This is the first part of a very articulated AAR, in which you'll find a clear example of Shadow Empire has to offer and what challenges to expect from the game.
Life is hard after the Apocalypse!
FIVE TOWN AAR - PART 1 - A MEGALOPOLIS IN RUINS
On the planet of Vovorum Luminosa, at the beginning of the 308th year after the Galactic Apocalypse, arose the Regime of the Fivetown Empire.
A small and warm planet, Vovorum Luminosa had been classified as Siwa and had proven to be a vastly successful and popular colony of the Galactic Republic.
At its height it hosted 4.4 billion souls, crammed into vast megacities that covered the great plains.
One of these cities was the original metropolis of FiveTowns. As one of the initial settlement locations on the planet, this area had originally played host to five competing corporate colonies. Over the course of time, these colonies grew, competed and fought with each other, each of them eager to grow in commercial might and wealth.
As more and more colonists arrived however, the colonies eventually began to overlap and merge, leading to the founding of the FiveTowns council, a meritocratic system which promoted the interests of its civilians through a strong bureaucracy and community activism.
When the fall came, it was devastating for all of the peoples of the vast Galactic Republic and FiveTowns was no different. Chaos and Starvation were rife and the population of Vovorum Luminosa collapsed down to a mere 2.2 million people.
Now, most of the old metropolis is in ruins, but the bonds of the citizens in FiveTowns were strong and a core has remained organised and alive through all the depredations of the Apocalypse. Much of the knowledge of the golden age is now lost, and there is much to discover anew. With this in mind, the militia forces of the now Fivetown Empire are prepared to venture out to claim new territories and begin their revival!
This is a starting location with almost unlimited potential. We are surrounded by ruins that hold 100’s of thousands of scavenging units and there is only a single other Minor Regime that is bordering us (The Lafarar Territory to the North East).
Our first action is to use our current military forces (2 units of Infantry and 3 units of mixed mechanised infantry, with some scout bikers and ancient artillery mixed in).
Our forces expand to the North, East and South. In the North we find a wondrous discovery, an ancient automated factory whose Industry Points will be invaluable as we seek to grow our nascent Empire.
The other points of interest are a large town of Free Folk to the North East (inside what is currently territory claimed by Lafarar, but not for much longer..) and a unit of unaligned forces to the South. These forces are centered on the small Free Folk camp of “Eureka”, and are likely armed mercenaries who may or may not prove to be an issue as we expand past them.
There are only a few issues that are in need of our immediate attention at this point. We add a specialist unit of Commandos to the 1st Fivetown Militia and promote our core belief of Meritocracy in our Ascension speech. We also encourage the formation of a small recon group that will be used to explore the lands around us and increase our recon knowledge.
An outburst of Paranoia in the leadership causes some unease and Fear in the populace, but this is countered by the arrival of a set of Travelling Teachers who set up a private school in the town.
We also take the time to review our current staff and specialists and are not displeased by what we find. The current governor of Fivetown, Conan Sirius, is very capable and has an exceptionally strong talent for Administration. He is also currently unaligned with any internal factions, which may make him easier to manage in the future.
Speaking of the internal politics of Fivetown, it is currently dominated by two factions, each with 50:50 control of our proportionally elected Senate.
The Armed Party is strong on Enforcement and Democracy, ethics which run counter to our core values as Leader. But neither of their major personnel are in significant office, which I may wish to ensure stays the case.
The Popular Union, by contrast, matches our ethical preferences well, and with both our Strategic HQ and our Command Council headed by their members, this is very much the force that I would like to see winning future elections.
There is little else that we have time to cover at this point and we end the turn and allow the other forces of Vovorum Luminosa to take their actions.
Turn 2 - Early Spring 308 AA
There is nothing much to report from our opponents’ actions at the start of this turn. There is a hint at some forces hiding in the forests to the East, but no confirmed sightings.
As usual, my secretary has laid out on my desk a number of issues that I may wish to make decisions upon.
My Militia forces are vital at this stage, so I choose to support their parade with 200 credits. I leave the National Budget untouched and happily accept the Popular Union’s new candidate into my leader reserve (they are the faction I want to focus upon, so I’m happy to get new potential leaders from them).
At the end of the last turn I had asked my Secretary to begin the formation of a new Economic Council. This is one of the 9 central councils and it is now time to choose a leader for that council from my available reserve of leaders.
Ace Pollux, whom I just accepted from the Popular Union has not been nominated for the role (nominations are submitted for my approval by my staff, I may choose to spend some of my PP to dismiss their choices, at the risk of offending the nominators and nominated alike), but he has very little suitability for the role anyway, being more of a Charisma focussed leader.
Of my other two choices, both have reasonable capability for the role as they have decent skills in the Intelligence field, but Maia Oldwaste is a member of the Armed Party, and I’m happy to keep her out of the council for now. So the role goes to Connor Robinsight.
I immediately task him to produce new research discoveries and to send teams out into the zone to find potentially exploitable resource sites.
There is one more bit of administration that we should engage with this turn, and that’s with our Covert Ops function. Our Supreme Command Council has delivered a potential stratagem to embed spies into an enemy zone. Given that we have very little knowledge of our surroundings, it feels prudent to attempt to gain more knowledge of the Lafarar zone to our North East.
Somewhat incredibly, given our native skills and the limited espionage infrastructure in our Minor Regime neighbour, Cobb is forced to report back that we failed in our attempt.
This is an unfortunate, but not catastrophic turn of events. It certainly puts me in the mind that I should prioritize the establishment of a Foreign Office council sooner rather than later however!
So, to our tactical situation. As it stands, none of our forces have strayed so far from our SHQ that they can’t fetch and carry their own supplies. This is likely to change in this turn however as I ask them to push out further into the unknown.
The 2nd Guards pushes directly North and cuts the Larafar zone in two whilst the 1st Mobile Battalion proceeds North East to bring the large Free Folk settlement of Seehaus into our territory. Whilst doing so we gain eyes on a degraded reactor, which could prove a useful asset. However we also see that it is guarded by multiple Lafararian units. We choose to fall back slightly to keep a respectful distance and also to protect our supply lines.
In the South, we still have very little Recon knowledge of that unit of non-aligned forces in Eureka. To try and get some better info, the 1st Recon that we formed last turn is sent to take a look.
And we find that the defenders of Eureka are a group of Rifle Militia (a very weak Infantry troop, but which is very much a threat in large numbers). Our reports are that there’s 2700 troops there, but we only have limited recon on that hex still (42) and so should take all that we see with a pinch of salt.
The 3rd Mobile maneuvers through the ruins to the East, moving slowly to ensure that there’s no surprise forces there, whilst the 4th Guards moves into the ruins to the South. Finally, the 5th Mobile swings around to the West to begin sweeping up the last of the ruins of our once huge home metropolis.
Finally, our thoughts turn to construction and preparation for the future. With the Automated Factory working in conjunction with the efforts of the people of Fivetown, we are in a good shape for generating IP and so we choose not to construct an expensive new Industry Asset immediately. Instead, we fund the laying of some dirt roads to the North East to assist our forces in that direction with their logistics and then authorise the expansion of the Bureaucracy within Fivetown to assist our Councils with their work.
Turn 3 - Late Spring 308AA
As we move into Late Spring we receive some concerning reports of enemy movements.
In the South West, the Eureka forces have made an assault on our recon detachment. They were repulsed easily as our armed buggies skirmished away from them taking 300 lives in the process.
Of more concern is the North East. Three units of Lafarar forces have emerged from the reactor and have pushed back around our Mobile battalion. I am glad that I did not leave them within range! However, as our spy failed to penetrate the zone last turn, we have very little knowledge of what is approaching us. Discretion is the better part of valour, and our central plan for this turn must be to ensure that our forces are capable of defending Fivetown and preventing any great incursion from that vector.
To that end, the 4th Guards relieves the 1st Recon near Eureka, freeing that group up to quickly traverse the ruins to support the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Militia in drawing up a defensive line on the edge of the Ruins. The 5th continues its mission and secures the Western edge of the zone ruins.
Perhaps shamed by their failure last turn, our Supreme Council presents us with a new plan for dispatching covert operatives, and this time they succeed in infiltrating Lafarar. We will get their initial intelligence reports next turn.
Our bout of Paranoia at the start of the game caused a visible drop in the morale of the populace of Fivetown. This is recovering now, but the Armed Party would like us to confirm that we will achieve a solid increase in population happiness.
Given that this metric is on the bounce anyway, I view this as a good opportunity to solidify my position as a strong, trustable leader and I vow to achieve this goal.
With my bureaucrat offices under construction, I take this as an opportunity to recruit a new junior member of staff via a Strategem (Totor Banks, a moderately capable diplomat joins us). I then place a call to my Secretary and ask them to present me with a decision on the creation of a new Council of State.
Given that both Ace Pollux and Totor Banks are diplomacy focussed, I choose to set up a new Foreign Affairs Council with the intention of positioning one of them at it’s head at the start of next turn.
Finally, I placed a quick call to the Governor of Fivetown and asked him to increase his recruitment of potential soldiers. I have the feeling that I am going to need them!
The confidence with which the Lafararian troops have pushed forward is concerning, but I am confident that they will not enter the ruins of Fivetown this turn, and I look forward to seeing what our spies have to report!
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT PART "MUTANTS IN THE ATTIC"
 The etymology of this name is lost. Post-Apocalypse scholars are divided on whether it could be a variant of Novorum Luminosa (New Light) or Vivorum Luminosa (Living Light)
 Capable of supporting Human life
 PP, or Political Points, are a reflection of both the leaders stored up bureaucratic power and also their available time to commit to using that power.
 If the player can’t, or chooses not to, make a decision, then their secretary will do it for them. They may or may not make good choices...
 Unless you have 100 or greater recon on a hex, there is always some uncertainty in what is reported back. Engage if you wish, but it is never without risk.
< Message edited by Daniele -- 2/24/2020 11:10:21 AM >