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Ancient Frontier (Space 4x)

OK, this was an impulse purchase.
I used to play a lot of 4x, but as they progressed they became too involved with micro management for my taste to the point I just quit playing them.
So, I was looking around my Steam wish list and fell upon this. All the trailers seem to suggest it's not filled with the micro stuff to the extent of most recent 4x gamnes.
It just looks like a nice "beer & pretzels" game and not something likely to take over my life (not that I don't have a lot of free time recently).
If you like turn-based, hex map, RPG, 4x games with nice graphics, you might want to take a peek at this one.


FGM Major
May 11, 2013
Heart of America
OK, started up. Barely, so this is just a very early opinion.
I like it. Why? Glad you asked.
UI takes no effort to learn and if you need the tutorial it performs well.
Graphics are certainly not state of the art, but they don't really need to be for a turn-based game do they? Easy on the eyes though and do the job.
Turn based tactical game.
No micro-management involved. None.
Lots of crew/ship RPG.
The entire game is just one tactical battle after another. That sounds like it would become boringly repetitive in short order. It doesn't. The player is motivated to look forward to the next battle to gain more resources to upgrade, well, everything. It is very satisfying to add that ship shield upgrade for the enemy to discover next battle.
AI, at this point, allows itself to be attacked in detail too often. Not sure if this is the developers being kind to the newbie, or what. Based on what I've seen via You Tube this is likely. As is, if you are careless it can be painful. Turn off the auto-save and it gets even more risky. As is, it is just fine.
There are not 100 different ship types. Only about 12+ or so IIRC on each side. Of course all have their +/- effects and are highly upgradable. To do well, one must learn each ship's capabilities and put them to best use. Learning tactics using a ship's combined arms ability is challenging and fun.
This is not a short game. You will get your money's worth, particularly @ the Steam Summer Sale.
Looks to have high replay value in that the two factions have ships with significantly differing capabilities.
OK, shill time is over.
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Just a note about things I've noticed recently.
Still learning stuff.
Unlike most similar RPG games, improving one's ship is...complicated.
First, a player must increase a ship/crew skill level. Don't know the details of exactly how that effects things, it just does. Second, player must research items. When that is accomplished they then show up at the market and are available for purchase (if you have the resources). Then, most importantly, player has to understand how adding an item to the ship affects the ship's performance.
It is not all sunshine & roses. Player has to evaluate the benefit of the item vs. the downside. For instance, an item may improve a ships armor, but will cost the ship a movement point. When a ship (on average) only has 3 mp, that's a whopping 1/3 move reduction!! So, to fix that the player then goes and finds an item that improves movement by 1. Problem fixed? Sorta. A ship (for now) only has three item slots and you just used up 2. What about ship health, guns, defense, computer, recon range, shields...?
So, that makes improving a ship a completely different thinking process than most rpg's.
Next, when researching ship improvement mods trying to decide when to research items for a particular ship class has me stumped. There are fighters, escorts, frigates and destroyer classes. For not I've been concentrating on fighters and frigates. Researching takes a lot of resources so is a bit of a slow process. Uh, when should I be researching other classes? No idea. I'll probably find out when it's already too late and the enemy shows up on my doorstep all of a sudden with a higher tech ship, in a class I don't even have in my fleet!
Still a fun "beer & pretzels" game because it really is easy to learn and play. Just turns out it's a bit deeper than it looks on the surface.