Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

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

Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby Palin » 25 Aug 2011, 22:40

I would only consider joining if the deadlines were 3/1/1. I don't think anything faster can work for forum games...
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby Prufrock » 25 Aug 2011, 22:50

This sounds fun. I'll play.
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby GhostEcho » 25 Aug 2011, 23:17

I absolutely can't play anything faster than 24/24/24 and with the added complications I'd prefer at least 48/24/24. I know we need to keep the game moving, but RL happens.

Still, if it's possible to change the time like that (aka to something reasonable ) I'm in.

I mention originally in writing this that I wanted to propose a couple changes because of perceived problems. This turned into an excessively long writeup, but since the topic's still open...

Problem 1 - Deposing a Ruler

Rulers should have to be eliminated (aka their countries taken over). Generals can be defeated (no one gives them new builds, troops they command eliminated, etc.) but to add in a deposition rule complicates things unnecessarily. If a country's units aren't following orders, that country's probably not going to last long. To prevent ruler disappearance, rulers should be required to submit their orders to the GM just for confirmation that they're alive. Similarly, units once built should not be able to be reallocated under any circumstances. NMRs on either side should simply be cause to find a new player.

Problem 2 - Information

If I'm trying to construct a variant like this for "realism", basing it loosely on 15th-17th century warfare that loosely resembled this scenario, as well as accounting for the various variables of play, without over-complicating things, then at the beginning of the game, each player should know from the GM:

    Ruler - all fellow-rulers, the general of each of his armies, and all armies each commands.
    General - the ruler of each army he commands, the names and country of each other ruler, and the names of his fellow generals for the other units of each country he serves
    Both - the names of any generals they don't have direct contact with
As the game progresses, each player should be told by the GM:

    Ruler - the general of any army he builds and assigns (d'oh)
    General - that he is the general of any army given to him (ditt'oh)
    Both - the fact of (non-)existence for army that is built or destroyed (will show on the main board anyway)
In short, each player starts with semi-complete information, and must maintain diplomacy to maintain his knowledge base at a practical level. The Rulers game board would be public and available to everyone, with each ruler receiving specifically-written notes on whatever he needs to know. Each general's knowledge of the Generals game board should be a sort of FOW and will differ for each generals.

I'm not sure how different this is from what you wrote up but the intention is to make the potential intricacies as clear as possible.

Problem 3 - Bounces

One problem that will almost certainly arrive is that of friendly units (of one sort or the other) attacking and defending against each other. There are three solutions:

1) Country takes precedence. (French armies don't dislodge each other even if ordered to.)
2) General takes precedence. (General Whosit's armies don't dislodge each other and he can't order them to.)
3) Both apply at all times. (Armies with either the same country OR the same general can't dislodge each other.)

I assume we're going with #1 here but no matter what we do, at least one board will have to be done "by hand".

Problem 4 - Keeping Track of The Board

No matter what the above considerations come to, I like the idea of only publishing the main country board (though I have no idea what this "Friends Only" thing is). But for other people to keep track of information, it's useful to have another board: I found this useful one, along with several other options, here on The Pouch.

Example

If the above changes are made, at the start of the game, all 14 players can see the standard board. All players know who the ruler of each country is, and who the generals are (but not where all their armies are).

Each ruler gets a PM:
Emperor Napoleon:
- Your generals are Xerxes (A Par), Cyclops (A Mar), and George (F Bre)
- Xerxes also commands A Mos and F Ank
- Cyclops also commands F Edi, A Rom, and A Smy
- George also commands A Bud and A Ber


He can then construct a map for himself to compliment the game board:
Image

Each general gets a PM:
Sir George:
- You command A Bud, A Ber, and F Bre
- In France Xerxes commands A Par and Cyclops commands A Mar
- In Germany Romulan commands A Mun and LeChat commands F Kie
- In Austria SayWhat commands F Tri and CaligulasHorse commands A Vie


And George makes his own map:
Image

Then in the Fall, France builds two (say), and PMs the GM:
Build A Par, assign to Xerxes
Build F Mar, assign to George


And the GM updates the visible map and PMs the generals:
George, you assume command of F Mar (along with any other builds assigned to him, obviously)


And I'm not going to bother to make updated maps there because yeah.

Other Suggestions
As above, Rulers must submit a copy of their orders to the GM to stay in the game (max one NMR) regardless of whether anybody ever obeys them.
Anybody can talk to anybody, they just don't all know who they are and where the troops are... unless they're told, and that might be inaccurate.
The winner is the first to 18 (ruler or general) but the "2nd Place" is the largest army (if a ruler wins) or largest country (if a general wins).
Last edited by GhostEcho on 26 Aug 2011, 00:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby beowulf7 » 25 Aug 2011, 23:23

I'm balancing the need for time to do this against the fact that every forum game I've played has had all the excitement of watching cement harden (and none of them finished). How about 48/24/24??
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby King Teraniar » 26 Aug 2011, 05:29

I am good with that time (and must admit I did not see the 36/12/12, which is a little fast for my taste). Although we may (in some cases) be able to combine fall retreats with builds to keep things moving, which I am all for.
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby DOI » 26 Aug 2011, 15:29

48/24/24 works well. One more question: is a general who runs out of units dead, or can they be revived by any given leader? Will the leaders know when a general is eliminated?

GhostEcho wrote:The winner is the first to 18 (ruler or general) but the "2nd Place" is the largest army (if a ruler wins) or largest country (if a general wins).

Having a "second place" would break the idea of generals trying to prevent leaders from winning and vice versa. It sounds as meaningful as having the second-most centres after someone wins.
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby beowulf7 » 26 Aug 2011, 16:34

No a general never dies. In fact, other than him and the GM then no-one has to know he has zero units. He can continue to Diplome! If he is smart enough then he can negotiate new units from a Ruler or two and then will be back in business so, in theory, you could come back from zero units and win the game. (Alfred the Great!).

A key factor in this is that the Generals are running "secret societies" so they remain invisible throughout unless they choose to make themselves known. The Rulers know ONLY their generals at the start. So all you know is that there are 7 generals and you know the identity of 4.

There's a very key element here - the Rulers therefore can never be sure that a communication they receive is from a) an existing General b) A General who has retired and been replaced c) someone who is not even in the game. I am taking away the "all seeing satellite" view that we normally have

There's plenty more that is "allowed" in this game but that would be banned under PlayDip house rules - but the boundaries are there for you to discover.
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby Palin » 27 Aug 2011, 14:35

2/1/1 can work. I'm willing to test run this :)
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby DOI » 28 Aug 2011, 19:31

I hope that people are signing up for this by PM. Both because I want it to get off the ground, and because joining by PM creates sneaky possibilities. If I hadn't already publicly mentioned interest, I'd join by PM.
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Re: Mercenary Diplomacy - worth trying?

Postby beowulf7 » 30 Aug 2011, 02:47

Travelling tomorrow but will start this this week
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