The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

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The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

Postby LTDave » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:46 pm

So, I'm playing in the Titanic Mandate game, and I'm having an issue.
Not exactly with the game itself, which is fine (if too complicated for my simple brain), or the GM, who is very, very good. Excellent, in fact.

No, the problem has to do with the nature of conflict between powers in many games.
It's more of a philosophical strategy issue.

We have two great powers, one made up of 5 allied nations, and one evil empire that the Alliance must crush.
We've spent a dozen turns building cities and armies, and presumably, so has the evil empire.
We have no idea how big the evil empire is, except that we've seen a city named "14", so unless this is an elaborate ruse, they have at least 14 cities. Probably more.

My power is one of the border nations, and I've recently sent an army into the territory of the evil empire. This army amounts to about 1/2 of my total available force.
It will almost certainly be destroyed, because there is no way this force will be able to survive any encounter with the evil empire, which will be able to direct all of its resources at my expeditionary force.

So, what are our options?
Well, we can wait another dozen turns while my allies send forces to the combat area, and then send a massive force into enemy territory. Except, by the time we do that, the enemy will have a still bigger army, and still be operating on it's own internal lines of communication, and be able to destroy us.

Well, we can wait until the enemy sends their army into our territory, so we can operate on internal lines of communication, mass our forces, and destroy them. They aren't going to do that anymore than we are going to do the first.

Well, we can build more cities than the enemy, and outproduce them 5 to 1, and then invade. Yes, maybe. As long as they don't control half the map, and match us unit for unit and city for city. Which they might well do.
Even if they don't control half the map, it'll take dozens if not hundreds of turns before the alliance builds up enough of a majority to consider invading.

By the time that happens, one of the alliance will have gotten bored or a new job or a girlfriend or something, and quit the game. Or one of us, (like me) might become bored, and just start attacking anyway, leading to certain defeat and the end of the game.

There are two problems that I see.

One is: We don’t know how big the world is. So we can’t even predict how big the evil empire is. We can send scouts, looking for the edge of the map, but so far they haven’t made it to the end.
When countries go to war, they generally know where each other are, and how big they are. Sure, the Allies mightn’t have known exactly how many Nazi Archers there were, but they could say, “There’re 80 million Germans, and 140 million Russians, another 120 million Americans, 60 million British, and 3 million Australians, so we’ll win eventually…”

Two is: without some sort of general idea about enemy dispositions, strength, terrain, etc, it would be quite foolish to attack.
Which is really point one again, but I forgot what the second point was supposed to be.
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Re: The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

Postby HerbieRai » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:18 am

The only way to see what the enemy has is by looking. This means sending a force to see what they got, and creating outposts near the enemy to peer into the territory. To look at the World War 2 reference, they didn't have satalites to see enemy positions, they sent spy planes and had radar towers. It may be half of your force, but that comes out to 1/10 of all allied forces (assuming your army is average size). If you got some scouts or some money with those men, then building a city nearby or some watchtowers to get a clearer view of the area could be tremendous. Yes, going on a full out attack blindly wouldn't end very well, but we need to see what we're up against, and getting close is the only real way of doing that.

I'm under the impression building a road network should be the high priority. Many of the forces we're sending out are full of basic infantry that will probably be slaughtered so we can get a better view of the enemy. The problem at least I've ran into is getting an army from my cities to the front lines. I'm in the bottom left corner, and all the enemy cities seem to be in the top right position (there may be some closer enemy cities we havn't seen yet). It would take roughly 10 turns to get to the enemy city. It would still be 5 turns with a roadway, but a lot can happen in 5 turns.

As far as someone getting bored, that is a problem with all Play by Post type games. The only solution is to keep the game interesting, which Twoy has done a great job of doing.
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Re: The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

Postby Mrtyuh » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:06 pm

I'm not part of the game, but sometimes you have to stick something in and let the enemy chop it off so that you get a better picture of the situation. As Mountbatten said, "I have no doubt that the Battle of Normandy was won on the beaches of Dieppe." The important thing is to learn from the experience and apply those lessons in the future. Just try to avoid going crazy. Remember what Einstein said about insanity, it's "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I'll go away now.
मृत्युः सर्वहरश्चाहमुद्भवश्च भविष्यताम् ।
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Re: The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

Postby Twoy » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:52 pm

The allies currently have 32 cities. The enemy has at least 14.

My biggest concern is that it's going to be too easy for you guys. Although I'm not too worried at this point since your forward outpost has no siege, and the EG cities have strong walls and enough air defense to deal with the very small air force you have there.
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Re: The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:47 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:I'm not part of the game, but sometimes you have to stick something in and let the enemy chop it off so that you get a better picture of the situation.

Great tactical advice.
Horrible dating advice.
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Re: The Problem with... (a philosophical discussion)

Postby Mrtyuh » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:24 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Horrible dating advice.

If you're dating someone you consider the enemy, you're either James Bond, have some interesting ideas about what constitutes dating or have already made a grave tactical miscalculation. :P
मृत्युः सर्वहरश्चाहमुद्भवश्च भविष्यताम् ।
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