Almost all strategies (and all 4x) have a map and units moving on the map and fighting other units.
I look for ideas how such a map can be used/done, but without units killing other units.
For the purpose of this discussion let's say it's a map of provinces and you run some sort of a kingdom/country. But that's just for simplification, if you have ideas for a space map for example, say it.
My random thoughts:
- such game can (and probably should) be asymetric, like you run a detailed country, but the AI is either greatly simplified or just present as an event (invasion forces, rebels). The AI does not need to play by the same rules as played do.
- probably, all/most provinces should be owned by the player or be neutral (no other countries on the map, more like a domestic map)?
- Pandemic boardgame could be an inspiration I guess (spread of epidemy on a map, asymetric gameplay).
- Maybe some economic connections between provinces could be the way to go?
Below are some videos of assymetric boardgames, watch them if you have trouble imagining how a map without standard units killing each other can be done