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  1. #1
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    Total War vs Paradox Grand Strategy

    Hey everyone. I purchased HoI2 and EUIII in the recent Paradox sale with no intent on playing them until I get a few games out of my backlog. One of those games in my backlog is Shogun 2. Shogun 2 is my second Total War game but the first one that I've gotten myself invested in (I liked Empire but it didn't absorb me). So it seems to me that the Total War series and Paradox's Grand Strategy game have a fair bit in common (I could be wrong though) but I've also heard Paradox's games can be dauntingly complicated. So I'm wondering, if I become well versed with games like Total War, how much will the learning curve (if at all) will be reduced? Also, I'm kind of curious to know what you think the most complex (but still manageable) strategy game is. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Activated Node SeanybabeS's Avatar
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    Hehe, this was what I thought when I bought EU3. Good with Total War != Good with grand strategy.

    They're fantastic games (and I plan to plough some hours into it when I get through a few of the backlog) but the skills aren't really transferable.

    Basically, in both games you fight, trade, develop, conquer and try to tell a version of history but they both have completely different approaches. Grand Strategy being about a collection of small decisions accumulating over a large portion of time where as Total War is always building to the next massive move.

    At least in my experience - feel free to bat my opinion away of course.

  3. #3
    They share a lot of common ideas and concepts, both being grand strategy games, so if you have no previous experience with strategy games, I think it would help. However, it is still a big leap to go from total war to paradox games as they also have a lot of differences, and paradox games are a lot more detailed. So it is probably a good idea to go from Shogun 2 to EU3 if you're planning on playing both anyway, but don't count on it reducing the learning curve that much. You'll still probably need to read the manual/wiki/internet-guide.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Funny enough, I bought EU3 on Friday for a song, got home, installed it, and then played Empire: Total War all weekend. I am preintimidated, but I'll dive in soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanybabeS View Post
    Grand Strategy being about a collection of small decisions accumulating over a large portion of time where as Total War is always building to the next massive move.
    I was trying to think about how best to put it, and that's about right. TW is more "make army, go here, kill barbarians/natives/neighbouring country", whilst EU3 involves a lot more thought. To me, EU3 is fighting a campaign, whereas TW is just a series of battles - different skills required.

    I also found EU3 quite easy to get into and be able to play, but I can see that I won't master it for $long_period_of_time.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    I was trying to think about how best to put it, and that's about right. TW is more "make army, go here, kill barbarians/natives/neighbouring country", whilst EU3 involves a lot more thought. To me, EU3 is fighting a campaign, whereas TW is just a series of battles - different skills required.

    I also found EU3 quite easy to get into and be able to play, but I can see that I won't master it for $long_period_of_time.

    If you play a TW game as you describe you will fail, miserably. All the armies in the world are useless unless you have the infrastructure and stability to back them up.

  7. #7
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    I always felt that the Total War games focussed on the real time, tactical battles, with the strategic element being there mostly to lend context.
    In contrast, the strategic layer is all there is to the Paradox stuff.

  8. #8
    Total War games have no real strategy. Its all about tactics. I don't think it will help at all.

    Both can be fun though.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    the strategic layer of total war series was always the thing i was mostly interested in. the charm of battles run dry after 10 hours or so which resulted in me choosing autoresolve every-time i had a fight where I believed computer could handle it without losing too many of my troops. If computer could not do that but the fight was still winnable if I do it myself, I would do this chore.

    Therefore for me, a person who never really enjoyed battles of total war series, EU3 is much much better game.
    Last edited by Lukasz; 20-09-2011 at 06:12 PM.

  10. #10
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    I might have to try EU3, I enjoy the visuals and tactical gameplay of close-up battlefield control in Total War. Which is in my opinion what makes that game interesting for people wanting to play that type of game. But I would like to try something a little more strategically abstract.
    My CPU is a neural net processor; a learning computer.

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    Correct me if im wrong, but in Total War the game mechanics expect you to conquer the world in your playthrough, in EU the game mechanics allow for you to conquer the world. That is to say the core concept of the game isn't necessarily invading places from turn 1 their more consequences to be had.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Total War victory conditions depend on holding a certain number of territories, not world domination, like Civ's MILITARY victories. You can't win as a pacifist, though.
    Last edited by Smashbox; 20-09-2011 at 07:34 PM. Reason: added the words MILITARY victories

  13. #13
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    Are there non-domination win conditions in EU, say for instance, making 50 trade agreements or something like that?
    My CPU is a neural net processor; a learning computer.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritBoots View Post
    Are there non-domination win conditions in EU, say for instance, making 50 trade agreements or something like that?
    There aren't really any win conditions. You just achieve whatever you feel like achieving.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    There are no win conditions in EU3 at all. You have 400 years to do as you wish.

    Which is part of why some people dislike it. You do get short, repetetive missions (have a bigger amry than neighbour x!) that sometimes, sometimes, try to emulate the major movements of history, but as these are randomly generated they can sometimes devolve into "Build a school. Build a school. Build a school." for hours at a time.
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  16. #16
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    I suppose it's more like how real countries operate. They have goals that they want to achieve, and they decide how much they want to commit to achieve the goals. But if you aren't motivated by a goal, I could see how some people would get bored by that.

  17. #17
    There aren't really win conditions as such. The historic basis of EU3 means that your definition of 'winning' will vary according to what nation you're controlling. For instance, if you take an African or American tribe or kingdom, you will be doing exceedingly well to survive once the European powers start rolling up on colonising sprees. If you take a European one-province minor, your best chance of prospering may well be to establish a network of alliances that will head off potentially disastrous war. With a small to medium-sized power your aim may be to become the biggest nation in your area. I'd recommend reading AARs to get a flavour of what's possible.

    I always felt that the Total War games focussed on the real time, tactical battles, with the strategic element being there mostly to lend context.
    In contrast, the strategic layer is all there is to the Paradox stuff.


    That rings true to me. In EU3 you may raise armies, send them off to fight, move them around at a strategic level, hire the best general you can afford, but you don't fight the battles as such. You're the head of a nation, not the head of an army.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritBoots View Post
    Are there non-domination win conditions in EU, say for instance, making 50 trade agreements or something like that?
    No specific win conditions. However, to take your trade example, you could take a merchant republic (Hanseatic league, Venice, Genoa, Novgorod) and make it your goal to get most of Europe within your league, and get rid of the other leagues. There are lots of different ways to play the game and even the peaceful ways(relatively peaceful anyway, you'll probably have to do some fighting at some point) are interesting, whereas in Total War it's all about military conquest.

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