It was a no-brainer then, when GMT announced they were going to publish Space Empires: 4X. I quickly put my name down on their P500 pre-ordering list and looked forward to playing it when I got it.
Well, my buddies W.K and Jim and I sat down to play it last night. It took awhile though, to teach them the ins and outs of this game, but we soon got cracking.
I put on my Star Wars Imperial Cap on and went forth and started to conquer.
|Beginning of the game|
At first, the three of us were overwhelmed by the bookkeeping involved but after an hour or so, we got the hang of it and handled the paperwork easily enough.
All of us started to explore our sphere of influence, but eventually we reached near each others' territory.
After extending their toe to each others' borders, Jim and W.K suddenly backed off from starting World War III on each other and started taking an interest in little old me, so they both began to enter deep space toward me.
And then..... they met Doomsday Machines.
You mean, like in that Star Trek episode, you ask?
We quickly saw that the game designer loved Star Trek as we ran across planets named Vulcan, or Rigel and such. Even little things like only Cruisers having the ability to scan deep space (just like the Enterprise, which was a Heavy Cruiser). As I said, we ran across two Doomsday Machines, which is about as Star Trek as you can get. These things, just like in Star Trek, gobble up asteroids and planets.
|Star Trek Doomsday Machine|
Roaming deep space, these things put a cramp on everybody's strategy. I was sent reeling and W.K and Jim were very suddenly very cautious. The Doomsday Machines acted like the boogy-man for all of us. All of us started building up our ship building capacity for bigger and bigger ships.
We were like Commodore Decker...
The beauty of this game is... which ship style do you build? Do you start building carriers with fighters, like Battlestar Galactica, or do you build huge and expensive Dreadnaughts and Battleships like Star Wars or do you build a huge fleet of cheap modest types ships like Destroyers and Cruisers to defend a lot of space or do you invest heavily in mines and minesweepers or do you invest in cloaking technology to raid the enemy like the Romulans in Star Trek?
The choices are nearly endless... What to pin your hat on for victory? It seems in our first game, all three of us went for the heavy battleship type.
Then there are the strategies... do you starve the enemy of resources, go after his outer colonies so he can go broke, or strike at the heart in a mad gamble, etc, etc. Do you colonize everything in site to invest now for a lot of money in the future, or do you immediately build capital ships and take over the other guy's mineral wealth?
W.K., too scared to cross the void because of the Doomsday Machines to go after me, launched an attack on Jim's sphere. The strategy that had him eke out a victory was something I suspect W.K stumbled upon. He drew out Jim's forces defending his colonies and then struck at the heart of Jim's space by destroying his ship yards. Jim found himself suddenly with no ability to build ships near his homeworld despite having a ton of money and advanced technology. He could build ships, but they had to be built far away and would be too late to stop W.K to turn his homeworld to slag.
All in all, Space Empires:4X was very enjoyable. It scratched a lot of itches for me, and I'm already thinking about another game. Instead of just battleships, I will have Carriers with advanced fighters meeting the enemy. It will be glorious.