THE MEDITERRANEAN SYNDICATE
In the story of RA3: Paradox, the Syndicate is a massive criminal organization based within a corrupt corporation. They have some of the most advanced computer technology and electronics of any of the factions, thanks to their massive R&D divisions, and their tech advantage is put to great use arming the mercenaries they hire to do their dirty work. Of course, as a corporation, the Syndicate does not go to war in the same way traditional military forces do... and this document outlines how.
1) Nonstandard resource management
While most other nations are funded on the front lines by their ore refineries, the Syndicate generates war funds much the same way they make their money in peacetime - through revenue. Almost EVERY Syndicate structure is capable of switching, at any time, from its normal function to resource generation. For example, the Hall of Heroes, capable of constructing the battlesuit-armed units, can be ordered to cease unit production and begin selling off the armour, weapons and other commodities it would normally produce.
This means that a savvy Syndicate executive can, in mid-battle, put buildings that wouldn't otherwise be doing anything to good use. Is your enemy building a lot of anti-tank units? Then it's time to build some infantry, but not before switching your war factory to resource mode. It also allows for many strategies involving massive monetary gains. Build 10 seaports, set them to resource mode, turtle for a while, and when you feel you're ready, switch back to production mode and pump out the warships!
Thanks to their resource system, the Syndicate has no need for a refinery. They still put ore nodes to good use, however, in their...
2) Nonstandard power management
Where other factions would be constantly expanding to other ore nodes so they can keep their economy going, the Syndicate just needs ore nodes to avoid overcrowding. That's because a Syndicate Power Plant is powered by ore... and unlike other factions, a Syndicate base doesn't have perfect instant power transfer. Rather than the safe, underground power grids favored by everyone else in the world, the Syndicate settles for aboveground power lines. They do not restrict movement and are vulnerable only at the intermittent power posts, but if a building is to be powered in a Syndicate base, it must be connected to a power line.
This gives the Syndicate an inherent weakness - they can either spread out their base, leaving their power grid open to harassment, or they can clump together around the power posts, which makes the grid much easier to defend but which results in a lack of space and a horrible mess reminiscent of the Sprawls, the megacities of the Mediterranean Syndicate.
If you want extra buildings for resource production, then you're free to build them, but you'll eventually run out of space; even worse, if you lose some of your power grid, any part of it that isn't connected to a central Plant will be left... powerless. If a surprise attack disables a section near the Plant, it has the potential to leave half your base unpowered. Expanding to other ore nodes means that you have more space for your holdings to grow, and the closer your buildings are to a Power Plant, the less likely it is that they will be left unpowered when you are attacked.
3) Unique build system
Not actually a new development, since we actually revealed it shortly after the faction was announced, but this is as good a place as any to detail it.
Rather than the versatile MCVs of the other factions, the Syndicate begins with an immobile Headquarters as its central command center. From the Headquarters, a commander can build Lifters, specified construction units, in order to construct their base. A single lifter is only capable of building a single type of structure. Its construction style can be seen elsewhere in the form of the Soviet Engineer, surprisingly; the way that a Battle Bunker is constructed is almost identical to the way a Lifter performs its construction services.
The cost of a building is split between the lifter and the building itself. For example, say the Syndicate Barracks is $600; in this case, the Barracks Lifter will cost $300, and it will cost another $300 to use the secondary ability to construct the Barracks. Assuming your Lifter survives, this means that you can quickly churn out the same building many times - just like in the real world, you save money if you buy in bulk.
Unique structures like the Weather Control Device superweapon are built with specialized construction units that are consumed when they build, similar to Japanese Nanocores. Proponents of the Lifter system have criticized this seemingly arbitrary decision. But what use would there be in a WCD Lifter when only one WCD can be built at a time?
Thanks for reading about this new feature! Just a reminder, ParadoxCasts are taking place every Sunday at 8pm (GMT-5) and you can watch them live by following the link on the front page! As an added bit of news, the Achilles Minimod v2.2 is just about finished - we've fixed all the bugs that are fixable and added a few new general gameplay tweaks that will feature in the final game, such as the new tank locomotors! Keep watching this page for the download link... it'll show up over the next few days!
EDIT: Sorry, but due to unforeseen circumstances there will be no ParadoxCast today (Jan 24th). There will, however, be one next week, and by that time we'll hopefully have something new and awesome to show off, so tune in next Sunday at the link on the main page!
EDIT AGAIN: Okay, turns out that the ParadoxCast IS happening tonight. Open_Sketchbook won't be present, but Ferriswheel and Kerensky will be on answering questions, talking about unit suggestions and discussing such things as the icon-making process for new units.