AI War:Minor Factions

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This page is up to date for version 8.024 and should still be correct.

Minor factions are small forces that can be enabled in games of AI War starting with AI War 3.0. The most interesting thing about minor factions is that they can be enabled in any combination with each other, and in combination with the usual AI types, plots and map styles. These minor factions exist on planets from game start, or arrive from hiding deep space. Minor factions tend to add a bit more complexity to the game, however, so they are not recommended for new players on their first campaign or two; by default, all of the minor factions are turned off and must be turned on when players are ready for them. If new players really want a minor faction to play with, the Human Resistance Fighters, Zenith Traders, and Zenith Dyson Spheres are generally the easiest to deal with. Note that some combinations (Dark Spire and Devourer, for example) can drastically affect gameplay.

Base Game

The following minor factions were added in AI War 3.0

Human Resistance Fighters

Resistance Fighter Bomber

Pockets of human allies still live in deep space around AI planets; when they see you attacking the AI, sometimes they will reveal themselves and join you.

Specifically, enabling this minor faction will periodically cause roughly fifty to one-hundred allied (but uncontrollable) Resistance Fighter/Bombers and Resistance Frigates. These ships are extremely fast, powerful, and durable. (These ships are the same as those produced by the Rebelling Colony.) Note that these ships enter from the outside of the system, similar to a CPA, and do not initially appear from wormholes.

The AI for these resistance ships is similar to that of zombies - they will roam player planets and look for hostiles, but will very rarely attempt to attack hostile AI planets - They're blind, which means they require player scouts to be able to see. They also won't go out of their way to avoid the Devourer, so if that is enabled expect to lose these periodically.

This is a good minor faction for new players, as it provides the occasional minor benefit at no cost.
Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning frequency and number of allies spawned.

Human Marauders

Dagger Frigate

Hostile human vagabonds who live in deep space will occasionally raid human or AI planets via traditional propulsion methods (and thus come in from the edge of a system, not a wormhole).

Specifically, this will spawn a number of marauder-controlled Dagger Frigates and Buzz Bomb Launchers which will proceed to attack anything on that planet that isn't themselves. These typically spawn quite far out, so snipers will have a considerable amount of time to fire upon them. However, due to the same, other defenses will rarely be in a position to do anything about these intruders, and unchecked they can wreck havoc on undefended systems.

These are roughly parallel to the Resistance Fighters, with similar ships, mechanics, etc., but acting against the player rather than in favor. Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning frequency and number of marauders spawned.

Human Rebelling Colonies

Rebel Colony

Most Human settlements have been destroyed or completely subdued, but every five or so hours one will rise against the machines. However, these civilians are always outmatched despite their enthusiasm. If you do not help them take back their planet, they will die and AI Progress will go up massively. Save them, and their unique production facilities are yours to use.

Periodically, a Rebel Colony will appear somewhere in the galaxy. These will remain cloaked for approximately two hours, at which point they will decloak and the AI will attempt to kill them. Fortunately, the player will get a notification about their presence as soon as the timer starts. Unfortunately, these are often many jumps into AI territory, making them hard to reach, harder to save, and extremely difficult to secure (especially if a minor faction that enables exo-galactic strike forces is on). Oftentimes, this means using Cloaker Starships and Transport Ships to reach and secure the planet, then using Warp Jammers to keep the AI from attacking that planet. Per-planet turret caps has helped considerably with this process.

Note that against some AI Types, particularly the Counter Spy, One-Way Doormaster, Shadow Master, Raid Engine, and Neinzul Nester and make this particularly difficult and/or unbeatable due to the massive AIP increases and possibly the death of your fleet.

Only available on maps with at least 30 planets.
Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning frequency of rebel colonies.

Zenith Remnant

Added by Zenith Remnant

Zenith Traders

Trade Ship

These alien traders are happy to do business with anyone who can pay. They travel around the galaxy, providing special ships (for a hefty fee) to both human and AI players alike.

Zenith Traders roam about the galaxy, willing to trade with humans or AIs alike. They cannot be destroyed, and selecting them allows a player to build structures anywhere they have supply. As with regularly built structures, the energy cost is immediate, but the metal cost is linear over time, so expensive structures like superfortresses can be built even if the player cannot afford their massive price. The AI does not build the way that the player does, but will sometimes purchase upgrades or additional structures for existing AI planets as the Trader leaves that planet.

Unfortunately, attempting to buy items from the Trader can be somewhat difficult, as their travel around the galaxy seems to be completely random. Fortunately, you will get a notification when the Traders are passing through a planet where you have supply. Unfortunately, you can only purchase items at the planet at which the trader is at.

Inventory Available To Humans:

  • Ion Cannons, ranging from Mk I (Cap of 3), Mk II (Cap of 2), up to Mk V (Cap of 1 Each)
  • SuperFortress (Cap of 1)
  • Orbital Mass Driver (Cap of 2)
  • Counterspy (Cap of 3)
  • Black Hole Machine (Cap of 2)
  • Zenith Power Generator (Cap of 1)
  • Planetary Shield Booster and Inhibitors (Cap of 2 Each)
  • Radar Jammers Mark I and II (Caps of 4 and 2 Respectively)

Inventory Available To AIs:

  • Ion Cannons Mark I and II
  • Warp Gate
  • Special Forces Command Post
  • Gravitational Turret Mark III
  • Core AI Force Field
  • Astro Train Station
  • Black Hole Machine
  • Orbital Mass Driver
  • Core Warhead Interceptor

As you can see, the Zenith Trader allows players to purchase items not otherwise available to them. For more information, see How Do I Work With A Zenith Trader?
Only available on maps with at least 30 planets.

Zenith Devourer

Zenith Devourer

This nigh-indestructible Devourer Golem makes its way slowly around the galaxy, absorbing all of the non-core mobile military ships (including scouts) on planets it visits in order to power and repair itself.

Zenith Devourers have a one-track-mind: destruction. They vacuum up smaller military ships to power their own craft. The Devourer is a massive, indestructible golem hostile to all other factions, including both the AI and the player. It roams around the galaxy, occasionally stopping at planets to attack any military units there, other times simply passing through. It targets any non-core military vessel it can see or that enters its range.

It does not target the following:

  • Cloaked Units
  • Structures & Immobile ships
  • Nonmilitary Units
  • Golems
  • Mk V and Core ships

This makes it much less dangerous than one would think once you learn a couple of important habits: always keep your fleet in transports when idle, and protect non-transportable ships (mostly Spirecraft) with Cloaker Starships.

In exchange for that, the Devourer will cheerfully clean entire systems of AI reinforcements, threat fleets, and special forces. As a rule, the Devourer is more harmful to the AI than the player. Unfortunately, because AI transports are also immune it won't kill everything, but it can help a great deal.

For more information, see How Do I Survive A Zenith Devourer?

Only available on maps with at least 30 planets.

Zenith Miners


Every four hours or so multiple Mining Golems will appear from deep space on player and/OR AI planets, and will consume those planets unless they are destroyed before they complete their task. The destruction of a planet won't harm player or AI ships, but destroys the planet itself and all resource gather points on that planet. This also prevents you from getting supply on that planet for the rest of the game.

Zenith Miners are also rather destructive, but their goals are more grand: they destroy entire planets for their own selfish purposes. Periodically, sets of three mining golems will appear at three planets, generally either within player space or within two or three jumps. After half an hour, they 'nuke' the planet, destroying all resources, blocking supply, and preventing knowledge extraction. The AI will not target them, so if they go after a planet valuable to the player, the player will usually have to intervene. (An exception: Neinzul loyal to the AI will often react to kill them). Player allies and zombie ships will react to kill them. Mining golems are immobile, heavily armored, and have good firepower. However, their range is limited and their rate of fire low (limited to massive damage to a single ship). Strong counters include anything with long range, radar dampening, or sufficient numbers. The "Ultra-Heavy" hull type, found on all golems, makes them particularly weak to Bombers. Space Planes, with both radar dampening and a bonus against Ultra-Heavy hulls, are an ideal counter. Due to their high cap-DPS and low cost, Laser Gatlings also make an excellent counter.

For more information on this sort of localized apocalypse, see How Do I Kill A Mining Golem?
Only available on maps with at least 30 planets.

Zenith Dyson Sphere


The massive Dyson Sphere Golem exists at one of the AI planets, and is basically a massive fortress that will attack humans and AIs alike. However, if you free the planet from the AI, the sphere will realize your benign intent and will help you fight the AI on nearby planets. If you take the planet for yourself, the sphere will attack you until you give up the planet.

Zenith Dyson Spheres have harnessed the power of an entire star inside their golem. A giant, immobile golem will spawn on game generation on the edge of an AI controlled system. Periodically (normally about every twenty seconds) it will produce a Dyson Gatling, an extremely powerful ship. Normally, this will not do much more than irritate the AI, potentially leading to a ship buildup. Spawned Gatlings do not target structures that could increase AIP, but will freely attack anything else. Attacking the AI Command Station will result in the Sphere becoming an ally, and any newly produced gatlings will be allied to the player. Capturing the planet, however, will cause the Golem to temporarily turn hostile and produce AI-allied gatlings that will attack the player and go after strategic targets. However, abandoning the planet will cause the Sphere to become allied again- this allows the player to capture the planet to capture a golem, for example, without permanently punishing them. Dyson Gatling cap is based off AIP.

Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning rate and maximum number of Dyson Gatlings. For more information, see How Do I Interact With A Dyson Sphere?
Only available on maps with at least 30 planets.

Broken Golems

As of AI War Version 5.000, broken golems can be found spread around the galaxy. Approximately ten will be seeded on a 40-80 planet map. These massive broken golems are initially controlled by the AI, and the planet must be captured from the AI and the golem repaired for the player to take advantage of them. In older versions of AI War, Golems used to gradually attrition themselves (similar to younglings), leaving their health at 1 point. However, as of a recent buff, they no longer suffer this attrition, neither to they require supply to function. There are several types of golem -

  • Armored Golem - These are heavily armored, heavily armed golems capable of shredding entire exo-galactic strike forces without assistance. They've got both massive health and massive armor. However, due to their speed, they're extremely vulnerable to Armor Rotters and other armor-damaging units. These are straightforward - throw them at a fleet and watch things die en masse.
  • Artillery Golem - Artillery golems have little health and are slow, even for a golem, but deal absolutely massive damage against a single target. These can take out even the most hardened of targets (superfortresses), but are easily killed by swarming ships. These need support to be effective, but can easily take out extremely dangerous starships, stations, etc. Note that it can't target hard targets in core systems though, so don't take this to the AI Homeworlds.
  • Black Widow Golem - These have moderate health and some armor, but have a large number of long range tractor beams. They are extremely fast, and fire numerous engine destroying projectiles. Black Widow Golems are somewhat difficult to use, since they make poor direct combatants. However, they can be used to disable enemy fleets and drag hostile ships out of position. Note that tractored ships ignore firing range limitations when firing on the ship tractoring them, and that turning off the golem turns off the tractors.
  • Cursed Golem - Glass cannons. Cursed golems have extremely low health for a golem, but their straight destructive capacity is only approached by that of the botnet golem, and their range surpasses that of all but the artillery golem. These are somewhat better on defense, being able to sit on the edge of a system and kill things. If these get pinned down by bombers, specialized starships, implosion based weapons or Impulse Ray Emitters, expect these to die very, very quickly.
  • Hive Golem - Hive golems are relatively useless in direct combat. They are capable enough damage dealers, but have extremely limited health, range, and speed. To make up for this, they gradually produce up to five hundred Wasps internally, which can be unleashed at player command. This makes hive golems immensely powerful, but favoring patient players- a nearly empty give golem is barely capable of self defense, a full one can shatter Mk IV planets with relative ease.
  • Regenerator Golem - Large health, large single target attack, these became much more effective with the golem rebalance. Without self-attrition, and given vamparism, these golems rebuild any destroyed ships of the players (provided they were destroyed on the same planet), subtracting the health of the ship from the health of the golem (this process stops after the golem falls to 10% health). Unlike other golems, these are best thrown into a fleet ball. Due to the mechanics of repair, this can sometimes be cheaper than attempting to rebuild the ships, and when going after high-health targets, their vamparism can help counterbalance the health loss.

Golem Cost Energy Attack Type Damage Reload Range Speed Health Armor Hull-Type Abilities
Armored 40,000,000 20,000 Flame Wave 10,000 (x20) 2 sec 13,000 44 9,000,000 1,000 Ultra-Heavy Armor Piercing 9,999, Gathers Scout Intel, Resists 50% Of Implosion Damage
Artillery 30,000,000 15,000 Artillery 500,000 8 sec 1,003,000 32 2,000,000 40 Ultra-Heavy Armor Piercing 9,999, Gathers Scout Intel, Resists 50% Of Implosion Damage
Black Widow 40,000,000 17,000 Shell 4,200 (x50) 4 sec 19,000 80 2,500,000 60 Ultra-Heavy Engine Damage 300, Tractor Beam x200 (12,000 Range), Armor Piercing 9,999, Gathers Scout Intel, Resists 50% Of Implosion Damage
Cursed 30,000,000 15,000 Energy Burst 1,600 (x60) 2 sec 603,000 64 1,750,000 0 Ultra-Heavy Armor Piercing 100, Gathers Scout Intel, Resists 50% Of Implosion Damage
Hive 30,000,000 20,000 Flame Wave 1,000 (x50) 2 sec 8,000 44 1,500,000 0 Ultra-Heavy Radar Dampening Range 10,000, Transports 500 Ships, Resists 50% Of Implosion Damage
Regenerator 20,000,000 25,000 Laser 6,000 2 sec 23,000 44 4,000,000 0 Ultra-Heavy Vampirism, Regen Time 240:00, Resists 50% Of Implosion Damage

Broken Golems (Easy)

The EASY version of this minor faction simply gives you the golems with nothing in the way of benefit to the AI. Consequently, your adjusted scored is also halved.

Broken Golems (Moderate)

The MODERATE version of this minor faction gives you the golems at a moderate energy cost and with a small AI Progress increase upon repairing them from their broken states.

Using the moderate version will automatically disable the easy version if the easy version is also selected.

Broken Golems (Hard)

The HARD version of this minor faction gives you the golems at their base energy requirements with no AI Progress cost to repair them. However, whether or not you choose to capture any golems, the AI periodically launches large exogalactic strikeforces against you -- so you're highly advised to get some golems in order to survive.

Using the hard version will automatically disable the easy and moderate versions if either of them is also selected.

This faction's intensity can be set from 0-10, where 0 is disabled, 1 is a minimal impact on the game, and 10 can have a dominating impact on the game. 4 is a good middle-ground. Please note: the only thing that changes with intensity for Broken Golems (Hard) is the strength of the exogalactic strikeforces, and cranking this up high could result in an extremely difficult and/or annoying scenario.

For more information, see Broken Golems

Botnet Golem

As of version 5.050, the Botnet Golem is so powerful and terrible that is acts as its own minor faction, providing its own strike force, score effects, etc.

Botnet Golem

Like with the previous golems, the Botnet Golem can be found somewhere in the galaxy, and in order to be used it must be captured and repaired back to full health. Its health, range, and speed are all unimpressive for a golem, and it's attack power, while considerable, is limited by its range. However, the botnet golem reclaims any ships it kills as zombie bots- extremely aggressive, uncontrollable ships. This makes it capable of singlehandedly routing many AI attack fleets, though it cannot fire on ships immune to reclamation, immobile ships, or ships unable to attack.

Damage Attack Range Reload Health Armor Speed Engine Health Single Ship DPS Abilities
200,000 (x50) 12,000 2 sec 2,500,000 600 44 Inf 10,000,000 dmg/sec Reclaims Enemy Ships, Armor Piercing 9,999, Gathers Scout Intel

Metal Cost Energy Cost Build Time
40,000,000 80,000 1333:20

Note that in some versions, zombie bots will follow rally posts and do not have multi-planet FRD, so they may ignore hostile ships.

The Botnet Golem uses the same difficulty settings as other golems.

Botnet Golem (Easy)

The EASY version of this minor faction simply places the golem on the map and does nothing in the way of benefit to the AI. Consequently, your adjusted score is also halved.

Botnet Golem (Moderate)

The MODERATE version of this minor faction causes the Botnet Goelm to require a high amount of energy to run and makes reactivating the Botnet result in an intense AI Progress increase.

Using the moderate version will automatically disable the easy version if the easy version is also selected.

Botnet Golem (Hard)

The HARD version of this minor faction causes the Botnet Golem to have its normal energy requirement and cause no AIP when reactivated. However, whether or not you choose to capture the golem, the AI periodically launches large exogalactic strikeforces against you -- so you're highly advised to get the golem in order to survive.

Using the hard version will automatically disable the easy and moderate versions if either of them is also selected.

This faction's intensity can be set from 0-10, where 0 is disabled, 1 is a minimal impact on the game, and 10 can have a dominating impact on the game. 4 is a good middle-ground. Please note: the only thing that changes with intensity for Botnet Golem (Hard) is the strength of the exogalactic strikeforces, and cranking this up high could result in an extremely difficult and/or annoying scenario.

For more information, see Botnet Golem

Children of the Neinzul

Added by Children of the Neinzul

Neinzul Rocketry Corps

Rocketry Corps Silo

This Neinzul Encalve departed the galaxy years ago, but left Neinzul Warhead Silos scattered around the galaxy that will periodically fire on human planets when their planet is on alert.

This is one of the more straightforward minor factions. Several Neinzul Rocketry Corps Silos are scattered around the map at random locations. When their planet is on alert, they fire a lightning or emp missile every fifteen minutes. These warheads don't cause AIP, but affect anything they hit (except the Silo itself).

The only practical defense against these are Warhead Interceptors, but both military and warp jammer command stations are effective as a defense- the Military command station will typically shoot down the hostile warheads, the Warp Jammer will typically prevent the planet from going on alert. (Note that the planet can still go on alert from having something sufficiently threatening on it, and this doesn't work if you destroy the AI Command station on that planet) Under normal conditions, these aren't particularly threatening. However, these warheads don't have any notification or alert for them.

This is the minor faction for people who are disappointed that the AI doesn't get warheads too.

These silos are never adjacent to the human or AI home planets, and there are typically only 5-6 of these on an 80 planet map (assuming standard difficulty).
Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning frequency of silos.

Neinzul Preservation Wardens

Enclave Starship

The Wardens are enthralled by ancestral memories of the great beauty of the celestial realm with its many stars and planets. They are horrified by rapid resource extraction and will use force against offenders.

What this actually does is periodically spawn a number of Neinzul Preservation Warden with a separate sort of logic. Rather than targeting strategic objectives, these will target metal extractors (and units near asteroids). The more extractors the player has, the more of these that can be spawned. However, their cap does not increase with increasing marks of extractor. Fast response defense forces (teleporting units) make an ideal counter, but if these are causing too much trouble, the Harvester Exo-Field will typically shut down any income harassment for a relatively cheap knowledge cost. Unfortunately, like other types of Neinzul, normal static defenses are of limited use against these due to their swarming mechanics and long range of engagement.

Furthermore, the Preservation Warden Commandos and Preservation Warden Bombers spawned by these Enclave starships are particularly nasty, and are often spawned in numbers reaching the hundreds - capable over overwhelming most defenses.

The AI and this faction are neutral to each other.

For more information, see AI War:Neinzul Preservation Wardens
Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning frequency of preservation wardens.

Neinzul Roaming Enclaves

Enclave Starship

Various individual enclaves periodically wander through this part of the galaxy, some acting as an ally to the AI, some as an ally to you, some attacking everything in sight.

This minor faction periodically spawns one or more Roaming Enclaves, allied either to the player, the AI, or neither. These starships are visually similar to those available to the player but have mounted weapons and considerably improved defenses, and their firepower is considerable.

AI Neinzul Enclaves can be a particularly great threat to the player- they follow threatfleet behavior, so they will actively seek out weaknesses in player defenses. They will strike without warning and often completely overwhelm player static defenses in that system- Military command stations and mines are not enough, these should be considered equal in threat to a moderate multi-shiptype fleet from the AI with a starship. Fortunately, these are typically aggressive enough that they can be killed by mobile forces.

Some will ally themselves to the player and gather at their homeworld(s). Under the Controls tab, you may select what to allow these neinzul to do. By default, they will gather at the player home planet, but deploy to protect player assets. Settings can be enabled for them to strike with player fleets or even make independent attacks on the AI- They will attempt to neuter AI planets as they can, and once they reach critical mass later in the game they may attempt to do this with any planet within one or two jumps of the player (without AI Eyes). Unfortunately, these ships can be somewhat single-minded or slow to react. However, their firepower is massive, and they can easily make or break a holding action against a particularly powerful AI fleet.

Neutral Neinzul are usually irritating at worst. Since they're hostile to both the player and the AI, they tend to lack the ability to hit specific weak spots with overwhelming force.

Turning up the intensity in the lobby will increase the spawning frequency of Roaming Enclaves.

Light of the Spire

Minor Factions added by Light of the Spire

Fallen Spire

The Shard.

"Minor Faction" is something of a misnomer, as enabling this opens up nothing short of a whole new way to play the game. If you pursue the goals it sets before you, it's much more like a scripted campaign and allows more frontal military confrontation of the AI than the standard game. You choose how far to pursue the "campaign" events, and you face the consequences for those choices, but if followed all the way through this leads all to an alternate way to win. If you survive.

This is the closest thing to a campaign AI War has, and as a result is too complex to fully explain here. To summarize - the idea behind the Fallen Spire campaign is to give players a way to directly confront the AI if they so wish. This must be pursued in-game at considerable effort, so players may enable this faction and never use it if they so wish, or only use it for minor boosts. However, it should be noted that this campaign has enormous modular capital ships, far more massive than anything accessible to the player through other means, with the possible exception of Golems.

As a result of this, however, the Fallen Spire campaign is very punishing. Standard AIP rules are somewhat disregarded, and the AI will become exponentially more aggressive as you progress through the campaign. The phrase "If you survive" is accurate, even for a game where the AI can be notoriously brutal.

For more information, see the following pages:

Needless to say, this is not recommended for newer players.

Changing the intensity of this faction in the lobby will increase the difficulty of the campaign and size of AI response.

Spire Civilian Leaders

Spire Civilian Leaders

Up to 10 Spire Civilian Leader Outposts are scattered throughout the galaxy in the control of the AI. Against their will, every hour each outpost increases the AI Progress by 1. You have the choice of either destroying these outposts for colluding with the AI, or freeing the outposts by capturing the planet from the AI. When freed, each of these outposts will gratefully decrease the AI Progress by one every hour.

Exactly what it says on the tin. Note that the timers of friendly and AI controlled Spire leaders are separate, so the AI will gain bursts of AI progress every hour, but the player's Civilian Leaders will chew away at this over time. The player-friendly Spire Civilian Leaders (CLs) begin their timer when they're freed from the AI.

Beware, while freeing them only requires the destruction of the AI Command Station on that planet, the AI will consider these priority targets, so they will often require additional protection.


Spire Mining Vessel

Six different kinds of asteroids are seeded around the various planets of the galaxy, waiting for you to use your Spire Mining Ships (CONST tab) to build mining enclosures on them. From these mining enclosures, you can produce the rare and deadly Spirecraft ships, which cannot be procured any other way. These massive ships can be an enormous asset against the AI.

This adds the extremely powerful Spirecraft Vessels to the player arsenal. Spirecraft are often unique and provide extremely powerful combat capabilities, but are extremely expensive, consume large amounts of energy, and cannot be replaced. They are built by using a Spire Mining Ship to place a Spirecraft Mining Enclosure on an Asteroid of the player's choice. Placing the enclosure consumes the asteroid, even if the job is cancelled. Furthermore, the rarest asteroid types may not even necessarily appear on all maps, or may appear in arbitrarily small numbers- a 120-planet map may only have three or four Titanite asteroids.

Due to their high energy consumption, Spirecraft are extremely vulnerable to Impulse Reaction Emitters. Translocators have some resistance, due to their high speed and numerous translocating railguns, but any Spirecraft pinned down by IREs will die extremely quickly.

Spirecraft (Easy)

The EASY version of this minor faction simply gives you the spirecraft with nothing in the way of benefit to the AI. Consequently, your adjusted score is also halved.

Spirecraft (Moderate)

The MODERATE version of this minor faction gives you the spirecraft with a vastly higher energy cost, and without the ability to repair them (though some like the Martyr and Shield Bearer cannot be repaired on easy or hard either).

Using the moderate version will automatically disable the easy version if the easy version is also selected.

  • This was the original design for the spirecraft in general, but players wanted more options. The best way to think of this version is as follows: the spirecraft are suitably awesome while they're alive, they don't stir up the AI, they don't cost knowledge, and they don't increase AI Progress. But they require the finite resource of asteroids, and quite a bit of metal/crystal, and when they're gone, they're gone. This makes the spirecraft, in essence, trump cards. Very interesting trump cards.

Spirecraft (Hard)

The HARD version of this minor faction gives you the spirecraft at their base energy requirements with no repair restrictions. However, whether or not you choose to capture any spirecraft, the AI will be launching periodic large waves with spirecraft (and other big nasty things) of their own -- so you're highly advised to get some spirecraft in order to survive.

Using the hard version will automatically disable the easy and moderate versions if either of them is also selected.

This faction's intensity can be set from 0-10, where 0 is disabled, 1 is a minimal impact on the game, and 10 can have a dominating impact on the game. 4 is a good middle-ground. Please note: the only thing that changes with intensity for Spirecraft (Hard) is the strength of the exogalactic strikeforces, and cranking this up high could result in an extremely difficult and/or annoying scenario.

Ancient Shadows

Added by Ancient Shadows.

Dark Spire

The Dark Spire...

Several mysterious, ancient structures exist on AI planets throughout the galaxy. They cannot be harmed, and do not have any weapons, but they absorb energy when a ship dies on the same planet. What happens when they absorb too much?

Hint: They spawn a wave of very angry, very powerful dark spire vessels. In small numbers, these are usually a nuisance, though the Hatred Class Cruiser can single-handedly wipe out poorly defended planets. In large numbers, large scale fleet actions are your only chance. Worse, the Vengeance Generators are networked. Destroying ships on one planet with a vengeance generator will often cause other planets with vengeance generators to also spawn ships. Dark Spire vessels are perfectly capable of moving through wormholes and will actively seek out targets. However, unlike the AI, Dark Spire vessels are particularly aggressive, and place little to no regard on their own survival.

As a small comfort, they recently became immune to black hole generators, so the legendary AI planet with ten thousand Dark Spire is a thing of the past, if that's any consolation to you as their cruisers wipe out your fabricators.

The number of Dark Spire Vengeance Generators depends on map size. Note that nothing stops these from spawning on planets with valuable or unique structures, and their ships will follow targeting priorities similar to that of the AI; your advanced constructors and fabricators are high-value targets. Hacking may be preferable to attempting to hold an advanced factory or starship constructor with a Vengeance Generator on the same planet.

PLEASE NOTE: Unlike most other minor factions, the Dark Spire are capable of destroying things that cause AI progress on death, and other nasty things like Counterattack guard posts. As a small mercy, they cannot destroy AI command stations or warp gates, but other than that most things are fair game if caught in the crossfire. This is all intentional, as the Dark Spire are supposed to have a more chaotic impact on the game than most of the other minor factions as part of the variety they add to the game.

This faction's intensity can be set from 0-10, where 0 is disabled, 1 is a minimal impact on the game, and 10 can have a dominating impact on the game. 4 is a good middle-ground.

Alt Champion Progress

A Human champion

Normally champions gain experience and unlocks by doing various off-map nebula missions. This is very enjoyable for some players, but others either do not enjoy them or do not want to take their attention from the main map to advance their champions.
If you enable this modifier, an alternate means of champion progress will be used:

  1. No nebulae will be seeded.
  2. Instead of gaining experience via nebula scenario rewards, the champion will gain Experience as you gain Knowledge.
  3. Instead of gaining new splinter faction allies and unlocking new modules, champion hulls, and modular fortresses via nebula scenario rewards, these will happen as you capture Advanced Research Stations, Advanced Factories, Fabricators, etc. Gaining levels also makes some progress towards this. The modular forts and splinter factions are only all given on intensity 5 or higher, but some are given as low as intensity 2 (for splinter factions) or 3 (for mod forts).
  4. All of the normal anti-champion counterbalance measures will be disabled. If you wish to maintain balance, please set the "Alt Champ Nemesis" faction just below this to at least the intensity you set "Alt Champ Progress" to.

This faction's intensity can be set from 0-10, where 0 is disabled. Note that you still need to add a champion to the game (via the role dropdown for the player you want to have the champion) for Alt Progress to mean anything.

Alt Nemesis Progress

An AI Nemesis. Identical.

This faction is intended to provide an interesting counterbalance to the benefits gained from using champions with alt-progress (since the normal champion counterbalance is disabled when alt-progress is on). You may still use it if you are not using alt-progress, if for some reason you just need more pain in your game.

Normally when playing with champions enabled, the AI spawns a number of "Nemesis" in order to keep the player from becoming too powerful. Enabling this allows those ships to become more powerful at the same rate the player's does.

Alternatively, this allows the AI to have special nemesis champion units that become more powerful the more progress you make, enabling AI Champions even if the player doesn't have any champions.

This faction's intensity can be set from 0-10, where 0 is disabled. Increasing the intensity increases the population cap for AI Nemesis units.

Vengeance Of The Machine

Added by Vengeance of the Machine

Showdown Devices

A Showdown Device.

Seeds four mysterious devices on various planets. Controlling all of them simultaneously long enough to activate them will allow you to completely block the AI's means of transporting reinforcements to our galaxy. Could that be your key to victory?

This faction provides another alternative route to victory. In this case, your objective is to capture four planets around the galaxy with showdown devices on them and hold those planets. This is complicated by the fact that as soon as you capture the fourth planet the AI will decide to kill you without restraint.

For the next half hour, the player will be hit by a new Exo-wave every two and a half minutes. Major waves are interspersed and will hit every few minutes as well. These waves are at AI tech level +1, and the waves are scaled for the number of superweapons enabled. Normally these waves will be powerful (about two to three times the size of a regular wave), but not too absurd. With all superweapons enabled, the wave will scale to over thirty times its regular size.

Furthermore, not to spoil things, but there are a few... complications... Suffice to say that the AI favors quality over quantity.

Only works on maps with 30+ planets.

Destroyer Of Worlds

Added by Destroyer of Worlds

Nomad Planets

Remember the Zenith?

When Planets Attack!

The most noticable change made by this minor faction is the addition of a number of "Nomad" planets. These planets have no static wormhole connections and move around the map over time. Periodically, they will connect to all of the nearby planets. On top of that, the wormholes (the entry) on the nearby worlds move over time- Short range turrets may slowly find themselves in the wrong place. These planets are considered fully in any seeding, so Advanced Factories, Research Labs, Starship constructors, fabricators, golems, etc. can all be found on these roaming planets.

Needless to say, this opens up a number of strateigc options and vulnerabilities. Exo-waves will consider these planets as possible routes into player controlled space, and neutering these planets doesn't prevent them from making unwelcome bridges into player space. On the other hand, these can allow players to establish beachheads more easily. A Warp Jammer can allow the player to use the nomad planet itself as a beachhead, though it won't prevent transiting AI ships from attacking the planet.

Players who follow the journal entries may find themselves with a novel weapon to use against the AI.

Changing the intensity of this minor faction changes the number of nomad planets.

Exodian Blade

Be Careful. Sharp.

Be Careful. Sharp.

This minor faction, like Fallen Spire and Showdown Devices, opens up a new way to defeat the AI. It's difficult to explain without going into spoilers, but the following can be said-

Like the Fallen Spire campaign, it gives the player access to vast amounts of firepower and gives the AI strength to compensate. Like the Showdown devices, there is a ticking clock element to the Exodian Blade 'campaign'- unlike Fallen Spire, the player cannot simply stop advancing the campaign when they feel that the AI may be getting more powerful than can be handled.

Fortunately, like the Fallen Spire Campaign, this be enabled and safely ignored should the player decide that playing the Exodian Blade wouldn't be feasible that particular run.

AI War Navigation Reference
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Version History Version 2.000Version 3.000Version 4.000Version 5.000Version 6.000Versions 6.00Beta - 7.00Versions 7.00Beta - 8.00Versions 8.00+
Game Content AI War:Base GameExpansion 1: The Zenith RemnantExpansion 2: Children of Neinzul
Expansion 3: Light of the SpireExpansion 4: Ancient ShadowsExpansion 5: Vengeance of the MachineExpansion 6: Destroyer of Worlds
Getting Started User Interface and ControlsNew Game OptionsTutorial WalkthroughGame Objectives (What do I do next?)How the AI Attacks You (AI Progress, Waves and Threat)I'm stuck! Help? (Player submitted questions)
Enemy AI Types and AI Plots AI Opponent Types: (Easier - Moderate - Harder - Technologist) ♦ AI Plots: (Avenger - Hybrid Hives - Advanced Hybrids - Astro Trains - Beachheads - Hunter - Shark-A - Shark-B - Counter Posts - Warp Relays - Preemption)
Minor Factions Human MaraudersHuman Resistance FightersHuman Colony RebellionsZenith TradersZenith MinersZenith Dyson SphereZenith DevourerBroken Golems (Easy) (Moderate) (Hard)Botnet Golem (Easy) (Moderate) (Hard)Neinzul Rocketry CorpsNeinzul Preservation WardensNeinzul Roaming EnclavesFallen SpireSpire Civilian LeadersSpirecraft (Easy) (Moderate) (Hard)Dark SpireAlt Champion ProgressAlt Champion NemesisShowdown DevicesNomad PlanetsExodian Blade
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Economic Mechanics Crystal and Metal HarvestingEnergy GenerationScience and Knowledge and Hacking the AIBuild Time and Constructors (including Repair)
Miscellaneous Map seeds of interestGlossary