The current campaign of Strategic Primer recently finished its eleventh turn. Here’s a summary.
It’s been a long time since the end of the last turn, almost a year and a half. But unlike previous similarly-belated ends of turns, this wasn’t simply a matter of me or one of the players not responding to emails or otherwise procrastinating (though there was that too to some extent): As I described in a “lessons-learned” post last July, I had decided to quadruple the map resolution before beginning this turn … and then, after months of work, that proved a disastrous decision that took yet more months to recover from.
I’ve also spent time on constructive development of my suite of tools, which perhaps slowed this turn slightly but should make future turns smoother.
Also during this turn, I converted all (well, nearly all …) crops and crop-like advances from “General Advances” (the “Other” category in the schema) to a new “Crop” category. (As reported in December.) And I added information about workers and their training and experience to the map, which allowed me to both generate reports for players and nearly automate “advancement.”
And I again warned that soon I intend to start doing accounting on other constraints on population beyond food—starting with living space, but moving on to other resources that they require—in the near-to-mid-range future.
Turning to the results of the turn itself: Most notable items are confined to just one or two players at most, and so can’t reasonably be shared. But I can say that this is a turn in which exploration, for those players consistently exploring, paid off: while there are dangerous places that explorers will hesitate to go without substantial support, there is treasure to be found. Exploration also leads to the discovery of new crops, which offer interesting possibilities for the improvement of the food supply. (As I mentioned last turn.)
More players turned more of their workers’ labor away from food production to the concerns of early industry. We’ll see which player “bootstraps” his or her people furthest into what is becoming a quasi-Renaissance era.
This was also the turn of diplomacy, or perhaps fealty: several players sent emissaries to seek the allegiance of surrounding villages. (Which they will readily give.) What benefit that provides I’m not quite sure yet … but I have a few ideas, and I’ll surely think of more. And if not, the players will suggest some, I’m sure.
As I’ve been asked to give some indication of where the players stand in relation to one another. One indicator is population. The highest population is 170, while the lowest is only 22. The average (i.e. mean) is about 74, while the median is about 58, and the standard deviation is about 53. (Note that because of how few players there are, this is a really small sample …)
Another measure is the number of advances discovered. There are forty-four advances in the Starting Package that every player starts with. At present the player with the fewest number of advances discovered has 74, while the player with the most has over two hundred. The average is just under 100, while the median is about 83, and the standard deviation is about 44.
As I’ve said so many times before, each turn this campaign becomes more exciting, so I’m always looking forward to see what my players come up with next, no matter what challenges they pose to my job as Judge of determining the results of their actions. And if you’d like to join the campaign, we still desperately need more players, so please get in touch with me.