- slide 1 of 9
Supreme Ruler 2010 - Introduction to Grand Strategy
Before there was Supreme Ruler 2020, there was...Supreme Ruler 2010. While not the most imaginatively named titled in the real time strategy market, the Supreme Ruler games are the best realistic modern grand strategy simulators available.
The premise behind Supreme Ruler 2010 is complex: Around 2010, a global economic meltdown throws the world into chaos. The mounting costs of maintaining occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq coupled with economic collapse and terror attacks in the United States causes the US to pull all its troops abroad back to United States soil. And a final whammy - the climate begins to change for the worst, causing winters to become far more intense, further roiling the delicate situation.
- slide 2 of 9
Supreme Ruler 2010 - Pick a Country, Dominate the Future.
The end result of this catastrophe? Dissatisfied provinces and territories no longer adequately served by their central governments begin to split apart - kind of like End War, but more extreme. Within a few years, the US, Russia, China, Europe, and Japan have split into smaller economic entities. The United Nations collapses, and in its place an organization calling itself the World Market emerges and mandates that within several years the newly independent nations must begin to re-coalesce via regional elections to determine the new centers of leadership.
Every new region seeks dominance in its geographic area, whether by winning the regional election or by force. The leader who can unite the local region and eventually the world will be the Supreme Ruler.
Back story aside, Supreme Ruler 2010 thrusts players into command of every facet of their region. Military campaigns, unit production, infrastructure upgrades, the economy, foreign trade, foreign policy, research, budgeting, immigration - all are modeled, and frankly, a degree in public policy or at least some understand of economic and policy theory will be a big help in understanding how to manage this incredible level of control.
- slide 3 of 9
Take Command, Supreme Ruler
Military command takes place at the battalion level, and each military unit is represented by an icon on the map that corresponds to the unit type and, in general, the unit model. Tank battalions, fighter squadrons, and individual ships are available for command. The map is hex based, and there is a maximum stack limit per hex.
Each unit has a set of statistics that controls its performance in battle - sensor range, weapon range, weapon damage against hard, soft, air, or structural targets, defenses against close attacks, ranged attacks, air attacks, etc. The unit's health is modeled by its size - battalions can be larger or smaller and are correspondingly faster and cheaper or slower and more expensive to produce. Damaged units can be repaired at a base, but once lost, they're gone.
Unit production takes place in military bases of various sizes, which can be built anywhere in your controlled territory, and boost the supply factor of each hex. Oh, and have I mentioned supply yet? Supply determines how long battalions can move and fight. Newly conquered territory has a lower supply quotient, and distance to friendly bases and cities is also factored in. Run out of supplies, and your shiny tank battalion is little more than a target.
- slide 4 of 9
Hope You Paid Attention in Economics
If you thought the military control sounded intimidating, check Supreme Ruler 2010's economic options. Your region's economy is based around a number of resources and the factories that turn resources into products. Timber, water, power, coal, uranium, agriculture - all and more are modeled, as are consumer, industrial, and military goods.
Each sector of the economy can be an investment target in Supreme Ruler 2010, meaning that you can choose a resource or product to produce where you possess a comparative advantage (the economic engine models production costs and the prevailing export market price) and then work to dominate the market by building additional production infrastructure and making efficiency investments.
All this, of course, leads towards improving your nation's bottom line - the income and expenses leading towards a surplus or deficit each year. The better your economy, the more money can be spent on research, the military, and keeping the citizens happy - and each area can lead to ultimate victory, and your being named Supreme Ruler.
- slide 5 of 9
- slide 6 of 9
A Model Campaign
Supreme Ruler games have a significant learning curve - exceeding that of Civilization IV, but if you can stick it through the initial stages Supreme Ruler 2010 can be immensely rewarding. When you get the hang of the game, you'll find that you can automate any function you don't like or haven't mastered - whether that be research, the economy, or even military engagements.
- slide 7 of 9
Supreme Ruler of Northern California
Having grown up in Northern California I was curious to see how it would fare in a Supreme Ruler scenario. At the start of the campaign mode, where the gamer will start with a small region and take it all the way to dominate the world, California is split into four distinct regions, and the game map is simply a map of California itself, with the surrounding states being non-traversable.
The San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles are their own regions in this scenario, and the rest of California is split between North and South.
Playing as Northern California, it was immediately apparent that this rural portion of the state is strongly agriculturally based, and severely threatened by heavily populated San Francisco - which also boasted a significant military presence. Accordingly, I chose to build my military forces quickly, opting to build M1 tank battalions, cheap A10 ground attack aircraft squadrons, and cruise missiles.
A reunification vote was scheduled in one year I was dead last in the polls due to my small population base. There was little hope of winning a conflict by invading the southern half of the state, so I targeted San Francisco, judging that its population and my resources would be sufficient to win the vote.
I sent battalions of tanks and infantry backed by air power and artillery through the southern and northern portions of San Francisco's territory. San Francisco's capital was on the western peninsula, guarded to the east by military bases in Oakland. My forces rapidly seized Santa Cruz in the south and Marin county in the north while holding off counterattacks from Oakland.
Everything went swimmingly as I moved my battalions up Highway 101 to seize San Francisco, supported by artillery firing over the Golden Gate Bridge. But as I seized the capital, the seat of government moved to Oakland, smack dab in the center of heavily defended urban territory.
From there it was a knife fight. I pushed east across the Bay Bridge - and was repulsed by fire coming from destroyers in the Bay. In the end, I won - but only after firing my entire stock of cruise missiles into the Oakland area, causing tens of thousands of civilian casualties - not a proud moment.
- slide 8 of 9
I won the regional vote and became Supreme Ruler of California, and moved to the second stage of the campaign - the Western United States.
Broken into the Northwest dominated by Washington, Southwest controlled by Texas, and California governed from Sacramento, California was actually at a disadvantage relative to its neighbors, who had larger populations and military forces.
As with the previous scenario, it was unlikely I'd win the reunification vote - so once the Northwest and Southwest went to war, I launched an attack on the Northwest. Striking through Oregon, I pushed the borders of California to the Columbia River, then held off Washington's counterattack down Interstate 5 while sending my forces through the eastern portion of the state then west to hit downtown Seattle. Interestingly enough, the entire Northwest region surrendered once I seized its capitol, and I won the regional vote with ease.
- slide 9 of 9
From there, the campaign moves to a North American unification scenario, pitting the Western, Northern, and Southern portions of the United States against one another, Mexico, Central America, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands. After that came the final scenario - North America's conquest of the world to become the Supreme Ruler.
Supreme Ruler 2010 is an excellent real time strategy game for anyone into a full-on nation simulator. It is no fast-paced Command and Conquer, and for gamers looking to experience what it might be like to run a nation as its Supreme Ruler, look no further than the Supreme Ruler series.