Rainbow Trade Aliance


Some folks have joined the next 64 player game and are not being shy about the fact that they will be working together. I call them the Rainbow Trade Alliance.

We need players to sign up and smash them to dust as soon as the game starts.


Users leaving :(
Game ethos discussion - propping and ally for the win

As a member of the “Trade Federation” depicted above, Jay is correct in that we have not been shy about the fact that we are intentionally working together. We have joined the game early, named ourselves identically, and intentionally taken the “Star” symbol specifically so that we are randomly scattered throughout all quadrants of the galaxy. We have intentionally avoided using separate symbols, and non-identical player names in an effort to hide our collaborative effort, which I should note isn’t directed at winning the game or making the top three, but rather testing theories of game play and strategy as a long term project that has run the course of six separate 64 player games.

Had it been our goal to win a 64 player game or indeed ruin one, we would have used one of three other position selection strategies, two of which would have stood a good chance of yielded 5 or 6 players within our alliance, in close proximity to one another, on a map edge or in a single quadrant of the galactic map that might have easily brushed aside the remainder of other players with perhaps a moderate amount of effort. The third method guarantees a game winning position for 8 cooperative players almost 100% of the time (4 players are often enough to ensure this result), but we have never felt the need to test this model to game end.

Our interest in the now forming 64 player game is to explore the effects of a more technologically driven game, with a field of players who are for all intents and purposes neutral militarily but driven to defuse technology across the map as widely as possible, even across competing alliances of players. Will such technology sharing hasten or slow a game win for example? If a lead alliance never has a clear and growing weapons/manufacturing advantage, can smaller players in larger alliances compete? How will higher levels of technology even for smaller players effect play? These are some of the things we look forward to exploring in the game. Indeed, we had not even planned on the purchasing of industry infrastructure prior to your announcement of “smash them to dust”, but we will leave it to players in game to make up their own minds whether to summarily execute any Trade Federation Players they find on our their borders. We will be easy enough victims without hordes of fleets, however, aggressive alliances my find themselves holding the short end of the technological stick should we find benefactors who can look beyond the narrow view point of “kill them all” you yourself have endorsed. We will see you all in game.


Pride cometh before the fall…Neptune’s Pride that is :wink:

And some of my friends call me arrogant! 8 good players in a premade alliance have a decent chance at any 64 player game, you arent exactly forging new ground there. And to declare you can “guarantee a game winning position…almost 100% of the time…for 4 players” is stretching even constructive arrogance to the extreme.

Kudos for approaching the game in an organized, intelligent and thoughtful manner, but in my opinion, you might do with toning down your apparent attitude of having won NP2.


What you describe as arrogance, I view as simple observation, observation from having intimately followed the progress of perhaps a dozen 64 player games, and then testing of hypothesis in perhaps half as many. It was in fact the watching of an 8 player premade alliance stride away with one of the first games I played that prompted this project, an exploration of the critical requirements to win in 64 player games as they are currently configured. Since then I’ve challenged the observation of another player who stated, “a single player, playing three accounts could win 25% of the time,” with “winning” at the time not being clearly defined, I assume having 1 position end in he top 3.

A single player has a 1/64 chance of winning, basically 1.56% per position. On average 10 players go AFK by the second or third day (the range being 8-12), so that percentage is actually better, maybe closer to 2%, and this is a nice round number to go with, chances of going to the top 3 = 6%. If you play 2 positions = 12%, if you play 3 positions = 18%. If there is a positional advantage, this percentage is multiplied by 1.5 for each such advantage.

A positional advantage is having start positions in close enough proximity to interact with one another, typically either by being side by side allowing a tech exchange and mutual military aid, or by bracketing a potential victim who then has to defend two fronts from a planned group assault against their victim neighbor. This is effectively a force multiplier.

Thus two side by side positions give you an 18% change to “win” (12%1.5), and 3 side by side positions give you (18%1.51.5) or a 63% chance to enter the top 3. As the multiplicity of positions expands, so does one’s chances of being able to pull off a win. When applied to 4 positions, 81% win chance (24% When applied to 5 positions (30%*1.5(4)), 151% chance to win. This is born out in both observational data, and in group play, at least in my experience.

For simplicity I’ve included no discussion regarding player quality, but I think my point is made. If I hand pick players, who start 8 positions, but then abandon half of them playing only 4 accounts, that team can win close to 100% of the time. Call that arrogance if you like, but I find myself thinking such an exercise would be in a word boring.


I find the debate interesting and I just have some side comments/questions.

  • Perhaps just me personally, but I consider winning to be winning, as in taking first. For me, second and third might be called placing, showing, ranking, podium, etc. Not a big deal, just saying.

  • Are you admitting or endorsing multiple accounts as viable in this strategy of yours? I hope not since this is cheating and while not entirely enforcable, its still an invalid tactic in my opinion with regard to any winning strategy.

  • Regarding your observational data (and your hopefully not having multiple/alternate accounts) – I’ve looked at that 64 game leaderboard and I see almost nothing in the way of victories, rank or renown in your trade federation players. In fact, virtually all of the accounts look a game old or so. Are these the same players you’ve been playing games with, experimenting, and/or testing your winning hypothesis? I would expect more victories, rank and renown if so.

  • I think there is certainly room for your analysis, but it really is oversimplification imo…And this is from someone who has actually earned their conqueror badge mind you. At the risk of sounding arrogant myself, but for the sake of example – I’ve played exactly two 64 player games (achieving a 2nd and a 1st place). The first one I knew absolutely no-one and I took 2nd. The second game, I knew 4 ppl, none of which gave me a positional advantage, all of which were playing for themselves first and not for the group, and only 2 of which even made it into mid-game…and I won that second 64 game. So please run through your purely by the numbers approach and tell me just how much luck I must have had to achieve this record? Surely I’m somewhere well below half a percent? Should I buy a lottery ticket?!?

Of course I tease, and sure there was a lot of luck, but point being it isnt all in the numbers and you cant ignore skill, diplomacy, reputation, connections, past game experiences with players, personal knowledge of players, tribal knowledge or rumor/gossip knowledge of players, etc. These are people playing this game, and generally intelligent ones. They can be erratic, complex, unpredictable, communicative, adaptive from game to game and also adaptive to each other. Again, I find your analysis and thought process rather engaging, and certainly not altogether wrong. But to me, your approach seems more akin to mice in a maze than a complex human system, and the analysis can’t be taken at full face value.


I would agree with your view of “winning”.

I would not admit to nor endorse the use of multiple accounts. I however think the use of such tactics is wide spread, more so then anyone would like to admit, perhaps even Jay himself. The ISP warning would go off in every 64 player game played in the last 3 months I imagine, were it turned on. From the administrative standpoint, this might well be the path of least resistance. Multi-account users are easy to spot I think when you know what to look for. They generally are non-responsive even to allies, rarely engage in diplomacy in depth, and have what might be described as lethargic game play.

A “typical” player has a non-premium account, and is thus playing in a maximum of two games. To these two games he devotes all his attention, and thus maximizes his play and position. Such players are bound to out perform their multi-tasking counter parts on a position by position basis. A typical multi-account user is dividing this same amount of attention across multiple accounts, so play is bound to suffer.

Because of the nature of the study being conducted, accounts used in data production have been artificially kept generic. In the event that a large amount of rank or renown were obtained, an account would be abandoned, and replaced with a “new” one. In the event that a “win” might result,

So the analysis goes much deeper then I’ve depicted here, there are several types of positional advantage for example, being a core, edge, or corner player, the first generally having the least advantage and the later two the most. Positional advantage is also overstated for example purposes, generally the force multiplier is slightly lower, perhaps in the real of 1.34-1.37. Having a AFK or QUIT player on your border is also such an advantage, though less significant. Quality of start position isn’t factored in, nor is player quality.

Player quality is rather subjective, generally I would rate players in two areas, frequency of game attendance, and diplomacy. The first factor is simply how many times in a cycle does a player log into his account to view his position, issue orders, build, file fleets orders, and conduct diplomacy. The second rating is how many times in a cycle does a player engage in communication with anyone else. 0-1 = poor, 1-2 average, 3-4 good, 5 or more exceptional.


That’s some interesting analysis uberpenpal - I hope you will continue to post your findings.

Mixed feelings about using your Rainbow Trade Alliance to test your theories - seems a bit unfair to the other players … but then again, since you clearly labeled 'em - I’m curious how that game will develop. It’s possible many players won’t even notice/realize/care and once you are able to get an upper hand, there may not be enough motivated players to defeat 'ya. Please do report back how this game progresses.

I wonder how you would do in a Premium only game with more serious players … per Valhallan’s comments, it sounds like most/all of those accounts are newly created ones (?)

Speaking of which, I hope you have paid for Premium. Seems only fair that if you are going to use Jay’s NP Galaxy for testing purposes, you should chip in a few bucks! :wink:

BTW, have we ever played before? The Jolly Green Giant (HULK) is hard to miss in a game …
And HEY, when/if we fire up team-based games again, gather up your Rainbow buddies and we’ll see if we can’t get a group of NP’ers to give 'ya a battle.


People are allowed to have mixed feelings about it, I was blogging on the experiment day by day and was going to post it in one large clump, but being that you’ve asked I’ll update you all in a generic fashion.

Cycle One

I really could not be more pleased with the pattern of starts that we’ve been given. None are side by side, four are in the bottle necks of the map center, with 5 or 6 player positions in the map center, who here after I’ll call the central map powers. Not that they are allied, but there exist good routes of possible tech trade. The Purple Star start I’m now glad we didn’t get, seeing the position played with unhindered neighbors will make for a very interesting game.

The leaderboard say it all. Coffee Reavers the leader at 17 systems, his start is absolutely excellent. Of Trade Federation Members Green and Slug both hold 11 systems these are good starts, Yellow, Orange, and Red all average starts with 9 each, and then Pink and Cyan each with in very poor starts with 5 systems each. Only the 5 AFK players are below them, with 4 systems each. Their starts might have been better developed, but play was and remains very conservative as to not agitate other empires unnecessarily.

The largest difficulty thus far is with (unnamed player), who was warned off taking a border 49 resource value planet that I think (unnamed) Trade Federation would have reached first. Ignoring the warning he ran into a defensive fleet that he knew would be at the planet after his own ships were sent knowing (unnamed TF player) would arrive first. He attempted to negotiate a retreat from said system, and return to spare him the ship and carrier loss, but thinking it a ploy was refused. Already a system worth 35 was left for him that could also have been taken by (unnamed TF player) but wasn’t. Thinking him overly greedy, we expect an attack to develop against the (unnamed) TF position.

Cheating allegations from (unnamed player) have sparked only moderate debate in an early e-mail written by Slug Trade Federation to all Hex and Circle players, of which (unnamed player) is one of.

Most Trade Federation members await communication from outsiders, we don’t initiate contact on the whole. Those that did communicate by day 3 have for the most part exchanged technology, or are close to doing so.


Thanks for the update - hope you keep 'em coming …

Did you want to answer my questions if you are a Premium Player … and have we played before?


I have a lifetime premium membership on my personal account, which I currently play 5 games on. One game is currently testing the new Alliance options Jay just installed. The combat event notice alone makes the update worth while. Three other are 64 player games that are winding down, with all my empires currently in their personal death spirals. The other accounts that are used in the study are all “free” and unlikely to be upgraded in the face of the possibility that they will be deleted without notice, that they have not been I think is reflective of Jay’s perception of their danger to the community as a whole. These accounts are likely to go into disuse, as we are approaching the limits of what we might ethically test in the game without beginning to rob players of well earned 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

However, one game prior to this one had a very interesting narrative that developed, one that if moved to a private game, might prove entertaining to participants, while not threatening the community as a whole, nor endanger 64 player games being ruined.


Personally, I no longer care if it’s one player or not.

You make a huge alliance. All other players ought to seek out your destruction if they plan to win.

~Coffee Reavers


Cycle 2

Little has developed in the way of combat, with most TF members withdrawing their scout fleets to their respective home worlds, now that borders are established. Most non-TF members now have fleets +20 to +60 over all TF members relatively static 100 ship count. This difference is not enough to make any very aggressive yet. Several TF members are now switching from Terraforming to Weapons, as they may be needed for defense in the next 2 or 3 cycles.

Coffee Reavers (+4) to 21 stars he remains the game leader into this cycle.

Several good players round out the top 12 or so, they include…
Gomer 19 stars, Tech Bro 17 stars, Wenatchee 16 stars, Maxxpowa 16 stars, Padre Nick 16 stars, Rosslessness 16 stars, Culprit Se7en 14 stars, Bermuda 14 stars

I know of two of these players by their play, all the rest are communicating with someone I know, or doing something in game to make me notice them. I expect the game winners to be from this group.

Yellow Trade Federation (+2) 13 stars
Red Trade Federation (+5) 13 Stars
Slug Trade Federation (+1) 12 Stars
Green Trade Federation (+1) 12 Stars
Orange Trade Federation (+2) 11 Stars
Cyan Trade Federation 5 Stars
Pink Trade Federation 5 Stars

Edit: The most notable growth comes from Red Trade Federation, who is marching down a line of systems to connect himself to the NE corner of the map. Players here have been especially communicative, or particularly brutal to their neighbors (Rosslessness).


Seeing as you are allied to 3 other players, all of whom own more systems then I do, all of whom you are in contact with, and all of whom are heavily engaging in tech trading (not only internally but with other TF members) it would seem to me, by your own logic, that you pose a much greater danger to players wanting to win then I do. Someone who at best has a theoretical “alliance” with 6 other players, the majority of whom are doomed to die, and none that are particularly driven to win the game for winnings sake.


Cycle 3

The Leaderboard doesn’t show much change…but big changes are occurring in the 3rd cycle. As can be seen Coffee Reavers is on the war path, and has the contested 49 resource value planet under an attack that cannot be adequately defended against.

Coffee Reavers 21 Stars,186 Ships in 8 Carriers
Yellow Trade Federation 15 Stars, 130 Ships in 4 Carriers
Red Trade Federation 15 Stars, 130 Ships in 3 Carriers
Slug Trade Federation 12 Stars, 130 Ships in 5 Carriers
Green Trade Federation 11 Stars,120 Ships in 3 Carriers (loss of 10 ships)
Orange Trade Federation 11 Stars, 122 Ships in 6 Carriers (loss of 8 ships)
Cyan Trade Federation 5 Stars, 130 Ships in 1 Carriers
Pink Trade Federation 5 Stars, 130 Ships in 3 Carriers

While Green and Orange show slight losses of ships due to conflicts with neighbors, at most other players are only in excess of TF members ship counts by +70 to +80, but that is not the case after the build cycle. Following the build cycle, the disparity in industrial capacity is noticeable and telling by the 4th coming cycle statistics that will follow. Some players now have fleets twice or three times the size of the average TF member. With our conservative deployment, neighbors can exploit the presence of defenseless systems, and several systems will be lost by the cycle end. One player is exploiting nicely a non-aggression rule we are playing under, poaching systems from TF members.

Of 7 TF members one is fighting a 2 front war, 2 are entangled in a one way trade alliance, another fights a 1 front war and three appear to be graced with another cycle of peace.

           


Particularly brutal to my neighbours? Some of the time. What can I say? When a player doesn’t respond to my messages ingame, then leaves three worlds with a combined econ of 14 on them entirely undefended it would be a nobler man than me who resists.

I must admit I’m playing differently knowing there’s a mega organised group out there. Tell me, do you have a standard tactical doctrine, or do members make their own judgements?


First, thanks for supporting Jay with a lifetime premium. I’m guessing we probably have played before then - how did those games go?!? :wink:

BTW, I signed up for this game - the Jolly Green Giant would welcome your participation!

I’m confused - what is the “combat event notice” - I’m also LP … is this something new or maybe something that has always been there (?)

P.S. I only recognize Ross’s name on your list of players … and LOL that is he “brutal” … but that’s the nature of the game … he’s SMASHED the HULK a number of times … :wink:


Although never in a turn based game. I just can’t do them.


If I’ve mischaracterized Rosslessness, I’ll say sorry, my perspective in several ways is impeded. Rosslessness is noteworthy for 3 reasons. He is a long term player who has posted on the IHG Forum, is a game contributer (note wizards badge) in having written the description of many of the badges some players have, took the intended 8th slot and proceeded to develop it in ways that we could not. He is now tied in the standings for game lead as cycle 4 starts. Had I not seen 2/3 of these things I’d not have made observations about your play.

The protocol under which all positions have to be played is very confining. Not being able to build industry becoming very telling. The circumstance under which aggressive wars can be fought non-existant almost, and because other players are “gaming” those limitations, those limitations are being removed. Players under obvious and intentional attack, can now do more then just fight defensive wars. The goal now being keeping positions in play for data accumulation.

Now I didn’t know the circumstance of why Rosslessnss attacked his neighbor, but silence is a VERY good reason to do so I think, though attempting to “keep up with the Joneses” might not be a good reason. While it is true we are mega organized, it is basically a bunch of nerds, sitting over a computer with white boards on all 4 walls, with at least 5 other PhD projects going on in other online communities and in the same room. This isn’t for “Science” its for a PhD in Game Theory.

I’m curious as to how your play has changed given the presence of our “mega organized group”, your insight might prove very useful. I’ll share some of my own below.

Cycle 4

Coffee Reavers 23 Stars, 257 Ships in 7 Carriers, 14 steps of technology
Padre Nick 23 Stars, 272 Ships in 4 Carriers, 15 steps of technology
Rosslessness 23 Stars, 282 Ships in 9 Carriers, 12 steps of technology

The top 3 players currently, the first an outspoken opponent, the second an outstanding ally (though neither of us characterize the relationship as such), the third perhaps reacting to a perceived threat. Coffee Reavers has chosen belligerence with Orange Trade Federation, why really isn’t important to me, just that he has chosen war over peace. He has taken a developed 49 value planet relatively easily, and with attacks coming into the rear of Orange has eliminated a potential opponent. I don’t know as of the writing of this posting how that position is developing, however my own position of Slug TF I know well. Here Padre Nick has kept our borders empty, and I’ve responded. This means his fleet strength is elsewhere, obviously taking systems. Also a neighbor to both of us has QUIT, whether because he is mounting attacks against him is anyone’s guess. The quit player mobilized on our border, and I responded, which may have contributed to a weakened front against Padre Nick. Coffee Reavers leveraged war, and PadreNick leveraged peace. The exchanges I’ve had with my other neighbor I cannot comment on. Still the Slug position improves, with me unattacked and picking up a handful of neutral systems to boot.

Red Trade Federation 15 Stars, 160 Ships in 3 Carriers
Yellow Trade Federation (-2) 13 Stars, 155 Ships in 4 Carriers
Slug Trade Federation 12 Stars, 160 Ships in 5 Carriers
Green Trade Federation (-1) 10 Stars, 130 Ships in 3 Carriers
Orange Trade Federation (-1) 10 Stars, 150 Ships in 5 Carriers
Pink Trade Federation 5 Stars ,160 Ships in 3 Carriers
The Enders 4 Stars, 68 Ships in 2 Carriers
Cyan Trade Federation (-1) 4 Stars, 160 Ships in 1 Carriers

Every where else, positions are eroding, and soon to provoke military responses.


In fairness I think I had a good starting position, I was surprised you did not want it.

A cycle 4 update please!


Lets say for a moment that Hexes were picked instead of Stars, there would have been 3 positions in the center north all back to back, with Orange Star between Green Hex. As problematic as the current distribution of systems were, that would have been all the more so. We would have abandoned the game all together, without commenting on why, perhaps to try this pacifistic strategy with 4 positions in maybe two games in the future. That’s why I personally was content not to have acquired such a good position.