Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Redshift Chronicles: The Origins of MARVIN and Other Odds & Ends

Notes on Figures:

When posting pictures and game reports it is important to list what company manufactures the figures used, or about to be used in the game.  This way, other interested players know where to find the same figures to use in their games.

At the time I posted News Brief #5, I didn't have any information on MARVIN's origin.  The droid will be a new character (PC) and the player informed earlier today the figure was made by Reaper:


Notes on Organizing Redshift Chronicles Post:

I've been blogging for just over two years now, but I must admit, I'm still getting use to operating here in cyberspace.  One of the comments made on a gaming website was my use of individual postings versus creating a thread.  I'm still trying to finesse that one, but what I did notice was how long the "SW Redshift Chronicles" thread on this blog was getting. 

For anyone who's read my Redshift posts since the beginning, this may not be a problem, but for someone just starting out, reading through my posts--in reverse order--can be a pain.  To help alleviate this, I've added a few more Labels to each of the entries in order to break it up into more readable chunks. 

I'll keep the Star Wars RPG Adventures and SW Redshift Campaign labels in order to provide an on-going narrative.  But for those not wishing to scroll through the entire cyber-tome, I've broken the campaign into the following categories:

SW Redshift Campaign News Briefs
SW Redshift Campaign Intelligence Briefs, and
SW Redshift Campaign GM Notes

In the future, I'll add a SW Redshift Campaign AARs category for any major confrontations that may occur.

I hope this reorganization is less annoying for the readers of this campaign.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Product Review: Flames of War

I finally finished reading through my copy of the Flames of War core rulebook, by Battlefront Miniatures LTD and boy, was I impressed!  The book is lavishly illustrated and contains plenty of examples of play, along with "summary toolbars," which provide a quick references to various rules.  This way, you don't have to mark-up this beautiful book with a highlighter and there are end-of-chapter summaries, along with a quick reference chart that can be photocopied.  Despite weighing-in at 256 pages, the rulebook is well written and quick to read, thanks to all the illustrations.

My experience so far in actually playing the game is one session as an observer.  I photographed an entire game during NHMGS's (Northwest Historical Gaming Society's) Enfilade 09 convention. Regardless of my lack of in-depth experience with "FoW," as it is abbreviated, the rules are easy to understand, especially since the game mechanics are similar to Warhammer and Warhammer 40K

Based on WYSIWYG ("What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get"), each vehicle represents a single vehicle, while a stand of several infantry, or cavalry figures represents a fire team or half-squad.  Each game turn is divided into 4 steps for each player in an "I-Go-You-Go" manner:  Start, Move, Shoot and Assault.  Movement can be based on inches or centimeters, with travel distance based on a unit's mobility category. 

Once a player moves his forces, then the shooting starts.  FoW uses a simple mechanic based on the target unit's training.  The basis for this is:  Well-trained units will take better advantage of the terrain than poorly trained ones.  So it's easier to hit a conscript unit than a trained unit, or a veteran unit.  However, even conscript units are harder to hit once they dig in.  To dig them out a player can assault enemy units within 2 inches/5 centimeters.  There are also rules covering artillery, air support, along with combat in urban and fortified areas.

But this is just the core rule book.  Battlefront Miniatures provides a plethora of supplemental material on the TO&E (Tables of Organization and Equipment) and historical information regarding the various campaigns.

Wikipedia has the run-down on both first and second editions:

I own several of these books and from scanning through them, they appear as well done as the core rulebook.

Regardless of the high quality of all this material, not every gamer is happy with this product.  First of all--these books are not cheap.  The core rulebook alone cost $50, while the supplements run anywhere from $25-45 each.  Fortunately, I was able to get some of them second-hand.  Otherwise, this is an expensive invetstment just for the printed material alone.

As I mentioned earlier, the game mechanics are similar to Warhammer (and not everyone is happy with this game system either), which means "buckets of dice" rolling.  For every unit in range of it's target, one or more six-sided die (d6) is rolled to see if any hits were scored.  Some units are specially trained that under certain circumstances they can re-roll a miss.  Once all the hits are finally determined, the target often gets a saving roll.  See what I mean about "buckets of dice?"

In addition to the rule book and printed supplements, Battlefront Miniatures also provides an entire line of 15mm figures for FoW.  Once assembled and painted, they look stunning.  However, once they're crammed onto the battlefield, the game table often looks like a miniature parking lot.  One remedy for this was discussed on The Miniatures Page and other gaming sites, is to use 6mm (1/285th, 1/300 or "micro" scale figures), but keep the same measurement distances.  This helps alleviate the parking-lot effect.  Investing in smaller figures is also easier on your wallet too!

Despite the downside mentioned in the last three paragraphs, FoW's ease of play and pro-active support by Battlefront Miniatures, makes this a very popular game among World War II miniature enthusiasts.  So I'm glad to give this rule system a solid 4.5 stars.
Additional (and free!) information and material can be found on the Flames of War website, making this a living rule-set:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

PNWA 2010 Conference Review: Crafting Fiction That Sells in Today's Market

While I don't have anything sell-able in a monetary sense, I think any writer that grabs a reader's attention has, in effect, "made a sale."  With this logic in mind, I attended the Crafting Fiction That Sells in Today's Market, hosted by Andrea Hurst.  A literary agent with over 25 years experience in the publishing business, Ms. Hurst is the president of Andrea Hurst & Associates Literary Management agency:


This workshop was conducted from an agent's POV (point of view) in order to help clue-in writers on what the market is looking for:

Because of today's market trends, in both technological improvements coupled with the economic downturn, Marketing and Sales Departments within publishing houses are more heavily involved in deciding what books get published.

Editors are only looking for stories that "fit into a box."  That is, genre fiction that can easily be categorized and therefore put on a bookstore's shelf.

One of the first things a literary agent asks themselves is:  Can I work with this author?  In other words--it doesn't pay to be a diva.

Everyone inside and outside the publishing company is pressed for time.  So query letters are now mostly done by e-mail, while books are getting smaller, word-count wise.  So don't pitch your book if its over 100k words and keep your synopsis to 1 page.

A catchy title is important, because it is the first thing the reader sees.  Once the reader picks up the book to examine it, the first line and the first page become all-important, because it is here that you gain or lose the reader.  After the initial page, it is important to keep the reader hooked so he or she will read through the first chapter.

And speaking of Chapter 1, avoid backstories and data-dumps.  Something has to happen early in the story that's really amazing.  Unfortunately, many first-time authors start the book in the wrong place.  So if it takes a long time to develop the action, then this is a good indicator that you started in the wrong place.

Since there's more to a book than an opening chapter, a story must have a middle and end that are plausible and satisfying.  These must be plotted out in some way, shape or form.  (There's an on-going debate over whether it is best to outline a story or not).  Most problems with a novel occur at this point--the "sagging middle."  An ending can be fixed, but because of the lengthy nature of a book's middle, a sagging one can be a big problem.  This can be alleviated by maintaining a high quality of writing, in order to keep the reader hooked.

And speaking of hooked, once you finish your work and are getting ready to pitch to an agent, you still have some homework ahead of you:

Before attending a conference log onto the agent's website--and read it all the way through.

Agents are amazed at how many would-be authors fail to do this, especially when being asked to represent them in genres they don't deal with.

In other words:  When all else fails--read the instructions.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Redshift Chronicles News Brief #5: Amabassadors, Entertainers & Droids

Stardate: Thirday, 039-130 ABY/Fringe Info Network (FIN)--Tarsus Bureau

Subsector: Shannekam

"All the news that's fit to transmit"

Tarsus Elects New Ambassador

Eleonora Heraud, was elected Ambassador to the Merantis Star Cluster by a landslide in yesterday's plebiscite. 

She captured the hearts of 78% of Tarsus' registered voters (21,196,500), while her contenders, Dorn Repness and Lirin Terrik, only managed to gain 14% (3,804,500) and 8% (2, 174,000) of the vote, respectively.

Pictured above:  Eleonora Heraud (center foreground) is escorted to the Directory Building for the swearing-in ceremony by Prime Commissioner Winthrop Coghill (left foreground) and Gwyn Norrocks (right, foreground), General of the Tarsan Defense Forces.  In the background are Babric Delorko (left), head of the Tarsan Intelligence Service and Callithea Lockridge (right), administrative assistant for the
Commission of Diplomatic Affairs (CODA).

Mrs. Heraud, will assume the responsibilities of her late husband, Fitzroy Heraud, who was killed in last month's Imperial-sponsored coup on Bongolaan.  However, she will have only a week planetside to become familiar with her duties.  After her in-processing, she is scheduled to attend a diplomatic conference on Merantis with representatives from the other member worlds of the star cluster.  While no agenda for the conference has been published, the most likely topic of discussion will be the Tarsan-Bongolaanian Trade Dispute, or as it is more commonly known as, the "Bantha-Gabaki Trade War."

Meanwhile, in entertainment news...

The Twi'lek celebrity, Shiri Blen, proved once again she can land on her feet.  Fleeing the Bongolaanian coup she arrived on Tarsus with nothing more than a worn skin-suit.  Or so everyone thought.  Apparently, she was able to access an unknown amount of her wealth, before it was seized or frozen by Imperial treasury agents.  With her new agent and business partner, Rensi Rabogo, a former Casmaanian councilman from Bongolaan.  Together, they purchased and renovated an old land speeder garage in Newland, turning it into a nightclub within a few weeks.

Shiri kicked-off the grand opening of Spazhouse Cafe & Bistro, with a brand new number, Twi'lek Dream.  Within hours the song skyrocketed to first place on Tarsus and will most likely reach number one within the Merantis Star Cluster by the end of the day. 

(Twi'lek Dream was inspired by Teenage Dream, sung by Katie Perry).


And now a word from our sponsor...

Introducing the entirely new and upgraded Mobile Android Recovery Vehicle Improved Negotiator (M.A.R.V.I.N). Here at the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation we are pleased to offer MARVIN with the new prototype GPP (Genuine People Personalities). As we like to say at Sirius “Your Plastic Pal Who’s Fun to Be With."  In addition, this Type-1 droid has the most sought-after skills and abilities in the galaxy. With a memory capacity as big as a planet there’s no end to the number of tasks that you can delegate to MARVIN.

From the Science and Technology Department:

A prototype MARVIN was purchased five months ago by the Tarsan Defense Forces and assigned to the 1st Battalion/3rd Lift Infantry Regiment as an infantry support droid.  After a 6-month evaluation phase, the plan was to purchase an additional 72 MARVIN droids, assigning one to each platoon, along with an additional droid assigned to company, battalion and regimental headquarters. 

One month before the evaluation phase was to end, the Tarsan Defense Force Public Relations Office (PRO) announced that it was no longer pursuing the MARVIN contract with Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.  No explanation was given and when asked about the prototype, a PRO spokesman merely commented that the droid was "being re-assigned."

Notes on Figures:

I didn't get who makes the droid figure from this campaign's new player.  I'll be sure to add it to future posts. 

The other figures are from Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Miniatures.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

PNWA 2010 Conference Review: Jump-Starting a Short Story by Bharti Kirchner

Since all my work can be considered "short" by way of word count, I decided to attend the Jump-Start a Short Story With These Techniques workshop, hosted by Bharti Kirchner.  She is the author of four novels, four cookbooks and numerous articles, all of which can be found on her website:


Ms. Kirchner is a pleasant and engaging speaker, who clearly understands the artistic differences between writing a short story and writing a novel, especially since she has experience in both forms.  One of the most discernible differences between these two from is in their word count.  Novels are tomes that can weigh-in anywhere from 25,000 to150,000 words. Translation:  That's about 100-600 pages for a hardcover.  Whereas the short story lightweights can range from 2.500 to 5,000 words, or 10-20 pages.

The common misconception is regarding the two is:  Writing less pages is easier.

Here are my notes from Ms. Kirchner's workshop explaining why "shorter" does not equate to "easier" and what you, the writer, can do to improve the effect of their short works.

First of all:  What is a short story?

Unlike a character sketch, it describes an incident that has a deep impact on a character.
Each sentence must have an impact and be economical--you don't have hundreds of pages to drone on and on about something.
You must create an emotional effect on the reader--and this is where most short story attempts fail.
Short stories are often described as "little earthquakes"--something small but intense.
The writer must create a sense of amazement.
Unlike all the plot twists in a novel, a short story's narrative goes in a straight line with a "little bump," or only one unexpected turn of events.
The short story starts near the end of an event and focuses on a character with a problem.
These problems can be:  A misunderstanding, a crime, some injustice or an accident.
Whatever it is that has happened, it must mean a lot to the character.

Despite the differences in word count, short stories and novels do share some commonalities.  These are:
There must be an internal change within the main character.
A change of awareness or mood is also necessary--from dark to light, or even from light to dark.
You want their readers to feel something emotionally.

What makes a short story work, that is, something emotionally satisfying for the reader, is that it is highly structured.
As mentioned previously, the story moves in a linear direction, but takes an unexpected turn towards the end.
The character realizes something and as a result changes, or at least looks at things different.
Limiting the story to one theme, or message works best for short stories.

With only 10-20 pages to describe the action, what is the best narrative time-span for a short story?  That is, how much time passes for the characters in the story?
Short stories don't have to have a limited time span.  The narrative can take place within an hour, a few hours, a day, a few days or even a week.
However, it is best if the subject matter is narrow and not discussing long-term issues like climate change.

With only 10-20 pages to work with, this doesn't leave a lot of room for multiple characters and their subplots.  For a short story, it is best to limit the number of characters to one main character and 1-2 secondary characters.

The basic elements of a short story are the same as with a novel, except--well--shorter:

Plot:  Events happen and the character takes action.  There must be a "cause & effect" element at work which carries the events forward.  These events cannot be random and must be connected.

Character:  The main character has something to gain or lose.  You must make readers care about the main character.  There must be conflict, or opposing forces, where the main character wants something, while someone/something else is trying to prevent it.  There must be a lot at stake:
  • What does the character want?
  • What motivates them?
  • What are they afraid of?
Dialogue:  Is the most important element in a short story, if it doesn't work, the story won't work.  Fictional dialogue is not the same as real dialogue.  That is, unnecessary words must be removed.  Dialogue must make a point, but not in a direct manner.  Remember, the writer needs to have that "bump" at the end of the story.  Characters can say or do things that are unexpected.  One can also describe a character through dialogue.

Point of View (POV):  Who's telling the story?  And where is the "camera?"  In order for the reader to answer these questions, it is best to stick to 1 POV--the person telling the story, by using simple 1st or 3rd Person POV.  One technique is to have a "narrator" introduce a story then "fade back" as one of the characters takes up the narrative.

Voice:  Use a style in which the narrator introduces himself and the story.  Use words like they're coming from a real person.

How to begin a short story:

As with a novel, the opening line and first few sentences are crucial.
Start the story as close to the major, transformative event as possible.
Establish a baseline on what the main character is like.  Choose the right and important details about the characters, but use only 1 or 2 facets.
The first paragraph tells the reader what kind of story this is going to be.

Methods of beginning a short story:

  1. Give a context summary.  That is "tell," before you "show."
  2. Set a scene.  Just the opposite of #1, that is "show," instead of "tell."
  3. Start with a dialogue.  Although if not done correctly, the reader will be confused as to who's talking.
  4. Start with an arrival.  Someone "comes to town."
  5. Start with the weather.  But one of the characters must be introduced very quickly.
  6. Show what the character desires.
  7. Give a journalistic run-down of--who, what, when and where.
  8. Start with an absent character.  And finally, you could--
  9. Write a letter.
Even with a short story, it is easy to get writer's block.  What to do if you get stuck?  Ms. Kirchner suggested the following:

Explore and discover what the character wants and why he can't have it.
Introduce another character opposite the main character.
Or, introduce another character that wants the same thing.
Think of the ending--then work back from there.
Write a sentence or two every day.

Whether you're writing a novel or a short story, I hope with these notes, you'll never get stuck!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ted's Excellent October Gaming Extravaganza


Plus this:

Equals this:

The above gaming action took place on 1 October at the Game Matrix in Tacoma, WA.  The planets must have been in alignment this particular weekend.  Not only did I have an entire weekend off, but I didn't have any appointments, errands to run or chores ("domestic drudgery") to do.  This was the first day, in what turned out to be my one-man gaming convention. 

Day 1, Friday

The uneven tank battle pictured above was part of an Operation Cobra scenario developed by my friend Dean, using the rules Disposable Heroes/Coffins for Seven Brothers.  Dean is also the author of the popular WAB Corner blog.  You can scroll down to Operation Cobra, for a more detailed narrative of the game:

In this scenario, elements of the US 4th Armored Division were ordered to seize a French town to facilitate a breakout.  Three infantry squads were supported by a Sherman tank, a Stuart tank, one half track and a jeep.  The Germans, naturally were ordered to hold the town.  Three squads of Fallschirmjaegers were supported by a Pzkw-IV, a PSW-232 armored car and a Panther tank.

The game ended in somewhat of a draw with the German and American squads holding positions in the center of town.  The PSW-232 and Stuart were knocked out, while the Sherman played hide & seek with the Pzkw-IV and Panther. 

Day 2, Saturday:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...etc., so on & so forth...

Several of us from the Puyallup Wargamers got together for a session of the Star Wars Role Playing Game (RPG).  Seth, our Game Master (GM), just started a Rebellion Era campaign.  (That is, it takes place in and around the time of the original 3 Star Wars Movies).  This was my first time attending Seth's new campaign and I was eager to introduce my character:  Maeriland Smith--Reference Librarian for the Rebellion!

Introducing our four heroes and their mission, (click on the picture once or twice for better readability):
The rebel operatives finally make it to the flight deck level of the Imperial base.

Recapturing the stolen X-Wing and getting the test pilot back into the cockpit.

Our heroes retrace their steps to rescue a Wookie captive.  With his last breath the Wookie gives the group an artifact containing Wookie hieroglyphics and asks that it be given to his brother Liackuk.  The rebels then set the base's reactor to overload, herd Imperial prisoners on board a shuttle and then zoom off into space before the reactor melts down.

But questions remain.  Who is Liackuk?  Where is he?  And what is so important about this hunk of plastic with Wookie scribbles on it?

To find out, stay tuned....

Day 3, Sunday:

The Axis Powers have been vanquished and two superpowers arise from the rubble of the Second World War:  The US (or "Capitalist Pigs"--played by me!) and the USSR (or the "Godless Commies"--played my friend Joe).  The two of us set out change the course of the Cold War in GMT's Twilight Struggle.

This political/military game recreates all the decisive and anxious moments that flared-up during these years.  (And some of us remember them very well!).  Each player seeks to influence, control and ultimately dominate strategic regions around the world--and even space.  Each turn in this Card Driven Game (CDG) represents 3-5 years, with card-play being used to determine if and when historical events occur.

We started off at 1945, with the Capitalist Pigs and Godless Commies eyeball-to-eyeball in Europe. 

(Note our original set up turned out to be incorrect.  The counters should be flipped to show "influence," not "control," over these countries.  We corrected this later in the game).

After several turns we started to get the feel of the game.  The Capitalist Pigs were trailing the Godless Commies for world domination.  So I decided to sweep through Southeast Asia to grab some much needed victory points.

Unfortunately, it was the proverbial "too little, too late." I failed to realize how critical Europe was perceived to be during the Cold War.  While I was building my Southeast Asian Alliance, the shadowy minions of the Godless Commies undermined the governments of eight European countries; thus dominating the continent and automatically winning the Twilight Struggle.

Well, despite losing the Cold War to the Godless Commies, I enjoyed gaming with all my friends on this early October weekend.  I just hope I don't have to wait for another planetary alignment before I can do this again.

I intend to produce more detailed After Action Reviews (AARs) on all these games, either in the form of YouTube videos or graphic novels----someday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

PNWA 2010 Conference: Practical Guide to Punctuality

I've been attending PNWA's Summer Conference for a few years now, so I thought it was high time to help out.  Prior to the conference, I examined the list of workshops and submitted my name as a volunteer to moderate the seminars I planned on attending.  The Volunteer Coordinator, Anne Belen, assigned me to moderate the Practical Guide to Screenwriting, hosted by Colleen Patrick.

For me the word "practical" should have started with reading the moderator instructions.  I ASS-umed the workshop started at 9 AM and I planned my morning to be there at 8:45--plenty of time to set up the Emerald E Conference Room. 

Or so I thought.

When I sauntered in at 8:45, I found Ms Patrick already in the midst of giving her lecture and about two dozen attendees--and all of them were scribbling furiously.  Frantically going through the moderator packet, I discovered the seminar started at 8:30!

Oh crap!  (Which isn't exactly what I thought).

So I spent the next hour and 15 minutes hastily distributing handouts, directing attendees to vacant seats, monitoring the time and conducting general housekeeping duties.  This left me too frazzled to take any useful notes other than:  Read the instructions CARE-FUL-LY

Another item I found out after the seminar, was Colleen Patrick's contributions to the film industry.  She's a screenwriter, director, acting coach and writing coach, to list a few of her accomplishments.

For a more detailed look at Colleen Patrick's talents and accomplishments, check out her website at:

Hmm.  Maybe she can add "Punctuality Coach for Wayward Moderators" to her resume...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Redshift Chronicles: Shannekam Subsector Gazetteer, or "The Big Holograph"

(Click on images to enlarge)

Star map of the Shannekam Subsector
Current as of:  035-130 ABY

Bordering the coreward edge of the Gulf of Tatooine, Shannekam is centered in the Arkanis Sector and named after its most populated planet.  Of the 15 known systems comprising this subsector, only Bongolaan and Tatooine have been incorporated into the Fel Empire's Outer Rim.  While Emperor Roan Fel may wish to extend his interstellar ambitions further into this volume of space, he is most likely preoccupied with consolidating his position at this time.  Whether the fringe worlds of this subsector resist or acquiesce to any future advances by the Empire remains to be seen.

Beyond Imperial borders, the only coalition among the fringe worlds is the Merantis Agricultural Co-op (MERAGCO), which consist of the planets Mokar, Tarsus and Merantis; all within the Merantis Star Cluster.  Beyond piracy suppression, there is no political-military alliance among MERAGCO worlds.  However, this could change depending on how future relations with the Fel Empire unfold.  As of now, the Tarsan-Bongolaanian Trade Dispute is limited to these two warring planets.  This conflict is not expected to escalate beyond espionage, commerce raiding and sabotage operations.

Systems within the Shannekam Subsector:

1. Avastyn--an arid, poor, non-industrial planet with a Class C starport.

2. Mokar--a temperate, rich, agricultural and non-industrial planet with a Class B starport.

3. Banchu--an ice-capped planet with a Class C starport.

4. Tarsus--a temperate, agricultural and non-industrial planet with a Class B starport.

5. Merantis--a temperate, agricultural planet with a Class B starport.

6. Ku Crassus--an arid, industrial world with a Class B starport.  This world's climate is a result of a meteor storm that devastated the planet nearly 150 years ago. 

7. Zandamak--a temperate planet with a Class C starport.

8. Talchis--an arid, non-industrial planet with a Class C starport.

9. Gulnok--a temperate, non-industrial planet with a Class C starport.

10. Bowman--a sparsely populated asteroid belt with a Class D starport.

11. Bongolaan--a temperate, agricultural world; almost exclusively devoted to growing gabaki, has a Class B starport.

12. Tarknal--a temperate, rich, agricultural planet with a Class C starport.

13. Shanneka--a tropical, densly populated, non-agricultural planet with a Class A starport.

14. Tatooine--a desert world known throughout the galaxy as a "wretched hive of scum and villainy."  Despite the heavy trading of illicit goods, Tatooine's numerous starports are categorized as Class D.

15. Zenya--a tropical, non-industrial planet with a Class B starport.

Map Key:

1 hex = 1 parsec, or lightyear.

Large yellow circle: Non-aligned fringe world.

Large red circle:  Member world of the Fel Empire.

Half-moon symbol:  System-wide asteroid field.

Small brown circle:  Indicates the presence of a gas giant within the system.

Straight line (can be various colors):  Indicates the path of a hyperlane or hyperspace run and holo-net communication system.

Red lettering: Indicates a desert world.

Highlighted lettering:  Indicates a high population world of 1 billion inhabitants or more.

The Galactic Map:

The red circle on the map below illustrates where the Shannekam Subsector is located in relation to the rest of the galaxy.  (Not to scale).
(Image from:  Star Wars Insider: Issue #65)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Redshift Chronicles: News Brief #4, The Bantha-Gabaki Trade War

Stardate: Thirday, 032-130 ABY/Fringe Info Network (FIN)--Tarsus Bureau

Subsector: Shannekam

Bongolaan Declares a Trade War against Tarsus

Five days ago, the Bongolaanian Ministry of Intersellar Affairs declared a trade war to be in effect between the Peoples Democratic Republic of Bongolaan, the newest member-state of the Fel Empire, and the fringe world of Tarsus. 

All Tarsan-registered vessels will be considered pirate ships and will be pursued by forces protecting Bongolaanian interests. 

Following-up the Ministry of Intersellar Affairs, the Bongolaanian Ministry of Justice declared all Tarsan bantha-beef to be considered contraband.  Individuals transporting Tarsan foodstuffs will be apprehended and detained as smugglers.  The transportation of illegal goods is considered a major felony and convicted smugglers could face a 5,000 CR fine and/or 5 years incarceration for their first offense.

Non-Tarsan starships transporting enemy bantha-beef will be impounded until the sentence is fulfilled and fines are paid.

Bounties posted against known smugglers conducting operations against the People's Democratic Republic of Bongolaan will start at 7,000 CR.

In retaliation, the Tarsan Commission of Trade and Finance declared all Bongolaanian gabaki products to be contraband.  The penalties for importing Bongolaanian gabaki will be similar to those listed above.

The Bongolaanian declaration of trade warfare came as a result of the Tarsan plebiscite on 022-130 ABY, regarding Bongolaan's demands for reparations and the extradition of former President-for-Life Bharzi; along with any known associates.  Tarsus, a participatory democracy with 27,175,000 registered voters, decided the following issues:

1. Should Tarsus pay the 2,218,800 CR reparations demanded by Bongolaan?

An overwhelming 90% (24,457,500) voted no, while 8% (2,174,000) voted yes, with 2% (543,500) abstaining.

2. Should the former President-for-Life, Zeveg Bharzi, be extradited to Bongolaan?

A mere 55% (14,946,250) voted no, while 29% (7,780,750) voted yes, with 16% (4,348,000) abstaining.

3. Should any of Bharzi's associates and/or crew of the Aimless Drifter be extradited to Bongolaan?

A clear majority of 69% (18,750,750) voted no, while 19% (5,163,250) voted yes, with 22% (5,978500) abstaining.

Yesterday, the Tarsan Commission of Justice destroyed the 82 tons of Bongolaanian gabaki carried on board the Aimless Drifter

Before the gabaki fires burned themselves out, an anonymous source reported the Tarsan Commission of Intersellar Relations (CIR) was relieved to hear that Imperial forces will most likely not involve themselves in the Tarsan-Bongolaanian Trade Dispute.  Apparently the CIR received a terse communique from the Office of Valeska Hallard, Grand Moff of the Geonosis Subsector, stating:  

"While Bongolaan is now part of the Fel Empire, the Imperial Government does not concern itself with the affairs of individual planets--for the time being."