Win the Peace

A game that starts with the defeat of the Dark Lord, who oppressed the country. The day is saved, the Dark Legion has collapsed into infighting and our heroes stand victorious… in the rubble of their victory.



The country is destroyed from the fight, and chaos reigns, and while slowed down by infighting, the Dark Legion still holds good parts of the country… on what legitimacy do the Heroes base their new government?


High Concept


Rebuild a ruined country through difficult decisions with long-lasting consequences to win the peace after winning the war.



Gameplay Description

The Gameplay starts with the Backstory of the Rebellion against the Dark Lord, told via multiple choice questions(see the start of Suzerain). Already decisions made will have a strong influence on the rest of the game. For example, uniting all rebel groups opposing the Dark Lord will bring easy victory but will leave the Player with an alliance that is volatile at best and impossible to keep together at worst. Sticking to a core of resistance groups with shared ideals, on the other hand, will leave the country far more ruined from a long fight but will give the Player a stable government to rely upon.

The main Gameplay will happen on a strategic map, with the country divided into provinces. The main gameplay loop is acquiring new provinces by convincing the local population and institutions to accept the Player's government as the rightful ruler and then improving them to produce the resources to gain new provinces. The mechanical reason for acquiring new provinces may differ, from gaining access to important resources, like an iron mine, to feed the Player's smithing industry or territory(to transport the Player's iron to your industry) or to prevent them from falling into the hand of the remaining Dark Legion.

This core gameplay loop is regularly interrupted by events, some of which may benefit the Player, most of which will add additional challenges. The situation in a province will shape events. For example, one with active construction might have some people protesting the construction or workers demanding higher pay. Sending in the army may be the fastest way to get construction back on track, but it won't endear the Player to the population, while other solutions will require other resources.

To interact with provinces, both friendly and not, the Player sends out orders and (limited) agents every turn. Whereas a turn encompasses a week. Between turns, no regular orders can be given. The Player may still react to events that happen during the week as they happen. They have a physical location on the map, and the orders must travel to their destination first, adding time lag to any reactions. This makes the time it takes to travel from A to B, as well as the Player's exact position on the map, another resource to be considered.

The game ends either with the Player's death, their decline in political irrelevance or once the region has archived some form of stability, after which the Player will be confronted one final time by the consequences of their actions, seeing the legacy they leave behind.

Gameplay - Resources

Like any Grand Strategy Game, resource management is an important part of Win the Peace. The resources on hand can be split into three main categories. Government Resources are intangible things that are crucial to keeping your government running. Physical Resources represent money, raw resources, manufactured goods, etc., and province-specific resources, like a population's opinion of the Players' government and relationship with local institutions.

Gameplay - Resources - Government Resources

The two Government Resources are Paperwork and Legitimacy. Paperwork approximates all the minor decisions, Paperwork, and all the other things greasing the wheels of governance. Doing anything will generate Paperwork, and while there are strategies to deal with it, each comes with its own drawbacks. Doing it alone leaves the Player's government vulnerable should the Player Character not be available for any reason. However, setting up a bureaucracy to help will create a powerful institution to keep in check. Handing responsibilities directly to the rulers of local provinces leaves them with more power than might be desirable.

Legitimacy is the general belief in the Players' government, the people's faith in its capabilities, and trustworthiness. Overall, Legitimacy is determined by the average Legitimacy in each province. High Legitimacy gives promises meaning and can allow a Player to disperse a mob with the promise of fixing the problem in the future. However, failing to do so will negatively impact Legitimacy. It is also a soft fail state, as too low Legitimacy will mean both provinces and the Players' allies will start looking for a more trustworthy replacement.

Gameplay - Resources - Physical Resources

Physical Resources are all kinds of Resources that exist physically within the country and are generated and processed by provincial buildings. The most prominent ones are money and food. However, various Raw and Processed Materials will also be Physical Resources. Physical Resources exist on the strategic map, having a physical location. To travel from one place to another, they need to do so physically, taking time and allowing for interception. In general Physical Resources are intended to be the player's motivation to expand faster than might be optimal, as resources may be lacking.

Access to resources will benefit the player directly. All provinces require resources to function properly. Food so the population does not starve, and other physical resources to keep the province working. In a Steampunk Setting, coal may be a physical resource all provinces need. Luxury resources keep the population content and generate more income, while other Physical Resources may be required to recruit units or keep them in fighting condition. Musketeers might need a regular supply of black powder, in addition to food, something to be produced and transported, without which the efficiency of the player's armies will suffer.

Gameplay - Resources - Province Specific Resources

Province Specific Resources only apply to a specific Province. They cannot be transferred, though they can exert influence outside their Province. These resources include Province Legitimacy and Past Achievements. The Institutions of a Province also have their resources, Favors, and Institution Goals.

Province Legitimacy is mainly determined by events that happened in this Province. However, it will slowly equalize with the overall Legitimacy. This means gaining lower Legitimacy in a province will, over time, cause your Legitimacy to decay in all Provinces, making it harder to focus on one Province to the detriment of others.

On the other hand, Past Achievements are concrete events where the player sacrificed a lot for this Province. These are a kind of currency that can be used for various goals, ranging from maintaining Legitimacy to improving your standing in a Province.

Favors represent all kinds of backroom deals owed to or by the Institutions. Favors allow for various actions with an Institution, but Favors owed to an Institution may leave the player forced to do something they do not want to… or lose the Loyalty of the Institution.

Institution Goals, on the other hand, represent an overview of how to gain the Loyalty of an Institution. They come in two variants, Continuous Goals and Specific Goals. An Institution of local merchants might have a Continuous Goal of improving local infrastructure and keeping trade routes open and a Specific Goal of destroying a local Bandit Institution.

Gameplay - Institutions

Institutions keep the Players' government running, and gaining their support is essential. There are two types of Institutions. Mainly there are Institutions in each Province, varying in number depending on how populated a Province is. There are also Nation Wide Institutions that hold more substantial influence.

Institutions opposed to the Player, but inside a province of the Player, may either be in open revolt, fielding soldiers, or having gone underground, causing unrest and other damage to a Province. The more strength they have, the harder they are to discover and the more damage they can do. Some Institutions, for example, a Bandit Clan, will be underground from the start. An underground Institution will never win a direct fight with the Player. Still, they might be able to delay their defeat long enough for other problems to become more pressing, forcing the Player to retreat and use the resources tied up in defeating the Institution more wisely.

Institutions represent groups of people that can exert influence over the local province. For example, the local church may represent one Institution in a Province, or the farmers of an agricultural Province may be an Institution.

Gameplay - Institutions - Attributes

Institutions have several Attributes important for the Player, all of which can be influenced… to a degree.

The first Attribute is Standing. Each Institution has a Standing regarding three points: Opposition of the Dark Lord, Support of the Dark Lord, and Independence. These are visualized in a ternary diagram, as seen above. Where in this triangle it falls determines how an Institution will act regarding the Player and the remnants of the Dark Legion, as well as their starting Loyalty to the Player. However, just because an Institution Opposes the Dark Lord doesn't mean other factors cannot push them into hating the Player.

A few examples to show different standings. Merchants who only care for their profits would be completely neutral, willing to support whoever controls the province as long as they make money. On the other hand, a self-serving bureaucracy may not care who is in charge of the nation as long as there is a nation, opposed to Independence but neutral in the civil war. In contrast, a minority group may oppose the Player and the Dark Legion in equal measures to gain their freedom.

The Second Attribute is Loyalty. While Standing gives a Starting Loyalty and a general preference, the actual Loyalty of an Institution is born from the Player's actions. It shows how willing they are to accept the Player's rule. Keeping it high is essential to control provinces.

Wealth is a crucial Attribute, as it allows Institutions to take action. These can range from building new buildings, over hiring agents to even interacting with other institutions. Wealth is gained from the province and the buildings in the province the Institution controls and is lost to taxes and other dues to the Player or Nation Wide Institutions. For example, a local church will pay the Nation Wide Church dues.

The last important Attribute is Strength. It is the influence an Institution has over the population of a province. Stronger Institutions are more valuable to have on your side, as they can easily sway the population… but are also more able to force you to act a way you might not like, for the same reason.

Gameplay - Institutions - Interactions

Interactions with Institutions are one of the core aspects of gameplay, as these are needed to control and not just occupy a province. These Interactions can range from peaceful to outright aggressive, with different drawbacks and advantages.

The easiest way to gain the Loyalty of an Institution is to fulfill its Goals. However, doing so means the Player must continue to meet the Institution's Goals to keep its support, limiting the Player's ability to act independently.

Raising an Institutions Loyalty directly is slower and represents convincing individual leaders that cooperation is in their interest to sway the Institution. Doing so requires an agent, and time, though other resources(thematically fitting for the Institution) can be used the accelerate this process. It is slower and more expensive but doesn't require the Player to act in a specific way to keep control over a province. It will, however, decay slowly, meaning it has to be occasionally maintained.

Influencing an Institution's Standing is the slowest and most expensive way of controlling an Institution, requiring an Agent and significant investment in resources or occasional actions. It will, however, permanently shift the base Standing in favor of the Player.

If an Institution is sufficiently loyal to the Player, they can act as a limited Agent in their stead, taking actions in the name of the Player in this specific Province. This, however, will increase the Strength of an Institution, which might not always be desirable.

The Player may also directly increase or decrease an Institution's strength, which will require an Agent and resources and will impact the Institution's Loyalty accordingly.

Seizing Assets will either diminish an institution's Loyalty greatly or require a substantial investment of resources, as the Player takes control of an institution's assets(resources, buildings, etc.), gaining them for themselves while diminishing the Institution's strength. This may cause an Institution to become Hostile.

Assaulting an Institution will dissolve this Institution in this Province if successful. It requires the military and an agent in the Province. If overwhelming force is guaranteed, Institutions may let themselves be dissolved peacefully. Otherwise, they will immediately revolt. If they win, the Province will become independent. If they manage to hold out for a certain amount of time without losing, the Institution will instead go underground.

Finding Hideouts requires an agent that can be supplemented with soldiers or resources and targets Institutions that have gone underground. It will take time, depending on the strength of an Institution, and once successful, it will allow the Player to Assault this Institution again.

Create Institution allows an agent to create a new Institution from the ground up in a province. This Institution may be picked from a list of accessible ones with different starting attributes depending on the Province, similar Institutions in other Provinces, and nationwide Institutions. Furthermore, time and resources can be spent to shift attributes in the Player's favor upon creation.

Gameplay - Provinces

Provinces are the building block of the nation and the smallest unit of land that can be controlled. They contain buildings that produce and refine physical resources and are controlled by Institutions. They are filled by a population that determines how many Institutions can coexist without conflict. They can be occupied, become part of your nation willingly, or be fought over. They may also contain Landmarks and unique physical resources.

Gameplay - Provinces - Attributes

Loyalty of the Population is a simple measure of how strongly the people approve of the Player government. High Loyalty may help a player survive low Legitimacy, but Loyalty is much harder to earn than Legitimacy, requiring the Player to invest heavily into a province and noticeably improve the life of people while also being in good standing with their Institutions.

Province Stability is a measure of how well civilization works in the province. Low stability means more bandits, less production, and more Unrest. Stability is influenced by many things; having enough workplaces for everyone increases stability, while famine decreases it. Deploying the Army may help stability or hurt it, depending on circumstances. Raising the stability of provinces should be a goal of every Player.

The Population of a province is essential for many reasons. Firstly it determines the range of how many Institutions a province can support. Going above this range will lead to conflict between the Institutions. Going below will lead to Institutions being created naturally. Furthermore, the Population determines how many workers a province has, how many people can rise in revolt, and how many people can be conscripted into the Army, making larger Provinces more desirable but harder to control, as there are more Institutions there and Unrest will require larger armies to control.

Landmarks are specific points of interest that make a Province unique. A large trading town, for example, will lend more strength to local Merchant Institutions and allow for more valuable trade with the outside world. On the other hand, a Province that is the hometown of the previous Dark Lord will push local Institutions towards opposing the Player and more fanatic support for the remnants of the Dark Legion.

Physical Resource deposits represent the ability to create Physical Resources from “nothing”. Not every province can support, for example, an Iron Mine, making these Provinces more valuable to both sides. Buildings are still needed to extract the resources.

Gameplay - Provinces - Buildings

Buildings produce Physical Resources from the province or other Physical Resources and convert them into other things. For example, military Buildings might convert population and weapons into trained soldiers. Buildings can also provide additional advantages, like fortifications for better defense or improved infrastructure for faster movement.

Buildings can be built by the Player and Institutions in exchange for Physical Resources, mainly money. Though some Buildings may require other Physical Resources. Assigning an Agent to oversee will improve the speed at which a building is constructed.

Buildings may be damaged or destroyed by combat and events, and depending on the Player's starting choices, many will start destroyed, forcing the Player to rebuild.

Gameplay - Provinces - Status

Provinces can have different Statuses, depending on how it was acquired and how much the local Institutions and Population support the current owner.

A Loyal Province is owned by either the Player or a remnant of the Dark Legion and supports the current ruler. There may be Unrest, but the Institutions are firmly on the ruler's side.

A Contested Province is currently owned by either the Player or a remnant of the Dark Legion, but either Unrest is high enough, or the Institutions are split in their support for or against the owner, so the control is contested. This can range from peaceful power struggles to civil wars within the Province.

Occupied Provinces do not support their current owner but are held in line by military occupation. The specifics of the occupation depend on the owner's decisions and the number of soldiers and/or agents they can spare to keep the Province in line. This is the broadest category and can range from protecting a few selected assets(a road that connects two other provinces, an important building, etc.), over a gentle occupation, where the army attempts to solve problems peacefully, to a full-blown crackdown on all (attempted) resistance.

Independent Provinces are under the control of a powerful independent-minded Institution or even a group of independent-minded Institutions that hold power in the Province. They will defend themselves against aggression but will stay relatively passive. Under specific circumstances, they can become a new faction in the war for the nation.

Anarchic Provinces lack Institutions strong enough to control the Province or where power is split between too many Institutions. Anarchic Provinces will suffer severe drawbacks in almost all areas, though these drawbacks can be alleviated to a degree by occupation. The only real solution is the formation of Institutions or the consolidation of power into a manageable number of Institutions. Anarchic Provinces are usually transitory, but Players will be able to force this state.

Gameplay - Armies, Agents, and the Player Character

Armies, Agents, and the Player Character are all actors that have a direct place on the world map. They can be attacked and can, to a degree, attack others, and they all can make decisions if faced with events. To interact with provinces, they need to travel there, or in the case of the Player Character, send messengers.

Gameplay - Player Character

Keeping the Player Character safe is vital, as they represent the Player themselves. However, keeping them in a well-connected position is also essential, as they need to receive and send messengers to interact with the nation and receive information. These messengers need time to travel, so being on the other side of the country, or relatively close by, can mean the difference between being able to quell Unrest right at the start or having it turn into riots before the player character can react.

They also need to spend time on Paperwork, as leaving Paperwork to pile up means messages with important information might be delayed. However, vital information will always be given to the Player as soon as the messenger arrives. Important information might be that Unrest is rising in a province, while vital information would be that a riot has broken out.

Furthermore, the Player Character can take unique actions when travelling and stationed in a province. These unique actions will allow the Player to generate more specific resources, especially Government Resources and those necessary to control Provinces.

When travelling, the Player can choose between speed and generation of resources. For example, travelling slowly might allow the Player to increase the Loyalty of local Institutions, or it might allow them to still work through the usual amount of Paperwork while focusing on speed has obvious advantages.

Gameplay - Agents

Agents are the hands of the Player Character. They are needed for all tasks more complex than ordering local builders to construct the building over there. Agents have Loyalty to the Player and are affiliated with a nationwide Institution. Their Loyalty depends on the Loyalty of their parent Institution, as well as personal history with the Player. They also have unique character traits. These can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how well the Player manages them, as Agents can react to things happening close by to them just as the Player could. However, they will usually remain content with laying the groundwork for the reaction they expect from the Player. Their exact response will depend on their Loyalty to the Player, their parent Institution, and their character traits.

For example, should a riot break out in a province, a military-minded Agent may use local troops to contain the riot, though the level of violence used to do so may vary with what the Player is willing to tolerate. A more peaceful Agent may instead lay the groundwork for negotiations with the rioting population. Depending on how well the Player managed them beforehand, this may be a boon that makes the Player's reaction much more efficient… or a curse, as a population that was promised negotiations will not react well to the army showing off to beat down the riot with force.

If an Agents Loyalty drops too low, they may sabotage the Player, defect to their enemies, or even revolt against them, should their Institution suffer from low Loyalty. However, an Agent may also change Institutions should their Loyalty to the Player and the institution's Loyalty to the Player be severely misaligned.

Agents can be recruited and die, but the Player can only maintain a certain number of Agents, as they require upkeep. Depending on the specific Agent, this upkeep may be in the form of Money, Physical Resources, or even their parent Institution's Loyalty.

Gameplay - Armies

Armies are raised from the Population of a Province and armed with Physical Resources. They often require specific buildings to be created and remain effective. They can occupy Provinces and fight against enemies, but to do so, they require upkeep. This upkeep comes in the form of payment, as well as supplies. Food so the army doesn't starve, replacement weapons, and other supplies to keep their combat effectiveness high. These supplies need to physically travel from their source to the army, taking time and allowing enemies to intercept them. Cutting off an army's supplies is the easiest way to defeat them.

Armies, like Agents, have certain traits. For example, a Veteran Army can fight better, while Shocktroops do not mind taking part in dangerous assaults. On the other hand, a careful general might decline to pursue a fleeing enemy in favor of fortifying their position. At the same time, an aggressive one might intentionally walk into a trap to fight the enemy. Furthermore, Armies have both Loyalties to the Player and general Moral, which combine with traits to shape their effectiveness in combat.

In general, armies in this game are not meant to be the focus, and military conflict, while necessary, for example against the Dark Legion, will always be destructive and costly. Moving an army into a province before securing the support of the local Institutions should be something done out of necessity and not the best or easiest option.

Gameplay - Events

Events will happen regularly to break up the core gameplay loop. An Event has a specific location, usually a Province, or affects a specific Institution within one Province. Events typically have a timer, after which, depending on which conditions are met and which actions the Player has taken, things get either worse or better, potentially triggering another Event or simply applying an effect to the Province or Institution.

To react to an Event, the Player must first learn about its existence. When an Event happens, the Province it occurred in will dispatch a messenger to the Player, the speed of which will depend on the state of infrastructure, the Players location, and enemies. After the messenger has reached the Player, the Player will be presented with several options on how to react. However, these options will often be locked behind requirements. Promising future change requires high enough Legitimacy for these promises to be believed; Physical Resources to help with disaster relief will need to be dispatched from the Provinces they exist in, same with soldiers, who need to be present to contain an angry mob.

Gameplay - Opponents

While the Dark Lord is dead and buried, no threat to anyone anymore, the Dark Legions are still there and control a good bit of the nation. Despite their strength, at the start, enough to severely weaken or even destroy the Player, they are split by infighting. Instead of one strong opponent, the Player faces several that fight each other as much as the Player.

They are, however, not the only Opponents; Independent Provinces may also become Opponents in the fight for the nation with their own ideals.

Gameplay - Opponents - Opponent Actions

They can take all the actions the Player can and will try to take over the nation, same as the Player. They can influence Institutions to counteract the Player's influence, raise armies to fight the Player directly, and conduct diplomacy to gain an advantage.

Gameplay - Opponents - Diplomacy

All Factions varying for control have an opinion of each other based on previous interactions and a starting value. This opinion informs how they interact with each other. Those with good relations may agree on a common border(even in lands yet to conquer), trade Physical Resources, and even assist each other in combat. In contrast, those with hostile relations are unlikely to come together unless united by a common stronger enemy.

Gameplay - End

There are no specific Victory or Loss Conditions. Instead, after the game ends, the Player will be confronted with the consequences of their actions and how the world looks back on them. This leaves the decision if this was a victory, a defeat, or something in between with the Player. The game ends if: all provinces are stable and under the control of the Player and their allies, the Player loses control of their last Province, or the Player dies, be it of natural or violent causes.

The review of the Player's actions will be colored by how successful they were in uniting the nation and what kind of nation they left behind. If the Player did everything they could to keep a diverse starting coalition of rebel groups together and failed to free the nation, the infighting they allowed might be seen as the root cause of their failure. Had the Player succeeded, it would be seen as them standing by their ideals, despite the difficulties.