Friday, April 29, 2011

Battle Report

The following is a retelling of three days' events of the International Relations "Nations" Simulation. Warning: Contains Game Spoilers.

As a reminder, the states of Lostralia are, as depicted above:

  • Libertania
  • Zott
  • Pyrote
  • Zamboni
  • Crock
  • Spartonia
  • Bampff

The "factors," or categories of points in the game, were as follows. The objective was to reach at least 2400 in each category:

  • Industry
  • Food
  • Squirtite
  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Natural Resources
  • Technology
  • Electric

This is a Crockite's account of what transpired.

Day 1
We settled a land dispute with Libertania, selling the territory to them for Industry. We also signed a treaty with Pyrote, agreeing to escort (potentially untrustworthy) foreign visitors to their bridge in exchange for a share of their bridge tolls. For both treaties, the World Council rewarded each nation involved for reaching agreements so quickly. We applied our rewards to our Army and Navy, initially two of our weakest categories.

No, we don't trade this.
Day 2
After meeting before class for lunch, the Democratic Republic of Crock released a press release (written and announced by yours truly) calling attention to our successful treaties from the previous class, renewing our call for all states to come trade with us. Sure enough, requests for diplomatic meetings flooded in from all sides. Surprisingly, the great military nation Spartonia, whom we most feared, was offering promise of military alliances. We had to be careful, as we could not tell what they were up to. We made trades with our geographic neighbors and previously-established partners Libertania and Pyrote , in addition to an exchange with Zott.

By the end of the session we had signed a defensive treaty with Pyrote and agreed, along with Libertania, to set the price of Squirtite (a resource only Crock and Libertania had in excess) at 2:1. As Squirtite was our main surplus factor, the purpose of the cartel was to ensure that other states did not get all the Squirtite they needed before we got what we needed, leaving us helpless in the global economy. Talks along those lines had been in the works with Libertania for some time, but it took until very late in the game to get the treaty approved.

Day 3
Our press release (I was improving, methinks) focused this time on the protection of the Vastlands, calling all nations to "send us [their] signatures" in an agreement not to mine there. In other news, the World Council declared advances in military technology, making offensive weapons slightly more powerful. Now, it would only take two-times (previously four-times) the combined military strength of a target to defeat it in war. Meanwhile, unexpected fires in the Squirtite mines threw the economists into disarray, and the World Council declared that, until the occurrence was resolved, trading of Squirtite was suspended.

In an effort to resolve the dispute, we decided to accuse Bampff, who had already spoken out against us (unprovoked, I might add!) for having started the fires. Our story: the slave revolts in Bampff got out of hand and, due to the government's negligence in watching their slaves, the slaves started these fires. We brought them to trial; I would prosecute with two Crockites playing eye-witness roles. We sent requests to other states, and Zott and Pyrote quickly responded that they, too, would testify against the slave state.

Unfortunately, Bampff was also accused of another crime. That trial ran first, finding Bampff guilty. By the time our trial came before the World Council, they were eager to even the playing field for Bampff. Before even one of our four witnesses could finish testifying, they concluded that there was not enough evidence for a case. Convinced (correctly, I suppose) that this was just a conspiracy against our enemy, the Council transfered a portion of our Natural Resources to the defendant and dismissed us.

Upon returning to Crock, I learned that our diplomats had been having great success. For the small cost of agreeing to a few less-than-ideal trades, we had secured the signatures of every state for the Vastlands treaty! Ironically, the reward for doing so broke even with the losses we suffered from the trial and unfavorable trades. Nonetheless, we publicly declared an environmental holiday. Why not?

In the final moments of class, the Council's efforts to make war more likely paid off. Bampff, which had accrued significant military resources from the day's events, joined with the naval giant Spartonia and the state of Zott in declaring war against both Pyrote and Libertania. Crock took a quick democratic vote in favor of honoring our defensive treaty and pledged its allegiance to Pyrote's side. The defensive alliance attempted to convince the final state, Zamboni, to join the fray. Pyrote believed that Spartonia had started the war only to switch sides, tricking their enemies into an uphill battle. Class ended; the Council promised to release results online.

A compromise between Spartonia's tricky situation (leave them on offense or allow them to switch them to defense?) resulting in their withdrawal from the war entirely. Zamboni indeed elected to side with the defenders. In total, the four defending nations had (not half the military power, as would have been necessary for their defeat, but) more military power than the aggressors. Reparations were given to our states, but military losses were suffered. As a result, no state achieved its 2400 goals in all categories.

In the end, the Vastlands were saved, and we survived continental war.

Now I've gotta split; IR recitation is starting. Can't wait for the discussion...

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