VGA Planets is a game of galactic domination. You will note, I did not say "galactic battle". This is because there is much more to domination than simply winning battles.
If you want to win at VGA Planets, you must master several skills. Of course there is battle tactics and strategy. There are many guides available for these from the links on my main Planets page. But, there is also the "art" of warfare. You must learn your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. Not just those of his battle fleet, but also those of his personality. A single medium sized ship can often do more overall damage to an enimy's empire, when playing a psycological strategy, than an entire heavy battle fleet set to directly attack your enimy's home world. But, never underestimate the importance of a good battle fleet!
You play using a "player client" program, either Winplan or DOS Planets. This is installed on your PC. Once you have decided to play, you must find someone(or you can do it yourself) to host the game. A newly mastered game will generate a host response file for each player. This contains all the information about your empire and what condition it is in. You see, the whole game universe exsists on the host. You will simply be using your client program to give orders and view the results of those orders.
Once you have received your first response file, you load it into the client. Then, you must give the various orders through the client and pack-up your turn file to send back to the host for the next turn.
The galaxy of VGA Planets is made up of 500 planets. These show up as dots on the starmap of your client. You can click your mouse on one to look at any available information about the planet.
If you own the planet, you get a lot of information and can issue orders that affect the planets economy and government. You can tax the people who live on the planet, build mineral mines, build up planetary defences, and build factories. You can build a starbase in orbit above any planet you own. They are very expensive, but they are key to your success. From a starbase you can build ships, repair ships, capture enimy ships, clone(copy) captured enimy ships, defend the planet, etc.
Once you have a starbase around one of your planets, you can begin to build up a starship fleet. Each player race has a different set of ships they can build at their bases. And, each of these ships needs parts like engines, beam weapons, torpedo launchers and/or starfighters. Each of these things require minerals and money to build. So, you must manage your planets wisely to obtain enough of each to support building a good fleet.
Also, each of the ships and it's armourment can only be built if you have installed the proper "tech level" of equipment on your starbase. You must buy these "tech levels" at each starbase to be able to produce various ships and weapons. High tech levels are expensive.
To obtain enough money and minerals, you are going to have to manage your planets. But, be careful. Too much taxation or too many mines will upset those that reside on a planet. They may revolt.
Some of the planets you colonize may have a native race living on them. Most of the time, this is a very good thing. You can tax these natives as well as your own colonists. And, some natives have very special natrual abilities. These abilities can be a real bonus to your economy. Some may increase your mining rate, while some may be able to build you an instant hi-tech starbase.
Your starfleet management is key to the success of your empire. Shipping cargo, like money, minerals and fuel will keep your military and economic plans alive. And, your starships can be used to survey the galaxy and locate friends and foes.
Now that your empire is being managed, you have entered your orders into your client program. It is time to send these orders to the host. You must finish entering commands and make your turn file. (I am not going to include specific commands for creating these files because you should be reading the instructions that came with the program :-) Most often nowadays, these files are sent to the host via e-mail attachment or by uploading to a web page. A good hosting site will also acknowlege the receipt of your turn and tell you if the host sees it as a good file transfer or not.
Usually the host will process all the players' turn files at a predefined time. At this time, all the orders issued are given to the host program and the galaxy goes into motion. Orders are executed, battles are fought, ships explore, sensors scan, minefields are swept, etc. Then you will receive the results of this turn.
You will probably either receive the response
file via e-mail or be required to download it from the host's web page.
Place the file in your client's game directory and unpack
the file. You will see the results of your orders you sent in before
the host ran the turn. And, you may see things other players are
doing. Or, you may not see what they are doing, but they ARE doing
|Each race has it's own special abilities. These are seperate
from the special abilities of the various starships. See the RACE
PAGE for information about each race's specific abilities.
Every ship is a little different. Some have very special capabilities.
Go to the SHIP PAGE
to see what each can be equiped with and what it can do.