Star Chase is a game of the exploration and conquest of space in the same series as Dark Age and Spaceplan. It replaced Spaceplan I, which was the oldest of the series still in play.
We redesigned Star Chase to be faster, easier and more user-friendly.
There's a lot more happening in early stages and there should be more options in the middle game as it takes longer to reach the limits of economic and technological development. Conflict is more tactical with new ship types and actions.
MAP & RULES CHANGES
The map is bigger and laid out differently, with a lot more variation, population limits are a lot higher, build and supply costs are higher and there's a set of conditional move actions. The balance of build costs is different, so that fighters are more cost-effective than cruisers, but you're limited in how you can move them around.
TECH LEVELS & SHIPS LOST IN SPACE
There are a lot more tech levels (nineteen) and ships can now get lost in hyperspace and be recovered later. This applies not just to ships lost in deep space jumps, but also a proportion of the cruisers lost in battles now escape into hyperspace and live to fight another day (although that day may be rather distant).
EXPLORATION & RESEARCH
The scenario for Star Chase is about rebuilding after the collapse of a previous galactic empire, so you get to dig around in the ruins and discover all sorts of useful stuff as you explore (pop, industry, BPs, treasuries, all kinds of ships, any sort of technology etc). This livens up the early turns and make the empires more varied.
Colony ships now have defence strengths and are valuable as defensive blockers. They also carry fighters... put a black tin bucket over your head and breath funny and you'll soon get the idea.
Dreadnoughts have a new version of the "assault" action and are the only ships able to deploy the planet buster and and link buster bombs, but they're vulnerable to hit and run attacks if you don't have enough escort cruisers to screen them.
The optional rules for smart actions are on a separate sheet. These add ten new "conditional" actions that make the rules more complicated, but which make the game a lot easier to play, especially at the start. Instead of working out exactly what you want to order you use can these new actions - which just say what result you want and lets the computer work out the details for you (eg. the SETTLE action plants a new colony - but you don't have to say where or how). See the Optional Rules for more details.
Any empire can now declare as a "Dark Empire" with an immediate boost in destructive technology, an increase in the value of tax actions, and a victory point bonus for killing opponents, but an ongoing loss of tech levels which are cashed up (you lose a tech level each turn, but get the trade value of the lost technology added to your income). Be warned, the non-player empires don't like dark empires and you can't turn back from the dark side later,
We're still thinking about rules for light empires, bug eyed monsters and alien infestations.
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