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  1. #1
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    Questions on Space Strategy Games

    Sword of the Stars: So what exactly is the consensus on the complete package? I know it wasn't well received at first but I feel as of late its received a lot of praise and judging by the concept of it I can see why. What exactly are the cons that made people dislike it at first and are they still there? How is it in multiplayer? Does it have as much replay value as any other 4x game? I've heard the second isn't worth buying yet, is this true?

    Sins of a Solar Empire: I'm more confused about this game than the former. I see so many mixed reviews, the concept seems awesome and infinitely replayable but when I hear the exact opposite it sort of deters me. Is it replayable? Is there any real micro-combat skill involved like in an RTS like Warcraft 3 or is it plainly who has the bigger/badder fleet? Is it dynamic or do you pretty much go through the motions of a predetermined strategy?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...ng-SotS-jotter
    I like it alot!
    Its the best multi player 4x, weaker than some other 4x in a few ways when it come to single player.

    Sins of a Solar Empire is Command n Conquer in space, kinda fun but ultimately a re heated dinner.

  3. #3
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    Personally I don't like Sots. I tried reading wikis and stuff to get the most of the game but it just lacks any depth and I ended up losing interest despite buying the collector edition with all the expansions. The strategic part is bland because the focus of the game is in the combat, which is pretty good but it's not what I want in a 4x. If you do, try it out. Stay away from sots2 though, at least for the next 6 months.

    Sins is a fun game but it's not very complex either. Basically it's a bog standard rts but in space.

  4. #4
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    I can only speak for Sins of a Solar Empire and this is of course a personal opinion.

    I feel that the game has a lot of replay value. The layout of the map will shape your strategy and with the ability to randomly generate maps or hand create them, this alone creates a lot of replay value.

    On top of that you have 3 races that all play in a decently similar but definitively distinct way. Each race has unique tech trees which may share certain technologies but place them in different locations. There are of course completely unique technologies for each race.

    The game lends itself very well to making the player balance short term costs for long term gains and choosing to focus on one aspect over another.

    There is a good deal of micromanaging combat if you want to but the game is actually quite smart at using abilities (you can set them to auto-use or not). It's more about a grand strategy though. Fleet positioning is very important as it can take quite a while to move your forces from one side of your empire to another (unless you're Vasari, hehehe).

    You might have a strategy that you generally employ each match but every game will be different due to map layout and responding to opponents. Some god forsaken asteroid of little value might become the site of epic battles simply because it is the only link connecting two opposing empires.

    Overall, the game isn't perfect but if you like space strategy games, I can only give it the highest recommendations.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.doo View Post
    Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots Sots .
    I honestly disagree logistics, diplomacy and deception play a massive role in Sots, sure it has tactical combat but so does total war.

    Sure you don't spend 15 minutes on your first few turns in strategic mode but it does heat up, especially vs other real people.
    Last edited by Heliocentric; 01-11-2011 at 12:54 AM.

  6. #6
    Network Hub mr.doo's Avatar
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    Not saying it's non-existent but as far as 4x go, sots's strategic part is weak, then again because the main focus is on the combat.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.doo View Post
    He disagrees with me
    *Then I say we disagree*

  8. #8
    This is just my opinion of course but what i love about sins is its quite accessible for an space game and not a bad looker, however its not as deep as other space stratergy's out there.

    Sword of the stars has alot of fun features that makes it stand out to me, each race travels the map differently which keeps things fresh and gives you alot to consider about how to tackle your enemies. Also the tech-tree is quite something, because its somewhat randomised each time you play it has enough variation in whats available to you to encourage you to try different tactics. The diplomancy area isnt as deep however but its solid, multiplayer is quite well done too.

    You may want to consider the homeworld games too, theyre abit old now but still awesome.

    hope that helped

  9. #9
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    SotS is a really good 4x game, for a couple of reasons; racial differences (mainly in how the different factions move through space, or in other words their drive technologies), ease of use (it's got a pretty intuitive interface), and it's pretty customisable.

    SotS II? It's in a really bad state right now. If it gets fixed (and I'm veering towards being positive in the long run) it's gonna be great, but for now it's almost unplayable.
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  10. #10
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    SotS I started playing again, to relearn similiar mechanics that 2 has and also to wait till 2 is patched. Have no crash issues, but the most annoyance is lack of tooltips.

    Enjoyed Sins a lot, tho not quite like your typical 4X turn based game. Yes there is micro involved in battles, tho I have not played with the latest expo. Some ship do more to others and your capital ships have abilities(like a War3 hero).

    Master of Orion 2 at gog.com.

    Never tried GalCiv 2.

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    Thanks guys. I just picked up SotS complete, read the basics and I get most of it but there's some concepts I don't fully understand. Are my enemies in the system I've began in? Am I aiming to colonize as many planets as possible, what planets should I pass on, and what am I achieving by this?

  12. #12
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    Have sots but just don't get it. Same with galactic civ 2. Someone help me out here. What do I do in the campaign?

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    I haven't played Gal Civ 2, but I have played SotS, and both games are 4X, which stands for "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate."

    So:
    -Explore: You want to find out what's around you, including who might be around you. Other players are always around you, not at your starting position, so it's good to know if another player might be friendly, or wants to conquer you right away.
    -Expand: Once you know what's around you, you want to colonize what's there and make sure you take as much as you can, especially of the low hanging fruits.
    -Exploit: From the colonies you have you want to maximize efficiency as best you can to get maximal resources from them.
    -Exterminate: All those stockpiled resources? Use them to build mass drivers and pelt enemy world with asteroids. Or boil the seas with lasers. Mostly because they're on your worlds you've marked for expansion, or are interfering with your plans to fully exploit your current worlds.

    Rinse and repeat.

    In SotS an easy start is to build as many tanker/colonizer pairs as you can, and fling them in every direction until you hit a world that's decently ripe for the taking (100-200 hazard rating), the colonize it. Keep your development costs low in the short term by taking good planets while researching techs that will boost your economy/colonization rate (you'll have at least a couple dozen turns before you see anyone, depending on mapsize), then you readjust your plan from there.

    Missiles don't require refitting your entire fleet, but can be shot down by point defense. Lasers are cheap and plenty good for most races. Bring multiple colonizers in order to speed up the rate, it's worth the short term expenditure.

    I've learned most of this from the SotS wiki here

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquinn914 View Post
    Are my enemies in the system I've began in?
    I'm guessing you are talking about the random encounters here - essentially any system can be attacked by a random AI threat (not from another faction) which can potentially be pretty deadly. Personally I find the occurrence of these things at the default rate of 100% way too high, but I think the idea is to ensure you aren't leaving your worlds without any kind of defences.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquinn914 View Post
    Thanks guys. I just picked up SotS complete, read the basics and I get most of it but there's some concepts I don't fully understand. Are my enemies in the system I've began in? Am I aiming to colonize as many planets as possible, what planets should I pass on, and what am I achieving by this?
    The SotS wiki is incredibly helpful. Or the AAR's if the boards are back up.

    In general, for planets you're looking for high size, high resources and low climate hazard. Leave high climate hazard planets (500 +) till you've got Biome colonisers. Note that you want to use multiple colony ships to colonise a planet (and you can continue dropping them on a colony until it's fully developed); I tend to go with 25 - 30 destroyer colonisers, or 10 biome colonisers. Note also that until it's terraformed a colony will incur an upkeep cost - try to keep the number of planets you're colonising at a time down to one or two.

  16. #16
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    My SotS starting advice: send Extended Range ships to every system within range. Make sure to also build a bunch of colony ships and tankers while those ships are on their way. Whenever you spot a planet with climate hazard below... hmm, 250 or so, send colony ships immediately. The higher the hazard, the more ships you'll need- below 50 you can get away with 1-3, up to 100 use 5 or more, past 150 send a dozen or more. I recommend expanding as quickly as you can manage- be prepared to devote half to 2/3rds of your income to planet development. Worlds past initial scouting range should be handled by the ER grenade- send a bunch of ER ships together with a couple of tankers to system some distance away, and then send all your fully fueled ERs out to other worlds.

    Fast expansion may lead to a slightly uncomfortable transition into the early-mid period, where you're devoting a lot to colonising and research and ship building gets slow, but this will turn around beautifully once all those worlds start to come up to standard. It can also be a little tricky to defend all those frontier worlds, but the benefits of having all those lovely planets means you can afford to lose a world or two.

    This describes something of an idea circumstance- local Swarm infestations or discovering your neighbours are Zuul will obviously necessitate immediate response, so be prepared to adapt.

    Early techs should be devoted to enhancing productivity and colonisation, so Waldo (and one I'm forgetting- Expert Systems, maybe?), Gene Modification, Atmospheric Adaptation and Suspended Animation (don't forget to add it to your colonisers once you get it- there's a box you tick on the design screen) are great early on. You'll need to do a little weapon research, and get destroyer C&C ships. If you're not pressured consider an early rush to trade once you've got a few colonies terraformed.

    Edit for an afterthought: plenty of folks like to scout with tankers, or colonisers as Archonsod suggests. That's fine, but ERs are so wonderfully cheap that it speeds up your scouting no end, without the same economic impact.

    Further afterthought: if you're playing Hiver don't use ERs. Send a tanker/gate pair (escorted later when you can spare warships) to every single world you can. Each gate can be used to send yet more gates. Slow and steady wins the race. If you're playing Zuul disregard everything in this post.
    Last edited by arathain; 02-11-2011 at 04:33 AM.

  17. #17
    Any SotS advice on combat?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunarplasma View Post
    Any SotS advice on combat?
    Focus fire, and if you can do so on an enemy ship type you know will be particularly deadly, so much the better (although it's kind of hard to tell, most of the time).
    Firing arks are pretty important; for example, Tarka ships have a heavy bias towards their forward firing ark, so you'll need to move into a formation that favours that. Also speaking of formations, I personally try to get all the ships to engage at the same time, so you'd achieve that by putting longer-ranged ships further back. Of course if the enemy approaches from a wonky angle, you might have to do some emergency formation-damage control.
    If you're playing as Hivers, the enemy will often ignore all your ships and just go straight for your deployed gate - in that case, I'd recommend stationing your ships around it so they don't just get ignored as your means of quick escape is destroyed.

    Also one thing about ship designs, too: I'd always include at least some point-defence, whether that be in the form of a few dedicated ships, or some ships with their small turrets in point defence weapons. It's a pretty easy way of avoiding damage (both from fleets and planets, since colonised worlds will fire Heavy Planet Missiles at you).
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunarplasma View Post
    Any SotS advice on combat?
    If you have a winning team their is a "pursue and attack all enemies" button in the top left, its like (/\), thats fine for most fights, especially if you are overwhelmed by how much is g oing on, but on the top right the same buttons appear for the selected vessels, so set everyone to pursue, then set some exceptions maybe set a tanker or command ship to normal (o) and then order it where you want it,you might hold fire with missiles until you have assigned target(s) using the red/green toggle button (one for everyone, on the left, some for weapon groups 1, 2 and 3 on selected vessels on the right).



    The top left buttons on the top row are from left to right
    retreat (need to be far from enemies, or at node if human zuul)
    normal (moves where you tell it)
    close engage (moves to its target, needs target)
    keep at maximum range (moves to its target, needs target)
    pursue (moves close to target, or the closest enemy)
    hold fire

    second row
    face target
    broadside to target
    face movement direction

    each weapon group has 2 buttons, hold fire and fire only at target (awesome mixed with a broadside barrel roll)

  20. #20
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    Also, wherever you click on the enemy ship is where the guns will target, and you can destroy weapon turrets individually, which can be useful if the enemy is fielding something particularly nasty. The same applies to ship sections too; it's usually worth targeting the engines if you can since destroying them leaves the ship adrift.
    Having CnC is vital, you don't want your support craft deploying into battle. Get repair & salvage as soon as you can and start accompanying fleets with it - not only does it keep your ships in the fight, there's a chance of salvaging enemy technology too.
    Try to intercept enemy fleets rather than fighting them at your world. Battles in orbit tend to reduce the planet's morale, not to mention there's always the risk of assault ships or bio-missiles getting through. You should only really fight in your system if you think you absolutely need the planet's defences to stave off the enemy.

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