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DG6: Alternative Government Structure

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Demo Game V: Citizens' started by DaveShack, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I was responding to this, emphasis added. If I misinterpreted your intent then comment withdrawn. :)

    And I said
    I only see holding things up as a possible motivation for trying to change the entire thing in one action, especially if it's most of your time, and especially announcing that intention in advance. If things were already going badly you can count on me to drive changing it back myself, but I'm not so against change that I'll vow to spend all my time trying to avert it.

    As for my motivation for bringing up this idea, if we were going to play with the same old style ( note I'm the one who is driving that too ) we would have about 2 weeks of extra time on our hands to land on a 1st of the month starting date. This is enough time to toss out an idea and see if it energizes more people than dislike it. If we pass my self-imposed deadline for making this fly, then I happily start the final discussions on the traditional constitution.

    [edit]To be fair, I'll respond to this as well
    That's the kind of response I'm very happy to see, as opposed to the other one I already pointed out.

    Is it the strategic vs tactical part of the new concept, or having a different arrangement of offices which you don't like? I am quite open to other solutions which emphasize strategic planning and make the leaders more like leaders and less like glorified polling secretaries. :D
     
  2. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    This is a separate thought and I'll reply to it separately.

    There is no doubt that trying something new is perilous. No accusation intended in this comment, but a small minority could destroy this untested idea even faster than they would be able to destroy a repeat of the same ruleset. There is no doubt of this, because there would be no legal precedent or tradition to guide us. All they would have to do is challenge every decision, file judicial reviews on every loophole and inconsistency, demand polls on every instruction, etc.

    Again, speaking in general terms with no reference to any individual or group, if we have a population who generally put the welfare of the game ahead of their personal ambitions and hangups, then the game will be successful. We have plenty of examples where a complaint could be lodged but the injured party decides to let it go for the sake of the game. In sports there are technically way more fouls and penalties than are called, but often if no harm is done then no foul is called. A DemoGame community which embraces this philosophy would be even more successful than we have been in the past.

    If we even go through with this, I will be as much on the lookout for signs that it isn't going to work as anyone else, maybe even more so. No point in wasting time during an actual game on it. I do hope however that we choose the cooperative approach of conflict resolution :goodjob: and not the competitive / blood feud method.
     
  3. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    Yes, the basic layout, Departments, Judiciary, Govonors, etc.
     
  4. Nobody

    Nobody Gangster

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    Memo to myself: don't post ideas
     
  5. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    Your starting to think more along my lines, why do you think in the above post I said "Breezing it away, instead of directing your focus on our worries will cause more disruption than anything I can do.," in my above post? I do not like radical changes, espicially when our curret set-up is working well enough atleast to keep my content. Every once and awhile I get an urge to make it better, but for the most part I don't care that much about it.

    Which brings me to something else I said above also: "Instead of doing exactly what you accuse me of doing, how about we work to find something that everyone likes? Something that mixes the two, the new and the old, to make everyone atleast content? Something that allows us to use the stability of the old system, to test new ideas?"
     
  6. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Never say never... :D

    The idea of changing the structure as the game progresses is a good one, it's just that all but one of the governments in the game are hard to make interesting for the masses.

    Now, about that changing things along the way, it has been suggested that certain offices come and go as the need arises. For example don't need someone in charge of settlement at the end of the game, and someone to oversee the rush / upgrade budget makes no sense at the beginning when there is no money.
     
  7. Ashburnham

    Ashburnham King

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    Ravansfire is taking the planning in a good direction (rather than simply arguing which doesn't really help anything) with his proposal. However, there are a few problems that I see. There's not really any difference between "Urban Planner" and the Domestic Minister in your proposal. As you say, they both cover worker/settler movements and city planning. Either the two positions are redundant, or the minister is just a puppet for the Planner, neither of which are good. While differentiating between strategic and tactical planning is a good idea, it's important to make sure one job isn't covered by the other. Additionally, you have "Trade" under the authority of Foreign Affairs and Science/Trade/Culture. Like many others here, I think that FA and Trade should be combined for the next DG; so it would make sense for Trade to be totally under the department of FA.

    But, having said that, thank you for the proposal, raven. The more proposals we hear, the more we can figure out what does and doesn't work. The more we know, the better the government will become.
     
  8. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Good comments - let me try to explain my approach.

    I tried experimenting a bit with how this work using a game I'm currently playing. I think that the planning council will work best with a smaller group. Their focus is macro - on the grand schemes. For example, the urban planner might post "Expand aggressively towards Babylon, using a moderately tight (3-4 hex distance) build pattern. Focus city construction and worker actions on city growth and on a road network." This would be posted in a planner thread.

    The domestic minister then takes that broad framework, one that will last for 2-3 turn chats, and creates the specific instructions. "Build city A 1 square to NE of settler Alpha. Send settler Beta to site B as shown here. Start immediately on a granary in both cities. Workers X and Y will build a road to A, then to B. Worker Z will build mines on the two BG tiles within A's radius, then move to B to build mines on the 3 BG tiles there." These instructions actually go into the TCIT thread.

    The goal is that we, the citizens, will spend much of our time working with the planners, to create that broad vision and goals. The implementers then make that vision a reality. Again, citizens will still be a tremendous help, especially at certain points, but by spending time on the planning, the implementation discussions will be greatly focused.

    So you see, both offices cover similar areas, but are very different in scope. It's entirely feasible for one planning office to handle matters for 2 implementers, and there is nothing wrong with that. I think the feedback loop that would develop will prove extremely interesting to watch.

    I hope that better explains the concept - let me know if you've got further questions!

    -- Ravensfire
     
  9. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    He's taking it in the complete opposite direction I would prefer, as I said early, we tried mixing departments in DG4, but changed back. Do you know why we changed back? Sounds like you don't, it's to much of a workload on the ministers. What ever happened to making this more of a forum game? If you want information on the forums, don't dump anymore work on our elected officials. We shouldn't be merging everything even more, if anything we need to break it up.

    We came up with all these ways to improve the game, yet not a single one has yet to be discussed. Instead we waste our time building something we ALREADY HAVE. For what? Something new, a something that will only cause more headaches and bitterness? Were not improving it, were destroying it.

    Breaking your post down even more, it sounds like you did not hear a single thing I said, that or you wish more than ever to destroy the game. So you want to ignore the minority? Create more bitterness, more fights? I'm helping you as much as I want to, and that is just in the sake to keep this game going.

    For the last time, make something that contains much more of the older elements, that's the last time I'm going to say that to help you. If you do decide to listen to me, you might manage to gain some of the minorities support in this proposal. However, if you continue to ignore us, you will do nothing more than bring this game down to anarchy.
     
  10. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    There is something really deeply seated here which some of us obviously don't get intuitively. I can think of four driving forces behind not wanting to have this type of change.

    1. Some office will have more power than it already has
    2. Some office will have less power than it already has
    3. Something about the play of non office holders will change
    4. You're generally worried about change itself

    General "don't change anything" type statements won't help make it easier to find something which revitalizes the game while addressing your concerns. Is it long term planning? The idea of having per turnchat instructions which aren't polled? Having a hierarchical leadership structure where implementors have to follow the plans made by planners, albeit with the ability to use personal initiative to decide how to implement them? Multiple DPs elected separately from the office holders?

    Remember the objective, more long-term planning and coordination, less micro polling of individual decisions without a clear guiding force. I will support every proposed change which supports this goal, with a preference for the minimum such change. If you can propose a minor change to the traditional system which will achieve this objective then please do, with my blessing. :D

    A minor point, strong majorities never create anarchy [edit] where the majority is on the losing side[/edit]. It can result from a leadership vacuum, lack of an actual majority in which multiple minority factions struggle, and minority factions which refuse to accept defeat coupled with a majority lacking the will to overcome resistance. You're continuing to use veiled threats related to the 3rd type, but don't assume that this majority won't have the will to overcome resistance. :hammer:

    Edited: of course when the "outside" group becomes the majority, then anarchy often results. :mischief:
     
  11. Eklektikos

    Eklektikos Eponymous

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    Ravensfire, DaveShack and Provolutions' proposals do not simply merge departments though. If you look at the number of offices contained in each, only Ravensfire proposes a reduction - through abolition of the presidency rather than increased concentration of departmental responsibility - while the others actually advocate an increase which should surely result in the work being spread more thinly than at present.
    What is being put forward here is a system that redistributes the workload so that one individual does not have to put forward strategies, argue them in the fora and also micromanage their implementation. That to me seems a greater workload than having one person formulating and debatiing strategy and a second person working on putting it into practice.
    Combining micromanagement of trade with that of foreign affairs simply removes the duplication of effort and lack of coordination which is built in to the current system. Trading of maps, tech, luxuries and resources not only provides material gain but affects the attitude of foreign powers and, that being the case, a good foreign affairs or trade department would have to look at a lot of things theoretically within the remit of the other in order to provide the best recommended course of action. As long as the office responsible for trade & foreign affairs micromanagement does not also have to look after long term planning and the debate of such things on the fora I would say the result is a net reduction in workload.
     
  12. Eklektikos

    Eklektikos Eponymous

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    I don't dislike this at all. I presume that strategic thinking regarding culture generation would be under the remit of Urban planning?

    Aside from a cosmetic name change from "Domestic" to "Works" I would remove the trade responsibilities from STC (since it seems to overlap with FA too much) and replace them with tax/lux/sci slider management. Tempted to rename the office to "Parliamentary Undersecretary for Abstract Affairs", but that might be too facetious a title for some people's tastes.

    No argument here.

    I like the principle, but I'm not entirely sure about the implemenation. That said, I don't have an alternate suggestion at this time.

    Do we absolutely have to enshrine turn chats explicitly? Could this not be changed to "play sessions" or something equivalent to give us more constitutional flexibility?

    No real problem with this either.
     
  13. MOTH

    MOTH Emperor

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    In general I still very much like these plans and am excited about the new structures. In particular, I like Ravensfire's structure.

    There are a few exceptions to my acceptance:

    Forum Information:
    Strider has a point regarding this. There have been complaints about not enough info available to people who can't (or don't want to) load the save.

    It needs to be spelled out who is ultimately responsible for providing updated game play info for people unable to load the saves. I think this should be the DP. They should provide a SG-like log separate from the Chat-log with all city builds noted. This should be enough info such that a Governor could run a province without being able to open the save.

    Turn Chats:
    a. We should allow room in the constitution to conduct chatless play sessions. The Player-du-jour would need to state this up front in the TCIT and allow for discussion (and possibly polling) to override their decision.
    b. Reversible game actions: We should allow the appropriate elected officials to make the changes to the save and post the updated save for changes to things such as Build Queues, and City Names, and Unit Names. TCIT must still be fully updated to deal with possible cross-load/posts from different officials.

    Players:
    Keep the title of President, but it is no longer an elected office and instead is bestowed upon the current DP.
     
  14. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Eklektikos:
    -- Planning (strategic) decisions on cultural would indeed be handled by the Urban planner. They're handling the overall focus for cities, so that flow quite nicely. I would hope to see plans such as "Cities near the Babylonian border need to boost culture over the next few turn chats" or "New cities should include a cultural build fairly early to push borders back". Something like that should prod the Governors to add some culture into their builds.

    -- "Works" sounds like an interesting name - very different from our boring past. Names, though, can get nailed down after the duties are - heck, I'm using Urban Planning as a name!

    -- I like the idea about moving trade to FA, then putting slider control into the old STC office. Still need to find a good home for control of the budget - that office, or the Domestic, would be good places for it. We need to have one person control the budget.

    -- Turn chats, sigh, I'd love to. I think we could, without a problem, use the phrasing from DGIII that didn't specify how a turn chat was run, just that the DP post a summary of everything. However, from trying several times to remove the TC, it won't happen. That's one thing I don't think will ever change - too many people demand it.

    Moth:
    -- Getting more information to the Forums has long been a goal of mine. I spent a few turns as Domestic Minister, and was quite proud of the information I posted after each session. Not everyone, however, is willing to produce that information. How about we ask the leaders to post their information, but then have people post requests to the Administrator (or relevant leader) for additional information or screenshots?

    As for providing the game play summary - yes, that is absolutely the job of the DP. It's not just a chat log, but a good summary of the events of that session.

    -- Turn chats - see above. I'd love to see the option available, but just don't think it will happen. Sorry - run with it if you want, though. Here's a free talking point specific to this concept - the people have to approve each DP, so make each DP disclose how they plan to run the chat when they sign up. If their proposal is acceptable to the people (and within the boundaries of law), then let 'em run with it. This would include the general times they would play the save.

    -- Allowing multiple people to access the save is tricky. Imagine if you and I both try to download the save, the re-upload it, except we both downloaded the same save. Who's got priority? I guess we could put the save under CVS control (NOOOOOOO!!!!), I've got a server that could be setup for that, but that's getting complex. It could work, but I can easily see problems that might appear. The DP would have to verify every instruction in the TCIT, just to make sure things were done correctly.

    -- DP as President. Hmm, maybe, but I think it would be easier just to call them the DP for that turn chat. It's more reflective of their role of that person - to play the save. They aren't there to control things, or run discussions, or anything else - they are there to play the save. I expect that many of the DP's will be elected officials anyway.

    General:
    -- As with DG5, each office is free to come up with their own ideas on how to accomplish the duties of their office. To draw an example from DG5, Provolution delegated the military duties to various assistants. He's still reponsible for their actions, and did take care of that, but he spread the workload out some. I don't want anything to prevent that, or to prevent the opposite, where an official decides to run everything themself. That's a personal choice, made by the leader. Basically - as long as you listen to the people, meet the responsibilities and duties of your office and follow the rules, I don't care how you do it. Now, your choices on how to do it should be an election issue, and you can darn well bet that I will make them an issue if I don't like them, but I will not stop you (barring something illegal, of course!).

    I think that covers the comments - DS, I hope you don't mind me pushing this. It's similar to your original proposal, but slightly different. I hope to see some of the other proposals under DS's structure getting some discussion as well. Both DS and Provo tossed out some fairly detailed suggestions - have a look at them. Don't focus on names, or phrases, focus on the duties of each office, and on the general structure. The details can come later.

    In addition, I hope someone will use the traditional government thread to push a full, detailed proposal there. Yeah - most people wanted to look at this idea, but that's only enough to put together a full ruleset. At some point, we'll need to have a formal, final vote over the structure. I don't think that's here yet.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  15. Provolution

    Provolution Sage of Quatronia

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    I have several good arguments in different direction, and it seems Minister of State Projects dio not fare too well, but I still consider Wonder builds, and in particular the Capital and Forbidden Palace as a touchy area for people with "pet cities".

    I tried to integrate the interests of the more tradition-interested CG and Strider, and as well taking into consideration of the interests of Ashburnham, Ravensfire, Eklektikos, DS and others more leaning to a reform. Beyond all doubt, the traditionalists are right that only 3 Super ministerial planners is too few high level posts and it is beyond doubt that the other side is right that elections are uncontested or not properly debated.
    With the slight reduction of one ministry, through splitting the Superministry of Domestic and reducing the very strong Military Ministry, and the merger of four weaker ministries as well ceding out a new one, we can reduce the number of ministries from six to five, and adding several meaningful tasks to the empty gap of the Vice President
    by making him a strong premier minister. Why not try a European Parliamentary model for once? Why Always follow a President and Vice President model ?

    President (Designated Player as well as person in charge of coordinating ministries)
    Premier Minister (Protocol Office, named cities and units, naming of provinces, provincial borders, Mobilization and War Economy decisions, Drafts, arbitrates Governor and Mayor quarrels on borders)

    Minister of Works (Roads, Mining and Agriculture, all non-city tiles to be worked)
    Minister of Finance (Tech, lux tax sliders, taxmen, All fiscal policies related to sliders and rushes, setting up rules for all gold related activities for one term to be discussed and polled, responsible for Capital location and Forbidden Capital location)
    Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Everything negotiated in the Diplo-screen)
    Minister of Science and Culture (Science programs, approve all tech trades, All Major Wonder builds, Space Race)
    Minister of Military (All military land units, except escorts, plus navy in wartime, long term strategic planning, force composition, upgrade plans, military groupings, War Strategy Objectives, All Military Wonder builds)

    Director of Colonial Office (Settlers, City planning, considering future borders, navy-peacetime), also becomes Director of Intelligence (espionage and embassies)
    Director of Infrastructure Office (responsible for all worker movements within term)
    Central Bank Director (making financial decisions throughout term within rules)
    Chief of Staff (All Operation level plans and tactical decisions within term)
    Director of National Office (fighting cultural wars by working with governors and promoting science in the process in terms of builds, as well as making necessary amendments in the science queue throughout the term, additionally, approving and disapproving in all science deals with foreign powers proposed by FA/Trade)

    Governors (Build queues, their own gold budget taken from resource trades their city makes and from the direct gold income, provincial tax rates can be set up by the Finance Minister, Governors could also have 1-2 work teams)
    Finally, the Council of Governors could vote for major votes as provincial borders, provincial tax levels and other issues that give the governors some power beyond being a build queue league)

    However, the new DG need some changes, or some players would consider this too traditionalist to create some new inspiration. A new map and civ alone cannot do that.
     
  16. Ginger_Ale

    Ginger_Ale Lurker Retired Moderator

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    That is fine with me Provo. I don't care what proposal we use...as you see I haven't been too active in this thread. I don't care how we play the game as long as we play.
     
  17. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    As usual, Provo, your post is bereft of brevity and lacking in factuality. I'll try my best to understand some of the concepts, please clarify if I've missed something.

    First:
    Really? Are you sure? Hmm, it seems that more than a few people doubt this.

    I think you're missing completely the point of this structure. There is NO superministry. None. There is a seperation of the strategic planning and the tactical planning. That's it. The planning council cannot make specific order ("City A is to built a Barracks followed by 3 Spearmen").

    Looking through your post, there are 12(!) elected offices before we get to Governors and the Judicial. Twelve! If there is, as you stated, "elections are uncontested or not properly debated" how will adding more offices correct this?

    It won't.

    I applaud the effort, but "the devil is in the details", and there are far too many details missing. Does this work within the seperation of planning from implementing? To what scale? Tasks are broken down into extremely fine parts with a great deal of interaction within each office. How are interactions managed? The amount of conflict with leaders greatly increases with the number of leaders.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  18. Provolution

    Provolution Sage of Quatronia

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    Ravensfire, I am sorry I hit your wrong buttons again.

    I still meant this with the best of intentions. Presently, we have a full 14 positions (DG5), as opposed to twelve positions here, where your proposal is 8 positions. What about omitting the President and Premier Minister, and leaving it at 10 positions. I am sure that some ministry positions is needed in order to produce all the work needed to run the nation. I am fairly certain we will never run out of angry citizens, and to stem the fury of the angry citizens, we need to spread the heat somewhat.

    With very few positions, we will get some very powerful leaders, and virtually no recruitment positions in low level government. I sort of emphathize with CG here, waiting for getting the chance for high level ministries using smaller ones as a platform.
    Yet, the proposal without President and VP/Premier only carries 10 ministers/directors, 5 on each level. I still see the need for a separate fiscal strategy debate, which surely would lift the structure of political debates. I do not want to see some haughty omnipotent Domestic Minister making life hard for his colleagues for his own entertainment, and having a dedicated Finance minister would be more constructive.

    I think ending up at ten meaningful positions (omitting Pres and VP and circulating DP roles between the ministerial leaders or citizens would make sense) is a good balance and compromise, in the end, it is all about compromises.
     
  19. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Provo: Bah - long way away from my buttons. I'll point out, however, that I do skip many of your posts. Sorry, but anything I have to grab a thesaurus to read, probably won't get read. That's just me.

    But, on to the meat of the matter!

    I still have a question about your idea - and that is are you seperating the planning from the implementation?

    The core of DS's proposal (and the part that I really, really like) is that one group of people create the plan, another implements it. I think that we'll have a great deal of focus on that planning during the DG. Part of it are going to be simple (how we handle other nations, etc). Other parts are going to be quite complex. This planning group can be, and probably needs to be, fairly small. I ended up with three just because it felt right - four is doable, but five is way too many. I see this group creating plans for at least 2, usually 3 and perhaps 4 turnchats.

    As always, the details is what gets you, and that's the implementation team. Right now, I've got 4 roles on that team. Some of those roles get more and more active as the game goes on (Military). Others (Domestic) are the reverse. We could create more and more offices without a problem - but the question is always "what do they add".

    I don't see valid reasons behind creating offices for the sake of creating offices. Other do, but I just don't. Some people do place value and self-worth on holding an office, any office, even better if it has a grand title! Sometimes, those people even do a good job.

    Creating a Finance office on the Implementation side, however, is a viable option. Each of the three planners will have the chance to give feedback and information on future needs of the sliders. Having this come from one person, plus seperating the cash-rush from Domestic (de facto controller of cities not in a province) could be a good thing.

    I focus on the need to get good, coherent instructions to the DP in a reasonable amount of time. Creating a complex system of inter-related departments and the need for multiple calculations doesn't do that. I believe that the structure I tossed out does a good job of balancing the availability of the offices with the desire for a well-played game. The past DG demonstrated that far too often there is no respect given to other offices. Minimal effort for communication was made, and often the only attempts were phrased as demands. Crossing office boundaries was common. None of that is healthy.

    Changing the structure of the game into this format will help with that. With a limited number of planners, getting the right person to run the discussions will be simpler. The ability of immediate feedback (both ways) will also help - an implementer can (and darn well better) point out questions and concerns about plans. A planner can likewise help point out better efficiencies during implementation. Creating many offices makes that harder - it increases the lines of communication without making them easier to use. We need to focus on the need to ease communication.

    I think you'll find that there isn't an "upper" and a "lower" government - each part has it's own role, and are equally vital. Poor plans will hamper the implementation, and we all know what a poor implementation will do to a plan. Each side is dependant on the other. One key part of this idea is that good plans can be created with information presented soley from the forums. This allows citizens without C3C to meaningfully participate as both citizens AND leaders.

    Good discussion!

    -- Ravensfire
     
  20. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Summary of current proposals:
    Note: Using the names as presented

    DaveShack
    Strategic Council:
    -- President
    -- Consul for Domestic Policy
    -- Consul for External Policy
    -- Consul for Cultural Policy
    -- Consul for Resource and Technologies Policy

    Tactical Directors:
    -- Commander of the Armed Forces
    -- Director of Commerce (trade, rushes, sliders)
    -- Director of Infrastructure (worker actions)
    -- Governors & Mayors (build queues, worker action requests, rush requests)
    -- Director of Expansion (settlers & escorts – job goes away when no more land)

    Administrative Offices:
    -- Election Office (non-elected)
    -- Naming Office (non-elected)
    -- Information Office (non-elected)
    -- Judiciary (3 offices)



    Ravensfire
    Planning:
    -- Urban planning
    -- Military planning
    -- Foreign Relations planning

    Implementing:
    -- Domestic
    -- Military
    -- Foreign Affairs and Trade
    -- Science and Finance
    -- Governors

    Judiciary (3)

    Administrator

    Provolution
    President
    Premier Minister

    Ministers:
    -- Minister of Works
    -- Minister of Finance
    -- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    -- Minister of Science and Culture
    -- Minister of Military

    Directors:
    -- Director of Colonial Office
    -- Director of Infrastructure Office
    -- Central Bank Director
    -- Chief of Staff
    -- Director of National Office

    Governors

    Judiciary (presumed)


    This is just a summary of what's out there - I'm trying to keep this discussion moving and focused. Please refer to each specific propsal (DS on page 1, RF on page 3, Provo on page 4) for details.

    -- Ravensfire
     

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