What are your early game god-mode mod/unit combinations?

What are your early game god-mode mod/unit combinations?

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coodav

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I have been experimenting with a number of combinations on a variety of maps, and there are some unit combinations that are just busted. Here is one of them that I saw recently, tried it, and yep, it is pretty crazy:

Therian Prowler (tier 1 Therian unit) - well built with bonuses from the capital (VERY cheap with dwelling intimidation and negotiator)
M1: Phase module (pass through walls + defense) * this can be flexible and used with many techs. Voidtech was really, really good here.
M2: Impairing Grenades (from Caste Military Applications)
M3: Xeno Defense Module (also from Caste Military Applications)

This can reasonably be fielded by turn 25, maybe even earlier, if you really move. And if your capital has a few landmarks with mods by then, these guys will be unstoppable.

So here is the rule I want to level - you can take these units and reliably defeat higher-tier well-modded units. Basically, you can reliably go into gold landmarks by turn 30 with minimal losses. These units, coupled with a few high damage units, do that. I want to know a few more of these combinations. What other god-mode early game combinations do you use?
 

coodav

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C'mon guys. Throw me a bone here. And you can count your hero. There are some pretty nutty early game hero combinations that make them nigh-invulnerable. Help me out with this, I want to play some other factions, but I play super-hard games, and could use a bump. Just give the best you've got if you don't know a god-mode version.
 

TreborTheTall

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C'mon guys. Throw me a bone here. And you can count your hero. There are some pretty nutty early game hero combinations that make them nigh-invulnerable. Help me out with this, I want to play some other factions, but I play super-hard games, and could use a bump. Just give the best you've got if you don't know a god-mode version.
I like syndicate enforcers with celestian mods that make them enlightened, so they can get lots of healing, and defensive bonuses, allowing them to get into melee range more often. Their psionic melee attacks bypass all shields and armor, so they are hard to counter.
 

coodav

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This is a sweet unit. The Celestian defenses are hugely underrated. They are a real defense multipliers, particularly when supported by heroes that have defense upgrades against soulburned units. Here is the one I was most impressed with early-game:

Syndicate Enforcer, Tier 2 syndicate unit
M1: Tenet of Tranquility (stagger resistance - making stagger immune - and shields)
M2: Shield of Remorse (remorse debuff and health)
M3: Arc Retaliation Defense (2 hex stun on attackers and shields)

This unit is stupid tough. Starts with 2 armor 1 shield, and gives a 4 shield aoe buff. And these mods alone put it at 2:3 and +10 health. If you stack on well built, one more shield, and some hero buffs, you are easily talking about a 5:5 tank with feet. Also, when they actually punch you, that 12 attack strength goes straight through and does 12 damage per hit, plus mods, which is about as good as it gets.

Yeah, these guys are great. The only real threat to them is that the units have to survive through a few rounds of hits. They are tough, but soulburn needs to get revved up to be really effective. You may lose one or more getting the burn applied liberally. I typically need support units to really make them shine, or resurrect for the unit that gets sniped before the debuffs get out of control. Fortunately, Celestian has a lot of heals early game.
 

Iguanaonastick

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When you get it, try giving them Mantra of Life.

It heals them every time they attack, including their ranged attack and their melee retalation. They don't even have to hit.

It also increases the strength of their shield, because that counts as a psionic buff. They will now give +6 shields to all friendly units around them when they enter defense mode.

For that same reason, other psionic mods can be great. Mantra of Illusion, for example (psy fish mod) will boost their damage, make enemies they hit hallucinate, and make themselves and all allies 20% harder to hit in defense mode. (on top of normal bonuses.)

I find they're best used as mobile shields for my Indentured, until it is time to counterattack and/or root out entrenched enemies. Very effective unit, and I've yet to lose one in tactical combat.

That said: I do not think there are many combos that make you nigh-invulnerable. Rather, if you have enough research and cosmite to get a solid modded stack like this, you're doing well enough that there are MANY combinations that work well.

Instead of looking for "unbeatable" combos I prefer to get some cost-effective force-multiplier mods for my starting units. Vanguard Nanites, for example, aren't an "I win" button. But they are a "And now my units are half again as tough" button, and will let your troopers achieve much more for just a little cosmite. (And if you're not vanguard... find a settlement and research them anyway, they are that good.)
 

coodav

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That is interesting. Should be simple if you focus psi-fish. I haven’t seen them used that way, but it would be easy. I am going to have to t try that out.
 

Ferrus Animus

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One that got slightly nerfed is Amazion Promethean. Make the commander a veteran with party animal and the assault vehicle and you can use the points from level 3 to purchase Infantry commander, Biology Expert and Fallout Protocols, giving the army they lead +1 shield, +2 fire and bio resist, +10% damage, +5 HP and +100 morale.
At level 4 Animal Discipline adds another +5 HP and +200 morale.

Now here's the Amazon Lancer:
M1: Advanced Instinct Controller (+1 shield, +200 morale and +2 status resistance; ued to be +1 shield,+2 psi resistance and +300 morale)
M2: Grounding Harness (+1 armor, +2 arc resistance and Stagger resistance)
M3: Free

The result is a fast (40 MP), though (60 HP, 2 armor, 4 shield, 2 resistance to statuses, arc, thermal and bio; shields up defense mode) unit with flanker and 500 morale in this army. (before the nerfs it was 2 psi resist and 600 morale). You should be able to easily get the 100 missing morale from racial diplomacy or fighting in forests and this will make a very mobile, though core.
Early promethean research gives youPlasmoids, mods for more bio and thermal resistance via mods and amazons give you the Primal Awareness Aplifier (1 shield, detector 10% miss chance) as wella s quick access to Harriers and Arborean Sentinels which works particularly well with all this.
The third mod slot can then be used to tailor the units to your needs, offensively and defensively, as options are available.

Most NPC factions have something useful to offer for this you can keep building on the synergies through the entire game and keep an eye on countering your opponents after the expansion phase.
 

coodav

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I really like the lancers, as they are very flexible. They are some of the toughest units you see in quests, and always seem to be the one that kills a unit when you face them. I will have to give them a shot next time. I honestly believe I have only played them once or twice myself, and I love the promotion bow purifiers.

And since you are playing the promethian , maybe field purifier for the third. That way it can do a clutch heal on an ally or itself before engaging.
 

Ferrus Animus

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The combination of inbuilt flanker(+25%) and charge (+20%) with a repeating melee attack is quite powerful. And their ranged attack enables great flanking maneuvers
And yes, the purification field is a good option.

While not godlike this "build" starts quite stong and is very flexible. You can easily slot in whatever works against your current opposition, get a lot of thermal synergies out of it and there's nice combos. Like bring amazon purifiers (8 range plasma bombs while in cover and 6 range for their normal attacks) and put some pyrX absorption panels on the lancers and they heal while beating up the enemy,

Laser based amazons have a surprising amount of power and gimmicks at their disposal and the lancers are where it starts.
 
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FerrokenFibrous

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Raiders with Impairing Grenades and the first mod of any Secret Tech besides Psynumbra, I find them to be fairly effective with those. If I have the cosmite, I'll try to fit in a mod from any race I've infiltrated. Nanites, Combat Sensors, Interlocking Armour, Grounding Harness, Primal Awareness Amplifier, PsiTec Vision Enhancers, Regenerative Carapace, Ocular Implants, and Explosive Resistant Armour, all solid-ish (some more so ofc) picks depending on which other races happen to be your neighbours.

In the case of Psynumbra Shakarn, I try to find another race's settlement to conquer or player that I can infiltrate asap, then go straight to using one of their early mods as my second slot choice on Raiders. If I have a ton of cosmite though, I will try to give them Consuming Gaze instead.

One that got slightly nerfed is Amazion Promethean. Make the commander a veteran with party animal and the assault vehicle and you can use the points from level 3 to purchase Infantry commander, Biology Expert and Fallout Protocols, giving the army they lead +1 shield, +2 fire and bio resist, +10% damage, +5 HP and +100 morale.
At level 4 Animal Discipline adds another +5 HP and +200 morale.

Now here's the Amazon Lancer:
M1: Advanced Instinct Controller (+1 shield, +200 morale and +2 status resistance; ued to be +1 shield,+2 psi resistance and +300 morale)
M2: Grounding Harness (+1 armor, +2 arc resistance and Stagger resistance)
M3: Free

The result is a fast (40 MP), though (60 HP, 2 armor, 4 shield, 2 resistance to statuses, arc, thermal and bio; shields up defense mode) unit with flanker and 500 morale in this army. (before the nerfs it was 2 psi resist and 600 morale). You should be able to easily get the 100 missing morale from racial diplomacy or fighting in forests and this will make a very mobile, though core.
Early promethean research gives youPlasmoids, mods for more bio and thermal resistance via mods and amazons give you the Primal Awareness Aplifier (1 shield, detector 10% miss chance) as wella s quick access to Harriers and Arborean Sentinels which works particularly well with all this.
The third mod slot can then be used to tailor the units to your needs, offensively and defensively, as options are available.

Most NPC factions have something useful to offer for this you can keep building on the synergies through the entire game and keep an eye on countering your opponents after the expansion phase.
Party Animal is a commander perk that you should never pick, the morale bonus to one stack hardly outweighs the absolutely crippling production penalties. Decadent has much more value especially since Amazons struggle less with food and you can make your commander into even more of an absolute tank.

Amazons already have an easy time with morale from Animal Discipline and later the animal health/morale doctrine. You get much more value out of making Lancers dodgier and most of all immune to flanking with Primal Awareness. In fact, I'd say it's the second most must-have for them except for specific cases such as if you want to capitalize on Promethean's Purifiers and Burning Ground, in which case, you'd give them PyrX Absorption Panels instead, though that comes later, so you still get a lot of bang for your buck with Primal Awareness before the mid and late game.

My general setup for Lancers is grounding harness + primal awareness + secret tech mod (usually Purification Field, Phasewalk Modulator, Shield of Remorse, Xenoplague Parasite, etc., or in Psynumbra's case, Consuming Gaze). For Promethean specifically, I'll later swap Primal Awareness for PyrX Absorption because stagger resist and free heals/dispels are too valuable to let go of.
 

Ferrus Animus

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Party Animal is a commander perk that you should never pick, the morale bonus to one stack hardly outweighs the absolutely crippling production penalties. Decadent has much more value especially since Amazons struggle less with food and you can make your commander into even more of an absolute tank.

Amazons already have an easy time with morale from Animal Discipline and later the animal health/morale doctrine.
You might be right. As I stated above that build happened before the Advanced Instinct controller was changed. At that point party animal got them to 600 morale, and the Psi resistance had the unit with less gaps in its defense.
The point was to build a fast rush stack and it added up before the production penalty got significant.
Thishas changed a bit.
 

coodav

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Raiders with Impairing Grenades and the first mod of any Secret Tech besides Psynumbra, I find them to be fairly effective with those. If I have the cosmite, I'll try to fit in a mod from any race I've infiltrated. Nanites, Combat Sensors, Interlocking Armour, Grounding Harness, Primal Awareness Amplifier, PsiTec Vision Enhancers, Regenerative Carapace, Ocular Implants, and Explosive Resistant Armour, all solid-ish (some more so ofc) picks depending on which other races happen to be your neighbours.
What is funny is how broken the raider (or the 40 move unit of your choice) is with impairing grenade. That is an almost a 'must-go' move, and can basically destroy the value of units you hit, for the one turn that everything matters. if you can clean up after the first round of hits, you should find it fairly hard to lose.

The only thing is that the raider is a very fragile unit. Once they hit with their impairing grenade, they tend to get wiped out. In battles using them to deliver that bomb is scary, as you get one or two picked off as often as not, especially if the target resists. I typically like going ahead with well-built purifiers to do that, as they are way tougher. Or use the Therian Prowlers, cuz they basically free, and get a damage buff when you get their health low.
 

FerrokenFibrous

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What is funny is how broken the raider (or the 40 move unit of your choice) is with impairing grenade. That is an almost a 'must-go' move, and can basically destroy the value of units you hit, for the one turn that everything matters. if you can clean up after the first round of hits, you should find it fairly hard to lose.

The only thing is that the raider is a very fragile unit. Once they hit with their impairing grenade, they tend to get wiped out. In battles using them to deliver that bomb is scary, as you get one or two picked off as often as not, especially if the target resists. I typically like going ahead with well-built purifiers to do that, as they are way tougher. Or use the Therian Prowlers, cuz they basically free, and get a damage buff when you get their health low.
Raiders aren't too overly fragile as long as you try to hug cover or make use line-of-sight blockers as much as possible and avoid (as much as possible anyway) suicide-grenading them into the open like the AI tends to do with Vanguard Troopers. Having mods like Nanites, Purification Field and Dvar ER Armour also really help, and I actually tend to get those mods first before Impairing Grenades.
 

Ethorin

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I think my favorite part about Raiders is how early you can get them melting armor and shields at the same time...

The second Sonic Tech gives you Armor Melt and the second Laser Tech gives you Shield Melt.
 

Sinsling

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Fortification tools + purification field trenchers. Stupidly tanky vs anything not psi damage. Have a hero with siege master and 5 of these little buggers, and the map is pretty much yours.
 

orangelex44

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From a pure cost-effectiveness standpoint, I think that it's hard to do better than Huntresses with Guardian Daemon Shell. Extremely cheap, relatively survivable (especially with some levels), great active ability, good damage... they don't always scale very well once everything begins to have stagger resistance but you also haven't invested much into them either.
 

FerrokenFibrous

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I think my favorite part about Raiders is how early you can get them melting armor and shields at the same time...

The second Sonic Tech gives you Armor Melt and the second Laser Tech gives you Shield Melt.
That combo is also very squishy for its cost and weapon range.
 

NINJEW

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Pretty sure the gold standard for early and cheap but effective is troopers with rail accelerators + nanites/flechettes. Also, trenchers + 2 or 3 random mods you pulled out of a hat

Sounds like you're playing for more what I would consider the "mid game" though, in which case try checking out dvar/amazon echo walkers. I think technically the most optimal units for what you're trying to accomplish here is engulfers + a bunch of defense mods but engulfers is cheating
 

coodav

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Fortification tools + purification field trenchers. Stupidly tanky vs anything not psi damage. Have a hero with siege master and 5 of these little buggers, and the map is pretty much yours.
When I saw your save, I was flat floored with how durable those trenchers were. They had a whopping seven armor, and weren't well built! Those were base units toting some major beef. And it's not like the don't do any damage. They do plenty, but they only get one shot. That makes them best when they move and fire in a very specific way. They are inherently more strategic, and if you can prevent them from getting too mixed up with the enemy, they will do fantastically well. Flanking and psionic units are their downfall. Everything else is about to eat a big serving of owned.
 

coodav

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From a pure cost-effectiveness standpoint, I think that it's hard to do better than Huntresses with Guardian Daemon Shell. Extremely cheap, relatively survivable (especially with some levels), great active ability, good damage... they don't always scale very well once everything begins to have stagger resistance but you also haven't invested much into them either.
I was completely with you right up to the point you said "survivable." Huntresses are incredibly good units when they get that blinding flash off, and then just hose the other side down with damage. They are probably the highest DPS tier-1 unit in the game, when done right. The blind and defense tools you have get them through that first turn, but if you are facing a foe that can't be blinded, or can insta-cure themselves, these units are very fragile. Getting one or two sniped in a fight is fairly easy, even with good odds. Amazing damage and flexibility though, overall. Just watch out if you are in a place you can't have a unit die. These units are not trenchers in toughness.