Fuels of Empire

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The Fuels of Empires is a Napoleonic styled Empire SD, involving also the addition of magic, monsters and mad science inventions. It’s been in the works for quite a while (since September), based on some major lessons from previous SDs of mine and has a combat resolution system for combat.

The rules may appear a fairly complicated, but they are relatively simple in execution.

A major ethos behind Fuels of Empires, is a more boardgame approach, factories, farms and raw material mines exist in specific provinces as does the population, capturing provinces means you lose these centres of agriculture and material, which can have effects on the rest of your military and nation. Sims will take place on a variety of maps I have created or will create with hexes, so we can do a basic sim in which simple tactical considerations must be addressed, such as height, terrain etc.

Popular Culture in Fuels of Empire

The period the SD is set in, roughly collerates to the period of European history between 1790 and 1830, in terms of social norms, baseline technology and culture. With of course, the infusion of steampunk, which adds to the mix and shakes things up a fair bit.

War is still fought in the napoleonic manner, lines, columns, squares, cavalry, artillery. Naval combat, which despite being fought with airships, is pretty much the same as its real life inspiration, battle of the line.

A Bit Of History

Modern civilization can trace itself back some two thousand years, to the time of the Ocean’s scorching, a cataclysmic time much of it is resigned to myth, the previous era was all but wiped out, in the famines, wars and the resulting rise of monsterous creatures across the lands, the sudden disappearance of the ocean devastated coastal communities and climatic conditions veered into the extreme, reducing man to but a whisper. As the world adjusted, calmness drifted back from the depths it had hid during those tulmonous times, and the lineages and nations of today began to coalesce throughout the centuries that followed.

The World

The Scorched Ocean: A great depression in the land is evident as one gazes from the coastal cliffs that border this massive desert of scorching sands and slifiling heat. Rivers flow eagerly down as waterfalls, evaporating mid-flight in the blistering heat. Few creatures survive here, nobody has ever dared attempt a crossing, communities do exist, raised on iron pillars or as floating communities lifted by levistone to serve as ports of call for airships, but to walk upon the surface of this desert would dessicate a man in under an hour.

The Isla Basin: Many would argue that the Isla basin is the centre of civilization, the foremost nations of the world and many centres of modern thinking arose here, spreading outwards from Isla Perpion. Indeed, much of the world is Islan-centric as its colonial ambitions reach out and consume the world.

The New World: Across the Scorched Ocean, lies the new world, a recently discovered landmass of much mystery and brimming with strange creatures and barbaric men.

Blasted Lands: Rich in Etherite, it is a adversial place brimming with mutated creatures and the sickly glow of the poisoness radiance of Etherite.

The Paths of the Common Realm:

Nations for the most part, develop along one primary path, ocassionally developing costly links between two usually incompatible paths. You must choose your nation’s main path. There are options later for secondary paths or forging a link with a secondary link of another main path.

Industrious Inventors (Primary path): Your nation has embraced Science! It is filled with unusual and quirky technology and benefits from some of the best technology in the lands of Drascanus.

Industrial Sorcery (Primary path): Some powers harness the powers of the mystical realm. Industrialised Sorcery is the mechanical distillation of magic power, refined and reproduced on a mass scale.

Monster Overlord (Primary path): Your nation is known for it’s bizarre and terrible creatures, you have learnt to tame wild and magical beasts, to serve as cavalry and foot soldiers. This generally increases the innate ability of your troops and cavalry, though leaves them with baseline weaponry unless taken with another primary path. Like other primary paths, it also gives access to special abilities, such as flying or burrowing. Special Abilities require a creature source to function, due to the rarity of such creatures.

Using a quirk, you can purchase access to a secondary path.

Secondary Paths

These are specialised routes of science or creature acquisition.

Clockwork (Secondary Path): Your nation is highly automated, difference engines are used in conjunction with complex clockwork robots to run everything from the post office, to the latest war machines. While most people have limited access to more primitive clockwork robots and advanced industrial inventors can produce robots just as good, they are not nearly as ubiquitous in society. Uses: Allows the use of the ‘Automaton’ Special, which quarters the draft requirement of the unit.

Remakers (Secondary Path): The ability to alter the physical nature of an animal or person is available to all powers, but remaking takes it one step further, allowing seemless if grotesque blends of flesh and machine or of monster and man. Requirements: none Uses: Allows the use of the ‘Remade’ special for units granting bonuses to combat

Difference Magic (Secondary Path): Powerful calculating engines are used to break the laws of reality in a matter similar to reality, allowing for devices with phantastical ability, similar to magic. Requirements: Inventive Uses: Allows the use of ‘Difference Magic Equipment’ a special that can be placed on all units.

Supermonster Lords: Your nation has tamed the most mighty of monsterous beasts are know bound to your will, this gives you access to Collosus & Cavalry of terror inspiring ability. Requirements: Monster Overlords Uses: Allows use of the ‘Supermonster’ Special, which can be placed on Collosus and Cavalry and Elite trained infantry only

Secondary Powers automatically produce 10 ‘sources’ per quarter for these with additional sources costing 10IP per 5.


Quirks are signification alterations to the nature of your nation. They are either empowerments of existing abilities, or creating linkages between distinct paradigms. They can also be negative in nature, allowing for the selection of more positive quirks. You get a default of 2 quirk.

Advanced: This Quirk Advances your ability in a select field. For example, Advanced Sorcery, or Advanced Creature Overlords.

Favourable Geography: Two extra points to spend on geography.

Exceptional Species: Two Extra points to spend on Species, access to Exceptional Ability.

Linkage: This quirk allows you to link one primary path with another from the opposite paradigm and also gives you that path. May not be used in conjunction with ‘Advanced’

Secondary Path: This quirk gives you one secondary path, which are specialisations of more advanced technology.

Imperial Possessions: Your nation has fostered strong colonial ambitions, this quirk creates an Imperial Possession, a separate territory governed by you. Resources in Imperial provinces cost 50% less, such as Farms, mines, energist mines and magical resources, this does not stack with any cost reductions. Also all factories and other infrastructure is 50% more expensive. Up to ¼ of your initital provinces may be Imperial Possesions, and you may spend up to 25% of your total infrastructure in the provinces. Every nation with this quirk also gains additional provinces. City states: 4 provinces Small nations 3 provinces Average nations 2 provinces Larger nations and above 1 province Note: Resource flow back to your home provinces can be interrupted through piracy etc which can have severe economic affects.

Negative Quirk:

Unfavourable Geography: Two less points to spend on geography

Weak population: Two less points to spend on subjects.

Primitive Society: Your technologically is noticeably worse than the average, as are your tactics and society in general. This puts you slightly behind the curve of development. This is the opposite of ‘Advanced’


The lands of your nation are defined by it’s geography. By default you start with nine points. A six in anything requires ‘Exceptional Geography’ to be taken.

Territory: Territory affects population growth, size of borders and abundance of natural resources

1- City state: 0.25% Pop Growth, +25% Resource Cost, 1 Province 2- Small nation: 0.5% Pop Growth, Normal Resource Cost, 2 Provinces 3- Average nation: 1% Pop Growth, Normal Resource Cost, 4 Provinces 4- Larger nation: 1.5% Pop Growth, -Normal Resource Cost, 8 Provinces 5- Huge nation: 2% Pop Growth, -25% Resource Cost, 12 provinces 6- Vast nation: 2.5% Pop Growth, -50% Resource Cost, 16 provinces


Population affects your draft and provides a small labour point bonus, 10 points per million people. 1- 10 million 2- 12 million 3- 14 million 4- 16 million 5- 18 million 6- 20 million

Defensiveness of land

This represents the defensiveness of your territory, higher ratings make attacks much more difficult and give benefits to the defender. 1- Difficult to defend 2- Quite difficult to defend 3- Average defensiveness 4- Quite difficult to attack (hilly, boggy, forest) 5- Hard to attack (islands/mountains) 6- Exceptional (Floating islands etc)


Climate is a separate scale and represents the harshness of climatic conditions. You may pick any number along the scale. 1- Harsh Climate: -1% to growth, Quite Difficult to invade 2- Difficult Climate -0.5% to growth, More Difficult to invade 3- Normal climate: 0% Change to Growth or defensiveness 4- Favourable Climate: +0.5% to growth, Less Difficult to invade 5- Pleasant Climate: +1% to growth, Even Less Difficult to invade

A note on ‘Defensiveness’

Defensiveness applies more to the attacker, than the defender. In terms of terrain, It represents land that is more difficult to cross for the invader and more hostile to his presence. In the combat resolution system, this manifests itself not decisively, but certainly in a significantly appreciable way. Climatic factors will affect the quality of the logistics train and the ability of your troops to survive. Napoleon learnt the importance of climatic conditions the hard way.


Provinces are large regions, usually with a regional capital and contain the infrastructure and population of your nation. You should list your provinces in your OOB and assign them buildings, mines, people etc. While there is no hard limit on what a province can contain, filling a province with everything will make it an inviting target as opposed to spreading resources out among many.


These are the people, the minions or creatures that make you your nation. The backbone of any power.

Physical Prowess

Physical Prowess is the general strength of your people, this can also include increases in perception, reflexes and agility which make your soldiers better. By Default you have 4 points to spend. 1 - Below Average 2 - Average 3 - Above Average 4 - Exceptional

Growth Rate Modifier 1 - -1% 2 - 0% 3 – 1% 4 – 1.5%

Exceptional Ability: 2 points -Supernatural Creature (general broad bonuses) -Regenerative Ability (Bonus to Casualty rolls) -Flying (move to tactical movement) -Burrowing (Bonus to fortification and ambush)


The economy of your nation is quite important and rests entirely in either your trade fleets or physical structures within provinces. The main aim of this is to facilitate the defence and capture of these resources within the provinces. The game is divided up into four economic quarters.

You get 800 Infrastructure Points which you can spend purchasing starting infrastructure.

Power, Food and Raw Materials

Starting stocks in this section are 4x your quarterly production.

Energist Globule Cost: 1IP per 1 Every 100 labour points besides those provided by population, require an energist globule to function. Energists are a black faintly blue glowing rock, similar to coal. Rumoured to be from the hearts of legendary beasts, energists are powerful energy sources that can be tapped through various magical and mechanical means.

Creature Labour Cost: 1IP per 2 Every 100 labour points requires monsterous creatures to turn cranks which power the generators of your factories and cilivization. This replaces the energist globule requirement. Monster Overlords only

Agricultural Source Cost: 1IP Every 100 Labour points requires an Agricultural source, this represents the source of food for your workforce and general population.

Mining Complex Cost: 1IP Every 100 Labour points requires a mining complex, which represent a source of raw materials.

Energist Mine Cost: 5IP Produces quarterly, 5 energists

Creature Source Cost: 1IP Produces 5 quarterly, replaces energist requires in colossus Requirements: Monster Overlords only Uses: 2 creature sources allows access to special abilities such as flying.

Labour Points Cost: 10LP per 1IP Labour Points represent the amount of industry and manpower in your nation. They provide for the construction and maintence of everything from railways to soldiers.

Factories: Units need to be built and then supplied. A Factory does this, at nation start up you will need to decide how many of each unit you want and then take the number of factories required to support them and assign those factories to a province. Factories cost nothing themselves, but the LP of the units is assigned to the factory in order to maintain the unit.

If the factory is captured, the unit will disbaned within the quarter due to lack of supplies and the conquerer will gain the LP to use the following quarter. If the unit is destroyed, the LP cost of the unit is lost for one quarter.

You must assign factories to a listed province.

For Example

Ruttergard Province: 2 Arms Factories: 200LP 20 Imperial Infantry

1 Naval Arsenal: 100LP 1 First Rate Airship

Unit Construction Note Building units after the start of the game merely involves placing the units on the production list, figuring out how many factories you require and assigning those factories to a province. Anything built with Labour points takes a ‘quarter’ to complete.

Arms Factory Build/Maintainence Limit: 10x infantry or cavalry Arms factories are responsible for building infantry and cavalry equipment and their subsequent maintenance.

Naval Arsenal Build/Maintainence Limit: 10x Airships A Naval Arsenal includes the facilities for constructing and maintaining airships.

Collosus Production Facilities Build/Maintainence Limit: 5x Collosus

Trading Fleet Cost: 25LP A Trading fleet is a collection of airships and all the infrastructure associated with ensuring goods can be loaded and transported to foreign nations and other goods bought and brought back. Each Trading Fleet generates an income of 20 wealth.

Airship Dock Cost: 50LP Airship docks are important facilities for safely securing airships, sometimes ground based, other time’s large mushroom shaped towers. Regardless of design, they can safely hold up to ten airships.


Low Level Fortification: The province has minimal fortification, stockades and small forts dotting the landscape. Cost: 50LP

Mid-level Fortifications: The Province has significant fortification Cost: 75LP

High Level Fortifications: The Province is heavily defended with fortifactions, forts dominate stragetic area’s and the provincial capital is most likely protected by a Polygonal Fort and city wall. Cost: 100LP


In Fuels of Empire there are no formal units to choose, but a series of variables which define what a unit is.

Draft by default is 5% and each regiment represents the manpower of 5000 people. It should be noted draft is not to be scoffed at as battles in Fuels of Empire can be quite deadly.

Up to 50% of your initial labour points can be spent on military units. Units can also be bought with wealth, but these are considered to be mercenaries and half their initial cost in gold must be paid every quarter.

One important note is, you must list the home province of your unit, ie where its supplies are produced.

Unit Layout Type: Cost: Paradigm: Training: Special:


Infantry Regiment

Cost: 10 Labour The standard soldiers of any army, fighting on foot with musket weaponry.

Light Cavalry Regiment

Cost: 40 Labour Soldiers on horseback, armed with sabres and pistols or carbines.

Dragoon Regiment

Cost: 40 Labour Mounted soldiers who fight usually dismounted, but are capable of being used as cavalry.

Cuirassiers Regiment

Cost: 60 Labour These are the heavy cavalry of modern armies, soldiers with armour on large horses.

Colossus Regiment

Cost: 50 Labour, 1 Energist Colossus are huge weapons of war, such as giant armoured suits, multi-legged walkers which crush enemy troops underfoot or are armed with an array of cannons. Othertimes they can be huge giants, wielding blunderbusses the size of men or huge blades.

Artillery Regiment

Cost: 20 Labour points Artillery Regiments are the heavy hitting element of armies, hauling a variety of small cannons and other similar weapons around the battle to inflict damage on mass ranks of infantry or force the enemy to disperse allowing for effective cavalry attack.

Horse Artillery Regiment

Cost: 40 Labour points Horse drawn artillery is considerably more mobile than other artillery, which increases its tactical usefulness allowing it to work in conjunction with Cavalry to damage infantry squares or to force infantry apart in order to deciminate them with cavalry.


Most weapons are a form of steampowered musket, though sorcerous powers often use magical ammunition or even Spell-Rifles.

While the baseline weaponry is a steam powered musket, tech paths allow access to other forms of weaponry. Consider these more examples than anything..

Industrious Inventors

Improved Musket: Improved Muskets feature mad science ammunition, or some other general improvement such as an automatic loader or improved accuracy.

Adv Ind Inventors

Mad Science Rifle: Blazing off the traditional path, these weapons fire some form of esoteric beam or mechanical mechanism of death, usually powered with a energist and recharged by a crank (squeezing the energist for more power)

Industrial Sorcery

Spell Shot: Instead of a normal ball, a magically enchanted combination of reagents Is compressed within an iron shell which on impact releases a spell, such as turning into ravenous snakes or other creatures or bursting into a flames.

Adv Ind Sorcery

Spell-Rifle: Spell rifles are highly specialised magical devices, which powered by energists release powerful spells upon the enemy instead of functioning like a normal weapon. A popular form is the Ilsa Perpion Magic Missile Rifle.

Monster Overlords

Monsterous Creatures: Your troops and cavalry are monsterous creatures, able to take more punishment and deal it out with superior physical attributes.

Adv monster Overlords

Supernatural Creatures: You have access to creatures of a supernatural nature, who have esoteric abilities to deal damage and sustain themselves in combat. Some may be able to fly or breathe fire with appropriate creature sources.


Poor: Peasant militia are often barely trained before being sent into battle. Poorly trained infantry are half the cost of normal units.

Standard: Professional Militaries often give their men a minimum of training, unexceptional troops that nevertheless have an understanding of their equipment and the battlefield.

Exceptional: Sometimes men are trained beyond the norm, given more time to hone their skills. Exception soldiers cost 50%

Elite: Elite Training involves soldiers reaching the pinnacle of their abilities, which far exceeds than of any normal soldier. Elite units automatically cost an extra 100%


The oceans of the world have long since departed, by what mechanism is unknown, but the result is the vast lowland deserts. Due to it’s inhospitable nature and the discovery of levi-stones, airships are the dominant form of transport. Airships normally move either through a combination of levistone and sails or use air propellers instead. Due to the nature of levistone's, airships function much like Napoleonic era vessels and fight in a 2d plane, as the huge forces surrounding levistones impede the transmission of energy, such as spells, cannonballs etc.

Naval airships are broadly defined by their rating.

First Rate Airship Cost: 100 Labour, 2 Energist Draft: 1000 First Rate Airships mount 100+ guns on three decks, cannons that are often steam powered or otherwise. They have a crew of 1000 and weigh in at over 2000 tons. Compared to lighter vessels, Fire Rate ships tend to be more sluggish.

2nd Rate Airship Cost: 70 Labour Draft: 750, 1 Energist Second Rate Airships mount 90 guns on three decks. Often they have crews of numbering some 750 and weigh in at 2000 tons. Similar to first rates, they tend to be sluggish and tempestuous to steer, one advantage of a 2nd rate airship is that they are sometimes mistaken for first rates, discouraging engagement and the additional gun deck is useful at close ranges.

3rd Rate Airship Cost: 60 labour, 1 Energist Draft Points: 500 Third Rate Airships are the most common, mounting some 74 guns on two decks. With a crew of around 500 and a lighter weight, they handle much better than heavier airships, whilst still retaining enough firepower to potentially destroy any other vessel they encounter.

Frigate Pair Cost: 40 Labour, 1 Energist Draft Points: 500 Frigates are the smallest military airship found amongst most national fleets, fast and nimble they are used to chase down pirates and other brigands. They are commissioned in pairs.

Five Transport Airships: Cost: 20 Labour, 1 Energist Draft Points: 100 Holds: One Regiment Per Airship Transport Airships are used to move men and materials across distances and impassable land such as the scorched ocean.

Magical Resources

Magical Resource mines are 10IP per 5 quarterly production. Starting Stockpiles for use in nation creation are 3x quarterly production.

Thundercrystal: Thundercrystals are found in veins all across the world, allowing the use of advanced electrostatic based weaponry, such as lightning or sonic weaponry. Uses: 1 Thundercrystal gives unit access to electrostatic weaponry.

Etherite: Etherite is a greenish stone that glows a sickly lime colour, all who come near it suffer the ill effects of its presense, their bones becoming brittle and their skin dying in disgusting clots. Uses: 1 Etherite can be placed on units and gives them access to Etherite based weaponry. 2 Etherite can be used to produce mutants. (attempting this requires a roll, as the unit potentially just dies)

Mandrake Root: Mandrake Root is used in the reanimation of the dead and depending on the amount used, various levels of functionality can be achieved. Uses: Can be used to recover lost draft, 2 Mandrake root per Regiment

Cytotox Mushroom: Cytotox mushrooms are feared through most of the world, they are incredibly deadly to most lifeforms as they emit a toxic gas when they detect vibrations caused by movement. They have recently been harvested for processing in use for poison gas shot and other forms of chemical warfare. Uses: 1 Cytotox Mushroom can be placed on a unit and is turns it into a chemical warfare unit.


Rare Magical Resources are 10IP per 1 quarterly production

Telex Glass: In some parts of the world, a magical elements have fused sand into panes of magical glass, which when stained various colours produce different effects, such as teleportation between two panes and even forages into otherworldy realms. Uses: Telex Glass allow the construction of teleportation gates, which cost 1 Telex glass. Blue: Blue Telex glass can be linked to form instant teleportation between two gates. They can become dangerously erratic is placed too far apart. Other colours: Varied effects…some dangerous.