Pirates of Jakarta

General discussion for the game Anacreon
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darkMATTER
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Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:01 am

I was reading a post by Imperator, and it made think of the great memories I had playing the turn-based Anacreon scenario: Pirate of Jakarta.

One suggestion I have for an Era 4 update, would be having ancient worlds with hidden fleets that you might capture upon conquering the world. That is one element I missed from the scenarios; is that exploring the universe and conquering neutral worlds could lead to unexpected surprises. Obviously the online version now of Anacreon is different...but I think one method could be that when players abdicate, that a small % of the newly freed worlds would randomly have portions of the fleets that were on those worlds be placed in a kind of "treasure box", so that when a new player conquered it, they would be rewarded with a discovery of the lost fleet of ships, etc.

Just an idea...

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Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:06 pm

I agree that "popping" fleets was a fun mechanic, and I like the idea of tying it to abdicated or defeated empires' worlds rather than having it be random. A few further thoughts:
  • Since there would be no fleets to pop at game start (since nobody has abdicated or been defeated yet), this would not allow random chance to unfairly accelerate any empire's military development in this stage of the game.
  • This mechanic could help newly-joined empires "catch up" with established empires IF there is some sort of throttle to larger empires' popping fleets. E.g. the number of units you pop is divided by the number of sector capitals you have, squared. A new empire pops the full amount, one with 2 sector capitals only pops 1/4 as many, etc.
  • Established players will have a better idea of where fleet pop candidate worlds are since they will know where empires were. Maybe worlds that are candidates to pop a fleet should get some sort of special marker in the user interface to distinguish them so that nobody is at a disadvantage in finding them.
I think that Mesophon could also be brought into this via a desertion mechanic for units:
  • Mesophon worlds do not have enough defenses to protect themselves properly. Maybe when an empire is defeated or abdicates, some fraction of its forces (including infantry) should immediately desert to the nearest Mesophon world rather than swearing allegiance to whatever newly-independent planet they happen to be orbiting. Fleets in transit or orbiting foreign worlds at the time their empire is destroyed should have a higher % of units desert to Mesophon since they have literally no connection to the planet they are at. If a planet goes independent via civil war but its controller survives, or a planet with forces defects through sector capital conquest, maybe a smaller % of units could desert to Mesophon. This could happen instantaneously or the game could generate a fleet from these forces, move it in real time to the closest Mesophon planet, and then transfer it down. Mesophon could also use this mechanic to shuffle fleets between its worlds to e.g. protect capitals and sector capitals. So if somebody sells a bunch of Minotaurs on one world, Mesophon would be able to move some of them to another world with no defenses.
  • Another option would be a special balancing mechanism that allows defeated units to be used to even the stakes against aggressively expanding empires. I imagine it working something like:
    • There is a second Mesophon trade pane called something like "Ronin Forces" that explains that Mesophon allows refugee forces to hire themselves out as mercenaries
    • Unlike the basic sales pane, this pane tracks the number of units available. There are global fixed pools of ronin units that all players buy from, and when a pool is empty nobody can buy any more. These units do not exist at any planet until they are purchased, but the pools do undergo attrition just like they were regular units. The game tracks a single defeated or abdicated sovereign ID that is associated with the ronin pool - I will call this the "origin empire".
    • Ronin units are sold for a cheaper price than normal Mesophon units but are mechanically identical. If you buy 1000 ronin minotaurs you get 1000 normal minotaurs. Maybe for gloss, fleets purchased in this way could be generated with names like "1st Ronin Fleet".
    • Now, where do these units actually come from? When an empire is defeated or abdicates, remove a % of units from the worlds of the destroyed empire. Also sum the total space forces that were removed in this manner.
    • The ronin tab has a disclaimer that says the ronin "are currently led by an admiral from the former [NAME OF ORIGIN EMPIRE]." The player of the origin empire has no control over them (they are no longer in the game) but this will further affect unit prices for other empires in a manner that will be explained later.
    • Sum the space forces of the existing ronin pool. Compare the forces of the existing pool to the forces removed from the defeated empire. If the forces of the defeated empire are stronger, the sovereign ID of the ronin pool changes to the defeated empire's sovereign ID. Add a corresponding number of units to the virtual ronin unit pool. So some forces will always join the ronin pool when an empire leaves the game, but a new admiral will not "take control" of the ronin pool if the units added to the pool in this manner are weaker than the units already in the pool.
    • If a player was in a state of hostilities to the origin empire at the time of its destruction or abdication- I think the game tracks this, although the user interface does not- that player is BARRED from buying ronin units until the origin empire changes. They can still buy normal Mesophon units.
    • There is a second disclaimer saying the ronin are "eager for revenge against [NAMES OF HOSTILE EMPIRES]." If a player is in a state of hostilities with any of the empires that were hostile to the origin empire at the time of its destruction, they can buy freelancers for an additional discount.
    • The net effect is a special player incentive to check other players waging wars of annihilation. Every time a big empire is destroyed, a bunch of cheap units become available, especially to players who are willing to fight against the empires that contributed to that empires's downfall.

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