Most of what is written below is based on personal experience. It is not a prescribed way of playing the FXmod (because there is none), but is merely an observation of what can be perceived to be the races' key characteristics and traits.
Important: The FXmod is still under development. The contents below are subject to change, and will be updated over time.
- Hiigaran (HGN)
- Vaygr (VGR)
- Progenitors (KPR)
- Taiidan (TAI)
- Kadeshi (KAD)
- Turanic Raiders (TUR)
The Six Balanced Races Model
Although the FXmod has recently seen the inclusion of additional races (Kushan, Bentusi), the main goal remains to provide a model of 6 balanced races for use in Multiplayer. These are the races listed above.
All races are fully playable. They come with their own units, technologies, abilities and playing styles. When designing the races we looked to their original concept and characteristics as found in Homeworld1/2. The Taiidan, for instance, mainly employ an "armada" playing style, which is based on how the Empire pretty much ruled the galaxy in Homeworld1 with outposts and large fleets scattered everywhere. Similarly, the Kadeshi retain their superiority in strikecraft, and the Progenitor's Capital Ships remain the ultimate powerhouses in the game.
The original goal of the FXmod was to "tell the story of HW1 in HW2", and simultaneously restore that "HW1 vibe" that many of us felt was absent in Homeworld2. The result is an ongoing MOD project that adds a lot more depth and increased strategical options to your games.
Before we proceed I have two final tips to give you. Both the in-game unit descriptions and the [Pause] key are your best friends.
I. Hiigaran (HGN)
"The Age of S'Jet is upon us"
As in vanilla HW2, the Hiigarans are the technology-based race. This aspect manifests itself in their hyperspace technology (they have easier access to it compared to most other races, and can jump further, faster and cheaper), their unit abilities (e.g. Scout Ping, EMP), but also the units themselves: the Hiigaran navy fields many units that use advanced weaponry, such as the Pulsar Gunship, Ion Cannon Frigate and Defense Field Frigate.
In the FXmod the Hiigarans largely play the same as their vanilla HW2 counterpart, but with some changes:
Notable Changes from Vanilla HW2:
- Removed Units: Gunship, Minelayer Corvette, Probes
The purpose of the Gunship (anti-fighter) has been merged with the traditionally more effective Pulsar Gunship. The Pulsar Gunship received one additional pulsar barrel (1>2) and receives a small damage boost against fighters to take over the Gunship's role. Probes were removed, placing a greater emphasis on using scouts and making the Hiigarans more vulnerable to cloak tactics.
- New Units: Light Cruiser (Capital Ship)
A hybrid between a Destroyer and a Battlecruiser, this unit specializes in dealing with enemy Destroyers but can also lay down support fire that can topple enemy strikecraft groups. Its unique feature is that is has 4 subsystem slots, which can be filled up with both auxiliary modules (hyperspace, movement speed boost) and weapon modules (currently bugged).
- Other Changes:
- Hyperspace Sensors are temporarily unavailable
- PDS were removed from production vessels
Changes to Research & Production:
- Both Research Modules (Normal, Adv.) now have to be constructed on the Mothership or Shipyard (they can no longer be constructed on carriers).
- A Fighter Facility is now a prerequisite for unlocking the Corvette and Frigate Facilities.
- Engine Upgrades have been replaced by firepower upgrades.
II. Vaygr (VGR)
"Bring our Might to Bear"
Compared to the Hiigarans, the Vaygr have seen the biggest amount of changes. Their advantage at early game (and disadvantage at late game) remains, as do their main strengths (swarm, firepower) -- but their research and production system has been overhauled.
Notable Changes from Vanilla HW2:
- Removed Units: Command Corvette, Gun & Missile Platforms, Probe, Sensor Distortion Probe, all sensor subsystems.
- New Units: Artillery "Spear" Frigate, EW Frigate, Cluster Missile Platform.
(1) Artillery ("Spear") Frigate: This is a ranged firepower support unit. It is slightly weaker than the Heavy Missile Frigate, but compensates for this by having a larger range, allowing it to wear down enemy targets while staying out of their firing range. It is also a more dynamic unit, being able to quickly change targets and assist where needed (the Heavy Missile Frigate needs to adjust distance and has a delay for the first missile volley to hit the target). It excels at harassing enemy Resource Collectors, pummeling Frigate groups or even chipping down Capital Ships before they can get close enough to exchange fire. A wall of Artillery Frigates can make the difference between victory and defeat in a battle between cruisers.
(2) Electronic Warfare ("EW") Frigate: This is a unarmed utility frigate. It deploys a passive area of effect aura that disables a number of special abilities for nearby enemy units: these include boarding/capturing, deploying minefields, repairing units, and initiating or exiting hyperspace. It is basically a portable Gravity Well Generator with some extras.
(3) Cluster Missile Platform: The Vaygr replacement for their Gun and Missile Platforms. This is a highly effective, multi-purpose unit that excels both at taking out strikecraft and Frigates (in numbers).
- Other Changes:
- Hyperspace Gates now move as fast as probes & no longer require a Platform Control Module to be constructed (unlocked as soon as a hyperspace module is up).
Changes to Research & Production:
- All Subsystems have been grouped into a new, separate "subsystem" tab (no longer part of the respective ship class tabs).
- The 4 Main Production Subsystems (Fighter/Corvette/Frigate/Capital Ship) must now be constructed on the Flagship in order. Fighter -> corvette, corvette -> frigate, etc.
- Because of this new system, the now-obsolete ship chassis research has has been removed.
- (!) Vaygr Carriers are no longer limited to constructing one specific ship type (e.g. Frigate Facility -> Frigates). Instead it works like this:
* * * All Vaygr carriers can build "basic" units of each ship class - on the condition that the necessary Production Facility exists anywhere else. Example: Having a fighter facility on the Flagship or on a Shipyard will unlock the production of basic fighters (Assault Craft) on all Carriers.
* * * Each Vaygr production vessel can now specialize in up to 2 "advanced" units of choice (e.g. Lance Fighter, Laser Corvette, Artillery Frigate etc.) by building the respective Weapon Module subsystem on the designated production vessel. It is possible to construct these on all production vessels, in any combination.
- The Platform Facility has been retired:
- Cluster Missile Platforms are automatically unlocked through the Research Module.
- Hyperspace Gates are automatically unlocked through the Hyperspace module.
- Speed (engine) upgrades have been replaced by firepower upgrades.
III. Progenitors (KPR)
"Bring Sajuuk to Bear"
The Progenitors can be played in a number of ways. They are at the best when played as a long-range firepower (support/sniper) or the Capital Ship race in team matches, but their production capabilities and high unit specs also allow them to be played as a production race.
The Progenitors have limited strikecraft options, and mainly rely on their capital ships. With access to the Dreadnaught and Sajuuk they house the most powerful ships in the game, but their other vessels should not be underestimated either: Arsenal Ships can snipe enemies from extreme range (7.5km distance), Keepers maintain combat drones and act as mobile hyperspace inhibitors, and there is little that a wall of Guards or Demolishers grouped with a few Arbitrators cannot vanquish.
Rushing for the Capital Ships is a risque move that is best saved for team matches, as this takes time and you'll likely need financial/military support from allies. Your mothership, Balcora Gate, can also be seen by everyone so the enemy will always know where it is. The Progenitors therefore reach their full potential on large, open maps.
For production purposes you may max out Phase Prisms and build The Hand That Shapes to keep a steady flow of movers, frigates, and other units.
+ Strongest Capital Ships in the game
+ High firepower
+ Lv3 Armor/Firepower upgrades for Frigates
+ Not restricted to Subsystem Modules that need to be build on key ships
- Limited (anti)-strikecraft options
- Expensive units
- Slow building rates
- Slow start syndrome
- Arbitrator - Increases the firepower of all units within the radius to 125%. Can also cloak self and nearby friendly units when not firing (C).
- Keeper - Hosts two powerful drones, can become invincible to damage for a short while (T) and functions as a mobile hyperspace inhibitor.
- Arsenal Ship - Can 'snipe' enemy ships from an incredible range (7.5km, the biggest range out of all ships in the game). If fired from outside enemy sensor range, it will be hard for players to trace where the beam came from. Can also take cover in dust clouds to make it even harder to be found.
Research & Production
Research is done by constructing Pyramids (standalone subsystem units) from Balcora Gate. There is one Pyramid for each weapon system the Progenitors utilize (e.g. Pulsar, Photon Bomb, Phased Ion Array), and having these units up anywhere on the field will unlock their respective units for production. Pyramids mostly need to be build in order (one will unlock the other), and will need to be rebuild if destroyed.
Having certain combinations of Pyramids on the field will also unlock additional subsystems on Balcora Gate, which in turn will unlock more units or special abilities such as hyperspace and sensor ping.
IV. Taiidan (TAI)
"The Empire will Rise Again"
The Taiidan are the armada or production race. In Homeworld1 the Taiidan Empire pretty much ruled the place with fleets and outposts everywhere, and their FXmod playstyle is based on that. They have the most balanced units out of all races: they do not excel, but they will not underperform either. Because of this new players to the FXmod will find the Taiidan a great race to start with. Especially at late game a large Taiidan fleet that has been fully upgraded is a force to be reckoned with.
With a whopping total of 6 production vessels (3 carriers, 1 flagship, 1 shipyard & 1 research station) the Taiidan hold the absolute production advantage. Survive the slow start, keep an eye on your resourcing operations, and you can quickly build up and maintain a large force. Due to their ability to build the Sensors Array, the Taiidan also function as the "eyes" of the team.
The Taiidan are all about keeping constant pressure on your opponents, and making sure you always have production queues going. While one fleet is out there being destroyed, you've got queues going on all 6 production vessels (set a rally point near the action!) to keep the flow of ships constant, whereas the other races will eventually run out and will need to rebuild. In a war of attrition, the Taiidan will almost always come out on top. Beware, however. Delay too long in building and sending in the next fleet, and chances are you'll find yourself on the short end of the stick instead.
+ Balanced units; can be very powerful at endgame (once fully upgraded)
+ Production advantage; most construction units out of all races
+ Fast building rates & relatively cheap units
+ Their Salvage Corvette has the fastest capture speed out of all infiltration units in the FXmod.
+ Best intel/sensor capabilities (Sensor Array)
- More or less bound to the same one playing style (armada)
- Heavily reliant on the (vulnerable) Research Station
- Heavily reliant on keeping constant pressure to win
- Slow start syndrome
- Defender - Armored anti-strikecraft fighter.
- Salvage Corvette - Highest capture speed in the game. They can sneak amidst during the chaos and rapidly seize key enemy ships to turn the tide of battle, but will be quickly destroyed if discovered.
- Defense Fighter - Renders enemy missile-based units useless if kept near your main force. Will also reveal nearby cloaked enemy ships.
- Defense Field Frigate - Reduces the accuracy of nearby enemy units. Effect stacks (2 max). Also acts as a mobile hyperspace inhibitor. Another unit to build and keep near your active fleets.
- Shipyard - The latest addition to the Taiidan armada. The "Empress" shipyard was born after observing the role shipyards played in the Hiigaran-Vaygr war, and functions as a second flagship.
- Sensor Array - Exclusive unit to the Taiidan. Reveals all enemy ships on the map within a 25000 km radius.
Research & Production
The Research Ship is given for free as of the v1.25 update, and will unlock all smaller vessels as you build modules on it. The Heavy Corvette Module will unlock the Taiidan Research Station from any Carrier, which can they also be outfitted with numerous subsystems that each unlock specific units.
V. Kadeshi (KAD)
"There is no..withdrawal, from the Garden"
Difficulty: Easy (Early/Mid Game) - Hard (Late Game)
The Kadeshi are the swarm race. Survivors of the Kushan passage through the Nebula have gathered and rebuild their units using cutting-edge technologies. Their strikecraft is as powerful as it is versatile, with very large squadron sizes and weaponry that can be augmented in various manners (upgrades, keeping them near Support Pods). Their larger ships are fewer, but just as deadly - the Multi-Beam Frigate is the strongest frigate in the game, and the Nagual is the ultimate anti-strikecraft unit. Finally, if the need arises the Kadeshi can also summon an additional 2 Needleships, making for a maximum of 3 Motherships, and upgrade these into fully-fledged combat vessels.
The Kadeshi playing style usually consists of using your various Swarmers in early game to set yourself up in an advantageous position for the rest of the match. Clearing enemy strikecraft, doing hit-and-run raids on resourcing operations and pummeling frigate groups are all tactics that are employed by the Kadeshi towards that end. When the time comes to bring forth the big guns the Kadeshi can send in wings of Multi-Beam Frigates, while the deadly Nagual will keep enemy strikecraft at bay. Meanwhile the Needleships take up the rear, reinforcing the fleet as they go and waiting for the moment to step forth and unleash their Super Polymerization Cannons on any Capital Ships that were foolish enough to come to the frontlines.
The Kadeshi will often push for an early-game victory or try to severely cripple their opponents at this stage. If a Kadeshi player is left unchecked he can build Support Pods for non-stop swarmer production & a massive damage boost, wings Multi-Beam frigates, and up to 3 Needleships - along with the very deadly Nagual unit.
A vital weakpoint in the Kadeshi fleet is the Khar-Toba, which is houses all of the Kadeshi technology. If it is destroyed the Kadeshi's entire technology chain collapses, and they will need to restart from square one. The Khar-Toba has a permanent cloaking ability to aid in its survival, but beware - smart enemies may distract you while they seeks out the Khar-Toba with anti-cloaking units, and may sneak in a secret strikeforce when you aren't looking.
Another thing to note is that, at late game, the Kadeshi require a lot of micromanaging and multi-tasking to be fully utilized.
The Kadeshi potential is nearly unlimited, so those who willing to invest some time in exploring all possibilities will find it a very rewarding race.
+ Best strikecraft in the game (firepower & squadron sizes, cheap costs)
+ Access to the strongest Frigate (Multi-Beam Frigate)
+ Access to the best anti-strikecraft unit (Nagual)
+ Mobile Combat Motherships: The Kadeshi can build 3 motherships that, aside from their usual functions, also serve as fully-fledged combat vessels. They have the best PDS out of all races and can support the fleet either from afar (Phased Cannon) or up close (PDS, pulse lasers). They also benefit from the Kadeshi's speed advantage, meaning that the motherships can freely 'roam'/travel the map and reinforce their fleets along the way. In other words: since the Kadeshi motherships are not like the usual bulky 'fleet command' types, the race is not 'rooted' in or bound to one place - unlike the other races.
+ Permanent Cloak carrier.
+ Support Pods count as production vessels. Kadeshi players can thus stay in the match and supply their teammates with RUs even after their Needleships/Carriers have been destroyed (will need to be smoked out with sensor ping abilities).
- Each Needleship requires 3 subsystems before it is fully operational (expensive & takes time).
- Very few combat-capable Frigates&Capital Ships, and those that they do have are very squishy.
- Few effective Anti-cloaking units - weak against Cloak and Ambush tactics.
- Medium to close-combat race - weak against long-range attacks.
- Destroying the Khar-Toba resets the Kadeshi production chain to square one.
Research & Production
The vast majority of subsystems are constructed on the Khar-Toba. Each of these will automatically unlock one or more units for production. Additional modules (to power-up the Needleship or unlock other units/subsystems) must be constructed on the Needleships at a later stage. In order to unlock all units and technologies, at least 1 Needleship needs to be fully upgraded.
VI. Turanic Raiders (TUR)
"Cloak and Dagger"
The Turanic Raiders are the "hit-and-run" or assassin race. They never open the assault, instead sneaking in while the fight is already in process. They may harass players over time and wear down their ships or RU operations, or use a small force to lure the enemy fleet away and while a heavy strike team moves in from behind to quickly dispatch key enemy ships -- or seize them for oneself.
The Turanic Raiders are rather diverse and can be played in a number of ways. What all these ways have in common though is that, for the greatest successes, the raiders are heavily reliant on the element of surprise. To this end many of their units come with Cloaking abilities (C). Their Siege Drill Frigates receive lv3 armor upgrades and have fast capture rates and movement speed, allowing them to sneak amidst the chaos and turn the enemy's own assets against them. For the greatest successes, Raider players will need to use their wit to pick the right time and place for their assault.
The raiders have durable strikecraft, allowing them protection against early game rushes. But as with the Kadeshi, their frigates and capital ships are squishy. The Raiders have many production-capable vessels, but the downside is that many of them also dub as their main combat vessels, and must be active on the frontline - where, once discovered, they are easily destroyed.
The Raiders have two types of core units. Their Attack Carriers serve as their core units on the frontlines, being able to build and dock anything up to Frigate-class vessels, while the durable but vulnerable Outposts stay far in the back or may be hidden somewhere else entirely. Their HeavyGun Cruisers can also produce fighters and corvettes without prerequisites as well, allowing the Turanics to reinforce their strikecraft forces at the frontlines.
Most of the Raiders' units are rather slow moving, so in large and open maps strikecraft will typically need to be docked with Attack Carriers/HeavyGun Cruiser in advance and launched when on the target site. Furthermore, if their capital ships are destroyed the Raiders need a much longer time to revive compared to other races. Once again, Raider success is largely dependent on the element of surprise, and picking the right time and place for your assault.
+ Durable strikecraft
+ Scouts get permanent cloak ability
+ All Capital Ships can both produce units and fight
+ Very effective capture unit (Siege Drill Frigate - Lv3 armor + fast capture rate + fast movement speed)
+ Outposts can dock/repair Frigates & Capital ships (higher repair speed than using regular repair units)
- Ships have small sensor ranges, and the raiders lack a ping ability. Intel gathering will be slow, and is primarily dependent on your allies in team matches.
- Vulnerable to Anti-Cloak units & abilities.
- Squishy Frigates/Capital ships (even with armor upgrades)
- Slow rebuild speeds.
- Azrael Attacker - This is a suicide attacker (100hp); it carries a single heavy payload missile that inflicts huge damage. Best used when build in large numbers, kept hidden, and then send in to dispatch lone carriers or even motherships during the right moment. Since these ships are destroyed in one hit they have a cloak ability, and should be given the attack order only when in range of enemy ship.
- Minelayer - The Raids use a more advanced version of the traditional Minelayer, which is an exclusive benefit. It can deploy minefields (N), clear enemy mines, but also acts as dynamic anti-frigate/capital ship corvette -- it uses tracking beams to lock onto enemy ships and fires mines at them, making it the only dynamic or multi-purpose minelayer in the game.
- Vulcan Frigate - A firepower support unit useful in battles against strikecraft groups. It will automatically move and 'circle' targets in combat as opposed to other assault frigates, granting it more lifespan (evasive)
- Ion Array Frigate - The "Dagger" Ion Array Frigate has a longer range than all other frigates in the FXmod; it can thus be issued a 'move back while attacking' order at max range to lure in, kite, destroy enemy frigates - while staying out of their firing range yourself. Note however that it will quickly fall to enemy strikecraft.
- Siege Drill Frigate - This capture unit can receive LV3 armor upgrades, and will board faster when on F2 (Aggressive) mode. In return for this however it will damage the enemy ship in the process.
- Energy Jam Frigate - An unarmed utility frigate that prevents enemy ships from cloaking, hyperspacing, and negates any "Improve accuracy" effects nearby (e.g. from Fire Control Towers, Command Corvettes)
Research & Production:
The Recycle Station functions as 'non-combat carrier', and the two subsystems that you build on it will unlock most smaller craft & pave the way for the larger units. Once these subsystems are up, players can build the remaining subsystems on the Outposts.