Introducing Project: Conquest

KLONDIKE, CP Army Headquarters- Since the creation of CPAHQ, the administration has worked tirelessly to come up with promising ideas that fit with the community desires.  Today, we are proud to announce the result of that hard work. 

Origins of Project: Conquest

Project: Conquest has been a developing idea since March of 2020.  The original concept was entitled Major League Armies.  This idea was much more rudimentary in its design; with the goal of introducing ‘seasons’ to the army community.  MLA utilized a map that was very similar to the maps used by past organizations.  The only difference was that there would be a leaderboard alongside the map.  Ultimately, the concept was put on the backburner due to other events happening at the time.  However, it still lived inside the heads of myself and Superhero123.

Early design of MLA logo

We’ve made it clear that CPAHQ is a news site first.  Our top priority is fostering writing talent within the community and providing news to it.  However, we are well aware that the community desperately wants a server map.  Implementing the server map from days prior would distance us from the goals we set out when we were founded.  On top of that, it is undeniable that previous iterations of the server map had multiple flaws.  Nevermind the fact that fixing those flaws would be a giant overstep of an organizations boundaries.  This is why we felt compelled to explore other ideas instead of going back to a questionable system.

Implementing a server map has dominated administrative discussions over the past four months.  Project: Conquest is easily one of the most thought out features I have ever worked with.  Everything that has been implemented into Project: Conquest has been done with keeping the main allure of a server map in mind: strategy.  Countless conversations with members have shown that the strategic aspects of a server map make armies more engaging.  Thus, CPAHQ quickly got to work on creating a concept that brings that strategy to the forefront of it.  That, combined with our desire of making CPAHQ a stable organization above all else, shaped Project: Conquest.  Now, we are ready to debut it as a ‘trial run’ for the community.

How it Works

In order to create the best testing environment, Project: Conquest will feature a total of ten invited armies.  This is to ensure that the armies involved will be ones that are active and consistent.  The competition will begin on June 2nd and last until July 3rd, which is when a champion will be crowned.  Each army will participate in up to four battles a week.  Armies are allowed to schedule up to two invasions in a week, but can choose to schedule one or no invasions.  Conversely, armies can only be invaded twice a week at most.  At the end of the competition, the army with the most servers will be crowned as the Grand Conquerors, otherwise known as the champions.  Any ties in the standings will be settled with a final battle.

Project: Conquest is split up into three stages, with the battle stage having two separate sub-stages.

  1. Draft Stage
  2. Battle Stage
    1. Planning Phase
    2. War Phase
  3. Consolidation Stage

The easiest place to fulfill the structure of Project: Conquest is on Discord.  A private Discord server will be made containing just army leaders and gamemasters.  The Discord server will contain the following channels for everyone:

  • Announcements- Channel for the gamemasters to make announcements pertaining to the competition.
  • Draft- Channel where army leaders will draft their servers.
  • Moves- Channel for army leaders to post their moves, which are made during the Planning Phase.
  • Rules- Channel for the list of rules armies must follow for Project: Conquest.
  • Schedule- Channel for a consolidated list of moves for the current week.

In addition to these channels, each army will have a private channel to themselves (and the gamemasters) to make plans, ask the gamemasters questions, or discuss events happening within Project: Conquest.

Draft Stage

Project: Conquest will begin with the Draft Stage.  The server map for this competition will have 50 spaces that can be claimed.  Once claimed, army leaders will be able to select what they would like the server to be called.  The draft is in serpentine format, meaning that the army that picks first in the first round will pick last in the next round, and so on. The draft order will be randomized. Each army will select five spaces, with one space being selected per round.  Armies will have a total of two minutes to select what space they would like to own.  If an army does not select in time, their selection will be randomly chosen.  The draft will end once every army has selected five spaces and named each space accordingly.

Each space on the server map is in the shape of a hexagon.  All 50 spaces are attached to each other.  A space will be colored according to which army owns the server, as well as featuring the selected name of the space.  Hovering over the space will show the territory name and the controlling army.

The Draft Stage will begin and end on June 4th.  The results of the draft will go live on June 5th.

Battle Stage

The Battle Stage is the meat of Project: Conquest.  As previously stated, this stage is divided into two phases.

Planning Phase

The planning phases occurs every Sunday.  On each Sunday, armies will submit their moves in turn.  Beginning at 10 AM EST, armies will have 1 hour to submit their moves.  If an army does not submit their moves in time, they will not get to invade during the week.  Armies will be encouraged to have multiple representatives from their army in the event that the leader cannot submit moves.  On top of every active leader an army has, armies will be allowed to invite up to two HCOM members who will be allowed to submit in lieu of an absent leader.

The turn order will be randomized for the first week.  For the following weeks, the turn order will be dictated by how many servers an army gained or lost in the previous week.  If there is a tie in amount of servers gained or lost, the tied armies will be randomized.  The turn order only goes around once, meaning the army will send either one or two invasions during their turn depending on what they plan to do.  Once submitted, invasions may not be moved or taken back unless external problems require it, such as downtime on Club Penguin Rewritten, lack of available judges, or it’s an illegal move.

Armies are able to schedule invasions on any day except Sunday, at any time.  It is recommended that armies schedule invasions at optimal times so judges are available.  Once an army schedules an invasion of a server, the date of the battle is locked, preventing any other army from engaging with the defending or attacking army.  The next battle involving the defending or attacking army must be scheduled at least 24 hours later.  This ensures that armies will never battle more than once in a day.  Armies will only be able to schedule invasions of servers that border their own servers.  Once an army has been scheduled to be invaded twice, the army can no longer be invaded for the rest of the week.  Armies are permitted to use both of their invasions on the same army, if it is a legal move.  However, armies cannot schedule an invasion of the same server twice in one week.  Once one invasion of a specific server is scheduled, that server will no longer be available to be invaded until the week is over.

War Phase

After Sunday, the War Phase begins.  During the War Phase, armies will complete their scheduled battles.  Battles are in their standard format: 30 minutes, ten minutes per room.  Battles can be won, drawn, or lost; there is no overtime.  If a battle ends in a draw, the defending army will keep their server.  If the invading army wins, they take the server from the defending army.  If the defending army wins, they keep the server.  If the invading army does not show up in the first ten minutes, the defending army wins the battle and may log off.  If the defending army does not show up in the first ten minutes, the invading army wins the battle and may log off.  In the event that an army loses every server, they will be eliminated from the competition.

Project: Conquest judges will follow the CPAHQ Judging Guide.

The Battle Stage begins on June 6th with the Planning Phase.  The War Phase begins on June 7th.  The Planning Phase and the War Phase are repeated for the following three weeks, with the final day of the War Phase being July 3rd.

Consolidation Stage

The Consolidation Stage takes place in the event that there is a tie for land.  If multiple armies hold the same server count, the first tiebreak will be the army’s record.  The results of every battle will be tabulated, assigning a Win, Loss, or Draw.  Then, the army’s win percentage will be calculated.  The win percentage for Project: Conquest is derived as so:

  • Step 1- multiply the amount of ties by .5.
  • Step 2- add the product of the equation in step 1 to the amount of wins.
  • Step 3- divide the sum of the equation in step 2 by the amount of battles completed (this includes no shows).
  • Step 4- Round to the nearest thousandth for the win percentage.

Simple example:

The Striking Raiders and the Smart Penguins finished with the same amount of servers.  SR won 8 battles, lost 5 battles, and drew 3 battles.  SP won 7 battles, lost 5 battles, and drew 4 battles.

SR:

  • Step 1- 3 times .5 is 1.5.
  • Step 2- 1.5 + 8 is 9.5.
  • Step 3- 9.5 divided by 16 is .59375.
  • Step 4- .59375 rounds to .594.

SR’s win percentage is .594.

SP:

  • Step 1- 4 times .5 is 2.
  • Step 2- 2 + 7 is 9.
  • Step 3- 9 divided by 16 is .5625.
  • Step 4- .5625 rounds to .563.

SP’s win percentage is .563.

So, in this scenario, the Striking Raiders would finish above the Smart Penguins in the final standings.  If armies happen to have the same winning percentage, the army with more wins places ahead of the other armies.  If armies happen to have the same winning percentage AND the same amount of wins, then a tiebreak battle will be scheduled by the gamemasters.  Armies who are tied while in fifth through tenth place can choose to opt out of the tiebreak battle, at the cost of placing lower than their would-be opponent.  Armies who are tied while in first through fourth place must participate in the tiebreak battle.

The Consolidation Stage begins on July 4th.  Results will be posted on the 4th.  If a tiebreak battle is required, it will be scheduled sometime between July 5th and July 10th.

‘Why Project: Conquest?’

Project: Conquest is the start of something truly revolutionary within armies.  As CPAHQ has made clear on multiple occasions, the server map of days past is something that we deemed unsatisfactory for the standards we would like to uphold here.  In addition to this, when the server map is practiced, it loses it’s appeal over time.  The idea of the server map is extremely exciting, but that excitement wanes since activity is never guaranteed.  With Project: Conquest, we feel that the competition takes the best pieces of certain ideas and rolls them into one.  Project: Conquest has the potential to become the highlighting event of the army community.  For now though, we are focused on this trial run before committing to it.

Although we are confident in Project: Conquest’s ability to succeed, committing to such an audacious event would not be very responsible of us.  With what we have outlined above, we truly believe that Project: Conquest is finally ready to be shared with the community.  The month we have allotted to hosting this competition will be a time for us to see it in action.  More importantly, this trial will allow army leaders (and the community as a whole) to express their thoughts on Project: Conquest.  The goals of this project are ones that none of our administrators have experience with, so we absolutely are open to tweaking any aspect of this competition that does not work.  We know it is a big ask for armies to participate in something so new, but we think it is an exciting feature that will bring so much to the table of the army world in the future.

Development of Project: Conquest

Project: Conquest has been on the backburner of our tasks at CPAHQ virtually since it was founded.  I would frequently bring up the idea in meetings as a possible way to introduce the map, but events within our organization and around the community prevented us from truly delving into making Project: Conquest possible up until late April of this year.  After utilizing our polls channel in our Discord server, as well as gathering opinions across the community in a variety of ways, it became clear to us that a map was something we could no longer ignore.  Work finally began on what was then known as Major League Armies.  Originally, we were aiming to have a map somewhat similar to that of previous organizations.  Major League Armies would be a more fixed tournament, where CPAHQ admins would schedule battles between armies and armies would compete in a ‘season’ which would be around three months long.

Excerpt from the first draft of MLA

Putting this idea into action was disappointing, as we began to realize this idea took away the soul of the server map: interaction.  Our focus then shifted towards adding strategical elements into the map.  The failure of the original concept of MLA combined with some of our concerns with previous server maps lead to most of the innovation behind the elements of Project: Conquest.  One of the big issues with previous server maps that we found was that armies became less about actual battles and more about ideological warfare.  Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely fun to deal with foreign affairs.  But the map that the community is used to limited the amount of things you could do in response to events happening around the community.  The server map obviously brings nuances with it, but in it’s previous state, there were too many variables that lead to battles often taking place in Discord Direct Messages instead of Club Penguin.

Project: Conquest took lots of inspiration from strategic board games.  The obvious one being Settlers of Catan.  The design of the map was spearheaded by the idea of hexagons.  Known smart guy Superhero explained that hexagons are the perfect shape for strategical games, as they offer an extremely close to level playing field for everyone involved.  There is always going to be a ‘META’ strategy, but hexagons make it possible for players to use other strategies and still have great odds at winning.  Settlers of Catan, although not really a warfare game, utilizes hexagonal titles for the same purpose of fairness.  With this information, we did research on mathematical concepts to ensure that what we were creating is possible to be held in a fair environment.  This is how we stumbled upon magic hexagons.  Unfortunately, there are no magic hexagons that equate to a total of 50 hexes, but magic hexagons served as a catalyst for many components of our new map.  The sequence 6 7 8 9 8 7 6 serves as our map format, totaling up to 51 servers.  We decided that instead of lowering the server count, utilizing this sequence and making the center space on the map controlled by CPAHQ was the best course of action.

Magic hexagon - Wikipedia

Order 5 Magic Hexagon

The game of Risk also helped us come up with key features of the map.  One takeaway from Risk was only being able to invade the bordering spaces.  This introduces a completely new layer of strategy for army leaders.  To put it simply: land location actually matters now!  Risk also utilizes a turn based, phase structure that Project: Conquest took inspiration from.  Not only does this kind of setup add on to the strategic aspects, but it creates an environment that is much easier to follow for the user.  It also lets us implement the cool down features we mentioned, as our goal is NOT for Project: Conquest to overtake an armies schedule.

Early design of Project: Conquest’s map [subject to change]

Community Interaction

One of our biggest concerns with Project: Conquest is that it would virtually eliminate all sorts of diplomacy.  However, that could not be farther from the case!  The setup of this competition allows leaders to enact their plans however they would like.  Sure, an invasion could solely be for gaining land.  But, it could also be the stage for a grueling rivalry.  The tone of every battle is something that will be completely controlled by the armies within the competition.  This was the biggest takeaway from Risk.  In terms of discussing with other armies, army leaders have absolute free reign to do whatever they want, as long as it is in accordance with the rules we have outlined for scheduling.  Armies can isolate themselves from the rest of the map or team up with other armies to take down a foe; all before having to eliminate each other. Project: Conquest prioritizes one of the best features of army warfare: foreign affairs.

Conclusion

We here at CPAHQ are so excited to finally share the details of this concept with you all.  The past month has been an absolute joy, as we truly feel we are working on something unique and innovative.  We can only hope that you all love this just as much as we do.  Project: Conquest is just the start of what we want to bring to the army world.  To all of our supporters, thank you for allowing us the time to bring this idea to you.  As much as organizations like to pretend that all is well, we know that the past few months have been dull for everyone.  You had every chance to ditch CPAHQ and leave us fully in the dust.  Yet, we are still here, presenting work that the entire administration has been passionate about.  For that, we thank you.  For your unwavering support, your everlasting patience, and your unconditional feedback.  We truly hope that this is just the foundation of such an exciting idea.

More details on Project: Conquest will be released very soon, so make sure to stay tuned to announcements in our Discord server.

DMT

CPA Headquarters Director in Chief

Vanish

CPA Headquarters Vice Director

Sidie9

CPA Headquarters Associate Director

Superhero123

CPA Headquarters Website Manager

Kingfunks4

CPA Headquarters Discord Manager

Crazzy

CPA Headquarters Head Moderator

Snork

CPA Headquarters Head Moderator

Supa Em

CPA Headquarters Quality Advisor

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