Land warfare

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This article is considered accurate for the current version (1.5) of the game.

Armies are ground forces for invading and defending planets as well as handling out of control rebellions.


An Empire can recruit armies of any species that is present within its borders, as long as there are members of that species living on the planet which the army is built on. Transports are generated automatically as armies are embarked. New assault armies automatically embark in transports if the planet has reached maximum capacity.

The amount of non-defensive armies an empire can build from a species is limited to the number of pops of that species living within the empire. Titanic beasts are limited to three per empire and lost armies cannot be replaced.

Army Type Cost Time Army Damage Morale Damage Health Morale Maintenance Unlocked By Description
Army potential.png Garrison Army free free 0.75 - 1.50 0.56 - 1.12 150 150 none Starter Each planet has a defending Garrison, whose size depends on the number of Pops. Garrisons cannot be transported.
Army defense.png Defense army Minerals.png30 Time.png60 1.50 - 3.00 1.50 - 3.00 200 200 Energy Credits.png0.15 Starter Defensive armies are powerful, but cannot be transported from the planet.
Army assault.png Assault army Minerals.png60 Time.png90 1.72 - 3.45 1.98 - 3.96 230 230 Energy Credits.png0.33 Starter Assault armies come with their own transports and can invade other planets.
Army slave.png Slave army Minerals.png20 Time.png60 1.73 - 3.45 1.73 - 3.45 230 200 Energy Credits.png0.25 Slave soldiers who serve their masters on the battlefield. Most are conscripted by force, but many slaves volunteer in a desperate attempt to increase their food rations or escape from grueling labor.
Army clone.png Clone army Minerals.png60 Time.png30 1.88 - 3.75 2.34 - 4.69 250 250 Energy Credits.png0.33 Vat-grown clones that reach adulthood in a matter of months. With a natural lifespan of less than a decade, their lack of personal initiative is deemed an acceptable trade-off for their total obedience to officers.
Army robotic.png Robotic army Energy Credits.png15
Time.png90 1.65 - 3.30 1.65 - 3.30 400 200 Energy Credits.png0.50 Tech droid workers.png Droids tech Cold and heartless killing-machines designed only for war. They pursue their objectives relentlessly, and are impervious to the shattering effects of poor morale that so often plague organic combat units.
Army robotic.png Android army Energy Credits.png20
Time.png120 3.00 - 6.00 3.00 - 6.00 500 200 Energy Credits.png1.00 Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics tech Semi-autonomous cogs in a well-oiled war machine, android combatants are more resilient, aggressive, and responsive to changing battlefield conditions than their robotic predecessors.
Army psionic.png Psionic army Energy Credits.png50
Time.png360 3.00 - 6.00 7.89 - 15.75 350 600 Energy Credits.png1.00 Tech telepathy.png Telepathy Soldiers gifted with psionic abilities. Their focus on destructive psionic powers has led to drastically different tactics and strategies on the battlefield – their first objective is always to remove the enemy's willingness to fight.
Army xenomorph.png Xenomorph army Energy Credits.png25
Time.png360 3.75 - 7.50 3.75 - 7.50 400 200 Energy Credits.png0.75 Tech morphogenetic field mastery.png Morphogenetic Field Mastery Ravenous hordes of bio-engineered horrors made up of little more than teeth, claws, and an instinctive urge to kill. A cadre of scientists monitor and supervise the raging swarms as best they can from hardened bunkers behind the front.
Army gene warrior.png Gene warrior army Energy Credits.png50
Time.png360 3.00 - 6.00 6.00 - 12.00 400 400 Energy Credits.png1.00 Tech gene seed purification.png Gene Seed Purification Genetically enhanced super soldiers. Recruits are typically chosen from the elite of the conventional military forces. These then undergo extensive gene therapy, and are made larger, stronger, and faster than their peers.
Army xenomorph.png Titanic Beast Energy Credits.png50
Time.png90 4.50 - 9.00 4.50 - 9.00 1000 400 Energy Credits.png0.8 Titanic Lifeforms Planet Event Chain Research breakthroughs have enabled us to train Titanic Lifeforms into military units, but due to the rarity of suitable subjects we will be only field a limited number of these Armies at a time.

Army Type Cost Time Army Damage Morale Damage Health Morale Maintenance Unlocked By Description
Army psionic.png Psionic army Energy Credits.png50
Time.png360 3.00 - 6.00 7.89 - 15.75 350 600 Energy Credits.png1.00 Trait psionic species.png Latent Psionic or
Trait psionic species.png Psionic species trait
Soldiers gifted with psionic abilities. Their focus on destructive psionic powers has led to drastically different tactics and strategies on the battlefield – their first objective is always to remove the enemy's willingness to fight.
Army psionic.png Avatar event event 3.00 - 6.00 12.00 - 24.00 1400 800 none gained from a Shroud event A colossal warrior from the Shroud that has been forged out of pure psionic energy.


Ground combat takes place between several assaulting armies and the planet's defending armies. The latter are composed of any standing armies present on the planet as well as a number of free but weak garrisons. The base number of garrison units is 2, increased by 0.4 for each population over 1.

The damage dealt by attacking armies is multiplied by a modifier based on the planet's fortifications. At 100% fortification, damage dealt to defending armies will be decreased by 95%; whilst at 0% fortification damage to defending army is doubled. It is therefore highly advisable to only start landing once the fortification level is reduced by orbital bombardment, unless there is a considerable advantage for the attacker. The total amount of fortification is again based on population, starting at 1000 and is increased by 100 per pop above 1.

Each army has health and morale, as well as a range of possible damage against both these values. This damage is dealt to a random enemy army once a day until either side runs out of armies. If an army's morale is depleted, their damage dealt is reduced by 75%. If their health is depleted, they are destroyed. Once all armies of one side have lost all their health that side loses the battle[1].

Landed armies cannot disembark if there are no pops alive on the planet. This can be caused by losing the planet to the abandon war goal or purging all pops on the planet. The Number of Armies that can be stationed on a planet equal the Planet Size. The attacker has no limitations, other then how many armies he can muster.


Attachments are modules that enhance armies. They are unlocked by researching technology and bought and equipped individualy to single armies. In order to outfit an army with modules, it must be landed on a planet.[2]

Attachment Cost Required Technology Effects Description
Attachment mechanical.png Hunter-killer drone swarms 50Minerals.png Starter
  • Army Damage: +15.0%
Massive swarms of these relatively simply unmanned aerial vehicles are unleashed on enemy positions in the hope of overwhelming them. Although a single drone may not be a significant threat to a trained soldier, several dozen are.
Attachment slaves.png Commissar squads 25Energy Credits.png
Tech will to power.png Will to power
  • Army Damage: +15.0%
  • Army Morale: +10.0%
Enforcing discipline in an army of slaves is monumental task, but these squads of hardened commissars have turned it into an art. Decimation and other harsh disciplinary actions are used to ensure the slaves fear the ire of the commissars more than the enemy.
Attachment shield.png Neo-concrete fortifications 50Minerals.png Starter
  • Army Health: +10.0%
  • Army Upkeep: -10.0%
Extensive layers of neo-concrete ground fortifications and bunker networks that offer increased protection against orbital bombardment. This restricts the mobility of the army, but can be a deciding factor in defensive actions.
Attachment special forces.png PSI warriors 25Energy Credits.png
Tech psionic theory.png Psionic Theory
  • Army Damage: +10.0%
  • Morale Damage: +15.0%
These elite warriors are shrouded in mystery, relying on their powerful psionic abilities and extensive physical training to move about the battlefield. They prefer to engage their opponents in close combat, and many are extremely proficient with melee weapons.
Attachment xeno.png Xeno cavalry 25Energy Credits.png
Tech gene expressions.png Targeted Gene Expressions
  • Army Damage: +10.0%
  • Army Health: +15.0%
These sturdy war beasts make excellent mounts, once they have finished bonding with their riders. They can traverse almost any terrain, and have proven very effective in scouting and raiding roles. Larger specimens have also been used with success as heavy weapons platforms.
Attachment genetic.png Clone commandos 25Energy Credits.png
Tech gene banks.png Gene Banks
  • Army Damage: +25.0%
These vat-grown killers are expensive to produce, but the extreme conditioning and training they are subjected to turn them into very capable soldiers. They are more independent-minded than normal clones, and some models have been known to develop eccentric quirks.


Transports are ships transporting an army from a planet where it is based to a planet it aims to invade. Defense armies cannot be transported.

Unlike other ships, Transports are not built in the spaceport (although they can be modified through the ship designer and subsequently upgraded at spaceports), they are found under the armies tab located on one of the planets you control. The defensive army units can not be embarked from planets. Assault Armies will board transport ships in a 1:1 ratio and can either be embarked from or deployed to a planet all at once or individually through right-clicking an individual unit. Once an army is disembarked, dropships will carry it to the planet's surface.

In addition, transport ships may be required if an event is triggered within the Situation Log, for example, should armies need to board a ship that has been damaged in battle to inspect the remains/look for survivors or whatever the event dictates you need to do.

Use for Army types[edit]

There are a whole bunch of army types in the game. Each one has a specific purpose.

  • Garrisons spawn for free, based on the number of population on the planet. They are always of the primary species, take up no slots and cost no maintenance. They spawn on occupied planets to help the occupier. On their own, Garrisons are little more than speed bumps. However they can work as useful damage sponges for the real defensive armies. This use is compounded by them despawning and fully healing between assaults.
  • Assault Armies are the kind you will use to attack planets, unless you got and can afford a better army. When they are not needed in space, they can operate as a useful defensive army as well. However they are usually too expensive for that on a large scale.
  • Defense Armies are the significantly cheaper brother of the Assault Armies. They can not be moved off planet and are also inferior in any way to Assault Armies (however the Garrison should not be forgotten in that calculation). They are outclassed against any more advanced army. However in 1.5 the combination of the low maintenance and not counting agaisnt the assault army cap makes them excellent at supressing unrest.
  • Slave Armies are a special kind of Assault armies for Slaver Empires. They are cheaper while offering nearly the same performance as Assault armies. If they have access to them, Slavers should usually use them over Assault Armies.
  • Clone Armies while having the same Build and Maintenance cost as normal Assault Armies, these are superior in Production time and combat ability. If available they can effortlessly replace Assault Armies.
  • Robot Armies / Droid Armies These are special armies available for Empires going along the AI Robotics path. While they can be recruited just by having the next technology and are quite powerful, they cost a minor premium in energy maintenance. It is unclear if their ability to ignore morale damage actually works as of 1.3. They are not affected by the AI policy selection and do not need any population to recruit them from. AI rebellions will use them exclusively.
  • Psionics Army Available for Empires that go for the Psionics route. These armies have rather low health, but specialize in breaking the enemies morale first. Which in turn allows them to take less damage while they take the enemy armies apart. As of 1.5, they are equivalent to Gene Warrior army in terms of base damage, but have slightly lower health and significantly higher morale and morale damage.
  • Xenomorph Armies are basically barely controllable Zerg Broods. The Penultimate Army and a benefit of going for the Genetic Engineering line.
  • Gene warrior Armies are basically Space Marines or Halo Spartans. Can be seen as a better version of the Psionic Army (not true as of 1.5, see above; although this can be offset by genetically adding the Very Strong trait to a species). Fallen Empires will use this army almost exclusively.

Special Armies[edit]

These armies can only be gained based on a Special Projects or event.

  • Titanic Beast Armies Basically Godzilla brought his weaker friends. Only 3 armies of this kind can be recruited in the entire game (a better limitation is not possible based on the Script limitations). They are stronger than Gene warrior armies.
  • Titanic Guard Army A special kind of Garrison army that spawns upon completing the quest that allows Titanic Beast Armies. A minor tradeoff for getting the quest multiple times.
  • Primitive Army / Industrial Army / Post Atomic Army A special kind of army only Pre-FTL Species possess. Performance is even inferior to garrisons, while they operate like them. They may stay around upon a species learning FTL travel, taking up valuable slots. If deciding on conquering a Pre-FTL planet, Industrial and especially Post Atomic armies should not be underestimated; while nevertheless inferior to regular army types, their numbers should not be shrugged off.
  • Swarm Army Only used by the Swarm Crisis, this army is only outclassed by Gene warrior Army and about equal to the 2nd Robot Army.
  • Rebel Army These armies are spawned by Faction revolts. Their Performance is under that of even Defense armies and in part even Garrisons. However they will be quite Numerous (1 per pop). They should despawn after winning the fight.
  • Rebel Slave Army Will only spawn on Malcontent Slave Faction Revolts. Their power is somewhere slightly above defensive Armies. They will operate as defensive armies after victory.
  • Mutant Horror This army may be spawned as part of a terraforming related Event Chain. It is superior to even Clone Armies.


  1. Broken army fighting to death
  2. Extraterrestrial Thursday #4
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