Skip to Content

Shifting Alliances

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/13/2010

I'm working on a game, the main mechanic is kind of a area influence/resource collecting game (though will possibly remove the resource aspect). I'm having trouble thinking of a way to create shifting teams. I can't decide if teams shift with votes, free flowing teams, teams shift at the end of rounds, teams shift with the use of cards (sort of like pact cards from Through the Ages perhaps?) or another option. I'd like it if you can only attack people not on your team and only trade with people on your team. I can't quite think of something that really works. Any one have any ideas?

Grall Ritnos
Joined: 02/07/2011
A few random ideas

I love the idea of alliances that change throughout the game. I've toyed with alliances a bit in a few of my games, most notably in a Catan expansion which allowed players to formally team up, but I think you've got a great start here. Just off the top of my brain, here are a few possibilities that came to mind:

-- Alliances that shift in some predictable fashion at a set time, such as end of round (A-B & C-D, then A-C & B-D, then A-D & B-C, repeat)
-- Alliances that shift randomly at a set time, such as end of round (have four cards, two 1's and two 2's and deal one to each player, players with matching cards are allies)
-- Use either of the above options, but allow them to trigger less predictably (based on some irregular game event, a player playing a "shift alliances card", etc)
-- Alliances are determined by some non-related aspect of the game state, and shift whenever this state changes (players with the most and least of resource X are allied, players who control locations Y & Z are allied, player in second place and last place are allied, etc.)
-- Players may voluntarily enter an alliance (you could optionally attach a resource cost to this), which provides benefits. Alliances then have a set duration. Multiple types of benefits could be available based on the type of alliance or the players in that alliance, and if the value of these benefits shifts throughout the game, this would encourage variability in the alliances which players choose to enter.
-- Players may voluntarily enter an alliance with benefits of indeterminate length, but a way is provided to hose the other player or gain an advantage if you are the one to break the alliance. This is the option I used for my Catan expansion, but I did a poor job of balancing the benefits of the alliance (too strong) and the penalty/benefit of breaking an alliance (too weak). This led, in practice, to no alliances ever being broken, but I like to think the idea could still be tweaked to create an interesting and uneasy political dynamic.

Other than the last suggestion, I haven't play tested any of these ideas, but maybe something here will spark an idea in someone else. Happy designing!

Joined: 06/13/2010
Thanks for your input

Perhpaps it would aid others to further describe the idea of the game.

The game centers on various player controlled groups. The groups are comprised of civilans and warriors. You can turn civilans into warriors and warriors into civilians. The warriors will be the force you will use for the area control. The areas you control will determine what resources you will obtain from the land. The more civilians you have will determine how those resources can be used and how efficiently they can be used (the more civilians you have the less resources need to create items for your warriors, civilians, or both).

I was thinking of having teams so that you can only attack warriors of other teams, and trade with civilians from your team.

How does this sound? Worth while?

Joined: 03/12/2011
Economy of Scale

No need for resource collecting, but the total number of connected workers in an alliance corresponds to an 'efficiency level'. This level determines how productive individual areas are at tasks.

Ideas for what can be produced:

-Administration- someone needs to keep the place running. these costs will have increasing margins with larger empires. Not paying them will be bad.
-Warriors- I like boom boom.
-Wealth- Increase how many civilians a particular area can support.
-Mines- Give bonuses in combat.
-Intrigue- Screw over your allies.

No idea on alliance mechanic, but should be fluid enough players can make decisions. Final victory should not be alliance dependent, i.e. being in alliance with winner does not mean you win.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Take a look at my dune

Take a look at my dune express alliances variant. There is a lot of back stabbing and alliance switching possibilities.

Joined: 01/24/2010
On teams

I dont like the idea of teams being determined too rigidly by a mechanic.

How about a system where teams are voted on or players are voted off teams. Have a dual scoring system. One for individuals and one for the team. Individual score will be tied into the team score, but ultimately only one player can win at the end. Have some hidden scoring system involved so everything isn't open, or hidden resources. Hold the vote at the end of each round after scoring has happened. Heck or even before scoring to increase tension (if the team thinks one member is about to score too many points this round, vote him out and hope he hasn't been playing you). Teams would need to be fluid in number but have a mechanism to prevent teams from being unbalanced. Or make it so size of team doesn't matter.

Would make for high interaction and an engrossing meta game.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut