DGS Games

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 1

Part 0: Introduction

I was very impressed by Martok’s Birth of the Federation AAR (“Ex Astris, Scientia”: a Birth of the Federation AAR). So much so that I decided to do my own.

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While he did the Balance of Power mod, which I’m honestly not familiar with as I’ve not played it extensively, I am doing the “All the Ages” mod, which more closely resembles the ‘true’ Star Trek experience, from the NX-01 Enterprise to the Nemesis-era Enterprise-E.

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I will play the Federation in this one. I never liked playing the others as much, even though I’ve done all of them. I’d like to think that the Federation’s rosy, hippy-fueled outlook of exploring for its own sake is the best reason to undertake a journey to the stars, rather than exploiting resources or trade routes (the Ferengi), or being a conquering neandrathal (everyone else, pretty much). You could certainly play the Federation as a conquering force, but their population of weed-smoking liberals will not tolerate that for more than a planet or two before they go into some serious levels of rebellion.

I’m going to write this as I play it, so if it implodes partway through, you’ll know why. I mainly do this to keep it fresh in my head, rather than play through a hundred turns and decide then if I have something good or not. If something amusing or interesting comes to mind, it will do so while I’m in the moment, and not days down the road.

One last note before I begin: I don’t claim to be an expert at this game, nor am I going to make all the right choices. The only thing I hope to have here is (a) a good time, and being able to (b) write something that you guys enjoy. Now, on with the show…

Part 1: The Beginning

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After years of crawling through the ruins of a nuked-out landscape, humanity has barely crawled its way back to pertinence. Thanks to a philosophy of ‘learning from your mistakes,’ humanity has decided that fighting is a very bad thing and results in lots of ashen cities and ashen citizens. Humanity has, in general, risen above petty arguments and conflicts and is on the path to greater arguments and greater conflicts, especially once they run into one of the other major players in this game.

Until then, humanity has mastered some of the technologies of the past and have forged new ones based on their new brand of enlightened thinking, and have managed to not only exceed their previous society’s levels of science and knowledge, but they’ve begun a philosophy that encompasses no less than the pursuit of science and knowledge for the sheer sake of learning and discovering. Truly a novel concept, considering mankind’s history.

Once Zephram Cochrane was able to discover the secret of warp technology, entire sectors of space were suddenly open to us. (Sure, okay, Zephram is supposed to be from Alpha Centauri and have two thumbs on each hand. I’m going by what First Contact taught us: that Zephram ain’t no dirty alien, he’s a ‘Muric…err, I mean, human. ‘Muman?) Rudimentary warp probes were launched into the void, and soon after that, ships were built to launch bodies into the void (without an inkling as to what awaited them).

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The USS Seadragon, named apparently for some vague Asiatic/Americas pan-Pacific involvement in its construction (and making me wonder if we’re in the Firefly ‘verse), is the first true exploratory vessel built to go “where no man has gone before.” And yes, I said “man,” not “person” or some other PC bullcrap. There’s women on these ships. I mean, if there weren’t, how would the sandwiches get made or the ships stop to ask for directions?

We’ve also constructed the world’s first colony ship, capable of carrying thousands of passengers in relative comfort (akin probably to the train cars of Auschwitz, as this is not yet a perfect science), which we plan on sending after the NX-01 Seadragon makes discoveries. Hopefully, we’ll find something out there.

Before we do, though, as the player of this game and therefore the despot/autocratic lord of the Federation (e.g., a Democratic President), I get to also choose what technologies our scientists will pursue. There are six tracks to choose from, displayed here.

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The voices in my head say it’s better to put all of your research eggs into one track instead of spreading them all out. This means faster advancement, and in this case I’m choosing Construction. The next tech level means we’ll have a working knowledge of ‘integrity fields,’ which my scientists need to explain to me as I begin to get cold sweats and shakes, thinking this field is going to bring actual honesty and truthfulness to the Presidential offices. Imagine my relief to learn it’s for actual reinforcement of actual buildings and ships and such things. That was a close one.

Our warp probes have discovered two star systems in neighboring sectors. Both have a blue sun, which means something awfully scientific. My researchers had a whole PowerPoint presentation they gave that they were really proud of with lots of graphs, but I yawned through most of it and played with the model of the Seadragon that the newly-founded ‘Starfleet’ had given me to mark the occasion of, yadda yadda, something about the ship going off into space.

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I suddenly had a moment of inspiration, looking at the map of known space. I decided to send the Seadragon to one star, and the colony ship to the other. The scientists looked at each other and seemed to get really uncomfortable at the notion of sending thousands of colonists off in a city-sized, unarmed transport boxcar with warp engines welded on. But nay, I said. This would save us precious time, and there’s no such thing as aliens. They didn’t laugh at my joke. I made a note to get funnier scientists to advise me.

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Well gee whiz, look at what happened. Nothing! Our colony ship arrived safe and sound into the star system to our Galactic East, which was named Tohvun. They couldn’t tell me why they named it Tohvun, so I tried my little Google computer, but the only thing that came up were these weird sci-fi websites from before the global war. Bunch of no-life having nerds talking about places that didn’t really exist! Imagine that. Anyway, Tohvun it is. And to our Galactic West, we found Altair, which at least was a name that sounded somewhat familiar, even to me.

It’s a bit more fortunate that the colony ship went where it did, because the Tohvun system has the potential for a population cap of 265, whereas Altair (where the Seadragon is) only has potential for 165. I congratulated the crew of the…of the…well I forget the name of their ship, but I congratulated them anyway at arriving safely and ushering in a new dawn of peace and prosperity and inexhaustible supplies of ore and raw materials. Wait, strike that last part, it wouldn’t do to let the people hear me say that out loud.


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