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
         #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
              #4 Enter your destination sector again. Answer Y to
              #5 Arrive at your destination sector with the ship you
                 are towing using only the turns needed to tow it one
         #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:
                   by John Alan Elson WF6I A.P.O.I.
   All citadels earn 2% :( interest regardless of type.
          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
 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
 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
 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

 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

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



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


    1. 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.


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.


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
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.


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.


 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!


 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.


 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

(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


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:

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

 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

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
 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

    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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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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