Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Galactic Civilizations IV

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #53 - Abilities & the Intueri

Published on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 By BATTLEMODE In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

Each civilization in Galactic Civilization’s IV: Supernova is constructed from a set of building blocks, either predefined and later edited by a player, as with our Core Civilizations, or selected by the player when making a custom civ. Biology, Citizen species, Cultural Focus, their starting Planet Type, Commander Ships and more are all selected to craft a specific playstyle for the civilization.

The two cornerstone mechanical building blocks of this system, which most strongly inform the way a civilization will play, are the Civilization Traits and Civilization Abilities. Today we’re going to take a look at Civilization Abilities, with a little help from Traits too, to show how a Civilization’s main playstyle is crafted.

Each game in the GalCiv series was carefully designed to ensure playable civilizations can be played in many different ways. Civilization Abilities and Traits grant you access to unique game features and allow the player to minmax your empire’s development while adhering to their lore and thematic nature, but unlike certain other space 4X games they don’t tend to lock you into a set playstyle each time if you don’t want it.

Let’s take a look at a Core Civilization with interesting Abilities and see if we can figure out an intended playstyle for them.


The Intueri Aggregate are an example of a civilization with a unique Ability that ensures they play quite differently to other civilizations, without hard-locking them into one playstyle or another as you so often see in other 4X games.


Note our expanded tooltips now accurately show everything an Ability is doing in your game, including access to various Techs, Executive Orders and anything it blocks too. Here we see that the Ability Watcher grants the Intueri a special Executive Order called Cosmic Eye which they can use to steal Techs from other Civilizations without their knowledge. It also increases their general Sensor Range for wider visions, and grants them a flavourful bonus to Deception too.

This would be a bit too powerful on its own so I’ll show you how we use Traits to both to balance out strong Abilities like that, and to add some flavour and focus to a civilization’s playstyle.

Watcher works in tandem with the Civilization Trait Foolish (-2) and the naturally low Intelligence of their Citizens to ensure that Intueri live up to their reputation as a race of uncreative copycats who struggle with original thought and learn through observation. The -30% Research penalty for Foolish (-2) means that the Intueri really need to utilise Watcher on a regular basis to overcome their naturally slow technological progression. Of course, you could hyper-focus on Research Districts and Improvements to try to counter-balance this low overall research rate, but that will come at the expense of industrial, economic or military development.


If this still all sounds a bit dire for the Intueri, we now come to their second supporting Ability, Ancient. The ability to gain Research from Precursor Artifacts and Anomalies gives the Intueri further opportunity to bolster their technological development. On maps with lots of Precursor elements in play, the Intueri can become quite the research powerhouse without the need to build excessive Districts and Improvements on their Core Worlds. Ancient also grants the Intueri access to some very powerful Precursor Techs and Improvements, one of which doubles the Intelligence of your Citizens on a world.

Still worried about the Intueri compared to the other mighty galactic civilizations in your game? Just hang on a moment, we’re not done yet! We now throw the other Civilization Traits into the pot.

Explorers (+2) and Fast (+2) means means rapid and far reaching expansion in the early game, while Productive (+1) grants an accelerated industrial development. The Intueri will likely beat their rivals to the best worlds, strategic resources and the Precursor relics.

A typical Intueri game will be characterised by rapid and far-flung expansion as their fast and highly perceptive scouts find the best Core Worlds long before the other Civilizations, with their long range Colony Ships and Constructors able to travel further out too. They get three Probes at the start of the game too, a big advantage over those who only receive one, as exploration is incredibly important in GalCiv.


They’ll have the drop on those rivals with their high Sensor Power and Cosmic Eye, and while they’ll initially be playing with rather low technology, they will be stealing Techs from their neighbours without any diplomatic penalty. With some luck, you’ll learn a very high cost or rare Tech that took your enemy many months to research, making use of it yourself and with the option to trade it out to other civilizations for a hefty price (probably another vital Tech you’ve not quite reached yourself).

The Intueri have the option to take and hold a rather sprawling empire with long distances between Core Worlds. This isn’t usually the best idea for most Civilizations as they’re difficult to defend, but the Intueri’s ships move very quickly and they can build them quicker than most too. This speed and extended safe operational range grants them a dramatic strategic and tactical advantage, as they get the choice of the best worlds and resources, and their ships seem to appear out of nowhere to defend even seemingly remote and undefended locations.


One final strategic consideration to note: fighting against any civilization with Cosmic Eye is a dangerous affair as you can never quite be sure what they’re going to be fielding. It’s entirely possible they managed to steal a very powerful, rare Tech from a neighbour while presenting a rather low tech force on the surface. It’s entirely possible to send in a fleet to wipe out what looks to be a ragtag bunch of outdated ships only to find a they’re equipped with something nasty and specific to another Civilization Ability, or perhaps an unexpected Dreadnaught bristling with deadly, high tech weapons where you were expecting older, weaker Cruisers.

As you can see, the Intueri Aggregate really do have the ability to play how they look: they see everything, long before their rivals do, with the potential to surprise their opponent with a rapid and large deployment of warships fielding unexpected technology. Yes, they’re slow to research initially, but their other Abilities and Traits more than make up for this deficiency and a creative player will find endless fun utilising these tools to leverage victory in their games of Galactic Civilizations.

Hopefully this example illustrates how Abilities form the backbone of a Civilization’s playstyle, supported by the various other mechanics, to give each Civ a unique variety of playstyles for you to experiment with.



Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals