Ancient Frontier is a turn-based strategy space game where you will be commanding ships in space to take on a long drawn out campaign full of objectives. Your primary goal is to explore the cosmos with your ships in search of three main things: fuel, materials, and research. You gain these by exploring the region you are in and charting it for what you need. Often times you'll come across clusters of space debris or ship wreckage that you'll need to investigate for what you need, sometimes turning up nothing and other times striking paydirt. You'll do all this while having to deal with enemy ships coming into the region, as well as hostile aliens.
A lof the game depends on how you react to situations in the long term. Often you'll see a ship coming and will have time to plan out the best course of action, whether that be to run away until you can get a better position, or charge head on and try to be the first to strike. Once you win a battle, you'll need to take what you've gathered to repair your ship and improve it in order to continue through the game. You'll take lots of damage from battles which you'll need to fix, as well as spend tons of fuel getting around.
Every ship comes with their own costs. For example, a mild-mannered ship is easy to take care of, while a more expensive one requires more resources and time. You'll need to make bold choices of how to proceed through any given area, some can benefit you and some can be your downfall. N matter what, you will need to research to upgrade your ships so they can continue onward without becoming trash for the pickings when you run up against better enemies. The missions you encounter are randomized and don't necessarily conform to what you have, so often you'll need to be on your toes and crafty if you wish to survive.
Ancient Frontier is an awesome game, but it is excessively long. There's a lot of downtime between tasks and waiting for things to happen, and the campaign itself is said to be about 100 hours long. This is not a strategy game for the timid, and it will require you to get fully immersed at times to make wonderful things happen. If you love that kind of thing, step up and prepare to conquer the cosmos.