BLOC is a nation simulation game. You create and lead a nation through the Cold War. You'll have to manage your nation's economy, find allies, then conspire against other nations and hopefully conquer your enemies.
POWER is a political and economic simulation game where you can play as a powerful politician and/or businessman in a number of countries. The goal is to seize the most powerful offices in the land and/or get rich.
BLOC provides examples of:
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The less democratic a nation is, the harder its name tries to pass it off as a bastion of freedom. Authoritarian democracies are named "People's Republic of ___". One-party states are named "Democratic People's Republic of ___". Countries ruled by military junta are named "The Revolutionary Democratic People's Republic of ___". Dictatorships are named "The Great Revolutionary Democratic People's Republic of ___". Actual multi-party republics are simply called "Republic of ___".
- Player Versus Player: Nations attacking each other is a major part of the game.
POWER provides examples of:
- Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Players like to spam abbreviations like AA (Attack Ad), SI (State Influence), NI (National Influence), PSO (Party State Organization)...
- Anti-Hoarding: The game discourages you from hoarding power by making you earn it at a slower rate if you accumulate too much of it.
- Attack of the Political Ad: You can use attack ads against other politicians to decrease their state influence. However, they may backfire and decrease your own influence instead.
- Comeback Mechanic:
- Politicians in small parties have greater power gain from party power.
- The government approval mechanic hurts the state influence of every politician in a party according to its institutional strength, where the severity of the penalty increases with the party's institutional strength. Being the ruling party seems to increase the penalty as well.
- Diminishing Returns for Balance:
- The higher your state influence is, the more power you have to spend to increase it further.
- The power cost to make calls (which builds up your grassroots donor base) grows quadratically when you do it. The first calls cost 1 power, then the next ones cost 4, then 9, 16, 25, 36, 49...
- Every time you use an attack ad, your reputation as a Sleazy Politician increases. This makes it more likely that your attack ads will backfire and hurt your own influence instead of the target's influence. In addition, it makes attack ads against you do more damage. Thankfully, your reputation automatically decreases over time.
- Fictional Political Party: Players are allowed to make up their own parties that have no basis in real-life parties.
- Friendly Fireproof: Averted. You can use attack ads on politicians from your own party.
- Gratuitous Nazis: The game takes place in the present day and has nothing to do with World War II. That didn't stop the players from creating a Nazi Party.
- Joke Character: Users sometimes create unviable parties just to have fun. One such party is the Anarchist Party, whose extreme left-wing beliefs force their members to either forgo the power bonus from similarity to party base ideology, or take on far-left positions that will put them at a serious disadvantage in elections.
- Landslide Election:
- Players can invoke this by throwing a lot of attack ads at a politician long after their defeat is guaranteed. Of course, this is a bad use of resources — winning by 51% is no different from winning by 99%note , so the ads should be saved for close races where they can actually be decisive — but if you really want to humiliate someone, it's possible.
- Occasionally, a player with no chance of winning will join a race anyway, only to be defeated by a large margin like 80-20.
- Lethal Joke Character: Occasionally players will create tiny parties with silly names. Their few members can be surprisingly difficult to defeat because they have an easy time building up their state influence due to their high power income, and they have an easy time holding on to their influence because their their tiny party is nearly immune to the government approval penalty.
- Metagame: The most successful parties have Discord servers where they, among other things, discuss strategies and coordinate their attack ads. There are also players who specialize in spying on other parties, and players who try to entice their opponents into betraying their party.
- No Party Given: You can play as an independent politician. The "independent" position is clearly meant to act as a placeholder until a politician has chosen a partynote , but you can remain independent if you insist.
- Not the Intended Use:
- Voting for or against bills may change your political positions and affect your relationship with lobbies. Parties are supposed to propose bills that further their agenda, and individual politicians have to take positions and lobbies into account when deciding how to vote. However, parties often create bills just to let their members correct their positions and pander to lobbies by voting on it — even if the bill goes against their agenda. Bills created solely to fix positions are often called "positions bills", and some of them even have "positions" right in the name.
- The president's cabinet is supposed to represent a body of high-ranking state officials. In practice, the mechanics behind it also make it suitable for helping the ruling party's less successful members, e.g. someone who just got unseated.
- Pandering to the Base: Encouraged in-universe. Choosing your political positions to match your state's preferred positions will help you win elections. This can lead to odd situations like a Democrat, a Republican, a libertarian and a Nazi running for the same seat with everyone having the same positions.
- Player Versus Player: The only "enemies" are the politicians of the opposing parties.
- Play Every Day:
- You slowly gain power every hour. If you have more than 50 power, you start gaining it at a slower rate.
- Congress members are penalized whenever they fail to vote on a bill before the 24-hour deadline runs out.
- Random Number God: Attack ads are supposed to decrease the target's state influence, but may backfire and decrease the attacker's influence instead. The chance of a backfire increases with the attacker's dishonest reputation, which increases every time they throw out an attack ad. Of course, the RNG likes to troll you by giving you lots of consecutive backfires.
- Sleazy Politician: The dishonest reputation mechanic measures how much of a sleazy politician you are. It increases if you backslap elites, glad-hand a lobby, campaign for a lobby, campaign against a lobby, use attack ads or contribute to your own campaign fund from your personal finances. If it's high, attack ads against you do more damage to your influence, and your own attack ads are more likely to backfire and damage your influence instead of the target's influence. It decreases over time.
- Unstable Equilibrium:
- Both individual politicians and parties gain advantages from winning seats: An incumbent gains more power (and can thus perform more actions) than a non-incumbent, which gives them an advantage over whoever is trying to unseat them. A party with plenty of seats can throw more attack ads at their opponents, which helps them gain more seats.
- Parties with many members tend to be more successful, which helps them attract more players. It also helps that some players just prefer being part of a somewhat large community. However, the introduction of the government approval mechanic has mitigated this to some degree because it's a massive help to minor parties who want to defeat Democrats or Republicans. The extra power gain for small parties is also pretty useful if the party is tiny.
- The first party to take control over a country's legislature can pass voting rights bills to give themselves an advantage in future elections.