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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 6:49 pm 
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I think it would be cool if their were an Espionage based Victory Condition. Espionage is one of thouse aspects of the game which is cool but currently servers only the advance other ends, it is not and end in-unto itself. This could change with an Alternative Victory condition focused on Espionage.

I call this new Condition the "Shadow Goverment", A Shadow Goverment is a state of deeeep infiltration into an enemy players goverment, it can be as crippling as an overt Military domination BUT their is no sign that it is happening (thats the Shadowy Part). It takes quite a lot of work to Get Shadow Status over another Empire, I am not shure how the adsact mechanics should work but it would involve a lot of Espionage missions of low success probability, their might be stages you have to advance through. Once you have Shadow Status over someone you can see EVERYTHING they have and are doing and can even make small changes in their orders. All your future actions become much easier, basicaly they become your Puppets, their might be some control over Diplomacy as well alowing you to start wars and play one race against another. Their might be some kind of "Shadow Points" that you can expend to make things that should be random events come out in your favor.

You loss Shadow status when their is a Change of Goverment in the affected empire or if they run enough Counter Inteligence (and I mean a LOT). You can always start over again ofcorse. If your Shadow Status is lost under some mannor which exposes its existence they you suffer terrible diplomatic penalties. The Races you were Shadowing will hate you, anyone who hated them will hate you as well (blaming you for the actions of the disliked race) and no one else will trust you.

The Victory Condition is to have Shadow Status on ALL other players at the same time and maintain it for X number of turns and NOT be under the Shadow Control of a different power. This can be quite hard to tell how close you actualy are to achiving this victory at any time because you can never tell if someone else is over you.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 11:50 pm 
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an espionage victory would be greatly improved with a more robust loyalty / multirace system for planets, as I ramble about here: http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 3674#13674

Having real, fleshed out and equally fun / practical options for winning / playing other than conquering everyone with a lot of ships is good, imo.


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 Post subject: Shadow governments...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:40 am 
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Hmmm - never thought of that idea before... It's interesting and new, I'll say that! I think, though, that if you were the victim of a shadow government takeover, you wouldn't know it until it suddenly happened - ie: your enemy's 'boys', the people whom you trusted, have now locked you in a room and ordered you to sign over control of military, resources, etc..

However, it would have to be done in such a way that a player would have some idea what was going on, and could do something to stop it. It wouldn't be fun if you were about to conquer an enemy race, when all of a sudden boom - game over you lose.

Maybe your trusted advisors would come and warn you that some "Key members of our government" are no longer loyal. Or, once your GOV. was 'taken over', you lose control for X amount of turns, and if you are not careful (or strike at the right target) then you lose the game?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:50 am 
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Setting up a shadow government is one thing, but planting a spy to convince someone their government has been taken over by a third party and having them tear apart their political system to root the spy out and damaging their diplomatic relations in the process is even better...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:13 am 
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Yes their should be some means to Detect, Prevent and Defeat a Shadow Takeover but the key will be that it requires Major expenditure of Resorses that will weaken the Conventional power of the Player. It something your going to be hesitant to do unless you definatly KNOW your under it, but the hitch is you can never be completly certain of it (you can know about it after the fact of corse but never "right now"). Thats the Gamble and the whole point, its an inherently stealthy ways to "steal the victory right out from under their noses". Admitedly that could be viewed as "unfun" by the lossers but if the victory conditions are hard enough it should be a fair win. And after all isnt any overt Military victory the same thing but with a slower death. Once an oponent has the upperhand your generaly going to go down unless you put in some amazing performace and/or your oponent screws up. The only difference here is that the signals you usaly get as to who is winning and who is lossing are much fainter and fuzzyer but you still need to be the smartest to win in the end.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:19 am 
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Thats a really interesting idea - i like that a lot.

Its going to be VERY difficult to come up with a framework which this would work within, but its certainly worth at least trying to do so.

Possibly instead of a victory condition (if that proves unworkable) you could instead use a shadow government to simply take over/absorb another empire. So, while not actually being a separate victory condition (i.e. if you take over all other governments you win via a domination victory (same as with total military conquest) it is a completely different route to that victory.

Of course there should always be some risk associated with an attempt to take over a government. Based on your level of infiltration (which should be something you can never know 100% exactly for certain, due to the shadowy nature of espionage itself) your attempt could result in some kind of civil war in the target empire, with you only abosrbing a part of it, with the remainder staying loyal. Or you could fail totally, with the target empire becoming much more hardened to any future infiltration attampts by you (and if theyve spent all of their resources on military buildup while you concentrated on espionage, you could be at a significant disadvantage).

Another infiltration idea: swinging votes in the galactic senate. Say, race X has 50 votes in the senate, and you have achieved 40% infiltration of their government - you also control 40% of their votes (= 20 votes), so you can use this influence to swing decisions your way. Of course the voting system should be developed so that race X is not aware of your tampering, i.e. its a blind ballot (although ANY action by an espionage unit should carry with it the chance of exposure, thus you should instruct your agents to follow the 'party line' if its not an important vote).

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