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Post 29 Dec 2014, 1:01 am

A few comments unrelated to the argument.

geojanes wrote:...It was not without its flaws (the ability to eliminate Indonesia during the first year is one that comes to mind) but it was still fantastic


I've heard this come up many times, including by Dave, but I don't think that nations should be immune to elimination in year 1. I took a risk to eliminate Indonesia so quickly (with Rob D, as UK). If he strongly suspected that he was in danger, or if Rob betrayed me, I would have been +0 year 1 and severely disadvantaged (likewise Rob took a risk). Brazil and UK eliminated Argentina in year 1 in a game many years back; it's been a part of NWO for ages.

Whether or not it should be is debatable. It seems like the base assumption is that nations shouldn't be able to be eliminated year 1, but my view is that it's difficult and risky to make that happen, so allow it. It always involves manipulation of the victim's moves, a risk by the offending player(s), and in both cases I know of has involved a close collaboration between two attackers in the first year (which in itself is not easy and involves a lot of trust, and opens you up to a year 1 stab by a collaborator).


geojanes wrote:They've [Randy and Tom] both contributed mightily to the hobby.


I prefer "discipline" :grin:
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Post 31 Dec 2014, 10:18 am

I really don't think there's any purpose in continuing this argument guys. The past is what it is and the new rules will play out how they will and nothing about either is going to be changed now. Personally I'm looking forward to the game. I enjoyed the last game immensely, notwithstanding a few conceptual flaws in the rules as they were written (in my view).

NWO is a fantastic Dip variant, arguably the best ever created. It really forces you as a player to stay on top of diplomacy with everybody, to put the work in and to come up with creative strategies while maintaining an eye on the bigger picture. Most other variants usually allow for a degree of coasting once the early alliance structures are set and so they're nowhere near so involving for the player. Tom deserves a huge amount of credit for creating this game. Perhaps it's time to let it go though. Ultimately the game belongs to the players and the perspectives of those who have the most experience in playing it (and have therefore given the most commitment to it) need to be respected.

I echo what George wrote earlier, it's a shame you guys can't just get along. Not like we have such a huge community that we can afford our leading lights to be at each others throats and it would be nice to think that the game designer and it's most successful ever player would be able to work together to improve it, not bitch about who said what when. Ah well, wouldn't be Redscape without its personality clashes, and god knows I'm hardly innocent myself...
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Post 28 Jan 2015, 8:29 am

I don't want to clutter up Sendric's rules thread with this so I'll ask it here. Can anybody explain to me why it is that China has a nuke range of 7 whereas UK and France only have 5 ? There's no real basis in factual capabilities for this, quite the reverse in fact.
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Post 28 Jan 2015, 9:27 am

Sassenach wrote:I don't want to clutter up Sendric's rules thread with this so I'll ask it here. Can anybody explain to me why it is that China has a nuke range of 7 whereas UK and France only have 5 ? There's no real basis in factual capabilities for this, quite the reverse in fact.


Seeing as I didn't set this, I really have no idea. I would speculate that it has something to do with starting position. I've always felt that China had the least advantageous of the starting positions of all the B nations. Maybe giving them 7 instead of 5 was a way to help even things out.

It's just my opinion, and I honestly haven't given it much thought. It's a good question though. I'd be eager to hear what Tom or Dave had to say on the subject.
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Post 28 Jan 2015, 1:00 pm

France and UK both have colonies which extend their potential reach a lot, so i can see how that would be a thing. Of course, China also now has a colony and has potential for rapid growth out of it.
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Post 04 Feb 2015, 12:08 pm

I set it up this way for several reasons.
First off, China did not have a colony and likely does not have one in the most current game either. That was a one time situation to help that game start quicker.

China used to have the same range as UK and France but it was in a bad situation not able to effectively use them, France and UK could use centers from all around the globe as starting points.
China also has many "small" areas all around her, her reach was all that more limited as well!

I also wanted China to have more impact on the rest of the larger powers, yes she could hit at them all but only their colonial holdings. Adding rage made China a bit scarier.
Lastly, but all sort of jumbled together, China has traditionally done very poorly. Adding more range was quite needed, she still has not performed all that well so methinks it was a wise move to get China a tad more competitive.
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Post 05 Feb 2015, 8:24 am

That makes sense to me. China is going to keep the colony this time around. I really liked how that gave China a more global presence. I think the range boost for the nukes remains necessary though. That colony is no sure thing. I'm very interested to see how it plays out in this one.
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Post 05 Feb 2015, 9:45 am

My advise (that you did not ask for!)
If China is to keep that African colony, then make sure you have more African powers to counter him than had in the past. You need a LOT of minor guys to stand up to France and the UK, throw China in that mix and they are absolutely required! The last game weeded out several of those minor African nations and African minors were simply screwed out of existence. I think it can work for you, just be careful to balance it better than the last go around. Reducing powers is a difficult task to say the least!
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Post 05 Feb 2015, 10:17 am

France has lost the colony on Reunion for this game, which I think is a very positive move. This instantly makes all of Southern Africa much more playable.

In truth I'm not really sold on the Chinese colony as yet, but I'd like to see how it plays out for a second time with the rules tweaks that we've seen in this game. China grew incredibly quickly in Africa last time out and that wasn't really a good thing in my view. In part this was down to passive play from some of the regional players (I was trying to push Trevor into a more aggressive stance in Egypt but he was never up for it, and Nigeria also sold out to the big boys for no real benefit), but I also felt they were outgunned from the start. Africa lacks any strong regional powers who can counteract an aggressive expansion from the big powers, especially since France and China were working together. Removing Reunion will maybe allow SA to adopt that role to some extent.
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Post 05 Feb 2015, 11:45 am

Well, the last thing I want to do is remove any African nations. However, some of that is dictated by the number of people we ultimately have.

Also, if you take a look at the latest map, I have made an adjustment in southern Africa. South Africa is, for the moment at least, a C nation. Zimbabwe was removed in favor of Zambia. I haven't yet decided if I want to move forward with this adjustment or not, but its under serious consideration.

Also, I think its worth noting that a lot of factors went into that Chinese colony succeeding in the last round. I garnered a strong relationship with both Egypt and France early on in that game. Unfortunately, the two couldn't get along with each other which derailed some of the things I was trying to do, but that's a side issue. Additionally, the original Kenya player never did anything. The Congo player was the most communicative, but I ultimately decided he couldn't be trusted, and because of the above three factors, I was able to move on him quite easily and with little fear of a stab elsewhere. Just because it was successful once certainly doesn't mean it will be again. A lot can and probably will change in a second run.
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Post 05 Feb 2015, 2:20 pm

Of course, but in truth I wasn't really surprised that you managed to build a good relationship with a lot of the small powers around you. For a small 1 or 2 centre power to try and move against one of the major power colonies is a big ask. China is more or less guaranteed at least 4 builds in year one so even if the other Africans manage to bounce that African army out of getting anything it'll still be next to impossible to prevent China from building in Sudan. At this point, if you've made the first move by opening against China then you've committed yourself to a war that you'll struggle to win which seriously constrains your growth, while China continues to grow elsewhere, leaving you horribly vulnerable to a stab from one of your small neighbours. This exact same thing happened to Iran and Saudi in the last game when they decided to make an early move against the American colony in Iraq (myself and Steve took full advantage). In the circumstances it ought to be easy for the Chinese player to buy off a couple of his neighbours with little more than a friendly attitude and crush the rest. Let's wait and see how it goes this time, but I wouldn't exactly be shocked to see China controlling half of Africa again by the time the game ends.
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Post 06 Feb 2015, 6:59 am

Having a good relationship with France was the real key here. Regardless, it will be one of the things I will be closely watching in this one.
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Post 06 Feb 2015, 8:59 am

I have to say it is nice to see so many who understand the required dynamics in the region. The big guys have a built in edge, the smaller guys just the opposite. Special care must be taken to give the smaller guys an opportunity to stay alive (or at least a fraction of them) in order to balance the big vs small (not to mention the whole middle sized guys can be left out if balance is not right). It's very precarious and I don't know how it ever worked in the first place, it just sort of "did".
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Post 06 Feb 2015, 9:24 am

In this particular case, also remember that I (as France in the last game) had a bit of an unfair advantage, or at least one I wasn't meant to have.

I believe Dave had meant to get rid of the Reunion colony (as Sendric has done this time) but he either forgot to update the map, or used an old one at the gamestart, something like that. So after the first turn I think it was, he mentioned to me that I actually wasn't really supposed to have that unit, but by then it was too late.

Not sure exactly what effect that had, but it definitely had one.
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Post 06 Feb 2015, 9:59 am

In retrospect, it was huge. The presence of that unit enabled you to completely stymie the growth of South Africa and also gave a foothold for the subsequent stab of Zimbabwe, leaving the whole of southern and central Africa at the mercy of France and China. Without that unit being there it should be fairly simple for SA to grow to at least 6 SCs without a lot of difficulty and then there'll be a counterweight power in Africa who will be strong enough to be able to play a clever diplomatic game (assuming whoever gets that country has the nous to do it).