VGA Planets HOST Online Docs

Section 3


Section 1

0 Copyright Notice
1 Bugs fixed
2 Doserrorlevel
3 Auxhost
4 Climate Death Rate
5 UFO Objects
6 Language Files
7 Friendly Codes
8 Minefield Friendly Codes
9 Misc. Friendly Code Rules
10 Missions
11 Hyper drive Ships
12 Engine Tech Shield Bonus
13 Data Warnings
14 Friendly Code Battle Order

Section 2

15 Planets Attacking Ships
16 Disable Torpedo System
17 Cheaters
18 Scan Range
19 No Fuel
20 Warp Wells
21 Ground Attack
22 Sensor Scan Range
23 Dark Sense
24 Cloaking Ships
25 Anti-Ship Mine Fields
26 Mineral Mines
27 Isotope Trans-Uranium Mutation Rate
28 Taxes
29 Natives


Section 3

30 Long Range Sensors and Distress Calls
31 Enemy Planets
32 Host Log File
33 Structure Decay
34 No Money Fighters
35 Cyborg Assimilation Rate
36 Password Disable
37 Science Ships (Climate chargers)
38 Climate
39 Glory Device
40 Super Spy Deluxe
41 Loki Class Destroyer
42 Cobol Class Research Vessel (Fuel Scooper)
43 Bio Scanner
44 Aries Class Transport
45 Lady Royale
46 Super Star Destroyer
47 Advanced Cloak
48 Ion Storm
49 Chunnel
50 Tow Capture
51 Unhappy Natives
52 Cloaked Ships Can Attack
53 Hidden Mine Fields (Ion Storms)
54 No High ASCII Friendly Codes
55 Exploding Tow Ship
56 New Race Names
57 Ship Build Queue
58 Priority Build Points
59 Ionic Pulse
60 Mine Hits May Slowdown Starships
61 Messages Set To Host
62 Misc. Info
63 Hconfig Settings Explained
64 UFO Programming Issues


Starships that explode in battle will now be detected by all the other races in the game. They will detect the (x,y) location of the explosion and the name of the ship given in the distress call, but nothing else. Ships that are captured and planets that are taken over can not be detected on the long range sensors.


Enemy planets can not be scanned for minerals by a ship in orbit any longer.

Ships can now have a very good chance of detecting all planets within the sensor range that have less than 15 defense outposts and has ether more than 15 factories or more than 20 mineral mines. Every defense outpost reduces the odds of being detected by 6.6666%. Any planet with no defense and more than 15 factories or more than 20 mineral mines will be detected. Any planet with 15 or more defense outposts

(32) HOST LOG:

The host.exe saves a record of the screen output of the last run to a host.log file in the hst data directory.
Everything that was sent to the screen will be in the file.

The REG.LOG file lists the serial numbers and/or names of the registered players in the game.


You can set the rate at which structure on a planet decay when there is not enough manpower on the planet to maintain them. The rate is the number of undermanned structures that can be lost in a single turn. If it is set to 3 then up to 3 of each type of structure can be lost in a single turn on a planet that does not have enough colonists to support.


The number of "free" fighters that each race gets at each starbase each turn can now be configured. The default is 5 for the Evil Empire only. The fighters still require minerals to build them. Each fighter requires 3 tritanium and 2 molybdenum units to build.

The Rebels , Robots and Colonies of Man are all by default able to build free fighters on ships in space by placing 5 supplies, 3 tritanium and 2 molybdenum units for each new fighter that they want to build on a ship with at least 1 fighter bay. After the fighters are built they can then be transfered to a starbase or other ships. The Robots and Colonies of Man must set their ship mission to "Build Fighters In Space" in order to build the fighters. The Rebels do not need to set the ship mission to anything for this to happen. The Rebel’s droids will all perform this mission automatically, without being told to do so, this leaves the ship free to perform some other mission while the fighters are being made.


The rate at which the Cyborg player turns the native population into Cyborg colonists can be set from 0% to 100% of the current number of Cyborg colonists on the planet. The Cyborg player has no control over the assimilation rate, only the host can change it using HCONFIG.EXE.


If the passwords are disabled then all the players in the game will have their passwords set to "NOPASSWORD" every turn.

(37) SCIENCE SHIPS: (Climate changers)

The climate temps of all planets range from 0 (ice planet) to 100 (hot desert). A climate type 50 is the best at supporting all forms of humanoid life. The Crystals and the native Siliconoids do best in hot desert climates.

In case you are wondering, the climate number works out to be the average daytime temperature F.

There are three ship classes that are able to transform a planet's climate just by orbiting it. Each ship will change the climate type by 1 each turn.

Bohemian Class Survey Ship:
will make planets warmer until climate type 50 is reached.

Eros Class Research Vessel:
will make a planet cooler until climate type 50 is reached.

Onyx Class Frigate:
Will make any planet turn into a hot boiling pool of rock
and desert (temp 100).


All humanoid type races do best on a type 50 planet
( Temperate - warm ).

The Crystal race does best on temp 100 ( Desert World ). ( If Crystal people like desert worlds = YES ) The Siliconoids also like temp 100 worlds.

The Lizards are unable to regulate their body temp so they to like type 50 planets the best.

Rebels: Surface temp 19 and lower (ICE) Maximum clans that can survive: 90,000
(1 clan = 100 colonists)

Fascists and Robots: Surface temp 81 and higher Maximum clans that can survive: at least 60

All other races can only have one clan on a desert or arctic planet.
(Temp 0 or Temp 100)


Two ships in the game now have a device built into the hull called a glory device. These two ships are the D19 and the Saber Class starships. The device emits deadly berthold rays during its explosion. When one of these ships set off the glory device it does 1 mine hit of damage to all ships at the same point in space and destroys the ship using the glory device.

The glory device does less damage to Fascist ships than races ships. The D19 will do 20% normal damage and the Saber will do 10% damage to ships that the Fascists own.

If the explosion takes place over a planet it can also kill a large number of enemy colonists and natives as well as destroy objects on the ground, such as factories.

Siliconoid, Reptiles, Bovinoids are immune to Glory Devices' effects.

The resulting Berthold rays will kill ALL Amorphous life on a planet that occupies the same point in space as the exploding starship. This will cause all of the Amorphous natives to be converted directly into supplies. They will be converted at a rate of 1 supply unit per 1000 natives.

Glory ships DO NOT require fuel to be able to explode.

Glory device codes:

"pop" This code will cause the D19 or Saber class starships to EXPLODE after moving.

"trg" This code will cause the D19 or Saber class starships to EXPLODE after moving if any cloaked enemy ship is detected. The enemy is determined by primary enemy or a kill mission (all cloaked ships).


The Birdmen's super spy has been enhanced.

When a player selects the Super Spy mission it will now have two parts. The Super Spy portion of the mission will remain the same. It will still go after movement, but the new part of the mission will go before movement. It has the following effects. Each Bird Man starship performing Super Spy will effect this mission whether it is desired or not.

The Birdman starship will remain cloaked while performing this mission if it have can cloak. Damage or lack of fuel might prevent cloaking.

The starships will each have a 20% chance of changing the planets friendly code to match the friendly code of the Bird Man starship. This effect is cumulative and five starships can effectively control a planets code. This means that if are 5 starships the Bird Man will can control the planets friendly code.

Birdman starships on a super spy mission are immune to the surrendering functions of starbases as long as they have at least one unit of fuel.

If the Birdman ship switches to a mission other then super spy it will surrender to a starbase if it's friendly code matches the planet's.


The Loki Class Destroyer will now attack cloaked starships. This vessel will detect and attack enemy cloaking starships. The Loki emits a tachyon pulse that causes all cloaked ships within 10 light years of its' position to come out of cloak.

Cloaked FED and LIZARD ships are not effected by the Loki. They will remain cloaked.

The Loki automatically always emits the pulse at the beinging and end of its movement.

If you are not a Fed or Lizard player and you own a Loki you will decloak your own ships.

(42) COBOL CLASS RESEARCH VESSEL (Colonial fuel scooper)

The Cobol Class Research Vessel is equipped with a simple Ram Scoop as a part of it's hull design. The Ram Scoop will produce 2 KT of Neutronium per light year traveled by the starship. So if the Cobol traveled ten light years it would generate 20 KT of fuel. So in theory, if it used less than 20 KT of fuel to go that 10 light years the starship would experience a net gain in fuel.

The Cobol Class does not scoop fuel when it is on an intercept mission or being towed.

The Cobol Class will scoop fuel while it is towing another ship.

The Cobol Class will not scoop fuel for shareware players.

The HCONFIG can set the scoop rate at 0kt, 1 kt, 2 kt, 3 kt or 4 kt of fuel per light year. The default is 2kt.


The Cobol, Pawn and Brynhild class starships are capable of detecting native life on other planets. If the starships mission is a sensor sweep this ability will be activated. The range of the native life detecting is the same as the sensor sweep range. The bio scanner on the Cobol and Brynhild will be able to lock onto about 20% of all planets in range per turn. The Pawn scanner can lock onto 100% of the planets. The mission will tell you the type and number of natives that are living on a planet with in its sensor range. It will also tell you the climate of a planet with native life. The mission will not tell you which race, if any, owns the planet.

Twenty or more defense outposts will shield a planet from the Bio Scanners. You can bio-scan unowned planets, if they have less than 20 defense outposts.


The Aries Class Transport is an advanced alchemy starship. The Aries will convert minerals into Neutronium. It will do this at a rate of one unit of fuel per unit of any other mineral that in placed in the starships cargo holds. So if one unit of Tritanium is loaded onto this starship it will be converted directly into one unit of fuel. This process requires neither supplies or megacredits to be performed. The only way to prevent the alchemy process from occurring is to have the starships fuel tanks full. If the tank is less than full the starship will convert enough minerals to fill it or until it runs out of minerals.


The Lady Royale is a pleasure starship. When there are clans on board this starship it will generate one megacredit per clan on board from gambling earnings.

You can collect money from a group of colonists on a Lady Royale the same turn that they beam down to an unowned or enemy planet.

If 160 colonist clans beam down to a planet that you do not own you will find 0 colonist clans plus 160 megacredits onboard the ship the next turn.


The Super Star Destroyer can perform an "Imperial Assault." Any race that owns this starship can use this ability to their benefit. To perform this attack the starship needs to drop ten clans on an enemy planet. Once this is accomplished the planet will be captured as that turn processes. The only defense against this is actually damaging the starship before it can drop clans. This will work against starbases, Cyborg planets and homeworlds. This starship is immune to the planetary ATT and NUK friendly codes.

The Super Star Destroyer can not perform this mission if it has no fuel or any damage.

Any race owning a Super Star Destroyer can perform this mission.

The Super Star Destroyer is immune to all NUK / ATT attacking planets if the Imperial Assault mission is turned on (HCONFIG). It does not matter which race owns the Super Star Destroyer, it is immune.


The Resolute and the Darkwing have advanced cloaking devices. They do not burn any extra fuel to cloak as all other cloaking ships do. They can cloak in an ion storm, they are the only ships that can cloak in an ion storm.


Ion storms are large charged plasma sub-space temporal anomalies. Ion storms will appear at random and can from anywhere. When they appear that can be of any size and power.

Ion storms move along semi-predictable paths at a warp factor ranging from 1-10. These storms will not render Chunneling or hyperdrive systems inactive, although if you use these systems while in an Ion storm there is the possibility of some unpredictable results.

The Ion storms will cause cloaking systems to fail completely while within the storm. If the storm is powerful enough it can completely disable shielding systems while within the storm.

Smaller starships do not handle Ion storms as well as larger ships. Although a starship's crew experience will help moderate (lessen) the damage that is caused by an Ion storm. If the crew is experienced enough they may help the starship to avoid damage altogether.

There is only four things that will gain a crew experience. These four things are movement (the larger the starship's mass the more experience that will be gained), surviving combat, performing alchemy missions, and surviving an Ion storm. There is not any way that you can tell how many experience points a ship has. This information is kept secret.

Ion storms will cause mine fields to be cloaked from your sensors. This means that while a mine field is covered by an Ion storm you will be unable to detect it or sweep it. The only exception to the no sweeping rule is the Colonials. The Colonial fighters can sweep mine fields that are covered by Ion storms.

Ion storms have movement vectors that change at a relatively small rate, therefore their path is somewhat predictable.

Ion storms are a configurable switch in the HCONFIG. The number of active ion storms can be set. There can be from 0 to 50 storms active at once in the game.

Ion disturbances can form in the deep void of spaces just outside of the echo star cluster. They are normally prevented from forming by the stellar winds radiating from the stars of the echo cluster. They are area high speed charged particles that are bounded by a natural warp shell that enables them to travel at faster then light speeds. The energies within the disturbance are constant through out the disturbance.

Disturbance have two phases:

The power increase phase: The disturbance's voltage and speed will slowly increase as the size of the disturbance decreases to a smaller diameter.

The weakening phase: The disturbance's voltage and speed decreases as the diameter of the disturbance increases.

Sometimes a weakening disturbance will suddenly increase in size while loosing a great amount of both speed and energy. These effect is commonly known as "pan caking".

The heading vector of a ion disturbance can not change more then 20 degrees per turn.

There are five classes of disturbances, the class is determined by the voltage of the disturbance.

ION Disturbances
Class 1 Harmless Disturbance Voltage is less then 50 meV
Class 2 Moderate Ddisturbance Voltage ranges from 50 to 99 meV
Class 3 Strong Disturbance Voltage ranges from 100 to 149 meV
Class 4 Dangerous Storm Voltage ranges from 150 to 199 meV
Class 5 Very Dangerous Storm Voltages at or above 200 meV

Storms and disturbances will not harm planets, only starships.

All starships can navigate a class 1, class 2 or class 3 ion disturbance with full shields.

All ion disturbances and storms make cloaking impossible.

Class 4 and class 5 storms can damage or destroy a starship.They can also kill the ships crew.

When a storm enters a class 4 or class 5 ion storm the ships shields will be rendered inoperative.

Solid matter acts as a damper against the effects of voltage fluxes. If you must travel through a ion storm, be sure to load the ship with as much fuel and cargo.

Class 4 and class 5 ion storms will drag starships along with them. The drag speed is 75% of then speed of the storm.

There have been reports of ion storms with voltages over 451 meV having an unexplained effect on starships. Starships that have entered storms of that power and have ether been destroyed or have vanished, never to be seen again.


Chunneling is the process where a Firecloud Class Cruiser uses a temporal rift in the subspace time continuum. This rift is a maelstrom of tachyon energy formed in the shape of a tunnel.

To open a Warp Chunnel a Firecloud needs to have at least 50 KT of fuel. It then selects its friendly code to the ID number of another Firecloud. This causes a targeting subspace signal to be generated. The firecloud then projects a stream of accelerated tachyon particles that cause a rift in the subspace time continuum. The generation of this high energy beam uses up 50 KT of fuel from the projecting Firecloud. This rift is anchored to the destination Firecloud.

Once the Chunnel is generated the Chunneling Firecloud moves into the Chunnel. This causes the Chunnel to collapse. As the Chunnel collapses it pushes the Firecloud (and most other starships that were in the same
point is space as the Firecloud) along in front of it as it collapses. This movement expends uses no fuel on the Chunneling starship(s), since they are being pushed along by the collapsing Chunnel (subspace temporal rift).

Needless to say, traveling through a high energy rift comprised of tachyon particles can have an adverse effect on your starship systems. Any starship completing a Chunnel will exit subspace with its shielding
systems inoperative. The Chunnel, in effect, strips the starship(s) of their shields for that turn. By the next turn the shielding systems will be functioning again.

How to Initiate a Chunnel

To start a Chunnel, as stated above, the traveling (or initiating) Firecloud needs to set its friendly code to the ID number of the Firecloud it wishes to travel to. Both Fireclouds need to have their warp factor set to zero (0). If the warp factors are not set to zero or the Fireclouds are under tow the Chunnel will not occur.

Chunneling happens as part of the movement phase of the host. It is the last segment of the movement phase. So it is possible for starships to move to the Firecloud before it Chunnels and then move with it.

A ship belonging to a race other than the race of the Firecloud opening a chunnel at the same point in space as the firecloud must have a warp speed of 0 (or be cloaked) to enter the chunnel (way point setting does not matter). The chunnel ship's race can enter the chunnel at any warp speed as can cloaked ships belonging to all races.

For Example: If fleet of enemy ships that warp onto a planet that is hiding a firecloud with its chunnel engaged only the enemy ships with a warp speed of 0 will enter the chunnel. The only ships that can move onto a planet with a warp speed of 0 are ships that are being towed. None of the ships that moved their under their own power will enter the chunnel, but any ships that they are towing will.

For Example: In a game somewhere there is a Cyborg player asking himself: Hmmm. . . wow I wonder how all these Meteor Class Blockade Runners ended up at my homeworld. . .

A pair Fireclouds can not use a chunnel if any ship with fuel locks a tow beam on ether one, the warp speed and waypoint setting of the ship locking the beam does not matter.

The minimum range of a Chunnel is 10 LY. The maximum range is 10,000 LY.

The two Firecloud must be owned by the one race to perform a chunnel You can not chunnel between Fireclouds belonging to two different races.

Cloaked ships can enter a Chunnel at any speed.

Cloaked starships moving through a Chunnel will remain cloaked. . .

Any ship exiting a Chunnel will not have any shields.


The Privateers and Crystals can capture starships in space that are out of fuel. To capture the helpless enemy starships they need to lock a tow beam onto the enemy starship. When they do this the capturing vessel beams over armed crew members to take over the enemy starship. When the starship is secured (all the enemy crew jettisoned into space) half of the capturing starship's crew or a full compliment for the captured starship (which ever is less) will beam over and man the captured starship. (i.e., Say starship A has 500 crew and captures starship B which normally has a crew of 1000. 250 crew member from starship A will man starship B. If B had only required 100 crew members to be full only 100 crew members would have beamed over to run the starship).

As stated above the crew of the captured starship is ejected into space except for Solar Federation, Privateer, Evil Empire and Colonial starships. With these races some of the crew members will rather go traitor than be ejected into space. the following shows the percentage of original crew members that grovel well enough to be kept on as lesser crew members.


Race Percentage that will turn traidor
Feds 90%
Privateer 100%
Empire 40%
Colonial 70%


Natives will accumulate loose happiness points each time their planet is attacked. The more a planet is exchanged between players the lower the happiness of the natives.


A ship that is cloaked can attack starships belonging to its primary enemy race. Cloaked ships will not attack enemy planets, unless they are damaged in an attack on an enemy ship and are forced to decloak over an enemy planet.


All races, except for the Colonies of Man, can not see or sweep a minefield that is inside an ion storm. They can sweep mines in an ION storm with fighters.

54 No High ASCII Friendly Codes
55 Exploding Tow Ship
56 New Race Names
57 Ship Build Queue


You can not set your FCODE to any non-printable ASCII code. If you do it will be reset to "AAA"


If a ship that is towing another ship explodes from damage caused by mine field hits, the ship that was under tow will be dropped at the position of the explosion.


If the host person changes the name of the races and places the new RACE.NM file into the universe directory (where the *.HST are), the new names will be transferred to all players using the version 3.5 WINPLAN.EXE for MS Windows client program. The RACE.NM file will end up in the VPWORK? directory under WINPLAN's main directory. The Winplan user can override the incoming RACE.NM file, by checking a box on the options window and place their own RACE.NM file in the VPWORK? directories.


When a game reaches the 500 ship game limit the new ships will be build in a queue order. If starbase ID # 347 builds ship number 500 this turn then starbase ID # 348 will build the next ship as soon as one is destroyed.


The normal ship build queue can be bypassed using priority build points. After a priority build ship is built and then the queue continues where ever it was before the build.

Every time you destroy 100kt of enemy starship hull you earn 1 PBP. Ships under 100kt count as 1 point.

If you have more then 20 PBP's you get to build new starships before anyone else with less PBP's than you.

Every build make or every clone you make will cost you 1 PBP per every 50 kt of hull that you make. Ships under 50 kt will cost you 1 point.

If you have more then 20 PBPs you might be able to both clone and do a normal build at the same starbase at the same time, if your PBPs don't drop below 21 during the builds/clones.

You get 1 PBP if you set off a glory device or destroy a ship to colonize a planet.

PBP's are not used until there are more than 450 ships in the game

PBP's are not used until you have 21 or more.


If a planet detects that it is a victim of a super spy mission and it has more then 30 defense outposts, it can burn up 10 of the defense outposts to emit an ionic pulse that will uncloak all cloaked ships in orbit.

A planet has about a 20% chance of pulling this off if it was the victim of a super spy mission.


Starships below a HCONFIG set tech level that hit a space mine will be slowed by 10 LY if it has more than 10 LY to travel when it hits the mine. (default tech level = 7)


Any message sent to the HOST (WINPLAN.EXE can do this) is stored in the HOSTMESS.TXT file.


A ship with one engine can always be towed by a ship with two or more engines.

Pillage mission will report native and colonist populations

Terraforming ships will report surface temp.100 = desert, 0 = ice

Ships that surrender have their mission set to nothing.

No population can be over 25,000,000.

No population will grow larger after it has reached 10,000,000

The Siliconoid name race have the maximum growth rate on desert planets.

Explore missions report on the planet's climate.

All ships explore, even cloaked ones. The explore mission does not need to be used.

The starbase's force surrender mission takes place before ship movement.


HCONFIG.EXE now makes a CONFIG.TXT file in the hst data directory that it is configuring when you save. This a text file is a listing of the current config settings being used in the game.



External Meteor programs may cause errors in host 3.2

When starting a new game in a new directory copy a HCONFIG.HST into
the new directory or run host one time then run HCONFIG.EXE to
change the default HCONFIG.HST made by the HOST.EXE when it doesn't
find a HCONFIG.HST file.

WARNING: Do not use CPLAYER version Alpha 1 or Alpha 2 with any of the 3.22 versions of HOST.EXE. Cplayer Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 will
cause fuel and mineral dumps to explode.
Use Cplayer version 3.01 or higher only.


(64) UFO Programming Issues

The format that UFO file uses is:

'This is its MS-Basic Type format:
'size = 78
marker As Integer
nm As String * 20
info1 As String * 20
info2 As String * 20
x As Integer
Y As Integer
warp As Integer
heading As Integer
rangeP As Integer
rangeS As Integer
edge As Integer
parent as Integer
End Type

The name of the file will be UFO.HST and it will be in the normal HST game universe file area.

The file will be made up of 100 records of UFOTYPE in order from 1 to 100 or in later version of host 1000 objects

The first byte of each record = (UFONUMBER - 1) * 78 + 1
(Given: The first byte in the file = byte 1)

If UFO.HST is found then it will pass the info to the version 3.5 player's starchart.

marker as integer '0 = no object, 1 to 15 = color of
'object on starmap
'( color = QBColor(ufo.marker) )
'( Quick Basic color format )
'The object will show up as a X
'with a square around it

nm as string * 20 'The name of the object
'this will be shown on the starmap
'at high ZOOM levels

info1 as string * 20 'extra info that the starmap
'will show if object is selected
info2 as string * 20 'ditto

X as integer '( X , Y ) coordinates
Y as integer

warp As Integer 'the warp speed of the object
'ranges from 0 to 15

heading As Integer 'heading in degrees
'0 = UP
'90 = Right
'180 = Down
'270 = Left

rangeP As Integer 'Range that a planet that you own can
'see the object

rangeS As Integer 'Range that a ship see the object

edge As Integer 'The outer edge of the object
'ranges from 0 to 5000 light years

'The edge will be plotted as a colored
'circle on the Version 3.5 starchart
'color of circle = marker color
'The radius of the circle equals edge

parent as Integer 'the ID number of the parent program 'this is to tell all programs who owns 'this UFO record

This feature will only turn on if a UFO.HST is found in the HST data directory.

If you are programming an add on for Host and will be using the UFO.HST you can request to have a range of ID numbers assigned to you. You will need at least one ID number for each program that you write. Please have your program check the UFO record to see if the record is in use by another program, before writing new data. Please uses only your assigned parent ID numbers.

Assigned Parent ID numbers: