Fallen empires are vestigial remnants of millennia old, extremely powerful empires that have become chronically stagnant and decadent over the ages. Unlike normal AI empires, a Fallen Empire is fully developed at the start of the game, but due to their extreme large and powerful fleets they should not be provoked until your fleet strength and technology is comparable. They always start with two fleets of around 40k-150k Fleet Power and can obtain additional fleets through events. Fallen Empires use a unique ship and station art style which is exclusive to them, which distinguishes them from ships of ordinary empires; there are visual variants of this style and different weapon and gear selections for each type of Fallen Empire, but the general number of slots is about equal.
It is impossible to vassalize a Fallen Empire in any way, and if a war breaks out, they are rarely interested in peace offers short of total surrender to all demands. When engaging in a conflict with them, it is essential that an empire be fully prepared to deal with the consequences and be prepared to follow through on any demands made. Any empire can make claims on a Fallen Empire system regardless of Ethics or their War Philosophy Policy.
There are 4 types of Fallen Empires, 5 with Synthetic Dawn, and only one of each type can exist in a game. The max number of Fallen Empires within the game depends on the galaxy size. However if a galaxy is too populated (both regular empires and fallen empires sliders have been set to max) then some Fallen Empires might not be created. This does not happen every time and depends entirely on empire placement.
A Fallen Empire's species is randomly generated, but there is a 5% chance for them to be picked from any of the pre-made species if the species in question have not already spawned on the map and have the Fallen's Empire required ethic, fanatic or not. For example, if a human pre-made empire exists and is marked with "Spawn as Fallen", it is possible for a human Fallen Empire to be generated.
In the player's Contact list, they are listed under their own section ("Fallen Empires").
- 1 Sleeping Empires
- 2 Awakened Empires
- 3 Ancient Caretakers
- 4 Technology
- 5 Strategy
- 6 Empire titles
- 7 References
All Fallen Empires begin the game in Sleeping status. Despite their immense size and power, the Fallen Empires will remain passive, staying in their borders and will not do anything unless provoked. They have the Lethargic Leadership and Empire In Decline civics, which prevents them from colonizing and conquering worlds and building new ships. However they will get new fleets yearly through an event if their Fleet Power is low and they are at peace (8 Battlecruisers and 10 Escorts). Unlike other AI empires - which require the completion of a special research project before communication is established - Fallen Empires will instantly contact empires who unwittingly enter their space, seemingly having been aware of the empire before it left its home system.
Once revealed, organic Fallen Empires are typically Dismissive towards normal empires, and will not accept trades or agreements of any kind. They always start with their borders closed, but some Fallen Empires will open them and accept trade if relations improve sufficiently to become patronizing.
Sleeping Fallen Empires have a modifier that reduces their ship upkeep and build cost by 50%. This modifier is retained when they awaken.
Sleeping Empires Interactions
Requests are one time events that have a drawback in exchange for greatly increasing a Fallen Empire's Opinion and an increased chance of receiving gifts. Accepting a request grants a decaying +100 opinion while refusing gives a decaying -50 opinion. Requests are not available if at war or the empire is genocidal.
Tasks are missions to go to war against another empire within 20 years to fulfill the goals of a Fallen Empire in exchange for greatly increased Opinion and an increased chance of receiving gifts. Fortunately only your rivals can be picked as targets. Tasks can only be given to player Empires. Fulfilling a task grants a decaying +100 opinion while refusing gives a minor -25 opinion. However failing the task by not completing it in time gives greater Opinion penalties. If the target empire is destroyed or changes policy on its own the task is canceled without any effect on Opinion. Tasks are not available if at war or if the empire is genocidal.
Demands are ultimatums from Fallen Empires if their opinion drops below -100. Submitting improves opinion by +25 but rejecting the demands will grant the Fallen Empire the Punishment Casus Belli which they will always use to start a war. If accepted the effects are usually identical to losing the war about these goals, except without war the empire's leaders are not executed and there is no danger to lose ships in a possibly futile battle. If the Fallen Empire was rivaled by the offending empire they will not make any demands at all and will just declare war immediately to impose their will from the start. AI empires always accept demands unless their Fleet Power is above 50k, in which case the demand will be accepted only 10% of the time. If a Fallen Empire has lost any of its original owned planets in a war they will stop making demands regardless of Opinion. If an empire ranks them as Pathetic in Relative Power the Fallen Empire will never declare war on it.
Gifts are sent by some Fallen Empires to empires that accepted a request, completed a task, or the Fallen Empire is Patronizing towards. Gifts are always positive and have no drawbacks. Accepting a gift also grants a decaying +50 opinion while refusing it for any reason gives a decaying -50 opinion. To be tagged as a gift recipient the empire must have less than 100k Fleet Power and not be at war.
The gift MTTH is 100 years
- x2 if not Patronizing Relations nor Enigmatic Relations, and either accepted or fulfilled a task
- x0.25 if Enigmatic Relations and accepted a Task
- x0.1 if Enigmatic Relations and completed a Task
- x0.5 if Patronizing Relations and accepted a Task
- x0.25 if Patronizing Relations and completed a Task
- x0.75 if Opinion 75
- x0.75 if Opinion 100
- x0.75 if Opinion 150
- x0.75 if Opinion 200
As a next step, the specific gift is rolled. Every gift can be granted more than once to any Empire, with the following weights:
- 50%: 500 Energy and 1500 Minerals, increased to 1000 Energy and 3000 Minerals after the mid-game begins.
- 20%: Precursor Data Cache empire modifier (+25% Research from Jobs for 10 years)
- 15%: Rare Tech (gives the first missing tech from this list: Planetary Shield Generator, Synchronized Defenses, Selected Lineages, Capacity Boosters, Corps of Engineers, Gene Banks; if all are already acquired, a Precursor Data Cache is given instead)
- 10%: 3 Escorts. If the mid-game has not yet begun, 1000 Energy and 3000 Minerals is given instead.
- 5%: A Battlecruiser. If the mid-game has not yet begun, 1000 Energy and 3000 Minerals is given instead.
|Fallen Empire||Ethic||Traits||Armies||Colossus weapon||Requests & Tasks||Guardians||Border access||Angered by (-200 Opinion)||Demands & Wargoals|
||Fanatic Xenophile||+2 Extra Trait Points||Gene Warrior Army||Global Pacifier||Send a pop to The Preserve
Force a rival to outlaw Purges
Give the brain scans from the Limbo event
|Only Insults and Rivalry||Outlaw Purges|
||Fanatic Spiritualist||Psionic||Psionic Army||Neutron Sweep||Force a rival to outlaw AI||Colonizing Holy Worlds||Abandon Holy Worlds|
|Keepers of Knowledge
||Fanatic Materialist||Cybernetic||Robotic Army||Global Pacifier||Give one of your Level 5+ scientists||Only Insults and Rivalry||Humiliate|
||Fanatic Xenophobe|| Nerve Stapled (slaves)
+2 Extra Trait Points
|Xenomorph Army||World Cracker||Owning a neighbor system||Abandon neighbor systems|
If sufficiently provoked, a Fallen Empire might awaken and turn into an aptly-named Awakened Empire. Awakened Empires stop being passive and make a bid to dominate the galaxy or defend it from a Crisis (based on the form of Awakening). Unlike Fallen Empires, an Awakened Empire can build new ships, colonize planets, and conquer worlds. Awakened Empires have considerable technological and starting resource advantages even compared to mid- or late-game empires, and thus their awakening can have drastic consequences for a game in progress but can also make them one of the best guardian forces in the galaxy.
Effects on the Fallen Empire and Galaxy:
- Their Government Type is changed to Awakened Ascendancy.
- Their Civics are replaced with Revanchist Fervor (+1 Monthly Influence) and Ancient Caches of Technology (+50% Resources from Jobs), allowing them to expand and build ships without restrictions.
- Their Energy, Minerals, Food and Influence storages are filled.
- They instantly receive an additional fleet.
- If a default empire has more than 50k Fleet Power, the event will trigger again, however the reinforcement Event available for Sleepers can no longer trigger.
Upon awakening, a Fallen Empire's entry in the Contacts list is updated with a new name and is placed in the "Others" section instead of "Fallen Empires".
Decadence is a mechanic affecting Awakened Empires to prevent them from establishing a permanent hegemony over weaker empires. 20 years after a Fallen Empire has awakened it will start to accumulate Decadence. Decadence increases in increments of 2 and has a 0.5% chance to increase each month for each planet the Awakened Empire or its subjects possesses. Once Decadence reaches 100 it imparts the following penalties:
- -66% Job Resource Production
- x2 Vassal opinion penalty for having less fleet power than all of them combined
- -25% Ship Weapon Damage, Ship HP and Shield HP (stacks with any penalties caused by resource shortages, if present)
Guardians of the Galaxy
When an endgame Crisis occurs a Fallen Empire can awaken after 5 years with the declared goal of ending said crisis. If one of them has already awakened before the crisis, they will become guardians as soon as the crisis starts. Guardians have protecting the galaxy as their sole goal. If the Empire awakened before the crisis they will stop their vassalization plans and attempt to rally the galaxy instead. Only one Guardian Awakening can occur.
Guardians of the Galaxy will always agree to a Federation no matter what opinion they held before the awakening.
The chance for any Fallen Empire to awaken is rolled outside of moddable code, as such no details about the chances can be given.
Only the Enigmatic Observers, Keepers of Knowledge, and Ancient Caretakers can become Guardians. The Holy Guardians or the Militant Isolationists will never awaken as guardians and should they have awakened before the crisis, they will continue with their domination plan instead.
Once awakened, the Guardian empire goes through the full awakening effects, and all player empires will be notified. All AI empires will get one of the following Opinion bonuses towards the Awakened Empire to cooperate with it (equal chances):
Once the crisis has been defeated the Guardian empire will leave the current Federation and become a regular empire.
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
Guardian awakenings do not roll for Ancient Rival. In addition, if a crisis occurs during a War in Heaven neither Awakened Empire will become Guardians.
|Available only with the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
The Ancient Caretakers will not awaken as Guardians if the Prethoryn Scourge or Extradimensional Invaders crisis occurs. However they are guaranteed to awaken if the Contingency crisis occurs and will in that case activate right after the sterilization hubs come online. This happens independently from the Guardian awakening mechanics, making it possible for another Fallen Empire to awaken as well, resulting in two guardian empires appearing.
The default type of awakening, an upstart awakening, usually happens if a standard player or AI empire becomes too strong in Fleet Power or has managed to conquer Fallen Empire worlds. In this case, the Fallen Empire decides that the young empires are becoming too powerful and thus set out to impose their primacy on them.
The requirements are as following:
- The game reaches end game year, they are not at war, and their total combined Fleet Power is above 40k.
- A default empire is getting too strong (above 50k Fleet Power with all fleets combined) or has conquered a Fallen Empire world.
- This awakening can only happen once.
- It cannot happen if a Guardian of the Galaxy has already awakened.
- The event has a MTTH of 50 years modified as following:
- x0.5 if a default empire has more the 75k Fleet Power with all fleets combined.
- x0.1 if a default empire owns a formerly Fallen Empire-controlled world.
- If there is more than one Fallen Empire in the game, the time is multiplied by the number of Fallen Empires (it is unclear if that includes no longer existing ones). This offsets the increased chance for one of them to awaken due to higher total numbers
Note that because having a fleet power above 75k is essentially prerequisite to conquering a Fallen Empire's world(s), doing so effectively reduces the MTTH of any fallen empire awakening to 25 years.
Every empire near an Awakened Empire will receive a request to become a subject. Refusing the request will add -200 Opinion towards the Awakened Empire and cause them to declare war shortly afterwards.
|Available only with the Ancient Relics DLC enabled.|
If an empire owns the Head of Zarqlan Relic they will have enough Opinion to refuse becoming a Dominion without risking war. Likewise, they can colonize Holy Worlds without angering the Holy Guardians
War in Heaven
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
The War in Heaven is a special event where a second Fallen Empires (usually of opposing ethics) awakens as well and the two Awakened Empires eventually launch a great war against one another, with the normal empires acting as satellite states in their game. Once the first Fallen Empire awakens an ancient rival may be chosen with the following chances:
- 40% A Fallen Empire with the opposite Ethic is picked as rival, if existing.
- 20% A Fallen Empire with a random Ethic is picked as Rival. This can hit the opposing Ethic by coincidence.
- 40% No Rival is picked, and thus no War in Heaven can happen.
For the second Fallen Empire to awaken it must also meet the same requirements as the first one (not at war, fleet power above 40k, they haven't been awakened some other way). If the requirements are met there is a 50% chance for the second Fallen Empire to awaken every 5 years. Afterwards, neither Awakened Empire will engage each other for 2 years.
The odds of a War in Heaven depend on the number of fallen empires in the galaxy:
2 Fallen Empires
- 18%: War against the other Fallen Empire.
- 82%: No war.
3 Fallen Empires
- 26%: War against the Fallen Empire of the opposing Ethic.
- 5%: War against a random Fallen Empire.
- 69%: No war.
4 Fallen Empires
- 40%: War against the Fallen Empire of the opposing Ethic.
- 5%: War against a random Fallen Empire.
- 55%: No war.
Start of the War in Heaven
- 2 years elapsed since the Rival's awakening.
- The Rival is not at war, and their fleet power is above 40k.
- 50% chance every 5 years for the first 10 years.
- 50% chance every 18 days after 10 years.
Once the War in Heaven starts, both Awakened Empires have the mutual Wargoal of War in Heaven, which causes a Total War. They will each spawn one additional fleet, two if any default empire has above 50k Fleet Power. The War in Heaven can end with a status quo, leaving the galaxy with two Awakened Empires.
Each regular Empire that is not involved in a war is presented with the choice to join either side or stay neutral. There are 4 options:
- Join the First Awakened Empire
- Join the Second Awakened Empire
- Pick neither side
- Vassal empires will always follow their Overlord, as will subjects of either Awakened Empire.
Choices and AI Weighting:
- AI empires with less than 20k Fleet Power and no Federation will side with an Awakened Empire based on their ethics
- AI empires with more than 20k Fleet Power or that are part of a Federation with a human player will stay neutral
- AI empires with less than 20k Fleet Power that are part of an AI Federation will pick at random
- genocidal empires will never pick a side
Empires that side with one of the Awakened Empires will receive a free Guarantee of Independence from their patron lasting 10 years, become its subjects and join the war on the patron's side.
Once one of the Awakened Empires is defeated vassals of the winning side that contributed to the warscore will receive planets from the losing side's members unless they are too far from the borders. The League of Non-Aligned Systems will still have to fight the remaining Awakened Empire and the War in Heaven is still considered ongoing.
Leader of the League of Non-Aligned Empires
Instead of siding with either Awakened Empire, an empire can also decide to pick neither side and stay neutral in the War In Heaven. This, however, will anger both Awakened Empires and eventually, the neutral empires will realize that they have to stand together to avoid being caught in the crossfire between both factions. In order to do this, they will form the League of Non-Aligned Empires. Sometime after the War in Heaven has begun, an event will fire iterating over all applicable empires to find the Leader for the Non-Aligned Empires. Monthly a random Non-Vassal, Non-Genocidal, Default empire who is at peace with the Awakened Empires that has not declined this round before will be offered the Presidency until all have declined or a leader is found. The event groups Empires based on fleet power: > 300k Fleet power, > 200k Fleet power, > 150k Fleet power, > 100k Fleet power, >90k (going down to >10k in 10k steps), and finally everyone that is left. The stronger empires get the first chance to become the leader. The AI has a 100/101 weight to pick up the leadership position and a 1/101 weight to decline the position, making it highly likely they will take the leadership role if offered.
After the leader has been picked, all non-Vassal default Empires (including those that declined Leadership before) are offered one chance to join the "League of Non-Aligned Powers" Alliance (which is not a Federation). Afterwards, joining requires the normal Alliance Diplomacy approaches.
Fanatic Purifier and Metalhead AIs will never choose to become the leader or join the League.
If both Fallen Empires are defeated by the League, a player president of the League acquires the respective Achievement.
|Available only with the Apocalypse DLC enabled.|
If an empire destroys a Holy World with a Colossus the Holy Guardians will always awaken and declare a war of subjugation. This type of awakening occurs completely independently of other circumstances, and can therefore take place at any time under any circumstances (such like during a War in Heaven). Aside from the war against the defiler the Awakened Holy Guardians will act like normally awakened Doctrinal Enforcers and try to dominate the galaxy.
|Available only with the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
A Machine Intelligence Fallen Empire that is the truly enigmatic Fallen Empire, the Ancient Caretakers are the remnant of a great conflict in the galactic history. They have been part of something called the 'Custodian Project', an initiative to construct and maintain a number of ringworlds as a refuge for biological sapients fleeing some unknown menace.
The Ancient Caretakers do not hold a personal opinion of any empire (their opinion is simply listed as "?") and unlike any other Fallen Empire they are totally unpredictable. They may offer gifts for no reason or request assistance with tasks that can give a permanent bonus or a temporary but serious penalty. Ancient Caretakers do not declare wars but can be declared war upon. They understand neither insults nor rivalries.
Ancient Caretakers have a grey and orange motif for their ships, stations and cities, as well as a different texture featuring integrated circuit patterns.
The previous great conflict the Ancient Caretakers refer to was a former Contingency cycle. As such, as soon as the Contingency activates, it will attempt to corrupt the Ancient Caretakers. They have a 66% chance of severing the connection and activating their Final Defense Protocols (Guardians of the Galaxy awakening) and a 33% chance to be corrupted by it and start attacking everything (Berserkers). Each Awakening has a unique civic to differentiate them. The chance to awaken a Custodian or Berserker is decided at the start of the game so reloading a previous save will not alter the result.
Ancient Caretakers cannot awaken in any other way nor can they be the Ancient Rival and thus be part of a War in Heaven. Unlike other Guardian empires they will not try to form or join a Federation.
- Allow inoculations: Sent to organic empires. MTTH is 100 years. A negative happiness modifier is applied, until the results show themselves. 10 years later the results will appear and can be either positive or negative. MTTH is shortened to 66% if they awakened in the meantime.
- Allow code changes: The machine empire variant of Inoculations. Same rules for Good/Bad results apply.
- Provide Worker Units: With a MTTH of 50 Years, a Machine Intelligence with at least 11 Pops will be requested to give two pops to the Ancient Caretakers.
- Attack Empire: With a MTTH of 100 years, an Empire will be asked to attack a fellow empire. Unlike other tasks this one can target empires that refused requests or tasks from the Ancient Caretakers. The time for the attack is 20 years, with up to 1 year overtime.
- Colonize a planet: With a MTTH of 200 years, the Custodians request the colonization of a Planet. The planet will be near or inside the player borders and eligible for colonization, when the request is given. Within 20 years at least 5 grown pops must be on the colonized planet. Care should be taken if the habitable worlds setting was raised because this task does not add a point of interest on the galaxy map.
- Stop Waging War: With a MTTH of 100 years the empire is tasked to outlaw war. Empires that already do are excluded. If accepted, the Policy must be changed to No Wars within 20 years.
- Stop Colonizing: With a MTTH identical to Stop Waging war, the empire is tasked with not colonizing anymore. This task can no longer appear after 100 years have passed. Empires with planets under colonization are excluded. If accepted, the empire must refrain from any Colonization for the next 10 years.
Fallen Empires start with all standard, rare and dangerous technology options already researched, including all technologies limited by ethics, as well as with ten levels in most repeatable technology and five levels in the rest. They also possess a unique Dark Matter Reactor and Deflector which can be reverse engineered and are the second-best deflectors and best reactor available in the game. They do not, however, have any of the special technologies that are only available through reverse engineering, from Leviathans or from special events. Also they are usually explicitly exempt for any and all of the Crisis Faction Spawn checks.
Fallen Empires have no labs on any of their planets and do not research further repeatable techs. After becoming Awakened Empires, they may build labs, and will research new technologies but do so very slowly, often taking upwards of 1000 months for even a single additional repeatable.
Fallen Empires own highly valuable systems. The planets of their capital/home systems in particular are fully developed, filled with City Districts and contain various special buildings built using ancient technology that have exceptionally high output and are otherwise unavailable - even an Awakened Empire cannot build more of these special buildings and it is implied they have actually forgotten how their own technologies work. Depending on galaxy shape and empire placement, Fallen Empires will normally spawn with a capital/home system and will also control a collection of several other minor systems which are partially built up using a mixture of regular buildings and some Fallen Empire ones. All owned worlds are of the Fallen Empire's primary race's preferred habitat (Ocean, Continental, Tropical etc.). However, should a Fallen Empire end up spawning at the tail end of a spiral arm where star systems are fewer or if the game options permit few habitable worlds, they will control fewer worlds, sometimes being limited to only having their capital/home system and one or two others. All Fallen Empire home planets are fortified with unique defense buildings, making invasions difficult.
Fallen Empires do not use the standard ship types that are used by normal empires. Instead, they have Escorts, Battlecruisers and Titans. None of the values of those ship fully conform to any player buildable ships. They may also construct Colossi.
- Escorts behave like destroyers, but their firepower and defense is closer to that of a cruiser. Escorts generally carry 4 Small weapons and 4 Point Defense, and a Large weapon to fight bigger ships. They use picket behavior and have 1500 Hull, 140 base speed, and base 35 evasion with thruster modules equivalent to a destroyers.
- Battlecruisers behave like battleships, but have far better firepower and durability. Battlecruisers generally carry 1 XL weapon, 2 Large weapons, 2 Hangars and 4 Medium weapons. They use line behavior and have 3500 hull, 100 base speed, and 10 base evasion with thruster modules equivalent to a battleships.
- Titans are the largest ships in the Fallen Empire's navy, rivaling several battleships and even surpassing Titans built by normal empires in power. Titans carry 1 Titanic weapon, 8 Large weapons, 4 Hangars and 4 Medium weapons. They use artillery behavior and have 10000 hull, 100 base speed, and 2 base evasion with thruster modules equivalent to a titans.
- Outpost is their defense platform. They occupy 2 platform capacity, but are much more powerful than regular platforms. Outposts carry 2 Large weapons, 5 Medium weapons and 2 Point Defense.
The exact military power, hull points, armor and shields may vary somewhat due to different weapon systems and access to Strategic Resources. Difficulty and admiral will also affect their combat strength.
Fallen Empire's ships and starbases use a powerful and unsalvageable weapon, the terrifying Titan Lance, comparable to the Perdition Beam which can destroy most warships with a single shot. They also possess several highly advanced ship components which can be salvaged from debris: Dark Matter Reactor (Reactor T6), Dark Matter Deflector (Shield T6) and Dark Matter Thrusters (Thruster T5). Their ships also possess a built-in self-repair which regenerates 2% of their maximum armor and hull per day.
While their ships are very powerful, sleeping Fallen Empires do not build new ones even to replace ones that have been destroyed. Instead, they will receive reinforcements (2 Battlecruisers and 8 Escorts each time) from events if they're at peace. However, if a Fallen Empire awakens, they will replenish their fleets normally. Escorts have a build time of 200 days while their counterparts the Destroyers take 120 days to build. A Battlecruiser's build time is 600 days compared to the 480 days it takes to build a Battleship. Titans take 1800 days to build, like ordinary Titans.
Fallen Empires, Awakened or otherwise, never re-design their ships, so player may tailor their ship designs to hard-counter them.
- Each empire prefers a specific set of weapons that might be tied to the ethics they have. Ships should be tailored to an empire's specific loadout, to maximize effectiveness. While an awakened Fallen Empire can build new ships, it will not redesign them.
- They start with 10 levels of every repeatable technology, but do not seem to research more - when awakened they will, but often taking upwards of 1000 months for a single extra repeatable. Do not try to out-tech them unless you are really far ahead.
- Their planets are heavily fortified and require massive invasions to occupy. Orbital bombardment is not an option as the planets are protected by shield generators and most of their armies are protected by fortresses. An empire with access to the Colossus can use the Neutron Sweep to clear out the inhabitants and then recolonize the planet.
- Fallen Empire fleets are far more powerful than the diplomacy menu or fleet power counter might suggest. Their fleets can easily destroy enemies twice more powerful. Before declaring war on Fallen Empires, consider the possibility of losing most, or even all, of your assault fleets. Because of that, other players in multiplayer or powerful AIs will most likely declare war on you during your war with a Fallen Empire, so either leave some of your fleets behind or build up significant starbase defenses.
- Unless you have a massive fleet power advantage, it is not advisable to fight in a star system in which a Fallen Empire has a Citadel unless you have already defeated and weakened their fleets. Fallen empires fight very aggressively, providing plenty of opportunities to fight them in your territory and in star systems of your preference.
- If you have access to War Doctrines, it is generally not advised to select the Hit and Run policy, as high technology discrepancies mean that the Fallen Empire can destroy most ships nearly instantaneously, without giving them any time to disengage. For this same reason, if you have access to the No Retreat policy, selecting it provides a very good bonus ( +33% Fire Rate) for relatively inconsequential disadvantages (your ships are likely to end up being destroyed anyway if they try to flee so the inability to do so is of no concern).
A still-sleeping Fallen Empire does not build ships, which makes them vulnerable to a war of attrition or multiple declarations of war in succession. If you have Defensive Pacts with another civilization, it is recommended to provoke the fallen empire into declaring war on you so that you have allies and (hopefully) improve your chances of winning. Corvette swarms equipped with Anti-shield and Anti-Armor weaponry and maxed out evasion should prove quite effective against them and their medium to extra-large guns, but do not fare that well against the Fighter Strike Craft or the Materialist Arc Emitters. Their fleets will be at least two 40k blobs, possibly more depending on difficulty. The main goal in the first war should be to acquire their technology via salvage, as this can drastically improve the chances in a second war. Their troop transports should be defeated while in space as they can capture even a fully fortified planet with a normal stack.
Be warned that taking any Fallen Empire planets increases the chance of one FE awakening massively (to a near certainty), if that did not already happen. This applies to all Fallen Empires, which means that even if you manage to completely annex a Fallen Empire, you might end up waking up another.
There are several ways of fighting an Awakened Empire, depending on your position when they awaken.
The strongest empires can actually stand a chance of facing an awakened Fallen Empire head-on and defeating them in one go. Your long-term goal has to be to acquire as much territory as possible, in particular that of the still sleeping Fallen Empires to acquire their massive resource income and their technology before moving on to open war against the Awakened Empire. Be advised that any system they capture means an additional starbase they might build to reinforce their fleets quicker and allow large fleets.
Also keep in mind that you can use Containment casus belli (which will lead to a Total War) against an Awakened Empire regardless of what ethics you have. Use it if you feel confident.
The second strategy is temporarily submitting to the Awakened Empire. Once they awaken, Fallen Empires will acquire Decadence. Decadence reduces their income and fleet power while also increasing the rebelliousness of their subjects. Just be patient, build up your forces and wait for the right moment to rebel and overthrow them.
If an Endgame Crisis occurs, the Benevolent Interventionists or the Watchful Regulators may become Guardians of the galaxy. They will stop trying to reduce empires to Signatories or Satellites and form a Federation instead, so it's unnecessary to fight them if they awake late enough.
War in Heaven
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
War in Heaven will dramatically change the power balance of entire galaxy in a short time, since it can quickly become a three-way battle royale that lasts until two of the warring factions are eliminated.
Regardless of which side you choose, remember that War in Heaven is a Total War casus belli, which means that any occupied systems will immediately change ownership. Choose your side wisely and keep in mind that the most important thing is always to survive while trying to either outlast or destroy your opponents. A careless choice may mean the end of your empire.
- If you're too close to one of the awakened empires, joining their side may become the best choice unless you're strong enough to stop their fleets.
- If you're in a powerful federation, or you're far away enough from them, joining a non-aligned league may end up with better results. The league will join the fight shortly after the War in Heaven starts, so be prepared for war.
- Remaining entirely independent is advisable for the most powerful empires, as they will still be asked by the Awakened Empire to become its subject. Refusing will turn them Belligerent and likely to declare a war of subjugation later. If your empire is the leader of a Federation with multiple powerful members or you have several powerful vassals, you stand a good chance of being able to stay neutral, survive and perhaps even profit from it.
- If you find your empire is in a weird position (e.g. just between two awakened empires or relatively isolated from all other empires), choosing to stay independent might become the best choice.
Fallen and Awakened Empires typically use empire names different than that of regular empires, usually ones hinting that they once were much more powerful and widespread than they currently are.