I've just finished my first play of the demo of Empire: Total War
, and it reminds me of my original motivation for the design of Gratuitous Space Battles
I'm a big fan of the Total War
games, although I don't devote much time to the campaign game and certainly don't get time to play them as much as their true devotees. They have, for me a single major frustration. Although I might go to great lengths to field a decent army against my enemy, although I may pick a good formation and a decent time and month to fight, the moment the two armies come into contact it becomes an almighty uncontrollable scrum where almost anything could happen.
The basic dilemma is ranged units. If your guns can fire one metre further than the enemies, just ensure you are always at maximum range and shoot at him till you win. This may sound simplistic, but it's how a lot of real world battles were fought. The US & Buddies pulverised Saddam's army because their tanks could fire from further away. In the open tank battles of Gulf War 1 and 2, hardly a single tank shell of Iraqi origin hit anything.