From this screen you can view and maintain your military units and facilities. The screen is divided into two sections: firstly, a list of all your fortresses and secondly a list of your military units.
From here you can also follow the links at the top right of the screen to launch military operations, and to view any military operations ongoing or previously carried out, as well as any attacks currently or recently ongoing against you. See the Military Operations section for full details.
You begin the game with a single medium fortress - your headquarters - and a single Company, the smallest military unit available. You may build new and upgrade existing fortresses and units as you see fit once the money to create and maintain these becomes available. Your fortresses form a crucial defensive buffer should you come under attack during a feud. Before any of your profit-making facilities can be destroyed on a planet, your fortresses on that planet must be neutralised, which means the destruction of all units based there. It follows that the more fortresses you have on a planet the harder it is to get to you during a feud.
There are six types of fortress that may be built, each correspondingly greater in defensive strength and capable of garrisoning more units. These are as follows:
Note that the maintenance for your Headquarters fortress is always free. However, should your HQ be destroyed, you will suffer a 10% increase to all your infrastructure costs (see Treasury, 3.1.3 above) until you build or allocate a new one - so be sure to ensure you always have an operational HQ.
As with all facilities, the cost to upgrade to the next level is 75% of the cost to build a new facility of that level. So to upgrade a small fortress to a medium fortress has a basic cost of $1500. (Note the term 'basic cost' is used as the actual cost of any operation will be modified by a variety of factors, such as the efficacy of your House Leadership and the distance of the site from your homeworld).
We have already mentioned that a Company is the smallest unit. There are two other units available, as the following list illustrates:
Each unit must be based in a particular fortress, specified when the unit is recruited (your initial unit is based in your HQ). You may move units between fortresses at any time for a small cost, related to the distance between the planets concerned. However bear in mind that an unmanned fortress will have a greatly reduced defensive capacity should it come under attack. Note that if you overfill a fortress with units (not normally allowed but possible under certain circumstances), the units in excess of the capacity listed above will not receive any defensive bonus from the fortress in the event of any attack, as they are caught out in the open and must fight a field battle.
As with any operation, building and upgrading fortresses and recruiting or moving units will take a certain amount of game time. You will see approximately how long, together with the potential cost and resulting treasury balance when you are transferred to the Task Confirmation screen after selecting your desired action. You may then confirm or cancel the operation.
From the defence screen you may carry out the following actions:
Note that you can only reinforce a damaged unit if that unit has returned to base, and is not currently in transit or involved in a military operation. Also, if the planet on which the unit is based is currently under attack from one of your enemies, you will be unable to reinforce the unit, since the available manpower will be otherwise engaged.
Reinforcing existing units is approximately 25% cheaper than building new ones, and the units will retain their experience, so it is usually better to reinforce a badly damaged unit than to build a new one.
As seen in the Rulebook
Regardless of what the rules say, there is no significant difference in cost for reinforcing a unit from 1% to full HP than it is to recruit a new one - however, you should still reinforce rather than recruit because it's better to have a legion now, rather than 30 days from now, and also because of the experience that it gained from fighting (which is invaluable). Training
Units gain experience from combat and from manoeuvres.
Unit experience goes as such: Rookie → Standard → Veteran → Elite → Super Elite*
* Super Elites are an unofficial rank (such units are officially still shown as Elite) that is speculated to exist, achievable after intensive training or a long, conflict-filled life. They are to Elites as Elites are to Veterans.
You can skip the Rookie step by recruiting units on a planet that you have a Military Academy on, which can be built by operating the Military sphere.
It takes an average of 4 manoeuvres to level up a Rookie to a Standard, 16 to move from Standard to Veteran, 64 to move from Veteran to Elite, and theoretically 256 to get Super Elites. These numbers are cumulative: it takes 20 manoeuvres to level up a Rookie to a Veteran.
Training units in live-fire combat is faster and cheaper than manoeuvres, but of course risks the destruction of your units. It's a frequent occurrence for players trying to level up legions to stage “wargames” (see below). Fighting against more experienced legions is also worth more experience than fighting against less experienced ones.
Wargames are usually arranged between two friendly houses. One side usually grants the other side at least one point of Feud Score. Typical methods to generate (or bypass) feud are:
Then it's simply a matter of the 'wronged' house attacking the other, preferably on a planet without any notable holdings that could be destroyed in an accident. There's the 'safe' way, and the 'dangerous' way: the safe way is for the attacker to set a 66% retreat threshold so that it is extremely unlikely that any legions will die in the combat. The 'dangerous' way is for the defender to be online during the attack, and to prolong combat for as long as possible, moving his legions away at the last moment before any legions on either side would be killed. This is dangerous because if the defender is not online or paying attention for the attack, the attacker has no way of withdrawing his troops once the battle begins, and because the RNG may suddenly decide to do much more damage than is expected (RNG can, of course, still make legions die in a 66% attack, but it's less likely). The safest method combines both of these steps.
Rinse and repeat until you've either used up all your money, you've leveled up as much as you want, or until you've committed suicide because the tedious clicking is intruding in your dreams.
The obvious way to move your units around is the “Reassign To” command on your units page. However, this isn't always the ideal.
When you send a unit somewhere - whether on an attack, manoeuvre, or patrol - it takes a variable amount of time to arrive, from a bit over one hour if the destination is on the same planet as the origin, to more than four hours for very distant targets. (The Military sphere and high tech levels reduce movement time.) On the other hand, when a unit returns to base from a completed or aborted operation, it takes one hour regardless of distance. Thus in a combat situation, it's preferable to send your units on a cheap manoeuvre and then immediately abort it, with the desired destination as their base to return to.
This also allows you to overstack units (the Reassign To command does not) and requires fewer clicks for groups of units, so it may be preferable even in peacetime, although it does cost a little more.
The most important thing to remember about IN is that combat is random. Ridiculous upsets happen regularly - you have to expect it.
Units deal a certian amount of “damage” expressed in a %. A legion, for example, does 2%-3% damage to another legion 4-5% damage to a batallion and 6-8% to a company. Usually it's 2 for a legion and 7 for a company, but the damage isn't what really matters. What matters is the amount of hits a unit gets. Units hit each other more times depending on their training, whether they're in a fort, and their tech level.
Two veterans with high tech fighting can easily do absurd amounts of damage to each other. Therefore, the defensive advantage matters more when the legions are better. With two rookie legions, the defender will likely only get the attacker down 5-10% before the attacker gets to retaliate, whereas a veteran legion with high tech will likely get the enemy down 30-40%, which matters because…
A unit with 50% health deals 50% damage. Therefore, a unit at lower than 40% health is pretty useless. Because of this, the early stages of the battle are very important. If you take more than 30% damage in the first round and you're not trying to weaken a fort, you might as well call it quits. This is a major reason that the game allows for heavy upsets. If the first hit is strong, it starts a chain reaction of pwn.
On average, the defensive advantage gives you about 4 times the attacks you'd have in a field battle (14-20 per unit rather than 3-5 with standard units). Essentially this means that even though defenders are usually outnumbered 5-4, they still have a major advantage when it comes to the fighting itself. They have a major disadvantage, however, when it comes to logistics.
When there are several forts, any attack that destroys one fort gets a free round at destroying civilian facilities from the targeted sphere(s) before engaging the next fort. Note that if the attack finishes wiping out its targeted sphere(s) the attack will finish and the units will return home - even if there are still forts remaining. This is a common strategy for looting an HQ or couping a government. To defend against this strategy, you should avoid having any spheres of less than about 5 facilities on the world you are defending - either have a large investment in that sphere, or none at all.
When you launch an attack, you must set a Retreat Threshold. You can change the threshold while the attack is pending, but not once it has landed.
The wave will retreat from battle once all the units in it have fallen below the threshold. Damage is rarely distributed evenly, so if you set a low retreat threshold, you are very likely to lose units before the threshold is reached. If you care about the survival of your units, you should always use a 50% or 66% threshold.
Assaulting fortresses or superior units usually result in extremely high damage per turn (as much as 60% of legion health can be deducted in the first round of combat), so even a 50% retreat threshold in such circumstances will likely result in the death of attacking legions.
More units is better for defense, more spare money for attacks is better for offense Because units in a fort have a major advantage over their attackers, the real goal of the first offensive wave to is damage the enemy fort and force the enemy to fight in the field. Units caught in the field are often outnumbered as well as stranded from the fort, and are therefore basically free kills. So, attackers who are crippled by the initial defensive attack can still damage the fort, and leave helpless enemies for the next wave. Defenders should just send away their units that are left in the field, to another base, to patrol, to maneuver, et cetera. Likewise, if you have 1 or 2 legions left in a fort, you'll likely want to just deconstruct the fort and send the 2 legions away if you want to save them. The differences, then, between offense and defense are extreme. Defenders are much, much more powerful but attackers can essentially make the defenders into stranded little puppies. Replacing attack legions is expensive, and they're more likely to damage the enemy fort early on in their attack, so a retreat ratio of 66% is usually best, but 50% is acceptable. Most forts take 2-3 waves. The first one damages the fort, the second kills the guys in the field and damages the fort again, usually with a 5-3 advantage, which means a third wave to finish the job- but sometimes the second wave will be enough (especially if the first already damaged the fort enough that there's only 2 in the fort and the second awve has a 5-2 advantage). Assuming relative wealth and unimportance of the defended planet, I would retreat at the point that only 2 of my legions fit in the fort. Especially against superior troops, a five legion wave can kill two legions in the first round of combat (even inside a fort).
When launching multiple waves it's important to note that they probably won't land in the order that you launched them. When a wave arrives at a planet where your units are already fighting, they go into a 15 minute cycle where they essentially repeatedly act like they're fifteen minutes away from the planet and try to approach it again, until the units on the ground are no longer engaged. This also means that, if they're online and they're quick enough, defenders can replenish between waves regardless of how many waves were sent at once. The important thing to remember on offense is that you can't send a wave of 5, then a wave of 2 to mop up defenders, then a wave of 5 again to engage the next fort, and expect them to attack in that order. It's essentially random the order in which your waves will engage.
Experience matters the most. I'm not sure of the math, but in my experience unit effectiveness follows the track:
Rookie 50%, Standard 100%, Veteran 150%, Elite 200%, Super Elite 250%
Standards, then, get about twice the amount of attacks as rookies. Tech level, on the other hand, increases the amount of attacks you get linearly. In my experience, the two tech levels are comparative. Meaning that two houses with 18 tech don't just wipe each other depending on who hits first - but you get another attack (I think, but I've only ever had 1 tech level so it's hard to say) for every .2 tech advantage you have. Companies are about 1/3 as strong as a legion, battalions are about 2/3, but with each hit a legion does around 2% to a legion, 4% to a battalion and 7% to a company, which implies that the actual average is 2.2%, what it effectively means is that a company is worse than 1/3 of a legion.
It may be selection bias from those who are bitter about losing good legions, but it is suspected that when you attack with a force of mixed experience levels, the more experienced (and thus more valuable) units take the bulk of the damage, and so are liable to be destroyed before their less experienced comrades fall below the retreat threshold. For this reason it is preferable to use waves of a single experience level when possible.
More commentary on this would be beneficial
For offense, mixing unit sizes is a bad idea. Smaller units will end up dying because they'll take damage faster than the bigger units, which means by the time the legion hits their retreat ratio, the other units have died. Since you're limited to five units in the attack, you should make all five of them legions for maximum effectiveness (unless your target is undefended facilities).
Theoretically, smaller units may be better on fort defense than larger units. All units in a fort engage at once, which may allow many companies to swarm the attacking legions, crippling them in the opening round with a large number of hits. Consider also the behaviour of a damaged fort. A medium fort will hold 2 legions or 6 companies. If the fort is damaged down to a small fort, one of the legions becomes overstacked, but only 2 of the companies becomes overstacked - a 50% loss of manpower versus a 33% loss of manpower.
But there are significant reasons not to do this - as stated before, a company may be worth significantly less than 1/3rd of a legion because of its inferior defense. Three companies also cost significantly more to maintain than one legion does. And in field battle, companies (like all other units) engage five-at-a-time, losing their only advantage. Finally, companies are virtually useless as a main attack force, so if you keep only companies on defense, you'll have no forces to attack other fully-stocked forces with.
Assuming you have the resources to do so, never send waves of anything less than 5 legions against an indomitable fort(s). A wave of 5 legions is much better than a wave of 4, likely by more than the size difference would indicate.
For undefended targets, a single company is usually enough to destroy up to 20 undefended facilities, and they are very cheap to attack with. Single companies are also good for Intelligence Gathering (see below).
Keep in mind that facilities under construction can also be attacked and destroyed, just like existing facilities (although they are only destroyed by using an All Spheres attack). This makes forts into very vulnerable targets, since they cannot be manned until construction finishes. Facs under construction do not even put up any resistance to your attack.
Ghost retreating is when you leave a window browser open of the op before the op lands- so if you cancel the op you can retreat at any time (whereas normally once a fight starts they will only retreat when they hit their retreat ratio). This is dubiously abusing a bug, it's been reported, and it hasn't been fixed, but it hasn't been OK'd either. I don't recommend it. Update: This has been removed by a patch.
The circumstances in which Allied Defense kicks in are fairly arbitrary.
If you attack House A (who is allied with House B) on a planet, and both House A and House B have a fort, your forces will land and attack House A's fort. If you destroy the fort, your forces will wipe out one round worth of House A's facilities. If you wipe out all of House A's target facilities in this round, your units will retreat - they have completed their objective. If after one round not all of these facilities are destroyed, House B's fort will kick in. You'll have to destroy House B's fort before you can hit any more of House A's facilities.
On the other hand, if House A has no military at all on his planet, and House B does, then House B's allied forts will kick in before you touch any of House A's facilities.
House B can still protect House A by sending a manoeuvre or patrol. Manoeuvres and patrols take precedence over any forts, but (just like with forts) House A's manoeuvres or patrols take precedence over House B's. If a manoeuvre or patrol arrives mid-combat, it will interrupt an assault on a fort.
Allied defense has some kinks to it that make warfare… interesting. If an ally has Allied Defense on and you attack a planet where you have military and they do not (or if you destroy their military first) then your own forces will rise to the defense of your ally. In this way it is possible to attack yourself (or at least your own military facilities/maneuvers/patrols). If the circumstances are just right you can also use Allied Defense to attack an enemy installation with two waves at once. House A sends an attack at both House B and House C (who are allies with Allied Defense on). House C has no military on the planet, so House B's military jumps to the defense of their ally, while also repelling the main attack. This is the only known method to attack with more than one wave at a time, and is a major disincentive to keep Allied Defense on.
Overstacked units on a fortress function just like Patrols or Maneuvers do, allowing you to conduct a field battle with attacking units prior to contact with the fort. All overstacked units combat will be resolved before any units inside the fort become involved, so if you have 4 legions inside a fort, and one unit overstacked, an attacking 5 legion wave will assault the single unit by itself before descending on the fort. Overstacked units are randomly determined - if you have 4 veteran legions and 10 standard legions assigned to a fort, the legions will be randomly assigned to inside the fort or overstacked. This order is shuffled every time the fort is reinforced.
It's worth noting that if the defender is online, overstacked units are by far the most effective means of defense. Use a large overstack of units (at least 10 legions) and repair them between waves. If the enemy legions are superior to yours (or you get blindsided by a second wave before you get a chance to retreat) you can send them off to another planet to repair in the middle of combat. The other overstacked units will step into the fray in their place. This is a case where using Cancelled Manoeuvres to move your troops is indispensable, so that units can be sent back to reinforce in 1 hour rather than 2-4.
When defending with overstacked units, the attacking units will engage 5 random legions, and continue to engage those five until one or more defending legions are killed. This is interrupted by units arriving to reinforce the defenders, however. When reinforcing units arrive it randomizes what units are defending among all overstacked units - this can result in attackers fighting one of the original weaked legions and four fresh ones. If any overstacked legions are killed they will be replaced by another random overstacked unit the following round, until all overstacked units are killed, or the attacker retreats (or is destroyed).
Spies are invaluable during war - if you have a spy in an enemy house, regardless of how deep or what specialization, there's a chance that you'll be informed anytime they send out an attack against any house, and a chance you'll be informed of where it's going and who it's hitting. The more infiltrated the spy is, and whether it's infiltrated in Military affect how often and how much info is gathered. Spies can also be used to gather Military intelligence reports that show the number of forts the house has and how their units are distributed among them. As any intelligence report, these can be falsified with Misinformation, so be wary of obviously fake reports.
Outside of spies, however, a Company is your best friend for intelligence gathering. If feud is not an issue (as is the case in a war outside of Imperial Jurisdiction, or in a prolonged war where opponents have hundreds of fued), you can send a company at a planet you intend to attack, set at a high retreat threshold (66% for instance). When the company arrives, it'll tell you how many units are in the fort. You can also estimate what kinds of units are in the fort based on the damage they deal, although this isn't entirely reliable because of RNG.