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Video Game / Cyber Nations

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Cyber Nations note  is a browser-based nation simulation game, created on Jan. 6, 2006 by Kevin Marks. Sounds familiar, right? Well, it's very different and more challenging than NationStates: instead of selecting options from daily-generated issues, the player is forced to actually manage their nation, including bills, infrastructure, tax collection and rates, declaring war, etc. It borrows some traits from NationStates, like alliancesnote  and eventsnote . There are also colors for nations, in which same-colored nations can trade with each other with an added benefit, unlike different-colored-nation trading.

Unlike the roleplaying style of NationStates, events in the Cyber Nations world are more real and Serious Business. Nations can declare war on each other for actual reasons, trade technology for money if they both agree on it, and more. And with alliances, this can get even more wide-scale and complicated: Alliances can have treaties with each other, help each other, declare collective war on each other, and more. Wars can involve several alliances, and sometimes, it can even involve almost every alliance in the game, occasionally accompanied by nukes, raising radiation that can affect everyone in the game.

So as you see, Cyber Nations is serious business. It can potentially burn way more hours of your time than NationStates, though.

See also: Democracy for an offline series of games attempting to simulate politics, and Politics And War, a Spiritual Successor that has a bit more in-depth gameplay than this game.


Tropes present in Cyber Nations:

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     Gameplay Tropes 
  • The Alliance: Duh
  • Alt-itis: Heavily forbidden.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: When nations are weakened enough, they go into anarchy, which is described by the game as "people rioting in the streets".
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: A single nation may only be attacked by up to three other nations at any time. Also, only one nuclear weapon can be fired at a nation per day.
  • Army of the Ages: A lesser example then most cases, but since tanks and aircraft are inexplicably modeled after real-world equipment, it's possible for scenarios like M1 Abrams being supported by P51 Mustangs against a defending column of Renault FTs. And losing. Many nations ignore this detail and attempt to use tank designs of their own, though these range from comparable to contemporary designs to mechs with lasers.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Nukes. Awesome because of how much damage they do, impractical not only due to costs and requirements (you need to trade with someone who has uranium or be lucky enough to have it as a natural resourcenote  and be in the top 5% of nation rankings! note ) but also because of the politics around them.
    • Fallout from using nukes is dropping lately.
    • There's also the option to purchase battleships for your navy. There's almost no incentive to use them over modern cruisers once they become available, and they have a higher upkeep cost then the latter, but they're battleships.
  • Bigger Is Better: The justification used on why the Tupolev Tu-160 is superior to the B-2 Spirit, as well as why the M1 Abrams is further up the tech-line then the Challenger II, despite the fact that the Challenger II came out over a decade later. Averted with battleships, which are somewhat inferior then cruisers in the direct combat role. Both are weaker then the destroyer, though "destroyer" in this context could mean a stealth vessel that is of comparable size to the other two and decked with missiles, like the Zumwalt-class.
  • Boring, but Practical: The "stagger" tactic, in which multiple nations declare war on a nation at a delay of between 1-7 days (7 days being the length a single war lasts) per nation. Since a nation cannot retreat into Peace Mode if it is at war, a stagger can keep a nation continuously under attack, unable to recover by itself if the damage is bad enough.
    • Cruise missiles are dirt cheap, always hit, pose no threat to your own resources, and have approximately zero strategy involved in their use. They don't do as much damage as other attack types, but any player not firing off as many as possible while at war is either broke or stupid.
  • Bread and Circuses: Having a high tax rate or using Labor Camps to lower infrastructure maintenance costs hurt your nation's happiness rating. This can be corrected by building, among others, Stadiums (or other happiness-increasing improvements).
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can donate (real life) money (once a month) and get extra money, infrastructure, land, and technology.
  • Defcon Five: Averted. DEFCON levels are numbered correctly.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The year-long war between FAN and the Continuum could be considered this, but the Karma War was, at least for one side, definitely this.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: There are wars that can encompass almost every alliance in the game.
  • Easy Logistics: Click "Pay Bills" and everything is assumed to be handled. If you actually need to fight someone click "Deploy Military". Cannot get much easier than that.
  • The Empire: For some reason, a lot of alliances make their leader an Emperor no matter what kind of government they have.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: If a nation you're fighting is totally depleted of soldiers and tanks, and you launch a ground attack, your troops will, instead of a typical attack, do a raid that does two attacks' worth of damage, and the number of deployed troops in a raid is irrelevant. Hilarity Ensues when you attack with 1 soldier and get the following:
    "Your raiding party has destroyed all defending tanks within [nation] and destroyed 1.82 technology, 40.63 infrastructure, and $1,000,000.00 money."
  • Fun with Acronyms: Some Most alliances do this.
    • Case in point: GOD, Global Order of Darkness. Yeah.
  • Hopeless War: There has been at least two wars that went on for a year or two on only one target.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The National Wonders. Insanely expensive, can only be purchased once a month, and offer anything from a stat boost to more useful things like being able to send foreign aid in secret, your people always being happy with your government type or religion, or a space program that lets you gather special resources and even build a colony that houses some of your population (to reduce population density).
  • The Government: Duh
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Nukes and cruise missiles tend to be spammed during a war.
  • Medal of Dishonor: The National War Memorial is only available to nations that have lost 50,000 soldiers in war. At least it's one of the cheaper wonders to build.
  • Plunder: "Tech Raiding" involves one or more nations attacking a weaker, inactive nation to steal its technology.
  • Possible War: Sometimes
  • Rage Quit: Those in alliances that are on the ass end of a kick-ass war tend to delete their accounts once they're completely crippled.
  • We Have Reserves: One popular strategy for larger alliances, especially in times where conflict is inevitable, is to sign a large number of mutual defense treaties with smaller alliances, for the sole purpose of using these alliances as meatshields in the upcoming war.
  • World of Ham: CN most definitely is this whenever a big war comes up. Leaders will often bring out immense inspirational walls of text to declare warfare, frequently followed by dozens of posts full of nothing but "o/ XXX!!"(o/= "HAIL!").
    • There are also people who take the game WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. Look in the forums for an example.
  • World War III: There actually was a war called like that, except it's called Great War III.
    • Numbered Sequels: There's some debate on how many Great Wars there have been..
      • Also the Unjust Wars, involving pretty much every known alliance in the game. Twice.
  • You Nuke 'Em: It wouldn't be a nation simulation game without a little bit of Nuclear Fallout.
  • Zerg Rush: During the Karma War, a typical run-of-the-mill global war in CN, there were the two sides: The Hegemony, and Karma (hence the name of the war). The Hegemony had 43 alliances, while Karma had 103 alliances.
    • Also a favored war tactic: have as many people as you can attack and take advantage of 'update'—you're allowed a certain number of attacks per calendar day (reckoned as US Central time). So, if you attack at 23:50, and then again at 0:05, when your enemy's likely asleep..

     Alliance Tropes 
  • Affably Evil: Trotsky'sRevenge. Who said evil was humorless?
  • Asshole Victim: The New Pacific Order in the face of Doomhouse's attacks.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The New Pacific Order is blatantly this despite the denials of its leaders. It's a alliance most remembered for frequently implementing the game's version of genocide. And its forums are patrolled by Secret Police who use open threats and attacks upon people they suspect as spies or traitors. This was Lampshaded by the NPO itself when it began cosplaying as the Galactic Empire during its last war with GATO.
  • Big Bad: The New Pacific Order, extended for most of the game's history.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Vox Populi had this feel to it, the most rapidly growing alliance in CN history.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The game's history is littered with alliances who exemplify this trope. You could probably make a drinking game out of how many times the New Pacific Order invokes it and fails spectacularly.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The time of global Pacifica rule can be seen as this. You either "sided" with Pacifica and their allies and their iron grip on the world, or you sided with Vox Populi and the Mushroom Kingdom, who employed guerrilla tactics, the use of inter-alliance espionage, were driven by revenge, and took every advantage they could get to counter Pacifica's hold.
  • Blood Knight: Several alliances have a particularly bloodthirsty mindset, to the point of bellowing at their leaders if they are delayed in this endeavor.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Many alliance members who are not Blood Knights are instead this, people who simply enjoy a good brawl between nations, to the surprise of those that message them.
  • Breaking Speech: This seemed to be the specialty of Dilber in the days when Pacifica ruled CN.
  • Butt-Monkey: From Great War I to the Karma War nothing went right for GATO. See Vestigial Empire below.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Members of alliances in whatever group is strongest have a tendency to slip into this. More specific examples would be Pacificans making jokes about eating babies and GOONS' obsession with "pubbie tears."
  • Church Militant: Kind-of example with the CCC, a Christian based alliance, who will often speak their piece at the beginning of a major war with a prayer, or some other neutral comment. Exception: Karma War. Apparently, even the CCC had Pacifica as a Berserk Button at that time.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: What both Pacifica era NPO and the Orange Defense Network have been accused of (usually by each other).
    • A fairly young alliance, The New Sith Order, encourages this as their form of government change. The Grand Global Alliance, an older one, just has this as their de facto way of changing administration. Not that it does them any good...
    • More recently, the New Polar Order has been accused of such after being caught between two sides in a war they started, and fighting for them both. That war's name? Bi Polar.
  • Crossover: A number of CN alliances emigrated from NationStates. There's also the alliance based on major Internet communities (Something Awful -> GOONS, LUE and LUElinks -> LUEnited Nations, and Fark, to name a few examples).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Happened one way or another in ALL the Great Wars, the Karma War finally turning things around so that the New Pacific Order and it's allies were almost knocked out of Sanctioned Status.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: NPO was rather infamous for wiping out alliances for even the smallest of slights against them.
  • The Dragon: The New Polar Order - originally established of old Pacifica members - to the New Pacific Order. Changed considerably after the Moldavi Rebellion.
  • The Determinator: FAN is widely considered an example of this on an alliance-wide scale, spending almost two years at war with the most powerful alliance in the game and many of its numerous allies without disbanding.
    • GATO also counts towards this, meeting defeat after defeat didn't stop the alliance and its leaders never once considered disbanding. One notable example was during the GATO-1V war in which the alliance was torn apart then used as a massive supply base by the New Pacific Order; the government simply waited until their occupiers left then got back to work.
  • The Empire: Many alliances work with this theme, but one in particular was infamous for fulfilling the Trope itself: The New Pacific Order, ruling a good half of CN with an iron fist. Of course, to Hegemony posters, their patron could be known as...
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: One of the ODN's major members lightheartedly roleplays as a penguin.
    • The alliance New Polar Order uses penguins among its many other polar themes, going so far as to name a branch of its military the "Penguin Battalion".
    • The now-defunct National Alliance of Arctic Countries had a major Penguin theme.
  • Evil Gloating: Take a wild guess who enjoyed making threads full of nothing but this in their prime.
  • The Federation: Some alliances have a name like this.
  • Feet of Clay: The NPO, constantly having a very good win record when their opposition was outnumbered and outgunned, quickly proved to be ineffective fighters when the odds were even. More than a few of their oldest nations were noted to have fled when this took place.
  • Fora: Many older players consider this the 'real' game, with being just numbers.
    • Ban on Politics: Enforced in the roleplay areas to an extent: you're banned from invoking real world politics. Reversed, though, in that in-game politics happen here on a regular basis.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Some Most alliances do this. Here are some examples
    • World Task Force (WTF)
    • War and Trade Federation (Same as above)
    • Ordinary Men Fighting Giants (OMFG)
    • Colonial Independence Association (CIA)
    • Global Order of Darkness (GOD)
    • Aqua Defence Directorate (ADD)
    • Federation of Armed Nations (FAN)
    • Federated Allied Independence League (FAIL)
    • Dominions of Empires Aligned Through Honour (DEATH)
    • Freaking Unstoppable Coalition Killers (FUCK)
    • National Enterprise of Red Federations (NERF)
    • Warriors of Independent Nations (WIN)
    • World Association of Nuclear Genocide (WANG)
    • I Know Everything Alliance (IKEA)
    • Goon Order of Oppression Negligence and Sadism (GOONS)
    • The Initiative, also known as the World Unity Treaty (WUT)
  • General Failure: Quite a few of these, but in particular, AEGIS command.
  • God Is Good / God Is Evil: Depends on your viewpoint.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Most of the more militant alliances. Usually the NPO when they had yet to find an excuse to declare war upon an 'offending' alliance.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The New Polar Order. Once established as a way to extend influence over another trading sphere after the Second Great War and thought to be nothing more than an extension of Pacifica's reach and iron grip on the world, the Moldavi Rebellion showed for the first time the honorable nature of both old guard members Sponge and Moldavi. Afterwards, most people tended to respect and like them, now that Polaris wasn't playing The Dragon.
    • Played straight after the New Pacific Order's defeat in the Karma War, when in another Heel–Face Turn, the New Polar Order once again found itself (near) universally disliked. Hint: BiPolar War.
    • Another prominent example comes with the Mushroom Kingdom, which handed out the second most punitive reparations terms in the history of the game for being "pre-emptively" attacked in the Bi Polar war, only to turn around and use that exact same tactic in the next one.
  • Heroic BSoD: Some of the alliance leaders going into GWIII suffered this in realization that nothing they did would change its outcome, due to how AEGIS command locked out their own plans and forced them to go after targets far too numerous to be effective.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Three alliances stood with GATO when the rest of its allies abandoned it. Of these three, the Imperial Assault Alliance is notable in that they were offered peace, but with the demand that they give up their new emperor for fabricated crimes against the NPO. When it was clear that the Empire could do no more for itself, or for it's ally, the alliance disbanded, rather than accept the terms imposed on it.
  • Honor Before Reason: Several alliances have made critical decisions based solely on this. The aforementioned Heroic Sacrifice is one of them.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: The reason the allies of NPO got fairly lenient surrender terms in the Karma war was the NPO invoking this.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Though most partisans would view their less eloquent opponents as such, there are some examples which are recognized even by their own allies, such as Shin Ra.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: FAN pulled this on the entire Continuum by going into peace mode shortly after it was declared that they would all be ZI'd(Zero Infrastructure). The crime for meriting this sentence? Nuking most of NPO's upper echelons before the juggernaut could get moving.
  • Karmic Death: In many members' opinion, NPO finally got what was coming to them in the aptly named Karma War.
  • Kick the Dog: Pacifica had a habit of enforcing Perma-ZI on those who had 'offended' its leadership. The postwar terms dictated by said leadership after a GW were also known to be on a Versailles-level of draconic humiliation. The pillaging of the True Neutral GPA, depending on who you talk to, was either this, a Moral Event Horizon, or an acceptable target getting what was long coming to them.
    • Played straight when, after its eventual defeat, Pacifica was handed the most punitive reparations in the history of the game, serving as a resource farm for a year, only to be attacked again after its occupiers left, as a pre-emptive strike to prevent it from growing again.
      • It didn't work.
  • Knight Templar: The members of Doom House and their allies appear to have a legion of these.
  • La Résistance: Vox Populi and FAN, both of whom fought the Hegemony for months on end and operated in a manner similar to actual resistance organizations. Or terrorist organizations.
    • Also the Mushroom Kingdom, considered the center rallying point behind the Unjust War and most Anti-Order(Later Anti-Pacifica) sentiment.
  • The Magnificent: Frequently the leaders of alliances will receive this treatment(if they do something at least mildly worthy of it).
  • Meet the New Boss: A number of people (especially NPO sympathizers) believe that Mushroom Kingdom has essentially become the new Hegemony after their victory in the Karma War.
    • That number of people has steadily increased as the Mushroom Kingdom and other associated alliances have exhibited that Power Corrupts and participated in extortion, unprovoked beatdowns and set-ups.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Old Pacifica's modus operandi in war.
  • Nuclear Option: Some alliances, most notably Mushroom Kingdom, have a nuclear first strike policy. In their view, nukes are simply an additional weapon of war to be used, and they disregard any of the moral qualms of using them.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: No matter who's fighting the wars, there are sometimes very cordial people behind the frontlines(So to speak).
  • Patriotic Fervor: Some alliances make propaganda for their members.
  • Politics Tropes: Which ones don't show up in some form?
  • The Power of Rock: \m/, at least in theory.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Many of Pacifica's soldier nations were often very polite to their opponents, and voiced their sentiments that they were just doing their jobs, and that they wished the overarching alliance war at the time was over. The officers however...
  • Putting on the Reich: Although Swastikas are not permitted in CN(nor are groups based off Nazis), Nordreich and its successors sometimes cut things a bit close. Then again, many Empire based alliances have fascist ideology, if only to make things more fun whenever it's time for a speech. Or a war.
  • Red Shirt Army: Some alliances, whose stats may look impressive on paper, can fold at the slightest sign of conflict. It's a Running Gag in the community that Legion's army is essentially a paper tiger.
    • At its peak, GPA had the largest member count out of any single alliance, but the vast majority of its membership either had no experience fighting or were unwilling to fight. The result was the largest, most powerful alliance at the time was destroyed in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Rebel Virginia of the Federated Allied Independence League (FAIL) lives and breathes this trope, having a one-man alliance who claims to have damaged some of the most powerful alliances in the game. He takes the trope and drives it like he stole it.
  • Resistance Is Futile: Repeatedly played straight while the NPO and its mass of alliances (later known as the Hegemony) were capable of easily crushing people with sheer numbers. Then subverted several times when La Résistance Vox Populi began using espionage and guerrilla tactics to great effect against them. Then invoked again by the Karma coalition facing the Hegemony when they proceeded to initiate a severe beat down during the Karma War (see below).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Nations who feel they have nothing left to do will pick people or alliances they feel wronged by and just empty their nation's military and economy on them on their way out of the game, known as 'rogueing'.
    • Also the Karma War, again, particularly with The Mushroom Kingdom and their oracular leader.
      • The War of the Coalition was a better example of this, with the same group
  • Shout-Out: Several alliances are based off of varying fandoms, like the New Sith Order, LUE, etc.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:, let's just say this is there.
  • Start of Darkness: Many political theorists(as well as many alliance memberships) in CN agree that the NPO started down the Imperial way when it was caught without many allies and humiliated in the First Great War.
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted in that the Hegemony was finally defeated in the Summer of 2009, but played straight in that the Former Regime Personnel have formed much of one side in the ongoing TOP(The Order of The Paradox)-Cn G(Complaints and Grievances Union) War.
    • Aaand subverted again: The NPO, of all people, is unofficially on the side of the Complaints & Grievances Union. No massed attacks or forum declarations made, but it may be that an Enemy Mine is in progress.
      • As of mid- to late February, Status Quo Is God mixed with Large Ham ... NPO started accepting prisoners of war. At least one person (jokingly?) took them up on it. Propaganda included 'It's not like you've never done it before' banners.
  • Taking You with Me: The intent of any alliance that begins unloading its nuclear arsenal into its assailants in a losing war.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: The New Pacific Order in the aftermath of the Karma War.
  • Unstoppable Rage: What the Karma War could be called, on a truly massive scale.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Global Alliance and Treaty Organization. Once one of the most powerful and respected alliances in CN, as well as one of the first the first alliance, GATO was eventually reduced to a viceroyal province of the NPO for brief time, and is slowly but surely recovering, boasting 297 nations and a formidable for its size nation strength. It has lost much the influence it once possessed, however.
    • This was the eventual fate of many of the older alliances. Almost all of the original alliances are shadows of their former power, including the NPO itself.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The NPO's defeat was followed by a massive silence on the CN forums, lasting several months. After years of seeing their edicts and propaganda threads, this felt rather strange.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Ivan Moldavi and Electron Sponge. Founders of The Empire and one being the current leader of the New Sith Order. For a couple of guys who caused one alliance that ruled over a game for years, you'd hardly find someone in chats or on the boards who don't respect or admire them.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: ALL of Pacifica's ideology: Bizarrely half-Soviet, half-National Socialism. They have a whole set of pages devoted to it!
  • Written by the Winners: The New Pacific Order are infamous for this in their wars. Using both teams of editors to rewrite pages on the wiki devoted to recording the site's history as well as key members of their government to altering the facts to portray themselves in a positive light. Thankfully few actually consider such a skewed portrayal of events to be true.
    • One amusing example of this can be seen in the definition of the New Pacific Order on Urban Dictionary. It avoids mentioning vast chunks of their history, their defeats and appears to resemble recruitment propaganda rather than any factual definition.
  • You Have Failed Me / You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pacifica had a habit of violently destroying and/or humiliating alliances that once served its interests. The Unjust War appears to have been at least partly a mass example of this.