The bombing of Maglev-77 was an act of supreme cowardice, directed against hard-working commuters whose only crime was heading to work to make this world a better place. If this was supposed to send a message, it has been heard and understood. We now know who you are.
You are weak, you have failed, and you stand in the way of human progress.
We will rebuild the maglev line, and we will continue our work to terraform this planet. As we battle to bring Earth climate under control, we must also shape Mars into a new Earth. A new future for our people, for all people. Because we must remember that there are no real Martians and no Earthers, we are all one people, we are human.
And as human beings we must grieve for those who lost their lives here today, and we must persevere. We must keep pushing forward and onwards. We must build a future together, on Earth, here and out there, among the stars.Silveria Kidlat, Mars Corporate council chairperson.
The Corporations (CORP) hold a polarizing place in many people’s hearts. Some view them as ruthless profiteers, driven only by delivering the best results to their shareholders. Others point out this one simple truth: Without corporate involvement at all stages of Martian history, there would be no colonies on Mars.
Even in the early days and the first missions to Mars, private/public partnerships were a cornerstone. However, as these private enterprises were funded with public money, Corporations were not able to plant flags and claim large sections of Mars. They were however, given other rights and benefits.
One of the events that initiates the rebellion is the creation of a magnetic deflector at the Mars L1 LaGrange point. One of the issues with terraforming Mars is its lack of a magnetosphere as gasses will simply bleed away from the planet. With this problem solved, terraforming can begin in earnest. (https://phys.org/news/2017-03-nasa-magnetic-shield-mars-atmosphere.html)
For the CORP, Mars is a long-term project, an entire planet of new markets, new products, and new possibilities.
Mechanic Focus – Profit
The CORP has bottomless resources and near infinite amounts of wealth with budgets in the billions and trillions. So the CORP player does not need to worry about spending Resources to take actions. This is not normal in a COIN game.
The CORP has profit and their profit score is also tied to their victory condition.
The main ways to increase profit are by exploiting populated areas, defeating Rebels, and building and maintaining terraforming bases. Each terraforming base slowly adds to the profit score of the CORP player. So getting them in play and defending them is key.
However, profit is the only way to replace lost units. Every unit bought back into your available area reduces your margins. So the CORP really wants to limit casualties and run a lean operation.
Profits are not spent to take basic actions, but in some cases can be spent to empower them.
Mechanic Note – Aldrin Cycler
We will talk a lot more about the Cycler in the Martian Provisional Government article as they rely on it even more than the CORP player. The essence of it is that Earth is a long way from Mars, so supplies, troops and settlers take time to transit.
Conflict with Other Factions
The Martian Provisional Government is the current administration on Mars and The CORP have very little respect for them. If they want something done, they can browbeat the MG into it, or use back channels to lean on them via the Earth Government.
And while they are allies against the Rebel forces, the CORP player will exploit areas controlled by the COIN for profit, reducing support in the MG. The CORP would also vastly prefer that the MG do the brunt of the fighting and dying as well.
Red Dust are fundamentally a worker’s revolt, and the CORP are the main employers. The CORP can suppress areas that support Red Dust and exploit the workers there as well for profit. The areas that generate the best profit for exploitationare the ones Red Dust most wants to control.
The Church of the Reclaimer is fundamentally opposed to Terraforming efforts. As the CORP builds bases in the deserts of Mars, the reclaimers will seek to destroy them. As Desert bases do not contribute to popular support of the Martian Government, the CORP will do much of this fighting by itself.
Factions Operations and Special Activities
Like all COIN games, each faction has a series of Operations and Special Activities.
CORP Operations: Logistics, Recon, Secure, Assault.
CORP Special Activities: Public Relations, Exploit, Raid
Logistics allows the CORP player to move assets on the cycler along one step and then place new resources on Earth. It also allows them to upgrade a base to its terraforming side.
Secure allows the CORP player to move to and locate hidden rebels in the labyrinth cities of mars. It also allows the CORP to repair damage, house settlers or place bases in the cities.
Recon allows the CORP player to move to and locate hidden rebels in the deserts of Mars, It also allows the CORP to repair damage, house settlers or place bases in the deserts.
Assault allows the CORP to directly attack Rebels, but note that in Red Dust Rebellion, fighting inside of the labyrinth cities can cause the attacker to also take damage. Eliminating rebels this way also increases profits as it represents private security forces taking government contracts for the work.
Special Activities List
Public Relations allows the CORP player to gain profits by housing settlers and repairing damage. This also boosts EarthGov’s confidence in the Martian Provisional Government.
Exploit allows the CORP to gain profits in areas they have bases, reducing support or opposition in a populated area. The more population, the more profits they gain. Exploit can also feed resources to other factions.
Raid is the CORP’s secret weapon. They allow the CORP to use its unique SpecOps pieces to surgically remove enemies on the board, as well as allies. SpecOps can also do damage to regions. SpecOps are hidden units that cannot be targeted by regular attacks until they are revealed.
The CORP is in many ways a reimagining of the Cartel archetype in COIN, a faction more concerned about making money and avoiding as much fighting as possible. Compare to the Cartel in Andean Abyss or the Warlords in A Distant Plain.
The Profit mechanic is one that can trip up players as it essentially allows the CORP player to bank victory points, and once the CORP has profit it takes effort to get it away from them. This also means the CORP is very unlikely to win an early surprise victory, but it is likely to get stronger and stronger as the game progresses if they are left alone.
That is what the CORP player wants most. They want the MG to do the heavy lifting on the battlefront, they want to exploit the big cities, build up extensive terraforming base networks and quietly grind away for a win.
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