There will be a time for peace in the galaxy, where life-forms can skip through the fields and read poetry, unworried by the threat of war, but this is not that time. There will be a time for song, time for cakes, time for long afternoon strolls, but this is not that time. There will be time for love, time for joy, time for writing that novel you know you have in you somewhere, but this is still not that time.
This is a time for war. Huge war, galaxy-spanning war, where the cries for mercy from the citizens of captured worlds will reverberate around the bridge of your flagship. A time for honor, for glory, for huge profits for people in the defense industry. This is a time for galactic conquest.
Galactic conquest is the campaign meta-game add-on for gratuitous space battles. The campaign 'wraps-around' the battles, so they are no longer isolated clashes, but merely engagements in an ongoing galaxy-conquering campaign. When you decide to move one of your space fleets to an enemy-controlled planet, a normal GSB battle takes place, and the winner takes control of that system. This radically changes the tactics of the game. No longer can you design ships specifically to fight a single enemy fleet, but you are forced to think ahead, to design multi-role ships and fleets that can take on all comers.
- Mid-battle fleet-wide 'retreat' option.
- Post-battle repairs.
- You can scrap ships to reclaim the crew and a part of the construction cost.
- Shipyards, in 3 different sizes.
- Factories produce cash, academies produce crew.
- Repair yards fix your ships after battle.
- Enemy ships can be captured once victory is declared.
- Loyalty and threat levels modelled for each of your worlds.
- Attack and move fleets between systems only through established hyperspace wormholes.
- Three difficulty settings, to suit all levels of player.
- New campaign-specific manual to instruct would-be galactic conquerors.
- New campaign music.
- 'Massively singleplayer' feature pits you against fleets designed by other players.
- Lots of new background graphics and planets to fight over.
- Spatial anomalies force you to fight some battles in adverse conditions, or with limited ship choices.