Endless Space 2 battles will look a lot more like Homeworld with the free addition of fighters and bombers, complete with glowing engine trails fighter vs. bomber dogfights.
"The bomber role is simple: assault the ships of your opponents," says the announcer in the update trailer below. You unlock standard bombers via stage three of the military quadrant of the tech tree, and there is a more powerful variant at stage five.
Fighters can go on raids to harass enemy ships, but they seem to be more useful as bodyguards that specialise in fending off bomber fleets. There are two tiers of fighter, available at tiers three and four of the military quadrant in the tech tree.
Fighters and bombers are equipped to slots on your larger ships. The update adds new battle tactics (cards you play before a battle to influence the behaviour of your mostly automated fleets) and modules that buff fighters and bombers. Plus there's a new quest that pits you against a pirate horde and a pirate hero with hero trees designed to work well with fighter/bomber swarms.
The update also includes a balancing patch, which Amplitude sums up like this: "Trade Companies have seen their output lowered, while Heroes are now gaining a base amount of xp per turn, depending on whether they are a governor or an admiral. Their xp gains have been adjusted to be fairer to admirals.
"The AI is now less easily provoked by exploration vessels on its territory, while also better at handling its own approval ratings since the overcolonization changes." Read the full patch notes on Steam.
That's a really neat package as a free update. To celebrate, Endless Space 2 is 25% off on Steam as part of this week's round of midweek madness discounts.