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Off Topic / Re: Book Recommendation
« Last post by Garfunkel on June 18, 2022, 08:54:08 PM »
Passage at Arms and The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook. Weber and White wrote the Starfire books Insurrection, Crusade, In Death Ground and The Shiva Option. The fleet combat will be really familiar to you. Walter Jon Williams's Dread Empire's Fall Series: The Praxis, The Sundering, and Conventions of War.

Then there are other authors/series that are more focused on small unit action, space marine stuff, but with some space ship battles included as well. John Ringo's Looking Glass series: Into the Looking Class, Vorpal Blade, Manxome Foe, Claws that Catch. First book is classic aliens invade Earth stuff with a scientist & soldier protagonist-pair, then the second book takes a turn towards Star Trek-style space exploration. Then there's the three series - Heritage Trilogy, Inheritance Trilogy and the Legacy Trilogy - by Ian Douglas (aka William Keith). It starts with various Earth powers fighting among themselves until aliens show up and the fighting moves to the stars. Lot of small-unit infantry action, with protagonists changing as the years (and later decades) pass. It starts with little silly, with US at war with French-led United Nations but gets better as it goes along.

For harder sci-fi, try Peter F Hamilton. Both the Night's Dawn trilogy and the two-parter Pandora's Star & Judas Unchained. Lot of cool concepts, lot of characters, lot of action. Be warned that these are HUGE books, it'll take a while to read them. I haven't read the sequels, Void Trilogy, but it has received praise too.
Off Topic / Re: Book Recommendation
« Last post by MeatyBoii on June 18, 2022, 03:27:42 PM »
As this is a book recommendation topic, I'll ask for one.

I like "hard"/hardish sci-fi.  Really enjoyed The Lost Fleet books (action yes, characters not so much).  Are there series that are similar to it, preferably without all the tacked on romance stuff and characters stiffer than during a funeral?
Off Topic / Re: Book Recommendation
« Last post by Warer on June 12, 2022, 07:19:31 AM »
Hmmm not really something that strikes me as something Aurora players would like in particular but Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a pretty good sci-fi story about a revolution against an oppressive gene cast based society....well that and I got the board game for my birthday so wanted to brag about that.
Off Topic / Book Recommendation
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on June 11, 2022, 11:05:08 AM »
I don't put many book recommendations on here, but this struck me as something that Aurora players might enjoy. Its about a war in 1987 from the perspective of several B-52 crews. There is minimal characterization and it is extremely detailed, but its pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about B-52s but were afraid to ask.
Game/Book Reviews / Re: Games like Aurora
« Last post by Tuna-Fish on May 06, 2022, 02:36:45 PM »

I am sure you could get it working if you had the right environment set up.

Somewhat ironically, the best and easiest way to get Stars! working on modern windows systems is to create a virtual machine, install Ubuntu (or some other flavor of Linux) on that virtual machine, and then install wine under Ubuntu. There is probably some kind of inception joke in there somewhere...
Game/Book Reviews / Re: Games like Aurora
« Last post by Zap0 on May 06, 2022, 01:04:44 PM »
I remember looking at Shadow Empire when it was first released, among other things I was very impressed that a proper manual was published which is a sadly rare thing these days (Paradox and others could learn a thing or two!). I can't recall whether I declined to pick it up due to lack of time or because I had read some poor reviews about bugs or game balance - any comment on the latter as potential issues?

Can second shadow empire. Haven't found bugs or any obvious balance issues I found, but I never got into the lategame or huge empires. The tech advancement, logistics management and general style of the game made it for me.
Game/Book Reviews / Re: Distant Worlds 2
« Last post by Arwyn on May 06, 2022, 10:24:46 AM »
Much like the original DW, I think this game is going to go down the route of "better after a few expansions".

My biggest complaint with the game right now is simply not being able to manage fleets properly. It REALLY aggravates the hell out of me to have some damn monster rampaging around a system, eating civilians and my construction ships, and the damn fleet in the next system decides to bugger off to a system on the frontier to investigate a blip. That got so annoying I put the game down for a bit.
Game/Book Reviews / Re: Games like Aurora
« Last post by Arwyn on May 06, 2022, 10:20:53 AM »
I would echo Shadow Empire. The interesting thing about the game is it can play VERY differently depending on the world you start on. Resource management can be pretty different depending on where you at.

The planet generation is pretty detailed and can make some pretty large differences in gameplay. Its a very different experience starting on a earth-like planet compared to one with an insidious atmosphere, no compatible biology (no eating local food, build ag domes), and incredibly hostile local wildlife. The tech tree is also fairly deep, and your going to go from roughly WW I tech levels to post modern.

Replay value is good, and the AI is decent, so its worth some time investment. And I will also second RTW, I have gotten a ton of value out of playing that game.
Game/Book Reviews / Re: Games like Aurora
« Last post by Gyrfalcon on May 06, 2022, 06:21:45 AM »
Solar War is fun in the early and mid-game, stagnates in the late game where you're on the offensive and no longer challenged in any way by the aliens, and goes to crap on the final mission where you abandon any tactics that worked in the leadup and have to learn how the game designer decided the game should be played.
Game/Book Reviews / Re: Games like Aurora
« Last post by Vandermeer on May 06, 2022, 02:30:59 AM »
I also played a lot of Stars! back then, though I think I never won a single game. I still remember the fun mechanics of minefields and how impressed I was with the modular ship design that this game pioneered. I think I only stopped when I couldn't find a fresh install for a new pc anymore, because the young google would pull up all kinds of obscene pictures and pages when you typed in "stars". ("suggestion: naked stars" :-X )
Interesting to see that many Aurora players come from those origins.

I already presented this game years ago, Solar War, but though it is not really like Aurora, it definitely works in the same genre. The author wanted to make this into a galaxy spanning game and already had some random galaxy generation program presented, but it appears he never got there.
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