The King’s Game. (Towards the Development of Nrx “Strategic Culture”.)

glory

The King’s Game™

(Note that this is a very rough, early outline that we wrote up a few months ago, but decided to post upon request. Comments and suggestions are most welcome.)

Hypothesis:

What if you could create a “training game” that combined Monopoly™ Civilisation™ and War Gaming (Situational Role Playing Games) into one big mega-game involving numerous people playing as different roles on multiple boards?

This game is called the King’s Game™

The idea for this is from reading around up on Ray Dalio. He uses the analogy between the economy (which he views as a “system” or a “machine”) and the game Monopoly™

Contents:

1: Purpose.

2: Influences.

3: The Structure of the King’s Game™

Phase I: The Build-Up.

Phase II: First Contacts.

Phase III: Guns, Gold and Glory.

Phase IV: Endgames.

4: Features and Extras.

5: Summary.

 

 1: Purpose.

Fred

Could this concept be useful in general?

Could NRx make use of it? Could it illustrate some principles of ruling, strategizing and statecraft?

Could it be used as a training mechanism for a potential future ruling elite?

Could it be monetized as a source of income?

Could this game form some sort of Schelling point for reactionaries? Could it serve as a form of initiation, ritual and shared culture?

Could this game identify people who demonstrate talent at certain roles?

In theory, yes.

 

2: Influences.

See the following for an overview of the following games:

Monopoly Rules

Civilisation Rules

Wargaming

 

Monopoly and Monarchy.

Queen

Our first thought upon learning of Dalio’s analogy between the economy, economic rationality, and the board game Monopoly™ was the similarity with what Hans Hermann Hoppe claimed about the logic of Monarchy.

Then, after considering this for a moment, we asked ourselves how such a thing could be applied to the game Civilisation™.

In addition, the following concept does seem to bare some resemblance to the game that was developed in Ian M. Bank’s novel the Player of Games.

In what follow, we begin with outlining describing and explaining our influences – Dalio and Hoppe – then we explain the game by describing its rules and features.

 

Dalio’s Monopoly Analogy.

Here is an article, outlining Dalio’s views:

 King of hedge funds Ray Dalio offered an analogy for economic and credit cycles that even an 8-year-old could understand.

During the first part of the game, property is king as everyone converts cash into investments. During the second part, “cash is king” as losers are forced to liquidate investments to pay bills.

Right now we’re in the second part of the game.

Here’s an excerpt from Dalio’s “Template For Understanding“:

A cycle is nothing more than a logical sequence of events leading to a repetitious pattern. In a capitalist economy, cycles of expansions in credit and contractions in credit drive economic cycles and they occur for perfectly logical reasons. Each sequence is not pre-destined to repeat in exactly the same way nor to take  exactly the same amount of time, though the patterns are similar, for logical reasons.

For example, if you understand the game of Monopoly®, you can pretty well understand credit and economic cycles. Early in the game of Monopoly®, people have a lot of cash and few hotels, and it pays to convert cash into hotels. Those who have more hotels make more money. Seeing this, people tend to convert as much cash as possible into property in order to profit from making other players give them cash. So as the game progresses, more hotels are acquired, which creates more need for cash (to pay the bills of landing on someone else’s property with lots of hotels on it) at the same time as many folks have run down their cash to buy hotels. When they are caught needing cash, they are forced to sell their hotels at discounted prices. So early in the game, “property is king” and later in the game, “cash is king.” Those who are best at playing the game understand how to hold the right mix of property and cash, as this right mix changes.

Now, let’s imagine how this Monopoly® game would work if we changed the role of the bank so that it could make loans and take deposits. Players would then be able to borrow money to buy hotels and, rather than holding their cash idly, they would deposit it at the bank to earn interest, which would provide the bank with more money to lend. Let’s also imagine that players in this game could buy and sell properties from each other giving each other credit (i.e., promises to give money and at a later date). If Monopoly® were played this way, it would provide an almost perfect model for the way our economy operates. There would be more spending on hotels (that would be financed with promises to deliver money at a later date). The amount owed would quickly grow to multiples of the amount of money in existence, hotel prices would be higher, and the cash shortage for the debtors who hold hotels would become greater down the road. So, the cycles would become more pronounced. The bank and those who saved by depositing their money in it would also get into trouble when the inability to come up with needed cash caused withdrawals from the bank at the same time as debtors couldn’t come up with cash to pay the bank. Basically, economic and credit cycles work this way

 

Hoppe on Monarchy.

golden coin

The following set of extracts is from Hans Hermann Hoppe which we made use of for this.

In short, Hoppe explains the “monopolistic” tendencies  of monarchy – any government really.

GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT GROWTH, AND THE PROCESS OF DECIVILIZATION: FROM MONARCHY TO DEMOCRACY

Every government, and that means every agency that engages in continual, institutionalized property-rights violations (expropriations), is by its nature a territorial monopolist. There can be no “free entry” into the business of expropriations; otherwise, soon nothing would be left that could be expropriated, and any form of institutionalized expropriation would thus become impossible. Under the assumption of self-interest, every government will use this monopoly of expropriation to its own advantage-in order to maximize its wealth and income. Hence every government should be expected to have an inherent tendency toward growth. And in maximizing its own wealth and income by means of expropriation, every government represents a constant threat to the process of civilization-of falling time preferences and increasingly wider and longer provision-and an expanding source of de civilizing forces. However, not every government prospers equally and produces decivilizing forces of the same strength. Different forms of government lead to different degrees of decivilization. Nor is every form of government, and every sequence of government forms, equally probable.

Democratic rule-in which the government apparatus is considered “public” property administered by regularly elected officials who do not personally own and are not viewed as owning the government but as its temporary caretakers or trustees-typically only follows personal rule and private government ownership. Because masses or majorities cannot possibly possess any natural authority (this being a personal, individual trait), democratic governments can acquire legitimacy only unnaturally-most typically through war or revolution.

Only in activities such as war and revolution do masses act in concert and do victory and defeat depend on mass effort. And only under exceptional circumstances such as these can mass majorities gain the legitimacy needed to transform government into public property. These two forms of government-private or public ownership of government (monarchy or democracy)-have systematically different effects on social time preference and the attendant process of civilization, and with the transition from personal (monarchical) to democratic (public) rule in particular, contrary to conventional wisdom, the decivilizing forces inherent in any form of government are systematically strengthened.

The defining characteristic of private government ownership and the reason for a personal ruler’s relatively lower degree of time preference (as compared to criminals and democratic governments) is that the expropriated resources and the monopoly privilege of future expropriation are individually owned. The expropriated resources are added to the king’s private estate and treated as if they were a part of it, and the monopoly privilege of future expropriation is attached as a title to this estate and leads to an instant increase in its present value (“capitalization” of monopoly profit). Most importantly, as the private owner of the government estate, the ruler is entitled to pass his possessions on to his personal heir. He may sell, rent, or give away part or all of his privileged estate (and privately pocket the receipts from the sale or rental), and he may personally appoint or dismiss every administrator and employee of his estate.

The institution of private government ownership systematically shapes the incentive structure confronting the ruler and distinctly influences his conduct of government affairs. Assuming no more than self-interest, the ruler tries to maximize his total wealth, i.e., the present value of his estate and his current income. He would not want to increase current income at the expense of a more than .proportional drop in the present value of his assets.

(Reflecting the value of all future expected asset earnings discounted by the rate of time preference), private ownership in and of itself leads to economic calculation and thus promotes farsightedness. While this is true of private ownership generally, in the special case of private ownership of government it implies a distinct moderation with respect to the ruler’s drive to exploit his monopoly privilege of expropriation, for acts of expropriation are by their nature parasitic upon prior acts of production by the nongovernmental public.

Where nothing has first been produced, nothing can be expropriated, and where everything has been expropriated, all future production will come to a shrieking halt. Hence, a private owner of government (a king) would avoid taxing his subjects so heavily as to reduce his future earning potential to the extent that the present value of his estate (his kingdom) would actually fall, for instance.

Instead, to preserve or even enhance the value of his personal property, he would systematically restrain himself in his taxing policies, for the lower the degree of taxation, the more productive the subject population will be, and the more productive the population, the higher the value of the ruler’s parasitic monopoly of expropriation will be. He will use his monopolistic privilege, of course. He will not not tax. But as the government’s private owner, it is in his interest to draw-parasitically-on a growing, increasingly productive and prosperous nongovernment economy, as this would-always and without any effort on his part-also increase his own wealth and prosperity. Tax rates would thus tend to be low.

Further, it is in a personal ruler’s interest to use his monopoly of law (courts) and order (police) for the enforcement of the pre-established private property law. With the sole exception of himself (for the nongovernment public and all of its internal dealings, that is), he will want to enforce the principle that all property and income should be acquired productively and/or contractually, and accordingly, he will want to threaten all private rule-transgressions as crimes with punishment. The less private crime there is, the more private wealth there will be and the higher will be the value of the ruler’s monopoly of taxation and expropriation.

In fact, a private ruler will not want to lean exclusively on tax revenue to finance his own expenditures. Rather, he will also want to rely on productive activities and allocate part of his estate to the production and provision of “normal” goods and services, with the purpose of earning its owner a “normal” (market) sales revenue.

The lesson here is a simple one: do not eat all your seed corn. More generally, the unification of ownership and control leads to responsibility.

If this is the logic of economic reasoning under monarchy (private government) how does democracy (public government) play out?

Hoppe:

In contrast to the internal and external moderation of a monarchy, a democratic (publicly owned) government implies increased excess, and the transition from a world of kings to one of democratically-elected presidents must be expected to lead to a systematic increase in the intensity and extension of government power and a significantly strengthened tendency toward decivilization.

A democratic ruler can use the government apparatus to his personal advantage, but he does not own it. He cannot sell government resources and privately pocket the receipts from such sales, nor can he pass government possessions on to his personal heir. He owns the current use of government resources, but not their capital value. In distinct contrast to a king, a president will want to maximize not total government wealth (capital values and current income) but current income (regardless and at the expense of capital values).

Indeed, even if he wished to act differently, he could not, for as public property, government resources are unsaleable, and without market prices economic calculation is impossible. Accordingly, it must be regarded as unavoidable that public-government ownership results in continual capital consumption.

Instead of maintaining or even enhancing the value of the government estate, as a king would do, a president (the government’s temporary caretaker or trustee) will use up as much of the government resources as quickly as possible, for what he does not consume now, he may never be able to consume. In particular, a president (as distinct from a king) has no interest in not ruining his country. For why would he not want to increase his confiscations if the advantage of a policy of moderation-the resulting higher capital value of the government estate-cannot be reaped privately, while the advantage of the opposite policy of higher taxes-a higher current income—can be so reaped? For a president, unlike for a king, moderation offers only disadvantages.

What of the ruled?

Hoppe:

Moreover, with public instead of private government ownership the second reason for moderation is also gone: the clear and developed class-consciousness of the ruled.

There can never be more than one supreme ruler, whether king or president. Yet while entrance into the position of king and a promotion to the rank of nobility is systematically restricted under a monarchy, in a publicly owned government, anyone, in theory, can become a member of the ruling class-or even president. The distinction between the rulers and the ruled is blurred, and the class-consciousness of the ruled becomes fuzzy. The illusion even arises that such a distinction no longer exists: that with a democratic government no one is ruled by anyone but everyone instead rules himself.

Hoppe is, however, wrong here – the illusion does not just “arise” the illusion was shaped, firstly by propaganda but by the process of Power selection itself.

Hoppe:

While expropriation and taxation before may have appeared clearly oppressive and evil to the public, they seem much less so, mankind being what it is, once anyone may freely enter the ranks of those who are at the receiving end. Consequently, taxes will increase, be it directly in the form of higher tax rates or indirectly in that of increased governmental money “creation” (inflation). Likewise, government employment and the ratio of government employees (“public servants”) to private employees tends to rise, attracting and promoting individuals with high degrees of time preference and low and limited farsightedness.

The consequences:

The combination of these interrelated factors-“public” ownership of the government plus free entry into it-significantly alters a government’s conduct of both its internal and its external affairs.

Internally, the government is likely to exhibit an increased tendency to incur debt. While a king is by no means opposed to debt, he is constrained in this “natural” inclination by the fact that as the government’s private owner, he and his heirs are considered personally liable for the payment of all government debts (he can literally go bankrupt, or be forced by creditors to liquidate government assets).

In distinct contrast, a presidential government caretaker is not held liable for debts incurred during his tenure of office. Rather, his debts are considered “public,” to be repaid by future (equally nonliable) governments. If one is not held personally liable for one’s debts, however, the debt load will rise, and present government consumption will be expanded at the expense of future government consumption.

What comes next is crucial:

In order to repay a rising public debt, the level of future taxes (or monetary inflation) imposed on a future public will have to increase. And with the expectation of a higher future-tax burden, the nongovernment public also becomes affected by the incubus of rising time-preference degrees, for with higher future-tax rates, present consumption and short-term investment are rendered relatively more attractive as compared to saving and long-term investment.

More importantly still, the government’s conduct as the monopolist of law and order will undergo a systematic change. As explained above, a king will want to enforce the preexisting private property law, and notwithstanding his own exceptional status vis-a-vis some of its key provisions, he, too, will assume and accept private-property notions for himself and his possessions (at least insofar as international king-to-king relations are concerned). He does not create new law but merely occupies a privileged position within an existing, all-encompassing system of private law.

In contrast, with a “publicly” owned and administered government a new type of “law” emerges: “public” law, which exempts government agents from personal liability and withholds “publicly owned” resources from economic management. With the establishment of “public law” (including constitutional and administrative law) not merely as law but as a “higher” law, a gradual erosion of private law ensues; that is, there is an increasing subordination and displacement of private law by and through public law.

Rather than upholding private law among the nongovernment public and exploiting its legal monopoly solely for the purpose of redistributing wealth and income from civil society onto itself, a government “ruled” by public law will also employ its power increasingly for the purpose of legislation, i.e., for the creation of new, “positive” civil law, with the intent of redistributing wealth and income within civil society. For’ as a government’s caretaker (not owner) it is of little or no concern that any such redistribution can only reduce future productivity. Confronted with popular, elections and free entry into government, however, the advocacy and adoption of redistributive policies is predestined to become the very prerequisite for anyone wanting to attain or retain a government caretaker position.

Accordingly, rather than representing a “consumption state” (as the typical monarchy does), with public government ownership, complementing and reinforcing the overall tendency toward rising taxes (and/ or inflation), government employment and debt, the state will become increasingly transformed into a “welfare state.”

The three ways to steal in a democracy:

The legislatively-enacted redistribution of income and wealth within civil society can essentially take on three forms.

It can take the form of simple transfer payments, in which income and/or wealth is taken from Peter (the “haves”) and doled out to Paul (the “have-nots”).

It can take the form of “free” or below-cost provision of goods and services (such as education, health care, or infrastructure) by government, in which income and/ or wealth is confiscated from one group of individuals-the taxpayers-and handed out to another, nonidentical one-the users of the respective goods and services.

Or it can take the form of business and/or consumer regulations or “protection laws” (such as price controls, tariffs, or licensing requirements), whereby the wealth of the members of one group of businessmen or consumers is increased at the expense of a corresponding loss for those of another “competing” group (by imposing legal restrictions on the use which the latter are permitted to make of their private properties).

Democracy: the God that Failed, Chapter 1. Hans Herman Hoppe.

(We made use of some of the above for this.)

 

War Games and Crisis Management.

Golden eagle

The following is from Lead and Gold:

Previously:

What was the Fed thinking in the summer of 2008?

There was no real planning or preparation for crisis. They did not have contingency plans for the post-Lehamn fallout just has they did not have a clear understanding of what the failure of a TBTF institution would mean….

I find this mind-boggling. For 150 years modern militaries have used war-games, scenario planning, and other strategic tools to prepare for nearly all contingencies. The plans themselves are not the key product of these exercises. It is the development of a collective mental framework and the exploration of messy problems not given to pat answers.

Williamson Murray in Military Innovation in the Interwar Period:

The U.S Navy’s approach to war gaming was similar to that of the German Army. Neither military force used exercises or war gaming as a device to justify current, ‘revealed’ doctrine or as a means to exclude possibilities. In other words, exercises aimed at illuminating possible uses for military forces and at suggesting what questions one might ask; they did not aim at providing ‘solutions’ or answers. In peacetime they were an educational vehicle for the officer corps. In war, gaming aimed at illuminating possibilities. For example, the German game for the Meuse crossing, which occurred in March 1940, came to no resolution on the critical question of whether the German armor should make the breakthrough without waiting for supporting infantry divisions to come up.

This lack of resolution was far from fatal. Two months later the Germans crossed the Meuse under Guderian in a victory which ensured the utter defeat of France and Britain. (See A Neglected but Significant Anniversary for the Meuse battle and its importance)

Nor did the lack of resolution in wargame mean that the effort was wasted. Quite the opposite.

T. N. Dupuy in Understanding Defeat:

The plans and preparations had been so good that [Guderian’s] corps headquarters issued orders for the assault across the river simply by changing the date on an order they had prepared in an earlier wargame and issuing it without further change.

See also:

Alistair Davidson, Why Wargaming is useful:

This need to push managers to consider wider extremes is one of the reasons that scenario analysis is talked about so much. But there is theological split in the world of scenario creation and use. Some scenario consultant are quite adamant that scenarios should be stories not numerical models. These professionals are reacting against the phenomenon that spreadsheet sensitivity analysis is sometimes confused with scenario analysis. The use scenario analysis to drag resistant managers kicking and screaming into considering the unthinkable, the Black Swan, and the fat tailed distributions or risk.

But if that battle has been won and managers now understand the vocabulary of and the differences between sensitivity analysis and scenario analysis, then there is a next generation modeling opportunity, i.e. to translate the stories of a scenario into the impact upon a business.

The impact upon a business may like the wargame reveal not just the sensitivity changes under different scenarios, they may also imply more complex differences in states

War-games and crisis management.

Why war gaming is useful.

And:

This echoes something Joseph Lawler noted in his review of Hank Paulson’s memoirs:

huge decisions determining the fates of endlessly complex institutions are gamed out in the crudest of terms by two pals in conversations depicted with a level of detail, dramatic tension, and moral awareness that would be better suited for a Sesame Street segment about cooperation.

I find this mind-boggling. For 150 years modern militaries have used war-games, scenario planning, and other strategic tools to prepare for nearly all contingencies. The plans themselves are not the key product of these exercises. It is the development of a collective mental framework and the exploration of messy problems not given to pat answers.

The Prussians were the first to systematize the process withing their General Staff and War College. The goal was to avoid exactly the problems that we see with the Fed and Treasury in 2008:

Continuity of conception is imperative to safeguard leadership in the nervous trials of reality. Knowledge or capacity in individuals is not enough. In war the organically developed capacity of a majority is necessary

President Eisenhower:

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable

Colin Gray notes that for Ike “the principal value of military planning is not to produce ahead of time the perfect plan, but rather to train planners who can adjust and adapt to changing circumstances as they emerge.”

Adm. Chester Nimitz on his Naval War College experience (1922)

The enemy was always– Japan– and the courses were so thorough that after the start of WWII– nothing that happened in the Pacific was strange or unexpected.

Perhaps the greatest example of the power of the military model is this: The German Army, with its reconstituted General Staff, developed tank doctrine and the concept of the Blitzkrieg before the army possessed any tanks. 

See:

See also: Wargaming and the Classroom.

 

 3: Structure of the King’s Game™

Nap a

Phase I: The Build-Up.

Phase II: First Contacts.

Phase III: Guns, Gold and Glory.

Phase IV: Endgames.

 

What is the Purpose of the Game?

Simple.

The purpose of the game is Monopoly.

There can only be one.

Now, depending on what “one” you can be, depends on the “caste” you play as.

In the King’s Game™ players can be assigned (or elect) to play as one of the following castes:

1: King.

2: General.

3: Banker.

4: Diplomat.

5: Capitalist.

6: Spies.

7: Terrorist.

8: The Shadowbroker.

9: Lawyers.

10: Judges.

11: Serfs.

(There could be other roles or castes, but this is enough for now.)

Thus, not only is there more than one King competing against all the rest, each General is as well (who serves his King).

Winning Conditions.

The King becomes the Emperor if:

A: He conquers sufficient space, and destroys – sufficiently – all armies, so as to be unbeatable.

B: He acquires either a military or financial advantage or both so as to be unbeatable.

Outline of the Scope and Scale of the Game.

The King has a primary property right already enshrined. The King owns every single square on the board. (Imagine the boards as Monopoly™ like boards.)

Thus, all the players can only “rent” the land. (In practice, however, the “Monopoly” aspect of the game operates, mostly, in the same way – with some important differences which we will come to later.)

The King collects “rent” every go round from Capitalists or Serfs. So, when you (Capitalist or Serf) pass a certain point (The King’s Castle or the Bank) you have to pay your rent.

2: We add in the concepts of the Civilisation™ game.

In short, you have multiple Monopoly boards, all with a King.

So, imagine a hall and imagine in this hall there are (say)  five tables and on the five tables are five Monopoly boards, these boards have players and each board has a King with a “primary property right.”

There can be any number of boards, off different sizes with different numbers of players.

(Alternatively, you could have a board and table per player. Thus, players cannot see the other player’s board. The reason for this is secrecy, but we will explain this later.)

Goals of the Other Players.

The General, meanwhile, becomes a Field Marshal if he is able to beat out, or force surrender from all the other Generals. However, a General serves his King – but he can defect.

The Banker becomes a Central Banker if he can get control of all the other banks. A Banker must always serve a King or if a Bank is bought by a Capitalist or a Cabal, then the Banker serves the Capitalists.

The Diplomat is not really a winner, though he does win if his King becomes Emperor.

The Capitalist wins if he can maximise his wealth.

A Short Outline of How the King’s Game™ is Played.

The King’s Game™ makes use of turns, dice and probability (Army strengths) and time-limits. (Like with Monopoly, Civilisation and Speed Chess.)

The King’s Game™ is also a role playing war game, so communication, persuasion, deception and trust all play a role in the game.

 

Phase I: The Build-Up.

The King’s Strategy.

The King starts with total control of his board; that is, he has primary property rights.

He has a General, a Diplomat and a Banker on his staff to start with.

He also “has” several Capitalists who are playing (in the usual Monopoly fashion) on his board.

The King collects rent from all the Capitalists as they pass by a certain point on the board. This point could either be the Bank, or the King’s Castle.

While the King starts with a fund of cash, he needs more.

From where will he find the cash?

At first, the Capitalists.

As the Capitalists place houses and then hotels on the board, and as they place more houses and more hotels on the board, the value of the property will increase.

This is so because if a player lands on a hotel, they have to pay more to the owner than if it was a house.

Thus, the Capitalists have to pay rent according to the value of their land.

However, the King has the power to set the rents at whatever rate he wants.

However, the King must employ his Banker in the task of setting the rate of rents. ( We could separate Banker and Treasury Secretary, but let’s keep it simple.)

Apart from setting the rate of rent, the King exercises no other form of control over the Capitalists. Well,……………. Later, things get more complicated. However, at the start this is the structure of the relationship.

The King’s Investment Strategy.

Now, the question for the King is:

How should I invest my money?

The King can choose to invest his money in the following options:

A: The Military.

B: An Investment Bank.

C: In Savings.

For the Capitalist, as Ray Dalio said, the winning strategy is a right mix of property and cash; for the King, however, the winning strategy is to strategically invest in the Military, the Bank and putting the rest into a Savings account.

If a King chooses to invest in one option, this then means that there is less to invest in the other options. However, one could choose to invest more in one (the Military) but then rely on another King (who invests mostly in Banks and then in commerce) to provide widgets and oil etc. Thus, one King is the muscle and another is the money (assuming an alliance).

Let’s take each one of these things in turn.

A: Building Up the Military.

Here I will use Civilisation™ concepts (but with some changes).

A King can create and build up his Military.

The options are:

1: Militia.

2: Infantry.

3: Tanks.

4: Destroyers.

5: Battleships.

6: Carriers.

7: Transport ships (can double as trade ships).

8: Spitfire Planes.

9: F-16 Fighter Jets.

10: B-52 Bombers.

11: Nuclear Missiles.

Weapon 11 (Nuclear) is the strongest weapon. A Spitfire is stronger than the infantry and so on.

The stronger the weapon, the more it requires the investment of time and money to produce.

Picking a random number out of one’s top hat, to build a nuclear missile will be the most expensive and time consuming product and so it costs (don’t laugh) 100 million dollars and 300 turns.

B: Investment Bank.

Now, here is an interesting element in the game.

The King has the choice to either or both create a Bank with Full Reserve Banking and a Gold Standard or create a Fractional Reserve Banking system and create a fiat currency.

One bank – the full reserve bank – could be a bank that is only a savings bank for him and other Capitalists and Bankers.

The Fractional Reserve Bank, on the other hand, is the investment bank.

Now, let’s explain what the role of the Banker and the investment bank is.

The Role of the Banker.

The Banker has the following objectives:

A: Setting the rent rate so as to maximise the amount of rents coming into the King’s estate, constrained by the factor of Capital flight.

B: Prudently managing the King’s money and advising the King so as to allow the King to invest in what he chooses to invest in, in order to produce what the King wants.

What the Banker Can Do:

1: The Banker can lend money to the Capitalists and the Capitalists can then buy more houses and hotels for example, but they then must pay back the debt plus interest.

2: The Banker can buy shares in factories, gold mines or oil fields.

3: The Banker can invest in military expeditions.

The Role of the Capitalists.

In addition to the houses and hotels, Capitalists can also invest in the following industries:

A: Gold mining.

B: Oil production.

C: Military-Industrial Complex.

D: Widget factories.

So, for example, suppose a Capitalist wants to set up a Military-Industrial Complex in order to build an army for the King. Consequently, the Banker can lend him the money to help get production started.

Then, the King, after consulting his General, orders a battleship say. The Capitalist sells the battleship to the King who pays via cash (there can be other arrangements, but we will get to that later).

 

Phase II: First Contacts.

Phase II Part 1.

In the build-up phase, the King wants to build up his Military, his oil and gold production and his widget factories.

The reason is because the King will have to deal with other Kings.

Now, this is when things get complicated.

 

International Relations.

Fundamentally, there are only three options between Kings:

1: War.

2: Trade. (Goods and services which include protection.)

3: Investments.

So, a King can Trade, Invade or Invest.

Let’s take War First.

War.

In the King’s Game, war is a close approximation of Napoleonic or Clausewitzian warfare.

1: War serves political objectives.

2: The ultimate political objective is to dominate all the boards.

3: Proximately, one can wage war for a number of reasons:

A: Enlarge the scope and scale of one’s territory.

B: Steal a rival King’s resources (his bank, his factories and his oil or gold).

C: Smash or disrupt a rival King’s development or simply his Military.

D: Wage war in order to extract payment from a King.

E: Wage war on behalf of another King (who has paid you to do so).

F: Wage war on behalf of another King who has been attacked (you are in a Patron-Client relationship with him).

The Role of the General.

1: The King set’s the objectives and the General must devise the strategy, and on the consent of the King, execute the battle plan.

2: The General has the responsibility of developing, placing, moving and using the Military according to the objectives of the King.

Battles involve moving different pieces across the board. Different pieces have different strengths.

If territory is taken, then the Capitalists (who used to pay rent to one King) must now pay rent to the conquering King (unless a special relationship is created).

In general, war in the King’s Game is war for positional advantage. Thus, a King wages war to place himself in a better position which is achieved via diplomacy.

The Role of the Diplomat.

The Diplomat or spy is sent by the King to different boards and different Kings to negotiate and spy for his King.

What does the Diplomat negotiate?

1: War and Peace.

The Diplomat can negotiate a peace treaty or forge an alliance or negotiate terms (exchange money in return for peace say).

2: Trade.

Negotiate trade deals involving goods and services, tariffs and sanctions against another King or a Capitalist.

3: Investment.

Work out mutually beneficial investment deals.

For example, one King could decide to invest some of his money (via his bank) in the investment bank of another King who can then invest that money in a factory.

In Phase II, the strategy for the King is to gain information on all the other Kings and players; create a military and, finally, trade and investment deals with some or all of the other Kings and the other Capitalists.

 

Phase II Part 2.

Now, with the basics of economic and military development in full swing, along with alliances being formed, the game enters into a period of uncertainty.

Will there be mutually agreed upon rules?

Will there be war?

War can break out at any time and for any reason (or none).

 

Phase III: Guns, Gold and Glory.

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1: War.

Here is a brief outline of how war is conducted in the King’s Game

Essentially, it follows the same rules as the game Civilisation™.

The General puts the Military in the ships and sends them out to invade a board.

However, there are a few extra twists.

1: Capitalists can make deals with Kings.

Suppose on board A, Capitalist 12 makes a deal with King C. What this means is that Soldiers can appear on any place the Capitalist has property on the board (A stealth attack).

In return for this treachery, the King can supply the Capitalist with either money, or allow him to invest or buy properties on his board via the bank.

Beyond this, an invasion must take place.

Imagine that beyond the Monopoly style board, there is a coastline. The coastline can be guarded by destroyers or battleships. Simply put, to land your military on a board square, you must first destroy the ships if you want to land – if the ships have been positioned in front of the square. (This is a good idea if the square has factories or your bank.)

If however, you land on a square which is unguarded, then the King whose land you have invaded will instantly know where you have invaded.

Battle Strategies and Tactics.

Ultimately, the object for the invader is to crush the enemy’s army by applying strength against weakness.

Depending on the type, number, experience and other factors, each combat unit is assigned a probability number when they fight against another combat unit.

For example:

1: A single tank regiment, with no experience (it is not a Veteran unit) has a 4/6 chance of beating a single Infantry unit say. (The result is determined by rolling the dice.)

2: A Veteran Army Battle Group (A tank regiment and two infantry say) will win outright against any single infantry unit but will have a 4/6 chance of beating two Veteran infantry units.

3: A Battleship has a 5/6 chance of beating a destroyer.

(This is simply random estimations, this can and must all be refined.)

General Strategy for the Invader.

The general strategy for the invader is to crush the enemy army because once that is achieved the King will be defenceless and the rest of the board is there for the taking.

However, the attacker may only try to break into the other King’s board in order to create a “foothold”.

For instance, suppose the attacker takes some squares and threatens an attack on the bank, but then negotiates a deal where they are given cash and control of some of the board’s squares in return for peace. This King then can extract rents from the Capitalists who must pass by.

General Strategy for the Defender.

The general strategy for the defender depends on what the goal of the invader is. In general, the dynamics are slightly different because a defender generally only has to make the costs of waging war outweigh the gains for the invader.

For example, the defender may decide to trade space for time. Thus, the defender may decide to concentrate most of his forces to protect his bank, oil fields and factories and deploy the rest of his forces in lines (limes) to slow down and deter the invader.

However, as the invader advances, the defender can keep pulling back his forces. This allows the defender to see the dispositions and calculate the possible intentions of the invader. For instance, if the attacker seemed to be attacking the oil fields and not the bank (which was a diversionary operation) then the defender can shift more and more of his forces to defend the oil field.

In the meantime, the defender can appeal for aid from the other Kings.

For example, one King could decide to launch a counter-invasion or break off trade relations. Another King could supply the defender with oil, widgets or even send his military.

Some other possibilities:

1: Pincer movement. One could positon one’s forces on both sides of an enemy, the weaker force is only a holding force (anvil) and the larger force is the attacking (hammer).

2: One can use one’s ships to deploy one’s forces behind an enemy. (Surprise).

3: Oil is necessary for an Army. Thus, the game will have oil dumps. If you destroy or capture these, then you can immobilise the enemies’ army.

4: If you attack and destroy the enemies transport ships, then the army is stuck. (Perhaps, if peace is concluded, you can transport the troops home – for a price; alternatively, you could purchase the troops).

2: Trade.

A King can decide to buy and sell the following goods and services:

1: Military goods and services.

You can sell battleships etc., or you can lend troops to another King or you can extract insurance money (protection money) from another King in return for a promise to defend him.

2: Oil.

How oil works in the game is the same as real life.

Oil is necessary for the ships, planes and factories.

Without oil, you cannot produce goods and you cannot fight wars.

3: Widgets.

The role of widgets is quite simple.

Supposing you have a factory, the necessary amount of oil, then you can produce widgets.

Widgets allow you to do the following things:

1: Build a Military.

2: Extract oil.

3: Extract gold.

4: Make more widgets.

However, there are different strengths of widgets that allow you to produce more and produce faster.

For example, suppose widgets come in strengths ranging from 1-100.

To produce a widget of strength 1 it takes only one turn (one widget turn). However, to produce a single 100 strength widget it takes 100 widget turns.

Thus, widget production is subject to time-preferences.

Here is a possible Widget-Conversion List:

5 Widget1s to produce a single infantry unit.

10 Widget2 to produce a single tank regiment.

40 Widget2 to produce a battleship.

1 Widget100 can be converted to 1000 widget1s.

On the open market, 100 widget1s can be sold for 50000 dollars.

Etc. Etc.

4: Gold.

You can mine Gold and use Gold as a currency or sell it.

3: Investment.

To return to Ray Dalio’s example, Capitalists buy up property, then they can lend to other Capitalists, borrow from the bank or they can invest.

A Capitalist can invest in the following:

1: A bank.

A Capitalist can invest in a bank by supplying the bank with capital. The bank (which is initially controlled by the King), can then use those funds to invest in various enterprises. If the enterprises are successful, then the capitalist gets a return on his investment.

Suppose, the King needs capital; he can choose to sell off shares in the bank to a Capitalist.

Thus, the Capitalist can buy shares in the bank in return for a cut of the profits that the bank generates via investing. Now, if the Capitalist has bought shares in the bank, they will have influence over the bank proportional to their shares. Simply put, unless they have a controlling stake they cannot control the bank. Thus, a King could sell off 49% percent of the bank but retain a 51% controlling share.

All of this adds considerable dynamic complexity to the game, however.

For example, a King cannot abuse or cheat the Capitalists (too much!) because the Capitalists could move their money to a different bank, liquidate their assets or conspire with a different King to bring about an invasion.

Finally, a King could, in theory, sell off the entire bank to a Capitalist or a cabal of Capitalists.

However, the King still controls the rent rate that Capitalists must pay to him, so if the Capitalists who owned the banks got cute, the King could raise the rents to ridiculous levels on only one or all of the Capitalists.

Finally, the King could impose various import and export taxes on the Capitalists.

2: Houses.

In Monopoly™ the Capitalists buy houses and if another Capitalists lands on his square he must pay the Capitalist who owns the square rent. In time, the Capitalist can convert the houses into hotels.

Following Dalio, the rules of the King’s Game allow for Capitalists to buy, sell and buy stock in other Capitalists houses.

For example, if Capitalist 8 invests in Capitalist 19’s housing stock, then by handing over cash to 19, 8 will receive a steady supply of agreed upon fixed income or a sum proportional to share value in conjunction to the profits generated by the houses. In addition, if the houses are sold, then 8 will get a cut of the proceeds. Finally, a deal can be arranged so that 8 will not have to pay 19 rent if 8 lands on 19’s squares.

3: Hotels.

Much the same can be said for hotels as for houses.

(Perhaps, you could put shopping centres, casinos and stadiums for extra value.)

4: Factories.

A Capitalist can build a widget factory and either sell the widgets to Capitalists on different boards or to other factories (such as the Military-Industrial Complex).

Again, banks and other Capitalists can invest in a factory.

For example, Capitalist 2 can sell shares to Capitalist 7 and 16 and Bank B in return for funds and a cut of the profits if and when the factory turns a profit.

5: Oil fields and Gold Mines.

Capitalists can invest, buy and operate gold mines and oil fields.

6: Military expeditions.

Capitalists can invest in military expeditions.

For example, suppose King B wants to invade King C’s territory. King B, instead of only using his private funds or his banks, he can make a deal with Capitalists.

The King can offer the following options:

A: Invest in return for lower rents.

B: Invest in return for better borrowing rates.

C: Invest in return for shares in a bank.

D: Invest in return for shares of another Capitalist who has made a three-way deal with the King.

E: Invest in return for a cut of the expected profits from the war.

 Phase IV: Endgames.

Now, when we get into the last phase of the game, things get interesting.

Part 1: From King to Emperor.

Simply put, if a King becomes or is going become Emperor, then he can now wield Monopoly power over all the boards.

If so, then the King or new Emperor can begin to put the squeeze on the remaining Capitalists by, in the first case, raising their rents.

Capitalists cannot move their money to a different board and bank because the Alpha King or Emperor controls all the boards (though he might not directly or fully control them).

Suppose for example, that Capitalist 3 sells off his hotels and moves all his money out to board D, where he has a widget factory and some hotels and puts his money in that board’s bank.

The King (King A) can still get at him because:

1: The King has subordinated (militarily, financially or diplomatically) that board’s King (D), thus King D can raise the rents on Capitalist 3.

2: King D can prevent Capitalist 3 from selling his widgets (widget factory on board D) to board B (on the orders of King A).

3: King D can prevent Capitalist 3 from obtaining oil for his factory by threating to raise the rent on Capitalist 8 who owns the oil factory.

4: King A can order King D to order Banker D to invest a large sum of the bank’s money in Capitalist 9’s widget factory (thus Capitalist 3 will be outcompeted by Capitalist 9 in widget production).

(Even if King A causes a bank run with his actions, he can still punish Capitalist 3 because even though he has caused a bank run and a recession in board D, King A has enough resources to plough on through.)

5: King A can, furthermore, order other Kings to order all their bankers not to lend to Capitalist 3.

Part 2: The Goldfingers.

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Capitalists will know all this, however. The role they must play and decisions they must take are to prevent this from happening.

Thus, Capitalists will seek to avoid one King from becoming Emperor.

However, the problem for Capitalists is that they are not just competing against Kings but other Capitalists.

Thus, a Capitalist can and will use other Kings against other Capitalists and so on.

However, the Capitalists’ main goal is to maximise their wealth.

Thus, they may support only one King against the rest in return for a deal, or form an alliance with other Capitalists and or Kings.

In order to give the game a sense of closure and focus, there must be a time-limit on the game.

Turns and Time-Limits.

Monopoly™ has turns where dice is used to move forward. This is also used in the King’s Game.

However, there are other features.

Firstly, like with Civilization™, there is a time-limit on the game.

Furthermore, the following have turns:

1: Wars.

Different units can only move a certain amount of squares.

Thus, Infantry can move one square and Tanks can move three and Spitfires can move seven squares per turn.

During a war, however, there is a stop-clock like in speed chess. So, moves must be calculated and calculated quickly.

2: Widget, Oil and Gold production.

Production is also subject to turns.

Like with wars, there is a stop-clock.

3: Diplomacy.

Diplomats also operate according to turns.

For example, for a Diplomat to travel from one board to another it takes time.

4: Trade Ships.

Trade ships and troop transport ships are subject to turns.

Putting It All Together.

One can begin to see the complexity of this game.

Not only must there be financial calculation, there must be calculations regarding diplomacy, military strategy and calculations regarding time as well.

For example, one must calculate the time, say, to produce X number of widgets, transport them to a different board and also factor in the level of expected rents over a certain time (to ensure that one has X number of funds coming in).

Patron-Client Relationships.

Capitalists can buy up or buy out other Capitalists. However, unlike in Monopoly™ where players are permanently eliminated, in the King’s Game a Capitalist can put smaller Capitalists on their staff.

For example, Capitalist 1 can employ Capitalist 28 to be his manager of hotels on board D section 3.

This means that Capitalist 28 collects the rents from other players, pays the rent to King of board D and serves as a diplomat-spy for Capitalist 1 (and also by extension can serve as a spy or diplomat for King A.)

As the game gets more complex, the big players will need more and more staff.

So, for example, a Banker will need, in effect, a staff of players to calculate what levels the rent rates should be for the King.

The Banker can recruit his staff from busted Capitalists or heavily indebted Capitalists.

However, perhaps because of vested interests, a Banker will in effect sell or rent out some of the indebted Capitalists to other Bankers on other boards and get other Capitalists in return.

If this happens, then perhaps it is better to call these (failed) Capitalists Serfs.

A King, meanwhile, can send his General to serve as the Supreme Commander of a Coalition.

If, however, a King is eliminated or becomes a vassal to another King then his General can be put on the staff of the Alpha King.

Law and Justice.

What about the lawyers?

Can there be a role for contracts and lawyers?

Well, contracts could be formed between Kings and Capitalists; Capitalists and Bankers; Kings and Kings; and Bankers and Banker; Capitalists and Serfs and Bankers and Serfs.

Thus, the lawyers can be there to help draft and construct the contracts.

What about Judges?

Who judges a dispute between A King and a Capitalist? Or a King and a King?

One innovation is the Judge for hire.

Judges are formalist judges. They judge according to:

A: The material facts of the case.

B: The terms of the contract.

From A and B they then crank-out a judgement.

Judges compete against other Judges via a ranking system.

Judges are ranked according to subjective judgments regarding their ability to deliver justice.

Anyone can rank a Judge, but the reviews must be public.

However, there is an additional element of complexity in the game.

Judges can be bribed.

So, the player who assumes a Judge role has a further optional goal:

Make Money.

However, if a Judge is thought to have been bribed and thus judges unjustly, then they will, so the assumption goes, lose points in the ranking system.

Furthermore, if a King knows that X has been bribed (because he bribed him), then he knows that maybe someone else has bribed him in the past or could in the future. Thus, the King might not trust him and let him judge a future case.

Furthermore, a “bribe war” might break out over judges. For example, King A could try to bribe Judge Z but King D could offer a counter-bribe.

Now, King A could outbid King D, but King D could offer a sufficient amount of money to induce Judge Z to simply judge justly instead of corruptly because if not then King D could go public with the accusation that Judge Z was willing to take bribes.

Even better, a King could expose a corrupt judge. For instance, a King could bribe a Judge over a made up case regarding a Capitalist but then go public with the information that the this judge was corrupt. The reason is that the King will destroy the judge’s reputation and thus set up his own Judge (who he has bribed) for more important cases down the line.

(All manner of game-theoretic complexity can be added in.)

How to Play the Game.

Assuming you have a suitable space, and you have the boards and all the necessary equipment, you then need the players.

The players need to understand the rules, so there needs to be a rule-book. There also needs to be an Umpire and a set of observers.

To begin with, the players on other boards cannot know what is happening on other boards. A King, for example, can only know what is happening (factories, troop positions) from his Diplomats or Spies who can visit the boards.

However, as the game progresses (Phase II, Phase III and IV) then there is what is called the Party.

The Party.

Every so often a Party occurs. A Party is where Capitalists, Bankers, Diplomats, Lawyers, Generals and even Kings can get together and scheme for positon.

This could be done in a number of ways.

1: One player could call another player over to one side. There, a deal could be made, or it could be a deception (in order to arouse suspicion).

2: Crowd everyone into the room and let them chat –secret notes could be exchanged.

3: Lawyers or Spies could act as go between and broker deals between different parties.

The Role of Terrorists. (A Possibility.)

All Capitalists, Serfs and Spies could be terrorists.

Terrorists can pass along information or detonate bombs on squares with property on it (including factories).

Terrorists can detonate bombs by first landing on a square and leaving a “package”. (Every time someone lands on a square, they must leave a package.)

At the end of a turn, all relevant players must fill in a little mini-card with a code. If they are a terrorist and want to detonate a bomb, they write down the square number of where the bomb is and an X to agree to bomb. The supervisors check the cards and announces if a bomb has gone off. The terrorist remains hidden because since everyone must fill in a box, no one can tell who is responsible.

Thus, there is reason for someone – a General, a King or even a Serf to try to memorize where everyone landed and left a package on the bombed square.

Alternatively, a terrorist can blow up a property which they either own or have invested in.

Terrorists are hard to track down; however, they can be found via paying for information or via guess work.  

If a King arrests a terrorist, a terrorist must admit that they are terrorists if they are one. However, if the King makes a mistake then he must pay compensation to the player.

The Role of the Shadowbrokers.

Every game has a Shadowbroker and Spies in his employ. A player is assigned to be a Shadowbroker and can be anyone including a King.

Shadowbroker can create shadows – hence Shadowbrokers to act as dummy-terminals (or cut-outs) to prevent capture.

Shadowbrokers buy and sell information. However, they have a special privilege which is that every so often supervisors will pass along information to the Shadowbroker.

Shadowbrokers can sell information to any other player for cash or information. They can sell information regarding:

1: Rent rates.

2: Production information.

3: Military dispositions.

4: Anything else.

Shadowbrokers can be kidnapped, so long as they are not either Kings or Generals. However, if a Shadowbroker is kidnapped then they must reveal all their information. If the wrong person is kidnapped, then an “international incident” might happen.

The Role of the Serfs.

Serfs are Capitalists that didn’t make it.

So, if a Capitalist gets into debt from which he cannot escape from, then he can become the Serf or the errand-boy of another Capitalist.

Their duties could be:

1: Collecting rents.

2: Passing messages.

3: Spying.

4: Terrorism.

A Serf, however, wants to be a Capitalist. So, if he is able to acquire either property or cash, he can get back in the game. This is unlikely, however.

Other Features of the King’s Game.

1: Cooperation V Defection.

The game is played by people operating in real-time together.

Thus, a King and a General must strategize together, along with the Diplomat and Banker.

While the King has a team, that is supposed to assist him, Capitalists, however, are single operators.

Nevertheless, Capitalists can form all sorts of alliances and have no loyalty to anyone except themselves.

The goal of the Capitalist is to Wheel and Deal themselves into a position where they are Capitalist Number 1.

You can become Capitalist Number 1 in the usual Monopolist fashion by buying up the competition or by crushing them via rents or with lending rates.

However, in the King’s Game, Capitalists have one more tool: War.

Capitalists can use the military (in partnership with a King) to conquer territory and then the King can give the territory to the Capitalist or raise the rent-rates to an eye-watering level against their competitors.

Furthermore, a Capitalist can make deals with another King. As we mentioned earlier, A Capitalist can allow “hidden” troops to hide and then launch surprise attacks.

In addition, as in the game Civilisation™, Spies can be used. For example, a player from one board can move to another board and nominally they are the Serf (client) of another Capitalist who has sent them there to manage the Capitalist’s assets – but they are Spies.

Spies or snitches are Capitalists who have gotten into debt with bigger Capitalists or the Banks. What they must do is to report information pertaining to the board and the goings on from one board to another Capitalist or King.

Thus, all-in-all there a tension between the Kings and the Capitalists.

They can both cooperate for mutual advantage, but they can both try to screw each other over.

4: Features and Extras.

1: A Shadowbroker can warn a King of an invasion if the King pays money in return or provides information.

2: Nuclear proliferation and brinksmanship.

How to Build a Nuclear Weapon.

1: A King must instruct his General to produce the weapon.

2: The General must then select or order a Capitalist or a cabal of Capitalists who owns the King’s Military-Industrial Complex to begin construction of the weapon.

3: The Capitalist or Capitalist cabal need tremendous amounts of capital, oil, widgets and time to build a nuclear weapon. They can acquire all these things from Banks and other Capitalists, but usually (of course) they will be instructed to not inform them of the purpose.

4: All any other player sees is that capital, widgets and oil is going into the Military-Industrial-Complex and what comes out – i.e Tanks, Battleships etc. All military units, after a certain limit, must be placed outside the Complex.

Thus, it is theoretically possible for someone to deduce that a Capitalist (via the order and command of the General and King) is building a bomb because while materials are going in, nothing or an insufficient amount of goods are being produced.

5: If say, a Capitalist or a Diplomat deduced that a bomb was being built, they can sell or pass that information along.

6: However, it is also possible that a King is simply amassing materials at the Complex (which can be used for a number of other potential units or can be moved or traded).

7: Thus, there is an element of uncertainty.

8: However, it is possible that both the Capitalist and the General could leak or trade the information to another party.

9: Other players – Kings, Diplomats and Shadowbrokers – will want this information.

10: Kings can bluff others that they have nuclear weapons.

11: Kings can allow other parties to verify that they have nuclear weapons.

12: The logic of deterrence with nuclear weapons comes into play.

13: There can be different kinds of nuclear weapons.

A: Low, Medium and High (let’s say).

B: A Low is inaccurate and has a 1/6 chance of landing on the square that the King has ordered to be attacked. However, on either side of the detonation site, two squares will be destroyed.

C: A Medium weapon has a 3/6 chance of hitting its target. However, it destroys three squares either side.

D: A High weapon had a 5/6 chance of hitting its target and it destroys 4 squares either side of the detonation.

14: If a nuclear weapon is launched, the King who is attacked has a short time to decide to launch a counter-strike and where (1 minute, before impact).

15: If a nuclear strike occurs, then it destroys every hotel and house on the impacted board section (every board has four sections).

16: The square, which is ground zero, cannot be traversed; thus, to “pass by” it requires the equivalent of passing through 7 squares (it slows down players, thus slows down rent collection).

17: Nuclear weapons can attack a nuclear site (where the King has placed his nuclear weapon); the Military-Industrial-Complex (where the weapon is hidden).

18: Other targets are:

A: The King’s Castle (thus killing the King).

B: The Bank (thus destroying all the money).

C: Factories, oil fields and gold mines.

3: Kings can move.

1: Kings can move either along boards or travel in ships (but only near coastlines) or can move to other boards (which they have conquered).

2: If a King is moving, then he can be kidnapped.

3: If a King is kidnapped then he can sold or ransomed. Finally, a King can be killed.

5: A King, however, can use doubles (fake Kings) and move them along the board.

6: Why should a King move?

A: To avoid getting killed in a nuclear blast.

B: To avoid getting captured in an invasion.

C: Using doubles can set traps for others.

D: If a King can move and can either be killed or captured, then the King needs protection.

E: Thus, in a war, the King will have (probably) considerable forces at his disposal. At times, it makes sense for the King to commit these forces to battle. Thus, it makes sense for a King to move with his Army.

4: Generals.

1: A General has control of either one Division or forces spread out over one side of board section.

2: To wage a multi-front war, a King will need many Generals.

3: Generals from other Kings can be hired. The Generals from defeated Kings can be hired.

4: For fresh Generals, busted Capitalists can be recruited.

5: Generals can defect, but they can only bring the forces they have on one square “with them”.

6: Given 5, it makes sense to not have one General have too many units under his command.

 5: Teams and Tournaments and League Tables.

1: It is possible to create Teams (King, Banker, General, and Diplomat) who play as one unit again and again.

2: Team can face off against each in tournaments.

3: There can also be league tables.

6: Colonisation.

1: It is possible that you could add in a colonies element to the game.

7: Space Race.

1: You could add in a “Space Race”.

2: If you win the Space Race then you can see all positions on all boards.

8: You could create special games.

1: Total wars.

2: Three boards v three boards and the game is elimination via military conquest.

3: Against the odds: three boards v seven boards.

9: Board Construction.

1: One question is should there be single boards for all players, or just one main board?

2: Having single boards for all players allow for the element of uncertainty because a player cannot know what is happening in all the other squares. However, if you use one board per King for all players on that board it does save materials. However, it means that information can leak out more easily.

3: If you have only single boards, then there needs to be a Master Board with all the information. However, the Master Board can only be seen by the Umpire. Furthermore, it would be, perhaps, quite difficult to keep it updated and accurate.

4: Computer could be used, of course, and that would make things easier and perhaps better.

5: However, you need to remember that human interaction (diplomacy, persuasion etc) is a key element in the game.

 

5: Summary.

This is only a rough outline. No doubt, there are potential problems, but in theory there is no reason why something like this could not be done.

The benefits from this game is that it could create a “strategic culture” demonstrate key ideas, foster a particular identity and culture and quite possibly lead to profit by “selling” or “teaching” the game.

There are issues with copyright, but the elements can be changed sufficiently so as to avoid that.

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4 thoughts on “The King’s Game. (Towards the Development of Nrx “Strategic Culture”.)

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