Strategic eXpanse #32 – 2017 Game/eXpansion Of The Year Show!

Yep. It’s that time of year again! eXplorminate is proud to present what we believe are the best 4X game, 4X expansion and Most Improved 4X of 2017. Come and listen to esteemed e4X hosts Nate and Troy, as well as their guest panelists: Joshua, Mark and Dallin while they discuss all the candidates, winners, the state of 4X gaming in the past 12 months and what the future holds.

Music for eXplorminate by Mangadrive

Show Notes: 

Most Improved 4X of the Year – 01:44

    1. Galactic Civilizations III – 5 (Staffer) + 1 (Forum) = 6 votes, WINNER
    2. Stellaris – 3 (Staffer) votes
    3. Endless Space 2 – 1 (Staffer) vote

Abstained: 2 Staffers

eXpansion of the Year – 19:21

    1. Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Expansion Pack – 6 (Staffer) votes = WINNER
    2. Stellaris: Utopia – 4 (Staffer) + 1 (Forum) = 5 votes

Abstained: 1 Staffer
Forums: Stellaris: Utopia – 7 votes, GalCiv 3: Crusade – 4 votes

4X Game of the Year – 33:01

    1. Endless Space 2 – 4 (Staffer) + 1 (Forum) = 5 votes, WINNER
    2. Stars in Shadow – 3 (Staffer) votes
    3. Antihero – 1 (Staffer) vote
    4. Other games mentioned

Abstained: 3 Staffers

Superlatives (non-4X games) – 48:53

  1. Dallin – “Game I should be Playing”
  2. Mark – “What does human flesh taste like?”
  3. Joshua – “Game I’ve Complained About the Most (And Still Kept Playing)”
  4. Troy – “Most Successful of the Year”
  5. Oliver – “Most 4X-like that isn’t a 4X”
  6. Nate – “Most Likely To Keep Me Up Late”

2018 Predictions – 57:22

  1. Troy, Dallin, Mark – expansions for existing games
  2. Joshua – loot boxes
  3. Nate – city builders


11 thoughts on “Strategic eXpanse #32 – 2017 Game/eXpansion Of The Year Show!

  1. My personal picks for this year going by your classifications:
    Most improved: Stellaris because of the sheer amount of things added/changed in 2017.
    Expansion of the year: Probably War of the Chosen, though I don’t actually have it. Still trying to play Long War 2.
    Game of the year: Divinity Original Sin 2? It’s one of the few games that came out in 2017 that I’ve actually played. I tend to wait for sales.

    Though I do also have ES2 because it was very briefly 75% off before it launched, and I grabbed it then. Definitely a game with a future ahead of it, and certainly a good choice for GOTY.

    Rimworld is also an excellent game for its amazing modding community. But it’s still in early access! Though that’s really easy to forget when you’re playing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Nate: just curious, but what difficulty do you play War of the Chosen on? Do you change any other pre-game settings/options? Thanks in advance.


    1. Commander and Legend. Most of my mods are voicepacks and cosmetic mods. I have few game changing mods, but mods break the game too often when they are updated. So, I don’t play ironman too often and the time I beat the game on legend, it didn’t get registered. So I need to do that again. When I’m losing a game due to squad wipes, I play to the end. I also don’t play with the dlc missions turned on. I have them already incorporated into the game because I have beaten the game with the story missions so many times that I don’t need them anymore.


    1. No, I do not. The good thing about War of the Chosen is that resistance orders help fix both of those issues without the need for mod.

      Here’s my non-voice/cosmetic mod list:

      The rest are voicepacks, cosmetic and a few others like that. I do have some additional enemy types that I am using. I also have 4 dozen different gameplay stype mods that I am keeping an eye on.

      I do have one cheat-type mod though that I stopped using because it was very powerful. Properly using a Reaper helps deal with the timers and surprises, so this mod is a “trainer” of sorts.

      I hope that helps. If you want cosmetic mods? I have plenty I can recommend.


  3. Thanks I’m gonna have a look at those. So far I’m really liking XCOM 2.

    I really enjoyed today’s strategic expanse because I’ve been playing almost all the titles y’all talked about. I’d agree that Endless Space 2 is the game of the year. but a year from now I think it’ll be much better. I’m also really looking forward to Martin’s Stellaris changes for 2.0. To continue the baseball comparisons, I’m hoping Stellaris 2.0 will be a real grand-slam. My bet is it will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The problem I have with nearly all these games is that they are nearly all swiftly moving targets. ES2 is being massively re-worked, Stellaris has been and continues to be re-worked immensely. Perhaps Civ6 hasn’t changed (enough).

    It would be nice to honor games that are done well at publication (modulo bug fixes). The idea that you can buy a game and not know what you will be playing a year from now is incredibly problematic and potentially as bad if not worse than the whole loot box issue.

    At least Thea fit that bill…. Go Thea!!


    1. No doubt, but that’s the playing field… For now. Our decision to honor Thea was controversial to say the least. It opened our eyes to the possibilities, and Stars in Shadow put up a solid fight. No where else, that I have seen, even considered a 4X, muchless an indie studio made game, for GotY (cupped excluded and PUBG is a joke).

      By the way, that’s why we are so excited to see what MuHa 2 does with Thea 2, and what the future holds of Stars in Shadow. it really was a close vote.



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