From: My Own Private Hell
This great game reminds me of the (very) old game STARS!, which many of us older guys played for many days, weeks and maybe years. I don't remember if it was the first 4X games, but it was certainly one of the earliest and the one with the most micro-management until Master of Orion came out. As much as I remember, STARS! did not have the possibility of doing all the things this game does, after all it was played on 8-bit computers with VGA (or maybe less), and it did not have all of the information screens that are so helpful (and necessary) in this game.
for me DW passed under the horizon until this latest Shadow expansion, because I had had the impression that it was too much micro-management (or maybe because it came out at the same time as something else like WITE), but I think word-of-mouth is spreading the word and it may become the sleeper of the year - at least for serious strategy gamers.
Actually I checked and CIV (1991) and MOO (1995) came out before STARS! (1996).
You needed the Stars! Notebook to give it full functions for data sorting for planets, I have had it installed on every PC I have had since 99. I love the way the freighters were done as regards transporting the resources, and trying to chase the trader to get the good tech. Awesome game. My first 4x would be Reach For The Stars on the Amiga, I had the board game but bought the Amiga to cut down on all the pencil work and counters.