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New variant based on Void

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Anonymous
July 9, 2004 4:40:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Having seen the new games starting on USDP, void and silentvoid, I thought that the starting concept was very interesting and one that could work for smaller number of Powers.

For those who don't want to look up the full details (on the DPJudge under Map variants) The Void variant (devised by Mario Huys) is based on the 36 non-SC provinces that border 2 or more SCs. It starts in Fall 1900, and each of 36 Powers control one unit each, starting from one of the 36 provinces described above, and have to claim one of the 34 SCs in order to survive past Winter 1900! The game continues from there, with a Build-any rule in place. A Power starting from a sea province begins with a fleet, all others (including coastal provinces) start with an army each.

I liked the idea of the starting set-up but wondered if more conventional numbers of Powers and units-per-Power could be applied. Two variants immediately sprang to mind, with 12 Powers possessing 3 units each, and 9 Powers possessing 4 units each.

Unless the name has been taken by a different variant, I propose to call these variants "Homeless-12" and "Homeless-9" respectively, because the Powers all start without homes to go to.

The issue of how to deal with assigning HCs in Winter 1900 is one question that has yet to be resolved, and suggestions or opinions would be welcome. One possibility is having a "cap" on the number of Home Centres, so that all SCs captured by a Power up to a certain number of SCs become their HCs, at which point they are locked as the HCs for the rest of the game. Another is having some form of nominations process at the beginning. This would involve Powers nominating a certain number of SCs to be their HCs, with rules governing possession where two or more nominate the same SC. The simple option of having centres owned at Winter 1900 become the HCs is weak because of the premium it places on coastal SCs, but perhaps making all SCs owned at Winter 1901 or 1902 could work also.

I would also welcome comments or analyses of the Power distributions that I came up with. The following rules were used as the basis for devising the distribution:

1/ No Power should have more than one SC to which they and only they can move in Fall 1900. That some must have at least one is proven by the situations of ALB/SER, MAO/POR and GAL/BUD. However, I was unable in either the Homeless-9 or Homeless-12 variant to devise a way in which all Powers could have exactly one.

2/ As far as possible, a unit should be able to offer support to a move by at least one of his comrades. I am not certain that I have succeeded with this rule in the Homeless-9 variant.

I also tried as far as possible to give Powers a mix of Armies and Fleets. However, in both variants there is a Power with either only armies or only fleets.

Homeless-12 Powers: (in brackets, the SC that that Power can be certain of taking unopposed, if any)

Power 1: F ION, F AEG, F ARM (Smyrna)
Power 2: F BLA, A UKR, A LVN (Moscow)
Power 3: A GAL, A BOH, A SIL (Budapest)
Power 4: F ADR, A ALB, A APU (Serbia)
Power 5: F BOT, F BAL, A PRU
Power 6: F BAR, F SKA, A FIN
Power 7: F NTH, F NWG, A CLY
Power 8: A TUS, F TYS, F WES
Power 9: F LYO, A PIE, A BUR
Power 10: A TYR, A RUH, F HEL
Power 11: A PIC, A GAS, F MAO (Portugal)
Power 12: A YOR, A WAL, F ENG

Power 3 has only armies, and might have difficulty claiming a coastal SC in the first move.

Homeless-9 Powers: (suggested names for Powers in brackets)

Power 1 (N:Neptune): F BAR, F NWG, F NTH, F SKA (possibly Norway, see note below)
Power 2 (G:Germany): F HEL, F BAL, A RUH, F BOT (Kiel)
Power 3 (E:England): A CLY, A WAL, A YOR, F ENG (Liverpool)
Power 4 (F:France): A PIC, A BUR, A GAS, F WES (Paris)
Power 5 (R:Russia): A FIN, A LVN, A UKR, F BLA (Moscow) - A FIN may be replaced by F FIN, see note below.
Power 6 (B:Iberia): F MAO, F LYO, A TYR, A PIE (Portugal)
Power 7 (S:Slovakia): A BOH, A SIL, A GAL, A PRU (Budapest) - A PRU may be replaced by F PRU, see note below.
Power 8 (I:Italy): F TYS, A TUS, A ALB, F ADR (Serbia)
Power 9 (T:Turkey): A APU, F ION, F AEG, A ARM (Smyrna)

If A FIN is made a fleet instead, then Power 1 (Neptune) has Norway as its unopposed SC. This might make the Baltic region rather fleet-heavy.

If A PRU is made a fleet instead, then the only Power with only one type of unit is Neptune, but this might affect the balance of power around WAR adversely (or it may improve it). Also, as with F FIN, this makes the Baltic region very heavily populated by fleets.

I am more pleased with Homeless-9 than Homeless-12 but would welcome any comments or observations that people might have, before I present this as a finished article.

Ta,
Oliver Thornton

More about : variant based void

Anonymous
July 9, 2004 4:40:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

oliver.thornton wrote:
> For those who don't want to look up the full details (on the DPJudge under Map variants) The Void variant (devised by Mario Huys) is based on the 36 non-SC provinces that border 2 or more SCs. It starts in Fall 1900, and each of 36 Powers control one unit each, starting from one of the 36 provinces described above, and have to claim one of the 34 SCs in order to survive past Winter 1900! The game continues from there, with a Build-any rule in place. A Power starting from a sea province begins with a fleet, all others (including coastal provinces) start with an army each.

No fair! Mid-Atlantic is guaranteed a home center!

--
Will Berry
Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
http://www.techwoodcon.com/
Anonymous
July 9, 2004 9:58:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

There are a few options that have already been implemented on the
njudge. options with the HCs.

Firstly is the simple option: you say that it is an 'AnyCentres' game,
as in Chaos, where you can build on any centre you own.

Secondly, you can say that each power automatically converts a centre
to a home centre maintaining a unit there a complete game year (as in
Maharajah variant).

Thirdly, a power can choose which centres it wants to adopt as its own
after capturing them as an order in the adjustment phase (this comes
from the 'Scamble for Africa' variant and also 1913 for minor powers,
if I recall correctly), up to a limit of 3 per power.

Maybe one of these would fit the bill? I could even be persuaded
perhaps to implement them on USTV, if given the correct output from
MapMaker (a floc-net compatibile map would help too). (I've not worked
out a convenient way yet to do the original void, due to the 36 power
characters issue: the non-alphanumeric characters chosen for DPJudge
don't strike me as a great solution.)

BR,
Millis

"oliver.thornton" <oliver.thornton@virgin.net> wrote in message news:<DPlHc.1229$2f3.204@newsfe6-gui.ntli.net>...
> Having seen the new games starting on USDP, void and silentvoid, I thought that the starting concept was very interesting and one that could work for smaller number of Powers.
>
> For those who don't want to look up the full details (on the DPJudge
under Map variants) The Void variant (devised by Mario Huys) is based
on the 36 non-SC provinces that border 2 or more SCs. It starts in
Fall 1900, and each of 36 Powers control one unit each, starting from
one of the 36 provinces described above, and have to claim one of the
34 SCs in order to survive past Winter 1900! The game continues from
there, with a Build-any rule in place. A Power starting from a sea
province begins with a fleet, all others (including coastal provinces)
start with an army each.
>
> I liked the idea of the starting set-up but wondered if more conventional numbers of Powers and units-per-Power could be applied. Two variants immediately sprang to mind, with 12 Powers possessing 3 units each, and 9 Powers possessing 4 units each.
>
> Unless the name has been taken by a different variant, I propose to call these variants "Homeless-12" and "Homeless-9" respectively, because the Powers all start without homes to go to.
>
> The issue of how to deal with assigning HCs in Winter 1900 is one
question that has yet to be resolved, and suggestions or opinions
would be welcome. One possibility is having a "cap" on the number of
Home Centres, so that all SCs captured by a Power up to a certain
number of SCs become their HCs, at which point they are locked as the
HCs for the rest of the game. Another is having some form of
nominations process at the beginning. This would involve Powers
nominating a certain number of SCs to be their HCs, with rules
governing possession where two or more nominate the same SC. The
simple option of having centres owned at Winter 1900 become the HCs is
weak because of the premium it places on coastal SCs, but perhaps
making all SCs owned at Winter 1901 or 1902 could work also.
>
> I would also welcome comments or analyses of the Power distributions that I came up with. The following rules were used as the basis for devising the distribution:
>
> 1/ No Power should have more than one SC to which they and only they can move in Fall 1900. That some must have at least one is proven by the situations of ALB/SER, MAO/POR and GAL/BUD. However, I was unable in either the Homeless-9 or Homeless-12 variant to devise a way in which all Powers could have exactly one.
>
> 2/ As far as possible, a unit should be able to offer support to a move by at least one of his comrades. I am not certain that I have succeeded with this rule in the Homeless-9 variant.
>
> I also tried as far as possible to give Powers a mix of Armies and Fleets. However, in both variants there is a Power with either only armies or only fleets.
>
> Homeless-12 Powers: (in brackets, the SC that that Power can be certain of taking unopposed, if any)
>
> Power 1: F ION, F AEG, F ARM (Smyrna)
> Power 2: F BLA, A UKR, A LVN (Moscow)
> Power 3: A GAL, A BOH, A SIL (Budapest)
> Power 4: F ADR, A ALB, A APU (Serbia)
> Power 5: F BOT, F BAL, A PRU
> Power 6: F BAR, F SKA, A FIN
> Power 7: F NTH, F NWG, A CLY
> Power 8: A TUS, F TYS, F WES
> Power 9: F LYO, A PIE, A BUR
> Power 10: A TYR, A RUH, F HEL
> Power 11: A PIC, A GAS, F MAO (Portugal)
> Power 12: A YOR, A WAL, F ENG
>
> Power 3 has only armies, and might have difficulty claiming a coastal SC in the first move.
>
> Homeless-9 Powers: (suggested names for Powers in brackets)
>
> Power 1 (N:Neptune): F BAR, F NWG, F NTH, F SKA (possibly Norway, see note below)
> Power 2 (G:Germany): F HEL, F BAL, A RUH, F BOT (Kiel)
> Power 3 (E:England): A CLY, A WAL, A YOR, F ENG (Liverpool)
> Power 4 (F:France): A PIC, A BUR, A GAS, F WES (Paris)
> Power 5 (R:Russia): A FIN, A LVN, A UKR, F BLA (Moscow) - A FIN may be replaced by F FIN, see note below.
> Power 6 (B:Iberia): F MAO, F LYO, A TYR, A PIE (Portugal)
> Power 7 (S:Slovakia): A BOH, A SIL, A GAL, A PRU (Budapest) - A PRU may be replaced by F PRU, see note below.
> Power 8 (I:Italy): F TYS, A TUS, A ALB, F ADR (Serbia)
> Power 9 (T:Turkey): A APU, F ION, F AEG, A ARM (Smyrna)
>
> If A FIN is made a fleet instead, then Power 1 (Neptune) has Norway as its unopposed SC. This might make the Baltic region rather fleet-heavy.
>
> If A PRU is made a fleet instead, then the only Power with only one type of unit is Neptune, but this might affect the balance of power around WAR adversely (or it may improve it). Also, as with F FIN, this makes the Baltic region very heavily populated by fleets.
>
> I am more pleased with Homeless-9 than Homeless-12 but would welcome any comments or observations that people might have, before I present this as a finished article.
>
> Ta,
> Oliver Thornton
Related resources
Anonymous
July 10, 2004 2:57:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

----------
In article <qyoHc.15367$jJ3.518@bignews5.bellsouth.net>, Will Berry
<wberry@wberry.org.x> wrote:


>
>
>oliver.thornton wrote:
>> For those who don't want to look up the full details (on the DPJudge
> under Map variants) The Void variant (devised by Mario Huys) is based on
>the 36 non-SC provinces that border 2 or more SCs. It starts in Fall
>1900, and each of 36 Powers control one unit each, starting from one of the
>36 provinces described above, and have to claim one of the 34 SCs in order
>to survive past Winter 1900! The game continues from there, with a
>Build-any rule in place. A Power starting from a sea province begins with
>a fleet, all others (including coastal provinces) start with an army each.
>
>No fair! Mid-Atlantic is guaranteed a home center!

In fact, as I made note of in describing my Homeless variants, Albania and
Galicia are both also guaranteed a supply centre in Winter 1900 under the
set-up of the Void variant. Albania is guaranteed Serbia, and Galicia is
guaranteed Budapest.

The trick with my Homeless variant is that every Power (under Homeless-9) is
guaranteed one SC in Winter 1900 (that's if FIN is occupied by a fleet in
Fall 1900 rather than an army). Under Homeless-12, I could not guarantee
every Power an SC in 1900, which I feel makes it a weaker variant.

Ta,
Oliver Thornton
Anonymous
July 10, 2004 1:16:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

oliver.thornton wrote:
>
> The trick with my Homeless variant is that every Power (under Homeless-9) is
> guaranteed one SC in Winter 1900 (that's if FIN is occupied by a fleet in
> Fall 1900 rather than an army). Under Homeless-12, I could not guarantee
> every Power an SC in 1900, which I feel makes it a weaker variant.

There seems to be another higher-level fairness problem. There may be
cliques of starting units that can mutually agree on their moves so that
all of them are guaranteed a center; whereas other cliques on other
parts of the map can reach no kind of win-win agreement.

I cannot think of a "lucky clique" on the standard map, but then again,
I'm not spending that much time on it.

--
Will Berry
Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
http://www.techwoodcon.com/
Anonymous
July 14, 2004 5:13:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

----------
In article <thTHc.33424$XF5.22957@bignews4.bellsouth.net>, Will Berry
<wberry@wberry.org.x> wrote:


>
>
>oliver.thornton wrote:
>>
>> The trick with my Homeless variant is that every Power (under Homeless-9) is
>> guaranteed one SC in Winter 1900 (that's if FIN is occupied by a fleet in
>> Fall 1900 rather than an army). Under Homeless-12, I could not guarantee
>> every Power an SC in 1900, which I feel makes it a weaker variant.
>
>There seems to be another higher-level fairness problem. There may be
>cliques of starting units that can mutually agree on their moves so that
>all of them are guaranteed a center; whereas other cliques on other
>parts of the map can reach no kind of win-win agreement.
>
>I cannot think of a "lucky clique" on the standard map, but then again,
>I'm not spending that much time on it.

I am not really interested in discussing the details of the Void variant,
after all, that isn't the one that I invented! FWIW, there is, I believe,
only one "lucky clique", which can number between 3 and 5 members. These
are, initially, AEG, ARM, BLA. Also possible to add to these are UKR and
LVN.

The "shareout" performed by these players is something like:

AEG - SMY; ARM - ANK; BLA - BUL or CON; UKR - SEV; LVN - MOS. One of the
"Turkish" powers will be able to take an extra centre, if they cooperate to
take CON as well as BUL. When the USDP void game gets started, it will be
interesting to see if this apparently powerful Eastern bloc is able to work
together or not.

Now that that is out the way, I really would like constructive criticism of
my Homeless-12 and Homeless-9 variants, which have been designed to try to
counteract the freebie/clique problems already discussed.

Ta,
Oliver Thornton
Anonymous
July 14, 2004 5:13:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

oliver.thornton wrote:
>
> Now that that is out the way, I really would like constructive criticism of
> my Homeless-12 and Homeless-9 variants, which have been designed to try to
> counteract the freebie/clique problems already discussed.

I would view the freebie and clique problems as a severe advantage for
the lucky players. The Homeless-9 positions with careful choices of
army vs fleet seem to solve the freebies. If cliques are discovered it
would probably be best to make the starting units non-contiguous, or to
simply omit certain starting units, to remove the disparity. You've
probably spent far more time than me looking for such cliques.

--
Will Berry
Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
http://www.techwoodcon.com/
!