AI War - End Game
End Game Overhaul
This one is a HUGE and exciting change to the base game: the endgame has been completely overhauled for AI War. Previously, the home planets for the AI were always very similar to one another, and often they were something of a grind. The chief problem was that things were too centralized on a single unit on those planets: the AI home command stations. You had to destroy those, and that was really the only goal; therefore, that was super hard if you didn't have enough firepower, or really easy if you did.
Now the emphasis is on a distributed network of specialized, much stronger guard posts, as well as a much weaker central home command station. However, the central home command station can't be touched until all the new AI Core Guard Posts have been destroyed, which means that there are many goals on the planet before you actually get to the final goal of killing the command station itself. There are 9 new types of these specialized guard posts, with various abilities. Rather than enumerate those here, we'll let you discover those in-game. Some are more rare than others, and your seeding is different every time, which makes each AI home planet quite unique now. There is also room for expansion over time with more specialized guard posts in addition to the first 9.
The overall net effect is that you can take on the home planet a chunk-at-a-time now, and you can successfully destroy a chunk and then come back much later without having lost any progress. This is a big improvement over the old system, where you had to build up overwhelming force and win all in one big push; again, that tended to be either too hard or too easy (usually too hard).
Going along with the above, there is now quite a bit of strategy and puzzle-style challenge to figuring out the best attack pattern and order for actually clearing the guard posts on the AI home planets. Some of the guard posts are likely to support one another, and so your success depends on your ability to make and execute plans here. The goal is to make the endgame as strategic as the early and middle game, rather than it always devolving into a grind or a cakewalk right at the end. Lastly, the AI home planets previously had really inflated ship caps, in that even if you destroyed guard posts it was impossible to neuter the AI home planets at all. This is no longer the case, and the AI home planets can now have their effective ship caps whittled down over time. This way the battles remain epic, but not laggy or grindy, hopefully.
AI Core Shield Generators (4.043)
Five new types of Core Shield Generators have been added to the game: These must be destroyed before the AI Core Guard Posts and AI Home Command Station can be damaged. The planet on which this shield generator sits must be controlled by the humans before it can be damaged. These only get seeded on difficulty 4 and up.
- Group A-Prime
One of these is seeded on every planet with an advanced research station. The A-Prime shield generators are linked into a very strong network. All but one of them must be destroyed before the last generator in the group will self-destruct.
- Group B-Secondary
One of these is seeded on every planet with an advanced factory. The B-Secondary shield generators are linked into a weak network. Destroy any one of the generators in the group, and the rest will self-destruct.
- Group C-Secondary
One of these is seeded on every planet with a fabricator and without an advanced factory. The C-Secondary shield generators are linked into a weak network. Destroy any one of the generators in the group, and the rest will self-destruct.
- Group D-Secondary
One of these is seeded on every planet with a counterattack guard post, but with no other core shield generators already in place. The D-Secondary shield generators are linked into a weak network. Destroy any one of the generators in the group, and the rest will self-destruct.
- Group E-Secondary
These are scattered on some random planets that do not already have an existing shield generator. The E-Secondary shield generators are linked into a weak network. Destroy any one of the generators in the group, and the rest will self-destruct.
- This new mechanic is designed to require players capture at least a certain small baseline number of planets before they can even attack the AI homeworlds. This ensures that ultra-conservative low-planets-held strategies simply aren't valid, and the alternative is somewhere the game been before: having the AI homeworlds be so beefy that they are incredibly grindy in the late game, which also isn't good. That had led to most players "declaring they had won" and stopping before they actually had won. The logical solution, then, is a multi-stage AI takedown procedure that requires you to take certain planets that it was expected you were required to take, anyway.
- To those that would complain about how this will prevent certain playstyles: yes, it will. But only the ones that don't allow for a natural progression of AI difficulty, and so short-circuit (and thus drastically break) the game. Deep striking and raiding are still a great thing to do, and in fact may be more important than ever in some circumstances now, but you can't use that in a preemptive "the enemy's gate is down" sort of fashion to win the game. If you'll recall, even the battle school teachers changed the rules after Ender used that tactic once, and for good reason: it's fun once, but leads to a broken game after that.
- Note that achieving the alternate victory in the Fallen Spire progression will take care of this shield network for you, since that victory condition already involves taking plenty of territory, etc.
Core Specific Units Overview
- Core Specific Units will only be found on the AI Home Planets or possibly on the adjacent Core Planets.Verify
AI Core Guard Post Types
- The Base Game contains 9 types.
- LotS Expansion Added Core GP types