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 Post subject: 2nd Clan War Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:58 pm 
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Artanis and I have talked about how we have lots to discuss about the 2nd clan war, and its hard to sift through them to pick up the gems about each topic. So I'm starting this topic to discuss the Clan War Rules only, not map layouts, etc.

To start with, we have been discussing the snowball effect that we've been seeing in the current clan war. This being: Once you start losing, you keep losing. When your planets are contested, all cash goes to the planet and is stored for the winner. If the attacker wins a couple battles, suddenly they have the cash from those planets to attack further into your territory and cut off more income of the defending planet. In these situations it is nearly impossible to come back.

This can also be seen when a clan is forced to fight two fronts because they weren't able to negotiate enough truces. They may defend the planets for a while, but eventually a bad setup will cause someone to lose a battle, and it begins a downward spiral (hence the snowball effect)

So Artanis and I have come up with two possible rule changes that could fix this:

1) Give half of the cash of a contested planet to the owner, and store the other half for the winner. This way having lots of contested planets doesn't destroy your income entirely.

2) Only give stored cash to the defender if they win. If the attacker wins, they get no cash, but they do get the planet, which is incentive enough.

Another item we need to discuss in this thread is how to speed up the clan war in a fair way. More ideas to come on this.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:06 am 
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i like idea 2, as represents the defender destroying the stored goods (the cash) rather than give them over to the enemy.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:36 pm 
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Perhaps a bit of both?

What if the defenders smuggled out some fraction of the income each turn with the rest being stored as per option 1 and the defender either winning and getting the cash or the attacker winning and the cash going bye-bye as per option 2?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:55 pm 
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I really wish it were easy to play test these ideas :) But the clan wars are so unweildy its hard to determine the side effects and outcomes from certain ideas.

Thinking about this more, I'm not so sure that we should give so much edge to the defender as far as money flow goes. The problem is, what incentive do the players have of playing a game quickly now? Right now, the longer a game goes, the more the players want to finish it soon because there is so much cash at stake (especially the person that is winning). With the proposed plan, the enemy may consider attacking a place to reduce the income of a team, but they have no incentive at all of finishing the battle soon other than having a new planet to attack from. I don't know... maybe that's enough incentive.

Because of these questions, I am liking suggestion 1 better now, as the winner will still have something to work towards, without crippling the defender.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:46 pm 
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Excellent point. However, don't forget that the attacker won't get any income from a planet until it's conquered. So an incentive to take the planet quicker would be in order to gain more income and shut off more of the defender's. It might not be much of one, but I just want to make sure it isn't forgotten.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:53 pm 
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Yes, I decided to make a second post for this :wink:


A couple more ideas to slow/stop the Snowball Effect:

3- If the defender wins, let his clan have a discount on a counterattack.

4- Give some (if not all) worlds a sort of "Guerilla Effect", where the first time the planet is attacked, the defending clan gets a shot of extra cash.

5- Perhaps increase the size of the galaxy? With more territory, losing one planet will not have as much of an effect on the defender's war effort.


Idea to speed up the clan war:

1- Put a turn time limit on games, but with everybody giving everybody else plenty of leeway (because RL stuff CAN happen).

1.5- Put a turn time limit (or if both get a limit, a more strict one) on the attacker. The defender will want to go quickly anyways to get the planet's stockpile/income/etc back, and the attacker will want to avoid timing out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:58 am 
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something we could try is if the attacker surrenders within a set number of turns based on the map size they get back a % of the invasion cost to represent them pulling back early and saving some of their forces.

Also if the defender pulls back early they could get a % of the stored cash on the planet. Tho this wll only work if we keep the current rules regarding stored cash.

Ideas for time limits/% could be..

Small 5 turns = 50%
Small 10turns = 25%
Medium 7 turns = 50%
Medium 15 turns = 25%
Large 10 turns = 50%
Large 20 turns = 25%

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 8:07 pm 
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A couple ideas to get games to the more active players:


The first is to give each clan the ability to buy availability for its members. For instance, if GoT attacks FoR's Crateus and I was just assigned a match on Antarticus, FoR would be able to pay $X to allow me to play the match.

Extensions of this might be:
A) Scaling the cost according to player's speed
B) VERY strict time limits on the avaiblity-bought player
C) Limits on how much this could be used (i.e. if a player is bought availability, he can't be re-bought again until he would become available again anyways)



The second is to give a player an extra match availability when they finish a match. Example of one way this would work:

Step 1: Available 7th players: Three Seven, ChrisCraven, wizo59mt.
Step 2: Three Seven finishes a match. Available 7th players: Three Seven, Three Seven, ChrisCraven, wizo59mt
Step 3: Three Seven and ChrisCraven are assigned to matches. Available 7th players: Three Seven and wizo59mt
Step 4: Three Seven is assigned to a match. Available 7th players: wizo59mt
Step 5: wizo59mt is assigned to a match. Available 7th players: none.
Step 6: With no more available players, all 7th players become available again.





Finally, an idea for war-ending conditions:

In the spirit of Massive Assault's 300% Balance, how about a Clan wins when it is getting triple its starting income (in actual controlled worlds, none that are just being attacked)?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:16 am 
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well with the current setup triple starting income would require 3 entire clan starts, how about a clan wins when it's income is double that of any other clan, this would stop 2 powerful clans alliancing as neitehr would be able to win if they are both becoming stroinger and leaving eachother alone.

I like the availability idea, does reward fast games.

Not sure about the buying availability, would need more thought.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:10 pm 
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Here's another idea to speed up games: if games hit a certain duration, slap a time limit on them (or a tighter one if it already has one). That way, a player has some breathing space and can play at his own pace while hopefully cutting down the number of 3-month-long games.


Now, this would need refinement to keep from screwing a fast player who got paired with a slow one, but it's a start.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:19 am 
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Another idea, this time one that actually doesn't suck:

Have a "soft limit" for time on turns. This would be seperate from any "hard limit" that triggers a win by timeout, and wouldn't really affect the actual battle. However, every time a player goes over the "soft limit" (without hitting whatever "hard limit" there might be), bad things happen to his clan.

The most basic penalty would be a fine (or loss of the planet if the clan can't afford the fine). Conversely, the enemy clan could be awarded a chunk of whatever's stored on the planet every time the soft limit is hit. Additionally, a penalty of losing the planet could be imposed if the person takes too long too many times.



Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:15 pm 
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Well guys, i'm finally back! :D
I had so mutch problems with my pc (you just have no idea...), that i could only solve it now with: new video card, new motherboard, new CPU, new cooler, new memory and of course, new reinstalation of all software! :o Ahh, and the new motherboard and video card was changed twice due to incompability problems!
A complete novel that puted me out for almost 2 months :(
Ohh, well...

About the matter in discussion...

I've discussed this with Maelstrom, and my idea is in it's basics very near to the Artanis suggestion with some differencies:

1st - determine a time limit per turn (3 days for example)

2nd - instead of giving penalties for those that breaks time limit, affecting directly the all Clan, use the principle of active force in the field: if a player breaks time limit, it becomes an inactive force, meaning that his oponent becomes the only active force on the field, and by that control of the prodution of that planet until enemy activity is detected. So, if the attacking player breaks the time limit, defender gets next planet income and vice versa.

3rd - If total delaying time becomes (for example) 3 times the time limit per turn, the oponent clan can start attacking adjacent planets. If and when all adjacent planets are taken, and the planet still have the same batlle unsolved, it falls due to a forced surrendering.

4th - The Clan Manager as the power to order/force a surrender of one of his elements, so he can assign someone to counter-attack the planet and prevent oponent's clan from receiving the income.

Like this, it doesn't pay delaying turns...at all! There are no direct penalties to the clan, but there will be all the interest in playing in the time limit.

This associated with the excelent Enforcer's idea
Quote:
covers the essential of this issue, i think.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:52 pm 
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jocamp wrote:
Well guys, i'm finally back! :D
I had so mutch problems with my pc (you just have no idea...), that i could only solve it now with: new video card, new motherboard, new CPU, new cooler, new memory and of course, new reinstalation of all software! :o Ahh, and the new motherboard and video card was changed twice due to incompability problems!

Ouch, yeah, I'd say that that counts as "massive" computer problems. I hope those repairs last for a loooooooooong time.


jocamp wrote:
About the matter in discussion...

I've discussed this with Maelstrom, and my idea is in it's basics very near to the Artanis suggestion with some differencies:

1st - determine a time limit per turn (3 days for example)

2nd - instead of giving penalties for those that breaks time limit, affecting directly the all Clan, use the principle of active force in the field: if a player breaks time limit, it becomes an inactive force, meaning that his oponent becomes the only active force on the field, and by that control of the prodution of that planet until enemy activity is detected. So, if the attacking player breaks the time limit, defender gets next planet income and vice versa.

3rd - If total delaying time becomes (for example) 3 times the time limit per turn, the oponent clan can start attacking adjacent planets. If and when all adjacent planets are taken, and the planet still have the same batlle unsolved, it falls due to a forced surrendering.

4th - The Clan Manager as the power to order/force a surrender of one of his elements, so he can assign someone to counter-attack the planet and prevent oponent's clan from receiving the income.

Like this, it doesn't pay delaying turns...at all! There are no direct penalties to the clan, but there will be all the interest in playing in the time limit.

This associated with the excelent Enforcer's idea
Quote:
covers the essential of this issue, i think.

Ok, my vote is for this idea. All it needs is some specifics worked out (like the time limit), and it could practically go into the rules right this minute :D


*checks list* I'd say that should about cover the "game speed" issue, now we just have to look at "snowball effect" and "number of games per player".

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:19 pm 
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It gets my vote too.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:50 pm 
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Now for something completely different........

I suggest tearing up the rules and trying to go for something simple. the main problems we are having is the rate at which planets are changing hands, the lack of progress of the war, the snowball effect, the huge amount of administration the war requires and the fact that we seem to keep playing the same people over the same maps for the same planets in what feels like an endless groundhog day, which often seems less about team effort and more about personal persistence.

To deal with all these problems, I suggest a very simple ruleset allowing for system attacks by the whole or part of the clan (depending on clan size) with the overall winner gaining control of the entire system rather than planets changing hands.

To understand the following, you should read my post on the 2nd Clan War layouts forum but assume a distribution of four outer systems containing 3 planets, four inner planets containing 6 planets and one homeworld planet also containing 6 planets.

1. Each week, each clan may launch an assault from any controlled system (whether under attack or not) to another system to which it is linked.
2. The attacking system must either be linked via controlled systems to the HW or (in the case of lost HW or a fragmented clan) at least two other controlled systems (again whether any controlled system is under attack is irrelevant)
3. The attacking clan declares the involvement of one player per planet in the system. The clan specifies each player once as PL and once as FNU but need not do so on the same planet.
4. The defending clan declares the involvement of one player per planet in the system and allocates each player to two of any of the battles but each player plays once as PL and once as FNU.
5. Clans may have between 3 and 6 (inclusive) players. There are no availability rules, it is up to each clan to ensure that its slower players do not get overloaded but for clans with less than 6 players, each player must be allocated to a system attack/defence before a player is entitled to be allocated a second time to the same system attack/defence.
6. The defenders have a total of six time-outs per system defence. A time-out is automatically expended when a turn goes over three days. A second time-out is automatically expended when the game goes over 6 days. However, if a player notifies his opponent and the administrator before the end of any three day period that he will be away and wishes to use a time-out then a further time-out will not be lost until 10 days have passed (i.e. a 7 day break then a further 3 day period). Time-outs lost due to technical difficulties can be appealled to Clan war organisers if genuinely not the fault of the player.
7. When all 6 time-outs have been used up for any system defence any battle over three days old will be automatically granted to the non-offending side, no allowances and no right of appeal.
8. There are no time-outs for attackers, however, the number of system attacks that each clan is permitted is strictly limited: a quarter per outer system owned, a half per inner system owned and one per HW owned (i.e. 4 four the starting position).
9. Winner of any system attack is determined by a strict majority of battles won (4 or more for an outer system, 7 or more for an inner system or HW), in the event of a tie, the clan that has won both battles on the larger planet wins, if both clans have won precisely one battle each on each planet the defender wins.
10. New MAN planets can automatically be added into uncontested systems in substitution for exisiting planets, non-MAN players can substitute non-MAN planets by mutual agreement but this should not be a problem given the flexibility of allocation).
11. The first clan to double its number of permitted attacks i.e. to 8 wins (although the planets can come from anyone). Loss of HW does not eliminate a clan (but makes it more difficult for them!)
12. Errr....that's it, the composition of the planets within each system is upto people to decide but I would suggest that HW systems are distinguished from inner systems by only containing, NP, WL and TI (although NP should definitely appear in inner systems too!).

Hope you all like the idea of a simple system that really creates a team effort, avoids the problems of slow battles (time-outs and the fact that not all battles need to be finished to determine the result of a system victory) and creates measurable progress towards an overall goal. In addition, victories as FNU can be meaningful results, rather than just postponing things to next week until you get attacked as with the PL option again!

Clearly the number of links per system can be changed to get a more open or more restricted map, the total number of attacks permitted and the number of planets per system can also be changed to get the right number of games per player.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 2:56 pm 
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Oh yeah, I like this way more than anything that has come before. Nice and simple, and creates a team atmoshpere. The current system, eh, I like it, but it seems so slow and some days it feels like a chore to sit down and handle clan business. I say we give this a try.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:52 am 
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It has my vote

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:36 am 
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Just a couple questions:

One problem with system-wide attacks is the weak-link problem: For the example of attacking a 3-planet system, lets say you attack with 2 players that play quickly, and one that can only get in a turn every three days. Lets say the defender defends with two quick players and 1 slower player, the slower defender defending the slower attacker. So even if the first two finish their games in a short amount of time, the system won't change hands until the slower players finish their game. This could add to the frustration people who play the game quickly already have with the current war.

My second point: More reasonable give and take choices mean more strategy in my mind. The proposed system has limited choices: What system to attack, and who to attack which planet. The choice of what system to attack is already given to you once you've decided on a clan to attack. You just attack the next system closer in.

The second choice is straightforward to. You just put your clan members on their best planets. You don't have to weigh many costs in that decision. Very little strategy.

So what the proposed system boils down to, is it is determining the clan that is most skilled at MA. I know that is what a lot of people consider as the ultimate goal. My goal is to have a war that is fun to play and interesting in multiple levels. And so I would advocate more of a complex approach that allows multiple level of strategy, something along the lines of the current system.

Not to say that the current system doesn't have its problems :). However, there have been proposed changes that would reduce many of the problems.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:26 am 
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how about keeping the same rules for attacking/availability but using rock's map idea? It solves the problema bout fair starts with each clan now being able to attack all other clans, and if any new clans join we just add an extra arm to each of the current clans setups.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:11 pm 
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Mael makes some good points. Here are my thoughts in response.

Quote:
One problem with system-wide attacks is the weak-link problem: For the example of attacking a 3-planet system, lets say you attack with 2 players that play quickly, and one that can only get in a turn every three days. Lets say the defender defends with two quick players and 1 slower player, the slower defender defending the slower attacker. So even if the first two finish their games in a short amount of time, the system won't change hands until the slower players finish their game. This could add to the frustration people who play the game quickly already have with the current war.


True but five things: (i) Quite often the results of those last two out of six games will not be relevant. Winning all four or three and winning each way on the largest map will be sufficient to determine the result. (ii) Also since each side does not need to assign the same player to each side (PL/FNU) of the same map, there is no need for the slower players to be playing each other twice. (iii) Slower players should be assigned to the smaller maps (this happens automatically since the big map specialists all tend to be faster players). This is likely to make attacks finish closer together. (iv) The Time-outs rule will control this if you are defending and the limit on the number of attacks will encourage Attackers to take a view on whether the system attack is ultimately going to fail. (v) Given the importance of the result to the team there is a much greater incentive for a slow player to push on with a determining battle - in the current war attacks that start badly tend to be played slowly even by faster players - they don't cost anything to maintain and hold up enemy revenue for a few weeks.

Quote:
My second point: More reasonable give and take choices mean more strategy in my mind. The proposed system has limited choices: What system to attack, and who to attack which planet. The choice of what system to attack is already given to you once you've decided on a clan to attack. You just attack the next system closer in.

The second choice is straightforward to. You just put your clan members on their best planets. You don't have to weigh many costs in that decision. Very little strategy.


Can't disagree with the fact that the strategic element of which system to attack is not nearly as deep as the strategy of the battles themselves. Althogh, if you think about the (deliberate) lack of space and bottlenecks in the proposed set-up it is more complex than at first glance. It is possible to block off access to ally clans by enemy clans and/or access more systems of an enemy clan by going via the outer system of a third clan. However, if the lack of choice is an issue then the map can be opened up with three links per system instead of two.

Also there is some element of strategy in denying opponents the ability to sustain a third or second system attack by deciding whether to go for an easier outer system, harder inner system or hardest HW system.

What I don't agree with you, however, is that the current system remotely provides choice or encourages players to play on anything other than there best planets.

The sad fact is that the introduction of the PL attacks rule has meant that nearly all attacks are now PL (perhaps we need to increase the cost to restore balance?) so we have moved from very few planets changing hands to planets changing hands back and forth.

There are few decisions to make in the current set-up beyond which clan to attack. Thereafter there is usually only one or two systems that make any sense to attack and the decision is usually driven by which is the largest planet in any system (since that is usually the right one to attack first) is the speciality of the player available for the systems in question.

Don't know about the other clans but it is hardly a coincidence that Fellor plays Wasserland at every possible occasion and Tiger takes Anubis whenever it is going.

If you wanted to introduce a real element of strategic planning then an irregular star system would be needed to create valuable systems, key transport links/bottle necks (think Masters of Orion et al) to create real strategy at the campaign level. The real problem with this is that not all starting positions will be equal.

The other thing to remember is that what we would be trying to create is a complex and exciting strategy game that merely used MAN for the die rolling to determing the outcome of each individual battle. Whilst this would be a great thing to participate in, writing complex board games is very difficult to get right and even harder to create something of interest that moves as slowly as a clan war.

I would like to think that we could acheive that goal but the rule changes proposed so far will not get us any where near to that - we should ask ourself this, if the individual battles were substituted by dice rolls/some other battle resolution system, would we be anywhere near a strategy game that anyone would play?

I worry that to try to acheive anything other than a context for a series of battles that makes teamwork and a team result meaningful is trying to aim too high. As a result, we should make it as simple as possible.

Quote:
So what the proposed system boils down to, is it is determining the clan that is most skilled at MA. I know that is what a lot of people consider as the ultimate goal. My goal is to have a war that is fun to play and interesting in multiple levels. And so I would advocate more of a complex approach that allows multiple level of strategy, something along the lines of the current system.


I think the winner of a new clan war along these lines will primarily be the clan that manages its alliances best, secondly works well as a team - in assessing opponent ability (both by map and in the way they play the red and green pieces) and advises each other on strategy within their games (partiuclarly on the opening layout) and only thirdly on the raw ability of the individuals.

Mike


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