Quest Deep Periphery Quest (Battletech Sandbox Empire Builder)

ShadowArxxy

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Point but I don't really want to keep their bad habits.
That is an excellent point. Although I would point out that since everyone is in fact out to get us, Jonathan Cameron style "paranoia" is not a bad habit at all.
 

Skitzyfrenic

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Given that the NRR and the Romans are two and three system polities respectively, IIRC, and we're rather rapidly expanding and even have an imperial imperial (yes Imperial twice once for the fact the kid is arguably an emperor and we're an empire) vassal. I honestly think there's a significant chance that we might absorb either or both as semi-autonomous vassals anyways. Kinda like Marches instead of Imperial Nature reserves. Or the Romans as a March and the NRR might just be a small subdistrict.

I don't think we should be the ones to blatantly convince them, but if we wanted our intel operations to quietly start opining that joining up would be pretty awesome to the populace of both minor star nations... I'd be down.

But for now:

[X] You are an honest broker, play things straight
 

Belidonk

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[X] You are an honest broker, play things straight

Having a good Reputation is possible worth more then these 2 worlds.
 

Yacovo

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[X] You are an honest broker, play things straight

Doing this to egotistical dictators or drugged out hedonists is one thing, but a relatively trustworthy ally should not have to fear government undermining from us.

Trust is important in diplomacy and international cooperation, and we have plenty of room to expand. Plus proving the NRR Opposition “right” is asking for all sorts of trouble, especially when the armed rioters become freedom fighters, again. These are Rasalhagians after all.
 
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Turn 74 - Procedamus In Pace

LordSunhawk

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Turn 74 - Procedamus In Pace

You are enjoying a rather lovely morning with your wife when the daily briefing arrives, the messenger looking rather pale.

Worried, you accept the packet and start reading. At first nothing jumps out at you, the economy is actually doing rather well, there’s a new musical phenomenon coming out of Nowy Slask… and then you turn to the local news.

There’s been a murder, one of the senior officials on your political team charged with working with the Chamber of Delegates just stabbed two Delegates to death in broad daylight on the steps of the Palace. Worse, both of them were people who normally supported you in the Chamber and had never caused any political headaches whatsoever, in fact they’d been some of Jake’s few reliable allies there. Worst of all, this happened right in front of their families and on live TV just a half hour before while you were washing up before breakfast.

The murderer was prevented from killing himself and is currently in custody. You’ve met the man, he’d always advocated a harder line against the Chamber to begin with, his memos always stressing that the Chamber was full of unreliable morons voted for by idiots and should be abolished, with you ruling absolutely. And he’d published to that effect. He’d never struck you as particularly unstable.

A few hours later a few glimmers of details began to emerge, he was going through a very harsh divorce, with his ex-wife claiming that he was emotionally abusive towards her and their children. You’d met the woman, and to be honest, you’d be less surprised if she was abusing him than the other way around. However she had so far been managing to convince the courts that he was the aggressor and she the victim, and it looked like the divorce judgement was going to effectively bankrupt the man.

As far as you can tell the man just simply snapped, he’s refusing to talk, even to his lawyer. He had a high enough BAC that he’d likely spent most of the night drinking, and there were other drugs in his system as well. When investigators went to the lodgings he was renting in Griffsport after moving out of the family home they found the rooms completely trashed, with pictures of his ex-wife slashed to pieces in their frames.

Surveillance video of the actual attack shows him arguing with the two delegates, which was hardly abnormal as all three men regularly arrived at the Palace at the same time and usually got into verbal sparring matches in the morning. From the audio, the two delegates were actually trying to be sympathetic over the divorce, you certainly heard nothing that should have prompted such an extreme reaction, he started shouting that it was all the fault of ‘you people’ and then after a few moments of ranting and yelling he pulled out the knife and started stabbing. One of the Delegates was very elderly and, while he was only stabbed twice, died of a heart attack on the scene, while the other tried to defend his colleague and was stabbed over forty times before security forces were able to stop the attack.

Needless to say, this is now the lead story on all of the news channels. His previous pro-monarchist writings are being dissected and it certainly looks like this will be a PR as well as a criminal disaster. You’ve already directed that all proper procedures be followed and that everything is to be done according to the law, following the precedents set by your Mother. This has kept there from being any blowback onto you, at least, but it will be problematic going forward.

Jake is extremely shaken over the entire thing. The attacker had been one of his colleagues and sat on the advisory board for years, providing one of the diverse perspectives Jake used to gauge the political winds. According to Jake, the ex-wife is a snake that he’d warned the man about before they got married, the guy had been a lifelong bachelor at that point and had fallen hard, and Jake hadn’t been willing to push too hard at the time which he now bitterly regrets.

There is a welcome distraction from the swirling drama with the Pan-Griffon Games, this year hosted on Calliope IV. The system government and locals pull out all the stops to put on an impressive show, even if you are only able to watch it on HD due to the preparations for the major offensive next year. The twins are ‘showing the flag’ for the family, and have already let you know that they intend to spend next year on Sukaishi working with some ‘hot young talent’ they’ve discovered from there.

You receive a note from Siriwan, the young man she’s acting on behalf of, Taikoku Isoroku Takeda, has graduated from the Aerie with honors, which usually allows for a pick of assignments within his specialty. Despite all efforts to steer him towards something non-combat related, he proved to be as stubborn as Siriwan and got himself assigned to HMS Pilum as a communications officer. Thanh has sent you a note that she’s going to have him assigned to her command staff on board as a junior communications aide, which should keep him out of too much trouble.

Your son does drag you out of the planning meetings for some family time, much to your grumbling discontent, reasonably pointing out that you have staff for this and are only needed for the final go/no-go decision, not the minutiae of the planning, plus having the Emperor hovering over everybody is making everybody too nervous.

So you spend several weeks on the beaches of Capricorn with your kids and grandkids. Thanh takes a few days leave to attend, and the pair of you make plans for a major exercise once operations against the Dracs are complete so the pair of you can resurrect the over-the-top characters you once played as junior officers running an OPFOR.

You wonder if the old outfit still fits, you know it’s still in the closet. You resolve to try it on and send it to the tailors for any adjustments that almost 40 some years would require.

Alita is planning a family vacation next year, taking those kids who aren’t in the military with her to accompany your brothers on Sukaishi. The grandkids will be left with grandpa, which considering all of the things that your own parents did, especially your mom, means that your loving wife is hoping for a larger batch of grandkids by giving your kids time away from their kids. Deviousness is such a ba characteristic, after all.

You’ll just have to make sure to time things right before they return, to ensure that your grandkids are all sugared up to the max. Grandpa’s privilege.

The elections in the NRR are scheduled for later this year, hopefully it will settle things for the long term. Your garrison forces are doing an admirable job keeping the peace without stepping on too many toes that don’t force themselves under your people’s boots.

The Opposition there is now trying to whip up an election boycott on the grounds that the entire thing is illegitimate since they didn’t agree to it. From the public response to this grandstanding you are pretty certain that they just signed their electoral death warrant, as the average man and woman on the street just wants this entire mess to be over.

You can only go to the well so many times before it comes up dry, to mangle a metaphor, and this well is pretty much giving mud at this point. You have your own polling done and it looks like the previous governing coalition is going to win comfortably, and their candidate for President is looking to be a quite reasonable fellow that you’ve met before and feel you can at least trust not to backstab you.

You get reports from your intelligence people in the NRI that they are working on a new weapons development project, codenamed ‘Flos Clavae’. All they have is the project name and that it appears to involve scientists who are experts in gauss systems.

There has been a significant uptick in the NRI economy as new factories are opening up on Ravenna. The relative peace of the last several years is allowing the commercial sector there to recover. There haven’t even been probing raids from the pirates for a while, and business is good.

They are currently marketing a small aerodyne dropship both to you and the NRR. Called the Dromon, it is meant for one thing and one thing only, delivering boarding parties to enemy ships. It’s actually a rather vicious little thing, even if it can’t hold a candle to any of your designs in terms of actual combat capability it is capable of forcing a docking with enemy vessels, making use of salvage tools built into the nose to tear open the hull, and allowing an entire company of battle armored marines in.

The IGN isn’t particularly interested, as they would take up valuable collar slots for minimal benefit, but it is a rather clever design. There is some interest in licensing the design for further development at some point, but currently it’s just a curiosity as far as your navy is concerned. The Rasalhaguians have expressed some interest, but they are mad Vikings who probably prefer to fight man to man, preferably bare chested, with big axes and bigger beards.

Or has the entertainment industry been lying to you again.
 
Turn 74 - Cum Angelis et Pueris

LordSunhawk

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Turn 74 - Cum Angelis et Pueris

The NRR Opposition makes a last gasp attempt at gaining power, or at least making the elections appear illegitimate, by organizing a massive ‘march’ on the Thing to protest the presence of your forces on the planet, obviously hoping to ignite a major confrontation.

It falls completely flat, certainly a large number of thugs and bravos bought and paid for by the party elites show up, and they are certainly spoiling for trouble, but the common citizens of the city who had in the past shown up for these things are nowhere to be seen. All of your forces are in power armor or armored vehicles and just impassively remain in position, allowing the marchers to do their best to cause trouble. Oddly enough, clubs, molotov cocktails, bricks, pool cues, and the like are remarkably ineffective at provoking any sort of reaction.

It winds up being several hours of futility on the mob's part, ended more by the rioters becoming exhausted and simply giving up on provoking a reaction. The icing on the cake? The Brigade CO is a devious and evil SOB who deserves either a medal or a court-martial… none of the suits of power armor had anybody inside, and the AFVs only had a single gunner each who had been allowed to bring headphones to listen to music and play games. The mob had been trying to get reactions from what were, in essence, a force of mannequins. He’d used spare suits that had disabled weapons and locked down controls, with his actual forces remaining in their barracks watching the hilarity on monitors.

You figure that once the elections are over and your forces are withdrawn you’ll let that tidbit leak out, just for the pure lulz.

You get word from Thanh that she and her staff have decided that the seven warships that will be commissioned this year will not be included in the operation against Okusawa, instead forming a reserve force at Sukaishi. The crews will not have had the opportunity to exercise with the actual attack force, and Thanh would rather have a well-drilled unit than all possible hulls. Also, HMS Morristown is scheduled for a minor refit to correct a few trivial issues in the electrical system that have been cropping up, she’ll help transport the first wave to Okusawa before returning to the Griffon system for a six month yard period. According to the memo it’s pretty minor stuff, but Thanh sees no reason not to get the work done as soon as possible.

You look over the reports on the latest set of exercises and they are looking good. Your fingers are itching, as you really wish you could take operational command and finish this war off in the field, but your new duty station is at the Palace thanks to your Mother abdicating, and while rank hath its privileges, it also hath its responsibilities.

The news from Calliope about the Pan-Griffon Games so far shows that the host team is, to use the vernacular, killing it. While Team Griffon and Team Nowa Warszawa are doing well enough, and the teams from the smaller colonies are focusing on only a few sports each rather than fielding full crews, Team Calliope is right up there with the big two, and actually looks set to possibly tie Team Griffon’s medal count.

Agents in the NRI are reporting a planned colonization expedition to the galactic east, evidently they’ve surveyed a planet out that way that they are planning on claiming for themselves. Your agents have forwarded to your intelligence people the executive summary of the survey report, which appears to show a pair of marginally habitable worlds with extremely rich mineral deposits and exceptionally dense asteroid belts. The report indicates that the NRI intends to name the system Nova Jupitereum.

Your mental antennae are twitching at the name and you have a bad feeling that this is going to be very embarrassing to you personally. Since one of the people listed as receiving the summary report and proposing the name is the ‘Chief Priest’ of the Temple that is supposedly to you.

Your eldest granddaughter has graduated early from high school and has been accepted into Griffin’s Roost University, triple majoring in philosophy, political science, and economics. She’s quite a scholarly girl, and has already informed you that she’s going to then go on to the Aerie once she’s old enough, since they won’t take her until she turns 18. Considering that she’s John’s oldest, if and when she becomes Empress nobody will be able to claim she’s not a bonafide genius.

Your son, of course, is proud as a peacock for his daughter and has taken a short leave from the 3rd BCT for her graduation ceremony and to spend a few weeks with his family prior to returning to the round of preparation exercises for the invasion of Okusawa.

The trial for the double murder on the Palace steps is underway, with the perpetrator still completely refusing to say a word to anybody about the case. Not even his lawyers have been able to get him to say anything, and he refuses to respond when asked for his plea by the judge. This, of course, is feeding media speculation and turning the trial into a bit of a farce, at least from the perspective of an outsider, as the legal procedures for dealing with a completely uncooperative defendant are systematically followed in their entirety. Everything is being done precisely by the book, with absolutely no shortcuts of any kind. This means that just the initial phases of the trial will take all year, but needs must when the devil drives.

Parliament is back in session. With the loss of two of your most reliable supporters in the Assembly you don’t see as much of a benefit from your local political offices as you’d hoped, as the new Delegates seated who support you are offset by the loss of those two. By-elections will be held by the end of the year, however.

The Senate is as reliable as always, and while the Chamber isn’t particularly helpful they aren’t being unreasonable either. So it looks like things will get done this year at least, despite the poor start of things.

The first bill being proposed is the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004. The CLAA would revamp the current procedures put in place at the start of Griffon colonization efforts. All Peripheral systems would be affected, but in general the Senators and Delegates from those systems are cautiously in favor of the reforms. Surveyed systems would be zoned into Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Infrastructure, and Government regions by the current experts within the Interior Ministries Department of Colonial Affairs following the same guidelines as currently put in place, however the individual parcels within those zoning segments will be subdivided differently for auction to colonists. In addition, to cut back on speculation, only actual colonists will be permitted to purchase Residential or Commercial parcels at auction, while Industrial ones will remain open to investors. Parcels that are not sold at auction will remain owned by the System government to be distributed at future auctions, with the proceeds financing infrastructure improvements.

Supporters point out that many of the issues related to the peripheral colonies stem from rampant real estate speculation, especially those systems that are promising but not fully habitable. Speculators on Griffon and, increasingly, Nowa Warszawa and Calliope are snapping up significant blocks of parcels of prime residential and commercial property then holding on to them, demanding massive markups to sell them to those who would actually use said parcels. By requiring that actual residents of the colony in question get priority on land parcel auctions in these categories this should end this practice.

The speculators in question are rather opposed to this, pointing out that this is a very profitable business for them. The problem is that they are also making use of these parcels to engage in completely legal tax shenanigans with their systems of residence. By declaring, for example, an unused residential parcel on New Capricorn as their ‘primary residence’ for tax purposes, a Griffon resident is able to avoid paying certain tax assessments that they would normally be required to pay as a Griffon resident. And since they actually have no physical presence on New Capricorn and thus generate no economic activity, the various excise taxes used to raise revenues for local governments are thus starved of income. It’s pretty scummy, but also completely legal as it stands. The CLAA would effectively kill this particular dodge.

The Chamber has added a few minor provisions that increase the final budget cost of the bill, but nothing that you particularly oppose. A few minor grants to community projects in their home districts, primarily.
[]Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
  • +10% base POP growth on all fully established Peripheral Worlds
  • +1 Infrastructure per turn on all fully established Peripheral Worlds to Infrastructure 100 (max)
  • Infrastructure will now have a new function in the quest economy
    • Each turn roll against the Infrastructure score of each system. On any degree of success add +1 Factory Rating. On a critical success also add +10% GDP and add a single factory of a type determined by QM roll from the following 1d10 roll
      • 1 - Medium Mech Factory
      • 2 - ASF Factory
      • 3-10 - Strategic Resource Factory
  • Factory Rating will now have additional effects
    • Factory Rating/10 percent bonus to GDP
    • In addition, Combat Vehicle Production will now be linked to raw factory rating
      • Total Factory Rating/10 non Mech regiments per turn
  • +10 Politics
  • +1 Approval Change
  • One time cost of $20,000,000
  • +1 Support - Chamber of Delegates
  • Imperial Senate support is CAPPED
[]Oppose the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
  • -5 Politics
  • -1 Support - Chamber of Delegates

Another piece of legislation that is moving through Parliament is legislation establishing a permanent grant agency for public art. Currently this is handled on an ad-hoc basis by the Department of Cultural Affairs, the legislation would establish a new agency under that Department with a permanent budget to finance public art both in the Core and Peripheral systems.

The Public Art Expansion Act of 3004 would budget funds for artists to beautify public spaces in multiple media, be it architecture, painting, sculpture, or any other form of durable public art. The Public Art Bureau would administer the program, making grants to artists following an application process format and matching said artists with communities desiring works of public art.

For a seemingly trivial bit of legislation this has generated quite a bit of conversation, both for and against. Supporters argue that art enriches communities and brings people together by allowing them to express their identities to the wider public. That the process being put together here will allow local communities access to artists they otherwise would not be able to bring in. They point to the benefits seen by the major art installations financed directly by the Crown in times past via the Department of Cultural Affairs as a model for the public benefits of the program.

Critics point out the costs involved and argue that it is better by far to allow art to primarily remain within the private sphere. They argue that the works financed by the Department of Cultural Affairs tend to be overly propagandistic and jingoistic, pushing the government's party line at the expense of real artistic merit. They further argue that this will dilute the prestige of public art by making it so common as to no longer have any particular meaning or importance, thus taking it from points of beauty and interest to Yet Another Boring Statue.
[]Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004
  • Establish the Public Art Bureau with an initial budget of $10,000,000 a year
    • Modified by civil service efficiency modifiers for a lower net number
  • Each turn will allow one reroll of either an Approval Change or Political Event roll
    • At higher ratings will allow additional rerolls
    • Any botches of either of these rolls will require a confirmation roll, on any failure of the confirmation roll the botch will stand, on a success will be treated as normal failure
  • +1 Support, Chamber of Delegates
[]Oppose the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004
  • -1 Support, Chamber of Delegates
  • -1 Politics
 

Yacovo

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004


Both seem like good ideas. The first solves an important issue and source of corruption within the empire. The second frees up the players and QM to suggest new ideas for the cultural department besides build monument for event X.
 

ShadowArxxy

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004
 

Trashman.exe

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004

Sun gave another thing to be decoded and decided to reveal 4 of the guessed words.
U
y
f
t
o
m
o
J
f
will detonate next turn
 
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Rukatin

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004
 

ShadowArxxy

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004

Sun gave another thing to be decoded and decided to reveal 4 of the guessed words.
U
y
f
t
o
m
o
J
f
will deify Neptune Thanh
No, that was the joke ending. The confirmed ending per @LordSunhawk is "will die/detonate next turn".


Edit: And the current 'best guess' from Discord peeps for the front part is, "Unless you forego the opportunity", so:

Unless you forego the opportunity
m____
o____
J_____
f_____
will die next turn

J is capital, and guesses offered on that one so far are "Jeremy", "Jarnfolk", and "JumpShip".
 
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Jarow

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004

Spend a bit of money, get some benefits. Spending money isn't really an issue for us. As for all the new bookkeeping stuff with the first, it'll be nice knowing what everything does again.
 

Artifex

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[X] Support the Colonial Land Allocation Act of 3004
[X] Support the Public Art Expansion Act of 3004

What was the result of the first decoding challenge by the way? Have we solved it?
 
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