As probably happened in history, I am on a rampage and intend to fully obliterate an opposing faction.

As such, I do not want to have to garrison newly conquered cities, which gives me the choice of leaving a strong defence and reducing the momentum of my Bltzkrieg, or risking having he cities recaptured.

Can I "salt the earth" of conquered cities (destroy them immediately)?

IIRC, Master of Orion 2 gave the option of reducing population by 1 each turn, until the city eventually disappeared. Better than nothing, I suppose, but I want them GONE - and now.

I had considered nuking them, but often my troops are too near, and Gaea already hates me because of my production.

2 Answers 2


Yes you can. Combat Units can Obliterate the Base:

Order Requirements Hotkey Effect
Obliterate Base Must be a combat unit inside a base. B Destroys the base, killing all citizens and permanently destroying any secret projects at the base.
This is considered an atrocity

It make sense to sell base facilities first.

Personally, I find obliterating newly captured bases ineffective unless I have solid military concerns (e.g. risk of espionage or a recapture):

  • You lose any Secret Projects that existed in the base you've just conquered;
  • You lose production and energy; anything above zero is for your profit;
  • If you are afraid of heavy drone riots (which can lead to a revolt), better turn drones to Specialists therefore make the base starve and lose the population in a natural way;
  • Most importantly (to me): make your victorious units supported from the newly-conquered base! Set Home Base (Shift+H) for them and reduce the burden of unit support from your older bases, effectively improving the speed they are building new units and base facilities. Just keep your eye on your new bases so that they did not exceed the free support threshold that your Govt type provides with.
  • Destroying the base (and if there are no other bases nearby) make the territory neutral (or the enemy's). This would trigger Units away from Friendly Territory challenging your Police resources.
  • This sounded great - until I read "This is considered an atrocity", which means that all factions would immediately declare war on me, doesn't it? I don't like that idea; I would rather battle only one (or two) at a time.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 6:28
  • "Most importantly (to me): make your victorious units supported from the newly-conquered base!". A good point, although I tend to play knowledge based classes & run up the tech tree before attacking. At that point, every unit has a clean reactor. That said, this is very neat little hack
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 6:29
  • @Mawg, I've just thought about yet another factor, Police and units away from friendly territory. Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 9:16
  • 3
    @MawgsaysreinstateMonica "all factions would immediately declare war on me, doesn't it?" - Not quite. They will be mad at you, but will decide whether or not to declare war based on how strong you are compared to them, and how much they dislike atrocities. The Peacekeepers are very likely to declare war; the Hive don't care.
    – A_S00
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 18:42

So, ISTR there is a disband option for cities, though it might be buried. At the very least, however, you can create colony pods - each one consumes a unit of population and if you make a colony pod with your last pop, it essentially deletes the city. These colony pods can then be disbanded, or shipped back to your production centers to add population there.

  • 2
    (+1) Or, as @bytebuster said, turn all citizens into specialists. The problem with both of these approaches is that they take multiple turns & leave an ever weakening base open to recapture.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 6:31
  • The safe way to destroy a city is to get it to pop 1 and then capture it. Since every capture reduces population by one, a pop 1 city capture will remove the city. If trying to reduce a larger population city, allow it to be recaptured, then recapture it again and repeat to get it to pop zero. The downside of this tactic is you will lose energy whenever a city is captured by an enemy. Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 19:03

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