Stellaris – How to Orbital Bombard

In Stellaris: How to Conduct an Effective Orbital Bombardment Campaign

In the game Stellaris, one of the key strategies for a large-scale land invasion is an orbital bombardment campaign. This involves ordering your space fleets to bomb defenseless planets into submission. The effectiveness of your bombardment will depend on your empire’s war policy and ethics. Let’s explore how to carry out a successful orbital bombardment campaign in Stellaris.

How to Orbital Bombard in Stellaris

The process of initiating an orbital bombardment campaign is relatively simple. All you need to do is position one of your fleets in the orbit of an enemy planet, and the bombing will commence. The intensity of the bombardment will depend on the fleet’s orbital bombardment stance.

Reasons to Conduct Orbital Bombardment

There are several reasons why you might choose to bombard a planet from orbit:

  • Genocidal empires may seek to eradicate all life in the galaxy, making orbital bombardment a preferred method.
  • If a planet has a strong defensive army that is difficult for your ground forces to overcome, a bombardment campaign can weaken their defenses.
  • Bombarding a planet reduces its production capacity, hindering your opponent’s ability to wage war against you.

It’s important to note that your enemies can also use orbital bombardment against you, so it’s in your best interest to prevent them from doing so.

Effects of Orbital Bombardment

When a fleet bombards a planet from orbit, several things occur:

  • The planet receives a “devastation” debuff, which lowers various statistics such as housing, trade value, resources, and population growth.
  • Ground armies and populations on the planet can be damaged or killed, depending on the fleet’s bombardment stance.
  • If all ground armies are destroyed, the planet may surrender to its attackers, depending on their policies.

Orbital Bombardment Stances

Not all empires conduct their bombing campaigns in the same way. The orbital bombardment stance of your fleets determines how they bomb a planet. There are six stances available:

  1. Selective: This is the default stance for all empires. It causes moderate damage to the planet, normal damage to armies, and has a low chance of killing populations. Bombing stops when all ground armies are eliminated. This stance ensures that at least 21 pops survive.
  2. Indiscriminate: This stance aims for significant damage to the planet and its populations. It is not available to pacifist empires. Bombing stops when 11 pops survive.
  3. Armageddon: Only genocidal empires or those who have taken the “Become the Crisis” ascension perk can adopt this stance. It seeks to destroy all life on the target planet, causing high levels of damage. Bombing stops when the last pop dies, turning the planet into a tomb world.
  4. Javorian Pox: This stance involves virus bombing to exterminate all alien life on the planet. It causes minimal damage to the planet but catastrophic damage to life forms. Mechanical pops are unaffected. Bombing stops when all life is eradicated, turning the planet into a tomb world.
  5. Raiding: Available to barbaric despoilers or those with the nihilistic acquisition ascension perk, this stance focuses on abducting pops rather than killing them. It causes moderate planet damage and low army damage. Bombing stops when only one pop remains on the planet.
  6. Seed Bombing: Exclusive to fungoid or plantoid empires with the fruitful partnership origin, this stance creates explosive growth blockers on the planet instead of killing pops. It causes moderate planet damage but low army damage. Bombing stops when the owner pays for the removal of these growth blockers.

Considerations for Post-Bombardment

Before beginning a bombing campaign, you should consider what you intend to do with the planet after its surrender. If you don’t plan to claim it for your empire, obliterating it may be a valid strategy. However, if you want to incorporate the planet into your empire, remember that the devastation debuff remains. Repairing devastation takes time, with one percent of devastation taking 20 days to recover. A heavily devastated planet can be a liability, so think carefully before taking it on.

In conclusion, orbital bombardment is a powerful tool in Stellaris, but it should be used strategically. Consider the consequences and choose the most appropriate orbital bombardment stance for your goals. And remember to have fun wreaking havoc on your enemies in Stellaris!