2000-2001 Campaign Log: Part 4

Today I’m continuing the annotated log of the first campaign of Strategic Primer, which I continued last month. Today’s installment consists almost entirely of the brilliant play of the player code-named “George Washington.”

Player Name Date Unit Attempted Action Result of Action
Napoleon 2/16/01 None None None. He is currently building a Rabble with 1 turn to go.
George Washington 2/16/01 Catapult 1 Experiment hitting target. Ranges marked on rope. Done

After the campaign, this got codified into an advance. But it’s a detail that I would never have thought of, and so a good example of one of the game’s distinctive features. And thinking of details like this could, in some situations, provide the edge required for victory.

George Washington 2/16/01 Rabble 1 Find desert. (Move SW for 266 mi. Quickly. Ed.) Moved out of step for 2 hrs (16 mi). Bogged down. Moved out of step for 2 hrs (16 mi). Moved out of step for 2 hrs (16 mi). Bogged down. Moved out of step for 2 hrs (16 mi). Bogged down. Moved correctly for 2 hrs (16 mi). Moved out of step for 2 hrs (16 mi). Moved out of step for 1/2 hr (4 mi). Forced to move at normal pace. Moved out of step for 1 hr (4 mi).

You may or may not be able to see what he’s going for here, but (aside from keeping track of details like being in step—particularly when it’s a half-trained rabble) this is an example of another distinctive of this game—how many strategy games would let a player say “search for this kind of terrain” and have them go and do it? In retrospect, I shouldn’t have made it this easy; this Rabble just went on a bee-line to the nearest desert, but realistically they should have searched.

George Washington 2/16/01 None None Invented Horse-drawn Catapult, equipped all of them with flasks to hold gases and with distilleries for chlorine, hydrogen, oxygen, and sodium from sea water. One of these built in HQ.

And here we see, in addition to player innovation (and my carelessness about prerequisites) the since-revoked rule that gave a player a free prototype of every unit he or she invented.

George Washington 2/16/01 Horse-drawn Catapult 1 Move to the nearest ocean. (294 mi. NNE. Quickly. Ed.). Distill hydrogen, chlorine, and oxygen from seawater for rest of day. Moved correctly (this would be out of formation, but there’s only one) for 2 hrs (256 mi) Moves correctly (ditto the last one) for the rest of the way, about 36 min. 2nd sentence done. 15 flasks each filled, and tank filled but not distilled. Awaiting further orders.
George Washington 2/16/01 None None None. Currently building Rabble, 1 turn remaining.

And with that, the end of Washington’s second turn, I’ll end this segment of the log. You can begin to see why George Washington (remember, that’s a “code name”) was one of the most successful players—in the second turn, he started implementing a plan that started with the initial technology level and would lead (though this was partly because I was sloppy about “bootstrapping” prerequisites) to a major qualitative military-technical advantage. And (as my laxity continued) this was only the beginning … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This annotated log of the inaugural campaign of Strategic Primer will continue next month. But for now … any comments on this installment?

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