Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

GMd by Morg. Play test, 4-way draw between presser84 (Texas), asudevil (Mexico), haroonriaz , Great Britain), mat.gopack (Spain)

Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby Morg » 21 Mar 2012, 05:05

OK, so during the course of the game I noticed a few things that I thought could improve the Variant.

Native Units seemed to be a little bit too much. I think I should just get rid of them.

Settler Units. I want to hear from you guys, what you thought. From my perspective it looked like the people who used them were mostly penalized for it, because they went effectively 2 years without gaining anything from it.

Would you rather keep it the way it is, where during a winter when you settle you write
SU _____ Settle
then wait a year before gaining the SC towards your unit total
OR
where when you settle you write
SU _____ Settle, build Unit X (X can be an Army, Fleet or another SU)

Balance

USA claimed it was unbalanced towards his detriment. Do you feel this is true and if so how would it be better balanced.

Map Issues.

I'd eliminate NEV and make it a part of SNF. It's just an unnecessary extra space I think and it keeps all the territories in the area disproportionately small.

Reconnect WIS, MIC & TOR

Connect OTT with WIN & WIS

Connect ONT with QUE

Ex.
Image

Other Suggestions are welcome.
"He says there are no easy answers. I say he's not looking hard enough!"
User avatar
Morg
 
Posts: 3105
Joined: 25 Feb 2011, 22:50
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1428)
All-game rating: (1561)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby asudevil » 21 Mar 2012, 05:17

Not realizing you were splitting the AAR and the improvement AAR, I put my improvements in the other one...I will copy paste the important part here...if you already read my other one...ignore this one.


That said, I think its a pretty cool variant. But I think Texas has by far and away the easiest time at the beginning. He is all but guaranteed to take LOU from USA. When I looked at the map, I saw the same opening he did (in fact, I suggested that opening to him)

Also, he almost can guarantee SAN. So while everyone else gets no builds in the first year, he is almost guaranteed two. I also think that it takes too long to get the settlers down. So I settle in 1850, then build a settler in 1851, then settle in 1852, and FINALLY in 1853, I can build an actual unit, and a settler to be able to continue exploring (unless I knock an SC out from someone else.)...After reading your examples, I think you should be able to settle and build right away, so that the settler isnt counting against your unit count since you used it.

This is why I think Texas has a huge advantage because of the free SC next to him, and the ability to take LOU.

So, solution in my mind would be to move a US unit closer to LOU so he can support LOU and make sure not to lose it...

Other than that, I think the game is great...but I really dont think the US ever stands a chance.
Captain FANG, forum team championships WINNER
Part of the surviving nations of WW4/Haven

Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.
User avatar
asudevil
Premium Member
 
Posts: 16606
Joined: 18 Jul 2011, 02:20
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1351)
All-game rating: (1437)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby presser84 » 21 Mar 2012, 06:13

Morg wrote:Native Units seemed to be a little bit too much. I think I should just get rid of them.

Settler Units. I want to hear from you guys, what you thought. From my perspective it looked like the people who used them were mostly penalized for it, because they went effectively 2 years without gaining anything from it.


Native units I didn't mind but they were not balanced. Only three powers really have to contend with them in the early game. USA and Spain don't ever encounter them. That does two things I think. Pushes USA and Spain into a natural alliance and forces cooperation between Mexico and Texas that is not always in either's best interest.

The Settler I hated but without it it's not a unique variant. You could just call the game war for America instead.

How I would change it. The settler can only settler the "X" settlements. The settler would have a .5 attack and a .5 defense. They can hold their own but they'll be killed by an army or fleet 1 v .5. Also it is not automatically destroyed when a new settlement is founded. They are sort of like farmers with pitch forks and shot guns. A player can choose to disband their settlers during the Winter if it is on a settlement and automatically get the build. The idea behind this is that the Men have joined the army elsewhere (Remember the Alamo) or taken up the local militia to protect the new settlement. They can also choose to settle the settlement keep the settler, the settler then counts as one of their units.

The natives would also have .5 attack and defense of .5. This means two things. 1 a settler hitting a native unsupported is a standoff (it doesn't kill them) and the native is revealed to the map. It also means they can be supported against an army succeed if it's a 1.5 v 1 situation.

As far as unbalanced against the USA I disagree somewhat. The fate of this USA in this game had to do with us locking horns early and me out maneuvering him diplomatically. If I had lost out diplomatically I would have been killed and he would have been very strong. Where I agree with the US is that he is very close to two neighboring countries right away. LOU is touching HOU and NYK is touching MTR. No other country, starts out with neighbors that close yet the USA has two. Maybe make MTR a neutral (though not historically accurate) and have GB start in NQUE and QUE.

AGLB: Once Mexico has control of GLB Texas will never have a navy and there. I imagine their is historical precedence for this but once they lose GLB they are locked down and at Mexico's whim. I was luck and convinced Mexico not to fight me and focus elsewhere but it gets really dicey for a while. Once MExico is in GLB Texas can barely move since it touches SAN, HOU, and LOU. You have to be worried about support from LOU or LOU cutting HOU right away. That one location is very easy to access for Mexico and completely stops the Western Gulf Coast. Early Mexico has very few threats besides Spain and it makes attacking Mexico the ideal path (there seems to be historical precedence for that too).

Things I liked:

The number of centers for victory could change over time.
The map was well thought out.
For a 5 player game their were some decent natural stalemate lines.
The size of the map makes open dialogue with everyone critical.
Westeros Diplomacy - GM/creator
Diplomacy of Ice and Fire 2 - GM
Keirador wrote:Stop being a dickasaurus rex.
User avatar
presser84
 
Posts: 4327
Joined: 21 Dec 2010, 23:05
Location: New Jersey, USA
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1460)
All-game rating: (1678)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby presser84 » 21 Mar 2012, 06:15

asudevil wrote:Not realizing you were splitting the AAR and the improvement AAR, I put my improvements in the other one...I will copy paste the important part here...if you already read my other one...ignore this one.


That said, I think its a pretty cool variant. But I think Texas has by far and away the easiest time at the beginning. He is all but guaranteed to take LOU from USA. When I looked at the map, I saw the same opening he did (in fact, I suggested that opening to him)

Also, he almost can guarantee SAN. So while everyone else gets no builds in the first year, he is almost guaranteed two. I also think that it takes too long to get the settlers down. So I settle in 1850, then build a settler in 1851, then settle in 1852, and FINALLY in 1853, I can build an actual unit, and a settler to be able to continue exploring (unless I knock an SC out from someone else.)...After reading your examples, I think you should be able to settle and build right away, so that the settler isnt counting against your unit count since you used it.

This is why I think Texas has a huge advantage because of the free SC next to him, and the ability to take LOU.

So, solution in my mind would be to move a US unit closer to LOU so he can support LOU and make sure not to lose it...

Other than that, I think the game is great...but I really dont think the US ever stands a chance.


We talked about this in game. I saw Texas like Austria. Opportunity for great early expansion but it's central location makes it difficult to manage. It really needs a good report with it's neighbors or those easy early gains will quickly be squandered. In that sense I found it balanced.

I agree though that LOU is an early natural target but just like Italy and Austria in the regular game they having touching home centers and at times able to manage the alliance (or they plow right into each other). The problem with it here is that LOU and HOU have really no where to go except into each other. With Venice there is Tunis convoy possibilities and Trieste can be protected early or if Austria wants to gamble can go for Greece. There is nothing to gamble for with LOU. It can't reach Spain, Mexico or a Neutral in the opening turn. Maybe if Florida was a neutral. It didn't become a state until 1945. Or Florida was the starting center and ALA was the neutral With LOU as a settlement (the problem there is that Louisiana became a state in 1812).
Westeros Diplomacy - GM/creator
Diplomacy of Ice and Fire 2 - GM
Keirador wrote:Stop being a dickasaurus rex.
User avatar
presser84
 
Posts: 4327
Joined: 21 Dec 2010, 23:05
Location: New Jersey, USA
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1460)
All-game rating: (1678)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby asudevil » 21 Mar 2012, 14:24

Yeah, and I guess Ohio can head south and help support LOU...

I did like the natives and I didnt mind the settlers being 0/0...but I agree with Presser that the settlers should either be allowed to stay...or transform to a military when they settle...just takes too long to build up SC's
Captain FANG, forum team championships WINNER
Part of the surviving nations of WW4/Haven

Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.
User avatar
asudevil
Premium Member
 
Posts: 16606
Joined: 18 Jul 2011, 02:20
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1351)
All-game rating: (1437)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby diplomat42 » 21 Mar 2012, 14:44

OK, here's what I have to say:

I thought the X's in the non-west would benefit the US, but here is who I think is too strong: Canada. Having only 1 neighbor, who has the powerful Texas to deal with and 2 neighbors not counting themselves and the possibility of losing Louisiana early, is a major advantage. The person who says the US-Texas war can be won by the US is very optimistic about my position. For that to happen:

US needs an alliance with Canada for the duration of the game (unlikely as Canada will want to grow beyond their own borders at one point)
US needs an alliance with Mexico (or perhaps Spain...) to take out Texas.

I think the simple solution is to give the US Chicago as a starting SC. That would make the game fairer.

Secondly, I felt that Canada was the one most benefited by Settlers as they don't need the fighting forces fast. But the rest of us do, so making them settle in the fall (or winter) and then be able to build that year would make the game infinitely more balanced.
Glorious Nation of the Himalaya et.al in CYOC.
Classicist, Whippersnapper.

Generation 32 (The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.)

JOIN CITY-STATES AND ZOMBIES!
IT WILL BE OFF THE CHAIN
diplomat42
 
Posts: 10504
Joined: 21 Nov 2010, 19:32
Location: Swagland
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1140)
All-game rating: (1289)
Timezone: GMT-6

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby Yhanthlei » 22 Mar 2012, 07:51

Some thoughts:

The US is very much surrounded by other players, is anachronistically underpowered (especially compared to Texas) and doesn't have very good odds against Texas in an early war. Especially since I'll advocate opening up the US/Canadian border later, I would support an extra supply center to the US at the game's start, like diplomat42 has recommended (although I'm really not sure where it should be.

On Canada, I would support opening access between Canada and the US across the great lakes region in order to give more options to Canada and to the US. I don't think that Canada is overpowered due to the very slow nature of settlers and of converting to a settler force to a larger standing army, but it's possible that changing settler rules would make Canada too powerful. It depends on how settlers would be changed but this is something to watch out for.

On settlers I like the idea of having them be able to transform immediately or stick around (which could just be considered rebuilding as a settler). As an alternative, perhaps each nation could have a single settler at a time without it counting against their unit cap? It would encourage expansion even as war continued, but as a downside it could result in Spain and the US having useless settlers lying around later in the game.

On native unit, I never really felt like they had much impact on the game. That's not to say that they didn't have much impact, in fact in making me move my early army west they had a large impact on the game, but it never really felt like they did. Even some visual change to represent them when discovered could possibly change this.

Can't think of anything more right now really, but I'll add something if I think of it.
Anglia in Heptarchy test game A
Yhanthlei
 
Posts: 238
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 21:36
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: Manifest Destiny, Game Mechanics/Variant Improvement

Postby diplomat42 » 22 Mar 2012, 13:26

What if native units were like the London Nights police?
Glorious Nation of the Himalaya et.al in CYOC.
Classicist, Whippersnapper.

Generation 32 (The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.)

JOIN CITY-STATES AND ZOMBIES!
IT WILL BE OFF THE CHAIN
diplomat42
 
Posts: 10504
Joined: 21 Nov 2010, 19:32
Location: Swagland
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1140)
All-game rating: (1289)
Timezone: GMT-6


Return to Game 1

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron