Slice's War Manual v1.0

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Hello! This file is a compilation of documents I have gotten from the Fido
TradeWars echo and from my own personal experiences. Since Beta 5 has been
out for so long and it doesn't look very hopeful for a Beta 6 I decided to put
out a file to bring new players up to speed on all the "quirks" of Beta 5.
Obviously, this is for the 2002 2.0 Beta 5 version of Tradewars. For 1.03 or
1.03d games I would HIGHLY suggest getting a copy of Iago's War Manual. It's
the bible for those versions and some of the strategys are still valid
here. Even if you're playing a Beta 5 game I would put that on your
recommended reading list.

I would like to thank the following people for their contributions of
information in this file....

Jeffrey Culbreth
Tony Dye
John A Elson
Gary Fowler
Steve Griffin
Craig Healy
Mike Magero
Mickey Platko
Stephen Whitis
Brit Willoughby
Jason Wilson
Dayne Zimmerman

The Topics may jump around a bit but it's all very useful information.

==========

Bugs/Observations about TW2002 V2 Beta by John Alan Elson

#1 Phantom Class 0 ports
Bigbang has a habit of creating class 0 ports with blank names that
turn out to be class 7 ports when you port there. This is really
nothing more than an annoyance. In case you get the idea of getting
rid of this annoyance by blowing them up, forget it! These ports
pack the same wallop as normal class 0 ports, trying to destroy them
is pointless.

#2 Bye Bye Terra!
If you ring fedspace with fighters you can create planets in
fedspace, including sector one, by making new player accounts. After
several hundered accounts you can overload sector one and have a 1/3
chance of destroying Terra through a planetary collision. If Terra is
destroyed the very next planet created will fill slot number one.
Although this new planet (which you can put anywhere you would
normally put a planet) looks perfectly normal, when you land on it
you get the normal landing on Terra routine. This new "Terra" starts
out with a population of zero but reproduces at the normal rate after
that. This only works when the sysop allows you to make multiple
accounts.

#3 32,000+ turns!
If you claim a planet with a level six citadel as corporate and then
quit the corp, you will be held by the interdictor (if it is on).
Each time you try to escape you will lose turns and eventually your
turns will rollover to over 65,000. If you land on the planet now you
will automatically claim it and the interdictor will no longer hold
you. If you try to move the game will tell you that you don't have
enough turns because numbers over 32767 are seen as negative. What
you need to do is lose enough turns to get under 32768. If you
brought an interdictor cruiser into the sector with you and you
continue trying to escape the interdictor while towing the
Interdictor cruiser you can use up 34 turns per escape attempt. If
the planet is volcanic and has 485,000+ units of fuel ore (assuming
you started out with 100 turns) you can reduce your turns to less
than 32768 in 5 to 30 minutes using a self repeating macro.
You can also lose turns by transporting to another ship. This
simply requires having two ships. The other ship doesn't have to be
within range as you can use up turns by transporting to the ship you
are aleready on. Using the transporter to use up turns takes longer
than the method outlined above but it requires that the planet have
only enough fuel ore to roll your turns over so any planet with a
level six citadel and a few thousand units of fuel ore.
When you have more turns than the game is set up for the number
days since your last logon isn't reset and neither are your turns!
This means that you don't have to use all those turns in one day but
it also means that you *must* use them up before the days shown on
the V screen pass, otherwise you will get deleted by the game even
though you have logged on every day!

#4 TWARP Towing
The game is designed to not allow towing via TWARP. In my opinion
this is a mistake. Fortunately, there is a bug that lets you get
around it.
#1 Enter your destination sector. Type Y to TWARP but N
to engaging.
#2 Type C to activate your computer then U and N to
"disable" TWARP. Quit the computer.
#3 Type W to engage the tractor beam and tow the
player/ship.
#4 Enter your destination sector again. Answer Y to
engage.
#5 Arrive at your destination sector with the ship you
are towing using only the turns needed to tow it one
sector!

#5 Planetary Collisions
In 1.0x you have to TWARP a planet in to overload a sector and cause
a collision. In V2 you can overload any sector (except sector one) by
just shooting off gtorps. I personally think this is a good thing
because if forces players to put up sector defenses instead of
relying on planetary defenses alone. Unfortunately, photons disable
sector defenses allowing players to shoot off gtorps without
defeating the sector defenses. This is one of several reasons why
photon missiles should *always* be disabled in V2 Beta.

#6 Photons
Aside from the consideration mentioned above, when a photon is
launched into a sector where a player is staying in a citadel they
lose their turns for the rest of the day. Neither ship nor planetary
shields offer any protection against this. Sysops can deal
effectively with this by leaving photons disabled.

#7 Tholian Sentinel
In 1.0x the Tholian sentinel got 4:1 odds when defending a planet.
This could be circumvented, however, by attacking the ship before
trying to land on the planet. This meant that when dealing with a
knowlegeable player it was essentially useless. In V2, however, the
tholian *always* gets 4:1 odds when manned by a player who is
offline whether it is defending a planet or not! This makes it a
great ship to spend the night in.

#8 Citadel Interest
In 1.0x the citadels earn 4% daily interest. In 2.0 citadels earn a
meager 2% daily interest regardless of the planet type :(

#9 Planet Types
Speaking of planet types:

CITADEL SPECIFICATIONS IN TW2002 V2 BETA
by John Alan Elson WF6I A.P.O.I.

All citadels earn 2% :( interest regardless of type.

Productions:
colonists (thousands)
needed to produce one K colonists
planet unit of: planet for maximum
type F# ORE ORG EQU capacity** production description
M 10 3 7 13 100/100/100 15,000 Earth
K 15 2 100 500 200/50/10 20,000 Desert
O 15 20 2 100 100/1000/50 100,000 Oceanic
L 12 2 5 20 200/200/100 20,000 Mountainous
C 25 50 100 500 20/50/10 50,000 Glacial
H 50 1 na*@ 500 1000/10/100 50,000 Volcanic
V na* na* na* na* 10/10/10 0 Gaseous

# Units of product to produce 1 fighter
* production of this product not possible on this type of planet
** ore/org/equ in thousands
@ colonists left in production of Organics on volcanic worlds will
die immediately!

Citadel Construction total
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 days
E DAYS 4 4 5 10 5 15 43
A K COL 1000 2000 4000 6000 6000 6000
MR ORE 300 200 500 1000 300 1000
T ORG 200 50 250 1200 400 1200
H EQU 250 250 500 1000 1000 2000


D DAYS 6 5 8 5 4 8 36
E KCOL 1000 2400 4400 7000 8000 7000
KS ORE 400 300 600 700 300 700
E ORG 300 80 400 900 400 900
R EQU 600 400 650 800 1000 1600
T

O
C DAYS 6 5 8 5 4 8 36
E KCOL 1400 2400 4400 7000 8000 7000
OA ORE 500 200 600 700 300 700
N ORG 200 50 400 900 400 900
I EQU 400 300 650 800 1000 1600
C

M
O DAYS 2 5 5 8 5 12 37
U KCOL 400 1400 3600 5600 7000 5600
LN ORE 150 200 600 1000 300 1000
T ORG 100 50 250 1200 400 1200
A EQU 150 250 700 1000 1000 2000
I
N

G
L DAYS 5 5 7 5 4 8 34
A KCOL 1000 2400 4400 6600 9000 6600
CC ORE 400 300 600 700 300 700
I ORG 300 80 400 900 400 900
A EQU 600 400 650 700 1000 1400
L


V
O DAYS 4 5 8 12 5 18 52
L KCOL 800 1600 4400 7000 10000 7000
HC ORE 500 300 1200 2000 3000 2000
A ORG 300 100 400 2000 1200 2000
N EQU 600 400 1500 2500 2000 5000
I
C


V
A DAYS 8 4 5 5 4 8 34
P KCOL 3000 3000 8000 6000 8000 6000
UO ORE 1200 300 500 500 200 500
R ORG 400 100 500 200 200 200
O EQU 2500 400 2000 600 600 1200
U
S

As you can see, there are substantial differences between the
different types of planets!

#10 Planetary Trasnporters
You can install a Planetary transporter on any planet with a
citadel. It costs 50,000 credits to install the transporter and
25,000 credits per sector to upgrade the transporter. These credits
are taken from the funds on your ship *not* from the citadel. The
planetary transporter transports both you and your ship. The rules
are the same as for TWARP. If you transport to a sector with 1 or
more of your personal/corp fighters, to an empty sector, or to
fedspace if commisioned, you'll be safe. Otherwise, you're toast!
As with TWARP, fuel ore is used, however it uses 10 units per sector
and takes the fuel ore from the planet. Transporting requires one
turn and you must have a turn or you can't do it.
There are a couple of oddities with planetary transporters. If
you are towing a ship when you land on a planet and then tranport,
the other ship will go with you. This may or may not be a bug.
Another oddity involves the local display. When a user
upgrades a planetary transporter, a message is generated that says
"This is Myplanet" with "Myplanet" being the name of the planet
being upgraded. Although this message is not sent to the remote
user is does appear on the local screen, even if the display is
turned off! This is probably a "hook" which was used during
development and was accidently left in. It has no strategic
importance except that anyone knowing about the message can tell if
the current user is upgrading a planetary transporter and the name
of the planet even with the display turned off, by looking at the
local screen.

#11 TWARP
The TWARP drive is essentially the same in V2 as in 1.03(d) with a
couple of exceptions. As noted above, it is possible to TWARP tow a
ship. Twarping requires the same number of turns that it takes to
move one sector. So if you're in an ISS which takes 4 turns per
warp, and you have 3 turns left you won't be able to TWARP.
Commisioned players can TWARP directly to fedspace, which comes in
handy when going to stardock or colonizing. It has been reported
that the game sometimes forgets which sector the stardock is in and
thus doesn't find the locator beam. This has never happened to me
but if it happens to you DON'T blind jump!
Speaking of blind jumps, they are much more hazzardous in V2
because of Limpet mines which don't show up on holoscans or EPROBE
reports. There is an option in the computer which disables TWARP.
It is called TWARP preference. This eliminates the message asking
if you want to engage TWARP which can be annoying if when
travelling to nonadjacent sectors with regular warp. If, however,
you answer yes, to twarp but no to engage right before you type C U
and N to disable TWARP, instead of having TWARP unavailable you'll
find yourself unable to travel to nonadjacent sectors using
something other than TWARP! This can be fixed by renabling TWARP
preference, plotting a non TWARP course, then disabling TWARP
again. This is the basis of the TWARP towing bug.

#12 AUTO PILOT
The autopilot has been improved. It now shows the number of "hops"
and the number of "turns" to reach a nonadjacent sector. Single
stepping is much more useful. Instead of stopping in every sector
and making you engage warp again, it asks if you want to stop
allowing you to excercise several options including porting and
scanning and then asks again. You can then continue on by simply
pressing N. This can be very useful when you are looking for
something!

#13 LIMPET MINES
Limpet mines attach to the ships which enter the sector where they
are deployed. SD and Class 0 ports will offer to remove Limpets for
a fee of 5000 credits but can't tell who they belong to. Attached
limpets will reduce the tradein value of a ship. If limpet mines
you leave do not get removed when you tell where they are, and thus
where the ship they attached to are by doing a mine scan (K).
Leaving Limpets in a sector where a player you're attacking is will
*not* cause one to attach to their escape pod, too bad that would
be a good strategy! Mine disruptors will not get rid of deployed
limpets. You can get rid of limpets by repeatedly entering and
leaving a sector. If someone else's limpets are in a sector you
will not be able to leave limpet or armid mines of your own. As
with armid mines, limpet mines cannot be deployed in fedspace and
will be removed from Major Space Lanes.

#14 Cloaking devices
Cloaking failure does occur in this verison. It isn't supposed to
happen until after 24 hours but it can happen the next time EXTERN
runs, even if it has been only a few minutes. The cloaking
failure rate is sysop configurable and can be set to 0% in which
case cloaking failure will not happen. Unfortunately, this
setting is not displayed on the V screen. You cannot attack or
photon a player who is cloaked but they will show up on a density
scan as an anomoly. Limpet mines also show up as an anomoly but if
you attempt to put a mine in the sector and the game lets you then
there are no limpets there, and there must be a cloaked player. Be
aware, however, that an anomoly will show up in the last sector
that *you* cloaked in! You can leave fighters/mines in a sector
where a player is cloaked. Be careful of Major Space Lanes!

#15 Major Space Lanes
It is wise to know where the Major space lanes are. This hasn't
changed from 1.03(d) but many people are a little fuzzy on this
point. The space lanes are from sol (sector one) to Stardock and
back. From SD to RYLOS and back. From SD to Alpha Centauri and
back. And From Rylos To AC and back. Also Rylos and Alpha Centauri
are themselves MSLs. The following diagram illustrates:

SOL (fedspace)
 !
 !
Stardock (fedspace)
/ \
/ \
Rylos------Alpha centauri
(MSL) (MSL)

Just remember that because of one way warps the path from one sector
to another and the the return path are not necessarily the same.

#16 Death Delay
First of all let's clarify what we are talking about. In 1.0X if you
lost your escape pod or got murdered in the underground you couldn't
get back into the game until the next day. That isn't what death
delay means. If you self destruct you can't get in that day or the
next day either. This is not what death delay refers to either.
Death delay is a sysop configurable paramater that changes
happens when your ship is destroyed and you wind up in an escape pod.
If death delay is set to 0 you go about your business in the escape
pod until you trade it in or lose it, just as in 1.0x. If the death
delay is set to 1 and you lose your ship you will be a sitting duck
in your escape pod until after midnight. If Death delay is set to 2
you will be stuck in an escape pod unable to enter the game all the
way through the next day as well. The same applies to other death
delay settings, you'll have to wait until midnight passes the number
of times that death delay is set.
Obviously, death delay can be very costly. There are two things
about death delay that make it even worse:
#1 It is *not* shown on the V screen! You won't know how
is set until you lose your ship or someone tells you.
#2 If your escape pod is attacked while you are "knocked
out" the number of days set in the death delay will be added to your
"sentence"! So if it is set to two and someone blows up your escape
pod before you can get back in (a very likely occurence) you'll have
to wait *another* two days before you can get back in! [boy was I
ticked off when I ran afoul of this!]

#17 Alignment change for attacking deployed fighters

There has been a lot of speculation concerning alignment changes
that occur when you destroy deployed fighters. A lot of it is
utter nonsense. Through experiments I have determined the proper
formulas for calculating the alignment change for destroying
deployed fighters.

First, there is a bug related to player slot #1. Fighters
belonging to player #1 will get an alignment signature of -1000
regardless of the alignment of player #1. (Gary forgot to change
something! [surprise surprise!])
With the above noted exception the fighters get an
alignment signature equal to the player they belong to.
The forumulas:

+aligned fighters - aligned fighters

good
aligned AC=-(FL*FA)/10000 AC=+(FL*FA)/5000
player

bad
aligned AC=-(FL*FA)/5000 AC=+(FL*FA)/10000
player

where:
AC= Alignment change either positive or negative as indicated
FL= Fighters *you* lost, *NOT* fighters you destroyed
FA= Alignment signature of the fighters (ignoring sign)
==========

Below is a chart showing the Full Damage points of a Maxed out
ship when manned. The Sentinel is listed for the 4-1 and 1-1 odds.
From this you can see that a Manned Sentinel is one tough ship when
used to defend a planet. From this list you can also see that a full
sector of mines (125 go off doing 1500-1600 points of damage) or a large
NavHaz can turn some of these ships into space dust in a heartbeat!

Scout 700
Freighter 740
Orion 1652
(F)Trader 3200
Merchant 2900
Starmaster 9800
Constellation 8050
Gunstar 15600
Frigate 7020
FlagShip 25800
(F)Cruiser 10560
Sentinel 26000 / 6500
Cargotran 420
Mule 450
BattleShip 17000
StarShip 78000
(F)Dreadnought 22400
Colonial 420
Interdictor 124800

==========

1 Percent of Nav-Haz = 21 Density.

*****************************************************************************
Density Readings:
Reading Meaning
*****************************************************************************
0 Empty Sector or Ferrengi Dreadanought
1 Marker Beacon
2 Limpet Type 2 Tracking Mine
5 Fighter
10 Armid Type 1 Mine
21 Navagation Hazzard (Per 1 Percent)
21 Destroyed Ship (Due to 1 Percent Nav-Haz)
38 Unmanned Ship
40 Manned Ship, Alien or Ferrengi Assualt Trader
50 Destroyed Starport (After 25 Percent Nav-Haz Clears)
100 Starport or Ferrengi Battle Cruiser
210 Destroyed Planet (Due to 10 Percent Nav-Haz)
462 Federation Starship under Admiral Nelson
489 Federation Starship under Captain Zyrain
500 Planet
512 Federation Starship under Admiral Clausewitz
575 Destroyed Port (Before 25% Nav-Haz Clears)

Anomaly Readings:
Reading Meaning
*****************************************************************************
Yes Limpet Mine (Also Shows 2 density per mine)
Yes Cloaking Distortion
No Nothing

==========

How can you raise your exp points rapidly?

Go to a Class 7 Port and buy 14 Ore, 8 Org and 2 Equ Trade for 2 points
each time. Jetison the stuff and repeat. In theory you can earn 6 points
of Exp per turn (it works out closer to 5 points) so in a 1000 turn game
you can earn 5000 points of Exp in one day!
Exp and Algin can be bought with credits!

==========

Ferrengi Dreadnought ----------------------------------.
Ferrengi Battle Cruiser --------------------.  !
Ferrengi Assault Trader ---.  !  !
 !  !  !

Holds 50 75 100
Fighters 3,000 8,000 15,000
Shields 200 800 1,000
Turns to Warp 2 3 4
Fighters per Attack 1,000 2,000 5,000
Long Range Scanner No Yes Yes
Planet Scanner No No Yes
TransWarp Drive No No No
Mines 10 25 50
Beacons 5 15 25
Genesis Torpedoes 0 3 6
Photon Missiles;Number? No No Yes(1)
Offensive Odds 1.0 1.2 1.4
Transporter Range 0 2 5
Resale Values:
w/ All Holds 52,155 111,645 214,290
w/ Half Holds 32,670 70,639 144,945

NOTE: Resale values are approximate and based on ships with
none of the following:
Fighters, Shields, Density Scanner, Holo Scanner,
Planet Scanner, Mines, Beacons, Genesis Torpedoes,
Transwarp Drive, Photon Missiles, Mine Disrupters,
Cloaking Devices, Atomic Detonators, Ether Probes,
Psychic Probe.

NOTE: Offensive Odds are approximate. They are based on educated
guesses.

==========

Fighter Production.
These are taken directly from the TEDIT planetary Editor screen.

Here's how to calculate the fighter production on your planets.

FU = Fuel Ore Production
OR = Organics Production
EQ = Equipment Production

Keep in mind that these values are for the amount currently being
produced. ie: 233 hold per a day
( FU + OR + EQ ) / Fighter_Production

Class - Type Fighter_Production

M - Earth 10
L - Mountainous 12
C - Glacial 25
O - Oceanic 15
U - Gaseous 9999 (effectively 0)
K - Desert 15
H - Volcanic 50

Examples : a Class M making 1500 Ore a day, 1000 Organics a day, and
500 Equipment a day. Now I take 1500 + 1000 + 500 and
divide that, 3000, by 10 getting 300 fighters per a day.

==========

The Formulas for ship capture you need to know are as follows:

Enemy Fighters x Enemy Ships Combat Odds = Real Fighter Strength
Real Fighter Strength / Your Ships Combat Odds = # of Fighters to Use.

If you have combat computers on your ship you need to know the following:

Max Shields for Enemy Ship x Percentage Reported = Shields on Enemy Ship
Enemy Shields x Enemy Ships Combat Odds = Real Shield Strength
Real Fighter Strength + Real Shield Strength = Enemy's Real Defenses
Enemy's Real Defenses / Your ships combat odds = # of Fighters to Use

If you are always blowing up ships try using a few less fighters to allow
for the random combat odds. I was unable to determine the random factors
that affect ship capturing. (I find it a waste of resources)

==========

Here's some more Raw data on Planets for y'all to digest.

This one is on Max Colonists and Max Product Production.

How to Read This: Top; Max Colonists , Bottom; Max Production
Keep in mind that when you max out the Colonists, Production is 0.
In others words; this is like 1.03, ie: when you go to 2,000 in 1.03,
production stops. For Best results, Fill to Half.
When for you have, ohh say, 15,000 Colonists in Ore on a Class M, you
will get Max Production.

Class:Type Fuel Ore Organics Equipment Ftrs

M - Earth 30,000 30,000 30,000
______________________ 5,000 ....... 2,142 ....... 1,153 ... 829

L - Mountainous 40,000 40,000 40,000
_____________________ 10,000 ....... 4,000 ....... 1,000 ... 1250

K - Desert 40,000 40,000 40,000
_____________________ 10,000 ....... 200 ....... 40 ... 682

C - Glacial 100,000 100,000 100,000
_____________________ 1,000 ....... 500 ....... 100 ... 64

O - Oceanic 200,000 200,000 200,000
_____________________ 5,000 ....... 50,000 ....... 1,000 ... 3,733

U - Gaseous 3,000 3,000 3,000
_____________________ 0 ....... 0 ....... 0 ... 0

H - Volcanic 100,000 0 100,000
_____________________ 50,000 ....... 0 ....... 100 ... 1,002

==========

> John, if here when you say "this works the same way in wide beta 5",
> you are referring to the Retreat Bug, can you tell me how you
> accomplished this in Wide Beta 5? Step by step, please.
> Thanks.

I was the one who originally noticed this bug, andi discovered this bug
completely by accident...

Basically, what you do (after locating a planet you want to invade) is to go
into that sector, and then retreat out of it, attack the port in the
adjescent sector using only 1 fighter, and your ship will be destroyed... But
then you are thrown back into the sector with the planet, and are allowed to
land and do whatever you like.... Real Simple, yet powerful, especially very
early in a game....

(Notes from Slice:)

I have tried to verify this bug and the *only* way I have gotten it to work
is if I create a corporate planet and set corp fighters in the sector. Then
quit the Corp and enter the sector, retreat, attack the port outside the
sector and get blown up, then I can land on the planet without a problem.

If I use two different players to try this it always presents the planetary
defenses that you have to defeat in your escape pod.

If anyone has any further information on this bug, please let me know and
you will get credit for the updated info. Thanks

==========

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
TradeWars 2002 V2 Ship Specs Compiled by Brit Willoughby 01-05-94

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
## Name Cost Sell T/W ODD FTR SHLD HLD MIN W S P X

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Crusier 41,300 31,400 3 1.0 2,500 400 75 50 N B N 5
2 Scout 15,950 13,084 2 2.0 250 100 25 0 N B N 0
3 Frigate 100,800 88,549 3 1.3 5,000 400 60 5 N N Y 2
4 BattleShip 88,500 75,679 4 1.6 10,000 750 80 25 N B N 8
5 FlagShip 163,500 141,379 3 1.2 20,000 1,500 85 100 Y B N 10
6 Transport 63,600 36,169 6 .6 200 500 250 0 N P N 7
7 Cargotran 51,950 25,684 4 .8 400 1,000 125 1 N B N 5
8 Freighter 33,400 19,789 2 .8 300 500 65 2 N B N 5
9 StarShip 329,000 278,629 4 1.5 50,000 2,000 150 125 Y B Y 15
10 Gunstar 79,000 68,929 3 1.2 10,000 3,000 50 5 Y H N 6
11 Starmaster 61,300 49,399 3 1.4 5,000 2,000 73 50 N B N 3
12 Constellation 72,500 59,479 3 1.4 5,000 750 80 25 N B N 6
13 Orion 42,250 27,754 2 1.1 750 750 60 5 N B N 3
14 Sentenol 47,500 41,479 4 1.0 2,500 4,000 50 50 N H N 3
15 Mule 63,600 35,269 4 .5 300 600 150 0 N B N 5
16 Interdictor 539,000 483,829 15 1.2 100,000 4,000 40 200 N B N 20
17 Trader - 26,539 2 1.0 3,000 200 50 10 N N N 0
18 Cruiser - 56,419 3 1.2 8,000 800 75 25 N H N 2
19 Dreadnought - 119,329 4 1.4 15,000 1,000 100 50 N B Y 5

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Notes:

## = Ship Number
Name = Ship Name
Cost = Original Purchase Price
Sell = Selling Price / Trade-In Value (Base Ship Only)
T/W = Turns To Move 1 Warp
ODD = Offensive ODDs
FTR = Fighters (MAX)
SHLD = Shields (MAX)
HLD = Holds (MAX)
MIN = Mines (MAX)
W = Twarp Drive (Y=yes, N=no)
S = Scanners (H=holo, P=planet, N=none, B=both)
P = Photon Missile (Y=yes, N=no)
X = Transporter Range

**  ??? - Value Unknown
** All ships prices are for ships manufactured by Markham Space Tech.

==========

TW2002 2.0 (beta 5) New Player Info, by Stephen Whitis

This is far from being the last word in TradeWars strategy. It is designed
to help someone new to TW's (or v2.0) get off to a good start. Some of the
info is accurate for other versions, some of the info isn't.

The single most important advice I can give to anyone wanting to become
skilled at the game is to read the FIDO-TradeWars echo regularly. I'd also
recommend you save a copy of this post to refer back to later.

Before we get started, let me explain about utilities. Most of the serious
players use utilities. There are two basic kinds, and at least a couple
that do double-duty, handling both tasks. Database utilities are probably
the most important. They parse the ton of info the game sends and help find
paired ports, dead ends, etc. Other utilities handle automation. Trading
paired ports can be very time consuming and very boring. Automation
utilities automate the redundant tasks. You get into place, tell them what
to do, and let them run. It's like having a second officer you can delegate
some of the chores to. I use TWAsssist for a database (very popular) and
TLXTW scripts for Telix for automation. TWHelp combines tasks and is very
popular. TWTerm and TWHelp have both been released with graphical
interfaces (and sound support, I believe.) There are others, too. I
recommend trying several and picking which you like best.

Alignment: Good alignment is much easier to play, and has several
advantages, such as the ISS (Imperial Star Ship) and the ability to
Transwarp direct to fedspace. Evil requires more knowledge, and isn't
recommend for new players. Regardless of which alignment you choose, you
should eventually learn the basics of both, just so you'll know how players
of the opposite alignment will be doing things.

95% of your turns (maybe more) need to be spent making money. Thats how you
finance the other 5%, when you are invading planets and such. Your
day-to-day ship should be chosen with money-making in mind. Good choices
are the Merchant Freighter, Corp-Flagship, and the ISS. (Evils should look
at the Colonial Transport, also.) Horde turns. Turns can be translated
into money made, colonists transported, etc. Don't waste them.

When the game starts, you are usually given a planet. (Sysop configurable.)
In most cases, that planet is not worth keeping. Most are in vulnerable
positions, not dead ends. That makes them hard to defend, and easy for
opponents to find. So you should just write down the sector number (so you
can find it again even after someone else claims it) and forget about it for
awhile. When you are ready to develop a planet, 25,000 credits for a
genesis torpedo is a good investment: You can pick your own home sector:
one which is easier to defend and harder to find. The freebie planet
sometimes has some products and/or a couple of fighters when you get it. If
so, take the fighters and product, then move on.

As soon as you join the game, you want to find SD (StarDock.) In many
screens, its listed on the V-Screen (V at the main command prompt.) In
others, you have to hunt for it. In that case, you can drop fighters in
sectors surrounding fedspace around sector 1. (Just before extern runs,
ideally.) The feds will remove any in the MSL's (Major Space Lanes.) A MSL
will run from 1 to SD, and another will run back the other direction.
(These could be duplicate routes, but usually aren't.) When the feds pick
up your fighters, they'll send you a msg saying "Don't deploy fighters in
the MSL's." and give you the sector #. Write it down. Then deploy fighters
around the MSL, to find the next sector in the route to SD. It will take a
week or more, usually, to find SD this way, but its better than random
chance. Once you find it, be sure to note the location - you'll come back
here often. It is possible to locate SD using zero-turn mapping, also, but
this NPInfo text won't go into that.

As soon as your find SD, you should get into a new ship. The Merchant
Cruiser you started in isn't a very good ship, so you should sell it. I
usually buy a Merchant Freighter the first day of a new game. You might
want to drop off your fighters first, outside of fedspace, because their
trade-in value is pretty low. Then you can pick them up in the new ship.
After buying a ship, buy a long range scanner for it, even if its just a
density scanner. Then buy as many holds as you can afford, saving about
1,500 credits to use as starting cash when you go trading. Priorities after
that: Holo-scanner (includes a built in density scanner), 25-50 or so
fighters (you don't need many yet) and etherprobes.

Etherprobes are very cost-efficient - you can do a lot of exploring for
little money and few turns. Sending a few of them on long routes (with lots
of unexplored sectors) will help you find trade-pairs to make money at. By
the time you trade those down, you can afford more etherprobes. In the long
run, you'll want to do most of your exploring with etherprobes, saving your
turns to use making money.

When moving, always move & scan. Density scanning doesn't cost turns, but
can keep you from running into mines, etc. When you have several sectors
you can move to, and no particular destination (which happens early in the
game), choose sectors with a density of 100. These are usually ports, so
this increases your chance of finding trade pairs. (And you can make a
little money while your looking.) Holo-scanning is very useful when there
are several unexplored sectors next to you. You can explore them all, and
it only costs you one turn.

If the ferrengi ask you to surrender your holds, do it. If you have equ.
or org. on board, they'll just take the product and leave you alone till you
log out. If you have fuel, they'll take the fuel and some holds. If you
fight them, or try to run, you'll get a ferrengi grudge. This is something
to avoid, especially early in the game. You can kill ferrengi sector
fighters without getting a grudge - but attack or run from their ships, and
you'll get one. There is no good way to get rid of a grudge.

As a good aligned trader, your common money-maker is paired port trading.
Equ/Org (Equipment/Organics) pairs are best. Two ports in adjacent sectors
where you can sell Equ/buy Org at one, and sell Org/buy Equ at the other.
Move back and forth, trading in each sector, till one of the ports runs dry.
Then move to another pair. Later in the game, once you have a planet with a
level four (L4) citadel, you can make a lot more money every day.

With good alignment and 0-999 experience, you can stay overnight in fedspace
with almost no risk as long as "Ships per fedspace sector" allows it.
(Check the V-screen.) Too many ships will get you towed when Extern runs
(but you are protected until then.) Carrying too many fighters (50, I
believe?) will also get you towed out during Extern. Next best after that is
cloaking, and cloaking can be done anywhere (by any alignment.) Cloaks are
not 100% safe: they can fail after 24 hours, they will cause an anomaly on
a density scan, and while no one can attack you while you are cloaked, they
can fill the sector with mines, offensive fighters, or navhazard.

By being careful where you stay at night (cloaking in low traffic areas, or
using fedspace) and density scanning before you move (to avoid mines and
such) you can stay alive, rarely, if ever, getting blown up.

As a "good", you want to get an ISS as soon as possible. To do that, you
need 500 alignment points. Then ask for a commission at the fedstation.
The feds will bump your alignment to 1000, which means you are commissioned.
(Even if you didn't ask, 1000 alignment is commissioned.) The best way to
get the 500 alignment is to post rewards on evils in the fedstation. 1000
credits per 1 point of alignment gain. So you could move from 0 to 500 for
500k, then ask for a commission to reach 1000. With 1000 or higher
alignment, you can buy an ISS.

Be careful not to log out of the game with a lot of credits on you. As a
good, when you reenter the game, that will cause you to get taxed. It
raises your alignment, but costs you the taxes. Alignment that way costs
1,500 per point, so bounties are cheaper. You can also raise it by
attacking evil aliens, but that too is expensive and not recommended.
Aliens are a distraction. Using your resources to attack them isn't
worthwhile, even if you capture their ships.

Once you have a commission and an ISS, you can Twarp (transwarp) direct to
fedspace (sectors 1-10 and SD), or to any sector you've deployed a fighter.
This can save a lot of turns. Twarp uses 3 fuel (from your holds) per
sector distance. You can also blind Twarp, which is safe as long as the
destination sector is completely empty. If it's not, you get a shiney new
escape pod. To do it safely, send an eprobe, and immediately Twarp to a
completely empty sector. I avoid sectors with aliens, feds, or ferrengi in
the adjacent sectors shown by the eprobe, because right after you fire the
probe (any time you pass a command prompt) they get an opportunity to move -
you don't want them moving into your destination sector! Also, be warned
that limpets don't show on eprobes, but will destroy you.

When you decide to build a planet (goods tend to do this fairly soon after
getting the ISS) then find a dead end. I recommend a 1 or 2 deep dead end,
at least 6-7 warps from sector 1. Deep dead ends are the first place good
competition will look for your planet. Shallow ones take them a little
longer. (There are more of them to check.) I recommend a sector with no
port, so you don't have to worry about blocking a port report and someone
coming to check it out. As soon as you build your planet, move several
loads of fuel ore onto it. (Remember your Twarp drive when doing this. And
thats what the fuel is for, too, as we go get colonists.) Calculate fuel
needed to Twarp to sector 1, and back again. Starting with that much fuel
on board, Twarp to 1, grab colonists, Twarp home (you did drop a fighter at
home, didn't you?) and drop off the colonists. Then grab fuel from the
planet and repeat. You generally want the colonists producing fuel at
first. That provides fuel to go get more colonists, and on most planets it
produces the maximum fighters per day.

Once you start building a planet, haul in as many colonists as you need to
start citadel construction, then haul in any products needed. Don't wait
'till your colonists can produce enough organic/equipment - haul it in. You
want your construction to take as little time as possible. The day it
reaches L1, start it working on L2. Etc. Remember that fighters on a
planet do *not* defend it (and are free for anyone who lands there) until
the planet has a L2 citadel. Keep them on your ship, or use them as sector
defense. (Sector defense isn't worth a lot, as a photon can bypass it, but
its better than leaving them on a planet with a L1 citadel, or no citadel at
all. And sector defense is better than leaving the planet undefended.)

In the long run, the way to win a game is to have two or three very strongly
defended planets, all with money in the citadel's collecting 2% interest a
day, and at the same time not allowing your opponents to keep a planet with
a citadel. It is very expensive to invade planets, and the stronger the
planet is when you try to invade, the more expensive. So try to find and
destroy their planets early - ideally, before they reach L2. Once a planet
reaches L4, even when you find it, if you can't invade *that day*, they can
Twarp it away, and you have to find it again. Always try to find and
destroy their planets as early as possible. The V-screen, again, can help.
It tells the # of planets, and % of citadels, so you can make reasonable
guesses about what they are doing. The V-screen also shows total # of
fighters & mines in the game and several other useful things - keep an eye
on it.

Most of the time, you should only develop 1 or 2 planets at a time, both in
the same sector. Trying to keep and defend several planets can spread your
defenses to thin, making your vulnerable. When you invade someone elses,
you are usually best off to just blow it up. Always destroy or remove the
colonists before using the atomic detonator - else you may get blown up with
it.

I think that covers most of the basics. Lets skim over a couple of more
advanced things. Evils basic money-maker is called SST. (Sell, Steal,
Transport.) It requires two ships (usually two CT's or a CT and a CF.)
(Colonial Transport and Corporate Flagship.) Find two equipment buying
ports in transporter range. Both ships full of equipment, one in each
sector. In the first sector, sell the equipment, steal it back, then
transport to the other ship. Do the same there, and transport back. You
have to have -100 or lower alignment, and a lot of experience, for this to
be effective, but it can be very profitable. Evils goal is to be using this
effectively early in the game, and to keep the good-aligned traders from
ever having a L4 citadel. SST will make more money than goods can make
trading ports, so goods need at least one L4 in order to run PT (Planetary
Trading).

Both evils and goods can take advantage of citadel transporters. You can
build one in any citadel. They transport you and the ship you are in to
another sector. A "good" can cut his 10 turn ISS colonists runs down to 7
turns using one, for instance. Evils could use two L4 or better planets,
Twarp each to one of the sectors they would run SST in, and run a variant of
SST, but instead of using two ships and ship transporters, use one ship and
planet transporters. Goods can trade non-adjacent paired ports the same
way, and save a number of turns to boot. That is very profitable.
(Planetary Trading). You can do sort of the same thing with only one planet.
At a xBS planet, for instance, you sell organics, buy equipment. Land.
Leave the equ. on the planet, and pick up organics. Repeat until the port
is empty. Then move to another port. If you run low on organics on the
planet, start using a xSB port, selling the equipment you've been buying,
and buying organics.

Strategy & tactics are still developing for TW2002 2.0. It's new enough
that we don't know all the tricks yet. And this is designed to give a rough
outline, not all the details. This should get you off to a good start. Ask
questions in the FIDO-TradeWars echo to learn more!

- Stephen

==========

And What about those citadels?

Citadel's are the key to the game. Control the citadels, and you'll
control the universe. Let your opponent control them, and you'll be lucky
to survive at all, much less prosper.

Here is some info on what the different citadel levels do, and how to
develop them. Written by Stephen Whitis.


CITADEL DESCRIPTIONS.

A planet with no citadel has no defensive capability. You can leave
fighters in the sector, but fighters on the planet will not defend and, in
fact, can be taken by anyone who lands on the planet. Since there is no
citadel, you can't use any of the citadel commands, such as the treasury or
remaining overnight.

A level 1 citadel doesn't add to defense at all - it is still defenseless.
You can use the treasury, remain overnight, etc. But remember, its not very
safe!

A level 2 citadel has the beginnings of your defense system. Fighters on
the planet will now defend. Usually, you will want to leave your military
reaction set to 0%, because the fighters will get 3-1 odds. Occasionally you
may want to use some of the fighters offensively, meaning they will attack
anyone trying to land. They get 2-1 odds, but it may give your opponent a
surprise!

A level 3 citadel includes a Q-cannon. You can set it to fire at anyone
entering the sector, or anyone trying to land, or both. Firing at ships in
the sector uses a lot of fuel ore for the damage it does. Firing at ships
trying to land/invade is much more effective, as they are closer when it
fires. Q-cannons can be bypassed by a photon missile, so don't rely on them
alone. But they can help your defenses significantly.

A level 4 citadel has a planetary transwarp drive. With this Twarp drive,
you can move your planet to any sector where you have dropped a fighter, as
long as you have the fuel. It uses a lot of fuel to Twarp a planet, so use
this sparingly.

A level 5 citadel means that you have installed a PSS - Planetary Shielding
System. You move shields from your ship to the planet (10 ship shields will
create one planet shield) and the PSS uses those shields to protect the
planet. As long as you have a L5 citadel, all planetary shields will have
to be destroyed before anyone can invade - and each shield will take 20
points of damage to destroy.

A level 6 citadel equips the planet with an Interdictor Generator. If
turned on, this generator will make it difficult for your enemy to escape
from your Quasar Cannon. The IG uses fuel ore to power it.


CITADEL DEVELOPMENT.

As you upgrade your planet from one citadel level to the next, you never
lose any of the useful features of the lower level citadels. A L4, L5, or
L6 will still have the Q-cannon of a L3 and military defenses of a L2, for
instance. That doesn't mean there is never a risk in upgrading, though.
The turns you use to haul in colonists or products may not be worthwhile, as
there is no sense in developing a planet you can't defend. And a planet at
L4 or above is at risk, in that someone could invade and then Twarp the
planet away. So you might want to leave a planet at L3 until you are
comfortable that you can defend it.

The game gives planets to players when the first join. I don't recommend
keeping that planet. It isn't likely to be in a defensible position, it is
not worth much since a genesis probe will create a new one easily and
cheaply whenever and where-ever you choose, and when the game starts, you
can't afford to be defending a nearly useless planet. Here is what I do
with those freebie planets... I move all colonists to fuel production (to
maximize fighters, primarily) and then ignore it for a day or two. I'll
keep a note on where it was, because I expect someone else to capture it,
and I'll need to blow it up before they develop it to L2. If no-one does,
I'll occasionally go back and pick up the fighters that are produced there.

A long term goal is to keep anyone else from having a strong planet, while
developing one (or more) myself. So I'll be finding and destroying planets
when I can, the sooner the better. Usually, it is one of those planets that
I'll keep for my own... One that someone else has already brought colonists
to. No sense in me using my turns developing a planet when my competition
will do it for me.  :^) Don't forget, Ferrengal is out there, and it starts
the game as a L3. You can't ignore it, or someone else will invade it and
get a good planet. But you don't want to hit it before you are ready,
either, or you won't be able to defend it. If someone else does invade it
first (and sometimes if they try and fail) then you should usually hit it
hard and fast, before they have a chance to build defenses. Watch the daily
log - you can see there if anyone attacks or captures it.

I generally want to develop and defend only one planet at a time, until it
reaches L6. That keeps me from spreading my defenses too thin. In the
meantime, any other planets I invade I will simply blow up. I only need one
(extras are nice, but you *need* one, for the citadel interest, and for
Planetary Trading) and the others I want to be sure don't go to any of my
competition. After I have one well developed, I'll worry about developing
others, usually one at a time.

Citadel interest is important. You gain 2% a day on the credits stored in
your citadel treasury. With a large treasury, that can mean making more
money than you can make any other way - and making money this way leaves you
all your turns to hunt your enemies and their planets.

I sometimes use fighter farm planets, though. Have you noticed that the
number of fighters generated on a planet each day varies depending on the
number of colonists and what product they are working on? By using
colonists in the area of production that develops the most fighters,
you produce the max number
of fighters per day for the number of colonists. When a planet starts
getting too many colonists, I'll create a planet and move the extras to fuel
production on the new planet. I have no intentions of developing this
planet, or doing any serious defense. Generally, these planets will be in
the same sector as my primary planet (to save turns moving the colonists)
and I already have some sector level defenses there, which is enough for the
purpose. Several of these planets producing 300 fighters a day or more,
every day, add up. And it doesn't cost much to set up the system, or leave
you at significant risk. Also, if later you decide to develop some of
these, they will have lots of fuel for Q-cannons and Twarp drives. :^)

Your primary planet should usually hold colonists in all three areas of
production - fuel, organics, and equipment.

When you are developing a planet, you want to develop it as fast as
possible. You can move colonists to the planet and let them produce the
products needed for upgrading, but that is very time consuming. I
recommend hauling in organics and equipment from a nearby port. Otherwise,
it takes so long that anyone who is looking is very likely to find and
invade your planet before it can be defended. As one upgrade is taking
place, I try to plan so that when it is finished, I already have all of the
colonists/products needed to start an upgrade to the next level.

If you are developing a planet and will be needing more colonists, bring
them in before you haul in organics or equipment. That way, they start
producing fighters & products as soon as possible. If you invade another
traders planet and don't intend to keep it, consider moving colonists from
his planet to yours, instead of getting colonists from Terra. In many
cases, you can haul them using less turns that way. Turns are, in many
ways, your most precious resource.

Good luck - Stephen

==========

How do I make a zero turn map?

Zero-Turn Mapping, by Stephen Whitis.


Zero-turn mapping (ZT mapping, or 0T mapping) is a method of finding the
locations of the dead ends, along with most of the warp paths, without
using any turns. It doesn't give you any port information, so you still
have to explore, but it can help with that exploring quite a bit.

While it is possible in theory to do ZT mapping by hand, in practice it
requires a utility. TWAssist and TWHelp both have ZT mapping options, as
do the TWGuru scripts for the Amiga. Other utilities may or may not.

ZT mapping works by plotting lots of routes, and gathering the warp info
discovered during each of those routes. The earliest versions used LD
mapping (for Level Diagram.) A base sector would be choosen, usually
stardock. From there, routes would be plotted to every other sector in the
game, and from each of those sectors back to stardock. Better algorithms
are available, which speed the process and manage to find more warps.

The time needed to do ZT mapping varies quite a bit, as does the accuracy.
The algorithm used makes a large difference. The speed of the BBS
computer, also, makes a large difference. Modem speed and the speed of the
players computer can affect it, but not nearly as much as the others.
Universe size, the number of one-way warps, and other factors also come
into play. On a 5000 sector universe, a ZT map may take anywhere from 20
minutes to an hour and a half - possibly longer if a slow algorithm and a
slow BBS computer are both being used. A good ZT mapping utility will
allow you to map a bit at a time - if it takes an hour, you could do 10
minutes one day, 20 minutes the next, etc, until completed.

Having plotted these routes, they can be used in any good TW database. The
database can then be used to locate dead ends. The best way to explore the
universe is to fire etherprobes into dead ends, because its cheaper to fire
a probe than to use turns to explore manually. That lets you save your
turns for money-making. You don't have to use a ZT map to fire probes, but
you can do your exploring with less probes if you know where the dead ends
are located.

ZT maps can also be used to locate Stardock and the Class 0 ports - which
is useful in games where the SD location isn't listed in the V screen. SD
and the class 0's will have six two-way warps, and an additional one-way
warp into the sector. Most games will have a small number of these, and
checking them will locate stardock quite soon.

It is also possible for a utility to use the ZT mapping information to
calculate which avoids to set in order to force etherprobes to travel long
routes before reaching their target. Dead ends are still the targets of
choice, of course. This is useful, primarily, early in the game. In the
early part of a game, most players are trading paired ports. By forcing
the probes to travel farther, exploring more sectors, you are more likely
to find pairs to trade. Later, when you've already got a number of pairs
to trade, or have moved to other methods of money-making, using long-route
eprobes isn't as useful.

==========

Player Utilities, by Stephen Whitis

Most of the serious (and many of the casual) TW players use player
utilities. I, myself, wouldn't consider playing without them. If you want
to be a serious TW player, you need to know about them. Even if you don't
use them yourself, you need to understand how the competition works. And,
once you've tried them, I think you'll want to continue using them.

Utilities alone don't make a bad player into a good one. If a player
decides to hunt ferrengi and aliens, wander around aimlessly, or use their
money unwisely, then those choices will still hurt them, utilities or not.
Utilities don't make the decisions - they help you by giving you
information which aids those decisions, and they help you to implement
those decisions.

There are two primary types of utilities. Automation, and database.

The automation utilities help by automating redundant tasks. It is rather
boring to run most of the money-making loops by hand. Trading paired
ports, for instance. Move to a port, sell, buy, move to another port, sell
buy... That gets old. Automation utilities let you move to the first
sector, tell it which adjacent sector you wish to trade with, and it
handles the rest. Most of them will stop under several circumstances: for
instance, when a ferrengi enters the sector, when the port runs dry, or
when you are down to X turns (user definable.) Trading paired ports isn't
the only thing you can automate. Most will haul colonists (from Terra, or
from one of your planets to another), haul products (from planet to planet,
or port to planet), run PT (Planet Trading), and run SST (Sell, Steal,
Transport, evils standard moneymaker.) Automating the redundant tasks
means spending less time trading ports (the computer does it fast than you
can manually). It means less boredom. It means that you can concentrate
on which tactics to use, which traders or planets to attack, etc.
I use the TLXTW scripts for Telix to handle my automation.

Database utilities are used to parse the barage of information the game
sends you. Without them, its hard to locate and remember the locations of
paired ports, deads ends, the class 0 ports, etc. The database utilities
do a wonderful job of that. I use TWAssist. Another I've seen is TWAide.

Some utilities handle both automation and database functions. There are
pros and cons to this approach, but overall, I think its a better one.
(However, you may have noticed that I use two seperate utilities.) TWHelp,
which is very popular, uses that method. I believe that TWTerm does, also.

TWView was one of the very popular database utilities for 1.03d, but it has
not been updated for version 2.0. It still works with 1000 sector
universes, but won't handle the larger universes in 2.0 games.

PowerMac's (for the COMMO communications program) were very popular at one
time, also, but the author has moved on, and I don't believe they are
supported any more.

TWGuru was written by Mike Magero for the Amiga. Not having an Amiga, I
haven't used it - but if you are an Amiga user, check it out. Mike *is* a
guru, and from the descriptions I've seen of his utility, it is excellent.

I recommend trying several utilities. Different people have different
wants and needs, so a utility that works great for one player may not work
well for another. Make you own choice, based on your own style.

One more word on utilities. Some can do zero-turn mapping, which is very
useful. ZT mapping is a subject in itself, handled elsewhere in this text.

==========

Ship Types by Mike Magero

I felt the need to present an overview to these ships. Let me say that
with the ISS being a "good" only ship and the goal of all Good aligned
players, this post will be slanted with an "Evil" outlook towards the
ships. Lets face it if your in an ISS there is little need for most of
these ships and the few you might use for special purposes offer few
differences from how an Evil player might use them

Notes: The term "Class" is used in reference to ships of equal turns per
warp. ie. Scout, Merchant Freighter, Orion and so on all 2 turn
ships.

Merchant Cruiser:
This ship is the first ship you see in a new game with 75 holds and a
turn rate of 3 it is a good trading vessel and can carry enough fighters
and shields to keep you out of trouble. All in all a good ship once you
have added scanners. It main drawback is it's lack of combat power when
compared with other ships in it's class.

Scout Marauder:
Easily now the most worthless ship in the game! With out a pod great care
must be used in moving it and some effort to protect your other resources
must be made. It's turn rate offers no aid to this ship as others of the
same class out perform it. It's one saving grace may be the combat odds.
With the aid of a script it can be made to invade a poorly defended planet
that lacks a Q-cannon and has a mil reaction of zero. Other then that it's
worth less then space junk. The lack of a Holo-scanner hampers even it's
use for scouting out new pairs effectively. If it were altered to move
at a turns per warp of 1 and had it's holds reduced to 1-2 it could
again regain the role of scout. As it is now only a fool would buy it.

Missile Frigate:
Until the appearance of a Ferrengi Dreadnaught this is the only ship that
an evil player can use when a P-torp is required. It's lack of scanners
hamper this ship in the role of a trader, as does it's turn rate. If
it were not the only P-torp capable ship evil can buy it would also be
worthless when compared to other ships of it's class. It lacks the
fighter/shield power to make it useful in the role of planet invasions.
When used to tow an IC into the battle for a planet it's purpose becomes
apparent. As of this date (Beta5) it's lack of G-torps means that an
Evil trader must tow or transport over to another ship to use the
sector overloading method (bug?) of killing a planet.

BattleShip:
The combat abilities of this ship might prove useful in removing sector
defenses but it also lacks the punch needed to invade a planet. It's
poor shield max makes it an easy target for Q-cannons. The turn rate and
holds leave it in the dust when compared to other ships of it's class.
I don't consider it worthy of it's name when the Corp Flag can overpower
it with ease. Were it not for the combat odds it also would be a poor
choice of ships.

Corporate FlagShip:
This ship is the next best thing to the ISS and the best all around ship
an Evil player can have. Not much can be said other then it will more then
prove it's usefulness in any role. The T-warp and Transporter range make
it a must have ship. Many a solo player will be starting a Corp. just to
get this ship.

Colonial Transport:
The most holds in the game! That makes this ship useful for more then
just intersector transporting of goods. When used to trade it will be
the turn rate that hurts it. However when used with Sell-Steal-Transport
it has the ability to make the big money. Again the high turn rate and
the high cost of this ship hurt it. No player can afford to leave it at
risk and a large number of turns must be used to keep it as safe as you
can make it. It's poor combat odds and fighter/shield limits make this
one of the two weakest ships in the game! No help from scanners here!
Depending on range this ship can be useful for running colonists.

CargoTran:
This ship is the smallest of the "Cargo Haulers" with only 125 holds.
It's poor fighters/shield limits mean it's at risk when moving. Scanners
at least can be bought for it. However with the base cost of the Mule
being only a few thousand credits more it is limited to being a poor
man's Mule and a poor choice for those who know the value of a credit.

Merchant Freighter:
The best ship in it's class and the "NEW" scouting ship of choice. It's
low turn rate and the use of scanners make it a very good ship for it's
size. Every corp will no doubt find a use for this little ship. Although
it lacks firepower it is the only ship worth selling the Cruiser for on
the first day of a new game. A good ship all in all.

Imperial StarShip:
What needs to be said about this ship? The Best the game has to offer.
Many find it good enough to warrant playing Good for. To bad only the
good aligned players can use it. An Evil ISS was one powerful ship in
the hands of a skilled captain. Too bad they were outlawed.

Havoc GunStar:
Some have claimed this to be a good ship... It's not! The only reason one
can even think of buying it is the T-warp drive. The Holds,Turn Cost and
combat odds keep this from being a real useful ship. It can come in very
handy for moving fighters around and attacking other ships but in most
roles it falls behind others of it's class. The New feature of
Transporters takes away alot of the old roles this ship once filled.
When used as a pair two gunstars can make short work of a Rob-Transport-Rob
method. An Evil Corp will find it useful for moving around but anyone who
thinks that it's good for trading pairs will be in for a shock!

StarMaster:
It's not what she used to be that's for sure! Why it has 73 holds is a
question only Gary can answer. Alot of people will claim the Constellation
as the new ship of choice but the Starmaster is not yet dead. It does have
the scanners that are missing from the Constellation and carries around
more defensive firepower. It gives away only holds and Transport range
to the Constellation. A tough choice to make at first glance. It's
turn rate and holds make it only marginally better then the Merchant
Freighter. See the comments about the Constellation.

Constellation:
Some say it's the replacement for the Starmaster. When they find it lacks
a Holo-scanner they will be selling it back. Not a bad ship for it's class
but the lack of a scanner puts a damper on it's uses. Like the Starmaster
In many ways this ship serves very little purpose when turns are considered
in trading. I don't see much use for one when other ships including
the cruiser can make near the same credits. For an Evil this ship may
serve as a stepping stone to a Mule when running Sell-Steal-Transport
in a "mapped" area.

T'Khasi Orion:
Why? The merchant Freighter out performs this ship in every way except
firepower and even the added firepower this ship offers is not enough to
do battle with anyone other then an alien or new player. It's lack of a
holo-scanner make it far less useful in the role of a scout. So again
I have to ask Why?

Tholian Sentinel:
At last it Works! The combat odds make this ship the best buy for the
buck when defending a fledgeling planet only the ISS and IC can surpass
it's defensive rating. Used in any other role it's pure trash. But then
again for the money it's one tough nut to crack when guarding a planet.
However if P-torps are turned on this ship can become a Death Trap as
it does NOT gain the 4:1 odds vrs Mines, Fighters, Nav-Haz or Q-cannons
that can be brought into the sector to aid in it's destruction.
I feel that even though it works it's not worth using.

Taurean Mule:
Could be called the Evil Money maker! When using Sell-Steal-Transport
this ship at least has a turn rate makeing movement bearable. It's poor
odds and Fighter/shield limits again put it at risk when moving but the
scanners can solve that problem. A Very good all around "Cargo Ship"
due to the holds and turn ratings. Depending on distance it can be used
as the best choice to colonize a planet!

Interdictor Cruiser:
At first this ship appears to be a Game Killing Beast! Look again. The
turn rate and low holds make it worthless for trading. It's possibly
the only other ship other then the Iss that can clean out a planet.
The inability to land on a planet requires another ship but that is
only a minor problem when invading a planet. It's high Transporter
range make it more of a space station (transporter) then anything else.
Once maxed out it is the BEST planet defender you can park in over a planet.
The Interdictor Generator is almost worthless as the turn rate and cost
of ship capturing make this method of earning money pointless.

Ferrengi Assualt Trader:
Considering what one must face to obtain one of these ships and it's
total lack of scanners, a senseable question to ask is why would you
even want to use this ship.

Ferrengi Battle Cruiser:
Again the problems you face with obtaining this ship out weigh any
probable uses for it. However if one could be obtained from another
trader it could be used as a serviceable ship. It's not a bad ship
so long as you can avoid the grudges that come with a one owner model.

Ferrengi Dreadnaught:
Evil players may well risk the capture of one of these ships as it's
Turn rate, holds, and P-torp abilities combined with the firepower it
offers make it a good ship. Again if you can avoid the grudges that
come with a one owner model you will find this ship very useful.

==========

Here are the Evil Credit Earning Methods you asked about.

Sell-Steal-Move: This method is the basic method of earning credits for
Evil traders. You MUST be Evil to do this. To use this method you need
to have a ship and some Exp. points or you will be getting busted alot!
A safe number of Exp. points is determined by this formula:
Holds x 35 = number of exp. points needed. You can go as low as 30 but
but you are increasing your risk of a bust. There is a built in chance
for a bust so you are never 100% assured of getting away with stealing.
The basic method is to start with a load of Equ. in your holds over a
port that is buying equ. and is next to another port that is also buying
equ. These are called "Evil Pairs" You then port and sell your Equ.
Do NOT buy other products unless you are using a jettison method of earning
extra exp points. (See the haggling for points section of this file.)
You then port again and steal back your Equ. You MUST now move to another
port that buys Equ. and repeat the selling and stealing process before
moving back to the first port. You can find a large number of "Evil Pairs"
in the game if you look for them. The best ships to use this method in
are the Low turn ships like the Merchant Freighter or the Cargo Tran.
Your spending most of your Turns in movement and this prevents you from
earn as many credits as other methods.

The loop looks like this: 8 turn loop in a 2 turn ship

1. Port and sell Equ.
2. Port and Steal Equ
3. Move to port that is adjacent
4. Port and sell Equ.
5. Port and Steal Equ
6. Move back to First Port
7. Repeat until busted.


Sell-Steal-Transport: This method is the "BEST" method Evils can use for
earning credits. It requires the same Exp points as the method mentioned
above. It also requires that you have two ships that have decent trans-
porter range. (or use of the Unlimited Transporter Bug.) You must have
Equ loaded in both ships and they must be over 2 separate Equ buying ports
that are within transporter range of each other. You then sell the Equ
and steal it back. You then transport over to your 2nd ship and sell the
Equ and Steal it back. You then transport back to the 1st ship and repeat
the whole process. You can make the most profit if you use CT's, but Mules
can make a very nice profit. The types of ships and number of holds you
have need not be the same. This method is VERY time consuming and is
best used when a script or macro is available.

The Loop looks like this: 6 turns per loop

1. Port and Sell Equ
2. Port and Steal Equ
3. Transport over to your second ship
4. Port and Sell Equ
5. Port and Steal Equ
6. Transport back to your first ship
7. Repeat until busted.

Using either method it is very important that you haggle for the exp
points you can earn from good trading. Due to busts you will always
be losing exp. So every effort must be made to earn Exp as you are trading.

Jetison Option:

You can also increase the number of Exp points you earn depending on
what method you are using to earn your credits. If you are running
Sell-Steal (both methods) you can buy small amounts (14 Ore , 8 Org)
of product and haggle for 2 points. You can then jettison this excess
product and go on to the steal part of your method. This option works
best when at SSB ports but can be done at any port selling products that
you are not stealing. This does not add turns to your loops only a small
decrease in total Profits that can be robbed back from the port.

Rob-Move-Rob: This method is useful only by Evils and is limited by the
fact that not every port has excess credits to rob. Again you MUST have
Exp. points to do this with minimum risk of getting busted. A safe number
of credits to rob is determined by the following formula:
Exp. points x 3 = Number of credits you can rob.
This method is best run at pairs that Good aligned traders are using.
It will never produce enough profits to make it the ONLY method you use
to earn credits, but it can turn a nice profit. You can rob credits from
the port with the most and move to the other 1/2 of the pair and rob only
a small amount and then return to the 1st port and rob again. By robbing
only a small part from the 2nd port you give yourself the chance to return
to the port with the large amounts of credits ripe for robbing. Don't
get greedy and rob everything from the "week" port or you will have to
resort to the method mentioned below. The basic method is simple.
Rob the credits and move to the 2nd port rob only a few of the credits and
return to the first port and repeat until your busted or the ports are
empty. This best done in a low turn ship.

The loop looks like this: 6 Turn Loop (in a 2 turn ship)

1. Rob credits (This port has Lots of Credits it sells Equ)
2. Move to Adjacent port
3. Rob credits (this port only has a few thousand so we only rob a
very small amount to allow us to continue the loops)
4. Move back to the First port
5. Repeat until busted or ports are drained


Rob-Transport-Rob: Again this method is open only to Evil traders and
requires the same Exp points that the method above required. You can
use this method to only rob from ports with large amounts of credits
in them. This method is more turn effective then the method above.
However it does require two ships with a good transporter range or use
of the Unlimited Transporter Bug just as you would if you were doing
Sell-Steal-Transport. The method is very similar. You rob credits and
then transport to the 2nd ship. Rob credits and transport back to the
first ship. Two Gunstars or two Corp. Flags work great with this method.

The loop looks like this: 4 turn loop

1. Rob Credits
2. Transport to second ship
3. Rob Credits
4. Transport back to first ship
5. Repeat until busted or ports are drained.

This method is for using on those Equ selling ports that contain massive
amounts of Credits left behind by the Good aligned traders out trashing
pairs. You can make very good money doing this but sooner or latter
it dries upand you have to give it a rest and go back to running SST.

==========

How much Damage does a Quasar do?


Sector shots:

Total ore on planet x percentage set / 3 = Damage done
Damage Done x 3 = Cost in ore

Atmosphere Shots:

Total ore on planet x percentage set = Damage done
Damage Done / 2 = Cost in ore

For those of you who flunked 3rd grade math, percentages are expressed
like this... 90% = .90 50% = .50 NOTE the decimal points!!!

==========

Q: Can the Federals be destroyed?

A: No. You can Tedit your ship to hold a million fighters, edit the ship to
have 200:1 combat odds, fire a photon at the feds first, and will still
be unable to do *any* damage to the fed. Fed's are indestructable.

Q: Can you blow up Stardock or any of the Class 0 ports?

A: No. Same thing. Indestructable.
(Note From Slice:)
There has been talk in the echo lately that people claim to have blown up
StarDock. I tested this in a game on my bbs, Took an Interdictor Cruiser
with 4000 shields and 100000 fighters. I attacked SD with 9999 fighters
4 times without breaking off the attack and I ran out of fighters. Didn't
scratch SD. I then Tedit'd the ship to give it 100000 shields and 200000
fighters and sent 10 waves of 9999 fighters and still it didn't blow up.
If someone claims to have blown up SD, I would be very interested in
knowing the version number and the conditions it was under.

Q: Where can I get the Computer Upgrade?

A: There is none.

Q: How can I get to the library?

A: Hit '+' at Stardock.

Q: What good is a ship password?

A: Two things. 1) To keep your own corp. members out of your ship.
2) If you invade a planet and there are people in the citadel
with tradeable ships (and you're in a tradeable ship you'll
be able to get their ships (giving them useless ships in
return) and then use them yourself with all fighters and
goodies intact or else sell them at the stardock. If they
have the password set, you'll have to either evict them
or just blow them up with the planet, you won't be able to
trade their ships.

Q: Will a shielded planet protect me and my quasar cannon from a photon?

A: No. If you are in the citadel of a shielded planet and someone shoots
a photon into the sector, you will lose all your turns for the day and
your quasar will not fire.

Q: Do all Class 0 ports remove limpits?

A: Yes

Q: Is a class 0 port considered a MSL?

A: Yes, When Extern runs any fighters and mines will be removed and
any planets will be reduced to level 2's.

Q: Will moving in and out of a sector clear it of limpits?

A: Yes, Every time you move into the limpit'd sector, it will remove the
current limpit from your ship and put a new one on.

Q: Will i show up as a density of 0 if I'm in a Ferrengi Dreadnaught?

A: No, Only ferrengi have that priviledge. You still show up as 40 and
a captured unmanned Dreadnaught shows a density of 38.

Q: At what times EXACTLY does the Quasar fire?

A: A Non-Damped Quasar will fire when:
a) You enter the sector (Including Twarp)
b) You enter the game in the same sector as the planet
c) You land on the planet
d) You try to leave with an interdictor holding you
e) After you destroy the shields on a planet just before you engage
the fighters
f) When you destroy the deployed fighters in the sector
g) Note: If you have a ship in the sector, you *can* teleport to it
without being blasted by the Q-Cannon

Q: Does the Photon dampen the effects of an Interdictor on a shielded planet?

A: Yes.

Q: If I'm in an Interdictor Cruiser with ore in my holds will I trap anyone
who comes in the sector?

A: The IC was originally designed with the idea that two people could be in
the game at the same time. If you are *IN* the game in your IC at the
same time as another player, then yes, you would trap them. but since
the game is so buggy when multiple people are allowed into it, most sysops
disable multi-user play so you will not be able to trap them with your IC.

Q: How much damage do mines do?

A: When a player enters a sector with mines in it, they will only be hit by
half the mines. i.e. a player will never be hit with the full 250 mines,
125 mines is the most that will detonate in one blow. Each mine will hit
for about 11-13 points of damage.

==========

What's the most cost effective way to get good alignment?

I was just wondering this myself when I was faced with getting alignment
early in a new game, so I constructed a list of the various ways to up
alignment and their costs. If anyone can contribute additions or
corrections, this might fit nicely into someone's TW guide.

(1) POST REWARDS ON EVIL PLAYERS - cr 1,000/al. pt.
Not available to negatively aligned players. If the object of the
bounty is locatable, reward money may be recouped almost
immediately.

(2) PAY TAXES - cr 1,500/al. pt.
Not available to negatively aligned players. Has no return and no
possibility of recouping the money. In a new game recently with no
evil players to post on, I pulled all my money out of the bank and
proceeded to quit and reenter the game, paying taxes until my
alignment reached 500. This may sound stupid, but read on.

(3) BUILD PLANETS - cr 2,000/al. pt.
Not available to negatively aligned players. Returns are you get
to keep the planet. Hopefully, this was something you were
planning on doing anyway, but it's a long way to 500 alignment
points doing this.

(4) KILL BAD GUYS - cost varies
An evil trader or alien with -250 alignment and 200 fighters in a
merchant will cost you about cr 400 / al. pt. Trouble is, finding
them takes time and turns that should go into something more
productive. It is difficult to adopt a productive strategy that
maximizes the chance of running into one of these guys early in the
game. My original strategy was to e-probe like mad for them
in the beginning. I benefited from the information greatly, but
even shooting off 50-75 e-probes a day, it was like finding a
needle in a hay stack. If you want a method that will get the
desired alignment in a short period of time, this one is too open
ended. Nevertheless, there are bargains out there, so if you run
across one, check the alien list in your computer and see if he's
worth the cost.

(5) UPGRADING PORTS - cr 5,000 /al. pt.
This method can provide future returns if you can control the
area around the port(s). It is also the most expensive.

(6) KILLING EVIL (or ROUGUE) FIGHTERS - +-1800 / al. pt.
When you attack evil or rougue fighters you get 1 alignment point
for every 10 fighters YOU LOSE fighting. It doesn't matter how
many fighters you kill, only how many you lost. A player in a
ColTran will get a lot more out of 100 enemy fighters than someone
in a Battle Ship. But at cr 180 per fighter, that's 1800 per
alignment point, and if you're doing the Corp Disband/Rougue
fighter thing, double this since you supply the fighters on both
sides.

==========

How can I find people with the Grimy Trader?

If you ask the GT about TRADERS he'll ask you if you're looking for a
particular one, say yes and he'll give you some of the ports that person
has docked at. You can try to track down a persons base like this
especially if they are porting at a port in the same sector as their
planet.

==========

How can I stop people from finding me with the Grimy Trader?

The way the GT finds out his information is when you ask about a certain
trader, for example "Slice", He looks into the database, See's what ship
number Slice is currently in and then lists some ports at random that
ship number has docked at. If Slice does his trading in his ISS (Ship # 5)
and then sleeps at night in any other ship (Ship # 6), If Ship # 6 has
never docked anywhere, The GT will not be able to provide you with any
information.

==========

If you deploy your corporate fighters in groups of about 20 per sector in
defensive mode, when good aligned traders come warping thru destroying your
fighters, it will gradually erode their alignment. If they're not careful
they could find themselves turning evil in an ISS! (This only works if you
are good aligned also)

==========

A Corporation in my game deploys a bunch of fighters around the universe,
it's killing my alignment taking out their fighters! How can I get around
this?

Rather then attacking with enough fighters to take out the whole group,
attack with 1 or 2 fighters at a time and wear them down. In addition to
not losing your alignment, your enemy will have pages upon pages of messages
to wade through! Better use a macro for this. If your alignment drops below
1000 you can get it back to 1000 by asking for another commission.

==========

The board where I play has two lines and the sysop allows two people to
get in the game at the same time. Is there a way I can use this to my
advantage?

Yes! Yes! Yes! oh...foolish sysop...
If you can get online with a partner and on the phone at the same time
(two phone lines each) That works best. If not, synch your watches over
the phone first, then both of you login and go into the citadel.
Say your citadel has 1 Million credits. On the 00 second, Both players
withdraw 1 Million credits. (Now, Both of you actually have 1 Million!)
On 10 seconds, Player 1 puts his million in the treasury, On 20 seconds
Player 2 puts his million back in the trasury. Now there's 2 Mil in the
treasury. On 30 seconds, both players pull out 2 Mill. On 40 seconds
Player 1 puts in 2 Mill, then on 50 seconds Player 2 puts in 2 mill. Now
theres 4 Mill in the treasury and you repeat the loop at 00.

Get it? Good, go get rich. No? Study it for a bit, then go get rich.

==========

How many turns does it take to tow a ship?

Tow ship TR + (Towed ship TR x 2) = Number of turns spent.

Where TR = Turn Rate

So towing in the Ferrengi assualt trader with your ISS would cost you
8 turns. Towing in that CT with your ISS would cost you 16 turns.

==========

This was recently reported in the FidoNet Echo:

I don't know if anyone has ran into this bug, but...

In wide beta 5 a team member ran out of time and was ejected before he
could make it to safety and cloak. So I went to tow him to safety. When
I was towing I realized that at 11 turns a move I should have ran out of
moves a long time ago, so I checked the I screen. Sure enough I had 0
turns remaining. I tried moving and IT LET ME!!! I tried porting and
it deducted a turn like I had never moved a inch (400 turn game, I
started towing with 365, and the turns remaining on the port trading
screen said 364.) I am shamed to say that I thought to take advantage
of the free turns and started trading all over the place. It cam back
to haunt me though when I went to the stardock to pick up some ehter
probes. Apparently the game won't let you tow even a corp member from
fed space. I ended up leaving him by the stardock with over 1000 exp.
Needless to say he was toast! Anyway, I don't know if anybody has run
into this and I haven't yet tried it again, but I thought you all would
be interested...

(Notes From Slice)

I did test this bug and what I found was that if you are towing a manned
ship at 11 turns a move (I used a Starmaster towing an ISS), if you check
the "I" screen it will show you the turns left of the person you are towing.
As you move across the galaxy the "I" never changes but the game is still
deducting *your* turns. I would drop tow after a couple sectors and the
"I" screen would my correct turns with the correct amount deducted. I also
turned on the tow and dragged a corp member across the galaxy until it told
me I was out of turns even though the "I" screen said I had over 500. I was
unable to allow the game let me move at 0 turns. If anyone else can, please
let me know. I'm sure we'd all love to know :-) I think it's just a
cosmetic bug.

==========

What's the port rollover bug?

This one has still not been pinpointed to a science but the basic principle
is to attack a port and roll over it's production so it's buying/selling
great quantitys without having to upgrade it. One formula that has been
provided is:

(Port Defensive Rating * 15) - 150 = Number of fighters to attack with
If the defensive rating is greater then 54, this formula won't work.

You attack with the fighters one time and then break off the attack. I've
been told this works best if you trade the port down so it's drained in all
areas before you attack. Any more information on this would be appreciatted.

==========

How can I get evil real fast?

Create a macro to go to the Grimy trader, curse him, exit, and repeat.
You will lose 1 alignment point and 1 exp point every time you curse him.

==========

How about some more viewpoints for an evil player?

Evil Corp Tactics....By Mike Magero

Your asking for novel not a paperback! <G> But I will try and provide a
look into "Our Corp" and how we do things. This one may get long.....

First things first... John my corp partner is also an "Expert" in his
own right. He and I are "Trusted" partners we don't backstab or lie to
each other. We also talk daily, voice if not in person. We spend only
a few minutes each day talking TW and then go about our other business.
(We have lifes too!.... so that lame excuse is just that... lame!)

We use the Database and Script files we created and work as a team.
We play evil and have made it work for us. Our "standard" methods of
operation go like this.

Game Start (first 1-3 days)

We run our Find SGA script if need to locate stardock. If not we both
trade in our Cruisers for Freighters and Density scanners. We trade pairs
and buy holds. Once we have full holds we start buying E-probes and shoot
them on long paths (using our e-prober script not a Zero turn map.) This
provides us with more pairs. We continue to do this until we lose fedspace
parking rights. (on or about day 3 due to having excessive exp.) When we
are trading pairs we are using our Trading script to earn 2 points and the
extra credits that makes. So far we have not joined up as a Corp we are
acting as solo players but we are trading Cim Data and helping each other.

Day 4-6

One of us will go Evil. The other guy will send a days profit to the guy
who is Evil. The Evil then goes to a Class 7 port and runs the script we
call "Mega-Jetison" This script will trade for small quantities of product
and haggle for 2 points. It then jettisons the stuff and repeats. In your
example of a 350 turn game I could use this script to "buy" exp. I could
earn 1750 in 350 turns costing me only 315,000 credits (about a days trading)
I can then steal the credits back (I'm evil remember) for more Exp and a
reduction in the cost. I now have the needed exp to run any of the Evil
credit earning methods on day 4. The other players are still out pounding
pairs and hoping to get there Iss's in a few days. The Good Guy will be
trading the pairs and shooting E-probes. He will go for an ISS and will be
making a Planet and may be capturing Ferrengal in a few days, if the rest
of the players don't have a clue as to what's going on yet. This is often
the part that causes cries of cheating (Most players don't understand how
he got his ISS and all the fighters needed when they can't do it.) The
Evil is sending him 500,000 credits per day and banking the rest or holding
it on his cloaked ship.

Day 6-14

The Evil player is earning the big money by running either Sell-Steal-Move
(SSM) or Sell-Steal-Transport (SST) Credits for new Ships,Holds,Fighters,
and E-probes are not a problem at this time. (No this is not the big $)
Bust are a problem as there is no one out clearing them so the money is
not as good as it could be.
The Good player now has an ISS and a big part of the map if not all of it!
We often have 100% mapped at this point. (in the Database not as individuals)
and he will start a planet and use a T-warp Colonizing script to bring in
people. Once it turns Lv-1 we invest in the Planet Transporters to aid the
process. The sectors we have chosen for our dead-end often look like this:


(456)
\ l /
-- 121 -- 345 -- (4713)
/ l l
2156 -- 3912 -- (4029)
l
(912)


Sector 121 has 6 ways in and out we don't touch this sector. The rest
of the dead-end as you can see is made up of small 1 and 2 sector dead-ends
there is no "escape hatch" 1 way out. These "escape hatch" dead-ends often
have traffic coming through them at some point and are often found more
by luck then any other means (we avoid using them for now.) All of these
sectors will have 250 mines and a few limpets as while as 1 Fighter for a
T-warp Beacon. The 345 sector will have 5-10 thousand Offensive fighters
in it to keep the week guys from entering the dead-end. At this point the
dead-end is at risk of invasion but it would take a powerful enemy to do
it and this just doesn't happen because no one yet has the resources to
attack. Even an Expert player who is in an ISS is going to think twice
about attacking a dead-end and burning up his stock of fighters and credits
this early in the game. If we have been found we may risk parking the
ISS (maxed out) over the planet. (We can afford it! and it's more protection
then the Sentinel offers.)

We now spend the credits to fire in dud planets and stock them with the
products needed to build SSB Ports. In 4 days the Ports are done. The
planet is Lv-2 and has a good stock of people on it. The Good Trader will
now dump his Alignment and sell the ISS. He goes evil and if needed uses
the Mega-Jetison script to raise his Exp. We then join up as a Corp and
run the SST method of earning credits at our protected ports. We clear
each others busts and use Mules at this point. This will earn us about
2 million per day per person at this point. Easily far more then a good
aligned player can earn at this point.

We watch the <V> screen for citadels and shoot E-probes to hunt for them
We then kill them outright. Using what ever means necessary to crush the
planet and it's defenders. (Ruthless and Wanton Devastation!) At this
time we also clean up those worthless new player planets. We don't hunt
for them. We hunt for citadels only!

From this point on we continue to buy fighters and hunt citadels. Once
we have a Lv-4 planet we warp it in close to Terra and use the CT to make
colonist stocking runs until we have drained Terra. We then warp our Lv-4
back to the dead end and start on building up other planets. We go for
a Class L for our first planet but will settle for a Class M if that's
what comes up. Either way we try for 1 of each as our first 2 planets.
Only after we have these to Lv-5 do we start on the other types.

Once we have spread out the colonists and have a Lv-4 and a Lv-1 we move
the Lv-4 over near one of the Class Zero ports (or stardock) and use that
as a Transporter Pad to cut turns out of the Restoring holds problems
one faces as an Evil. We then sell our Mules and replace them with CT"S.
At this point we are makeing top dollar. From here it's just a matter of
how you choose to spend your credits.

Geno. After reading this can you honestly tell me that your method of
exploring is going to allow you fight us? If you give us 24 days to build
up the game is over for you. You will never be able to start a Citadel.
We will see it the day you use a G-torp and know the minute it turns into
a Citadel. We can easily afford to spend untold millions just shooting
E-probes. Anyone not also running SST in a similar fashion would lack the
Fighters/Shields needed to battle us. We need never leave our protected
area should we choose not to. You will never see us out in space. If you
want us, you will have to come and find us. We force you into the position
of being the attacker, the odds are with us. Sure there are things you
can do to harrass us but you will never be able to take it all away from
us. The stuff you CAN destroy with little cost like the un-manned ships and
the ports can all be easily rebuilt in a matter of days. The planets are
for the most part un-killable due to the games upper limits being set so
high and our methods of earning the maximum amount of credits each and
everyday. The game itself is busted not your methods but your only getting
away with what your doing because the other players are allowing you to do
it. We don't give others that chance. We use our credit advantage from
the start and don't let anyone else get into a position to offer a challenge.

The real secret to control is to pick a method that will allow you to out
earn everyone else and get into FASTER then anyone else can. The guys who
can get the most, FIRST will be the guys who are going to control the game.

You can see that even this post doesn't go into pain staking step
by step details but you can see the general plan we use. The minor details
such as ship types and planet types will differ but the basic plan is always
the same. Get the upper hand fast and keep it. Anyone who fails to match
the speed at which we build up will forever be eating our dust and driving
a Pod. There are no luck factors to give you that break you need to catch
up with the guys in the lead. You either have it or your don't......
( "it" is the power to do battle and win) Player Aids play a big part
in this. Some ARE better then others but you have to use them to the fullest
if your going to beat the guys running the same stuff you have access to.

==========

What's a good defense for my planets?

There are many many different views on this subject. Some people swear by
Tholians for the 4-1 odds which is very good. The most common arguement
against Tholians is that someone can photon you (causing you to lose your
turns for the day) and then walk in and drop 250 mines (You only get 1-1
odds when taking damage from mines). I think the best way to avoid this
scenario is to invest in limpit mines for your sector (an enemy cannot
deploy mines if you have limpits there) and to make sure you don't keep
all your eggs in one basket. Have a corp member or two out somewhere cloaked
so they can disrupt any enemy mines or take any actions neccessary to
keep you protected. If you login and in your messages you see that you've
been photoned, DROP CARRIER! The mines won't go off and you can call a corp
member voice (You *do* have voice phone numbers for your corp members right?)
and have them come and disrupt the mines.
-----
(Counter View By Stephen Whitis)
-----
I'm a bit wary about recommend any tactic that requires dropping carrier.
Also, this makes it sound as if by dropping carrier you've gotten out of
everything. But you haven't. You still lose your turns, and your partner
will use some of his hauling your butt out of there.

The limpits are only partial protection: Unless someone clears them out
(which I wouldn't usually bother with) no one can drop mines in the sector.
But they can sure enough create 100% nav-hazard there. And your partner will
have to take a hit from that when he comes to get you out - assuming you drop
carrier to avoid it.

And, in the end, if your solution is to have your partner haul you out, then
wouldn't you have been better off to park (cloaked) elsewhere in the first
place?
-----

Some common misnomers on defenses....

1) If I get a volcanic to level 3 (Quasar), I'll have a GREAT defense!

False. 1 photon and your Quasar won't do anything.

2) Once I get my volcanic SHIELDED then I'll have a GREAT defense because
the docs say shielding protects my quasar from the photon!

False. The docs lie. Your shielded Quasar will STILL be dampened.

3) I need to set my reaction level for my citadel so some of my fighters
attack an invading person.

False. You get better odds when your fighters are defending the planet.
Always set the reaction level to 0%

4) The Quasar settings of 5% Sector and 10-20% Atmosphere are plenty. That
will give me at least 5 shots at an invader!

False. Most often then not if I've taken a quasar hit, It was set too low
to keep me out. I only land on your planet once. I either take
it on the first shot or I know if I have enough resources to take
a 2nd shot at it. You usually only get one shot to take me out.
(But what about Mothing?) Ahh the troubles of being a CEO :)
Each game has to be played by ear.

==========

How can I escape a planetary interdictor?

Once you're in the sector, You *MUST* destroy the fighters deployed in the
sector. You might even consider towing a ship in with you if you are invading
someone's base for backup fighters. Once you have removed their fighters,
deploy some of your own. You will have to exit the game and have a partner
Twarp a planet into the sector, you can then go back in the game (probably
take a Quasar blast) and land on the planet and Twarp it out of there.
On the MBBS version this can all be done with everyone online which makes
the whole process so much easier.

Another method if you don't have a transwarpable planet, Is to have a
teammate logon, Photon the sector you're in and tow you home. Photon
disables an Interdictor generator. Unless the sysop has the photon wave
set real high, I would suggest photoning once, move in get all the corp
fighters from the player, move out, rephoton to reset the timer, go in,
activate the tow and then pop out. Might even be able to Twarp Tow but I've
never had to try it.

==========

Isn't it CHEATING to use these kinds of bugs?


Once upon a time, when I helped moderate the FIDO-TradeWars echo, I wrote
the following. It was in reference to a user who was calling people
cheaters for using bugs. Luckily, though TW2002 2.0 still has a large
number of bugs, voluntary bug use (using bugs on purpose, to gain an
advantage) doesn't have as large an effect as in did in 1.03d.

- Stephen Whitis


Bug use and cheating are not the same thing. We don't know what the rules
to the game are - the game doesn't explain them. We find out the rules by
trying to do things. In many cases, its hard to tell if X is a bug or
not. Steal-Sell in 1.03d is an example. It didn't *look* like a bug. It
looked as if everything were working just as planed. But it also gave
evils a huge advantage in the game, and the author has told us that it was
a bug. (And removed the ability to run it in 2.0.)

Since we don't know what the rules are, we rely on the program (TW2002) to
enforce the rules. Thats the *only* way to have everyone play by the same
rules.

Steal sell again makes a good example. Am I supposed to avoid using it in
a 1.03d game because I know its a bug, though a newbie (and many
experienced players) would use it without knowing? That would put me at a
disadvantage. Letting the game enforce the rules works better - everyone
gets the same chance, that way.

Some bugs can't be avoided. The ship-records bug in 2.0 is a good
example. You can gain from it. You can lose from it. You can't control
it, and you certainly can't do anything to make sure it never happens.
Whether we like it or not (and I don't) its in the game. If it takes one
of my ships, I'll deal with it. If it gives me a good ship, I'll take
advantage of it.

Many of the bugs are much more minor. The way the program counts lines
when displaying messages doesn't work right. That doesn't cause any
problems, no one gains of loses anything, but its still a bug. In 1.03d,
the V-screen has minor bugs - am I supposed to avoid looking at the V
screen due to them? Of course not.

Many players feel that bug-users win only due to bug use. I don't believe
thats true. To use bugs effectively, you have to know a lot of details
about the game. Not just details about the bugs, but details about the
features too. The better players tend to learn a lot of the details -
that's part of what makes them skilled players. Bug users are players who
learn the details, and that type of player will have an advantage over the
player who doesn't even in a bug-free game.

By now, anyone who doesn't use bugs has probably decided that I'm in favor
of bug use. They are wrong. I would *much* prefer to have a bug-free
game. For 1.03d, Aedit does a great job of curing most of the worst bugs.
TWUnBug can fix a few in addition to the ones Aedit takes care of. And I
highly recommend them.

But we can't have a level playing ground if some players are using one set
of rules and others are using a different one. Therefore we have to let
the game enforce the rules. Players who choose to use bugs are playing
the game that *does* exist, instead of a game that we *wish* existed.

Some sysops have tried to make rules against bug use on their board. But
not every player will follow them, and not every player who uses a bug
will get caught. The sysop can't watch the game 24 hours a day. In
1.03d, using Aedit and TWUnBug, the BBS computer can enforce those rules.

In addition, bug use *needs* to be discussed in the echo. If I know of a
major-money bug, but keep it a secret, then I have a huge advantage. If
that same bug is posted in the echo, then everyone has the same
opportunity that I do. Discussing the bugs leads to fair games.

Perhaps more importantly, most of us would greatly prefer a bug-free game,
and that will not happen unless bugs are reported. It may not happen
anyway, but Gary can't possibly fix bugs which are not reported, and he
does fix at least some of the ones that do get reported. Most of the bugs
posted in the echo will be passed on to Gary. All of the major ones
*will* be passed on to him. The current game is a beta version. The
entire point of a beta release is to find the bugs.

For those reasons, we allow people to discuss bugs in the echo.

<<< Here is the point. >>>

Now, to the point. It doesn't matter if John Doe uses bugs or not. If he
flames people for using bugs, then he is flaming. If he flames people for
*not* using bugs, then he is flaming. And flaming isn't allowed in the
echo. It doesn't get anyone anywhere, and it makes many people unhappy.

If you can't be civil, you'll have to move to another echo.

==========

What is the "MBBS" version I keep hearing about?

MBBS stands for Major BBS software. It is a multi-user BBS platform that
you will often see anywhere from 8-32 phone lines coming into a single BBS.
It is expensive to run and almost all MBBS boards are "Pay before you Play"
that you have a monthly subscription to. The TradeWars 2002 2.00 version
for MBBS allows multiple people in the game at the same time. It is much
more drum tight on bugs then the current Beta 5 is. Revisions of MBBS
tradewars are done with letters instead of numbers. As of this writing
the current version of the MBBS version is 2.00m.

==========

Any major bugs I can use in the MBBS version?

***MAJOR BUG FOUND IN MBBS v.2.00m***

Note: We have found a major bug in this version of the game, which renders
the person who knows about the bug virtually invincible. I don't know how to
get in touch with the authors, and am publicizing it here for two reasons:

1) To make players aware that it can be used against you
2) In hopes that word will get to the authors to fix it quickly

These are the steps we have found reproduces the bug:
1) Take a shielded planet (we duplicated it by making a corp. planet
personal)
To duplicate the conditions under which the bug was found, we
set shields to 1 and fighters to 1.
2) Two other players attack AT THE SAME EXACT TIME.
Again, to duplicate conditions, we attacked with 100 fighters each.
3) Retreat
4) Land on the planet.
5) CONGRATULATIONS!!! You now have......ta da! 65,535 shields!

If you're wondering why that other player has unlimited funds, s/he's taking
a Tholian, stuffing it with shields, and selling it. I originally ran into
this situation on one board, and couldn't figure it out. We now have
duplicated it on a second board, so it has nothing to do with the sysop's
settings.

Mickey Platko
(For a brief time: invincible)

==========

From  : TONY DYE

There are two more interesting bugs available to the MBBS user. One is
pretty useful, and the other isonly marginally so, though I suspect it
would be used more if fakes were stamped out.
Both of these work on MBBS. I can't say for sure whether they would work
on other versions or not.


1: Planet type bug

This is pretty easy. It allows you to basically choose the planet type
you want. What you do is shoot the G-torp, and the screen to name the
planet comes up. If you don't like the type of planet you have, drop
carrier, re-logon, and shoot another gtorp. Repeat until you get
something you want.

2:Towing ships with fighters

If you ever wanted to tow one of your ships while it still has fighters
on it, try this:
Xport to the ship you want to tow.
put all the fighters in the sector. Set them to whatever.
Xport to the towing ship.
Engage the tow.
Xport to the ship to be towed, pick up the fighters.
Xport back to the towing ship, and yer off.

==========

OK now how to make a TON of money in the MBBS game...

This works with version M, have not tried it in the door. As you know
it's easy to capture a FAT. But the secret to making big bucks off of
selling these ships is to get the ship full of carbo. Then when you sell
you can get 3 million or more credits for it. To fill a FAT with carbo
here is what you do..

Get the FAT to board your ship (carry few fighters, hope they don't have
a grudge against you else they attack you). Every time they board your
ship they add carbo to their ship. So the more you can get him to board
you the more carbo they accumulate. Then take out the FAT and go sell it
for big bucks.

==========

What are some of the BIG differences between the MBBS version and
the standard Beta 5 version?

1) Shields WORK! A shielded planet isn't affected by a photon. If someone
photons your shielded planet and you're in the citadel, you don't lose
your turns. If someone shoots a photon at your shielded planet they will
*still* get blasted by the Q-Cannon.

2) Turns are given out per hour, rather then per day. It takes the total #
of turns per day in the game and divides them up per hour. If you photon
a player so they lose their turns, they will get another 20-40 turns
(whatever the rate is set at) at the top of the hour! Act Quick!

3) Almost every bug in Beta 5 does NOT work in 2.00m. Including:
Unlimited transport, Transwarp towing, and Unlimited Treasury.

4) There's alot of minor differences that affect game play but I think those
are probably the biggest you need to adjust to. One other factor...
Since MBBS boards are "Pay for Play" you'll often see people pay for
multiple accounts to play tradewars. Whoever has the most $$$ has the
most influence in the game.

==========

Are any Data Structures available for Tw Beta 5? (Note: I'm not a programmer,
I cannot verify the integrity of these structures.)

Message #1603 "National TradeWars Echo"
Date: 25-Sep-94 13:43
From: Craig Healy
To: All
Subj: Tw 2.0X Data, 1 Of 2

'Gary Martin has indicated that he would eventually release this info.
'He is a busy person, so I will send this 'til he gets around to it.
'Items indicated as Null, Data, EndPad, etc. indicate unused/unknown
'functions. My programs ignore them and (so far..) work fine.

'Many items are STRING * 1. These may be a quantity, or 1/0 (y/n).

'Credit values may be STRING * 6, which is a Pascal variant, or
'STRING * 8, which can be used directly in QuickBasic 4.5. They are
'both of the "increasing mantissa" type.

'STRING length is indicated, INTEGER is 2-bytes, LONG is 4-bytes.

'Data file structure for the Tradewars 2.0x game

TYPE UserData 'Information formatted to match
GameName AS STRING * 42 'records in TWUSER.DAT file.
BBSName AS STRING * 42 'Record length = 1426
Date AS INTEGER
KilledBy AS INTEGER
Turns AS INTEGER
Null1 AS STRING * 3
Travels AS STRING * 625
Avoids AS STRING * 625
Bounty AS STRING * 8
BCount AS INTEGER
Contract AS STRING * 8
CCount AS INTEGER
GalaBank AS STRING * 8
Null2 AS STRING * 25
Data2 AS STRING * 1
TWarpAvail AS STRING * 1
ANSI AS STRING * 1
Animation AS STRING * 1
Data3 AS STRING * 1
Location AS INTEGER
BlownUp AS STRING * 1
Corp AS STRING * 1
Active AS STRING * 1
OnPlanet AS INTEGER
PrevSect AS INTEGER
Alignment AS LONG
Experience AS LONG
CurShip AS INTEGER
Credits AS STRING * 6
END TYPE

TYPE ShipData 'Information formatted to match
ShipName AS STRING * 46 'records in TWSHIP.DAT file.
ShipDate AS STRING * 29 'Total record length = 156
Null1 AS INTEGER
ShipPWord AS STRING * 11
ShipActive AS STRING * 1
Shields AS LONG
Fighters AS LONG
Holds AS STRING * 1
Ore AS STRING * 1
Organics AS STRING * 1
Equipment AS STRING * 1
Colonists AS STRING * 1
Location AS INTEGER
OnPlanet AS INTEGER
Owner AS INTEGER
Ported AS LONG
ShipType AS STRING * 1
ShipMaker AS STRING * 1
TWarp AS STRING * 1
Cloaks AS STRING * 1
Cloaked AS STRING * 1
Scanner AS STRING * 1
GTorp AS STRING * 1
AMines AS STRING * 1
LMines AS STRING * 1
Null2 AS STRING * 4
Null3 AS INTEGER
Kills AS INTEGER
Markers AS INTEGER
PMissiles AS STRING * 1
ADetonator AS STRING * 1
Corbomite AS INTEGER
EProbe AS INTEGER
MDisrupter AS INTEGER
PsyProbe AS STRING * 1
PlanetScan AS STRING * 1
TLock AS STRING * 1
Limpets AS INTEGER
Null4 AS STRING * 8
Interdictor AS STRING * 1
Null5 AS STRING * 3
END TYPE

TYPE SectData 'Information formatted to match
Nebula AS STRING * 42 'records in TWSECT.DAT file.
Beacon AS STRING * 42 'Record length = 128
Warp1 AS INTEGER
Warp2 AS INTEGER
Warp3 AS INTEGER
Warp4 AS INTEGER
Warp5 AS INTEGER
Warp6 AS INTEGER
PortNum AS INTEGER
NavHaz AS STRING * 1
Fighters AS LONG
FOwner AS INTEGER
AMines AS STRING * 1
LMines AS STRING * 1
Null1 AS STRING * 6
MOwner AS INTEGER
FType AS STRING * 1
TollCredits AS STRING * 6
Null2 AS STRING * 6
END TYPE

TYPE PortData 'Information formatted to match
PortName1 AS STRING * 42 'records in TWPORT.DAT file.
PortedShip AS STRING * 42 'Record length = 120
PortType AS STRING * 1
Date AS INTEGER
Time AS INTEGER
Ore AS INTEGER
Organics AS INTEGER
Equipment AS INTEGER
OreProd AS INTEGER
OrganicsProd AS INTEGER
EquipProd AS INTEGER
OreRate AS STRING * 1
OrganicsRate AS STRING * 1
EquipmentRate AS STRING * 1
Finish AS STRING * 1
Active AS STRING * 1
Null1 AS INTEGER
Null2 AS INTEGER
Null3 AS INTEGER
LastRob AS INTEGER
Credits AS STRING * 6
END TYPE

TYPE PlanData 'Information formatted to match
PlanName AS STRING * 42 'records in TWPLAN.DAT file.
CreatorName AS STRING * 42 'Record length = 172
Date AS INTEGER
Time AS INTEGER
OrePop AS LONG
OrganicsPop AS LONG
EquipmentPop AS LONG
Ore AS LONG
Organics AS LONG
Equipment AS LONG
MilReac AS STRING * 1
QAtmos AS STRING * 1
QSect AS STRING * 1
PlanetType AS STRING * 1
Fighters AS LONG
CitLevel AS STRING * 1
Location AS INTEGER
Active AS STRING * 1
CitComplete AS INTEGER
Owner AS INTEGER
Shields AS STRING * 2
Credits AS STRING * 8
TransportPwr AS INTEGER
Interdictor AS STRING * 1
EndPad AS STRING * 31
END TYPE

TYPE ConfigFile 'Information formatted to match
BBSName AS STRING * 61 'records in TWCFIG.DAT file.
Start AS INTEGER 'One record only, length = 354.
Sysop AS STRING * 61
MaxSectors AS INTEGER
MaxWarpLen AS STRING * 1
MaxPlayers AS INTEGER
MaxShips AS INTEGER
MaxPorts AS INTEGER
MaxPlanets AS INTEGER
Null1 AS STRING * 1
MovesDay AS INTEGER
InitFighters AS INTEGER
InitCredits AS STRING * 6
InitHolds AS STRING * 1
DaysToDel AS STRING * 1
ExternRan AS INTEGER
FerrRegen AS STRING * 1
ColsDay AS INTEGER
LogLimit AS INTEGER
Intrepid AS INTEGER
Valiant AS INTEGER
Lexington AS INTEGER
MaxPlanetSect AS STRING * 1
MaxTraderCorp AS STRING * 1
UGroundPWord AS STRING * 26
TriChamp AS INTEGER
TriJackpot AS STRING * 6
TriScore AS INTEGER
Ferrengal AS INTEGER
StarDock AS INTEGER
AlphaC AS INTEGER
Rylos AS INTEGER
Null2 AS STRING * 14
FerrMove AS STRING * 1
RegCode AS STRING * 17
AlienMove AS STRING * 1
GFiles AS STRING * 61
SecLevel AS INTEGER
Aliases AS STRING * 1
LocalDisp AS STRING * 1
DispStar AS STRING * 1
FedLimit AS STRING * 1
Desqview AS STRING * 1
DeathDelay AS INTEGER
PhoTime AS INTEGER
Null3 AS INTEGER
CloakFail AS INTEGER
NavClear AS INTEGER
NewbiePlanet AS INTEGER
Null4 AS STRING * 34
END TYPE

TYPE AlienData 'Corresponds to the ALIENS.DAT
AName AS STRING * 26 'file. Record Length = 76
SName AS STRING * 26
Location AS INTEGER 'Note: Same as 1.03/1.03d
ShipType AS INTEGER
ShipMaker AS INTEGER
Shields AS INTEGER
Fighters AS INTEGER
Holds AS INTEGER
Corbomite AS INTEGER
Experience AS INTEGER
Alignment AS INTEGER
Credits AS STRING * 6
END TYPE

TYPE FerrData 'Information formatted to match
FerrName AS STRING * 26 'records in FERRENGI.DAT file.
ShipName AS STRING * 26 'Record length = 76
Location AS INTEGER
Fighters AS LONG
Shields AS LONG
Corbomite AS LONG
Destination AS INTEGER
Grudge1 AS INTEGER
Grudge2 AS INTEGER
Grudge3 AS INTEGER
Mission AS INTEGER
END TYPE

TYPE CorpData 'Information formatted to match
CName AS STRING * 42 'records in TWCORP.DAT file.
CEO AS STRING * 42 'Record length = 110
CDate AS STRING * 9
CPassword AS STRING * 9 'Note: Same as 1.03/1.03d
Null1 AS STRING * 6
KillsMedals AS INTEGER
END TYPE

==========

Who Am I?

I am Harold Weiss, I also go by the Alias of Slice and I've been an avid
tradewars player for years. If you find an error or wish to report a new bug
and have credit given to you, Please call my BBS and leave me email.
I do not have a Callback verifier so you can get full access on your first
call. I also run a wicked TradeWars game if you care to play :)

Town Square BBS
FidoNet : 1:106/8037
Internet: Harold=Weiss%TS=DESKCALL%CS=HOU@BANGATE.COMPAQ.COM
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