|New game type suggestion: 1/6/2012 16:41:41
The Duke of Ben
One of the biggest draws to continue playing this game is determining and increasing skill at the game. The ladders, tournaments, or our profiles are all testaments to Who Is Better.
It's very difficult to measure skill in this game, because there are compounding factors in any given match. The biggest compounding variables involve getting bonuses and increasing income. The worst player in the game can beat the best if they have 100 income over 30. A slight advantage at the beginning of the game can lead equal players to result in unequal outcomes. Note "The Impaller vs. The World" where The World gaining a first turn bonus was pivital in the formation of the rest of the game.
My suggestion is to remove bonus income from consideration within a new game type. Instead, each player would have the same income, say 5, or 10, but would fight for victory point locations (which could easily consist of current bonuses, requiring no change in maps). The victory points would be necessary to promote movement and tactics, as otherwise the best method to win would be to do nothing but build up armies and wait for your opponent to attack. It wouldn't be much different than the "Duel" map.
There could be several ways to determine a winner, and I am open to further suggestions. One would be for the game to end when a player reaches a pre-determined number of victory points. A second would be outpacging an opponent by a certain percent. Again, this could be expanded.
Players are still encouraged to fight for bonuses and to break them, but instead of each successive bonus giving more weight to the person, leading to a snowball effect where the person with higher income can win more easily, no change is made to the relative positions. Each player would still be gaining the same number of troops each turn.
This would allow us to measure tactical skill between players, taking out compounding variables which makes it hard to determine tactical skill.
Certainly there is also skill involved in planning the game around breakpoints in income and income expansion, but I feel that this mode sometimes obfuscates the primary skill that we are most interested in examining.
Such a game would be possible now under current rules, if each player were willing to surrender once one player had enough victory points. It would be impossible to enforce the ruling and people could easily lie or miscount about how many points they have.