VGA Planets Super Site

The races of the Echo Cluster
Pick one, kill the others

Up to eleven races fight it out for the ultimate goal: domination of the Echo cluster. Each of the races has a different list of ships at their disposal, and each race has at least one unique ability. This greatly enhances the fun in VGA Planets, since each opponent you face will have different abilities to fight you with, and each race of course requires different tactics to command or fight against.

The Solar Federation
The Federation is by nature a peace-loving race of humans, who would like nothing better than to see all the races in the cluster living together in co-operation and harmony. When it does come to a fight they rely on many medium and medium-heavy ships, with the torpedo being their weapon of choice. The Feds are the only race in the cluster who can outfit their ships with better parts after they have been built allowing them to put old and outdated ships to good use.

To protect the environment of the planets they colonize the Federation colonists only mine minerals at a speed of 70% of the normal mining rate, but in return the natives pay them double the taxes they'd normally produce. The Federation can build two ships to change a planet's temperature to their liking, and combined with their favorable income-position and special refitting ability the Feds are often able to build more ships than anyone else. And they need their strength in numbers, because a lot of the other -not so friendly- forces in the cluster are able to produce larger ships than the Federation.

The Lizards
The Lizards are an alliance of large boulder throwing humanoid lizard men with large nasty teeth. Their enormous strength provides the Lizards with some strong advantages: they mine minerals twice as fast as other races, their colonists are tremendous warriors when it comes to groundcombat and their ships are very tough to destroy. The Lizards can use most of their starships to hover over a planet and transmit threatening radio and video messages to planetary populations. This allows them to tax the natives more heavily without having the natives protest about the high burden that is placed upon them. To become the rulers of the cluster, the Lizards like to take over enemy planets by dropping colonist from cloaked ships and use their two largest battleship-designs to fight enemy ships.

The Birdmen
The Birdmen are a race of Avian-like humanoids, and are very sneaky. Many of their ships can hide using a cloaking device, which allows for the Birds to sneak up on their enemies and target the weak spots while hiding from the strong battleships. The Birdmen specialty is spying: with their ships they can gather information from enemy planets, telling the Birds exactly what resources their enemy has there. And since this can be done from cloaked ships, the enemy might never find out about the Birdmen's presence until it is too late. Unfortunately, the Birdmen often find themselves outgunned when it comes to a head to head fight, as they have a hard time gathering enough money and minerals to build their two largest battleships which they really need in battle.

The Fascists
The Fascists are a race of large, hairy humanoids who are very strong. Honor is very important to them, and they are fearsome warriors. They are very strong in ground combat situations, and can plunder a planet without fighting it. Sadly, the Fascists have the disadvantage of not having the strongest of battleships when it comes to space combat. Many of the Fascists' ships are equipped with a lot of beam weapons, and their primary weapon is the torpedo. The Fascists have several ships that have cloaking devices built in to their hull and two special ships which are equipped with a Glory Device. These ships can be used to detect cloaked enemy ships, or to simply use as kamikaze warriors to damage enemy ships before the actual fighting begins.

The Privateers
The Privateer bands consist of green-colored humanoids who are very good at dancing. They tend to use rather light ships, and hardly posses any serious battleships. Some of their ships are equipped with Gravitonic Accelerators, giving them twice the speed of normal ships. The Privateers are often referred to as Pirates, which is what describes them best. They'd rather capture an enemy ship than fighting it: for this purpose the Privateers have fine-tuned their beamweapons so they kill an enemy crew rather than damaging the ship. Even more fearsome is their ability to rob enemy ships of fuel and cargo, and then board and take over the defenseless ship. However, since everybody knows of this fearsome ability the Privateers are often the primary target in the cluster, and until they have succeeded in taking over some of their enemies' battleships the Privateers can not put up much of a fight.

The Cyborg
The Cyborg is a race that is half living being, half machine. Their sole purpose of existence is to assimilate native species into the collective and to eradicate all resistance. To accomplish this the Cyborg have a ship capable of performing hyperjumps over great distances, and they can build a special shiptype allowing for instant movement over vast distances at a very low cost. When it comes to head-to-head battles, the Cyborg are a force to be reckoned with. The cubic ships they can build are two of the largest ships in the game; one type fires torpedoes and the other launches fighters. However, apart from these two, the other Cyborg ships are cannonfodder at best, so the Cyborg need to stay alive long enough to build up an empire capable of producing these awesome cubes.

The Crystal People
The Crystallines are a silicon based life form of about 3 foot tall, with no limbs and a metallic color. They have two large glowing eyes in the middle of their polyhedron form. The Crystal people prefer hot temperatures: they thrive on boiling hot volcanic planets. To adapt the planets they colonize to their personal preference the Crystals can build a terraforming ship which heats a planet up until it is turned into a boiling pool of lava. The Crystalline specialty is the webmine: fields of these can be laid in space to entrap enemy ships, which will get stuck and lose fuel. Once fuelless, the Crystalline can board the enemy ship and take control, after which the ship is gratefully added to the Crystal fleet. The majority of the ships the Crystallines can build have large cargoholds, designed for laying web minefields. Overall, they can build some reasonable medium to medium-heavy ships, but until they have captured some via their webs they lack a real nasty battleship.

The Evil Empire
The Empire is another humanoid race, and as the name indicates, an evil one. Turning the entire Echo cluster into imperial property is the goal that drives these people, and once on a roll they can be very hard to stop. With their incredible "Dark Sense" imperial captains can scan all planets for enemy activity, allowing them to hit where it hurts. The Evil Empire depends heavily on fighters for attacking enemies as they have only one ship type that can launch torpedoes. Most of the Empire's ships are very large and expensive. The Empire's battle carrier is the largest and most heavily armored fighter carrier in the universe. It has 10 beam weapon banks, which is most impressive for a carrier. Because all of their ships are so heavy though and fighters expensive, the Empire is relatively weak at the beginning of a game.

The Robots
The Robots are a typical race in the Echo cluster: once made by a race that is believed to be a distant relative of the Lizards, they have now outlived their makers and evolved into a tremendous war machine. The Robot campaign for domination of the Echo cluster is based on raw power: most Robotic ship designs are based on the basestar fighter carrier design. The average Robotic ship is large, heavy and deadly. Only one Robot shiptype can launch torpedoes and lay spacemines. This ship however is only rarely used in battle, it's main purpose is to utilize another Robot advantage: due to their innate understanding of all things mechanical, they are able to convert their torpedoes into mines at a much higher rate. Throughout all stages of the game the Robots are a powerful race. They have a very powerful medium ship and some of the largest heavy carriers.

The Rebels
This humanoid race is, as the name suggests, of a rebellious nature. Running from oppression and fighting the powers that be where they can, their ultimate goal is to eliminate all the hostile forces in the cluster and give the natives self-control over their planets. The Rebels are a group of warriors who depend on their fighters to provide a low cost offensive power. Their ships follow no standard design, and are mostly converted freighters and armored transports. The ships may not be pretty but they get the job done. The favorite Rebel weapon however is the Rebel Ground Attack: Any of the Rebel's ships can land a very small team of saboteurs onto the planet's surface, that will destroy a good portion of the owner's resources and bring down the morale of the enemies on the planet. If there are any natives on the planet they will be very pleased about everything being destroyed. Rebels can "self-destruct" their own planets if they wish by using this ground attack mission. This weapon, combined with their many smaller warship and their impressive large fighter carrier gives the Rebels a good shot of winning the final war in the cluster.

The Colonies of Man
After spending decades of searching for their homeplanet, these humans have finally settled themselves in the Echo cluster. The Colonies are very similar to the Rebels and share many of the same ship designs. They too have a mixture of smaller ships, combined with a large fightercarrier. Colonial fighterpilots are highly skilled and can fly great distances through open space, away from their mothership, and sweep enemy minefields. Over the years Colonial scientists have discovered ways to generate fuel from space-particles, allowing for perpetual motion which is unprecedented in the cluster. The combination of infinite movement, many smaller ships, a large mothership and highly skilled fighters gives the Colonies a good chance of becoming sole rulers of the Echo cluster.


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