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Binding risky Alliances

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larienna
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It's for a variant of Twilight Imperium I am working on.

Players win by controling 2/3 of all the planets in the galaxy mesearued by the influence value of the planet and by controlling mecatol rex. Capturing an opponent's homeworld give you all his influence while you control his system, so it's a way to gain a lot of points.

Now, In order to give an alternative winning, I want players to be able to create an alliance in order to win. But I want something more than: "OK, let's combine our score and win". I want to make sure that there is a risk to an alliance and players will only team if they trust each other.

My solution so far was to make sure that an alliance with a player open a huge backdoor which could make betrayal by that player very easy. The way it works so far is:

A- You ally can move in your system without engaging in battles. (not so bad)
B- On your turn, you can move 1 of your ally's fleet where you want. ( Not sure if could allow moving all fleets since these fleets will move twice.

So with rules like this, a player could easily betray his ally and win the game. He could move an important fleet elsewhere, or sacrifice his ally's fleet instead of his ships, or moves his fleet in the ally's territory to capture his home world.

So what do you think?
Do you have any other mechanics that could make an alliance risky but worth it?
Would player still want to ally themselves? ( since it can cover their back and allow an allied victory)

brisingre
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Nice

I like it. To make it a bit nastier, you can, as an action, take a military action (don't remember what it's really called, but activate-move-fight-produce action) from your allies sheets. You take a command token, activate a system, move fleets, fight. No production on these, though. It makes alliances very powerful (they can mobilize multifronted attacks very, very quickly) and a bit more dangerous (a backstab also costs the victim command resources, you can backstab a person a couple of times if you're a fast talker, and if somebody has passed, you can just destroy their resources and defences, and move in for the kill. (This may be too powerful. You can't backstab a player who has passed?))

2/3 might be a bit steep, but that's not a call that can be made without playing it.

What are you doing with Imperial?

Also, it's nice to have another TI player here. Any other variants? I have a few, but they are pretty minor tweaks.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I am willing to make a

I am willing to make a variant universal for all version of TI. Personally I don't Like the TI3 role system, but if you like it, you can play TI3 with my variants while I would rather play TI 1 or 2 with my variants.

So my variantys will probably modular. Since I am making an universal variant, I decided to make some compromise and not change some elements of the game to keep the same looks and feel. All other ideas I have would be kept for my own game:

The most challenging aspect is to make sure all these changes works without changing the techtree. Else it would bemand too much change in the rules and components. Here is what I have so far (I am in a hurry):

Assumed fighters: Fighters does not appear on the board anymore, carriers assumed to have fighter with them all the time. So they appear off board in each battle.

Boarding parties. Instead of carrying fighter you can carry ground force (off board) which could be used to disable and capture ennemy ships.

Combat table: Take from Stellar conquest, the combat table makes it impossible or very hard for a small ship to kill a large ship. and vice versa.

Invisible transport: You do not need carrier to move land forces. Invisible transport allow them to move by them selves during invasions.

Fixed random galaxy setup: The galaxyu setup allow a balnaced setup without letting players choose where to place their planets (complicated to explain now)

Move speed: All ships move at a 2 hex speed.

Fixed PDS: PDS cannot move, they are built directly on the planet.

Force occupation: All planets must be occupied by ground forces to keep in control of it.(flag tokens become GF tokens)

No space dock for GF: does not need a space dock to build GF and PDS.

TI3 only: Use influence to buy technology.

new VP system explained in the post above.

Got to leave.

Gogolski
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Breaking alliances should not take multiple hours...

larienna wrote:
It's for a variant of Twilight Imperium I am working on.

Players win by controling 2/3 of all the planets in the galaxy mesearued by the influence value of the planet and by controlling mecatol rex. Capturing an opponent's homeworld give you all his influence while you control his system, so it's a way to gain a lot of points.

Now, In order to give an alternative winning, I want players to be able to create an alliance in order to win. But I want something more than: "OK, let's combine our score and win". I want to make sure that there is a risk to an alliance and players will only team if they trust each other.

Good Idea. I think it would be a good idea to keep that 2/3 ratio of total influence + Mecatol Rex. This way, the victory is +/- impossible without the alliance.

larienna wrote:
My solution so far was to make sure that an alliance with a player open a huge backdoor which could make betrayal by that player very easy. The way it works so far is:

A- You ally can move in your system without engaging in battles. (not so bad)

This is very good, but you have to make sure that when an alliance is broken, the fleets can easily be moved or something, so that breaking an alliance does not take several hours.
My proposal would be that the player who breaks the alliance must activate as much systems at the end of the turn he breaks the alliance so that these systems combined allow a retreat of all his fleets.

So if a player attacks his ally, he first moves ships in the activated system the attack takes place to fight a battle. After that battle, there's the "retreat/regrouping-action" for which he uses his command counters from his command pool. During the retreat/regrouping, there would not be anything more than PDS-fire.

This can leave the player that breaks the alliance with very few command counters in his command pool and very few systems to activate. It could be kind of harsh for the player that breaks the alliance, but in my opinion, that's a good thing.

larienna wrote:
B- On your turn, you can move 1 of your ally's fleet where you want. (Not sure if could allow moving all fleets since these fleets will move twice.

So with rules like this, a player could easily betray his ally and win the game. He could move an important fleet elsewhere, or sacrifice his ally's fleet instead of his ships, or moves his fleet in the ally's territory to capture his home world.

I think only one fleet would be fine. Maybe during a alliance, a fleet may exceed the fleet-size by one if you have at least one ship of each player present. It is true that ships can move twice in a round, but not by the same player. If a player sacrifices his ally's ships, then they are gone and can not be moved. Good for rapid mobilisation, but if you go for the special 2/3 victory together, players need to think twice about sacrificing the other...

Transports should be incompatible:
I would rule that a transport does not support fighters or troops from the ally. So, they can not be mixed up on a transport, but if both players have a transport in the same system, troops from both players can be landed on the same planet for an invasion.

If a player has to retreat, and he can not remove his troops from a planet (no transport or not enough place on that transport), then the troops on that planet are killed by the former ally without battle.

A leader can be supported on the transport of an ally. A leader that is left behind on a planet is taken hostage by the former ally.

larienna
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Quote:Good Idea. I think it

Quote:
Good Idea. I think it would be a good idea to keep that 2/3 ratio of total influence + Mecatol Rex. This way, the victory is +/- impossible without the alliance.

Yeah I am very proud of this one. In the previous version, I wanted to give VP for controling space docs, possessing technologies, controling opopnent's homeworld, controling mecatol rex and making donations to the imperium. The problem was to balance these values according to the number of players. In the new system above, everythis is propostional to the map and all the other things: technology, homeworlds, spacedocs, etc. would indirectly help you to achieve a 2/3 influence control. It also gives a good reason to capture an opponents homeworld, which is a fun thing to achieve that was not rewarded in the 3rd edition (But I still tried it).

Quote:
This is very good, but you have to make sure that when an alliance is broken, the fleets can easily be moved or something, so that breaking an alliance does not take several hours.

I have not thought about that. I would say that if you attack your ally, after the attack all your fleets must force retreat to a friendly territory. Else at the end of the turn they get destroyed (spllies cut). Retreating use command counters from the reserve, so it disable all your other fleets this turn, but if you want to attack you arrly with multiple fleets it cost you command counters from your pool. In the 2nd edition, this is no problem.

Quote:
I think only one fleet would be fine.

Good

Quote:
Transports should be incompatible:

I don't think I would allow troops to be mixed. So your ship can move and stay in your ally's territiry, but you cannot land ground force on an ally's planet.

What I like so far of that alliance rule above is that it's simple to implement and it has a lot of impact on the game.

larienna
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In order to prevent fleets

In order to prevent fleets from moving twice, I would say that your ally can force you to do a certain action on your turn. It could be moving a fleet but it could also be many other actions: use a strategy card (in TI III), force a trade creation or break with another player. Force a player to vote for or against. So maybe you would need an alliance card that you flip to indicate you have used the favor.

Alliance can only be made and broken during the political phase. With a system like this, the allied players does not get any bonus actions, they are only allowed to win together. Still maybe I could allow a bonus action usable by one player or the other to reward the synergy of working together.

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