Today I’m going to look at Military Units (MUs) in the UK and the function a national MU should serve. One of the core demands from the UKPP has been for an apolitical national MU:
“The UKPP supports the exsistence[sic] of an apolitical national army based on equality of supplies and is opposed to the scrapping of such an institution, its related companies and will strongly oppose any funding of private MU's.”
When Magichereos was President of the UK the country came to a funding crisis. It got to the point where even funding communes became untenable- the global financial crisis gets worse every day and many countries can now barely afford MPPs. One of my colleagues in Portugal published a cool article about this, you can read it here. This slow reduction in tax income led to the collapse of almost all nationally funded MUs in small-to-medium sized countries, including his native Portugal and the UK. As a result of this the British Expeditionary Force first became an IRC-only unit, then disbanded altogether.
This left a gap in the UK which hasn’t existed since the founding of the official army way back in 2008. Into that gap came private Military Units. Firstly the existing party MUs, Royal Navy (UKPP), British Bulldogs (now British Army - New Era), TUP Family and ESO Legion. At this point, all of these MUs except for TUP Family have dropped their party association “officially” and all of them are open to members from all parties.
ESO Legion had always aimed to be a community MU, and as the oldest private and politically affiliated MU had slowly grown a separate leadership, organically dividing itself from ESO the political party. Unlike TUP Family it offered a full supply set for members comparable to a national MU, and had developed company networks and organisation to shoulder the burden of running an army. Eventually it dropped the “ESO” part of its name and just became The Legion, a non-affiliated private military unit.
The Legion’s leadership took the lack of affiliation very seriously- to the point where the MU Commander Carlini quit ESO to preserve his independence- something never asked of national MU Commanders or Ministers. When BEF was dissolved, the Legion Commanders offered Talon, then the President, The Legion as a potential successor. It seemed natural that The Legion, as the best equipped, organised and most politically neutral MU succeed as the national MU.
The alternative at this stage is basically no national MU at all. That’s because running an MU requires large amounts of saltpetre companies, as well as Q7 companies. Each Q7 uses a staggering 200 WRM to produce- 200 weapons requires 40,000 WRM. A fully equipped player, with maximum Saltpetre companies, can produce maybe 70-80k WRM per day. So you can see that the cost of producing weapons is enormous, and any “national MU” would rely on the patronage of a very rich and powerful individual or set of individuals. When Carlini offered his own money and time, it was a godsend for the UK.
However that hasn’t satisfied everyone. One of the current criticisms going about is that the Legion isn’t a “proper” national MU because of its previous association with ESO. It’s undoubtedly true that the long association with ESO, plus the fact that ESO lacks an official party MU (uniquely amongst the top 6 parties) mean that they are unusually highly represented there. This however simply brings to question how the MU can ever possibly become a “national” MU unless parties agree to send their members there instead of recruiting them into their own units. Until all parties have not only promoted the Legion to their members, but also encouraged them to volunteer for leadership roles, the situation will remain unchanged. It is also interesting that although the UKPP has argued for a more neutral national MU, it at the same time advocates the reduction of taxes to 1% on both income tax and VAT. This would essentially doom any government funding, and would even threaten our MPPs, the basic tool of our survival. It may be that this needs reviewing.
I asked my good friend MagicHereos to do a little bit of data mining about the current political affiliation of the UK top 5 military units, and he found some interesting, though predictable trends. Have a look and you’ll quickly see that the UK’s military units are rather sharply divided on political grounds:
We can see from these graphs that TUP Family (as the openly political MU) has the highest percentage of members from the mother party. Interestingly, the Dental Corps is second highest for political affiliation, with UKPP. The Legion is the most diverse unit, but still has 42% of its membership as ESO members. Royal Navy and the British Army both have large numbers of “unaffiliated” players, presumably from recruiting new players shortly after they join the game.
The question this raises is: what now?
For me the whole point of a national MU is to provide a safe haven for new players to grow and develop free from party politics. Not every player wants to get involved in those fights. Not every player (even older ones) want to be associated with any particular private unit, but would rather fight for the country as a whole. For this reason a national MU, directed by the President, is essential. However this unit need not be the primary unit of the country (though it currently is) nor does it need to be funded by the President (it isn’t).
The future then is to embrace the diversity we have. I know that TUP Family has become a very tight knit and friendly community, and I have no doubt the same can be said of the other MUs listed above. Legion should exist, it should be the MU. But what we really need is a unification of goals, not of MUs. So long as all MUs follow national orders and work together to further the whole country, there is no problem with diversity. It’s only when MUs start taking matters into their own hands, dividing damage and acting in a mercenary or counter-productive fashion that problems creep in.
Rather than a single omnipresent national army, we now have a multi-headed one. It’s like the multi-branch army of old, except the branches have a non-manufactured and organically developed identity. People can feel cross-branch rivalry without it feeling artificial, and at the same time all MUs can remain committed to the same goals and follow the same orders.
So here’s to a pluralistic military o7
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.