Fueled by Oil, Political Instability, and Regional Disparity, the World descends into chaos. Economies collapse... Tensions escalate... Trade wars lead to shooting wars... Nations dissolve... Amidst this anarchy, take control of your government, economy, diplomatic relationships, social policy and much more! Will your leadership take you to new heights of power, or will you be nothing more than a footnote in history?
In the year 2020 you'll find yourself with the role of leader. Your job is to guide your country amidst the turmoil around you as the world fights over land and natural resources. Will you remain peaceful playing nice with your neighbors or start wars instead? It's up to you.
Lead your country into a new age by meeting the economic and social needs of your people, and by establishing international relations with the other Regions of the world. At the same time, you must defend your Region from military attack and consider your own plans for becoming the world's Supreme Ruler. To do this you must first grasp control of your Region's government and its Ministers.
DISCLAIMER: This game guide was not written with the Multiplayer game in mind, since the main author has never played a MP game.
At the game's start-up screen you will initially choose the "Single-Player" option. Multi-player games are beyond the scope of this SupremeWiki article. You will then be presented with the option of starting a Campaign, Scenario, or to restart a previously saved game.
Your strategy and tactics will vary according to the plot of the Scenario or Campaign that you choose. In general, a Scenario is a scripted, smaller-scale game with a more limited time-frame, while a Campaign often is on a global scale and its duration can be infinite.
The geographic scale of a Scenario is generally limited to a single continent or global section involving a region-on-region conflict. A scenario also usually has a pre-determined Victory Condition predicated upon its plot, such as capturing another region's Capital. A Scenario also often limits the player's choice of home Region. It also usually has a set time-limit for the player to accomplish the goal.
Campaigns however are often played out on a global map where a hundred or more regions are programmed to reflect a general world-wide condition. The player is free to select almost any Region on the big map as their starting home Region.
A partial Glossary of SR2020 game terms can be found here: SR 2020 Glossary
Both Scenarios and Campaigns are launched from the Game Lobby
(a.k.a. Sandbox) where the player is allowed to select the Game Settings that effect the broader behavior of the game. These conditions include the game's difficulty, victory (winning) conditions, military limitations and details of the diplomatic environment. For details on Game Settings see the following Wiki pages:
It is recommended that you not set the "Scheduled Game End" setting to "None". As "game years" go by the game tends to slow down profoundly and will become less enjoyable to play if your game lasts over about 10 game-years. See the topic Strategy-Pacing.
Nor it it recommended that you select the Economic or Technological Victory Conditions, due to the esoteric way that the game calculates these scores.
The map is constructed of a matrix of invisible "hexes" or cells, each of which is 16 kilometers in diameter. Every visible map feature is contained within a hex and is referenced in relation to that hex. Clicking on a "spot" on the map has the effect of selecting a hex of the map. See Map Details Here
The game map is displayed on the center of your game screen and it displays the geographic territories and borders of all of the countries (regions) in the game, including yours. You can zoom in and out to examine map details or to get the "big picture". When the map is zoomed out regional capital cities are marked with a color-coded star. When the map is zoomed in you see hexes containing cities, industrial facilities and military bases. You can also "pan" the visible section around the larger map to see other map areas.
There is also a "big picture" mini-map at the bottom right of the screen that serves as a short-cut for panning. When you click on a spot on the mini-map, the main map will pan to that spot.
The military units of another region and their deployment is classified and is deliberately hidden from your view by a condition called the "Fog of War" (FoW). There are several ways to pierce this FoW. The easiest way is to switch it off using the game settings menu. Otherwise you must negotiate a "Line-of-Sight" treaty with a region in order to have a clear view of their territory and their military units. Other military technologies such as surveillance satellites, radar sites and patrol aircraft can see through the FoW.
As the Map becomes populated with more and more military units the game tends to slow down. The game can be speeded up by switching off the FOW.
Supreme Ruler 2020 (Gold Version) now supports windowed mode. This mode can be toggled On/Off from the "Options/Graphics Options" menu.
- Game performance is reduced when running windowed.
- Game will keep running when the application is not 'at the front'.
- very useful for modders when building cache files.
- If window resolution is set to height equal to current screen height or greater it will cause oddities in the interface because of how Windows sizes the program window.
- If a user has a powerful system and dual monitors it would be possible to run two windowed mode games, move one to the second screen and control two regions (one at a time) in a MP host/client setup (this is not officially supported but is really cool ).
Construction refers to the construction of "improvements" on a map hex, as opposed to the fabrication of military units. Such improvements include civilian factories and power-plants as well as military barracks, air-fields and supply depots. Cities and villages cannot be constructed.
Each facility ("node") constructed in a hex must have a central complex ("hub") in the center of the hex. If a facility is initiated on an empty hex, then a complex hub is constructed automatically in the center of the hex. While there are "Industrial Complex" hubs, a hub for civilian facilities can also be an existing city or village.
Simple military facilities such as barracks, air-fields and sea-piers can also be built around civilian city hubs. Military fabrication facilities must be constructed around a "Military Complex". The "Military Fortress" is a third type of hub, and is similar to the "Military Complex".
Although construction can be accomplished from the Land and Production departments, a new improvement can be initiated at any time by clicking on its hex location and then right-clicking the mouse. This will produce the pop-up menu with "Build..." as its first selection. When you select "Build" the build pop-up menu will appear.
From this menu you can select more specific build menus for Industrial (civilian), Military, Urban and Transport improvements. There is a great deal of cross-over in the selections available on these menus, but in general non-military facilities are accessed from the Industrial menu. The "Transport" menu allows you to build roads and railroads. Bridges are constructed automatically when your new road crosses a river.
While civilian power-plants and factories can be constructed on nearly any land hex, other facilities like mines and water-works must be constructed on hexes that possess the appropriate resource such as coal or water. The Land department can be used to "prospect" for appropriate resources. A green circle will appear on a selected building-site hex if it is OK to build there - otherwise the circle will be red.
It is highly desirable to construct production facilities on hexes that have good "Supply". Again, the Land department has filters and statistics that allow you to view the strength of supply available anywhere on the map.
See The Supply Model.
Engineering units (Engineers) can be used to speed the construction and repair of roads, bridges and facilities. They cannot heal other damaged units. There are many types of Engineers and many of them are fierce warriors as well. Every region can eventually research and build Engineers.
Although Engineers have a formal "Construction" order on their Extended Orders menu, Engineers inherently construct by default, even without formal orders. The presence of an Engineer in a hex speeds construction and repair in a circle that includes all adjoining hexes.
The more engineers that you place on a construction project, the faster the project will complete. However the total cost of construction and the total resources required (such as Industrial Goods) remain the same. So in exchange for faster completion of a factory or military base, you pay more per day, but for fewer days.
For hexes with low or no supply, Engineers must be used to begin construction. In SR2020 the Engineer must first construct a "hub" - industrial complex, military complex or military fortress before an additional "node" - factory, military base, etc. can be started.
Each SR2020 country is referred to as a "Region". Each Region is a sovereign, independent nation with its own computer-controlled "leader" called an AI (for Artificial Intelligence).
Initially other regions are not aligned with you or with each other. Over time regions will form alliances with other regions that share similar economic interests, political goals or religions. You must establish diplomatic contact with other regions if you intend to have peaceful relations and trade with them. You will find that they quickly reciprocate. Even if you have plans for military aggression, you will find it useful to negotiate transit treaties around the map so that you can freely move your military forces.
At the start of the game there are four ways that you can deal with other regions: ignore them, send them diplomatic proposals designed to cultivate peaceful relationships, wait for them to contact you or declare war on them. First you may want to investigate them using the Scoreboard or with your own State Department.
All diplomatic contacts must be initiated and cultivated manually by you, the player. Your SD Minister will not initiate or pursue diplomatic treaties or alliences for you. The AIs of other regions will and do quickly establish alliances with other AI regions.
Ignoring another region is counter-productive since it is likely to breed their resentment against your region. Your State Department is your primary channel for establishing diplomatic relations with another region - starting with an exchange of embassies. If you cultivate this relationship further then you can establish a profitable trade relationship with a region with a "Free Trade" agreement/treaty.
Starting with version 6.6.2 of the game, your SD Minister can be given two "Trade Focus" priorities: "Military Units" and "Product Shortages". The purpose is so that the minister will cultivate diplomatic exchanges of arms or products. Responses to these trade overtures are displayed in your E-mail box.
Further trust-building diplomatic agreements can subsequently be negotiated. For instance, to establish travel privileges in another region you must first negotiate a "transit" treaty. Many additional successful treaty negotiations can eventually lead to a formal alliance with another region. See the "State Department" and "Conducting Diplomacy" sections below for further details.
Trespassing on a region with which you have not pre-negotiated a transit treaty may result in a "War of Incursion". You can deliberately declare war upon another region by transmitting a formal "Declaration of War" (DOW) via your State Department.
Hexes outside of regional borders are considered to belong to the United Nations and they cannot be claimed or controlled by any region. However these hexes are free for any region to transit. The one exception is the pre-developed petroleum resource hexes along the coasts of certain regions. These off-shore hexes and their oil derricks are the sovereign territory of their original owner/region. Like other regional hexes, they can be claimed by hostile military units during war-time.
Other un-developed resources found in U.N. hexes are un-available to any region or player in the game.
Each regions' hexs have an Ownership and a Loyalty attribute. When you take over enemy territory, the Ownership goes to you, but the hex's loyalty remains with country of origin. This low loyalty in captured regions contributes to lower civilian productivity and longer build times. Military fabrication is not effected.
You control your Region as its head-of-state. Your government consists of eight Departments and the Ministers that over-see some of them. These departments are:Land, Production, Research, State, Operations, Defense and Unit Command. The last - Unit Command is a quasi-department that is designed solely to allow you to administrate and command you mobile military units.
The government of the territory that you currently control is organized into eight government departments. On the game screen each Department can easily be selected using the control panel on the bottom-left of the screen. Each of these eight departments can be selected from the circle of buttons surrounding the face of the current department minister. The keyboard function keys "F2" through "F9" can also be used to select these departments.
The minister's facial image is itself a button can be pushed to activate a panel titled "Cabinet". From this "Cabinet" panel you can select the MPs and access the minister lock-out buttons. In six of these departments you'll have the assistance of Cabinet Ministers who will help you run your day to day activities.
The Land Department consists of a database of facts about each hex of land, sea and river on the game map.
Most of the data and controls displayed are relevant to the currently selected hex on the game's main map. The Land department allows the user to deactivate, construct or destruct their own military or commercial facilities on the selected hex. It also contains useful ways to alter the entire map display in ways that can make the job of potential Supreme Ruler easier.
Its five control panels are explained below:
This sub-panel displays an interactive graphic layout depicting all of the seven facilities or "improvements" that may be located on a selected hex on the game map. Hexes containing such improvements are structured with a maximum of six facilities surrounding a single central hub that may be a city, an industrial complex, a military complex or a military fortress.
In this Panel each facility is interactive. When selected, the economic or military details of the selected facility are displayed in a pop-up window.
For hexes that contain no man-made "improvements" except for a bridge, or for formerly empty hexes that have received improvements, the panel's title (and that of the second and fourth panels) displays the map coordinates of the selected hex.
For hexes that contain settlements or pre-constructed military bases, the panel's title contains the official name of the location. Players cannot provide their own official names for hexes.
For improved hexes the center of the layout contains a town, city or village, an industrial/military "hub"/complex or a bridge. Additional facilities cannot be constructed without one of these existing complexes.
The possible six locations laid out surrounding this central complex are either military or commercial and may be barracks, air-fields, military fabrication facilities, power-plants, farms, mines, etc.
When the player clicks on any of these possible seven facility icons the information regarding its staffing and operational costs are displayed to the right of the panel.
To the right are a row of buttons that allow the player to deactivate, destroy or build a facility. There is also a short-cut button to the Production Department.
The left half of Military Presence sub-panel displays a list of "Military Units" and its right side displays a population and terrain description of the hex.
The MU List may contain an inventory of any military units that occupy the currently selected hex. Double-clicking on a unit in this list will display its full Technical Readout.
The only way that you can investigate the Statistics and Specification of foreign military units is to view them from this panel.
This sub-panel allows the user to overlay selected colorized data across of the entire map.
To the left are a row of five Tactical buttons; to the right are a row of five Terrain coloration buttons; below is an array of ten Resource high-lighting buttons. Activating these controls high-lights, accents or colorizes vast swaths of the map according to the player-selected information type.
For instance, activating the Tactical Supply button causes the entire map to be tinted with a color intensity proportional to the supply level of each hex, using the distinctive color code of each region. Activating the garrison button high-lights in orange each settlement that contains Garrison Units, with an intensity proportional to the size of the garrison.
This sub-panel describes the roads and rail-roads present on the current hex and indicates the maintenance cost of each type of transport improvement.
Your Land Department's third sub-panel contains your Map Filter panel:
that is used to highlight selected Tactical, Terrain and Natural Resources on the game map.
Your Region contains natural resources that you must exploit in order for it to prosper. As your Region expands you must locate or "prospect" for new natural resources to meet your growing industrial needs. You can prospect for these resources using this panel.
All Regions contain inherent food and water resources which can sustain your population without formal development or industrial processing. Supplementary food and water must be obtained from your Region's natural resources to sustain your Region's populous metropolitan areas or else you must purchase or trade for them from other Regions.
Much of your region's economy is powered by electricity. Except for exotic high-tech electrical generation technologies, most electric power is generated from natural fuels such as coal, petroleum or uranium.
Natural resources of petroleum or uranium are extremely valuable since they can not only power your economy but also fuel your military units. It is also possible to finance your govenment by trading these commodities.
Your region may also be rich in other natural resources such as coal and metal ore that you can industrially process to produce profitable and tradable finished consumer, industrial and military goods.
Your Production Department is where you manage the flow of your region's trade and industry. From here you and your Production Minister control the industrial production of resources, materials and goods required by your region. Although the game begins with many pre-constructed industrial production facilities, you must constantly construct new ones in order to keep pace with the growing demands of your expanding population and economy.
Most game resources such as coal and metal ore must be pre-processed prior to use by your region and its industries. Consequentially, coal and more mines must be constructed on hexes that contain these natural resources. These processing facilities such as farms and Industrial Goods plants must be constructed inside a hex that contains a central controlling "complex". This complex may consist of a pre-existing settlement such as a city or town or it may be a special industrial complex. This complex may also be automatically constructed anew as a part of a newly commissioned facility.
There are various types of production/processing. Food, water, coal, petroleum and metal ore are all directly produced from natural resources via plants or mines. Except for exotic production techniques, electric power production is also derived from some natural resource fuel.
All products can be stockpiled and sold in trade. Consumer goods are both traded and sold to your region's citizens.
These are the available types of production facilities:
Each product has its own dedicated set of production control panels. Product statistics can be displayed as daily or yearly values by toggling the calendar icon on the first, second, third and fifth sub-panels. These panels also allow you to lock the PM out of control of the selected product. You may find such lock-out necessary if you intend to enforce the recommended consumer goods markup of 40% above production cost.
The available PD panels are as follows:
This sub-panel is selected by clicking on the portrait of the PM. This is the Production Minister's "Priorities and Concerns" panel where you select the Minister Priorities (MPs) for the PM. The available MPs are listed in the center panel and are pretty much self-explanatory. Supplementary pop-up "tool-tip" explanations for each MP appear when you hover the mouse cursor over each MP name in the list.
In general the use of these MPs will help you to deal with product shortages in your region by having your PM control prices, conserve products, increase or decrease trade and production of products and control the size of product stockpiles.
This is the main panel of the PD that allows you to select a product or commodity of interest from a list of your ten industries. Each product in the list displays that product's distinctive product icon, a production status graph, a count of the product's current number of industrial facilities and the value of the preceding day's trade in the product.
Product status graphs are important graphic summaries of the product's quantity of production (blue bar) product demand (red) and product supply (green). The upper white portions of a bar indicate excess production capacity or a product production short-fall in relation to the product's demand.
This is the first of the center Production Department sub-panels all of which are divided into two display areas to the left and right. Product statistics predominate on the left half and include production "Capacity" "Production", "Demand", "Actual Use", "Stock" and "Trades" - all of which are listed in appropriate units of quantity. The production and market cost of each unit are displayed at the bottom of the left panel.
The right half allows the player to over-ride PM control of the "Industrial Output" of the product through the use of a slider and a button that toggles the slider's function between control of production "Capacity" and consumer "Demand". The right panel also displays your "Estimated Output" of the product, your "Reserves" of a product (in days) and the degree of your region's "Sustainability" - your ability to sustain production of the product.
This sub-panel is used to monitor and control your importation of vital products such as petroleum.
The left half of this sub-panel is the same as described above for the "Production" panel. The right side contains two control groups that allow the user to order "Automated Purchases" or a "Bulk Purchase" of needed products. The player need only use the sliders to specify the quantity and/or price of the desired product and the PM will execute the purchase, if it is possible in light of the World Market's pricing and supply of the day.
This sub-panel is used to monitor and control your exportation of vital products such as agricultural products or uranium.
The left half of this sub-panel is the same as described above for the "Production" panel. The right side contains two control groups that allow the user to order "Automated Sales" or a "Bulk Sales" of needed products. The player need only use the sliders to specify the quantity (based upon your surplus) and/or price of the selected product and the PM will attempt to execute the sale, if it is possible in light of the World Market's pricing and supply of the day.
The left side of this sub-panel lists all production facility types related to the currently selected product. The player selects a facility type that they desire to construct or survey. The right panel then displays the number of this facility type that exists, the number currently under construction and the number being demolished.
Once a facility type has been selected, all of the hexes that contain existing facilities of this type are highlighted on the map with a purple circle. When the mouse cursor is hovered over an existing facility hex a pop-up "tool-tip" information box will appear listing all of the facilities on the selected hex, with a health bar indicating its level of completion.
The bottom right of the pop-up displays the total output quantity of the selected product from the existing facilities of that type on that hex.
If the selected facility type requires a natural resource to exploit then all sources of this resource and potential processing construction sites are highlighted in red. When the player then clicks upon a qualified construction site construction will automatically be initiated.
Adds additional controls to the Facilities sub-panel so it is no longer necessary to move to the Land Department to perform the tasks listed below. Now when a facility is selected from the list, controls are shown for the following actions;
Your Minister will pick the location for construction in terms of Supply, Loyalty and other such factors.
This new feature applies to all position 4 Facilities sub-panels in all Departments.
The left side this sub-panel displays the same production summary as the first three sub-panels. On the right the raw materials such as metal ore used to produce the selected product are displayed on the top. Below, the other processed products required for the production of the selected production, such as electric power and industrial goods, are listed along with the required quantity of each.
This sub-panel displays the top regions involved in the trade of the selected product - "Importers" on the left and "Exporters" on the right.
This sub-panel displays the top producers and consumers of the selected product. From it you can determine who are the competitors and consumers of the selected product that you want to export. The product production graphs of other regions are displayed on the Diplomatic Exchange/Products panel.
[[View the Production FAQ Here]]
Research enriches your region by advancing the state of its technology with formal scientific and engineering research. Your region starts with a default technological level and a certain amount of research. Additional new research is performed at military-affiliated research centers located across your region. Research costs a great deal of money and the rate of your research progress is proportional to the amount of treasury finance that it receives.
In the Research Department you can construct new research centers, review your region's known technologies and select new ones to begin researching. In general new military units must be researched here before you can build them. To check the military units that your country has already researched or obtained through trade with other regions, you should look in the Defense Department on the Fabrication panel.
Each potential research "project" is a prerequisite for the next one and so on, forming a research "tree". Each project's prerequisite and dependency is displayed when you double-click on the potential project's name in the "Available to Research" and the "Military Designs" sub-panels, or press the buttons provided for this purpose.
The Research Cabinet panel is accessed by clicking on the portrait of your Research Minister. It contains buttons that allow you to lock Research Spending, Unit Research and Tech Research from RM control. From here you can issue research priorities to your RM from a displayed list.
This far left panel lists your Research Queue - the list of subjects currently being researched. It contains a count of current projects and displays the maximum number of projects that are possible to research at the current time. Also contains the Cabinet Priorities and Concerns list that allows you to issue research priorities to your RM. The control buttons allow you to Pause, Cancel or Restart projects currently in the reserch queue.
This sub-panel displays your current expenditures for Research Efficiency, Technological Level and Project Development. Sliders are provided to allow you to adjust the level of these expenditures. The status box on the right lists your current technology level, your technological ranking in the game, your research efficiency and your project research count.
This sub-panel contains lists of available new research projects, sorted by the following topics: Warfare, Transportation, Science, Technology, Medical and Society. A details box displays a prose description of the selected technology. By pressing either of the two control buttons the player can view both the technical prerequisites for this project or a list of other projects that have this one as their prerequisite. Additional research projects become available as your technology level increases and as you complete projects that are prerequisites for new projects.
This sub-panel contains a row of tab buttons that allow you to select any one of the four broad categories of military units in the game: Infantry, Air Force, Navy and Missiles. Each tab contains a list of the weapon classes for that category. Each of these classes expands into a list of unit projects that you can select for research, once your have met that project's prerequisite research requirements.
You can display a Unit's compete Technical Readout by double-clicking on the name of an individual unit type design.
This sub-panel contains a status box that displays the number of currently active Research Centers, those under construction and those that are being scrapped. Additional RCs can be constructed from New Update 6 Features.
This sub-panel repeats the list of Research Projects currently being researched but also displays all details regarding the selected project. This panel is like the "Available to Research" panel described above, but only lists projects that have actually been added to your active research queue.
This sub-panel only lists projects that have been completed, like panels 2 and 5. It describes each known technology and lists its prerequisites and dependencies.
Since research is so expensive, it is wise to carefully select your projects and avoid paths of research that do not sufficiently benefit your Region and your game plans. This includes certain Unit designs, many of which are unnecessary.
Some research paths, such as that towards bio-warfare are both useless and diplomatically damaging.
Technologies can also be obtained from other regions through trade, diplomacy and espionage. The sale and trade of technologies and unit designs can be quite lucrative.
Research is a very expensive undertaking and research projects should be chosen with care, since many are useless or unnecessary. For purposes of discussion I will classify various projects into three classes - Useless, Questionable and Necessary. Useless research projects are those that are dead-ends or do nothing to improve your region or to win the military game.
Questionable items are those that, although they may be prerequsites for real game techs or units, IMHO do not seriously further the main goals of the military game.
Necessary research are those items that actually enrich your economy, your society or are vital to the core of your military deployment.
Let's start out with useless items. This is not a critic of GB or of the SR2020 game. I am simply giving its history as I recall it in order to give the reader some insight as to why research is in its current state.
SR2020 evolved from the earlier Supreme Ruler 2010 game. The developers of SR2010 envisioned a game with a military that mirrored RL in all aspects and all of these military technologies were built in to the original plan for the game. Unfortunately they did not have the time and resources to make it all work. For instance, SR2010 had mine-sweeper ships, but no mine warfare.
The scope of SR2020 is even narrower and many of the un-implemented concepts and units remain. Missile silos are gone yet big land-launched ICBM missiles remain. SR2020 has an "Environment Quality Rating", but power plants do not create pollution. There are nuclear weapons and NBC-protected units, but there is no radiation, biological or chemical hazards to protect against. There are electronic warfare and electronic counter-measure ECM-equipped aircraft, yet there is no EW or ECM component to the game.
So here are some useless techs that can be safely skipped if you are willing for accept the loss of a few Completion Bonuses. Listed are the tech's names and corresponding conpletion bonuses:
In my opinion burning up time and cash researching these projects is indeed a waste of your time and treasury. A couple of them surprised me, like the "Fire Control Upgrades". Whenever I see a tech project like this I automatically believe that it is going to make my naval gunnery more accurate and farther-ranging. Well I have researched all of the above items in the game modding files and I can assure you that none on these projects will:
A few of them will earn you a Completion Bonus that will give your tech level a boost.
The above list highlights very well the fact that there is no Electronic Warfare (EW or ECM) in SR2020. There are units that are labled as being EW capable, but there is just no such thing. One of the reasons for this is that BG could not figure out how to do it efficiently inside the current system. RL EW and ECM only works to hide units from electronic (radar) detection, yet much of the spotting in SR2020 is done visually by eyeball and by satellite.
There is also no technology to improve the accuracy of weapons such as guns, just their range. In SR2020 if you can spot a target then you can hit it with 100% accuracy and effect. Therefore, in an unmodded game, such techs as "Gyro Stablization" and "Fire Control Upgrades" do nothing.
Neither is there such a thing as Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) contamination for you to worry about protecting yourself from. Yes, there are nukes in the game, but they do not generate fallout that you need "NBC Safety Kits" for. And of course there are no Biological or Chemical weapons in the game.
Although there is a valid "Environment Quality Rating", there is no pollution in the game, although it does technically increase your environmental rating cost and hence affect your international relations and possibly tourism. So you can skip those research projects that promise to reduce "Pollution Levels". And go ahead and build those coal-burning power plants - they are totally smokeless.
My intent here is to help you focus your SR2020 Research in order to win a global Campaign using a combination of diplomacy and "diplomacy by other means", i.e. military/industrial might.
First let me address the non-military research projects that improve your infrastructure and social programs. Someone once said "No bucks, no Buck Rodgers". Let me rephrase that to "No bucks, no beans and bullets." If your economy and production infrastructure cannot generate units and hire military personnel, then there will be very little world conquest for your region. BTW, there is no diplomatic research.
So if you want to pursue the military win you need to perform the research necessary to optimize your production facilities. There are research projects that will result in huge increases in the efficiency of your production infrastructure. Plants and mines can be improved to produce more while consuming less, leaving you with more funds to devote to military production and training. Be sure to funnel some of those profits into more research as well.
Here is an example of some very Necessary techs:
Opinions differ, but it is widely thought that the most efficient form of electrical power generation in the game is nuclear. Even Fusion, Anti-matter and Dark Matter cannot compete. Therefore almost any player will eventually run short of uranium. But once you research "Imporved Uranium Mining", "Multi-fueled Power Plants", "Prismatic Uranium Blocks" and "Refit to Nuclear VHTR" then one morning you will wake up to discover that you have twice as much uranium as you needed previously.
There are also many "Technology" research projects that can benefit your infrastructure and your economy if you are playing a small region with limited resources. Most of these involve producing "natural" resources such as petroleum or food by expensive, high-tech means. Learn to recognize these and avoid them if you really do not need them. For instance, you do not need "Coal Gasification" plants if your are playing oil-rich Texas. And make sure that your ministers do not build these pricy plants unnecessarially.
You want to build the most high-tech, compact and powerful conventional combat units possible so that you can face down your enemies with a conquering force that is lean and mean. This will require you to research or obtain diplomatically the technologies that are specifically designed to improve the armor, spotting, range and power of your weapons and units.
Purchasing techs and designs from other regions in not only allowed in the game, it is sometimes outright necessary. It would be a shame to conquer China or Brazil without first obtaining the plans for their wonderful, long-ranged S-400 AA, WS-2 and SS-80 ASTROS MLRS artillery. Even regions that do not like you will still sell you their less "cutting edge" techs and unit designs. And when you buy a design you get its prerequisite techs as well.
You can also sell/trade techs and designs to other regions. One player admitted on the Forum that he deliberately researched useless techs so that he could sell them to other regions. Just make sure that you sell them for more than they cost to research.
All of the information regarding the attributes of each project is available from the various Research Department panels and pop-ups. By using the combination of controls there you can determine the cost, duration and effects of each research project as it becomes available. Analyze this information and choose wisely.
Check both pages - both the "pop-up" that lists completion time and the right sub-panel that describes the tech and has buttons to display its prerequisites and dependencies. If the tech is not a design prerequisite, in not a prerequisite for another project and has no effects or a big completion bonus then it is best to skip it. And if it is a prerequisite for another project, make sure that that future one is worth-while as well.
An important aspect of research is your own playing style and tactics. Some players like to use exotic units like UAVs, nukes, UUVs, VTOLs, metal-storm, Anti-Matter and Dark Matter in the game. And this is OK. High-tech, futuristic weapons are a large part of the attraction of this game.
But here is where this "high-tech" crowd and I part company. I would label the techs listed above to be of "Questionable" value, and here's why:
I don't like or need un-manned aircraft. I don't care if it is manned or not - I have plenty of little guys that can fly airplanes. I am more worried about losing the aircraft. And they are so slow. UAVs may be the perfect solution if you are a small region that cannot affort fighter/bombers and ASWACS patrol planes. I can.
Nukes - way over-rated with way too much overhead. Fun to watch though on my 52" Sony LCD monitor. Nukes would be more important if the AI used them against you, an event which is rare or non-existant.
VTOLS are fine for transport units - they often can carry a larger load farther then helicopters. But I don't want them for carrier planes - these are obsolete.
Metal-Storm - MS technology consists of front-loading all of the bullets in a gun and firing them all at once. I need something that will shoot for a longer period of time. Don't get me wrong - I won't scrap a metal-storm tank or helo if it is given to me, as they often are. Storm-Hunters are tough tanks, but I prefer to wait out that weapons cycle in favor of the laser and phaser tanks.
Dark and Anti-matter weapons make nice alternatives to nukes, without the diplomatic over-head. However, as power sources they are not better than enhanced nuclear. Furthermore anti-matter research does not become available before TL 127 and DM at TL 148. I want my game to be over and won long before I reach tech-level 128.
In the SR2020 global campaigns, the player must either diplomatically ally with or conquer anywhere from 240 to 183 foreign "regions". This usually involves you shipping or flying soldiers all across the game map for one purpose - to plant their boots inside of enemy Capital cities and to conquer that region for you.
My style of winning these long, drawn-out campaigns is to focus military research on the "basics" - researching and building more and better land units, aircraft and ships to carry my combat troops to victory. I select the military projects that will technologically perfect and strengthen my conventional army's spotting, armor, range and fire-power.
So some other very "Necessary" techs are "ERFB-BB Ammunition", "Depleted Uranium Munitions" and "Artillery Locating Radar" which extend my ground attack, ballistic artillery range and spotting strength. "BLOS Targeting System" extends the range of my artillery by 10%. "GMLRS Missiles" and "ER-MLRS Missiles" extend my MLRS range by another 80%. "Electro-magnetic Guns" allow me to build tanks that fire farther and harder.
I research the designs that will give me the best armored infantry, the most powerful tanks, the toughest airborne Marines or commandos, the ships and artillery with the longest-range guns, the strongest AA and the largest and toughest transport aircraft.
The great force multiplier in SR2020 is its vast selection of missiles, so be sure to research or buy the latest land, sea and air missile designs so that you can arm your launchers, planes and ships to compete with their advisaries. You need the latest anti-ship and anti-armor missiles that launch from land, sea and air and in sizes that will fit your units.
From the Finance Department (FD/Treasury) you can control your Social Spending, Taxation, Debt and more. You can also review income, expense and trade reports. You can also view a summary of your economy and issue Minister Priorities (MPs) to your Finanace Minister (FM).
The Cabinet panel is displayed in center when you click on the FM's portrait. Its left side contains a list box of titles of the MPs available to you and which you can select in order to issue leadership guidelines to your FM. Each MP title is self-explainitory and each one possesses a pop-up "tool-tip" that displays the "pros" and "pons" of each MP. On the right side is the MP selection button and three "Department Locks" - buttons that when activated prohibit the FM from controlling three important aspects of your economy - Social Spending, Taxes and Bonds.
This left-hand panel is always displayed in the FD and displays a summary of your economy including your region's treasury balance, GDP/c (Gross Domestic Product per capita), overall tax rate, inflation rate, unemployment rate, Daily/Yearly income, expenses, surplus/deficit and projected trade. A button on the top right allows you to toggle the figures between Daily and Yearly.
Below these are you previous day's trade amount and your region's total debt.
The sub-panel allows you to control and monitor the six important aspects of your SS - health care, education, infrastructure, environment, family subsidies, law enforcement, cultural subsidies and social assistance.
The top of the panel displays your Daily/Yearly social cost, recommended social cost and the percentage of your total budget that is currently devoted to SS. Beneath these is a large slider control that can be used to adjust the gross amount spent for SS. Sliders can be controlled using the mouse cursor or the arrow keys.
Below this big slider are two rows of icon/buttons used to select one of the eight SS sub-expenditures listed above. Each icon has beside it a small colored bar graph that indicates if the "Quality Rating" for that service/expenditure is average or above/below average.
Once selected, a summary of that service expenditure is displayed to the right of the panel. This displays the name of the service and its Quality Rating at the top, the current and recommended investment in the center and a slider to adjust "New Investment" for the service at the bottom. Changes to each of the service sliders are reflected back to the "total" SS display.
Again, values are displayed as Daily or Yearly figures according to the setting on the main panel.
The Taxes sub-panel is very similar to the SS panel and also contains eight icon/buttons for selecting each type of taxation - low income, high income, corporate, small business, sales, unemployment, property and pension taxes.
This sub-panel allows you to view outstanding regional bonds, which represent money borrowed by your region from the U.N./World Market. The Interest rate, amount of the bond and the bond's due date are displayed in the list on the left. The button on the right will allow you to issue new bonds (obtain new loans), so long as your region's finances are in good order. Your credit rating reflects this and is displayed at the top-right of the panel, followed by the set amount that new bonds may be issued for, the current interest rate that you must pay, the issue ID number of any new bond and its due date. Your total debt is displayed at the bottom of the panel.
This sub-panel contains a complete list of the income for your Region's government. The left side displays your income from taxes broken down by each of the eight taxation types. Your trade surplus (if any) is shown at the bottom. The right-side of the panel displays domestic sales, loan (bond) principal and interest and money receieved from the U.N. as "foreign aid".
This sub-panel contains a complete list of your Region's governmental expenses. The left side displays your military, preparedness, Intelligence, production, facilities maintenance, social services, U.N. membership, bond interest costs and trade deficit (if any). The right side displays the cost of unit production, new facility construction, total research cost and loan repayment.
Below these figures are your spending short-falls, if any. These include missed unit production, construction, research and repayments - anything missed due to a shortage of the treasury funds required to pay for them.
This sub-panel displays a summary of the current period's (Daily/Annual) trade, as reported by your Production and State Departments. The top left of the panel displays daily/annual production and maintenance costs and domestic sales. Beneath this are the "Last Day" trading statistics for imports, exports and the overall total trade amount or deficit. On the right are displayed specific categories of "Last Day Trades" such as industrial goods, electric power, coal or timber.
Your FM often fails to devote sufficient social spending to your Infrastructure. It is wise to issue the "Infrastructure" MP in order to have your roads and facilities properly maintained.
The emphasis that the FM places upon social spending and taxes depends upon the political leaning of the official (See Cabinet Ministers). This can be determined by clicking on the FM's portrait. Liberal FMs will spend more on social programs and levy higher taxes to pay for them. Conservative FMs will favor both lower taxes and less social spending.
Social spending is an important re-election tool for leaders of democratic Regions. SS raises DAR (Domestic Approval Rating) which obviously will affect your popularity for re-election. It is only necessary to have a higher approval rating than that of any one of the other political parties running in an election in order to get re-elected.
DAR (and so SS) also affects worker efficiency, since a happy worker is a more productive worker for your Production.
In general, it is best to keep total taxation to fifty percent or lower. Too low a tax rate can bankrupt your treasury but too high a tax rate can lower your DAR. In an emergency or war taxes can easily be raised. Remember, you can lock out your FM from making changes on its own.
It is often wise to set sales, unemployment, property and pension taxes to around 2%. This may seem extraordinarily low, but there is a good reason - lowering these taxes puts more money into the pockets of your citizens, allowing them to buy more consumer goods from you. This generates profit and more sales tax back to your government's coffers.
If not paid off prior to maturity, outstanding bonds will automatically renew at the current interest rate.
Your State Department is your channel to peacefully communicate and trade with the other nations (regions) of the world. The SR2020 SD is largely passive and much of the game's diplomatic interaction with other regions must be accomplished by the player manually. As with most of the SR2020 Department Ministers, the SD communicates with the player via E-mail messages.
As of SR2020 Update 6, players can choose to turn on an E-mail notification for each war and alliance which occurs between other regions. This feature is found in the game options menu and defaults to "off" due to the volume of wars and alliances that occur in the game. These E-mail notifications are considered to be "different messages", which means that if you enable the option from the game options panel, then you cannot subsequently suppress the messages by selecting "don't show me this" on the E-mail war notification message panel.
Demographic and diplomatic information about all regions on the game map is contained in this section. The function of most controls located on the SD panels can be determined from informational "tool-tips" that will pop-up when you hover your mouse cursor over the control.
The panels in this section contain many colored "status" bars that represent the magnitude of such diplomatic measurements as "justification for war", "War Provocation" and "Diplomatic Approval". In general these bars represent the quality and extent of their labeled diplomatic quantity. The color of these bars change with the criticality of the diplomatic quality. As the diplomatic quantity increases, the displayed color of the bar progresses through shades of green, yellow, orange and finally to red. In general these colors represent the criticality levels of "good", "satisfactory", "serious" and finally "critical". Consult the tool-tips for their exact meaning. The length of the status bar indicates the extent of the quality represented by the color.
The first step in using the SD is to select a region. The SD interface consists of the main "World Regions" panel that contains a list-box of all seven continents and four action buttons. At the top of the list is the name of your own region. Each of the continent selections expands into a longer list of all of the surviving regions on that continent. Double-clicking on the name of any region brings up the large "Diplomatic Exchange" dialog and will automatically center the map on that region's capital city. The four buttons are "Diplomatic Exchange", "Scorecard", "Declare War" and "Center on Region".
This large dialog can be displayed by double-clicking on a Regional flag icon, by right-clicking on a hex belonging to foreign Region or from the main SD panel.
The dialog box is divided into three main sections: your Region's diplomatic offers to the left, your diplomatic requests to the right and several general information and control sections in between. The rows of buttons at the top of the left and right sections allow you to select the content to be displayed in the list-box below. These include "Existing Agreements", "Treaty List", "Products", "Technologies", "Unit and Missile Designs" or "Military Units and Missiles". By double-clicking on the resulting list-box items you can compose a list of items "offered to" and a list of items "requested from" the selected region. These items can consist of any combination of treaty, product technology, design or military unit.
The available treaties are as follows:
The center section displays the total estimated cash value of the items offered and requested. It also allows you to set the terms of the offer, such as the size and duration of payments and an offer expiration date.
Diplomatic and civilian approval ratings are also displayed in the center. The levels of these ratings are pivotal to the success of the diplomatic offer. If both ratings indicate "indifferent" or better then chances are that the offer will be accepted. The large offer acceptability bar will confirm this. A green bar guarantees that the offer is acceptable. A yellow bar indicates that the offer can succeed if you offer more. In general a red bar indicates that the offer will be rejected, however sometimes this can be over-come by increasing the offer or by offering different items.
For each traded commodity a supply graph is displayed that indicates the region's supply status of that commodity. The blue bar represents production, the red bar usage and the green bar supply. This display is useful to determine which commodities will be economically desirable to the other region in a diplomatic exchange.
Although not technically a part of the SD, the Scoreboard or "big board" lists a multitude of facts and statistics about every remaining region on the game map. The region list can be scrolled up and down and each column of data can be sorted by clicking at the top of the column. Five pages of data can be selected using the five tab buttons at the top of the panel.
The Scoreboard (Atlas) window can be displayed by pressing the 'A' key.
Here is the top portion of Page 2 of the Scoreboard - the Military summary page".
In addition to the main SD panel, there are nine subsidiary SD panels (seven when your own region is the selected one). Each panel has the name of the currently selected region, their relationship to you (Ally/Neutral/Enemy), their flag and their DEFCON. Their functions are as follows:
This sub-panel displays the fifteen most important facts about the selected region, including its leader's name, government type, population, GDP/c, treasury, debt, capital city, territorial size, DAR and MAR.
This sub-panel displays news bulletins announcing recent important events in the region as well as annual demographic projections for the Region.
This panel may give you some warning when a Regions is about to DOW since it will often change DEFCON levels prior to the actual event.
This sub-panel contains two list boxes that display the Region's enemy waring Regions on the left and its Allied Regions on the right.
This sub-panel contains two list boxes that display the current treaties in force between your two regions. Listed as "Providing To" and "Receiving From".
This sub-panel displays your full U.N. status including annual fee, standing, rate of subsidy, number of member regions and U.N. funds. An "Aid Schedule" is displayed on the right.
contains the games "boiler plate" description of the region's initial status in 2020.
This sub-panel contains a list of the world's religions. Shows a side-by-side comparison of the two region's religious followers broken-down by religion.
This sub-panel displays an overview of the strength of the selected region's governmental military, economic, diplomacy and domestic efforts. Shows DEFCON and Provocation. Provides controls to toggle the transit conditions of "Path Around" and "War on Incursions". Provides shortcut buttons to the Operations Department hotspots and spies.
This sub-panel contains the big, protected red "Declare War" button. Displays casus belli for both regions, and the domestic and diplomatic attitudes of your region towards the selected region.
The "Trades" sub-panel also contains a very important button that allows you to break all diplomatic relations with a region.
The "Treaty" sub-panel also contains items that represent existing treaties. These are prefixed with the word "Cancel" and including these on your treaty list will offer the selected region the opportunity to cancel that existing treaty. Mostly their E-mailed reply will be "No".
So now we that we know how to use the SD, what will the Minister of State do for us? After all, in the World Campaigns we have 183 or more other regions to conduct diplomacy with and we do not want to have to negotiate eleven different treaties and additional trade agreements manually using the Diplomatic Exchange screen, do we?
Unfortunately this is largely what you will be forced to do. Except for reporting trade offers, diplomatic successes and failures via E-mail, the SD Minister does nothing. The Minister accepts no priorities from you because it does not negotiate for you. While all of the other AI regions are busily making allies and declaring war on each other, your Minister does not assist you at all. If you want to make 183 regions your allies then you will need to compose each treaty and exchange manually, send it off and wait for the e-mail conformation. Some of these E-mail messages are shown below:
The SD Ministers of the AI regions will send out E-mail appeals for aid when their economies are in trouble. They will be sent to your State Department as well. Allies of the AI can be very generious in lending support in response to these appeals.
The good news is that some of the games begin with certain simple treaties such as embassies already in place in some regions. And sometimes when negotiating you can push through more than one treaty at a time. If you are dealing with a non-hostile region or are playing with the diplomatic difficulty level set to "Very Easy" then sometimes you can combine the first four basic treaties into one diplomatic transaction. Some practical advice on how to use the Diplomatic Exchange screen can be found in Beginning Diplomacy.
With the update there is a slight improvement with regard to trade treaties. This update introduced the AI trading of units so now they will trade them with us too. Update 6 adds two new SD MPs:
These are pretty self-explanatory - the former one encourages the SD Minister to trade for military units and the latter to trade for products that you are short on. Your SD can only offer military units for trade - he cannot request military units from another Region. After Update 6 however, other regions may offer units to you via SD E-mail.
As usual, the SD minister sends you E-mails that allow you to reply whether you agree or reject the trade deal.
Depending upon the game difficulty settings, when a new game begins your E-mail box may be flooded with diplomatic announcements of new Alliances being formed between other Regions. That is the bad news. The good news is that at the beginning of the game CB against you is at a minimum so you can form these Alliances too. And you can go directly to proposing Full Alliances with the other Region without the intermediate treaties, just like the other Regions are doing. You will need to do this manually from the Diplomatic Exchange window since your Minister will still not help.
This department allows you to manage your country's espionage and space satellite operations. Combat Hotspots are also controlled from here. There are no priorities to set. This is where you go to set a hotspot, post a spy in another region or to order/launch additional satellites.
This main panel displays the Numbers of Hotspots, Espionage operations and the extent of you space program's network of satellites.
This sub-panel displays a total of the cost of operations controlled from this Department. There is also a list of the cost of your current OD facilities such as Intelligence Academies and aero-space facilities.
Hotspots are set by selecting a map hex, right-clicking and then selecting "Create Hotspot" from the pop-up menu. A second menu then allows you to select one of ten different types of hotspots. Once a hotspot is created, it can be configured or deleted from the OD Hotspot panel. The types of Hotspots are:
Except for a request for supplies, the OD's reaction to these priorities is subtle, even when you configure the HS for "Prioity - High" and "Force Size - Very Large". For attack hotspots it may be effective to set a number of them close together or in a row leading to your objective. The purpose of the "Land Transport" hotspot is to summon land transport units to that spot - you will still have to load units into them manually and then issue "Unload" commands to designate their ultimate destination.
This sub-panel controls the launch and construction of Communications, Reconnaissance and Missile Defense (SDI) satellites. Communications satellites improve the efficiency of your military units. Recon (spy) satellites help you to spot enemy units through the "Fog of War" (FoW). SDI satellites will counter SCUD and ballistic missiles that attack from space. Before you can construct or launch these you must first build a spaceport. To construct aero-space factories, mission control and launch pads, select a site hex and right-click the mouse. Select "Build/Build Military" and then choose the desired space facility to construct. You require one of each, but the construction of additional AS factories will build-up your satellite constellation more quickly.
Other AI regions do construct spaceports but as of SR2020 Update 5 they do not build or launch satellites. They do however build both conventionally and nuclear armed SCUDS, SRBMs, MRBMs and ICMB missiles and they will occasionally launch them against you. These may be countered by your Missile Defenses (MDI). Whether MDIs are worth building is up to you. These rare ballistic missile attacks are announced in E-mail messages from the U.N.
If you play with the "Fog of War" activated and if you can afford them then you definitely will want reconnaissance (spy) satellites to see through the Fog of War. Although they do not spot 100% of enemy units they are a viable replacement for radar units and patrol planes.
This sub-panel allows you to construct additional intelligence academies and satellite launch pads. Additional facilities of this sort are generally unnecessary unless you use an extraordinary number of spys, or if all of your spys are killed. The right side of the panel displays a tally of these existing facilities.
From this sub-panel you can deploy your spies and select their target and mission type. To assign a spy click on its icon from the list on the left. That spy's controls will then appear on the right. Then select a mission type for the spy.
To place the spy click on the gray button at the bottom of the right panel and then place the spy on the map using the green spotting line. Within several days the spy will appear on-site and start its mission. The status of each selected spy is displayed on the right side of the panel including its date assigned and its experience level.
A recon mission is where the spy occupies an enemy hex and this allows you to spot and target units and facilities on and around that hex. Your spies can be injured by friendly fire (your fire) so it may be wise to have them recon a hex from an adjacent hex if you plan to attack.
An espionage mission sends a spy to an enemy research facility where after a very long period of time the spy may steal a technology or a unit design. You cannot steal any techs that require a prerequisite that you lack.
On a sabotage mission the spy or spies will damage each facility in the target hex, one at a time, including military bases, factories, industrial complexes and even cities. The damage happens suddenly and is reported to you via e-mail.
Unfortunately, although sabotage missions will successfully damage facilities and even towns, each facility receives a significant amount of daily repair at midnight. This auto-repair can easily counter any sabatage.
Placing a spy into a neutral region with the FoW deactivated may result in a War of Incursion, since it seems that all spies are not 100% stealthy.
This update introduced a highly reworked spy system. The actions of spies are still the same but how things "play out" is much different.
AIs do not deploy their spies.
A spy's experience makes them better at their missions and its efficiency also affects their success.
A spy's experience rating may reduce their chance of getting caught.