Account Cart Search

GalCiv IV: Video Dev Blog #8 - Playing Tall vs. Wide

Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 By redskittlesonly In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

In the vast and intricate realm of 4X gaming, empire management takes center stage. Traditionally in this genre, the cardinal rule was simple: the bigger the empire, the better your chances of victory. Resources were tightly intertwined with territory, making rapid expansion a key strategy for acquiring as much land and resource production as possible.  

But recent times have ushered in a shift, with 4X games offering players the possibility of success with smaller, more focused empires. Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova is no exception to this evolution. 



Tall vs. Wide: A 4X Dilemma 

Resource acquisition stands as one of the fundamental objectives in any 4X game. Traditionally, it revolved around seizing and maintaining physical territory. Most resources were generated and consumed within population centers, and victory conditions were often intricately linked to those settlements.  

The 'Wide' approach was the go-to strategy. Players would aggressively expand their territory, pushing boundaries until they encountered rival factions. At this point, the game shifted to resource exploitation, diplomacy, and warfare. The objective was to create as many settlements as possible, keeping infrastructure minimal, just enough to sustain rapid expansion. It's a race for territory and resources until no more land or settlements can be easily acquired.  

'Playing Tall' meant deliberately restricting the size of your empire to just a few, highly developed Core Worlds, often centered around a single colony or city serving as the production hub. Classic 4X games rarely encouraged Tall playstyles, often reserved for casual play or expert players looking for a challenging experience. 


The Tall Playstyle in Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova 

Playing Tall presents an attractive option for gamers seeking reduced colony management. Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova introduces an innovative twist on the classic space 4X formula to cater to this playstyle.  

In the Tall strategy, you focus on cultivating a select few high-quality Core Worlds. Core World resource production can be bolstered by surrounding Colonies, amplifying Planetary Input. Strategic placement of Districts and Improvements yields substantial bonuses to Planetary Output as resources are processed by the Core World's industrial machinery.  

Higher-class Core Worlds can accommodate more Citizens, each providing significant boosts to Planetary Output. Citizens can be trained to specialize further, enhancing the empire's productivity.  

To turbocharge resource production, advanced module equipped Starbases can be constructed around Core Worlds, leading to substantial output gains. The beauty of this approach is that these bonuses stack, with multiple overlapping Economic Starbases making the production of resources immensely efficient.  

However, Tall empires might suffer from a limited number of shipyards, potentially resulting in a smaller defense fleet. Nevertheless, well-placed Military Starbases can effectively guard the compact Tall territories, maximizing fleet efficiency.  

With attached Colonies enhancing Core World's Planetary Input and various modifiers, a single Core World can evolve into a powerhouse in your Tall empire. 


Wide and Tall Playstyle with the Arceans 

Armed with a Tall strategy, you initiate your journey by sending out probes to map the sector, scouting potential Core Worlds and Colonies. Your civilization gears up for rapid Citizen growth and colony ship production while keeping a vigilant eye on competitors.  

For a Wide playstyle, you must expand as quickly as possible, without allowing rival civilizations to lay claim to the resources or Colonies within your proposed borders.  

As you conquer each Core World, you establish infrastructure to support a shipyard and maximize Citizen growth. Early access to technologies like Xeno Biology and its Colonial Clinic greatly enhances Growth rates.  

When playing Wide, you quickly secure multiple Core Worlds and Colonies, focusing on quantity over quality. However, this approach may leave you vulnerable to invasion, making it essential to assess your neighbors and their potential threat levels. 


Tall Playstyle Focus: The Mimot 

The Mimot civilization thrives with their Wide playstyle. Their Civilization Abilities are instrumental in facilitating rapid expansion. The 'Fertile' ability grants a 25% bonus to Growth, while 'Proliferation' doubles ship production but at the cost of reduced hit points. This proficiency extends to military and civilian ships, giving the Mimot a remarkable edge in scouting, colonization, and starbase construction.  

Compared to the Arceans, the Mimot empire at turn 41 boasts five Core Worlds, seventeen Colonies, seventy Citizens, and a robust strategic resource economy. It's a testament to the effectiveness of the Wide playstyle.  

Ten turns later, the Mimot empire has expanded further, boasting eight Core Worlds, twenty-six Colonies, eighty-nine Citizens, and a fully developed economy with twenty Starbases. However, remember that the Mimot's success is contingent on space to expand and a steady source of food. 


Tall Playstyle Focus: The Drath 

Playing Tall is the Drath's forte, as their Citizens exhibit slower Growth rates. While they possess five Core Worlds, nearly all their economic prowess is funneled into two Core Worlds, Dratha and Nigel 1. Their diplomatic finesse enables them to maintain peaceful relations with their neighboring Altarians, while the Drath's ability to profit from war-driven trade routes adds a lucrative dimension to their gameplay.  

The Drath may seem vulnerable, but their shrewd strategy involves leveraging alliances to manipulate their rivals. The Altarians were convinced to wage war on the powerful Korath Clan, increasing trade route profits thanks to the Drath's War Profiteers Civilization Ability.  

This cunning approach enables the Drath to bide their time, accumulating resources, and preparing for the opportune moment to expand and seize territory from weakened rivals. 


In Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova, the separation of Core Worlds and Colonies, combined with each civilization's unique abilities, fosters diverse playstyles. Each civilization offers various strategies, ensuring that every campaign is a fresh and exhilarating experience. Whether you choose to play Tall, Wide, or a mix of both, the galaxy is your canvas, and the possibilities are limitless. 


Launching October 19, Steam Wishlist Now