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Subject: Politics Concept Just Uploaded to Files rss

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John Smith
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I'm very tired, because I have been working on this project the past several hours, and it is late. (explanation incoming)

I'm gong to skip the protracted rationale.

I'll just say that I bought Eclipse, and I oh-so-very-much-wanted to love it for what it is.

And I pretty much do.

But it is missing a couple of things that I still oh-so-very-much want it to have:

1) Politics
2) Trade

I have set out to resolve #1 above.


I thought long and hard how to make politics work in this vey elegant game. A big stack of cards didn't quite seem to fit.

Then a concept struck me. And I have posted a rough-ish version to the files area. In terms of instrucitons and explanations, I think the file will speak for itself (with just a modicum of careful reading and thoughtful consideration).

Look for the file called "Politics Version Alpha."

We'll call it a very rough sketch of what I think might be an amazing concept for this game.

I'll post more as feedback starts to roll in.

In the mean time, recommendations are welcome, and I am hoping the community can help to refine and tweak the fundamental idea.


(NOTE: It is simply a one-page file, and it is pretty much print and play, with everything on one 8x11 sheet... with no cutting, pasting, or other arts and crafts required)

Let me know what you think.

I'm hoping to hear stuff like: "wow," and "elegant," and "amazing," and "if you just tweak..."






 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Hang on, you've designed a politics variant without having played the game first?

Call me when you've played a few times.
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Greg Lott
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sdiberar wrote:
Hang on, you've designed a politics variant without having played the game first?

Call me when you've played a few times.


This.

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Geoff Hall
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How are we jointly reaching a conclusion that the guy hasn't played the game yet? I see nowhere in the thread where he states one way or another whether or not he's played it and the file still hadn't been approved last I looked. Mayhap people should try giving the benefit of the doubt until they at least have a chance to look at his idea?
 
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Emile de Maat
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Moved Thread
Moved this thread from the Eclipse Rules forum to the Eclipse Variants forum.
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Wim van Gruisen
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The file is not there.

Why don't you just copy the rules and put them in a post in this thread? Makes it easier for the readers - they don't have to leave the thread, download a word file, fire up Word, and so on.
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Wim van Gruisen
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fantstc2 wrote:
But it is missing a couple of things that I still oh-so-very-much want it to have:

1) Politics
2) Trade

And why should it be in the game? I'll make a guess that it is because TI3 has politics and trade, and some people see Eclipse as TI3, but shorter (excuse me if the guess is wrong).
But perhaps we should like Eclipse for what it is, without trying to force all the TI3 mechanics into it. Eclipse is a tight game with wonderfully integrated mechanics - quite the opposite from the rules sprawl that is TI3. A large part of what makes Eclipse great is this tight integration and the smooth rules. Perhaps we should keep it that way.

That said, politics in TI3 never convinced me. We have a galaxy where all factions are at war with each other. What is then the overpowering organisation that can impose rules on everyone? Some sort of galactic super-United Nations? But then look at the lack of power our UN has.

I haven't seen your ideas for Eclipse yet - they haven't been posted - but any system that involves all players discussing with each other on new rules is, IMHO, counter to the theme of the game. In Eclipse we don't have a galactic civilisation. At the start of the game the different races haven't even met each other. If they haven't, how can they than decide on galactic rules?

As for the lack of trade, the diplomacy mechanism in the game IMHO adequately represents that. What is called Trade in TI3 is nothing like it, but just a very abstract implementation of the final results of not being protectionist. It is really not much more than yet another currency and another set of rules in the game. In Eclipse, diplomatic relations give the extra income that is granted by the more complicated trade mechanism in TI3, if the player chooses so. Or they give extra tech or extra materials. If you want some more dynamics in the rules for diplomacy then, perhaps, as an action, you could break diplomatic relations. Put an action disk on the Influence action (I think that that would fit) and take back your cube. The other player takes back his cube.
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CW Lumm
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Agreed.

I would never use a variant designed by someone who hasn't played the game yet, sorry.

I have a really hard time thinking you've grasped the nuances of the game enough to improve on it without it ever having hit your table. Not to say it's tremendously complex, but there may be little things you've missed, or strategies you haven't thought to counter.

And I don't think it really needs politics or trade - it already has these things to some extent. But I might give a variant a shot once you've playtested it.
 
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John Smith
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Oh cummon people. The file hasn't even gone up yet.

I'm going to argue that criticizing a variant that you haven't seen is almost exactly the same as cirticizing a game that someone hasn't played.

Take a look at the darn file.

And then hate it for what it is... or isn't...

Geez... It's just a concept. Turn the flamethrowers down.


And I think it's pretty darn terrific... at least in concept.

(good morning by the way)


Whoever guessed TI3... Yes... I am a huge fan... and I feel no shame in saying I like these elements in scifi games and stories.


... and I also have no shame in saying that I like Eclipse, and already see equal or more potential in this game...


Every company releases expansions. It doesn't mean their games are bad or broken.


I'm not criticizing the game at all.


I like it quite a lot, acutally.


What if I just asked for suggestions regarding the concept? Would it help?




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Emile de Maat
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Whymme wrote:
I haven't seen your ideas for Eclipse yet - they haven't been posted - but any system that involves all players discussing with each other on new rules is, IMHO, counter to the theme of the game. In Eclipse we don't have a galactic civilisation. At the start of the game the different races haven't even met each other. If they haven't, how can they than decide on galactic rules?


I don't think the game needs politics and trade rules, but I do want to point out that the races have already met each other. There has already been a major war between the Terrans and the Orion Hegemony. The Galactic Center houses the Galactic Council, which in which the seven major races of Eclipse are represented - so there are some diplomatic relations in place already.
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CW Lumm
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fantstc2 wrote:
Every company releases expansions. It doesn't mean their games are bad or broken.


...for games they've played, yeah.

No one's flaming you here. I for one didn't criticize you for working up the variant. I'm sure someone else might give it a shot. I just wouldn't use it until you have a firmer basis for your design. That's a personal preference.

The file isn't up, by the way.
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John Smith
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Doesn't seem like a problem?

Let's just say my variant is the "Galactic Council" itself???

Although... I did title the component the "general assembly"... but I can fix it.



Bottom line: I like the concept of voting and influence very much.

I know that I am not alone.

Influence is already a huge part of the game.

I just made further use of influence.



OK.. so I promised a little more language when I finally had more energy.


Here are a few preliminary thoughts:

1. I like games in which there are a variety of paths to victory. This variant is intended to make every strategy a little more viable. (esp. the non-beligerent ones)

2. The variant is also a new strategy in itself (i.e., win with a political strategy as well)

3. Introduce a couple of new ways to earn and control VPs. I think this will help losing players stay in the game.



The general idea is extremly simple:

It is all done on one board. It uses the tightly-bound action/influence/resource mechanic that is already integral to the game.

Each game ONE regulation will be enacted at the end of the game.

The regulation will penalize a certain game strategy, or help it.

Players use their influence to do two essential things:

1) Decide WHICH regulation will be enacted, by influencing the direction of a "general aseembly"

2) Decide WHAT the regulation will actually do (i.e., bonus or penalty) by influencing the direction of the appropriate subcommittee/council.



There is a bit more, but not very much.

Check out the file.



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kamchatka wrote:
fantstc2 wrote:
Every company releases expansions. It doesn't mean their games are bad or broken.


...for games they've played, yeah.

No one's flaming you here. I for one didn't criticize you for working up the variant. I'm sure someone else might give it a shot. I just wouldn't use it until you have a firmer basis for your design. That's a personal preference.

Hm. Conrad, John didn't yet comment if he played the game or not. Perhaps a bit suspicious, but in no way a 'firm basis' for any claims that he didn't. Using that pseudonym he might well be the designer of the game in disguise, probing ground for possible expansions (…or just a very elaborate troll).

John, have you played Eclipse at all? (I for one haven't, and probably have to wait till 2nd printing)

Apart from that, a 'pretty darn terrific' concept for politics in a space game that actually is 'pretty darn terrific' I would love to see, no matter if the guy coming up with it ever played any game or not.
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Wim van Gruisen
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fantstc2 wrote:
Oh cummon people. The file hasn't even gone up yet.
...
Take a look at the darn file.

Eerm, yeah.

If you want comments on your ideas, then why do you start a thread before the file is up? And why don't you post the gist of it in this thread?

Edit: crosspost
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Jason Preder
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Why don't you just post the variant in this thread in the mean time so you can get some real feedback. Untill the file really goes up, all you're gonna get is a bunch of "ho hum" anyhow.

I've played Eclipse 3 times now and it works pretty good as is, but I'm drooling at the mouth for potential expansion material..although, I lean towards the official stuff that has been playtested like crazy.

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Stephen Rochelle
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fantstc2 wrote:
1. I like games in which there are a variety of paths to victory. This variant is intended to make every strategy a little more viable. (esp. the non-beligerent ones)

2. The variant is also a new strategy in itself (i.e., win with a political strategy as well)

3. Introduce a couple of new ways to earn and control VPs. I think this will help losing players stay in the game.
"Every strategy more viable" is flatly impossible; this is the Lake Wobegone Effect, but Garrison Keillor is well aware that it's nonsense when he uses it.

What I suspect is that you want to be able to pick a strategy before you sit down at the table, pursue that strategy regardless of the state of the board and the actions of the other players, and stand a strong chance of winning with that strategy. And there are games like that! Games like "Rock Paper Scissors".
 
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John Smith
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John Smith is obviously not my real name. I simply work professionally, and I have no interest in enabling people to make the (sometimes negative) associaiton between me and gaming.

I love games. You love games. They are extremely fun and totally harmless. But in my experience, not everyone understands them. And a lot of people misunderstand the hobby.

I obviously intentionally chose a name that would announce the fact that I am using a pseudonym. (John Smith...)

Bottom line: I assure everyone that I have no affiliation with the designer, or the developer, or the production company.

I'm totally freelance.

I'm just a person who is jazzed about a really good game.


As for the "general concept" that everyone is requesting: I already posted it earlier in the string.

There is a bit more to it than is explained in the description that I posted, but that description was more or less the essence. The "bit more" pertains to a "committee leader" mechanic that makes the starting player token even more important.


File will be posted soon, I'm guessing.




 
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John Smith
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Stephen: Nah... I just like voting and political machinations.

Given the tight-binding of money and influence in this game, I am guessing that my basic concept would end up being a delicate mechanism in most games (i.e., too much influence on politics, and you don't have enough influence to take other actions; but if you spend enough, you can certianly use it to support your win).

In most games, I am guessing that it would be a pretty subtle additional element/pressure that gradually develops and evolves over the course of the game.


How long ddoes it usually take to post files?








 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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DreadFuzzy wrote:
How are we jointly reaching a conclusion that the guy hasn't played the game yet? I see nowhere in the thread where he states one way or another whether or not he's played it and the file still hadn't been approved last I looked. Mayhap people should try giving the benefit of the doubt until they at least have a chance to look at his idea?

Actually, you're right, I misread the word "just" in his post and assumed he had "just" acquired the game when writing the variant. If he has played it, I withdraw my comment.
 
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Chris J Davis
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It normally takes about two weeks for a file to appear. Possibly longer over Christmas.
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive but in principle, I am all in favour of having more paths to victory. So in addition to choices about technologies to be adopted and combinations to explore, I am all in favour of having options to win by managing a rich political, trade or whatever aspect to the game. Providing it can be implemented just as efficiently as the existing mechanics appear to be.

Of course, we all need to get quite a few plays of the proper game first, to satisfy ourselves that those aspects are truly missing or undeveloped; and then to be able to follow that up with some quality feedback.

But I imagine that there will be official expansions to come and that they are likely to introduce other paths to victory, that may well include more in-depth political and trade options.

It's all speculation, I know but where best to discuss variants that are fully tested or otherwise, if not here.

Kudos to the OP for opening up a topic for debate.
 
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fantstc2 wrote:
The general idea is extremly simple:

It is all done on one board. It uses the tightly-bound action/influence/resource mechanic that is already integral to the game.

Each game ONE regulation will be enacted at the end of the game.

The regulation will penalize a certain game strategy, or help it.

Players use their influence to do two essential things:

1) Decide WHICH regulation will be enacted, by influencing the direction of a "general aseembly"

2) Decide WHAT the regulation will actually do (i.e., bonus or penalty) by influencing the direction of the appropriate subcommittee/council.



There is a bit more, but not very much.

Check out the file.




Since the file still isn't up, and the description I quoted is not very clear, we're still up to guessing what's going on.

So, my guess:
In this set-up the game starts with a number of potential victory goals. Each turn, one of them is voted off, Big Brother-style (the goal with the most votes leaves).
Each player can get votes by, as an action, putting action tokens on the 'Galactic Council' board (via the influence action). That means that votes cost money.

Am I warm?
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John Smith
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Warmish.

As I said, my last post outined the general concept.

Yes. It's an influence action, in that it uses the influence chips.


There are two places you could put the influence chip:

1) One area ("General Assembly") where you decide which (single) bonus/penalty will be applied at end of game. There are eight areas of the General Assembly, and you can maintain influence chips in more than one area. Ultimately, at the end of the game, ONE regulation will be enacted. The enacted regulation will be the one that is targeted with the most influence.

2) The other area is likewise comprised of eight parts. Each part represents one subcomittee. The subcomittees decide the affect of the potential regulations. There is one subcomittee that corresponds to each of the eight areas in the General Assembly. At the end of each round, comittee policies are adjusted. Players with influence in each committee vote to move a "policy marker" to determine whether a bonus/penalty would be applied. Players can have influence in various subcomittees simultaneously.


It is important to note that nly ONE regulation will be enacted at the end of the game. So players can influence the general assembly to focus on a certain issue, but if they don't also have influence in the corresponding subcomittee, they may not receive the bonus/penalty outcome that was anticipated.

Most of the "regulations" (i.e., bonuses/penalties) were conceived to center around stuff that you already receive points for (ex. hexes, technology, ambassadors, etc.)


The idea is that if you use influence effectively, you can make a certain game strategy "worth" more (or less) than usual. For example, each monolith could end up garnering you an extra point or two. But this will require a delicate balance of pay between the general assembly and the subcomittees.

And insofar as the influence equates to money, you also need to balance politics with other activities.


Hope this helps.


Again, I think the board itself will help to clarify.




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DK Kemler
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I for one think this sounds like an interesting idea, sort of like uncovering the conspiracy in Android. I look forward to seeing it explored.
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sdiberar wrote:
If he has played it, I withdraw my comment.


Me too.
 
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