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Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review

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Star Bases, Invasion, and Espionage:

While I do understand how much easier it makes things, there is a part of me that wishes star bases still needed modules to be sent to them. Crusade removed this admittedly annoying requirement as now star bases can build their new modules on-site. The catch is you need to have the proper resources for it, and I think that is part of the reason for the change. It makes those resources so much more valuable, and the constructors that had provided the modules before now take administrators, and there is no reliable, safe way to get around that requirement. The reason I am kind of sad to see this go is just because I would build multiple constructors at a time and send them all together, so when they arrived I could build and immediately upgrade a star base. Of course now it takes longer to build the constructors and I can still build modules rapidly without needing a train of constructors, so it is not a real loss. It just means I need to break myself of that habit.

I mentioned before how planetary invasion has changed, but not with much detail. In my opinion, these changes are pretty cool as they add a new and interesting mechanic to the game that can be used to great effect. Previously you could invade a planet and depending on how much population you put on the transports, you may or may not succeed. Now you need to have legions that are placed on the transports and when you arrive at a defended planet, you need to deploy them on the ground.

To successfully conquer a planet you need to capture its city, which will likely include defeating any garrisons on the planet. If you have strong enough forces, you can achieve this, but what if you are going to lose? What if you know you are going to lose? Well, it will cost you the legions, but you can still do a lot of damage because any improvements your legions cross while moving toward the city will be destroyed. This is important to know if (when) you are invaded because you may keep the planet, but if everything you built on it is lost, it could take a long time to recover. The same applies to your opponents.

I like this design because it adds a level of strategy to the invasions, where before strategy was lacking. It also could allow you to manipulate your enemies' constructed resources, crippling them until you are able to defeat them. Of course, there is another option for this and it is something I enjoy even more.

 

 

I am not entirely sure why, but I do tend to enjoy espionage in 4X games. Maybe it is just because I like the idea of manipulating my opponents and reaping sometimes tremendous rewards from them. That is very possible here. When you have a spy, you can assign it to an opponent, and over time they will get deeper and deeper into that government. The deeper the spy is, the more likely you are to get research from them, with the highest level saying you will get all technology they develop, once they develop it. Of course they may be able to do the same to you, but still, that is pretty awesome in my opinion, and as research seems a lot slower to me, (could just be I am not adept at how it works in Crusade, yet) this is really valuable.

If you deploy a spy to an enemy planet, you can place them on an improvement and this will effectively shut it down. One opponent did this to me in one game and crippled my planet's research and construction. It cost me a spy to remove theirs, but I am not sure if that is something based on the level of the spy and might not be a guaranteed cost. I like this espionage system, though there is one odd thing it seems to be lacking. While you can ultimately gain the technologies they research, you do not get information revealing planet locations. This just seems odd to me that apparently your spies cannot find maps of target civilizations. But then it also seems odd to me that I can have one of my people, a robot, cyborg-blob, silica-based worm, etc. hide amongst humans or whatever else and not be noticed…. Just funny observations I have made, and not something to be held against any game. (Besides, I kind of find it funny to envision some of these spies when deployed, trying to blend in.)

By the way, trading has been changed some, presenting a bar that indicates how much an AI opponent likes the offer. This makes it a lot easier to craft optimal deals for yourself, since you can see what is and is not working.

 

 

One last thing I want to mention and I am not sure where the best section would be, without creating a new one, is the Civilization Builder. This a new option to the Main Menu, where you can craft a new civilization based on the many attributes available to you in the game. You can make a synthetic civilization that has traveled through time and is wealthy, an ancient people that are excellent spies, or anything else you can create from what is available to you. You can also select the portrait for it, the ship designs, and personality, eventually uploading it to share with the world. The Ship Designer has also been moved to the Main Menu for the same purpose of sharing.




  1. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review - Introduction
  2. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review - Graphics
  3. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review - Citizens, Expansion, and Economy
  4. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review - Star Bases, Invasion, and Espionage
  5. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review - Conclusion
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