There are four total factions in the galaxy of Sins of a Solar Empire. Three of these factions are controllable by the player: the industrious Trader Emergency Coalition (TEC), the psychic Advent and the technologically advanced Vasari. The fourth faction, the Pirates, are an NPC faction that exists only to collect bounties by destroying ships of the other three.
- Main article: TEC
The Trader Emergency Coalition (TEC) was originally a group of trade worlds that descends from earlier human exploration, in the "Golden Age" their economy flourished and society grew. At one point they cast out the Advent, a religious desert sect that the Traders despised (see Advent) which lead many to mark the end to the Golden Age. In recent times the Vasari entered the scene as they fled from their Xeno enemy. To defend against the Vasari, the Traders formed the TEC, mobilized their economy into military economy and managed to hold the Vasari off by converting their merchant vessels and colony ships into warships, and later produced the Kol capital ship which was their first battleship design in 750 years. The Advent then returned, being much more powerful, and started a two front war. This compelled the TEC to force retired veterans to return to the navy to fight back the Advent. The TEC tends to have heavily armored units and mostly focus on Ballistic (Missiles and Gauss Cannons) and less on lasers. They tend to have ships that, when fully upgraded, are heavily armored, shielded, and hulled more than any other faction ships of the game, and sacrifice firepower and damage-dealing potential for heavy hull and light shields and moderate to high armor levels. They have a mixed close-to-long range arsenal but mostly focused on the latter. Their preferred planets are terran planets.
TEC have some of the least expensive frigates and cruisers of any faction, enabling them to more easily build large fleets and overpower enemies with sheer numbers. The Javelis LRM Frigate has the longest range of any combat unit in the game and delivers very high firepower for its cost, making it one of the most dangerous assault units in the game. On the other hand, the Hoshiko Robotics Cruiser is a defensive support unit that acts as a mobile repair bay and keeps your fleet intact during intense firefights. Both of these units are very inexpensive to build, are very cost-effective, and available early in the game. This gives TEC a potent early-game fighting force. Their capital ships also shine in the early game, with the Sova Carrier, Marza Dreadnought, and Akkan Battlecruiser performing marvelously in their respective roles. A swarm of Javelis LRM Frigates backed up by Hoshiko Robotics Cruisers and two Sova Carriers can be a difficult force to defend against, and a good TEC player can field it within the first 20 minutes of the game. This makes TEC arguably the best rushing faction. The Argonev Star Base's ability to self-destruct can antagonize even the best of players; they have no way of knowing whether they're walking into an explosive trap, and usually are forced to keep their distance just to be safe. Not to mention, they have the strongest capital ships in the game in terms of health and firepower.
On the economic front, the TEC have a powerful advantage if they lead with the Akkan Battlecruiser. This gives them an edge in the early colonization phase of the game, both bolstering the resource producing of newly colonized planets as well as reducing your dependence on slow and expensive colony frigates. Their Civilian Tree also has several useful and inexpensive technologies. Although TEC does get Trade Ports earlier than other factions, this advantage is not as big as it first appears; in practice, it is easy to maintain a competitive economy without trade in the first 20 minutes of the game, giving the other factions plenty of time to build the additional labs necessary. Late game, the TEC receive an upgrade called Pervasive Economy that gives them unrivaled economic power.
Although TEC opens with powerful military units that strike fear into the hearts of the other factions, its late game prospects are not nearly as cheerful (despite this they are still more than capable of holding their own late in battle). While they retain a very cost-effective Kodiak Heavy Cruiser and the starbase-smashing Ogrov Torpedo Cruiser, the military situation grows increasingly grim. TEC has very little answer to powerful late-game abilities like Repulsion and Distortion Field that can completely shut down portions of the enemy fleet, and virtually nothing that can protect their capital ships against the massive amount of firepower the enemy will be capable of throwing at them. TEC capital ships begin to suffer for another reason as well; they offer fewer fleet support abilities than their Vasari and Advent counterparts, and need to lean on powerful level 6 abilities to compete. Taken together, TEC is a faction that must find an advantage in the early game and carry it forward. They begin to fall behind the other factions on every front except economy, and will need to maintain better capital ships and a significantly larger fleet to compete.
TEC Loyalists are a defensive variation on the traditional TEC formula. With Twin Fortresses, the TEC Loyalists can build two Argonev Star Bases at a planet instead of one, and five Argonevs at a star instead of four. The TEC Loyalists can also access Novalith Cannon with six Military Labs instead of eight.
TEC Rebels are an aggressive variation on the traditional TEC formula. With Pirate Mercenaries, the TEC Rebels can spawn controllable Pirate ships at their planets. With Truce Amongst Rogues, the Pirates and Militia ally with the TEC Rebels.
TEC Ships, Structures, and ResearchEdit
- Main article: Advent
The Advent was originally a desert religious cult that mastered psychic powers. They originally isolated themselves and followed the "Unity," The Unity is a religion that believes that everyone should unite mentally into a collective mind in order to ascend to perfection. During their exile they focused all of their resources into advancing their technology level using their psychic powers to create the psi-tech. They are more than 1000 years ahead of the current TEC technological level and also Advent technology is considered a huge rival to the technological advancements of the Vasari. They have returned to exact vengeance on the TEC and unite the human race with the "Unity". The Advent tend to favor cheap lightly armored units but make up with energy weapons (lasers and plasma), Psi-weapons (weapons that are mentally charged with a user's mental powers) and extremely powerful energy shields. Their units have a very sleek thin design. Advent fleets rely on support units to buffer them whilst in combat (this is opposed to the Vasari which can buffer themselves). They prefer desert planets due to their history.
When it comes to the issue of sheer power and fleet support (special abilities), there is no faction that can match the Advent. Their units, across the board, have top notch firepower that puts their TEC and Vasari equivalents to shame, and have massive shield reserves to absorb punishment. Backing up these powerful frigates and cruisers are exceptional capital ships that focus in fleet support. Their abilities can increase their fleets damage, longevity and defense, further improving their already high combat potential. The Advent also has one of the most dangerous support cruisers in the game, the Iconus Guardian, which can give your fleet an effective second layer of shielding in addition to its ability to repulse enemy units to break their formations, disrupt their movements, and push them out of attack range. When fully upgraded with abilities like Meteor Storm, and guarded by the right complement of units and capital ships, the Transcencia Star Base can be nearly impregnable as a defense. When it comes to pure muscle, the Advent military is without peer.
If it's not about pounding your enemy with sheer brute force, it isn't Advent's strong suit. Although it comes earlier in the technology tree, Advent culture is no more dangerous than any other kind of culture, and even their superweapon isn't very threatening compared to the deadly Novalith Cannon or the awe-inspiring Kostura Cannon. Aside from the late game technology Allure of the Unity, their economy is lackluster and you will need to make up for that. Usually Advent players need to carefully preserve their fleet and save money by replacing their units less often, since they have less disposable income than Vasari or TEC in general. But the greatest Advent disadvantage is their rocky road in the early game. Their Illuminator Vessel and Repair Platform appear later in the tech tree than either of the TEC or Vasari equivalents, which can slow down early-game Advent responses and leave them quite vulnerable. Often Advent has no real alternative but to make swarms of Disciple Vessels, which makes them very easy to counter. If Advent can get through the early game, they become a terrifying force to contend with, but surviving long enough to field a mature fleet will be your greatest challenge. Their ships have powerful shields but very weak armor and hulls. The Vasari in particular can destroy Advent ships easier than the TEC through the use of Phase Missiles. Since the missiles can bypass shields, Advent ships are very vulnerable against them.
It's been noted that the AI is terrible at playing Advent, so much so that it's comparable to reducing the difficulty level by one notch. This is because Advent is very dependent on combining its strengths carefully in well-organized fleets, but the AI seldom employs these advantages well, if at all. In Entrenchment, it also tends to delegate far too many carriers to minelayer duty, meaning the Advent AI is chronically short on fighters and bombers, in spite of the fact that a good Advent fleet will always have more strike craft than comparable Vasari or TEC fleets.
Advent Loyalists are a variation on the traditional Advent formula. They focus on continuing the spread of Unity throughout the galaxy, with their unique tech and titan focusing on mind control.
Advent Rebels are a variation on the traditional Advent formula, with a focus around sacrifice and rebirth of ships.
Advent Ships, Structures, and ResearchEdit
|Logistics:||Metal Extractor • Crystal Extractor • Frigate Factory • Capital Ship Factory • Temple of Hostility • Temple of Harmony • Trade Port • Temple of Communion|
|Tactical:||Beam Defense Platform • Hangar Defense • Repair Platform • Phase Jump Inhibitor • Temple of Renewal • Deliverance Engine • Titan Foundry|
|Advent Ships and Starbase|
|Corvettes:||Acolyte Corvette (Loyalist) • Vespa Corvette (Rebel)|
|Frigates:||Seeker Vessel • Disciple Vessel • Illuminator Vessel • Purge Vessel • Defense Vessel • Missionary Vessel|
|Cruisers:||Aeria Drone Host • Iconus Guardian • Domina Subjugator • Destra Crusader • Talion Savior • Solanus Adjudicator • Herald Envoy|
|Capital Ships:||Radiance Battleship • Revelation Battlecruiser • Progenitor Mothership • Halcyon Carrier • Rapture Battlecruiser • Discord Battleship|
|Titans:||Coronata Titan (Loyalist) • Eradica Titan (Rebel)|
|Starbase:||Transcencia Star Base|
|Advent Research Trees|
|Harmony Tree • Hostility Tree • Security Tree • Understanding Tree|
- Main article: Vasari
The Vasari are the only alien race in the game. The Vasari Empire was once the strongest in the galaxy. Their empire was formed by peacefully assimilating primitive races and brutally crushing more advanced races, turning the populations of both into second class citizens. However, at some point they started losing contact with their worlds. At first, it was believed to be acts of rebellion, or the work of traitors, but as more worlds were lost, it became clear the situation was very serious. Vast fleets were sent to deal with the problem, but none of them ever returned, and the Vasari still had no clue as to the identity of the attacker. Finally, the Vasari recalled all of the available ships of their conquering fleet, the Dark Armada, and sent them all to the last planet they lost contact with. Only one battleship returned, literally falling apart, with its crew driven completely insane with fear. It was then that the Vasari Empire as a whole began to flee. They began their exodus, leaving their home systems behind, stopping only to harvest resources, rebuild their population, and to drop warning beacons in order to determine how close behind the unknown enemy was. As they fled, the beacons fell silent one by one, prompting the Vasari to continue their journey. Arriving in TEC space, the Vasari began their routine of conquering in order to collect resources. The campaign went smoothly at first, with the TEC having forgotten all the ways of war, but the TEC recovered and after 10 years, the Vasari are in a complete deadlock, with still more and more of their warning beacons going dark.
The Vasari tend to have fewer, but more expensive units that have extremely hardened hulls. Their ships tend to use Phase Missile technology, which have the possibility of completely bypassing the shields of enemy ships. They are able to colonize Volcanic planets to the greatest extent. Their ships have to rely heavily on abilities, for without them their base damage is very poor and will lose to all of their counterparts in a toe-to-toe battle.
In the early game, the Vasari have one outstanding advantage: the ability of their scouts to capture neutral extractors in uncolonizable gravity wells. Other factions need to deploy slow and expensive colony frigates, whereas Vasari can quickly get their scouts deep into enemy territory and contest virtually any uncolonizable gravity well in the first ten minutes of the game. This is a very map-dependent advantage, and many experienced players actually consider playing Vasari on a random map a complete gamble, since you never know how many uncolonizable gravity wells there will be. The Vasari also benefit greatly from their unique starbase, the Orkulus Star Base, which can be built by a colony frigate, the Jarun Migrator, rather than an expensive construction cruiser, and it can move around the gravity well in which it is built. This has both phenomenal offensive and defensive potential. To top this off, they get a powerful early-game combat unit in the form of the Kanrak Assailant. Later on, Vasari improve further, and get the most reliable minelayer, the Sivuskras Ruiner, as well as the most deadly weapons upgrade in the form of Phase Missiles. However, their greatest assets are their late game Phase Stabilizer, Stilakus Subverter, and Kostura Cannon. The Phase Stabilizer can allow their fleets to be anywhere in within a moment's notice to respond to enemy attacks and threaten virtually every front-line simultaneously. The Stilakus Subverter and Kostura Cannon can shut down the enemy fleet and leave them helpless sitting ducks. The Vasari capital ships are also quite deadly from the first minute of the game till the last. Vasari is one of the trickiest factions to play, but also in many ways one of the most interesting and rewarding due to all its strengths.
Vasari units are expensive, and their cost isn't justified by their raw combat abilities. They aren't as powerful as Advent units, and they don't give you the same bang for your buck as TEC units. It takes a lot more money to field a Vasari fleet than it does to field a TEC or Advent fleet, and this can make it difficult to win a straight fight. Vasari fleets usually have to fight dirty to win, doing things like building starbases on enemy worlds, ambushing enemies, or shutting down enemy units and killing them while they're helpless. If you play their strengths well and avoid taking casualties, Vasari can be brutal, but played poorly they just don't stack up in terms of sheer power to Advent or TEC. Aside from their advantage with neutral extractors, Vasari have a fairly slow early game economy, with a poor colonization bonus from their capital ship the Jarrasul Evacuator. Late game, their starbase begins to suffer, as it does not have advanced abilities that enable it to threaten entire fleets at once, meaning that once fleets get large enough any Orkulus Star Base can be effectively overwhelmed by sheer numbers. They will need to lean on their fleet more than any other faction.
Vasari Loyalists are a nomadic variation on the traditional Vasari formula. The Vasari Loyalists can generate income with their capital ships and set their Titan as a mobile capital world. They can also completely drain planets of resources, leaving dead husks behind.
Vasari Rebels are a variation on the traditional Vasari formula that want to work with the other factions. They can have their Starbases phase jump to other planets, making them very powerful since they don't need to build one starbase per gravity well. However, having two starbases in the same gravity well disables the initial one, limiting the Rebels from getting too powerful.
Vasari Ships, Structures, and ResearchEdit
Piracy is a constant problem in the galaxy with raids taking place on a regular basis by the unscrupulous pirates. Those who take part in piracy don‘t care who they attack as they have no political views on the subject. They go where the money is, which is determined in part by Bounty. The ships that the pirates use are mock-ups of the TEC vessels, have a stronger hull, but no shields at all.
Piracy and BountiesEdit
Pirate attacks can be stopped in a specific system by destroying their base. This will stop the attacks in the system where the base was located, however, pirates will still be present in other systems. If all pirate bases are destroyed, players will be unable to use the bounty system unless there are three or more players in the game because other players might try to collect bounty.
|Frigates:||Pirate Rogue • Pirate Pillager • Pirate Reaper|
|Cruisers:||Pirate Cutthroat • Pirate Corsair|