Suggestions for the next version of Slay

Conquer the island
tarot
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Post by tarot » Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:48 am

gruff wrote: when your turn starts, your money has to be in your hut already. Without a hut, you can't have any bank.

I think huts were not in the earliest versions. And, in fact, huts don't matter at all on your turn, only on your opponents' (when they may be smashed to destroy your bank, or serve to defend your territory). In the implementation, you can click on anywhere in your territory to show your bank; you don't need to, and rarely do, click on your hut.

Also, would you have to build all huts before building any men?

There is no reason to implement this restriction, for the reason stated above.

Thirdly, the automatic regeneration of huts is a disadvantage for you as the attacker, but an advantage for the defender. Changing it would be a zero sum thing.

This is an irrelevant argument, since changing any rule (e.g. huts have no defense strength) is a "zero sum thing", as long as the change applies equally to all players. The issue is, whether the change improves the game or not. And the reasons why I think my suggestion improves the game are as follows:

1. The player should be given the choice of where to rebuild his hut. This gives him more strategy options and eliminates the inelegant method of having the program arbitrarily select one for you.

2. The attacker should not have to deal with regenerating huts within his turn. Lands which rely on regenerating huts to defend themselves are mostly hopeless anyway; allowing them to survive longer merely slows down the pace of the game.

There are also some other minor problems with the regenerating hut. For example, if an area which is fully occupied with one castle and several men gets cut off, the hut regenerates over my castle (because it cannot regenerate over a man), destroying it and allowing the land to be conquered easily. My suggestion provides an elegant solution to this situation.

Sean O'Connor wrote:I agree with gruff and I think it would get tediuos to have to position loads of new huts on tiny territories at the beginning of each turn when you wanted to get on with slaying.

On the very contrary, one deals with regenerating huts (when attacking) far more often than one would have to position new huts. How many huts would you have to place on an average turn? Mostly 0, 1, or 2. And most of the time, that is an immaterial decision (for a hopeless land) that can be completed in a second without any thought. But when you need to do so for an important land, it'll be important to give the player the decision.

In my suggestion, you don't have to place the huts in the beginning of your turn, or even at all. They become a third kind of build item, available for any land without a hut already, and are built at no cost at any time in your turn. If you don't build it, you get an end-of-turn warning, and you lose any unspent money when you end your turn.

In the next version I'll make it so that the huts appear in the "middle" of a new territory rather than use my cop-out method of just using the first hex in the array (i.e. the top left one).

I believe that my suggestion already has a clear algorithm, while the algorithm for figuring out the "middle" of a territory has yet to be figured out. And what if that hex is already occupied?

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gruff
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Post by gruff » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:28 am

I?ll try to go to the heart of the matter and deal with your other points later.

tarot wrote: 2. The attacker should not have to deal with regenerating huts within his turn. Lands which rely on regenerating huts to defend themselves are mostly hopeless anyway; allowing them to survive longer merely slows down the pace of the game.


Earlier you wrote in support of your proposal ?I just find it annoying to have to plan my attacks so that the opponent's regenerating hut doesn't get into my way. It's all within my turn, so why should I need to bother with dealing with the regenerating hut? If I smash the hut, I should be able to also conqure the surrounding territory, just like when I kill a soldier.? This issue of convenience seems to be the crux. You say that swifter attacks, and thus faster games, would be better. I must disagree. I refer you to the earliest versions of Slay. In those versions, huts had no defensive ability. The effect of this was that territories could be quickly conquered by masses of peasants in much the way you foresee for your no-hut proposal. This meant that spearmen were useless in the mid- and endgame ? you won with a couple knights and a swarm of peasants. This was carpal-tunnel-inducing! It also meant that less thought and planning was required. There was less need to budget carefully (peasants are cheaper than spearmen) and less need to deal shrewdly with potentially troublesome statelets in one?s hinterland. The game was swifter.

The new version made huts stronger, increased the importance of spearmen, made the opening moves trickier, and slowed down the game. I and I think most people find this to be an improvement. A slower game means more thought is required.

This is why I do not agree with your proposed change.





The other points:

tarot wrote: I think huts were not in the earliest versions. And, in fact, huts don't matter at all on your turn, only on your opponents' (when they may be smashed to destroy your bank, or serve to defend your territory). In the implementation, you can click on anywhere in your territory to show your bank; you don't need to, and rarely do, click on your hut.


True. A hut is just a convention. Minor point.

tarot wrote:
Also, would you have to build all huts before building any men?

There is no reason to implement this restriction, for the reason stated above.


I see your point, but there is also the question of how to force a hut build. Men don?t have to be built but huts must, therefore some entirely new end turn arrangement must be implemented, which violates the KISS rule that has been so crucial to Slay?s success.

tarot wrote:1. The player should be given the choice of where to rebuild his hut. This gives him more strategy options and eliminates the inelegant method of having the program arbitrarily select one for you.


The ?should? here is unsupported. As to ?more strategy options? ? I don?t know, Slay seems to have enough. Come play a few multiplayer games with us and I think you?ll see what I mean.

tarot wrote: 2. The attacker should not have to deal with regenerating huts within his turn. Lands which rely on regenerating huts to defend themselves are mostly hopeless anyway; allowing them to survive longer merely slows down the pace of the game.


Dealt with above.

tarot wrote: There are also some other minor problems with the regenerating hut. For example, if an area which is fully occupied with one castle and several men gets cut off, the hut regenerates over my castle (because it cannot regenerate over a man), destroying it and allowing the land to be conquered easily. My suggestion provides an elegant solution to this situation.


This is a good point and one I partially agree with. I might suggest that castles be privileged over men when it comes to automatic hut rebuilds. With your suggestion, what would happen if there was no free space on which to rebuild the hut? I mean a situation in which you could not capture any new hexes and all your current hexes are occupied? You can?t destroy men or castles, so where would the hut go? If you don't build one your men will probably die. Also, could huts cut down trees? Could they be built on top of graves?

And in your suggested proposal, is the defender's bank not lost when the hut is smashed? If not, why not?

tarot wrote:On the very contrary, one deals with regenerating huts (when attacking) far more often than one would have to position new huts. How many huts would you have to place on an average turn? Mostly 0, 1, or 2. And most of the time, that is an immaterial decision (for a hopeless land) that can be completed in a second without any thought. But when you need to do so for an important land, it'll be important to give the player the decision.


This is an important decision, but I think that the ?center rebuild? due in the next version is sufficient. In fact, if you think about it, players would always rebuild their huts in important lands in the very farthest corner of their land, which would slow the game down immensely by reducing the number of cutoff possibilities ? and Slay without cutoffs is like a day without sun.

tarot wrote: In my suggestion, you don't have to place the huts in the beginning of your turn, or even at all. They become a third kind of build item, available for any land without a hut already, and are built at no cost at any time in your turn. If you don't build it, you get an end-of-turn warning, and you lose any unspent money when you end your turn.


Okay I see your solution to the ?compulsory build? problem. But then this would mean territories without huts would become a common feature of the game ? why?

tarot wrote:I believe that my suggestion already has a clear algorithm, while the algorithm for figuring out the "middle" of a territory has yet to be figured out. And what if that hex is already occupied?


If we?re talking algorithms, surely the algorithm for letting the computer players choose their hut build sites would be vastly more complex that the ?automatic middle? algorithm for all players, human and AI alike.

If the hex is already occupied, it goes to one of the six around it, and so forth. Minor objection.

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Legacy
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Post by Legacy » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:05 pm

I was going to reply, but then I read gruff's response and decided he'd said it fairly well.

lancerunolfsson
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Post by lancerunolfsson » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:43 am

I would like either to control where the Hut goes when I join two freindly territories together or for it to go to the center as Sean says may be the future of smashed huts.

lancerunolfsson
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Post by lancerunolfsson » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:46 am

Definately Hot seat play option and get the board to size to my screen;^)

JoeK
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Post by JoeK » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:42 am

Possible themes for Slay is to take on a 3rd dimension. Similar to 3d Chess or Checker coming from a 2d plane like Slay is.

Or another theme would be a capture the flag scenario, getting the flag back from one point to another through linking of hexes and one spearman tries to make it from one side to another as a victory condition. (flag can only be transported via your lowest piece, and when killed the flag remains on that hex until another spearman from any color captures and moves it).

or another theme could be a random blackhole or earthquake hex that pops around the map randomly that neutralizes a hex per turn or every 5th turn just to add an element of uncontrollable variation.

or another is to take use a chess piece like adding a knight that could jump over an uncontrolled hex and capture another hex but to keep the game balance, a knight could be killed by a spearman. (moves faster, but more vulnerable)

Joe

Quorad
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Post by Quorad » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:11 pm

How about buying a second hut. Like it costs 25 to buy a hut and place it on your territory like a castle? And if your original hut is destroyed, you keep half of the money you saved because you have 2 huts. And if you have three huts you get to keep 2/3. If you have four you get to keep 3/4. See where I'm going?

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gruff
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Post by gruff » Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:16 pm

Quorad wrote:How about buying a second hut. Like it costs 25 to buy a hut and place it on your territory like a castle? And if your original hut is destroyed, you keep half of the money you saved because you have 2 huts. And if you have three huts you get to keep 2/3. If you have four you get to keep 3/4. See where I'm going?


That way madness lies.

kalfster
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Post by kalfster » Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:46 pm

a few fields that give 2,3,4 or maybe random amount of recources instead of 1 (so they are important to get/defend)

cheap walls (5 recoursces ?) that keep out for instance peasants, only spearmen or higher can break through. If conquered from other site walls could stay or disappear. Could be fun/usefull in beginning of game.

Fortify4
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Random Hut Placement

Post by Fortify4 » Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:46 am

I can't believe no one has recommended 'random' hut placement when a hut is smashed? I know this is supposed to be a game of skill not luck but the gods of luck smile on those with skill. And it is easy to code.

Cheers,
Fortify4

kalfster
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Post by kalfster » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:16 pm

the strong thing about this game is how small factor luck is.....
(except for the starting positions)

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gruff
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Post by gruff » Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:13 am

Hmmm...random hut placement. Not a bad idea, and easier to code than center hut.

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qwas
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Post by qwas » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:23 am

Yeah but it would give an advantage to someone around the attacked nation.
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Garnier
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Post by Garnier » Sat Oct 29, 2005 1:22 pm

Somebody's gotta have an advantage.

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Post by qwas » Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:45 am

Unless its in the middle...
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