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Re: Central America [D] V7; big changes! (p. 1 and 8!!)

Postby iancanton on Sat May 30, 2009 5:05 am

lostatlimbo wrote:the only thing i see missing is the Pacific slope. on the map, it would cut Xela in half and take a chunk of Guatemala City too. geographically, this is a very different region from elsewhere in the country as the highlands quickly drop off to the Pacific Ocean.

the pacific slope is well-represented by a new coastal region as outlined above. it can be called either puerto san josé (after a port town) or escuintla (puerto san josé's department). this leaves guatemala city inland, where it's supposed to be, without a coastline.

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to make nicaragua easier to hold, RAAN and RAAS can be merged into a single region called zelaya (this was the name of the combined region before 1988).

The two autonomous Atlantic Regions formed, till a few years ago, the big Zelaya department.

http://www.nicatour.net/en/Nicaragua/atlantic-coast.cfm

at the same time, i propose that managua connects to rio san juan along the south shore of lake nicaragua; u can just about see from the map below that the lake is, in fact, wholly within the nicaraguan perimeter, along with a very narrow strip of land on the south shore. once this is done, all nicaraguan border regions will be adjacent to two others, which will aid defence, especially in adjacent forts games.

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the defence of nicaragua can additionally be bolstered if we remove the port symbol from rio san juan.

lostatlimbo wrote:Belize is much more lacking. rather than renaming Belmopan to Belize City, there should be 4 regions - the Cayes to the east, Orange Walk in the north, Belize City in the middle and Cayo in the south.

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i like this arrangement though, the more i look at it, the more i think that we can lose the cayes (which appear to be far too prominent when compared with their real size) completely and have three mainland regions in belize instead of two mainland regions plus the cayes. compared with costa rica, i think belize cannot justify having four regions.

ian. :)
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Sat May 30, 2009 11:47 am

I kind of like the four territ +2 for Belize, in the same way I like the bonus n Australia.

How many people are on board with adding a territ to Belize?

How many for adding a territ in El Salvadador?

Making something neutral? If so, what?

Combing RAAS and RAAN?

Personally, I like everything besides making something neutral.

I especially like combining RAAS and RAAN because I hate acronyms for territ names. Especially ones in all caps :roll:
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby AndyDufresne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:16 pm

I also dislike abbrevs---so I'd lean towards the combintion of the two regions---and I also dislike the idea of neutrals.


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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby MrBenn on Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:44 pm

lgoasklucyl wrote:I kind of like the four territ +2 for Belize, in the same way I like the bonus n Australia.

How many people are on board with adding a territ to Belize?

How many for adding a territ in El Salvadador?

Making something neutral? If so, what?

Combing RAAS and RAAN?

Personally, I like everything besides making something neutral.

I especially like combining RAAS and RAAN because I hate acronyms for territ names. Especially ones in all caps :roll:

Go with what your heart is telling you ;-)
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:27 pm

lgoasklucyl wrote:I kind of like the four territ +2 for Belize, in the same way I like the bonus n Australia.

How many people are on board with adding a territ to Belize?

How many for adding a territ in El Salvadador?

Personally, I like keeping those two countries on the smaller side. Making Belize a four territory region makes it a +2, which throws the balance of power up north a bit. Unlike Australia, which is a +2 with one big, messy bordering region, from Belize you can expand into a relatively easy-to-hold region and then hold a total bonus of +5 with only two borders. Down south you need to hold four borders for the +5, and you're being attacked from three different directions.

I can live with El Salvador being a three territory region, as it solves the question of how to start it. But geographically it is such a small region that I think this creates visual problems. The map you've been making updates to is the large, and adding a territory in there will already be a bit cramped... reduce the map size 25% and you've got a challenge.

Want to point out that adding territories to Belize and El Salvador takes some of the early emphasis off of the land and onto the water. If El Salvador is a three terit +1 and Belize has four terits, the Sea Route/Canal bonus becomes the most attractive start because it is the easiest to pick up, the easiest to fort reinforcements into, and it offers the best options for expansion.

lgoasklucyl wrote:Making something neutral? If so, what?

I agree that to avoid starting neutrals is generally the preferred option. One of the two El Salvador regions would be the most logical neutral start to avoid the possibility of dropping the bonus from the start, but coding them as two start positions would be a less invasive way to solve the problem in 1v1s.

lgoasklucyl wrote:Combining RAAS and RAAN?

I especially like combining RAAS and RAAN because I hate acronyms for territ names. Especially ones in all caps :roll:

And calling them what? RAAS/RAAN? RAAS and RAAN are the two largest political departments in the country (numbers 16 and 17 below) so combining them just gives you one really big territory - in fact, the two departments together make up over 50% of the country's land mass, so half of the region would be one large territory while the other half would be five.

If it's just the acronyms that people don't like we can work with that; we can name them after the regional capitals - Bilwi in the north and Bluefields in the south - or we can use part of the regional names: Atlantico Norte and Atlantico Sur.

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Maybe I'm taking this too personally since I started working on the gameplay for this map nine months ago, but the suggested changes to the regions do not, in my opinion, make the gameplay better. They just make it different, and they require us to go back and rethink everything else about how the map works.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby AndyDufresne on Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:11 pm

If the above game play changes do not make it better, and are just an alternate additions, it may be better not to go through the game play figuring once again, if it isn't broke.

I like the changing of the acronymns to Atlantico, if that is consistent with the other naming mechanics.


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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby Teflon Kris on Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:19 pm

Agreeing with the above -

Gameplay amendments in order of preference:

1. Coded start positions in the small bonus areas (esp. El Salvador)

2. Neutrals

3. Additional territories

If additional territories aren't a geographical necessity then, as oak points out, they would be more hassle than they are worth (given your no. of territories). Coded starts would be preferable to neutrals - they may sound a bit more complex in terms of xml but there's plenty of help available from friendly foundry folk.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lostatlimbo on Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:30 pm

If you do stick with 3 territs for Belize, I still think you need to make it Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize City and drop the Cayes as ian suggested OR combine Belize City and the Cayes into one territ (BC & Cayes?).

The latter suggestion would not change your current gameplay at all, but would be much more geographically and conceptually accurate - as anyone visiting the Cayes typically goes through Belize City.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:00 pm

lostatlimbo wrote:If you do stick with 3 territs for Belize, I still think you need to make it Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize City and drop the Cayes as ian suggested OR combine Belize City and the Cayes into one territ (BC & Cayes?).

making the Cayes its own territory works nicely from a visual point of view, but making it a combined islands/capital territory wouldn't have any impact on the play.

As for coding start positions, its as good as done. On this map it is no easier/harder than a neutral start.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby iancanton on Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:13 pm

oaktown wrote:I can live with El Salvador being a three territory region, as it solves the question of how to start it. But geographically it is such a small region that I think this creates visual problems. The map you've been making updates to is the large, and adding a territory in there will already be a bit cramped... reduce the map size 25% and you've got a challenge.

if el salvador has 3 regions, then the way to avoid a cramped look is obvious: move the name for san salvador into the ocean.

oaktown wrote:
lgoasklucyl wrote:Making something neutral? If so, what?

I agree that to avoid starting neutrals is generally the preferred option. One of the two El Salvador regions would be the most logical neutral start to avoid the possibility of dropping the bonus from the start, but coding them as two start positions would be a less invasive way to solve the problem in 1v1s.

keeping el salvador at 2 regions creates unnecessary difficulties because u do need a neutral in that case. using 2 start positions instead of a neutral means that u must let player 1 have a near-10% chance of dropping one of the four small bonuses in a 2v2 game. we can accept this on an otherwise-worthy map where the geography leaves no reasonable alternative. here, we do have good alternatives.

oaktown wrote:
lgoasklucyl wrote:Combining RAAS and RAAN?

I especially like combining RAAS and RAAN because I hate acronyms for territ names. Especially ones in all caps :roll:

And calling them what? RAAS/RAAN? RAAS and RAAN are the two largest political departments in the country (numbers 16 and 17 below) so combining them just gives you one really big territory - in fact, the two departments together make up over 50% of the country's land mass, so half of the region would be one large territory while the other half would be five.

zelaya was this region's name before 1988, when it was split into two.
iancanton wrote:The two autonomous Atlantic Regions formed, till a few years ago, the big Zelaya department.

http://www.nicatour.net/en/Nicaragua/atlantic-coast.cfm

zelaya might well make up over 50% of nicaragua's area, but that isn't how it's drawn on our map, where it's certainly less than 50%. it is also a relatively undeveloped region that has less than one-sixth of the total population of the country, so one out of six regions isn't inappropriate.

oaktown wrote:Maybe I'm taking this too personally since I started working on the gameplay for this map nine months ago, but the suggested changes to the regions do not, in my opinion, make the gameplay better.

it's always useful to know what everyone is thinking. i believe making nicaragua smaller, linking together all of its border regions (just as sully800 did to the asia bonus zone in world cities before he adopted 100% the gameplay of classic) and possibly removing its port symbol will indeed improve the gameplay by letting the middle of the map be a credible base for a player.

ian. :)
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:39 am

Hi all,

It has now been over six weeks since the last new version of this map. lgoasklucyl has, in my opinion, shown exceptional patience and a willingness to engage everybody in the process of improving this map, considering this was supposed to be a project that he would only have to do the graphics for. His last post exemplifies his desire to make everybody happy...
lgoasklucyl wrote:I kind of like the four territ +2 for Belize, in the same way I like the bonus n Australia.
How many people are on board with adding a territ to Belize?
How many for adding a territ in El Salvadador?
Making something neutral? If so, what?
Combing RAAS and RAAN?
Personally, I like everything besides making something neutral.
I especially like combining RAAS and RAAN because I hate acronyms for territ names. Especially ones in all caps :roll:

But at this point I fear that his desire to please everybody is really stalling this map's development. With every version there is a new round of gameplay suggestions, and while lgoasklucyl has been good about trying to incorporate all of them, anybody who has worked on a map's play knows that every change affects something else on the map: if you add starting neutrals it alters the number of starting positions; if you change the value of a bonus it shifts balance of power on a map; if you remove a border it changes how two regions can be coupled; if you add a territory to a region it alters where the best initial drop is, etc.

So I think we need to consider what we want out of this map and try to lock in the gameplay so that lgoasklucyl can continue to work out the graphics. When I started working on this map in October of last year this was my vision:

1. Keep the gameplay "classic" in nature.
This is a basic geographically based map and the gameplay should reflect that. There is no historical setting so we don't need to add any historically specific elements to the gameplay. No special movements or killer/reducer territories.

2. Keep the map small-ish.
It's a small and oddly-shaped region, without much room to play with... it presents many of the same challenges and the oft-abandoned Japan maps, with its long, narrow shape. Getting overly ambitious with what we can do just makes it a bad map.

3. As it is a small map, make it friendly for a small number of players.
Provide multiple (at least three) good starts in different areas of the map. Put enough of a buffer between the starts that each player has a chance to do at least some expansion before being knocked around by a fortified opponent. Try to reduce to odds of getting a really lucky drop.

In my opinion, some of the additions to this map over the past six months since the competition ended have been good and in keeping with my original goals: the Sea Route Territories provide needed connectivity without making end to end attacks too easy; the Sea Routes/Canal bonus provides a good start to a southern player. Other changes, now that I look back on them, are of questionable value: the reduction of a territory in Costa Rica made the Costa Rica/Panama end of the map both easier to capture (one less territory) and easier to hold (one less border), though that was tempered by another change - the addition of more port cities. Fortunately throughout the changes we've kept the map at a really good size: 33 territories.

Now we're talking about some other changes which (apart from grinding development to a stand-still) have merit but will create additional problems.
  • Adding a territory to Belize seems nice because it's a classic-like four territory region, but this map isn't classic. We have three other regions on the map that have three (or fewer) territories, which classic does not. Making Belize larger has the effect of making a northern start on this map unenviable, since the southern region now has a pair of three-terit regions and the advantage of having nobody below him; hold the Canal and work your way up to win.
  • Adding a territory to El Salvador to eliminate the small region seems like a no-brainer, and maybe it is. But I want to point out that El Salvador is not the best start on the map even though it is small. Unlike Belize and Panama it has no natural borders behind it; both territories are exposed to a pair of attackers, the El Salvafor player has no easy expansion into a neighboring region (both Gautemala and Honduras are big and wide open), and the +1 bonus won't seem so hot when your northern and southern enemies are pulling in +2s.
  • Combining RAAN and RAAS just because we don't like the names seems like an awful idea. It would reduce a territory from Nicaragua making it equal in size to Honduras and therefore, I assume, lowering its bonus to match. But it would not reduce a border; it would be a six territory region with five borders that gives a +4.

I said months ago that I was committed to seeing this map completed. The competition was a disappointment to us all - let's not allow the production of this map to go the same way. So I propose:
1. We add the third territory to El Salvador, making it a coastal territory that does not border another region. So from west to east it would be Santa Ana, San Salvador, Usulutan. Up the bonus to +2.
2. Leave Belize as a +2, three territory region, but redraw the territories as suggested above so that the Cayes is a part of a coastal central territory that doesn't border Guatemala.
3. Leave Nicaragua as-is, since there are not (in my opinion) enough benefits to such a merger to justify the overall effects it would have to the balance of the map.
4. Leave open for discussion the possibility of coding some starts to address possible imbalance/lucky start issues. There are benefits and disadvantages to coding starts, but such discussion shouldn't delay map work.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:08 am

Phew.

I feel out of breath and I didn't even type (nevermind say!) all of that.

Honestly, your title should be 'Foundry Saint' for typing that one up for me :lol:

You pretty much hit every issue that has been slowing the maps progress right on the head, and hopefully your post can help steer development on the proper course.

I agree entirely with your proposed changes. Since I don't (all too well) understand how coded start positions work (learning spanish is enough, screw off for now XML xD) I cannot exactly comment on that. I would gladly do so if I understood it better but, alas, I do not :D

Anyway, to sum up the changes I'm for:
-Add a coastal, non-border territ to Salvador, leaving Belize alone, Leaving RAAn and RAAS alone, and the coding can be discussed later. I know I originally stated I was for RAAN and RAAS being combined, but, as the kind Leprepotamus (er, spell-check doesn't like that word for some reason? maybe because I capitalized it?) pointed out, changing them solely out of a distaste for acronyms at the expense of gameplay isn't much worth it.

I would also like to note that I am strongly opposed to adding neutrals to the map, unless it is a key city on the continent, easily accessible from most parts of the map (ie: not all the way up on Orange Walk). Even so, I'm still pretty much against it. If it's what the community desires, than so be it.

Anyway, thanks again Oaktown =) Hopeful we can speed this up a bit now =P
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:59 am

lgoasklucyl wrote:Anyway, thanks again Oaktown =) Hopeful we can speed this up a bit now =P

No problem - I've got a lot of hours invested in this map as well, so anything I can do to help move it along is my pleasure.

As for the neutrals and starting positions: I totally agree with you that extra neutrals are not good for a map. We don't have any special territories that give bonuses so I don't think they are necessary. However, by expanding El Salvador we've now upped the total number of territories to 34 which kind of screws us if we want to start coding starts because coding too many pushes player 1's starting territory count up to 12. Read on...

In a two or three player game there is about a 3% chance of a player starting with any one of the little regions; if it was one region this wouldn't matter so much but over the last few months we've dropped Costa Rica to three territories (which aggravated the start problems) and now we're pushing the total number of territories up to 34 (which also aggravates start problems, as noted above). SO: if we want 1v1 games to start without any chance of player one having an advantage i would suggest the following:
• Code two starting positions of three territories each; one territory from each of the three small regions.
• Code the Sea Routes neutral, which is kind of cool anyway because it makes a player have to make an investment to use the routes.

In a 1v1 game both players would start with at least one territory in each of the small regions, thus no bonus, and each would start with 11 territories (34 total terits - 2 neutrals - 6 coded = 26 ÷ 3 = 8 + 3 coded starts = 11).

Regardless, coding starts will NOT have any effect on the image you're creating lgoasklucyl, so I say carry on and don't worry about it. Ignorance is bliss. 8-)
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:20 am

Okay, that's making more sense now.

What would the starting territory count be for each player in a two player game if we make said changed? (ie: neutrals on the sea routes).

If we add that third territory in Salvador that pushes it to 34 then the two sea routes drop it down to 32. I don't know how to do the math from there :oops:

Personally I feel making the sea routes neutral is just going to hinder movement as they won't be touched for quite a bit, especially in no cards games when it's a pretty big gamble to hit neutrals for the sake of movement.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:27 am

lgoasklucyl wrote:Okay, that's making more sense now.

What would the starting territory count be for each player in a two player game if we make said changed? (ie: neutrals on the sea routes).

1v1: 11 terits each.
3 players: 10 each
4 players: 8 each
5 players: 6 each
6 players: 5 each
7 players: 4 each
8 players: 4 each

lgoasklucyl wrote:Personally I feel making the sea routes neutral is just going to hinder movement as they won't be touched for quite a bit, especially in no cards games when it's a pretty big gamble to hit neutrals for the sake of movement.

An option would be starting them with just two armies each on them. That would actually make them attractive targets in cards games because it is much easier to kill a 2 than a 3, though it obviously means you aren't hurting your opponent. Like everything else there is a flip side - it makes it easier for p1 in a 1v1 to get to 12, though not at p2's expense. (But as I've said a hundred times, 1v1 games are never going to be fair as a result of the way CC works... the advantage is always to player 1 regardless of the map.)
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:32 am

Yeah, 1v1 games will pretty much always be lopsided based on luck, play-order, or something else pushing it out of whack.

I'm personally for leaving them 2s (assuming we're sticking with them remaining neutrals at all), for the sake of not delaying movement too much.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:40 am

lgoasklucyl wrote:I'm personally for leaving them 2s (assuming we're sticking with them remaining neutrals at all), for the sake of not delaying movement too much.

I think that's a win. =D>
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:57 am

In regards to adding a 3rd territ in Salvador:

-Currently, the map looks pretty much geographically similar to Central America. Adding a third territ would be a pretty big squeeze in the current land-shape, though would make the land look a bunch different otherwise. Understandably I would have to dip the current borders in a bit (as it has to be coastal and not touching anything but the two territs in Salvador) but I'm unsure which direction to take this in...

:-s
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:24 pm

I think it will work if you just made sure that each territory has space for an army circle and put the territory names in the ocean, with lines pointing to the territories. It'll be a squeeze and you may need to take some liberties with the borders, but i bet you can do it without adding land. An example is how gimil points out Estermoz on the Portugal map.

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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby Incandenza on Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:53 pm

I'll confess to not being wild about having the sea lanes start neutral, even with 2's... Maybe I'm just becoming less enamored of the concept, given that so many of the games I've played over the last 6 months have been some variety of head-to-head. In such a situation, I've played too many games where neutral starts are completely neglected, or are at best an afterthought: cities in 1914 Europe, Napoleon and Wellington in Waterloo, the gods (and to a lesser extent the emperors) in Poison Rome, etc.

Of course, here the neutrals are in high-traffic terits, but even then, were someone to quickly take panama, now they have a couple of neutrals working as defenders...

EDIT: I suppose it's worth noting that I was pretty much ready to stamp this sucker before we started discussing an extra terit in el salvador, so in my mind this map is exceptionally close.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:00 pm

Incandenza wrote:I suppose it's worth noting that I was pretty much ready to stamp this sucker before we started discussing an extra terit in el salvador, so in my mind this map is exceptionally close.

](*,) Ugh, and there I was saying that we should keep El Salvador as a two territory region but code the two territories as opposing starts so nobody could pick it up on the drop in a 1v1. The odds of picking up one of the three territory regions would then be less than 2.6%. It would be a much simpler solution as it wouldn't require any starting neutrals nor would it make the graphics tricky. IanCanton, however, opposed keeping it as such because the odds of a player getting all of El Salvador in a 2v2 game are 10% - which they aren't, it's actually about 5%. (It would, however, be about 10% in a three player game, though only a 3% chance of player 1 dropping it.)

This is a SMALL MAP. It's going to have some SMALL REGIONS. There are other small cc maps with small regions, yet the world hasn't come to end as a result of people playing on them. Since we are hung up these days on fair starts we're going to have to do something that some people find distasteful, such as coding some neutrals.

Let's figure this shit out so the mpamaker can resume work and so we can all get on with our lives.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:14 am

While we all know I'm opposed to the neutrals on the sea routes, I can see very clearly why they make sense. As 2s, I think they can function in the order of things far more properly than 3s. Still a slight pain, but a bit less.

So, my proposition (after all this debate :roll: ):

1. El Salvador was fine as is. The two territ +1 is perfectly fine if coded as start positions to avoid one person dropping it in 1v1. Making it 3 territs just adds annoyance, and it's only a +1 bonus anyway. With the number of borders those two territs have, adding a third territ would make it far less appetizing. Belize is a 3 territ +1, but it easier to take, move out, and defend.

2. If neutrals are staying, they should be 2s. Discussed this already, discussed it to death... lol.

finito for now.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby Incandenza on Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:22 am

I would be perfectly satisfied with coding starts in El Sal and calling it a day. No neutrals, no third terit in El Sal, just a nice little +1. Sure, the first player will have a bit of an advantage, in that he'll be able to attack 6v3 to take the continent, but A) he needs decent dice, B) the second player will theoretically have adjacent armies from which to counter, and C) it's a +1 and certainly not an ultimate game-changer.
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby lgoasklucyl on Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:31 pm

Incandenza wrote:I would be perfectly satisfied with coding starts in El Sal and calling it a day. No neutrals, no third terit in El Sal, just a nice little +1. Sure, the first player will have a bit of an advantage, in that he'll be able to attack 6v3 to take the continent, but A) he needs decent dice, B) the second player will theoretically have adjacent armies from which to counter, and C) it's a +1 and certainly not an ultimate game-changer.


D) If you're playing 1v1, you better know damn well that whoever goes first has an advantage, no matter what the map, and be ready to accept it ;)

So: Code starting positions, no neutrals?

If that's acceptable, it's what I'm all for.

I would like Oaktown to comment on this matter, but that's my final answer =P
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Re: Central America [D] V8 (Poll not working-Discuss gameplay!!)

Postby oaktown on Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:54 pm

i think that keeping El Salvador as-is and coding two starts is the best solution. Odds are that the player who goes second will either be able to take one of those territories back, or be able to hit a territory in one of the three-terit countries to grab himself a more strategic bonus anyway.

And lgoasklucyl is right in pointing out that El Salvador isn't powerful enough or in a good enough spot to be a game-changer. Maybe p1 goes after something else.

By keeping the map at 33 territories there is no longer any need to code the sea routes as neutrals because coding starts won't affect the # of territories each player starts with. 1v1 games will remain at 11 territories/player to begin the game. In fact, we could even code two other territories as starting positions... for instance we could give each player one sea route, or give them each one of the territories bordering El Salvador so that p2 can take a whack at p1 (though this could actually play in p1's favor as it guarantees armies to fort up with - I kinda like letting luck decide your fate here). Better perhaps to split up the three-territory +2 region so nobody drops that - it would be more devastating than dropping one of the +1s.

let's pop an updated version out there and get a gameplay stamp on this before somebody proposes something new. :?
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