Longer RP description of Letara in 1946 and pictures.
In 1946 Letara is in a bit of a tough spot on the world stage. Tensions with Montelin over their occupation of the disputed tip of the Letaran peninsula have almost escalated into a hot war. Other countries have denounced Montelin’s continued growing military presence, but have otherwise idly stood by as the DMZ is being threatened. Luckly Letara’s closest neighbour, Somunds, continues to be a valuable ally. Not only is this alliance a deterrent to Montelin and prevents escalation of the conflict, but also allows easier movement of people and goods in and out of Letara. However, Letara still has to maintain a sizable military that continuously drains the country’s resources. While other countries have reaped the benefits of a quickly growing energy glut with the discovery of easily extractable oil and gas, Letara’s economy is stagnant. The country is not exactly poor, but things could be better. The people still have a lot of faith in their democratic government and just get on with their lives as best as they can.
Brospyne, a small town that is the agricultural hub of Letara.
Although Letara has not managed to keep up with other countries in the world in terms of industrial development, they did manage to gain a decent position in the growing aluminium market by exploiting the abundant bauxite reserves. Bauxite ore is mined at the appropriately named Fortune Bauxite Mine; to support the mining operations Letara established a new mining town close by called Fortune. Although these reserves are near the Montelin border, operations have not been impacted thus far. The bauxite ore is transported to Mortham where it is refined into raw bauxite. From here it is transported by train to Storia Harbour, where it is loaded onto ships and sold to allied countries. Although bauxite isn’t as profitable as aluminium, Letara has not yet managed to establish a full aluminium industry.
Fortune and Fortune Bauxite Mine.
In terms of cities and towns, Letara is moderately urbanized. The capital Lerance is located on a small peninsula in the south-central of Letara. It experienced a boom period in the early 20th century; most of the urban architecture in the downtown core is from this era. Due to its restricted building area it is dominated by relatively high density urban development. The older downtown core is flanked to the north-east by newer “block” development as a result of quick modern expansion that replaced more low-density suburb areas.
Lerance, Letara’s capital city. Older downtown core and new block development taking over the suburbs. This city is the main hub for commerce and higher learning.
The second main town, Storia has recently experienced major expansion due to the construction of Storia Harbour, which facilitates the bauxite export. It is the main export hub and its economy is dependent on a continued supply of exportable bauxite - or other aggregate in the future.
Storia and Storia Harbour. In the foreground is the old fishing village, now referred to as Old Storia.
The third city is the old capital of Letara, Fiegheni. This city was the capital until 1893 under the now abolished monarchy; in 1893 the capital was moved to Lerance to celebrate the new form of government and distance the country from its imperialistic past. Currently the city of Fiegheni still retains many of its historic downtown. Due to its scenic setting, it is now also a very much desired area for rich folks to settle or build their cottages (mansions) for weekend retreats.
Fiegheni and surroundings.
The next largest city, Portunis, is a major historic wine region, which produces the famous Letaran ‘Fronaco Secco.’ Other notable towns include the mountain retreat and vacation town of Mont Modred at the foot of Mt. Modred volcano; the town of Chanceille where a small lumber industry exists, the agricultural town of Brospyne.
Portunis and its wineries.
The general infrastructure of Letara is generally speaking up to par with most of the world. In terms of passenger rail, there is a main line connecting Somunds and the major cities of Lerance, Storia, and Portunis. There is also rail connecting the Fortune Bauxite Mine with the bauxite processing plant in Mortham and Storia Harbour. However, aside from some passing areas, most rail lines are single track, which leads to longer wait times.
Mont Modred is a rustic vacation centre located in a scenic forest at the base of Mt. Modred.
There is one cargo port with aggregate loading capability. Currently it only services bauxite exports.
The only airport in the country is the medium-sized Lerance international airport. It services both passenger and light cargo transport, but there is only road connection here.
Lerance International, the country’s only airport with service abroad. In the background is the road up to Mont Modred.
Speaking of roads, there are no interstate (divided) highways in Letara. Well-maintained asphalt roads connect the Somunds border and major cities (Lerance, Fiegheni, Storia, and Portunis; passing through Brospyne). Gravel roads lead into the mountains up to Mont Modred, and connect some smaller towns to the main highway. Otherwise it’s still dirt roads, including the roads to more remote villages and up to Chanceille and Fortune.
TL:DR - Letara is a moderately well-developed country with some economic struggles due to an ongoing political conflict with Montelin. Currently the country is mining bauxite ore that is refined to bauxite, which in turn is exported using ships. The road network is average for the era and has a mix of asphalt trunk roads, gravel and dirt roads to secondary and tertiary areas of the country.
Drive-through of Letara starting in Somunds, hitting all major cities and towns, showing off some scenic roads. Perhaps a bit long, but for the hard-core RP peeps, here it is. Driving music included to get those creative juices going!
PEOPLE’S TASTE IN CARS
Given the current economy of Letara, most people just want something practical that gets them from A to B reliably and in relative comfort. In cities, roads are of good quality, but can be pretty tight, and parking space is at a premium. People do travel with their families to vacation destinations, including up to Mont Modred, but also abroad to Somunds. Just like everywhere else in the world, the upper echelons do like to show off a little, but they do want their cars to have tangible advantages over the cheaper cars that the regular plebs drive - if the car shines in any area they value (e.g. prestige or sportiness) that can justify the higher cost, they will buy it. People in rural areas have to contend with poorer road conditions and the lack of higher quality fuel, so they value some offroad prowess and above all else, reliability. If they can maintain and fix their cars themselves, all the better.
In game, the first round will span from 1946 to 1954 inclusive; models from any of these years are accepted for all three categories.
IRL, since this is the first round and a major update just dropped making everyone relearn how to build engines (and new hotpatches coming at a high rate), this one will remain open a little longer. Rules deliberation will be until Oct 3, on which date the round officially opens for submissions. The round closes Oct 23. @ 11:59 PM UTC.
TAXES FOR CONSUMER VEHICLES
In this period all cars are imported into Letara. All cars will incur a 20% import tax. To incentivise the existing bauxite industry and encourage more bauxite exports, cars with aluminium parts will receive a stackable tax break (up to 10% total):
- 3% tax break for alu engine head
- 7% tax break for alu panels
No other taxes in this era.
CONSUMER VEHICLE REGULATIONS
In this early era there are not too many regulations regarding consumer cars. The government stipulates that:
- Drive on the right side of the road, so LHD cars only please (if you model interiors).
- All cars shall have more than “none” safety equipment on board.
- Headlights: one pair required situated on the front corner area of the vehicle, mirrored symmetrically from the centre line; two pair (dual) on the corner area and/or a single third centre headlight are allowed. Cover glass shall be white or light yellow.
- Tail lights: one pair required situated on the rear corner area of the vehicle mirrored symmetrically from the centre line. Cover glass shall be red.
- Brake light: one pair situated on the rear corner area of the vehicle, mirrored symmetrically from the centre line, and/or one single light situated in the rear centre area of the vehicle required. Cover glass shall be red. Tail and brake lights may be housed in the same fitting.
- Turn signals: both left and right signals must be visible when looking directly at the front and rear of the car. Pairs of signals can be mounted on the front and rear corner area of the car, and/or side-mounted; must be mirrored symmetrically from the car’s centre line. Light-based turn signals must be orange on the front and side; orange or red in the rear. Semaphore-style indicators are allowed.
- Reverse light(s) not required.
- Mirrors are not required.
- External gas cap not required - could be hidden in lights or other fixtures, or tank could be inside the trunk or under the hood Trabant style).
- At least one windshield wiper required that reaches in front of the driver’s vision.
- One (unscaled) license plate required and must be visible when looking directly at the rear of the car.
- No emissions or efficiency regulations.
- Both regular (92) and super (98) leaded fuels are available. However, super leaded fuel is only available in better-developed areas; rural areas have only regular fuel at the pump.
- Cross-ply tires are the only option in this era. Tires with an aspect ratio (profile) of 100 are considered standard; any major deviations (more than ± 5) will be considered voodoo.
- Noise pollution has just started to become noticed; any car introduced in 1951 or later has to keep engine noise levels below 50!
- No race components.
- Metallic paint (flake value >0 in the advanced paint tab) is rare but available, and only at a premium. Anything greater than 0.2 flake in the paint settings will incur a flat $500 cost added to the car’s sale price.
- Pearlescent paint (pearl value >0 in advanced paint tab) is unavailable in this era.
- Tech pool should be set to 0 for all categories.
You may submit up to three trims of the same model. Participation in other categories is not required. Participation with at least one car in this category this round will allow you to lobby/spend for the next round. Please name the model(s) of your submissions “LHC - 1C1 - <forum name>'” for the first trim, “LHC - 1C2 - <forum name>” for the second trim, and “LHC - 1C3 - <forum name>” for the third trim.
GOVERNMENT ASSIGNMENT: SECURE PASSENGER TRANSPORT
The ongoing conflict with Montelin has resulted in the presence of many “curious visitors” with “totally authentic” passports roaming around in Letara and taking pictures of key infrastructure. How they entered the country is anyone’s guess. Luckily the Letaran authorities have been able to offer many of them “luxurious involuntary stays” in a government-run “hotel.” These “guests” do need frequent transportation from one secret location to another. The transport has to be both secure and covert. Therefore the government is looking to purchase a small contingent of people carriers with the following criteria:
- The government needs these vehicles sooner rather than later, so Model, Trim, Family, and Variant years must all be set to 1948.
- The vehicle must be road legal (see consumer rules and regulations above).
- The vehicle must be able to transport one driver, one security guard, and up to six “passengers.” (Read: must have 8 full seats)
- Although the vehicle must have security features that prevent escape of its “passengers”, it must not stand out as a prison transport vehicle; it must blend in with other traffic.
- In case of detection, the vehicle must be able to resist a hit or two from other vehicles and/or “stray” bullets and keep its occupants safe.
- Drivers will be specially chosen and trained, but if the vehicle handles well, it’s a definite bonus.
- Speed is sometimes of the essence, so while it is not a race car, some pep is also valued.
- Given that this is a government vehicle, costs are always paramount: low purchase price, low service costs, low fuel consumption, and high reliability are highly prized. Don’t worry about import taxes here.
- The vehicle sometimes needs to travel to rural areas, so only regular fuel (92 leaded) please, or else the government won’t consider it.
- Tech pool should be set to 0 for all categories.
You may submit one vehicle in this category. Participation in other categories is not required. Please name the model of your submission “LHC - 1G - <forum name>”.
RACING IN LETARA: PORTUNIS CANNONBALL RUN
Ahh, who doesn’t love a good car race? Letarans sure do! In 1933 the inaugural episode of a highly illegal annual race was organized: the Cannonball Run. It ran on public roads and created quite a few dangerous situations. Despite best efforts by the Letaran government, they have had no success shutting down the race series. So in a move reminiscent of “if you can’t beat them, join them”, in 1946 the Portunis Cannonball Run was officially sanctioned for the first time. The rules are quite simple. To reduce the impact of the race on regular road users, the race is in three stages on closed roads. The race starts at the Somunds border town after a hearty breakfast. The car that arrives in Portunis with the fastest overall time is the winner. After the race, festivities are held at the local wineries and the winner takes home a mini-keg of perfectly aged Fronaco Secco. The rules are quite simple:
- The race is ran in three stages. Stage 1 runs from Somunds to Fiegheni; stage 2 from Fiegheni to Brospyne; and stage 3 from Brospyne to Portunis. These stages will be approximated with tracks from the CCPC track pack, specifically Maryaskaya 1, 2 and 3 if you want to fine-tune your car.
- The race is all on paved roads; gravel and dirt roads are not a factor.
- No outside help allowed for drivers and cars. If the car breaks down, the driver can try to fix it themselves, but if external help (or towing) is required, they are disqualified (this will be RNG simulated - but reliability helps).
- A driver will be RNG simulated for each stage of the race; drivability and comfort stats help your driver achieve a better time.
- Even though the roads are closed, the cars are still on public roads. So the cars need to be road legal (see consumer car section).
- The cars are allowed to have race components, engine swaps, suspension swaps, etc., as long as they remain road legal otherwise. If your car is not road legal, then it will not be allowed to race, so pay attention to all rules!
- NO aero bits in this era; it’s a little too early for that…
- A minimum of two seats are required.
- Comfort must be at least 5.0. It’s low, but just enough for the hardiest of drivers to manage without actual lasting injury to the spine.
- This is meant to be accessible to the masses, so there is a price limit on the cars:
- For 1946 the maximum price of the car is 20k AMU as seen in the detail stats tab (we’re not going to worry about import taxes for race cars). For subsequent years the maximum price goes up by 500 AMU per year (i.e. in 1947 it’s 20.5k, in 1948 it’s 21k etc.)
- Break-downs are relatively frequent; to maximize the chance of finishing the race, each manufacturer will get three entries (teams) in the race for each year they run (meaning: submit one car, but I’ll run three of them each race to maximize your chance of at least one of them making it to the finish).
- Tech pool should be set to 0 for all categories.
A leader board for each year of the round will be simulated; obviously cars can only compete after they have been introduced (i.e. if you submit a '49 car, it will not compete in '46-'48, but will compete in '49-'54). Again, track times are simulated with RNGs, but reliability, comfort, and drivability do help.
Last but not least, I will be participating in this event as well, so you get to “race” yours truly. Can you beat my 1946 “Mons 356-esque”?
You may submit one vehicle in this category. Participation in other categories is not required. Please name the model of your submission “LHC - 1R - <forum name>” and include three team names in the DM if you don’t want your teams be called ‘team 1; team 2; team 3.’
Reminder that when you submit your first car, please also register your corporation. At the least tell me where the company is from, but a short lore blurb would be much appreciated - or a link to a lore thread. You will participate in all subsequent rounds with this registered company, so make sure it is the company you want to use for the rest of the playthrough!
Remember, so overarching rules are in the OP, so please read that too.
Most importantly: have fun! I’m looking forward to our discussions, RP wold building, and all of your undoubtedly amazing submissions!