Difference between revisions of "Crisis"

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(Successfully repelling the Prethoryn Swarm)
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== Crisis triggers ==
 
== Crisis triggers ==
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Prior to 1.8, each crisis had their own way to be triggered which could make it nigh impossible to figure out which one would trigger. As of 1.8, all crises are triggered through the crisis_trigger.1 event. The rules are:
 
Prior to 1.8, each crisis had their own way to be triggered which could make it nigh impossible to figure out which one would trigger. As of 1.8, all crises are triggered through the crisis_trigger.1 event. The rules are:
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== Prethoryn Scourge ==
 
== Prethoryn Scourge ==
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:''MUGANI? HAK HAK HAK!'' -Prethoryn hive mind
 
:''MUGANI? HAK HAK HAK!'' -Prethoryn hive mind
 
[[File:Alien_Swarm.png|thumb|150px|Prethoryn Scourge]]
 
[[File:Alien_Swarm.png|thumb|150px|Prethoryn Scourge]]
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== Extradimensional Invaders ==
 
== Extradimensional Invaders ==
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:''...feeding ground reached...prey bountiful...at long last...we shall feast'' - The Unbidden
 
:''...feeding ground reached...prey bountiful...at long last...we shall feast'' - The Unbidden
 
[[File:Alien_extradimensional_01.png|right|thumb|150px|Extradimensional Unbidden]]
 
[[File:Alien_extradimensional_01.png|right|thumb|150px|Extradimensional Unbidden]]

Revision as of 08:22, 15 December 2017

Version

Outliner top.png
This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.9.

This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
As star nations vie with one another in petty disputes, sinister forces of unimaginable power are arraying themselves against all sentient life. Who will protect us? - Defender of the Galaxy ascension perk

A crisis is a late game event that can occur and threatens the entire galaxy, each having the ultimate goal of destroying all life. Each of the Three Crisis are caused by the spacefaring empires rather than outside forces, either from using dangerous technologies [1] or by committing a terrible mistake.

Only a single crisis can occur per game; if the Contingency is triggered, then the Prethoryn Swarm will never invade - and vice versa.

When a crisis happens every non-hostile empire, even Fallen Empires, will open its borders to facilitate fighting the said crisis. There is no diplomacy beyond exchanging menacing words with the invaders. Either they are stopped or they conquer the galaxy. Fallen Empires will send their fleets against a crisis if it approaches their borders and some may even awaken to help fight it.

The power of a crisis can be selected at galaxy creation, with certain values being pre-selected for certain galaxy sizes. In addition higher difficulties make every crisis more powerful. On large maps a crisis is very aggressive early on, gaining territory at a very fast rate unless stopped at their arrival. However after at least 15% of the galaxy is overrun the rate of expansion will decrease, sometimes stopping by the time 50% of the galaxy is overrun. Nevertheless, a crisis will not stop until it has scoured the galaxy of life.

If a crisis overruns a ring world segment it will destroy it. Ring world segments destroyed by a crisis cannot be rebuilt.

Each crisis has an audio cue that will play in the background, growing more nuanced as the crisis overruns more of the galaxy.

The Ap defender of the galaxy.pngDefender of the Galaxy ascension perk grants +50% Damage damage bonus against crisis enemies, making it very useful at turning the tide if more conventional means are ineffective.

Crisis triggers

Prior to 1.8, each crisis had their own way to be triggered which could make it nigh impossible to figure out which one would trigger. As of 1.8, all crises are triggered through the crisis_trigger.1 event. The rules are:

  • After 200 years have passed the crisis trigger will roll once every 5 years until a crisis takes place, with the following weights
    • 10 for the Prethoryn Scourge
      • x2 if more than 240 years passed
      • x3 if more than 260 years passed
      • x4 if more than 280 years passed
    • 10 for the Extradimensional Invaders
      • x0 if no default empire has either version of the Jumpdrive
      • x4 if any default empire has Psi Jump Drive
      • x1.5 if any default empire completed the Wanderlust Event chain.
    • 10 for the contingency, which is heavily modified by the prevalence of Trait robotic 3.pngSynthetic robots, Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence Empires and Machine Units (trait_machine_unit) in default Empires. With Synthetics, growing pops are excluded but Machine Units are not
      • x1.3 if any default empire has at least 10% Synth Population
      • x1.2 if any Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence Fallen Empire exists
      • x1.25 if any Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence empire exists (the aforementioned Fallen Empire counts for this too)
      • x1.5 if any Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence has more than 99 Machine Units
      • x2 if any Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence has more than 199 Machine Units
      • x3 if any Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence has more than 299 Machine Units
      • x2 if any default Empire has more than 25% Synthetic Population
      • x2 if any default Empire has more than 50% Synthetic Population
      • x2 if any default Empire has more than 75% Synthetic Population
    • 120 Nothing

After a crisis is chosen, the global flag for it is set and the initial crises event is triggered after 200 days + Random(800) days.

Prethoryn Scourge

MUGANI? HAK HAK HAK! -Prethoryn hive mind
Prethoryn Scourge

Description

The Prethoryn crisis begins with a notice about subspace echoes beyond the galaxy that are approaching. Immediately a situation log notice called "The Coming Storm" is added.

On a MTTH of 600 months, they will be close enough to get the general direction of the swarm. A random system in the galactic rim will be marked as the center of the Invasion. The System must not be directly owned or near a Fallen or Awakened Empire. 5 nearby systems are marked for the vanguard fleets.

On a MTTH of 120 months after that, a transmission will be received from the swarm. This will establish the swarm as hostile to all lifeforms.

On a MTTH of 30 months after the transmission, the Vanguard will arrive. In each of the 5 marked systems, 3 vanguard fleets will arrive. The swarm is established as a country. "The Coming Storm" quest chain is ended and the "Prethoryn Scourge" chain is started instead.

40–80 days after the vanguard, the main invasion fleet will arrive. In each of the 5 marked systems 3 Brood and 3 Army Fleets will spawn. At this point the limited "Diplomacy" with the Swarm becomes available.

The Prethoryn Scourge will appear in the contact log under the 'other' bar, and will act like a normal but very powerful empire, with a few exceptions:

  1. You cannot meaningfully communicate with them unless your species is psionic. If you use the Communicate button on the contact window it brings up the original dialogue displayed on first contact. As before, the dialogue choices have no influence on events.
  2. The Prethoryn species itself is immortal and their gestalt pattern admirals will never die of old age.
  3. Despite their 'ships' being biological in nature and using biological weapons, it is possible to salvage and reverse-engineer some of their organic components to create weapons and strike craft compatible with conventional ships.
  4. The Swarm gets fleets through several events. These ships can appear on any system with a spaceport.
    1. (monthly) If they have less than 1 planet and less than 1 Army, they get a fleet of 20 armies
    2. (yearly) If their count of Infestors is under 4, they get a fleet of 5 Infestors
    3. (yearly) If their count of Infestors is under 4 but they still have at least 10 ships total, they get a fleet of 3 constructors
    4. (every 2 years) If their ship count is under 2000 and they have at least 1 owned planet left, a fleet reinforcements will spawn, based on the Brood Fleets. They always get 2 fleets, with a third fleet at 20% galactic border coverage and a fourth fleet at 40% border coverage. They may also get Constructors and Infestors with this reinforcement.
    5. Unlike the tame queens, wild queens do not seem to spawn smaller Prethoryn ships via an event (other spawn methods are possible).
  5. The Prethoryn have three special modifiers attached to their empire: a +100% bonus to border projection, a +150% bonus to weapon damage, and a +150% bonus to hull strength.
  6. The Prethoryn produce and consume no energy, minerals, influence, or science. They completely disregard the conventional economics system and have no system of government whatsoever.
  7. Each Prethoryn fleet consists of at least 1 Queen (though there can be several Queens per fleet), escorted by Brood Mothers, Spawnlings, and Warriors.
  8. Prethoryn bioships use warp technology equivalent to Mark 3 drives for interstellar travel. It is unclear whether they simply possess warp drives capable of intergalactic travel, or if they use some other means to travel between galaxies.
  9. The Prethoryn Scourge use infestors instead of colony ships. They will land on uncolonized habitable planets and subvert the biosphere within a year. Any orbital bombardment will instantly interrupt the process. They cannot infest ringworld segments and those are destroyed after a purge.
  10. Prethoryn transports will invade inhabited planets using ground armies for the sole purpose of purging the pops. During this phase the planet can be recaptured with ground armies. Once all populations have been purged the planets will instantly become infested.
  11. Infested Planets cannot be invaded. In order to get rid of the infestation, infested planets must be bombarded until their fortification health reaches zero, at which point they will turn into a barren planet that can be terraformed to be livable again.
  12. The swarm is destroyed if they have no infested planets left and less than 2 ships

The Swarm uses a mix of direct-fire 'Acid Blast' weapons, 'Swarm Striker' strikecraft (comparable to Mk3 bombers, with slightly superior armour penetration), and 'Scourge' bio-missiles (large mounts only). They have no shields, instead relying on abnormally high hull strength (possessing a +150% modifier as noted above) and extremely heavy armour (technologically equivalent to Neutronium Armour, typically offering resistance levels of 50-80% depending on 'ship' size). They are best countered using ships armed with AP weapons (such as high-end Lasers, Lances, or Plasma weapons) and protected by heavy Point Defense. The Swarm also uses Construction ships to assemble Military stations throughout their territory; typically Large "Star Hive"-class stations, and Small "Star Nest"-class stations. These stations are armed with Acid Blasters, Scourge bio-missiles, and swarm strike craft as well.

As only one crisis may happen per game, a 'Subspace Echoes' announcement means dangerous technologies are safe to research and deploy for the rest of the game.

Prethoryn Ships

There are numerous Prethoryn ship designs. The actual creation of the fleet is done outside of moddable code to allow for proper scaling based on Crisis Strength.

Carrier Class: a carrier battleship equivalent Equipment:

  • 4 Swarm Strike Craft Hangar
  • 2 Small Scourge Projectile Weapons
  • 2 Large Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • 70 Base Armor over Size 8, 2000 HP, 5% Evasion
  • 102 (71%) Armor effective

Swarm Queen: Equipment:

  • 4 Large Scourge Missiles
  • 3 Medium Scourge Projectile Weapons
  • 3 Swarm Strike Craft Hangar
  • 3 Large Armor
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • 60 Base Armor over Size 8, 4000 HP
  • 108 (75%) Armor effective

Warrior: A normal Battleship equivalent Equipment:

  • 3 Large Scourge Missiles
  • 2 Medium Scourge Projectile Weapons
  • 3 Large Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • 90 Base Armor over Size 8, 2000 HP, 5% Evasion
  • 122 (80%) Armor effective

Swarmling: Destroyer equivalent surprisingly high Evasion Equipment:

  • 1 Large Scourge Missile
  • 2 Small Scourge Projectile Weapons
  • 1 Mediuma Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • 12 Base Armor over Size 2, 500 HP, 65% Evasion
  • 20 (24%) Armor Effective

Large Station: Equipment:

  • 5 Large Scourge Missiles
  • 5 Medium Scourge Projectile Weapons
  • 3 Swarm Strike Craft Hangar
  • 3 Large Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • 44 Base Armor over Size 8, 20000 HP, +50% Weapon Range
  • 108 (75%) Armor effective

Small Station: Equipment:

  • 3 Large Scourge Missiles
  • 3 Small Scourge Projectivel Weapons
  • 1 Swarm Strike Craft Hangar
  • 3 Medium Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • 20 Base Armor over Size 2, 10000 HP, +50% Weapon Range
  • 44 (54%) Armor effective

Ships also use T4 Sensors, T4 Drives and T3 Warp Drives without any Computer Modifiers.

Fleets: Vanguard Fleets consist of 47 Swarmers led by a 500 XP Admiral with the Void Swimmer Trait (+20% STL and Combat Speed). The age is randomly picked from 10 available values.

Swarm Broods consist of 1 Queen, 15 Warriors, 13 Carriers, and 63 Swarmers. They are led by a 500 XP Admiral that has a 25% chance to have the unique Hive Affinity Trait (+20% Fire Rate).

Swarm Army Fleets are 20 Armies/Transports strong and do not have a leader.

Scourge Weaponry

The scourge has 4 kinds of offensive equipment, of which 2 can be reverse engineered.

Large Scourge Missile: While it comes in 4 variants, only 3 are used in Swarm Spaceports (the large variant is the same, while the smaller ones have lower damage and range). The remaining one (which can be reverse engineered) has the following values: 52-90 Damage, +10% Shield Damage, 0% Shield Penetration, 50% Armor Penetration, 40 Cooldown, 120 Range, 100% Accuracy, 80% Tracking, 12 Speed, 75% Evasion, 20 Health, and 40 Retarget Range.

This missile simply has the most HP, Evasion and Retargeting Range, but in turn can only be equipped in a Large Slot. It may be reverse engineered.

Small Scourge Projectile Weapon: 10-23 Damage, +33% Shield Damage, +15% Armor Piercing, 30 Cooldown, 60 Range, 75% Accuracy, and 70% Tracking.

Medium Scourge Projectile Weapon: 20-46 Damage, +33% Shield Damage, +30% Armor Piercing, 30 Cooldown, 60 Range, 75% Accuracy, and 25% Tracking.

While the bombers are almost irrelevant compared to the missiles, they might still do damage if defending ships rely heavily on Armor and the bombers manage to close to short range.

Swarm Strike Craft Hangar: Unique Space Bombers. 10 units per hangar, 19-21 Damage with 8 Cooldown and 100% Accuracy at Range 20. 100 Health at 80 Evasion, 100% Shield Damage, 100% Shield Penetration, and 66% Armor Penetration.

These bombers are slightly faster, more numerous, and tougher than T3 bombers. While the per unit damage seems lower than T3, the bombers skip more armor, have more range, a higher rate of fire, and more units, while their durability can also help with dealing damage.

Successfully repelling the Prethoryn Swarm

Return to the hell that spawned you, demon! - Spiritualist Empire reply

When the announcement for the Prethoryn Swarm appears, empires near the point of breach will need to prepare for the possibility of several hundreds of thousand strength points worth of warships appearing within their territory.

When fighting the Swarm, first one has to deal with the Bombers. Then one has to survive the perpetual missiles strikes. And finally, one actually has to deal with the ships themselves.

High Tracking Point Defense is needed to overcome both the Bombers and survive the Missiles. However since they have the best missiles in the game, even with a strong screen missiles are likely to get through. Fighters can be valuable, as they can intercept the bombers before the reach any target and can deal some damage to the missile salvos as well. However Bombers could be equally useful and one should perhaps not over-rely on Fighter based point defense.

Shields might be next to useless without strong in combat regeneration. The main weapons all skip or strip shields, with only the Short range Projectile weapons being really bothered by them. Armor offers decent protection against the Missiles, and the Projectile weapon has only Laser Levels of Armor Penetration with a very low count and size of guns. Evasion is a mixed choice of defense. While it works against the bombers and shortrange guns, it is useless against the missiles. Defensively the swarm relies entirely on Armor, with only Point Defense Targets, Swarmlings and Civil Ships having any noticeable Evasion. Accordingly Armor piercing weaponry should be packed exclusively, as room for the Point Defense allows.

As usual it can be helpful to start at long range and keep outside of the Projectile Range as long as possible.

Edit: As of v1.9 the following is not strictly true; Empires which lack the means to counter the Prethoryn Swarm's fleets should immediately focus on containing their expansion instead. The Swarm does not use their fleets offensively, but rather to protect infested planets. Instead, they use unprotected Constructors as vanguards of their expansion, sending them into new systems to construct military stations before any Colony Ships attempt to infest inhabitable planets in the system. This strategy is easily countered by building Defense Platforms with Subspace Snares in systems close to the Prethoryn point of breach. Since the Prethoryn Swarm uses warp drives, this defensive line has to be roughly three systems deep to prevent their ships from simply skipping over it. Keeping multiple small fleets of corvettes or destroyers to hunt down their civilian ships and stopping infestations is also a viable strategy.

The Swarm does not seem to prioritise inhabited planets, so a well-defended planet may very well survive inside the Prethoryn zone of control. Even if an important planet falls to a Prethoryn invasion, it will take much longer for them to infest it compared to uninhabited planets, as they first need to purge it free of its current population before they can send a Colony ship to infest it. Thus, even when there is not enough time to save the population, there will be more time to save the planet itself with all the buildings intact.

Even without the means to outright defeat them, Prethoryn fleets can be worn down through hit-and-run tactics but their self-regeneration and respawns make that a dubious technique at best. Prethoryn "Star Brood" fleets are composed of at least one Queen, escorted by Warrior and Brood Mother battleship equivalents, with Spawnling corvettes making up the bulk of the fleet combat strength. A fleet equipped with long-range weapons can expect to destroy a number of Spawnlings before the Prethoryn units are able to return fire, at which point emergency FTL can be used to avoid casualties altogether. By repairing and repeating, this guerrilla tactic can wear down Prethoryn fleets until they are small enough to defeat in a full confrontation.

Prethoryn Planets can be purged through orbital bombardment. Infested planets only have 8000 defense points, and are immediately turned into barren planets once they reach zero. However they can be returned to habitability, via Terraforming. Since the Swarm only can infest inhabitable worlds, it is possible to starve the Swarm by cornering them and launching surgical strikes toward their planets, thus widening the berth between them and any infestable territory. The Prethoryn will pull any fleets from surrounding systems to defend their planets, so fleets targeting Prethoryn planets must be prepared to face multiple 60,000-point fleets if those have not been dealt with already. AI Empires in particular will use hit-and-run tactics against infested planets.

Even without planets left, the swarm will still receive ships. The fleets will still be around to harass their neighbours, which you are probably prepared to deal with. The constructors will still build annoying stations in systems all over the place. But most seriously, any infestors that are loose can still infest planets. Fortunately, planets the Swarm has been cleaned off cannot be reinfested, and without planets the Swarm has a hard time producing troops to conquer inhabited planets. Nevertheless, the galaxy must be watched to prevent a new outbreak of the Swarm.

The Scourge is ultimately defeated by completely wiping them from the galaxy. This means destroying every last Prethoryn vessel, including military stations and civilian ships, and making sure there are no planets infested, being infested or occupied by the Scourge.

When the Prethoryn Swarm is defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months.

Audio Cue: As the Prethoryn Scourge infests more of the galaxy faint organic sounds will start to be heard in the background.

Sentinels

Sentinel Prime
Where other empires crumble, we stand firm. Where they abandon their own to the Scourge, we give them the means to fight back. - The Sentinels

When the swarms border covers at least 20% of the Galaxy, the special Sentinel empire will spawn. A completely new System will be spawned for them and they have Fallen Empire level tech although their fleets may lack strength from strategic resources and repeatable technologies. This mechanic is in addition to a "Guardians of the Galaxy" awakening. The player can donate energy to the Sentinels so they can afford more ships although they will refuse the offer if their shipcount is already over 100. If their shipcount is under 50, they will get a new Fleet on a MTTH of 100 months. Each fleet consists of 4 Spearhead Class Battleships, 6 Deaths Head Class Cruisers, 8 Bug Crusher Class Destroyers and 18 Blade Class Corvettes. The fleets use a mix of Mammalian, Reptilian and Avian Graphic cultures but with a unified internal design using top tier weapons and equipment. The ships defending Sentinel Alpha will not be of Sentinel designs, but instead use the Starfang and Voidstalker Event Ship designs, with FTL appropriate for the receivers current technology.

After the Sentinels Spawn, the killed Prethoryn Fleets are tallied for every empire. Empires are eligible for a one time donation of ships from the sentinels under the following conditions:

  • At least 7 Prethoryn Fleets were tallied
  • The sentinels still have more than 30 ships
  • Not at war with the Sentinels
  • MTTH of 100 months

The sentinels do not expand and always keep their system closed.

Captured Queen

Later in the event chain (MTTH of 820 months after main invasion), an incapacitated Prethoryn Queen will appear in a random system inside the Prethoryn Space. A special project will be available to acquire the creature. By severing the Queen's connection to the Swarm's overmind and installing an implant, the Queen can be rendered 'tame' and subservient to whoever is able to complete the Special Project first. This grants a single Prethoryn Queen ship (Battleship size/class) as part of a 'Domesticated Prethoryn' fleet, along with an immortal Prethoryn Consciousness Admiral. The Queen will then begin to slowly produce more tame Prethoryn Spawnlings or Warriors with a MTTH of 4 months each but only up to a cap of 19 Units inside the Fleet.

It is impossible to change the leader and composition of the fleet in any way and the leader is not eligible for Factions and/or Rulership.

Communicating with the Scourge

If an empire's primary species has the Leader trait ruler hive mind.png Hive Minded or Trait psionic species.png Psionic traits, it will be able to communicate with the Prethoryn Scourge. They will explain that they're the last survivors of a race and the word "Prethoryn" specifically means "survivor". They also explain that they were driven to near extinction by a species referred to as "The Hunters" and that they will eventually also come to the galaxy as they've hunted the Prethoryn for eons, possibly destroying the galaxy in the process. They also state that peace is impossible since they need to feed before returning to the void between galaxies. The Prethoryn "HAK HAK HAK!" isn't laughing at the other empires for trying to stop them, it's laughing at them for thinking they might survive something like The Hunters.

Extradimensional Invaders

...feeding ground reached...prey bountiful...at long last...we shall feast - The Unbidden
Extradimensional Unbidden

Description

Summoned primarily by having the Jump Drive or Psi Jumpdrive technology. These enemies are extra-dimensional invaders from a plane of existence close to the Shroud that seek to devour everything from our plane of existence. They invade through a rip in the fabric of space in a random system. Destroying the portal is the only way to stop the invasion. As they expand, they will also build special Anchors, which will make the portal invulnerable and drastically reduce the interval for later reinforcements.

The Unbidden, or Shabanash in their language, are the first of the Invader Factions to appear and are often referred to as Synonyms of the Extradimensional Invaders as a whole.

Still, for those empires willing to take the risk of unleashing the Extradimensionals, the rewards are significant. Safe access to Jump Drive technology is but one of these boons; destroyed Unbidden ships can be salvaged by a Science Ship to discover the Extra-dimensional Weaponry physics technology, which grants access to powerful, high-tech energy weapons called Matter Disintegrators. On a smaller note, the empire that strikes the finishing blow will get a temporary opinion bonus from everyone.

The Extra-dimensional invaders is the slowest crisis to expand early on. However this does not mean it should be underestimated as they ramp up quickly as anchors are added and sniping the portal with even one anchor is not possible.

Audio Cue: As the Extradimensional Invaders consume more of the galaxy a faint wind will start to be heard in the background.

Mechanics

The first sign of trouble is their portal suddenly appearing in a random System. The portal will spawn with a number of stations and a fixed Portalguard Fleet of 36 Revenants, 56 Phantom and 86 Wraith ships with a 500 Experience Admiral having the Etheral Trait commanding it. This invasion can not happen in a system belonging to a fallen empire, but the target is otherwise completely random.

On 15th, 30th, 55th, 90th, 180th, 265th, 340th, 425th and 550th days after portal spawn, another Initial Fleet will spawn. These fleets are 15 Revenants, 20 Phantoms and 38 Wraiths strong. These Fleets leaders are randomised:

  • 25% 1000 Experience with Etheral Trait
  • 25% 1000 Experience with Dimensional Stutter Trait
  • 50% 500 Experience with random normal trait

On the 350th day after portal spawn, the reinforcement cycle will first trigger. This cycle is the main way the unbidden will replenish their numbers. It will retrigger itself, creating a infinite cycle. The cycle will only break if this unbidden Faction has no Portal.

  • If the Unbidden have more than 2000 ships, they will receive no additional ships and the event re-queues itself for 600 days +/-200 days.
  • Otherwise the Reinforcement fleet is spawned, with a timer shorter the more anchors are around.
    • 0: 1500 days +/-200
    • 1: 1300 days, +/-200
    • 2: 1100 days, +/-200
    • 3: 900 days, +/-200
    • 4: 600 days, +/-200
    • 5: 400 days, +/-200
    • 6: 400 days, +/-200
    • 7: 300 days, +/-100
    • 8: 250 days, +/-50
    • 9: 200 days, +/-50
    • 10 or more: 150 days, +/-50

The Reinforcement fleet will spawn at the portal (assuming it is still there when the fleet is due). When the Fleet appears it will instantly trigger another round of the cycle. These fleets are comparatively small, consisting of only 8 Revenants, 10 Phantom and 19 Wraith Ships which is 1/4 of the Portalguard and 1/2 of the Initial Fleets. The leader is rolled on the same list as the Initial fleets.

As a result, within 550 days of the portal appear the Unbidden have their Portalguard Fleet, 9 Initial fleets standing, with a first reinforcement fleet underway in 1100–1500 days. That means they quickly have a standing initial armada of 171 Revenants, 236 Phantoms and 428 Wraiths, with room for 44 reinforcement Fleets.

If any fleet reaches the orbit of a habitable planet, this planet will be stripped of all life and turned into a barren world with terraforming candidate Modifier

The Aberrant and the Vehement

When the Unbidden border covers at least 15% of the Galaxy a second extradimensional portal will open with a MTTH of 12 months, bringing up another faction called the Aberrant (also named as Dagaal; Orange Color). With a MTTH of 40 months (3.3 Years) after the Aberrant arrive, a third portal bringing a third faction called the Vehement (Green Color) will arrive. While all three factions will be hostile towards players, they are also hostile towards each other.

The new Factions have a lot shorter delay for the Initial Fleet spawns (1, 5, 15, 30, 45, 60, 150, 350) but in turn their reinforcement cycle starts with somewhat greater delay (550 days). Despite their different color, shipnames and even designnames, their ships are identical to the Unbidden ships.

When the Aberrant and the Vehement appear, they (Unbidden, included) will have a trend to fight each other first possibly binding their fleets for a strike at the portal or anchors.

Ship designs

They are primarily armed with Matter Disintegrators, powerful mid-range energy weapons (ignore 50% shield and armor). They also use the Probe Lightning - formerly called "Unidentified Energy Emitter" (UEM) - that looks similar to Void Cloud lightning (ignores 100% of armor). They use no armor at all, and use hyper shields and shield capacitors. They drop at least Hypershields, Extra-dimensional Weapon and Shield Capacitor tech.

Unbidden ships come in 3 sizes

  • Revenant-class Battleships. Their longest range weapon, the Large Matter Disintegrator has a range of 80. They are equipped with
    • 3 Large Matter Disintegrators
    • 4 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Small Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Large T5 Shields
    • 5 Large Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • 3000 HP, 15% Evasion
  • Phantom-class Cruisers. They are equipped with:
    • 1 Large Matter Disintegrators
    • 3 Medium "Probe Lightning"
    • 2 Small Matter Disintegrators
    • 1 Large and 1 Medium T5 Shields
    • 2 Large and 3 Medium Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • 1500 HP, 25% Evasion
  • Wraith-class Escorts (Destroyers). Each has a Combat Power of 432, with 1875 hull points.
    • 1 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium "Probe Lightning"
    • 1 Medium T5 Shield
    • 2 Medium Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • 750 HP, 20%

They also have 2 Military and 1 Civilian Stations:

  • Phantasm Alpha Class (about Station equivalent) is their main defense station and a common sight. It is equipped with:
    • 4 Large Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium Probe Lightnings
    • 4 Large T5 Shields
    • 3 Large Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • Quantum Destabilizer Aura
    • +50% Weapon Range, 20000 HP, -100% Evasion
  • Whisper Alpha Class (Defense Platform Equivalent). It is equipped with:
    • 2 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium Probe Lightnings
    • 2 Medium T5 Shields
    • 1 Medium Zero Point Reactor
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • Shield Dampener Aura
    • +50% Weapon Range, 10000 HP, -100% Evasion
  • Anchor class (special), which will bring reinforcements upon completion and reduces time for the regular reinforcement events.

The usual setup for a System is 4 Void Junctions and one Void Conduit. All stations get a passive +25% health boost from the Unbidden Faction.

As applicable all ships have Jump Drive (not Psi Jumpdrives), T4 Thrusters, T4 Sensors and a default combat computer with no modifiers.

Weaponry

Their unique weapon - the matter disintegrator - comes in 3 sizes. These weapons can be reverse engineered. On smaller ships they also use the "Probe Lightning" which is only shared with the "Modified Probe" of the Sublight Probe Event Chain.

Probe Lightning: 19-29 Damage, 100% Shield Damage, 0% Shield Penetration, 100% Armor Penetration, 30 CD, 60 Range, 85% Accuracy, 30% Tracking

Small MD: 13-19 Damage, 100% Shield Damage, 50% Shield Penetration, 50% Armor Penetration, 25 CD, 40 Range, 78% Accuracy, 60% Tracking

Medium MD: 25-43 Damage, 100% Shield Damage, 50% Shield Penetration, 50% Armor Penetration, 25 CD, 60 Range, 75% Accuracy, 30% Tracking

Large MD: 55-100 Damage, 100% Shield Damage, 50% Shield Penetration, 50% Armor Penetration, 25 CD, 80 Range, 74% Accuracy, 5% Tracking

Successfully repelling the Extradimensional Invaders

You picked the wrong dimension to invade. -Militarist Empire reply

From a ship design perspective, long range anti-shield weapons are the ideal choice, as short range weaponry will mean that the Invaders will bring their short and medium guns to bear on you. In particular Giga Cannons and Kinetic Artillery is advised. However any Torpedo, Missiles and Bombers might also work. In a pinch, even Disruptors might work but they suffer from low range and damage to the hull.

Defensively, regenerating Shields or pure HP seem the only viable defense. Their weapons ignore 50% and 100% Armor respectively while they are also not particularly vulnerable to evasion. While they also ignore shields to a large degree, a working shield at least provides 50% damage reduction. However even most important Defense can be the range, as the unbidden have the lowest range of any Crisis enemies. Starting combat at maximum range to give long range weaponry time to hit them before coming into short range can be crucial to limit losses.

For all those reasons combined, shielded Battleships equipped with L and XL slots might be most useful at defeating the Extradimensional Invaders.

The player has multiple strategic choices when faced with these Extradimensional Invaders:

  • A quick rush after the portal just opening might be possible. However one needs to be able to quickly enough dispatch the portal guards and initial fleets as they spawn, while also dealing with the defence Stations and actually doing damage to the portal. Interestingly the Unbidden themselves tend to do just that to the other two factions.
  • After their final initial fleet, unbidden spawntimes and spawn counts will drop dramatically making this a winnable game of attrition. However, as Anchors are placed and more fleets are spawned over time, their fleetpower can snowball into the millions.
  • If at least one anchor was placed, all anchors for that faction must be destroyed before the portal itself can be engaged.
  • Salvage should not be forgotten as it unlocks the unique weapons, as well as Hyper Shields and Shield Capacitors which might be useful against the invaders if missing. The stations are equally good sources of technology as the fleets, while being much easier targets.
  • If the fleets themselves can not be engaged yet, focus should be on destroying anchors and/or their construction ships before they are placed. Early anchors easily shave of 200 days from the base spawntime for reinforcements each.
  • Waiting for the Guardians to spawn is also an option. However by the time this happens, the Unbidden fleet already spawned might just overrun an awoken Empire's Fleet. Again suppression of the Anchors seems crucial to winning this part of the crisis.

The arrival of the other Unbidden are a mixed blessing. On the one hand they might appear in the backline of a large empire or alliance, threatening important worlds and thus the defense against the existing Factions. On the other, the existing factions will usually make a rush for their portal. Once engaged in combat there, the enemy fleets will have difficulty defending any of their anchors and even the portal itself making this a crucial opening to strike at such critical targets.

The exact conditions for defeat of each Unbidden Faction lies outside of moddable code, but the destruction of the Portal and defeating of all already spawned fleets seems mandatory. After the final spawned unbidden Faction is defeated, the entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months and the player dealing the killing blow on the final portal will receive a temporary Diplomacy bonus.

The Contingency

<<CONTINGENCY PROTOCOL NOW IN EFFECT>> -The Contingency Main Processor
The Contingency

As of 1.8, the AI-is-a-Crapshoot Crisis Spot has been taken over by the Contingency. The former Crisis of AI Rebellion was turned into its own thing, with the Contingency using largely different mechanics. This makes the Contingency both a new Crisis, but not an additional crisis.

Description

An ancient, alien AI put in place by a species or entity called the Ren-Miruu to prevent a "class-30 singularity event", apparently a technological advancement that will destroy the universe. After the creation of the Contingency, the Ren-Miruu committed suicide. Unfortunately the contingency grew bored of waiting for someone to develop a symptom of class-30 singularity and it instead chose to suborn synthetics to be manually activated by them. It will awaken after a race develops and deploys Synths. It is unclear if it is observing a overly aggressive observation of its original programming or is simply homicidal.

The hidden worlds

During the Galaxy creation, the 4 Contingency Hub Systems are put into the galaxy. They are preferably put into galactic resources clusters. These Systems contain a random assortment of planets, as well as a not-random one that is a hidden nest of the Contingency. The first system consists of:

  • 1-4 planets with 0-1 moons each
  • A size 20 Barren hidden Machine World
  • 1-4 planets with 0-1 moons each

The second system consists of:

  • A size 20 molten hidden Machine World
  • 1-7 planets with 0-1 moons each

The third system consists of:

  • 1-4 planets with 0-1 moons each
  • A size 35 gas giant hidden Machine World
  • 1-4 planets with 0-1 moons each

The fourth system consists of:

  • 5 planets with 0-1 moons each
  • A size 20 toxic hidden Machine World
  • 1-4 planets with 0-1 moons each

Two systems that may be spawned during the crisis are the Secret Lair and Cybrex Beta: Secret Lair consists of:

  • Guaranteed Neutron Star
  • A size 35 AI World Secret Lair
  • Size 12 barren world
  • Size 8 cold barren world
  • Size 10 cold barren world

Cybrex Beta consists of:

  • Guaranteed G-class star
  • A Ringworld containing 4 unique elements of the Cybrex Planet Class
  • The Cybrex defense stations and initial fleet

Mechanics

The trigger event will kick of a host of sub-events and minor event chains. They have the following titles in the file comments:

  • Every Default country will get The Ghost Signal instantly
  • Every default empire will get Synths Act Strange after 100+Random(200) days
  • All Machine Intelligences Authorities get Machine Empire Pops Act Strange after 100 days
  • Every default empire will get Synths Disappear after 400+Random(200) days
  • Every default Empire will get Synthetic Disappearances after 700+Random(200) days
  • Every default Empire will get The Summons after 1000+Random(200) days
  • Every default Empire will get The Arrival after 1400 days
  • The Hubs reveal themselves 1450, 1500, 1550 and 1600 (+Randm(1)) days after the start
  • Every default Empire will get one of the 4 Synth Infiltration Events 1800+Random(100) days after the start.

Prelude Events

This is a number of Events, that have limited effect on the galaxy at large and serve primarily to set the stage and were largely copied from the old AI Rebellion.

The Ghost Signal: This notification has as only Option the start of the Ghost Event Chain, which seems to be simply the Equivalent of the "Coming Storm" event observed preceding the Swarm. It ends with The Arrival and seems to have no effect on it's own.

Synths Act Strange: A random Planet with at least 1 fully grown Synthetic pop will have with a 50/50 chance either the Malfunctioning Synthetic or the Rogue Synthetic Event. In either case, one Synthetic Pop will be lost.

Machine Empire Pops Act Strange: Equivalent to Synths Act Strange for Machine Authorities. One Machine Drone Pop lost. This should even affect the Machine Authority Fallen Empire.

Synths Disappear: Random Planet with Synthetic pop will have the "Missing Synthetics" or "Unauthorized Synthetic Project" Event. One Synthetic pop is lost.

The Summons: A simple Notification Event. It will tell that machine drone pops are forced to destroy while synths are being called to a unknown place in the galaxy.

The Arrival

The Arrival marks the end of the "Ghost Signal" Chain and the start of the proper "The Contingency" Chain.

First the Ghost Signal will reach full strength:

  • It is measured in 5 levels and starts at 5. The general strength will be tracked on a galaxy, country, pop and ship level. The country effect is purely used for informational purposes and to apply the fitting modifier to new pops/changed ships
  • Every Synthetic Pop in every Empire will acquire the pop_ghost_signal_5 Modifier. The Primary Species in Synthetically Ascended Empires is excluded from this
  • Every owned ship with a Sentient AI Combat Computer of any kind will acquire ship_ghost_signal_5 Modifier. The affected empires will be informed about this state within 10 days
  • These modifiers will affect all new pops and ships as well and ships can gain/lose it by retrofitting to a different computer. They will be lessened as the ghost signal loses strength

Finally the Contingency will contact all existing Empires. Its actions make it clear that it is the enemy to all empires - Organic, Synthetically Ascended and Machine Intelligence alike.

Machine Intelligence Empires are affected differently and much more severely. The text heavily implies that there is a danger of the Intelligence being completely taken over by the Contingency, if no counter measures are taken. And as such the bulk of processing resources is redirected to the Firewall, putting a considerable strain on the Economy.

Machine Drone in their Empire will acquire ghost_signal_5_machine modifier. While a lower penalty per pop, given the demographic nature of these Empires it might be a much bigger penalty. As they are much more heavily affected, Machine Intelligence Empires will get the project "Blocking the Ghost Signal". The cost is 600 + 100 * Popcount Engineering Research Engineering. Finishing it will removed the 5th and 4th strenght of the Machine Signal. There is no effect under signal strength 4.

Ghost Signal Strength Synthethic Pop Penalty Sentient AI Ship penalty Machine Drone Penalty
5 -70% all Resources and Government Ethics Attration -50% Fire Rate and Tracking -40% Mineral, Energy and Science
4 -55% all Resources and Government Ethics Attration -40% Fire Rate and Tracking -25% Mineral, Energy and Science
3 -40% all Resources and Government Ethics Attration -30% Fire Rate and Tracking -
2 -25% all Resources and Government Ethics Attration -20% Fire Rate and Tracking -
1 -10% all Resources and Government Ethics Attration -10% Fire Rate and Tracking -

The Hubs

When their time comes, one by one the Sterilization hubs will reveal themselves one after the other. The planets are turned into the special AI World Planet Class and spawn two fleets plus a set of defensive stations. The creation of either is outside of moddable code to allow scaling to crisis strength.

Each hub has it's own Fleet and Army Reinforcement Cycles, which first triggered instantly after the Hub is revealed. Each iteration does:

  • If the Contingency has over 2000 ships, retrigger after 300 days.
  • If the planet is under bombardment, retrigger after 300 days.
  • If the Ghost Signal is on Strength 2, spawn a Fleet after 1300 days +/- 200.
  • If the Ghost Signal is on Strength 3, spawn a Fleet after 1400 days +/- 200.
  • If the Ghost Signal is on Strength 4, spawn a Fleet after 1500 days +/- 200.
  • If the Ghost Signal is on Strength 5, spawn a Fleet after 1600 days +/- 200.
  • When the times comes, a Strength Scaled Fleet of Spaceships and Constructors will appear and the next Cycle is triggered.
  • the Army Cycle works similarly, except the Army cap is 140 and it quicker with a strong signal.

The hubs can not be attacked in ground combat, and must instead be bombed similar to the Swarm Infested Worlds. As the Hubs are destroyed, the Contingency Crisis and in particular the Ghost signal will lose strength (and thus all associated Pop and Ship debuffs are lessened by one level). The 4th and Final hub destroyed will also Reveal the Secret Lair of the Contingency.

The first hub will also Create the Contingency Empire, awaken the Guardians of the Galaxy and awaken the Fallen Machine Empires if possible.

The Purge

The fleets spawning of the Sterilization Hubs will attack all Empires, trying to take their planets via ground combat.

When a planet is captured it immediately starts the 'Assimilation' process by purging all pops. The Contingency makes no differentiation between Organics, Synthetics and Machine Drones during this purge. If the planet is recaptured the purges will stop and the planet returns to the original owner. When the purge is completed the planet changes control over the Contingency. 3 Droid Level Synthetics called "Custodian Bots" and 6 Droid Defense armies are spawned. There has been no observations regarding any building activities on the Assimilated Planets.

If a fully 'assimilated' planet is captured in ground combat, all existing pops (custodian bots) are destroyed and the victor has a choice to either resettle the planet and taking control of it or to destroy the colony while keeping the buildings.

Synthetic Infiltration

While the war rages among the stars, Empries might have issues with their Synthetics at home as well.

The first infiltration attempt will invariably fail. If the target was a Hivemind Authority or Empire with Psionic Primary species, the Infiltrations are doomed to fail due to the widespread use of Psionics and pure biological nature. The Contingency will not try further infiltration on these Empires.

All remaining Empires except Machine Intelligence Authority will be affected by the normal infiltration chain.

  • The second infiltration will happen 120 days after the first
  • It will make the Empire targetable for the regularly pulsing events
  • It will also grant the Synth Detection projection after 200+Random(200) days or with a MTTH 320 Months

On a yearly pulse, every default empire with the 2nd Infiltration has a 30% chance to get the Terror gatekeeper event. Only finishing the Synth Detector project, acquiring a Psionic Primary species or similar lockout conditions can disrupt this chance for this empire. The weights for each terror action are:

  • 40: Synth Bombing (Can happen multiple times)
  • 10: Spaceport Scuttle Simulator (Light Version)
  • 10: Fear and Suspicion
  • 10: Ruler Assassination Attempt
  • 10: Scientist Exposed as Synth
  • 10: Admiral Exposed as Synth

Warning Signs

Machine Intelligence Authorities will get a special Infiltration chain, with a number of modifications as units are suborned via the Ghost Signal. These are warning signs that the Contingency keeps trying to take over the Machine Intelligence:

  • The second infiltration will still happen after 120 days.
  • No project to detect the infiltrators will appear after the 2nd Infiltration. It is the Empire massive machine Drone population that has single units taken over.
  • The Machine Empire will be subject to it's own set of pulsing events, as long as Ghost Signal Strength is 5 or 4. Finishing the Blocking event will make the Machine Intelligence immune but will not count for the Achievement.

One a yearly pulse, every default machine empire has a 30% chance to get the terror Gatekeeper event. The weights are:

  • 10: Losing a Spaceport (Not repeatable).
  • 10: Losing a Scientist (Not repeatable).
  • 10: Losing a Admiral (Not repeatable).
  • 10: Power failure. Up to 3 Power Plant buildings and the pops working them are destroyed (Not repeatable).
  • 10: The Contingency will fail at disrupting mineral infrastructure (Not repeatable).
  • 10: Potentially corrupted units will be on a planet. Not repeatable. After 120 it will turn out to be either:
    • 65: A false alarm. Nothing happens.
    • 35: A true alarm. 4 Random Pops and their worked buildings are ruined. The only option results in another 4 random pops and their buildings ruined.

The Cybrex

Originally one of the Precursor Empire Event chains, the Cybrex will resurface to help fight the Contingency. If the Contingency covers over 20% of the Galaxy the Cybrex will appear with a MTTH of 12 months.

Near a random Rim System, the System Cybrex Beta System will spawn (see above). All Empires will be contacted within 2 days of this happening. The Cybrex function analogous to the Sentinels of the Swarm Crisis, except they will only donate ships after 100 destroyed fleets and will take them back after the crisis ends.

The Secret Lair

After the 4th Sterilization Hub is destroyed, the Secret Lair of the Contingency Main Processor is revealed. The Secret Lair System will spawn near a random Rim System.

The System is defended by 1 Final AI Core and 4 AI Core Stations. Being revealed the Contingency will send a final message to all Empires. When the secret Lair is destroyed, the Contingency is officially over. Any remaining modifiers related to the Crisis are removed and the Infiltration events stop. Unfinished Synth Detection projects are canceled. Any remaining purges are stopped and the country vanishes without any further trace, returning control of its planets back to the owner.

Assuming they did not awaken as Malfunctioning Custodians, the Machine Intelligence Fallen Empire will vanish leaving their ringworlds for the taking.

If the Cybrex spawned, they will recall all their fleets (including donated ones) in 20 days +/- 30 and depart the galaxy in 365 days, +/- 800. All controlled planets are abandoned and the Ringworlds turn into normal habitable segments, leaving this ringworld for the taking.

Fighting the Contingency

Designs and Weapons

The Contingency only uses 2 types of spaceships - the Euthanizer class Battleship and Sterilizer class Destroyer - but 4 types of stations.

Euthanizer Class Battleship is equipped with:

  • 1 Point Defense T2
  • 1 Energy Lance T1
  • 2 Large Plasma T3
  • 3 Medium Gamma Lasers
  • 3 Large Zero-Point Generators
  • 5 Large Shields T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • Warp Drive T3
  • Sentient Battleship Computer
  • Sensor and Thruster T4
  • Large AI Ship Size (2000 HP, 10% Evasion, 80 Armor over Size 8, -100% Maintenance)

Sterillizer class Destroyer is quipped with:

  • 1 Energy Torpedo T2
  • 1 Medium Plasma T3
  • 2 Medium Gamma Lasers
  • 3 Medium Zero-Point Generators
  • 5 Medium Shields
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • Warp Drive T3
  • Sentient Destroyer Computer
  • Sensor and Thruster T4
  • Small AI Ship Size (800 HP, 25% Evasion, 15 armor over Size 2, -100% Maintenance)

Much more varied however are the station designs:

Large Station: Equivalent normal Empire Fortress. Equipped with:

  • 2 Point Defenese T3
  • 2 Medium Plasma T3
  • 2 Energy Lances T1
  • 4 Large Zero-Point Reactors
  • 1 Large Shield T5
  • 1 Large Armor T5
  • Sensors T4
  • Large AI Station Type (20k HP, -100% Evasion, 45 Armor over Size 8, +50% Weapon Range)

Small Station: Equivalent to normal Empire defense Stations.

  • 2 Small Plasma T3
  • 1 Point Defense T3
  • 2 Medium Gamma Lasers
  • 3 Medium Zero-Point Reactors
  • 1 Medium Shield T5
  • Sensors T4
  • Small AI Station Type (10k HP, -100% Evasion, 20 Armor over Size 4, +50% Weapon Range)

AI Core: These Heavy stations are spawned at each Sterilisation Hub

  • 2 Point Defense T3
  • 4 Medium Plasma T4
  • 4 Medium Gamma Lasers
  • 4 Energy Lances T1
  • 2 Large Plasma
  • 1 Titan Lance
  • 8 AI Strike Craft Hangars
  • 6 Large Zero-Point Reactors
  • 10 Large Shield T5
  • 3 Large Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • T4 Ship Sensor
  • AI Core station Size (40k HP, -100% Evasion, 100 Armor over Size 8, +50% Weapon Range)

Effectve Armor is 89% with a Fleet Power in excess of 30k.

Final AI Core: This special - even heavier - core is only encountered in the Secret Lair System. It boosts

  • 2 Point Defense T3
  • 4 Medium Plasma T4
  • 4 Medium Gamma Lasers
  • 4 Energy Lances T1
  • 2 Large Plasma
  • 4 Titan Lances
  • 16 AI Strike Craft Hangars
  • 6 Large Zero-Point Reactors
  • 10 Large Shield T5
  • 3 Large Armor T5
  • 1 Auto Repair
  • T4 Ship Sensor
  • Final AI Core Station Size (140k HP, -100% Evasion, 100 Armor over Size 8, +50% Weapon Range)

Special Weapons: The Contingency uses Largely stock weapons, with only one exception - AI Strike Craft:

  • Bomber Behavior
  • 10 Units per Hangar
  • 100 HP, 80% Evasion per Unit
  • 19-21 Damage, 20 Range, 8 CD, 100% Shield Damage, 100% Shield Penetration, 66% Armor Penetration

Despite using a energy beam Special Effect, these are bombers

Countering the Fleet and Stations

Both the mobile Fleet and the Stations focus heavily on anti-Large Ship and exclusively on Anti-Armor Weaponry. With the Large Stations even boasting Multiple Energy Lances and with the cores even Titan Lances. Their point defense is comparatively small, but that can easily be enough to deal with small amounts of missiles and Strike Crafts. Defensively the Fleet relies on Stock Armor Levels, but a number of Shields without Shield Capacitor. The cores rely on a combination of heavy armor and unique Bomber Strike Craft, with some additional shields as defense.

Small Ships can dodge most of the enemy Titan Lance, Extra Large xl and Large Large Slot firepower. The highest tracking weapons are the Medium Lasers supported by Sentient AI Computers. Small, Medium and Heavy guns on Destroyers and Corvettes should be highly effective. When going for the stations, destroyers should be fitted with minimal point defense to eventually take down the enemy Strike crafts. Bomber and torpedo heavy fleets might be able to do considerable damage, but Strike craft usually need Cruiser sizes or up which are highly vulnerable. Use Capacitor reinforced Shields to survive the the remaining enemy fire.

Strategy

The initial Fleet spawned with the hub systems is considerable and planets in the Hub Systems will often have fallen, before the first fleet is mobilised. Colonies in the hub Systems are generally a writeoff, until the roaming fleets have been dealt with.

The first order is generally to destroy any roaming fleets (if they attack ones planets). Due to their reliance on Warpdrives, the Fleets are comparatively easy to intercept once they started moving. The contingency fleets already spawned are generally not likely to rush to a planets or hubs aid. They are more likely to attack another target, rather than defend.

Destroying the hubs is the ultimative goal. One of the initial fleets will always stay with the Hub, making it a hard target together with the AI Core and any defense stations that may have been build. However due to high aggression settings, even the Hub defending fleet can be drawn out of position by just jumping into the hub system as far away for the stations as possible. While destroying one of the hubs does shorten the reinforcement intervalls, the reduction in spawn cycles running in parallel should be a net advantage.

Actually stopping their ground invasion is hard. A full stack of the highest Tier defense armies will sometimes be able to throw off a ground invasion force, wich will delay further conquest until reinforcements are spawned or moved over from another front. However a odd approach to expansion can be to wait until the Contingency has purged a planet, before Liberating it. That way one can claim the planet without any diplomatic penalties.

The End of the Cycle

Do not do this. - Game tooltip when hovering over the choice

Note: The event leading to this crisis does not appear in multiplayer games.

Description

This crisis is not an official crisis, meaning it can still occur even if the game doesn't allow an endgame crisis to happen. It is the most threatening crisis in the game so far. Due to not being an official crisis, the other empires won't rally to face it, nor will any fallen empire awaken as guardians, all due to every AI empire considering it to be the unstoppable end.

The End of the Cycle can only be activated by an empire that has chosen the 'Transcendence' ascension perk (only available with the Utopia expansion). Upon contacting the Shroud, the player is offered the option to form a Covenant with an entity known as "The End of the Cycle." If the offer is accepted, the empire will gain an empire-wide modifier - "Covenant: End of the Cycle" which provides a massive +100% boost to Minerals.png minerals, Energy Credits.png energy, Food.png food, Unity.png unity, Influence.png influence, Mod country all tech research speed.png research speed and Mod fleet size add.png naval capacity for 50 years. Hovering over it will end with There will be a reckoning. Every planet belonging to that empire and any of its vassals gains the Shroud-Marked modifier, which warns Something very bad is going to happen here.

As soon as the 600 months (50 years) have elapsed and the Covenant: End of the Cycle modifier has expired, the Reckoning occurs.

The Reckoning

The Reckoning will all but end the empire that benefited from the covenant and instantly destroy all its vassals. When the Reckoning occurs, all Shroud-Marked planets will be depopulated and turned into 'Shrouded Worlds', which become uninhabitable forever. All fleets and ships under the Shroud-Marked empire's command will be instantly destroyed, all leaders are killed, and all resources from that empire's store will be drained almost completely. Having lost everything, the Shroud-Marked empire will survive only in the form of a newly colonized planet of survivors, which will start with the default name of 'Exile'. The game will pick any planet with 40% habitability or more, even if it is located within another empire's borders. If that planet is somehow Shroud-Marked, or no planet is otherwise possible, the game is instantly lost.

Every regular empire will gain a -1000 diplomatic modifier with the remnants of the Shroud-Marked empire for "bringing the end", with a decay rate of 5.

Every Shroud-Marked colony will spawn a shroud manifestation with 26k Fleet Power. Finally, an immensely powerful Shroud entity known as "The Reckoning" - representing the combined essence of all deceased psionic individuals in the former empire that summoned it - will appear over the empire's former homeworld, and proceed to seek out the remaining life in the galaxy. It normally leaves the exiles for last, and therefore an exiled empire should first prioritize surviving against other empires instead.

In this state, one might benefit from the Reckoning, depending on the circumstances. If all the other empires are destroyed by the Reckoning before they defeat the player, one can simply win the conquest victory by virtue of being the last one left.

The Reckoning has a fleet power of over one million. Very large empires can spawn it with over two million fleet power. As the Reckoning randomly targets worlds to destroy, its power will increase with each 200 consumed pops (up to 800 pops). It gains bonuses to hull, shield, fire-rate, damage, and shield regeneration as follows (only the highest tier bonus applies);

Tier Health (Bonus) Shield (Bonus) Shield Regen Bonus Rate of Fire (Multiplier) Damage (Multiplier) Range Notes
Base Stats 10,000 50,000 ? 4.35 Cooldown 4 x 300-700 170 This is the baseline stat set for the "ship". Also includes a 5x jumpdrive range bonus. 30% Evasion. Four weapon mounts.
1 (<200 pops) +50,000 +100,000 +100 x2 x2
2 (<400 pops) +100,000 +200,000 +200 x3 x3
3 (<600 pops) +150,000 +300,000 +300 x4 x4
4 (<800 pops) +200,000 +400,000 +400 x5 x5
5 (>800 pops) +250,000 +500,000 +500 x6 x6

There are only two courses of action that have the slightest chance of defeating The Reckoning. One is to wait for it to target an awakened Fallen Empire, another crisis or any strong empire with tough fleets to weaken it. The other option is to keep building up for the eventual encounter alone since The Reckoning will always leave the exiles for last. The Reckoning has relatively low tracking, as it is a single entity, but its range, firepower, fire rate, health, shields and shield regeneration are massive. One strategy is to dodge its attacks using swarms of corvettes and use weapons that can pierce/ignore shields. The Reckoning targets random planets in its destructive spree, so the player will have several chances to retreat, rebuild, and come back. During battle the Reckoning will tend to target small ships first and only engage larger ships when most of smaller classes are defeated. A combination of two to three dozen carrier battleships with bombers - whose weapons bypass shields - and a large swarm of several hundred corvettes with regular torpedoes (who likewise ignore shields) with about 5 repeatable technologies that boost damage output of both systems have a good chance of defeating the Reckoning in a single battle.

Humorously even the Shroud events file says "You really shouldn't have done that..." following the sealed covenant line.

References

Game concepts