AAR – Katie Bond – #2

Love is in the Air

The story so far:

#1 – Katie Bond: A Young Leader with a Lot to Prove

Faction Leader Katie Bond (me!)

When I took over from my father, I decided to focus on increasing the goodwill of my family and rulers towards me as a matter of domestic policy to strengthen my authority.

In fact, I am a loyal, hardworking and compassionate person, so it is in my nature to do the best I can for my kin and rulers anyway, and I do genuinely care about what they think of me.

Ruler Leland Davis

Ruler Leland Davis approached me first.

He is proposing marriage between his father and my step-mother, with the married couple setting up home together on my colony.

Marriage Offer by Ruler Leland

This looks like a good opportunity to make me more popular with one of my rulers, as well as my stepmother, Rosaline Kerr (as long as she approves). The couple don’t know each other, but they seem compatible – both are considered loyal, and good-looking (lucky them!) Double win!

Rosaline Kerr and Onslow Davis

One slight fly in the ointment is that Ruler Leland’s father is an ambassador for him, living on Situla as a diplomatic guest of Leader Odele Ayers, our very powerful neighbour.

Ambassador Onslow Davis

This marriage will recall Onslow Davis from Situla, which Leader Ayers could take as an unfriendly gesture – although to be fair, any disapproval would be targeted at Ruler Leland Davis. I could be dragged into the conflict to support my ruler if hostilities occurred between them, but the risk is very small.

I want to please Leland Davis, so let’s crack open the champagne and have a wedding between Onslow and Rosaline!

Note: Locating your ambassadors at other colonies earns positive approval for diplomacy, the idea being that it signals a desire for a peaceful relationship.

Grandma Tanya Bond

OMG … this is so fantastic! I am so happy!

More wedding bells in the air apparently ?

I’ve been feeling a bit miserable about refusing to look for a marriage partner for Granny Bond. The topic keeps being suggested, and I keep avoiding it.

I did promote her to my council as my Head of Administration as a sweetener, in spite of the fact that she is notoriously irresponsible and fickle! Even that didn’t improve her mood much.

My Grandmother

Note: happiness in indicated in the bar to the left of the character’s portrait. Red is unhappy, Green is happy

Now my grandmother has taken matters into her own hands and has asked me for permission to marry my stepmother’s father, Noble Cheney Kerr!!

Marriage Request by Grandma Bond

Wow, talk about love affairs happening under your nose!

Apparently, he was attracted to her a year ago, but then I guess he wasn’t sure, or something happened – I don’t know why, but his feelings for her cooled for some reason.

It seems he couldn’t get her out of his mind after all! 3 months ago, he revealed that he does fancy her again (perish the thought that perhaps he was influenced by her promotion as one of my council members?)

Cheney Kerr’s Romantic Attachment

Well, whatever the reason, Granny Bond has pounced on the chance to get a ring on her finger!

Why not, I say! In fact, ‘good on you, Granny and Step-Grandad!!’

They like each other, they’re similar ages, it will make them both happy AND the cherry on the cake is that this marriage will create an even stronger tie of kinship between the relatives from my father’s first and second wives, which can only help our family loyalties to each other. PERFECT!!

Wedding Day


Other Matters of State

Over the next couple of years, I steadily gained in power and earned greater respect as a faction leader by investing in the economies of my rulers’ colonies; giving my family members (and other key individuals) roles and influential positions suited to their skills; and marrying my relatives off into aristocratic and ruling houses around me. Everyone likes to marry into higher status and greater wealth in this world!

After two years, I finally became pregnant and my baby daughter, Isabelle, was born (and became my heir). Leader Odele Ayers’ wife had become pregnant 3 months before me, and rather inappropriately, Leader Ayers propositioned me to have an illicit affair with him! I imagine he didn’t realise that I was also pregnant? Obviously, I refused, which he didn’t like, so I am half expecting he may cause me trouble in the future.

Note: sorry, I forgot to take appropriate screenshots here!

As I sign off for now, I’d like to tell you that Granny and Cheney lived happily ever after; but actually, poor Cheney died two years later so my grandmother is a merry widow again.

Funeral of Cheney Kerr

Look out mankind!


We’re running two AARs in parallel to showcase what Star Dynasties is like to play.  This AAR is a more light-hearted look at how you can play Star Dynasties.  I am playing using Story Mode, where the game presents possible actions in a choose-your-own-adventure approach to interaction.

Our other story, featuring Jory Hutchinson, takes a more analytical approach to the game and also showcases Strategy Mode.

Star Dynasties is in development; some of the game systems in this prototype are incomplete or may change in the future, and more content will be added as development progresses.

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AAR – Jory Hutchinson – #1

The Beginning – Star Date: Jan 3002

We’re running two AARs in parallel to showcase what Star Dynasties is like to play.  This AAR takes a more analytical approach to the game.  I am playing using Strategy Mode, where I have full control over my character’s actions.

Our other story, featuring Katie Bond, is a more light-hearted look at how you can play Star Dynasties, and also showcases Story Mode.

Star Dynasties is in development; some of the game systems in this prototype are incomplete or may change in the future.

Happy Reading – Christine (playtester)


When you start a new game of Star Dynasties, the world has already been simulated for some time, so every character (including yours) has already experienced a series of events and outcomes.

One of the first things I do is look at characters who seem important to me and skim their history logs to glean insights into their opinions of each other, and how past events might affect future actions.

Let’s see how it goes!

Introducing Jory Hutchinson

Hello, I am Faction Leader Jory Hutchinson.

We are a resourceful people, living in colonies scattered across space, following the destruction of our home planet Earth.

This is my diary of my leadership of The Hutchinson Dominion faction which I am a writing as a legacy for my descendants, and anyone else who is interested in hearing about my rule.

The year is Star Date 3002.

Faction Leader Jory Hutchinson

I am an experienced Faction Leader, with strong skills.

My personality is Compassionate, Loyal and Ambitious.

I am married, and I am the rightful owner of all the colonies in my faction

The Known Colonies

These are the three factions in my vicinity that I know something about; The Diaz Collective, The Trujillo Planets and The Bass Colonies (and undoubtedly there are others beyond).

My faction is The Hutchinson  Dominion.

Star Map of Known Factions

My Faction

Let me introduce you to the 5 colonies I own, and to their rulers who have sworn allegiance to me. The capital system of a faction is where the faction leader lives; in my case, Phecda. (indicated by the crown on the map)

The Colonies in The Hutchinson Dominion
My Rulers

My House

Colony populations live in ‘houses’ which are kin groups, friends, allies and anyone else they allow, with a leading Head (e.g. me). My house is the ruling house because of my status.

My Close Kin

These are the key people in my household; my mother, wife, two daughters and my half-brother.

Securing who inherits

Good marriages are a huge opportunity in this world to make new political alliances and to create or strengthen kinship bonds, which bring obligations of loyalty and support. This is doubly critical in the case of one’s heir, of course, to ensure that your heir also has children to inherit from them.

I have managed to secure good marriages for both my daughters; no small feat in the case of my eldest daughter (and heir), Brielle, who is unfortunately considered very dull, and is also irresponsible and fickle in temperament!

Eldest Daughter and Heir – Brielle Hutchinson

Brielle would have preferred a female partner, but as my heir, she knows I have an expectation that she have children to secure the continued inheritance of my empire through my direct bloodline. The agreement we reached was an elegant one from this perspective; Brielle and her uncle (my half-brother from my mother’s second marriage) have married.

My youngest, Iokina, is very charming and I received several requests for her hand in marriage which I rejected.

Youngest Daughter – Iokina Hutchinson

My neighbouring faction leader, Leader Clove Trujillo and I agreed marriage terms between his son (and heir) Vandalin, and Iokina.

It is rather a sweet deal actually. Vandelin moved to my household to marry Iokina, and he has adopted her surname Vandalin Hutchinson. Sadly, Vandelin is a sickly individual.  Hopefully his health lasts until they produce a grandson, who may well inherit the right to lead the Trujillo Planets.

Down to Business

I now need to focus on my domestic affairs, at home.

Firstly, I do not have many people in my household, and that is a problem. I need more people to make my house run better and earn more income.

Secondly, I need to ensure that everyone in my house is contributing to the work of the household and colony by assigning them to roles.

I adopted 6 new members to my household. I then moved people into roles according to their skills, and to cover all the areas needed to run a house as follows

Role Assignments for House Hutchinson

Both of my daughters, Brielle and Iokina are in Administration. Iokina is actually most skilled in Diplomacy, but diplomats often get posted to other colonies and she is pregnant, so I prefer to give her administration duties at home.

I have also appointed my council members, who are the heads of each area – where possible, I always prefer to keep these positions for my close kin who are more likely to remain loyal to me.

Therefore, I made Brielle the senior of my two daughters as my council member for Administration. Diplomacy is led by my mother, Poppy; and Head Surgeon in the Medical area is my half-brother, Liam.

My wife, Oralee, is the Council Head for Military, and a new house member, Bethany heads up my Security area (by herself as no-one else in my house has any aptitude for security, worryingly!)

Council Members – House Hutchinson

Next, I need to pay closer attention to what is happening around me in the other factions, and also see what my rulers are doing.

Want to Comment?

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AAR – Katie Bond – #1

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.

Katie Bond

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.

Leader-Consort Plennie Bond

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).

Star Map

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.

My Rulers

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!

Play Mode

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 of Actions

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.

History Log

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.

Leader Odele Ayers

Rosaline Kerr

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!

My House Members

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