Generic intro about how the world’s been laid to waste. Tech level is roughly modern, but electromagnetic interference makes high-altitude flights impossible and thus, air travel for purposes civilian and military has dropped off a cliff. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes. This is a game that features a large degree of chance, but the only penalty for failure usually is simply not getting what you wanted. You receive a consolation prize of being closer to your goal next turn in most cases, however. As for the aesthetic… I’m not policing signups. Be whatever you want. You are bound by the same rules as everyone else, however, and even the silliest nation still needs to remain in the good graces of other powers. Economics and Trade The basis of economic growth is your population; each unit of Population produces 1 EP per turn. Every turn, your population grows by the number of provinces you have. Your population naturally gravitates towards your cities, so you should protect cities at all costs. The total EP of all provinces, population, infrastructure, and cities is reflected as “World Trade,” and is distributed to all the world’s civilizations based on their “share.” Depending on your level of infrastructure, trade research, wonders, and civilization points, your share will increase. The equation for your share of world trade is Infrastructure Level + Cities ^ 2 + Trade Research Level ^ 2 + Wonders ^ 2 + CP; this is then compared to everyone else’s share and you get a total based on your proportion. So if your share is 100 and the total is 1000, you get 10% of all world trade income. If your Navy is destroyed, an enemy fleet can place you under blockade, which will cut your trade revenue in half. Every player receives a one-time 100 EP invested in their trade research for having a single port. If you start landlocked, you will be safe from naval blockades, but will lose an ability to boost your trade income early; you will receive the 100 EP when you successfully annex a coastal territory. Investments and the Role of Chance You invest a certain amount in each project, and that controls the chance of getting it that turn. In the event of failure, the initial investment remains and grows each turn. On the spreadsheet, the initial investment (and whatever you add to it) is shown as “base investment” or something similar, indicating how much progress is added to whatever project in the event of failure. So if you have something that costs 10 EP and invest 5 EP, if you do not get it the first turn, you will for sure get it the second, because 5 EP will be added to it. In the same situation, but the item cost 100 EP, on the second turn you will have 10 EP invested and thus a 10% chance of success; in the event of failure, next turn it will be 15 EP and 15%, and so on. You can add more to the initial investment to increase the rate of compounding, however. For units that are in multiples, you must specify how many you are investing in, and how much. It is strategic to try to build units with a minimum investment (building 50 Armies with 1 EP each versus 10 armies with 5 EP each), and add to the investment later. In the event a multiple item successfully rolls, a proportionate amount will be subtracted from the base investment (so if you have 9 EP invested in 3 armies, and 1 army successfully rolls, you will receive an Army and your investment will drop to 6 EP in 2 armies). In the event of an investment in multiple units not evening out to whole numbers (say, 20 EP into 15 Armies), your chance of success will be rounded down. 20/15 = 1.33 = 1, for a 1/5 chance of getting each unit, as an example. In the event of success, your investment will be rounded up, so for every unit you are successful on, you will lose 2 EP of investment. This will continue until you are down to 1 EP per unit being built. Military Spending Armies: 5 EP. Armies defend territory and conquer/occupy other provinces. You start with 10 free Armies. If an Army is purchased outright on a turn, it cannot be used that turn; Armies that are generated by random rolls can be used the turn they are generated (i.e. if you buy 10 Armies for 50 EP on Turn 3, you need to wait until Turn 4 to use them. If you invest 40 EP into 10 Armies and generate them all at the start of Turn 4, you can use them all on Turn 4). Navies: 10 EP. Navies blockade enemy ports and ferry troops. Navies that are ferrying troops have limited ability to defend themselves and can carry 2 army units per ship. You receive 5 free navies at the start if you have a port; you will receive 5 for free if you annex a coastal territory after the game has started, but cannot use it on the turn they are given to you (in other words, players who sign up with a port can use their five navies, while if you start landlocked and grab a coastal province on Turn 1, you cannot use the Navy’s in Turn 1’s orders). Navies cannot be used the turn they are built. Spies: 10 EP. Spies are planted in enemy territory and funnel information from orders PMs each turn; they may also intercept information regarding the other countries’ intelligence network. Alternatively, they can search for and try to uproot enemy spies. Espionage or counterespionage each count as one action, and you are limited in how many total spy actions you can have each turn by your espionage research level. The success rate of spies is dependent on how many of yours there are versus the target’s (e.g. if you have 1 spy and the enemy has 10, you have a 1/11 chance of success each turn). Each country begins the game with 10 spies. Spies may be relocated between countries, but there is a chance of them being exposed each time they relocate. In the event your spies intercept the plans of one country, they also have a chance of intercepting any plans that same country intercepted, potentially giving you knowledge of what the whole world is up to. Note: You do not order spies to do anything other than set up shop in their starting country, or to relocate. They run in the background for you and will pass whatever they find onto you. You will receive reports if any are caught and killed, and whether or not the enemy discovered where they were from. Economic Spending: You can spend 5 EP to increase your infrastructure, which will increase your income by 1 EP. You can only build as much infrastructure as you have Population. Infrastructure is concentrated towards your cities, so provinces that are city-heavy being captured will take more infrastructure out of your total. You can spend 25 EP to found a city, which will increase your income by 10 EP. You require 10 Population for each city, and start with one, your capital. If you capture a city, it will count against your ability to build your own, but you will collect half its income until a peace treaty is signed. You can only build one city at a time. You can build a wonder for 100 EP * (the number of wonders in your civilization + 1). So your first wonder is 100 EP, your second is 200 EP, and so on. A wonder can be anything you want and can be placed anywhere in your lands that you want. A wonder, upon being built, increases EP by 5 per turn, but also increases your share of the world’s trade income due to tourism. You can only build one wonder at a time. Research Spending Research takes the form of levels, with each level costing 50 EP * the level. Having levels over rivals gives advantages. Every civilization starts with Level 2 in each category, but you can choose one category to have Level 3 in at the start. Trade. When increased, your share of global trade income increases with it. Trade specialization is for countries interested in financial flexibility. Engineering. Each level increases how much Infrastructure you can build by 5%, rounded up; every level after 2 reduces the cost of cities by by 1 EP (up to a maximum of 5), and the cost of wonders is decreased by 5 EP per level. Every engineering level increases your population growth rate by 1 per level. Recommended for those planning on building up their economic base. Espionage. You have one espionage action per turn for each level of espionage. Espionage is not a conscious action; you simply assign your spies to posts as often as you like and they will funnel information to you (if in another country) or root out enemy spies (if in your country). You receive a bonus over enemy spies for higher levels as well, proportionate to how much higher you are. So a Level 3 Espionage country gets a +50% bonus to its chances against Level 2 countries. Countries eager to have a finger on the pulse of world affairs benefit from specializing in Espionage. Tactics. Whoever has the higher tactics level in combat will have bad rolls redone for a chance at a better one (but it can be worse). In the event of a tied level, the one with the higher research investment gets the reroll. In the event of a tie even then, there is no reroll. Countries seeking rapid expansion or a solid deterrent against invaders benefit from specializing in Tactics. Army. Increases combat performance against other armies proportionate to the level over the enemy. Recommended for countries seeking a strong land presence. Navy. Ditto, but with navies. Recommended for countries interested in controlling trade and power projection. Mobility. A catch-all for the hardware and effectiveness of your land forces in deploying. For each level of mobility, your armies can move one more province per turn. Recommended for those favoring rapid expansion and conclusion to warfare. Movement and Combat Numbers are the primary determinant of victory, but technology can even the odds. The Tactics technology in particular is lethal because it allows the civilization with superior technology a shot at a better roll in the event it loses; the reroll is automatic. Casualties are determined based on how “good” the role was for that side. If A and B have a 50% chance of victory each on a roll from 1 to 100, and the roll is a 1, B is suffering a catastrophic defeat. If the roll is only 49, A just barely wins, and will likely have a Pyrrhic victory. Your odds in a roll, your “battle score,” is simply your number of units multiplied by your military level. Generally, enemy forces are captured rather than killed, making them bargaining chips in the peace process. Land units are shown on the map and can move a number of provinces proportional to your Mobility research; if land units board a navy, they can land anywhere in the world in the same turn, but cannot move beyond their landing zone (they also suffer a penalty landing amphibiously). When all enemy land units in a province are wiped out, that province becomes occupied. In the case of a neutral province, it is immediately annexed to your Empire upon the defeat of its forces. Standard modifiers for battle score: Being on the defense boosts a defender’s score by 10%. A city in a province boosts the defender’s score by 25% per city. Being attacked amphibiously boosts a defender’s score by 25%. If one side has naval supremacy around a battle zone (that is, the other fleet has been destroyed or retreated for the turn), they can lend 10% to their side in all coastal zones. Navies have global reach in a single turn. Plan accordingly. Compromised plans (leaked through espionage) reduce the compromised side's battle score by 25%. In order to avoid giving the compromised faction knowledge they have a spy presence in their country, this modifier will not be shown in official battle reports. You neglect your spy defense at your own peril. Occupied Territory Occupied territory does not suffer a penalty to income, but each province requires a certain number of armies to garrison or it will defect back to its original owner; the number required to occupy is 1 per province, plus 2 for each city in that province. Occupied territory becomes yours completely once peace is signed, provided you have no other outstanding conflicts with someone on your land border. In the event the original owner goes back to war with you, there is a chance of territory switching back to “occupied” status and requiring a new garrison, proportional to how much time has elapsed since the peace accord. In short, while warmongering can be lucrative, do not step on too many toes, or you will never appreciate the fruits of others’ labor. Neutral Territory Shown in white on the map, neutral provinces have a collective stat that covers them all. Each neutral territory is a self-governing unit and does not conduct diplomatic relations. They are immune to espionage. Each neutral province is given a random number of armies at the start from 1 to 5, while cities will also be randomly distributed. As the game goes on, neutral territory will continue to develop cities, infrastructure, and grow in population. Every time a neutral territory is taken, it and its contents are immediately assimilated into the conquering state; the rewards (number of population, Infrastructure, etc.) for annexing a neutral territory will be similar to if you had occupied a player nation’s provinces (so basically, it’s dependent on how urbanized that province is relative to the other neutral provinces). Neutral territory does not conduct research of its own, but rather has half the world average for each research category, rounded up. Because of this calculation, as one civilization techs up beyond the pack, civilizations that lag behind will have a harder time conquering neutral territory. On the subject of captured neutral forces; when their home territory is annexed, there is a chance they will join with your armed forces. Otherwise, they fold into your population. Civilization Points Civilization Points, or CP, primarily serve as a “score” that would be used to determine a theoretical winner. However, accumulating them boosts your trade income, and they are largely gained through participation. Civilization Points also have a function in your Hero units, discussed further down. Earning CP Every player starts with 10, and earns 1 each turn of play. You earn 1 CP for submitting orders. You can earn 1 CP per turn by making a roleplay post. Extra posts during that turn will not carry the bonus. You can earn 1 CP per turn by making a diplomacy post. Extra posts during that turn will not carry the bonus. CP can be taken as a condition for peace in war. However, they will not be added to your CP total until all outstanding conflicts (regardless of whether they are overland or oversea) are resolved. In other words: if your plan is to just warmonger to victory, all other players have to do is keep someone at war with you at all times. Building wonders grants 5 CP multiplied by the number of that wonder in your civilization; e.g. your first wonder yields 5 CP, while your tenth wonder yields 50 CP. Wonders are the primary way to rapidly ramp up CP. Capturing a wonder in a peace accord grants a flat 5 CP per wonder. It’s impressive, but you didn’t build it. CP is sometimes awarded for accomplishments in-game. Hero Units This is where your ability to customize really flourishes. Every civilization begins with 5, and can eventually have a maximum of 10. Every turn, one-quarter of players will receive an additional Hero unit at random, with better odds for players who have higher CP scores. Your hero units are those who are clearly far above average. Whether physical or mental prowess or something else entirely, they stand above the crowd. In many cases they could be seen as superhuman. Or perhaps… not human at all. As an extension of this, they can simply stay put and work relatively normal lives, or do tasks like combat and espionage. You may submit custom sprites for use for your Heroes. These will be used in the event their location is public knowledge, which is dependent on the intelligence stat. Hero units grow with your civilization, becoming more powerful as you accumulate CP. …The life link is double edged, however: if all your Heroes die, your civilization is wiped out immediately. No ruins. No refugees. Everything about it disappears. It will be as if you never existed. At the start, you customize your Hero units. Your first Hero has 100 experience points (EXP) to spend, your second 90, your third 80, and your last two 70. Every turn, you receive points equivalent to your CP to spend across all your heroes; they also gain EXP from successful missions. Strength: Self-explanatory. For every 25 EXP, they are capable of taking on 1 Army all by themselves. Durability: Resistance to damage. Determines how injury affects their health. Intelligence: How smart your character is. They can use non-physical weapons more efficiently and have better odds doing espionage. It also influences whether or not they are visible on the map; a meathead type who goes and kills 5 enemy armies, for example, will be a sitting duck for retaliation. Health: If this runs out, they die and are removed from your pool. It will gradually recover over time depending on circumstances (e.g. they will recover much faster in friendly territory than behind enemy lines). Diligence: How many actions they can perform a turn. For every 25 points, they can do one extra. As your characters complete actions, they will accumulate skills that affect their future rolls. I will try to assign basic skills based on the character bios you give. A basic skill all Hero units have is boosting your research levels; a Tony Stark type would boost your engineering progress each turn, while a martial artists would enhance your military research. An arms dealer would help you acquire units more cheaply, and so on. Hero units’ stats are less important engaging with regular units, but became crucial when they engage with each other. Your Superman will be brought to his knees if the enemy figured out to bring Kryptonite. If it wasn’t obvious enough: you can send them after each other. It will obviously be much easier if you have an information network in place that lets you know where they are (in other words, do not neglect espionage, as it provides you the means to assassinate enemy Heroes and easily kill off an enemy civilization). The key thing about Hero unit actions is that unlike most random things in the game, there are chances of failure with penalties. While your failed military investment may not bear fruit for a turn, your Lex Luthor is capable of building a Kryptonite superweapon… and receiving Kryptonite poisoning that will kill him in 5 turns if you don’t find a cure. Limits and Special Rules on Champion Actions Champions generally can do anything within imagination, but for balance, they have some restrictions. 1. They can only devote one action a turn to commanding a force, but their leadership benefits will stay with that force while they lead it, regardless of how many times it attacks. If the force splits up, only the portion with the Champion keeps the bonuses. Their free actions can be used for whatever else. 2. Champions have global reach normally, but when acting as Armies or Generals, they are limited by Mobility tech. 3. Champions can attempt diplomatic annexation of neutral territory, but use up one action per province. They can only solicit each individual province once per turn to prevent, say, gaming annexation of an urban territory. 4. Champions are the only units that can lead counterespionage campaigns in your territory. This is the only way to permanently stop intel leaks. Final Words With risk comes reward. Partial investments are the primary feature of this game, as they allow you to quickly build up any category. If you want to play conservatively and buy things outright like in most IOTs, that is perfectly fine as well. Tailor your playstyle to however little or much risk is preferable to you. I reserve the right to alter the rules, map, or otherwise be supreme in execution of the game, but will do so in accordance with the IOT subforum’s rules and in the interest of being an objective observer. On the subject of island provinces, it can be assumed most islands in a cluster count as one province. I will create island chain borders as necessary. Tinier islands (like the Isle of Man) would count as being part of the closest province for purposes of easy calculation. If you are not intimidated by everything you have read so far, your signup awaits: Signing Up Map Map (with labels for easy identification) Take a color and choose two provinces on the map. They must either be adjacent via land or both coastal. Choose one province to serve as the site of your initial city. Everyone starts with 10 CP. You will receive an additional 3 CP if you create a fleshed out nation bio (it basically counts as your roleplay, orders, and start of turn bonus for Turn 0)). It does not have to be an epic; just some basic fluff on your nation’s history, predominant ideologies, etc. You will receive 5 armies in each of your provinces, and will receive 5 navies if you start with a port; these navies can be used Turn 1. If you start landlocked, you will receive 5 navies as soon as you expand to the coastline, but cannot use them on the same turn as the expansion. Nations starting with a coast receive a bonus 100 EP to their trade research; landlocked nations will receive this in later turns when they gain a coastline. It is highly recommended to start off coastal unless one’s long-term goals would make remaining landlocked advantageous (namely, staying landlocked is a way to fend off trade blockades). Next, pick a research strength for your civilization – Engineering, Trade, Espionage, Navy, Army, Tactics, Mobility. This will grant you a free additional level over other players in that field. Refer to the Research section up above to see what strength fits which strategy. Finally, create five Hero characters. Give at least a basic description of each one, and then assign them values for their Strength, Durability, Health, Intelligence, and Diligence. One Hero receives 100 XP to spend across these categories, your second Hero receives 90, your third 80, and the last two have 70 each. 25 XP is the magic number to unlock tiers of Strength and Diligence, so it makes sense to specialize rather than go for jacks of all trades. Submitting Orders Send an orders PM each turn prior to lock. Investments in wonders, cities, and units must follow the rules laid out in those categories up above. In the event there is a violation, I will make an adjustment with your intentions in mind (it helps if you state your goals in your orders so I know what you’re aiming for). Spending and actions in a PM are liable to being leaked through espionage, but intentions and fluff (like your plan to chase nation x to the ends of the Earth) are not.