Galactic Civilizations IV’s beta is in full swing, and we’re back with another faction preview as we continue on the road to the exciting 4X game’s launch. The beta update – which you can jump into right now if you pre-order – opened the entire faction roster for players to test, but today we’re going to look at another of the new races coming to the space strategy game. You like plants, right?
The Baratak Grove brings a bit of floral flair to Galactic Civilizations, and is another faction with a clear theme and playstyle that sets it apart from the rest. If you were to sum them up in one word, it would be: plentiful. Their homeworld has a lot of tile bonuses geared towards food and population, they start with an artefact that can give life to dead worlds, and their starting policy slot can even give those same artefacts (Spores of Yggdrasil) the ability to boost food production.
The biggest thing you will need to be wary of is pollution. Baratak citizens don’t need much to be happy, but they definitely don’t need you pumping harmful gases all over your worlds. The more pollution that is present on a planet, the unhappier they’ll be. This will limit your citizens’ productivity, so you’ll need to mitigate its impact accordingly.
The Baratak begin the game with a few advantages that will give them a leg up versus the rest of the galaxy. We’ve already mentioned the spores – this will greatly help with early-game colonisation because you don’t have to look so hard to find a decent planet to colonise when you can just make one instead. Whether this means boosting your home system with extra colonies or rushing to settle the closest core world you can find, the three Yggdrasil charges can be used to great effect.
The important thing to note is that you don’t start with the ability to make more. Your homeworld’s starting artefact gives you a leg up on production by reducing construction costs. You’ll also need to get colony ships to ensure you can capitalise on the new worlds you’re making. You start with one, like everyone else, but you’ll need to look at things like the ‘Draft Colonist’ executive order to produce more.
The Baratak also start with the Xeno Anthropology technology fully researched and even get a starting culture point, which is more powerful than you might realise. All this combines to allow these super-sentient flora to hit the ground running – if they had feet, that is.
The Baratak’s roster of command ships offer some great utility as well. They can defend themselves, but the Baratak are not an overly martial race so you’ll need to make sure your military technology is competitive. Thankfully, many of your ships’ support functions can assist your empire’s growth in all stages of the game:
- Pollen – A small, lightly armed ship that grants a bonus of +30 to food and growth to all worlds within range
- Bullate – Another small ship that gains +4 health as it levels up. Great for scouting and for augmenting a larger fleet
- Solar Wind – This small ship packs a big punch for its class, and also reduces the decay on all worlds within range by half
- Thorn of Nan – This defence-focused medium-hull ship doesn’t have any unique utility, but is a great foundation for any mid-game battle fleet
- Umbel Garden – A medium-hull vessel that can reduce decay and pollution by half on all worlds within range
- Sower of Seeds – A strong, large ship that can spawn colony ships on its own, which makes it great for long-range colonisation efforts
- Galactic Canopy – The pride of the Baratak Grove, this ship can take more damage than it gives out. It also reduces pollution on nearby worlds by half and boosts approval by 20%
While this faction can grow and expand quite quickly – they’re similar to the Yor in terms of early-game colonisation – it’s important to know your limits. Other races like the Arcean Republic and the Drengin Empire will out-fight you, and you’ll need to be wary of the Festron eating your citizens.
Unlike the Drath and the Xeloxi, you don’t have any specific wealth-focused bonuses or allies to call on (respectively) that will bail you out of a sticky situation. Grow quickly and expand aggressively, but avoid getting too close to the borders of other factions until your military might is where it needs to be.
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The Baratak Grove is here to bring fresh life and clean air to the galaxy – whether the galaxy likes it or not. You can try them out along with the rest of the roster of civilizations by pre-ordering Galactic Civilizations IV today, which will net you instant access to the beta.