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Re: The King's Court (version 14)

Postby mattattam on Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:48 am

What about just making the Noble family members start neutral.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14)

Postby Kabanellas on Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:09 am

That was the initial intention, but we ended up making the nobles starting positions as well because of the chance (though remote) of a player being eliminated in the first round.

Anyway we might have some good suggestions now.

The primarily issues that we need to address at the moment are:

-The possibility of this turning out to be an elimination map were all players will just pill up to reach for the King

-The map be played mainly on the Court rather than on the ground.

-The Lord Chamberlain being a too strong position for 1v1 games were the first player could easily grab it while transferring one of his Castles’ stacks there, making an easy 4 army bonus (4 nobles) + 1 auto-deploy that the second player could never disrupt on its turn.

Possible solutions:

-Make the starting positions on Nobles rather than on both the nobles and the castles. (no first round stacks to be used now) (Castles would start with 2 neutral troops - assigned Nobles would start with 2 troops to which a player would add the initial drop of 3 - making the first round a 5v2 against the castle

-Increase neutral starters in the Lord Chamberlain from 3 to 5

-Disable the 1 auto-deploy from the Nobles

-Make the bonus in other features on the map more appealing decreasing the Castle auto-deploy bonus to 2

-The fact that most of the bonus is in auto-deploy mode will greatly work against any kind of pilling up and will encourage empire building.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby mattattam on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

I like your possible solutions besides the first one. I don't like the idea of the castles starting neutral. It's not a very appealing map to me if I only start on the nobles. I think the issue may be solved with a combination of these.

My only other solution would be to nurf the Chamberlain's bonus. For example instead of +1 for every family member held, it could be +1 for holding, +1 auto-deploy, and +1 with King. That way players will go for other Council members since they all will be more equal, while having their own distinct advantages.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:57 pm

Well, it would almost be the same. It would only be a matter of 1 or 2 rounds till every player has its respective Castle... and we wouldn’t have to bother about those initial stacks from Castles.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:49 pm

OK, I think a couple things in the rules need some clarification... the big thing is whether or not archers and other bombarding territories can also attack outside of their hex.

The other thing is minor, but with the Duke or Bishop you mean hold two knights/villages for +2, a player must also hold the bishop of Duke, correct? It seems clear enough but its worded strangely as to imply that without the council member it still might be possible. I can't say whether or not it should be changed, as it might just be me.

The killer neutrals on the Trebuchets seem rather high considering they don't do much more than a catapult. I'd recommend neutral 2 or 3.

There appears to be an unfair advantage a player might have... it seems half the castles have two villages adjacent while others only have one adjacent to the castle. I'm thinking it should be all one way or the other. Unless you've balanced this already somehow and i"m not seeing it.

There's a few quirks in the map that I'm on the fence with how to deal with them. For example, castle F is at some sort of advantage in that no impassable archer is nearby, while the other castles have to deal with this. Is it an undue advantage? I dunno, because should you really have to be able to take out a player's base through the same methods 8 times? Probably not, there could be a different best solution to each castle, but the question is: is there a fair enough solution to assaulting castle f? Like i said, I'm on the fence with it. Thoughts?

Like the above example, Castle H is pretty well surrounded by neutrals whereas the other castles usually have a path of 1s leading right to them.

Which leads to perhaps an unanswerable question... how will these games play out? If its anything like the other conquer maps, players are going to sit on their castles and wait. But I think there is enough incentive to not do this, given the surrounding bonuses. How do you anticipate the games will play out?
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:45 am

Thank you helix for your input!!!

Industrial Helix wrote:OK, I think a couple things in the rules need some clarification... the big thing is whether or not archers and other bombarding territories can also attack outside of their hex.


There's an entry in the bottom right legend clarifying that. And you can read: ' Archers, Catapults and Trebuchets can only bombard unless stated otherwise'

The killer neutrals on the Trebuchets seem rather high considering they don't do much more than a catapult. I'd recommend neutral 2 or 3.


They will start with 3 neutral troops on them. They are the only region that can be assaulted by catapults ( and where you can use those 2 auto-deploy troops that catapults produce). Trebuchets can be quite useful to bombard Castles and near by productions.

There appears to be an unfair advantage a player might have... it seems half the castles have two villages adjacent while others only have one adjacent to the castle. I'm thinking it should be all one way or the other. Unless you've balanced this already somehow and i"m not seeing it.


That was intentional, to compensate the possible advantages of Castles on corners.

There's a few quirks in the map that I'm on the fence with how to deal with them. For example, castle F is at some sort of advantage in that no impassable archer is nearby, while the other castles have to deal with this. Is it an undue advantage? I dunno, because should you really have to be able to take out a player's base through the same methods 8 times? Probably not, there could be a different best solution to each castle, but the question is: is there a fair enough solution to assaulting castle f? Like i said, I'm on the fence with it. Thoughts?


I still don't (really) know if having those 'reachable' archers will work as an advantage or a disadvantage.... on one hand they are easy to reach from Castle F, on the other this castle will be more exposed to archers than the other Castles.... It's just that I personally don't like symmetries for this kind of situations. :)

Like the above example, Castle H is pretty well surrounded by neutrals whereas the other castles usually have a path of 1s leading right to them.


Chip and I, we've been talking about the 1's, not only there but across the entire map. We strongly believe that much of those 1's will not necessarily be used. What I'm trying to say concerning Castle H situation (this could be applied to the other castles as well), is that people will reach it by Trebuchets and Archers than by just travelling trough the 1's.

Which leads to perhaps an unanswerable question... how will these games play out? If its anything like the other conquer maps, players are going to sit on their castles and wait. But I think there is enough incentive to not do this, given the surrounding bonuses. How do you anticipate the games will play out?


That's the million dollar question here. We (Chip and I) definitely don't want a 'pill up your stack and kill your opponent in 3 rounds' kind of map.

The bonus structure (as addressed in the previous posts) will surely prevent that. The large amount of these bonus are autodeployable but generous, so standing still while getting fat will turn to be very unprofitable.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:28 pm

..is there someone out there...?
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby mattattam on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:53 pm

I've been keeping up with this map. I never got the second part of my last question answered and it seems like you and chipv have taken over the discussion on what should be done. I'm not complaining but it may leave others like myself feel their feedback is not noted. That is my impression.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Industrial Helix on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:25 pm

To be honest, I'm pretty content with the way you've answered my questions. The big question, which can't be revealed now, is how this map is going to play out. Will players stack or will they attack?
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Evil DIMwit on Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:14 pm

I'm sorry if a CA analysis is taking a while. This is a fairly complicated map of the sort that takes a decent chunk of time to analyze; once one of us finds the time we'll give a nice, thorough review. Hopefully that won't be too long.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby chipv on Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:04 pm

mattattam wrote:I like your possible solutions besides the first one. I don't like the idea of the castles starting neutral. It's not a very appealing map to me if I only start on the nobles. I think the issue may be solved with a combination of these.

My only other solution would be to nurf the Chamberlain's bonus. For example instead of +1 for every family member held, it could be +1 for holding, +1 auto-deploy, and +1 with King. That way players will go for other Council members since they all will be more equal, while having their own distinct advantages.


Castles are starting positions. Only the unassigned castles would be neutral otherwise you would get an uneven drop of castles.
The nobles being starting positions was a first attempt to prevent an outside shot of killing on the first turn.
This involves hitting through ones and grabbing a trebuchet, theoretically making a quick kill possible before the other
player has taken a turn which is not going to please anybody.

Your second comment I can certainly get behind as the Chamberlain is going to be more attractive than the other counsellors, I agree.
In fact this is one of my concerns that the map gets decided in the Court even though that is the map's title, I don't like seeing
virtual dead territories. I would agree to weaken everything in the Court to facilitate this. What I want to prevent is securing a
counsellor that has an autodeploy and simply forting from the Castle. The only way to do this I think is to remove the autodeploy
and offer some other attraction like perhaps +2 with any counsellor, ideas welcome.

Your comments are not being ignored, I have been horrendously busy, sorry about that,please keep your posts coming!
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:10 am

chipv wrote:What I want to prevent is securing a counsellor that has an autodeploy and simply forting from the Castle.


The best way to solve that problem would be to make the Nobles the ONLY starting positions (to avoid initial stacks from castles), removing the auto-deploy from the nobles, while adding a castle+noble bonus and raising the Lord Chamberlain starting neutrals to 5. This would make the assault on castles mandatory and favour the expansion on ground.

This is what I'm proposing in terms of starting neutrals and starting positions :

-all other regions would start with 1 neutral in them
-Starting positions would start with 1 on which you'll add the +3 initial drop (players would have a 4v1 shot to grab their castle)

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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:39 am

mattattam wrote:My only other solution would be to nurf the Chamberlain's bonus. For example instead of +1 for every family member held, it could be +1 for holding, +1 auto-deploy, and +1 with King. That way players will go for other Council members since they all will be more equal, while having their own distinct advantages.



Matta, I did consider it, the way you said. And I'm not putting it aside though, it's just that I would like to make it exponential like the other counsellors.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby MarshalNey on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:34 pm

Hellooo, everyone. Love the map! =D>

I PMed the mapmakers to get my bearings, and based upon Kab's reply I think I have an idea of the underlying concept for the gameplay on this map.

That said, let me outline my concerns:

The Proposed Changes
Kabanellas wrote:This is what I'm proposing in terms of starting neutrals and starting positions :

-all other regions would start with 1 neutral in them
-Starting positions would start with 1 on which you'll add the +3 initial drop (players would have a 4v1 shot to grab their castle)


I heartily support all other regions being at 1 neutral.

With the starting positions, however, I think more than 1 troop is needed.

Consider that a 4 vs. 1 attack has only an 80% chance of success on the first try- that means a 1 in 5 chance of failure. So, consider an 8-player game: there's a very good chance that at least one player will fail to take their castle... not a very fun start.

I'm also a little hesitant about using the nobles to attack the castle. Yes, it fixes the problem of 1st-turn kills (14% was a problem) but it also feels like a clunky fix. If I were a player in such a game, and there was only 1 logical place to attack on my first turn, I'd be asking myself, "Why didn't I just start there instead?" The first round becomes effectively a 'dead round' where everyone just takes (or tries to) their castle on their first turn.

If it needs to be, it needs to be, but I'm keen to look for other solutions, as it will definitely add some frustration and detract from an otherwise fun map.

Too Many Spare Parts
When I first read this map, I was a bit overwhelmed. The text itself is fairly clear, as is the map... there are just too many mechanics in play.

Most of what I'm talking about here is the multiple instructions for each icon, when only one or two of those mechanics seem to have a unique, thematic purpose.

Now, I must say that this map does a very good job establishing thematic gameplay purpose and giving uniqueness to that gameplay :D But sometimes, it proceeds to add on more stuff that may be overloading the map and adding little.

Take, for instance, the Councillors. Here is a family of icons that seem to have a unique and thematic element as follows:
(1) They give access to the King
(2) They activate bonuses for holding groups of related icons throughout the map- in some cases superbonuses, in some cases initial bonuses, but always they encourage taking over a group of icons

The Duke encourages players to gather Knights; the Bishop prompts them to collect villages. So far so good.

But what about the Lord Chamberlain? There are three different instructions on that Councillor:
    (1) +1 autodeploy
    (2) +1 with King
    (3) +1 for every family member

I very much like (3), it seems to be in thematic step with the other Councilors. Plus, it encourages players to pursue a group of icons- Family Members- who otherwise give no bonus. This adds depth to the gameplay, and yet by using the same formula as the other Councillors, does not add complexity because the mechanic is essentially the same (if that makes sense).

What does (1) accomplish, however? It only encourages a player to hold onto the Chamberlain for its own sake- no connection with the other Councillors. A similar question is posed for (2). Why does a player need encouragement to pursue the King? He's powerful enough in his own right.

You've already had to increase the Chamberlain neutral to 5 because he's more powerful than the other Councillors- perhaps, you could bring him back in line with the others, and at the same time get rid of needless complexity on the map.

The Field Marshal could perhaps benefit from a single instruction as well. He has two at the moment:
    (1) +1 per Catapult
    (2) 1 way assaults Archers and Trebuchets

I like (1), for the same reasons as I liked (3) for the Chamberlain- it fits with the thematic mechanic for the Councillors.

But (2), however handy, has all sorts of unwanted side effects. First, it largely eliminates any need for a player to need access to the King; with the Field Marshal, a player can attack any neighboring Archer (or Trebuchet) and bombard a Castle. True, a player can't take the Castle for himself, but it nevertheless acts as the kind of 'quick strike' attack that the King also offers. Second, it involves two different families of icons- catapults/trebuchets and archers- which adds complexity to no apparent purpose.

Quick-Strikes
I mentioned this in the PM I sent out, but I'll summarize what I said here.

I don't like the Catapult-Trebuchet mechanic as it stands. In light of the fact that the purpose of the map is to encourage empire-building and pursuing multiple strategies, I think the "Stack, Stack... Strike!" strategy runs against the spirit of this map. And yet the Catapult-Trebuchet mechanic encourages exactly that type of behavior.

There already is a good, late-game "Quick Strike" mechanic available- the King. I don't think another is needed (another reason, btw, to modify the Field Marshal too).



OK, that's all I've got for now. I do have some suggestions for improving the clarity of the icons and legend, but that's minor really and can wait until the larger gameplay issues have been settled.

Keep up the fantastic work, and thanks for all the hours of enjoyment I've had on your maps, Kabanellas- I look forward to this one! :D
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:17 am

Thanks a lot Marshal for such a detailed analysis.

MarshalNey wrote:With the starting positions, however, I think more than 1 troop is needed.

Consider that a 4 vs. 1 attack has only an 80% chance of success on the first try- that means a 1 in 5 chance of failure. So, consider an 8-player game: there's a very good chance that at least one player will fail to take their castle... not a very fun start.


I could raise it of course :) ... but if you think about it it's not very much different from the New world map, where you'll start with 10 to assault 3 (homelands versus landing points - 96,7% chance) while 4vs1 will be a bit lower at 91,6 %

I just though of making them lower so when you start with 2 nobles you don't get a chance of trying a lucky shot and grab 2 castles - if nobles started with 2 that would likely happen. But again, I can change it. :)

I'm also a little hesitant about using the nobles to attack the castle. Yes, it fixes the problem of 1st-turn kills (14% was a problem) but it also feels like a clunky fix. If I were a player in such a game, and there was only 1 logical place to attack on my first turn, I'd be asking myself, "Why didn't I just start there instead?" The first round becomes effectively a 'dead round' where everyone just takes (or tries to) their castle on their first turn.


We could revert the starting positions to the Castles - but we'd have to lower all starting troops. Lets see:

we could start with 2 in the castles - on which will add 3 + the 2 bonus auto-deploy, equalling 7. Seems a pretty reasonable number. The Nobles should start with neutral 1 and yield a 1 auto-deploy bonus.

I'd honestly prefer to make the Castles the starting points if you guys see no problem with these numbers.

Take, for instance, the Councillors. Here is a family of icons that seem to have a unique and thematic element as follows:
(1) They give access to the King
(2) They activate bonuses for holding groups of related icons throughout the map- in some cases superbonuses, in some cases initial bonuses, but always they encourage taking over a group of icons

The Duke encourages players to gather Knights; the Bishop prompts them to collect villages. So far so good.

But what about the Lord Chamberlain? There are three different instructions on that Councillor:
    (1) +1 autodeploy
    (2) +1 with King
    (3) +1 for every family member

I very much like (3), it seems to be in thematic step with the other Councilors. Plus, it encourages players to pursue a group of icons- Family Members- who otherwise give no bonus. This adds depth to the gameplay, and yet by using the same formula as the other Councillors, does not add complexity because the mechanic is essentially the same (if that makes sense).

What does (1) accomplish, however? It only encourages a player to hold onto the Chamberlain for its own sake- no connection with the other Councillors. A similar question is posed for (2). Why does a player need encouragement to pursue the King? He's powerful enough in his own right.


in the Lord Chamberlain case, I felt the need to add the extra layer bonus, to make them compatible with the other in terms of gains. In 5,6,7,8 players games adding family members will be quite difficult, while the Duke and the Bishop have a better capability of enlarging their owner bonus.

So the other 2 layers appear naturally - for conceptual reasons the Chamberlain + the King makes perfect sense to me, while the + 1 auto-deploy could fit in the logic of him being the most influential member of the court.

...anyway, I'm willing to change these for another possibility. Couldn't find a better one though....

The Field Marshal could perhaps benefit from a single instruction as well. He has two at the moment:
    (1) +1 per Catapult
    (2) 1 way assaults Archers and Trebuchets


again, the same reasons apply here. Catapults are few and hard to get. So giving him a more operational feature could apart from compensating the less-bonus characteristic, be inside the logic of what a Field Marshal should be.

I could, of course, lower his power by giving him access to only 'S' Archers, for instances.

Quick-Strikes
I mentioned this in the PM I sent out, but I'll summarize what I said here.

I don't like the Catapult-Trebuchet mechanic as it stands. In light of the fact that the purpose of the map is to encourage empire-building and pursuing multiple strategies, I think the "Stack, Stack... Strike!" strategy runs against the spirit of this map. And yet the Catapult-Trebuchet mechanic encourages exactly that type of behavior.


I'm good with changing these mechanics, and so is chip. :)

I just want to maintain the production line concept for catapults viable. But how could we make it work in some other way? I guess we'll have to think about it....
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby MarshalNey on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:45 pm

Kabanellas wrote:I could raise it of course ... but if you think about it it's not very much different from the New world map, where you'll start with 10 to assault 3 (homelands versus landing points - 96,7% chance) while 4vs1 will be a bit lower at 91,6 %...


Well, the 91.6% is only if a player is willing to attack down to their very last troop- something I am sometimes reluctant to do, as each attack is of course independent in terms of odds... in other words, once I know that my best chance (a 4 vs. 1 = 80%) has definitely failed, then the odds of success are reset to a lower level. There's no "I'm due for a break" aspect in actual practice, truly random, independent events invite streaks. So I think it's fairer to use 80%, given that more level-headed players might naturally want to stop after a failed 4 vs. 1 or possibly even a 3 vs. 1 (since the odds are still "favorable" with 3 vs. 1).

Even if we assume that all players are willing to be gutsy and attack down to their last troop, however, that still leaves an 8.4% chance per 8-player game that someone won't take their castle. That's 1 in 12, so on average every other 8-player game this will happen to someone. I think it's a big enough deal to avoid, because it will highlight the more frustrating aspects of the Risk mechanic for every 12th player on this map.
Just imagine all the whining and complaining it will generate... <shudder>

Kabanellas wrote:I just though of making them lower so when you start with 2 nobles you don't get a chance of trying a lucky shot and grab 2 castles - if nobles started with 2 that would likely happen. But again, I can change it.


This is a good reason, but I think the one above is better.

Kabanellas wrote:We could revert the starting positions to the Castles - but we'd have to lower all starting troops. Lets see:

we could start with 2 in the castles - on which will add 3 + the 2 bonus auto-deploy, equalling 7. Seems a pretty reasonable number. The Nobles should start with neutral 1 and yield a 1 auto-deploy bonus.

I'd honestly prefer to make the Castles the starting points if you guys see no problem with these numbers.


This is my number one choice as well- then we can make all the talk of Noble starting values moot :D

Your numbers sound good- starting at 2, yielding 7 on the first turn to work with. With a 1-value neutral adjacent, everyone should be able to take a card in Spoils games as well... or if they don't, it's their own fault or crazy bad luck.

I especially think that this will work if the quick-strike aspect of the catapults is removed(see below), since that problem seems to have been the main reason that the castles became neutral in the first place.

Kabanellas wrote:...I just want to maintain the production line concept for catapults viable. But how could we make it work in some other way? I guess we'll have to think about it....


Well... I've been thinking about it a bit.

The biggest improvement I think might be to just get rid of the trebuchets entirely. It's one less icon, which makes the map more accessible to players.

This is nothing glamorous, but how about making more catapult icons, say spaced 3 apart, which would work much like the Archers in terms of 'development'? Each catapult can assault other nearby catapults, gradually progressing within range of the castle itself.

There seem to be places where you could put catapults on existing impassibles (if they were changed from mountains or lakes, that is), but this idea might mean shuffling some of them around... dunno.

I think this idea has two benefits, besides of course getting rid of possible early-game kills:
    (1) Only one icon, just like the Knights and Archers, and a familiar mechanic
    (2) More catapults to make the Field Marshal's bonus stronger

While similar in progress to the Archers, the Catapults would then offer a different set of possibilities. First, they would get you within range of the Castle with just 3 icons, instead of 4 icons with the archers. Second, they provide a more powerful bonus (+2), which makes them a better long-game set of icons to hold.

I think you could play with positioning Catapults in order to offer other differences with the Archers as well... possibly...

Kabanellas wrote:...again, the same reasons apply here. Catapults are few and hard to get. So giving him a more operational feature could apart from compensating the less-bonus characteristic, be inside the logic of what a Field Marshal should be.

I could, of course, lower his power by giving him access to only 'S' Archers, for instances...


I like it. Certainly attacking only 'S' Archers would be a step in the right direction. If you got rid of the Trebuchets, limited the assaults to only 'S' Archers, and then increased the number of catapult icons... that might make him 'worthy', while reducing the number of instructions on the icon.

Kabanellas wrote:...in the Lord Chamberlain case, I felt the need to add the extra layer bonus, to make them compatible with the other in terms of gains. In 5,6,7,8 players games adding family members will be quite difficult, while the Duke and the Bishop have a better capability of enlarging their owner bonus.

So the other 2 layers appear naturally - for conceptual reasons the Chamberlain + the King makes perfect sense to me, while the + 1 auto-deploy could fit in the logic of him being the most influential member of the court.

...anyway, I'm willing to change these for another possibility. Couldn't find a better one though....


well, the Chamberlain is overpowered now (or considered to be at 5 neutral), so surely one of the two layered bonuses can go.

How about, for now, keeping the +1 autodeploy and getting rid of the 1 bonus for having the King (since that one is the weaker of the two)? Or, if you really want to keep the King bonus, make it bigger... say +2, and get rid of the autodeploy.

Kabanellas wrote:Thanks a lot Marshal for such a detailed analysis


No problem, this map deserves it.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby chipv on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:51 pm

Outstanding posts, MarshalNey. Quite outstanding. I will post when I have something worthy of responding with.

Bravo!
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby chipv on Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:39 pm

I'm posting from a gameplayer's point of view as I don't want to make a map I don't want to play.

MarshalNey wrote:With the starting positions, however, I think more than 1 troop is needed.

Consider that a 4 vs. 1 attack has only an 80% chance of success on the first try- that means a 1 in 5 chance of failure. So, consider an 8-player game: there's a very good chance that at least one player will fail to take their castle... not a very fun start.

I'm also a little hesitant about using the nobles to attack the castle. Yes, it fixes the problem of 1st-turn kills (14% was a problem) but it also feels like a clunky fix. If I were a player in such a game, and there was only 1 logical place to attack on my first turn, I'd be asking myself, "Why didn't I just start there instead?" The first round becomes effectively a 'dead round' where everyone just takes (or tries to) their castle on their first turn.

If it needs to be, it needs to be, but I'm keen to look for other solutions, as it will definitely add some frustration and detract from an otherwise fun map.


Totally agreed. I would not like to start with 4v1. This limits the decisions on the first turn, whereas more dice rolls means more options for strategy. I also agree that the nobles is not a great fix. More thought into this for me suggests more neutrals on the Court. This would both prevent quick kills and delay use of the Court until players were strong enough - this gives the game 2 stages which I like.
You could opt for a direct strike or go through the Court... at roughly the same time. This would be awesome for fog games.

MarshalNey wrote:Take, for instance, the Councillors. Here is a family of icons that seem to have a unique and thematic element as follows:
But what about the Lord Chamberlain? There are three different instructions on that Councillor:
    (1) +1 autodeploy
    (2) +1 with King
    (3) +1 for every family member
I very much like (3), it seems to be in thematic step with the other Councilors.
What does (1) accomplish, however? It only encourages a player to hold onto the Chamberlain for its own sake- no connection with the other Councillors. A similar question is posed for (2). Why does a player need encouragement to pursue the King? He's powerful enough in his own right.


I think Kab and I discussed this and agree with removing the autodeploy.
I also think your suggestion works so keep just (3)

MarshalNey wrote:The Field Marshal could perhaps benefit from a single instruction as well. He has two at the moment:
    (1) +1 per Catapult
    (2) 1 way assaults Archers and Trebuchets

I like (1), for the same reasons as I liked (3) for the Chamberlain- it fits with the thematic mechanic for the Councillors.

But (2), however handy, has all sorts of unwanted side effects. First, it largely eliminates any need for a player to need access to the King; with the Field Marshal, a player can attack any neighboring Archer (or Trebuchet) and bombard a Castle. True, a player can't take the Castle for himself, but it nevertheless acts as the kind of 'quick strike' attack that the King also offers. Second, it involves two different families of icons- catapults/trebuchets and archers- which adds complexity to no apparent purpose.


I think keeping the theme of Councillor + Collection is less complicated, I am ok with this also.

MarshalNey wrote:
I don't like the Catapult-Trebuchet mechanic as it stands.


Kab and I spoke also and I think the trebuchets can go too. It's fine to keep the catapults as they can only bombard, that would be good
in fog games also. I think we can add more catapults for the Field Marshall, that would do it.
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:46 pm

This is looking good Marshal, thanks! :D

adding more catapults on map while making them fit within the same logic of Archers seems good for game-play and conceptually solid.

....We don't have that much space to add a a continuous path of catapults, though... and on the other hand ,we wouldn't want to make them clone that much the archer mechanics.

What if we substitute the trebuchets by catapults and let the castle catapults 1-way assault the nearest 'T' catapult ONLY.

in terms of first strike possibility that wouldn't be a problem. You'd have 7 in the castle, to take 6 neutral in the castle catapult, + 3 (or 4) in the 'T' catapults, + 2 placed on the neighbouring castle = 3,8% chance

I do like the dynamic of the current trebuchets placement. Each spot covers 3 castles which is interesting. And coming to think of it I rather keep this layout then just planting catapults all over the map.

We would be scraping the trebuchets (and its 'teleport' mechanics) substituting them by catapults. What do you think?

well, the Chamberlain is overpowered now (or considered to be at 5 neutral), so surely one of the two layered bonuses can go.


The thing with the Chamberlain, is that he's more powerful in doubles games and in standards with less than 4 players, simply because you'll start with 2 or more Nobles - making that bonus trigger fast. In the other game types he isn't that powerful the way it is.... :?

...we could change the '1 army per 1 noble' bonus, and make it: 1 army per 2 nobles....
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Re: The King's Court (version 14) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:19 am

Based on MarshalNey concerns and some of our own, chip and I made this last version.

-Starting points are now the castles (and only the castles) starting with 2 troops on them

-Nobles should start with 2 neutral on them - will yield a 1 troop bonus

-Catapults will just be able to 1-way assault trebuchets within a range of 5 (apart from the normal 3 range bombardment) - no tele-ports now :)

-Trebuchets are neutral killers with 4 neutral troops – (you can’t kill anyone with them because when a player has the strength to reach it, the other will already have claimed territories out of its range – also, they will have to be used with caution, because if you put a stack there you won’t be able to fort it out and lose it for the neutral killer) - no quick kills from there

-Councillors should all be levelled at 4 neutral troops

-Lord Chamberlain will lose the +1 with King

-Field Marshal – will not be capable of assaulting trebuchets anymore, only ‘S’ archers

-King should be a neutral killer with 10 neutral troops in them – chip raised an important issue there, this 'bottle neck' problem is something that was bothering him - the capability of a player or a team (especially in quads) being able to control it and decide the game by doing it.

No need to say, but all is open for discussion ;)

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with starting positions and neutral starters

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Re: The King's Court (version 13)

Postby FarangDemon on Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:44 am

Kabanellas wrote:Chances of succesfuly taking out a player in first round :

-from Castle A to Castle B: 10%
-From Castle B to C via Archers: 14%
-From any Castle to another via Trebuchet: 13%

I think that the odds are very low. A player that goes for a 10 or 14% chance would be rendering himself completely open for the targeted player's reaction. I wouldn't take the chance of losing an entire game in the first round for a 14% chance.


I love this map concept.

Just have a math nitpick and an idea for limiting attacks on counselors for you to consider.


Math Nitpick

Please humor me as I indulge my passion.

In an 8 player game, all things being equal you have a 12.5% chance to win.
So increasing it to 14% is a good idea (unless you think your relative skills can give you more of an edge than 14%).

Secondly, this 14% figure is merely chance to win on first turn. You need to calculate chance to ultimately be the winner. If your kamikaze attack fails (a bit too much sake, perhaps? :roll: ) you don't automatically die - you need to factor in chance to win on other turns, even if it is low it makes a difference:

Your chances of ultimately winning are 14% (first turn attack succeeded) + 86% (first turn attack failed) * probability you can still win after initial failure. Even if the chance you can still win after initial failure is just 10%, you have 14% + 86% * 10% = 22.6% chance to ultimately win.

I'd definitely go for a 22.6% shot given 6-8 players.

Gameplay Suggestion

I firmly believe in KISS. However, consider:

  • Allow each family member to attack 2-3 of the 4 counselors

Possible benefits:

  • Players do not have unlimited options to attack any counselor from a single castle with a large stack.
  • This gives players an incentive to control more than one castle rather than just pile on one castle.
  • It also adds the interesting concept of political favoritism / cronyism between various counselors and family members.

Possible disadvantages:

  • Could result in unbalanced game play
  • Reduces options (though not that much if instead of being able to hit all 4 counselors it shrinks to just 3).

Thanks for working on this map - looks really cool and I can't wait to play it.

=D>

As an afterthought - can you incorporate an Executioner? Like a neutral that the king can attack to then bombard any counselor/family member or restricted to anybody except the Bishop (unless we are talking about King Henry VIII who can do whatever he wants).
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"He came dancin across the water.... FarangDemon, FarangDemon.... mmmhh....what a killer..."
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Re: The King's Court (version 15) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:12 am

the initial odds issue , is resolved now - they're not problem any more :)

....as for the Executioner, I'm not seeing any real benefits on that, being the King a neutral killer that people will objectively grab to reach any castle on map. The Court Is working on a very direct movement from bottom to top (Nobles-Counsellors-King) that I'd like to maintain.
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Re: The King's Court (version 13)

Postby chipv on Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:44 am

FarangDemon wrote:
Kabanellas wrote:Chances of succesfuly taking out a player in first round :

-from Castle A to Castle B: 10%
-From Castle B to C via Archers: 14%
-From any Castle to another via Trebuchet: 13%

I think that the odds are very low. A player that goes for a 10 or 14% chance would be rendering himself completely open for the targeted player's reaction. I wouldn't take the chance of losing an entire game in the first round for a 14% chance.


I love this map concept.

Just have a math nitpick and an idea for limiting attacks on counselors for you to consider.


Math Nitpick

Please humor me as I indulge my passion.

In an 8 player game, all things being equal you have a 12.5% chance to win.
So increasing it to 14% is a good idea (unless you think your relative skills can give you more of an edge than 14%).

Secondly, this 14% figure is merely chance to win on first turn. You need to calculate chance to ultimately be the winner. If your kamikaze attack fails (a bit too much sake, perhaps? :roll: ) you don't automatically die - you need to factor in chance to win on other turns, even if it is low it makes a difference:

Your chances of ultimately winning are 14% (first turn attack succeeded) + 86% (first turn attack failed) * probability you can still win after initial failure. Even if the chance you can still win after initial failure is just 10%, you have 14% + 86% * 10% = 22.6% chance to ultimately win.

I'd definitely go for a 22.6% shot given 6-8 players.

Gameplay Suggestion

I firmly believe in KISS. However, consider:

  • Allow each family member to attack 2-3 of the 4 counselors

Possible benefits:

  • Players do not have unlimited options to attack any counselor from a single castle with a large stack.
  • This gives players an incentive to control more than one castle rather than just pile on one castle.
  • It also adds the interesting concept of political favoritism / cronyism between various counselors and family members.

Possible disadvantages:

  • Could result in unbalanced game play
  • Reduces options (though not that much if instead of being able to hit all 4 counselors it shrinks to just 3).

Thanks for working on this map - looks really cool and I can't wait to play it.

=D>

As an afterthought - can you incorporate an Executioner? Like a neutral that the king can attack to then bombard any counselor/family member or restricted to anybody except the Bishop (unless we are talking about King Henry VIII who can do whatever he wants).


Thanks very much for posting here, delighted you've come! As Kab has said his post preceding yours does fix the first turn kill problem.
Take a look at that post and see what you think.
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Re: The King's Court (version 15) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby MarshalNey on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:48 am

chipv wrote:As Kab has said his post preceding yours does fix the first turn kill problem.


Out of curiosity, what are the odds of a first-turn kill under the current version?

I can't imagine that the odds are high; as long as they hover under 5% I'm happy.

FarangDemon wrote:Secondly, this 14% figure is merely chance to win on first turn. You need to calculate chance to ultimately be the winner. If your kamikaze attack fails (a bit too much sake, perhaps? ) you don't automatically die - you need to factor in chance to win on other turns, even if it is low it makes a difference:

Your chances of ultimately winning are 14% (first turn attack succeeded) + 86% (first turn attack failed) * probability you can still win after initial failure. Even if the chance you can still win after initial failure is just 10%, you have 14% + 86% * 10% = 22.6% chance to ultimately win.


Very good point about the odds needing to factor in subsequent turns.

Fortunately, with the killer neutrals on both conceivable paths to a first-turn kill at the Castle- the Trebuchet and the King- subsequent turns shouldn't add a significant chance.

FarangDemon wrote:I firmly believe in KISS.


Me too.

Along these lines, as I've hinted in a previous post and some PMs, I think that this map could still use a reduction in the number of instructions in the legend. Maybe simplifying some of the bonuses.

The thing that strikes me the most when reading this legend is the organization when reading it. I begin at the upper left, and I start reading about "terrain" bonuses, the Castle first, and then... a combo bonus with an icon I haven't read about yet (the Knight) that has two different instructions. Then, I read about the Villages.

Still in the same area, the legend begins describing "unit" bonuses as well as their limitations and abilities. But, then it separates to the lower-left corner, and then continues detailing the Archer, Cataplut and Trebuchet. Then my eyes go to the upper right, and the Council is described, all nice and neat together. And finally the notes in the lower right.


I think the left side of the legend could use some work.

Maybe, simplifying or eliminating the combo Castle + Knight bonus could help...

I noticed the "No bonus per region number" instruction is now absent on this version. Is there now a bonus per region number? If so, then the Combo bonus might not be really necessary to provide players with the troops to fuel initiiatives. The Castle and the Knights are both important in their own right, for both troops and for movement across the map (Castles give access to the King's Court, Knights allow rapid and open movement).

Also, I noticed that there is an instruction under the Archers that says that they are not affected by impassibles, but that this instruction is not present under the Catapult. I think they should be the same, and in the interests of KISS, perhaps it is OK if Archer bombardment is affected by impassibles. Would this cause problems?

FarangDemon wrote:consider:


Allow each family member to attack 2-3 of the 4 counselors

Possible benefits:


Players do not have unlimited options to attack any counselor from a single castle with a large stack.
This gives players an incentive to control more than one castle rather than just pile on one castle.
It also adds the interesting concept of political favoritism / cronyism between various counselors and family members.

Possible disadvantages:


Could result in unbalanced game play
Reduces options (though not that much if instead of being able to hit all 4 counselors it shrinks to just 3).


This is a well laid out suggestion... and interesting. I'm not sure if it's feasible without complicating the Court too much, but there might be a good graphical way of implementing it.

In gameplay terms, I especially like your point about creating incentive to own more than 1 Castle.


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Re: The King's Court (version 15) Gameplay issues on discuss

Postby Kabanellas on Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:50 pm

MarshalNey wrote:Out of curiosity, what are the odds of a first-turn kill under the current version?

I can't imagine that the odds are high; as long as they hover under 5% I'm happy.


These are the odds:
-Chance of bombarding a player to death in the first round via trebuchet – 3,8%
-Chance of bombarding via archers – 3,5%
All others options will just go below these numbers.

I think the left side of the legend could use some work.

Maybe, simplifying or eliminating the combo Castle + Knight bonus could help...


-Should we ditch the Castle+Knight bonus?
or
-Should we place it under the Knight legend?

I noticed the "No bonus per region number" instruction is now absent on this version. Is there now a bonus per region number? If so, then the Combo bonus might not be really necessary to provide players with the troops to fuel initiatives. The Castle and the Knights are both important in their own right, for both troops and for movement across the map (Castles give access to the King's Court, Knights allow rapid and open movement).


Yes, the idea was to give the 'region number' bonus to help people go for land grabbing. We could possible even raise that....... Don't know..... :?:

Also, I noticed that there is an instruction under the Archers that says that they are not affected by impassibles, but that this instruction is not present under the Catapult. I think they should be the same, and in the interests of KISS, perhaps it is OK if Archer bombardment is affected by impassibles. Would this cause problems?


To be perfectly coherent that 'impassable' entry should appear in the Catapults area as well. I'll take care of it.

This is a well laid out suggestion... and interesting. I'm not sure if it's feasible without complicating the Court too much, but there might be a good graphical way of implementing it.

In gameplay terms, I especially like your point about creating incentive to own more than 1 Castle.


not keen at all to complicate Court mechanics any further 8-[
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Teammate Achievement (2) Random Map Achievement (2) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (3) Tournament Achievement (8)
General Achievement (3) Clan Achievement (20) Map Contribution (7) General Contribution (2)

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