What would you say about an empire that doesn't need science and can have every tech, colonizes 20 systems over the limit and can build or hack anything in a single turn? That's the umbral and this is my short guide to the most op race ever..
Other Endless Space 2 Guides:
- Guide for Confusing Achievements.
- Behemoths: Economy, Special Nodes and Mining.
- Guide to Cravers.
- Holy Slavedrivers.
I was a bit disappointed how bad hacking was when i looked up the umbral and how to play them so i found my own way.
I just want to start off by saying this guide isn't going to give you advice on what to do after your sanctuaries are discovered or with sleepers etc. It's going to show you the simplest way to making your umbral better than the endless ever even could pretend to be.
Also, I did this on Endless difficulty just cause I wanted to know how effective this was. Any lower difficulties will accomplish this much easier since the ais won't have higher hacking techs that fast.
This will help you be the most op race ever. This race has every tech with no science, colonizes 10 - 20+ over the limit and can build or hack anything in one turn. I recommend building the wonders as well especially the trade one. It will give you 10 - 50k turn per turn if you set the taxes of the marketplace to 25% depending on the size of the map thus giving you unlimited dust. By the time this appears you can make it in 4 turns or less.
Side note I have no clue wtf would happen if you tried to go for a wonder victory for umbral. I would assume you would either need a single wonder or you would be unable to get it in the first place but I don't really wanna try and find that out.
Hack and set up sanctuaries with reckless abandon. There is only the need to rush to spread them out as fast as possible although don't over-colonize more than a few systems early on since you don't have the approval stuff yet. You can always steal all the planet colonization techs later from empires however placing sleepers slows you down a ton while you don't need any as long as there is a single sanctuary in the system. Also remember when hacking homeworlds from nearby systems later go for a route that isn't linked by a starlane if possible. Its not a must have but it makes the tracing take a lot longer then normal.
Set up sanctuaries in as many systems as possible and backdoor any minor civs in your way. You will need the systems for industry, food and closer hacking nodes. Hacking itself is simple however you might find some setbacks early on due to your hacking speed. I recommend that you dont use a system directly linked to a homeworld at the start of the game and instead pass through an empty one or one with no starlane. Doing this will usually allow you to hack a homeworld with the accelerator on. Also, apply the offensive hacking accelerator to every single target system possible. It speeds up the hacking process by a ton and lets you hack nearby empire non-homeworld systems with no problems. Later on, when you hit 160 hacking speed or higher you can hack a homeworld from a nearby system before it can be traced back until they get all the hacking techs. By then, however, you will have increased hacking speed from the missions so that is no longer an issue.
You want one of these 3 techs to start with depending on the situation. You do not need any other techs but the +1 hacking operations and a colonization tech or two depending on which planets are near you. Ideally, you want them all from the science quadrant so you can advance the tiers to get the extra hacking operations faster. Basically, aim for the +1 hacking operation techs all the way till you get 4 at a time then teching means nothing and you can pick whatever you feel like.
Colonization Tech - Any will do. Pick whatever has the highest density near you.
Xenolinguistics - For the Industry per planet. It will give a ton of industry when you get a few sanctuaries.
Eukaryotic Sap - You want this for the acceleration hack. It's an offensive hack that will make it so you can hack most systems other than homeworlds before they can trace it back early on and later on hacking homeworlds from adjacent systems is easy with it. Only apply it on targeted systems. It does NOTHING if you apply it on the system you started the hack from. Don't waste your bandwidth on it like that.
Autonomous Materials + Low Kelvin Sciences - Don't be fazed if it takes 20 turns this early because these are the only techs you seriously want and need besides eukaryotic sap. By the time you have the 4th one running, you should have 160+ hacking speed. With acceleration on every target system, you can now hack any homeworld from the neighboring system before they can trace it back giving you unlimited technology.
Generally, at this point, you want to expand your backdoors to the systems next to homeworlds with reckless abandon. Never forget the accelerator offensive hack or you might fail!
You want the industry buildings first and then the food ones followed by colonizing your home systems worlds after your first food upgrade. Anything else can come after since your main goal is to be able to take advantage of your sanctuary industry and food as soon as possible. Science buildings don't mean anything to the umbral but one or two doesn't hurt early on.
You really only need one or two colonization technologies and that's it. Get the ones that appear the most in the nearby empty systems and spread across the map like a plague. Don't go more then a few over the limit early on due to not having the approval techs, laws or leader skills. Also try to stick to 3/4/5 planet systems since 1 and 2 are not really worth taking unless there is no nearby place to hack.
Do all the umbral missions as fast as possible also choose the hacking speed for everything. You effectively have unlimited bandwidth with your pop growing it at 1 per turn later on so bandwidth upgrades don't matter compared to speed however if it has one between bandwidth and anything but speed always goes for bandwidth. The 5% hacking speed per backdoor mission, however, is the most important mission you will find. It will let you hack any node when you reach it in a single turn with enough backdoors.
You only need the one you start with. It'll half the negative approval from over colonization and increase hacking stats along with a few other things. I recommend that you beeline the hacking and over-colonization skills but everything else is up to you.
I tend to move it to an isolated node sometime around turn 100 just cause I want to. Later on, you are going to want beacons in multiple isolated systems though out the map to migrate to on a moments notice. By then you'll have more than enough bandwidth.
This is the most important besides the hacking techs, Never ever reveal yourself to anyone! As long as they cant see you then you can hack and steal as much as you want. Never hack from a system you have sanctuaries in so it will never be traced back to you. Also migrate your system to a far out node that influence cant or wont reach for a long time. Do not build ships once someone has discovered the anti-cloaking tech! I delete all mine just so no one can find me expect for a few for missions that are useful but that's just me.