One of the native creatures on (big P) Planet in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - introduced to the game in the expansion, SMAC: Alien Crossfire1.

Along with the Usurpers and the Caretakers, a few new techs and units are introduced, including the spore launcher. The Spore Launcher is described2 as "a massive, writhing conglomerate of tubes, some as thick as a man, screaming in your mind, and launching death and destruction wherever they slither... - Col. Corazon Santiago, Spartan Training Manual"

Like any native unit in SMAC, the spore launcher can be grown, or captured if your Planet social policy is above zero. The Spore Launcher is a bombardment unit, able to attack up to TWO squares, a huge feat on the Chiron surface.

Overall it only makes a good support unit - pitifully weak against "conventional" melee attacks despite it's PSI defence. An interesting side note/undocumented feature is that if you bombard a unit that ALSO has bombardment, even in a city, then you automatically engage in a proper PSI battle, using full attack potential, as opposed to the "one off shot" of bombardment.

Even more interesting is the fact that even if your have deliberately selected it in the Preferences, you NEVER get an opportunity to review the odds when attacking - you always PSI attack straight away. This makes the Spore Launcher quite versatile if you have an opponent who goes bombardment-happy... usually bombardment trrops are very low morale/experience, making them easy kills and good Launcher fodder.


1: A surprisingly hard-to-find expansion that really rounds out the game. I thoroughly recommend ANY SMAC player to try and find this add-on.
2: Taken from the paper version of the unit description - the in-game description is quite boringly different. I will have to chase it up when I play Gaia's Stepdaughters next...

The Spore Launchers boomed, volleyed down the line. Artillery echoed from miles north to miles south.

How much longer of this war? How much more can our once beautiful planet take?

Enemy spores burst far above, in the clouds. That was the cue to don the breathing masks. Soon, the ground would become orange, stained with the maleficent fire of the scourge. It would spread, extinguishing native life like a match to gasoline, always faster than it could sustain itself. It only took several days for them to die, leaving behind a sickly corpse that would dust, float into the atmosphere, and blacken the sky with soot; the soot of those lives it consumed. And, in their death, they would darken the world as vengeance to those responsible for their deaths.

Another volley from the spore launchers. Another land, many miles away, infected by the infestation. A single green leaf, and it would root and vein to the branch, tree, then the entire forest.

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