Though I’ve been playing a small bit of Guild Wars 2, most of my gaming thoughts have been focused on the vicious warfare happening between me and my coworkers in Neptune’s Pride 2.

NP2 is a space warfare game, a 4X game focused on research, exploration, and destruction. The basic gameplay mechanics are simple - you amass armies and lunge them at your opponents, trying to conquer half the galaxy.

The primary “hook” is that games take place over a long, long time period, but you only need to spend a few minutes a day playing. Traveling between two close locations can easily take 5 hours. Researching technology takes days. A game can easily last multiple weeks.

It gives rise to a number of interesting strategies. If you’re up at 3AM, can you launch a sneak attack that catches your opponent unaware and ruins his morning? If your ships are attacking a planet 6 hours away, will they make it there before the opponent realizes and brings in reinforcements or upgrades their weapon technology?

It also gives rise to novel diplomacy. Alliances and mischief are always part of any good war game, but they feel different when they’re evolving over the course of multiple days as opposed to multiple hours. You can research a tech for days, share it with an ally, and then be caught by surprise when you wake up at 6AM to find that ally just used that tech to invade your home world. You can play several sides against each other, comfortable that they won’t be able to reach you from the other side of the galaxy until they’re knocking at your door the next week.

And you’re doing this through private messages, so unlike a board game, you can plot out in secret and really hurt someone’s feelings.

This is all, of course, in addition to the normal stress of a space warfare game - deciding how to allocate your resources and what upgrades to focus on and where to send your armies.

My eastern front. Which is secure - don't get any ideas.

My eastern front. Which is secure - don't get any ideas.

It’s a really fun game. I strongly encourage giving it a try with some friends.