This is what I believe would be a good and innovative way to implement the Flood into Halo Wars in maybe an expansion pack. I realize that it may be more appropriate for this to be a post on Rot's How to Implement the Flood thread, but it's just a tad long (both his thread and this one) so I thought it better to make a new one. I put a lot of thought into this to make sure everything was balanced, but of course I can't be sure of that unless I test it, so if anyone has any suggestions or ideas to change my idea feel free to post about it. I know there are a lot of people who want the Flood (I know some people who didn't buy Halo Wars because there wasn't a playable Flood) so I hope this will give Robot an incentive to make a Flood faction.
I used to have cool names for my upgrades which I would explain (like Cell Walls could upgrade into Cellulose or Chitin) but this all kinda got accidentally deleted and I didn't bother going through the trouble explaining the names the second time typing this.
Unit Production/Base Building
Just as expected, the Flood will be a sort of swarm race that conquers by out numbering the enemy and moving fast; this will be accomplished through 2 big abilities that no one else has. 1. All Flood production buildings automatically make units for free, when you select a unit production building the same circle menu comes up that has the units that can be made on the right and the upgrades on the left, but when you select a unit you want the unit becomes highlighted and will be constantly made for free. It will stop being made if you select it again and un-highlight it; if you want more than one type of unit made at one production building you can highlight 2 or 3 and they will be made one after another; some units take longer to make than others. This is not a far out concept for Robot because their past games (when they were Ensemble) involved buildings that did the same thing, it can work.
2. The Flood do not have pre-set sockets around their base that limit where they build their buildings, there is a radius around the central base where they can build all their production and defensive buildings. With the Flood, as long as you're not already in a circle menu, you can press the B button any time and a new circle menu will come up which will have the list of buildings you can make. When you select one, if recourses permit, a "ghost" version of that building will appear on your reticicle and as long as it's in the build radius and not on top of another building, it will be built on any location you press A. In any other faction the B button is solely meant to cancel out of circle menus and it will still do this for the Flood; if you press B to bring up the build menu you simply need to press B again to close that menu along with any others.
The Build Menu will have the production buildings on the right and the defensive buildings on the left, here is a layout of the Build Menu: TOP: Rally point, where ever you put this all units made in any building will go there. TOP RIGHT: The Nest; this production building creates the "infantry" units of the Flood, which include Infection Forms. The Nest is the cheapest Flood building, a bit cheaper than a Barracks, but every other Flood building is very expensive (because units are free). MIDDLE RIGHT: The Avery; this is the building that creates the Flood's air units. BOTTOM RIGHT: The Colony; this building makes the more heavy units of the Flood, kind of like a vehicle factory. I'll go over all the Flood's units later. TOP LEFT: Root, this defensive building is just like the one from the game, it's a tentacle that attacks anything that gets close. Roots are very cheap, like the same as 150 supplies. MIDDLE LEFT: Flood Launcher; just like the one from the game, it's a strong, long ranged defensive building that's more or less good against anything. They're expensive, like the same as 350 supplies.
There is also another base called a Seeded base, which is just like a simpler forward base, but I'll get to that later.
Main Base and Tech
The main base dose have 2 sockets which are dedicated to only one type of building each. The front of the base will be a socket called the Frontal Lobe (works just like a planted Seed) where you build a building that goes by the same name and on the back you can build a building called the Central Intelligence (works like Spirit of Fire), but I'll get to those later. You can't destroy separate buildings on a Flood base, they all get destroyed together.
A very important thing about the Flood is that they advance in tech (like Reactors and Ages) by upgrading their main base. They have 3 tech tiers, the first is obtained by building the Central Intelligence building on the back of one of your bases. You can only build one Central Intelligence in total, if you have one on one base it can't be built on another. The base that the Central Intelligence is built on will be referred to as the Central Hive (Hive being the name on your initial base) and the second tech tier is obtained by upgrading your Central Hive to a Central Collective (like upgrading a Firebase to a Fortress) and the third tier is obtained by upgrading your Central Collective to a Central Proto-Gravemind. Any other base can be upgraded from a Hive to a Collective to a Proto-Gravemind and make use of the benifits you get from having those upgrades (which is mostly just more hit points and higher rate of recource collection) but your tech tier depends only on what base your Central Intelligence building is built. You can move your Central Intellegence by recycling it and rebuilding it on any other base, but your tech tier will reflect whatever level of upgrade your new Central Base has. One more thing, your Central Base will have more hitpoints depending on the number of other bases you have.
If you select a base (whether it be a normal base or the Central Base) a circle menu will come up which will include the following: TOP: the upgrade that upgrades the base it's self, very expensive but not quite as expensive as Covi Ages. TOP RIGHT: the Seed Form unit, this unit can create forward Seeded base and will be discussed later. TOP LEFT: Seed Form upgrade, I'll discuss the Seed unit's upgrades later on. MIDDLE RIGHT: Your unique unit, I do have ideas for 3 sub-factions like the Covies and Humans. MIDDLE LEFT: Unique unit upgrade. BOTTOM RIGHT: Base rally point. BOTTOM LEFT: Upgrade Recourse Roots, the Recourse Roots are your passive way of gathering supplies, like Supply Pads. BOTTOM: Destroy base.
Obviously, the Flood doesn't use actual "supplies" they use biomass. The main way they gather biomass is by the Recourse Roots that automatically come with their first base each new base so right off the bat the Flood are already gathering recourses which makes up for how they can't gather the supply crates scattered around the maps. You can't see the Recourse Roots because they're under the base gathering the biomass from bacteria and other microscopic things the ground that the roots come in contact with, they work like plant roots. Each base will have an upgrade, like discussed, that will upgrade the roots to reach farther and gather more biomass at a faster rate. The biomass cost of this upgrade would translate into the price of 300 to 500 supplies, so it's expensive, but being the enemy can't destroy the roots unless they destroy the base, so it's fair. Also, along with getting more hit points, upgrading your base from a Hive to a Collective to a Proto-Gravemind will allow new Recourse Root upgrades, on for each.
Now, the Recourse Roots don't actually gather all that many recourses, so you'll find that a large amount of the recourses you gather, or don't gather will come from the enemy units you kill. Any enemy unit you kill, a portion of the supplies that went into making that unit will be given to you in biomass form, like 25 to 50%. So a Scorpion will yield a considerable amount more recourses than a Worthog. Infected infantry don't yield any recourses, just free Combat Forms.
The Seed Form
In any of your bases, on the TOP RIGHT, you'll be able to make a Seed Form unit which you can use to make a smaller Seeded base outside the build radius of one of your main bases. Imagine an ugly brown squash with tentacles coming out of it which it uses to pull it's self along the ground, that's what the Seed Form looks like. It's slow and easily killed and has no attack, at least at first. Units in the main base do not get automatically built, you have to select them and choose how many you want like any other unit for the Covies or Humans, because they're special cases. The Seed Form is about as expensive as an Elephant.
To "Plant" a Seed Form you simply select it and press Y where you want it to permanently take root, as long as it's on a location where it can move and it's outside of an existing build radius. Once planted it will create a build radius around it where you can build any building from the Build Menu. The build radius is initially quite a bit smaller than that of you main bases. If you select the Seeded Base a circle menu will come up containing the various upgrades you can use to improve the buildings in that specific Seeded Base's build radius. Any upgrade researched in a Seeded Base will only effect the buildings and properties of that one Seeded Base, this makes the player have to make more choices in if he\she wants to invest a lot in a single Seeded Base and risk it possibly getting overrun or not.
The Build Radius will always initially have the same sum of area no matter where you plant the Seed Form, so if you plant it near a cliff or an existing build radius the new radius will conform it's self around that area. In that radius, you can initially build only 2 Nests and one Avery and one Colony. Also you can initially only build 4 defensive Roots and 2 Flood Launchers. And one more note, if a Seeded Base is destroyed, all buildings in it's now non-existent build radius will slowly die, unless you plant a new Seed Form near them to give them a new build radius to live in.
There are 3 upgrades for the Seed Form which are located TOP LEFT of a main base's circle menu. UPGRADE 1; the Seed Form grows longer, stronger tentacles, allowing it to move faster. UPGRADE 2; the Seed Form grows Ranged Forms on it's back which automatically shoot at any nearby enemies that pass the Seed Form, these Ranged Forms remain on the Seed Form after it plants it's self and becomes a Seeded Base. UPGRADE 3; the Seed Forms and Seeded Bases slowly regenerate health when damaged and not under attack.
Here is a layout of the circle menu you get when you select a Seeded Base. Every next upgrade takes the next tech tier to research. TOP: Radius upgrade; has 3 upgrades in all, one for each tech tier, increases the sum of area for that Seeded Base's Build Radius. TOP RIGHT: Cell Wall upgrade; has 3 upgrades in all, one for each tier, each increases the density of the Flood Super Cells that make up the buildings in that Seeded Base's build radius, including the Seeded Base it's self, thus increasing their hitpoints. TOP LEFT: Spore Sac upgrade; 3 upgrades in all, the first upgrade puts Infection Form containing Spore Sacs on the outer walls of every building, including the Seeded Base, so if they're attacked they will explode open releasing the Infection Forms which will automatically attack the enemies. The Spore Sacs will regenerate over time. UPGRADE 2; the Spore Sacs regenerate twice as fast. UPGRADE 3; The Spore Sacs contain twice as many Infection Forms. MIDDLE RIGHT: Production Building upgrades; 2 upgrades in all, the first of which available in tech tier 2. UPGRADE 1; allows you to build 3 more production buildings of any kind you want. UPGRADE 2; allows you to build 2 more productions buildings. Side Note; by allowing you to make any kind of building after the initial build I allow you to further customize your army, for example you could eventually have 7 Nests on one Seeded Base pumping out Infection Forms, that's what I call a flood. MIDDLE LEFT: Defensive Building upgrades; just like the Production Building upgrades in how there's 2 and increases how many buildings you can make. UPGRADE 1; allows you 3 more Roots and 1 more Flood Launcher. UPGRADE 2; on top of the last one, 3 more Roots and 1 more Flood Launcher. BOTTOM: Self Destruct.
The Frontal Lobe
The Frontal Lobe is one of the two extensions you can make on your main bases (the other being the Central Intelligence). It works just like a Seeded Base in how it has the same upgrades which improve the buildings and stat's in that main base's Build Radius, but it contains 2 extra upgrades that a normal Seeded Base doesn't have.
On the BOTTOM RIGHT: Flood Launcher upgrades; this effects ALL Flood Launcher defensive buildings on the map; UPGRADE 1; gives all Flood launchers the Y ability (they don't work like turrets, you can tell them who to attack) which, where ever you press Y, will make it launch a Spore Sac containing a group of Infection Forms, if you manage to hit an enemy unit directly with the Spore Sac it causes extra damage as well as releasing Infection Forms. This Y ability has very good range allowing you to launch Infection Forms behind the enemies attacking you. UPGRADE 2; now each time you use the Flood Launcher's Y ability it launches 2 Spore Sacs. UPGRADE 3; now it launches 3 Spore Sacs.
BOTTOM LEFT: Root Upgrades; these affect all Root defensive buildings on the map. UPGRADE 1; gives all Roots the Y ability to hide underground, where the enemy can't see them, until you press Y again, allowing for some good ambushes and booby traps. UPGRADE 2; gives all Roots the passive ability to gradually regenerate health when not attacking an enemy. UPGRADE 3; gives all Roots the passive ability to intercept about 50% of the projectiles that happen to move through its attack radius, this allows you to make sort of defensive shields out of them to protect more important buildings. If a Root intercepts a projectile, like a Scorpion shell, it will take damage, but not as much as if it were attacked directly rather than the thing behind it; not that it matters too much since it can regenerate its health. In late game this gives Roots a good use since more units are used that have too long of a range to get attacked by a Root.
The Central Intelligence
The Central Intelligence works like a mix between the Spirit of Fire and a Covie Temple, I've already described how you can only build one and how it determines you tech tier, now I will tell you how it works like the Spirit of Fire. You can select it either by pressing A on the actual building or by pressing up on the D-pad. Once selected a circle menu will come up containing all the Flood special abilities (3 in all) along with your Uber Unit; Gravemind. Here is a layout of the circle menu. All abilities take a fair amount of biomass to use.
TOP RIGHT: Spore; this power can be used in any area in your line of sight and is available in tech tier 1. The Spore ability initially grows 3 Spore Capsules (which look like mushrooms) in the area you use it. If the enemy dose not destroy these capsules in the 5-6 seconds it takes for them to fully grow then the capsules will explode open releasing Spore Clouds which will automatically seek down and infect any infantry nearby. The Spore Clouds cannot be killed, the only way of stopping them is by destroying the capsules before they're finished growing or by running far enough away, but that's difficult. If a Spore Cloud has no nearby infantry to infect it will just fly around in circles for about 15 seconds and die. The Spore ability has 3 upgrades.
TOP LEFT: UPGRADE 1; increases the number of Spore Capsules grown from 3 to 5. UPGRADE 2; decreases the time to grow the Spore Capsules from 5-6 to 3 seconds. UPGRADE 3; makes the spores inside the Spore Clouds microscopic, allowing them to pass through the air filters in vehicles thus allowing them to infect the people inside, this will either have the infected vehicle explode with a couple Combat Forms jumping out or simply have them turn to your side, I'm not sure which is better.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Biomass Reserves; this can be used in tech tier 2. This ability is similar to Covie Hero's abilities in how it uses up recourses as it's being used. To use it you simply highlight it in the Central Intelligence's circle menu and to stop it you un-highlight it. When highlighted it will cause all production buildings to create their units at a faster rate.
MIDDLE LEFT: UPGRADE 1; when activated the Biomass Reserves ability will cause units to be created even faster. UPGRADE 2; the Biomass Reserves ability now takes less recourses to use.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Master Root; available only in tech tier 3, this ability is very expensive. Master Root ability creates a very large and powerful Root anywhere in your line of sight. This Root can technically be considered an Uber Unit in how it's good against anything, the only thing that can effectively beat it is very long ranged units like a Cobra in lockdown or a Locust because it's large enough to attack pretty much everything else. This unit is very scary in how it towers above every other unit in the game and takes a long time to kill, but like a normal Root, it can't be moved from where you grew it, making it a good target for a MAC cannon.
BOTTOM LEFT: UPGRADE 1; the single upgrade for the Master Root gives the Root it's self the Y ability (yes you can control this one too) to pick up any non-uber vehicle or aircraft that you press Y on and throw it at the nearest threat, killing the unit picked up greatly damaging the other victim.
TOP: Gravemind; available in tech tier 3, this uber unit is the product of an overgrown Proto-Gravemind. Like the Seed Form and unique unit, Gravemind is a unit that you have to pay for to make. Imagine the Gravemind as being a bit taller and twice as long as a Scarab; it is slow and attacks by using it's tentacles to melee, which is very powerfull. It also has a passive ability to grow smaller tentacles from it's lower portions which reach out, grab and pull in any nearby infantry, absorbing them and giving the Gavemind for more health. I imagine this being a particularly scary ability in how you could have the caught infantry screaming and clawing at the ground as they're being pulled into the Gravemind, it's all about atmosphere. Yet, even though the Gravemind would do pretty good in a scrap, that's not it's true role because it's actually more of a general unit.
While using it to just go in and beat the crap out of an enemy is a good enough tactic, it's just as good to keep him back in a safe place and use his Y ability which is Teleport. In the past Halo games we've seen Gravemind teleport both Master Chief and the Arbiter simply by flicking his tentacles, so he can just as easily do it now. Teleport works a lot like a Pelican drop, when you press Y with him selected a circle will appear on the ground, you press A where there's a group of units and then press A again on any other location you can see and those units will instantly teleport there; you can do it again after a couple minutes. Now, the main problem with units like the Scarab is that it takes a ton of population, so you want to use it right away. This won't be a problem for Gravemind because it will only take 10 population and I also plan for the Flood to have a population limit of 60 for the whole game. Although, that means you can only make 1 Gravemind at a time, it wouldn't be fair to have 6 Graveminds, but it would be cool. Furthermore, the Gravemind is made even more valuable in how it will be the most expensive unit in the game, going from 4000 to 5000 recourses, so if you do have one, don't be so hasty to throw it at the enemy and possibly have it get killed.
Basic Unit Abilities
Combat Forms are made when Infection Forms get close enough to infect enemy infantry. The only units capable of being infected are Elites in Grunt groups, Brutes, Honor Guards, Marines and Flamethrowers. The Humans and Covies are balanced in how even though the Covies don't have to worry as much about their infantry getting infected, the 2 more useful of their unique units are at risk and the humans can make up for a mostly vulnerable infantry force by having Worthogs and non-vulnerable unique units at their disposal early game.
Combat Forms use the weapons they got from their victims and have a good amount of health. All Combat Forms have the Y ability to make a long ranged jump that works a lot like the Brute's Jump Pack ability. When you press Y on an enemy air craft the Combat Form will jump up and melee it doing a lot of damage. Combat Forms a pretty good against anything.
Flood units do not get battle field promotions (you know, the little stars over their heads) like the Humans and Covies, instead the large amount of enemies a Flood unit kills eventually allows it to make it's self large, converting the biomass from it's felled enemies for it's own use, thus making it harder to kill and stronger. The only units that can't grow like this are Infection Forms, Combat Forms and Carrier Forms. Like you would expect, when a Flood unit gets enough kills to "grow" it will get visibly larger, letting you know this unit is worth more than the others and you should be more careful to keep it alive, otherwise loose a very strong unit. A Flood unit can grow 3 times, in the end becoming quite literally a giant, which adds to the fear factor; a fully grown and upgraded Juggernaut is not something you want to have to fight.
Now I will go over the Flood's production buildings and what they make, starting with the Nest. The Nest is like the Flood's barracks, but being that none of their units can really be considered vehicles, the Flood units will be referred to as "light units" "heavy units" and ‘flying units". Let me just remind, any unit capable of being made in these buildings are free and just take more time to make depending on how powerful or useful the unit is (for example a Carrier Form will be made faster than a Juggernaut). Nests were seen scattered across maps in the campaign, they seemed to just constantly generate Infection Forms and that's exactly what they'll do here, along with some extra units. The Nest in particular is very cheap, like the equivalent of 100 supplies and you start the game with one Nest. Here's the circle menu that comes up when you select a Nest.
TOP: Rally Flag.
TOP RIGHT: Infection Forms; the unit that gives The Flood their name. They are made very fast and die pretty quick and initially have 5 Infection Forms per group. These unit's main purpose is for you to try and get them to infect enemy infantry in order to get the powerful Combat Forms
When Infection Forms attack units that can't be infected they explode on contact doing a fair amount of damage.
TOP LEFT: Infection Form upgrades; there are 3 in all. UPGRADE 1; 3 more Infection Forms are added to each group resulting in 8 in each. This upgrade will affect all Infection Forms created by your units weather they come from a Carrier Form, Bomber Form or any Flood Sac. UPGRADE 2; Infection Forms are made much faster. UPGRADE 3; Infection Forms now do much more explosive damage when attacking units they can't infect.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Carrier Form; just like the one's from the other Halo games, there are 3 upgrades (that means they're available in tech tier 0, btw). They work much like suicide Grunts in how your goal in using them is to get them as close to the enemy as possible for them to explode on them, and when they do explode on an enemy they do a lot of damage in a wide area as well as releasing Infection Forms. Carrier Forms are not made quite as fast as simple Infection Forms, but they're an alternative in how you can do more with them and that even if they're killed before reaching an enemy they're release Infection Forms, so in a way they're more useful than Suicide Grunts, but not quite as strong.
When a Carrier Form explodes, the Infection Forms that come out will automatically go after the nearest enemy, no matter how far away that enemy is. The population slot that the Carrier Form took up will still be taken after it explodes and will only be freed up when it's Infection Forms it releases get killed.
Carrier Forms have a Y ability where whenever you press it the Carrier Forms selected will drop on the ground and self destruct. Now they do this automatically when they reach an enemy unit, but you can put this to good use because any explosion that goes off nearby a Carrier Form will launch it in the air in the opposite direction of the explosion and it will explode when it lands, like in other Halo games. So if you have a pack of Carrier Forms, you can tell one in the back to drop and explode and it will launch the ones in towards the enemy. Also, say a Scorpion attacks a group of Carrier Forms, they will all get scattered across the battle field, possible injuring some of it's fellow units (Carrier Forms that explode near your units won't injure them) and then the enemy will have to deal with Infection Forms from all sides.
MIDDLE LEFT: Carrier Form upgrades; UPGRADE 1; Carrier Forms do more explosive damage. UPGRADE 2; Carrier Forms move much faster. UPGRADE 2; Carrier Forms are now camouflaged when not moving, making for good ambushes. (I believe there will be a new order that will make your units not move until told in an upcoming DLC, if not this power is still very usefull).
BOTTOM RIGHT: Commando Form; available in only tech tier 3 and takes the longest to make in the Nest. This unit looks a lot like a Combat Form, but dose not have Human or Elite or Brute features, essentially it's pure Flood biomass in the shape of a biped. It is always camouflaged except when it's melee attacking with it's large and sharp sickle of an arm. It works a lot like an Elite Honor Guard. It is meant mostly for spying so it on default will not attack enemies on sight, but will wait around until you tell them, so they got a good line of sight. In terms of how effective their attack is, think of an Elite Honor Guard, it's about the same.
The Commando Form has a Y ability that has it, at the cost of some (like 50) biomass, plant a Sac Mine. The Sac Mine is a large Flood Sac and is camouflaged until you get really close. If an enemy walks over it it will explode doing a lot of damage as well as releasing a group of Infection Forms. The Sac Mine takes about 10 seconds to grow (because the Commando Form kinda drops a seed looking thing) and there's about a 1.5 minute cool down before you can use it again.
BOTTOM LEFT: There is only one upgrade for this unit which gives it a short ranged attack. After researching this all Commando Forms will be able to lengthen their sickle arm and slash at enemies from a distance; think of a razor attached to a long chain. This tech is necessary because most of the Flood's units are melee and I'd assume that in many cases an enemy unit might get surrounded by like, Thrasher Forms with no room to fit other units.
BOTTOM: Self Destruct.
The Colony makes the Flood's heavy units. It takes up a bit more space than a Nest and is very expensive to make, mabey 400 biomass. The Colony can be made in tech tier 1. Here is it's circle menu.
TOP: Rally flag.
TOP RIGHT: Thrasher Form; available in tech tier 1 and like the one from the game, now it's anti-vehicle. The Thrasher Form doesn't take long to make and it's a bit less effective than a Hunter. The Thrasher Form is weak against infantry of any kind. There is no Y ability, but the Thrasher Form has a passive ability called Berzerkganging (or something like that) where it's attack power increases depending on how many other Thrasher Forms are nearby. It's increased attack power can be seen because the tentacles on it's face will glow red on the tips when there's a fellow Thrasher close enough to affect it, it will glow more red the more Thrashers are nearby.
TOP LEFT: Thrasher Form upgrades, 2 in all, one for tech tier 2 and 3. UPGRADE 1; Thrasher Forms now move faster when near other Thrasher Forms. UPGRADE 2; Thrasher Forms now have more health depending on how many other Thrasher Forms are nearby.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Pure Form; the Pure Form starts off like those spider things that could transform in Halo 3, but have the Y ability to turn into a Ranged Form, where it's good against aircraft; as the spider it's mainly good against infantry. As we all know, when a Pure Form is not transformed it's very mobile and in this game it's the same way, they move fast and, like a Scarab, can clime on cliffs and wall where it can get some advantage when it turns into a Ranged Form. Ranged Forms do alright against infantry and vehicles, but are very good against aircraft.
Being that it takes time for it to go from Ranged Form to normal Pure Form makes the Flood have to take on a little more strategy than just charge, because there aren't a lot of ranged units for the Flood and if you don't want your units getting cut up by Hornets you'll want to plan out how to use your Pure Forms.
No, there isn't a Tank Form sorry, I can't see how to implement it and the Juggernaut kind of makes I obsolete.
MIDDLE LEFT: There are 2 upgrades for the Pure Form. UPGRADE 1; Pure Forms now have more health when in Ranged Form. UPGRADE 2; It now takes much less time for Pure Forms to turn into Ranged Forms and visa versa, like only a few seconds.
BOTTOM RIGHT: The Juggernaut; available only in tech tier 3. The Juggernaut was originally designed by Bungie, look it up on Halopedia or Youtube, it's scary. This unit takes a long time to make, it's the strongest unit for the Flood other than Gravemind. The Juggernaut is very strong verses both vehicles and infantry and buildings, but because it's melee it can't hit air units. It's also pretty fast, a little slower than a Thrasher Form, but still faster than a Scorpion; infact, a Juggernaut vs. a Scorpion would be a very close fight. Even though it is a melee unit, it has long arms, so it can reach a little further than a Thrasher, but not as far as an upgraded Commando Form.
The Juggernaut has the Y ability where when you have a Juggernaut selected, if you press Y on a fellow unit made in The Colony (Thrasher or Pure Form) the Juggernaut will go over to it, pick it up and rip it apart... :P .... and use it to replenish its own health. However much health was in the unit you pressed Y on will be given to the Juggernaut, I'm guessing maybe 5 Thrashers would bring an almost dead Juggernaut to full health. The Y ability is very useful in emergency situations because, unlike other ways to heal units, this gives large chunks of health instantly.
BOTTOM LEFT: The one upgrade for the Juggernaut gives it the ability to replenish a portion of it's health whenever it kills an enemy, much like what the Arbiter can do, by means of being able to convert normal organic matter on the battle field to super cells for it's own use. This ability is meant to increase the Juggernaut's battle field longevity, but it doesn't make it's Y ability obsolete, if anything it means you won't need to sacrifice as many of your units when you want a healthy Juggernaut.
BOTTOM: Self destruct.
The Avery is where you make your air units. It is a little bit cheaper than a Colony and is also available in tech tier 1, along with its 2 units. Here is the circle menu.
TOP: Rally flag.
TOP RIGHT: Swarm Form; like the ones from the game, this is your main air unit. The Swarm Form is weak against infantry, but good against vehicles and dose alright against other air units, like any other main air. This unit is unique in how it's like infantry of the sky, there are 4 Swarm Forms to one group at first. They're made pretty quickly.
TOP LEFT: There are 2 upgrades for the Swarm Form; UPGRADE 1; adds 2 more Swarm Forms to each group resulting in 6 in each. UPGRADE 2; gives Swarm Forms the ability to regenerate lost members of their group when their killed (like a medic for the Marines) through having the ability to reproduce on the battle field.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Bomber Form; looks like the one from the game but works differently. The Bomber Form attacks by floating over enemies and dropping Infection Form containing Sacs on them, when a Bomber Form sees an enemy unit it will automatically start dropping the Sacs which always explode on impact against anything and it will start moving over top of the enemy it is attacking so that when it drops a Sac it will explode on the enemy doing a good amount of damage. The Bomber Form dose good vs. vehicles and infantry, but is particularly good vs. buildings, it's a building killer. It also is slow moving (probably the slowest unit the Flood has) and has a lot of hit points. The Infection Forms released from the Sacs are not under your control, they'll go after the nearest threat.
It can't attack air craft so that's it's weakness, but if you use it's Y ability correctly, that weakness can be overcome. It's Y ability is a lot like that of the Carrier Form, when ever you press Y with a Bomber Form selected, it will self destruct on the spot, but with the Bomber Form it only hurts air units and has a much larger area effect and dose a ton of damage. If you can manage to get like 3 Bomber Forms in your typical Hawk swarm without your enemy knowing then he can pretty much kiss those Hawks goodbye, along with your 3 Bomber Forms, but it's worth it. When a Bomber Form gets ready to explode, it closes its mouth, builds up a high amount of gas (which it uses to keep a float) visibly expands to twice its size and simply bursts with a huge shockwave.
MIDDLE LEFT: There are 2 upgrades for the Bomber Form; UPGRADE 1; The area of effect for the Sacs that the Bomber Form drops is greatly increased, it's now big enough to damage buildings adjacent to your main target building when attacking a base. UPGRADE 2; the Bomber Form now drops it's "bombs" twice as fast.
BOTTOM: Self destruct.
The Sub Factions
I managed to concoct three unique, ummm, entities that make up the Flood so that they work just like the leaders for the Covies and Humans. The three sub factions make up the three main aspects or personalities that make up the Flood; they are referred to as The Consuming, The Unifying and The Knowing. The Consuming focuses on being able to take bases and create bases faster and make more infection capable units. The Unifying is good at creating larger, stronger units and making them live longer. And The Knowing is all about knowing your enemy and putting the Central Intelligence to good use. All 3 sub factions have 2 unique bonuses, one of which helps out in the early game and the other helps the whole game; and they all have a unique unit or power.
The Consuming is represented by a Flood Infection Form on the screen where you choose your leader. Their early game bonus has The Consuming start each game with an extra Nest. Every Flood sub-faction starts each game with a Nest and nothing else other than their starting base, but The Consuming has 2, which lets them get a jump at taking over Rebel bases and such.
Their second bonus has all Seed Form (the one's that create forward Seeded Bases) cost half price, thus allowing them expand and consume more land at quicker pace.
Their unique unit (which can be made in any main base and has 2 upgrades and is available in tech tier 1) is called the Colonial Form, in how it "colonizes" new areas for Flood control. The Colonial Form looks like a smaller Seed Form and still uses tentacles to drag it's self, but because it's small it's a bit faster but still easy to kill. The Colonial Form has no attack at all, all it can do is use it's Y ability where, just like the Seed Form, it will plant it's self permanently in the ground where ever you press Y. When it plants it's self it will turn into a fully functioning Nest, but the good part is that this Nest can be built anywhere on the map that the Colonial Form can move, so it doesn't have to be in a build radius, it can be behind an enemy base. Even more so, if you go over your production building limit in a build radius, you can always build more of these. If a normal Nest cost about 100 biomass, then a Colonial Form cost about 300 biomass.
UPGRADE 1; the Colonial Form now turns into a Nest much faster, before hand it took about 30 seconds, like a normal Nest or Barracks. UPGRADE 2; whenever a Colonial Form turns into a Nest, the Nest will now be cloaked so no enemy can see it unless they get really close.
The Unifying is represented by a Juggernaut Form on the leader screen. Their early game bonus has both their first Colony and Avery at half price. This is good because, like I said before, the Colony and Avery are very expensive.
Their other bonus allows all units capable of Growing (the same as when a Human or Covie unit gets a field promotion and gets those stars over their heads) much faster, so they don't need to kill as many enemies to grow cause The Unifying is naturally better at adapting all biomass to suit the Flood's own needs.
Their unique unit is called the Amoeba Form. The Amoeba Form is just a blob of pure Flood Super Cells and moves around like an amoeba by projecting a portion of it's body forward and pulling the rest up, so it's slow. The Amoeba Form is a healing unit in how it shares its surplus of biomass with any nearby units. Except for a few units that can heal them selves, the Flood really have no way to heal themselves, except with The Unifying. There is a radius around the Amoeba Form where any friendly unit inside will be gradually healed.
It also has a Y ability which wherever you press Y the Amoeba Form will go there and take root, allowing it too spread it's roots underground and out to the edges of it's healing radius. A few seconds after taking root a set of 4 defensive Roots will sprout up around the edges of the healing radius, effectively protecting any units being healed inside. If you press Y again the Roots will detract underground and the Amoeba Form will uproot it's self and you can move it around again. If a Root is killed it will take about 40 seconds for a new one to sprout up which is for free. The upgrades you researched in the Frontal Lobe that affect all Roots will also affect these Roots, they work the same as any other. Essentially there are 2 sets of upgrades for the Amoeba Form, the ones that upgrade Roots and the ones for the Amoeba Form it's self; the Root interception upgrade is especially useful for this unit.
UPGRADE 1; Amoeba Forms now heal at a faster rate. UPGRADE 2; when rooted, an Amoeba Form now sprouts 8 Roots in all, one more for the four other sides offering much more protection. This way, if you have the intercept upgrade, there is no way an enemy can attack the central Amoeba without killing the outer Roots first. Of course there will still be room for even the largest of your units to move between the Roots to get healed.
This sub faction is represented by a picture of the Central Intelligence or Proto-Gravemind (I don't know which would look better) on the leader screen. Their early game bonus has their first Central Intelligence building be at half price.
The Knowing's other bonus has all the upgrades inside the Central Intelligence also be at half price and all abilities inside the Central Intelligence take 20% less time before they're ready to be used again.
The Knowing doesn't have a unique unit, instead, in the spot in your main base where there would be a unique unit there is the Omniscient Eye power which, when you select it, a large circle will appear around you reticicle, anywhere you press A with this circle all of the area inside of it will be revealed for a short time, so use it in areas where you think the enemy might be doing something or that you want to spy on OR that you want to use one of your Central Intelligence's special powers on. Initially the circle is pretty big and lasts about 30 seconds. Once you use the Omniscient Eye, there is about a 2 minute period before you can use it again, but if you have 2 main bases, then you can use it 2 times in a row, and from the same base just to stream line it. Same if you have 3, 4 or 5 main bases, you can use it however many times in a row that you have main bases.
UPGRADE 1; the radius that you can see for the Omniscient Eye is increased by about 50%. UPGRADE 2; it now takes twice as long for the revealed area to go away, it lasts 60 seconds instead of 30.
Miscellaneous odds and ends
The Flood don't start with as many recourses as the Covies or Humans, at the beginning of a game they have about 300 biomass, about the equivalent of 300 supplies hopefully, and a Central Intelligence (similar to the Covie Temple) cost 500 biomass, so you can see how choosing your sub faction and what to build at the beginning is important. Also each Flood faction starts with one Nest and no scouts, except The Consuming which starts with 2 Nests.
My theory as to why you can be Flood and attack another Flood enemy is that the 2 Flood factions in conflict grew in different areas and as a result have different minds. When these minds come into contact with each other, just like any other biomass, they want to consume each other, which is their goal by nature for them to become one, but one mind has to consume the other. Being that these Flood factions haven't reached their full potential, like the Flood did when fighting the Forerunners, they don't have the infinite wisdom a fully developed Flood empire with one all knowing mind has, so they fight. In the end it doesn't matter because eventually one will consume the other resulting in a more intelligent mind that will probably view it's previous factional fighting as a waste of energy, but it's what it must do because the less advanced minds of all the separate Flood factions in the galaxy are much like our own Human minds in how they want to gain power for themselves rather than sacrifice them selves, or rather their consciousness, to a greater power. In a way the separate Flood Factions are even afraid to, much like how you and me would be afraid to be consumed by the Flood. So that's why it makes sense to have 2 people play as the Flood and be enemies, or that a Flood player can play on a map like Release.
The Flood can't gather supply crates, instead they can get extra recourses at the beginning of the game by attacking 3rd party bases, like the Rebels, Forerunners or other Flood. Just like how the Flood get biomass recourses when they kill your units, they get some by attacking 3rd party enemies, as well as getting the thing they were guarding. Anyway it's not as important for them to get more recourses right at the beginning because their units are free.
Also, the Flood can't infect Rebels, I know it doesn't make sense but it's only fair, you don't want the Flood to have an unfair advantage on Blood Gulch because they got 20 Combat Forms right at the beginning. Although, if Robot Entertainment makes it so that Rebels are extra powerful against Flood units, you may still be able to infect them, but you just will need to amass a stronger army. It may take a bit longer to take a Rebel held base than it would for a Human player using Flamthrowers, but you get Combat Forms.
When a Flood player takes a Reactor, it works the same as with the Covies or Humans, raising their tech tier by 1. Same with a Supply pooper, even though it's meant to give out supplies, it will still give you biomass. Any unit in the Nest can garrison in these buildings, but of course they don't have any range so when say you tell an Infection Form to go inside a Reactor, the Reactor will become infected looking will Flood biomass stuff growing on the outside, then a few Ranged Forms grow on the walls of the Reactor. No matter what unit you tell to go in the building, it will have the same attack power and hitpoints. When you tell your unit to leave the building, the infection stuff and Ranged Forms go away and you loose the building's benefits. If you garrison a sniper tower, a Ranged Form will grow in it.
Alternate Rally Controls
Being that you will have many production buildings and also the fact that you won't have to select them to change the unit type they're making as much as you'll have to set they're rally point, I have come up with a way to streamline it. When these controls are implemented (maybe in the options menu) you will have to press A on a production building twice in a row (like when you select a units of the same type) to bring up its circle menu. When you press A on it just once you simply select it with no circle menu and with it selected, wherever you press Y it's rally point will be set there. To select more than one building to put new rally points to, just hold down A to paint the production buildings you want to all have the same rally point. You still have to select them separately to change their type of unit being made.
That's all I can think of for now, so thank you if you took the time to read all 12 pages (Microsoft word) of this. Again, if you have read it all and think that there's something wrong or that wouldn't work please post about it, but keep an open mind. And thank you especially to any Robot employees who took the time to read all this, your game is fantastic and I only hope to add more quality content to it cause like I said at the beginning, there are a lot of outspoken people who didn't buy this because there wasn't a Flood Faction. I hope this gave you some Ideas.