Monday, August 12, 2019

Proposal: Land Ahoy

Reached quorum 6 votes to 0. Enacted by Kevan.

Adminned at 14 Aug 2019 08:02:47 UTC

To the second bulleted list in “The Watch”, add a new point before the last one:-

* Map the Lands

In “The Chart”, replace “Recorded on the squares of the Chart are Vessels (and their Facings), Shots and Objects.” with:-

Recorded on the squares of the Chart are Vessels (and their Facings), Shots, Objects, Ports and Land.

In “Navigation”, replace “Cruising moves a vessel from the square they are in to an orthogonally adjacent Square in the direction of that vessel’s facing.” with:-

Cruising moves a vessel from the square they are in to an orthogonally adjacent non-Land Square in the direction of that vessel’s facing.

Then add to that rule:-

If, when the Chart is updated, a Vessel would occupy the same square as Land, that Vessel has its Armour Value set to zero.

Enact a new rule, “Mapping”:-

Mapping the Lands is an atomic action with the following steps:-

* For each Port square, randomly select a non-Port square orthogonally adjacent to it and make that square Land.
* For each Land square, randomly select a non-Port square orthogonally adjacent to it and make that square Land.
* Repeal this rule.

The current chart looks a bit plain, having ports but no landmasses. It can be read as tiny islands on a huge sea, but maybe it’s more interesting to zoom in and have some terrain to work around.



08-12-2019 11:52:50 UTC



08-12-2019 13:07:00 UTC

Can the second bullet point in mapping be interpretted as an infinite loop? I think its ambiguous and as only the admiral can perform it, relatively safe, but its worth analyzing.


08-12-2019 16:04:28 UTC

I agree with derrick’s assessment. It appears to (tediously) change all non-port squares to land, unless you think of it as a single step to grab the current set of land squares, which is the obvious intention. Shall we just agree to allow it as intended?

Also, because they’ll destroy ships, I imagined these lands first as being dropped from the sky onto the map, then as exploding from the ports like gigantic popcorn! for


08-12-2019 20:02:54 UTC

AA audit: Unless we consider the second step as filling the board, (which oddly enough can’t be completed afterward and must be undone,) there doesn’t appear to be anything tricky in performing these steps. It is also a one-time effect, as it gets repealed upon completion. It is, however, the Admiral that would be performing them, so a lockout could be troublesome.

Estimated likelihood of lockouts: low.
Inconvenience of lockouts: med-high.
Difficulty of resolving lockouts: low-med.
Recommendation: Should not be made an AA. Instead, simply trust the Admiral to perform all the steps in a timely fashion.

(That said, my vote stands, because I otherwise like the proposal.)


08-12-2019 21:23:32 UTC


I think the intent is clear, and the presumably admiral is the only one available to pull sneaky stuff with this, so I think I’m fine with it.


08-13-2019 04:35:00 UTC



08-13-2019 08:24:35 UTC

Perhaps I’m approaching the “for each” thing from a programming perspective rather than a natural language one, but I’d have expected the outcome to be the same - the first part of the sentence tells you what it’s going to affect, and the second part tells you what happens.

[TyGuy6] The current trend for avoiding atomic actions is puzzling me a bit. Processing a Watch as a friendly “do these in any order, whenever you like” creates problems - if the Admiral forgets to remove old Shots in step one, it’s still legal for them to have taken steps two through five first, and too bad, we all legally get shot again. If there’s a problem with AAs, why can’t we fix that?

(The Admiral is also the player least affected by AA lockouts, as the lockout only prevents dynastic actions and victory. Right now, the Admiral only takes one dynastic action every 48 hours.)


08-13-2019 10:20:57 UTC

[Kevan] I think the Admiral would notice if he were moving ships about and then calculating damage while old shots were still on the board. Then again, he might not. If someone notifies him, he can hotfix it, but if they don’t, or he doesn’t/can’t hotfix it, what is the result?

AA says rewind all his dynastic actions. That includes starting the new Watch. That in turn rewinds all watch actions submitted by anyone.

No-AA says to continue play with the damage dealt, and they’ll have to figure out how to fix it by direct GNDT alteration, or by CfJ, if that’s challenged.

In general, AA makes sense if you want to prevent a biased agent from doing unexpected things, benefitting himself, and getting away with it. Admiral being somewhat unbiased, trusted with chart and veto and all, (and he can’t win,) he seems good candidate for a longer leash, and his mistakes to be called unbiased accidents.

I’d vote to disable AAs simply because they are too often used, casually, in circumstances where the costs outweigh their benefits.


08-13-2019 11:10:25 UTC

The problem is that forgetting to process shots is legal; for some reason there’s no requirement to perform the steps in order, so we get a five-action process with “remove all shots” floating around to be performed next. It can be hotfixed later depending on how the Admiral “feels”, but players still have to decide what to do in the mean time.

I think it’s easier for players as a group to react to “this AA was unambiguously illegal because a step was skipped” than “these actions were legal but a bit weird but the Admiral didn’t notice and is offline now, maybe they’ll hotfix it in the morning”.

AAs are useful shorthand for how we’d expect any “do this list of actions” to work, and how to handle mistakes. The fact that we forgot to enforce “must do steps in order” here is a good example of that.


08-14-2019 02:53:07 UTC



08-14-2019 06:59:00 UTC

If it helps, I’ve been trying to do the Watch updates in the order they appear on the dynastic rules section. The list of updates is preceded by:

“At any time not during a Watch, the Admiral may perform the following steps, which should be done in order:”


08-14-2019 08:01:06 UTC

Sure, the problem is that the casual “should” (rather than “must”) means that if you ever forget a step, you haven’t broken any rules.