SPOILER WARNING: First and Second Formic War plot details follow.
Formic Scout Ship Cover Art

The front of a Formic scout ship on the cover of Earth Afire.

Formic scout ships were spacecraft used by the Formics to deploy workers on a planet, in order to survey and terraform the world prior to the arrival of a colonization ship containing a Hive Queen. One was sent to Earth that arrived in 100 BX.[1]

Design and Function


The scout ships had turrets over its surface, used for firing gamma plasma.

Formic scout ships were massive, kilometer long starships. They were shaped similarly to a teardrop, with one end being elongated and pointed, and the other end being wide and round. It was powered by a ramscoop drive, meaning it collected molecules in the front and converted it to gamma energy, propelling it out at the end. To slow down, the ship would expel the plasma out at certain intervals in all directions. It could send out small pods, usually manned by three Formic workers.[2]

The scout ships contained three disk-shaped "landers", each a kilometer across. The ship would launch the landers in succession with a certain set of targets on the planet below. The landers would impact the ground at a high velocity, as they had no landing mechanism. Each lander contained hundreds of transporters, skimmers, and fighters, carrying Formic workers to terraform the planet.[3]

ScoutShip Comic

The scout ship in Formic Wars: Burning Earth.

Inside of the scout ship was a circular room that was dubbed "the Garden" by humans. It contained thousands of lifeforms from the Formic Homeworld that would be used to populate the colonized world after being terraformed and purged of its indigenous life.[1]

The outside hull of the Formic scout ship was nearly indestructible, made up of an alloy created by creatures bioengineered by the Hive Queen. The interior was made out of other crude metal. The tops of the landers were made of the same impenetrable alloy as the surface of the scout ship.[4]


First Invasion scout ship

While en route to Earth, the Formic colonization fleet sent out a relatively small scout ship, designed to reach and begin terraforming the planet before the rest of the fleet arrived.[1]


El Cavador's destruction by the gamma plasma.

By the time the ship reached the Kuiper Belt, it had begun decelerating in order to get into orbit around Earth. Around this time, the human free miner ship El Cavador discovered the alien ship's presence. As a part of the ship's deceleration, it periodically emitted gamma plasma bursts from all directions. Once the ship was deep into the Kuiper Belt, it emitted a burst nearby Weigh Station Four, destroying it and killing all its inhabitants. By this time, the crew of El Cavador, a Juke Limited vessel the Makarhu, and a WU-HU Corporation ship had planned to destroy the Formic scout ship to protect Earth. During the attack on the ship, one of the humans' landmines detonated early, alerting the Formics to their presence and beginning a one-sided battle between the aliens and humans. The attack on the scout ship ended when another gamma plasma blast was emitted, destroying El Cavador.[2]

The scout ship continued on its path towards Earth, causing complete destruction as it went. Eventually, it began to near the Asteroid Belt, where countless ships mined the rocks and made their living. Also in the Belt were asteroid cities, such as Kleopatra, which were home to thousands. Upon noticing the incoming alien ship, the free and corporate miners put aside their differences and united to attempt to stop the Formic scout ship. In a deadly one-sided conflict that became known as the Battle of the Belt, the Formics destroyed nearly all of the attacking spacecraft, as well as obliterating the nearby asteroid cities with another gamma plasma burst.[3]

Eventually the scout ship reached the orbit of Earth. Not knowing of the devastation that the Formics had caused, the United Nations sent Kenwe Zubeka as an ambassador to the aliens. Seeing the incoming ship as a threat, the Formic scout ship launched gamma plasma at the ship, destroying it and announcing to the world of their seemingly hostile intent.[3]

Shortly after, the Formic scout ship launched its three massive circular landers at the surface of Earth. The landers made impact in Southern China, where they soon opened up and deployed thousands of Formic troop carriers and fighters.[3]

While the Scouring of China was taking place, a free miner from El Cavador named Victor Delgado infiltrated the Formic scout ship[3] and attained information about how the spacecraft works. During Victor's investigation, a fleet of Vanguard drones armed with glasers were launched towards the scout ship by Juke Limited's CEO, Ukko Jukes. The drones attempted to use the gravity lasers to crush and disable the alien ship, but before any major damage could be done the ship activated its gamma plasma weapons and destroyed the drone fleet.[1]

With Victor Delgado's newfound information, he led a planned attack on the scout ship alongside the Mobile Operations Police and Mazer Rackham. The team, once inside the alien spacecraft, twisted a section of the nozzles of the pipes that ran along the walls of the ship towards the interior. The pipes, normally used to carry gamma plasma for expulsion outwards the ship when activated, now faced the inside. After a hard fought battle to escape the ship, the remaining members of the team signaled to Imala Bootstamp to fly her fighter towards the section of the ship with the rotated nozzles. Once the Formics controlling the scout ship recognized the velocity of the incoming fighter, they activated the gamma plasma; however, the section of rotated nozzles activated as well, flooding the interior of the scout ship with toxic radiation and killing all life inside.[1]

Scout Ship Destroyed

The Formic scout ship being purged by its own gamma plasma.

As the Formics who controlled the gamma plasma were dead, there was no way to turn off the flow of radiation inside or outside, endangering Imala Bootstamp's life, as well as risking the destruction of the scout ship's technology. Wit O'Toole sacrificed himself to turn off the gamma plasma by entering the ship while it was still flowing.[1]

After the First Formic War had ended, scientists and engineers researched and recreated the technology found on the scout ship as it was left in orbit of Earth. However, the hull material or "hulmat" as it was called proved to be indestructible by all tested methods. While the gamma plasma had penetrated the alloy, the reserves were empty after the final battle and could not be used to test.[4]

Juke Limited, which had attained possession of the ship due to salvage law, had built massive ring-shaped structures that circled the alien scout ship. The Rings were used as a research facility to learn more about the hulmat and other Formic technologies. However, some of the technology in the scout ship and the Garden were destroyed after the gamma plasma flooded the starship.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Earth Awakens
  2. 2.0 2.1 Earth Unaware
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Earth Afire
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Swarm
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