Since this sub-forum is for discussing other strategy games, I thought I'd bring to your attention a game I've been following the development of for quite a while now: Sword of the Stars. I'll summarise some features and points regarding it here, but for more information there's the Official site
, the Official forums
(where devs actually answer questions
regarding their game, and in the Sample Gameplay thread you can find some AARs by a fan who has a preview build, complete with screenshots), and most importantly the fan wiki
which has gathered all the information available on the game from forums, interviews, etc.
To shorten the summary as much as possible: It is a turn based space 4X game with realtime combat, yet there the similarities to MoO3 end.
At a bit more length: The basic premise of the game was that the devs looked at each feature that "belongs" in a Space 4X and asked the questions: "Is it fun? If not, how can we make it fun? If we can't, why not just throw it out?" The results are something like the following:
- Star systems are abstracted to one planet per system.
- It has no buildings on planets - buildings are abstracted to an "infrastructure" level, and decreeing how fast to build up infrastructure is done by moving a slider.
- All research has some direct gameplay application. Research is conducted by spending money. There are "core" techs that everyone gets, but other techs (and extra paths between them) are determined randomly.
- Ships cost money and production capacity.
- Production capacity on a planet is a function of its population and resource level.
- There are four races in the game, with fundamental differences - not just "this race has +1 to research and -1 to production". For instance:
Each race uses a different sort of interstellar drive.
- The Tarkas use a "warp field" to move faster than light at a set speed for a given drive tech.Each race has a different slant to their ships;
- The Liir use "flickerwarp" that is interfered with by gravity wells, their ships move faster the further they are from a star.
- The Humans use node drives to go down node lines from star to star. They have the fastest interstellar speed, but are constrained by the node lines. They can go "off-road" STL to reach otherwise unreachable places.
- The Hivers move STL to new stars, rather faster than humans do their STL, but once they've reached a star they can set up a Gate (assuming their Gateship made the trip without getting killed by an enemy) and from then on have 1-turn movement from any gate-capable system to any other gate-capable system.
- The Liir's ships are rather fragile but their flicker-warp drive means they have superior maneuverability and there's a chance that munitions will pass straight through the ship while it is "not there" due to the flicker-warp drive.
- The Hiver ships are tougher and can fit more weapons than any other race's, because they don't have a need for fitting a FTL drive.
- The Human ships have superior turret coverage, but their turrets are also more exposed, and the node rings they have to fit to their ships means their engine sections are somewhat weaker.
- The Tarkas have superior forward-facing armaments, but weaker side-, dorsal and ventral coverage.
Ship design is not "here's-a-tonnage-do-what-ye-wilt", but rather a "pick your components" thing. Each ship has a command section, mission section, and engine section. These sections have room for turrets of different sizes or special weapon mounts like fixed mounts or torpedo tubes, plus of course special items like cloaking devices, Command and Control sections, the Siege Driver weapon, and so on. There are three ship sizes: Destroyer, Cruiser, and Dreadnought, and three weapon sizes: Small, Medium and Large. A Large turret is about the same size as a Destroyer mission section, and one of the Destroyer mission sections is a "spinal mount" which allows you to fit a Large beam weapon on a Destroyer.
For more information, see my links above. Also, I'm not affilated with Kerberos Productions, though I do like their style.