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Is there any interest in developing a grand strategic game?


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We all agree that SC is ideal in its scope and unit arrangement. I've been wargaming since 1961 and this game is the best representation yet of the old classics like D-Day, Stalingrad, and Afrika Korps.

Yet I yearn to see a grand strategic concept come into being. It was attempted with the game Road To Moscow some years ago, but then dropped. I think it could be a winner.

The concept is that you the player takes on the guise of Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, or Roosevelt. In that capacity you have to deal with your military generals as well as the strategic scope of the war effort. The competence of your generals is not assured and you could move this down the line from 5 Star Generals down to Brigadier Generals - all of whom could be sacked by you and replaced with up-and-coming full bird Colonels.

In addition you could expand this concept to include the economy of your country...the problems with putting it on a full war-time footing, getting the raw materials needed for war, etc. Which would limit how extensive your efforts could be.

To begin with, I think the Hitler/Stalin matchup would be a good place to start. If a game could be made simply on the German/Russian campaign using this idea, I think it would be a big hit. Certainly it has not been tried in my experience.

What do any of you think of this? Hubert???

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I like your idea of managing your general staff, promoting and retiring/executing generals who fail to perform. Such actions must be carefully balanced against the temporary chaos that such actions cause and the potential for a military coup if a leader replaces his too many of generals too often.

If such a feature as added to SC2, I would have the combat rating of the affected HQ unit drop to zero for a transition phase (say 2 to 3 turns).

[ July 04, 2003, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Why are there so few games of this kind?There are certainly people willing to play these kind of games.

Sounds like a turn based Hearts of Iron. I like it
That would be the best!I like HOI,it has some really nice ideas,but turn-based isn't one of them :(
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Originally posted by Edwin P.:

Why aren't there more Grand Strategy Games -

Other game types sell better and grand strategy games rarely make the list of best selling games.

Outside of the wargaming community, sure. Just

considering wargames by themselves, I'm not so

sure. I mean Axis and Allies is a very popular

boardgame, so I'd say a significant segment of

the wargaming population [both board and comp]

would love to see a knock-out grand strategic

game with the compelling, sensical play which all

of us here have dreamed of. But such a game has

yet to really see the light of day [sorry Hubert :D ].

My theory is that such games are really hard to

pull off [sC is a laudable attempt], because you

have so many game aspects to balance off against

each other [diplomatic, air/land/sea, logistics,

weather, etc.] that usually you end up with weird

imbalances and/or ahistorical results [as in not

reasonably possible, like Axis invasions of N.

America], due to the Law of Unintended

Consequences [both SC and HoI fell victim to a lot

of those]. And the AI is harder to code for all

these game modules too.

In a tactical game like CM, design is more of a

number-crunching exercise (what is the penetration

of a Flak 88 at 2000 yards?) than is designing a

grand strategic game, which you have to design

more on the basis of "feel" [Hubert can chime in

here anytime ;) ]. Tactics is just one aspect,

so you aren't dealing with like 1/2 dozen aspects

at once, all of which have to interact well with

each other for the game to truly work. Well I

made my point so I won't belabor it further. :cool:

John DiFool

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Well I think HOI sold pretty well, but it was also sold as a "real time strategy". Speaking of which, I recently bought Rise of Nations which is a very good game as far as real time strategies games go. In it their are two phases, one where you move armies around in a risk style fashion, and another where those armies duke it out in real time game play.

Why do I mention this? I think it would be a good way to simulate world wide combat. The "Grand strategic" phase could be carried out on a world map, while the turned based fighting could be carried out SC style on a smaller scale than the world Map. On the World Map, players could make their strategic decisions that would include: increasing industrial capacity, improving defenses, diplomacy, and unit construction. Players could build, move or deploy units into different "sectors" and than move into an SC style map to carry the campaign out. What this would mean is separate maps for different sectors. A sector could be as big as the one represented in SC or smaller. The biggest draw back to a system like this would be that a player would have to visit the different sector maps every turn, thus leading to a longer game. Which of course is not a bad thing. For those not wanting to play a world wide game, the sector maps could be offered as stand alone scenarios that would play out exactly like SC.

If this does not make a lot of sense, I apologize, it has been a long and happy 4th of July. :D

[ July 05, 2003, 01:43 AM: Message edited by: Panzer39 ]

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It makes a lot of sense, was suggested in almost the exact terms several times earlier -- good ideas always come back through different observant people -- and it's good you enjoyed the Fourth. Out here we all sat on rockers sipping Geritol and complaining about our Rhumatiz. Pretty much a normal day for the Sr Citizens.

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Although HOI AI has been criticized for its poor AI - here's a interesting bit of news from their official Forum:

FROM THE HOI SITE: Let's work jointly to improve HOI's AI files. There are several countries that need better AI files or completely reworked AI files.

The AI Enhancement Project is a project monitored by Maximilian_I and Vulture (me ) and is an attempt to make the AI's officially better. Good AI files will be released in official patches and updates.

If SC2 included the ability for users to mod the AI files it would help build a stronger user base for the product and its future spinoffs (American Civil War ;) ) while also allowing the designer to cull the best AI routines from the game's players.

[ July 05, 2003, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Originally posted by Liam:

The reason there isn't more Grand Strategy Games John sorta touched upon but the fact of the matter is, one word, "Money."

There's none in it

Hit that one on the head. I have a friend that is a programer (don't we all). And he said if it's not a First Person Shooter it's not going to generate the money. Granted some are sucessful live Civ II and such. But most you'll find on the $10 and under shelf after a while.

Too bad. I like strategy games.

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You should check out the-underdogs.org and look at the war games and strat. section. Some very good old war games that have different aspects of what you are talking about. This site has 1000s of free games to download, mostly older ones, but since many old games were simpler in the graphics department but had great gameplay, it is a lot like SC.

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The moded AI files really only help in what units the AI builds and in what number. Its choices of how to counter player moves is still very lame.
Well with these new ai files in HOI I've seen a succesfull invasion of Nazi-occupied France by the American ai.It landed with 32 divisions and formed a stabile beachhead,supplied it and reinforced it.I had to rush back several divisions from the eastern front to counter them.

This I never experienced in SC playing the ai.

Anyway I think alot of you would be surprised to see what HOI has become since 1.01.

Just my two cents.

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I occaisonally check into the ADG site to see if World in Flames is nearing release, and the message saying they are near completion hasn't been updated since August of 2001 (I think). I am about to give up on it. Too bad, since it was a great game, just too big, complex and expensive to play/keep up with.

They did just release an updated version of Advanced Third Reich combined with Rising Sun, it is by GMT games, but it is a boardgame, not computer. I think it is called world in arms or somesuch.

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I agree, I just bought HOI (V1.05) this week because of the mod community that it has.

You can write AI routines that execute when specific events occur (ie change to PearlHarbor AI after Japan takes Singapore and Malaysia), direct it attack certain ocean areas, set beaches for invasion, and more.

But I sill think that SC is a better game and much more playable. HOI has more depth but SC so far is more enjoyable and faster playing. In my opinion, it just needs a better/moddable AI to make it really great.

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RE: RTS in HOI vs Turnbased in SC

1. I like the Turnbased moves in SC better than the RTS in HOI, but the RTS is more realistic.

For example - You tell a unit to move from one area to another and it slowly moves. You can speed it up or slow it down by adjusting the speed of the program (Ctrl + or Ctrl -). Some people complain about the RTS but I do not find it to be a problem as you can adjust the speed or pause the program at any time.

Even so, I like SC better in that it gives you more control over the tactical aspects of the battle. Example: In HOI you move units into a province and they fight it out in mass. In SC you can have a Crops defend against an Army unit while two armor units target an Army Unit in an adjacent hex.

2. I have not played with the Naval aspects of HOI yet so I can not answer that question.

[ July 11, 2003, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Hey Edwin and Kurt hows the naval model doing in HoI, especially the carrier simulation? I planned to purchase it once they get that patched successfully. What do you think about the RTS vs SC's turn based?
Well,the naval combat in HOI is one of the things that needs to be improved IMO.The problem is that carriers are quite useless today.They can only have 1 squadron of aircraft on them,and since one squadron is pretty much ineffective in HOI,carriers are,well there's no point in investing in them.People on the Paradox forums have been complaining about this since day one and still there's no official correction of this issue.But there are several modders who corrected this in their mods.

What I like about HOI,is it's scope.HOI is what's Grand Strategy is all about IMO.And with Paradox giving full support and several modders working thightly together to improve the game it's really getting better,especially AI-wise.Patches keep coming out frequently and now some people started the modify the AI files,so there're downloads a plenty to improve the game.

What makes SC great isn't playing the AI (which I have to do cos I don't have internetacces all the time,I usely post at work.) but playing over the net or by e-mail,that's quite obvious when I read through this forum.I can't wait to do that (one more month and then I can join your league,at last! smile.gif ).Hubert made a great game with little resources and I really hope SC2 picks up some HOI to make it even better than it's today.

Personally I like turn-based games the best.Some RTS are good,most can't entertain me.A perpetual discussion.

Point is that I like Grand Strategy games!And Both SC and HOI get my full support and respect cos games like these give me what I want.It's simple really. :D

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I'm turn based in most of my games such as SC, Xcom, Jagged Edge...ect...it's a personal choice as I don't like to be bothered scrambling about trying to manage all aspects of a real time game..I liked EUII and thought I would like HOI. I like it more now with the patches but it still is not my number one game...EUII was much easier to manage, perhaps because of the era involved.

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This thread has gotten off the mark.

SC is NOT a grand strategic game. It is a strategic game only, bordering on the operational level.

My original post was to see if there was any interest in developing a grand strategic game like the forgotten Road To Moscow.

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As originally posted by Bullwinkle:

My original post was to see if there was any interest in developing a grand strategic game like the forgotten Road To Moscow.

Yes, it was.

And yes, there is, most especially by me.

One fine day... there WILL be a grand strategic game... the likes of which will make everyone forget... the long forgotten "Road to Moscow."

(boy, that was a lot of hullabaloo about not much at all, true?)

I am hedging no bets.

I bet... that Hubert will... get it done. ;)

So superbly, in fact, that we will all be posting on this board... for years & years!

Cheers! :cool:

And, it's just incredible!

If we EVER need precision details in order to make a game of... the glory that was Rome! why,

There are folks here that would put the entire aggravation of the aggregate Ivy League History Departments... to shame!

***... although, this would not be so very hard to do, given that most history departments are more concerned with office politics and one-upping the chairman... oops! omitted my customary PC... chair-PERSON, that they cannot get out of their own didactic way!

Speaking of which, hows about a game devoted to ALL the great and intricate details of... The Battle of the Atlantic! :cool:

[ July 14, 2003, 12:40 PM: Message edited by: Immer Etwas ]

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