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Subject: Rule against shutting down/destroying all of a country's factories rss

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Nathan Larson
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What is the purpose for the rule against shutting down/destroying all of a country's factories? I've never seen a game in which a country was close to being in this situation, but it seems like if it were, then this rule would not really help it much.

There's not a big difference, strategically, to having one unoccupied factory and none. Either way, you're unlikely to have enough power points to move anywhere on the counting chart (thus making it of little value in endgame situations). I guess you could use that last territory as a safe haven to import a bunch of armies and then use them to free some of your other territories from enemy occupation, and/or attack your adversaries with them, perhaps by railroad. But it would some cash and several turns, by which time your opponents would probably realize what you're up to and position their own armies to defend against you.

Theoretically, it might make for a more exciting game if you had to be vigilant to make sure that you don't get totally taken over. However, in practice, I've never seen this rule invoked.
 
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Daniel Corban
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It does seem superfluous. Even one factory being occupied is usually enough to stimulate defensive action by the invested parties. Maybe there were some tested games in which early occupation of both starting factories occurred?
 
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Richard Young
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nathanlarson3141 wrote:
I guess you could use that last territory as a safe haven to import a bunch of armies and then use them to free some of your other territories from enemy occupation, and/or attack your adversaries with them, perhaps by railroad.


I think you've answered your own question. I believe the designers wanted to at least hold out some hope that a country could be revived...
 
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Nathan Larson
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Bubslug wrote:
nathanlarson3141 wrote:
I guess you could use that last territory as a safe haven to import a bunch of armies and then use them to free some of your other territories from enemy occupation, and/or attack your adversaries with them, perhaps by railroad.


I think you've answered your own question. I believe the designers wanted to at least hold out some hope that a country could be revived...


It could be self-defeating, though, to try to revive it in that way. While you're throwing cash and turns into building up a formidable force on that last remaining territory, your opponents can accumulate cash and then buy the flag out from under you. At that point, you're hosed just as badly as if they had simply left the country completely war-ravaged. It might even be worse.

Maybe what it's really about is that they didn't want to have situations where you look at the rondel and think, "Gee, I can tax nothing; I can produce nothing; I have no fleets or armies to maneuver; I don't have enough money to cover the bond payouts; and I have no unoccupied territories to import to or on which to build a factory." That's almost like having one of your men stuck on the bar in backgammon with a prime set up on your opponent's inner table. You can do nothing, so you basically forfeit your turn. People tend to become irate and/or disheartened when that happens (especially when there's money on the game, as there usually is, when I play backgammon).
 
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Patrick S.
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If you have even one factory available, you can at least produce a troop and then liberate your other factories if they are still occupied. In a few of our games, Germany has been beaten down to just one factory. They are basically out of the game bond value-wise, but if it's done early enough, Germany has rebuilt and become a thorn in the side of the player that hosed them.

If all the factories are occupied/destroyed and there isn't enough money in the bank to import/build a factory then that country is entirely useless.
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Jon G
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nathanlarson3141 wrote:

It could be self-defeating, though, to try to revive it in that way. While you're throwing cash and turns into building up a formidable force on that last remaining territory, your opponents can accumulate cash and then buy the flag out from under you. At that point, you're hosed just as badly as if they had simply left the country completely war-ravaged. It might even be worse.


I don't see how you're wasting turns or money by using a thrashed country to attack your enemies... you already own the bonds, so you already own the country's actions. And you can use a production-manuever cycle to hurt your enemies without paying out of pocket. Basically, you have an attack dog that someone else will have to buy if they want to shut it down.
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g s
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I think this is a good rule. Leaving one factory open leaves that country at least slightly viable and makes the game more interesting. If all factories could be occupied it could make it especially hard to counter a strong neighbor. With one factory you can build 3 armies at 'import' and get the country back in the game.

I've now played over 200 games on BSW and from what I've seen, it was a good design decision to not allow all factories to be occupied/destroyed. There is a bug in the BSW implementation that, in some circumstances, and for a couple of countries, allows all factories to be occupied. I've seen players do this a few times, and it really threw the game to a strong neighbor of the neutered country.
 
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Nathan Larson
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Perhaps this rule is to simulate the trench warfare aspect of WWI, in which no matter what the disparity in strength of the opposing forces, they would eventually end up at a standoff, unable to advance any further.
 
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