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I know you don't like categories with SPECs that allow for placeholders, but the flip side is they let those with less experience/pieces get started and maybe even invested.
I think you did pretty good with the CATs getting more complicated as time goes on.


I'm also not sure how many participants would join on Flickr, but you may want to make a bigger map.
Keep a few 'Antarcticas', with varying levels of obviousness.


Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 3:15 am
Well I'm glad you asked, Keith. Something slightly annoying occurred to me during the game but I chose not to raise it as an outside observer for fear of being pummelled into the ground :)

As a purely casual spectator I may not have the time or desire to look at every single game MOC, but it is possible that a particular category may interest me more; if I'm looking at one Capitol Building or Aircraft Carrier then I may want to go look at the others for comparison.

But nowhere (that I could see) are they nicely collated by category.

They're not even necessarily collated anywhere, since you didn't mandate that all MOCs were added to the group pool.

I suppose solving this on MOCpages would have required either:

1. DAS to maintain a compact list of links to MOCs, ordered by category. Admittedly a bit of a hassle for DAS, but could also be useful for DAS too.

2. Create a chatless group for each category and mandate that players post category MOCs to the correct category pool as well as the main pool. Not much work for DAS as the effort is now on the player.

3. If you don't want all those extra groups, then at least mandate they post all MOCs to the main group, and preferably also enforce a title regime such as prefixing the MOC title with "DA3-11:" for category 11 MOCs. In that way one can view the main pool and sort it A-Z to collate categories together rather than plowing through hundreds and possibly missing one.

As I said, it was just a small but annoying thing that I wish had been different, and I think it would benefit the DAS, the players, and the spectators.

I'll leave it to you to decide how or whether to deal with this on Flickr, but with a potentially larger audience and larger playground, it could be even more important.

Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 6:08 am
Quoting Keith Goldman
...If you have an idea or a suggestion or a complaint, now's the time. It is my intention to run DA4 on Flickr in the near future to hopefully make up for the way things ended prematurely. No matter how it ended or what disadvantages we had, I still consider this iteration of the game a success and from a pure game-play perspective I think it was the most entertaining edition of the game yet. So I would appreciate it if you guys would be willing to help me make DA4 even better.

Topics to include anything, but I'm particularly interested in the following areas:

The rules in general
The World Court
The categories
The Map
The game mechanics

I'll close by mentioning that one thing that will never change is the Attack Window...it's the foundation of the game and although I appreciate that some people might not like it is the Action in Decisive Action.

Thanks in advance!


First of all, thanks again for playing, Keith! It was exciting! And a lot of fun!

1. Perhaps the Arctic should be made inaccessible for the first landing. Still, this is a difficult region to reach and only developed countries can reach it.
2. Now the sea is only an obstacle to the conquerors, but not the theater of operations. It is possible to allow official (not secret) alliances between which to trade, including by sea. Accordingly, to give the opportunity for the Navy to attack these pathways.
3. To give the opportunity to the player who was subjected to a simultaneous attack, to surrender some territory without a fight, focusing all their MILPO (with the exception of the fine, calculated according to the number of fixed categories, such as a port or spaceport) on the protection of selected areas.

Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 6:18 am
I also think some of the game information could have been better organised in its presentation, especially for outsiders less familiar with what's going on. Your information was, to some degree, a bit splattered all over the place.

Ideally, someone should be able to quickly arrive and see the current game state, time schedules, who is currently playing (actual links to the players, not just a reference to "General B" on the home page which I then have to spend time trying to identify and locate), who is in the lead, who has been knocked out, etc.

As I said, it's probably all in there somewhere, could probably just do with being better organised.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 6:22 am
The basics are good. If we get a bigger pool of players on flickr, we indeed need a bigger map. I think the wider community on flickr will deal with the place holder issue. And DA should always stay challenging for the players. Its mantra shall remain; " Read the rules, read the rules, and ...read the rules!"
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 10:05 am
The world court: no changes needed. It is up to the players to use their diplo well.
The catagories: no complainst, good idea to raise the level for the last round.
Maybe set in the rules if there will be a digital only build.
Map; bigger indeed. Some initial space for tactical manouvers would be nice.
Rules and mechanics: These are what makes the game stand out. It is the DNA of DA
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 10:22 am
 Group admin 
I agree with Michiel. DA should be challenging. In this iteration, the map was the perfect size for the number of players; the action was good and getting better. Previous editions took a while to get going with what seemed like more space for everyone. I wouldn't want there to much less space though... I suspect with a bigger audience on Flickr we would need a bigger (not massively so) map.

We came late to the idea of ramping up the moc category difficulty as the game progressed, and that's an area that's definitely worth pursuing. Making everyone build an orrery was Caleb's masterstroke; given this, it might be sensible for earlier cats to be slightly simpler than they were this time with an explicit warning that later ones will be tougher. The placeholder problem will solve itself among Flickr's wider audience.

Previously, the Space Program doubled the territorial MILPO rather than than all of it and I think that would be the way to go in future. It's a shame that the intended impact of being quick off the mark with an orrery was undone by the state of the site - that should have been a game-changer for those who were first.

The addition of more DIPLO categories was a great move, increasing the importance and influence of the World Court. Likewise new features like resource rich territories and so on. Not convinced about the ports though. Seems like extra complexity for little benefit.

In terms of gameplay, this was the most successful DA so far and there's no reason to think it can't be refined further in future DAs.

Traps on the map to catch out the unwary are good. A third of the map being set up this way possibly not so, but given my initial starting location this may be bias talking.

Treaty organisations should absolutely stay out of the DAS's influence.

Digital Dreams' 'moc collection' kind of already exists on the ORBAT, complete with handy links.

My two cents.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 10:40 am
Nevertheless, read the rules may be good motto, but as a new first time player who tried to study the rules very extensively, they don't have it all. This even cost me: I will point out two details I found stated no where, both of which are important points, I think. First, the fact that from single territory Islands any person can attack across water, no matter what territories they have elsewhere, or even if they don't have any others: even if they didn't start there, and even if they take it from someone else.

Second thing, was that the map allows for traveling off the edge on the left to the edge on the right.

If these are stated in the rules, I didn't catch them. Also they were not things that every player will ask questions about, even if they are attempting to know the rules.

Naturally, it's hard with such a complex game to get all the details in the rules, so I'm not saying this was a problem per se in this iteration. But we hope for many new players next time, and so this is what I suggest. That if someone asks a question like, "Is it indeed possible to go from East to West off the map?" the DAS should try to make sure that this obscure detail is on the Rules. Eh. Not sure I'm working this out right, and no doubt there will always be some things missing in the rules, and the players simply have to ask, but I'm trying to put myself in the new peoples shoes.

Thanks to the DAS for all the hard work, and for the amazing categories! For now this is the only complaint/critique that occurs to me, but I may be back with more!
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 11:16 am
"Not convinced about the ports though. Seems like extra complexity for little benefit."

Maybe if you attack from where the port is you get to travel a bonus sea territory? That would add a detail of care as to where you place it, and an importance as to its destruction.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 11:21 am
Also as a first time player, I almost got stuck in Antarctica :P . I understood the rules enough to watch out for islands like the C30s, but Didier's castle looked so inviting, and it seems at first that you can get pretty far there: I mean, you can even get 6 territories, except then your stuck. So it takes some hard thinking ahead to see why not to go there, and I think I mainly didn't land there thanks to help from an ally in the end. This, of course, is even more difficult to avoid for someone recently learning the ropes. But it's certainly a good beginner's challenge I think, and not allowing people to land there at the beginning would be crazy.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 11:31 am
Quoting W Navarre
"Not convinced about the ports though. Seems like extra complexity for little benefit."

Maybe if you attack from where the port is you get to travel a bonus sea territory? That would add a detail of care as to where you place it, and an importance as to its destruction.

Good idea. For example, the port will give +1 in the range of a sea attack, counting from the territory on which it is located.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 11:33 am
+1 On Navarres Port idea!

Really, the game is great. The only thing that really bugged me was how unclear the rules were, they were very basic and had some things missing. Now I know the reason for that is the time it would take to write in-depth rules, but, think about the time ot take sto answer they 300+ questions? Its really up to you guys on that.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 11:45 am
Quoting Patrick Boyle
The Rules: I liked the rules for the most part, the way sea combat worked and the multi-attack rules really pushed the friction of cooperating with one's rivals.

The only thing I had a problem with was the "Exception Island." Because other players couldn't attack without it without three coasts it meant the player started on an invincible fort, and they got to attack with their full milpo right out the gate instead of having their navy sit at home. Some of them were RRT's too. The only downside was having to get a logistics craft up fast. The rule wasn't very clearly written compared to the DAS interpretation, and I think a more restrictive form (like, it only counts for your starting attack, so you can get trapped later) would add a risk element to the many rewards one gets for taking it.


TWC: It was fun, but I think the selections need a big retool. Some of my options didn't make sense for when they appeared in the game. "Famine" was a non-starter, "calm seas" appeared the first turn anyone might have been able to use it at all and then never again.

More generally, the way the voting worked out left something to be desired. I'm not sure if it's fixable, because much of it was the way the coalitions built up. There just wasn't much self-interest or trade-offs in voting. Many of the categories ended up boiling down to targeting two players, so for most of the planet there was no risk or reward to vote outside of their bloc.

I disagree with Matt. If the world court was more vicious or cutthroat I would have spent the entire game shooting my friends in the face with propositions I wouldn't want to choose knowing the vote would probably go against our interest. I would look for more novel propositions that affect the shape of gameplay rather than striking specific players.

The Categories: I liked them, so I'll just bring up that this game's a bit expensive. The minifig requirements early on seemed a bit of a burden, and I was fortunate enough to be able to play games swapping hats and scarves to get by. Letting people re-use figures would be a good idea and might open up some options for storytelling.

Similarly, some of the cats just took a ton of bricks or specialized parts. Letting people use CAD was great, and I'm not even really going to say you're wrong to include big or complicated categories. Just do try to think of the smaller builders when you're thinking these things up.


The Map: So I did like the naval rules, I disliked how the map was set up for them. There were far too many coastal territories that had their own single sea zone. Getting three coastal territories very often wouldn't help you at all. D was probably the least optimized, where E was great. E not only had most the zones attacking the bare minimum neighboring territory, but the zones were designed to allow some real maneuverability and gave the players less predictable choices.

I'm on the fence about how the sea lanes between continents were designed. I feel like there should have been more possibilities, but I also appreciate how the shortage of 2 zone jumps would hinder large alliances.

Antarctica was great, but there should have been less of it and easier access for players who read the rules to come and clear them out. There was way too much intentional parallel play and allowing people to come back from the dead to hang out with almost no risk of attack for months was bleh.





I second that!

Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 11:57 am
Quoting David H.
+1 On Navarres Port idea!

Really, the game is great. The only thing that really bugged me was how unclear the rules were, they were very basic and had some things missing. Now I know the reason for that is the time it would take to write in-depth rules, but, think about the time ot take sto answer they 300+ questions? Its really up to you guys on that.

Takes time to read them too though. Better have a player who doesn't understand them all, like me this time, and yet next time will hopefully have more of a grasp on them, than a player who doesn't play because the rules daunt them. It's a difficult thing to balance.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 12:51 pm
Quoting W Navarre
Takes time to read them too though. Better have a player who doesn't understand them all, like me this time, and yet next time will hopefully have more of a grasp on them, than a player who doesn't play because the rules daunt them. It's a difficult thing to balance.

I considered not playing due to the lack of clarity. And who knows if there will be a DA5 to be better at? (For those who join in DA4)

As you said, its tough to balance
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 1:05 pm
Restarting is an option. I did it because there is also the diplo game to be played, hellas we never had the chanche to release Kevin
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 1:06 pm
As a first timer, I thought it was a complex and challenging game. I liked the layout, though several suggestions, such as from Navarre and rowntRee stuck out.

Great job with this DAS. Very impressive work getting this thing going, and trying to keep it afloat during the problems we encountered.
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 2:09 pm
This is just me but I always thought it would be cool if you could trade land between people, that may have added a whole new level to alliances and the game as a whole
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 4:22 pm
Alright! Here's my two cents, though I reckon this was the best iteration of DA yet!

1. Keep Antartica, but maybe make it a little smaller

2. Streamline the rules a tad, especially when it comes to Exemption Islands and when a Navy can be used.

3. I really like the progressive difficulty and diversity of the CAT's! Kept players on their toes and pushed them to build outside of their comfort zone.

4. Navarre's suggestion for the Port facility is a good one. If the CAT (or something similar) remains in play, I feel that we should go with that option.

5. I support the push for poetic prose in some of the CAT's! The creeds and shanties added that little bit boost of creative thinking for the players.

6. The World Court worked fine for me, and I feel that the extra DIPLO builds really helped make it a 'heavier' part of the game. Only thing I can suggest is holding onto some of the options, like 'Famine', for later on in the game.

Thanks for a great game everyone!
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 6:09 pm
Having played and also been a DAS, I only have one suggestion especially if you host on Flicker. Raise the number of DAS to either 4 or 5.

...and yes I took full advantage of the rules to do what I did knowing full well that I could stay put and with little effort while others fought. Sue me. My fun has always been more the behind the scenes stuff and I want to thank the Society of Hero's for all the good times! I am still a fan boy of so many of you, the builds, perseverance and strategic plotting is so great to watch!
Permalink
| June 11, 2018, 6:31 pm
*feedback incoming*

Here is something that I don't want changed in any way. Alliances. If they were made "Official Alliances" it would remove massive aspects of the game, and possibly make an 11 man alliance like hidden, way to powerful. I'd say they are good as they are, very flexible. It would make Backstabbing and betrayal much much harder, so it'd remove that aspect of it. Itd be better to just have it all secret, no official alliances that you get benefits from. Alliances were some of the most fun I had with DA, please don't mess with them. :)

(Also, I know this has been stated before, but can we keep all the groups?)
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 12:51 pm
I found myself wishing I could find MOCs easier occasionally, but I generally know the builder and look on the builder's page for his MOC, or even on the ORBAT. It seems it wouldn't take too long to find all the Aircraft Carrier's for example just scrolling through the ORBAT. A little more trouble for who ever it is who wants to look for it, which is unfortunately, but clearly the trouble is there, no need to give it to the players or the DAS if it's not needed I think. The one thing I can think of is that you guys delete people's ORBAT's when they are out, so then that mode of finding things would be gone. It does seem like on Flickr we could have separate threads where the pictures are posted fairly easily, but that would clutter the group. So my opinion is it isn't needed during the game, but what I do think would be good is if at the end there was a compilation of all the builds by each category. Or I don't know, maybe a volunteer could keep one thread where they're all organized throughout the game, since it wouldn't really be too challenging.
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 2:12 pm
Quoting Keith Goldman
That's not a bad call Ron, We'll probably shoot for 4 next time and have a couple of people on standby if there is more interest on Flickr than we expected. I'm not sure if the game will have the same kind of traction over there or not. There is definitely a larger pool of players to draw from but also a distinct lack of familiarity or nostalgia for the game like there is here. I was surprised at how few people asked me about the game on Flickr.

But...the tradeoff is no more hackers putting up pictures of burned soldiers or people hacking into private groups to get info on the game before it starts....or prolonged mysterious outages that seem to follow the attack window around.

Keith, I have to believe that the core who played the game this iteration will be the seed for the next. Flickr has its own challenges for gameplay, but I have to think that we will adapt.
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 2:23 pm
I believe rownTree already touched on this but the nature of the cyber warfare moc having its power limited to the amount of likes it receives is a good compromise that would force wise builders not to make it a placeholder.

As far as game mechanics could there be a way to over haul the navy system in some way? Needing three coasts in order to get use of an aircraft carrier (even for defense) doesn’t make a ton of sense.

The division rule is also a little janky in my opnion. Having an opponent with 2 milpo be able to divide a player with 100 milpo down to 50 seems a little nonsensical. In my opinion if that player with 2 milpo wants to join in an attack maybe an addition rule instead of division should be at play.

So the defende has 100 milpo. He is attacked by three opponents whose milpo is 40, 10, and 5. In my opinion that means a total of 55 milpo is being thrown at the defender. With a milpo of 100 he can repel all attacks. I know we want the game to be inclusive to many people, but having a player that barely builds anything and has an abysmal milpo rating be able to do such damage is dumb to me. My solution may not be the answer I just feel the current system occasionally makes not much sense.

Just my two cents. Aside from that, I felt that the game functioned rather well. There was a lot to learn but personally I enjoyed the complexity. Thank you for taking the time to listen to feedback, Keith. I really appreciate it.
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 2:58 pm
Quoting Keith Goldman
Can you give me your port idea again? I saw people referencing it but coudn't find the idea for some reason.

Here it is. Nick said:
"Not convinced about the ports though. Seems like extra complexity for little benefit."

Maybe if you attack from where the port is you get to travel a bonus sea territory? That would add a detail of care as to where you place it, and an importance as to its destruction
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 3:21 pm
The port suggestion would have allowed Didier and me to escape from Antartica, Must take that into account of designing the map
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 4:30 pm
Quoting Zach Sweigart
...
The division rule is also a little janky in my opnion. Having an opponent with 2 milpo be able to divide a player with 100 milpo down to 50 seems a little nonsensical. In my opinion if that player with 2 milpo wants to join in an attack maybe an addition rule instead of division should be at play.

So the defende has 100 milpo. He is attacked by three opponents whose milpo is 40, 10, and 5. In my opinion that means a total of 55 milpo is being thrown at the defender. With a milpo of 100 he can repel all attacks. I know we want the game to be inclusive to many people, but having a player that barely builds anything and has an abysmal milpo rating be able to do such damage is dumb to me. My solution may not be the answer I just feel the current system occasionally makes not much sense.
...

Agreed
Permalink
| June 12, 2018, 5:49 pm
I have a quite a few comments, but I am going to try to stick to one topic per post to keep things somewhat organized.

First, I'll point out that the combat mechanics have some weird consequences. One is that a strong player (i.e. one with a large amount of spec-based MILPO), actually becomes more difficult to attack as his number of territories is reduced. It's possible that such a player might even be immune to attack if he is reduced to one territory (i.e. if none of the neighboring players have as much MILPO). Perhaps that is an intended effect, but it just seems wrong to me.

What I think should be possible is for two or more players to attack a single enemy territory, with only one of them actually claiming the territory if successful. This mechanic could be implemented by allowing each player to use his attack declarations either to attack a territory or to support an attack on a territory. For instance.

Player A: "Outer Slobovia attacks U571"
Player B: "The State of Confusion supports the attack on U571"

Both the attacking and supporting players would have to be adjacent to the target territory. In the example above, if the attack is successful, Player A would claim territory U571. Player B would gain nothing (except the satisfaction of helping Player A).



Permalink
| June 13, 2018, 9:23 am
Quoting Zach Sweigart
As far as game mechanics could there be a way to over haul the navy system in some way? Needing three coasts in order to get use of an aircraft carrier (even for defense) doesn’t make a ton of sense.

But... you *can* use the aircraft carrier and other navy for defense, so long as you are a coastal territory, even if you just have one territory. Um, right?
Permalink
| June 13, 2018, 9:25 am
Regarding placeholders:

I think placeholders are only an issue for those categories where there is a "side effect," e.g. allowing an amphibious assault, doubling MILPO or DIPLO, negating an enemy's MILPO, etc.

If you want to discourage placeholders for these types of categories, you could make the effectiveness of the MOC be dependent on the number of likes it generates. For example, the Capitol might offer 1.25X DIPLO for 10 likes, 1.5X DIPLO for 20 likes, and 2X DIPLO for 30 likes.

The exact numbers and thresholds would need some tweaking, I'm sure, but you get the basic idea.
Permalink
| June 13, 2018, 9:32 am
One thing that I think will need to be cleaned up during the next re-write of the rules is when particular parameters are computed and when particular attack prerequisites are enforced. In some cases, they are computed/enforced at the beginning of the AW, when the ORBAT is frozen, and some are computed/enforced at the very moment of combat resolution. Here are some examples:

Frozen at the start of the AW:
* number of territories
* number of coastal territories

Applied/computed at the moment of combat:
* MILPO totals
* Adjacency requirement
* Existence of a nation (i.e. a nation eliminated by a combat earlier in an AW cannot attack)

Personally, I would be in favor of freezing/applying all restrictions at the beginning of an AW. This means that a nation that loses a territory during an AW could still use that territory for the purpose of being adjacent, and a nation that lost all of its territories earlier in an AW could still attack and possibly reclaim a territory to avoid being eliminated.

I'm not sure how MILPO numbers could be frozen, but assuming that they could, doing so would eliminate some potential shenanigans regarding liking/unliking MOCs after attacks have been declared.
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| June 13, 2018, 11:04 am
Quoting Mark B.
Personally, I would be in favor of freezing/applying all restrictions at the beginning of an AW. This means that a nation that loses a territory during an AW could still use that territory for the purpose of being adjacent, and a nation that lost all of its territories earlier in an AW could still attack and possibly reclaim a territory to avoid being eliminated.

But then speed would lose much of it's value, if not all its value. I believe Generalissimo Goldman said that the AW aspect wasn't going to change.
Permalink
| June 13, 2018, 11:40 am
Quoting W Navarre
Quoting Mark B.
Personally, I would be in favor of freezing/applying all restrictions at the beginning of an AW. This means that a nation that loses a territory during an AW could still use that territory for the purpose of being adjacent, and a nation that lost all of its territories earlier in an AW could still attack and possibly reclaim a territory to avoid being eliminated.

But then speed would lose much of it's value, if not all its value. I believe Generalissimo Goldman said that the AW aspect wasn't going to change.

Exactly. Speed should lose much of its value. It is currently way too important, in my opinion, as it depends on too many things that are completely beyond the players' control. What I am suggesting isn't really a change to the AW procedure at all - attacks would still be declared and acknowledged in the same manner that they are currently. I am just proposing a change in how attack prerequisites and MILPO are accounted for.

That being said, even if there is not going to be a change, I think the rules need an update so that the points in time at which MILPO are computed and attack restrictions applied are clearly stated.
Permalink
| June 13, 2018, 12:47 pm
Quoting Mark B.
Exactly. Speed should lose much of its value. It is currently way too important, in my opinion, as it depends on too many things that are completely beyond the players' control. What I am suggesting isn't really a change to the AW procedure at all - attacks would still be declared and acknowledged in the same manner that they are currently. I am just proposing a change in how attack prerequisites and MILPO are accounted for.

That being said, even if there is not going to be a change, I think the rules need an update so that the points in time at which MILPO are computed and attack restrictions applied are clearly stated.

But in a real war, speed matters. Id say not much needs to be changed gameplay wise.
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| June 13, 2018, 1:03 pm
Quoting David H.
But in a real war, speed matters. Id say not much needs to be changed gameplay wise.

In a real war, speed, in the sense of button-pushing, has almost nothing to do with the result, especially at the strategic level. Speed in acquiring intelligence, assimilating it, making a plan based on it, and enacting that plan is what's important. A disciplined army that can react quickly to changing conditions will crush a bunch of fast button-pushers 99.99% of the time.
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| June 13, 2018, 1:56 pm
Quoting W Navarre
But... you *can* use the aircraft carrier and other navy for defense, so long as you are a coastal territory, even if you just have one territory. Um, right?

Oh, I thought you couldn't until you had three. I better look again. I guess the fact that so many are confused on this is evidence of the fact that it may indeed need a re-tooling.
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| June 13, 2018, 2:44 pm
Quoting Mark B.
In a real war, speed, in the sense of button-pushing, has almost nothing to do with the result, especially at the strategic level. Speed in acquiring intelligence, assimilating it, making a plan based on it, and enacting that plan is what's important. A disciplined army that can react quickly to changing conditions will crush a bunch of fast button-pushers 99.99% of the time.

I second this, Mark. I know it's the name of the game, but surely there must indeed be a better system that doesn't have so many factors in play that players have no control over.
Permalink
| June 13, 2018, 2:45 pm
Quoting Patrick Boyle

Without the ability to shut down attacks the game would bog down with players frequently swapping territories. The strongest player would be literally impossible to remove from the game no matter how good their opponents strategy or how weak their own- they'd always be able to take one new territory. Similarly, stronger players would never be able to defend themselves from dog-pile attacks unless the numbers were massively disproportionate, because the weaker ones would always make it through.

The AW system also makes it exciting! And (theoretically) avoids combat being entirely numerically deterministic.

The flip side is that who was fast/slow didn't shake up very much (I'd be curious to know how much connection speeds and user locations mattered), and although I frequently got very lucky with the outages pushing the AW to when I wouldn't be at work I had to resign myself to the fact that I was going to lose important fights because of my situation being incompatible with the system.

The possibility of swapping territories, at least on occasion, could actually make the game a little more interesting. If you wanted to limit that from occurring, though, you put in place a rule that a player must designate the territory from which an attack is launched (i.e. it wouldn't sufficient to just "Nation A attacks G15." It would have to be something like "Nation A attacks G15 from G12" or "Nation A: G12 => G15"). Then, if there are two complementary attacks (e.g. "Nation A: G12 => G15" and "Nation B: G15 => G12"), the two would be combined into a single attack resolution, with either one or neither of the two nations advancing.

As far as eliminating powerful players goes, I agree that is an issue that would need to be addressed, and I think what might make sense is that the divisors used in combat resolutions take into account both the number of attacks and the number of defenses that a player is involved in (both occupy his army). For instance, if a player is attacked twice and launches 3 attacks himself, his MILPO would be divided by 5 (!).

I know Keith isn't going to change the AW procedure, but here is what I would say regarding the AW procedure preventing combats from "being entirely numerically deterministic": If you want some randomness in the combat results, it would be far better to have true randomness (e.g. dice rolling, etc.) than the "fake randomness" of the AW procedure, which favors players with better connections or more availability. There are a number of online dice rolling servers that could facilitate such random combat resolutions in a transparent manner that would be observable by all of the players.

Permalink
| June 14, 2018, 9:46 am
Regarding moving the game to Flickr:

There are a number of hurdles that will have to be overcome in moving the game to Flickr. One of the big ones is that there is no concept of a "MOC" or group of pictures that can be liked as a whole. You can only like individual pictures. Many of the specs necessarily require multiple pictures (e.g. "show the turret in more than one position"). Figuring out how to assign MILPO to a MOC under these conditions could be a little tricky. Probably the simplest solution would be to have each player simply select one picture for each category and put it on his ORBAT (players would have to monitor all of the pictures and select the one with the most likes for each category). The problem with doing that, though, is that if a player were to post many pictures for a MOC, he could dilute his likes (they would be spread over many different pictures). On MOCpages, posting many pics would be a good thing, but on Flickr, it would probably have to be discouraged. I would even suggest that specs requiring more than one pic should be avoided, if possible, so that players could, if they want, post just a single pic for each CAT.

Permalink
| June 14, 2018, 9:55 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Mark B.
Regarding moving the game to Flickr:

There are a number of hurdles that will have to be overcome in moving the game to Flickr. One of the big ones is that there is no concept of a "MOC" or group of pictures that can be liked as a whole. You can only like individual pictures. Many of the specs necessarily require multiple pictures (e.g. "show the turret in more than one position"). Figuring out how to assign MILPO to a MOC under these conditions could be a little tricky. Probably the simplest solution would be to have each player simply select one picture for each category and put it on his ORBAT (players would have to monitor all of the pictures and select the one with the most likes for each category). The problem with doing that, though, is that if a player were to post many pictures for a MOC, he could dilute his likes (they would be spread over many different pictures). On MOCpages, posting many pics would be a good thing, but on Flickr, it would probably have to be discouraged. I would even suggest that specs requiring more than one pic should be avoided, if possible, so that players could, if they want, post just a single pic for each CAT.

I haven't responded to much in this thread (just finally read through it all, actually) but I wanted to throw in my two cents here. Most of these comments have been really good about improving the current system. But Mark correctly notes that a Flickr migration will probably need a total redesign of certain systems.

I have no idea if I'll be DAS next game, but hopefully I can at least help be an architect of DA4. Redesigning MILPO for Flickr is one of the things I'm most determined to see through. It would be easy to write Cats for single-picture posting. Making power distribition fair and well-earned is a much harder concept.

Thank you everyone for your feedback. The game was a pleasure to play and now I feel like it could be just a prequel for DA4.
Permalink
| June 14, 2018, 10:36 am
Quoting VAkkron ™
I have no idea if I'll be DAS next game, but hopefully I can at least help be an architect of DA4. Redesigning MILPO for Flickr is one of the things I'm most determined to see through. It would be easy to write Cats for single-picture posting. Making power distribition fair and well-earned is a much harder concept.

Regarding the issue of power distribution on Flickr:

Earlier, in the general discussion thread (I think), someone raised the issue of the great disparity in the number of followers among the builders on Flickr. A relative newcomer might only have a few dozen followers, while some of the top builders have thousands. Clearly, there is going to be some need to level the playing field somewhat.

As a solution to that problem, I had proposed an ordinal-based approach in which the MOCs in each category would be sorted from top to bottom in terms of the number of likes. The top like-getter would be assigned a certain fixed amount of MILPO (say 100). The next best would get a slightly lesser amount (maybe 90 or 95), and so on. It would even be possible to weigh some categories more heavily than others using this approach (e.g. the top mechanized infantry might get 100 MILPO, while the top carrier might get 200).

There are other approaches that might work as well, including using nonlinear warping functions to modify the number of likes (e.g. square root), but I think any approach taken is likely to introduce at least a little bit of computational complexity to the MILPO computations.

Permalink
| June 14, 2018, 12:19 pm
Quoting Mark B.
Regarding moving the game to Flickr:

There are a number of hurdles that will have to be overcome in moving the game to Flickr. One of the big ones is that there is no concept of a "MOC" or group of pictures that can be liked as a whole. You can only like individual pictures. Many of the specs necessarily require multiple pictures (e.g. "show the turret in more than one position"). Figuring out how to assign MILPO to a MOC under these conditions could be a little tricky. Probably the simplest solution would be to have each player simply select one picture for each category and put it on his ORBAT (players would have to monitor all of the pictures and select the one with the most likes for each category). The problem with doing that, though, is that if a player were to post many pictures for a MOC, he could dilute his likes (they would be spread over many different pictures). On MOCpages, posting many pics would be a good thing, but on Flickr, it would probably have to be discouraged. I would even suggest that specs requiring more than one pic should be avoided, if possible, so that players could, if they want, post just a single pic for each CAT.

As I said before, MP can be used to place small images (500 pixels per page, 800 pixels zoom). Flickr allows you to place a photo of a much larger resolution. You can make composite photos. For example:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145007520@N05/42001358161/in/dateposted-public/
Permalink
| June 14, 2018, 12:37 pm
Sorry, it’s taken me a while to get around to adding some feedback.

One thing I wanted to mention was a possible change to coastal attack penalties, and changing it to time-based rather than a MILPO penalty. So for example: you attack within the same sea zone and that is in effect during that AW. You attack over two sea zones and the attack doesn’t ‘land’ until the following week. This would mean that A: a nation knows an attack is coming so can prepare, and B: you haven’t lost half of your navy just by travelling across some sea. This seems like it would be more like an actual naval strike.

Secondly, some sort of mailing list that we could use to be notified of when the next game is coming and maybe little updates etc. I missed the start this year as I hadn’t checked in for a while.
Permalink
| June 27, 2018, 5:04 pm
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