Category:Sword of the Stars

From SotS

For the Dreadnought of the same name, see Sword of the Stars (Dreadnought)
For information about other entries in the Sword of the Stars universe, see Category:SotS

The contents of this page were introduced in the original Sword of the Stars.

"You know you’ve achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944)

About Sword of the Stars

Sword of the Stars is an original 4X Strategy game developed by Kerberos Productions and published by Lighthouse Interactive. Its goal is to streamline the gameplay of the 4X genre to better suit multiplayer, while also including real time tactical combat.

Players take control of an interstellar empire and give strategic direction during turn based using a three dimensional star map, and then command their ships in combat at the end of each turn using the Tactical Interface

The fights that result from your strategic direction occur in real time combat rounds that can range 1 to 10 minutes, with a default of 4 minutes.

How the game plays out tends to scale with the number of stars per player. A game with 10 stars per player yields a tight, fast game, while 15–20 stars will give a fairly normal game. Over 25 stars per player results in an epic struggle and over 40 will give you a very long game.

Game Phases

It is more of a design philosophy than an exact new way or trick of doing things. Basically we have been feeling like the whole Civ/Moo (ed: Civilization and Master of Orion for any younger players out there) style of 4X game, be it on land or space has gotten ponderous (and conversely the RTS world has just gotten faster and shallower) with games where the first 100 turns are really just about clicking the end turn button while you micromanage a thing or two. For us quick play means the game does not restrict your choices as much as adds to them. If you can find an opponent in the first 10 turns then you can go to war. Granted the ships and tech you will have at 100 turns in will be much scarier, but you can still build good ships right off the bat.

The mid game is what we have come to call the Cruiser Age, the period when a player has enough worlds to pump out a few cruisers a turn while still keeping up with his research.

The late game is hardly tedious because in our game it is usually the Dreadnought era. These massive ships are:

  1. Truly impressive out in battle with dozens of turret banks engaging multiple targets
  2. Are very much world killers if not stopped.

So when each fleet action becomes a desperate battle to preserve or destroy a world, things tend to stay real interesting.

Racial Differences

Click one of these icons for the details on a specific race.

Humanhead.png Hiverhead.png Liirhead.png Tarkahead.png

For the more traditional 4X player I would suggest the Tarka. Their Hyperdrive is the most traditional movement system and they can expand in a very controllable spherical fashion.

For the tactical combat traditionalist I would suggest the Humans. Their ship strengths, weaknesses and maneuverability will be very intuitive. Strategically you are dependant on set routes through the stars so get used to defending choke points early and often.

The Hiver are great for players who like to craft their Empire and get very upset whenever anyone tries to wreck it. Slow strategic movement combined with the instant reaction time inside your own ring network means you tend to be very precise about where you are going and what you are doing but then you are completely xenophobic about any intrusion into your space.

And finally the Liir are for the player who just has to get their hands on everything new and shiny. The Liir will have the fastest research rate and the largest tech trees on average so they are definitely the race for players who want to build quality not quantity. Their Stutterwarp drives allows them to move through deep space quickly, but it slows down near gravity wells, such as stars or planets.

Our goal is to provide what can be thought of as 4 different games all within a single game. A player who can master all 4 races will indeed have something to brag about and there will be a special player badge unlocked to help them with their bragging.

Example of Starting Play

First off I start with a Size 10 world with a 5K-resource base and 50K in the bank and nothing else.

As a Human I can see 2 or 3 node lines leading off to nearby stars. Unless I am terribly unlucky at least one of those routes is within the range of my initial drive technology.

There are a handful of initial tech ships designed for me, standard stuff for new players (standard command and fission sections mounted on colonization, extended range, tanker or armored mission section).

If it's not a crowded game then scouting is my first priority. I build a couple of standard extended range fission Destroyers; they will be ready next turn.

Next I go to the tech screen and pick my first project. Since I am a big fan of the industrial bonus and the Hammerhead command section it gives you, I research Waldo Units in the industrial grouping.

And lastly I adjust my spending bar to be about 80% research and about 20% savings.

Next turn I send my extended scouts out down the node lines to see what they can see. Ideally I am looking for a world within a hazard rating of a hundred or so. Too much higher and it is going to take a real bite out of my economy to develop it.

Even if all I find close by are dead worlds I usually establish way stations at them consisting of a tanker and a couple of armored as guards.

It should take about 5 to 7 turns to get my Waldo Units research done. If I have any reason to suspect company I switch to researching the highest tech laser I can access. Hopefully ultra violet if that link appears but I will settle for green if it doesn't. If I run into trouble early I would like to have my hammerhead armored ships backed up by heavier lasers in the turret mounts.

Assuming I find a nice little colony world soon, I build a couple colony ships (the extra ship will contribute its cargo and settlers to the new colony as well for an added boost) and head on in. If finding a good world takes awhile I will probably research suspended animation so my colony mission sections can carry even more population.

Once I land a colony, I switch all output to construction, set the bars to a 90/10 split between building infrastructure and terraforming and then I kick the overharvest in for a couple turns to boost output. You have to be careful with this method because you don't want to gut the renewable resource base of your new colony but it does help power start a new colony.

And that all in all should be a good start provided I don't bump into anyone for the first 15 turns or so.

Forum Links

Sample Hiver game start

Sample Liir game start

Sample Human game start

Sample Tarka game start

Listed below are the Races, Ship Sections and Technologies introduced in the first game of the series.


This category has the following 9 subcategories, out of 9 total.

Pages in category "Sword of the Stars"

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