You've got your 4X in my RTS! (Hegemonia)

Well I’m in Xmas lockdown, where I can’t enter an EB, BestBuy or other electronics/game store without supervision for fear of purchasing something that is already a gift for me. This weekend like Sam Fisher I snuck out of CompUSA with a copy of Hegemonia: Legions of Iron (not to be confused with Hearts of Iron) because it’s not on the “list” and because my wife was impressed that I looked for a sale :). Sure I’d played the demo of Hegemonia, but for some reason I didn’t really get it. It felt awkward and cumbersome, with too few units and arcane controls. But MOO3 is pushed back and will be done when it’s done, my brother picked up O.R.B. and said “meh”, I’ve played SFC3 and also said “meh”, and I’ve pretty much played out Treasure Planet so Hegemonia is the game of the hour.

After a good night’s play (wrapping up ep2m2) I have to admit I’m impressed. You’ve got the classic 4X mechanics of colony management, production queues, tech trees, ecomomies and ship design, but instead of craptastic tile-n-turn based map or some other clunky combat system you’ve got a spiff 3D RTS engine that rivals the current crop of space games. I just started to see the potential of the game now that I’ve got my first colony to run and the economic model kicks in. Hegemonia has some pretty blatant mechanics to limit your units, but you have to understand that your fleet is based on your economy, which forces you to manage your empire as well as your fleets.

Anyway just wondering if anyone else out there had played the game and had some thoughts. Perhaps I’ll post more after I play a bit more tonight. Haven’t even touched the skrimish or multiplyaer modes.

I’ve been really tempted to pick this up, and your post makes it sound even more intruiging.

Keep us posted on how you like it…

I loved this until about 8 scenarios in… the unit limit of 6 (!) military units just makes it impossible to mount a significant force. I encountered objectives that just seemed un-beatable even with a full fleet (like taking out an enemy planet guarded by a complement of it’s own full fleet as well as defensese, and spitting out new fleets all the time).

The unit limit is soooo low it’s incredibly frustrating.

I agree it mixes the 4X stuff nicely with the RTS, and it sure is purty. Some friends at work say it’s a blast in multiplayer, which I can see.

6 player limit?
That’s like an RPG limit.

I just picked it up today, thanks to your 411.

Nope, it’s a unit limit. There is a hard limit of six total squadrons of military ships each with 7 fighters, 4 corvettes, 2 cruisers, or 1 battleship.

I don’t know if that limit increases later on in the game I’m still at e2m3. I do know that the unit limits are set by the scenario. I’ve seen a limit of 10 military squads in the first skirmish/multiplayer mission. It is annoying especially when you’re trying to defend multiple systems. So far the enemies are all origniating at one point so I just need to keep my fleet at the choke point or the nearest colony.

Oh, and did I mention that the campaign is co-op?

My complaint with this game is the 3d ship movement. The ships don’t go where I think I’m clicking. Using shift for z-axis just makes matters worse.

Yeah that is a pain. The reference grid when you go into move mode helps a bit, but it’s tough to move ships long distances (zoomed out) and change Z-axis at the same time. I usually get the ships close to the area using the radar map, then go to 3d mode, zoom in and make the final course correction, unless you’re targeting an object, then the game is pretty good a picking that instead of space between it and the camera.

I RTFMed and found that there is a maximum of 25 units available at any one time, a maximum of 12 are military squads with the other 13 split between spy ships and specials (mining bases, star bases, probes, traders, etc.). You can instantly scrap any unit to free up a slot to build something else. You don’t always get the 25 units though… it’s set by the mission/scenario.

I finished e3m3 last night, I’ve got some new weapons tech (ion) for my ships and working on upgrading my colonies with planetary shields and some amenities like hanging gardens.

One of the very cool features of the campaign is the persistance in your empire. You only get to carry over a few military squads and heroes from mission to mission, but everything else is still in place exactly how you left it from the last mission. I finished e2m1 with a mining base churning away and 1/2 way through a research project… e2m3 started with the same mine chruning away and the research project up and ready to go. The asteroids I’d stripped earlier in that field were still stripped and unuseable.

I do think the lack of a research queue and patrols is annoying. I could also use the ability to direct ships to a point in another system instead of pointing them to a jump point and waiting for them to enter the system before moving them again. Am I missing something there?

Perhaps tonight I’ll try a skirmish, see how things work in full on mode instead of the spoon feeding of new features in the campaign. Haven’t even tried out the spying features yet.

Ugh. Guess I’ll pass on this one for the time being.

Yeah, I’ve noticed this problem too. And thats probably due to the mouse click position and the point at which the ship thinks it has reached the desired point. This is always a problem when you map to a 3D space.

Has anyone played both Hegemonia and O.R.B.? A friend of mine is a big Homeworld fan and has been jonesing for a new space combat fix. I’ve tried the demos briefly and they both seem interesting but it’s not exactly my genre of expertise. Any suggestions on which is better?

Whew… I’ve been waiting for you guys to start a Hegemonia thread already!! As Product Manager on the game, I didn’t think it appropriate to start the thread. :?

Anyways… to answer some of the questions posed here:

  • moving in 3D is admittedly hard. Try a) pausing, issuing the movement command then unpausing or b) using ALT-click to Force-move to an object.

  • The unit cap is the #1 player complaint. It’ll be addressed in a patch. Personally, I don’t have a real problem with it. But then again, I hate the guys in AoM who swarm with 200 unit armies. Also, the unit cap does change throughout the campaign. The design decision there was to force strategic play, rather than reward massive single-unit armies.

  • I played O.R.B. and found it painfully boring. I also found the ship design rather uninspired.

B.

Why is it spelled Haegemonia on the box art? Is that creative translation of the original Haengarian title?

[edit]:
For $600, I’ll edit your next 60 page manual. For another $600, I’ll add in the important notes that the original writers left out. ;-)

I think there’s a great unit cap already built into the game with the upkeep cost. IMO the upkeep is pretty steep and it isn’t until I’ve got a real economy going can I support large fleets. Of course once I have a large economy going with multiple colonies, traders, and mines active, I want those units to protect my spread out resources. 6 squads and 3 starbases spread out over 3 systems doesn’t do it unless the enemy is attacking from one location so I can blockade the jump point.

The one thing to be careful of is the armada. A huge fleet could dish out so much damage that it would be impentrable to any hit-and-run attacks by lesser forces. It would also roll over planets easily. Of course that leaves the rest of the enemy empire open to attack, but can you afford to strike the enemy’s infrastructure while you lose colony after colony?

Players with huge fleets, running the ragged edge of upkeep vs. income are very vulnerable economically. Take out one mine or colony and you’re in the red and either have to start scrapping ships or converting production colonies to income colonies, or suffer the loss of your heroes and HP on the fleet. Can that happen fast enough to divert the armada before they laid waste to your empire? Traders and mines are relatively vulnerable, but colonies take time to destroy/convert. Can your starbases and home defense fleet hold up the armada long enough to have your strike fleet take out that critical income resource, or does the game devolve into “my fleet is bigger than yours”? I guess that’s why the unit limits were put in eh?

…and I would think this was also to stiffle the inevitable unit bum rush so prevalent in such games; just what you mention about AoM. :lol:

But if you’re going to have a unit cap, I want something convincing in the game to explain why… “You only have access to 25 bilithium crystals, without which you can’t safely navigate narfspace” or something. Otherweise, it just feels artificial.

I’ll Alt-click objects, then. Thanks for the tip.

The method “set X,Y,Z triangle and the ships sail along the hypotenuse” is a good way of dealing with the 3d-ness of space. There’s just something wrong with its implementation in Haegemony.

In truth, I suspect it’s a bug. When adjusting the z-axis destination, mouse movements suddenly become very twitchy and sensitive. The bug occurs after releasing the right-mouse button to confirm the movement. The cursor snaps to a completely different location, like a rubber band. The ships move there instead of the intended location. There’s no apparent reason for this snap.

'Cuz you’ve got the European or Hungarian version of the game.


European (Wanadoo)


North American (DreamCatcher)

Regardless of any nitpicks I may have, it certainly passes the “Will-Roger-Stay-Up-Until-6am-Playing-This?” test. Well done

So is the 4X part of the game good? Is the 4X part kind of a turn-based thing, like Medieval Total War?