PerfNES I: Ultima Ratio Regum The deadline for Turn 5 orders is Friday February 10 at 1600 EST, 2100 GMT Hello. This is a NES, set in an alternate version of the sixteenth century. In this world, Offa's achievement was not undone by succession problems, and England was united by the Mercians. Now, seven hundred years later, the world is barely recognizable: England is at the center of the northern European world, the Romans still dominate the Balkans, Normans rule Egypt, Muslims rule Spain, and Mongol-descended khanates are threatening to overrun China and India. RULES Players: Anyone can join, and should. I only ask that you send orders on time. Stories: Contribute enormously to the atmosphere of the NES, and so would be greatly be appreciated. If you feel like writing some, knock yourself out. I'll probably give bonuses for good stories and such. Orders: should be clear and possess some semblance of organization. In particular, you should make sure it's absolutely clear what you're spending money on. I don't mind length, as long as it's sensible length; don't spend hundreds of words describing exactly what color your servants' livery should be. If you're doing anything particularly subtle and clever it's probably a good idea to include a bit of justification and mention of what you hope to accomplish; that way when it all goes pear-shaped I'll have a better idea of what your government should do. It's important to bear in mind that in all states there are actors other than the government with their own agendas. Their importance varies from state to state, but in all cases trying to act without keeping their interests in mind will probably not go well. If you're doing anything particularly controversial it might be a good idea to check with the mod beforehand, to see if you'll be lynched for doing it. NPCs (Non-Player Countries): Any polity that isn't taken by a player will be essentially played by the mod. I intend for my NPCs to be rather tougher than the usual pushovers, so keep that in mind; being surrounded by NPCs will probably not be a recipe for a ballooning empire. Updates: Orders will be due on Friday nights, and hopefully I'll be able to finish the update over the following weekend. Each update will cover a period of three years. Map: Is Symphonic-style map, though I'll probably post a Northern-style version as well, since it's no trouble. Only capital cities are shown on the map, because sifting through the city map is a nightmare. A few countries don't have capitals; this is usually because the political center of the polity is mobile. An important random thing to keep in mind is this: in all but the most lopsided of conflicts, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO MILITARILY ENFORCE YOUR WILL. In almost every case, you will not be able to decisively beat an enemy and dispose of his possessions at leisure, so don't even try. The mod intensely dislikes highlander wars. Stats Nation Name Capital: Ruler: Heirs: Government: Culture: Factions (Strength/Confidence): Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): Army: Army Description: Navy: Navy Description: Prestige: Nation Background: Heirs: For states with some form of hereditary succession - which is to say nearly all of them - here will be listed your heirs with their ages. You get to decide, in most cases, on your initial ruler, and to name everyone in your family, but I keep track of births and genders and deaths and such. Government: This is a descriptive stat describing your governmental form. Most governments are monarchies of one variety or another, though there are a few modifiers. Something to bear in mind is that essentially every government, even an autocratic monarchy, is dependent to a greater or lesser degree on elite support. Think about this before you act; antagonizing the people who make your government tick is a very bad idea Culture: A brief description of the major cultural groups, religions,and foreign influences in your state. This is not directly player-controlled, but you can indirectly influence it, and it is of course extremely important to keep your cultural makeup in mind when making decisions. Factions: Lifted straight from Birdjag's NESes, because I think they're a good idea. Confidence goes from 1 (not at all confident) to 5 (very confident); strength likewise goes from 1 (not very strong) to 5 (tread carefully). It is unlikely that you will get anything major done without at least some support from your factions, and if you offend them all you are unlikely to last long. Politicking will be necessary Economy: You get four numbers: your revenue, your expenses, the amount of money in your treasury, and your debt. Revenue - Your revenue is, oddly enough, the total money reaching your central treasury. Consequently it will, all other things being equal, be lower in decentralized states, as more money in spent at local levels, and higher in centralized ones. There are lots of things you could try to increase revenue, but the easiest is probably raising taxes. Bear in mind that unilateral massive tax raises are likely to be extremely unpopular; states with a parliament may have to negotiate revenue increases, and everyone should try to gain at least some factional support. Now, it is important to note that this stat enumerates only your ordinary revenue; that is, the revenue known ahead of time and that arrives every year at a more or less constant level. You additionally have access to various potential sources of extraordinary revenue; money arriving on a more or less one-off basis. Depending on the state, this could be nearly anything: forced loans, tax grants from parliament, sale of confiscated estates, grants from the church, etc. Ask the mod what you have in mind, and I'll tell you how much you can expect to get from it. Again, suddenly and without warning seizing and selling off the property of your nobles would be extremely unpopular, so keep your factions in mind. You'll mostly spend your money on soldiers, I imagine, but you are by no means limited to that. You could spend it on fortifications, public-works, patronizing artists, and anything else you can think of. So long as it makes sense in 1500 AD, of course. Expenses: Your expenses are the total amount of money it would take to pay everyone who needs to paid, and run everything that needs to be run. The largest single component for nearly everyone is the cost of the military; other components are the cost of administration, maintenance on government property, interest on the debt, and so on. Your expenses will then go up if you hire soldiers or administrators or otherwise expand the number of things your government needs to pay for. The only real way of making it go down is by reducing the number of things you need to pay for; demobilizing soldiers will be the most common method, I expect. Now, expenses are not automatically deducted from revenue. You could, if you think you really need the money, decide not to pay some of your expenses; depending on how you do it, this might not even have catastrophic consequences. It would certainly be best to explicitly say who you're not paying. Anything you have left after paying your expenses is completely discretionary: you could put it in the treasury, hire soldiers, patronize the church, buy cannons, and nearly anything else you can think of. Treasury: Your treasury is how much money you have just lying about for a rainy day. It doesn't earn interest, and it doesn't directly benefit you in way other than by looking shiny and making you feel safe. Debt: Your debt is the amount of money you owe various non-statted creditors. You pay interest on the debt, which goes into your expenses, and can pay it down with any spare money you happen to have lying around. The precise in-world mechanism of state credit varies from state to state, but from an out-of-world standpoint it all works pretty much the same way; you tell the mod how much you want to borrow, he tells you if you can, and the interest gets added to your expenses. Different states have different levels of access to credit, and different borrowing costs, depending on the sophistication of their financial markets. Some states might not have access to credit at all, or at least not easy access; the Dhahabis aren't big on usurers, for instance. All economic stats are denoted in taris, which are this world's versions of florins, and have more or less the same value. The tari was a large Sicilian coin in the twelfth century. It was popular, spread around by Sicilian merchants, and now the tari – or rather the copies that everyone makes – is pretty much the standard coin for western Europe and the Mediterranean. Asian states obviously use other currencies, but for the sake the mod's sanity will use taris in the stats. For a sense of how much money a tari is, consider that a soldier might cost a few taris a month, a cannon might cost a thousand or two, and a really major fortification might cost a million taris. It is very important to remember that war is EXPENSIVE. It is unlikely that you will be able to get much done with just your ordinary revenue. Extraordinary revenue and debt mechanisms are there for a reason; use them, or you'll probably be killed by someone who did. Military: Your military, in both terrestrial and aquatic flavors. It comes in discrete Companies or Ships, and is described in...the military descriptions. The descriptions aren't directly player controlled, but you can alter them by reform efforts and the like. What you can't do is issue minute tactical directions to your men; you're the sovereign, not a drill sergeant, and I don't want everybody trying to make tercios on the first turn, as I know you all want to do. The Companies displayed in your stats are just your standing, professional troops. Nearly every state also has levies from various sources available to a greater or lesser degree. Ask me for how many such levies you can likely raise. Bear in mind that your levies are, if not always of a lower quality than your professionals, generally less flexible; they typically won't like being used to garrison frontiers or launch unprofitable invasions of poor places. On the upside, levies don't cost anything to raise or maintain, though you will still have to organize logistics for them. Now, the military numbers do include garrison troops, or at least garrison troops organized by the center. If you've ruthlessly crushed all your nobles and cities and an enemy invades where you haven't put any troops, there won't really be anything to oppose them. Standing military units have some upfront cost to raise, this being a combination of outfitting, signing bonuses, construction cost of ships, and so on. They additionally cost upkeep to maintain; this is by far more expensive. It costs a lot more to pay a guy for three years than to persuade him to signup and give him a pike. Keep this in mind. Military upkeep is automatically calculated and added to your expenses. In order to maintain your army's fighting efficiency on campaign, it's an excellent idea to allocate additional funds for their support, above and beyond the standard upkeep, for logistics, wastage replacement, and so on. If you don't do this, and send an army into a difficult situation, do not expect it to fight at anything close to peak efficiency. Likely logistics costs depend on the situation and number of soldiers; ask the mod if you want to be sure. Military upkeep per company varies from state to state, depending on availability of labor, the cost of equipment, the proportion of cavalry, and so on. 1 Company = 15,000 taris 1 Ship = 15,000 taris 1 Company is roughly 250 soldiers. Prestige: Is shamelessly stolen from Dachs, because I think it's an extremely good idea. Prestige doesn't have much effect on the game world, but the player with the highest prestige at the end of the NES gets to be the Winner. There are plenty of ways to gain prestige. Generally speaking, doing things that are popular, successful, or kingly - or that at least look like they are – gains you prestige, and doing things that are unpopular, or unsuccessful loses you prestige. There is no faster way of losing prestige than trying to do something wildly inappropriate for the setting, so do please ask before you try to build the Suez Canal or conquer China with five thousand men. Description: Is a short description of your state's background. There isn't a written timeline for this NES, but a lot of information on the ~700 years of divergence is in the descriptions, so you should at the very least read yours.