I bring to you this nearly completed mod after 2 1/2 years in the making. Begun with the simple original intent of merging Complex 9.1 with some other favorites, it has now transformed into something quite satisfyingly different.
It is important to note that this mod borrows many assets from many different places, and, though it has been difficult to acquire permission to use all models from all authors as of the time this posting, it will be important to assign proper credit to everyone prior to this mod’s final release. A detailed breakdown of each asset’s origin has unfortunately been lost on a deceased external hard-drive so it would be appreciated if any such authors could contact me for proper inclusion in the credits (which will be posted for final review prior to the mod’s release) in the event they have been accidentally overlooked.
Complex Empire Overview:
This project combines the artistic talents of as many contributing members of the old HW2c community as possible in an effort to create something of a functioning museum. To this end, every available mod (somewhere in the neighbourhood of 39) has been combined within the Complex 9.1 framework in order to bring forth this expanded concept. This is for the long-player—the empire builder. This is not a game that will end within a few hours.
The player begins with three principle pieces of the Empire; losing all three means the loss of the game
a. Capital City: a vital station that sits at the heart of the Empire. It is capable of creating utilities capable of manufacturing the Tanis Shipyard should this facility be lost.
b. Tanis Shipyard: a Flagship building station that is capable of replacing the Mothership if required.
c. Mothership: the Empire’s primary Flagship, it is a source of all Sub-Stations, including a facility able to replace the Capital City if necessary.
Sub-Stations Matter A Great Deal
a. Sub-Stations are small, satellite stations buildable only by the Mothership as expansions of its basic systems
b. There are now 16 sub-stations that make up this entourage. These facilities are very important as they provide the gateways to almost everything else. Rushing strategies that seek only to target these sub-stations might be the only means of carrying out a successful and impactful raid…but be warned, these structures are not easily vanquished in the early game.
Mothership Manufacturing Restrictions
a. The mothership is able to manufacture only the basic versions of each ship class
b. Due to the inefficient nature of attempting to produce such a wide variety of ships all in one facility, the mothership produces ships at a rate of about 50% that of dedicated factories
Focuses Add Variety To Gameplay
a. There are now 14 different focuses available for the player to choose so that no match against an opponent need ever be played out with the same strategy
b. Each focus is mutually exclusive, providing unique stations, ships, research, and abilities
a. There are now several different ways to earn R.U.s throughout the game, beyond the basic harvesting, depending on which focus is chosen and which ships are built
b. Economic activity scales up with the introduction of multiple mineral type harvesting and the availability of industrial, financial, and commercial stations and ships
i. Examples include interest bearing accounts, commodities and stock markets, goods factories, commercial export gates, and passenger deliveries
c. Numerous support ships pursue their individual routes of picking up and delivering raw and processed goods as more production stations are added to the Empire
a. Collectors now harvest a variety of different minerals from mines, asteroids, and debris stations. These minerals are required for the production of armour, weapon systems, shields, means of propulsion, power, and access to hyperspace.
Increased Unit Caps Are Controlled By An Expanded Crew
a. The Space Navy has its primary offices in the Admiralty Headquarters Station and has barracks on the Space Navy Crew Station
i. Responsible for all ships larger than Frigates, with the exceptions of Carriers and Flagships, a lack of Navy crewmembers will prevent construction of these ships.
b. The Space Army is based in the Marine Training Facility and has barracks on the Space Army Crew Station
i. Responsible for all Marine Ships, Platforms and most military Stations, including the Tanis Shipyard
c. The Space Force has its principal command at the Academy and has barracks on the Space Force Crew Station
i. Responsible for all Strikecraft, including Fighters, Bombers, and Corvettes, as well as Carriers and Flagships, including the Mothership
d. Scientists, Engineers, Professionals, Agents, Labourers, and Leisurists make up members of the Civilian Population who also provide vital roles for the Empire
a. There are 4 different unit types available to deploy depending on which focus is chosen. They are:
i. Home Fleet (unit-cap based on a mix of population and resources)
ii. Mercenary (unit-cap based on honour, with one-shot fleets)
iii. Ally (unit-cap based on diplomatic standing)
iv. Trade Group (unit-cap based on resources)
a. Unit classes have been expanded to 39 different categories
b. Small weapons will typically not penetrate larger targets while larger weapons are unable to target smaller ships
Weapon And Shield Types
a. The 6 different weapon types have different levels of impact based on which shields are being used
b. Energy weapons and their corresponding shield counters have further been broken down into 11 sub-categories
a. There are now 83 different armour classes, corresponding to a combination of ship size and shield type
a. The overall concept is to build up the player’s economy and/or forces by whichever method is preferred before launching an assault on the player’s opponents—all while keeping in mind the following important strategic differences:
b. Rushing strategies against the Mothership will typically not work
i. The Mothership and corresponding stations have been furnished with sufficient staying power that all efforts to rush an opponent prior to building up a sizeable fleet will be entirely in vain
c. Only Carriers and Flagships can hyperspace directly; all other ships must use gates or dock with one of the two hyperspace classes above
i. This means that Carriers play a strategic role in positioning the player’s fleet and that it is no longer possible to jump in and out of an area without some advanced planning
ii. Placing a fleet in the wrong sector can now be a serious mistake
iii. Multiple fleets of various sizes guarding strategic points rather than one large, jump-fleet is probably the best way to survive
d. Bigger is not always better…
i. Without Hyperspace being available to larger ships they can now be outflanked by smaller, swifter moving fleets so considerations must be made before always investing in larger technology
ii. Bombers remain strong assets against capital ships
e. …except when it is
i. Stations are strong and meant to last—a wartime society that does not invest the utmost importance into the hull strength of its most vital assets is not likely to long survive
ii. The best means of dealing with them is the use of large ships. Anything less than a cruiser will have minimal impact
f. Defensive perimeters can be important
i. Without hyperspace jumps making the battlefield entirely random, it is now possible to visualize pathways of most probable attack and plan accordingly
g. Stations and Carriers are expensive…
i. …and so is almost everything else so the player cannot expect to be able to build large fleets early. The best strategy is to manage reasonable resource operations guarded by small fleets until the player’s economy has matured. Things will scale up fairly quickly once this has been allowed to progress properly
h. If slow moving ships are taking too long to traverse space, consider using one of the station tug ships to guard it. This will greatly increase its speed.
i. Stations (other than sub-stations) have very slow movement so position them carefully!
i. This is to underscore the fact that population centers should largely be stable and set up with long-range planning in mind from the onset.
j. This is not meant to be a quick game
i. Set aside some serious time if you plan to play a game to completion—it will take a while
ii. There are well over 1800 unique ships/stations (~3000 due to slight variations) in this game as well as over 5300 different weapons so take some time to explore as deeply as desired—chances are the player will not see all of them even after many different games
k. The Vaygr will never be able to have the same array of options as the Hiigarans due to limitations in the game engine so if playing against the AI it is recommended grouping multiple Vaygr opponents under a single unified team or else increasing their difficulty levels individually. If playing against human players it is recommended that all choose Hiigaran.
i) The Vaygr have a substantial advantage over the Hiigaran in the mid-game due to the reduced time required to achieve capital ships, but the Hiigaran’s access to a greater range of later game offensive options should easily tip the scales in their favor.
ii) The early game Vaygr should be countered by a player’s properly deployed defensive network to guard against the vulnerability that so many production stations and trade routes may cause