And now...I give you..
The super happy fun guide for conquering the universe
Or at least the galaxy
By Brad Wardell
So you've decided to conquer the galaxy. Good for you!
Let me start by saying that Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade is the greatest game in human history. Nay, the greatest creation of all the universe. At least, that's what marketing told me to say (please send help, they're going to take my thumbs!)
This impressively formatted guide will help you learn a little bit about the game.
Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based game.
It is in the genre of 4X which stands for Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate.
In the hands of the wrong people, it's about as fun to watch being played as paint drying. And I don't even mean like fancy, colorful paint but that builder's grade stuff.
But hopefully, in your hands, it'll be a sandbox for your imagination (seriously, my thumbs!).
Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade, is an expansion pack. It's distributed as a measly DLC which, frankly, bugs me a lot. But what are ya going to do?
But really, Crusade is more like GalCiv III.5 or if we still did games at retail, this would probably be GalCiv IV.
Here's what's new:
So yea, it's actually more different from GalCiv III than GalCiv III was from GalCiv II.
This guide is here to help you get the most out of the game.
Because your time is valuable I am going to try to focus on what 5 hours of gameplay. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of the game.
Setting up the game...
When you load the game from Steam is should look like this:
The logo is a dead give-away that you're playing Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade
By contrast, if THIS loads up:
Then we admire your taste in games but this is not Crusade.
Part I: Civ Designing...
One of the best new features of Crusade is the Civ Builder. Let's design a civilization.
To do this, press the Civilization Builder button on the main menu.
That will bring up this screen:
It is now ready to create your very own science-fiction universe.
The Creative's Guide to Sci-Fi
I found this map on the Internet. It made me uncomfortable.
There are some amazingly creative people out there who will create every imaginable Sci-Fi universe. Crusade is, arguably, the first game to make it relatively easy for people to share these with each other.
Fast way to create your own Civilizations
Because Crusade is brand new, there won't be any full-on civilizations available to just bring into your game.
So we're going to have to cheat a little bit and use FACTIONS (which were in GalCiv III but only handled the lore aspect of a civilization).
Step 1: To speed up this process and have a blast, go back to the main menu, click on NEW GAME
Click on Get Civilizations
On day 1, there won't be any full fledged Civilizations. But for our purposes, that's fine.
Click on BROWSE->Collections
STEP 2: Collections: Insane happy fun time begins
I have spent many hours just reading and looking at what people have created.
Seriously, someone asks why someone works the long hours making games, this is the answers. Look at what people have created!
The GalCiv III Steamworks Collections may be the most concentrated area of Sci-Fi wonder on the Internet and yet few know about it.
Quite a bit of time and fun can be spent just looking at these (and naming the fans who made them, I find this stuff pretty amazing)
There's tons of Star Trek and Star Wars stuff of course but also lots of really interesting or obscure Sci-Fi content in here complete with its own lore and background.
What GalCiv III did (and Crusade takes up 10 notches) is to make this kind of thing accessible to gamers and not just hard-core modders.
Step 3: Pick a few things
BE CAREFUL: It would be easy to accidentally subscribe to gigabytes of stuff which could bring your Internet connection to a halt (let alone require the game to process all this stuff).
Just go with a few things you want to try out.
To get this stuff into your game just do this:
Press the subscribe button and it all ends up in the game automatically. Just be careful not to do too much at once (when making this guide I decided to subscribe to about a dozen collections, it took awhile for the game to process what amounted to 5 gigabytes of assets).
STEP 4: Indulge yourself
I'm a big Babylon 5 fan. So I really enjoy checking out what people have made.
So I subscribed to all of the ones here.
Then I clicked on just one of them.
And then I clicked on the EFNI link you can see above.
And mind you, we haven't even started creating our own civs yet!
45 minutes in and we are now ready to begin designing a Civilization!
There are a couple ways to do this. The Civ Builder on the main menu will let you start from scratch. But then you have to type in lots of things.
Let's create our Civilization! The PROUD WARRIOR EMPIRE
Step 1 CREATE A COPY
USER COPY (don't edit or it will overwrite your changes the next time the author updates the original).
Step 2 Review the Text, change the name to your desire
Step 3 What are the traits of this Civ?
Step 4 What do their ships appear like?
Play around with the texture and materials.
Step 5 Choose Ships
The Fleet page is where you can assign the ships you downloaded.
Soon, other people will upload Civs with all this already set up. However, this won't be the case on day 1.
You can name ships, give them descriptions, etc. We will be releasing updates to the game to make this even easier.
Don't forget you can switch back and forth between fleets and appearance if you don't like the colors (the material matters almost as much as the color).
In a few weeks, the fans will have every civilization with every ship with lore everywhere.
We WILL be updating the game so provide buttons to take people to various links where more fan lore can be viewed.
Step 6 Customize Behavior
Here you can decide how the AI will use this civilization.
You can also decide what they say to you.
You can even decide what their people look like if you choose to play as them and even pick names.
For the really really hard core you can even bring up a text editor from the game to edit.
This way you can create custom text based on all kinds of conditions (like are they talking to the Federations?
The Civilization Builder isn't even the main new feature in Crusade. But holy cow you could spend days here.
FACTION (GalCiv III)
What Ships they use
What text they use
What Starbases they use
What their citizens look like
PART II: YOUR CIV...
Your First Civilization will probably be weird looking. Don't worry about that.
When you create your Civ, you may find that what you would guess looks bad actually looks pretty good when played.
Pink, for instance, is awesome for a map theme. You'd never guess but really. Try it.
COOL NEW FEATURE: What traits you use and what abilities you have determine how your tech tree is generated and what text you have available to you.
PART III: THE FIRST TURN
Let's set up the game to be maximum fun.
STEP 1: MEDIUM GALAXY
STEP 2: ABUNDANT STUFF
This isn't the best way to get a long, interesting game going because there's so much stuff. But it's a good way to get things moving.
STEP 3: OPPONENTS
So here are my opponents!
1. The Yor. (race of alien robots)
2. Thalan (race of time travelers)
3. Drengin (GalCiv's most famous evil race)
4. Proud Warrior Empire (derivative of the Klingon Empire)
5. Space Rome (derivative of Centauri)
6. The United Federation of Diversity (derivative of Federation)
7. Evil Empire (derivative of Star Wars)
8. Syreen (from Star Control, published by Stardock!)
STEP 4: INTO THE GAME
A. USE the mouse wheel to rotate and zoom in and see your stuff.
B. LEFT CLICK to select a ship, RIGHT CLICK to send it somewhere
C. DOUBLE CLICK will almost always do something interesting.
D. TAB key will always move the game to whatever needs your attention.
GAMEPLAY NOTES NEW TO CRUSADE
1. All new UI
2. You don't start out with a shipyard. Just the ship you picked (as part of your civilization).
STEP 5: PICK FIRST TECH
Each tech does something interesting. There's no wrong choice.
You can hit the Tech Tree button in the bottom right to see the whole tree.
GAMEPLAY NOTES NEW TO CRUSADE
1. Every tech in the game has been updated and balanced.
2. What techs you get depends on what traits you have.
STEP 6: YOUR PLANET
So what should you do first on your planet?
There is no correct answer here. It depends on what your planet has on it which is different every game.
1. You can build a shipyard so you can start cranking out ships
2. You can build the Computer Core to speed up research
3. You can build the Central Bank which gets your economy going right away
GAMEPLAY NOTES NEW TO CRUSADE
1. New UI
2. Word on the STreet
3. Missions: Aid Research
GAMEPLAY NOTES NEW TO CRUSADE
In Crusade, the economy is super straight -forward:
1. Your population produces raw production (you can mouse-over everything)
2. Social construction = raw production plus bonuses you might have
3. Ship construction = raw production (if you have a shipyard) plus any bonuses
4. Research = …
You're probably seeing a pattern…
Money is not really an object. You should always have plenty of money. The purpose of money is so you can Rush build things. If you're spending a bunch of turns doing nothing, rethink the strategy you're using.
STEP 7: YOUR SHIPS
This Survey ship can go around and collect stuff.
● Keep hitting TAB to cycle to the next thing OR press the button in the bottom right of the screen.
● Send your survey ship to go grab stuff
● NAME your ships something interesting.
You are probably ready to finish your first turn.
PART IV: Initial Turns...
Now we begin to explore the game itself. This is a good time to explore the game.
Step 1: Victory button (top of screen)
Step 2: Ship Design
Not much to design early on but you can see see what's there.
● Suggestion: Favor your specialty ships so you always have access to them.
Step 3: GOVERN
At the start, there's not much going on.
The blank slots are where you can place citizens to boost different parts of your economy.
Step 4: Exploration
Because we set everything to abundant, the galaxy is a toy box.
The important (and not intuitive to non-strategy gamers) things to know:
1. You have to send a colony ship to colonize a planet.
2. You build constructors to build starbases which claim nearby resources
3. Survey ships collect the space junk.
Claim those planets and resources before someone else does!!!!
Money in the bank is worthless (don't tell my mom I wrote that!): RUSH BUILD!
You can command your ships to go to their own thing.
Step 5: TALKING TO STRANGERS
How you talk to other civilizations and how they talk to you is dependent on what traits they have and you have. It's not all generic text. I am playing as an Angry civilization so my text is different than some peacenik civ.
Step 6: What kind of people are you?
When you land on alien planets you will end up with situations that will force you to make some tough choices.
These choices will determine how your civilization evolves. Yes. I ripped this off from Ultima IV.
Step 7: Getting Universal Translator
Every Civ talks to every other Civ differently.
We aren't kidding.
Part V: The Early Game...
Let's walk through the steps you will reach in this early part of the game.
STEP 1: CITIZENS
The coolest new feature of Crusade! Citizens.
When specializations you have depends on what techs you have civ traits you have.
What to choose?
A. If you are rush building a lot of constructors or colonies, you will probably want an administrator.
B. If you are trying to get a Galactic Wonder built, choose the Worker
C. If you are trying to get tech going faster, choose the scientist
D. If you are trying to rush buy a lot of things, choose the Entrepreneur
STEP 2: Use your Constructors wisely!
Build a Constructor. Then zoom out and see the dotted line on it. That is its area of claim. Position it so that it can get as much stuff in that claim (don't wait too long or others will claim the stuff).
Then choose CONSTRUCT STARBASE
STEP 3: Look at Ideology
The choices you make throughout the game will give you access to parts of the ideology tree. It can be fun to see how good, evil and neutral civs do.
STEP 4: Look at Diplomacy
You probably haven't met everyone yet. But you can see how you're doing with those you have met.
If you mouse over them, you can see how they feel about you.
STEP 5: Talk to the aliens
The Thalan are time travelers. So they know what to expect.
The Proud Warrior Empire are, well, presumptuous.
STEP 6: TRADE with the Aliens
At lower difficulty levels, the AI doesn't rush build as much as most players do. As a result, they tend to have more money which you can trade tech for.
STEP 7: BUILD UP YOUR ASTEROIDS
Remember how I said the economy was super simple.
Remember how I said that raw production was simply your population (technically square root of a planet's population).
...Well you can also boost it with asteroid mining. Each asteroid provides +1 to your planet which is a big deal.
Click on the asteroid and build mines on them.
STEP 8: GO ON A TREASURE HUNT
Q: WHY DO 4X games get sooo tedious late game?
A: Because it's not fun to have to manage tons of planets and ships for most people.
Q: SO how do you solve that?
A: Let the private sector handle it!
In nearly every strategy game ever, when the game starts to bog down, the developer will tell you how you should use "governors" to solve the problem.
In Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade we instead let the player choose missions for its planets and shipyards to go on.
How is that different than a governor? With a Governor, your city/empire/planet/factory does things on its own. You are ceding control to it. With Missions, the player can queue up a series of jobs for it to go on that will result in something good happening later.
Thus, unlike a governor, you are never giving up control. There is nothing to later come back and turn off. You are just telling the planet/shipyard to do something specific for a bit that has a specific result.
The treasure hunt is a mission where a ship is built and it goes out, automatically, and finds treasure and you get a cut of it. If you're going to be busy for awhile, you could queue up 3 or 4 of these.
You can do the same on your planet. Queue up an aid Research or two and get research each time it finishes while ignoring the planet for awhile.
STEP 9: BUILD A FREIGHTER AND MAKE FRIENDS
Decide who you want to be friends with early. Then build a freighter and send it over to one of their planets.
Freighters come from the Xeno Commerce technology.
STEP 10: SPY ON YOUR NEIGHBORS
Remember Universal Translator?
Once you get a diplomatic specialization, you can get Espionage and instead of just talking to the aliens you can spy on them. Filthy aliens. Filthy, filthy aliens.
Once you have espionage, you can train a spy next time you get a Citizen (every 10 turns).
Then I'm going to put that spy on those damn goodie goodies. This will just let me learn some things about them. Just wait.
After a few turns, you will know more. Take the spy off of them and then click on the Colonies tab.
Let's send our spy to Earth!
See all that great data on the right? Let's see how much we can screw up the Federation.
When you click on an improvement, you can see what level it is. Buildings level up and get bonuses based on what has been built next to them. The Computer Core is easily their most valuable building on Earth.
By placing a spy there, we can bring Earth's research down from 16 to 2!
STEP 11: Design a Ship (badly)
Hopefully by now you have some weapons. So let's get ready to start some murderin.
Click on the DESIGN button.
Click on NEW DESIGN.
Pick a hull size (tip: You can fold and unfold the categories by clicking on the little arrow button)
Ship Design is quite easy
1. Pick a hull size
2. Put equipment on it
3. Save it.
Because we've subscribed to a bunch of ships already, there will be a ton of ship hull designs. This might be a little overwhelming looking but just remember, those are just design templates. There's no equipment on them yet.
Pick a Hull size (small in this example)
Put Equipment on it
Normally you would put little parts on your ship but since you've downloaded lots of pre-made designs you can skip that part and go right to equipping your ship.
Brad's basic ship design:
Most weapons require a special resource (enhanced weapons). But when you specialize on a weapon class, there are some weapons that don't require special resources (which is why I researched kinetic weapons so I could get the enhanced rail gun).
You can put the weapon anywhere you want. I just double click on the weapon and it auto-places it.
Now I just order my Shipyard to build the ship (which I have called the Tantrum).
STEP 12: Become a Pirate!
Using the Tech tree again, you can work your way to War College. This adds the Commander to your civilization.
Now, I have a commander!
Now to have some fun!
First, click on a ship.
Now, click the Add Commander button.
Now the fleet has a commander:
And the button has changed to promote. Click on that.
Now, the ship becomes a pirate. You still control it, but no one knows it's yours.
BEWARE: The Pirate ship is the best ship you can currently build at that moment. So think carefully when you decide to become a pirate.
Now, go mess with the Federation!
Someday all this will be yours...
This would be a good time to look over your Empire.
Ah the federation, you were a contender.
With only an a serious hour or so of actual game time and 3 hours of just building your own universe we've only scratched the surface.
It is an unlimited universe of infinite fun! (they're coming for my thumbs! No...no...noooooooo!)
We still have:
4. Citizen Promotions!
6. Cultural take overs!
7. Tech Stealing!