Greetings Commander! You are assigned to command the Battleship Conqueror, your fleet consists of several destroyers, troop ships and supplies. You will enter the United Galactic Alliance and your task is to conquer the Planet Dbdilug. You have 15 hours to complete this mission.
This is the typical mission assignment, which introduces you into a round of Star Legions. You are a member of the Krell, which is one of the strongest, but also most aggressive races in the galaxy. The Krell have one aim: To control as many planets as possible. They have the attitude and they have the means, as they have a strong military force at hand, including about 150 trooper legions, strong Warrior class battle tanks and a vast space force. In order to rise amongst the military ranks, to gain favour, money and slaves, you have to conquer planet after planet and make the Krellan Empire arise to the mightiest force in the galaxy.
What feels like a simple click-through game at first glance turns out to be a really tough strategy game after the first missions. While your first assignments are rather easy, as you have to roll up the forces of low civilized planets with small population, the missions get harder and harder, as you encounter far more technological advanced tribes in later stages. The basic tactics remain the same in each round, but you’ll need more planning and timing, if you want to succeed your missions at higher difficulty levels. Time is a very important factor in this game. Each action takes a while and is scheduled by ETA. In order to make successful assaults, you have to coordinate several actions and calculate their effects.
The game is controlled by mouse using six tablets, each tablet responsible for one aspect of your army. The first is one is the planetary overview. Here you can take a look at the surface and pick cities, which may be captured. The second function is the communications. You may order your fleet to bombard the planetary surface, ask for help or supplies at the Krellan Headquarters or pursue the planet to surrender. The second tablet is used to control the various battle zones. Up to eight zones may be displayed here. You can give orders to the local zone commanders in order to tell them which strategy should be used and assign assaults by shock trooper units here. Once an assault is under way, the third tablet is of use. This is the detailed view of one battle zone. You may watch how the war wages and command single cohorts on special tasks, such as building a landing pad or protect a certain location. The landing bases are important, as you won’t be able to sent drop ships with tank units to the zone without having one of these pads. Fourth is the orbital control. Each ship may be sent to a different orbit, like polar, equatorial or geo-stationary. More important is the altitude, at which the ship is orbiting the planet. The lower this altitude, the shorter will be the time for drop ships to reach the planetary surface. On the other hand, ships on a low altitude level will take much more damage from planetary defence platforms. The next tabled covers the drop ship controls. Units may be loaded and your drop ships may be sent to the different combat zones. Finally the last tablet gives a quick news overview, which can be filtered by several categories.
Star Legions is not the typical space combat strategy game. While others like Master of Orion or Ascendancy deal with large fleets in space combat and planetary management, this game is focused at planetary assaults. The game’s graphics are displayed in some strange 640 x 350 pixels resolution with 16 colours. Therefore the menus and cutscenes are too coloured in my opinion, while the in-game graphics are a bit pixelated. Some full grown VGA graphics would have been a big improvement here. The sound is slightly crappy in music, but features some real sound effects to compensate this lack. Putting the technical aspects together, the game is behind the standard of it’s time, but not too bad.
As a conclusion I rate this game with a moderate 3. It will surely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fans of Master of Orion and similar games should really take a look at it, as it features a completely different aspect of the space strategy genre, which was never again treated in such depth. All you have to do now is to hit the download button, and you are on your way to become a Krellan Commander. Best luck!