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Subject: Is Republic of Rome a development of Junta? rss

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James Wahl
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Were there any other games with the structure that they Junta and RoR both share - an election of a leader through unevenly distributed votes, the assignment of offices and goodies (possibly involving other votes), possible attacks between players, possible revolution against the leader initiated by one of the players, repeat - before 1979? What other games with that structure were released between 1979 and 1990? How about before 1979; do they have a common progenitor?

Have there been any interviews or articles by the designers of RoR acknowledging a connection? Would appreciate any references and/or thoughts. Did a search on the forum and didn't find anything.
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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There were designer notes in the Valley Games edition, and I don't remember any common lineage with Junta. My vague recollection was that it started out as a quick filler game before it entered the bowels of Avalon Hill.
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Mattias Elfström
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I see very few similarities. I can't remember RoR being compared to Junta at any point back in the day.

The original version of Junta had very sketchy rules and couldn't be played for competition in any sense of the word. RoR however...
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James Wahl
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I've never seen any comparisons, either, but the structure is virtually identical; other than that in Junta, La Republica de las Bananas is never in any danger.

kuhrusty wrote:
There were designer notes in the Valley Games edition, and I don't remember any common lineage with Junta. My vague recollection was that it started out as a quick filler game before it entered the bowels of Avalon Hill.


I actually checked those before I posted the thread
 
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Morten K
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John Company has the same: a leader is voted for and then shares money and appoints people.
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Alexandre Santos
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Tigrillo wrote:
John Company has the same: a leader is voted for and then shares money and appoints people.


The OP is talking about games from 1979 up to 1990, release date of RoR

Amusingly, upon a recent play of RoR I thought that Pandemic might have a form of parentage, in terms of dealing with wars/infected cities before they interact explosively with each other.
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James Wahl
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Tigrillo wrote:
John Company has the same: a leader is voted for and then shares money and appoints people.


That does look to be another variant. One of my favorites is Founding Fathers, and it taught me how tied elections work before it became a plot point on Veep. I am looking for pre-1990 examples, though, or even better pre-1979.
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Mark McG
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pharmakon wrote:

Have there been any interviews or articles by the designers of RoR acknowledging a connection? Would appreciate any references and/or thoughts. Did a search on the forum and didn't find anything.


there is an article by the designer, where he never mentions Junta.
Articles on Republic of Rome (AH)

The General
26-1,Coming Attractions,Designer's Notes,47,Republic of Rome,Don Greenwood
27-4,Not in Kansas Anymore,Analysis,6,An Analysis of Republic of Rome,John A. Walker
27-4,Series Replay,Series Replay,18,PBEM Republic of Rome,D. Greenwood et. al.
27-4,Princeps,Designer's Notes,25,The Design of Republic of Rome,Richard Berthold
27-5,Series Replay,Series Replay,41,PBEM Republic of Rome, Part 2,Staff

you could of course ask him
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What was Kingmaker's publication date?

It had a limited form of Parliament, with votes in Commons and Lords, that gave out "goodies".
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Amaroq81 wrote:
What was Kingmaker's publication date?

It had a limited form of Parliament, with votes in Commons and Lords, that gave out "goodies".


1974 or so, before Republic of Rome or Junta.
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kuhrusty wrote:
My vague recollection was that it started out as a quick filler game before it entered the bowels of Avalon Hill.


Ha ha ha.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Persuasion is lifted wholesale from Illuminati.
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James Wahl
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Amaroq81 wrote:
What was Kingmaker's publication date?

It had a limited form of Parliament, with votes in Commons and Lords, that gave out "goodies".


I haven't played before. I just skimmed the rules for the first time, and it's definitely the same sort of structure. A repeating multiple phase system with power plays where players jockey for control of votes, then a meeting of parliament in the middle run by one of the players based on office, and where offices are are handed out. Kingmaker also has the thing where players control multiple characters, which is only vestigial in Junta, with its multiple offices, brothers-in-law, and heirs.
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Mark McG
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OK, I've played
The Republic of Rome
Junta
Kingmaker

and in my mind they have very little in common except for a over arching concept of being multiplayer games with shifting groups formed by negotiation and common interest.

You can add
Diplomacy
and A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) to that list as well.

There is virtually no shared mechanics except in the most general sense, no thematic commonality, and each game has different methods, objectives and hindrances to victory. To claim RoR is a development of Junta is totally misunderstanding the game objectives and outcomes in my view.

For a starter, Republic of Rome can (and often does) defeat all the players. The game wins. That can, and never happens in Junta or any of the other games.

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James Wahl
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Minedog3 wrote:
OK, I've played
The Republic of Rome
Junta
Kingmaker

and in my mind they have very little in common except for a over arching concept of being multiplayer games with shifting groups formed by negotiation and common interest.

You can add
Diplomacy
and A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) to that list as well.

There is virtually no shared mechanics except in the most general sense, no thematic commonality, and each game has different methods, objectives and hindrances to victory. To claim RoR is a development of Junta is totally misunderstanding the game objectives and outcomes in my view.

For a starter, Republic of Rome can (and often does) defeat all the players. The game wins. That can, and never happens in Junta or any of the other games.



I don't know what to day to you; if you can't see the similarities between games where the players jockey for control of voting blocks, represent government officers who receive their offices during a parliamentary session which is the centerpiece of the game, and elect a leader to guide them through that session - are there any games with a closer relationship to these than each other?

I don't know anything about GoT, but the comparison to Diplomacy is just specious.
 
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pharmakon wrote:
I don't know anything about GoT, but the comparison to Diplomacy is just specious.

For the purposes of this discussion, yes, but for general discussions about Rome, no.

I'd missed the "faction of nobles" correlation with Kingmaker, actually, so I think its probably the closest comparison.

The only other structured politics game I can think of is Kremlin, again with the "faction" of aligned politicians, but its less a voting mechanic.
 
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Mark McG
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pharmakon wrote:


I don't know what to day to you; if you can't see the similarities between games where the players jockey for control of voting blocks, represent government officers who receive their offices during a parliamentary session which is the centerpiece of the game, and elect a leader to guide them through that session - are there any games with a closer relationship to these than each other?

I don't know anything about GoT, but the comparison to Diplomacy is just specious.


The objective on RoR is to become Consul for Life, through the acquisition of Prestige. The quickest (though often the most fatal) method is to fight external wars and win. Players have to balance the need to win sufficient wars to keep the republic alive, whilst limiting, and often punishing the victors of those wars. Then of course there are the internal problems of keeping the populace content(ish). Players never elect a "leader', they vote in office holders and for specific proposals that those office holders must undertake. They also vote through prosecutions.

The objective of Junta is to make the most $$$ in your Swiss bank account. Doesn't matter if you are President or not, nor indeed whether you survive as President, as long as you make it to the Bank. The only enemy is the other players. The heart of the game is dividing up the hidden cash, and surviving assassination attempts.

The objective of Kingmaker is to be the sole King, and importantly, the sole surviving Plantagenet. There is no election of a leader, you control heirs and the Parliament is a division of the spoils, and in fact can be sidelined unless you control enough votes. Calling Parliament is not a common event in my experience. Victory is achieved through military strength, and execution of competing heirs.

Diplomacy and Game of Thrones follow the Kingmaker model to a certain degree, essentially through the formation of military factions. Victory is derived by obtaining sufficient objectives. Game of Thrones does involve a bidding system for positions, which can be manipulated by multiplayer factions.

So aside from a very minor similarity of voting in Republic of Rome, Kingmaker and Junta, there is no actual similarity between the games. The objectives are entirely different. To claim there is some derivation between Junta and Republic of Rome is entirely speculative.
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Guillaume
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Minedog3 wrote:
To claim there is some derivation between Junta and Republic of Rome is entirely speculative.


I'm not so sure. They both use cards & dice...

The plot thickens.

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In 1984, Avalon Hill put out this module for its Dune power struggle game, which introduced a pre-game of sorts.




The pre-game had five rounds as I recall, which were very similar to the secret "how much did we get this turn" "here are your shares" and then a yes or no vote on whether the Manager was telling the truth from Junta. Being caught lying would result in the Manager position shifting to the next player.

After doing the five rounds of this, players secretly allocated troops to the various sietch locations and then simultaneously revealed their allocations, generating a random starting position for the game. They also could start the game with extra spice from the pre-game.

I think Republic of Rome was the first semi-co-op, which was its defining feature, and as such I consider it a noble but failed experiment. I would never buy or play a semi-co-op again. To my knowledge there were no other semi-co-ops before RoR, but I could be wrong.

(Kingmaker was semi-co-op in the respect that losing players could just hide on islands and keep the game from ever ending, thus denying anyone a victory, but I'm not sure that counts....)
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george atkins

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chuft wrote:

I think Republic of Rome was the first semi-co-op, which was its defining feature, and as such I consider it a noble but failed experiment.


Well, that is true of the first of the 3 scenarios. however, the succeeding scenarios in RoR emphasize more personal aggrandizement that overall cooperation. I'm assuming you don't mean the existence of the "Senate" phase, itself, as opposed to the cooperation between players to prevent the wars from killing off Rome.

But getting back to the main point, aren't you all just discussing the coincidence of game mechanics? The distribution feature (offices, appointments, etc.) of the Senate in RoR is the inherent function of the Roman Senate (and assemblies) in the first place. In Junta, there is no real formal "senate" as such. Instead, el Presidente hands out favors (offices and cash) to curry favor. So, yes; there is a similarity in that regard. It is also similar in that it is a multi-player game. But other than that, there is little else in common with it, as has already been pointed out. By that, I mean to say that the creation of Republic of Rome would probably have happened, regardless of whether there ever was a "Junta". In fact, I'll make the confession that I was working on a similar senate-based game of Republican Rome as early as 1977, when I was a graduate student. Nothing ever came of it and I did not share my research or development with anybody else.

I reckon that the similarity of this mechanic doesn't matter any more than the fact that virtually every war game created utilizes a hex-based map for movement/fire/control developed in Avalon Hill's "Tactics II".
 
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I mean I think the concept of a game where a player would rather have everyone lose than have someone else win is a bad concept for a game. In real life the Romans would not refuse to send their best general to fight Hannibal, even if such refusal meant Rome falling and Hannibal burning their civilization to the ground and them all getting killed, because they were concerned Scipio might get too much influence if he was put in charge. In the game, I would often see Scipio assassinated if he would otherwise win the game by beating Hannibal. Someone about to lose anyway would rather drag the Scipio player down with him.

The consequences for a group loss were the same for the loser as for an individual loss - no matter what a rulebook may say on the matter, if person A wins, everybody else is going to feel like they lost, and they'd rather everybody lose instead, at least that way they're all even, and even is better than lower. In that respect it's a terrible simulation, in real life prestige is important but nowhere near as important as preserving your family, lands, treasured monuments and culture etc. not to mention your life, which is what would be lost if Rome fell.
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chuft wrote:
The consequences for a group loss were the same for the loser as for an individual loss - no matter what a rulebook may say on the matter, if person A wins, everybody else is going to feel like they lost, and they'd rather everybody lose instead, at least that way they're all even, and even is better than lower. In that respect it's a terrible simulation, in real life prestige is important but nowhere near as important as preserving your family, lands, treasured monuments and culture etc. not to mention your life, which is what would be lost if Rome fell.

It's no wonder that semi-coops don't work for you if you decide to ignore their rules.

Human players are not "even" if Rome loses. They lose and the game (Hannibal, Philip V, etc.) wins. They are better off in 6th place over the game than tied for 7th place because the game won. Anyone tanking the game on purporse is playing in an irrational manner.

If you want to enjoy semi-coop games, simply assume that tanking the game is worse than ending up last amongst human players.

Otherwise you should wonder what the hell do you gain out of this.
 
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General_Norris wrote:

It's no wonder that semi-coops don't work for you if you decide to ignore their rules.


You seem confused. Let's look at the rules.

"12.1
WINNING: The game ends with a win for the player who fulfills any of the following victory conditions:
A. A loyal Senator achieves a total of 35 Influence and both he and Rome survives the turn (see 12.31). If two or more Senators simultaneously reach 35 Influence, the one exceeding 35 by the most is the winner. If equal, the Faction of the tied Senator with the most combined Influen
ce is the winner. If still tied, the game is a draw.
B. A rebel Senator while marching on Rome defeats the Senate in battle and both he and Rome survive the turn (see 12.32).
C. The Senate declares a Senator Consul For Life and both he and Rome survive the turn (see 12.31).
D. The State is bankrupt or felled by a "People Revolt" result during a Civil War. The declared rebel wins the game unless overcome by four Wars (see 12.32).
E. The last card is drawn from the Forum deck. If other victory/defeat
conditions do not intervene, the Faction with the most combined Influence at the end of the turn wins.

12.2
LOSING: The game ends in defeat for all players if one of the following conditions occurs:
A. There are four or more active War cards in play at the end of a Combat Phase.
B. A result of "People Revolt" is obtained during a Population Phase with no Civil War in effect.
C. The Senate is unable to pay the fine for any Natural Disaster or Evil Omens card with no Civil War in effect.
D. The State Treasury has insufficient funds to meet all the Republic's obligations during the Revenue Phase with no Civil War in effect.[/q]


There can only be one winner per the above, but all can be equal in losing together.

Quote:
Human players are not "even" if Rome loses. They lose and the game (Hannibal, Philip V, etc.) wins. They are better off in 6th place over the game than tied for 7th place because the game won.


Do you realize you are just making that up and it is not, in fact, in the rules?

Quote:
Anyone tanking the game on purporse is playing in an irrational manner.


Nah. They are playing to tie the other players (who are all humans), which is quite rational when the alternative is losing to another human player. There is no "sixth place" in the rules. There is winning and losing. Only one person can win. Many, many people feel that it is bad behavior and "kingmaking" to support another player winning when you could instead force a tie by having Rome fall. It's like the old placers-vs-drawers divide in Diplomacy, but much worse.

Quote:
If you want to enjoy semi-coop games, simply assume that tanking the game is worse than ending up last amongst human players.


It doesn't matter what I assume, unless everyone else assumes the same. Which they probably won't.

Here's a nice 36 page thread for you:

Are semi-co-op games flawed?

A lot of people consider the concept inherently broken. I'm one of them.

Quote:
Otherwise you should wonder what the hell do you gain out of this.


I get nothing, which is why I would never buy or play one again. Many, many others feel the same. I'm not going to repeat everything in that 36 page thread. Suffice to say, I think the concept is inherently broken. It was worth a try, and RoR tried, but human psychology being what it is, it just doesn't work.

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Ok, let's not debate rules. Let's use common sense.

Let's say I agree that RoR, as written is broken. So why not add a small rule that says "hey, tanking the game is worse for the player than having the least influence"?

Why complain and refuse to play a fun game when a little fix is all it takes?

Why are you posting in the Republic of Rome forums if you don't even like the game? You add nothing to the discussion!

You said so yourself: You get nothing out of this. Except complaining, I guess.
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General_Norris wrote:
Ok, let's not debate rules. Let's use common sense.


Your preferences are not the same thing as common sense.

Quote:
Let's say I agree that RoR, as written is broken. So why not add a small rule that says "hey, tanking the game is worse for the player than having the least influence"?


It would be a meaningless rule to a lot of people, who don't want someone else to win. If you are really interested in this discussion (and you don't seem to be) read the 36 page thread. Every possible argument and position has already been made there.

Quote:
Why complain and refuse to play a fun game when a little fix is all it takes?


Because it isn't fun and it requires a lot more than a little fix; it's an inherently flawed concept.

Quote:
Why are you posting in the Republic of Rome forums if you don't even like the game? You add nothing to the discussion!

You said so yourself: You get nothing out of this. Except complaining, I guess.


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