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Fascinating and complex sci-fi strategy
Fans of complex star-faring strategy sims will find themselves in the heavens with Stellar Crusade, and while it is not without its faults, it remains a compelling experience for those prepared to invest the time. At its heart, Stellar Crusade is a game of galactic domination and exploitation, where two rival factions compete for valuable resources in a remote part of the universe. Gameplay is divided into turns and phases, where players may conduct a variety of actions, including economic planning and production and movement (including transporting cargo or conducting smuggling operations). The game plays out as a series of scenarios, each with their own specific conditions to be completed in order to claim victory, and which are highly challenging, requiring plenty of deep tactical decision making. For many, the game's complexity and slow pace will prove off-putting and it is undeniably tedious in places. Adding to the game's problems is the poorly balanced gameplay, making it overly difficult to win. Visually too, the game is obviously dated, but if you are prepared to dig beneath the surface and spend some time learning its intricacies, then there is a fascinating and rewarding game to be discovered here. One tip though, is to get the full manual from the designer's website as the one that came packaged with the game is woefully inadequate.