Shadow Empire – Grognerd’s Guide to Human Resources Administration

Shadow Empire – Grognerd’s Guide to Human Resources Administration 18 -
Shadow Empire – Grognerd’s Guide to Human Resources Administration 18 -

Guide for Shadow Empire – Grognerd’s Guide to Human Resources Administration

A brief guide to the selection and hiring of top-level ministers in the Shadow Empire



Hi, I’m Grognerd; I’m one of the early playtesters for Shadow Empire. Below is a guide I made over on the Matrix forums concerning the traits to look for when hiring (and firing!) your senior cabinet officials.

I’m also a Twitch streamer, and Shadow Empire is one of the games we love to play over on my channel! So if you have any comments or questions or just want to view some gameplay, you can check me out here at

Pre-Game Considerations

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Pre-Game Considerations
Your first big personnel decision occurs during planet creation when you have the option to fully or partially start with a cabinet already in place.

My recommendation is to start with only your Supreme Command Council in play. You may think you may have an easier time if all the ha*sle of creating your various ministries is already complete, but this is not necessarily so.

Sure, you do save a LOT of Political Points (PP) by having these guys pre-hired … but on the other hand, you have to keep in mind how Bureaucratic Points (BP) are distributed evenly at the start. So your minimal amount of early game BPs are going to be split between each ministry, diluting the BPs from going to places you might prefer early game (most likely Economic or Military Research).

You can fix this by reallocating the budget, but this has a downside: ministers really hate it if you cut their budget. And trust me, having a cabinet with many unhappy ministers in it is not a good thing.

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration
The next thing you want to look out for is the initial green Fate cards you are dealt with at the start. What you are hoping for is this Fate card, 50 Political Points. If you see this card at the start, shout for joy! Because your early game cabinet formation just became a lot easier.

You also begin the game with only one Fate Point, so be sure to save that point to get your 50 Political Points when the need arises (which will be soon).

Creating Your First Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Creating Your First Council
Your Secretary will notify you on Turn 1 that you have the option to create a new organization for 4PP. What to pick?

Most players will want to get their science game going early on, which is sensible, making Economic Council and Military Research Council obvious choices to go with at the start.

However, one strategy you might want to consider is the Interior Council at the start. Why? Because this is the ministry in charge of generating HR Stratagems, it should give you earlier access to more and better Recruit cards. Your starting Supreme Command Council can only generate Recruit Junior cards, and recruited Juniors are generally pretty terrible.

So the idea here is to sacrifice a bit of initial science in the hopes of attracting better talent early on. Look at the initial unemployed leader you have in your Reserve pool; if he is blessed with some starting Administration skill (which is the Interior minister’s skill to generate Human Relations points), then this might be the way to go.

Creating More Councils

You can add a new ministry each subsequent turn by calling your Secretary and asking him or her to discuss a “New Org.” for 2PP. You’ll notice that the PP cost will double each time you do this, which is why that 50 Political Point Fate card I spoke of earlier is so very, very desirable.

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration
An excellent way to fill your new cabinet positions is to hire the available candidate with the highest Suitability rating. The Suitability rating is, IMO, an excellent general guide to finding the person with the best fit for the job.

However, for those of you who want to fill your senior management with a bit more hands-on control, the rest of this Guide is for you!

There are two things that council ministers do for you in Shadow Empire:

1. They convert their allotment of BPs to fixed jobs every turn, with better results based on the right job skills each minister possesses; and
2. They are used to enact Stratagems, including Stratagems that require a die roll. That die roll is influenced by certain Stratagem skills each minister has.

What follows is a listing of each cabinet position and the job skills and stratagem skills each minister is called upon to use in their day to day operations. This should help you make intelligent decisions as to what a person is best for each job.

Also listed is the skill type breakdown for each position, listing the categories of all the used skills. This will be handy for allocating stat-boosting artifacts and the like.

Skill Categories
Intelligence: Int
War: War
Charisma: Cha
Strength: Str
Will: Will


Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Secretary
The Secretary rarely uses any skills. The best choice here is someone in tune with your current ideologies to have high loyalty and not do stupid things that cause those bad 4-choice decisions.

However, one awesome ability the Secretary does have is that the position gets automatically refilled for free if it ever becomes vacant, either with an available character in the reserve pool or a completely new generated character in the absence of one. So even if you have no recruit Stratagems, you can always fire and appoint your Secretary, provided you can afford the PP cost to make the switch. Firing the Secretary does cost a lot extra in PPs due to this, but it is nice to know that option is always possible.

Lastly, the Secretary also acts as the minister of last resort when neither the appropriate cabinet official nor the Supreme Command Council is available. The roll is done at a -25 penalty.

Supreme Command Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Supreme Command Council
Early game, this person is important for generating basic cards and postures normally generated by the cabinet officials you have yet to create (Interior, Foreign Affairs, Secret Service and Staff Council). As you can see below, Covert Ops, Diplomacy, Administration, and High Command are all useful skills to have. He or she will also use the first 3 of those 4 skills mentioned above to execute those cards in the absence of the correct cabinet official.

The SCC also makes the Skill Rolls for any other leaders who are not present for some reason, making them the first backup in such situations.

Mid-game, after your cabinet is complete, you’ll probably want to put all priority into the office’s main job, which is the generation of Political Points. For that, you’ll want your SCC to be well versed in that most important skill, Administration.

Skill type breakdown: 2 Int, 3 War, 9 Cha

Job Skills
Generate Political Power: ADMINISTRATION
Generate Spy Cards: COVERT OPS
Generate Posture Cards: HIGH COMMAND
Generate Diplomacy Cards: DIPLOMACY

Stratagem Skills
Send Spy (Secret Service Council): COVERT OPS
Bonus (Interior Council): LEADERSHIP
Gift 400 Credits (Foreign Affairs Council): ORATORY
Non-aggression pact (Foreign Affairs Council): DIPLOMACY
Open Contact (Foreign Affairs Council): DIPLOMACY
Offer Protection (Foreign Affairs Council): DIPLOMACY
Trade (Foreign Affairs Council): DIPLOMACY
Scientific Cooperation (Foreign Affairs Council): DIPLOMACY
Propose Peace (Foreign Affairs Council): ORATORY

SHQ Commander

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - SHQ Commander
This guy or gal seems to have only one steady job, and that is to use High Command skill to generate extra Readiness for all your troops. I believe their other operational military skills also come into play for militia forces in battles within his command range. Of course, the High Command rating will be a thing in battles everywhere.

The SHQ Commander will also grant a bonus during manual trading with the Trading Houses, using his or her Trade skill. So if you do a lot of hands-on trading, this is a consideration as well.

So generally, you want someone in this job with a very high High Command skill, and very possibly Trade as well.

Skill type breakdown: 1 Int, 1 War

Job Skills
Readiness Bonus: HIGH COMMAND
Trade Negotiation: TRADE

Secret Service Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Secret Service Council
Your spymaster will rely on Covert Ops for his or her various day to day activities, and a large degree with the Stratagems played as well. The latter occasionally calls on other skills such as Personal Combat, Bribery, Interrogation, and Intimidation.

Skill type breakdown: 16 War, 3 Cha, 1 Str

Job Skills
Active Field Operations: COVERT OPS
Spying Operations: COVERT OPS
Internal Security: COVERT OPS

Stratagem Skills
Assa*sinate Leader: PERSONAL COMBAT
Call to Power I: COVERT OPS
Call to Power II: COVERT OPS
Call to Power III: COVERT OPS
Call to Rebellion I: COVERT OPS
Call to Rebellion II: COVERT OPS
Call to Rebellion III: COVERT OPS
Call to Success I: COVERT OPS
Call to Success II: COVERT OPS
Call to Success III: COVERT OPS
A gift to Faction: BRIBERY
Investigate Leader: INTERROGATION
Send Spy Team: COVERT OPS
Send Spy Ring: COVERT OPS
Support Faction: COVERT OPS
Threaten Leader: INTIMIDATE

Foreign Affairs Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Foreign Affairs Council
The Foreign Secretary’s basic card-generating skill is Diplomacy. For Stratagems, Diplomacy and Oratory are both very important, with Intimidate being only rarely useful.

Skill type breakdown: 25 Cha

Job Skills
Major Diplomacy: DIPLOMACY
Minor Diplomacy: DIPLOMACY

Stratagem Skills
Annexation: INTIMIDATE
Cultural Exchange: DIPLOMACY
Free Movement: DIPLOMACY
Friendship pact: DIPLOMACY
Gift 400 Credits: ORATORY
Gift 1000 Credits: ORATORY
Gift 2500 Credits: ORATORY
Non-aggression pact: DIPLOMACY
Open Contact: DIPLOMACY
Offer Client: DIPLOMACY
Offer Protection: DIPLOMACY
Ouverture: ORATORY
Propose Peace (Minor): ORATORY
Propose Peace (Major): ORATORY
Provocation: INTIMIDATE
Scientific Cooperation: DIPLOMACY
Scientific Exchange: DIPLOMACY
Scientific Joint Effort: DIPLOMACY
Unification: ORATORY
Victory Pact: DIPLOMACY

Interior Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Interior Council
The Interior Council’s 4 main jobs all rely on Administration skill, as do the vast majority of their Stratagems. Leadership, Bribery, and Oratory are occasionally used, as is Streetwise when dealing with the Godfather.

Skill type breakdown: 22 Int, 16, Cha

Job Skills
Interior Policies: ADMINISTRATION

Stratagem Skills
Bureaucratic Push: ADMINISTRATION
Co-Existence: STREETWISE
Commercial Gift: LEADERSHIP
Crackdown on Crime: STREETWISE
Decrease Sales Tax: ADMINISTRATION
Decrease Income Tax: ADMINISTRATION
Demand a Share: STREETWISE
Efficiency Drive: ADMINISTRATION
Export Tariff Increase: ADMINISTRATION
Export Tariff Decrease: ADMINISTRATION
Give 500 to Militia: BRIBERY
Give 500 to Populace: BRIBERY
Give 2000 to Populace: BRIBERY
Governor Convention: ADMINISTRATION
Grand Convention: ADMINISTRATION
Import Tariff Increase: ADMINISTRATION
Import Tariff Decrease: ADMINISTRATION
Increase Sales Tax: ADMINISTRATION
Increase Income Tax: ADMINISTRATION
Meet Godfather: STREETWISE
Militia Enthusiasm: LEADERSHIP
Mission Impossible: LEADERSHIP
Official Gift: LEADERSHIP
Patriotic Collection: ORATORY
Volunteer Drive: LEADERSHIP

Economic Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Economic Council
The Economic Council’s 4 main jobs require Inventor, Science, Prospecting, and Administration, with the first two most likely being of top importance to you as they allow you to move down the Tech Tree. They are also responsible for enacting a few Stratagems as well.

Skill type breakdown: 7 Int, 2 Cha, 1 Will

Job Skills
Discovery: INVENTOR
Research: SCIENCE
Prospecting: PROSPECTING
Economic Policies: ADMINISTRATION

Stratagem Skills
Attract Free Folk: ORATORY
Archaeology Effort: SCIENCE
Private Investment: ORATORY
Prospecting Push I: PROSPECTING
Prospecting Push II: PROSPECTING

Military Research Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Military Research Council
Military Research does not play Stratagems. Thus you want an egghead here well versed in Inventor and Science to power down the Tech Tree, and that’s about it.

Skill type breakdown: 2 Int

Job Skills
Discovery: INVENTOR
Research: SCIENCE

Applied Science Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Applied Science Council
Everything I said about the Military Research Council above applies to the Applied Science Council. Also, note that in games that start at tech level 3 or 4, this is an office you will probably want to delay creating, as you will not be able to discover any of the applied sciences until you move further down the tech tree.

Skill type breakdown: 2 Int

Job Skills
Discovery: INVENTOR
Research: SCIENCE

Airforce Research Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Airforce Research Council
Available when you opt to use the new Air Rules, this does what the Military Research Council already does, which is to discover and research military techs, but only airpower related techs on the tree (colored sky blue and marked “Air”). The Military Research Council can also discover and research Air techs, but only if you have not created the ARC … once the ARC is present, the MRC will no longer try to discover or research Air techs.

The nice thing about this arrangement is that it allows you to discover and research two military techs at the same time (one Air and one non-Air), and this, in turn, helps gets around the late game problem of the drop off in efficiency of having more than 100 BPs committed to the same task.

Another nice thing about the ARC is that creating the department takes only 50% of the PPs needed for all the other ministries.

Skill type breakdown: 2 Int

Job Skills
Discovery: INVENTOR
Research: SCIENCE

Model Design Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Model Design Council
A most one-dimensional cabinet position, which deals only with the Technician skill in his or her daily duties. Do not play skill check Stratagems.

Skill type breakdown: 2 Int

Job Skills
Discover Model: TECHNICIAN
Design Model: TECHNICIAN

Staff Council

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Staff Council
The Staff Council has four jobs, but all of them use only one skill, High Command. Operational Command and Intimidate are also used for some population-related Stratagems.

Skill type breakdown: 6 War, 2 Cha

Job Skills
Operationalize OOB: HIGH COMMAND
Occupation and Governance: HIGH COMMAND

Stratagem Skills
Forced Relocation: INTIMIDATE

Zone Governors

Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Zone Governors
As you can see, Zone Governors are pretty hard to pigeon hole, as they access a wide variety of skills in their day-to-day jobs. But you can tailor your Governor to the Zone to some degree. For example, if there are many ruins in a Zone, you may want to look for a high Scavenging Governor.

Skill type breakdown: 9 Int, 1 Cha, 1 Str

Job Skills
Agriculture Bonus: AGRICULTURE
Scavenging Bonus: SCAVENGING
Help Trader Financing: TRADE
Prospecting Find Chance: PROSPECTING
Health Increase: MEDICAL
Entertainment Increase: ORATORY
Education Increase: SCIENCE
Security Increase: INVESTIGATION
Hunting Bonus: ECOLOGY
Reduce Hunger: SURVIVAL


Shadow Empire - Grognerd's Guide to Human Resources Administration - Advisors
Last but not least, we have your Advisors. Since they give you an extra Stratagem skill roll when attached to another minister, use them to fill the gaps in key skills you want but lack in your main cabinet leaders. For example, let’s say you are Autocratic and want to avail yourself of Assa*sinate Leader. However, your Secret Service Council leader, while a whiz at Covert Ops, sadly does not know the first thing about Personal Combat. In that case, just be sure to appoint an Advisor that knows Personal Combat, give him a Personal Guard for good measure, and voila! An instant a*sa*sin can be attached and detached to and from Secret Service as the need arises.

Jack-of-All-Trade Skills

A couple of skills in the game act as jack-of-all-trade skills, giving a bonus to all Skill Rolls. So feel free to take these into account for all hiring and placement decisions as well:

IMPROVISATION: “This helps the Leader in question to make a Skill Roll on a Skill he doesn’t master very well. If any Skill Roll is made on a Skill with a value of 15 or lowers, the Improvisation Skill adds a small bonus.”

6th SENSE: “Hard to define, but a precious Skill. It gives the Leader a sense of what is the right course of action in almost any situation. It adds a random bonus of 1 up to half its value to any Skill Roll.”

Job Prestige

OK, so now you know how to allocate the leaders with the best skills for the right job. And you now realize your administration could benefit from a good old-fashioned cabinet shuffle! This will involve firing leaders, which causes discontent, especially on the part of the fired leader. However, you are offered an opportunity to mitigate the unhappiness by promising a future job to the newly unemployed leader, either of the same level, better level, or worse level. The better your promise, the more PP the firing will cost.

So how are jobs ranked, you wonder? In a nutshell, there are 3 tiers of jobs, with the Governors and OHQ Commanders being the lowest (aside from the non-job of the Reserve pool), Advisors and the Secretary is the middle, and the SHQ Commander and Directors being the top tier in terms of job prestige. Here’s the chart from the manual: Job Prestige

Job Prestige
Reserve Pool: 0
Governor: 40
OHQ Commander: 40
Advisor: 70
Secretary: 70
SHQ Commander: 100
Director: 100

Written by Grognerd

This is all that we can say about the Shadow Empire – Grognerd’s Guide to Human Resources Administration for now. I hope this post helped you. If there is anything that we should add, please let us know via comment below. See you soon!

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