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This thread is a space to discuss the rules for season 2.

UPDATE: Rules for Season 2 have been decided. There will be ample opportunity to discuss rules for Season 3.

First Half of season:

Timer: Tourney

Type: Classic

Speed: Normal

Leaders: Tourney

Race: Normal

Diplomacy: Off

Victory: Last Empire

Size: Massive

Composition: Balanced

Shape: Spiral

Galaxy Age: Normal

Empire Age: Normal

Wormholes: Off

Monsters: On

Specials: Off

Second Half of Season:

Timer: Tourney

Type: Classic

Speed: Quick

Leaders: Tourney

Race: Normal

Diplomacy: Off

Victory: Last Empire

Size: Large

Composition: Balanced

Shape: Cluster

Galaxy Age: Normal

Empire Age: Normal

Wormholes: Off

Monsters: On

Specials: On
I like the choice here, siramnes. They sound fine to me.
Looks good!
I was under the impression that the EC would get to decide the rules, no? You've decided by yourself that there will be no specials, for instance, which is quite rarely seen. Why is this?
I strongly advice against turning leaders off, even if it's just for half the season. Credits are one of the elemental resources of the game, and leaders are what makes them relevant. Removing that is equivalent to turning of research!

Galaxy shape doesn't matter as much, and half spiral half cluster seems reasonable, but since you ask, I'll just mention that I would personally prefer cluster, as long as the galaxy isn't too big. Spiral galaxies have a tendency to funnel tactical choices, and it's too easy to "lock down" aggression by fortifying a single star. I like the broad front options the cluster provides. Now that I think about it, I realize it actually IS more important than I first thought =)
Quote:You're right Anthee, but I thought there was pretty wide consensus that specials can give an unfair advantage to players (early l3, for example). Let's put specials back on the table for the ec and everybody else to discuss.

Just trying to keep things relatively limited, because otherwise the conversation could become rather confusing.
They can sometimes, yes, but they also make exploration more worthwhile and thereby open up play strategies that would not be viable otherwise. They also give more incentive to get rid of monsters as soon as possible and make certain planets more valuable to colonize and hold than others.

I'm fine with no specials, too, I just think including specials increases the number of strategic choices one has to make and therefore makes the game more interesting, despite the occasional (but rare) tech spree it may allow.
Those are reasonable arguments, but I might counter that having specials actually REDUCES strategic choices because you are pretty much required to choose Galactic Navigators and to expand as rapidly as possible. In a massive galaxy you can pick up 3 or more techs and enough money to offset thrift spenders racial. Without specials there is still an incentive to expand to find the best planets for your traits, but you can also choose to focus more on planet development (depending on your racials).

In short, specials introduce a bunch of random variables into the game. It is true that this forces players to adapt to unexpected circumstances, which is an important skill, but it can tip the balance in favor of one of the two players.

One solution would be to play one half of the season with specials and one without.
For every player, there are settings that benefit them more than other people, and settings that hurt their normal playstyle. For example, I would prefer no specials, no leaders, advanced empire, and a spiral setting.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to vary settings - nothing should be considered sacred. It is your job as the player to adapt to the settings. They are posted well in advance, and you will have time to practice builds on the new settings to get a feel for it.

I would almost prefer a randomly-generated choice for each of the settings. They could be weighed by council decree. For example, specials 75% chance, no specials 25% chance. Early empire 5%, normal age 60%, advanced 35%. Etc. etc.

The main concern I have is that you are playing half the people with one set of rules, and the other half with another. Switching settings seems like it should be between seasons, not within seasons. But it's just a game, so whatever.

Anyway, I am Ok with the settings posted. They're perfectly reasonable. But not all are to my preference or benefit my normal build. I'll either adapt or die.
Here are my thoughts:

--massive cluster will take too long, so that combo should be avoided
--I think leaders and credits are a fundamental part of the game so would have leaders set to tourney on both halves of the season.
--mixing in size, specials, galaxy type, and speed are all reasonable variations that players should adapt to. Generally try to balance settings to make games take about the same amount if time. My proposal would be:

First half: massive spiral, normal speed, no specials
Second half: huge cluster, quick speed, specials

Better to make the cluster map the one with specials since there are more planets outside the unbalanced center, so specials introduce less chance for unfairness/imbalance.
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