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Host Order Of Shipbuilding

Starbases —> Building Starships —> Starship Building Host Order

The Host portion of a Planets turn — that part which is performed after all orders are submitted and which creates new turns for us — is not publicly available for analysis. Most of our definitive information about it comes from the document known as the Host Order. This describes the step-by-step method by which the server (Host) sequentially and methodically processes our turns. The Host Order document therefore informs all other documentation, and a full understanding of it is essential for a full understanding of the game. Here, we shall examine those portions of the Host which directly influence or control starship building — and you might do well to open the Host Order document in a parallel window in order to help you follow along.

The earliest parts of Host deal with the paperwork — routine updates and the like — and in the Host Order list they're all lumped together under one entry: "Update of client-side actions". Starting with the fifth step, "Starbase Construction", we start to see Host actions which can have an impact on the starship building process — and there are several dozen like this. For the sake of simplicity, however, we'll group these and deal with them wholesale. (Bear in mind that, in detail, the following list is generalized, and that some particular elements may happen out of this sequence in reality.)

Here's the simplified list, with some commentary:

  1. Fight or Fail activates.
    This happens before anything else in a turn, and it cannot be stopped. Every starship controlled by a departing player is removed before anything else happens. That could open up an awful lot of slots.
  2. New starbases are constructed.
    This happens before almost everything else in a turn, and it cannot be stopped except by FoF.
  3. A whole bunch of stuff happens that has nothing to do with starship losses or starbases.
    Since starship building resources, including hulls and components but not Priority Points, are all paid for before the Host, you don't need to worry about them getting used up. The only starship special missions that take place here have nothing to do with destroying starships.
  4. Cargo Drop
    This is where ground combat takes place, including Imperial Assault. If you lose control of your starbase at any point during this phase, it won't build, all hulls will be trashed, and the orders will be reset. Any planet with no colonists remaining will lose its starbase.
  5. Command Starship Movement
    Starships can be lost (opening up slots) due to star cluster and debris disk interaction as well as minefield hits. They can also be captured, but that's not our concern at this point since it doesn't change overall ship counts. For more information, check out the "Starships Move" step below.
  6. Minelaying
    No starships are ever lost during this step, but it's important to know because of its relation to starship movement.
  7. Ion Storms
    Ion Storms will move or damage starships. Sometimes they will strip shields off, and sometimes they will completely destroy the starships. This happens before any build phase.
  8. Mine Sweep
    Again, this happens before most movement.
  9. Resolve minefields
    Here's where minefields blow each other up. Again, it's important mainly to know WHEN this happens relative to movement.
  10. Starbases fix or recycle starships
    Each recycled starships represents one slot that is opened prior to the first build phase. Recycling also generates one priority point.
  11. Starbases do their first starship building
    This is different depending on which Build Queue you're playing.

    Advanced Cloning takes place before the standard build subphase, and will prevent a starbase from building normally.

  12. Starships Move
    • In this step, the following things happen that concern us:
      1. Minefield hits can destroy starships
      2. Debris disks and star clusters can destroy starships.
    • There are two classes of movement that take place at other times. Fireclouds Chunnel during step 14 below, and Command Starships move before minelaying, in step 5. All other movement takes place here.
  13. Glory Devices detonate (1)
    All POP starships go off here, and TRG starships have the opportunity to detect a cloaker and detonate. Bear in mind that some starships that were formerly cloaked will have been unmasked by Lokis, Ion Storms, or mine hits by now, so TRG will sometimes fail. (If none of that makes sense to you, read the page on Glory Devices.) The upshot, as far as we're concerned, is that some starship slots may open.
  14. Fireclouds Chunnel
    It's a separate phase of movement, which takes place after all other movement but before combat. Debris discs can do some especially serious damage here, and that will open up starship slots.
  15. Starbase primary orders (including Refuel and Load Torpedoes) and dump parts (dmp).
    This will never impact whether a scheduled build actually takes place, but it can be quite important to know when it happens.
  16. Land and Disassemble
    Every starship that does this releases a slot that won't be used for a priority build. Of course, it doesn't generate any priority points either, but sometimes that's not a bad thing.
  17. Glory Devices detonate (2)
    This step permits Glory Devices to be triggered by cloaked starships after Chunnel movement.
  18. Starship vs. Starship Combat
    All starship vs. starship combat takes place in this step. It's quite complex, and it follows the Order of Battle. All we care about here, though, is all the starship slots that open up before the next standard build phase, plus all the priority points that are earned (as kill points).
  19. Gorbies Destroy Planets
    This will, of course, impact any starships that might have been built there during the second build phase, and a few other tangential effects. Millions die, resources lost, that sort of thing.
  20. Starship vs. Planet Combat
    Surviving ships and planets now fight, again according to the Order of Battle. We care because any destroyed starbase won't build and any destroyed starship represents one free build slot.
  21. Pillage , Plunder and RGA
    It's possible that a planet's population will be completely eliminated by these missions, in which case the starbase won't exist during the build phase.
  22. Planetary population adjustment
    Sometimes populations grow, but we're more concerned with deaths due to riots, starvation, amorphous worms, and the like. It's possible that a planet's population will be completely eliminated here, in which case the starbase won't exist during the second build phase.
  23. Starbases build (post-combat)
    If starship slots have opened as a result of battle, those slots can be filled here before the turn ends. Which builds take place differs depending on which Queue system has been chosen for this specific game.
    • PBQ (Classic) System
      1. Priority Builds: Just like in the first build phase, every remaining queued priority build with enough points behind it will be constructed in order, first by PBP count, then by PB code, and then by planetary ID number (increasing) until the starship limit is reached. If the starship count is within 50 of the ship limit and a player has more than 20 PBP available, normal builds will be transferred to the priority queue until that PBP count is reduced to 20 or fewer. Priority builds always cost priority build points.
      2. Standard Builds: If there are open starship slots before the starship limit is reached, builds will take place at starbases in order by planetary ID (increasing). If a selected base has no build ordered, it is skipped. This order and the last-built position is remembered from standard phase to standard phase and from turn to turn. Builds in this phase never cost priority build points.
      3. Cloning: There is no cloning during the second build phase.

      Advanced Cloning under the PBP system takes place before the standard build subphase, and will prevent a starbase from building normally.

    • PQ System
      1. Priority Builds: There are never priority builds during this phase.
      2. Standard Builds: If there are open starship slots, all starbases are placed in random order and selected until the starship limit is reached. If a selected base has no build ordered, it will award 2 PP to the controller. Otherwise, the ordered build will take place. Builds in this phase never cost priority points.
      3. Cloning: There is no cloning during the second build phase.

      Advanced Cloning under the PQ system takes place before the standard build subphase, and will prevent a starbase from building normally. (We understand that no cloning at all takes place during the second build phase, but confirmation has been difficult to get.)

All subsequent steps in the Host Order deal with cleanup, including scans and similar.

NOTE: We're presently looking into reports that priority builds are now arranged first by PBx code and then order of race (AKA player slot) before point amounts, starbase numbers, et cetera come into effect. Stay tuned.