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SummaryAn excellent tactical (and strategic) space fighter game
The GoodThis was a very enjoyable game that allowed you to make battle tactical and individual tactical decisions, in a turn-based environment. I haven't played it for a long while, but I recall that starting out went something like this...
You would start by selecting a side, the Empire or the Renegade Legion You would start with a limited amount of money, and have to select 7 pilots, and purchase 7 ships. Most of the purchased ships were pretty weak, and you tended to lost them (and often the pilot as well).
When you were ready with your ships, you would be sent on a mission, with some back-story or another. That part usually didn't affect gameplay much (see below for the exception). What mattered was setting yourself up tactically in the little star-field hex map that the battle was to take place in.
You arranged all your ships, and the computer would arrange the enemy ships, and after that point it was about turning radius, pilot skill, firepower, and getting yourself positioned behind the enemy. And then - blowing his ships up!
You were frequently outnumbered by the enemy in this game, but that never seemed to be much of an issue, unless they were able to gang up on one of your weaker ships.
In battle you always wanted to be *behind* the enemy ship, blasting away. Most often you would start out with your fleet cruising toward the enemy. Slowing down and turning around would usually place strain on your ship. If you attempted too many maneuvers in one turn (especially on a larger, heavier ship), it could be damaged, and then it would be shot to pieces.
To an extent, the smaller, less maneuverable ships were the most effective at getting behind the enemy and shooting them... But they lacked serious firepower, and sometimes the enemy could escape before you could take him out. Heavier ships with more firepower couldn't turn well, and didn't accelerate well. The same problems that military ship builders have struggled with for millenia, hahaha.
So at the end of the battle, you hopefully would have racked up a few kills. That would earn you money to purchase better weapons. And your pilots might have gained experience. Here's where the strategy factor comes into play. Your pilots developed skill based on the ship they were using. This skill was important, because it meant your pilot got to move earlier in the movement and battle phases. If you replaced that ship with a superior one, the pilot skill dropped again! Trade offs...
I liked that you could create a fully custom ship. You could even put turrets on it to shoot backwards (although that made the ship about as nimble as a super-tanker).
On to the back-story though. The only time it really mattered was when you had to rescue a spy for your side. He would be drifting in outer space (inevitably moving 5 hexes per turn, hahaha), with the enemy fleet about to overtake him. If they caught and killed him before you engaged and destroyed them, you lost the battle. Frequently in these 'save the spy' scenarios, you would be ambushed. Once you placed your ships, the enemy would show up right behind you. Then you would have to slow down and turn around while the computer enemy blasted you for the first round or two.
The BadA bit repetitive. Even the ambush and spy scenarios. The battles never seemed to have an end, turning point, or even a point. It was just battle after battle after battle. Then sometimes your best pilot would be promoted out of your squadron... What a bummer!