Kyle H on 29 Mar 2003 14:44:02 -0000

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[eia] fixing the political phase

Everett wrote:
> I think that makes more sense, and the game was obviously designed so
> that everyone would know who as at war with who when those later steps
> came around, and I would prefer to keep it that way.  The rules go out
> of their way to explain how the *declaration of war* is supposed to be
> secret and simultaneous, not the entire political phase.  In fact, much
> of it doesn't make sense to be in the escrow:  Call to Allies, the Peace
> Step, Minor Country Control.  3 out of the 7 steps after declaration of
> war, by necessity, *must* be retroactively changeable, so it seems
> simpler, and logical to allow all the steps after the Declaration of War
> step to be so.

    There is definitely some merit to what you're saying.  And as you may
recall, I was initially in favor of having 2 political phase escrows
(Political Phase A and Political Phase B) for much the same reasons.
However, without having a concrete proposal to consider, it is impossible to
decide whether what you are suggesting is better than our current practice
(which is far from perfect).  I think we would all agree that if your
proposal required us to go through each step of the political phase
individually, that would not be an improvement on our current system just
because it would take far too long.  So let's see if we can't come up with
an alternative that preserves some of the original intent of the rules at a
minimum cost in extra time.

    First of all, let's recognize the value of simultaneity.  Resolving
steps simultaneously cuts down on the gamesmanship involved in waiting to
see what others do before committing yourself.  If everyone goes at once,
then that helps to move things along.  I conclude that simultaneity is a
good thing wherever you can get it.

    It seems to me that the Declaration of War step is perhaps the most
crucial step in the Political Phase.  And I think Everett is right that much
of what happens afterward depends on knowledge of its outcome.  For that
reason, I think it should have its own escrow.  Now, here's the question:
would there be any harm in combining the rest of the Political Phase into
one escrow?

    Here's how I think we ought to deal with Political Phases from now on.

1.)  First, we send out an escrow just for Declarations of War.  (This
should not take very long as there is only one thing to decide.)
2.)  When that is revealed, we immediately resolve Calls to Allies (if
necessary).  This could be done either in a sequence or with a separate
escrow.  But in either case, it wouldn't come up very often at all.
3.)  Then we send out a separate Political Phase escrow that handles steps
D. through I.  In this second escrow, people would sue for peace, state
which countries they wish to ally with, state which minor countries they'd
be willing to sponsor, state which alliances they wish to break, state which
minor countries become free states, and state which countries they'd be
willing to combine movement with.
4.)  When we see the results of that second escrow, we could roll for
control of minor countries (if necessary) and work out peace conditions (if

    I think this is a relatively streamlined procedure that would not cost
us much in terms of time, but would make better sense out of the whole
political phase process.  What do the rest of you think?


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