Once the initial survival phase is done and dusted, there are two big choices to make in Sins of a Solar Empire – Rebellion as far as I am concerned: do I choose to develop capital ships or smaller vessels and do I take more resources or develop culture?
I used to think that the first question was the more important one, but I am reconsidering my position after having finished my last two Huge map games by Tech-based victory because I was unable to conquer new systems precisely because of culture and my supply lines were becoming overextended.
Culture can be produced from specialized structures, unlocked via research, and then spreads along the jump lanes that connect planets and systems and can “invade” enemy space as long as they are not producing their own.
The big problem with culture is that it makes it very hard for conquest-oriented player to get planets during the middle and the endgame, even if you are physically able to dominate the enemy with fleets and superior economy.
I can understand the idea behind culture and the way it makes Sins of a Solar Empire a better game overall, but I hate it when it gets in the way of my actual fleets.
I had a Titan and three capital ships from the TEC, backed by long-range Javelin frigates and some Kodiak short-range cruisers, moving through Advent space, dealing with the small fleets they kept throwing at me and taking out their planets.
But I was unable to actually take planets in those systems because their culture, so close to their capital planet, was much too strong.
I could counter that via tech research and by buildings starbases in systems that I liberated, which shows how balanced Sins is, but it takes time and makes the endgame (my least favorite part of the game by far) even slower.