Sometimes you want to play a real in-depth strategy game, one with lots of decisions to make and options to weigh. The kind of game you can get lost in, that provides some feeling for what it would actually be like to make decisions that rule the fate of armies, nations and worlds.
And sometimes you just want to push a bunch of computerized army guys around and fight stuff. “World Supremacy” (WS) is that type of game. It is billed by its developer, Malfador Machinations, as a beer and pretzels wargame. This is not the sort of game that is going to require you to learn calculus to win.
The game mechanics are simple and straightforward. You're plopped on a randomly generated world with a small starting force of modern-day-style units (tanks, planes, artillery, infantry – the usual suspects). The world is divided up into a bunch of regions. Each region has a monetary value associated with it. Each region you control provides its monetary value to your treasury every turn. You use this money for upkeep and to buy new units.
Of course, you are not alone on this world. As you roll back the fog of war you will find opposing factions. Much like the “Dominions” series, there is no diplomacy. You are in this game to the death, either yours or your opponents'. There is only one victory condition – total elimination of all opponents. There can be only one.
This is a pretty standard system for a basic turn-based strategy game. The reader can be forgiven for having flashbacks to Axis and Allies or Risk. Still, basic does not mean bad. Putting together the two mechanics leads to a simple equation: expand ruthlessly + constant war = pure combat. Or, since this is a beer and pretzels game: bigger is better + everybody hates me = fight, fight, fight.
World Supremacy adds to a few wrinkles to this basic template, but not many. Perhaps the biggest addition to the “standard” sort of game is the tactical map. When units from different sides end up in the same region they automatically enter combat on a separate tactical combat map. The map itself looks nice, being taken from Google Earth (I think I saw my house!), but is just a bunch of squares and has no real effect on the combat. Each type of unit has a number of movement points, an attack and defense strength, and a range. Sides take turns moving, and the last side with any units left wins.
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