Author Topic: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games  (Read 1389 times)

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Offline Constans

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The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« on: April 14, 2017, 01:41:55 AM »

I'd like to get some recommendations concerning space 4x/grand strategy games.  There seems to have been a flurry in recent years, but none have hit the sweet spot for me.  Here's my current batch and views to give you some background:

- Stellaris.  While I've been following it closely, I haven't played it since before the Kennedy update was released.  I have some major issues with the design philosophy, e.g. space combat is a blobby messy and being forced to turn over planets to the AI seems a poor design choice.  I've played it modded without the cap, but then there is too much micro.  I'm sure it will be a great game in a couple of years.

- Endless Space.  Not played in some time, but I found it a little dull.

- Star Ruler 2, Star Drive.  I don't know, but these small indies have some good ideas, but then don't seem to learn the lessons of what works and what doesn't from older games.  The kids of today (*checks lawn*).

- Gal Civ the latest number.  Played all the earlier numbers, took a look at this one, and thought meh. 

- Distant Worlds.  I kept buying the expansions hoping it was going to work for me, but it just felt too fiddly with too much micro.  The juddery ship graphics were also very annoying. 

- Sins.  Its an RTS in my book, so doesn't fit in this discussion.

I've put a lot of hours into some of these, but I'm just not feeling the awesome wonder of Birth of the Federation (even though it was a mess of course), or the intensity of MOO2.  Perhaps I'm just jaded, as I've been playing these since the original Reach for the Stars and VGA Planets.  Also, my gaming time is extremely limited these days, so I have no time for works-in-progress. 

Any way, perhaps I've missed a gem out there as it is hard to keep up with all the releases these days.  Recommendations appreciated. 


Offline Geezer

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 04:57:31 AM »
You could take a look at Polaris Sector over at Matrix:  http://www.matrixgames.com/products/product.asp?gid=595

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Offline Yskonyn

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 05:26:48 AM »
GalCiv 3 is getting a rather beefy expansion very soon, called Crusades.
Brad Wardell has returned to the game a few months back and he basically agreed that GalCiv 3's current direction needed realignment. He has taken the helm again on the development side of the game it seems and he has been quite communicative about the upcoming changes.
I think Crusades might be a great step back into the correct course for the game.

As you indicated your gametime has become more limited, I think GalCiv 3 with Crusades might fit you well.
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Offline bbmike

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 05:47:30 AM »
Stars in Shadow is also polishing up to be a fun little MOO type game.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 05:49:39 AM by bbmike »
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 06:23:37 AM »
Give Distant Worlds a shot...
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Offline ghostryder

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 06:47:28 AM »
I'm a stellaris fan and with the latest DLC I think it easily surpasses most 4x titles-but I agree on not liking the A.I. being assigned - as it does a poor job. I always mod the game so I control all planets. And with the new DLC you can build tall---you don't need 100 planets. Just a ringworld and a few habitats and your ready for war.

Offline mikeck

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2017, 08:29:04 AM »
I highly recommend "Polaris Sector". Has pretty much everything you would want with the exception of detailed and extensive colony buildings
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Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 08:50:29 AM »
Polaris Sector is definitely worth a try.  The economics piece is streamlined but still very interesting, and ship combat is the best I've seen in a 4x game since... maybe forever.  Tech research is novel but a bit too complicated for my poor brain to follow, but still fun.  It captures the epic feel of things quite well.  (e.g., it takes a powerful shipyard 5 years or more to build even a Destroyer, and maybe 20 years to build a Battleship)

Stellaris is polishing up nicely as a gem.  It's quite enjoyable, but not yet perfect.  I like the Sector Management mechanic a lot, but the AI isn't yet quite polished enough to be able to pull it off ideally.  Combat is the least impressive piece of it just yet, but not to the point where it's a problem so much as just a lost opportunity.  The quests are awesome and immersive--this part blows away anything I've seen in any other Space 4x title--but the Anomaly piece would benefit from a little more variety.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 10:34:02 AM »
Stars in Shadow is also polishing up to be a fun little MOO type game.


This.


Seems to be the closest to MOO2 without being directly linked.  So if MOO2 was your groove, then you should probably look into this. 

Offline ghostryder

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 11:50:08 AM »
I agree  that polaris Sector has fun combat. What most of the titles mention combat is practically nil...you point and watch. If even that. You can ship design and perhaps give basic standing orders /stances--but it depends on what your looking for. For atmosphere and depth Stellaris wins easily. No other game allows race customization like this. However ALL of them supply the most emmersive killer ala talking hampsters--so your need to mod all of them so the depth of options here become important.

If combat is important all of them pretty much fail aside from those mentioned---perhaps also sins of a solar empire---which is RTS but you do seem to be more involved. For me titles like Gal Civ have no staying power---once you've played one game there's nothing really to be experienced by picking another race---whereas in stellaris it is a very different game depending on your race builds. Even moreso with the acension paths in the new DLC.

All of them are fun in their own way--you can't call any of them bad games---it's about pound per $1 however I want a game that plays differently with every given race choice and Stellaris really is about the only title that pulls that off.

Offline jomni

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 05:29:37 PM »
However ALL of them supply the most emmersive killer ala talking hampsters.


Offline Anguille

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2017, 04:22:28 PM »
Good recommandations in this thread. I am going to mention three games i like:

Horizon: it's a classic 4x, turn-based game. It's on sale right now (http://store.steampowered.com/app/236130/). I you don't mind the graphics and the unusual interface (mostly to give orders to ships), you will find a challenging game with nice quests and great ending videos.

Armada 2526 Gold: another 4x, turn-based. It's a little older (2009), but it's very solid imho and i have spent a lot of time on it (http://store.steampowered.com/app/229970/).

Master of Orion: Conquer the stars: i've spent a lot of time with this one and my children love it. I find it very relaxing. It's not perfect but if you like CIV V, you should enjoy that one as well.

Dawn of Andromeda: i have it but couldn't play it so far because my graphic card isn't good enough. It's still early access, but it seems to become a nice and fast 4x. It's also on sale (http://store.steampowered.com/app/427570/).
My all time favorite games:
Master of Orion, Civil War II: Generals,  Armada 2526 Supernova, Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, Imperium Galactica I, Conquest: Frontier Wars, Master of Orion III, Spartan, Civilization III, Knights of Honor, Takeda 2 and 3, Horizon, Master of Orion Conquer the stars.

Favorite games by Haemimont:
Rising Kingdoms, Omerta: city of gangsters, Celtic Kings: Punic Wars, Glory of the Roman Empire, Imperium Romanum and Grand Ages: Rome

currentely trying to master following games
Stars in Shadow and Ultimate Generals

Offline bbmike

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2017, 06:38:59 PM »
Good recommandations in this thread. I am going to mention three games i like:

Horizon: it's a classic 4x, turn-based game. It's on sale right now (http://store.steampowered.com/app/236130/). I you don't mind the graphics and the unusual interface (mostly to give orders to ships), you will find a challenging game with nice quests and great ending videos.

Armada 2526 Gold: another 4x, turn-based. It's a little older (2009), but it's very solid imho and i have spent a lot of time on it (http://store.steampowered.com/app/229970/).

Master of Orion: Conquer the stars: i've spent a lot of time with this one and my children love it. I find it very relaxing. It's not perfect but if you like CIV V, you should enjoy that one as well.

Dawn of Andromeda: i have it but couldn't play it so far because my graphic card isn't good enough. It's still early access, but it seems to become a nice and fast 4x. It's also on sale (http://store.steampowered.com/app/427570/).

I hear Horizon has a pretty good Star Trek mod.  :-"
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Offline Phantom

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2017, 07:01:22 AM »
....and Endless Space is on Steam for 1.00 (not sure if its one dollar as well?) http://store.steampowered.com/app/208140/

Offline Martok

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Re: The State of Space 4X/Grand Strategy Games
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 04:54:31 AM »
I'll second the recommendations for both Polaris Sector and especially Stars in Shadow.  The latter is easy to learn & play, and -- as others already noted -- of all current space 4x games, it's the one that by far comes closest to MOO2 (if that's what you're looking for).  Polaris Sector is especially enjoyable for its combat model, the unique technology/research system, and streamlined (but not dumbed-down) colony development, as well as having a tough AI. 

Also, like Anguille, I'm a fan of Armada 2526 (Gold Edition).  It's not the prettiest game, and the combat system isn't my favorite, but it's polished, fairly well-balanced, boasts decent AI, and colony development is interesting.  It's a game that forces you to make tough choices, which I really like. 


(Incidentally, always nice to see a fellow devotee of BOTF.  O0  Still one of my favorite games after all these years!) 




Good recommandations in this thread. I am going to mention three games i like:

Horizon: it's a classic 4x, turn-based game. It's on sale right now (http://store.steampowered.com/app/236130/). I you don't mind the graphics and the unusual interface (mostly to give orders to ships), you will find a challenging game with nice quests and great ending videos.

Armada 2526 Gold: another 4x, turn-based. It's a little older (2009), but it's very solid imho and i have spent a lot of time on it (http://store.steampowered.com/app/229970/).

Master of Orion: Conquer the stars: i've spent a lot of time with this one and my children love it. I find it very relaxing. It's not perfect but if you like CIV V, you should enjoy that one as well.

Dawn of Andromeda: i have it but couldn't play it so far because my graphic card isn't good enough. It's still early access, but it seems to become a nice and fast 4x. It's also on sale (http://store.steampowered.com/app/427570/).

I hear Horizon has a pretty good Star Trek mod.  :-"

Sigh.  I really need to get get around to trying it out one of these days.  :buck2:  Argh! 

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