|Warning Symbol for Ant Activity|
|Playstyle||Close Combat Swarm|
|Faction Colour||Hazard Yellow|
|Type||Blue Alert Paradox Faction|
"The ants go marching ten by ten:
The ants go marching ten by ten:
The ants go marching ten by ten"
- - "The Ants go Marching"
The Formican Threat, Formicans or more succintly Giant Ants are Paradox faction created by tenebrousGuile for Blue Alert. They utilize waves of massive numbers of oversized ants, the crude beginnings of technology, and appropriated mutants of other species twisted by JADE and nuclear fallout and tamed by the ants to drag down and tear apart their foes.
- 1 At A Glance
- 2 Background
- 3 Mechanics
- 4 Army Ants
At A Glance
|Faction Color||Hazard Yellow|
|Playstyle||Close Combat Swarm|
|Theatre of Operations||Ant Hills|
|Strengths||Powerful economy, Immune to numerous status effects, Units are produced en masse and are stronger in numbers, Masters of subterranean warfare, Vicious in melee, Difficult to scare, Buildings are durable and quick to repair, Can easily weaken and slow enemies, upgrade system is adaptable, great stealth detection, powerful area denial.|
|Weaknesses||Struggles to deal with anti-infantry counters, Mediocre defenses, Production centered around queens, Air units are slow, Short ranged, Units tend to be weak when not massed, poor artillery, weak anti-air, vulnerable to AoE and garrison clearing weapons, tiering system must be repeated for every few queens, vulnerable to sonic weapons.|
|Motives||Feeding, Reproduction, Expansion, Survival|
A Bug's Life
The humble ant is one of the most common forms of animal life on the planet. Quadrillions of them are estimated to share the planet Earth with the human species. Ants share a few things in common with humanity, such as their fondness for congregating in enormous artificial communal habitats and their capability to organise farms and livestock. Ants are well known for their surprising strength for such small creatures, their industriousness their abilities to cooperate and even make war. Something that it shares with its close relatives; the bees and wasps, and to the similar but unrelated termites who have pestered carpenters since time immemorial.
They are ancient creatures who have gathered in their billions long before humanity had ever evolved and seen many giants come and go across tens of millions of years. Dinosaurs and mammoths were both contemporaries of these eusocial insects at some point and these small insects have outlived both. Such is their success that their kind can be found on every continent of the world, even Antarctica thanks to specimens brought there by Epsilon. Even in the depths of the underworld or the sea-domes of the Aelva where the Kumun, Atlanteans and other societies have dwelled largely separate from the world above, many of these eusocial insects have survived and thrived.
And in the relatively brief time that these insects have coexisted with sapient life on Earth they have come to a certain accord. The scraps of food left behind by sapient life forms offer valuable nutrition to these little insects, and so they have often been drawn to the living spaces of these beings. Bees in particualr were seen as highly valuable for their ability to make sweet honey as a tasty treat for the flavour starved; and were treasured greatly by those who craved sugary tastes. Though certainly the wasps' fondness for human paper and the termites' appreciation for wooden constructs is rather unappreciated.
However the ant and its eusocial insectoid kin are small creatures of relatively little brainpower. As such it has crawled beneath the feet of civilisation for thousands of years, scurrying in the shadows of ever more elaborate constructions of man with little comprehension of what works they were crawling through. Their shapings of the environment were small, mostly invisible to those who did not study them obsessively and while the occasional big sapient might be felled by toying around with a swarm or through fatal allergies and the sting of such insects was the cause of many a child's tears, orders of magnitudes more insects were killed by larger creatures seeking to get rid of them.
Few would imagine that these insects would ever really amount to much beyond scientific curiosity even as many were taken in to be modified by science in an effort to adapt them to assorted purposes. Biological science was used and abused to transform them into a myriad of strange and perhaps unusual purposes and shapes, such as the Technocratic Combine's famous giant ants who often serve as shock troopers or as meat livestock. But this is not about those controlled, carefully managed constructs of genetic science, but of something far more wild, unsure of its place in the world and capable of thought.
Of Mushrooms and Insects
The arrival of JADE via meteor in the late 1960s would be the herald of tremendous change for the world as the five way chinese civil war entered a new and deadly phase through the technologies unlocked by the strange crystals. But they also had a catastrophic effect on the environment as they spread across the battle scarred landscapes of the warring states. Most life forms exposed to JADE died of radiation sickness or of fatal, uncontrolled mutations; usually at best becoming the monstrous and horrific blobs of flesh that came to be known as visceroids or simply becoming more fuel for the growth of JADE. Others were driven to irrational madness and violent obsession with the JADE, attacking anything that might get in the way of acquiring more of the crystal. Some however, some managed through either luck or design; achieve stability.
These mutants would be further stabilised by the mass usage of radiological weapons by the factions of the chinese war as well as intermingling with experiments in genetic science that managed to be released into the wild. And they grew with astonishing speed.
It came from Atomic China!
|Formicarium||Formicariums are the places where the Formican Queens are created; who will produce the units of the Threat after they hatch. Formicariums automatically produce resources as the insects within dig them up.|
|Queen Nest||Queen Nests produce eggs of certain castes of insects that can hatch into any insect of that type. Queens are also able to fire bolts of bio-electricity when threatened, and so threatening them can be quite tricky.|
|Ant Farm||These facilities automatically generate a flow of resources over the course of a battle and can be upgraded to create more resources.|
|Nest of Aggression||Nests of aggression unlock Formican combat infantry for the Brain Bugs to oversee.|
|Aquatic Nursery||Aquatic nurseries do not build units, but they are needed to unlock the ability to create naval units for the Formican Queens.|
|Gigantery||Giganteries are needed to field the mega-bugs of the Formicans.|
|Flier Hive||These hives and honey stores are needed for brain bugs to be able to create flying units from the Queen Nests of the Formicans.|
|Mutant farm||Here the Formican threat attracts, tames, and cultivates powerful mutants who can serve useful purposes to the Ant Hives|
|Invention Nest||The Invention Nest is the only other production structure of the Formican Threat, where brain bugs who have elected to focus themselves on the study of technology work to create the certainly crude but surprisingly effective devices of the swarms.|
|Hive Armoury||Here creations from the invention nest are stockpiled and distributed to the fellows of the colony to provide them with upgrades that can allow them to deal with threats they ordinarily wouldn't be able to and can create ant infantry armed with higher technological gear.|
|Royal Jelly Deposit||These stockpiles are where the hives can store up large amounts of jelly that are necessary for the Queens to produce more powerful units in the later stages of a battle. Royal Jelly deposits continually produce resources.|
|Insect Mine||Unlike most armies, the Formicans only start mining ore late in a battle to gather more raw materials; especially to acquire metals to craft into inventions. However due to their knowledge of how to find things underground; they never deplete the mines they harvest from.|
|Bio-electric plant||These facilities contain shock bugs who are bred to create electricity in as efficient a matter as possible. While the Formicans don't need power for most of their constructs, Bio-Electric plants can charge up the few things that do and unlock higher levels of equipment.|
|Brain Collective||Brain collectives unlock the final tier of upgrades and units for the Formican Threat, serving as a meeting place for brain bugs who dedicate themselves to preparing the best responses to the situations confronting them and create "Antvanced technology" units.|
|Honey Trap||Honey Traps spread a special charged form of honey across the target area, which can heal formican units and give them a temporary boost to many stats while literally sticking enemies to the ground to prevent them from moving; serving as the Formican support superweapon.|
|Wormsign||An enormous creature is called from the depths of the ground or the water to erupt towards the surface, devastating units that can't get out of the way even before the creature flails around to smash or spit at anything that it can reach; serving as the Formican primary superweapon.|
|Resin Wall||Resin Walls are about as basic as they come, but are extremely easy to set up and free to repair.|
|Resin Gate||The Formicans have created a simple system of pulleys, levers, and wheels to move their gates open when friendly units approach while closing them shut at the sight of enemies.|
|JADE Wall||These walls have a rather unpleasant surprise up their sleeve for would be attackers in the form of deadly JADE radiation that sickens and kills enemies close to it while encouraging the healing of Formican units and can be harvested by miners for added resources.|
|Guard Beetles||Oversized tiger beetles tamed by the Formicans are kept at these habitats for them to rush out of and charge at enemy infantry, biting and tearing into them with blinding speed, though they don't roam too far from the habitat due to them being unable to see while at full gallop. While the beetles can be intercepted before they reach infantry, they do heavy damage to compensate|
|Crazy Ant Hives||Releasing somewhat larger than normal but still miniscule swarms of crazy ants that seek out enemy vehicles, these hives can leave vehicles non-functional wrecks with alarming speed as they tear open and eat vital components in the vehicle and cause increasingly severe module failures like terror drones. Crazy ants can swim and dive to attack submarines as well.|
|Hornet Nest||The first anti-air defense of the Formicans is a nest for large swarms of hornets adapted for high altitudes; adept at chewing through the vital systems of aircraft and debilitating flying infantry with mass stinging.|
|Pheromone Hive||These dispense potent pheromones across a wide area that excite allies who get a whiff of them and provide them with a much needed boost in combat. They can be upgraded into JADE blossoms that will seed the areas around them with JADE as well.|
|Fly Cloud||Wave after wave of buzzing, nearly imepentrable flies obscure and obsfuscate attempts to shoot at Formican defenses and units within their area while heavily distracting any enemies within their range; crippling accuracy, movement speed and line of sight.|
|Glue Squirter||Simple constructions that do exactly what they suggest and squirt out strands of biological glue that hardens quickly into a sticky sort of webbing, these simple turrets can rapidly immobilise their targets and leave them vulnerable to the swarm, which can eat the glue to regain health as well.|
|Fire Nest||Powerful fireballs are launched from these fire nests to incinerate incoming infantry in large numbers, presenting a lethal obstacle to would be trespassers while the sticky burning fluids prevent movement.|
|Spike Hive||Quills are launched from these hives at great speeds to impale and shoot down enemy aircraft, with each spike slowing the aircraft as it sticks in and degrades its aerodynamic preformance considerably and can be upgraded into JADE shard launchers.|
|Shock Farm||Electric bugs are gathered here to release powerful electric discharges capable of EMPing and significantly damaging vehicles caught by these defenses, often dragging enemy armoured offensives to a complete halt.|
|Shock Acid Sprayer||The best anti-infantry defense the Formicans have and their first powered defense, the Shock-acid sprayer fires special acid that not only burns through flesh and damages movement modules on vehicles; but also catalyses powerful electric shocks that can have potent haywire effects on vehicles and stun affected infantry. They can be upgraded into JADE gas sprayers that can mutate slain infantry into abominable visceroids.|
|Plane Zapper||Patterned like human bug zapper lamps, Plane Zappers first blind enemy aircraft with extremely bright lights before they let loose a series of electric discharges to quickly overload the plane's systems and melt down its components to bring it down to the ground.|
|Magnetic Bomb Launcher||Firing highly magnetised projectiles that will catalyse on impact to become a powerful enough magnet to crumple up vehicle armour and drag nearby enemy vehicles closer to the afflicted target while damaging itself, these powered defenses are the ultimate line of anti-armour defense for the Formicans.|
|Boring Bombs||An "anti-artillery" base artillery defense in the sense that whereas artillery projectiles sail through the air and explode over the ground, these contraptions fire projectiles that chew through the ground or the water and then explode beneath their targets to create cavernous holes beneath them to damage their targets; often swallowing large numbers of enemy units with the earth or capsizing enemy ships.|
All soldier ants are built two squads at a time, though this can be upgraded for even larger hordes. Unless noted otherwise, all non-flying formican infantry can dig.
|Scouter||Scouters have highly keen senses meant to help locate and pinpoint possible enemies of the Formicans for their kin, and are able to release warning signals that make it easier for other formicans to reach their position; handy if they spot stealth units.|
|Biter||The Formicans have the advantage of numbers against most of their opponents, which is for the best because Biters are only rivalled by Aggressors in how expendable they are. Biters are armed with little more than their jaws and limbs. However Biters can dig like most Formicans and are also able to spit out a sticky and foul substance that slows down struck units; with more spit slowing the unit down further.|
|Metal Eater||These Formicans are able to digest and metabolise metal and have enlarged jaws able to bite into vehicle armour as well as powerful muscles that can grab onto and still a targeted vehicle as they attack; with this effect getting more powerful for larger numbers of Metal Eaters. Metal Eaters are also to spray targets with pheromones to make them more attractive targets for other Formicans.|
|Stinger Ants||Stinger Ants aren't amazing against aircraft without being amassed in numbers, but each stinger they fire into a plane slows it down as they gradually ruin its aerodynamics until the aircraft crashes, and they're also able to fire at ground targets. Stinger ants can also mark a plane with a pheromone stinger to let it be tracked and fired at from a greater distance by other formicans.|
|Sting Bees||Basic Flying infantry, Sting Bees can launch stingers at enemy targets to deal damage and slow enemies with painful venom or attack enemies in melee. Sting Bees can also use the barbed sting which will deal significantly greater damage but kill the Bee.|
|Termite Housemuncher||Siege units, Termites rapidly eat their way through most building materials once they manage to get their jaws sunk into them as they carve through them like the building equivalent of an anti-tank drone; with larger numbers of termites eating through buildings more quickly. Termites can also quickly spit out resin to lay down quick fortifications.|
|Bulldog Ant||Ants with tremendously powerful jaws that can slice through many targets in a single bite, Bulldog ants can bite the ground to spring themselves through the air to get the drop on enemies.|
|Fire Ant||Fire Ants attack their foes with bursts of sticky burning napalm spat from their mouths, incinerating infantry and torching down buildings as well as clearing out garrisons. Fire Ants are also able to cough up unignited fuel that can be set off like a bomb by a good spark.|
|Glue Termites||Spraying out strands of sticky, unpleasant biological glue whose radioactivity causes slow damage over time, Glue Termites can stop enemy advances cold and their glues can be eaten by Formican units for healing or be set on fire.|
|Shield termites||Shield termites use their powerful heads both as battering rams and to carry simple but strong metal barriers with which to protect other Formicans; offering shelter in the face of enemy fire and are also able to set up artillery shelters that can provide cover against indirect weapons.|
|Swarm Bees||Swarm Bees latch onto enemy aircraft and beat their wings to pull the plane out of the sky and cook the target with their radioactive bodies and even worse can secrete electric spittle that will fry most aircraft components, and while less dangerous to ground targets; are still able to attack them.|
|Spine Termites||Using a potent reflex and chemical spasm to launch a high speed hardened spike, Spine Termites are the very rough equivalent of snipers among the Formican armies, impaling targets at substantial distance with a slow rate of fire. Spine Termites are able to create "sniper nests" that can be garrisoned in for cover and a better vantage point.|
|Shock Ants||Shock Ants are somehow able to fire powerful electrical blasts that can heavily damage and EMP vehicles and fry infantry struck by them and are able to form electric links with other shock ants that will cause substantial damage to any enemy unit caught between the two squads.|
|War Wasp||War Wasps are large and very dangerous insects who can drag their targets into the air and slaughter them in many unpleasant ways or launch stingers at them and their electric-acid is also well known for its ability to bring most targets to a complete and painful stop.|
|Minor Brain Bugs||Psychic insects who help guide the enormous Formican armies through the battlefield, Minor Brain Bugs can coordinate the attacks of the various formicans with ease; providing substantial boosts to their fighting capabilities and are also able to telekinetically slam their targets or launch projectiles at them to serve as living artillery.|
|Shock Wasp||Shock Wasps are the deadliest basic flying infantry among the Formican Threat, striking targets with powerful bolts of electricity and are able to channel electricity through their wings to overload enemy sensors and leave them unable to properly target their fellow formican comrades.|
|Ram Bug||Galloping at high speeds are these rather frightful car sized insects who can headbutt with enough force to do damage to vehicles and knock infantry aside, Ram Bugs can also go into a berserk frenzy that makes them temporarily uncontrollable but increases their speed and damage.|
|Spike Bug||A large bug carrying a salvaged autocannon on its back manned by smaller insects, Spike Bugs are able to gore targets with a ram while the autocannon can punish softer targets in their way and are able to make a powerful charge forward to try and get their tusk like secondary mandibles into a target.|
|Carrier Beetle||These massive beetles are utilised as transports by the Formicans, hiding large numbers of infantry beneath their wing shells and are more than large enough to simply scoop their stag like horns beneath a target and flip it over for heavy damage if it warrants more attention than biting and stomping at it.|
|Rocket Ant||Large but nimble whose backs carry salvaged rocket launchers scavenged from human battlefields operated by crews of much smaller ants who can avoid the worst of most incoming fire, these are perhaps if you squint; like light tanks as they can easily get at enemy flanks to do serious damage. Rocket Ants have another advantage though, they can launch rockets filled with crazy ants to cause some havoc.|
|Firebug||Colossal flamethrowing bugs that vomit out large gouts of burning, steaming organic jelly that will torch anything trying to hide in a Garrison, Firebugs have the rather ominous ability to secrete noxious fumes that can be ignited for an area of effect explosion by another source of flame damage.|
|Firebug||Large flamethrowing bugs that vomit out large gouts of burning, steaming organic jelly that will torch anything trying to hide in a Garrison, Firebugs have the rather ominous ability to secrete noxious fumes that can be ignited for an area of effect explosion by another source of flame damage.|
|Crusher Ant||Melee Mega-Bugs, Crusher Ants simply smash things into pieces with their jaws and fore limbs; crumpling up most of what they can get their jaws around and swiping aside enemies with their antennae as they rush forwards at surprising speeds.|