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  Supreme Ruler 2010 Manual Foreword Written by Larry Bond
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Building a secure defense, especially if you’ve got hostile neighbors, can strain a country’s economy. Building a force that can attack another country and win will cost you - big time. The key to doing it is understanding your potential opponent’s geography and military force, as well as your goal. Do you want to remove him as a military threat? Capture a resource-rich area? While no armed force should be made up solely of a single type of unit, specialization, especially if it focuses on his weaknesses, is the best way to save money. Yes, general-purpose forces give you more options, and let you deal with unexpected threats (“I thought we were allies!”), but they are expensive.

And whatever you do, expect a counterattack. Your AI opponent will hit you as hard as he can, so taking that uranium mine with a few battered units is not a victory, just a waste. Never launch an attack without a reserve that can deal with emergencies during the campaign, and then guard your gains afterward while you rebuild and reorganize after your victory.

You will need ground troops of some sort, but do you want to emphasize speed? Staying power? Infantry’s a lot cheaper than armor, and combined with some cheap antitank and SAM units, it may be enough to do your job, and if the terrain’s rough, may be almost as fast as the armor.

And what about aircraft? Long-range strikers are nice, and while it’s tempting to buy dedicated strike aircraft like the F-111 or Tornado or Fencer, they are expensive. How about a flock of (relatively) cheap light strike aircraft? Light strikers like the Sukhoi Fitter or Alpha Jet may be more affordable and just as
effective. Dual-capable aircraft like the Strike Eagle or Flanker may also be less expensive than the pure strikers. They can fill both the roles of air interceptor and ground attack fighter, as long as you don’t need them to do both at the same time. They can provide close air support for your advancing troops. Don’t
buy F-111s when F-16s are all you need.

The naval equation is the hardest. A carrier battle group will cost you literally billions. Air power at sea is the Big Stick, but also the highest-priced weapon in the game. Will you use it effectively? Is there something else that can get you to your goal more cheaply (and quickly)? And what happens if you lose the carrier? Can you recover?

This is all real-world advice. A good game mirrors the real world, because realworld tactics work in the game. And that will make you go and learn more about the real word – geography, economics, technology, and military history. You go and read things and get smarter about them and bring them back to the game, and you’ll be a better and a more dangerous player because of what you’ve learned.

That’s why Supreme Ruler 2010 is a very good game.

By Larry Bond

Larry Bond is 53 and lives in northern Virginia. Before becoming a writer and game
designer, he served in the US Navy and worked as a defense analyst. After co-authoring Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy, he has written five novels under his own name: Red Phoenix, Vortex, Cauldron, The Enemy Within. and Day of Wrath. He also published a novella titled Lash-Up, which appeared in Steven Coonts’ anthology Combat. His latest book is Dangerous Ground, will be published by Tor Books in May of 2005. He has also co-designed the Admiralty Trilogy series games, which include Harpoon, Command at Sea, and Fear God & Dreadnought. All three have won industry awards.

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