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A debate for Vic! game system minor tuneup

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Corrected Subtitle:......."Is the Free Game Offer harming the Game"


As often discussed and openly acknowledged Victory II will be many years in the future and I will not make any attempt to argue that issue since it literally “is not my business”.


In fact the new Victory! Marketing bonus of offering a free game to the winner(s) of Game 70 and beyond may well have a dark, negative side effect. The policy in fact monitizes and supports various tactics that are “cheating”. If I wanted to play two other dropped countries with money out of my own pocket to support the “win” for my original country then I paid the price for ego gratification. But under the new prize rule I can calculate running a dropped countries position for 20 turns or so is a good investment IF it helps me win a FREE game 72 multiple sets of extra orders. I am no longer motivated to cheat to support my ego but now “cheating” just makes “good business sense”.


I would like to suggest to the powers that be that Victory! Get a VERY modest retooling to bridge the gap between a game system designed for PBM and telephone diplomacy that is now being used in the lightning quick world of PBEM. This “Patch” can be done with modest effort (that’s easy for me to say!) and by that I mean mostly administrative changes and few coding issues. Perhaps these ideas might add years of relevancy to a game that is breaking down under the new technologies available.


The cure for this problem is difficult and requires much Victory! Community discussion. A incomplete list of issues as I perceive them and I invite others to build upon the weak structure my thoughts represent:




A. It is very easy for a player to run more than one country in a game

· I acknowledge there is no way to easily stop this and I would not wish to deprive RTG of the income

· I note some countries with unplayable positions that are dropped are being used to do nothing but issue EM orders. Possible solution would be to limit the EM to 10 orders maximum per turn per player

· I note some countries after being dropped (presumably) by their original player spring back to life 10 to 20 turns latter for some sort of attack of revenge. Solution could be for RTG to debit a players account $6 each turn a country does not process any orders that turn. Give players an incentive to drop and STAY dropped. RTG would then have to use some discipline to keep the country from being reassigned to new players. This would not be applicable to a true substitute player taking over within two turns.



B. Do not accept setups from members of the same family.

· I believe the wisdom of this rule is obvious but its enforcement in today’s world of e-mail driven anynonimity may well be impossible. In fact if I set up enough PayPal accounts and e-mail address I could probably run 3 countries in a game by myself never mind even trying to get my Brother, Sister, and Cousin to play them for me!

· The only Administrative cure I see would be no PayPal accounts. Credit cards can be a way to keep players from being anonymous. This would also makes more difficult the transfer of funds to the owner of the original country that has dropped while another player makes up the turn entry. It would also allow RTG to more easily see the “true identity” of a player.

· Dump PayPal is my suggestion!


Note: I already withdraw the suggestion. It fails the test of logic. Money being sent to RTG is NOT entirely the issue. PayPal has allowed the EASY transfer of funds between players allowing me very easily to compensate my old TA who was forced to drop to submit turns I have prepared for his country. In effect PAYPAL has allowed such easy transfer of fund that everyone is now “related” . PBEM and the technologies like Paypal make every TA almost the same as “two brothers” playing under the same roof. We can all literally hire an old team mate to prepare our turns after we drop and let him pay us real money for the opportunity. Since no solution presents itself my thinking leads to Item C.




C. Dropped TA’s continue to be a permanent problem/burden to the Vic! community

· As discussed above there is a tremendous motivation now in place with a free game at stake to run the position of a dropped TA. We can all be sympathetic to the plight and we all struggle with finding a substitute player. Now of course the burden to find a substitute is all but gone since you can run the country of a dropped TA yourself with minimal effort.

· I again have to bring up the philosophy of a TA. The only cure I see is to eliminate the TA opportunity. The number of possible alliances could be recoded and increased as a counterbalance to this suggestion. The immediate effect is a MASSIVE increase in the fog of war (a hallmark of the original PBM design). The new system has made the FOG of War virtually transparent when you have the FULL data of your TA’s e-mailed to you every few days AND you may well have 30 to 60 “free” EM missions from the dropped country you are running anonymously. I put out for debate…do we want TA’s or do we want MORE FOG of WAR?

· A “No TA rule” eliminates a huge temptation to cheat when a TA drops. IT also will no longer allow a “Team Victory” Although we have not seen the final results of Game 70 I assume EVERY member of the winning team gets a free game. That means 5 people per team are each motivated to cheat and in fact it also “forces” one to pick a winning team to join so he is not “left out This new “force” for larger teams caused by the Free Game Prize has the effect of elmininating solo or small two-man team play. With the NO TA rule then ONLY one player wins and everyone’s “calculus” of cheating is dramatically altered. It is not a “good business decision” to run a dropped country for 30 turns when you chance of being the ONE winner have been reduced by a factor of 5 given the no TA rule. Your motivation is considerable less but of course not eliminated.

· The Fog of War is what keeps us plastered to our mailbox waiting for turn results. I value that more that I value TA’s….I am for more Fog of War!, that what made this game GREAT.


· I make the motion that the contest rules be changed to a ONE player only winner per game OR no TA rules become the standard for future games.




D. Drop the Prize of a free game


· It is a bonus and a great prize. I would join a game to win it. I commend RTG for the effort

· It does support cheating, however and sets up a “calculus” for cheating that makes the effort “a good business decision”. Should it be dropped?




The weak chain of logic provided her is a glimpse at the harebrained way I have grappled with the problem. I have come to the conclusion that the MINUM changes required are:


· Limited EM missions per turn

· Prize to Top winner ONLY

· No TA’s for ever more; only close trusted friends working towards a common goal/backstabbing.

· RTG should charge each county $6 per turn minimum if no orders are received they notify RTG of dropping. I leave it to others to soften this rule for “late” turns.


I believe this inadequate list should start the debate. The debate needs to be focused on ideas for Administrative and VERY minimal recoding suggestions that perhaps RTG might be tempted to make a part of the Victory game system! We all love this game BUT we recognize that the transition from PBM to a new PBEM Victory II system requires a short term “patch” for a few years.


Will the greater minds than mine continue this thread!

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Mr. M.C (or is this accualy Russle Crowe...HHMMM, I wonder. Ither way, not a bad movie for what it was!!!!


Now, to the point:


A: I agree with the last poster :D .

B: you seam to have this cheeting part of your argument down pritty good...HHMMM :alien: .

C:What would it matter if one person plays three countries or three people play the three (or how ever many). If RTG (Russ and Pete) are getting there money and every one is ok with the situation at hand, whats the problem. I would take the chalenge if I ran into one person playing two or three countries. Only one mind set to deal with instead of multiple (unless that person had split personality's :P ).

c.1: what if my son's wanted to learn to play in a few years. Under your revisal I wouldn't be able to teach them how to play as we are family :alien:. And of course we would be on the same side. And the money would come from where to pay for thease spots :o ??? yep, you got it. But you bet they would be doing chores up the ying yang to pay for it back to me.

D: I would love to hear from Russ and/or Pete on this particular topic, especialy the Family part as my son's take much interest in stratigy games now and could very well become Victory player's not to long from now :D


Just my humble input :cheers:

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Someone has actually given a tremendous amount of thought to his arguments. Although we can argue (debate) how to resolve these issues it has to really be an issue.


For one, my brother and I play together. I know of a couple of family member teams. What is the difference two family members playing together and two friends playing together, none that I can think of and therefore is something that must be lived with as a natural aspect of gaming. Not just Victory!


After playing in quite a few gaming systems it has become apparent there is no way to stop anyone from playing more than one position. RTG has taken a sound approach to this issue which is all that can be expected. So this to me is another none issue.


Now on to Dropped TA’s. I’ve experienced a dropped TA on turn 62 and being faced with needing the member. I spoke to Russ about having a friend of mine pick up the country and was informed it was too late in the game to allow it. Once again RTG has taken a sound approach to this issue. So this to me is yet another none issue.


It seems to me that this is a matter of no matter how much we may wish to resolve certain issues they happen to be human issues not game related issues. These human issues will always be present and people will always find a way around them. Personally, it brings more of a challenge to the game experience.


Coups’ happen in real life and the nature of these issues can be thought of as life like. It’s all simply a Coup.


That's my opinion! :D




PS. Free Game......Did some mention a free game?????? :taz::taz:

Edited by Rasputin
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It seems to me that Master and Commander has had some asswhooping lately....


The TA treaties are possibly the most important orders in the game. With them you can win a battle without having to revert to an overkill solution, without them you would be sending in your troops without knowing what their opponents has done. Even in WW2 they had communication..... Don't you think that a commander would inform his HQ that he has been attacked. So a TA treaty reflects, in my eyes, the communication a force commander has with his HQ. It would degrade the game if this was no longer possible.


The only point in your argument I can agree with is the one that a dropped country, dropped but not out of the game, will be charged a minimum of $6 every turn.


You can never prevent a person playing more countries than one. But why should you want to prevent it? There's, essentially, no difference between one person playing three countries or three person's playing very close together.

In game 70 I know that there are at least 2 blocks that play very close together against eachother. I'm part of one and I can tell you that it would make no difference if one person plays a block or 5, as long as they communicate properly it all will fall into place. And this is another strong point of this type of wargaming.


Remember that this is a time consuming game and people may not always have the same amount of time to play it. I for one had to ask a friend of mine on several occassions to make my orders because I was away and had no access to the internet. Does this make my friend a cheater? Is it illigal? I think not, it just real life.


I think that RTG have covered the main roads to 'cheating' or better 'unfair playing' and that the loopholes are there to provide the 40 peaceloving leaders with an edge to overcome the 39 warmongers...


And finally something I always say to my suppliers: 'Hé, I didn't force you to sign that contract! But I sure as hell will keep you to it!'




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I'm hoping that you just had some bizarre thought and decided to post it. Just two points:


1 - This is a game. This is not an investment. There is no "business decision" involved in Victory. I believe that most people play because they enjoy the game and are not worried about paying for it. If you can't afford it and have to cheat to win so that you can play again, maybe you need to change games. Axis and Allies is a one-time investment and it is free every time afterwards (win or lose).


2 - If someone was playing two countries, they would still have to do well with both of them to win the game. You can't keep a TA alive just for EMs and other support. When the winners are determined, your TAs figure into your score. I learned this the hard way in game 65. I was a strong member of the winning TA with the second highest score in the group. I was still TA'd however, to a country that had dropped because I just never got around to breaking with him. When the final score was announced, I was not on the list of winners because I had one TA that was overrun.


I like the prospect of a free game. It is a nice reward for accomplishing a difficult task.

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I share the opinion that two countries being run by the same person, or family, have an advantage over two random people in different countries. But I also share the opinion that if those two people put enough time into communication, there is no such advantage.

As for the TA dropping out.... anyone who has played Victory! a couple of times has experienced it I suppose, and anyone will admit it's a damn nuisance, sometimes it even ruins your game. Happened to me more than once. But I also think this is not RTG's or Victory!'s fault. I think RTG has made a good decision by making TAs breakable, and they should leave it at that.


One thing that does trouble me, and that certainly is a 'feature' of the game, is that it favors the 'rich'. I'll admit I'm in no financial trouble at all, so I could spend my money on submitting the maximum number of order sheets every single turn, I just don't feel like it. But I'm sure there are people out there who love Victory! as much as we do, but have less money to spend. I think it is unfair that they have a disadvantage because they cannot issue 40 EM orders every turn. It may be a small difference, but in my experience small differences, especially where intelligence is concerned, make the difference between winning a game and losing it. So I would like to see a maximum on the number of EMs you can issue in a turn, maybe related to your Intel Ops Level. It will also limit the possibility of keeping a country alive just to issue EMs, like M&C suggested.

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Hello Dark Monk,


What do you mean by ' stand -by' positions? I think it's very difficult to distinguish an active country from an inactive country, programming-wise I mean. When is a country active and when not?


And although I understand that spending 40 or 60 orders on EM missions may seem unfair to some it really is just a matter of making priorities.


It must seem unfair to a 'Russia' player that he has to spend more than 1 turn to organise his AIC and that the 'Swiss' player can do it in 4 orders. But it's all about making choices and prioritising.


And about money... There's always that easy answer...


But to talk about gaming business equations:

I spend 3 hours making my orders.

I spend another 4 hours, spread over the turn period, talking with my TA's about the game.

So I spend 7 hours every turn on playing Victory. I send in 120 orders every turn for $24 per turn. That's only $3.42 per hour!

I know several other ' games' I like to play that are a hell of a lot more expensive per hour!



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Have to say I didn't bother to read all of the above, so here are my comments anyway. :taz:


Really doesn't matter to me if family members play in the same game, I actually don't care if the same person runs multiple nations (although this is probably a bad idea on it's face) I'll just get more satisfaction when I knock them out of the game. :D

I've only joined two games 'with allies' the rest I've just joined and made allies in game. As a general rule of thumb, I am very communicative with my TA's and expect the same from them. The best way to win as TA's is to communicate AND coordinate.

I think the free game offer is a great idea and DOES NOT encourage anymore cheating than what would currently exist. I see no problem with a 'defeated' nation continuing to run EM missions, etc. for an ally. Didn't France have an underground that provided intelligence for the Allies (yes, I know this opens the door for a lot of jokes :taz: ), but also in Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Yugoslavia, etc. In fact, I prefer an enemy that fights to the end, otherwise it gets boring. I can't remember the game # at the moment, but I was playing Iraq and doing very well, conquered Persia, arabia, UAE, etc and was marching into Africa. I dropped the game because I had no ACTIVE enemies, it got boring. So, if the rules encourage people to stay and fight, so be it.!!!!! :laugh:

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Master and Commander,


You seem to have an odd twisted mind about this game. You think about things that never passed my mind... Are you the cheater you mentioned? Or are you just a bad loser? Cut the crap and fight the best you can... Against one or 39 enemies. This game is also about attitute and perception and in my opinion you see this game from a strange, wrong point of view.

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Master and Commander,


You seem to have an odd twisted mind about this game. You think about things that never passed my mind... Are you the cheater you mentioned? Or are you just a bad loser? Cut the crap and fight the best you can... Against one or 39 enemies. This game is also about attitute and perception and in my opinion you see this game from a strange, wrong point of view.

Don't waste too much effort on this. 'Master and Commander' only has 2 posts on the forum.

Must be a new player that hasn't put much thought into playing the game yet, and/or, into what he's saying.


To anybody else who is new to Victory! and reading this: I've talked to a lot of players, about many different things concerning Victory! and RTG. None have ever mentioned that they wanted to get the free game, for coming in first place. A full game runs the span of 3 (real life) years. It's not an easy game to win. You need help from other people, and even then, most people feel it is an accomplishement to just finishing and surviving the game.


So if your going to put in all that time and effort - for something that's not guaranteed you'll get - and then commit to another 3 years of time and effort doing the same?



Come on - small thinking like that, won't help you much.

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