Monday, September 28, 2009

Fog of War

Many games have a fog of war. This will descend where your units are no longer present, representing your lack of knowledge without units to scout it. Its an admirable idea, and works well, but I wonder if that idea could be taken further.

I like the idea of a simulated game where you are truly a general, marshalling your troops. You have a physical presence at your base, where you can recruit your armies/have them already. You will have an idea of the landscape, and maybe the general direction of the enemy, but otherwise there will be a fog. The area around you will never have a fog, but your units won't disperse it.

Instead, you can send a scout to an area, order them to take a look, and report back. They would head out, remember what they saw, and report back to you. That area would then become visible... with what the scout saw. The scout might have been ordered to wait until he saw troops, and noted that they were heading east (with a projected path possibly drawn), but you do not know whether they kept doing so.

You could extend this to actual battles, with the choice of sticking close to your army, and being able to command them directly, but be in danger of death, or hanging back, and being forced to give them more general orders, altering them as you heard from runners from the battlefield.

I envision such a game being close to turn based, or at least with a pause menu, with decent AI so you could issue reasonable commands to your forces ("hold this position, fall back if forces outnumber you 2 to 1") ("Advance until enemy sited, then hold and wait for more orders"). Its not something I've ever seen done in games, and I wonder how well a game based on the mechanic would work.



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