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Subject: Alternative Optional Victory Conditions? rss

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Mark Holmes
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I was walking into work this morning and thinking about the Victory Conditions in 'Churchill'. A question occurred to me that I would like to put out there for discussion: Would an optional Victory Condition for those players that want a straight fight and don't care about post-war stability which said:

'The winner is the player with the highest VP count'

fundamentally change the game? I suppose there would be less cooperation and negotiation, but would it break the game as designed?

Mark
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marc lecours
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mr_mrholmes wrote:
I was walking into work this morning and thinking about the Victory Conditions in 'Churchill'. A question occurred to me that I would like to put out there for discussion: Would an optional Victory Condition for those players that want a straight fight and don't care about post-war stability which said:

'The winner is the player with the highest VP count'

fundamentally change the game? I suppose there would be less cooperation and negotiation, but would it break the game as designed?

Mark


I think it would remove the subtlety from the game. It would certainly simplify what to do for each player. Maximize points and minimize opponent's points. With every man for himself, it might make it harder to beat the axis. I suspect that the game would become unbalanced in favor of the Churchill. In fact it seems that some playing groups already play without cooperating much and end up with Churchill winning more frequently.

This game is very different from any other game that I have played. I find the victory conditions very interesting. The victory conditions say win but not by too much. The only other game that made me feel like that is High Society where the aim is to buy the most stuff without spending the most money.

Marc
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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If you read the other threads on victory conditions you will get a full range of opinions on this very topic, including the designer's viewpoint.
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Mark Holmes
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Ashiefan wrote:

If you read the other threads on victory conditions you will get a full range of opinions on this very topic, including the designer's viewpoint.


I have read some (but not all)the other threads and they appear to be more about dealing with (and manipulating)the victory conditions as printed or making a failure to overcome the axis as a defeat for all players.

Mark
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Rex Stites
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It would fundamentally break the game as designed. The entire point of the game is that the Big 3 were not cooperating in an altruistic way to defeat the forces of evil, with pursuit of nationally interests purely secondary, but we're first and foremost pursuing their own national interests. Victory condition 3 is there to incentivize focussing on axis surrender without scripting it in or otherwise artificially forcing players to do so.

The game is designed so that players have to manipulate a host of factors, including your opponents' relative VP so that you win. This creates a game where the cost (in terms of cards or other resources) of obtaining an additional VP is essentially irrelevant. In the game as designed there will be times when you're adding VP and times when you're helping others gain VP (for your own benefit). Your proposed change fundamentally alters this. In your scenario, it's purely about how many VPs you can get and how quickly. Superficially, there's not a lot there to the VP generating engines, nor is the trick taking aspect--in isolation--that interesting. Changing the victory condition to purely max VP would gut the game of everything it has going for it.
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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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You could try victory conditions that were playtested, then rejected: high VP wins, but if Axis not completely conquered, everybody loses.

That said, there was a reason those victory conditions didn't make it into print.

As others said, I think the game would lose something (particularly the sort of historical flavor of alliance management) with just straight 'most VP wins'.
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Joel Tamburo
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rstites25 wrote:
It would fundamentally break the game as designed. The entire point of the game is that the Big 3 were not cooperating in an altruistic way to defeat the forces of evil, with pursuit of nationally interests purely secondary, but we're first and foremost pursuing their own national interests. Victory condition 3 is there to incentivize focussing on axis surrender without scripting it in or otherwise artificially forcing players to do so.

The game is designed so that players have to manipulate a host of factors, including your opponents' relative VP so that you win. This creates a game where the cost (in terms of cards or other resources) of obtaining an additional VP is essentially irrelevant. In the game as designed there will be times when you're adding VP and times when you're helping others gain VP (for your own benefit). Your proposed change fundamentally alters this. In your scenario, it's purely about how many VPs you can get and how quickly. Superficially, there's not a lot there to the VP generating engines, nor is the trick taking aspect--in isolation--that interesting. Changing the victory condition to purely max VP would gut the game of everything it has going for it.


Exactly. It is the Victory Conditions that really give this game its mojo.
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N P
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With straight victory points you'll run into kingmaker scenarios. For example, I'm Soviets with no chance. I can mess up either UK or US enough to decide who wins. Much harder to do with current restrictions.
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Mark Herman
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mr_mrholmes wrote:
I was walking into work this morning and thinking about the Victory Conditions in 'Churchill'. A question occurred to me that I would like to put out there for discussion: Would an optional Victory Condition for those players that want a straight fight and don't care about post-war stability which said:

'The winner is the player with the highest VP count'

fundamentally change the game? I suppose there would be less cooperation and negotiation, but would it break the game as designed?

Mark


Thanks for the suggestion, I would offer that you might like Here I Stand, one of my favorite multiplayer games where having the most points wins. Awesome game...
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Mark Holmes
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Hi Mark

My question wasn't offered as criticism of the game. It was a genuine question regarding playability for those people who may have a problem with the victory conditions and if it upset the balance of play. I read your game report on GMT website and noted that the Russian player seemed to go all out for VPs but it didn't seem to spoil the gameplay even though he ultimately lost.

Mark
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Rex Stites
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mr_mrholmes wrote:
Hi Mark

My question wasn't offered as criticism of the game. It was a genuine question regarding playability for those people who may have a problem with the victory conditions and if it upset the balance of play. I read your game report on GMT website and noted that the Russian player seemed to go all out for VPs but it didn't seem to spoil the gameplay even though he ultimately lost.

Mark


There's a big difference in the game between one power going for VPs and all 3 doing so.
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Mark Herman
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mr_mrholmes wrote:
Hi Mark

My question wasn't offered as criticism of the game. It was a genuine question regarding playability for those people who may have a problem with the victory conditions and if it upset the balance of play. I read your game report on GMT website and noted that the Russian player seemed to go all out for VPs but it didn't seem to spoil the gameplay even though he ultimately lost.

Mark


No worries on criticism, comes with the territory. I just wanted to make a point that there are all of the other games out there that play that way.

Regarding my son having the most points, well played, but he lost to his old man... that would not have happened in the most wins perspective. So, obviously a very different game, not a bad thing, but its a different game.

I hope you have fun with the game.
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David Stoy
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I would suggest as an optional victory condition something that exists in most co-op games: If the three powers (players) can't defeat both AXIS powers by the end of the tenth conference they ALL LOSE!
 
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Mark Herman
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KyColonel73 wrote:
I would suggest as an optional victory condition something that exists in most co-op games: If the three powers (players) can't defeat both AXIS powers by the end of the tenth conference they ALL LOSE!


First off everyone is welcome to play their copy of Churchill any way they want. So, everyone should do what makes them happy.

I would like to offer that there is a view that if you do not defeat the Axis it is not a legitimate victory. I would offer that this is not the case and it is why I dropped this rule about 6 months before the game was released.

Churchill is a competitive game that has the dynamics of history within it, but if all three players want to avoid Axis surrender then it is an historic choice that was feared at the time, see other threads where I go into this.

One of the key dynamics in the game that I designed and published is there needs to be the option to avoid Axis surrender and essentially coop a successor Axis government (Donitz in Germany) to continue the struggle at the moment in time when a country is fully mobilized and in a position to continue the struggle. That said, it just takes one player to move toward Axis surrender and the entire dynamic of the game changes. I would offer that over time this style of play will dominate the metagame.

I have already begun seeing these results emerge from various posts I have seen on twitter, on BGG, and in emails that I have been sent.

Just my view,

Mark
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