Wargame Deck System Explained!
Wargame: AirLand Battle, a semi hardcore Cold War RTS, has about 800 units. Now, how do you organize them to send them into the field?
With decks! These are split into NATO and PACT groups, but within those boundaries - go wild. The unit selection interface is a brother of the Armoury, a.k.a The Porn Room. You have a sum total activation points and several unit categories. The more units you put into each category, the more activation points they cost. The unit size is also determined by experience - a rookie batch of 20 T-55s is worth the same as a much smaller group of veteran T-55s.
And then we hit specialization!
There are three ways to specialize a deck - and any combination of them can be used. National decks restrict you to units of only one nation. Not that bad when done with the USA or USSR, kind of sad when done with Denmark. On the upside, you get more activation points and access to Prototype units.
The second specialization is army unit type - armored, air lifted, air assault and such. These impose restrictions on slots in unit categories (for example, armored only get 3 infantry slots), availability of unit (rarely a tank is marked as airlifted), change activation prices, XP gain and so on. Construct an air assault infantry deck and die, because the enemy army is 50% radar AA, 50% interceptor jets.
The third specialization is era - basically limiting your units to those that came out before 1975 or 1980, if the memory serves. This limits the unit variety (and sorely affects Anti-Tank capability), but can ramp up the availability of sanctioned units up to 80%. If you want to blanket a map with old tanks, this is your chance.
Of course, these three can be combined to make hilariously combat incapabale units.
And I eagerly await the full game. I even dream about it before going to sleep. Don't you too?