Video Game / Thrawns Revenge

Thrawn’s Revenge is a game mod for the LucasArts & Petroglyph PC Real-Time Strategy Game Empire at War.

Following the destruction of the second Death Star and the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader at the Battle of Endor, the Galactic Empire has crumbled into warring splinter factions led by power-hungry warlords each seeking to carve their own fiefdoms out of the decaying Empire. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance has reorganized itself into the New Republic and now seeks to establish itself as the new legitimate galactic government and drive out the oppression of the Empire once and for all.

The mod takes place during the New Republic Era of the Star Wars Legends franchise (formerly known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe; the one that was canon before Disney took over the galaxy) and spans from two years after the Battle of Endor in 6 ABY to the signing of the Pellaeon-Gavrisom treaty and the (former) true end of the Galactic Civil War in 19 ABY. These thirteen years are divided into five eras based on the leaders of the Imperial Remnant and their campaigns against the New Republic.

Although the mod is based on and requires the Forces of Corruption expansion pack to play, all traces of the Zann Consortium and the corruption mechanic have been removed. In its place the mod adds several other new factions including Grand Moff Ardus Kaine’s Pentastar Alignment and Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Empire of the Hand.

The mod adds so much new content, gameplay changes, and graphical updates that it could almost be its own distinct game. The mod adds a large number of new units, heroes, and planets and a number of new Galactic Conquest campaigns to use them in. The vast selection of starships has also been balanced and scaled more closely to their canonical(?) sizes, armaments, and abilities.

The mod’s website can be found here.

On February 5th 2016, a sequel called Thrawn's Revenge II: Ascendancy was released. This time a mod for Sins of a Solar Empire's Rebellion Expansion. It can be downloaded here

Please only list tropes that apply specifically to the mod or those that apply differently from the vanilla game here.

Thrawn’s Revenge contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The mod’s documentation is extensive and thorough, and reveals certain things that are not mentioned at all in-game, such as the exact armaments of each starship, how much damage each weapon does, and which planets are designated mining colonies.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Heroes come and go as the eras advance. This is especially true for the Imperial Remnant, since in the multi-era campaigns they get a new leader when the previous one is killed.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The Imperial Remnant loves sending it's hero units, especially Leaders, against the bulk of your forces. While this can mean trouble since three of them command Super Star Destroyers of one variety or another, if you've got the fleet, you can destroy the Leader and advance the Era, giving you more powerful ships for the next time an Imperial Leader comes knocking. It's not had at all to advance Eras as the New Republic very quickly, without making much (if any) effort to hunt down the Imperial Leaders (and possibly without even conquering many planets beyond your starting ones).
    • The AI in general uses its Heroes as its main attack forces. While this can shift over into Demonic Spiders for factions with lots of strong heroes (the Empire of the Hand, notably), killing said heroes largely neuters that faction's offensive ability. Some factions, especially on lower difficulties, seemingly give up attacking completely once they lose certain key heroes.
  • Beam Spam: In addition to units from the standard game, Dreadnought-class cruisers have "All Power to Weapons." Praetor-II-class Battlecruisers, Super Star Destroyers, and Bothan Assault Cruisers are this pretty much by default.
  • Big Bad: Five of them! Each era sees a new leader of the Imperial Remnant. They are:
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Pentastar Alignment uses a lot of Clone Wars era technology. Including Hailfire Droids, Lucrehulk Freighters, and LAAT Gunships.
    • As the Impererial Remnant "advances" through eras, they pick up more older ships. Era 4 (under the command of Admiral Daala) sees the return of the Venator-class Star Destroyer from Revenge Of The Sith.
  • Color-Coded Armies: Of the Color Coded Mooks and Indicator kind. New Republic is orange, Imperial Remnant is green, Empire of the Hand is ice blue, and Pentastar Alignment is navy blue. The minor faction, the Duskhan League has a greenish-yellow. Neutral forces or Warlords (depending on the Campaign) would be brown, and Raid Fleets are red.
  • Cloning Gambit: Grand Admiral Thrawn dies at the end of era 2, but prior to his death he prepared a clone of himself to be revealed ten years after his death is reported. In era 5, which takes place ten years after Thrawn's death, the aptly-named Thrawn Clone appears in the service of the Empire of the Hand and grants the same combat bonuses as the original Thrawn. It should be noted that the clone is fully aware that he is not the original Thrawn.
    • The Reborn Emperor Palpatine is also the result of this, though unlike the Thrawn Clone, it is the original Palpatine's soul transplanted into a clone body.
  • Creator's Pet: Arguably the Empire of the Hand. They have an impressive array of space-based heroes, start with all their planets connected to each other (unlike the Empire and New Republic), and lack the glaring weaknesses of those two factions (weak starfighters and Crippling Overspecialization in large ships for the former, and an initial lack of very capable capital ships for the latter). Their only real weakness are their small starting territory (limiting the amount of forces you can start conquest with), lack of an equivalent unit to a Super Star Destroyer (something they share with the New Republic in most eras), and no buildable defenses (like ground-to-space Hypervelocity Guns or Ion Cannons, or ground-based Turbolaser towers or base shields). But their ground buildings all have shields (which no other faction does) and some of their ground units, particularly their airspeeders, absolutely shred anything they come up against. If you can overcome the small territory disadvantage (which the AI does through cheating), they can easily be the most powerful faction in the game.
  • Defeat Means Playable: If you are playing as the New Republic in a multi-era campaign, then to advance to era 2 you must kill Director Ysanne Isard by destroying her Executor-class Star Dreadnought, the Lusankya. Then when you get to era 3 you are given General Wedge Antillies and his ship, which happens to be the very same Lusankya you defeated back in era 1, now sporting the New Republic emblem on its sides!
  • Demonic Spiders: All varieties of Super Star Destroyer. Every single one has an absolutely ridiculous amount of hitpoints and firepower as well as large fighter complements. The Eclipse and Sovereign classes really take the cake though; in addition to the above they also have one-hit-kill superlasers and gravity well generators to prevent the enemy from retreating into hyperspace. Palpatine, who has an Eclipse class, is easier to defeat since he's also a ground unit (granted, he has his abilities from the regular game, but he's not invincible).
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: As mentioned above in Defeat Means Playable you destroy the Lusankya only for it to come back in a later era. The Chimaera is handled the same way in that its destruction marks the end of era 2 but it appears again in era 5. Though to be fair, although the ships return, their old commanders do not, so one could reason that the commander was killed but the ship was rebuilt or repaired. The opposite happens with Admiral Ackbar; if Home One is destroyed it is gone for good, but Ackbar himself survives and can return in a later era in command of the Galactic Voyager.
    • In canon, none of these ships were destroyed during the time period of Thrawn's Revenge. But both Isard and Thrawn did die aboard the Lusankya and Chimaera, respectively.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Grand Admiral Thrawn in the multi-era campaigns. He starts out as the leader of the Empire of the Hand in era 1, but following the death of Ysanne Isard he leaves the Hand and becomes the leader of the Imperial Remnant for era 2. He is then killed at the end of era 2, but then in era 5 his clone appears and Thrawn once again serves the Empire of the Hand.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Empire of the Hand Warlord-class gunships, which mount a terrifying array of proton torpedo launchers. One can take out an Imperial Star Destroyer all by itself easily, especially on higher difficulties, if it can survive the Star Destroyer's guns. And they aren't exactly a Glass Cannon, either.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: As the campaigns and eras progress, some space commanders will get new flagships or upgrade their existing ones.
    • Upon reaching era 3 Admiral Gial Ackbar trades in his old Home One, an MC80 Home One-type star Cruiser, for the Galactic Voyager, a newer and more powerful MC90 Star Cruiser. This ship change also makes him one of the few Hero units that can come back after being killed in a multi-era campaign, if Home One was destroyed prior to reaching era 3.
    • In era 5 Booster Terrik can upgrade his Errant Venture into a fully functional Imperial-class Star Destroyer, adding in its missing weapons and even giving it a custom red paint job!
    • During the Reunification campaign as the Imperial Remnant, conquering Odik II will cause Admiral Natasi Daala to exchange her Imperial-class Star Destroyer, the Gorgon, for the Knight Hammer, an Executor-class Star Dreadnought.
  • Nintendo Hard: Several of the gameplay changes have made the game more difficult. Your shipyards are now virtually defenseless on their own and require dedicated protection. In space, warheads no longer bypass shields. Infantry units are more fragile than ever. Minor Heroes are gone. Major Heroes die permanently. The AI has virtually unlimited credits. And the term “Raid Fleet” now refers to unaffiliated enemy fleets randomly ambushing you in the middle of a space battle, though if playing as the New Republic, if you anticipate them, you can let them and the enemy fleet tear each other apart, and then mop up.
  • Rightful Sith Lord Returns: Palpatine in Era 3
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Go ahead, try playing the Imperial Remnant, advancing to Era 5 as quickly as possible, then conquering the galaxy.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jerec, who was defeated by Kyle Katarn in Jedi Knight in 5 ABY, is alive and well as one of the heroes for the Pentastar Alignment.
  • Springtime for Hitler: When playing as the Imperial Remnant in a multi-era campaign, you have to get your own leader killed in order to advance to the next era. Of the four leaders you will need to sacrifice, three of them command some variety of Super Star Destroyer. These ships have such an insane amount of hitpoints, weapons, and starfighter complement that they can destroy entire enemy fleets all by themselves, so getting one to commit suicide may in fact be harder to do than destroying an enemy one, especially when playing against the AI.
    • Averted in future versions, which will give you the option to instead advance era.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses, and fighting them usually requires at least slight changes in strategy (or enough forces that it doesn't matter.) The Imperial Remnant focuses mostly on really big ships with lots of guns, at least until about Era 4 or 5 (when, canonically, most of their shipyards had been liberated by the New Republic), while the New Republic puts more emphasis on massive waves of starfighter attacks (again, until about Era 4 or 5, when the "New Ship Design" programs start building bigger and better capital ships, though starfighter spam remains a viable tactic). The Pentastar Alignment oddly works on both big and small ships, having access to Praetor-II-class Battleships (huge battlewagons twice the size of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer with armor, shields, and firepower to match) and smaller gunships and light carriers, but lacking a Super Star Destroyer equivalent outside of hero units and making extensive use of Clone Wars-era ships and ground units. Interestingly, as the Alignment captures planets close to the Core, they gain the ability to build more "standard" Imperial ships. The Empire of the Hand is something of a jack of all trades, and unusually for such a generalized faction can usually beat the others at their own game. While the Empire of the Hand lacks truly massive ships like Super Star Destroyers and can only build two different kinds of orbital defense stations (as opposed to everyone else's three), their orbital defenses are a bit more robust than normal, and their smaller-scale ships can be vastly more effective than similar ships for the other factions.
  • Tech Tree: Subverted. The vanilla game’s system of getting better units by advancing your tech level is gone. Unit and hero availability is now based on the current era, which is advanced by killing the current leader of the Imperial Remnant and applies universally to all factions. Every era offers each faction a complete spread of soldiers, vehicles, and ship classes with which to fight their enemies. Some units and heroes will in fact be lost between certain eras, though they are generally replaced by more modern designs appropriate to the new era, such as the MC80 Liberty-type Star Cruiser being phased out and replaced by the more modern and powerful MC90 Star Cruiser in era 3. Also, many of the campaigns are locked into a specific era, meaning whatever is available to you during that era is all you get.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The AI gets virtually unlimited credits and tends to spawn Super Star Destroyers whenever it feels like it, up to ten.
  • Vestigial Empire: The aptly-named Imperial Remnant is what remains of the proper Galactic Empire following the Battle of Endor.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Superlasers of the Eclipse-class Dreadnought (which is now a true ship, compared to its incomplete version in Forces of Corruption) and the Sovereign-class Dreadnoughts. They can instantly destroy any sufficiently large ship, but unlike the Death Stars they cannot destroy whole planets. Speaking of the Death Stars, they are not available in Thrawn's Revenge, nor are Galaxy Guns.
  • Zerg Rush: A surprisingly quick and effective way to take out enemy turbolaser towers is to rush in and swarm it with several squads of basic infantry.
    • The planet Wayland can produce infantry for 1 credit apiece; some players just throw mass produced clone infantry at planet and autoresolve until they get it.