I am new to this forum. Although I have played and enjoyed Conquest for a few years, I have just begun to construct boards in the last few days, so I am only just now starting to look closer at some of the details of Sean's implementation of this outstanding game. I have version 4.0 running in Windows, by the way.
Let me say first that Sean's Map Creator is a great tool, and it is helping me to get better and better as a designer as I pick up important elements of Conquest map designing with each new attempt.
When I eliminate an opponent and obtain his cards, and the total number of cards in my possession becomes seven, there are two situations where the order in which the cards are turned in becomes critical. One is where the distribution is 3-2-2 (three of one type, two of another type, two of the third type). The other situation is where the distribution is 3-3-1 (three of one type, three of another type, one of the third type). It appears that Conquest is programmed so that when cards are turned in, it first searches for any 1-1-1 combination. In the first situation (3-2-2), that is the preferable action since it is the one that results in a remaining 2-1-1 combination and allows a second turning in of cards. In the second situation (3-3-1) however, searching for a 1-1-1 combination first results in a remaining 2-2-0 combination and prevents a second turning in of cards. (The preferable 3-0-0 turn-in resulting in a remaining 0-3-1 combination and a second turn-in is unfortunately not executed by the Conquest code.) Might code be added that does a 3-0-0 turn-in when confronted with a 3-3-1 combination?
Question # 2:
What is the Map Creator's internal algorithm that is used to generate suggested continent values? I assume that it takes into account in some fashion the three variables of how many absolute territories, how many neighboring territories, and how many intercontinental access point territories there are in the given continent. When designing Conquest maps, it would certainly be advantageous to know how the suggested bonus values are calculated.
I have been using simulations with eight competing AI players to determine how well my maps are designed. In some cases, the game seems to go on forever. In other cases, the game is over within a small number of turns. Do other map designers use this methodology? If so, what simulated case indicates a playable map: an unending game, a very quick game, or a moderate length game? My subjective thought is that a moderate length simulated result is most likely to indicate a playable map design, but that's only my uneducated guess.
Thanks to all who respond. Hope this was not too lengthy a post.
A boardgame of world domination
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