This is a guest review by Ludovic
At last, the heavily armed starbase, Sanctity, exploded in a shower of debris and flames under the heavy bombing from my Ogrov missile cruisers. Destroying this mighty Advent-spawned beast, had been far from a cakewalk however.
The last vanguard against my invasion of asteroid colony Sakharov, I had thought destroying it would have meant the end of the Hands of Illus, the faction of the twisted Advent that laid ownership of the Talitha system, but I was wrong...
Half of my fleet lay broken in the gravity well, all thanks to the infernal weaponry aboard the Sanctity. Even the fleet's flagship, a mighty Marza dreadnought met its match in the siege.
Now an Advent fleet was pouring out of the Hands' capital, Anhui, intent on smashing my force once and for all. The Hands probably began to reposition and produces this force when I was struggling against the Sanctity.
Even in death, the starbase's crew was still taunting me, having sacrificed themselves to ultimately deny me victory over Sakharov.
Still... the end of Advent domination in this system is at hand.
Even if I am foced to leave Sakharov under this Advent onslaught, it will only to return stronger. For the ultimate end of the Hands of Illus didn't begin with the destruction of the Sanctity, but when a Traders' starbase was established next to the wormhole of the Hamina sector, permiting my fleet to invade the neighboring planet of Kaseda. And now, with a planet under my control and a second starbase of my own at Kaseda, and the Hands retaining only their own capital world and a crippled asteroid colony, it was only a matter of time until my fleet would be large enough to finally spearhead an assault on Anhui, driving out the Hands out of the Talitha system once and for all.
It was only a matter of time...
Sins of a Solar Empire is a game that pretty much took the world of PC gaming by surprise when it was released last year in 2008. A 4x game set as a RTS rather than turn-based, most people would have thought it simply too niche to ever truly succeed. Yet, not only has it succeeded but it has racked awards after awards ever since. Now, one year after, we see the release of the first micro-expansion for the game, Entrenchment. So, if you wonder if it is worth the small cost, then read on to find why it is.Story
As standard Sins of a Solar Empire fare so far, Entrenchment has little in the way of story beside what was given in small blurbs in the manual and elsewhere (where mentions of all sides deploying massive starbases as the war drags on most fronts, as each sides tries to consolidates their positions on their holdings), lacking a single-player campaign like the original game. However, as was the case with Sins, the length of the average skirmish usually makes up for the lack of any campaigns.Gameplay
Generally, the gameplay remains the same than Sins of a Solar Empire. You start with a planet, then build up a fleet to get other planets under you mantle as you proceed to build up your empire, fending off attacks from opposing players whilst invading them in return to increase the size of your empire. Where Entrenchment does shine, however, is in what it adds to this gameplay, beginning with the new “Defense” tech tree for all races.
This tree, which includes the original researches for orbital defense platforms and strike craft hangars now adds a whole slew of new defensives options.
From new upgrades to pre-existing defensive structures, such as the capacity for TEC gauss turrets to be upgraded with short-range rocket barrages ontop of their gauss cannons, to fully new defensives measures, the new defense tech tree is there more than just for show.
Fans of the games' different races will also be pleased to hear that the game's different factions also all get their own personal flavor in how these new technologies and upgrades are applied, such as with the new defensive mines that all three factions can now field, each in their own unique ways(for TEC, they are purchased as a new tactical structure surrounding their world. As the advent, they are field from strikecraft hangars or transports. The vasari, on their own side, get their very own mine-layer ship that can deploy them everywhere they wishes to).