Philosophy:TW- Governments

March 6, 2011 in Philosophy:TW

Philosophy:TW banner Greetings, readers! In this new side-series of blogs, we will look into real world comparisons to TribalWars aspects and compare historical empires to existing tribes. This episode will focus on government types and how they are reflected in Tribal Wars. For instance, the long-standing argument of what system is best will be discussed and reviewed and a number of opinions and explanations will be presented from multiple groups.

Philosophy:TW- Government

When I mention government, you may think of famous rulers- Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Elizabeth, George Washington, and so on, but the one thing that you probably don’t think about is Tribal Wars. That’s right, folks- each and every tribe is a government. In the world today, there are over 300 recognized governments; in Tribal Wars, there are thousands. In a place with so many tribal governments, one would think that there is an abundance of diversity, however, many governments generally end up turning into the standard Oligarchy that one always sees at the top.

In tribes, there are two main things one should think about- the size of the tribe and the type of government they wish to pursue. In addition, the leadership should always understand how to change the government and methods of improving the stability of the tribe, such as installing an official book of rules or Constitution.

1. Size

Each tribe (or alliance) needs a distinct separation between the rulers and the people. The rulers, who I call ‘the Cabinet’, although the term is not truly applicable, should not have more than a 1-1 ratio with the people, unless a pure democracy is what you wish.

When selecting an appropriate size for your ‘cabinet’, it is key to remember three points-

The Three Precepts of the ‘Cabinet’ Distribution and Size

  • If the people are not active, a smaller and more centralized government is better.
  • If the ‘cabinet’ is not full of active people, a larger and broader government is better.
  • If both the people and the government are active, a fair-sized neutral system is better.

This can be followed up by comparing the ratio of ‘leaders’ to ‘citizens’. Under the terms of an inactive people, the ratio of leaders-to-citizens should number between 1-10 and 1-5. Under the terms of an inactive ruling party, the ratio of leaders-to-citizens should number between 1-6 and 1-4. Under the terms of a generally active alliance in entirety, the ratio should number between 1-7 and 1-5. These numbers vary between government types (see the system types for more information).

Each alliance is checked by various factors that limit the size and expansion of the alliance. There are three main factors that do so.

  1. Inactivity/Corruption- Where a government official does not perform his proper role due to either exterior forces, personal interests, or other reasons.
  2. Poor Communication- Where there is a lack of communication- either within the government or between the government and the people.
  3. Lack of Respect- Where the government and the people do not respect each other, so one party leaves.

2. Systems

There are three broad terms used to classify governments- Autocratic, Oligarchic, and Democratic. Within those three types are many different sub-types. In general, there are three you will deal with, but six that are easily done. Below is listed the optimum situations for each government. Sizes are estimated as two sets of values. The first is the size if given a range of up to 1,000 members per tribe in-game. The second is if given a limit of 100.


Effectiveness- How quickly the regime can give a reply/closure to an issue. LOW is bad. (e.g. make a decision on a NAP)
Popular Risk- The chance that the regime’s decision will anger the basic majority. HIGH is bad.
Popularity- How often you will see one of these in the game.

1. Dictatorship/Autocracy

A Dictatorship is any system in which a single person, the Dictator, rules over all aspects of life for the tribe and the citizens. He takes on the Legislative efforts by creating policies, then takes on the Executive by enforcing those policies, and finally takes on the Judicial by evaluating the policies and any issues at hand.

Leader-to-member Ratio: 1-x
Ideal Leaders: 1 (no margin)
Ideal Assistant Leaders: 0 (if greater, the gov’t turns into a ‘Monarchy’)
Ideal Members: 0-50; 0-50
Leader Activity: HIGH
Member Activity: LOW
Effectiveness: HIGH
Popular Risk: HIGH
Popularity: LOW, centered around small alliances

2. ‘Monarchy’ and/or Feudal Monarchy

A (by the book) Monarchy is essentially just a Dictatorship where the ruler’s power is passed to his/her (generally) eldest son or lieutenant. However, when I speak of it, I mean a system in which a King rules with assistant ruler(s). When a ‘Monarchy’ is paired with a powerful system of classes called the Feudal System, it is turned into a very organized chain of command. At the top of this chain is the King, then comes two/three rulers who each rule over two/three rulers who each rule over… (and so on down as far as one needs to go to accommodate the entire population to the proper ratio). Thus, rule assists with reducing the popular risk and also allows a much more coordinated front, and also some well-deserved rest for the King, who now has some of his duties taken care of by his underlings. Using this system, the tribe may expand to near endless levels, only checked by the limits of communication.

Leader-to-member Ratio: 1-3 to 1-7
Ideal Leaders: 1-2
Ideal Assistant Leaders: 4-14
Ideal Members: 8-500; 8-100
Leader Activity: MEDIUM
Member Activity: LOW
Effectiveness: HIGH, still one king
Popular Risk: MEDIUM
Popularity: MEDIUM, often systems based off of them are seen

3. Oligarchy

In an oligarchy, a group of people rule, just as a group of chairpersons is in charge of a company or fund. There may or may not be a head to the group, but regardless, it is the group that makes the decisions. The group itself may or may not come from a variety of the people. It generally is a single class of the people that is selected by a single person to perform certain tasks. Oligarchies are among the most stable forms, simply because they are neither hard to maintain nor are they too poor with relations with the people (although they can be).

Leader-to-member Ratio: 1-3 to 1-20
Ideal Leaders: 2-4
Ideal Assistant Leaders: 0-6
Ideal Members: 8-300; 8-100
Leader Activity: MEDIUM/HIGH
Member Activity: LOW
Effectiveness: MEDIUM/HIGH
Popular Risk: MEDIUM
Popularity: HIGH, very easy to see one

4. “Tribal Council” System

A mix between an Oligarchy and a Feudal Monarchy. There generally is a class system, but the ruling class of Oligarchs is more dominant and defined on the chain of command, the sub-classes are merely for organization and easier tactical commands and rarely go further than two sub-classes under the Tribal Council system. Upon the top ruling class, jobs are generally distributed upon two different sides- internal (head of government) or external (head of state). The rulers each take up all three parts of government (executive, legislative, judicial), just as a monarch would, and thus compliment each other. Leaders must be VERY good at communicating and working together. This is the most popular system.

Leader-to-member Ratio: 1-2 to 1-20
Ideal Leaders: 2-4
Ideal Assistant Leaders: 4-30
Ideal Members: 10-600; 10-100
Leader Activity: HIGH
Member Activity: MEDIUM
Effectiveness: HIGH
Popular Risk: MEDIUM
Popularity: VERY HIGH, almost everywhere

5. Republic (alternately, a Representative Democracy)

Republics are tricky, but not as tricky as Dictatorships or pure Democracies. The way a Republic works is simple on paper- the system is divided into two main groups, the central government and the local government. The local government is made up of many individual leaders who each have their own group to look after. They represent that group to the central government, which then has all of the representatives discuss and then vote upon plans of action. This system is tricky to master, though, and requires excellent activity and communication. In times of war or desperate need, the voting body generally elects a dictator (or two) who TEMPORARILY take on an autocratic rule of the body for a set period of time.

Leader-to-member Ratio: 1-3 to 1-8
Ideal Leaders: 1-3
Ideal Assistant Leaders: 6-20
Ideal Members: 14-100; 14-80
Leader Activity: VERY HIGH
Member Activity: MEDIUM
Effectiveness: MEDIUM
Popular Risk: LOW
Popularity: MEDIUM/LOW, not too many really know how to make one in the first place, so they generally end up horrifically failing.

6. Pure Democracy

I will start this off by saying that there are no countries in the world today that are pure Democracies. There are ones that have Democratic ideas or partially build upon the concept, but it is impossible to form a Democracy with the time it takes to communicate and analyze opinions for a modern country. Even a country of 100,000 would still take its time making a decision. Essentially how it works is that EVERY CITIZEN votes on EVERY MATTER from a new NAP to inviting new members. The leaders are merely moderators of the discussion- they don’t have any more of a say than any other citizen in any matter. Often, there is a system in place where a dictator is permitted to rule for a short period of time because of the need of a strong leader in war, as a pure Democracy will destroyed in the face of war, as the measures of command are weak.

Leader-to-member Ratio: N/A
Ideal Leaders: 1-2
Ideal Assistant Leaders: 2-30
Ideal Members: 2-350; 2-50
Leader Activity: HIGH
Member Activity: HIGH
Effectiveness: LOW
Popular Risk: VERY LOW
Popularity: VERY LOW, you are lucky to have seen one.

3. Changing an Existing System

The more extreme the changes and the greater the members, the more preparation will be needed. Because every alliance begins as a dictatorship, you will need to decide where you want to bring the alliance in its ‘golden size’ of 8-18 members. After 18, it gets increasingly more difficult to change government types radically.

3a. The Constitution

When changing the type, you will need to first build a framework. The primary form of framework is called a Constitution, or for all you more old-fashioned folks, a construction plan. This document, your Constitution, will describe:

  1. HOW the government works.
  2. WHO does what.
  3. HOW laws are made and enforced.
  4. WHAT laws there are.
  5. WHAT to do in a variety of situations.

Constitutions are very important in making sure the system works like a well-oiled machine. Hastily created or non-written ones result in failure-prone or corrupt systems, so it is very important that the drafter(s) take time to evaluate all situations. The best part about them is, they are amendable (changeable), as long as you remembered to write in a part about how it can be amended and who may amend it.

Here is an example of a Constitution from a Republic modeled heavily off of the Roman Republic:

A question I get a lot is ‘Do I need a Constitution/Book of Laws?’ The answer is ‘Yes’. Most tribes simply run off of a mentally-kept pile of ‘common-sense’ laws and rules or a basic ‘1. don’t kill each other. 2. don’t fill the forums with nonsense…’ rule posts in the forum. If you want your government to remain stable and not hit any hitches for a very long time, use a Constitution or Book of Laws.

3b. Implementation

Be sure to slowly introduce the new system to your members, do not go too fast! Explain it clearly in a mass-message, in the forums, and make sure your constitution is clean and well-written so everyone can understand it.

If you plan to divide people up as one needs to do in a Feudal Monarchy, Tribal System, or Republic, it’s best to make a map with lines drawn on it showing the separations.

Isilith Map

A map of the regions of the City States of Isilith, a Republic in Grepolis

With the help of the map, you can settle disputes, reorganize members, and balance the government.

4. Reference Materials

Here are some items for reference when creating a government:

Republic Constitution
Republic Division Map
Republic Plan for Gov’t

Government Guide (old)

A Feudal System’s Basic Constitution

Basic Outline for a Constitution:

  1. Diplomacy (often called the ‘Foreign Policy’)
    1. Define: NAP, Alliance, War, Cease-Fire
    2. Define job of Diplomat
    3. Define who can be a Diplomat
    4. Requirements for NAP, Alliance, and Cease-Fire
    5. How to create War
    6. Invitations and Recruiting Policy
    7. Refugee policy
  2. Farms (optional)
    1. Rules on keeping farms strong
    2. Farming farms that other alliances use policy
    3. How to deal with the farming of alliance members
  3. Rights and Privileges
    1. …of members
    2. …of leaders (by rank)
  4. Requirements
    1. Activity Policy
    2. Support Policy
    3. Forums Policy
  5. Closing Statement
    1. Further Notes
  6. Amendments