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From the creators of AI War: Fleet Command comes an all-new grand strategy title with turn-based tactical combat, set in a deep simulation of an entire solar system and its billions of inhabitants. You are the last of a murdered race, determined to unify or destroy the 8 others.
Release Date: Apr 18, 2014
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Recent updates View all (29)

TLF Version 1.027 Released (Dispatched And Funded)

July 1st, 2014

Version 1.027 is out, and has some very nice goodies!

The biggest thing here is the increased power of a number of the dispatches -- not just those related to the RCI at planets, but several of the others, as well. There are also 4 new dispatches, which allow you to affect RCI negatively at planets, rather than just positively.

But doesn't this destroy balance? I was just talking about this in the forum threads for the prior version, after all. Well, the thing that occurred to me is that it's only unbalanced if there is no counter-cost. Before, the counter-cost was solar map time, which was frustrating to players and made them feel powerless in a bad way. Instead, the solar map time costs for those sorts of dispatches has been removed, but in place of that there are now substantial credit costs (whereas previously there were actually credit gains, of all things).

This really changes the dynamic with a lot of those dispatches, and also really changes the nature of your credit needs late in the game. It should be very interesting to see how this plays out with more players getting time on that.

What's Was With The Shift In Schedule Lately?

I actually wrote about that last week on our recently-moved blog.

Ongoing Updates

The support of the community, and the growth of it, remain amazing to me. It's been 10 weeks, and it's clear we definitely have a winner here. As of a couple of days ago we have now broken even on the game, meaning that we actually are making money over and above what we spent creating the game. We're continuing to expand the improve the game via bugfixes, balance updates, and new content, and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.

It won't always be on a consistent schedule, but if you're familiar with our post-release support for AI War: Fleet Command over the past 5 years, that's basically the arc that we are currently expecting here unless something unexpectedly changes.

At present we are also working on expansions for both AI War and TLF (TLF: Betrayed Hope). The expansion for TLF is expected to be available for preorder through our site in early July, with access to the current beta of the expansion. The actual full release of the expansion is expected to be in August at this point, on all the existing distributors that carry the base game.

More to come soon. Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you. To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.

The official forum post discussing this release: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,15940.0.html

2 comments Read more

TLF Version 1.026 Released (Brace For Options!)

June 30th, 2014

Version 1.026 is out, and contains a number of things that fans have been asking for, as well as a number of important fixes.

There are some overall improvements to the solar map AI in this update, and there is also an overhaul of the ship graphics and their ships.

There are also new Advanced Start options that let you customize your gameplay experience, and it's from there that the name of this update derives. There are four new options added in this update, but more are inevitably coming in the next few weeks. With a game like this -- like AI War, too -- having flexibility in how campaigns play out is definitely a good thing. That means not just in-game options, but also options when you are setting up a new game.

In AI War, the lobby is incredibly complex and daunting to new players because of that extreme flexibility. There must be over a hundred things you can choose or tune on there. Our goal with TLF has always been to make it a lot more accessible to new players by making the Quick Start pretty much only ever have two options. But then Advanced Start is something that we figure can run wild and get as complex as it needs to, in order to better serve the hardcore players. Now that we are getting a better idea of what the hardcore players are actually interested in as options, we're starting to do that.

In particular, there were some things that for new players are not a problem, but experienced players find them too easy or too tedious, and this update allows you to either make those harder or turn them off. This doesn't mean we're never going to actually update core mechanics, but it does mean that we can make a kind of baseline set of core mechanics that does not just smash new players into complete pulp (as much), but where we still have options for the hardcore fans to ratchet up the difficulty in more specific ways than the two difficulty level dropdowns allow for.

Again, all of this is super familiar to anyone who knows AI War -- except this time we're aiming not to increase the baseline learning curve despite catering to the hardcore fans at the same time. An important lesson we have learned since AI War.

--------------- What's With The Shift In Schedule Lately? ---------------

I actually wrote about that last week on our recently-moved blog.

--------------- Ongoing Updates ---------------

The support of the community, and the growth of it, remain amazing to me. It's been 10 weeks, and it's clear we definitely have a winner here. As of a couple of days ago we have now broken even on the game, meaning that we actually are making money over and above what we spent creating the game. We're continuing to expand the improve the game via bugfixes, balance updates, and new content, and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.

It won't always be on a consistent schedule, but if you're familiar with our post-release support for AI War: Fleet Command over the past 5 years, that's basically the arc that we are currently expecting here unless something unexpectedly changes.

At present we are also working on expansions for both AI War and TLF (TLF: Betrayed Hope). The expansion for TLF is expected to be available for preorder through our site in early July, with access to the current beta of the expansion. The actual full release of the expansion is expected to be in August at this point, on all the existing distributors that carry the base game.

More to come soon. Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you. To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.

0 comments Read more

Reviews

“For fans of space-faring simulation games, it's more or less a must.”
8/10 – Richard Nolan, Strategy Informer

“Arcen Games nailed it with this game.”
TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit

“A revolutionary twist on the 4X legends of yore.”
8/10 (Editor's Choice) – Jonathan Lester, Dealspwn

About the Game

From the creators of AI War: Fleet Command.

Greetings, Hydral. I will be your computer for this "grand strategy campaign with turn-based tactical combat." I think that's code for "we're going to die."

Our solar system is vast and complicated, and I sense you are a little dimwitted -- so I tell you what, let's start with the simple stuff. Like escaping with this flagship you just hijacked from a bunch of angry robots. That seems important.

Please excuse my impertinence, but I believe you are the last of a murdered race, yes? My records note you Hydrals were the dictators of the solar system, so basically you had it coming. And by "it," I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld. Hmm. So people really aren't going to like you until they get to know you. Well, only you can use the scattered remnants of advanced Hydral technology, so that's something.

Look, I'm not going to tell you what to do. My understanding is that you're trying to form the solar system's first-and-last unified federation, and that's noble enough. But right now nobody wants that except you, and you've got 8 very diverse, very angry races to either unify or exterminate. So... good luck with that. I'll help how I can.

Features

  • Turn-based tactical combat, with up to 5 factions competing at once.
  • Extremely deep simulation of an entire solar system and its billions of inhabitants. Even just watching everything unfold in Observer mode is entertaining, as nations rise and fall.
  • New-player-friendly ramp-up of complexity as you play, which you can disable if you're already a veteran.
  • Eight races each have very distinct personalities and attributes. Each one even has its own completely unique political system.
  • Difficulty levels split between the grand strategy and turn-based combat portions of the game, both ranging from quite casual to incredibly hardcore.
  • Save and reload your game with ease any time, or tough it out in ironman mode.
  • Composer Pablo Vega's best soundtrack to date, featuring 54 minutes of music and the vocal finale "Lay Down Your Arms."







PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may work
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
Helpful customer reviews
241 of 281 people (86%) found this review helpful
919 products in account
9 reviews
25.7 hrs on record
One of the most accessible and deep strategy/simulation games I've yet played. It manages to be complex without being overly complicated. Are there screens of charts, graphs, and tables? Sure, but you slowly acclimate yourself to them at your own pace. You can be successful at the game without digging into them too deeply. To me, one of the turn-offs I have to these sorts of games is learning to play feels like a grind, or a chore. With The Last Federation, the act of learning to play the game is itself fun. The strategy portion even has a separate difficulty from the simulation, so if you're having trouble with one, you can dial it back without making the other too easy. The interface is quite intuitive and the artwork is mostly very attractive. Pablo Vega's soundtrack is easily his best yet, and would be worth a purchase on its own, but luckily there is a fantastic game to go along with it. If these sort of games are you thing, then you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not playing it. Even if they are not, give it a shot. It might surprise you.
Posted: April 11th, 2014
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830 of 1,071 people (77%) found this review helpful
298 products in account
1 review
13.7 hrs on record
I'm really disappointed by the launch of this game. There is lots of depth in a way, but most of it is irrelevant. Most of the gameplay just boils down to slowly getting opinion modifiers to grow. The most efficient way to play the game seems to be to just ignore most of the game mechanics. For example, in my current game I have two epidemics on two different planets. It's plunged the health meter to -40K and it's sinking by 100 every month. Vaccines show up as available tech in the tech list, but I can't actually start a research project with the affected race to unlock it. Despite this massive plunge in health, the races effectiveness doesn't seem to be hampered much at all, and the only real problem for them is that they have close to no ground power, but their space power is completely unaffected.

The computer advisor also mentioned planetary bombardment at some point, but I've yet to find a way to actually do it. The other races seem to just kill themselves by throwing their troops at the Burlust homeworld meatgrinder. Solving anything in a military faction without having the Burlust at your side and space superiority seems very hard, and certainly not worth the effort. No, the far easier (and more boring) road is to just play the opinion slider game. After starting a federation it only took me about 5 minutes to get almost all the planets to join it by spamming influence tasks and giving away technologies. It's kinda weird that the game has so many mechanics and charts and such, and 99% of it is completely irrelevant and unimportant.

In addition it almost seems nigh impossible to actually lose the game in a legitimate fashion. The only things that have killed me so far has been ♥♥♥♥ing up a battle, rather than performing any overall strategical mistakes. As someone who has put more than 500 hours into Europa Universalis 4, I find calling this a grand strategy a huge insult to the genre. There is no strategic difficulty to be found here. The biggest (only) decision seems to be what order you want to do things in (which races to found your federation with).

The game also seems to have its fair share of bugs. In addition to the epidemic thing I mentioned earlier, I was also trying to get rid of insurgents on a planet and it put me up against 90 ships. The race I had selected to help me didn't send anything. I tried again with different members of my federation, but every time I didn't have a single ally in sight when the actual battle started.

And then there's how a boatload of the game mechanics make no sense at all. Take technologies for example: You can easily convince a race to give away a tech (any tech) free of charge (for the other race, you have to cough up a few credits) to another race without any difficulty at all, but there is no way whatsoever to make them give or sell it to you personally. It's pretty ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that someone who is literally worshipping the ground you walk on wont help you outfit your ship (forcing you to attack them for their technology if there is noone who can, or is willing to, research it together with you), but they will give away their national secrets to a competing country for just a few credits.

Bottom line, in it's current form this game just seems to be broken on so many levels. It's not fun, most of the mechanics aren't important, although they seem interesting, and they seem to be implemented extremely poorly (I'm looking at you, epidemics and unbeatable Burlust ground power). The only thing that is keeping me playing for now is the potential for what the game could have been. But that's not what it is. There is the possibility of the game being hugely improved down the line through patches and DLC, but as it is right now I can't really recommend it.

Edit: If you feel this review isn't helpful, feel free to comment on it in the comment section (click the "Not Recommended" text on the top of the review - it's a hyperlink). If there is something about the game you'd like explained which I haven't adressed, I will try to explain it if you ask (and if it's relevant for the full review, I'll put it here). If you think I have some factual errors feel free to point it out and we can see if we can clear it up. If you just disagree with my opinions it'd be nice if you didn't rate it as unhelpful, as a review is just a collection of such opinions. If you feel that something I think is negative wouldn't affect your enjoyment of the game (or the other way around), the review would still be helpful to you since it gives you information about it : )

---------------

Updates since initial review:

What's been patched to my knowledge:
Testing during patch v1.002:
- You can now research techs with other races even if they already know the tech, giving you access to them without raiding. This seems to be a patchwork fix, though, as it thematically makes no sense that you help a race research something they are already supposed to know.
- Races with incredibly strong ground presence are now actually beatable. I'm not 100% sure exactly what caused this change, but I'm assuming it's the other races actually using planetary bombardment now (because the races I saw attack the Burlust in my game should not have been able to beat them in a ground battle).
Example graph: http://snag.gy/WMgtB.jpg
The dip in the red/purple graphs is post-patch. Before that you can see the Acutians repeatedly dipping due to just being slaughtered over and over although the federation has complete space dominance: http://snag.gy/l84SR.jpg
Federation members are Acutians, Andor, Evuck, Skylaxians and Peltians.

Testing during patch v1.003/v1.005
- While ground combat seems to be fixed now, space combat seems to have taken a trip to nonsense land. Here is a screencap from my current campaign: http://snag.gy/IGiJg.jpg
You can see the Acutians constantly sending ships to the Bovarine home planet, and in fact they have around twice as much total power on their planet right now (25026 vs 13332). Even so, the Bovarine completely annihilate the Acutian fleets over and over without any problem whatsoever. In fact, before that screenshot I completely wiped out all their ships with a direct assault and the Acutians started their ground assault while in orbit, but it took them literally seconds to kick them off their planet through their production alone from scratch. As the Acutians control 3 planets and have way better quality ones as well, this doesn't exactly make sense (not to mention their technological advantage). Illustrated in a power graph: http://snag.gy/Adp7z.jpg

- The devs have now implemented "Federation points" which more or less represent a races desire to join a federation. If anything, this implementation shows how this is clearly a beta product right now, as this is a completely new feature coming out of nowhere.

Additional complaints:
- Attacking anti federation insurgents is a horribly bugged mess. I once managed to get an ally to actually join me in the fight instead of sending nothing, and their ships turned up... hostile to me and allied to the insurgents. That said, combat is ridiculously easy on the normal difficulty, and I can kill a fleet having 10-15 flagships (you have one) and outnumbering me maybe 100 to 1 (counting medium/small ships) without diverting ANY power to shields. I'd play Ironman if the combat was skipable, but I'd hate to replay an entire campaign because of a single mistake in a combat (although it's easy, you can die fast if you mis-play with no power to shields, but play correctly and you should be able to kill a fleet of almost any size).

Anyways, this is apparantly around the max size of a review, so I can't really document further testing. If you have any specific questions about the state of the game, feel free to ask in the comment section. If I ever feel like the game is in a state where I can recommend it, I will change my review accordingly.
Posted: April 20th, 2014
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156 of 186 people (84%) found this review helpful
332 products in account
3 reviews
19.3 hrs on record
Quite a few games try to mash together different genres with only a few actually making something good of it. Arcen's newest game manages to do this exceedingly well. I got into the open alpha fairly early, and so had a chance to watch this game evolve into the gem that it is now, and to be clear, this review is aimed at the final alpha build.

In a normal game of TLF, you're an independant agent with the self-appointed task of unifying the system through any means possible. And there are quite a number of means to achieve this goal. Head of state being stubborn? Bump him off, the next will surely be more pliable... maybe. Entire race running amok? Pay another to crash a moon into their homeworld.

The combat side of the game has changed quite a bit since its original inception, now resembling something like a turn-based shmup. Combat is, in general, quick and messy. Often, you're not really expected to defeat all comers, though don't let that stop you. An average combat mission involves you warping in, determining what needs to be done, then moving to accomplish your objective. If all you need to do is destroy a space station, why bother with taking out every individual ship and risking health loss or failure?

With eight races, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, dispositions, and deals to make, things can get complicated rather quickly. A few will band together naturally, while most of the time each faction is pretty much out for itself. Of course, you have the power to influence this as well, and it's often necessary to get two races to work together to take on a much stronger foe. The amount of deals you're able to make is pretty staggering, ranging from simply killing pirates to smuggling freedom fighters onto a planet and starting a revolution.

As a fan of simulations, I love watching the races squabble and toil in their sandbox solar system with Observer Mode, in which the player is now just a bystander watching everything unfold instead of actually doing anything.

All said, I would recommend this game to any fan of strategy or simulation gaming. It does have faults, of course. Combat can be pretty tedious after a time, and despite the sandbox-y nature of the simulation, it does tend to unfold fairly similarly. Certain races, assuming they aren't gimped by a bad roll in planet generation, which is often the only factor that determines how successfull a race will be, will always become a major problem and have to be dealt with, invariably by wiping them out. I have yet to finish a game in which all eight races survive to the end.

Arcen has proven again that they are a truly unique development team, making the game THEY want, rather than the game they think WE want.

tl;dr Buy this. It's good, and so is the company.
Posted: April 15th, 2014
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104 of 135 people (77%) found this review helpful
97 products in account
3 reviews
19.8 hrs on record
The Last Federation is a combination of Grand Strategy and Turn Based Tactical. Unlike most hybrids, however, this game could stand on its own for either genre.

The Grand Stratetgy is deep, but for a new player the heavy details are not necessary...but they are there if you are curious! Each of the 8 races you interact with are distinct and serve their owns uses both as allies and as enemies.

The concept as a concertrated force influencing a dynamic galaxy is not common and very satsifying. You can swell up a (potential) ally race into an even mighter one, save a weaker race so as to distupt your enemies, completely shut down an enemy by yourself , or a variety of other things. It is very dynamic. You change the galaxy somewhat, but you also have to react to the galaxy's own logic. The strengths and weaknesses of each race is constant each game, but their combatablilty with their starting planet and when they become space faring means each game will have a different balance of power to start with. The result is each game is different.

When you take part in battles you enter the tactical turn based game. The mode can either be slow and methodical or fast and quickly depending on how difficult your parcticular situation is. It is enjoyable to devastate enemy forces if you manage to get a tech edge. If you fall behind...just use tactics.

I would highly recommend this game to anyone with a mild interest in grand strategy games or turn based games. This game has the depth to be enjoyable for dozens of hours as is. The devlopers already say that they have a framework for years of expansions, (and even better, free content as well!)

An excellent title, one I would highly recommend.
Posted: April 17th, 2014
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38 of 55 people (69%) found this review helpful
224 products in account
1 review
12.2 hrs on record
Simply a fantastic game. A brilliant blend of a tactical strategy with a dash of Shmup,4x and Rpg elements.
Definitely cant recommend it enough!
Posted: April 15th, 2014
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