Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit"
   Henry Brooks Adams 1838-1918

April 15th, 2005
New Host (Version 4.000.193)

Feb 16th, 2005
Planets4.exe (Version 4.000.059)

April 5th, 2004
Colonies Of Man Version 101 Revision 2

April 5th, 2004
Cyborg Version 101 Revision 2

The Newbies Guide

Planets 4 Help
(Currently being updated)

Special Weapons and Hull Guide

Basic Rules Of The Universe
New Players read this first

Ship Device List


The version 4 internet news group

News Group:

Para mirar la page del foro:

Docs in Spanish

Mailing List


Buy a version 4 Reg code now (Price $30)


Current Activity

Computer AIal


Player Guides

Solar Federation (May 27th, 2001)

Lizards (May 27, 2001)

Birdmen (May 27, 2001)
Birdmen Guide 2

Stormers (May 27, 2001)

Privateers (Aug 10, 2001)

Cyborg (May 27, 2001)
The Cyborg Guide to Assimilating the Universe

Crystals (May 27, 2001)

Evil Empire (May 27, 2001)

Robots (May 28, 2004)

Colonies Of Man (April 24, 2002)

Rebels (Jan 11, 2003)

Ship Devices (April 24, 2002)

University Alliance (Dec 1, 2000)

Enforcers (July 2, 2001)

More Race Guides


Do you have a Planets 4 web site?
Please let me know about it, email me at:

I would like to add it to the planets 4 links page.


Download the beta version here:

New players start with this package:

Oct 11th, 2004 Complete beta package v4beta20.exe (29 meg) A snap shot of the current files. Including host, master, raceview, vcr, and planets4.exe. Includes the races Feds, Lizards, Birds, Stormers, Cyborg, Crystals, Privateers, Evil Empire, Robots, Rebels, Colonies of Man, and 3rd party races.


New Players read this first: Basic Rules Of The Universe

And this A Beginner's guide to playing VGAP4

The Newbies Guide


The Latest Updates

To install the updates drop them into your planets4 directory and run the EXE,
it will overwrite your existing EXE file with an updated file

New! April 15th

April 15th, 2005 HOST.EXE 4.000.193 host193.exe (865 k)

Feb 16th, 2005 PLANETS4.EXE 4.000.059 p059.exe(1.65 meg)

April 5th, 2004 Colonies of Man Race Pack Version 101 Revision 2

April 5th, 2004 Cyborg Race Pack Version 101 Revision 2

(Note: The SPK file goes in the ships directory)
The RCE file goes in the races directory

Sept 29th, 2003 HOST.EXE 4.000.144 host144.exe (865 k)

VCR.EXE 4.000.015 vcr15.exe (225 k)
Requires Microsoft DirectX

VCR.EXE 4.000.015 vcr15mix.exe (255 k)
Does not use DirectX (uses wavmix32.dll )

Aug 26th 2000 Download Version 4 Help File (Second Release) (6 meg)

Online Planets 4 help files (HTML)

Map Compiler Program

Armin Trott's Achernar map
Size: 6000 X 6000 LYs with 2000 stars
Shape: 30 Local Clusters
(Place in your planets 4 DATA subdirectory)

The Yale Star Map

Test RST files Sample RST file 1 Sample RST file 2 Sample RST file 3 Sample RST file 4

Mirror File Download Sites

RC World Germany

STC Germany File Download Site


Cause: Your TABCTL32.OCX is an older version that does not work with planets4.exe to fix it do this:
Rename the file c:\windows\system\tabctl32.ocx to c:\windows\system\tabctl32old.ocx
tabctl32.ocx (225 k) and place it in your c:\windows\system\ directory
Drag and drop the tabctl32.ocx onto
regsvr32.exe to register it into your windows registry

Collected Features: A list of all host changes up to current host

April 15th, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.193

Fixed: Bug in ground combat that was causing less colonists, crew and troops to be lost then should be.

Fixed: Bad transporter bug that produced large numbers of high guard.

New: Robot Q Tanker can mask the sensor image of Robot ships within 100 LY, giving them a sesor image of only 5

New: Robots can cloak mines

New: Colonists on Colony of Man ships produce an income of 200mc per 100000 colonists.

New: All races can sweep cloaked mines with a 25% success rate

New: Base ION Cannons only work when the shield is turned off

New: Ships with a hull mass over 690 have improved PD systems, ships with a hull mass over 1200 have an improved PD system and ships with a hull mass over 1800 have an even better PD system

New: Figher and ship combat logic improved.

Changed: Base ION Cannons use 10 ord per shot

Changed: Minefield power increased, they do more damage when you hit them.

Changed: Glory device will only kill 15,000 worms per blast

Changed: Spice production reduced

Changed: Robot mine sweeping of cloaked mines only works 25% of the time instead of 100% of the time.

Changed: Energized sand toned down. it does not work 100% of the time anymore


March 1st, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.189

Fixed: Labor camps over producing credits

Fixed: Labor mines over producing credits

Changed: Colonists in pods have more importance when calculating your number of resource points. They are now worth about
40% what colonists in a base are worth.

Feb 16th, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.188

New: If warp chunnel fails do to lack of fuel you get a log message

New: Gathering stuff from a planet rate now limited bay number of colonists

Changed: You no longer get hit with crime for selling contraband

Changed: The crime effects of selling contraband using a gold pod scaled back

Fixed: Boarding laser causing boarding to fail do to a negative number error.

Fixed: QTanker not refueling fighters

Fixed: Having less than 100 Labor Mines on a planet caused 100% death rates among crew, troops and high guard prisoners.

Feb 16th, 2005

What is new in Planets4.exe Version 4.000.059

Fixed: Minister enable and planet AVOID using the same data bit, you switch one your end up switching the other.

Jan 29th, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.187

Fixed: Host crashes when wing trys to dock with itself

New: RST file size should be much smaller now

Jan 22nd, 2005

What is new in Planets4.exe Version 4.000.057

New: Ship have a new combat setting that allows them to AVOID combat with an enemy base they are over, when this attack setting is one the ship CAN NOT use its large weapons to damage the enemy base.

New: Ground bases have a highly experimental attack option CAPTURE. Your troops kill far less enemy colonists and take 3 times normal losses. This attack is very useful when attacking enemy bases that are almost all colonists.

Jan 22nd, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.186

Fixed: Wierd things happen when cyborg capture a ship that has high guard aboard.

New: Ground base capture setting added

New: Fighter wings that are NOT set to attack ground targets will STAY AWAY from the base to avoid AAA fire.

New: Ships can avoid attacking the base under the ship, when the ship is set to avoid the base the large weapons can NOT be used to fire at the base.

New: Robot nest powers increased to taking 3% (was a random 0.00% to 3%) of all enemy colonists in range and has the side effect of killing an extra 4.5%.
If you are in the circle of robot nest death you will loose 7.5% of your colonists per turn.

New: The range of the robot nest is based on turn number and number of insects and colonists on the base. The nest range has a minimum range of 30LY and a maximum range of 400 LY. At the beginning of the game the range will be about 100LY around the home world at turn 60 the range will be about 400 LY around all high population planets.

A = SQR(Colonists + Insectoids) / 5

B = 100 + Turn_Number * 5

If A < B then nest range is A.
If B < A then nest range is B.

The base will get a log message telling you the current nest range.

New: Warrior Shuttle resistant to barbitic minefield detonations.

New: The Robot Q Tanker is very hard to see, it has a sensor profile of only 5 at all times.

New: The Robot Q Tanker refuels fighter wings out to a range of 100 LY

Jan 6th, 2005

What is new in Planets4.exe Version 4.000.056

New: Crime shown on contraband sell/buy page

New: Ministers avoid letting your crime level get above 100 when they are selling all your contraband

New: Contraband page will show you how much crime will increase if you sale an item of contraband

New: Ship and Base overview screens stay open when switching between enemy ships and bases

New: Crime level shown on main overview screen

New: When view destroyed planets using the data pads all data screens and buttons are now active

New: The find object screen now has a clear boxes button.

New: Resource ring display shows crime levels (Under misc)

New: Ship and Base screen have red outlines when viewing enemy objects

Jan 4th, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.185

Fixed: Transporter bug that causes ships without boarding lasers to fail to transfer cargo to and from a planet that they are leaving.

New: Robot insect nest range reduced to 200 ly

Jan 3rd, 2005

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.184

New: Gambling deck ships generate 2 points of crime on bases they are over.

New: The power of weapons to push back an enemy ships decreased by 50% and ship with a mass over 900 are immune.

New: Show lounge ships generate 2 points of crime on bases they are over.

New: Crime rate no longer effects the amount you get from selling contraband

New: Criminals steal contraband from bases with high crime. (50% chance that 5% will be taken if there is over100 crime)

New: If you have a crime level above 100 contraband will be stolen when you launch a pod of contraband.

New: High Guard are much better at fighting crime, the more you have the better they get. The more crime you have the better they get.
If you have 10000 crime and 10000 HG they will drop crime by 1000 points.
If you have 100 crime and 100 HG they will drop crime by 8 points.

New: Troops are much better at fighting crime.
If you have 10000 crime and 1000000 troops they will drop crime by 500 points.

New: Privateers move crime around. . . if they have a base within 200LY they might take 10% of your crime away from you and give it out to another base in the area.

New: If a ship has less than 50% crew its weapons will begin to malfunction during combat. The percentage crew that you have is the percentage chance that a weapon system will work.

New: Robots have a new method of fighting crime

New: Cyborg have a new method of fighting crime

New: Robot insect nests kill more enemy colonists. Three times what they did before. Income and insect production remains the same.

New: No more free lunch ( 5kt of food ) when beaming colonists down to a new world. You have to bring food with you now. If you beam down colonists and suddenly next turn they are all gone, it might be because you forgot to bring food.

Fixed: People can beam fuel from friendly Solorian ships!

Fixed: Some really pycho-wierd bonehead logic flaw in transporter attemps is causing transporting and boarding to fail most of the time.

Master: Robot starting insectoid population changed to 50000 + 10% starting colonist population.

Dec 25th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.183

New:When a base is captured by ground combat the crime from the base is spread about to all bases belonging to the victim race with in 800 LY. (Not enemy bases.)

Dec 25th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.182

New:When a base is captured by ground combat the crime from the base is spread about to all bases with in 800 LY, both enemy and friendly bases. Your own bases get a dose of crime 5 times greater than what the enemy bases get.

New: Cantinas can be removed from a base using the base command code "ATF"

New: Crime rate increase by cantinas reduced.

New: Selling contraband generates 5 points of crime per type of contraband sold

New: Crime rates of over 100 begin to effect the amount you get from selling contraband

New: Crime rates of over 100 effects your income from cities (Undercities immune)

Dec 18th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.181

Fixed: Figher combat logic messed up.

Fixed: Ship combat logic messed up.

Fixed: Ship stand off range not working

Fixed: Ships hitting two web mines in a single turn

Fixed: Ships intercepting ships and object that they can not see

Fixed: Cantinas produce the insane amounts of contraband and crime is a joke

New: Wings only auto intercept pods when target soft is on

New: Wings only auto intecept wings when target fighters is on

New: Wreckage is no longer auto intercepted

New: Mass effects how fast ship can change speed during combat

New: High Guard (10 or more) decrease crime rate

New: Troops (10000 or more) decrease crime rate.

Nov 28th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.180

Fixed: Captured ships end up at (0,0)

Nov 28th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.179

New: Ships and wings escorting ships with engines set at very high speed, but traveling a very short distance will us a special fuel saver mode to conserve fuel.

Fixed: Reticulian med lab producing more cargo than the ship can hold

Fixed: High guard blocking ground attacks when they should not be.

Fixed: Ships with no fuel and no crew are able to over power tractor beams.

Fixed: Host crashing due to "fuel from no where bug" being exploited.

Fixed: Fuel robber producing fuel from nowhere

Oct 23rd, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.178

New: Ship command code "REC" cause the ship to recharge a minefield within 200LY with fresh ord instead of dropping a new field. The type of minefield will be the type the ship is set to drop.

New: Outfit pod launching moved to before ship building to prevent quick build ships from using the parts that were suppose to be on outfit pods causing all sorts of strangeness, like pods not launching and then launching a few turns later after the required parts are built.

New: If a ship with a cloaking device makes over 400 point of sensor noise or gets tagged by a detonating laser mine gun zeros can target it.

New: Ship making less than 400 points of sensor noise and not lit up by detonating laser mines can not be targeted by the Solorian Stellar matter launcher.

Fixed: Prisoners not returning home after you took them back and prisoners not returning to your allies bases as they should. I keep getting a log message but nothing happens.

Fixed: If a ship is blasted with a laser mine detontation and made visible, it is immune to combat. (It should NOT be immune!)

Fixed: The Glory Device hull types 42 and 43 are not combat immune (as they SHOULD be) when the second wave switch is on.

Oct 21th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.177

Fixed: The Cyborg king keeps disappearing and moving around and doing weird things when I put him on a ship.

Oct 20th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.176

New: Virgo command code "LSD". If you have a waypoint that is less than 50 LY light speed cuts off to save fuel. The command code "LSD" (LIGHT SPEED DAG-NABIT!!!!) overrides lightspeed auto cut off so you can burn lots of fuel and go very short distances or no where at all. It also allows you to intercept or escort at light speed ships that begin the turn right next to you. If you do not use the LSD code your light speed will cut off if your waypoint is set to a distance less than 50 LY, because your ship thinks it is silly to burn all that fuel just to move 50 LY.

New: Aczanny ground combat units and troops now protect colonists from insectoid attacks.

New: Gun Zero and other special race buildings can be destroyed by blasting them from space.

Fixed: Minefield recharge function turning on by mistake.

Oct 11th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.175

Fixed: Minefield load data error.

Oct 11th, 2004

What is new in Host.exe Version 4.000.174

New: Command code WPP (Waypoint Priority) causes ships to go to their waypoint before going to their intercept target or escort target. The ship will switch to the intercept or escort target as soon as waypoint is reached. A ship can move to a waypoint and then move in an intercept course during the same turn.

New: You can only launch a pod at an object that you can see. If you launch to an object that you can not see the pod will just go into orbit around the base that lauched it.

Fixed: Chupanoid natives are showing up on my home world planet!

Fixed: Robot ships taking too much damage from chain reaction nova barb mines.

Fixed: Solorian green home star heat level corrected. They where getting a green star with the wrong heat.


Buy a version 4 Reg code now (Price $30)


General Overview of VGA Planets 4

VGA Planets 4 (VGAP4) is a competitive, multiplayer Email game of Space
Warfare. Each player controls one empire in a galaxy. As in other Space
Wargames, players explore the area around them, gather or develop resources,
research technologies, build infrastructure and create space and ground
combat units to defeat their neighbors.

However, VGAP4 differs significantly from most other Space Warfare games in
several ways.

VGAP4 is an Email game. The time between moves is more leisurely than real
time games or games played on a single computer. The duration of a game long
is usually long. A typical game might have a turn due two or three times
per week, and the game as a whole take three to six months to reach its

VGAP4 is a multiplayer game. Skill at negotiating and diplomacy are
important. Most of the other players will be enemies to be crushed. Some may
be allies, temporary or permanent, and some may be members of pre-assigned
teams. Skill at getting the most out of your partners, skill at creating a
functioning alliance, and skill at leading your enemy into a committing
disastrous blunders are all important.

VGAP4 is a _competitive_ game between human beings. The objective is not to
grow your empire to Tech Level 10, nor get a certain size of population or
fleet. Those are only tools for achieving your real goal: beating the player
in the empire next to yours. If you can defeat the other player by achieving
Weapons Technology Level 10 before him, do so. If you can defeat him before
either of you get to Weapons Technology 10, that's terrific too. The point
is not how many "points" you have on any absolute scale, but that _you_ are
defeating _him_ on a relative scale.

Because you have human opponents, the winning strategy in VGAP4 tends to
differ from the winning strategy in other Space Wargames. In many similar
appearing games, the key to victory is well thought out, patterned play to
maximize searching, to optimally develop technology, and to build
infrastructure rapidly. In those games, players work out a "perfect plan" of
the most efficient way to expand and develop. They then use that plan over
and over in each successive game. Against human opponents, patterned
predictable play will lead you into an ambush and a one-way trip to an enemy
Labor Camp. Human players, unlike steady computer opponents, will confront
you with a combination of brilliant threats, clever traps, and incredibly
bone-headed blunders.VGAP4 rewards players who do the unexpected, whose next
move cannot easily be foreseen, and who can react rapidly to opportunities
or threats that suddenly arise.

Any wargame favors aggressive, offensive play over a passive defense. In
VGAP4, the player's empires are fairly robust, but the game system does
allow attacks to develop rapidly. The game system is rich enough to provide
many different ways to damage your enemy. Space battles, orbital
bombardment, and ground infantry battles are all there. So are subtler ways
to reduce your enemy's economy, happiness, income and productivity through
covert, non-combat means.  VGAP4 gives great advantage to the offensive
minded player because you can combine ships, fighters and ground troops into
a mutually supporting attack, and do this at a time when you have arranged
that your enemy's economy is in ruins his a population in revolt.

If you can get the most from your friends, deceive your enemies, seize
sudden opportunities, respond rapidly to unforseen threats, and are
tenacious and
thoughtful enough to push relentlessly once you gain an advantage, you will
do just fine here. It's as simple as that.