Balance of Power

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Impaler
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Balance of Power

#1 Post by Impaler » Tue May 10, 2005 7:48 pm

I was doing some brainstorming about a very simple game I once played called Balance of Power (you can probably find a download someware if your interested). It was a Cold War simulation that has the player trying to gain prestige and favor with the "un-aligned" 3rd world. Each year you could start new policies such as Miliary aid, Economic aid, treaties and covert operations. Nations would swing to your side under your efforts and you would gain "prestige". The real thrust of the game though was the ability to interfer with your oponents actions. At the end of each players turn the oponent gets to either "Pass" or "Call" every action that the other has taken. If you pass the action goes through and happens. If you Call them you enter into a game of Nuclear Chicken, taking turns each side gets 2 choice "Back Down" or "Escalate". With each Escalation the world comes closer to Nuclear War and more prestige is put on the line. The player who Backs Down losses the apropriate amount of Prestige and the winner gains it. If neither side backs down then WWIII is initiated and everyone losses.

Something along these lines would be a nice element in the Diplmatic portion of the game. I imagine it would involve the Galactic Senate somehow. When you make a demand of some sort to your oponents you create a similar situation with each side desiding to Back Down or Escalate. The Prestige being risked is the opinon of the other races, Empires that Back down will apear weak and not be trusted (less likly to alie with you, more willing to be beligerant towards you). The winner gets all Matcho (his empire has Balls!) and everyone fears/respects him. If neither side Backs down we declare Causi Bellum.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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Dreamer
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#2 Post by Dreamer » Tue May 10, 2005 8:02 pm

Great feature! I think a ood balance of influence and prestige can be a good idea. Not so powerful or influencial empires can apeal to others out of prestige. Alliances and treaties can rely on certain prestige as well. I think is good but in FO prestige should be taken into consideration in a more broad sence. Since in FO some races will actualy WANT wars to happen (the fact is that races in FO could not have such a common goal as avoiding WW3) and will probably depend a lot more on race personality before giving thouth to some actions (so he killed civilians, so what?, we do it all the time).

A nice thing to begin discussion (and I think this one goes for long)

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utilae
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#3 Post by utilae » Tue May 10, 2005 8:55 pm

I don't think the idea has much merit. Diplomacy and pissing people off, already would do that. They get annoyed and attack you, etc. Plus a massive war would be occiring all the time anyway.

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Rise of Nations

#4 Post by guiguibaah » Tue May 10, 2005 9:38 pm

Rise of Nations had that - the nukes. There is a Nuke counter of 18. When a team uses a Nuke the counter is reduced by 1. When the last Nuke is used up, Armageddon happens and everyone loses.

So what happens is whomever gets to nukes the 1st fires 17 nukes, gaining a big advantage over other civ's, and if he's about to lose, well, fire the last nuke anyway.

I see the "prestige" and 'Balls" part a reflection of the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, where American and Soviet ships faced off against each other, with the Soviet ships deciding to back down. One could argue that the Soviets earned more prestige as they took the more sensible route of not sparking a nuclear war.

It's like the guy who boasts he always plays chicken with every car he sees and wins. Sure he may earn some popularity, but would you ride in a car with him?
There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.

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#5 Post by Dreamer » Tue May 10, 2005 10:04 pm

Mmm. I focused more on the ability to give opinion or influence other empires. Normally you cannot do that in a game like this. In the best of cases you see on the news that some race has been bombarded to genoicide. Usually you cant help in others battles if you like it, etc.

I could be good if you can actually put pressure on other empires to retreat fleets, stop bombardments, etc on the other hand you could help in case of disasters, etc. This would of course affect the way other civilization see you and give you some political reputation (good or bad) that could be used later to extort, beg or whatever when dealing with other civilizations.

I'm not talking about having balls or not ;-) but instead of using actual influence to meddle in other civilization affairs and peraphs gaining more influence in future deals (prestige) if I'm successful

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#6 Post by Ablaze » Wed May 11, 2005 5:30 am

So it's kind of like poker? I think a poker like element to the spy or diplomacy system could be quite fun. Some action could start a chain reaction that keeps sucking up spies or diplomats until someone decides to back down. You could even make it more like poker giving each player a hand that the other person doesn’t know. Being the one to back down loses you some value, but if your hand is good enough it will still be the other player who suffers most of the backlash.
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Daveybaby
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#7 Post by Daveybaby » Wed May 11, 2005 8:01 am

Heh, i remember that game - first thing everyone did when they first played it was try to trigger all out thermonuclear war :D

There was a game fairly recently (in fact IIRC it first came to my attention on the old delphi Moo3 boards) which had a similar kind of feel to it - a lot more involved, of course, and you could play pretty much any country in the world. At the time it was considered way too buggy to actually play though - you could buy and play it while it was still being developed. Anyone remember the name of it, and what became of it?

As to including this sort of thing in FO - i think its a great idea, but its not something you can just tack on as an extra feature. Something like this could seriously affect the whole structure of the game, e.g. the first thing to pop into my mind was - if there are going to be lots of minor races as independent states, how is this going to affect travel/exploration/borders in FO, with its starlanes?
The COW Project : You have a spy in your midst.

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#8 Post by Dreamer » Wed May 11, 2005 6:02 pm

Ablaze wrote:So it's kind of like poker?
Sounds nice. But instead of only loosing money, spies, etc you should be able to "win the pot". So you basically win in proportion to the stakes, number of players, etc.

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utilae
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#9 Post by utilae » Fri May 13, 2005 2:31 am

Dreamer wrote: Usually you cant help in others battles if you like it, etc.
Actually thats a good idea. If there is a battle going on (this would work well if battles carried on over many turns), then you could pop your fleet in and help one side or destroy both.

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#10 Post by Dreamer » Fri May 13, 2005 5:55 am

utilae wrote:Actually thats a good idea. If there is a battle going on (this would work well if battles carried on over many turns), then you could pop your fleet in and help one side or destroy both.
Yep. Even some kind of "united nations" resolution could ask several empires to contribute to peacekeeping or some treaty like that. Sanctioned empires then must attack a whole combined fleet. Kind of a good-guys-stick-toguether tactic against over beligerant races. Of course the united-bad-guys-while-it's-convenient counter tactic can be good. Maybe you get All out war between factions whith several empires in each battle.

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