The Let's Play Archive

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

by nweismuller

Part 11: 2191-2200: One Hundred Years on Chiron

One Hundred Years on Chiron

In 2191, a Dominion rover platoon attempted to assault Bushnell Center, while Dominion infantry pushed north across the border south of Torrson, soon to be hunted down by North Pholan rovers. With these losses, the Dominion offensives were blunted for a time, with the Dominion struggling to assemble an assault force they were confident in sending across the border. Meanwhile, the growing settlement of Talon entered its own economic boom, as productivity and quality of life amongst its people remained excellent.

A year later, the colony mission spearheaded by the Tlaloc Initiative retreated back to Morgan after detecting a swarm of aquatic mindworms in the xenofungus outside of the settlement. Although Morgan braced for worm attack, it never came- it seemed likely the worms had moved on elsewhere.

By 2195, development of pre-collegiate education systems and maternity health clinics in Morgan had emerged as a major local industry split between a number of different firms. Apollo Meditech had, perhaps, the strongest position in maternity health and hospitals, but the sector remained highly decentralised. Still, with reliable and cheap medical assistance for new mothers and with a consistently high level of early education, it became easier for many young families in Morgan to raise new children.

The Children's Creche provides an interesting grab-bag of benefits, and is generally rather useful to pick up when possible, although not usually my first priority by any means.

By this year, a group of Dominion infantry had reached the front near Bushnell Center, moving in along with the Dominion mindworm swarm to occupy the bluffs due south of Bushnell Center, attempting to cut the settlement off from its mines. Rat Patrol, which had reinforced Bushnell Center, led the attack south, rooting the Dominion infantry out from an excellent defensive position and conclusively smashing them with laser and rifle fire. A portion of the Bushnell garrison joined the assault, dropping white phosphorous grenades amidst the worms and burning them out. Reports filtered back that the Dominion worm handlers were themselves killed by incendiaries during the battle, burning to death. Still, their bodies and gear were recovered, and sent on to the Morgan Industries Xenobiology Division for study. The mines remained in North Pholan hands.

Victory while attacking a tile can cause collateral damage against other units in the tile, unless there are fortifications there. This helped soften the worms up for the attack that wiped them out.

In 2197, continued genetic research led by Doctor Kimberley of Morgan Industries Xenobiology bore fruit in the development of a stable technology of gene splicing, which was swiftly licensed to agricultural and medical firms across North Pholus. Adaption of Terran crops to better endure Chironian conditions could allow for massive harvests, while the ability to swiftly develop genetic tweaks in human subjects promised to allow great strides in testing new genetic treatments for aging and disease.

Gene Splicing is the first of three technologies that lifts resource restrictions; it allows for nutrients in a non-resource, non-settlement tile to exceed 2. Research Hospitals have significant scientific and somewhat less significant psych benefits, and will be valuable to construct when we can.

Meanwhile, the first North Pholan heavy long-range laser battery began an ongoing and largely fruitless bombardment of troops over the border. The relatively limited firepower of weapons lasers combined with the difficulties of long-range targeting combined Dominion forces to largely dig in and endure the assaults.

Artillery can bombard every unit in a tile, but each unit is only attacked once, for a maximum of one point of damage, out of the 10 a unit starts with- this is intended to reflect the poorer accuracy of long-range bombardment. Given the defensive bonuses that the enemy has in their positions and the weakness of lasers, we don't really accomplish much with this yet.

By 2198, a permanent military command center and training facility was established in Morgan, the current Central Command of the North Pholan military forces. Meanwhile, the Tlaloc Initiative, having set out when it was clear the worms was gone, established its own settlement just north of Dry Island, making North Pholus' first settlement in the seas of Chiron.

The Republic of North Pholus as of 2200

A web of road and rail links now joins every North Pholan settlement south of Talon, and the encroaching xenofungus in the area is slowly being pushed back. Terraformer teams south and southwest of Talon continue work to clear the xenofungus, with a permanent security detachment guarding the terraformers out of Talon. Most of the defensive forces in Gaia's Landing have been moved up to the front, controlling the territory on the south side of the border and preventing safe insertion of North Pholan intelligence operatives, although plans are to move Rat Patrol and a portion of the Torrson garrison up to the front to provide a secure base from which Intelligence can take action.

Units exert a zone of control in the tiles surrounding them, preventing movement from one tile in enemy ZOC to another tile in enemy ZOC. Only probe teams are immune. Thus, the Dominion positions on their side of the border control all approaches. To insert a probe team safely, we would need to have military units protecting our southernmost tile on the coast, allowing a probe team to stop there without getting immediately killed. Once Rat Patrol is in position, we should be able to safely accomplish this.

The outbreak of war has spurred major military investment, with a number of security and weapons firms pursuing major research projects. The needs of development have continued to eat up investment capital as it is generated, although capital formation remains strong.

With all xenofungus on land cleared from the closest approaches to Morgan, it now enjoys a certain increased measure of security. The capital is easily the most heavily-developed settlement in North Pholus, and a major center of investment and innovation. As elsewhere, living standards have slipped somewhat during the war, but productivity and overall quality of life remains high.

The economic burden for serving as the forward base for a major Republic military force has tied up many of Torrson's factories with the production of munitions, supplies, and equipment for the armies here, and work on a forward command post here has been started. Every Dominion move past the border has been shattered, and work to begin planting a new forest to the North of Torrson should replace its vanished forestry industry.

Tellus, securely behind the front lines, has prospered with civilian investment over the past decade, and it is expected to enjoy increased reactor capacity and the industrial benefits this brings very soon.

Bushnell continues to labor at its major computing project, while its own forestry industry taking advantage of land to the west has begun. Paper is used in massive quantities in the design process for the project. Forestry near Bushnell is expected to grow in importance, with terraformers working on extending the forest to the north.

Talon is currently suffering a modest economic downturn, although development of more support facilities and businesses about the settlement are expected to end the recession within a year. Given the ongoing war, it is expected that Talon Security may shortly take steps to turn the settlement into a major security recruitment and arms manufacture center.

The new settlement of Tlaloc has established its own local garrison, and is working on constructing work vessels to help develop the seas surrounding it. Reprocessing facilities and sealed domes against the pressure are vital to the survival of the settlement, which otherwise remains small and yet poorly-developed.

New sea bases automatically start with a pressure dome in place.

The known situations in the Federation and Dominion remain much as they were a decade ago, with the Dominion's offensive faltering against North Pholus' strength. North Pholus remains the most populous state of the three known, and by far the one with the strongest economy.

After one hundred years on Chiron, North Pholus is a nation with its own culture and identity, with generations of development on a new planet and differences in culture and technology shaping it as a place apart from its neighbors. The nation prospers, even despite the hardships of war. Leaders in North Pholan business and politics look forward to another century, with hopes that their nation will endure that long and achieve even greater heights of accomplishment in time.