Some armies fight for control of nations, others for planets - even galaxies. In Ashes of the Singularity, you're aiming to take over not just one galaxy, but all of them. With the help of a massive army built for exploration, research, and harvesting a miraculous new resource called Turinium, you will roll headlong across new worlds and claim them as your own.
Of course, you’ll have some serious competition. As humanity begins spreading out to the infinite corners of the universe, a formerly friendly AI leading a faction called The Substrate begins a brutal campaign to halt human expansion. You need to get to the Turinium before your enemy does, and you’ll need every single technique available at your disposal in order to win. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions for how to build and maintain a strong base and a devastating army that will send your adversaries running in the opposite direction.
Tip: Choose a side
There are two factions in Ashes of the Singularity to choose from. Each have unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses, skills, and play styles that differentiate them from one another. Choosing which side’s style feels best for you is important!
The Post-Human Coalition (PHC) is an affiliate group of Post-Humans who rose to prominence in the early 22nd century. The philosophy behind the way they play is all about their armor and reliability. PHC units are all armored, which makes them tough to kill; armor penetration values are very important when playing against a PHC army! Additionally, the PHC has access to medic units and a building that allows them to repair their units when they become too damaged.
The Substrate is a group of sentient AI beings led by an AI named Haalee. The Substrate is determined to prevent humanity’s expansion further out into the galaxy and will do whatever it takes to stop them. The philosophy behind the way they play is all about their shields and energy. Substrate units have no armor, so any armor piercing damage from enemies means absolutely nothing to them. All units produced by the Substrate have shields; shields absorb a certain amount of damage before they are exhausted. When the shields burn out, the damage goes directly to the unit’s hit points. Unlike the PHC’s units, Substrate units cannot be repaired.
Tip: Boldy go
While your opening builds will vary depending on your preferences, it’s important no matter what kind of player you are to know the lay of the land and have an idea of what you’re dealing with. Building a few scout units early on will allow you to scope out regions and plan your strategy of attack and conquest.
Early game tip! On each map, there are several power generators that you must capture in order to gain resources. Each generator is guarded by a grouping of “creeps” - unaffiliated enemies that will attack your armies and try to prevent you from controlling the region. In the first few moments of the game, the creeps haven’t spawned yet; this provides you enough time to immediately send your Engineer or Constructor out and capture a point before you’ve even built a factory to produce scouts or fighter units.
Tip: Repetition is your friend
Any building that produces units in Ashes of the Singularity has a handy little feature called the “repeat queue.” This allows you to select the types of units you’d like to build (and how many of each) and have your building continue to pump out the same pattern of units while you move onto other important matters like capturing generators and fighting a massive war. This feature is critical to victory!
At any time, you can opt to pause construction of units or click off the repeat queue. The units will finish out their build order and that building will stop producing things until you order it to do so. In order to prevent your base from becoming too cluttered, you can set a “rally point” away from your base and slightly off into the field for your units to gather as they’re produced. When you’re ready, select which units you want to form into an army and send them on their merry way!
Tip: Die another day
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of building massive amounts of units and sending them off to hunt down and eliminate your enemies - let’s face it, blowing things up is a blast (pun intended)! What’s not so fun is coming back to your base to find that all of your things have been blown up instead.
To prevent this, it is crucial to build up some defenses in your main base. For the Post-Human Coalition, the Smarty is an excellent and inexpensive early-game option that provides some good defense against light air or ground units. For the Substrate, a Listening Post for detecting far-off enemies before they get to your base or an Annihilator for dealing with swarms of ground units are good early-build options.
Remember, the Nexus that you start with is the only one you get. If it’s destroyed, you are eliminated from the game, so it’s important to protect it!
Tip: Utilize those massive numbers
Since you're battling for control of an entire planet, you need a way to handle an enormous amount of units all at once without wasting time on micromanaging. To make that possible, Ashes introduces a group called a Meta-Unit. By grouping units together and forming individual armies with them, it allows you to command large forces with ease; an entire herd of units will be able to carry out your orders like artillery-packing synchronized swimmers.
While you might instinctively cringe at the thought of leaving AI units to their own devices, there's little need to fear! Each unit comes pre-programmed with specific (and logical) actions that it should take when grouped with others. Units change their behavior depending on the composition of the Meta-Unit they exist within. Your armies will protect their own flanks and target other units within enemy groupings intelligently.
That doesn't mean the stress is entirely off - your units will still be in trouble if they're simply outgunned. That's where the strategy comes in for you, but at least when you leave a Meta-Unit alone you know you won't be returning to a crater created by AI incompetence.
Tip: Don’t get cut off
No matter which side you choose to play, the resources that you pull from the land to pay for your units are the same: Metal and Radioactives. Each region contains a generator that your forces must capture in order to start gaining the income from that area. It is helpful to send an Engineer or Constructor to these regions to build extractors in order to increase the amount of resources accumulated.
As you travel to various regions to gain their resources, you will see yellow lines across the landscape that connect the regions to each other and, ultimately, your Nexus. As long as these lines are constant, you will continue to profit. However, if an enemy attacks and captures points that might be in the middle of your network, your regions that are further out will lose their line to your Nexus and you will no longer be able to collect from them. Protect your resource points!
Tip: There’s more than one path to victory
While destroying your opponent’s Nexus and blasting them into oblivion is a totally viable (and, frankly, very satisfying) method for victory, there are other ways to claim the world as your own. Each map has a few regions with Turinium Generators instead of power generators. When you capture a majority of the generators, you will start earning victory points. Each map has a set number of points (which you can adjust to a custom amount when you create your game, if you’re so inclined) that you must accumulate in order to win through this method.
But, be careful! What’s good for you might be equally good for your enemies. They will want to fight for those generators. Building up your defenses and leaving groups of Meta-Units in these regions is a good way to prevent your opponent from seizing the majority and accumulating their own points toward a victory.
Tip: Don’t squander your resources
Ashes has a streaming economy. You don’t have to wait for the full cost of a unit or a building to accumulate before you can build it. However, if you constantly spend more than is streaming in, you risk crashing your entire economy. When a crash occurs, your income indicator will flash red (flashing red usually means bad things) to draw your attention to what you’re missing. During this time, your Engineers or Constructors will continue to build with what little resources they have to work with, but the rate of production will be extremely slow. To prevent this, keep capturing as many resource points as you can and building extractors on all deposits to increase the gain.
On the other hand, you might control a bunch of power generators and have more resources than you know what to do with! When this happens, that’s great, but you have a limit to how much of each resource you can have at a time. To prevent any waste, make sure to build Quantum Relays so that you have access to storage upgrades. Each upgrade will increase your storage capacity by a significant amount, so make sure not to forget about this, especially later in the game.
Tip: Death from above
Controlling massive armies is just one aspect of Ashes. In order to support your units out in the field, you will want to build Orbital Buildings that are capable of either calling down immediate aid for your allies or raining death upon your enemies. Different buildings provide access to different orbitals, so you will want to prioritize which ones are most important to you and build those first before focusing on acquiring the others.
It’s important to know that all of these orbital abilities require Quanta, another valuable resource. Quanta is generated by building Quantum Relays (PHC) or Quantum Archives (Substrate) and is important not only for orbitals, but for unit upgrades and increasing resource storage. It’s a good idea to build as many of these as you can afford -- the more quanta you have, the more havoc you can wreak upon your enemies!
Tip: More than meets the eye
Like Transformers, there’s more to a dreadnought than meets the eye. These warships are expensive and take a long time to produce, which is reason enough to keep them around, but there’s another important aspect to them besides their giant guns. Thanks to a feature called Veterancy, the value of keeping these monstrous units alive and functional for as long as possible is huge.
All of your dreadnoughts 'level up' every time they survive a battle, gaining new and more powerful skills as they age. If you maintain a fleet of dreadnoughts for a significant amount of time, your enemies will be quivering in the shadow of one of the galaxy's most terrifying armies. If a dreadnought is in trouble, call for a retreat so that they can live to fight another day. Your enemy may win that battle, but your fleet of dreadnoughts can easily win you the war.
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