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Managing NPC faction with influence

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larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

I have been thinking on an idea that we briefly talked last time, the possibility to add non-player factions to increase diplomacy. The problem would be how to design an AI for these factions. One of the idea I had is that players could use their political power to temporarily control these factions. Here is a draft of the resolution process:

Each X turns, the neutral civilization will progress randomly. Some player actions (sabotage/rebellion) could prevent a civilization to progress for a turn).

Each neutral faction will have a "friendliness" relation level with each player. The bevel can either be neutral, bad or good. (could be easily kept track with 2 different colors of bingo chips red=bad, blue=good, nothing=neutral).

Then players can use their political power to make the neutral factions perform certain actions. The actions that can be performed is determined by the level of the player's politics and the relation level with that faction. Here are some ideas of possible actions.

War: Attack another faction with bad relation

Subterfuge: Drop the relation between 2 factions

Trade: Get access to all the special resources this faction has for the turn. Needs to be in good terms.

Negociation: Increase your relation with this faction. Maybe serve as mediator to increase other faction relations.

Rebellion: Civilization does not grow and power up this turn.

Any other ideas are welcomed.

It might be required that your empire is adjacent to the faction you want to influence. Also each faction can be influenced once per turn, so it would work like some sort of worker placement mechanics. This means that player could fight every turn for the control of a faction.

What do you think?

I find the idea very elegant, because it makes it easy and fast to manage and requires no additional components.

JensT
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Joined: 09/30/2011
Very nice

I like the idea of NPC factions a lot. Don't know if this was the kind of input you were looking for but I instantly began to think of game ideas. especially one were the players start as small factions trying to get favours from the larger NPC factions by an action point allocation system where you compete for special favours with the other players and meanwhile you have to build up your own faction to the level where you can take full control over one or more of the NPC factons.

As to the design of the NPC's AI maybe have a transparant variant of the technology three in 7 wonders where the different factions have different strong suits and will progress, as you said, at certain intervals to the next level opening up for bigger favours that the players can compete for.

Cogentesque
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Joined: 08/17/2011
Right I got you a killer idea

Right I got you a killer idea larienna:

(I am off work ill today and am in a weird mood, so forgive if I don't explain in one of my normal epic saga-worthy novel responses and keep it brief)

There is a deck of cards that have"yes" cards in, say 5. If you want to favorably interact with them, you draw a card - at the start, always: "yes"
Everytime you do something BAD to the faction you add a "no" card into it. 5+1 cards = 16% chance of "No". And then two nos = 5+2 cards = 28% chance of "No" and up it goes!

It gives players a choice about towns - wether to risk it or not, and also beneficial things "add another yes" or semi beneficial things "Yes - ONLY FOR TRADE, no otherwise" etc there could be a standard 1 resource = 1 resource for trade purposes, "Would you trade my 1 wood for your 1 marble Mr. AI Town?" .... "YES!" or even different beneficial carsd in there: "Yes! & A tribute - Gain 1 wood!" which would be really hard to get. and some really bad "No! & Long standing grudge - Gain 1 No card" and of course then, something like "Any 2 Yes's in a row give you +1 resource" and "Any 3 No's in a row gain you an additional No card" and perhaps, "4 No's in a row means they declare war" which would have its own rules. And of course each other player would be able to affect other civilizations standings with you as well, "With this bonus card, add 2 No's to any civilizations card pack"

:D

Sounds fun to me!

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Well the problem is that

Well the problem is that since my game has a huge amount of mechanics, I need something that works, takes little time and components. I first though of using cards with actions on them. 1 random action would be played on each faction and player can add action cards. At the end of each turn, each faction takes a random card from their stack and resolve it.

The first problem is that it takes a lot of time to resolve. The second problem is that it takes cards to resolve. The third problem is that I need an AI to determine what will be the target of certain actions, like a war action for example.

In the original post system, only a influence pawn per player is required and the player who influenced the factions will select the target, so it's even easier to resolve. There will be some restrictions, like you cannot force a war with a friendly faction.

Cogentesque
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Joined: 08/17/2011
:( Oh.. I thought it kicked

:( Oh.. I thought it kicked ass? lol

When you get a "No! It's combat time!" you could put a simple algorithm together? "AI npc Town will produce 1 military unit per turn, they will always move towards enemy pieces at 2 squares per turn and will always engage if possible" ? I quite like the action card - as long as you keep it simple. You could even do a mix of the to, AI npc town will do (for each following turn) 1. move, 2. Harvest, 3 Conquer - or whatever - so it is always fixed what they do per turn, negates any action cards.
Well either way, sounds like you have it sorted Larienna! Influence token it is wit hthe players controling the towns with them ! nice and simple :

I would be careful with "a huge amount of mechanics" at all times as well btw.

Maaartin
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Joined: 05/15/2011
Sounds really good.

I don't know if any of my ideas fits in your game, but here they are:

larienna wrote:
Trade: Get access to all the special resources this faction has for the turn. Needs to be in good terms.

The neutral faction should also profit from the trade, shouldn't it?

larienna wrote:
It might be required that your empire is adjacent to the faction you want to influence.

Maybe you need adjacency or a diplomat there. Sending a diplomat could be as complicated as traveling over the board or as simple as marking the embassy in you empire as used for the selected faction.

larienna wrote:
Also each faction can be influenced once per turn, so it would work like some sort of worker placement mechanics.

You could allow influencing them twice at higher cost (e.g., the second influencing could take two workers).

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Thanks for your ideas. I like

Thanks for your ideas. I like the ambassy idea, but I think what I could do is allow players to build a building that gives them more diplomats (influence 2 civ per turn instead of 1).

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