Reading the Newsfax
The Newsfax grants a player insight into the activity of other players, the size of their armies, their economic activity and their strategies. Likewise, it allows those same other players an opportunity to view what you may be doing, as well. The Newsfax is also the means by which the GM makes announcements, rules clarifications, and otherwise blasts off at his captive audience.
Newsfax Letter Headings
At the head of a Newsfax is the name of this game, the blurb Lords of the Earth, and the campaign number. Then the turn number of the newsletter is printed. It will list the turn number, what year it is at the end of the turn (or the span of years covered by the turn), and the current era. After that is the Due Date, which is the next date that you must submit orders by.
The Announcements section will include new rule changes and clarifications, campaign policies and other news pertinent to the running of that particular game.
Game Master Name And Address
This is the person and address that all orders should be delivered to on or before the due date. Please note that any orders received by the GM after the Due Date shall be run or not run at the GM’s discretion. Also somewhere in the Newsfax Letter should be the GM’s phone number (if one is available).
Also listed in the newsletter are the prices required by the GM for each turns play.
Nation By Nation Reports
Each nation is represented by an entry with the following general sections:
- The name of the nation (in bold capitals). The type font of the nation may either represent the nation’s current technology level or the culture code of the nation may be appended as a single letter.
- The next line is the name of the current monarch of the nation and their various titles in italics - which may be both longwinded and pretentious.
- The third line is the Diplomacy line. Here, the results of any diplomacy conducted by that nation’s Leaders is reported, assuming that there were any results at all. The results are noted by the name of the region in which diplomacy took place, followed by the new Control Status that resulted (in parentheses).
The Ming Empire Ming-ta Juwen Shui-jen, Emperor of China, Son of Heaven
Diplomacy: Hupei(f), Tsingdao(t)
This result would indicate that the region of Hupei had become friendly to the diplomacizing nation, and Tsingdao had become tributary. See Diplomacy and Secret Diplomacy for more information on doing diplomacy, and Control Level for the control statuses that a region can have.
The fourth and subsequent lines are the results of your other actions, written up by the Game Master in a grand and glorious (i.e. pulpy) style designed also to be self-explanatory.
In each nation by nation report, the highlights of the turn's events are reported. Here are some of the events that are always reported in the Newsfax (unless, of course, they are concealed by Intel activities):
The Foundation of New Cities, where they are, their name and what sea zone it may face, Construction of Fortresses, New Megalithic Constructions, Changes in Regional Terrain, The Death of Kings, Rebellions and Civil War, Hostile Military Actions against Other Nations, The Development of New Technologies, Intel Actions against your Nation and the results, Failed Intel actions that you attempted against other nations and were ‘blown’ or revealed to the public, and Religious actions within your country.
In many areas of the world, mercenaries (or condotierri) are available. Mercenaries are bands of men, of various levels of skill, who pledge allegiance to none other than precious gold. They can be hired, but players are restricted to hiring mercenaries only from those general regions where they control territory. Each Regional Heading in the Newsfax will list the mercenary troops, and possibly Leaders, that are available for hire in that general region. The Quality Ratings of the troops may or may not be disclosed, at the discretion of the GM. If Leaders are listed, they will be shown along with their military, diplomatic and charisma ratings.
Mercenaries are hired on a one-turn basis at any time during the turn. The pools of available condottieri are listed for each world region they are in. These are the mercenaries available in cities controlled by the nations that are listed under each regional heading (such as North Africa, China or South America). The type and number of mercenaries are listed. Their QRs may or may not be revealed.
The minimum bid per unit for a mercenary unit is 0.5 GP. If a Mercenary Captain is available, then his minimum bid is his combined Combat and Diplomacy stats in GP.
There are more details on hiring and using Mercenary troops.
MSI Rankings List
At the end of the Newsfax is an MSI Rankings List. Each nation is listed, in descending order, from the most powerful to the weakest. Following each nation’s name are that nation’s: actual MSI rating, ESI ranking, International Trade Value, the player's name or alias, the player's phone number (if the player wishes it to be listed), and the player’s email address (if the player has one and wishes it to be listed).