VIKTORY rule: Vassal possibilities

February 4, 2006

In a recent VIKTORY game, I nearly annihilated an opponent in the first 10
minutes.  Since it was his second game, I didn't want to knock him out of the
5-player game that early.  I told him if he'd leave me alone and go his way,
that I would go mine.  He did, but everyone joked that he was my vassal.  He
ended up becoming as strong as me and vied with me at the end in a clash of the
titans, ultimately winning despite losing his capital to me at one point (he
promptly took it back).

That got me thinking though.  The biggest complaint about VIKTORY is that it
involves player elimination.  I had already decided that a good optional rule
would be to state:

"When the first player gets eliminated, the player with the most towns/cities
is the winner."

This has the benefit of no player elimination and also changes some of the
dynamics because you don't want to eliminate a player unless you're the
dominant player and will win due to the game end.

However, this "vassal" discussion might have merit.  I thought up the following
set of rules, which would also eliminate the player elimination "problem" and
might be a good set of rules in and of itself.  What do y'all think:

VIKTORY Vassal Rules

Upon taking an opponent's capital, that opponent becomes your vassal and enters
a forced alliance with you.  The effects are:

1. You must immediately move all units out of your vassal's capital into an
adjacent land hex or onto adjacent frigates.

2. The capital town/city remains under the control of your opponent, who may
reinforce it on their following turn. 

3. Your vassal may not move any units into a hex adjacent to one of your
towns/cities without your permission.

4. Your vassal may not attack any of your towns/cities/units without your

5. You may freely attack your vassal's units (not in a town/city) at any time,
without breaking the forced alliance.  Your vassal's units defend as usual.

6. You may break the forced alliance at any time by attacking one of your
vassal's towns/cities.  This frees the vassal from all restrictions.

7. If your capital is lost to another player, all of your vassals are freed
from their alliance.

8. If your vassal takes another player's capital, making that player their
vassal, they are freed from their alliance.

A player wins when all other players become their vassals.

This may actually speed the game up.  I added point 8 so that players won't
just sit idle hoping that their liege lord will lose his capital so they can be
"freed".  Point 8 allows a player to still control their own destiny by taking
someone else's capital to free themselves.  What's nice though is that while
they're fighting to get another capital...their liege lord is getting all the
benefits of having a vassal, as that vassal will be out keeping the other
players busy while he racks up spoils of war himself.  By the time the vassal
gets free, the liege lord will likely have other vassals and be nicely
positioned to re-vassalize the old vassal once more.