AW (AutoWar seed)

Autowar 2
Image from Juan Ochoa


Derived from AutoWar seed, the AW is found in many variants such as JAWs (Jovian), SAWs (Solar) and BAWs (Bio). Belongs to the greater category Constructor Warseed.

An AW is a missile launched into an opponent's solar system, often without eir knowledge. Different AWs are designed for different environments, but they all rely on stealth to land in their environment and then release nano, which covertly spreads and converts a portion of its environments mass into autowars before the enemy finds out. The emergence of the autowars is sometimes aligned with the arrival of an extra-stellar invasion fleet, but especially against foes of lower tech level autowars are quite capable of taking over or eradicating a system entirely on their own.

The AW is usually fired either from the Oort cloud (enabling lower velocities, thus requiring less of a brake and lower chance of detection of the AW) or from light-years away (allowing the AW to arrive well ahead of a fleet, giving it lots of time to prepare).


The Biosphere AutoWar seed, a BAW is also known as The First Horseman, a Big Awe, or Demon Plague.

The BAW requires the least tech of all BAWs, but is also the easiest to detect since it tends to inhabit the very environment that its targets live in. Because of this, the BAW's nano usually waits until the very last moment before it begins the actual building of its autowars. Until then it spreads throughout the biome, either under its own power or by "hitching a ride" on local life forms. Then at a predetermined time or signal the nano activates, and begins quickly disassembling nearby biological material and construct its autowars.

The BAW is commonly accepted to exist in three versions. The hard BAW, the true BAW and the terror BAW.

The hard BAW utilizes the resources gathered from the local life forms to build autowars of carbon and other appropriate substances. This is the easiest type of BAW to construct and can be constructed as early as the High Tech level, though higher tech levels greatly increase the nano's chance of spreading undiscovered.

The true BAW on the other hand, uses the biomaterial to build biowars. Though it doesn't require much more than High Tech level nanotechnology, it requires ultratech biotech to ensure the creation of efficient biowars. If the nano used in the true BAW is bionano, the chance of discovery falls drastically.

Finally the terror BAW is a variant of either hard BAW or true BAW. The purpose of the terror BAW is not to kill the enemy, but rather to terrorize it. Therefore, its nano will often create several small, stealthy autowars or biowars, pulling upon legends and local dangerous life forms to create a truly frightening autowar, capable of slipping into a settlement, eliminating a target and then slipping out again. And do this again and again and again. The targets can be either of popular or political importance or completely random, but few populations stay unaffected against a terror BAW's cargo.


The Jovian AutoWar seed, a JAW is also known as The Second Horseman, a Shark, or a Jovian Surprise.

The JAW is launched into a jovian or similar body in the target system. There it converts hydrogen into heavier metals and then proceed to build autowars. The largest problem for a JAW is the amount of energy radiated when it converts the hydrogen.

The JAW exists in two variants, depending on tech level.

The lowtech JAWs, which can be built by High-tech and Ultratech civilizations, utilize fusion reactors to produce hydrogen conversion, and build autowars and more reactors. Since heat detection is a large problem for these JAWs, they often employ multi-square-kilometer radiator fins and other methods to spread the heat across a large area to make it undetectable to enemy scanners. Less advanced JAWs will construct the reactors from trace heavy materials in the jovian's atmosphere, and only start the nucleosynthesis and construction of autowars once their attack is about to start.


The Solar AutoWar seed, a SAW is also known as The Third Horseman, Super Awe, or Angelmaker.

The SAW is launched into a system's star and there creates autowars quite inconceivable to the baseline mind. Fact and fiction after the release of a SAW's swarm are often hard to discern from each other.

The SAW also exists in a version that instead of creating autowars creates or releases strange matter viruses inside the star. Quite appropriately these are known as Starbursters, Solar Destroyers or World Eaters. Or simply by their official name SADeVe (StrAnglet Delivery Vehicle).

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Development Notes
Text by Thorbørn Steen
Initially published on 25 July 2005.