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This is something I've always wondered, since MOO2.

SO, and MOO2, and maybe a lot of other things, are sort of like "monopoly" in that once you get a little ahead, you're likely to get even more ahead. Bigness gives you strength, which makes you bigger. Like gravity, where the more mass you have, the faster you pull in more mass. Exponential growth. Whatever it is.

So, a galaxy with more than one empire in it is sort of an unstable state. Eventually one will get ahead, and then that one will rapidly take over, accelerating and accelerating. The stable state is the whole galaxy owned by one empire.

Why isn't the real world like that? We have 100s of nations... sure, some (or, one or two) of them are way ahead of the others...but those haven't really taken over the planet. They couldn't if they wanted to. Nations frequently (well, maybe once per hundred or couple hundred years) displace one another as the leader.

What element exactly is present in reality, but absent from MOO2/SO?

I guess there must be some "penalty for bigness", that beyond some point scales up faster than the advantages of bigness.

Maybe if the population is large enough and diverse enough, people will find something to fight over, and split up via civil war (you can almost see this coming in US politics...).

Maybe it's bureaucracy and corruption, which certainly seems to grow with bigness. There's only so much that one guy or a small group of oligarchs can keep in their head...once the nation gets bigger than that, you need the bureaucracy, and, well...most people are incompetent, so, it all goes downhill from there.

Or, maybe it's sort of an evolutionary thing, where some external change in the environment redefines "fitness" all of a sudden, and the leader finds himself unfit; a weaker nation who had a lucky niche, or perhaps was just more adaptable, finds itself in a position to take over. (e.g. dinosaurs were too big to survive after all of the large plant life died off in the "nuclear winter" after the asteroid, or whatever.)

I don't know. What do you think?

Second question: do you think it would make a game like this more fun, if it modeled this kind of "penalty for bigness"?
I sort of think that I would like it if there are both kinds of games. I love SO and MOO2, without the "penalty for bigness", as I feel it gives you some intuition for exponential growth, etc.
But, it also does make it very difficult to have a "close game"... usually (at least in my experience) you either win big or lose big. Not so fun.
On the other hand, if SO were like reality, where no nation can "win", then basically that wouldn't be fun either.
Again, I don't know.

I just thought this is interesting, and I have always wondered at the difference. So I thought I'd bring it up here.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry
I think the element missing in games but evident in real life is the Human factor

In games it's very depersonalised, revolts won't happen if you lose thousands of people in battles

In real life sure, America might be able to take over the world statistically but the cost would be enormous, millions would likely die.

But in a game you don't have to worry about public opinion or how many people you have, a couple turns and you will have a couple thousand more people to throw at the enemy, no problem
Plus, Conquered places do not like being occupied and will have rebels etc, in games once you conquer somewhere then it basically becomes the same as all the other places
And as a answer to the second question,
I think there should be some consequences to capturing places or losing them. Like if you captured a planet then it would have decreased money or production for a couple turns, maybe depending on the diffrentiation in species in habiting it, so if half were your pop and half were enemy's when you took the planet then there would be like a 20% debuff for like 20 turns or until you built a certain building.

Or if you lost a planet the a morale debuff, depending on planets lost in a certain amount of time or something like that.
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