Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Sentinel

      Cyber Nations Forum Rules   07/03/2016

        Cyber Nations Forum Rules  
      In the process of registering on this forum, all players--including you--agreed to accept these terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of Invision Power Board. In doing so you essentially signed an electronic contract pledging to have read the rules and TOS and agreeing to follow the rules and TOS as written. It is your continued responsibility to read, follow, and keep up-to-date with the CN rules.
      The following are basic guidelines for use of the Cyber Nations community forum. Anyone caught disobeying these guidelines will be issued a warning. The forum staff works on a five warn limit policy unless the situation calls for more appropriate action ranging from a verbal warning to a double warn and suspension to an immediate ban, etc.   Just because something is not listed specifically here as illegal does not mean it's allowed. All players are expected to use common sense and are personally responsible for reading the pinned threads found in the Moderation forum. Questions regarding appropriateness or other concerns can be sent via PM to an appropriate moderator.   A permanent ban on the forums results in a game ban, and vice versa. Please note that the in-game warn system works on a "three strikes you're out" policy and that in-game actions (including warnings and deletions) may not be appealed. For more information regarding in-game rules please read the Cyber Nations Game Rules.   1.) First Warning
      2.) Second Warning
      3.) Third Warning (48 hour suspension at the forum)
      4.) Fourth Warning (120 hour suspension at the forum)
      5.) Permanent Ban   Game Bans and Forum Bans
      If you receive a 100% warn level on the forums, you will be subject to removal from the forums AND have your nation deleted and banned from the game at moderator(s) discretion.   If you are banned in the game, then you will be banned from the forums.   Process of Appeals
      Players may not appeal any in-game actions. This includes cheat flags, canceled trades, content removals, warn level increases, nation deletion, and bans from the game.   Players may appeal individual forum warnings. You may only appeal a warning if you can show with evidence that it was unwarranted or unduly harsh. If a reasonable amount of time has passed (no less than one month and preferably longer) in which you have demonstrated reformed behavior than you may request a warning level reduction. Wasting staff time with inappropriately filed reports and/or unfounded appeals will result in a warn level raise. Repeat incidences will result in a ban from the forum.   Bans are permanent. Banned players may appeal to the Senior Staff if they believe grounds exist (very, very rare) in which they state their case with evidence and why explain why they believe they deserve to be allowed back into Cyber Nations. This process is not quick and the investigation into cases may last three minutes or three weeks or more depending on the individual situation.   The only place where discussion of moderator action is acceptable is in the appropriate Moderation forum. Posting commentary on or disagreement with moderator action elsewhere will result in a warn level raise.   Posting
      All posts must be in English. Common phrases in other languages will be allowed so long as they are translated upon request. Foreign languages are permitted in signatures and avatars, however.   Certain areas of the forum require you to have a nation in either standard CN or CN:TE. If you have...   A SE and a TE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your SE nation or ruler name. You are allowed to post in either SE or TE areas of the forum. You must have your CN:TE nation name listed in your profile to post in the CN:TE section of the forum.
      Just an SE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your SE nation or ruler name. You are not allowed to post in any TE areas of the forum.
      Just a TE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your TE nation name or ruler name. Your must have your CN:TE nation name listed correctly in your profile. You are not allowed to post in any of the SE areas. You are allowed to post in the water cooler, question center and the moderation forums. Other than that, all your posts need to stay in the TE area.   Flame/Flamebait/Trolling
      Flaming is expressing anger or lobbing insults at a person/player rather than a character, post, idea, etc. Flamebait are posts that are made with the aim of targeting/harassing/provoking another user into rule-breaking. Trolling is submitting posts with the aim of targeting/harassing/provoking a specific group into rule-breaking. Forum users should not be participating in any of these, and doing so will result in a warning.   Topic Hijacking
      Hijacking is forcing the current thread discussion off of the original topic and usually results in spam or flame from either side. Forum users found hijacking threads will be given a warning.   Repeat Topics
      One topic is enough. Repeat topics will be locked, removed, and the author given a warning. Users found creating repeat topics after others were locked by staff will receive a warn raise.   Joke Topics
      Topics created as a joke are prohibited. Joke topics will be locked and the author warned. This includes topics in which the author is making an announcement “for” another in-game alliance. Humorous threads are permitted; it is up to the discretion of the moderation staff to determine what is merely satire and what is actually a joke topic.   Spam
      Spam is defined as creating posts or topics containing only contentless material of any kind. Users found spamming will receive a warning. Examples include (but are in no way limited to) posts containing nothing but smilies, "+1", "QFT", "this" any other one/few-word contentless combination, joke threads, or posts containing quotes and anything that counts as spam by itself. Adding words to a post with the express intent of avoiding a spam warn will result in a warning. These posts and other similar contributions have no substance and hence are considered spam. Posts of "Ave", "Hail" or any other one word congratulatory type are acceptable as one word posts. Emoticon type posts such as "o/" without accompanying text is still not allowed. Posts containing only images are considered spam, unless the image is being used in the Alliance Politics sub-forum and then the actual text of the image be placed into spoiler tags.   Posting in All Caps
      Posting large amounts of text in capital letters is not permitted. Use discretion when using your caps lock key.   No Discussion Forums
      There are forums that are not for discussion and are used strictly for game and forum staff to address certain issues, bugs, etc. The following forums are not open to discussion: Report Game Abuse, Report Forum Abuse, and Warn/Ban Appeals. Only moderators and the original poster may post in a thread, period, with absolutely no exceptions. Users found disobeying this guideline will receive an automatic warning for each offense.   Moderation Forums
      All Moderation forums also maintain pinned threads clearly marked as required reading before posting. Failure to read and follow required reading and procedure in a Moderation forum will result in a warning. Examples include posting requests in the wrong forum, failure to include all required information in posts, etc. The standard of conduct and enforcement of rules in Moderation forums is strictly enforced and the repercussions for disregarding rules or disrespecting staff are harsh. Read the pinned threads before posting and you will be fine.   Namecalling
      Excessive or unqualified namecalling is not allowed in IC forums; namecalling should also never make up the bulk of a post. Namecalling is prohibited entirely in all OOC forums.   Filtered Words
      Any attempts to evade the word filter will result in a warning. The terms we have filtered are filtered for a reason and no excuse for evasion will be accepted. Filter evasion includes censoring or deliberately misspelling part of a filtered word.   If you link to a website, image, video, etc., containing profanity, please post a disclaimer before the link. The moderation staff may still remove links if the content is deemed too obscene.   Harassment
      Forum users should not be stalking/harassing others on the forums. Anyone found stalking players from topic to topic, etc., will be subject to a warning.   Gravedigging
      Gravedigging is not allowed anywhere on the forums. Gravedigging is "bumping" old topics which haven't been active for quite some time (four to seven days is standard depending on the nature of the thread and how many pages back it had been pushed before bump). Your warn level will be raised if you are caught doing this.   The Suggestion Box and Black Market forums are partial exceptions to this rule. Suggestions/ideas in that forum may be posted in regardless of age PROVIDING that the reviving post contains constructive, on-topic input to the original topic or discussion. Black Market threads may be bumped by the author if there is new information about the offered exchange (i.e open aid slots). In the Player Created Alliances forum it will not be considered gravedigging to bump a topic up to a year old, so long as the alliance in question still exists and it is not a duplicate thread.   Signatures
      Those who fail to read and abide by these rules will have their signatures removed and receive a warning.   You may have only one image per signature which may not exceed the maximum size of 450 pixels wide by 150 pixels tall. You may have no more than 8 lines of text and text size cannot exceed size 4. Each quote-tag, image and empty line count as a line.   Inappropriate Images and Other Disallowed Images
      Images that are sexual in nature or have sexual overtones are prohibited. It is up to the discretion of the moderation staff to determine what constitutes sexual overtones. Depictions of kissing are permissible provided there are no sexual implications. Images depicting female nipples are prohibited outright.   Making “ASCII art” is prohibited regardless of the image depicted.   Using photos or likenesses of another Cyber Nations player is also prohibited.   Drug References
      Images and posts promoting illegal drug use are prohibited. References to drugs are acceptable only if the moderation staff deems that it is not promoting the use thereof.   Obscene Content and/or "Account Suicide"
      Anyone caught posting vulgar material (including but in no way limited to pornography, "gross," "tubgirl," "lemonparty," photos depicting RL illegal acts such as violence towards humans or animals, child pornography, death photos, and any other obscene or offensive material in either text form or picture form) will have their account(s) permanently banned, and their ISP contacted along with any other applicable internet and RL authorities.   OOC Threats / Revealing Personal Information
      An OOC threat of any nature will equate to an automatic ban from the game and forums. Likewise, the publishing of personal information of any other player without their explicit permission is grounds for warning and/or a ban from the game depending on the severity of the offense.   Death Threats / Death Wishes
      A death threat or a death wish of any nature (including but not limited to telling another player to commit suicide) will result in at very least a 40% warn level increase and 2 day suspension from the forums, with harsher punishments, including a complete ban from the forums and game, up to the discretion of the moderation staff.   Quoting Rulebreaking Posts
      Do not quote any post with obscene content or any other content that has to be removed by the moderation staff. Doing so makes it more difficult for the moderation staff to find and remove all such content and will result in a warn level increase. Putting rulebreaking posts of any kind in your signature is prohibited.   Forum Names
      With the exception of moderator accounts, all forum accounts must match up exactly with the ruler name or nation name of your in-game country. Those found not matching up will be warned and banned immediately. Forum account names may not be profane or offensive.   Multiple Forum Accounts
      With the exception of moderators, if you are caught with multiple forum accounts, the multiple account(s) will be banned, warn level raised, and your identity will be announced by a moderator to the CN community so rule-abiding players can take IC action against you. Multiple forum account offenders will receive a varying percentage warn level raise and/or a permanent ban on a case-by-case basis.   Posting For Other Players
      Posting for banned or suspended players is prohibited, as is posting for any person without a nation. This includes making warn and ban appeals on their behalf.   Imitation &. Impersonation
      Imitation in terms of this forum is mimicking the posting, avatar, or signature styles of another user in an attempt to be satirical or generally humorous. Impersonation in terms of this forum is copying the posting, avatar, or signature styles of another user in order to present the illusion that the person is in fact that user. Imitation is fine and can be quite funny. Impersonation is disruptive and is warnable. Please pay attention to the subtle difference between these two concepts.   A player may not impersonate another player by emulating the characteristics of someone else's past or present account in an attempt to harass, stalk, or flamebait. Creating a new forum account in an attempt to impersonate a standing account will result in deletion and banning without notice.   Any attempt at imitation and/or impersonation of moderators and game staff is strictly prohibited and will be met with harsh repercussions.   Avatars
      Size for avatars is limited by the forum mechanics, therefore there is no size issue for a user to worry about. Avatars must be in good taste, and any avatar containing a picture that is too violent, disgusting, sexually explicit, insulting to another player or staff member, etc. will be removed. Avatars that are potentially seizure inducing will not be permitted. Players may not "borrow" the avatars of any moderator past or present without permission.   Swastikas and Nazi Imagery
      The swastika may not be used in signatures or avatars. Pictures of swastika's are acceptable for use in the In Character (IC) sections of the roleplay forums, so long as its context is In Character, and not Out Of Character. Pictures of Hitler, mentioning of the Holocaust, etc... have no place in the roleplay forums, since these people and events existed in real life, and have no bearing or place in the Cyberverse. Other Nazi or SS imagery is forbidden in all forums.   Moderation Staff
      The revealing of the private identities of any Cyber Nations staffers past or present is strictly prohibited, and thus no speculation/accusation of identity is allowed. Doing so is grounds for moderator action against your account appropriate to the offense, including a full forum/game ban.   Claims of moderator bias should be directed to the highest level of authority--the Head Game & Forum Mod/Admin, Keelah. Claims of moderator bias without supporting evidence is grounds for a warning.   Blatant disrespect of the moderator staff is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to spoofing moderator accounts in any way, sig/avatar references, baiting, flaming, rude demands, mocking, attitude, and unsubstantiated claims of bias. They are volunteers hired to enforce the rules. If you have a problem with the way a moderator is enforcing the rules or the rules themselves please contact Keelah.   Attempting to use the moderation staff as a weapon by abusing the report system in an attempt to get another player warned or banned is strictly prohibited.   Do not ask about becoming or campaign to become a moderator. The moderators are drawn from CN membership but moderation positions are by invitation only. Asking to become one will substantially decrease your chances of ever being asked.   Aiding Rule Violators
      Any user found to know of a serious rule violation without reporting it to a game moderator (eg. knowledge of a user with multiple nations) will be given a warning or, in more serious cases, have their nation deleted.   Aiding Banned Players
      Any user found to be harboring, aiding or otherwise knowingly helping a banned user will be deleted. This includes knowing of their existence within the game without reporting it to the game-moderation staff.   Questionable Actions and Content
      The forum rules are not designed to cover every scenario. Any action that is seen to be counter-productive or harmful to the forum community may be met with moderator action against your account. The Cyber Nations Moderation Staff reserves the right to take action against your account without warning for any reason at any time.   Private Transactions
      Nation selling and other private transactions via such auction sites like eBay is against the Cyber Nations terms and conditions. While our moderators cannot control what people do outside of the game you are not allowed to promote such private exchanges on our forums without expressed permission from admin only. Anyone found to be engaging in such activity without permission will be banned from the game.   Advertising
      Advertising other browser games and forums is prohibited. Soliciting donations towards commercial causes is also prohibited. If you wish to ask for donations towards a charitable cause, please contact a moderator before doing so.   Extorting Donations
      Donations are excluded from any kind of IC payment. Anyone found extorting others for OOC payments will be warned in-game and/or banned.   Third Party Software
      Third party software is not allowed to be advertised on these forums by any means (post, signature, PM, etc). These programs can easily be used to put malware on the user's computer, and as such can cause huge security issues. Anybody who is caught spreading links to these will at the very least have their warning level increased.   Other Forum Terms & Rules   Please take a moment to review these rules detailed below. If you agree with them and wish to proceed with the registration, simply click the "Register" button below. To cancel this registration, simply hit the 'back' button on your browser.   Please remember that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. USE THE WEB SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. We will not be liable for any damages for any reason. THIS WEB SITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS IS," WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.   The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this bulletin board. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary.   You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this bulletin board to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.   You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this bulletin board.
Sign in to follow this  
Duncan King

Alliance Creation 101

Recommended Posts

I wrote this for NATO's Carnival and thought I'd share it with the wider community as well. Feel free to comment.

Notations from 11/4/2010 are in green


How to Found a Small Alliance and Not Get Pwned

So you'd like to found your own alliance? Sure, you've got an idea picked out and you're sure that your alliance has what it takes to succeed, but does it? Are you sure that when you post your DoE (if you don't know what this acronym means, you're not ready) you will not be laughed off the face of the OWF (ditto)? Are you actually going to have time to run the alliance three months down the road or are you just founding it because you have some free time this week? Do you have access to Tums? If you can't answer yes to any of these questions, you're probably not ready and the following is for you. If you could and you're still planning to launch, you may want to read this as well. It takes talent to create an alliance, and it takes even more to run it... and not into the ground (believe me, I've done it). If you read on, you will learn about the mysterious ways of alliance creation from someone who has done it... TWICE (with varying results).

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Duncan King's Guide to Alliance Creation!!! (This is where you go "ooooh.")

Before I get going, I'll tell you a bit about myself and a bit about this guide. I started the game in November of 2006 and immediately joined GATO, where I stayed until April of 2007. While in GATO, I served in some lower level positions in the Ministries of Domestic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Due to political disagreements with some members of the GATO government, I resigned and worked to start my own alliance, the Independent Coalition of Nations or ICON. I was in charge of the foreign affairs side of the alliance and arranged many treaties with alliances. However, while our foreign affairs were strong, our internal affairs were weak as none of the leaders were good at or willing to recruit. As a result of this, ICON did not grow and soon fell into stagnation. When my repeated efforts to revive the alliance failed, I left ICON to join NATO. In NATO, I served as the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of State, working in both internal and external affairs. At NATO, I not only learned about how to work in a big alliance, I learned a lot about nation building and how to maintain a roster. Additionally, I made a lot of contacts in NATO's allies. After being in NATO for a few months, I got a bit antsy and wanted to go out on my own again. I got to talking to four of my friends and we founded our own alliance, Zenith, on July 3-4, 2008. Zenith has done far better than ICON for a variety of reasons, which will be detailed below.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all things you must do to be an alliance leader, rather, it is a compilation of tips and tricks that have been the most useful to me over my two years in the game.

Authors notes: Zenith did fairly well for almost two years but we eventually succumbed due to issues that can't really be fought against with any guide: inactivity and war damage. We were seriously wounded when some of our government deserted before the Karma War and never fully recovered. We were pounded again in TOP/CNG and never was able to recover from that wound.

Also, I've been playing for four years now. :D

Things to Make Sure of Before Founding an Alliance.

Before you post your declaration of existence on the Big Board, make sure you have the following:

- experience

- a charter

- a flag

- active members

- forums

- an IRC channel

- a protectorate treaty


Experience is vital in the founding of an alliance. Cybernations is a game with a fairly steep learning curve and unless you know the ins and outs, your alliance will not survive. I strongly recommend that you do not found an alliance unless you have been in another alliance for at least three months but preferably six months. By being a member of an alliance, you will have a first hand view of the inner workings of an alliance. While you are in the alliance, be sure to work in as many areas of the alliance you can. Doing work in a government ministry is like a free education in the area of the game that the ministry serves. The experience that you gain from working in an alliance will be invaluable once your new alliance starts because you will not have the benefit of the knowledge base of your former alliance and will have to mentor members and govern the alliance on your own. If you're lucky, you may be able to recruit some players who are experienced in the game, but you should not count on that happening and need to prepare to have to run the alliance using only what you know.


A charter is like a constitution and legislation all put together and is the framework of an alliance. It determines not only an alliance's laws, but also its idealogical and the conduct of its members. Because of the great importance of this document, it is vitally important that it be written correctly. Sometimes, people are so caught up with content that they miss structure and grammar. If your charter is not written well, it will hurt your alliance's development. Some alliances can cope with a bad charter, but many are handicapped by it.

One of the most important purposes of the Charter is establishing the government of the alliance. Having the right type of government is important for an alliance. In terms of government structure, the general rule is the fewer decision makers, the better. Activity issues and time zones can make large governments unworkable. For example, some alliances have governments composed of seven members and can only make decisions based on majority rule. This means that they have to wait for 1/2 + 1 of the government members to log in and voice their decisions. While this message can be quick if everyone is on the same page and keeps the same hours, it can take days if the government members are in different timezones or just forget to check the boards that day. It can take even longer if they don't agree. One of the most popular types of government in Cybernations is a triumvirate. These bodies are composed of three leaders that make decisions by either majority or full consensus vote. My preferred method is the first because if one triumvir isn't available, the other two can still make the decision. The composition of a triumvirate can be determined in a variety of ways and each way says a lot about the alliance's priorities. My alliance, Zenith, for example, has an Internal, an External, and an Executive Triumvir. The Internal triumvir is experienced in Internal Affairs and the External Triumvir is experienced in Foreign Affairs. The Executive Triumvir is a generalist. In some alliances, the Executive Triumvir would be replaced by a War Triumvir. We contemplated doing with with Zenith but decided not to because we did not want to put that much emphasis on the military. A more militaristic alliance may have a triumvir of war. Another way to arrange the triumvirate is to just have three generalists. While this method has its benefits as all three are experts in most areas, the structure does not give weight to either Internal or External affairs and may be lacking in one of them if none of the triumvirs have worked in that area before. The final common type of government is an Empire. Empires have one central official. While this type is good because it makes it obvious who is in charge, having one central official bear the weight can burn out that person. Plus, if he or she is sick, the government can totally stop.

Once they type of government has been chosen, the method of choosing the government must be chosen. Although many alliances aspire for Democracy for certain OOC reasons, on Planet Bob, Democracy does not usually go that well. Having a democratic alliance demands an active and involved member base, something that is hard to come by in a game. To be run well, a democratic alliance needs members with experience. If the elected leaders do not know what they are doing, the alliance suffers. While it's true that some democratic alliances are fairly stable and successful, what often happens is either not enough people run for office to fill the positions or people who are inexperienced win by default. If you are insistent in having a fully democratic government, I recommend that whatever type of government you use, the terms be at least two months but preferably three months long. Alliances with one month terms have a lot of turnover. Plus, when someone is newly elected, it takes at least a week for him or her to get going. This, combined with the fact that the typical election period lasts at least a week means that the government that is elected is only able to concentrate on governing for about a two weeks. This does not give a lot of time to get anything done.

Another popular type of government is the totally appointed government or meritocracy. These governments work like they sound, the head authority, usually the Emperor, in the alliance appoints the other members of the government and these officials serve at the pleasure of the head authority and serve until they either resign or are removed. While this method has its benefits, mainly consistency and making sure that the people who are in positions of power are qualifies, it also means that the positions are static and a log jam can develop at the upper ranks, with there being more experienced people than there are positions for. This can result in a high rate of resignations among experienced players as people get frustrated at the logjam at the top.

A compromise, and a type of government that I recommend using is the hybrid. It has a mix of permanent and elected members, so new members have a way to get into government but there is some stability. In Zenith, for example, we have a permanent triumvirate and five elected ministers. The Ministers are the ones that actually run the day to day workings of the alliance and the triums have oversight and fill in where needed. We also have two appointed Ministers at Large. The MaLs are flexible players who assist the other ministers when needed. The positions were created to give people who either cannot win an election or won't run a chance to be in government. When we were writing the charter, we thought that doing this would be a good idea to take some of the stress off of the ministers and get more people into government. Thus far, the have worked out really well.

As for the specific ministers, the bare minimum an alliance should have is ministers of Domestic Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Defense. Domestic Affairs is responsible for internal affairs such as recruiting, trades, member training, and rosters. Foreign affairs is responsible for foreign affairs such as diplomacy and making treaties. Finance is responsible for organizing alliance aid and member growth. Defense is responsible for organizing the military. In my experience, I've found that Domestic Affairs tends to become overstressed by having to work on trades and recruiting as well as rosters. To remedy this, in Zenith, we split the Domestic Affairs duties into Domestic Affairs and Development, with Development doing recruiting and member training and Domestic Affairs being responsible for trades and rosters. By doing it this way, we are able to make sure all areas of Domestic Affairs are tended to without members being burned out. We recently added an office of the Regent to the government. Essentially, the Regent functions as a fourth triumvir and can make small calls unilaterally (not war declarations or treaties). The Regent, like the triumvirate, is a permanent official.

Once you have the government established, make sure you have codified procedures for disciplining members and amending the charter. While you may like to think that you will never have a problem with discipline, stuff does happen sometimes and you will need to have to deal with it. Some alliances have long, drawn out disciplinary processes, but these have their drawbacks as sometimes, some situations are too severe to wait. When when of your members goes nuclear rogue on a member of another alliance, that alliance does not want to wait a week for you to act. The best disciplinary action is quick and fair. At Zenith, we make decisions by a majority vote of the triumvirate with a majority of the ministers having the power to overrule the decision of the triumvirate. This way, we are quick to act and there is a check to make sure the triumvirate does not arbitrarily run someone out of the alliance. Additionally, you need to make sure that you codify a way to amend the charter. Without a way to amend the charter, your alliance will not be able to adapt. We had this problem in ICON, and had to first amend the charter to make it amendable, not exactly a fun task.

Before you post your charter for the view of the world, read over it again to check for spelling, grammar, and look. Make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct. Many readers of the Big Boards are very well educated and will point out the errors in your writing. In my experience, I find that a simple outline structure works well. By making the charter short and simple, it will be easier to follow.

A Flag

A flag is the symbol of your alliance. A bad flag will probably not hurt a strong alliance but an ugly flag can sink a weak one. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your alliance's flag is presentable. In terms of what to put on the flag, the simpler the better. Your flag should incorporate the color of your alliance's home sphere and should contain symbolism that evokes the name of your alliance. You should have a big copy of your flag (at least 800 wide by 400 tall) and a small version (approximately 400 x 200). To get an idea of what a flag should look like, look at the ones added to the game.

Active Members

Once you have your charter established, you are ready to govern... but you need someone to govern. Without active members, your alliance will not survive. It is extremely important that you recruit as much as you can. However, it's important not to overdue it. If an alliance grows too big too quickly, it can become bloated and unmanageable with new players going rogue. The best way to grow is to recruit until your alliance reaches 30 members and then concentrate on growing and educating those members. Once they have stabilized, recruit again up to 50 and repeat. Once an alliance reaches 30 members, it starts to have some staying power. Once you get the members in the door, you need them to be involved in the alliance and active. If a member is not active, this member is essentially dead weight and will not be there for the alliance when you need them.

To get the members involved, you need to teach them about the game. Therefore, some sort of training program is very important. Training your members not only helps with their nation growth, but it also gets them involved in the alliance and makes them easier to control. A member who understands the alliance's policies is less likely to break them. How is a member supposed to know that your alliance doesn't allow tech raiding if you don't tell them? At a minimum, your training program should focus on game mechanics, basic alliance procedures, and where to go to meet their basic needs (aid, trade, defense, etc). Other good areas to add are tech dealing, war, and recruiting. Some alliance training programs, such as the NPO's are fairly difficult. Others are more lax and amount to little more than having a member change his or her alliance affiliation and post an application. If a new alliance's application program is too strict, this alliance will have difficulty adding members. If the program is too loose, it will have problems with admitting anyone and being unstable. A good way to go about this is recruiting broadly but having a training program that filters out inactives. I've found that putting a ten day deadline on training works well. If an applicant does not complete our initial training program in ten days, they are denied admission to Zenith. This gives the ones that are good time to complete the process and eliminates the ones that are not.

Once you have the members in the alliance, you need to keep them involved. Some members will drop off as they lose interest in the game, but others can be cultivated into future leaders. To get your members involved, I recommend doing contests and lotteries to make coming to the forums for members. A good one to try is a lottery where you create thread and invite the members to post in it. Of the members that post, randomly choose one to give three million dollars to. Doing this every week or so encourages them to come to the forums and makes it fun for them to do so. Another good way to get the members involved is a mentor program. By pairing newer nations with more experienced ones and encouraging them to work together, you can help acclimate the newer nations to the alliance and give the older nations more involvement as well.


A forum is a vital part of an alliance. It is where the alliance lives and represents the public face that your alliance presents to the world. Therefore, it is very important that your forum look as good as it can.

There are some easy things that you can do on any forum software to make it look as good as possible. First, make sure you have spelled everything in the forum areas correctly and use proper English. To a visiting diplomat, improperly spelled forum names or government positions are not good signs. If you don't know how to spell "alliance," you probably aren't ready to be founding one. Second, make sure your forums look good. Use colors that look nice together and preferably colors that match the color team that your alliance is on. Don't use clashing colors unless you are the test pattern alliance. Third, make sure all of your HTML tags work. Broken code makes you look like an newb. If you don't know how to do something, ask for help. Many people in the CN community are web designers who would happily work on your forums for free.

In terms of specific forum software, there are two main types, free and paid. Free software is free. It is hosted on the servers of the company that is providing the service, so they take care of the maintenance. However, you are at the mercy of the company's servers and when they go down, your board goes down, too. In terms of the specific service providers, my personal favorite free provider is IPBFree, powered by Invision. It's relatively easy to use, looks great, and has a lot of toys and IP search capabilities that you won't find on many paid boards. Paid software is what it sounds like, paid. To use it, you need your own webspace and are responsible for the maintenance yourself. However, you get more features and get to customize your board more. The three main paid forum providers are PHPBB3, SMF, and IPB. PHPBB3 forums look great, but are the most labor intensive and require more maintenance from the owner. SMF forums are more user friendly but the interface is a bit clunky and the code in the posts isn't very compatible with the code in posts on Invision products, which are used in most CN forums, including the Big Boards. Both SMF and PHPBB3 are free platforms that you have to host on your paid webspace. IPB forums are the corvette of forum software. They look really good and they are used on many CN related forums. However, they are expensive and you have to pay for the hosting and the license from Invision to use them. The specific webhost you use doesn't matter that much. I use Bluehost because the support is good and they have a lot of built in scripts. But there are a lot of fairly decent free hosting services as well. Just use on that you like. For more information on creating forums, check out this guide.

The specific organization of your boards is flexible. Every alliance has their own thing. I've found the following structure to be effective


- Member Application Area (open to all)

- Diplomat Sign In Area (open to all)

- Resignation Forum (open to all)


- Social Area (open to all--diplomats like to play too)

-- Subforum: Spam and Games (open to all--the place for counting games and the like)

-- Subforum: Members Only Area (private space for your members to hang out)


- Charter (open to all, post your charter here)

- Treaties (open to all, post your treaties here)

- News Agency (open to all, post announcements here)


- Guides (open to members, post guides here)

- Academy (open to members, train new members here)

- Q and A (open to members, have your members post questions about the game here)

ALLIANCE FORUM (all forums in category open only to members)

- Assembly Hall (talk about alliance life here)

- Ministry of Defense

- Ministry of Domestic Affairs

- Ministry of Finance

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs

- Government Area

-- Subforum: Member petition area (members ask the government questions here)

-- Subforum: Government Chambers (public deliberation chamber for government, members can see but not post)

--- Subforum: Private Chambers (Visible only to government, private discussion here)

GLOBAL COMMONS (all forums here visible to members and ambassadors)

- Global Bazar (trade circles and tech deals)

- Embassy Row (embassies)

ARCHIVES (visible to members only)

- Open Archive (general archive)

- Closed Archive (government archive for classified documents)

IRC Channel

While forums are the internal voice of your alliance, IRC is the external voice. Every successful alliance must have an IRC channel, there is no way around it. Because there are a lot of good IRC guides out there, I am not going to go too far in depth about the specific IRC commands.

At a minimum, an alliance must have at least three IRC channels: a public one, a member one, and a government one. The public one is the one that visiting diplomats go to to find members of your alliance. This is your alliance's public face for IRC, so keep in mind people are watching it. Make sure you voice all visitors to the channel, it's a respect thing. The member channel is for members of your alliance only and is primarily for members to get to know each other. You'll want to protect it with a password or an access list so only your members can access it. The government channel is for government members only. Again, this should be password or access list protected.

A Protectorate Treaty

In the days of yore (pre GWIII and the rise of tech raiding) an alliance could run fairly well without a protector. However, with the increasing acceptability of tech raiding and the rising tech raid thresholds, a new alliance really needs a protectorate treaty to get going safely.

What a protectorate treaty is is an agreement by a larger alliance to protect a smaller one from harm. Usually, there are some conditions on it relating to foreign affairs and war with the smaller alliance agreeing not to make treaties or attack anyone without the approval of the larger alliance. Often, there are tech dealing agreements as well with the smaller alliance agreeing to sell technology to the larger alliance.

While the temptation is to have the alliance that you came from protect you, I'd actually recommend against doing that. Although the government of the original alliance may like to have the new alliance close, the situation is hard on the members of the original alliance as they wonder why the members that left are still on the forums, albeit in a new capacity. Tensions can flare and relations can be hurt. For these reasons, I recommend not signing a protectorate with the alliance that you came from. The separation will be good for both groups as they get used to being apart. Once both alliances have settled in to the situation, they can reestablish ties. While protected, a protectorate alliance should be on the same team as its protector. This creates more opportunities for trade circles and makes things easier for the protectors as they are familiar with the politics of that color sphere.

To make sure that an alliance does not remain protected forever, I recommend using the milestones of 3 months, 50 members and 500,000 NS for graduation. Once an alliance reaches these milestones, it is pretty much self sustaining. An alliance should not take on a protectorate until it is 1 million NS. Otherwise, it may not be able to actually protect their protectorate.

Author's note: Most of this is still accurate and worked pretty well for Zenith. The only disparity that I really should mention is that IPBFree closed down last year, taking all of its member forums with it. Zetaboards and Jcink are two viable alternatives.

I should also mention that you definitely need a protectorate to even get a start now. Tech raiding is much more popular now than it was two years ago and alliances will attack you if you're not protected.

Starting Out

Once you have all of these done, you are ready to launch. One of the most important parts of the launching of the alliance is the opening post. This is many people's first impression of your alliance so it is important to do it right. At a minimum, make sure you list your alliance's flag, charter, forums, IRC channel, and government. For an example of a good alliance announcement, click here. For an example of a bad alliance announcement, click here. In the second post, the formatting does not work in the charter, the government is not listed, and the IRC channel is not listed. Additionally, there is no protectorate. The actual alliance may be fairly decent and well run, but the first impression many will get of the alliance is bad. Also, make sure that your first post on the Big Boards is not your alliance's DoE. It's not a good indicator of experience and activity.

Additionally, you should post an ad in the Player Created Alliances forum. This is essentially a classified ad and is meant to woo people to your alliance. You should list your flag, charter, forums, government, IRC channel, and basic ideology. To make sure that people can see your topic, bump it at least once a day. For an example of what to do in a recruiting thread, click here. For an example of what not to do, click here. The second link lists no charter, no IRC channel, and does not use proper grammar. It also has not been bumped since it was posted.

Although the temptation can be to sign as many treaties as possible, I recommend not signing any treaties while you are still under the protectorate treaty. Your job as a protectorate is to grow internally and focusing too much on foreign affairs can detract from it. Sell tech, do aid falls, and recruit like there is no tomorrow. If you alliance makes it out of the protectorate, you can do treaties. This isn't saying that you can't do some diplomacy, but if you do, keep in mind that your goal should be internal relations. Once you do clear the protectorate, don't forget that the Internal must be treated as carefully as the External. Wars can kill an alliance but inactivity can too. Alliances can and do wither and die from the inside while their foreign affairs remain intact. Your first duty as an alliance leader is to your members, not to your allies. Remember that.

Once your alliance is launched, read and post on the Big Boards. It is important for an alliance to have a public face and posting on the Big Boards helps people get to know you. I have had people join Zenith because they liked what I said on the forums, so it does help a lot. However, make sure you know the rules of the Big Boards before you post, it's embarrassing being warned for signatures that are too large or inappropriate post content.

Author's notes: Here are some recent examples of good and bad DoEs as well as why there are so.

Good DoEs

DoA DoE: Other than the acronym meaning "dead on arrival," I can't find anything wrong with this DoE.

THE DoE: The post is well done here and the charter and graphics are cool. My only possible quibble with this is that the opening membership may be too small.

Exodus DoE: Totally awesome start here. This is the first one I've seen that topped Zenith's triple post. Snaps for this.

Bad DoEs

UTC DoE: This is missing a charter, forums, flag, and actual members.

GRUE DoE: it has a good theme, but the funky pictures detract from the actual message and the reader is left wondering what the point is.

Sons of Aiur DOE: The charter is poorly formatted and the person making the announcement didn't clear things with his protectors first, as evidenced by this post.

Some Final Thoughts

Before I end this guide, I'll give you some milestones to keep in mind: 5, 10, 15, 30, 50, 500K, 1 million.

- 5 is a common threshold used to determine whether or not a group of nations is an alliance. Anything smaller than five members will probably not be considered an alliance. Therefore, make sure you have at least five members when you launch

- 10 and 15 members are two other common tech raid thresholds. If you do not have at least 15 members, consider having a protectorate.

- 30 members is a level at which your alliance shows it has some staying power. It is also when alliances typically start having growing pains.

- 50 members and 500K nation strength are levels at which an alliance should do well on its own and does not need a protectorate anymore.

- 1 million nation strength is a level where an alliance can consider taking on protectorates.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

- Duncan King

Edited by Duncan King

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this