By administrator decision in certain conditions, such as there's a clear dominating player and surviving civilizations are idlers, or they play hide-and-seek in small islands without any chance of survival in the long term.
Dang, I was counting on the hide-and-seek strategy.
Seriously, I disagree. Consider hide-and-seek an incentive not to try to win by conquest, if you will. The winner is decided when the game software says so, no sooner. Conquerers have their work cut out for them, given the large map size.
It should be clear that there's no glory in helping someone else in winning, even if he is the Leader of your Alliance. There's no "2nd prize".
I disagree. I've played a lot of free-for-all strategy board games, and one thing I can tell you with certainty is that rationality
is out the window in many end-game scenarios. When players find themselves deep into a game and with no reasonable chance of winning, they're going to invent their own goals, and sometimes those goals subvert game play for other players. This is called the king maker
pattern. That is, when a player has nothing to do but decide who else wins, they very well may choose to make that choice. It's up to the game designer
to minimize this effect, as desired. The so-called “German-style” board games do a good job at this by keeping players occupied with their own goals till the end. Greatturn? Probably not so much.
Anyway, I mention all this as a practicality, not theory. Trying to convince people to do what you
want them to do—say, be “good sports” or “play fair, not favorites”—is impractical. Bored and/or angry players will play as they see fit, just as engaged and happy players will, and any cure for this is worse than the disease. Consider king maker an incentive not to anger other players so they decide to thwart you later in the game.
Administrator should have the power to reassign a nation to a different (dead?) player if a late-game surviving nation is too submitted and doesn't even try to win against a dominant player, especially if formerly part of the same Alliance.
Too late. These rule addenda should be decided before
the game started. No changing rules as we go. Hopefully everyone is taking notes for rule adjustments in future games.
Specifically, I like personality factoring into the game. If I didn't—if, say, I wanted to play against a machine
that always tried its best and never got discouraged, even when it has no chance of winning, then I would be playing against the AI via single-player, not online against humans. I like
the idea that war is risky, exactly because one doesn't know the enemy's heart. Maybe an early battle for something small will trigger an unending, destructive vendetta from the other player. Maybe the other player will lose spirit and fold. Consider judge of character
to be an important part of the game.
Curiously, we might be on our way to figuring out what bike racing figured out long ago: free-for-all contests where alliances are beneficial are inherently unstable, and you'll end up with teams anyway. It's just a matter of time before players figure out, “Hey, I'll scratch your back this game if you scratch mine next game, etc.”—just as they did in bike racing a hundred years ago. In bike racing they decided that if individuals were going to use team tactics anyway then the races may as well make teams official. I see that as a possibility in Greatturn, too—enabling allied victory but with locked teams. Who knows? Not me!