Ministerial Positions

all the talk around the remake

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Ministerial Positions

Postby Rick_Browne » Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:35 pm

Holistic Design made another game- Machivelle the Prince. This also had ministerial positions in it (fleet, army, construction, judge).

It also had 'popularity,' e.g. If the fleet was used to attack an opponent there was a chance you would get caught in the act of misusing your power and would suffer a drop in popularity.

Each ministerial position had a wage and the upkeep costs of the position so, the fleet commander got £1000 a turn and the fleet cost £800 a turn. If the upkeep dropped below 50% (so you were profiting from the position) you would suffer a drop in popularity.

These ideas would be good in EOFS, it would stop people using the fleet etc. totally to their own ends and would mean that people would have to build more units to replace losses.
Also each ministry could be given unique 'goals' which caused an increase in popularity.

The stigmata gets a bonus for each hive destroyed and a huge bonus for liberating a planet.

The fleet has to chase down pirates- randomly appearing ships that attack trade. Every trade ship that is destroyed is a popularity decrease and every pirate killed is an increase.

The eye would have to hunt down and kill enemy spies. Or search the galaxy for labs researching proscribed tech and report them to the church, (this would be cool as players would then have to hide labs on distant planets or up in the artic circle or hidden islands) Of course the church would have to be altered to allow this.

As well as these goals each ministry could have a unique action, this action would have a ligitimate reason but could be misused-

stigmata could have a 'call to arms' forcing all houses to send troops to defend against the symbiots or suffer popularity decreases.

The fleet could 'quarentene planets' stopping all trade or goods transfets for a limited time (but not homeworlds)

The eye could 'launch investigations' causing a city to cease resource gathering and production for a while or could have a general or priest called a heratic and executed.

Not sure what popularity would effect, possibly you would get kicked out of office if it dropped to low? or you could only get elected if it was at a certain level?
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Re: Ministerial Positions

Postby Grimly » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:24 pm

Yes, this is exactly the kind of stuff i was hoping to see when i first started playing EFS. I was cruelly disappointed.

Short of building a completely new game, i think there are things players could do, if they are all in agreement and can handle some responsibilities, to in effect "roleplay" those critical popularity functions that are missing. Someone would need to track these triggers and effects, and the Eye and Regent would be good candidates. For example, the Eye would send out spies to observe sales of Fleet materials. Each minister would need to report to the Regent, who would feel some pressure to treat fairly the people who voted for him/her. Should a minister report truly suspicious income, the Regent could announce this to the Houses at large, with some effect on some Popularity score that would be maintained independent of the game mechanics, which after all only affect AI houses and the Church. Fines could be paid, threats could be made. Should a Minister's score drop below, say 50/100, everyone would know this, and the Regent would be forced to remove him or perhaps suffer ill effects to his own Pop score. Still, you would technically be able to vote for a crappy Regent or install a bad Minister, which would be when the real fun would start. Of course, if every player ignores the system, you have a normal game in which players do what they want.

Each minister could make 1 type of Demand to houses, as you say. Each could demand money Rewards from the regent, who also collects Fines to make up for this. The Regent would always be looking for Fines to collect, and the Eye would be happy to sell him intel. Fines would be enforced.

In my galaxy, each House has atomik weapons that could be used against a noncompliant House. They are vulnerable units, but if protected and used well could destroy all the cities on a ~5000 AD homeworld in three turns, also causing the plague in cases. This is called a High Sanction and must be agreed on by 3 Houses. The main crime to invoke this Sanction is the unilateral use of atomiks against a House, but flouting fines etc called by a hostile Regent with the support of 2 Ministers would be another one, in practice. This threat would ground the entire system by providing a means of enforcing the Law.

What do you think of this, RM?

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Re: Ministerial Positions

Postby Ramidel » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:35 pm

Have to raise a point here: at this point, the Fading Suns are a feudal system, the Imperial offices are relics of Vladimir's unification, and the Empire is in the middle of a civil war.

The Imperial Fleet is the former House Alecto navy, the Imperial Eye is Vladimir's setup for keeping his enemies closer. Neither has any income of their own in the classic game (the Imperial Fleet has a cyclotron that's better off razed anyway, the Imperial Eye has an electronics plant that's intended for making spies; both require you to fuel them); this is pretty much intentional. They were originally supported by the Emperor, now they're supported by whoever controls them. The Regent has about as much control as a little girl saying "please, mommy!"

Now, the Stigmata Garrison is slightly different in that it actually includes Stigmata's resources...which were originally Imperial property. Now, Stigmata is the property of whoever's assigned to command the garrison.

In short: this is the Dark Ages, and any authority granted by the Offices belongs to whoever has them, till they're reshuffled. The Regency, meanwhile, is an ineffective joke; that I'd change by giving the Regent the Imperial Guard; tax income from the Imperial Guard's holdings and a strong position on Byzantium Secundus...definitely a good thing when you declare Emperorship.

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Re: Ministerial Positions

Postby Grimly Fiendish 2 » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:55 am

Not sure what your point was meant to be, Ramidel. Everything you say is correct, and I agree that the Guard should belong to the Regent or otherwise be somehow subject to his/her influence. Unfortunately that would mean creating a fourth ministry. Great for a remake.

Naturally, the exact historical relation of the Regency to the Ministries is pretty much open to speculation, as some centuries have passed since Vladimir's murder and we have extremely little history from that period. Most regents must have been weak, or else they would have made themselves Emperor, but some must have been strong enough to rein in the ministers orthere would be no Regency at all. And it would be a great improvement if the Regent could force the Ministers to do his/her bidding in exchange for future appointments. That was my whole point . . .

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Re: Ministerial Positions

Postby Ramidel » Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:04 pm

My point is that I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the Regency being able to force the House-controlled Ministries to do anything. What the Regency is right now is a form of the Parliament from Kingmaker: a means of dividing the military spoils of the Imperial Ministries among the ruling coalition, without any -direct- power of its own. If we want to give the Regency actual authority, we need to know how we'd do it.

And it would be a great improvement if the Regent could force the Ministers to do his/her bidding in exchange for future appointments. That was my whole point...

How would you do this: as a diplomatic offer ("give me control of the Ministry"), as a direct bribe (pay 2500 FB to seize the ministry for a turn?), or by giving the elected Regent a number of turns to spend controlling the ministry forces, what? I'm asking because I don't exactly know what you have in mind. (I know I don't like the "duties" idea; ministries are property, they're not there to help the people ^_^).

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Re: Ministerial Positions

Postby Grimly Fiendish 2 » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:34 pm

I see what you're saying about the ministers as warlords. But I think it doesn't need to be that way in the game and shouldn't be---it's historically and logically inaccurate. Vladimir set up an imperial system in which ministers had actual responsibilities (see the tutorial message about the Ministers) and pledged fealty to the throne. They also pledge to do their jobs to defend the Known Worlds and, presumably, to divide their powers so that Stigmata doesn't build a Fleet and the Fleet doesn't raise an army, and the same for the Eye.

The throne is vacant at the beginning (and apparently the Regency as well, I had forgotten that) but the Regent is not weak. He has the support of the majority of factions and might become Emperor, so the Ministers should respect him. I don't suggest outright control, but influence. Under my system, the Regent controls your Imperial standing, so you have to be careful when you ignore him. If he is your ally, he will ignore your misuse of the Fleet, but if he is not, he will hound you. That's the idea.

Also, recall that the manual outlines a lame attempt to reward players for killing all the Symbiots and Vau. Obviously, the Fleet and Garrison are supposed to be tools for that, but there is no means in place to encourage that behavior. I came up with a system, never used, to be that means. It also addresses the idea of the support of the Imperial bureaucracy. Why would the Imperial structure support a House that has only abused its Imperial power and never contributed anything to the commonwealth?

Besides, isn't it boring to be Regent and have nothing to do but suffer the attacks of the Houses you have appointed and made powerful? Isn't it sad to be the Eye and have no spy network just stealth units with high spotting? No one cares what you see or know, and you can't betray anyone or create casus bellii. I want to be able to role-play those positions.

Note that this system has never been used or tested.

IV) SANCTIONS (Regency penalties/rewards)
A) High sanctions (-100): To be voted on by all the nobles on BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS, with a quorum and a majority of 3 being required to make any decision. May include: being banned from an election or series of elections; being targeted by excommunication requests from all other players; being forced to return resources or to abandon a city or even a planet; paying a fine (to the injured party or to all Houses); being forced to turn over or strike a technology; being attacked with the "family atomiks" of all other Houses; having all alliances broken for a period to be determined; being forced to disarm by disbanding until the atomiks unit disappears. I hope this part can be worked out and formalized by actual groups of players.

B) Penance (-10): If you commit any minor sin, you must pay 1000FB to the Church and refrain from sinning for 10 years. The sum for a major sin is 5000FB.

C) Misdemeanors and Imperial Fines:

Lying to the Regent (-10)

Selling Ministry resources (-10 per incident)

Using Ministry forces (-20) against a House or Ministry without a formal
declaration of war or Regency orders or a legitimate Ministry justification

Refusing to comply with a Ministerial Demand (-30)

Failure to pay a Fine, each year (-5)

Maintaining Symbiot units (-5 per incident)

D) Deeds and Imperial Rewards:

Destroying a Hive (20)

Swearing loyalty to the Throne (20)

Liberating a non-Symbiot planet from Symbiots (50)

Liberating a Symbiot planet from the Symbiots (100)

Liberating a planet from the Vau (100)

Pacifying a rebel planet (excluding ruins) (10)

Reporting any new lab to the Regent (5)

E) Ministerial Demands:

Interdiction: The Regent/Fleet may choose, each term, a planetary system to declare interdicted. Any entering House ships may be destroyed and a Fine shall be levied. House ships must leave. Ministries are exempted from interdiction. (-5 per incident)

Universal Levy: The Regent/Stigmata may demand 5000 FB from each House once every 5 years.(-10 for noncompliance due to inability to pay)

Probe: The Regent/Eye may demand once per term that a permanently banned technology be struck and a noble turned over to it (disbanded). Houses OR Ministries can be probed. (-20 per probe)

The purpose of this system is to (1) add an element of court politics to the selection of Ministers (2) provide a counterweight to Imperial/Regency power (3) extend the ethical system to reflect public and court opinion.
Each House begins with an Imperial Standing of 100. Each turn, the Regent takes a report from his ministers and spies and resets the Standing of each House, taking into account all Demands, Compliances, Noncompliances, Refusals, Sanctions, Fines, Reports, Penances, and Rewards from the last turn. He sends this out to all players. Players should verify or demand proof; players who have earned Rewards should send out the proof anyway. The Regent also reports his own standing.
This effect on Standing would be maintained independently of the game mechanics and would not affect AI Houses. Houses that do not hold Imperial positions would have no reason to care about their Standing, but having a Minister whose Standing is below 50 will cause a Regent's Standing to drop by 20 each term. A Regent whose Standing drops below 30 must abstain from the next election. Thus Houses would be wise to associate with Houses that either respect the rule of law or do not need to, but do not flagrantly violate it. Each minister would need to report to the Regent, who would feel some pressure to treat fairly the people who voted for him/her but to dump any ministers who have become liabilities. See IV SANCTIONS.

To present evidence of misdemeanors, deeds, and penances, any House claiming a reward, announcing a penance, or accusing a House must send a small screenshot to the Emperor or all Houses. IrfanView and PhotoEditor are handy for this.


2 systems of deciding conflicts and making decisions, such as when to switch to the second unit.dat file:
1) The Regent arbitrates all disputes brought before him by all parties. If that fails . . .
2) The Houses vote. Each human House gets 1 vote. The Regent can break any resulting ties.

Note that one outcome of this system might be that a Regent replaces an ally with low standing with an enemy with high standing. That is, if you appointed your ally Decados to the Fleet and he went on a rampage, and your enemy Hawkwood caught him selling Ministry assets and using captured Symbiot units (which of course is a problem with EFS right there), etc. you may need to replace Decados with Hawkwood to keep the Regency because Hawkwood has been behaving himself. That's also a reason to behave yourself!

Ignoring Imperial politics, as the original game does, is a waste of possibilities.

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Postby Solarius Scorch » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:25 pm

I'm not sure if responding to a thread that is 6 years old is a serious net crime or not. But since EFS is such an old game, I guess time doesn't matter much.

I really like the presented system of fines. I would like to add to it that the political relations between a regent and a Minister is a two-way street. On one hand, the Regent places a lot of power in Minister's hands, so the Minister should have some built-in safety features to prevent easy exploit of Ministry's resources. On the other hand, Ministries exist precisely to limit a Regent's power, so they should be able to exercise a certain amount of power on the Regent in the right circumstances - basically when a Regent breaks the Imperial law.

My gaming circle uses a "gentlemen code of conduct" to simulate this. Let me present how it could perhaps be adapted to the game mechanics:
- Accusation of undermining the Empire's interest. If a Minister attacks forces or cities belonging to another Ministry with their own units, the Regent is in power to take away that Ministry from the player - the seat becomes empty until the next election. (This is not enforced if the player is attacked first.) The reason for this is mainly to prevent Houses from taking cities belonging to the Stigmata garrison.
- Accusation of abuse of power. If a Regent starts a war against any House or Ministry, the Minister of the Imperial Eye has the power to take away the Regent's control over the Ministry the Regent controls (not the Regent seat itself!). This is to better control the Regent, and also to give the Imperial Eye some real power.

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