One Nation Under Pods: An Armageddon Empires AAR

This forum needs more AARs. That other forum has lots, but most of them are about dating. Nothing wrong with dating AARs, I suppose, but after the first dozen…

Anyway - onward!

[CENTER]One Nation Under Pods: An Armageddon Empires AAR

We are the Xenopods.
We came to earth to serve man.
On a platter.


From the official history of Armageddon Empires:

In the year 2025 human civilization makes first contact with not one but two alien civilizations. The Machine Empire and the Xenopods have been enemies locked in a death struggle for over 10,000 years. As the battle for control of the solar system and the earth rages with unimaginable fury, neither group pays the insignificant natives of the planet much attention. Within a month of first contact, 99% of the human race is exterminated by thermonuclear fire, kinetic weapons strikes, genetically engineered plague and starvation.

The survivors scurry like cockroaches to stay out of the aliens’ way. A little over 20 years later the fighting stops as suddenly as it started. A shift in the tide of battle moves the front to other star systems and all that remains on the devastated planet are scattered groups of human survivors and the abandoned remnants of the aliens’ fighting forces.

Before the battle for earth had even been decided, Xenopod forces had begun rounding up humans into camps. At first it was only rumor, but soon the horrible truth was discovered. Humans were being used as both hosts and food for the birthing of Xenopod life forms. Tales of horrible genetic experiments circulated as well.

After the alien exodus of 2045, isolated groups of Machine and Xenopod forces continued to battle for survival against each other. The earth fell into a period of warring states that lasted for 300 years and continues to the present day.

By the Year 2357 the remnants of the Xenopod forces on Earth has successfully exterminated the remaining units of the Machine Empire. Xenopod intelligence forces had determined that all that remained for domination of the planet was to exterminate the remaining pockets of humanity – both the Empire of Man and the Free Mutants – in what, centuries earlier, was known as the Mojave Desert.

What follows is an account of the Xenopads’ noble attempt to exterminate, once and for all, the last vestiges of humanity.


The landing of Xenopod Hiveship was less than smooth, but no major life support systems were damaged. The ship’s primary systems survived intact, and it will serve as the Xeno’s command post and barracks. First immediate action: the dispatch of a critter, one of two primary Xenopod reconnassance units.

The little critter immediately stumbles upon an army of independent raiders, allied neither with the Empire of Man nor their hideous cousins, the Free Mutants.

The raiders are uncomfortably close, and Xenopod commanders vow to keep an eye on them.

If necessary, a Xenocepter can bomb the raiders and turn them in to mince meat fairly quickly.


With the Xenopod operation to exterminate humans fully underway, their presumptive leader, the Cyaeg Queen, arrives with her entourage. She immediately dispatches a second recon unit. The Consort is airborne and thus can cover more ground quickly. Resources are scarce, and the Xenopods need to get them first before either faction of humans do.

The Recon unit immediately finds a second group of independents to the west of the Hiveship. But unlike the Raiders to the east, these rogues have established their own base:

Day Two concludes on the most important note – the hatching of a larvae. Now all the Xenopods need are four human bodies to hatch the pod into a Xenopod soldier.

“We need human bodies,” commands the Xenopod Queen to her minions. “Alive or dead, I care not. Get me humans!” Her aides scurry and cower.


One of the recon units, the Critter, discovers a group of renegade Xenopods wandering to the northeast, two Brutes led by a technologist. The Critter scitters away and reports back to the Mother Queen at the Hiveship.

The Consort, meantime, finds yet another independent enclave, this one southeast of the Queen’s Hive.

Xenopod intelligence reveals that the base is an outpost that not only extends supply range, but – most tantatlizingly – produces three resources per turn, including the all important resource of human bodies.

The Cyaeg Queen determines that control of this independent outpost is paramount. However the forces guarding the site are likely too powerful to attempt an immediate assault: three raiders, lead by a General, supported by a tank:

Instead, the Queen and her advisory hivemind opt to chip away at the outpost by launching repeated attacks using the Xenoceptor.

The aerial assaults do little damage, but are inexpensive to stage, so they will continue until the Xenopod forces are able to mound a substantial ground assault.

The sixth day of the operation concludes with the arrival of new leadership, a Hero General by the name of Nya’lrax. Lacking any troops, the Queen dispatches him to perform some solo recon to the west.

Nya’lrax begins to argue that recon is beneath him, he is a Hero General after all. But the Queen quickly reminds him that she is getting hungry, and humans are scarce. “You’d best set off, young man, before you become my dinner.”

So. Awesome.


On Day Seven, one of the Xenopod recon units spotted, for the first time, a member of one of the two remaining groups of organized humans – the Free Mutants. Specifically, a Free Mutant recon soldier, the Ravager, wandering the desert by his lonesome.

Discretion being the better part of valor, the critter scurries away, opting not to pick a fight with the Ravager. This leaves the Free Mutant free to continue roaming dangerously close to the Xenopod-controlled territory.

Better news comes from Hero General Nya’lrax, performing recon to the west of the Hiveship, who comes upon a group of human squatters. They’ll do no more squatting. The General, with twelve tentacles, easily transports the eight bodies back to the Hiveship for use in the growing hatching operation.

The Queen is quite pleased with this bounty of bodies. Four of the former humans are used to nurture a Brood Pen, a facility housed within the Hiveship that will automatically generate one human and one energy resource each day.

The other four bodies from the squatters camp are used to hatch some Xenopod larva into a soldier. The Cyaeg Queen is even more pleased, and decides not to eat the General after all.

The resulting drone will be based as a guard unit at the Hiveship. With Free Mutants wandering about, some protection for the Queen is dearly needed.

On Day Nine, the bounty of riches continues. The critter recon unit also comes upon four squatting humans, who put up a tepid fight.

A pitchfork? That’s the best you can come up with?

The four human bodies are harvested to create the Xenopods’ first outpost, a hidden Hive that cannot be detected either by the Empire of Man nor the Free Mutants.

This outpost, situated northwest of the Hiveship, both greatly expands the supply range of the Xenopod forces and provides another location at which to hatch larvae. The Queen grins as she munches on a leftover human leg. “This is all going quite well indeed.”

I approve of this undertaking.

Very cool, and very well done sir.

Excellent AAR, so far. I’d like some larger map shots, though, if that’s possible.

Awesome, I never got around to playing as Xenopods. Perhaps I need to fire this up and try to remember how it all works!

Thanks for the feedback folks. More to come…

Good point. I’ll try for that in the next installment.

In case you’re interested, I’m not using the basic Xenopod starter deck for this AAR. Instead I’m using a deck I found at the Cryptic Comet forums: BlckKnght’s 40 card, 100 point Xeno Short Deck. The creator explains how the deck works in the linked post, but his summary is apt: “Explore fast, expand to grab lots of resources, then crank up the techs to build your armies of doom.”

My settings: Map Size Normal, Opponents: Empire and Mutants only, Resources Rare and Specials Uncommon. Cults disabled.

I’m still pretty much a newb to AE. I played through this particular deck once and won. But still, expect basic mistakes…

I love this, please more.

DAYS 10 AND 11

On the tenth day of the Xenopod effort to eradicate the last vestiges of the vile humans, the Cyaeg Queen ordered her cartographer to map out the explored territory:

The Crashed Hive at the Spawning Grounds continued to serve as a viable base of operations in the southeastern quadrant of the desert. To its west and southeast, independent bases, manned by rogues and raiders, have been mapped. The southeastern base is particularly tempting for an incursion, as intelligence reports believe it to be capable of harvesting human corpses.

North and west of the Hive lies the Xenopod’s only other base, an outpost at Ash Plains. The Hero General Nya’lrax is currently manning the outpost by himself, and he anxiously awaits reinforcements. “All in due time, my loyal servant,” replies the Queen.

And north of the outpost, Xenopod recon units scurry to and fro over the radiated landscape in hopes of recovering more human squatters for harvesting. They spot another member of the Free Mutants clan: Necrosis.

Without any troops to support him, the Hero General Nya’lrax opts to leave the Mutant undisturbed. The Queen, does, however, summon a Hero Scout, the stealth master M’sisilk, to the outpost, from which point the most vital reconnaissance mission will be launched: the effort to locate the base of the Empire of Man.

The mood of the Cyaeg Queen is brightened on Day Eleven, as a recon unit comes upon another squatter camp, and promptly delivers seven human bodies, ripe for harvesting.

This allows for two further key actions: first, another facility is constructed at the Hiveship base, a war nest that will generate one human body per day. This brings the production of human resources at the base to three per day.

Secondly, the remaining bodies are used to harvest a Xenopod Larva into a ready-made soldier. The Queen welcomes to the her growing forces a Xenogyte Drudge.

“We have the makings of a true fighting force,” the Xenopod Queen muses to her minions. “Soon we will enjoy a veritable smorgasbord of human delicacies!”

Fantastic stuff - I’m really enjoying this. Thanks for the work of putting it all together.

Once the dating stuff kicks in this will be truly awesome!

Until then I guess the strategy stuff is ok too. ;-)

lol awesome AAR, I didnt know how much i missed these. keep it up bro!

So AFAIK its not possible to pull back and get the entire map on the screen at once (and thus into a single screenshot). The best I can do are the map segments as in the above post. Adobe Director FTW!


On the twelfth day of the Xenopod incursion, the Xenocepter continued its aerial assault on the raider base to the southeast. This was low-grade warfare, cheap and inefficient, but eventually one of the raiders was exterminated.

The Cyaeg Queen, who learned of this while having her tentacles manicured, was infinitely pleased. Her goal was to ‘soften up’ the base’s defenses a bit in time for the deployment of the Xenopod’s first true fighting force, so the termination of even one of the raiders was helpful. Capturing the indie base will yield resource-rich facilities, and will effectively secure control of the southeastern quadrant of the desert.

Meantime, the recon units continued to scour the wasteland for anything of value. One critter came upon an abandoned human depot, yielding one usable weapon::

Then came what the Queen considered the most magnificent moment thus far in the Xenopod’s campaign against the heathen humans: two more larva were harvested, resulting in two more fighting units – the Monstrosity, with a toxic attack, and the Gluttons, with a Berserk attack ability:

The successful hatching prompted the Queen to summon her best commander, R’lyah, considered to be a military genius:

R’lyah choose for his fighting force the newly harvested Gluttons and Monstrosity, along with the previously harvested Drone (who is awarded the recovered human chain guns) and Drudge.

The Xenopod Queen named the unit “America’s Army,” then dispatched it post haste to the coveted independent base.

Xenopods are incapable of smiling. But if they could, the Queen would have been grinning. “War,” she told her sycophantic advisers, “is wonderfully imminent.”

No worries, those screens were exactly what I was missing. :)

Day 14 – The Battle of Serseri Mounds

The fourteenth day of the Cyaerg Queen’s righteous effort to eradicate the remains of humanity brought a pivotal moment: the attempt to claim a resource-rich independent base just southeast of the Xenopod’s Hiveship, at Serseri Mounds.

In one corner, the raiders who were squatting in the base, led by Humungous. The Cyaeg Queen wondered to herself how he got his name:

In the other corner, the first fighting unit created by the Xenopod incursion, led by the notorious military genius, R’lyah. The Xeno general estimated that his unit could easily overwhelm the encamped raiders, but he was concerned mainly about the Merc Tank. Despite the misgivings, and with little fanfare, he ordered his force to move in.

The entire assault was focused on neutralizing the Merc.

After several tense minutes, the tank was destroyed.

The raiders, poorly trained and probably inebriated, were then neutralized quickly.

The Battle of Serseri Mounds had been won. But Humungous, the raider leader, managed to flee, and the Xenopod forces gave chase.

The Cyaeg Queen was quite displeased that Humongous was allowed to escape. She had hoped to dine on his corpse in a celebratory feast. But, at least the battle was victorious, there were no Xenopod casualties, and their production of resources was greatly boosted by the capture of the base.

Meantime, far to the north, one of the Xenopod critters, wandering quietly through the radiated landscape on its recon missions, spied a sole human figure, heading south toward the Xenopod outpost at Ash Plains:

The critter quickly realizes the vile human is likely a recon unit in the Empire of Man. If so, this would be the first confirmed sighting of an Empire soldier since the start of the incursion.

Without making itself known to the human, the critter scurried back to the Hiveship to deliver the news. The Empire of Man was coming.

Blind recon?

Awesome AAR.