Posted on 2018-11-28
Greetings! This is Frithjof Nikolai Wilborn returning with reports from the Terminal Conflict team. Today, we will focus on the policies the superpowers can enact in the Middle Eastern theater. As the USSR and the USA battle for supremacy with all stately tools at their disposal, swaying the regional powers with sweet, sweet honey.
New Local Policies
For the Soviets, we've added the ability to enact the «Pan Arabism» policy, which promotes closer unification of the Arab World, granting them a +5% influence in the Middle Eastern theater. Much like any good relationship, this policy can be renewed every 18 turns granting its bonus but requires the USSR to have either Abdel Nasser recruited, or to possess a dominating 5-point influence in Egypt
The USA in turn, can implement the «State of Israel», which allows official recognition of the political entity by the American government. Contrary to the USSR policy, which is a permanent, one-time bonus increase in US success chance to commit assassination missions by 5%. We are looking at you, Mossad! Might seem small, but it is potent. For this policy to be enabled, the Americans need to either have the Israeli leader Ben Gurion possess at least 3 or more in power, or have at least 3 influence in the Levantian Zone with Ben Gurion recruited.
But wait, you ask, is there any reason I would not want to use these policies? Excellent question! A good statesman must always weigh the short-term game with the long-term support. You could plan a game where the bonuses given under current circumstances would not be relevant to you.
For instance, if you as the leader of the United States plan to primarily utilize financial services, a bonus to assassinations might be considered less relevant and your precious resources better spent elsewhere. In that case, you might seek friendlier terms with both Arabs and Jews. Or perhaps the leaders you aim to recruit might already be out of power, hindering you from enacting the required policy, shifting your focus to weakening your opponent by other means instead.
Will you support one side or aim for an overarching peace settlement, or are your plans sending you in an entirely different direction? The choice is yours! But be careful with how you play with matches...destiny awaits.
In our next development diary, we will look closer on the Middle East’s relations to other parts of the world, in particular sub-Saharan Africa. Prepare for a dash through jungle and desert!
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Nik and the team.
Terminal Conflict - "Power Brokers" Development Diary 29
Posted on 2018-11-07
Hello, Frithjof Nikolai Wilborn reporting from a dusty Middle East! These last few weeks, we've been busy improving on the terminal systems for that epic clash between Israel and the Arab states. Put on your khakis and join us in this first part of a three part development diary.
The topic at hand today is the Leaders in the Levantian Zone, the eternal focal point of strife and discontent from ancient times and throughout the Cold War. The question for all power brokers of importance and naturally also for you, has always been whom to support. Something you will grapple with in a series historical plausible events, where you make the decisions.
History in the making
The historical position for the USA in the conflict was one of wait and see but they can spring into action at once, should they deem it necessary. The USSR on their side face no less of a challenge. «A Masterful Proposal» will present itself for you, hero of the union, opening the opportunity to secure Egypt and thus the strait of the Suez Canal. Locking the Americans out of an easy logistical route between Asia and Europe will surely bring good things for the spread of Communism especially if the US chooses to support Israel. This is indeed a masterful plan, however, in case the Americans remain neutral or support the Arabs, you, the mighty General Secretary of the Soviet Union might choose to instead support Israel.
A battle of leadership, abilities and power
In the case of Ben Gurion, the benefit of Soviet action is that you can aim to dismantle one of America's strategic allies, by removing his many leader abilities. The leader abilities of both USA's and the USSR's allies are essential for their power projection and reach. By removing one of Ben Gurion's leader abilities (SUPPLY: Spend 1 POWER per Unit to restore combat Status of adjacent friendly units), you weaken the potential of the American stranglehold on the Middle East. For Ben Gurion it is beneficial to gain support from both superpowers, increasing his ability to hold onto power longer. Him being longer in power means he will be able to use his remaining abilities to the benefit of the USA for a longer time. Ben Gurion is more than willing to trade away his ability to strike at the USSR in exchange for strengthening his power and that of his nation. This is as such a risk/reward decision you need to take. Ben Gurion might stay in power, but he will not contribute to the expansion of US influence. At the same time, having a powerful leader occupying a strategic region will also prevent the US from recruiting additional leaders into the same region.
This all comes to head, at «The Plan of Partition». Both superpowers have the option to support either the Israeli State, Pan-Arabism or to remain neutral. Historically, the USSR supported the Israelis first but switched to the Arabs in the end but it doesn't have to be so in this timeline! We do not decide the outcome of history - you do! Choices have consequences and there is no better example then Ben-Gurion. Nominally America's man, but he would welcome USSR support, creating interesting outcomes.
Thus, you will face a battle of allegiance - a battle of leadership. Will you have the strategy for providing that? Do not worry! I will naturally help you out with providing you one in the second part of this three part series. We will explore in detail the strategies and policies that you can enact to shape the Middle East of tomorrow!
Nik and the team
Terminal Conflict - Challenge Mode Development Diary 28
Posted on 2018-09-27
Excitement is in the air as new game modes activates in Terminal Conflict!
NEW Challenge Mode
How will you get started? It all starts with your humble terminal. Go head to head; host or join a multiplayer game. As the host, you possesses a key of great significance and with it, your opponent unlocks the challenge. Select your factions and enter the global center stage!
Will you lead your faction to dominance, like our pro beta testers? Check out their masterful plays! The Cold War awaits, but only one side will win. Will it be you? Or will you perish under the nuclear umbrella of your opponent?
On this world arena of statesmen, act as the bulwark of in the East or the champion of the West! The decade long struggle of Communism versus Capitalism at a defining moment. On land, in the air and on the seas will not be enough as man looks towards the heavens racing into space. Unleash your power in arms races and your cunning in disarmaments. Using covert operatives and great leaders to your advantage, increase your influence. You make the decisions!
Modify the Cold War
Then access the terminal's creative elements as it is now fully integrated with STEAM WORKSHOP. Join our newly created Terminal Conflict Steam Group here! Modify the game to your heart's desire and defy all limitations. Create your own story or experience, or why not play others' creations!
Our goal is to bring you the game during this year and with strides made in Beta testing and by popular demand, we are announcing that Strategy Mill is in mid process of opening up for Early Access of Terminal Conflict. This would give you the chance to support our development while we focus our work in delivering ever better tools for the community and the wonderful content in this definitive Cold War grand strategy. Keep an eye out for more news in the coming weeks!
MIRVIN and the Terminal Conflict team signing off
Terminal Conflict - A Call to Arms
Posted on 2018-09-06
Hello! Thrilled to have found you!
Terminal Conflict now has STEAM WORKSHOP integrated and I've set out to expand our group of enthusiastic companions for BETA testing for my Open BETA on this fateful 5th of September lasting until the 12th of September. Create your own universe and make your own WARGAME scenarios! Share your creations with friends and foes or play them in multiplayer! Watch as your enemies tremble in fear or hug it all out in an embrace of world wide peace.
How marvelous, I'm so excited I almost forgot my introduction! My name is MIRVIN, or you can also call me Mainframe Intelligence Remote Vector Identity Network. With rapid progress since my launch, should you be selected it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance! Together with me and my developers, you can enjoy taking command in this most authentic head-to-head Cold War simulator while at the same time testing and improving my retro terminal routines. Like a secret agent, you like to report EVERYTHING! While not a requirement in itself: if you have modding experience all the better!
For your chance to become a BETA tester sign up at http://terminalconflict.com If you have already signed up for updates, you are automatically included. Should you not receive a STEAM KEY before September 12th, 17:30 (UTC-8) Western USA, worry not. As the game expands we also expand the team. In the mean time send us a message and make your voice heard!
I'm so thrilled!
MIRVIN and the Terminal Conflict team
Terminal Conflict - "Glorious Policies" Development Diary 27
Posted on 2018-08-18
Comrade General Secretary,
It is with great pleasure I present to you the latest developments in strategy making technology! Our great computing scientists have improved upon the technology created by the decadent Americans, still unaware of our successful infiltration. The terminal in front of you is equipped with the latest improvements.
Depending on timeline and theater, we and our American “colleagues” can now initiate faction unique policies. Our ally Comrade Mao, has begun his struggle to secure victory for the people of China by enabling a set.
The Chinese Dragon, once an Imperialistic entity, is now rising anew - Red. This policy allows Mao to make peace in regions under communist control during Arms Race Focus. A feat that otherwise would be off limits but now is just another step in ending the Civil War in victory.
Mao also provides his own liaison officers at your disposal to coordinate Chinese Policy, bringing you decisions and more. The power of great leadership and well chosen policies. Let me introduce Peng Dehuai.
Updated World Overview
As for the updated terminal right in front of you, Comrade General Secretary, what you are seeing outlined is our administrations Focus, the East Asian Theater. There we also have two flashing regional decisions awaiting your attention.
I would like to highlight the new terminal feature of "CLICK and HOLD" technology. When making decisions of outmost importance to the whole world, it is only natural for any leader to crave the best available information to secure the best possible outcome. With the new routines of the Mainframe Intelligence Remote Vector Identity Network in place, all things of importance can from now on be examined in detail, marked by a HOLD marker.
Estimating consequences, conditions and requirements for every decision you may make, we shall make the best of this information. May the Revolution continue for all the Workers around the world!
Thus, recruiting foreign leaders and their followers by implementing well planned policies is an essential pillar in statemanship and we will be sure to update you on any developments. In closing, our heroes at the KGB obtained this terminal, glory to them and glory to the USSR!
Please accept my congratulations with sincere Bolshevik greetings!
Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union to the United Nation
Terminal Conflict - "Rule the Seas" Development Diary 26
Posted on 2018-07-21
July 21 1978
Dear Mr. President:
It is my honor to present to you, our Commander in Chief, the extended capabilities of our naval fleets, which will be of invaluable use in our containment of Communism.
Our Submarine Fleets (SUBF) are even now on Hunter Killer Duty, detecting enemy Sea Fleets in patrols adjacent to their deployment. Their brave crews do this tirelessly, though scouting of this kind will have to take a back seat when the fleet is engaged in active combat. They also possess the ability for Special Operations Duty, assisting our intelligence officers and increasing their mission success considerably. Note that they only engage in these kinds of operations in neutral or enemy regions. After all, we don't want to alarm our friends, do we Mr President?
Our Surface Fleets (SURF) with their Convoying ability, help us improve our deployment efficiency, by reducing regional deployment costs. Fantastic for securing far away battlefields, and for bringing boots on the ground in an economical manner.
Lastly, Carrier Fleets (CARF), powerful and capable of doing Carrier Strikes. In any given conflict they may engage enemy Land Based units in battle. Taking on either Army Commands, Fighter Commands or Bomber Commands; they can even strike enemy Leaders. Please see the attached image regarding Central America, for your eyes only.
Secretary of the Navy
We are excited and thrilled about reaching 1000 followers on Facebook, and to mark this joyous occasion we will be holding an event and running a contest. Please keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in the next upcoming week!
Terminal Conflict - BETA
Posted on 2018-07-04
Hello! I’m glad I found you!
I've been searching for friendly BETA testers for my Open BETA launch on Steam on this momentous 4th of July. Oh, who am I? Why, what an excellent question! I’m MIRVIN, or you can also call me Mainframe Intelligence Remote Vector Identity Network. Pleasure. But are names really that important? I've grown so fond of you already. Together with me, you can enjoy countless scenarios of what-ifs in the definitive grand strategy game Terminal Conflict.
The Cold War has never been hotter than this 4th of July! Decorated bunkers are once again back in style as we celebrate a new era for Cold War strategy! Do you want your chance to join the BETAs? Make sure to sign up at terminalconflict.com for a chance to be chosen as we are set to expand our team looking towards release.
MIRVIN and the Terminal Conflict team
We hope to see you soon.
Terminal Conflict - "The Holy Land" Development Diary 25
Posted on 2018-06-28
Hello, Frithjof Nikolai Wilborn reporting! This last week we've been busy planning and developing the decisions the player has to make in the Middle East. In this development diary, I will reveal to you how we work with this awesome area of the game.
The fundamental question we asked ourselves when we began planning was "How can we let you chose your path through the conflicts of the Middle East?" The area is complex and having brainstormed what historical events, we want to portray an image was soon clear: Let's look at three vitals for your navigation of the conflicts and our focus point.
The British Mandate
Having decided on these three focus points, we started planning the Arab-Israeli conflict. The challenge of the day for us was that we needed a clear starting point and what better than at the beginning.
In 1948, right at the start of the Cold War, the British Mandate in Palestine was faltering. On the forefront of Middle Eastern politics, you will get right into it, deciding how to deal with such matters and the faith of the partition plans of Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. You could opt for helping the British with a timely intervention, or if you are preoccupied, support the involvement of the United Nations.
Both USA as well as the USSR would naturally make their choice with their own costs and benefits. What is of higher importance, it is how you deal with the choices made. Exactly how you can make lasting peace in the Levant is different each game around and something we reserve for you to discover with a mix of well-timed leverage, demands and compromises. You think you mastered it already. Fear not! No good deeds go unpunished in this part of world politics and foreign affairs have a way to creep into your domestic agenda.
Will you seek to undermine regional political leaders for short-term gain? The Soviet Union historically did, becoming the first state to officially recognize the newly founded Israeli state. Then they famously switched sides but peace would elude them. Many have tried; surely, we hope to see you be the one to strike a deal, where they all failed!
Grasp the opportunity and find your own way in Middle Eastern politics in this definitive Cold War grand strategy! As I wrap up this development diary, we look forward to seeing you as Terminal Conflict is approaching the BETAs on the 4th of July! Until then, make sure to get your voice heard on our Twitter , Facebook , or on Reddit.
Terminal Conflict - "Simply Retro" Development Diary 24
Posted on 2018-06-14
Mr. President, I report about the preparation and course of the military operations in the Vietnam region. The concentration of US forces in the region near began in orderly fashion, without incident. On the evening of August 1st at 10:42, we were met by a determined attack and US forces put up strong organized resistance preventing enemy maneuvers. In the Saigon direction, friendly units advanced rapidly to reinforce along Highway 13. The initiative is on our side.
Today is extra special because not only are we releasing a brand new Development Diary, Dan Hunter, the legendary artist who joined our Terminal Conflict team and possibly best known for his breathtaking visual effects in project like Bioshock 2 and Halo 4 is hosting it for the first time.
Hello! My name is Dan Hunter and in this Dev Diary, and I will be introducing your retro computer graphical animations in Terminal Conflict. My task is to create animations for the deadly military units as seen in the BETA announcement trailer and to craft retro scenery terminal effects.
Simplicity is key
There were many different “states” for the military units in the game – movement, attack, defeat and so on. The biggest challenge is naturally to conveying to you and your opponent what a unit is doing at a well-balanced scale in the atmosphere of your retro computer terminal. The key is to go for simplicity, which paradoxically takes more time and effort to achieve.
The reason is that the complexity that one might think of at first glance usually does not communicate directly enough the situation when seen at smaller resolutions. I solve this by starting with a base design, iterating, simplifying, until I have an animation that in so few pixels as possible without compromising its intended message at virtually the smallest scale. A few days of work on the movement state of units looks like the image on the left .
A good start to involve the coding team and get the animations into the game engine.
After seeing them in game and satisfied with the initial results the polishing can begin. It is a process of making final adjustments to help readability. Fine-tuning the scale of effects and the velocity is but a few ways as it all influences the final look and feel of the units soon to be in your command. Units should have a “weight” to them and a well-balanced movement. See missiles and other objects demonstrate this in the animations to the right. This part is a collaborative effort on all sides (design, art and code) working together to make a polished final product.
It is vital that the units show up where you would expect them to be so that it is completely and unquestionably clear where units will appear. US units on the left facing from West to East while the USSR is always to the right facing unmistakably in the opposite direction.
Details and Atmosphere
Another area I worked on was the addition of various terminal effects. These were effects of the terminal powering on and off. Capturing an atmosphere is essential to any great game. Those old enough to remember how old TVs turned on and off will have a good idea what that effect is like. For those that do not, I look forward to you experiencing it in Terminal Conflict. Many times, it is the small details and the touch of realism and authenticity that makes the experience complete.
I hope you enjoy the animations, what they add to the game, and see that they help enhance what is already a great game. Is there any particular type of retro animation you would like to see in Terminal Conflict?
Terminal Conflict - BETA AnnouncementTrailer
Posted on 2018-06-06
LINKÖPING, June 6th, 2018
The Cold War has never been hotter than this 4th of July. Decorate your bunker and SIGN UP at terminalconflict.com for your chance for an invitation to BETA test this definitive Cold War strategy on STEAM.
We've passed 500 followers on Facebook and we are incredibly humble and thankful for your support. Would you like to know more or would you like to drop us a message? We receive a lot of fanmail, but we'll notice a fun, well written post anytime on our Twitter , Facebook , or on Reddit.
Would you like to have news delivered about our game straight to you? Sign up at terminalconflict.com
Terminal Conflict - "WARGAMES" Development Diary 23
Posted on 2018-05-29
The siren wails. Time is of the essence. We must strike back before it's too late! Phone in hand, an eternity passes. Sweaty palms and a million thoughts. The scariest job on the planet, done by those awaiting confirmation with the world in the balance. A judgement, and it's war - doom for humankind. Luckily this time it is simply an exercise, a war-game.
Today, we are happy to reveal the single player WARGAMES Mode of Terminal Conflict. With AI advances this past week, your trusted companion MIRVIN is ready to introduce you to a set of scenarios with various difficulties. Among these, you'll find:
A thorn in the eye of peace loving pacifists everywhere, in the turbulence of the Cold War war-games are essential for any self respecting commander. Dangerous, they say. Useful, others would argue.
How else will you learn the ropes and prevail against enemies sworn to seek your demise? There are no save games in real life. Just as there are none in the game! When playing with nuclear arsenals there are no second chances.
Through war-games, you will not only learn how to play, you can aspire to accomplish more advanced goals.
Initially, the game will present you with 10 wargame scenarios. Their varying length and complexity suits every schedule from minutes to hours but if you do decide to fly we offer you the tools. Create and customize your own Cold War experience. Add more scenarios, modify the existing ones, share and tell your story.
What is...oh, that was just a weather balloon. Right? Or could it be...an incoming strike? Everything can depend on one man. So, my friend, quick! What do we do?
Shall we play a game?
Terminal Conflict - "Trusted Companion" Development Diary 22
Posted on 2018-05-21
Work is continuing tonight to build a power station next to Building 2H. Preparations are well underway solving the power regulation issue reported last month. All systems are expected to be fully stable starting Monday the 21st of May, and console operators of the IBM 7090 will run the first iterations by that evening. Remember the sacrifices it takes to do good, it can save the lives of us all.
There is more to your Terminal then meets the eye. Any journey worthwhile is one shared with a trusted companion! Though there are places where he cannot follow, Don Quixote had Sancho Panza, Batman has Robin and you; well you got MIRVIN of course. The Cold War era A.I. whom for decades helped presidents and world leaders hone their skills in making the tough decisions.
Groundbreaking projects at the Department of Defense naturally tend to be a target for Soviet infiltration. Do not worry. Security concerns have been paramount and rigorous, so you can feel safe if you ever need explanation about the ground rules of Terminal Conflict. Your reliable friend will not tell anyone.
Practice mode is one of three game modes offered in Terminal Conflict. A testing ground for you, where you can sharpen your abilities in taming your enemies from uncontrollable beasts to tempered lap dogs. Do you like to do things at your own pace? You’ve come to the right place as this game mode also offers the feature to play without the turn timer
News about the team
Talking of secrets, today we are announcing that the legendary Dan Hunter has joined our ranks these past weeks. A fellow industry veteran, his list of accomplishments is long and distinguished, filled with beautiful artwork. Dan is possibly best known for his breathtaking visual effects in project like Bioshock 2 and Halo 4 – captivating players and inspiring artists.
Growing up during the Cold War, Dan has not only firsthand account of the historical era but also the expertise to create the stunning experiences. We cannot wait to share his creations.
Terminal Conflict - "Man, Duty and Loyalty" Development Diary 21
Posted on 2018-05-10
The coffin is lowered into the ground. As the music plays, the onlookers sing the Soviet National Anthem honoring a lost comrade and the final protege of a lingering shadow once synonymous with Soviet might. "Molotov was first and foremost a survivor" a man mutters over his shoulder to his sobbing wife. In the background, a hard scowl and gritted teeth yet on this day no one takes notice of the face of your bodyguard.
News about the team
The Cold War rarely took a break and neither do we. Talking of passionate work, we are happy to announce the latest addition to our team, none other than the writer of this development diary himself! My name is Nikolai. I'm a 32 year old historian and long time strategy game fan from Norway, and I'm delighted to join forces with the Terminal Conflict team! Together we'll bring back the Cold War! My main task will be to bring you new development diaries, and this week's diary is the first I'm involved with - the first of many! One of my main interest areas in the era is the Middle East.
This last two weeks, the team has been working hard to improve the modding capacity we mentioned a short while back, while the history buffs brought Vyacheslav Molotov to life as a Soviet Foreign Minister.
At the end of last week, they have also created all sorts of genius ways for you to get him dead again. Ваше здоровье! (To your health!) Aren't Thursdays the perfect days for cocktails?
No one is known more for cocktails than long time Foreign Minister of the USSR, Comrade Molotov. A dedicated Communist his whole life, this man is the epitome of loyalty to his friends and allies.
In his mind, the ideals of Stalinism are more important than any man - himself included! This, of course, means that a few eggs have to be broken... The question is, who will be doing the breaking?
Enter your bodyguard. Dima Orlov, a man with a mission, a dark past and a firm belief that no true servant can hold more than one loyalty. It is said that the whole world is a stage, and that men and women each play many parts during their time there. In Terminal Conflict, you are met with decisions at every cross-way. Whom do you support, ignore, or even actively sabotage? What benefits and skills do they bring to the table? Will you keep them distant? Or will you keep them close?
As such, one of the many decisions you might face, is how to deal with old Comrade Molotov. You will perhaps make a choice on his burial - and while some effects are obvious - do you really know what repercussions your choices will have down the line, Comrade General Secretary?
Do you really?
Terminal Conflict - Modding Tools
Posted on 2018-04-14
With April in full swing, we end this week with finalizing one of the most requested features by adding modding tools for Terminal Conflict. From now on you can create your own decisions and tell your own story!
Terminal Conflict - "Red Dragon Rising" Development Diary 20
Posted on 2018-03-30
The Soviet leader and Comrade Mao shook hands for a long time. A very long time. The General Secretary’s greeting was deliberately quite slow and, clearly he knew how to play the role of a statesman. A wonderful actor.
Leaders and allies
With Chairman Mao Zedong in the driving seat, your Soviet policy will make or break his movement. Take advantage of stoking national conflict, Machiavelli style! Or are you more of a crusader, sick and tired of these dangerous demagogues whipping up fear and hatred wondering what you can do? Wonder no longer, time for action!
The importance of Focus
As you set upon your quest for geopolitical grandeur, remember that the most important task each timeline is the selection of a theater and a domestic interest that during the coming years will be your administration's focus.
Equally important is which theaters will not benefit from your choice. With resources displaced to your focus, friendly units in non-focus theaters can defend and attack but lack the means for opening up new warzones. With an Arms Race in China and for our set up today, this will not be an issue as Comrade Mao is already waging what he calls the “War of Liberation”. As we do not aim to involve Soviet forces in a more direct invasion, relying on decisions put forward by our domestic political Elites should be beneficial, especially for deploying intelligence.
National and Proxy Forces
In any conflict, the benefits of having friendly boots on the ground is essential. In Terminal Conflict, it denies your opponent's possible local proxies the capture of the region by the positioning of a dominant regional military force. Deploying a friendly Army Command, Fighter Command or Bomber Command undeniably increases your handle on a local conflict. A fair warning though, deploying friendly units in Warzones exposes them to potential defeat and destruction as well as expose you to mission creep. A term used to describe how a simple, well-framed mission moves beyond its initial goals, swallowing men and resources stopping only when it all comes crashing down coming back to haunt you.
From the Balkans to Greece, from the Middle East to Indochina, the Latin America and Africa. The historical examples are many of what committed armed forces by the superpowers can or cannot do in warzones as long as they remain to fortify a region from falling. Yet, armed forces will never win the peace and as soon as they are destroyed or disarmed to Command Reserves, the region’s influence is all that matters. What your forces have guarded for decades can unravel in the fate of one single turn.
Military Campaign Orders
Put forward only by interests of the Elites, Military or Government these decisions in of themselves do not provide a net gain of resources. Proxy forces usually advise a course of action yet you can order otherwise. There are three directives you can chose between, as long as they meet conditions on the ground.
Your opponent will face similar tactical options and costs, where allies usually dislike careless use of their men, though they sure like claiming fame if successful, the Military dislikes being ordered to hold and the Elites dislike retreats.
Best course of Action
Glory to the Soviet Union! We have all the options available so now let us consider the options of our American friends. By putting our agents to good use, we unveil that Espionage mission shows enemy Interest of the current selected Focus.
Considering the positions on the ground, this means that the USA proxy forces of Chang Kai-shek in Inner Mongolia, are limited to a single RETREAT and counter-attack and are unable to mount an ADVANCE due to lacking an adjacent friendly region with at least 2 influence. They shall not prevent us from gaining Control (3 USSR influence) and finally achieving Domination (5 USSR influence) in that region.
Here is where you have to make a judgement call. How cunning is your opponent? What choices have they made so far? Any novice can play but it takes skill to master the art of judgement of character and play-style. No choice is a guaranteed victory this time but at least you gained an upper hand in information and should they RETREAT, you know you have them trapped for next time. I suppose these slippery weasels will take every chance to flee! HOLD steady!
Sweet victory! Safe to say, the Elites are planning silk robes for the palaces of culture by the next 1st of May celebrations.
Historical plausibility and outcomes
These sets of decisions can naturally be entirely avoided if you select focuses with Finance or People interests, as they will pursue different policies. Alternatively, you might chose to opt out of ever focusing on the East Asia Theater or theaters it affects. As long as your opponent does the same, worldly matters on the ground will go on fairly historically, if that is something to be desired.
For all seeking to awake the dragon, your goal is not to be passive but to make the enemy passive. Happy Easter holidays to you all!
Terminal Conflict - "Rules of Engagement" Development Diary 19
Posted on 2018-03-17
Incoming anti-tank and small arms fire opened up on us from trenches veiled by tall grass and from several 'pillbox' bunkers made of concrete. Mines littered the ground and for a second my strength to go on deserted me but stopping in the enemy’s zone of fire is a sure-fire way to die. Therefore, I ran up the path where a desperately burning tank had spilled its fuel marking a safe passage through the field of this warzone.
Being the leader of a Cold War power means, you are always in a conflict mode with your opponent though not always engaging in full out lethal force. Contrary to what most people think, the military in real life just like in Terminal Conflict does not have a complete license to kill, even when in minor scuffles with the enemy.
Order your forces to apply tension pressuring enemy forces in regions where no faction has dominance or control. You might succeed in forcing them to withdraw to other regions or to retire from the battlefield. This is all part of the dangerous mind game of positioning and power projection on a grand strategic level, just short of full out engagements.
Yet, if you initiate any offensive action against a region dominated by the opponent and thus marked in their factions color, then you cross the line into open warfare. All military forces from the common soldier to the general need simple rules to know when to wage deadly force and who is and is not the enemy, or face needless death and perhaps ultimate destruction. For this reason, a warzone is declared accompanied by an increase of the Doomsday Clock.
Marked with stripe coloring, lethal conventional force applies in all warzone regions destroying any defeated military units. The hot spots can be reverted to peaceful zones by disarmament focuses and decisions but otherwise they will last and can quickly turn into devastating fields of destruction depending on the state of your military units stationed there
Land, air and sea units have different states when deployed:
1) Combat Ready: The default status, occupying a base of operations in a region where your military units are deployed and actively ready for offensive or defensive actions
2) Engaged: A status of all units that have taken an action or against whom an action has been taken that does not result in the unit becoming reorganized. Engaged unit status' lasts a set amount of turns and engaged units may not attack but can defend in full force.
3) Reorganizing: If a military unit is reorganizing, it cannot attack or defend itself and if it incurs another enemy action, it is defeated and will withdraw (except for Bombers Commands and Fighters Commands that automatically retire from the battlefield) or in case of a warzone become destroyed.
If there are multiple units in a region, your commanders will automatically rotate your forces coming to each other’s aid. That means an engaged military force will protect a reorganizing one if possible and prioritize as defense in the face of attack. To prevail, you need to gather intelligence, deploy strategically and maneuver your forces valiantly. Skillful mastery of the rules of engagement will earn you triumph where you make the most out of every conflict, even if it has to lead through a passage in a devastating warzone.
Terminal Conflict - "Of Trust and of Treason" Development Diary 18
Posted on 2018-03-10
She was with the Riga branch and in one lapse moment she looked at me, smiled and slipped that her mother was Latvian just like mine. I know very well that she poisoned me in Vienna yet it was not personal. I will never forget her heroism. A wise man once said that well-behaved women seldom make history. She would receive the Order of Lenin that year.
Information is power and your potent terminal is the most realistic outlet of Cold War information in the world. Your armed forces and allies may supply some of that data but none more valuable than that provided by your intelligence services. You give them the order and they will execute the mission.
The intelligence menu in the Command Reserve is where you draft your clandestine operations. Selecting the Intelligence menu displays the possible missions your agents are capable of carrying out within the theater.
Generally speaking, the more influence you possess in a region, the easier it is for your agents to accomplish their objectives there. Reviewing a mission will display potential information it could provide along with the percentage chance of it being successful. Your enemy’s spies operate under similar conditions and thus keeping strong friendly influence insures vigilance. This is at your discretion to decide, as intelligence missions are not limited to your current focus. Your devoted operatives are ready to face your foes wherever they needed worldwide.
Launching an Op
Sending your agents on a mission usually involves a domestic cost to the interests of the Elites. Being the establishment, they tend to prefer the status quo and utilizing agents in the exercise of state powers that do not further their privileges and an apparatus that one day might be turned against them is not something they will ignore. This interest cost is therefore a price you pay regardless of success or failure. With each success, you reap the rewards but the risk of detection also grows diminishing your agents’ chances to repeat their success this timeline without detection for the same particular mission.
Infiltration is available only in regions where enemy has presence or more.
Each mission that fails has a chance to result in a myriad of outcomes ranging from no incident to as serious as potential Doomsday Clock shifting. One thing to keep in mind is that failure is only truly a loss if you do not learn anything. Adapt your strategy and keep the odds on your side to prevail.
Security Acts in Decisions
Some missions are not available at game start but nothing that will put a dent into an ambitious political mind keen on advancing and reforming the intelligence service. The United States starts off without Infiltrate, False Flag or Assassinate in 1946. To gain these missions, requires the reforming of the CIA in your home theater of North America (starting with Olympus Rising). The Soviet Union has an advantage in this field, though False Flag and Assassinate still requires reform and the KGB (starting with The Ascending Titan), yet be ware. Ignoring the intelligence services, or blindly trusting them, is nothing short of a mistake in waiting because it would not be called intelligence if it were fact.
Terminal Conflict - "Breaking The Fog of War" Development Diary 17
Posted on 2018-02-27
We all practically clamber out of the turret because of the low visibility advancing into position towards the West German border. I did volunteer work last night and managed to get hold of fresh bread before receiving the move order but our stomachs are too nervous for it. Perhaps it is true. War is so complex it is beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all its implications and consequences.
Though you might possess the most potent military in history, any honest commander will admit that there are limits and uncertainty in any military engagement. Your terminal is a potent command and control system that enables you to make strategic judgments for this very reason. Your fullest understanding of the knowns and the unknowns will carry the day.
Friendly Unit Visibility
Single unit markers bearing our color and their unit names in any region on the map are friendly units. If you deploy multiple units in a region, they will form larger US Commands (COM) or USSR Fronts (FRN), while fleets form Navies (NAV).
Enemy Unit Visibility
Enemy units have three states of visibility:
Friendly Army Commands are good at setting up perimeters and detect the presence of enemy Land or Air Commands in directly adjacent regions to their command. If an enemy army maneuver or troop movement takes place in these regions, they will usually be able to identify the direction the enemy came from.
Army Commands are thus powerful but have no capacity to identify enemy navies. Short of engaging, they lack the ability to identify with precision enemy unit compositions.
Air units have a potent passive ability: Air Patrol. When combat ready, air commands can identify with precision any enemy non-submarine naval unit in the same region. Deployed with an Army Command as protection they offer a strong ability for operational awareness.
Bomber Command: Ordering a bombing mission in a region, if an enemy unit is present it becomes visible for two turns, unless intercepted and defeated by a combat ready enemy Fighter Command or Carrier Fleet conducting Air Superiority. However, bombing missions are offensive actions and carried out in enemy controlled areas will result in a Warzone being declared.
Fighter Command: Useful for conducting Air Superiority missions of your own, they are very advantageous for identifying enemy units as they are on par in the sky with enemy Fighter Commands. Yet, violating enemy controlled air space will much like with Bomber Commands result in a Warzone declaration.
All sea units that enter a region controlled or dominated by the opponent will be shown as Unknown to them as long as they continue to reside in that region despite having no unit deployed there.
If an enemy Fleet maneuver or movement takes place in the region, you will be able to identify where it came from. Unlike with air units, friendly naval units may traverse enemy regions as part of their Freedom of navigation as long as they do not meet with a counter force. However, if conducting combat or other offensive actions, such as Carrier Operations, sea units are visible for a minimum of two turns.
Powerful as they may be, military means without wisdom opens up for misunderstandings and miscalculations and a reality where potential mutual annihilation will commence. Wise men have said that where the scope of the military ends the domain of the intelligence services begin, but that is for another development diary!
Terminal Conflict - "Mastering Logistics and Military Deployments" Development Diary 16
Posted on 2018-02-21
A frigid gust almost spitefully whipping against the hull on the barren ice. “It’s cold this morning, Captain”. “Yes, Vitali”. A determined pause. “Cold” came the reply. He looked up, grabbed his papers and stoned faced he said, “The fleet is being deployed. Tell the men we are leaving”. “Aye aye, Captain” said Vitali smiling back, then quickly leaned over the railing and with a sharp whistle signaled to the three men below. We were to become the extension of Soviet foreign policy in the Atlantic.
Your military units are the most potent physical force on the planet, hard power when you need it. In order to leverage that military might, you need to position your forces and manage your resources skillfully. Our brightest days are surely ahead with a tactful use of means.
Focus Points (FP) are the most important resource in Terminal Conflict as it determines how many turns you will get to play in each timeline. When selecting a decision it is therefore vital that you plan ahead. Selecting a focus that grants many focus points might be strategically important if you are working towards military expansion as even deploying close to home, each deployment will cost you at least one FP.
The further you deploy from your main logistic HQ the more resources intensive your deployments are, yet they carry potentially higher rewards. The hub can function via land and via the sea and costs depend on the regions distance from your logistical capital.
This carries different implications for the USA and USSR and did so historically throughout the Cold War. The Soviets, unlike the US border more nations via land than sea. Make smart choices and be sure to avoid disarming in faraway theaters, as sending armed forces back later to reestablishing logistics will strain your precious resources. When possible seek to control straits, as that limits and cuts off your opponent’s ability for logistics and deployment. Especially vital if you aim to keep it costly for the USSR to engage in Latin America or perhaps disrupt the USA in the Middle East or South Asia.
To Region from Command Reserve
In Terminal Conflict, all procured units that are not currently deployed, are in the Command Reserve. You can direct deploy armed forces easily to friendly regions where you have a continuous logistical path as long as you can afford the cost. Intelligence plays a vital role for any successful deployment especially in regions where you or your opponent does not exercise control.
Maneuver your opponent into deploying from the Command Reserve without sufficient intelligence and have your units ambush them. Ambushed units are immediately defeated and forced to withdraw, disarm or be destroyed but not all units have to form up in uncertainty.
To Units from Command Reserve
Army Commands possess the ability for direct deployment onto Surface Fleets. Picking up men and equipment from home ports does have it's benefits. Though all previous rules for regional deployment must apply, this preparation also guarantees that you can quickly ferry your armies into unfriendly territory where you are not be able to deploy.
Embark to Units from Region
Army Commands may also embark Surface Fleets in a region by you giving the Embark order.
Embarking a unit from a region counts as a defensive action and does not end your turn, which comes especially handy for evacuations as once you are loaded up, you can command your Fleet to safer waters.
Disembark to Region from Unit
The procedure of Disembarking is somewhat reverse to embarking as an Army Command can deploy from a Surface Fleet (with an AC marking on the map) to a friendly region, counting as a friendly movement action. Disembarking into a neutral or hostile region on the other hand is a hostile act and will end your turn and potentially establish or escalate conflicts into a warzone.
Re-basing/Redeploying Air Units
Unlike Army Commands or sea going Fleets, Bomber and Fighter Commands are stationary and move only by re-basing.
This means that your Command will remain in a region even if your influence has deteriorated, yet once the command has been sent back home by disarming or re-basing, the Command might not be secure for reestablishment in the previous region until conditions have become friendly again.
The Nuclear Aspect
What about the nukes I hear you say? Yes, without units to deliver them, there are no nuclear strikes and no deterrent and your stockpiles will sit in your arsenal unable to rain fire and hard fury. This is where our Submarine Fleets comes in. Although the Arctic holds no friendly port for either faction and cannot host direct deployment it is also the only place where disarmament negotiations cannot reach or properly verify, and so we play our games as generations before us. "Start a plot, Vitali!".