Hivemind civic "Spore Warriors"

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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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Pancakelord

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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.

That's what I had in mind, too, it could be a basic function for the Prethoryn and a special choice for players.
 
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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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