Re: "Simultaneous execution" vs. phases-and-points

Barry Eynon (
Fri, 23 Sep 1994 18:12:12 -0700

At 7:30 PM 9/23/94, Rich Skrenta wrote:
>My question is:
> Do you consider "simultaneous execution" to be a significant,
> desirable and/or essential feature?
> (By "simultaneous execution", I am referring to the system where each
> Olympia order is rated for how long it takes, each turn has a number
> of days, and any order may begin on any day.

Well, I'm not sure the term is the best, since actually nothing in Oly is
simultaneous. But yes, I feel the time-based model is a distinctive and
important part of Oly. It has limitations, of course, and probably still
some rough edges. But when you model at this level, you allow lots of
gritty optimization for those of us who love that sort of thing, while
still having a fairly easy approach for the beginning player who simply
proceeds linearly from one task to another.

> And if so, why?
> Most other PBMs instead use "phases", and a system of points if
> necessary to limit some commands. So, as an example, the battle
> phase may always come before the movement phase, everyone gets so
> many movement points each turn, movement through different types
> of terrain incurs varying movement point costs.)
>Now I chose simultaneous execution because it seemed more realistic,
>and less game-like to me. But now it seems to me that atmosphere is
>its only advantage.

I disagree. Have some faith in your model. Don't let the newbies and the
stupid questions grind you down. You're talking about moving from a
reasonable model back to one where you're going to have all sorts of
effects like being able to move right past enemy stacks, since it isn't the
"combat phase".

Of course it's a game and anything you write will be gamed by good players.
It's what we do. The only option is to make the model detailed enough that
there are not large effects from being gamed.

>What's so great about modeling time?

What's so great about modeling anything? Let's just have a game where you
can do one of three things: ATTACK <player>, and RECRUIT. Oh yeah,
DESCRIBE, that lets you write flowery description strings. That will keep
the plebes happy.

In short: simplicity is not a virtue.

Points and phases: just say "yuck".


Barry Eynon

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