[Vacation valid until Aug. 2014] Ziggurat

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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:43 pm

Oh, and its a valid suggestion to limit the bombardment range to level C. Will have to think about it.
And to clarify, the camps can bombard ONLY their side of the ziggurat.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby swimmerdude99 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:40 am

Okay I think I will have to agree with the bombarding. Without unlimited forts it would take FOREVER to get up... But the thing I was thinking about was that maybe if you don't allow bombardment you would ahve to choose to wait to attack and that would add to the strategy, possibly needing to wait tunrs... I think you might want to just limit it to just bombarding down to start and see how that would play? I would really like to be able to try both... but I assume that may not be doable since BETA is supposed to just test simple changes. So I guess I can understand trying both, but I think eithe rway could work. I just like the idea you originally had. :) But I don't mind the new idea of bombarding up.

Also for the initial starting points, is there anyway to make sure they you can only have 1 starting point on each side?
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:13 am

jonofperu, you have come a long way, and still you have a long way to go. But you know what, you have proved yourself over the past weeks. I am going to sticky this and send you up to the main foundry in a couple of days. Keep up the great work and I look forward to kicking your arse all over the map when we get to play it. :P

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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:59 pm

Thanks koontz! :D

Swimmerdude, I don't think there is a way to limit starting spots to 1 per side, but I would love to have the option - or maybe limit to 2 per side and 6 max in 1v1 so there would be some sides with 1 camp v 2 camps and others vice versa... but its all dreaming as far as I know cause you can't code it (from what wiser people have said).

I also think it would be awesome to have an "Alpha testing" phase to try exactly what you suggest, but I hear the idea has been shot down before. It makes sense to me to try out gameplay before finishing a map when you can still make significant changes. Actually playing a map 20 times would certainly give you a better idea of how it plays and how your gameplay ideas work that just imagining it. I've thought of printing out a version and playing myself on it after dusting off my Risk game and using the pieces.

I wonder if it would possible to create two versions of a map as separate maps with different settings?
Probably not worth it in this case, but if there were enough variations between two separate setups it might be a really cool idea.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:39 pm

Let me explain starting positions for you, then you can at least make an informed decision.

Starting positions are a way to ensure a fair drop. You can code in as many or as few as you like. Each starting position can be a single region or multiple regions. I you code a starting position as neutral, then if it is not given out, it starts as neutral. If you do not code it as neutral, it will be given out randomly. But this is more of the game play boys side.

xml guide - look for positions but have a read of it.
viewtopic.php?t=183876#p4015798
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby swimmerdude99 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:44 am

jonofperu wrote:Thanks koontz! :D

Swimmerdude, I don't think there is a way to limit starting spots to 1 per side, but I would love to have the option - or maybe limit to 2 per side and 6 max in 1v1 so there would be some sides with 1 camp v 2 camps and others vice versa... but its all dreaming as far as I know cause you can't code it (from what wiser people have said).

I also think it would be awesome to have an "Alpha testing" phase to try exactly what you suggest, but I hear the idea has been shot down before. It makes sense to me to try out gameplay before finishing a map when you can still make significant changes. Actually playing a map 20 times would certainly give you a better idea of how it plays and how your gameplay ideas work that just imagining it. I've thought of printing out a version and playing myself on it after dusting off my Risk game and using the pieces.

I wonder if it would possible to create two versions of a map as separate maps with different settings?
Probably not worth it in this case, but if there were enough variations between two separate setups it might be a really cool idea.

The print out thing is a stellar idea, then maybe you can play it yourself as a couple people or get friends to play and see which way they like it best. The other option is you could have ziggurat be one and then make another map down the road that is called "Temple" or something like that too that was the other gameplay type :)
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:12 am

jonofperu, with the new abandoned maps policy, I am going to ask, are you going to ask if you want this map stamped?

Let me know in this thread and I will stamp it.

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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:50 pm

koontz1973 wrote:Let me explain starting positions for you, then you can at least make an informed decision.

Starting positions are a way to ensure a fair drop. You can code in as many or as few as you like. Each starting position can be a single region or multiple regions. I you code a starting position as neutral, then if it is not given out, it starts as neutral. If you do not code it as neutral, it will be given out randomly. But this is more of the game play boys side.

xml guide - look for positions but have a read of it.
viewtopic.php?t=183876#p4015798




Can starting positions be coded so that each player must have one starting point on side 1 or side 2, and one starting point for side 3 or side 4? And is it possible to code something like: if starting point = side 1, then second starting point must be = side 3?
(see Figure A)

Figure A:

________(side 1)_______
|...........................|
|...........................|--(Side 2)
|...........................|
|...........................|
_________(side 3)______

-side 4 is on the left side.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:18 am

Yes it is. Just code the positions in twos. So with 4 starts in side 1 and 3 you double them up. Same with sides 2 and 4.
Position 1 - 1+3
Position 2 - 1+3
Position 3 - 1+3
Position 4 - 1+3
Position 5 - 2+4
Position 6 - 2+4
Position 7 - 2+4
Position 8 - 2+4
Code the positions as a max of 1 given out and place a neutral underneath so if it is not given out, it starts as neutral. This way, in any game size only one pair will be given out. But if you code it as a max of two given out, you could end up with 2 lots of 1+3 or 2 lots of 2+4 or one lot of each.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:59 pm

YES! Please stamp it Koontz.

I've read the basic XML stuff. I tried to click on the link under positions that says:
"Info about a more extensive use of Starting Positions can be found here: Starting Positions"
… but I got the message "You are not authorised to read this forum."
Any idea what's up with the link?
EDIT: I think it must have been pointing to 4.2 "Starting Positions: Underlying Neutrals and Advanced Usage"

I also searched and found this helpful thread:
http://www.conquerclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=649&t=68154

If I'm reading things correctly here are the options I'm coming up with (to avoid making a huge post that will take up too much space I’ll make it a spoiler):

show: Starting Positions Options
Last edited by jonofperu on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:22 pm

Tweaked the description of Option E. I like it.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:48 pm

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Stamped. Good luck in the main foundry. I will pop in from time to time (as I like this map) but the others will take care of you.

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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby mcshanester29 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:09 am

jonofperu wrote:Tweaked the description of Option E. I like it.


I agree I am liking Option E as well!! Keep up the good work mate!!
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:26 am

E is nice, but code it to one per player. This way in fog games, you do not know where your opponent is and finding him could be fun.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:26 am

I see your point Koontz.
The fog factor is a good argument for coding fewer territs per starting position. BUT I'm very reluctant to reduce the number and give people a side all to themselves for several reasons.
1) It slows the map down. If you have only one starting territ and you have to fight through a literal mountain of neutrals before you see your opponent it's going to drag.
2) Winning depends more on dice. I've seen feedback on some other map projects with lots of neutrals and something I want to avoid is rolling against too many neutrals before encountering your opponent. There would still be some strategy involved - how to fort auto-deploys and how to use bombardment - but whoever got better dice against the neutrals would come out ahead before encountering their opponent.
3) I like the strategy implications for first turn advantage if your opponent can bombard you after you hit a neutral first.
4) I can't think of a way to code starting spots for 1-3 territ starts that works out evenly for different numbers of players. What if some players have to fight each other and others end up on their own? Or what if teams end up on their own side. It would happen with fewer starting spots rather than Option E.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:45 am

jonofperu wrote:1) It slows the map down. If you have only one starting territ and you have to fight through a literal mountain of neutrals before you see your opponent it's going to drag.

Then reduce the neutrals. This is the balancing act needed and until beta, you will never know if you have it right or not. Fighting through all these neutrals is going to be a bad game anyway as it will all come down to dice luck in the end. Think of the map like Antarctica, base around the edges with an auto deploy on them. Fight your way to the middle to get to the bases and win. This is the same gameplay but instead of decays, you have auto deploys. This allows you higher neutrals but not so high as you have them. But this is the next discussion that is needed to be done.
jonofperu wrote:2) Winning depends more on dice. I've seen feedback on some other map projects with lots of neutrals and something I want to avoid is rolling against too many neutrals before encountering your opponent. There would still be some strategy involved - how to fort auto-deploys and how to use bombardment - but whoever got better dice against the neutrals would come out ahead before encountering their opponent.

Reduce neutrals to the bare minimum. You want a surprise element involved here. If you take the next single neutral, is their a stack of armies behind it. This is also why I am against your bombards being for a complete side. If you can see a side, fog games become useless. Much better to have the bombards for the top two layers only on your side. The advantage here is this, even if your opponent starts on your side, you may not see him till he goes for the top.
jonofperu wrote:3) I like the strategy implications for first turn advantage if your opponent can bombard you after you hit a neutral first.

Right now with the bombards being for the whole side, I am not leaving my bases till I see you. All anyone will do is wait till you move out, kill a few neutrals, then I bombard you to hell. First or second turn, everyone will wait. This will lead to stalemates, dice luck wins, no one moving till they have huge armies. This map will in the end become known for farming IMO as it is now.
jonofperu wrote:4) I can't think of a way to code starting spots for 1-3 territ starts that works out evenly for different numbers of players. What if some players have to fight each other and others end up on their own? Or what if teams end up on their own side. It would happen with fewer starting spots rather than Option E.

This is easy. You have 8 corner spots. Attach a corner spot to another SP. These two become one starting position. This will give you 8 to play with. Just make sure that all positions are not adjacent to each other. So SP1 can sit next to SP2 and SP5, but SP2 cannot touch SP5. This way, even if 2 players start next to each other and a third starts far away, the first two also have an out.

I hope all that is clear. :D
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:36 am

Thanks for the stamp.
Good points.
WARNING: massive post ahead! (especially if you read the quotes :o )

show: quote

I really wish there were an Alfa testing stage to see how this plays, but I had to see… so I played it! :)
Image
show: Large image

It was pretty fun… played kind of like I expected, but I was surprised at some things too.
The corners are hugely important and can be bombarded from two of each person’s camps.
Granted I only played it once… and against myself… but I was surprised how much it swung back and forth – in spite of some pretty big bad dice streaks on each side.
This was red vs blue starting positions from Option E. Used yellow for neutrals whenever the number changed from what’s printed. Blue went first, but red took the lead early. Then blue eventually came back as you see in the picture.

This made me think it’s better to limit max starting spots to 1 (4 territs). I still think 8 per player would be cool, but it would probably be too Hive-like for many people and 4 provides interesting strategy choices.

Also the +3 auto-deploy on camps is huge. I think camp auto-deploy + bombardment helps keep the struggle alive back and forth. Having more than 4 starting spots might give too many troops.

I’m definitely listening to the discussion. The neutrals felt about right though.

show: quote

Functionality trumps realism, but I struggle with making bombards reach only the higher levels. I was thinking maybe they should only reach B & C.

By the way, fog would still have some effect on this game…
1. You wouldn’t know what camp your enemy is coming from – in other words you know he's got a camp on your side and can see you if you attack out, but you don't know if he's close to you or 4 camps away.
2. You wouldn’t know how many troops he had on which camp

Maybe another option is to limit bombards to spots within 3 spaces of the camp or something like that. It would only help get a foothold I suppose.

show: quote

Are you assuming fog, although bombardments make the whole side visible? If you mean just the camps aren't seen, but it has that big an effect, then maybe fog isn’t lost on this map after all. ;)

Bombardment balances first start if someone attacks out, but I'm not convinced people will just sit and wait. I wouldn't. Because the worst your opponent can do with bombard is reduce you to a neutral 1 which you can take back again. It just slows you down.
AND the camps don’t attack at the same points, except at the corners, so you have to decide between a fairly safe attack that’s protected from the other player’s camp, or the corner attack where you can bomb from your other camp to soften it up
The reason the neutrals are so high is each territ provides an auto-deploy.

show: quote

I'll have to play around with what it looks like.

Some observations:
In 1v1 I get the feeling the game will be decided before anyone gets to the summit – at least as long as both players focus on breaking their opponent. Whoever is able to spread out enough in strength will gain an insurmountable lead. (As in any map?)
I think the auto-deploys discourage sitting back and building stacks. Every territ you take is a bonus, so conquests pay for themselves pretty quick and you can’t afford to let your opponent expand unchallenged.
On other maps with neutrals (like Route 66, City Mogul), if your opponent expands too much against neutrals they really weaken themselves and you can sweep them up. Here, you can bomb them, but if they chose a protected position you have to fight through neutrals to actually attack. And any spots they hold become reinforcements.
Maybe I need to play around with lower neutrals as you suggest - at least between first contact points.
Or make it easier to get to the summit by making neutrals the same on all levels, but still increase auto-deploy?
Neutrals felt balanced at the start and players encountered each other right away, but it felt like it slowed down too much beyond level B.

All-in-all I like the bombard feature from camps.
The ironic thing is… I only now noticed that I never bombed DOWN the ziggurat! …which was the point of this map in the first place! LOL
Everything was focused on coordinating bombardments and driving UP the zig for the auto-deploys.
Not sure what to think about this yet.

We REALLY need an alpha testing option. Can’t they set up a separate server outside the main game system and let people play unfinished maps?
Playing this just once gave me a much better idea of how it works.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:48 am

jonofperu wrote:WARNING: massive post ahead! (especially if you read the quotes :o )

That is not a big post. Seen bigger before. :P
jonofperu. I think a lot of what we are both trying to convey to each other is getting lost in our posts as they are getting large. What I suggest is this, go down the route that cairnswk normally takes. Split each of the game play areas up and talk about each separately. This will benefit you and all of the others looking in the thread. You can even change the title of the thread to add what you want to discuss at that time. If you agree to this, how about we talk about starting positions first?
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Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby jonofperu on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:00 pm

Good idea koontz.

Do I organize areas in the first post under spoilers and then discuss them one at a time in the thread?
I've decided to try a reduction in neutrals to have all worth 3 up to the summit.
So here's an update with that idea.

Click image to enlarge.
image

In this update:
1. Reduced neutrals to 3, summit to 10. Left level B corners at 5.
2. Limited bombardment from camps to Levels B and C.
3. Cleaned up the legend text a little.

STARTING POSITIONS

We've discussed this and it's tied into other topics, but here are the options that look most promising to me so far (using the letters from the previous post):

OPTION D
8 starting positions consisting of 2 territs per player with one on a corner and no two positions bordering each other in more than one spot. (thanks Koontz)
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OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.
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(Also shown in the update above.)
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Re: Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby iancanton on Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:24 pm

i prefer option E.
jonofperu wrote:OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.

i find the corners a bit problematic. have u considered giving the north and south sides 9 regions instead of 7, so that everyone can have direct (but not equal) access to the pyramid?

ian. :)
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Re: Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:21 pm

iancanton wrote:i prefer option E.
jonofperu wrote:OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.

i find the corners a bit problematic. have u considered giving the north and south sides 9 regions instead of 7, so that everyone can have direct (but not equal) access to the pyramid?

ian. :)


An extra layer to the pyramid would help. Then 9 along the bottom means no one starts with a corner.
Will defer to my colleague over the SP. Go with E and the extra layer.
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Re: Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby mcshanester29 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:29 am

koontz1973 wrote:
iancanton wrote:i prefer option E.
jonofperu wrote:OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.

i find the corners a bit problematic. have u considered giving the north and south sides 9 regions instead of 7, so that everyone can have direct (but not equal) access to the pyramid?

ian. :)


An extra layer to the pyramid would help. Then 9 along the bottom means no one starts with a corner.
Will defer to my colleague over the SP. Go with E and the extra layer.


This sounds like a really good option imo
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby jonofperu on Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:12 am

I see your point, iancanton. Thanks for the feedback.
In version 3 I had another layer to the ziggurat:
show: Map v3

Your idea would be to have camps attack A24, A22, A20, A18 along the bottom of the above example.

I have two problems with the idea:
1. I think the ziggurat is as big as it can get at this point for gameplay. I want the upper levels and summit to come into play, for this reason I reduced all the neutrals. But adding a level would put the summit that much farther out of reach. (I imagine koontz is going to say reduce the neutrals to 2, but I like the balance at the moment.)
2. I like the way the corners play. Every player gets one corner (with 1-4) and bombardments create an interesting dynamic where you can bombard a corner from one side and then attack it from the territ next to it. With 5-8 players you'll probably have an odd number of corners assigned, but it's compensated for by the bombardments.

I'll have to play the map some more.
I'm totally open to the suggestions, but I'm liking the current layout for gameplay.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:13 am

The deployment part of the legend is not needed as it is normal. This can be removed. Auto deploys, camps +3 is OK as you need the troops to get out of camp, but raise all the others as well. You need to go forward and defend. So if a camp is getting +3 every turn, B+2, C+3, D+3 as well. What is an upper territory? Might be better to say "All territories higher up can bombard down the Ziggurat in a line. Swap human sacrifice and religious influence around in the legend. Then remove the lines between them in the legend. So all of the bombards and attacks are one part of the legend with the examples. So your legend should look like this.
Auto deploys
_______________
Religions influence
_______________
Human sacrifice
_______________
Attack
bombards
examples

jonofperu wrote:1. I think the ziggurat is as big as it can get at this point for gameplay.

Can never get to big. ;)
jonofperu wrote:ut adding a level would put the summit that much farther out of reach. (I imagine koontz is going to say reduce the neutrals to 2, but I like the balance at the moment.)

Moving the summit further away is not really a problem. As for reducing the neutrals, might be an idea even if you stick to what you have now. C,D & E are fine. Reduce the bottom to a 2 in the corners and a 1. Give players a chance to get out and stay out for those all important neutrals.
jonofperu wrote:2. I like the way the corners play. Every player gets one corner (with 1-4) and bombardments create an interesting dynamic where you can bombard a corner from one side and then attack it from the territ next to it. With 5-8 players you'll probably have an odd number of corners assigned, but it's compensated for by the bombardments.

Corners should play nice, but it is the uneven distribution. Hence the SP chat.

So in option E everyone gets a side in 2-4 player games. Larger games means random drops.
Are you going to code a max for SPs. So in a 1v1 game, will players get one SP or 2 SPs?

jonofperu wrote:I'll have to play the map some more.

Please do not play the map with friends and then stick to what you think works. Remember, a few games played like that will in no way prove or disprove any theories. This is the reason beta takes so long.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:14 pm

jono, update coming soon I hope. About a week left until the one month deadline.
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