Sid Meier's Starships Preview - Strategy Lite

Sid Meier's Starships Preview - Strategy Lite

Sid Meier's Starships brings the fun of Civ to the masses with heavily simplified resources, colony management, and tactics

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Wait, so it's even more simplified when compared to Civ 5 and Beyond Earth, which are already simplified compared to earlier Civ games, which weren't the most complex games to begin with? I'm all for streamlining stuff, but it sounds like it's getting too stripped down and bare bones at this point...

Jandau:
Wait, so it's even more simplified when compared to Civ 5 and Beyond Earth, which are already simplified compared to earlier Civ games, which weren't the most complex games to begin with? I'm all for streamlining stuff, but it sounds like it's getting too stripped down and bare bones at this point...

Its more like Sid Meier's Ace patrol and Ace patrol pacific. Both of those are fun games that you can play for short while. Not everything has to be huge and complex to be fun.

albino boo:

Jandau:
Wait, so it's even more simplified when compared to Civ 5 and Beyond Earth, which are already simplified compared to earlier Civ games, which weren't the most complex games to begin with? I'm all for streamlining stuff, but it sounds like it's getting too stripped down and bare bones at this point...

Its more like Sid Meier's Ace patrol and Ace patrol pacific. Both of those are fun games that you can play for short while. Not everything has to be huge and complex to be fun.

No, not everything has to be, of course. Also, Starships is releasing at a fairly low $15 price point, which should also be considered. However, I personally have a minimum level of complexity required when it comes to strategy/tactics games, below which I simply don't have fun with them, and I know I'm not the only one. So if the game is being simplified even further compared to other Firaxis titles, it's something to bear in mind...

Maybe I am being too nerdy, but I thought the CIV games were already 'strategy' lite. The only complex change has been the tech web introduced in beyond earth. Can't really say I agree with the what the author is writing. This kind of comes of as one of those money sucking freemium games.

Looking forward to the release, but I'm kind of surprised it is so soon after BE, and that I can't actually find it anywhere yet, GMG, Steam, etc.

I first learned to play Civilisation when I was 8. It's fine not to enjoy that sort of game, but anyone who has genuine trouble understanding how to play it has serious issues.

Other than that, it sounds reasonably fun but much more comparable with any number of existing space-4X games than with Civ. Basic planet management with simplified resources rather than having to manage everything in detail, with most important gameplay coming from what you do with your spaceships? MOO, GalCiv, Sword of the Stars and Endless Space are all wondering why they weren't mentioned at all.

Kahani:
I first learned to play Civilisation when I was 8. It's fine not to enjoy that sort of game, but anyone who has genuine trouble understanding how to play it has serious issues.

Other than that, it sounds reasonably fun but much more comparable with any number of existing space-4X games than with Civ. Basic planet management with simplified resources rather than having to manage everything in detail, with most important gameplay coming from what you do with your spaceships? MOO, GalCiv, Sword of the Stars and Endless Space are all wondering why they weren't mentioned at all.

YAY! I CAN QUOTE PEOPLE AGAIN!!

Ahem... Actually one of my coworkers is extremely excited for it, for the sole fact that it will hopefully be a new MoO since as far as he was concerned MoO3 was a flop.

Demagogue:
Ahem... Actually one of my coworkers is extremely excited for it, for the sole fact that it will hopefully be a new MoO since as far as he was concerned MoO3 was a flop.

I'm reasonably excited for it as well, even though I liked MOO3 and have had more recent games like those I mentioned in the mean time. A well made space 4X is always good, and given that every Civ game has also been good this one looks like it's in good hands. I wasn't meaning to criticise it by saying it seemed similar to those other games, I was just surprised that they weren't mentioned at all. How exactly does an article about an upcoming space 4X game manage to compare it to Magic the Gathering and XCOM, but not mention a single other game in the same genre?

Kahani:

I'm reasonably excited for it as well, even though I liked MOO3 and have had more recent games like those I mentioned in the mean time. A well made space 4X is always good, and given that every Civ game has also been good this one looks like it's in good hands. I wasn't meaning to criticise it by saying it seemed similar to those other games, I was just surprised that they weren't mentioned at all. How exactly does an article about an upcoming space 4X game manage to compare it to Magic the Gathering and XCOM, but not mention a single other game in the same genre?

Ahhh... and yeah I agree it definitely has more in common with the ones you listed. (which I have all but sword of the star.) And that was the somewhat the point of my first comment, I have absolutely no worry about Firaxis' ability to put out a quality game in Starships, I'm just surprised that if it is coming out March 12th, 2015 that I can't find it anywhere to pre-order or follow is all. Firaxis is one of the few developers I'll still pre-order games from because I trust them. I still have seen very little info on the game.

When the announcement first came out for this game, my immediate question was "Ok, how are you going to be better or at least different than Galactic Civilizations?" I was hoping this would shed some light on it, and it does sound like there are maybe going to be differences in the combat and that shore-leave mechanic, but on the other hand the simplified resource management has me a bit weary. Hopefully in the future some preview or demo will come out that gives me a clearer answer to my question.

MoltenSilver:
When the announcement first came out for this game, my immediate question was "Ok, how are you going to be better or at least different than Galactic Civilizations?" I was hoping this would shed some light on it, and it does sound like there are maybe going to be differences in the combat and that shore-leave mechanic, but on the other hand the simplified resource management has me a bit weary. Hopefully in the future some preview or demo will come out that gives me a clearer answer to my question.

Did you catch the gameplay preview that Firaxis and Sid Meiers' did the other day? I want to say it is on the Civilizations channel they run on YouTube. (I'd like it but YT is monitored at work)

Demagogue:

MoltenSilver:
When the announcement first came out for this game, my immediate question was "Ok, how are you going to be better or at least different than Galactic Civilizations?" I was hoping this would shed some light on it, and it does sound like there are maybe going to be differences in the combat and that shore-leave mechanic, but on the other hand the simplified resource management has me a bit weary. Hopefully in the future some preview or demo will come out that gives me a clearer answer to my question.

Did you catch the gameplay preview that Firaxis and Sid Meiers' did the other day? I want to say it is on the Civilizations channel they run on YouTube. (I'd like it but YT is monitored at work)

Actually, they're running a stream right now, with Quill18 from youtube. Firaxis have recently really gotten into streaming stuff

On topic, I kind of like where they've taken this game. It's a light price for a Civ-lite game, but to me it actually feels like X-Com cross bred with the strategic control of Civ . The tactical map in particular is very reminiscent of the hex grid of Enemy Within/Unknown, and the crew fatigue feature seems to be inspired by the X-Com mod The Long War.

Does anyone else get a "Sins of a Solar Empire" feel from this game. I basically considered SoaSE to be a watered down version of civilization, still massively enjoyable though.

Wait, since when is Civ a really complicated game? Most people could probably learn it within an hour.

Shamanic Rhythm:
Wait, since when is Civ a really complicated game? Most people could probably learn it within an hour.

Learn how to play? Sure.

Figure out the nuances when you play with BNW and G+Ks? That takes a bit longer.

Jandau:

I personally have a minimum level of complexity required when it comes to strategy/tactics games, below which I simply don't have fun with them, and I know I'm not the only one. So if the game is being simplified even further compared to other Firaxis titles, it's something to bear in mind...

Having more rules, units and "options" doesn't make a game more complex in and of itself because in most cases these options simply end up eclipsing each other resulting in nearly no net complexity. To put it another way, chess has six pieces each with a distinct set of rules and a single objective. It is a sufficiently complex game to keep people interested in it and the study of it for roughly a thousand years, and building an AI to win a game that simple against a master level human opponent has cost millions of dollars.

Of course, there are even simpler games out there. Take Go for example, it only has a single type of piece. It also makes chess look like young since it's over two thousand years old, and despite our best efforts there are no computer programs out there that can compete on a professional level. Why, because calculating the best move in such a "simple" games with a tiny set of rules means you need to work through your moves and your opponent's in advance.

That's an exponential problem unless you can discard options, and in a game like Go you can't. So every turn you have to work through roughly 100 options, so to plan 3 turns in advance you need to count for 10,000,000,000 possibilities (3 of your moves, 2 of your opponents). That's a heck of a lot more than in most 4X games, where your move will always be: explore areas you don't know, get resources, build stuff in a nearly unchanging optimal order and then move units to kill the other guy.

An average turn of civilization has the player choose between one or two meaningful options. This is higher once a war breaks out and lower when waiting for production to finish, but on average one or two seems about right. An average chess turn has about a dozen. An average Go turn has about a hundred. That's where depth comes from.

 

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