7.0.0 Colonization of New Planets

The colonization of new planets is the only way in which a player can expand his economy other than conquering another player's planets. In addition, each player begins with a very large number of unexplored and potentially habitable planets within his area of control. It is only natural that players will desire to make their empires more economically powerful by colonizing some of these worlds.


There are 8 types of life-bearing planets classified in Fire On The Suns. The possibility of finding any of these planets orbiting a particular type of star depends heavily upon the star's spectral type. The more Sol-like (spectral type G) the star is, the more likely the chance that there is an earth-like world orbiting that star. The computer programs that drive the mapping system used in Fire On The Suns have all of these formulae coded into them. These percentages will not be revealed to any player at any time before, during, or after the game.


Fire On The Suns classifies planets into 8 primary areas as follows,


Planet Colonization Multiples:

Planet Class/Type                        Colonization Multiple

M (Habitable)                                 1.0

N (Habitable)                                  1.2

P (Habitable)                                   1.5

R (Habitable)                                  1.8

S (Habitable)                                   2.0

T (Habitable)                                  2.5

V (Habitable)                                  3.0

X (Habitable)                                  4.0

Z (Uninhabitable)                           5.0


All planets have a classification and value assigned to them. Class Z worlds may include some gas giants; however, only gas giant native races such as the Hee’Dra may normally colonize gas giants at all.


Building a new colony requires the expenditure of RPs equivalent to the total RP output of the planet being colonized, including standard, strategic, and special strategic RPs, multiplied by the colonization multiple for that planet class. For example, to colonize a Class S planet that has an RP Potential=200 that also produces the strategic resource Iron/Steel, a player would pay the following RPs costs,


200x2.0=400 RPs plus 100x2.0= 200 RPs; Total Colonization Costs= 600 RPs.


New colonies require freighters to transport the necessary RPs (which includes the colonists, their equipment, etc.) to the colony site. Colonies in previously uncolonized systems specifically may not be established without the use of a freighter conveying the RP’s for its colonization from some other existing colony; establishing the first colony in an uncolonized system is not a function of the invisible infrastructure. There is a minimum requirement of 4 days per colonization attempt to transport the necessary materials from the transport to the planetary surface for the colonization effort (see Cargo Bays for further details). In order to simplify the process, however, freighters and cargo bays carried by them may be placed in an imperial colonization pool which may be drawn on for colonization purposes. One cargo bay can transport 20 RPs for colonization purposes.


Once established, a new colony is tied into an empire's economic transport network automatically so long as it is properly connected to the communications and control net established by colonies and/or bases. In other words, there is no delay after establishment for a colony to function as a colony for detection, communication, and supply purposes.


7.0.1 Populations (optional)

RPs and populations are completely separate in Fire On The Suns. RPs may be thought of as a collective “pool” of needed labor, manhours, skills, and technologies needed by the government (not the general population) to achieve a desired result. While RPs are the basic currency of Fire On The Suns, they are only distantly related to actual populations.


The following rules are optional, and are intended to allow GMs to use populations to affect the colonization multiples of planets in a loose fashion. These rules are not intended to allow mini-maxing by players, only to allow the movement of populations and have that impact colonization is a very loose and indirect fashion.


Colonists being shipped on gulag, slave, or prison ships, or ships being used for evacuation purposes can ship up to 2000 people per cargo bay. Fifteen percent of the people transported in this manner (i.e. 300 per each cargo bay holding 2000 people) will die before reaching their destination. (Exception: evacuees will suffer only a 5% casualty rate and these may be recovered by medical treatment at the destination.) In addition, colonists transported in this manner will impact production at their destination points by reducing RP production by 25% for 2 turns.


Colonists shipped in cold-sleep freezers, stasis boxes, or some other form of suspended animation (e.g. “corpsicles” as referred to below), can ship up to 1500 people per cargo bay. Colonists transported in this fashion will suffer a 20% casualty rate (i.e. 300 per each cargo bay holding 1500 corpsicles) unless sufficient medical facilities are available at their destination. (Exception: evacuees will suffer only a 5% casualty rate and these may be recovered by medical treatment at the destination.) In any event, colonists shipped in this fashion will impact RP production at their destination by decreasing that world’s production by 15% for 2 turns.


Colonists shipped in standard colony transport regimen can be shipped in numbers of 1000 people per cargo bay. Colonists shipped in this fashion will impact RP production at their destination by lowering it 10% for 1 turn.


Colonists shipped in cargo bays outfitted with state rooms can be shipped in numbers of 500 people per cargo bay. Colonists shipped in this manner do not impact RP productivity.


Colonists shipped in passenger liner quarters can be shipped in numbers of 250 people per cargo bay. Colonists shipped in this fashion do not impact RP productivity.


Population sizes for pre-game colonies are as follows:


Homeworld 6 billion plus 10 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Other colonies:
Class M      25 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class N       20 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class P        15 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class R        10 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class S        5 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class T        3 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class V        1 million per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class X       200,000 per RP/SRP/SSRP
Class Z        20,000 per RP/SRP/SSRP



Populations will have natural growth rates figured for them once every 6 turns. The class of planet that the population occupies directly impacts the growth rate of a population as follows,


Planet Class          Growth Rate

        M                          5%

        N                           3%

        P                            1.5%

        R                           +/-0%

    S                            +/-0%

    T                           +/-0%

    V                           -1.5%

    X                           -3%

    Z                           -5%


Class V, X, and Z worlds have mortality rates which exceed growth rates. Populations not associated with RP production on these worlds will eventually die out. The intent of these optional rules in this case is more strongly to encourage, and to increase the value of, the colonization of Class M, N, and P planets over Class Z's. It will also serve to make those 400 RP Class M paradise worlds incredibly valuable.


Practices such as strip-mining might have detrimental effects on the populations as well.


Colonist populations can be used to indirectly affect the cost to colonize a world. The number of additional colonists (above and beyond those assumed to come with the basic colonization RP costs) required to effect a 10% decrease in the cost to colonize a world are as follows,


Planet Class    Population Needed for 10% Cost Reduction

M                                          2000

N                                           3000

P                                            4000

R                                           5000

S                                            6000

T                                           7000

V                                           8000

X                                           9000

Z                                           10000


Under these optional rules, a player would need to ship in at least 5 cargo bays full of corpsicles to get a 10% modifier to a Class Z planet's colonization multiple, and as many as 20% of those 10 thousand people will die upon arrival and another 5% (550 people) will die every year just from being on the Class Z world in the first place.


7.1.0 Mining & Strip-mining Of Planets

In addition to colonizing a planet, all empires have the ability to set up mining stations on a planet and the ability to strip-mine a planet. Of the two, strip-mining is by far the most destructive way for an empire to get value out of a planet. Mining stations may be set up on any planet. Mining stations set up on gas giants are actually giant floating factories that circle the planet high in its upper atmosphere scooping needed materials out of the planet's atmosphere and refining it for shipment to orbital stations. (Note: only gas giant native species may normally mine gas giants at all.)


Mining stations are very large installations designed to mine and to process resources (i.e. RPs) quickly and efficiently and without the necessity of colonizing a planet. This is not to say that mining stations are unmanned. Mining stations actually have very large crews that operate the station in "shifts" like a factory. Essentially, a mining station is a factory ship that lands on a planet and mines its resources.


Mining stations must be constructed at a colonized world and then transported to the mine site via freighter.


One mining station can process only one type of resource during any turn. If a planet produces normal RPs plus strategic or special strategic RPs, then a separate mining station must be set up to mine each resource individually (i.e. one mining station will mine and process normal RPs while the other will mine and process the strategic or special strategic RPs that the planet produces).


Mining stations and/or colonists also have the ability to strip-mine planets. Strip-mining a planet will result in the production of twice the maximum output of RPs from the planet being strip-mined. For example, a planet that produces 200 RPs per turn normally would produce 400 RPs per turn when strip-mined.


Strip-mining may be continued for a maximum of 6 turns. On the 7th turn, the production of the planet falls to 0 RPs per turn and the planet becomes devastated. Any mining stations or colonists that are not removed from the planet during the 7th turn are automatically destroyed at the start of the next turn, the one that would have been the 8th turn of mining.


Strip-mining devastates a planet. Planets will begin to recover from devastation only after 50 game years (300 turns) have passed (i.e. not within the normal duration in turns of a game) unless advanced terra-forming techniques are used to aid its recovery.


7.2.0 Supplies & Supply Depots

RPs may be stockpiled at various locations for later conversion into needed supplies, repairs, etc. These locations are known as Supply Depots. Supply Depots operate as multi-function bases for providing repairs, supplies, colonists, etc. for a player's operations during a turn. Supply Depots are the only location from which repairs may be drawn during a turn by a player's ships or ground forces other than freighters accompanying the fleet or ground force or a local base or shipyard. Supply Depots may be used to rebuild and repair damage to ships and ground forces outside of the normal between-turn process. Supply Depots may be established anywhere that a player's ships can go. Supply Depots, once established (by freighter), may be moved, exhausted, depleted, or dismantled. Supply Depots which are drawn against, but not re-supplied, may become depleted through such use. Supply Depots must be continually re-supplied with RPs when the stockpiles are used.


Supply Depots may be captured or destroyed by enemy (or friendly) action.


Supply Depots may be defended by ground forces. Any pre-existing installation may function as a Supply Depot at no penalty to that installation's normal operations. Supply Depots may also be built on colonized or uncolonized worlds of any type that the player can visit (i.e. no gas giants can be used except by the Hee'Dra who cannot use terrestrial type planets).


The cost to establish a Supply Depot is the same as the number of RPs that the depot will possess (i.e. a Supply Depot can be as small as 1 RP (0 if depleted) or, potentially, infinitely large). Supply Depots must be established and re-supplied and drawn from by freighters unless the fleet or ground force drawing RPs from that depot is in the same star system as the depot is.



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