A more 'simmy' sort of game?

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Nell Quick
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A more 'simmy' sort of game?

Postby Nell Quick » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:47 am

All right, I confess... I'm not the hugest fan of DEFCON. No, I'm not here to try to rain on your parade or criticise your game. It's just a matter of personal preference. But with no ill-will intended, I figured you folks might still be the best people to ask.

Call me morbid (I'm on the DEFCON forum, what the hell am I worried about that for?), but I was always a big fan of the old - very old - 'Bravo Romeo Delta'. Dunno if anyone remembers that? It was a simulation of nuclear strategy and was very very basic in terms of graphics (it didn't have any) and very awkward to plan out a strategy and execute it. It was basically a text game, and formulating an attack plan meant scrolling through the same menus of targets over and over, setting targets warhead by warhead. It wasn't a pretty game, but it did handle the subject matter very effectively. It was actually surprising absorbing. Especially since it was interesting to see how things would unfold if you adopted different responses. (For example, I found one of the best ways of minimising casualties in BRD - and very unpatriotic, too - was simply to not fire back. I usually found the enemy attack on me petered out after a few ICBMs once the computer realised I wasn't fighting. It didn't make for a fascinating game, admittedly, but it did make me wonder if someone had been listening to Joshua...)

Then there was Superpower 2, which allowed for nuclear strikes but didn't really treat them as anything more than just a way to annoy other countries. There was no fallout, physical or political, and that made the whole thing relatively pointless. Yes, you'd get attacked by everyone else in the world (including the remarkably undamaged nation you hit), but leave it a day or two and click 'Ceasefire' and everyone suddenly stops fighting you and it's like nothing happened.

Still, DEFCON, I'm afraid, just doesn't appeal to me for the same reason that most RTS games don't appeal. I'm more a planner than a frantic-clicker-of-mouse-buttons; and I won't make excuses: I simply can't keep up with DEFCON. I do tremendously well at first, then realise that the AI hasn't launched a single warhead yet, and then I'm seared off the face of the Earth within minutes. So what I'd like to see is a more simulator-ish 'game' that isn't geared up to be a speedy multiplayer challenge, but is rather more like Bravo Romeo Delta used to be: you plan out strategies in advance, and once you detect the launches on the other side you execute your plans, from then on having to deal with degrading communications, fog of war, and so on. Something like BRD, but prettier and easier to control. Obviously that's not what DEFCON's supposed to be - but is anyone aware of any such games that might exist or be planned?
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Hyperion
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Postby Hyperion » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:50 am

Hmmm...respect to your bravery and honesty...personally i can't help, HOWEVER have you simply tried playing Office Mode?
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Postby Crusader Scott » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:28 am

There is a game that is in the very early stages of development that promises to be more realistic. It has a working title of 'Cold War' (I believe) and will explore various real-world situations (I believe historical and speculative) where nukes could have been used. Those are the only details I have (I corresponded with one of the devs some time ago).

BTW: I had never heard of Bravo Romeo Delta and looked it up. It would seem BRD was listed as one of the games NOT to ever buy! From CVG http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=164066:


Bravo Romeo Delta is anti-fun, non-fun, unfun, and bizarrely proud of it. It is a sugar-free sweet in game form; a good idea, ruined.

It's like Defcon, if Defcon was the most boring game ever made. With four low-res maps and an arsenal of nuclear weapons at your disposal, you are tasked with taking part in a 'limited' nuclear skirmish - to show the other side you're a formidable enemy and world power without causing the conflict to escalate to all-out thermonuclear war. Ignoring the fact that the goal is thus to avoid the fun part, would people really not mind if you chose to nuke just, say, Essex, and not London? Because that would be good information to know.

Of course, when I said those nukes were "at your disposal," I meant "mostly at your disposal." If you try to actually do what you want with them, ie, fire all of them in every direction and at everyone in sight, your command is rejected. Sigh.

I'm sure this is all a terribly realistic simulation of how nuclear conflict would actually pan out, but given the choice between "Everybody dies" and "A reasonable and proportionate number of people die," I'll choose apocalypse every time.


Still, it looks fun!
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:35 am

This is probably a waste of time but here goes...

As Hyperion suggested, try real time. If the AI is wiping you out, then you definitely haven't grasped the mechanics of the game. You can also try to play 1v1 with others that don't mind keeping the game slow (office mode again). This gives you plenty of time and a rich environment to plan your strategy.

Defcon is not a click fest. There are some modes that can become a click fest, like speed defcon or some multiplayer games. However, there are plenty of other modes that allow for and encourage slower paced war.
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Postby Nell Quick » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:28 am

Ace Rimmer wrote:This is probably a waste of time
Why? I'm quite willing to listen to advice.

As Hyperion suggested, try real time. If the AI is wiping you out, then you definitely haven't grasped the mechanics of the game.
I don't doubt that that's the case. And yes, I'll give office mode a shot when I have time.

Thanks to Crusader Scott for the suggestion about Cold War - I'll keep an eye open. As far as BRD goes, the big problem is that fact that, as I said, every warhead had to be selected from a list, set from a list, targeted from a list, and fired individually - and that, I agree was, dull, dull, dull. What the reviewer seems to have had problems with, though ("your command is rejected") is the fact that BRD modelled the inevitable breakdown in communications once warheads started to impact in your territory and your subs and comm stations were being knocked out. There was an increasing chance that subsequent orders wouldn't get through.

Still, I won't defend it any further: looking at it now it is a god-awful-looking game - which is why I was looking for an upgrade. :D
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Postby shinygerbil » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:35 am

The game sounds like fun to me. Still, I'd probably stick to Defcon. :P
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:09 pm

Nell Quick wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:This is probably a waste of time
Why? I'm quite willing to listen to advice.

Well, you didn't seem to have much interest in the game.

Nell Quick wrote:
As Hyperion suggested, try real time. If the AI is wiping you out, then you definitely haven't grasped the mechanics of the game.
I don't doubt that that's the case. And yes, I'll give office mode a shot when I have time.

On the surface Defcon can seem 1 or 2 dimensional, but there are many aspects of the game, especially in online play, that can be missed. There are plenty of modes and plenty of ways to change up the game to make it suit your style. You might try multiple territories and/or variable units.

The first thing I'd suggest is asking around to see if anybody would be interested in a real time game. Forum members tend to be more willing to accommodate than the random person.

On a side note, I've played many games (1v1) that lasted for several hours and required a lot of thinking and strategy and were quite enjoyable.
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Postby Nell Quick » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:28 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Well, you didn't seem to have much interest in the game.
It's not my cup of tea, precisely, no. But if I wasn't interested in your opinions and suggestions I wouldn't have spent so long trying to balance out my original message and avoid offence. I'd have said "omfg defonc SUXXxX" - or possibly something along those lines. :mrgreen:

Ace Rimmer wrote:On the surface Defcon can seem 1 or 2 dimensional, but there are many aspects of the game, especially in online play, that can be missed. There are plenty of modes and plenty of ways to change up the game to make it suit your style. You might try multiple territories and/or variable units.
Mmm. I've been playing with a few of the options and it's not - really, it's not - a bad game. My question was more to do with your ideas about whether there are any games around or planned that're closer to the sort of thing I'm really interested in. Admittedly I probably wasn't very clear what I was looking for: my first post didn't go into huge detail - but I don't wanna be TOO tedious...

For the record, my interest's in simulating not just the hurling-missiles-around bit (but certainly including that), but the whole scenario. Perhaps even the diplomacy leading up to (maybe even avoiding at the last minute?) such an exchange. And the aftermath, too: can you rebuild a working state from the wreckage?

Superpower 2, like I said, just doesn't cut it, since its diplomacy features don't really seem to do anything and a nuclear conflict in that game isn't much more than a pretty light show for all the physical effect it has. Bravo Romeo Delta seems realistic, but is awkward to play and has lamentable visuals. Something like a modern Balance Of Power would be good for the diplomatic decisions and the increasing tension - but loses points for that smarmy ticking-off you get when you cock it up and press the button: "we do not reward failure". Like a president's going to be able to just walk away at that point and not carry the job through...

If it helps, I'll tell you one that came DAMN near: Shadow President. I loved that game. If that or CyberJudas - the sequel - had had a decent strategic combat system (rather than simply 'press button and watch the flash'), and allowed you to pick from any country like Superpower 2 did, I wouldn't have had to bother you guys. And actually, perverted and weird though it might sound, there was a great deal of fun to be had trying to see how peaceful you could make the world. Yeah, I know: it's just wrong... :D

And does anyone remember Armageddon Man? That was quite cool as well, albeit you weren't in direct control of the conflict.

You know earlier when I said I didn't want to be tedious...? :wink:
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ynbniar
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Postby ynbniar » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:40 pm

How about this...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_of ... er_game%29

:?:

EDIT

oops..you already mentioned it... :oops:
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Postby Nell Quick » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:54 pm

ynbniar wrote:oops..you already mentioned it... :oops:


Yep. :D

But never mind - it was a pretty good game and I do appreciate the suggestion all the same.
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Re: A more 'simmy' sort of game?

Postby djdemo » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:42 pm

Nell Quick wrote:Call me morbid (I'm on the DEFCON forum, what the hell am I worried about that for?), but I was always a big fan of the old - very old - 'Bravo Romeo Delta'. Dunno if anyone remembers that?


Yep, and you can still download and play it.


I'm like you, I want somthing that is more a nuke war 'sim'.


However, if you play DEFCON with the right people - you can have a pretty good 2v2 using Europe and US vs Russia and China, especially if you don't pick quite so many surface navy units, and decide before hand how many silos/air bases each side will have.

Ok, it's not perfect... the other option, and I've not done this but talked about doing it in the pub with some friends who work at places like RAND and are war-geeks like me, was to have some sort of basic wargame between East/West.

You need 4 rooms - 2 Presidential rooms (US/SU) and obviously 2 NORAD type places (NATO/WP). So you have some game of bluff going on in the Presidential rooms where you are trying to get some achievement, but if that fails - then they can phone their strategic HQ and tell them to lauch.

I guess the way it would work would be to have the two sides allied but not sharing radar, and so you could scramble bombers - have fighters up on patrol, and bascially have to 'shadow box' with the other side, until they decide to fire - or you fire first.

The fun part (And we never worked out quite how to get to this point) is that the Presidents would not see the screen, instead, the NORAD teams would have to phone in what they are seeing, how many launches - what they think the targets are etc.

The scoring would have to be worked out in terms of casulties, counter force, planes shot down etc.


So, although DEFCON itself is not a sim - if you play with people and use it as the very simple basis for a sim.

Perhaps you need an Umpire, and the US and SU get hidden objectives...


Don't know really, clearly I need another pub session to hammer these ideas out... or perhaps to discuss them without several pints being consumed.

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