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Varied Victory Conditions

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Ska_baron
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Okay, this is related to my other thread about a space war game I'm developing. I've been toying around with how to actually win what I'm creating and have stumbled into the idea of dividing up victory points. I feel that this has been done before, so please feel free to reference the game(s) that it came from.

Three Categories of Victory Points:
1-Conquest: VP for winning battles, conquoring opponent's colonies
2-Diplomacy: still hazy =(
3-Exploration: VP for discovering new planets, tech/science upgrades

At the start of the game each player must choose which victory conditions she must meet to win. OPTION ONE would have players choose from predetermined numbers, say: 10, 12, and 15 to assign to each of the 3 categories. OPTION TWO would make use of the 3 dice mechanic brought up elsewhere on the forums, where dice with special numbers (say, on a d6: 10,12,15,17,20,21) are rolled and each player may choose which number to assign to which victory condition.

Example, I roll the 3 dice and 12, 12, 30 come up. I choose my victory conditions to be Conquest-20, Diplomacy-12, Exploration-12 while my opponent chooses Conquest-12, Diplomacy-20, Exploration-12.

Other option would be to allow 5 points for each player to "customize" their victory conditions. This could be used with either option.

Now, would this make the game better by having players choose the type of game they'll play? Or is this needlessly nit-picky (if they were just generic VPs then a player who wanted to play aggressively could do so and not even be bothered by constraits chosen at the beginning of the game) One advantage I see to this system is being able to weight diplomacy (who wants to make peace) against conquest in my game as well as exploration.

Please, all comments are welcome. =)

rellekmr
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Varied Victory Conditions

Without a general idea of what a diplomacy scoring mechanic would look like, it's hard to tell whether the constraints on victory conditions would be too lax or too restractive.

zaiga
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Varied Victory Conditions

Careers. From BGG: "Careers is a game where the players set their own victory conditions. A player may choose to pursue Fame, Happiness, Money, or a combination of all three. The limitation being that the total number of "points" earned in the 3 categories must total 60. eg. 60 Happiness, 0 Fame, 0 Money; 20 of each; or any other combination."

I don't think rolling dice to set these numbers is a good idea, as players will feel it is far too random, especially for such an important thing as victory conditions.

I do like the idea of having to fulfill different victory conditions. The trick with such things is to balance them well. However, if players can choose the numbers, then they balance the system themselves, as it were.

A possible problem with players choosing their own numbers, however, is that after a number of games, a "perfect" strategy will become clear, and the numbers chosen will be the same every time. To counter this you might want to add some randomness to the game setup. For example, a different board layout, or different player powers each game, etc.

Another option that you might want to look at is the way you can win in Anno 1503. In that game there are 5 victory conditions. If you fulfill 3 of them, you win the game. This gives players some control of which strategy to follow, while at the same time being a fairly simple system.

Ska_baron
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Varied Victory Conditions

Thanks, Zaiga, that's a good point about the "perfect strategy" and I have been planning to keep other elements random/fresh such as a modular board set up... But mostly thanks for both examples you gave me - they are both interesting ways to go and I might play around with each system.

Any other thoughts?

HellRAZOR
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Varied Victory Conditions

Another possibility is that each player choses at the beginning the bonus he receives on certain victory points,

Example: Conquest 2x, Diplomacy: 3x, Exploration 5x

If the VP limit is set to 60, the player may gain
4C, 4D & 8E = 2 x 4 + 3 x 4 + 5 x 8 = 60 VPs to win,
or any other combination with a sum of 60 VPs.

Ska_baron
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Varied Victory Conditions

How could I fit MISSION CARDS into this idea of varied victory conditions. Right now I'm leaning towards something like: Divide 60 (or however many) points between the three victory conditions at the start of the game.

Now, if I had a deck of mission cards that you could either complete as secret (for more points) or as public in a Ticket to Ride fashion (ie, have 5 mission cards face up...on your turn you could pick one of the face up missions (worth fewer points b/c you got to pick it) or choose one from the deck and keep it secret - for more points)

How would the two best integrate? Should players maybe start the game by drawing a few (3-4) mission cards and picking 1-2 as secret missions. This would then help maybe to direct their point distributions and shape the kind of game they will play. If I drew a mission: "Control two planets that are the farthest distance from each other - Gain 4 Exploration VP" and maybe a few other missions benefiting Exploration, I may have started with a very militaristic outlook, but now - seeing how I could benefit from these mission - I may change my mind. Or I could decide "screw exploration, I'll take em, and probably complete them, but I'm doing my attack strategy" and put 45 points into the Military VP category. I think if I came up with a lot of balanced missions that this could really help drive the game, but what do you think?

Julius
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Varied Victory Conditions

You could have a deck of commander cards, that are distributed at the start of the game (I'd reccomend by choice, but you might prefer randomly). Each one is unique, and each has their own 3 stats for conquest, diplomacy, and exploration.

For example:
Commander Keen might have Conquest 40, Diplomacy 0, Exploration 20.
Spaceman Spiff might have Conquest 10, Diplomacy 20, Exploration 30.
Buzz Lightyear might have Conquest 15, Diplomacy 35, Exploration 10.
(as usual, make up your own unique names).

When you victory points of the appropriate type (as per your commander card), you win.

clapjaws
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Varied Victory Conditions

That sounds pretty cool. What if you did something similar with the mission cards you mentioned? Maybe have cards with several missions on them, and the player could choose whichever one(s) fit with the commander card they have. Some commanders could be better suited to certain missions, but wouldn't necessarily have to pursue the mission the other players "assume" he would pursue.

Spiff might be better at exploring, but maybe he also goes after a secondary conquest mission while he's at it (both are listed on his mission card, after all). Or maybe tries his hand at negotiating a peace treaty (mission) at the newly discovered planet, since he's the first there...granted, he may need a really lucky die roll, or whatever...

Ska_baron
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Varied Victory Conditions

Jim,

So you're suggesting that on the Commander cards (which list Victory Stats) that there be missions also on the card?

EXAMPLE:

Spaceman Spiff (Julius - love the C&H reference by the way!)

Victory: Conquest 10, Diplomacy 20, Exploration 30.

Misson 1: Colonize 8 planets: 3 bonus Exploration VP (assuming colonizing a planet would give anyone an Exploration VP w/o a mission)

Mission 2: Control two planets that are the farthest distance from each other - Gain 4 Exploration VP

Mission 3: Befriend one Alien Group for 2 additonal Diplomacy VP

or did you mean something else? I think I like where your thinking's going =)

comfixit
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Varied Victory Conditions

Consider creating a single factor for scoring that can incorporate the methods you described (Diplomacy, Battle, Exploration). For example set up a trading system.

Exploration - Important to find untapped resources and systems that can buy/sell resources.

Battle - Take over opponent resources for yourself, blockade trade routes important to your opponent, protect your terrirory etc...

Diplomacy - Maybe not a direct player to player thing. But a system where the players become the "Power Diplomatic Players" and can influence the free systems to different degrees depending on how much "Diplomatic Influence" they have with the system. Factors for this could be size of fleet and proximity to the system, how much trade you do with a given system etc... The effects of this diplomacy could be to create trading barriers for other players, like tarrifs on imports/exports, in extreme cases a system refusing to do business with certain players and placement of passive defensive systems (ie. space mines etc...) to protect trade routes.

By doing this you could set up an economy system. The goal to reach a certain economic level or have the most economic success over a period of time. Then the big three factors could be used in different ways (Battle, Diplomacy, Exploration) to enhance a players prospects.

Ska_baron
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Varied Victory Conditions

Comfixit,

Maybe I'm just dense, but when you suggest "creating a single factor for scoring that can incorporate the methods you described (Diplomacy, Battle, Exploration). For example set up a trading system" - I'm not 100% certain what you mean by that...

Are you suggesting getting rid of specific VP and just having a trade theme? And with the whole "economic successes" you mention, would that then be the new goal - with conquest/diplomacy/exploration being means to the end? For example, winning a battle, finding a planet, making a treaty would each be worth one generic VP?

Again, I really like your thinking with regard to diplomacy (which thus far as eluded me as to implementation). I don't think I want to turn this into a trading game per se, but maybe I'll introduce alien inhabited planets and if you have a certain Conquest score it'll be easier/harder to fight em, and if you have a certain Diplomacy score it'll be easier/harder to negotiate a treaty (maybe trade resources, refuel/repair there)

Keep it up guys =) Every time I'm spent on this idea you all just fire it back up!

zaiga
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Varied Victory Conditions

Ok, here's an idea for a "diplomacy" mechanic. As I'm probably not going to use it in any design soon, feel free to use it, or modify it for your own needs.

Every player has a player mat with three open slots for allies, numbered 1 to 3. At the end of a player's turn he may ally with one of the other players. He does that by placing a marker of the opponent's color on one of the numbers, and paying that many gold (or whatever resource you have) to the bank. The opponent places a marker of the current player on the same number (he doesn't have to pay any gold). Both player's are now considered allies.

Now, at the beginning of a player's turn he receives 1 VP for each ally he has. At the end of his turn he may break up one alliance, if he wants to. He does so by paying a number of gold pieces equal to the number the alliance marker is on to the bank.

An alliance should have other side effects, and it should be a double egded sword. For example, players in an alliance may not attack eachother, a player may look at his allies' hand and swap one resource from his own hand, etc.

Example: at the end of player A's turn he forges an alliance with player B for a value of 3. Both player's put the other player's player marker on the '3' on their player mat. Player A pays 3 gold to the bank. Player B receives 1 VP at the start of his turn for this alliance. He may not attack player A, though. At the end of player A's turn he may break up this alliance by paying 3 gold to the bank, or he may decide to let it live a bit longer.

The idea behind this is that any player can force another player into an alliance for at least one turn. It might be a good idea to limit the number of times a player can go into an alliance with the same player, to prevent an endless cycle of a player from forcing an alliance, the other player breaking it up again, the first player forcing it again, etc.

Also you might award a "peace token" instead of a VP for being in an alliance, and then at the end of the game award VPs to the player with the most peace tokens. There are plenty of ways to modify this mechanic to suit your own needs.

Gogolski
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Varied Victory Conditions

Ska_baron wrote:
How could I fit MISSION CARDS into this idea of varied victory conditions.
You could have all VP's awarded by mission cards.

- At the start of the game, you get 2 missions from a deck. You don't know if they are going to be conquest/diplomacy/exploration-missions beforehand.
- At the end of each turn you may announce a mission completed and cash in VP's. You may draw a new mission-card.
- At the end of each turn, you may also put an uncompleted mission-card at the bottom of the deck and draw the top one (to do away with the missions you don't want and get a chance at the mission-cathegory you are most interested in.)
- There are three mission decks: deck 1 (= worth 2 points/completed mission.); deck 2 (= worth 3 points/completed mission.); deck 3 (= worth 5 points/completed mission.)
- If you draw a card from deck 1, for 1 VP you may look at the top three cards of deck one and choose which mission you want; If you draw a card from deck 2, for 1 VP you may look at the top two cards of deck two and choose which mission you want; If you draw a card from deck 3, for 2 VP you may look at the top two cards of deck three and choose which mission you want.

Just an idea...

Cheese!

clapjaws
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Varied Victory Conditions

Ska_baron wrote:
So you're suggesting that on the Commander cards (which list Victory Stats) that there be missions also on the card?

Ska- I was thinking more along the lines of separate mission cards - so that each game you can get different combinations of commander cards and mission cards - allowing for more replay value. But the way you suggest would work too - so why not have both? Each commander card could have their basic missions - Prime Directives if you will - and mission cards can supplement those and provide for a different game experience each time - as suggested above.

Players may even tend to find a 'favorite' commander card that matches their style of play - or you can make it a random draw.

Ska_baron
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Varied Victory Conditions

Here's a rough idea:

Each color (representing different factions/races) would have 3 commander cards w/ the same VP stats, but different special abilities

EXAMPLE:

RED | BLUE | GREEN
C-30 | C-10 | C-15
D-20 | D-25 | D-40
E-10 | E-25 | E-5
Special #1 | Special #4 | Special #7
Special #2 | Special #5 | Special #8
Special #3 | Special #6 | Special #9

and no, havent thought too much about the actual special abilities yet. But this would allow you to pick different races with different abilities each game. But I wonder if this is too constrictive... is there a better way to accomplish the same goal while providing some structure?

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