Gratuitous Space Battles provides a hands-off take on massive space battles. You customise your entire fleet, right down to the weapons and shields on each ship, and then set them up in formation and set them loose on the enemy. It combines chin-stroking strategic planning with explosive space-blam on a massive scale. The latest expansion adds new graphics, a single player campaign that lets you fight fleets designed by other players, and the ability to capture enemy ships.
Here's a list of the new features added by the latest expansion.
Mid-battle fleet-wide 'retreat' option
You can scrap ships to reclaim the crew and a part of the construction cost
Shipyards, in 3 different sizes
Factories produce cash, academies produce crew
Repair yards fix your ships after battle
Enemy ships can be captured once victory is declared
Loyalty and threat levels modelled for each of your worlds
Attack and move fleets between systems only through established hyperspace wormholes
Three difficulty settings, to suit all levels of player
New campaign-specific manual to instruct would-be galactic conquerors
New campaign music
'Massively singleplayer' feature pits you against fleets designed by other players
Lots of new background graphics and planets to fight over
Spatial anomalies force you to fight some battles in adverse conditions, or with limited ship choices
The expansion's available now on Steam and from the Positech Games site. For more on the game, head over to the Gratuitous Space Battles site. If you like the idea of massive space battles without fiddly mid-battle micromanagement you might want to check out the demo.