Focused games are fashionable, and when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I have no problem with focused games - Tools of Ignorance is focused, as are most of my In Harm's Way games - but big, sprawling games that cover everything have their place too, and they get little attention on the net. Why? Because it's hard to say what it is you are 'supposed to do' in the game, and that seems to be a common, though not universal, expectation lately.
In ToI, I can say "You play a troupe of professional baseball players, on the field and off." One sentence, high concept, elevator pitch stuff. If that's what you want to do, that's perfect. For In Harm's Way: Aces and Angels, I can say "You play fighter pilots on either side of the second world war." Badda-bing, badda-bam, badda-boom. This is totally cool with me!
The only problem is the expectation of a default mode of play gets transferred to non-focused - note I did *not* say "unfocused"! That has a very wrong connotation! - games where this is not only difficult to articulate, but does the entire game a disservice. For example, AD&D, according to this fashion, was 'all about' dungeon delving, killing things, and taking their stuff. Yet that doesn't at all get to the heart of what that game was about. I ran (A)D&D for twenty years, and I can count the number of proper dungeons we raided on one hand. We played it as a high stakes politico-religious game, almost entirely in the open air or in cities.
I'm not trying to say 'AD&D was all about the urban politics and religion' either. It isn't. The thing is that it was a game that was designed to be non-focused, malleable, customizable, like Traveller and many others. When you start talking about a default mode of play in a non-focused game, people get the wrong idea entirely. There are no assumptions in a non-focused game. The designer supports many kinds of play, and encourages the group to define what it is they want out of it. How? By trading detail for field of view, Depth for Scope.
This is a LAW OF NATURE. Given the same amount of data, increasing the field of view decreases the detail, and vice versa. When you look at it from far enough away, everything looks flat. Focused games zoom in on a narrow field, and because of that can show great detail. Non-focused games show a much larger area, and consequently lose detail. Every game is a compromise between depth of detail and scope. You can only increase one at the cost of the other - unless you increase the amount of data, and that increase is geometric, not linear.
Thus, giving a 'default mode of play' in a non-focused game is *wrong*. It encourages the group to think along certain lines and not others. This limits play without the compensation of greater detail. Expectations are likely not to be met, with dissatisfied players and a disgruntled GM. "We played it the default way, and it was bland."
So I have been refusing to name any sort of default play for my non-focused games. That is something that must be discovered in play, by you.