Spaced Based 4X recommendations...

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  • megalomaniacs4u 17 Apr 2013 15:03:06 58 posts
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    I need a decent space based 4X game - must be turn based, not RTS!

    I've been burned by all the crap space based 4X that have come out lately. The last half decent one I got on with was a highly patched MoO3 (!) years back.

    I've been trying to get back into to MoO2 but the old muscle memory lets me down when pointing & clicking on several screens so I am finding user interface & micro-management hard going compared to modern games.

    I have:
    Star Ruler - have they fixed it yet?
    Endless Space too much WTF
    Sword of the Stars 1 ugh
    GalCiv 2 more Civ like than MoO like unfortunately
    Sins of a Solar Empire (all of them) not TBS

    Looking at:
    StarDrive - not TBS - seen claims it plays as TBS
    Distant Worlds not TBS
    Sword of Stars 2 - will they ever fix it and dare I risk it?
  • UncleLou Moderator 17 Apr 2013 15:52:27 35,427 posts
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    I've recently bought StarDrive (pre-purchase with Beta access), but I haven't had the time to play it properly yet - I can say this much though, it's definitely more complicated than Endless Space - did your WTF refer to Endless Space's complexity, or to something else? :-)
  • megalomaniacs4u 17 Apr 2013 16:15:14 58 posts
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    Partly the complexity - more the tons of unneccessary & endless detail which I've blotted out from memory...

    The weird combat didn't help - why all the focus on ship building if combat is so um crap. I can get by with auto-resolution (although I like watching combat) if i know how its going to behave.

    For instance I liked the way MoO3 abstracted out the freighters/transport inside the empire so I didn't have to micro that stuff like in MoO2, and what i've seen of Star Drive it has that extra complexity. Now I can live with that detail but I shouldn't have to micro the hell out of it MoO2 style...

    I may have to wait for a steam sale for StarDrive depending on reviews...
  • JoeBlade 17 Apr 2013 18:09:50 2,492 posts
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    @megalomaniacs4u I have Distant Worlds and while the basics are there it's very rough around the edges. Find it hard to recommend to be honest.
    While it's RTS you can run it so slowly + pause it a lot that it almost becomes a TBS game though.

    There's a mode in Civ IV BTS that makes for a not too bad 4x game.

    Other than that you'll need to look into somewhat older games: Galactic Civilisations (I/II) is pretty decent and TBS for instance.
    There's also Star Wars: Empire at war, which does feature RTS ground battles but you can skip them entirely and isn't too shabby either. It has its own take on a couple of aspects, which may turn you off though.
    You could consider SMAC as well. Not in space but sci-fi themed and a very solid 4x TBS game overall.
    And I have fond memories of Imperium Galactica II, but I've not seen a version compatible with modern PC's yet though.

    Finally, there are free remakes of some really old 4x games but I've not tried any of them.

    Edited by JoeBlade at 18:10:24 17-04-2013
  • Scimarad 17 Apr 2013 20:39:06 8,530 posts
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    Star Drive seems quite fun on first impressions.
  • WrongShui 17 Apr 2013 20:46:44 6,601 posts
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    Space Empires 4 has its moments, as does Space Empires 5 but it's not as good.
  • Oh-Bollox 17 Apr 2013 20:53:21 5,164 posts
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    Neptunes Pride 2: Triton.
  • orpheus 17 Apr 2013 21:03:39 994 posts
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    From your current list:

    Star Ruler is, imo, the best of the bunch. Takes some getting used to but is fixed now, has a great array of really easy to use mods (Galactic Armory is excellent) and is incredibly scalable. If you have trouble starting off, try a small universe with 5-10 planets until you get into the swing of things. It's not turn based, but is still one of the best out there - and you can destroy entire planets/stars.

    Sword of the Stars: If 1 was 'ugh' then 2 is beyond abysmal. Avoid like the plague - it's still broken, still has ludicrous turn times mid-late game and is massively over-complex compared to the first one.

    Endless Space is excellent, much faster paced and has excellent post-release support including new/custom races, new ships and new mechanics. Lots of people hit a brick wall in the combat, but again, imo, it's the first one for god knows how long to do something different. Excellent for multiplayer as well. Easily the least complex and easy to learn on your list.

    Not from your list:

    Distant Worlds is ok but very complex, resulting in you running most things on auto. Dated in appearance but still decent, if you like old-school.

    Armada 2526 is similar to DW but with different complexity, again mostly automated. Again dated in appearance, wouldn't recommend.
  • Puppaz 17 Apr 2013 21:03:57 319 posts
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    "Stars!"
    Though finding a copy and getting it to work may be annoying, I'm not sure, I just remember loving it an age ago.

    edit: phone fail

    Edited by Puppaz at 21:05:49 17-04-2013
  • WrongShui 17 Apr 2013 21:06:51 6,601 posts
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    I loved stars! Building mass drivers and sending hugh packets of minerals at planets was fun.
  • megalomaniacs4u 17 Apr 2013 21:46:57 58 posts
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    Looks like I'll revisit Star Ruler & Endless Space again. Could be I gave up on them too early having been burned by early bugs.
  • orpheus 17 Apr 2013 21:57:11 994 posts
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    megalomaniacs4u wrote:
    Looks like I'll revisit Star Ruler & Endless Space again. Could be I gave up on them too early having been burned by early bugs.
    Think that's a good bet. I reviewed tons of them over the last year and those are the two best ones by a long shot.

    For SR, start small. 5-10 systems. See the game work small scale first - figure out the research, the shipbuilding. There is very little diplomacy in SR - it's very much about smashing your opponents out of the sky. If you dig it and want a bit more depth, get Galactic Armory from their forums, drop it into the mod folder, select it in the in-game menu and off you go. My favourite thing in that game has always been building fleets of star-killers the size of planets, then finding the enemy's home system, then killing their star. Supernova + no more gravity holding the planets in place = tons of fun.

    ES is all about fluidity. Start with the Sophon race (and a small universe - this makes all 4x games easier to learn) for a very good science/research bonus. Do not neglect the left hand side of the research tree (specifically anything with a pink icon - it will raise your planet's happiness, and happiness is critical - adjust your taxes if it's too low), and when researching weapons, don't overspecialise - if you run all missiles (for example) for any length of time, your aggressors will use mass missile defences and cream you.

    Adaption is critical - don't be afraid to churn out new ship models based on different weapons if you find yourself outclassed, and your enemies *will* adapt to you (very quickly on high difficulty). Avoid splitting weapon systems, and prioritise one defence over the others. An example late game ship might be [weapon x15] + [10x laser defence] + [5x missile def] & +[2x ballistic def], plus supports - numbers variable depending on what I encounter. This is the real joy of ES combat that a lot of people didn't 'get' - you're always forced into one of three choices, plus modifiers, and you never know what the enemy will have until you hit them. If my late game ship above ran into an enemy using high-level ballistics, it would be toast - so I tend to use scouts and skirmishers in smaller numbers to test enemy loadouts before committing to an attack. Even then, there is a chance they've just started building something new that will counter me - so it becomes a constant, and very satisfying arms race.

    Trade is a little nebulous and only works when you have connections to allied or non-hostile systems. Heroes are very important as well - ideally you want a production/science bonused one for your home planet, and get a fleet commander hero up & running asap to earn XP, even if he's only in a scout ship. Finally, don't make the mistake of thinking every planet must have every upgrade - many of them will not, and if you overdo it you'll pay high running costs that will negate any advantage you might have gained.

    There are fighters and bombers coming for ES, though I'm not sure how they'll work, and all new ship designs for the new automaton race. It's all been free, too which is brilliant imo.

    If you have any questions regarding ES or SR, feel free to give me a shout. :)

    Edited by orpheus at 22:06:07 17-04-2013
  • SuperBas 18 Apr 2013 16:35:22 1,450 posts
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    Have you tried Aurora?

    http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org
  • orpheus 18 Apr 2013 18:43:09 994 posts
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    Woah, never heard of that one before. Looks impressively complex. Have you tried it Bas? Any thoughts/impressions?
  • SuperBas 18 Apr 2013 18:48:06 1,450 posts
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    Nope, I got it when looking for "Dwarf Fortress in space". I think that sums it up.
  • Ginger 18 Apr 2013 19:11:45 6,827 posts
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    Puppaz wrote:
    "Stars!"
    Though finding a copy and getting it to work may be annoying, I'm not sure, I just remember loving it an age ago.

    edit: phone fail
    its finding lists of working keys that is hardest. I think you can fi d the game easy enough

    London open taekwondo champion

  • Khanivor 18 Apr 2013 20:41:14 40,399 posts
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    Star Ruler happens to be in my Steam library so I'm gonna give that a whirl. Need something to pass the early hours when baby is not sleeping.
  • M83J01P97 18 Apr 2013 21:04:07 6,552 posts
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    Sorry if I am hijacking this thread, but can anyone recommend and really good space simulation games? Doesn't matter if it's real time or turn based, I just want something I can really sink my teeth into.
  • spamdangled 18 Apr 2013 22:28:42 27,269 posts
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    Try the X series. Think Elite, only with waaaaaaaay more options and rather pretty graphics. X3 Reunion is my pick of the series.

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • IJ 19 Apr 2013 11:22:22 802 posts
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    JoeBlade wrote:
    @megalomaniacs4u
    And I have fond memories of Imperium Galactica II, but I've not seen a version compatible with modern PC's yet though.
    They've released it on the iPad. I've got it, graphics look fairly ropey and I've not had a chance to give it a proper go, but it seems to all be there! So yeah - get it on iPad, I loved it when it first came out (but I was fairly young and crap at it).
  • tincanrocket 8 Nov 2013 17:08:35 2,905 posts
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    Sorry for the thread necro, but I've been working on a mod for Endless Space set in the Dune universe, and I thought I'd post a link here in case any forumites are interested in giving it a go. It's not finished, but you can grab a work-in-progress version from the link below:

    http://forums.amplitude-studios.com/showthread.php?19953-Star-Trek-Dune-total-conversion-anyone
  • megalomaniacs4u 15 Nov 2013 14:01:47 58 posts
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    @hiddenranbir Is this the one: http://pandora.proxy-studios.com/ ?
  • onestepfromlost 15 Nov 2013 16:32:31 2,039 posts
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    so its alpha centauri in a civ V mold?
  • megalomaniacs4u 19 Nov 2013 10:33:16 58 posts
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    playthrough of pandora on youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy8Zlln9-P0

    BTW the same guy has done several decent Dominions 3/4 playthroughs
  • Kanjin 20 Nov 2013 15:05:35 1,055 posts
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    Does Sins of a Solar Empire count? It's more 2x than 4x though.
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