Supremacy 2020 vs Classic Supremacy

I got an email today from an old fan.  He was excited about the prospects of a new Supremacy but hesitant about the rules.  “What have you done to our beloved game?!”

Rest assured.  Our favorite game is in good hands.  We do understand your concerns.  Most of the time, I am disappointed with rules.  Usually, they are poorly written.  Confusing.  Boring.  Overly verbose.  Overly complicated.  I was shocked to read a rule book from a Civil War game yesterday.  They rambled on for 9 full pages just on combat!  These were full 8 1/2 x 11 pages, in fine print, in 3 columns with no graphics, and it didn’t include the 2 pages of combat charts.  All of that, just to explain to players how to attack.  Can most people even remember all of that?  I could if I really wanted to, but why?  Is all my time and work rewarded sufficiently with fun?  No.  In fact it hurts the game.  I’d rather just roll a few dice, get a result and then move on with the game.

How long are the combat rules for Supremacy 2020?  Let’s see.  I’m counting 1 page for ground combat.  That’s big print.  That space includes several minor graphics, tables and examples.  Oh, and our pages are little half pages in a small booklet.  (legal sized paper folded in half)  Easy.

Ok, so it’s simple, short and elegant but what are they like?  How do they affect game play?  How are the new rules different?  What impact do they have on the game?  Great questions.  Here are the major differences:


Differences in Play

  1. The market works like you would expect.  During times of war prices rise.  After the war prices crash.  In the old game, the first and maybe second players to trade made out really well.  Everyone else was priced out.  Now, everyone can trade every turn.  Big profits are still possible.  Don’t have enough of a critical resource?  You can always buy from the market.  It just might be expensive at times.  Still, it can get you through a turn or two in a pinch.
  2. Lots more combat.  A turn of build up followed by a turn of combat in the old game was often all it took to bankrupt a player.  No longer.  Conventional fighting is much cheaper.  You can continue to build up, fight, and move on multiple fronts from turn to turn while still trading and making money.  The fighting is fun, dynamic and fast moving.  Blitzing campaigns half way across a continent and back are possible in 1 turn, if you have the troops,  supplies and the will.
  3. Aggression.  Often times the best strategy in the old game was to sit and do nothing.  Just slowly build cash while the other players weakened themselves.  What fun is a game if the best way to win is just sit there?  Now, combat is cheaper.  It is easier to make worthwhile progress fighting.  Combat actually favors the attacker.  We have also made several adjustments to the victory point system.  This greatly rewards aggressive players.  Sitting around watching is now the surest way to lose Supremacy.  To win, you must control more companies.  The best way to do this is to build up, go take them, and then keep them.
  4. The new victory system favors the bold.  It also balances the use of nuclear force.  In the old game, often you would get 1 player that would just get bored (or mad) and decide to destroy the world.  Result?  Everyone loses.  There is some merit to this.  That is the ‘real world’ result:  everyone loses.  You can easily still play this way if you prefer.  The new victory system solves a lot of old problems.  There is a built in point penalty now to launching a bunch of nukes.  More often than not, destroying the world will cause you to lose by points.  Just because you get nuked out, doesn’t mean you lose.  You can still win by points later.  Everybody has a score.  Everybody is ranked.   It’s not 1 player wins, everybody else is a loser.
  5. Speed.  The new game plays much faster now.  Many games end on turn 3.  Usually they are finished by turn 4-5.  You can actually play a interesting game to conclusion in 2-4 hours.  The old game often took several turns of boredom while everybody just built up and decided what to do.  Now, conflict and tough decisions start right away with turn 1!  It develops quicker, resolves quicker.  Buckle your seat belts because this game is intense all the way through.