Nice, thanks. So, based on this, some notes for encoding policies as cards (these are thoughts/distillations/trying to make sense of 'how to play as a top-down policymaking agent responsible for making sure this society survives):
There are two types of cards: events and responses. The responses are policy decisions drawn from each Distrikt. Events deal damage across various categories: responses counter events and recover damage (and in some cases deal damage elsewhere). Distrikts have some native weaknesses to certain categories (for example, the Assembly has weak infrastructure) and take more or less damage depending on their political makeup. The responses available and the way you play also changes depending on the Distrikt.
Events are dealt out at a constant rate from an event deck kept face-down. Some events can summon other events (for example, a Great Flood can also summon the Infrastructure Damage and Minor Pandemic cards). Players draw responses from decks kept face-down. They can only draw a limited number of responses per turn.
THE DISTRICTS / DECKS
Easiest to encode. The Covenant is a very rich theocracy: the Vatican on steroids.
The Covenant is owned by various religious orders and sub-sects, all of which are landowners. Constitutionally, operations are run by chambers of civilians / laypersons recruited to the post; they convene at the Council. However, practically, all major officials are advised by the religious orders that they or the land they administrate are affiliated with, the the Auctoritatis is a combination Speaker of Parliament / Executive President with supreme authority. Major religious sects form a Cabinet of sorts - the so-called ‘Permanent Seats’ on the Council - and can advise the Auctoritatis, but it’s like the Pope’s advisors.
The Covenant has a very strong manufacturing economy. Agriculture is localized to each church: churches and communities that aren’t self-sufficient to some degree (at least bottom tier of Maslow’s) don’t last too long. Church’s ‘wealth’ can be measured in coin, but it’s bought by the labor and land that can be commanded.
It also has a dual economy: the bulk of intellectual labor and higher education is done by monks, who consider the idea of free markets to be distasteful if not downright heretical, but around major points of operation are businesses - incorporated with permission - that reverse-engineer findings or aggressively hire lay brothers and sisters to create products that can then be sold internally or exported. Most of these products are not the cake, but the icing. These companies can be bossed around.
The Institute for the Works of Religious handles a lot of finance: think of them as an AI-run Lloyds. They are the sole entity like this, so a single point of failure; but most church funds are separate from the IWR and decentralized.
TL;DR: decentralized economy, to an extent, similar to Middle Ages; no Central Bank, but a Treasury, yes; single point of control; lots of single points of failure; robust to market failures to a degree. You play policies as the equivalent of Innocent III going all medieval on a modern theocracy. It’s a straightforward play: you directly counter events with response cards, drawing from the limited amount available to you at any given time.
Minarchist cyberpunk. The law (aka the Watchmen) are confined to matters of justice - enforcing property laws, protecting citizens against aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud. The Griefing Charter allows the Watchmen to step in and arrest people for malicious intent that can be proven to infringe on someone’s profit at no material benefit to the attacker (ie: purely grudges). Everything else is left to markets.
This, by design, is incredibly difficult to control from a single point of view. There are large corporations. There are actual gangs - the Voxel Dogs, the Senators, and the Seasiders - who have set themselves up as ‘private security’ and expanded into VC roles. Market manipulation is possible, if you’re careful - including ponzi schemes and false banks.
The only way to play this District is to be a ‘concerned agent’ flush with cash, buying goods and services and redirecting them to places and people. Some actions that you can take have to involve destroying markets to remove bad agents. Each ‘policy’ card lists a corporation that will carry out the action for you (flavor text) for a price that will hit your cash reserves.
There literally is no free lunch here. You should be able to take on debt, with the idea that when the bank comes calling in x turns, a number of cards proportional to the size of the debt are taken from you. In line with ‘billionaire philanthropy’, every so often you are gifted a relatively small amount of free cash that will be nowhere near enough to solve all your problems in one go.
Extreme UN bureaucracy, welfare state. Hygge runs an economic system inspired by the social democracies of the second half of the twentieth century. The economy is mixed: most manufacturing, retail and services is run by for-profit private corporations. State-owned enterprises control the provision of most public services, like social security, banking, and infrastructure. Additionally, some Distrikt-owned companies compete with their private-sector counterparts in several key markets. These companies tend to provide basic, no-frills product and services at a competitive price: Hygge’s policy makers believe this to increase price competition and provide access to those markets to lower-income households.
Macroeconomic policy is executed by two powerful institutions: Hyggebanki, the central bank, and the Ministry of Provisioning and Planning for Public Purpose, commonly called Mp4 or Hensigt
Hyggebanki is the only legal issuer of the local currency, the Danegeld; it also functions as the main financial regulator. Hensigt is in charge of managing Hygge’s Distrikt budget, and is deeply concerned with:
Infrastructure provision (water, energy, transport, health care, education…). This is more or less constant over time.
Reducing unemployment. Any citizen that wants a job with Hensigt has a right to one. Remuneration of guaranteed jobs is set to be more than sufficient to provide for a fairly basic lifestyle, but noticeably lower than what the private sector pays for a similar job.
Public investments. These are new projects, like major infrastructure upgrades. In order to get the green light for one of these, Hygge political leaders need to make sure that they do not create inflation; and that no competing project is more attractive than the one being considered.
To play this Distrikt, you need to play as a Hensigt agent. The primary policies you can deploy are along those three lines above. Because of the bureaucratic nature, to do anything, you have to achieve political consensus. Which is to say you need to play multiple of the same card to trigger a policy change. The more widespread the policy, the more of that card you need to play? This is a weak state early-game, but as you take more cards from the policy deck, and start building ‘political power’, it becomes a late-game juggernaut.
Centralized economy. Large market collapses, huge spending, anything that leads to inflation can REALLY fuck with the system, especially since you now need to waste time gathering votes to do anything. Plus, the public service employment system is designed for a slow absorption over time and cannot handle a mass exodus of people fleeing the public sector or vice versa.
Upshot is: democratic socialist state, huge military presence, obsessed with fairness. Very wealthy Hyggians are a rarity, because they’re taxed heavily. Has UBI and default low-cost services in most sectors, so small market collapses hit less hard, citizens are by default more resilient to most damage.
Another doozy. The Assembly is ALL about self-organization and collective action. Decentralized infrastructure, ability to cobble together comparatively inefficient but robust infra in the wake of damage. Citizens, by default, have to have some infrastructure provision skills. Authority figures are listened to, but you need to get access to them.
Currency is held at a constant for each citizen. Decentralized blockchain based currency: wallets are refilled or readjusted to give enough for the basics. You cannot stockpile money; nor can you be really poor.
This kind of system disincentives competition and spurs collaboration; anyone who wants to compete is over in Libria. All tech is open source, so incredibly rapid adoption of innovation, similar to what we see in programming ecosystems. You can’t really impose penalties or regulations in this system: that’s all handled at a local community justice level. You can only add / incentivize / organize protest / champion.
Theoretically every agent has as much power as every other agent, but that’s horseshit in practice.
Let’s assume that you can summon ‘influencers’ that can persuade people to do x, y, z. Is that even practical? Let’s also assume that you can influence the common resource pool by including or excluding various parties (policies). How might this work?
Impossible to play from a top-down POV, I think. Almost complete self-determination. I can only think of a preacher hopping island to island preaching change (takes a couple of turns at least to cover them all) with a die roll on whether the locals agree or not.