The contraband / black market screen lists the current price of all the contraband items on the black market. The price of the various items is controlled by market conditions. If a race that likes one sort of contraband has lots of colonists on bases, in ships, and in cargo pods the price of contraband increases. If a large number of colonists that like a certain type of contraband get killed the price of contraband will fall.
In the above display there are active sell orders which call for the selling of 5 units of Stim-Bright Pills for 1443 MC each and 10 units of Lerchin Spices for 1.25 MC each.
The price of Stim-Bright Pills is up 70 MC this turn.
You must be careful when you hold large stock piles of contraband, the Privateers have ships that can steal contraband from your bases. If an enemy places 3 or more ships in orbit around your base you will be unable to sell your contraband on the base or launch pods containing contraband or any other type of cargo pods. Three or more enemy ships over one of your bases acts as a blockade.
Some ships have blockade devices or special blockade powers that can stop the sell of contraband at a range of 100 ly or 200 ly from the ship. The Enforcer Lawdog and the Sergeant At Arms both have a 100 ly lock down device. The Evil Empire's Moscow Class has a lock down device with a 200 ly range.
You will find contraband laying loose on some planets, you will need to form a base on the planet to gather up the contraband or use a contraband dust off device to gather up contraband from the planet and place it in a pod a thousand units at a time. If you are using a base full of colonists to gather contraband they will gather at their maximum rate when you have 1000000 or more colonists on the base. They will gather at half the normal gather rate if you have 500000 colonists.
Some races, like the Cyborg, can not buy or sell contraband on their bases.
You can use a Gold Pod to transport contraband between your bases. You can also use Gold Pods to sell contraband to an enemy base. If you can get a Gold Pod to within 60 ly of an enemy base you can order the pod to sell the contraband to the enemy base. This contraband will cause a massive up swing of crime on the target base and over time the happiness of the planet should sink like a rock. When the happiness gets below 30 cities will stop producing money, tax income will stop, the growth rate of the colonists will slow. This attack can be done from the safety of a cargo bay on a fast ship. You need to use this attack on high population bases with a type of contraband that your victim's colonists like. When the crime rate gets above 1000 units the base will begin to suffer from a 10% death rate and many other side effects that will result in the happiness dropping by 10 to 30 points a turn and force the spending of 1000mc per turn to fight crime. They will have a very hard time of figuring out that this sneak attack took place. This attack can be carried out by cloaked ships with cargo pods full of contraband. This sneak attack can be done to players you are not at war with. Races that you are suppose to be friends with. . .
Robots are immune to happiness drops or crime.
Bases with high populations and a great number of Cantinas can produce some contraband each turn at random. The maximum production rate is reached when you have ten million or more colonists on your base. Low population bases have very little chance of producing contraband. The amount of contraband produced is random, but no one contraband produced in a turn can be greater than the number of Cantinas on the base. If you have a thousand Cantinas and ten million colonists all contraband types will have a 10% chance of growing in the amount of zero to one thousand units. The drawback of having a great number of Cantinas on one base is that base will become a big stinking pit of crime over time. Aczanny Cantinas are not effected by population number limits.
June 11th, 2004