The Cosmic Balance II is a computer game created by Strategic Simulations, Inc. in 1983. It is a 4X turn-based strategic level space warfare game. The game consists of several scenarios that grow in complexity, starting with a solitaire situation that acts as a tutorial in resource management, through set two-player scenarios involving more and more planets and ships. The game also has a scenario creation tool. Games can be played against a computer or human opponent.
The map consists of 16 space sectors which vary in size and shape. Despite this, all sectors have 40 planets in them. There are four types of planets in the game: terran, industrial, mining, and farming. Terran planets on their own can produce industrial output (IO). Industrial output is what constitutes income in the game. The remaining types of planets can only produce IO by collectively forming what is called a commerce net.
There are 15 classes of ships. Ships can travel inside or to an adjacent sector to perform missions. Ships have varying capabilities - cost, attack strength, defensive strength, speed, etc. - but the three main qualities of a ship are, hull size, whether they carry cargo or not, and what type of jump drive (called Warp Drive in the game) range they have. These qualities determine which type of mission or missions they are best suited for.
Combat is resolved either by the game itself randomly calculating a result or allows an interface with The Cosmic Balance I, the tactical level space combat game preceding Cosmic Balance II. The interface between the two games is essentially manual. In this case, Cosmic Balance II lists the ship types involved in the battle, the type of Cosmic Balance I scenario which corresponds to the Cosmic Balance II mission being performed, and the tech levels of the combatants. The player(s) save their game, load Cosmic Balance I, set up the appropriate scenario in it, and complete a game. They then reload Cosmic Balance II and their saved game. Cosmic Balance II then asks for the results: ships destroyed, captured, or that ran away. These are entered and the game continues based on these entered results.
Source: Wikipedia, "Cosmic Balance II", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Game By Paul Murray