Terrain is a contentious issue with space based 4x games. On the one hand you have a lot of players demanding some sort of terrain and on the other you have too many Devs obliging them in the worst way possible, star lanes. Now let’s be clear, I do not consider star lanes to be terrain, but rather a simplistic and lazy approach used by some Devs that have a hard time configuring a passable AI… and they have no place in ISG. Strategically, ISG has handled terrain competently, you have free movement, influenced by Nebulae that can slow you down or stop you entirely, (impassable terrain) until the proper late game tech is researched. Add to this the occasional wormhole, (which sometimes passes through impassable terrain), and you can get into some situations where the “terrain” acts as an important factor in-game. On the tactical level however… we are really no better than a game that was released before some of you were even born. This has quite the effect on actual tactics in manual battle, as in tactics are almost non-existent. Oh you can concentrate firepower or choose to disperse it, but apart from this and some other minor considerations there is nothing. This could be so much more. I’ve heard posters rightfully knock the combat in MoO2 as akin to civil war battles, where two lines faced off, actually, in the civil war, tactics were a lot more sophisticated than MoO2 or ISG. I’ve also heard some outlandish suggestions in how to deal with it, suggestions that may have sounded well on the surface but would have required the development of almost an entire new game (within the game), or crippled the AI’s ability to even put up a mediocre fight. But what if we were to take the strategic approach used by ISG and modify it for tactical combat? Right now, similar to MoO2, you get into battle and what do you see? a depiction of the planet (or other body), and the enemy units. ISG did offer a slight improvement from its inspiration in that the opposing units seem to be thrown into a random and “loose” formation, meaning you may have to maneuver a bit, after that it’s all the same. Now take a look below and forgive the quality, I’m no artist and this is just a rough idea done on paint. Here we would have some minor terrain present that could actually allow some tactics such as flanking, hiding behind objects etc. The battle map could perhaps be expanded slightly, ship to planet ratio adjusted, and then we could tactically depict enough of the solar system where gas giants, (if present) could also come into consideration. Taking it a step further, if an asteroid mine is present, it could be physically depicted and targeted, creating additional choices and considerations. Anyway gents, this is just a start and I will see what I can do about getting a better visual in place, at the same time, I want to stress that I am suggesting something along these lines for possible future expansions, not so much so for the existing game.