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Neanderthals are a xenotype of slow and sturdy humans.
Neanderthals are stocky, powerfully-built humanoids. Their most salient characteristic is that they are difficult to hurt: they are very resistant to injury, and their strong immune systems protect them from infection. However, without ever having evolved in a complex civilization, they are less adept than baseliner humans at intellectual and social tasks, and their impulsiveness can make them dangerously aggressive.
Homo neanderthalensis was originally an archaic population of hominids that emerged over 200,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch. After they were replaced by and merged with humans 30,000 years ago, they were absent for tens of thousands of years until scientists resurrected them from ancient DNA. Neanderthals now survive in sub-societies on some settled planets. On the rimworlds, neanderthal tribes carve out the same existence as their Earth ancestors did so long ago. - In Game Description
The table below describes the chance for a given pawn from each faction being a neanderthal. Note that this value does not account for chances in xenotype chance from ideoligion or from pawn kind, it only shows the base value before those factors.
|Fierce neanderthal tribe||100%|
|Savage impid tribe||0%|
|Civil outlander union||2.5%|
|Rough outlander union||2.5%|
|Rough pig union||0%|
|Cannibal pirate gang||2.5%|
Neanderthals are slow in more ways than one, but they are excellent survivors. They are also strongly suited for melee fighting, and much less for shooting. They cannot be easily identified at first glance, but if you get in a fight with one, their unique talent for staying upright will soon be apparent.
All neanderthal have these germline genes:
|Strong immunity||Slow runner||Cold tolerant||Heat tolerant||Strong melee damage||Robust||Reduced pain||Slow study||Aggressive|
|Heavy jaw||Heavy brow||Hulk body||Standard body||Fat body|
|Poor shooting||Poor social||Poor intellectual|
Neanderthals have banded together to form a touchy, fierce Neanderthal Tribe. With a lot of work you may get on good terms with them. There is also a small chance for them to show up with Empire parties, and a slight chance they will appear with outlanders or pirate bands. You may also see Neanderthals with unaffiliated groups of travelers or during quests.
Despite using tribal technology, neanderthals enemies should not be underestimated in combat. With reduced pain, neanderthals take twice as much damage before being downed by pain shock. Pain shock is, by far, the most common way to down enemies in combat. This is further multiplied by the robust gene, which effectively gives another ×133% health in any situation. If they get into melee range, they are brutes due to strong melee damage and the aforementioned factors. Thankfully, neanderthal raids will be smaller than usual.
Due to their melee focus, low tech, smaller numbers, and slow runner gene, kiting tactics can be effective. But kiting isn't the end-all solution. Neanderthals aren't that slow; at 4.40 c/s, they are nearly 96% as fast as a baseliner. Just wearing a flak vest will reduce a baseliner's speed to 4.48 c/s, which is very close to a neanderthal's speed. Factors like terrain, light, and injury can lead to neanderthals catching up quickly.
As colonists, neanderthals retain all of their strengths: reduced pain, reduced damage, and high melee damage. Neanderthals are also resistant to both disease and temperature. In return, you'll have to account for their weaknesses. Slow study results in x50% skill XP, which ends up being a large penalty for any skill. They are even worse at Shooting, Social, and Intellectual. And aggressive results in more social fights. With strong melee, social fights can easily result in lost limbs.
Overall, neanderthals are great melee colonists, though come with a few notable downsides. It may be wise to extract neanderthal genes and implant them on other colonists. This allows you to make xenotypes just as strong as a neanderthal, without the severe negative from the slow study gene.
Some of the more valuable genes neanderthals have to extract are:
- Robust - Reduces damage globally. A globally positive trait.
- Poor <Skill> - If a pawn won't use these skills, poor skill genes are a net positive.