Bought the game yesterday afternoon and our family is already hooked! Our favorite mode isn’t technically supported by the game, but after following the directions of others on the forum (thanks!) here’s what we’ve come up with…
We have three gamers and one computer in our house (not counting the laptop which can’t run GSB). We wanted to be able to play against one another in a double-blind manner. Double-blind in this context means neither player knows his opponent’s deployment in any way, not even the enemy ship silohouettes. All you know is the mission’s starting parameters (pilots, budget, and map). Essentially it’s Multi-Player Expert Mode. If there’s an easier way to do this please let me know! We couldn’t figure out another way to not see an opponent’s ship silohouettes during deployment.
DOUBLE BLIND LOCAL MODE
Using this approach you have no idea what the enemy is bringing to the fight…and you can fight it locally on a single computer.
Player A picks a single-player mission, deploys his fleet, and uploads a challenge to his profile effectively “challenging himself”.
Player B picks the same single-player mission, deploys his fleet, and saves his deployment.
Player B then downloads Player A’s challenge, loads his deployment, and we watch the battle.
NOTE: we found it helpful if you use a common naming convention. For example, we’ve been fighting something called the Midway Campaign so each challenge or deployment file uses the word Midway (eg “Midway Dad’s Deployment”, “Midway Edward’s Deployment”). Only down side to this work around is that you can only see detailed damage reports on one side’s ships. Otherwise it’s very quick and easy (would be easier if were built into the game).
Using the process above we’ve started a simple, linear campaign game. The campaign consists of 5 star systems in a row as follows:
Home World A - Colony A - Midway - Colony B - Home World B
The campaign starts with a battle at Midway. If you win a battle you push your opponent back one system and if you win a battle at his Home World you win the campaign.
So, if Player A wins the battle at Midway the next battle is fought at Colony B. If Player A wins again the next battle is at Home World B. If he wins that battle he wins the campaign but if he loses he’s pushed back to Colony B for the next battle.
Using the double blind and campaign systems above we’re actually fighting three campaigns simultaneously. We each have a campaign fleet and you have to use the same deployment against both opponents in a given round. This forces us to keep fleets more balanced since the same fleet will be facing two different opponents (eg my fleet will be facing those of my two sons.)
Round 1 Campaign reports:
Dad (me) vs Edward (my 9-year old): a draw!!!
The battle settled into a loop of some kind and wouldn’t resolve. Neither side’s ships would move anymore and their fire was ineffective. I couldn’t penetrate his anti-missile defenses and his beams couldn’t get through my shield and armor mix. It was his bed time so we declared a draw. Tonight will be the Second Battle of Midway.
Dad vs Henry (my 8-year old): Henry wins!!!
Henry built some kick-butt bombers and my anti-fighter defenses were insufficient. By the time the main battle lines were engaged his bombers had beaten up my fleet so it was fighting at a huge disadvantage. Needless to say he was quite excited last night. And before anyone makes any cracks about getting beat by an 8-year old he and his brother are in the top 1% IQ-wise and in talented/gifted programs. They’re scary smart but also good sports. However, Henry did ask how my bottom felt after getting spanked so bad! So, I’ll be defending my Colony World in tonight’s battle.
Henry vs Edward: another victory for Henry!!!
Those bombers once again ripped through the enemy fleet. Both Edward and I will be working on our anti-bomber tactics and Edward will be defending his Colony World against the relentless Henry.
Anyway, even “as is” GSB is a great game! We hope to see it expand and include new ways to play (eg double-blind) and maybe a mission editor. It would also be great see it on Xbox Live one day!!!