The Dilemmas Of Time And Resources In Politics & War

As someone who is fond of games of logistics [1], I thought it would be worthwhile to comment at least a little bit about one of the games I play called Politics & War, and some of the aspects of the game that force a certain degree of patience as well as tradeoffs related to resources and time. In discussing these trade-offs I will talk about the game mechanics and also comment on the fact that may own experience and goals are likely to be different from others. With that said, let us proceed.

Politics & War is a game that serves as a nation simulator. Every nation starts out as a tiny realm of one small city and with skill can get larger. The simulation divides nations up by cities, which have territory and infrastructure and various improvements in several categories, some of which provide power, some of which provide the mining/production of raw materials, some of which involve manufacturing, some of which are civic buildings that reduce crime and disease and pollution, others that are commerce buildings which increase the income of the city, and still others which are military buildings which allow for the building of various military units to defend the nation. One can earn money, which one needs to buy more cities, land, infrastructure, and buildings, through a variety of ways: one can engage in piracy on inactive nations and loot them for money and resources, one can trade one’s production of raw or manufactured goods for it, one can generate it through commerce directly, or one can purchase in-game credits via microtransactions as is common in games of this nature to fund the creator of the game and his or their opulent lifestyle. Making decisions in a game like this requires certain trade-offs and certain limitations.

There is another element in the game as well, and that is various projects which affect how one’s nation works. One gets a project right off the bat and then can get an additional project at every 5000 infrastructure one has beyond that in one’s nation. These particular projects are complicated in what they require and what they offer, but there are at least a few different groupings of them. My own nation at present has four of the improvements, and I am looking to get three more in the not-too-distant future (more on that anon). The Intelligence Agency allows for the faster recruitment of spies and the Propaganda Bureau allows for the hiring of more soldiers more quickly. These, along with projects like the Missile Launching Pad and Spy Satellite are mainly geared towards the military side. I also have a Uranium Enrichment Program which doubles the productivity of my Uranium mines, allowing me to be self-sufficient in power (since I run nuclear plants in my cities) while also providing additional Uranium to sell for profit, sometimes at least. This and other projects are geared towards increasing the productivity of one’s goods, and other projects allow one to build more munitions, aluminum, or steel, or farm more efficiently. Still other projects help one to reduce pollution or increase the profit of one’s commerce, and those are ones I plan on getting in the future as my nation and its cities get a bit bigger. The other type of project in the game allows one to lower the expenses of one’s expansion, allowing one to grow bigger faster. I have one of these projects, Urban Planning, which reduces the cost of every new city by $50,000,0000, at the cost of about $400,000,000 or so of resources, making eight cities of growth its breakeven point. In the near future I plan on adding the Advanced Urban Planning, which is a bit more expensive and saves an additional $100,000,000 on new cities after that, as well as the Center For Civil Engineering, which reduces the cost of infrastructure building to make growing one’s cities less expensive by 5%, no mean amount.

The trade-offs come in fairly obvious ways. Once one has gotten to ten cities, one can build a new city or project only once every ten days, and one can also change one’s policies (which give various bonuses and buffs to certain aspects of one’s nation) every ten days as well. Manifest Destiny is good for lowering the cost of cities, but Technological Advancement gives a discount on Projects, and still others give lowered costs to the upkeep of one’s troops and so on. Decisions made to enable buffs in one direction make for corresponding inefficiencies in other areas. The same is true for one’s military policies, as there are tradeoffs related to espionage operations, the number of battle points one and one’s opponent generates, and so on and so forth. Every gain in one area comes with a corresponding decrease in another area. And with cities and projects and changes limited to once every ten days, one has to decide how one wants to proceed. In my own country, I decided to get Urban Planning to lower the cost of new cities, which I could only get once I had 11 cities. Then, immediately after getting the project I switched to Manifest Destiny so that I can get more cities at a reduced cost, which I will then do for five more cities, which I will do until I have 16 cities, at which point I will switch for more projects to increase military (adding a missile launching pad) as well as lowering the cost of more cities and infrastructure. No doubt other people will make other decisions based on their own goals, and that is part of the fun of such games, in forcing people to think about the trade-offs and limitations of time and resources and space and to choose that which they want most in order to build up resources for getting all that one wants in due time.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/25/games-of-logistics/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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