Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

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Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby 72o on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:46 pm

Concise description:
  • A different method for playing spoils that would create the ability for the big cashes of bonus armies, yet remove the chance factor that can be of paramount importance in determining a winner in some games.

Specifics:
  • Instead of all the current spoils variations, where a set is always 3 spoils, a tiered value for a set based on the number of spoils you cash.
  • The value of a set doubles with each additional card cashed at the same time.
  • The 3 colors would no longer have any meaning, so you wouldn't have the 3 card cashes and 2 pair game-changers of escalating, nor the deus ex machina flat rate mixed sets.

    1 spoil: 1 troop
    2 spoils: 2 troops
    3 spoils: 4 troops
    4 spoils: 8 troops
    5 spoils: 16 troops
    etc. etc.

This creates a whole new level of strategy for the game.
  • The number of spoils is seen by your opponents, so they know your potential cash at any time.
  • It is exponentially more valuable to hold more spoils, yet this also makes you a prime target.
  • As I already mentioned, the luck factor would cease to exist.

In my vision for this spoils type there will be some coding challenges, to be sure.
  • First, a set can be any number of cards, so coding would have to exist to give the player the option to cash at the beginning of every turn in which they begin while holding spoils.
  • Second, it would have to be made possible to hold more than 5 cards at a time. In theory, there would be no limit. The value of the cash doubles each time, so if someone wants to take that 8th card, it would make their hand worth 128 troops, but it would also mean that if they are eliminated, someone else could cash them in for that or more.
  • Third, the 3 spoils colors would become meaningless, so there'd have to be a way to deal with that.

What do you think?
Last edited by 72o on Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Compounding Spoils

Postby iamkoolerthanu on Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:47 pm

So, its similar to the Poker Spoils, but a little different.. I like both ideas.
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Re: Compounding Spoils

Postby 72o on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:22 am

iamkoolerthanu wrote:So, its similar to the Poker Spoils, but a little different.. I like both ideas.


It is similar in some ways, but Poker Spoils involves a great deal of luck. This removes that luck factor and makes it purely strategical.
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Re: Compounding Spoils

Postby gregory7 on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:26 am

i like it. great idea 72o :D
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Re: Luck-Free Spoils (needs a better name)

Postby 72o on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:20 pm

This needs more input.

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Re: Luck-Free Spoils (needs a better name)

Postby Hornet95 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:39 pm

I like.

As for naming, what about 'Exponential Spoils'?
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Re: Luck-Free Spoils (needs a better name)

Postby frogger4 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:18 pm

I really like it! However, the main issue I see with having cash value=2^(#spoils - 1) is that in the odd case that someone might get 11 spoils, yielding over a thousand armies. That is a fricken huge deployment. While that is unlikely, exponential spoils would create an entirely different game with the strategy based only on the spoils. That might actually be cool and fun, because like you said, it gets rid of the luck. I guess my only issue with it is the potential for SO many armies :shock: perhaps make cash value=1.8^(#spoils - 1) ? so that 1spoil=1, 2spoil=~2, 3spoil=~3, 4spoil=~6, 5spoil=~10, 6spoil=~19, 7spoil=~34, etc. etc. That would introduce the issue of rounding; I don't what to do about that, but with that value, spoils would still be worth a bit but not to the extent of creating a different game.
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Re: Luck-Free Spoils (needs a better name)

Postby 72o on Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:49 pm

frogger4 wrote:I really like it! However, the main issue I see with having cash value=2^(#spoils - 1) is that in the odd case that someone might get 11 spoils, yielding over a thousand armies. That is a fricken huge deployment. While that is unlikely, exponential spoils would create an entirely different game with the strategy based only on the spoils. That might actually be cool and fun, because like you said, it gets rid of the luck. I guess my only issue with it is the potential for SO many armies :shock: perhaps make cash value=1.8^(#spoils - 1) ? so that 1spoil=1, 2spoil=~2, 3spoil=~3, 4spoil=~6, 5spoil=~10, 6spoil=~19, 7spoil=~34, etc. etc. That would introduce the issue of rounding; I don't what to do about that, but with that value, spoils would still be worth a bit but not to the extent of creating a different game.


Having 11 cards comes with a price. You would be the target of everyone else. And, keep in mind, they can cash on any turn, with whatever they've got.

No more luck-boxing your way into a 3 card cash at the penultimate moment to win that 50 round escalating game that should have been mine. No more getting stuck with 2 pair while I laugh and steal your win out from under you.

Sure, 11 cards makes you unbeatable, if you can hold them until you cash. That's a gi-normous IF.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby Timminz on Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:18 pm

I know that the server has had troubles dealing with large build-games in the past. I would hate to see what happens when a couple people decide to play a 30-round speed game, and then cash for more than 200 million troops.

I really like the suggestion, but it would definitely need to have a defined upper limit.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby 72o on Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:35 pm

Timminz wrote:I know that the server has had troubles dealing with large build-games in the past. I would hate to see what happens when a couple people decide to play a 30-round speed game, and then cash for more than 200 million troops.

I really like the suggestion, but it would definitely need to have a defined upper limit.


Agreed. In order to combat people purposefully screwing up the system for seemingly no good reason, we will have to cap it at a certain number of cards. I say 8-10 feels about right. 8 cards would be a cash of 128. 10 cards would be 512. That's plenty. No need to make it any more ridiculous than that.

At 10 cards you would have to cash to be below 10, similar to today's 5 card cap.

Good call, Timminz. Thanks for the feedback.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby 837204563 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:29 pm

This will end up having less strategic depth than escalating spoils. You say that if someone saves up their cards that they will become a target for everyone else. But everyone will be saving their cards, so saving your cards up doesn't make you more or less of a target than anyone else.

Here's why saving your cards is a winning strategy:
Let's call the average number of armies required to completely eliminate a player k. K increases at most linearly (there is a maximum linear increase based on the total number of bonuses and territories on the map which players will tend to approach). This means that, depending on the map, there is a round, let's call it c, in which, having not played any cards so far, the exponential spoils will be enough to wipe a player out, no matter how many troops they have been getting per turn. At this point you turn them in and proceed to wipe one player out, turn in his spoils to kill the next player, and so on.

There is no reliable defense against this strategy. If you cash in before c you can't count on wiping anyone out. It doesn't matter if you use them to increase your deploy because that is only a linear improvement, which can't compare to an exponential improvement from holding cards. If you place them on your own territories it doesn't do you any good either, you merely delay being wiped out by a single turn by the people hoarding their cards (someone wins on c+1 instead of c). Of course luck of various kinds means that this strategy isn't guaranteed, but if 4 players are hoarding cards and 4 players are turning them in, one of the players hoarding cards will win.

However, if you reduced the increase in troops from spoils to something less than exponential (or a low enough exponential increase that c is after any reasonable game can expect to end), but more than linear, this would be a great idea.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby AAFitz on Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:43 pm

what a fun idea, but damn ripe will insanity I suspect.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby Hornet95 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:44 pm

Why don't we do

1 spoil = 1 army
2 spoils = 4 armies
3 spoils = 9 armies
4 spoils = 16 armies
5 spoils = 25 armies

We could still cap at 5 cards to keep the coding simple.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby frogger4 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:51 pm

Hornet95 wrote:Why don't we do

1 spoil = 1 army
2 spoils = 4 armies
3 spoils = 9 armies
4 spoils = 16 armies
5 spoils = 25 armies

We could still cap at 5 cards to keep the coding simple.

that sounds like a pretty fair compromise, to have quadratic spoils rather than exponential. It would keep the numbers within an easily manageable amount while eliminating the luck factor in the other card types. Personally I think have a larger cap than 5, just for fun ;)

837204563 wrote:Here's why saving your cards is a winning strategy:
Let's call the average number of armies required to completely eliminate a player k. K increases at most linearly (there is a maximum linear increase based on the total number of bonuses and territories on the map which players will tend to approach). This means that, depending on the map, there is a round, let's call it c, in which, having not played any cards so far, the exponential spoils will be enough to wipe a player out, no matter how many troops they have been getting per turn. At this point you turn them in and proceed to wipe one player out, turn in his spoils to kill the next player, and so on.

There is no reliable defense against this strategy. If you cash in before c you can't count on wiping anyone out. It doesn't matter if you use them to increase your deploy because that is only a linear improvement, which can't compare to an exponential improvement from holding cards. If you place them on your own territories it doesn't do you any good either, you merely delay being wiped out by a single turn by the people hoarding their cards (someone wins on c+1 instead of c). Of course luck of various kinds means that this strategy isn't guaranteed, but if 4 players are hoarding cards and 4 players are turning them in, one of the players hoarding cards will win.

I agree, however that is exactly what would make this form of spoils really cool; it would be quite different game play and strategy if the numbers increase exponentially. If it didn't affect the game play and strategy some, what would be the purpose of suggesting something like this?

72o wrote:Agreed. In order to combat people purposefully screwing up the system for seemingly no good reason, we will have to cap it at a certain number of cards. I say 8-10 feels about right. 8 cards would be a cash of 128. 10 cards would be 512. That's plenty. No need to make it any more ridiculous than that.

At 10 cards you would have to cash to be below 10, similar to today's 5 card cap.

Good call, Timminz. Thanks for the feedback.

I definitely agree. I would support a limit of 8 cards because near 128 is something you can reach in an escalating game, whereas 256 or 512 is a lot, and like 837204563 pointed out, the only purpose of the game would become the spoils.


So as not to be confused, I think either number of spoils squared like Hornet95 said or a moderate cap on the number of spoils (8 maybe) for exponential would be a good solution. Those would allow for a new non-luck based approach to spoils and introduce some new strategy while not completely changing the whole game.
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Re: Exponential Spoils - Awesomeness Inside

Postby 72o on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:20 pm

I would support the quadratic solution or the 8 card cap. Either one would be great. I'm mainly interested in the strategy, and removal of the chance factor associated with the tri-color scheme all the spoils choices have today.
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