Post Collapse Society

In this post, I will describe the political structure of the galaxy. The game has matured in this area recently, so it’s good to outline the big picture.


First, a quick refresher on the background. In the 22nd century humanity had a foothold in the stars, but the inadvertent destruction of Earth has plunged the galaxy into a new dark age. In the years since the Collapse, there has been the near total loss of the political, technological, and economic advances of human civilization. The initial focus of the colonies, never intended to be self-sufficient, was simply survival. Disconnection of the lifeline of resources from Earth wiped out many, and the survivors faced a most desperate enemy – each other. The ensuing lawlessness shattered the old political structure and led to the rise of warlords and a brutal cycle of subsistence and war. Several hundred years later the colonies have stabilised into a simple feudal society. An aristocratic elite fight between themselves for the right to rule over the scattered fragments of human kind.


This elite population is organized into houses, typically consisting of an extended family and their more trusted servants. Houses are headed by an autocratic patriarch or matriarch that wields its power absolutely. This power usually comes from its exclusive control of parts of a colony. For example, a wealthy house may control a shaft in a mining base, or one of the hydroponic farms that feeds a system. Houses formed out of the gangs that arose initially after the Collapse to seize and control colony resources, and which have now matured to become the backbone of the political structure. To be anyone of any consequence you must be a member of a house. Membership is hereditary, although houses will sometimes adopt new members from junior houses or the peasant population when they need more henchmen.

Managing a house in Star Dynasties
You assign your house’s members to roles based on their skills and your needs.

Usually, the most powerful house in a colony has established itself as its overall ruler, and maintains order and dominance through a mix of political manoeuvring and force. While weak rulers are sometimes overthrown, ruling houses that maintain their position for many years come to be seen as the legitimate source of order in a colony. Over multiple generations, this social order has stabilised and developed its own customs, martial rituals, and obligations. The most important of these is that each house is expected to participate in the defence of the colony by maintaining a military force that can be called upon by the ruler. Houses rarely need any encouragement to do so, as defenceless ones tend to be taken advantage of by their more martial peers.


Some colonies group together into factions, led by their strongest ruler.  These political relationships between colonies are more tenuous because of the distance between stars. A colony can be spread across multiple installations in a system but the travel time between these locations will still be hours at most. The jump between two systems takes several days, and this makes it impractical for any house to control territory on multiple stars with the same effectiveness. What has evolved over time are relationships of tribute, military service, and protection between strong rulers and their neighbours. These leaders can call upon the combined militaries of those that they have cajoled or threatened to belong to their faction, and use this combined military might to keep their faction’s rulers and other nearby leaders in check.

As this social structure has solidified, norms of obedience, loyalty, and acceptable behaviour between leaders and rulers have emerged. Leaders are seen as the legitimate heads of the status hierarchies of the galaxy, but those that abuse their position draw universal ire. Acts of tyranny make a leader vulnerable to rebellion from ambitious rulers. A leader’s faction persists beyond their death and its leadership is inherited by their children, a custom that avoids a lot of unnecessary bloodshed.

Star Dynasties Star Map: Leagues and Factions
Some factions group together into powerful leagues, led by archons


The strongest leaders, called archons, establish master-subject relationships with other leaders.  Leagues can form when a leader submits to another instead of risking annihilation.  However they usually form when a faction simply grows too large to be managed by a single leader and the members of their house.  Such leaders are forced to weaken their grip on their extended territory, breaking it up into separate factions and granting them to vassal leaders.

Archons that successfully maintain control over their league of factions occupy the shaky pinnacles of the galaxy’s power structure.

Custom and Law

Binding society together is a code of primitive ethics and law that has been adopted slowly over time. Unsurprisingly this largely serves the interests of the most powerful, who perpetuate the belief that they are the rightful wielders of power in the galaxy. However it provides good restrictions against general violence, by prohibiting military adventures without any justification and other destabilizing acts. Systems of hereditary rights have evolved at multiple levels; house, faction, system, and league. These help to provide continuity of ownership with minimal dispute and to reduce incentives for acquiring wealth through naked aggression.

An important institution is marriage, as both an avenue to acquire hereditary rights peacefully, and a mechanism of reducing violence and building alliances.  As a consequence, divorce is widely frowned upon.

One area in which the powerful have had to bend is to fulfil the role of providing rough justice for their followers. Even a mighty archon will fall if they routinely ignore the valid grievances of their subjects.

Star Dynasties Society; As a leader you will be responsible for punishing the worst crimes of your followers
As a leader you will be responsible for punishing the worst crimes of your followers

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AAR – Jory Hutchinson – #3

Diary of Jory Hutchinson: 3014 – 3023


Leader Jory Hutchinson

I am Jory Hutchinson. Faction Leader of The Hutchinson Dominion since 3001.

51 years old; married (twice) with two surviving daughters, Brielle and Teagan, and living on the capital system, Phecda.

My earlier logs are: 3002: The Beginning and Star Date: 3005 – 3010

Diary Entry: Star Date – 3014

The last few years have been very unsettled – rulers from all factions, including mine, are raiding weaker systems for resources, and even occasionally allying with each other to raid the capital systems of leaders.

The bad blood between Vandalin and Argus is causing significant problems now (the two rulers joined me after Argus’s rebellion  led to the downfall of Vandalin’s faction).

Dislike of each other – Argus and Vandelin

Argus and Vandalin have raided each other multiple times in tit-for-tat attacks. Initially I helped Vandalin defend, but latterly I am remaining neutral. The only solution I can see is to depose one of them as ruler, but they both have allies among my other rulers and I suspect the attempt would split my faction in half.

Diary Entry: Star Date – 3016

I attacked, conquered and deposed Ruler Kimberly Medina, a ruler from the Diaz Collective faction who kept raiding my systems and allying with some of my rulers against others.

I gave her system, Juxta, to my daughter Brielle to rule.

My rulers, however,  became unhappy with the frequent fighting caused by raids, and the war with the Diaz Collective over Juxta and Tseen (another system I conquered).

Unhappy Rulers

I never under estimate the ability of discontented rulers to de-stabilise a faction, so I quickly regained the approval of my rulers by reducing their taxes to me.

I maintained the state of ‘at war’ with Leader Roger Diaz for two years,  but neither of us made any attacks. As the stronger leader, I invited him to surrender twice but he chose to surrender to Leader Luam Hanson with whom I had no enmity, and so the war was ended.

Star Map in 3017

I am the most powerful leader in this quadrant of space with 12 systems and a strong military fleet of ships.

My house has grown in prosperity to host over 50 nobles and I have sent several diplomats as ambassadors to live on the systems of my neighbouring rulers and leaders, increasing my public reputation for diplomacy rather than warfare.

Diary Entry: Star Date – 3018

Unfortunately, Juxta’s economy was in a bad state at the end of the war with the Diaz Collective. Brielle could not save the system, and the colony had to flee to safety, leaving it in ruins.

I decided the time had come to sort out some of the more disloyal rulers.

I deposed Ruler Odessa Davies from the Tau Cygni system because she allied with my enemy, Leader Roger Diaz against me in the war and later they also raided my system together!

Ruler Odessa Davies Deposed

I gave the rule of the Tau Cygni system to my wife, whose title  became Ruler Oralee Dean and she moved there with our youngest daughter, Teagan.

This appointment greatly pleased Oralee, who is ambitious (and made amends for her grievance against me for an affair I’d had with Leader Diaz’s mother, Rosalba in the past!).

Ruler Oralee Dean

However, before I could turn my attention to the long-running feud between Argus and Vandalin, the system infrastructure on Yildun collapsed after a raid by Argus leaving Vandalin and my grand-children, Hila and Santos, homeless and without status.

System Collapse at Yildun

I gave Vandalin and his people a home on Phecda.

As Hila was 18 years old, I arranged a good marriage for her with Noble Colman Ayers, the son of a nearby ruler from the Deleon faction and she moved to her husband’s system, Neshmet.

Santos is 15 years old, and a fine looking boy – already sporting a moustache, he resembles me! I look forward to negotiating a marriage with good prospects for Santos in the future.

Hila Hutchinson, aged 18, and Santos Hutchinson, aged 15

Diary Entry: Star Date 3020

I have deposed Ruler Grizelda Newman from Marfik for not responding to my call to arms and for allying with outsiders to raid rulers in her own faction which she has done several times over the years. We have never liked each other.

Ruler Griselda Newman Deposed

I gave Marfik to Brielle – hopefully she will have more luck with this system!

Ruler Brielle Hutchinson

As I had ample and clear justification to depose Grizelda and Odessa, my rulers supported my actions on Tau Cygni and Marflk without concern, and my reputation was undamaged.

I raised my rulers’ taxes to medium, but spent the next six months investing in the economies of all my faction’s systems to ensure that our faction remained powerful.

On a sad note, my wife, Odessa died at the relatively young age of 50 – our daughter, Teagan, inherited Tau Cygni and rules there now.

Without Grizelda, Odessa or Vandalin in power, there were far fewer raids amongst my rulers and I did not engage in any fighting unnecessarily – my only combat was to help Ruler Cory Ibarra survive a rebellion on her system.

No further diary entries by Jory Hutchinson ….

Post-Script – Star Date Jan 3023

Jory Hutchinson died suddenly at the age of 61, in the year 3021.

Jory Hutchinson’s Funeral

His daughter, Brielle Hutchinson inherited his empire of 11 systems but she was intensely disliked by her father’s rulers and her rule was short and disastrous.

The end was swift. Leader Gizelle Deleon declared war on the Hutchinson Faction, and took the Tseen and Sigma Draconis systems in combat easily when Brielle’s rulers ignored her call to arms. Praecipua, the next system to be attacked, collapsed and became uninhabitable.

Leader Deleon declares war on The Hutchinson Dominion faction

Brielle’s half-sister, Ruler Teagan Dean, took the opportunity to raid Phecda, which also became uninhabitable as a result of the combat; making Brielle homeless and ousting her as faction leader.

Brielle’s half sister, Teagan, defeats her in combat

Teagan became faction leader, aged 16, but the Hutchinson Faction was quickly defeated by the Deleon and Diaz Collective factions which attacked simultaneously.

Game Over

Jory Hutchinson’s legacy was wiped out in 6 months.

Play Tester’s Note

This AAR showcases Strategy Mode, where I play the game with full control to select any valid action for my character.

The fate of characters is influenced by personality traits, opinions character form of each other, kinship and feudal bonds, economic/military strength and consequences of actions taken. The success of Jory and failure of Brielle was not  pure chance.

Our other story, Katie Bond, features Star Dynasties in Story Mode where the player selects an action from recommended options.

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

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AAR – Jory Hutchinson – #2

Diary of Jory Hutchinson: 3005 – 3010


Leader Jory Hutchinson

Hello again! I am the Faction Leader of The Hutchinson Dominion, and this is my diary.

Here is what I wrote in 3002:  Jory Hutchinson – The Beginning

Diary Entry: Star Date – July 3005

My household is well populated with 19 nobles belonging to my House, and 4 guests (diplomats from other star systems). My daughters, Brielle and Iokina, are married; Iokina has a  daughter, Hila, and is expecting her second child.

My wife, Oralee, is also pregnant. She is my second wife (not Brielle and Iokina’s mother).

My faction has been at peace for the last 4 years and my four rulers have been loyal, although Ruler Grizelda Newman is unhappy with me for not helping her quell a rebel uprising on her system.

Diary Entry: Jan 3006

My wife, Oralee, successfully gave birth to a daughter, Teagan.

Tragically, Iokina died in childbirth although the baby survived, he is called Santos. I had hoped that Iokina and Vandalin, her husband (and heir to the Trujillo Planets faction), would enjoy a long marriage with several children to build a strong alliance based on family ties.

Funeral of Iokina Hutchinson

Six months later, Vandalin’s father, Leader Clove Trujillo, also died and Vandalin became faction leader of the Trujllo Planets. However, our factions are very similar in size and military power, and we have a good opinion of each other so our alliance remains strong.  Hila, my 4-year old grand-daughter is Vandalin’s  heir, but he has married again so probably she and Santos will have siblings with rival (albeit weaker) claims to inherit their father’s faction.

Diary Entry: Jul 3010

The factions around me have become increasingly unstable.

Star Map in the Year 3010

Leader Ezra Bass, has the largest faction near me but three of his rulers are constantly fighting – raiding other systems, and asking him for military support or justice which he ignores. Albadah was raided so often that the system infrastructure collapsed and the colony living there had to abandon it. I gave Ruler Grizelda Newman resources to increase the military strength of Marfik which borders the Bass Colonies; and we have supported Ruler Wiley McConnell, the Bass ruler of 70 Ophiuchi, in combat to earn her goodwill as her system is next door to us.

Ruler Wiley McConnell

Vandalin’s faction has fragmented into two. One of his rulers, Ruler Argus Wilkerson, raided Vandalin’s system, Yildun,  and stole resources from him. Vandalin tried to depose him with the help of another ruler and myself  but failed to win the combat in spite of having a much larger military force (supplied by me), and Argus Wilkerson has broken away and set himself up as an independent single system faction.

Breakaway Faction Leader Argus Wilkerson

On my other border, the Diaz Collective faction declared war on someone unknown to me, and conquered a system so they are growing more powerful.

Vandalin was left in such a weak position that I suggested he surrender his power to me and become part of my faction. It was highly likely that one of the larger factions would have attacked him so he accepted and became one of my rulers.

Vandelin surrenders his faction to me

I then asked the rebellious Leader Argus Wilkerson to surrender to me as well because he was also vulnerable, and he did – which could get interesting as Vandalin obviously has a grievance against Argus for breaking up his faction.

I have learnt of two new neighbours, the Heath Territories and Deleon Quadrant factions, through Vandalin’s rulers.

I am in a strong position with 9 systems in my faction

Factions known to me in 3010

This AAR showcases Strategy Mode, where I play the game with full control to select any valid action for my character.

Our other story, Katie Bond, is a more light-hearted look at how you can play Star Dynasties in Story Mode where you are choosing between recommended options.

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

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