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Tyberia: A Renewal of Thought


Margrave
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It has been a long time, for most Tyberian's, since the day Shardoon, II Keeper of the Tyberion Covenant, called it a day for that fine body politic. A host of problems, including the banning/leaving of most of the founders created that alliance's demise, leaving only a small collection of documents written by a handful of Tyberians. They together accomplish the Holy Writ, the guiding principles and ideals of Altaic Ethics and the Tyberian system. Unfortunately, I do not have access to all of them; I've changed computers twice since then, and not all of them were saved in any case. However, the few that I have, I intend to display for you now, for your thoughts and critiques and your possible interest.

Because Tyberia was a fine alliance. It was a good group focused on the one thing that truly matters in CN; the good of its members. And because it held principles and ideals that were to its benefit, it would have continued to be a great alliance even to this day, should have continued. Sadly, the alliance fell into diserepair and eventual disbanding.

No more. I make these documents available in the hopes that those of you who read it will be encouraged to aid me in restoring that alliance, or at the very least applying the ideals of Altai (Margrave and El Bruc) to your CN life and alliance.

Without further ado, here is the first document, "The Tyberian Military Structure And You":

he Tyberian Military Structure and You

If you've ever been in another alliance, you've probably seen a military structure based on separating all of membership by "ranks" of Nation Strength. It usually looks something like this:

rankvsquad1uq9.png

One might refer to the above as a "horizontal" military structure 'cuz of the way the bars I drew there go. Now, the strengths of this system are that it's simple to explain, easy to set up and maintain, and it succeeds in performing the basic function of allowing attackers to find enemy targets within their NS range. In short, it's half-assed.

The first problem with this setup is that the larger the alliance gets, the more members fit into each rank (especially the medium-low-NS ones), clogging the forums dedicated to those ranks. For major alliances, a rank system can't function as a true command-and-control system, unless they've got a very limited active membership base. Although members in a given rank may make a few vague attempts to create a sense of unit camaraderie, nobody really knows all of who else is in their rank (at least out of who's even active), and therefore they can't really "identify" with it.

Each of these ranks works kind of like a cafeteria buffet table: members in that range go there when they feel like it, maybe find some targets and maybe volunteer to attack some. During inter-alliance wars, they might find general standing orders posted there, or they could "check in" to receive more specific orders. The government leaders just put their orders out there and then wait for the members to come and help themselves.

But no matter how it's worded, a general call to a vaguely defined group of somebody to do something is not an "order," because no one can be held accountable for whether it got done or not. An order goes from a specific person to a specific person, to perform a specific task. It's a sad state of affairs when an alliance leader winds up blatantly begging for help while everybody else stands around with their hands in their pockets and sheepishly looking at each other. I've seen it happen at least once in other alliances, and I bet most of you have too.

Another problem with "buffet table" systems involves the fact that they add extra steps. Each person may log into CN and their alliance forums perhaps once or twice a day, on average. Therefore, any two people are very likely to miss each other in any 24-hour time period. The more "back and forth" that occurs between people, the slower the response time is from decision to execution. Each step requiring a response can add up to 24 hours to that delay. In a buffet-style system there are typically 4 steps:

1. a leader posts a call for volunteers to attack a target

2. some volunteers reply

3. the leader selects a team from the volunteers and posts more specific orders

4. the team starts executing the orders

This sequence allows for a maximum potential delay of 96 hours. Of course, the more volunteers you have, and the more frequently they check in, the lower this delay is in practice. Therefore, many alliances make up for this problem by trying to get their membership really excited about fighting. For example, back in their heyday FAN made up for a lot of structural problems by promoting a culture of rabid enthusiasm for war, which served to reduce the delay somewhat between each step above. That form of reduction alone earned them a reputation of being a terrifyingly effective fighting force - at least for a while.

By the way, it's worth noting that the sequence of steps listed above actually describe a relatively well-organized approach! In some alliances, a leader may just post a set of orders and then let people volunteer and start executing them at will. Although this reduces the number of steps, it's horribly disorganized. The typical outcome is that no one knows what anyone else is doing, no potential volunteer knows which tasks are or aren't already being done (without significant investigation on their part), and people often get in each others' ways or duplicate their efforts. As a result, members tend to become discouraged from volunteering at all, and start to assume that "somebody else who's better at this stuff can do it."

No.

The above state of affairs consititues a serious ideological problem for us. The Tyberion Covenant will not be a "cafeteria alliance." We will not leave it to our membership to come to the leaders to try to find ways to be active and engaged, much less have to figure out how by themselves. Alliances that leave it up to their members to figure out how to participate end up with members that just sort of hang out and lurk or chat, but don't really get anything done. Now, we don't think you're dumb or lazy. In fact, we believe that you're probably already far brighter, more talented and more capable than even you realize. But we'll never get to find out exactly how great you can be unless we give you chances to prove it, unless we drop those chances in your lap on a silver platter (why you have a silver platter on your lap I don't want to know). The upshot is that nobody should be expected to have the answers when they don't even know what to ask.

Therefore, failure of members to participate is actually a failure of leadership to properly serve those members. In contrast to many alliances, we want to proactively give you things to do, teach you how to do them, and find as many ways as we can to keep you active, interested, and engaged. We don't view an order as a burden on the recipient; rather, it's an opportunity to be more involved with - and therefore get more fun out of - ruling your nation. Our job is to find you those opportunities; our job is to get you in the game.

If we do that job well, then we get more help, our job gets easier, and this alliance gathers momentum like a snowball starting an avalanche. So it's in our best interest, too.

OK, then. Here's how we're going to make this happen: Squads, and Fire Teams.

Squads

If ranks are a "horizontal" structure, then Squads can be described as a "vertical" structure. None are restricted by specific NS ranges; rather, each stands "next to" the other. Squads will be restricted to a maximum size of 20 members, each led by a Captain who is assisted by a Sergeant. Here's your pretty picture:

rankvsquad2kg6.png

The fact that NS ranges aren't built into this structure is easily compensated for by the fact that it's not very hard to keep track of the current stats of only 20 people or less (give or take a few days of growth).

The sequence of steps determining maximum potential turnaround between decision and execution under our Squad system is as follows:

1. Your Captain gives you an order

2. You do it

It just doesn't get any simpler or quicker than that.

Also note that should your Captain be "out" for a day or otherwise unavailable to issue the orders quickly enough in a time-critical situation, his Sergeant may be online to step in (Sergeants have all of the same forum permissions that Captains do for exactly this purpose). This reduces the average delay inherent in step 1; making or passing a time-critical decision requires either your Captain or your Sergeant to be online, which on average cuts the potential delay by half. Oh yeah, and the Commandant or any of his Adjutants can back up the Sergeant too.

Step 2 is entirely up to you. However even then you'll have ample support, guidance and assistance available should you need it. Not only your Sergeant and Captain, but also the Commandant and his Adjutants will all full have access to your Squad forum and can help you with whatever you need to get the job done.

However, Squads perform more than just military functions. Once you're assigned to a Squad, nearly all "government" tasks involving you will be handled by your Captain as well. These include:

1. Collecting and recording your current stats and available war/aid slots.

2. Checking your nation's activity to make sure you're obeying the rules; disciplining you if you're not

3. Checking to see if you've been attacked and organizing a response - possibly before you even find out about it!

4. Providing or assigning mentorship and extended training

5. Referring the most talented members of your Squad to alliance leadership for promotion opportunities

Other government functions (i.e. Adjutant jobs) will only be those that deal with the alliance as a whole and which can't be effectively divided up by Squad. These include recruiting new members, managing ambassadorships, and taking care of new Initiates. This is separate from and overlaps with the Squad system, which is far more important; all Adjutants, Executors and even the Keeper are also Squad members, just like you.

Unlike ranks, the Squad system is scalable. As our alliance grows, we just add more Squads. Each one stays within the same size limitation and therefore can continue to function as efficiently as it always did. So any future influx of membership will have zero negative impact on you and your Squad's ability to perform.

Because they're limited to a convenient size, your Squad will allow you to develop a real sense of camaraderie and unit cohesion. As we grow, you may not be greatly familiar with everybody in the alliance, but you should be able to become familiar with your Squad mates (including those who aren't highly "forum-active.") You'll look out for them and they'll look out for you. Mind you, each of us gives our absolute loyalty directly to the Keeper and no one else. But being able to feel a sense of identification with a specific group of allies will make it easier for you to get motivated, and it'll make things more fun in general for everybody. As the system fills out, we may allow Squads to give themselves descriptive names, and/or organize friendly competitions between them, such as who can anarchy the most targets in a given time period.

Finally, the Squad structure enables our credo of "leadership from the front." Your Captain will be authorized to make most of the decisions that affect you. In nearly all cases, there'll be no need to refer a decision to a higher authority, which drastically reduces the turnaround steps from situation "up" to decision and back "down" to execution.

But wait, there's more!

Fire Teams

As if Squads didn't provide enough cohesion, coordination and rapid response to meet the requirements of your Keeper (hint: they didn't), every 4 members with a similar NS in each squad will also be organized into a "Fire Team." Check it out:

rankvsquad3yv8.png

The assignments won't be as evenly distributed as the diagram above suggests. Some Squads may be a little bottom-heavy, others top-heavy, others might have gaps. In addition, at least a few Fire Teams will be "short" by a member, at least temporarily. As new Initiates come in through the 7-day buffer provided by the Academy, the Commandant will assign them to their Squads and Fire Teams, and perhaps occasionally reassign individuals (or entire Teams) to help keep things somewhat even. Nevertheless, Fire Teams will be your closest and most reliable unit of organization. When s**t goes down, you rely on your Fire Team first to get you through it, and it will. In war, each Fire Team operates closely together as a single unit.

During peacetime, allies in the same Fire Team will typically develop their nations at a roughly even rate relative to one another. The Exchequer will put educational and other programs into place to help keep you rougly even with each other. Other economic development programs will work with Fire Teams as a single unit. And each of you has your Teammates right there, not to mention your Squad, to help you out. As you grow, you'll grow together.

Fire Teams don't have official leaders, although your Captain might decide to assign the most experienced member to temporarily "take point" and help guide his Teammates. The reason for excluding a standing leadership position here is to cut down the number of steps between situation and response, by cutting out any unneccessary "middlemen" in the authoritative chain of command. Given clear orders, any four people should be able to coordinate what to do among themselves without needing a designated leader. If you run into a snag or question, your Sergeant and Captain are always available to help you out (again, so are the Commandant and his Adjutants).

Although you work closely with your Squad in its own forum, you should have your Teammates on your igpm (in-game personal message) "speed dial," and be able to coordinate among yourselves through your nation inboxes. Even if our forums and IRC channels all go down, your Fire Team should be able to carry out its orders independently until told to stand down. That capability for independent action is the first big implication of the 4-member Fire Team structure.

The second implication of Fire Teams is that if one member is attacked, there are 3 other people in range who can be immediately ready to fill the attacker's war slots. In my mind, I picture Fire Teams closing around incoming rogue attacks like a field of Venus Flytraps. You so much as touch one, and you're instantly surrounded by a world of pain.

The third implication is even more awe inspiring.

For any major (inter-alliance) conflict, one member of each Fire Team will be designated as its "Corpsman." The Corpsman doesn't attack, but rather serves as his Team's "bank," generating cash, receiving aid transfers and splitting the proceeds out 3 ways to keep his Team afloat.

What this means is that our war banking system is embedded within our operational structure at every level. It's not a separate structure, grafted on to our "normal" command-and-control system as needed. It's just how we operate, as integral to our fighting capability as your arteries, veins and capillaries are to your body. And as vitally important: in CN, cash is the lifeblood of war. As long as it keeps flowing, you can keep dishing out a consistently high level of pain.

For most alliances, war banking is their biggest challenge, a need that often goes pretty much unmet. Cascading aid transfers from a few large nations down to a lot of smaller ones is one of the most critical components of maintaining any alliance's ability to wage and win a war. Even the wealthiest nation in a given alliance only has typically 5 (occasionally 6) aid slots. The real challenge here is not in generating the money; the real challenge is in getting it to where it's needed (i.e. everywhere). We'll be able to do that, no sweat.

Guess how most other alliances handle war banking? That's right, cafeteria style. A member fights until they can't pay their bills, then they go and beg for aid in a designated forum, then a wealthier nation sends 'em some money... maybe. And even then, this system only holds up until those wealthier nations run out of aid slots. After that, the whole alliance starts to collapse. Raise your hands if this scenario sounds familiar to you... OK, you can all put 'em back down.

We don't put the burden on the individual member to decide when you need help, and we don't make you beg. We just get you the help.

In many cases, each Fire Team will be able to keep itself afloat on its Corpsman's income alone, fighting and sustaining itself as an independent unit. But when called for, an entire Fire Team can be infused with cash from another nation, or aid chains can connect a string of Fire Teams together to spread the love out even further. Once a Corpsman's aid slots are expended and another Teammate's wars expire, the Corpsman job could be rotated within the Team to keep the love flowing. The range of possibilities available - and the capabilities each provides - should keep your Commandant and Exchequer grinning all the way through any war. You, too.

So a maximum of only 75% of our alliance can attack in a given conflict? Frankly, that's far better participation in war than most other alliances can hope for; I think it's fair to say that since the top of this page, I've laid out a pretty good case for why that is. I've also laid out an explanation for how we're going to do a lot better than them - and that's without even getting into the issue of what our morale and culture are going to do to help jack our involvement even more. But that's a topic for another rant.

P.S: If you read all the way down to here, you're awesome. Thanks for your time.

Edited by Margrave
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The Principles Of Tyberia: The document that started it all:

The Principles are and were the "founding words", the founding thoughts, of the alliance. As such, referring back to them is the best guide short of "Tyberian ethics" to exactly what Tyberia is meant to do and achieve. As such, here it is, the Principles of Tyberia: Below are documents you won't find in our public records

This is the paper that started it all - the original document Margrave sent to describe his vision.

While I was away from CN, I wrestled long and hard with what MADE an alliance great...what would truly win and win regularly in CN. What I came up with was three concepts, that when combined guarantee a successful alliance, and those are:

1. Military Integrity

2. A National Ideal

3. A Committed Leadership

Now, as I thought of these things, I built military strategies and systems in my head, trying them on, mixing and matching with government styled and policies. What emerged are the three strongest ideas to make an alliance great that I have known for awhile:

1. Military Integrity: First, it should be stated that my philosophy is that the Government exists to support the Military, and the Military exists to support the soldier. Thus, I have founded this entire concept based on the "From The Bottom Up" principle. With this in mind:

Imagine yourself a soldier who has just joined an alliance. You are immediately assigned to a three-man fireteam, based on NS, and a Corpsman (Who acts as your fireteam's aid-bank to keep you supplied in the field) who is attached to your unit. With them, you will raid, join small wars (Against loner, tiny alliances) and go toe to toe with enemies as an alliance as an army. They are your brothers.

Each Fire-team belongs to a Squad, led by a Sergeant, an NCO who earned his rank through battle. Rather than be assigned targets by a massive logistics group somewhere in a smokey back room, your Sergeant will pick out targets from a list based on your NS range, and assign a target to each Fire-team. As the alliance grows, more Fire-teams will be apart of a Squad, and as it grows, the people who fight in it earn NCO ranks, go on to Officer training, and become a voice to be listened to.

Each Squad will be assigned to a Platoon. That Platoon Leader, a Major, will be a trained officer of the military , a student of the best war-guides the military owns. He will coordinate with other platoons, and with the Sergeants. He will have the authority to war on small, un-allied alliances with the permission of High Command, allowing the Platoon to gain valuable experience against unimportant targets. He will also organize war-games and lead mass-raiding campaigns, and work hard to keep his Sergeants well-funded and do logistics work with a small staff as is needed.

Each Platoon will be assigned to a Company. With your Company Commander, you go to war. He will work with the Major's and Sergeants to coordinate and organize, create target lists, and have the option to discipline or reward his Majors and Sergeants, as well as rewarding ranks to those who perform well.

With this military, the soldier will do most of his own logistics, taking targets from a list of enemies in his range and engaging them with his Fire-team. He will have the opportunity for Advancement and honor, as well as the opportunity to raid and fight as much or as little as he wishes. This military will strike hard and it will strike on time, and in a Cyberverse where so many Alliances simply throw their people into militia's and engage in a grand melee, this Military will be the standard of Precision and Coordination.

2: A National Ideal:

What motivates men to fight? In some alliances it is a "Real World" Political System, in some it is a lifestyle, and for some it is because they were told to. But how appropriate is this? How successful are these systems?

For "Real World" Political alliances, they are instantly limited in their accessibility and their recruiting pool to those who happen to agree with their political ideology. They instantly inherit enemies who are against their political point of view and seek to destroy them. they tend to draw a crowd that can sometimes be undesirable, and often fall to war, internal dissension by purists or moderates, or simply fade away as an alliance comes along offering a better interpretation of their political system.

In Lifestyle Alliances, there is once again a limited recruiting pool, inherited enemies, and inherent dissension. Depending on the CN lifestyle they embrace, Lifestyle alliances have a larger group of committed true-believers in the alliance, rather than inflated fluff. However, because they are built around or embrace one specific way of playing the game, they lack interest in outside relations or attempt to convert people. These alliances, while sometimes being incredibly powerful, are also chaos-inherant and tend to collapse under pressere.

Finally, there are those poor souls who have no idea what is going on, and are expected to fight simply because someone ordered them to. It is these would-be-warriors, confused and frightened, that populate the ranks of the Surrenders in war-time.

But what about an idea that exists only within the halls of CN? A uniting, ephermereal thing that represents not merely a military, a diplomat group, and a government, but a unified people, a clan, one body existing as a whole. It is with this in mind that I have created Tyberia.

Tyberia is based in regional Russia, Northern Europe, and Mongolia, however, it does not identify Culturally or Ethnically with any of these territories: Rather, Tyberia is it's own being, a land of frozen mountains and people made hard by winter and war. Divorced from the "Real World", it represents a land that whole-heartedly promoted meritocracy and getting things done. As a people who feel the thunder and the blizzard in their bones, Tyberians will fight and die against the hard odds of this world in order to protect their allies, their brothers in the fire-teams, and ultimately themselves. In this harsh landscape, souls are forged from soft flesh into hard steel, and tempered against experience and training. Warriors, united by this common thread of pride in oneself, one's brothers, and one's alliance, will fight as one body to protect their freedom, their brothers, and their Tyberia. And because Tyberia will have strong, noble allies (For strength seeks out strength, and nobility nobility) it shall triumph against all enemies.

Finally, there is the committed leadership. For that, one must scour the Cyberverse, gather canidates...and ultimately decide for oneself. In the Cyberverse, it is not always the smartest, the best spoken, or the wittiest person to lead: it is the one willing to roger up to the task, and proves himself loyal and able to serve. Ultimately, it is up for you and those who choose leaders to decide. Regardless of the system of Government, those who work the hardest must and should be chosen as the leaders in this world of conflict and struggle. If you want to make it work, it will work.

II. Our Core Values:

1. Merit

2. Brotherhood

3. Commitment

4. Respect

5. Discipline.

1. Merit

Our first Value is the founding cornerstone of our alliance: do well and you naturally profit from it. Those who put effort into the Covenant will be amazed by what they can get out of it.

2. Brotherhood

Our second Value is only slightly less important than the first. It means loyalty, comradrie, bravery, heroism, family, and the guy on your left and right, the ultimate and only reason one fights in this world.

3.Commitment

Our third Value is Commitment, and it's meaning is twofold: first, that we thrive on committed leaders, but also that we excel when we have committed members. When both are present, we are nigh unstoppable.

4.Respect

This Value is eternal like the mountains themselves, and is thus our fourth Value. When Tyberians respect one another, they build their brotherhood. When they respect themselves, they build our people; respect yourself and respect your brothers, and you will build yourselves till no one can break you.

5. Discipline

This last Value is not popular. Nevertheless, it is the ground upon which alliances fly or die on, and it factors into everything: fighting war, gathering aid, sanctioning others, our conduct amongst ourselves and in public, and how we govern ourselves. A lack of discipline is the death-knell of an alliance, but discipline tempered by reason and mercy will forge us stronger than any, thus it is our fifth and final Value.

III. Why Bother?

Why bother knowing anything about our philosophies and ideals, you may wonder? What does it matter to a warrior, or a man of honor?

Why must you know, and try to emulate, the Tyberion Ideal?

There are many reasons that come to mind. However, the chief reason is this:

So you know that, when you fight, it is not for yourself, or for the government of Tyberia. It is for your brothers, and the Values that makes you brothers; that Respect and Honesty, Sacrifice and Devotion are not just words, but fundemental elements of the warrior's soul. So, when you are tested, you do not say "I fight alone" or "I fight without purpose", but you will know that it is your very purpose you fight for, so that at the end you may say "I fought for my brothers and saved my people."

Remember, at all times the Covenant stands in power because of its members. It is the members who make us great.

IV. Final Thoughts

1. You get out of this alliance what you put into it. Nothing and no one will restrain you from succeeding and gaining position in this alliance, we reward and adore hard work.

2.Remember to enjoy yourself. This is all meaningless if you cannot savor it.

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Great actions do not wait on petty scruples, abundant virtue does not trouble with niceties; He who looks after the little and forgets the big will surely pay for it later.

- Sima Quin.

OK, so you come to this alliance with certain ideas about how CN is, how people are supposed to act. You may believe that Virtue, Brotherhood, Merit, and Honor don't matter in CN, or that Slaughter and Destruction in the service of any purpose justifies the purpose it serves. whether you've played this game for awhile or are just starting out, you have probably come to the conclusion that, to win in Cybernations, you have to be unscrupulous.

No.

That is not who we are, and if you are interested in joining this alliance, that is not who you are either. You want to believe power can be used to further virtue, rather than justify all manner of causes misguided and foolish. If so, you have come to the right place.

We do not serve the concept of "power without purpose." We will not accept anything less than 100% virtue, in our actions, our thoughts, our ideas and our words. Rather, we always wield power in the service of virtue. We refuse to accept the tradeoff of virtue for power; in fact, we hold that any such tradeoff is illusory. For properly understood, these two concepts are inextricably entwined, as we shall explain:

Native Ethics

We catagorically reject nonsense ideologies based on nothing more than wishful thinking. You've seen the alliances built on strange doctrines not native to CN, and how they have failed. Ideals like Leftism, Anarchy, and Direct Democracy have brought alliances and rulers to destruction time and time again.

The simple fact is, CN is not a very good simulator of "Earthly" political states of affairs. Just because you fervently agree with a philosophy there, that doesn't mean it'll work in practice here. It may be troubling to admit that your cherished ideals have no effective place here; but it's better to discard them than to let them lead you to ruin, which in turn makes them look bad. There is also some satisfaction to be found in developing an effective ethic "from scratch," as it were.

The first lesson every Tyberian must learn is to shed our prejudices in this regard. But it's not just full-scale ideologies that apply here, such as socialism or democracy; more subtle, ingrained assumptions also must be identified and rejected; such as, the importance of rights, the efficacy of free markets, the source and purpose of justice, and what terms like fairness, virtue, and morality actually mean here.

In order to succeed in CN, you have to be prepared to rebuild your entire system of (in-game) morality up from ground zero. Because frankly, if you're not willing to do that, then you're not ready to start taking CN seriously.

Enlightened Self Interest

On Planet Bob, each ruler is granted complete sovereignty over his nation by Admin. In this respect, we are all born equal, regardless of relative statistics or other factors. The first question regarding where morality comes from is - what responsibility do we have towards one another? The most obvious and simple answer is: none. All ethics must derive first from the responsibility you have towards your own nation.

Although this sounds remarkably amoral (i.e. self-interested), very ethical arguments can be made when you take a long-term view of your nation's interest, and when you take into the interplay of others' interests around you, and how they affect you. In fact, "evil" could merely be viewed as a narrow-sighted and short-term analysis of your best interest, while "good" might be seen as a long-term, thoughtful analysis towards the same end. Perhaps in "RL," states of affairs may be more complicated than this, but the nature of the Cyberverse limits the number of interchanges and communications involved to a manageable enough level that a view of ethics as good game-theory strategy becomes possible.

A comprehensive "win" strategy which takes into account the long-term effects of your actions, their impact on others and how they may impact you in turn, and a full understanding of political reality, is indistinguishable in all practical repects from an approach of honor, dignity, and common decency. In contrast, strategies which lead to failure are morally repugnant, even if they're done in the name of various good intentions.

Deeds, Not Words

Virtue is not a matter of good intentions at all, especially where power is involved. Someone trying their best to be virtuous, if they have authority over (or the ability to harm) others, can seem exactly like an evil person if they do their job poorly. To those in their care, the results of a leader purposely trying to screw them over and a leader just failing to live up to his responsibility are exactly the same. The practical outcome of an inept or lazy leader is exactly the same as the practical outcome of a leader betraying his own people. Furthermore, most observers aren't even in a position to be able to tell the difference. This happens all the time in Digiterra; leaders bring their alliances to ruin, and even though they may have meant well, their mistakes made them seem like double-dealing schemers to everyone else.

Nobody is telepathic. Virtue, in order to be spoken of at all, must be practically measurable, in terms of real results.

A consequence of this is that from time to time you may see someone who seems to have good intentions and/or otherwise "seem like a decent person" being vilified extensively in public. In these instances, it helps to remember: sometimes the crimes of the apparently well-meaning are far worse than those of the apparently malevolent. Not infrequently, the "white-hat/good-guys" consistently lead themselves and their friends to ruin through foolishness and error, and the "black-hat/bad-guys" are often the ones you can trust to stand by their word, because they understand exactly these points; they place real ethics grounded in CN realities over merely creating an appearance of virtue.

Social Contract

Although we bear no innate responsibility to others, how we behave towards others benefits us. Ideally, everyone would help each other and no one would ever go to war. But we don't live in an ideal environment. Some people can be trusted with our lives, others we can't trust at all, and still others change over time.

In such an environment, the best thing we can do is to cooperate with those who we can trust, and lay out firm and inflexible policies towards those we can't. Simple enough. But what about when a significant number of others figure this out too? Then our single most valuable asset becomes how trustworthy we are.

Your ability to keep your word is the single most powerful factor influencing the long-term success of your nation. The ability of our alliance's leadership to keep their word even more strongly influences the success of our alliance. This is why the greatest position we have, the sole absolute authority of the Tyberion Covenant, is called its "Keeper." The most essential responsibility of this position is to be someone that members and allies can trust to keep his word to them. Anything else can be delegated; but all other government positions must be completely subservient to this role, or it is worthless.

Our word is our greatest asset. Therefore, we make sure that we only give it very carefully, to those we are sure we can trust. We make sure that we have a clear understanding of the language involved and its logic, for any agreement we sign. Then we completely fulfill those agreements to the greatest extent possible, in both word and spirit. Not because we owe it to others, but because we believe that adhering strictly to such a policy provides the most benefit most often over the longest time, to our alliance.

Beyond that, we seek to establish trust through consistency in our actions. Ultimately, trust can only be practically defined as predictability. Regardless of whether you like someone or not, if you can be sure of their response to certain conditions, then you trust them; even if that only means you "trust them to do" a given x, it's still trust. In fact, that's the basis of all trust. Whether or not we have a signed agreement with someone, we seek to publish our operating and ethical principles, so that all can get at least some sense of how we will respond to certain situations. If someone finds themselves facing a Tyberion onslaught across a battlefield, they can rest assured that they had only themselves to blame.

Sphere Of Responsibility

It is nonsensical of anyone to claim responsibility for the well being of someone over whom they have no control. For example, if you're falling off a cliff and I offer you my hand, and you reject it and fall to your death, it makes no sense to say it's my fault. In fact, to blame me for your actions disrespects your free choice to reject my help! On the other hand, if you clasp my hand, placing yourself in the power of my arm, then I can help you, can take responsibility for you, and can thus take the blame if you fall.

On Planet Bob, an alliance which you don't join can't control you. However, it can't look out for your interests either. Its sphere of responsibility doesn't include you, because by refusing to submit to it, you deny it the ability to properly help you.

The Tyberion Covenant has no moral responsibility to look after the interests of those who are not our members. None whatsoever. To claim responsibility for the good of those who decline to grant us that authority is in fact insulting, aside from being ineffectual. It denies the consequences of their free choice not to join us, and thus insults that choice. If someone wants us to represent their interest, they are typically free to become a member, and so authorize us to take responsibility for their well-being; for we are fully responsible for the well-being of those who are our members.

Therefore, for the Tyberion Covenant, morality can only be defined as what serves our own member nations best. What benefits Tyberia is good and moral, while that which does not serve it is useless and immoral. We can only be responsible to our own.

This does not mean we are immoral per se; we strive for honor and virtue in our alliance. However, our morality is based upon enlightened self-interest. We are the most important savior of our own health; if we are not primarily concerned with our own benefit, no one else will be either. Nor should they; for what we have said of ourselves applies equally to other nations and alliances, in our view.

Power and Virtue

Virtue, without the force of arms to back it up, is nothing; mere empty words without the ability to effect any change whatsoever. And words which do not match any real state of affairs are nothing more than lies. The only appropriate sphere within which we can claim to be good or evil, is that sphere within which we have power. The corollary is that if we have no power, then we have no right to make moral claims, and thus no virtue. Virtue is nothing more or less than the intelligent application of power.

At the same time, violence not in service to virtue is capricious and ultimately self-destructive; therefore, wasted. That is, if violence forwards virtue, it is a virtuous act; but if it is pointless and excessive, it is not virtuous, for it fails to serve the good of our alliance and its member states.

Simply put: power without virtue is not power; virtue without power is not virtue.

Armed with this understanding of the limitations of our moral authority and the ramifications of the long-term good that we seek, the actions of the Tyberion Covenant are therefore virtuous by definition. For all of the reasons stated above, we stand assured of this truism, regardless of any alien slogans which may be spewed forth by the unenlightened.

- Margrave and El Bruc

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I like these - it's all very abstractly thought through, fitting in with the "building up from the ground" morality statement. And while I personally favor the ranked system of military, for the ease of organization, I can't deny that the camaraderie of a squad-based system as you describe is certainly higher. In either system, fire-teams are certainly applicable, and probably give the alliance with fire-teams an advantage.

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I like these - it's all very abstractly thought through, fitting in with the "building up from the ground" morality statement. And while I personally favor the ranked system of military, for the ease of organization, I can't deny that the camaraderie of a squad-based system as you describe is certainly higher. In either system, fire-teams are certainly applicable, and probably give the alliance with fire-teams an advantage.

They are seriously applicable, and yet to date I've not met anyone in an alliance that's applying them!

That's why I'd like to restart Tyberia; to put into application the ideas we worked so hard on.

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This could perhaps be developed into some sort of "Thinking about founding an alliance? Read this first" guide - I certainly found it to be a good outlining of how to develop an alliance's military as well as a thought toward how to imbue that "Service through Citizenship" ethic which makes good alliances into great alliances. If you have the time and inclination, I may hunt you down on IRC for a more in-depth discussion.

Excellent read, highly recommended to others.

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They are seriously applicable, and yet to date I've not met anyone in an alliance that's applying them!

That's why I'd like to restart Tyberia; to put into application the ideas we worked so hard on.

Grämlins had paired fire teams and still have it to a degree but we moved to a pool of nations to be most flexible. Direct result of our experience due to activity. In short with a few IRC active use a strict system, with many IRC active use the most flexible system you get, of course depending on your number of nations

Edited by Steelrat
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Interesting stuff here. The Tyberion Covenant was an alliance I was so tempted to join. :P

But, I must say The Grey Council almost acts like one "squad" as you described. Since we're not that huge (hovering right at that 20+ members mark), we all basically help each other out. We don't have assigned roles like Player A, B, and C are soldiers and Player D is a bank, but it does play out like that. Like in a rogue attack we are currently dealing with, three members (one of them being me) came in to help and anyone not in providing support. I know it's not as organized, but it gets the job done and it's quite nice.

Quick question. Were any of these ideas successfully implemented during your time in the TTC? I'm assuming the TTC was working towards them, but "things happened" that led to its disbandment and the ideas just could not get off the ground completely.

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You just used up the wall of text quota for March. Thanks a lot <_<

I already commented on the Native Ethics piece when you posted it separately recently, so I'll skip over that. Your military paper is excellent and I can only hope that any alliance which may one day fight us ignores your advice :P (although the integrated banking, while ingenious, probably belongs to a former age). Principles of Tyberia is clearly an initial document and the ideas in it are better fleshed out in the other writings.

I never really understood why an alliance founded on what is mostly excellent sense had slavery to a foreign entity enshrined in its charter. A free Tyberia could be a very impressive alliance.

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Post (brilliance)

Absolutely. Vertical integration is the way to have a successful military organization, although it depends on having active members. I also enjoyed your take on civic duty.

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I never really understood why an alliance founded on what is mostly excellent sense had slavery to a foreign entity enshrined in its charter. A free Tyberia could be a very impressive alliance.

It was called being a \m/ember with a little name recognition, plus the shock of coming back to a world without \m/. I clearly remembered how we (Initiative) treated our enemies or suspected enemies; the blood-lust, at least in the lower ranks, the desire to use the clear military advantage we had. I didn't realize quite the atmosphere, and I had intentions to be quite powerful, which I thought would have ended up painfully for myself and any alliance.

In this day and age, Tyberia would be free and independent, without the NPO love; it's unneeded, since several Post-UJP alliances have been allowed to flourish, and I don't feel it's an NPO "Or Them" universe anymore; one can be strong and independent without much fear. So a new Tyberia would be a strong, FREE, independent organization, probably containing limiters on how many members we'd have, to keep that kind of alliance integrity/ideal integrity solid. That's the kind of Tyberia I want to launch, with new ideas of course (Like the banking system, although there may be merit in a reworked Corpsman system still) and enforced war-chests, but still the fundamental principles at the top.

Unfortunately, what it needs is a good Officer corps, that solid 5-10 core of people who can define the ideals simply and apply them correctly, organize the military system (We'd need a dedicated recruiting corps for one) and apply the rest of the ideals as needed. That good Officer Corps is what I'm trying to gather together now, in the hopes of building anew this organization.

To answer the previous question: Yes, some of these things were being implemented (though we were having a devil of a time with the military system, simply because we hadn't been watching our recruiting quality) and the diplomatic system (My personal baby, the doc for it lost for now) hadn't been fully implemented. There was the problem of our non-Charter (In that people were pushing for me to have less authority, to make my role ceremonial) and of course the NPO love turned off alot of people.

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With the purpose of pursuing strength, success and perfection, we the undersigned do now bind ourselves as one people under the Tyberion Covenant:

"The Keeper of this Covenant has absolute authority over its Signatories."

Signed,

Margrave I, Keeper of the Tyberion Covenant

Black Phoenix

Blue Lightning

El Bruc

JSTeP

Krager

[edit] Edict of Establishment

In order to most effectively leverage my authority to the defense and welfare of all current and future Signatories of the Tyberion Covenant, I hereby proclaim the following Edict of Establishment.

(Note: Edited out the NPO love)

edit B. Membership

* 1. To be accepted as a Signatory of the Tyberion Covenant, applicants must register and follow the instructions in our forum.

* 2. Acceptance is based on a review of your history as a ruler, in accordance with section 3 below. Withholding relevant information may earn rejection.

* 3. All accepted Signatories of the Tyberion Covenant are to place "The Tyberion Covenant" in the alliance affiliation for their nation. Removal of this Alliance Affiliation will be considered as resignation from the alliance without notice.

* 4. Accepted Signatories will be placed in the provisional status of Initiate for a period of 7 days. Promotion to full membership will be conditional based on their behavior and revealed history during this period, as well as a review of their knowledge and attitude.

edit C. Rules

* 1. The following offenses may earn members expulsion and possibly Condemnation:

o 1a. Treachery: Violating alliance policies or refusing to execute orders.

o 1b. Espionage: Releasing confidential information or misrepresentation of identity.

o 1c. Subversion: Attempting to coup or to develop an unauthorized subgroup of membership.

o 1d. Heresy: Contravening stated policy in public, disrespect of allies; also, flaming, obscenity or OOC attacks directed at anyone.

o 1e. Gross Stupidity: Being a complete moron. If it sounds like a bad idea, go with your instinct and don't do it.

* 2. Members may war with unaligned nations, upon prior approval by your Captain or Commandant. Be warned that you do so at your nation's peril. Conflicts not ordered by alliance leadership will not be supported.

* 3. Nuclear weapons may not be launched without authorization.

* 4. Members may not war with one another except under the following conditions:

o 4a. As part of a formal Duel authorized by the Keeper.

o 4b. As part of a First Blood or Half War training exercise authorized by your Captain.

edit D. Command Structure

* 1. Each member of the Tyberion Covenant will be assigned to a Fire Team, made up of four nations having a similar nation strength.

* 2. In all operational matters, Fire Team members work closely together as ordered and instructed.

* 3. Fire Teams are organized into Squads, each made up of three to five Fire Teams. Squads may include a variety of nation strengths.

* 4. Each Squad is led by a Captain, who is responsible for coordinating operations involving members of the Squad.

* 5. Each Captain is assisted by a Sergeant, who may also substitute for the Captain as needed.

edit E. Executors

* 1. To facilitate alliance-level tasks, authority will be delegated to four Executors, each with their own sphere of responsibility.

* 2. Regardless of any Executor's sphere of responsibility, the following decisions can be made only by the Keeper:

o 2a. Signing, suspending or abrogating treaties.

o 2b. Declaring war or peace with another alliance.

o 2c. Authorization of Duels between members.

o 2d. Merging or disbanding.

* 3. Executors shall each have a seat on the Keeper's advisory council.

* 4. The Executor positions are as follows:

o 4a. The Chancellor is responsible for internal affairs.

o 4b. The Commandant is responsible for military affairs.

o 4c. The Conciliator is responsible for foreign affairs.

o 4d. The Exchequer is responsible for economic affairs.

* 5. All tasks which can be reasonably divided by Squad will be delegated by the Executors to the Captains.

* 6. Each Executor may appoint members to Adjutant positions to assist in any other alliance-wide tasks pertaining to their sphere of responsibility.

edit F. Warders

* 1. To reward and leverage the talent, commitment and service of our very best and brightest members, the position of Warder shall be established.

* 2. Warders shall each have a seat on the Keeper's advisory council.

* 3. Warders may be asked to assist or substitute for any other role as requested.

* 4. The status of Warder is retained independently from any other position the member holds in the alliance.

This Edict of Establishment is hereby signed on Tuesday, January 1st 2008 by,

Margrave I, Keeper of the Tyberion Covenant

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Quick question. Were any of these ideas successfully implemented during your time in the TTC? I'm assuming the TTC was working towards them, but "things happened" that led to its disbandment and the ideas just could not get off the ground completely.

None of the ideas were successfully implemented in TTC at any time due namely to two basic factors:

1. High gov. officials, see the list above, going inactive unannounced at various times, and then deleted or banned.

2. High philosophy without a strict recruitment policy.

Also, IMHO, read the philosophy and charter you'll see our friend Margrave is an idealist not a charter writer.

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None of the ideas were successfully implemented in TTC at any time due namely to two basic factors:

1. High gov. officials, see the list above, going inactive unannounced at various times, and then deleted or banned.

2. High philosophy without a strict recruitment policy.

Also, IMHO, read the philosophy and charter you'll see our friend Margrave is an idealist not a charter writer.

My sin was a busted computer and then leaving to go to Marine Corps Boot-Camp. El Bruc got banned...but the rest of the higher leaders were still there, and I didn't hear any good reason for the rest. Shardoon, I'm sure you did what you could, but there was too much wrong with the initial set-up.

And yeah, the recruitment policy sucked. something I intend to fix this time around.

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They are seriously applicable, and yet to date I've not met anyone in an alliance that's applying them!

That's why I'd like to restart Tyberia; to put into application the ideas we worked so hard on.

I like the squad and fireteam approach, and would be very interested in seeing how it handles in peace time ops as well as all out offensive / defensive wars. I have not read the other articles yet, mainly due to being in a rush to get to work, but i will, later.

I like that idea a lot and am sort of miffed that i am not, contrary to what i thought, the first one to think it up. smile_tongue.gif

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Well, it's official: The Tyberion Covenant is back in business...currently standing at One member; myself. We'll see about getting that number up there.

In the meantime, I'm in still in need of: Officers, an IRC chan, and a website. Hmmm.....

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Margrave, have you talked to me before about military organisation ?, because your style is remarkably close to a structure I have been advocating in sparta for about the last year and a half roughly. Its pretty uncanny how close they seem to be.

Edited by Lycurgus Rex
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