Idk what to call this, here goes. I'm quitting the game, and a few weeks ago I drew this up. Shared it with a few friends, thought it may or may not benefit someone out there. Call them the ramblings of a man gone senile. Pretentious shit ahead!
I drew this up when I couldn't sleep, at midnight. Haven't checked it a lot, got some help from people. Mistakes are bound to be there.
Youâ€™ve created an alliance, or youâ€™ve been thrust into the leader role, or youâ€™re just someone thatâ€™s been assigned to IA. Maybe you have extensive government experience, maybe you donâ€™t. For those of you who donâ€™t, and are confused about what you can or should do, in this post I will go over my experiences in an attempt to help you in your decision making.
You have have many things you can do according to what kind of Alliance you want to see yours turn into. By the end of this post, I intend to have shown you what can work and what canâ€™t work in different types of alliances, and then hopefully you as a player in a new leadership role, or as a player whoâ€™s been assigned to IA, can start making meaningful and well-advised decisions in your policies.
Getting to know your Allianceâ€™s Identity:
As an alliance, you need to understand who you are, why you do what you do, and what your end-goal is. On that note, do you have an end goal? Or are you more of the â€œWeâ€™ll cross the bridge when we get thereâ€ type? Do you have any short-term plans and/or objectives to reach before a due date? If so, are you actively trying to move towards the realization of those goals?
Some questions to understand who you are as an alliance:
What kind of alliance are you in terms of the entry of members? Are you a selective alliance (Hogwarts, TEst, etc.)? Are you open to all players? If youâ€™re the former, what is the criterion, and how do you ensure the standard of your membership (City count, Nation Score, Nukes/no nukes)? If youâ€™re the latter, do you have any form of â€˜quality-controlâ€™, or any form of trimming (Past alliances, OWF presence, people like MasterD/Calvin.)? Are you a mix between both? These are many of the IA questions related to both recruiting and quality control.
Is your alliance made up of the â€˜seriousâ€™ player class that devote time to the alliance, and are active whenever called upon, or is your alliance made up of casual players that log in once a day, and arenâ€™t really all that concerned with the game even if the alliance can use their activity? Is it a mix and match between both? Rank yourself, observe, and note the results. Consider making a poll of some sort to collect this data.
What is your allianceâ€™s objective? If it does not have one, set one. You need an objective and/or aim to understand as to whether or not your alliance is progressing; youâ€™re not going to be achieving much if you donâ€™t have an aim, and that isnâ€™t just because of the technicalities of â€˜achievingâ€™, â€˜successâ€™, and their relation with the presence (or lack) of aims/objectives.
Do you want to have membership that is based in upper, middle or lower tiers? Are you spread out across multiple tiers evenly? Where does most of your membership lie in terms of tiers? Where does the majority of your tax yield come from? The middle tier, the lower tier, or the upper tier?
If you can think of more questions that can help you build a better image of your alliance, then you should ask them. That image will prove to be imperative in forming your goals, your ambitions, and the frameworks you introduce to counter problems your alliance may have. Keep this in mind when you answer these questions.
Your Allianceâ€™s Membership:
This goes hand in hand with your identity, and your aims. Who are you looking to get into your alliance? Do you have a limit of people youâ€™re not willing to cross? Do you have a specific requirement? (No Shifty the 1-city requirement doesnâ€™t count).
Why is this important? This is whatâ€™s going to form an optimized government standard, and have you progress to a certain aim, since most aims are based around either score, military prowess, elitism et al, and of those all are derived from your membership. Are you NPO with massive crushing numbers? Are you Hogwarts that prefers elitism and goes by a very strict city standard? Or are you like Mensa with both numbers and elitism, ensuring you donâ€™t get outnumbered easily, while also ensuring a standard of quality. At the end this question boils down to â€œQuality or Quantity?â€ Choose carefully. Note that quality does not refer to score, but to how good the player is.
If you donâ€™t have strong leadership*, and a powerful centralized system, donâ€™t keep too many noobs. Them not knowing what to do and you not being able to help them, it will make them fail in things such as war, and subsequently result in a net loss for you. If you are keen on taking in new players in a large quantity, be sure you have academies that properly educate new members on the gameâ€™s mechanics, and how things work. You not doing this is synonymous with your IA department sucking. Sure, experience is the best teacher but how many times are they going to go through the game without knowing how to do what they wish to do? How many times are you going to suffer the brunt of their mistakes? Know that if you do not have a proper education system in place, youâ€™ve failed.
Your Allianceâ€™s Government:
So you canâ€™t decide what type of government youâ€™d like to have, donâ€™t worry, thatâ€™s perfectly normal if you donâ€™t have extensive experience in working with alliances.
The first thing you need to understand is a Membership Government ratio. Itâ€™s something thatâ€™s integral to your allianceâ€™s PR, and actual working. First, gather how many members you have, and what style of government you wish to pursue. To help you with understanding which form of government is best suited for your alliance, weâ€™ll discuss a few thumb rules. First, if you have a large number of members (+50) youâ€™re going to need a proper Government, i.e. department heads, leaders et al; with a smattering of Department workers. Note the word â€˜workerâ€™; this is going to be taken into consideration once we talk about how you raise activity.
This is where our previous question set about your allianceâ€™s membership comes into play. Who have you decided to be?
If youâ€™ve decided to be a mass alliance, youâ€™ve decided to forego precision for vastly overpowering numbers that smash through defenses. Remember that with this â€˜advantageâ€™, there are several disadvantages. You need competent logistics, for one. If your government and/or workers are not up to the task, fire them. Hire those willing to set apart time for the alliance. There is no place for laziness when youâ€™re managing that big of an alliance, and wish to pursue a smaller government size. For that purpose alone, we have the two-class system; the actual government and the workers. The workers are the driving force of the departments, while the department heads assign new workers, promote, demote, and fire current employees based on their competence (Alliances are businesses).
Before you delve into the micro-management however, letâ€™s talk about the two poles in the current spectrum: Arrghism with very loose government (That still is looking out for the betterment of the alliance and itâ€™s goals) and a Dictatorship that has the leader ruling with an iron-fist.
Establish a formal hierarchy unless youâ€™re going full Arrgh and planning on not possessing a formal hierarchal structure. (Though to be fair they do loosely control their members on certain, very specific things. I have it on good authority that Arrghâ€™s government has the right to propose things, but doesnâ€™t actually say â€œAlright, you go do this, and make it happen quickâ€.)
The alliance works with a set of principles and rules it does not break; to make these â€˜lawsâ€™ official, create charter, and introduce it to alliance at large. This should be self-explanatory.
For the people that donâ€™t get it: Laws of succession (To the leadership role), procedure before declaring war, appointing new officers, changing policies regarding Econ and Military et al fall within this section. Be careful when you add rules, also include rules on amending rules. Bureaucracy ftw
This is the big one that affects everything and anything that your alliance can and/or does do. You see, all the numbers your alliance possesses mean absolutely nothing in war if your members arenâ€™t active. Every nation youâ€™ve built up will be of no use to you outside the realm of tax farming. Understanding why members go inactive is the first step to mitigating the damage dealt by inactivity, and increasing player retention rates.
Recognize that P/W is not the game for everyone, and it can and will get boring in periods of time where war is not present. Long war will also make the game stale if one side is continuing to pound the other. For this reason alone acknowledge the fact that not everyone you recruit and not everyone that comes to your alliance will stay in your alliance, or even in the game. To that effect, you must find ways of increasing player retention. Having had experimented with a couple of things, Iâ€™ve found that to keep them hinged onto the game you can do the following:
Firstly, introduce the players to the OWF. This can be a place where they can shitpost, but remember to keep them within a certain boundary. Although the OWF can be a salt mine at times, it can also be quite amusing, and is certainly the place where the majority of activity takes place outside times of war and specific Discord channels/forums. Secondly, donâ€™t rely on P/W alone to be able to make them stay. Your community is something you must create. Donâ€™t be an aloof jackass of a leader, it wonâ€™t work unless your members are God-tier guys, talk with your membership, hold weekly/bi-monthly polls on how your members feel. Gather opinions. Make the members feel as if their opinion matters shit, this is important to the nth degree.
If you understand that the game isnâ€™t all there is to PnW, youâ€™ll know by now that you need to engage your members in activities outside of the in-game affairs. Play Town of Salem with them. Chill out with some good old Mafia in Timâ€™s server on Discord. Play Cards against Humanity. Hell, play online Uno if it helps. These small 5 minute games can get these guys involved like nothing else. Do this, and youâ€™re increasing their willingness to come on and log in. Continue to check up on them in-game, and instruct them to raid.
Furthermore, get ALL of your members into a chatting platform of your choice â€“ Discordâ€™s currently the go-to, but if they like Slack more, then shift there. This is extremely important. Do NOT miss this step.
Chatting platforms such as those are where your coordination and communication takes place in times of war, and is the place where you bond with your members. If they donâ€™t feel a sense of loyalty towards you, you arenâ€™t a leader; youâ€™re only taking the spot of the leader. Resign.
As a final note, to gauge activity levels on your Discord, ping everyone in your membership channels and tell them the first person to ping you receives a certain amount. This promotes activity, and also letâ€™s you know where you currently stand.
To promote activity, and to encourage them being willing to do work for you and the alliance as a whole, pay them money and/or resources. Do things such as â€˜Employee of the Month In Defenseâ€™ et alia. This kind of stuff works when youâ€™re trying to get people to do shit efficiently. Donâ€™t go overboard, and donâ€™t make the think theyâ€™re getting paid for doing their job. Theyâ€™re getting paid for doing their job properly.
Three things: Spreadsheets, coding, and Math. Learn (how to use) all three.
In terms of statistics, youâ€™ll want to be collecting them (stats) on your alliance every single day, preferably twice a day. To store that data, either youâ€™ll want to connect your spreadsheets (Use Google Sheets, it has a powerful scripting capability) to that data, and thus ensure that itâ€™s updated on a scheduled time, or youâ€™ll wish to either automatically import data into an Excel Sheet, or manually C&V the data into Google Sheets/Excel. Whatever you do, spreadsheets and scripting will help you with gathering stats and storing it in a place where it is easy to locate. Do that and I assure you half of your stats gathering problems will go away. Either learn scripting languages, or get to know whether you have someone that already does.
Why is this useful? Itâ€™s useful for a multitude of reasons that involves both detecting surprise attacks, and to maintain a database of information that may require at any given point in time.
As for Math, dude this is self-explanatory. Maths is how all in-game mechanics work, and planning goes hand in hand with number crunching, a shit load of it.
Note on Decentralized v. Centralized MilCom:
The main issue with centralized MilCom is the problem of logistics. The main issue with decentralized MilCom (especially in wars) is whether or not your members truly know how to deal with certain situations. Fact is, there are few alliances that truly gear their members up for war, and few alliances that actively encourage members to raid. This lack of encouragement from the get-go is what separates the centralized MilComâ€™s faults from the decentralized MilCom in times of war.
If your members are wet behind the ears, youâ€™ll need to micromanage their wars for them, and in times of war, this â€˜micromanagementâ€™ can be fatal. Your members need to know what to do, and how to do what they wish to do. To this effect, raiding and warring from the get-go is extremely beneficial, as the indirect consequence of them knowing how to counter and declare war is that they have experience with running wars. Experience with running wars means you have an extra â€˜handâ€™ capable of instructing others on what to do, and running their own properly, thusly resulting in less workload for you.
This of-course assumes that your centralized MilCom is not capable of guiding everyone through, which it shouldnâ€™t need to do, as any missing space within your command structure means that your war effort is indirectly adversely affected.
Note on [email protected]
#$ and war deserters:
Simple. Do not accept them at any cost whatsoever. They failed their previous alliance, theyâ€™ll do it again. Theyâ€™re dead weight. You letting them in achieves absolutely nothing except you adding onto your alliance members that donâ€™t give a single shit about the alliance, and care too much about their pixels.
A Few Econ Tips:
This connects with stats gathering.
You need 3 things to automatically improve your current Econ Dept. Firstly, start an auditing department.
Teach people how to audit, and what to look for. First look for simple mistakes, i.e. wrong policies, incorrect color. Then go into their city builds â€“ first see if their simple build is correct â€“ 1 Nuclear Power Plant, 1 Police Station, 1 Subway, 3 Banks, 3 Shopping Malls, 2 Stadiums. To counteract pollution if you have any, a recycling center should fit. Land Infra ratio should either be 1:1, or land should be greater than infra. Infra should theoretically not be above 1,700 unless youâ€™ve come to a city count where you can both afford to bear the costs of going to 2,000 (Do not go above, the ROI is crazy, and unless youâ€™re hoping to go to war once and be a pixel hugging whale, youâ€™ll want infra damage to be the least of your concerns in war) and at the same time get the return before you reach war, you can go for it. I personally will not ever be going above 1,700 infra, as it is a simple waste of money.
Once youâ€™ve checked your alliance mateâ€™s build, go to the next big thing, their resource manufacturing buildings. See if their current setup can be improved (Use my city sim or one of your own design to gauge how much more one can make with another setup) and then suggest those improvements. Iâ€™ve personally been working on an audit bot that does that for me, i.e. gather information and tell me where their faults lie. If someone you know or you yourself have those scripting capabilities, I laud you. Use that to better your allianceâ€™s building.
Second tip: Teach players how to use the buy section of the market effectively. Buying at a lower price and selling at a higher price is a simple, daily exercise that can earn you hundreds of thousands each day. Use this to its max potential.
Thirdly, do NOT place self-sufficiency over profit per slot. This shows youâ€™re lazy. If you as a leader are doing this, resign. You need to be a model for your members, not someone thatâ€™s doing their shit in a half-assed manner.
(NPOâ€™s model is different. Thatâ€™s a subject for another day.)
Some War/Defense Tips:
Iâ€™ve seen several alliances that donâ€™t have minimum military requirements. If your alliance doesnâ€™t, sack your MilCom. They isnâ€™t doing their job. Get your members to keep some ground forces, a suitable navy and sufficient air power at all times if theyâ€™re in the sub-500 range. This is where raiders are most common. Tell your members to keep 100% air if theyâ€™re around the 1000 NS range and above.
Track military percentages every single day. Iâ€™ve designed a sheet to help you with that.
Collect stats on every enemy nation and every allied nation. Refer back to stats gathering for this part. This will be of immense importance when youâ€™re trying to gauge who can fill in for guys that die off, and who can counter your guys. Expect the counters if youâ€™re going up against anyone remotely competent. Learn to counter the counters!
Draw up several target lists* as a hobby. When youâ€™re in a place where you legitimately need to do this, this hobby will help a shitload. Design and engineer stat gathering scripts for these kind of things.
Use spies efficiently. Do NOT waste spies on things such as infrastructure and soldiers. Do not be a scrub.
Tier your alliance properly. Donâ€™t leave members out in the open. If you do that, they are liable to being butchered as soon as war starts.
Practice blitzes on raiders. This will help when you actually have to do it. Create fire-teams with people in the similar city/age category, and grow them together. Have them bond. Once theyâ€™ve gone to war with each other in events such as counter-raiding, theyâ€™ll know how to do what needs to be done in actual war.
On Target Lists:
If you arenâ€™t capable of creating target lists, and you still wish to pursue centralized MilCom (in relation to assigning targets to members in this instance), go to someone that you know and request a few target list templates. Usually, people do the following: Assign a target with the link and number of cities they have, and then name the 3 players on them along with their city counts. In my case, running a script yields me the link, city quantity, units, projects, and war policy, which makes for a more detailed target list. This also means, however, that it takes longer to consider and weigh the options you have.
People usually refrain from assigning most members any more than 3 targets, as being stretched out on several fronts means that the incoming counters after your blitz are going to be effective to a larger degree. In a certain case, 3 liters of water fills 3 bowls. The same volume of water fills 6 bowls. The more the water in each bowl, the better. Water in this case is the war effort, and the bowl is the target.
Keep in mind that after the first wave, your target list is mostly useless. Scoreâ€™s have dropped, unit quantity is a mess, and generally thatâ€™s the end of the target listâ€™s use. If youâ€™re looking to continue blitzing after the first round ends, draw up new target lists prior to update.
For alliances that run (kek) decentralized MilCom, target lists can be useless. Members are doing their own thing out of their own initiative, and while it can get messy if theyâ€™re wet behind the ears, if they know what theyâ€™re doing, the fact is micromanagement and the load on MilCom goes down by a wide margin, giving them space to plan counters to counters. Won't work if your members dunno stuff.
Oh and, goodluck and goodbye Orbis bois. Quitting time's arrived.