Seems like multiplayer in this game is one of those 'parts' that people don't do a whole lot of, the reasons for that is another topic. The topic for this one is what I've found out.
I'm part of a small community of avid videogamers who are a fan of grand strategy games particularly those involving nation building of some sort, like Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron. At least when it comes to that sort of game we like to foster some conflict between the players, we don't intend to get overtly competitive but we leave cooperation for other types of games, like ArmA, Men of War or Wargame. Supreme Ruler was a nice addition to our repertoire of common games we play and as all we do we decided to do a bit of PvP.
We've agreed to play every Saturday, Afternoon EU time and Midday US time, and setup a small scenario for ourselves
. As a prelude to that we have been doing some test runs and the gathered observations are pretty interesting.
Korean DMZ 1950
A player will smell the air of bad intentions wafting their way and prepare accordingly, buy an arsenal beyond what their country should have and use it against you. Taking your time building your country up before arming and modernizing the military into the model army you wish will leave you vulnerable.
Fronts must be guarded with a credible force in numbers, quality, positioning and defenses. Choke points will only shift the battlefield to another dimension in most cases, sometimes a new battle zone will become the front. Combat is deadly, the attrition rate of quality units when pitted against similar units is high, your model army will quickly be reduced to an armed rabble. New units will often be completed too late to replace the old ones or be of practical use in the war, continuously purchasing new units from foreign nations will deplete your treasury in a matter of months.
From these observations a few lessons have been extracted.
Your starting force with which you was confident and able to handle most AI's simply does not cut it. Warfare is attritional, cheap and durable units with the most punching power will be your frontline, this means infantry in trenches backed up by artillery. If you can built more sturdy defenses the better. Your good units should be kept behind, not in reserve but ready to make the tactical moves and knowing when to use it.
There is a certain counter game to the combat, high end submarines will annihalate most boats, but will die to patrol aircraft which in turn fall prey to fighters but who can be hurt by ships with anti aircraft weapons, said ship however will die to high end subs. There are many chains of counters like this, some longer than others that aren't used properly when playing against AI.
All this has made me wonder how much more of these sort of things have you guys encountered in your PvP forays? Please share your thoughts.