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Stellar Monarch

#1
Has anyone here played Stellar Monarch (aka Pocket Space Empire)? :squirrel:
You are the emperor, not a logistics officer. You don't deal with low level stuff like building farms, factories or individual ships.
Instead you focus on the grander scale of things. You grant audiences, make edicts, appoint imperial officials, deal with court factions and assassins,
crush rebels, decide on production quotas and priorities.
Lacking though it may be in art & event flavour variations, it does have charm and (judging from 14 hours of play + daydreaming about it at work) seems to fulfill the above quoted premise.
"omg such tech many efficiency WOW" ~ Josh Parnell

Re: Stellar Monarch

#4
Talvieno wrote:That seems impressive, and I am intrigued. :D Especially as you and I tend to share the same interests in games, Baile. I'll look into it. :)
Chris Koźmik [the developer in Steam discussion] wrote:
Errant [comment dated May 19, 2016] wrote:[..] (coming over from the DF forums). [..]
Yay! for DF forums, got valuable feedback from you guys there :)

Glad you like the game so far. I'm counting on your future feedback as well.
We're shamefully far behind Bay 12 forums, it seems. But that was my thought: this is right up our alley!
And a one-man ongoing & active passion project to boot. :squirrel: :geek:

Flat, are you aware of the old Electronic Arts game Imperium (1990)? The developer cites it as a primary influence.

http://www.silverlemurgames.com/free/ -- collection of free games Chris Koźmik has made over the years (not all listed).
"omg such tech many efficiency WOW" ~ Josh Parnell

Re: Stellar Monarch

#5
Baile nam Fonn wrote:Flat, are you aware of the old Electronic Arts game Imperium (1990)? The developer cites it as a primary influence.
I remember it, but I didn't ever play it.

Actually, the game I flashed back on when seeing a screenshot of Stellar Monarch's map was the old Windows 3.1 game Stellar Empires. I included a picture f that in this older LT forum post.

I played the heck out of that one. :) So far I've gotten one turn into Stellar Monarch, and it looks nice and clean.

Re: Stellar Monarch

#6
Flatfingers wrote:
Baile nam Fonn wrote:Flat, are you aware of the old Electronic Arts game Imperium (1990)? The developer cites it as a primary influence.
I remember it, but I didn't ever play it.

Actually, the game I flashed back on when seeing a screenshot of Stellar Monarch's map was the old Windows 3.1 game Stellar Empires. I included a picture f that in this older LT forum post.

I played the heck out of that one. :) So far I've gotten one turn into Stellar Monarch, and it looks nice and clean.
That play looks cool. Gotta love the 256 colour limitation they had. And what they did of it. Sounds like it was a fun game. :D
Automation engineer, lateral thinker, soldier, addicted to music, books and gaming.
Nothing to see here
Flatfingers wrote: 23.01.2017: "Show me the smoldering corpse of Perfectionist Josh"

Re: Stellar Monarch

#7
It's what there was. :D

It is sort of interesting to compare today's games to Stellar Empires, which was just a straight-up, bare-bones clickfest. No main story, no randomly-generated backstories, no form of humanizing whatsover, just "move X number of units to destination Y." One of the most time-consuming parts of the game was starting a new one over and over again until the RNG gave you a configuration where the human player actually had a chance to win!

Yet, as simple as this was, there wasn't anything else like it.

Good times.

Re: Stellar Monarch

#8
Flatfingers wrote:It's what there was. :D

It is sort of interesting to compare today's games to Stellar Empires, which was just a straight-up, bare-bones clickfest. No main story, no randomly-generated backstories, no form of humanizing whatsover, just "move X number of units to destination Y." One of the most time-consuming parts of the game was starting a new one over and over again until the RNG gave you a configuration where the human player actually had a chance to win!

Yet, as simple as this was, there wasn't anything else like it.

Good times.
Was the generation algorithm THAT unfair? :o
Automation engineer, lateral thinker, soldier, addicted to music, books and gaming.
Nothing to see here
Flatfingers wrote: 23.01.2017: "Show me the smoldering corpse of Perfectionist Josh"

Re: Stellar Monarch

#10
Yes, without ever having actually played this game, Cornflakes has miraculously divined that I must have been a poor player.

:roll:

The part about the geography mattering a lot was correct, though. The rules were pretty simple:
  • Some but not all stars are connected to each other
  • Everyone starts with X number of troops at one star
  • Each turn a small random number of troops are added to any star with at least 1 troop there
  • Each turn each player can choose to move any number of troops from one star to another, or none at all
  • Colonized stars could have a garrison number set; that many troops would never leave
  • Sending troops to a star currently holding an opponent's troops would start a contest
  • In a contest, the numbers of both attacker and defender troops at that star would be reduced
  • Roughly equal numbers of troops would generally leave the star controlled by the defender
  • Roughly 2:1 for the attacker would usually give the star to the attacker (with few troops left)
  • No fog of war meant that every player could always see all troops of all players all the time
That's pretty much it. The game was just moving troops to colonize stars and to take stars from defenders.

So the key was starting at the end of a large block of stars with a single connection to all the other stars (and your opponents). This then led to a three-phase strategy:

1. COLONIZATION: Every turn, send out as many troops as possible from every colonized star towards stars with no troops. Also, if you can see that a path has only three uncolonized stars, send only 3 troops down that path. This started the process of converting as many stars as possible (behind your home star) into troop-generators.

Note: some limited automation was possible. You could send a defined number of troops to, as I recall, 8 or 10 connected stars each turn without having to do it manually. There was also a "send all troops from up to X connections away to the currently selected star" command. We'll see in a moment how that came in handy.

2. CONSOLIDATION: Once you can see an enemy's troops getting close to your home star, it's time to make sure the single entry point to your block of stars is well-defended. The easy way to do this was to use the "send all (but one) troops from all stars to this star" command. (Although you'd probably still manually tell the stars furthest away to keep sending troops the other direction, so you can keep expanding for a while.)

Each turn from then on, all available troops (above the preset garrison limit) would move from star to star toward your home star, and just start piling up there. This insured that if an opponent did try to attack you, you'd have more than enough troops to hold that star.

3. EXPANSION: Once most of the stars in your protected block are producing troops and you've got several big piles of troops at and just behind your blocking point, it's time to go on the offensive. Pick the opponent with the fewest troops, and, preferably, only a single connecting point to the other opponents, and start plowing through them. Generally, once you make the big breakthrough, it's all over for that opponent as they'll never be able to amass enough troops at any defending star to outnumber your attacking troop strength. Once you've taken all their stars, return to the Consolidation phase, then back to Expansion when you think you're ready. Repeat until all their base are belong to you.

So, with everyone (human and AI) following roughly this same algorithm, winning was dictated largely by starting geography. If the RNG started you off in the middle of highly-connected block near several AI opponents, it was nearly impossible not to be overwhelmed by the mid-game by an AI player who started off with a safe/large block of stars. This was visibly as true for the AI players as for me, so I like to think it's not because I'm just stupid.

The mild randomization of battle attrition meant that you needed to be careful in planning when and where to attack. This was what kept the game fun to play, as long as the starting geography allowed at least a fair chance of being able to win.

Re: Stellar Monarch

#11
Flatfingers wrote:Yes, without ever having actually played this game, Cornflakes has miraculously divined that I must have been a poor player.

:roll:
No, i just remembered you telling stories about the game.
And i remember the geography being a very critical point and it being hard to win without the map being right.
Including building impenetrable fortififications being easy if you have the proper geography on your side.
I just extrapolated.
:shrug:

And after reading the post now after writing the above statement i seem i have remembered correctly :ghost:

Re: Stellar Monarch

#12
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Flatfingers wrote:Yes, without ever having actually played this game, Cornflakes has miraculously divined that I must have been a poor player.

:roll:
No, i just remembered you telling stories about the game.
And i remember the geography being a very critical point and it being hard to win without the map being right.
Including building impenetrable fortififications being easy if you have the proper geography on your side.
I just extrapolated.
:shrug:

And after reading the post now after writing the above statement i seem i have remembered correctly :ghost:
And THAT is why there was a huge Germany back in the days and how they regained most of their strength in such a short time after all the wars and the first and second world war and why Rome and the roman empire back in the days were able to grow so much.
Automation engineer, lateral thinker, soldier, addicted to music, books and gaming.
Nothing to see here
Flatfingers wrote: 23.01.2017: "Show me the smoldering corpse of Perfectionist Josh"

Re: Stellar Monarch

#14
Cornflakes_91 wrote:played a game yesterday.
stupid rebels managed to topple the empire :(

from one turn to the next like 1/3 of my planets were hostile and the rebels had like double my fleetpower.
however that worked.
Dafuuuq?
Well, in TW:R2 the rebellion armies sometimes have huge armies too. But they mostly consist of low tier units.
Automation engineer, lateral thinker, soldier, addicted to music, books and gaming.
Nothing to see here
Flatfingers wrote: 23.01.2017: "Show me the smoldering corpse of Perfectionist Josh"

Re: Stellar Monarch

#15
JanB1 wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:played a game yesterday.
stupid rebels managed to topple the empire :(

from one turn to the next like 1/3 of my planets were hostile and the rebels had like double my fleetpower.
however that worked.
Dafuuuq?
Well, in TW:R2 the rebellion armies sometimes have huge armies too. But they mostly consist of low tier units.
CK2 has rebels also. But the rebels that spawn are peasants, unsuited for combat. An army a third their size with a semi competent set of leaders can easily destroy them.

I would hope this here is the same case, that each of these ships are civilian ships modified slightly.


/me should likely pick this up at some point.

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