Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I’m a big fan of strategy games and in many ways, they stimulate the might as well as “train” us for actual warfare. But many games are imperfect (chess, for example, neatly assumes both sides have the same resources/units when in real life, that’s seldom going to be the case). Anyway, here’s a poll I’m interested in. Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer here but I am interested in you you’ll prioritize the following factors that comes into play in a battle. In descending order (top-most is the most important), which do you value most if you were to wage a war:
  • Superior numbers (i.e. outnumbering the opponent)
  • Quality troops (i.e. highly trained/better equipped troops)
  • Mobility (i.e. cavalry, fast transport, etc.)
  • Intelligence (i.e. spies, intimate knowledge of the battlefield, etc.)
  • Communication (i.e. coordinating troops, relaying information from one side to another, etc.)
For me, most video games don’t capture the communication trait. I mean play any RTS game and you have a complete overview and control of every single unit under your command when in reality, that’s seldom the case (or even if you do, that doesn’t mean they’ll always obey your orders). Mobility, on the other hand, isn’t as exploitable in turn-based games as opposed to real-time games. I mean mobility in turn-based games is limited to moving one unit to a target destination quicker. In real-time games, aside from that, mobility can be used to perform harassing attacks, hit-and-run tactics, to scout or even evade attacks, etc. Superiority and numbers and quality troops are usually played against each other. You usually only have enough resources to pick one of them so superior numbers vs quality troops is often the typical scenario (assuming both sides have equal resources). Intelligence for me has been the “hidden ace” in many games. It might not have a direct hand in how combat goes (unless you’re playing Battleship) but it’s great before direct conflict has begun. I mean knowing your enemy has 10,000 infantry won’t change the fact that he has 10,000 infantry but if you know that your opponent has 10,000 infantry, you can take the appropriate countermeasures (such as producing mobile troops or matching it with an equal number of troops).

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