***This post is subject to change, depending on the community reaction***
Not all flags need to be immediately respected. If you are the leader, consider the flag as a request for mercy, at which point you can choose to respect it or not.
- When is it polite kdice etiquette to respect a flag?
If someone has 8 stacks (especially) and is on the fringe of the board, has more lands than someone else on the board, and gives their flag and promise to not hit you.
(There are other examples: but generally, the player should have SOME tall stack on the board still, and thus a valid reason to at least put in a plea for mercy, instead of three lands with 2 stacks, for example)
- When is it okay to ignore a flag?
If someone has been fighting you all game (draining your lands, dice count and opportunity to win)... and they flag suddenly. ESPECIALLY if they are flagging after either:
1) attacking you with an 8v7 and losing (killing their chance to win).
2) attacking elsewhere, and leaving nothing but 1 and 2 stacks everywhere... (next to your 6+ stacks)
KEY NOTE: I would advise that you should always try to respect a flag so as to not wipe someone off the board COMPLETELY.
(unless you need to go through them to relink, or are rewarding an ally with place)
***Generally, use common sense***
If teal has 2 eigh stacks on the corner of the map and flags... and blue has one 5 stack - conquers two lands and flags next to your 8 stacks. Honestly, think about it. Does he deserve to place over teal? It's a ninja move, in essence, and you can make the call as to respect the flag or not. (I would 8v4, etc and mop up, but again, it is UP to you).
Just realize that not all flags need to be respected 100% immediately. A flag is a REQUEST for mercy, not 100% immunization from all attacks (otherwise it would be coded in the game that way). A flag isn't the equivalent of the immunity idol on "Survivor" if you catch my drift.
Below is a message from Ryan, while discussing the flagging system, and how we can make it better:
"Honestly, I believe the currently flagging is the most balanced. Let's consider the different types of flagging:
1) No flags. Players battle until one player has every territory. Problem: games get draw out and last 1 hour. Even if 2nd has given up 1st must still keep rolling to win. This is the original reason for flags - to end the game quicker when the outcome has already been determined.
2) If everyone, except 1st, flags then the game ends. This was a good flagging system and lasted quite a while. The problem with it is you could farm dominance very easily and you could ninja flag. For example, 3 players left, 3rd doesn't want to flag, 1st wants more dominance points, 2nd flags. 1st has more incentive to attack 2nd. Ninja flagging meant if you were the last to flag you could make a couple of attacks on your turn, gain position and flag to end the game at a higher position.
3) Instant flagging. We tried having flags to make you instantly leave the game. The problem is that if you're in last and you know another higher player can flag then you'll probably wait. The outcome was that in many games people would wait until you had 3 or 4 players down to 1 or 2 territories - the player in first laughing and gaining dominance. This was frustrating.
4) Position flagging. This flagging fixes the problem with the previous type, lower players know that higher players can't flag out and will flag when they know they are finished. It also fixes ninja flagging - once you flag you can only flag for lower positions. If two players flag for a position they have to fight it out, negotiate, or the server determines the higher player based on territories and dice. It also acts as a contract with higher players and solves the problem of higher players farming. Higher players know that a flagged player can't unflag and isn't a threat.
The problem with #4 thats being mention in my opinion is small compared to the problems that it solves. People respect flags too much. End game negotiations is part of the game and has been with every type of flagging. The real problem is that the current flagging is so easy that we have become lazy with it, use it a lot, and accept most outcomes. The better players will realize this and use flagging to get the best outcomes and this will include not respecting all flags.
With all this said, the problem I think that needs to be solved, and has existed in previous versions of flagging, is to make sure everyone knows that flagging is not a sure thing. If it were it would be enforced in the game. Since flagging for 2nd doesn't always mean you get 2nd it means that its not a hard "rule" and is open to using however you like as a strategic tool. Of course when someone doesn't respect your flag you're going to get upset, but this is part of the game like getting upset when several players decide to focus on attacking you - its part of the game. When people complain about not respecting flags you can point them here - or maybe an advisor can write a blog post about respecting flags.
I think it helps to consider the history of flagging to understand where it's at. If you have suggestions for improvement please volunteer them."
Play the game and have fun. Remember that the point is to WIN the game and have fun. Don't flag in round 3 because someone has an 8 stack. Try the chatbox to change the course of events or understand that 8v5s DO defend, and then there you are, poised to win the game and you can get no higher than 2nd due to premature flagging.
PS: Below is a relevant link.