[XML] infected neutrals

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Postby Coleman on Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:08 pm

KoE_Sirius wrote:I think its a brilliant idea.
Agreed. This would also allow some other xml features by creating the possibility of a neutral turn.

That said... I'd rather lack worked on other features on his to-do list first...
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Postby cicero on Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:11 pm

Lone.prophet wrote:if it is alpabetical than it has do do with the luck where you start

maybe make it attack the weakest/strongest territory it can first than if they are the same alpabetical maybe
It does mean that zombie behaviour is affected by the luck of where you start, but that is an element of randomness which already exists at ConquerClub. It is not a new one.

My starting position already determines, to an extent, how well I am going to do in a game. Other players take advantage if I have a weak position. Zombies will have no favourites or enemies and so will not take advantage of your weak position. They will behave as zombies do - predictably and aggressively.

Also somewhat stupidly, so making zombies attack the strongest player is not an option - they don't have that much reasoning ability. [And also for every additional complexity or decision that we incorporate into zombie behaviour the less they are simply another gameplay element - like a map, card set value or continent bonus - and the more they become an AI (artificallly intelligent) player which is not what I am suggesting (and has already been rejected).

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Postby Keredrex on Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:33 pm

I t would also add an interesting twist to Terminator Games..... A Race to stay alive and get SOME points against Opponents and ZOMBALIENS....(?)

I think Its a GREAT Idea.... But The Zombaliens Should Attack Random....
...World2.1 - RED starts on Argentina, Amazonas, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, ...Normally He Should Be Strong... But the ZOMBALIENS (?) Attack...now Green - Parana, Paraguay, Uruguay.. Gets the Continent...
It is possible to start on all the A, B, C, - 1, 2, 3, Territs and get wiped out...Though Rare... Possible!

If they attack Randomly everyone Must play equally Strategic in their Moves and account for the same threat...

Team games would also be very interesting.... But if your team mate deadbeats... Do they now become ZOMBALIENS...(?)... or does your team mate get them or dothey go to Regular Neutrals....It would suck to now be against everybody cause of a deadbeat
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Postby richardgarr on Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:42 pm

I believe that the original idea stated that zombies needed to have 4 or more armies in order to attack, If 1 man is deposited on each zombie terr per turn, attacking would be limited, by making sure a player always attacked a zombie terr , reducing it to 2 armies , it would ensure you would never be attacked by zombies touching your lands, so the zombies would only be able to attack with armies that had 4 or more, alphabetically would be the most random way of doing this. A player with a little foresight could use this tactic to his advantage easily. As well if you try to reduce the zombie to 2 men , a player might lose and then be attacked themselves as a result.
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Postby browng-08 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:08 pm

We need this! We need zombies! I love it! :D
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Postby pepperonibread on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:54 pm

richardgarr wrote:I believe that the original idea stated that zombies needed to have 4 or more armies in order to attack, If 1 man is deposited on each zombie terr per turn, attacking would be limited, by making sure a player always attacked a zombie terr , reducing it to 2 armies , it would ensure you would never be attacked by zombies touching your lands, so the zombies would only be able to attack with armies that had 4 or more, alphabetically would be the most random way of doing this. A player with a little foresight could use this tactic to his advantage easily. As well if you try to reduce the zombie to 2 men , a player might lose and then be attacked themselves as a result.


Just simply random would be better. It probably wouldn't be to much too much trouble to apply the generator at Random.org to zombies, to pick a random territory to attack every time.
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Postby strikercc on Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:36 pm

What would happen on feudal war and those kind of maps?
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Postby dominationnation on Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:29 pm

amagin the alphebetical on Conquerman :lol:
It would just keep going up
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Postby timmytuttut88 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:04 pm

what if zombies win? or they eliminate someones target in an assasin game?
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Postby richardgarr on Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:47 pm

timmytuttut88 wrote:what if zombies win? or they eliminate someones target in an assasin game?




I would recommend that all players involved lose points, based on the same calculations used for regular point loss,...the amount the zombies have could be derived from the average score of all players in the game. Those points would simply go into zombie land, never to be seen again. :D
This might actually help with point inflation.

:D :D 8)
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Postby irltankman on Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:25 am

Remember when risk was played on a table? How did you handle it when your friend said "Man, I am going to bed" at 4AM after an 8 hour game (The board game version of dead beating). If noone was available to take over his turn then:

1) His armies never got any bigger
2) Depending on who was attacking you rolled the defence dice for him

Personally (if there is a feature to implement at all) I would change the inital country assignment so that in games where the number of countries do not evenly distribute among the number of players the extra territories are given to players at random (so some player will start with an exra terrtory with 1 army in it and one of their other territories will have a 2 in it). Again much closer to original risk.

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Postby cicero on Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:40 am

richardgarr wrote:
timmytuttut88 wrote:what if zombies win? or they eliminate someones target in an assasin game?
I would recommend that all players involved lose points, based on the same calculations used for regular point loss,...the amount the zombies have could be derived from the average score of all players in the game. Those points would simply go into zombie land, never to be seen again. :D
This might actually help with point inflation.
If zombies eliminate a target in an assassin game the person whose target it is wins. The fact that the zombie behaviour is predcitable means that this is something all players can take into account when considering their turns: If the zombies are about to eliminate a player's target then the other players should see this and act!

In terminator and standard games points are lost as normal to zombies. My original post suggested a default value of 1000 for the zombies, but this would mean zombies were potentially more harmful to high ranking players. Hence I really like richardgarr's idea that the zombie point value for the purposes of calculating game points is the average of all players in the game.

Points lost - as richardgarr reiterates - are lost to zombie limbo and this will slightly offset points inflation. Remember that zombie wins will naturally be rare. Even the possible 'abuse' of players building up a strong position only to deliberately deadbeat and create a large zombie army is predictable to some extent - if you see a player has missed two consectutive turns it makes sense to start planning for a zombie outbreak. It would seem unlikley that players will do this to spoil a game because, to be in a position to release a large zombie army, the player would naturally be in a strong position anyway and so would have the incentive to stay in the game to try and win.

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Postby cena-rules on Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:43 am

or it could be a set loss of 20 ponits to a zombie
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Postby Twill on Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:32 pm

In the official RISK rules, in a 2 player game, each player also receives a 50% army bonus (in neutral armies) to deploy and play on the neutral territories every turn (i.e. the neutrals a played every round, any unused neutral armies are usable by the opposition on their turn).

There could be some element of this worked into the randomness of the rebels/barbarians/natives/whatevers

Or you could get really cutting edge, set up a rules based system for deciding if they should attack (for an AI coding example, see http://www.robotworldnews.com/100389.php which is cutting edge stuff, or http://weka.sourceforge.net/wekadoc/index.php/en:Primer which is the standard machine learning program) - you provide us the code, we'll provide the test players ;)

Or there are other systems this could be based on other than territory names or randomly. For example, it could be based on who holds the most territories, who has killed the most natives (revenge is sweet), path of least resistance, path of most resistance, closest target (map makers would have to take this into account in their designs), only attack when provoked (i.e. attack only if attacked first), attack if relative player armies in country being attacked is less than 10% or above 75% (easy pickings vs desperation), set by the map maker ("motives"), randomized motive but announced.

I think alphabetical territories is a mistake because in some maps (because this feature hasn't been designed for) the computer would always go one way. Always. For example, in midkemia, Qwan starts with 6 neutrals, it would always attack earennial, which would suck to start there, kind of like alcatraz in LA. - it's just too simple of a system and will get boring after a while, there needs to be uniqueness if not randomness. if you have a classic map, and neutrals end up in kamchatka, they will always attack Alaska, Alberta, Northwest tarritories, greenland, iceland, great britain, n. europe, s. europe, egypt, congo etc etc etc. no matter what the opposition looks like - it's like a one player suiciding in a 3 person stand off - someone always gains and someone always loses, and nobody likes being on the losing side and nobody can control it.

I like the idea, it needs a lot of work before we consider implementing it though :)
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Postby lozzini on Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:02 pm

amazing.. do it... plz
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Postby richardgarr on Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:27 pm

I like the attack when provoked option, If neutral is attacked during round #(arbitrary #) it will attack , so if you need to kill off a neutral to gain a pathway or a bonus (whatever the reason) , you must make sure you are prepared for the retaliatory attack. This would be a good way of players having some control over where, and when a neutral army will be unleashed.
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Postby The Weird One on Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:18 pm

I think this is a good idea.
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Agreed - Neat idea

Postby KingCoolDaddy on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:22 pm

I like it too... Just quirky enough that it might be a blast!
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Postby the_fatty on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:28 pm

The Weird One wrote:I think this is a good idea.


second that
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Postby cicero on Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:49 am

Thanks to all for your posts to date. I am quite excited that so many are straightforward, supportive "let's do it" type replies.
Equally other replies questioning, or suggesting alternatives to, my original post are very thought provoking ...

Twill wrote:Or you could get really cutting edge, set up a rules based system for deciding if they should attack (for an AI coding example, see ... <snip> ... Or there are other systems this could be based on other than territory names or randomly. For example, it could be based on who holds the most territories, who has killed the most natives (revenge is sweet), path of least resistance, path of most resistance, closest target (map makers would have to take this into account in their designs), only attack when provoked (i.e. attack only if attacked first), attack if relative player armies in country being attacked is less than 10% or above 75% (easy pickings vs desperation), set by the map maker ("motives"), randomized motive but announced.
Just to reiterate my position my suggestion is not about AI players. It's an interesting topic, but not for this thread. Perhaps AS players? Artificially Stupid? That describes my zombies pretty well. ;) [Continuing the off topic train of thought - I like the idea that the site provides a programmable AI engine that could, perhaps, be 'programmed' using XML or something. Each of us would be able to write our own AI code and paste it into the engine. There could then be AI tournaments etc with the points going to the programmer ... Like I said - interesting, but off topic ;)]

Twill wrote:I think alphabetical territories is a mistake because in some maps (because this feature hasn't been designed for) the computer would always go one way. Always.
Yes. They would always behave in an utterly predictable manner. (And this will apply equally to maps designed before zombies and those designed specifically with them in mind.) But that doesn't mean you could predict the behaviour with any certainty until it was too late. I'm probably being a bit over the top here, but I think a sub-chaotic behaviour would result. There would be a kind of "butterfly effect" possible in that players could radically change the route of the zombies by attacking tactically.

Twill wrote:For example, in midkemia, Qwan starts with 6 neutrals, it would always attack earennial, which would suck to start there, kind of like alcatraz in LA.
I agree that this option would not suit some maps. And certainly some of the newer maps with pre-defined large numbers of neutrals may not be appropriate. Remember that neutral zombies is intended as an option not a default setting. It should be switchable just like Fog of War. Some maps will suit NZ's (Neutral Zombies) and others won't - we all have our preferences for certain game options on certain maps and this intended to be another option.

Twill wrote:it's just too simple of a system and will get boring after a while, there needs to be uniqueness if not randomness. if you have a classic map, and neutrals end up in kamchatka, they will always attack Alaska, Alberta, Northwest tarritories, greenland, iceland, great britain, n. europe, s. europe, egypt, congo etc etc etc. no matter what the opposition looks like - it's like a one player suiciding in a 3 person stand off - someone always gains and someone always loses, and nobody likes being on the losing side and nobody can control it.
And this is where the sub-chaotic behaviour kicks in I think ...

Firstly I agree that if the set up is on Classic as you describe and this position is at the start of the game. If you ignore all other factors, the NZ's will progress along the route you describe. But those other factors are (i) the players. And we're not going to be ignored!! And (ii) the dice. I think these will affect the zombies route too ...

Let's assume that you, Twill, are a player whom it would suit perfectly for the NZ's to pursue the route described. Fine. You'll do nothing to stop them and will try to make the best of your advantage. However I really don't want them to turn up in Europe and so I'll attack them ... [At this point in my post I began to describe a hypothetical game to illustrate potentially alternate outcomes, but it gets too long to make good reading - see my closing comment.]

Twill wrote:I like the idea, it needs a lot of work before we consider implementing it though :)
I think it needs less work than you think. :) But you've got me thinking enough that I'm going to go and do some play testing on Classic map (since I have the board game) and report back to the thread ...

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Postby richardgarr on Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:57 pm

Just thought I would bump this, so I people might have something other then the million threads on the CC bug, to read.
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Postby hasaki on Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:10 pm

I just read your idea I and i dont think it will work. As you said when the N-army reaches 4 armies it will attack. Apart from a dead beating player the
N-army will never have over 4 armies on any one place at any one time.

So I just don't see the point in having something like this unless the N-armies could build up to a sizable force before attacking.
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Postby richardgarr on Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:57 am

hasaki wrote:I just read your idea I and i dont think it will work. As you said when the N-army reaches 4 armies it will attack. Apart from a dead beating player the
N-army will never have over 4 armies on any one place at any one time.

So I just don't see the point in having something like this unless the N-armies could build up to a sizable force before attacking.



Originally it was suggested that the N armies receive 1 man per terr each turn.
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Postby cicero on Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:12 am

hasaki wrote:I just read your idea I and i dont think it will work. As you said when the N-army reaches 4 armies it will attack. Apart from a dead beating player the N-army will never have over 4 armies on any one place at any one time.

So I just don't see the point in having something like this unless the N-armies could build up to a sizable force before attacking.

Imagine the position on Classic map that Twill suggests above. Let's look at the zombie army on Kamchatka over a few turns.
Note I am ignoring players and any action they might take, ignoring card sets and also I am assuming winning dice on every attack for the zombies.] This serves to better illustrate my response to the point that you have raised although it is certainly not realistic gameplay.

Round 0 - Neutral Zombies (NZ's) in Kamchatka 3 armies.

Round 1 - add 1 army to all NZ territories - Kamchatka 4.
Attacks - Kamchatka to Alaska.
End Position - Kamchatka 1, Alaska 3.

Round 2 - add 1 army to all NZ territories - Kamchatka 2, Alaska 4.
Attacks - Alaska to Alberta.
End Position - Kamchatka 2, Alaska 1, Alberta 3.

Round 3 - add 1 army to all NZ territories - Kamchatka 3, Alaska 2, Alberta 4.
Attacks - Alberta to Northwest Territory.
End Position - Kamchatka 3, Alaska 2, Alberta 1, Northwest Territory 3.

Round 4 - add 1 army to all NZ territories - Kamchatka 4, Alaska 3, Alberta 2, Northwest Territory 4.
Attacks - Northwest Territory to Greenland & Kamchatka to Irkutsk.
End Position - Irkutsk 3, Kamchatka 1, Alaska 3, Alberta 2, Northwest Territory 1, Greenland 3.

Round 5 - add 1 army to all NZ territories - Irkutsk 4, Kamchatka 2, Alaska 4, Alberta 3, Northwest Territory 2, Greenland 4.
Attacks - Greenland to Iceland & Irkutsk to Mongolia.
End Position - Mongolia 3, Irkutsk 1, Kamchatka 2, Alaska 4, Alberta 3, Northwest Territory 2, Greenland 1, Iceland 3.

Round 6 - add 1 army to all NZ territories - Mongolia 4, Irkutsk 2, Kamchatka 3, Alaska 5, Alberta 4, Northwest Territory 3, Greenland 2, Iceland 4.
Attacks - Mongolia to China, Iceland to Great Britain, Alberta to Ontario ...

Which, I guess, is a rather long-winded way of saying "if a zombie army gets isolated it will build up beyond 4". :)

When I first ran through this sequence - as a start to some play testing as mentioned in my previous post - I was concerned that the zombies appeared too strong. They appear to be taking over pretty rapidly don't they?

But this simply confirms that ignoring players makes the gameplay unrealistic.

So I simulated a full game. I dealt random territories to 5 players on the Classic map. [5 x 8 = 40 which leaves 2 neutral territories for the zombies.] I deliberately chose Kamchatka as one of the zombies territories since it had already come up in this thread and the other was randomly assigned - Congo.

I played for each of the players in turn and of course the zombies at the end of the round. The Kamchatka zombies did progress to Alaska and then Alberta, but made it no further - they were wiped out in round 6. The Congo zombies did not progress at all but survived until wiped out in round 4.

The effect of the zombies was relatively subtle - as I would expect, and hope, in such a scenario. Some players in Africa deployed but did not attack - since it made sense to wait for the zombies to attack another player according to the rules - hoping to take advantage after the battle. The player in Africa immediately threatened by the zombies (pink) was able to hold them below the 4 army horde required to make an attack and seemed to use the dynamic to build up a stronghold in that continent. It may have been that the zombies presence made the other players so passive that pink was able to seize the initiative.

In North America green was heavily present, but first lost Alaska to the zombies. Another player lost Alberta, but by this time green had reinforced Northwest Territory and wiped out the zombies before they could attack.

In both areas the players were respectful of the zombies and took care to ensure they didn't gain a stronghold. If they had been ignored - as in the hypothetical example above - it can be seen that they may multiply into a game threatening plague rapidly.

One game does not make for real play testing, but some interesting results I think.

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Postby vrex on Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:59 pm

Personally, a little flair to games is always appreciated. every time someone creates a concept which increases the fun/strategy factor it makes me happy im a part of conquerclub 8).
Perhaps the only places NZ's would not liked in would be those forced neutral maps known as feudal war and the might/magic...except for the crazy people willing to see exactly what would happen. Created maps with NZ's in mind would of course be fine as the map through the forge will be balanced.
BUT due to the fact that NZ's are an OPTION and not a requirement if they were hypothetically implemented we would most likely never see a game with feudal war, NZ on... in the meantime they would add a fun new flair to several maps and spawn several ideas for new ones.
Of course...we still need one person to comment on this... :roll:
In closing i agree wholeheartedly that this should be implemented...but *coughlackcough* needs to state his views as he is 'headmaster'
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