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End/modify NG3? Quickly begin NG4 with better rules? VOTE

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wat do?

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kobo1d

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Well, after a lot of heated discussion, I think it's safe to say many people are unhappy with the current Nation Game, current rules, or just plain unhappy.

Judging by the drop-off in post count of a lot of members, we are losing players at a faster rate than earlier games. It is only Turn 8 (or 9, I am not even sure).

So I propose a vote.

Not going to sugar coat it, my opinion is to abort this fetus. But, I am not sure how much fun the rest of the world is having.

Going to run this for 24 hours before moving forward with anything, but start brainstorming.



Last edited by kobo1d on Sat May 01, 2010 3:13 am; edited 1 time in total

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I like where shit's going, but at the same time the rules don't feel right.
Also, if we quit now we'll get more players at the very start of NG4.

KILL IT WITH FIRE

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Yeah, this game is a bit dodgy.
But whatever happens, next game, the following should be clear:
During the majority of the turn, the game board does not change
When the turn resolves, there's no room for interpretation
A player need only offer his input once in a 24 hour period; things happening near the end of the turn should not penalise him if he offers no input.

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Syrnn

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As I've already stated, from the beginning I was pensive about the rules being drawn up for NG3. I was a proponent of economy and all else, and in part I take a responsibility for the foundation of these awkward rules, but I will selfishly wash my hands of it for now. Regardless, I believe that with some house-ruling, the simple elegance of NG2 was preferable to the sheer book-keeping nightmare that NG3 seemed to turn to.

It should be clear what exactly happens, regardless of a "judge" to monitor the board and economy. As I have no doubt that a rules thread for the impending NG4 will show up, I feel it necessary to commit what it is I have thought of here, while it is fresh in my memory:

-Rules concerning the forfeiture of colonies and the absence of players should be formalized and made to cover all conceivable angles of contention. Simply put, a resolution to the handing over of colonies to an ally to stem the tide of a war should be completely barred. Also, a player whom leaves the game, announced or unannounced would have a nation in upheaval, and thus doubly difficult to master, requiring fives, rather than fours, to colonize. In the event that a player leaves during a war without rolling defense dice, the mean average of the attack dice should be used to determine if the land is gained.

-An economy system is, seemingly, preferred by many players, but the odd book-keeping of them should be limited or nonexistent. In that, I propose the following:

Resources should be varied (perhaps six or so different types?) but all perform the same function: to supply the army with a bonus multiplier (or dice) of some sort. (I feel that .1 per supply is perhaps a bit too little?) They should be made to occupy a few (perhaps 3 or 4, varying) adjacent territories, but only a single resource of a kind should be allowed to supply a single "front" (that is, war against a player). As such, while the player would have 4 of this resource, if they were in a single war, only 1 of those could be used, supplying up to 4 wars. This would encourage trade of supplies so that way differing resources might stack the supplies of an army. Trade would, simply, be in effect until one of the two players deliberately states that he is ending the trade.

(ex. I have 4 somethings. I trade two somethings for one whatchamacallit, so that I might use one of the remaining somethings and my one whatchamacallit to supply an army and add the multipliers together. With one remaining something, I could supply a second front with only a single multiplier.)

-A nation would, as per NG1 and 2, have as many dice as he has territories, but should he fight in multiple wars, would have to divide these dice towards each front as seen fit. Allies would have to state which front they are supplying allied armies to. Armies would not be allowed to "trail blaze" or blitzkrieg during a war, but must fight adjacent territories (or reasonably near coastal territories, to provide a geographical advantage to certain borders and so on.

-Finally, I believe that a passive bonus on territories based upon geography would be an interesting, final touch, such as mountainous regions adding a multiplier (or possibly dice?) to defending rolls, attacking across rivers giving a penalty, and so forth.

Personally, I have no problem, while kobo1d takes a back seat, in organizing and overseeing NG4 by rules of this style, and acting as a Non-national entity. Otherwise, I look forward to being a full-fledged player in NG4. Let this last debacle be a lesson to us all in the troubles of home-brewing rules, and I commend kobo1d for his laborious efforts in putting this together.

Red Text is for ninja edits while I was conceiving this post and should be read thus as amendments in hindsight, not particularly a necessity of these proposed rules.

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I'm thinking something quite similar.
The resources and trade didn't actually get much goddamn use this game. Sure, people wanted to GET them for the obvious reason, but they weren't all that interested in trading them.
To facilitate trading, you have to give one player more of one resource than he needs, and less of a second. There's no obvious way to do that if players can claim extra tiles, unless you make tiles sparse, and have each tile give (say) 1 to 6 of a resource. That'll force players to trade off the extra ones.

I figure we make a map, assign each territory a "Value".
The effective strength of your military is (3d6-3) times the total value of all your land, split between whatever war(s) you opt to engage in. Bigger strength = win war.
Your cash gained is equal to your value, the cost to take a territory is equal to [your number of lands] in peace, [your number of lands / 2] in war.
Taking non-adjacent territories should be outlawed forever.

As for how value should be distributed, I'm thinking we need a few very valuable lands and a lot of worthless shitty ones. something like the following:
Value 0, 50% of lands
Value 1, 25% of lands
Value 2, 12.5% of lands
Value 3, 1/16th of lands
Value 4, 1/32 of lands
etc.
(Average value of a land is 1.)

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Syrnn

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I hate to say it, Chinese R-3, but as reasonable as what you are proposing is, arithmetic is not going to do the job. The major issue was the confusion of carried resources and how they affect rolls, on top of how a military worked. I believe that the function of resources is solid, but to assign lands a multitude of strengths and variables of resources is simply too much bookkeeping. I would even go so far as to say my proposed geographic bonuses on top of resources is as yet too much!

A map will come, and I have all faith in Kobo1d to concoct a functional, worthwhile map once more, and that while not necessarily the best in light of a non-random function for acquiring land, the 4+ rolls to colonize simply kept things non-negotiable and was, as all things go, the sacred calf of NG1 that made everything work. Yes, poor luck can defeat you above all else, but the same is true in the war mechanic of NG3, no matter the amount of dice or multipliers, a series of 1s in the face of better rolling will see defeat, and that ought to be duly accepted as a sacrifice towards getting the game moving towards a more interesting end. The Land Grab beginning is never what NG is about.

Consequently, however, another thought for a rule has occurred: That an action might be spent to tax or tithe each territory you hold. Simply put, you would gain 1 gold for every territory you own, and perhaps a bonus for your capitol, or for territories adjacent to a trading neighbor to show economic fluorescence. Gold would, in effect, be valueless, save for the purposes of trade. Why have it then? Because we, as players, would give it value according to the demand of foreign resource, while the other would then have the gold, and thus obligation or leverage over the client player each turn, or however is seen fit by the supplier. Not by any means a necessity, but something I think could make for an interesting "neutral" resource. Besides, with sufficient roleplaying, who would not want to be wealthy? Even so, another use, such as a temporary bonus to military (as though the effects of a resource) for a certain amount of gold, or to build other "capitols" or cities which would, in turn, bring greater wealth if taxed in the long run! These are all simply ideas, however, and nothing I am going to wholly endorse. Keep it simple, keep it fun.

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You're right with the arithmetic, but what's your suggestion to giving tiles a strategic value?
Here's what I think a possible map might look like. Playing without the numbers would make it simpler and, in my opinion, is fine too.


Edit: Doing away with gold? That'd certainly work. It'd probably work better, too.
Limit player expansion to {n} territories per turn or {2n} in wartime (I'm thinking 2 and 4, respectively). But you'd still need some way of telling a player's military power.

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If you make each resource tile pump out 3 of a resource, and make them all 3 times scarcer, you'd see a lot more trading going on as players with 3 oil and 3 uranium want to trade away 2 oil and 2 uranium for rubber, iron, and coal.
That'd certainly work.
As for military power, setting it equal to (random dice) times some fraction of a player's power.

And I agree; arithmetic makes the whole thing worse. Just let players expand either 2 times to neutral, 4 times to enemy, or once to neutral and twice to enemy lands.

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derp-gue


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I vote no.1 because it turns out I don't have as much time on my hands as I would've hoped to. pale

I'll keep on spectatin' tho.

That's it, I'm grabbin' his gold tile.

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OI like how it is now because its easy for me to understand, but your new rules look so big, and scary. pale

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Chinese R-3 wrote:And I agree; arithmetic makes the whole thing worse. Just let players expand either 2 times to neutral, 4 times to enemy, or once to neutral and twice to enemy lands.
Last game we each had four actions, which we had to divide between war and colonization.

It worked quite well, actually. The biggest problem was definitely steamrolling; Honolulu gobbled up the beetle people in a few turns, even though almost the entire world was giving them ally dice. I attacked a few pirates to the south of me, and I rolled right over them until they surrendered all their (remaining) land to Syrnn and kobo1d.
However, the action system also slowed down the rate at which colonies were taken in war.

I like Syrnn's economy system, but I also feel like we should maybe scrap what we have and turn trade into a passive modifier. A proper ally gives you extra dice, but trade will give you a small modifier to attack rolls. I can't really decide how big or small the modifier will be, though; it needs to be significant enough to make a difference, but insignificant enough that it doesn't feel like you're contributing to the war as much as an ally would. Maybe it should scale with nation size?

You can't trade with a nation you're warring with, nor with any of their allies. And your allies can't, either. But you can remain neutral and continue trading with both sides, giving your modifier to each one.

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Although I supported a rule change it does seem that this game perhaps went to far, and the rapid accumulation of fluff posts plus the rule complexity caused our worst player loss rate ever. So I think a new game with simpler rules would be a good idea.
We could still use the Mars map though. I like it and there was a lot of work put into it.

That being said, I wouldn't want to go back to straight NG2 rules because of the steamroller effect. As Premier Cherdenko said, even in the one war where 80% of the players allied with a side, the bigger player won. In fact, in NG2 there were no close or risky wars, just curbstomp after curbstomp. Also, the sheer number of dice required in the later wars was ugly and tedious.

I would support maybe going to just a fixed dice system in wars. That is each player has x number of dice(maybe 3-5) and allies contribute a fixed number as well(maybe 1-2). If we want to keep resources, they could also contribute a fixed amount. Granted, this means bigger nations don't get any advantage from their size , be historically just being bigger does not mean victory, and this would stop the steamroller effect. Those who wanted to build vast empires would still be free to do so, and those who had other goals would be free to play and rp as they wish without being easy meals to the empires or feeling that they must expand to survive.

Also as a housekeeping change, I would like to see 2 IC threads for the new game. One just for each nations move for the turn, with 1 post per nation per day and minimal rp, and the second as the fluff thread, with players free to post as much as they want.
This way there is a ready summary of everyone's actions, as opposed to now, where if you want to know what went on 3 turns ago one has to dig out the 12 posts where something happened from 8 pages of posts. Also, since time to play is a barrier for many, this will help as a player with limited time can just read the move thread and still keep up on everything that's going on, then dive into the fluff thread when they have the time for it.

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I really liked the NG3 rules, however it seems they were confusing too many players, especially with the lack of a full-on game master this time around.

I think that if we had a game master from turn one to the end of the game with the current rules - maybe explained slightly better - we would have the best nation game so far.

So yeah, I'm up for starting a new game, but I don't particularly want to see the rules changed.

Up to you guys, though.

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Honolulu wrote:I really liked the NG3 rules, however it seems they were confusing too many players, especially with the lack of a full-on game master this time around.

I think that if we had a game master from turn one to the end of the game with the current rules - maybe explained slightly better - we would have the best nation game so far.

So yeah, I'm up for starting a new game, but I don't particularly want to see the rules changed.

Up to you guys, though.

inb4 "3rd edition was best edition, 4th edition isn't even NationGame"

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I really lik ng3rules they are simple and now that everyone is posting what they have no more nightmare. We really should just complete the game.

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I agree with the Irishman

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They could be simpler-er!
And yeah, the action system seems to me like it'd work. There would have to be some bonus for getting huge - increased army dice being the obvious one, but there could be others.
As for the economy system - I don't like it. The need to keep track of cash will indeed cause many problems. <_>
I'm not sure what to do about Curbstomp besides multiply each player's effective power by (3d6-3); that'll allow the dice to basically screw you.

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Syrnn

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minotaur wrote:

That being said, I wouldn't want to go back to straight NG2 rules because of the steamroller effect. As Premier Cherdenko said, even in the one war where 80% of the players allied with a side, the bigger player won. In fact, in NG2 there were no close or risky wars, just curbstomp after curbstomp. Also, the sheer number of dice required in the later wars was ugly and tedious.

I would support maybe going to just a fixed dice system in wars. That is each player has x number of dice(maybe 3-5) and allies contribute a fixed number as well(maybe 1-2). If we want to keep resources, they could also contribute a fixed amount. Granted, this means bigger nations don't get any advantage from their size , be historically just being bigger does not mean victory, and this would stop the steamroller effect. Those who wanted to build vast empires would still be free to do so, and those who had other goals would be free to play and rp as they wish without being easy meals to the empires or feeling that they must expand to survive.

Also as a housekeeping change, I would like to see 2 IC threads for the new game. One just for each nations move for the turn, with 1 post per nation per day and minimal rp, and the second as the fluff thread, with players free to post as much as they want.
This way there is a ready summary of everyone's actions, as opposed to now, where if you want to know what went on 3 turns ago one has to dig out the 12 posts where something happened from 8 pages of posts. Also, since time to play is a barrier for many, this will help as a player with limited time can just read the move thread and still keep up on everything that's going on, then dive into the fluff thread when they have the time for it.

On the first (and I suppose second) notes, I wholeheartedly agree. However, a nation of supreme power (or a moderate nation well-supplied with resources) should have an advantage in war. I absolutely agree, that NG2 was a nightmare, but it was also decisive and something no player ever contested, save for in the case of the Beetle People. I think that only being able to war upon neighboring territories, and having to divide dice if you are in multiple wars (as well as perhaps geographic bonuses!) would change the face of what is an incredibly simple yet heavy-handed system into something a bit more elegant and wieldy. There is no way to know for certain, of course, but I am willing to put a few shillings on the success of such minor changes as opposed to a radically different system for war as seen in NG3.

I also want to endorse in full the idea of a thread to act as the sort of United Nations, while the main game thread would remain a concise mechanical review of each persons turns and the progression of the game. Granted, this gives potential for players to have to keep track of 3(!) threads, including the map thread, but it is something to think about.

Moreover, I want to emphasize that the PM function exists for a reason. There is much to be said to all people, but when it does not chiefly concern ALL players, it is really preferable to PM it to any involved. I saw a lot of this in NG3, and had to nearly skim through threads to find relevant information. Chiefly of concern was also a lot of OOC discussion in the main thread, as well as some, and I hate to be elitist but this is kind of the purpose of these games, really flimsy roleplaying as an excuse towards mechanical ends. (Sorry, but Beer alone does not motivate a people to war, especially after the near extinction of Humanity) I hope that people simply being aware of those facts helps keep the boards clean, the games well motivated, and everything fun!

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So I'm thinking this:
Nations get Action Points (ap). They can spend these action points on grabbing land - whether from a war won last turn, or open neutral territory. War AP cost is half Neutral AP cost.
Throughout the map there are sets of dots - spread throughout the map. Controlling a full set of dots grants you an extra Action Point.
Dots can be traded per-turn.
Yes, it's abstract, but it encourages trading.
Next thing, army size. I say we just make army power equal to 3d6 * Square root(Size of your nation) and be done with it.

No cash.
No armies.
Just territories, wars, and trades.

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Chinese R-3 wrote:So I'm thinking this:
Nations get Action Points (ap). They can spend these action points on grabbing land - whether from a war won last turn, or open neutral territory. War AP cost is half Neutral AP cost.
Throughout the map there are sets of dots - spread throughout the map. Controlling a full set of dots grants you an extra Action Point.
Dots can be traded per-turn.
Yes, it's abstract, but it encourages trading.
Next thing, army size. I say we just make army power equal to 3d6 * Square root(Size of your nation) and be done with it.

No cash.
No armies.
Just territories, wars, and trades.
Sounds more strict and bland to me.

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Chinese R-3 wrote:So I'm thinking this:
Nations get Action Points (ap). They can spend these action points on grabbing land - whether from a war won last turn, or open neutral territory. War AP cost is half Neutral AP cost.
I don't like this.
I can't put it into words, but I don't like the way this feels.

Throughout the map there are sets of dots - spread throughout the map. Controlling a full set of dots grants you an extra Action Point.
Dots can be traded per-turn.
I still think we should scrap resources altogether, or else greatly simplify them, but not like this. As above, it just doesn't feel right.

Next thing, army size. I say we just make army power equal to 3d6 * Square root(Size of your nation) and be done with it.
I don't like having static military power.
I support Syrnn's proposal of military power = territories, but you have to divide the dice between conflicts. That needs a bit of fine-tuning, though, as it still allows steamrolling, just not steamrolling two nations at once (unless they're vastly smaller), which hasn't happened.

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Chinese R-3 wrote:They could be simpler-er!
And yeah, the action system seems to me like it'd work. There would have to be some bonus for getting huge - increased army dice being the obvious one, but there could be others.
As for the economy system - I don't like it. The need to keep track of cash will indeed cause many problems. <_>
I'm not sure what to do about Curbstomp besides multiply each player's effective power by (3d6-3); that'll allow the dice to basically screw you.
Why? They are at a perfect balance right now.

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I don't like the territories=armies. I think they should be seprate so it creates more diversity.

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irishman wrote:I don't like the territories=armies. I think they should be seprate so it creates more diversity.
That would require we keep the economy system, which, right now, is a massive clusterfuck.

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