Hey hey hey... keep calm and carry on.
Do any of you have experience on longturn team games? I do have.
I'll explain some things you may not know and then give my opinion. Just a premiere of it for Courbeau: team game is a GREAT alternative and I believe that many thinks it is longturn at its best.
I assume you're talking of the vanilla team pack used in Longturn.org
Techinically it works like this. Nations in the same team are perfectly normal independent nations except for:
1- Their condition of alliance and shared vision is fixed and unreversable
2- Their science is shared. I.e. there's only ONE big bulbs counter which recollect ALL team players bulbs to research ONE tech altogether. No bulbs can be wasted. (Actually the client display is not very clear cause you have to calculate the bulbs of your mates in order to know when the tech will be discovered, but this is not a real issue)
3- (I'm not sure, please confirm) War status is fixed with every other nation.
From these technical perspective, let's see the rest.
Usually team games mean that all team players cooperate in some way. Some nation will grow bigger and more powerful but everybody will have his function in the alliance. Usually there are two or three functions: "scientist vs. soldier" or "scientist vs. banker vs. soldier" but things can grow different because of different strategies.
Team game means lots of talks, lots of discussion and also some fight (verbal, of course) between allies. Individual feelings always have to be combined with team needs. E.G. sometimes for the sake of the alliance you could be told to face a devastating invasion and sacrifice yourself and resist to the last man instead of packing settlers and fly away to safer lands. Will you obey? Will you convince your mates to rescue you?
In longturn.org, 1 on 2 team games were WITHOUT diplomacy i.e. teams couldn't make peace or share techs. This of course didn't mean they didn't talk at all, however I can grant you that the amount of REAL words spent in the entire LT28 between teams were VERY FEW (this is typical of longturn.org where secrecy was taken very serious)
I didn't take part in a team game WITH diplomacy so I can't tell how the whole diplomacy worked (e.g. if you make peace, you make peace with the entire team?)
I think both type of team games (with - without diplomacy) are equally interesting.
I can point out some PROS and CONS of team games:
- Exciting since the beginning. The 1st turns are devoted to understand each other relative position in the world. General strategy is decide before T20.
- Social game. Yes, having allies/friends in a individual game is great and sometimes generates lots of fine diplomacy but in teams you are always discussing and debating about everything, with trust and absolute willing of cooperation. Lone wolves keep away.
- Play against evil. In some way or the other, the enemy is much more evil if we feel the same altogether! Playing becomes a crusade, or if you want, a jihad!
- No mercy. Smaller enemy nations are part of the annihilating plans of the Big Bad Team. Destroying them gives a subtle pleasure.
- Idlers policy. If some player just fly away, mates will make the possible to substitute him, assigning the nation to another (hopefully new) player.
- Continuity. Idlers not allowed for long, so there will be no ghost nations. History will continue!
- Specialization. You're a nerd and want to be a scientist leaving violence to the muscular mates? Welcome!
- Good for noobs. If we mix new players with veteran ones, they will learn a lot and will be involved, avoiding premature idling typical of individual matches starting with wrong foot.
- Balance (1). Ok, everybody experienced finding himself in a swamp hell, surrounded by deserts, mountains and jungles, no rivers, and in a lonely insland. But the chances it ALSO happens to your mates is very small. At the end teams are much more balanced than single players
- Balance (2). There can't be a team made with best players (there's only ONE best player!) and there can't be a team made with worst players (there's only ONE worst player!). If we wise mix them, we'll obtain average good teams.
- limited freedom. Are you a lone wolf? A crazy strategy genius? I know there's a lot of guys out there who think they are. In this case you wouldn't like to have a fixed role or having to discuss any detail with your mates. Much better playing chess.
- Idling nations. If a team can't find a substitute for a idling mate (and in case it is forbidden that a team mate substitute another one taking 2 nations at once), the team will have a horrible dead weight, i.e. a "mate" nation that does produce bulbs but CAN'T be conquered by mates, and of course can be conquered by enemies which also can use it as a tech-ATM to steal/conquer techs (and even $) when in need.*
- poorer diplomacy. Althou you can have brief "alliances" between teams for some limited scope and time, the game will not contain that degree of diplomacy one may expect in individual games, expecialy if diplomacy is turned OFF altogether.
- no backstabbing - no redemption. Again, things are much more clearer and regular cause friends are friends, and foes are foes. Boring?
- strategy leaking. "Hey, I found the Ultimate Strategy of Life, the Universe, and Freeciv! I don't want to share it with some mates which I don't even know!" Play chess.
- forced specialization. You look like a nerd and your muscular mates want you to keep your nose on books while they take care of the real action? Sorry, someone has to do it!
- ganging. Teams are a way for players to know each other, suffering and enjoying altogether while also hating the enemy altogether. These friendship (and foeships!) could be carried OUT of the team game to individual games, and this is the worst thing that can happen in a longturn game.
Teams are definitely an option, and a good one. Back at the times before LT30, ONE OUT OF TWO longturn.org matches were with teams. It is important to choose wether we want a DIPLOMACY-ENABLED match, or a DIPLOMACY-DISABLED match.
With GT09 about to begin the middle ages, and GT10HEX about to start, I would hardly find something new that convince me to throw away my real life and join another GT match. "Teams" is that something.
In any case I would definitely forbid pre-fabricated teams, and force veterans to gang with noobs and viceversa. Also teams number and size should be thinked of. I think the best is to have n teams, each with n players, where of course n=sqr(numberofplayers) so that if we have 25 players, there will be 5 teams with 5 players each.
Beginning from 2nd match, players that played together in 1st match shouldn't play together.
Also, teams could be taken to individual games and granted only to noobs (e.g. 2 or 3 noobs can be teamed together and try to survive in this very ugly world)
* In these case I suggest an administrator intervention which assign cities, units, and cash of the idling nation to ONE (and only one) of the mates. Pros and cons of such movement should balance each other.
Last edited by monamipierrot
on Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.