YMMV / Empire at War

  • Base-Breaking Character: Tyber Zann is either an interesting new Magnificent Bastard or just an implausible new Marty Tzu (especially for being able to outsmart Grand Admiral Thrawn multiple times — ex-student or not).
  • Demonic Spiders: Rancors could be this in the original game, especially on Carida, where they have a spawn point cave. They are capable of destroying infantry platoons and most vehicles (including T4-B Heavy Tanks) in one swipe, and they have a lot of health. Chances are you'll lose a lot of units before you kill just one. They can be a pain for the attacking side on Carida, as their cave is not too far from the first landing zone, and the AI for unaligned indigenous units was incredibly aggressive in the original game, meaning that they'll be coming after you as soon as your attack force is prepared. In Forces of Corruption, the attack power of rancors was nerfed and they weren't as actively aggressive.
    • On Hard Mode in Galactic Conquest (before access to Level 5 tech), Imperials tend to toss vast fleets of Broadside Cruisers, TIE Scouts and Victory-class Star Destroyers at you in the non-storyline battles. The former effectively renders fighter-support useless and are a constant threat to the space station until taken out, the middle ones are tossed at you to give the Broadsides a target, and the latter offers enough firepower to destroy any star-ship ship you can field at that point in the game, along with contingents of free Tie Fighters and Tie Bombers that do not take up any unit space. If you are not prepared, these fleets will rip you in two. Of course, on Easy Mode, this is subverted, and Rebel players will likely be amused to witness a mighty Imperial armada retreat with very few of their ships remaining, especially if the Imperial fleet was defeated using only a few garrisoned X-Wings and Y-Wings.
    • Speaking of Hard Mode, the AI itself is capable of fielding a massive invasion fleet in no time at all, it's also granted free spaceships whenever they lose their primary fleets. Meaning any free space unoccupied by your units over a system they control will generate another fresh batch of space units for the AI in a blink of an eye; the higher the tech level, the better ships they get as replacements. Even if they're down to two planets and you blew up their other space ship a minute ago! This also carries over to many mods however, which can quickly spiral out of control if they're granted free Game Breakers or massive dreadnoughts such as Super Star Destroyers.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Silri
  • Fridge Brilliance: One may find it peculiar how Grand Admiral Thrawn's forces doesn't seem to hesitate on retreating from Zann in Forces of Corruption after being partially damaged. But as The Thrawn Trilogy shows, that's exactly what he would do in such a situation: unlike some other Imperial commanders, Thrawn knows the value of minimizing "setbacks".
  • Game-Breaker: In the original game the Empire had a moderate advantage over the Rebellion (mainly due to having two Force-users instead of one, not to mention the Death Star) but it wasn't until Forces of Corruption when things got out of hand.
    • The Death Star II in FoC. Yes, you get to command the Death Star II. Just like in the movie, it had the ability to obliterate capital ships in a single shot, and the only way to destroy it was to use Rogue Squadron's special on the overworld map.
    • The original Death Star in EaW was pretty close in that it completely removed having to go through a land battle (though also removing that planet's special ability in the process)
    • The final mission of FoC's campaign gave the player command of the Eclipse, which was basically a Death Star II shrunk down onto a Super Star Destroyer frame. Complete with a superlaser that, unlike the Death Star II, was capable of targeting and obliterating corvette-sized ships as well as anything bigger and recharges in no time at all. Even though in the campaign the Eclipse was still under construction and thus the superlaser was the only weapon available, there are game mods that give the player full access to the Eclipse in Galactic Conquest mode, complete with full armament.
    • The Zann Consortium in Forces of Corruption is a game breaking faction. The Consortium has superior units across the board (their basic infantry can easily kill the units the game outright states they are weak against with a simple upgrade) and they can gain access to some of the best units of the other factions. Not to mention that their space units are even worse, thanks to such things as cloaking devices and mass drivers that ignore shields.
      • Things get even more broken for the Zann Consortium in Galactic Conquest mode, as they don't play by the same rules as the other factions. They can build all of their units from the start without needing to unlock them (although their special abilities must be bought), the palace is more effective at gathering credits than the mining facilities of other factions, and they start with all hero units available, all of which can't be detected by enemies on the overworld. You can simply gather the hero units and stage ground invasions to conquer world after world effortlessly, as they're likely to only have a few infantry units to start with.
  • Good Bad Bugs: One particular bug made Forces of Corruption even more broken in the Empire's favor: in the retail version of the expansion, hero units were not counted against the unit cap in any given space battle. That led to the infamous Imperial Death Squadron stack, where an Imperial fleet could consist of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Captain Piett (both are Star Destroyers with special abilities), the Arc Hammer (a factory ship with Victory-Star Destroyer specs), the Super Star Destroyer Executor, and the Death Star II (which itself spawns a "garrison" of a Star Destroyer and some escort ships). And since none of these affects the ship-cap, you can send a full-size fleet along with them, and every ship listed above will appear on a battle map at once. The utterly gargantuan firepower advantage such a fleet boasts is boosted still further by the absolute clouds of TIES it spawns and the Death Star II's superlaser.
  • Goddamned Bats: On Polus, the Pyn'Gani are armed with ion blasters that can immobilize your infantry and vehicles for a few seconds, and these blasters are their primary weapons.
  • Obvious Beta: Forces of Corruption released with a number of bugs, most notably the enemy fleet approaching sound being a voice saying "Ysalamiri Cage Constructing". While a patch was released that fixed the most glaring issues, a number of which were never fixed. The "Barrage" ability from the original game is broken, firing projectiles in a line instead of in an area. Some of the special fighting animations between heroes from the original game no longer play, and a number of other visual and audio bugs linger. Given that it was released a mere 8 months after the original game, one gets the impression that it was rushed out.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: If an entire half of the game can be one, then ground battles certainly qualify. The unit cap is small, most of the units are sluggish or incredibly fragile, there's no small amount of Artificial Stupidity among your own units, and they're a lot more tedious and less fun and unique than the space battles. Mods that support ground battles are a lot less common, and many battles are won in Galactic Conquest (where every planet you might want needs to be invaded on-foot) by abusing the "auto-resolve" feature. Probably the biggest reason the Death Star units are useful is that they can simply skip the task of invading a planet altogether, for obvious reasons.
  • The Unfavorite: The Zann Consortium appears to a meta-example for the fanbase considering that most of the popular mods to the game don't focus on it, likely due to its status as a Game-Breaker and accusations of developer favoritism involved with it. There does exist the Complete Consortium Mod on Mod DB that does focus entirely on the Consortium (and makes them practically god-like, with such upgrades as disruptors on Star Vipers, mass drivers on Skiprays and Canderous Assault Tanks, a higher firing rate for Grenadiers, and more, while also making every building very expensive for balance purposes.) Beyond the occasional reference to Zann's brief theft of the Eclipse Super Star Destroyer, the rest of the Legends Expanded Universe also barely mentions them. However, the Consortium returned after a nine-year absence in the canon mobile game, Star Wars: Uprising (albeit in an extremely minor fashion).
    • On the other hand, because of their usage of Droidekas and Buzz Droids in the base game, many mods that do give the Consortium units generally have them deploy more Confederacy space and ground units, if not outright turn them into a resurgent CIS themselves.