Gratuitous Space Battles: Galactic Conquest

Hurrah! Cliffski‘s announced that the Galactic Conquest expansion for Gratuitous Space Battles is now available for purchase, although the expansion isn’t actually out yet and technically the £5 you’re dropping is a pre-order that gets you access to the beta, which may have a bug or three.

Galactic Conquest is a big ol’ update, adding a brand new campaign mode where you battle for planets and gradually build up fleets using captured shipyards and academies. As Jim pointed out, a campaign mode surely makes all those space battles much less gratuitous. Less Gratuitous: Space Battles, that’s what Cliffski should have called it. Full, lengthy features list and video after the jump.

New Features
# Mid-battle fleet-wide ‘retreat’ option
# Post-battle repairs
# You can scrap ships to reclaim the crew and a part of the construction cost
# Shipyards, in 3 different sizes
# Factories produce cash, academies produce crew
# Repair yards fix your ships after battle
# Enemy ships can be captured once victory is declared
# Loyalty and threat levels modelled for each of your worlds
# Attack and move fleets between systems only through established hyperspace wormholes
# Three difficulty settings, to suit all levels of player
# New campaign-specific manual to instruct would-be galactic conquerors
# New campaign music
# ‘Massively singleplayer’ feature pits you against fleets designed by other players
# Lots of new background graphics and planets to fight over
# Spatial anomalies force you to fight some battles in adverse conditions, or with limited ship choices


  1. DrGonzo says:

    Is there some kind of pack where I can get the game and all the dlc together for a discount? I tried the demo and it didn’t seem like enough on it’s own. With a campaign mode I want to give it a try.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      The current “Collector’s Editions” bundle the game with just the first three DLC packs, missing both the campaign and the last race pack (the nomads). Given the campaign isn’t even properly out yet you’ll have to wait a bit longer I’m afraid.

  2. DarkNoghri says:

    “Lots of new background graphics and planets to fight over”

    I’d kind of wondered what the point of the gratuitous space battles were. Now I know.

    Background graphics. Winner takes all.

    • kikito says:

      “Gratious” is the opposite of “having a point”, isn’t it?

    • Sassenach says:

      It’s still a gratuitous space war though, surely?

  3. Rond says:

    Galactic Conquest of dragging and dropping fleets.

  4. Taverius says:

    I’m still waiting for the 4th race pack to appear on Steam … maybe at the same time as the Less Gratuitous Campaign?

  5. Tom says:

    After buying the Pack on Steam when it was on sale, i bought the Nomads addon last week, and i’m buying the Campaign right now!

  6. jonfitt says:

    Unfortunately my free time does not lend itself to a long 4x-esque game right now.

    The thing I really needed in the game was more feedback as to when a ship/fleet was faring well and why. Sometimes I hit upon a config which would cut through the enemy like a hot knife through butter, and I’d have a hard time seeing why it was better than its similar brethren. Was is situational, or a configuration which countered the enemy perfectly?

    Also, I really wanted to create fighter heavy fleets with functioning carriers, but I couldn’t keep the fighters alive long enough for them to be any more than an initial slap to the enemy. For the cost in lives, it was much better to go for another cruiser of maybe some frigates.

    • cliffski says:

      For the carrier tactic, you need lightly armored fighters.
      In terms of feedback, did you play a really old copy? The game got floating damage indicators (optional) introduced about 5 patches back, plus you can click a turret in the battle and see real time hit/miss/damage stats for it as the battle plays out.
      I found that this helped enormously.

    • jonfitt says:

      Good to know about the light armoured fighters thing! I think I was trying tougher fighters to keep them alive longer. The Battlestars will rise again!

      I did not know about clicking the turrets, that will help a lot.

      Pro-tips from the developer. Now that’s support :)

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      I’ve never really found carriers to be worth the while, but another thing to consider with them is making sure the retreat after X damage variable for the fighters is set fairly low so they return to the carrier while they’re still in reasonably good nick and not limping wrecks. And yes, you certainly need a bit of armour but not too much otherwise your fighters will end up as sitting ducks.

  7. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Not interested. I do like, however, how this expansion completely disregards the premise that the game was built on.
    No campaigns or such, just straight up battling.

    Also, paying for strategic races that counter one another is too akin to paying for strategies, which is a terrible thing in a strategy game.

    • cliffski says:

      If you don’t have a race installed, it won’t show up, either for you to play with, or against, so hopefully it’s not a problem.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Nope, it still is.
      Imagine your fleet setup has the perfect counter in the ships of a purchased race, or you are playing a fleet set up (For instance, long range missiles with lots o armour) if you dont have access of that race, you are forced to use a sub optimum strategy, because you didnt purchase DLC

  8. Chris Fifty-Two says:

    This will probably get me back into the game. Got it on a Steam weekend deal and really really liked it but it didn’t suck me in deep enough. The campaign mode should take care of that :)

    Would love to see the Steam release to have Steamworks features like achievements and such as well but with a lack of mentions about it I guess I am out of luck with that wish.

    • Simon Dufour says:

      I agree with you Chris. Steam achievements would sell it for me. There could be some pretty cool achievements in this game as well.

      For now, I bought most of the game + EP just to support cliffski… however, I never played more than 1 hour.. maybe because it was a bit too gratuitious for me. If the campaign deliver, I might try it out.

    • jonfitt says:

      I want all games to support Steamworks and Steam Cloud!

      I would have thought that the minimal saving required for the non-campaign GSB would be perfect for Steam Cloud.

  9. UsF says:

    To be honest, I am really unhappy with the approach in GSB. It is what I have never wanted and I stopped buying DLC’s simply because I hate it.
    I don’t mean the gameplay, that is ok to me, I mean the fact on how split up the game is for 5 bucks. I mean for 3 race DLCs I could buy a whole independent game. Currently I am approaching a full priced game (if I would have continued to purchase the DLCs) and it just doesn’t seem right to me. Maybe I am wrong.
    Buying each individual DLC at 5 bucks and then getting them all thrown in for the price of only one really annoys me greatly. I feel screwed over, since I can either continue buying them expensively, buy them cheaply from a maggot picture or buy the whole game all over again. Either way it makes me feel a bit bad. There have been some offers of bundles and so on, but none suited the players that bought the DLC head on. Maybe there should be a discount for continued supporters (an immediate small discount on release) to make them more willing to continue buying?
    I’m going back, annoying some population group in Democracy 2.

  10. Gap Gen says:

    Just bought this DLC. Is there a Mac version of the beta I can try out?

  11. JoeX111 says:

    Did they ever patch in better weapon descriptions in the ship building mode?

    The biggest turn-off for me was not knowing what weapons were effective against what shields, hulls, etc. from the onset. It felt like you had to fight–and lose–several battles just to learn what was good against what, and that level of trial and error wasn’t exactly encouraging. You basically ended up picking things at random, then having to analyze what worked, what didn’t, retry, retry, retry, when really I just wanted to build and fight.

    That being said, if the Campaign mode is part-tutorial for this kind of thing, I’ll be all over this.

  12. buyhisgame says:

    very good game. buy it!

  13. Vinraith says:

    Any plans for a DLC pack? I only own the original game, but with this add-on I’d like to pick up the race packs as well…

  14. Alexandros says:

    Now this is more like it ciffski, good job! I always found the idea behind the game very interesting but I didn’t buy it because of the lack of some sort of single player campaign. Now that this seems to be added, I’ll be more than happy to buy a bundle with the main game plus the DLC packs. Maybe offer some sort of discount while you’re at it? Come on, you know you want to :)

  15. Cas says:

    At last! This is the game that GSB always wanted to be.

  16. hurleybird says:

    Seems kinda disappointing and random so far (as in you might encounter tiny fleets, or get rolled by a massive pwnage fleet for no good reason). Seems the only way to go about things is to build up a massive fleet first and then roll everyone else. Sigh. The universe also seems like a bunch of disconnected challenges rather than a story. Needs *a lot* more time in drydock.

  17. alex dante says:

    The info page stresses that constant internet access is required, to allow for receiving other players fleet designs.

    Will there be an option for offline play if there are precached fleets? GSB is such a great laptop game, I’d hate to lose that.

  18. Warren says:

    No Longer Quite As Gratuitous As They Formerly Were Space Battles …. looks interesting

  19. EMP says:

    Its funny, because the weekend deal that i got it on, i got it because that was the same day it was released for mac, but mac for steam comes out half a year later.

  20. HYPERPOWERi says:

    You can play this sucker now.

    It’s very fun. Also, fairly challenging. My first foray into neighbouring planets was nipped in the bud promptly.