Beginner's Strategy Guide
- For a general beginner's guide to BlogNomic, see New Player Guide.
Hello, I'm Cuddlebeam and this is my beginner's guide to playing Blognomic with a competitive spirit. After achieving victory in Blognomic a couple times and seeing how others have won, I've made this quick guide to give insight and pointers as to how to play this wacky, strange but beautiful game. At the bottom you have some posting templates to use for your convenience.
How to win
Nomic is an extremely varied game, however, the Core Rules and the ideal of how the game should be is quite consistent throughout all of the Dynasties, which allow us to make some general strategies. There are three strategies for victory that I suggest for new players, each with varying
I heavily recommend this for new players, because it is one of the most straightforwards and easy way to win. You cluster enough of a thing in a single person to have them reach the victory condition and win. This is possible because "having the most of a thing" is a very common style of win condition, and being able to transfer that thing between players is a common mechanic. Who should be the beneficiary of the pooling can be done via a private dice roll (for example, through our dice bot on Slack). You don't need a large group for this, it's often very effective and a lot easier to do with just two players.
Pro: Very low effort, simple, exceptionally good win-to-difficulty proportion. More powerful than Conventional Play- a single player generally can't "out-race" alone two or more players.
Con: Requires collaboration with someone else, cannot aim for a full 100% chance win for yourself because you have to split it (to 'pay' your teammates). Less powerful than a Loophole (a "scam" in nomic slang) play.
Winning by playing the subgame and its proposals: The "conventional" way of playing. The subgame is the game created and shaped by proposals, it could be a Monopoly theme, Mafia, Basketball, etc. What form the subgame takes is very variable, but it relies on proposals to exist and change, which will influence your wealth (although what real "wealth" is, prior to an explicit way to win, is largely speculative; because anything could be proposed to be a way to win). There are two phenomenons to have in mind for that:
- Benefit a Majority, Punish a Minority (Bampam): Always looming at proposals, and arguably one of the worst parts of nomic as a game, because of the simple natural motivation that people want stuff that is favorable to them. Generally, any change - any proposal - to a sufficiently mature subgame will benefit a group of people and punish another group. Thus, proposals are a way to change the wealth of people in the subgame aside from actually "playing" the subgame: they could make gaining more of a certain thing easier or harder, change the value of a thing, etc. Through this, for example, a proposal that allows all players except the top player to become richer will generally have a higher chance of passing than a proposal that makes the singular top player even richer.
- Fool's Gold: Related to Bampam, if you have a lot of a certain thing in comparison to everyone else - for example, balloons, it's going to be very hard to make it actually worth something (ie. make it significant to actually winning the game), because people would be reluctant to pass proposals that would make it so. Thus, leaving you with "Fool's Gold".
Pro: The least controversial kind, generally doesn't require much of a set-up to play - you don't need to coordinate with people or have studied the ruleset in depth.
Con: Moderate-high effort, weaker than a Pool (one versus many), weaker than a loophole (it breaks the game entirely).
Also known in the nomic slang as "scams"! These generally involve achieving (extreme) profit through an unexpected interaction and the "letter of the law" versus the spirit of it, very much like exploiting bugs and glitches in videogames. Because of this, it is also the most technical and finicky method, but nonetheless very effective with the right opportunity. The specifics of how you could profit from a scam entirely depends on the rules at the time, but the following tips generally apply:
- Secrecy is key: Because reaction is the worst enemy of a loophole. Revealed scams that don't immediately end the dynasty are susceptible to being reverted (or the scam's extreme profit is left as Fool's Gold), and loopholes are nearly always promptly fixed by someone once it's made public. Also, be very careful when proposing or doing game actions related to setting up a loophole, because they might tip other people off about what you're trying to accomplish if it's too suspicious.
- You can complete "incomplete" scams: It's also possible that you've found an interesting interaction, an infinite loop for an infinite amount of a thing for example, but there is no practical use for it yet. In that case, you can propose such a use, but make sure to make it subtle - Don't be too obvious, or people might see the loophole and patch it, or even detect it and decide to use it themselves before you can.
- Exclusivity is useful: While not entirely required, because you might be protected by that you are the only one to have noticed the loophole, it could help to make it so that you're the only one mechanically able to benefit from the loophole.
- Check the wording: Also, make sure that the wording for your loophole is entirely clear and iron-clad. Loose interpretation has a very hard time working at all because a loophole's success (and possibly a DoV) relies on the recognition of its legitimacy by the other players.
Pro: If it exists in the ruleset in some way, its the most powerful method to victory.
Con: If it doesn't exist in the ruleset, or you just can't find it, you can't use it. Extremely technical. Very opportunistic. Admins often have the advantage for these because they can act immediately after a proposal has been enacted to exploit a scam, and Admins are often veteran players with a better eye for scams than the average newcomer.
Stages of the game
Blognomic can often be divided into three phases: the earlygame, the midgame, and the endgame. There are several curious phenomenon which occur during these phases which might not be immediately obvious which I'd like to point out for you.
Earlygame: Creative and chaotic. Proposals are flying everywhere, the Proposal queue gets enormous and the design and direction of the game is often not very clear. This is a good moment to nudge the design of the game into a direction you'd like to take it, for example adding a cock-fighting subgame and battle mechanics into a dynasty about having farm animals. Don't worry too much about your gamestate: your points, items, etc; because what they'll eventually ultimately mean can change as more proposals roll in, but try to not stray too far behind if you can.
Midgame: Often calm. The game's design has largely been defined, and the amount of Proposals coming in is lower, but there still is no victory condition. Your personal gamestate is a bit more significant here, but it's not too much of a problem because with the victory condition not defined yet, you can always push for a proposal that would benefit yourself (and a majority) the most even if another player has biceps the size of beachballs and can chuck tanks into space with his mind - just push to make it minimally relevant (or not at all) for actually winning. Or make proposals that would benefit yourself or alter the context that your personal wealth exists in to make it worth more.
Wealth alone isn't important, the context it exists in is what makes it relevant or not. So, you should have a respectable gamestate, but don't always expect that if you're the sole person who has a billion of something, that it won't simply become Fool's Gold, or that the game won't shift in some way that suddenly gives everyone else a much better chance at winning (a strong catch-up mechanic, for example). Because the game often shifts like that if there's a clear mid-game leader. Proposals are almighty, your personal gamestate is not.
Endgame: Intense. The game is so settled and mature that it's often very hard to radically alter the dynasty's direction in as much as it was possible before. The victory condition is set in place as well, making people scramble towards it. Proposals here are often made with the main motive to put players closer to winning rather than improving the design the game (even if they say otherwise, it's a common excuse). Instant-win scams now loom and while they are uncommon, they are unstoppable if played correctly (some infinite loop to get infinite apples and reach the 100 apples required to achieve victory and put up a DoV all in one swoop, for example). Pooling maneuvers are often most discussed in this phase as well because they could cause an immediate win too (Bob has 68 apples, Carla has 52 apples, they can't reach victory individually but if one gives all of their apples to the other, that person wins).
Adding a new rule:
Add a new rule called “Name Here” with:
Replacing something in a rule:
Replace the following:
(Lore here. For example, explain how an asteroid fell on Earth, only robots have survived, and that this is now a robot Dynasty!)
Repeal all Dynastic Rules.
Replace “old player term here” with “new player term here” and “old emperor term here” with “new emperor term here”.