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Unrest is caused when the inhabitants, or local government, of a colony are in dispute with the central imperial authority. This can cause anything from mild production problems to rebellion and has several different causes. In all cases below, the annual rate of unrest is shown. In the game, the actual amount of unrest will be a pro rata amount based on the length of the 5-day increment compared to one year.

Causes of Unrest


If a planet is suffering from high background radiation due to a recent bombardment, this can cause significant unrest. The annual amount of unrest points due to radiation is equal to the radiation level / 10. So a radiation level of 1000 would cause 100 unrest points per year. A radiation level of 200 would cause 20 unrest points per year


If a planet with a colony cost above 0 has insufficient infrastructure, this can cause unrest. If no infrastructure is available, the annual amount of unrest points is 25. If some infrastructure is available then the calculation for unrest is as follows:

  • Unrest Points = 25 x (Missing Infrastructure / Available Infrastructure)

Insufficient Occupying Forces

If a planet is in a political state that requires the use of occupation forces, sufficient ground troops must be provided to meet the occupation needs or unrest will result. The required occupation strength is equal to:

  • Population x ((Determination + Militancy + Xenophobia) / 300) x Political Status Occupation Modifier

If there are no ground forces present, the annual number of unrest points will be 100. If there are ground forces present but their combined defence strength is below required occupation strength then the annual amount of unrest points will be calculated as follows:

  • Unrest Modifier = 1 ? (Actual Strength / Required Strength)
  • Unrest Points = 100 x Unrest Modifier

Insufficient Local Defence

Populations of at least ten million may require the presence of military forces, such as warships, orbital bases or PDCs. In some cases, such as Imperial Populations, Candidate Population and, to a lesser extent, Subjugated Populations, this is because they desire protection from hostile aliens. In the case of Vanquished populations, it is to remind the population of the orbital bombardment that caused their surrender and in the case of Client Populations, it is to reassure the inhabitants that they made the right decision in joining the Empire. The demand for protection from Client Populations is particularly strong as they no longer have their own military to rely on. The amount of protection required is based on:

  • Required Protection = Population in millions x Militancy/100 x Political Status Protection Modifier

As local politicians are not always the most astute military minds, their demand for protection is based on a simple premise. Warships with lots of guns, missiles and hangar bays are good. Warships with lots of unnecessary fluff such as fire control, sensors, high speed or EW systems are not good. Therefore the suitability of a ship for local defence purposes is based on its Population Protection Value (PPV), which is the total hull space devoted to missile launchers, beam weapons and hangar bays. The PPV now appears at the end of the second line on the Ship Design Display. Obviously this means that ships that will keep local politicians happy may not be ideal in terms of military efficiency or capability. I am sure that in the real world, politics would never influence ship design :)

If there are insufficient forces in the system, based on their PPV, the population will start to feel neglected by the Empire-level government and unrest will result. This is based on:

  • Unrest Modifier = 1 ? (Total PPV in System / Required Protection)
  • Unrest Points = 25 x Unrest Modifier

The above concept was based on the idea of local defence units but does away with a lot of complexity that might have been involved. Here are a couple of ship designs showing PPV. The first is the new missile destroyer design for the Commonwealth. The second is a hypothetical system-defence variant that would be much more appealing to the local population because it mounts almost twice as many missile launchers.

Tribal Mod 1 class Missile Destroyer    6000 tons     690 Crew     1132 BP      TCS 120  TH 640  EM 600
5333 km/s     Armour 1     Shields 20-300     Sensors 1/0/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 24
Magazine 800    Replacement Parts 10    

Magneto-plasma Drive (8)    Power 80    Engine Efficiency 0.70    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 154.3 billion km   (334 days at full power)
Gamma R300/20 Shields (10)   Total Fuel Cost  200 Litres per day

S4/30 Missile Launcher (6)    Missile Size 4    Rate of Fire 30
R1500 Missile Fire Control (1)    Range: 1500k km

Active Sensor S25-012 (1)     GPS 1200     Range 12.0m km    Resolution 25

ECM 20
Tribal SD class Missile Destroyer    6000 tons     774 Crew     1136 BP      TCS 120  TH 480  EM 480
4000 km/s     Armour 1     Shields 16-300     Sensors 1/0/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 44
Magazine 600    Replacement Parts 5    

Magneto-plasma Drive (6)    Power 80    Engine Efficiency 0.70    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 100,000 Litres    Range 102.9 billion km   (297 days at full power)
Gamma R300/20 Shields (8)   Total Fuel Cost  160 Litres per day

S4/30 Missile Launcher (11)    Missile Size 4    Rate of Fire 30
R1500 Missile Fire Control (1)    Range: 1500k km

Active Sensor S25-012 (1)     GPS 1200     Range 12.0m km    Resolution 25

ECM 10 (Compact ECM-1)

Lowering Unrest

Once unrest starts to build up, there are two options. If you remove the cause of the unrest, the unrest level will slowly fall by itself based on the determination (or rather, lack of determination) of the population. The alternative is to send in ground troops and forcibly suppress the unrest.

Option 1 is based on the following (assuming there is no new unrest in the increment):

  • Fall in Unrest Points = 20 x (1 - (Determination / 100)

Option 2 is based on the concept of Police Strength, which is equal to the defence strength of the ground forces minus any required occupation force. If that is a positive value, unrest is reduced according to the following formula:

  • Police Strength = Actual Occupation Strength ? Required Occupation Strength
  • Effective Population Size = Population x ((Determination + Militancy + Xenophobia) / 300)
  • Unrest Modifier = Police Strength / Effective Population Size
  • Reduction in Unrest = 100 * Unrest Modifier

Effect of Unrest

The most immediate effect of unrest is on the productivity of a population. All factory output, research, shipbuilding, wealth creation, trade creation, etc is reduced by a percentage equal to the number of unrest points. For example, if a population has 25 unrest points, then all production is reduced by 25%. This may be because the factories are producing less due to worker absence or it could be the factories. This is in addition to other modifiers such as manufacturing efficiency or political status modifiers.

In cases of serious unrest, there is a possibility the population might declare independence and break away from the Empire [not yet implemented].