What purpose do "neutral" and "de-militarized zones" serve in the game?
They serve as post war regions, allow for a lot of extra spy/covert missions. . . most space TV shows have such zones in space between empires, because they allow for a lot of politics, subterfuge, and diplomatic tensions. semi-illegal rebel factions ... lots of cool stuff. and or all of which would be addable. as we like.
It what sense are the borders "closed" if both sides are sharing the middle ground? Why is this better?
I'm trying to make it visually obvious from the way the borders/supply-lines act what is going on between the empires. I think the difference between a closed border situation and an open on is clearly and intuitively shown in my proposal. In your proposal we have instead of "closed borders" "partly closed borders", but i don't see any advantage in blurring the difference with "open borders".
See I'm seeing Open vs closed borders as where can practically supply, and where you have permission to supply.
Just because I don't have explicate agreements allowing me to supply a ship in your territory(default is closed borders till they are opened politically no?) doesn't mean I can't do it. It just means I have to be more careful, more sly (therefore i can't supply as far, but i can still do it). With a neutral zone or equivalent, I've agreed politically NOT to and therefor don't. *ships can still fly into neutral areas, it's against the rules, but it's not a brick wall, supply ships don't because we don't let them. [technobable re supply-ships being too clumsy for good stealth needed to not be caught or some nonsense, or pirate activity increases due to un-police-able space . . . who cares]*
In a state of war, an unopposed fleet entirely blocks enemy supply from using that system. This in the v.0.4. We also want to stick with whole numbers for supply distances.
Re: using that system: supply can still go around, this could lead to my ships in your territory being cutoff from my supply routs before i would have the being cut off.
in your system there is a line in the sand, space, beyond which we can't supply on the other side. this line may be at a planet, in which case we can both supply at the point, or it may be between two planets, and which point on my side of the jump lane i can, on your side you can.
In my system my line in the sand doesn't have to be the same as your line in the sand. I can get my supply ships some distance into your space, and you can get your ships some distance into mine. It's a question of practically possible, vs defined as being politically impossible.
Fair enough the numbers were only suggestions,
They do have a supply length number. You might want to read the relevant portions of the v.0.4 design document.
That's what i thought, but i was no longer 100% sure, since Geoff's comments seamed to contradict that . . . or at least i thought. I didn't want to go re-look it up. I just phrased it in terms of a possibility, on the of chance that it wasn't actually still a reality and had changed since the last time I read the design doc.
If we limit the definition such that there are no possible iterations this should be fine.
How could there be no iterations? What are you suggesting?
I'm suggesting a system with only two preset definitions of neutral zones and de-militarized zones, as described above. You would never sit down with the AI, or another player and draw lines on the map, or give star names for which stars where in and outside of the zones. The definition of the type of zone 'two aught be enough' would define where the boarders are. Don't like the position of the boarders, try the other pact, still not good enough, tuff. At the uppermost limit we would allow the pact to definable in star jumps, or star jump equivalents, But that would really be pushing it. *unless we went for a diplomatic agreement method such as the one I suggested in <<http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2040&hilit=&start=105
>>, where you would define the general size you want, and it would negotiate a settlement point and that would be the only 'real' option unless you changed offered something substantial to change the balance of diplomatic equations.*
Anyway, best wishes again
Hopefully i made my points clearer.