Great War 19: How 6,000 People Around the World Fought a Massive Online War

It has been almost a month since 6,000 Politics and War players put down their arms after having fought for a month. Great War 19 was an epic war with $940 billion worth of in-game damages, the 5th most of any of Politics and War’s many Great Wars over the past 7 years.

What is Politics and War?

Politics and War is one of the largest browser-based nation simulators in the world with over 40,000 players. You can create your own nation to run and grow it by creating new cities. It has a player-based economy where players produce money and resources and trade with one another. Players can also go to war with one another whether to loot other players or to just wreak havoc.

The warring system in Politics and War is as follows: players find a nation within range, they then picked a type of war they would like to declare on the enemy player, both players started with 100 health (known as resistance in-game) and had to whittle the other player’s resistance down to 0 through a variety of types of attacks. Each attack used a different type of unit and required Military Action Points. Players gained 1 point every 2 hours. While it seemed simple on paper, wars between active players required strategy, units, money and resources, and luck. This held even more true for wars between alliances and spheres.

Who Fought in Great War 19?

The war was between three of five major spheres of influence in the game called Blackwater, Rose Sphere and Hollywood. The two sides in the war were a coalition between Blackwater and Rose sphere called Bollywood (BW) and Hollywood (HW).

What Caused the War?

The war began on the 17th of August 2021 when Bollywood attacked Hollywood. The casus belli for Blackwater were Hollywood ghosting Blackwater (having their members join another alliance to attack Blackwater so that Hollywood could deny responsibility) and threats one of the leaders of Hollywood made to an alliance in Blackwater. But for Rose it was revenge for Great War 18, which began due to an attack from Hollywood that Rose claimed was unprovoked.

The key alliances in causing the war were The Syndicate, Rose (the alliance, not the sphere), Grumpy Old Bastards and The Knights Radiant. 

The Syndicate was considered the leader of Blackwater. They were known for having a rivalry with Grumpy Old Bastards, one of the leaders of HW, due to both alliances having shared control of the whale tier (the group of players with the largest nations). As a result, there have been frequent arguments and fights between the two alliances, where either alliance was needed to fend off the other when they were on opposing sides. The threats BW claimed as their casus belli came from Sweeeeet Ronny D, the leader of Grumpy Old Bastards who went on a popular Politics and War based radio show and allegedly made threatening comments towards The Syndicate.

The alliance known as Rose was the largest alliance in the game with an alliance score of 800,000. The second-ranked alliance had a score of 557,000 to give a comparison. Rose wanted revenge on Hollywood for what they claimed was an unprovoked attack on them which set off Great War 18. It was speculated that Hollywood attacked Rose in Great War 18 because of The Knights Radiant, another one of the leaders of Hollywood. The Knights Radiant had a dislike for Rose since Great War 16 due to The Knights Radiant’s accusation of Rose having secret treaties with other spheres before Global War 16.

Technical Problems

The two major technical issues arose during Great War 19. The first was the Politics and War server crashing. Too many players were online and took action at the same time. This crashed the server and displayed a server error. It was a known issue that had already appeared in multiple other Great Wars. The second issue was, however, a brand new one. Due to an update released shortly before the Great War, a bug had appeared that would let players attack others without consuming Military Action Points. This meant some players could spam attacks and defeat the opponent within minutes, opposed to the usual timespan of a couple of days. 

The bug gave rise to a new record of 14 minutes for the quickest war won. It also forced the game’s developer to reverse all extra attacks that had been done, so wars that had already been completed were restarted.

The Results

Peace between the two sides was signed on the 18th of September 2021, with it being a Bollywood victory. Bollywood had caused a net total of $185bn in damages to Hollywood. The conditions for peace were for Hollywood to surrender and for all three spheres to sign a three month long non-aggression pact, where members of the three spheres were not allowed to attack one another.

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