The suggestion as follows is for a different sort of vassal system for Gestalts. Thus called 'Networks and Strains', the system represents a more extreme form of the Gestalt diversifying itself: subdividing entire portions in a semi-autonomous manner.
Mechanically, it works as the following:
- Networks and Strains may only be formed from the Gestalt itself. No foreign empires (even other Gestalts) can be subjugated into becoming a Network or Strain.
I'm aware that for all Gestalts they
of a conquered Gestalt's drone population automagically. For game purposes, they be assumed to be yours after a successful war, and thus split out as described above.
- Networks and Strains do not suffer fear from Threat, or presume to be in danger from their Parent Gestalt.
There is something for Networks and Strains to develop and suffer from Deviancy. However, such an idea does not fit into the political spectrum of ideas as would be applied to normal empires. In essence, Networks and Strains would need to suffer serious social mismanagement to become deviant enough to attempt insurrection or divergence from the Parent Gestalt. While nice to have, it does not necessarily need to exist immediately for this system to work. A one-time mini-crisis, like the old AI Uprising, might suffice as a stop-gap solution by using current tools.
For the purposes of war, allowing the Networks or Strains operate independently has interesting potential. I'm not 100% certain on all the scenarios for this, but it'd be something I'd look at. You do want them to be able to grow on their own, after all. However this can run contrary to having all their diplomacy deferred to the Parent Gestalt. Not sure how to rectify this off the top of my head.
- Networks and Strains inherit the Parent Gestalt's diplomatic values and policies.
E.g; You are hated by Empire X, allied by Empire Y, and have closed borders to Empire C. Your Networks/Strains mirror this behavior. All diplomacy going to your Networks/Strains, is instead deferred to you.
I believe there's room for intrigue and options here, but that would certainly be part of a boarder spectrum of work that might be outside the scope of this idea.
- Networks and Strains develop personality types as dictated by the Parent Gestalt.
E.g; You are a Determined Exterminator, and then create a Research Link that dedicates itself more to research than military affairs.
However, for balance reasons, it should not be possible to create Determined Exterminators, Devouring Swarms, Driven Assimilators, or Rogue Servitors unless you are already one of those things. If such things do arise from normal Gestalts, they should only result from a full-scale rebellion and complete loss of control of a Network or Strain.
- Networks and Strains inherit all the technology of their Parent Gestalt at creation, as well as enough unity to match or finish some traditions. After wards, they can develop independently, and backwards share any deviant research they've finished through the normal Research Agreement.
For balance purposes, a created Network or Strain must be reintegrated overtime normally. You cannot declare war on your own Network or Strain (not unless it has become completely Deviant) to short-circuit the reintegration. This is mostly to stop people from eating their own Network or Strain and then poop it back out again in a year to refresh their tech level.
I think I can keep going but this about encompasses the bulk of it, the rest that comes to mind is mostly balancing and loophole closure, but it's almost midnight for me lol
Thank you for reading.
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