Author Topic: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all  (Read 4042 times)

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Online FarAway Sooner

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2018, 09:16:17 AM »
I'll be the first one to admit that I haven't tried the modern stuff much (it all looks derivative to me, I'm afraid), but one bad-ass space combat simulation system that I always enjoyed was the PC adaptation of the FASA board game, Renegade: Legion Interceptor

That was a 1990 DOS game, and had limited replay value due to all sorts of limitations.   The FASA title was slightly derivative of Star Fleet Battles, but with some fascinating different weapon profiles that made for really different choices in tactics.  Nothing was more satisfying than punching a narrow-beam laser attack through a dent in the enemy shields that you'd already made with a nuclear missile the turn before!

The different "shapes" of damage for different weapons, and the resulting "tattered shields" effect also kept a lot of suspense in combat.
 It was never as simple as, "Well, I've got 20 HP left on my front shields, and his Photon Torpedoes are only going to do 16 damage, so I know..."


Offline SteveW

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2018, 09:40:17 AM »
I'll be the first one to admit that I haven't tried the modern stuff much (it all looks derivative to me, I'm afraid), but one bad-ass space combat simulation system that I always enjoyed was the PC adaptation of the FASA board game, Renegade: Legion Interceptor

That was a 1990 DOS game, and had limited replay value due to all sorts of limitations.   The FASA title was slightly derivative of Star Fleet Battles, but with some fascinating different weapon profiles that made for really different choices in tactics.  Nothing was more satisfying than punching a narrow-beam laser attack through a dent in the enemy shields that you'd already made with a nuclear missile the turn before!

The different "shapes" of damage for different weapons, and the resulting "tattered shields" effect also kept a lot of suspense in combat.
 It was never as simple as, "Well, I've got 20 HP left on my front shields, and his Photon Torpedoes are only going to do 16 damage, so I know..."

I had this game on 5 1/4" floppy disk, plus I also have a couple of copies of the original board game. The armour rules and weapon damage profiles for Aurora are shamelessly stolen from this game :)

Online FarAway Sooner

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2018, 01:26:12 PM »
That is awesome!

Offline Sparhawk

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2018, 10:48:45 PM »
Some thoughts I had today while I should have been focusing on task at hand.

Aurora: The game that broke the spell Eve Online had over me. I was between jobs and read about Aurora on a forum and felt I had time to give it a go. Literally 2 months later, full time gaming, I came up for a breather. I did take the time to keep my Eve skills updated though. This was in 2010 so I don't know how much the game play has evolved. I haven't played it much since, way to much energy required. I loved it, goodness I loved it.  I had trouble keeping my economy afloat as my navy expanded even with my focus being mineral extraction. I just could never build up a large enough reserve of minerals. I loved the anticipation of exploring new star systems. Always that chance of making contact.

Sword of the Stars II: So many aspects of this game that I just can't get enough of. I enjoy playing any of these types of games with a peaceful start where I can build up a respectable empire before hostilities start. SOTS II has maps that make this possible. The tech tree is always the first thought I have thinking of this game, so unpredictable. I must have point defense, whether laser or ballistic, if both research paths fail then it's just not worth it to me. Way to many missiles to be without PD. I enjoy how the economy is modeled with goods based on size of planet and player interaction with creation of freighter ships. One gripe I have is the limitations of police cutters. Earlier in the game with fewer freighters to defend and fewer pirates attacking at once, the cutters can overwhelm the few pirates attacking. Later as there are more pirate ships with better offense/defense and the cutters are split up defending more freighters, they become overwhelmed, and there is no way to upgrade them.  The battles truly make this game for me. Creating ships and fighting with them in this manner is something you only get with this game.

Distant Worlds: It just doesn't get more expansive than this. I always play with very large maps in sandbox mode. I feel like I've got the tiger by the tail and am running to keep hold. This is the one game that I never custom design my ships. Maybe because the game does such a good job automating, possibly because the research is always progressing so fast and furious. I set the parameters I want then just upgrade. I don't automate colony expansion. Trying to balance the economy with expansion is always a fun challenge. Part of that is anticipating what resources will be critical for production then finding planets to colonize or building mining bases that will keep the economy expanding.

Galactic Civilizations III: I truly enjoyed the progression of this game over time. It really is more of Gal Civ II but expanded with some empire management tweaks that work well. I enjoy the tech tree. It is the best example of " I want to research this, but I really need to improve these lasers." Unfortunately the Intrigue expansion has made it unplayable for me. The latest tweak limiting agriculture to ag tiles only limits the population capacity of planets, thus development. What good is a planet with 20 developable tiles but you can only use 8 because of population cap.

Polaris Sector: It's all about food brother. I love Earth-like planets and all their potential, I make them into farms anyways. Ocean planets? Until you get a mature empire they are all about research. The main thing about this game is specialization. Each planet must specialize in the category with the most potential. Manufacturing? If an Earth-like doesn't have 40+ points in this and I've got several farm planets anyways I get more farms. It's better to have strategically located manufactories that can build a ship in 5 years than numerous planets that take 15 years. I like segmented galaxies where I can create choke points that are easily defendable. More than other games Polaris Sector is about building up your fleet for the onslaught and you must be on your toes and manage your research just right to keep an edge over and counter the opponent.

Stellaris: Until recently I hadn't played since the switch to starlanes. After giving it a whirl I'm pleased. With Polaris Sector and SotS II I'm used to lanes anyways I guess. This is a solid game. Pacing is a little more relaxed. I love exploring and this game panders to that. There is depth to your empire and the universe that you can only get with a Paradox game.



Offline Yskonyn

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2018, 12:48:49 AM »
Nice writeup Sparhawk!

On DW: the computer is not very effective with building new ships with regards to speed. It does an ok job with making ships with the latest tech weaponry, but I always end up tweaking every build so it can achieve max speed.
But the automation of the game in other areas is very nice!
A way to slow down research pace is to select the higher cost research starting option. Actually it makes the game play much nicer I find, regardless of mapsize.

On GalCiv 3: even though its a more traditional ‘Sid Meier’-like experience I just love the way the AI can play shrewdly in this game. It plays out as a believable human opponent.

On SotS2: The police cutter issue is a rather big one I agree. You will need to relegate part of your military to offer ‘coastal’ support, which can become tedious.
The Techtree randomness and the combat is superb in this game, but its more a wargame than a true 4x I find. Very much still a game dear to me, warts and all.

On Stellaris: I really like the breadth of this game. It truely makes you feel you are building an empire (like DW does as well), but large chunks of playtime are just looking at the clock for me and that detracts from the experience. How do you solve this?
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Offline Gusington

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2018, 06:43:27 AM »
Not owning most of these games this thread has become an encyclopedia for me ...thanks all!
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Offline Sparhawk

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #51 on: November 07, 2018, 10:34:16 PM »
Thanks Yskonyn,

I'm definately going to adjust research cost on DW when I fire it up again. I can already see ways the game play will be affected. With Stellaris  I find that my time is usually well occupied managing survey and constructor ships as well as managing construction on planets. When the game first came out I created a humanoid race of fanatic materialist scientists that I still enjoy playing. It doesn't take long before I can colonize 15 systems in my home sector. I don't know what the max is with research. About research, I've noticed that as I collect more research points, the cost of research increases. I don't know if that is causal or if there are other factors that increase the cost of research projects as the game progresses.