Galactic congress proposal

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Galactic congress proposal

#1 Post by LienRag »

I just got a new idea for something like a Galactic Congress, which would work well with the in-development Influence mechanisms :

The Galactic Congress would a go-ban, and putting a stone (Go name for "pawn") on it of one's colour would cost n Influence, n being the turn in which the stone is put (so 1 on first turn, 2 on second turn, 100 on turn 100).
We can add a cost for placing more than one stone per turn (for example 10% more for the second stone, 20% for the third, whatever) and modify these costs through technologies, buildings ("Intergalactic training school"), and Policies.
Ordinary rules of Go would apply¹, with one exception as Go is not multi-player : chains would be considered connected as long as more than one colour surrounds them.

When a player calls for a vote (which should cost influence) all the players have to choose "Nay" "Yay" or "abstention". All the stones of Nay players turn temporarily to black, all the stones of Yay players to white, and all the abstinent (including those who didn't care to vote) grey.
Then we solve the new Go-ban situation and remove corresponding stones², then count territories, and the bigger territory wins.

Note that there is one imho very interesting quandary here : in Go good players do not go for territory, but for potential territory. So those playing for the long run (and the better Go players) would have very little territory at first, and as such lose the early votes. Which means that all players would have to balance their objectives between the early votes and the later ones.

Then all remaining stones return to their original colour.

If we allow for more than one vote per turn (the other option being bidding Influence in case there are more than one call for vote) then very funny things could appear since some stones would probably disappear between one vote and the next, and since votes have to be all cast before they are solved, each player would have to try to anticipate these cascading effects.

I guess most possible votes should be Influence costs (like Influence penalty per turn for continuing a war, Influence penalty or bonus for adopting a policy, Influence penalty for atrocities, things like that) or maybe things like unlocking new Policies ("intergalactic cooperation" or whatever) and Influence projects ("Pacific integration of neighbours").

This mechanism would allow for A LOT of political manoeuvring, which is nearly impossible to simulate without some metaphors, and I believe that the Go metaphor is a very good one there.

It could be possible to have such Go-bans for each Specie in order to win over "sympathy" from that Specie, each player owning a planet of that Specie being allowed one free stone³, and reduced costs for additional stones depending on the Happiness of that Specie. Non-owning players would have to pay the costs mentioned above.
The stakes for votes could be acceptation of disliked Policies and buildings : that would make the game (and specifically the management of Species) much less binary⁴ than what it is in current testing version.
There could be other stakes also if someone can find fun ones (like reduced cost for Influence acquisition of planets, providing Supply from native planets of this Specie to an Empire, reduced loss of Happiness after a military conquest, whatever).

Disclaimer : I'm a Go player, albeit a quite bad one (12 kyu was the highest I ever achieved in an official ladder, years ago).

¹ Yes that means that Go players would have some advantage. But the rules of Go are extremely simple (a chain of stones - which can be of any size from 1 to 380 - is captured if it has no liberty, i.e. if all the spaces around it are occupied by enemy stones) and the much more complex developments that these simple rules entails very partially apply to a multi-player Go like the one I suggest.
In the same manner, there are extremely powerful go AIs now, but they certainly don't know how to manage a very different version like the one I'm suggesting.

² The rule for Grey stones is that they count as connected to the chains of less liberty. If that means that the full chain has no liberty, then the Grey stones also are removed.

³ One initial stone when the Planet is settled, and another one per time period (to be defined, obviously not less than a turn, and modified by technology, buildings, Influence projects, and Policies - also maybe through Galactic Congress votes).

⁴ And imho, lame.

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