September 02, 2014

Super Daisenryaku - End Game

So for my final battle I let the wife pick the countries and the map on which it would be played out.  Just to ensure a complete and utter bloodbath, she chose China vs. Japan vs. North Korea vs. South Korea.  I wanted to play as glorious Nippon but she forced me to play as China using her damn feminine wiles.  As is my wont, upon starting the level I hastily checked out my core units — and came away quite disappointed.  Overall, China has less units than most other factions, notably missing a heavy infantry unit and a tank-killer helicopter.  I then noticed that the cost of all the remaining units were about half of the normal cost for most other countries.  While one might initially think that that is a good thing, I know strategy games and knew that this meant that all these units would suck.  Upon further inspection, my apprehension panned out.  The worst example is that payloads for all the air units are cut down to two where the norm is usually around five or more.  The only hope for China was to blitzkrieg right out the gates with masses of the People's Army.

Swarm, my minions!  Swarm!  Kekekeke!

This proved successful and soon the great Middle Kingdom was producing as much yuan as the other three nations combined.  Then... the 48 unit limit was reached.  As I was playing on one of the largest maps available, it became very difficult to make any progress.  At most, I could keep some countries at bay using terrain choke points.  At one point I became almost hopeful as my use of river choke points was causing Japan to send most of its units down the river towards the South Korean army.  Alas, this hope was short-lived as the other countries also approached their unit limit.  With their superior firepower, they slowly began to whittle away at my defenses and decimate my units.

Probably doesn't help that the People's
Army is decked out in shorts and T-shirts.

I had initially planned to have a cute little storyline with me as Chairman Nung fending off an alliance of the other three countries and then having their alliance fall apart as they inevitably attack each other (there is no alliance setting in the actual game, it's always a free-for-all).  It's probably for the best as I'm not the most politically correct motherfucker and would likely have my inbox inundated with cries of

The wife scolded me for such a shamefur dispray but did get a chuckle of how the game basically makes fun of China's reputation for cheap, inferior products.  As I didn't capture the ending screens for any of my previous victories, I would still need to complete one more battle.  This time I chose all the factions and went with what I thought to be the most modern so that everyone has access to decent units.  My picks were 2yHeisei (for yours truly), NATO, USA 1990, and Latest.  My hunches proved correct as everyone had at least some admirable units.  The map I chose was one entitled Fortress and, as luck would have it, since I always play as red, I started in the titular stronghold located in the northwestern quadrant.

Aw yeah, everything's coming up Shen!

I have to give the map creator(s) credit — what seemed like an obvious advantage in having the fortress was balanced by restricting the number of units I could create.  Units can only be created in controlled cities near the capital or in and around the immediate area of the capital.  In the fortress, the capital is surrounded by deep water with only one hex leading out.  This severely limited my usual swarm of infantry (most of the red dots you can see in the above pic are airfields) until I had occupied enough of the interior cities to really start cranking out units.  A nice balance to compensate for initial advantage of having the fortress.  Not that I ever got to have a battle anywhere near my homebase; the AI sure does like to take its sweet-ass time capturing cities and advancing its forces.  Other boneheadedness includes acts such as sending units way out into the field with no supply truck and having them run out of gas.  For air units, this means instant death.  For land units, it means sitting there while the rest of the war rages on past them.

"Hey, someone wanna off me?  No?
K, I'll just stay here then, I guess."

The faults of the AI are what makes strategy games like this (and there are many) somewhat boring after the first nation goes down and the victor becomes a powerhouse.  Although there are still some good skirmishes here and there, the grand strategy part is over and done with.  What should happen is that the two remaining powers automatically rally against the new superpower, ensuring another major encounter.  At least the turns sped up significantly as the lesser nations lost units and the funds to replace them.  At any rate, since I didn't get much blog material of this here game, here's a sweet montage of the ending screens.