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3.4.1 Why can I not build a certain building?
Buildings may appear unbuildable (with a red cross on the build screen) if you have no Colony Hub, if the building type is not appropriate to the planet type (for example, a Park cannot be built on a Frozen planet type), or if the building or building type is restricted to a certain number per colony (for example, you can only build one of each factory type per colony).
3.4.2 How do I repair buildings?
Left click on the building, and click "Damaged". It will then display "Repair". Repairs use up cash and full repairs will take a day or more, depending on the type of building. Once damaged is reduced below 50%, buildings become operational. You can opt to auto-repair all buildings on the Options screen, however will not prioritise repairs and early in the game will tend to drain your treasury.
3.4.3 Why can't I turn power "on"?
Buildings that are more than 50% damaged cannot be "turned on" - repair them first to at least 50%. In colonies with chronic power shortages, buildings may not be turned on. Limited power supply will be diverted towards essential buildings like housing. Power can otherwise be toggled by clicking on the building, and then clicking On/Off.
3.4.4 What do different buildings do?
In summary (Satellites and Orbital Bases are listed under What equipment and weapons are available?):
- Colony Centre:
- Colony Hub: "The colony hub is the prefabricated colony center automatically deposited on planet by a colonization ship. You can only build other structures on a planet if you have a colony hub." Cost 40,000. Energy 0. Workers 960. Includes basic facilities to meet the food requirement of 5000 people, and the basic hospital requirement of 10,000 people.
- Housing (where people live):
- Apartment Block: "Apartment blocks are more expensive to build than prefab housing but can provide living space for more people." Cost 12,000. Energy 1200. Workers 70. Capacity 15,000 people.
- Arcology: "Arcologies are expensive to build but allow the largest population of colonists per square meter." Cost 16,000. Energy 1500. Workers 100. Capacity 30,000 people.
- Prefab Housing: "Prefab housing is the cheapest low capacity housing available for your colonists..." Cost 5,600. Energy 850. Workers 60. Capacity 7000 people.
- Power (produce energy):
- Fusion Plant: "The Fusion Plant is most efficient on planets with a ready supply of fusible materials (deuterium, tritium, helium-2)." Cost 24,000. Energy 0. Workers 500. Output ~9900 Kwh. Cannot be built on Desert, Neptoplasm or Rocky planets.
- Nuclear Plant: "Nuclear Plants use the old-fashioned technology of atomic fission to generate power." Cost 8000. Energy 0. Workers 290. Output ~3500 Kwh.
- Solar Plant: "Advanced, super-efficient photovoltaics combined with high-temperature superconductors and orbital light focusing field arrays make Solar plants the most efficient power source." Cost 16,000. Energy 0, Workers 350, Output ~9000 Kwh. Cannot be built on Frozen or Liquid planets. Research as Commander.
- Life Sources (produce food and water):
- Phood(TM) Factory: "Phood(TM) Factory utilizes the latest advances in genetically engineered MeatBeast(TM), FastGrain(TM) and Sculpted Algae(TM) to produce large quantities of food for hungry colonists." Cost 10,000. Energy 2000. Workers 500. Output 40,000t (feeds 20,000 people). Research or capture as Commander.
- Hydroponic Food Farm: "The Hydroponic Food Farm facility grows natural foods in an unnatural environment, extracting maximum yields from such exciting foodstuffs as grains, fungi, and algae." Cost 4200. Energy 1300. Workers 300. Output 15,000t (feeds 8000 people).
- Water Vaporator: "Moisture Vaporators extract moisture from the air to provide drinking supplies. Water deficient planets need Vaporators to avoid slow population growth." Cost 45,000. Energy 800. Workers 210. Output 12,000 (people?). Cannot be built on Earth-type, Frozen, Rocky, or Liquid planets (thanks to Alain Roy for correction). Eventually required on Cratered and Desert planets.
- Factories (manufacture spacecraft and equipment, and ground units; limited to one per type per colony):
- Equipment Factory: "The Equipment factory increases the colony's equipment production capacity." Cost 20,000. Energy 2600. Workers 460.
- Spaceship Factory: "The Spaceship factory increases the colony's spaceship production capacity." Cost 20,000. Energy 4000. Workers 430.
- Weapon Factory: "The Weapon factory increases the colony's weapon production capacity." Cost 24,000. Energy 3000. Workers 390.
- Development Centres (allow research, one level of research per centre; limited to one of any type per colony);
- A.I. Dev. Centre: "The AI Development Centre increases your colony's knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, which increases your Development capabilities." Cost 46,000. Energy 2000. Workers 360.
- Civil Eng. Dev. Centre: "The Civil Engineering Development Centre increases your colony's knowledge of Civil Engineering, which increases your Development capabilities." Cost 30,000. Energy 2000. Workers 560.
- Computer Dev. Centre: "The Computer Development Centre increases your colony's knowledge of Computer technology, which increases your Development capabilities." Cost 42,000. Energy 2000. Workers 560.
- Mechanics Dev. Centre: "The Mechanics Development Centre increases your colony's knowledge of Mechanics, which increases your Development capabilities." Cost 34,000. Energy 2000. Workers 620.
- Military Dev. Centre: "The Military Development Centre increases your colony's knowledge of Military technology, which increases your Development capabilities." Cost 52,000. Energy 3000. Workers 420.
- Commerce (generate additional treasury cash; limited to one per type per colony):
- Bank: "Banks provide financial investments for local commerce increasing trade and income on the colony." Cost 16,000. Energy 500. Workers 230. Trade revenue (from Traders' Spaceport and/or Trade Centre) doubles. Useless without a Traders' Spaceport or Trade Centre in the colony.
- Trade Centre: "The trade centre forms the hub of colonial commerce, the presence of one increases weekly trade income." Cost 17,000. Energy 1000. Workers 360. Revenue 1200 credits per day. Research as Admiral.
- Traders' Spaceport: "Integrated commercial spaceports, automated customs processing facilities, robot dockworkers and Spacemerchant's Guild make the Traders' spaceport a valuable revenue source." Cost 10,000. Energy 1700. Workers 250. Revenue 600 credits per day.
- Civilian (assorted buildings primarily serving immediate needs of local population):
- Bunker: "Bunkers are heavily reinforced structures which provide your colonists with a safe haven during attacks by enemy forces, greatly reducing casualties." Cost 18,000. Energy 500. Workers 30. Research as Admiral.
- Fire Brigade: "Fire brigades automatically repair damaged colony structures up to 50% free of charge. They are very useful when a colony is being bombarded from orbit or assaulted by ground forces." Cost 12,000. Energy 1200. Workers 300. Required by colonies with more than 30,000 people.
- Hospital: "Hospitals improve colony morale and health, fight disease and find solutions to the challenges of life on alien planets allowing the population to grow more quickly." Cost 13,000. Energy 900. Workers 280. Meets basic hospital requirement for an additional 20,000 people.
- Police Station: "Police Stations are demanded by the colonists on sufficiently populated worlds to reduce crime to acceptable levels." Cost 26,000. Energy 1200. Workers 400. Meets notional basic policing requirement for 50,000 people, but additional Police Stations improve tax morale. To maintain extreme levels of taxation, use one Police Station per 10,000 population (in combination with morale boosting buildings - see below).
- Radar (allow ships within range of planet to be seen on the map):
- Field Telescope: "The Field Telescope is a high powered and focused radio wave detector that can be used to find enemy fleets at a greater range than the Radar Telescope." Cost 10,000. Energy 2500. Workers 160. Research as Commander.
- Phased Telescope: "The Phased Telescope is the ultimate in long range sensing equipment, accurately locating enemy fleets at extreme ranges." Cost 25,000. Energy 2000. Workers 180. Improvement on Field Telescope. Similar range to Hubble 2 (satellite telescope). Research as Admiral.
- Radar Telescope: "The Radar Telescope detects nearby enemy fleets in space, helping to give warning before enemy attacks." Cost 4000. Energy 2000. Workers 60.
- Orbital Guns (fire from the planet at orbiting enemy spacecraft, limited to 5 of any type per colony):
- Fusion Projector: "Getting hit by a shot from a Fusion Projector is like running into a small sun. It inflicts severe damage on enemy starships that stray into its range." Cost 32,000. Energy 4000. Workers 160. Improvement on Plasma Projector. Research as Admiral.
- Ion Projector: "The Ion Projector is used to protect your colony from attack by enemy starfleets. It fires a stream of high energy charged particles that can damage most enemy ships." Cost 10,000. Energy 2000. Workers 120.
- Meson Projector: "The Meson Projector fires a stream of subatomic particles that decay into highly explosive matter. These projectors can easily cripple an unsuspecting starship." Cost 40,000. Energy 5000. Workers 165. Improvement on Fusion Projector. Research as Grand Admiral.
- Plasma Projector: "Plasma projectors fire bolts of superheated matter that can inflict heavy damage on enemy starships." Cost 17,800. Energy 3000. Workers 150. Improvement on Ion Projector. Research as Commander.
- Planetary Shields (shield orbital guns):
- Hyershield: "Utilizing the warping effects of millions of micro-singularities to absorb weapons fire, the Hyper shield protects your colony from Destructors [bombs] and Virus Bombs." Cost 35,000. Energy 6000. Workers 120. Research as Admiral.
- Inversion Shield: "The Inversion Shield consists of carefully balanced fields of gravitons with reversed spin, which form a highly repulsive barrier around your colony protecting from attacks from space." Cost 15,000. Energy 4000. Workers 50. Planetary shield. Research as Commander
- Garrisons (house ground units and include anti-ground force turrets):
- Barracks: "The Barracks is the simplest fortification available. During a ground assault it will fire on nearby enemy tanks and allows you to house four tanks for your own defenses." Cost 15,000. Energy 1000. Workers 360.
- Fortress: "The Fortress greatly improves your colony's defenses against ground assaults. It fires at enemy tanks and has storage space for eight of your own defensive tanks [or vehicles]." Cost 30,000. Energy 1500. Workers 530. Research as Admiral.
- Stronghold: "The Stronghold is the heaviest fortification available for defending your colonies from ground assaults." Cost 50,000. Energy 2000. Workers 550. Garrisons 12 vehicles. Research as Admiral.
- Fleet Support:
- Military Spaceport: "Military spaceports allow the construction and support of military spaceships. They also can provide some local System Defense Boats to aid in protecting the colony from attacks." Cost 75,000. Energy 3000. Workers 310. Allows capital ships to be deployed, and fighters and tanks to be added and removed from fleets. Also allows fighters to be added as system defense.
- Morale (buildings that specifically raise colony morale):
- Bar: "A social space where colonists bond with one another through the shared ritual consumption of perception altering substances such as NeoPro Brandy, bars raise colony morale." Cost 6300. Energy 700. Workers: 410.
- Church: "Spiritual Indoctrination Centers, Churches foster the belief in an ephemeral spiritual reward for worldly suffering, increasing colony morale at very low cost." Cost 4000. Energy 100. Workers 90. Churches are cheap, small and effective, making a Church a good early addition to a new colony.
- Park: "Parks provide a physical reminder of the colonists homeworld. These pleasant, relaxing oasises of faux-nature raise colony morale." Cost 14,000. Energy 200. Workers 100. Cannot be built on Desert, Frozen, Cratered, Liquid or Neptoplasm planets. Can only be built on Earth type and Rocky planets.
- Recreation Centre: "The Recreation centre provides such healthy entertainments as Hyperpool, FlashPong, and Billiards. These entertainments improve morale on the colony." Cost 7500. Energy 500. Workers 230.
- Stadium: "The stadium provides a location for performances and sporting events to be put on for the colonists. Full Contact Arcturian Rules Football has proven very effective at raising morale." Cost 50,000. Energy 1000. Workers 350.
3.4.5 What differences are there between planet types?
There are seven different planet surfaces. A full Planet List is contained in the appendices:
- Cratered: Cannot build Park.
- Desert: Cannot build Fusion Plant or Park.
- Earth Type: Does not require Water Vaporator. Tends to sustain higher morale.
- Frozen: Does not require Water Vaporator. Cannot build Solar Plant or Park.
- Liquid: Does not require Water Vaporator. Cannot build Solar Plant or Park.
- Neptoplasm: Does not require Water Vaporator. Cannot build Fusion Plant or Park.
- Rocky: Does not require Water Vaporator. Cannot build Fusion Plant.
3.4.6 How do I colonize planets?
You need to build a colony ship, only possible at Admiral rank or higher. Assign the ship to a fleet and send it close to an empty planet, then select "colonize". You cannot colonize planets that already have a colony on them.
3.4.7 Why can't I build more than 5000 buildings?
Patching the game removes this limitation.
3.4.8 Can I see what my colonies need at a glance?
Yes. Under Information (F7), select Colony Info and the appropriate colony from the map. Basic needs are shown, with critical problems (like lack of food) in red and less critical problems (like power shortages) in yellow.
3.4.9 Can I change the colony name?
The manual says yes. The reality appears to be no.
3.4.10 What buildings can I build in the alien colonies I've captured?
Human 'alien' colonies (former AFT and FNS colonies) can build everything you can build on your home planets. On non-human alien planets, you can always build Dev. Centres, factories, Arcologies, Nuclear Plants, Hospitals, Phood Factories, Police Stations and Military Spaceports. You can also build newly researched items where the alien race has the technology, but perhaps did not allow you to capture it. For example, Garthog planets can build Plasma Projectors once you have researched them, but you cannot capture these items because they are destroyed when you invade. Not all technology, such as Solar Plants, can be built on alien colonies.
3.4.11 Can I flatten or clear un-buildable areas like rock formations?
No. This can be very annoying on certain planets, where half of the area available for buildings is taken up with obstacles.
3.4.12 What do the 'Major incident on planet...' messages mean?
These normally indicate that a Nuclear Plant on the planet named has been heavily damaged. These messages can be somewhat confusing, because when (as Commander) you send a SitRep enquiry to the planet from the Bridge, the governor tells you everything is fine. If you examine the colony carefully you'll see the problem.