Part 3: The Death of a Party
Chapter 3: The Death of a Party
Josef Nasarov was the first official member of the Novistranan Coalition to be added to the inner circle. While some of Piotr Prokofiev's critics have accused him of favoritism and helping his friends get good jobs, Prokofiev's defenders point to the gusto, influence, and efficiency that Nasarov approached his work with. When he was unavailable to work for Prokofiev or busy with another political maneuver for his faction, he would still demand he be kept in the loop about all of the results coming in from other inner circle members. In addition to this, Nasarov still kept a strong tie to the Ekaterine unions long after the inner circle itself departed to Pugachev and Berezina, underscoring the loyalty that Prokofiev so respected in his friend.
The immediate concern of the fledgling faction was to become consciously aware of what was going on around them, and to begin gathering support in their home district to let the people of Ekaterine know that they were legitimate. Josef Nasarov acted as an advisor for much of the Ekaterine campaign, writing memos for Prokofiev and curt demands of his associates. Memos to other factions peppered with colorful language demanding them to stand aside as the Coalition marched forth were one of Nasarov's specialties.
But what nobody could have predicted would be that a major faction in Ekaterine would be utterly destroyed a scant few days after the Novistranan Coalition came to power. Rumor has it that the obliteration of the party was overseen by Vasily Karasov himself...
* * *
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Josef Nasarov's Request: 17/02/1996
Comrade, times are hard in Ekaterine. The establishment must be kept from knowing about a faction in the making. I suggest finding a relatively secret place where we can convince a new recruit to join us.
As you suggested, I will canvass the Shubnoi Industrial Estate to get more support for our coalition, and I'll make sure to emphasize solidarity instead of freedom or capitalism. I plan to target the apartments south of the district: a number of my friends and union associates live there and will be able to spread the word of our revolution. Let's not disappoint them!
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Fifth Entry: 17/02/1996
Josef Nasarov is correct. Looking back on our meeting, it was a foolish idea to accept the encounter at the chicken shop as it was unquestionably the most conspicuous place to recruit a lieutenant to my faction. I shall have to find the nooks and crannies of Novistrana so that my encounters remain not only a secret to other factions, but to the eyes of Karasov's secret police as well.
I should verify that my camera has film and that my cell phone still has batteries that don't leak all over the headset. I've bought a map of the city, so I shall be doing a little scouting tonight.
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Semyon Titov's Congratulations: 17/02/1996
Congratulations on getting your party started, but I can't help feeling left out. After all the plans we made together when we were young, to see you following the dream without me is disappointing. I could still be persuaded to join you, but bear in mind that I have my own schemes now.
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Boris Filatov's Remarks: 17/02/1996
After all the plans we made when we were younger, I felt sure that you would approach me and welcome me into your new faction. I shall be pursuing my own path all the more vigorously after the way you have snubbed me. If you want me to join you now, you'd better have some good arguments to win me round.
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Sixth Entry: 17/02/1996
I do not feel too bad about letting Semyon and Boris go their own way, at least for now. I respect Semyon's reaction to me choosing Josef over him, but Boris's reaction only served to both amuse me and certify that he's still the selfish child we always knew he was. I'm glad that I didn't choose him. I cannot imagine what sort of chaos he would cause if he decided he got bored with the entire endeavor... or what he would do if I revealed that my ultimate goal is to strip his upper class toadies of their ill-gotten gains and install a worker-friendly environment they'd surely see as hell.
I still have room for one more member in my inner circle, but I mustn't gravitate towards Semyon or Boris right away. There may be other useful, influential people that I can convince to join the Coalition. The only thing I need to make sure is that they won't cause too many ideological waves... and perhaps pick someone that Josef won't hate on sight.
The memos that you get from the "childhood friends" you don't pick are exactly as I've written them, but they are randomly assigned between the two characters. In this LP, Semyon kept being the "you snubbed me!" whiner, so I switched it around because seriously, with Boris's trust fund background, you sort of expect him to act like that... right?
* * *
: Talk to me, Josef. What's the situation down at Oleg's Beer and Spirits?
: It's going as smooth as butter, Piotr. However, I'm getting quite a few grumbles that I'm being too political for them, that we're just playing at parliament when we ought to be holding strikes.
: That's to be expected. Still, you know the area and the people best.
: I didn't expect canvassing for a revolutionizing faction to be so boring! I'm getting positive feedback. They like what we're telling them about our support to unions and workers' rights.
: Good, good.
: I won't be able to knock on every door, but we need to raise support in our home district before we look to the other industrial sectors. Although...
: Although what? Is something wrong?
: We aren't the only party in town, comrade. The Union of Socialist Workers and the Democracy Now Party have supporters here. Whenever I tried to canvass people who threw their lot behind either faction, they shut the door in my face.
: Hmm. We'll worry about that later, Josef. I don't blame Novistranans for loyally supporting their faction when another comes around to recruit them, but everyone's mind can be changed... One way or another.
: Whatever you say, comrade. How is the scouting coming along?
: It's been going great, actually. I'm finding those hideaways you told me to keep an eye out for. I've also found a possible new recruit for the Coalition.
: Who is he?
: A small-time hood called Pev Markov. He's been doing some "freelance" vandalism up here.
: I don't think I like the sound of that...
: Remember Josef, those with the will survive. If worst comes to worst, we may need to find allies in the underworld.
: Don't talk like that, Piotr. I'd sooner have an ex-union buster helping us than a street rat.
: Only voicing a possibility, Josef. I've got to go. There are some photos I need to take.
: Just as well. I'm getting to the next tenement.
: I'll see you in the headquarters in the morning. Until then, comrade.
: Goodbye, comrade.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Pev Markov: Criminal
Pev had a hard upbringing in the state orphanages. Years of abuse and institutionalization have made him the hardened character he is today. Quick-witted and agile, he can more than hold his own in a fight.
Criminals have a good thing going for them: most of their skills complete faster than other professions'. Skills like Graffiti and Vandalize are almost instant when a character uses them, which can be a blessing if you're trying to snag that last batch of neutral Proles to your side before your enemy does, or to cripple an enemy's support before you claim it for yourself on the same time slot. The downside is that criminal activities are also very dirty and carry hefty Sleaze penalties, which your opponents can exploit if you don't cover your tracks. I'll give more information on Sleaze later.
* * *
"I can't believe it. Josef, have you seen this?" Prokofiev called his friend over before he left to do another round of canvassing in the morning, handing him the morning's edition of the Ekaterine Echo.
"What is it?" the union activist asked, taking the paper and sitting down on one of the apartment's cozier office chairs.
"I never thought that the old bastard would have the nerve to call us all out."
"You don't think he's going to attack us here in Ekaterine, do you?" Nasarov asked not out of fear, but out of anger.
"We're not that far from Berezina, but he is too busy trying to keep a hold of the capital." Prokofiev ventured. "He may strengthen his information network, though."
"So what's the point of forcing a small town like Ekaterine to print this?"
"Karasov's lapdogs control the media, but Ekaterine is home to a sizable media elite squaring off against the working class. I'm sure he's counting unions under this broad definition of 'factions', so these new rules are just an excuse to lash the noose around us even tighter."
"That God-damned snake, pushing us like that. What are we going to do?"
Prokofiev got out of his chair, picked up the canvassing clipboard Nasarov had used last night, and handed it to him.
"We're going to shove."
* * *
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Tresori Vilnov's Advice: 18/02/1996
Piotr Prokofiev, it's been a long time since I've heard such a public stirring from you! I am not surprised to hear that you have begun a political party. Things in Berezina have become heated lately, and this latest newspaper article has caused a lot of anger up here to keep the secret police busy. It was enough tumult for me to hear from my contacts in Ekaterine that a "coalition" has finally taken flight, and who should be its leader but you, my student!
I feel that I must give you some advice. Back in the old days, even before the USSR, I ran into problems with my own campaign. I did not have anyone who could effectively reduce the pull of the other parties. I was very good at persuading neutral people to join us, but if they already supported a different faction they would never be mine.
Learn from my mistakes and do not repeat them. Recruit someone who has skills that complement yours and find someone who is able to attack opponents' support. Always consider a person's skills when recruiting and remember that their ideology will affect their desire to work for you.
It warms my old heart to hear that your cause is still to help our comrades earn the paradise that Marx and Lenin had promised them. Should your movement grow large enough to attack Karasov directly, come see me in Berezina.
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Eighth Entry: 18/02/1996
Ah, Tresori, my old mentor. It's so good to hear from him right when I need him most. He is a great man. He could have led our country to sovereign rule 40 years ago had the USSR not swallowed us.
He is a man of knowledge and experience. A man who I admire, trust and respect, as do all that have been fortunate enough to have met him. If he recommends that I should find someone who can attack opponents then I trust his judgment and should endeavor to do just that.
I'm surprised that he has lasted this long out of Karasov's clutches. He must have powerful and loyal friends to hide him. He may be a bit touch too academic and peaceful when times call for a show of power, but I'll keep in mind to seek him out.
* * *
"Well, I'll be damned. Looks like this Tarasov isn't taking things lying down," Prokofiev muttered to himself as he picked up one of the afternoon editions of the Ekaterine Echo. The Echo was plastered all over the old newsstand that Prokofiev and his parents had frequented all those years back, and he was happy to see it was still working.
"A series of simultaneous rallies?" Prokovief read out loud, clearly jealous but at the same time admiring. "I should try to get in contact with this Democracy Now. Maybe I can convince them to adopt our worker's platform..."
"Hey, this isn't the National Archive! The paper's five roubles!" A gruff old Novistranan tending the newsstand came around the newsstand's corner, but stopped and smiled broadly when he saw who it was. "Why if it isn't little Piotr! Where have you been, lad?"
"Joseph! Still tending this old shack?" Prokovief grinned. "I've just come home to take care of some business."
"Well it's always good to get a customer back!" Joseph slapped Prokovief in the back, then motioned to the wall of newsprint. "Can you believe it? I'm afraid that the boy is going to be in a lot of trouble for defying Karasov like that."
"You have to give him credit for his courage though," Prokofiev nodded. "How much for the paper, again?"
"The Echo's five roubles, but for you it's free!"
Prokovief couldn't help but laugh at that and tipped the newsman ten roubles before shaking his hand and walking off. Tucking the newspaper under his arm, he leafed through the rough notes he'd made of the another potential recruit he had found in his investigations of Prokovief Plaza.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Oleg Baturin: Priest
Oleg is a local cleric who busies himself with charitable concerns in his run down, local neighborhood. He is usually to be found handing out soup to the impoverished, or collecting old and unwanted shoes and clothing.
Priests are the jack-of-all-trades of the Influence ideology, but they're damn good at what they do and almost ridiculously so. They learn good Support Gathering and Attacking skills, Strengthen and Weaken character skills, a Misinformation skill... And best of all, most of their skills aren't seen as sleazy and "dirty" by the populace. Their only downside is that almost all of their skills require Influence resources to run, which can be a pain if you're relying on the blessings of God to carry your revolution. I will get to resources later.
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Ninth Entry: 18/02/1996
The will of my Novistranan comrades never ceases to amaze me.
The DNP was not just sucking the teat of the media elite to bellow hollow promises. The rallies actually began to take place, and I heard a small one was even forming right outside Josef's cannery. While he was busy canvassing the people, I was completing another scouting session in Kutuzov Works to find a new home for our headquarters.
That is when I saw that the Kutuzov Works rally was being led by Robert Tarasov himself.
I couldn't help it. I had to stop and witness this for myself. I took photos of the rally and of the man. I will study his technique. He is as charismatic as they say he is, and at times, even I caught myself mesmerized by his words denouncing Karasov's censorships of the middle-class.
I'll see if I can't somehow bring him and his supporters to my side. The monied elite may not follow the Coalition, but I will be able to convince the intellectuals to carry my message. They should have enough prestige to strong-arm the rich into supporting me.
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Tenth Entry: 19/02/1996
That son of a bitch Karasov!
I should not have underestimated him. My informers tell me that they saw the man himself, here in Ekaterine! According to a brave soul who was spying on him nearby, Karasov was phoning in an Alpha Squad to raid homes in the Martov Estate. The police... No, Karasov's bodyguards, were not here for routine arrests.
They were here to murder.
I'm hearing panicked rumors that Tarasov has been arrested and sent to the Vostok Green penitentiary rather than being shot like a dog on the street as his lieutenants were. He'll then be sent to a gulag somewhere in Siberia or executed out of the public's eye.
The DNP is as good as dead. With its leaders removed, their supporters will scatter and latch on to anyone else who will give them attention.
Our Novistranan Coalition must be strengthened. I must make sure that our worker's paradise will not be built on the backs of any more brave Novistranans who stand against that murderer, that demon Karasov. Our glorious revolution will not be snuffed like Tarasov's! The people shall overcome!
* * *
Today I'll be talking about support, resources, secrecy, and level-ups in Republic: The Revolution.
Here is a picture of the "strategy screen" of Republic: The Revolution, and where you'll be spending about the entirety of the game looking at. The pie chart in the Shubnoi Industrial Estate catalogs the support each faction has in that district (our faction has 60% support here). The colored bars beneath the district names show you how many resources that district has. If the bar has different colors, that means that there are other ideologies at play in that district. For example, in Prokovief Plaza, there are 55 Influence resource points for grabs, while in the Town Center, there are 50 resource points, but roughly 35 of those points are Wealth and the other 15 are Influence.
Depending on how much support you have in a district, you earn a percentage of that district's resource points. Since we have 60% support in Shubnoi Industrial Estate (Shubnoi has 50 Force points), we earn 60% of those points, so we get a total of 30 Force points from that district.
At the start of every game day, you earn resources from all districts you have support in. Force, Influence, and Wealth resources are the "currency" of the game. You use resources in all game actions. If you don't have enough resources to run an action, you have to wait until the next game day to earn more resources, or cancel a planned action to recoup some resources back to your "bank". Managing resources becomes very difficult if you rely on only one type of ideology to run everything, so it's wise to have at least one inner circle lieutenant who can run actions that use another type of resource.
Because resources come from support, you need to run actions that convert neutral Novistranans to your side. Support Gathering actions only work on neutral Novistranans. If there are no neutral people to convert, the Support Gathering has no effect. In order to make neutral people, you need to run Attack Support actions on your opponents. This causes a number of people to leave the targeted faction and become neutral, up for grabs to anyone. Ironically, the same faction that lost support can immediately get people back on their side. Everyone in Novistrana has a short memory but strong loyalty, it seems. Also, running the same action over and over in the same district weakens its effect. Variety in gathering and attacking support is needed.
An important element for every action in the game is Secrecy. There are some locations in the game that are highly conspicuous, and some that only a few people know about. Knowledge Gathering actions makes these secret locations known as long as you meet their Secrecy threshold. If you want to gather a lot of Novistranans to your side or drive them away from your opponents, pick a location with low Secrecy to make sure everyone hears about it. The flipside is that your opponents will be more likely to hear about it, too. This is a double-edged sword with actions that cause Sleaze because Novistranans don't like seeing factions play dirty.
Secrecy also plays an important role in recruiting, strengthening, weakening, and even assassinating characters. If you run these actions in a high Secrecy location, your action will not only have a higher chance of succeeding, it also is more likely to be hidden from the eyes of other factions. Since Secrecy is a static value for every action and location in the game, you can make things even more secret by running Misinformation actions like Cover Up, Pay Off, or Code of Silence.
This is the game's level-up screen. When a character runs enough actions and gains enough XP, they get points to boost their attributes and one of their skills. Each skill can be leveled up to three stars, giving a character the option to run a stronger version of that skill in return for a higher cost. New skills are unlocked as the character advances on his professional ladder, and he has the option of picking up a new skill instead of upgrading an existing one. There is a level cap of 20 advancements.
In the example above, Piotr has reached level two. The number of stars on a character's portrait shows their approximate level. I have the option of upgrading either Headhunt so I can hire people to my faction with a bit more ease, or Scout so that my investigations also give me details on adjacent districts. There is no contest: I pick the upgraded Scout skill, and choose to dump all of my points into Control so my Scout skill becomes even stronger. The recruitable characters in each city are leveled up from the start of the game, and they randomly pick skills and upgrades before they can be hired. This can be pretty annoying if you can't get a character with the skills you want.