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The Special Abilities of the Crystalline People

The Crystalline People have two good abilities. The first is the ability to thrive on desert planets. The other ability is the ability to create web mine fields. These two abilities are very helpful in making the Crystalline People a force to be reckoned with in the pursuit of conquest in the Echo Cluster.

Thriving on Desert Worlds

The Crystalline People are the only race that will grow on desert planets. Actually the Crystalline People are at their peak growth rate on desert planets, as long as the HCONFIG.EXE is set for this. If the HCONFIG.EXE has this switch off the Crystalline People will be like the other races and thrive on temperate warm (50 degrees) planets instead of desert planets.

Note: It is recommended that if the switch for Crystalline People liking desert planets is on then you should use master2.exe so that the Crystalline homeworld can be selected as being desert in climate.

The Crystalline Web Mine Fields

These mine fields are some of the most feared objects in the game. The Crystalline web mine field is created in much the same way as a convention mine field. The web mines are created out of torpedoes just like regular mines and they will convert using the same math as conventional mines.

The web mine field is so feared, not because of size or destructive power but for its ability to drain fuel from enemy starships. When an enemy starship is anywhere within the boundary of a web mine field it will lose 25 KT of fuel per turn while it is in the field. If the starships is with in two or more web mine fields (overlapping) it will lose 25 KT per turn per mine field.

The Effects of Hitting a Web Mine

Although the yield of mines per torpedo is the same as conventional mines, the mines in a web field are smaller than conventional mines and deal only one tenth the damage of normal mines (10%). Although these mines are smaller they are much more difficult to travel through than conventional mines. The default setting for chance to hit a web mine in the HCONFIG.EXE is 5%.

This 5% chance of hitting a web mine per light year traveled is applied to both cloaked and uncloaked starships. It is recommended that the chance to hit a web mine always be higher than the chance to hit a normal mine or the Crystalline People's power will be greatly diminished and this will cause the game to be out of balance for the Crystalline People.

If an enemy starship strikes a web mine the following things will occur. The starship will stop at the exact coordinates where it struck the mine and it will not keep moving towards its waypoint like starships hitting normal mines. Once the web mine is struck the starship will lose 50 KT of fuel or one sixth (1/6) of the remaining fuel in the MB/ID field (fuel tank), whichever is a greater amount. Remember that this fuel loss is in addition to the 25 KT loss of fuel for being in the mine field.

How to Lay Web Mines

To select the Lay Web Mines you need to be at the starship menu screen. To get to this screen press the [F1] key from anywhere in the game and then up or down arrow through the list of starships until you find the starship for which you wish to select a mission. When the starship is in the selection box you press the [ENTER] key.

Once at the main starship screen you press the [ M ] key to bring up the primary mission menu (Table 2.5 pg. 26). From here you press the key that corresponds with the Lay Web Mines mission ( [ 9 ] ). Now the Lay Web Mines mission is selected. Remember that cloaking starships will not remain cloaked while doing the Lay Web Mines mission, if the Crystals have somehow stolen or captured a cloaking starship.

The Crystalline People's Fleet

Larger starships of the Crystalline People are very powerful and tend to favor the beam weapon. They also possess quite a few smaller vessels that are ideal for exploration.


Other Special Abilities of the Crystalline People


The Crystal People will now have to ability to gather up some of the fuel that gets drained into their web mine fields. They will also receive "free" torpedoes at starbases that are built over Siliconoid planets. This new ability only has one configurable part. This configuration lets the host decide how many "free" torpedoes will be given to each starbase. The configurable rate is between 1-10 torpedoes. To select the torpedo type you wish to recieve you need to set the fcode of the planet, the starbase is over, to MKn (where n is the torp type - i.e MK8 = Mark 8 {tech10} torps)

The new ability of the Crystals allows them to gather fuel from ships trapped in web mine fields. The Crystals only gather fuel from ships that are being drained by the fields. They do not gather fuel that is drained from a mine hit. When a ship ends a turn in a web field it loses 25 KT of fuel due to web drain (as per standard web mine drain rules). With this new ability will cause Crystal ships in the same web field to gather this fuel (provided they have the space). Additionally, the power surge of fuel being drained from enemy ships helps keep the minefield from deteriorating like normal. If more than one Crystal ship is in a web field, the fuel drained from enemy ships will be split evenly between the Crystal ships. To get this fuel the Crystal ship(s), also, need to end their turn inside the web field.

Gryphon & Jupiter

Move Web mine fields.

This ability is similar to the Cyborg move mines ability. The Crystalline ships can order any Crystal Web minefield to move up, down, left, or right on the starmap at warp (5) using the FC "MMX" and: the first three characters of the name must be the minefield's ID number. The fourth character of the name must be the direction to go, "D" for down, "U" for up, "L" for left, and "R" for right. For example, FC "MMX" and name "023D" will cause the web minefield 23 to move down. The controlling ship must have the warp factor of 0. Up to two ships can cooperate on moving a minefield at up to twice its configured warp speed.


The Crystal can build ComBots to defend their planets. See the Universal abilities section on ComBots for details.

Ravius Beam.

The Onyx class starships have been outfitted with the Ravius Beam, designed to increase a planet's temperature at a distance. As long as the Onyx has fuel, FC of "RAV" and has a waypoint set on one of the planets, the Onyx would increase that world's temperature by (1) degree per turn, burning (1) unit of fuel.

NOTE: if the host sets the temperature increase rate to more than 1, the fuel use will increase accordingly. The range of this ability is the ship's engine tech squared times 2.

Honor Device.

The Opal class and the Topez class ships have Honor device installed in their hulls. See the Universal abilities section on the Honor Device for details.

Crystal Oscillator.

The Crystal Thunder Class Carrier has installed an Oscillator device. When engaged in the AUXBC phase (after movement, but before combat), it will destroy all fighters in the forward-facing fighter bays of the enemy carriers at the same location by inducing oscillations which shatter the fighters' sensors and central computer processor units. Exactly (33%) of all fighters of the primary enemy race are destroyed. Use the FC "OSC" to use this ability. You need at least 1 colonist clan on board the Crystal Thunder to operate the device.

NOTE: to avoid enemy ships setting FC to OSC and not fighting the Crystal Thunder, you can also use FCodes Osc, OSc, and OsC.

Nemesis & Jupiter


The Crystals know very well what is done to the crews of ships that are forced to surrender: they are beamed into space. Now, the Crystals, wanting to avoid painful deaths when their own ships' capture is imminent, found an easier alternative: they can detonate their ship, preventing the capture. All Crystal ships, including freighters and captured ships, have been rigged with the Self-Destruct device. To activate the device, set the FC of the ship you want to detonate to "SDS". No other special requirements are necessary: it will work with or without fuel, with or without damage, any warp and waypoint.

Team game note: only the Opal, Ruby, Emerald, Flame and Thunder can be self-destructed if the team game is on and the ships do not belong to Crystals. The crystals still can self-destruct all their ships.

Advanced Terraforming.

After numerous complaints from many race Leaders, Presidents, Dictators, and Emperors, the Crystal Scientific Community have finally decided to improve their Terraforming ship. The Onyx has received a new lease on life; its terraforming ability will increase 50 times! This does not come without cost, however; a tankful of fuel is required for needed heat-up. To use Advanced Terraforming, set the Onyx's FC to "ATF" and make sure that your fuel tank is full. The Advanced Terraforming rate is configurable.

Super Alchemy.

An Emerald class battlecruiser at warp 0 can transmute minerals from one to another or to money without penalty. To use Super Alchemy, set FC of the Emerald to "a*b", where a is:

N: fuel, M: molybdenium, T: tritanium, D: duranium and b is:

N: fuel, M: molybdenium, T: tritanium, D: duranium, S supplies, $ MC.

For example, load it with 200 fuel and set FC to "N*D" to get 200 Duranium. One note-worthy thing: the Emerald can transform any mineral (or fuel) to megacredits getting 5 times more money than the amount of the mineral.

For example, 200 fuel and "N*$" will result in 1000 MC.

The Emerald can completely replace both of the ridiculously expensive alchemy ships: Merlin and Neutronic Refinery. To emulate them, the Emerald must have supplies and use FCode "S*m" to emulate a Merlin and "S*N" to emulate the NR ship. As with the Merlin, 9 supplies are converted into 1 of each mineral. The NR rules have slightly changed: since supplies can safely be transmuted into mineral (for Refinery) using the Merlin "emulation", to simplify the process, 4 supplies can be converted into one fuel unit.

Since this process is all-or-nothing, if more fuel is made than there is empty space in the tank, the excess is vented out into space. The Super Alchemy is done after movement and combat, so if you are transmuting fuel into something you shouldn't worry about net being able to fight. You can also load supplies and use S*N to refuel in the end of movement (after some fuel is used up).



Species Info:
The Crystalline Fleet

Glistening Gems:
Autarch's Guide to the Crystals
Glittering Webs:A Guide for Playing the Crystals in VGA Planets
Cecil's Crystalline Strategy
Crystals 101
The Crystal Guide to the Echo Wide Web
Crystalline FAQ
Crystals II

VGA Planets Homepage Donavan's VGA Planets Assistant

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