The low tech dirty space colony PBEM/Wargame starts to take more shape with late Romans in Spaaaace state of Roma Secunda. Created by Christopher Lee (no not that one..imagine a viking Jeremy Clarkson)
- what nationality (or mix) set it up
Roman enthusiasts relocated to a new world to rebuild the glory that was Rome, using Latin as a lingua franca. It is based on the Later Roman Empire.
- Is it democratic, a monarchy, military dictatorship or theocracy?
Varies, it is a monarchy of sorts. There is a democratic system in which every citizen can vote in certain elections and referenda. The empire is divided into dioceses and each has a diocesan council. The national Senate is made up of a hereditary class of nobles, but every census this senatorial class can change as some patriarchs fall outside the property/income qualification, whereas others join. There is usually one Emperor, titled Augustus. However, this can vary as needs dictate. The empire can be divided at need into subdivisions, usually ruled by junior emperors or caesars. If necessary co-augusti can be chosen. In effect the emperor is all-powerful as the democratic institutions have atrophied and the emperor has acquired significant despotic trappings.
- What religion or is it atheistic
Christianity is the state religion and there are several patriarchates under the secular supervision of the emperor(s). Christianity is similar to Orthodoxy and is tied to the state, intertwined entirely. Within this, though are frequent disputes over issues such as the efficacy of icons, etc.
- Mass peasant army or small crack professional force
Aspirationally the army (exercitus) would be entirely professional. However, in practice there is a mix of professional units and militia forces. The central field army is professional and consists of small units known as legiones (each about the size of a brigade (or maybe a battalion depending on how figures work out), along with armoured units known as alae. Smaller detachments can be detached from the larger units to build up battlegroups, known as vexillationes. Practically it is impossible to maintain the desired size of field army so there are provincial militia known as limitanei, who are semi-professional units based in specific areas.
- Nation of free men or slaves
Slavery is legal but has naturally atrophied as a consequence of economic changes and Christian ideals. It is still normal to find slaves used in richer households but not in mass numbers on plantations in quarries, etc. The emperor’s closest ministers and advisors have to be eunuchs. The mass of the population are free citizens in theory but in practice they are at the disposal of the government and can be conscripted, etc at need.
- Culture, approach to money etc;
The economy is a capitalist one, the government is not sophisticated in either its regulation of the economy nor its economic understanding. The government indulges in much taxation in kind, taking proportions of crops, industrial production, etc instead of cash sums. The economy is not well-developed and there are large amounts of barter amongst the ordinary populace. Culture is focused on Christianity and deference to authority. There is no great tradition of free thought and philosophy. This is a practical culture, good at developing solutions but poor in terms of broad thought. Religion is split amongst many competing interpretations of minor issues such as clerical beards, icons, etc. Citizens are taught to defer to and accept the decisions of authority as the imperial government is held to be representative of God as his representative secular authority, hand-in-hand with the Church.
This is the Later Roman Empire recreated in miniature. People dress as late Romans, think as late Romans and the economy and culture is structured as late Roman society. The settlers are a polyglot of Roman enthusiasts who speak Latin as a unifying factor, rather like the use of Hebrew within the state of Israel.