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11 Policy

Policy is a set of rules laid down to govern your empire. These rules have both immediate and far-reaching strategic implications. You will want to find settings that compliment your goals and your play style. Your policy settings are visible to all neighbours on the map, so if your leadership approach does not mesh well with theirs, expect friction.

11.1 Government

Choosing a government is a tough decision, but don't worry, it can always be changed later. In the real world, governmental duty may imply some degree of accountability, but not in Battle Mines. Here it's more a choice of what special perks you want to have today.

There are nine different types of government, each with their own special attributes. Some governments have a direct clash of belief, their methods of rule being polar opposites. These governments are said to hate each other.

Changing governments normally costs one food, which you feed to your people. If the people hate the type of government you are coercing them to adopt, the cost is two food. If the people don't have enough room in their bellies, you can't change governments. (See Hunger.)

A table of governments and hatred follows. An X implies hatred.

Anarchy Bureaucracy Capitalism Communism Fascism Monarchy Syndicalism Technocracy Theocracy
Anarchy X X
Bureaucracy X X X
Capitalism X X X
Communism X X X
Fascism X X X X X X X X
Monarchy X X X
Syndicalism X X X X X X X X X
Technocracy X X X
Theocracy X X X X

It is possible for governments (like syndicalism and theocracy) to hate themselves (due to the various sects of their fractious ideologies). Judgement of the senate, an issue the senate votes on weekly, may impact hatred either by condoning or denouncing a type of government. If condoned, all hatred for the chosen government is withheld. If denounced, everybody will hate the chosen government (including itself). The senate's ruling overrides all other concerns in this matter.

As well as doubling the cost to change governments, hatred has a few other effects. Building an outpost in the territory of a hated government type will cost two glass instead of one. Revolting another player's government to a hated one costs an extra food. You cannot bribe the people of a government that hates yours.

Governments of the same type cannot attack one another, unless that government hates itself. Anarchy governments can also attack each other due to their inherent lawlessness.

For each of the governments except syndicalism, a leader is chosen based on highest points. See the leaders section for details.

11.1.1 Anarchy

Hates: Fascism, syndicalism

Anarchy is the most basic form of government, that is, none at all. It carries some juicy benefits but significant drawbacks, the worst being the inability to use the academy. In the face of monumental devastation or social upheaval, advanced governments may collapse back into anarchy.

Events that trigger a collapse into anarchy:

11.1.2 Bureaucracy

Hates: Monarchy, fascism, syndicalism

Bureaucrats scorn arbitrary authoritarian rule and prefer to bury their people under mountains of committee paperwork. This frees the people from litigious struggle, as nobody can refute an excellently maintained paper trail. Unfortunately there are few action heroes among the petty desk jockeys of the bureaucracy.

11.1.3 Capitalism

Hates: Communism, fascism, syndicalism

The capitalist plutocrats like to dominate the supply chain, and so pour their resources into streamlining the means of production. Their means of production, not yours.

11.1.4 Communism

Hates: Capitalism, fascism, syndicalism

Legendary for their relentless espionage efforts, the commies take pride in undermining bourgeoisie regimes, for the people!

* Provided the defender has buildings left for them to hide in after combat.

11.1.5 Fascism

Hates: All but fascism

Fascists are almost universally reviled as sociopathic regimes bent on exacting angry tolls on their fellow man. Not the sort of government you'd want to bring home to meet your mum, but at least they know how to make the trains run on time.

Scorched Earth

Furious at being denied desecration of their own sacred burial grounds, the fascist vassal scum will burn down half of their cannons, warehouses, and mines upon being escorted from the premises during land exchange. (Rounding up.)

11.1.6 Monarchy

Hates: Bureaucracy, fascism, syndicalism

A decent sort of government, monarchy, with only a modest bent for mercantilist policies and colonialism to properly thrash the competition. The people's empirical pride enables them to shrug off social ills.

Throw a Banquet

Instead of the simply feeding the people (available on the player profile), monarchs prefer to go all out and throw a whole banquet. The cost is three food, but the people's hunger is reduced to zero!

The banquet is such big news that all your neighbours receive an event of notification. Like feeding the people, banquets recover your underlings from their last beating immediately. A banquet cannot be thrown if hunger is already zero.

11.1.7 Syndicalism

Hates: All

Syndicalism is a special government, an imaginary utopia/dystopia where every citizen contributes their utmost to the cause of society. Such theoretical übermenschen would be hated and feared by all.

To even access syndicalism through the policy page as with normal governments, chapter two of the plot points must be completed. This shows the player's devotion as a staunch Battle Miner. Unlike other governments, syndicalism always costs 3 food to enact, which the people must not exceed the people's hunger.

After a syndicalist reign begins, every six hours (starting from when governments change) the people will check how many vassals the empire has. If there are at least three, they will be contended for another six hours. If not, they will try to eat enough food to reduce hunger to 3, also satisfying them. If neither of these work, they will revert from syndicalism to your previous government. Note that each food eaten for this purpose only reduces hunger by one, so performing a manual feed is a more efficient way to maintain syndicalism.

11.1.8 Technocracy

Hates: Theocracy, fascism, syndicalism

The technocrats really do have it going on upstairs. How they bring those shield generators online with just a few morsels of food I will never know.


The technoshield is projected around all of the technocrat's advanced buildings. In combat, incoming damage is deflected from these important structures. Unfortunately, for every impact that would destroy an advanced building, a basic building is randomly chosen and sacrificed in its place.

If basic buildings are exhausted, then the advanced buildings lose technoshield protection and will be destroyed by any further damage that hits them.

Super Technoshield

Once the technocrat player builds a dome, its molecular power combines with the technocracy government's shielding technology to create the super technoshield, appearing red on the map. The super technoshield prevents all combat and land exchange, by or against the technocracy player. It also closes the border for as long as it is in place.

The tremendous defensive capacity of the super technoshield does not come without cost. All forms of life are stifled and oppressed under the terrible red sky. Industry caps for both production modifier and growth modifier are halved while it is in place. (Note: This affects both your upper and lower cap.) Diversions cannot be performed across a technoshield (local spy hunts are possible), and it is impossible to collect free objects from idle cities when a technoshield is up, on either side.

The technocracy player can turn off their super shield by scrapping the dome, or changing governments. It has only one external weakness: Stormy weather has the power to reverse the dome's shielding process and set the technocrats back to their normal (yet still formidable) technoshield, along with an unshielded inert dome.

Note, the technoshield and super technoshield may help in some random events, but not all of them. Whatever happens should try to make sense. Both types of technoshield are powerless against an EMP blast, see Radar in Appendix B for more details.


As if that cursed shield were not enough, technocrats may have the power of omniscience at their disposal. Once they reach diabolical machinery on the tech tree, omniscience allows the technocracy player to annihilate any hidden spies in their empire, with the abominable power of their foreboding eye tower. Field agents are zorched where they stand by blistering hot laser beams. Low-level informants are slain instantly, while operative-status and governmental bonuses may yet save a desperate spy.

Diplomats, as announced and acknowledged guests of the aristocracy, are spared the terrifying gaze of the eye, though they feel its terrible presence. Remind you of anything? Yeah but mine has laser beams!

Omniscience costs but three diamonds to activate. The eye reports how many spies it finds and destroys. If none are discovered, you are told whether there were enemies yet to be found, or if the land is now free from corruption.

11.1.9 Theocracy

Hates: Technocracy, theocracy, fascism, syndicalism

The sternly conservative theocrats have taken to the muzzles of their cannons to belch forth the prophesies of their scripture.


Those believers are so darn lucky, could it be someone up there is helping them after all? Theocrats avoid 1/3 of negative random events. This includes corruption and rotting food, sand blowing away, even the ire of the pale and white horsemen.

Being lucky does not affect conscious actions, such as losing your academy to a suicide bomber, or getting hit by shells in combat. It also does not affect static chance modifiers like PM and GM.

11.2 Industry

The industry of an empire is a reflection of their stance on environmental standards. The most strict rulers will insist on exacting pollution controls and limits to industrial growth, the most lax will allow refineries and factories to belch forth toxins day and night with nary a whit given. There is also a suitably neutral path, which reflects no severe partiality to either doctrine.

When a player goes idle their industry will revert to neutral.

11.2.1 Laissez-faire

Laissez-faire industries are a nightmarish dystopia of smog, chemical runoff and strip mines. Their workers are accustomed to inhaling pure soot. They can also attain ridiculously high levels of productivity.

11.2.2 Neutral

Neutrals receive no major benefits or drawbacks from their industrial approach, though their ability to grow crops depends significantly on the decisions of their neighbours.

11.2.3 Green

The green proponents work together and run a tight ship, going so far as to expend additional power to ensure all buildings meet the highest standards for environmental excellence. Their lands usually end up lush and green.

11.3 Borders

As a matter of policy, the prudent ruler may opt to close territorial borders for key intervals. Closing the borders costs just one glass, and reopening them is free of charge. Espionage attacks that damage the city, such as suicide bombing and sabotage, will cause the borders to be closed immediately without expense.

When borders are closed, activities to and from the isolated empire are restricted:

Also, the effects of several senate rulings are negated by closed borders:

See the The Senate for more details.

Note that corruption, combat, and tithes are not affected by closed borders. An active super technoshield closes the borders automatically.

11.4 Material Priority

Perhaps the least momentous of policy settings, but nevertheless a useful one at times. Your material priority determines whether base materials or refined materials will be prioritized in all cases where the spending alternative exists; that is any situation where a cost is listed in refined materials, but may be paid using base materials in the usual 4-to-1 ratio. When the prioritized material cannot cover a given cost, remaining expenses will automatically be drawn from the alternate material. Unfortunately a finer-grained schedule with which to govern the spending of materials is unavailable at this time.

This policy toggles between two simple settings: spend base materials first and spend refined materials first. Spending base materials over the more valuable refined materials is the default setting. Unlike other policies, it is completely free to change. Note that situations exist where a specific object payment is required, most notably tech research. In such cases, material priority does not apply.

See the Objects section for more information on how objects and payments work.

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