Requesting Input on QSC Score Bonus for Embassies


Gil Favor's Sidekick
Mar 19, 2002
Colorado, USA
Since xerxexhan dredged this post up out the black hole for no apparent reason, I have editted it to give it some minimal purpose.

One element in the QSC game scoring system, that has been defined but that could use some additional discussion is the scoring for embassies.

When you make contact with your neighbors and have discovered the ability to write, you have the ability to establish embassies. Having an embassy will improve the attitude your neighbor expresses plus it will give you the ability to enter into Rights-of-Passage and/or military alliance agreements and these can have value.

When you first set an embassy, this gives you a quick spy report on the enemy capital and it clearly shows you the map location.

Embassies also let you investigate other cities in the neighboring counrtries

Embassies cost you money to establish and the cost depends on a black magic formula that includes the number of citizens in the capital, the improvements and other things. Basically this looks to be the same formula as the "investigate city" spy cost formula that is used after an embassy is in place

In the QSC scoring system, we currently have the value of an embassy set at 30 points. This was based on some experimentation of the cost of setting an embassy which usually ranges from 35 to 65 gold pieces in the early game. The original intent was to make the score offset some of the lost score that your would get for keeping the gold but to encourage you to learn to manage the foriegn trade timing so that you could set embassies when they have the lowest costs.

I would like to solicit any comments of feedback that anyone might have on whether or not they think this scoring of 30 points for an embassy is reasonable:
I've forgotten how 30 points relates, but I'm inclined to think Embassies are worth more.

Yes, they are a drain on your coffers, and so is investigating cities, but...

If you've ever lost a Wonder-build with only 1 turn to go with no Wonder to switch to - all because you couldn't afford to build an embassy or investigate a city(or both) then I think you'll agree that Embassies are easily worth twice what you pay for them.

Then again, sometimes they are not.

If I can afford them, I _always_ build them, if for no other reason than being able to have a War Ally and to see what my opponent is building in his capital.

If I'm strapped for cash, though, I'm very selective.
Neighbors and hopeful allies only.

Tough call. 30 points might be a bit low, but it's such a grey area, I'd rather see it slightly low than too high.
Maybe you could do something like you did for contacts, each subsequent embassy could be worth more. Embassy prices are based on a number of factors but frequently the civs that are the furthest away cost more. Just an idea.
From my experience embassies cost between 35 to 100 gp. But I may build them too late. I think you should encourage people to build embassies as soon as possible so timing could add up to the points (if possible).
Well, remember that sometimes the AI establishes the embassy with YOU! Should you get credit for that?

I usually only establish embassies with the stronger AI or the ones that I need to get on my side--and this usually happens later in the game when its clear who the stronger ones are. Since I'm NOT one of the top players <g> do you really feel that getting embassies with ALL of the AI is that important?

If you establish an embassy with an AI that you're going to put out of the game in 20 turns, what was the point?

Let me come at this a different way for a moment...

I played the first game without reading at all about how QSC would be scored. I wanted to get a baseline for what I normally do, and then I'll try and play to get points and see what happens...

I still haven't really looked at the scoring system in depth, but since we're keeping a timeline, what if we keep track of the amount of gold spent on ANYTHING. So if it cost you 30 to establish an embassy, or 20 + 2gpt to get Pottery, etc. we could know at 1000 BC exactly how much gold we had run through to get where we are. If two people ended up with the exact same civilization, but one had spent 500 gp and other 1000gp should they be scored the same? One was a better trader, the other a better income maker...

Having said all that, 30 points for an embassy seems reasonable since you can't know its true future value or strategic worth. Or you could switch to give a % credit of the actual gp you spent to establish it.
pterrok: I find it very important to have Embassies with everyone, but that's just me.

Sometimes, I need to know if I'm going to beat the AI to that 400-600 shield Wonder or not.

Sometimes I need an ally.

Sometimes I need an RoP.

None of which is possible without an embassy.

And yes, even if I'm planning to destroy a Civ in 20 turns, I'd like a peek at what he's working on. Especially if it's a Wonder. If he's going to get a Wonder I want just a couple of turns after I take him out, why not let him build it first? It's only a couple of turns to wait, and it's 400-600 free shields, eh?

I put a lot more stock in "diplomacy" than many people, though, so YMMV. I just really like knowing what's going on in the world I'm trying to become the Evil Overlord of.
My opinion is that Embassies should be valued at more than 30 points.
One simple fact :
They certainly cost more than 30g to establish but in the scoring system, you get one point per gold so a 30 point score does not encourage the players to establish embassies, that should not be the case.

I think Embassies should be set up "teh right time" as you say cracker but that should not only be an economical decison (i.e the right time being whenever they cost less) it should be more based on strategy (i.e. building a wonder and establishing embassy in order to spy your ennemy's progress or establishing ROP).
So a system rewarding the establishment of embassies as close to possible as to how much money they cost is the best system. That the players don't think
"well if I pay 60 g for an embassy and I get only 30 points for it then it is not worth it, i better keep my money for after 1000BC so I can ge t a bettwer QSC score."
Having said that I understand it is impossible to actually award the exact amount of points that the embassy cost...

A combination of CB's and Yndy idea could be ideal.
Originally posted by Skyfish
That the players don't think
"well if I pay 60 g for an embassy and I get only 30 points for it then it is not worth it, i better keep my money for after 1000BC so I can ge t a bettwer QSC score."
Do people play these games like that?

I'm more interested in improving my own play for "real" games, not in getting the highest score over the first 3000 years.

I guess I could see where people would make "bad" decisions just to increase their QSC score, but I don't really care about the QSC score as much as I care about using it to make my own early game play better. I'm not going to change my game play just for QSC points, but if I see a change that results in a better game, I would.

Did that make sense?

Anyway, while I think embassies are "worth" more than 30 points, I'm not in this for the points, so I'm sure cracker will come to an agreeable solution for all involved.
How about something totally different?

Give points for every civ's attitude towards you; furious = 0, annoyed = 25, cautious = 50, polite = 100, gracious = 200. Or something along those lines.

That takes into account the embassy boost and also gives a rough idea of your future trading prospects.
Dave's solution :
penalizes early war which in some cases can be justified for a good Quick Start.

ducki :
I am afraid that as soon as you have the word "challenge" or "competition" some people will just try to win and thus use the system (and its flaws) to do it...

I do agree 100% with you that this is not the point of the exercice but human nature is unavoidable...

In my case I was disappointed with my QSC submission but then found out that it actually gave me a good base to have a good position from -1000 to AD and I proceeded to go on playing the GOTM which I never had done before.

I really hope I can finish in time to submit this GOTM.
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