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.