Thursday, May 15, 2003


I submitted again to the call of Star Wars: Supremacy last night. This game is dangerously compulsive, absolutely nothing to look at, but soul-suckingly good nonetheless. Starting a new game as the Rebellion at Intermediate difficulty, I managed to sway almost an entire Core Sector into Rebellion against the Empire in just over 100 days of game time, which is a corking start to a campaign, simply by massing my fleet and sending it into the Empire's most vulnerable Core sector, where all their worlds had been garrisoned, and provoking uprisings by bombarding the troop facilities with the fleet, or using Special Forces to sabotage the troop regiments.

The level of management in Supremacy brings new meaning to control freakery - you can control every single aspect of your budding hegemony, from troop deployment, defense building, mine and refinery deployment, fleet management, diplomacy, sabotage and subversion via special forces deployment, Research & Development of new facilities, planetary troop training facilities and construction yards, shipyards, and even kidnapping or assassination of key enemy personnel. Supremacy is a hardcore mouse-on-GUI clickfest, and with up to 200 worlds to control, depending upon the galaxy size you choose (I always play with 200 worlds), it can be daunting to say the least.

However, your droid assistant can take over the troop production and deployment for you, as well as manage your construction yards, deploying as many mines and refineries as it can, in order for you to have the maintenance capacity in order to wage a bloody war of truly galactic proportions. Whilst useful for a beginner, I indulge my craving for complete and utter control, and micromanage everything myself, as I'm better at identifying potential hotspots that need reinforcing than the AI is.

It's not all about management, though - you get wanton destruction and ultra-violence too. The most exciting parts are, of course, the fleet battles which unfortunately are few and far between, but there's a certain measure of satisfaction to be gained from a successful sabotage mission or a planetary assault or bombardment. So whilst Supremacy can rarely be described as an exciting game, it is deeply involving and immensely satisfying when "everything that has transpired has done so according to my design".

I just need to find a black cloak and learn how to shoot lightning from my fingertips, and I'm ready for total galactic domination.

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