|Introduction: Turn-Based vs. Real-Time
Each game is a collection of turns and Expansion
is no exception. Even the so-called real-time strategy games
are in fact turn-based games. However, the processing of turns is
so rapid that the human player doesn't notice it until there are so
many units moving about that the game becomes slower.
Since Expansion:World War II is a play-by-email (PBEM) game
turns are pretty slow, even compared to board games.
It is important to know the difference between the duration
of a turn itself and of the processing of that turn.
During a turn, players are free to give orders.
They will send their orders to the Game-Master (GM).
When a certain deadline has passed (for example, 3 days), the GM
will calculate the effects of the orders of all of the players.
After that, the results are reported back to the players, who
will then be ready to issue new orders. A new turn has begun
Exp:WW2 knows two types of turns: operational and strategic turns.
Each operational turn, players are able to issue new orders to
military units. During the processing of a turn, military units
are moved and wage battles. Reports are then sent to players.
Several operational turns can take place during one game month
(the same as one real week). How much depends on the game
speed of that particular game (see below).
After a specific number of operational turns, a strategic turn
takes place. In these turns a country's economic state is
recalculated, technology is updated and all other less urgent
matters are processed. Strategic turns mark the end of every
game month and are usually processed each real week
(see below for exceptions).
The game speed determines the amount of operational turns that take place
during one game month (one real week). There will always be
one strategic turn per game month. Here's a list of projected game speeds:
- Slow: 1 operational and 1 strategic turn per week.
A tactical turn represents 30 game days.
- Average: 2 operational and 1 strategic turn per week.
A tactical turn represents 15 game days.
- Fast: 3 operational and 1 strategic turn per week.
A tactical turn represents 10 game days.
- Ultra: 6 operational and 1 strategic turn per week.
A tactical turn represents 5 game days.
How long will a game last?
In theory a game could run from (game time) July 1st, 1937 until
July 1st, 1947. That's 10 game years, each year having 12 months,
120 game months in total. If a game month takes a real week, this
means a game could run for a maximum of 120 weeks, or two and
a half real years! Since that's a bit silly, we need some
- Faster game play due to effecient processing by MainProg.
This can be achieved by investing in computer hardware (a server
fully dedicated to processing orders and generating results).
This has already been achieved, but with the increase in players,
the server has to be expanded as well.
- A game will end when a vast majority of the major players
agrees to end the game. At least 7 out of 8 major players need to
agree on ending the game.
It then seems likely that a game will not be played until game
year 1947, but until 7 out of 8 players agree that
the game's no fun anymore.
- We could devise a rule whereby some of the earlier years,
when there's not much operational turns of interest, can be
played much faster. For example, until a major
power is at war with another major power, all operational turns
are replaced by strategic turns. That would mean a game
would initially run 3 times as fast! With the disadvantage, however,
of loosing some level of realism.