Friday, 25 January 2013
On Turn Based Srategy
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.