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Stars!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Stars! (PC v2.7i) FAQ v1.04
by "plague006" Matthew Heguy
email: plague006@hotmail.com
IRC: UnderNet: p6 or plague006
Website: http://www.plague006.com
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=



Table of Contents
- ChangeLog                                                     CHG-00
- Introduction                                                  ITD-00
 \-- Acronyms                                                   ACN-00
- Race Creation                                                 RCC-00
 \-- Basic Principles                                           BSC-00
 \-- Page 1                                                     PG1-00
 \-- Page 2                                                     PG2-00
  \--- Hyper-Expansion                                          PG2-01
  \--- Super-Stealth                                            PG2-02
  \--- War Monger                                               PG2-03
  \--- Claim Adjuster                                           PG2-04
  \--- Inner Strength                                           PG2-05
  \--- Space Demolition                                         PG2-06
  \--- Packet Physics                                           PG2-07
  \--- Interstellar Traveller                                   PG2-08
  \--- Alternate Reality                                        PG2-09
  \--- Jack of All Trades                                       PG2-10
 \-- Page 3                                                     PG3-00
  \--- Improved Fuel Efficiency                                 PG3-01
  \--- Total Terraforming                                       PG3-02
  \--- Advanced Remote Mining                                   PG3-03
  \--- Improved Starbases                                       PG3-04
  \--- Generalize Research                                      PG3-05
  \--- Ultimate Recycling                                       PG3-06
  \--- Mineral Alchemy                                          PG3-07
  \--- Cheap Enginges                                           PG3-08
  \--- Only Basic Mining                                        PG3-09
  \--- No Advanced Scanners                                     PG3-10
  \--- Low Starting Population                                  PG3-11
  \--- Bleeding Edge Technology                                 PG3-12
  \--- Regenerating Shields                                     PG3-13
\-- Page 4                                                      PG4-00
 \-- Page 5                                                     PG5-00
 \-- Page 6                                                     PG6-00
 \-- Alternate Reality                                          ANR-00
- Gameplay Tips                                                 GMP-00
- Contact                                                       CTC-00
- Credits                                                       CRD-00
- Legal                                                         LGL-00

=========
CHANGELOG                                                       CHG-00
=========
v1.04 - July 1, 2005
--
A few minor points were contributed, and now added by Mars Jenkar and Hugh
Manatee
--
v1.03 - June 13, 2005
--
A few rewrites, and now I'm finally satisfied with the product. Don't expect
any further revisions.
--
v1.02 - June 1, 2005
--
Reformatted guide to my new standard.
--
v1.01 - May 14, 2005
--
Made several small changes to formatting and corrected several spelling and
grammatical mistakes.
--
v1.00 - May 2, 2005
--
Initial release, everything is complete, and because this is a guide for a very
old game, I doubt I will make any revisions except correcting typos I notice in
the future. If interest returns to this game, I will create an FAQ section.

============
INTRODUCTION                                                    ITD-00
============
This  is  a  guide  on all things Stars!. It's an old game, but still very fun,
with a degree of complexity rarely seen in today's games.

=========
ACCRONYMS                                                       ACN-00
=========
I use several acronyms in the guide to cut down size and keystrokes. They are:

AxB - Number of slots x(times) number of components - A is the number of slots
on the Hull of this type, and B is the number of components that can be entered
into the slot
AoS - Armor or Shield - A slot on a Hull that can accept either Armor, or a
Shield
ARM - Armor - A slot on a hull that can accept only Armor
EC - Electrical Component - A slot on a Hull that can accept only an Electrical
Component
ENG - Engines - A slot on a hull that can accept only Engines
GP - General Purpose - A slot on a Hull that can accept any component except
Bombs, and Engines
INIT - Initiative - The Initiative of a Hull or Weapon
MC - Mechanical Component - A slot on a Hull that can accept only a Mechanical
Component
PWR - Power - The power of a Weapon
RNG - Range - The range of a Weapon
SHD - Shield - A slot on a Hull that can accept only a Shield
TL - Tech Level - The level of technology you've reached in a given research
branch
WP - Weapon - A slot on a Hull that can accept Torpedoes or Beam Weapons
WoS - Weapon or Shield - A slot on a Hull that can accept Torpedoes, Beam
Weapons, or Shields

=============
RACE CREATION                                                   RCC-00
=============

================
BASIC PRINCIPLES                                                BSC-00
================

One race will not cover all situations
You'll  need to create a unique race for each game, to compensate for variables
such  as  universe  size  and  density,  winning  conditions, and opponents. An
example  is  Silicanoids (hyper-expansion with full environmental immunity) Vs.
Rabbitoids  (inter-stellar  travelers  with cheap engines). In a tiny universe,
cheap engines are detrimental since a ship's engines are usually the best means
of  travel.  Also in a tiny universe the Rabbitoids might only have 3-5 planets
they  can  easily inhabit (1 of 9 planets) whereas the Silicanoids will be able
to  colonize  every  planet within 10-15 years. An inverse example would be the
same  2  races,  but  in  a  huge  universe. With a large array of planets, the
Rabbitoids  would  be able to find habitable planets and would have much better
travel  capabilities  than the Silicanoids. The Silicanoids have a huge empire,
and it would be very difficult to defend, since they can't use Stargates. Also,
attacking  the  Rabbitoids would become a problem since they can gate in a huge
defense fleet in a year's notice.

Every point is precious
Leave no point wasted, every single one will help you win a game. Make sure you
need  every  trait you choose (see pages 2 and 3), and make sure you take every
penalty  you  can bear (You should choose either Advanced Remote Mining or Only
Basic Remote Mining, but never both or neither.).

Experiment
It's  fine and good to read descriptions of everything and think you understand
the  implications,  but try selecting options you normally wouldn't and see how
it actually affects your strategy.

This is just a guide
Mine is not the word of God, I may be wrong, feel free to add any revisions you
feel should be made. Contact info near the end of the document.

One part art, one part science
The algorithm used to balance race creation is more complex than I'm willing to
figure  out. It's as much about feel as it is calculating what point will yield
the  greatest reward. While a certain trait may be nearly free for one race, it
may mean a huge sacrifice to obtain for another race.

======
PAGE 1                                                          PG1-00
======

There  is  a  little more to this page than might meet the eye. As mentioned in
the  basic  principles,  your  race  should  suit your needs. Every facet of it
should be suited to the situation, that starts on page 1.

RACE NAME: You give your race a name - simple enough
PLURAL RACE NAME: The plural form of your race's name (usually add an 's')
PASSWORD:  You  can give your race a password, if you so choose, you might want
to  assign  a  password  to your race if you're playing on the same computer as
your  opponents,  or  are playing against someone who might have access to your
computer.  Keeping the details of your race a secret is more important than you
might  think.  "Know  thy  enemy" and when possible, deny knowledge of your own
race to others. It's harder for an enemy to prepare a defense against your race
when they know nothing about it.

LEFTOVER ADVANTAGE POINTS:
SURFACE  MINERALS  - You gain 10kT of surface minerals for every leftover point
(ie.  20  points,  200kT of minerals). As if that wasn't enough, Stars! weights
the distribution in favor of the rarest mineral. (ie. you have a lot of Ironium
and  Boranium,  you'll  get mostly Germanium). Great for a race that requires a
fast  start,  such as Hyper-Expansion, since you have the extra resources right
away.
MINES  -  You  gain  one  additional mine for every two advantage points. Extra
mines can be recommended to someone who needs to start expanding quickly, since
you  will be able to focus more on building ships and factories, and not having
to worry about mines/minerals as much.
FACTORIES  -  You  gain one additional factory for every five advantage points.
This  is  a  good  choice for races who have poor population resource creation,
(ie.  One  resource  created  for  every  1200 colonists) because you get extra
resources  to  work  with  in  the  beginning,  it  can  help  make  up for the
defficiency.
DEFENSES  -  You  gain  one defense installation for every 10 advantage points.
I'll  just  be  honest,  for  10 advantage points, you can get 100kT of surface
minerals..  a  defense  installation  only costs 15kT minerals and 75 resources
(5/5/5/75).  You  can find better ways to spend 10 points. Even if you feel you
might get bombed in year 3, 5 defense facilities, will not save you.
MINERAL  CONCENTRATION  -  Increases the concentration of the rarest mineral on
your home world by 1% for every 3 leftover points. Seems like a good choice for
long  games,  however  your  homeworld  will never have a mineral concentration
problem,  even when concentration should be 0, you mine as if it were 30. (When
viewing  the  popup  for  the  mineral,  the  concentration  is  listed  as HW,
HomeWorld).

RACE EMBLEM: A choice of no consequence to gameplay. It's simply an
identification tool like race name.

======
PAGE 2                                                          PG2-00
======

PRIMARY RACIAL TRAIT

===============
HYPER-EXPANSION                                                 PG2-01
===============
Starting Advantages:
- One armed Scout
- Three Mini-Colony ships
Exclusive Hulls:
- Mini-Colony (1 ENG, 1x1 MC, and 10kT cargo) 150mg fuel, 10 ARM
- Meta Morph (3 ENG, 1x8 GP, 4x2 GP, 1x1 GP, and 300kT cargo)
700mg fuel, 500 armor, 2 INIT
Exclusive Engine:
- Settler's Delight - Warp 6 for free, but only for Mini-Colonizer hull
Exclusive Component:
- Flux Capacitor - increase beam damage done by ship, by 20%
Inherent Abilities:
- Growth rate is double the value specified in page 4
Limitations:
- No Stargates
- Maximum population limit on a planet is 1/2 what it would support for a race
with your environmental requirements (ie. 500,000 max on home world as opposed
to 1,000,000 for other races on their homeworlds)

The Good:
The  Mini-Colony  hull  is  great for early-game seeding of planets, especially
with the accompanying Settler's Delight. The Flux Capacitor can be very helpful
if  your ships are based primarily on beam weapons. A doubled growth rate means
you  can  cut growth rate in half and get huge advantage points to add to other
areas.

The Bad:
The  Meta Morph, while a nice Hull, is not much better than the Galleon in most
respects.  The  Settler's  Delight is an amazing Engine, however it can only be
matched  with  the Mini-Colony Ship. Having your maximum population cut in half
means  you need to colonize (and later defend) twice as many worlds as everyone
else  to  keep  up  with  their population and production capacity. The loss of
Stargates  is  a  big  loss until late in the game when ships are too big to be
easily gated, and warp 10 becomes an alternative.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The Hyper-Expansion race is one that must constantly expand, as the description
in  the  race creator says. You need to colonize twice as many planets to match
other  players'  populations  and  production  capacities. The major problem is
trying  to  keep  all  those  planets  properly  defended  without  the  use of
Stargates.  You  need  to  manage  a  huge number of planets and an even larger
number of fleets. Hyper-Expansion races in a tiny or small universes, thrive on
starving  the  enemy  of planets to inhabit. While a normal race might have six
planets  colonized,  a  Hyper-Expansion  race  can  easily have colonized 20-30
planets.  In  a  maxed research game, the Hyper-Expansion races have nothing to
offer  except the Flux Capacitor, which is only marginally effective since most
ships use Torpedoes and Capital Ship Missiles late in a long game.

The Boiler Plate:
Great  for  small  universes  and  short games, but loses effectiveness in huge
universes and long games.

=============
SUPER STEALTH                                                   PG2-02
=============
Starting Advantages:
- TL 5 in Electronics
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Hulls:
- Rogue (2 ENG, 2x1 EC, 2x2 GP, 1x3 AoS, 1 Scanner, and 500kT cargo)
2250mg fuel, 450 armor, 4 INIT
- Stealth Bomber (2 ENG, 2x4 Bombs, 1x3 EC, 1x1 MC/EC/Scanner)
750mg fuel, 225 armor
Exclusive Components:
- Pick Pocket - 80 l.y. scanner that allows theft of enemy cargo (must be at
same location as enemy to see/steal cargo)
- Chameleon - 160/45 scanner with 20% cloak
- Robber Baron - 220/120 scanner that allows theft of enemy cargo from fleets
and planets (must be at same location as enemy fleet/planet to see/steal cargo)
- Shadow Shield - Shield strength: 75 and 35% cloak
- Depleted Neutronium - Armor strength: 200 and 25% cloak
- Transport Cloaking - 75% cloak for unarmed hulls
- Ultra-Stealth Cloak - 85% cloaking
Inherent Abilities:
- All ships and starbase built have inherent 75% cloak
- Travel through minefields one warp faster than stated limit
- Gain research by spying and combining it with your research. Gain resources
in each field equal to 1/2 the average spent in that field by all races
(including yours) while at least one other race exists

The Good:
The  Rogue is a ship that easily outclasses two Privateers. As well, two Rogues
outclass  a  single  Galleon,  making  it a good armed transport the whole game
through.  The  Stealth  Bomber  is a ship on the brink, which is to say, it has
little  to  recommend  it  over  the B-17, however it is an improvement. For an
extra  5kT  of  Germanium and 25 resources, you get 350mg fuel, 50 armor, and 3
EC.  The  Pick  Pocket,  and Robber Baron do exactly what they should the whole
game  through.  Equipping a Chameleon in a ship is a simple way to increase its
cloak  without trading serious functionality away. Transport Cloaking is in the
same  boat  as  the  Chameleon.  Since it will be equipped on non-combat hulls,
you're  not  losing  any  functionality.  75%  free  cloaking  on all ships and
starbases  built  has  no  downside,  and  is really the crux of Super-Stealth.
Traveling  through  minefields  one  warp  faster  is  a  great  advantage when
comparing  speeds of warp 4 vs. 5. The research gain is a huge ability since it
has no drawbacks, and extra research data can only ever help.

The Bad:
The  Shadow  Shield,  and  Depleted  Neutronium  are nice, but are quickly made
obsolete  by  better Shields and Armors. The Ultra-Stealth cloak is the best in
cloak  technology,  however it's not likely to replace Battle Computers on your
warships except in very select circumstances.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The  thief  Scanners  Super-Stealth  receives are useful for 'liberating' enemy
cargo.  If you find a big enemy mining operation, you can severely hamper their
efforts,  while  gaining  great rewards for yourself. The Rogue Hull is a great
armed  transport  hull,  and  really  never becomes obsolete. Although cloak is
never  perfect,  you  can  usually  attack  and  run without ever being seen on
scanners.  Your  biggest  advantage as a Super-Stealth, is that you can usually
focus  on  growing  your  empire  before you need to start actively fighting an
enemy,  since  they  won't  be easily able to detect where you are. Your second
largest  advantage is in research, since you gain a bonus each year, from other
players' efforts.

The Boiler Plate:
The  Super-Stealth  race has no real pitfalls, there are no limitations on what
it  can  build or do, only advantages. It's also very fun to sneak around while
enemy  fleets  are none the wiser. Don't be mistaken though, when push comes to
shove,  a  Super-Stealth player has no problem standing and fighting. It's just
that  when  a Super-Stealth player does decide to make a stand, the enemy never
knows how many fleets might be just a few l.y. away as insurance. Super-Stealth
works well in almost all universe sizes, and winning conditions.

==========
WAR MONGER                                                      PG2-03
==========
Starting Advantages:
- TL 5 in Weapons
- TL 1 in Propulsion and Energy
- One armed Scout
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Hulls:
- Battle Cruiser (2 ENG, 2x2 SHD/EC/MC, 1x4 AoS, 2x3 WP, 1x3 GP)
1400mg, 1000 armor, 5 INIT
- Deadnought (5 ENG, 2x4 AoS, 2x6 WP, 2x8 WP, 2x4 EC, 2x8 ARM 2x5 WoS, 1x2 GP)
4500mg, 4500 armor, 10 INIT
Exclusive Weapons:
- Gattling Neutrino Gun (PWR: 80 RNG: 2 INIT: 13 Extra: 1280 mines/year, hits
all targets in range)
- Blunderbuss (PWR: 592 RNG: 0 INIT: 11)
Exclusive Abilities:
- 1/2 square movement bonus in battle
- Colonists attack better
- All weapons cost 25% less to build
- Learn exact design of ships as soon as they're scanned
Limitations:
- Can't build mine layers or lay minefields
- Can build SDI or Missile Battery defenses only

The Good:
The  Battle  Cruiser  is  more  than  twice as effective as a normal Cruiser. A
Dreadnought is more than twice as effective as a Battleship. The Blunderbuss is
the  premiere  0  RNG weapon. A 1/2 square movement bonus is a big advantage in
battle.  Having colonists that attack better than other races' furthers the War
Monger's cause. 25% cheaper weapons also is a valuable asset. Learning a ship's
exact  design  is  a huge asset in creating ships specially designed to counter
other players' designs.

The Bad:
The inability to create minefields is a huge drawback, as is the lack of highly
effective  planetary  defenses.  The  Gattling  Neutrino Gun is only marginally
effective,  since  most ships will be using Torpedoes and Capital Ship Missiles
when you get this weapon.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The  War  Monger is designed for attacking, pure and simple. It has the biggest
and  strongest  ships.  The  Dreadnought being unmatched by any other ship with
maxed tech, and the Battle Cruiser dominating most of the mid-game. The loss of
good  planetary  defenses  is more than compensated by the fact that your ships
should  make  quick  work of any bombing fleet. The loss of minefields is a big
one,  having  an  ally  that can create minefields for you is nice, but if that
option  doesn't  present  itself, you can rest in the knowledge that your ships
should  still  be able to make quick work of any enemy fleet anyway. One of the
strongest  abilities  the  War  Monger  has is learning the design specs of any
scanned  enemy  ship,  since you can create a design of your own to counter the
threat.

The Boiler Plate:
The  War Monger is geared to carnage, and carnage it can inflict. Effective use
of  the Battle Cruiser and Dreadnought Hulls should allow you to seriously keep
enemy races at bay. Even in short games though, abilities such as 25% reduction
in weapon costs, 1/2 square movement bonus, and better attacking colonists will
carry  through  the  length  of any game. If you can find an ally (preferably a
Space  Demolition  race)  to  lay  minefields  for  you,  then you've basically
compensated for your only pitfall.

==============
CLAIM ADJUSTER                                                  PG2-04
==============
Starting Advantages:
- TL 1 in Energy, Weapons, Propulsion
- TL 6 in Biotechnology
- Ship capable of terraforming other players' planets from orbit
Exclusive Components:
- Orbital Adjuster - modifies planet environmental conditions from orbit, also
a 25% cloak
Exclusive Weapon:
- Retro Bomb - de-terraforms planets, immune to planetary defenses
Exclusive Abilities:
- Terraforming is free (and temporary). Each year, all planets are terraformed
to the limit of your terraforming technology. Planet reverts to natural state
if your colonists abandon, or are otherwise forced, from it.

The Good:
Terraforming  is  free,  and  temporary, so at least if you lose a planet, they
have  to  terraform it. You can de-terraform enemy planets and terraform allied
planets for them.

Mars Jenkar pointed out (and I mistakingly forgot):
Planets  colonized  by  Claim Adjuster races will sometimes randomly adjust the
underlying  values  of  one vital stat toward the race's ideal by 1%. This will
slowly  make  the  planet more habitable to the Claim Adjuster race as it lives
longer on it, and these changes to the underlying vital stat are permanent.

The Bad:
The fact that you specialize in terraforming is about as bad as it gets :/

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
A Claim Adjuster is a great ally to have, since it saves a lot of time and work
terraforming  new  worlds.  The problem is nobody ever wants to play as a Claim
Adjuster.

The Boiler Plate:
Every now and then you have to play as a Claim Adjuster "for the team". There's
nothing  inherently  wrong  with  the  race, just that the others have tangible
advantages.

==============
INNER STRENGTH                                                  PG2-05
==============
Starting Advantages:
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Hulls:
- Super Freighter (3 ENG, 1x2 EC, 1x5 AoS, 1x3 EC,MC,Scanner, and 3000kT cargo)
8000mg fuel, 400 armor
- Fuel Transport (1 ENG, 1x1 SHD)
750mg fuel, 5 armor, manufactures 200mg of fuel/year, and ships in fleet heal
5% faster
Exclusive Components:
- Croby Sharmor - Shield strength: 60 plus 65dp armor
- Fielded Kelarium - Armor strength: 175 plus 50dp shield
- Speed Trap 20 - mine that stops ships over warp 5
- Jammer 10 - 10% chance of deflecting torpedoes
- Jammer 50 - 50% chance of deflecting torpedoes
- Tachyon Detector - reduces effectiveness of other players' cloaks by 5%
Exclusive Weapon:
- Mini Gun (PWR: 13 RNG: 2 INIT: 12 Extra: 208 mines/year, hits all targets in
range)
Exclusive Abilities:
- Colonists defend better
- Ships heal faster
- Planetary defenses cost 40% less
- Colonists on freighter reproduce at 1/2 of their maximum rate, beaming down
excess babies when orbiting a planet you own (and into space when you're not?)
Limitations:
- Weapons cost 25% more than for other races
- No Smart, Neutron, Enriched Neutron, Peerless, or Annihilator bombs

The Good:
The  Super  Freighter  will  replace all other freighters easily, if you play a
long  game. Jammer 10 is great early game, and Jammer 50 is a huge advantage if
you  play a long game. The Mini Gun is the first Gun beam weapon available, and
is  a  good asset early in the game. Your colonists defend against attacks very
well,  and  your starbases repair at 15% yearly (as opposed to 10% for others).
Planetary  defenses  are  40%  cheaper  (it  will  save you about 200kT of each
mineral  and  400  resources  over  100  defenses).  Colonists  reproducing  on
freighter is a huge asset I'll talk about in detail in the full analysis.

The Bad:
The  Fuel  Transport is quickly obsolete to the Super-Fuel Xport. Croby Sharmor
and  Fielded  Kelarium  are  both  only  effective for a brief period, and then
quickly obsolete. Speed Trap 20 is nice, but at only 20 mines/year it's hard to
create  a  large  minefield. The Tachyon Detector is great for detecting cloak,
but  it  usually  can't  be  incorporated in a conventional warship, or utility
ship.  Increased cost of weapons aren't a huge detriment, but a burden none the
less.  The  loss  of  Smart Bombs has to be compensated by building a few extra
bombers.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
I  personally like playing Inner Strength races, they're not the most effective
at attacking enemy fleets and planets, but it's very easy to defend planets you
do  own.  One  of the greatest traits it has, is reproducing colonists while in
freighters,  this  can  be used to great effect on worlds whose populations are
nearing  the  cap.  Because the population growth will stagnate, you can fill a
few  freighters,  and  have  them help the planet reach its cap, then send them
around  and  help the growth of other planets. The Super Freighter is great for
trading  with  Mystery Traders, since it only takes 3 ships. The Jammer 50 is a
huge  asset  in  long  games,  since  its nearest competition is the Jammer 30,
giving you a big edge against Torpedo users.

The Boiler Plate:
It's  a  great  complement  to  a  War Monger, since an Inner Strength race can
maintain    all    the    infrastructure   (ie.   Super   Freighters   ferrying
minerals/colonists).  This  is  a  race  more  geared  towards reaching winning
conditions through tech levels, production capacity, and owning planets, rather
than large numbers of capital ships and conquest.

================
SPACE DEMOLITION                                                PG2-06
================
Starting Advantages:
- TL 2 in Propulsion and Biotechnology
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
- Two Mine Layer ships (one standard, one speed trap)
Exclusive Weapons:
- Mine Dispenser 40, 80, 120 - Maximum safe speed: Warp 4
- Heavy Dispenser 50, 110, 200 - Maximum safe speed: Warp 6
- Speed Trap 20, 30, 50 - Maximum safe speed: Warp 5
Exclusive Hulls:
- Mini Mine Layer (1 ENG, 2x2 Mines, 1x1 MC/EC/Scanner)
400mg, 60 armor, doubles efficiency of all mine laying pods placed in it
- Super Mine Layer (3 ENG, 2x8 Mines, 1x3 AoS, 1x3 MC/EC/Scanner, 1x3
MC/EC/Mines) 2200mg, 1200 armor, doubles efficiency of all mine laying pods
placed in it
Exclusive Abilities:
- Mine fields act as non-penetrating scanners. Cloaks work as an absolute 
percentage against mine scans. (75% cloak = 25% chance of detection/year)
- Can travel through enemy mine fields 2 warps faster than safe limit
- Can remotely detonate Standard minefields
- Mine fields decay at 1% per planet per year enclosed in mines. All other 
players' minefields decay at 4% per planet per year
- Learn exact design of any enemy ship that hits a mine

The Good:
Selecting  the Space Demolition race will give you the most advantage points of
any other. The Mine Dispensers of every size and description you get as a Space
Demo race are almost all unique to you. The two hulls, which are excellent mine
layers,  are  the  only  two  of  their  kind,  and  are exclusive to you. Your
minefields  work  as  scanners, and you can travel 2 warp speeds faster through
other  players'  minefields.  You  can  remotely  detonate  your  own  standard
minefields, and they decay more slowly than others'. You learn the exact design
of ships that hit your mines.

The Bad:
You have no edge in any aspect of fleet combat.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
Almost  all mines, and every Mine Layer ship, are yours exclusively. Allies you
have will absolutely love you for giving them 1000 l.y. minefields around their
planets.  You  are  truly  king (or queen) of all things mine laying. While you
have  no  advantages  once  in  combat,  your  minefields should restrict enemy
movement  enough  that you can prepare anything you need to, before their fleet
reaches  you. You learn the exact design of any ship that hits your mines. This
is  perfect  for  finding out what an incoming attack fleet is made of (if your
mines  didn't  already  destroy  them)  so you can properly prepare a welcoming
party.  Remote  detonation  of minefields is sometimes overlooked. With it, you
can  lay  a  minefield  near a enemy transport lane, heavy in traffic, and when
they're  all  traveling  through  it,  detonate it. It will severely damage all
ships  in  the  minefield  at  the  time  (yours and theirs), but not your Mine
Layers. You have no limitations or real disadvantages to your race.

The Boiler Plate:
You  get  extra  advantage  points  during  creation  of your race, you have no
disadvantages.  You  control  enemy  movement  on  a  whim. You are king of the
minefields.

==============
PACKET PHYSICS                                                  PG2-07
==============
Starting Advantages:
- TL 4 in Energy
- Two planets with Mass Driver 5 (in non-tiny universes only)
- Two shielded Scout ships
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Components:
- Mass Driver 5,6,8,9,11,12,13
- Mineral packets have built-in penetrating scanners with range equal the
square of their warp speed
- Energy Dampener - slows all ships in combat by 4 INIT points
Exclusive Abilities:
- Miner packets are smaller and cheaper to build
- Sense all players' mineral packets in flight, regardless of location
- Learn the exact design of any enemy starbase that uses a mass accelerator to
receive a packet you fling
- Planets receiving mass packets have a 50% chance of a 1% improvement in an
environmental attribute. For every 100kT of a mineral not caught, there is
also a 0.1% chance of the overall planet value improving by 1%.

The Good:
In the beginning of the game, it's very helpful to have two Scouts in different
parts  of  the universe. It's also helpful to have the Mass Drivers to scan the
surrounding planets much faster than any other player can. A Packet Physics has
several  useful  abilities,  such  as  the  built-in  scanners and terraforming
capabilities  of  their  packets.  Seeing  other players' packets is useful for
determining the size of their empire, and where their planets are. Learning the
exact design of an enemy starbase can be very useful if you intend to attack.

The Bad:
Mass  Driver  13  is  only  3  warps  faster  than the Mass Driver 10, which is
available to all. The Energy Dampener isn't as useful as other EC.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
Packet  Physics  races  are  good  at  keeping  minerals at even levels between
planets,  meaning  you  can  more  easily colonize planets with even the lowest
mineral  concentrations.  They  have good terraforming potential using packets,
and can send the exact size of packet they need. Knowing enemy packet locations
is useful for gauging the enemies' disposition of planets, even if you've never
sent a scout to that region of the universe.

The Boiler Plate:
It's  fun  to  hit  a  planet  with  warp  16 packets, but aside from that, the
advantages of Packet Physics aren't spectacular.

=====================
INTERSTELLAR TRAVELER                                           PG2-08
=====================
Starting Advantages:
- TL 5 in Propulsion and Construction
- Two planets with 100/250 Stargates (in non-tiny universes only)
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
- One Destroyer
- One Privateer
Exclusive Components:
- Stargates with unlimited range and capacity
- Anti-matter Generator - acts as a 200mg anti-matter fuel tank and generates
50 mg of fuel every year
Exclusive Abilities:
- Can transport minerals and colonists in fleets through Stargates. The cargo
weight is not taken into account when determining the fleet weight versus the
gate's limits.
- Exceeding the safety limits of Stargates is less likely to kill your ships
- Stargates cost 25% less
- Stargates reveal planetary statistics on all other planets with Stargates in
range
Limitations:
- Mass Drivers are only half as effective at catching minerals as their
rating, are less efficient at flinging minerals, and all mineral packets that
are flung will decay, regardless of speed

The Good:
The Anti-matter Generator can be effective when used on transports. 25% cheaper
Stargates with no limits!

The Bad:
You  lose  the  most  advantage points choosing this race. Having weakened Mass
Drivers puts this race at the mercy of packet bombardment.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
This  race  is  the most expensive for a reason. Unlimited Stargates are a huge
draw.  Moving fleets of Battleships across the largest of universes in a single
year  makes Inter-Stellar Travelers dangerous -- very dangerous. It's important
to  remember that even an Orbital Fort can have an Unlimited/Unlimited Stargate
equipped.

The Boiler Plate:
Lots of fun to play, but it takes a lot of time to get that Unlimited/Unlimited
Stargate,  and  it's important to remember to keep up on your defense until you
have  it.  The  longer  a  game  goes on, and the larger the universe, the more
effective  this  race  becomes. They become nearly unstoppable if they gain the
Jump  Gate  from  a  Mystery  Trader. (The Jump Gate allows a ship to jump from
space to a Stargate. Range and weight restrictions are based on the destination
Stargate.)

=================
ALTERNATE REALITY                                               PG2-09
=================
Because  alternate  reality  is  so  unlike all other races, I will address all
aspects of the race in a later section (Check the Table of Contents).

==================
JACK OF ALL TRADES                                              PG2-10
==================
Starting Advantages:
- TL 3 in all fields
- Two Scout ships
- One Colony Ship
- One Medium Freighter
- One Mini-Miner
- One Destroyer
Exclusive Components:
- Scout, Frigate, and Destroyer Hulls get a built-in Scanner with a range
equal to 2N/N light years, where N = 10 x Electronics TL (ie. TL 5 in
Electronics -> 100/50 l.y. scanner) *It works out to an extra 20/10 per TL*
Exclusive Abilities:
- Improve all 'Costs 75% Extra' fields to TL 4 if the box on Page 6 is checked.

The Good:
The  Scout,  Frigate,  and  Destroyer  get  built-in  scanners.  A fairly large
starting set of ships.

The Bad:
The Frigate and Destroyer Hulls become obsolete early-mid game, so the built-in
scanner  becomes obsolete. The 'Costs 75% Extra' bit only helps if you penalise
your research on Page 6.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
While  it  can  be  said  that  the  Jack  of  All  Trades  race  is just that,
generalized,  you're  better  off  taking Claim Adjuster since you at least get
some kind of advantage.

The Boiler Plate:
It's  generic,  so  there're  no disadvantages. That said there a bunch of race
without disadvantages that you would probably be better off playing.

======
PAGE 3                                                          PG3-00
======
SECONDARY RACIAL TRAITS

========================
IMPROVED FUEL EFFICIENCY                                        PG3-01
========================
This  gives  you  the  Fuel  Mizer  and Galaxy Scoop engines and increases your
starting Propulsion tech by 1 level. All engines use 15% less fuel.

Don't  combine  this  with  'No Ram Scoop Engines', as you will lose the Galaxy
Scoop engine.

This is a nice trait to have, especially in long games, the Galaxy Scoop really
can't  be  beat,  giving you warp 9 for free and warp 10 for about 70% fuel. As
well,  engines using 15% less fuel is a great help. If you can afford it, it'll
help short, medium, long games, and any race.

==================
TOTAL TERRAFORMING                                              PG3-02
==================
Allows you to terraform by investing solely in Biotechnology. You may terraform
a variable up to 30%. Terraforming costs 30% less.

Don't  combine  this  with any kind of environmental immunity. Short and medium
length  games generally won't see any great benefit from this trait. This trait
can  be a great help in long games however, since you will be able to terraform
a  lot of planets that weren't habitable by you earlier in the game. The bigger
benefit  though,  is that any planet that is habitable to you will generally be
terraformable into a 90% or higher value planet. This trait is more helpful the
more restrictive your environmental constraints are, however can be helpful for
any race to increase the value of all planets.

======================
ADVANCED REMOTE MINING                                          PG3-03
======================
Gives you three additional mining hulls, and two new robots. You will start the
game  with  two  Midget-Miners. Don't pick 'Only Basic Remote Mining' with this
option.

If  you  don't  select  this,  I  would  recommend  choosing 'Only Basic Remote
Mining'.

In a short game, this ability will give you access to the Robo-Midget-Miner and
Midget-Miner  which,  while  it  may  seem are equal to the Robo-Mini-Miner and
Mini-Miner,  gain  a huge edge in cost and weight. Medium length games will see
the   Miner  Hull  and  possibly  the  Robo-Ultra-Miner  (Which  is  much  more
cost-effective  than the Robo-Super-Miner). Long games will see the Ultra-Miner
Hull  and  the  Robo-Ultra-Miner, which will strip a planet bare in a matter of
years.
Continued in 'Only Basic Remote Mining'.

==================
IMPROVED STARBASES                                              PG3-04
==================
Gives  you  two  new  starbase  designs. The Stardock allows you to build light
ships.  The Ultra Station is a formidable weapons platform. Your starbases cost
20% less and are 20% cloaked.

The  20%  reduction  in  cost alone may make this trait attractive to some. The
addition  of  the Stardock is nice for early game, to build Destroyers, however
Cruisers may be too heavy depending on loadout. It can still build most unarmed
ships  however.  The  Ultra  Station is nice for anyone who doesn't trust their
defensive  fleets to handle what's coming, or for those races who have a higher
value  on  their  starbases  (Such  as  Packet  Physics  races or Inter-Stellar
Travelers).  It never hurts to have extra defense at home. That said you should
carefully weigh the cost of this trait, it can be pricey for some races.

====================
GENERALIZED RESEARCH                                            PG3-05
====================
Your  race  takes  a  holistic approach to research. Only half of the resources
dedicated  to  research  will  be  applied  to  the  current field of research;
however, 15% of the total will be applied to all other fields.

Sometimes this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward.

This  trait should generally be avoided in short games, where you need to focus
every research point. In medium games it's more dependent on the race you want.
In long games I would strongly recommend this trait. Let's examine what it does
closely,  it applies 50% to your current target, and then adds 15% of the total
to each other field. That gives you 115% return on your research investment. If
you  consider  researching  Biotechnology  a 100% waste, you're still getting a
100% return. So it might be worth it, if you get extra points for selecting it.
If  you  don't mind waiting a little longer for a specific piece of technology,
and  really  see  the  process  as gradually getting everything, you'll be well
rewarded. This trait combines well with Total Terraforming, since you receive a
tangible return on Biotech investment. Also may combine well with Bleeding Edge
Technology, since you will be researching everything a little faster.
*Special Note*
While I mention in my opinion/analysis of Generalized Research you get a return
of  115%  on resources budgeted, my count gives 125% (6 fields, 1 @ 50% 5 @ 15%
50+75=125).  The  game's  help  file  says  115%  percent, so I'm at a loss. If
someone would like to clarify this, please see the contact info near the end of
this file.

==================
ULTIMATE RECYCLING                                              PG3-06
==================
When  you scrap a fleet at a starbase, you recover 90% of the minerals and some
of the resources. The resources available for use the next year. Scrapping at a
planet gives you half the starbase amount.

In  short games, not very useful. In medium length games, useful if you plan to
build a lot of Destroyers early, then replace them with Cruisers later (or some
other  large  scale  overhaul).  In  a large game, useful if you plan on having
several  large force overhauls. If you have several other positive traits, such
as  Fuel  Efficiency, Total Terraform, and Advanced Mining, this trait can cost
upward of 100 pts.

===============
MINERAL ALCHEMY                                                 PG3-07
===============
Allows  you  to  turn  resources into minerals four times more efficiently than
other races. This may be performed at any planet you own.

Short  and  Medium length games will almost never benefit from this. Long games
may  benefit somewhat. Even with this trait, alchemy is still very expensive. A
better  bet,  may be trying to get the Genesis Device from a Mystery Trader. As
with Ultimate Recycle, it can be very expensive.

NO RAM SCOOP ENGINES
No engines which travel at Warp 5 or greater burning no fuel will be available.
However, the Interspace-10 engine will be available. This drive travels at Warp
10 without taking damage.

Short  games  may  not  suffer very much from this trait, since Ram Scoops only
become  available at Propulsion 6. Medium games will usually gain the advantage
of  the Interspace-10, and so it may be beneficial to them. Long games probably
suffer the most. The Interspace-10 is available at Propulsion 11, then they get
no engines until Propulsion 23 when the Trans-Star 10 becomes available to all.
During those 12 TL, players without this handicap will be moving along carefree
with free warp 7-9, while you're hoping you don't run out of gas in deep space.
Avoid in a long game, give it consideration in short and medium games.

=============
CHEAP ENGINES                                                   PG3-08
=============
You  can  throw  engines  together at half cost; however at speeds in excess of
Warp  6,  there  is  a  10%  chance  the  engines  won't engage. You start with
Propulsion one level higher than you would otherwise.

This  can  be  useful  in short games, the reduced engine price will make ships
cheaper  to  build,  and  you  won't  be  hitting high warps anyway. Medium and
especially  long  games  should  avoid  this  like  the  plague. It essentially
restricts  travel  to warp 6. I can only promise that if you use this, any time
you absolutely need to run from something at high warp, the engines will stall.

========================
ONLY BASIC REMOTE MINING                                        PG3-09
========================
The  only  mining  ship  available  to  you  will be the Mini-Miner. This trait
overrides  'Advanced  Remote  Mining'.  Your  maximum  population per planet is
increased by 10%.

If  you don't select this, I would recommend choosing 'Advanced Remote Mining'.
Generally  your race is either geared towards heavy remote mining, or no remote
mining  at  all. Inter-Steller travelers as an example, can be either miners or
non-miners.  If  they  can inhabit 1:3 planets or more, they're not, since they
can just shuffle minerals around quickly and easily with gates. However if they
only  inhabit 1:9, then each planet may be better mining the worlds around them
instead of putting a drain on the few controlled planets.

====================
NO ADVANCED SCANNERS                                            PG3-10
====================
No  planet  penetrating scanners will be available to you. However conventional
scanners will have their range doubled.

Mars Jenkar noted:
The  Super-Stealth  race  has  the  advantage of the Chameleon and Robber Baron
scanners.  They  make  No  Advanced  Scanners a slightly better proposition for
them, because:
1) The Chameleon and Robber Baron scanners have penetrating capabilities.
2) They are not eliminated with the No Advanced Scanners trait.
3) They keep their penetrating capabilities even with the No Advanced Scanners
   trait in effect.

Hugh Manatee noted:
Any  race  that  gets a free penetrating scanning ability or component keeps it
even if they take No Advanced Scanners. i.e. Jack of All Trades has penetrating
scanners  on  their frigates/destroyers/scouts, regardless of if this option is
chosen.  This  applies  equally  to  packets flung by Packet Physics races, and
scanning planets with stargates, within range of a Stellar Traveler's stargate.

Sometimes  this  trait  will  cost  you  points,  sometimes reward. Having your
scanners'  ranges  doubled  is  tempting. The pitfall is that you lose track of
fleets hiding in orbit. It can be useful to players of Packet Physics since the
built-in scanner of their packets are still penetrating. The choice is the same
for  any size universe, and any length game. Your scanners will have HUGE range
in  long  games, 1240 l.y. for the Snooper 620X, but again, you never know what
might await at a planet.

=======================
LOW STARTING POPULATION                                         PG3-11
=======================
You will start with 30% fewer colonists.

Under no circumstances select this, you will handicap yourself beyond recovery.
A  short  experiment  I did, showed a race with 20% growth starting with 70% of
its  population  take  9  years  to  catch up to a race with 15% growth and its
population  unpenalized.  It  may not seem like too long, however I didn't have
them  sending  out any colony ships (which you would absolutely be doing at the
beginning  of  the  game).  Colony  ships  would  affect  the  planet with less
colonists more, further slowing the time to catch up.

========================
BLEEDING EDGE TECHNOLOGY                                        PG3-12
========================
New  techs  initially cost twice as much to build. As soon as you exceed all of
the tech requirements by one level, the cost drops back to normal.

Miniaturization occurs at 5% a level and pegs at 80%.

Sometimes  this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward. Regardless of the
length  of a game, bleeding edge has very little positive to add. It grants you
5%  miniaturization for every TL above requirement, but without this trait, you
still  get 4%. Cap with this trait is 80% and 75% without. All items with TL 26
will  always  cost  double (Nubian Hull, Anti-Matter Pulverizer, Omega Torpedo,
and Annihilator Bomb).

====================
REGENERATING SHIELDS                                            PG-13
====================
All  shields are 40% stronger than the listed rating. Shields regenerate 10% of
maximum  strength after every round of battle. However, your armor will only be
50% of its rated strength.

Sometimes this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward.

In  a  short  game,  this  will get you killed, since the Destroyer can't equip
Shields,  you're basically fighting at 50%. In games of medium and long length,
this  option  should seriously be considered. Having strong shields can be used
to  a  large  tactical  advantage  since  shields  regenerate 10% each round of
battle, and recharge fully every year.

======
PAGE 4                                                          PG4-00
======

POPULATION GROWTH FACTORS

GRAVITY
Range: 0.12g to 8.00g
It's  somewhat  interesting to note if you put the smallest possible bar on the
right  side,  the range is 3.20 to 8.00, but on the left side it's only 0.12 to
0.31.

TEMPERATURE
range: -200C to 200C

RADIATION
Range: 0mR to 100mR
The  midpoint  needs  to  be  85mR  or  higher  to not be affected by Radiating
Hydro-Ram Scoop engines. Actually hard to do, you need a range of 70mR to 100mR
or very similar. Very restrictive, only 1:3 planets have radiation that high.

MAXIMUM COLONIST GROWTH RATE
Range  1%  to  20% (Note: 40% with a Hyper-Expansion race, although it won't be
listed as such)

Choosing  a  balance  between  Grav, Temp, and Rad is dependent on the race you
want  to  create.  A Hyper-Expansion race can trade a lot of its growth rate in
favor of full immunity, since it gets double growth. Races such as Interstellar
Travelers  don't  need  to  colonize  as  many planets, since their gate system
allows them to easily travel between a far-flung empire.

The  game creates the conditions of planets at random, but slightly weighted to
the center. The exception is Radiation, which is completely random. Which means
you might want to grab some free points by moving your radiation bar to a side.
Also, if you're going to choose a single immunity, you should make it Radiation
to  increase  habitable  planets  (if you keep Grav and Temp in the center, the
randomness  of  Radiation  is  compensated  for).  You  can  also use Radiating
Hydro-Ram Scoop as colonist transports with Radiation immunity.

It  should  be  noted,  that  when  you  select environmental conditions at the
extreme  ranges,  you're  restricting  the  number of planets you'll be able to
inhabit,  but you're gaining advantage points. Also, planets with conditions in
the  extreme have a good chance of being super-rich in one or more minerals. It
figures  that  the  volcanic planets with blood boiling radiation also have all
the good stuff we want.

Growth  rate  is  highly  dependent  on  game length and race. In a short game,
you'll  need  a  higher  growth  rate  more  than anything else so you can keep
colonizing  and  attacking  other players' planets. In medium and larger length
games growth rates can be slid to 13% or even 12%. 11% is on the slow side, but
experiment  freely  and  see  what you can work with. Also, certain races won't
need growth rates as high as others.

I personally often tweak environmental and growth rate to squeeze in everything
I want in my race. Try for at least 1:5 planets with most races though, and 13%
growth rate. As always, experiment and find your flavor.

======
PAGE 5                                                          PG5-00
======

RACE EFFICIENCY

The guts of your race's production and mineral extraction.

One resource is generated each year for every  colonists.

Every 10 factories produce  resources each year.
Factories require  resources to build.
Every 10,000 colonists may operate up to  factories.

 Factories cost 1kT less of Germanium to build.

Every 10 mines produce up to  kT of each mineral every year.
Mines require  resources to build.
Every 10,000 colonists may operate up to  mines.

Ranges:
A: 700 - 2500 (increments of 100)
B: 5 - 15 C: 5 - 25 D: 5 - 25
E: Checkbox
F: 5 - 25 G: 3 - 15 H: 5 - 25

Let's take a look at what the numbers mean. We'll assume A=1000 B-H all = 10
and that the population of our planet is 100,000 (no more growth).

Year  1  we have 100 resources to spend (100,000/A) so we'll build 10 factories
(100/C).  Year  2  we  have  110 resources (100,000/A + 10/10*B) so we'll build
another  11  factories  (110/C).  Year  3  we  have  110 resources (100,000/A +
21/10*B). Now we'll skip ahead a bit. Year 7 we have 200 resources (100,000/A +
100/10*B)  and we build 20 factories (200/C). Year 8 we have 200 resources. Why
not  220?  Between  years 7 and 8 variable D came into play, which says 100,000
colonists can only operate 100 factories.

I  hope  it's  a  little  clearer how all the factors relate to one another. It
should  be noted that making factories more efficient (B) costs more than being
able to operate more factories (D). I'll demonstrate it quickly.

Population 100,000 A=1000 B=15 C=10 D=10
Maximum Factories: 100
So, 100,000/A + 100/10*B = 250

Population 100,000 A=1000 B=10 C=10 D=15
Maximum Factories: 150
So, 100,000/A + 150/10*B = 250

Where's the difference? The extra 50 factories each cost 10 resources to
build.(And an extra 3-4 kT Germanium each.)

Mines  work  in  the  same way, but you should remember that the more mines you
build, the faster the concentration of minerals will be depleted. If your mines
are  efficient  (F),  that will not decrease mineral concentration faster. It's
strictly  the  number of running mines. There's a few things to look at in this
little  puzzle  though.  In  a  long  game,  a  planet will run out of minerals
(mineral  concentration  will  be 1). A planet with more mines, will be able to
extract  more minerals from a concentration of 1, than a planet with less mines
working  more  efficiently. Then there's alchemy to consider, which is creating
1kT of each mineral for 25 resources.

Variable  A:  The  most expensive alteration you can make, getting it to 900 is
recommended,  but  if you can't do it, 1000 is just fine. The cost from 1000 to
900 is around 200 pts. This is your first priority if you can get it.
Variable B: Don't let this drop below 10. This is your third priority.
Variable  C:  You  shouldn't raise this above 13 unless A < 1000, in which case
not above 16. This can be traded for lowering A, checking E, or raising B.
Variable  D:  Don't  let  this  drop below 10, unless B > 13, in which case not
below 8. This should be your fourth priority.
Variable  E:  It will help you significantly if you can get this box checked, a
lot  of planets will be weak in Germanium, and every kT you can save will help,
especially  on  new planets which will need it for their new factories. It will
reduce  the  cost  of  factories  in Germanium from 4 to 3. This is your second
priority.
Variable  F:  Efficient  mines  will help slow concentration loss, but once you
lose  the  minerals in a planet this becomes somewhat obsolete. Don't drop this
below 9.
Variable  G:  Cheap mines won't be a priority, since you can trade these points
for better factories. The maximum is 15, I usually don't go higher than 13.
Variable  H:  If  you want to conserve your mineral concentration, you can drop
this  to 8 or 9, but only if F is > 11. If you read my notes on mine efficiency
vs.  mine  quantity,  alchemy, and all that, then you can decide on your own if
you should go above 10 mines per 10,000 colonists.

======
PAGE 6                                                          PG6-00
======

RESEARCH COSTS

The  six  fields  of  technology  can  be  either  penalized,  costing 175%, or
handicapped, costing only 50%.

You can get a single technology to 50% for around 40 points (worth it), however
a  second  will  cost you around 130 (not worth it). If you're so inclined, you
can trade one technology at 175% for another at 50% without losing or gaining a
single point. A lot of people don't like Biotechnology, so you can penalize it,
and  handicap  (as  an example) Propulsion and Construction for a total cost of
around 40 points.

What  technologies  (if  any) you should alter here, are completely specific to
the  race you want to create. In general, Energy will gain you Shields quickly,
Weapons  um..  Weapons,  Propulsion  yields Engines, Construction grants Hulls,
Electronics presents you with ECs, and Biotechnology with Terraforming options.

The  checkbox  for  "All  'Costs 75% extra' research fields start at Tech 3" is
usually  a  bad  idea.  Primarily since you're not likely to have more than one
penalized  field,  and  checking  it  costs  more  than  you gain from a single
research penalty.

=================
ALTERNATE REALITY                                               ANR-00
=================
As  promised,  everything  you wanted to know about Alternate Reality, but were
afraid to ask.

Exclusive Hull:
- Death Star - the largest starbase ever known
Exclusive Component:
-  Orbital Construction Module - contains viral weapons capable of killing 2000
enemy  colonists  per year and that colonizes worlds by turning into an Orbital
Fort
Exclusive Abilities:
- Lives on Starbases only, not planets
- Starbases are 20% cheaper to build (not cumulative with Improved Starbases)
- Population acts as natural miners and scanners
- Remote mine own planets (since they live in orbit)
- Maximum population is determined by the size of starbase, not the planet
- Planetary resources grow as Energy TL increases
Limitations:
- Cannot build planetary installations
- Interstellar travel kills 3% of colonists in the fleet per year

The Good:
The  Orbital  Construction Module doubling as a bombing tool is a nice thought.
Cheap  starbase  construction  (but  there's nothing cheap about a fully loaded
Death Star). You can remote mine your own planet. The Death Star is the coolest
thing  you  can  ever  see  in a battle. You can have up to 3,000,000 colonists
orbiting a single planet.

The Bad:
It  costs  a  lot to build a fully decked Death Star (128 weapons, 100 shields)
even  with  a  20%  discount.  In  the incredible event that your Death Star is
destroyed,  you  also lose up to 3,000,000 colonists along with it. Even though
you  live  in orbit, you're still subject to a planet's conditions. You lose 3%
of your population in transit.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The Alternate Reality race is way out there. You almost certainly want to marry
them  to the Advanced Remote Mining trait, since you can mine your own planets.
Minerals run out fast though, when you remote mine. Losing 3% of your colonists
in transit is a huge hit to take. Having your resource production hinge on your
Energy TL really makes you commit to developing it almost exclusively.

The Boiler Plate:
Design  an AR race at least once, and see what it's like for yourself. You will
be somewhat surprised.

SECONDARY TRAITS
Advanced  Remote  Mining  is  very  helpful, since you can remote mine your own
planets.  The  fallback  is  that  you  can quickly strip the mines bare from a
planet using remote mining.

Improved  Starbases  is  almost forced on you, since you want the Ultra Station
and  Stardock  as  stepping stones and for the 20% cloak. It's too bad you lose
out on the 20% discount.

Mineral  Alchemy  might  be  something to consider heavily because as mentioned
before  you will likely be remote mining your world and will quickly reduce the
mineral concentration.

No  other  secondary  traits  have very different perspective from AR. Standard
rules apply to them.

EFFICIENCY
You  can only adjust a single setting here. Range: 7-25. Lower is better, 10 ->
9 costs about 200, 9 -> 8 about 220. I'll revisit this under FACTORIES.

SCANNERS
Scanning Distance = SQRT(Population / 10)
So  at  100,000  colonists  the scanner is 100 l.y. At 3,000,000 the scanner is
548/274  l.y.  Ultra  Station  and  Death  Star  have penetrating scans at half
distance of standard

FACTORIES
Resources = Habitability_Value x SQRT(Population X Energy_Tech_Level /
Efficiency_Coefficient)
You can lower the Efficiency Coefficient when creating your race. Some examples
will demonstrate how the factors relate to each other.

Hab_Val = 1 (100% = 1, 50% = .5) Population = 750,000 Ener_TL = 7 Coefficient =
9  Resources  would  equal 764. Change Coefficient to 10. Resources = 724. With
Ener_TL  =  14. Resources = 1024. Now with a maxed out planet Hab_Val = 1 Pop =
3,000,000  Ener_TL  =  26  Coefficient  = 10. Resources = 2793. With Coef. = 9.
Resources = 2944

MINES
The game's help file says Mining = SQRT(Population / 10). Same as for scanners.
But  I'm  not  sure  what  the  result  should show to me. I don't get the same
results  as  the  mines readout in the game. I end up with a number three times
higher.

It's been pointed out to me by Mars Jenkar that the formula is actually
Mining  =  SQRT(Population)/10.  So  at 100,000 colonists you have 32 mines. At
3,000,000 you get 173 mines SQRT(3,000,000)/10 = 1,732/10 = 173 mines -- It all
makes a lot more sense now.

=============
GAMEPLAY TIPS                                                   GMP-00
=============
Early game:
In  the  early  game  your  main  focus  should  be  seeding as many planets as
possible.  You'll need to build several scouts before anything else, to find as
many  habitable  planets  as  early as possible. If you chose the Improved Fuel
Efficiency  trait, your first research target (if you don't have access to it),
should  be  Propulsion  to gain access to the Fuel Mizer Engine. The Fuel Mizer
will  significantly  help  colonize  and scout distant planets. If your primary
trait  is  Inner  Strength,  you  should remember that your colonists will grow
(Usually about 1 kT / year in a standard Colony Ship).

Mid Game:
Your  main  focus  will  be  building  defense and attack fleets, all the while
balancing  that  with  constant  growth.  It  is important to remember that the
player  that stops expanding his empire, limits only himself. If you stop after
controlling  50  planets,  you  will  be no match for a player who controls 80.
While  I  recommend  constant  growth, you still have to balance it with proper
defenses.  A  colony of 2000 colonists with no fleets in orbit will easily fall
prey to any passing bomber of colonist transport.

Late Game:
At  this  point  your main focus should be making sure all your ships are using
the  top  technologies  available  to  them. You should still be increasing the
number of planets you control, all the while properly defending them.

Production Templates:
This  is  simply  what I use, feel free to adapt it to your style, or ignore it
completely.  I  use  four  levels  of  production  to  divide  planets  and not
overburden them.

Default            Level 2             Level 3            Level 4
Min Terraform (3)  Factories (10)      Factories (60)     Factories (200)
Factories (3)      Mines (10)          Mines (60)         Mines (200)
Mines (3)          Max Terraform (10)  Defenses (3)       Defenses (100)
Don't contribute   Don't contribute    Max Terraform (10) Max Terraform (200)
                                       Contribute         Alchemy
                                                          Contribute

When  a planet reaches Level 3, I usually add a Planetary Scanner to the top of
the  queue.  When a planet reaches Level 4, I usually add a Starbase to the top
of the queue.

Minefields:
Minefields  are  important  regardless  of what race you're playing. Minefields
essentially restrict enemy movement, especially around your planets. This gives
you  a  great  advantage,  since  you  can  engage  the  enemy  fleets  at your
convenience.

Mystery Traders:
Mystery  Traders  are  a  huge  asset, but it can be difficult to gather enough
ships  to cover the 5000kT demand before you have access to the Large Freighter
Hull.  Some  of  the  better components you can gain from them include the Jump
Gate,  which  allows  you to gate from deep space to a Starbase's Stargate. The
range and weight limits are dependent on the destination Stargate. Probably the
greatest  item  you  can buy from the trader, is the Genesis Device. It has big
tech  requirements,  Energy, Construction, and Biotechnology need level 20, and
level  10  for  Weapons,  Propulsion,  and Electronics. It costs no minerals to
build,  but 5000 resources. The Genesis device works like this: Your factories,
mines,  defenses,  and planetary scanner are all destroyed. Your population and
Starbase  remain  unaffected.  The  Gravity, Temperature, and Radiation are all
recast,  meaning  they're  randomized.  As  I  mentioned  before,  Gravity  and
Temperature  as weighted to the center, so if you need planets in the extremes,
and  you found one, the Genesis Device will likely give you a deadly planet. As
well  as your environmental factors, all mineral concentrations will be recast,
which is a huge boost to any planet that has been strip-mined. If you have full
immunity  to  all environmental settings, and all mineral concentrations are 1,
you  have  nothing to lose. An important note to make, is that before you build
the  Genesis Device on a planet, keep enough freighters in orbit of that planet
to  hold  as  much as 75% of the planet's population. The reason behind that is
when  you  recast the planet, the planet's value will likely be lower than what
is  currently  is,  and  you  can  potentially  lose  hundreds  of thousands of
colonists  to  overcrowding. When using the Genesis Device, one year before the
completion  of  the  build,  evacuate  as  much  of  the population as possible
(without  extending the build time of the Genesis Device). Then when the planet
is  recast,  land as many people as the population limit will allow, and on the
planet  itself,  build  nothing  but  terraforming,  you need that value at its
maximum,  in  a  minimum  of  time,  so  you can send the colonists back to the
planet.  It  takes  much  less  time for a planet of 900,000 to rebuild, than a
planet of 100,000.

=======
CONTACT                                                         CTC-00
=======
If  you  want permission to host one of my guides, or want to report seeing one
of my guides at a website not explicitly authorized to host it, please email me
at plague006@plague006.com with the subject "Copyright".

If  you  want  gameplay  help,  have  a  contribution,  suggestion, correction,
request,  or  criticism to make, you can email me at plague006@hotmail.com with
the game's name in the subject line.

I can sometimes be found on UnderNet, using the nick p6, or plague006.

======
CREDIT                                                          CRD-00
======
CJayC - for posting a guide for a decade old game on the premiere website
dedicated to gaming guides
Jeff Johnson & Jeff McBride - for making a game that is so rich and detailed
it stands the test of time
Empire Interactive - for publishing a game that is so rich and detailed it
stands the test of time
Rogier 'Konradius' van Vugt - whose FAQ dedicated to Mystery Traders I
consulted to verify my own findings
Superboc - whose FAQ dedicated to Race Creation I consulted to compare to my
own analyses and suggestions
Mars Jenkar - who contributed 3 points I missed in my original writing, which
can be found under "No Advanced Scanners", "Claim Adjuster" and "Alternate
Reality"
Hugh Manatee - who contribute a point I missed in my original writing, which
can be found under "No Advanced Scanners"

=====
LEGAL                                                           LGL-00
=====
The following sites may post this guide:

My Home........www.plague006.com
GameFAQ's......www.gamefaqs.com
Gamespot.......www.gamespot.com
IGN FAQ's......faqs.ign.com
Neoseeker......www.neoseeker.com
DLH.net........www.dlh.net
CheatChannel...www.cheatchannel.com
CheatBook......www.cheatbook.de
SuperCheats....www.supercheats.com

If  you  found this guide on a website not listed above, please contact me (see
the contact section for details).

This  document  may  be  not  be  reproduced under any circumstances except for
personal,  private  use.  It  may  not  be  placed on any web site or otherwise
distributed  publicly  without advance written permission. Use of this guide on
any  other  web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited,
and a violation of copyright.

All  trademarks  and  copyrights  contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Copyright(c) 2005 Matthew Heguy.
[EOF]
 

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