Gaalsien Faction

By Elliot Hudson: Game Designer

Disclaimer: We’ve kept much about the Gaalsien faction under wraps until now. There are no major plot point spoilers below, but we do mention a few elements about the Gaalsien that you might prefer to learn via the campaign; fair warning to those who might want to discover the intricacies of this faction on their own.


  • – High mobility and self-repair favors hit-and-run tactics
  • – Multiple mobile production vehicles allows reinforcing of multiple fronts
  • – Vehicles are specialized, providing a variety of options for dismantling the opposition

image07The Gaalsien are heavily adapted to the harsh climate of the Great Banded Desert. This is most obvious in their use of hover technology, which allows for high speed and maneuverability on the desert sands. Any given engagement will remind the player: the Gaalsien live in the deep desert, the Coalition are merely visiting.


With the Gaalsien we focused their strategies on hit and run – they are highly mobile and highly specialized, but their craft overall are also less durable than the heavily armored Coalition units. To win an engagement they have to be exploitation-oriented, constantly probing for weakness and then swooping in to exploit it and break the enemy defenses. For the Gaalsien we most referenced the ancient military tactics of the Mongol horde, as well as the modern American military, whose advanced technology often allows them to fight opponents without fully committing.


Below are three examples of how the Gaalsien fleet embodies these themes and gameplay.

Advanced Railgun Technology

For hundreds of years, the Gaalsien have had access to advanced technology in the crashed starships which litter the deserts. They’ve managed to utilize this technology to create advanced versions of standard Railgun weaponry.


image08Assault Railgun

Trading engagement distance for speed, the Assault Railgun is a short-range, “snub-nosed” version of the traditional Railgun, whose triple-barrel configuration packs a wallop up close. It specializes in ambushing slow-moving armored units, pouncing from over the crest of dunes or around cover.


image15Heavy Railgun

The Gaalsien Heavy Railgun, conversely, sacrifices speed in order to maximize range and calibre, firing farther and for more damage than its Coalition counterpart. The Heavy Railgun is best used with surgical precision to create weak points in enemy lines of defense, before disappearing back into the desert. It can be upgraded to fire a disabling EMP round, further increasing its effectiveness at crippling an opponent’s fleet.


image03Production Cruiser

The Gaalsien prefer to spread out their forces and logistics, rather than have a single target for their opponent. To this end, the Production Cruiser allows for multiple locations from to reinforce their army. These Cruisers can be further enhanced to act as Resource drop-off locations, effectively providing the Gaalsien the ability to maintain multiple forward operating bases. This makes attempting to destroy a Gaalsien fleet group much like trying to cut the head off the Hydra.




image05Honorguard Cruiser

As the name implies, these vehicles are among the most elite of the Gaalsien fleet. Employed as an intimidating weapon with which to punch through fortified defenses, the Honorguard can be aptly described as a “Carrier-Killer”. It also comes equipped with Anti-Air cannons, protecting it from enemy air strikes.





The Honorguard is nimble for a cruiser-class vehicle, but sacrifices much of its speed in order to support such massive firepower. It must be supported by additional ground vehicles to protect it from being overrun. After firing, it can be prudent to use the Honorguard’s mobility to bring it into cover and let its self-repair systems mend any damage.

The Gaalsien hit-and-run gameplay pattern provides a strong contrast against the commitment oriented Coalition forces.  Players will need to adapt not only to the Great Banded desert, but also, the kiith that hover amongst her dunes.

This concludes our exploration into the different design philosophies between the Coalition and Gaalsien factions. We’re excited to see the different strategies and tactics players discover for each faction!

  1. 2.
    I love how you guys are giving names for these units!!!! I hope you find the time to do the same for Homeworld 2 RM Awesome stuff!

    Great point, Homeworld 2 still stands as the only game in the franchise where the units weren't given class or code names.
    I also would like to see names added to the Taiidan and Vaygr Flagships, just like how the Hiigaran Mothership was the "Pride of Hiigara"
    gaalsien look very much like submarines with the periscoped conning towers and smooth rounded surfaces while the coalition looks like surface ships.