Date: 1994-10-15
From: John
Subject: Midway

My Dear Mr. Duk:

As it turned out I only got to see a small part of Midway, but enough to give me another idea for Alexander.

As I'm sure you know, radio transmissions, intercepted messages, radio silence, and code-breaking played a major role in that battle and throughout the war. I wonder if we could (or should) incorporate any of that kind of thing into Alexander.

Whenever we click and drag a piece, the game could automatically generate and store away a text "radio" message equivalent (e.g. "Battleship Potemkin procede SSW 20 knots" or "4th armoured division retreat to Carthage"). Messages would also be generated when enemy pieces were encountered ("Enemy sub spotted @ 23x47") or when cities produced new equipment ("Carthage reports carrier Ticonderoga ready for action").

These messages would be produced transparently and invisibly in the background and would serve two functions. First, they would form an ongoing log of the entire campaign that could be reviewed at any point during or after a game. Second, with the right kind of piece(s), they could be intercepted by the opposing player. There could also be some kind of mechansim to supress these messages (radio silence) at a cost: pieces running silently could not communicate or be controlled (until, under some pre-programmed condition, they "break" radio silence OR move adjacent to another friendly piece). Perhaps cities could be put in "black-out" conditions at a cost of reduced efficiency.

I'm not sure what kind of pieces would be involved in intercepting enemy transmissions. Possibly the spy piece would be required. It would be great if the interface could somehow plot *theoretical* positions of enemy pieces based on intelligence.

Something to think about...

One final observation, by the way. The really exciting thing about Midway, and about great battles in general, is the interactions that arise not just between the two opposing forces, but between players on the same team. It seems to me that the ultimate mixture of stategic and tactical elements would involve two opposing TEAMS of players, each with a limited view of the overall situation. This is probably well beyond the scope of Alexander, but, once infobahn access is commonplace, could become the game of the future (not unlike the MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) already in use.

Glad to hear the good news from your doctor. Talk to you soon.

Yours in haste,