Recently, I have discovered an iPad/iPhone game I greatly enjoy, called Strategery. You can get it here.
In a nutshell, it’s a Risk-like strategy game, where each player gets armies based on the number of countries he or she controls. Online play is great fun, and it is possible to have multiple games in progress, with various different preferences, or just play a solo game. All fun. Add your user name as a comment if you want a game.
However, being the sort of curmudgeon who cannot be presented with a baby unicorn without loudly pondering whether it might not have been even nicer with wings, I have a suggestion. The big difference over Risk is that the board is randomly generated each time you play. With Risk, you got to know the board, and eventually developed a hankering after certain key locations, which had proven to be strategically significant in the past. I seem to remember making a bee-line for Indonesia.
In both games, each battle outcome is decided by dice roll. And here is where my suggestion comes in: I would like to be able to choose a ‘non-random’ mode in Strategery, where superior numbers always win, and where equal numbers cancel each other out. You see, I think that the randomly generated map provide enough randomness to make the game interesting. If battle outcomes were predictable players would win or lose depending on how well they read the map at the outset. According to the Art of War, this is how good generals think anyway – avoid any direct contact with the enemy until superior numbers and deployment make any actual conflict a foregone conclusion.
Chess has no randomness, but has the variety of pieces which makes every game very different for the casual player. Strategery’s random map is enough to make for a very interesting game without the dice.