In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), the Cloning Vats is a Secret Project. It may be built at a cost of 450 minerals, on discovery of Biomachinery (B7).

The Cloning Vats causes a population boom condition: all your bases grow 1 size point every turn, to the limits of their respective food production, and you still need the Hab Complex and Habitation Dome base facilities to exceed base population limits / levels. It also negates the negative effects of the Power and Thought Control social engineering choices.

How useful is this? Like The Ascetic Virtues, building this Project can lead to Drone Riot problems, as bases are growing faster than you can build drone-reducing base facilities like Recreation Commons and Hologram Theaters, and improve the surrounding territory with Formers. Unlike The Ascetic Virtues, however, it does not itself tamper with the game-balance limits of Hab Complex and Hab Dome. Growth, and attendant drone riots, will not run too far out of control. It practically forces you to divert attention from research to economy; however, large bases are more productive than small ones, in accordance with economy of scale, so I think it's much more blessing than bane. It also puts you in a position of rapid territorial expansion, much like the Planetary Transit System Project. Finally, since Planetary Council elections are based in part on population, that rapid growth can be very attractive if you're shooting for political and economic domination. Because the accelerated population growth has such far-reaching implications in so many diverse aspects of the game, it's tough to assess the value of the Cloning Vats in terms of game currency; at the least, it's worth however much food your faction's bases need to grow a size point every turn, and greatly increases the value of colony pod units. Its power is matched by its price - it's the most expensive Project until the Space Elevator. Even so, I consider it a good buy.

Secret Project animation narrative:
   "We shall take only the greatest minds, the finest soldiers, the most faithful servants. We shall multiply them a thousandfold and release them to usher in a new era of glory.
   -- Col. Corazon Santiago,
   "The Council of War"

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.