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Pancakelord

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Spore Warriors Hivemind civic

Summary:

This civic unlocks a special "Scourge" Bombardment Stance.

"Breathe Deep, Embrace the Hive, you are no longer alone."

Rain down infectious spores upon the wildlife and feeble defenders of a world, infecting it's population and turning it's citizens into walking gestation chambers, from which incubator troops will emerge and unleash carnage weeks later.

Scourge bombardment effects:
  • Negligible damage to armies on the ground,
  • But It can, each month, spawn waves of special "incubator" assault armies on an enemy planet, and for up to 6 months after bombardment has ceased. (So you could bomb, leave and armies would continue to spawn - not sure of limitations here, may require a special planetary modifier to maintain the spawn rate, called "[Hivemind name] Spores present" or something like that).

Incubator armies:
"These rapidly incubated drones are gross caricatures of their hosts. After inhalation as spores, they rapidly germinate within their victims before consuming them from within to form a chrysalis, from which the Incubator drone emerges, fully formed. They are driven by genetic instinct, bloodlust and the guiding hand of a hive intelligence"
  • Incubator troops deal increased devastation and morale damage but significantly reduced HP damage and they have reduced HP too (Vs a regular army) - this is compensated for by them spawning in large numbers. Enemy armies will be worn down via attrition from killing waves of weak armies, until they are finally overwhelmed.
  • Incubator troops have a small chance of randomly killing a (biological) pop on-spawn.
  • If incubator troops have been out of combat for 3 months they rapidly whither up and die (for performance reasons, cull unneeded armies).

Spawn rate:

The number of armies spawning has a base spawn rate (e.g. to represent infecting wildlife and pops living in remote areas) this is increased with high devastation and scales with the planet's (biological) pop count. I've included a rough (i.e. unbalanced) example equation for how the monthly army spawn could be calculated:

N = 1+ [(X + (Planet's Biological Pop count / Planet Size)) * Devastation]

  • X = a composite variable for balance, perhaps scaling up with techs like gene editing - or even scaling down with an anti-Scourge tech (see notes below). E.g. X= [(x*Enemy Scourge reduction tech)*Own Scourge enhancement techs]
  • Devastation would mathematically scale between 0 and 1, based on the %. The idea is, a world without devastation has places it's pops can hide from the spores, a bombed one has far fewer safe zones.
  • The leading 1 would be a 0 for Machine worlds / habitats (which lack a biosphere to passively infect).

Extra notes:
  • A highly populated / fortified world (e.g. ecumenopolis) would be a prime target for this, more situational, bombardment stance - which would be less useful in the early-mid game (where most planets have low pop counts).
  • Softening up a planet with indescriminate bombardment before raining down spores would also be effective.
  • Robotic/Synth defences & pops (but not Cyborgs) are immune to this effect. Other Hivemind pops are not immune.
  • There would be a 0 spawn chance on a machine world, or habitats assuming no cyborgs/bio-pops are present (as it is devoid of any real biosphere).
  • If you also want to see some counterplay to this civic/mechanic: after having one of your worlds exposed to a scourge bombardment, you will be able to draw a rare "Spore Containment Protocols" society tech, which will reduce the spawn rate by, say, 25%. (So X =(x*0.75)+ any Hivemind Gene techs that increase spawn rate). Edit: this could be a flat passive "empire modifier" or, more interestingly it could add a planetary decision (e.g. costing consumer goods and/or volatile gasses, to represent distributing gasmasks, hazmat suits and setting up spore-free zones) that will reduce incubator army spawn rates for a period of somewhere between 6m~12m by some amount.
  • In my above examples spawn rates are separated from fleet power, as it was just an example. It could also be tied to fleet power via a weighted constant, if desired.
  • Bombardment from different fleets shouldn't have a stacking effect (so you don't get weird exploits with 100 1-corvette fleets all doing scourge bombing).
  • Edit: High Morale defence is important for fighting the incubator army hordes for longer periods of time, so your armies don't break too fast. I believe this would make psi armies particularly useful, and a counterpart to just using robotic armies.
Edit: clarified how devastation works in example equation. And spelling fixes.
 
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Methone

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It's certainly a VERY interesting idea! A bombardment that doesn't do damage per say, but instead spawns armies even long after the bombarding fleet has been repelled.

Maybe something like this can be given to the Prethoryn.
 
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Methone

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That's what I had in mind, too, it could be a basic function for the Prethoryn and a special choice for players.
Maybe not quite the same for the Scourge. They'd, obviously, be given a powered up Crisis version of it.
 
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