Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, all. Against my better judgment, I'm contemplating running another game. Tentative ruleset is as follows; please leave comments. The main idea I had going into this was "something like R2R, but with a little more structure, and less chaos as a result of bad rolls." **** Generic intro about how the world’s been laid to waste. Tech level is roughly modern, but electromagnetic interference makes high-altitude flights impossible and thus, air travel for purposes civilian and military has dropped off a cliff. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes. This is a game that features a large degree of chance, but the only penalty for failure usually is simply not getting what you wanted. You receive a consolation prize of being closer to your goal next turn in most cases, however. As for the aesthetic… I’m not policing signups. Be whatever you want. You are bound by the same rules as everyone else, however, and even the silliest nation still needs to remain in the good graces of other powers. Economics and Trade Spoiler : The basis of economic growth is your population; each unit of Population produces 1 EP per turn. Every turn, your population grows by the number of provinces you have. Your population naturally gravitates towards your cities, so you should protect cities at all costs. The total EP of all player-owned provinces, population, infrastructure, and cities is reflected as “World Trade,” and is distributed to all the world’s civilizations based on their “share.” Depending on your level of infrastructure, trade research, wonders, and civilization points, your share will increase. The equation for your share of world trade is Infrastructure Level + Cities ^ 2 + Trade Research Level ^ 2 + Wonders ^ 2 + CP; this is then compared to everyone else’s share and you get a total based on your proportion. So if your share is 100 and the total is 1000, you get 10% of all world trade income. If your Navy is destroyed, an enemy fleet can place you under blockade, which will cut your trade revenue in half. Every player receives a one-time 100 EP invested in their trade research for having a single port. If you start landlocked, you will be safe from naval blockades, but will lose an ability to boost your trade income early; you will receive the 100 EP when you successfully annex a coastal territory. Investments and the Role of Chance Spoiler : You invest a certain amount in each project, and that controls the chance of getting it that turn. In the event of failure, the initial investment (referred to as the Base Investment) remains and grows each turn. The Base Investment is recorded on the spreadsheet. So if you have something that costs 10 EP and invest 5 EP, if you do not get it the first turn, you will for sure get it the second, because 5 EP will be added to it. In the same situation, but the item costs 100 EP, on the second turn you will have 10 EP invested and thus a 10% chance of success; in the event of failure, next turn it will be 15 EP and 15%, and so on. You can add more to the initial investment to increase the rate of compounding, however. For units that are in multiples, you must specify how many you are investing in, and how much; you must invest in whole numbers per unit (so if an item costs 5 EP per unit, you cannot start building 3 with 10 EP, but 9 or 12 EP). If you want to increase how many of said item are being built, you must invest equally with what’s already in the pool. So if you have 5 Armies being built and they’re all currently at 2 EP per unit, all additional Armies will cost that much. It is strategic to try to build units with a minimum investment (building 50 Armies with 1 EP each versus 10 armies with 5 EP each), and add to the investment later. In the event a multiple item successfully rolls, a proportionate amount will be subtracted from the base investment (so if you have 9 EP invested in 3 armies, and 1 army successfully rolls, you will receive an Army and your investment will drop to 6 EP in 2 armies). Now. Onto some of the actual investments. Military Spending Spoiler : Armies: 5 EP. Armies defend territory and conquer/occupy other provinces. You start with 10 free Armies. Armies cannot be used the turn they are built if purchased outright, but they can be used the turn they are created if created through a roll (in practice, this just means for both they can't be used until the next turn). Navies: 10 EP. Navies blockade enemy ports and ferry troops. Navies that are ferrying troops have limited ability to defend themselves and can carry 2 army units per ship. You receive 5 free navies at the start if you have a port; you will receive 5 for free if you annex a coastal territory after the game has started, but cannot use it on the turn they are given to you (in other words, players who sign up with a port can use their five navies, while if you start landlocked and grab a coastal province on Turn 1, you cannot use the Navy’s in Turn 1’s orders). Navies cannot be used the turn they are built. Spies: 10 EP. Spies are planted in enemy territory and funnel information from orders PMs each turn; they may also intercept information regarding the other countries’ intelligence network. Alternatively, they can search for and try to uproot enemy spies. Espionage or counterespionage each count as one action, and you are limited in how many total spy actions you can have each turn by your espionage research level. The success rate of spies is dependent on how many of yours there are versus the target’s (e.g. if you have 1 spy and the enemy has 10, you have a 1/11 chance of success each turn). Each country begins the game with 10 spies. Spies may be relocated between countries, but there is a chance of them being exposed each time they relocate. In the event your spies intercept the plans of one country, they also have a chance of intercepting any plans that same country intercepted, potentially giving you knowledge of what the whole world is up to. It is plausible to develop into an Illuminati situation where you are omniscient, if you nourish your intelligence network. Note: You do not order spies to do anything other than set up shop in their starting country, or to relocate. They run in the background for you and will pass whatever they find onto you. You will receive reports if any are caught and killed, and whether or not the enemy discovered where they were from. This keeps things simple for both of us. Economic Spending: Spoiler : You can spend 5 EP to increase your Infrastructure, which will increase your income by 1 EP. You can only build as much infrastructure as you have Population (though there is a way around this, more on that later). Infrastructure has a slight concentration towards your cities, so more reason to protect them from capture or destruction. You can spend 25 EP to found a City, which will increase your income by 10 EP. You require 10 Population for each city, and start with one. If you capture a city, it will count against your ability to build your own, but you will collect half its income until a peace treaty is signed. You can only build one city at a time. You can build a Wonder for 100 EP * (the number of wonders in your civilization + 1). So your first wonder is 100 EP, your second is 200 EP, and so on. A wonder can be anything you want and can be placed anywhere in your lands that you want, but there cannot be a wonder in a province that already has a city or another wonder. A wonder, upon being built, increases EP by 5 per turn, but also increases your share of the world’s trade income due to tourism. You can only build one wonder at a time. Research Spending: Spoiler : Research takes the form of levels, with each level costing 50 EP * the level. Having levels over rivals gives advantages. Every civilization starts with Level 2 in each category, but you can choose one category to have Level 3 in at the start. Neutral territory has the world average for research, rounded, for the purposes of calculations. Trade. When increased, your share of global trade income increases with it. Trade specialization is for countries interested in financial flexibility. Engineering. Each level increases how much Infrastructure you can build by 5%, rounded up; every level after 2 reduces the cost of cities by by 1 EP (up to a maximum of 5), and the cost of wonders is decreased by 5 EP per level. Every engineering level increases your population growth rate by 1 per level. Recommended for those planning on building up their economic base. Espionage. You have one espionage action per turn for each level of espionage. Espionage is not a conscious action; you simply assign your spies to posts as often as you like and they will funnel information to you (if in another country) or root out enemy spies (if in your country). You receive a bonus over enemy spies for higher levels as well, proportionate to how much higher you are. So a Level 3 Espionage country gets a +50% bonus to its chances against Level 2 countries. Countries eager to have a finger on the pulse of world affairs benefit from specializing in Espionage. Tactics. Whoever has the higher tactics level in combat will have bad rolls redone for a chance at a better one (but it can be worse). In the event of a tied level, the one with the higher research investment gets the reroll. In the event of a tie even then, there is no reroll. Countries seeking rapid expansion or a solid deterrent against invaders benefit from specializing in Tactics. Army. Increases combat performance against other armies proportionate to the level over the enemy. Recommended for countries seeking a strong land presence. Navy. Ditto, but with navies. Recommended for countries interested in controlling trade and power projection. Mobility. A catch-all for the hardware and effectiveness of your land forces in deploying. For each level of mobility, you can move one space per turn. Recommended for those favoring rapid expansion and conclusion to warfare. Movement and Combat Spoiler : Numbers are the primary determinant of victory, but technology can even the odds. The Tactics technology in particular is lethal because it allows the civilization with superior technology a shot at a better role in the event it loses; the reroll is automatic. Casualties are determined based on how “good” the role was for that side. If A and B have a 50% chance of victory each on a roll from 1 to 100, and the roll is a 1, B is suffering a catastrophic defeat. If the roll is only 49, A just barely wins, and will likely have a Pyrrhic victory. Your odds in a roll, your “battle score,” is simply your number of units multiplied by your military level. Generally, enemy forces are captured rather than killed, making them bargaining chips in the peace process. Land units are shown on the map and can move a number of provinces proportional to your Mobility research; if land units board a navy, they can land anywhere in the same turn, but cannot move beyond their landing zone (they also suffer a penalty landing amphibiously). When all enemy land units in a province are wiped out, that province becomes occupied. In the case of a neutral province, it is immediately annexed to your Empire upon the defeat of its forces. Standard modifiers for battle score: Being on the defense boosts a defender’s score by 10%. A city in a province boosts the defender’s score by 25% per city. Being attacked amphibiously boosts a defender’s score by 20%. If one side has naval supremacy around a battle zone (that is, the other fleet has been destroyed or retreated for the turn), they can lend 20% to their side in all coastal zones. Occupied Territory Spoiler : Occupied territory does not suffer a penalty to income, but each occupied Population unit requires 1 Army to garrison or you risk territory defecting back to its original owner. Occupied territory becomes yours completely once peace is signed, provided you have no other outstanding conflicts with someone on your land border. In the event the original owner goes back to war with you, there is a chance of territory switching back to “occupied” status and requiring a new garrison, proportional to how much time has elapsed since the peace accord. In short, while warmongering can be lucrative, do not step on too many toes, or you will never appreciate the fruits of others’ labor. Civilization Points Spoiler : Civilization Points, or CP, primarily serve as a “score” that would be used to determine a theoretical winner. However, accumulating them boosts your trade income, and they are largely gained through participation. Civilization Points also have a function in your Hero units, discussed further down. Earning CP: Every player starts with 10, and earns 1 each turn of play. You earn 1 CP for submitting orders. You can earn 1 CP per turn by making a roleplay post. This is limited to one post per turn; any additional posts carry no benefits. You can earn 1 CP per turn by making a diplomacy post. This is limited to one post per turn; any additional posts carry no benefits. CP can be taken as a condition for peace in war. However, they will not be added to your CP total until all outstanding conflicts (regardless of whether they are overland or oversea) are resolved. In other words: if your plan is to just warmonger to victory, all other players have to do is keep someone at war with you at all times. Building wonders grants 5 CP multiplied by the number of that wonder in your civilization; e.g. your first wonder yields 5 CP, while your tenth wonder yields 50 CP. Wonders are the primary way to rapidly ramp up CP. Capturing a wonder in a peace accord grants a flat 5 CP per wonder. It’s impressive, but you didn’t build it. CP is sometimes awarded for accomplishments in-game. Hero Units Spoiler : This is where your ability to customize really flourishes. Every civilization begins with 3, and can eventually have a maximum of 10. Every turn, one-quarter of players will receive an additional Hero unit at random, with better odds for players who have higher CP scores. Your hero units are those who are clearly far above average. Whether physical or mental prowess or something else entirely, they stand above the crowd. In many cases they could be seen as superhuman. Or perhaps… not human at all. As an extension of this, they can simply stay put and work relatively normal lives, or do tasks like combat and espionage. Hero units grow with your civilization, becoming more powerful as you accumulate CP. …The life link is double edged, however: if all your Heroes die, your civilization is wiped out immediately. At the start, you customize your Hero units. Your first Hero has 100 points to spend, your second 90, your third 80, and your last two 70. Every turn, you receive points equivalent to your CP to spend across all your heroes. Strength: Self-explanatory. For every 25 points, they are capable of taking on 1 Army all by themselves. Durability: Resistance to damage. Determines how injury affects their health. Intelligence: How smart your character is. They can use non-physical weapons more efficiently and have better odds doing espionage. It also controls influences whether or not they are visible on the map; a meathead type who goes and kills 5 enemy armies, for example, will be a sitting duck for retaliation. Health: If this runs out, they die and are removed from your pool. It will gradually recover over time depending on circumstances (e.g. they will recover much faster in friendly territory than behind enemy lines). Diligence: How many actions they can perform a turn. For every 25 points, they can do one extra. As your characters complete actions, they will accumulate skills that affect their future rolls. I will try to assign basic skills based on the character bios you give. A basic skill all Hero units have is boosting your research levels; a Tony Stark type would boost your engineering progress each turn, while a martial artists would enhance your military research. An arms dealer would help you acquire units more cheaply, and so on. Hero units’ stats are less important engaging with regular units, but became crucial when they engage with each other. Your Superman will be brought to his knees if the enemy figured out to bring Kryptonite. If it wasn’t obvious enough: you can send them after each other. It will obviously be much easier if you have an information network in place that lets you know where they are (in other words, do not neglect espionage, as it provides you the means to assassinate enemy Heroes and easily kill off an enemy civilization). The key thing about Hero unit actions is that unlike most random things in the game, there are chances of failure with penalties. While your failed military investment may not bear fruit for a turn, your Lex Luthor is capable of building a Kryptonite superweapon… and receiving Kryptonite poisoning that will kill him in 5 turns if you don’t find a cure. Final words: With risk comes reward. Partial investments are the primary feature of this game, as they allow you to quickly build up any category. If you want to play conservatively and buy things outright like in most IOTs, that is perfectly fine as well. Tailor your playstyle to however little or much risk is preferable to you. For those intimidated by the cost modifiers, worry not: the costs of nearly everything are recorded on the spreadsheet, and coded to adjust as things become cheaper or more expensive for you. Very little is blackboxed, as well, so mathcraft how you will. Just know even the best mathematician is beholden to the cruel beast that is chance.