Idea for a war game based off OGS

So I’ve been learning how to make game server recently, and for application one idea come to my mind, and I’m looking for comment/support to decide whether to realize it.

The idea actually originated from the origin of Go. As we know Go is an abstraction of war in ancient China.

So I’m thinking maybe I could create a war game, but battle result is based on a game on OGS between combatants. Kind of like Risk I think, without the units.

Idea detail is described below: (all numbers are rough guess)

In the beginning there will be 2 or 3 kingdoms/countries/empires (you name it, your choice), each have 4 or 5 generals (which represent the players).

There would be a world map (Let’s call it Tianxia to make it more thematic! xD) with many territories (maybe 20-30), and each general can move around and fight for those territories.

The game will be decided when

  • One kingdom claims maybe 80% territories of Tianxia,
  • Or when a certain real life time has passed (let’s say 2 months), at which point the winner is the kingdom with most territories.

The game progress in turns, where each 2 hours in real life is one turn:

  • Moving one step inside your kingdom’s territory take 1 turn (2 hours).
  • Moving one step inside an undefended enemy territory take 3 turns (6 hours). After that you claim the territory as yours.
  • Moving into an occupied enemy territory will initiate one game on OGS against each general(s) defending that territory. The result of those games decide ownership of the territory.

Battle rules in detail:

  • When you move into an occupied enemy territory, for each enemy player currently there, the game will automatically create a game on OGS against that player. (technically possible right? Not 100% sure)

  • The attacker must win ALL of those games in order to capture the territory (so more defenders = better defense)

  • If you lose the combat, you must withdraw to an adjacient friendly territory. You are forbidden from entering the battle zone again until the ownership of that location has been decided.

  • When you are locked in a battle, you can’t move away from the location. But of course you can always choose to resign on OGS and then move away.

  • Other people from both side can freely join the fight, the same combat rule applies.

  • As soon as one attacker successfully defeat all defenders, the territory is claimed and the remaining unfinished OGS games will have no further effect on the ownership.

For those reasons, created OGS games most likely will be Unranked games (so you can do things like strategic resign to move to more urgent locations).

Games are of course correspondence, but to reflect the pressure of war probably they should be quite fast (maybe Fischer 3 days + 6 hours). Actually my idea is just so that the journalists of us can have new things to comment on the state of the war regularly xD

So anyway in general it will be roughly the same length as a correspondence tournament, but has more time pressure - your opponent can make a quick thrust into undefended territories in the middle of the night while you were sleeping.

Anyway, the point of this thread is that, it is all still just my idea, and new year’s coming so maybe I can have a free week to actually make that. Problem is:

Is this idea interesting for you? Would you like to join for one game?

Are you sure you can be online fairly regularly for 2 months straight and fight for your kingdom?

In the end if there’s not enough players to even start a single game, I’d rather spend time making another single player game because someone can play it.

Hence the pool:

  • I have read the post and answer “Yes”
  • I have read the post and answer “No”
  • Man that’s a long post where’s the potato? Didn’t read.

0 voters

Comments are greatly appreciated :smiley:


I answered “Yes” since I found the idea interesting, but I don’t know if I’d be able to commit for a game.

I think some of the mechanics should be further discussed and potentially adjusted. Some parts seemed a bit unclear. I will think about it and make more detailed comments later.

This reminds me of a game that some friends in high school played. They basically played a game of Risk, but each battle was not decided by dice, but instead by an entire game of Stratego, which was handicapped based on the relative forces facing each other in the Risk battle.


So you could only claim a territory occupied by (let’s say) 4 opposing generals by beating all of them in a game of go? Even if all players are roughly of similar rank, this will be very hard to do. How about finding a solution such that either you only have to play a single game (e.g. against the strongest opponent present), or a way to attack with multiple allies at the same time (this is more in the spirit of the game, I guess).


Sounds good but way too specific. You restrict the game to only fast (and even faster than +8 hours) correspondence players. There aren’t many of them. And if games are unranked this further makes the game less attractive.
Plus, if you look at fast correspondence tourneys with +8 hours time control, games can easily take one month. With +6 hours time control it’ll be faster but still (best defense would be to drag the game out for longer) games will take too long to finish everything in two months. This should be a longer game or shorter time (like 1 day per 10 stones, that was fun).

The game like this requires active participation. If we find active players we don’t need a server we could play it like a forum game. And testing it out in the forums would show how many players are actually willing to commit to it.

Alternative option is to switch to passive participation. That is for registered players games played on OGS somehow automatically count towards this war so people don’t have to think about this too much.

I’m doubting it’ll worth the effort in the current state.


It seems that larger teams may be necessary in order to handle the round the clock nature of this game.

How would this be practically implemented if the moves at the war-game scale can happen as frequently as every 2 hours? It would seem to require substantial coding effort to automate things, or a team of humans to manually track things around the clock.

I’m a bit confused about how the large-scale game would work. Does each human player just directly correspond to a single unit moving around on the board?

The battles would seem to be very slow (even with fast correspondence time settings) compared to the movement of units in the overall war. Based on how the battles are described to work, it seems that the defending side could endlessly stall until more join the fight. However, at the same time, with players locked up in fighting a battle, they are leaving the rest of the board undefended, so it seems like players should avoid fighting battles altogether and just try to scoop up undefended territories, while their enemies are tied up with fighting.

Maybe slowing down the war (having movement of forces between territories happen only once or twice a day) and speeding up the battles (maybe by replacing them with a single live game between whatever players from each team are online at the time) could be considered.

Also, with a single live game for each battle, perhaps the game should be handicapped twice, once for the relative rank difference between the players, and again for the relative force difference in the war game. This would make battles less dependent on the relative skill of the players involved and more the relative size of the forces in the battle.


Related to the strategy of just running around the map, it seems like it would make sense to be able to kill opposing generals after a won battle so that a winning side could attrit their way to victory?

Think about this from a different perspective: you are single-handedly locking 4 opponents in place, while your other 4 allies are freely roaming the map claiming territories :smiley:

As mentioned all numbers are rough guess of mine, and number-deciding is one of the points of this thread :smiley:
Ultimately the actual players would be the one to decide a time settings everyone can agree on.

No human can handle the turn timing (well, some don’t need sleep but most do) or qualify for fairness of action, so a forum game method is a bit tricky to actualize T_T

That’s… a pretty good idea actually… who need consent I can just creepily add random people name into a bot! :sweat_smile:

I can assure you it’s not substantial coding effort. The computer is a very hard-working idiot. If I tell it to scan the entire player history of OGS every 2 hours it will do so with exact precision up to a millisecond.

This hinge on how the actual map is designed. With proper placement of places like choke points, some location will be more important than others, and encourage fighting for.

I think your Go skill should hold an important part in the game, or else it would be meaningless and just use dice instead. You can always divide the players into teams of roughly equal ranks, so teams can decide on who to matchup against whom in meta-game strategy.

Well I personally am against killing off player, especially since that would turn weak players into negligible paw. But let’s see other people’s view.

A word like “substantial” is a bit subjective, so maybe the effort to write all of the necessary code would be easy for you, but for me, it would seem like a lot of work to build up the necessary user interfaces and back-end server code to allow players to enter moves on a shared world game board, while also automatically launching go games and checking that all inputs/moves are legal.

To be clear, I do not mean that such code would be computationally intensive. I think, once properly written, the code would only require very modest computing resources, especially for a small scale game involving no more than dozens of players.

I am only talking about the amount of labor and effort needed to write such code.

Just gonna link this old variant of go I made up that was designed precisely for games like this: Limitation Go (Variant) (alternatively War Go or Morale Go, idk what to call it)

And what you could do is make it so each capture is the same as a casualty, and whoever wins (either by points, resignation, or no men standing on opposing side) takes control of the territory, and all others will be forced to retreat (attackers from wherever they attacked from, and defenders from any friendly (or neutral if such a thing exists) territory

This will definitely cut down on a lot of the time, and allow more direct influence of how having multiple units changes the situation


A few notes on how my variant can be implemented to the larger scale game:

  1. Naturally this doesn’t lend itself to games which allow multiple generals or armies to be in a province at once outside of a 1v1 battle. This can be reflected in the larger game by not allowing two nations to be in the same province at a time, or by changing it to be a sort of rengo where the generals can talk to each other. Alternatively, you can add a support mechanic where any general may give support, effectively increasing the number of troops available in the province, where the main general of the army receiving support decides whether the next capture is one of his or the supporting army’s troops. Support can be withdrawn at any time, and a province under attack cannot lend support.
  2. All units must be somewhat homogeneous, or special units must provide some special ability
  3. Timing: I had originally thought of this being kind of a turn-based idea (which would lend itself to smaller boards and faster time controls), but naturally that would take a lot of time, and make support slightly less interesting. Asynchronous play, however, is a bit difficult to pull off without a dedicated program to handle it, but if you can do that, with relatively fast-ish time controls, it could work.
  4. Player/Team count: none of this is a direct corollary to the variant itself, but if you make each nation a team of X generals, where a general can only occupy one province, he can only move units in that province and each province can only hold one general, and any armies without a general immediately surrender and disband when attacked, make a maximum travel speed for armies (and generals), that will make sure all battles are not fought by the strongest players, but will require a substantial number of players to make this interesting play, so it feels a bit like a 1/side or many/side dilemma, unless there is an alternative form I missed
  5. Resignations… This is somewhat tricky, as it is proper that this could be considered a normal retreat in battle, but can also be abused within this system such that someone about to lose many units may resign to just retreat and keep them. Naturally this is problematic, so it might be reasonable that before you resign, you must make X number of passes in a row where the opponent is allowed to pick off on the retreating forces, but choosing that number is likely a careful balancing act.
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Does anyone know if there is a name for this general concept (as expressed by the original post and the below quote)?

Is there terminology for playing a game while substituting a key mechanism with playing out an instance of another game?

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Idk if there’s a direct term, but there are a few things I can come up with for it

  1. Mini-game (from the Video Game usage)
  2. Meta-game, (but this one overlaps with the common use of metagame)
  3. Framed game (the name borrowed from the literary device of a similar name)
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I reckon this thread is worth another look.