Victory Conditions in 1650

Hi everyone,

In the old days of 1650 long ago, the victory conditions in 1650 were good for these things:

  1. Helpful information about the world, back when so little was known
  2. If you were in the top 3 (of all allegiances), you received a nice certificate in the mail congratulating you, saying “You are the winnder/2ndplace/3rdplace” in game xxx, and you received two free turns, PLUS (and this was big) guaranteed first choice of nation in your next game. So completing your victory conditions was important and actually could push you in the top 3. Of course, this was not entirely fair to whoever got nations like Rhudaur or Eothraim as they were considerably less likely to wind up in the top 3!

These days they seem to me to have no point in 1650, and are even like to lead newer players astray into thinking they should spend effort on them, when most 1650 games are so hard-fought today – due to everything about the nation setups being known to everyone – that they are a distraction.

So I’d like to open up a conversation and invite ideas about how they could be changed or in some way made part of the game again. Of course, one way is that MEG could re-institute emailing out a nice certificate, giving two free turns, and giving first choice of position.

But does anyone have any ideas for others? Presumably it would need to be something that doesn’t just add to the information that the team has, something for each particular nation to try to benefit from.

Just a thought…


Hi Jeremy,

Any email beginning with “…in the old days…” will most likely get a reply from me :wink:

Yes, I still have my certificate from the only game I ever won. Blind Sorcerer.

You’re right - the big deal was getting to play whatever position you wanted next time. And I agree, the old rewards actually motivated you to seek out your Individual Victory Conditions.

What can the new MEG do ? Perhaps they can offer suggestions?

How 'bout one of those singing birthday emails sent out in the newsletter - but with music from the movies and Tolkien-like animation? :smile:


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I like the idea of awarding something at the end of the game, especially getting to choose a nation. Maybe decide by player vote on the winning team, who the best player was or the best team player. I think the random victory missions are useless in 1650.

Hi Ned,

I’m not sure If I’m understaing correctly what are you suggesting.

Actually we have the Council the Wise, where you vote at the end of the game for …3? categories and it will get reflecteted in the acording sections of the Hall of Fame.


To me the VC only add a bit of flavour. In the 1650 scenario, winning to me is my team winning, personal winning has very low importance.

Yes, as I said, most people feel that way, I certainly do as well. I just want to put some additional fun into the game by making the Victory Conditions mean something.

I have my victory certificates framed and on the wall in my workshop. They meant something to me. There were even little pins.

I agree Jeremy that it’d be cool to have the certificates again.

Yes Dave, I still have those Pins, too. If I ever make it to a face-to-face-Event, then I will proudly wear them on my jacket :grinning:

Very good write-up and points. As a returning player, I have since been playing over the past two years. It has been amazing and I believe I am hooked for life! I started in the very early stages of the game’s creation in (I believe) Game #8 and I think it was in the late 80’s if I recall. Man, cant believe how time has flown!

I absolutely love the idea of returning to the old rewards upon victory. I was a little disheartened when I learned there was no reward upon my recent victory. I believe I still have my old victory certificate as well (hidden somewhere deep in my own personal treasure trove from decades ago) and equally enjoy the rewards that came with placing as the top three victors of the game. Please consider bringing back those most appropriate placement rewards, for even if you don’t give out the two free turns and perhaps even the choice of nation (which would be disappointing, as that was a great incentive to encourage immediate startup in a new game), the certificate for me is actually something classy, notable, and personally rewarding, in a very good way.


Hi Kevin,

Thank you (and everyone) for your reply. It’s funny, the culture has changed since those days somewhat. Players today are much more committed to a team victory; and there is that Council of the Wise, part of whose purpose is probably the opposite of victory points, i.e. to identify the best players without regard to victory points. But like you, I have a positive remembrance of the certificates. And as I said when I started this thread, I hate to see the VC’s in 1650 be so totally pointless.


The victory system rewards passive play and in case of some conditionals, even backstabbing. No wonder noone cares anymore. Winning is more a mark of shame now.

Well, I’ve never heard of anyone expressing shame at having the most VC’s at the end of the game. And certainly long ago, some players could be quite determined about getting their VC’s, including assassinating allied characters. But I can’t see that coming back in, no matter what reward is given for victory points. The current player base just wouldn’t stand for it, and hallelujah for that!

But I’d still like to see them have some meaning again in 1650.


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 >Any email beginning with “…in the old days…” will most likely get a reply from me

Ha! Scott, until your reply, I’d forgotten that I kept my first win certificate, too (Quiet Avenger). Good times.

I’d also like to see the VC’s updated. I’d draw from two lists. The first would be a set of general conditions good for your whole team: Kill or Kidnap an Enemy Character with a Spell in the Spirit Mastery tree, Eliminate 5 Enemy Armies in Combat or by Forced Disband, Capture or Destroy 3 Enemy MTs or Cities etc.

The second would be a set of conditions reflecting challenges for your particular nation - rewarding, say, a WK who ends the game still with a presence in the northwest (army or MT), or Northmen with an MT on on the Sea of Rhun, or a BlS who cast Summon Storms in 3 battles with more than 2500 troops, etc.

In each game, VC’s would then be a randomized mix from those two lists. How’s that sound?

Dan N

Hi Dan

(BTW, for those who haven’t read Dan’s hilarious piece in the forum on why the Spaniards are so good at MEPBM, go find it and read it!!)

I like your ideas! Those are the kinds of suggestions I hoped would surface from this thread. I hadn’t come up with any. Of course, all this is going to require coding from MEG and they probably have their hands full with the variants and maybe new FA SNA’s someday.

Admittedly, anything we put in there could potentially pull someone from doing the best for their team, and this has been pointed out as a legitimate problem, since these days the team win is everything. But your ideas are a great start.


“In the 1650 scenario, winning to me is my team winning, personal winning has very low importance.”

“These days they seem to me to have no point in 1650, and are even like to lead newer players astray into thinking they should spend effort on them, when most 1650 games are so hard-fought today…”

I agree with both these points for Fourth Age as well. I have often seen newer players focus on their victory points or conditions when the whole world is in flames around them and the team is on the edge of ruin.

I think the VC’s were originally included in 1650 to heighten the tension between nations pursuing their own selfish goals vs banding together to collectively prevail. It’s a significant theme in the books. From that perspective, it’s appropriate that the VC’s are small potatoes compared to the larger war. Only a self-destructive fool would pursue them at the expense of the greater good (or evil :).

Personally, I’m fine with VP’s and VCs not counting for much. My least favorite MEPBM experiences is being on a team with selfish players trying to max out their score while we collectively lose. I suspect it’s driven many a veteran into the beautiful solitude of gunboat. =)

The experimental game being proposed that awards VP’s for actual destruction of enemy assets seems like a great idea, although I will say that often the most important role on the team is the double scout, which won’t be recognized under this scheme.


I haven’t read all the replies so if someone else has already suggested this, my apologies.

What about, instead of victory conditions, we had in game objectives. Some could be the same as victory conditions, e.g. killing a particular character. Some might be new ones, e.g. finding a particular artefact. On achieving one of their objectives, a nation would gain some advantage, e.g. a boost to a character’s skills, an upgrade to a fortification.


I think you are on to something here. If the benefit weren’t victory points for the individual nation but something that would benefit the team by benefiting the nation’s capabilities, that sounds on the right track!

So I like the idea of in game rewards for achieving conditions but I can see a myriad of coding issues.

VCs for teams seem more the style the game has gone, not individual play. When chatting with Bill and Pete I raised this issue a long time ago. Their broad response, the DS are backstabbing and conniving, so are after their own aims often (the Dark Lord keeps them broadly in check). FP less so.

We’ve been looking at Quests within a game as the way forward for rewards btw but we’re not sure atm. 1) They have to be good enough that you spend the 10 turns chasing down a Quest, without then breaking the game. 2) Would players even bother?

So we’re presently looking at upgrading encounters so that they’re more fun and relevant. So you see a crevice, normally I avoid (don’t want to get eaten!) change to an auto encounter. See CME when it’s launched for how that’s going.

So back to the original, I don’t want to reward players for getting high VCs. It causes disharmony in the game and has a multi-tier structure of rewards etc that starts to become part of the culture. We tested a variant of this in the Vegas FTF event with tier awards that works well in a team game. So for example some players saved their GWCs for the elusive WWizard or similar position which made game start ups a nightmare (10 players with GWCs all wanting the WW, well you can see the problem here, that’s 9 unhappy players, and 9 not playing the game having fun both at the same time).

So scope for discussion. I like micro-rewards, via Quests/Encounters that are tied into a multi encounter system and leave VCs to go the day of the dodo myself. BUT I like innovative ideas that don’t take 2 years of coding as well… :slight_smile:


Hi Clint,

Given how split the various FP nations were in the Third Age – I mean, the Dwarves and Elves weren’t even talking to each other! – one could make a good case for individual FP victory points as well.

But coding work aside – and I know how many projects you guys have! – I think you are on to something.


Make them in game rewards-
-random character bonus , artifact, gold, scout of enemy PC,
once met its triggered
could tear it ( 1 major, 3 lesser_- major could be shared by an enemy to spice up game………give reason to uncover secrets.