[LHC] - Letara History Challenge - Rd 5 Preface: lobbying and spending

I wanted to participate in ALC, but seeing as that is not actively running at the moment I can try my hand at this I suppose. I’m going to have to read and re read the rules like its an exam question to figure out how it works and what I want to do.

Looks good though, and nice that we will have a visual representation.

Sorry for potentially clogging up the thread, but I was curious how research and the tech pool was going to be handled. Would those come out of our cash points or would it be something else? Or would we just not worry about that?

If you mean actual tech pool, that won’t come until 4.3 (Killrob on Discord said on 06/24/2022: Yes, that is coming back. In fact the backend for that has been implemented already, you’re currently building cars for the Sandbox company. Along with that we’re introducing sandbox company tech pool. This is something I think will come with LCV4.3). So we won’t worry about that for this series. I might have to re-run the challenge in 4.3 though whenever that drops to take advantage, because it’d add a fun new dimension to the experience!

If you mean using the tech pool unleased tool, then no, that would overly complicate things in an already fairly complex series, so it won’t be used in this series.

I will however implement a soft tech pool simulation for this series. For example if research into electronics is pushed by companies by spending on higher education, then I might allow more modern fixtures than IRL examples (think LEDs in the early 90s or something similar).


If you wanted, you could also allow for use of technologies that would otherwise be banned for a certain round. Such as: a round set in the 1960’s could possibly mandate carburetors in your rules, but if enough people invested in education then people would be allowed to use mechanical fuel injection. Or certain things would unlock more transmission gears, stuff like that. Just a thought.

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Maybe we can just invest in different tech types like in the game!




In lieu of lobbying and company spending, the Preface of the first round will consist of some world building. Everyone can participate! Here you will be able to shape the initial conditions of Letara including the natural environment, politics, economy, and level of development. All of these will have a tangible effect on the starting conditions of the series, and also have longer-term effects that might reverberate through all the eras - so choose carefully!

But first, let me introduce you to the landmass of Letara. The country occupies most of a peninsula. It has some flat low-lying areas in the central and northern regions, some hills and small mountains in the west and center, scenic fjords and bays, and a large volcano in the middle of the peninsula. The continental side of the country borders Somunds in the south-east; the relationship to this country will be determined by a poll. The tip of the peninsula is occupied by a military enclave of a far-off country called Montelin, and separated from Letara by a DMZ; although the relationship with Montelin is a bit icy at the moment, the nature of this border and the relationship with Montelin will evolve through the rounds.

View of Letara from Montelin base and DMZ

In terms of natural resources, there are deposits of iron and coal with potential for steel and energy production, bauxite for aluminium production, oil for fuel and energy production, uranium for energy production, and potential for agriculture and forestry in various parts of the country. The coasts and mountains have potential to develop a thriving tourism industry. Which of these industries gets developed will depend on company spending through the rounds; each development will result in tangible effects on the car industry.

Without further ado, let’s do some polling to see what the country looks like in 1946, the start of our joint journey, shall we?


Climate (Will affect environmental damage and degradation of cars, cooling needs, and car type preferences. Note that Soviet Republic only has green ground textures and temperate/sub-polar trees, so the other climate zones won’t be represented visually, but will be taken into account for the judging)
  • Warm and arid desert-like (west-central Australia, middle east, parts of Africa, Arizona etc.)
  • Warm and wet tropical (south-east Asia, central Africa and America etc.)
  • Temperate Mediterranean (California, Mediterranean coast etc.)
  • Temperate wet (north-east USA, New Zealand, most of west and central Europe etc.)
  • Sub-polar (northern Canada, Siberia, northern Scandinavia, etc.)

0 voters

Political structure (Will affect just about everything: economic stability, development trajectory, your influence in lobbying and spending etc etc…)
  • Democracy (most stable government unlikely to result in unrest; high lobbying and spending influence so with clever investment you can influence development quite a bit) – probably the most predictable and stable play-through
  • Communism (moderately stable government that might collapse if things don’t go well; low lobbying influence because it’s hard to influence the government and its “5 year plans”) – the government might push a few unwise decisions through regardless of public opinion, but they will be mostly rational and predictable
  • Dictatorship (least stable that might result in regular upheavals or replacement with a different government type if thins really go south; moderate lobbying influence; you can easily bribe the dear leader, but they still might make capricious decisions from time to time!) – the dictator can be bribed and influenced to some degree, but they will throw a few interesting (?) curve-balls your way

0 voters

Road infrastructure development (Will affect ease of movement for goods and people, and preference for car types)
  • Low (paved roads in major cities and a few paved regional roads connecting major cities, otherwise gravel and dirt roads)
  • Medium (paved roads in cities and most connecting regional roads, otherwise gravel roads with few dirt roads in least travelled rural areas)
  • High (good quality paved roads in cities and towns, fledgling highway system and most regional roads paved, good quality gravel roads in rural areas)

0 voters

Initial industry (One raw material production will be slightly more developed at the beginning - your choice is which one; each will have a tangible benefit for the series)
  • Coal (used for power generation and a precursor for steel making)
  • Iron (good for export; precursor for steel making)
  • Bauxite (precursor for aluminium making)
  • Oil (precursor for bitumen and fuel production)
  • Agriculture (food production)
  • Forestry (forestry products)

0 voters

Level of urbanization (Where do people live and work?)
  • Low (mostly rural countryside with small towns and villages dotted over the landscape, few scattered cities clustered around industry)
  • Medium (capital city with dense downtown core, few larger cities around industry, but still fair amount of rural areas)
  • High (a number of larger and denser cities with a relatively low density rural countryside)

0 voters

Level of other infrastructure (Rail/ship/train - affects overall effectiveness of movement of goods and people into, out, and within the country)
  • Minimal (no rail, no airport, one small harbour)
  • Low (one rail line connecting main industry and harbour, one small regional airport, one medium harbour)
  • Medium (rail connecting major industries and harbour, one small international airport, one medium harbour)
  • High (rail connecting major industries and cities and harbour, one medium international airport, one medium harbour)

0 voters

Polls close September 24, so get your votes in! Make sure you pick what you want and don't get buyer's remorse. I will keep the results hidden until the polls close to keep some suspense and mistery. I'll finish building Letara after the polls close and when finished post the Prologue for Round 1.


Preface Addendum because I'm forgetful

I forgot to add the poll for the relationship with Somunds. Here it is:

Relationship with Somunds (Will affect how people and good can move between Letara and Somunds, the only land border)
  • Allied (open borders, open trade)
  • Friendly (open borders with passport check, minor tariffs on luxury goods)
  • Neutral (travel permit required and can be obtained border, some trade tariffs)
  • Cool (need pre-approved visa to travel, higher tariffs and restrictions on certain goods)
  • Rival (only official travel allowed with visa, essential goods only)
  • Hostile (travel and trade forbidden beyond what is deemed absolutely necessary by the highest levels of government)

0 voters


Just a small announcement. It looks like most everyone who wanted to cast a vote has done so already, so I will close the polls earlier to give myself a bit more time to build Letara. I'll give everyone two and a bit more days to cast any final votes. Results will be announced this Saturday!

New count-down till polls close: Countdown to Sep 17, 2022 7:00 am in Denver



A quick interim update with the poll results:

Letara will have a Mediterranean climate, meaning mild but damp winters, and dry hot summers.

Letara will have moderately developed road, rail, ship, and air infrastructure, meaning that movement of people and goods is fairly easy in, out, and throughout the country by various means of transport. Improvement is certainly possible in all areas, but there are no major flaws or bottlenecks.

People of Letara live both in cities and smaller towns and villages. The capital city is a bustling center of business that still relies heavily on domestic goods from the countryside.

Currently, bauxite mining is a major economic driver by providing many stable jobs, and bauxite is the main export product of Letara.

Letara is a stable democracy where capitalist ideology allows companies to have a large influence on the future development of the country.

Last but not least, Letara is allied with its nearest neighbour Somunds. These allies have an open borders and open trade agreement, allowing for free movement of people and goods between the two countries.

I’ll go ahead and build the country in WR:SR now; stay tuned for the full reveal and Rd. 1 Prologue!


What game does that stand for?

Workers and Resources: Soviet Republic

(the abbreviation therefore would be WR:SR, btw)

Whoops! You’re right, in my haste I got it backwards. Not the first time I’ve done that. I’ll correct it in the post right away.

Ah, the irony of using a simulation of a communist government to create a Western-style capitalist democracy… Anyway, I hope this turns out very well in the long run.


Meh, the game mechanics of the other game are completely irrelevant here. I could’ve chosen from a number of other sim/strategy games I own, but I think that Soviet Republic just has the nicest balance of map size and visuals to accomplish my goal for some RP world building. You can take it as nothing more than visual fluff to spice up the immersion in this challenge series.




Map of Letara circa 1946-1954.

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! :slight_smile:


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.


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.


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.
  • Paint:
    • 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.


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>”.


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!


Metallic paint should be defined as any paint whose flake value is greater than zero; in addition, pearlescent paint should be defined as any paint whose pearl value is nonzero.

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Is there any preference on Euro-shaped plates vs. US/Japan-shaped plates?

Not yet in this era. Put on the car whatever you prefer.


gotta say that 0 flake looks awful on almost every car

you more or less need some flake to make it not look dogshit

Hence the allowance for 0.2. Usually between 0.1 and 0.2 is just enough to make it look like a nice non-flake paint.