The Let's Play Archive

Sword of the Stars 1 & 2

by Veloxyll

Part 15: Turns 1-21

Memories of a better time - Let's Play Sword of the Stars as the Hiver Imperium.

Update 1. Turns 1-21

As I said in the SOTS2 LP, this thread is mostly about suffering. So, I asked myself, what is the best way to make everyone feel the keen pain that I feel every time I review my SOTS2 screenshots or think about the game.

The answer eventually came to me. Show them what we had before. Give them contrast. Make them SEETHE with the knowledge of what Kerberos ALREADY KNEW and had full rights to.

I like SOTS1. A ton. It has its issues, but they're pretty minor.

Remember, this is the SAME developer, at least from a corporate perspective. So, lets get to it.

Right off the bat, we see the first difference. The Cinematics button actually works!

While it'd be nice if it gave you a list of the cinematics, rather than playing them in a row, it still WORKS. Unlike the sequel.
Speaking of:
Core intro
Born of Blood
A Murder of Crows

So let's get to setting up a game.

The first thing to note that's taken out in the sequel. RANDOM MAP BUTTON. And you can actually alter the map to change how it plays.
Distance affects the space between stars.
Size and Resources affect how large and rich the worlds are.
Everything else is fairly self explanatory. Because we're doing a mirror match, I've added the same empires we're facing in SOTS2.
It is important to note that you ca actually SEE how hard the AI is set to be. Amazing I know.

Lets talk about the UI.

At the top we have our avatar, empire symbol, current research topic, and funding disc. The dark blue is ship maintenence, the green savings, and the yellow research. Below that we have the Savings/Research slider, and our current savings. I've already ordered some ships, so we're in the red.
All fairly straight forward. Then we have the Turn number, and our current Gate limit, followed by some buttons I'll talk about when we use them.
We've also got buttons to access the Research, Ship Design, and Build screens.

Then we get to the planet information screen.

First up we get the planetary information. The yellow tab next to the name is for notes you want to make. Then its name.
Next line, the little person is the Population and Morale screen, and to the right it shows we have Hivers with a morale of 75.

The red ended line with the yellow in the middle is the climate hazard.
The yellow triangle indicates that yellow (us) has a gate deployed here. Then the planet's picture itself (it looks the same on the starmap). The rocks to the top right of that tell us there is an asteroid field in system.
Then we have Size, which is how many 100 billion people we can cram on it. (Because it's a capital, it gets double).
Then resources, which gives an indication of how fast it can build ships.
Then Infrastructure, which works with resources for ship building - basically how developed a world is.
Then Imperial citizens. These are your administrators and whatnot. If it drops to 0 you lose the colony.
Civilians are how many free citizens are on the world. Note that even if Imperial drops to 0, there can be left over citizenry.
The Industrial Output is the combination of everything that tells you how many construction points the colony produces.
And Income is how much it gives our treasury per turn.

The Civilian Population bar tells us how much space the colony has left. You can set this higher than the midpoint and they will overpopulate and drain resources.
Overharvest does the same thing except it feeds production directly.
And Planetary Budget will come more into play later, but it determines the maximum industry that you can hoover up for construction. I swing it all the way to the left in a few turns. Any unused production goes to trade anyhow, so it's not a critical thing this early.
We've then got The Manage Fleets button, which lets us set up and rearrange our fleets (with command ships).
Move lets us click to give a move order to a fleet.
And special lets you do everything else fleets might want to do. Scuttle ships, refuel, repair, colonise, deploy gates etc.
Finally we have the fleet window. Deployed gates is hidden, because you rarely actually need to check them. Our 3 gate ship fleets are expanded out, but could be shrunk to just the fleet name with the little minus in the corner. Since our technology is pretty basic at the moment, they can't actually reach anywhere. The ships we're building are tankers, to fix that little problem.

The rest of the screen is devoted to the Starmap. Which is mostly unexplored stars at the moment. The colour and size do tell you things about them. But they mostly serve to look pretty at the moment.

Also, meet our finance window.

It is a lot better than SOTS2's. We can also see all our build queues from here.
Though I don't show it off, we're researching Waldo units first up. They increase the industrial output of our worlds and unlock a new nose section for our ships.

Enter turn 2. I've cut things up a bit to keep everything within 800 width and protect tables.

We can see the Industrial output and income on our colony have gone up. Two of our fleets have already been ordered to move, and our third will take 13 turns. NO MISSION SCREEN REQUIRED. As Hivers, I generally shoot out little fleets like this until they start getting shot down a lot. They cost about 50k and get the job done cheaply. I'll keep to a range of about 20 turns to avoid overtaxing the budget. And it lets me keep out with our expanding ring of gates. Nothing else to do or manage here, I'll keep building these until I run out of close worlds.

By turn 6, we've completed our first research project! Which gives us about 2000 more industrial output on our homeworld.

We go for another industrial technology, which is scheduled to take another 7 turns.

This is what every Hiver start ever looks like.

By turn 13, our first fleet arrives. We use the special button to order its gate to deploy. I really like how the appearance changes, and shows on the starmap, depending on the climate hazard by the way.

For those watching the SOTS2 LP. Take CAREFUL NOTE of this next screenshot. Make sure you're sitting down. And that people around don't mind you swearing. Because you're about to get a little mad.

It's turn 16. In SOTS2 I haven't even turned research back ON. And this is commonly one of the early technologies you want to research. Because of what it leads to.

But, lets keep focusing on this GOOD game.
I've finally found somewhere worth throwing down a nest, so lets take a peek at the build screen.

When I want to add a ship, I just double click the design, and it goes in the list. I know how long it's going to take before it's ready, without having to deal with the sequel's invoice system.

Moving bits around, lets talk about the actual UI.

The design list is pretty simple. Just pick the hull size you're after, and double click the name to add it (you can also click the Add to queue button).
The Stats are where it really stands out from SOTS2 though. When I've got the design highlighted, I can see its savings cost, its construction cost (In industrial output units), and a lot of other basic stats about the design to figure out if it's what I'm after.
The financial details section is also good. I can see, at a glance, how much of my savings the orders are taking. Both by numbers AND graphically. And how it's going to affect fleet maintenence.
I can even see, and adjust, the planetary budget and overharvest levels. And see how much industrial capacity I have left. ALL IN ONE WINDOW.
None of this is super overwhelming or confusing in the slightest. And it updates whenever I change things.
It is a GOOD UI.

By turn 20, our colony fleet arrives. We haven't found anywhere better, so I take Izokot so it can start developing.

All I have to do is send my colony ships (which takes 1 turn because Hivers), then tell them to colonise. BAM, DONE.

It's Turn 21. I have VRF Technology...

And I was lucky enough to get Point Defense Tracking too. Which is why you research it early. Note that in SOTS1 this is NOT a guaranteed technology, and is one of the major complaints about the game.
I just want to leave you with that thought. One of the MAJOR complaints about SOTS1 is that SOMETIMES you won't get a kind of important tech.
Now, if you're brave (or mad), go read my post about SOTS2. The availability of Point defense in that is not one of my major complaints. Though spoilers - it's still not guaranteed there.
Also remember -
SOTS1: 21 turns; 1 Colony established; 3 Technologies researched (Waldo Units, Cybernetic Interfaces, VRF Technology). And the colonies is mostly due to shitty planet luck.
Sots2: 21 turns; 3 Colonies established; Research just turned back on. Predicting ~20 turns before something is researched.

Also, I had to force myself to stop playing SOTS1. It took 2 days to get around to booting up SOTS2.

Also feel free to complain about the posts or whatever. I am open to feedback. Unlike certain developers.