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Post 22 Jul 2011, 5:22 am

and just finished reading Chads above post (I jumped in with my thought before I lost it) This is really off the cuff but maybe we could work these two together more? The Civ2 game (that I love) has unique benefits associated with each wonder. I would NOT want the benefits in this game be a powerful as they are in the computer game (The great wall offers greater defense in all cities for example is way too powerful here) however, maybe a wonder can allow a single (only one can be built) special unit with limited special abilities? Off my head, a marine unit who can travel both land and sea? a unit that sees two spaces away at all times? Maybe give a unit an extra 1/2 point offense or another 1/2 point defense this is minor but would never have a "tie" in his battles and that would make him pretty cool especially as he levels up? I want to stay away from any extra movement abilities allowing one to move 2 spaces, the resulting problems in managing such moves would cause me too much grief as GM but maybe even allow a unit to travel a portal as discussed, he sets two spaces and can teleport from one to the other but only those two spaces and only that one unit? Loads of options and I think it could work.
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Post 22 Jul 2011, 5:29 am

Here is a draft rule set for blimps I've jotted down from this conversation that reflects my current preference for this feature...
Blimps
    Blimps are not units themselves. Blimps are a capability or action an army or fleet can train to use.
    LEVEL-1: All units start with an Exploration level of 1 which allows them to see 1 space adjacent in all directions.
    LEVEL-2: Any unit can spend 1 turn to train up its Exploration to level 2 which results in the unit constructing & training in the use of a blimp. No pre-requisite to perform this training.
    An Exploration-Level 2 unit can order to launch their blimp on any movement turn. Launch becomes an option the same as move, support, hold; a unit can order just one of these actions per movement turn. At turn end, as long as the unit is not dislodged/disbanded they see 2 spaces adjacent in all directions in full detail. If the unit was dislodged/disbanded the launch order fails.
    Note that once a space is seen by a player, it will always be visible to this player.
    LEVEL-3: Any Exploration-Level 2 unit can spend 2 turns to train up its Exploration to level 3 which results in the unit modifying its blimp to a super-blimp. Pre-requisite to perform this training is that the unit must have previously completed a training upgrade of either its offense or defense to level 2.
    An Exploration-Level 3 unit can order to launch their blimp on any movement turn. At turn end, as long as the unit is not dislodged/disbanded they see 3 spaces adjacent in all directions in full detail. If the unit was dislodged/disbanded the launch order fails.
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Post 22 Jul 2011, 6:54 am

And Patrick and I discussed this at length when we came up with the concept. This would require a turn to do, We did discuss the possibility of a unit always moving with this blimp up in the sky but that would give too much importance to this unit, it should have to be a turn specific requirement so as not to see too much too soon at a fairly measly "cost" in terms of time spent to build the blimp. Also of note, we had discussed any time a unit was dislodged while the blimp was aloft, that blimp was destroyed. The unit retreats with no harm but the blimp would need to be rebuilt again. I actually favor this being the case upon any and all attacks made on the unit.
Example
A Paris spends a turn and launches his blimp
he can now see Belgium, Ruhr, Munich, etc

now to get specific
*If he launches the blimp and is unattacked, he sees the above

*if he launches the blimp and happens to be attacked by an English army in Brest, even a simple 'tap" not causing retreat, he not only does not see these extra spaces but the blimp is also destroyed. He needs to spend the time to rebuild a new one if he wants that feature.

*If he is in Paris and does NOT launch the blimp and is attacked by the army in Brest, the blimp is safely secured and not damaged.
*Even if forced to retreat, as long as the blimp was not used, it's still not destroyed.

By making it so vulnerable (the blasted things would indeed be vulnerable after all) it makes their usage a bit more of a gamble, they are still going to be used often but let's make the player THINK about his options, really this game is all about options after all.
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Post 22 Jul 2011, 6:57 am

Oh, and another idea just popped into my head, Why not have a prerequisite for making a blimp?
Otherwise early exploration is done too fast, too soon by these blimps, I envision them to of course help explore but more for a defensive warning and the early game exploration is some of the most fun stages of the game not to be messed with (in my humble opinion) Maybe make them available only after your 4th city is built?
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Post 22 Jul 2011, 5:30 pm

Tom, the blimp rules in my post above are a simplified version from what we cooked up a couple months back. I am not absolutely sold on any rules yet, still a work in progress with room for more debate from all to fashin an winning rule set.

The set above was a fashioned off of Javelin's idea that the blimp be function of training up a units exploration level. Also it does not consider the blimp as something that could be destroyed and would have to be rebuilt. Actually I forgot that aspect when typing out the above & was too lazy to go back to my email ans search out the rules we drafted. But now I am not feeling so lazy so here is the rule set we came up with...

Rules for Blimps:
> Both fleets and armies can train to deploy a blimp.
> A unit can spend a single (one) turn building & training on how to deploy a blimp.
> On any turn a unit can order 'Train Blimp', this order can be interrupted like any other order.
> On any turn a unit can order "Deploy Blimp", this order can be cut like any other order.
> A unit whose "Deploy Blimp" order succeeds has a black pair of binoculars displayed in the action section of the icon.
> A unit whose "Deploy Blimp" order succeeds at end of turn can now see 2 spaces in all directions from that space in full space detail.
> A unit whose "Deploy Blimp" order fails (was cut) has a red pair of binoculars displayed in the action section of the icon.
> A unit whose "Deploy Blimp" order fails ends the turn with the blimp considered destroyed beyond repair.
> A unit can always order another 'Train Blimp' turn in which it takes the time to build a replacement blimp.
> A units blimp can only be destroyed on turns where it's "Deploy Blimp" order is cut; when a unit orders otherwise the blimp is considered to be safely secured even when it's other orders are cut, fail or the unit end the turn in retreat.
> A unit which is disbanded is dead and thus the blimp dead too; it cannot be left behind for someone else to pick up & use, cannot be turned into a memorial, cannot be turned into a booby trap, etc.


Now we also kicked around the idea of the blimps being able to also see a 3rd space but only the spaces shape & an outline of a unit if a unit is there. I have since backedoff of favoring that idea; too much work for the GM. What I can still see is a unit ordering "Train Blimp Level 2" which allows them to see 3 spaces infull detail. All that would be needed is a different binoculars icon for the added level.
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Post 22 Jul 2011, 5:33 pm

GMTom wrote:Oh, and another idea just popped into my head, Why not have a prerequisite for making a blimp?
Otherwise early exploration is done too fast, too soon by these blimps, I envision them to of course help explore but more for a defensive warning and the early game exploration is some of the most fun stages of the game not to be messed with (in my humble opinion) Maybe make them available only after your 4th city is built?


In my rules set above based on Javelin's idea Iadded a pre-requisite for Exploration Level 3; the unit would first have to be Off2 or Def2 in order to be capable of training to Exploration Level 3.
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Post 22 Jul 2011, 11:25 pm

Yeah, looks like Roadkill has nicely codified my idea into a practical solution which could be easily inserted into the game. At least from the player's point of view - no idea how this would impact the GM's role in producing colour coded maps.

I realise I've only played the one game and didn't do too well in it, but it seems to me that if you are going to allow units to be upgraded for offensive or defensive purposes, then allowing them to be upgraded for exploration purposes also makes sense. After all, exploration is very important in a game called Explore! This way keeps it simple and in line with the other unit attributes and order options which already exist in the rule set.

I would also heavily recommend the idea that once a city reaches lvl 3 it gains a permanent +1 bonus to its line of sight, and upon reaching the maximum of lvl 5 this is increased to +2.
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Post 25 Jul 2011, 3:46 pm

Knowing that I am considering incorporating Wing Units into a future Explore/Hemisphere game, Tom directed me to his rule set he uses for NWO games. Here they are copy/pasted for reference...

Wing Units:
Wings (or airplane units) may be built in any owned supply center. Wings may only move ONE SPACE PER TURN.
Wings move or support only into adjacent spaces (just as any other army or fleet).
Wings may fly over land or water. Wings may also fly over the restricted areas of the Poles and may also fly over the following impassable areas: Himalayas, Switzerland, Caspian Sea, Lake Erie and Lake Tanganyika (all marked in gray letters)
Wings may attack and support attacks but may not take "control" of a supply center. Should a wing unit occupy another's center that center is considered to be "bombarded". While ownership does not pass, the controlling power loses unit support a center provides until the wing unit leaves (basically it becomes "neutral" until the wing leaves then reverts back to the owners control).
Wings may "airlift"armies or nukes similar to a fleet's convoy order with the exception that wings may not link several wings together to form a chain as fleets may do. Airlifts can be tricky ways to cross impassable areas. Airlift order writing notation is the letter "C" the same as a convoy order.
Wings may receive support from other units.


>>>>
Tom's rule set used to also include a requirement that a wing unit remain within so many spaces of an owned supply center. However at some point he removed that range restriction.

So I'd like input on how to fashion Wing Unit rules for Explore.

Tom noted to me elsewhere that he would avoid wing units unless you renamed them or had them come into play MUCH later in the game. The "idea" is this is a fledgling civilization you build from scratch...hard to have airplanes in such a game?

I agree in that they should not be employed at game start and need to have a 'pre-requisite' before they can be built. For instance wings cannot be built until a player first achieves 50 points. Or, not before a player has a Level-3 city. or both.

Now the part about a pre-requisite I have an issue with is that I see Wings as having move to do with exploring and less to do with bombardment. If that is true, players will want to build them earlier in the game if not within the first buildable winter or two to send them out to explore & make contacts. As the game matures, exploration takes a lessor role in strategy, but, not necessarily for the purpose of making contacts. So perhaps my issue with a pre-requisite is baseless.

Another thought I have for wing & explore is how far could they see? I ask because I've considered either using Wings or Blimps in a future game, nto both. Not that both would never be used, simply they wont both used in a game by me until i've seen them each used independently in a game.

My initial thought is they can see 2 spaces in full detail. If they don't see more than one space, do they have a tangible role in Explore?

That is where my head is at. Where is yours re: WIngs?
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Post 26 Jul 2011, 8:58 am

My thought is similar up to a point.
I like the vision idea, hell they are higher up and can see further, I like the intuitive reasoning for such rules.
I also like not allowing both wings and blimps in the same game.

Buttttttttt
I differ on a few others ideas...

The whole game concept is of starting a new civilization and you know precious little of the world. You have only one small city and are exploring and building your fledgling nation. Adding airplanes too early just doesn't feel right in the least. That and even more importantly is the early game unknown is a huge part of the game. To allow anyone to gain such extra knowledge too early is going to trow that unknown aspect out the window and (I think) lessens the experience. Those first several years wandering around and hoping others don't find you/hope you find another with his pants down is a tremendous part of the game both in strategy and in excitement. Having these units (wings OR blimps) available at a later stage and not too soon is a critical part of the game. You can argue where that prerequisite time should be but the early stage of the game should not be messed with (again, in my opinion only). After 5 cities? After 4 cities? after some sort of combination city number/level formula is reached, fine! I do not see this need to see further lessened in the least at this stage of the game, this is in fact where the "real" military conquests really get started (we sometimes get a lucky early game sack or two but the real "wars" start at this stage)

Then comes the other role of wings
Simply seeing what's out there really limits a wing unit, if this is your only purpose, then the blimp idea makes so much more sense all around doesn't it? It fits with the more antiquated technology and it is carried by regular units that have to decide whether to use them or not, more options I think. So why not add the bombardment feature? Airplanes were a tremendous military weapon when introduced, to take away any military aspect seems to make no sense and as stated, I like the intuitive nature to rules. Bombardment does severely limit a wings usage and (to me) seems to give you a reason why you might use them instead of a blimp.

Myself, I never cared for the wing units in the NWO games, they were added as a way to give the real big powers some extra power without them being able to swarm the globe TOO soon and to make it so they pretty much needed to find allies to work with. Incorporate the support range idea if you think the bombardment feature is to powerful and you further reduce their power (and in fact I like this additional limit for this variant)
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Post 26 Jul 2011, 5:13 pm

Tom,

If you're thinking seriously about waiting until nations reach a certain level of development before allowing them to train "exploration upgrades" then how about making it a points issue: once the combined points score for a player's city number and city level reaches a pre-set number then he can make exploration upgrades.

This way no-one will be able to make them right away, and there won't be favouritism between players who go for number of cities or those who go for fewer cities but upgrade them higher.
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Post 26 Jul 2011, 5:24 pm

Points work as well, I would have no problem with that. The only possible issue (minor at best, no complaint at all) is this could possibly cause some players to forgo city upgrades so they can quicker get the additional cities? Cities are 4 points for 4 turns vs 2 points for 2 turns (plus the extra exploration points finding those extra cities would assure) points can be grabbed faster by passing on development and some form of simple formula that included points, number of cities and number of upgrades would assure greater diversity of play???

But this is minor, delaying their immediate (or even too early) deployment is the key we seem to agree upon.
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Post 26 Jul 2011, 6:39 pm

How about this for a draft rule set for Wings in Explore/Hemisphere; I have underlined the differences from the NWO rules:

Wing Units:
Once one player has reached 40% of the victory criterion, then the ability for all players to build wings is available.
Wings (or airplane units) may be built in any owned supply center.
Wings may only move upto 5 spaces away from an owned city. Oceans & Deserts (same as oceans but not used in a game yet) do not figure in this calculation.
Wings may only move ONE SPACE PER TURN.
Wings move or support only into adjacent spaces (just as any other army or fleet).
Wings see two spaces adjacent inall directions. The exception is when a wing is in an ocean or desert it only sees one space adjacent.
Wings may fly over land or water. Wings may NOT also fly over the restricted areas unless the specific game rules indicate otherwise.
Wings may attack and support attacks but may not take "control" of a supply center. Should a wing unit occupy another's center that center is considered to be "bombarded". While ownership does not pass, the controlling power loses unit support a center provides until the wing unit leaves (basically it becomes "neutral" until the wing leaves then reverts back to the owners control).
Wings may "airlift" armies similar to a fleet's convoy order with the exception that wings may not link several wings together to form a chain as fleets may do. Airlift order writing notation is the letter "C" the same as a convoy order. If the convoy rules of Hemisphere are being used, then Wings will have the ability to train-up their convoy ability the same as fleets.
Wings may receive support from other units.


Thoughts on that rule set?

Also clarify rule adjudication for me; for bombardment if a wing moves over a foreign city in the spring turn, then the foreign player only loses that cities ability to supply units in play if the wing continues the bombardment through the fall turn. Correct? I want to be certain that is a wing moves into bombardmentposition in the spring that the foreign player does not have to remove a unit(s) that summer.
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Post 27 Jul 2011, 6:23 pm

Bombardment only occurs at the end of a fall turn, if over a city in spring, it's just passing through. Since supply center counting occurs only after fall turns, you can't consider Spring turn support of units.

I like the idea that allows ALL players to build after a certain bogey is met by the leader, makes sense too, once technology is available, it rapidly spreads to all others. One possible idea? The spread of technology sometimes takes a bit of time, maybe have a built in delay? if you add a delay, maybe make it available after say 30% and have maybe 2 years until available to all (or until a player also reaches the 30% mark sooner themselves) or keep it the way you suggest, I'm just thinking out loud!

The only possible disagreement I might have is the 5 space rule, that seems really far to me. Four sounds better to me, AND I would consider not allowing any spaces on the other side of an Ocean or Desert to be reachable. That makes sense as well, if you can travel 4 or 5 spaces, it's based on distance, an Ocean is HUGE, I would allow entry into the ocean but nothing past it (unless of course it is in range of a city by means of a different "path")
again, thinking out loud again
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Post 27 Jul 2011, 6:57 pm

Lets assume we go with 4 as the range from an owned supply canter.
I can see allowing a wing to move into the ocean, lets say from the west side for example.
While in the ocean the wing has to be within the range of 4 where the ocean counts as a space only when in the ocean.
As noted above as reminder, when inocean the wing only sees 1-space.
If the player wants to then move the wing to a space on the east side of the ocean, he can as long as that space he moves to is within the range limit of an owned supply center and the ocean cannot be one of the spaces in that range. Hence he would need to have a center on the opposite side of the ocean which definitely occurs but not typically until the late-min to late game.
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Post 28 Jul 2011, 7:49 am

first, I am not complaining at all, maybe any suggestions could come across as some sort of crying how bad an idea is? I am not going there at all, just thinking out loud and sharing thoughts...

I'm thinking common sense here, most of the rules are somewhat intuitive when thought about.
Lets say we have the real world as our game map?
We allow 4 spaces.
Wing starts in San Diego (my daughter moves there next week)
turn one you move to a coastal zone off California
Turn two you move into the Pacific Ocean
Turn three you move into a coastal space of Japan
Turn 4 you can be in Tokyo and still be in your 4 space range!?

Compare that to moving across land or coastal spaces
Turn one you move to Arizona, Turn three you move to say Colorado, Turn 4 to Missouri?
What a HUGE difference?

What I am suggesting is to make Oceans accessible but no spaces beyond the ocean unless an alternate "path" of spaces were available/
Example
Sand Diego to Coastal space to Pacific, the next turn can not move to the Japanese Coastal zone
However
Lets say he wanted to move from the Pacific to say the Bering Sea, if an alternate "path" existed say a southern California coastal space, a Northern California coastal space, a Gulf of Alaska space and then the Bering Sea space, then the 4 space range is fine even though the Bering Sea was reached by way of the Pacific.

I just don't see allowing spaces on the other side of a large ocean being accessible since it allows just TOO much distance, and then throw 2 space sight on top of that? Sorry, I think that's a bit nuts to allow soooo much and soooo far?

But I see the problem you mention that would keep them at home for too long. Why not reduce the space requirement to the original wing rule? 2 space limit from any city OR unit. The thinking is a unit can offer the support the wing requires just as a city would offer. Now the wing originating in San Diego can fly to Tokyo in tandem with a fleet and make perfect sense?