I agree with everything David says here. I'm currently working on rule
changes for G2. I have some new ways to grow without exapanding the
size of your faction, such as improvement levels for castles.
I was planning to put off giving players a fixed number of characters
for a future game, but perhaps it's just what's needed to address Oly's
most serious ills. Let's see:
o Completely remove NPs: no loyalty system, no terrorize, no
o Each faction gets six nobles. If a noble dies, a player could
"last rite" it himself immediately, which would produce a fresh
noble in the player's starting city. Or, he could try to exhume
and resurrect his lost noble.
o A player could "give up" a prisoner, in which case it would melt
away, and a fresh noble would be generated in the player's starting
city. This wouldn't deprive the unit holding the prisoner of
anything, since there would be no way to obtain the prisoner's
loyalty (although I might have to do something with brain-eating...)
o Players could play 1 or 2 factions.
Actually, the presence of control artifacts (although each controlling
only a single "npc" unit) would allow some measure of faction expansion.
I think this will focus player interest in developing individual nobles,
rather than treating them as a cheap commodity. It will foster more
interplayer cooperation, as a single faction won't be able to be a
jack-of-all-trades. The exploitation of fixed game resources will be
slowed, it will make it harder to dominate the world map, since one just
won't have enough nobles.
This is, of course, a radical change, making Olympia much less of a "grow
exponentially and flood-fill the map" wargame game, but that's the point.