Weekly eXchange #165 – Happy New Year.

Join Nate, Joshua and Mark as they bring you all the important information on all of your favorite 4X and strategy games! This week they talk about Stellaris, Civilization 6, Eador: Imperium, Phoenix Point, Phantom Brigade, Chaos Reborn, Nantucket and much much more. As well as continued coverage for your other favorite 4X and strategy games!

Music for eXplorminate by Mangadrive

Show Notes:

  1. Stellaris Army/Ground Combat update – 01:31
  2. Civilization 6 Update – 2nd Indian Leader – 12:46
  3. Eador: Imperium update – 18:55
  4. Phoenix Point update – 20:42
  5. Phantom Brigade is a game we’re interested in – 28:49
  6. Chaos Reborn update – 30:33
  7. Nantucket Update – 31:26
  8. 2017 Game/eXpansion Of The Year Show (Strategic Expanse #32) – 33:30
  9. eXplorminate’s upcoming 2018 4X video – 35:10
  10. Nate and Joshua have a Steam rant and go off the rails – good luck! – 40:40

Games played – 50:18

  1. Hearthstone webpage
  2. Falling Stars: War of Empires
  3. Endless Space 2 Steam page
  4. XCOM 2 Steam page
  5. Oriental Empires Steam page
  6. Blood Bowl 2 Steam page

Sensitive topic – 52:50

  1. Gaming related shooting


19 thoughts on “Weekly eXchange #165 – Happy New Year.

  1. Re: Stellaris, this week Martin Anward made a twitter post where he said you can actually put offensive armies on planets to defend them. It doesn’t sound like a very useful thing to do though.

    I’m pretty positive about the ground combat changes. The new system adds a new player choice with the forts (which take up valuable real estate) which in combination with the combat rule overhaul makes planet defense a legitimate consideration. Having the means to make even a small planet hard to crack just adds to your strategic toolbox, and I don’t see how that can be bad.


    1. I feel they kinda dropped the ball on the discussion here. Changes to ground combat are hard to understand for someone who doesn’t play Stellaris much. It will never be a Red Alert type mini game, nor is it supposed to be, it will always be flashing icons but the changes are significant. Damage will be distributed less evenly so units die more often, retreating will cause significant casualties, ground combat will be tied to the new War Exhaustion system so losing a lot of soldiers will make your people tire of war more quickly, there will be morale thresholds. There’s a lot more to say. All in all the ground war will will more like a war and not a series of instantaneous overruns.


      1. That might be true about the playtime, but Mark has a whopping 780 hours in Stellaris and Josh has 156. They aren’t new to the game by any means. Mark has followed the game pretty closely, so I put a lot of faith in his judgments. I’ll be looking forward to how they feel about the game once 2.0 actually comes out. That’ll be the real test.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would have loved to spent more time on the army overhaul coming in Stellaris 2.0 but unfortunately it could have easily filled the allotted hour.

        Once the patch drops expect a more in-depth discussion


  2. @Nate, the recording was pretty good, so well done you. I’d like to ask that before recording everyone mute their own computer sounds though, the Skype alerts in the recording were rather disruptive because, as a decades-long IM user, I’m conditioned to respond to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like these podcasts but I don’t wish to hear such political subjects like the swatting incident, the steam issues are to closer to home but still are barely tolerable on a 4x podcast

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Coupla things.

    Wiz has suggested that you could eventually place FTL inhibitors on a planet in a strategic location, which means that in order to progress further into an empire, you would be required to invade a planet. That mechanic combined with the new ground combat roles suggests they’re thinking about combining the new mechanics in ways that make things interesting. But you’re right, they don’t always paint a broader picture in dev diaries to let us all know that their master plan is coming together.

    Regarding India, in Civ 4 you could play as Emperor Asoka – Chandragupta’s grandson – as well as Gandhi. And, not to be too nitpicky, but Indira Gandhi is actually unrelated to Mohandas Gandhi.

    Now you know! :D

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I agree with previous commenters – too much political stuff for a 4X podcast.

    So if you can rant a bit so can I.

    eXplorminate is a “4X and strategy game news” site but there is still no Dominions news (after 8 updates to Dom 5)! Isn’t Dominions a 4X and/or strategy game? Maybe eXplorminate should be “4X and strategy game news for games we play”? Just how do eXplorminate staff identify news-worthy items to discuss every week? I know Dominions isn’t for everyone but the people who play it generally really like it but how would anyone who doesn’t already know what Dominions is learn about it from your podcast?

    In both this, the GOTY, and previous podcasts there is always an acknowledgement that you want interesting mechanics to be explored and adopted by other game designers. There was commentary that there isn’t enough innovation in the industry (MOO clones anyone) and that perhaps fanboy-ism is actually hurting the innovation. Heck the rant in today’s episode was even about not getting “interesting” games promoted on Steam. How about promoting good 4X games on your own show? I guarantee there are interesting mechanics that are being completely ignored.


    1. Of course, rant away. I promise you, Dominions is not being ignored. We have a key and it is being played for a review. Just look at Dom 4 and CoE4 reviews to see that we care. The problem with such small developers/publishers, is that unless You (or me, or the reviewer, or one of the ways we gets news items) isn’t aware of an update because we aren’t playing the game (obviously, not in your case), we wouldn’t know that updates went up. They hardly ever post anything on steam, twitter, Facebook, anywhere really.

      I (speaking for myself) stay away from reddit and I don’t have time for discord. I am also not as good about hunting down this stuff like Rob was, but this shouldn’t be news because I have admitted as much in the past several times. If Dom 5 has a regular news update outside of their closed off community or Reddit, point me in that direction and I will try to gleen info for the WeX. But if their news updates are secretive, like Triumph Studios (Age of Wonders) or Matrix/Slitherine (Distant Worlds 2) or Paradox Interactive (Victoria 3), how are we supposed to cover the game if we (Troy and I) don’t play it? That’s the bottom line. If you guys talked more about it on the forum and posted links there, I would have something I can reference. Does that make sense?

      There are a lot of games that we don’t play. Even 4X ones, but there is someone on staff that does (usually) so we can get info from them. Outside of our reviewer for the game, no one is actively playing any of these games right. Even former staff members aren’t playing them. What can I do? My playtime is limited as it is.

      Just being honest/open with you. Please don’t take this as an offense, and we WILL have a review for Dom 5.

      Thanks for listening.


      1. So I know there are updates for Dom5 via steam and they have the patch notes for each release there. So far that is the easiest way to monitor the updates but that isn’t “secret” or hard to follow. They never “hype” upcoming patches which I see as a plus.

        No offense taken. I am actually pretty hard to offend. My concern isn’t for me (I can and do follow Dom5 on my own) but rather that eXplorminate is under serving its community. You follow the games you like and talk about them week after week. Games you don’t like or haven’t tried get short shrift. Because they aren’t discussed much the people who would be interested don’t follow eXplominate so they aren’t following the forums. The Dom5 forum is SLOW. There are people there but not enough to build momentum. Lack of hype means fewer players from the eXplorminate audience which means less discussion which means less chance of it being mentioned and so forth and so on. I presume that this happens to other games since it happens to Dominions.

        I don’t know if this is the effect of good marketing or bad marketing or some combination both but a “news” site should probably try and to see beyond the marketing. This is especially true when talking about features that make games good. Sometimes you have to research games that you otherwise wouldn’t think to play to find out why people do like it. I can read the eXplorminate review for Dom4 and its a great review (in that it describes the game well AND they liked the game). But on the show if someone only hears about how great ES2, Stellaris, and a handful of games are (with the occasional stinkers tossed in) they may not know why they should even read the Dom5 review. Now I don’t mind doing my part – I can post the patch notes to the forum some time. And maybe you should ask people to let you know when there are patches to 4X games that aren’t regular games you play so that you do know when there is news to put out there. Its at least a step in the right direction though games that are well loved by those that play them should always be of interest (versus games that are big productions by AAA studios that are ok but not innovative or particular special).


  6. Hey guys, I loved the podcast. I find your comments on the swatting incident and steam interesting and relevant. This may be a 4x podcast but things that happen within the gaming community as a whole will affect 4x games and their players. I think it’s important to discuss and voice our opinions on these topics and i am looking forward to the next time you decide to speak out. I will listen because you don’t do it very often and therefore when you do, it will be because you feel that it is important. Great cast guys! keep it up.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Don’t mind you guys going off on a tangent from time to time. The importance of Net Neutrality cannot be stressed hard enough and swatting is vile and should be condemned. Hopefully US law treats it as attempted murder.

    Liked by 3 people


Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s