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The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

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Jason
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The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

Post by Jason on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:57 am

Don't worry, I'm not about to start doing William Shatner impressions...

...nor is any of this a criticism of the game or Richard, just some random thoughts.

I've played Chinese positions in a couple of games and have enjoy doing so. It is a team position, there are five Chinese positions in all, and it is a true team position as no one ever plays the Emperor so essentially all five positions are equal (this was clearly stated when I was in G2 and I think is still true in later games). This makes sense given the population sizes in game-the combined population is something like 130 million, far beyond any Europe power and (according to "The Gentleman's Handbook") only India is larger, at 160 million (and that's all Indian states combined). There are difference between the five positions-for example Korea is much smaller than the other four but has greater independence, whilst Kwantung does allow foreign trade from the outset-but in general all five are the same with noone being really able to claim to be in charge, which I think does make it different to other team positions (like the Ottoman Empire).

Chinese positions are fun to play, you can try and modernise and extend the Empire's power or be shut off and have nothing to do with the Barbarians. China also has some lovely weapons of its own and if you decide to go down the industrial path, there are some lovely technologies you can discover or even 're-discover'.

The problem I do find is however it is rare to have more than a couple of players active in China for any time-I think at one early stage in G8 we have four roles filled but that quickly went to three, then to two...and now I think only one...of course this is true in any of the team positions but it does feel more pronounced in China and I think has a bigger impact on the positions. A unscrupulous player could plunder the other provinces quite easily, for example recruiting in another province doesn't seem to count as foreign recruiting and is allowed, and I guess the same could apply to accessing natural resources in those provinces. However a honourable player (like what I am Wink ) wouldn't do that but might get concerned that whilst his own province is developing and improving, the others are stagnating and could be a liability if the Empire were attacked. Now I'm not suggesting that China should be one position (imaging trying to play it-or perhaps don't!) but I wonder if there could be a simple and cheap way (for both an active Chinese player and Richard!) for non-active provinces to be looked after in some sort of caretaker way. There would need to be rules in place so an active player didn't take recruits or resources out of a non-active province they were caretaking, and it would need to be limited (say three actions a month per non-active province, a combination of military change orders, expenditure and other orders) but it would mean that non-active provinces wouldn't get completely left behind the active provinces in a position like China and would (hopefully) mean that when a new player took on a non-active province, they would find it wasn't totally undeveloped Smile

Like I say, these are just random thoughts and I could be totally wrong Smile I'm quite happy trying to govern one province, have no desire to run five! affraid


mmcdhoward
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Re: The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

Post by mmcdhoward on Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:07 pm

Jason,

I've read what you'd said and it mostly seems to make sense to me that China should be divided. The problem, as I see it, is that Europe is the center of the (in game) world. Most people here seem to have expertise in Europe's history, and it may be asking too much for five players to give up having direct influence on European events.

That said, a long term effort with all five Chinese positions taken would probably be incredibly fun. If there were a way to find four other people who were looking to play in Asia instead of Europe I would sign up as soon as I could, just to learn about eastern politics and see what it's like to play in that unique situation.
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Deacon
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Re: The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

Post by Deacon on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:25 pm

I think part of the problem with the game is that all positions cost the same. Richard obviously has to do that to cover his own costs and salary, but the consequence is that there isn't a great incentive to play some of the more out of the way positions.

I wish there was a solution to that, but I can't think of one.
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The Real Louis
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Re: The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

Post by The Real Louis on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:38 pm

Hmm... in theory all positions cost the same - but I tend to find a larger position runs away with extra orders.

But the idea of an "all-Chinese" by invite sub-set going on in one of the main games sounds intriguing. Is there a game running where there is more than one current Chinese player, so that 3 new entrants could join in?
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MarkTurner26
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Re: The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

Post by MarkTurner26 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:26 pm

Well I am about to take a chinese position so wish me luck
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Jason
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Re: The Trouble with Tribbles...opps, China

Post by Jason on Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:16 am

Thanks for the comments Smile

mmcdhoward-completely agree, China does need to be divided Smile it would simply be too big for one player (population wise if nothing else!) It would be brilliant to have a game with all Chinese positions occupied, working to a common aim but still with enough independence to make each player feel they could do their own thing Wink Imagine such a China, pushing out into the Pacific and the 'East Indies', able to offer a real alternative to European domination...

Deacon and Jim-agree with both of you, all positions cost the same...but yes larger positions do require more 'additional orders' and so cost more. In Game 8 there are two active Chinese players. Early on we did briefly have 4 but 2 did drop out early on.

Mark-good luck Smile They are fun positions to play, esp if the barbarians are occupied and ignoring the 'East'...and if you want to offer local rulers the advantages of your protection Wink

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