SMAC Bugs, Undocumented Features, Tricks, and Traps


The Complete Chronological List (Most Recent First)

27 May 2000:
2-9: Colony pods can be added to an existing base to increase the base population by 1 using the join base command (b). This operation can be used to increase the size of the base beyond the limits imposed by lack of hab complexes/domes.
6-8: Normally, a unit with drop pods can only make one air drop per turn and must start the turn in a base or airbase without having moved to perform the air drop. Activating a unit with drop pods, right-clicking on another square, and selecting the air drop command from the menu will always allow the unit to make the air drop as long as the square is within air drop range; this allows the unit to make an infinite number of air drops in a turn that don't have to start in a base or airbase and that don't depend on whether or not the unit has any movement points remaining. Using this procedure, drop infantry can perform an air drop, attack an enemy unit, and perform another air drop back to safety.
6-19: A unit will always survive an air drop; the air drop damage will be reduced to preserve the final hit point.
9-6: AI players have no intelligence when it comes to trading bases with human players. They will often trade their best bases for newly built size 1 bases in the middle of a desert.
9-7: Submissive AI players can be forced into negative energy reserve balances by demanding that they trade their cash for technology.
9-8: Missiles can be given to AI players who can use the infinite range missile bug to attack enemies without being limited by range.
11-7: If the "do or die" game option is turned off, it is possible to profit from destroying all of your units to restart in a different location. Most factions will receive an extra terraformer by doing this while Morgan will also get a synthmetal sentinel and +100 energy reserves.
26 May 2000:
1-2: Boreholes can only be contructed in land squares where all adjacent land squares are at the same elevation "level" or higher and do not contain boreholes. It used to be possible to build boreholes adjacent to each other by having them built at the same time, but this has been fixed in the latest patches. (MoSe)
1-3: Any rivers flowing into a square containing a borehole will end there since the water disappears into the borehole. (DilithiumDad)
1-4: A borehole on the west coast increases moisture levels to the east. A borehole anywhere else decreases moisture in the surrounding area. (DilithiumDad)
1-5: Drill to aquifier is not allowed in squares adjacent to an existing river. It is possible to create rivers in adjacent squares by performing the drill to aquifier operation in both squares at the same time. (MoSe)
1-6: River courses are partly random (will be different each time); rivers will avoid rocky squares and will occasionally run uphill for one tile. (DilithiumDad)
5-13: Supply crawlers collecting resources in squares outside of bases receive the benefits of facilities and secret projects in their home bases that increase the amount of resources collected in a square. Example: A supply crawler collecting nutrients in a forest square for a base containing a Tree Farm and a Hybrid Forest would collect 3 nutrients instead of 1. The same is true for social engineering choices where an economy setting of 2 or higher would increase supply crawler energy collection by +1 energy each. (DilithiumDad)
6-17: It is possible to set home base (Control-h) for a unit to be the base of another faction when the diplomatic stance is pact. The unit will then require no support from either faction. (MoSe)
6-18: When a land unit is unloading from a transport in a sea square to a land square, it will always cost only 1 movement point regardless of the terrain in the land square, including rocky, forest, and fungus squares. The rumor is that old versions of SMAC would cost 2 movement points to unload into a rocky square. (MoSe)
22 May 2000:
3-3: Biology Lab prevents a random event (Planet Blight) from causing all forests and farms in the 20 base production squares to be destroyed; if the base has a Biology Lab, then the random event will instead provide +1 nutrient per square for 10 years due to the discovery of a beneficial bacterium. (DilithiumDad)
5-10: The designs for captured units can be modified in the design workshop. This allows the use of unit technology from the captured unit to make different unit designs even though the technology is not known.
5-11: Once Planetary Networks is discovered, the probe team design can be modified in the design workshop to make other speeder designs even though Doctrine: Mobility is not known.
5-12: Probe team units that are in land squares can conduct probe operations against other land squares (units and bases). Probe team units that are in sea squares can conduct probe operations against other sea squares (units and bases). The exception to these rules is that foil/cruiser probe teams can always conduct probe operations against land squares. Air units can never be probed, including choppers. Examples: A probe foil in a land base (land square) can probe an adjacent scout patrol in a land square but cannot probe an adjacent gun foil in a sea square. A probe team on a transport foil in a sea square can probe an adjacent sea base but cannot probe an adjacent land base.
6-16: Normally, air transports - including choppers - can only load and unload passengers in a base or airbase. However, choosing the unload transport (Shift-u) command will allow the passenger to unload while the air transport is in flight. (MoSe)
20 May 2000:
6-13: On the turn a terraformer completes its terraforming task, its "flag" will be grayed out indicating that it has moved. Clicking on and activating the terraformer will allow a new terraforming command to be issued to the terraformer with the correct number of turns to completion displayed. Clicking on and activating the terraformer again, cancelling its new orders; at this point, the terraformer will have regained one movement point. (MoSe)
6-14: Drop units without an actual weapon cannot drop into the base production squares or zones of control of units of another faction unless the diplomatic stance is pact. (MoSe)
6-15: If a pactmate has a needlejet in the same square as one of your empty transport ships, then it is impossible to load units onto the transport. If the transport ship is not empty (already has one or more passengers), then more units can be loaded without a problem. (MoSe)
9-3: Selecting "Demand Withdrawal" from the commlinks menu for another human faction causes the AI to decide for that faction whether to comply with the request or declare vendetta based on the AI attitude of the faction. The human player who actually controls that faction will not make the decision. (LoD)
9-4: When engaging in a probe team operation against another human faction, a window appears asking whether the victim wants to "declare vendetta" or "let off with a stern warning." This window is appearing during the wrong player's turn since the victim should decide and not the prober. Etiquette dictates that the prober should choose "declare vendetta" unless prior approval has been received from the victim to choose something else. (MoSe)
9-5: If an truce/treaty/pact is being negotiated with another human player and that player has accepted the deal, it is possible to perform an action that causes vendetta and then accept the deal to erase the vendetta before the other player has had a chance to respond to the vendetta. (MoSe)
18 May 2000:
1-1: Wild mind worms fight at 1/2 strength before the year 2115.
6-10: If a needlejet starts the turn outside of a base (1 turn of fuel remaining), it doesn't move at all during the turn, a base/airbase/carrier appears underneath it during the turn, and one of the hold (h or shift-h) or sentry (l or shift-l) commands is given to the needlejet, then the needlejet will not refuel and will only have 1 turn of fuel when it leaves the base/airbase/carrier on a later turn. Needlejets that haven't moved only refuel if they use the skip turn (spacebar) command.
6-11: Units normally take 20% damage when performing an air drop (26% for singularity reactor.) However, if the air drop is into a friendly base, the unit takes no damage.
6-12: Units are not allowed to air drop into sea squares, including squares containing sea bases or sea transport units.
7-1: Air units are NOT destroyed if the base they are in is destroyed (contrary to what the manual says.)
7-2: Native units get a +50% attack bonus when attacking non-native units that are in fungus squares; this includes Locusts of Chiron attacking non-native air units that are in fungus squares. Non-native land units in a fungus square get a +50% defend bonus when being attacked by non-native units in a normal (not artillery) attack. These are the only combat modifiers for fungus squares.
7-3: Artillery combat between a land unit and a sea unit is not to the death - there's only one round of combat.
7-4: Sea units can attack each other using either long range fire (attack value vs attack value) or normal attacks (attack value vs defend value). Players should note that this means that a sea unit with a low attack value can be easily destroyed by another sea unit regardless of its armor value.
7-5: A stack of units containing a needlejet in flight can only be attacked by a unit with the air superiority ability. The unit with the best defend value will be the defender of the attack, not necessarily the needlejet.
7-6: Choppers and land units can attack multiple times per turn as long as they still have movement points remaining; each attack cost 1 movement point.
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