Okay so I tested out the scoring with special systems like I said I was going to yesterday. Man am I glad I did, uncovered two bugs that would have ruined play immediately for anyone testing. One bug added on points when planets exploded into systems that didn't exist (off the map), while another didn't give proper points for placing a planet in space dust and nebula special systems. So that's all cleaned up now.
After that I started work on the Imperialism game type. In this mode you can't place planets willy-nilly about the board - you can only do it in your territory, which is defined by map tiles shaded your color. The victory condition is to control either 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the board. However when I finally sat back and thought about it - a small map contains 16 systems (tiles). 25% of that is 4 systems. When you place a planet, you gain control of that system plus the 4 adjacent to it, which means the first player who places a planet wins the game, which would always be Player 1. Doh! So then I thought well maybe I could have the game limit the victory options depending on map size. Large maps, which have 81 systems, could support the full range of victory options, whereas small maps would only allow 75% and 100%.
But then I thought again and realized that to control 25% of a large map, which is roughly 20 systems, all players would have to do is place planets on the board until they controlled however many percent - and 25% or 50% could possibly be acheived without any of the players actually fighting each other! Well that certainly doesn't make much sense now does it? Booooorrrinng.
So I finally thought up of a solution - instead of controlling, say, 25% of the map a player must control 25% of all other player's territory. This forces players to attack each other.
Confusing? A little - took me many an hour to puzzle it all out but I think I finally got it. Here's an example. You have a 4 player game (map size does not matter, that's the cool thing, but for this example we'll say we're on a large 9x9 map). Blue has control of 16 systems. Red has control of 7 systems. Yellow has control of 25 systems. Green has control of 12 systems. It's Blue's turn, which means he needs to make a dent in 44 systems. Let's say he's already taken over 12%. He manages to take over 3 of Yellow's planets and 2 of Red's. That's 11% worth of damage that gets added to his control percentage while 7% is taken from Yellow's control and 4% is taken from Red's. No player can fall below 0% however. So now Blue controls 23%. But next turn Red (looking to make a dent in 74 systems) takes Blue down a notch by taking over 4 of his planets and 3 of Green's. That's 9% of damage - 5% from Blue and 4% from Green.
And so it goes. The basic idea is that players are attacking each other, which is the whole point of the game, and so it's all good. I'm not sure how much that explaination helped - you're not trying to go after the strong guys like in Equilibrium for the most points, here you're just looking to take over as many planets as possible faster than anyone else in order to reach that percentage goal.
So yea that's as far as I got since I had friends over for a movie nite - watched Van Wilder. God I forgot how hilarious that movie really is. Good stuff good stuff.
So tomorrow I'll implement this scheme and see how it turns out actually playing it. Should be intersting.