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Wishbone: 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?
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Wishbone: 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.
They rebuilt it for the iPad.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/imperium-galactica-2/id510652364?mt=8
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amok: So far all the games I have liked which comes close are Civ 2-4, Alpha Centauri (which I love) ...
If you've finished at least one game in all of those, I would say you're beyond a "n00b". =)

But in terms of recommendations, another topic title reminded me of one you might like: Heroes of Might and Magic. It has the exploration, some basic "city building", and some "resources". (So 3 of the 4 X's are rather simple.) The combat there is definitely the most chess-like in my experience.

Maybe the King's Bounty games. Someone else would need to vouch for those. I have one, but haven't played it yet.

The Disciples games are also of a similar vein. I played D2, but didn't care too much for it--I remember getting bored near the end of the 2nd campaign and moving on to another game.
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amok: So far all the games I have liked which comes close are Civ 2-4, Alpha Centauri (which I love) ...
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mertu: If you've finished at least one game in all of those, I would say you're beyond a "n00b". =)

But in terms of recommendations, another topic title reminded me of one you might like: Heroes of Might and Magic. It has the exploration, some basic "city building", and some "resources". (So 3 of the 4 X's are rather simple.) The combat there is definitely the most chess-like in my experience.

Maybe the King's Bounty games. Someone else would need to vouch for those. I have one, but haven't played it yet.

The Disciples games are also of a similar vein. I played D2, but didn't care too much for it--I remember getting bored near the end of the 2nd campaign and moving on to another game.
I have the lot of those... I could not get into Bounty (I am going to give it a try at some point...) and my partner is a huge fan of HoMM, she also tried Disciples and got through the first 2 of them, but she was not over joyed by the experience...

I was more thinking of the more grander titles, and to maintain all 4 X's (oh yeah - I am going hardcore)
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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...
Not really. Civ 2 does everything that Civ 1 does, but better, and while Civ 1 is a bit simpler, it is also not quite as user friendly.


Anyway, MoO 2 is not "super" easy to play, but nor is it all that hard.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane is pretty easy to play, and while it is not as fully featured as Masters of Magic, it is still quite good, and due to plenty of content patches, there is quite a bit more in the game now than at launch.
I would recommend Sins over Masters of Orion 2. MoO 2 can become quite complex real fast, also its not as graphically appealing. Not that this is a negative, but for a newcomer to the genre the Sins series is a good start.
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Wishbone: 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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Tallima: They rebuilt it for the iPad.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/imperium-galactica-2/id510652364?mt=8
Oh yeah, that's right. I'm still pissed about that. Not that they did it, but that they didn't also release the updated HD version for PC.
Having gotten SOASE last it was on sale, I can tell you its focus is for multiplayer as theres no campaign / story and its more of an epic scaled RTS in many ways.
However, I ninja'd Sword of the Stars last night and that's shaping up nicely - includes some RTS battles but its fully turn based. Whilst theres no real campaign to speak of it does feel more like a story is happening. It's also not so ming bogglingly complex that you'd be overblown as there are some similarities with Civ etc.
Post edited March 04, 2013 by Sachys
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Sachys: Having gotten SOASE last it was on sale, I can tell you its focus is for multiplayer as theres no campaign / story and its more of an epic scaled RTS in many ways.
However, I ninja'd Sword of the Stars last night and that's shaping up nicely - includes some RTS battles but its fully turn based. Whilst theres no real campaign to speak of it does feel more like a story is happening. It's also not so ming bogglingly complex that you'd be overblown as there are some similarities with Civ etc.
Thanks, I do not do MP so SOASE is out of the picture then. I will look into Sword of the Stars
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amok:
It's not quite so multiplayer as in MMO - the AI is pretty good, just feels a bit empty like but it IS also worth a look if price-of-a-pint cheap, but sword of the stars is MORE of a 4x in terms of play style, and certainly seems less complex to me - the turn based thing really helps too - with SOASE you could have thirty battles goin on at once and have to keep jumping about in real time.
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mertu: If you've finished at least one game in all of those, I would say you're beyond a "n00b". =)

But in terms of recommendations, another topic title reminded me of one you might like: Heroes of Might and Magic. It has the exploration, some basic "city building", and some "resources". (So 3 of the 4 X's are rather simple.) The combat there is definitely the most chess-like in my experience.

Maybe the King's Bounty games. Someone else would need to vouch for those. I have one, but haven't played it yet.

The Disciples games are also of a similar vein. I played D2, but didn't care too much for it--I remember getting bored near the end of the 2nd campaign and moving on to another game.
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amok: I have the lot of those... I could not get into Bounty (I am going to give it a try at some point...) and my partner is a huge fan of HoMM, she also tried Disciples and got through the first 2 of them, but she was not over joyed by the experience...

I was more thinking of the more grander titles, and to maintain all 4 X's (oh yeah - I am going hardcore)
King's Bounty, at least the new games started with "KB: The Legend" are only 2X. They're really RPGs with tactical combat, as there's no "opponent" strategist to play against - you're just building up your army and taking out NPCs who do no more than sit there, or perhaps patrol a preset route, waiting to be attacked.
I highly reccommend Galactic Civilizations 2 (which you can pick up on steam)

Its a very solid 4x game, that's pretty easy to get into, has fantastic research options and customizable ships.

If I'm not mistaken, it was made by the same mob who did Sins of a Solar empire, except this is turnbased and more like Civ in space
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PMIK: If I'm not mistaken, it was made by the same mob who did Sins of a Solar empire, except this is turnbased and more like Civ in space
Nope, Stardock published Sins and helped a little with the development, but the true developer is Ironclad Games.
I would recommend Master of Orion 2 or Endless Space. I feel that MOO2 is better designed, but Endless Space is better from a graphical standpoint, and is to receive an expansion. Both games are simple to understand, which is always a plus in my book.

Sword of the Stars (complete edition) is also highly recommended, as that game has a lot of character for each race and has interesting combat, similar to Homeworld's. Don't spring for SOTS2 however, as it is still a bit rough and it will take at least another expansion to be good in my opinion.
One thing i forgot to mention was Free Orion - lot of similarities to SOTS and other games too - but it's free, so if you don't like it at ALL, then theres no point continuing i'd reckon - i've ploughed many hours into it, so reckon it's worth a shot!
http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/Main_Page
I am pretty sure that Free Orion isn't really playable yet - it is a work in progress.