Rules & How to Play

Setting Up

About Your Colony

When the game starts, your colony will be very basic - capable of housing all your colonists and providing enough food, water and power to at least keep everyone alive for now. You each have managed to procure an MRFS(Mobile Refiner and Fabricator Suite) which will form the centre of your colony's construction and production efforts, at least to begin with. Where you go from there is entirely up to you. Your production capabilities will improve as you develop more, and once your colony has expanded enough you will be able to take on more ambitious projects than simple survival - which, on Aurora, is anything but.

When making your colony, consider the following points:

Colonist Ideology:
With everyone present being privileged in some fashion - gifted, talented, skilled, an expert in a field or a person of note or stature - people would split more along ideological lines if they were to disagree. What do your colonists believe in? What are their motivations? What do they value most? What do they aim to achieve on Aurora? What are they going to prioritise? The answer to these questions should pervade the decisions you make for your colony as you set up, and going forward.
Reasons for Dissention:
Everyone who left Phoenix left because they had disagreements; either with the way the colony was being run, with the fact that Marshal Vedette seized control and used his security services backing to get his way, or with the focus of relief efforts after the tornado. Perhaps their homes were not being rebuilt after the tornado wrecked them, or pre-disaster resource focuses left the areas they were most keen about lacking. Think about why your colonists decided to break away from Phoenix and Vedette, and why they decided to follow your figurehead. Did you all leave in one go, or did people leave in drips and drabs?
Relation with Marshal Vedette:
Most of the splinter colonists gathered what they needed by scavenging or stealing, though a few took resources willingly offered by Vedette's administration in return for their absence. Consider the terms your colony's representatives were on with Vedette when they first broke away, and whether they took what they needed forcefully or through negotiation and trade. Stealing will likely have turned up significantly more useful things than Vedette would have given willingly, but at the cost of earning his ire. It may also be worthwhile to think about your colony's opinions towards Vedette going forward. No matter what, you all acquired one MRFS.
Relation with Other Factions:
The other colonists who set off from Phoenix had their own agendas but you were once all united, if only for a little while. During this time, you would have made some allies and friends, or maybe rivals and enemies. You will not know the precise nature of the other player's colonies before this part, but having existing relations with other colonists is certainly not discouraged. Your colonists would likely be predisposed to like or dislike other groups based on ideology, so consider this too.
Life in the New Colony:
There are lots of specifics about the colony itself that also need to be described. What governmental system does your colony run under? How is personal wealth and usefulness measured (if at all)? Is there an economic system? Are there any aspects of culture that your colonists collectively follow, such as a religion?

Trials and Tribulations of Colonial Life

Survival is certainly an aim, but Aurora will not make it easy.

After the dissention and subsequent departure of the dissenters from Phoenix, there were a fair few who underestimated the danger of Aurora's bleak desert expanses, and made insufficient preparation for it. Although equipment in the form of MULEs is easily retrievable, the lives lost to dehydration and starvation - even hypothermia during the night or predation in some cases - cannot be replaced. Failure to prepare adequately for travelling in the desert away from any semblance of civilisation or infrastructure is almost guaranteed to be fatal.

Providing enough food and drinkable water for your colonists is another problem. There is little of either in easy reach, so creative solutions are needed. Every little counts, at least until the daily struggle is over. The other key resource of any modern civilisation is power, as you get no lights, no computers, and no functioning vehicles until it is obtained. Solar panels ensure that finding energy to move a MULE is not difficult, but providing power for an entire colony is another matter - not to mention the fact that solar power does not work at night-time, and might as well not work during the numerous and dangerous dust storms that ravage the surface on a regular basis. Solar is vital, but it is also subject to the whim of Aurora's peculiar own Mother Nature.

The frequent storms do not merely interfere with solar power generation - bombardment by some hundred-thousand high-speed dust particles can and will degrade equipment left unsheltered. Even resilient shelter materials will succumb at unprecedented rate. This is without Auroran geological activity trying to bludgeon and crush structures with mass earth movements, or an electrical storm many times more impressive than anything witnessed on Earth blasting a building to bits with lightning. Everything requires frequent replacement, and until more dust-resistant lightweight materials can be engineered, the only solution is costly and bulky armour plating (which requires time and resources) or building into the ground (which begs the question of how well it will stand up to an earthquake).

Night-time power is an issue, but at least the local temperature drops to a remotely comfortable one, and for a couple of hours the sun is out of view - meaning that its powerful rays are not bombarding the surface and scouring skin from bone. The weaker magnetic field fails to deflect as much of the radiation from the sun, and even with a thicker atmosphere, the energy somehow manages to penetrate it. Skin burns much quicker than it does on Earth.

If everything goes wrong, an emergency SOS signal might not even be able to summon help for you - the fickle magnetic field plays occasional, but thankfully (usually) only minor havoc with electronic equipment. The biggest obstacle to broadcast transmission, however, is the atmosphere - thick and brimming with electrical charge, signals quickly degrade into incomprehensible garbage. The array of proto-colonies means that with the right equipment one can function as a relay for a signal from another colony bound for somewhere else, but who's to say that they won't just refuse? Might they even try and change it? There are solutions to this predicament, but many are time-consuming and/or feats of engineering, neither of which make them of any use in an emergency situation.

And what of Aurora's animal kingdom? Humans are aliens, after all, with no visible natural armour or weapons, a pathetic land speed on sand, and rather weak muscles compared to Aurora's predators, numerous and hardy as they are. Without access to their technology they possess only their cunning and intelligence, and not even the smartest human can outsmart jaws that can crush steel or a surging venom coursing through their veins that makes them feel like their heart is about to explode....

Finally, one must consider the greatest obstacle to mankind's continued peaceful existence - itself. Auroran society is far from being a utopia by any stretch of the word. Some people will resort to force to get what they want. People may revolt, and other colonists may seek to sabotage your efforts, for whatever reasons make sense to them (and maybe only them). Working together is a noble ideal, and one that time, effort, and strong leadership can make a reality - but everyone has an angle, and sooner or later someone will step out of bounds. Nobody seems to trust Vedette; what makes any other figurehead who consolidates power any different, in the eyes of the already-distrustful colonists weary from their fight against each other and Aurora?