The Hivers are a race of sentient insectoids with a rigid caste system.
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Gameplay: Sword of the Stars Edit
The Hiver have three principle advantages. These are their heavily armed and armored ships, as well as their unique teleportation gates. This can result in them being more comfortable than other races with combat auto-resolve. They also have less important advantages of large crew counts and a massive Flagship command cap. Economically, Hivers have a wider eco-tolerance than any other race but the Zuul.
Because Hivers do not need to pack two sets of engines into their ships like the Humans or Tarka do, Hivers tend to have a greater number of total guns, and are only beat out on total large guns by the Zuul because the Zuul prefer a few very big weapons to many small ones. In addition to having more guns, most of the guns on Hiver ships are capable of pointing straight up. While this has the minor downside that they're vulnerable to missiles on their undersides, it has the upside of allowing most Hiver guns to focus on the same target by turning the ship broadside against the target and using the bracket keys ( [ and ] ) to roll the ship towards the target. This allows almost all of the guns on a single Hiver ship to fire on the same target.
Hivers have more health in total on their ships. They prefer staying power above most other attributes in a fight. To this end, Hiver ships also tend to be more massive than comparable ships of other races
Teleport Gates Edit
Hivers have no FTL drives on any ship except for specialized Gate ships, which they ideally do not wish to travel much at all. In order to reach a new world, Hivers must set out at slower than light speeds, taking many turns to reach their destination. Once there, the Hivers will deploy their Gate ship, which will connect to the network of teleport gates, allowing instananeous transfer of ships from one gate to the other, but with a finite capability to transfer mass each turn. Therefore, a single massive Hiver fleet can respond to any number of attacks in sequence, wiping one after another.
The Antimatter level upgrade to Hiver Star Drives, Farcasters, takes advantage of the teleportation gates for offensive purposes. With this technology, a Gate can send ships up to 10 light years away, allowing them to instantaneously arrive at a nearby (astronomically speaking) target world with no gate. However, this is not a precise method, and ships can arrive at a point up to 2 light years from the target world. However, that's still 4/5ths the distance covered in a moment, and a maximum of 3 turns away with Antimatter engines.
A secondary attribute of this FTL system is that Hivers have a great incentive to make their ships go as fast as possible. In tactical combat, this translates into the fastest straight line speed of any of the races, excepting the Liir in deep space.
A terciary benefit to the Gates is that an enemy player must carefully pay attention to which planets are being reinforced and when. The fleets of other races can be seen, turn by turn, approaching a destination. Hiver fleets just appear. Cunning Hivers will have their defensive fleets arrive the same turn as the attacking fleets, giving the Hiver the luxury of analyzing the incoming fleet, designing a fleet to counter it, constructing the fleet, and then moving the defensive fleet to the combat zone without allowing any hint of its composition to reach the enemy.
Finally, Hiver players gain the advantage of being able to decentralize to an astounding degree. While other races insist on having contiguous borders that they can patrol, Hivers are perfectly happy with random colonies in the middle of allied or even enemy territory. This is because Hivers don't need to rely upon interception to defend their holdings, they only need one turn's notice to effectively respond. This also has the effect of unbalancing Hivers in large games. Most other players can be pulled apart by a two or three front war, but it takes a very high degree of coordination to do the same to a Hiver.
Auto-Resolve Advantage Edit
Hivers have, on average, more guns and more armor than their rivals. Because auto-resolve behaves as if all ships fired all their guns at other ships at the perfect range with perfect accuracy, Hivers tend to do well by its calculations. Further, using the gate network, Hivers can usually put more ships in any given fight than their competitors.
Large Crews Edit
The success of a boarding action is determined by counting the number of crew in boarding pods and subtracting the number of crew in the target spaceship. If that number ever goes positive, the ship is counted as KIA for the boarded player, and the boarding player gains a stationary gun platform. Hivers have the largest crew counts in the game, making them the most resistant to this tactic. Further, Hiver boarding pods have very high crew counts, making them quite adept at the manuever.
Flagship Command Cap Edit
The Flagship Mission Section is a huge, multipurpose section which acts as a combination Barrage Mission Section and Armada CnC Mission Section. They exel in both roles, having more firepower and more command points than dedicated sections of either. Hivers are tied with the Zuul for the largest number of command points at 76, able to field an extra Cruiser or 3 extra Destroyers compared to other races. This advantage is emphasized in the defensive flexibility allowed the Hivers by their gates, allowing this powerful ship to appear in several combats, one turn after another. The drawback of only being able to field one Flagship at a time is also less significant to Hivers, because of that same flexibility.
Hivers can tolerate planets from a wider range of eco-hazards than any other species but the Zuul. This means that a Hiver can set up a colony on planets everyone else passes over. This ability to salvage otherwise uninhabitable planets somewhat negates their slow expansion speed. Their gate network allows them to defend such holdings as well. In fact, the mere presence of a hostile world among a cluster of worlds will cause the entire trade sector to become inoperable.
Technological Aptitudes Edit
The Hivers have a good chance of unlocking Ballistic Weapons, Industrial, Biotech, and Drone technologies, with the best chance of any race to unlock Adamantite Alloys (50%). Refer to the Tech Tree for exact chances of unlocks, the yellow numbers are for the Hivers. These aptitudes cement the Hiver's role as the defensive player with a ponderous but uncrackable buildup to late game dominance. Further, a Hiver's tendency to be on the defensive means that they will be able to salvage enemy wreckage with their Repair Stations, resulting in a high likelihood of salvaging technology that they did not unlock.
While Hivers are the second slowest researchers in the game, a well managed Hiver economy can still out-research a poorly managed Human economy of similar size.
Hivers have a slow and difficult start, founding colonies very slowly. Their ships are cumbersome in tactical combat. They can very rarely intercept enemy ships, and are very vulnerable to interception themselves. Because they take so long to travel, their cloaked ships provide enemy scanners with lots of chances to find them. Further, while the gate network allows a Hiver to pick his fleets, the slow strategic movement of the Hiver allows the non-Hiver player to pick his battles.
Difficult Start Edit
Hivers do not move quickly. Their spread, while difficult to roll back, is incredibly vulnerable. Enemy players can simply intercept gates in deep space, never allowing them to set up in the first place. In the face of such resistance, a Hiver's growth can be stunted beyond recovery.
Massive Ships Edit
Hiver ships are the second most massive in the game. Because the game models Newtonian physics in tactical combat, more massive ships take longer to accelerate and turn. Note that mass also affects resistance of a ship to being knocked off course by weapons that impart a kinetic force, which allows Hivers to maintain tighter formations in the face of enemy fire.
Inability to Intercept Edit
The fastest a Hiver can ever go is 0.99C, or 99% of the speed of light. They will see you coming. Further, any Liir, Tarka, or Morrigi will find it laughably easy to intercept a Hiver in transit. Humans and Zuul cannot do so because they rely on Node Space in order to go faster than light, are are in fact slower outside Node Space than the Hivers. This means that "starburst" expansion strategies where small fleets or individual ships are sent out to each possible destination are only options to Hivers in the most secure space. If a Hiver starbursts in range of enemy scanners, the rays will be hunted down and destroyed.
A side effect of this is that Hivers cannot perform pirate actions, and in fact will never unlock Commerce Raiding. However, it is possible to mod the game to allow Hivers to research Commerce Raiding, which then enables them to pirate merchant traffic.
Impractical Stealth Edit
Every scanner equipped with Tunneling Sensors which has a cloaked ship in its range rolls every turn to determine if they can "see" the cloaked ship. Hiver ships give such scanners a lot of chances, because they take a lot of turns to get anywhere.
Defense is not always the best Defense Edit
Vulnerability in Offense Edit
Hiver ships take a long time to reach their destinations, but what does that mean for an attacking fleet?
- The target will see the Hiver coming, and have time to prepare a response, be it reinforcements or a counter-strike.
- The target may choose to engage the Hiver in Deep Space to prevent the Hiver's Assault Shuttles or Bio-Missiles from being effective.
- The target may choose to by-pass the Hiver attack fleet to strike at (hopefully) undefended worlds while the attack fleet is stuck in the middle of Deep Space, turns from anywhere.
Because of 1 and 2, a Hiver must commit a massive amount of force to an attack for several reasons. First, the Hiver must be prepared for several possible contingencies, and so have several sets of ships with which to counter various specializations. Second, the Hiver hopes that by presenting overwhelming force, the enemy will not be able to gather a sufficient amount of reinforcements in time.
Because of 3, a Hiver must also be careful not to commit too much to the attack. In the time it takes for a Hiver fleet to reach the enemy, the enemy can reach and lay waste to several Hiver worlds. For this reason, Hivers will often wait until they have an overwhelming numbers advantage before they even consider offensive operations. However, Defense is not always the best Defense.
Vulnerability in Defense Edit
Cracking a Hiver defense is a relatively simple matter, once the attacker understands the strength and weakness of the Hiver gates. While a Hiver fleet may seem to be everywhere at once, it cannot actually be everywhere at once. Simply put together as many viable fleets as possible and have them attack as many planets at once. "At once" is the key phrase, coordinate their movements so that all of the fleets will arrive at their destinations on the same turn. The attacker can strike as deeply into enemy territory as he pleases, the Hiver has next to no ability to intercept him. However, attacking too deeply can tip off the Hiver as to what's coming.
Example, Let's say you wish to attack five Hiver worlds at the same time. The shortest travel time is 10 turns, followed by 8, 4, 4, and 1. Assuming that the attack was ready to begin at turn 1, observe the table.
|Turns to taget||Departure||Arrival|
|10||turn 1||turn 11|
|8||turn 2||turn 11|
|4||turn 6||turn 11|
|4||turn 6||turn 11|
|1||turn 10||turn 11|
As demonstrated, this schedule results in all combats occuring on turn 11. If the Hiver player only ever had one fleet at strength, then he would lose 4 of 5 worlds. If the attacker had all fleets depart on turn 1, then the Hiver would have only lost one world, one of the ones that took 4 turns to reach. This strategy plays on a Hiver's tendency to skimp on total ships in order to save on construction costs and maintainence. After all, a Hiver only needs to have one fleet, right?
Hivers rely on powerful, heavily armed ships to win one fight after another. Whether on offense or defense, Hivers rely on overwhelming force in a sequence of battles. Their natural advantages of power and strategic flexibility are tempered by their relatively slow rate of research and their relatively low chance to unlock powerful offensive technologies. Late game Hivers tend to follow the philosophy which states that if you didn't solve your problem with guns, try more and larger guns.
Hivers perform well in a multiplayer game with their ability to both defend any point easily and their wide climate tolerance. Your Hiver ally might be able to turn an incredibly inhospitable planet into a trade hub. The Hiver will also see much more powerful gate networks than she's used to, as she'll be able to leverage the gates deployed at allied worlds to move vast fleets more easily. Finally, Hivers will contribute to the alliance's armor research most of all. However, you must be careful to include at least one Tarka, Liir, or Morrigi in such an alliance, as Hivers, Humans, and Zuul have next to no deep space interception capabilities.
Gameplay: Sword of the Stars 2 Edit
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Sword of the Stars: The Pit Edit
Ground Pounders Edit
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