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Re: New Variant

PostPosted: 24 Oct 2018, 00:39
by David E. Cohen
There is no absolute answer to your question, AKFD. I would certainly think long and hard before designing a variant much more dense than Standard. In fact, my latest project is considerably less dense than Standard and has several other changes designed to minimize stalemate line formation and influence on game play.

Lowering the density of a variant is just one of many ways to ameliorate the problem. In map design, eliminating impassable provinces and other movement bottlenecks, for example, a long thin province with several small provinces on each side or several disconnected water provinces, can make stalemate lines harder to form. Adding non-Supply Center provinces to the edge of a map, to add flanking possibilities, can help too. A wraparound map, which eliminates corner positions that tend to be defensive strongholds, is another idea that can really help, if applicable to the variant.

Certain rules also make stalemate lines harder to form or lessen their impact. These include a lower victory criterion, Chaos-style builds or other rules which lessen building restrictions, and the ability to convert units from army to fleet and back again.

Being a Soloist, I have a visceral dislike of stalemate lines, so I am always striving to minimize their impact in variants I design. I look to maximize fluidity of play. It leads to a more fun and exciting game.