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Space Empires: 4X» Forums » Reviews

Subject: GMT's Foray Into Space 4X Games rss

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Bob
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elemental wrote:
chrono280 wrote:
andrewgr wrote:
... and according to the GMT newsletter that popped into my mailbox a minute ago, they've got an agreement in place for iOS and Android versions of Space Empires.

NO WAY!!?!!?

That would be so awesome. Any more details or is it just a rumor in the newsletter?

If it's GMT saying so in their own newsletter it can't exactly be a rumour can it. It's listed in their "Other Products that we have agreements for but are still in the early stages" section.

I think this would make a killer app (in addition to face-to-face).
Just sounds too cool to be true, but sure if it's their newsletter, great.
 
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Talarius Dunedain
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JasonC wrote:
Actually, there are zero good 4X games out these days. Identically 0.

Just thought I'd mention Galactic Civilizations 2 from Stardock Entertainment. I own it, haven't had time to play it yet, but have watched extensive, "Let's Play Galactic Civilizations" videos on YouTube. It looks pretty good to me and is certainly what I was thinking of when I pre-ordered Space Empires. Except for the elaborate alliance and tech-trading mechanics... it seems pretty close to me!
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Brendan Flood
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Thanks for the good review! I got my copy in the mail last week and haven't yet had a chance to sit down with the rules or get it to the table. I too agree about the chits. I was hoping for more robust chits to play with and was disappointed with the thickness of these. It isn't a deal breaker at all, but still a little letdown coming from a more Eurogame background.

I look forward to learning the rules and springing (forcing) it on my game group. We are all big Civ fans and should really enjoy this!
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Richard Diosi
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A question for the OP. You mentioned that you had played other 4X board games I believe that you didn't think did a good job. Do you remember which ones in particular?
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Jesse Dean
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Unfortunately, most of the board game 4X-style games have been utter disappointments. Sid Meier’s Civilization the Boardgame and Runewars were interesting during the “figuring it out” phase, but not long after that. Twilight Imperium’s extended play time and seeming need for a large number of players kept me away. And hybrid 4x-euro games ended up not being that interesting.

Did you meant the 4x-euro hybrid games I mentioned her, or pure 4x games? (Which are basically just SM's Civilization and Runewars).
 
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Jef Addley
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HeavyGear wrote:
JasonC wrote:
Actually, there are zero good 4X games out these days. Identically 0.

There's always Space Empires IV (and V, but I didn't like that one as much as IV). Turn based and runs great on Windows 7.

http://www.malfador.com/

There's also Spaceward Ho! This strips the 4X experience down to the bare bones, which makes it play fast while still having deep strategy. And the AI isn't bad either. Also works great on Windows 7.

PC: http://www.deltatao.com/ho/pc.html

Mac: http://www.deltatao.com/ho/



and galactic civilizations of course interesting game just for the lego brik type building of your fleet look

I like that and SEV and SEIV

Distant worlds confuses the hell out of me.. but that of course is effectively a RTS as it has time running.. can be speeded slowed and stopped but so big as well
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Mark Humphries
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Just a side comment on board wargaming terminology:

While Euro-gamers and Ameritrashers tend to call all cardboard playing pieces 'chits', the traditional wargaming terminology is different.

The cardboard pieces that you push around on a wargame map are usually called 'counters' not 'chits'. Hence the terms 'unit counter' and 'countersheet'.

A 'chit' in wargaming terminology is a special type of counter that you pick from a set, or pull from a cup, hence the term 'chit-pull system'.

You pick or pull chits, you push counters.
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Chris Berger
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Mark_WH wrote:
Just a side comment on board wargaming terminology:

While Euro-gamers and Ameritrashers tend to call all cardboard playing pieces 'chits', the traditional wargaming terminology is different.

Yeah, I think I'll just call them chits. Unless they're big enough to be 'tiles', or bigger still, 'boards'. Old habits die hard.

Counters, to me, are something you have in a pile, usually but not always round and/or wooden/plastic/metal/ceramic/glass. And almost always a large group of them that are identical in function (and preferably look).
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Mark Humphries
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arkayn wrote:

Yeah, I think I'll just call them chits.

You can call them anything you like of course, even 'hockey pucks' if you prefer.

I just thought I'd point out the difference in common usage between the hobbies for everyone's edification. cool
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Bob
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I knew I should have colonized that barren hockey puck!
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Chris Berger
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chrono280 wrote:
I knew I should have colonized that barren hockey puck!

You mean colonize the barren coffee bean with your Colony hockey puck.
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Eric Stubbs
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doubtofbuddha wrote:


The main thing I disliked was the chits. The last few chit-based games I got from GMT, Dominant Species, Labyrinth, and Twilight Struggle, all had easy to punch chits that came out easily and neatly. Space Empire 4X's chits were more annoying to punch out and were left with various stray bits of cardboard attached to the edges of the chits. This was a bit of a disappointment, and I wish GMT had put out for better chits considering the large number of pre-orders for this title.

When I read this initially I have to admit that I didn't really believe it, but then my copy arrived and I now quite agree with you that they are unusually difficult. I wasn't expecting them to be as fast and easy to punch as Labyrinth or Here I Stand, but there are many GMT wargames with large numbers of counters that are nonetheless fairly easy to punch (e.g. Chandragupta, Under the Lily Banners, Clash of Monarchs), and I was expecting that to be the case here as well.

Still, I'll only have to do this once! The counters are otherwise quite nice, and the rest of the components are great. I look forward to getting into the game soon.
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Tom Willcockson
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Unboxed this one and am now carefully cutting out the counters with an Xacto knife like I do for all my games. This one is a good argument for not counter clipping since I imagine that if you screwed up on a significant counter and took too much off the corner that might be a tipoff to it? Probably not a big issue.

Not sure what I think of the game so far, but I'll have to see when I get into it. I'll say that there seem to be a lot of pretty similar looking ship type counters. I think I would like something like this to be done from a more strategic point of view without getting too far into the weeds on the composition of fleets and different ship capabilities etc. It is sort of the same way I feel about a strategic Pacific game. I want the broad sweep of the campaigns without getting bogged down in the mechanics of the naval battles. This is why I like EotS so much. For example, glancing at the rules last night I see you discover a mineral resource with some ship type, you send a mining ship to retrieve it and take it back to a colony where it is turned into economic points and removed from the game. I would much rather have it that you find a mineral rich location, you set up a shipping link to it and it supplies you at some level for the rest of the game or until you lose it to another player or the shipping link is disrupted. I'm not sure this is going to be what I'm looking for in a space empire game, but that is just me. However I'm definitely encouraged by the positive feedback this one is getting, so perhaps I'll just have to adjust my attitude and give it a chance.
 
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Talarius Dunedain
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TomW731 wrote:
This one is a good argument for not counter clipping since I imagine that if you screwed up on a significant counter and took too much off the corner that might be a tipoff to it?

I've been using the C4 Counter-culture-corner-cutter on mine and have had no issues with cutting off anything that might identify a face-down counter, or cut off any information on the face-up side.
 
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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I think I would like something like this to be done from a more strategic point of view without getting too far into the weeds on the composition of fleets and different ship capabilities etc.

Fleet composition is a big deal in this game so you might not like it so much. The game is not always about having the biggest hammer, it is about having the right hammer.

On the plus side, you don't have to go far into the weeds. Combat is pretty simple.

Quote:
For example, glancing at the rules last night I see you discover a mineral resource with some ship type, you send a mining ship to retrieve it and take it back to a colony where it is turned into economic points and removed from the game. I would much rather have it that you find a mineral rich location, you set up a shipping link to it and it supplies you at some level for the rest of the game or until you lose it to another player or the shipping link is disrupted.

Minerals fit into the overall economic picture a different way. They provide quick and easy one time income while colonies are a long term investment.

The shipping link thing you describe is fulfilled by the MS Pipelines.
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Tom Willcockson
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Thanks Jim. I'm definitely going to get this one to the table a few times before a make any more observations about it. I'll have to get my son and some of the younger guys we occasionally have over here for board games and try and see it through their eyes which will probably help a lot. I know this probably would not have been practical, but was there ever any thought of making the board represent a three dimensional space?
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Alexandros Boucharelis
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Great review thanks!
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Jim Krohn
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There was, but the complication was tremendous. We tipped our hat to the concept in that one 2 player scenario, but that was it.
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John McKendrick
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4000AD had a fairly straightforward 3D system

Gawd - how I loved that game back in the day

-John
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Edward Wehrenberg
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What a wonderful Review! Thanks.
 
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JasonC wrote:
Actually, there are zero good 4X games out these days. Identically 0.

They all moved to "real time strategy", which is a round square and a misunderstanding. Click-fest isn't strategy. Then they think eye candy and vertigo effects makes up for it - first person shooters aren't strategy either. That's all there is for commercial release stuff, and shareware stuff is over complicated junk, and unplayable.

The best older games won't run at all on contemporary 64 bit recent OS machines. I'd pay $200 for a copy of Stars! that ran on 64 bit Windows 7 - but nobody makes the real thing anymore.
I agree wholeheartedly.

Still, I must tell you there are at least two excellent turn-based strategy games out there (that I run on Windows 7 64-bit w/o problems):
* Civilization IV (not V). It's 4X though not space.
* Panzer Corps. It's not 4X but it is definitely "the real thing" when it comes to picking a classic turn-based strategy gem and recreating it in a package that runs on modern machinery!
 
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dcooley wrote:
I suspect that where this game would shine, although I'm not quite sure the tech is quite up to it yet, is in tablet devices such as the iPad. The tech runs into trouble when it comes to squeezing an effective AI into the processor - Days of Wonder doesn't think they can get an AI for Memoir '44 into the iPad, for example, and it's a much smaller situation. That said, being able to play this game via tablet devices seems like what the design is screaming for, and I hope that GMT is pursuing this as one of it's e-designs as it seems like it would work well if you can get past the AI bottlenecks (assuming they exist - I'm basing that off of one company's experiences).

I have no doubt that Jim has designed an impressive 4x game, but as one other poster here mentioned, if he's going to play 4x he's going to do it on a PC. 700+ counters and recording your economy decisions on paper strike me as good indications that this game will be more compelling in an e-version. I've never tried a multiplayer game on VASSAL (I have on Cyberboard using the ACTS system 5-10 years ago), and it works to a point, but having it on a tablet would be ideal.
Actually, if Jim/GMT made this available on the 'pad, it would by itself immediately turn my indifference towards tablets (and Apple-made gadgetry) into an instant sale! surprisewowsurprise

Especially if I could both play it solitaire AND walk home to my friend, fire up the app, and play the game using the pad as the board, having the game keep tabs on niggly things like which fleets use which techs etc! *drool*
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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if Jim/GMT made this available on the 'pad

That's the plan. Work on it has already begun.
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Jim Krohn wrote:
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if Jim/GMT made this available on the 'pad

That's the plan. Work on it has already begun.
Okay, now I'm going from *drool* into pure *heart attack* mode!
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Ed Bradley
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Jim Krohn wrote:
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if Jim/GMT made this available on the 'pad

That's the plan. Work on it has already begun.

Do an android version at the same time please
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