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GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #54 - Warlords Preview

Published on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 By BATTLEMODE In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova’s version 2.5 update drops on April 18th and will be accompanied by the release of our third DLC “Warlords”, an expansion focusing on improving the game's warfare systems.


v2.5 brings in a lot of changes to space combat and invasions, and the way warfare is carried out in general, and Warlords opens up a lot more content in each one of these systems, adding many exciting new ship components to wreck your enemies with!

Today we’re going to take a very quick peek at some of the features and tools you’ll get access to when you purchase the Warlords Expansion. This isn’t an exhaustive list as Warlords has a lot of content, but a very general overview to give you an idea of what’s on offer.

First up is the War Aims system, which aims to give a war a little more definition and allowing the player to set its goal and further help decrease the instance of unwanted “forever wars”, a phenomenon that we’ve begun to address in previous updates.

Let’s see how this works. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture has words too, check it out!


As we can see here, Warlords adds the ability to declare four different types of war, each lasting a different length of time before consequences start to kick in, and featuring an increasing penalty to diplomacy the more drastic your goal is.

It’s important to note here that this system does not lock the player in or out of wars: you can end them at any time you choose. However, as wars drag on beyond their intended time-span, events will kick off to gradually discourage the player from keeping at the war forever.

This system, in tandem with the changes brought in with v2.3, really helps shape wars a little more, and for those of you less inclined to fighting all the time, keeps them from being the all consuming horror that turns your chilled out, empire building experience into a constant never ending conflict for the rest of the game. If you’re like me, you’ll probably just declare a War of Annihilation on everybody at once, and enjoy the bloodshed, but the choice is yours!

Next is the new Invasion Tactics system, allowing you to pick an invasion type which will affect casualties and collateral damage to assets and the planet itself. Warlords unlocks the eight unique planetary invasion tactics: Orbital Bombardment, Surface Invasions, Propaganda, Biological Attacks, EMP Attacks, Shatter Attacks, Annihilate Targets and Liberate.

Let’s look at one of these now.


Orbital Bombardment reduces the duration of the siege by reducing Planetary Defenses, but at the cost of damaging its Planetary Input, as your devastating spaceborne artillery obliterates both defender and infrastructure alike. This might be a good option if you’re under a strict time limit to conquer the planet before your fleet needs to be somewhere else in the war, or you’re hoping to seize and raze it before a larger enemy fleet turns up to defeat your sieging force.

Next up are the changes to ship classification and targeting priorities in combat.

Firstly, we have Ship Types. These are organized via Hull Size and have a unique Category ability and, with Warlords, a player assignable Operational Ability too. The Category ability (for example, our regular ol' Frigate now gets +25% Accuracy) and Operational Ability go together to differentiate ships of different hull sizes, and along with a new feature to change Targeting Priorities, brings in some much needed player agency into the construction of both individual ships, and fleets.

Players now create ships as Ship Classes, which are a Ship Type (Fighter, Frigate, Cruiser etc.) plus the Operational Ability and Targeting Priority. Then you add your components in the designer and name it as usual.

This allows you to custom build your forces to take advantage of weaknesses in enemy fleets or go wild by building ships and fleets, in tandem with the new ship components, that focus heavily on speed, accuracy, defensive abilities and much more.

We’ll cover these new features in greater detail later in this series but for now, let’s take a quick look at what Warlords adds here. Firstly, grabbing the expansion will add three additional Ship Types over the base game, the Corvette, the Destroyer and the huge Command Ship.

Let’s compare the Cruiser from the base game with the new Destroyer, ships that share a medium sized hull, to see how they differ.

Here’s the old Cruiser we all know and love:


Note Cruisers now have +10% Weapon Range as its Cruiser Category ability, and here it has the Operational Ability Barrage set to it too, for a -25% Weapon Cooldown. Now add your weapon of choice from the many component options and you’ve got a deadly ship that keeps out of the range of other ships longer while firing off rapid barrages of missiles, beams or whatever else you’ve equipped on it. Also notice that by default, the Cruiser is set to kill strike-craft, then Frigates and Corvettes before anything else.

Now let’s look at a the Warlords exclusive Medium Hull addition: the Destroyer.


The Destroyer’s Category ability gives them -10% Weapon Cooldown, so remember that is the ability that’s tied to it’s Ship Type and is immutable, and here has been given the Operational Ability Ghost for a +25% Evasion bonus, and is designed to kill ships with small hulls, then fighters and bombers, before any other larger ships. This deadly shark glides into range of smaller Frigates and Corvettes, evading attacks and rapidly dispatching them, before turning on strike-craft in turn.

Of course, with Warlords you can edit the Class, so if you prefer your Destroyers to go hunt Battleships from long range instead, go for it!


Warlords adds four extra targeting priorities to customize your fleet orders with even finer granularity, and thirteen extra Operational Abilities to supercharge the various Types in your fleet.

Hopefully here you get a taste of how these different Ship Types can be used in combination with other Ships Types of different hull sizes, in tandem with the Targeting Priorities and ship components, to build fleets of warships that complement one another with their various abilities and bonuses, to take on even more varied enemy fleets constructed in the same way.

Speaking of ship components, Warlords adds a lot of new options for players to customize their warships with. Let’s take a quick look at just a couple.


Here’s an Ion Cannon, and as the description says it disables a targeted ship’s Evasion. This could be very useful if your rival is fielding ships that are very difficult to hit: stack some To-Hit bonuses yourself first though!


And for all you grog-swilling pirates out there, here’s a way for you to board and capture enemy vessels for your very own, instead of destroying them outright, adding them to your mighty fleet of ragtag buccaneers!


Not content with adding actual Vampire Citizens to the game, now you’ve got a Vampire Module to suck the blood from your enemy’s ships, dealing them damage while simultaneously repairing yourself.


Finally, owners of Warlords will now be able to capture Starbases instead of just destroying them as usual.

This is one of those singular changes that looks small on paper, but when you think about it and play, you’ll see has a huge impact on gameplay, opening up new strategies for stealing Strategic Resources, capturing Ascension Crystals and vital Military Bases guarding critical areas of the game map.

This was a quick overview of the main features that Warlords adds and enhances along with the v2.5 update coming to Galactic Civilization’s IV: Supernova next week.

Stay tuned for more updates! Cheers!


Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals