game abandoned, no result : Feedback

game in which the rulers of the nations give orders to mercenary Generals who are free to follow them or not. Devised and GMd by Beowulf7

game abandoned, no result : Feedback

Postby Pedros » 24 Oct 2011, 13:12

With the agreement of Beowulf, this game has been abandoned and transferred to Archived. This thread can be used for any AARs, or any feedback about the game design as a pointer for another attempt. It would also be useful to know whether players found the idea of using main site for the game itself helpful or otherwise.
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Re: game abandoned, no result : Feedback

Postby marsman57 » 30 Nov 2011, 21:04

Not sure if anyone will read this, but though I didn't end up playing (I made a half-hearted attempt to track down a ruler to get some units) I was intrigued by this from the beginning and here are some of my thoughts.

First, this game will be hard to run to completion on this site as it starts with 14 players, 7 of which are only engaged during the build phase. A consequence of this could be a harsh NMR policy where you never pause the game. For a general, their units will be yanked completely after two consecutive orders seasons missed to be reallocated by the rulers as they see fit. For a ruler, natural attrition would simply take over. Builds would not be allocated, disbands would be taken by civil disorder rules, and moves of existing pieces would be handled by the generals. That said, there would be no downside to posting for a replacement ruler leading into...

I think the allocation of secret versus non-secret information should be a bit different. In beowulf's version, all rulers know each other + their generals while all generals know each other + their rulers. Meanwhile, the public has no information. This does not jive with the real world and makes it harder for rogue generals to get into the game. The only advantage it holds is that it keeps generals from being able to try to get units of every nation as they don't know the other rulers (unless others are honest about who their contacts are). My counter proposal would be that the ruler list should be completely public. This allows us to advertise for replacement rulers, and it mimics real life where the identities of kings are public. It also allows other generals (rogue or initially part of the game) to have the option to petition the kings for units. Alternately, maybe we could make it "public optional" where the ruler could choose to maintain a secret identity if he had purposes for it.

I am not sure if the victory condition is quite right. I worry that a ruler who gets up to 15-16 SCs will assign their builds to a general who has no real stake in the game except to enter some orders to bring about victory for the ruler. As general SC totals are secret, I can see them getting away with winning by being a stakeholder in many nations. Hopefully rulers would maintain good communication about who their generals are though to keep this from happening. Nonetheless, I'd probably run a game with this condition and then tweak it afterward depending on the results. Rulers get a slight edge in the current victory calculation anyway as a general could not win until the end of a Build Phase while rulers normally win at the beginning of the Build Phase.

There needs to be a mechanism for re-apportioning generals throughout the game outside of disbandments and builds. Would a ruler in real life let a general who is not following him control an army of his for 10 years? I don't think so. At the same time, if it were immediate, it might give too much power to rulers to strip units from powerful generals. My proposition is that during each Build Phase, you may declare your intention (privately to the GM) to reassign a unit the following Build Phase. At the start of the next build phase, the unit becomes unassigned. If the ruler chooses to reassign it to the same general (as his behavior has improved), then no one knows the wiser, but if he does not, the general is informed the unit has been stripped. Obviously to prevent rulers from abusing this privilege, it may not be taken two years consecutively for the same unit (for example if in 1904 I say I want to reassign A Par; then whether or not I choose to actually do that in 1905, I can't say I want to reassign it again until 1906 or actually reassign it again until 1907). Does that make sense?

As for using the in-game site to run it. That was kind of neat given that this was run as just a diplomatic change to the game as opposed to a rule change. That said, given the "limited information" theme of the game, I think it would work better as a Fog of War game. Alternately, rulers might be given full information (as they have spies and envoys throughout the land reporting back) but generals only have "Fog of War" info. Obviously, that makes it a pain in the butt to GM, but it would definitely make the diplomacy interesting.

Another possibility would be to not initially assign generals to units and let the pool of generals petition the various powers for control of units.

I am sure I could say more, but honestly I really do think this idea has some good potential.
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