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Production can sometimes take place without orders, to keep worlds from being too easy to conquer.
The Homeworld Defense League
This is a tiny bit of artificial intelligence to help save you from one of the most disastrous errors you can make . . . forgetting to build anything on your homeworld, and thus leaving it undefended.
If your homeworld has no production orders, and its firepower is below a certain threshold which depends on the turn, the system will queue some defensive units for you (working from the licenses you have). It will also send you mail, telling you that the Homeworld Defense League (or a similar organization) has placed a defensive order for you. You can, of course, delete or change this order when you review your production. But an HDL order is far better than nothing, if you were saving your homeworld for last and then got in a hurry, or if something made you miss a tick.
Autobuilding on Nobody Worlds
Early in the game, the unowned worlds just stockpile Ultranium, building nothing.
Later in the game, the Nobody worlds start autobuilding. Their leaders become nervous about the growth of the empires around them, and they start using their existing licenses to build more defense units.
A random unit will be chosen from the world's licenses (excluding any units with a CPX of 300 or more). Half of the maximum order of that unit will be placed in the queue. On the turn after that order completes, a new autobuild will start, and so on.
The timing and amount of Nobody autobuilding may change from game to game. A typical setting is "autobuilding starts on Turn 10". The owner of a PUB game can set whether autobuilding will start in the game, and when.
If a player quits, any remaining Nobody worlds in his home cluster also start autobuilding.
If a player goes idle, and doesn't log in for 3 turns, any remaining Nobody worlds in his home cluster will begin autobuilding.