Special districts are for pretty much every aspect of a colony that isn’t HICUS related. They are specialized to a single purpose and have a fixed number of hardpoints, but are of course researchable. Unlike Dynamic districts, Special districts are ownable property. Some Special districts come with a “Market Connector” that give the district’s owner the option to let the public use their facilities or to keep it exclusive to themselves. All Special districts can also equip Anti-orbital defense turrets to help defend the colony from invasion. (See Part 8, Military Action)
Cores and Subcores are themselves a type of Special district. They provide a hub for colony Upkeep, and have the basic facilities required for colony operations. With these facilities, they are self-sustaining, but the facilities can be swapped out with Administrative/Upkeep expansions or Anti-orbital defense turrets.
Cores all come with a special feature, a “Jobs Market”, a colony-specific section of the market that facilitates the employment(purchase) of civilians by the rest of the colony. This is shifted to Markets after they are established.
Colonies often have numerous instances of each type of Special district, often with multiple owners. These are consolidated into a single Map-wide interface via a toggleable Market Connector. This connector creates tabs with information about the facility, the owner, and costs of use. Colony/Enclave Markets, Spaceports, Assembly Plants, Shipyards, and Universities are all potentially Public-Use Districts.
Any colony worth mentioning lives on trade, both with space and between its Groups. Markets greatly expand the trading capacities of a colony beyond its original Core based market. A dedicated Market district with its many hardpoints offers the potential for far greater storage capacities, processing facilities to more efficiently handle different commodity types...You don’t really want to have warheads, workers, and wheat going through the same terminal, do you? Ok, maybe you do for the lulz
But really, you don’t
The different facilities process raw materials, trade & cultural goods, ships, weapons, modules, slav- *cough* workers and immigrants
and an expanded jobs market. They also attach customs centers
for identifying and preventing the exchange of banned goods (See Part 7, Laws).
Privately owned Enclave markets do not have to abide by Colony import/export laws, nor does the Governor have any control over them. If somehow an Enclave comes to own all markets within a colony, the Enclave has full control over all colony trade and can go East India Company on the colony, and completely shut down all trade and civilian employment at will. This will immediately send the colony into complete chaos and is a brutally effective form of economic warfare
(See Part 8, Enclaves)
On the same level of importance as Markets, are Spaceports. Growing colonies will quickly need to grow beyond the glorified shed in the Core. Yes, the sky is open, Yes, a ship could theoretically land anywhere, but nothing really compares to a well equipped spaceport with an army of people and vehicles taking cargo between your hold and its impressive storage areas and passenger terminals. Also, ‘tis the will of teh Josh
As Public-Use, commercial districts, they do 3 things very well: they take care of cargo, they take care of passengers, and they take care of ships
. Their hardpoints can be outfitted with hangars, repair facilities, and Passenger (worker & immigrant) terminals. These aren’t “required” they just greatly expand their volumes.
As Private, non-market districts, they can be used for both corporate and/or military purposes. Attachments like drone bays, ammunition assemblers, anti-orbital turrets, etc… These attachments don’t actually require the district to be private, afterall the only real difference between a commercial and military spaceport is how many guns are attached
Similar to Markets, an Enclave which somehow controls all spaceports can have a stranglehold on the colony.
You know those assemblers in space? Assembly Plants are basically just a whole bunch of them in a single place
. They do however also have enormous storage capacities and refineries/recyclers to turn the many raw materials in the universe into the stuff you need to make your desired toy en masse. A fully equipped and stocked Assembly Plant has everything you need to take raw ores and/or scraps and turn it into a beautiful battleship capable of striking fear into any would-be Warlord out in the depths of uncivilized space (Some assembly required…ironically
If the Plant is Public-Use, Players and NPCs can either purchase made-to-order parts from blueprints the Plant already has, or they can BYOB(bring your own blueprint) and rent out a couple assemblers. An Assembly Plant won’t always have the more exotic/expensive materials your blueprint needs to be made, so they also offer a service where the Assembly Plant will place an order on the Market for you, letting you go off and do your thing and wait for a message saying the materials were purchased and your part is ready… with the added cost of materials and an additional expense of course
Industrial Firms also use Assembly Plants. No, tradegoods don’t actually need assemblers, but this gives the illusion that they do
and gives the owner an income stream even if no players are actually using it.
You have your pile-o-parts fresh from the assembly plant, but the assemblers just aren’t large enough to put those modules together as a ship. You need a shipyard.
Like Assembly Plants, they will come stocked with parts, or you can bring your own. You can buy upgrades, or build a new ship from scratch (ideally this would open up a ship-designer window). The shipyard will throw together a variety of PCG ships with the parts in stock, built to your parameters.... or you can, you know, custom design every detail yourself if you are so inclined. Shipyards are composited by owner and accessible through a unified interface, so you have not only the parts at that particular shipyard, but any Public-Use shipyard on the map, additional fees may apply
Spaceports are way too busy to be storing a bunch of unused ships, so Shipyards are also the place where ships go into storage. Be warned, failure to pay the storage fees for the shipyard forfeits your ship, and the shipyard may put it up for sale, or tear it apart for its components, whichever is more profitable
Universities: centers of learning, research, prestige, and debauchery
Those research modules on ships and stations? Cute. Universities are to research, what Assembly Plants are to assemblers… A giant cluster of them in a single spot
But universities are more than that, they prepare the civilian populations of colonies to take on the trillions of jobs throughout the colony and the universe -- in other words, Universities turn Civilians into Workers
Like Assembly Plants, Universities rent out their Research modules, or do research on whatever their owner wants. Second, every University in a colony will raise the Skill Desirability mean of all Communities throughout the colony. Third, they turn civilians into workers at University-specific modules called Schools
Universities have many hardpoints, typically divided between research modules and schools. We know what research modules do, so enough about that
Schools though, Schools are the product of Research, where occasionally instead of stat changes, Research will result in a School for that branch of technology
. Schools are dead-ends for research and cannot be upgraded or advanced, but they enable a University to convert civilians into Workers with significant skill in that particular branch of the tech tree.
This means that research on mining equipment can occasionally create a School for the production of mineworkers; research on reactor cores can create a school for reactor-core workers; “research” on intoxicants can create a frat
. Up to now, Workers just randomly appeared out of the void with random skills. Universities allow their owners to produce the kinds of workers they want, and not force everyone to jump through and scour 15 goddamn systems to eventually find a decent pilot that spawned on some backwater
This doesn’t however mean that a School derived from your super-advanced Death Ray produces the best laser tag players that ever were, just that it can produce laser weapon specialists.
Like everything else in a colony that acquires Civilians, Sum Skill-Desirability affects output. Each School produces a graduating class with a BBR of workers from its different Schools. So a University which acquires civilians with a higher Sum SD produces workers of a higher initial skill level; Happier and more Obedient colonies thus produce higher skilled workers (LWI 2.4).
And oh yeah, they can also attach turrets because MOAR turrets
A Supply Center is a Core Lite. It lowers maintenance costs and slows Decay for nearby
districts when it is well stocked. These are primarily large storage centers for the colony and can attach Upkeep modifiers, and turrets. LET THERE BE TURRETS!
These are effective at allowing small footprint expansions, or supporting larger populations in a small area.
A special function of Supply Centers is that they have a chance to spontaneously become Cores. This chance is related to how far it is from a Core, the further away, the higher the chance. The new Core belongs to whomever owned the Supply Center, so if it was privately owned, the colony divides (See Part 8). If the colony has no Cores and has been “Eliminated” (See Part 3), The supply center is by definition infinitely far from a Core and may become the center for a new and independent polity.
Mines & Farms
If you wanna build a colony, you have to get the resources from somewhere. The most cost effective way will almost always be to get it locally. Buildspaces have various mineral and ecological resources, and colonies can both easily and quickly dwarf the production of their space based competitors.
Mines aren’t exactly complicated structures, they’re big holes in the ground with equipment, workers and civilians; Resources come out and the owner hopes to get rich. You can technically build a mine anywhere on the map, but it’s really only effective/profitable to do so on a vein/deposit; all hex tiles will result in some variety of the mineralogical resources the planet has to offer, but unless you’re on a vein/deposit, the quantity will be...will make space miners laugh at you
. However, a single, simple, mismanaged mine on a vein/deposit will rival an entire, fully exploited asteroid zone, and a single dedicated mining colony (colony, not planet, colony) may have hundreds of mines and have a greater resource output than if every asteroid in the system was fully exploited.
Farms? Farms are basically mines for plants and animals and other things that grow on the planet’s surface. They’re also pretty simple, Place a farm on a tile with an Ecological resource, send in some civilians and workers, and begin to harvest. I’m calling them Farms, but this doesn’t just mean food-crops like space corn...Trees? Tree Farm. Horses? Horse Farm. Flowers that you think are disgusting but an alien species can’t get enough of? Smelly Flower Farm. Soylent Green? People Farm. A Farm produces any Ecological resource that can grow on that planet. And if converted into a biodome, can grow pretty much anything.
These are not the sorts of plowed fields of ancient times with rows upon rows of plants growing in dirt. No, these are large and highly sophisticated, infinitely-upgradable centers of organic production. They can produce vast quantities of organic goods that have been grown to perfection. However, Ecological resources are still finite, and if they are harvested completely, that resource is gone from that tile for good, and the district is worse than useless until another resource is introduced to it. Most, but not all Farms will be producing a resource with some Food Value. Any decently sized colony will want to have some number of farms for Food security at the very least, because without Food...bye-bye colony.
Mines and Farms have a somewhat unusual ownership model. If they are privately owned, it’s straightforward, the owner controls the district and gets the resulting materials. But if the colony owns the district, the colony’s Industrial Firms (See Part 5) “own” them. They are upgraded periodically, and their resources are consolidated and then distributed proportionately to the Firms, which then put the resources on the market. Slightly “gamey” and unintuitive, I know… if you have a better idea I’d like to hear it.
Mines are effectively infinite, and Farms can be infinite if managed well. While upgrades can increase their regeneration rate, output rate, and Max capacity, their regeneration rate is still fundamentally adjusted by a blackbox variable. Like everything else with the Blackbox of game balancing, it’s entirely possible to have a mine with the output of a dozen smaller, less advanced mines. This definitely rewards the player/npc/colony that owns this mine, but on the grander scale, nothing has changed.
Greater outputs from 1 mine will reduce the outputs of other mines throughout the universe so that the game remains balanced. This is imperceptibly small, and could rationally be attributed to normal variations, but should a large mining colony be destroyed several systems away, an omniscient observer would notice the suspiciously timed discovery of rich new veins in dozens of mines throughout the nearby systems.
Most everything in LT is fully modular, and colonies need at least some component to be just as customizable. As a mix between Special and Dynamic districts, Blank districts come with a semi-random number of hardpoints (Non-researchable
) that can attach any planet-capable module or building.
These are not public-use districts and don’t have market connectors, they are just big pieces of land where their owner can build whatever they desire.
Monuments & Faction Headquarters
Monuments and Faction Headquarters are SPECIAL Special districts. Their effects are primarily off-world, not within the colony itself.
We don’t know much about the reputation system or Faction Ownership and Management, so it’s hard to say just how they work. I wouldn’t suggest that Monument and Headquarters can ONLY be built in colonies, but given a colony’s clear economic strength, it would be a special circumstance where Factions don’t want to build here.
My one suggestion is that they can only be built in colonies owned by that faction, that there can be no enclave Faction headquarters.
Other than that,
Ruins are the other SPECIAL Special district. They’re SPECIAL Special because they can’t actually be established, they can only be found. It will be highly unusual for an Archaeological ruin to form when the colony that originally established it is still alive, these are mostly the remains of older colonies from possibly extinct empires.
Some point after a district is completely abandoned and is a Ruin
, it converts to an Archaeological Ruin. These cannot be recovered like normal districts, they have no hardpoints, no plots, and can only be excavated or harvested. Once excavated, they can become an Archaeological museums, aka Space Pompeii