PERSONNEL I'll do all the graphics and XML unless more skilled and experienced volunteers come forward. I'm quite handy with Photoshop and have enough XML experience to get by if someone will answer a few dumb questions for me when the time comes.
STATISTICS Map dimensions: 927 wide by 892 high There are 74 territories of which 30 are "gates" Of the 44 non-gates, 15 are "special" All gates and special terts start with neutral troops Drops for the remaining 29 terts: 2 players: 14 each 3 players: 9 each 4 players: 7 each 5 players: 5 each 6 players: 4 each 7 players: 4 each 8 players: 3 each
BONUSES Bonus for every three territories of any type (as normal) Bonus for every four gates Bonus for getting all three of any of five different special territories, designated by icons and spread across the map
DESIGNER'S NOTES (since rendered partially irrelevant) From Augustus (the first emperor) onward, the succession in Imperial Rome followed no set course. The route to the Imperium often led through the camp of the Praetorian Guards. (Claudius holed up there until the Senate agreed to terms!) At other times, all-out civil wars were fought. Rare was the entirely peaceful and uneventful change of ruler. The legions were often bribed. Bread was given to the plebeians (lower classes). Knights calculated commercial opportunities and advantages carefully. And the aristocracy could rarely be stampeded. Each group had their own source of power and their own way of exerting influence.
Didn't plebs enjoy the gardens? Didn't even the aristos go to the baths? Why so many temples for the Knights? I admit: there's no real rationale behind most of my selections. Some consistency makes things easier for players like me who get easily confused. Thus all gardens and theaters belong to the knights, all baths to the plebs. More important than this is the geographical dispersion/concentration of each class of territory. I've tried to make things interesting in that regard, especially for the end-game.
By making less-than-all the condition for victory I accomplish two things. 1) Avoid drawn-out boring ends waiting for the obvious winner to clean out the last corner, and 2) made it possible (though unlikely) to win with a minority of the troops on the map. You can't hide in a corner and slowly build up strength - someone might steal the game before you get fully unleashed.
It was easy enough for me to imagine, as I squeezed 77 territories into the city, that someone would say, "But hey! The baths of Constantine aren't right next to the baths of Diocletian. Grrrr." So I added the on-map note regarding approximation. If anyone gets really upset during the forging I'll certainly try to accommodate specific requests for greater accuracy of placement. (The Via Salaria in particular is something of a figment of my imagination as far as the routing and length goes.)
QUESTIONS (can now be ignored) • Colors and color-blindness: do I need to revise things? Please give me advice. • Just inside the camp of the Preatorians, I could find nothing relevant on any historical map, but knowing how soldiers are I named a territory "Houses of Ill Repute". Please let me know if this is objectionable, or if you can find a real landmark I can use there. • I use an HP ZR24w monitor - it's very nice. Am I seeing a much better picture than members using smaller/older/cheaper/whatever monitors? How much allowance should I make for readability at levels of clarity less than I'm used to? • This map is 655x655 - I need advice regarding large/small and what size my next draft should be.
Last edited by Minister X on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:00 pm, edited 32 times in total.
Nola_Lifer wrote:You need some consistency. You use Latin names on the map and english translation on the legend. Everyone isn't going to know what via or porta mean in english.
The human brain's a funny thing; at least mine is. In the back of my mind I knew I had this problem, but it never registered hard enough to get the attention needed. Thanks for making it stand out. I'll address it next chance. (Great lesson on the value of independent review, huh?)
Very perceptive criticism. I've revised the victory conditions, and that allowed me to really revise the graphics. Gone are all those confusing colors. The game now centers on the gates and roads, with a few additional spots being part of small bonuses. Everything is cleaner and easier.
I'm glad to see you changed the bonus scheme. Holding any of those areas could have given any player an advantage on the drop, and even now it would be interesting to see the stats on holding 3 of those symbols on the drop (unless you plan to start them with neutrals)
Minister X wrote:... Yes, I know the symbols are Greek, not Roman, but can you think of better ones? Any suggestions would be welcomed.
As for this, you could do something similar to what i did with Poison Rome and create some Roman temple/building icons...lot of work to get them looking good, but well worth the effort. Only a suggestion. I'm sure there'll be other offerings of what you could do.
I tried columns, eagles, helmets, laurel wreaths, and a few other things. I can't make them work - not in the tiny spaces I have. I need letter-sized icons, which pretty much means... letters. Or colored dots.
Minister X wrote:I tried columns, eagles, helmets, laurel wreaths, and a few other things. I can't make them work - not in the tiny spaces I have. I need letter-sized icons, which pretty much means... letters. Or colored dots.
Ah, your map doesn't have to be 655 x 655. With supersizing, you can have a large map up to 1400 px wide (i think) as long as the large map is 9% larger that than the small map. But you probably don't need to go to those widths with this one. But it does leave some options other than trying to squeeze artwork into small spaces.
sannemanrobinson wrote:It looks like all adjacent regions connect to each other. Some impassibles like the river or walls would be welcome.
So obvious! Great suggestion. I revised the graphics so there are now both walls and normal borders. Gates in the walls, bridges over the river = good complexity to feed tactical hunger. Added a territory. Now there are 78 territories; 30 of them are gates and are needed to win.
In a two-man game there's a (hugely) remote possibility of a win on the drop. In any case, someone could get a 2:1 advantage on gates without the laws of probability being stretched very far. I have one idea to fix that: forget about these victory conditions. Instead, award bonuses for holding: • any 10 of the 30 gates • any 20 • all 30 Any suggestions on the sizes of these bonuses? Is this a good idea?
Thanks for the impassibles. The map is good to comprehend now. I would suggest making territory borders a bit thinner so they look less like impassibles. For example the border between Tomb of Augustus and Temple to Neptune looks better.
I wouldt worry about the drop with a victory condition. To make a chance of holding the victory condition a player has to hold some bonusses or sweep the board with escalating cards. Both strategies do not depend on the number of gates at the drop.
A possibility of giving a bonus to the gates is to replace the territory bonus with a gate bonus. For example if you hold 4 + X gates you get +3 + X/2 and no territory bonus. So 4 troops for 6 gates, 5 troops for 8 gates etc. There are many possible uses so keep playing with them!
I hate giving up the normal territory bonus of +1 for each three held (if that's what you mean - I'm uncertain if I'm reading you correctly). Some territories, like Baths of Helena and Gardens of Pallas would become totally worthless.Can't the #gates bonus be in addition - same as any normal continent bonus except that the 10 you need to hold are any 10 of the 30 instead of X number of specific constituents of the continent?
It is possible of course to give a bonus for 10 out of 30 and 20 out of 30. In my opinion this favours the one with +10 or +20 gates at the drop because the troop bonus will be somewhat high and it could be that the game is determined at the drop in 1v1 games. With a more gradual scale like one troop bonus for every 2 or 4 has the same problem but can be fought back in smaller steps.
If you still consider giving a bonus to the gates, why not make them starting neutrals?