VGA Planets Super Site

Building and cloning ships

Starbases can build or clone one starship per turn. When a starbase is set to both build and clone a ship, it will build a ship and no clone will be made. You can construct and store as many starship components such as hulls, engines engines and weapons for use at a later time as you want, provided you have the resources to do so.

VGA Planets, or rather the Host program, has a built-in limit of 500 ships. There can not be more than 500 ships in the game at the same time. The situation before this shiplimit is reached is quite different from that after the shiplimit. There are two moments in the host-cycle that starbases build ships: before and after combat. Before this shiplimit is reached, all ships are built when the Host programs cycles through the starbases in the 1st build-phase before combat, since there are still plenty of free shipslots.

After the shiplimit has been reached the situation changes. When Host during it's cycle reaches the 1st build-phase there are usually no shipslots free to build any ships. Most ships will therefore be built after combat, because only then has the destruction of ships in combat opened up shipslots. With the shiplimit (actually already before the shiplimit, as soon as there are 450 ships in the game), another change occurs: priority build points come into play and with that the so-called "priority queue".

Priority Build Points

Priority build points play an important role in VGA Planets, even though they are not even used until there are 450 out of the maximum 500 ships already built. Priority points are intended to reward players who are active in warfare by giving them a better chance of building ships. To accomplish this, there are two separate shipqueues - the normal queue and the priority queue.

The normal queue
The normal buildqueue simply rotates around the cluster, moving from planet to planet in an ascending order. At each planet, the queue checks if there is a starbase there with orders to build a ship. If that is the case, the ship is built. If not, the queue moves on to the next planet. Once all the shipslots have been filled, the queue stops. When one or more shipslots open up, the queue continues where it was, checking the next planet. Ships built in the normal queue do not cost priority points.

The Priority queue
The priority queue jumps to Starbases depending entirely on the players' amounts of Priority Build Points. The priority queue only assigns builds to players who have more than 20 points (this amount is re-checked after each build, since each build will cost an amount of points), and awards the first available build to the player with the highest amount of points. Which base of that player is used exactly can be controlled by the player himself, by setting friendly codes of "PBx" on his bases. In these codes, the x is to be replaced with numbers ranging from 1 to 9 where number 1 (PB1) is the base that gets to build the first priority build, the base with BP2 the second and so on. If a player that is awarded a priority build does not have a PBx code on any of his bases, his first base that would have gotten the build in the normal queue will build a ship, costing priority points.

Once there are no more players with more than 20 points, or at least no more players with more than 20 points who have one or more bases set to build a ship, the priority queue stops and the normal queue starts to cycle - continuing where it had left.

Earning Priority points
There are a number of ways to earn priority points: ship-to-ship battles, recycling your own ships (only recommended in some cases, certainly not as the main way to earn priority points) and using Glory Devices:

  • Recycling a ship, regardless of it's mass, earns one priority point.
  • Killing an enemy ship in ship-to-ship battle earns one priority point for every 100 kilotons of enemy hullmass destroyed, rounded up.
  • Exploding your Glory Devices earns one point per exploding GD ship.
  • If the Glory Device explosion(s) blow up enemy ships, this earns one point for every 100 kilotons of enemy hullmass destroyed, rounded up.

Destroying enemy ships in planet vs ship battles does not earn any priority points. Colonizing a ship on a planet does not earn any points either.

Spending Priority points
As in real life, spending is much easier than earning; priority points are spent on building ships in the priority queue.
The costs in Priority Points to build a ship are based on the ship's hull mass: PBPs = RNDup [ (Hullmass * 2) / 100 ]
Or put in words: double the hullmass of the ship, divide by 100 and round up.

Cloning ships

To clone a ship, there are a couple of conditions which have to be met:

  • Both the ship which is to be cloned and the starbase which is to do the cloning must be owned by the same player.
  • The ship may not be in the owner's original shiplist (e.g. Feds can't clone a Nebula, Lizards can't clone a T-Rex, Birdmen can't clone a Resolute and so on)
  • The ship's friendly code must be set to "cln"
  • The techlevels of the starbase must be equal or greater than those used in the ship (for hull, engines and weapons)
  • The base needs to have sufficient minerals and cash to meet the cost of cloning: cloning costs the exact amount of minerals that is needed to build the ship and it's components (engines/weapons), and exactly twice the cash.

Things that prevent cloning:

  • The Privateers and Crystalline can not clone.
  • If a base is set to both build and clone a ship, a ship will get built and no clone will be made.

Other points of interest:

  • The warp speed of any ship that is successfully cloned is set to 0; it will not move. It may however be towed away.

If you try to clone a ship out of your own shiplist (e.g. the Lizards with a Reptile set to "cln" at one of their own bases) the base will try to clone it, but the rule that own ships can not be cloned will prevent this. The ship's speed will still be reset to 0.

Due to the host-order cloning becomes nearly impossible once the shiplimit has been reached: the shipslots that are freed during combat are usually filled in the second build phase. For any possible cloning to occur, there should be more ships destroyed than there are starbases set to build ships. And even then, building in the next turn in the first build-phase would come before any cloning.

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