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[Abandoned] Central Asia 2020

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Re: Central Asia: The Great Game 2.0-Struggle for Oil - UPDA

Postby MarshalNey on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:45 am

Raskholnikov wrote:Industrial and Marshal,

Since you have commented on this project from its very beginning with lots of useful advice, can you please provide us, when you can, with a comprehensive list of all the game play issues you wish us to address, and indicate which ones you see as critical and which as desirable to change but not dealbreakers. This way we will know exactly what absolutely needs to be addressed and where we still retain some discretion in deciding what to change and what not to. Needless to say, all comments will be appreciated and carefully considered, as we have done so far.

Again, many thanks for your ongoing commitment to this project.

R, P, E

Sorry to take a week to respond, but I warned you it might be a little while 8-[

As far as I can see, there is only one 'dealbreaker' change for the gameplay-and it's going to be a challenge perhaps to accomodate- and I do have a few other suggestions as well.

Industrial Helix wrote:My verdict: I'd really favor a reduction in borders, which you can do without cutting territories. Reduce the borders and this map will be playable without becoming anarchy. Throw in mountains, treaty lines, change the territory configuration... whatever. But I think the most pressing issue is that nothing is defensible on this map and most games will be free-for-alls rather than games of strategy and calculation.


Helix has a very strong point here. Follow my logic, if you will:

(1) The big change that made this update such a success was the inclusion of 'continent' bonuses. With them, the Terrorists/Fleets and Revolts are meaningful gameplay elements.
(2) However, in order for the continent bonuses to do their magic they must be relevant.
(3) And in order to be relevant, the continent bonuses must be realistically possible- i.e., defensible and desirable from a risk/benefit perspective.

To put it another way, Revolt areas will only be taken if they are necessary for a player to acheive some goal. Since the map is basically wide open, the Revolts won't be choke points and can be avoided. So the only goal that makes them desirable is taking a continent bonus. If the continent bonuses are indefensible and suck up way more troops than they could ever possibly pay out, they won't be sought after- thus the Revolts are back to being a waste of map space. To a much lesser extent, the Terrorist (and thus Fleet) importance will also diminish as their continent-busting ability will be largely worthless- but of course it'll still have a use.

Besides this, however, I hate 'inert' gameplay elements that suck up players' attention but offer no real strategic meaning. If a map is going to have continent bonuses, they should fall mostly in the range of being acheiveable with a modest effort, with a few outliers perhaps in the 'easy to snatch' and 'hard as hell' categories. :)

Raskholnikov wrote:[in response to Helix] I respectfully disagree.. It will be a different type of strategy and calculation, based on objectives held rather than contiguous territories... And that's one of the key aims of this map: to show that in the 21st century, what counts is the ability to gain and control cities, refineries, tankers and neutralise terrorists, rather than defend territorial borders... I think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have amply proven this point.... So please try to look at it this way rather than from the traditional point of view.


While I'm glad to get a clearer view of your goals for the map- and I'm all for non-traditional perspectives- I also feel that you'll need to go back to the drawing board if you're really set on making a map that shouts that national borders are no longer relevant. Besides that, I'm inclined to think that Oil Power is pursued as a means to an end, and that end is often to preserve national integrity. In fact, the vibe that I get from this map is that there are two 'sides' fighting over Oil that have two antithetical goals- one side wants Oil to build national power, and the other wants Oil to destroy national power. If that's not too far off base, then I think that grabbing a 'national' bonus should be possible. Otherwise who are the terrorists at war with and what are the Revolts trying to accomplish if there aren't any 'oppressive' national entities involved in the gameplay?

My recommendation is to either try subdividing the continents into smaller, more attainable areas, include impassibles or redraw borders to create more interior regions. Any or all of these could work. But it absolutely needs to be addressed I think.
-----------------------------------
OK, beyond that I have some suggestions but nothing critical. I'll put them in another post so that this one doesn't become a novel.
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Re: Central Asia: The Great Game 2.0-Struggle for Oil - UPDA

Postby Raskholnikov on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:21 am

Brilliant analysis... especially your the "two-sides" approach to use of oil and hence, the two winning conditions.

We are in the process of finalising a new draft taking into account most comments so far and incorporating some that deal with yours - especially the role of Revolts. Once the new draft is up, we can then have a new look at the extent to which borders absolutely need to be revised for Russia and a few other countries, or if we can live with what we have. Stay tuned please for Pamoa's soon-to-be uploaded new version. And thanks for the extgremely helpful and appreciated evaluation and advice. It's a pleasure to work with you guys on this map!
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Re: Central Asia: The Great Game 2.0-Struggle for Oil - UPDA

Postby ender516 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:55 pm

Just in case anyone is wondering, I'm keeping an eye on things here, but won't attempt any XML until at least after the update mentioned just above. I know many people say XML should not be started until the Final Forge, but I think it can evolve alongside the gameplay and graphics. After all, I have seen proposals for gameplay which have been pointless because they are simply impossible to implement. Exploring the possibilities early can save pain later on.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby pamoa on Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:21 am

new features : bonus structure, al-mahdi (religious leader)
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Evil DIMwit on Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:49 am

Can the 5th Fleet bombard Tehran? The key says "Indian ocean" but it is within bombard range. How about Ashgabat?

U.S. fleets are pretty powerful, so perhaps 3 neutrals for each is undervaluing them.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:40 pm

The Ashgabat tanker terminal is on the Caspian sea, so it can only be bombarded by the 6th fleet, as per legend. Same goes for the Teheran one. They are both just at the outer range limit of the 5th Fleet, but I prefer to stick with the legend, since having them being bombarded by both fleets would be rather unfair.

We would raise the fleets to neutral 4, same as capitals and metropolis, if you think it necessary; but remember they revert to neutral after each use and this might dissuade players to even attempt to use them. What do others think on this?
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby pamoa on Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:46 pm

well I thought Tehran and Baghdad were both under double bombardment when I draw it :oops:
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Oh ok. There you go ;) It makes sense then for obvious reasons! Both Teheran and Bagdad are under double bombardment :lol:
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Hmm... I rather liked the double bombardment area. I'm in favor of keeping it. It kind of makes the middle east a little less easily attainable.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:05 pm

Me too. i simply wasnt aware that such was pamoa's original intention. So I'm all for it! Btw Helix, any comments on al-Mahdi, the new role of Uprisings, the +2 bonus for each terrorist unit as long as al-Mahdi is held, and the addition of a possible additional attack point into the Middle East?
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby MarshalNey on Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:13 pm

The legend isn't crystal clear about how al-Mahdi works, so let me ask if this is correct:

Revolt regions can one-way attack al-Mahdi
al-Mahdi, if held, gives a +2 bonus per terrorist.
al-Mahdi one-way attacks Cairo and any terrorist.

If this is so, it gives more life to the revolt regions, and overall I like it a lot. But the legend will need to make how it works a little clearer... 'can be activated' and 'takes control of' are much less clear than simply saying '1-way attacks' as in:
"Uprisings 1-way attack al-Mahdi
al-Mahdi 1-way attacks Cairo or any terrorist.
Hold al-Mahdi for a +2 bonus per terrorist."

... or something similar.

-----------------------------

For the victory objectives, I think the terrorist objective is much easier than the capital/metropolis objective. The number of regions to hold is the same- eight- but the terrorists can attack each other, while the capitals are spread across all corners of the map.

To simulate the victory of 'national power', I think a continent bonus plus several captials/metropoli (what is the plural of that word really?) might work- say a continent bonus plus 4 capitals/metropli?

-----------------------------

I like that you've changed the tanker and refinery bonuses to directly being 1-for-1, and I'm sure Helix thanks you as well :)

------------------------------

While al-Mahdi prevents the lack of impassibles making the uprisings completely useless, it also further expands the avenues of attack on an already wide-open map.

I really feel that Russia, China, India, Kazakastan, Af-Pak and Iran are too open to be worth the attempt. Here's what I'm seeing-
Russia (+6 bonus): 10 regions, 10 borders, 2 bombardable tankers and 2 bombardable refineries, and 1 terrorist
Kazakastan (+12 bonus): 10 regions, 9 borders, 2 bombardable tankers and 2 bombardable refineries, 1 terrorist and 1 uprising
China (+5 bonus): 10 regions, 8 borders, 1 bombardable refinery, 1 terrorist and 1 uprising
Iran (+4 bonus): 6 regions, 6 borders, 2 bombardable tankers and 2 bombardable refineries, and 1 uprising
India (+4 bonus): 9 regions, 5 borders, 1 bombardable tanker, 1 uprising
Af-Pak (+4 bonus): 6 regions, 6 borders, 1 bombardable tanker and 1 terrorist

Furthermore, Kazakastan and maybe Af-Pak with Cashmir are the only two remotely worth the benefit when weighed against the cost.

There just need to be fewer borders on this map, or the lion's share of continent bonuses are just wasted space on the legend. Also consider bumping up the bonuses a bit for the ones listed above, since the bombardments for every continent make it a risk to try to hold.

Good to see overall that the map is progressing forward, keep it up :)

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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:35 pm

The legend isn't crystal clear about how al-Mahdi works, so let me ask if this is correct:

Revolt regions can one-way attack al-Mahdi
al-Mahdi, if held, gives a +2 bonus per terrorist.
al-Mahdi one-way attacks Cairo and any terrorist.

Yes, this is correct.

If this is so, it gives more life to the revolt regions, and overall I like it a lot. But the legend will need to make how it works a little clearer... 'can be activated' and 'takes control of' are much less clear than simply saying '1-way attacks' as in:
"Uprisings 1-way attack al-Mahdi
al-Mahdi 1-way attacks Cairo or any terrorist.
Hold al-Mahdi for a +2 bonus per terrorist."


... or something similar.

Great. Glad you like it. Will revise the legend wording.

-----------------------------

For the victory objectives, I think the terrorist objective is much easier than the capital/metropolis objective. The number of regions to hold is the same- eight- but the terrorists can attack each other, while the capitals are spread across all corners of the map.

To simulate the victory of 'national power', I think a continent bonus plus several captials/metropoli (what is the plural of that word really?) might work- say a continent bonus plus 4 capitals/metropli?

What about allowing Metropolis cities to attack each other, simulating their importance as financial and economic centres? They are all close to their capitals so that equalizes the playing field between the two victory conditions.

-----------------------------

I like that you've changed the tanker and refinery bonuses to directly being 1-for-1, and I'm sure Helix thanks you as well :)

Super. See, I'm flexible ... lol

------------------------------

While al-Mahdi prevents the lack of impassibles making the uprisings completely useless, it also further expands the avenues of attack on an already wide-open map.

I really feel that Russia, China, India, Kazakastan, Af-Pak and Iran are too open to be worth the attempt. Here's what I'm seeing-
Russia (+6 bonus): 10 regions, 10 borders, 2 bombardable tankers and 2 bombardable refineries, and 1 terrorist
Kazakastan (+12 bonus): 10 regions, 9 borders, 2 bombardable tankers and 2 bombardable refineries, 1 terrorist and 1 uprising
China (+5 bonus): 10 regions, 8 borders, 1 bombardable refinery, 1 terrorist and 1 uprising
Iran (+4 bonus): 6 regions, 6 borders, 2 bombardable tankers and 2 bombardable refineries, and 1 uprising
India (+4 bonus): 9 regions, 5 borders, 1 bombardable tanker, 1 uprising
Af-Pak (+4 bonus): 6 regions, 6 borders, 1 bombardable tanker and 1 terrorist

Furthermore, Kazakastan and maybe Af-Pak with Cashmir are the only two remotely worth the benefit when weighed against the cost.

There just need to be fewer borders on this map, or the lion's share of continent bonuses are just wasted space on the legend. Also consider bumping up the bonuses a bit for the ones listed above, since the bombardments for every continent make it a risk to try to hold.

Sorry, but i do not agree with your analysis. You still look upon this as a traditional gameplay, while I am trying to inject different strategic options and victory conditions. Cutting and changing borders will not only introduce factual inaccuracies on the map, but also channel strategic options in one direction only - national / regional consolidation. This is something I explicitly want to avoid. I explained at length both why, and also the reasons I think national consolidations will occur much easier than you seem to assume from your quantitative analysis of border / bonus ratios and bombardable territories. Also note that bombardments in this game are much more restrained and focused than, for example, in Waterloo or Stalingrad, where artilery / planes can virtually obliterate the entire map.

In short, I propose that on this one, we agree to disagree and see how it works in Beta testing. If it proves to be a critical issue then fine, I'm open to revisions; but not before this concept gets at least a chance to be tested. This is now a question of gameplay vision and strategic preference, and I truly believe map makers should be given some latitude here. We made all changes required of us so far. This is an important point to us and we expect some reciprocity here, guys. It's only fair...


Good to see overall that the map is progressing forward, keep it up :)

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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:30 pm

Al Madhi... how'd you come up with the name? What about Al-Qaeda? Rumor has it they're not losing but growin, especially in Yemen and Somalia... plus their sudden appearance in Iraq after the initial invasion. They have a habit to be where they need to be, much like the 'Al-Mahdi' does on this map.

In general i like it. I ignored it because I couldn't find it on the legend though. You should be using the map symbols for the legend explanations on the top. Crescent for Al-Mahdi, Tanker for the tanker rules, Metropolis', capitals and terrorists for the victory condition... in fact. I wonder if the top legend might work better beneath the other legend. Also, bullet points would be cool because I read the rules like a single sentence, but really they're three different sentences.

But yeah, Al-Mahdi. THis will help make the Middle east less of a strong hold. Take that Saudi princes... The arrow indicated to me that it was part of the Egypt territory, not that it one way attacked it. I'd work out a better way of integrating it into the map than the arrow if I were you. The arrow doesn't really work. I mean, it one way attacks Cairo, yes, but it also one way attacks terrorists too and they don't have arrows.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:46 pm

al mahdi is the 12th Shia imam and reputed to return and revive a global Caliphate. He was also a historical character in the 188os in Sudan - a leader claiming to be the Mahdi, who beat the Brits temporarily, took Khartoum in soudan and set up a theocracy there. So it's all factually based, and more interesting than AQ.

We'll try to put the symbol next to the legend (upper right hand corner btw). And yes, it indicates that it can attack Egypt directly, because that comes in the form of conquest. With the terrorists it'sb much more like a non-terrritorial network activation, since each terrorist unit owned whilst controlling al mahdi generates a +2 bonus.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby MarshalNey on Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:22 pm

Raskholnikov wrote:Sorry, but i do not agree with your analysis. You still look upon this as a traditional gameplay, while I am trying to inject different strategic options and victory conditions. Cutting and changing borders will not only introduce factual inaccuracies on the map, but also channel strategic options in one direction only - national / regional consolidation. This is something I explicitly want to avoid. I explained at length both why, and also the reasons I think national consolidations will occur much easier than you seem to assume from your quantitative analysis of border / bonus ratios and bombardable territories. Also note that bombardments in this game are much more restrained and focused than, for example, in Waterloo or Stalingrad, where artilery / planes can virtually obliterate the entire map.

In short, I propose that on this one, we agree to disagree and see how it works in Beta testing. If it proves to be a critical issue then fine, I'm open to revisions; but not before this concept gets at least a chance to be tested. This is now a question of gameplay vision and strategic preference, and I truly believe map makers should be given some latitude here. We made all changes required of us so far. This is an important point to us and we expect some reciprocity here, guys. It's only fair...


Perhaps this would work better as a PM, but I want it out in the open that the way that I view my contribution as a Foundry CA is as a facilitator of translating a mapmaker's vision for a game into the most workable and engaging set of rules that can be created within the CC framework. In other words, the key for any discussion of gameplay comes from understanding the mapmaker's topic, vision, and goals for the gameplay, and then working with that and shedding anything that is not central to it.

So... I did hear you about the 'no-borders' idea, and I am not at all opposed to this vision of gameplay. It's not a 'traditional view' that has me recommending fewer borders, it's my concern that with your 'no-borders' concept as the map currently stands, the continent bonuses will be 'inert' gameplay elements, a waste of legend space in an already complex map.

If you truly think that the continent bonuses that I listed will not be as difficult as I clearly feel, I will not hold this map up over it. My judgment is by no means infallible, and I accept that you may be right and I may be wrong. But in order to pass this on in good faith, I need to know that you will be prepared to make the necessary changes in Beta should my advice have proved accurate.

That's the trouble with 'waiting until Beta'- since this is the last step in the Foundry process, mapmakers often feel that the map only needs tweaking at that point. Are you prepared to make what will have to be a major revision to the map in Beta? In order to keep the 'no-borders' idea, you'll have to do something drastic like redrawing borders to make more interior regions or making more continent bonuses thus reducing their size and impractibility. Or, you'll have to scrap the 'no-borders' idea, which as I understand it (now) is central to your vision for the map.

Your point about Waterloo, btw, is completely accurate. In that map, most of the continent bonuses are freaking useless in most game types, which I think is a shame. But the map works alright- it just could have been better perhaps. More importantly though, there are a few impassibles on that map. As for Stalingrad, the bombardment points are focused in a much similar fashion to this map, but it also has impassibles.

I'm not saying that a no-impassibles map couldn't work- in fact my Gettysburg map has exactly that idea- but in this case I think it will be a challenge to pull off along with the other concepts you have in place.

-------------------------

As for the victory conditions, yes making the Metroplises (trying a new plural?) attack each other would help out a lot for balancing the two objectives.

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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 pm

Perhaps this would work better as a PM, but I want it out in the open that the way that I view my contribution as a Foundry CA is as a facilitator of translating a mapmaker's vision for a game into the most workable and engaging set of rules that can be created within the CC framework. In other words, the key for any discussion of gameplay comes from understanding the mapmaker's topic, vision, and goals for the gameplay, and then working with that and shedding anything that is not central to it.

I agree totally with this approach and thank you for your continuing input and efforts to make this project succeed.

So... I did hear you about the 'no-borders' idea, and I am not at all opposed to this vision of gameplay. It's not a 'traditional view' that has me recommending fewer borders, it's my concern that with your 'no-borders' concept as the map currently stands, the continent bonuses will be 'inert' gameplay elements, a waste of legend space in an already complex map.

If you truly think that the continent bonuses that I listed will not be as difficult as I clearly feel, I will not hold this map up over it. My judgment is by no means infallible, and I accept that you may be right and I may be wrong. But in order to pass this on in good faith, I need to know that you will be prepared to make the necessary changes in Beta should my advice have proved accurate.

Absolutely. I stated this before and I will reiterate it now: if in Beta testing this emerges as a recurring issue, we commit ourselves to make the necessary changes to effectively address the problem - including substantially revising borders in order to reduce frontier-provinces.

That's the trouble with 'waiting until Beta'- since this is the last step in the Foundry process, mapmakers often feel that the map only needs tweaking at that point. Are you prepared to make what will have to be a major revision to the map in Beta? In order to keep the 'no-borders' idea, you'll have to do something drastic like redrawing borders to make more interior regions or making more continent bonuses thus reducing their size and impractibility. Or, you'll have to scrap the 'no-borders' idea, which as I understand it (now) is central to your vision for the map.

Yes, we are prepared to do this if Beta gameplay experience calls for it. If this calls for a major revision, so be it.

Your point about Waterloo, btw, is completely accurate. In that map, most of the continent bonuses are freaking useless in most game types, which I think is a shame. But the map works alright- it just could have been better perhaps. More importantly though, there are a few impassibles on that map. As for Stalingrad, the bombardment points are focused in a much similar fashion to this map, but it also has impassibles.

The problem with impassables is that they make little sense in 21st century warfare - as opposed to early 19th or even mid-20 century. In fact, as we see in Pakistan / Afghanistan for example, mountains become key points used by both sides to either supply their strong points or withdraw to protect themselves. More to the point, aerial bombardments, drones, missiles, and aircraft carriers make mountains and rivers rather irrelevant in halting enemy attacks. The place where an obstacle would be most needed based on your analysis is the Kazach - Russian border - which, of course, is wide-open steppe; whilst the one place where there is such an onstacle in reality, the Hymalayas, we have Bhutan and Nepal which are not in play, and neutral 4 Kashmir and Arunchal, thus greatly reducing the usefulness of an impassable. Finally, the Caucasus mountains would block Russian access to its former 3 republics - which, as we have seen in Russia's recent invasion of Georgia as well as in the Chechen wars, really doesnt fit in with what is really happening on the ground. This is why we think that impassables such as mountains really have little place on this map.


I'm not saying that a no-impassibles map couldn't work- in fact my Gettysburg map has exactly that idea- but in this case I think it will be a challenge to pull off along with the other concepts you have in place.

Again, we commit outselves to substantially revise territorial borders so as to reduce to your satisfaction border-provinces if Beta testing proves your point.

-------------------------

As for the victory conditions, yes making the Metroplises (trying a new plural?) attack each other would help out a lot for balancing the two objectives.

Super. Will do.

Before starting a new revision, we would like to hear from anyone else who has comments, constructive criticism, or suggestions, so that the next iteration of the map can bring us reasonably close to what will be an acceptable game-play format.

And Ney, thank you again for all the time and effort you are putting into this. The fact that we disagree on one issue does not mean in any way that I do not recognise the extent to which you have contributed to this project, and the fact that it will be better for it when ready. Again, thank you for your advice and suggestions.


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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:21 pm

First off... I figured it out. It's Metropoli.

Second, while your commitment to change is encouraging. What happens if and when the foundry admin says "you need to reduce borders" but you disagree and say its working perfectly as it is? What guarantee do we have that this won't happen? Or that we shall see eye to eye?

Personally, I'd like to see some reduction in borders. Maybe not as extensive as what we've been previously suggesting, but some reduction.

And your argument about Afghanistan and Georgia was a pretty good defense of the lack of impassables. You're right in that it does reflect 21st century warfare of being every at all times, mountains or no mountains. So the lack of impassables is true to modern war but the map is still in 20th century format. I mean, in order to attack georgia from Moscow, you have to go through 4 territories and must control the land to do so. But in 21st century war, you just fly over the territory and the land is of smaller concern. Moscow can launch a blitzkrieg completely without warning. Military logistics have vastly improved so that Moscow can effectively rule up to the Caucasus and they can move uninterrupted. It's hard for me to explain what I'm thinking because I've been drinking beer all night, but the point is that modern logistical improvements should make territories larger because technology allows for a more far-reaching rule.

Figuring this, places like Turkey, Russia, India and China ought to have relatively fewer territories as they are a stronger and more cohesive state. They should be able to move troops with much more ease than a failed state such as Afghanistan (and Pakistan). Failed states ought to have many territories (which they do). But yeah, For at least China, India, Russia and Turkey I think a reduction of maybe one or two territories each would be more in line with what you're trying to create.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:09 am

Second, while your commitment to change is encouraging. What happens if and when the foundry admin says "you need to reduce borders" but you disagree and say its working perfectly as it is? What guarantee do we have that this won't happen? Or that we shall see eye to eye?

Very simple: feedback from players actually using the map. As has been done with many maps before. Actual play has highlighted problems with gameplay and changes were made. It's objective and uncontroversial: players will either like it as is or ask for changes. And, of course, Foundry assistants themselves will hopefully try it out and then have an opinion informed by actual play rather than theorising about it.

So I think we're mature enough to trust each other's word here without demanding a pound of flesh.... Especially since we've pretty much complied with every single other suggestion you all have had... Give us a little bit of latitude here please in something which, at the end of the day, is a matter of opinion....
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby natty dread on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:33 am

Ok, I know it's early for graphical feedback, but Rask explicitly asked for my opinion on it so here goes...

The current graphical theme reminds me of gasoline. Shady blue land areas with colourful glows, it makes the continents sort of look like gasoline spilled on asphalt... especially the minimap. Which is cool, in an oil-themed map. I think you can go ahead with this theme.

There's some things you could improve on... the legend could stand out a bit more. The sea could also have some more contrast to the land. I think you could try making the sea a bit more greenish-blue, make it look sort of dark and muddy. Or you could try the sea colour in the caucasus inset on the main map.

The icons... you seem to have two different styles of icons - tankers/refineries, and all the rest. I think you should try unifying the style of them more. Personally, I think the style of the tankers & refineries suits the theme of the map better. You could also try making the icons more glowy... like they'd be icons on those ridiculous monitors they use in CSI Miami. Sort of Arms Race style. Also you could make the legends more in this style, making them look like some sort of futuristic monitors in a secret army base or something... kinda like what I did in Lunar war, but not exactly... you know?

Also, you could darken the non-playable land areas a bit.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:37 am

So this is what we have so far in terms of changes:

1. Make legend clearer for Al-Mahdi (including adding its symbol in the legend);
2. Add: Metropolises can attack each other;
3. Fleets and Arunchal going from neutral 3 to neutral 4;
4. Revise borders as discussed.
5. Raise country bonuses slightly (anyone has any suggestions by how much?).

How about this:

Russia: 8
China: 7
India, Eastern Europe: 6
Afpak, Iran: 5
Turkey: 4
Middle East: 3

Kazakhstan: 14
Central Asia: 7
Caucasus: 3

Anything else ? Speak now or forever......
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:36 pm

Ok these are the specific changes we're implementing for the next version. Please comment if you have any changes or other suggestions to make. Thanks!

A. Legend:

STRUGGLE FOR OIL
When Demand Outstrips Supply

OIL MASTERY
To Win, hold for 1 round either:
* all 8 Terrorists; or
* any 5 Capitals & 3 Metropolis

SEAS CONTROL
Each Sea connects all bordering
tankers & reverts to 3 neutral

AL-MAHDI (AM)
(insert symbol) Uprisings 1way attack AM;
AM 1way attacks Cairo & all Terrorists;
+2 for each Terrorist if holding AM.

BONUSES (no change)

SPECIAL ATTACKS
Capitals: 1way attack US Fleets
Metropolis: attack each other
US Fleets: revert to 4 neutral;
bombard any Terrorists & Tankers
Bombard range: (same)
Terrorists: attack each other;
bombard any Refineries in
a range of 2 territories

CAUCASUS BONUS: +3 (no change)

REGIONAL BONUSES
Russia: 8
China: 7
India, Eastern Europe: 6
Afpak, Iran: 5
Turkey: 4
Middle East: 3
Kazakhstan: 14
Central Asia: 7
Caucasus: 3

B. On map:

-change Arunchal and both US Fleets from 3 neutral to 4 neutral;
-revise borders of frontier as per map below:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48419011@N06/5375584301/
Last edited by Raskholnikov on Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby ender516 on Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:04 am

"When Supply Outstrips Demand"?? Shouldn't that be the other way around?

I am on the road right now, but I do hope to get to a first draft of the XML this week.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:16 am

LOL Absolutely. Corrected.
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Kabanellas on Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:08 pm

I've been analyzing the game-play for a while... passing the mouse over those numbers in the hopes of getting some assistance from BOB... but no BOB yet :)

Though very complicated, I think that the game-play could be very challenging and interesting.

Some concerns appeared to me right from the start:

-Some of those countries seem quite hard to hold. Especially with those uprisings over the borders. Others might be yielding a bit too much if you add those additional bonus (capitals,refineries,tanks) - have you made a table for this? Widowmakers' bonus spreadsheet
-Will the Tankers and Refineries start neutral? Guess not.... The bonus might be exponential after you take 1 capital....
-I find the upper legend a bit confusing - Seas control?.... Al Mahdi? don't quite get it.....
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Re: Central Asia: -Struggle for Oil - REVISED 18 Jan 11 !

Postby Raskholnikov on Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:26 pm

I've been analyzing the game-play for a while... passing the mouse over those numbers in the hopes of getting some assistance from BOB... but no BOB yet :)

Though very complicated, I think that the game-play could be very challenging and interesting.

Some concerns appeared to me right from the start:

-Some of those countries seem quite hard to hold. Especially with those uprisings over the borders.
Yes, we are reducing some borders as will be seen in the next version.

Others might be yielding a bit too much if you add those additional bonus (capitals,refineries,tanks) - have you made a table for this? Widowmakers' bonus spreadsheet
Yes, we did. The only ones that offers "too much" might be Central Asia and Kazakhstan. This is on purpose, as the game is designed to encourage a "rush to the middle" where a lot of the gas and oil resources are located. AS you may have noted, neither of these has any capital or metropolis, so they are not active players in the "struggle for oil", but rather "the battlefield". Obviosuly, given the title of the map, if a player gains control of these area(s) they have gone a long way towards winning the game. In addition, this win option is counterbalanced by the objective win options. So multiple strategies are available to win.
-Will the Tankers and Refineries start neutral? Guess not.... The bonus might be exponential after you take 1 capital....
Once a player holds a capital, the taker and refinery bonuses are awarded only in multiples (every 2; every 3) in order to avoid such exponential increases. It's quite similar to Napoleonic Europe's bonus scheme for land and naval battles (although I do note that there, all naval battles start 2-neutral; however, here we have not only capitals, but also metropolis, terrorists and uprisings starting neutral so we couldn't add even more territories as neutral without having a totally unbalanced gameplay).
-I find the upper legend a bit confusing - Seas control?.... Al Mahdi? don't quite get it.....
a) Seas control: there are 3 Sea territories. they connect the adjacent territories containing a tanker. They strt as 3 neutral and revert to 3 neutral.
b) Al Mahdi: will add the symbol to the legend. See lower left-hand corner of the map, under Egypt. This represents the religious factor:
Al-Mahdi is the 12th Shia Imam reputed to come back and restore the Khalifate. In the 1880s, a person claiming to be him actually arose, beat the Brits and set up the first Soudanese religious state. It starts as 8 neutral and can be one way attacked by any uprising, thus increasing the role of uprisings and showing that any such uprising could widen in a full-fledged religious mouvement. Al Mahdi can onee-way attack Cairo and any terrorist unit, thus facilitating the creation of a religious-terrorist network capable of meeting one of the winning conditions by objective.

Thanks for your input - much appreciated!
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