False Allies

Field of Glory: Empires is a grand strategy game in which you will have to move in an intricate and living tapestry of nations and tribes, each one with their distinctive culture.
Set in Europe and in the Mediterranean Area during the Classical Age, experience what truly means to manage an Empire.

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devoncop
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Re: False Allies

Post by devoncop » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:41 am

A very coherently argued piece as ever in favour of the argument Chaosbadger uses of always remaining a loyal ally.

The point at which you lose me is when you say that even if a player has won two or three games in a row, because that player has proved a loyal ally then folks will be queuing up to ally with them long term.
This seems crazy if these players have any wish to win the game.

In reality a self balancing "handicap" system would hopefully kick in where players are much more reticent in boosting an evidently formidable player in any new game.

I am certainly not in that category but in the ongoing games I am in where I am winning, that is the point at which armies are conserved and borders with others (including allies) very closely monitored. I would actually be querying the behaviour of an AI controlled country that was in contention to win who remained loyal to my faction if I was in the lead and looking likely to win and this also applies to human controlled nations.

It is different if you are a small faction with no hope of challenging but the top few factions mid game are surely unlikely to want to support factions more powerful than themselves ?

Still, we all enjoy the game for different reasons so I do understand that others will disagree with my logic.

ledo
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Re: False Allies

Post by ledo » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:59 am

I think it's a difficult question. I've played games where I consistently gain allies even if I regularly win. One of the reasons is that the alliance is based on both I will fight to death to protect you and also I won't betray you even if you're winning. Now when you have an ally like that, you're chances of winning even in a 10 player game go up from 10% to maybe 30 or 40%. So if one player decides to not ally the risk is that some other player will go for the good deal with the aim of increasing their meagre chances of winning by gaining a capable player as an ally, and one willing to go the extra mile to ensure that even if they don't win they survive or place second etc. And on top of that one that if they get into a position to win will stick with them nonetheless as other allies fall off. It's a prisoners dilemma game with a long term view combined with the short term.

To be fair occasionally you'll get a gang up and lose. But once the streak is broken people realise that by turning on you their chances of winning didn't necessarily increase because the person with the second highest chance of winning isn't a member of the gang up group (who following the gang up break up into a free for all, increasing your chances from 1/10 to 1/9) it's the person who allied with you and regularly wins games because they have your full support. Even if their chance of winning the game is less than yours.

ledo
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Re: False Allies

Post by ledo » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:03 am

It's an expected value thing. Cooperation is always better than a free for all for your chances. The only question is trust. If the latter question can be definitively answered in the positive then it's always in your interest to ally. Even if your chance to win remains under 50%. Unless, of course, you're replete with allies you can trust, but again, as chaosbadger points out, that is rare.

I know some will argue this is against the spirit of the game but I think it's just as fair a strategy as opportunistic backstabbing and pure realpolitik. Because, on balance, it leads to more wins for you and your ally.

Oh, and one last addendum, I don't know that I necessarily completely align with chaosbadger. I understand the fact that most allies are faithless. Each ally has to be weighed and considered and judged to be trustworthy, and even so you might be surprised. But my argument, which is only valid with repeat games with the same players, is that faithless behaviour can make you powerhouse by being the one trustworthy person in the game. And in my experience that both increases your chance to win over multiple games and also makes some people no matter how venal they might be act slightly more honourably towards you, because at the end of the day we're still human, and not everything can be decided by win chance and mathematics. But also, within the win chance calculations, if you bettay the one reliable ally in the game, you will never again be able to use the best ally in the game to further your own interests and increase your win chance. Again, this creates more realistic soft, rather than hard-coded consequences to bad behaviour late in the game.

Morbio
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Re: False Allies

Post by Morbio » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:00 pm

devoncop wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:22 am
SpeedyCM wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:51 am
History is replete with instances of one ally breaking an alliance and attacking the other.

As the game stands it takes two turns to break an alliance and then declare war, in my view this is plenty of warning.

+100

Agree completely.
I agree with this completely too. It happened in Greek times, through to Napoleonic times and possibly in WW1 and WW2 (Didn't Italy switch when it was all but beaten?). Whilst it is very frustrating and may offend ones sense of honour, I wouldn't like to see any hard game mechanic to prevent it. If we want realism then we have to accept that you rely on the integrity of a ruler.

edit: Though I'd agree with the thought that some game mechanism to affect loyalty or stability might be wise... and the impact of this should be dependent on several factors like; length of alliance, closeness to racial background (e.g. Romans would get less upset with breaking alliance with barbarian races than with cultured races), etc.
Last edited by Morbio on Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ledo
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Re: False Allies

Post by ledo » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:07 pm

Morbio wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:00 pm
devoncop wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:22 am
SpeedyCM wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:51 am
History is replete with instances of one ally breaking an alliance and attacking the other.

As the game stands it takes two turns to break an alliance and then declare war, in my view this is plenty of warning.

+100

Agree completely.
I agree with this completely too. It happened in Greek times, through to Napoleonic times and possibly in WW1 and WW2 (Didn't Italy switch when it was all but beaten?). Whilst it is very frustrating and may offend ones sense of honour, I wouldn't like to see any hard game mechanic to prevent it. If we want realism then we have to accept that you rely on the integrity of a ruler.
Yeah agree with that too. Far more interesting to deal with the full spectrum of human interaction than be limited by hard-coded mechanics

Morbio
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Re: False Allies

Post by Morbio » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:13 pm

I suspect for some countries the only option they have to win the game is to ally with a more powerful country to get through the difficult times at the start and then to break the alliance later. Realistically breaking of an alliance is most effective when it is a surprise, otherwise you know the more powerful country you have just dumped is likely to be ready for you and give you a very hard time.

I think that any wise ruler should always be looking out for the signs of deceit (internally and externally) because they know that someone always wants more and that backstabbing is part of the way of life of the ancient era. If a set of armies starts massing in a place they are meant to be then it is wise to take precautionary measures.

Lysimachos
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Re: False Allies

Post by Lysimachos » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:11 pm

Morbio wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:00 pm
edit: Though I'd agree with the thought that some game mechanism to affect loyalty or stability might be wise... and the impact of this should be dependent on several factors like; length of alliance, closeness to racial background (e.g. Romans would get less upset with breaking alliance with barbarian races than with cultured races), etc.
This is exactly what I was arguing for.
Never said that breaking alliances should be banned or made so difficult that noone would dare to do it.
But just making felt that also changing side in just two turns has some unpleasant consequences.
Which, I believe, is totally realistic.
"Audentis fortuna iuvat"
- Virgilius

(Good luck favours the brave)

SirGarnet
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Re: False Allies

Post by SirGarnet » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:43 am

Chaosbadger wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:54 am
I'm currently playing ten PBEM games of FOGE, some of which I have been really enjoying. However, in three of these games, I have been opportunistically attacked by allies, and this has spoiled my fun. For no apparent reason, these alliances were broken and I was attacked (when I was committed elsewhere). This makes the whole concept of an alliance utterly pointless. Pretending to be someone's ally and then attacking them is just trickery (and poor sportsmanship) rather than strategy. It's not what I play games like this for and, to be honest, not what I'd expect from what I'd have thought to be a more mature community. I have no problem with the idea of an alliance breaking down over time, e.g. based on some dispute, and the two nations ultimately ending up at war. However, calling yourself an ally so that another player leaves vulnerable borders and then declaring a snap war on them is just exploitative.

To avoid future frustration, I will probably restrict myself to single player from now on.
The period pre-dates norms of diplomacy, and the locales involved are renowned for treachery and double dealing before and since.

IIRC, there is a relations level high enough that does not allow such an attack


Legacy is what Hitchcock would call the MacGuffin of the story.- the thing that everyone in the story is trying to get.

And it is a effective one since it confers benefits.

The 10 year window of peace after a peace treaty is the artificial tool we have, that and incentives offered.

A more organic approach would be for treachery by a country to adversely affect its relations with its neighbors others and make the dastardly country a more likely target itself.

ps. I am impressed how many games you can manage at a time.

Chaosbadger
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Re: False Allies

Post by Chaosbadger » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:14 pm

SirGarnet wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:43 am
ps. I am impressed how many games you can manage at a time.
I think ten is probably too many, especially given that some of them are 24 hour turnarounds. I have missed a few turns. :-)

ess1
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Re: False Allies

Post by ess1 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:31 pm

Plus one :oops:

devoncop
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Re: False Allies

Post by devoncop » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:23 am

I have 26 games ongoing..... :oops:

I have yet to miss a turn but I am retired so I have an unfair advantage :D

Lysimachos
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Re: False Allies

Post by Lysimachos » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:59 am

devoncop wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:23 am
I have yet to miss a turn but I am retired so I have an unfair advantage :D
Just waiting that mythical Golden Age when the time is yours and not of your employer ... :mrgreen:

but there are 13 more years of hard work before it! :(
"Audentis fortuna iuvat"
- Virgilius

(Good luck favours the brave)

ess1
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Re: False Allies

Post by ess1 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:27 pm

Lysimachos wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:59 am
devoncop wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:23 am
I have yet to miss a turn but I am retired so I have an unfair advantage :D
Just waiting that mythical Golden Age when the time is yours and not of your employer ... :mrgreen:

but there are 13 more years of hard work before it! :(
I too am retired but find my good lady and 88th. year this month - not to mention vacuuming has difficulties :)

Soldier on...

Lysimachos
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Re: False Allies

Post by Lysimachos » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:28 am

ess1 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:27 pm
Lysimachos wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:59 am
devoncop wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:23 am
I have yet to miss a turn but I am retired so I have an unfair advantage :D
Just waiting that mythical Golden Age when the time is yours and not of your employer ... :mrgreen:

but there are 13 more years of hard work before it! :(
I too am retired but find my good lady and 88th. year this month - not to mention vacuuming has difficulties :)

Soldier on...
That's right!

I should retire now, if I only could ... :wink:
"Audentis fortuna iuvat"
- Virgilius

(Good luck favours the brave)

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