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Down with the King» Forums » Variants

Subject: Foreign Financial Aid rss

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Tom Cundiff
United States
St. Bernice
Indiana
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Howdy Gents,

While playing I've been keeping an eye out for opportunities to interject new possibilities into the game. Interestingly our election season being upon us, and given the realities of certain "foundations" we are faced with a disturbing fact. Foreign entities are donating money either for access to or for influence within our government.

That said, the concept of "foreign aid" in DWTK is anemic. Only in the last step of the game, when overthrowing the king, does the influence of a foreign nation have any impact, and only if you happen to have the ambassador.

Given our current state of affairs, it would seem that the ability of foreign agents (not necessarily government)to influence government activities exists well beyond any small contributions provided by a far away ambassador. In the context of DWTK, they can easily bribe and contribute money to various political parties within the government of Fandonia, or to government officers, even the King himself (not unheard of)

I wonder if a separate Table ought to exist whereby a faction (a PC) is able to consult the table and roll to solicit influence within Fandonia and thereby be able to obtain a "free" Event Card, or perhaps Money (IP's), or find out that there are other nobles who have shared your PC's interest in a foreign government or bodies' extra national interests allowing your PC to accuse others of Wrongdoing or to obtain extra loyalty counters.

Commentary?
 
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Nick West
Scotland
Colinton
Edinburgh
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Personally I'd don't think the suggestion adds much.

I see Fandonia as being in a place before political parties and before any formal independent civil service and hence no permanent government officers independent of Court or Noble patronage.

Due to the slow pace of communication it is surely also set at a time when the Ambassador was pretty much the main, if not the only, influence that a foreign exerted.

We aren't modelling the international geopolitical situation, only the internal status of Fandonia and so I would prefer to keep the focus firmly there.

It's an interesting suggestion nevertheless...
 
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Tom Cundiff
United States
St. Bernice
Indiana
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DWTK is a game that creates each PC and his friendly aligned characters as a political party of their own. Their joint purpose is to overthrow the king and institute their own party as the new rulers.

The fact that the game utilizes various offices within the government to create the government that supports the king belies your idea that no permanent government structure exists.

You need to read more about life and politics in the 1300's to 1600's (the time in which the game is set) to understand that foreign influence, especially financial influence was often utilized to pay for private armies to overthrow kings. This was especially true when some distant royal was attempting to interpose his own nebulous claim to the crown.

The existence of foreign wars and ambassadors as part of the game also belies the concept that the game isn't modeling international geopolitical influence within the "Fandonian" government.

Wrong on all counts.
 
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Robert Manning
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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The optional rules have a section on gaining foreign support -- as an activity the player may roll a die to take a specified country's foreign support card; the more characters the player has in the country the better the chance.

The errata makes foreign support cards illegal so that having one intrigued from a player's hand results in an accusation of wrongdoing.

Here's a suggestion:

***

Foreign Support is a variant prestige table and is consulted as part of the Consult a Prestige Table Activity.

In order to roll on the Foreign Support Prestige Table the player must have either their PC or a Henchman in the specified country.

The country selected may not currently be at war with Fandonia.

DRMs for this table are specific to each country. Cumulative DRMs are tracked separately by country.
If the Ambassador to the specified country is the PC or a FAC the player gains a +1 DRM.
+1 DRM if the specified country is Besyzan.
-1 DRM if the specified country is Epalin or Sandarkan.
A +1 DRM may be purchased for 2 IP.
Maximum DRM is +2.

Foreign Support Prestige Table
2 -- Foreign Scandal. Roll on Scandal Table. DRM -1. (Note 6)
3 -- Create International Incident. Next Turn's Crown Event is "One Political Problem" and that problem is "International Incident". DRM -1.
4 -- Persona non grata. Character is expelled from Country and returned to Fandonia. Character receives lifetime Ban from specified foreign country. If character is the Ambassador, he is recalled. DRM -1.
5 -- Foreign Corruption. Accused of Wrongdoing. (Note 7)
6 -- Not Trusted. No Effect. (Note 2)
7 -- Foreign Contacts. Gain 1 IP. DRM +1.
8 -- Foreign Secrets. Intrigue opponent's card. DRM +1 (Note 3)
9 -- Foreign Opportunity. The player may immediately draw either 1 Event Card, 1 Opportunity Counter, or 1 Loyalty Counter.
10 -- Foreign Underground. The player may immediately make a free roll on the Smuggling Prestige Table.
11 -- Foreign Influence. Gain 2 IP if Besyzan, gain 3 IP if City States or Cronos, gain 4 IP if Epalin or Sandarkan. DRM +1.
12 -- Foreign Support. Gain 2 IP if Besyzan, gain 3 IP if City States or Cronos, gain 4 IP if Epalin or Sandarkan. Take Foreign Support Event card; if already taken or still in deck gain additional 2 IP instead. DRM +1.


Standard Prestige Table Results Notes:
2. No Effect. The player may not perform any more activities this turn.
3. Intrigue Opponents card. The player may perform activity 13.4.12 as a free, additional activity this turn.
6. Roll On Scandal Table. The player may not perform any more activities this turn, and must designate his PC or a henchman to consult the Scandal Table.
7. Accused of Wrongdoing. The player must designate his PC or a henchman to be accused of wrongdoing.


In all of the above cases where "The player must designate his PC or a henchman" the PC or a henchman must be in the specified foreign country. Rule 17.6 may need to be modified to allow use of the henchman for this.

Rule 20.5 causes gains and losses on prestige tables to be halved (rounded down) if the PC is abroad. Following that if a PC is in Fandonia while a henchman is used to consult this table the gains and losses will not be halved. I suggest allowing the doubling of gains and losses if the PC is used to consult this table directly (which would then be halved); or just granting that 20.5 does not apply to this table.
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Tom Cundiff
United States
St. Bernice
Indiana
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Very well thought out! This was my idea entirely, though I had not yet set down to write the specific table. Bravo!
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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Huddersfield
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Cundiff wrote:
DWTK is a game that creates each PC and his friendly aligned characters as a political party of their own. Their joint purpose is to overthrow the king and institute their own party as the new rulers.

The fact that the game utilizes various offices within the government to create the government that supports the king belies your idea that no permanent government structure exists.


There is a Political Parties variant flying around - http://www.spotlightongames.com/variant/dwtk.html

I'm not that keen on it personally. The liberal/conservative designators jar especially; it feels like trying to put American modern political labels where they don't fit. As well as that, the idea of political parties being a significant factor in West European politics is about a century too early. The Tories and Whigs (which I think are the inspiration) don't arise until right at the end of the sevententh century. And they assume a post English revolution influential parliament which simply doesn't exist in DWTK. Usurption is one thing, but there's no mechanism for the players to meddle in the line of succession.

A game inspired by the Exclusion Bill crisis would be fascinating, but DWTK isn't it.

Quote:
The existence of foreign wars and ambassadors as part of the game also belies the concept that the game isn't modeling international geopolitical influence within the "Fandonian" government.


I think your wargaming background is coming through there. DWTK isn't attempting to model anything; it's not a historical (or even a fantasy) simulation. It's attempting to represent international geopolitical influence within the "Fandonian" government. Different design technique to modelling.

The proposed foreign aid rules are fine, but I don't think I'll be using them. For my purposes, the optional rules on gaining foreign support work fine to represent this. Slightly abstracted, but I'd see them as taking into account financial support etc. already.

And the importance of support cards shouldn't be underestimated, even if you can't use them straight away. They can make a seemingly weak faction have a good chance at the throne and help you keep it afterwards.
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Tom Cundiff
United States
St. Bernice
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Interesting that you use the word faction easily enough, but cannot see the direct parallel and equality to political party. They're the same thing, synonyms.

"It's attempting to represent international geopolitical influence within the "Fandonian" government. Different design technique to modelling."

What? Have you been reading 1984 or Brave New World alot?
 
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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Cundiff wrote:
Interesting that you use the word faction easily enough, but cannot see the direct parallel and equality to political party. They're the same thing, synonyms.


They aren't quite. Politcal actions can be informal, which they are here. (I doubt the term would be used in Fandonia.) Political parties suggests a formal organisational structure.

Political factions are a forerunner to political parties, speaking historically.

Really, the party political system simply doesn't exist prior to the late seventeenth century. (And arguably doesn't really take off until the nineteeth).

If you look at the Long Parliament, parties in the modern sense did not yet exist. There were factions, which were yet to solidify into political parties. There was no formal party led by Cromwell, just a group of individuals who generally supported him.

The Tories are the first political party to have existed in the world. Unless you can suggest a counterexample?

Quote:
What? Have you been reading 1984 or Brave New World alot?


To put it another way then, DWTK is not an attempt to simulate anything. It aims to get the "feel" of medieval politics, not to model it.

Compare to something like The Republic of Rome which does aim to model Roman politics, despite taking historical liberties.
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Tom Cundiff
United States
St. Bernice
Indiana
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I suggest that a party and a faction are synonymous. I see NO difference.
 
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Carlo Marinozzi
Italy
Livorno
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Cundiff wrote:
I suggest that a party and a faction are synonymous. I see NO difference.


I beg to differ, there is a huge difference between an organized entity like a party and a faction; the game seems set in a non-defined period but surely preceding the emergence of modern parties.

To simplify, James II was ousted by a faction, but you have to wait till George III to recognize the signs of a true party system (I presume that DWTK is based on England, of course)
 
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Tom Cundiff
United States
St. Bernice
Indiana
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You are free to believe as you wish.
 
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