galactic battlegrounds CIS forces


Galactic Battlegrounds

Galactic Battlegrounds - GBG

Developer: Lucasarts

Publisher: Lucastars

Real time strategy

2001

Even many Star Wars fans haven't heard about Galactic Battlegrounds, because this game was only released in limited impressions, and it was available in just a few shops for a very short time in Hungary. The available pieces of this great game was sold out in no time, because the vendors and distributors hadn't expected so much interest, and only imported a very few pieces from Galactic Battlegrounds. This game is a gem of Star Wars games, gbgcc in special boxand soon became a piece of the game really so valuable like a gemstone, because it was so hard to find. I had some desperate attempts to get one piece for me without any result, but finally one of my US friends (a lady) got this piece for me somehow. Galactic Battlegrounds is regarded as the twin brother of the world's best game, the evergreen strategy game, called Age of Empires. Galactic Battlegrounds has all advantages, style, and thrilling game system that its big brother had, and even it got additional developments in the workshops of Lucasarts, to clone the medieval world of AoE into the Star Wars universe!

 

Age of series had conquered the whole world, creating something new, a masterpiece, that couldn't have been overtaken, or at least copied. That was the game of the year in 1998, with 15 millions of sold pieces. Since that, many more millions were sold from AoE, and we all know that the official lists can not calculate the black, the bootleg CDs. Well, Lucasarts managed to get the license of this incredible success game, and was permitted to change its engine into the Star Wars world, and to use it for Galactic Battlegrounds. Lucasarts had a difficult situation: first of all they were said to be in a good situation, as they only had to follow the well-tried methods of AoE, and to move in a rut, which is not an easy task at all. On the other hand that is never easy to meet and fill the requirements, and measure up to the high standards, the quality, and the miracle that was called Age of Empire. But one thing is sure, those, who liked Age of-games, will like Galactic too! Also, I think if you was not fond of Age of Empire, but you are a SW fan, and try Galactic Battlegrounds, you will get used to them, or love them both!

 

Single player campaigns of Galactic Battlegrounds

 

Most campaigns contain some real events of the film, and they are playable in chronological order. First we gotta attack Naboo with the droid army of the Trade Federation. You can strike back later with the naboo humanoids, (this campaign is featuring Padme Amidala), and the naboo Gungans (feat. Boss Nass) to free your land. Sometimes you will play real battles, sometimes you will get some fictive events, or missions. You can play the classical trilogy events first with the Galactic Empire (Darth Vader campaign) , then finally you'll bring freedom to the whole Galaxy controlling the Rebel Alliance (Leia Organa). The missing episodes was later made up in the Clone Campaign CD, where you can start with the Geonosian battle, then you can help Count Dooku to escape, who will strengthen and enlarges the army of CIS (Confederacy of the Independent Systems), and will lead the situation to the well know cathartic end from Episode III. databank_gbg_nabooWhile playing, you will learn many interesting information and Star Wars based data, but if you still think that is not enough for you, you can find MANY more data in the own databank of Galactic Battlegrounds. That will tell many interesting things for the fans, mainly based on planets, civilizations, individuals, but everything else can be learned. BTW, learning! You will be instructed and will be taught by Master Qui-Gon Jinn in the tutorial! The conception introduces him as a long time friend of the wookies, that is why Qui-Gon teaches the wookies to help them prepare to defend their world, so you'll be able to learn the basics of the game while listening and following the instructions of Qui Gon in the wookie campaign.

 

Control system

 

As we learned while playing Age of Empires, controlling the game is very simple. Left click (of your mouse) to assign a unit, and right click to send it to build, attack, or work, etc. Nothing special. In AoE1, and in Age of Kings after your peasants finished building a wood-cutter, they just stood there, did not make anything till we noticed, they are idle. You had to manually send them to work. This mistake had been corrected in AoE2 Conquerors campaign, and Galactic Battlegrounds inherited that renewed engine. So after your peasants finished building an economical building, they immediately start working, collecting ore, nova, food, or carbon, you needn't control them, and send them to work, they go automatically. But if you build a food processor (what was the mill in AoE), your workers won't start working, as they don't know where you wanna plant your garden, and they don't know how much you wanna have. food_processorBut as you select their locations, and plant the farms, your workers go to work immediately. You'd better put them around the food processor, or near the command center, as they can collect the food into those buildings. You can queue some extra farms in your food processor, that lets your workers to re-plant the depleted farms.  So they work totally alone, they start to plant a new farm, and collecting food till the queue lasts. This process is absolutely automatic! And you can send your newly "born" workers right to a economic building, just put your command center's gather_pointgather point onto a building. So if you got let's say a Nova deposit, that you wanna collect Nova from, you don't have to send each newly born worker to the Nova collector, but they go automatically to work in the Nova mine. Just like the dwarfs, every day they go to the mine, however our workers don't get a kiss from Snowwhite before it. But anyway, who would like to kiss an ASP-7 imperial worker droid, or a WA-6 republic droid, or a wookie or gungan peasant? Namely these will be your peasants in this game, these will be your workers, they will repair your stuff, they will build your buildings, and practically they will found the base of your empire.

 

Game system

 

This mentioned collecting, working, or let's say raw material management is a primary task, an elemental thing in the game. With this you can gather those funds, that you can spend on developing your economy, on science and research, on military, and on advancing a higher technology. So what do you have to do? First, you will need a lot of food, because your collectors, and workers all cost 50 food. You will need a lot of workers if you wanna a strong economy. Ten workers cost 500 food, which is quite a big money for them, as this is the price of the first technology upgrade to tech level II! But all investment makes profit in long term, so you may would like to have workers about the 1/3 part of the total population limit. So create like 20-30 workers, and send them to work quickly!rontokaadu_falumpaset You can send them to hunt animals, for some extra food. Rontos and Falumpasets mean quite a big source of food, Eopis and Kaadus has less meat, but just let the food coming to your stocks! Collect some fruits from the bushes, too. You can also gain food from farms, but keep in mind, all farms will cost you some carbon! carbon_collectorThis carbon is the pressing, the sap of the trees. So you gotta soon start collecting carbon too. This is important, because your buildings are also cost carbon, we can understand it like they were made of wood. As your population is growing, you gotta build additional houses, because a house is enough for 5 workers. And, you have to have two first age buildings, to start to advance into the second technology age, so logically you'd better to build a carbon collector, and a food processor. I also wanna mention that most of the battlefields have some wild animals grazing around. All players do their best to find and collect them, everybody send their speeder bikers to scout around, and search the whole field to find some animals. The person who finds them, and leads them home, can benefit from them a huge source of food. Scouts usually steal each other's unprotected animals, and they like to destroy the enemy speeder bikes, to prevent enemy scout to reach the far locations of the field. There are Banthas, which were also liked by the tusken raiders, who rode them like horses, but also bred them for their meat and for their blue milk. This blue liquid could be seen in New Hope, when Aunt Beru pours some milk for Luke for his breakfast. nerfsAlso, there are Nerfs, which are grazing in herds, they are also great breed animals, however they are regarded as dirty animals, (as we think about the pigs) but their meat is delicious. Nerf herders are plebeian workers, they are a synonym for stupid hicks, and dirty effing guys. You can hear Leia calling the imperials Nerf herders pretty often in Battlefront 2, which is like an insult.

If you put these animals into an kamino stimulationanimal nursery, they provide a continuous source of food! Clones of the Republic can develop their animal breeding a level further then any other civilization. They have a Kaminoan gene technology stimulation bonus, which allows them to forget the food question for the whole game, as their food counter will run like crazy in the lower right corner of the screen, so they can focus on collecting the other 3 resources.

I have already mentioned carbon, so the other two resource is the green nova crystal, (it was the gold in AoE) and the purple ore (that was the stone). The higher is your technology level, the more buildings and developments will cost you nova and ore. Most of the level 3 buildings will cost you ore, for example the fortress and the airbase requires some ore. While nova is essential for advancing to level 3, it will require 200 nova crystal, and also training a Jedi, and developing him with special Jedi abilities will cost you many nova, too. Later, on the higher levels you will need a lot of resources for almost everything, the better buildings, the military expenditures, and the cool upgrades will cost you a lot of raw materials from all 4 kinds.

 

Building operations

An important innovation: your buildings will operate with full capacity in the coverage of a Power Core. This turret gives the power for all buildings. All buildings works even without a Power Core, but in that case they will produce goods or services extremely slow. You can hardly see the status bar moving that shows the time of production. A Power power_coreCore cost you 200 carbon, but I recommend you to build this, because that carbon investment will quickly return because of the faster developments, and production. All terrains have ideal flat areas, where you can build your buildings around a Power Core. If you put the Power Core in the focus, all building in its radius will be powered in that BLUE circle. You can cram your whole city (in some lucky locations) under one Power Core's coverage. This strategy works only on flat terrain, you can't build your larger houses on undulating terrains. This strategy is economical, but quite risky. These kind of crowded cities are ideal targets for a cruiser attack, they like these many buildings concentrated in a small territory. The cruiser is an airplane, a large battleship, which has a very destructive plasma bomb, which detonates and destroys almost everything in a large area around the impact. So if a cruiser targets the Power Core in the midst of a crowded city, its plasma charge is able to destroy, or at least radically damage even 10 or more buildings with a single shot!gbg_defence_turrets_wall Butshielded_fortress on the other hand, this tactic is often successful, as a tiny base that is concentrated around a Power Core can be protected better, than a large city. A small base is easier to defend with walls around it, or to build defensive turrets and anti-air turrets and fortress(es) around your base, than a large base, that was built scattered, to avoid cruiser attacks. Also, you can build a shield generator in the middle of your base, and you can protect all your buildings and even troops and vehicles that are under the shield. Those who are in the yellow area of the shield generator have the double of their defense value. Just take a look on this illustration, this fortress has originally 6000 point, and it has an extra 6000 point because of the shield, which is a quite big defense value. But if you wanna build a large base, you won't have to build 100 power cores besides all single buildings, power_droidas you can produce a Power droid in all Power Cores, also known as Gonk droids, who can supply all buildings with its own power! And look, the lamp goes green, which means the building has power now! After you finished an upgrade in a building, you can toddle to the next building with your Power droid, to accelerate the production in that building, too. In the meantime you can hear the cute voice of the droid, saying goooink all the time. You may remember "him" from the jawa sandcrawler, toddling away, sometimes "goooinking" a bit. He was the "weatherman" in Empire Strike Back's Hoth scene, but also can be familiar from Return of the Jedi's Jabba palace, down in the droid room. But he is more famous and popular from the games, he was working in the rebel hangar in Star Wars: Jedi Outcast, he gives you the ammo in Battlefront 1 and Battlefront 2. He is a useful and a cute droid, also in Galactic Battlegrounds can be needed by professional gamers and fans!

 

All economical buildings have upgrades in almost all tech level, these upgrades will develop your mining, agriculture, breeding, wood-cutting, making them faster, more effective, and giving them better tools, technologies, or equipments. But later, when you will want to train a trooper, a mech, or an airplane, you'll see how important is to accelerate their production! Finishing the production of a fighter or a walker is so slow without Power Core or a Power droid, that while you finish one, the enemy will finish 5 or six!

 

Military

 

After the initial economical steps you will have to be prepared to defend yourself pretty soon, and you may wanna think about the possibility of an attack against your opponent(s). troop_centerBut your available workers, and the only speeder bike is not a strong army for that. So you gotta build military buildings. The first military building you can have called troop center. This is a kinda barrack, where your troopers are stationed at. It takes time, and some money to train a soldier in the real world, too, well, the game models this with a small price of some carbon and food, and with the slow movement of the creating status bar, while you have to wait for the "military training" of your soldier. But of course, as I mentioned before, you can accelerate this period of time with a Power Core, or a Gonk droid. At first, some ground troops are enough (usually) to defend yourself from enemy ground units, but later, when air units appear, you may need some anti-air troopers, too! Please later, when I finished the article of the anti-air trooper clones, read that too, if you wanna know that superb service, and their interesting warfare. I will inform you on the main page of CustomStarWars as soon as the article will be available, also, a link will be set to that page from this page, you'll find it easily.

You can train mounted troopers in the barrack, too. They are usually riding some beast, or a pretty cool (insect-like) vehicle, and they are armed with a flame thrower. They like to burn enemy soldier like a toast, but they like to set houses on fire, even stone walls can be demolished with their flame-thrower. J This is a fast unit, and has a high damage.

Here being trained the grenadier service in the same barrack. This is an other unique, and very new service, no other Star Wars game has grenadiers, so I decided to make a custom grenadier clone trooper and a grenadier droid, they were already displayed here on CustomStarWars.

All 4 services in the barrack are upgradeable. Grenadiers, foot soldiers, anti-air troopers, and mounted troopers have some elite, or heavy variations. sbd_superiorityIn the beginning all 4 services from all 6 civilizations are the same strong, but upgrading them you can gain extra bonuses, which will cause quite significant differences between the troops. That difference can be even larger, because there are civilization bonuses, that can make your troops rule the battleground, for example CIS's super battle droids can not be defeated in their category.

 

mech_factoryLater, when higher technology levels are available you can produce new, stronger units. At tech level III you can start producing vehicles, or here called "mechs" in the Mech Factory. You can have two sort of mechs, one is good against the infantry, other is better against other vehicles. Without listing all, here are some examples: Empire have AT-PT against infantry (Anti Infantry is from now AI), while they have AT-ST against vehicles (Anti vehicle: AV), CIS have dwarf AI spider droid, and AV homing spider droids, Trade Federation have AI Staps, and AV Armored Attack Tanks. (AAT). Both mechs are upgradeable, so the initial prototype walkers, and vehicles can be changed for some real nice walkers and mechs, which has stronger shielding, better firepower, and faster movement. Funny, but the Rebel Hover AntiAir tank can be changed into a Proton Attack Tank, which was used and developed for quite an other purpose, please read my Force Commander article to learn more. But anyway, most of your mech upgrades can be made here, in the Mech Factory, but some additional upgrades can be made in the War Center! So don't forget to build a War Center, too, as you can strengthen not only your mechs there, but also your troopers and ships! However the mechs ARE stronger and faster, and you can launch unstoppable attacks with them, don't forget to support them with AA (Anti Air) units, and with bounty hunters. You can build a real nice, good strike force from those. And if you produce some Assault Mechs too, you'll see what does "no mercy" mean. These tactical assault mechs have a huge fire power, they destroy everybody, and everything in a pretty big circle. Beware, they can also hit YOUR forces accidentally, if you don't control them! The clever enemy likes to take advantage of this, so they often send a bait target into your lines, showing a big target which is easy to hit, saying hit me with your assault mech. But don't let your assault_mech_nr_n99Assault Mech fire, rather move it away, and kill the intruder with the basic mechs, because they don't hurt friendly targets, while Assault Mechs destroy the half of your army too, not only that bait, so be careful! Clones of the Republic has the AT-TE as an Assault Mech, Empire has the AT-AT walker, a CIS has the NR-N99 which is also known as the "Caterpillar", or as "Corporate alliance tank" and the Gungans have some Fambaa with a giant cannon on its back. All of these have a lethal, destructive fire power!

 

In the meantime, the sky starts being crowded. Fighter ships are flying all over, Geonosian Starfighters, and other fighters are chasing each other, while bombers try to carry their deadly load over some fat enemy targets. You can produce all of these in the Airbase. They are well upgradeable, you can upgrade them 3 times, and also there are MANY developments.shield_gunship For example you can make them cheaper to produce, but their quality won't be ruined because of the mass production, you won't have to rollout them after the first deployment. J Also, you can shield them, they can be faster, stronger, and even their bombs would be more destructive. Some civilizations have some other airplanes, e.g. clones can produce Jedi Starfighters in their Fortress, which can be unseen for the enemy, and can fire superb shots. It has a target system, what I call "one shot, one dead". Rebels have the Snowspeeder in their Fortress, but they have some great airplanes in their airbase, (X-wing, and Y-wing). Their faster fighter is the A-wing, which is very fast, but cannot compete Naboo's elite Naboo N-1 starfighter, which is the best, and fastest airplane of the game.

 

Your Anti Air troopers don't have too much chance against these superb fighter squadrons, even if you have many of them. It is high time to retire them, and reorganize your assault team.plummel The best choice to replace your AA troopers is definitely the anti-air vehicles. Quick, build a Heavy Mech Factory. You can produce there ranged artillery units, and Plummels (a machine that disintegrates walls, buildings, and fortresses) and the above mentioned anti air vehicles. If you have some 4-5 AA vehicles, you will be victorious against any kind of fighters and bombers (except cruisers), even if they attack in large squadrons, your AA units will riddle them with rockets, and homing projectiles. Hailfire fires so quickly, that your screen will be black because of its many rockets. The shielding and/or the armor of the enemy airplanes will be smolder because of the hundreds of incoming projectiles! But first you gotta upgrade the reload time, and the speed of your vehicles, and also the shielding of you AA vehicles, and you can control, and rule the sky from the ground. Your AA vehicles will provide you a maximum protection against the common airplanes, but they still have a slight chance against the Cruisers.

 

gbg/cruiser_plasmaBut what is that Cruiser, that I mention all the time? Well, this unit has appeared ONLY in the clone campaign, and you can produce this extremely powerful air unit in the Fortress. It flies very slowly to its target, but it has a huge fire range, and a large fire power as it finally gets there. After the shot your cruiser will reload for an extremely long time! During that, it is defenseless. That is its weakest point, or let's say the disadvantage of the Cruiser. Also, it has not got a defensive weapon on board, just that plasma launcher cannon, so it can not protect itself! You have to protect it, it costs 600 food+600 nova, which is not a small price even in the higher tech levels, so loosing a cruiser is a big loss. If it is encircled by enemy fighters, they can blast it in 10 seconds, first they destroy its shields, then take its life. You can waste your deadly plasma cannon on ONE fighter, but it cannot be reloaded so quickly, so you'll be killed by the remaining enemy fighters, and your Cruiser will be lost. So ALWAYS protect it, stay near with 10 fighters, and/or protect it from the ground. If your Cruiser survives, it is only the question of time when, and with how much shots, but you WILL clear the whole enemy base! Victory is guaranteed.

 

Victory conditions:

 

Unfortunately, total annihilation of the enemy is very difficult. The Artificial Intelligence doesn't give you the joy, to beat it to a jelly, usually the AI gives up before it could be happened. When it realizes, that it lost the battle, and no chance to turn the tide, it likes to protect itself from the shame, and gives up. In the beginning of the battle it was so high and mighty, it was cheating, and soon got the upper hand, but when you are able to kick its ass, it surrenders quickly. But anyway, the first winning option let's say to make the AI surrender, or to kill them all.

 

gbg/geonosian_arenaYou second chance is to build a Monument, or a Wonder, or a Civilization specific building. It may vary, depends of your civilization. It can be a Palace for the Emperor of the Empire, a Geonosian Arena for the CIS, or the Sacred Place for the Gungans. Anyway, all civilizations must protect their building for 200 days, if you succeed, you won! It doesn't matter if your foe has more resources, or more troops, no matter if they are stronger on the battlefields, if they cannot destroy your Monument during that 200 days, they lost the battle. So you can win with this method too, comparing with boxing this is not a knock out, but the opponent will be dumped. J . Kinda T.K.O.

 

holocron_victoryThe third option to collect all holocrons that lying around the field. Transporting them back to your Sith or Jedi Temple, and having ALL 5 can result a relic victory. But you also got to hold them for 200 days. If you play a "fog of war" battle, your temple(s) will be visible for the enemy, also they can see the location(s) of your temple(s) on the tactical map. They have 200 days to destroy your temple, and capture at least 1 holocron from yours. If they cannot succeed, they will loose the battle, and you will win.

 

Cognoscente (including me) like to combine these 3 methods. They/we like to collect all 5 holocrons, AND to build a Monument, AND THEN to kick the enemy out of its trousers. We don't terminate the enemy, but leave some troops/or workers alive, and then we like to bomb down ALL of its buildings, but even the walls must be ruined with plummels! When nothing, but really NOTHING remains that the AI can possess approach his last worker, and finish him. The program will have not enough time to say those cynical ending words, and the game is over. The AI wants to surrender, as usual, but as he does not have anything that he can give up, this surrender has no significance, let's say his act is marginal.

 

Multiplayer:

 

It is a sensational experience! There are maximum 8 players, who can fight each other alone, in pair, or in team. Interesting, and gigantic battles are guaranteed. Most teams use the method called tributing, which means there is at least one member in the team, who does not fight or spend money on military, rather only spends on economy, and is working with ALL peasants. They collect the resources, and send those valuable nova, food, carbon, and ore portions for those members, who are fighting. Fighting players usually don't have (too much) workers, only soldiers, mechs, and fighters. They are concentrating the fight, and leaving the economy for that player, who is tributing. But that team member needs protection, as he/she is defenseless. So the military member must not run to fight like a crazy, but has to keep an eye on his economic partner, and he has to protect him/her as well. Our units, mostly the heavy mechs, and cannons are slow, so the military partner needs some time to arrive to the economy partner's territory, and sometimes (in a large 8 player field) it is impossible to arrive in time. So it may worth to leave a smaller defense force permanently in his territory, which squadron can start the fight till the reinforcements arrive. Or you can build troop centers, or mech factories in the territory of your economy partner, that makes possible to train your troops right there, in his territory if needed. Also, a very popular method to build a fortress near the city of your economy partner, as a Fortress can automatically protect your partner, it is very strong, and can repel enemy attacks on ground, and from the air, too. But ranged weapons, like the many times mentioned cruiser, and the cannon can destroy your fortress with a few shots, so an alone fortress is NOT a perfect solutions.

 

Funny things:

 

I like most, when an enemy worker comes to my territory, to build a troop center or something on my territory. Wait till he arrives, and when he gets close, start to convert him with your Jedi! And look! The worker wants to "strafe" away from the conversion. He wanna avoid his fait, and quickly moving side to get out of the reach of your Jedi. He twitches, turns left, then very quickly turns right, dribbling all over, and that is happening in front of your Jedi, 1 yard ahead of him. J

The other joke is pretty similar. In technology II the AI opponent wanna build a defense wall around his base. If you already have a Jedi send him to convert the builders, if you don't have a Jedi, your speeder biker makes the same effect. Shoot a builder peasant with your speeder biker! Their program tells them to save their life and run away, but the "build the wall" routine is still active, so he starts running in some cover, then changes his mind, take his tools to continue building the wall. He works on the wall for a short moment, then turns away to run, then crouch down to continue working, the stands up to flee, so he turns round and round, and moves like a break dancer. J

 

I also like to lure the wild animals near his base, then leaving them alone I like to watch while his workers desperately wanna fight my present of tusk-cats, or gundarks, or rancoors. J

 

Summary

 

Galactic Battlegrounds is a superb game. Those, who like strategy games or Star Wars, will have great amusement and will be richer with a cool experience. While playing, you'll hear the music of your favorite films, will hear cute reporting-ins when clicking any units, whose voice, whose firings, whose vehicle noises will be the same as it was heard in the film. Playing it over and over can give you an infinite and vary entertainment, it is that kind of pastime, what you'll never be tired of. It is similar when you play a card game, or when you go jogging in the nearby park, may sounds funny, but this game provides an elemental amusement. While writing this article for you I got the mood to play a round of Galactic Battlegrounds. I hope you liked the introduction of Galactic Battlegrounds, too, and thanks for your interest!

 

written and translated by: Norbert Rostas

 

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