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Ships can drop cargo (including clans) on planets not belonging to the same owner. This differs from transferring cargo (including clans and money) between your own ships and planets, because it is handled later in the hostrun. Dropping supplies and minerals onto an enemy or allied planet is pretty straightforward, but when you drop clans on someone else's planets more complicated routines kick in.

Drop cargo (supplies and minerals/fuel)
Ships orbiting enemy or unowned planets can transfer down cargo (supplies, fuel, minerals) to that planet. Beaming down money is done by the beam transfer code of "bdm". Even if all cargo, including all the fuel, is transferred to the planet the transfer will be successful. If however the ship does not have any fuel to begin with when beaming down cargo, no cargo is beamed down.

Of course ships can also transfer cargo to planets owned by the same race, but this is handled during the client-side of the turn.

When dropping clans on a planet not belonging to you (and in some cases, on unowned planets where in the same turn someone else also drops clans), the clans will land and attack the enemy colonists that are living on the planet. Who exactly will win the battle and end up owning the planet, usually depends on three factors: the number of clans involved (attacking clans dropped from ships and defending clans on the planet), the attack-ratio and the defense-ratio. In some cases, the ship involved is the determining factor.

When dropping clans onto an allied planet, your clans will fight those of your allies. To give clans to your allies, either have their starbase unload clans from your ship, transfer clans to a ship of theirs or give a ship with clans to your ally.

Ground Combat
Clans that are dropped on a planet where they meet clans of another race, will fight the enemy clans. Who will win the fight in the end depends on the number of clans (both defending and attacking), the attack ratio and the defense ratio. It is important to keep in mind that each cargodrop, including dropping clans, is handled ship by ship in order of ID. After each ship that drops clans, host.exe checks for groundcombat and even for Imperial Assault. So it is quite possible that your Fascist clans you want to drop on a Colonial planet end up fighting Lizard clans instead, if those were dropped first by a ship with a lower ID and won the groundwar. Also, someone else may drop more clans on top of you in the same turn - from a ship with a higher ID. And on top of that, someone might be performing an Imperial Assault with an SSD with a very high ID to end up owning the planet.

If you are ground-attacking an enemy planet with multiple ships, groundcombat is calculated after each individual ship. So if you beam down a total of 600 clans from three ships, you will attack the planet's population three times - for the case of this example, we'll assume each time with 200 clans. If the clans from your second ship are sufficient to take control of the planet, the clans from the third ship will simply be added to your population. Of course, before, in-between of after your three ships beam down clans some other race may also be beaming down clans.

This order of actions also important to keep in mind when both you and your enemy are orbiting an unowned planet. You can both beam down clans, but the clans dropped from the lowest ID ship will end up being the defending party. If you are the Lizards and your enemy who is also orbiting the planet is for example the Evil Empire, it is better for you if your clans get dropped last - a 30:1 attack ratio is more beneficial than a 10:1 defenseratio.

Attack ratio
For most races, each attacking clan has an attack-ratio of one. The Lizards and Fascists are strong races, and have higher attack-ratios. The lizards have a 30:1 ratio, the Fascists have a 15:1 ratio. What this means is one Lizard clans will fight just as well as 30 clans from for example the Robots. One Fascist clan fights as well as 15 Crystal clans, for example. These rates are configurable by the host person. The official documentation and the Winplan helpfile are incorrect at this point, as they list the Lizards as having a default 20:1 attack ratio. This should be 30:1.

Defense ratio
The defense ratio is calculated differently. The first factor is the racial defense-ratio. For most races, this is simply 1 (one). The Lizards and Fascists, due to their nature, have defense ratios of respectively 10:1 and 5:1. Which quite simply means that one defending Lizard clan will defend just as well as 10 defending Federation clans; also, it takes ten attacking clans to kill one defending Lizard clan.

A second factor in calculating the defensive strength of a planet's population is the number of planetary defenseposts. Each planetary defensepost adds to this portion of the defensefactor, at a value of 0.05 per defensepost. This total value (starting with one, for planets with no defenseposts at all) is multiplied by the number of clans and racial defenseratio. For example, 100 defending Birdmen clans on a planet with 30 defenseposts defend at a ratio of 100 * (1 + 30*0.05) = 100 * 2.5 = 250. A Lizard planet with 100 clans and 40 defenseposts defends at a rate of 100 * 10 * (1 + 40 * 0.05) = 100 *10 * 3  = 3000.

Starbase defenses play no role in groundcombat, they do not add to the defensive strength of the planet's population.

(-p0154)<<< Distress Call >>>

The colonists on
Squidi 154
have been massacred by
Lizard forces
living on the planet.
The colonists fought hard...
...but to no avail.

(-s0069)<<< Planetside Message >>>

The colonists on
Squidi 154
have defeated
Fed forces!
We are now in control of
the planet.

Resolving groundcombat
By using the formulas listed above, you can calculate how many clans you need to take over a certain planet, or how many clans will survive if that orbiting enemy ship drops an X amount of clans. Basically, calculate the total attack-value, and compare this to the total defense-value. The highest factor wins, the number of surviving clans is the difference between both values divided by either the attack-factor (if the attacker wins) or the defense-factor (if the defender wins).

  • Attackvalue = Clans * RacialAttackfactor
  • Defensevalue =  TRUNC [Clans * RacialDefensefactor * (1 + 0.05 * PanetaryDefenseposts)]

To resolve who has won the fight and how many of his clans remain, the formula used seems to be

  • Round ( (attackvalue - defensevalue) / RacialAttackfactor or RacialDefensefactor)

If the attack-value precisely matches the defense-value or the outcome of the equation is rounded down to zero, all clans end up killing each other and the planet will end up unowned. If there was a starbase in orbit of the planet or one was being built that turn, the starbase will disappear.

57 Lizard clans are dropped on a Fascist planet which has 151 clans and 21 defenseposts.
Attack-value = 57 * 30 = 1710
Defense-value = TRUNC [151 * 5 * (1 + 0.05 * 21)] = TRUNC [151 * 5 * 2.05] = 1547
Result: the Lizards' attack value is higher than the Fascist defense-value, the difference is 163. This means 5 Lizard clans (163 / 30) will survive and end up owning the planet.

An easier way to calculate the (rough) outcome of the battle is to first compare the attack- and defense ratios. For the example used above:

  • Lizards have an attack-ratio of 30
  • Fascists have a defense-ratio of 5 * 2.05 = 10.25

This means one Lizard clan will kill 30/10.25 = 3 Fascist clans. The 57 Lizard clans will kill 171 Fascist clans, so the Lizards will end up owning the planet. It takes 151/3 = 50 Lizard clans to kill the Fascist clans, so seven (157-150) Lizard clans will survive to populate the planet.

This second method is easier, but doesn't give exact numbers: when host calculates the defense-value it multiplies the ratio by the number of clans, and then truncates. In this second method we've just used the defense-ratio, compared it to the attack-ratio and then rounded the outcome. It's not exact science, but does give a good idea of the outcome of the battle.

When a planet is taken over by normal groundcombat, defenseposts are not destroyed. So when clans dropped from a ship take over a planet, the defenseposts will then help them in defending from other dropped clans. If there was a starbase orbiting the planet, the new owner of the planet is also the owner of the starbase. If the player who loses the planet had in that same turn given the order to build a base, the new owner will end up owning both the planet and the newly built base.

When dropping clans onto an allied planet, your clans will fight those of your allies. To give clans to your allies, either have their starbase unload clans from your ship, transfer clans to a ship of theirs or give a ship with clans to your ally.

Because groundcombat is resolved very early in the Host order of actions, a lot of things may happen to the planet after it is taken over by groundcombat. The most important ones are it can be involved in battle, or be the victim of a Pillage or RGA mission. The number of clans that end up controlling the planet will most likely differ from the amount of clans calculated with the formula above. This is because the population can increase due to growth, or actually decrease due to a planet's climate or civil wars.

Imperial Assault
The Imperial Assault (IA) is performed when ten or more clans are beamed down from a Super Star Destroyer (SSD) onto an enemy or allied planet. This is handled in the same phase as "normal" ship-to-planet cargodrops, in order of ship ID. While the Super Star Destroyer can only be built by the Evil Empire, any race that manages to become the owner of such a ship can perform the Imperial Assault. The Super Star Destroyer can not be attacked by Planets set to NUK or ATT, no matter who owns the ship or the planet it is orbiting.

It is important to keep in mind that each cargodrop, including dropping clans, is handled ship by ship in order of ID. After each ship that drops clans, host.exe checks for groundcombat and for Imperial Assault. So it is quite possible that the Empire clans you drop from your SSD, killing six million Borg, are in the same turn slaughtered by a mere three Lizard clans in normal groundcombat - if that Lizard ship had a higher ID than the SSD.

Since Imperial Assault from the SSD happens in the same phase as all ship-to-planet drops in order of ship ID, the following is possible: for instance a SSD with a low ID performs the Imperial Assault on a planet and thus gains ownership of the planet; if in the same turn a ship with a higher ID also drops clans onto the planet, those clans will fight and kill the clans that were beamed down from the SSD and probably (assuming they win the fight) end up being the new owners of the planet. It is also possible for such a battle to end unresolved (the clans from the IA and the other clans kill each other precisely) in which case the planet ends up unowned.

Also, since the clans are dropped before civil wars, RGA, Pillage and Amorphous worms eat clans are handled by the Host program, it is possible that the clans that are beamed down are killed in the same hostrun, in which case the planet ends up unowned. A planet conquered via IA can also be re-taken by ship-to-planet combat in the same turn.

When an Imperial Assault is performed, all enemy clans on the planet (no matter how many there were) are killed off and all defenseposts are destroyed. The race which performed the Imperial Assault is now the owner of the planet. If the planet had a starbase in orbit that too now belongs to the race which performed the Imperial Assault. This works on any owned enemy planet, as well as on allied planets.

Once landed on the surface, the stormtroops from the SSD send a message to their commander:

(-s0188)<<< Planetside Message >>>

Empire assault troops
have secured
Planet ID # 442
We have defeated
Privateer forces!

Before being slaughtered, the planet's population also sends a message to their commander:

(-p0442)<<< Distress Call >>>

The colonists on Rilok
have been massacred by
Empire Assault troops!
The colonists did not
against the might of
the Star Destroyer
parked in orbit.

The SSD can not perform this mission if it has no fuel (it can not beam down clans without fuel), and it can not succesfully perform this mission if it has any damage. When clans are dropped from a damaged SSD, both the owner of the SSD and the owner of the planet that is unsuccessfully assaulted get the following message:

(-s0188)<<< ASSAULT FAILURE >>>

ID: 188
Our assault transporter
has been damaged.
We have: 7% damage
It must be repaired before
We make our final assault on

The owner of the planet also gets a message stating the SSD is attempting to 'beam down cargo', but no actual clan-to-clan groundcombat occurs.

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