Sparta: War of Empires

management historical war

Sparta: War of Empires brings you to an ancient greek world, where city-states endlessly fight or unite for domination, glory and cash. Apparently, the reference historical setting is the one of the Second Persian War (made famous by the movies), at the time when the greek cities (or poleis) united to face the persian ... read >>


Supremacy 1914

war 1 strategy 1 historical 1

In Supremacy 1914 each player is the leader of one historical nation, and can use diplomacy or force to subjugate enemy territories, build powerful economies, and rule entire continents. Although many other browser-based games promised us the same exciting experience, this game by Bitro Labs is by far above them all. ... read >>

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Supremacy 1914

war 1 strategy 1 historical 1

Supremacy 1914  in short
pros cons
great multiplayer premium invasive
true strategic players dropping
slow paced diplomacy limited
good immersion
originality 8 details 8
care 9 diversity 6
experience 8 longevity 8
graphics 7 multiplayer 8
would you recommend it?

In Supremacy 1914 each player is the leader of one historical nation, and can use diplomacy or force to subjugate enemy territories, build powerful economies, and rule entire continents. Although many other browser-based games promised us the same exciting experience, this game by Bitro Labs is by far above them all.

First, the (main) setting is historical, and it is the one before the Great War (WWI), with a focus for Europe, Middle East and North Africa (however some game maps can have North America, and South-East Asia). The recreation of that atmosphere is meticulous, and very effective. Historical photos, the game journal, the troops and equipment, the city views, even the color palette: everything is appropriate. Although the are some major imprecisions (some as hilarious as having the Pope ruling Italy at war), the overall impression is very positive.

The game itself reminds me of the Risk board-game. After creating an account, the player can join multiple "rounds" that last between 4 to 8 real weeks. Each round is de facto a game itself, and can have from a handful to 31 players. In each round you will control a nation, and concludes with the victory of one player.

The game is very slow-paced. A player is usually allowed two days of inactivity, and even moving your troops from a city to another will take a few hours, or even a day. The same goes for building infrastructures, vehicle units, or recruit new conscripts. This may not meet the taste of many players, but I really respect this choice, which definitely helps those who can log in only once or twice per day. Moreover, this contributes to recreate the exhausting atmosphere of the Great War, known as a huge battle of attrition, fought on trench lines.

At the beginning, each round starts with a just a few major events, diligently registered in the word Gazette, which is public and helps you to keep track of the most interesting events covered by the Fog of War. Then, usually at day 2, everything escalates into a global war. In WWI more than 70 million military personnel were mobilised, and you really have this feeling here.

In the first days the war is fought on foot, literally. Unprepared to war, each country will use up all their population, and the war lines will move very slowly, as a snake dancing before the strike. Then an frenetic arms race takes place. Armoured cars, rails, ports, fortresses, tanks, railguns, and also war industries, training camps, warships, spies and sabotages. The main factor for winning a battle is (apart from numbers!) the morale (of troops and population), which is affected by many factors, and it is in my opinion very well implemented. This makes the game way more realistic, and forbids you to "rush" through war like in the Risk board-game.

To some extent, also diplomacy has its relevance here. Players can write each other ultimatums as well as private and public messages. Also, they can commerce privately or in the common marketplace. However, the diplomacy system is very rudimental, and it should definitely improved: as it is now, everything is based on explicit communication, and its not very easy to form in-game alliances.

One of my fears, when trying this famous game, was to find myself accumulating resources, building some infrastructures and invading neighbours. Well, that's actually what happens here, but all these activities are well organised, and at any moment everything can happen. You have to plan in advance your moves to organise joint attacks among your troops (you can delay orders, to improve coordination hen you are not online), plan which infrastructure to build, when and where. As an example, having a port in a territory will dramatically reduce the time for embarking/disembarking, and this will often make the difference. Or upgrading the right structure will enable more actions and tactics. So, there is a lot of clicking involved, but you have to carefully think about your strategies and your relationships with the neighbours if you want to survive the Great War. This also means that you have to know what they aim for, and monitor the global situation.

When a player does not log for more than the maximum number of days (depending on the game, usually 2), the AI takes over. This means that at the beginning every nation is active, and you will see this around your territories or in the news. After a day some players will defect (mainly because the joined late and don't like their nation). This leads to a couple of days of "land-grabbing", that usually unbalances the game. With the advent of the AI-supervisor the situation improves, but it is often late. This issue should be definitely solved and is the biggest issues I have with this game.

Who said premium? Yeah, there is. By joining the High Command you get shiny coins as usual, and those little bastards are very easy to spend (speed up construction times, buy this, buy that. Also you can give commands in advance, which is very useful). Something I hated is the fact that AI-controlled nations will attempt to sell you all the time some cool unit in exchange of this gold, so you will eventually want to pay for the premium. This is very annoying, and I hope it will be removed at some point. Similarly, the game sometimes offers you to claim free premium currency. However, in order to do this, you need to complete surveys or join dodgy online services, often not free at all. This practice is unacceptable, and should be stopped.

In conclusion I found Supremacy 1914 a great game, with the potential to become an incredible game, but with some major issues still to solve.

Supremacy 1914 ()
VideoGame > Browser Game (web browser)
Supremacy 1914, war, strategy, historical browser game
Score: 83 out of 100

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