Terms: Nation - Resolved -

  • Nation and player are both used.

    Nation is the better term, but since the XML uses player we should stick with that and change references to nation.

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    @mahks I disagree that nation is a better term. Even tho many modern people tend to, somewhat incorrectly, use "nation" with about the same meaning as "country", if not even "state", traditionally, the meaning of nation identifies the sum of a population and its territory having distinctive cultural bonds, and have nothing to do with anything organized, but on a long term perspective. For example, the Kurds are a nation without a country, the Evenk are a nation inside the state of Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire is many nations (and, for example, the Italian nation was mostly inside the Kingdom of Italy, an only scarcely inside the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while since after WWI Italy has a sizeable chunk of the Austrian nation (south Tyrol), in it). Practically, a nation would be the territory mostly populated by a nationality, which is a very vague and arguable classification (like, the Polish nation never ceased to exist, even tho the Polish state did). So, I really think "nation" is a very bad term for about every TripleA game. For example, you have "British", that are surely not a nation (India and England are surely not the same nation, no matter if in personal union), and even the United Kingdom is not a nation, as, for example, Scotland is most likely a nation, no matter if not a country, but the matter is disputable.
    Definitely remove nation from everywhere.
    But I agree that using "player" is not wonderful, as it is very confusing, as you usually think about that in term of the human or AI players, not the game ones.
    So, I actually think that the term "player", when referring to the in-game players should better be something else (not nation).

    Better terms (than nation):

    • Power (this would be my favourite pick)
    • Country
    • Civilization
    • State (tho this may be confusing to U.S.Americans, as they use State for what Europeans would call province)

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    @cernel Long way to say that, on the short term, I suggest to change all occurrences of "nation" with "power". On long term, I think it would be better to call in-game "players" as "powers", instead.

  • I agree power may be better than nation.

    My point was that, with the XML using players, if we use another term, we are introducing confusion as well.

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    @mahks It would need to be checked that “power” is not used somewhere for something else (like “strength” multiplied by “rolls”, or something like that), tho.

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    I think sticking with "player" is probably best since its what's used the most already, consistent with XML, and most neutral term.

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    In PoS2 there is already an occurrence of the use I'm proposing:

    At least one Convoy Zone must be controlled by the same power that controls the land territory for that power to gain the income from the land territory.

    Tho, this seems to be the one and the only case in which "power" means in-game "player".

    But this needs to be changed:

    When in Low Luck, we instead add +1 onto the power for each extra roll


    When in Low Luck, we instead add +1 onto the strength for each extra roll


    Battles happen by use of dice. A unit has a certain attack power, and you roll a dice for each unit. If your dice is equal or less than the attack power of the unit, you have scored a hit.


    Battles happen by use of dice. A unit has a certain attack strength, and you roll a dice for each unit. If your dice is equal or less than the attack strength of the unit, you have scored a hit.

    Also this would need rewording:

    In ww2v2 transport units are just like any other unit, and can be used as fodder by being taken casualty first in combat, however in ww2v3 style rules, transports have no defense power and may only be taken casualty after all other non-transport ships are dead.

    This should be all, for PoS2, beside other obvious things like Projection of Power or JetPower.

    @redrum I think changing all in-game players references in PoS2 with "power" is fairly doable, as well as rewording the other uses of such term. But it may be too much of a big deal regarding everything else outside PoS2, especially the mapmaking guides.

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    @cernel said in Terms: Nation:

    At least one Convoy Zone must be controlled by the same power that controls the land territory for that power to gain the income from the land territory.

    You see that, for example, in this case already present in PoS2, if it would say "player", instead of "power", some noobs might think that it is saying that, if I'm playing 2 in-game players, that thing works with any of the in-game players I'm playing, as they are all controlled by me, as a "player".
    But, of course, any experienced mapmakers know what it means anyways.

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    The battle calculator uses the power term, so I don't think that's the best choice here. I'm leaning toward player at the moment.

  • @cernel The XML defines player as an element within playerList, both of these will be used by the engine. If they are changed then all XML files would need to be changed. I doubt if that is preferred.

    So if those terms remain, using power to refer to them is problematic.

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    @general_zod If not "power", "country" would be surely better than nation, in my opinion (even tho not necessarily perfect).

  • @cernel In your example of uses of "power" when referring to die rolls, the term should be "value" as it is referring to the attack value as defined in the XML (or defense value), is that correct?

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    @mahks Not really. The "value" is the "basic" "strength" of the unit. For example, a supported infantry has attack value 1 and attack strength 2. Power is the sum off all strength; so, if that infantry would roll 2 dice, it would have attack power 4. But that can be removed and, instead of saying "power", like in the battlecalculator, we could say "total strength".

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    @mahks But not a big deal. I'm fine with keeping "player" (not great, tho). I'm just quite strongly against "nation", as that is so specific (and wrong most of the time), so I would just say rather "country", if going that way (but it seems you are not, anyways).
    In general, here the most vague the term the better.

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    As the XML should support mapmaking of many designs and plots, it would not be fitting IMO to use Nation, Country, Civilization, State etc. These terms might fit a earth history map but not necessarily if the map is of creative design.

    The Power term might be the hardest word for non English speaking people to understand as it is not a word used that much in gaming communities. Could possibly also be confused with strength, posses control or similar strategy game related stuff.

    Player is probably the best, most used and widely understood term for a game participant, IMO.


    • All occurrences of nation changed to player
    • changed power to strength

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    @redrum Since I almost never read Axis&Allies.org, but for some reasons I did read it a bit in the last hour, I want to make another effort to convince the developers to adopt "power" instead of "player", for the in-game players, reserving "player" only for the human or AI players (like in "waiting for players" that you see when hosting a game).


    This is an interesting question. My gut reaction was the same as P@nther's - that the territories of a friendly power would not be friendly while your power is neutral. This makes sense from a point of view of the dictionary definition of "neutral", but not everything in war makes sense. Let's look at the relevant rules.

    According to the definition of "friendly territories" on page 8 (Europe Rulebook), they are "controlled by you or a friendly power", while the definition of 'neutral territories" indicates that they're "not controlled by any power, or controlled by a power on the other side with which you are not yet at war". Further, the definition of "neutral powers" on page 15 states that powers on the opposite side of neutral powers are not yet enemies, but it doesn't say that powers on the same side are not yet friends. This seems to lump territories controlled by a power on your side while you're neutral into the "friendly" category (though you're explicitly prohibited from going there while neutral). This is reinforced by with the explicit restrictions on the movement of neutral powers' units (rather than simply declaring all other powers' territories neutral while you're neutral).

    The upshot is that the territories of a friendly are technically friendly while your power is neutral, but they're pretty much treated as neutral for all practical purposes. However, they do meet the requirement of being friendly since the start your turn once you're at war.

    From a thematic point of view, while the US or USSR might be officially neutral, the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" still applies, unofficially. While a neutral power can't do anything to provoke a power on the other side, such as openly aiding another power, it can still be prepared to join the war at a moment's notice. This took a little digging to sort out, and it is a little counter-intuitive, so it's easy to come to an incorrect conclusion when "shooting from the hip". I didn't think through all of the ramifications of this situation yesterday when P@nther asked me about it. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused!

    In this post the user Krieghund uses the term "power" to refer to the in game players.
    If you try to substitute all occurrences of "power" with "player", you will see that the matter becomes a lot less clear, as you would be wondering all times if he is actually talking about the people playing the game or about the powers featured in the game.

    So, let's do the same, I suggest: changing all occurrences of "player" with "power", when referring to the in-game ones.

    This, of course, would also mean dropping the use of "power" with the meaning of att/def "strength" multiplied by the number of "rolls", like you have in the battlecalculator. That one can be substituted with "total strength", that I think would be also clearer.

    Not reopening to go in circles; just pointing out an additional element of consistency we might have overlooked (not sure how many around here read Axis&Allies.org a lot, beside @Panther).

    p.s.: A good alternative would be "potentate", that means "power", but more specifically with the meaning we want, but I guess that is rarely used a word.

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    It does get a bit confusing in the code as well. I think the problem is 'player' is not right. If you ask, which players are in bot102, the answer is not "UK, USSR".

    Changing this naming is pretty prohibitive, so it perhaps a moot point. If we start to rename things and it is out of sync, that could be worse than generally agreed on poor names.

    With that said, "faction" might be the right term we would be looking for. I've personally been using 'nation' quite a bit.

    "Power" IMO is not bad, but it's odd to talk about the "neutral power", when the neutral's almost by definition wield no power (but they kinda do as when you attack them, they do shoot back).

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    TripleA is a game. In computer games there are players, sometimes divided into human players and bots/AI players. People playing games know and expect this, so naming players anything else than players might "fix something that ain't broken" and maybe even confuse people.

    Also the term "player" is very generic, so it easily fits map themes and player slots, from managing chess pieces to dinosaurs, from single unit players (if a map should have this) to intergalactic federations, etc. Terms like countries, nations, powers might not fit all current and future maps.

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    @lafayette said in Terms: Nation - Resolved -:

    "Power" IMO is not bad, but it's odd to talk about the "neutral power", when the neutral's almost by definition wield no power (but they kinda do as when you attack them, they do shoot back).

    Not really, at least not in A&A. In wwii_global1940 a "neutral power" is a power that starts the game being neutral and will join the Allies during the game (USA and Russia). This is different from "neutral territories", which are "not controlled by any power (for example Spain), or controlled by a power on the other side with which you are not yet at war".
    At the game board powers (starting neutral or not) are represented by human players as indicated in the rulebook.
    Every other nation present on the game board (or in the rules, for example the Dutch) is not a power and is not represented by a human player, though TripleA sometimes assigns them "players".
    So rules-wise we have a clear definition about what a "power" is, and a "neutral power" is as subset of those.