I tend to turtle, and part of that means I like having buffer states between me and potential enemies. Also, I'm saddened that there is no 'insightful' I could reward you with, so in lieu of that you get its less wise, but more knowledgable sibling 'informative'.Take a look at the map on page 1 opening post and look at borders. Our borders can be them facing the Lyrans and Free worlds or they can be absorbed by them facing us. This will happen eventually. As a strong state with lots of goodies the minor powers are going to get run over one way or another. They are now valuable clay just becuse they lie on the trade route to and from us. I would rather we absorb and uplift them as part of us than the houses eat them so they have closer borders to us. That and as multi planet nations absorbing them also lets us build up faster than picking of single worlds. They can define our borders with our neighbor houses and give us time to absorb and uplift all the smaller single worlds were the real problems will be getting them aboard. Will it scare others? Maybe but they should be scared already if they had any real idea what we are capable of. Push come to shove we could completely fuck up the IS right now and they would be hard pressed to stop us on top of having the best scientific and industrial base in known space. To the houses we are doing what they did early on consolidating and eating nearby nations until we reach a size we cant easily keep growing pushing up against similar size powers. Single planets and smaller powers might be concerned but we are not the house looking to stamp ourselves on them. Joining gets lots of benefits and local everything stays the same as long as it obeys agreed upon laws.
Hm… we really ought to get some industrial exports to the Lothians and Illyrians. For the doubters among our politicians that would be under the guise of propping up the defence alliance, particularly in light of the imminent/ongoing Marian incursion.
Now we can basically give them a discount, or lend-lease like support, or outright supply them with replacements jumpships for any jumpship they lose during the conflict. Heck, we could probably attribute any such gifts as strengthening their economy, since more jumpships (particularly civilian) would effectively remove that bottleneck as an obstacle. It would probably still take a year or so before they'd fully trust in our jumpships (there'd be doubts about it being too good to be true, rush jobs, looking for a hook, etc), but then they'd be fully ready to buy as many jumpships as they need without any more prodding by us.
I wonder if the defence treaty/alliance has a name, like Anti-Spinward Defence Alliance = ASDA, or maybe Rimworlds Defence Treaty = RDT, though I don't know how much Amaris tainted the 'rimworlds' moniker in the IS and Periphery.
You know, this reminds me. We have a functional currency exchange, but we don't know the discretionary budget of the polities. We can put their minds at ease with regards to them being able to afford jumpships by trading them for concessions. Like trading outposts, lift of import/export restrictions, diplomatic backrubs, etc.to useful to dare offend. Like jumpships. We start selling those we should make obscene amounts of money or resources
PS: Welcome Warer and Ridli!