Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Proposal: Ousterbout

Timed out 3 votes to 4. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 10 Jun 2022 08:46:02 UTC

Reword “Political Turmoil” to:-

Each Guardian may have a Grudge against a District, tracked publicly and defaulting to no District.

If the owners of a majority of Buildings in a District have a Grudge against that District, then that District is Unstable; otherwise it is not.

Add three new steps after the first step of the Declaring action:-

* Optionally change their own Grudge to any District.
* Destroy the Deed for any Unstable District that the actioning player owns a Building in
* Optionally change their own Grudge to any District.

The mechanic of “a Deed might become available 24 hours from now” has slowed the queue down in the past, and seems likely to continue to do so, since the next-up player will often want to wait to see its outcome before taking their turn: why let someone else grab the Deed, or let the current owner go into Augury with it?

Putting it on the game clock instead: the downtime activity becomes “lobby other players to adopt Grudges”. Deed passing also becomes limited to the Grudging players without a risk of someone else picking it up, and which they can negotiate over.


Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 08:56:34 UTC

Did The Centre Cannot Hold aleady fix this?

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 09:03:55 UTC

Oh, interesting, I didn’t realise that’s what it was trying to do. I guess it still has the timing issue for going into Augury.

I’ll change the transfer bullet point to a straight destruction, if that’s the process now.

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 09:36:17 UTC

Obviously going to vote against, as this again strips dynastic gameplay out of the dynasty and into the increasingly brobdingnagian Declaring atomic action, meaning that Ousters will never actually happen as the queue is taking two entire weeks to process at the moment.

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 09:46:37 UTC

As I say, this is intended to speed the queue up. Downtime actions like “in 24 hours from now a deed may or may not be destroyed” seem counterproductive to game speed, as they give the next-up player a reason to wait and see how they resolve, before actually taking their turn. (Even with destruction, it’s still always better to take your turn knowing the Ouster’s result, than not.)

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 09:52:00 UTC

I do not think that the slowdown is related to players strategically wait-and-seeing on how Ousters turn out.

Even if the queue did speed up to the giddy highs of one move a week, this still contributes to a vacuum in which for 95% of the game players can’t do anything except stare frustratedly at the clock and wait until it’s their go again.

You know how downtime is considered bad in board games? I really don’t understand why we’re trying so zealously to replicate it in BlogNomic, a format that does not require downtime to exist at all.

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 09:53:44 UTC

I feel like we’re just repeating this argument on literally every proposal, though, so let’s not groundhog it; I’ve made my case, you’ll ignore it, I’ll vote against, quorum will DEF, it will pass, we all carry on with our business

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 10:10:41 UTC

I think you had the right tack of prompting players to take their turns, and hopefully the queue will speed up as buildings sink and less engaged players drop out. I’d be happy to see other proposals to keep the queue moving.

I think the pure boardgame model is a good one, as it can avoid the finicky timing stuff that BlogNomic endgames often get mired in, and allow someone to win based on how well they played rather than how often they were online in certain timezones.

If you’re waiting a long time for someone to take their turn in a boardgame, adding a side-game on an independent timer creates more problems than it solves, and complicates those turns. Simplifying turns and nudging or booting inactive players seems a better road to take. (Maybe it’d be a good idea to have a variation on atomics that’s more like a boardgame’s “you can do any of these things in any order on your turn”.)

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 10:17:44 UTC

For what it’s worth I was expecting the downtime activity in this one to be “proposals” (which it’s good to see are picking up) and “negotiating with other players about what they’ll do on their turn, and what they know of the Prophecy”, both of which could make the difference between winning and losing.

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 10:25:16 UTC

“Proposals” means that by the time I get my go a bunch of mechanics have been added that other people had a full extra turn of getting to use that I didn’t.

(FYI I am saving many proposals for the new cycle because I don’t want players who get an extra turn on me to get an advantage, so think on that.)

You’re trying to build a game for a world in which you have ten engaged, fascinated players. A quorum cabal is currently limping, and the way that the game is set up is actually just frustrating those players who aren’t, to the point where at the moment this all hardly feels worth my time or attention at all.

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 11:22:01 UTC

I’d say I was aiming for a dynasty that was enjoyable to a group of engaged players, under the assumption that they’d be able to outmanoeuvre or co-opt the unengaged ones, or that the unengaged ones would just voluntarily stop playing.

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 12:40:07 UTC

I’m doing my best but when the Emperor seems to be determined to spike my plans and my motivation at the same time it gets tricky.

Anyway, as ordained,  against


08-06-2022 12:49:51 UTC



08-06-2022 12:50:57 UTC

When I considered using the Ouster, I thought: if I use it I should wait for my turn, do the Ouster, wait 24hr, then continue my turn, but I don’t want to do that.

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 13:03:45 UTC

@Gozherd But that’s already been fixed by The Centre Cannot Hold - you now can’t Ouster and then pick up the Deed in your own turn


08-06-2022 13:23:21 UTC

Ah I missed this too.

against (CoV)

because I don’t want my district to become Ungovernable anyway.

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 13:33:11 UTC

Sorry if this feels like versus-the-Emperor, the motivation is only to Protective-Garden the dynasty into an interesting and fair game for those willing to play it, and one which doesn’t have complex timing incentives baked into the dynastic play. If I’m stepping on existing plans, it’s unintentional.

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 13:37:32 UTC

[Gozherd] Districts become Ungovernable under the current rule, this is (at least it’s intended to be) just changing the timing from “in 24 hours” to “after a number of turns”.

Josh: he/him

08-06-2022 13:49:24 UTC

@Kevan But it’s also creating complex timing incetives! See above re: proposals: when I proposed Disastermancy, a week ago, it was on the assumption that the queue would move quickly enough that timing wouldn’t matter, but now it is clear that if I want to propose a meaningful mechanic I have to do so after your reset action but before my turn, as multiple players have now had the benefit of it at my expense. All that the effort to remove “timing windows” has achieved is to make them much, much bigger, and making it so that going early in the round is an outright pejorative.

And by the way - we should consider the possibility that many players are taking so long to do their turns is because the Declaring action is now big enough and unwieldy enough that it can’t just be *done*, it needs the application of dedicated focus. When it was three steps it took ten minutes; now, if you’re not up to speed with the ruleset, it easily takes half an hour. That’s a big change.

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 14:43:05 UTC

Sure, proposals are always their own timing issue. We often work around that in slower-cycle dynasties by having mechanics kick in on a timer (“from Round X onwards, a player may…”), or just gaming it out by tactically withdrawing a proposal. I think several of us have been wrong-footed by this dynasty switching quite suddenly from a fast one to a very slow one.

I think a single relatively complex atomic action can help for showing players what the meat of the game is: that if it’s overwhelming, you can bow out. I guess there are issues when it becomes too complex to perform comfortably on a phone screen, though.

lendunistus: he/him

08-06-2022 16:15:29 UTC


“Optionally change their own Grudge to any district.” is repeated twice

also, what does “Destroy the Deed” mean?

Kevan: he/him

08-06-2022 16:20:27 UTC

That bullet’s in there twice so that you can set a new Grudge after resolving the old one.

“Destroy the Deed” is the current wording of the rule for Political Turmoil - it means, as has already happened in the Agora, that the Deed is removed from the game and nobody can own it any more.

Again, this proposal is only intended change the timing, not the general rule if “if more than half of the buildings in a District are agreed, they can destroy its Deed”.

SupernovaStarbright: she/they

08-06-2022 16:37:29 UTC



08-06-2022 17:54:18 UTC



08-06-2022 20:18:40 UTC