Friday, 25 January 2013

On Turn Based Srategy

So I have been playing a lot of Endless Space recently.  I like how it reminds me of Master of Orion 2 from way back in the day.  It has a lot in common and a few significant differences that really change the way it plays.  I have heard from colleagues and the internet in general that Endless Space is needlessly complex, however I disagree.  It is exactly as complex as it needs to be, but not in the same instantly intuitive way that Master of Orion was.

Endless Space has many different victory conditions and they all require complete dedication by your empire to that one goal.  The strategy is then to pick one early and stick with it to the exclusion of others.  It can be a difficult decision to make especially since your success or failure in your chosen path is highly dependent on  factors out of your control such as available nearby worlds and resources and the goals of your neighbors.  The bottom line here is that an entire 200+ turn game can be decided already by turn 40, which can be a bit discouraging.

Master of Orion on the other hand, had approximately two victory conditions, crush your enemies, or be elected winner by everybody.  Strategy should be employed to assure your victory, and the winning strategy is research.  Overwhelm your opponents with superior weapons and defenses, and make their numbers count for nothing by being better at tactical combat than a terrible 90's AI.  Ultimately I found this game to be too simplistic to continue playing past a few victories on the hardest difficulty with my chosen strategy.

This is not a problem with Endless Space.  There is no single strategy that will ultimately be the best since there are many, and they can counter each other fairly effectively.  I have not finished with this game yet, and will report if I do find such a golden hammer of a strategy.  So far, I have won three games with three different victory conditions, and I want to try out the rest.

Monday, 14 January 2013

On The Absence of New Posts

Happy new year everybody!  I'm sorry I have been away so long, but the Holiday season for me has exceptionally busy.  I thank all of you who started following this blog for staying with me, and I welcome any new faces with open..... usage metrics?  Highlights include:

  • Getting engaged
  • Juggling spending time with my family, my girlfriend's fiancee's family, and all of our numerous friends
  • Buying gifts for all the above people
  • New Years recovery
  • The Steam sale
  • Some new games
Suffice it to say I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off until very recently.  I have made sure to play some games though, just to make sure I had something to talk about here.  Currently, Endless Space is very enjoyable and reminds me an awful lot of Master of Orion from way back in the day.  I want to have a report up on it soon.  I also started a project to make an online catalog of all of my games and some of the notable members of my collectible games.  Hopefully that will be running soon so you can all [bask in the glory of / point out the holes in] my collection.