Fighting Terror


In most strategy games like Risk or Axis & Allies, you plan is clear.  Attack and fight the other Superpowers.  Who is the leader now?  That is what we are used to.  When playing Supremacy, this can get turned upside down.

This can especially become a problem when facing the Terrorist in the new Rising Crescent expansion.  The Terrorists fly under the radar.  Most players ignore them.  They certainly don’t look like a threat.  They start with nothing.  No cards.  No armies.  Not even any money.  No problem right?  Wrong.  That is the biggest danger.  They are often under estimated.  At least at first.

The trouble with terror is that their growth can easily explode exponentially.  The most common mistake is for players to ignore them.  They only have a few armies now.  No big deal.  They aren’t MY problem.  Somebody else will take care of them.  It’s somebody else’s job right?  Wrong!  The Terrorists are everybody’s job all the time.  At least this is how you should think of them.

Sometimes players will complain that the Terrorists are too strong.  You can’t beat them.  It takes a huge effort to clear them out of an area and then they just pop up somewhere else.  It’s frustrating.  Yes, that is true but it is a job that MUST be done.  It is a chore.  Like taking out the trash.  The reason they are growing out of control and taking over the whole game later is because everybody ignored them for the first couple of turns.

You have to beat them down.  Your allies have to beat them down.  Your enemies have to beat them down.  Everybody needs to take a swipe at them.  Think of it as part of your global maintenance routine.

We played a game of Supremacy this week.  The Terrorists were ignored.  They built up and swarmed all over Europe.  The EU  player started complaining that they were too hard to beat.  It wasn’t realistic.  They kept popping up faster than they could take them out.  They completely overran Europe and conquered them.  Is there a play balance problem here?  Is this realistic?

Take a look at the real world Europe today.   Look at the demographic trends.  Project that out another 4-8 years.  What does that end up looking like?  Does it look realistic now?

I wonder if the real world Superpowers will wake up in time to beat down terror into a manageable size before it’s too late?

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