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[LP CYOA] Let's become a Chaos Overlord (with Rance GWAHAHAHA)

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Jason Liang, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Jason Liang Magister

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    Chaos Overlords is a little-known strategy game classic published by New World Computing in 1996, and deserves to be enshrined in the Codex Playground.

    [​IMG]

    The goal in this game is to seize control of a city full of corruption and injustice... by who else, but the Codex-beloved Ally of Justice himself:

    [​IMG]

    To fully experience this game, we are going to play through Rance's conquest of this city under the following conditions: we (actually, you guys) will play this game IRONMAN and BLIND. First I will introduce the game. After that, each round, you guys will decide Rance's strategy with very little input from me. I will then post the results of the round, and so on until the game ends.

    [​IMG]

    This is the initial set up screen. First we will play on the highest funnest difficulty level, HOMICIDAL MANIAC. The initial set up screen allows us to choose from several victory conditions. For this game, our objective will be 1 Year, ACCEPTANCE.

    The unlimited time victory objectives:
    KILL 'EM ALL: Eliminate the 5 other players completely.
    THE BIG 40: Control 40 sectors.
    SIEGE: Control all 6 HEADQUARTERS.
    ELIMINATE: Kill the 5 other RIGHT HANDS while keeping ours alive.
    BIG MAN: Control the center 4 sectors of the city for a total of 40 weeks.
    ARMAGEDDON: Control all sectors.

    The limited time objectives (Can choose from a game length of 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or 4 years)
    At the end of the time period:
    GREED: Have the most cash.
    ACCEPTANCE: Have the most support (from controlling sites).
    POWER: Control the most sectors.
    DOMINANCE: The most points out of all 3 greed, acceptance and power.

    Acceptance allows us to take over the city using the Support mechanic, which is only used for this objective and dominance. Rance will be recognized as the King of the city by controlling the city's key infrastructure. Greed is probably the most interesting objective, but not well suited for a first time playthrough.

    [​IMG]

    When we start the game, an 8X8 city with 64 sectors is randomly generated. As the red player, Rance begins in control of sector B2, in the northwest corner, where his HEADQUARTERS are located.

    [​IMG]

    Each section has 3 different SITES, out of 22 different possible sites. In addition to Rance's Headquarters, B2 also has a CASINO and a RADIO STATION.

    Each player also starts with one gang, the RIGHT HANDS.

    [​IMG]

    In the lower right corner is our queue of 3 gangs. Gangs are our main agents for defending our sectors, invading enemy sectors, making cash and taking over the city. Each round, we can hire OR dismiss 1 gang from our queue, which then is replaced by a randomly generated gang next round. Then, each round, each gang we've hired can perform one action. Our initial queue is a mixed start with a pretty nice early gang, the DOMINATRIX, a mediocre early gang, the FIGHTING NUNS, and an awful early gang, TEAM STICK MAN (the game Devs actually).

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So each round, we need to help Rance choose which gang to hire or dismiss, where to hire them, and which action each of his gangs will take (what to do, where to move, who to fight).

    Next, we'll take a closer look at Rance's city, the abilities of a gang, and the actions gangs can take.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  2. Jester Arbiter

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    Same thing.
     
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  3. Jason Liang Magister

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    By hitting the Search button, we can customize the map to show more details about Rance's city.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This shows every site in every one of the city's 64 sectors. However, it's pretty difficult to digest, even for Rance's genius brain, so let's do some filtering.

    Like I said previously, each sector contains 3 different sites, from the 22 possible sites. When Rance first gain control of a sector, none of the sites are active, so we first need to use one of Rance's gangs to INFLUENCE the site and bring the site to productivity. Each of the the activated sites will modify the Sector's TOLERANCE, SUPPORT and CASH. Cash is how much cash that sector brings Rance every round. If that income isn't enough, Rance can send a gang to CHAOS: to extort even more money from the people living in the sector, increasing the cash collected next round. However, he must be careful not to increase the sector's income more than the sector's TOLERANCE: if the Tolerance is exceeded, police will crackdown and attack ALL the gangs in the sector. If this happens several times, Rance will lose control of the sector. Finally, SUPPORT is the victory points that determine if Rance will be recognized as the victor. Sites crucial to a city's infrastruture such as HOSPITALS, TEMPLES and CORPORATE TOWERS increase the sector's Support, while fun but seedy sites such as CASINOS and NIGHTCLUBS decrease the sector's Support.

    The three sites in Rance's initial sector: HEADQUARTERS, CASINO and RADIO STATION:

    [​IMG]

    The Headquarters doesn't do much. It increases Tolerance, which means Rance can send more gangs to extort extra cash in this sector.

    [​IMG]

    RESISTANCE measures how difficult it is to Influence the site. 14 is very high, so it will take most gangs several turns to activate a casino. Once activated, the Casino will generate a lot of cash for Rance, but it comes at the cost of lowering Support, hurting Rance's victory point total. Additionally, sites often modify the stats of every gangs stationed there. In this case, the Casino increases the STEALTH of each gang in this sector by 1.

    [​IMG]

    The Radio Station is a pretty useful site, but like the Casino, it has a very high Resistance. Not only does this site increase all 3 of the sector's stats, but it also increases the Detect of gangs by 3, making it much easier for Rance's gangs to spot stealthy enemy gangs like Ninjas trying to sneak into this sector to cause trouble.

    Let's first filter our map to show us the most strategically important sites: the RESEARCH LAB, HOSPITAL and FACTORY.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Perhaps a gang's most defining stat is its TECH LEVEL, which controls what gear the gang can use. Gangs with low TECH LEVEL can only use the most primitive gear like Knives, Pistols and Sneakers, while gangs with a Tech Level of 10 can purchase futuristic weapons such as Force Fields and Plasma Guns. However, most gear must first be Researched before they can be purchased. Any gang can take an action to Research any gear that they can use, but only up to Tech Level 5. To Research Tech Level 6-10, the gang must be at either a RESEARCH LAB or SCIENCE CENTER. A Science Center allows research up to Tech Level 8, while a RESEARCH LAB allows research of every equipment. So, Rance MUST control a Research Lab to outfit his gangs with endgame gear.

    [​IMG]

    Wounded gangs can Heal as their action to recover their FORCE (health/ strength). Force is very important because being wounded reduces the effectiveness of every action; a wounded gang will research and influence very slowly, and deal very little damage when attacking. Newly hired gangs are not at full strength either, so it is a huge advantage to have a Hospital, where the gangs their receive a significant bonus to their Heal stat, allowing them to quickly recover to full strength. Hospitals also provide 4 Support, the highest of all sites.

    [​IMG]

    Gangs can purchase equipment anywhere, but they receive a 30% discount when doing so at a Factory. Since Tech Level 10 gear is extremely expensive, having a Factory is a huge advantage, or else Rance will quickly run out of cash.

    [​IMG]

    Rance is actually very lucky with this map, as he has a Research Lab, Hospital and Factory in his corner of the city. As long as he holds that corner, he wont be completely fucked.

    Next let's filter the map to show us Support, or victory points. There are 6 different sites worth 2 or more Support: Hospitals (4), TEMPLES (3), RADIO STATIONS (2), CLINICS (2), CONDOS (2) and CORPORATE TOWERS (2).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here Rance's position is not so good. While Rance has several Clinics in reach, a Temple, and 2 Radio Stations, making his territory easier to defend, he has little else. So we have to help him go on the offensive and take those juicy corners.

    Next we will look at gangs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  4. Jason Liang Magister

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    They load for me, I don't know what the issue is, so idk how to fix it.

    I'm using postimg.org, can anyone recommend a different image site that doesn't need registering?

    EDIT: I cleared my cache and the images still loaded, so postimg.org seems to be working fine. Can anyone else see the screenshots?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  5. Morkar illiterate

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    I know the game is cool but the pictures aren't showing up for me either in the thread. I have to open the graphics on their own to show up.
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

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    I use the same hosting service. This is your problem:
    The image does not show for me. This is what it is supposed to be like:
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    The issue is that your link http://s13.postimg.org/m6i1ezjud/c012.png actually redirects (everyone else) to http://postimg.org/image/689boupmb/ which is not an image.
    My link to http://s13.postimg.org/qfmrh5n3r/c012.png is a direct one.

    Can you link to the images with direct links?
     
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  7. Jason Liang Magister

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    ACTIONS:

    When we right click on a gang, such as Rance's Right Hands, we can see that a gang can choose from several actions each turn:

    [​IMG]


    In order of significance:

    ATTACK: If there is an enemy gang in the same sector that your gangs in this sector can see (with enough Detect), your gang can attack the enemy gang is their action. Your gang and the enemy gang will normally simultaneously deal damage to each other.

    MOVE: This action will move this gang to an adjacent sector in one of the 8 ordinal directions (gangs can move diagonally).

    CONTROL: Attempts to gain control of this sector if you don't control it already. This will likely fail if there are any enemy gangs present.

    INFLUENCE: Contributes points towards activating a non-active site in a sector you control. Once points equal to the site's Resistance have been accumulated, the site will turn productive.

    CHAOS: The main way for gangs to generate cash for Rance. Basically extortion, this will increase the cash collected from this sector next turn.

    HEAL: A wounded gang will recover and recruit some more members, gaining back some Force (unit health).

    EQUIP: The gang will purchase a piece of equipment that has already been researched.

    RESEARCH: The gang will generate some points towards researching new equipment. When you have accumulated points equal to the equipment's difficulty, your gangs will be able to purchase the equipment from then on.

    Those are the most common actions. The rarely used actions are:

    HIDE: This gang will try to hide from enemy gangs in the same sector. If successful (I think based on Stealth), this gang will negate an attack made by an enemy gang.

    BRIBE: This will temporarily increase the sector's Tolerance, allowing more gangs to Chaos there this turn.

    SNITCH: This will lower the sector's Tolerance, increasing the likelihood of a poh-lice crackdown. You usually use this with a stealthy gang, sneak into a sector controlled by an enemy gang and try to cause a crackdown there (alternatively you could simply Chaos in the enemy sector as well).

    GIVE: Give one of this gang's equipment to a different gang.

    SELL: I've never used this but I assume you sell a piece of equipment.
    TERMINATE: Fires the gang.


    STATS

    [​IMG]

    So this is what the numbers mean:

    INFORMATION
    Force: This is how healthy the gang is, from 0-10. 10 is 100% healthy and 0 is dead.
    Upkeep: This is how much cash you have to pay the gang each turn, or else they disband.
    Tech Level: Maybe the most important stat, this determines what equipment the gang can use, from 0-10.

    STATISTICS:
    Combat: This increases the damage the gang deals in a fight.
    Defense: This reduces the damage the gang takes in a fight.
    Stealth and Detect: A very well designed mechanic, a gang can't be seen if its Stealth is higher than the highest Detect of an enemy gang in this sector. However, each gang in this sector reduces Stealth by 1 and increases Detect by 1 (or something like that). So if there are lots of gangs in the sector it is impossible to sneak in unseen.

    COMMAND SKILLS:
    These stats control how well the gang performs non-fight actions.
    Chaos: Increases income from Chaos.
    Control: Increases likelihood of controlling a sector.
    Heal: Increases health recovered when healing. A gang with negative (red) Heal wont heal any.
    Influence: Increases points generated towards activating a site.
    Research: Increases points generated towards research.

    COMBAT SKILLS:
    These increases the gang's Combat stat depending on what weapon the gang is holding.

    Gangs with a Sword or Knife use Blade
    Gangs with a non-Sword melee weapon (like a Polearm) use Strength
    Gangs with a Gun use Range
    Gangs without a weapon use Fighting+Martial Arts. If the gang has any points in Martial Arts (such as Team Stick Man) and attacks without a weapon, the enemy gang does not deal damage back.

    So for example, the Fighting Nuns would use 6+1 when unarmed, 6+2 with a Pipe, and 6+3 with a Pistol (not including the Weapon's stat bonuses).

    EQUIPMENT:
    Each gang can have up to 3 pieces of gear: a weapon, an armor, and an item. Gear modifies the gang's stats.

    [​IMG]

    For example, the Boom Box is an item that doesn't need to be researched. It is Tech Level 1 so almost every gang can equip it. It gives a slight combat bonus and increases the Chaos the gang can cause, but will reduce both Stealth and Detect by a lot. Can't creep with a boom box yo.

    There are some gear that can be purchased without being researched: Knife, Pipe, Combat Pistol, Leathers, Shock Pads, Cool Hats and Boom Boxes.

    That's basically how the game works. Now its up to you guys. Each turn, we have to help Rance

    1) Hire or dismiss a gang from the queue (including where to place the gang)
    2) Choose an action for each unit

    I'll try to be entertaining and narrate but it'll slow things down. Let me know if you want any more information about the rules or the game state.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  8. Jason Liang Magister

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    I see, I think. I can relink the images, but how do I do it without the image shrinking down to a thumbnail?
     
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  9. MotherMachinae Arcane

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    I would recommend the minus.com, I use that one and have no issue.
    But I have twitter account for sites like this one:M
     
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  10. Azira Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2012
    Borked pics all around.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

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    I don't follow. You use a full-sized picture and you link to it with the {IMG} {/IMG} tags (with square brackets). No shrinking should occur.
     
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  12. Jason Liang Magister

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    ok give me a while to try and fix it
     
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  13. Jason Liang Magister

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    How do you find the direct link from postimg.org?
     
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  14. Nevill Arcane

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    Well, I just clicked on http://postimg.org/image/689boupmb/ and right-clicked on the pic to get the URL. But I assume you, as the uploader, should have access to these links via a menu:
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    Try modifying the very first image in the thread, I'll tell you if it worked.

    Edit: it worked. I can see it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  15. Jason Liang Magister

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    Ok i switched to a different site, not sure how to get the direct link from postimg. I'll fix all the links now.
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

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    Can you explain what is good and bad about these gangs? Team Stick Man has good Stealth and Detect, and decent Chaos&Control. Good for operating in enemy territory, no?

    Where can you see which weapons the gangs use?

    How much the stats influence combat? Is the gang with Combat 2 twice as dangerous as a gang with Combat 1? Why is their Force listed as '??'. Why are some numbers red?

    I propose moving to sector A2, since it has the only Bar&Dance club in the vicinity. Are we Rance or what? Oh, it also has a hospital which we might want to activate.

    Is it better to move several gangs to a single sector (to activate sites more quickly), or to spread them? I mean the beginning.

    How many gangs can we hire? What are our options? How many are optimal for a start?

    What is upkeep? Is it money deduced from Cash? What is our income?

    Is the upkeep of 5 too much? Is it better to dismiss Team Stick Man right away, or is it about average for a gang and you could do worse?
     
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  17. Jason Liang Magister

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    Rance doesn't begin with a lot of cash (20). Team Stick Man would take half of our initial funds to hire (10), has an awful upkeep (5!) and kind of sucks in combat, especially without good equipment. And we're roleplaying Rance so let's hire lots of girl gangs and try not to hire too many dudes.

    They can get any equipment as long as it doesn't exceed their Tech Level. There's a lot of equipment but for now we are limited to basic stuff like Knives etc... I'll follow with a post with the descriptions of the items they have access to, and what they can research.

    Force is ??? because Rance hasn't hired them yet. Right Hands you can see start at full health. Two gangs with equal combat at full health will do about 3-4 damage to each other. Also the Force of the gang is very important, a gang that is almost dead wont do much damage even with superior combat.

    Red numbers are penalties. That's why upkeep is in red. There are a few great gangs that have a green upkeep, which means they make money for you each turn automatically. Nuns for example have a -5 penalty to Chaos, which means they are terrible at making extra income.

    Yeah let's definitely do what Rance what do. It'll be much better.

    We just have the Right Hand for now. The gang we hire this turn can't act until next turn. The most gangs each player can have in a single sector is 6. When invading (and not being stealthy) generally we want to move as many as possible, but it can also be a good idea to be a little cautious and move a stealthy unit in first to check out the defenses.

    It's unlimited how many we can have as long as we can afford to pay them, and we can only hire 1 a turn.

    Upkeep is paid every turn, from our cash. We begin with 20 and right now just make 1 from our sector.

    Well, it's an interesting question, since the Fighting Nuns are pretty mediocre as well.

    a) If we dismiss either the Nuns or Team Stick Man this turn, next turn we can hire Dominatrix in the sector that we move Right Hand to, even though we don't control it. This would essentially save a move.

    b) If we hire Dominatrix this turn, they could act next turn (in our HQ). Then if we find another good gang next turn, we could hire that gang (or the Nuns) in the new sector. If we draw another expensive gang, we could use next turn to dismiss either the Nuns or Stick Man.

    b) is more risky. It could put us in a much better position than a) or a slightly worse position, depending on what gang we draw.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  18. Nevill Arcane

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    'Risky'? We laugh at risk! [​IMG]

    So... The Kunning Plan.
    1) Hire the Dominatrix.
    2) Move the Right Hand to A2.

    3) Optional: Equip the Right Hand with whatever. I have no idea what items can be useful at this stage.

    Is that the extent of what we can do on 1st turn?

    What does 'Income: LM' mean?
     
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  19. Jason Liang Magister

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    Ok. Unless someone else has ideas, let's do that.

    Give me time to write it up.

    Equipping takes an action too.
     
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