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Subject: Initial suggestions arising from first read of rules rss

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Greg Todd
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I've read the revised rulebook for the game whilst awaiting delivery and a few things struck me as odd, and possibly in need of tweaking. These are my random initial thoughts, so would welcome feedback from people who've actually played the game.

1. Fleet effect on campaigns
Thematically it seems weird to me that you can invade a sector with a big force, then some politician turns up and says "hey guys, ignore all those guns pointed at your head and vote for me" and they do.

I would suggest that each fleet in the sector of the Campaign provides a +1 drm to whichever side the fleets' owner supports (or they can not get involved).

It just seems logical to me. Would it affect play too much?

2. Tied votes
Why are tied votes decided by a die roll? The peoples in the game set up a whole Galactic Republic and this is the best way they could come up with for deciding important votes? Themeatically and gameplay-wise this just seems silly.

My suggestion is that there's some sort of Speaker position who has the casting vote which is passed round the table each turn.

3. Sectors joining rebellion
When a player rebels he just rolls to see which sectors he keeps. This seems very random.

It would seem more sensible if the player could use money or influence to adjust these rolls, or there was some other modifier. That way a player planning a rebellion could build up a big store of resourses to assist him, rather than the success of the rebellion being pretty arbitary.


 
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Darrell Hanning
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luckyjim wrote:
I've read the revised rulebook for the game whilst awaiting delivery and a few things struck me as odd, and possibly in need of tweaking. These are my random initial thoughts, so would welcome feedback from people who've actually played the game.

1. Fleet effect on campaigns
Thematically it seems weird to me that you can invade a sector with a big force, then some politician turns up and says "hey guys, ignore all those guns pointed at your head and vote for me" and they do.

I would suggest that each fleet in the sector of the Campaign provides a +1 drm to whichever side the fleets' owner supports (or they can not get involved).

It just seems logical to me. Would it affect play too much?


So, this would be where all indigenous peoples of a militarily-occuped region are in favor of the entity wielding the military force?

Because that's what always happens, in those circumstances?

 
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Greg Todd
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Yes that is exactly what happens.

Under military juntas and dictatorships there are often elections. The current President always wins those elections.

You (and the game designers) seem to be suggesting that warfare involves invading somewhere by force and then allowing the occupied territory free and fair elections to support whomever they choose. When does that ever happen?
 
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Darrell Hanning
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luckyjim wrote:
Yes that is exactly what happens.

Under military juntas and dictatorships there are often elections. The current President always wins those elections.

You (and the game designers) seem to be suggesting that warfare involves invading somewhere by force and then allowing the occupied territory free and fair elections to support whomever they choose. When does that ever happen?


I would also have to question whether you grasp the enormity of what you're suggesting.

Each sector on this map contains hundreds of millions of stars. There is no occupation of all the inhabited planets that is going to happen. Any fleet - no matter how large in terms of other fleets it may face - is just not going to keep millions of planets all voting for them out of fear of a fleet that is spread across millions of cubic light years. If the entire nation of 21st-century China - every man, woman and child - decided to try and occupy just one sector of inhabited space on this map, they could afford to send no more than about 10 people to each planet.

Are 10 people on an entire planet going to make a populace in the millions or billions cower in fear? I don't think so. This is an interstellar Republic - not a pack of stone tool natives cowering in fear at Spaniards with boomsticks.
 
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Greg Todd
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It's described in the rules as an invasion. You move your Admiral and his fleets into an area, overcome its defenses and take ownership of it.

I'm reading this as warfare, because it sounds like it.

Assuming a number of my fleets survive the battle and stay there, I still don't understand how an occupied territory is able to choose to ignore this fact and not be owned by me anymore.

Under your interpratation, what does the movement of fleets represent and why are they powerless against politicians?
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Taking out the defenses is a far stretch from occupation. I just don't see such a thing as practical on this scale.

You might intimidate a few, key systems in such a large volume of space, but that would just be the tip of the iceberg.

Keep in mind that the galaxy is ruled by a multi-race, well-established Senate with specific powers. Just because you come in and terrorize less than 1% of the total systems in a sector doesn't mean everybody suddenly starts voting for you. This is a game more about politics than about military conquest.

That isn't to say you couldn't come up with an alternate set of rules that reinforce your own vision of what you think should be happening - I'm sure you could. It just wouldn't be this game.

I've always seen it as an interstellar version of Republic of Rome. You can cow a small percentage of the people under your direct control, but that doesn't make them (or the people outside your direct control) loyal to you.
 
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Greg Todd
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The above was a reply to your previous post.

I hadn't considered the point about the size of the sectors, but that doesn't alter the contadicition.

My fleets are strong enough to make the entire sector mine through invasion, because that's what happens in the game. I don't understand how they're simultaneously too puny to make any difference to an election campaign.

Anyway I'm not suggesting that people can't campaign in occupied sectors, I'm just suggesting that the military and political muscle required to take control of a sector must logically also be able to exert that power towards keeping control of that sector.
 
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Greg Todd
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Posts now out of sequence. Confused.
 
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Greg Todd
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Quote:
That isn't to say you couldn't come up with an alternate set of rules that reinforce your own vision of what you think should be happening - I'm sure you could. It just wouldn't be this game.


I'm not trying to create my own vision. I'm trying to fix the contradiciton in the designers' vision.

Anyway, I will play with the rules as written initially. And will discuss this with my fellow players after and see how they feel.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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The distinction being made in the game is between military control and political control. And no, one does not necessarily equate with the other, even in our own world.

While military forces are a popular means to wrest political control from someone, it does not automatically follow that the populace agrees with what happened.

And on occasion, when the populace do agree with what happened, the populace are known to change their minds. This happens when their own particular lot doesn't improve, under the new regime.

So, if you think politicking suddenly stops, and never rears its head again, once the tanks or spaceships come rolling into the capital, that would be a mistake. The reins of government might be held by a certain individual, but that is far from being a permanent thing, or even a universally acknowledged and accepted thing.

The situation in this game is that the galaxy is benevolently united under a centralized government - a Republic. When a faction invades a sector, they are putting themselves in conflict with that Republic, which is why Republic fleets will defend against invasions.

So, even if you have taken the reins of power in a given sector, that doesn't mean the populace of that sector agree with your position. Nor does it mean that you won't find them throwing a revolution and kicking you out.

When you invade another country (or continent, or planet, or star system, or galactic sector), your problems are only starting when the invasion is successful. That is the history of oppression under military force.

I don't see any contradiction in the designer's vision. I think, instead, that you see things in overly simplistic terms.
 
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Evgeny Reznikov
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I really don't know the answer to this, but, Darrell - if a sector contains millions of stars, shouldn't the invading fleets be sized "to scale", and retain the ability to project force accordingly?
 
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Greg Todd
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Darrell, I appreciate the thought and effort that you've put into your replies, but I still think you're missing the fundmental point.
I'm not suggesting that politics stops at all, just the opposite. You are the one who is suggesting that political and military power exist in different dimensions.

I'm saying that my fleets represent enough power to take and keep control of a sector and they represent an ongoing presence that can defend it from hostile attacks - this follows from the rules.
Then whatever form that power takes, how does it suddenly vanish when the game changes to politics? Power is power. Whether the fleets represent force, or financial bribery, or diplomacy, or, most likely, all 3 I can apply that to the political arena.
Politics doesn't happen in a vacuum. Yes, political will can overcome pure military might, but it's a 2-way street. The use, or even the threat, of force can influence political decisions.
 
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Bor Onx
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1. I think "Thematically" is perhaps not the best reason to change the rules of this game. It's fairly abstract, and you can always come up with some reason, and the game is well balanced between political and military might.

2. We never rolled on tie votes: if a proposal doesn't get more for than against, it fails at our table.

3. The rebellion is really powerful. Yeah, you might roll well and keep a bunch of sectors, but you probably won't. Rules as written, only the weakest players go for it. With your change the strongest players would almost always go for it.
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Greg Todd
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Thanks for the response.

Quote:
1. I think "Thematically" is perhaps not the best reason to change the rules of this game. It's fairly abstract, and you can always come up with some reason, and the game is well balanced between political and military might.


I was actually looking for that kind of info, rather than a thematic discussion. I don't want to make thematic changes that are bad for gameplay, it's just this stood out as an oddity to me. But I'm happy not to change it if it would unbalance the game.
 
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