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Minor country diplomacy - 6/8/2008 11:37:44 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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This is an aspect of the game that I have very limited experience with so I am curious which minors you attempt to influence and why as each MP.

My gut feeling is that Denmark and Sweden are the nations with the most attention toward. The GB will want to control them to scuttle the fleet and the others will want to avoid that.

Anyway, any and all comments on this issue are most welcome.
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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 4:01:06 PM   
pzgndr

 

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I'm curious too.  I believe this is a EiH feature and most players seem to be EiA vets.  We don't hear too much about this, and I'm sure Marshall would appreciate ideas for the AI too.

One thing that nags me is how easy it is to dispatch diplomatic teams for free to mess with minors already influenced or allied with someone else.  I would think there should still be the minimum influence cost required to do this.  If you're going to try influencing a minor, you should pay the influence cost.

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 4:08:53 PM   
NeverMan

 

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I played EiA. I didn't much care for EiH so I have no idea how to do any of this and, personally, don't care. I haven't tried to do any of this in any of my games and I will probably continue not to care. It seems, more or less, useless and a waste of time. You can still DOW a minor that is influenced/ally so who cares?

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 9:56:51 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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While I concur that its not the most interesting feature of the game - and one that I could also do without - I still believe that ignoring it is a bad decision (unless all players in the PBEM game agrees to).

As GB I know I would very much like to be the one to control any minor with a fleet when the minor is attacked as that gives me the choice to suicide the fleet if I wish. In addition it means I wont have to blocade the minor fleet should France get control. So, as GB I expect I would try to influence Denmark, Sweden and Portugal. On the other hand I would see no real reason to control say Berg as doing so gives me nothing and even lets a French attacker lapse the war and still be able to take Berg if need be.

Conversely - to deny the GB control, even temporarily, of a minor fleet or to use it as a threat I would expect several other MP to try to influence the same minors.

Another point is that if a MP is declared war upon then all ally minors will join as free states. Exactly when that would be benifitial because it gives you an extra force and when it would be detrimental because it allows your enemy an easy conquest of the minor is a different matter.

A third point is that of creating a neutral buffer. Its a gamey tactic but still. As an example - if Bavaria is Russian influence then the Austrian player could DoW Bavaria knowing that it would become Russian thus creating a sort of barrier for the French player unless France DoWs Russia. If France and Prussia

Anyway, I am still curious how others would try to gain the most from this rule.


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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 10:19:44 PM   
Jimmer

 

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I wish the whole feature would go away. It can't possibly work correctly anyhow:

Control is given in a random order during diplomacy. Thus, one never really knows whether one will control it at the right level of control when needed.

Russia and GB (me) used this tactic at the beginning of the game: Russia DOWed Sweden after I had gained influence, and I DOWed Denmark after he had gained influence. Gamey, yes, and I'll cover that later.

Anyhow, for the tactic to work, we had to KNOW that we would have influence and NOT ally at the time the DOW took place. But, it's pure luck whether or not you get it, because you can't know what other people did until the end of the phase. (This is an example of "dumbing down the game" for PBEM purposes, by the way.)

Anyhow, it's just not reliable.

Anyhow, regarding the "gamey" tactics that can be used: A very simple game change should be implemented to prevent these: You can't declare war on a minor that one of your allies has influence on without breaking the alliance. This is already in place for ally status minors. Extending it to influence makes sense.

Again, though, because you don't know if you can or not, there should be a check box to not DOW if an ally gets influence before your own turn in the diplo order. Either that, or such a prohibition only occurs for values at the beginning of diplomacy.

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 10:20:43 PM   
Jimmer

 

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I think the way it is SUPPOSED to work is that you gain influence/ally on a minor, and then you check the box that says you will defend them should another major go to war against them.

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 10:27:10 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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Jimmer,

Good example - and I concur. The game would probably be better off without this. It adds too many grey area gamey ploys and not enough actually interesting strategy. I suppose one could just house rule it away accepting the initial influence and ally markers. I wonder what others think.

Also good point about the unpredictability due to the random diplo order.

< Message edited by JanSorensen -- 6/9/2008 10:28:32 PM >

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 10:38:31 PM   
NeverMan

 

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Think about how this is going to effect the game if you make it so that you can't attack minors that your ally has control of.

It's probably not going to hurt France very much. It's just going to make allying between certain nations harder, or at least they will happen later in the game. France can easily take advantage of that. Or the countries wanting to ally will have to agree not to control any of the minors, thereby in the case of Pr/Au, helping France.

This game is already helping France enough, it doesn't need stupid EiH rules helping France more, IMO.

EDIT: It's crazy to me to think how much better this game would be if it were devoid of any EiH rules/modifications. Most of them really only bring the game down IMO.

< Message edited by NeverMan -- 6/9/2008 10:40:18 PM >

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 11:21:11 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan

Think about how this is going to effect the game if you make it so that you can't attack minors that your ally has control of.

That's a good point.

Probably better to go back to the EIA method: Allies cannot gain control over a minor their ally declared war against. In this games parlance, that would mean they would be skipped EVEN IF they had ally/influence with that minor.

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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/9/2008 11:28:34 PM   
morvwilson


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The way I use this rule varies depending on what power I play.
As already pointed out, influence is almost useless. I think it gives you a +1 to the roll when deciding on who controls the minor power in question.
However, an ally minor power comes on your side if another major power declares war on you.
For instance, as Turkey, I would get Persia as an ally, since they are easily defended and two more decent corps can be very benificial to the turks.

As GB on the other hand, I can't see any reason to ally any minor power. You already have a good chance of getting Sweeden when Russia declares war. As for Denmark, no one else can take Copenhagen without your permission.

Some of this kinda holds true for Spain as well.

I can see accepting control of certain minor powers when war is declared. (ie Sweeden) But cultivating allies? I see some use but not much.


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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/10/2008 12:58:56 AM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer


quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan

Think about how this is going to effect the game if you make it so that you can't attack minors that your ally has control of.

That's a good point.

Probably better to go back to the EIA method: Allies cannot gain control over a minor their ally declared war against. In this games parlance, that would mean they would be skipped EVEN IF they had ally/influence with that minor.


Yes, I agree. The old "EiA" method(s) are best.

(in reply to Jimmer)
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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/10/2008 4:00:39 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

influence is almost useless. I think it gives you a +1 to the roll when deciding on who controls the minor power in question


No, the rules state it will automatically become controlled by the MP having influence. If it's not happening then it's a bug.

quote:

A very simple game change should be implemented to prevent these: You can't declare war on a minor that one of your allies has influence on without breaking the alliance. This is already in place for ally status minors. Extending it to influence makes sense.

Again, though, because you don't know if you can or not, there should be a check box to not DOW if an ally gets influence before your own turn in the diplo order. Either that, or such a prohibition only occurs for values at the beginning of diplomacy.


Marshall should seriously consider implementing these ideas. I'd also like the minimum influence cost charged for any manipulation of an aligned minor, seems only fair. Not sure what he could do about the random diplomatic order and unpredictability, but minor country diplomacy should be rather unpredictable, yes?

quote:

EDIT: It's crazy to me to think how much better this game would be if it were devoid of any EiH rules/modifications.


Not so crazy, considering there aren't very many EiH players speaking up for themselves. Hello, hello....?

Something like this, the whole minor country diplomacy rules, could be a simple enough game option at start. Disable the "Attempt to Manipulate" button and you're back to EiA. I'm still intrigued by the minor country diplomacy, it adds an interesting layer to the game. I'd rather not throw out the baby with the bath water, so allow players to choose these EiA/EiH differences as game options wherever possible. I would like to eventually play different styles and decide what I prefer.

(in reply to NeverMan)
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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/10/2008 2:05:21 PM   
eske

 

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Apparently in opposition here, because I actually find the EiH minors an improvement compared to EiA.
Even if I never played EiH....

The map, with more minors makes the game opening more "fluid" and diplomatically interesting.
And especially the minors in central europe is not so much of a walkover as in EiA.

I hope we all agree that it matters a great deal which MP has an alliance with a minor. Fleet-wise GB would think twice before DoW'ing a Spain with Portugal and Denmark as allys. France wouldn't like Prussia to ally with Hesse, Baden or Wurtemberg - or would he...?
Prussia most certainly wouldn't like France to. Who would DoW Turkey, if all of north Africa is his allys. Talk about a free Ottoman Empire! And even minors with no corps or fleets still could grant important supply sources or annoying garrisons.

Does it matter who has influence status in a minor? That would be equal to ask, does it matter who gets control - in case there is a DoW. Most people I know would say it does.

But it is pretty annoying you can't be sure the status doesn't change before your DoW takes effect. Well it is also pretty annoying you can't be sure you win a battle - even if you has the best army and picked the best chit. What I'm saying here is, minors should be annoying to try to control and should behave somewhat random! Historical argument: Let me just mention I'm from Denmark, where the King at the time was officially not mentally stable. Gameplay argument: This is a way to foil other MP's plans on a smaller scale than making DoW on him. Game feel argument At least I find it appeling minors have a 'mind' of their own.

All of this said, I don't say there isn't room for improvement. And I'm pretty sure the game doesn't follow the rules described in the documentation. For instance is there or is there not PP involved when getting or losing a minor as an ally as result of diplomatic actions?
None is mentioned in the rules but saw a post on it somewhere ... Edit: Found it !

/eske

< Message edited by eske -- 6/11/2008 10:51:47 AM >


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RE: Minor country diplomacy - 6/10/2008 7:17:04 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: morvwilson

The way I use this rule varies depending on what power I play.
As already pointed out, influence is almost useless. I think it gives you a +1 to the roll when deciding on who controls the minor power in question.

No. If someone declares war on a minor you have influence with, you get control. No die is rolled; it's automatic.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

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