasion
  • new World Fact: Afghan Islamist fighters are preparing for a renewed insurgency against the Afghan government
  • new World Fact: Persian Suzukian-influenced rancher-farmers are violently seizing lands from drug cartel-affiliated farmers
Trajectory: Babylon will violently carve out a loyal network of traffickers with connections to opium farmers across Afghanistan and Persia, displacing Afghanistan from control of the Opium Cartel Power Centre by 2008. Moreover, the Opium Cartel Power Centre will also have the "crime" capability associated with it.
Spoiler Bengali Reconstruction :
Spoiler 2008 :
Bengali Reconstruction (Regional Bengal Economy Front):
New Events:
  • India wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
Years of extremely low-grade proxy conflict in Bengal have ended in yet another partition on the sub-continent. Ever since the 2004 cyclone, the Bengali national legislature has been effectively irrelevant due to gridlock between the ultranationalists and the Islamists, who each carved out their own military spheres in the northern interior and the coastal regions of the country in the aftermath of that disaster. Finally done with the legal farce, the moderate Islamists of the coast, who support India, declared their intention to form a constitutional assembly and create an Islamic Republic of Bengal. The pro-Hindustan “Aryan socialists” of the interior of the country subsequently promised their own assembly for a Democratic People’s Republic of Bengal. The dual state-formation efforts have fast tracked the partition of Bengal into two separate states inside the sphere of two competing powers, one for India and the other for Hindustan. Although each government nominally claims the territory of the other, both new regimes agreed to a long-term ceasefire late in the year and promised to respect the line of control that hadn’t changed in years anyway. This is a thankful outcome, as both factions possessed some portion of the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile, and an escalation could have proved a tragedy of unprecedented proportions. Both governments had also promised to eradicate al-Qaeda, and convincingly demonstrated this year that although there were some connections to al-Qaeda among fundamentalists in the early 2000s, the organization’s presence has shrunk and it certainly does not have a headquarters in either of the two states. Hindustani state media have praised the victorious people’s revolution in Bengal for reversing the counter-revolutionary forces there and have hinted at the possibility of absorbing DPR Bengal in the future. Indian politicians also loudly declared the success of Prime Minister Mallikarjun Kharge’s democratization strategy in the Islamic world, which seems increasingly consolidated as a distinct bloc, buying him some political capital at home in the often stalled parliament.
Changes:
  • India controls the Islamic Movement Power Centre
  • defunct NPC: Bengal
  • new NPC: IR Bengal
  • new NPC: DPR Bengal
  • defunct World Fact: Bengal has a few nuclear missiles
  • new World Fact: DPR Bengal has a few nuclear weapons
  • new World Fact: IR Bengal has a few nuclear weapons
  • defunct opposition: pan-Indian neo-traditionalists
  • defunct opposition: Muslim religious fanatics
  • new government in IR Bengal: pro-Hindustan Aryan socialists (grey)
  • new government in DPR Bengal: moderate Islamists (blue)
  • the India Stress “gridlock and backsliding” loses 1 Collapse Points
  • the Front “Indian Tensions” loses 0.75 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2005 :
Bengali Reconstruction (Regional Bengal Economy Front):
New Changes:
  • India: rolled 13, hard success. +1 FP for aid-influence operations
In a throwback to the Cold War, communist Hindustan and capitalist India are competing for influence with foreign aid, this time in the unstable breakaway region formerly held by Hindustan: Bengal. At the start of the year, India announced it would channel billions of pounds worth of humanitarian aid to Bengal for the purposes of reconstruction in the aftermath of last year’s disastrous tropical cyclone season. Not more than a week after, Hindustan also announced its own substantial “aid” package to Bengal. At first celebrated as a great victory for peace and cooperation on the subcontinent, the twin aid programs were slowly understood over the course of the year for what they actually are: cash flows to groups within Bengal favoured by the two respective states. The Indian aid, from the treasury as well as charitable organizations and philanthropic billionaires, boosted a minor sub-faction of moderate Islamists to the centre of Bengal’s politics, gaining millions of followers on the back of Qardh-ul Hasan (benevolent loans) for reconstruction as well as charity for displaced Bengalis, mainly in Bangladesh and Orissa. These Islamists promote the idea of an “Islamic republic” with some resemblance to the late Islamic Republic of Iran, and have promised to fight al-Qaeda and expunge them from the country. Thanks to Indian help, the moderates are starting to dominate not just the politics of the religious right, but also the wider Muslim diaspora networks where even open Muslim liberals can be found from time to time. Hindustani aid meanwhile was much less obviously benevolent, directed towards an ultranationalist tendency of “Aryan socialists'' who espouse an esoteric racialist vision of pan-Indian statism - a fusion of the caste system, racism, and Hindustani-style central planning. These Aryan socialists are on a path to dominate provincial politics in the interior regions, which in Bengal are the only politics that matter due to gridlock at the national level and a totally politicized and bifurcated military along factional lines. In effect, Bengal’s politics have simultaneously become more acceptable to both Hindustan and Bengal, and also remain just as fractious, with the national legislature increasingly ignored while the two factions build-up their influence inside the provinces. Both factions have accused the other of not just taking aid but also weapons from their respective patrons, while the Indian press has sounded the alarm on photographs showing Hindustani soldiers inside Bengal’s territories assisting the Aryan socialists directly - a shocking reversal given Hindustan was in a civil war with Bengal more than a decade ago. Bengal appears to be on the verge of formally breaking in two in the near future, this time between the Hindu-majority areas controlled by Aryan socialists, and the Muslim-majority areas controlled by moderate Islamists. Another partition might be a best case scenario too, as the Bengali nuclear arsenal is divided between military units loyal to each faction, and a peaceful partition could avoid forcing either India or Hindustan to intervene militarily to prevent the other’s preferred faction from assuming total control of the country. As for the actual aid itself, while much of it appears to be siphoned off to political patronage networks, at least some of the Indian aid has successfully ended up rebuilding destroyed infrastructure and housing, helping stem the flow of refugees and migrants across their border.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Bengal’s ultranationalist faction is getting captured by pro-Hindustan Aryan socialists
  • new World Fact: Bengal’s Islamist faction is getting captured by moderates interested in an Islamic republic
Trajectory: Bengal will partition into a moderate Islamist coastal theocratic republic (black) and an ultranationalist pro-Hindustan state (grey) within a few years (2008), while also conferring control of the Islamic Movement Power Centre to India.
Spoiler Italian Autos :
Spoiler 2008 :
Italian Autos (Middle Italy Economy/Science Front):
New Events:
  • East Asia wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
Perilously navigating the Austrian occupation, the now ended authoritarian technocrat rule, and the German Democracy Movement’s liberation of Italy, Fiat Group is solvent, if only barely. But barely solvent is still solvent and that’s good news for East Asia, who bet on Fiat Group as an extension of their long-term economic plan to dominate the global auto market. With the Italian technocrats gone, Fiat’s legal troubles have ended, and the new board of directors has been favourably reported on by the unusual bedfellow that Silvio Berlusconi ended up becoming for Fiat during its executive power struggle several years ago. In any case, East Asia controls Fiat, and Fiat is working on hybrid vehicles and some electric models too that should come out in a few years and complement the East Asian line-up of automobile options.
Changes:
  • defunct World Fact: the Italian state is auditing and reviewing Nissan’s involvement in Fiat Group
  • East Asia controls the Fiat Group Power Centre
  • the East Asia Stress “degrowth policy” loses 1 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2005 :
Italian Autos (Middle Italy Economy/Science Front):
New Changes:
  • East Asia: rolled 15, hard success. +1 FP for automotive collaboration
East Asia’s Nissan Group has barely kept alive a tumultuous new business partnership with the network of recently privatized Italian car companies, the Fiat Group, which operate inside a country still partially occupied by Austrian soldiers and run by post-communist authoritarians. Although at first a simple scientific exchange that would help Fiat develop hybrids and electric vehicles, differing worldviews and personality clashes between Italian oligarchs and East Asian executives and scientists caused the partnership to break down over its first six months. Unwilling to compromise, Suzukian leaders at Nissan tried a number of aggressive avenues they were ill equipped to carry out, including a hostile takeover, industrial espionage, and lawsuits in the technocratic Italian state. Nissan’s influence operation was saved by a local media oligarch, Silvio Berlusconi, who, attracted by the opportunity to snipe at a rival, launched a journalistic crusade that uncovered money laundering and sexual misconduct among intransigent Fiat executives and their patrons. The scandal helped Nissan secure the support of the lesser oligarchs and together they have agreed to replace the board of directors and CEO by early next year, putting Fiat on the path to an environmentally conscious leadership. The messy East Asian intervention is not without problems however; removal and isolation of Berlusconi’s and East Asia’s rivals from the firm have gutted it of significant expertise. Moreover, Fiat’s reputation, earned during the communist period when the automotive group operated one of the most dynamic industrial enterprise networks of the entire Soviet Union, has also taken a hit. Finally, all this local attention has spurred the Italian authoritarians into auditing the company and reviewing East Asian influence, which not only frustrates East Asia’s ability to cooperate with Fiat, but could in-theory be used to develop a case for barring Nissan’s involvement altogether.
Changes:
  • the Fiat Group Power Centre’s Proficiencies are reduced by half
  • the Front’s Target Number is increased from 2 to 4
  • new World Fact: the Italian state is auditing and reviewing Nissan’s involvement in Fiat Group
Trajectory: East Asia will have commanding influence over a weakened Fiat Group by 2008.
Spoiler Death of Reagan :
Spoiler 2008 :
Death of Reagan (Middle California Social Control Front):
New Events:
  • Union of States wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
  • Font Collapses (4 out of 4 Collapse Points), coin flipped to decide the new government (heads = neo-traditionalists maintain power, tails = leftists seize power): tails
The Reagans fled California as protestors stormed government buildings and seized the streets of every major city, ending a multi-decade political dynasty and inaugurating the world’s second successful Rainbow Revolution. Years of activism had radicalized the formerly peaceful liberal opposition elements into a hardened revolutionary movement, shifting from primarily white urban professionals to a diverse Rainbow coalition. Proving the effectiveness of the Rainbow model of revolution, persistent mass demonstration and civil disobedience was combined with a network of vanguardist agitators that collectively overwhelmed police with their numbers, and even convinced many law enforcers of the justness of the Rainbow cause (or perhaps at least the inevitability of its success). With the police and army turning on the Reagan family, and their offices being stormed, the Reagans took a flight to Texas, apparently at the expense of shadowy libertarian fundamentalist billionaires. The rest of the Reagan cronies crumbled, with little ideological glue to hold them together against the almost total societal opposition. With the last three months of the year the Rainbow revolutionaries threw together a constitutional assembly that declared the Third California Republic and announced elections for next year that everyone expects to be won in a landslide by the Rainbow Party. The energy on the left is electric, and closer economic and political ties to the Union of States is assured, but disagreements are wide ranging, from whether to pull California out of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), whether to petition to join the Union of States or remain independent, and what to do about the crimes of the Reagan regime, the police, and the military. Odds are that such questions will take a long time to sort out while basic social and economic reconstruction takes place, leaving the status quo (e.g. participation in the MIC, independence) in-place, unless of course something changes in world affairs. At the very least, the economic re-connection of California to the Union of States will alleviate some of the Union’s economic woes.
Changes:
  • defunct opposition: democratic opposition activists
  • defunct government: Reagan-worship business authoritarians
  • new government: Rainbow revolutionaries
  • defunct dictator: Michael E. Reagan
  • new World Fact: California’s new government is debating whether to join the Union of States and/or leaving the MIC, dependent on the course of world events
  • the Union of States Stress “capital flight and economic chill” loses 1 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2005 :
Death of Reagan (Middle California Social Control Front):

New Changes:
  • Union of States: rolled 15, hard success. +1 FP for radicalization
The ongoing unrest in California abruptly shifted tone this year, with the hitherto peaceful liberal opposition endorsing substantially more radical tactics and messaging. This coincided fortuitously for the opposition with a shift in policy from President Michael Edward Reagan himself, who began the year by releasing thousands of political prisoners, relaxing censorship, and trying to brand as a gentler Reagan. The brief reduction in state oppression was quickly reversed by late summer, after the popular opposition protest movement not only continued, but exploited the less intense censorship to popularize not just liberal demands for elections, press rights, and freedom of speech, but also radical demands for the abolition of the police, reparations to minorities, and calls for a California-wide labour strike. The watershed moment came after a group of protestors fired back at police in Los Angeles in July, later claimed by California to have been instigated by Black Panther agents from the Union of States. By then the damage had already been done, with a renewed energy on the left for movement building toward a mass strike and a revolution, further inspired and energized by the news of Caribbean liberation from the Southern Republic after their own protest movement and semi-armed struggle. Although liberals, progressives, and socialists remain united together by-and-large, union organizing, mutual aid, and left-wing gun clubs are proliferating and outpacing the old liberal civil society organizations. Reversing his “gentle” course in August, President Michael Reagan declared a state of emergency and has ramped up efforts to contain the protest movement, while making calls to other North American nations for help in fighting foreign interference emanating from the Union of States. Perhaps a few years ago such calls would be but bluster ignored by serious diplomats, but by late this year a flurry of high-level meetings were taking place or being scheduled between ministers and ambassadors from California, Utah, the Southern Republic, New England, Texas, and even Quebec and Buffalo-Caribou. One outcome of these discussions, which are ongoing, were three separate new laws in New England, Utah, and Texas aimed at hardening their border with the Union of States and increasing powers to law enforcement and counterintelligence agencies. Regardless of these discussions, the Reagan administration is running the very high risk of falling apart, which may occur in a matter of years.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: New England, Utah, and Texas are hardening their societies to foreign mass movement influence on lessons learned from California and the Southern Republic
  • new Front: A North America Treaty Organization? (see below)
Trajectory: The liberal opposition (blue) will fully convert into a pro-Union of States leftist opposition (pink) in a few years (2008), moreover social tensions will erupt and a coin flip (50/50) will decide if the then-leftist opposition takes power or Reagan stabilizes the situation.
Spoiler 2004 :
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
Spoiler Poor Southern Campaign :
Spoiler 2008 :
Poor Southern Campaign (Regional Southern Republic Espionage/Social Control Front):
New Events:
  • Union of States wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
The rising tide of social unrest in the Southern Republic abated anticlimactically this year with their presidential election. Discredited by losing the Caribbean, failing to stem protests, and constantly warning of an invasion by the Rainbow Republic that never came, the hardliner white supremacist President was voted out of office and replaced by a moderate ultranationalist - still a reactionary by any measure, but a considerably less offensive and inflammatory one. The shift of the national Overton window in the last few years is attributable to a hugely successful organizational drive among left-wing groups and the poor, especially in Appalachia, involving the creation of new unions and mutual aid groups and their protection by pro bono lawyers and other professionals that collectively have formed a new axis of politics in the Southern Republic. This has had a pleasant downstream effect for the Union of States by closing off one vector of trans-national rightwing thought previously common among the working poor of the Southern Republic who still have ties in the Union of States.
Changes:
  • new opposition: Appalachian and poor white left-wing unions and mutual aid groups (pink)
  • the Union of States Stress “forces of reaction” loses 1 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2003 :
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 Military-Industrial Complex :
Spoiler 2008 :
Military-Industrial Complex (North America Super Economy Front):
New Events:
  • India wins the Front (8 out of 8 Front Points)
The great American arms manufacturing system is back online. Top of the line guns, tanks, planes, and ships are under construction for India and India’s allies. Moreover, integration into the Indian economy and expansion of manufacturing in India itself has made the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) resilient to the loss of most of its partner nations - with the lone exception of Texas, whose preponderance of designers, factories, test facilities, and material logistics firms make that country indispensable to the system. For some workers of the MIC however, staying in North America was simply not as appealing as taking the generous offers made by East Asia. Japan now has a budding arms expert community with world-class knowledge, even if they also brought over their cultural insensitivity, sky-high pay expectations, and unwelcome criticisms of the East Asian form of government.
Changes:
  • India creates and controls the Military-Industrial Complex Power Centre, with an air Capability which is added to India’s Warfare Proficiency
  • new World Fact: East Asia has a notable community of ex-American arms manufacturing experts
  • East Asia gains 1 XP for failing to win the Front
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 Soviet Civil War :
Spoiler 2008 :
Soviet Civil War (Super Europe Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • India wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
Forces opposed to the German Democracy Movement (GDM) have collapsed completely this year, their morale depleted and their leaders abdicating en masse. The last territories of Italy and Germany have been transferred to GDM forces, alongside the Red Army’s nuclear stockpile which the new Great Power has vowed to destroy and already begun dismantling. The GDM’s leader, Karl Wels, has pronounced the end of the war and the start of a liberal democratic European Union. Europe is united again, and ready to return to the world stage.
Changes:
  • new Great Power: Europe
  • new NPC: Austria
  • defunct opposition: French ultranationalists
  • defunct opposition: unyielding dogmatic communists
  • defunct opposition: authoritarian Italian, Occitan, and Bretan technocrats
  • defunct World Fact: the Red Army has a nuclear triad with hundreds of warheads
  • defunct World Fact: Great Britain is enforcing a military blockade against the Red Army
  • defunct World Fact: Great Britain is enforcing a military blockade against ultranationalist France
  • defunct World Fact: the Italian state is auditing and reviewing Nissan’s involvement in Fiat Group
  • new Front: Europe in Shambles
Spoiler 2007 :
Soviet Civil War (Super Europe Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • India: narrows scope of success (free action)
India, Babylon, and the German Democrats have agreed to the Vienna Memorandum that recognizes an independent Austria on condition of Austrian withdrawal to the pre-revolutionary borders of the Austrian Empire and recognition of the German Democrats as the legitimate government of post-Soviet western Europe. Already the neo-Hitlerists of Austria have withdrawn from Bavaria and refocused on crushing a burgeoning wave of resistance within their territories, and have made vague noises suggesting an interest in re-throning the head of the house of Habsburg, Karl von Habsburg, in a ceremonial role second to an all-powerful Führer.
Spoiler 2006 :
Soviet Civil War (Super Europe Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Union of States: rolled 3, failure. -1 FP for arms shipments
  • India: rolled 24, full success. +2 FP for arms shipments
The Rainbow Republic’s “Arsenal of Liberation” went head-to-head with India’s “Arsenal of Democracy” this year, with both governments extending war materiel to their favoured factions in the Soviet Civil War. Beginning at the top of the year in January, India and the Union of States began their separate arms shipment plans, India using Great Britain as a staging area and the Union of States moving goods via nervous civilian cargo ships passing through Royal Navy-controlled waters before reaching the Soviet-controlled Baltic. The Indian alliance with Britain, combined with its budding military-industrial complex in the post-American states, put it only modestly ahead of the Rainbow Republic’s aid to the Red Army for the first half of the year. The Tories in Great Britain went ahead of their ally in summer, emboldened by their previous successful blockade of the French ultranationalists back in 2001, and extended the blockade to the English Channel and the North Sea in-general, seizing several Union of States’ affiliated ships full of weapons, as they did previously to the Eurasians. This has left only the Austrians and the Latin technocrats with access to foreign arms, and even these are meagre at best due to the nearly complete dismantling of the European illegal arms market by Eurasia. Although the Red Army and the French ultranationalists still have the nuclear ace up their sleeve, a pall of defeat has begun to sweep over both of these two factions. With the prospect of a democratic victory in the conventional war becoming increasingly obvious, the war-weary public in Berlin and Paris are also showing signs of agitation in public resistance to their respective governments. Their leaders moreover may fear even swifter defeat should they use nuclear weapons against their fellow countrymen, with the German Democratic Movement increasingly multi-national in character. Once the French and Soviet forces collapse, their nuclear stockpiles will be held by the democrats, who will also have a decisive conventional advantage, making the defeat of the neo-traditional Austrians and the technocratic Italo-Occitans inevitable. Contrary to all expectations, it seems now as if Western Europe will not descend into a nuclear cataclysm or disintegrate into four or five new sovereign states, but may yet end its now fifteen year-long war without too much more bloodshed.
Changes:
  • this Front’s target number is lowered from 10 to 6
  • new World Fact: Great Britain is enforcing a military blockade against the Red Army
  • +1 XP for the Union of States
Trajectory: The German Democratic Movement will reunify France, Germany, and Italy into a post-Soviet liberal capitalist democracy within three years of fighting (2008). This state will become a Great Power and India will be allowed to decide who gets to play it.
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 Persian Farmers' War :
Spoiler 2007 :
Persian Farmers' War (Middle Persia Warfare/Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon: rolled 21, full success. +2 FP for crushing Suzukian resistance
Babylon abruptly pivoted its military yet again this year, shifting attention to its client state in Persia. That corrupt and widely despised puppet regime, with a military staffed full of embezzlers who abandon their posts at the first sign of trouble, depends entirely on Babylon for stability - stability that had recently come under renewed assault due to land seizures by rebellious Suzukian farmers that began two years ago. Although public information is scarce, open-source intelligence groups slowly cobbled together evidence over the course of the year of a massive air campaign and counter-insurgency ground offensive that had practically levelled every shed east of Tehran, foreclosed every university, and had putatively put 1-5 million Persians in internment camps. Babylonian media acknowledged the war by November, whereupon they immediately celebrated a victory against “Turkestani-supported Suzukian terrorists” and “al-Qaeda.” It may take many years for scholars to truly understand the scale of violence deployed in Persia in 2007, though it appears many were spared by Saddam’s mercy, especially for those who gave up arms, confessed early, or openly collaborated with the invasion forces. Many of these collaborators now appear to be owners of estates redistributed to them from interned rebels in a neo-feudal loyalty scheme. Most regular workers in manufacturing as well as oil and gas industries, including members of the world-renowned Society of Geotechnical Expertise, were left alone, while the universities, after severe purges, have been reopened under new management. Saddam’s military has already handed off maintenance of the new totalitarianism to Babylonian bureaucrats and a less venal class of Persian collaborators, freeing the troops from costly occupation duties and establishing a new and perhaps permanent state of neo-traditional hierarchy and control in Persia.
Changes:
  • defunct World Fact: Persian Suzukian-influenced rancher-farmers are violently seizing lands from drug cartel-affiliated farmers
  • new World Fact: Persian society is effectively and near-totally controlled by Babylonian imported secret police and bureaucrats alongside terrified collaborators
Spoiler Galicia Question :
Spoiler 2007 :
Galicia Question (Middle Zapadoslavia Espionage Front)
New Events:
  • Eurasia wins the Front (3 out of 3 Front Points)
After nearly a century together, the project of a single Zapadoslavic people is over, its east and its west going their separate ways. Technocratic leaders in Galicia and Slovakia were replaced over the last few years by pro-Eurasian separatists through legal mechanisms (expedited by less-than-legal intimidation and armed rallying) who formally requested independence from the central government. The top technocrats in Prague sat down in the plush tulip chairs of the nation’s Operations Room, surrounded by computers and algedonic displays, and simply signed the papers officiating the independence of the east. The new independent state lasted less than a full week, its leadership receiving membership in Eurasia almost as fast as they requested it. Meanwhile the rump state in Prague convened a congress of experts to rewrite their constitution, which has adopted Czechia as the nation’s new name.
Changes:
  • Galicia and Slovakia secede from Zapadoslavia, are annexed by Eurasia
  • Zapadoslavia changes its name to Czechia
  • defunct opposition in Zapadoslavia: paramilitary ultranationalists (absorbed into Eurasia)
  • the Eurasia Stress “secessionists and nationalism” loses 2 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2005 :
Galicia Question (Middle Zapadoslavia Espionage Front):
New Changes:
  • Eurasia: rolled 17, soft success. +1 FP for paramilitary promotion
The relatively peaceful post-Autumn status quo of Zapadoslavia was disrupted this year with a surge in pro-Eurasian separatist activity in Galicia and Slovakia. The two neglected regions of the technocratic post-communist country are rural, poor, and were the subject of Soviet super-nationalist social engineering. The result of those communist attempts to forge a left-wing Zapadoslavic identity was ironically instead the creation of a right-wing pan-Slavic identity that sees Eurasia as its role model. The highlight of the year’s pro-Eurasian activities was a highly public rally in Krakow, on the border with Eurasian Poland, where at least one hundred thousand people, some armed, marched for the independence of Slovakia and Galicia, as well as unification with Eurasia. Numerous gangsters were reported in attendance, notably including Polish and Russian mafia. Although the technocrats in Prague are trying to contain the nationalist outburst for the time being, leaked government reports suggest a sombre acceptance of the inevitability and even the desirability of eastern independence. The Prague technocrats seem to see Slovakia and Galicia as not just as economically backwards and a potential military flashpoint with Eurasia, but even a potential military flashpoint with Hungary, which, in the midst of right-wing upsurge, has been publicly reminding the international community of the territorial claims it “inherited” from Austria-Hungary.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Hungary is publicly reviving territorial demands upon Slovakia
  • the Front’s Target Number is increased from 2 to 3
Trajectory: Zapadoslavia will ultimately release Slovakia and Galicia in a matter of years (2007), whereupon its Eurasianist leadership will make a request to join Eurasia.
Spoiler Land of Opportunity :
Spoiler 2007 :
Land of Opportunity (Super Worldwide Administration/Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Front Collapses (8 out of 8 Front Points)
In a multipolar world, those seeking a better life have to make tough choices. None of the Great Powers have that unique combination of social mobility, economic prosperity, and open immigration which once upon a time made America the land of opportunity. The end of the Cold War created an opening for that to change, but alas too much time has passed. It will take another mighty change in the course of history for the tired, poor, huddled masses to truly believe in a new American Dream.
Spoiler 2000 :
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 War on Terror :
Spoiler 2007 :
War on Terror (Regional Islamic World Social Control/Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Babylon & East Asia win the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
The collective efforts of East Asia and Babylon have crushed al-Qaeda’s operations in both of those two states. Although their efforts did not eliminate al-Qaeda the world-over, the terrorist organization is severely weakened, and inside East Asia and Babylon it has been completely dismantled. A strike against al-Qaeda’s mystery patron, which has been narrowed down to either Bengal or Arabia, could deal the final blow, but security and intelligence officials in East Asia and Babylon thus far seem uninterested in expanding the scope of an assignment that was tough enough to complete on home turf.
Changes:
  • the Babylon Stress “Egyptian Islamism” loses 3 Collapse Points
  • the East Asia Stress “anti-Japanese sentiment” loses 3 Collapse Points
  • the Front “Islamism & Jihadism” loses 4 Collapse Points
  • stat changes for the al-Qaeda Power Centre: -0.4 Espionage
  • new World Fact: Babylon and East Asia have fully dismantled al-Qaeda in their countries
Spoiler 2004 :
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
Spoiler Great Awakening :
Spoiler 2007 :
Great Awakening (Regional Union of States Social Control/Administration Front)
New Events:
  • Union of States wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
A national effort to curb religious extremism is rounding down intensive operations this year in the Union of States. Right-wing televangelists and radiovangelists have lost their edge in the competition for listeners and viewers who have turned to progressive religious voices like Sojourner Jim Wallis, Anabaptists, and others. Meanwhile, new non-Christian religious movements have been gaining popularity. On the west coast New Age beliefs in astrology, meditation, harmony with nature, among other esotericisms have been successfully fused into state-affiliated mass organizations and non-threatening private groups, which will take time to fully displace the Christian majority but are on path to do so by 2020. On the east coast, neo-paganism has taken a similar course, with the Christian majority on pace to be displaced by 2030. Both have their issues, with significant cross-border connections between the New Agers and Buffalo-Caribou environmentalists with Suzukian influence, while the neo-pagans have notable connections to the Hells Angels in Quebec - but these represent only a minority of the wider conversions.
Changes:
  • defunct 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
  • the Union of States Stress “forces of reaction” loses 4 Collapse Points
Spoiler 2004 :
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 W rld 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).
Spoiler Disaster Capitalism :
Spoiler 2007 :
Disaster Capitalism (Regional China Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
The famine induced by Typhoon Longwang in 2005 ended this year, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. The heroic victory was hailed in Shanghai to the energetic reconstruction and aid efforts of Argentine businesses and diplomats, who have spurred significant investment and growth in Shanghai, a pearl of finance capitalism in the east that has begun to rival Hong Kong. Argentine investment has penetrated far and wide across China in the last few years, giving Argentinians influence in the private sector of the technocratic east, the militarist north, the democratic south, and even some parts of the theocratic west.
Changes:
  • Argentina controls the Shanghai Financial Centre Power Centre
  • defunct World Fact: Argentine companies have construction and retail projects across all of China
  • new World Fact: Argentine and pro-Argentina Shanghai investors dominate private investment across all areas of China in most sectors, especially in construction and retail
Spoiler 2006 :
Disaster Capitalism (Regional China Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina: rolled 20.4, full success. +2 FP for disaster capitalism
At the news of yet another Chinese disaster, Argentine capitalists, at the behest of their professorial state, once again packed their bags and booked thousands of tickets to the embattled country. This time Argentinians landed in Shanghai, where they cavorted with the technocratic government and the city’s business elites to permit the deployment of engineering talent and create supply chains for basic goods and aid. Central China, the epicentre of last year’s floods and suffering an ongoing famine, was relieved of its calamities with diverse aid (food, clothing, basic goods) and its people rapidly rehoused by Argentine construction teams. Surprisingly, Argentine companies slickly navigated the political risks of the region, which is divided confusingly between the four Chinese “warlords” who dispute the territories, avoiding a flare-up or engendering hostility from one of the factions. Although the nominal target of Argentine aid and reconstruction was central China, as work there wound down other contracts picked up not just in Shanghai, which increasingly appears like Argentina’s very own version of Hong Kong, but across China.
Changes:
  • new World Fact: Argentine companies have construction and retail projects across all of China
Trajectory: Argentina will obtain financial and social dominance of the Shanghai Financial Centre Power Network by the end of next year.
Spoiler Merchants of Death :
Spoiler 2007 :
Merchants of Death (Super Europe Espionage Front):
New Events:
  • Eurasia wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
The Eurasian war on guns is over. Eurasia is victorious. The “Sanctions Busters” Viktor Bout and Karlheinz Schreiber have been busted, both apprehended by European authorities who extradited them to Eurasia for a speedy trial and punishment. They are the tip of the iceberg, with hundreds of other traffickers behind bars or dead thanks to Eurasia. Eurasian and European arms stockpiles are now under a regime of tight monitoring, with the only illegal flows happening if they have the tacit approval of the Eurasian state.
Changes:
  • defunct World Fact: criminal organizations are assassinating Eurasian anti-corruption agents
  • new World Fact: Eurasian weapons stockpiles are highly monitored and nearly impervious to theft
  • new World Fact: illicit arms trafficking among ex-Soviet countries is negligible except wherever and whenever it suits Eurasian national interests
  • the Eurasia Stress “inflexibility and corruption” loses 3 Collapse Points
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 Second Dot Com Boom :
Spoiler 2006 :
Second Dot Com Boom (Super Worldwide Science/Economy Front):
New Events:
  • Argentina wins the Front (6 out of 6 Front Points)
As the new saying in Argentina goes, move fast and break things. The internet has come back in a big way in Silicon Valley’s second home: Buenos Aires. Almost every new computer around the world comes with a pre-installation of the Silver Lance, while the Microscopio company has cornered the market for internet searches. The consolidation of what is being referred to as “Web 2.0” is helping connect the entire world into a global internet community. With high-quality internet highways having been paved, internet communities have begun to flourish through forums and messaging services. All of this is moreover happening on the back of a growing internet advertising business whose profits are being made by companies in Argentina - but the internet is young, and numerous more internet business opportunities are out there.
Changes:
  • new Front: Internet Platforms
  • new Power Centre: Silicon Pampa, controlled by Argentina
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 A Special Relationship :
Spoiler 2006 :
A Special Relationship (Regional Great Britain Administration Front):
New Events:
  • India wins the Front (3 out of 3 Front Points)
The Millennium Alliance has proven itself over three years of training exercises, officer exchanges, and warming public attitudes toward the pact in both India as well as Great Britain. This year’s training included a large-scale combined arms defence of Cyprus against an unspecified invader, a culmination of efforts at reintegrating the two militaries. With integration complete, the Indian and Royal navies operate as a team, with access provided to India for every British port around the world. Although mostly unspoken, India is also now widely perceived to be under Britain’s nuclear umbrella, though some uncertainty exists about what Britain would do in a real crisis.
Changes:
  • India gains control of the Royal Navy Power Centre
Spoiler 2004 :
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).
Spoiler Sahara Conflict :
Spoiler 2005 :
Sahara Conflict (Regional Maghreb-Libya Warfare Front):
New Changes:
  • Babylon wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
The decade-long conflict in the Sahara that began with fundamentalist Islamist and Tuareg unrest in the 1990s has come to a close this year. Maghrebi and Libyan forces finished off the last Tuareg and Islamist fighters still holding out deep into the Sahara with airstrikes and infantry. While the left-wing Maghrebi dictatorship of Abdelaziz Bouteflika has eliminated all opposition to his rule, Libya’s Gaddafi has uneasily accepted the de facto independence of the armed Toubou fighters that made an ambiguous deal with Babylon to cease their fighting. The result in Libya is an end to the conflict and a recognition by Gaddafi for now at least that the Toubou region be treated with high autonomy until such a time that Babylon no longer supports them. The Toubou nationalists for their part are lobbying Babylon to force Gaddafi to recognize an independent state of the Garamantes.
Changes:
  • new opposition in Libya: Toubou neo-traditional nationalists
  • defunct opposition in Libya: militant pan-Islamists
  • defunct opposition in Maghreb: Tuareg and Islamist insurgents
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 Caribbean Resistance :
Spoiler 2005 :
Caribbean Resistance (Regional Caribbean Espionage Front):
New Changes:
  • Union of States wins the Front (4 out of 4 Front Points)
After decades of occupation and four years of overwhelming protest and violence, the Southern Republic finally pulled out of the Caribbean this year and negotiated independence. The Southern Republic’s violent crackdown in the Caribbean these last few years only triggered even more massive protests, forcing the army to carry out a wave of terror and violence that was met with bullets from Black Panthers and the riflemen they trained and armed. As the army suffered casualties, protests spread to poor whites and white students on the homefront, helping tank the President’s polling numbers, with most observers expecting his government to lose the next election to his political opponents. Those opponents are just as racist and jingoistic as the President, though they correctly point out that this is yet another South Africa (or India, or Algeria), and prolonging the inevitable only puts the Southern Republic in a state of vulnerability should the Union try an invasion. It was later revealed the Southern President began secret negotiations with the separatists as early as spring this year, which was nearly derailed by a coup plot by generals of the Southern Republic who were outed and caught. After speedy trials those generals were let off with light penalties, and the peace negotiations succeeded in granting independence to a Caribbean Federation, alongside various concessions to the Southern Republic about the economic rights of its white-owned businesses among other miscellany. Meanwhile, celebration broke out across the Union of States, where the liberation of the Caribbean is being upheld as a victory for humanity and the Union. The resounding defeat of the South, without ever firing a shot across the border, has also deflated the religious right's pro-Southern activism, which has petered out over the last year. Underground activity remains and could be reactivated, but the threat from the religious right is for now dormant.
Changes:
  • new NPC: Caribbean Federation
  • defunct opposition in the Southern Republic: multiracial social movement
  • short-term Stress "great awakening" resolved
Spoiler 2002 :
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 Coronavirus :
Spoiler 2004 :
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
Spoiler Omani Ultimatum :
Spoiler 2004 :
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).
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.

World-Building Request: Celebrities & Public Figures

Who are the hotshot famous people in your country? What do they do? Are they early internet celebrities? Are they movie stars? Musicians? Poets? Or are your big public figures in other fields like politics or academia?

GM Notes

Orders are due Wednesday November 30th 9:00 AM PST.

Mobilization deadlines are:
  • Tuesday November 15th 9:00 AM PST (for a +4 bonus)
  • Thursday November 17th 9:00 AM PST (for a +2 bonus)
  • Saturday November 19th 9:00 AM PST (for a +1 bonus) - no mobilizations can be declared after this point (and therefore no wars can be engaged in)
 
Last edited:
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The Eurasian council hereby declares the mobilization of its armed forces against the Babylonian Invaders. We will not give in and we will push the Babylonian madmen out of our terretory.
The people of Eurasia will not give in to Babylonias madness and will not cease our rightous war until Saddam and his clique of maniacs are brought to justics.
 

J.K. Stockholme

Right Opposition
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A few minor errors were brought to my attention by players and have been fixed. I made a major error in the handling of Babylon's orders and so we'll be engaging this rule from the rules doc: The GM will from time to time make errors. If the error substantially interferes with the update as-written, the GM will generally give the player who suffered from the error a point of XP and not change the update. Thus I've awarded Babylon 1 XP.

Also Eurasia's mobilization order is not covered by the rules. The rules give the defending party in someone else's mobilization the next period's bonus, but since Eurasia is mobilizing in the +4 period on the next turn, that's not covered. I'm opting to give Eurasia +4 (the award for mobilizing before the first deadline in the new update) rather than +2 (the automatic award for defenders who spend AP defending the turn they are attacked). It can therefore be a strategic calculation for players to decide if they want to react the turn they are attacked and be a bit weaker, or mobilize next turn and be a bit stronger in their roll but sacrifice a turn's worth of Front Point generation to the enemy.
 

NinjaCow64

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Shadowbound

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The End of Mallikarjun Kharge

Born in 1942, Mallikarjun Kharge is one of the few active Indian politicians born pre-independence. Kharge was born to a Marathi-speaking family in the south and lost his mother to communal violence during the civil war in 1949. He entered politics in the 1960s and was a fierce critic of the dictatorship within the Indian National Congress, a political stance that resulted in political persecution. The target of violence and later jailed for his dissent, he rapidly ascended through the Congress's ranks after the Saffron Revolution validated his consistent stands for democracy and he became the face of the new INC, which had supported the dictatorship for several decades and badly damaged its reputation as a result.

He's served as Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of India for the past decade, heading the INC and the larger National Progressive Bloc in the government. Under Kharge, India has become the world's largest economy, its most powerful military, and the leader of a rebuilt Free World alongside allies in Europe and Britain. He's the first Dalit, or untouchable, leader of India and a resolute force against religious extremism and division within the country. A key figure in averting war over Oman, and the expansion of democracy around the Indian Ocean as a whole, Kharge's foreign policy emphasized steady democratization and coalition-building, including cooperation with non-democratic regimes such as Babylon. Despite consistent military and political pressure he maintained a strict commitment to non-proliferation, even convincing the victorious European democrats to give up their own nuclear weapons in solidarity (though, hypocritically, India remains loosely under the British nuclear umbrella).

Kharge has, however, struggled to collect political allies as moral as he is. His coalition includes the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-linked PLP in Gujarat, the ultranationalist Tamil Progressive Party, and populist Arjun Goyal at the head of the Republican Labour Congress. In many ways he serves as just a figurehead for the right-wing of Indian politics, a secular lower caste politician with unimpeachable democratic credentials giving cover for groups that would destroy everything he represents. He's been unable to provide meaningful progress on testy domestic issues within India because of this, unwilling personally to move in one direction and unable politically to move in another on a host of problems such as Muslim refugees, semi-democratic enclaves, and growing economic inequality. Even as he's built one of the world's strongest militaries, albeit by a hair, he's been reluctant to challenge belligerent dictatorships in Hindustan or Babylon as they destabilize the region around them, preferring instead cooperation and detente.

As sectarian violence in Ceylon rattles the government, Kharge's coalition has become unworkable and he's been forced to call elections. He needs to face off against the opposition United Democratic Front, a rival coalition made up of political groups opposed to the centralist dictatorship, but also forces within his own party: Arjun Goyal heads the single largest part of the governing coalition and hopes to expand his influence on the back of anti-Muslim and protectionist rhetoric, and then make his own bid for leadership of the NPB. Kharge's impending doom represents the end of an era for Indian politics: he is one of the few who lived in a united India before British and Communist forces tore it apart. His successor will inherit a much stronger India, far more capable of flexing its muscles internationally, but also a far more dangerous world marked by rising energy prices and political instability as Babylon and Eurasia tear up Central Asia in their senseless war.
 
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