Strategic Turn

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Empire Management
Colonies -- Design -- Defences -- Diplomacy -- Government -- Provinces -- Research -- SotSpedia -- Stations -- Trade


The strategic turn consists of the following empire management tasks:

You also have access to the SotSpedia during the strategic turn

Empire Management


Unlike in other grand strategy games where you might simply pick which government type or philosophy you would like your empire to follow based on a simple list of advantages and disadvantages, SotS 2 keeps track of a large number of decisions you make economically, militarily, and diplomatically and uses them to eventually tell you what government type you have become. Some choices may move you toward the libertarian side of things, while making hard calls may lean you toward a plutocracy or even a junta-style government.

Your current government style is viewable via your Empire Management screen. For more information, please see the Government page.

Open Systems

Once colonized, Systems can be declared "open", which allows civilians to initiate a variety of activities without your input. For example, colonies can be started by both the your own Imperial forces and, in an "open" system, by your civilians. Civilian begun colonies are civilian supported and not a drain on your imperial budget... and also not entirely under imperial control. Additionally, Mining Stations are small and simple enough that common citizens can bang one together, and may do so if they see a profit opportunity, unless you specifically order them not to by "closing" the system.

To toggle a System open or closed, click on the "Open System" tab just below the Stellar Class text: OpenSystem2.JPG


For more information, please see the Planet Info page.

Planetary development is a process which is typically under Imperial control. For the most part this is about simple sliders, but there are a few key break points in the process.

Planets typically have the following characteristics:

  • Size — planets range in size from very small inhospitable barren rocks up to super sized Gas Giants.
  • Climate Hazard — planets typically are not waiting there with wide open vistas for your populations to roam. How welcoming, if at all, a planet might be is decided by it's climate hazard.
  • Resources — with the exception of Gas Giants, all planets have resources that can either be sustainably utilized by a population base or strip mined to the planetary core for use elsewhere in your Empire.
  • Bio-Sphere — a measure of the extent of pre-existing life forms on the planet, and important for Psionics development.
  • Special characteristics — can range from Barren for very small worldlets, through a variety of environmental impacts for potentially habitable planets, to Gas Giant for those super sized balls of high pressure, high gravity scientific interest.

Planets can have biospheres that rise or fall based on your choices and have multiple stages of development that can eventually lead to powerful Gem or Forge worlds, as long as you do not neglect the Political Science technology tree. Some worlds even have special characteristics like being Primordial in nature.


The population limit is 100 million X size of planet per Population type ( Imperial / Civilian ). A size 7 planet is larger than average and has a maximum population of 700 million of each of Imperials and Civilians.

Imperial Population is restricted to your own race. Imperial Populations are required for Production and Research.

Civilian Population can be from any race you have the technology to support. Initially that will only be your own race. Civilian Populations provide an Income base ( taxes, trade ).

Gas Giants

While Gas Giants can't themselves be colonized, they can have size 1 to size 3 "moons" that are fully colonizable. Smaller more barren worldlets can also be found in their orbit, awaiting the deployment of your Mining Stations.

Naming Planets

While you can not rename star systems, you are able to rename worlds as you colonize them.

Super Worlds

After developing the Super Worlds technology in the Political Science technology tree, the player is able to develop powerful Gem or Forge worlds. Once the tech is researched, a "Overdevelop" slider appears on all eligible planets size 9 or larger. Once the overdevelopment is completed, a pop-up shows and ask the player if they want a Forge or Gem world. The effects of the Super Worlds are:

  • Forge: doubles imperial population cap and doubles IO output.
  • Gem: multiplies civilian population cap by 5.

There is a downside to Super Worlds however. Gem worlds destroy resources and some biosphere due to population. Forge worlds have less population and destroy more biosphere in order to gain their size. [1]


Information about an entire system and functions that occur at the System level (like Building Ships) are displayed in the System Info sidebar. For more information, please see the System Info page.


Research is how new weapons, ship sections and empire wide technology is discovered. For more information, please see the Research page.


The design of your ships is a very important part of Sword of the Stars 2. A ship design consists of one of each type of section (command, mission and engine) as well as modules and weapons. For more information, please see the Design page.


For more information, please see the Diplomacy page.

When it comes to diplomacy, it means you not only have to take into account species, but government types as well. And, of course, the synergy between the two means that even in a game with two factions of the same species, they can have considerably different agendas.

The diplomatic suite assumes the SotSverse has fully entered the age of empires, and hence, there are more things to discuss and bargain for than during the gunboat diplomacy era of the original game. Now, players can negotiate treaties, as well as alliances based on borders, fleet size, and even technologies. Such Treaties are not restricted to single pairings of Empires, but can include multiple Empires. You can also expect an increase in diplomatic feedback from AI players, as well as more espionage options and opportunities.

Independent Colonies and Minor Races

Independent colonies are now not only made up of splinter colonies of the established races but also whole new minor (meaning non-faster-than-light capable) alien races. The player can expect to find races at a variety of tech levels with a variety of aspects the player may find helpful or not depending on the situation. The independents not only add more detail to the SotSverse, but they also allow players to expand their empire and influence in different ways. There will be an entire set of minor races that will appear randomly from game to game, and while they will always have the same core attributes each time, they will also have some random features that will keep them from being completely predictable.

While conquering an independent will certainly get you access to the world as quickly as possible, it may be possible to peacefully incorporate this world into your empire using diplomacy. The trade-off here is that while you may improve your diplomatic status with the major empires by showing a subtle hand and you might gain access to the minor races' special abilities, the downside is that their money will mostly be their own and they may make decisions about their own world that may not mesh too well with your agenda. The incorporation effects and bonuses reflect members of independent species moving into various niches in your culture. [2]

There are "a lot" of new Independent Races, including one named the "Stranglers". Race concepts that are "non-starters" as major Factions for one reason or another could show up as a Independent Race.

To study a Independent Race, you need to build a Science Station around the planet of the Independent Race as building it around another planet in the system will not get you the necessary Special Project. [3]

Successfully incorporating a independent planet or race can depend on quite a number of factors. Independents look at how other Independents have done with the players empire, how much the players current worlds have been attacked, distance from an empire/provincial capital [4] and a few other subtler things. Basically though, the more Independents the players empire peacefully adopts, the easier it gets to peacefully adopt more Independents. [5]


There are two types of construction in SotS 2, Ship Building and Station Construction.

Ship Building

Production is by system. The more colonies you have in the system the better able you are to powerhouse production.

Build orders are queued as Invoices. Multiple ships can be added to each invoice, and you can save a particular invoice for future use as a favorite invoice. This latter feature is useful for when you need to produce fleets of the same type and numbers at multiple worlds.

As you queue each ship, you will be able to rename the ship itself within the invoice.

You can remove ships from the build queue by first reloading the invoice sitting in the build queue, usually with a double-click. Then select the no longer desired ship and click on the trashcan icon in the lower right part of the invoice.


The very first time you build a particular design, the cost in both credits and industrial output is significantly higher than for building subsequent ships of the same design.

This represents the initial outlay of finding out what does and does not work when doing something for the first time.

Additionally, each design has Design Attributes, similar to that of Admiral Traits, which will typically not be discovered until after their first combat.

For more information, please see the Design page.


You start with a Naval Station, known as a Star Base, in orbit around your Homeworld. ( Hiver Faction Empires also start with low level Gate Stations around each Colony )

With the exception of the Mining Station each Station has five levels of upgrades that can be built.

When you commit a fleet to building a station, an initial framework is placed and the fleet proceeds to build upon that framework to bring the station to level one.

As you add modules to a station, the station begins to play a more important role in the system. Eventually demand for the services provided by the station peaks at the capacity of the station, requiring that the station be upgraded to the next level to fuel further growth in system.

While station modules are capable of being added to a station by the local system infrastructure, the initial building and upgrading of any station requires a fleet containing a construction ship, which preforms a Build Station Mission. Multiple construction ships speed up the time it takes to build a station.

See Stations for details on station types.


Each station you build in your Empire is expandable via the use of Modules.

Modules range from Laboratories to Habitation for various Faction species to Warehouses or even station defenses.

Each station can only support a limited number of modules, and there are some conflicts which can force to you pick one type of module over another.

Building modules on your stations is indicative of the intent to make each station more useful to your Empire. As you build modules, making the expanded capability of your stations available to the various interests of your Empire, you will eventually reach the point that only by extending the station itself will you gain further benefit from modules.

For more information, please see the Modules page.

Station Upgrades

Eventually your stations will reach a point where they must be upgraded in order to add more modules to them.

In order to upgrade a station, a fleet with a construction ship must be assigned to the Upgrade Station mission.

There is a cost to be paid in both credits and industrial output, though that industrial output is derived from the construction ship(s) involved and not your system production capability.

The more construction ships you have in your fleet dedicated to the work of upgrading the station, the quicker the station upgrade will proceed.


For more information, please see the Fleets page.

Fleets are assigned to a base of operations and have a maximum range they can operate out to based on their supply capability as well as the supply area provided for by stations and colonies.

Fleets have a maximum size determined by both the available CnC capability of the flagship and the Support level of the Naval Station or colony they are based at.


Colonies have the ability to place excess ships into reserve status. Spare ships that are kept as reserves still require some upkeep, but that amount is reduced considerably compared to the operating cost of an active ship. Reserves can be drawn forward and placed into a local fleet on any turn. Reserves can also be transferred between systems. Please see the Reserves page for more information.


All fleet movement and orders are now covered by missions. Canceling a mission will cause the fleet preforming that mission to return to its base unless the admiral has a very high reaction skill.

Supply Bases

The cost of planetary development is linked to proximity of a "supply base". Imperial colony ships based at a nearby station will traverse from that station to the new colony to bring more infrastructure, terraforming capability and colonists to help support the Colony until it is self sufficient.


All ships and stations require a per turn Upkeep cost. For more information, please see the Upkeep page.


For more information, please see the Trade page.

There have been some changes made to Trade in SotS 2. For example, there is now a convoy tech [6] which abstracts down to reducing trade route efficiency while increasing the odds of escorts being nearby when a raid occurs. [7]

Planetary Defences

There are various defensive structures and ships which can be built after prerequisites are met. See Defences page.


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