Jump to content
270soft Forum

United Kingdom - 1997


Rate this Scenario  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Rate this Scenario

    • 5/5 - Excellent
      3
    • 4/5 - Very Good
      8
    • 3/5 - Good
      2
    • 2/5 - Okay
      0
    • 1/5 - Poor
      1


Recommended Posts

A new scenario is now up:

"United Kingdom - 1997" - United Kingdom 1997, by Christian

You can go to the Prime Minister Forever Updates/Scenarios page to download this scenario.

Please note: this is a third-party scenario - 80soft did not make this scenario.

The 80soft.com Team

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Christian
3. Do I detect a slight pro Labour bias?

100% NOT.

I actually tried to slant it toward the tories for the simple reason, it would be unplayable otherwise. Remember it was 97, everything was going against the tories. It was difficult to get the right balance without effecting the realism too much.

4. Why is the BNP getting an election broadcast connected to welfare?

Must have been an error I made in the events file. Not too important though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3. Do I detect a slight pro Labour bias?
With the huge ammount of biases in your scenarios, you'd think that everything that doesn't paint the image of the Conservatives in amazing light is "biased".

Anyway, the scenario is good. However, I got an error when trying to play it in PMF:C after a few turns.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked this one. It was challenging (I still haven't been able to do better than holding Tony to a minority government when playing as the Tories) and you seem to have struck a pretty good balance between realism and playability.

Some of the photos and logos were a bit rough, but that's purely asthetic. I'll keep playing this one for quite some time. Great job Christian!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job overall. Can't say too much bad about it, but achieving the Tories goal will keep any experience PM4E player busy for awhile. I have brought them to a 34-32 win over Labour, but still with 274 seats to Labour's 305, remain condemned to a strong opposition status. Still trying though.

I think the attributes for endorsers was pretty fair overall, but the only thing I might've done different would have been to weight endorsers such as The Guardian, and Daily Mail a bit more heavily perhaps (+31 momentum?, and +16 momentum for just about anything other than Sun, Daily Mail, or Guardian, but bear in mind that I'm in the USA, and those would be the only 3 British papers that I could name off the top of my head, and I'd consider all others to be medium or minor sized in comparison), but it's all stuff that anyone should be able to live with.

One thing I was mildly surprised at was that you didn't place optional Labour leaders in the scenario, such as John Smith (if he hadn't died), or Gordon Brown (more plausible, in a Granita-reversal scenario), but I'm just nitpicking now.

Overall, it's a challenging scenario with what I feel accurately represents the 1997 political environment, and I will be playing this for a long time to come. Great Job! 5/5.

EDIT: I played again, and won the popular vote 36-33 as the Tories, and lost the House of Commons 299-302, but with the Ulster Unionists on my side, that made it 305-302 Tories, so John Major could form a minority gov't. I went after Liberty and the other endorser that is decided Labour and won those early, figuring that that creates a 1.5m pound fundraising advantage towards the Tories, then attacked both LibDem and Labour over Single Currency, then dug up a high-damage scandal on Blair's integrity, despite the fact that my spy was caught, and released it the Friday before the election. Spun that all week, and released a NATO attack ad along with Single Currency all against Blair on Wed. Not a play-by-play so much, but just to say that it can be done.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Christian

Thanks very much for the kind words dr november and ronnie.

I'm shocked somebody pulled it off with the tories, I thought it would be near enough impossible. However I did consider that, the reason I tried to take advantage of the 'swing seats' of which there were quite a few that labour just won. Coupled with that was the pretty high undecided vote and of course it helped being a long campaign.

I may well carry on with the 92 scenario, which I think you will enjoy much much more because of how the potential for it to go either way made it exciting and 'open'.

But it will likely take me several months, because I am changing the map and then of course all the other things that go along with it.

I would ask very kindly if anyone who experiences errors could specify them as much as possible to enable me or anyone else who knows there way around the scenario folder to correct it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something strange about playing an election game where the Prime Minister's starting position is defending less than 200 seats and his objective throughout the game is to improve on this position. This can be the backdrop when the ridings data used for a scenario is the election data from that election rather than the previous election. Such is the case with UK 1997. The alternative would have been to use events in the campaign to reflect the movement of opinion between 1992 data and 1997 data.

Ignoring that realism problem, it is perhaps more worthwhile to evaluate this scenario purely as a game. Some scenarios can throw up quirks where for no explicable reason, there is a swing to one party during the campaign. This fortunatly did not happen here. I was able to play the game, see what worked, make changes and see the effect of those changes. I've played this once. For the record, I ended up with 346 Labour, 240 Tory and 37 LDs. The SNP did well and the Tories better than in reality.

Graphics

These are well put together with some nice new issue graphics that other scenario creators can pinch. It is good to see player photographs mostly from that period used.

Candidates

The 'Grey' Major is given a Charisma rating of 3 which is perhaps a little high and a debating rating of 4 which is certainly too high. Some might argue that his Leadership rating of 4 is too high but then his Integrity rating of 3 could be higher.

The untried Blair with no government experience or election leading experience still is given an experience rating of 3. However his debating rating is probably too low at 3.

Ashdown's Integrity rating is marked down as 3 but then he needs to be marked down on something to even out the three leaders. There is a blip on his biography which means the text makes no sense. Action Man Paddy is only given a Stamina rating of 3. How tired can you get after 9 seconds? ;)

The Greens, who have been around since the 1970s only got an established party rating of 2 (the same as the newly created Referendum Party) which made them weaker. Likewise, the SNP and Plaid had a rating of 3 even though they both go back to the 1920s.

Platforms

This was well put together with some good issues chosen and well presnted. There were some oddities though.

Devolution doesn't include seperate Independence platform but a confusing centre left platform. On the used options Lib Dems should be left not centre left.

Minimum Wage; Labour should be to the left of Lib Dems on this issue, not to the right in my view.

Welfare State; Lib Dems should be centre left not left.

Environment; Plaid should be at least centre left not centre. Remember they elected a joint Plaid/Green MP at this election.

Constitutional Reform; Tories should probably be more to the right.

Endorsers

The FT leaning Labour? More realistic to be left open. Ah, the Metro, well done. The Mirror is probably more influential than this. The Spectator? Might as well have added The New Statesman, Private Eye and Liberator! 4 Scottish papers with too much influence. Most of the endorsers are leaning rather than open which makes this less interesting. I would be inclined to leave more endorsers open, I know it is less realistic but it's a game not reality. There is a treat for the player who likes to maximise endorsements; 3 endorsers offer money as well as momentum. A main 3 player can with care, pinch the money that was planned to go to the other two.

Ridings

Rochdale is wrongly placed in the North East, but 80soft have always got that wrong. There is not much variety in the Candidates strength, for instance, Jimmy Goldsmith has a 2 rating. This means that most results more or less follow a national/regional swing. I think that if candidates strengths are lowered as a whole, it means that a players target strategy becomes more important and results can vary more from seat to seat.

Control Points

The Lib Dems get 4 each go compared with Tory and Lab 5. For the Lib Dems, 4 control points are required to spin 100% rather than 3.

Events

Extra effort has gone into numerous events. These did not always seem to affect anything but made the Political Times worth reading.

Adverts

If you, like me, spend the time to budget your campaign so that by the end you will have as close to £0 as possible, you would probably be upset if you ended the campaign like I did, with £500,000 unspent. The reason; no ads on polling day. It is an option but one that most creators don't use. So beware when budgetting.

Conclusion

UK 1997 is a scenario in which the big question 'Who will become PM' is probably and correctly answered before the game starts. If it produced any other outcome, the scenario would be seriously undermined. UK 1997 will therefore never be as much fun as say UK 1992, UK 1974 (which I am working on) UK 1951, UK 1929 etc. However, it needed to be done and it needed to be done well. Thanks to Christian, it has been.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Christian

Fantastic review graem, I can take an awful lot from that. You got it spot on.

Thanks for the kind words, and look forward to your historical scenarios.

Link to post
Share on other sites

About establishment ratings, I typically use them simply to define media coverage of a party. "Major" parties, those seen as the three main contenders for votes, I put as "5". I usually dock the "third" party leaders (ie LibDems or NDP) on "leadership" to show that the two other parties are those up for the PMship. I give Canadian minor parties, when I put them in, ones, and I gave the Greenies a 3, I think. I couldn't personally judge for Britain, but I'd work with what the media gives them to grade their "establishment" ratings.

The examples given in the German scenario are interesting..."5"s for the two parties competitng for the Chancellorship, 3 for the three other major parties.

You can't really go by age, IMO, because I find that kind of a loose definition. Technically, the LibDems are older than Labour, but we wouldn't rate them higher, eh?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume that something called an establishment rating was originally designed to give weight to a political party's historical voter loyalty in which case how long a party has been in existance is as good a guide as any. However, I think I agree with your approach to establishment ratings given that this does affect spinning and control points. I can't say that I agree with docking a point on Leadership to non PM contenders but I suppose if it makes your scenario work better, then fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Christian,

I have just started playing this scenario and got the following error message after four turns and was related to the Single Currency issue which is one of the three issues as a Conservative I had as a theme ;

"Error in adBox::getNumAdMaking" which was then followed by

"List index out of bounds (-1)"

I was also producing an ad on Law and Order which was due to finish on this turn.

The game looks good so far - just one quick observation. In the starting text you spell Labour without the "u".

Will try again and if I can get through a whole game will post a full review for you.

Hi,

I just started a new game and did everything the same but this time after 3 turns the following messages came up;

---------------------------

error in TONYintArray::isNumCellWithinBounds

---------------------------

TONYintArray::incrementValue

---------------------------

OK

---------------------------

---------------------------

error in TONYintArray::isNumCellWithinBounds

---------------------------

TONYintArray::getValue

---------------------------

OK

---------------------------

Hope this helps with your trouble shooting

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guy,

I get that error message a lot in anything but P4E, and one thing I've tried is to press down on the enter key and click the 'Done Turn' button, and keep the enter key pressed until the noise stops and the next turn begins. For me, it works about 95% of the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guy,

I get that error message a lot in anything but P4E, and one thing I've tried is to press down on the enter key and click the 'Done Turn' button, and keep the enter key pressed until the noise stops and the next turn begins. For me, it works about 95% of the time.

Thanks, I will try that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3. Do I detect a slight pro Labour bias?

It's 1997

UK 1997 will therefore never be as much fun as say UK 1992, UK 1974 (which I am working on) UK 1951, UK 1929 etc. However, it needed to be done and it needed to be done well. Thanks to Christian, it has been.

I'm working on 1992. Do you want to help?

Great scenario. Very carefully done. i know that its hard for us with 650 (approx) consitituencies. Not like some of those lazy P4E scenarios with just 50 states and 4 candidates.

Personnaly I would have given Major some lower ratings (because of peoples perceptions rather than his actual capabilities) and I would have given him 2 for integrity. NOT because he's not trustworthy but because of all the sleaze. This is a problem with the PM4E engine:- you can't give ratings for the parties. (I did have an idea for this in the game feature ideas section but 80soft never responded.

N E way. great scenario, we are very pleased with what you've done and I hope that you are aswell.

These are well put together with some nice new issue graphics that other scenario creators can pinch.

oh yes

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
A new scenario is now up:

"United Kingdom - 1997" - United Kingdom 1997, by Christian

You can go to the Prime Minister Forever Updates/Scenarios page to download this scenario.

Please note: this is a third-party scenario - 80soft did not make this scenario.

The 80soft.com Team

Hi Christian,

Apologies if you have responded to my question on another posting, but...I'm having difficulty in getting the candidate editor to work for your (great) scenario. Any ideas?

ps Have you any others in the pipeline? I'm really wanting a chance to thrash Thatch in 79, but also interested in other historical British scenarios. As a Lib Dem supporter I suppose I'd like the chance to be on the winning side for a change (!?!) How about Campbell-Bannerman!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the most exciting ways of playing this scenario is with Major, simply to see just how successful you can be. It's immensely difficult to pick up more than 230-ish seats, which is great, because it presents a good challenge and is very realistic (basically, the Tories actually getting 230 seats in 1997 would have been considered a very acceptable defeat for them, I think).

I have managed to get a Major minority government on one occasion. It was largely down to events, though. Halfway through a very convenient high-profile Ashdown scandal effectively removed the Lib Dems from the race (they ended up with 20 seats on election night) giving the Tories a lot of the seats in the South East. Plus, the SNP had an above-average performance, netting some Scottish seats that would have helped Labour. I found a good issue to focus on with Major was Constitutional Reform - it seemed to help him a lot.

Anyway, it ended up with the Tories on 301 seats, and Labour on 300! The Tories narrowly won the popular vote and got invited to form a minority government with the UUP. That particular game of PM4E was really tense but a great finish and thoroughly enjoyable to play.

Great scenario.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the most exciting ways of playing this scenario is with Major, simply to see just how good a defeat you can get, and if you can narrowly squeeze into minority government position. It's immensely difficult to pick up more than 230-ish seats, which is great, because it presents a good challenge and is very realistic (basically, the Tories actually getting 230 seats in 1997 would have been considered a very acceptable defeat for them, I think).

I have managed to get a Major minority government on one occasion. It was largely down to events, though. Halfway through the game a very convenient high-profile Ashdown scandal that refused to go away for weeks effectively removed the Lib Dems from the race (they ended up with 20 seats on election night) giving the Tories a lot of the seats in the South West. Plus, the SNP had an above-average performance, netting some Scottish seats that would have helped Labour. I found a good issue to focus on with Major was Constitutional Reform - it seemed to help him a lot.

Anyway, it ended up with the Tories on 301 seats, and Labour on 300! The Tories narrowly won the popular vote and got invited to form a minority government with the UUP. That particular game of PM4E was really tense but a great finish and thoroughly enjoyable to play.

Great scenario.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Guest Christian

Just thoughtn I'd let you know, I've fixed one paticular error in the 'events' file and have sent the update to 80 soft.

I suspected errors in there, and I think that will massively remove the errors in the scenario. B

But still, anyone that still plays it, or has done so for the first time that encounters errors, I'd be awfully greatful if you could give a detailed account of it. How else will I learn?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

There is something strange about playing an election game where the Prime Minister's starting position is defending less than 200 seats and his objective throughout the game is to improve on this position. This can be the backdrop when the ridings data used for a scenario is the election data from that election rather than the previous election. Such is the case with UK 1997. The alternative would have been to use events in the campaign to reflect the movement of opinion between 1992 data and 1997 data.

Ignoring that realism problem, it is perhaps more worthwhile to evaluate this scenario purely as a game. Some scenarios can throw up quirks where for no explicable reason, there is a swing to one party during the campaign. This fortunatly did not happen here. I was able to play the game, see what worked, make changes and see the effect of those changes. I've played this once. For the record, I ended up with 346 Labour, 240 Tory and 37 LDs. The SNP did well and the Tories better than in reality.

Graphics

These are well put together with some nice new issue graphics that other scenario creators can pinch. It is good to see player photographs mostly from that period used.

Candidates

The 'Grey' Major is given a Charisma rating of 3 which is perhaps a little high and a debating rating of 4 which is certainly too high. Some might argue that his Leadership rating of 4 is too high but then his Integrity rating of 3 could be higher.

The untried Blair with no government experience or election leading experience still is given an experience rating of 3. However his debating rating is probably too low at 3.

Ashdown's Integrity rating is marked down as 3 but then he needs to be marked down on something to even out the three leaders. There is a blip on his biography which means the text makes no sense. Action Man Paddy is only given a Stamina rating of 3. How tired can you get after 9 seconds? ;)

The Greens, who have been around since the 1970s only got an established party rating of 2 (the same as the newly created Referendum Party) which made them weaker. Likewise, the SNP and Plaid had a rating of 3 even though they both go back to the 1920s.

Platforms

This was well put together with some good issues chosen and well presnted. There were some oddities though.

Devolution doesn't include seperate Independence platform but a confusing centre left platform. On the used options Lib Dems should be left not centre left.

Minimum Wage; Labour should be to the left of Lib Dems on this issue, not to the right in my view.

Welfare State; Lib Dems should be centre left not left.

Environment; Plaid should be at least centre left not centre. Remember they elected a joint Plaid/Green MP at this election.

Constitutional Reform; Tories should probably be more to the right.

Endorsers

The FT leaning Labour? More realistic to be left open. Ah, the Metro, well done. The Mirror is probably more influential than this. The Spectator? Might as well have added The New Statesman, Private Eye and Liberator! 4 Scottish papers with too much influence. Most of the endorsers are leaning rather than open which makes this less interesting. I would be inclined to leave more endorsers open, I know it is less realistic but it's a game not reality. There is a treat for the player who likes to maximise endorsements; 3 endorsers offer money as well as momentum. A main 3 player can with care, pinch the money that was planned to go to the other two.

Ridings

Rochdale is wrongly placed in the North East, but 80soft have always got that wrong. There is not much variety in the Candidates strength, for instance, Jimmy Goldsmith has a 2 rating. This means that most results more or less follow a national/regional swing. I think that if candidates strengths are lowered as a whole, it means that a players target strategy becomes more important and results can vary more from seat to seat.

Control Points

The Lib Dems get 4 each go compared with Tory and Lab 5. For the Lib Dems, 4 control points are required to spin 100% rather than 3.

Events

Extra effort has gone into numerous events. These did not always seem to affect anything but made the Political Times worth reading.

Adverts

If you, like me, spend the time to budget your campaign so that by the end you will have as close to £0 as possible, you would probably be upset if you ended the campaign like I did, with £500,000 unspent. The reason; no ads on polling day. It is an option but one that most creators don't use. So beware when budgetting.

Conclusion

UK 1997 is a scenario in which the big question 'Who will become PM' is probably and correctly answered before the game starts. If it produced any other outcome, the scenario would be seriously undermined. UK 1997 will therefore never be as much fun as say UK 1992, UK 1974 (which I am working on) UK 1951, UK 1929 etc. However, it needed to be done and it needed to be done well. Thanks to Christian, it has been.

Just a few corrections...

Labour began with a 30% lead over major being reduced to 13% by the end of the campaign.

I'm guessing Major had low integrity because the of the sleaze ridden disgrace that was the Tory party throughout the 90's.

I agree his leadership + charisma is too high.

The Financial times did endorse Labour in that election despite being a 'centrist paper'.

Labour wanted a minimum wage but were prepared to be patient for it whereas the Liberals were much more left-wing party at the time.

Admittedly you are correct with Rochdale. this is now fixed though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...