Yuri's collection agency.
—An Invader pilot announcing his role for the Epsilon Army
The Invader is an Epsilon aircraft that resemble flying saucers in old school science fiction. They should not be underestimated, however, as their beam weapon can make short work of infantry and their "parasite pull" can be problematic for bases without adequate anti-air defenses.
Epsilon's primary aircraft and immediately one of the stranger Epsilon weapons, the Invader strongly resembles a classic U.F.O. from the late 40's. But these units have far more insidious intentions than just abducting cows and drunken farmers. These floating discs are armed with a unique beam weapon that dissolves organic material, causing flesh to deteriorate and armor to take substantial damage.
Even with this terrifying weapon, what truly makes the Invader unique is its ability to sabotage. Equipped with what most commanders call a "parasite pull", the Invader can siphon credits from an opponent once it hovers above an enemy refinery or disable any kind of defensive structure.
The Invader has received more changes from its vanilla-derived unit than any other Epsilon unit in the game, meaning that a player coming from Yuri's Revenge has to adapt to said changes to use the Invader effectively. The major changes are as follows:
- The Invader is available at Tier 2 and it only costs $1000 (compared to the Floating Disc's Tier 3 requirement and $1750 cost respectively).
- The Invader can only disable one power plant at a time, but not the entire power grid. The Invader's money drain rate on Ore Refineries is also doubled. On the other hand, there's no change on the parasite pull's ability against defenses.
- The Invader does not announce its arrival on the battlefield (unlike in YR where the Floating Disc's "Disc in flight" quote does so).
- The Invader is faster and quieter than the Floating Disc (in fact the former does not have the spinning sound, instead it is replaced by a more subtle one) but less armored.
- The Invader's dissolver beam is only effective against infantry, light vehicles and aircraft, compared to the all-around strength of the Floating Disc's laser beam. Also, the Invader fires instantly and no longer has to charge its weapon.
All these changes mean that the Invader's purpose is less useful in a direct assault but more on aerial support, infantry elimination and sudden base sabotage.
While it may not provide much muscle, the Invader is an excellent choice for disrupting an enemy at the beginning of the midgame. With no special build requirements and of relatively low cost, even a single Invader's potential to disable power and steal money is threatening enough to force a response, and may keep the opponent paranoid enough to keep building anti-air later into the game - even if the Epsilon commander has no plans to build any further air units. That said, Invaders fall apart very quickly when under fire, and a single incursion on an enemy who knows how to respond is unlikely to make up the money and time invested, so some clever opportunism is necessary to get the most out of them.
Invaders controlled by the AI are often sent to specifically destroy enemy infantry in large numbers. On occasion, a few AI-controlled Invaders will be sent to drain undefended Ore Refineries and nearby defenses.
- In Huehuecoyotl, two Invaders guarding the Stallion Transport can be seen by the player, although they cannot be controlled in this mission.
- The Invader is introduced in Memory Dealer and becomes buildable once the player sets up a Radar Spire.
- In Earthrise, the Invader is fully operational on the Moon, having been designed to function in the vacuum of space.
- In the Contagion Challenge, the middle of the map is patrolled by a large number of toxic Invaders, which explode in a toxic cloud when destroyed and can be distinguished from normal Invaders by their green colour.
Behind the scenes
The Invader's voxel is available for public download to be used by other modders. The link can be found here.