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Armada 2526: Supernova

Armada 2526: Supernova

When a star nears the end of its life, the nuclear fuel in the core begins to run out. As a result, not enough radiation is released to resist gravity. This means that the core will collapse. During this powerful process, the star sheds its outer layers. This results in beautiful objects like the Crab Nebula, where the center of the star remains in the form of a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole. This abrupt termination of the star has been dubbed a supernova and is a phenomenon that can cause the dispersion of the heavier elements. Although this astronomical phenomenon is extremely interesting and also takes place in space, it is now really time to talk about Armada 2526: Supernova. It is the first expansion for the 2010 4x space strategy game Armada 2526.

new blood

Supernova is an expansion that knows how to expand much in the field of exploration, exploitation and extinction. A whole range of new content will be added to the already fairly extensive original database. For starters, two new playable races have been added to the previous list of factions. They both have their own armada of ships and new special abilities. The Florian Diaspora is a variety of plants. They are very sensitive and therefore need planets with ideal conditions to live on. What’s interesting about the Florians is that they have the ability to build ships that can plant seeds on a hostile world and build their own population on that planet. The other variety is The Cancerian Potentate. They are crab-like creatures with a more defensive mentality. In addition, they are creatures that like to colonize the water-covered worlds. These are mostly planets where others don’t like to settle and so the Cancerians have a big advantage in expanding their empire.

This brings me to an important innovation that Supernova brings. The diversity of the planets’ climates has been given a significant boost. For example, in addition to perfect or dried-out worlds, you now also have planets that are less extreme and, for example, are only poorly habitable for part of the year. For example, there are planets with elongated elliptical orbits that are temporarily very hot because they pass very close to their star, caused by a strongly eccentric orbit. In addition, you have worlds at your disposal that are very favorable for a certain research area and thus considerably accelerate the processes in it, but are also very attractive, for example, if tourist attractions or have a climate with building-destroying weather phenomena. You will have to take all this into account when establishing your empire in space and it brings a lot more depth to the exploration element of the game.

Trade is a dirty world

Operational options will also be expanded. Thus, a new trading system is introduced. It is possible to have a trading post set up on your planets by a neighboring race, or to place such a building near them. The trading networks are fully automatic, but it is possible to impose embargoes on the users. For example, you can stop the export of certain goods if your ally becomes too annoying, or even temporarily shut down the entire trade. An advantage of the trade routes is that they also open a way for tourism and underhanded practices. In Supernova you get the option to train spies that you smuggle through a trading network to the worlds of your trading partners to do all kinds of dirty tricks. For example, they can steal technology, which means that with a strong espionage network you no longer have to do any research yourself.

In addition, this new system opens up the possibility of fighting on two fronts. If you decide to attack a planet, you can now first send a bunch of spies there who will sabotage the defense mechanisms. This will make it easier for your spaceships to overpower the colony. But the spy system goes even further. Among the fifty new technologies are also a number that give stealth properties to spaceships. For example, you can now build ships that cannot be followed by opponents and in this way can infiltrate the lines unnoticed to drop ground troops. In addition, there are a number of scouts with stealth technology and a powerful radar, which can monitor the enemy’s fleet movements. Armada 2526 is therefore made a lot more interesting with Supernova.

More potential here and there

A much-needed addition is online multiplayer. With this expansion you get the option to play games over the LAN with a friend. It is also possible to play via email, where you send the data of your actions to your fellow players every turn. Although it is now a lot easier to play the game with friends, Supernova still contains no real online experience and you will always have to meet up with people to play against a human opponent. A big loss and moreover, most of the additions that Supernova offers had the potential to become much more. You have very little control over some things like trading and espionage. With a little extra micromanagement it would have come across a lot more convincing. Now all you get is the message that something is happening.

This certainly doesn’t mean that Supernova is a bad first expansion. The two new races are nice additions to the original twelve and their special abilities are very useful. In addition, Armada 2526 gets a lot more depth and you now get the idea that it really matters in which world you build a population. The new espionage and trading networks bring a little more realism to a game where politics and dirty tricks to make yourself better are the order of the day. The biggest selling point for players of the original has to be the addition of multiplayer. Unfortunately, the game still falls short at some points and remains a bit superficial. In any case, it is certain that Armada 2526 with Supernova will be a lot more entertaining to play and it is hoped that the depth will be increased even more with future expansions.

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Author: Robin Kooistra | Genre: Strategy | Release: 01-05-2011 | Publisher: Iceberg Interactive | Developer: Ntronium Games/Shining Pixel StudiosGraphics: 6.7 † Sound: 6.0 † Gameplay: 7.8 † Controls: 7.5 † Playback: 7.9 7.2+ More different planets to live on+ Espionage and trading systems+ Online multiplayer via LAN and email- More potential in some areas- Not a full multiplayer experience-