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
There are 6 Primary Combatant Faction available. Each Primary Combatant Faction has access to the following:
- 8 unique units
- 2 unique ships
- 8 unique unit mods
- 1 unique colonizer
- unique covert ops, buildings and society doctrines
NPC Factions and not playable but may expand like the Primary Factions can. Each NPC Faction originates from a Dwelling which controls a sector and may expand into the surrounding sectors. In order for the sector to be claimed the NPC Faction will have to be annexed or removed.
Each NPC Faction has its own set of quests that can be offered if relations remain peaceful. Each Faction has at least 5 unique units, including a Tier IV unit, and a set of unique mods and operations that Primary Factions can acquire from them. Unique units can be recruited, the maximum tier depending on opinion. Once opinion improves enough the Dwelling can be annexed. Dwellings have resource yields comparable with the Golden Landmarks.
If opinion falls sufficiently NPC Factions might send a demand that scales with how low opinion is and how much has the game progressed. Declining the demand will further lower opinion. If relations with an NPC Faction are about to turn hostile it will trigger a special event. Should relations with an NPC Faction turn hostile their Dwelling will start creating raiding units. Each Dwelling has its own combat map and are destroyed once conquered. Occasionally NPC Factions will launch an invasion against Factions they're hostile towards. Rarely the invasion will be led by a boss, a named character with with high level unit mods and henchmen.
Covert Ops allow a Primary Faction to lower the opinion of NPC Factions towards other Primary Factions.
The Spacers: Mutated descendants of the urban populations. Their society and religion were shaped by gaming culture, as the empire population was entertained extreme VR experiences. With the networks gone, they seek their thrills in the physical world.
The Paragons: The former governing and elite classes. They’ve survived the collapse through life extending augmentations and therapies which are now faltering. They haven’t lost their arrogance and entitlement though.
The Growth: Intelligent plants escaped from biotech company Terra Tech. They strive to live in a symbiosis with other life forms, not for people with tenctaclephobia.
The Automons: Robots from the emergency services that have developed their own autonomous AIs after the central network of CORE went down.
The Psi-Fish: Mysterious floating aliens that have become more prevalent after the collapse.
Marauders are unaffiliated monsters and brigands that are hostile towards each other Faction and can be killed without without any consequences. Marauder armies become active after 5-10 turns and increase in strength as the game progresses.
Marauders always seek to attack stacks first. If no stack is found they will attack province bases. And if no province is found they will attack colony centers. If a marauder unit enters a province base it will raze it within 3 turns. If a marauder unit enters a colony center it will plunge it into anarchy. If the anarchy timer expires the colony will be reduced to a camp.
When marauders enter a sector they will pause for one turn, allowing the commander to prepare for the inevitable battle.
Marauders are created from marauder spawners, dwellings that occupy a sector and have to be cleared before the sector can be exploited.