Today I would like to ask you guys some questions about strategy games.
1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most? I want you to be as specific as you can be. Which parts of diplomacy from any game do you like the most? What parts do you remember long after playing the most?
2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last? This is important to know the specific number of turns the game in Question lasted.
3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one? To you what makes one strategy game good fand another one bad? Consider different memories you have of those games can you remember the parts that made you enjoy that game the most?
wow, almost a year and people are still talking in this thread. Very cool.
1. My top two diplomacy systems are #1 emperor of the fading suns, and #2 twilight imperium (the board game). In both cases it ibecause diplomacy is as far different as possible from the civilization model, which I despise. Fading suns in particular is brutal, like Hapsburg and England brutal.
The game is a 4x,but it is primarily won via diplomacy. Military is just a means to get the votes to win. Empty imperial throne, five nobles warring for the crown, aliens at the gates who can extinct the human race if the civil war gets too vicious add in a Spanish inquisition style church and merchants guild that just crushed the empire and won equal standing to the nobles. First goal is to get voted in as regent, then declare yourself emperor then hold on to power for ten turns for the win. Each player starts with five votes, the church and merchants also have five but abstain unless bribed or at war with one contender.
Each vote is represented by a physical sceptre, capture someone's sceptres and you get their votes. You must have a noble on the imperial capital to cast your votes or you abstain. No battle is possible on the homework except for assassins. Until someone declares themselves emperor, then all bets are off. If all your nobles die you lose and you can't get more then you start with. Assassinations hurt, bad.
Being regent you give three layers minister positions. Promising these is typically how you get the votes to be elected. One is the imperial intelligence. They have a slew of assassins and spys on the capital and every home world. Usually people take those out. Fast while the ministry is empty (before the first vote), but sometimes you get lucky and can wipe out an enemy layer by killing all his nobles with this ministry. Second is the stigmata Garrison which starts with almost every tech in the game in?ocked, but he eds all their resources to man the only jump gate bottlenecking the aliens outside of the human Lands. If they get past planet stigmata, sometimes all the players lose and people use the threat of letting the aliens get loose as a "nuclear" deterrent in diplomacy. As in, "vote for me for emperor next election or I like the a!ones out and we all die, but you're three jumps closer to them than me." The third, is the imperial fleet ministry which has the largest warfleet in the game, easily able to exterminate any player and equipped with the best weapons and tech the game has. However, half is at stigmata keeping the aliens out (supporting the Garrison who are the ground troops) a small bit are near the unexplored southern border and about a third are guarding the capital.
Given you can only take one for yourself which two do you promise to get votes? Do you trust the person with a massive army of dreadnaught not to bombard your homework to rubble and force you to vote for him after giving him the fleet or will another player give it to him if you don't and he uses it on you anyway? Or do you promise to give him the fleet then really give it to someone else? Or are both of you trustworthy? Do you pull away a few of stigmatas sersoldoers and launch a surprise raid on an enemy home world to try and steal their sceptres or kill their nobles? Do you protect yours by hiding them in a remote slum of the capital or by building walls of troops to hide behind so assassins have to fight their way to you? Do you keep your nobles and sceptres all in one place or spread them out and risk losing them in transit?
I have never experienced anything like it. It is exquisite and the backstabbing and the loyalty both inspire much tears and laughter. Best diplomacy ever.
The aspects of diplomacy I like the least are trading, its boring and overly simple and lame. I also dislike how it all boils down to "you're smaller than me so I hate you a d want more." Now you're bigger then me so I hate you and want more. Now I just dislike you forever so I want more. You have nothing I want so piss off. Now you have lots that I want so gimme. Its like theres no way to ever make the ai like you or treat you fairly in the long run. the complex relationships that america and canada or sweden and norway have are impossible in all games because the ai always hates you and always acts selfishly and with short-term goals only.
The parts I like the most only happen in multiple human games and those are formining coalitions and joint long-term strategy, like "you research these trees and I'll research those and we'll share". Or, " you take these stars and stop, I'll take those and stop. Then the final two between us we'll divide based on who is behind or how good or bad the world's are." Or, "I'll build beam ships, you build railguns or missiles, then we both declare war on the drengin together." Etc. Where fading suns hit it so well is that even an ai will react to the power of a ministry or a promise of a ministry for votes. And that has long-term results not just one-off short term results.
2. I don't care about length, twilight imperium goes like a couple dozen turns, some others go hundreds. What matters instead is that there is a chance to win. When it is clearly over, the game needs to end. If Kasparov tells you cjheckmate in five, making him play those five turns just to prove it is rude. Game is over. No 4x game has ever recognized this, and as a result I almost never see a victory window because I don't enjoy the boring slog to the finish line when there is no way things will turn around.
3. The best parts are having many options and figuring out how to win. The carrying it to completion I find boring and frustrating. I loved how different the races were in master of motion, with the "omniscient" (that really wasn't) or the aquatics etc. I loved alpha centauri and galciv one/two for the multiple victory conditions. I love twilight imperium for the different races and how we all have different goals, like I might need to kill a certain number of enemy units to win but you need to control specific p!anets and someone else just needs to get a fixed number of specific units into play.its not just there are different ways to win but not all of us have access to the same ways to win. Replay ability really. Also just doing things totally uniquely, for example, the little game star traders 4x by the trees brothers inverts diplomacy. You cannot talk to the ai at all, it is a monster hell bent on exterminating you at all costs. Instead you play three factions and have to keep them happy with each other so you can face the ai as a united front. Trying to keep your world's from going to war with your other world's is so different an experience that it is hugely fun.
I'm still reading through this thread, but lots of cool replies so far.