Announcing a new variant or X-game: TRINITY

Discussion on the duel-like Trinity variant.

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Announcing a new variant or X-game: TRINITY

Post by Hannibal » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:48 am

Hi folks. If it works and gets repeated, it's a variant; if not, it's an interesting one-off X-game!

Yondallus suggested it, and we're both working on the details and rules. Godexus has given his approval, so will sort out all problems :wink:

I'm GM'ing it, Yond is playing it, we want two more volunteers to play/test the first go at it, preferably people with some WOK experience, for their input.

Basically it is a 3-human-player version of Duel. The first try at the rules:

1) Three humans take two colours each, the other 4 colours are Robos. [It might work differently, perhaps better, if it was ONE colour each and 7 Robos, but we'll try this way first].

2) The 4 Robos act automatically and predictably, exactly as in Full Duel and Duel-Lite; so nothing new to learn or remember there.

3) The Victory Condition is: victory goes to the human player who first rips any 3 colours excluding his own. So, this can be 3 Robos, or 2 human colours and 1 Robo, or any combination of three. [We might find we need to make it FOUR rips, but we'll try it with three first]. RIPs are defined exactly as in Duel-Lite, ie the rip goes to the player, human or Robo, that ENDS the turn owning the last-to-be-lost province of the ripped player, ie it is possible to "steal" a rip from the first player to finish off a colour, later in the same turn. (It feels great when you do it!). If 2 humans achieve this at the end of the SAME turn, then the VC switches to first-to-four-rips, etc. This element of ANY mix of ripping Robos or humans should mean, IMHO, that one human is less tempted to just leave the other two humans fighting ... because the winner between the other two would then already have a rip under his belt towards his target of three rips ...

4) Same values as in Duels. Robos do the same as in Duels. No attacking or spy-ops on any player's START-prov for the first TWO turns. Whenever a prov is captured, its Def goes up by 0.2; each time; helps balance aggressive and defensive play, as in Duels. And means fewer/no differences to remember versus Duels.

5) Keeping it simple, as concerns naps, it will be like Duel-Lite rather than Full Duel; ie. there will be no automatic naps between opposing humans (as in Lite, unlike in Full). So, there are no automatic naps between YondA, KorA and CalA, YondB, KorB and CalB, etc. [We might find the variant would benefit from that, to reduce your tactical options to consider from about 40 to about 15, because of naps, but we'll try it without these gradually-expiring aotomatic naps first] The Robos are, as usual, semi-allied and will prefer attacking a neutral or human over attacking a fellow-Robo, unless no choice; just as in Full Duel and Duel-Lite.

6) But, unlike in Duels, there are THREE human players ... Hmm. So, in Trinity, there are the issues of diplomacy, naps and ganging-up. Hmm. Tricky to legislate for all possibilities. Let's try this:
a) GM's avoid any Trinity games having 2 from one clan and one other. Must be 3 from different clans; or 3 from same clan. We won't apply that to this first try at it, that's just for the future.
b) We COULD say "No diplomacy". But that would be a pity, and no way to police. Let's say that diplomacy is fine, public or private. But the 3 humans are ultimately against each other (no shared wins). Let's say that any NAP is, as usual, inviolate, not to be broken. But any other stuff and suggestions and agreements are a matter of diplomatic skill, bluff, and can be lies. Eg: "I'll go at RoboGreen and RoboRed with you, we'll grab one rip each ..."; or "Let's both take out the third human"; these are ALLOWED to be bluffs, tricks, lies, with no complaint of cheating, OK? Only NAPS are straight and MUST be stuck to. And only the elements of the nap that relate to non-aggression and dividing-up provs you will leave to each other to take; any additions to the nap, such as attacking X in return, are purely diplomacy, and might be a bluff, no complaints please. I hope you realise that this helps even up the threesome: two of them might have a binding non-aggression pact for a set number of turns, but the third player is comforted by the fact that any other arrangements, such as taking out colour X together, are non-binding and can be reneged on!

7) Start-map. Those of us who have GM'ed Duels have seen how hard it can be to generate and accept a start-up (start-provs, what the Robos will do, and OOP) that looks fair and equal between the two humans. (It typically takes me 10 restarts before I accept a start-map that looks interesting and even, and press Publish). It would be even harder to only accept a map that looked fair and even between THREE human players. Yond and I have agreed that, for the poor GM, and for players not to feel they got a raw deal, the only option is BIDDING. See the BIDDING rules at the end of the WOK Duel Rules. Yond and I agree that we need bidding to equalise start-positions in a 3-player game.

STOP PRESS!! Change: Bidding for start-positions is entirely an option for the GM. The following only applies if the GM institutes Bidding.

8. BIDDING FOR STARTING-POSITIONS. So, the start-map will be generated with 3 humans having 2 colours each. But then the 3 humans BID for swapping with each other. If all 3 spot/conclude that, say, Yond's two colours are much better placed, can help each other, are close to the Robos and Robo-collisions, and were lucky in the OOP ..... then the other two can bid to swap over who takes that position, and Yond can bid to keep it. Each human decides whether they would rather start where Yond does, or the second player, or his own start. Each sends in, secretly to the GM, a "bid" for their first choice, and a bid for their second choice. The bid is in terms of how many of their start-pop, in BOTH the provs they end up starting with, that they will sacrifice in order to win the bid for that starting-position. And a second bid, between the two starts they didn't bid for as first choice, again in terms of Pop from BOTH start-provs.

Confused? OK: The start-map is published, with Yond having Grey and Lt Blue, both near to an imminent Robo-collision he can exploit, and also lucky in the OOP.

This doesn't mean that Yond ends up with that start-position! All 3 players consider who got the better start-position after Turn 0 runs, and bid as they like. Secret bids to the GM.

Say, Yond hopes to end up with the pair generated for him (Grey and Lt Blue), so bids 28 Pop for first choice Grey/Lt Blue; AND, just in case he loses out on that pair of colours, he bids 14 Pop for Violet/Yellow as his second choice, if he misses out on his first choice. Say, Kor really hates his Lt Green/Orange start, so is desperate to switch; so he bids 68 Pop first choice to claim Grey/Lt Blue, and fully 89 Pop bid for Violet/Yellow - which will only apply if he fails to get his first choice ... Cal thinks his Violet/Yellow are middling, and the other two options not massively better or worse; so he'd prefer not to sacrifice lots of Pop; so he bids 16 Pop for first choice, Grey and Lt Blue, ansd also only 16 Pop for second choice, his "own" Violet/Yellow ...

The GM crunches the secret bids: Highest bid for first choice gets it; Kor gets the coveted Grey/Lt Green, and his second bid, of 89 Pop for Violet/Yellow is therefore voided.

GM crunches: Any other first-choice bids for either of the 2 remaining pairs of colours? In this case, no, they all had Grey/Lt Green as their first choice, and Kor won that bid and IS now Grey/Lt Blue.

So, it's a matter of who out of Yond and Cal gets Lt Green/Orange and who gets Violet/Yellow. GM looks at second choice bids. He ignores Kor's bid of 89 Pop second-choice for Violet/YYellow, because Kor is already sorted with winning his first choice, Grey/Lt Green. The GM compares Yond's and Cal's second-choice bids: Yond bid 14 Pop for Violet/Yellow as second choice, but Cal bid 16 Pop for it, so Cal gets it.

The GM announces who won which pair of start-colours, and what all the bids were (they're intrigued to know). Then swaps over the start-provs to match. And applies the penalties bid. Ie, in this case, Kor gets his preferred Grey/Lt Blue, and the GM manually edits the POP in those two start-provs downwards by his bid of 68 Pop in EACH of his two start-provs. The GM assigns Cal to Violet/Yellow, which Cal won as second choice, and removes the bid 16 Pop from EACH of Cal's start-provs Violet and Yellow. Yond gets the left-over Lt Green/Orange, but loses no start-Pop. You only lose start-pop on your SUCCESSFUL bids. It theoretically evens up the start-positions. If you couldn't care less which colour-pair you start with, then just bid zero/zero, and see what you end up with. If you are too busy in RL to consider the map and make a considered bid, then just bid zero/zero, and hope that the others have bid and are paying Pop-penalties for pairs that are better than what you will get by settling for whatever is left. In the event of ties, it is the EARLIER bid that gets it. If 2 or 3 bid zero/zero, then the GM decides the tie between zero/zeroes, by dice if necesssary.

Clear? Confused? Interested? Anyway, we need two of you to sign up to this playtest alongside Yondallus.

It's a new invention. Comments welcome.

edit: ONE TWEAK TO RULES:
If you rip the SECOND colour of another human, it does NOT count as a Rip for Victory Conditions. This is to make it less attractive for 2 humans to gang up on the third - they can't get one rip each from it. They can't get round this by ripping the third player's two colours on the SAME turn; only the colour wiped out earlier in the turn counts as a rip towards VC's, although the rip is awarded to the player who ENDS the turn owning that last prov of the human's first colour to get ripped.
NB: This tweak applies to GM Han's Trinity game; probably not to GM Chris's.

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Last edited by Hannibal on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by korexus » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:40 am

Just one thing that sticks out to me. If people are tying on a bid of 0, I'd say leave 'em where they are. Bidding 0 suggests you don't see any reason to swap, so why should the GM do any extra work?


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Post by Aussie Gaz » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:49 am

Han

Sounds interesting but I am in to many games now (waiting for you in our duel btw).

I disagree with letting the players know who bid what. I think it will make it much more intersting if you have to guess by how much you were outbid. IMHO

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Post by Dragonette » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:57 am

excuse me i sugessted that ages ago like in june and now youve got a forum saying yondallus did it. I said about it to korexus and kor passed the ideas on. I thought i the teenager may of being took seriously, and now its yondallus' idea thanks a lot.

d

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Post by Tinker » Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:56 pm

It looks to be a very interesting format, Hannibal. I'd be willing to give it a run, but if you would rather wait for more experienced players to step up, no problem. I can wait. :)
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Post by korexus » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:01 pm

Actually, Dragonette, *I* first suggested this, on January 12th at 6:40pm. The post is still in the forums if you want to check.

A three player Duel Variant is not a massive leap of imagination, I expect several people had the idea at some point. Yondallus is getting the credit because he has actually spent time with Hannibal, working out how the game would function. Don't worry about it, the important part is that we get a new game to play. :)



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Post by Yondallus » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:19 pm

Dragonette wrote:excuse me i sugessted that ages ago like in june and now youve got a forum saying yondallus did it. I said about it to korexus and kor passed the ideas on. I thought i the teenager may of being took seriously, and now its yondallus' idea thanks a lot.

d
*sigh*

it doesn't really matter who thought of what. The fact that we've worked it out and it's ready to go, should be the only thing that matters.

and seriously...

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Post by TBert » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:21 am

Silly thing to argue about people. Not worth the effort of your fingers typing it out.

But anyway, diplomacy complicates duels immensely. I would be very reluctant to sign up for a trinity duel unless I knew one of the people in there would agree to a NAP with me, since 4-on-2, even with some robos in the way, is not even close to fair. That's the best part of duels, the fact that no matter what, you're starting out on even ground, with set rules, and the best tactical mind wins.

With that said, I'd be interested to watch one unfold.
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Post by Dragonette » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:44 am

well i pressed the join game button, but still had no response to being allowed on the game or not

how's about me yon and kor have a go and the winner gets to state it as their idea.

just no naps to make it fair, what do you 2 think?

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Post by korexus » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:22 am

Nowhere near enough time over here, sorry. I have a secret project to work on! :wink:

If you want to keep the diplomacy down, you could change the win conditions, so kor has to kill Yon, Yon has to kill Drag and Drag has to kill kor. No way am I going to want to help Yon kill Drag as then he'll win, similarly Drag won't help me kill Yon. Player NAPs suddenly become a very stupid plan.


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Post by korexus » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:25 am

Just thinking of Hannibal and his alternative win conditions. I would also add to this, first to kill 3 Robos. That way, if one player takes two there is a marginal bonus in the other two working together to stop him grabbing either of the others. - The weak ganging up on the strong.


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Post by korexus » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:37 am

korexus wrote:kor has to kill Yon, Yon has to kill Drag and Drag has to kill kor.
And yes, this does mean if kor kills off Drag to stop her hurting him, Yon wins. That should make people play a balance of offense and defense!

Ok, I'll stop now...


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Post by Hannibal » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:41 am

korexus wrote:Just one thing that sticks out to me. If people are tying on a bid of 0, I'd say leave 'em where they are. Bidding 0 suggests you don't see any reason to swap, so why should the GM do any extra work?


korexus.
Good idea. I'll go with that. Unless, of course, they are both bidding for the third pair of colours ...? Can that happen, Kor? Just sending you off on a tangent ... to tease you! :wink:

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Post by Hannibal » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:58 am

Hey, I'm delighted that this got some interest and comment rather than silence, great.

Kor is spot-on that it took no great imagination, once Duel was on the cards. I'm sure you won't be amazed if I say that I had also considered 3, 4 and 5-player "Duels". Instead, I went for Duel-Lite first/next, still 2-player, but only TWO colours to co-ordinate and put in orders for... so it at least SOUNDS like it's easier ...!

And I think that trewqh's first response to my Duel idea, in 2006, was positive about it AND how it could extend to 3, 4 players etc. And I bet others later immediately saw the obvious extensions, too. So let's split the credit, parallel, 5 or 6 ways? And then forget it? Relax; we seem to be on the same side??

The next point is more important, so I'll break and make it a separate post.

H







TBert wrote: But anyway, diplomacy complicates duels immensely. I would be very reluctant to sign up for a trinity duel unless I knew one of the people in there would agree to a NAP with me, since 4-on-2, even with some robos in the way, is not even close to fair. That's the best part of duels, the fact that no matter what, you're starting out on even ground, with set rules, and the best tactical mind wins.
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Post by korexus » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:04 am

Anybody that puts in a bid of 0 for a position other than their own gets caught in the patented korexus-being-blinking-awkward field. They go wherever is easiest for the GM...

Example:
1st Choice
A bids 10 for B's home, B bids 5 for B's home, C bids 5 for B's home.
A get's it, move to second choice.

2nd Choice
B bids 0 for A's home, C bids 0 for A's home.
B is already being moved, so he goes to A. C stays in place

If they had both voted for C's home, B would still have moved. A different player "wins" the tie, but the GM is doing the same thing in either case.

You can't get a tie on the third choice. By definition, there is only one player left at that stage...


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Post by Hannibal » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:19 am

korexus wrote:
2nd Choice
B bids 0 for A's home, C bids 0 for A's home.
B is already being moved, so he goes to A. C stays in place

Chris.
Ah. Just fencing with you, Chris/God :wink: So, you seem to be introducing an extra contingent rule? Something about priority going to the same-bid player who has NOT just lost his starting-provs? Hey, I tend to explain a lot; but I strike a balance, shorter than most board-game-rules; hmm; pls word what you would add to the page(s) of rules to express this? Without lengthening the Rules too much, of course ... Hey, just teasing and bantering, right? "You vie against god at your peril".

:wink:

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Post by korexus » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:52 am

You do know that I can string_replace your name to *anything*, right? I'm not limited to playing with the formatting... :P

There is actually a bigger problem than wording, which you haven't addressed yet. What if I lose my first choice bid against Yon, for setup 1, but my second choice bid is higher than Drag's first choice bid for setup 2?

I'd say something like this:
If all players bid for different provinces as their first choice, the GM awards them and the game can start.

If two players bid for the same first choice, the high bidder gets it. The low bidder's second choice is then compared to the final player's first. If they are different the game can start, if they are the same then the high bidder gets it and the low bidder is put in the remaining slot.

If all three players bid for the same first choice, the high bidder gets it and the other two players' second choices are compared as above.

In the case of a draw, preference goes to the player who already occupies the setup, to reduce the workload for the GM. (If the draw is a result of two players bidding for a province which neither occupy, the winner is the player who the GM would have to move anyway.)
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Post by Aussie Gaz » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:57 pm

Han

I am glad to see you already thought about 4 and 5 player versions but why stop there.

You may even be able to come up with a 10 player version eventually.

Imagine that !!!!

:shock:

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Post by Nemesis » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:10 pm

I am waiting for the 35 player version, should be a good challenge.

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Post by trewqh » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:12 pm

WoK MMO!

My idea! :D
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