A Young Leader with a Lot to Prove
Hi – I am a playtester for Star Dynasties. To show what the game is like to play, I am writing a series of AARs based on the current prototype, warts and all. Star Dynasties is in development, so some of the game systems are incomplete or might work differently as we evolve the game. Hope you enjoy! Christine
Well … this is me … Katie Bond
Leader of my own faction at just 25 years old, inherited when my father died at 44 years old.
I am compassionate, loyal and accountable, but unfortunately, I am also hideous apparently!
Note: we are going to change ‘hideous’ and ‘beautiful’ as personality characteristics to something less physical because the values are not sync’d up with the portrait features and Katie clearly isn’t hideous.
I am surrounded by relatives who don’t seem to like me much, and therefore I don’t quite trust – including my half-brother who is next in line to rule if I meet an untimely death. Just before he died, my father arranged a marriage for me and thankfully, my husband and I have good opinions of each other (+89 and +49 respectively) and are very happy to be married. Given how precarious my political position is, it looks very much like it is the two of us against the rest of the world as I start my rule.
Rather dashing isn’t he! I like the way his green eyes match his outfit (green is our faction’s symbolic colour)
My faction is called The Bond Guild …. I am the area marked in green on the star map, my domain is sandwiched between The Ayers Clan faction who are more powerful (blue borders), and The Gamble Union faction who is about the same military strength as me (purple borders).
My home colony, Alathfar, is the capital of my faction and I own three adjacent colonies whose rulers have sworn allegiance to my house (presumably to my father), and therefore now to me. Unfortunately, my rulers and I have pretty low opinions of each other, so their loyalty and willingness to keep me in power is a concern too!
It’s not great that Alpha Ceti is out on a limb by itself, luckily there is no direct star lane to Baten Kaitos, but it is vulnerable to attack from Eta Cassiopeiae.
Miserable bunch! My priorities are going to be to keep out of any skirmishes in space, and try to improve my political power at home by having babies to replace my half-brother as my heir, and being really really nice to my rulers and key members of my family on my own colony to build some goodwill and support!
I am playing Star Dynasties in Story Mode, which means that I am presented with 3 possible actions that I can take (or I can skip without taking any action if I prefer) and the story moves on. The game engine selects three actions which are in keeping with my character, and most likely to lead to outcomes which benefit me. This leads to some interesting dilemmas because I can only choose one of the three actions presented (or none), and there is no guarantee that I will see the other two choices again any time soon since my circumstances will be changed by my actions and by other characters in the simulation!
Taking My First Action
So … let’s make my first move as leader.
Choice A – I could suggest a romance in secret to one of my neighbouring faction leaders, Leader Odele Ayers.
Interesting that the AI thinks this is a good idea given that my husband is the only person in the world that likes me so far, and I suspect that might change if he found out I was having a clandestine love affair! To be fair, I am weak militarily – so using my womanly ways to try and entice a stronger leader to be my lover (and therefore, hopefully, ally in battle if I’m attacked) might not be such a stupid idea after all?
(Note: The ability to suggest a secret fling to other faction leaders currently may change as we flesh the romance system out. Not sure it makes sense to have secret long-distance relationships like this.)
Choice B – I could give my stepmother, Rosaline Kerr, a role in the Diplomatic wing of my house.
Rosaline is one of the more supportive of my kin, so it is probably worth giving her a position of greater influence and status in my house.
Choice C – I could arrange a marriage for my grandmother, Tanya Bond
Nothing against my grandmother, but she is 60 years old and arranging a marriage for her will not be too easy because she is past child-bearing age. Frankly, I have bigger problems of my own to fix … sorry Granny!
Having quickly ruled out C, I did a bit of background research into the other two choices.
Leader Odele Ayers
Oooooh …. that’s interesting, I can see that a year ago Leader Ayers had proposed a marriage between our two houses which my father rejected, involving me and someone I don’t know in Leader Ayer’s house. Leader Odele Ayer’s opinion of me is a meagre +1 but this is actually due mainly to differences in our personalities – he doesn’t like me because I am hideous, and he is gorgeous, and on top of that he is unfeeling (what a narcissistic snob!)
Well … I wasn’t keen on being a baddy and cheating on my lovely husband (and future father to my children) anyway, but I will definitely ignore A now because it is highly unlikely that Leader Ayers would accept my offer of an illicit romance.
So … B looks like the option to take. I’m happy with taking this action because it should make Rosaline happier and increase her positive opinion of me as a result. She was acting leader of my faction when my father was unwell for a few months, and she did not cause any trouble for me when my father died and I legally inherited his faction leadership. So, all in all, I think she’s likely to remain on my side and I should cultivate her goodwill.
Note: In the version of the prototype I am playing today, Rosaline wasn’t actually pleased with being given the Diplomacy role, but it is on the roadmap to modify character happiness for this action up or down before the game goes public (possibly based on match with their skills and ambition).
Assigning characters to roles, and establishing council members for each role strengthens the effectiveness of my house to operate, so B is a good action to take for this reason too! Most of my house members are idling their time away, doing nothing useful so that is what I will focus on next!