Described as the game’s biggest to date, the Crusade expansion provides the expected additions, such as new playable civilizations and a new campaign, in addition to introducing things like an espionage system. With it, you can train spies that can be dispatched to destroy enemy improvements, steal technology, or defend against rival spies, among other things.
Training to become a spy is just one of several choices you have for citizens, who are “created every several turns and can be specialized by the player into numerous specializations to help boost their civilization globally or to enhance a specific planet.” Other possible roles include admiral, celebrity, engineer, and pioneer.
Also new is the ability to take part in planetary invasions. Attackers choose what tile to begin their attack at, while defenders choose where to guard, two decisions that Stardock says “requir[e] considerable strategic thinking.”
The civilization builder allows players to create their own custom civilization. The leader, ideology, abilities, dialogue, and units can all be chosen. Civilizations can then be shared online through the Steam Workshop.
Crusade also includes UI improvements, a reworked tech tree, an expanded economic system, updates to the graphics engine, and more. The expansion launches for $20 sometime this spring.