I spent some time looking at the Republic of Rome boardgame for ideas over the weekend, as it is an excellent “cooperation & conflict” game. One of my thoughts after reading the rules again, was that one element required for successful cooperation mechanics, is a common resource that is difficult for any one player to seize control of. In the spirit of the “Do The Math” principle I decided to break down the 31 War cards to see what I could find.
Mean strength was 7.8. Range was 2-15. Median strength was 8. Most common strength was 6.
Not as common as land strength. Only four wars had the two sets of naval strength requiring a naval victory to be gained before land combat started, but these tended to be tough at 10, 10, 8 and 6 Fleets required. More typically, an army of Legions required only a mean of 2.3 Fleets in support. This tells us that the Army Concession (2 income per Legion built) is worth far more than the Naval Concession (3 income per Fleet built).
Range for supporting Fleets was 0 to 10. Median strength was 2. Most common strength was 2 (x11).
Only six Wars had an inherent boost to Unrest each turn, usually those that created Drought/Pirate conditions.
One war with four matching cards. Three wars with three matching cards. Three wars with two matching cards. So that leaves 10 wars with no matching war. The Social War was an odd one out, as it activated all inactive wars, but did not make them multiply their strength.
Matching Wars are evil, as they multiply force strength, x2, x3, and x4. As Rome only has 25 legions, a x3 or x4 multiplier makes victory difficult to obtain. If you had four active, but unmatched, wars they would still be likely to have a combined strength of 30-32.
I did not look at the various leaders that can boost war strength, there are about nine of those, as it can be a bit random whether or not they link up with their matching wars.
The mean treasure gain from a victory is 17.6 … which is not a lot when each active war costs Rome 20 per turn, and it might take more than one turn to crush an enemy. Range was 0-45. Median treasure was 15. Most common treasures were 10 and Zero.
Six wars had two stalemate numbers, one of which was an 11 (the most likely roll from 3d6). All the stalemate numbers were 11 or greater, which makes me think they were likely to punish a Senate trying to “get lucky” and do wars “on the cheap”.
The most common stalemate number was 17 (x8), closely followed by 11 and 15 (x7).
Across all the wars, I estimate the chance of a stalemate at around 5-6%, but for the wars with two stalemate numbers, this is closer to 15.3%.
No card had more than one disaster number. Disasters were usually, but not always, less likely to occur than a stalemate result. The most common Disaster number was unlucky 13.
Across all wars, the chance of a disaster was about 6.6%. Combined with stalemates, that is around about a 12-13% chance of not winning a battle, regardless of how many resources are committed. Again, there is a group of six of super-hard wars with more like a one in five chance of some degree of catastrophe.
Only six wars had a chance of eliminating concessions (sources of player income).