VGA Planets Super Site

Unity Docs

Version: 1.20a (03/07/06)


I. Introduction
II. Installation
III. Unity functions
IV. Quick reference chart
V. Unity Ooo
VI. Alt Tech
VII. Notes


I. Introduction

Welcome to Unity !

This is the addon "Unity", which was written for the strategic pbem game "VGA Planets". With Unity every player get´s several options to backstab his enemy or support his economy, like amorphous support, remote minefield laying or free torpedo building, just to give three examples. It is fully configurable, has balanced advantages and in case of problems it is supported by the author (me).


II. Installation

  1. Copy Unitya.exe, Unityb.exe and Uconfig.exe in your Vga-Planets host directory.
  2. Ensure that the following two files are in your gamedir: planet.nm and race.nm.
  3. Run Uconfig.exe and enter your desired configurations, the defaults or current values are shown in brackets[].
  4. Copy vpaux202.bmp in your winplan\bmp directory.

NOTE: There´s a quick setup if you press 'S' on startscreen, assuming you want to install all settings with default. All Unity needs is the path to the game you want to host with Unity.

You require 91 KB of free host _shell_ memory for Unity. Examine host.log in any game directory and look for the line "XXX KB memory free". If it is less than 91 KB, Unity will not work. This is very unlikely, but if you encounter this problem please contact me.

Unity.exe will create a Unity.log file, Uconfig.exe a Unity.dat and a Unity.cfg file. Unity.cfg is the actual configuration.Unity.dat stores all external informations, while Unity.log is only a log file for debugging purposes. If all messes up, deleting Unity.dat and starting setup will allow continue playing with Unity but all data will have been erased. Unity.log contains no valuable data, but for debugging purposes it can be helpful to send me the Unity.log file.

IMPORTANT: Unity needs the following files in your vga-p hosting subdirectory: planet.nm and race.nm. If these files are missing, renaming planets and racenames in remote control will _not_ work.

III. Unitys new functions


Setting one or more planets to the friendly code "con" and no planet to "noc" will Unity send you it´s configuration.


You can now change your racename in remote control! Just send a "message to the host" in winplan, with the following message body: CRL to change your long race name, CRS to change your short race name and CRN to change your personal race name. after the CRx type the new race name; 30 characters for CRL, 20 characters for CRS and 12 characters for CRN. Since you have an option in winplan which always overwrites race names with data from host, this will have an immediate effect (It is a phost feature I liked, so I included it). For each renaming you need a seperate message (unlike Phost). The "sendmess" button in winplan will not light up BUT your message to the host will be delivered!


You can also change the name of any planet you own in remote control. Just send a "message to the host" in winplan, with the following message body: CPN xxx New_Name , where New_Name is the new name of the planet with the #ID xxx. For example, to rename planet #1 to 'Freedom planet' send a message with the body CPN 001 Freedom planet. Each planet has a maximum of 20 characters. Use a different message for each renaming.

NOTE: Both features above are disabled for dos users and both features can be turned off by the host. Both features only work if host has local race.nm & planet.nm in the coressponding gamedir ! To see the effect of the later, rename planet, host needs to send planet.nm every turn and you must place this in your vgap-subdirectory. Read your winplan manual to see how you can use changed race.nm without putting new race.nm in subdir (hint: /options/overwrite race.nm with data from host).

(a) Common new operations

MERLIN FUNCTIONS: Three new friendly codes have been introduced to make the merlin more comfortable. ABD transfers supplies to tritanium and molybdenum, ABM transfers them to tritanium and duranium and ABT finally makes duranium and molybdenum. All transfers are made to the usual rules (for example, 2700 supplies with ABD make 450 tri and 450 mol).

NOTE: Many people asked what ABD, ABM and ABT means. ABM means "All But Molybdenum", ABT & ABD likewise.

MONEY TRANSFER: Beside the well known ship code 'bdm', to beam down all the money of a ship to a (mostly) unowned planet, there is now an alternative code: bdh. This makes you beam down half of your current money. Even more customized: the bdx serie, where x ranges from 1...9 . bd3 for example makes your ship beam down 300 mc.

NEUTRALS: Neutral planets now have the rights to control their planetary matters themselves. This means, the natives will get their happiness set back to at least "0", and their tax to "0". The same applies to new colonists which will settle down later on the planet.

NATIVES: Natives now grant their tech level advantage even if you find out later in the game that they were hiding somewhere else on the planet. Also, if a starbase is damaged the natives help to build up their unique tech level (e.g. humanoids build hull tech level) again to maximum, at the rate of '1' per turn. For the borg, the rate is '2' per turn.

NATIVE GIFTS: Natives remember who treats them badly and who regards them as full size citizens. If you overtax a planet, the news will be sent via wide broadcast to all planets with natives within the echo cluster. The rules are simple:

  1. Overtaxing species A will lower the happiness of all your
    species type A.
  2. Taxing several species A with 0% will raise all of your
    species A happiness. Taxing a participatory with 0% will
    be more regarded than taxing anarchy with 0%.
  3. Natives dislike being taxed higher than your people, this
    will make them unhappy.
  4. If you keep your natives happy over several turns, they will
    grant you "native gifts".
    • List of native gifts at starbases:
      - ship engines
      - ship beams
      - ship launcher
      - ship torps
      - fighters
      - repairing starbase
      - starbase defense
      - random tech levels
    • List of native gifts at planets:
      - money
      - supplies
      - increasing government
      - increasing mineral density
      - big growth rate increase
      - even more happiness
  5. The cyborg natives are totally unaffected by this.

NOTE: The "happiness" referred to in this NATIVE GIFT chapter is _not_ the happiness you can see in your rst file. It´s an seperate happiness and it can be much different from your actual happiness. Your normal native happiness will not be affected by the NATIVE GIFT rules! Formulas: One planet will yield 1+(Government_type); if the colonists are taxed higher than the natives add 2 points; if there are avians add 10 points. 300 total points will yield one up to three native gifts, and the points will be reset to 0.

AMORPHOUS: During the last years, the species largely known as amorphous worms where studied and scientists found out that they are more useful than the first settlers thought. If they are treated well (supplied with 'food', means colonists), they will care for their prey in different ways. First, they will build up [10] defense outposts every turn even above the planetary limit, up to 200. If a starbase is present, they will repair all damage on it (if any) and build additional [10] starbase defense up to the 200 limit! If their planet is abandoned the defense posts will be removed to 'invite' colonists from another race to settle down. The Feds, Rebels and Colonies of man do not profit from these rules; their government forbids dealing with amorphous because of the principles of human rights and democracy, which the amorphous do not like.

ADVANCED HYPERJUMP: The races 6,8 and A have tweaked the engines from their hyperjump ships, and a hyperjump of 700 ly is possible. The hyperjump is exact if a waypoint between 690 and 710 ly is set. To execute this advanced hyp, set the friendly code to AHP, warp factor > 0 and the distance >= 21 ly. After the jump of 700 ly the warp factor will be set to 0. Different from the normal HYP, this burns 60 neutronium.

NOTE: Only hyperjumpships from 6,8 and A can use this new hyperjump.

(b) Specific new operations

FED: The federation has found a way to change the planetary axis and thus scrambling the planetary contents. This means some minerals can be mined better after the scramble than before, and you will see the effects in new random density settings for all minerals. To start dislocating the planetary axis change the planets friendly code to RND; the friendly code is change to DNR after the shake is complete to prevent bad things from happen if you miss the turn afterwards. It costs [200]kt of supplies to start this process.

NOTE: Every new density is rolled twice, the better outcome will be used so there is a higher chance for the density to rise than to fall.

Science ships from the federation (bohemian/eros) with hightech engines[9] have now an improved terraforming; they will heat/cool 1 additional degree each turn. This only works under federation control.

LIZARD: Lizard war scientists were always fond of the reptile class destroyer ship and have now equipped all these ships [with a drive 7+] with a fuel scooping device, which is the same as the known scooping device from the cobol class cruiser. For every ly travelled, 2kt of neutronium are produced. The reptile may not be towed, but can tow other ships and still use this feature. This fuel scoop is calculated prior to movement[unlike cobol scoop in vgap].

The saurian class cruiser has the possibility to lay minefields far away from his current position, up to 150 ly away. Have a warp factor of 0, and your waypoint to the new minefield center pointed. In addition you need the friendly code "RML". As with all missions, you need fuel to do this special mission. Within 50 ly, 100% of the minefield units successfully reach the target point and unfold there. Between 50-100 ly 75% reach their destination, and between 100-150 ly 50 % of the mines will be armed.

NOTE: You can be on any mission while remote laying a minefield.

BIRDMAN: The valiant wind class carrier has been improved a lot by including a raw cloaking device. If the friendly code of a valiant wind class carrier is "X??", where ?? can be anything, and 11 units of neutronium is on board the valiant wind class carrier enters cloak. Beware, the loki anticloak will still affect him as will the d19B and saber class frigate. Raw cloaking costs 10 units of neutronium, but allows to set *any* mission.

The best saboteurs from the birdmen are on board of the white falcon class cruisers, and they have trained hard to play the following mission on their enemies: a white falcon fully crewed over an enemy planet can beam down 50 crew members using the friendly code TRP, they will sneak in the command center from the enemy planet, manipulating the computers from the defense posts which will start shooting at the planetary structures! The more defense posts on the planet the more damage will be inflicted. Mines destroyed are DEF_POSTS; factories destroyed are DEF_POSTS/2; after this the romulans sabotage the defense posts which destroys 20% of them.

NOTE: Since you are loosing crew after this mission, you must return to a base before you can use it again.

FASCIST: The Fascists were always driven by wild agressive instincts, and now they have an option to "plunder" a planet in all aspects. First, they have to have more than 100 clans on the planet to start the plunder. Second, the colonists happiness must be 100. With at least 100 mines on the planet, the fasists can do the following : half of the minerals in ground will be mined at once. The mines will be destroyed, as will nearly all of the colonists and their happiness. The planet temperature will go to a bad climate (random: 0-6,94-100), but the Fascists got their goal, they "exhausted" the planet and can use the minerals.

NOTE: to prevent accidently plundering (birdmen just love this joke, do they?) the planet must order exhaution with the friendly code XXP. Natives watching the plunder will loose 50 points of happiness.

The valiant wind class carrier can build fighters from the minerals in cargoroom, if you have the sufficent minerals (3 tritanium, 2 molybdenum and 5 supplies). You can build up to (cargoroom/10) fighters a turn. You need 1kt of fuel to do this mission. If you are over your own planet, you can also use the 'lfm' friendly code

NOTE: This works only for a valiant in fascist control.

PRIVATEER: The Privateers have grown mad in the last years, as they saw their chances vanish into nothingness with the D19B and sabers pop ships and not to forget the loki. So they put all effort to counter the "pop" threat, and have found out that a D19B emmits special tachyon signatures, which can be picked up if you have the right scanners on board. The only ship which has the scanners in serie is the Br5 class torpedo boat. They detect D19B´s when 20 ly away from them, and they are informed where they are exactly located. Since the loki has a very likewise tachyon signature, the privateers can also detect his signature, but there is a small chance for failure[5%]; but in case of a loki the br5 is also capable of scanning whether his tachyon device is working or not, there are only two cases where a tachyon device refuses to work: the loki has more than 20% damage or is out of fuel.

The Br5 now has the possibility to "disarm" a D19b nefarious class destroyer by simply using his #id as a friendly code, and beeing within [20] ly. The friendly code of the d19b will be randomized, thus disabling pop/trg as a friendly code.

CYBORG: Somehow the collective mind noticed it is not very efficient to assimilate natives on arctic and desert planets, but once the drones were ordered to start assimilating they did not stop before the last natives had joined the cyborgs. So now it is possible to have some of the drones to disassemble others, to slow down assimilating or simply re-use drone equipment (read: supplies) from drones which would otherwise die because of the climate next turn. Turn your planet friendly code to DAX, where X is a number between 0-9. X*100 (colonist) clans are disassembled against X*50 in supplies (because a cyborg is half man, half machine).

The cyborg can use the advanced hyperjump with any hyperjump ship.

CRYSTAL: All crystal engineers put a lot of work in a prototype for scooping debries from space and converting it into torpedos. This prototype was installed in the sky garnet class cruiser, and the effort is proportional to the distance covered. It is recommended to have high torpedo tech level installed. You can expect to scoop SQR(DISTANCE_ACTUALLY_MOVED_IN_LY) torpedos; SQR means square-root. The scoop will be calculted prior to movement.

The climate of a planet effects the happiness of crystalline settlers. As a rule of thumb, the hotter the climate the more happiness points will be recovered. Happiness will go up by 1-10 points, regarding to the temperature: +1 at 90 degree up to +10 at 100 degree.

EMPIRE: The supreme gorbie class carrier is an impressive battleship, so most planets simply surrender when they see him in their orbit. The gorbie has to arrive at own power at warp 9 (and of course with fuel) on the planet, and have a friendly code of TP?, where "?" can be anything from (a-Z,0-9). Atowed gorbie is no impressive sight, because the planetary commanders assume the gorbie to be unfinished and so they do not surrender. Starbases always prefer to fight than to surrender.

NOTE: Cyborg planets do not surrender, either.

The empire can use the advanced hyperjump with any hyperjump ship.

ROBOTS: The robots have found a clue how to make their minefields even more dangerous. The robots can make their minefields explode - damaging all ships inside, even cloaked ones! Just to give you an idea, a small deep space inside an exploding minefield is doomed, a gorbie will get between 0%-50% damage. This also depends on the number of minefield units which explode, and the ships mass and its proximity to the center. To make a minefield explode, have fuel, warp 0 and the ship name must begin with "EXMIN" (case sensitive). Put the ship´s friendly code to the minefield #id. The friendly code will then be randomized with a non-digit number to prevent accidently more explosions if you miss a turn afterwards. Enemy ships that are in orbit of a planet are save from the explosion. Damage is: (400*MINEFIELD_RADIUS/HULL_MASS)-(DIST_TO_CENTER/5)-RANDOM(HULL_MASS/20)%; cloaked ships recieve additional 15% less damage.

To speed up war deployment, all q-tanker have sensor beacons which allow fighters to find during one turn from one q-tanker to another within [250] lightyears. The friendly code from the sending q-tanker must be the #id from the recieving, and the recieving q-tanker must have the friendly code REC. The sending q-tanker also needs 1kt of fuel for each fighter send. Make sure you have free room on the recieving q-tanker or the fighters will perish in space after their flight, lacking space to land on.

REBELS: The rebels now have a *real* growth rate on arctic planets. Since they can keep up to 9 million colonists alive, without a growth rate they would never get so many colonists. The growth rate is affected by happiness and tax rate, for the best effect have tax 0 and happiness 100; this will result in [10%] growth.

You all asked where the armored transport got his name from. Well, it got this name from the fact, that there is a lot of highest-tech-alchemy equipment inside! With this equipment, supplies can be transferred with a 2:1 ratio to any of the known minerals. Have 1 kt of fuel and warp 0; then the following codes apply : S2N transfers 2 supplies on board to 1 kt neutronium, S2T(tritanium), S2D(duranium) and S2M (moly).

The rebels can use the advanced hyperjump with any hyperjump ship.

COLONIES: It is well known that the lost colonies of man are allied to all humanoid natives. And of course the humanoids listen to the colonies, and react very badly if they get broadcasts that the colonies are at war with another space-faring race. The colonies can broadcast a message to all humanoid planets with an owner from the races 0-9 (0=rebels, 1=feds, ..., 9=robots) throughout the galaxy, which results in the following :
All humanoid native planets from race x become unhappy(50). They do not produce any MC this turn; if a starbase is present, it will cancel it´s mission (reset to none) and cancel ship-building. The colonies need a suitable planet from which they can send the broadcast throughout the galaxy, this means: a humanoid planet with a friendly code of HRx, where x=0,..,9. Humanoids have to have a happiness of 100 and no tax set. The victim will trace the planet from which the orginal message came from. You can only send broadcasts to one race, if you have several planets with a different friendly code of HRx, the one with the highest #ID is responsible for the broadcast.

The scorpius class light carrier has been equipped with sensor beacons which allow him to send fighters to ships which are far away, up to [320] lightyears within one turn. The friendly code from the sending scorpius must be the #id from the fighter recieving ship, and the recieving ship must have the friendly code REC. The scorpius also needs 1kt of fuel for each fighter send. Make sure you have free room on the recieving ship or the fighters will perish in space after their flight, lacking space to land on.

IV. Quick Reference Sheet


  • Scramble planet, "RND" as planetary FC. Shifts the planetary axis, results in a new (randomized) mineral density, cost 200 supplies.
  • Deluxe terraforming, science ships with enginetech[9] heat/cool +1 degree.


  • Fuel scooping Reptile, Warpfactor > 0, engine tech 7+ makes reptile scoop 2kt of neutronium/ly.
  • Minefields, Warpfactor 0, waypoint set to the center of the minefield, being max. 150LY away. Friendly code RML. Unfolds a minefield with the center being the waypoint set. 75% of the mine field units reach their destiny if waypoint is > 50LY, 50 % if the waypoint is > 100LY.


  • White falcon, FC "TRP", full crew over enemy planet makes defense posts attack planetary structures. 50 Crew die during this mission. Mines lost = defense posts, factories lost= defense posts / 2, defense lost = 20%.
  • Valiant, FC "X??", with ?? being anything. At a cost of 10 kT Neutronium per turn, the Valiant is able to cloak.


  • Extended plunder, 100 colonists at happiness 100, 100 mines, FC "XXP". Half of the minerals will be extracted in one turn, nearly all colonists will be killed, their HP drops drastically and the planet goes to a bad climate.Natives loose 50 happiness points.
  • Valiant, able to build fighters in space (3 tri, 2 mol, 5 supps); lfm code


  • Br5, able to detect D19b & loki within 20LY; evaluates loki status, too. Carefully check your messages!
  • Br5, friendly code set to the #ID of a D19B within 20 ly 'disables' this D19b by resetting this ship friendly code.


  • Cyborg disassemble, planetary FC "DAX", with X being a number from 1..10- X*100 clans will be sold to X*50 supplies.
  • Advanced hyperjump, 60 fuel, warp > 0, waypoint >=21 ly, FC "AHP", 700 ly hyp.


  • Scoop torpedoes, the Sky Garnet scoops torpedoes just by flying. Scoop rate depends on waypoint setting and engine tech.
  • Temperature benefit: crystal colonists and 90+ degree worlds recieve 1-10 happiness points.


  • Gorbie planet takeover, FC "TP?", with ? being anything (a-z, 0-9), not being towed, fuel left, Warp factor set, in orbit of a planet.
  • Results in a surrending planet. Not if starbase in orbit nor on cyborg planets.
  • Advanced hyperjump, 60 fuel, warp > 0, waypoint >=21 ly, FC "AHP", 700 ly hyp.


  • Explode minefields, Warp 0, shipname beginning with: "EXMIN", FC set to minefield ID. The minefield explodes, giving damage to every ship in the field, regarding their position and hullmass; ships over planets are save and cloakers revice less damage.
  • Fighter transfer, Q-tanker can send fighters to a second Q-tanker within [250] ly; friendly code id of the recieving q, recieving q must have friendly code "REC". Each fighter costs 1kt of neutronium to transfer.


  • Growth, real growth on arctic planets, depending on HP and taxlevel.
  • High tech alchemy, 1kT fuel, warp 0. Armored transport converts 2 supplies to 1 kt of choosen mineral. FC's: "S2N", "S2T", "S2D", "S2M".
  • Advanced hyperjump, 60 fuel, warp > 0, waypoint >=21 ly, FC "AHP", 700 ly hyp.


  • Colonies Human revolt, 100 HP of Humanoids, 0% Tax, planetary FC "HR?", with ? being 0...9. No taxes collected on enemy planets with humanoids, humanoids get unhappy, if a starbase is present, it will cancel it's mission (set to none) and cancel ship building.
  • Fighter transfer, colonial Scorpius can send fighters to any colony ship within [320] ly; friendly code id of the recieving ship, recieving ship must have friendly code "REC". Each fighter costs 1kt of neutronium to transfer.


  • Unity config: con as a planet friendly code.
  • New merlin friendly codes: ABT,ABD,ABM.
  • Beam down friendly codes: bdx (x=1,2,...9) and bdh.
  • Native starbase caretaking.
  • Renaming:
    1. CRS new_short_name
    2. CRL new_long_name
    3. CRN new_personal_name
    4. CPN #ID new_planet_name as a message to the host.

V. Ooo (Order of operation)

Unity accesses all it´s commandos in a special order, and as a default after all other addons have been executed. As always, the details are up to the host.

Unity Ooo:
** Auxhost1.ini
- send config
- change names in remote mode
- merlin advanced alchemy
- advanced hyperjump (6,8,A)
- bdX codes
- neutral planet safe taxation
- scramble planet (1)
- lay minefield (2)
- scoop fuel (2)
- white falcon sabotage (3)
- build fighters (4)
- exhaust planet (4)
- scan lokis and D19b (5)
- disable D19b (5)
- scoop torpedos (7)
- colonies humanoid revolt broadcast (B)
- native happiness / gifts
** Auxbc.ini
- amorphous caretaking
- native race basetech advantage
- deluxe terraform (1)
- hapiness gain at 90+ degree (7)
- fighter transfer (B)
- growth rate (A)
- gorbie planet takeover (8)
- cloak valiant (3)
- cyborg disassemble (6)
- explode minefield (9)
- fighter transfer (9)
- armored transport (A)

VI. Alt Tech

Unity will work with alt tech, provided that
- there are 500 planets in game
- the X/Y data are between 0000/0000 and 4000/4000
- all data file (*.spec) are within valid parameters
- Host322.08 or newer is used (NO compatibility to Host999!).

Unity has several operations which appeal to a special hull type only. For example, the crystalline free torpedo construction works with the sky garnet as default hullspec.dat, hull #62, if you change the list and make hull #62 to nova class dreadnought, the nova will make free torpedos instead of the sky garnet. With this in mind feel free to use any alt tech which suits your requirements.

VII. Notes

You may NOT

  • Earn money by selling this program without my written permission, for example by putting it on a compilation cd-rom. According to international law the above would be a violation of copyright terms - you have been warned!
  • Decompile, disassemble or change the program code

If you find a bug in this version, send an email to [email protected] I will send you an update as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding Unity, registry informations or comments, ask me, too - I will try to help you out.

Thanks to :
- Tim Wisseman for Vga-Planets and advice.
- Martin, Andy, Clemens, Ingo, Sven & Karsten for discussing UNITY advantages.
- Armin Trott for hosting games at, setting up beta games and for UNITY discussion.
- Ricki for support (games at
- Simon Jenkis for being a reliable bughunter.
- Star Destroyer (Juppiter addon) for advices. ;-)
- the beta test team for nearly unlimited support and their patience.
- all other people which helped to optimize UNITY.


"Unity" is Copyright 1999-2006 by Wolfgang Merkel All Rights Reserved

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