As one of the heirs to the shattered Star Union, you emerge from a cosmic Dark Age to craft a new future for your people. You travel to one of the many lost worlds of the old empire, where you will find marvels among the remnants of this once great civilization. You will need to develop and rediscover technologies and social doctrines for your colonists to thrive on these hostile worlds, for you are not alone here. Other houses compete with yours to rebuild the Star Union, and you will need both a carefully crafted arsenal, and a firm grip on diplomacy if you are to have a chance at victory.
Factions come in two types: Primary Combatant Factions and Non-Primary Combatant (NPC) Factions. At the start of a game each commander has access to only one Faction but via diplomacy or conquest one can get access to potentially all Factions.
Primary combatant factions
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There are 6 primary combatant faction available. Each primary combatant faction has access to the following:
- 9 unique units
- 2 unique ships (with exception of Syndicate)
- 1 unique colonizer
- unique unit mods, covert ops, buildings and society doctrines
|Faction||Weapon Groups||Bonuses||Racial Abilities|
||Natural resistance to Arc Damage|
||Ignore happiness penalties from Volcanic|
|| Swarm Shields|
When the Star Union collapsed, a group of bio-engineers were trapped on an untamed planet. In order to survive, they resorted to their own experimental genetic alterations. Generations later, they developed into an all-female species who have grown to dominate and utilize their environment.
The Amazons thrive in forested sectors and have a mastery of nature which allows them to expand their colonies quickly with progressive cultivation and ecological construction.
With the return of interstellar travel, the Amazons have detected new threats, leading them to mobilize and attack with highly mobile and cunning forces. The Amazons attack in camouflaged units with double-arrow energy bows, while Biomancers scan life forms for weaknesses.
In addition, they use entangling overgrowth to cover enemy colonies, reducing their food intake. They also introduce predators that spawn nests of genetically modified beasts in target sectors. These beasts range from alien bird scouts with laser guns to biomechanical plant-like organisms that entangle their opponent. And to top it off, they can mount and control the Tyrannodon, a massive roaring creature with lasers attached to its head. That’s right — they have genetically-altered dinosaurs with lasers.
The Amazons are expert bio-engineers, mixing technology with their natural surroundings. They possess genetically modified alien life forms. They can call various units of beasts and creatures to join the battle with their pylons as they attack with double-arrow energy bows, useful for maximum accuracy and damage. Their use of ecological construction and control of their environment make the Amazons a formidable force.
These goddesses of bio-tech have set out to establish their natural paradise across the worlds of the former Union. Stay out of their way!
- Shrike - A feral avian pterodactyl-like creature from an Amazon jungle planet. Shrike is a spy with a special affinity for forests, capable of seeing far distances sporting a low-powered bioelectrical laser gun and an instinct to swoop at intruders, targeting their eyes.
- Huntress - Amazon infantry armed with ultramodern bows. They launch volleys of modified arrows, some laced with biotoxins and others capable of producing blinding flashes.
- Biomancer - Basic support unit capable of healing and purging allied bilogical and cyborg units of negative non-psionic effects. She can disrupt the enemy units by slowing them down or by putting them to sleep completely. Additionally, the Biomancer can reduce the resistances of enemy units for the duration of a battle.
- Lancer - Fast moving mounted skirmisher unit. Using its Laser Lance, it's proficient at exploiting exposed enemy flanks. The lance can also be used as a ranged weapon, but at a limited distance.
- Harrier - Large avian predators, mounted by Amazon soldiers, used as air-support vehicles. Armed with a laser blaster, it's a formidable air-to-air and air-to-ground assault unit.
- Arborian Sentinel - Part plant, part animal, the Arborian carry light laser cannons into battle. They can cast out a web of entangling roots that cripple the enemy, or protect themselves and others by projecting an energy shield.
- Bombardon - Frog-like living artillery that can fling biochemical mass at great distances.
- Tyrannodon - A dinosaur-like creature with lasers attached to its head. Its roar is so terrifying it will cause panic amongst enemy units. Once savage and untamed, now genetically modified by the Amazons it is the perfect weapon.
- Arborian Queen - The ultimate weapon of the Amazons, the Arborian Queen is outfitted with a powerful Bio Cannon. The Queen can heal and buff friendly living creatures as well as bringing plant and animal units back from the dead. Just like the smaller Sentinel, it can send out powerful roots to cripple the enemy, but on a much larger scale.
- Nourishing Field Pylon
- Luring Field Pylon
- Amplifying Field Pylon
At a distant blacksite planet, the next generation of bionic and genetically enhanced soldiers were being produced. But during the collapse, the cloned test subjects rebelled against their Imperial masters.
Facing extermination and without any way to reproduce naturally, the Ancestors started patching themselves up using organs, body parts and machinery from the battlefields. From this, a new race emerged — The Assembly.
Now the Assembly looks at each world they come across with one thought in mind — how to turn its inhabitants into organ donors for their growing empire. Diplomacy is not their strong suit. Instead, they are a research-heavy faction, jacking into its own citizens’ brains to borrow spare processing power, among other things.
In combat, the Assembly have a good range of effective units. Typical attacks involve sending forth melee units to absorb the initial damage, while snipers and electrocutioners provide ranged support.
As units die, they can be brought back by Reverse Engineers, while The Scavenger infantry unit is armed with a shotgun and cybernetic claws that rip out chunks of the enemies they strike, and reabsorb them into their own bodies — healing themselves as they attack.
Larger assembly units can be “driven” by heroes — cyborgs with a hero’s head attached to a Wrecker’s body.
This robotic/cyborg faction are determined and will not stop until they have achieved total victory. Enemies facing the Cyborg Army of the Assembly should be prepared to blow it to bits, or become a part of it. Literally.
The Assembly cities are places of science and engineering. The Assembly are constantly innovating and chasing the perfect, most harmonious merger of technology and biology. In their cities, they grow their replacement organs and body parts, and develop new cybernetic technologies to enhance themselves. For example, here you can see an Assembly harvesting tower for replacement body parts.
Technology and doctrines
The Assembly value research and science a great deal, after all, half of their origin lies within scientists! This race also has strong doctrines that focus on scavenging from the battlefield, as well as strong military doctrines that boost your armies and clever ways to boost economy through your colonists.
These genetically-modified soldiers utilize their tech to turn their enemies into replacement parts. As research specialists, they have a range of high-tech effective units and mods to assist them in their conquest.
The Dvar have evolved to survive and profit. Stranded on a barely habitable planet when the Star Union fell, they were left with only one choice — to dig in and develop new technology that would allow them to withstand the harsh environment. They built vast processing complexes to tear nature apart and exploit every resource they could get their hands on.
Once they land on a planet, the Dvar deploy a vast array of heavy industrial machinery to quickly extract anything of value from the environment. As they become settled they can even shatter mountains to give more space to their colonies.
And for those unfortunate enough to enter a war with them, they can trigger a tectonic shift that spawns a mountain range in the middle of enemy territory, causing massive destruction.
The Dvar favor explosive weapons in combat. Amongst the combat units are the Rocket Artillery, along with several heavily armored vehicles. Other units include the Sapper, which can tunnel toward an enemy and trigger a seismic charge, the Trencher, which builds its own cover on the battlefield, and finally, the Earth Crusher, which can pull enemy units towards it with a tractor beam and then process them with ore-crushing machinery.
With their strong industrial focus, they can rapidly upgrade their colonies and produce new units. And now that space travel is available again, they are ready to start operations on other profitable worlds. Don’t get caught in the path of their progress!
The Dvar use cutting-edge technology. They can deploy a vast array of heavy industrial machinery and collect a planet’s raw materials to develop their colonies and units. The Dvar cause massive destruction with an industrial focus and can quickly produce new units to build up their armies. They favor explosive tech weapons that have a large range of destruction.
A Dvar’s face is protected by D-VR hazmat suits. But Dvar still express their style and personality through wearing Tubular Beards and Mustaches, as well as all sorts of goggles and cool head-gear.
- Trencher - With their shields up, they protect themselves on the battlefield in their defensive trenches and deliver powerful damage with their spike guns.
- Bulwark - Adapted to repel quartzite-infused marauders long enough for Dvar miners to escape, the Bulwark is especially formidable at delaying an enemy advance. Upon first encounter it might be mistaken for a modified Walker, but the gun on the Bulwark shoots a shell with an explosive punch that knocks most troops on their backsides.
- Excavator Tank
- Rocket Artillery
- Earth Crusher - Earth Crushers use everything from the soil, pulling both raw materials and enemies in with their tractor beams, leaving destruction in its wake.
Dvar tactical summons
- Sapper - The Sapper tunnels through obstructions and triggers a seismic charge, destroying enemy settlements.
The collapse of the union broke the chains of the Kir’Ko and these former slaves now swarm free. Destroying their way of life and shattering their hive mind did not break their will. Once the Star Union fell, the Kir’Ko quickly rose to power on several worlds due to hyper evolution and pillaging the technology of their fallen masters.
Their hives grow quickly, allowing them to rapidly colonize new planets, while their units can swiftly regenerate health, developing mutations like cloaking carapace armor that can conceal them on the world map.
The Kir’Ko use the Call of the Hive to spawn extra troops when they are threatened and Noxious Bombardment to poison their enemies. They can also spawn emergent larvae which morph into stronger Kir´Ko units.
In combat they favor melee and units that operate in groups. The Kir’Ko field units are numerous. The Frenzy rips apart enemies with their claws and spews battle vomit consisting of corrosive acid. The Ravenous can devour humanoid enemies and hatch new Kir’Ko larvae. The Tormented turn the pain of being ripped from the hive mind into a weapon by projecting their hatred into their enemies, breaking their minds. And the Unleashed support the hive as low flying scouts, while the Abyssian tunnel across the battlefield to encase the enemy in wax cement.
This former colony attacks with fury and anger after being previously enslaved by their enemies and torn from their hive mind. Their insectoid units favor melee and often operate in groups.
With a sense of lost unity from the shattered hive mind, what future will they purse? They can unleash their pain to ensure the other factions suffer as they have or they can seek to reconcile with the inhabitants of a new world and work together to rebuild.
- Unleashed - Flying scout unit.
- Frenzied - These crafty insectoids use their sharp claws to tear apart enemies and can vomit corrosive acid toward those that get too close.
- Hidden - Psionic sniper unit.
- Transcendent - Psionic healer.
- Barrager - Living artillery.
- Engulfer - Flying skirmisher.
- Tormented - Powerful psionic unit.
- Ravenous - Giant insectoid assult unit.
- Harbinger - Kir'Ko ultimate weapon.
- Deep One
Kir’Ko stategic summon
Kir’Ko tactical summon
The Syndicate began as a group of ruthless trading Houses, who in their prime controlled entire star systems, commanded massive armies and held a monopoly on the trade of valuable goods. Now with interstellar travel moving again, the Syndicate consider the galaxy “open for business.”
The Syndicate prefers diplomacy over combat, but are also extremely manipulative, specializing in psionic attacks and covert operations. Their Cloak and Dagger doctrine gives a huge boost to operational strength, while One-Way Trust raises their defense against enemies.
Though the Syndicate prefer to solve things without getting their hands dirty, they do possess an arsenal of arc weaponry and powerful war machines with advanced sci-tech amplifiers that conduct psionic attacks, overwhelming their opponents.
Their scout unit is the Runner, hidden on the world map and able to teleport to safety before receiving fatal damage. At the front lines of battle are the Indentured units, collar-controlled slave warriors assisted by the Subjugator, a T3 support unit that can bring the Indentured back from the dead.
The Syndicate are used to exploiting and outwitting lesser beings. Pray they don’t consider you one.
In combat, the Syndicate are extremely manipulative, specializing in covert operations and psionic attacks. They possess an arsenal of arc weaponry, and power their war machines with advanced psi-tech amplifiers.
- Runner - The only faction scout that is hidden on the world map. It’s escape module allows it to teleport to safety before receiving fatal damage.
- Indentured - Core infantry.
- Overseer - Support unit.
- Enforcer - Attacks with psi-tech weaponry, such as the psi-powered gauntlet that hits with the force of an angry mob.
- Guild assassin - Sent to eliminate aggressors and sabotage powerful enemies. They are discrete and entrusted with deadly secrets and weaknesses that can be used against those they target for assassination.
- Mirage - Flying harasser.
- Subjugator - Using Psionic control orbs, this T3 support unit can break the minds of its enemies with an Agony field, creating new Indentured units that it can bring back from the dead using cerebral control collars.
- Wraith - Floating tank with psionic weaponry.
- Wraith - Syndicate ultimate waepon.
- Guild Cruiser
Syndicate tactical summon
The Vanguard originate from the expeditionary forces sent to claim new worlds beyond the Star Union Frontier. Upon arrival, they awake from cryosleep to discover that a galactic cataclysm has taken place and the Star Union has collapsed. They must now utilize all combat and survival skills to reestablish the Star Union.
The Vanguard units and colonists provide and fend for themselves, using policies that provide extra food and garrisons to boost colony production. With their diplomatic tools, they make their presence known on each planet they want to claim for the Union. This includes Hearts and Minds, which increases rewards and influence when performing quests. And then there is Big Stick Diplomacy, allowing the Vanguard to leverage their military might in diplomatic interactions.
On the field, the troops have a variety of options, such as firing lines and overwatch zones designed to bring the enemy to them. Fast units like the Valkyries are used to outflank enemies. Other troops carry assault rifles and grenades, or heavy laser tanks and walkers carrying missile artillery. Gunships provide air support, while drones and robots can scout enemies, heal and re-arm the troops.
The Vanguard represents a military force for the future. With their rapid deployment, survival and combat skills, they have a fighting chance of restoring the union to greatness.
The Vanguard can build Troopers and OWL Scouts from the beginning. With the Skirmisher and Specialist Barracks they gain access to the Assault Bike and PUG. For their other Units: Engineers, Gunships, Frigates, Laser Tanks, Battleships, Walkers and the Drone Carrier Research is required.
- OWL - A flying scout drone (Tier I). In Combat it can attack using its Laser Repeater or mark Targets with its Targeting Field ability. As a Mechanical Unit it has Arc Weakness, but brings Psionic Resistance.
- Trooper - Core Unit (Tier I), armed with an assault Rifle, which uses the Firearms weapon group. The Trooper can use Overwatch and throw grenades to stagger units and destroy cover. They get a bonus to their aim if shooting from cover.
- Assault Bike - A highly mobile Skirmisher Unit (Tier II), that uses its Laser Array to either damage a single unit and knock it back or Fire on an area in front of it to damage multiple units. The Assault bike has good armour, but is weak against flanking attacks. As a Mechanical Unit it has Arc Weakness, but Psionic Resistance. It is also Stagger Resistance making it difficult to shut down.
- PUG - This Specalist Support unit (Tier II) can heal, smoke screen and resupply other Units. It comes equipped with a Blast Laser to defend itself. On the strategic map it also heals its accompanying stack. As a Mechanical Unit it has Arc Weakness, but brings Psionic Resistance.
- Engineer - The Engineer is a Specalist Support unit (Tier II) that can place a turret on the battlefield and calibrate (increase accuracy) and heal mechanical units. It comes equipped with a Shotgun to defend itself. On the strategic map it also heals its accompanying stack. This unit can only be build in cities with the specialist barracks and after the "Engineering Corps" in the Vanguard weapon tech-tree has been researched.
- Gunship - Gunships (Tier II) are the Vanguards air unit, they are specialist units and need the "Air Corps" research to be unlocked. They have a powerful buster missile and a repeating aircraft gun mounted, in combat "evasive maneuvers" helps them to stay out of enemy fire.
- Laser Tank - laser Tanks (Tier III) are elite units and need the elite barracks and the "Tank Corps" research to be unlocked. They are slow on the battlefield but have can deploy a smoke screen to obscure surrounding units and have a repeating laser cannon as well as an overcharged laser beam that deals massive damage even on long range (9 hex, 2 turns cooldown).
- Walker - The Vanguards battle mech, the Walker (Tier III) is an elite unit and needs the elite barracks as well as the "Walker Corps" research to be unlocked. They are slow on the battlefield but have overwatch, a gatling gun and an upgraded strike missile to lock down areas of the battlefield.
- Drone Carrier - The Vanguards inherent Tier IV unit. Drone carriers have a repeating laser and can launch attack, repair and skirmish drones to quickly gain an advantage in numbers on the battlefield. They require the elite barracks and the "Carrier Command" research.