History Main / SinsofaSolarEmpire

26th Feb '13 2:00:05 PM EarlOfSandvich
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''Sins of a Solar Empire'' is an [=RT4X=] game, fusing both RealTimeStrategy and FourX gameplay into one package. It was released on February 2008 to wide acclaim.

There are three factions in the game. There's the Trader Emergency Coalition, [[TheAlliance a semi-cohesive organization of humans]] trying to defend their worlds from aggression using [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter Kinetic Weapons]], heavy armor and {{Macross Missile Massacre}}s. There's the Advent, humans who [[TheExile were exiled]] many years ago for tampering with PsychicPowers, CrystalSpiresAndTogas and FrickinLaserBeams, and are now back for {{Revenge}}. And there's the Vasari, ScaryDogmaticAliens who once ruled [[TheEmpire a huge interstellar empire,]] but whose worlds have been gradually swallowed by... [[NothingIsScarier something]]. Every ship sent to investigate this menace has disappeared, except for one ship which returned with its crew [[GoMadFromTheRevelation driven mad]]. The remnants of a Vasari colony, now surviving as nomadic PlanetLooters, have fled to this corner of the galaxy, leaving warning buoys behind them... and watching in dismay as those buoys wink out, one by one.

Sounds like an interesting potential plot, right?--GrayAndGreyMorality, possible {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, who knows what else. Unfortunately, [[ExcusePlot the story basically ends there]]. You can set up a multiplayer match vs. AI or a multiplayer match vs other people, but there's no single-player campaign. However, there is abundant backstory, very dedicated to showing that each of the 3 main races has committed sins of their own and are now paying for them (hence the title).

The game was designed from the ground up to be playable on a wide spectrum of hardware configurations, including ones most of its contemporaries would write off as "obsolete". (This was also part of what helped it sell) It was also free of CopyProtection, making headlines at a time when invasive, unnecessary DRM was turning people off ''{{Spore}}''. A pirated copy was essentially a fully-functional demo, allowing you to skirmish against AI but not to play over the Internet; you needed to ''buy'' the game for that. Those who held pro-DRM attitudes predicted failure, but as of September 2008 ''Sins'' had sold 500,000 copies, recouping its $1M development costs months before any of the $10 {{Expansion Pack}}s came out. (There's no hard data as to how and why this game managed to be financially successful, but you can guess what most tropers think.)

Speaking of expansion packs, there were two "micro-expansions" released: "Entrenchment" added new ships and starbases; "Diplomacy" added more diplomatic options, including a (theoretically) non-military win condition. A third was supposedly going to contain a single-player campaign... but [[VaporWare quietly evaporated]] before being UnCancelled (Without a campaign) in March 2011 as "Rebellion," a full-sized expansion in which players of each faction can choose loyalty or [[TitleDrop rebellion]], and gain access to new tech trees in doing so. ''Rebellion'' is a standalone expansion, with a discount for those who owned the original installment. Finally, for those who don't care to fork out more money, there is a robust and thriving GameMod scene, dedicated to doing anything from providing factions from pre-existing sci-fi franchises to graphical updates to full game overhauls to ''code optimization'' so that the game doesn't crash as much. That's right, fans love their ''Sins'' so much that they are voluntarily debugging it.

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This game provides examples of:
* TheAlliance: The TEC.
** Slowly edging towards TheFederation as time progresses and the society centralizes.
* ACommanderIsYou:
** TEC Loyalist: A mixture of ''Economists, Industrial, Brute Force'' and ''Spammer.'' Their manufacturing ability is practically unsurpassed and coupled with their strong economy and the fact that the TEC have some of the least expensive frigates and cruisers of any faction, they can easily build massive fleets of extremely durable warships and overpower enemies with sheer numbers. Oh, the Loyalists also get their superweapon earlier then the other factions and have reduced construction costs for said superweapon. They also get a lot of defensive bonuses, their Ankylon Titan specializes in fleet support and are able to deploy two starbases around a planet.
** TEC Rebel: Like Loyalist forces a mixture of ''Economists, Industrial, Brute Force'' and ''Spammer'' while at the same time introducing elements of ''Guerrilla.'' They are capable of allying with the Pirates, using pirate warships and utilizing milita forces. Their Ragnarov Titan also packs some of the best firepower in the game.
** Advent Loyalist: Mixture of ''Technical, Loyal'' and ''Researchers.'' They are capable of advancing through their TechTree ''very'' quickly and their ships excel in long range firepower but lack durability; their ships have powerful shields but very weak armor and hulls. They get access to culture early and are more proficient in its use. Their Coronata Titan is capable of mind-controlling entire planets.
** Advent Rebel: Same as the Loyalist but adds ''Spammer'' to the mix. They get a research ability that allows them to respawn destroyed frigates and cruisers. Their Eradica Titan packs ''a lot'' of firepower, is able to heal itself by cannibalizing other ships and when it gets low in health it will become invulnerable for four hundred seconds.
** Vasari Loyalist: ''Elitists, Rangers'' and ''Espionage.'' The Vasari tend to have fewer, but more expensive units that have extremely hardened hulls. Their ships tend to use Phase Missile technology, which have the possibility of completely bypassing the shields of enemy ships. The Vasari Loyalists can generate income with their capital ships and can set their Vorastra Titan as a mobile capital world. They can also completely drain planets of resources, leaving dead husks behind.
** Vasari Rebels: Also ''Elitists, Rangers'' and ''Espionage.'' They get a lot of abilities that allow them to support their allies more effectively. Like the Ankylon Titan their Kultorask Titan is more of a fleet support ship.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: The CPU players taunt you when they invade your planets. Especially painful if they have a large invasion fleet, and you either have a meager fleet (possibly as a result of a failed invasion of your own which cost you a lot of ships, or you're focusing on research instead of building a military force), are being besieged by another player/CPU in another planet, or the planet they invade is really far away from your own forces, and reinforcements will take a while to get to the besieged planet. Like the
* AliensAreBastards: The Vasari arguably.
** Played straight with the Vasari Loyalists since they have no compunction of destroying planets. Averted with the Vasari Rebels, who wish to cooperate with other factions for survival.
* AntiHero / AntiVillain: All three sides, really. The TEC are fighting for their home, the Vasari are fighting for survival, and the Advent are fighting for justice.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Each faction uses a different flavor of phlebotinum - the TEC use TimTaylorTechnology, the Vasari use {{Nanomachines}}, and the Advent use PsychicPowers.
* ApocalypseHow: Class 2 constantly happens.
* ArbitraryHeadCountLimit: Played straight for the most part. The exception is Advent Rapture capital ship, which has a special ability, "Dominate", which allows you to steal non-capital enemy ships. On large maps, the game can start to get a little choppy and slow if there's a large number of ships. On larger maps you can actually run into the max fleet limit quite early.
* AreWeThereYet: Upon selecting a just-constructed Advent Mothership: "All shall join the Unity, in time... Is it time?"
* ArtificialStupidity: the AI in this game is not the brightest bulb in the fridge. Instead of sacrificing its fleet to protect its planets, it will happily sacrifice planets to protect its fleet, thus allowing you to attrition it to death. It rarely builds planet-damaging bombers; if you do, you will almost always out-DPS it. If it loses all its ship factories, it will not demolish old buildings to make new factories either. Developer updates have alleviated some problems, but not much; and the fact that there ''is'' no Campaign, just Skirmish mode against other players or AI, only exposes these problems more.
** The game has also fixed the highly-annoying practice of going the opposite direction from where you come, meaning that if you attack a hostile planet that's next door to yours, the enemy will have jumped just then to try and destroy your world.
** Game patches have rectified this to a degree.
* AstronomicZoom: Rightfully a touted part of the game. Zooming between a close-up of a single bomber and assessing the position of your forces over different solar systems at a glance, is a press of a button away.
* AttackDrone: Advent strike craft are piloted remotely, by telekinetic specialists called "Anima". Seeing as how telekinesis is the equivalent of winning the SuperpowerLottery, even the ruling Coalescences are careful not to piss the Anima off.
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: The TEC in the backstory. With their formidable industrial base, they are quite capable of pulling this off in-game as well.
** They are also able to start trading earlier than the others, giving them a higher cash flow.
* BadassBeard: The narrator / Kol battleship captain sports one
* TheBattlestar: Many examples among each side's capital ships, from battleships with strikecraft capability to full carriers that - in the case of the TEC's Sova-class - can even ''look'' like aircraft carriers.
* BeamSpam: The Advent's warships in general. The Halcyon Carrier capital ship carries up to 7 squadrons of fighters and/or bombers (which are all armed with beam weapons) in addition to the 8 heavier beam cannons mounted on the ship itself. And don't even start about the Illuminator Vessels.
** The Vasari, on the other hand, use Pulse Wave Cannons, which are generally used by Capital Ships. A variant of these beam cannons are used for bombarding planets.
* {{BFG}}: All superweapons can be considered as one of this. Except the Advent Deliverance Engine, which is essentially a Big Freaking MindControlDevice. Also, the Marza Dreadnought's Siege Cannon.
** The Ragnarov Titan takes this UpToEleven as nothing but a giant cannon with gun placements on the side and engines on the back of it.
* BlackBox: None of the three sides really know how Phase Inhibitors work. The TEC and Advent just steal them, while the Vasari use nanomachines to copy them.
* BoardingParty: One of the TEC Corsev Battlecruiser's abilities.
* ButThouMust: When an AI empire comes to you with a mission to accomplish and RelationshipValues on the line, there's no "Sorry, not interested" option: either you do the mission or you take the relationship hit. Two failed missions and they break the cease-fires, which verges the diplomacy mechanic into a case of FakeDifficulty. (Oh, and, until the "Diplomacy" micro-expansion, this was solely one-way: from AI to you.)
** In the "Diplomacy" micro-expansion, you can refuse missions now (for a limited time after they are issued) to take a smaller relationship hit. Of course, the AI players usually just re-issue the same mission...
*** Locking teams before the game begins more or less nullifies the impact of diplomacy: you still get offered missions and still accrue ire when you ignore them, but teams are locked, forcing TeethClenchedTeamwork!
* CherryTapping: You get achievements for feats such as not using Capital ships, not researching any military tech, and not using [[SpaceFighter strike craft.]]
* ChurchMilitant: The Advent; formerly {{Actual Pacifist}}s, now on a crusade of revenge for their unprovoked exile.
* CloningBlues: Because of their dramatically reduced population, the Vasari are forced to clone their best commanders on a regular basis.
* CoolShip: Anything not a cargo vessel.
** Even the Cargo vessels compared to RL - they fly through Interplanetary space without batting an eyelash.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard : Literally, there is an option to allow the AI to cheat by giving it extra money and resources.
** Pirates in the expansion get ridiculously GameBreaking stats, such that one can be attacked by a force of about 30 pirate ships, with their weakest ship being twice as powerful as your best capital ship. Pretty much any planet they invade is going to be destroyed, whether its yours or even the CPU players.
*** Subverted by the fact pirate ships have virtually no useful abilities compared to capital ships. Skilled players have been known to destroy fleets of more than 100 pirate ships at once by micromanaging only three or four capital ships with crusier and frigate support.
*** For added humiliation to the pirates, some players have been able to drive off pirate fleets with only one capital ship.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: A good example of how to use a TechTree and subtle unit differences to avert this trope without introducing units with radically different functions.
* CripplingOverspecialization: The TEC and Advent anti-structure ships can't target other ships, including hulking behemoths like capital ships.
** Slightly justified in that their shots are slow and unguided. It would be easy for ''any'' ship to dodge them, especially since they tend to fire at the extreme ranges. This, of course, doesn't explain why they can still target Vasari ''Orkulus'' starbases, which are also able to move around.
* {{Cruelty is the only option}}: the standard way to take a planet by force is to kill off the entire local population so you can then colonize it with your own people.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Split, with the Advent having the crystal spires and the Vasari having the togas.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: the Entrenchment expansion introduced Starbases, extremely powerful (and expensive) fortifications that can be upgraded like capital ships. The best way to deal with them? Set your fighter wings on them; they're too small for the starbase to hit and come free with your capships.
* DissonantSerenity: The Advent, particularly the Iconus Guardians.
--> "You shall come no closer."
* EarthShatteringKaboom: While it doesn't blow it up, the TEC's Novalith cannon will heavily damage a planet. Repeated hits will cause whoever owns it to lose said planet, unless they have a starbase in orbit with the remote government upgrade.
** In ''Rebellion'', the Vasari Loyalists can strip a planet it owns for resources, turning it into a worthless dead asteroid after an explosion occurs.
* EasyEvangelism: All sides can overthrow enemy planets this way via the "culture" mechanic. The Advent are the most adept at this (MoreThanMindControl or a genuinely better society - you decide). The TEC however are the most overt about it, with a research option that allows them to spawn small fleets of rebels over enemy worlds (all of the fighting is taking place in TEC space, so this is basically just arming LaResistance).
* TheEmpire: The Vasari, until they were forced to go on the run from an enemy that managed to wipe out their entire fleet (except for one badly damaged ship that came back with its crew stark raving mad).
* EnemyCivilWar: Can occur if you set two CPU players to be the same faction but on different teams, or two or more players using the same faction and fighting each other.
* EtherealChorus: Due to the Advent's [[PathOfInspiration churchy nature]], most of their "nothing's going on" music has this. It sounds quite nice.
* EvilEye: Advent psychic power manifests itself as glowing white eyes. Vasari have glowing ''yellow'' eyes, [[RuleOfCool just to look sinister]].
** Of course, this might be intentional - the Vasari ''are'' [[WildMassGuessing skilled genetic engineers]]...
* {{Expy}}: The Vasari as depicted by the portraits appear uncannily similar to the [[{{Starcraft}} Protoss]]. This carries over to gameplay as well in terms of cost.
** However, the history of the Vasari is similar to that of the Rakata from KnightsOfTheOldRepublic. Both were alien conquers who ruled over a galaxy-spanning, multitude-enslaving empire which eventually collapsed from within.
* FactionCalculus: Varies over the length of the game. Starts with TEC as Balanced, Advent as Subversive, and Vasari as Powerhouse, but due to research topics all the factions start sliding subtly in other directions: TEC goes Powerhouse, Vasari go Subversive and the Advent go Balanced.
* FanFicMagnet: The ExcusePlot. It's so vague you can fill in the holes with pretty much anything.
* FanNickname: Space Whale / Space Egg: Jarrasul Evacuator.
** Space Tank / Flying Tank: Kodiak Heavy Cruiser.
** Cannon Fodder / RedshirtArmy: Pretty much all frigates.
** Battle Ball: The name for the tight ship formation most Advent players favor.
** The Brick: Kol Battleship.
* FantasticRacism: The TEC exiled the Advent's ancestors because [[BurnTheWitch they considered psychic powers to be "deviant"]].
* FourX: As evidenced by the "[=RT4X=]" moniker. The base game lacked much in the way of ''civil'' development for your solar empire, as well as a staple of the 4X genre: non-military win conditions.
** In Diplomacy they added Diplomatic victories. Oddly enough, this doesn't change much. Sure, you can gain diplomacy points and win that way, but the main way you get those points? Finish missions that have you destroy enemy ships and structures, inevitably leading to war. So yeah... There's always the [[ScienceMarchesOn research victory.]]
* FrickinLaserBeams: Vanilla laser weapons are fired in pulses, taking a few seconds to get to the target. Inverted with "beam" weapons, which are sustained-fire plasma/laser weapons that hit instantly.
** There is a mod that replaces standard TEC pulse lasers with thin red beams that pulse. This changes nothing in the gameplay (although, the mod may reduce your fighter/bomber count gained in expansions), but makes it look and sound more realistic (less like a ''StarWars'' blaster and more like pulsing hum). The mod only affects TEC lasers, though. The Advent ones still travel to target.
* FunWithAcronyms: The final Phase Missile upgrade technology on the Vasari tech tree is called NME Warheads.
* GameMod: See [[http://ricksgalaxy.homestead.com/links.html here]] and [[http://www.moddb.com/games/sins-of-a-solar-empire/mods]] for starters.
* GangUpOnTheHuman: Largely averted, but can be invoked should you make teams, and both CPU players on either side of the player happen to be on the same team. And then decide to attack you at the same time. Can be painful unless you have a strong fleet, strong defenses, or a good ally.
* GlassCannon: The long-range frigates (Javelis LRM, Kanrak Assailant and Illuminator Vessel). Lower speed and defensive stats, but more offense and quite a bit more range too. Multiplayer tactics seems to revolve around {{Zerg Rush}}ing these frigates and then going to town.
** There are also the Siege Frigates and Torpedo Cruisers. The former of which uses heavy weaponry to bombard planets from orbit, and the latter trashes orbital structures with torpedoes. Both classes are lightly armored and are virtually helpless when attacked.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: The TEC are generally quite sympathetic, [[KickTheDog but kicked the Advent's ancestors off their planet]] [[FantasticRacism for basically being different]] (it is noted that most rediscovered colonies followed a surprisingly similar culture, whereas the Advent didn't) and the pictures that accompany this section of the intro movie have some [[ANaziByAnyOtherName distinctly Nazi undertones]]. Not to mention that they are alarmingly quick to resort to NukeEm, even with neutral Trade Order colonies. The Advent were a peaceful society seeking spiritual escape after the great wars of the past, but their exile darkened their racial psyche towards {{Revenge}}, leaving their crusade to reclaim their homeworld (and punish their oppressors) open to interpretation either as the actions of [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]] or [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]]. The Vasari ruled their empire by oppression and slavery, but you can't help feel a bit sorry for them after they were [[CurbStompBattle all but annihilated]] and forced to go on the run from some unknown EldritchAbomination.
** This concept is emphasized by the in-game music, even. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlQBrkVP7XI Advent theme]] and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LOvT9CoSy8&feature=related Vasari theme]] (the first pieces of music you hear upon starting a game as that race) both sound too heroic and majestic to belong to a truly evil faction.
*** The manual tries to make it very clear that none of the factions are "Evil", though none of them are "Good" either. All of them are paying for their "Sins", hence the name. The Vasari are tyrannical dictators, the TEC are xenophobes, and the Advent are genocidal. All of them have committed sins and now are struggling to just survive.
*** The Vasari might be pretty nice to be ruled by... except that if you've developed space travel they'll enslave your race. If you haven't developed space travel you're not a threat, so you'll be given minimal status in the empire as a "valued citizen".
** The only seemingly truly evil presence in the systems probably is the ominipresent SpacePirates. Add in the fact that owing to a certain bug/programming overlook that makes them [[DemonicSpiders incredibly powerful and hard to beat]], they can and will be a player character's worst enemy both in and out of character.
** Now expanded in Rebellion:
*** [[TheFederation Loyalist TEC]] wants [[HoldTheLine to ride out the war through superior defensive capabilities]], [[GuileHero diplomatic maneuvering, and economic superiority]] - even if that means [[MoralDissonance ceding entire systems and leaving its populations enslaved or mind controlled]]; [[TheEmpire Rebel TEC]] wants [[TeachHimAnger to crush everyone in expansionist warfare]] and react violently against what they consider to be [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity "defeatist," "collaborationist", or other similarly treasonous philosophies which involve dialogue or reconciliation]] - however, they are [[DeathFromAbove not]] [[MadeASlave without]] [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul their]] [[DeadLittleSister reasons]] for this [[CycleOfRevenge mindset]].
*** [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Loyalist Advent]] wish [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim to continue getting revenge on the TEC at any cost]] and [[ChurchMilitant spread their utopian collectivist hive mind throughout colonized space]]; [[TheAtoner Rebel Advent]] want to forgive the TEC as the war is [[HeelRealization leading the Unity away from their true purpose]] and believe that [[IgnoredEpiphany an internal purge is necessary in order to put the Advent on the right path once again.]]
*** [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Loyalist Vasari]] want [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to strip mine the local systems using enslaved humans workers]] and [[ExitPursuedByABear make a run for the next region of space]] before the unknown threat arrives; [[NobleDemon Rebel Vasari]] want to do the same thing [[AdoptTheDog but bring humanity with them]], even if preparing the disorganized TEC for the journey costs them time and forces both to make [[BackToBackBadasses a desperate stand together against the unknown enemy]] - it probably won't end well, [[FireForgedFriends but apparently humanity has proven themselves to be worth the risk.]]
* GutturalGrowler: The Vasari are an entire race of bad [[Franchise/MetalGear Revolver Ocelot]] impersonators.
* HealingFactor: Vasari Enforcers and Skirmishers.
* HeroUnit: Capital ships.
* HyperspaceLanes: You can only travel from one planet to certain nearby planets in any given jump unless you have phase stabilizers. However, interstellar phase jumps can be done from one star to any other star.
* ISOStandardHumanSpaceship: TEC ships.
* ItsUpToYou: as usual. What's particularly jarring about this, though, is that your opponents tend to do pretty well, whereas your ''allies'' are saddled with a clear case of ArtificialStupidity. The end result is FakeDifficulty: you'll win, but it'll take a long time as you march through every enemy's territory one planet at a time—or sometimes less, when you're forced to double back.
** Later game patches have mostly fixed this. Allies now have been known to defeat enemies by themselves with minimal assistance.
* JustOneMoreTurn: ohhh you better believe it.
* LadyLand: The Advent are matriarchal. Their social structure is based on PsychicPowers, and Advent females [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority tend to be the stronger psychics]].
* LargeHam: Planet-bomber Capital Ships seem particularly susceptible:-
** '''Vulkoras Desolator:''' '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry8jbwtAWoM MY POWER IS UNMATCHED!!]]'''
** '''Marza Dreadnought:''' '''THIS is how SPACE JUNK is BORN!'''
** '''Antorak Marauder:''' '''Let terror RAIN!'''
** Pirates and some Titans and corvettes in ''Rebellion''
** '''Ragnarov Titan:''' '''I put the 'LAUGHTER' in 'SLAUGHTER'!'''
* LimitBreak: The Finest Hour ability for TEC Kol Battleship. The ship lights up, the crew cheers like soccer fans, and the ship can perform its anti-matter based abilities and repair its hull more quickly.
* LittleMissBadass: The speaker for the Rapture-class battlecruiser sounds about 6 years old.
** Almost all the Advent ship captains sound to be about eight years old. It's actually [[CreepyChild quite frightening]].
* LaResistance: The TEC's "insurgency" upgrade.
** The Advent use a form of this by using telepathic propaganda to convert other planets to the Unity.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The Marza Dreadnaught's Missile Barrage, the Vulkoras Desolator's Phase Missile Swarm.
** The TEC's Javelis LRM Frigates or the Vasari Kanrak Assailants, whenever there are more than one of them in one place at any given time (which is pretty much always). Or whenever you have swarms of TEC or Vasari bombers around, which also both use missiles.
*** In Entrenchment the TEC are granted the Ogrov Torpedo Cruiser- the bulk of which is storage space for GIANT torpedoes that can only target buildings. The explosion each of these makes is comparable to the size of the torpedoes. Think an ICBM silo with rocket engines at the back.
* MagikarpPower: The Kol Battleship isn't that strong fresh out of the drydock, despite the glowing description in lore. It has poor antimatter reserves, unflattering damage and can be beaten by most other capital ships in a duel. With enough levels and antimatter upgrades, though, it becomes able to use its abilities much more freely, dramatically improving its power, and Finest Hour can turn a fight around.
* MagicGenetics: The Vasari tailor their biochemistry to better suit the worlds they (temporarily) settle down on, for example, Vasari on volcanic planets are modified to ''breathe sulphur''.
* MagicTool: Everything in the game is built with what appears to be an oversized blowtorch.
** The Vasari constructors use a kind of nano-spray instead of the blowtorch.
* MegaCorp: Each individual TEC "''player''" is basically one of these.
* MentalFusion: The concept behind the Advent's religion, "the Unity" - as evinced by the Coalescences and their military equivalent, the Psintegrae. However, since their civilization went on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge their powers are often applied to...
* MindRape: A lot of the Advent special abilities are based on this, from the Domina Subjugators who psychically paralyze the crews of enemy ships, to the Revelation Battlecruisers that can cause entire planetary populations to go insane and start killing each other.
* TheMole: TEC have LaResistance and merchant spies, the Advent have converted locals, and the Vasari try to root out both of the above by the very [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Orwellian]] use of fake sympathizers.
* MoreDakka: The TEC's Marza Dreadnought takes this trope and runs with it. Then throws it out the window. ''Then sets it on fire''. It's armed with missiles, pulse lasers, rocket pods and autocannons firing incendiary ammunition. And it can be upgraded further with a Siege Gun to attack ''entire planets''. [[AndZoidberg And]] [[NukeEm nukes]].
** The Marza is particularly egregious because it came out of the gate with a high-tier ability to launch a barrage of missiles whose count ''scaled with the number of enemies in range''. It also was able to put out more damage than almost any frigate could take, allowing it to annihilate whole fleets in one hail of destruction, or at least close to it.
** The whole niche of Dreadnoughts is in fact planet bombing, although they can be a horrific capital ship to face in any case. The Siege Gun "upgrade" for Marza is basically a massive chain-gun the ship is built around on that fires slugs roughly the size of a small spaceship towards a planet.. Sigh.. ForMassiveDamage.
** The Titans run on this trope and can destroy whole fleets by themselves.
* {{Nanomachines}}: The Vasari's forte, along with their gravity-manipulation and genetic engineering technologies.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Averted; planets and atmospheres of different types have different defense and population thresholds.
* NoTranshumanismAllowed: Played straight by the TEC, averted by the Advent. Partly why the Advent were exiled by the Traders in the first place.
* NukeEm: The TEC, and the Marza Dreadnought in particular. The Novalith Cannon takes this trope and runs with it, as one-yes, ONE!-can completely sterilize any planet with only two shots. (Except if the target planet is shielded.)
** And if you build more than one, your opponent (or you, if they flip it around) is basically screwed.
*** Especially since they start automated and will keep firing at a randomly-chosen enemy world without you knowing every few minutes. It can be a little strange, arriving at a heavily-fortified enemy world only to realize the colony has been destroyed, and the only thing remaining are orbital structures.
* OldSchoolDogfighting: Sort of averted. Vasari and TEC have guided missiles, but TEC fighters only use autocannons, while all Advent weaponry is beam based. Advent fighter and bomber craft are however specifically stated to be drones, so they're forgivable.
* OneFederationLimit
* OneGameForThePriceOfTwo: the game shipped with Skirmish mode being the ''only'' functionality, with three "micro-[[ExpansionPack expansions]]" promised. One added options for system defenses; the second more Diplomatic options, bringing a little more FourX flavor in; and the third has been expanded into a full-fledged stand-alone.
** Not so with the ''Trinity'' pack, which is the main game and the "Entrenchment" and "Diplomacy" and is reasonably priced.
** "Rebellion" is a standalone expansion, and if you own the original, you can get it at a discount.
* PlanetEater: The Jarassul Evacuator, once it reaches level 6.
* PlanetLooters: The Vasari, although it's driven by necessity rather than inclination.
** Mind you, Vasari diplomacy was always of the "Surrender or die!" variety.
** The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as its top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive resource boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.
* PortalNetwork: The Vasari can build one of these, allowing ships to jump from one gate another within the same solar system instead of picking their way along the standard phase-space routes.
* PowerGlows: Whenever a capital ship levels up. Also, many units do this when activating special abilities.
* PsychicPowers: The Advent use them for everything from interplanetary communication to remote piloting their fighters in combat.
* PsychicRadar: Foreshadowing and Acute Premonitions, upgrades in the Advent's research tree, allow them to extend the range at which they can detect hostile fleets whose destination is the player's territory as their psychics increase their own range.
* RPGElements: Capital ships and Titans gain ExperiencePoints which can be used to purchase upgrades.
* RuleOfCool: When the Kol Battleship activates its [[SuperMode Finest Hour]] ability, the [[HotBlooded crew just]] [[{{Kiai}} roars]] and the ship [[BattleAura is engulfed in a nimbus of white light]].
* SettlingTheFrontier: As with most FourX games, you must race to establish new colonies before others beat you to it.
* ShinyLookingSpaceships: Advent and Vasari ships.
* ShoutOut: Just look at the [[http://sinsofasolarempire.wikia.com/wiki/Achievements achievements]].
** The new supercapital ship class in ''Rebellion'' is called Titan. Now [[EVEOnline what other game]] calls its largest starships Titans too...?
* SingleBiomePlanet: The usual trio of desert, arctic and volcanic worlds makes its appearance, though some of the actual textures of the ice and desert planets feature an aversion in the shape of expansive oceans. Completely averted with Terran class worlds, which are probably earth-like.
* SinisterMinister: There's one leading the rally in the intro movie where the Trade Order decide to exile the Advent's ancestors.
** And then there's the Vasari. Since they're this game's [[TheEmpire Evil Empire]], it is to be expected.
* SinsOfOurFathers: The whole premise of the game.
* {{Space Fighter}}s
* SpaceIsNoisy: It's actually optional. You can reduce the volume of sound effects to zero separately to the other sound options (like music).
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Complete with [[SpaceIsNoisy noise]], ships (some of which [[SpaceSailing look like ocean vessels]]) with bridges and distinct upper/lower sides, naval ranks, small maneuverable fighters/bombers (some of which look like aircraft), trade routes, and pirates.
* SpacePirates: You can pay bounty to get these guys to attack whichever other players you want.
** Just make sure you pay attention: the AI ''loves'' to counter-bid at the last second. Which you can't do, because there's a timer that lists how long until they open bidding, but ''not'' how long the bidding ''itself'' is open.
** However you can build up a fleet big enough to wipe them out. All you have to do is either build your fleet up late-game or smack them down early-game.
** In the expansions, you also have the ability to make them inactive, which makes them just stay at their base instead of taking bounties.
** Alternatively, they can be destroyed using Novalith Cannons.
** Possibly by RuleOfFunny, the Pirates talk with stereotypical pirate dialects, using old nautical terms such as "Matey" or "Walk the Plank."
** The TEC rebels can form a peace treaty with them; since they will then attack only other Empires it basically makes them a powerful ally, especially if you do it early. Later research lets them hire pirate fleets as mercenaries.
* SpikesOfVillainy: Vasari ships to a degree, though the Pirates go nuts with the concept.
* StandardSciFiFleet: Each faction has 2 Frigates (a scout and a combat ship), a Cruiser, a Light Carrier, a Missile Boat, a Colony Ship and 2 Science Vessels (one supportive/defensive, one disruptive/offensive). Troopships are supplanted by planetary bombardment frigates, and the Advent have a [[BeamSpam Beam Spammy]] Space Gun in place of their Missile Boat. Also, in terms of Capital Ships, each faction has a Battleship, a Battlecruiser, a Carrier, a Worldship (capital ship capable of colonizing) and a Banner Ship. Technically, any capital ship can be considered a Battlestar after gaining a strikecraft squad, and all Vasari capitals can be considered to be Worldships. The strikecraft themselves include an Interceptor and a Bomber. ''Rebellion'' adds Corvettes that are smaller than Frigates as well as super-sized Titans.
* StopHelpingMe: The various superweapon buildings your allies can purchase are one of your worst enemies. Every time you conquer an enemy planet, a nuke your allies shot at it 20 minutes ago will ''finally'' arrive.
** What's worse than having a planet you conquered blasted by a superweapon that was late to the party? Having your allies colonize it before you can, even if you did most of the fighting. However, if they just happened to fire a Novalith or Kostura beforehand, it can instantly turn into a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
* {{Telepathy}}: All Advent, either via natural psychic talent, or psi-boosting implants. Almost all humans are capable of ''receiving'' telepathy - those who aren't are called "Silent Ones" and are treated as the RedHeadedStepChild of Advent society.
* {{Transhuman}}: The Advent and the Vasari are both technologically enhanced over their biological baselines, in different ways.
* TurnsRed: The Eradica Titan once it gets its ultimate ability will turn invincible for 60 seconds when destroyed and gets almost unlimited supply of antimatter before the timer runs out.
* TwoDSpace: Space looks very three-dimensional, with ships weaving over and under each other, but for gameplay purposes it may as well be flat.
** Ships grouped into fleets usually adopt some sort of "wall" or "sphere" formation, but they still all orientate the same way.
** However, it is nice that the ships realize that they don't have to go around stars or planets, and will readily fly over them to get to their target.
*** Even though some players consider it "cheating" to direct your fleet over a planet towards their own fleet because they built tactics around using the planet as a natural barrier. Ya know, like they might do for [[SpaceIsAnOcean naval combat]]. Regardless of the fact that it makes the most logic to maintain formation and attack as one by going straight ahead than going around and having your fleet stretched around the planet
* UltimateEvil: The unknown enemy hunting the Vasari, probably.
** Alternatively, given that it first appeared in their own core worlds, it's [[WMG/SinsOfASolarEmpire possible]] that the unknown enemy is a product of one of the Vasari's MagicGenetics experiments GoneHorriblyWrong.
*** This would fit in with the "Each race paying for its sins" motif that the game uses. Alternatively, it could be a slave-race rebellion, a superweapon that went off, or even a new, unseen race that's come to punish them... basically, ANYTHING. They never do say...
* UsedFuture: TEC ships, due to almost all of them being re-purposed for the war.
* VariablePlayerGoals: finally supported in ''Rebellion''.
** Military Victory: Conquer the galaxy by exterminating (the majority of) all enemy forces.
*** Capital Victory: simply knock out their capitals.
** Diplomatic Victory: as mentioned, this mostly involves pleasing ''some'' opponents by beating up on others, so it's more of being a VillainWithGoodPublicity than actual peacemaking. Hey--everyone who's still alive thinks you're awesome!
** Research Victory: Once you research ## number of standard topics, a special (and super-expensive) topic comes up that, when researched, causes victory.
** Occupation Victory: A planet exists somewhere, guarded by Vasari mobs. Occupy it for ## minutes to [[GoldenSnitch win instantly]].
** Flagship Victory: ''if'' enabled, each player gets a "[[EliteMook Flagship]]," which cannot be rebuilt. Destroy everybody else's to win.
* VestigialEmpire: The Vasari once ruled a great interstellar empire that was destroyed by some unknown menace. The Vasari you see in the game are the survivors of a ''single remote colony'' that autonomously decided to [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere pack up and leave]]. They still follow many of their old imperial practices, such as "Locking down" a planet and enslaving the populace, but these days it's more because it's the only way they can work fast enough to survive rather than to build an empire. See We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future below.
* TheWorfBarrage: In the game's lore, the Vasari sent their ''entire fleet'' after whatever it was that was eating its way through their empire. Only one ship made it back, and it was badly damaged, and its crew had been driven insane.
* WaveMotionGun: The Radiance Battleship's Cleansing Brilliance.
* WeWillUseManualLabourInTheFuture: Vasari policy towards their empire's "valued citizens" consists of sitting in orbit with a {{BFG}} pointed at the planet while the enslaved indigenous population mines resources for them... ''or else''.
** Granted, this was probably ForTheEvulz more than anything else, given that they have spaceships capable of strip-mining planets clean from orbit, using gravity-manipulation and {{nanomachines}}, and definitely don't ''need'' slave miners to do it.
*** Also, it is far cheaper to set a rabble of primitives, who probably have no idea of what the Vasari are, given they remain in orbit they may even appear as gods, to gather tribute, than it is to build nano-ships. Also, slave-miners keep the population under control and tributes regularly - go about obliterating planets and you waste vast energy.
* WeHaveReserves: Can be deliberately invoked in two situations. One where your planet is being invaded, and you crank out as many ships as possible to delay them, or if you split your forces up, and hold back a portion of your fleet to use as a reserve force should another part of your empire be attacked while your main force is attacking, or in case your main fleet needs help.
* WorkerUnit: Constructors, colony ships, trade ships, refinery ships...
* XMeetsY: Gamespot says this game is ''GalacticCivilizations'' meets ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}''. PC Gamer says that it's ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' [-[[InSpace IN SPACE!]]-]
** ...even though it's clearly ''ConquestFrontierWars'' meets ''Stars!'' meets ''{{Starcraft}}'' meets ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion''.
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas: Or rather, Credits (gold), and then Metal and Crystal (lumber). Ships require more Metal than Crystal, but almost everything else is vice versa, and Crystal is the rarest resource. Fortunately there is an Exchange where you can buy and sell resources. ([[ArtificialStupidity The AI never uses it]].)
* ZergRush: Mass carriers in the original, mass long range frigates in the expansion, particularly with the Advent.
** Can also be used with the starter frigates if you build a lot of them. They can usually overcome smaller but stronger forces, or at the very least protect your capital ships by absorbing the bulk of the attack thrown by the enemy forces.
** "Rebellion" has corvettes, which are even cheaper than frigates. They are probably designed with this in mind.
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to:

''Sins of a Solar Empire'' is an [=RT4X=] game, fusing both RealTimeStrategy and FourX gameplay into one package. It was released on February 2008 to wide acclaim.

There are three factions in the game. There's the Trader Emergency Coalition, [[TheAlliance a semi-cohesive organization of humans]] trying to defend their worlds from aggression using [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter Kinetic Weapons]], heavy armor and {{Macross Missile Massacre}}s. There's the Advent, humans who [[TheExile were exiled]] many years ago for tampering with PsychicPowers, CrystalSpiresAndTogas and FrickinLaserBeams, and are now back for {{Revenge}}. And there's the Vasari, ScaryDogmaticAliens who once ruled [[TheEmpire a huge interstellar empire,]] but whose worlds have been gradually swallowed by... [[NothingIsScarier something]]. Every ship sent to investigate this menace has disappeared, except for one ship which returned with its crew [[GoMadFromTheRevelation driven mad]]. The remnants of a Vasari colony, now surviving as nomadic PlanetLooters, have fled to this corner of the galaxy, leaving warning buoys behind them... and watching in dismay as those buoys wink out, one by one.

Sounds like an interesting potential plot, right?--GrayAndGreyMorality, possible {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, who knows what else. Unfortunately, [[ExcusePlot the story basically ends there]]. You can set up a multiplayer match vs. AI or a multiplayer match vs other people, but there's no single-player campaign. However, there is abundant backstory, very dedicated to showing that each of the 3 main races has committed sins of their own and are now paying for them (hence the title).

The game was designed from the ground up to be playable on a wide spectrum of hardware configurations, including ones most of its contemporaries would write off as "obsolete". (This was also part of what helped it sell) It was also free of CopyProtection, making headlines at a time when invasive, unnecessary DRM was turning people off ''{{Spore}}''. A pirated copy was essentially a fully-functional demo, allowing you to skirmish against AI but not to play over the Internet; you needed to ''buy'' the game for that. Those who held pro-DRM attitudes predicted failure, but as of September 2008 ''Sins'' had sold 500,000 copies, recouping its $1M development costs months before any of the $10 {{Expansion Pack}}s came out. (There's no hard data as to how and why this game managed to be financially successful, but you can guess what most tropers think.)

Speaking of expansion packs, there were two "micro-expansions" released: "Entrenchment" added new ships and starbases; "Diplomacy" added more diplomatic options, including a (theoretically) non-military win condition. A third was supposedly going to contain a single-player campaign... but [[VaporWare quietly evaporated]] before being UnCancelled (Without a campaign) in March 2011 as "Rebellion," a full-sized expansion in which players of each faction can choose loyalty or [[TitleDrop rebellion]], and gain access to new tech trees in doing so. ''Rebellion'' is a standalone expansion, with a discount for those who owned the original installment. Finally, for those who don't care to fork out more money, there is a robust and thriving GameMod scene, dedicated to doing anything from providing factions from pre-existing sci-fi franchises to graphical updates to full game overhauls to ''code optimization'' so that the game doesn't crash as much. That's right, fans love their ''Sins'' so much that they are voluntarily debugging it.

----
This game provides examples of:
* TheAlliance: The TEC.
** Slowly edging towards TheFederation as time progresses and the society centralizes.
* ACommanderIsYou:
** TEC Loyalist: A mixture of ''Economists, Industrial, Brute Force'' and ''Spammer.'' Their manufacturing ability is practically unsurpassed and coupled with their strong economy and the fact that the TEC have some of the least expensive frigates and cruisers of any faction, they can easily build massive fleets of extremely durable warships and overpower enemies with sheer numbers. Oh, the Loyalists also get their superweapon earlier then the other factions and have reduced construction costs for said superweapon. They also get a lot of defensive bonuses, their Ankylon Titan specializes in fleet support and are able to deploy two starbases around a planet.
** TEC Rebel: Like Loyalist forces a mixture of ''Economists, Industrial, Brute Force'' and ''Spammer'' while at the same time introducing elements of ''Guerrilla.'' They are capable of allying with the Pirates, using pirate warships and utilizing milita forces. Their Ragnarov Titan also packs some of the best firepower in the game.
** Advent Loyalist: Mixture of ''Technical, Loyal'' and ''Researchers.'' They are capable of advancing through their TechTree ''very'' quickly and their ships excel in long range firepower but lack durability; their ships have powerful shields but very weak armor and hulls. They get access to culture early and are more proficient in its use. Their Coronata Titan is capable of mind-controlling entire planets.
** Advent Rebel: Same as the Loyalist but adds ''Spammer'' to the mix. They get a research ability that allows them to respawn destroyed frigates and cruisers. Their Eradica Titan packs ''a lot'' of firepower, is able to heal itself by cannibalizing other ships and when it gets low in health it will become invulnerable for four hundred seconds.
** Vasari Loyalist: ''Elitists, Rangers'' and ''Espionage.'' The Vasari tend to have fewer, but more expensive units that have extremely hardened hulls. Their ships tend to use Phase Missile technology, which have the possibility of completely bypassing the shields of enemy ships. The Vasari Loyalists can generate income with their capital ships and can set their Vorastra Titan as a mobile capital world. They can also completely drain planets of resources, leaving dead husks behind.
** Vasari Rebels: Also ''Elitists, Rangers'' and ''Espionage.'' They get a lot of abilities that allow them to support their allies more effectively. Like the Ankylon Titan their Kultorask Titan is more of a fleet support ship.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: The CPU players taunt you when they invade your planets. Especially painful if they have a large invasion fleet, and you either have a meager fleet (possibly as a result of a failed invasion of your own which cost you a lot of ships, or you're focusing on research instead of building a military force), are being besieged by another player/CPU in another planet, or the planet they invade is really far away from your own forces, and reinforcements will take a while to get to the besieged planet. Like the
* AliensAreBastards: The Vasari arguably.
** Played straight with the Vasari Loyalists since they have no compunction of destroying planets. Averted with the Vasari Rebels, who wish to cooperate with other factions for survival.
* AntiHero / AntiVillain: All three sides, really. The TEC are fighting for their home, the Vasari are fighting for survival, and the Advent are fighting for justice.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Each faction uses a different flavor of phlebotinum - the TEC use TimTaylorTechnology, the Vasari use {{Nanomachines}}, and the Advent use PsychicPowers.
* ApocalypseHow: Class 2 constantly happens.
* ArbitraryHeadCountLimit: Played straight for the most part. The exception is Advent Rapture capital ship, which has a special ability, "Dominate", which allows you to steal non-capital enemy ships. On large maps, the game can start to get a little choppy and slow if there's a large number of ships. On larger maps you can actually run into the max fleet limit quite early.
* AreWeThereYet: Upon selecting a just-constructed Advent Mothership: "All shall join the Unity, in time... Is it time?"
* ArtificialStupidity: the AI in this game is not the brightest bulb in the fridge. Instead of sacrificing its fleet to protect its planets, it will happily sacrifice planets to protect its fleet, thus allowing you to attrition it to death. It rarely builds planet-damaging bombers; if you do, you will almost always out-DPS it. If it loses all its ship factories, it will not demolish old buildings to make new factories either. Developer updates have alleviated some problems, but not much; and the fact that there ''is'' no Campaign, just Skirmish mode against other players or AI, only exposes these problems more.
** The game has also fixed the highly-annoying practice of going the opposite direction from where you come, meaning that if you attack a hostile planet that's next door to yours, the enemy will have jumped just then to try and destroy your world.
** Game patches have rectified this to a degree.
* AstronomicZoom: Rightfully a touted part of the game. Zooming between a close-up of a single bomber and assessing the position of your forces over different solar systems at a glance, is a press of a button away.
* AttackDrone: Advent strike craft are piloted remotely, by telekinetic specialists called "Anima". Seeing as how telekinesis is the equivalent of winning the SuperpowerLottery, even the ruling Coalescences are careful not to piss the Anima off.
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: The TEC in the backstory. With their formidable industrial base, they are quite capable of pulling this off in-game as well.
** They are also able to start trading earlier than the others, giving them a higher cash flow.
* BadassBeard: The narrator / Kol battleship captain sports one
* TheBattlestar: Many examples among each side's capital ships, from battleships with strikecraft capability to full carriers that - in the case of the TEC's Sova-class - can even ''look'' like aircraft carriers.
* BeamSpam: The Advent's warships in general. The Halcyon Carrier capital ship carries up to 7 squadrons of fighters and/or bombers (which are all armed with beam weapons) in addition to the 8 heavier beam cannons mounted on the ship itself. And don't even start about the Illuminator Vessels.
** The Vasari, on the other hand, use Pulse Wave Cannons, which are generally used by Capital Ships. A variant of these beam cannons are used for bombarding planets.
* {{BFG}}: All superweapons can be considered as one of this. Except the Advent Deliverance Engine, which is essentially a Big Freaking MindControlDevice. Also, the Marza Dreadnought's Siege Cannon.
** The Ragnarov Titan takes this UpToEleven as nothing but a giant cannon with gun placements on the side and engines on the back of it.
* BlackBox: None of the three sides really know how Phase Inhibitors work. The TEC and Advent just steal them, while the Vasari use nanomachines to copy them.
* BoardingParty: One of the TEC Corsev Battlecruiser's abilities.
* ButThouMust: When an AI empire comes to you with a mission to accomplish and RelationshipValues on the line, there's no "Sorry, not interested" option: either you do the mission or you take the relationship hit. Two failed missions and they break the cease-fires, which verges the diplomacy mechanic into a case of FakeDifficulty. (Oh, and, until the "Diplomacy" micro-expansion, this was solely one-way: from AI to you.)
** In the "Diplomacy" micro-expansion, you can refuse missions now (for a limited time after they are issued) to take a smaller relationship hit. Of course, the AI players usually just re-issue the same mission...
*** Locking teams before the game begins more or less nullifies the impact of diplomacy: you still get offered missions and still accrue ire when you ignore them, but teams are locked, forcing TeethClenchedTeamwork!
* CherryTapping: You get achievements for feats such as not using Capital ships, not researching any military tech, and not using [[SpaceFighter strike craft.]]
* ChurchMilitant: The Advent; formerly {{Actual Pacifist}}s, now on a crusade of revenge for their unprovoked exile.
* CloningBlues: Because of their dramatically reduced population, the Vasari are forced to clone their best commanders on a regular basis.
* CoolShip: Anything not a cargo vessel.
** Even the Cargo vessels compared to RL - they fly through Interplanetary space without batting an eyelash.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard : Literally, there is an option to allow the AI to cheat by giving it extra money and resources.
** Pirates in the expansion get ridiculously GameBreaking stats, such that one can be attacked by a force of about 30 pirate ships, with their weakest ship being twice as powerful as your best capital ship. Pretty much any planet they invade is going to be destroyed, whether its yours or even the CPU players.
*** Subverted by the fact pirate ships have virtually no useful abilities compared to capital ships. Skilled players have been known to destroy fleets of more than 100 pirate ships at once by micromanaging only three or four capital ships with crusier and frigate support.
*** For added humiliation to the pirates, some players have been able to drive off pirate fleets with only one capital ship.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: A good example of how to use a TechTree and subtle unit differences to avert this trope without introducing units with radically different functions.
* CripplingOverspecialization: The TEC and Advent anti-structure ships can't target other ships, including hulking behemoths like capital ships.
** Slightly justified in that their shots are slow and unguided. It would be easy for ''any'' ship to dodge them, especially since they tend to fire at the extreme ranges. This, of course, doesn't explain why they can still target Vasari ''Orkulus'' starbases, which are also able to move around.
* {{Cruelty is the only option}}: the standard way to take a planet by force is to kill off the entire local population so you can then colonize it with your own people.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Split, with the Advent having the crystal spires and the Vasari having the togas.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: the Entrenchment expansion introduced Starbases, extremely powerful (and expensive) fortifications that can be upgraded like capital ships. The best way to deal with them? Set your fighter wings on them; they're too small for the starbase to hit and come free with your capships.
* DissonantSerenity: The Advent, particularly the Iconus Guardians.
--> "You shall come no closer."
* EarthShatteringKaboom: While it doesn't blow it up, the TEC's Novalith cannon will heavily damage a planet. Repeated hits will cause whoever owns it to lose said planet, unless they have a starbase in orbit with the remote government upgrade.
** In ''Rebellion'', the Vasari Loyalists can strip a planet it owns for resources, turning it into a worthless dead asteroid after an explosion occurs.
* EasyEvangelism: All sides can overthrow enemy planets this way via the "culture" mechanic. The Advent are the most adept at this (MoreThanMindControl or a genuinely better society - you decide). The TEC however are the most overt about it, with a research option that allows them to spawn small fleets of rebels over enemy worlds (all of the fighting is taking place in TEC space, so this is basically just arming LaResistance).
* TheEmpire: The Vasari, until they were forced to go on the run from an enemy that managed to wipe out their entire fleet (except for one badly damaged ship that came back with its crew stark raving mad).
* EnemyCivilWar: Can occur if you set two CPU players to be the same faction but on different teams, or two or more players using the same faction and fighting each other.
* EtherealChorus: Due to the Advent's [[PathOfInspiration churchy nature]], most of their "nothing's going on" music has this. It sounds quite nice.
* EvilEye: Advent psychic power manifests itself as glowing white eyes. Vasari have glowing ''yellow'' eyes, [[RuleOfCool just to look sinister]].
** Of course, this might be intentional - the Vasari ''are'' [[WildMassGuessing skilled genetic engineers]]...
* {{Expy}}: The Vasari as depicted by the portraits appear uncannily similar to the [[{{Starcraft}} Protoss]]. This carries over to gameplay as well in terms of cost.
** However, the history of the Vasari is similar to that of the Rakata from KnightsOfTheOldRepublic. Both were alien conquers who ruled over a galaxy-spanning, multitude-enslaving empire which eventually collapsed from within.
* FactionCalculus: Varies over the length of the game. Starts with TEC as Balanced, Advent as Subversive, and Vasari as Powerhouse, but due to research topics all the factions start sliding subtly in other directions: TEC goes Powerhouse, Vasari go Subversive and the Advent go Balanced.
* FanFicMagnet: The ExcusePlot. It's so vague you can fill in the holes with pretty much anything.
* FanNickname: Space Whale / Space Egg: Jarrasul Evacuator.
** Space Tank / Flying Tank: Kodiak Heavy Cruiser.
** Cannon Fodder / RedshirtArmy: Pretty much all frigates.
** Battle Ball: The name for the tight ship formation most Advent players favor.
** The Brick: Kol Battleship.
* FantasticRacism: The TEC exiled the Advent's ancestors because [[BurnTheWitch they considered psychic powers to be "deviant"]].
* FourX: As evidenced by the "[=RT4X=]" moniker. The base game lacked much in the way of ''civil'' development for your solar empire, as well as a staple of the 4X genre: non-military win conditions.
** In Diplomacy they added Diplomatic victories. Oddly enough, this doesn't change much. Sure, you can gain diplomacy points and win that way, but the main way you get those points? Finish missions that have you destroy enemy ships and structures, inevitably leading to war. So yeah... There's always the [[ScienceMarchesOn research victory.]]
* FrickinLaserBeams: Vanilla laser weapons are fired in pulses, taking a few seconds to get to the target. Inverted with "beam" weapons, which are sustained-fire plasma/laser weapons that hit instantly.
** There is a mod that replaces standard TEC pulse lasers with thin red beams that pulse. This changes nothing in the gameplay (although, the mod may reduce your fighter/bomber count gained in expansions), but makes it look and sound more realistic (less like a ''StarWars'' blaster and more like pulsing hum). The mod only affects TEC lasers, though. The Advent ones still travel to target.
* FunWithAcronyms: The final Phase Missile upgrade technology on the Vasari tech tree is called NME Warheads.
* GameMod: See [[http://ricksgalaxy.homestead.com/links.html here]] and [[http://www.moddb.com/games/sins-of-a-solar-empire/mods]] for starters.
* GangUpOnTheHuman: Largely averted, but can be invoked should you make teams, and both CPU players on either side of the player happen to be on the same team. And then decide to attack you at the same time. Can be painful unless you have a strong fleet, strong defenses, or a good ally.
* GlassCannon: The long-range frigates (Javelis LRM, Kanrak Assailant and Illuminator Vessel). Lower speed and defensive stats, but more offense and quite a bit more range too. Multiplayer tactics seems to revolve around {{Zerg Rush}}ing these frigates and then going to town.
** There are also the Siege Frigates and Torpedo Cruisers. The former of which uses heavy weaponry to bombard planets from orbit, and the latter trashes orbital structures with torpedoes. Both classes are lightly armored and are virtually helpless when attacked.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: The TEC are generally quite sympathetic, [[KickTheDog but kicked the Advent's ancestors off their planet]] [[FantasticRacism for basically being different]] (it is noted that most rediscovered colonies followed a surprisingly similar culture, whereas the Advent didn't) and the pictures that accompany this section of the intro movie have some [[ANaziByAnyOtherName distinctly Nazi undertones]]. Not to mention that they are alarmingly quick to resort to NukeEm, even with neutral Trade Order colonies. The Advent were a peaceful society seeking spiritual escape after the great wars of the past, but their exile darkened their racial psyche towards {{Revenge}}, leaving their crusade to reclaim their homeworld (and punish their oppressors) open to interpretation either as the actions of [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]] or [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]]. The Vasari ruled their empire by oppression and slavery, but you can't help feel a bit sorry for them after they were [[CurbStompBattle all but annihilated]] and forced to go on the run from some unknown EldritchAbomination.
** This concept is emphasized by the in-game music, even. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlQBrkVP7XI Advent theme]] and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LOvT9CoSy8&feature=related Vasari theme]] (the first pieces of music you hear upon starting a game as that race) both sound too heroic and majestic to belong to a truly evil faction.
*** The manual tries to make it very clear that none of the factions are "Evil", though none of them are "Good" either. All of them are paying for their "Sins", hence the name. The Vasari are tyrannical dictators, the TEC are xenophobes, and the Advent are genocidal. All of them have committed sins and now are struggling to just survive.
*** The Vasari might be pretty nice to be ruled by... except that if you've developed space travel they'll enslave your race. If you haven't developed space travel you're not a threat, so you'll be given minimal status in the empire as a "valued citizen".
** The only seemingly truly evil presence in the systems probably is the ominipresent SpacePirates. Add in the fact that owing to a certain bug/programming overlook that makes them [[DemonicSpiders incredibly powerful and hard to beat]], they can and will be a player character's worst enemy both in and out of character.
** Now expanded in Rebellion:
*** [[TheFederation Loyalist TEC]] wants [[HoldTheLine to ride out the war through superior defensive capabilities]], [[GuileHero diplomatic maneuvering, and economic superiority]] - even if that means [[MoralDissonance ceding entire systems and leaving its populations enslaved or mind controlled]]; [[TheEmpire Rebel TEC]] wants [[TeachHimAnger to crush everyone in expansionist warfare]] and react violently against what they consider to be [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity "defeatist," "collaborationist", or other similarly treasonous philosophies which involve dialogue or reconciliation]] - however, they are [[DeathFromAbove not]] [[MadeASlave without]] [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul their]] [[DeadLittleSister reasons]] for this [[CycleOfRevenge mindset]].
*** [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Loyalist Advent]] wish [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim to continue getting revenge on the TEC at any cost]] and [[ChurchMilitant spread their utopian collectivist hive mind throughout colonized space]]; [[TheAtoner Rebel Advent]] want to forgive the TEC as the war is [[HeelRealization leading the Unity away from their true purpose]] and believe that [[IgnoredEpiphany an internal purge is necessary in order to put the Advent on the right path once again.]]
*** [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Loyalist Vasari]] want [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to strip mine the local systems using enslaved humans workers]] and [[ExitPursuedByABear make a run for the next region of space]] before the unknown threat arrives; [[NobleDemon Rebel Vasari]] want to do the same thing [[AdoptTheDog but bring humanity with them]], even if preparing the disorganized TEC for the journey costs them time and forces both to make [[BackToBackBadasses a desperate stand together against the unknown enemy]] - it probably won't end well, [[FireForgedFriends but apparently humanity has proven themselves to be worth the risk.]]
* GutturalGrowler: The Vasari are an entire race of bad [[Franchise/MetalGear Revolver Ocelot]] impersonators.
* HealingFactor: Vasari Enforcers and Skirmishers.
* HeroUnit: Capital ships.
* HyperspaceLanes: You can only travel from one planet to certain nearby planets in any given jump unless you have phase stabilizers. However, interstellar phase jumps can be done from one star to any other star.
* ISOStandardHumanSpaceship: TEC ships.
* ItsUpToYou: as usual. What's particularly jarring about this, though, is that your opponents tend to do pretty well, whereas your ''allies'' are saddled with a clear case of ArtificialStupidity. The end result is FakeDifficulty: you'll win, but it'll take a long time as you march through every enemy's territory one planet at a time—or sometimes less, when you're forced to double back.
** Later game patches have mostly fixed this. Allies now have been known to defeat enemies by themselves with minimal assistance.
* JustOneMoreTurn: ohhh you better believe it.
* LadyLand: The Advent are matriarchal. Their social structure is based on PsychicPowers, and Advent females [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority tend to be the stronger psychics]].
* LargeHam: Planet-bomber Capital Ships seem particularly susceptible:-
** '''Vulkoras Desolator:''' '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry8jbwtAWoM MY POWER IS UNMATCHED!!]]'''
** '''Marza Dreadnought:''' '''THIS is how SPACE JUNK is BORN!'''
** '''Antorak Marauder:''' '''Let terror RAIN!'''
** Pirates and some Titans and corvettes in ''Rebellion''
** '''Ragnarov Titan:''' '''I put the 'LAUGHTER' in 'SLAUGHTER'!'''
* LimitBreak: The Finest Hour ability for TEC Kol Battleship. The ship lights up, the crew cheers like soccer fans, and the ship can perform its anti-matter based abilities and repair its hull more quickly.
* LittleMissBadass: The speaker for the Rapture-class battlecruiser sounds about 6 years old.
** Almost all the Advent ship captains sound to be about eight years old. It's actually [[CreepyChild quite frightening]].
* LaResistance: The TEC's "insurgency" upgrade.
** The Advent use a form of this by using telepathic propaganda to convert other planets to the Unity.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The Marza Dreadnaught's Missile Barrage, the Vulkoras Desolator's Phase Missile Swarm.
** The TEC's Javelis LRM Frigates or the Vasari Kanrak Assailants, whenever there are more than one of them in one place at any given time (which is pretty much always). Or whenever you have swarms of TEC or Vasari bombers around, which also both use missiles.
*** In Entrenchment the TEC are granted the Ogrov Torpedo Cruiser- the bulk of which is storage space for GIANT torpedoes that can only target buildings. The explosion each of these makes is comparable to the size of the torpedoes. Think an ICBM silo with rocket engines at the back.
* MagikarpPower: The Kol Battleship isn't that strong fresh out of the drydock, despite the glowing description in lore. It has poor antimatter reserves, unflattering damage and can be beaten by most other capital ships in a duel. With enough levels and antimatter upgrades, though, it becomes able to use its abilities much more freely, dramatically improving its power, and Finest Hour can turn a fight around.
* MagicGenetics: The Vasari tailor their biochemistry to better suit the worlds they (temporarily) settle down on, for example, Vasari on volcanic planets are modified to ''breathe sulphur''.
* MagicTool: Everything in the game is built with what appears to be an oversized blowtorch.
** The Vasari constructors use a kind of nano-spray instead of the blowtorch.
* MegaCorp: Each individual TEC "''player''" is basically one of these.
* MentalFusion: The concept behind the Advent's religion, "the Unity" - as evinced by the Coalescences and their military equivalent, the Psintegrae. However, since their civilization went on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge their powers are often applied to...
* MindRape: A lot of the Advent special abilities are based on this, from the Domina Subjugators who psychically paralyze the crews of enemy ships, to the Revelation Battlecruisers that can cause entire planetary populations to go insane and start killing each other.
* TheMole: TEC have LaResistance and merchant spies, the Advent have converted locals, and the Vasari try to root out both of the above by the very [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Orwellian]] use of fake sympathizers.
* MoreDakka: The TEC's Marza Dreadnought takes this trope and runs with it. Then throws it out the window. ''Then sets it on fire''. It's armed with missiles, pulse lasers, rocket pods and autocannons firing incendiary ammunition. And it can be upgraded further with a Siege Gun to attack ''entire planets''. [[AndZoidberg And]] [[NukeEm nukes]].
** The Marza is particularly egregious because it came out of the gate with a high-tier ability to launch a barrage of missiles whose count ''scaled with the number of enemies in range''. It also was able to put out more damage than almost any frigate could take, allowing it to annihilate whole fleets in one hail of destruction, or at least close to it.
** The whole niche of Dreadnoughts is in fact planet bombing, although they can be a horrific capital ship to face in any case. The Siege Gun "upgrade" for Marza is basically a massive chain-gun the ship is built around on that fires slugs roughly the size of a small spaceship towards a planet.. Sigh.. ForMassiveDamage.
** The Titans run on this trope and can destroy whole fleets by themselves.
* {{Nanomachines}}: The Vasari's forte, along with their gravity-manipulation and genetic engineering technologies.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Averted; planets and atmospheres of different types have different defense and population thresholds.
* NoTranshumanismAllowed: Played straight by the TEC, averted by the Advent. Partly why the Advent were exiled by the Traders in the first place.
* NukeEm: The TEC, and the Marza Dreadnought in particular. The Novalith Cannon takes this trope and runs with it, as one-yes, ONE!-can completely sterilize any planet with only two shots. (Except if the target planet is shielded.)
** And if you build more than one, your opponent (or you, if they flip it around) is basically screwed.
*** Especially since they start automated and will keep firing at a randomly-chosen enemy world without you knowing every few minutes. It can be a little strange, arriving at a heavily-fortified enemy world only to realize the colony has been destroyed, and the only thing remaining are orbital structures.
* OldSchoolDogfighting: Sort of averted. Vasari and TEC have guided missiles, but TEC fighters only use autocannons, while all Advent weaponry is beam based. Advent fighter and bomber craft are however specifically stated to be drones, so they're forgivable.
* OneFederationLimit
* OneGameForThePriceOfTwo: the game shipped with Skirmish mode being the ''only'' functionality, with three "micro-[[ExpansionPack expansions]]" promised. One added options for system defenses; the second more Diplomatic options, bringing a little more FourX flavor in; and the third has been expanded into a full-fledged stand-alone.
** Not so with the ''Trinity'' pack, which is the main game and the "Entrenchment" and "Diplomacy" and is reasonably priced.
** "Rebellion" is a standalone expansion, and if you own the original, you can get it at a discount.
* PlanetEater: The Jarassul Evacuator, once it reaches level 6.
* PlanetLooters: The Vasari, although it's driven by necessity rather than inclination.
** Mind you, Vasari diplomacy was always of the "Surrender or die!" variety.
** The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as its top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive resource boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.
* PortalNetwork: The Vasari can build one of these, allowing ships to jump from one gate another within the same solar system instead of picking their way along the standard phase-space routes.
* PowerGlows: Whenever a capital ship levels up. Also, many units do this when activating special abilities.
* PsychicPowers: The Advent use them for everything from interplanetary communication to remote piloting their fighters in combat.
* PsychicRadar: Foreshadowing and Acute Premonitions, upgrades in the Advent's research tree, allow them to extend the range at which they can detect hostile fleets whose destination is the player's territory as their psychics increase their own range.
* RPGElements: Capital ships and Titans gain ExperiencePoints which can be used to purchase upgrades.
* RuleOfCool: When the Kol Battleship activates its [[SuperMode Finest Hour]] ability, the [[HotBlooded crew just]] [[{{Kiai}} roars]] and the ship [[BattleAura is engulfed in a nimbus of white light]].
* SettlingTheFrontier: As with most FourX games, you must race to establish new colonies before others beat you to it.
* ShinyLookingSpaceships: Advent and Vasari ships.
* ShoutOut: Just look at the [[http://sinsofasolarempire.wikia.com/wiki/Achievements achievements]].
** The new supercapital ship class in ''Rebellion'' is called Titan. Now [[EVEOnline what other game]] calls its largest starships Titans too...?
* SingleBiomePlanet: The usual trio of desert, arctic and volcanic worlds makes its appearance, though some of the actual textures of the ice and desert planets feature an aversion in the shape of expansive oceans. Completely averted with Terran class worlds, which are probably earth-like.
* SinisterMinister: There's one leading the rally in the intro movie where the Trade Order decide to exile the Advent's ancestors.
** And then there's the Vasari. Since they're this game's [[TheEmpire Evil Empire]], it is to be expected.
* SinsOfOurFathers: The whole premise of the game.
* {{Space Fighter}}s
* SpaceIsNoisy: It's actually optional. You can reduce the volume of sound effects to zero separately to the other sound options (like music).
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Complete with [[SpaceIsNoisy noise]], ships (some of which [[SpaceSailing look like ocean vessels]]) with bridges and distinct upper/lower sides, naval ranks, small maneuverable fighters/bombers (some of which look like aircraft), trade routes, and pirates.
* SpacePirates: You can pay bounty to get these guys to attack whichever other players you want.
** Just make sure you pay attention: the AI ''loves'' to counter-bid at the last second. Which you can't do, because there's a timer that lists how long until they open bidding, but ''not'' how long the bidding ''itself'' is open.
** However you can build up a fleet big enough to wipe them out. All you have to do is either build your fleet up late-game or smack them down early-game.
** In the expansions, you also have the ability to make them inactive, which makes them just stay at their base instead of taking bounties.
** Alternatively, they can be destroyed using Novalith Cannons.
** Possibly by RuleOfFunny, the Pirates talk with stereotypical pirate dialects, using old nautical terms such as "Matey" or "Walk the Plank."
** The TEC rebels can form a peace treaty with them; since they will then attack only other Empires it basically makes them a powerful ally, especially if you do it early. Later research lets them hire pirate fleets as mercenaries.
* SpikesOfVillainy: Vasari ships to a degree, though the Pirates go nuts with the concept.
* StandardSciFiFleet: Each faction has 2 Frigates (a scout and a combat ship), a Cruiser, a Light Carrier, a Missile Boat, a Colony Ship and 2 Science Vessels (one supportive/defensive, one disruptive/offensive). Troopships are supplanted by planetary bombardment frigates, and the Advent have a [[BeamSpam Beam Spammy]] Space Gun in place of their Missile Boat. Also, in terms of Capital Ships, each faction has a Battleship, a Battlecruiser, a Carrier, a Worldship (capital ship capable of colonizing) and a Banner Ship. Technically, any capital ship can be considered a Battlestar after gaining a strikecraft squad, and all Vasari capitals can be considered to be Worldships. The strikecraft themselves include an Interceptor and a Bomber. ''Rebellion'' adds Corvettes that are smaller than Frigates as well as super-sized Titans.
* StopHelpingMe: The various superweapon buildings your allies can purchase are one of your worst enemies. Every time you conquer an enemy planet, a nuke your allies shot at it 20 minutes ago will ''finally'' arrive.
** What's worse than having a planet you conquered blasted by a superweapon that was late to the party? Having your allies colonize it before you can, even if you did most of the fighting. However, if they just happened to fire a Novalith or Kostura beforehand, it can instantly turn into a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
* {{Telepathy}}: All Advent, either via natural psychic talent, or psi-boosting implants. Almost all humans are capable of ''receiving'' telepathy - those who aren't are called "Silent Ones" and are treated as the RedHeadedStepChild of Advent society.
* {{Transhuman}}: The Advent and the Vasari are both technologically enhanced over their biological baselines, in different ways.
* TurnsRed: The Eradica Titan once it gets its ultimate ability will turn invincible for 60 seconds when destroyed and gets almost unlimited supply of antimatter before the timer runs out.
* TwoDSpace: Space looks very three-dimensional, with ships weaving over and under each other, but for gameplay purposes it may as well be flat.
** Ships grouped into fleets usually adopt some sort of "wall" or "sphere" formation, but they still all orientate the same way.
** However, it is nice that the ships realize that they don't have to go around stars or planets, and will readily fly over them to get to their target.
*** Even though some players consider it "cheating" to direct your fleet over a planet towards their own fleet because they built tactics around using the planet as a natural barrier. Ya know, like they might do for [[SpaceIsAnOcean naval combat]]. Regardless of the fact that it makes the most logic to maintain formation and attack as one by going straight ahead than going around and having your fleet stretched around the planet
* UltimateEvil: The unknown enemy hunting the Vasari, probably.
** Alternatively, given that it first appeared in their own core worlds, it's [[WMG/SinsOfASolarEmpire possible]] that the unknown enemy is a product of one of the Vasari's MagicGenetics experiments GoneHorriblyWrong.
*** This would fit in with the "Each race paying for its sins" motif that the game uses. Alternatively, it could be a slave-race rebellion, a superweapon that went off, or even a new, unseen race that's come to punish them... basically, ANYTHING. They never do say...
* UsedFuture: TEC ships, due to almost all of them being re-purposed for the war.
* VariablePlayerGoals: finally supported in ''Rebellion''.
** Military Victory: Conquer the galaxy by exterminating (the majority of) all enemy forces.
*** Capital Victory: simply knock out their capitals.
** Diplomatic Victory: as mentioned, this mostly involves pleasing ''some'' opponents by beating up on others, so it's more of being a VillainWithGoodPublicity than actual peacemaking. Hey--everyone who's still alive thinks you're awesome!
** Research Victory: Once you research ## number of standard topics, a special (and super-expensive) topic comes up that, when researched, causes victory.
** Occupation Victory: A planet exists somewhere, guarded by Vasari mobs. Occupy it for ## minutes to [[GoldenSnitch win instantly]].
** Flagship Victory: ''if'' enabled, each player gets a "[[EliteMook Flagship]]," which cannot be rebuilt. Destroy everybody else's to win.
* VestigialEmpire: The Vasari once ruled a great interstellar empire that was destroyed by some unknown menace. The Vasari you see in the game are the survivors of a ''single remote colony'' that autonomously decided to [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere pack up and leave]]. They still follow many of their old imperial practices, such as "Locking down" a planet and enslaving the populace, but these days it's more because it's the only way they can work fast enough to survive rather than to build an empire. See We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future below.
* TheWorfBarrage: In the game's lore, the Vasari sent their ''entire fleet'' after whatever it was that was eating its way through their empire. Only one ship made it back, and it was badly damaged, and its crew had been driven insane.
* WaveMotionGun: The Radiance Battleship's Cleansing Brilliance.
* WeWillUseManualLabourInTheFuture: Vasari policy towards their empire's "valued citizens" consists of sitting in orbit with a {{BFG}} pointed at the planet while the enslaved indigenous population mines resources for them... ''or else''.
** Granted, this was probably ForTheEvulz more than anything else, given that they have spaceships capable of strip-mining planets clean from orbit, using gravity-manipulation and {{nanomachines}}, and definitely don't ''need'' slave miners to do it.
*** Also, it is far cheaper to set a rabble of primitives, who probably have no idea of what the Vasari are, given they remain in orbit they may even appear as gods, to gather tribute, than it is to build nano-ships. Also, slave-miners keep the population under control and tributes regularly - go about obliterating planets and you waste vast energy.
* WeHaveReserves: Can be deliberately invoked in two situations. One where your planet is being invaded, and you crank out as many ships as possible to delay them, or if you split your forces up, and hold back a portion of your fleet to use as a reserve force should another part of your empire be attacked while your main force is attacking, or in case your main fleet needs help.
* WorkerUnit: Constructors, colony ships, trade ships, refinery ships...
* XMeetsY: Gamespot says this game is ''GalacticCivilizations'' meets ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}''. PC Gamer says that it's ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' [-[[InSpace IN SPACE!]]-]
** ...even though it's clearly ''ConquestFrontierWars'' meets ''Stars!'' meets ''{{Starcraft}}'' meets ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion''.
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas: Or rather, Credits (gold), and then Metal and Crystal (lumber). Ships require more Metal than Crystal, but almost everything else is vice versa, and Crystal is the rarest resource. Fortunately there is an Exchange where you can buy and sell resources. ([[ArtificialStupidity The AI never uses it]].)
* ZergRush: Mass carriers in the original, mass long range frigates in the expansion, particularly with the Advent.
** Can also be used with the starter frigates if you build a lot of them. They can usually overcome smaller but stronger forces, or at the very least protect your capital ships by absorbing the bulk of the attack thrown by the enemy forces.
** "Rebellion" has corvettes, which are even cheaper than frigates. They are probably designed with this in mind.
----
[[redirect:VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire]]
12th Jan '13 2:43:56 PM HealingMage
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Added DiffLines:

** The Marza is particularly egregious because it came out of the gate with a high-tier ability to launch a barrage of missiles whose count ''scaled with the number of enemies in range''. It also was able to put out more damage than almost any frigate could take, allowing it to annihilate whole fleets in one hail of destruction, or at least close to it.
24th Dec '12 1:37:45 PM dvorak
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* SingleBiomePlanet: The usual trio of desert, arctic and volcanic worlds makes its appearance, though some of the actual textures of the ice and desert planets feature an aversion in the shape of expansive oceans.

to:

* SingleBiomePlanet: The usual trio of desert, arctic and volcanic worlds makes its appearance, though some of the actual textures of the ice and desert planets feature an aversion in the shape of expansive oceans. Completely averted with Terran class worlds, which are probably earth-like.
21st Dec '12 5:44:39 PM ImpudentInfidel
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Added DiffLines:

** The TEC rebels can form a peace treaty with them; since they will then attack only other Empires it basically makes them a powerful ally, especially if you do it early. Later research lets them hire pirate fleets as mercenaries.
1st Dec '12 10:08:56 AM ImpudentInfidel
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* ArbitraryHeadCountLimit: Played straight for the most part. The exception is Advent Rapture capital ship, which has a special ability, "Dominate", which allows you to steal non-capital enemy ships. On large maps, the game can start to get a little choppy and slow if there's a large number of ships.

to:

* ArbitraryHeadCountLimit: Played straight for the most part. The exception is Advent Rapture capital ship, which has a special ability, "Dominate", which allows you to steal non-capital enemy ships. On large maps, the game can start to get a little choppy and slow if there's a large number of ships. On larger maps you can actually run into the max fleet limit quite early.
27th Nov '12 7:50:19 AM GentlemensDame883
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** The only seemingly truly evil presence in the systems probably is the ominipresent SpacePirates. Add in the fact that owing to a certain bug/programming overlook that makes them [[DemonicSpider incredibly powerful and hard to beat]], they can and will be a player character's worst enemy both in and out of character.

to:

** The only seemingly truly evil presence in the systems probably is the ominipresent SpacePirates. Add in the fact that owing to a certain bug/programming overlook that makes them [[DemonicSpider [[DemonicSpiders incredibly powerful and hard to beat]], they can and will be a player character's worst enemy both in and out of character.



*** [[TheFederation Loyalist TEC]] wants [[HoldTheLine to ride out the war through superior defensive capabilities]], [[GuileHero diplomatic maneuvering, and economic superiority]] - even if that means [[WhatTheHellHero ceding entire systems and leaving its populations enslaved or mind controlled]]; [[TheEmpire Rebel TEC]] wants [[TeachHimAnger to crush everyone in expansionist warfare]] and react violently against what they consider to be [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity "defeatist," "collaborationist", or other similarly treasonous philosophies which involve dialogue or reconciliation]] - however, they are [[DeathFromAbove not]] [[MadeASlave without]] [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul their]] [[DeadLittleSister reasons]] for this [[CycleOfRevenge mindset]].

to:

*** [[TheFederation Loyalist TEC]] wants [[HoldTheLine to ride out the war through superior defensive capabilities]], [[GuileHero diplomatic maneuvering, and economic superiority]] - even if that means [[WhatTheHellHero [[MoralDissonance ceding entire systems and leaving its populations enslaved or mind controlled]]; [[TheEmpire Rebel TEC]] wants [[TeachHimAnger to crush everyone in expansionist warfare]] and react violently against what they consider to be [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity "defeatist," "collaborationist", or other similarly treasonous philosophies which involve dialogue or reconciliation]] - however, they are [[DeathFromAbove not]] [[MadeASlave without]] [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul their]] [[DeadLittleSister reasons]] for this [[CycleOfRevenge mindset]].



* ILoveNuclearPower: The TEC, and the Marza Dreadnought in particular. The Novalith Cannon takes this trope and runs with it, as one-yes, ONE!-can completely sterilize any planet with only two shots. (Except if the target planet is shielded.)
** And if you build more than one, your opponent (or you, if they flip it around) is basically screwed.
*** Especially since they start automated and will keep firing at a randomly-chosen enemy world without you knowing every few minutes. It can be a little strange, arriving at a heavily-fortified enemy world only to realize the colony has been destroyed, and the only thing remaining are orbital structures.



* NukeEm: The TEC, and the Marza Dreadnought in particular. The Novalith Cannon takes this trope and runs with it, as one-yes, ONE!-can completely sterilize any planet with only two shots. (Except if the target planet is shielded.)
** And if you build more than one, your opponent (or you, if they flip it around) is basically screwed.
*** Especially since they start automated and will keep firing at a randomly-chosen enemy world without you knowing every few minutes. It can be a little strange, arriving at a heavily-fortified enemy world only to realize the colony has been destroyed, and the only thing remaining are orbital structures.



** The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as it's top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive resource boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.

to:

** The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as it's its top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive resource boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.



*** This would fit in with the "Each race paying for it's sins" motif that the game uses. Alternatively, it could be a slave-race rebellion, a superweapon that went off, or even a new, unseen race that's come to punish them... basically, ANYTHING. They never do say...

to:

*** This would fit in with the "Each race paying for it's its sins" motif that the game uses. Alternatively, it could be a slave-race rebellion, a superweapon that went off, or even a new, unseen race that's come to punish them... basically, ANYTHING. They never do say...
25th Nov '12 7:45:18 AM ImpudentInfidel
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Added DiffLines:

* PortalNetwork: The Vasari can build one of these, allowing ships to jump from one gate another within the same solar system instead of picking their way along the standard phase-space routes.
24th Nov '12 4:43:54 PM ImpudentInfidel
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** The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as it's top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive research boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.

to:

** The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as it's top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive research resource boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.
24th Nov '12 4:15:23 PM ImpudentInfidel
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Added DiffLines:

**The Vasari Loyalist faction in Rebellion has this as it's top-level research, allowing them to completely destroy a planet they control for a massive research boost. The same research chain lets them use their Titan as their capital and their capital ships as both kinds of research station and for tax income, meaning they don't have to build structures ''at all'' except to build reinforcements.
13th Nov '12 10:58:35 PM SgtHydra
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*** [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Loyalist Vasari]] want [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to strip mine the local systems using enslaved humans workers]] and [[ExitPursuedByABear make a run for the next region of space]] before the unknown threat arrives; [[NobleDemon Rebel Vasari]] want to do the same thing [[FireForgedFriends but bring humanity with them]], even if preparing the disorganized TEC for the journey costs them time and forces both to make [[BackToBackBadasses a desperate stand together against the unknown enemy]] - it probably won't end well, [[MoralityPet but apparently humanity has endeared itself to them.]]

to:

*** [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Loyalist Vasari]] want [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to strip mine the local systems using enslaved humans workers]] and [[ExitPursuedByABear make a run for the next region of space]] before the unknown threat arrives; [[NobleDemon Rebel Vasari]] want to do the same thing [[FireForgedFriends [[AdoptTheDog but bring humanity with them]], even if preparing the disorganized TEC for the journey costs them time and forces both to make [[BackToBackBadasses a desperate stand together against the unknown enemy]] - it probably won't end well, [[MoralityPet [[FireForgedFriends but apparently humanity has endeared itself proven themselves to them.be worth the risk.]]
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