(Terra Invicta stories from my day off.) | by Patrick McKenzie

Patrick McKenzie


2 months ago

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(Terra Invicta stories from my day off.) Me: “Great am successfully building out space program in Canada funded by partial control of the U.S.” Game: America is in a state of civil war. Me: Doesn’t notice for 6 months. Game: American government violently overthrown. You’re out.

Me: … my main character is a U.S. diplomat who personally controls the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Could *one* of you jokers have maybe written me a memo. Game: We try to be a realistic simulator. Me: *sigh* Fair.

Since my enemies overstretched to pick off the U.S. I have entirely routed them in Central America and am building up Guatemala’s space program with the intention of making it the capital of a new federation rolling up the region. Three factions busy killing each other over U.S.

My offworld ambitions are severely damaged by lack of Boost income (represents the ability to move material from Earth to low-earth orbit and beyond) because U.S. was apparently my best source of it. Which will delay counteroffensive against spoiler spoiler by at least 2 years.

Taiwan: We have a proposal for you. Me: … I think you are operating on out-of-date information as to how many armies I possess, guys. Taiwan: So can I put that down as a “not yet.” Me: I really don’t think you understand your strategic position. Taiwan: Rich coming from you.

I thought the three factions fighting over America were still fighting but they apparently agreed to go to war with Guatemala, for reasons they claim are entirely unrelated to my effective space program now run there. CIA: First we heard of it, boss. Me: I’m trading you to enemy

There’s both a mechanic to simulate Brexit (and any other similar form of exit) and a mechanical reason to either prefer or anti-prefer federation or unification depending on your goals and whether you control the figurative Germany, the figurative Greece, or both.

I am now building up armies in Canada to liberate Washington the next time it engages in a colonial war of oppression. Meanwhile the game’s Big Bad is chuckling as us shadowy world governments make no progress on him due to hot wars on three continents.

This game has my favorite take on Guns vs. Butter of any strategy game, because you get about a dozen sliders per region which determine how you allocate Investment Points (earned monthly, cube root of GDP in billions), and each time you hit a threshold on a slider something ++s.

And so you can either maximize investment to Spoils to loot a nation for the benefit of your cause or you could e.g. split 50/50 to Funding (grants you ongoing income) and Economy (slooooowly make the investment pie bigger) but then local elites may be annoyed re: where is loot.

And then next to priorities like Knowledge (eventually builds research velocity) or Boost (lift capacity to orbit, key mid-game resource), armies are stupid expensive and mostly sit around doing nothing. Which is why I built none. Which is why U.S. now running roughshod.

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