Welcome to the frontlines, general! We’re glad to see you’ve decided to join us in the manic battlefield of Supremacy 1914.
While Supremacy 1914 has made way to iOS and Android platforms recently, the game can be played online since a couple of years. Supremacy 1914 was first released in 2009 by German studio Bytro Labs; in fact, you can also play it through the game’s official website.
Many of its players are seasoned veterans with numerous battles under their belts. That’s not to say that the game is totally inacessible to new players. For them, and for you, we’ve prepared a detailed Supremacy 1914 beginner’s guide to help you find your footing as quickly as possible in the mayhem of world domination.
Command and Conquer
In Supremacy 1914, you’ll need a solid grasp on each of your units to make the most out of them.
You’ll need to keep training units and building war machines if you want any hope of securing your place on the world stage. But before you train units, you’ll want to have a look at their stats.
A unit’s stats are denoted on its icon. The shield with a heart represents its health, the lightning bolt represents its attack, and the blank shield represents its defense. Below these stats are the unit’s strength against different types of units. In this example, our tank is at its full 4/4 against both land units and buildings. However, its strength is reduced to 0.4/0.4 against air units.
While these stats are straightforward, it’s important to note that they will change depending on what terrain the unit is on.
In the above example, our tank is at full power when on land. However, its health drops to a pitiful 1, and its strength is reduced to 10% while embarked!
Some units have a far-reaching attack that lets them attack enemies without fear of retaliation. These units are denoted by a white circle in their icon. You can tap these units to change their behavior; by default, they will fire on hostile units within range without further input from you. Other behaviors include ignoring everything, or a shoot first and ask questions later policy that will fire on neutral units as well.
Units don’t operate by themselves. Each unit that joins an army adds its own attack, defense, and health to it, creating a stack of units. This makes it far more effective to use stacks of units in close fights. At the same time, you can also split stacks to deploy multiple armies.
One might ask, “why don’t I just make a single deathstack and wipe everything out?”. Supremacy 1914’s size factor mechanic prevents this while encouraging different gameplay styles.
Usually, when you add a unit to a stack, that stack receives 100% of that unit’s stats. However, the more of a single unit type you add, the lower the stat bonus becomes per unit added. This is known as size factor, and the key to building effective armies is to account for size factor when assembling your armies. Units have different size factor penalties.
- Artillery, railguns, battleships, submarines, balloons, fighters, light cruisers, and bombers have 100% unit efficiency until 50 units; at that point, they receive no bonuses from any further units of that type.
- Infantry have 30% efficiency starting from 5 units, 10% efficiency starting from 15 units, and no bonuses past 40 units.
- Tanks have 60% efficiency starting from 5 units, 30% efficiency starting from 10 units, and no bonuses past 25 units.
- Heavy tanks have 50% efficiency starting from 5 units, 20% efficiency starting from 10 units, and no bonuses past 25 units.
- Armoured cars have 60% efficiency starting from 6 units, 20% efficiency starting from 15 units, 10% efficiency starting from 25 units, and no bonuses past 40.
- Cavalry have 60% efficiency starting from 6 units, 20% efficiency starting from 15 units, 10% efficiency starting from 25 units, and no bonuses past 40.
From this chart, we can see that it’s more effective to split your starting infantries into parties of 4 or 5, since they don’t gain as much of a boost from being in their stacks of 10 at the beginning of the game.
Build, Build, Build
In Supremacy 1914, you can build multiple buildings in each province you control. These buildings serve different purposes, from unlocking new units to increasing the region’s defenses. Knowing what each of these buildings do and where to place them is key to building a well-oiled industry to further your war.
The capital represents your seat of power. The closer a province is to your capital, the faster its passive morale generation. You can move your capital to another province if you need the increased morale regen, but take note that this will take 12 hours.
The recruiting office is a support building that allows a province to automatically produce infantry every few hours. This way, you’ll always have at least some pieces to move around on the world map.
As the recruiting office gives you free units, it’s imperative to build recruitment offices in every province you own. You should also keep an eye on the province’s morale: the higher the morale, the better recruitment goes.
The barracks further augments infantry training by increasing the amount of infantry trained at once. It also unlocks the cavalry unit for manual training.
The workshop serves as a tech building. It does nothing on its own, but you need to upgrade a province’s workshop if you want access to higher-tier units.
The fortress is a powerful defensive emplacement that vastly decreases the amount of damage a province’s garrison receives in combat. At level 1, the fortress offers a whopping 67% damage reduction! But that’s not all – the fortress also increases morale development in the region it’s placed in. This makes the fortress a very important building for taking forward provinces and establishing remote bases.
The factory is an essential building both for its military and economic purposes. On the military side, it unlocks more powerful units such as artillery, tanks, and heavy tanks. On the economic side, a factory boosts a region’s income by up to 33% at maximum factory level.
The factory also increases morale development AND boosts unit production speed! Your core provinces – whether that’s because they’re production centers or resource farms – should have a factory up and running as soon as possible.
The harbour is a must-have for any nation who wants to build a strong navy. Not only does a harbour allow a player to construct warships, but a province with a harbour also gains a bonus to embarkment speed, allowing them to launch amphibious attacks on unsuspecting neighbors with impunity. The harbour also grants a small bonus to morale development, but that’s secondary.
The railway becomes available on day 5; to check the day in your current world, look to the upper right of the screen. This facility greatly accelerates movement for your ground troops, conferring a bonus of up to 150%!
The railway also minorly increases morale development; I guess the trains do run on time. The railway also allows deployment of the railgun unit. Despite its name, it’s not a magnetic gun, but rather artillery mounted on a railroad wagon.
The aerodrome becomes available on day 10. While it confers no passive bonuses to a region (not even a morale boost), it allows you to train powerful air units that are brutally effective against ground units. For reference, the heavy tank is the most effective counter against air units, but only does 60% damage against them!
Establish A Strong Economy
Even in times of war, the money must flow. Your men need to be fed, your machines maintained, and your engineers, architects, and generals paid.
Passive Region Income
Each region generates resources over time, ranging from grain and fish to steel and oil. Depending on what kinds of units you’ll be focusing on, as well as your overall strategy, it’s in your best interest to take and seize provinces that produce the resource you need.
Each province produces two kinds of resources. To get a better view of what resources a province produces, you can tap it and check the bottom info panel.
You can augment this resource production by building a factory. Further upgrading your factory will increase the bonus it gives to a region’s income. A railway will also give a sizeable boost to resource generation, and increases move speed too!
Morale is an important factor that determines the loyalty and productivity of your provinces. The higher a region’s morale, the more productive it becomes and the less likely it is to revolt. When a region revolts, your units can be damaged or even killed, and your rule may be overthrown!
Morale is recalculated when the in-game day changes, and is based on several factors.
You gain morale by having a province close to the capital, having certain buildings, having nearby territories with good morale, or just buying it with Goldmarks. Conversely, having enemy armies near or in the territory, being at war with multiple countries, having a deficit of resources an enemy spy performing sabotage, or having enemy territories near a province negatively affect its morale.
Upkeep Versus Income
Don’t be an idiot like me and just spam units and buildings off the bat. I quickly ended up with an inability to build or train anything else because I ran out of grain.
To get a detailed view of your resource flow, tap the resource icons near the top of your screen. This will show you your stores, your production rates, and your hourly and daily consumption. Your resource icons in the world map will also show a red downwards arrow if you’re experiencing greater upkeep than income.
One way to save resources is to disable buildings that aren’t relevant to you in the current game state. To do this, tap the province, tap the building, then hit the pause button. This way, you can skirt having to pay upkeep costs for that building.
Low Resource Penalties
Not only does having a deficit of resources limit what you can build and train, but it also has a direct hit on your armies.
- A deficit of fish causes morale to drop steeply.
- A deficit of grain causes a morale drop and also disables barracks.
- Deficits of lumber and iron ore cause morale to drop.
- A deficit of coal lowers morale and disables your railways.
- A deficit of gas lowers morale.
- A deficit of oil not only lowers morale, but also decreases movement speed and lowers combat strength.
The Market Economy
You can put resources up for sale in the market, accessible through the lower part of the screen. You’ll be able to see the current resources for sale on the top, and can sell your own stores at the bottom. To switch resources, just tap on the icons on the upper part of the screen. Remember that you can’t trade with nations you’re at war with or have an embargo on!
Goldmarks are an all-important premium currency that’s used for a lot of things. A hefty wallet of Goldmarks lets you rush unit and building production, which is vital for quick, powerful plays.
You can get Goldmarks from completing quests, but the most consistent way to earn them is by watching ads. You can watch multiple ads a day to get a total of 1500 Goldmarks, but this involves sitting through roughly 10 minutes of ads.
Note that you have to watch ads twice – first to gain the Goldmarks, then another time to redeem them. As annoying as that is, ads are the only reliable, renewable source of Goldmarks other than shelling out actual cash.
Supremacy 1914 isn’t restricted to just beating the snot out of each other with armies. There’s a whole other game waiting to be played on the world stage, and gathering intelligence is vital to making the most out of any situation.
Newspapers provide vital information on happenings around you – such as who’s building what, the diplomatic state of other countries, and so much more. At the same time, this can be used against you as your rivals can see what you’re up to.
It’s up to you whether you want to play mind games by building a lot of buildings to confuse your enemies, or whether to preserve your resources and just go straight to working on your grand strategy.
Since it takes a very long time to get anything done, such as moving troops or building structures, you can also enable push notifications in the front reports menu. This way, you’ll at least be forewarned of stuff that’s happening within the game world even when you’re away from the game.
What war game would be complete about espionage?
If you find yourself at an impasse when fighting an enemy, you can resort to using spies to gather information and sabotage your enemy by pulling strings from the shadows.
To access the espionage tab, tap more on the lower right of the screen, then espionage. Before you can start your subterfuge, you’ll first need to hire spies for 20,000 money each, and an ongoing daily salary. Once hired, simply tap a province you’d like to send a spy to, then tap the espionage icon to the lower left.
Spies can be assigned to 4 activities.
- Counter Espionage protects provinces from spies (yes, including your own provinces) and will attempt to root out enemy espionage attempts.
- Intelligence gather information about diplomatic and economical activities.
- Economic Sabotage hits resource production and morale.
- Military Sabotage hits military plans and infrastructure.
Each of these missions also has a money upkeep cost. The more spies you have at your disposal, the more you can do – if you can pay the price.
Field agents are an expensive but reliable way to gain intel on an opponent’s actions. Field agents can be sent on multiple missions with a 100% success rate, and they complete their missions instantly. However, field agents require Goldmarks to get anything done. More powerful and complex operations will require a larger sum of Goldmarks.
Diplomacy is one of the greatest tools you can use, and skillful mind games, shady dealings, and united fronts are all part and parcel of Supremacy 1914’s warfare. It’s easy enough to go full unga bunga and keep attacking, but being able to rally a group of nations against a common foe is far more effective – not to mention your erstwhile allies will also be weakened. Just saying.
Setting Diplomatic States
You can always just toggle your diplomatic state with another nation by tapping on their flag. A quick way to do this is to tap on a unit or territory they own, then tap the country name or flag. This is a very impersonal mode of communication, but it occasionally suffice. You can toggle between several states, which I’ll list here.
- War is as simple as it gets. You declare the targeted nation a formal enemy, and you’ll both be able to attack each other openly. You can also skirt this by just attacking someone out of the blue, but the newspapers will reflect this as a brazen and unprovoked attack. Armies will attack each other whenever they can (within range of each other).
- Trade embargoes forbid nations from trading with you. They can’t buy your products on the market, nor can you buy theirs. During times of war, this state is changed to cease fire. In this state, units will fire on enemies invading their country’s provinces, but won’t otherwise engage.
- Peace is the default state. Neither country will actively take a hostile or benevolent stance towards each other.
- Right of way indicates that you are allowing the other state to move their military units through your lands, without fear of attack. Think of it as an open borders agreement.
- Shared vision allows the other state to see your lands, as well as their own.
Note that the extreme sides of diplomatic states also trigger the level below them – war also starts a trade embargo, while shared vision also gives other countries right of way.
Form Coalitions and Alliances
Lone countries falter, but banded together, they are strong. Coalitions serve as a way to gather like-minded allies under a single banner. You’ll gain your own chat channel so that you can coordinate with your coalition members more easily. Take note that a coalition is not permanent – it only exists in that specific game.
Alliances, on the other hand, are more akin to the traditional guild. Alliances exist even outside the game, and serve as a way for players to communicate with each other, such as for setting up private inter-alliance fights or just messing around.
There’s a bunch of other stuff you can do with the game that didn’t fit into any other category, but I’ll list them here, anyway.
Join and Create New Games*
You don’t have to commit to a single game of Supremacy 1914. If you’re in the middle of a game, and decide that, for some reason, you’d like to juggle 2 or more games at once, just tap the globe icon on the upper right, then go to games. From here, you’ll be able to see a list of games and search for games via a filter.
The asterisk is there because sadly, you cannot create games using the mobile version of Supremacy 1914. You can, however, use a browser to open the web version of Supremacy 1914 and create a game from there.
As you may have surmised while playing the game (or by checking the available game list), not every country is actually run by a live human player. If you zoom out as far as you can go on your current game’s world map, you’ll notice icons of people – those indicate that that country and its provinces are being controlled by a human player.
Another way to check, although this isn’t a surefire method, is the player name. AI players normally have proper first names, last names, and titles.
AI players make decisions based on numerous factors, such as their neighbors, their current military power, and your reputation. Reputation is generally earned by playing peacefully or by declaring formal wars over surprise attacks. Your reputation score with an AI will influence whether it views you as a potential ally or a threat that needs to be eliminated as quickly as possible.
Practice Makes Perfect
Even with all this information before you, winning a game is still a monumental task that can be achieved not only through information, but through experience. With so many commanders vying for victory in games, you’re likely to be defeated many times. But remember that your failures teach you more than your successes, and with every game, you learn a little bit more.
That’s the end of our Supremacy 1914 beginner’s guide, and we hope you found something here to help you get your bearings in the midst of the chaotic gameplay. If you have any tips you’d like to share, or any suggestions for other new players, feel free to drop us a line in the comments!