Types of conquest. Stability&Allegiance. Colony status

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Oberlus
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Types of conquest. Stability&Allegiance. Colony status

#1 Post by Oberlus » Mon May 13, 2019 8:40 pm

Proposal for joint system for colony conquest through military invasion (the system we already have), cultural/economic influence (new conquest mechanic: non-violent conquest through propaganda and good actions with respect the influenced species' values) or espionage operations (new conquest mechanic: infiltration and subversion of the local government, not necessarily with the support of the people).

Together with destruction of a colony (no conquest), we would have four ways of stealing enemies' space. And with the technological and diplomatic victory, that makes up for six different victory strategies (from more violent to less, mind the names): destruction, invasion, government subversion, influence conquest, diplomacy and transcendence.
Destruction and invasion would be the ones that cares less about multispecies/diplomacy/opinion/values/relationships/etc. and that can focus more freely on war action, and the influence conquest and diplomacy the ones that should care more on species-empire and empire-empire relationships. But most probably most games will require a bit of most strategies.

This was for a little context. The rest of the post is aimed at developing the core mechanics for colony-empire relationships (allegiance, stability, ...) and its relation to the three forms of foreign colony acquisition.


POPULATION STABILITY & ALLEGIANCE
  • Stability (happiness, well-being): a colony meter to capture the disposition of the population to work for the ruler empire.
    Stability below a certain threshold (security threshold?) will imply reduction of the pop-based RPI production.
    Causes of low (target) stability: bad opinion on the ruler (people can do strikes or rebel out), lack of resources (starving and dead people works less) or recent attacks (devastation has its issues).
    Under no other effects, current stability changes 1 point per turn towards target stability. Techs, buildings and policies can affect this as well as the target stability and the security threshold.
  • Allegiance: a colony composite meter, composed of the allegiances to each empire and native/independent, summing in total 1 (100%).
    Most of the time it will be own empire=1, rest=0. Can be shown as a bar with one coloured segment for each faction (empires' colours, white for native/independent) and length of each segment proportional to the allegiance of each empire. The bar border could change colour to highlight important states, like red for own colonies with own allegiance too low, and blue for foreign colonies with good allegiance to our empire. Examples assuming you are empire 1.
    - [1111111000]: 70% empire 1 (current ruler), 30% native.
    - [3333331111]: 60% empire 3 (current ruler), 40% empire 1, blue/flashing border to signal the opportunity to subvert/influence this colony.
    - [1111222222]: 40% empire 1 (current ruler), 60% empire 2, red/flashing border to signal the dangerous allegiance situation.
    The actions of a empire that are know to a given colony will affect their allegiance depending on the species values. Among this actions we could include policies, buildings and techs (as well as actual actions like breaking or signing a peace treaty).
    Getting (or losing) allegiance on a colony means stealing (or giving) some from the other allegiances in the colony, proportional to current allegiances. E.g. if initial values are 70% Emp. 1 and 30% Emp. 2, and Emp. 3 gets 10% for itself, new allegiances are 63%, 27% and 10% respectively. If several allegiance effects coincide at the same turn, the increases are calculated all from the initial values. E.g. same initial values, Emp. 3 gets 10% and Emp 2 gets 20%, new allegiances are 43%, 47% and 10%. Arguably, the native/independent faction would have a minimum value (good actions from empires can't steal from native allegiance when its value is at the minimum), so that it can't disapear and hence can grow strong when all influencing empires are doing bad actions.

COLONY STATUS

Depending on policies and techs unlocked and the species traits, an empire could have different social and government structures. This could be represented by the status of the colony:
  • Free colony: the colony has the same rights within the empire than the capital.
    Local government keeps full power over its internal affairs (military, political and media). The population in the colony is free to do what they want. Free colonies have a pop-based influence bonus tied to high stability and allegiance to the empire.
    All free colonies within an empire cooperate among them willingly, and can leave the empire if their allegiance (for whatever reason) drops too much, although their status of free colony gives a boost to allegiance.
    Local military and political parties (i.e. the portion of population that exerts the actual power in the colony) will always share the same allegiances than the general population, because there is no clear distinction among ruling class and the rest.
    In game mechanics, all this means free colonies' allegiances will be affected by the actions of empires in full extent (so worse to avoid external influence and harder to go against its values), and will themselves affect more the opinions of neighbours (stronger propagation of their opinions, so better to exert influence on others when they like their empire).
    Free colonies with mid stability will force its planetary focus to the preferred one (unless recently attacked, which will force defence focus) and will refrain from accepting influence or production projects that go against their values (note: they will accept the imperial will if they have high enough stability). With low stability they will refuse to work. Their security threshold will be relatively high.
    In case of allegiance shift the colony will join the new empire without requiring a violent rebellion, unless stability is low and this is a warlike species. In that case a civil war will ensue. Usually, stability will be low only if there are subversion projects active in the colony.
  • Vassal colony: the ruling empire treats this colony (its local government, its population) as a vassal.
    The local government keeps most power regarding internal affairs, but does not have full access to military, political and media power.
    Its population is relatively free, although with limited rights within the empire (second class citizens).
    In case of allegiance shift, a civil war will ensue.
    Vassal colonies will be less stable than free colonies (they don't like being second class) but will have the chance to suppress any rebellion automatically if there are enough defensive forces loyal to the empire (which potential boosts from policies, buildings, etc.).
  • Slave colony: the ruling empire treats this colony as source of resources and its population as right-less assets of the empire.
    The rulers provide for the populations basic needs but keep them away from any form of military, political or media power, which have no means to express their discontent or get reliable information. Slave colonies have a pop-based bonus for production and a pop-based malus for influence and research.
    Allegiance can't be high except under special policies like keeping population under drugs influence.
    Also, the actions of the empire have a lesser impact on the allegiance of the slaves, and slave worlds are harder to subvert or influence due to their lack of access to media and information and their lack of military mediums.
    In case of allegiance shift, a rebellion will ensue.
This pretends to be a rather simple scheme to represent unitary, federal and anarchic governments (as per structure of power) as well as autocratic, oligarchic and democratic governments (as per source of power), depending on the combination of colony statuses.
An imperial (unitary autocracy) government would have all colonies as vassal or slave. Feudal (unitary oligarchy) would have some free colonies besides the capital. An egalitarian anarchy would have all free worlds.
But don't get confused, we don't care about actual representation of forms of governments, we just want different gameplay styles in FreeOrion. So this only serves the purpose to bring in some versatility and interest to the influence/opinions/values game. Now we could have a Trith empire that enslaves all species around them (slave colonies would not cause xenophobia on nearby Trith).


TYPES OF REVOLT
  • Civil war: two factions of the planetary forces, each backed up by a portion of the population, fight for the control of the planet.
    The size of each faction will be proportional to their allegiances in the planet.
    Size of each faction might be affected by policies, buildings and techs.
    If the foreign (or native) faction prevails, the colony will change its allegiance to the foreign empire (or become native).
    The civil war will lower population and infrastructure, more or less depending on policies, buildings and techs and the relative strengths of the faction in the fight.
    Civil wars will occur in non-pacifist vassal colonies and sometimes in warlike free colonies.
  • Rebellion: the population of the colony fights against the planetary forces.
    The relative strength of the revolutionaries will depend on allegiance to the ruling empire, policies, buildings and techs, and maybe the effect from subversion/incite revolt projects.
    If the rebellion succeeds, the colony will join the empire with greatest allegiance (or become native).
    In non-pacifist colonies, the rebellion will lower population and infrastructure, more or less depending on policies, buildings and techs and the relative strengths of the faction in the fight, but usually less than a civil war.
    Rebellions will occur in slave colonies or in vassal colonies with oppression policies in place that restrain local population from military power.

TYPES OF COLONY CONQUEST/ACQUISITION

Military conquest
  1. An armed force clears out any defensive forces and flatens planetary shields and defenses.
  2. Ground troops invade the planet and fight deffensive troops. Invasion succeeds if attackers>defenders.
  3. The colony becomes ruled by the invading empire, which assigns an statute (free, vassal or slave). For standard species, its current opinion of the empire modified by policies and techs active in the invading and invaded empire determines the stability of the colony withing the invading empire. If it is too low after invasion, the colony will stay in rebellion for a while until the citizens are assimilated into their new condition (that can be slave, vassal or free).
Espionage conquest (government subversion)
  1. The subverting empire initiates an influence-fueled, hidden project (1 turns to complete, max M IPs per turn, N iterations) targetted at the colony.
    Every time an iteration is completed (M IPs invested), allegiance to owner and stability of the target colony decreases by X points, and allegiance to subverting empire increases by Y points (X>Y), both modified by species traits and involved empires' policies and techs.
  2. The subverted empire will receive a sitrep when allegiance or stability gets close to security thresholds, or sooner depending on certain policies or techs, and a counter-espionage project can be started in the colony (equal to subversion project with opposite effects, up stability and own allegiance).
  3. If the stability gets below security threshold, a civil war begins, the planetary defenses are divided into two factions depending on allegiance, and the winner gets to rule the colony.
Influence conquest (Cultural-Economic conquest)
  1. The influencing empire will spend IPs into advertising their will good towards other colonies, through policies or empire-wide propaganda projects (TBD).
    This will enable the empire's actions to cause (or to boost, TBD) possitive effects on foreign colonies' opinon based on the species values. Otherwise the foreign colonies won't know about it and will never grow allegiance to alien empires.
    A special species trait (such as telepathy) or certain policies or building effects (e.g. free open communications to boost owns research) will allow the species to be influenced by empires that are not actively influencing them. Other special traits, buildings or policies will make a species immune or very hard to external influence.
  2. A colony whose allegiance grows bigger (big enough) to a foreign empire than to its own, will desert to that empire.
    Depending on special buildings or policies (e.g. enslaved world, totalitarianism, etc.) this will trigger a civil war or a rebellion, or directly become a stable colony of the influencing empire.
____

Work in progress. I will edit this.
Feel free to post anything related to what I'm writing here.
Please, keep your contributions to the subject of developing (or not) the specific mechanics described above:
  • Why would it work or not?
  • How could it be improved or what could be done instead?
  • Assuming it would work out well, do you think the gameplay with this proposal would be simple enough to grasp (KISS)?
  • If you are a programmer, do you think implementation is feasible (FreeOrion standards)?
For general discussion about influence, diplomacy, slaves, victory conditions, etc. please use an older thread or open a new one.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Types of conquest. Stability&Allegiance. Colony status

#2 Post by Krikkitone » Tue May 14, 2019 12:28 am

I think it would work, but I think it could be simplified

Free Colonies:
Stability dependent on allegiance & empire doing what colony wants
more vulnerable to outside influence

Slave:
Stabillity dependent on Military force (relatively less dependent on Allegiance/ doing what colony wants)
less vulnerable to cultural influence (and probably spy as well)

I don't really see the need for a separate Vassal category (especially as you talk about "oppressive" vassal colonies)

The main difference between "Civl War" and "Rebellion" is if planetary forces join the Rebels.

So I would combine that into one

"Rebellion"... Rebel forces are generated, in certain conditions some of your planetary forces become Rebels


So to simplify the model

1. Colonies are either Free or Slave (or Free or Vassal if we decide Slave sounds too oppressive by default)... different "Policies"/Techs etc. would add different bonuses/penalties that affect colonies of one specific type
2. Allegiance is based on "Doing what a colony you own wants.. ie what species wants and good for this Colony-status/etc."
3. Allegiance (and Techs/Policies including 'Security' type ones) affects Stability
4. If Stability falls too low there is a "Rebellion" [which can result in anywhere from 0% of the planetary forces defecting..ie people v. troops to 100% of the planetary forces defecting...ie a Free Colony secedes]...% planetary defecting would depend both on the status of the Colony as well as "Policies"/Techs, Allegiance, and Foreign Involvement

Policies/Techs etc. determine if you are kind/oppressive to your Slaves and how "Free" your "Free Colonies" really are.

So to defend against losing your world you need both Strong Troops AND High Allegiance on the world. (Allegiance is hard to eliminate/change, Troops are Easy)

I think that would work well.

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labgnome
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Re: Types of conquest. Stability&Allegiance. Colony status

#3 Post by labgnome » Sat May 18, 2019 8:14 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:40 pm
Stability (happiness, well-being): a colony meter to capture the disposition of the population to work for the ruler empire.
Stability below a certain threshold (security threshold?) will imply reduction of the pop-based RPI production.
Causes of low (target) stability: bad opinion on the ruler (people can do strikes or rebel out), lack of resources (starving and dead people works less) or recent attacks (devastation has its issues).
Under no other effects, current stability changes 1 point per turn towards target stability. Techs, buildings and policies can affect this as well as the target stability and the security threshold.
This makes me lean more towards liking the idea of stability replacing happiness. I'd personally keep the security/stability threshold constant. I'd also go with a 0-100 value for stability, with 50 as the stability threshold, as a suggestion. I think that would be easy to follow and understand for players.
Allegiance: a colony composite meter, composed of the allegiances to each empire and native/independent, summing in total 1 (100%).
Most of the time it will be own empire=1, rest=0. Can be shown as a bar with one coloured segment for each faction (empires' colours, white for native/independent) and length of each segment proportional to the allegiance of each empire. The bar border could change colour to highlight important states, like red for own colonies with own allegiance too low, and blue for foreign colonies with good allegiance to our empire. Examples assuming you are empire 1.
- [1111111000]: 70% empire 1 (current ruler), 30% native.
- [3333331111]: 60% empire 3 (current ruler), 40% empire 1, blue/flashing border to signal the opportunity to subvert/influence this colony.
- [1111222222]: 40% empire 1 (current ruler), 60% empire 2, red/flashing border to signal the dangerous allegiance situation.
The actions of a empire that are know to a given colony will affect their allegiance depending on the species values. Among this actions we could include policies, buildings and techs (as well as actual actions like breaking or signing a peace treaty).
Getting (or losing) allegiance on a colony means stealing (or giving) some from the other allegiances in the colony, proportional to current allegiances. E.g. if initial values are 70% Emp. 1 and 30% Emp. 2, and Emp. 3 gets 10% for itself, new allegiances are 63%, 27% and 10% respectively. If several allegiance effects coincide at the same turn, the increases are calculated all from the initial values. E.g. same initial values, Emp. 3 gets 10% and Emp 2 gets 20%, new allegiances are 43%, 47% and 10%. Arguably, the native/independent faction would have a minimum value (good actions from empires can't steal from native allegiance when its value is at the minimum), so that it can't disapear and hence can grow strong when all influencing empires are doing bad actions.
I would prefer using an opinion system for the mechanic, over what you have presented here. Namely I would rather each subject (weather we are calculating this based on planet or species) gets an independent opinion of each empire. I think this solves some potential problems that your system might create. Namely I can see your system creating unnecessary conflict between allies, especially if they have similar policies (or other factors that would contribute to allegiance) or create a situation where no one can claim a planet because it has too many allegiances and none are over 50%. I think having an opinion system, wherein you can have a high opinion of multiple empire's at once would work better.
Depending on policies and techs unlocked and the species traits, an empire could have different social and government structures. This could be represented by the status of the colony:
I'd go for a simpler two designation system for colonies, with my vote being for Free Colony (or Member Colony) and Vassal Colony. I'd make slave colonies a special designation, that works like concentration camps.
This pretends to be a rather simple scheme to represent unitary, federal and anarchic governments (as per structure of power) as well as autocratic, oligarchic and democratic governments (as per source of power), depending on the combination of colony statuses.
An imperial (unitary autocracy) government would have all colonies as vassal or slave. Feudal (unitary oligarchy) would have some free colonies besides the capital. An egalitarian anarchy would have all free worlds.
But don't get confused, we don't care about actual representation of forms of governments, we just want different gameplay styles in FreeOrion. So this only serves the purpose to bring in some versatility and interest to the influence/opinions/values game. Now we could have a Trith empire that enslaves all species around them (slave colonies would not cause xenophobia on nearby Trith).
So this gets me thinking about what kinds of governments you could have with Free/Member vs. Vassal planets. I see five possible types, which could be different families of governments, that we could tie to different technological themes.

You could have the capitol as the only Member and all others as Vassals. Totalitarian Governments.
You could have all homeworlds as Members and all colonies as Vassals. Feudal(?) Governments.
You could have all planets of the imperial species planets as Members and all other species as Vassals. Supremacy(?) Governments?
You could have all telepathic species planets as Members and all others as Vassals. Gestalt Governments.
You could have all planets as Members and no Vassals. Democratic Governments.

If we have early, mid, and late game governments this would bring the number of governments to 15, which I don't know if that's too many or not.
TYPES OF REVOLT
I'd also have just one type of revolt for simplicity's sake. I think it could be too difficult to tell the two apart functionally for players, but that may just be me.
Espionage conquest (government subversion)
Currently the three types of influence projects have a nice distinction of espionage being about getting/hiding/stealing information, terror being about disrupting/destroying and propaganda being about colony control/acquisition. While the idea sounds interesting I'd rather keep the distinction as it stands for the sake of simplicity and understandability. I also think it might be hard to tell one influence project way to annex a planet from another, especially since we don't actually distinguish between planets populations and their leadership.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

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