Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
28 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Churchill» Forums » General

Subject: Victory Conditions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James Parks
United States
Newark
Delaware
flag msg tools
mbmb
Full Disclaimer: I just purchased the game last Friday and have only started solitaire play. Have spent some time reading the rules and some of the strategy/etc. posts here. The game looks great and seems quite deep, dripping with theme. However, we are planning on a first FTF play this Friday night and I know I am going to get two sets of eyerolls when I explain the victory conditions.

From my (admittedly limited) examination of play, it appears there are plenty of cooperative mechanisms (flexibility of placing support markers anywhere, you win this conference I win the next, etc.) for two trailing players to work against a leading player. Some people dislike the bash the leader element of scoring race games but I think an essential part of playing these games well is discerning who really has the stronger position and planning your strategy accordingly. Plus there is always an element of diplomacy in these efforts and this game would seem to encourage that sort of play.

So my real question is why was the normal "trailers cooperate against the leader" mechanism not sufficient for this game? Why not just rely on this to keep the game close? Does it not work against skilled players or did the designer just want to add additional layers to the onion? Have people played with the standard victory condition of most points wins regardless?

Thanks in advance for any input.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Fox
United States
Chandler
Arizona
flag msg tools
Fear cannot be banished, but it can be calm and without panic; it can be mitigated by reason and evaluation.
badge
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.
Avatar
Microbadge: Wargamer of 30+ yearsMicrobadge: High Frontier fan - Your trip starts here!Microbadge: I play with the Imperial Navy!Microbadge: Normandy '44 fanMicrobadge: Empire of the Sun fan
The crux of the game is the diplomatic infighting between the big three to see who will emerge as the senior partner in shaping the post WWII world.

In politics, unlike war, it's less about building up huge victories that crush your opponents while it's more about finding ways to get what you want while also making the parties you are negotiating with think they are getting a fair deal.

If one party in a three way alliance is running over the other two, those two are much more likely to shut out the third and work between themselves in the post-WWII world.

The end-game condition that punishes the first place player for having too many VP's isn't just a ham-fisted balancing mechanic, it's part of the simulation. If you run up the VP score, you are going to get marginalized by the other two parties in the post war reconstruction efforts.

Think of going to a car salesman. You'd think their job was to maximize the amount of money the dealership gets per car, but doing so will alienate their customers when they feel they've gotten a bad deal.

The art of car salesmanship is to get the most money from a sale while still making the customer feel like they got a good deal.

So, the art of diplomacy is to get what you want, while making the other parties feel like they also got what they want. Make them feel like you ran them over, and you'll soon find yourself being ignored.

In Churchill, you cannot just rack up VP's. You need to carefully weigh those gains vs. the position of the other two parties against the backdrop of the overall war effort.
27 
 Thumb up
2.50
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FuManchu wrote:
The crux of the game is the diplomatic infighting between the big three to see who will emerge as the senior partner in shaping the post WWII world.

In politics, unlike war, it's less about building up huge victories that crush your opponents while it's more about finding ways to get what you want while also making the parties you are negotiating with think they are getting a fair deal.

If one party in a three way alliance is running over the other two, those two are much more likely to shut out the third and work between themselves in the post-WWII world.

The end-game condition that punishes the first place player for having too many VP's isn't just a ham-fisted balancing mechanic, it's part of the simulation. If you run up the VP score, you are going to get marginalized by the other two parties in the post war reconstruction efforts.

Think of going to a car salesman. You'd think their job was to maximize the amount of money the dealership gets per car, but doing so will alienate their customers when they feel they've gotten a bad deal.

The art of car salesmanship is to get the most money from a sale while still making the customer feel like they got a good deal.

So, the art of diplomacy is to get what you want, while making the other parties feel like they also got what they want. Make them feel like you ran them over, and you'll soon find yourself being ignored.

In Churchill, you cannot just rack up VP's. You need to carefully weigh those gains vs. the position of the other two parties against the backdrop of the overall war effort.
Brilliantly put. thumbsup
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Koens
United States
Watsonville
California
flag msg tools
badge
marks the spot.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
In Churchill, you cannot just rack up VP's. You need to carefully weigh those gains vs. the position of the other two parties against the backdrop of the overall war effort.
Or you can rack up VPs and then work to sabotage the war effort. Harder than it sounds, though. Easiest with Churchill.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In general, I'd say that the secret of this scoring system is that it makes room for what happens *after* the game.

Most games set a end condition (X rounds, Y points, whatever), and if a player wins - that's all. In real life, however, the world would continue to spin its way, and the rest of players would catch-up by allying together. That's why it's a stroke of a genius to have victory conditions that rewards you for not winning with a big advantage - because the game makess room for what would happen after it finishes.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rex Stites
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
parksie555 wrote:
Full Disclaimer: I just purchased the game last Friday and have only started solitaire play. Have spent some time reading the rules and some of the strategy/etc. posts here. The game looks great and seems quite deep, dripping with theme. However, we are planning on a first FTF play this Friday night and I know I am going to get two sets of eyerolls when I explain the victory conditions.

From my (admittedly limited) examination of play, it appears there are plenty of both cooperative mechanisms (flexibility of placing support markers anywhere, you win this conference I win the next, etc.) for two trailing players to work against a leading player. Some people dislike the bash the leader element of scoring race games but I think an essential part of playing these games well is discerning who really has the stronger position and planning your strategy accordingly. Plus there is always an element of diplomacy in these efforts and this game would seem to encourage that sort of play.

So my real question is why was the normal "trailers cooperate against the leader" mechanism not sufficient for this game? Why not just rely on this to keep the game close? Does it not work against skilled players or did the designer just want to add additional layers to the onion? Have people played with the standard victory condition of most points wins regardless?

Thanks in advance for any input.
To add a bit to what FuManchu posted, it's important to keep in mind that this is a game designed in the tradition of wargames rather than eurogames--i.e., it is designed to reflect the historical reality it represents rather than merely create a gaming experience.

With that in mind, the victory conditions were chosen to reflect the fact that 1) from the point the game picks up, axis surrender was all but assured, the only question being whether it would be unconditional (VCs #1 and #2) or something less (VC #3) and 2) that the historical conferences did not center an altruistic desire to defeat evil but rather on creating a post-war world that was in the best interest of each leader's nation.

In terms of a pure game, a bash-the-leader mechanism would have been sufficient to balance things. But that would not have given a true reflection of the historical reality (or at least the designer's interpretation of the historical reality).
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Xelvonar wrote:
Quote:
In Churchill, you cannot just rack up VP's. You need to carefully weigh those gains vs. the position of the other two parties against the backdrop of the overall war effort.
Or you can rack up VPs and then work to sabotage the war effort. Harder than it sounds, though. Easiest with Churchill.
I like Robert's answer and the commentary around it stand as a great answer. The question that keeps getting asked is 'why doesn't the guy with the most points win, like all the other games. I just did a rudimentary search on BGG and there are 50 electronic pages of games (5000 titles) that play this way, so if folks want their regular experience, lots of choices and I did not want to add one more to the list.

First and foremost I am an historical boardgame designer. Not a historical themed boardgame designer. If you are in a military alliance and all you do is run over your Allies the historical precedent is your former partners will ally against you. Review Napoleon's modis operandi to see what I am talking about.

The victory conditions are designed to reflect this historical alliance attitude and structure. You are not held to it as you can just go for the get the most VPs, and extend the WWII struggle for national gain that would create the narrative for WWIII. So, its included as it was a serious possibility if some of the Big Three fell off of unconditional surrender which is an American not a European concept.

Last night I played in a really interesting Churchill game where I was the US and won by 2 VP in a condition 1 victory. My goal when I play is to have a good time, so at the beginning of Potsdam the Germans had surrendered where the Western Allies won the race for Berlin with the Soviets in East Germany, so Roosevelt and Churchill had gained a net four VPs over the Soviets who had been in first place the entire game by less than 15 VPs. Churchill was now in first by 10 points over my last place US with the Soviets sandwiched in between. So, the war would likely be a VC1 or VC3 (conditional axis surrender) outcome.

The discussion was around how the USSR conditional issue should be resolved from the perspective of each side. It was our view that the UK wanted the war to end to win a VC1 as being in first in a close VC3 game is usually a defeat, which on my part is intentional as you avoid chaos when you are in a close game. As the US I had my late game Pacific VP opportunities as a way to climb back into first, so I wanted the war to end.

The Soviets had no opportunities for any additional military VPs and calculated that he would be in last place, but close enough that the chaos favored him, so he did NOT want to declare war on the Japanese. The USSR needed to win the agenda segment to make that happen. As it turned out it almost happened as the British had no 5 or 4 cards on their last draw and played a 3 card for the Agenda segment. Since both the USSR and the US anticipated a 5 play we both played our Chief of Staff cards hoping for a 6. We were stunned by the UK three play and as it turned out Zhukov tied with a 3, but the Imperial staff plus 1 carried the day and the UK won the agenda segment.

We then discussed that the Soviets needed to win the Global issue (the UK had two in their corner for +10), but the campaign card was 10C and the British had the global issue on their 6 space. I wanted to divert my two Allies, so I helped the USSR get the Global issue onto their track and I quietly won three issues and the conference for 3 VPs that ultimately gave me a 2 VP win once you calculated in my successful advance into Iwo Jima.

The point of all of this detail is the victory conditions are a major strategy point in Churchill beyond having more. It is not only how many points but the character of the post war world that determines the winner. So, when the OP (what does that stand for?) asks, "So my real question is why was the normal "trailers cooperate against the leader" mechanism not sufficient for this game?" That is why...

I hope your group enjoys the game, despite is unnatural perspective on victory.

Mark
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MarkHerman wrote:
Xelvonar wrote:
Quote:
In Churchill, you cannot just rack up VP's. You need to carefully weigh those gains vs. the position of the other two parties against the backdrop of the overall war effort.
Or you can rack up VPs and then work to sabotage the war effort. Harder than it sounds, though. Easiest with Churchill.
....So, when the OP (what does that stand for?)...
I am not very good with all things acronym in today's world of social media, but I believe it is Original Poster.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks, you are clearly at least one acronym ahead of me.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alessandro Trovato
Italy
Rome
ITALY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Mark, if only it would have been possible to avoid the use of the die.... replacing it with other conditions, I think any combination of winners would have been digested without problem
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alextrov wrote:

Mark, if only it would have been possible to avoid the use of the die.... replacing it with other conditions, I think any combination of winners would have been digested without problem
It is already in the game, note the simple method of just taking 5 VP from the guy in first option. So while I favor the die roll the alternate method is already in the game.

Mark
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alessandro Trovato
Italy
Rome
ITALY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MarkHerman wrote:

It is already in the game, note the simple method of just taking 5 VP from the guy in first option. So while I favor the die roll the alternate method is already in the game.

Mark
True.. but you know... sometime to give too many options make us uncomfortable we are strange people
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alextrov wrote:
MarkHerman wrote:

It is already in the game, note the simple method of just taking 5 VP from the guy in first option. So while I favor the die roll the alternate method is already in the game.

Mark
True.. but you know... sometime to give too many options make us uncomfortable we are strange people
Remember I am a member of this tribe also. So, I get it, but note that this is an element of strategy. It is the incentive for at least two of the three players to avoid conditional Axis surrender and an important piece of the strategy discussion, see my commentary. So, if you do not want to go through that, just subtract 5 VP from the leader and see where it ends up. I felt that this would solve this issue for the traditionalist, why is that not the case for yourself?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alessandro Trovato
Italy
Rome
ITALY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MarkHerman wrote:
why is that not the case for yourself?
Because we, while still learning the game and its innovative mechanics, are fighting between our 1st holy principle to always play a game like the designer thought it and the 2nd principle to refuse a game where after hours of play a single die roll could decide the winner... it's the contrary of a win-win situation
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alextrov wrote:
MarkHerman wrote:
why is that not the case for yourself?
Because we, while still learning the game and its innovative mechanics, are fighting between our 1st holy principle to always play a game like the designer thought it and the 2nd principle to refuse a game where after hours of play a single die roll could decide the winner... it's the contrary of a win-win situation
Hard to answer that one... except my apologies.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Kreuz
United States
Bloomington
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think if you call them Coalition Victory and Conditional Surrender (instead of Conditions 2 and 3) most of the battle will be won with new players.

I like the victory conditions and the conversation on this post really helps to back it up. Robert really did say it well. But truth is they are an initial obstacle. They were for me. Renaming them might avoid the eye rolls and get more immediate engagement with the theme and history they are intended to support.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kreuzarus wrote:
I think if you call them Coalition Victory and Conditional Surrender (instead of Conditions 2 and 3) most of the battle will be won with new players.

I like the victory conditions and the conversation on this post really helps to back it up. Robert really did say it well. But truth is they are an initial obstacle. They were for me. Renaming them might avoid the eye rolls and get more immediate engagement with the theme and history they are intended to support.
Great suggestion Tim. In the reprint which will change no rules I have strongly considered renaming condition 3 Conditional Axis Surrender and Victory condition 1 Unconditional Axis surrender, and Victory condition 2 Broken Alliance Unconditional Axis surrender.

What do you think?

Mark
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Colmenares
Canada
Woodbridge
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My 2 cents:

Condition 1: Alliance Victory. The VP leader is in the driver's seat to shape the post-war world while giving enough to his other two allies to jump in the bandwagon.

Condition 2: Coalition Victory. 2nd Place has successfully convinced 3rd Place to form a post-war coalition (with 2nd being the Sr Partner) against the VP leader - he got too big and scary.

Condition 3: Conditional Axis Surrender. It's every nation for itself by striking a deal with one or both axis powers for the post-war struggle.
14 
 Thumb up
6.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Herman
United States
New York
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
colmenarez wrote:
My 2 cents:

Condition 1: Alliance Victory. The VP leader is in the driver's seat to shape the post-war world while giving enough to his other two allies to jump in the bandwagon.

Condition 2: Coalition Victory. 2nd Place has successfully convinced 3rd Place to form a post-war coalition (with 2nd being the Sr Partner) against the VP leader - he got too big and scary.

Condition 3: Conditional Axis Surrender. It's every nation for itself by striking a deal with one or both axis powers for the post-war struggle.
I like these alot... I think these more succinctly capture the essence of the situation.

GG...

Mark
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron A
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I personally LIKE the die roll. The narrative isn't really, "I played for X hours and it came to a lousy die roll;" the narrative is, "I played for x hours and made bad choices, and now the only way I can pull this out is through a die roll." But then, I'm a wargamer so I'm used to dice. I also like the metagame concept of playing Chicken with my opponents, "Hey, you better help or else this will come to a die roll, do you Really want that?"

The die roll isn't coming in isolation, you can see it coming from the very beginning of the game. For exercise, I used to run a lot. When you run, and you're trying to hit a certain finish time, you have to be very exact with your pacing. In a half marathon, I can't slack off for 10 miles trying for a PR, and then try to make it up the last 3 miles, you have to be in it from the word 'go.' When you're really number focused, you pretty much know at any given mile what your chances are.

I look at Churchill the same way. If you don't want a Condition 3 ending you better take steps right away. There is only so much ground you can make up at the end.

Of course, the big question is, how do you get the dice-avoiding Euro player to buy into this? How big a cross over game can you have with this sort of possible ending? The COIN games do not have this sort of ending mechanic. Not that one mechanic is better than another in an absolute sense, but maybe one mechanic might be better if the end goal (a meta goal, if you will) is to design the biggest cross over/hybrid game ever.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
colmenarez wrote:
My 2 cents:

Condition 1: Alliance Victory. The VP leader is in the driver's seat to shape the post-war world while giving enough to his other two allies to jump in the bandwagon.

Condition 2: Coalition Victory. 2nd Place has successfully convinced 3rd Place to form a post-war coalition (with 2nd being the Sr Partner) against the VP leader - he got too big and scary.

Condition 3: Conditional Axis Surrender. It's every nation for itself by striking a deal with one or both axis powers for the post-war struggle.
I love the summaries. A humble suggestion: can we put the names based on the status of the alliance at the end of the game? I think it would be easier to remember

Condition 1: Alliance stays together
Condition 2: Splintered alliance
Condition 3: Alliance melt-down

Or something similar
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Parks
United States
Newark
Delaware
flag msg tools
mbmb
Thanks for all the responses. Seems the general consensus is "the designer wanted to add additional layers to the onion..." A worthy goal in my opinion.

Hopefully our scheduled Friday game will come off. If so I will try to put out a session report.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rex Stites
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SBGrad wrote:
I personally LIKE the die roll. The narrative isn't really, "I played for X hours and it came to a lousy die roll;" the narrative is, "I played for x hours and made bad choices, and now the only way I can pull this out is through a die roll." But then, I'm a wargamer so I'm used to dice. I also like the metagame concept of playing Chicken with my opponents, "Hey, you better help or else this will come to a die roll, do you Really want that?"

The die roll isn't coming in isolation, you can see it coming from the very beginning of the game. For exercise, I used to run a lot. When you run, and you're trying to hit a certain finish time, you have to be very exact with your pacing. In a half marathon, I can't slack off for 10 miles trying for a PR, and then try to make it up the last 3 miles, you have to be in it from the word 'go.' When you're really number focused, you pretty much know at any given mile what your chances are.

I look at Churchill the same way. If you don't want a Condition 3 ending you better take steps right away. There is only so much ground you can make up at the end.

Of course, the big question is, how do you get the dice-avoiding Euro player to buy into this? How big a cross over game can you have with this sort of possible ending? The COIN games do not have this sort of ending mechanic. Not that one mechanic is better than another in an absolute sense, but maybe one mechanic might be better if the end goal (a meta goal, if you will) is to design the biggest cross over/hybrid game ever.
I think this is spot on. There's a big difference between a game that comes down to an arbitrary die roll because of poor play--e.g. Churchill--and one that comes down to an arbitrary die roll because of perfect play--e.g., Afrika Korps (among seasoned players, the game allegedly comes down to a combat die roll for Tobruk).

If Churchill consisted only of VC #3, then the die roll would be a problem. But in the context of the other two victory conditions, it's brilliant, imo.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Kreuz
United States
Bloomington
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MarkHerman wrote:
colmenarez wrote:
My 2 cents:

Condition 1: Alliance Victory. The VP leader is in the driver's seat to shape the post-war world while giving enough to his other two allies to jump in the bandwagon.

Condition 2: Coalition Victory. 2nd Place has successfully convinced 3rd Place to form a post-war coalition (with 2nd being the Sr Partner) against the VP leader - he got too big and scary.

Condition 3: Conditional Axis Surrender. It's every nation for itself by striking a deal with one or both axis powers for the post-war struggle.
I like these alot... I think these more succinctly capture the essence of the situation.

GG...

Mark

Yes - These sound good. For Coalition Victory, VP Leader either needs to help take care of 3rd Place or risk letting 2nd Place build a coalition with him.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
colmenarez wrote:
My 2 cents:

Condition 1: Alliance Victory. The VP leader is in the driver's seat to shape the post-war world while giving enough to his other two allies to jump in the bandwagon.

Condition 2: Coalition Victory. 2nd Place has successfully convinced 3rd Place to form a post-war coalition (with 2nd being the Sr Partner) against the VP leader - he got too big and scary.

Condition 3: Conditional Axis Surrender. It's every nation for itself by striking a deal with one or both axis powers for the post-war struggle.
I like these as well. This is how I will define them when showing the game to someone.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   |