Tribes & BBS

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Tribes & BBS

Post by Blakesley »

Tribes and BBS

We took note that, during the last two rounds, factions may have played a role in creating a more adversarial environment within the parties, rather than a constructive one that encouraged players to treat the game as a team sport. We are seeking to eliminate the harmful elements of that dynamic by instituting tribes within the major parties.

What are tribes?

Tribes represent the often fluid ideological groupings within the Labour and Conservative parties. There are six per party and they represent some of the major ideological traditions within the party. They are designed to be fluid in nature. Based on how players play the game, the number of MPs belonging to each tribe will move naturally between the tribes in an ideologically sensible manner. The exact number of MPs in each tribe will not be revealed; however, the general strength of each tribe will be made available and this will be updated as the number of MPs in each tribe fluctuates.

You might ask, how will player actions impact the number of MPs in a tribe? As parties begin adopting positions and players become loosely affiliated with a tribe, actions will impact tribe levels. Adopting policy positions associated with particular tribes will cause that tribe to grow. Likewise, politicians that are associated with a given tribe gaining experience, boosting their profile, and positively contributing to the game will also see benefits for the tribe that they are most affiliated with. These changes will be dynamic and depend on the overall view of the game, periodically discussed by the A-Team. Some examples are provided below:
  • If Labour begins rapidly adopting soft left, Open Labour positions and abandoning Blairite positions, one might see a number of MPs from the Tribune tribe move to the Open Labour tribe and several MPs from the Progress tribe move to the Tribune tribe. The effect of this would be Open Labour rises in membership, Tribune stays somewhat constant, and Progress declines. The net effect of this would be a view that Labour is moving to the left noticeably.
  • If Labour begins rapidly adopting soft left, Open Labour positions and abandoning Blairite/Brownite positions, but a player forcefully advocates and promotes Blairite positions, one might see a number of MPs from the Tribune tribe move to the Open Labour tribe, while MPs from the Progress tribe do not move. The effect of this would be Open Labour rises in membership, Tribune declines, and Progress remains constant. The net effect of this would be a view that Labour is moving to the left, albeit slightly.
How do you join a tribe?

Simply put, you don't. Tribes are here to provide a framework for you to think about your character, policy, and political debates. Tribes often intermingle, so it would be foolish for you to have to choose one of them. What we will ask, when you sign in, is for you to declare which tribe your character is primarily associated with at the start of the round. You may then select up to two secondary tribes (provided that they make sense - if Progress or Bright Blue is your primary tribe, the Socialist Campaign Group or Cornerstone Group are very unlikely to be secondary tribes). You do not have to choose secondary tribes, though it is recommended. Tribes do not come with individual war rooms or Discord channels. Again, they are not meant to provide a framework for plotting, but rather a framework for thinking about the game and your parties.

How do tribes impact me? BBS.

This is an excellent question - tribes impact you by determining your backbench support. We recognise that backbench support for an individual can come from multiple corners of a party. Therefore, it makes sense that your ability to draw backbench support not be limited to a single tribe or faction. To accomplish this, the XP that you accumulate will be divided amongst the tribes of your party. When you start out, your XP will primarily go into your declared primary tribe, with some given to your secondary tribes (based on your biography or description of your ideology, the amount going to each component may vary). It is important to note that the distribution of XP will be determined by the A-Team. In this case, the distribution of your XP may change depending on how you play your character (see examples below).
  • At the start of the round, you have 5 XP, and declare your primary faction as Progress, but are tough on crime and not keen on immigration (so declare Blue Labour as a secondary faction) and embrace more soft power over interventionism (so declare Tribune as a secondary faction. Your XP would be distributed 3 to Progress, 1 to Tribune, 1 to Blue Labour.
  • During the round, you are primarily viewed as an Osbornite (distribution of XP: 3 Osbornite, 1 Cornerstone, 1 Red Tory), but you start focusing primarily on making statements related to crime and social conservative positions. As the admins grade these press statements, a note is made. In the absence of gaining additional XP, 1 XP is moved from Osbornite to Cornerstone, resulting in your XP being distributed 2 Osbornite, 2 Cornerstone, 1 Red Tory.
  • A loyal Progress member (from above, distribution of XP: 3 Progress, 1 Tribune, 1 Blue Labour), you find yourself as Home Secretary, where you make a number of statements on crime and immigration. One of those statements is so good that you earn XP in a debate on an immigration bill (a bill that limits immigration). Based on the views of the tribes, that XP point is allocated to Blue Labour, resulting in your XP being distributed 3 Progress, 1 Tribune, 2 Blue Labour.
As XP is distributed, it will enter into a matrix on a spreadsheet, which will calculate your BBS within each individual tribe. The BBS from each tribe will then be combined into your overall BBS. Your overall BBS will be noted and will be updated every week. A spreadsheet (containing numbers that are not representative of the action tribe sizes) will be made available for you to see the nuts and bolts of how the tribe system impacts BBS.*

*Please make a copy before playing around.

How do I impact the tribes?

There are three primary ways to impact the tribes, detailed briefly here:
  • Drive your party towards adopting political positions and rhetoric that would be embraced by a specific tribe.
  • Make public statements that articulate and advocate for the position of a given tribe.
  • Prioritize policy areas advocated for by a specific tribe. Under each tribe is a "Key Desires" section. Influencing policy in these areas towards a specific tribes position (as opposed to all policy overall) is more likely to strengthen that tribe.
While the above statements all focus on generating positive change towards a tribe (increasing its membership), the inverse for all of them is true (particularly the first two). Advocating against a specific tribe's position may result in MPs seeing the error of their ways and joining other tribes. Likewise, actively preventing parties from adopting the position of a tribe will generally see MPs start to lose faith in the losing tribe and consider seeking a home elsewhere. Movement within parties will generally be to adjacent tribes. And MPs from a given tribe are more likely to respond to an player with influence (primary or secondary) in an adjacent tribe (eg, SCG MPs are less likely to care if a primarily Progress MP criticises them - that criticism is assumed).

How tribes impact parties: is balance important?

In a word, yes. Tribes are important, particularly with the advent of microtargeting. One could see that, if Blue Labour dropped very low in support (for Labour) or the Red Tories dropped low in support (for the Conservatives), then those parties might run into difficulty courting less well-off voters or voters without a college education. These dynamics can be explored a number of ways. The best advice is that balance does matter and that the best party will maintain a healthy equilibrium amongst its factions - not reducing to the point of elimination, but also not letting one become completely dominant.
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