Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Homeworlds variant: Sinister Standoff

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 10 Apr 2009 09:46:00 -0500
Michael Kelley writes:
>Exactly. In Sinister, destroying a Homeworld across the table from me
>doesn't give me any kind of reward. It's a penalty, really: I have to
>sacrifice ships in order to keep myself in the game.

Except that you don't have to -- because freqently, you have a choice
between setting yourself up to stop a win and setting yourself up to,
you know, win.
>> Seems like the simplest hack would just be "first player whose prey is
>> eliminated wins".   That way, you might very well want to aid the
>> person who's trying to eliminate you (just as you don't want to
>> eliminate them), but you don't have the "quick, can anybody -else-
>> kill them?
>The first time I ever played Sinister, we tried using that rule, and it made
>the game even more unintuitive. "Wait, so... You're trying to destroy my
>Homeworld. I sacrifice my ships in order to blow up your homeworld first...
>and I don't win? *He* wins? Huh?"

I don't find it unintuitive, but it seems like you'd be happier
playing "last man standing".

>IMO, the underlying problem with Sinister is that it has a single victory
>condition, and no way to share victory. What I really *want* in a
>multiplayer Homeworlds game is a Diplomacy element.

Whereas I don't want that much of a diplomacy element; if all games
have full-on diplomacy, all games will be Diplomacy.

>> I could see using a Vampire-like scoring system (the "Jyhad" card game
>> was renamed to "Vampire, the Eternal Struggle" over a decade ago),
>> though I could totally see a cycle of death -- as eliminating someone
>> really does weaken you quite a bit.  Mabye if you got to take all
>> their remaining ships?  (that would be way strong, but not necessarily
>> too strong).
>I can see what you mean about a cycle of death.  And I agree, taking over
>the eliminated player's ships would be way strong. But it makes logical
>sense, and it could introduce another interesting strategy element: Do you
>go after a strong Captain with a big fleet... and potentially gain a lot of
>ships as the spoils? Or do you go after a weak Captain with a smaller
>fleet... and gain fewer ships?

*nod*  This would be interesting, though, of course, the problem with
eliminating someone with a lot of ships is that they'll probably
launch a final strike at you, which may result in mutual elimination.

That said, I like "inherit all remaining ships controlled by someone
you kill" better than "gain points when you kill."

       Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\      _,,,--,,_  ,)
--^--   "Did you know, if you increment enough, you   /,`.-'`'   -,  ;-;;'
 /\\    get an extra digit?"  "I knew," weeps Six.    |,4-  ) )-,_ ) /\     
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