So, just a little bit of info on this little game we’ve been working on these past few days:
I was doing research for one of my papers last Saturday when I upon this idea for a fun little game. Basically, I was musing on the way that most role-playing and strategy games focus a lot on building a formidable fighting force, but very little on keeping one. I came up with this idea about not just having to recruit an army, but also having to make sure that it was fed.
Now, one of my courses this semester focuses on the 30 Years’ War. To say that this protracted 17th century conflict was rather destructive for Central Europe would be a gross understatement. One of the focuses of the course was on how the various factions involved were able to keep their troops fed and supplied. While organized systems of plunder and resupply were able to sustain the various armies to a point, eventually some parts of what is now Germany became so heavily pillaged that they were unable to support any troops at all. By the end of the war, armies became smaller and more mobile simply because a large slow-moving force was impossible to keep fed and supplied. The best example of this was of the (Holy Roman) Imperial general Matthias Gallas, who lost half his army to starvation and plague in Northern Germany when he was forced to retreat over land that had already been picked clean.
This became the nucleus of Land at War. The basic gameplay is pretty simple: you have an army, your opponents have armies of the same size. Moving across a map in real time, you have to conscript recruits and destroy your opponents’ armies in battle. The problem is, your army needs to be fed, and the only way to supply your army is through plunder. As the armies move, they leave behind a trail of destruction and ruin across the formerly idyllic countryside. The larger the army, the more land they destroy in their wake. An army forced to cross this wasteland again will lose men from disease and starvation. The key is to manage attrition, recruitment and the position of the other armies to end up with the one with the biggest fighting force when armies clash. The individual mechanics are simple, but mixed together atop a series of maps designed to reward lateral thinking, the ensemble becomes far more complex.
So, that’s what we got planned coming up. More info when we get into beta testing (hopefully in a few days). Until then we’ll probably be busy with final assignments and getting Shadow Regiment ready for sponsorship. We’ll tell you how it goes.