The Liir are a race of psionically gifted aquatic mammals. They resemble Terran dolphins when younger than 50 Terran years and various, increasingly large whales afterwards.
Please link to existing lore on Liir, or write original commentary.
Gameplay: Sword of the StarsEdit
In Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection, a Liir player will have three great advantages. The first is the unique drive system, the Stutter Warp, the second is their research efficiency, and the third is their construction efficiency. Liir also possess an unusual aptitude for biological warfare.
While the linked article will have more detailed information on this drive, in terms of gameplay, Liir ships ignore Newtonian physics, allowing them to twirl, dodge, and manuever exceptionally well. Further, they are faster than any other race far away from a gravity well, and slower than any other race once they get too close to a gravity well. This is true in tactical and strategic movement. Using the unique properties of this drive, a Liir player can either outmanuever his opponents in ship to ship combat, or he can establish colonies in deep space beyond the reach of his rivals or strike from unexpected quarters.
The Liir can research things cheaper and faster than any other playable race. Each credit a Liir player spends simply goes farther than those of other races. Consult the table below for details. What this means is that the Liir should have access to higher powered technologies before other races, allowing a crucial few turns of overwhelming force with which lasting advantages can be won, as well as mounting, long term advantages that see the Liir ahead technologically to the very end.
The Liir tend to be able to produce ships cheaper than any other race, excepting the Zuul.
Biological Warfare Edit
Bio-warfare in SotS is performed using the specialized Bio Warfare Mission Section to deliver a very large missile containing various biological agents to a planet. The Liir have more missiles per section than other races do, giving them a greater chance of successfully delivering some of the payload to the target planet, as well as delivering more of the payload. In general, it takes at least four missiles to successfully kill or turn a planet.
|Comparative Bio-Missile Count Per Section|
Technological aptitudes Edit
The Liir have access to several unique technologies, two of which are related to their star drive. Their Antimatter drive upgrade, the FlickerDrive, has a chance of making their ships phase out at the precise moment that they would have been struck by hostile weapons fire. This visibly causes the hostile projectile to pass straight through the ship and out the other side. Liir may also be able to refine this technology with Micro FlickerDrive, giving their missiles the same chance to avoid enemy point defense fire. There is also a connection between the FlickerDrive tech node and the Intangibility tech node, giving Liir a second chance to unlock this technology. Another unique Liir technology is Shield Focusing, a guaranteed technology for any Liir who researches Shield Projector. Shield Focusing unlocks the Protectorate Mission Section for Cruisers and Dreadnoughts. This section allows the Protectorate ship to provide shields to all nearby ships of one class lower, the Cruiser will be able to shield Destroyers, and the Dreadnought will be able to shield Destroyers and Cruisers.
In general, the Liir will have a high chance to unlock technology from the Shield, Energy Weapons, C3, the industrial and trade portions of Industrial, and especially all of Biological tech trees. Because the mind of an AI has the psionic signature of an electrically charged lump of silicon, the Liir have a diificult time understanding that the wafer of silicon can actually think for itself. As a result, they tend to be very bad at AI based technologies. Refer to this tech tree for exact numbers, the Liir's % chance of progressing down a path is the light blue number.
The combination of Cloaking and Biological Warfare makes the Liir a particularly dangerous opponent. The enemies of the Liir had best not neglect their defensive satelites on any planet, no matter how safe it may appear.
The Liir have relatively fewer gun mounts, and their total hull strength tends to be significantly weaker than that of rival races. These traits, in addition to their drive advantage, means that the Liir have a disadvantage in auto-resolved combat. Finally, they have many fewer crew than most other races.
The gun turrets appear to be the result of an intentional design choice which has its pros and cons. Many Liir turrets operate with huge firing arcs, often placed dorsally in order to target port, bow, or starboard targets, or on spindles jutting from the sides of the ship in order to achieve broadside firing angles in excess of 180 degrees. This can be explained by the fact that Liir ships have very few crew members, often about half that of other races. As a result, they need each gunner to be able to be useful as much as possible. On the other hand, this leaves them vulnerable to any weapons system accurate enough to destroy those few turrets.
Liir ships tend to have decent healthpools for their engine and mission sections, but their command sections are often very weak. This means that cunning enemy players will target those vulnerable mission sections in order to cripple a Liir player's ships. If you were banking on a Shield Section saving you, you'd best be sure those shields never fail. In addition to making Liir ships vulnerable to command section loss, Liir ship health pools are dramatically afffected by the weak front sections, resulting in generally more fragile ships.
Auto-Resolve Weakness Edit
Auto-resolve acts as if all ships involved in the combat are positioned at the ideal range for their weapons and that every shot is a hit. Liir ships are manueverable and evasive, have lower average health, and fewer average gun mounts. As a result, a Liir player should be wary of using auto-resolve in all but the most one sided engagements.
This is an irrelevant detail, except when it's the only important detail. Boarding actions are very simple, if the number of crew in the boarding pods stuck to the sides of a ship outnumber the crew in the ship, the ship is considered KIA for the original owner, and it becomes a stationary gun platform for the boarding player. Zuul in particular love this action because their pods have tons of crew and their boarding sections have tons of pods. All Liir are terrified of this action because they have abnormally low crew counts and are therefore incredibly vulnerable to boarding. Any wise Liir player will invest in a few Interceptor Missile mounts on most of their ships specifically to counteract this vulnerability.
The Liir do not prefer head on engagements of relatively equal forces. All other factors being equal, Liir ships will tend to lose against any other race's ships. However, the Liir shouldn't need to take equal fights. They should be able to unlock high technology more faster and more reliably than the other races, especially in the field of cloaking and shielding. The Liir will ideally deploy the exact countermeasure to whatever the enemy has prepared, if they don't slip by entirely and bio-bomb the enemy's planets.
The Races Compared Edit
Vs Humans Edit
Humans tend to have an early game strategic advantage against Liir due to their very fast strategic speed, especially in dense areas of the galaxy where node lanes abound. However, in sparse areas of the galaxy, Humans can find their routes becoming circuitous, while the Liir will be able to almost keep up with them when crossing the void. While strategic speed tends to favor humans, it's entirely possible that the Liir will outrun them in certain areas. Whether this results in an advantage for one or the other is entirely up to player skill.
One place where the Humans can't keep up is in technology, the Liir will tend to far surpass their primate competitors in the rate at which they get to the mid and late games, allowing them to field more powerful ships and technologies before the Humans. However, if the game drags on just a bit too long, the Humans will catch up, and this is one race that Humans can outshoot when on equal footing.
Vs Hiver Edit
The Liir need to kill the Hivers quickly. This matchup comes down entirely to whether the Liir can deliver their bio-missiles to Hiver planets before the Hiver reaches a critical mass and becomes uncrackable. That's the easiest way to win against Hiver as Liir, but the Liir have a second shot at victory if it fails. The Liir should go for advanced bio-weapons and cloaking technology. With those two techs, a Liir may be able to stall the Hivers long enough to prepare a killing blow, cloaked bio-missiles rarely do enough damage to outright kill a player. One more Hail Mary comes from the Grav Shield technology, which may allow the Liir to ignore all Ballistic Weapons. This will force the slow Hiver researchers to pursue the long and potentially blocked path towards energy weapons. This is all thrown out the window if the Hivers acquire Shield Breakers. The last and least likely victory path is through grinding direct conflict. This only works out if the Liir can outproduce the Hiver at least 1.5 to 1, if the ratio gets much farther in favor of Hiver the bugs will win.
A notable harassment tactic that will not be used in turn by the Hiver is commerce raiding. Hivers tend to have a very difficult time pinning down fleets operating in their deep space areas, all a Liir needs to do is move some ships into a Hiver trade sector and fly the jolly roger.
Vs Tarka Edit
A matchup which comes down to finding the counterplay before the Tarka deploys the strike force. The Tarka will always be trying to attack, the Liir needs to find the right technology to blunt their offensive and create an opportunity to counterstrike. Tarka sensors are particularly bad, usually operating with 25% less range than that of their rivals. This can make cloaking a particularly useful technology.
Vs Morrigi Edit
Early game, this matchup will feel like a Liir Vs Tarka matchup. The Morrigi will seem pitifully slow, stupid, and few. Then, all at once, the Morrigi will start clicking along. The Liir will first notice that there's suddenly a lot more Crow ships around. Then it'll become apparent that the Morrigi are no longer technologically backwards, and are in fact ahead in key respects. Finally, Morrigi doomfleets will start zipping around glassing planets faster than any Liir thought possible.
The key is their infrastructure. Morrigi earn more money than most races through trade, and they have special stations which make up for their early game weakness. The Liir are ideally suited to harassing this infrastructure. The stations will slowly orbit near the edge of the planetary gravity well, exactly where the Liir like to operate. The freighters will be spread across many trade sectors, and many small harassing fleets are ideally suited to pulling apart the Morrigi trade system. The Morrigi need to be grouped into large numbers of ships, ideally dreadnoughts, to catch a Liir's raiders. The trick is to never group a large enough fleet of raiders to make a sledgehammer blow devastating.
Vs Zuul Edit
The Zuul are scariest in the early parts of the game. Before a Liir has access to shields and interceptor missiles, they won't want to be involved with the Zuul. After, the Zuul hold little threat to the Liir. Prioritize your technologies, and the Zuul can be kept at bay until they die off.
Gameplay: Sword of the Stars 2Edit
Please refer to the Liir Zuul Alliance for lore concerning the Liir as of SotS2. Please write an overview of Liir gameplay here if you have experience with it.