Board game Suzerainty

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Board game Suzerainty
Game suzerainty.png
Details
Type
Board game
Effect(s)
Special interaction with Kim
value
12.00
ID
game_suzerainty
'Welcome to Suzerainty: A game of economic strategy for the whole family!' The rulebook is sumptuously illustrated and thick as a Graadian novel.

Board game Suzerainty is an item in Disco Elysium.

Description[edit | edit source]

A civilization-building board game where you get to choose a nation and set off to colonialize and exploit other cultures. A star-shaped note on the box proclaims the game now includes a completely new Genocide option.

The game takes place on a board, where in the centre is the crown of Revachol. Radiating outward are her colourful vassals, each one supplying some raw material desired by the suzerain: Apricots from Safre, archaeological treasures from Ile Marat, sugar from the Semenine Islands, and magenta cocaine from Supramundi and Saramiriza. Each player has a bag of tokens and counters to keep track of their progress in the game. In addition to the worker and building tokens used by each player, there are also several piles of colorful resource tokens, each representing one of the game's four principal resources...

'Welcome to Suzerainty: A game of economic strategy for the whole family!' The rulebook is sumptuously illustrated and thick as a Graadian novel. The colourful illustrations depict cheerful workers picking apricots, hauling marble sculptures out of crumbling temples, and harvesting a strange, magenta-leafed plant. Everyone is smiling.

The instructions are opaque at first, and introduce many concepts most are not familiar with. Fortunately, there are many diagrams and examples throughout... The basic conceit is that each player represents an administrator for the *Suzerain of Revachol*. Your objective is to increase the suzerain's wealth and renown by accumulating *victory points*.

That's where the suzerain's vassals come in. The game features four vassal nations, each one home to an economically important resource (see above). There are many paths to victory, although good players commit to a single strategy.

Each turn the player collects resources from vassals where they've placed workers. They may then rearrange their workers, fulfil contracts for coin and bonuses, or build structures back in Revachol...

The actual scoring system appears infinitely complex, with a series of tables and appendices required to compute each player's final victory point total. You skip that part for now.

While the box promises Genocide, Suzerainty is a family game. The only 'atrocities' you'll be committing are against the social standing of your rival administrators, as you bring in ever more resources and power for the suzerain. Speaking of... You begin to suspect there may be a political agenda to this so-called 'family game'. Only one way to find out...

Uses[edit | edit source]

  • Allows you to play Suzerainty with the Lieutenant. Although he is reluctant at first, you can convince him to play it as a mental exercise to help with the investigation. There are different outcomes to the game and usually, you will lose, either slightly or badly:
    • Kim can be defeated by sticking to fulfilling contracts until the endgame (Rock and Roll baby!), then building a Victory Column, which will usually end up with a 35 score in this instance.
    • Kim's score depends on your choices in the game, including the trade war. He can gain 26, 20, or 15 points. You can fail miserably and get minus five victory points or a decent 15 points (usually in the trade war scenario).
    • You can also decide to ignore the scoring system and play the game without taking it into account. You can actually build a public education system for your workers, which will lose the game according to the scoring rules, but will definitively impress ol' Kim.

Location[edit | edit source]

Suzerainty strings[edit | edit source]

The following section has all the possible strings for the game
  • The lieutenant looks over the rulebook before he sees something that makes his eyes go wide...
  • Plenty of time.
  • Intriguing components.
  • Persistent.
  • Really persistent.
  • Convince Kim to play with you.
  • What is detective work if not an elaborate game? You need logical inference, attention to detail, the ability to analyse your opponents' motives...
  • What, does the lieutenant hate fun? Is he the *fun* police?
  • You explain the basic set up procedures to the lieutenant, who seems to be a quick study. You each take your bags of tokens and counters and unfold the board between you...
  • In the centre is the crown of Revachol. Radiating outward are her colourful vassals, each one supplying some raw material desired by the suzerain...
  • Apricots from Safre, archaeological treasures from Ile Marat, sugar from the Semenine Islands, and magenta cocaine from Supramundi and Saramiriza...
  • The lieutenant flips through the manual more quickly than you're able to keep up with. Then you each take your bags of tokens and counters and unfold the board between you...
  • The 'Suzerainty' box is heavy and slightly awkward in your hands. You give it a light shake, and feel the pieces shift around inside.
  • 'Welcome to Suzerainty: A game of economic strategy for the whole family!' The rulebook is sumptuously illustrated and thick as a Graadian novel.
  • 'Economic strategy'? More like rapacious plunder and exploitation.
  • Finally, a proper game to teach children about the importance of trade and the global economy.
  • Keep reading.
  • Finally, a proper game to teach Revacholian children about their glorious history.
  • Hmmm, this history seems *problematic*, but it *is* important to teach children basic economic concepts.
  • The colourful illustrations depict cheerful workers picking apricots, hauling marble sculptures out of crumbling temples, and harvesting a strange, magenta-leafed plant. Everyone is smiling.
  • The instructions are opaque at first, and introduce many concepts you're not familiar with. Fortunately, there are many diagrams and examples throughout...
  • You soon figure out the basic conceit: Each player represents an administrator for the *Suzerain of Revachol*. Your objective is to increase the suzerain's wealth and renown by accumulating *victory points*.
  • That's where the suzerain's vassals come in. The game features four vassal nations, each one home to an economically important resource...
  • How do you accumulate victory points?
  • Fuck the suzerain, what about *my* wealth and renown?
  • I've read enough. (Put the rulebook away.)
  • From the Empire of Safre: orange apricot tokens. From Ile Marat (the ancestral name of Iilmaraa): gray marble block tokens. From the Semenine Islands: white sacks of sugar tokens. And from Supramundi and Saramiriza: magenta tokens for unprocessed cocaine leaves.
  • Each turn the player collects resources from vassals where they've placed workers. They may then rearrange their workers, fulfil contracts for coin and bonuses, or build structures back in Revachol...
  • The actual scoring system appears infinitely complex, with a series of tables and appendices required to compute each player's final victory point total. You skip that part for now.
  • There is no path to wealth and renown but through the suzerain. As one of the suzerain's trusted administrators, your very function is the glorification of Revachol...
  • Boring, boring, BORING. Tear up this rulebook and commit some old-school atrocities!
  • How is the winner determined?
  • Isn't there any way to invade or commit atrocities or anything fun like that?
  • Suzerainty is a family game. The only 'atrocities' you'll be committing are against the social standing of your rival administrators, as you bring in ever more resources and power for the suzerain. Speaking of...
  • You begin to suspect there may be a *political* agenda to this so-called 'family game'. Only one way to find out...
  • You open up a number of pouches containing wooden tokens. There are also several punchboards with other cardboard components that will need to be punched out before you can play.
  • Punch out the cardboard pieces, one by one.
  • Check out the wooden tokens.
  • Each cardboard token makes a satisfying *chhhk* as you pop it out. Soon a neat pile of cardboard coins and counters has accumulated before you.
  • A good, orderly task that leaves you feeling relaxed and accomplished.
  • In addition to the worker and building tokens used by each player, there are also several piles of colorful resource tokens, each representing one of the game's four principal resources...
  • Put the components away.
  • You hold the open game box before you.
  • The lieutenant goes first. He draws a contract card and moves several of his workers to the Safre territory of the board and the others to the Semenine Islands...
  • You have a few options available to you: Will you try to fulfil contracts right away or rearrange your workers to maximize production on future turns?
  • Try to fulfil a contract.
  • Let your workers rest for a while.
  • You draw a contract card offering a number of coins in exchange for archaeological treasures...
  • What? It's the very beginning of the game. Your workers haven't even done any work yet.
  • Meanwhile, the lieutenant spends two of his sugar and one of his apricot tokens to complete his contract card. He is rewarded with four coins and a round wooden token that he places in the centre of the board...
  • Glower silently.
  • The lieutenant returns your baleful look with a satisfied grin.
  • Remember what the rulebook said!You'll want to choose a strategy early on and stay committed to it.
  • It's a shame there's no one for you to play with.
  • You draw a new contract card. According to the text, there's an aristocrat willing to trade a large supply of cocaine for a number of coins and access to a rare bonus: amplified music, worth *seven victory points*...
  • You've reached a critical strategic juncture. How do you respond to the lieutenant's aggression?
  • It takes several turns, but you slowly begin accumulating the cocaine necessary to complete the contract. When you do, it practically rains cardboard coins on your side...
  • Pick up where you left off.
  • With each passing turn you slowly bleed the lieutenant of coins as his own workers become less productive and more dependent on your magenta cocaine tokens.
  • Realising victory is slipping away, the lieutenant launches a desperate gambit: *Protectionism*. By erecting tariffs on your cocaine he hopes to starve you out of the market at the risk of incurring the suzerain's disfavour...
  • For almighty Revachol! (Build the victory column.)
  • Oh, yeah, baby. Cocaine and rock music go together like... cocaine and rock music.
  • Stack the coins in neat little piles to annoy the lieutenant.
  • Despite your trash-talking, the lieutenant still has a formidable store of coins and resources...
  • Despite your conspicuous display of wealth, the lieutenant still has a formidable store of coins and resources...
  • Erecting the monument leaves you economically exposed for a several turns, during which the lieutenant makes considerable progress...
  • As a matter of historical fact, this is almost *exactly* what happened in Safre. To this day, fully half of the former Safre Empire remains dependant on international aid in exchange for a steady supply of cheap produce.
  • Say nothing.
  • Build a public education system for your workers.
  • With a triumphant flourish, you remove a rectangular token from one of the satchels and place it next to your museum-cylinder in the centre of the board…
  • With a triumphant flourish, you remove a rectangular token from one of the satchels and place it in the centre of the board...
  • The lieutenant sighs. "That's the problem with certain games. At some point they just *end*, as though no one expected the players to make it that far…"
  • Just do whatever Kim did.
  • You move a few of your workers to the Ile Marat section of the board and several others to Supramundi and Saramiriza. Soon you have several units of archaeological treasure and cocaine.
  • Glancing over the board, you see several possible strategies: Pressing more workers into service would increase your economic output and help you survive a possible conflict with the lieutenant, or you could ignore your labour supply and focus on fulfilling contracts for points and resources...
  • What do you do?
  • Invest in your existing workers.
  • Press more workers into service.
  • Focus on fulfilling contracts.
  • To the lieutenant's puzzlement, you spend several turns building various improvements to your territorial infrastructure...
  • Soon your workers have access to clean water, paved roads, and basic hobbies. In return they produce... one extra resource per turn.
  • Using your powers of 'persuasion' you 'convince' more workers to join your cause...
  • Who cares about workers and territories when the real action is in Revachol? You spend your turns fulfilling contracts for sweet coins and one-time bonuses.
  • After several turns you have a neat pile of cardboard coins and several units of archaeological treasure, which you trade in to build... a *museum*...
  • You place a cylindrical piece of wood on the Revachol section in the middle of the board. It's meant to stand in for a beautifully adorned edifice filled with ancient wonders.
  • After several turns your worker tokens greatly outnumber the lieutenant's. A vast army of expendable labour is at your command.
  • Gaze on your workers like a benevolent parent.
  • Grimace at them for not working harder.
  • Now it's the lieutenant's turn to respond. He moves aggressively onto the Safre territory. Soon his workers are producing a steady supply of extremely valuable *apricots*...
  • How can you let the lieutenant *dominate* you like that? You need to hit back, and *hard*!
  • Give back to the workers.
  • For several turns you struggle to respond to the lieutenant's burgeoning apricot empire. Eventually you relocate the majority of your workers to Supramundi and Saramiriza, where they begin producing a bumper crop of cocaine tokens...
  • Attack the lieutenant and steal all his resources.
  • It's true. Had you read the rules more carefully this would have been abundantly clear.
  • It takes a while, but you and the lieutenant manage to put everything more or less where it was...
  • (Lie.) "I ate one this morning."
  • Instead of focussing on amassing points, you embark on a quixotic project to win the hearts of your worker tokens. After several turns you've unlocked advanced hobbies and health insurance. Your workers now produce an extra two resources per turn...
  • The lieutenant continues his strategy of aggressively producing apricots for export. He fulfils contract after contract, racking up ever more victory points...
  • The endgame is upon you. What will be your crowning achievement as the suzerain's territorial administrator?
  • Alternatively you could actually try to win the game by building the extremely valuable *victory column* in Revachol or by crushing the lieutenant in a devastating *trade war*...
  • You could continue your efforts to win the hearts of your worker tokens by building the rarely attempted *public education system* for your territories...
  • The choice is yours.
  • The lieutenant nods gravely as you erect tariffs against his apricots and sugar. This is going to get ugly...
  • With every turn tariffs are raised, until neither you nor the lieutenant are producing any income or generating resources for the suzerain...
  • Soon the entire board is a field of economic carnage. Worker tokens lie strewn across the board, which is also bereft of valuable resources.
  • The lieutenant shrugs. "There are some *paranoid* types who believe the Moralintern keeps detailed score sheets for everyone in the Re?l Belt, but that's obviously nonsense…
  • If points are really *arbitrary*, as the lieutenant says, what's to stop you from playing the game the way *you* want?
  • The lieutenant nods. "Now, I believe it's your turn…”
  • Take pity on their miserable lives.
  • Interestingly, this is more or less what happened in real life as well. To this day, if Iilmaraans want to see their nation's priceless treasures they have to visit Revachol or Gottwald or Sur-la-Clef.
  • Gaze on your workers like a harsh, but proud, deity.
  • The lieutenant assumes you're playing by the rules as written. But what's the point of playing if you can't make your own choices?
  • What is that patronizing tone? You're one of the suzerain's trusted administrators! You may need to put the lieutenant in his place...
  • Now's your chance. Show the lieutenant what happens when he patronizes you.
  • What is that patronizing tone? Someone needs to put the lieutenant in his place.
  • C'mon, is that your game face? You're practically broadcasting your position to the lieutenant with that expression.
  • As you leaf through the pages your eye catches on a sidebar labelled 'ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS'.
  • Read the advice.
  • Ignore it. Just tell me how the winner is determined.
  • Using the substantial coins and resources you've accumulated from diligently fulfilling contracts and constructing trade routes, you spend your final turns constructing the ultimate structure in the game, the Revacholian *victory column*...
  • Building the ultimate structure requires diligent economic planning, which you completely failed to do...
  • Rather than build a glorious monument to Revachol's economic superiority, you have to settle for a handful of post offices and school for the blind.
  • You place one of your workers on each vassal territory. On your next turn you produce one unit of each resource.
  • You place all of your workers on the Ile Marat territory. On your next turn you produce six units of archaeological treasure and fulfil the contract for a handful of coins.
  • Let them rest anyway.
  • Okay, make them work a little, but not *too* much.
  • That's more like it. You produce a handful of archaeological treasures and a smattering of other resources.
  • There's no concept of *rest* in Suzerainty. Workers have to work. You produce a handful of archaeological treasures and a smattering of other resources.
  • The lieutenant isn't joking. You'd better stop fooling around.
  • With your army of cheap, not-cocaine-addicted labour, you're able to survive the tit-for-tat of the trade war, though it leaves both your and the lieutenant's economies worse-off than before...
  • Even in the best of cases it's impossible to really "win" a trade war. But this is far from the best case, and the lieutenant's apricot-powered economic engine crushes yours...
  • Your commitment to doing right by your workers pays off and you manage to construct the rarely attempted *public education system*. You truly have the best-educated worker tokens in the entire world...
  • Unfortunately, you were sent to the territories to produce raw resources, not overly educated second-class citizens. If anything, this might *negatively* impact your final score.
  • There's a reason very few players ever attempt to built a public education system for their worker tokens: It's extremely expensive and never pays off, by design...
  • Your boondoggle nearly bankrupts the suzerain's treasury and you suffer a significant penalty to your final score...
  • The lieutenant opens his mouth as if to issue a blistering retort, then hesitates...
  • You know, this isn't *unlike* the situation the historical Revacholian suzerainty faced in Safre in the middle of the last century...
  • Tell me more.
  • Ignore the thought.
  • Well, the suzerain was looking for new markets for all the cocaine it was producing, and it settled on Safre...
  • By introducing cocaine into Safre under exclusive contract, the suzerain created an extremely valuable captive market for an extremely *addictive* product.
  • That's fucked up!
  • That's brilliant.
  • What does that have to do with the game?
  • If you could somehow get the lieutenant's workers *addicted* to your cocaine, you could not only make them less productive, you would also force the lieutenant to *pay* you for your cocaine tokens *each turn*...
  • Can you even *do* that?
  • Yes, you can. It's right there in the rules...
  • Those aren't your *only* options.
  • You could also show your workers how much you appreciate them by *investing* some of that wealth in them. After all, they're the ones *producing* wealth for the suzerain.
  • Well, sure, you *can* do that. It's just not a terribly *effective* strategy. But then, it's up to you...
  • Nonsense. Remember what the lieutenant said? If points are arbitrary, who cares about *winning*? You should reject their system and just play how you want.
  • Computing the final scores is almost a game unto itself. You each spend an inordinate amount of time making stacks of coins, consulting tables, and struggling with basic addition and multiplication...
  • Computing the final scores is almost a game unto itself. You each spend an inordinate amount of time making stacks of coins, consulting tables, and struggling with basic addition and multiplication...
  • Computing the final scores is almost a game unto itself. You each spend an inordinate amount of time making stacks of coins, consulting tables, and struggling with basic addition and multiplication...
  • Soon your coffers are empty and the map lies strewn with your worker tokens.
  • Computing the final scores is almost a game unto itself. You each spend an inordinate amount of time making stacks of coins, consulting tables, and struggling with basic addition and multiplication...
  • Computing the final scores is almost a game unto itself. You each spend an inordinate amount of time making stacks of coins, consulting tables, and struggling with basic addition and multiplication...
  • The lieutenant gives you a sour look. He may or may not hate fun, but either way he does not appreciate your attitude...
  • So he says, but his gaze lingers a moment longer on the rulebook than is strictly necessary. He could *make* time, if he really wanted to.
  • Have you tried... goading him?
  • At this point, plain badgering may be your best bet.
  • The lieutenant scoffs. "In your *dreams*, maybe. I've thrashed my share of trash-talkers before. Now come on, let's put childish things aside."
  • Ignore the mock umbrage. Now he wants to prove it to you.
  • The lieutenant sighs so hard for a moment it seems like he may asphyxiate...
  • Yessss, and besides that there are all those bullshit *psychology* studies about how games are somehow *good* for you...
  • There's also a neat little log to keep track of your progress, in case you need to put the game away and return to it later...
  • Put the game away.
  • Keep playing.
  • It's your move.
  • Keep playing.
  • Put the game away.
  • After double- and then triple-checking your maths, you have your final score...
  • Thirty-five victory points! The suzerain will be extremely pleased.
  • The lieutenant looks up from his tabulations. "I've got 26 points," he says, slightly disappointed...
  • After double- and then triple-checking your maths, you have your final score...
  • Fifteen victory points. The suzerain will not be impressed.
  • The lieutenant looks up from his tabulations. "I've got 26 points," he says, a barely contained smile breaking out across his face...
  • Fifteen victory points. Whether you win or not, the suzerain is unlikely to be pleased at the loss to productivity caused by his subordinates' shenanigans.
  • After double- and then triple-checking your maths, you have your final score...
  • The lieutenant looks up from his tabulations. "I've got 15 points," he says...
  • Negative five victory points. You'll be lucky if the suzerain doesn't have your whole family executed for such a pitiful performance.
  • After double- and then triple-checking your maths, you have your final score...
  • The lieutenant looks up from his tabulations. "I've got 15 points," he says with a slight smirk on his face...
  • After double- and then triple-checking your maths, you have your final score...
  • Two points. Though you're beloved by your well-educated worker tokens, the suzerain is immensely displeased, and recalls you from your post.
  • The lieutenant opens his mouth as if to issue a blistering retort, then hesitates...
  • Computing the final scores is almost a game unto itself. You each spend an inordinate amount of time making stacks of coins, consulting tables, and struggling with basic addition and multiplication...
  • After double- and then triple-checking your maths, you have your final score...
  • Negative five victory points. You'll be lucky if the suzerain doesn't have your whole family executed for such a pitiful performance.
  • The lieutenant looks up from his tabulations. "I've got 20 points," he says with measured pride...
  • The lieutenant looks up from his tabulations. "I've got 20 points," he says, slightly embarrassed at the point differential...
  • See? He's doing the hard work himself. All he needed was a little nudge...
  • As he completes his own contract card, the lieutenant is rewarded with four coins and a round wooden token that he places in the centre of the board...
  • In response, the lieutenant spends two of his sugar and one of his apricot tokens to complete his contract card. He is rewarded with four coins and a round wooden token that he places in the centre of the board...
  • Feels good, doesn't it? But you know what would feel even *better*?
  • Winning the game?
  • Solving the murder?
  • You're going to say 'drugs,' aren't you?
  • *Drugs*. Specifically uppers. Speaking of, aren't you supposed to be looking for some right about *now*?
  • *Drugs*. Specifically uppers. That's an itch... in the back of your neck and elswhere...
  • While you daydream about speed, the lieutenant has built himself a formidable economic engine of his own...
  • The endgame is upon you. Do you escalate the *trade war* with the lieutenant in hopes of crushing him with your economic might?
  • Or do you ignore his aggression and focus on building the mighty *victory column* structure in Revachol herself?
  • Alternatively, you could throw the whole game away by trying to build a *public education system* for the children of your workers...
  • The endgame is upon you. How will you spend the vast resources you've acquired for the glory of the suzerain?
  • Flipping through the manual, you find the most expensive structure in the game... the Revacholian *victory column*, worth *twelve victory points*. If you can successfully build it, victory will be all-but assured...
  • Alternatively, you could try launching a *trade war* to crush the lieutenant's economy, or you could blow all that money on a *public education system* for your worker tokens...
  • The endgame is upon you. What will be your crowning achievement as the suzerain's territorial administrator?
  • You could attempt to build the mighty *victory column* structure, or launch a *trade war* against the lieutenant, or spend everything to build a *public education system* for your worker tokens...
  • Come on, brain, I don't want to be a jerk to Kim.
  • But he will only listen if you make him listen.
  • But not good enough, the lieutenant seems to be saying.
  • Just like there are no *honour points*. None whatsoever.
  • *Drugs*. Specifically uppers. You should find some the first chance you get.
  • Come on, brain, I don't want to be a jerk to Kim.
  • But he will only listen if you make him listen.
  • But not good enough, the lieutenant seems to be saying.
  • Just like there are no *honour points*. None whatsoever.
  • *Drugs*. Specifically uppers. You should find some the first chance you get.