Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Game with 5 'countries' plus 3 advisors able to work for any nation. Devised by lordelindel and GMd by asudevil. Winner Zarazoga {pjkon)

Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby asudevil » 07 Jan 2015, 02:16

Ok....So Im going to say that this game is over.

There's a couple of things going on here. The original rules (in his mind) from lordelindel was that only the princes could end the game and then a wazir may solo. I THINK I may have told someone that. But the rules aren't really written that way and we have had players playing as if a wazir can end the game in a solo any time they have 3 times as much gold as the leading prince has SC.

So in my mind Jakofipa has just solo'd this game as he has 24 gold and the leading SC is 8.

Also, there is have been comments that this game isn't really balanced and the wazirs have too much power since a prince has to spend a whole season to arrest the prince.

So I can end this one of 2 ways in my opinion...One side is that this was a good "test run" that would have belonged in the test bed for 5 years (because the wazir was a new mechanic and some of the rules weren't really clear)...another is that it ended in a solo for Jak...I personally think Jak solo'd. But

Also, with my mega game starting in 2 days (and several of you in that) I don't mind this ending so I can focus on that.

So either way...I find this game over...and we can either say it was a testing of a new mechanic...or Jak won.

Hope you all had fun. It was great watching you guys play and making it through with only the one NMR on a build...so Im pretty happy all and all.

Thanks for the game.

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Seville-Antigonos

Fleet Cadiz Move to SoG----Plundered (HOLD)
Army Carmona Move to Malaga----Plundered (HOLD)
Army Azuaga Move to Cordoba----Plundered (HOLD)
Army Jaen Move to Aledo----Plundered (HOLD)
Army Niebla Hold----Plundered (HOLD)

Zarazoga-pjkon

Toledo to Salamanca----Resolved
Cuenca to Madrid----Resolved
Alava to Oviedo----Resolved
Villena to Calatrava----Resolved
Tortosa hold----Resolved

Hire Jakofipa----Failed

Castille-sjg11

A Leon-Oviedo----Plundered (HOLD)
A Burgos-Madrid----Plundered (HOLD)
A Zamora- support A Burgos-Madrid----Plundered (HOLD)

Badojaz-lordelindel

A Ciudad Rodrigo: no order issued
A Merida – Toledo----Resolved
A Badajoz – Vilar----Resolved
Fl Oporto – Portugal----Resoled

I hire Wazir Fedorbear----Resolved

Granada-tankmaster22

A Calatrava-Cordoba---Resolved
A Granada H----Resolved
F Ceuta H----Resolved

Wazir1-fedorbear working for pjkon (8 gold)

I go to the court of Badajoz----Resolved

Wazir2-Jakofipa working for Antigonos (19 gold)

PLUNDER ----Resolved (+5 gold)

Wazir3-nanoonktheeskimo working for sjg11 (5 gold)

Plunder Castille, and pray for forgiveness----Resolved (+5 gold)
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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby BGG » 07 Jan 2015, 02:26

Argh, only person here to accidentally NMR. :oops: It would have been nice to have those two extra armies. :D

Thanks lordelindel for coming up with the game, and thanks asu for moderating it. I had a lot of fun.
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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby Aeschines » 07 Jan 2015, 02:45

Asudevil, thank you so much for stepping up and running this. I really appreciate you getting off the ground.

Everyone else, thank you so much for playing, I had a really good time and I hope you did to.

If you're interested in providing feedback I would love to hear what you think, how you would change either the rules or the map.

Suggested changes
    Reducing the burden on Princes by making it easier to arrest Wazirs
    Reducing the amount of gold Wazirs get from plunder (to make regular employment a theoretical victory possibility)
    Making Zaragoza less isolated from the rest of the board

Once again, thank you all for making this endeavor of mine come to life!
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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby pjkon » 07 Jan 2015, 03:08

lordelindel wrote:Have you ever thought - "Man, diplomacy is so cool! But it does a terrible job of replicating the intrigue that could happen within a country's political leadership during the game!"

If so, you're a lot like me and you should sign up to play Al-Andalus Diplomacy. It's a variant of diplomacy set during the historical period that is, arguably, the closest to operating like actual diplomacy. 5 small Princedoms squabbled and cheating and lied amongst eachother until one of them (historically: Castille) emerged the victor and (re)conquered España (i.e. solo-ed).

What makes Al-Andalus Diplomacy different from regular dip is that in addition to the 5 regular players ("Princes") there are 3 additional players who serve as advisors to the Princes but whose loyalty can't be counted on. The Wazirs, as they are called, serve individual Princes and through their administrative prowess allow those Princes to use an additional unit. However, the loyalty of a Wazir is never fixed. While there are 5 Princes there are only 3 Wazirs, meaning some Princes always operate without the benefits of the Wazir's advice and skill... so what can they do? They can convince a Wazir who is employed by a Prince to betray that Prince and join them at their court.

You see, part of getting help running your kingdom from an independent agent means you necessarily give that agent the seeds of your own destruction.

To make a long story short, Al-Andalus Diplomacy asks the question: can you trust you closest advisor and can you afford not to?

Rules
The Rules of Al-Andalus Diplomacy are the same as regular diplomacy except as noted below:

The powers in Al-Andalus are:
Kingdom of Castille [red]
Taifa of Zaragoza [yellow]
Taifa of Badajoz [dark blue]
Taifa of Seville [purple]
Taifa of Granada [cyan]

Princes (i.e. "Regular Players")
  • Cannot move all of their units every spring or fall
    -Must order at least one unit to HOLD (or not issue it an order at all) every spring or fall
    -If a Prince has only 1 unit remaining they can issue and order to that unit irrespective of whether they have a Wazir
  • Can hire a Wazir by including in their orders (spring or fall)
    The Prince of Zaragoza hires Wazir lordelindel.

  • The hired Wazir must issue the order
    I go to the court of the Prince of Zaragoza.
  • A Prince can onlyever have one Wazir hired at a given time
  • A hired Wazir may issue an order to a unit owned by the Prince (allowing the Prince to command all of their units in any given move season)
    -If the Prince gives a unit a HOLD order and the Wazir also gives it a move/support order then Wazir's order will override the Prince’s HOLD
    -If the Prince gives the unit a move/support order and that order conflicts with the order given by the Wazir then that unit HOLDs (the unit is confused and doesn’t know who to obey)
    -If the Prince gives the unit an order that matches the order given by the Wazir then that unit carries out the order given but is counted as if the Prince had given the order -> in this case (assuming the Prince did not leave any other units fallow) one of the Prince's units will auto-hold (see below), even though the Wazir gave an order to a unit
    -If the Prince does not issue that unit an order at all then the order given by the Wazir is carried out [this is the ideal way to use a Wazir]
  • A Prince can fire their Wazir by giving an ARREST order during the spring or fall
    -When a Prince gives an ARREST order their Wazir, unless they had switched Princes that turn, loses half of their Dinars and is forcibly removed from court (becoming a free agent). However, all of the Prince's units must hold to execute an ARREST order
    -An ARREST order counters (and invalidates) a PLUNDER order (see below)
    -When a Prince gives a successful ARREST order they take half of their (former) Wazir's Dinars (rounded down). Those Dinars then wait patiently for the Prince to hire another Wazir who then immediately gains all of them

Wazirs (i.e. Special Counselors)
  • Owns no territory or units on the board but rather seeks to win through wealth (Dinars)
  • Wins the game (automatically is included in a draw) by collecting more Dinars than any other Wazir (the Wazir still loses if a Prince solos unless the Wazir qualifies for a solo)
  • Wins a "Solo Victory" by collecting more than 3 Dinars per supply center owned by the strongest playerat the end of the game , regardless if the games ended in a draw or a solo (see discussion below)
  • Earns Dinars through being at a Prince's Court
  • May join a Prince at court by issuing the order (spring or fall)
    I go to the court of the Prince of Zaragoza.

    -Corresponding Prince must issue the corresponding order (that same season):
    The Prince of Zaragoza hires Wazir lordelindel.

    -An employed Wazir may issue an order for one of "their" Prince's units in the spring and fall (allowing the Prince to command all of their units in any given move season)
    -A Wazir transfer happens during regular order resolution for a turn (spring or fall). Thus, on a turn where a Wazir is leaving one court to join another they cannot issue orders to any units nor PLUNDER any Prince. They spend that turn packing up and moving.
  • An employed Wazir earns 1 Dinar for every unit owned by 'their' Prince who is issued a HOLD order (so Princes can pay their Wazirs at the cost of HOLDing units)
  • If the Wazir so desires they may issue an order to PLUNDER during the spring or fall
  • If a Wazir issues a PLUNDER order all of "their" Princes units hold (even if the Prince had given them orders) and the Wazir gains 1 Dinars for each of those units
  • A Wazir can be fired if "their" Prince gives an ARREST order
    -A Wazir who has not given the order to switch Princes when their current Prince gives an ARREST order (spring or fall) loses half of their Dinars (rounded down) and is forcibly removed from court (becoming a free agent). However all of the Prince's units must hold that turn.
    -When a Prince gives a successful ARREST order they take half of their (former) Wazir's Dinars. Those Dinars then wait patiently for the Prince to hire another Wazir who then immediately gains all of them

Here is the map:
Wazir Diplomacy Unitless Map.gif

Wazir Diplomacy 1080.gif


Some notes:
  • The game has 27 supply centers and will end either with a draw or when one Prince has captured 14 of the centers. When the game has ended on the board then the number of Dinars owned by each Wazir are counted and a victor is determined.
  • The number of Dinars owned by every player (including Princes) is public knowledge to all players.
  • A Wazir cannot influence any movements during the build and retreat phases (unless they are a Wazir-General: see below)
  • The affiliation of Wazirs with particular Princes is public knowledge. The GM will publish the 'hiring' orders for all to see (that includes attempts to hire a Wazir away from a Prince that fail- due to the Wazir choosing a different Prince or to remain at court).
  • Wazirs cannot become free agents of their own volition. The only way for a Wazir to stop being affiliated with a Prince is to be ARRESTed. If a Wazir attempts to move Princes and is not accepted by the second Prince then the Wazir stays put (and doesn’t issue orders to either Prince’s units). The Wazir in this scenario will be paid like normal, however.
    -The policy reason for not allowing Wazir's to become free-agents of their own accord is that as free-agents Wazirs are invulernable. Allowing them to become free-agents of their own volition would permit a wealthy Wazir to protect their riches by becoming a free-agent and simply waiting for the game to end. Thus, the only way for a Wazir to become a free-agent is as part of an arrest action, which costs half their dinars).


Auto-Holds:
If a Prince orders all of their units to move/support (whether they have a Wazir or not!) then the unit that automatically receives a HOLD order is determined this way:
    1) A unit that was also given an CONFLICTING order by a Wazir HOLDs
    2) If no unit was given a CONFLICTING order by a Wazir then the unit which holds is determined in the same way as automatic destroys due to NMRs in diplomacy with respect to the province all the units are in (not where they were given orders to move to)

NMRS:
  • In the event of a Prince's NMR their NMR functions like a regular ARREST order
  • In the event of a Wazir's NMR their NMR functions like their Prince simply hadn't employed a Wazir (the Wazir can still earn money)
  • For the purposes of replacing players a Wazir who leaves the game (through voluntary departure or 2 NMRs) will be replaced and the replacement will pick up with the same employer and all the former Wazir's Dinars
  • If a Prince leaves the game (through voluntary departure or 2 NMRs) they will be replaced either by their current Wazir or an alternate (the Wazir's decision)

Death of a Wazir:
  • If a Prince without a Wazir captures another Prince's final supply center the conquering Prince may either take the defeated Prince's Wazir as their own or EXECUTE them, removing that Wazir from the game. If the conquering Prince already has a Wazir they may EXECUTE the defeated Prince's Wazir or allow them to become a free agent. An EXECUTED Wazir's Dinars are lost to the ether.

Wazir Solos:
  • Soloing as a Wazir is very challenging, and it is meant to be. A Wazir is always in danger of being arrested just before they would otherwise win the game as a “solo”. The primary (though not exclusive) way for a Wazir to solo would be to go to work for a weak Prince, who can't win the game, with whom the Wazir has built up a good relationship over the course of the game. Because Wazir's don't own land/troops a ‘solo’ victory requires having convinced one of the Princes to let them win. The weak Prince can enact their revenge on the stronger Princes who have betrayed them by harboring the Wazir who can then solo.

OPTIONAL RULE: WAZIR-GENERALS
  • In any move season, other than the move season in which the Wazir was hired, a Prince may appoint their Wazir general of one of that Prince's units
  • A Wazir who is a general of a unit has complete control over that unit in every season but loses the ability to issue orders to any other units
    -The Prince can issue orders to all of their remaining units
  • A unit with a general attacks at 1.5 strength (but defends and supports with single strength)
  • Territory captured by a Wazir-General counts towards the Wazir's Prince's SC count
  • A Wazir-General can still plunder/be arrested like normal
    -The unit of the Wazir-General HOLDs with the rest of the Prince's units for that turn in either scenario
  • If a Wazir leaves their Prince voluntarily SCs captured by the Wazir-General's unit remains under the control of the Wazir
    -If the Wazir becomes a free-agent the Wazir-General retains control of their generaled-unit so long as the Wazir has at least 1 SC
    -If a Wazir-General joins a different Prince's court any territory controlled by the Wazir-General is transferred to the new Prince (i.e. counts towards that Prince's SC total and allows that Prince to build additional units)
    -If a Wazir-General is arrested any territory controlled by the Wazir-General and his unit are returned to the control of his (now former) Prince
  • A Wazir-General cannot build any units
    -The Wazir-General continues to control their unit (and that unit continues to count against whichever Prince they work for's unit total) until that unit is destroyed, the Wazir runs out of SCs (and is a free-agent), or they voluntarily give up command (and cede that unit and all their territory to whatever Prince they currently work for)
    -The Wazir’s unit may be destroyed by a Prince like any other unit if that Prince has destroys in the Winter adjustments (in which case the Wazir’s land immediately goes to that Prince)


As you can see the game becomes a very intense (and diplomatic!) version of rock-paper-scissors. Each Prince wants to have a Wazir so they can have a unit advantage over the other players but having a Wazir leaves them open to PLUNDER actions, which can dethrone a player very close to a solo, and force them to use an ARREST order which can steal them enough wealth to maybe secure the loyalty of a different Wazir... Or maybe not!


This is a direct copy from the definitive rules. The only change is the boldness, underlining, font size and color of the important section of text. By these rules as clearly written this game is not over. Lorde informed me during the game that these rules were written as intended. Neither the spirit nor the letter of the rules supports this ending to the game.
Last edited by pjkon on 07 Jan 2015, 03:28, edited 2 times in total.
It is better to have scs then allies, assuming something aproaching equal combat power in each

Your credibility with eliminated powers is irrelavant

Keep your allies happy enough that they stay allies

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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby asudevil » 07 Jan 2015, 03:23

@Pjkon...but at the same time...that means its basically impossible for a wazir to solo as why would the princes ever end a game with a wazir having 3 times their SC.

And there were players playing as if 3times the gold ended the game.

I agree its not ideal...not even a little. I think this game should have been played in the test bed where new ideas get tried out before running a full game...I have thought that for about 2 game years. But I wanted to get to 5years since that's a "standard" test bed run.

So I get it...its a frustrating end...to a game that still needs tweaks.
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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby pjkon » 07 Jan 2015, 03:27

@Asudevil

I commented on THIS EXACT PROBLEM in the development thread before the game started and I will give you the rebuttal that Lore gave to me when I asked by highlighting in blue the rule note in which he mentions it.
Last edited by pjkon on 07 Jan 2015, 03:44, edited 2 times in total.
It is better to have scs then allies, assuming something aproaching equal combat power in each

Your credibility with eliminated powers is irrelavant

Keep your allies happy enough that they stay allies

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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby asudevil » 07 Jan 2015, 03:41

pjkon wrote:@Asudevil

I commented on THIS EXACT PROBLEM in the development thread before the game started and I will give you the rebuttal that Lore gave to me when I asked by highlighting in blue the rule note in which he mentions it.


Nice...you are clearly right...still doesn't change my opinion that this game is over...only now we can call it not a solo...and instead we can refer to it as having run its 5 year "test bed" run to try out a new rule-set
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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby pjkon » 07 Jan 2015, 03:44

Okay. Its a shame to waste such an excellent game like that, but I understand if you want to move onto world influence (I am so looking forward to that game).
It is better to have scs then allies, assuming something aproaching equal combat power in each

Your credibility with eliminated powers is irrelavant

Keep your allies happy enough that they stay allies

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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby jakofipa » 07 Jan 2015, 03:47

Whilst I am glad that I managed to solo in the rules being played, I do feel that it was much to easy to do so. The fact that it ended after fulfilling the criteria is needed, but should have been more explicit and well known.

I think the general mechanics are good, but some of the numbers are wazir favoured.

I would suggest:

1. Winning Dinars is 3 times the solo SC number, NOT 3 times the leading player. The original creates a moving target for the Wazirs, meaning a Wazir could solo just from a Prince losing an SC!

2. Perhaps to order an ARREST, you can still command 1 army? Like the reverse of being Wazir-less. This would still mean it is a big ask to arrest a Wazir, but is not quite so crippling.

3. Perhaps lowering the PLUNDER incentive (half what it is maybe?). Otherwise you could easily get the solo gold in 4/5 turns (as I did) from successive plunders. Making arrests easier would also reduce this chance.

4. Having some mechanism for Dinars to leave the game. At present the wealth of the Wazirs in total always increases, meaning they will almost always win unless it is a fast game; which the Wazirs can stop. I would suggest each store of Dinars (Wazir or prince) losing 10% (rounded down) a year to help slow down inflation.

Though thank you all for a very enjoyable game! I would definitely be interested in helping ironing out any rules/ playing in further games. I really think this variant has a lot of potential!

Jak: a very rich Wazir
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Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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Re: Al-Andalus Fall 1085

Postby asudevil » 07 Jan 2015, 03:49

Jak...after Pjkon's reading/bolding of the rules...I think they are "clear enough" that the game shouldn't have ended...

But the rules do need some "tightening up"
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