Here are some quick pointers to help avoid pit-falls. Keep in mind that Supremacy 2020 is incredibly dynamic – sometimes a bit of a roller coaster. Versatility and adaptability are paramount, but the following tips will serve you well most of the time.
- Negotiate your blockades.
Most players will not pay salaries for companies potentially under blockade. If you offer to seize only some of the resources, they will likely accept your terms.
- Set up your blockades during the combat phase.
If you wait until the movement phase, the defender can preempt you by moving their fleet in first. If you move in during the attack phase they will have to fight you to get you out.
- Use bonds and loans.
Don’t be afraid to get into debt if you can buy yourself a big military edge (or if you are feeling overly vulnerable). If you are not in debt, spend all available funds on bonds (but not money you need for other things).
- Juggle your money.
If you have bonds, consider taking out a loan to buy even more bonds. Higher stakes mean bigger dividends.
- Pay your armies and navies!
If you don’t plan to pay, usually sell them to minors on the prior turn. You should only be disbanding if you had a good reason not to sell – eg, to represent strength, to keep an opponent from buying them, etc.
- Don’t leave yourself short!
It is easy to get carried away in the combat phase, only to realise you haven’t left yourself enough resources to build with. Try to anticipate this during the trading phase. Even if you are not planning to attack, it’s best to have a contingency force in case you need to counter-attack or to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity. Sometimes if you are reeling in debt you will be unable to cover all these bases, but always do your best to keep your options open
- Consider what the other players need.
Obviously take care of your needs, but if you are able leave prices high if you think your opponents will want to buy and leave prices low if you think they will want to sell.
- Trade with your opponents.
It’s best to broker these deals before either of you trade on the market. If you wait till after, players may have already bought what they need and sold off their surplus.
- Corner a market.
Buy up the most sought after commodity. Then offer opponents (who trade after you) to sell to them bellow market value ($1T each) but above the price you paid.
- Attack minors to increase your range.
Want to invade a territory that’s over 3 areas away? Just make a “throw away” attack against a minor between you and your desired target. You can move 3 spaces to attack the minor, 3 more during your redeploy (step 6 of the conventional combat drill), and another three spaces into your next attack! This costs extra resources, but it gives you fantastic mobility. And note that this is completely uninterrupted, as nobody can counter-attack after you hit the Minor.
- Watch your back!
As you can see, an invasion army can travel a long way to attack you, so try not to leave yourself exposed.
- You don’t need to protect every city all the time.
If your enemy doesn’t have enough resources to eliminate you, it is not a disaster to lose a couple home cities. It is also very costly for your opponent, so they usually will not antagonize you to this extent unless they are getting something good. Remember you only need to recapture (and hold) one city to stay in the game.
- Share the loot!
It’s not easy to conquer an opponent – especially if this will leave you vulnerable to another player. The best thing to do is to find a partner in conquest. Since only one of you can capture any opponent’s supply card, make a deal. Agree that whoever ends up with the card pays the other player off (borrowing from the new card if necessary). The power of a second supply card cannot be overstated – fair settlement should be in the trillions.
- Protect your neighbors!
It’s nice to see your opponents collapsing, but not so nice if this gives another opponent a second supply card. Timely interference can leave them both in a bad spot, which is perfect. Even better if the opponent you are “saving” can be convinced to promise you money or other compensation!
- Attack on the first turn.
This is the best chance to capture foreign companies, because your opponents have not yet had a chance to sell armies to the minors who are hosting those companies. Nobody has nukes yet either!
- Watch the turn order.
Players who have already attacked cannot attack again unless they themselves are attacked. But you can seize their foreign companies or poise to blockade them without giving them the chance to respond (as long as you don’t attack their units).
- Disburse your volleys.
eg, if you have 8 nukes and your opponent has 3 ABMs, you can destroy any 2 areas by launching 4 nukes at each. But if you launch at 2 each at 4 areas, you are guaranteed to destroy 3 of the 4 areas. If you launch a single nuke into 8 different areas, you will destroy a minimum of 5 areas, with a chance to hit more! Sometimes you do more damage this way, even though they can protect the most important target(s).
- Use nukes surgically.
Destroying enemy companies and large stacks of units will cripple your enemies. Nuking them out entirely prevents you from plundering their card and doesn’t cost them any VPs.
- Sell forces to the minors.
This is not usually the best way to make money, but it can defend your foreign companies.
- Buy forces from the Minors.
These are very expensive, so don’t make a habit of it. But they do let you grow your army when you don’t have resources to buy your own (resources can’t be bought during the build phase). Occasionally you should buy these up just to deny an opponent! Also note that when the markets are inflated and your production is low, second hand armies might actually be cheaper than new armies.
- Develop at least 1 strategic weapon.
You don’t always need both ICBMs and ABMs, but you should have at least one. ABMs can protect you from a nuclear attack, and the threat of a nuclear counter-strike is just as good (until they get ABMs). But if you have neither, you are giving your opponents a lot of leverage.
- Build ABMs if you are first.
If there are opponents building after you, they might develop nukes and ABMs on the same turn. Only ABMs will protect you. If you are building last and nobody has developed ABMs, you can get away with only nukes.
- Don’t fall a turn behind in the arms race.
If an opponent develops nukes a turn before you research weapons, they can build a large munition on the next turn while you only build singles. Such a gap should be avoided.
- Follow through.
If you are flipping a lot of cards to find technology, the deck has become hot. It will be cheaper to keep going than to try again with a freshly shuffled deck later. You are not in a good situation, but paying trillions for absolutely nothing might actually be worse than paying even more for something. Only give up if the costs are going to just about kill you (this will be a lot more common if you are using both Resource Decks I & II).
- Trade ICBMs for ABMs 2-for-1.
Or visa-versa. If you can get this sort of exchange going with another player, you can each get both weapons while only paying to research one.
- Bribe & extort!
How else are you going to influence your opponents? Just make sure you stick to your words, or your reputation is ruined and you permanently lose leverage.
- Demand bribes!
Somebody wants a favour? What’s in it for you?
- Be flexible.
Demanding bribes and making threats is great! But don’t be impossible to deal with, or your opponents might decide they prefer “negotiating” with guns and bombs!
- A enemy of an enemy…
Help the players who are fighting your worst enemies. Trade with them, offer sound advice, and cut them breaks.
- Keep your cards close to your chest.
Keep your plans and agendas to yourself. Whatever your allies are asking you to do, feigning reluctance will get you a better offer.
Good luck and have fun!