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raf0485
07-02-10, 17:39
Another team's posting made me a bit curious. Who is going to run the turns? Maybe we could take turns, like I run ten turns, then mike runs ten, etc. It's just a thought.
Also, I think we should probably decide on what sort of decisions should be put to a vote. Should we vote on things as small as individual cities' production, or maybe just on tech decisions on up? I guess what I'm asking is, how much authority does the individual playing the turn at that time have? A civics change should definitely be put to vote, I think. Seeing as that is a big decision.
Anyway, share your thoughts with me on this, team. Also, if you have any other questions/issues, be sure to bring them up. We may have missed them.

DrazharLn
07-02-10, 17:51
I think we should vote on any military deployments/actions and on what we want to focus on for each city.

We should also tell each other what we've done each turn and why.

mike_wpc
07-02-10, 18:43
Hm I have an idea. How about each of us takes a 'specialisation'? One can be military adviser and he has the last word on military matters, other the economy/commerce adviser etc you do remember civ 2 ? :D It should be quite fun and we compensate for the weak point of voting: the consensus is not always the best way of action. What do you say?

DrazharLn
07-02-10, 18:52
I support that proposal.

raf0485
07-02-10, 19:18
Not a bad idea at all. It is pretty hard to come to a consensus at times, so this would make things go much smoother. I really miss Civ 2's advisors sometimes.
I would think it'd always be best to put it to a popular vote before going to war with anyone. Maybe it'd be a good idea to start an AAR thread for when the game starts. That way, we have an open forum to post our in-game actions in.
All for the specialization and action-reports ideas.

DrazharLn
07-02-10, 19:48
Oh, sweet! I didn't notice I'd gotten a little icon of his porkiness on my name!

Locutus
07-02-10, 23:05
You bring up basically two different issues, although there's definitely overlap between them: turn playing and decision making.

At the end of the day, whoever actually plays the turn has ultimate decision power of course, but the point of playing with teams is that you let the rest of the team chime in as well. The great thing about PitBoss is that anyone can log in at any time, so there doesn't necessarily need to be a single assigned turn player, it's entirely possible to have one player move units while another manages cities, a third handles diplomacy, etc. Mind you, for some pop-ups at the start of turns (like events) you have make a decision on the spot so whoever is the first to log in has to make the call there, but for the most part you can have as many active turn players as you like and they can all run the game side by side with each their own assigned role.

That said, you do want to make sure that *someone* moves around the units, picks items to build/research, etc every turn. The problem with a DG is that the game lasts for many, many months and people aren't always around every single day. If I understand correctly (I've never played sequential PitBoss before) we'll only have 24-hour windows to make our moves in and we don't know exactly when those windows will come, and on top of that especially early on you want to try to be faster than that to not hold up the game up longer than necessary for everyone else. If you are dependent on 5 different people each managing different aspects of the game and one of them happens to be busy/out of town/off-line you could get yourself in trouble, and such an approach will also introduce a lot of unnecessary delays early on when there's barely enough to do for one person anyway.

So most DGs end up having one assigned turn player who in practice does most of the work of actually playing the game, although that role can be passed from player to player over time (but usually that's a not frequent occurrence). Of course, this person will always consult the rest of the team before playing, but they bear the ultimate responsibility for managing the game. Usually at the start of a turn this person will log in and post any relevant info and screenshots in the forum to show what happened since the last turn, and what decisions need to be made this turn. Then they wait and see what discussion unfolds and based on that (and previous discussions) log in again later on to actually play the turn, reporting back again on any significant outcomes. In some cases this might trigger a second round of discussion/turn playing if crucial new info is uncovered halfway through the turn.

I do think we want to make sure that at any given time there is one person who is responsible for making sure the turn is played. I would certainly encourage others to also feel free to log in any time they want to help out, but if no one does that you always want to have one person who knows it's their job to keep things moving. IMHO both to reduce the workload and to increase the level of involvement it would definitely be a good idea to rotate this role on a regular basis, but keep in mind that not everyone might be up to the task and you also have to keep real-life schedules and such into account.

When it comes to making decisions, a lot of DG teams do like to assign specific roles (like military advisor, diplomat, etc) to specific players, but usually these are people who lead the discussion, they don't necessarily have veto rights. I've definitely been on teams that were weakened because they were unable to reach consensus, or where the consensus was often a weak compromise. But I've also been on teams where say the person in charge of military wasn't necessarily the best player, and as such poor decisions were made. Also bear in mind that economic decisions often impact military policy and vice versa, so you don't want to get yourself in a situation where the military guy and the economy guy have all the power in their area but are moving in opposite directions. Finally, again, if the military guy is not around you can't let the game grind to a halt because of that.

So you want to find a bit of a middle ground here. Ideally everyone on the team should be involved in all discussions, and any decision that seems important or controversial should be made by majority rule (this often doesn't require a formal vote though, a lot of the time you can just look at the opinions people post over the course of a discussion and tally up the votes based on that). However, in cases where there's no clear majority for any particular decision, or the decision seems to weaken overall strategy, then the minister/advisor has the final say. If policies of different advisors don't go well together, the designated turn player has the right to overrule any of them.

DrazharLn
07-02-10, 23:12
Sounds good to me. I'd rather not be one of the people who do the actual turn playing; I hardly ever play Civ IV and I don't want to mess things up for the team.

Locutus
08-02-10, 03:31
I for one would be willing to be one of several turn players. I have a weird schedule, sometimes I'm around an awful lot, at other times I can go days or in rare cases even weeks without being available at all. Because of this I definitely don't want to be the only turn player, but as part of a rotation that works around my schedule I should be fine.

So how many ministers/advisors do we want to have? (Traditionally these roles are called ministers as the earliest democracy games were heavily modeled after real-world democracies, but I like the term advisor as a 'change of pace'; the turn player could then be called Emperor :))

Do we want every player to be an advisor on something, or would you prefer to have a small number of roles with the rest of the players being normal 'citizens'? Traditionally DG teams have been much larger than the ones in this game and not everyone could have an official role, but in our case we could conceivably give everyone their own part. The minimum you can normally get away with is basically 3 advisors: military, domestic and foreign affairs. You could (and arguably should) easily split foreign advisor in a diplomat and spy, and domestic advisor can be split into city affairs (for build queue and workforce management) and an empire affairs (research, finances, civics, religions). Worker management can be part of either of those, or be split off into a separate infrastructure role. Science advisor can be a separate function as well sometimes, but IMHO that really only makes sense for big teams. Of course, other divisions might be possible as well, but these are the most common ones.

Of course, these roles all have different workloads. Empire affairs, especially minus Worker management, is a pretty light function for the most part, while diplomacy gets very heavy once contact has been made with all teams -- in fact, don't be surprised if the diplomat at some point needs help to manage complex negotiations with 3 teams simultaneously (and they also have a bunch of AIs to deal with on top of that). Military is light in peace time but gets pretty taxing at times of war, especially later in the game when there are a lot of units to manage. The domestic/city advisor role gets progressively more time-consuming as your empire grows bigger. Espionage can be as light or heavy as you want it to be: you can track other team's action very accurately by doing some serious number-crunching based on demographics and score changes over time, but that stuff is very time-consuming and math-heavy so not nearly every team does this, or not as well as is possible.

Being the turn player is also a fairly heavy-duty role, so in most DGs they don't hold any other function. However, with our limited number of players and possibly wanting to swap turn player regularly, we might not have that luxury (unless we want to do something like swap out roles when someone becomes the turn player).

Note that some DG teams in the past have started with limited roles but added aids at busy times, but again, we don't really have a lot of man power to work with in that regard.

Also, do you want roles to be permanent, or rotate over time? In bigger DGs of the past there were often elections for the various official roles with terms typically lasting about a month (again, like modelled after real democracies). In more recent games (with smaller teams) that's gone away and roles have tended to become permanent and gone to the most skilled players willing to commit to any given position.

Ozbenno
08-02-10, 03:44
I agree that we should look at having an assigned turn player with others able to fill in when needed. I'd prefer that not be me by the way as this is my first experience of this.

It may be best to not have assigned roles and have everyone try and contribute to all aspects of the game. Maybe one that we can have is an ambassador-type role, ie one person who is responsible for the (in game) dealings with the other teams. Obviously the team as a whole has to agree on what we give/ask/say/do with respect to the other teams but having one point of contact in our team might help.

Micro-managing is going to be important here. Not wasting a hammer, coin etc is going to give us the best chance of success (with our bound to be brilliant plan of course). So everyone should be encouraged to log in every turn if possible to look at how we're doing with regard to this.

Basically I think I'm just agreeing with everything Locutus said in his post :D

Ozbenno
08-02-10, 03:59
Basically I think I'm just agreeing with everything Locutus said in his post :D

Actually cross posted with Locutus here, was referring to the earlier post.

I would probably be OK with taking some turns if we want to rotate it around. I have a funny time availability schedule as well so would have to fit around that.

Is it a bad idea to start with no assigned ministers as such and (with our low numbers) see how we fare with everyone looking at the game as a whole or are we just starting on a bad path?

raf0485
08-02-10, 06:27
We are making some wonderful progress here, IMO. Very, very fruitful discussion, here.

Basically, I have broken down the progress we have made.
First, we need Ministers/Secretaries.
From the posts from the team, I see that we need a few different roles. Since there are five of us (for the moment), five seems to be a good number to start out with. Here are the roles I see us as needing:

1.) Minister of Foreign Affairs. This role should probably be filled by a person who is outgoing and friendly. But, they also need to be tough. Our MFA needs to be able to stand his ground when need be, but always ready to strengthen our relations with allies. He should probably work carefully with the economic and military ministers to figure out what would be best for our nation (i.e. not trading uranium for fish, or starting unnecessary conflict with a more powerful neighbor).

2.) Minister of Espionage. Need a sly character for this one. Of course, the job would be to spy on our neighbors, AIs and rival teams alike. He should probably work closely with the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs. It would probably be best for him to relate to Defense rival military numbers and also to advise Foreign Affairs of who we need to be pretty close to. Also, he would want to work with Treasury as well, to procure funding.

3.) Minister of the Treasury. One main goal: to make our nation wealthy. A rich nation is a strong nation. Works closely with Foreign Affairs in order to procure more gold and resources needed to line the coffers.

4.) Minister of Defense. Ensures that our nation is well protected and leads the military. Again, this should be someone who works closely with Espionage, Treasury, and Foreign Affairs.

5.) Minister of Labor. Handles production queues and workers. Probably even handles citizen management, though this responsibilty could be shared with Treasury, perhaps, as it could become quite taxing.

This is just my take on the roles laid out in previous posts. Feedback is always great, so don't hold your tongue. If you feel a responsibility assigned one minister should be moved to another, let me know. This is just sort of a rough outline.

From what I can tell, the most experienced of us is Locutus. I, personally, have basically no MP experience, let alone DG experience. I wouldn't mind playing a few turns, though. Especially if I can watch at least a couple turns played by someone else. I'm also not too sure how to use the pitboss, but I'm sure there's a manual on the thing somewhere (probably in the BTS manual). I'm thinking that each turn lasts 24 hours, so if possible, maybe we should pull three-turn (or so, again feedback on this would be great) shifts.

Anyway, this is just what I've been rolling around in my head after reading our discussions here. And, just like the title of the post suggests, I'm loving all of it.

mike_wpc
08-02-10, 08:19
IMO MFA should handle espionage also ( I'm assuming you mean in game and on the forums :D ). About the treasury minister I don't know how he can take any decision without depending on the labour minister.

I think that only 3 specialisations are enough: Domestic, Military, Diplomacy and I have an idea how we can include everyone. Every player can have a primary specialisation and 2 secondaries. So when the player responsible with a minister cant make it, we know who can handle the situation.

Basically we agree on a hierarchy and everybody should know who is in charge on a matter and whom to talk to.

I also have another suggestion: Let's have subforums dedicated for each minister and at least 1 sticky where the current situation is reported. The player currently in charge of a minister decides what things are important to be written :) and what the long term vision is.

Ozbenno
08-02-10, 08:24
IMO MFA should handle espionage also ( I'm assuming you mean in game and on the forums :D ). About the treasury minister I don't know how he can take any decision without depending on the labour minister.

I think that only 3 specialisations are enough: Domestic, Military, Diplomacy and I have an idea how we can include everyone. Every player can have a primary specialisation and 2 secondaries. So when the player responsible with a minister cant make it, we know who can handle the situation.

Basically we agree on a hierarchy and everybody should know who is in charge on a matter and whom to talk to.

I also have another suggestion: Let's have subforums dedicated for each minister and at least 1 sticky where the current situation is reported. The player currently in charge of a minister decides what things are important to be written :) and what the long term vision is.

This all sounds good actually. :b:

Locutus
08-02-10, 13:14
I think switching every 3 turns might be a bit too often: then you're constantly scrambling to figure out who will be the next turn player. I was thinking more like every 10 turns myself, as proposed in the OP. With 4 teams and 24-hour turns, that means on average a turn player term lasts about 30-40 days. If that proves to be too long you could cut it down to 7 or even 5 turns, but I'd say let's start with 10 and see how that goes. Of course, if someone can't be around for part of their term due to other commitments, we could arrange either a temporary replacement or an early term change. The key is to be flexible and work around everyone's schedules.

As most of you seem anxious about being turn player, I will offer to take the first shift. If necessary I can take the 2nd and maybe even 3rd shift as well, as long as my schedule allows, but at some point others will have to start jumping in.

I really doubt we will need subforums when there are only 5 or 6 of us. We won't generate nearly enough discussion to warrant that, and it's a pain to navigate an entire forum structure for a handful of threads. Making a sticky thread for each minister would certainly be fine, although I'm not even sure we'll generate so many threads that stickying will be necessary.

raf0485
08-02-10, 14:50
That's cool. I didn't want to overextend anyone, so I thought 3 might be good. Ten works great, though. I have no arguments with you going first, Locutus. It was kinda what I was driving at, but didn't want to put you on the spot.
Three ministers should work pretty well, and we could possibly make underministry positions, should the need arise.
Next on the docket should be electing the ministers, I suppose.

raf0485
08-02-10, 15:06
Another question: when voting, should we use polls to keep it at least a little anonymous, or is public okay with everyone?

mike_wpc
08-02-10, 15:16
I prefer public.

DrazharLn
08-02-10, 23:50
Public is fine by me

DrazharLn
08-02-10, 23:58
If someone advises me a little on what's best to do generally, espionage-wise, I'll be our guy for that (possibly under the MFA?).

Ozbenno
09-02-10, 07:12
Another question: when voting, should we use polls to keep it at least a little anonymous, or is public okay with everyone?

Public is good for me as well.

Locutus
09-02-10, 14:29
Don't care either way.

raf0485
11-02-10, 06:51
Public it is, then. I've been working on something of a constitution, though I'm not sure we really even need one. What do you think?
BTW, I'm all for having a team co-captain, if anyone is interested or would like to nominate anyone. We could have more than one, even, if that is what we want.
UPDATE: I have just created a new email account with gmail for our MFA. I ripped the idea off from Southern Cross, as they sent me theirs just the other day. This account will be used for diplomacy with the other teams (where and when permissable, you know).

Locutus
11-02-10, 08:37
Public it is, then. I've been working on something of a constitution, though I'm not sure we really even need one. What do you think?

We really don't. Constitutions are for single player games and have been done to death there. As much fun as I've had writing, enforcing and finding exploits to constitutions, they really only threaten to slow you down, which with a 24-hour turn timer you really don't need. We only require one rule: whoever plays the turns makes the decisions, but they try to adhere to the team philosophy and opinions as much as possible.


UPDATE: I have just created a new email account with gmail for our MFA. I ripped the idea off from Southern Cross, as they sent me theirs just the other day. This account will be used for diplomacy with the other teams (where and when permissable, you know).

We will need this email not only for diplomacy but also PitBoss/CivStats updates that the entire team but especially the turn player needs. Make sure to post the login details so I can set everything up when I get access to the game.

raf0485
11-02-10, 18:18
Okay. Our address is iswinewpc@gmail.com . The password is logarithm, and the security question is 'What was your first phone number?' Answer: Llama.