Carl Edman had been designing a game based on this concept. In his game
"Epos", players could only issue orders to their PC. PC's could give
orders to their followers, but only when in contact with them. The
followers, upon returning from a journey, would then (and only then)x
report what they had seen and done.
The idea is intriguing, since natural side-effects such as the difficultly
in controlling a large empire naturally fall out of the system. However,
while I admit to a certain fascination with the idea, I was skeptical that
it would actually be playable. Real life men are smart enough to come home
at the end of the day when they get hungry, but computer units are not.
I fear that much of Carl's time would have been spent programming his units
with common-sense AI. Invariably, units would be sent off with a grand
mission, never to be heard from again. Players would be forced to keep
their units in small groups, unfortunately not because of the "realism"
which the model enforced, but simply out of frustration.
Perhaps Carl will finish his game so that we can try this idea out and
see if it actually works or not.
In the meanwhile, we have the opportunity to make part of Olympia work
like this, at least a little bit. Given that a kingdom may establish
a fixed garrison unit in the province, some choices about how the
garrison functions must be made:
o Does the garrison provide a location report to the kingdom,
or to the province's owner?
o Does the garrison automatically forward taxes to the owner,
or must he visit to collect them?
William Bruvold's proposal went further, requiring that garrisons be
periodically visited by their owner, or they would desert.
-- Rich Skrenta <email@example.com>