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Expanding known space

title:Expanding known space
url:link
download page:link
license:shareware
genre:Strategy Games
developer:Valiant galaxy associates
platform:Windows
release:July 2019
features:sound
last edit by:Dark

Description

The year is 2850. Humanity has spread out into the galaxy, colonising many planets from the idyllic Elysium to the hellish volcanic world of Moloch. As the light years of distance stretch from Earth however, so to does the resentment of the new colonists, after all why should residents of planets far distant from Sol be governed by the laws and statutes of the mother planet. With the renaming of planet Bolivar and it'ss establishment as capital of the newly founded interstellar union, set in opposition to Earth's Solarian federation, the stage is set for humanity's first interstellar war.


Expanding known space lets you play out this war as either the Interstellar Union or Solarian Federation in a massive and complex game of turn based strategy. You must use your available credits to buy ships which you can then form into fleets, colonise planets to bolster your resources, manoeuvre your ships to best advantage and of course hopefully meet and conquer the enemy

The game is played on a 20 by 20 grid representing the galaxy, with forty different planets scattered across it at random. Unlike real time strategy games such as Sound rts, the game is turn based, with each turn being divided into a number of phases, the purchase phase where your colonies generate income and you decide what ships to buy, the movement phase in which you move your forces around the map, or form your ships into fleets , the combat phase in which any space battles are determined, and finally the placement phase in which you decide where to place the ships you just bought. Ships range in their movement and offensive capabilities, from the agile and cheap interceptor, to devastating but slow battle ships, plus each ship type has different capabilities, such as the frigate's ability to salvage defeated enemy ships for cash, the colony ship's important function bringing planets to your side, and the cruiser's helpful ability to repair ships its in a fleet with, this means that diversity, and learning how and where to deploy your different ships to best advantage will usually carry the day.


While the game is a complex one, a lot of care has been taken to insure that playing is as smooth as possible, with many different ways to review the board and perform different actions. For instance s and shift s can cycle through your ships and give orders (check standing order with the V key), whilst f can cycle through your fleets. , and k through your colonies. All ships have an autonav capability which can be used to find and set destinations from a point in space, to a planet, whilst combining your ships into fleets is a handy way of moving a large number of ships at one time (as well as meeting the enemy with a superior force, though be aware any fleets will move at the speed of the slowest ship).


As wel as a diverse range of ways to play and a massive number of strategic options, there are also several different ways to win the standard game, either by colonising most of the galaxy, defeating all enemy military units, or holding the enemy's capital for at least a year of game time (four turns. In addition, if you want extra challenge or to change up your game, you can alter any or all of these conditions, for example have a game that could only be won by colonising %90 of the galaxy or overtaking the military. If that isn't enough for variety, how about playing in one of several mission modes such as far corners mode with your capital and that of the enemy at literally opposite ends of space, or total war mode where both you and the enemy start with 20 planets ready colonised. Since these missions can also have variable victory conditions, and both missions and the standard game can be fought against a range of different computer opponents with various strategies and difficulty settings, this is one war that there is definitely more than one way to fight.


The demo mode of the game will let you play as often as you wish on the lightning mission against an Ai on normal difficulty. ~This is a shorter variant of the game where the side with the most colonies after ten turns wins, and should be a good introduction to strategy, tactics and principles of gameplay. The full game costs 19 dollars and like Vga's other titles, uses the guide dog distribution system. This is a system setup in collaboration with Dentin of Alteraeon and is a great way of buying games and tracking your progress without needing to mess about with game keys, email activation or other complex software requirements. In Expanding known space, the Guide dog client also tracks your individual game stats for wins and losses too.


The game is self voicing using the same Valiant galaxy recorded speech as Traders of known space, plus some extra sound effects used in menus or for special events.


Aditional resources

As with Vga's other titles,the documentation may be read here on the Vga website. Also, since Expanding known space is obviously a game that takes a deal of getting into, they have written This brief tutorial which details gameplay in a slightly more straight forward way.

Blackscreen gaming have also composed This review complete with an audio play of the game and several thoughts.


With deep strategy, and an ever shifting set of goals and different ways to play, Expanding known space is definitely a must for armchair admirals everywhere, and an absolute treat for those longing for a more complex audio strategy game. .


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Updates: entry 28 Jul 19 and description 28 Jul 19

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