Games for Commanders

FAQs

Q:   I got crappy cards to start with!  Is the game over for me already?

A:  Sometimes it sure feels that way.  You can declare a Misdeal at the beginning of the game.  Sometimes your 2nd hand is just as bad.  No worries.  This system is remarkably resilient.  You can often recover more quickly than you think.  Sometimes this is a blessing in disguise.  It makes you look weak.  Players often focus on the strong players.  This will give you time to build and research.  By the time they realize you are no longer weak, it may very well be too late for them.


Q: Does this new version incorporate any of the previous expansions as core rules (i.e. MBTs, ASATs, Pirates, Fortuna, Boomers, etc)?

A:   Some of the best ‘expansion’ ideas have been incorporated into the basic game now for free!  Things like the Mega Map, Warlords, 2nd Resource deck.  Many of the old expansions could be adapted to the new version without too much trouble.

For now we have plans for an all new Islamic terrorist expansion:  Rising Crescent.  We are also looking to come out with an electronic version soon.  Once we get those out, we will start taking a serious look at other possible expansions.  A new Fortuna deck and minis are top on our list.


Q:  What are the real pieces going to look like?

A:  The photos show old pieces to the game.  These were used for prototype play testing.  We will post photos of the actual pieces as soon as we get them.

The basic game pieces will be a smooth plastic block, approximately 3/8 x 3/8 x 1/8”.  The navies will be oblong blocks approx:  1/8 x 1/8 x ¾”.  They will be simple and sleek in design.

For those wanting more elaborate pieces we have a miniature upgrade.  These will be modeled tanks (M1 Abrams) and aircraft carrier pieces.  Similar in design and quality to Axis & Allies.  We may opt for a smaller size.  We will keep you posted as we progress.


Q: Are you going to be offering a Mega Map for this version also?

A:  The new edition effectively includes the Mega Map for free!  The original was painfully small:  30 x 20” and much of that was filled up by text!  Some people complained that the Mega Map was too big:  48 x 36.  Our standard map is around 44 x 23.  A good  compromise.  We have also incorporated some of the Mega Map ideas into our standard game like cites.


Q: What exactly did you guys do to ‘fix’ the market?

A:  Great question. “Fixing the Market” became the holy grail for Supremacy players.  It always seemed like a great idea and like it should work.  For some reason it never did.

One of our top design goals for this project was to KEEP IT SIMPLE.  That is one thing we liked so much about the original.  It was so simple that it was easy to find players.  This all new addition is about getting back to the roots and making sure it works right.

What we noticed was that the problem with the market was not so much the rules but the frequency.  If you decide to buy and sell in a turn, that takes up 2 of your 3 activities for the turn!  That means you can’t attack, move or build etc.  How can your economy function properly if you can’t trade like you need to?  The market can’t respond quickly either if trade is heavily restricted.

Another big problem was that all players were forced to sell at the same time.  With no buyers, of course you are going to get soaring prices.  The result:  One lucky player makes a ton of money, everyone else gets nothing.  Lots of people came up with various optional rules to alleviate this effect:  i.e. trade block agreements, restricted trade rules etc.  These slowed the game down, made it more complicated and still didn’t fix the underlying problem.

So now, all players trade for free at the beginning of each turn. It does not restrict your ability to attack, build or research etc.  Players can both buy and sell at the same time.  So price runs are smaller and correct quicker.  More little trades, result in smoother and more responsive price trends;  just like real markets!  The market soars during times of war when everybody needs tons of resources.  It crashes afterwards when everybody needs to raise money to pay off debt.  In between it cycles up and down based on timing and players cornering specific resources.  Perfect!


Q: I remember the old Supremacy games sometimes lasted days. How long does this version last?

A:  Yes, that’s true.  Some of this was from the added complexity of expansions.  Most of it was from activity restrictions by the rules.  It is kind of fun when you have 3 important things to do but can only do 1.  It forces tough decisions and creates tension.  When you have 20 things to do but can only do 1, it drags the game out too long and makes it frustratingly slow.  We have cut out most of these restrictions.  It runs at turbo speed now!  You will be able to build, trade, attack and research all at once.

Subtle changes in the cards also create more conflicts with other players.  It often took 3-4 turns for the old game just to warm up:  for people to start running into each other.  No more.  You will get into conflicts during setup.  Some players often attack on turn 1.  Major wars often break out on turn 2.  It is not uncommon for several players to be conquered by turn 3 or 4.  Most games seem to last around 2-4 hrs.  It depends a lot on how fast people play.

In fact, play testers often lamented the game ending so soon and suggested delaying when players can get nukes.  –or even just not playing with nukes at all.  A straight up conventional game is very interesting and works well on its own.


Q:  Why split the US in half? Why not make it like Supremacy or Risk and break between the US and Russia?

A:  Yeah, those are the 2 choices.  We tried it both ways.  We liked it better with the split US.

It makes it easier to focus on your theaters as the US.  You look at the east coast and can plan your European theater.  When you look at the west coast, you can visualize and plan a pacific theater.  When it’s combined, there is a tendency to ‘forget’ the pacific or miss judge distances etc.  You tend to get surprised over the map edge.

Splitting the US puts the confusing ‘surprise’ seam in a place that is out of the way and doesn’t interrupt your planning of key campaigns.   If you are fighting over the US interior, you’re in big trouble.  You’ve probably already lost the war.  Confusion here won’t hurt you much.  Might even help the US as their attackers may get confused around the edge.

So basically, a whole US makes the map look better.   Splitting the US makes the game work better.  We have made game play the priority in this version.

We did the same with the rules too.  Some rules are ‘candy’ rules.  They sound good.  Makes you want to buy the game but they don’t really work and aren’t fun.  We tried to keep the core stuff that works in this system and cut the candy rules.  We also cut rules that added lots of complexity but not much fun.  And of course rules that just didn’t work.


Q:  Are you guys the original team that developed this?  Do you have the rights to it?

A:  Yes, that’s true.  We are not the original Supremacy team.  Ideally, it would be great to see Simpson involved with this.  Heck ideally, we’d rather see him do it!  Much easier to sit back and buy the game in a kickstarter than do all this work.  It’s not like we are going to get rich doing this.  In the board game business, you are usually lucky to break even.

Unfortunately, Robert Simpson disappeared.  Some say he had a big life/health crisis, possibly deceased.  We aren’t trying to ‘steal’ someone’s work and income.  He dropped it and walked away.  We love this game as much as you guys do.  We just don’t want to see Supremacy disappear.  Supremacy fans have already been waiting for what?   30 years?

So yes, we hired attorneys to handle the property rights for us.  We have secured the rights to the name and game.  Everything has been paid for and approved.  Even so, if Simpson ever did show up, we would welcome him into the fold and would love to share the work and project with him.  We wish him well and hope he can make a recovery from whatever problem he is having, if he is still around.


Q:  Japan? How can you have a 1 area superpower?

Great question. Something that might be kind of hard to ‘see’ in the new rules. Each superpower has 4 cities. To destroy a player by nukes, each of their cities must be hit. So yes, Japan only has one area but you have to nuke each of the 4 cities there to destroy them. Russia is big. They have lots of areas. Still only 4 cities. You nuke or capture those 4 and they are out of the game.

Japan is still kind of vulnerable. A successful invasion by conventional attack will bag all 4 cities at once. The problem is you have to get across the ocean first and beat their navy.  Not an easy task.

 

 

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