Other news: I got Space Empires 4 updated and running. Oh no...
One of the best things about the Gold Version, which I don't have fearing it is even more addictive, is an actual manual. While exploring, I accidently send a ship beyond it's supply range, in 4 there appears to be no way to send another ship to refuel it. Instead they make you limp it home while I imagine everyone is in suspended animation. In 3 it was an easy process to send someone else out and transfer fuel.
I have turned on no governors in my reintroduction to 4, I wonder how long that will last. I never played 4 on my own computer, just a few start up games on my nephews. Space Empires 3 was my addiction. The newer 4 Gold also has further improvements and a huge number of mods. The game is the best example of shareware - hobbyists who loved this type of game, started small, listened to feedback, and constantly improved the product.
You can download demo version of Gold at this link - 29 MB..
Some of the best things about Space Empires is the fairly smart AI of the computer opponents and they don't cheat, but they can be smarter than you until you learn the game. No commercial game like Civilization 3 can say that.
Oh, if you have Civ 3 you absolutely need the patch - The game has serious errors right off the CD. In addition the newest patch has:
"The v1.29f includes substantially expanded editor support, including the ability to create new units, advances and civilizations as well as place units and cities on the map. Additionally it adds a minimap and zoom functionality as well. There are new game features included such as Fortify/Wake All Units in a tile, the Accelerated Production rule and mechanisms to track the creation of Great Leaders. It also includes numerous fixes, tweaks and changes based on tester and customer feedback. Civ 3 Patch Download - Filesize: 9.91MB."
Update 03-01-25, you can share fuel my joining a fleet in SE4, just like in SE3. My non-Gold version of the game still badly needs a manual, I discovered by trial and error that combat sensors don't effect missiles and other seekers, although it gives higher probable hit numbers on the display. If a seeker intercepts the the target it hits 100% of the time. After spending time and money adding all of those combat sensors to warships only armed with missiles...
Very bad, major time consumer - this is a game where the short introductory scenario can take 60 plus fascinating hours with lessons on politics and governing and researching and designing weapons and battle strategies. Still, Civilization 2 or 3 is better in that there are more non-warlike thinks to do. Here, I am a peacenik for not commiting genocide and trying not to kill tranports carrying millions of fleeing refugees if I can avoid it . There are a few non-warlike things, one reason I got back to this version is the chance to build a Ringworld if I get scientifically advanced enough and am able to prevent attacks on my empire.