I remember playing the old Supremacy. Fighting a conventional war never quite worked right. I wasn’t sure exactly why. I guess I never had the time to see why. The game usually went nuclear before it became clear what was wrong. So who cares? It is a game on nuclear war after all right? That’s what it’s about. Who cares if the ground war actually works?
True, but one of our primary design goals was to make sure it ‘worked’ this time. We spent a lot of time on re-working the conventional war. We actually play tested many games as a straight up conventional war with no nukes at all. We wanted to make sure that this worked well as a game in and of itself. Was it worth all the effort? Yes, absolutely.
Supremacy 2020 works great as a straight up wargame now. In fact, the combat works so well that play testers often lament the introduction of nukes. They often want to play the game without nukes so that they can see how the war plays out! That speaks volumes.
It’s balanced and ‘feels’ right. It is expensive but sustainable. Combat in the original design cost so much that you could only afford a couple attacks per turn. 1 or 2 turns was often enough to put all the combatants on the brink of bankruptcy. No longer. Now you can attack multiple times on multiple fronts, build new forces and still save some resources to trade for income. Sustainability. Don’t worry. There are still many tough choices to make. You still can’t afford to do everything you ‘want’ to do. At least you can afford to do something!
I think war favored the defense in the original. Attacking cost too much. Just build, sit there and wait for your enemies to bankrupt themselves. Often that seemed the optimal strategy. What fun is a game with everybody just sitting there hunkering down? Then it just comes down to a race to see who gets lots of nukes first?
Supremacy 2020 favors the attacker. “Fortune favors the bold” right? The attacker has the initiative. He creates the tempo and decides when and where the fight is. He gets to seize all the company cards. Fire is simultaneous, so there is no advantage to the defender. This is one of the things that makes our game much more exciting. A game where players are rewarded for aggression becomes very lively and fast moving.
-Interestingly, the minis will give the advantage to the defender by allowing to him to fire first. This is countered by the attacker’s MBTs and Fighters. They fire first before the defender’s armies (infantry) making the offensive even more powerful. Provided you have the extra oil to fuel them of course. 🙂