TRINITY Test Game #2

Discussion on the duel-like Trinity variant.

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TRINITY Test Game #2

Post by Tinker » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:34 pm

Korexus suggested that we might want to start a thread outlining our thoughts about the game, since it is for testing purposes. This is that thread.

I suppose I should start with some actual thoughts, not that I have many at this hour of the morning when I haven't got any coffee into me yet.

First off, I was quite lucky this turn; Bryk and I collided while racing to a 150 POP island, and I managed to smack him back hard. As an exercise each turn in a duel I like to plan everybody's moves, not just my own, and I guessed 2 of 4 of my opponents moves correctly -- and one I got totally wrong was where Bryk and I butted heads. I was lucky to escape from that with nothing more than a bad guess.

Tactically, after turn 1 I'm facing a bit of "analysis paralysis." TRINITY seems to be an incredibly target-rich environment. With 8 enemies on the board and only needing to RIP three of them for a win, there's a large number of possible strategies to choose from. I'm finding it difficult to choose where to move and how quickly I should be trying for the win.
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Post by Duke » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:33 pm

lol@Brykovian

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Re: TRINITY Test Game #2

Post by Hannibal » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:36 pm

Tinker wrote:
Tactically, after turn 1 I'm facing a bit of "analysis paralysis." TRINITY seems to be an incredibly target-rich environment. With 8 enemies on the board and only needing to RIP three of them for a win, there's a large number of possible strategies to choose from. I'm finding it difficult to choose where to move and how quickly I should be trying for the win.
VERY good point, Tinker. You've instantly persuaded me. Come to think of it, that was one of the reasons that, in Full Duel, I created those naps between opposing humans AA, BB and CC - so that your options were at least a BIT more limited and you could discount some "options" and concentrate on a manageable number to think through ...

I guess it's even worse in Trinity! I'm open to suggestions on how to reduce the target-richness, in order to reduce the analysis paralysis. Even to institute into this first game from here on, why not?

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Post by korexus » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:07 am

Well, without wanting to sound like a broken record...


You could always give each player one other that they have to kill as the win condition. That way you're far more interested in attacking one of your opponents than the other. You'll also know that it is the other opponent who is more likely to be attacking you, so your offensive and defensive plans become easier.


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Post by Tinker » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:54 pm

phew! I'm back in town after being called away for awhile. I hope to get my turns in today. Sorry for dropping out there for a bit.
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Post by Hannibal » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:15 pm

korexus wrote:Well, without wanting to sound like a broken record...


You could always give each player one other that they have to kill as the win condition. That way you're far more interested in attacking one of your opponents than the other. You'll also know that it is the other opponent who is more likely to be attacking you, so your offensive and defensive plans become easier.


Chris.
Sorry for the delay. I was hoping for other suggestions to consider alongside it.

You might be right, Kor, that might be the best suggested solution (A). I might well go with it.

The downside for me, each time you've mentioned it, is the risk of imbalance. Between 3 players. Imagine that it is a Trinity between me, trewqh and, say, making one up, Dracrivian, who happens to be a very poor player at this point in time.

Hmm. It sounds very unfair? If my VC is to rip Dracivian, and yours is to rip me, I might have by far the easier ride? An unbalanced game? Your solution only works if the 3 are about even? Bad soltion if 2 are good and 1 is poor? Or even worse if 1 is good and 2 are poor? We could use your solution sometimes; but it might not work as THE Rule that solves all cases? Cases when there are two good players and one poorer? Maybe you could argue that it balances out?: Han only has to rip Dracrivian, but trewqh is only being threatened by Dracrivian ... Maybe. That's what I was thinking through before replying ... and waiting for alternative suggestions!

One possible alternative, of course, would be (B) an AAA nap till start of T6, and a BBB nap till start of T6. I.e. to reduce analysis paralysis by halving your options and making some borders safe and some routes illegal. That's what I did in Full Duel, with its AA, BB and CC naps - partly to add complexity and partly to simplify on analysis paralysis.


I don't feel 100% comfortable with my (B) - ie the AAA and BBB automatic naps till start of turn 6. Nor with your A targets B targets C targets A.

I'm open to another suggestion? Otherwise I'll probably go with Kor's suggestion, A targets B targets C targets A.

My other reluctance on that:
Kor was not to know this, but I was saving the mechanic of "secretly-your-target-is-player-X" for upcomimg "Q" and "S" ...

I don't want them all to be too samey.

This post would go on too long if I went on to explain/announce "Q" and "S", so I'll save that for elsewhere and later. Probably next year. After Trinity, EWoK etc. have had a run.

Anyone ELSE want to comment or contribute, while the rules of Trinity are still in flux and open to suggestion? Either commenting on (A) versus (B), or suggesting a radical alternative to both, as a means of keeping skill but reducing analysis paralysis?

Cheers,
Han
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Post by korexus » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:31 pm

Well, I'm not someone ELSE, but I'll make a quick comment anyway...

In the 1 good, 2 bad situation, the game is going to imbalanced anyway because one player is good and the other two are bad. Pretty much any ruleset will still favour the better player.

If it's 2 good, one bad things will balance out as you say. Not for the bad player, of course, but that person is presumably playing to gain experience rather than to win. Interesting choice of name by the way...

The automatic NAPs would reduce attacking choices, but increase defensive options. They would be even more powerfull than in Duel as you can use them to shield from twice the number of attackers. Not a bad thing, but I don't find the NAPs in Duel made my planning easier!

Refusing to be drawn on "Q" and "S". :P



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Post by Hannibal » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:03 am

korexus wrote:
Refusing to be drawn on "Q" and "S". :P

korexus.

OK, since you insist on dragging it out of me .....:P

We'll surely leave them till next year, but Quintet and Sextet are aimed to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from Duel and Duel-Lite. Duels have zero diplomacy, nice and clean, sheer strategy and tactics. Quintet and Sextet have max diplomacy, they are diplomatic nightmares, especially Sextet.

QUINTET

* For five human players (you guessed).

* One slot/colour each.

* The other five slots/colours start as humans who have quit, ie a human start-prov, but inactive. Rather than as Robos. The game will be complex enough without Robos. They sit as blockages or targets, making the terrain more interesting ...

* Each player has one of the other four human players as his secret target. A player wins as soon as his target-human is ripped.

* ie, as soon as one player loses, another player has won...

* So, you have to look out for, and figure out, who is trying to rip YOU, but don't weaken him TOO much, or you've made him easy for the player who has HIM as his target ... After all, as soon as one player loses, YOU have also lost ...

* Diplomatic nightmare. You don't know who's after you. You are trying to hide who(m) you are after. You don't want anyone to get ripped; not before your own target; you may even have to PROTECT a player who looks like being ripped; or else persuade others to, if you can persuade players C and D that player B is about to rip Player E and win ...so they'd better get in the way ... Of course, C and D might think you are misleading them ... and one of them is probably after YOUR skin ...


This is different from A targets B targets C targets A for Trinity, if we go with that. BECAUSE: with five players, you don't know who is after whom! When you do your diplomacy, each of you has a secret agenda ...


SEXTET

* The harder version of Quintet. The ultimate in complex diplomacy.

* For six human players (you guessed).

* One slot/colour each.

* The other four slots/colours start as humans who have quit, ie a human start-prov, but inactive. Rather than as Robos. The game will be complex enough without Robos. They sit as blockages or targets, making the terrain more interesting ...

* Each player has TWO of the other five human players as his secret targets. A player wins as soon as his TWO target-humans are ripped, by anybody. [Yes, two players could theoretically have the same human as their second target and thus share the win].

* Diplomatic double-nightmare. Somebody as well as you ALSO wants player B dead. But who? And the other 3 human players definitely DON'T want player B dead, as it will help two players and not them... But two players [probably] are also after YOU. Leaving three players who DON'T want you dead ... but who?

* Once one player is eliminated, it becomes even more knife-edge: two of the remaining 5 have [probably] scored a first rip, and each now needs a particular next human to get eliminated; but each a different one. And you may have spotted ONE rival, Player B, who benefitted from player C being ripped [Player B just ripped him!], but you're guessing as to which OTHER player ALSO had the ripped player C as their target ... So, band together to stop Player B getting a second rip, his other target ... BUT, one of the 3 of you talking about how to stop Player B also has one target under his belt; and is gunning for one of you ... or maybe for Player B as his next target ... so stop Player B but try not to kill him off for someone else ... Got the picture?!

Try diplomatically negotiating through that minefield!! Lots of bluffing and misdirection required.

Therein lies my design problem with them:

Are naps supposed to be unbreakable? Or are they just bluffs if you need to bluff? Otherwise, in Quintet, you offer naps with all 4 others, and the one who demurs is the one who is after you. So all have to say yes to avoid being the only one to say no. Possible stalemate. Less so in Sextet, but still an issue. I'd LIKE to keep the same spirit of naps being always honoured rather than bluffs. Looking for a solution ... feel free to suggest.

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Post by Brykovian » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:15 am

My suggestion: NO NAPs.

Of course, you can't really stop them, but they should be discouraged. Instead, players should go into the game with the understanding that it will only be turn-by-turn agreements and coordination -- no long term agreements or cooperation should be expected.

It would be more an approach and expectation than anything required or enforced by rules or game system.

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Post by korexus » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:22 am

If you say in the rules "no NAPs" then obviously people can still make them, but they have absolutely no space to complain if the NAP gets broken. Any NAP offer is simply a suggestion of cooperation which could be a bluff. Of course double use of the word NAP is confusing, but if the rules are clear that they are not part of the game structure, then you should be ok.

At the other end of the spectrum (Especially for Q) how about enforced automatic NAPs between all players for several turns. Basically, the game has a building me up phase (which may include "accidental" collisions) and a knocking them down phase. Otherwise, a player who starts near his target may well make a run straight at him for a 50/50 chance of a win.

Hmm, you could even make robos active for the building phase and then inactive after that. :)

Also, these would have to be played on very open maps. Otherwise, Player A could find himself too far away from his target to have any chance...



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Post by Brykovian » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:48 am

I've just submitted my orders for turn #4 ... it should run in about 20 minutes from now. I apologize to and appreciate Tinker & Dragonette's patience in the matter.

Not surprisingly, I am finding this format to be about half-way between a normal game (which I *love*) and Duel (which I've found not to be my cup of tea ... although I appreciate the design and expect most players to really like it). So, that means I like it so far, but simply don't have the time or brain-bandwidth to do the game justice.

I'm finding the 3-way aspect of the game to be quite intriguing. Last turn I RIP'd one of Tinker's colors ... but his other is getting a rather un-checked opportunity to grow. At the same time, I'm getting crowded against both of Dragonette's colors ... I'm hoping to loosen that situation up a bit.

If I focus on just competely taking out one player, that gives too much of an advantage to the other. For example, if I decided to pursue Tinker's northern horde, now that his other is gone, that will give Dragonette the chance to strengthen both of her colors and be overly strong when whichever of us between Tinker and I survive our conflict. If I work to take out both of Dragonette's colors first ... then Tinker grows fat and happy in the North (and continually makes that really annoying "evil genious" maniacal laugh).

So ... nice work, multi-headed design credit mongers! I think it gives a very unique and interesting flavor compared to the other WOK standard variants we already have available.

Cheers,
-Bryk
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Post by Tinker » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:33 pm

I think Bryk has played the Trinity game very well; he's definitely poised for a win. After getting that first RIP, it's very difficult to slow him down enough to stop him from continuing to rampage.
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Post by Tinker » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:20 pm

I might not win them, but I know when to call a win for somebody else. :lol: Brykovian has very neatly smashed Dragonette and I to win the game handily. I've already called for the vote.

My main post-mortem thought is that the game is too "tippy" as it stands right now. Once Bryk had a lead he had way too many targets to choose from and it was almost impossible for us to intervene. He decided to wipe Dragonette, but he could just as easily have chosen a couple of Bots which were close by and weak as well.

(That's not to take anything away from Bryk, he played extremely well.)
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Post by Dragonette » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:40 pm

well done bryk a bloomin good game. That was very sneaky.

i have to say that i think that was reallyfun and i would like to play another one another day.

d

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Post by Brykovian » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:10 pm

Thanks ... I found it a lot of fun too. As I posted earlier, a nice hybrid between the standard game and the Duel.

-Bryk
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