VGA Planets Super Site

List of Undocumented Host Features
By Siberian Snake

Please find below my updated 'list of undocumented Host features'. In this version (march 2nd, 1999) I removed notes about the old bugs that are fixed in the latest Host releases. I added some information about overlapping minefields, and about population growth, and corrected some numbers in Pillage section (thanks to Donovan). I also added some minor details in Tow section.

I'm 99% sure in the reliability of the information presented, but if you noted some mistakes, or know other 'features' unlisted below, please let me know, or post it here. Naturally, most of the 'features' were found not by me, but by other players, I just tested them and compiled them together. I can't give the credit to everybody who contributed (since I don't remember anymore the authorship of many items), but I do want to thank Tony (Blackbeard), Steve Gedye (Sonic Hedgehog), B A N E, Tommy Liittokivi, Jesper, Mark Beike (Beerbelly), Donovan for the info I got from them  by e-mail or through this newsgroup. If you do find some inaccuracy
in this list,I can always blame one of them.

Also, please feel free to use and distribute this 'list' as you wish.

I.  Combat 'features'

1. Feds bonus.

  1. plus 50 kt in ship mass,
  2. plus 3 fighter bays for every carrier,
  3. all weapons is operational, even if damage is close to 100%,
  4. 25% shield restoration between battles, if damage allows.

2. Damage from fighters.

  • Every fighter makes 7 hits before it returns.
  • If ship's mass is more than 320 kt, the damage (and shield drain) is 1 % per hit.
  • If mass is less than 320 kt, the damage/drain is 2%.
  • If mass is less than 106 kt, the damage/drain is 3%.
  • If mass is less than  63 kt, the damage/drain is 4%.

3. Battle order (BO).
Ships always fight before planets. BO doesn't depend on ship's mission or Primary Enemy. PE or 'KILL' mission only defines if the ship will fight at all. BO is determined by ship's FCs. If the FC is not 3-digit (mkt, md2, 24t and so on), it is equal to 1000. Lowest FCs fight first. If a ship doesn't have KILL mission, and no Primary Enemy set, its effective battle order is increased by 15 (1015 for non-numeric FCs). KILL mission reduces this number by 10, any PE set - by 5. If 2 or more ships have the same FC (or non-digital FCs), and the same KILL/PE adjustment, the ship with lowest ID fights first.

4. Left and right sides.
In the battle left and right sides are assigned according to the position of the ships in the battle order list. Ship with a lower battle order number (see above) gets a right side. So, in a battle of two ships the one with FC='534' will get a right side if the second ship has FC='mkt'.  In a battle between 2 big carriers left side is preferable. If the carriers are identical, left side wins 60% of the battles. If the ship on the right side fights against carrier and it's mass (including ES Bonus) exceeds 140 kt, this ship has 60% chance to get extra 360 kt of mass for this battle. So, in torp ship versus carrier battle right side is preferable, unless the torp ship mass already exceeds 320 kt.

5. Planet with ATT or NUK FC attacks enemy ships.
But if the planet gets captured, and there are other former owner ships orbiting the planet (they didn't fight first because they didn't have PE set or "KILL"), planet will attack them again the same turn (ATT and NUK still works) if their battle order is higher than that of the attacking ships. Generally speaking, planets with ATT/NUK attack all ships excluding current owner according to their battle order.

6. Capital fuelless Birds ships are immune to NUK.

II. Tow and movement 'features'.

1. Tow conflict resolution.
Host works the following way: Movement has 3 basic phases: tow, "normal movement", intercept. If there are 2 or more ships at the same spot with TOW mission,
Host finds the ship with a lowest ID. Then it checks if the waypoint of towee is more than 81 ly away. If it is - Hosts compares 'towing strength' of the tower and towee (according to docs!). If tower is stronger, it performs the mission, warp of towee gets reseted to 0. If towee is stronger or equal, mission fails, tower's mission gets reseted from 'TOW x' to 'TOW', the movement of the tower will take place only in "normal movement phase". If waypoint of towee is less than or equal to 81 ly, tower always wins. Then the next lowest ID ship with TOW mission is up. If it wasn't succesfully towed (and warp reseted to 0), and it's target is still here (didn't get towed away by the first ship), it tries to perform the mission according to the same rules.And so on.

2. Ship with less than 25 kt fuel aboard is unable to break tow.

3. Cobol scoops fuel even when it tows.

4. Movement without fuel
If the option 'ships without fuel can move' is on,the ship can go the distance that reguires 0 fuel. So, the distance is determined by ship total mass.

5. Firecloud Chunnel
Minimal range of Firecloud chunneling is 10 ly, not 100 ly as docs state.
Although Fireclouds under tow can't chunnel, if the tower runs out of fuel, Fireclouds brakes free and becomes egligable for chunnel (either way) this very turn.

III. Economy.

1. Information
Information about 'climate death', colonists 'eat supplies', ships queue can be found on Timo Kreike Home Page.

Most often needed

    At CDR=10% (default) maximum clans surviving on Desert/Arctic planets:

T Clans T Clans
100 9
0 29 99 29
1 49 98 49
2 69 97 69
3 89 96 89
-- -- -- --
14 309 85 309

Each degree adds 20 clans.

If 'colonists eat supplies'=YES, every 40 supplies on the ground (after factory production!) add 10 more surviving clans.

2. Native growth
Formula 'natives growth' in the famous Infolist is correct only for population below 6.6 millions. If population is higher, the growth is twice as slow.

3. Natives on deserts and arctic planets
Desert and Arctic planets with low native population have non-zero population growth. I can't provide correct formulas.

4. Colonist advantages, desert planets
Races 4, 9, 10, and 11 have the bonus of possibility to have a 60 clans outposts on Desert planets (although docs mention races 4 and 9 only).

5. Maximun Cyborgs native tax rate is 20%.

6. Merlins work without fuel.

IV. Web mines.

1. Web mines drain.
The relevant order of missions:

Mine decay
Lay mines
Lay web mines
Mine sweep/scoop
Web drain

If the ship is in the webs during 'drain' phase, it loses 25 kt of fuel per web. (It means that the ship inside 3 overlapping webs will lose 75 kt of fuel). If the ship hits the webmine, it loses additionally 50 kt, or 1/6 of it's fuel, whatever is greater. May be 1/6 isn't absolutely exact number.

2. Non-Crystalline webs
Non-Crystalline webs (produced by Crystals by miX FC) don't drain fuel if the enemy ship just sits inside. Drain happens only when ships hit mines.

3. Crystal immunity to webs
Crystals are completely immune to non-Crystalline webs even without any alliance setting.

V. RGA, Pillage, fighting.

1. RGA.
Besides documented aspects (RGA destroys 30% of money, 40% of supplies, 20% of clans, 20% of DPs, 60% of mines and 30% of factories), RGA reduces colonists happiness by 60 points, and increases natives happiness by 30 points.

2. Pillage.
Besides documented aspects (Pillage kills 20% of colonists and natives) Pillage reduces happiness of both colonists and natives by 10 points. Also 20 extra clans (colonists) and 120 clans (natives) get killed after 20% factor is applied.

3. Fighting.
Fighting begins when colonists or natives (or both) happiness falls below 0. Fighting kills 30% of population and 100 clans more after that (both natives and colonists, regardless of who was unhappy).

Newclans = Oldclans*.7-100

Summarizing action of all three factors for colonists:

  • If colonists are fighting, and RGA continues, Newclans = Oldclans* 0.7  - 100
  • If colonists are fighting, and Pillage continues, Newclans = (Oldclans * 0.8 - 20) * 0.7 - 100

VI. Miscellaneous.

1. Fueless ships CAN gather fuel, including unowned planets.

2. Overlapping minefields.
Mine laying goes according to ship's ID number. When the ship lays mines, Host finds the closest minefield (distance from the ship to the center of the field, not to the edge!!!) and defines if the ship is inside this field. If it is, new mine units get added to this field. Otherwize, new minefield is created, even if the ship is inside another, bigger field, with it's center farther away from the ship.

3. Super Spy
In the older Hosts there use to be a Super Spy bug. Super Spy is cumulative, and it takes 5 ships to garantee the planetary FC change. Nevertheless, it was sufficient to have only one ship on Super Spy, and 4 - just cloaking. I don't know if this bug was fixed.

4. Cargodrop and robbing
If the ship drops cargo on enemy/unowned planet (including Ground Attack or Imperial Assault) and get robbed the same turn, the attempt fails, because "Rob" happenes before "beam down", and fueless ships are not allowed to "beam down". But if the ship beams down at the same time at least 1 kt of fuel, the mission will be performed. Apparently, Host doesn't allow to Rob this 1 kt that gets beamed down (I call it 'Cargo in transfer is immune to Rob'), although Rob goes before 'beam down', and in the 'beam down' phase Host believes that this 1 kt is still aboard, and, therefore, ship is not fueless.

5. Clone and build in the same turn
One could clone and build ships at the same base without any PBPs before ship limit. One just has to tow the cloned ships away. Cloning happens before movement; and in the second phase of ship building (after movement) Host sees that there is a ship to build, no 'cln' ships orbiting... and it builds a new ship as well!

This bug was fixed in Host 3.22.015. The fix also desabled cloning if the fueled (50+fuel) Firecloud presents.

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