How does Grand Strategy mode work?

How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Wuzzy » 20 May 2016, 00:45

I have no clue what Grand Strategy mode is for and how it works.
The in-game encyclopedia is silent on this topic and I also could not find anything on the homepage.

So can you please tell me what this is about? Thanks. :)
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Andrettin » 20 May 2016, 13:54

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I have no clue what Grand Strategy mode is for and how it works.
The in-game encyclopedia is silent on this topic and I also could not find anything on the homepage.

So can you please tell me what this is about? Thanks. :)


Hey, the in-game encyclopedia has information on grand strategy mode features in the "Grand Strategy Concepts" section. Hope that helps :)
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Wuzzy » 20 May 2016, 14:59

No, it doesn't help.
It's quite incomplete. There is nothing written about the bigger picture, i.e. goals, how it differs from the RTS game, overall gameplay rules, etc. I have still no idea what I am supposed to do.
There should be an introductionary or overview page or something like that.
The existing pages are all about details, not the bigger picture.
There is even a contradiction: It is claimed that both prestige and research are “the only resource”.
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Andrettin » 20 May 2016, 15:17

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:No, it doesn't help.
It's quite incomplete. There is nothing written about the bigger picture, i.e. goals, how it differs from the RTS game, overall gameplay rules, etc. I have still no idea what I am supposed to do.
There should be an introductionary or overview page or something like that.
The existing pages are all about details, not the bigger picture.


Which parts of the gameplay in particular seem confusing and need explanation? The tip popups were supposed to explain the mechanics of the GSM, are they unclear?

Regarding goals, there aren't any preset ones - you're free to play in the mode as you wish (i.e. try to conquer every province, or seek to create an empire with certain borders). Though missions could be added eventually, to provide shorter-term objectives for the player (i.e. conquer X province that borders your country).

There is even a contradiction: It is claimed that both prestige and research are “the only resource”.


They are both a "grand strategy mode only resource", that is, they only appear in the GSM and not in normal RTS play (unlike stone and etc.).
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Wuzzy » 20 May 2016, 17:02

Which parts of the gameplay in particular seem confusing and need explanation? The tip popups were supposed to explain the mechanics of the GSM, are they unclear?


I already told you. The biggest question is: What's the point of this game mode? What is the player supposed to do? Or at least, what can you do?
The popup dialogs are helping a little bit, but IMO they are not enough.
I just
At least some overview over a typoical grand strategy game will help. Or an introduction. The encyclopedia has nothing like this.
It goes into the details. This is good, writing stuff about details is important. But obviously not enough.

Can you please give me an example gameplay for a few turns? So I have at least a rough idea what's going on?

The mode still seems to be pretty arcane to me. Apparently I have provinces and you try to conquer them or something like that. And it is turn-based.
And there are sometimes these RTS games in-between.
It seems a little bit like the game “Risk”. Is this correct?

I have still not figured out how to attack. Or how to move units (if they exist).
There are probably a couple of other features I don't even know they exist, so I can't really answer you which parts exactly are confusing.
I can declare war, but that does not always put me into battle mode. I have no real clue when that happens.
I am clicking on buttons but have no real clue what to do.
I once even got stuck, pressing End Turn did not do anything.
And, and, and. There are so many non-obvious things in this game mode, I just don't get the “simple” tasks right.

As I said, the help covers the details, but not the bigger picture.

Regarding goals, there aren't any preset ones - you're free to play in the mode as you wish (i.e. try to conquer every province, or seek to create an empire with certain borders). Though missions could be added eventually, to provide shorter-term objectives for the player (i.e. conquer X province that borders your country).

Finally a piece of information! This should go directly into the encyclopedia.

There is even a contradiction: It is claimed that both prestige and research are “the only resource”.


They are both a "grand strategy mode only resource", that is, they only appear in the GSM and not in normal RTS play (unlike stone and etc.).

OMG! What the fuck is just wrong with me? I have failed again to read carefully. Sorry, my fault.
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Andrettin » 20 May 2016, 18:43

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I already told you. The biggest question is: What's the point of this game mode? What is the player supposed to do? Or at least, what can you do?
The popup dialogs are helping a little bit, but IMO they are not enough.
I just
At least some overview over a typoical grand strategy game will help. Or an introduction. The encyclopedia has nothing like this.
It goes into the details. This is good, writing stuff about details is important. But obviously not enough.

The mode still seems to be pretty arcane to me. Apparently I have provinces and you try to conquer them or something like that. And it is turn-based.
And there are sometimes these RTS games in-between.
It seems a little bit like the game “Risk”. Is this correct?


Each faction owns a number of provinces. In the provinces, you can build structures and train units. Workers work the tiles in a province automatically, producing resources. Food produced by workers eventually generates new workers.

Gameplay Example:

Start Date 9 BC with the Marcomanni Tribe

Turn 1: I build a war lodge in my starting province. I look to see which resources I have (they are semi-randomly generated). In this example I started with three Grain Farms, and two Timber Lodges and one Copper Mine in my province. I started with four workers, who automatically work the three grain farms and one timber lodge. I am thus producing 100 Lumber. To get more gold, I click on my settlement's tile, and then on the chieftain's hall, and then I click the right arrow to increase my offer of Lumber by 100. My ruler is Marbod. My starting units are 5 Kriegers, 2 Schutzes and 1 Ritter. To take advantage of my starting forces, I declare war on the Quadi Tribe to my east, and then select my units and my hero and attack their province that borders me (they have another one). By conquering their province I can better support my troops, and since they are of the same culture as my faction (Teuton), this means that I will get less revolt risk after conquering their province, and I won't get production penalties from cultural differences.

Turn 2: I win the battle and conquer their province (called Westlant), losing 2 Kriegers and 1 Schutze. The conquered province has one Grain Farm and one Timber Lodge, both of which are already being worked. I could increase my Lumber offer to 200 to get more Gold while not losing Lumber, but it's better to save some since I'll want to build new structures soon, and they cost quite a bit of Lumber. Westlant only has a Chieftain's Hall and a War Lodge built. I gather my remaining forces and press on the Quadi's second province (Sumarscira).

Turn 3: I conquered Sumarscira without any losses. Like Westlant, it has one Grain Farm and one Timber Lodge, with the same two buildings already built. My conquered provinces both have 2% revolt risk (this lasts a while until they are fully integrated into the faction); if they had been of a different culture, they would have 5% instead. Due to their low quantity of food resources, they also have small populations, so a revolt in one of those provinces would be easy to put down. I build a Carpenter's Shop in my starting province (Marcomannia) to enhance my lumber production (the building provides +25% Lumber productivity). I train one Krieger in each of my new provinces, to replenish my forces. I have 3000 stone in stock, which I won't need any time soon, so I offer all of it for sale (3000). Although I have two new provinces, my faction is still small. The gigantic Roman Empire borders us to the south, and if another tribe expands fast it could soon be our doom. To the north of Marcomannia and Westlant, there is the province of Kaurnbaurgs, owned by the Silingae Tribe. Their culture is different than ours (they are Gothic), and since their province has a different culture than ours, it will be harder to hold on to it. Still, it has two Grain Farms and two Timber Lodges, so it's a nice province to have, and conquering it will also make our current provinces safe from the north. I move my troops from Sumarscira to Westlant.

Turn 4: The two Kriegers finished training. One is already where I want him (in Westlant), but the other is in Sumarscira, so I move him to Westlant.

Turn 5: I declare war on the Silingae Tribe and attack them with all my forces.

Turn 6: I conquered Kaurnbaurgs (their only province), while losing only one Krieger. The province has a War Lodge, a Carpenter's Shop and Stables. But it's revolt risk is 5%, so I will have to keep it garrisoned. What other adventures will await my Marcomanni?

I have still not figured out how to attack. Or how to move units (if they exist).


Thank you, that's quite helpful (I hadn't realized that was confusing).

I added a "Units" entry to the Grand Strategy Concepts, with the following text:

"Worker units are generated automatically in a province as surplus food is produced. Soldiers, however, have to be trained at the barracks. To do so, click on your province's settlement. Click on the barracks button. Now unit icons will appear in the interface to the right. The right arrow below each unit will train one for you (ready on the next turn), while the left arrow cancels training. To train a unit requires one idle worker.

After a unit is trained, you can select it in the main province interface, with the right arrow. After selecting the units, you can move to or attack another province by clicking on it."

There are probably a couple of other features I don't even know they exist, so I can't really answer you which parts exactly are confusing.
I can declare war, but that does not always put me into battle mode. I have no real clue when that happens.


I've added a new entry to the grand strategy concepts on "Attacking" now:

"Select units (read the "Units" Grand Strategy Concept entry for more information on selecting units) or a hero, and then click on a province to attack it. You can only attack provinces that are not owned by any faction, or which are owned by a faction you're at war with. One-province tribes migrate to a province after attacking it, emptying their former province. The former province's population and buildings are carried over to the new one."

I am clicking on buttons but have no real clue what to do.
I once even got stuck, pressing End Turn did not do anything.


Yes - there was a bug in 2.2.1 which made the grand strategy mode get stuck sometimes, but it has since been fixed (the latest version is 2.2.3).

Finally a piece of information! This should go directly into the encyclopedia.


Right - I've added an entry to the grand strategy concepts called "Objectives", with the following text:

"In the Grand Strategy mode, there are no preset objectives. You make your own goals, exploring the world at your own pace!"
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Wuzzy » 20 May 2016, 21:56

Okay, I think I more or less understand the idea. I appreciate your long example, thanks!
Honestly, it doesn't seem too compelling to me (not as compelling as the RTS part of Wyrmsun) now.
Plus, I still have the buggy software version so I can't really play it. Maybe I try Grand Strategy again as soon I get a newer version installed.
I think I have now figured out how attacking and conquering works.

I have these questions left:
- Can I only train one unit per barracks and turn?
- Sometimes I can't train new units at all, even if there is a Bura unit left (I play as Germanic) and I have the cash. When am I allowed to train new units (what conditions do I have to meet)?
- What's this with that trade thing? I am not sure how this works. I have set 3000 stone available for offer but those don't seem to be sold at all. It is only very small amouts which go away. What is the logic behind selling/buying?
- What do I do if I want to buy stuff?
- Can I be attacked by another (computer) player and if yes, how can I tell?
- Is it possible to lose or go game over or does the game go on forever?
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Re: How does Grand Strategy mode work?

Postby Andrettin » 21 May 2016, 05:36

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I have these questions left:
- Can I only train one unit per barracks and turn?


No, you can train as many as you want.

- Sometimes I can't train new units at all, even if there is a Bura unit left (I play as Germanic) and I have the cash. When am I allowed to train new units (what conditions do I have to meet)?


Is the bura you have left an idle one? In the barracks interface, there will be a number in the Bura's button like this "1/3". The left number is the number of idle buras, and the right is the total number of buras. You can't take buras away from the economy to train troops.

- What's this with that trade thing? I am not sure how this works. I have set 3000 stone available for offer but those don't seem to be sold at all. It is only very small amouts which go away. What is the logic behind selling/buying?


It depends on offer and demand. You are selling little stone because at the moment there is too much offer of it from factions compared to the price. The price adjusts with time (which causes demand to go up), but until then you will have difficulty selling your stone. Factions with more prestige are preferred when trading, so you'll have a much better time trying to sell your stone if you have high prestige (you can get more prestige by, among other things, winning battles). Also, as empty provinces are settled, the demand for lumber and stone goes up.

- What do I do if I want to buy stuff?


Use the left arrow (if your offer is already at zero, it will bid for goods).

- Can I be attacked by another (computer) player and if yes, how can I tell?


You can be attacked by them, yes; if that happens you'll get a message that it occurred, saying who won. If the "Automatic Battles" option is deactivated, then you'll be taken to an RTS battle with the faction, with your units showing up there (if the "Battle Base-Building option is active, then you'll be able to train new units during the battle as well, but those won't carry over to the strategic map).

- Is it possible to lose or go game over or does the game go on forever?


You lose the game if you lose all your provinces.
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