The Let's Play Archive

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

by nweismuller

Part 12: 2201-2210: The Military and the Industrial

The Military and the Industrial

In 2100, Republic Security Party candidate Cal Foster won the position of Colony Executive, promising a more vigorous pursuit of the war against the Dominion of New Gaia In 2101, both Tellus and Talon enjoyed growth in their economies as investment continued, and in fact improving conditions in Talon pulled it out of its temporary recession. Military investment began to displace civilian investment, however, as the Republic shifted more firmly to a wartime footing, and economic conditions largely stagnated for the remainder of the decade.

In 2202, Rat Patrol and one company of local troops out of Torrson set up a forward position near the Dominion border, helping to cover the approach of North Pholan covert ops forces toward Gaia's Landing. These two companies came under immediate attack by four companies of Dominion infantry and a platoon of laser-armed Dominion rovers. In the largest single battle in the war so far, the four companies of Dominion infantry broke against North Pholan lines, being utterly destroyed as effective fighting forces, although the Dominion rovers shattered the local Torrson troops before falling back. Rat Patrol, although it suffered some losses and many grievous injuries in the fighting, nonetheless held firm and distinguished itself with its skill and discipline in battle.

With the battle won, Rat Patrol began to fall back to Torrson to recover from the brutal fighting, while the Intelligence Service commando team inserted themselves across the border and into Gaia's Landing. Of the twelve members of the team, only two ever returned alive, although they carried with them full maps of Dominion territory.

The core of Gaian territory is centered southwest of the Freshwater Sea, with the two largest and most important Gaian settlements located in that region. There is also a long string of Gaian settlements along the eastern edge of the continent that, although individually small and poor, make up nearly half of Gaian population. A massive forest has grown around much of the Gaian heartland, spreading from trees planted by Gaian settlers.

Meanwhile, the garrison forces in Bushnell Center once again had to fight back Gaian worm swarms moving into the mines south of the settlement, this time two full swarms each with their own handlers. The battle was hard-fought, and many garrison troops in Bushnell succumbed to madness that led to weapons being turned on their own comrades. Still, by the end, every worm in the mines had been burnt out with phosphorus fire and their handlers killed, and Bushnell Center remained safe for the time being.

In 2203, reports of riots in Sparta Headquarters reached North Pholus- the poverty and squalor there proved to be breeding grounds for disease and crime. Although the riots were eventually quelled, it was clear that not all was well in the Federation.

The red face over the settlement indicates drone riots, which starts with the settlement's economic output paralysed and gets worse from there as time goes on.

With major resources flowing into the military, command and training centers were opened in Talon and Torrson over 2205 and 2206. Early in 2206, a rover platoon based in Torrson hunted down the hardened veterans of the Gaian rover platoon that had crushed the infantry company earlier, outmanuevering and destroying all the Gaian rovers that had crossed the border.

In 2207, mathematicians working for Bauer-Faust Industries announce a new series of mathematical analytic tools that greatly ease the solution of nonlinear systems, which proves to have immediate applications in compensating for the field interference between magnetic coils in coilguns. With these tools, Bauer-Faust releases the first effective coilgun weaponry manufactured in North Pholus.

New infantry support weapons and new vehicle-mounted weapons using magnetic coils to throw metal slugs at very high speeds have already been dubbed 'impact' weapons in the Spartan Federation, and should allow for a powerful advantage over Gaian forces once fielded in significant numbers.

Although the game is calling them 'particle impactors', they're allowed by an advance that has nothing much to do with particle physics, and the manual's flavor weapon stats describe a high-velocity solid projectile weapon. I thus assume impact weapons are coilguns.

Unfortunately, a year later, Gaian covert ops succeeded in recovering information on North Pholan programming methods from Bushnell Center. With mobile forces largely massed in Torrson to prepare for a push into Gaian territory, there was nobody in position to intercept them before they arrived.

In 2209, Talon Security Services mustered its first full platoon of impact gun-armed rovers, and prepared to send them south to join the front. With this, an offensive push is nearly within reach.

Although the perihelion came to an end in 2210, helping to bring mindworm activity down to normal levels, this was not enough to save one of the two major terraformer teams working near Talon, as a worm swarm boiled out of the fungus to overwhelm and kill the workers there. It was clear that soon the worms would hit Talon itself, with the only hope being that the garrison there can manage to protect the settlement.

A fast foil vessel in the Intelligence Service, recently launched from Morgan, discovered a Unity cargo pod with sonar survey equipment still inside that same year. With this equipment, much of the unknown around the Mouth of Hercules between the continents of Pholus and Hercules was uncovered. Meanwhile, a second platoon of rovers was upgraded to use impact weaponry, helping assemble a fast attack force suitable for crushing the defenses of Gaia's Landing.

With Cal Foster in office, the Republic of North Pholus proved willing to sign a formal alliance with the Spartan Federation against the Federation's own enemies, the settlers of Cryopod 7. Apparently Cryopod 7 has seeded a widespread and scattered society of loosely-allied settlement-states, united by their common history and by their shared heritage of faith.

The Republic of North Pholus as of 2210

The Gaian sensor array south of Torrson has been destroyed by laser artillery fire, and Rat Patrol, one platoon of rovers, an occupation garrison, and the platoon of laser artillery have assembled at the forward deployment point behind the border, awaiting what should be the rapid arrival of a second rover platoon. Gaia's Landing is currently defended by two companies, and it is expected that both rover platoons and Rat Patrol should crush resistance there handily. The countryside of the Spartan Federation remains poorly developed, with only low-efficiency farms and small-scale mine or quarry operations supporting its settlements, and with no outlying thorium collection operations at all. Gaian territory is better-developed, and its people live somewhat more abundant lives.

Although economic development over the decade was reasonably limited, the improvements to the economy in Talon and Tellus and the increased trade with the Federation have helped assure that innovation and investment go smoothly. Huge quantities of capital have been invested into arming, equipping, and training forces, and developing military support facilities that should allow for a well-coordinated, well-supplied, and a well-trained security force.

Morgan prepares to dispatch another Intelligence vessel to the north to scout and survey the seas and attempt to make contact with other colonies. Closer relations with the Spartan Federation have led to an increase in trade volumes, with some benefit to Morgan.

Torrson remains heavily-committed to its position on the front lines, and hosts its own command center overseeing the southern front, directing all active operations there. A new forest replanted north of the settlement has helped restore the wealth it lost from the forest burnt to the south, and a sensor station just south of the settlement provides early warning for the forward position on the border.

Tellus has been working, over the past decade, to set up its own military command station and training grounds, providing oversight in case of any breach of the lines. Investment here has thrived with the expanded reactor capacity in the settlement, and prosperity is generally good.

Bushnell Center still leads the race to develop its project, although delays from incursions into its mines have narrowed its lead. Within six years, Dreamland Games should have a major announcement to make to the whole of North Pholus.

Talon, with its economy largely dominated by security services still, has devoted itself wholeheartedly to providing troops for the front for the duration of the conflict. Fast rover platoons should help to break Gaian resistance and bring an end to the war. The remaining terraformer team and their protectors have taken shelter in the settlement, preparing for the onslaught of the worms. Much of the xenofungus south of the settlement has been cleared, although work was not quite fast enough to clear all the fungus directly bordering the settlement or finish the road and rail links with the rest of the Republic.

Xochimilco has been growing, and has begun to exploit a rich undersea vein of metals for its industry after a series of work boats from Morgan cleared the xenofungus from the water above it. A permanent mining platform to exploit the vein is being erected, while a second fleet of work boats is under construction to help develop the surrounding waters.

The total population of the Dominion matches that of North Pholus, although its economy remains far weaker and its dogmatic religious government sharply restricts the freedoms of its people. No significant research breakthroughs have occurred in the Dominion over the past decade, and so the technical advantage of North Pholus remains intact. The Dominion has stockpiled a significant amount of thorium and industrial materials for emergency use, rather than continually reinvesting it as has been done in the Republic.

With better access to information on the Spartan Federation after the alliance, it has become clear that their economic state is wretchedly bad. Continual power shortages, poor innovation, and a general lack of consumer goods contribute to economic malaise in the Federation. Both Fort Liberty and Hawk of Chiron lack the agricultural assets to continue to grow. There is no technical information that the Federation possesses that could be of use to North Pholus.

The population of the informally-named 'Lord's Alliance' is, by some reports, nearly equal to the population of the Dominion and North Pholus combined. Preliminary reports suggest that each individual settlement is governed by its own mayor, generally chosen once by town meeting and holding the position thereafter. The people of the alliance are eager to defend their faith and their families, and fight with a reckless courage against their enemies, both human and worm, assured by their faith in the promise of an eternal life to come. Although there is no centralised church structure, and, in fact, few overarching institutions between settlements in the alliance in general, the population is generally fairly socially conformist, and variance in interpretation of doctrine between pastors remains fairly moderate. Conformism and a climate of mild mistrust of scientific endeavor not yoked to faith has made them fairly poor innovators.

The Lord's Believers get +2 SUPPORT and a +50% bonus to strength while attacking, as their social solidarity to defend their people and their courage under fire is immense. They recieve a +1 PROBE, being fairly conformist and resistant to outside ideas, but suffer -2 RESEARCH for the same reason. They start with Social Psych, and get -1 PLANET, seeing no reason not to subdue Chiron as they see fit. With Frontier Politics, Simple Economics, and Survival Values, Believer society remains very simple.

The growing populations in North Pholus have made it increasingly clear that improved industrial methods will be needed to support larger population centers and their demands for manufactured goods, but the war against the Gaians promises new successes to come soon. Although the new alliance with the Spartan Federation has set North Pholus against a new enemy, there has been little contact as of yet with the Lord's Alliance, so the threat of new fighting from this war seems remote. So far North Pholus has remained strong, and hopefully shall remain strong into the future.