[XML] infected neutrals

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Postby dim3wit on Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:20 am

I'm with Mitchmitch11. "Zombies" sounds a little dumb.

Also, what if the territories are passive aggressive? So the neutral territories act normal until you attack them, then they hold a grudge... Would that style be best on a territory by territory or map-wide basis?
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randomize instead of alphabetical

Postby PLAYER57832 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:39 am

Like it, but wouldn't it be better to randomize the attacks rather than have them automatically attack alphabetically. Also, I would say randomize whether armies are pushed forward or remain (all or nothing, no in-between). With the possible exception if there is NO other territory near the attacking country -- that is, so attacks would end, regardless of numbers of armies.

That is, zombie is near countries A, B, C. zombie attacks B ... and either moves all deployable survivors onto B or not, depending on randomized answer. If 4 remain, attack proceeds.

OR zombie is near only C, attacks and automatically moves all armies onto C.
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Postby KoE_Sirius on Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:31 am

I think its a brilliant idea.
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Re: randomize instead of alphabetical

Postby cicero on Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:42 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:Like it, but wouldn't it be better to randomize the attacks rather than have them automatically attack alphabetically. Also, I would say randomize whether armies are pushed forward or remain ... etc
PLAYER57832 and several other posters have suggested incorporating various elements of randomness into the behaviour of the zombies.

This completely spoils the behaviour and, I would suggest, makes it less likely that the idea will be implemented [purely predictable behaviour as described will be simple to code and quick to execute - no need for calls to the external random number source].

But this simplicity of implementation is not the driving reason behind my belief that the behavour should be predictable: There is already enough randomness in the CC experience. Increasing the randomness decreases the skill factor and, in relation to my suggestion, would remove the possibility for many of the tactics suggested ...

If you don't know which way the zombies will go then you can't deliberately release them to attack another player. If you don't know which way the zombies will go then you don't know if you need to head them off to stop them giving away an assassin game ... etc, etc.

The behaviour has to be predictable. And yes, alphabetically by territory name so that it is not open to abuse by players choosing to call themselves "zzzthethird" and is open to exploitation by map makers. I'd love to see what the creative types in the Foundry would make of it ...

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Postby Lone.prophet on Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:53 pm

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
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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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