Ideologies, leaders and momentous decisions in a battle where Communism and Capitalism can transform the world, the Cold War is a politically incredibly rich and interesting period. It is a strategic chessboard that continuously evolves from one theater to another but with the added benefit that both players can, at any moment, wipe the board clean with a devastating nuclear apocalypse. This is both the challenge of the historical era and the beauty of playing a good historically plausible game.
In order to capture this unique blend of geopolitical brinkmanship, Terminal Conflict offers two mechanics under one name, Policies. One is for handling close advisors that bring with them a set of decisions, the so called Characs (short for off-map characters) and the other is for handling Ideas that improve certain aspects of your faction.
Policies in theaters
Selecting your focus is important as it plays out in a specific part of the world, a theater. Each theater in turn houses a maximum of three selected policies that have a role to play and you can easily see, strategize and substitute them as you see fit during your turn.
To find them, make your way to the FOCUS MGMT or THEATER COM and look in the bottom left corner, next to the interests gauges. Like here with Molotov, Orlov and Serov:
Notice that Characs, just like their on-map counterparts, Leaders, have a POWER value but are distinctly different. While leaders are always leading a foreign nation, are recruited into a designated region and possess powerful abilities that can be activated (such as Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong); Characters on the other hand are usually 'behind the curtains' domestic personalities or lower ranked officials. Without active abilities they only need to be selected to passively provide their assistance and be used (and depleted) to alter narratives and the course of chains of events (such as Chinese General Peng). Selecting him will trigger his Chinese Civil War chain of decisions and events, a chain playable in the China Card single player scenario.
Despite being lower in the hierarchy, remember that a nation is never better than its worst civil servant, so pick yours carefully. It also means Characs will react to your choices and will not like being replaced with other Characs or Ideas costing 3 of their power.
Ideas are part of the same Policy system but they work in a different way. Often, they are very powerful affairs, but once used, they are usually depleted as they provide a precise benefit that most of the time involves a cost and require players to weight different elements in play. As such, substituting an idea with another, or with a Charac, will permanently cause it to be lost.
Here is an example, again in the Eastern China theater:
The Rapprochement idea allows the American player to place a maximum of a whopping 6 influence, equal to the USSR/USA VP ratio. It is clear that this policy, mimicking Nixon move in 1972, has to be timed correctly for maximum effect, possibly considering how the rest of the confrontation is going on in the entire world.
For designing the Ideas we want to capture important moments, ideologies and turning-points that had a deep impact on the history of the 20th century. With Characs and their personalities, here too we aim for a historical plausibility and meaningful impact. Having them at your disposal as another tool in your strategic toolbox imbues the whole gameplay with a strong historical flavor and allows you to experience what it means to lead a superpower of the era.
Alfred 'Zeress' Frendo-Cumbo
I) WEAPONS PROGRAM: Looking to makes tanks? Have you always wanted a sweet T-72 or what about an M60 Patton? The tank weapons program is on it's way to be finalized and balanced.
II) ZHU DE: Marshal Zhu De, the founder of Communist China's mighty People's Liberation Army is making his entrance into the terminal. The red carpet has been prepared and his story-line is in full production.
- AI Invasion tweaks making the AI more competitive
- Fixed an issue where the AI would repeatedly withdraw units causing a crash in single player
- Fixed an issue where the AI would wrongfully try to do False Flag operations in Sea only regions
- New Charac system added, making them appear similar as policies in theaters. This replaces the old flag system that Characs used to used.
- When an enemy unit is detected in Theater Com a notification is given as well as a warning sound
- Fixed an issue causing withdraw to not remove units properly in certain situations
- Updated various notifications for Active and Selected policies
- Updated Unit movement notification for units blocked by Leaders and of Leader occupied notification
- Added Strategic Air Command for USA
- Added The International Bank for USA
- Updated Western Reconstruction to require People instead of Finance
- Updated the objectives of Sarawak Insurgency to requiring US regional control
- Fixed an issue where the Treaty of Sand Francisco incorrectly required a US Land/Air unit in two Japanese regions
- All focus conditions have been standardized
- Updated two Focus definitions
- New policy system added. Now you can only have up to 3 policies (Characs and/or Ideas) per theater selected. They can be swapped out for available ones at a cost; in the case of Characs they lose 3 power while cycled out ideas becomes lost.
- Idi Amin is now a US Charac that can evolve into a USSR Leader
- Added effects for Curtis LeMay
- Implement 20+ new Character images
- Fixed an issue where using POLITICAL REALIGNMENT would cause an error message and fixed a conditions that should be OR instead of AND
- Updated the Red Scare Policy to include McCarthy as selected Character
- Kennan has now been converted into a Charac for Scenario 7
- Added imagery for Yitzhak Rabin's Character
- Fixed an issue where the Red Dragon Rising and Red Dragon Dance policies in China would incorrectly only be available for singular use
- Added KKE Operations decision to Greek Civil War
- Updated decision chain for Tito regarding the Greek Civil War in particular Balkanic Ambitions
- Added the possibility to spark Religious wars in Sub-Saharan African theater
- Updated various decisions in Scenario 8: The China Card
- Appointing Peng now also disable on Mao's death
- Updated the Cuban Revolution decision chains
- Fixed an issue that prevented Charac ID selection in the editor for Policy selected
- Fixed various typos
- Fixed an issue where Southern UK had Unit icons and Influence incorrectly overlapping
- Pruned various duplicated art
- Fixed an issue where Selected Characs were darkened, instead of lit