Re: Olympia: faction trees

Chuk Craig (
22 Apr 92 17:25:16 GMT

Rich Skrenta writes
> T'Nyc had an interesting feature which I call the "tree of
> loyalties" or the "faction tree".
> Instead of each unit simply belong to the player's faction, each
> T'Nyc unit had a direct superior. Each unit could command
> up to five subordinates. This produced an organizational tree.
> If a unit deserted, it took itself as well as all of the units
> beneath it as well. Thus, persuading a highly placed leader in
> another player's faction could gain an entire tree of new units.

I think this is probably a bad idea. What will happen is you will have people
with leader units, who only know leadership, give them stealth, and then have
them move to the hinterlands, constantly moving and hiding, so no one could
ever find and persuade them.

This is obviously not how leaders should act, but it is the logical way to play
your "leader" units.

Another side effect is that you get a matrix sort of management, so if you have
three units in a province, you will tend to try to have each of them lead by
a different person, so if their leader gets subverted, you didn't just lose
everyone in the province.

An example. So lets say I have a trading outpost. I have a trader guy, a unit
with 10 bodyguards, and a military leadership guy at the stop of the stack.
Now, normally, we would probably think maybe someone at the "home office" in
Drassa would be the "leader" for these three units. Doing that, however, would
be stupid. We would want three different people, in three different provinces,
to lead each of these three units. That way, if the "leader" got subverted, we
could possibly recover and repersuade the missing unit with the other two.

> I'm considering having faction trees in Olympia. Instead of
> letting each unit control a fixed number of minions, however,
> it would be based on leadership skill. Leadership level 3 would
> allow a unit to control three subordinates.

Ug. This cripples empire-builders, and forces a strategy of making single
large units instead of many small units. If I have a strategy to have 50
separate units, I've got to train lots of people for months, just to be able to
lead them all. If you are going to implement this, you want to make it so that
each level lets you control 5 or 10 people.

There is also a sort of "realism" problem. Why is it more difficult to "lead"
two traders units with 1 person each, than a 100 person army unit?

I have an alternate option for leadership for you. Implement a stack
leadership, based on military leadership. So, if you have Military Leadership
5, you can have 5 units stacked underneath you. If any of those units have
military leadership, they can stack units under them. So if you want a big
army, (read big stack), you need a lot of military leadership.

Example. General Zod has ML 8. He has 8 lieutenants, who all have ML 3. Each
lieutenant has three army units. The entire stack could hold 1+(1*8)+(8*3)=33
units. Since combat seems to give a high bonus for being in stacks, this
could help people form large armies.

On the other hand, if I have ML 1 and only 1 unit, with 10,000 people, I will
probably win the battle anyway.



Charles E. Craig BITNET: CHUK@NUACC Academic Computing and Network Services Internet: Northwestern University NeXTmail: