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Galactic Civilizations II is a turn-based strategy game created by Stardock. This company has been producing quality hits for quite some time and has a very loyal and growing fanbase. You will be hard pressed to find a similar small company with such an amazing track record. I love strategy games and never took the time to try the first Galactic Civilizations though now I wish I had. Galactic Civilizations II is a must have for fans of turn-based strategy games. The customizations are absolutely amazing as you can build your entire fleet and race from scratch if you feel the need to.
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Galactic Civilizations II plays similarly to other 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) games such as the popular Sid Meier's Civilization series. If you have ever played any games in this genre you should be relatively familiar with the overall goals of the game and how to achieve them. Galactic Civilizations II allows you to win a game in many different ways. You can become dominant through force, culture, or diplomacy along with a few other options depending on what, if any, expansion packs you have installed.You begin the game with your home planet, a colony ship, a mining ship, and a scout ship. The inexperienced player will immediately colonize the first planet they see but after a few games you will realize you should send that initial colony ship out to find a planet with a lot of room for development. Your scout ship is a great source of income in the early stages as it will find debris, wormholes, and all kinds of cool stuff as it maps nearby star systems.
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Something that will keep the die hard player awake long into the night is the ability to create your own races and spaceships. You can create entire fleets from scratch and have them any color or design imaginable. Many people immediately create Star Wars and Star Trek ships but I went a different route. I created a race that lives on the planet Las Vegas and flies around in various body parts and shoes. They are the Stripper race and it's hilarious to start a new game only to be attacked by a fleet of high heels.Each of the races you can select have various types of technology at their disposal. Some races are quite war-like while others have a focus on technological advance or diplomacy.
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Two great expansion packs have been released for Galactic Civilizations II. The first one was called Dark Avatar and was released in 2007. This expansion pack added a couple races, lets you customize computer players, and tons of great components you can use to upgrade and enhance your fleet of ships with. Some of the ship features are purely decorative but some provide some nice benefits. The latest expansion pack, Twilight of the Arnor, lets you build the awe inspiring "Terror Star" which is a Death Star type battle station that can annihilate entire solar systems. Races all get new technologies and all the graphics in the game have been given a great overhaul. This is supposed to be the very last expansion pack for Galactic Civilizations II so we hope they have #3 in the works.