Conflict of Nations

Nelva Challenges

Temporary article to explain how we are doing challenges right now, to our new citizens

Every alliance has its specificities when playing challenges. I’ll explain here how we currently do in Nelva.

Why so ?

At least in the beginning, it will be important that you understand how things work around here so there is no unecessary cultural shock.

Is it eternal ?

No. But we can’t change how things are managed midway through a challenge, like “we used to do things like that”. We can attempt new ideas and new management styles, but for obvious reasons, those will be planned “before hand”.

I have ideas to improve Leadership

You can talk as much as you want (outside the challenge channels), but if you really want the thing to be carried and considered, and us to put the political will to enact it if it’s really good, talk of it to Ming, that will then discuss with Pepprer_Stuff and Opulon. The three of them will establish a strategy to adapt the process or experiment around your idea.

As in many alliances, of course, it’s through field testing and tuning that we optimise our ways.

How to participate in challenges.

When a challenge is in preparation, we always make a general mention where we ask citizens to put a reaction. We always ask their availability for a specific date (date of peace, and date of war).

Citizens can answer :

  • I want to play this challenge
  • I can play this challenge if requested
  • I can’t play this challenge

It is assumed that if a player puts “i can’t play”, he has physical inabilities or doesn’t play the game. It’s not “just a lack of desire”, in which case he should put “i can”.

The priority of fielding the soldiers go that way :

1°) Young Citizens or Cadets that want to play the challenge.

2°) Citizens that want to play the challenge.

3°) Young citizens or Cadet that can play the challenge.

4°) Citizens that can play the challenge.

Power Structure

Each Challenge has a simple hierarchy :

  • Team Leader : Military Commander, the one that establishes the general battleplan, adapts it throughout the peace period, and ensures it’s executed throughout the war, as well as ensuring the troops fight valiantly and with discipline.
  • Team Coordinator : Economic Commander, the one that designs the build order, ensures it’s executed throughout the peace period, and adapts said build orders throughout his discussions with the Team Leader. When the war begins he mostly ensures the units are kept in production.
  • Squires : One or Two players that the TL/TC choose as their assistant . They are often people training in their respective position, so they can get the grasp of it. They help with the build order, the battleplanning, and help to ensure discipline is followed. If the TL/TC is absent (for x or y reasons. Often, it’s because the TL didn’t sleep for 24 hours, and needs rest), he assumes the leadership role.
  • Players : Usual Players that are required to participate in battleplanning, execute it with discipline, be valiant, and take initiative that are consistant with the battleplan.

Officers Authority

All alliances have some kind of hierarchy, but i want to insist on why Officers are important in the Nelva power structure.

Most of the time, TL and TC, the commanders, are nominated before the challenges. The other times, they are spontanously chosen by their comrades as the team is fielded.

In both cases, the TL and the TC are given their authority by and through the Alliance, more precisely the King.

The TL and TC are not just people that said they were in charge : they are granted the right to command, and the citizens are required by duty to obey their leadership.

We respect deeply this authority, which means that if a soldier disobeys TL orders, he needs to have good reasons.

  • I dislike his plan so i went with mine
  • I dislike him so i didn’t listen
  • I wanted to demonstrate i would have been a better commander

Are not good reasons. They are the kind of reasons that send a Nelva player to get a discussion with the government, because breaking the lines in the middle of a challenge is a problem for the whole alliance.

  • The TL wasn’t there and i had to take a decision with what i had at hands
  • I only had 30 seconds to react and i made a mistake
  • The TL gave me autonomy on that part of the battleplan

Are good reasons. Initiative is to be weighted, but in all contexts, Nelvas value discipline.

Sometimes, it may be apparent that a young Team Leader is not the best suited for the job, but the only way to develop (and keep) a varied and competent roster of officer, is to regularly train rookies, and to see if one has the skills required.

In those occasions, keeping the discipline, the coordination ,and the training at a high level, is more important than victory in itself.

We consider that Victory is by essence strengthening the statu quo, and Defeat encourages reforms. The balance of the two leads to balanced military power.

Typical Challenge

Depending on the map, we may or we may not have time to prepare the battleplan in day 0. We prefer to have such a period because it allows us to organise the battleplanning as follows :

Much more collective, we can take the time to listen everybody about what they think we could/should do, and we love vocal meetings in that regard.

The Team Leader will then pool the opinions and turn them into a consistant battleplan that also is adapted to its own skill and ability.

The Team Coordinator turns this battleplan into a Build Order.

If we don’t have have this time though, then the TL is responsible to steer the ship by taking the quick necessary decisions. Most of the time, it will imply to launch a set of building at good positions so that whille the arms industries are building, the Team has 9 hours to actually think of a battleplan and do a build order.

Throughout the Challenge, the TL will act as the filter of good ideas and observations, so that the build is adapted while not becoming chaotic.

In Nelva, we know that sadly, going “full collective” battleplan leads 95% of the time to “the most predictable” battleplan, simply because having everyone agree on a plan means political compromise for the sake of having everyone “a share of its design”, a thing that is detrimental to raw military efficiency.

We prefer our Officers to have their distinct style, which can then serve the alliance in their own respective unique personality. It’s why ultimately, if a player feels he could do better with a wildly different plan, our policy is “Obey on this challenge, and on next challenges, we’ll organise a context where you’ll be able to attempt things your way”

Challenge after Challenge, things that work tend to become generalised throughout the Team Leaders and the teams.

Vocal Meetings

While it’s not mandatory to have a mic in Nelva, we like a lot to do at least 2 or 3 vocal meetings in challenges :

  • The first vocal meeting, to establish the battleplan and discuss the possibilities, before the TL settles on a vision
  • The mid-term meeting, where we discuss of what we’ve learned so far, and decide (or not) to do the ultimate shiftings to the build before we reach day 6 (and it becomes basically too late to shift harshly)
  • The War Meeting, where we basically are in the armory giving each other advices and cheering ourselves up before the fight. It allows everyone to fight very united and valiantly.

People that don’t have mic can still come to hear. It’s also common that Trained Nelvas that are not on the challenge are on the meeting, looking at the challenges through the eyes of a player (Streaming on Discord) and helping further, especially the more rookies players, to take good decisions, analyse better, etc.

Debriefing and Exegesis

When the challenge is finished, victory or defeat, every single player is required to write his own debrief, which acts as a point of view. The form is as follows :

[For each other player on the team, including self-critique, and even the TL but only as a player, not a leader] : What he did good, What he did bad, Where he could improve.

[For the Other Team] : What they did bad, what they did good, what we need to learn from them

[For the Leadership] : About the build, how it was designed, executed, how the leadership was, what he did good and how it could improve.

Usually it will lead to a lot of debriefings. Pooled with screenshots, a Rank 1 (Master of Arms) will write a Exegesis of the challenge, trying to put on paper the “lessons of war” this challenge can bring to the whole alliance, and add it to the wiki, documented and explained. Once this document is released, it becomes part of the Military Theory.