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Geopolitical Forum Game Feedback: 1980s


vcczar

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Please fill out as many of these as you can.

1. Should I make any changes to military power and/or how it is used for ActiveConflicts?

2. Should I make any changes to influence, how it is acquired, and how it is used?

3. Should I make any changes to resources, how they are acquired, how they are used, and/or anything regarding trade deals?

4. Should I make any changes to land or sea that can be influenced?

5. Should I make any changes to Events or Active Conflicts?

6. Should I make any changes to how leaders are used in the game? Reagan, Gorbachev, etc.

7. Should I make any changes to the order of play?

8. Should I make any changes to ambition and/or infiltration?

9. Can you think of any other changes I should make that don't fit one of the above categories that could make the game both more realistic and more fun?

10. What are your overall thoughts on the game as a player? 

@OrangeP47 @10centjimmy @Rezi @Hestia @The Blood @Largo833 @ConservativeElector2 @WVProgressive

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

Please fill out as many of these as you can.

1. Should I make any changes to military power and/or how it is used for ActiveConflicts?

I think with the changes we've made, this is much better at the moment. I would maybe suggest to make a scale of how much military power each nation can get at a time, but it wouldn't be completely necessary (e.g. RU/US/CH can go for 5 a turn, EU/IND 4, the rest 3 or something like that). I think that it may help keep some realism with the sizes of each. I also think in general 300 may be too big of a ceiling for China/India, but we haven't gotten to that point. I'd suggest closer to 150.

2. Should I make any changes to influence, how it is acquired, and how it is used?

My biggest thing is that at this point, if you're pitting influence against someone (e.g. EU and Russia, for example) - you just have to wait until the other person plays and counteract what they've done. Maybe an anonymous system to turn in influence points would help make it a bit more exciting turn-to-turn. I also do believe having the % chance for influence to take root is probably beneficial long-term to spice things up, though I'm not sure if it's something we want to change right now. 

3. Should I make any changes to resources, how they are acquired, how they are used, and/or anything regarding trade deals?

Honestly haven't paid a whole lot of attention so I'll let others answer here if they have ideas.

4. Should I make any changes to land or sea that can be influenced?

Not that I've got at this point.

5. Should I make any changes to Events or Active Conflicts?

I think they're working well! I especially like the conflicts that have reason to pull people in, so there's something more at stake than just a government change somewhere. A few of the conflicts haven't made much sense to get involved in if they're just authoritarian vs authoritarian, etc. This combines with #1&2 but maybe there's an influence reward in those countries for the countries proxying if their side wins?

6. Should I make any changes to how leaders are used in the game? Reagan, Gorbachev, etc.

I haven't noticed them too much, so not a lot for me to chime in on here.

7. Should I make any changes to the order of play?

I think it works smoothly and well so far. 

8. Should I make any changes to ambition and/or infiltration?

I think infiltration at this point hasn't been used much because it's difficult to commit any sort of points (especially from powers that aren't the US, Russia, or China) to trying to block someone from getting their 50 points because you only have 10 points or so to work with and there's no reason to get outside of your box, so to speak. I think we'll learn more about it when we get further. 

9. Can you think of any other changes I should make that don't fit one of the above categories that could make the game both more realistic and more fun?

Not at the moment!

10. What are your overall thoughts on the game as a player? 

I've really enjoyed it so far, it's been something that's low-stress and fun to check in on, and the 'problems' are relatively minor and can be solved easily. 

@OrangeP47 @10centjimmy @Rezi @Hestia @The Blood @Largo833 @ConservativeElector2 @WVProgressive

 

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1. Should I make any changes to military power and/or how it is used for ActiveConflicts? I don’t think this is an area that needs any changes right now.

2. Should I make any changes to influence, how it is acquired, and how it is used? I second Hestia’s calls for secret actions, and a %chance for actions to fail. Beyond that, I’m not sure.

3. Should I make any changes to resources, how they are acquired, how they are used, and/or anything regarding trade deals? I haven’t paid much attention to resources. They seem almost superfluous. Maybe they should reward more points for leading in them in order to incentivize players to focus on them? Also, I’m not sure what trade deals actually do in game outside of signaling which players you’re interested in working with.

4. Should I make any changes to land or sea that can be influenced? Would it be possible to make it clear which regions connect to which, especially sea regions? I’m more or less fine as far as countries go, but I don’t have the regions of the sea memorized, (and I assume most people don’t) which hurts my ability to be a productive member of the game. I think this could be solved by adding a ‘Connections’ tab to Seas page (Something like: Malacca Straights connects to Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Thailand. I’m not even sure if that’s correct or not.)

5. Should I make any changes to Events or Active Conflicts? I think these are more or less fine as they are. 

6. Should I make any changes to how leaders are used in the game? Reagan, Gorbachev, etc. I haven’t noticed them play a very large role in game, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your goals.

7. Should I make any changes to the order of play? It’s worked fine so far, no complaints from me.

8. Should I make any changes to ambition and/or infiltration? I think it should be harder to trigger ‘Beast Mode’, currently two players are in Beast Mode in our playthrough and I think three or four more are just a turn away from activating it which I think is a bit too much. Perhaps you could raise the requirement to 100 influence points? 

9. Can you think of any other changes I should make that don't fit one of the above categories that could make the game both more realistic and more fun? I’ll add something if I think of it later, but no not off the top of my head.

10. What are your overall thoughts on the game as a player? I’m having a nice time. Even though it’s early in development it’s still a pretty fun little game. It’s hard for me to find things to critique because the way it is right now just works fine in my opinion.

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Instead of filling out the form again, I'm just going to echo what's been said already so it's not redundant, with just a few points I'd like to make myself:  I think the caps are currently fine as is, we need to see what it's like a top before we get there.  If anything, I'd argue not that the big nations need reduced, but that the small nations need increased.  The limiting factor doesn't seem to be the cap, but how much influence can be devoted.  Which brings me to the actual only real point I want to make.  Influence is at a real premium.  That's fine, as a game design choice, but it means it's less about your own choices and more about if your rivals are going to oppose you or not.  You need to keep that in mind and ask yourself if that's what you want.  To be fair, in a game about balance of power, that may very well be exactly what you want, but if you're making that choice, it's good to consciously affirm it.

Edited by OrangeP47
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OrangeP47 @10centjimmy @Rezi @Hestia @The Blood @Largo833 @ConservativeElector2 @WVProgressive 
 

I’ll start making changes based on the limited feedback I’ve gotten when I get home. More feedback from other players would be great. 
 

Changes I’m considering: 

- For proxy, you can only send 5 or 10 mil power. Or obviously zero. 


- For principle in a war, automatic 20 if an offensive war and automatic 50 if a defensive war. If one doesn’t have 20 or 50, it is taken from any proxy engagements to get as close to 20 or 50 as possible. I’m toying with an automatic defeat if the troops can’t be found, but this would be with every power starting with 50 troops. Who knows. No automatic defeat for this playtest. 


- all conflicts will see the loser lose half their troop commitments. For a commitment of 5, you lose all of them. 


- I may or may not do so at this time, but I’m getting rid of base influence.  It will all be modifier influence, mostly coming from soft power (Hollywood, Bollywood, Coca-Cola, Bolshoi Ballet, Toyota, Nintendo, Made in China), Leading in resource, and from the incumbent leader. 


- Rather than just general influence, some events will be regional influence specific. 


- If you border a nation, share the same type of government, type of religion, ideology, then there’s a chance your influence doubles. The chance increases based on the most similarity. 
 

- trade deals will be resource specific with the leader picking one deal partner who can share resource pts that come from the events. I’ll require a partner. 

- You will give me your influence moves via private message so others can’t see your placements. 
 

- Ambition mode will, after this playtest, be moved up to 100 pts. Infiltration is removed, removing influence is removed, and you just request to put influence in another player’s nation. If all other player’s influence exceeds the primary players influence, then that nation collapses and the player loses the game. 

- You can’t go to war as a primary against a trade partner. 

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I'll echo the point @WVProgressivemade on resources. They really could be simplified to consumer goods, industrial goods, oil/gas, uranium

Then influence could also be used to increase one or more of the goods in the home country,  which would amount to increased production or extraction. Then a clarification. 

 

I would also echo @Hestia points on the secret moves. The game diplomacy does a great job at this and maybe could be replicated. If 2 sides proxy the same conflict, maybe their moves are negated and they lose the military points. Forcing you to statehouse where you think you might have the edge. 

 

You could also limit the number of actions per influence turn, only 1 action of each type. This way you have to weigh placing influence on your own country or a neighboring one. 

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1. Should I make any changes to military power and/or how it is used for ActiveConflicts?

  • It would be nice to have more consequences than just lost or gained points for winning/losing a proxy war. Probably some influence or military power strengthening/weakening would be nice. Because for players like me who just ignore the points system, I really have no consequences for just throwing my troops at some random war.

2. Should I make any changes to influence, how it is acquired, and how it is used?

  • I also echo the calls for influence to be secret.

3. Should I make any changes to resources, how they are acquired, how they are used, and/or anything regarding trade deals?

  • I haven't really played around with this area of the game.

4. Should I make any changes to land or sea that can be influenced?

  • None that I can think of.

5. Should I make any changes to Events or Active Conflicts?

  • N/A

6. Should I make any changes to how leaders are used in the game? Reagan, Gorbachev, etc.'

  • I like the system now, with leaders having different strengths. The one thing I've noticed is that with Japan, the only difference with leaders so far is their influence modifiers which is getting old, but that could just be a Japan thing.

7. Should I make any changes to the order of play?

  • Fine with me!

8. Should I make any changes to ambition and/or infiltration?

  • I haven't played around with infiltration and I'd like to see how ambition plays out more before commenting on it.

9. Can you think of any other changes I should make that don't fit one of the above categories that could make the game both more realistic and more fun?

  • N/A

10. What are your overall thoughts on the game as a player? 

  • Really enjoying it! It's a fun game to check in on a few times a day and I could see it being enjoyable if you got a group of people to all play at the same time for a quicker pace.
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1. Should I make any changes to military power and/or how it is used for ActiveConflicts?

None that I can think of.

2. Should I make any changes to influence, how it is acquired, and how it is used?

I don't really see the point of competing for seas with allies. It feels strange that the US has to fight off Japan for control of the seas, while the US should generally be fine if their allies also had some influence in regions important to both sides. I also don't know if the US can realistically hold all the seas - which is a major goal for the country - when seven other players target them. I think they are poised to lose the competition for the oceans no matter what.

3. Should I make any changes to resources, how they are acquired, how they are used, and/or anything regarding trade deals?
Haven't really paid attention to them.

4. Should I make any changes to land or sea that can be influenced?
N/A

5. Should I make any changes to Events or Active Conflicts?
N/A

6. Should I make any changes to how leaders are used in the game? Reagan, Gorbachev, etc.

Haven't really paid attention to them.

7. Should I make any changes to the order of play?

Can't think of any.

8. Should I make any changes to ambition and/or infiltration?
Probably no.

9. Can you think of any other changes I should make that don't fit one of the above categories that could make the game both more realistic and more fun?

Not at the moment.

10. What are your overall thoughts on the game as a player? 

I like the game very much, especially proxying in ongoing conflicts seems intriguing.

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18 minutes ago, ConservativeElector2 said:

I don't really see the point of competing for seas with allies. It feels strange that the US has to fight off Japan for control of the seas, while the US should generally be fine if their allies also had some influence in regions important to both sides. I also don't know if the US can realistically hold all the seas - which is a major goal for the country - when seven other players target them. I think they are poised to lose the competition for the oceans no matter what.

What do you recommend for this because Japan technically can't really do anything militarily without the US's consent. They haven't really a fighting navy or army. This has to be reflected in the game for realism 

The US has controlled every ocean since sometime after WWII and it would certainly be a top priority to control the oceans. So I can't see taking it off the checklist, but it also shouldn't be too easy to hold on to the seas as other powers start trying to vy for US supremacy. 

Somehow I need to figure out some sort of leverage that the US player can use in order ot reach an agreement that powers won't compete for naval supremacy. 

I think you've been so lenient with Japan that they're posing an issue for you at sea since you're letting them do things without your permission. 

The US should have one of the most difficult times with it's checklist since it starts with such a massive head start. You'll just have to redirect your resources for naval superiority. 

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59 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

I think the problem with further limiting proxy though is when you have a ton of mil points, what do you spend them on unless there's like 20000000000000 wars.

There will be more wars. Alternatively, I cap mil points or I make losing war decrease more mil points. 

The reason I'm limiting proxy is because we pretty much concluded every war, including several that are supposed to go on for a decade or more, I think two are actually ongoing!!!!!! So if we allow the US to proxy everything at 50, then every other turn you can expect a decade long war to come to a conclusion. 

One option is that I have wars aways take as long as they did historically and then just not resolve them until their resolve date is met, but I don't think that would be fun.

 

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4 minutes ago, vcczar said:

There will be more wars. Alternatively, I cap mil points or I make losing war decrease more mil points. 

The reason I'm limiting proxy is because we pretty much concluded every war, including several that are supposed to go on for a decade or more, I think two are actually ongoing!!!!!! So if we allow the US to proxy everything at 50, then every other turn you can expect a decade long war to come to a conclusion. 

One option is that I have wars aways take as long as they did historically and then just not resolve them until their resolve date is met, but I don't think that would be fun.

 

5 or 10 is too low though because that's functually the same as not doing anything.  It's like asking if I want to buy a Lamborghini for a dollar.  The incentive structure is wrong.

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Just now, OrangeP47 said:

5 or 10 is too low though because that's functually the same as not doing anything.  It's like asking if I want to buy a Lamborghini for a dollar.  The incentive structure is wrong.

What I'm saying is, if you want your game to matter, you gotta make choices matter, have weight behind actually deciding what to do, not just for what to do being an automatic given, and with a risk/reward calculation at proxy cap 5/10, it's a thing that has that incorrect incentive structure.

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

I think you've been so lenient with Japan that they're posing an issue for you at sea since you're letting them do things without your permission. 

That was an agreement presented to keep the game moving at a higher speed. And certainly I thought it's only going to be about involvement in ongoing conflicts. If that's exploited at sea as well, the US must demand Japan to ask for approval again before doing any moves - looking at you @Rezi 😛

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1 hour ago, OrangeP47 said:

What I'm saying is, if you want your game to matter, you gotta make choices matter, have weight behind actually deciding what to do, not just for what to do being an automatic given, and with a risk/reward calculation at proxy cap 5/10, it's a thing that has that incorrect incentive structure.

I’ll just keep the system we’ve been using then and won’t apply the restrictions. Maybe later we will come up with something better. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

I’ll just keep the system we’ve been using then and won’t apply the restrictions. Maybe later we will come up with something better. 

A good choice.  I think we need to try the 50 cap we have now in a later era when people have their full military.  I'm not opposed to maybe lowering it later, but only to like 25 or so, but I think it's definitely too soon to tell.

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4 minutes ago, ConservativeElector2 said:

That was an agreement presented to keep the game moving at a higher speed. And certainly I thought it's only going to be about involvement in ongoing conflicts. If that's exploited at sea as well, the US must demand Japan to ask for approval again before doing any moves - looking at you @Rezi 😛

Well if you do that then I can't increase my military anymore which means I can just put more points into the sea, so if that's the route you wanna go, sure.

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11 hours ago, vcczar said:

OrangeP47 @10centjimmy @Rezi @Hestia @The Blood @Largo833 @ConservativeElector2 @WVProgressive 
 

I’ll start making changes based on the limited feedback I’ve gotten when I get home. More feedback from other players would be great. 
 

Changes I’m considering: 

- For proxy, you can only send 5 or 10 mil power. Or obviously zero. 


- For principle in a war, automatic 20 if an offensive war and automatic 50 if a defensive war. If one doesn’t have 20 or 50, it is taken from any proxy engagements to get as close to 20 or 50 as possible. I’m toying with an automatic defeat if the troops can’t be found, but this would be with every power starting with 50 troops. Who knows. No automatic defeat for this playtest. 


- all conflicts will see the loser lose half their troop commitments. For a commitment of 5, you lose all of them. 


- I may or may not do so at this time, but I’m getting rid of base influence.  It will all be modifier influence, mostly coming from soft power (Hollywood, Bollywood, Coca-Cola, Bolshoi Ballet, Toyota, Nintendo, Made in China), Leading in resource, and from the incumbent leader. 


- Rather than just general influence, some events will be regional influence specific. 


- If you border a nation, share the same type of government, type of religion, ideology, then there’s a chance your influence doubles. The chance increases based on the most similarity. 
 

- trade deals will be resource specific with the leader picking one deal partner who can share resource pts that come from the events. I’ll require a partner. 

- You will give me your influence moves via private message so others can’t see your placements. 
 

- Ambition mode will, after this playtest, be moved up to 100 pts. Infiltration is removed, removing influence is removed, and you just request to put influence in another player’s nation. If all other player’s influence exceeds the primary players influence, then that nation collapses and the player loses the game. 

- You can’t go to war as a primary against a trade partner. 

I'm going to keep these things under consideration, but I don't think I'll make any adjustments at this time. I do want to make soft power and resources and trade deals have a much more powerful role in the game. 

The only rule change I will apply is anonymous placement of influence.

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