- 1 Newcomers
- 1.1 Difficulty
- 1.2 How DOES The AI Work?
- 1.3 AI Progress
- 1.4 Attacking the AI
- 1.5 Guardposts
- 1.6 Minor Faction Crash Course
- 1.7 General Unit Prefixes
- 1.8 General Tips
- 1.9 Abbreviations
- 2 Veterans
Welcome to AI War 2!
AI War 2 is a combination of RTS, 4X, and Tower Defense. You'll be continuously commanding units in battle, explore the galaxy, and defend your planets all at once.
It's recommended to start with the tutorials.
Once those are done (or for the impatient), look in the Quick Start section of single player and check out one of the beginner situations. This should help you familiarize yourself with the game's mechanics and quirks. There is also a lot of "How to Play" documentation available from the in-game main menu.
In general, AI War 2 isn't about going guns blazing and capturing everything in sight. That'll just get you killed. It's about taking only what you need and being as quiet as possible so you don't draw the attention of the AI. The AI doesn't play by the rules, or rather, it plays by a different set of rules. The AI can afford to throw countless ships at you. You (in general) can't do the same. Pick your targets strategically, methodically and carefully. Don't be afraid to cut and run if you start loosing a battle.
At the top of the UI, you'll see a big red number with the accompanying letters AIP. This is AI Progress, AKA how pissed off the AI is against you. The higher this number rises, the more attention the AI directs to you. At the start of the game, the AI is busy attending to business outside the galaxy (it's probably trying to fight the Spire in the Andromeda Galaxy), but as you start taking planets from the AI and destroying its infrastructure, it'll start turning its attention towards you. More on this below.
Remember! There are many different ways to play this game. The game is fluid, and what may work against one AI type may not work against another, so adapt and revise how you play constantly. Variety is the spice of life after all.
The AI can be divided into 6 components, AI Sentinels, AI Threat, AI Warden Fleet, AI Hunter Fleet, AI Instigators and AI Praetorian Guard.
- The AI Sentinels are the main AI faction you'll be fighting. AI Sentinels are usually dormant, found inside Guardposts, or sent as attack waves towards your planets. Most AI units start out as Sentinels but can become AI Threat under certain circumstances, usually after a certain amount of time after you aggro them.
- The AI Warden Fleet are used by the AI to defend only. They will never be committed to an attack on your planets.
- The AI Threat are AI forces actively waiting to strike. These units are ready to come at any time they sense a weakness. Threat is provoked typically by AI defenders who escape a planet after you attack it, or the remainder of defeated waves. If Thread doesn't find a suitable target to attack after a while, those units will join the Hunter Fleet.
- The AI Hunter Fleet will constantly probe your planets for weaknesses and will attack whenever they feel like they can win.
- The AI Instigators are not immediately apparent until later into the game. Every hour or so, an Instigator base will spawn somewhere in the galaxy. Instigators spawn close to your homeworld and on low level planets initially, but as the AIP becomes higher, they will spawn farther away and on higher mark planets. Instigator bases have a variety of nasty effects, ranging from increasing the amount of strength the AI will put into its waves, to spawning units every now and then to attack you. Instigators are usually not immediately threatening, but do not take your time dealing with them. The longer they remain active, the deadlier they get!
- The AI Praetorian Guard behaves like the AI Warden Fleet, except they will only appear near and on AI home worlds and WILL attack any nearby human planets.
AI War's difficulty is non linear. It's more like an exponential curve between 10 points, so difficulty 1-4 isn't to much of a change, difficulty 5-6 is when the AI starts getting notably more powerful, difficulty 7-8 is when the AI really starts kicking you in the shins, difficulty 9 is nigh impossible, difficulty 10 IS supposed to be impossible (if you somehow manage to beat difficulty 10 without cheating or heavily stacking the odds in your favor, please report it to mantis bug tracker).
When setting the difficulty for the AI, there are 3 main components, the base AI/AI Sentinels, the AI Wardens and the AI Hunters.
- Increasing AI sentinel difficulty affects the game the most. The default difficulty is set to 5, but the real fun/challenge begins at 7. at lower difficulties, the AI is... pretty much lobotomized and is nowhere near as intelligent as it could be. Its ships pick less than optimal targets, it will never retreat its forces, and it tends to underestimate human defenses, but as you turn up the difficulty, the AI gets much more intelligent, and will actually start overestimating your defenses, causing it to send more forces than necessary to be sure, its units will target other units it's strong against, and will even attempt to slip some attacking forces behind your planets when a big battle takes place. Many nasty things are locked behind difficulty 7.
- Increasing AI Warden difficulty will increase how many Warden Fleet ships spawn at the start of the game, as well as increasing the maximum strength cap of the Warden fleet. Increasing the AI Warden difficulty also allows the Warden Fleet to get closer to your planets as well as how intelligent they are. At higher difficulties, the Warden Fleet gets access to more powerful units up to and including GOLEMS. At low difficulty levels, it will attack more recklessly.
- Increasing AI Hunter difficulty will increase how many Hunter Fleet ships spawn at the start of the game. Once the difficulty high enough, the Hunter Fleet starts getting bonus ships constantly throughout the game, rather than having to wait for threat ships to transition to Hunter Fleet. Just like the AI Warden Fleet, At high enough difficulties, the Hunter Fleet gets access to more powerful units up to and including Dire Guardians. At low difficulty levels, the Hunter Fleet will attack more recklessly.
How DOES The AI Work?
The AI has an "income" that it can "spend" on various "budgets". These budgets are Reinforcement, Wave, CPA, Warden, Hunter, Praetorian, Wormhole Invasion, Reconquest and possibly more. As you increase the AIP and difficulty of the game, the AI gets a bigger income increase and thus more "buying" power. Let's look at this in a simplified way. Let's say that the AI wants to attack a human planet. It needs to build up that fleet using raw materials (income), but must also consider committing some of these soon to built ships to defense, lest the pesky humans perform a counterattack. After finishing building the ships it wants, the AI dedicates (spends) most of the newly created ships to attacking the human planet it wants, and the rest on reinforcing various key points (wave and reinforcement budget). The AI's behavior is also dependent on it's difficulty.
The AI's Attack Process
Approximately every 10 minutes, the AI will send a wave of units at you, displayed at the top left. As AIP increases, so does the strength of the wave. The AI at lower difficulties will target its waves at any planet you own with no clear objective in mind. Its attacks are also suicidally overconfident. The units that attack also tend to not retreat, and thus will not become a part of the threat or hunter fleet. As you increase the difficulty though, The AI's attacks tend to get more intelligent, and will actually overestimate how powerful your defenses are, causing it to often picking on the weaker planets or one with irreplaceable capturables on it. This also gives the AI a more "cowardly" attitude towards its attacks on the surface, as the AI's units will now attempt to retreat instead of fighting to the death. This will cause them to become threat fleet and if enough threat is accumulated, then that threat may just roll up to your homeworld in one massive wave. At higher difficulties, if you have multiple connected worlds (most often your homeworld and its adjacent planets), the AI will often attempt to sneak some of a wave's units past your defenses to raid vulnerable worlds behind. This can lead to a sudden power outage if the AI manages to snipe an economic command station planet behind a military station planet. Waves however have one weakness. They can only spawn from AI warp gates. ALL AI planets at the start of the game will have one warp gate. Warp gates allow waves to attack any planets adjacent to the planet the warp gate is located on. As a strategy, you can even cancel incoming waves by destroying the warp gate they are traveling to! However be aware, this causes the AI to choose a different location for that wave to spawn and that wave will have bonus strength attached to it! If there are no planets the AI can attack, due to the lack of warp gates near hostile planets, the AI will instead spawn waves on one of its own planets as long as there is a warp gate present, and that wave will immediately become threat. Every AI planet has a wave "theme". For example, an AI planet might send in large groups of raiders, raptors and stingrays, which are fast swarmers. Other AI planets might send in small groups of vanguards and pulsar tanks, which are slow but mighty units. Knowing which planets will send what type of wave theme, you can base your defenses around this.
Once you cross a certain AIP threshold, the AI will begin sending out reconquest waves, which will aim to take back planets you have stolen from the AI, planets owned by hostile to AI minor factions, or already neutral planets. Reconquest waves have their own budget, separate from Wave budgets, and it's not uncommon for the AI to time a regular wave with a reconquest wave, making you fight a 2 front battle. Reconquest waves spawn threat like regular waves but the wave comes with a special ship called the usurper, and as long as that ship lives, the AI will be able to rebuild whatever was on the planet originally! As long as there is one AI opposed unit on the planet, the ursurper CANNOT rebuild the AI's stuff on the planet. If there is no more opposition, the usurper transforms in to a reinforced AI command station, with more health than a regular command station, and will slowly begin warping in the same guardposts and structures overtime. However, a reconquested planet's command station and warp gate will no longer give out any AIP. So if you want to take back the planet, you can do so without incurring any AIP.
Counter Attacks/Reprisal Waves
Whenever you lose ships on an AI controlled planet, the AI will use the scraped remains of your ships to assemble a counter attack. The more ships you lose, the stronger the counter attack becomes. Whenever a flagship gets crippled on an AI planet, it adds ALOT of strength to the AI counter attack. Take special care not to have any flagships crippled. Whenever a counter attack is building up, notified in the top left of the screen, it will start with a 2 minute timer. This timer will not begin counting down as long as you have enough strength present on the planet. The strength requirement to pause the timer is 1/5th the counter attack's strength. Once you do not meet the strength requirement to stall the timer, the timer begins counting down. As soon as the counter attack timer reaches 0, the counter attack will spawn it's units on the planet where your forces died. These units are a part of the threat fleet, so be careful! They may strike wherever and whenever you least expect!
Cross Planet Attack
Every 2 hours or so, the AI will unleash a Cross Planet Attack (CPA). A CPA is when the AI spawns in a massive amount of ships as threat, and they'll be ready and waiting to raid your homeworld when they feel that they can take it. A CPA releases its units over any AI "Reinforcement Points" (ie Guard Posts and Command Stations). Once the units are released, they tend to converge on an AI planet closest to your homeworld, and once they gather enough strength will simply charge towards your homeworld in an attempt to cut the head off the snake. The method the AI uses to choose which ships are released are:Pick all planets that are at or below it's current tech level and free ships from those planets. Then move up one planet mark, then two, then random. At the end, you'll get a wide mix of unit marks, but usually they should be within the AI's budget, meaning while you can see mk5 units even if you are at mk2, the mk5 units take away quantity from lower marks that could have spawned. If you raid the planet the CPA's units are gathering on, they tend to disperse and choose a different planet to attack from a different angle. CPAs are no joke, and it's not uncommon for people to die on them the first time around. To be clear, CPAs do NOT spawn new units, but rather they release guards from existing reinforcement points.
Exo Wormhole Invasion
[INFO REDACTED] nothing to see here. Move along
Threat and Hunter Fleet
Normally, AI sentinel units are in "sleep" mode. They rest inside reinforcement points, and will only "wake up" whenever hostiles engage whatever they're sleeping inside. Whenever an AI sentinel unit has been woken up, it will begin to transition into threat fleet if not killed after a short period of time. Threat ships unlike waves or sentinels are rather unpredictable, they will move all over the galaxy, probing your planets for weakness. If threat lives for to long, they become a part of the Hunter fleet. Hunter fleet differs from threat fleet in being much more intelligent in how they attack. By default, Hunters will be assigned to "fireteams", which are groups of hunters that coordinate with themselves on which targets to attack. At higher difficulties, the hunter can send different fireteams to attack different planets at the same time, possibly taking attention away from other concerns.
AI war is a balancing act. You must make sure you can increase your power, without tipping the AI about how strong you really are. AI progress (AIP) measures how much attention the AI is directing towards you. If you play this game like a conventional RTS, taking everything from the AI in a methodical way, eventually the AI will overpower you and push you back, all the way to your homeworld and then probably kill you. You must play like a guerilla resistance. Hit and run. Take only what you need. Every planet has an AIP price tag that you can see by hovering your mouse cursor over that planet in the galaxy map. The AIP price tag is only paid whenever you or a minor faction allied to you destroys the AI command station. If a Hostile to all faction (like the Dark Spire) destroys the AI command station, then you don't pay the AIP price tag. HOWEVER, if you decide to colonize the planet after the hostile to all faction destroys the command station, then you DO pay the AIP price tag. There is also the AIP floor, which is the minimum value the AIP can be, in case you dedicate to reducing AIP early. 35% of AIP incurred is added to AIP floor (e.g, an AI command station costs 20 AIP to destroy, so therefore 7 AIP will be added to the AIP floor). This is very important at high difficulty games. At certain intervals of AIP, different things unlock, such as Reconquest waves and Hunter waves. The AI also techs up it's units at certain AIP thresholds, which means its waves, Wardens, Hunters and Praetorian will now be at least that level a minimum. For example, if the AI is at tech level 3, all waves will contain units at mark 3 and Warden units that spawn in will be at Mark 3. Different AI difficulties have different AIP tech thresholds.
There are many ways to Increase AIP, but very few ways to decrease AIP.
Increasing AI Progress
- Destroying AI command station: 20 (includes warp gate)
- Destroying AI warp gate: 5
- Destroying AI troop accelerator: 5
- Destroying AI black hole machine: 5
- Destroying AI attack amplifier: 5
- Destroying AI co-processor: 20
- Destroying AI alarm post (whether by your own doing or it's self destruct mechanism): 5
- AI risk analyzer fires off: 1 per risk analyzer every hour
- Failing Spire Archive hack: 80
- Destroying AI overlord phase 1: 100
Reducing AI Progress
- Destroying AI data center: 20
- Destroying the last AI co-processor: 140
- Holding major data center: 60
- Holding Risk Analyzer: 2 per held risk analyzer every hour
- Super terminal hacking: varies, -1 aip every 5 seconds the hack goes on
Attacking the AI
The AI owns all the planets at the start of the game. Every planet has a mark assigned to them from the start of the game. Worlds next to your homeworld are always mark 1, and worlds next to those are mark 2. AI homeworlds and core worlds (planets adjacent to the ai homeworld) are always mark 7, and Worlds next to those are usually mark 6. All planets that do not meet the former criteria are between marks 3 and 5. In general, the higher the difficulty, the more higher mark planets appear and vise versa. What a planet's mark means is how powerful the defenses and units are on it. The Warden Fleet as mentioned prior are a defensive reserve, used to attack you wherever and whenever you show up. However, if you have a really strong presence, they may choose not to interfere with your battle. In general, whenever you vastly outnumber the AI on a planet, it's units will flee to a nearby wormhole. While this may seem cowardly, this allows them to come back at a later time as threat fleet. The AI can decide if certain planets get reinforcements or not, to replace any losses taken by hostile forces. AI planets have two states, alerted, and passive. During the alerted state, the AI Warden fleet tends to head towards them and nearby planets, and the AI will reinforce available posts and command stations more often. In passive state, AI planets will rarely if ever receive reinforcements. AI planets start of in the passive state, and immediately transform into alerted if there is a hostile force on the planet, or a nearby planet.
Guardposts are the primary source of defense for the AI's planets. They also allow the AI to reinforce the planet with additional units per guard post. Think of guard posts as extremely powerful turrets for their mark level. While they are strong, they have a low hull to shield hp ratio. Using units with fusion can be used to bypass their shields, such as assault frigates and fusion bombers. Be aware, each guard posts has a compliment of units inside of them, and these units will fly out if any combat capable units go near them, or if the Guardpost itself/nearby units and buildings are attacked.
Minor Faction Crash Course
It's not just about you and the AI. There are all sorts of other factions roaming the galaxy! From the swarming Nanocaust, to the singular Devourer Golem, here's most things you need to know about the minor factions of AI War 2! Certain minor factions have their own AIP values, so the AI will also give them a threat rating. Each minor faction increases the AI's budget, but this budget can be used exclusively against minor factions only. If you want to experience minor factions without spoilers, don't scroll any further!
Human Resistance Fighters
Probably the only faction in the entire game that WANTS to help you win with no strings attached! These helpful fellows will show up whenever you attack an AI planet or a hostile force attacks one of your planets. Whenever either conditions are met and enough time has passed, these guys will send in a group of reinforcements to do battle with hostiles. They spawn in at the edge of a planet's gravity well. Don't rely heavily on them however, as by themselves, they won't accomplish much. They work similarly to the AI, in that they get a budget that slowly adds up, and send a wave to assist you when there is enough budget and combat is happening. Whenever the fighting is over and there are survivors, they will warp away from the planet and will refund their budget. Unlike the AI, Human Resistance Fighters will not mark up their units as AIP increases, so their units will remain weak throughout the game, but their income increases over time, so the longer the game goes on, the more often you'll see them. The higher the intensity of this faction, the more often they show up and their budget grows faster.
These guys will fight everyone by default, picking on whoever is the weakest in their eyes. They'll fight you, the AI, and other minor factions. Similarly to HRF, they'll spawn at the edge of a planet's gravity well. If nobody opposes them and at least one marauder is still on the planet, then the marauders will start construction of starbases and turrets. Over time, marauder starbases will mark up, which makes them more durable and spawn more powerful defending units. Once a starbase reaches mark 3, they will start spawning in raider ships (not to be confused with the strikecraft or frigate) who's explicit purpose is to destroy opposition on other planets and then colonize said planets. If the planet has a command station on it (friendly to AI or friendly to human marauders), Marauder starbases cannot be mark 3. This will cause the Marauders to start growing near exponentially. While raiders may cause problems, they will prefer to target weaker planets, so you can goad them into attacking the AI by weakening an AI planet next to Marauders, and retreating when the Marauders come in to sweep up the remaining AI forces. As long as your planets are stronger than nearby AI planets, the marauders will prefer to raid the AI over you. Keep in mind, if you try to exploit colonizing neutral planets caused by Marauders, you still have to pay the AIP price tag if you place a command station. A legitimate strategy is allowing Marauders to take their own planet deep inside AI territory and allowing them to build up. This will cause the AI to dedicate some of it's wave budget against marauders and not you, so you can have an easier time defending against AI incursions. Just remember, the Marauders will target you if they consider you a better target.
The dreaded Astrotrains return from classic! Astrotrains themselves aren't the biggest issue. It's what they spawn.The Astrotrain minor faction is composed of 3 parts, The Astrotrains themselves, the astrotrain stations and astrotrain depots. Astrotrains carry cargo to astrotrain depots, spawn on and path between astrotrain stations. Initially, there will be astrotrain stations spawned around the galaxy at the start of the game. Every now and then, depending on the intensity of the faction, Astrotrain depots will spawn around the galaxy, and each one will create something nasty if enough Astrotrains reach them. The higher the intensity Astrotrain faction, the more nasty things they can spawn, ranging from the (relatively) weak dire guardians, to powerful golems, the frightening Hunter/Killer, and at max intensity, even a... familiar shadow from AI War Classic. Astrotrains upon spawning in, will have a predetermined path that they will take, stopping at various astrotrain stations around the galaxy, until they reach their destination, which is an astrotrain depot. Killing an astrotrain depot will reroute the Astrotrain to a different astrotrain depot. If there are no astrotrain depots in the galaxy, all surviving Astrotrains will begin roaming aimlessly between different Astrotrain stations. Destroying astrotrain stations will reroute Astrotrain pathing, allowing you to a certain degree, control where the astrotrains move. Astrotrains come in 3 varities, Tankers, Combat and Carriers. Tanks are the slowest and probably the easiest to take out. They only have an anti structure weapon. While they have double the total HP of other astrotrains, their slow speed makes them an easy target. Combats are faster than tankers, but have much less HP. As their name implies, they have plenty of weapons for self defense. While the weapons themselves aren't to deadly, they can ward off a lone fleet trying to take them out. Carriers are faster than combats and while they only have the same weapon as the tankers, they release a constant stream of drones to distract you. Their fast speed arguably makes them the hardest to take out. Destroying astrotrains gives you 150 science and 3 hack points, so you can "farm" astrotrains for resources. One final point, all Astrotrains have the Norris effect, meaning they will shove force fields out of their way, so trying to block their movement with forcefields is a useless endeavor.
The Devourer Golem (affectionately referred to as cookie monster) is a giant zenith entity that roams around eating whatever it can. It cannot target structures, only mobile ships, so it cannot cause any permanent damage to any faction, but can cause big swings in any battles it wanders through and weakens the mobile defenses of any system it visits.
Giant space bugs that roam around attacking everything and harvesting metal to bring back to their hives, or teliums, to make more macrophage harvesters with or spawn spores that make more teliums. Can grow exponentially if not kept under control, but mostly only dangerous to the AI on lower difficulties. Generally hostile to everyone, but you can hack a telium to "tame" it, turning it friendly to you. If you hack a breeding pair or more of teliums and keep their harvesters safe, you can eventually grow your own powerful allied faction capable of severely distracting and potentially even killing the AI. However, doing so carries its own risks.
General Unit Prefixes
Pike: Deals bonus damage to units above a certain hp% and units with 90mm armor or higher
Concussion: Deals bonus damage to units with 50mm armor or lower
MLRS: Deals bonus damage to units below a certain hp% and has lots of shots
Fusion: Attacks ignore a certain % of shields
Grenade: Attack has AOE
Plasma:Deals bonus damage to shields
Sabot: Deals bonus damage to units at or above 5tx mass
Nucleophilic: Deals bonus damage to units with an enregy cost of 7,000 or more
Tritium: Deals bonus damage to units with albedo .3 or lower, usually infinite range.
- Don't attempt to conquer everything, only capture planets that have something important/you need, or have strategic value. A planet that has a Zenith Power Generator or a fleet, or worlds directly adjacent to your home world are good for example.
- At certain AIP points, the AI "techs up" its units, so that the Warden Fleet, Hunter Fleet, and waves will be one level higher. This is a major buff to the AI's strength, so be careful about increasing the AIP too much too quickly. You can tell when those points are by clicking on the AIP icon in the resource bar at the top of the screen.
- There is a cap to how strong the Warden Fleet can get. Once it reaches that cap, any resources devoted to the Warden Fleet instead adds to reinforcement budget. If you see planets spike up in strength over a short period of time and no/very little AIP has increased, it's probably because the Warden Fleet is at its maximum capacity. Start grinding down the Warden Fleet to reduce the reinforcement budget to normal strength.
- Neutering planets refers to killing everything on an AI planet except for the Warpgate and Command Station. This makes the planet almost harmless to travel through. Don't just leave it. Note: The AI can rebuild turrets if they were originally around the Command Station on the planet. Be aware.
- Cross Planet Attacks are best dealt with piecemeal. You don't want to have a sudden rush of AI units barge into your homeworld while you're dealing with something else on a different planet. Generally, the units from a cross planet attack will wait outside one of your planets, and once they have amassed enough units or feel confident enough to take on your planet they will charge all at once. While they are gathering, find the planet they are on and kill off as many as you can. While this will typically cause them to retreat and go to a different planet, it's better to deal with that threat a little bit at a time.
- Find and hold (by default) both Major Data Centers for a HUGE AIP reduction.
- Reconquest waves happen once you cross a certain AIP threshold. You can click on the AIP icon in the resource bar at the top of the screen to see what that point is.
- Spending Science on ship upgrades is more useful early than on economics
- ARSs and Tech Vaults are very strong early-game objectives
- Strength does not consider unit counters. 500 pike corvettes have more strength than 300 v-wings, but since v-wings counter pike corvettes, they'll win, despite having an inferior strength value. Carefully consider if you can win against the AI even if your strength is higher than it's.
- AI planets are either on alert, or not on alert. An AI planet that's on alert will very likely receive reinforcements, where non alert planets will almost never be reinforced. An AI planet will become alerted if it is adjacent to a neutral or Human planet, when it has hostile military forces on it (not necessarily Human), when an adjacent planet has hostile military forces on it.
The Intel Menu
The Intel Menu in the sidebar is invaluable for figuring out what targets to prioritize in game. There are a lot of different categories of things it tells you about, including where you can get resources, planets of yours you need to defend, where important capturables or destroyables are, etc....
- MDC: Major Data Center
- CPA: Cross Planet Attack
- ZPG: Zenith Power Generator
- ZMC: Zenith Matter Converter
- ARS: Advanced Research Station
- IGC: Intra-Galactic Coordinator
- ZT: Zenith Trader
- AIP: AI Progress
- ST: Super Terminal
- SA: Spire Archive
- DSVG/VG: Dark Spire Vengeance Generator/Vengeance Generator
- DAS: Dark Spire
- DS: Dyson Sphere
- FCE: Fleet Capacity Extender
Welcome back to AI War. The AI has taken over the galaxy (again), but lots of things have changed.
Major Mechanic Changes
- In general, AI War 2 is not as micro intensive as classic, and many things have been removed due to redundancy, clutter, or making things easier to understand.
- Fleetships are renamed to Strikecraft and Starships are renamed to Frigates.
- Instead of producing Strikecraft and Frigates immediately, they are bound to a Flagship. You can't just, say for example, immediately build 150 Fighters, Bombers, missile frigates and a bonus ship. Instead, you must have a Flagship that has those units attached to it. Once built however, there is no limit to how far a Strikecraft or frigate can go across the galaxy, like AI War Classic.
- Flagships are captured much like Golems from Classic and they are what lets you expand your military power. Flagships come in 3 varieties, strike (generic transport Flagship, but many Strikecraft and Frigates), officer (Flagship has a gimmick or is very powerful on it's own) and Lone Wolf fleets (no supporting Strikecraft or frigates, but the Flagship is INSANELY powerful).
- Flagships cannot die. Instead, when they reach 10% health, they become crippled. While crippled, a Flagship cannot have Strikecraft or Frigates assigned to it built and if it has a weapon, can't shoot. The Flagship can still move however and be repaired back to full strength. While this means that you can't lose your Golems anymore, the AI still gets LOTS of salvage for reprisal.
- Units now have shields, which is basically a second health bar. However, anything with a fusion attack such as Raider Frigates and Bombers will ignore a certain % of shields. (For example, a Raider Frigate has 90% fusion damage, so an attack that deals 1000 damage will decrease the target's health by 900 and shields by 100)
- Scout Strikecraft no longer exist. Scouting as a whole has been reworked.
- Planets have 4 states, unscouted, explored, watched and permanently watched.
- Unscouted planets cannot be traveled to at all. Explored planets can be moved to but you have no vision on that planet. Info on explored planets are on a "last seen" basis. Watched planets are planets that you can see in real time because you have a unit there or something providing vision. Permanently watched is the same as watched but no unit is required to be there in order to see what's going on. You scout by destroying AI command stations, which causes 8 unscouted planets to become explored.
- Planets have 4 states, unscouted, explored, watched and permanently watched.
- ARS no longer give their contents via capturing their planets, but by hacking them.
- Also they no longer give science AND a ship, but only 1 of the 2. You can also reroll ARS contents.
- Hull and ammo types are gone.
- These have been replaced with the stats Armor, Albedo, Engine and Mass. More info can be found on AI War 2: Units of Measurement
- You no longer spend knowledge on individual unit upgrades, but instead on categories divided into weapon types and hull types.
- While you spend more knowledge short term, with multiple units upgraded at once, you save knowledge long term.
- All ships are no longer built as individual marks. Instead they are upgraded all at once (For example: if you have Mark 2 V-Wings somewhere in the galaxy, and you upgrade the Generalist tech category, ALL V-Wings currently alive and built after this upgrade will become Mark 3.)
- Units can now be upgraded to Mark 7.
- Hacking points are now earned per planet, rather per AIP.
- Each planet has 30 Hacking points and you can only earn them by building a Command Station on that planet.
- Hacking points can no longer go into the negative.
- Colony ships no longer exist.
- In order to build Command Stations on planets, you must have a Flagship on that planet as well as no AI Command station.
- Supply mechanic no longer exists.
- So feel free to build whatever wherever.
- Energy collectors do not exist anymore. Instead, Economic Command Stations produce 2 energy collectors' worth of energy, Logistical Command Stations produce 1 energy collector's worth of energy and Military Command Stations produce no energy at all.
- Salvage no longer exists, so it's pointless to build a world designed specifically to collect it, but you can make a point of farming EXP to increase that Command station's Level to make it harder for the AI to remove.
- Cloaking is no longer an "on/off" state, but rather each ship that has cloaking has a certain amount of cloaking points, and every time it shoots or gets detected, it loses cloak points by a set amount or certain rate respectively. Once cloak points reach 0, THEN, the ship is no longer cloaked. A ship cannot recharge cloak points until all its cloak points reach 0 and is not being detected or firing for 5 seconds.
- Cloaking boosters have been removed, so a a sentry frigate can't cloak boost another one to be invisible to other detection sources.
- AI strategic reserve has been reworked into the praetorian guard, so they are always "visible"
- Engineers can no longer go through wormholes.
- variants that CAN go through wormholes are called Combat Engineers.
- Currently, no unit teleports.
- Science labs have been removed.
- Command stations automatically collect science. You can still collect science from neutral planets by hacking.
- Mercs have been removed so you can't just hire Mark 4 units right off the bat.
- They have been reworked into Outguards, which work something like this. Hack an Outguard beacon to gain access to various Outguards. You can immediately call in 1 Outguard. for every 100 AIP you gain, you can summon another Outguard. Having 200 AIP and then hacking an Outguard beacon gives you 3 free calls.
- Every fleet and command station can gain exp to level. Leveling up upgrades the flagship/command station and a few units attached to it. eventually you can spend skill points on stuff (this has yet to happen)
- Neinzul (currently) no longer exist
- Cries in Neinzul
- Multi shot units will no longer shoot their excess shots at a single target.
- While yes this means that MLRS will waste a ton of dps vs single targets, at least the AI superfortress can't focus all it's fire on one target.
- You no longer get more of a turret by upgrading it's mark, instead you must capture and hold Global Command Augmenters, which will give you a set amount of turrets. Military stations get double the amount listed, Logistics and homeworld get the amount listed and Economic stations get half the listed amount
- AIs no longer use carriers for massive amounts of free roaming threat. Instead, units of the same type will begin stacking. also applies to humans and other minor factions
- Stacks have unique interactions, such as taking double damage from beam type weapons and AOE explosions,as well as splitting when affected by a status effect for to long. A unit stack multiplies the damage of the unit by the stack amount up to 5, and for every 5 ships inside the stack, another "shot" is added
- Human turrets are pretty much multiplied by 5 vs AI turrets.
- They have 5 times the energy cost, 5 times the damage, .2 times the cap, 5 times the health.
- Wormhole guardposts no longer exist.
- Yay! No more annoying 2 damage attacks
- The Devourer Golem is killable (Fun fact: In Classic, the Devourer Golem used to be killable, but had insane vampirism. But then the Fallen Spire ships got added, which allowed players to cheese and destroy it rather easily. It was quickly made truly invincible after that.)
- He respawns though. For some reason he also likes to eat the Zenith Trader too.
- Translocation isn't an instant teleport, but rather a burst knockback, which is essentially the same thing.
- Harvester exoshield has been removed
- Decloakers no longer exist. Their role has been given to scout/sentry frigates.
- There is no reclaimation. Parasites and the like now cause zombification.
- By default, music playing is AI War 2 exclusive. If you wanna enable Classic music, check out the options menu.
- ALL forcefields reduce damage output of units being protected by them. Even AI units are not spared from this penalty.
- Hardened forcefields have been removed.
- Mobile builders have been removed
- If you want to build beachheads, look for citadels and battle stations.
- Science labs and Hackers have been removed
- Science labs' job has been given to command stations and flagships commence hacks now.
- Advanced factories, Core fabricators and Experimental fabricators have been removed
- Missile silo and warheads have been removed
- Goodbye Nuclear missile mk3 :(
- Human warp gates have been removed
- Mini forts, Fortresses, Super fortresses and Modular Fortresses have been removed.
- The AI still gets fortresses and super fortresses.
- Alarm posts now trigger automatically rather than activate when the AI command station is destroyed. However they no longer have a 50% chance of alerting other AI forces if destroyed manually or by hacking.
- Ion cannons and OMDs are no longer captured by taking over the planet, but by hacking.
- Most AI capturables (like Black hole machines) can no longer be converted to your side.
- Super Terminal hack is now done via hack menu, not by capturing the planet. Super Terminal will also always spawn.
- Beam weapons are now simplified into one type, rather than having human, spire and zenith variants.
- The beam weapon damages a certain amount of targets in a line, and if that target amount is exceeded, then the max damage per target hit is lowered proportional to targets hit.
- Co-Processors no longer prevent capturing neutral units/structures
- Distribution nodes no longer give metal, instead they give science and hack points.
- Scrapping units no longer gives back a metal refund.
- Deepstriking has been reworked. Instead of the AI building up a wave over time, it deploys the "AI Reserves" to fight any human ships that are more than four planets away from a Human planet. Once these units appear, they will fight the Human ships. If the Human ships leave or are destroyed, the Reserves will wait a few minutes then Warp away but leave a few ships to join the Threat Fleet. Once they warp away, they will be on a cooldown and will not be able to appear on the same planet for a short period of time.
List of Currently Removed Content From Classic
- Advance Warp Sensor
- Human warp gate
- Missile Silo and associated warheads
- Harvester Exo shield
- Hackers and their associated extensions
- Science labs
- Warp Jammer station
- Neinzul as a whole, including hybrid hives and silos
- Mobile builders
- Transports and Assault transports (role taken by Flagships)
- Radar Jammers
- Armor Boosters
- Counter Spy
- Armor Booster/Inhibitor
- Interplanetary Munitions Booster
- Advanced Factory
- Core and Experimental Fabricators
- Human Rebel Colony
- Captive Human settlement
- Counter Attack Guard Post
- Core Shield
- All brutal guard posts
- Several types of guardian
- The avenger
Minor Faction Changes
The Dyson Sphere mechanic wise hasn't changed to much from it's incarnation in classic, however it has a whole slew of new interactions and units.
- It's units are no longer restricted to being laser gatling guns in space. Divided into 4 units, Sentinel, Defender, Bulwark and Bastion.
- Dyson Antagonizer is no longer a part of hybrid hives, but instead a part of the faction itself after being set to faction intensity 8.
- You can now "hack" the Dyson Sphere for various results, be it increasing unit production or allowing you to produce dyson units yourself! Of course hacking the Dyson Sphere may make it a little bit miffed at you.
- Multiple Dyson Spheres can exist at once now! But all it takes is just one antagonizer to make ALL of them mad...
Marauders have changed pretty radically! They are now basically a more evil and simplified version of you!
- They will no longer throw a few bombers and missile frigates at you or the ai, they will instead attempt to actually colonize planets!
- They still spawn in like classic at the edge of a planet's gravity well.
- Once all oposition has been removed, they will begin colonizing the planet by spawning in starbases and building defense turrets.
- Starbasese mark up over time and once they reach mark III, they will begin to spawn raider frigates (not to be confused with the blazing fast raid frigates) that will attack the closest weakest planet available. A starbase cannot be mark III if there is a planetary controller already planetside (AI or Human command station); this is generally only pertinent for AI or Human allied marauders.
- Starbases can have at max between 6 and 15 (depending on intensity of faction 6 being on int 1 and 15 being on int 10).
- After raider frigates have cleared out human/AI forces, they then colonize that planet, starting the cycle again.
Still the same grumpy xenophobic fellows from the first game, with a few new interactions.
- You can obtain Dark Spire ships by hacking one of their vengeance genrerators.
- You can also kill vengeance generators now by hacking them to render them vulnerable.
- Vengeance strikes still occur, and you can cause them manually via hacking.
- Hacking a vengeance generator causes it to accumulate energy over time, so make sure you know what your doing.
- Dark Spire wards, used exclusively by the AI insta kills any Dark spire that roam onto planes with one.
- If there is a VG on a planet without any other ships, and there is an adjacent planet without any ships, the Dark Spire can spawn a new VG on that adjacent planet.
These guys are nowhere near as annoying as classic, so you don't have to worry about a nuclear train randomly blowing up one of your most important worlds. However they now all function as cargo trains.
- Give knowledge on death, so you can "farm" them for tech upgrades.
- Come in 3 varieties, Drone (spawns drones to distract you) Combat (focuses on killing your stuff directly) and Tank (has MUCH higher health but only has an anti structure weapon.)
- Can spawn prototype guardians (heroic dire guardians) once a project is complete.
- At max intensity, instead of spawning nuke trains, once an astro train project is complete a familiar shadow may appear...
This guy is still a "neutral" roamer who sells stuff to humans and AI. For some reason the Devourer Golem likes to munch on him. We don't know why, perhaps there's something sinister about the Zenith Trader? Don't worry though, if he dies he'll respawn.
- to humans, he no longer sells the crap from classic. Instead he sells controllable macrophages, nanocaust aberration and abominations, Dark Spire eidolons, black hole generators and lesser Z.power generators.
- to the AI he sells ion cannons, OMD, fortresses, black hole generators, troop accelerators and possibly more to be doccumented.