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Deep Dive Feedback: Presidential Appointments & Confirmation Process


MrPotatoTed
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Hi everyone,

To help lighten @vcczar's workload and to help "finalize" the rules, I'm going to be doing a super deep dive into individual sections of the rules in an effort to truly perfect them -- in terms of "realism", in terms of "gameplayism", and also in terms of being able to be easily understood by an outsider.

My first "Deep Dive" will be into the 2.3 Rules Document, which includes Presidential appointments (cabinet, sub-cabinet, military, and ambassadors) and the confirmation process.

Please very closely read this document and give me any and all feedback here about how to improve "realism", "gameplayism" (a mixture of strategy and fun), and/or readability for an outsider who hasn't played before.  I'll incorporate your feedback as I rewrite it.

Once I'm done with this review (perhaps a day or two), we'll close this section down so that it is "final" unless we discover anything that is truly game-breaking, and I'll identify the next section to do a deep dive on.  

Thank you!

Edited by MrPotatoTed
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 Retained cabinet and cabinet-level officers have a 5-6 die roll chance of +1 admin, 5-6 die roll chance of another +1 admin if they win their first chance, 5-6 die roll chance of gaining Efficient.  If they do not gain admin or efficient, then they have a 1-2 die roll chance of losing 1 Admin and a 1 roll of gaining easily overwhelmed. 

in the playtest, we also allowed non-incumbents to roll for a 5-6 die roll chance of increasing +1 admin, so we should probably add that here.

In 2.3.3 Ambassadors also need to gain a chance of getting +1 admin on initial appointment (moving from Germany to Russia would not be a new appointment)

Edited by Arkansas Progressive
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3 minutes ago, Arkansas Progressive said:

 Retained cabinet and cabinet-level officers have a 5-6 die roll chance of +1 admin, 5-6 die roll chance of another +1 admin if they win their first chance, 5-6 die roll chance of gaining Efficient.  If they do not gain admin or efficient, then they have a 1-2 die roll chance of losing 1 Admin and a 1 roll of gaining easily overwhelmed. 

in the playtest, we also allowed non-incumbents to roll for a 5-6 die roll chance of increasing +1 admin, so we should probably add that here.

In 2.3.3 Ambassadors also need to gain a chance of getting +1 admin on initial appointment (moving from Germany to Russia would not be a new appointment)

Thanks!  One potential problem (or maybe it's not a problem at all) I've discovered in my current 1772 test is that the ambassadors (all 4-5 stars with the best traits) just keep rotating around the various ambassador posts.  This might simply be because I currently have almost no cabinet in my game, so there aren't a lot of other places to put these folks.  But I wonder if there should be some kind of limit on either how long someone can serve in an ambassador post and/or how often they can shift around to other ambassador posts.

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2 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Thanks!  One potential problem (or maybe it's not a problem at all) I've discovered in my current 1772 test is that the ambassadors (all 4-5 stars with the best traits) just keep rotating around the various ambassador posts.  This might simply be because I currently have almost no cabinet in my game, so there aren't a lot of other places to put these folks.  But I wonder if there should be some kind of limit on either how long someone can serve in an ambassador post and/or how often they can shift around to other ambassador posts.

Just add the caveat that cabinet members have. An ambassador can only serve 16 years. And can only be rotated out every full term (which is what they do IRL, iirc)

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Something I'm considering:  Should there be a "vetting" process?  Roll a D-6 for any potential nominee who accepts being vetted (a requirement before you're officially nominated.

1 = Something so bad is discovered that your career is basically over.  You're immediately retired from the game.
2 = Something controversial but not career ending is discovered.  Gain Controversial (or lose integrity if you had it)
3-5 = No impact
6 = You come out looking squeaky clean.  Gain integrity (or lose controversial if you had it).

Doesn't have to be exactly this, but maybe something like it.  Or is that just slowing things down unnecessarily?

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4 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Something I'm considering:  Should there be a "vetting" process?  Roll a D-6 for any potential nominee who accepts being vetted (a requirement before you're officially nominated.

1 = Something so bad is discovered that your career is basically over.  You're immediately retired from the game.
2 = Something controversial but not career ending is discovered.  Gain Controversial (or lose integrity if you had it)
3-5 = No impact
6 = You come out looking squeaky clean.  Gain integrity (or lose controversial if you had it).

Doesn't have to be exactly this, but maybe something like it.  Or is that just slowing things down unnecessarily?

I mean in the playtest it'd slow the game down for vetting potential nominees, especially in the modern era when presidents have a list of picks they want to make before the transition even begins

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17 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Something I'm considering:  Should there be a "vetting" process?  Roll a D-6 for any potential nominee who accepts being vetted (a requirement before you're officially nominated.

1 = Something so bad is discovered that your career is basically over.  You're immediately retired from the game.
2 = Something controversial but not career ending is discovered.  Gain Controversial (or lose integrity if you had it)
3-5 = No impact
6 = You come out looking squeaky clean.  Gain integrity (or lose controversial if you had it).

Doesn't have to be exactly this, but maybe something like it.  Or is that just slowing things down unnecessarily?

I like it, but I'm not sure it's worth putting in. Especially with all of the other shenanigans going on

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A few initial thoughts:

* National Security Advisor is not a position that needs Congressional Confirmation in real life, so I'll probably remove it from confirmation here.  It will just be appointed (when the office exists), just like Key Advisor already is.

* Not sure why Director of National Security and CIA Director are listed as the same position in the rules doc.  I'll separate them, though they'll likely overlap each other entirely.  Oh, hey.  Maybe that's why they were listed as the same position.  Haha.

* Possibly making it so Senate automatically confirms a cabinet member in an active crisis role, unless the nominee has controversial or has less than 3 admin?  

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1 minute ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Not sure why Director of National Security and CIA Director are listed as the same position in the rules doc.  I'll separate them, though they'll likely overlap each other entirely.  Oh, hey.  Maybe that's why they were listed as the same position.  Haha.

you mean Director of National Intelligence? DNI overtook the CIA's role post 9/11, where the CIA was incorporated into the secondary Intelligence Community covert affairs for foreign nations

2 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Possibly making it so Senate automatically confirms a cabinet member in an active crisis role, unless the nominee has controversial or has less than 3 admin?

Agreed.

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2 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

A few initial thoughts:

* National Security Advisor is not a position that needs Congressional Confirmation in real life, so I'll probably remove it from confirmation here.  It will just be appointed (when the office exists), just like Key Advisor already is.

* Not sure why Director of National Security and CIA Director are listed as the same position in the rules doc.  I'll separate them, though they'll likely overlap each other entirely.  Oh, hey.  Maybe that's why they were listed as the same position.  Haha.

* Possibly making it so Senate automatically confirms a cabinet member in an active crisis role, unless the nominee has controversial or has less than 3 admin?  

Don't like that last bit. They should still have to go through confirmation fights. 

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Just now, Arkansas Progressive said:

say -1 party preference and faction enthusiasm for voting against?

Yeah, but only for active crisis. Otherwise everything is normal.

My issue is that most of the playtests have existed in a permanent state of crisis, so a lot of cabinets will just automatically be confirmed which defeats the point

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Just now, Willthescout7 said:

Yeah, but only for active crisis. Otherwise everything is normal.

My issue is that most of the playtests have existed in a permanent state of crisis, so a lot of cabinets will just automatically be confirmed which defeats the point

Yea we do be crisis hogs. But yea getting someone in is important, even if it isn't unanimous

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2 minutes ago, Willthescout7 said:

I would rather make it so there are penalties for the majority party if they deny someone unless they have controversy or less than 3 admin.

I think we already have something like that, but I'll double check the wording.

Basically, my thought on this is that it's actually pretty rare for a cabinet nominee to be declined by the Senate except in rare scenarios, which would generally fall under "controversial" or "less than 3 admin".

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2 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

I think we already have something like that, but I'll double check the wording.

Basically, my thought on this is that it's actually pretty rare for a cabinet nominee to be declined by the Senate except in rare scenarios, which would generally fall under "controversial" or "less than 3 admin".

I think the current wording is centered around the majority leader doing a party wide block

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Here's what I've written so far.  Work in progress, obviously haven't gotten to the good stuff yet (confirmation process, lobbies, etc)

Sorry about the random bolding.  It looks better in the actual rule sheet.

2.3.1 Presidential Appointments:

 

*Done every half-term, except prior to when Independence is declared.

 

The President may appoint members of his cabinet, cabinet-level positions, ambassadors, Generals, Admirals, and other notable individuals during this phase – though the exact offices that are available vary depending on which era you are in and which laws have passed.  In 1772, none of these positions exist and each must be created by acts of Congress – as eras advance, more and more offices will become available to create by law and fill by Presidential appointment.  

 

If the Continental Congress exists: Once created, positions are filled by the relevant committee chair.  The Foreign Chair appoints Generals, Admirals, Ambassadors, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.  The Economic Chair appoints the Secretary of Treasury. (If the Continental Congress continues to remain in place for later eras, see the committee list below for which offices to determine which future offices are appointed by which chairs).

These nominations will be considered to be unanimously confirmed unless the nominee has Controversial, in which case it will be put up to a vote before the Continental Congress – the controversial nominee will need 60% of the vote in order to be confirmed, unless otherwise specified by a legislative proposal signed into law.  All appointees remain in office unless an event prompt, military outcome, or random resignation/death forces them out, the faction player/CPU voluntarily removes them either to run for office elsewhere or simply to open the spot to a new nominee, or the Continental Congress is dissolved.


CPU RULES: CPU will voluntarily remove their own appointee from an office if they drop below a 2 in the relevant skill, provided that someone with a 2 or higher in that skill is available.  CPU otherwise follows standard voting and appointing rules, listed below.

If the Continental Congress no longer exists, the Presidency exists, and the firing precedent has not been set yet: Once created, positions are appointed by the President unless otherwise specified below.  All appointees remain in office unless an event prompt, military outcome, or random resignation/death forces them out, the faction player/CPU voluntarily removes them either to run for office elsewhere or simply to open the spot to a new nominee, or they are fired as a legislative proposal signed into law.   Note:  once a President takes the “Set Precedence for Firing Cabinet Members” executive action, the firing precedent is set.  This precedent is automatically set for post-1800 start dates.

If the Continental Congress no longer exists, the Presidency exists, and the firing precedent has been set:  The President may retain up to five incumbent Cabinet, cabinet-level, and ambassador appointees total.  The rest are automatically vacated.  They must name nominees to fill all vacant positions, unless otherwise specified below.  (Moving an incumbent to a new position does not count against the five incumbent limit, but they must pass Senate confirmation again).

 

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9 hours ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Something I'm considering:  Should there be a "vetting" process?  Roll a D-6 for any potential nominee who accepts being vetted (a requirement before you're officially nominated.

1 = Something so bad is discovered that your career is basically over.  You're immediately retired from the game.
2 = Something controversial but not career ending is discovered.  Gain Controversial (or lose integrity if you had it)
3-5 = No impact
6 = You come out looking squeaky clean.  Gain integrity (or lose controversial if you had it).

Doesn't have to be exactly this, but maybe something like it.  Or is that just slowing things down unnecessarily?

I would love a vetting process and actually had suggested it months ago. In my idea you would have been able to invite up to five people for a cabinet or SC appointment. Doing that would have allowed the player to look whether your preferred nominee is truly the best guy for the job or if your 2nd choice in fact might be the ideal guy. A player who made his choice regardless, would not need to go through that of course.

For the playtest way too complicated, but I think it would be worth bieng considered for the game, because it adds tremendous fun and strategic planning.

I crossed out what I didn't like about your idea lol

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Historically speaking, all GENERAL OFFICERS (that's Generals and Admirals) have to be approved by Congress.

For the game, that may be a little more cumbersome.  So, as a compromise, it's my belief that SENIOR Generals and Admirals should have to be approved by Congress.

There is historical precedence for having Generals/Admirals serve in the roles UNTIL they are voted on by Congress.  So, I think something that NEEDS TO BE ADDED to add and element of historical accuracy is that-

"If a new Senior General or Senior Admiral is appointed, the appointment MUST be confirmed by Congress in the next Legislative Session."

Easy.  Just one more thing to get your Representatives and Senators excited about!  And it would be done on the Foreign/Military Committee first, then to the full chamber.  It doesn't have to be "proposed" by any member, it just is "business" that Congress has to address.

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Just now, 10centjimmy said:

What happens if they are voted down? Is it like Supreme Court?

Yeah.  There just has to be another appointment.

There are a few instances of Congress NOT approving the promotion of a General officer.  But, you also want something for your Sec War/Def to do, so I think just making the SENIOR post to be voting on is a good "meet in the middle" between the game mechanics and real life.

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4 minutes ago, matthewyoung123 said:

Yeah.  There just has to be another appointment.

There are a few instances of Congress NOT approving the promotion of a General officer.  But, you also want something for your Sec War/Def to do, so I think just making the SENIOR post to be voting on is a good "meet in the middle" between the game mechanics and real life.

But then the second appointment is auto confirmed, that's to keep the game going. 

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