Monday, July 7, 2008

Control, Control, Control....

A core basis of any gang in It's A Crime is its 'turf' or more simply, how many blocks it controls. A gang without any blocks is, well, no longer a gang!

Controlling a block generates income per turn for the gang in control of it and this is determined by 2 factors: 1) the type of buildings on the block and 2) the size of those buildings. There can be up to 3 types of building on a block and are represented as a percentage of the block size which can be less than 100% but never more (funnily enough!!)

A few example blocks:

Block #   Bldg#1            Bldg#2         Bldg#3          Income  Defence Level
2450 41% entertnment, 2% financial, 57% apartments $150 Strong
2751 52% schools, 17% industrial $17 Alert

Notice that there is a further 'property' of a block called the Defence Level. This is a measure of how alert the citizens are or how often the police patrol and should be taken into consideration when attempting actions on a block such as issuing a control order against it. You may also want to consider the potential income of a block when deciding whether to attempt controlling or not. Although the income is shown above, you are not told this value while the block is still uncontrolled. Fortunately this value is one of the few in IAC that's reliably calculable and the income per building type and percentage can be seen in the following table:
Building Type$ per %

So, using the example block 2450 from above and what we know the building types earn we can now see how the income is calculated:

41% entertainment (41 * $3 = $123) + 2% financial (2 * $2 = $4) + 57% apartments (57 * $0.4 = $23) = $150

The next consideration as to whether you should go for the block is its current defence level. This is really only an issue in the very early stages of the game as you may not have the resources to take the higher level blocks but as the game progresses and your forces build this becomes a non-issue. Anyway, early on you have limited men so you really only want to be sending just enough to take successfully take the block from the citizens so that you can use your remaining forces on other, more productive, orders.

There are a number of suggestions as to what Combat Value (CV) is required to take an uncontrolled block. For a long time I'd used the Defence Level (DL) * 5 (e.g. Strong block = 8 * 5 = 40 CV required) and never had any issues capturing them although the more common suggestion is the DL squared / 2 (e.g. Strong block = 8 sqrd = 64 / 2 = 32 CV required). I've had examples of taking blocks successully with no fight with a CV less than either formula so neither seems set in stone. The DL^2/2 seems to fit a lot more with the data I have having revisited it though so that's the one I suggest you use when working out how many men to send. There is also a 'safety net' below these values whereby you will get into a fight with the citizens but still gain control of the block, usually losing a cruit or two though in the process.

A reminder of the Defence Levels and Combat Values:
Defence LevelCV required
1 - Pitiful1
2 - Very Weak2
3 - Weak5
4 - Cautious8
5 - Alert13
6 - Guarded18
7 - Rough25
8 - Strong32
9 - Very Strong42
10 - Too Strong50
11 - Invulnerable???

Gang Member/ItemCombat Value
Submachine Gun13

As an example, to take control of a Guarded (18 CV required) block you may want to send a force of say: 1 pro (9) + 2 punks (2 * 3 = 6) + 3 'Cruits (3 * 1 = 3) = 18 or even just 1 pro and a submachine gun would do (9 + 13 = 22).

Notice the ??? on the invulnerable block. You can try to take these blocks, which usually have a police station present on them, but you will usually fail no matter how many men you send! I've never seen it done but I believe that it has happened.

Notoriety can also be gained from taking control of a block and this is simply equal to the defence level. i.e. Taking control of a Rough block (DL=7) will give you a +7 notoriety increase. Upon taking control of a block it's defence level will increase by 0-3 levels (up to a max of Too Strong). This increase seems to be completely random as I've had different increases when controlling the exact same block with an identical force across games but is never more than +3.

Finally, if the block has not been controlled before and contains Apartments and/or Schools on it, then you can potentially gain some new cruits. Again, this is reliably calculable and you will gain 1 new cruit for every full 20% apartments and 1 new cruit for every full 10% schools. e.g. A block with 68% Apartments on it will get you 3 new recruits.

Of course, I wouldn't want you to have to work all this out manually everytime you wanted to take a block and so I've put together a little flash app below which does it all for you. Simply put in the building types and percentages along with the defence level and it will tell you all you need to know :)

Now you know the basics of how to control blocks, what are you waiting for? Get out there and build an empire!