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War is a process of destroying or capturing the opposing nations' cities or empires' colonies, occurring in both the Civilization Stage and Space Stage. In the Tribal Stage, it is known as raid--which revolves tribe members destroying another's tribe.
In the Tribal Stage, players are able to send individuals from their tribes to conduct raids against other tribes. If both the player and the opposing tribe are sworn enemies, that opposing tribe will likely provoke a raid against the player's tribe, depending on how many tribe members they currently have.
Once the player has won the raid against the opposing tribe; destroying their tribe hut entirely, the player's tribe will be awarded access to new tool huts to purchase, and outfits for the species to wear in the Tribal Outfitter.
If the player's tribe was destroyed by the enemy tribe, the player loses the game and will start from the last save on the stage (or from the beginning of the Tribal Stage if not saved anywhere).
In the Civilization Stage, wars are a more integral mechanic to the whole stage and essential goal to complete the stage towards Space Stage. Any nation, except for economic, can conduct wars against other nation cities by controlling the vehicles--land, sea, or air--and attacking the cities. Destroying buildings inside the city is important to capture the city; the destruction of buildings is the first priority while the hall is the second. The meter of the progress by capturing the city will increase as much as the vehicles are attacking the city. However, the other cities can also compete which will reach the meter first as both are conducting war against that city. If the city remains to be not attacked, the meter will decrease gradually and the city will heal itself.
The vehicles with the highest offense stat will destroy the buildings more effectively. Conducting wars against other cities will lower the relationship between that nation dramatically, though military vehicles decrease the relationship twice more than religious vehicles. Cities can have their own protection against attacks by having turrets.
The relationship between nations will affect the nation to conduct the wars, the "is in the war" (represented by angry orange or red face) will prepare to send the vehicles to attack that city.
Similar to the Tribal Stage, having all the player's cities wiped out by other nations will start from the last save.
Interstellar/galactic conflict is available in the Space Stage. When an empire has a very low relationship with another (-71), a war will begin. Wars automatically initiate another large drop in relationship points (-50). They may stop a war by donating money, although a large amount is required - usually a few million in easy mode and up to 16 million in normal mode. During wars the AI empires attack the player whenever they go near and will occasionally attack the player's planets, conquering them when the player fails to protect them. If you ally with the Grox, all or nearly all species in the galaxy will declare war on the player controlled empire. HOWEVER, if you declare war on the Grox, there is no way to stop it unless you destroy them.
So far, there is no way for the player to gather up a fleet to defend or attack with aside from allied ships, which seem to be useless to most players. However, it is important to get allied ships from larger empires as their health can exceed 1000 hit points. Grox space ships have at least 2 times that amount of hit points. The NPC empire however can attack with upwards of 16 ships or more. The Computer is also aware when you enter their space and will begin attacking your ship (Note: this occurs with all Empires, excluding Grox which will still attack at a blue relationship, with orange or worse relationship, not just those with which you are at war), where their attacks seem to spawn on your world directly.
The players worlds have no system defense that can stop enemy ships from reaching a planet. All in all the combat system is only balanced by the extreme power of the player's ship which can often handle these attacks with ease. Many players complain that having only 1 ship makes defending large empires impractical as you might be attacked on a world that is on the other side of the galaxy and be unable to get there in time to stop the invasion (unless they are a Shaman). This is compensated by the Uber Turret that will fly and attack ships, even when you are not there. The Uber Turret is strong enough to defend against Grox attacks, but only if your cities are fully developed and turreted (even so your cities take a very small amount of damage before the Grox ships are destroyed).
Before trying to declare war, it is recommended that the player has reasonable weapons, such as bombs and at least a normal laser. On the other hand, one can wipe out T1 and above colonies by changing them to T0, which will leave only one colony on the planet that has no defenses.
Of course, even in war there are things that are considered too horrible to do. This is the purpose of the Galactic Code, which bans the use of certain Superweapons, namely Gravitation Wave, Fanatical Frenzy, and Planet Busters. Breaking the Galactic Code results in a negative relationship bonus of up to 200 with any empire that has colonies within 10 parsecs of the point where the Code was broken. The Grox, however, admire breaking the Code, and a relationship bonus of up to 50 can be gained by breaking the Code within 10 parsecs of them (but not if the superweapon is used on one of their own planets. Fanatical Frenzy, however, gives you a +2 relationship boost).
In an early build of the game, cities have what appears to be a wide range of defensive (and possibly offensive) weaponry to choose from. Among these we have seen many forms (i.e., colors) of lasers being shot from what can only be assumed to be defensive structures. It might also be possible that creatures were firing as well.
- Occasionally, other empires will talk of 'A Spore War' when talking about or offering certain missions to you that have to do with the war against other empires.
- If an enemy attacks your Homeworld, then they will destroy all cities except for one if they're not stopped in time (this is probably because Homeworlds cannot be replaced).
- The Grox war-cry of "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!" is a likely reference to the Daleks of the long-running television show "Doctor Who", who are known for using the same phrase.
- Uber Turrets are vital for large empires. They can defend from large invasion fleets and pirate raids are under control in an instant. The only problem is that they cost a fortune to purchase, let alone enough to defend a whole empire. So you'd better save up for these things.
- Trader Empires and Diplomat Empires will never attack the colonies of an empire that they are at war with, making them generally easy targets for conquest. (They will still defend their colonies like any other empire would, though.)
- Strangely enough, when a player comes to another saved game's empire, there are tons of spaceship fleets that can attack the player if they are at war. However, once you play the saved game you just visited, the spaceship fleets are completely gone. It is however, such an unknown mystery why the player cannot create spaceship fleets of their own while the NPC empires can.