I've been playing WSS extensively since its release. Overall, I think it's one Ageod's better games and certainly their best release in years. It's as advertised- a "back to basics" Ageod experience with the classic 1-side vs. 1-side gameplay and lower "counter" density enabling relatively fast-paced games. Also, its unique subjects for a PC strategy game do make it rather special. I've really enjoyed playing it. Plus, it's been very stable for me: no rash of CTDs and corrupted saves.
However, the games I really enjoy are always the ones in which I want to see improvements. So, here are some thoughts and issues that I've had:
1) AI: It's Ageod's typical AI: semi-competent as a theater commander, but hopeless as a grand strategist. It pretty much collapsed by 1707 as the Allies in the 1701 Spanish Succession scenario. By the time I quit, it was flailing about to seemingly no purpose in virtually every theater except one. The Duke of Marlborough never engaged in a single battle or enacted a single siege the entire game. He just meandered about in Flanders suffering attrition hits. The AI playing as the Allies in that scenario appeared to emphasize its worst weaknesses- just too much stuff going on over too long of a time period over too much territory for it to competently handle. Still, I had fun until the AI reached its tipping point.
It handled itself much better in the GNW scenario as the Coalition, but that may be due to the Swedes facing such a difficult strategic situation. (I shudder to think how the AI handles the Swedes.)
I've had fun playing against the AI, but its limitations do become obvious. PBEM can be such a commitment, but it's really looking like the best option to really get the most out of this game.
2) The economy: it's pretty imbalanced with money often being the only commodity that matters and everything else being immaterial. Although conscripts did start becoming a factor in the Spanish Succession scenario, they certainly weren't in the GNW. By the time I reached 1710 as the Swedes, I had over 52,000 conscripts mainly due to a "5,000 additional recruits" event that fired almost every year and was utter overkill because I was in no position to ever use them. And this was with playing with the historical attrition (player only) option. Wouldn't 500 be a bit more reasonable than 5,000? "Conscripts, conscripts everywhere, but no money with which to recruit..." And that brings up:
3) EPs: They hold some marginal value in the Spanish Succession scenario due to some options being very pricey as to both cash and EPs. However, in the GNW I had over 1,700 of them by 1710. They were like Steam trading cards- an utterly worthless commodity. Why don't they have any real value in WSS like they do in almost all other Ageod games? Why aren't they used for any of the regional decisions like they are in those other games? That would give them some value and also cut down on the decision spam that one can do in WSS. And that brings-up:
4) Draft and requisition decisions: Why are you allowed to use these decisions on any controlled province regardless of whether one has a city or not. That's not the case in other Ageod games. Why is it so different here? Was it intended to work this way? Or is it a bug? It just seems to encourage spamming decisions especially requisitions due to the paucity of money.
5) Why is every region of the game listed as being "Rich" which is the highest civilization level. Even the deeply forested and marshland regions of the eastern Baltic are "Rich." So are the steppes of southern Russia. Was this a design decision? Or a cut corner to get the game out?
6) How did the never-ending winter of 1708-1709 get past the playtesters? No one noticed that the game was still having blizzards in July and August?
7) Uniform quibbles. The missing red coats for the Wild Geese was a bit of a disappointment.
Despite the above, I truly have enjoyed this game, and I hope it is a success that will enable additional support to improve some of the issues I've listed. Sadly, though, I suspect it's going to struggle due to it being on such niche subjects.
Still, if I want to dream then I'd love to see DLC that goes both forwards and backwards from the time period: the Austrian-Turkish Wars of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the Nine Years War, War of Polish Succession, and the War of Austrian Succession would all be great. Granted, I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to actually happen.
Last edited by bkosar19
on Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.