Sword of the Stars - Expansion Released

In case anyone else needs an excuse to relapse, Steam has the game on sale for $2.50. I ended up taking their deal since my original copy is lost to the mists of history. (Gamespy? Direct2Drive? what a strange world the early 2000’s were)

Boy oh boy was Gamespy aka Qspy handy back in the day. I lived in that program when quake was effectively all the MP that existed and finding a server with a decent ping was everything.

Cracks me up recalling back then we broke out into Quake leagues based on connection speeds: HPB (high ping bastards) and LPB (low ping bastards). The latter of the two was anyone lucky enough to get a hold of DSL as opposed to most of us poor souls stuck on modems.

P.S. spend the extra 4 bucks and pick up the SotS dlc’s too.

I’m pretty sure it’s $2.50 for the Compete Collection that includes all the DLC. That’s an absolute steal for one of the best space games ever made.

To answer a question from upthread, I recently put another 30-40 hours in using the BotS mod and it worked great on my ultrawide monitor. (I don’t know whether the mod had anything to do with that or not.)

Oh, that’s right! Mods might be a thing now. Like @RothdaTheTruculent I picked the complete Steam version up recently because my copy+expansions were god knows what combination of purchase portals and physical discs (that are also god knows where for a media drive I don’t have anymore) back in the day.

Good to know about widescreen. I think you might have cost me my Sunday. ;)

This is why you use cruiser biome mission sections! Each one does a reasonable amount of terraforming (the Liir destroyer actually does some too!).

They need to remake this game in modern glory with more stuff, but keep the gameplay…seriously Kerberos…


A) Is there something in the water in Europe that prevents you from finishing sentences? You and @newbrof , jfc.

B) Preeeetttttyyyyyy sure Kerberos is long dead. SotS 2 was what, three years late and completely sucked? Like, 10 years ago? Yeah, I don’t think the company is still, like, a thing.

Eh? They put out the most recent version of The Pit in 2019 and have been updating it as recently as this year.

They’ve had 3 or 4 other games since SotS2.

Yes but was I aware of them? Dead!

;) Heh I stand corrected. In my defense, SotS2 was disastrous enough to kill a studio.

I think I may have conflated Kerberos with the Dungeons of Dredmore / Clockwork Empire guys. What a shame that one was.

What’s with this obsession with recreating barely changed old games rather than trying to create new ones?

I’d rather Kerberos learned the lessons from SotS 2, revisited what made SotS 1 so successful and tried create a new game.

It very nearly did. I’d love to read a full retrospective on what happened.

Based on (my impression of) the hubris of the guy running Kerberos, this likely will never happen. Unfortunately.

I liked the re=make of MOO1, with a few improvements and decent AI, but computer games have advanced a lot since then. Sadly 16 years later, I think SOTS is still the best complex 4x space game, but that doesn’t mean it is close to perfect.

Now that I’m once again playing a game with over 20 planets and twice that number of fleets the complexity is starting to overwhelm me.

I think both Dune and Apple+ Foundation were above average Sci-Fi shows, yet they were more character studies about leadership than the impact of technology on society. In Foundation, you needed 3 Clones of each other to have enough bandwidth to try and rule an Empire. I’m not sure why more 4x Space haven’t figured that out.

I really think applying some of the lessons of Old World, to a 4x game would make the genre more playable. The automation of Distant Worlds 2 and Stellaris is too much and too poor and coupled with a very unagressive AI, makes the games boring to me. So something along the line of Imperial focus points, would be awesome.

OK, so where were we? Ah yes, I became quite distracted by the launch of Old World on steam and had to revisit it. What a magnificent game, my early candidate for 2022 GOTY even if that means two years running.

My first campaign back w/ Old World failed rule #1: expand. Got slowly strangled from two sides. Second campaign: much better, but made the mistake of thinking allies could share victory conditions and spent 100 years insuring the Greeks won the game instead of me (Romans). Thirds the charm, got a great starting position, quickly expanded to 10 cities, 2nd ruler lived to a ripe old age giving me ample time to steam roll everyone around me (amazing how many orders you can get up to if that’s your entire focus).

And with that I return to the matter at hand which is: What has Commander Komodo of the Tarkas gotten up to since last we posted.

The initial phase of building an empire is never quick, it’s exploration that takes time because getting places is slow. Every planet w/in 10 clicks is explored and based on the initial plan of only colonizing planets that are somewhere in the range of 100 biohazard (to avoid going broke with a per turn cost for terraforming) we’ve only identified one planet so far and have sent a wave of colony ships to it:

Out scientists focused on making the most of what we do find by improving hibernation technology allowing us to move more colonists and scale up the new colony faster plus they knocked out research on atmospheric adaption that makes colonies grow faster and speeds up terraforming:

We have as yet to encounter the other races in the galaxy, but in light of the veritable blizzard of tankers headed out in every direction exploring it’s only a matter of time. My advisors have suggested it might be wise to focus the next few research projects on military upgrades.

Fingers crossed we find some more easily colonized planets to scale up the empire!

I’m sure he has posted many retrospectives on the Kerberos forums about how it was Paradox’s fault.

The orders of Commander Komodo remain much as before. Explore in all directions and find habitable planets to send colonists to as quickly as possible.

While this is a bit janky it does give a view of the overall galaxy we’re fighting for and the exploration lanes opening up along all the green lines scouts and tankers are taking:

Most of the intel back from scouts is revealing planets prohibitively expensive to colonize, the yearly drain on the coffers to make them habitable means we need to be a bit selective early on.

That said we have uncovered yet another target for habitation and colony ships are being prep’d for the journey to Barnard’s Star:

And as the picture above shows we’ve gone negative this year on budget building multiple colony ships to push development on arrival. The same as we did two years previously with the colonization of New Melbourne (which is running negative 17k a year just as Barnard will put us 19k in the hole per year till it’s cleaned up).

Two years later we’ve made first contact with another race, the Morrigi, and our starting diplomatic status with them is war which bodes well. This looks to be just a scout, but if allowed to report back (which for all we know they’ve already done) we’ll likely have more than just scouts soon. Time to get an offensive fleet built and in the air. Orders are put in for a fleet.

And of course the Morrigi scout immediately destroyed the tanker. We’re sending in a fleet of destroyers equipped with the best weapon technology and engine technology we’ve managed to research so far (in other words pretty rudimentary). But it should be more than sufficient to destroy this scout and handle small fleets that might follow it.

Here’s a shot of our current ship design:

The very next year another Morrigi scout is encountered about 10 light years away from this initial contact, so either their FTL technology is far superior to ours or multiple scouts are probing us.

The budget below shows where we’re throwing all the bucks, the yellow slice of the pie is R&D. The goal is to complete battle computers which allows more ships to be fielded and controlled in battle and next research cruisers. We don’t have great weapons researched yet to bolt on, but we’ll get there, meanwhile if things do go south we’re betting cruisers against destroyers will still get the job done.

Update: Morrigi offered ceasefire the next year and we accepted, more time to get an armada together.

Nice to see this! I used to love SotS - some of the best and most varied emergent strategy-game experiences I ever had, with the random tech and very different species and galaxy geometry.

I see you’re going for an early green lasers! Any reason? I usually find the economic or engine techs the most value in the early game.

I think we’re on the same page. This was just me listing one of the military upgrades I recently got by way of indicating I’ve started in on some of these because of concerns about hostiles. As my next update will mention I’ve just encountered 2 more races plus some space anomalies on a couple planets that killed the scouts so fast in the manual battle I didn’t even get a chance to make out what the hell it was.

Previously I’ve done some economic research and engine research. I’m now turning to a bit of military tech so the ships I pump from the shipyard have some decent tech on them since you can’t refit. Given the random tech tree I got rooked on torpedoes, looking to make up for it in other areas.

Totally agree. Every campaign I start plays differently. The races are genuinely different as is their tech (great example: FTL). Random tech tree never fails to throw me for a loop. And the AI is no slouch, I won’t be surprised if I lose this. Getting behind the curve in tech or ship count is dangerous, right now I’m 4th in colonizing planets because I’m choosey early on about what I colonize, is that a wise choice? Because if they scale up faster than I do they’ll just zerg me into oblivion. We shall see.

Almost always that will be those alien drones, the silicoids. I agree laser weaponry is a good shout against them, though I find you need a full deployment of cruisers to take out a nest. I used to consider point-defence essential, but as time has gone on (and the random tech tree has forced me to adapt - what a great feature!) I’ve found more and more workarounds.

The AI does some pretty weird things (there’s sometimes a lot of stranded, motionless fleets in the endgame, and while it’s good on the attack is seems to completely fall apart against aggression, especially handling attacks on multiple fronts.

But it’s good enough to make for an entertaining game.

Tarka have cheap cruisers very excellent weapon placements (though fewer weapons), so going for heavy eco early into a early/mid-game push with even fission cruisers can be very strong. It depends on a lot of things though (like everything in SoTS).