In game i played against sick researchers called thinkers who get their winning score from acquiring tehnology and i tryed to wipe them out before turn 200 wich in my game was turn when victorious race will be decided but i was unable to do it, AI was far a head in tech and i simply had no range to get there. Very original game and interesting although one thing that i didnt like was some races pictures, it might sound strange but some races artwork simply felt so i dont know wierd? that it ruined bit game feeling.
Thinkers? I don`t remember ever seeing a race called that in Armada 2526. Here are the races from the game:http://armada2526.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Race
And the races do seem a lot like Earth animals and/or standard sci-fi races/fantasy creatures, so yes they aren’t too special. They actually remind me a lot of the races from MOO 2.
I bought this game a few weeks ago (so much for waiting for those reviews) and have played it a bit after that. I don`t currently have access to the game, as my downloaded version is in another town, and my physical copy of the game hasn’t arrived yet, so I will have to write my first impressions of this game by relying on my memory. Currently I have played through the tutorial and a little over 200 turns of 12 races custom game.First impressions:
The UI could certainly be improved, as quite a few clicks are required to manage your colonies. In Armada 2526 you develop your colonies by building (and upgrading buildings) to your colonies, and to gain access to the right submenu to do this requires quite many clicks. Not to mention when you want to do this to multiple colonies during the same turn. There is a list that you can use, to see roughly what is happening in each of your colonies, and also to get some basic info about them, and this list makes the management of your colonies a bit easier, but it still can’t remove the many clicks required to manage each of your colonies specifically.
You can build almost the exact same buildings to each of your colonies, so in this aspect the game reminds me of MOO 2 a lot. The two limiting factors for your building enthusiasm are money and the population of the colony. You can only build a limited number of buildings to a colony (= star system in Armada 2526) that has a certain amount of population. Once the population of the colony increases you can build more. You can also transport population from one of your more crowded worlds to a world with only a limited population, by using transport ships, to speed up the development of this colony. Money is the only resource, in addition to population, that effects your building decisions. You can set taxes to each of your colonies (if I can remember right there are three tax levels that you can choose from low-normal-high) and you can also build buildings that produce money or increase population. Because money is used as the only resourse, there are a limited amount of things that your economy allows you to do during a turn, before you run out of money, and at least in my opinion this is a very good thing. This also should make you think about what you can afford to build, since troops and buildings have maintenance costs. Also, if you are tired of managing all of your colonies yourself, you can let the AI manage them for you and set priorities for the AI like “produce as much money as possible” or “maximise the population growth of this colony”. You can also limit what the AI can build, so if you don`t want the AI to produce ground troops for example you can deny it from building them. I haven`t personally tested the AI colony manager very much yet, but at least when my economy was in a really bad shape, and I gave some of my planets for the AI to manage, it was able to produce more money than the colony had previously been able to produce.
The galactic fleet control UI in Armada 2526 ,in my opinion, is just weird and difficult to use. You have to first click the colony (= star system) where the fleet that you want to move currently is, then click on the colony where you want to move them, and only after this you get to see what ships you have at the point of origin, and select those ships that you want to move. What has happened to the clear and simple fleet window and to the clickable fleet icons on the map that you can see in most of space 4X games? This fleet moving system seems just weird to me, and it has lead to irritating situations, where some ships from my attack fleet haven’t arrived to the target or my ground assault troops have been left behind.
In Armada 2526 space battles you can set your ships to different formations and create groups of different sizes. You can also order your ships to move somewhere or attack specific enemy groups or buildings. There is a time limit of about 3 minutes in the battles, and if this time is exceeded the battle continues the next turn. So far I have enjoyed the battles very much, as it is very nice to actually command your own space ships in battle, and to see them do battle against numerous enemy ships, buildings and ground troops, instead of just seeing two ships that are supposed to represent a hundred ships each, or just watching your ships do battle against the enemy without actually having any sort of control over them. However it would of course be nice, if there were more commands that you could give to your ships during battles. Like Yeeha already said there are different kinds of ships, which are specialized in different kinds of tasks. I haven`t seen any PD ships yet however, and this makes me wonder, if a large fleet of missile ships could be the ultimate weapon in Armada 2526. (Hopefully not.)
There is no ship design window in this game, so instead of researching new weapon techs you research (among other things) new ships, defensive structures and ground troop. The overall tech tree has techs divided in maybe five categories, and you use sliders to determine how much you want to focus on each of these categories. You can research every tech in each of the categories, but to do this A LOT of time is required. This is why in my current game I have mainly focused on just a few categories. To improve your research capabilities you build research buildings to your colonies, and you can also make these research buildings specialize in one of the categories to increase your research in that particular category even more.
The diplomatic AI at normal difficulty level seems to be a bit of a positive surprise, as AI empires that I have encountered have actually kept their alliances, and during times of war you can actually make peace with an AI empire without giving half of your own empire away. The AI can be a bit annoying sometimes however, as it keeps proposing the same tech trade deals to you over and over again, even though it really doesn`t have anything good to offer to you. The diplomatic representatives are also animated, which brings life to the diplomatic encounters, although there aren’t too many different animations available currently. In the long run however, I hope that the AI isn`t a little too nice in diplomacy, for it to be a challenging opponent.
There doesn`t seem to be many spying options available in Armada 2526. You can ask for permission to build a trading outpost to your opponent’s colony, and this outpost also functions as your eyes in that particular colony. But beyond that as far as I know there aren’t any other spying options available. ( I could be wrong of course.)
The races in Armada 2526 seem to have interesting traits, like bonuses to some categories of research and penalties to other categories. They also have different ways to gather victory points. For example The Walden Forest gets victory points from the happiness of their own population and looses points from killing enemies. This at least seems to make the races interestingly different from each other, but weather or not this works in practise remains to be seen.
All in all, so far I have liked this game. There seems to be different ways to achieve victory; the game seems to have a lot of options, but is still quite simple (excluding the UI) and you can command your own ships in battle (which is something that I consider a must have for a good 4X space strategy game). However determining, if this game truly delivers all those things that it promises will require a lot more playing hours than I currently have behind me.