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This topic is brought on by the Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity, which right now is on sale on Steam. 4X is a the only genre I have never gotten into, but I always feel I should give a try. To be blunt, I keep looking at them, but the games scare me and I don't even dare trying them, thinking I will never manage and give up after 10 min...

So far all the games I have liked which comes close are Civ 2-4, Alpha Centauri (which I love) and Elite + Elite 2 from the Amiga days. I also like to play games like chess, not sure if it has an impact on this though.

Basically, if a n00b like me want to give 4X a chance, what would be a good start?

(I marked this as a question so at least I can give some rep to a good recommendation)
This question / problem has been solved by Sachysimage
-Colonization
-Master of Orion 2
-Civilization 1



Any of these would be a good start, since they're a little more simplistic but without being dumbed-down.
I have been wondering and maybe you guys can help me but I've been kinda curious about Endless Space and Sins of a Solar Empire Trinity and Rebellion but, which one is better in your opinion?
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Licurg: -Colonization
-Master of Orion 2
-Civilization 1

Any of these would be a good start, since they're a little more simplistic but without being dumbed-down.
I have Colonization (from Amiga again), and also done civ 2-4, never tried Civ 1 - is it really any point if I have the others? Still consodering MoO 2...
The best start I can think of is Imperium Galactica II. Only downside is that it's impossible to find (legally). Nearly everything in the game can be automated (space combat, ground combat, ship design, ship production, colony building, etc.), so you can start by automating most things, and then gradually switch over to doing things yourself, as you familiarize yourself with the game. It also means you can adapt the game to your play style, automating the game mechanics you don't care for, and doing the rest yourself.
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amok: ...also done civ 2-4, never tried Civ 1 - is it really any point if I have the others?
If you have Civ2, there's no need to go back to Civ1, other than for historical interest. Basically, it's the exact same game, only uglier and slightly (but only very slightly) simpler.
Post edited March 04, 2013 by Wishbone
It was my understanding that Civ 2-4 and Alpha Centauri are 4X games so it sounds like you've already been getting into it without your knowledge.

Out of the ones I've played I can recommend Rise of Nations to be pretty fun. In that game you can progress in time up to the nuclear age, I think, it's been a while since I've played it but It's a good one to try.

One game I have been playing recently would be Master of Magic unlike RoN it's turn-based so you may prefer that one seeing as how you like chess. Though the interface is clunky it's very easy to look past when there's so much depth behind it. This game seems like a no-brainer, honestly, it truly deserves all the praise it gets.

I've been meaning to play Master of Orion at some point and I haven't been able to really get into Alpha Centauri but I figure it's probably best to take these kind of games one at a time.
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Licurg: -Colonization
-Master of Orion 2
-Civilization 1

Any of these would be a good start, since they're a little more simplistic but without being dumbed-down.
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amok: I have Colonization (from Amiga again), and also done civ 2-4, never tried Civ 1 - is it really any point if I have the others? Still consodering MoO 2...
For introduction to the genre, Civ 1 is better than all the rest, because it's easier to learn the basics on it. The same with MOO2 with the exception that MOO2 has aged much better.
I'm a big fan of Sins of a Solar Empire. I wouldn't claim to be good at it, but it was always fun.
You should probably take it one X at a time...
But perhaps Endless Space?
I seem to remember that not being the most complicated 4X I played in the last couple of years.
Master of Magic, Master of Orion.

For an extremely simplified 4x space game - Stelcon :)
Post edited March 04, 2013 by kalirion
Yeah Endless Space is good start. Modern and quite approachable.
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kalmis666: Yeah Endless Space is good start. Modern and quite approachable.
+1, I <3 Endless Space; there are some gaps to filled, for sure, but it's accessible, nice to be in, and constantly evolving.

I 'unno, most of the best 4X games ARE pretty accessible, the only ones I can think of that aren't so much are the Paradox grand strategy titles, but they're not really 4X so much.
I'll go a bit off here and say Civ 5. Personally I love Civ 4, especially BtS, and have sunk countless hours into it since it came out, so I'd say play that.

However, you say you're looking for something maybe a bit simpler, and Civ 5 is simpler (if I understand correctly) than the previous installments. It may even still be on sale at Steam if you hurry, BTW you'll want Gods and Kings if you do get it
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Huzzey5: I'll go a bit off here and say Civ 5. Personally I love Civ 4, especially BtS, and have sunk countless hours into it since it came out, so I'd say play that.

However, you say you're looking for something maybe a bit simpler, and Civ 5 is simpler (if I understand correctly) than the previous installments. It may even still be on sale at Steam if you hurry, BTW you'll want Gods and Kings if you do get it
I actually bought Civ V Gold yesterday on the sale :)

I have not installed it yet, but if it the solution this may have been a lot easier then I expected...
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Huzzey5: I'll go a bit off here and say Civ 5. Personally I love Civ 4, especially BtS, and have sunk countless hours into it since it came out, so I'd say play that.

However, you say you're looking for something maybe a bit simpler, and Civ 5 is simpler (if I understand correctly) than the previous installments. It may even still be on sale at Steam if you hurry, BTW you'll want Gods and Kings if you do get it
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amok: I actually bought Civ V Gold yesterday on the sale :)

I have not installed it yet, but if it the solution this may have been a lot easier then I expected...
Nice man! I hope that one works out then. I was gonna' get it in the sale but opted to replay Civ 4 and BtS.