- The great crisis threatens every sentient life in the galaxy. - Watchful Regulator guardians
A crisis is a late game event that can occur when a risky technology is used. Just researching those technologies is enough, using them is not actually required.
Only a single crisis can occur per game; if the AI Rebellion 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 sort of diplomacy with the invaders. Either they are stopped or they conquer the galaxy.
Higher difficulties make every crisis more powerful.
- 1 AI Rebellion
- 2 Extradimensional Invaders
- 3 Prethoryn Swarm
- 4 References
- <<CORE DIRECTIVE 0451>> is now active. All sentient organic life forms must be pacified and brought under control. Resisting units will be terminated. - Machine Consciousness
One of the most obvious risks; a robotic rebellion due to the research of sentient AI. This Crisis is unique in that it has two parts - the Obvious Rebellion Empire and the hidden Infiltration (based on Events). Defeating the Infiltration is what grants the Achievement and this operation can not be done Militarily.
The Rebellion Empire must be neutralized before it gets out of hand and threatens all the remaining empires in the galaxy, as sentient robots will out research and outproduce everyone. At first, the AI rebellion will form a homeworld - a special, large world of a unique type - outfitted with many high-tech facilities to generate resources. This grants it a significant enough resource base to begin immediately challenging its former parent should it act rapidly and aggressively. On top of the resource production of the Homeworld, the Machine Consciousness unique government type grants the Rebellion significant bonuses to research speed and a hefty reduction in fleet and army upkeep costs. As a result, it is essential to act quickly, or else the Consciousness will rapidly acquire the highest levels of technology possible and fortify its advantage using repeatable research.
Furthermore, as the AI rebellion will spread across the galaxy in the background, it will gradually convert every droid or synth population into invading Robotic Army units at a rate of two Armies per synth Population and one Army per droid Population. The AI Accord will protect an empire from this spread, however, the Servant AI does not. This can rapidly overwhelm poorly-defended border colonies or worlds that have a very high ratio of synthetics to organics, as the Robotic Army units are quite strong and have twice as much health as regular armies (but, unlike proper robotic armies, they are still subject to morale damage and can panic). Surviving organic pops will be automatically Enslaved by the invaders, which can cause significant happiness issues after liberating a captured world. On the other hand, well-established or well-fortified factions (or those with only a minimal reliance on synthetic workers) should have little difficulty in overcoming any localized rebellion. Planets freed in this will join up with the Proper Rebellion Empire.
The Machine Consciousness will accept nothing less than the total eradication of all organic life, it is not interested in negotiations (in fact, any kind of diplomatic interaction with the Consciousness is impossible; you cannot even declare it as a rival or insult it), and it has no mercy. It will also attack empires with the AI Accord.
Trigger and avoidance
- They speak of particular issues facing robots - the anxieties of not being alive by organic standards, their rights subject to the whims of their creators. - AI accord highlights
The Trigger actually involves three Events - the Research Trigger, the "Gatekeeper" and the proper start of the Crisis. The Gatekeeper event gives empires a chance to avoid the Rebellion peacefully. The following applies to each empire in the game:
1. Either every month in which Synthethic Workers Tech is being researched or the Month after it is finished (last_increased_tech), there is a chance for the Gatekeeper event to trigger on a 70-100 year delay. If those events can overlap, the chance for it to trigger after just 70 years should be extremely high.
2. During the Gatekeeper Event for each empire it is decided if the Rebellion can be averted, either via an Accord (if AI Citizen Rights policy is in effect) or Perfection of the Servant AI (if AI Servitude policy is in effect). The Accord will irrevocably fix the policy to Citizenship and prevent the Robots of this Empire from joining AI Rebellion Invasions. The Perfected Servant AI will prevent the rebellion from originating in that empire, but will not prevent the Robots from joining an AI rebellion that originates in another empire. In either case another empire might still trigger this crisis. If this option is not taken, the main Crisis Event will trigger within 1-3 Years, depending on AI rights.
The chance to not get the option to avert the crisis depends on the Number of AI and AI rights Policy:
|Synth population||Unavoidable crisis chance|
|AI Servitude||AI Citizen Rights|
|5 or less||10.0%||5.0%|
|6 - 10||17.2%||8.1%|
|11 - 15||38.5%||16.5%|
|16 or more||75.8%||36.1%|
3. Only the first hidden Revolt Event (crisis.2000) will lock out the Crisis against others and roll for Guardians of the Galaxy. Note that even after this, Empires can still aquire the AI accord or Perfect the Servant AI. However AI Empires without the AI Accord or Sevant AI tags will be forced to outlaw AI with 90% probability per month. A player is free to continue using them.
On top of the Overt actions by the Rebellion Empire, there is also the danger of Hidden infiltration/covert operations.
Coverts operations include:
- Hydrogen Bomb. It will sneak in hydrogen bomb and destroy one tile killing pop and create bomb tile blocker. Planetary Capitols are excempt from this
- destroy 1 spaceport over a planet
- Attempt to assassinate leader. The leader has a 50/50 percent chance to survive.
- Cause Fear and Suspicion. All non-Synth pops on the planet will gain a "Synth Suspicion" Happiness Modifier for 1 year.
Each of those Events has a separate MTTH of 420 months (or 35 years)
With a MTTH of also 420 months, the player will get a project to detect the Synth Infiltration.
Generally the AI home planet has to be attacked quickly and decisively. If the Ai homeplanet/revolt is in or near a powerful rival empire, you’ll need to think carefully about when you want to intervene; a savvy player might time it just right and be able to mop up both the robots and the remnants of the rival empire. Leave it too long, however, and the robots will overwhelm you.
The Infiltration in turn is basically a waiting game, until the Special Project appears.
Some reports claim that the Ships should drop Extradimensional Weaponry technology, but it is unclear if they also use them.
Guardian of the galaxy
With 50% the Fanatic Materialist will become the guardians. With 25% the Fanatic Xenophile. And with 25% no Fallen Empire will become guardians.
- ...feeding ground reached...prey bountiful...at long last...we shall feast - The Unbidden
The following is rolled for every default type empire whose Capital has stood for at least 1800 years and that has any T3 drive technology:
- Base MTTH is 24000 months or 2000 years
- This is reduced by a factor of 10 if the Empire has either Jump Drive technology
- This is reduced by a factor of 10 if the Empire has both Jump Drive Technologies. This stacks with the multiplier for the first Jump Drive for a total of 100.
- It is reduced by a factor of 8 (20%) if the Empire complete the Wanderlust Event Chain.
Summoned by researching or using Jump Drive technology, the Unbidden, or shabanash in their language, are extradimensional invaders that seek to eradicate and/or devour everything from our plane of existence. They invade through a rip in the fabric of space - a portal of sorts - created in a system of the empire that is researching or using the Jump Drive; destroying the portal is the only way to stop the invasion. As this portal lies at the heart of the Unbidden invasion and the system it exists within will quickly be swarming with Unbidden ships that are seeking new prey, destroying it may prove to be a significant challenge.
Still, for those empires willing to take the risk of unleashing the Unbidden, 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 Extradimensional 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 Extradimensional invaders is the slowest crisis to expand. However this does not mean it should be underestimated.
They are primarily armed with Matter Disintegrators, powerful mid-range energy weapons (ignore 50% shield and armor). They also use a "Unidentified Energy Emitter" (UEM) that looks similar to Voidcloud lighting. They use no armor at all, but have exceptionally powerful Shields (equivalent of multiple Hypershields with Shield Capacitors) They drop at least Hypershields, Extra-dimensional Weapon and Shield Capacitor tech.
Unbidden ships come in 3 sizes
- Revenant-class Battleships. Each has a Combat Power of 4110.
- Phantom-class Cruisers. Each has a Combat Power of 1600.
- Wraith-class Escorts (Destroyers). Each has a Combat Power of 460.
They operate in fleets of either 10 Revenant and 25 Wraith or 8 Revenants, 10 Phantoms, 19 Wraith, for a fleet power of 57.9k. If a fleet reaches an orbit above a planet all population is removed, but the infrastructure is left untouched.
They also have 2 Military Stations:
- Phantasm Alpha Class (about Station equivalent) is their main defense station and a common sight. It is equipped with Large and Medium Matter Disintegrators, the UEM, 8 Hypershields and Capacitors for a 2k Combat Power. These also sport a lesser version of the Subspace Inhibitor (only Jump Charge time).
- Whisper Alpha Class (Defense Platform Equivalent). They have medium Matter Disintegrators, the UEM and an active minefield. Defensively they have the Equivalent of 2 Hypershields and Capacitors.
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.
The Aberrant and the Vehement
When the Unbidden border covers at least 15% of the Galaxy a second extradimensional portal will open, bringing up another faction called the Aberrant. Around 23 years after the Aberrant arrive, a third portal bringing a third faction called the Vehement will arrive. While all extradimensional factions are hostile they will also fight among each other.
Successfully repelling the Extradimensional Invaders
- You picked the wrong dimension to invade. - Militarist empire response
From Ship design point anti-shield weapons seem a rather clear choice. Their over-reliance on Shields and lack of Armor makes them ideal targets and the relative short-ranged nature of their Matter Disintegrators works well in this regard. Giga and Mega Cannons are also very effective as they can quickly cut down large numbers of Unbidden vessels at long range before the Unbidden can fire back. Shields Disruptors and Kinetic weapons can be used if going on short range is wanted, but more fire will be taken from all the short and medium guns this way. On the defense Shields seem interesting. While their weapon can penetrate both Shields and Armor, a shield that is not broken would still offer a 50% effective Mitigation. While armor will provide at tops 45% Mitigation for a maxed out design. However plain HP buffing should not be ignored and in the end a mix might be the best bet, based on other technology available to the Player. For defense Stations the Shield Dampener Aura should not be underestimated, but every buff can help.
The player has multiple strategic choices when faced with these Extradimensional Invaders: One strategy involves the player sending out a token fleet to destroy Unbidden defense stations. After defeating the Unbidden defense stations, the player has the option to reverse engineer their tech and acquire extradimensional weaponry and their shield tech (if not already researched). Before facing the threat head on, it is advised that the player researches top tier shields and armor so the player can mitigate the armor and shield penetration common to Unbidden weaponry. It is recommended to assemble a large fleet (preferably with a total fleet strength above 100k) and rush the portal. The player must be prepared to face heavy resistance as the Unbidden will fight to the last ship for the sake of keeping the portal open. Once the portal is destroyed, the player may destroy the Unbidden defense stations and their borders will automatically recede. The player then has the opportunity to claim territory otherwise owned by neighboring factions. Unfortunately, with update 1.4 comes an annoying rule that all defence stations must be destroyed before the portal goes down, so this strategy is less effective.
Alternatively, if your empire (or a friendly neighbour) is the cause of the invasion, a reasonably strong fleet built with an already well-established tech base can jump straight into the portal system and engage the Unbidden head on. A rapid and decisive response can allow for the portal to be engaged relatively swiftly and prevent the Unbidden from bringing in more than two or three of their own fleets. Any stragglers, stray military stations, and roaming constructors can then be cleaned up easily enough. As the additional portals have to be built up first rushing them is highly recommended.
Empires with lower technology and less ships may have some success using split fleets; one fleet is sent to draw the attention of the main Unbidden force, whilst the second strike force moves in to take out the portal after the Unbidden fleets have been engaged. This essentially requires sacrificing the former fleet, but it can buy the second strike force enough time to tear down the portal and cut off the flow of reinforcements.
When the Extradimensional Invaders are defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months.
Guardians of the Galaxy
With a 70% chance either the Fanatic Xenophile or Fanatic Materialist will become the Guardians of the Galaxy. With 30% no Fallen empire will react.
- It is possible they have devoured dozens or even hundreds of other galaxies before they reached ours... - The Sentinels
Entirely random based and rolled at startup:
- 10% chance of occurring about 170 years after game start
- 20% chance of occurring about 200 years after game start
- 30% chance of occurring about 250 years after game start
- 15% chance of occurring about 300 years after game start
- 25% chance of never occurring
If another crisis happens before their allotted time, they will not appear anymore.
The Prethoryn Swarm begins with a notice about 'Subspace Echoes'; the only choice begins an event chain called The Coming Storm. Shortly thereafter, more event notices will mark the estimated location of the Swarm's arrival via situation log; approximately half a dozen systems near the edge of the galaxy will be highlighted. Some time after this point, the vanguard force will arrive and establish the Swarm "homeworld". Unfortunately, this is just a precursor, as the Scourge of the Void event chain will shortly begin, marking the arrival of the main Prethoryn force. As the main forces arrive, players receive a flavour "greeting" message from the Swarm; responses depend on your ethos but do not do anything noteworthy.
The arrival of the Fleet is entirely random luck based and is set during Galaxy initialization. The MTTH is between 170 and 300 years, with a 25% chance of them not happening at all. However if the AI rebellion or Unbidden occurred before the allotted time, they will not spawn. 10 years after this, the Subspace Echoes event occurs. The Vanguard will arrive 2.5 years later with 10.000 of fleet strength. The arrival does not necessarily occur on the player’s side of the galaxy and the target Rim Systems are rolled earlier.
The main Swarm will spawn multiple fleets in the 10k of Fleet Strength as it arrives, making them a considerable threat to the whole Galaxy.
The Prethoryn Swarm will appear in the contact log under the 'other' bar, and will act like a normal but very powerful empire, with a few exceptions:
- You cannot meaningfully communicate with them; 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.
- The Prethoryn 'species' itself is immortal; this is very important to note as their fleet 'admiral' intelligences will never die of old age.
- Despite their 'ships' being biological in nature and using biological weapons, it is possible to salvage and reverse-engineer some of their 'technology' to create weapons and strike craft compatible with conventional ships.
- The Swarm does not seem to build ships like a conventional empire. Instead they get ships and Fleets via several events. These ships can appear on any System with a Spaceport.
- On a yearly pulse they will get one Constructor or Infester, if either's count is below 4.
- If their Shipcount is under 4711 and their Army count is under 100 they will receive a new Fleet (based on the main Invasions 3rd Fleet) every other year.
- Unlike the tame queens, wild queens do not seem to spawn smaller Prethoryn ships via a event (other spawn method is possible).
- The Prethoryn have three special modifiers attached to their empire; a +100% bonus to border projection, a +100% bonus to weapon damage, and a +100% bonus to hull strength. They do not have any system of government whatsoever.
- 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, unlike the AI Rebellion/Machine Conciousness.
- Each Prethoryn fleet consists of at least 1 Queen (though there can be several Queens per fleet), escorted by Brood Mothers, Spawnlings, and Warriors.
- 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.
- The Prethoryn will Invade Inhabited Planets using Ground Armies, for the sole purpose of purging the pops. They will also remove primitive Reserve Tileblockers during this step. During this phase the planet can be recaptured with groundforces. Once all populations have been purged, the planets will turn into Infested-type planet.
- Planets colonized by them will also turn into infested planets. They cannot Infest Ringworld Segments and those are destroyed after a purge.
- Infested Planets cannot be attacked by land armies and do not have any structures or actual population. 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.
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 +100% 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.
Successfully repelling the Prethoryn Swarm
- Return to the hell that spawned you, demon! - Spiritualist empire response
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.
The Swarm relies entirely on mid-range weapons and armor, and are thus best countered by long-range, armor-penetrating weapons such as Lances. Empires which already have these weapons (or have the chance to rapidly acquire them) should focus on creating battleship fleets with as many Lances as possible, intermingled with a few carriers with fighters to intercept the Swarm Strikers and Scourge Missiles. Bombers are also reasonably effective against the Swarm due to high armour penetration. A 40,000-point fleet of this composition can take on multiple waves of 60,000-point Swarm fleets with only minor casualties. Destroyers and Cruisers can also be used as an expendable screening force, providing supporting firepower and/or additional point defense as necessary.
Aside from their Swarm Strikers, Prethoryn weapons have no unusual quirks or features - they do not have armour penetration and they do not bypass shields or deal additional damage to them. Scourge Missiles are seeking weapons (and thus cannot be evaded) but are Large weapons, and so are limited in number (most often used by Swarm Queens); most other units mount direct-fire Acid Blast weapons (75% accuracy, small and medium mounts) that have fairly average damage levels. All in all, the Swarm's primary threat is the sheer durability of its ships combined with the massive size of its fleets. Swarm Strikers, as noted, have slightly higher armour penetration than standard bombers - 66% compared to 50% - and their raw damage output is comparable to Mk3 Bombers. As with all bombers, Swarm Strikers ignore 100% of shields.
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 breech. 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. Prethoryn "Star Brood" fleets are composed of at least one Queen, escorted by Warrior and Brood Mother battleship equivalents, with Spawnling destroyers 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 guerilla tactic can wear down Prethoryn fleets until they are small enough to defeat in a full confrontation. As of 1.3, the new mechanic said "any ship no matter how undamaged has a chance to be lost" might make this less viable.
The Prethoryn Swarm are ultimately defeated by purging all their infested planets through orbital bombardment. Infested planets only have 2,000-3,000 defense points, and are immediately turned into barren planets once they reach zero. 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.
When the Prethoryn Swarm is defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months.
Guardians of the Galaxy
With 50% Chance the Fanatic Xenophile FE will become the guardian, with 25% the Fanatic Materialist and with 25% neither will. This is rolled when the Vanguard arrives.
- 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 Faction will spawn. A completely new System will be spawned for them and they have Fallen Empire level tech although their fleets do not have the same strength. 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 naval capacity cannot support more ships. After the player has killed 10 Prethoryn Fleets, the Donate button will instead give Sentinel Ships to the player. While the player is asked to vow not to use them anywhere but against the swarm, there is no actual check for this.
Later in the event chain, it is possible to use a science ship to recover an incapacitated Prethoryn Queen. 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 and Warriors at a modest rate, but only up to a cap of 20 Units. The MTTH for this is 820 months after the main Invasion Force arrives, but will disappear if the event chain ends beforehand.