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Combat in Polaris Sector is described by the developers as tactical, pauseable real-time (RT) combat. The strategic part is "event-based auto-pause" with concurrent movements. While this is not a classical turn-based (TB) style of combat, it feels very much like TB. The player always has control over the game flow and nothing is dependent on reaction time and mouse-clicking speed.
While all parties in combat move in the same time, in Polaris Sector there is an “auto-pause”, that can be triggered by more than 50 different events. If the player allows all these triggers, the game will be basically turn-based, but with “non-uniform turns”.
In a classical TB game, simplifying, every turn you first check your planets, give new orders if necessary, then check fleets, give new orders if necessary, then press “End Turn” button to proceed.
In Polaris Sector you check your planets, give new orders if necessary, check fleets, give new orders, then press “Play” button to proceed.
But while in TB right after the turn is calculated, the game processing stops waiting for the new “End Turn” button click, in Polaris Sector the game processing stops when something happens (construction finished, fleet reached its destination, new technology invented, enemy fleet approaching, unrest started on some planet, etc). Then you react based on this event and press “Play” button to continue.
So, in TB the process looks like this: orders → End Turn Button -> orders if needed → End Turn Button → orders if needed → End Turn Button
in Polaris Sector: orders → Play Button → Event! → orders → Play Button → Event! → orders → Play Button