Galactic Civilizations IV is out now, and there’s an entire galaxy’s worth of factions you can control as you try to conquer the stars in the newest 4X game from Stardock. We’ve covered many of the 18 playable civilizations, and with only a handful left to go we turn our attention to a civilization whose journey among the stars has but one goal: to find their lost children.
The Manti Cluster’s first encounter with alien life was not a pleasant one. Soon after these lobster-like beings announced their presence to the galaxy, raiders of unknown origin descended on their planet and captured an entire generation of children, permanently scarring the Manti’s collective psyche.
This setback results in the Manti Cluster starting a game of Galactic Civilizations IV with fewer citizens than other civilizations. And yet despite – or perhaps because of – this, they have grown into a surprisingly capable martial society. Trusting exactly no one, the Manti’s Paranoid trait gives free defensive drones to Manti planets and orbital infrastructure, as well as bonus hit points for their ships whenever inside their own borders. The Manti also sport the Warrior trait, which lets their ships ignore the first 10% of damage dealt to them, along with extra range for all weapons. They now roam the galaxy, desperate for clues as to the whereabouts of their lost generation, and woe betide anyone who gets in their way.
The raid on the Manti homeworld unified the planet in a way that few other civilizations share. United in a common purpose, Manti worlds are far less susceptible to culture flipping. Since the Manti are an aquatic species, however, their citizens’ approval is largely tied to whether or not they are living on aquatic worlds. As you might expect, they’re wary when engaging in diplomacy; they believe strongly in the ideology of Transparency and relations will be difficult if you aren’t straightforward.
The Manti’s homeworld is a bountiful, aquatic planet, with plenty of tiles that can be used to boost food production, research, and manufacturing.
The Manti’s singular purpose of finding their stolen children even manifests in the command ships the civilization can summon to their aid. Each one doubles as a survey ship, capable of scanning anomalies and exploring space.
- Pearl of Bubble Glea – This small ship can generate bonus research every time it surveys an anomaly or other interstellar object.
- Small Dragon – Packing a decent punch for its class, this small ship is a good candidate for both dealing with guarded anomalies, and for early-game fleet combat.
- Chill of the Deep – A lightly armed small ship that increases its sensor range as it levels up, making it ideal for long-range exploration and early warnings against danger.
- Sheltered Sky – A defense-focused medium ship designed specifically for finding the location of the “lost generation”, and ensuring no one can harm them again.
- Brine of Brachyura – A no-frills medium-hull ship that has impressive defenses and offensive armaments, as well as survey capabilities.
- Hissing Shoal – A large ship with impressive defenses and hard-hitting long-range missile attacks.
- The Scythe – Another large ship, it is not as well armed as the Hissing Shoal… but, it does have an Antimatter Bomb, which can prove devestating in the right circumstances.
As the Manti, you will be able to stand toe-to-toe with other military-minded civilizations, and you’ll have the food production to support your empire for generations to come. You will need to ensure you don’t fall behind in the realms of manufacturing and research, and you will also have to work harder than most to keep your population happy if you’re struggling to colonise aquatic worlds.
For the Manti, the jockeying and politicking of the wider galactic community is seen as an amusing distraction at most. Finding their long-lost children is the only thing that matters, and this strong narrative gives them an engaging hook that can be used to direct your energies as you expand out into space.
We feel sorry for the kidnappers. To quote the sage Liam Neeson, the Manti have a “very particular set of skills,” and they will eventually find those responsible. We’re sure you can guess what happens next. Galactic Civilizations IV is out now for PC.