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Sean

1968 (with Primaries)

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Having passed the Democratic Convention, I've found that the fact that the three primaries that occur before the game begins do not affect the playability of the game - the game does not crash at the convention.

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0.7 has been rolled out to the beta testers.

Among other things money has been tweaked again, March 12 is the start date (so um, HHH is really LBJ for the next 18 days and RFK's polls are speculative since he doesn't enter until the 16th).

Favourite sons still withdraw too easily, and we need to figure out a way to bleed the Democratic candidates of their money since the computer doesn't spend enough (Humphrey into the general with 5 million? Kinda doubtful).

For 0.71 once I have some feedback:

Alternatively I'm thinking about eliminating background fundraising. This means fundraisers will be very important (increased to 2 million a pop or so) and having to do upwards of a dozen for the Democratic party in the general (and a number in the primaries) will make money a very important issue.

It will also impact the Republicans but less so because they're richer at the start and their fundraisers may raise more if I can get that part working.

Strengthen favourite sons so perhaps they're more inclined to stay in.

Turn off ask for withdrawals. Everybody stayed in 'till the convention and it wouldn't change I believe even if they did worse.

Whatever other feedback comes in.

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Here's a screenshot of the final results from my first completed game with version 0.68. It's as LBJ. I picked Muskie as my VP (Humphrey was missing from the list, possibly because he was a crusader?) and Nixon picked Tower. I had about 37 million dollars throughout the general election, while Nixon only had about 2 million dollars. I forgot that it takes a week to set up national tv ads, so I couldn't test their strength, though the local tv ads seemed to work well.

johnsonmuskievsnixontowhq1.th.jpg

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I don't like the favorite son system.

It may be the most realistic way of simulating 1968, but it isn't any fun. Campaigning hard in Texas should give you a chance to win Texas. That is how I see it. Why should a candidate start off at 0% in any state? Something tells me that there were some people in Texas who wanted Kennedy. One percent undecided doesn't suit my fancy either.

In the states with primaries, they are too much decided. Kennedy was not solid in California, and McCarthy did not own Massachusetts initially.

I also am not a fan of the start date. There was intense campaigning in New Hampshire, but that is gone in the scenario.

I think that Kennedy should be left of center.

Also, I would be willing to redo the pictures so that they look cleaner.

All that being said, you guys did a wonderful job. Let me know how I can help.

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I don't like the favorite son system.

It may be the most realistic way of simulating 1968, but it isn't any fun. Campaigning hard in Texas should give you a chance to win Texas. That is how I see it. Why should a candidate start off at 0% in any state? Something tells me that there were some people in Texas who wanted Kennedy. One percent undecided doesn't suit my fancy either.

In the states with primaries, they are too much decided. Kennedy was not solid in California, and McCarthy did not own Massachusetts initially.

I also am not a fan of the start date. There was intense campaigning in New Hampshire, but that is gone in the scenario.

I think that Kennedy should be left of center.

Also, I would be willing to redo the pictures so that they look cleaner.

Well you have to remember the difference between a primary state (where campaigning will get you votes) and a convention state (where campaigning gets you nothing, because the system is rigged). That said I'm willing to give all candidates a token percentage in most states (some favourite sons were simply unchallenged). We'll see what the overall consensus is on the favourite son system—but you have to realize without them Humphrey is quite possibly unbeatable.

Fair enough, I'll make the primaries more in flux.

We could move the start date back more but RFK doesn't enter until March 16th and I doubt that he's just going to sit around and do nothing until then if he's in the game. Likewise what if HHH wins NH by 70%? That would mean LBJ would have stayed on and throws the entire thing out of whack. Unless TheorySpark makes a candidate entrance/withdrawal system we have to live with the problems that it causes not having one. And I'd take convention states and delegate tracking over any other feature at this point.

The Center position in the scenario stands for the reformer options in a lot of cases, while the left/right stand for the status quo.

Thanks for the offer, but we'll have to wait a while as there's a fairly high pace of tweaks going on. Once things steady down I can send the scenario to someone else for a few days to let them work on stuff.

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The problem with giving candidates a token percentage in the favourite son states is that if they develop momentum they will surge in those states and capture them - with 0% it's still possible to win and do well in them but it requires the use of multiple footsoldiers to get on the board. The favourite sons tend to withdraw before their states are contested anyway (with the notable exception of Young), so it is possible to win in states like Texas, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

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The problem with giving candidates a token percentage in the favourite son states is that if they develop momentum they will surge in those states and capture them - with 0% it's still possible to win and do well in them but it requires the use of multiple footsoldiers to get on the board. The favourite sons tend to withdraw before their states are contested anyway (with the notable exception of Young), so it is possible to win in states like Texas, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

Yeah, seriously, Young hangs in until he wins his state and then endorses Humphrey. It's like he's perfect or something :).

Hmm. Well at the moment they have 1% 100 committed in states where they had zero before. We can always revert back.

At this point I've copied Young's stats over to all Favourite Sons. This should make them much tougher ( 80 10 10)—but you do have that 1%. So we'll see how it goes.

I've also upped all their stats from 1 to 2 in the hopes this keeps them in the race.

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Yeah, seriously, Young hangs in until he wins his state and then endorses Humphrey. It's like he's perfect or something :).

Hmm. Well at the moment they have 1% 100 committed in states where they had zero before. We can always revert back.

At this point I've copied Young's stats over to all Favourite Sons. This should make them much tougher ( 80 10 10)—but you do have that 1%. So we'll see how it goes.

I've also upped all their stats from 1 to 2 in the hopes this keeps them in the race.

That should help, especially since they can be chosen as VP candidates by the AI.

I was just trying version 0.7 and got the Invalid Floating Point Operation error again, this time just before the Michigan Republican primary.

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Some bugs I've found: I got an Invalid Floating Point Operation in the middle of my game (on the week of the Democratic Indiana and Ohio primaries) which stopped the game from working. I got the same error when I tried to ask a candidate to withdraw in an earlier game. That led to an Index Out of Bounds (22) error. Also, the Israel issue's symbol doesn't make any sense - it's just a red square.

I got this too playing as Reagan in with 24 weeks left.

And now at 23 weeks left list index out of bounds -1.

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That should help, especially since they can be chosen as VP candidates by the AI.

I was just trying version 0.7 and got the Invalid Floating Point Operation error again, this time just before the Michigan Republican primary.

So at this point they've been a little less likely to withdraw, but not by much. I'm feeling tempted to scrap the favourite son system—or reduce them down to the guys who owned their states (Rhodes, Young, Connally and the like) and really make them own their states. Show of hands?

What's fun, and realistic, is that I've got RFK all the way up to tied with Humphrey in the polls—and yet he has over 600 more delegates then me. One heck of a game we got going on.

Now I'm beating him, up by 12% and he still has 3 more delegates then I. Back and forth—8 delegates down & 10% ahead, and scrabbling hard. Darn. Lost by 13 delegates.

ETA: What??? I won the convention??? With a 600 delegate majority. Something funny's going on there.

About the error? No idea. It's in the Dev Team's hands.

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So at this point they've been a little less likely to withdraw, but not by much. I'm feeling tempted to scrap the favourite son system—or reduce them down to the guys who owned their states (Rhodes, Young, Connally and the like) and really make them own their states. Show of hands?

What's fun, and realistic, is that I've got RFK all the way up to tied with Humphrey in the polls—and yet he has over 600 more delegates then me. One heck of a game we got going on.

Now I'm beating him, up by 12% and he still has 3 more delegates then I. Back and forth—8 delegates down & 10% ahead, and scrabbling hard. Darn. Lost by 13 delegates.

ETA: What??? I won the convention??? With a 600 delegate majority. Something funny's going on there.

About the error? No idea. It's in the Dev Team's hands.

For some reason, the error doesn't appear in version 0.68, but only in versions 0.67 and 0.7.

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If we're going to push the start date on the game back to March 12 (day of the NH Primary), wouldn't we have to push it back to February 24 (the day of the Oklahoma GOP Convention/Caucuses), or post-date them to the 12th?

I did make a copy of the scenario, set the primary start date back to February 19, and got the error fixed.

Edited by Mr. November

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If we're going to push the start date on the game back to March 12 (day of the NH Primary), wouldn't we have to push it back to February 24 (the day of the Oklahoma GOP Convention/Caucuses), or post-date them to the 12th?

I did make a copy of the scenario, set the primary start date back to February 19, and got the error fixed.

Son of a… I forgot about Oklahoma.

Ok. How about this:

Game starts Feb 24th and NH is already set: all candidates have 100% of their voters committed to them. This means you just pretend HHH is LBJ's out doing stuff crusader until March 31st. Likewise RFK's poll positions and doing stuff are him testing the waters rather then actually being there.

RFK gets hit with -100 momentum every week (the did not challenge Johnson series of events) until he enters on March 16th. This prevents him from doing anything that will have an effect.

All Dem. player fortunes are set to 0 at the start, and Republicans have a small amount to start. However fundraising is at ~300,000 a week so you should be able to recover fast. (If Dev Team tells me of a way to separate fundraising from fundraisers, I'll set fundraising to zero and fundraisers to 1-2 million so money is no longer CP/EP free and it becomes a major factor to think about).

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Thought I had figured out a fix, but the error is only showing up on the Democratic side. Republican side is OK. Haven't tried AIP.

Oh BTW, the Democratic convention is marked as taking place in Los Angeles.

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Convention fixed.

I've also upped the costs on everything. Barnstorming costs a hundred grand (plane in, plane out, staff, event set-up, etc…) and everything else is pretty expensive too.

Hopefully the cost of doing business will wipe out background fundraising and force players to hold fundraisers.

The game is designed for a modern scenario where 90% of money is spent on ads. 1968 spent rather more on other stuff. If I could I'd double the power of footsoldiers but make them cost money but, alas, I don't think you can.

Anyway, 0.72 is now rolling out for beta testing. I have no idea what the difference between 0.67/0.7 and 0.68 was so we're still waiting to figure out that error.

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I'd stick with where we had it. 1968 was such a dynamic campaign, that the game engine simply doesnt support having the whoel campaign covered. I would recommend leaving New Hampshire out, despite the fact it was an amazing feat by the McCarthy people.

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Playing as RFK, despite the momentum issues, I'm actually picking up delegates in NH. Amazing considering I'm not even barnstorming or running ads, just fundraising.

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I'd stick with where we had it. 1968 was such a dynamic campaign, that the game engine simply doesnt support having the whoel campaign covered. I would recommend leaving New Hampshire out, despite the fact it was an amazing feat by the McCarthy people.

Urk, too late now, but I agree with you in general—but I'm trying to get it error free.

However what I've done is locked 100% of each candidates voters to the committed stance in NH. Combined with zero money at the start, and the high cost of doing business NH won't shift .

Playing as RFK, despite the momentum issues, I'm actually picking up delegates in NH. Amazing considering I'm not even barnstorming or running ads, just fundraising.

He's there to fill in the gap between Humphrey's 49 and McCarthy's 42 (theoretically) but I'll raise the threshold to 30 so he won't get delegates.

However I just let out 0.72 so 0.73 will have to wait upon tomorrow and wider feedback.

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Instead of allowing for the type of campaigning seen in '68, it rewards sitting back, holding lots of fundraisers, and spending that money on ads.

Case in point, I'm at June 8 right now. Kennedy has 53% national support after McCarthy OFFERED RFK his endorsement in mid-May. Due to holding several fundraisers per week, RFK (who I'm playing as here) has $28.3 million in the bank, while my closest competitor, Humphrey, has slightly $2 million. I'm running 4 radio ads in all remaining primary states: Leadership/Kennedy, Leadership/HUMPHREY, Vietnam/Kennedy, and Vietnam/HUMPHREY.

I'm going to see what the impact is for other candidates, but right now it appears as though the fundraising power of the candidates should be lessened, otherwise the human player beats the hell out of the AI.

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Yeah, but instead of allowing for the type of campaigning seen in '68, it rewards sitting back, holding lots of fundraisers, and spending that money on ads.

Case in point, I'm at June 8 right now. Kennedy has 53% national support after McCarthy OFFERED RFK his endorsement in mid-May. Due to holding several fundraisers per week, RFK (who I'm playing as here) has $28.3 million in the bank, while my closest competitor, Humphrey, has slightly $2 million. I'm running 4 radio ads in all remaining primary states: Leadership/Kennedy, Leadership/HUMPHREY, Vietnam/Kennedy, and Vietnam/HUMPHREY.

I'm going to see what the impact is for other candidates, but right now it appears as though the fundraising power of the candidates should be lessened, otherwise the human player beats the hell out of the AI.

Argh. Stupid unintended consequences.

I'm thinking, roughly, that increasing the cost of ads while making them less powerful would help that.

Secondly we'll make fundraisers use a lot of CP/EP so that you can't hold more then one a week.

Anyway, the next beta release won't be for a little while as we work everything on out. We'd also like to give Reagan/Rockefeller a shot on the Republican side and bring in a better balanced LBJ on the Democratic side.

As for now my advice is simply limit yourself to one fundraiser every week or two weeks. You're only cheating yourself :)

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Argh. Stupid unintended consequences.

I'm thinking, roughly, that increasing the cost of ads while making them less powerful would help that.

Secondly we'll make fundraisers use a lot of CP/EP so that you can't hold more then one a week.

Anyway, the next beta release won't be for a little while as we work everything on out. We'd also like to give Reagan/Rockefeller a shot on the Republican side and bring in a better balanced LBJ on the Democratic side.

As for now my advice is simply limit yourself to one fundraiser every week or two weeks. You're only cheating yourself :)

Lol, fair enough, but what about making fundraisers a 50 pt. activity or something, or would that have too large of a hit on the Computer (AI) player?

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Lol, fair enough, but what about making fundraisers a 50 pt. activity or something, or would that have too large of a hit on the Computer (AI) player?

You mean energy points (EP)? Because that's what I'm thinking.

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