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4X space games, ship design, and The Cosmic Balance

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Anonymous
August 26, 2005 11:06:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Back in like 1982 or 1983, when I was a geeky high school freshman, my dad
(a fellow early PC pioneer), sent me my first space game for my Apple II+, a
humble SSI creation called "Cosmic Balance".

This no-frills game started off by allowing you to design a spaceship (or a
handful of them, IIRC) an engrossing process involving managing things like
several differen types of guns (with different FIRE ARCS!!! a narrower arc
took up less structure points but might not be brought to bear enough),
armor and force shields (you could also concentrate these on one part or
another of your ship... depending on how you tended to fight), power
sources, engines for speed and maneuvering (do you put all the engines in
the back for acceleration or more up front where you can turn and maneuver),
ECM and ECCM systems, missiles and mines, fighter drones, security systems,
marines and etc.

The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and / or
fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something like 16
segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move and fight.

At the time I thought it was a pretty cool game, it was quite engrossing and
you could enjoy it for hours on end, the AI was fairly good. It was limited
and kind of hokey in that the ships looped from one side of the screen to
another (no more hokey than a screen with boundaries though) and you were
very limited in the number of ships you could use... and the graphics were
of course quite limited. Eventually as with all my old Apple PC games, the
fragile Disk got too ragged and the game simply wouldn't load any more. All
in all impressive, but i thought of it as a taste of the much greater games
would exist in the future. Little did I know this would remain the best
space game I'd ever played a full 23 years later!!!

Fast forward a bit to Masters of Orion. Here were a couple of pretty good
4X space games, WITH ship design, but the ship design and ship-combat
frankly paled in comparison to what Cosmic Balance did a decade earlier.
It seemed like a step in the right direction, but it was corny and lacked
that realistic detail and added levels of design other than just sitcking
different modular components in. Ultimately it was a lot more about how
high your tech was really than anything you did to manage how your ship was
designed. I hoped this was just the begining.

But rather than getting better in my book, most of the 4X space games that I
tried in the next several years were mediocre, and instead of improving the
ship combat and ship design aspect of their game, always my personal
favorite, (the part that made the rest of the exploration and economy and
warfare really come to life) they either eliminated ship design altogether
or vastly simplified it, and forced you into restrictions of various silly
storyline fantasy races. I dont want to control a fleet of crystaline Heavy
Zyrconian Dreadnaughts, or fuzzy Antaroid Warp Pustules.. I want to make up
my own vessels which are far better than either, something I could recognize
from a space opera..



Bottom line, are there any good 4X space games, or simple tactical games,
either currently available or in development, which do allow you to design
your own ships and fight them against those of your opponent, and have good
space combat that you can actually control?


DB

More about : space games ship design cosmic balance

Anonymous
August 27, 2005 12:23:17 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:p PNPe.5399$2_.1276@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
<snip>
> Bottom line, are there any good 4X space games, or simple tactical games,
> either currently available or in development, which do allow you to design
> your own ships and fight them against those of your opponent, and have
> good
> space combat that you can actually control?

Space Empire IV and V (maybe, I know V will be 3D, I dunno if they are going
automated combat or not, but it wouldn't surprise me)
Galactic Civilizations II (maybe. Should be out in 2006, I think)
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 2:28:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 19:06:31 -0500, "Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net>
wrote:


>
>Bottom line, are there any good 4X space games, or simple tactical games,
>either currently available or in development, which do allow you to design
>your own ships and fight them against those of your opponent, and have good
>space combat that you can actually control?
>

Msot ship design games seem to rely on how many weapons you can stuff onto
a ship.

Your current best bets are Moo II or Space Empires IV - there may be
others, but those are the two most common. While weapon stuffing is
common, there are cases where there's need to balance other technologies.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 1:37:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

You've inspired me to quote the entire text of Moby Dick before asking a
question about fishing...now where's that book?
August 27, 2005 6:06:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in

> The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and
> / or fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something
> like 16 segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move
> and fight.

Basically just a rip-off of Star Fleet Battles, then.
August 28, 2005 3:49:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

You are looking for


Starships Unlimited

http://www.apezone.com/

Basicly design starships and take over the universe.

Have you played STARS?
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 2:57:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Hi!
> I heartily recommend Space Empires 4 and Stars!.
In SE4 you can control your own ships in battles, but that makes game
against AIs soooo boringly easy to win.
In Stars! you can't control them, you just watch the battle VCR, and
playing against brain-dead AI is also boring. Playing PBEM with&against
other players is a completely different experience.
BR, Iztok
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 3:49:21 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Forrest" <Lavelock@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:25067$4311eb46$428aaf51$3029@SEARK.NET...
> You are looking for
>
>
> Starships Unlimited
>
> http://www.apezone.com/
>
> Basicly design starships and take over the universe.
>
> Have you played STARS?
>
>

God I tried that game and hated it - far too simplistic for me! No I
heartily recommend Space Empires 4 and Stars!.

SE4 is a really in depth game where playing single player is great fun and
you can try loads of tactics to win differently - sometimes I have tried
warships, other times stealth cloaking, and others using mines. It utilises
wormhole movement and individual system maps and hex counters so the
mechanics arent massively complex. Ie you can mine the wormholes into
systems and prevent any fleets from entering.

The only game that is better in some regards is Stars! which is especially
brilliant played via Email. The actual game is far better than any other 4X
game around especially regarding flexible ship movement, fuel effects and
minefields. The ships move on a very large map and there are no choke points
to systems of planets like SE4. So the tactics are far more complex. But the
game graphics are now very poor which is why I recommend SE4 above it.

I havent played Galactic Civilistations so I cant comment on that one but
from what Ive seen of it SE4 seems better.

Nats
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 4:33:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Best ship design I've ever seen was in the 4X "Remeber Twomorrow"
It was in fact puzzle mini-game.You could place different modules (ECM.
fighter deck etc), each different shape, size, and energy consumption
(or energy output for reactors) into 2D-grid in the ship hull. As you
were progressing your were gettnig bigger hulls, smaller or more
powerful reactors, more modules etc. You could design not only ships,
but fighters too. Pity they never produced sequel.
Anonymous
September 1, 2005 1:04:13 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:p PNPe.5399$2_.1276@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
> Back in like 1982 or 1983, when I was a geeky high school freshman, my dad
> (a fellow early PC pioneer), sent me my first space game for my Apple II+,
> a
> humble SSI creation called "Cosmic Balance".
>
> This no-frills game started off by allowing you to design a spaceship (or
> a
> handful of them, IIRC) an engrossing process involving managing things
> like
> several differen types of guns (with different FIRE ARCS!!! a narrower
> arc
> took up less structure points but might not be brought to bear enough),
> armor and force shields (you could also concentrate these on one part or
> another of your ship... depending on how you tended to fight), power
> sources, engines for speed and maneuvering (do you put all the engines in
> the back for acceleration or more up front where you can turn and
> maneuver),
> ECM and ECCM systems, missiles and mines, fighter drones, security
> systems,
> marines and etc.
>
> The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and / or
> fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something like 16
> segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move and fight.
>
> At the time I thought it was a pretty cool game, it was quite engrossing
> and
> you could enjoy it for hours on end, the AI was fairly good. It was
> limited
> and kind of hokey in that the ships looped from one side of the screen to
> another (no more hokey than a screen with boundaries though) and you were
> very limited in the number of ships you could use... and the graphics were
> of course quite limited. Eventually as with all my old Apple PC games,
> the
> fragile Disk got too ragged and the game simply wouldn't load any more.
> All
> in all impressive, but i thought of it as a taste of the much greater
> games
> would exist in the future. Little did I know this would remain the best
> space game I'd ever played a full 23 years later!!!
>


I whole-heartedly agree! The Cosmic Balance was a Great game for the Apple
II! Unfortunately, my copy didn't survive either. I would love to get a copy
of the Apple or the PC version of this great game!


Zool
September 1, 2005 10:36:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

I have tried most of those suggested here SE, Stars etc.. they don't even
come near where Cosmic Balance left off.
But to be fair, Cosmic Balance is a starship battle simulator and nothing
else, just build the ships and duel it out.. no economic, no planet to take
over, no galaxy to travel to etc.

Go grad a copy of winapple and a copy of the old cosmic balance disk image
and relive the experience!!

"Zool" <mordock999@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:D 7mdndhmKJgLzoveRVn-jQ@comcast.com...
>
> "Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
> news:p PNPe.5399$2_.1276@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
>> Back in like 1982 or 1983, when I was a geeky high school freshman, my
>> dad
>> (a fellow early PC pioneer), sent me my first space game for my Apple
>> II+, a
>> humble SSI creation called "Cosmic Balance".
>>
>> This no-frills game started off by allowing you to design a spaceship (or
>> a
>> handful of them, IIRC) an engrossing process involving managing things
>> like
>> several differen types of guns (with different FIRE ARCS!!! a narrower
>> arc
>> took up less structure points but might not be brought to bear enough),
>> armor and force shields (you could also concentrate these on one part or
>> another of your ship... depending on how you tended to fight), power
>> sources, engines for speed and maneuvering (do you put all the engines in
>> the back for acceleration or more up front where you can turn and
>> maneuver),
>> ECM and ECCM systems, missiles and mines, fighter drones, security
>> systems,
>> marines and etc.
>>
>> The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and /
>> or
>> fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something like 16
>> segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move and fight.
>>
>> At the time I thought it was a pretty cool game, it was quite engrossing
>> and
>> you could enjoy it for hours on end, the AI was fairly good. It was
>> limited
>> and kind of hokey in that the ships looped from one side of the screen to
>> another (no more hokey than a screen with boundaries though) and you were
>> very limited in the number of ships you could use... and the graphics
>> were
>> of course quite limited. Eventually as with all my old Apple PC games,
>> the
>> fragile Disk got too ragged and the game simply wouldn't load any more.
>> All
>> in all impressive, but i thought of it as a taste of the much greater
>> games
>> would exist in the future. Little did I know this would remain the best
>> space game I'd ever played a full 23 years later!!!
>>
>
>
> I whole-heartedly agree! The Cosmic Balance was a Great game for the Apple
> II! Unfortunately, my copy didn't survive either. I would love to get a
> copy of the Apple or the PC version of this great game!
>
>
> Zool
>
Anonymous
September 1, 2005 10:12:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

I wish I could. My copy of the Cosmic Balance was destroyed long ago.....,


Zool



"Me" <me@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:4kxRe.168$pt.76@newssvr27.news.prodigy.net...
>I have tried most of those suggested here SE, Stars etc.. they don't even
>come near where Cosmic Balance left off.
> But to be fair, Cosmic Balance is a starship battle simulator and nothing
> else, just build the ships and duel it out.. no economic, no planet to
> take over, no galaxy to travel to etc.
>
> Go grad a copy of winapple and a copy of the old cosmic balance disk image
> and relive the experience!!
>
> "Zool" <mordock999@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:D 7mdndhmKJgLzoveRVn-jQ@comcast.com...
>>
>> "Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
>> news:p PNPe.5399$2_.1276@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
>>> Back in like 1982 or 1983, when I was a geeky high school freshman, my
>>> dad
>>> (a fellow early PC pioneer), sent me my first space game for my Apple
>>> II+, a
>>> humble SSI creation called "Cosmic Balance".
>>>
>>> This no-frills game started off by allowing you to design a spaceship
>>> (or a
>>> handful of them, IIRC) an engrossing process involving managing things
>>> like
>>> several differen types of guns (with different FIRE ARCS!!! a narrower
>>> arc
>>> took up less structure points but might not be brought to bear enough),
>>> armor and force shields (you could also concentrate these on one part or
>>> another of your ship... depending on how you tended to fight), power
>>> sources, engines for speed and maneuvering (do you put all the engines
>>> in
>>> the back for acceleration or more up front where you can turn and
>>> maneuver),
>>> ECM and ECCM systems, missiles and mines, fighter drones, security
>>> systems,
>>> marines and etc.
>>>
>>> The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and /
>>> or
>>> fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something like 16
>>> segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move and fight.
>>>
>>> At the time I thought it was a pretty cool game, it was quite engrossing
>>> and
>>> you could enjoy it for hours on end, the AI was fairly good. It was
>>> limited
>>> and kind of hokey in that the ships looped from one side of the screen
>>> to
>>> another (no more hokey than a screen with boundaries though) and you
>>> were
>>> very limited in the number of ships you could use... and the graphics
>>> were
>>> of course quite limited. Eventually as with all my old Apple PC games,
>>> the
>>> fragile Disk got too ragged and the game simply wouldn't load any more.
>>> All
>>> in all impressive, but i thought of it as a taste of the much greater
>>> games
>>> would exist in the future. Little did I know this would remain the best
>>> space game I'd ever played a full 23 years later!!!
>>>
>>
>>
>> I whole-heartedly agree! The Cosmic Balance was a Great game for the
>> Apple II! Unfortunately, my copy didn't survive either. I would love to
>> get a copy of the Apple or the PC version of this great game!
>>
>>
>> Zool
>>
>
>
September 2, 2005 12:09:58 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

I put in a half hour looking while surfing.

?????Cosmic Balance ?????

Download the game here.....needs a emulator. I think. It might be the same
game. Maybe.

http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft.php?MENU=8&SOFT_ID=&...
0&OK=OK&ADV=1&VERSION_ID=&VISU=TABLE

Manual
http://retrobits.net/cosmic.html

------------------------------------------------------
Star fleet battles?......ship to ship
--------------------------------------------------------

Cousin to Cosmic Balance-

http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?name=Warp+Factor%...

---------------------------------------------------------------------

This looks like a good site.

http://free-game-downloads.mosw.com/
Anonymous
September 2, 2005 4:54:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 19:06:31 -0500, "Drifter Bob" <nobody@nowhere.net>
wrote:

>Back in like 1982 or 1983, when I was a geeky high school freshman, my dad
>(a fellow early PC pioneer), sent me my first space game for my Apple II+, a
>humble SSI creation called "Cosmic Balance".
>
>This no-frills game started off by allowing you to design a spaceship (or a
>handful of them, IIRC) an engrossing process involving managing things like
>several differen types of guns (with different FIRE ARCS!!! a narrower arc
>took up less structure points but might not be brought to bear enough),
>armor and force shields (you could also concentrate these on one part or
>another of your ship... depending on how you tended to fight), power
>sources, engines for speed and maneuvering (do you put all the engines in
>the back for acceleration or more up front where you can turn and maneuver),
>ECM and ECCM systems, missiles and mines, fighter drones, security systems,
>marines and etc.
>
>The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and / or
>fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something like 16
>segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move and fight.
>

>
>Bottom line, are there any good 4X space games, or simple tactical games,
>either currently available or in development, which do allow you to design
>your own ships and fight them against those of your opponent, and have good
>space combat that you can actually control?
>
>
>DB
>

I remember and loved that game but I broke it. I built this ship that
had like only 2 hyper long range sniper guns and some god awful number
of engines. Because of the "go thru one wall and out the other"
effect I didn't have to worry about turning just speed. If the enemy
wasn't able to destroy me in the first few turns the very best they
could achieve was a standoff, as I zipped by the entire screen once
per turn taking long range super sniper shots at their weapon systems.

I wish there were something like it today.
September 14, 2006 10:56:52 PM

Quote:
Back in like 1982 or 1983, when I was a geeky high school freshman, my dad (a fellow early PC pioneer), sent me my first space game for my Apple II+, a humble SSI creation called "Cosmic Balance".

This no-frills game started off by allowing you to design a spaceship (or a handful of them, IIRC) an engrossing process involving managing things like several differen types of guns (with different FIRE ARCS!!! a narrower arc took up less structure points but might not be brought to bear enough), armor and force shields (you could also concentrate these on one part or another of your ship... depending on how you tended to fight), power sources, engines for speed and maneuvering (do you put all the engines in the back for acceleration or more up front where you can turn and maneuver), ECM and ECCM systems, missiles and mines, fighter drones, security systems, marines and etc.

The action was turn based, you gave your orders to move, maneuver and / or fire over the course of a turn, which was broken into something like 16 segments IIRC, then your ships and the enemy ships would move and fight.

At the time I thought it was a pretty cool game, it was quite engrossing and you could enjoy it for hours on end, the AI was fairly good. It was limited and kind of hokey in that the ships looped from one side of the screen to another (no more hokey than a screen with boundaries though) and you were very limited in the number of ships you could use... and the graphics were of course quite limited. Eventually as with all my old Apple PC games, the fragile Disk got too ragged and the game simply wouldn't load any more. All in all impressive, but i thought of it as a taste of the much greater games would exist in the future. Little did I know this would remain the best space game I'd ever played a full 23 years later!!!


DB



My God I played Cosmic Balance I and II for years. I love those two games and . . . I remember most of the details for both quite clearly. I'd be happy to try to answer any questions people may have about them.


Quote:
Basically just a rip-off of Star Fleet Battles, then.



Well there were some definite similarites, but then how could there not be?


Quote:
I whole-heartedly agree! The Cosmic Balance was a Great game for the Apple II! Unfortunately, my copy didn't survive either. I would love to get a copy of the Apple or the PC version of this great game!

Zool


Mine was on an Atari 800, but who's counting.

Hmmm? Play by email? Hmmm?


Quote:
I have tried most of those suggested here SE, Stars etc.. they don't even come near where Cosmic Balance left off.

But to be fair, Cosmic Balance is a starship battle simulator and nothing else, just build the ships and duel it out.. no economic, no planet to take over, no galaxy to travel to etc.

Go grad a copy of winapple and a copy of the old cosmic balance disk image and relive the experience!!



Yes and No. Cosmic Balance was just a starship combat simulator but Cosmic Balance II was just a strategic level game that allowed an albeit lame interface between the two games (save your game, play Cosmic Balance I, okay who won, continue).


Quote:
I remember and loved that game but I broke it. I built this ship that had like only 2 hyper long range sniper guns and some god awful number of engines. Because of the "go thru one wall and out the other" effect I didn't have to worry about turning just speed. If the enemy wasn't able to destroy me in the first few turns the very best they could achieve was a standoff, as I zipped by the entire screen once per turn taking long range super sniper shots at their weapon systems.

I wish there were something like it today.


It must've had 2 Disruptors, they are infinite range and are only effected by speed. They hit in speed ranges 0-20 then 80-99. I cant remember for speeds 100-235, but these were artificial speed attained by ( 1 ) computer controlled ships only ( 2 ) cheating.

IIRC the "universe" in CB 1 was either 4096^2 or 8192^2. If you wrapped around the computer ships would turn around. Also when you got to the edges and in particular the corners the ship would, for some reason (on the atari version anyway) not be displayed starting in the middle of the screen; it was weird.

I must say it's nice to have found other enthusiast for the two games :) 
December 21, 2006 12:26:05 AM

Ah, those were the days. Castle Wolfenstein on the Apple 2, Commodore 64 games, Space Invaders, Zork.

Space games I liked in the past: Star Control 2, Space Rangers 2

I never really liked the MOO series for some reason. I have Galciv2 on my hard drive, haven't really spent enough time with it to form an opinion. I like games where you have some control tactically, instead of letting the computer have all the fun.
May 12, 2007 5:25:21 PM

I too was a giant fan of Cosmic Balance. Played it on my Atari 8-bit (a 400 and then an 800XL later on). The more modern 4X games since MOO never got me too interested, but recently Sword of the Stars stuck a chord with me. I've put a few hundred hours into it, mostly multi-player, but it's fun either way. I'm also looking forward to Sins of a Solar Empire.
May 25, 2007 9:18:39 AM

I like imperium galactica in the past.
February 26, 2009 2:00:13 AM

With regards to THE COSMIC BALANCE by SSI:

The Best part of this game was that there was NO PERFECT SHIP. For every great ship, there was an equally great design to oppose it. I finally achieved what could be closest to the perfect ship and named the class "Iowa Class" when I saved it to my disk. It had high speed, fast as the fighters in the game, so if you got the jump drive in gear in time, they could pace you but not catch you. (The fighter's had the advantage of instant acceleration to full speed where any ship you built would take approximately 8 turns to reach full speed) I made the maneuverability extremely high and had all guns and torpedoes firing only through arcs 1 and 8 (the two forward arcs). The Torps were installed first ON PURPOSE. The Torps disrupted the shields allowing the phaser banks to reach the armor since they fired after the Torps.

All in all, none of my friends were able to design any ships to beat my Iowa Class.

I see a lot of people on here mentioning this game for the Apple II and the Atari, but none mentioned that it was available for the C= 64 as well. Commodore rocked!

I would love to see a modern port of The Cosmic Balance. But with "fleet" battle capability raised to 12 or 24 ships. A 3-D battlefield would be fun too with better graphics (of course).

Damn, I miss my Commodore....it is a shame the monitor and the power supply finally died on it. Can't find an RGB monitor anywhere these days.

Jason
Houston, TX
February 26, 2009 3:29:39 AM

I like playing Galactic Civilization II.
February 26, 2009 7:05:56 AM

I got a call from 2005, it wants its thread back. :D 
February 26, 2009 9:41:20 PM

Get with the times, SIns of a Solar Empire ftw! :D 
February 27, 2009 5:22:01 PM

Don't get with the times. I was hoping for greatness when I bought Sins recently and was pretty disappointed. The things the OP mentioned are some of the exact things that are missing in Sins. You get a choice of ships to build from, no self designing. The graphics, considering the times, are so so. The game to me seems quite menotinous. The ships look the same. The expansion seems it may improve gameplay a bit, but otherwise I would give it a pass.
February 27, 2009 5:56:41 PM

jjknoll said:
Don't get with the times. I was hoping for greatness when I bought Sins recently and was pretty disappointed. The things the OP mentioned are some of the exact things that are missing in Sins. You get a choice of ships to build from, no self designing. The graphics, considering the times, are so so. The game to me seems quite menotinous. The ships look the same. The expansion seems it may improve gameplay a bit, but otherwise I would give it a pass.


Thanks for the heads up...you saved me from buying it! And I had looked pretty hard at it too...lol.

Thanks again!
February 27, 2009 8:25:28 PM

I looked at it pretty hard for a while also and after reading many glowing reviews about it I decided (when it went on sale) to buy it. The idea of the RPG element wrapped into the capital ships sealed the deal for buying it, but doesn't add as much of an effect as hoped. The biggest complaint of other people, that I have to admit is a major fault, is no campaign for any of the races. It felt as if it had no story to tell, along with other gripes. I wish it was better. I played about 15 games of it, using different races and difficulty. The more I tried to be excited about it the more disheartened I became.
July 25, 2009 10:14:48 PM

Hi everyone, my name is Adam Solo and I'm a 4x Space Gamer fanatic.
I launched a personal blog recently regarding the Space Strategy Games 4x. Basically I want to contribute to the debate of what should be the next generation of Space strategy 4x games.

Care to have a look at: http://www.spacesector.com/blog
I launched already 3 articles at the time of this reply.
* Less Spaceships with more Personality is more Fun July 23, 2009
* Innovative Tech Trees in Space Strategy Games July 18, 2009
* Space Strategy Games: What’s next? July 8, 2009
Let me know your opinion.

------------------------------------
Personal Blog: "Space Strategy Games: What's Next?"
URL: http://www.spacesector.com/blog
September 4, 2009 7:36:44 AM

sunsetconductor said:
With regards to THE COSMIC BALANCE by SSI:

The Best part of this game was that there was NO PERFECT SHIP. For every great ship, there was an equally great design to oppose it. I finally achieved what could be closest to the perfect ship and named the class "Iowa Class" when I saved it to my disk. It had high speed, fast as the fighters in the game, so if you got the jump drive in gear in time, they could pace you but not catch you. (The fighter's had the advantage of instant acceleration to full speed where any ship you built would take approximately 8 turns to reach full speed) I made the maneuverability extremely high and had all guns and torpedoes firing only through arcs 1 and 8 (the two forward arcs). The Torps were installed first ON PURPOSE. The Torps disrupted the shields allowing the phaser banks to reach the armor since they fired after the Torps.

All in all, none of my friends were able to design any ships to beat my Iowa Class.



Under the right conditions I had some designs that might have given you a run for your money. "The right conditions" being: duel with no warping out. That is, I had a design that I think could do the trick but it would take like 100 turns to do so, maybe more against a speed 32 ship.

Mine had a speed of 62 and mounted some photon torpedoes in arc 3 and some more in arc 4, and a plasma torp. Shields were good to starboard and practically gone to port; no armour or belts. But it had enough power to maneuver, charge all weapons, and handle all EC(C)M.

When a target is going 60+ weapons spend most of their time missing. At a speed of 61 you are likely faster than the other ship so you direct the battle, and can keep your weak side away from the enemy. Since weapons tend to miss fast ships, mine could just charge in. I set range type firing so as I passed the first photon torps would fire first and weaken the shield. They would be expected to do about 30 points of damage. Beyond 30 points of photon torpedo damage in one volley there is no additional bonus against shielding. Then the next arc of different photon torpedoes would fire and weaken the shield more since they fired at a different time (using two separate firing arcs guaranteed this). Ideally, one pass would reduce a 30 point shield to a 4 point shield not counting damage. That's a defecit requiring 205 points of power to correct, again assuming the shield isnt actually damaged. Every three turns or so I send out a hail-mary plasma torp and hoped for some luck (remember plasma eats armour). As the target ship got slower the plasma torp became more effective. Deadly but it took a damm long time to kill something.

Obviously this ship would suck for defending another slow ship or planet, but it was great where you had nothing to defend and the enemy could not warp out.

Its funny when I first started playing the game I was concerned about fighters, but fighters in cosmic balance really aren't that much of a threat to dreadnoughts; full shields and belts will do the trick. What you use fighters for is to send them at a destroyer or maybe even a cruiser, and then forget about them and have your ship do something else.

sunsetconductor said:

I see a lot of people on here mentioning this game for the Apple II and the Atari, but none mentioned that it was available for the C= 64 as well. Commodore rocked!

I would love to see a modern port of The Cosmic Balance. But with "fleet" battle capability raised to 12 or 24 ships. A 3-D battlefield would be fun too with better graphics (of course).

Damn, I miss my Commodore....it is a shame the monitor and the power supply finally died on it. Can't find an RGB monitor anywhere these days.

Jason
Houston, TX


I did not know it was on commodore; cool! Was it in full color? On apple and atari it was B+W or B+W and two specific colors.

A fleet of more than four ships each would be fun but then Cosmic Balance II (which assumes a four ship maximum per side would need to be overhauled - not that I would mind . . . mind you :p  ).

3D would be a major change to the game. Fortunately since Cosmic Balance uses free movement and no grid that problem is already solved. The tricky thing here - and its all just math of course - is figuring out the shield boundaries in 3D, given an arbitrary position and heading of the target and firing ships respectively.

I've been thinking about making a combined cosmic balance I and II for Windows Mobile. But as is the case with these things, trying to get the combat formulas and AI right is the pickle.
September 5, 2009 11:04:38 PM

What the hell are you guys talking about, why does everyone sound like a computer,LOL
November 30, 2010 12:08:00 AM

Ummmm.....

How about not resurrecting a thread that was started in 2005 and has been dead for more than a year?

November 30, 2010 8:06:34 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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