Paradox Interactive makes great games that span nearly a thousand years of history. That’s not enough for them, as they are looking at FUTURE history now, with their upcoming effort, Stellaris. And quite frankly, the game looks right up my alley.
Basically, Alliances are technically like that of any other game’s alliances system, you promise to come to each other’s defense, etcetera. But one of the key differences is that you cannot initiate an offensive war without your allies ok, so you need to come up with war goals that give your allies a reason to send their units to fight and die in your cause. You can always quit and go solo if you can’t convince your allies that a neighboring empire deserves to be crushed, but good luck getting them back in an alliance later!
Federations are even more intriguing. They allow several empires to focus their joint efforts together, which is especially useful in ship building (where units can be created using the best technology from each race in the Federation). It allows for several small empires to band together against the aggression of larger empires that might pick them off one at a time otherwise. There IS a downside however, and that is control. The Federation’s fleets are under the control of the leader of the Federation, and that position rotates.. so if you join a federation, that may mean that you can’t use your military to your best effect.
The game does not currently have a release date (it has reached internal beta and is rumored for a summer release) but will support up to 32 player multiplayer as well as single player campaigns
David "SirFozzie" Yellope is the operator of the "An 8 bit mind in an 8 Gigabyte World". (an8bitmind.com) While not QUITE yet at the stage of waving his cane and telling the kids to "get off his lawn", he does admit he owns three canes.