I’m almost done Chapter 5A of Lords of Infinity. As I mentioned last month, this is likely to be another big one. I’m already at 65k words, and there’s still a bit more to go. Hopefully it’ll be done at the end of the month, which will give me March to work on Chapter 5B, which should be a bit shorter.
Tag Archives: Sabres of Infinity
As of this update, all three versions of Chapter 3 of Lords of Infinity are now finished, which means I’ve started working on the two versions of Chapter 4.
Both iterations of Chapter 4 are relatively large. Although I’m certainly going to try to get Chapter 4A done by this time next month, it may take somewhat longer than that.
As of this update, the second version of Chapter 3 of Lords of Infinity is now complete, which means I’m devoting my efforts to finishing the final version.
This third branch (Chapter 3C) is perhaps the most interesting of the three, at least, from a design standpoint. It’s going to be the rarest, since accessing it relies on the player making a series of very specific decisions in Guns of Infinity, and then importing that file over. My optimistic estimate is that maybe 5-10% of players will end up seeing it, or even knowing of its existence at all, unless they find out through forum posts or word of mouth (or this blog, for that matter).
However, this does not mean that this chapter is going to be any shorter or less fully featured than 3A or 3B. Nor does it mean that someone coming into the series fresh won’t be able to have a good time with the two chapters they will have access to (though the existence of the third version offers another incentive for newcomers to buy the whole series). It does mean that I’ll be able to essentially create what is going be a more or less “secret” storyline, full of unique content which will not only be a full chapter, but serve as a goal in itself, just like certain chapters of Guns of Infinity were.
I just thought you’d all like to know that I have finished writing and have started bugtesting the first version of Chapter 3 of Lords of Infinity. There’ll be three separate versions, one for the Aetoria branch and two for the estate. At this rate, I should be able to finish all three by the middle of September.
My short-term goal is to get to a certain point of Chapter 6 by the end of the year. That would put me on track to be text-complete by the late summer or early fall of 2020, with a release at the end of the year.
Needless to say, Lords of Infinity is going to be a huge project, likely the size of Sabres and Guns put together, if not more. It’s arguably the fulcrum of the whole planned five-part series, which means the success of the whole may depend on how well it holds up.
In other news, July’s installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up. As usual, these worldbuilding columns were funded by my supporters on Patreon. If you’d like to get early access, or have a say in what I write about next (or contribute to my living expenses as I work on Lords of Infinity), then I’d certainly encourage you to pitch in a few dollars a month, if possible.
In the meantime, I am still busy working on (one of the iterations of) Chapter 2 of Lords of Infinity.
I was going to write about the political factions within the Tierran Cortes for this month’s blog post, but as it turns out, my supporters on Patreon voted for an article on the exact same topic.
As a result, you can find that article as the latest installment of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, which is now up alongside this month’s entry in An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms.
This month, I’m going to be talking about one of the subplots in in Lords of Infinity: the Army Reform Commission. Unlike the Budget Crisis, participation in this subplot is more or less optional: it’ll run its course whether or not the player chooses to intervene in it. However, this subplot may well have widespread long-term effects. At some point later in the series, the player may find themselves wishing they’d taken the opportunity when they had the chance.
The King’s Army went to war in Antar as a more or less entirely untested force. Its institutions and regulations were either adopted from those of the Takaran Richshyr, or holdovers from the conflicts which unified Tierra a century before. It was an army built on assumptions which the experience of the Dozen Years War have often proven inaccurate, misguided, or downright harmful. The officers who suffered the inadequacy of the old system returned from Antar with a long list of lessons learned, and an even longer list of ideas for how a better, more effective army might be trained, equipped, organised and led. Having witnessed some of the shortcomings of his army firsthand, King Miguel has ordered the creation of a Royal Commission made up of veteran officers to suggest changes to the King’s Army, and to ensure that the hard lessons learned in wartime are not forgotten in peace.
The Army Reform Commission is not going to be an easy body to join. Getting in might mean currying favour with Grenadier Square, or leaning on the friendship of those with the influence to get you a seat on the Commission. If the Dragoon Officer managed to make the right friends within the army, or has earn enough of a reputation as a tactician or a fighting officer, then they might have a shot. Alternatively, they could try ingratiating themselves with one of the political players in the Cortes powerful enough to influence who gets to sit on the Commission. That being said, such methods will always carry a price, one which the Dragoon Officer might not be willing to pay.
If the Dragoon Officer is able to get a seat on the Commission, they then have a whole new set of issues to deal with. Not every officer who served in Antar had the same experiences, and not every one of them came to the same conclusions. In short, there is a split within the Commission itself over which direction the Commission should take:
The so-called “Infantry School” are members of the Commission who want to focus on organisation and logistics. Although matters of supply and administration might seem “boring” to some, they are the foundation of a functioning army. Infantry School proponents want to overhaul the ordnance board, create a dedicated logistics branch, institute larger permanent formations, and subject junior officers to standardised training. In short, they want to make the King’s Army a better supplied, and better organised force, with an emphasis on a more centralised command structure.
The commissioners belonging to the “Cavalry School”are proponents of reforming and refining the “sharp end” of the King’s Army. They want an overhaul of the manual of arms, and a revision of drill and tactics from the battalion level down. Furthermore, Cavalry School proponents want a more permanent establishment of special purpose units (like the Experimental Corps of Riflemen) and an increase in the authority given to company/troop and battalion/squadron level officers to operate. The result would be a more decentralised army, composed of more independent units with more flexible tactics and commanded by officers with more freedom to respond quickly.
The terms are misnomers, of course. There are Infantry School proponents from the cavalry, and Cavalry School proponents who are infantry officers. However, the fact remains that if the Dragoon Officer joins the Army Reform Commision, they’ll have to choose a side to support, or try to walk the line between them.
The more astute readers among you might have noticed that most of the reforms advocated by the Infantry School and Cavalry School aren’t really mutually exclusive. A better supply infrastructure doesn’t mean that there can’t be a new manual of arms. Perhaps you’re thinking “why not both”?
That brings us to the last complication involved: the Army Reform Commission may have the King’s backing, but that doesn’t mean the Cortes has the political will to turn the Commission’s report into action. Tierra has just fought a long, expensive, and bloody war, and it has neither the resources or the inclination to spend a large amount of money overhauling its army. Not only will the members of the Commission need to lobby hard to get the Cortes to even consider funding their suggested reforms, but they’ll need to deliver a list of suggestions which enough of the Lords of the Cortes can be convinced to vote for. Given Tierra’s rolling budget crisis, that more or less means that the more expensive any list of reforms is going to be to implement, the harder it’ll be to get the funding for it.
If the Dragoon Officer manages to get a place on the Commission, the player will be able to make decisions regarding what reforms to back and what reforms to kill. But even if the player chooses other priorities, the Commission will still run its course, the decisions made will determine the shape of the Tierran Army in the years ahead. If Tierra goes to war again and the Dragoon Officer is recalled to service, then such matters may mean the difference between life and death.
P.S. I know, I know, I promised Cortes factions this month, but I wanted to get this one out of the way for more context. Next month, I swear.
As usual, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up, both funded by my supporters on Patreon. If you want to see more of this kind of content, feel free to donate. Patrons get early access, and the ability to decide what I write for next month at higher tiers.