For those interested in Aurora, I clipped the following post from the Wargamer forums:
Due to Distant World stirring up 4x excitement. The subject of Aurora came up over in the Matrix forums. So I decided to download the latest version and try it out. Man, it's like playing a spreadsheet. Lots of data and details, very little 'game'. It's so dry I was falling asleep within the first 30 mins. How can this even be compared to Armada or Distant World? What's the point of all that data when their is no payoff (ie. battles in space, etc.). The game really needs some graphics to spice things up.
I will play devil's advocate for you. I love Aurora but have no interest in DW. Aurora is spreadsheet heavy thats for sure...but its all about realism. When I look at the "Harpoon" style command screen, I imagine that I am, a commander in my flag ship looking at my combat display. Since this is what you would see if you were in a modern navy ship in combat, it suits me fine.
As for the rest of the game, its great because it allows you to do anything...and design anything. There is no game out there that allows so much control over designs. For example: I built a small frigate to patrol and harass enemy shipping. I wanted beams for offense (not much help against warships due to the range you have to get to to use them (50,000 Km or so) and missles for defense against enemy missles. I also wanted a guass cannon for CIWS work...Combat takes place at about 1 million Kms so I have a layered defense.
I had to design the missle itself, the warhead size, size of the missle, engine type, maneuverability, ECCM packages. ..then I had to buld a stockpile of missles. Then I had to design the magazine and launcher. How fast is reload? is the magazine armored? etc. Then I design the fire control system. It has to have the right type of sensors to detect missles and the right range. All that just for the missles. Then for beams you need to design a turret with sufficient gears for tracking, a powerplant that creates enough energy to power...but not too much, plus a different type of fire control. Then build the ship...crew quarters, engines, different sensor types...the more you put on, the more maintenance failures,,,blah, blah, blah.
The best thing? After all of that...it may not work!!! I built a huge cruiser that cost a ton and took forever to build. Took it into combat and got smoked. Why? I only had one fire control for 6 missle launchers so it could not track enough missles to keep up with enemy salvoes. My Gauss system was tied to the beam weapon (by mistake...yes, you have to assign fire control to different weapons once the ship is launched) so that was a mess.
I wanted to build a MARINE LANDING CRAFT. So I built this huge ship carrying a battalion of marines. Went to atack an enemy planet and whilelanding marines, had it blown apart by enemy planetary defense. So, I built a "drop ship" for about a company of marines. Now I plan to send them to combat drop onto the planet and destroy the PDC...then I can land the rest. I can also use them to combat drop onto disabled enemy ships to capture them.
You have the freedom to design ANYTHING........ and it can fail! You wont know until you take it into combat
The last point is that I can design any universe I want. I designed an "Honorverse" because I wanted to play out Honor HArrington books. I created a MAnticore, Republic of Haven, etc. I set up appropriate races on each planet and connected them with jump points. Then I played it. TOTAL CONTROL
I personally dont like space combat game where ships are flying around 500 yards from eachother firing lasers like a WWII dogfight. to me, AURORA is as realistic a space combat game as you can get (assuming a game about something that isnt real can be "realistic but you get the point)
ALLLLLL that said. I see why people dont like Aurora and DO like games like Sins or DW. To each his own.
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