Diplomatic Intel question

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mrapophenia
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Diplomatic Intel question

Postby mrapophenia » Fri May 05, 2017 2:02 pm

This might be a dumb question but I am confused on something about the Intel rules.

Looking at the rules for most Intel missions, it appears that you don't lose points of Intel in a system unless the roll goes badly and your agents are discovered. However, the rules sections on using Intel to affect the result of diplomatic rolls refers to "spending" Intel points.

If I use 3 Intel to get a 30% bonus on a roll to break a treaty, are those Intel points gone? Or does it just mean those are 3 points I can't use for something else this turn, but the Intel point level in those systems is not reduced?

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BroAdso
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Re: Diplomatic Intel question

Postby BroAdso » Sun May 07, 2017 4:34 pm

That's how I have always read this rule. I think of intel as "intel infrastructure," like listening bases, spy networks, supply caches, and so on. That's why it is only "in use" when you tap it for things like missions or diplomacy and never "gone" unless something goes badly wrong, and why it costs 10 EP per point or more to build up.

Here's an example of how I might use a very high, 8 Intel planet in one turn:

During Diplomacy
2 Intel to increase a treaty chance by 20%
During Intel Missions
6 remaining Intel to provide 5 offensive intel to a mission 2 jumps away.

mrapophenia
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Re: Diplomatic Intel question

Postby mrapophenia » Sun May 07, 2017 7:20 pm

Thanks! That is how I was reading it but I wanted to make sure.

One follow up question - in player to player diplomacy, intel can only be used by a player to make it more likely for their own government to successfully declare war or break a treaty, right? Accepting a treaty is entirely player decided.

However, it can be used to make NPEs more likely to accept a treaty.

Is this all correct?
Last edited by mrapophenia on Mon May 08, 2017 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BroAdso
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Re: Diplomatic Intel question

Postby BroAdso » Sun May 07, 2017 10:34 pm

Yes, the other player can always decide their own response.

I've occasionally wondered whether it would be fun or not to let players "force" others into things through diplomacy and use of intel, but that would probably depend on the nature of your player group.

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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Diplomatic Intel question

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:52 am

Intel + Diplomacy has always been a bit of a sticking point. Of course, most people will tell you that no 4x game has ever had great espionage/intel rules -- and I think they're right. It's also jousting at the same windmill and hoping for a better result :)

I have played games where each "player" empire was controlled like a NPE, and you get to use intel to try and cajole your government into doing what you wanted. At one point during 2E I had diplomacy working that way, but the players hated it. They wanted to be able to stumble upon their neighbor and jump straight into an alliance without the rules getting in the way. I fought back, but it was not a hill I was willing to die on.

I think the best middle ground we've found so far is the concept of Tension, and allowing player actions (and Intel investment) to influence that and keep relations more dynamic. But then you end up with the question of whether players should have a chance of changing diplomatic states, or if Tension should act more as a diplomatic threshold. For example, You could have the max Tension for a Non-Aggression pact be 60. That means that you need 60 or less Tension to sign a Non-Aggression pact, and above that you can immediately break it.

One of the bigger issues I have had post 1E was getting diplomacy rules to play nice with NPEs, too. I can make it work reasonably well with Relationship or Tension values, even if a bit cumbersome depending on the implementation, but other options end up making things weird and unintuitive.
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