Its Impossible to Win a Campaign

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Its Impossible to Win a Campaign

Postby Keith » Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:58 pm

There is a fatal flaw in mutliplayer campaign games with many strategic targets making it almost mathematically impossible for a player to win.

Imagine a 3 player game with 12 strategic targets (quite possible if the other riefits tables keep turning up "additional strategic targets"). Assume, for simplicity, that no race has an initative bonus an that player 1 has captured 11 tatgets and Player 2 holds the lasttarget.

On the initiative roll player 1 will go last becausre of the -11 initiative modifer for hold 11 systems. (Yes I know he could technically draw with player 2 but they would just have ro reroll until he lost).

During the turn player 3 attacks the target held by player 2 depriving player 1 of the opportunity.

Ownership of this world could swing between player 2 and 3 forever without player 1 winning.

I understand that this case is mearly of acedemic interst to all but the most devout rules lawyer.
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Postby Sulfurdown » Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:31 am

A potential modifier - one that I had almost put into place for our current campaign - is that when a player loses all Strategic Targets after Turn 3* then they are out of the campaign instead of just when a player has lost all ships.


*3 is an arbitrary number that sounded good before I reread the campaign victory conditions and decided to shelve the No Target Loss rule.
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Postby Green_Knight » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:34 am

we alwasy declare a number of turns for the campaign.
The player with the most strtegic targets at the end wins.

In case of a tie, the resourcepoint-production will decide.
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Postby locarno24 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:02 am

either that, or nominate a number of 'critical strategic targets' - you have to hold all of those to win, the others are just RP cash cows.......

if an invading force has taken the two settled worlds, the space dock, and the jump gate, does it really matter that the former defenders have still got a toehold in a small asteroid belt?
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Romu
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Postby Romu » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:05 am

That makes more sense indeed.
And the limited turns thing should work aswell i guess.
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Postby Locutus9956 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:57 am

all technically true but to be honest if you ever get to that situation most sane players would just call it a victory to player 1.
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Postby Greg Smith » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:29 am

If players 2 & 3 continue to fight over a single target, eventualy they are going to wipe each other out. Then player 1 steps in with a thousand ships in his fleet. :)
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Postby katadder » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:22 pm

basically like greg said, it took us 13 turns to finish a campaign cos people ran out of ships.
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Postby Sulfurdown » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:22 pm

Greg Smith wrote:If players 2 & 3 continue to fight over a single target, eventualy they are going to wipe each other out. Then player 1 steps in with a thousand ships in his fleet. :)
Not necessarily, but it would require some alliance style maneuvering with 2 & 3. If 2 controls last target, (s)he picks a target held by 1, 3 picks 2's target and player 1 doesn't get to chose. 2 concedes the target without a fight. Assuming 2 didn't win against 1, the next turn just reverses the roles of 2 & 3. They wear away against 1 and never allow him/her the chance to take the final target.

Could just call it dead when any player controls greater then 75% of the targets and RR production. Plenty of options for redefining the Victory conditions!
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Postby Greg Smith » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:08 pm

Sulfurdown wrote:Not necessarily, but it would require some alliance style maneuvering with 2 & 3. If 2 controls last target, (s)he picks a target held by 1, 3 picks 2's target and player 1 doesn't get to chose.
Player 1 always gets to take the trade route.
2 concedes the target without a fight. Assuming 2 didn't win against 1,


Which means player 2 will gain no RR points, and be losing ships. While player 1 probably has a very large surplus of ships and points to replenish his fleet. Player 3 will have gained 20+ points which he will have to use.
the next turn just reverses the roles of 2 & 3.


So this turn player 3 gains no points, while player 2 gains 20+ points. Is 20 points enough to repair and replace the ships he lost last time?
They wear away against 1 and never allow him/her the chance to take the final target.
I rather think they will batter themselves against his large fleet until they have no ships left.

It isn't the most satisfactory way to end a campaign, and if I was player 1, I'd tell the other two to stop dragging it out.

Could just call it dead when any player controls greater then 75% of the targets and RR production. Plenty of options for redefining the Victory conditions![/quote]
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Postby Sulfurdown » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:50 pm

Greg Smith wrote:I rather think they will batter themselves against his large fleet until they have no ships left.

It isn't the most satisfactory way to end a campaign, and if I was player 1, I'd tell the other two to stop dragging it out.
Well, I was assuming that player 2 wasn't going to win. There are two factors in that to think about - if the scenario isn't in 2's favor he can not show up and it stalemates with no losses, or it might be that he can take the target since after a point it doesn't matter how many ships a fleet has - the scenario generation system will limit what can show up. So you can't necessarily just wait for them to wear down as they might very well take a target from the lead player. And if that happens the next turn both underdogs can pick out new targets while the lead player can only attack one. Because you can't bring overwhelming force to battles as such, there is always a risk of the drag out.

Yeah, if I was player 1 I'd declare it a moral victory and close the campaign, or set up some limiting factor that would close a campaign before total attrition. I did forget about the Trade Route - you're right about that one!
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Postby Keith » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:57 pm

All the various ways of ending the campaign are useful. Thanks to you all.
Greg Smith wrote:If players 2 & 3 continue to fight over a single target, eventualy they are going to wipe each other out. Then player 1 steps in with a thousand ships in his fleet. :)
You would be surprised! We tended to take the long tem view when fighting a battle in a three or four way campaign. If you take the one off fight approach of "win at all costs" you soon find yourself at a disadvantage.

We soon realised that even a 10RR system was not worth loosing even 5 raid points of ships (75RR to replace). Doubly so if you were playing the Shadows or Vorlons.

We almost always had at least one battle in each campaign turn was not actually fought because one side or the other gave up before setting up the table. (If you are attacking there is little cost to loosing a battle so if you have no ships aor you know you are going to take a pasting don't fight. Once you have no systems take your 5 automatic RRs a turn and only press home your attack when its worth it).

It is the ability to stratigically outmaneuver the opponants and the more conservative style of play engendered which makes the campaign games so appealing.

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