patchFreeciv - Patches: patch #4758, Hard limit on alliance size

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patch #4758: Hard limit on alliance size

Submitted by:  Jacob Nevins <jtn>
Submitted on:  Sat May 31 22:48:48 2014  
Category: NonePriority: 5 - Normal
Status: NonePrivacy: Public
Assigned to: NoneOpen/Closed: Open
Planned Release: Contains string changes: None

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Sat May 31 22:48:48 2014, original submission:

(From IRC conversation with morphles)

Have some way to put a hard limit on alliance size (same size definition as in patch #4757).
If you reach the cap and want to ally with someone else, it's prevented; you have to break off an existing alliance first.

Main motivation is to enable discouragement of large alliances in multiplayer, as in patch #4757.
morphles reports at least one game where there was a verbal agreement on alliance size.

This could be a numeric effect "Max_Alliance_Size".

  • It can only have global requirements as it's meaningless per-player.
  • Probably also want boolean "Alliance_Size_Unlimit".

Same thought as patch #4757 about relative vs absolute alliance size. If we support relative size, it'll be a distinct effect "Max_Alliance_Size_Pct" or something.

If it's an effect, big question is what to do if it ever reduces.

  • Could say "don't do that then": ruleset authors encouraged to use a fixed value, or surviving/monotonic requirements, as for Apollo Program.
  • But having it reduce as the game progresses could be just what we need.
  • If it ever reduces, I think we can't automatically split alliances in the game engine (how to choose where to split it?), so if an alliance ever becomes untenable then it stays in a metastable state.
    • This could have the opposite effect to what I intend: alliances staying together, because breakup is irreversible. Need a counter to that.
    • One possible counter would be to pair this effect with another preventing victory while in an oversized alliance (using patch #4756).

With both this and patch #4757, what stops groups of players acting like alliances informally? The only current benefit of alliance that can't be worked around is open borders (all else is information sharing).

  • Probably this is best solved by providing incentives to work against the alliance, such as custom victory conditions. Those would be the carrot; these alliance size limits the stick.
  • Adding more ruleset flexibility may help, e.g. restriction that only allies can trade (patch #4499), swap techs, etc will prevent informal allies doing so.
Jacob Nevins <jtn>
Project Administrator


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Carbon-Copy List
  • -unavailable- added by jtn (original suggestion)
  • -unavailable- added by jtn (Submitted the item)

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    Follows 1 latest change.

    Date Changed By Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced By
    Sat May 31 22:49:56 2014jtnCarbon-Copy-=>Added morphles
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