Iago's War Manual v1.1

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I'd like to acknowledge (among others) Joel Downer, Albin Gersich,
Fred Polli, Dan Roseen, Leonard Adolph, Steve Genardini, Stephen Whitis,
John Warfin, Dave Myers, Woody Weaver, Jim Pittman, Matt Bush, Eugene Hung,
Kris Lewis, David White, Nancy Durbin, Jason Boyd, Carol Barela, Carolyn
Stoffel, Mark Cothram, Ed Kammerer, Mike Magero, Pierre Tourigny and, of
course, Gary and Mary Ann Martin, the author(s) of TradeWars 2002. I'd like
to thank you one and all for providing much of the mat'l for this file and
for helping to make TradeWars a most entertaining diversion.

This file is an updated version of the original Iago's War Manual and
should replace it. Much of what follows was obtained from the files TWTIPS12,
TWINFO, and from monitoring the FIDO and RIME TradeWars conferences. And from
playing the game itself.


History of the game Bugs in the game Ferrengi
Frequently asked questions Planet cloning bug Tips 'n tricks
Align and xp changes On the use of bugs Reference section
Keeping an evil ISS Mapping the universe Macro pgms ("scripts")
Suggested tactics Attacks/invasions The 5xp sell/steal cycle
Ship selection Colonists Afterword

[ History of the game ]

The current final release of TradeWars 2002 is v1.03d. Many sites are
still running v1.03; this older version has many ..ah, bugs, in it that are
considered to be extremely destructive to game play, most notably the inf-
amous planet cloning and multiple colonist jettisoning bugs. v1.03d fixed
both of these in the course of improving the DESQview timeslicing. The new
v1.03d mods are supplied as an archive containing only the four executable
files: TEDIT.EXE and TEDIT.OVL and TW2002.EXE and TW2002.OVL. Since there
is no player data stored in these files, they can be installed (dropped in)
over a running game with no loss of player assets or points.

- by Carol Barela:

First I would like to give you a brief history of the Trade Wars games.
This will help you and others understand where the game has been and where
it is going.

Trade Wars first came into being as a programming assignment for the Unix
system. (Authors unknown.) Much like the great old DND game Moria first
came about.

Then it was ported over to the IBM world and Chris Sherrick and Alan
Davenport had a go at the game and we had TW 500 and TW 1000 (there may be
a few other numbers in here...memory fails me at times). These games were
the jewels of BBS door games. Everybody played them.

BTW, the style of play in all of these games remains pretty much the same,
the look, feel and playability. This very echo used to be filled with
information on these early games.

Then for some reason Chris and Alan parted ways. Chris teamed up with
John Morris and they have gone on to TW 1114 (I think is the last version
number). They have many features new to the game, multi-node play, etc.
But the game still retains the TW look. Alan Davenport came up with
Yankee Trader.

That game was also in the TW tradition and also had the same playability.
Only this time instead of battling the evil Cabal, you had the Xannor after
you. Alan's game was a big hit, and still is in many parts of the country.
He is still upgrading and improving the game and his latest version is

Alan's game Yankee Trader soon took over this [FIDO] echo. It reigned
surpreme for a long time. Until Gary Martin's version, TW2002, hit the
BBS's. This game too, had some improvements and captured the fancy of all
the TW and YT players that it soon took over this echo. But like all the
others before it, it had the same look, feel and playability of the orig-
inal Trade Wars game. His evil alien race were the Ferrengi. He added
planet defenses and a different way of moving planets, and some nice ship
types. All in all a nice improvement upon the game. Now this game holds the
attention of the echo.

So to answer your question, all of the above are the REAL Trade Wars. None
of them are clones, just natural progressions of one of the finest space/
war trading strategy games. The credit for concieving this great game goes
to some anonymous programmers who are more than likely stockbrokers some-
where with no time or thought to what they started. Everyone else has made
improvements. Even Gary Martin, who DID NOT CREATE THIS GAME, only improved
upon the original concept. The game you are asking about is TW2002, and the
latest version of it is v1.03d.

Gary Martin may or may not finish this beta version (v2.0) he is slowly and
reluctantly working on. And from what I hear in this echo is considering
reneging on his one time registration fee, and perhaps going to charge for
this new version. Tis not enough that he let us all sit here for 2 years
waiting for an updated game (read the docs). Or that he felt an obligation
after getting so many $$$'s in registration fees for the game that he would
not or perhaps could not fix the over 100 bugs in the game.

Must stop now, or I shall say something that perhaps I should not...why
burst your bubble. Anyway I hope that answers your questions about Trade
Wars, who created the game, where it has been, and where it is going.

- by Albin Gersich
(on v1.03d)

When Dan Roseen was switching to a multinode system using DESQview he
contacted Gary about DV support in TW2002. He did not want to run any
doors on his system that did not support DV timeslice sharing. Gary
sent him version 1.03d. This was many months before the PC bug was
known. In the summer of 1992 the TW council was formed. Dan and I
were in it. In August of that year the PC bug became known to the
council. Experimenting revealed it was fixed in 1.03d. Dan contacted
Gary (and possibly Kris Lewis). Gary no longer had that version. He
did not even save the source code for that version. Since Dan had
been running it for a while without problems Gary gave his approval
for it to be released. Dan felt it would not be appropriate to
distribute the file without any information so he prepared the
103DNOTE.TXT file. He reset the time stamps of the files to an August
date, prepared the archive for distribution, made it available on his
board, and uploaded it to Gary on Castle Ravenloft. It was quickly
distributed among the council members and annoucements were placed in
the Fido TW echo.

- by Dan Roseen
(more on v1.03d)

Albin's account of how v1.03d came to be was completely accurate. Gary
uploaded v1.03d to me on January 16, 1992, and it wasn't until the planet
cloning bug surfaced that it was released to everyone on August 16, 1992.
Gary didn't have the executable or source code of v1.03d just as Albin
stated, so he asked me to release mine. It appears that when Gary fixed the
disappearing treasuries bug that the fix also fixed the planet cloning bug.

Gary's only purpose for uploading this version to me was so that I could
test out the efficiency of DV CPU time slice sharing for input-only
routines. I gave Gary quite an extensive report on my DV testing. I also
asked him at the time if he wanted me to report on other bugs and he said
no, that it was just for the DV testing, and also said I could run it on my
BBS since it was essentially the same as v1.03. He held me responsible for
not letting that version out to anyone, so I suspect there was only that
one copy on my BBS (other than getting permission to give a copy to Joel
Downer for a BBS-BBS tournament).

To date, there have been no reported differences in how the game plays in
v1.03d versus v1.03 except for what I put in the text file that accompanies

As this is being written, the latest (beta) version of TradeWars is
v2.0 wide beta 5, and v2.0wb6 is expected RSN. The new version is signif-
icantly different from v1.03d and this file SHOULD NOT be considered a
guide -- except in the most general way -- to playing the new game.

[ Frequently asked questions ]

To answer some of the most often asked questions:

Question: If I am a CEO and I buy a Corp Flagship, then I quit the corp, do
I get to keep the flagship? Wondering if corp members could all be CEO for
a day and buy flagships and then rejoin the corp, each retaining the prize

(1) Yes, you can keep the FlagShip when you quit, but (2) no, no one
with a FlagShip is allowed to join a corp.

1. To rob, you need to have -100 alignment or lower. Then, in a sector
with a port; (P)ort (R)ob (R)ob credits or (S)teal products.

2. To figure how much you can likely get away with when you steal
product, it's your experience divided by 20, for easy figuring. The real
numbers are less, but use this one. For robbing credits, it's your exp-
erience times 8.

3. In version 1.03(d) THERE IS NO WAY TO KILL A FED! PERIOD. No matter
what the odds are, whether or not you p-missile, etc... Maybe in an earl-
ier version you can, but not 1.03!!! Stardock, Class 0, or Sol are POSSIB-
LE, but VERY difficult.

4. ISS means Imperial Starship. You need +1000 or greater alignment to
get an ISS. If you have +500, you can get a Federal Commission, which auto-
magically raises your align to +1000. But then you can turn evil and keep
it if you're skillful enough.

5. Colonists do regenerate as they're removed from Terra.

6. The average amount of colonists for peak production is 1000 in each
group (+/- 1 in Ore, +/- 6 in Org, +/- 12 in Eqp). This will make 55 fight-
ers a day.

7. "Computer Upgrade" is a HOAX. It DOES NOT EXIST! PERIOD. The Combat
Scanners showing an opponents shield level is NOT the fictitious upgrade.

8. To track someone talk to the Grimy Trader in the Tavern. Ask him
about TRADER. He'll say I can tell you <blablabla>: answer no. Then he'll
say "Well, is it a particular trader your interested in?" Say yes and enter
the name.

9. To get the password to the underground ask the Grimy Trader about
MAFIA or UNDERGROUND. Once you have the password, the StarDock command is

10. To lower alignment, go to sector 1. Land and take colonists. Go
out of Fed Space and (J)ettison the colonists. In v1.03 games, you can
(Q)uit the game then go back in and repeat as necessary. In v1.03d games,
you can do this only once per game day.

11. To have an invincible planet, get 16390 ship shields and put them on
a level 5 planet.

12. To get the extra 32 holds, get busted stealing 365 holds of Equip or
660 holds of Organics.

If you take damage points (from any source) while carrying a ptorp,
it MIGHT go off sympathetically. If it does, the only effect on you will be
that all the remainder of your turns for that game day will be lost. ALWAYS
carry a cloak when you're carrying a ptorp. (A scanner is handy too. <g>)

- Originally by David White:

- How can I find Stardock?
Type "V" at the main Command line, ask another player, post a universal
announcement, use Joel Downer's FINDSGA, included in TWUTIL10.ZIP, or use
Dave Myers' CLASSZER (in LDTxxx.ZIP).

- What is FedSpace for?
Any players with a non-negative alignment, less than 1000 experience points,
and less than 50 fighters can log off overnight in sectors 1-10 and the
Stardock sector completely safe from being killed by other players.

- What are the tricks to stealing?
A player with -100 or lower alignment can steal credits and goods from
ports. There is ALWAYS a chance of being busted while trying to rob a
port, but some good guideline ratios are,

your experience / 20 = holds you can steal
your experience * 10 = credits you can steal.

- What's the "steal/sell" cycle?
With a full load of equipment (or any other commodity), dock at a port that
buys that commodity and sell it to them. Then steal it back, and sell it
to them again. Repeat.

- What's the "holds bug"
A player with -100 or lower alignment who gets caught stealing 365 units of
Equ. or 660 units of Org. will be fined -32 holds (meaning the player will
GAIN 32 holds) and will lose 10% of his or her experience points. This
trick can be repeated up to a maximum of 32 holds more than the maximum
amount of holds allowed for that particular ship (e.g. 182 holds for an
Imperial StarShip (ISS), 102 for a Starmaster, etc.) These holds will be
lost as soon as the player ports, unfortunately, unless the technique below
is used.

- How can I keep an extra 32 holds on my ship?
Using the above technique, get the maximum + 32 holds on your ship. Go to
earth and get a load of colonists. Port, and steal ONE unit of organics
(or another commodity you don't plan on using any time soon). Continue to
your planet and drop off the colonists. You will now be able to trade and
steal/sell with 32 extra holds PROVIDED you do NOT try to buy, steal, or
pick up organics (or whatever commodity you chose) and you do not get
busted or destroyed, and you do not S)urrender your cargo to the Ferrengi.

- What's the "shield bug?"
A planet with a level 5 citadel and 1639 or more planetary shields cannot
be successfully invaded by other players.

- What's the fighter overloading trick?
Join a corporation, then go to the same sector with a corp member with at
least as many shields/fighters as you want. Transfer a negative amount of
fighters/shields to the corp. member. Repeat as often as you like up to a
maximum of 32,767 fighters/shields. This trick is especially useful with a
Scout Marauder, which fights at 2:1 odds. Docking at a port, however, will
cause the excess shields/fighters to vanish.

- What's the shield overloading trick?
Use the above technique, or transfer a negative amount of shields to a
citadel that already has as many ship shields (planetary shields * 10) as
you need. Docking at a port still causes you to lose any extra shields,

- What are the rules to successfully Transwarping (T-warping)?
Transwarping your ship to a sector that contains at least one of your
fighters is always safe. Blind ship transwarps are possible only if the
destination sector is completely empty of ANYTHING. Blind planetary
transwarps are not possible. Ship transwarping costs 3 units of Ore per
sector jumped, and planetary transwarping costs 400 units of Ore per sector
jumped. Transwarping takes 1 turn regardless of distance traveled.

- If I'm busted, can I ever return to that port again?
Yes, your name is removed from the port's busted records in 14 day cycles
or as soon as another player is caught there, whichever comes first. Until
one or the other of these two events occurs, do not try robbing OR trading
at that port. If you divide <gamedays> by 14, and multiply any decimal rem-
ainder by 14 (round up), you'll get the number of ELAPSED days in the cur-
rent cycle.

- When can I be commissioned?
You can be commissioned if you have an alignment of at least +500.

- Can an evil player have an ISS?
You must be commissioned to purchase an ISS, but after you have it, you can
become evil and still keep the ISS. Running into any of the three Federals
(Zyrain, Clausewitz, Nelson) however, means certain death.

- Can I kill the Federals?
No. Zyrain, Clausewitz and Nelson are indestructible. However, you can
trap them in a dead-end sector by placing a fighter right outside the
dead-end, since Federals will not travel into a sector that has deployed
fighters in it. As long as the fighter stays there, all three Federals can
be trapped, though Captain Zyrain will automatically warp out of the sector
to rescue players who qualify for protection in FedSpace.

- Can a non-CEO have a Corporate Flagship?
You must be a CEO to purchase a Flagship, but you can quit as the CEO of
your corp. and keep the Flagship. You will not, however, be able to join
another corp.

- Can I be killed while my ship is cloaked?
No, while you are cloaked, you are absolutely invulnerable until your next
login (contrary to the documentation, cloaks do not lose their effect-
iveness over time.) However, if some player were to figure out which
sector you were cloaked in, he or she could mine your sector. The mines
would explode as soon as you logged back on.

- What are all the settings for my planetary defenses?


Military Reaction level: 20% -- 20% of all the fighters on the planet will
attack (at 2:1 odds) any player who moves into your planet's sector. The
remaining 80% of the fighters will attack (at 3:1 odds) only if the player
attempts to land on your planet.

Quasar cannon sector level: 30% -- 30% of all the Ore on the planet will be
used to fire on a player entering the sector with your planet, causing 1
point of damage to the player per 3 units of Ore used.

Quasar cannon atmosphere level: 60% -- 30% of all the Ore on the planet
will be used to fire on a player who attempts to land on your planet,
causing 1 point of damage to the player per 1 unit of Ore used.

- What are the hidden options in the Stardock?
"U" -- Underground, where players with 200 or less alignment can change
their name, and post and collect bounties on other players.
"+" -- Library, useful only for determining which ships are currently
being used by the Ferrengi. Data on alien derelicts is useless.
"B" -- Single's Bar, where you can get robbed. Nothing more.

- What is the computer upgrade the Grimy Trader talks about?
It doesn't really exist. It's just a hoax.

- What is the secret message in "Vulcan Thunder?"
The secret message (if it exists) seems to have something to do with the
characters "9C." Gary Martin has hinted to its existence, but as of yet,
no one has found any significance to it.

- What's the secret to winning Tri-Cron?
Contrary to what the Grimy Trader says, the winning numbers seem to be
completely random.

- What is Computer Interrogation Mode (CIM) ?
From your "Computer Command?" prompt within TW, using the numeric keypad,
type <ALT>-200, <ALT-201>, <ALT-202>, <ALT-203>, <ALT-204>,
<ALT-205>, to
get a : prompt. From there, typing "I" (without the quotes) will give you
information on all explored sectors, and "R" will give information on all
explored ports. ("Q" will quit CIM and "F" will give a path-calculator
similar to the one on your ship's computer). To use the information, open
a capture file for both sets of info, then use a utility like TWVIEW or
TWASSIST that reads the data and arranges it into something useful.

- What is the tax?

As long as you have a positive alignment you will be assessed a 10% "tax"
if you have 50,000 creds or more on your ship each time you log in to the game
-- NOT just once each game day -- and in return, you are given some neato posit-
ive align points; +1 for every 1500 creds you pay in taxes.

- Where do you get ftrs and how do you use them?

Ftrs are avail from five sources: SD, the three class 0 ports (Terra, Rylos
and Alpha Centauri), and any personal or corp planets. On the latter, they are
produced automatically and it is a valid end game strategy to have many "farm"
worlds that produce max ftrs from which they can "harvested."

If you buy ftrs from one of the first four places, you'll find that the
prices fluctuate on a 'prox 30 day schedule and range from a low of about 110
creds each to a high of 234. This fluctuation is based on calendar date; the
price of ftrs (and shields) is identical in all v1.03d games regardless of when
the game was started. In the "Reference" section is a chart giving the prices
of ftrs/shields vs day. (When ftrs are cheap, shields are dear and vice versa.)

Ftrs are deployable in three modes: offensive, defensive and toll. Offens-
ive ftrs will attack any hostile trader (player) who enters the sector; defens-
ive ftrs will prevent any hostile trader from entering (or remaining in) a sect-
or unless the ftrs are first attacked and destroyed (you are offered the option
to attack the defensive ftrs or retreat); toll ftrs require a toll of five creds
per ftr be paid in order to remain in or pass thru that sector (you are offered
the option to pay the toll, retreat or attack the ftrs). To collect the tolls,
you (or a corp member in the case of corp ftrs) must physically go to the sector
the ftr is in and pick up the ftr(s). If you successfully attack and destroy the
toll ftrs, you get any creds they've collected.

Hostile ftrs in a sector will destroy eprobes passing through regardless of
which mode (offensive, defensive, toll) they are set to (the ftrs will be unaf-
fected). Hostile ftrs (again regardless of mode) will also block (occlude) the
CIM report on the status of any port in that sector. The offline database util-
ities can "sense" this and will tell you that info on the known port in xxx is
unavail. This indicates that there is at least one hostile ftr in that sector;
how many ftrs and to whom they belong cannot be determined without investigat-

A valid tactic seems to be to litter the universe with single ftrs for use
as twarp beacons as well as to prevent eprobe mapping by other players or corps.
The popular wisdom seems to be that toll ftrs are fairly useless. The choice to
litter with offensive or defensive ftrs depends on the tactics and personality
of the deploying trader. It can be extremely irritating for a trader to const-
antly be attacked by hostile ftrs as he warps through the universe -- as well
as costing him damage points. However, the ftr is then lost. It's a choice one
must make with no overwhelming evidence for either side.

The max ftrs deployable in a sector without a planet is 5000. If there is a
planet in the sector, it is possible to have 30000 ftrs deployed. (It is possib-
le to use a gtorp to build a planet, deploy 30000 ftrs, then destroy the planet,
leaving 30000 ftrs in the sector.) Max ftrs on a planet surface is 32000.

Ftrs (any mode) will not affect Ferrengi ships moving into the sector. Game
generated characters (aliens) can not move into any sector that has ftrs deploy-
ed, and neither can any of the three "Feds." Ferrengi ships can not move into a
sector with a planet if there are any ftrs deployed there.

- How about mines?

A max of 99 mines can be deployed in any given sector (regardless of the
presence of a planet). Ferrengi and aliens are affected by mines, as are hostile
traders. Space mines are can only be purchased at the Hardware section on SD.

- What are eprobes and how are they used?

Eprobes are obtained at SD and can be fired from anywhere to anywhere. Data
obtained from eprobes is put into your CIM just as if you'd physically traveled
that route; any unexplored warps or ports encountered will become part of your
"known universe." The data on every sector passed through and its contents is
reported to your screen (the better macro pgms will capture this data and make
use of it). They (the eprobes) are extremely fragile and when one encounters a
hostile ftr, it will be destroyed no matter what stage in its journey it is and
the fact of its destruction is reported to you. When an eprobe completes its
journey, it self destructs.

Enterprising players have written utils to generate extremely long eprobe
paths, thus easing the time and expense required to map a universe. (See the
section on Mapping for suggested algorithms.)

- What is "triple trading?"

Triple trading is the process of buying two products at one port and sel-
ling them at an adjacent port, buying the one product from there and selling it
at the first port (repeat as necesary). Theoretically, each transaction can be
optimised for 5xp, though practically 2xp per transaction seems to be the limit.
While the return in terms of creds isn't all that much, xp can be fairly rapid-
ly gained. Most of the trading macro packages have a triple trading mode. An
interesting variation that uses less turns is to move to a class 7 (sss) port
and buy selected amts of each product, optimising each trade for max xp, then
jettison all of the product bought, port again and buy for max xp again. When
done properly in a ScoMar (25 holds max), this reportedly results in the great-
est amount of xp gained per cred expended possible.

[ Align and xp changes ]

- by Stephen Whitis:

-100 alignment, or lower, alignment required to rob or steal.
+500 alignment, or higher, alignment required for a federal commission.
+1000 alignment, or higher, alignment required to buy an ISS.
-1 alignment, or lower, the feds will take an ISS away if they
catch you in it.
+200 alignment, or lower, alignment required to get into the underground.
0 alignment, or greater, alignment required to collect bounties at the
fed police station.

Other than these, alignment doesn't matter much.

Some utilities can make modifications, but those are stock.

Experience matters only in that evils can steal more with reasonable safety
if they have a certain amount of experience. If they have xp/20 = nr of holds
when stealing product, or 7 * xp when robbing creds, they are fine. Normaly,
once an evil has that much, he doesn't have to worry about it any more.

Note that there is some dispute over the amt of xp to use when steal-
ing product or robbing creds; esp the latter. Figures from xp * 6 all the
way to xp * 10 are seen. More than xp * 10 seems to be unwise; I use the
figure of xp * 7. For the number of holds to steal, xp/20 seems to be the
accepted limit and is the most used level. This figures out to 1400 xp for
a StaMas (70 holds) and 3000 xp for an ISS (150 holds).

- by Jim Bianchi:

To get the initial +500 align required for a fed commission (and an
ISS) you can kill evil players; you can kill evil game generated chars; you
can post bounties on other evil players; you can build ports; you can build
planets; you can upgrade ports; or you can pay taxes.

The surest method is prob to post a bounty on another evil player.
You get +1 align for each 1000 creds posted. This is esp effective if you
have found an evil player who is vulnerable -- you can go to SD, place the
bounty, blow up the evil player, and return to collect the bounty you post-
ed (plus any other bounties on that player). Your align goes up for posting
the bounty in the first place and again for killing the evil player. (You can
even post a bounty on yourself -- if you do something to make yourself evil

To gain neg align, you can kill good players; you can kill good game
generated chars; you can post a hit contract on a good player in the under-
ground; you can destroy starports; you can jettison colonists; or you can
destroy planets.

The formula for the amt of align shift when killing other players or
game generated chars is:

Same align -- you get 1/4 their align subtracted from yours
Different align -- you get 1/2 their align added to yours

You can land on Terra (or any populated planet) with empty holds, take
on a load of colonists, warp to the closest non FedSpace sector and jettis-
on them for a shift of -1 align per hold of colonists jettisoned. In v1.03
games, you can repeatedly quit the game, come back and do this again and
gain neg align each time. In v1.03d games, you can only get neg align once
per game day.

Also, the first time you pass by a trader with an opposite align
without attacking him, your own align will go in the opposite direction.
It has happened that a newbie has not attacked an evil (uncloaked) trader
and has had his own align drop -- and can't figure out why. Ditto for the
opposite align on both. If you attack with one ftr, you'll be safe. It
isn't needful to blow him all the way up, just to attack him. (This only
works once per session for obvious reasons.)

The fastest method is prob to post a hit contract on another player. You
get -4 align for every 1000 creds posted. This is esp effective if you've found
a player who is vulnerable -- you can go to SD, place a contract, blow up the
good player, and return to collect the contract you posted (plus any other con-
tracts on that player). Your align goes down for posting the contract in the
first place and again for killing the player. (You can even post a hit contract
on yourself -- it's a bit difficult to collect, though. <grin>)

If you go to the underground and repeatedly attempt to enter and give
the wrong password each time, eventually you'll be knocked unconcious and
all creds you have stolen (deposit all creds in the galbank or leave them
in a citadel first). Keep attempting to enter and you'll be killed and ret-
urned to the BBS. The next day, when you log into the game, you'll be in a
ScoMar, with 0 align and 0 xp. All personal and corp assets will be undist-
urbed. If you are a CEO and have a CorFla, sell it first, get a ship with
minimum holds or use your existing ship to "moth" an enemies planet and get
killed in an <esc> pod.

To gain xp, you can kill anyone; triple trade; create or blow up
starports; create or "bust planets." For evil traders, the latter course
is prob the fastest and surest method. You buy a gtorp (25,000 creds) and
an adet (15,000 creds), "take them outside and set them off." Which is to
say that you use the gtorp right at SD and then land on the newly created
planet and destroy it with the adet. You'll get 75xp for creating the plan-
et and 50xp for destroying it, for a total of 125xp. The align change will
be +10 for creating it and -50 for destroying it for a net change of -40.
Total cost per iteration: 40,000 creds.

It should be noted that once you're evil, planet creation shifts align
by -10 instead of +10.

Blowing up ports is an effective way to gain both xp and neg align.
You'll get 50xp and -50 align for each port destroyed. I typically use 1000
ftrs from an ISS, CorFla or a StaMas on ports with no shielding. I've enco-
untered a few with "class one" shielding -- on these I use 2000 ftrs. I've
not been zapped yet. Typically, I loose 'prox 55-80% of the ftrs when at-
tacking "no shielded" ports, and from 40-75% when doing the "class one"
shielded ports.

One way to gain xp, pos align and creds is to attack Ferrengi ftrs,
assault traders or Ferrengal itself. I once found myself dab in the mid-
dle of a cloud of Ferrengi ftrs. When the smoke cleared, I'd knocked down
close on 5000 ftrs and was in my trusty <esc> pod, headed for SD, with more
than enough pos align to get a federal commission and sufficient creds for
an ISS. Wheee! Unfortunately, this was my first ISS and not only didn't I
know how to drive one, I couldn't fight one effectively, and got bounced by
several angry Ferrengi on a blood hunt on the way home. I finally got there
in an <esc> pod. Had I had this file then, things would've gone quite dif-
ferently. At any rate, as a means of gaining xp, align and creds, deliber-
ately attacking Ferrengi isn't acceptable for many reasons, most having to
do with the cost/benifit ratio. The bounties paid you for killing Ferrengi
ftrs simply aren't enough to cover the replacement cost of the ftrs you
expend. And there is always the chance that your attack won't succeed and
YOU'LL be the one in an <esc> pod -- in which case, you'll have to add the
repl cost of the ship you were in to the equation. However...

- by Mike Magero

Ok, in your 25 hold ScoMar, you take some credits and warp on over to a class 7
port. You then buy 14 ore for 2 pts, 8 org for 2 points, and 3 equip for 2 more
points. On the average you can expect 5 xp total. You then jettison the whole
pile out the hatch and do it again. I use a script to run this and it works out
to 75-80 credits per exp point. Much more cost effective than any other method I
know about. In 100 turns I can build 500-600 exp at a cost of around 45,000
credits. We use this to get enough exp to run the steal/sell loops by day 2-3.
Of course you can then rob the credits back from the port further reducing the
cost of xp.

- by Leonard Adolph

If you self destruct your experience goes to 0. If your alignment is
positive your alignment goes to -10. If your alignment is negative it is
cut in half. You are out of the game for 2 days.

If your ship is destroyed attacking a port you first lose 25 experience
for being destroyed then you lose 10% of what is left. If you lose a pod
by attacking a port you lose 25 experience then lose 50% of what is
left. You lose 5 alignment for attacking the port and you are out of the
game for 1 day.


> Does anyone know of a real quick way to get pos align (say 7000+)
> down to neg align?

How much money do you have? How much experience? Are you planning on
running an evil ISS once you turn evil?

I know a way an evil player (doesn't matter *how* evil) can turn good, get
an ISS, and turn evil again for a few million credits. I suspect a variant
on that would work. I'll post the evil version, but as I think about it, I
don't see any reason it wouldn't work pretty much straight out for a good
trader. If you don't want the evil ISS, you can skip that part. But unless
Aedit or something is keeping you from using the evil ISS, I think you
should get one. If you don't know the tricks for keeping an evil ISS, then
ask, and I'll post about it.

I haven't used this, but I trust my source (Joel Downer). The biggest
problem is that I might not remember it exactly right...

The evil version: Get killed trying to enter the underground without using
the correct password. Do this near the end of your turns for the day. The
next day, you'll start with 0 exp, 0 alignment and a default ship. Post a
reward at stardock on an evil trader... 1000 credits = 1 alignment point,
so you'll need 500,000 credits for this. If you know of a easy to kill evil
trader, and where he is at, you can go kill him after you get the ISS, and
collect the reward you posted (plus anything the Feds have posted on him)
before you turn evil again.

Once you have +500 alignment, enter the FedStation on stardock, and
ask for a commission. That will put you at +1000 alignment. Go buy the ISS.
If you need to kill off the evil trader you posted on, this is the time to
do it. (If you want, you could have a corp member with 0 ftrs and 0 shi-
elds, nothing on board to speak of, waiting, knowing you would kill him.)
Now, you've got an ISS, no exp to speak of, and positive 1000 alignment.
Stock your ISS with everything it can carry. You can get fighters/shields
elsewhere, but get your eprobes, cloaks, scanner, etc now. In an evil ISS
you don't want to come to stardock any more often than you have to. Before
you start turning evil, post a single fighter at every entrance to Star-
dock, to keep the Feds from walking in and finding you there. Once you are
evil, if you run into a fed, you lose your ISS, no questions asked.

To turn evil again, start busting planets. Buy max planets & max atomic
detonators. Build a planet, blow it up. Repeat. This will give you xp and
neg align each time you do it. Do that until your alignment is under +200.
Then go into the underground, post a bounty on a good trader (preferably
one you know where to go kill). In the underground, 250 credits = 1 neg
alignment point. You need to reach -100, where you can start stealing. By
the time you've busted enough planets to drop your alignment, you'll have
enough experience (I think) to rob 150 holds safely.

Having recently been in a situation similar to the above (a friend was
at plus 4000 align and wanted to join my (evil) corp), I'd like to point
out that there is a threshold of positive align beyond which it is impos-
sible to get into the UG (+200). Not only can't you get IN, you can't even
get KILLED there. A nasty looking Corelian will bar your way but that is
all he'll do.

Busting planets strictly for a large negative align shift is tedious
in the extreme. In spite of being almost prohibitively expensive (you'll
pay 25,000 for a gtorp and 15,000 for an adet, making a total of 40,000
creds, This will get you -40 align points -- or -1 per 1000 creds), it is
about the safest, fastest way; at least until it becomes possible to enter
the UG. Planet busting IS a good way to gain xp in order to be able to
steal. Of course, the neg align is nice, too, but that isn't what it PRIM-
ARILY is for. In order to get to 0 align from +7000, 175 planets will need
to be busted. At 40,000 creds each, that works out to seven million creds
-- for planets and adets alone. (Not even counting the cost of buying and
outfit- ing an ISS or posting hit contracts on good players to bring your
align back to evil.) Busting planets to reach 3000xp is much easier.

One way to lower (or raise) align is to blow up game generated chars.
Aliens "enter" the game via SD. Kill one and another will appear at SD to
replace him. On one game, one of the routes out of SD is a one way warp to
a sector with only one exit. I've put a ftr trap in the second sector and
about once a week, I'll load up on ftrs and go have a look. Typically three
or five aliens will be trapped there, unable to go on because of the ftrs
and unable to go back because of the one way warp in. Determining which al-
iens to blow up so that your align moves in the desired direction is fairly
easy by just reading their titles. If you're still unsure, the Crai has a
listing of all the current good and evil game generated chars. If you put
ftrs in each of the sectors leading out of SD, go blow up a game generated
char and return to SD to remove one ftr, eventually a new one will move
out. Of course, you have no control over what you get -- it might be some
poor slob in a MerCru with 20 ftrs or it might be the three-legged Grand
High Poo Bah from the planet Xyzzy in a Battleship with 15,000 ftrs, max
shields, and loaded to the gunnels with corbomite.

Truly, altering one's align direction by anything over 1000 points is
a procedure which is time consumingly tedious, expensive and potentially
hazardous. It CAN be done (but not very easily) and it can be done in many
different ways (some of them mutually incompatible). It is not a project
which should be undertaken lightly.

[ Keeping an evil ISS ]

-- by Jim Bianchi:

The ISS (Imperial StarShip) is considered to be the most potent ship
in the TradeWars universe because of its combo of 150 holds, twarp drive,
and the ability to carry and use a photon torpedo. It can also carry a lot
of shields (2000), ftrs (30,000) and mines (150).

A player who is "good" can just ignore most of what follows. Much of
it is concerned with avoiding the three Feds, who will repossess an evil
ISS on sight.

To get an ISS requires the player to have a minimum +500 align and to
go to the FedPolice sta at SD and apply for a commission, after which their
align will automagically increase to +1000 and they'll be permitted to buy
an ISS.

To get the initial +500 align, you can kill other evil players or game
generated traders ("Annoyances" or Ferrengi), create planets or starports
or you can "buy yourself good" by posting a bounty on an evil player in the
Fed Police sta at SD. The first method is expensive in terms of ftrs and
shields used and can be somewhat uncertain. The second and third methods
are simply not cost-effective for these purposes and can potentially result
in assets that can be exploited by hostile forces. The last method, posting
a bounty on evil players, is the way most seem to do it.

When posting a bounty on an evil player, of course, it's nice if you
know definitely where one is, for then you can go and kill him, then run
back to SD to collect it. BTW, if you blow away a player who has a "good"
align, you might want to check in the UG to see if there has been any hit
contracts placed on him; or if he is evil, at the Fed Police sta to see if
there are any bounties.

It's expensive and not really cost effective, but I once found myself dab
in the middle of Ferrengal, taking out Ferrengi ftrs by the bushel, as well as
Ferrengi ships. When finally I managed to disengage, my <esc> pod was function-
ing normally and I was headed back to SD. I noticed when I did "I" that I now
had something like +600 align and enough creds to get an ISS straight off, which
I did. On the way back to my home sector, I was bounced by four angry Ferrengi
who "have been looking for you, HooMan!" Fortunately, my <esc> pod was still
functioning normally.. <sigh> (They're STILL looking for me; diamonds and
Ferrengi blood feuds are forever..)

- Originally by Joel Downer:

Keeping an Imperial StarShip when evil:

Avoid FedSpace as completely as possible. *Never* travel through sector
1-10, and only travel to the StarDock using the strategy described below.
Be *very careful* in all areas adjacent to FedSpace, and spend as little
time on the Major Space Lanes as possible.

Deploy single toll fighters wherever possible when you travel. The Feds
cannot travel through sectors with fighters in them, so (a) when you're in
a sector with a fighter in it, you are *completely* safe from the Feds, and
(b) the more fighters you have scattered outside the Major Space Lanes, the
less the Feds will be able to *travel* outside the Major Space Lanes.
Imprisoning Admirals Nelson and Clausewitz would be wonderful, but an evil
StarShip captain should *never* try it him/herself. It's altogether too

Travel by TransWarp whenever possible. When you *must* travel by convent-
ional warp, use the following pattern: move-deploy-scan, deploying a toll
fighter immediately in each sector you enter. Whenever you visit the Star-
Dock, buy a full complement of ether probes and cloaks: ether probes are
necessary for blind TransWarp, and cloaks can bail you out if you get stuck
somewhere (even Zyrain can't attack a cloaked ship!). Carry at least 750
shields and keep mine disruptors, in case someone tries to mine you to
death; don't carry more than a few thousand fighters -- they won't help
you if you run into the Feds. <grin>

Find out how many entrances the StarDock has -- usually, it'll have one
or two. If it has one, the approach to the StarDock is pretty simple: fire
an ether probe into the StarDock, blind TransWarp into the *completely
empty* sector nearest SGA. Deploy a fighter immediately, warp in, and do
your business. If you see one of the Federals at or near the StarDock, put
off your business until he leaves the vicinity -- you may want to restock
your shields or holds at Rylos or Alpha Centauri. Don't try to deploy a
fighter AT the StarDock; DO deploy a fighter at Rylos or Alpha Centauri
when you go there.

*NEVER*, unless you have some special reason (e.g., hiding the path to
your planet), remove your fighters when you're done in a sector. Forget
about the 200 credits. You won't miss them.

*BEWARE OF MARKER BEACONS*!!! Marker beacons and wandering aliens are
the two greatest dangers to blind TransWarp. Never place them, and destroy
them when you can.

Don't take unnecessary risks with corbomite. If someone leaves you bait
-- e.g., if a hated enemy parks in a major transit sector with 0 fighters
in a Scout Marauder -- politely decline the invitation. Well, not *TOO*
politely. Leave 99 mines in the sector to let him/her know you still
care... ;>

When you choose stealing sites, look for places where a port that sells
equipment, a port that sells fuel ore, and a port that buys equipment are
in close proximity. TWView and my "EVILPAIR" utility are both useful for
finding these ports.

- Quoting Dan Roseen:

Here's some evil ISS tips we have in our trainer:


A trader that received a Federal Commission and bought an ISS will have
an evil ISS by keeping their ship and changing their alignment to negative.
Keeping an evil ISS requires taking precautions to ensure that you don't
move your ship into a sector with a Fed in it, because any one of the
three Feds will destroy your ship immediately if this happens.

The following precautions will help you keep your evil ISS by helping
you avoid the Fed ships (keep in mind that the precautions listed are
'above and beyond' normal precautions like carrying cloaks and protecting
yourself against fully mined sectors).

- Deploy a defensive fighter everywhere you go (do not attempt to deploy
a fighter in Federation sectors 1-10 or the Stardock, in fact avoid
these sectors as much as possible). In most cases, deploying the
fighter will be the first thing you do after you have scanned the
sector and moved into it. Toll fighters should rarely be used
because many traders will either pay them and leave you mines for
when you transwarp, or destroy them anyway. The Feds will not move
into sectors that have a deployed fighter or a mine.

- Be sure you have a transwarp drive. Use your transwarp drive as
much as possible for your transportation. Always carry fuel when
going into suspicious territory.

- Know how to blind transwarp. Blind transwarping is usually safer
than single-stepping your evil ISS through sectors without deployed
fighters, and more efficient.

- Always have MORE than 37,000 credits on your ship. If you have no fuel
to transwarp out of a hazardous situation, you will be able to build a
class 4 port, steal enough fuel to transwarp, and continue with your
turns, hopefully ending up in a safer location, and won't have to use
another 25,000 credits to replace the cloak you would need to use if
you cloaked hoping you might be in a safer situation later in the day.
Since all ports under construction have products when they are first
created, you can immediately steal the fuel you need (you are evil,
you don't have to wait until the port is open for normal trading).

After stealing the fuel, you can easily destroy the port to deny its
use to hostile forces and increase your own xp and negative align.
Initial Port construction DOES NOT REQUIRE a planet in the same sect-
or. Upgrading (and "opening for business") DOES.

- v1.03(d) BUG: A trader must have more credits than the cost of the
port in order for TW to let the trader create the port. For example,
a 30,000 credit port would require 30,001 credits or more onboard,
even though only the 30,000 credits would be used for port construct-

- Use a good TW database utility. In addition to the regular
advantages a TW database will give you, a TW database program will
help you tremendously in avoiding sectors that Feds can move in.

- Always use your scanner unless you are absolutely sure that the next
sector is safe (e.g. if you have just been there and you know there
is a fighter or mine in the sector). Be aware of the different
densities of the Fed ships.

The Fed ship densities are:
Captain Zyrain . . . . 489
Admiral Nelson . . . . 462
Admiral Clausewitz . . 512

- When going to the Stardock, first attempt to send an etherprobe there
to take a preliminary look for Feds. If you see any in the vicinity
of the Stardock, try to hold off your business there until a later
time or date. When at the Stardock, fill up on etherprobes, cloaks
mine disruptors, and mines so you can make as few visits as possible.

- Use the two class 0 ports that are not in Fedspace sectors (Rylos
and Alpha Centauri) as much as possible when you want to get class 0
items. (Holds, ftrs, shields.)

- If you must go to the Stardock, and other traders seem to continually
have Zyrain trapped at the Stardock (or other Feds) with deployed
toll fighters, you can either try desperately to get into TW
immediately after maintenance or you can release the Feds yourself.
To release them yourself, create a route of mines from the
Stardock where there are fighters. You may be creating a tunnel for
the Feds to move in so you will need to make sure there are not any
ways for the Feds to get out of this tunnel and end up in your face.
And then go next to Zyrain's sector (remember you MUST be in a sector
that has a fighter and a mine) and destroy the fighter. Then go to
the next sector away from the Stardock and disrupt the mine. Continue
this, until you lead the Fed away from the Stardock enough to where
you cannot run into him when going around him to the Stardock. You
may have to cycle throught the command prompt many times until he
warps into the sector you want. You can safely watch him move into
the desired sector with your scanner since you will still be in a
sector that is protected by a mine and/or fighter. You may want
to block his path to the Stardock while you are at it, however, if
you have made it safely to the Stardock and get off the Stardock and
notice a Fed has moved into the sector, realize that he won't attack
you at that moment, but you are strongly advised that your next move
is to transwarp immediately out of the Fed's vicinity.

- Have at least one other trader without an evil ISS that can help you.
If you have an ally you can trust, your ally can help move Zyrain to
different parts of the universe by starting to attack a trader that
is safe in Fedspace, and then changing their mind when Zyrain
warps in to protect the trader. A corp partner without an evil ISS
can help with this also, and can additionally help with things like
getting colonists from Terra, buying mines from the Stardock, etc.

- Realize that without a trusted helper, and without a safe home, that
a lone evil ISS will most likely have very difficult times against
good competition, because the the trader needs to cloak or have a
safe place to rest the ship.

- Your helper can also help you out considerably by trapping Admiral
Nelson and/or (preferably 'and') Admiral Clausewitz so they cannot
move about the universe. They can be trapped with deployed mines
and/or fighters. Captain Zyrain will transwarp over a trap when
a Fed-protected trader needs his protection.

- If you are going into an enemy sector that appears to be of some
special value to your enemy, and you suspect it to have one or more
other warps into it, and if you cannot check out the contents of the
other warp(s), use a photon when going in so the fighters remain in
the sector. Your enemy may have one or more of the Feds trapped in
an adjacent sector and if you destroy the fighters you will be in a
very precarious position.

- by Joel Downer:

Some additional comments. First of all, as I probably said in
EVILSTAR.TXT, if you're not comfortable with ether-probing and blind
TransWarp, don't use an evil I.S.S. I have had people disagree with me,
but in my personal opinion (a) intelligent use of blind TransWarp is
necessary to keep the ship against any competition worth beating, and
(b) blind TransWarp is the biggest reason to buy the ship in the first
place. It can save you 15-18 moves a day -- even more if you're
following up destroyed probes in search of a planet. Without blind
TransWarp, the I.S.S. is a less efficient stealing ship than the
StarMaster; with it, the I.S.S. is much *more* efficient. (And yes,
I'd be willing to argue that with anyone who disagrees. <g>)

Second, the main difference between playing in an evil I.S.S. and
playing in another ship is that you've got to pay more attention to
every move and choice in the evil StarShip. I assume you already
density-scan wherever you go, and I know you're comfortable with
database utilities. You also have to make a lot of cost-benefit
decisions. For example, if you don't have good competition, it's always
wise to deploy a fighter in the sector where you cloak, because
(assuming you're not in an MSL) doing so virtually guarantees that you
will not have a Fed waiting for you when you log in. Against a smart
enemy, though, the fighter may do more harm than good. Is it safe to
cloak at your stealing site? Maybe not, even if your ship is named "The
Merchant Marines" (it's possible to track "The Merchant Marines" using
date docked; it's just harder and more expensive). Is it better to
cloak a couple sectors away, with no fighters in the sector?

Against the very shrewdest opponent, you may even want to take the precaut-
ion of TransWarping on your last turn and cloaking in the sector to which
you TransWarped. Why? If your enemy creates a multisector trap for you, and
you're forced to retreat as soon as you uncloak, you will retreat into the
*last sector visited*, even if that sector is halfway across the universe.
Sound arcane? By an interesting series of coincidences, that feature of the
game saved my ship once when I was playing against an extremely devious
enemy named Tony Cichan.

An intelligent enemy will probably make the elimination of your StarShip
one of his/her top priorities. If you don't have teammates, you will
have to show extreme care around the StarDock, and *extreme* care if you
need to invade a planet -- what better defense for a planet than herding
Clausewitz and Nelson into the sector and trapping them with a fighter?
An enemy may also create planets directly off FedSpace, banking on your
reluctance to travel through sectors 1-10 -- someone did that to me in
the last game I played, and I barely caught on in time to keep him from
putting together something defensible. What you're doing is assuming an
enormous vulnerability in exchange for a ton of freedom. Against a weak
enemy, you'll have no trouble covering up the vulnerability. Against a
good enemy, you've got to do everything you can to exploit the freedom,
because the vulnerability will nag at you.

[ Suggested tactics ]

- by Joel Downer:

Question: In a new game, what should be your goal in the first few days?

Let's assume a corporate strategy, for a corp of 3-5 players, to keep
this simple. (That's what I've usually been playing these days anyway.)
Let's also assume that we're playing a game with *no* treaties or rules
about the shield bug.

I plan on playing evil wherever I play. I expect to find the StarDock
the first day of the game -- if it isn't displayed in the Game Status
screen, I or one of my corp-mates will run FINDSGA to locate it. As
soon as we find StarDock, we trade in our Merchant Cruisers for Scout
Marauders (with the trade-in value of the average Merchant, you can buy
a Scout with 25 holds and a density scanner, and have a little left over
with which to go out to dinner <grin>). The Scout is the single best
ship in the early stages because of its move rate.

My choice from that point depends on the game configuration. If
FedSpace is open to squatters, my teammates and I will spend the first
3 - 4 days parking in FedSpace and working trade pairs to build up
experience. I like to use the evil Imperial StarShip, so I will try to
upgrade to a StarMaster the second day, a Mule the third or fourth, get
my commission by the fifth or sixth day, and keep the StarShip from then
on. My teammates will typically turn evil by the fourth day (after you
have about 375 experience, stealing will be *substantially* more
profitable than trading); one way I'm likely to get a quick commission
is to coordinate logins with one of my future teammates so that I can
blow my *future teammate* up.

Objectives for the first 4 - 7 days (depending on the turn rate): to get
myself into an Imperial StarShip with slightly less than 1,000 experience,
and to get the team members who *won't* be in StarShips stealing in Star-
Masters with at least 1,100 experience. We do *not* usually set aside turns
for exploration; when we need to find new trade pairs or dead ends, we use
ether probes.

Objectives for the next 2 - 4 days: to build a well-concealed planet
and stock it with 3,000,000 colonists. I will deploy a fighter in a
dead-end sector and create a planet there. I will frequently ask my
future evil teammates to deploy fighters and mines *in the sector
immediately adjacent* to the dead-end. The fighters and mines protect
the planet; I enter and exit the sector using TransWarp.

Objective for the succeeding 1 - 3 days: to assemble the corporation in
final form. I dump colonists to turn evil, start stealing conservatively,
and "bust planets" (create and destroy empty planets) to try to build my
experience up to 2,250, where I can steal 150 holds. My teammates steal

Objective for the succeeding three weeks: to build a planet to level
five, preventing our enemies from building or defending a planet to a
level II citadel. We use ether probes and search aggressively whenever
new citadels appear in the game status screen (find as many uses as you
can for TWView's OFFLINE program, using version 0.91 if you can; you
also may want to look at my FINDHOLE utility). Because of my p-missile
capabilities, I can destroy *any* planet that doesn't have a level II
citadel at a trivial cost. We upgrade our single planet aggressively,
placing the maximum defenses on it at any given time (32,000 fighters;
1639 shields the day it turns level V). If the relative strengths of
the teams in the game justify the move, we may invade Ferrengal and
either (a) destroy it, or (b) defend it, to prevent our enemies from
seizing a ready-made level III citadel.

End-game objectives: If we have a level V citadel, and we can prevent
our enemies from building or defending a planet, we expect to control
the game. We continue to steal full-speed, and stockpile money in our
shield-bugged citadel until the combination of our stealing and treasury
interest is overwhelming.

Through this process, we probably spend 95% of our turns stealing from
ports. We use the five-point stealing cycle, but we don't otherwise
worry about experience unless our score is low enough to interfere with
our stealing. We kill only when absolutely necessary: we expect
competant opponents to stay cloaked unless they have a reason to *want*
to be attacked.

- by Stephen Whitis:

> Can someone tell me a successful way of earning money and ruling the
> universe in the shortest time possible?

The info below doesn't discuss using holds-bug, but if no unbug utilities
are running, you should consider it. Later, after you have a citadel, you
should run CMH bug (again, assuming no unbug utilities are running.)

Read the FIDO-TradeWars echo daily. You'll learn a lot there. When you
ask questions, try to be specific, and try to read the FAQ first. Save a
copy of the FAQ for later reference.

Get a copy of TWAssist, TWView or a similar utility and use them. You
can't be competitive in a quality game without them. These are utilities
which parse out the ton of information and make it useful. See the end of
this section. Also look for TWTIPS12, a collection of tip files for TW's
which covers most of the bugs and basic strategy.

If possible, try to join a game that hasn't been going long. A game
that's been around for awhile is hard (or impossible) to succeed in if the
players who were in it at the beginning are any good at all. You might
learn some things in that situation (that's how I started) but to win, you
really need to get in near the begining and PLAY EVERY DAY.

DON'T SELF-DESTRUCT! There is always a better solution. You don't get to
start from scratch if you self destruct, and you'll have to sit out of the
game for two days, so it's not worth it. If you don't know where stardock
is, and get stuck in an escape pod, attack a port at the end of your turns
for the day. The next day, you'll start in a scout.

DON'T ATTACK ALIENS OR FERRENGI! They are a distraction. Attacking, or
running from Ferrengi ships will put a grudge against you, and you will
probably regret it later.

Don't give up. Everyone gets blown up from time to time, and when you are
learning the game, it can happen quite often. Learn from each mistake,
ask questions, read the FIDO-TW echo, and come back for revenge!

The docs are available throughout the game at the main menu, and some
sysops have them available for DL. Capture them, read them. But beware
that the docs are sometimes wrong.

Fedspace includes sectors 1-10 and the sector with Stardock. No other
sectors are fedspace, regardless of the fact that someone may have created
a beacon which claims a sector is fedspace.

The first day you play, your #1 goal is to find the stardock. Use the V
command at the main menu to see if it's listed. If not, run FINDSGA
(distributed as part of TWUTIL10.*), a utility written by Joel Downer
which often helps locate it. If that doesn't work, try posting a public
msg asking for the location (or private messages to traders in any ship
other than an escape pod or the default merchant ship. Players in scouts
may have gotten them due to getting an escape pod blown up.) Warping over
long distances, with ANSI on so you can tell which sectors you haven't
visited yet, will usually help you find it, as it usually has one or two
warps in and five or six warps out, and that makes for a fairly high-traf-
fic sector. If you have to look for it this way, the sectors you explore
will be useful later, and perhaps you'll find some good trade pairs. Don't
explore randomly. Turn on ANSI, and travel down long paths with lots of
red (unexplored) sectors using the autowarp.

As soon as you locate the Stardock, trade in your ship for a scout. It
won't have a lot of holds, fighters, or shields, but it has a high turn
ratio. If you drop your fighters in the sector just outside the sector
containing stardock, you can pick them up after trading ships. Fighters
don't have much trade in value, so that saves you some money.

Buy a scout (for the high turn rate), maximum holds (25), and you can
probably afford a density scanner, which is worth the money. Don't buy
anything else the first time you are there unless you've already been
trading while you hunted for stardock. Try to put a little money in the
bank on stardock, for emergency use. Eventually, have 100,000 there.

If you are planning on playing Evil (recommended) then find a port which
will buy Equipment and sell Fuel and Organics. You want it to be adjacent
to a port which does the opposite (sells Equipment, buys Fuel and
Organics.) Trade at these ports, and at the port which sells Fuel/
Organics, use half of your holds for one, half for the other. Always
bargain prices, and you should be able to get 2 experience points each
time you make a deal. That will raise your experience pretty fast (it's
called triple-trading, since you trade three types of equipment during
each set.) You need experience to be able to Steal effectively, so triple
trading can help you get that experience. You can triple trade whether
you are evil or not. It takes some practice to get 2 pts per trade
regularly, especially in a scout with max 25 holds, but it's worth it.

Use the V command at the main command prompt. If ships are allowed to
stay in FedSpace overnight, then plan on using FedSpace until either you
turn evil or (if planning on staying good) you can afford to cloak
nightly. You will be protected there if you have 0 or higher alignment,
under 1000 experience, and less than 50 fighters. Until you go evil,
FedSpace is your safe haven when you aren't playing. Just save your money,
don't buy a lot of fighters and shields. If the Ferrengi want to rob you,
let them. You do want to buy holds, though.

In the early part of a game, when you are using Fedspace for protection,
you can drop extra fighters (over the 50 ftr limit) in a sector outside of
fedspace, to pick up later. Someone *may* kill them, and if you leave
them in a major space lane (such as the route to Stardock from Terra and
back) the feds will remove them. But it's an option I find useful.

Don't go evil until your experience is at least 375-400. Then you can
jettison colonists or post bounty's in the underground to turn evil. You
need to have a -100 or less alignment to Rob/Steal. Some players prefer
to keep trading (or triple-trading) until their experience is much
higher, say over 1050, so they can steal-sell 70 holds in a starmaster.

Once you've turned evil, FedSpace isn't going to protect you, so start
cloaking every night. (In some games it may not be needed, but in
general, plan on it. Once you start running a Steal/Trade system, you can
easily afford it.) If you divide your experience by 20, you have a good
idea of how many holds of equipment you can steal without getting caught.
Exp / 15 is a little more risky, but still pretty safe. Regardless, there
is *always* a chance of getting busted. If necessary you can steal
equipment several times to fill your holds, and sell it all at once.

To run the Steal-Sell loop, start with equipment in all of your holds. Go
to a port which buys equipment. Sell your equipment. Steal equipment
(5%-6.6% of your experience or so) until your holds are full. Sell it
again. Just keep doing that, and always bargain prices. Your experience
will go up as you do this, so eventually you will be able to steal more at
a time. Five point trading means selling your equipment for 100% best
price every time. It's maximum profit, and raises your experience five
points each time you sell, so it's worthwhile. It will be explained
elsewhere in the FAQ.

I keep using the scout until I have enought experience to steal 70-85
holds at a time safely, and then move to another ship. Usually your
choice is between a starmaster and a corp. flagship, if you are head of a
corporation. If not, the starmaster is almost always the best ship. For
advanced players, the evil ISS is the way to go.

Whenever you buy a new ship, you should have enough money to buy the ship,
maximum holds, a new density scanner (or holo scanner), and a cloak.
Otherwise, you should probably stay in the ship you are already in a
little longer (unless it's an escape pod. Never stay in an escape pod.
You can trade it in for a scout right away, and you should.)

When you buy a ship you plan to keep for awhile, buy a holo-scanner.

Cloaks don't fail unless an external utility is causing them to, and you
should cloak nightly unless you qualify for fedspace. Even in games where
cloaks do fail based on a low %, use the cloaks. But if they can fail,
you may want to move to a dead end to cloak.

Use the density scanner any time you are moving to a sector you haven't
visited, and use it when the surrounding sectors are unexplored. It will
tell you when a port is adjacent, and help locate dead ends, planets, and
other ships.

If you (or a corp. member) plan on using a ship with transwarp you should
drop single fighters regularly. Especially in dead ends, where they will
tend to survive longer. These fighters will also slow your opponents who
try to Eprobe to explore. I drop them even when I don't plan on using a
ship with Twarp capability.

Once you've located stardock, don't use a lot of turns exploring. 95% of
the time (or more) you want to be making money with your turns. This is
very basic, but many players use turns warping around, chasing aliens, or
being sidetracked by Ferrengi. Use your turns to make money. To explore,
spend money on Etherprobes and use them.

The database utilities will allow you to get a list of sectors which not
only have you not explored, but which no sector you *have* explored has a
warp to. By eprobing these sectors, you will gain info on at least two
sectors. If you use the computer F command with ANSI on, you can look for
paths with lots of unexplored sectors, which is useful mainly in the early
stages of the game when you haven't explored very much.

In a corporation, usually only one person needs to do much exploring...
The other players just make money. Eventually, you'll need that money!

Your long term goal is to develop a well defended planet, while keeping
your opponents from doing the same. Ideally, your planet will be shield
bugged. In games where shield bug isn't allowed, you want max shields and
32,000 fighters on the planet. With a well defended planet, you can stock
money in the citadel, which will gain 4% interest a day. When that amount
is high enough, no one without a similar source of income will be able to
harm you. If you can shield bug a planet, you probably only need 1. If
you can't, you may need a few, but most players build more planets than
they need, and when a planet is partially developed, it's high-risk. An
opponent might steal the level-4 planet, Twarp it away, and then all the
work is in their hands...

- by Jim Bianchi:

Teamwork is the key to winning games. A four or five man corp can
easily clear 2.5 -- 3.5 million creds/day once established. To start, one
of the corp members should, after SD has been located, spend most of his
time there, where he has easy access to a source of eprobes. (Note: Dave
Myers' TWFT and the mapping routines in TWASSIST may modify this somewhat.)
Using the eprobe mapping routines in PWRMACS or TWFT, this person maps the
universe, providing data to the other members on paired ports.

Meanwhile, the other members should pound ports, triple trading them
right down to the ground if possible. The objective is obtaining xp and
creds, NOT exploring. The creds should be funneled to the member who is at
SD, either directly, or through the galbank. As the universe approaches
100% mapped, the members start building up their own galbank accts.

Ships: The usual policy seems to be to, once SD has been found, go
there and trade in your merchie for a ScoMar, a dscanner, max holds and
enough to get started trading again. This should prob be the course the
mapper should take, as he'll need to physically investigate places where
eprobes have been destroyed. The rest of the crew should prob stay with a
stock merchie until they can get into a StaMas with max holds (as soon as
they have the necessary creds). With close teamwork, transferring ftrs and
shields is easy between corp members. (It is possible to tfr a neg amt of
shields or ftrs to temporarily overload a fellow corp members ship while
you trade in the one you have and buy another.) Esp in the early stages of
the game, every cred saved when buying ftrs/shields can make a difference.
However, don't let not having a close-by teammate stop you from buying a
new ship. And ALWAYS buy at least one ftr with your new ship. I once got a
new StaMas, a few shields and max holds, and zero ftrs. On my way out of SD
to the sector where I'd "parked" my ftrs fm the old ship, I entered the
wrong sector number and ended up running into 'prox 50 offensive ftrs left
by someone else. Fortunately, my <esc> pod was functioning normally..

Good vs evil: For the first few days, game parms permitting, you
should plan to park overnight in FedSpace. You can stay uncloaked in Fed-
Space overnight as long as your xp is less than 1000, the number of ftrs on
your ship is 50 or less, your align is +1 or greater and the number of squ-
atters in the FedSpace sector you are in is less than the nr posted on the V
screen. If your align is negative or your xp is greater than 1000, you can be
attacked and destroyed in FedSpace. When the extern pgm runs, if you have more
than 50 ftrs or there are more than the allowed number of squatters in that
FedSpace sector, you'll be towed out into space (nothing else will be done
to you by the Feds).

Under some circumstances, this can be exploited to aid in exploring
the universe in the very early days of a game. If the Feds tow you out to
space for one reason or another, you will usually end up somewhere on one
of the MSLs. In a low turns game, this can be used to give you a "running
start" on exploration. Log on very soon after midnight, however, to get
yourself into a more protected area where you won't be attacked by other

In a game with no squatters allowed overnight in FedSpace, there seems
little need for remaining good (unless, of course, you WANT to be). Recom-
mended ways of turning evil are: jettisoning colonists, killing good play-
ers or game generated good aliens, placing a hit contract on another good
player in the underground, cursing the grimy trader in the tavern, blowing
up starports and blowing up planets. Once you have -100 align you can start
robbing creds fm ports (use xp x 7 = creds to rob in any single attempt);
or stealing product (use a max of xp/20 = nr of holds to steal). Each suc-
cessful robbery will gain you xp and neg align points.

A tactic that has been used VERY successfully in one local game in-
volved four corp partners who started the game as above. The "mapper" early
on discovered Ferrengal. Further mapping, combined with some course plotter
investigation revealed that Ferrengal was in a dead-end tunnel and that
there was an empty sector behind it. By the time this was discovered, the
leader was almost done with mapping the universe, so he bought an ISS
(buying his pos align with creds supplied by the rest of us). Then he
bought a ptorp and a gtorp (several gtorps, actually), used the ptorp to
temporarily neutralise the Ferrengi ftrs while he moved THROUGH that sector
without otherwise disturbing them to get to the one BEHIND, where he fired
off his gtorps and placed ftrs so that each of the rest of us, as we in
turn bought our commissions and got into an ISS, could twarp there. (Altern-
atively, albiet somewhat risky, a cheapo HavGun could be obtained and a blind
twarp made to the sector behind since a ptorp advertises its use in the daily

In this way, our planets were (more or less) safe from detection dur-
ing the critical phase while they were upgrading, as they were in a dead
end tunnel with Ferrengal as the "front door." We each then turned evil by
dumping colonists and busting planets (and killing good aliens/players when
avail). One of us juggled his align so that it was only -1 (so as not to
drag down the xp of the others in the corp). Upon logging in each day, the
normal increase of one align point was sufficient to bring the align up to
neutral (0) and allow safe access to Terra for colonising the planets. Us-
ing twarp, it was possible to bring out nearly 1 million new happy campers
each session. To get down to neg align again, this person would jettison
one hold of colonists each day at the end of his play.

As the corp grew stronger, Ferrengal itself was eventually invaded and
added to our list of corp planets. By this time, we had each of the five
sectors in the tunnel heavily mined (99) and those sectors with planets had
30,000 defensive ftrs (the rest only had 5000). We've successfully blockad-
ed SD several times with ftrs/mines and have caught just about everyone at
least once. The game is rather boring for in spite of us leaving taunts and
hints in the Tavern conversation, there is NO organised resistance. There
are NO other planets and the only other corp folded a week ago. The vast
majority of the ftrs and mines in the universe are ours. We have six L5
planets, each w/1638 shields (by agreement they are not invulnerable).

One tactic we use is to build a class 4 (ssb) port in the same sector
with our planets and as the port is completed, move a planet one sector up
the tunnel to support construction of another class 4. In this way, we can
each run sell/steal in a totally secure area and cancel each others busts
if necessary. Hey, four or five players, each in an evil ISS (150 holds),
can make a LOT of creds when all they need worry about is hold replacement
when getting busted. I log in to the game, fill my holds w/equip, lift off
and run sell/steal at the port that is right there for 66 turns (on a bust
free day), land on the planet and deposit my 'prox 700,000 creds inna tre-
asury. It's almost boring! It is perhaps a commentary on the quality of the
local competition that when one of us is busted, we LOOSE more xp than the
highest ranking non-corp player has TOTAL!

[ Ship selection ]

- by Jim Bianchi

Wanna provoke an arg on one of the Tradewars conferences? Write a msg
of type: "the very best ship is an xxxxxx." Second only to calls for inf-
ormation on the "bugs," that topic seems to take up most of the bandwidth
there and it's a pity, really, because after the first few exchanges, there
is never anything new in the way of using xxxxxx ship, or real detriments
in one type or another ship shown (with the exception of the Tholian Sent-

What is the "ideal" ship? For each stage of the game, this author is
convinced that there is an ideal choice or range of choices, but in this as
in most things, there is ample room for alternatives and outright disagre-
ement. For instance, I prefer the CorFla to the ISS, esp when playing alone.
Perhaps it's because I've had four Imperial StarShips shot out from under me
by Ferrengi on a blood hunt (and those things are EXPENSIVE!) and maybe it's
because I like to be able to be evil, warp around and not worry about running
into a Fed and loosing my ship.

Another very serious thing to consider is, is this a game in which
bugs are allowed to be used? If so, the obvious choice is a ship most of us
would never consider otherwise: the Havoc Gunstar. It is inexpensive. It
can carry enough firepower to adaquately defend itself. It has twarp capab-
ility. It can be swopped in a citadel. And when "hold bugged," it can carry
an impressive payload. Since you needn't be evil to run the Corporate Mega
Holds bug, a CMH bugged HavGun is the ship of choice for use in games that
allow exploitation of bugs; at least until an ISS can be purchased.

Since I play almost exclusively in non-bug games (where bug use isn't
engaged in by agreement or bug use is monitored), my usual choice is the
CorFla. I like it. It's like a StaMas with twarp and 15 extra holds.

When starting in a new game, I tend to think that the basic default
"merchie" is much underrated. It can have fifteen more holds than a StaMas,
and while it doesn't have near the ftr or shield capacity of a StaMas,
these things aren't (or shouldn't be) very important in a just starting
game anyway, when the objective is to make creds and xp. (Leave the "shoot
'em up, bang-bang" to the kiddies.) I first try to improve my merchie to
max holds, then max shields. I figger that, by the time I loose it to enemy
action the universe has become too dangerous to warp about in without some
serious protection and I get into a maxed out StaMas, or if I'm CEO and have
the creds, a CorFla.

The ScoMar has the benefits of having a much larger base turn rate,
and the highest combat odds of any ship in a non edited game. It is these
odds that make the ScoMar the ship of choice in bugs-allowed games, for if
it is overloaded with ftrs and shields (up to 32767 of each), it is nearly
unstoppable and is capable of (two times out of three) destroying SD and
most of the other class 0 ports. In a non bug game, it still possesses a
large base turn rate and this makes it attractive to many who prefer to go
see for themselves, as opposed to sending an eprobe.

The StaMas has what is generally accorded the best ratio of firepower
and cargo carrying ability to moves of any of the other ship types.

If a secure area is provided (preferably containing a class 0 port),
the ColTra, with its 250 holds, can prove a real money maker for one who is
sufficiently evil to be able to sell/steal 250 holds at a whack.

The only advantages that I can see to a Missile Frigate are that it is
cheap, can be had by anyone, and can carry a ptorp. It is only nominally a
trading ship.

When reading the shipspecs, pay attn to holds vs %move vs firepower.
Since the amt of moves per day per player is sysop settable, this figure is
expressed as a percentage of however many moves the sysop has plugged into
the game. Obviously, the ship with the most of both would prob be the ship
of choice, not considering twarp. Firepower (defensive and offensive) is
very important.

I like to stay with the default merchie for as long as possible, then
to get into a CorFla or an ISS. In an active (already running) game, I'd prob
stay with the merchie until I could get into a StaMas (due to the greater
defensive potential of a StaMas) and then start accumulating creds for a
CorFla or an ISS.

Most of my games have been with a corp, each of whom is evil in an ISS.
So I have little experience with any other types of large hold ship, such as
the ColTra or TauMul. I've heard it said that an evil TauMul is nearly the
money-maker that an ISS is. I have no personal opinion either way and only
say that to point out the possibility. (I don't want to start a shipwar.)

One thing to consider is the effort and align adjusting needed to get
into an ISS and then go evil. Esp if you are playing alone, if you loose
the ISS, it REALLY takes quite a lot of creds to get your align adjusted
back up to +500 and get another. (Which is one reason a strong corp is nice
to be able to fall back on.) It might be more cost effective in the long
run to just stay evil and get a CorFla or a StaMas.

One thing to be considered when contemplating being evil is the pen-
alty for being busted; each time you are, you are fined some amt of holds,
which must then be replaced. The time and moves spent going to a class 0
port or to SD for hold replacement is time and moves not spent making
(stealing or robbing) creds. (One reason the twarp ships are favored by
evil players.)

As pointed out elsewhere, an <esc> pod can be traded straight across
for a ScoMar and 1000 creds.

Here are the shipspecs:

-- Originally by Jason Boyd:

Min Max Max Max Max Max Max Max Max
Cost  %Mv Hold Hold Odds Ftrs perAt Shld P-M Mine G-T Bcn L P T
escpod 0 free 50 1 5 .8:1 50 10 50 0 0 0 0 Y
MerCru 1 26300 100 20 75 1.0:1 2500 1000 400 0 50 5 50 Y Y
ScoMar 2 13200 200 10 25 2.0:1 250 250 100 0 0 0 10 Y Y
MisFri 3 28800 100 12 60 1.3:1 5000 2000 400 10 5 0 5
CorBat 4 40500 83 16 80 1.6:1 10000 3000 750 0 25 1 50 Y Y
CorFla 5 71000 100 20 85 1.2:1 20000 6000 1500 0 100 10 100 Y Y Y
ColTra 6 54400 58 40 250 .6:1 200 100 500 0 0 5 10 Y Y
CarTra 7 59400 67 40 125 .8:1 400 125 800 0 1 2 20 Y Y
MerFre 8 36200 150 30 60 .8:1 300 100 500 0 2 2 20 Y Y
ImpSta 9 128600 83 40 150 1.5:1 30000 10000 2000 5 125 10 150 Y Y Y
HavGun 10 29500 125 10 40 1.2:1 3000 1500 500 0 5 1 5 Y Y
StaMas 11 48000 133 30 70 1.4:1 5000 2000 1000 0 50 5 50 Y Y
ConSte 12 40500 100 20 70 1.4:1 5000 2000 750 0 25 2 50 Y Y
TkhOri 13 36000 133 30 60 1.1:1 750 250 750 0 5 1 20 Y Y
ThoSen 14 27000 90 10 50 1.0:1 3000 1000 1000 0 50 1 10 Y
TauMul 15 53600 83 40 150 .5:1 300 150 500 0 0 2 20 Y Y

L P T: Long Range Scanner, Planet Scanner, TransWarp Drive.
Only the Missile Frigate and ISS can carry a ptorp.
The Feds will destroy on sight an ISS used by a player with neg align, no
questions asked. (Just make sure they don't SEE you..)

These are the various ship descriptions in an unedited game:

<1> Merchant Cruiser
<2> Scout Marauder
<3> Missile Frigate
<4> BattleShip
<5> Corporate FlagShip
<6> Colonial Transport
<7> CargoTran
<8> Merchant Freighter
<9> Imperial StarShip
<10> Havoc GunStar
<11> StarMaster
<12> Constellation
<13> T'Khasi Orion
<14> Tholian Sentinel
<15> Taurean Mule

(When reading these specs, be aware that the number listed under moves
per day is the actual number of moves and not the percentage of moves. These
stats were obtained from a game using the default 60 base moves per player per
day. Thus 60 moves equals a 100% turn rate.)

Ship Category #1 Ship Class : Merchant Cruiser

The Merchant Cruiser is the standard fare for earning a living in the
universe. These craft are moderately fast, well armored and have hard
points for many different accessories. Many cartels use the Merchant
Cruiser as their only ship type. The Merchant is the craft by which
combat specs are rated for a standard.

Basic Hold Cost: 10,000 Min Holds: 20 Maximum Holds: 75
Main Drive Cost: 1,000 Max Fighters: 2,500 Maximum Shields: 400
Computer Cost  : 5,300 Move rate/day: 60 Offensive Odds: 1.0:1
Ship Hull Cost : 10,000 Mine Max: 50 Beacon Max: 50
Ship Base Cost : 26,300 Genesis Max: 5 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 1,000 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #2 Ship Class : Scout Marauder

The Scout Marauder is currently the fastest, conventional drive ship
known to mankind. This small speedster can easily outdistance even the
powerful Corellian Battleships. It is not equipped for controlling many
fighters or shields, but it fights at 2 to 1 odds due to its quickness
and small size. This craft cannot carry mines or Genesis Torpedoes.
It may be small, but this ship's speed and range make up for much.

Basic Hold Cost: 5,000 Min Holds: 10 Maximum Holds: 25
Main Drive Cost: 3,000 Max Fighters: 250 Maximum Shields: 100
Computer Cost  : 2,450 Move rate/day: 120 Offensive Odds: 2.0:1
Ship Hull Cost : 2,750 Mine Max: 0 Beacon Max: 10
Ship Base Cost : 13,200 Genesis Max: 0 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 250 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #3 Ship Class : Missile Frigate

Missile Frigates are really nothing more than a retro-fitted Merchant
Cruiser. They maintain the same speed and range of the Merchant but can
carry twice the firepower. Commanding a Frigate means that you cannot
take advantage of much of the additional starship equipment available,
but their combat advantages make up for that. The Missile Frigate is
the only ship outfitted to carry the awesome Photon Missile. These
weapons of destructions can turn StarPorts into space junk in short
order. The Photon Missile was also used effectively in the Trantorian
conflict to totally destroy the enemy's home planet.

Basic Hold Cost: 6,000 Min Holds: 12 Maximum Holds: 60
Main Drive Cost: 1,000 Max Fighters: 5,000 Maximum Shields: 400
Computer Cost  : 10,800 Move rate/day: 60 Offensive Odds: 1.3:1
Ship Hull Cost : 11,000 Mine Max: 5 Beacon Max: 5
Ship Base Cost : 28,800 Genesis Max: 0 Long Range Scan? No
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? No
Max Fighters Per Attack: 2,000 Photon Missiles? Yes

Ship Category #4 Ship Class : BattleShip

The Corellian Battleship is a dangerous craft indeed! This ship packs
the most punch of any ship in the Federation. Battleship's can carry
four times the fighters of a Merchant and deliver them with a much
higher degree of effectiveness due to their superior combat computers.
The shield generators on Battleships are capable of shielding the ship's
fighters as well. This craft is one of the more prestigious and powerful
ships available today.

Basic Hold Cost: 8,000 Min Holds: 16 Maximum Holds: 80
Main Drive Cost: 1,000 Max Fighters:10,000 Maximum Shields: 750
Computer Cost  : 13,500 Move rate/day: 50 Offensive Odds: 1.6:1
Ship Hull Cost : 18,000 Mine Max: 25 Beacon Max: 50
Ship Base Cost : 40,500 Genesis Max: 1 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 3,000 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #5 Ship Class : Corporate FlagShip

Few words can actually describe the sheer awe associated with a
Corporate Flagship. Only available to Corp CEOs, this huge craft is
the ultimate in power and capability. Not only can it carry up to
20,000 fighters at one time, this ship carries a powerful combination
of options that will make any foe turn tail and run.

The most impressive capability of the Flagship is the TransWarp Drive.
This device enables the ship to TransWarp to any other sector in the
Universe provided one of your fighters is already there emitting a
locator beam. Without this, a ship can disapear into TransWarp and
never be seen again.

Basic Hold Cost: 10,000 Min Holds: 20 Maximum Holds: 85
Main Drive Cost: 5,000 Max Fighters:20,000 Maximum Shields: 1,500
Computer Cost  : 27,500 Move rate/day: 60 Offensive Odds: 1.2:1
Ship Hull Cost : 28,500 Mine Max: 100 Beacon Max: 100
Ship Base Cost : 71,000 Genesis Max: 10 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? Yes Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 6,000 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #6 Ship Class : Colonial Transport

The Colonial Transport is a massive structure that can only barely be
called a ship. This huge craft is ideal for moving large amounts of
products or colonists from place to place. Though it has a standard
drive, this ship is rather slow due to the mass involved. Also, the
combat computers are rather limited on this craft due to the excessive
needs of the navigation computers. The Transport is not outfitted for
carrying or deploying mines. Conflict brings the Transport's major
weakness to light. Due to the size of the craft, it is very hard to
defend against fighters.

Basic Hold Cost: 25,000 Min Holds: 40 Maximum Holds: 250
Main Drive Cost: 1,000 Max Fighters: 200 Maximum Shields: 500
Computer Cost  : 3,200 Move rate/day: 35 Offensive Odds: 0.6:1
Ship Hull Cost : 25,200 Mine Max: 0 Beacon Max: 10
Ship Base Cost : 54,400 Genesis Max: 5 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 100 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #7 Ship Class : CargoTran

The CargoTran is a large ship indeed. Though not as fast as some of its
related trading cousins, this ship can move vast amounts of goods. It is
typically a pacifist's ship as it does not carry much in the way of
offensive capabilities but it's very large array of holds makes up for all
of that. The large shield capacity of this craft makes it safe to wander
hostile territory as well. This ship is considered by many to be one of
the top money-makers in the Universe.

Basic Hold Cost: 25,000 Min Holds: 40 Maximum Holds: 125
Main Drive Cost: 1,000 Max Fighters: 400 Maximum Shields: 800
Computer Cost  : 4,000 Move rate/day: 40 Offensive Odds: 0.8:1
Ship Hull Cost : 29,400 Mine Max: 1 Beacon Max: 20
Ship Base Cost : 59,400 Genesis Max: 2 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 125 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #8 Ship Class : Merchant Freighter

The Merchant Freighter is the ideal ship for those traders that do not want
to concern themselves with political matters. It is not a very powerful
ship in combat, but its strengths are many. This ship can carry a large
number of shields and manages to outdistance most ships. After all, "Those
who fight and run away, live to fight another day" still holds very true in
the universe as we know it today.

Basic Hold Cost: 18,000 Min Holds: 30 Maximum Holds: 60
Main Drive Cost: 2,000 Max Fighters: 300 Maximum Shields: 500
Computer Cost  : 3,200 Move rate/day: 90 Offensive Odds: 0.8:1
Ship Hull Cost : 13,000 Mine Max: 2 Beacon Max: 20
Ship Base Cost : 36,200 Genesis Max: 2 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 100 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #9 Ship Class : Imperial StarShip

The commercial version of a Federation StarShip is not available to just
anyone. This craft is only available to those who are commissioned by the
Federation to aid in their cause. StarShips are the most closely guarded
technology in existence. They can carry massive assault power and through
the use of the TransWarp drive, they can deliver this power almost anywhere.

The Imperial StarShip is truly the most powerful ship that a private
individual can command. More information about qualifying for a Federal
commission is available at a Police station near you.

Basic Hold Cost: 32,000 Min Holds: 40 Maximum Holds: 150
Main Drive Cost: 32,100 Max Fighters:30,000 Maximum Shields: 2,000
Computer Cost  : 32,500 Move rate/day: 50 Offensive Odds: 1.5:1
Ship Hull Cost : 32,000 Mine Max: 125 Beacon Max: 150
Ship Base Cost :128,600 Genesis Max: 10 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? Yes Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack:10,000 Photon Missiles? Yes

Ship Category #10 Ship Class : Havoc GunStar

The Havoc Gunstar is a recently developed ship that owes its existance to
new developments in micro-miniaturization. This mid-sized ship is the only
one of its size to be able to house a TransWarp drive. Though it doesn't
carry a large amount of holds to fuel the TransWarp, it still has a decent
T-Warp range and can arrive at its destination packing a moderate fighting
force in the bargain. Watch for this ship to become the favorite of the
Mercenary legions in the Universe.

Basic Hold Cost: 5,000 Min Holds: 10 Maximum Holds: 40
Main Drive Cost: 10,000 Max Fighters: 3,000 Maximum Shields: 500
Computer Cost  : 7,500 Move rate/day: 75 Offensive Odds: 1.2:1
Ship Hull Cost : 7,000 Mine Max: 5 Beacon Max: 5
Ship Base Cost : 29,500 Genesis Max: 1 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? Yes Planet Scanner? No
Max Fighters Per Attack: 1,500 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #11 Ship Class : StarMaster

The StarMaster represents the latest in technological advances for star
travel, meeting the needs of those who desire a ship with great speed and
medium cargo capacity. Developed to counter the growing threat of space
piracy, the StarMaster posesses a formidable fire control and weapons
system, and a high shield capacity. The price for this state-of-art craft
is not cheap, but discerning traders will find that the investment will
pay for itself in the long run.

Basic Hold Cost: 15,000 Min Holds: 30 Maximum Holds: 70
Main Drive Cost: 10,000 Max Fighters: 5,000 Maximum Shields: 1,000
Computer Cost  : 9,000 Move rate/day: 80 Offensive Odds: 1.4:1
Ship Hull Cost : 14,000 Mine Max: 50 Beacon Max: 50
Ship Base Cost : 48,000 Genesis Max: 5 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 2,000 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #12 Ship Class : Constellation

The Constellation is the direct offspring of the Correlian Battleship.
While not quite as powerful as its distinguished parent, the Constellation
makes its own mark with greater speed and range. Traders have dubbed it
the "baby battleship", but this "infant" is one of the most powerful and
maneuverable ships available in the universe today.

Basic Hold Cost: 10,000 Min Holds: 20 Maximum Holds: 70
Main Drive Cost: 10,000 Max Fighters: 5,000 Maximum Shields: 750
Computer Cost  : 8,500 Move rate/day: 60 Offensive Odds: 1.4:1
Ship Hull Cost : 12,000 Mine Max: 25 Beacon Max: 50
Ship Base Cost : 40,500 Genesis Max: 2 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 2,000 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #13 Ship Class : T'Khasi Orion

The T'Khasi Orion is the perfect ship for traders who want the speed and
cargo capacity of the Merchant Freighter but need a bit more firepower.
Offering substantially higher combat odds and fighter capacity, the T'Khasi
Orion is an excellent intermediate ship.

Basic Hold Cost: 15,000 Min Holds: 30 Maximum Holds: 60
Main Drive Cost: 10,000 Max Fighters: 750 Maximum Shields: 750
Computer Cost  : 4,250 Move rate/day: 80 Offensive Odds: 1.1:1
Ship Hull Cost : 6,750 Mine Max: 5 Beacon Max: 20
Ship Base Cost : 36,000 Genesis Max: 1 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 250 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #14 Ship Class : Tholian Sentinel

Young corporations in need of planetary defense should consider the
Sentinel. With its new planetary combat guidance system, this ship's
normal combat odds of 1:1 shoot up to 4:1 when defending a corporate
planet. When an enemy ship enters a sector containing a Sentinel set in
defense of a corporate planet, the hostile vessel must first destroy the
Sentinel and all of its fighters before it may land and attempt any action
toward the planet. Remember: The Sentinel was designed primarily for
Planetary defense, if used for offensive purposes its combat odds are 1:1.

Basic Hold Cost: 5,000 Min Holds: 10 Maximum Holds: 50
Main Drive Cost: 10,000 Max Fighters: 3,000 Maximum Shields: 1,000
Computer Cost  : 6,000 Move rate/day: 54 Offensive Odds: 1.0:1
Ship Hull Cost : 6,000 Mine Max: 50 Beacon Max: 10
Ship Base Cost : 27,000 Genesis Max: 1 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? No
Max Fighters Per Attack: 1,000 Photon Missiles? No

Ship Category #15 Ship Class : Taurean Mule

"Big, slow and ugly...", seem to be the words most often overheard when
someone is describing the Taurean Mule. Designed in direct competition
with the CargoTran, the Mule is somewhat faster and possesses a higher
cargo capacity, but it is even more vulnerable to piracy and attack than
it's competitor. However, this is still a good ship for traders who have
staked out "safe" trade lanes and do not have to worry about enemy attacks.

Basic Hold Cost: 25,000 Min Holds: 40 Maximum Holds: 150
Main Drive Cost: 10,000 Max Fighters: 300 Maximum Shields: 500
Computer Cost  : 3,300 Move rate/day: 50 Offensive Odds: 0.5:1
Ship Hull Cost : 15,300 Mine Max: 0 Beacon Max: 20
Ship Base Cost : 53,600 Genesis Max: 2 Long Range Scan? Yes
TransWarp Drive? No Planet Scanner? Yes
Max Fighters Per Attack: 150 Photon Missiles? No

What isn't immediately obvious is that, as you buy each hold, the
price for the next hold goes up. What this means is that, when you're told
the next hold you can buy will cost xxx, you can't just multiply xxx times
the number of holds you want and arrive at the total price. Other things
being equal, you prob DON'T want to buy holds piecemeal.

- by Leonard Adolph:

I figured out hold cost some time ago. Just for fun, here it is again.


Where a is the number of holds on your ship and b is the number of holds
desired. Add up all values for the formula (SUM) replacing x with all
values from a to b.

The above formula works in a program called Ultimate Calculator.

* by Leonard Adolph

Argh! You people are driving me crazy! ;-)

I have in the past figured out and posted the formula for cost for holds
you buy. I won't bother resubmiting that information at this time.

When you sell a ship the price paid by the shipyards for holds is:

INT (holds * (180 + (holds - 1) * 8.1))

for a ship with 0 kills and 0 portings. The 8.1 figure will decrease
with enough ports and kills by a ship.
If you don't know what the INT is, don't worry about it. Just drop
anything to the right of the decimal point in the answer.

BTW, 1821 holds is the turn around point and that amount of holds brings
27,172,962 credits for the holds. The above formula matches the price
paid for holds up to 1821 and fails after that. I have no idea why that
figure is the turn around point but I suspect it has to do with Turbo
Pascal's Longint being divided by 100 (percentage?) and the floating
value for the 8.1 in the formula, depending on ports and kills. A ship
with 1822 holds, 66 ports and 5 kills brings 25,303,922 for the holds.
The same ship with 0 kills and 0 ports brings 27,143,659 credits for the
holds, less than what is paid for 1821 holds.

If the price of holds in The Mall is set at 17,207 each, the dreaded
1821 (renamed by me) holds bug will be eliminated. That will make the
cost of 1539 holds (1821 - 282) more than what will be paid for them in
the Shipyards. If maximum holds are modified higher than 250 the price
of holds in The Mall should be recalculated higher:

27,172,962 / (1821 - (maxholds + 32))

I have great hopes that the next version of The Mall will price holds
the same as in the game. (Neil?) That should help the "good guys" as a
ship with 300-400 holds could hit the trading pairs as heavy as
steal/sell but as an "evil" I would not want to risk a few million
credits worth of holds getting busted stealing 30,000 credits worth of
equipment. I *would* follow the "good guys" around though and rob those
pairs blind.

I have not done much testing on the effects of ports and kills on
pricing but I do know that 101 ports drops prices by less than 10% and 9
ports does not affect prices. 9 ports is of course what is used to bug a
CT to 282 holds and port at Stardock, assuming that stealing at a port
(and getting busted) adds to the ports your ship has. I am not sure if
it does or not at this time.

Also BTW. Just kidding about the driving me crazy part. I enjoy this
stuff. :-)

More on holds cost:

* by Woody Weaver

-=> Quoting Leonard Adolph to Brendan Connell <=-
BC> I don't know the algorithim, [for the cost of holds] although I've
BC> found that when you get to about 135 holds, each new one starts at just
BC> over 2000 credits and goes up.

LA> I figured out hold cost some time ago. Just for fun, here it is again.

LA> SUM(216+20*(x-1),a..b)

LA> Where a is the number of holds on your ship and b is the number of
LA> holds desired. Add up all values for the formula (SUM) replacing x
LA> with all values from a to b.

Good work Leonard, but there is a little more you can say. The constant,
216, varies a little bit; I've seen as low as 200 and as high as 240. Also,
you can rewrite the formula without the sum, by using the trick that if
s = a + (a+1) + (a+2) + ... + (b-1) + b [ write sum forwards ]
s = b + (b-1) + (b-2) + ... + (a+1) + a [ write sum backwards ]
2s = (b-a+1)(a+b).

Your formula works out to
cost = (194+20a)+(194 + 20(a+1))+...+(194+20b)
= 194(b-a+1) + 20(b-a+1)(b+a)/2
= (194 + 10(b+a) )(b-a+1)

So, for example, to go from 20 holds to 75 holds (b=75, a=20) it would take
cost = (194 + 10 (95) ) (56) = 64,064 credits.

[ Bugs in the game ]

- by Joel Downer:

This is Joel Downer's Top 14 Bugs list, covering the major bugs with the
exception of the planet cloning bug. Planet cloning will not work in
version 1.03d, and makes playing 1.03 a pretty useless endeavor. Sysops
can upgrade to 1.03d without reseting the game, and that is highly

Well, giving a list of *ALL* the bugs in 1.03(d) would be impractical:
there are over a hundred of them. What I can do, though, is list the
thirteen or fourteen that make the biggest difference to the game.

1. THE STEAL-SELL CYCLE: Stealing equipment from ports is a very good
way to make money in this version. You can sell equipment to a port,
steal it back, and repeat the cycle without leaving the sector for
very substantial profits.

2. THE HOLDS BUG: If you tell the game that you want to steal 365 units
of equipment or 660 units of organics (never mind how many holds you
have), and you don't have high enough experience to get away with
stealing that much, you will get busted and *gain 32 holds* rather
than losing any. To learn the value of this bug, try buying a
Colonial Transport with base holds, "holds-bug" until you're up to
282 holds, and sell it back at the StarDock.

3. THE (CLASSIC) MEGAHOLDS BUG: Using the holds bug, it's possible to
load your ship up to its normal maximum plus 32. Unfortunately, if you
try to use those 32 extra holds, you will lose them the first time you
dock at a port. The megaholds bug is a solution. Load your ship with
colonists, and steal *one unit* of fuel ore or organics from a port.
Drop off the colonists on Terra. As long as you don't get busted,
surrender to the Ferrengi, jettison cargo, or try to trade or pick up
the commodity you used to "lock in" the extra holds, you can keep
them and use them for trading or stealing.

4. THE (SUPER) MEGAHOLDS BUG: So, max + 32 isn't good enough for you,
eh? <grin> Another bug allows you to load your ship with any number
of holds, if you have the patience. First, use the "classic"
megaholds bug to get up to max + 32. Now, fill your holds with
colonists. Your next job is to lose most of your holds. One way to
do this is to surrender repeatedly to the Ferrengi, but the most
turn-efficient way is to get busted repeatedly: trying to steal 364
holds of equipment can take away 32 holds a pop. You must not throw
away *all* your holds, but the more you lose, the faster the process
goes. Once you're very close to zero, go to a port where you haven't
been busted and steal one unit of a commodity you don't want to trade
(probably organics or fuel ore). You've just created some "imaginary
holds"; you can now go back to Sol, buy some *real* holds, load those
holds up with colonists, and start getting busted again...

5. THE CORPORATE MEGAHOLDS BUG: This bug allows you to lock in
"artificial holds" like the ones created by the megaholds bug, but it
can create *any number* of holds (up to 32,767), it takes only a
*few* turns, it doesn't cost nearly as much experience as the
super megaholds bug, *and* it can create tons of free equipment on
your planet. To use it, you need a teammate and a citadel
that's safe to park in. Your planet must have some equipment on
it, though not nearly as much as it will have when you're done. <g>

First of all, make sure that your teammate is in the citadel and that
her ship is *unlocked*; her holds should also be empty. Unlock your
own ship (they are locked by default) by (R)emaining in the Citadel,
and saying (Y)es when it asks about trading ships. Once you've unlocked
your ship, you can immediately go back into the game.

Now you need to use the (A)ll command out on the planet's surface to
take all the equipment you can carry. Go into the (C)itadel,
(E)xchange Ships, say (Y)es to confirm, (L)eave the Citadel, and
(D)isplay the planet. Go back into the (C)itadel, (E)xchange, say
(Y)es, (L)eave, take (A)ll, and (D)isplay the planet once more.
Strangely enough, you'll now have twice as many goods loaded onto
your ship as you have cargo holds.

If you wanted, you could now leave the planet and "lock in" the extra
holds the same way you did with the Megaholds and Super Megaholds
bugs -- but let's get greedy. Start repeating the last key sequence
-- "CEYLAD" -- to load your ship with more and more equipment.
Something strange will happen every time you change into your
teammate's ship and take (A)ll: his ship will be loaded with a
*negative* quanity of equipment, and equipment will magically be
*created* on the planet.

I usually continue this process until my ship has about 25,000
equipment on it, and my teammate's has 25,000 empty holds. I can now
"lock in" my holds with organics, pick up some fuel ore, and
TransWarp around the galaxy selling excess equipment. I could use my
teammate's ship for moving colonists or trading anything *except*

6. THE SHIELD BUG: A Level V citadel with 1639 or more planetary
shields is impossible to invade. Attempts to destroy those shields
are futile. That's all, folks. <g>

7. FIGHTER/SHIELD OVERLOAD BUG: Ships have built-in limits for fighters
and shields -- the Scout Marauder is only supposed to carry 250
fighters and 100 shields. If you use negative numbers when
transferring fighters and shields through the corporate transfer
menus, however, those limits don't apply. If you have a teammate
*take* a negative number *from* you instead of giving you a positive
number, he/she can load your ship with up to 32,767 shields and 32,767
fighters. (For a faster way to overload with shields, try using
negative numbers in your citadel. <g>) However you do it, be warned:
if you dock at a port with extra fighters and shields, you will lose them!

8. SO MUCH FOR STARDOCK!: A Scout Marauder, overloaded with 32,767
fighters and at least 20,000 shields using the methods outlined
above, has very good odds of destroying StarDock or any of the Class
0 ports. Just load the ship up and attack: *DON'T* break off your
attack until you're out of fighters, and you have about 2-in-3 odds
of success.

9. THE MORONIC FERRENGI: The game makes neutralizing the Ferrengi very,
very easy. All you need to do to insulate yourself against their
attacks, for example, is carry one fighter and many shields. When a
Ferrengi attacks you, he will only do 0-2 damage points at a time.
Even worse: to knock the Ferrengi completely out of the game, all
you have to do is destroy the fighters in their home sector and
deploy 3,000 of your own fighters in the sector. From that point on,
they won't regenerate, even if they still own Ferrengal: all that'll
be left are the Ferrengi already wandering around the galaxy. In the
first few weeks of the game, this tactic costs less than a million

10. THE INFALLIBLE CLOAK: Buy cloaks. They're a great bargain. In
1.03d, it's impossible to attack a cloaked ship, and regardless of
what the docs say, cloaks *do not* fail. Compared to the cost of
being blown up, 25,000 credits a day is trivial.

11. SHIELDS AND P-MISSILES: The docs are also wrong about the effect of
shields on the p-wave. P-missiles *do* work against shielded planets.
They also work against shielded ships and ships parked in FedSpace.

12. THE USELESS SENTINEL: Don't buy the Tholian Sentinel. Period. The
Sentinel is supposed to have 4:1 odds when defending a planet against
an invader. This feature doesn't work. If an invader attacks the
*ship* first -- rather than trying to land and *then* attacking the
ship -- the Sentinel only gets 1:1 combat odds.

13. MANY FERRENGI AND ALIENS: When a sysop rerolls the game with
BIGBANG, several files (including CONVO.DAT, WALLDAT.DAT, and, most
important, FERRENGI.DAT and ALIENS.DAT) are not properly initialized.
Some new games will be swarming with powerful aliens and Ferrengi.
Sysops should remember to delete these four files when restarting

14. THE "6666" BUG: Always set your military reaction level to 0% if
you have more than 12,000-13,000 fighters on your planet. If an
invader attacks without a p-missile, the invader has more than 26,000
fighters on his ship, and your MRL is greater than zero, *all* of your
fighters will attack him and will be destroyed -- even if you have
many more fighters than you should need to kill the invader.

Again, this list is *anything* but complete: it's just an attempt to
outline the strategically most important bugs. Hope it's useful.

- by Joel Downer:

Many people have asked me about a complete list of TW bugs. I've never
prepared something like this, and I doubt I ever will. What I usually
post in response to that question is a list of the fourteen most
tactically important bugs in the game -- bugs like the shield bug, the
megaholds bugs, the holds bug, steal-sell, the fighter overload bug,

Gerard Droege and I also prepared a list of more minor bugs last year,
in response to a request from Gary Martin. We tried to skip the most
obvious problems (already listed for Gary by Kris Lewis), and come up
with some of the more obscure errors. At that time, in a few hours of
brainstorming, we came up with 52 bugs (again, not including the most
obvious ones). If we had more hours and lots of energy to repeat the
process now, I would estimate that we could double the length of the

I recently found this list on an old archive disk. After I sent it to
Gary, I backed it up and forgot about it. I received word from Kris
that Gary had fixed all of the problems on the list in "just a few
hours" of coding. Given that assertion, I'm surprised to see some of
the same problems cropping up in the 2.0 beta. I think that reposting
the list now might be helpful to the beta team, and might satisfy some
curiosity on the echo.

Additional bugs in Version 1.03

compiled by Joel Downer and Gerard Droege

1. shield overload using negative numbers in citadel.
2. Alien % alignment bug in V-Screen in early game.
3. All evil aliens appear as annoyances instead of by true rank.
4. Good aliens' rank is unrelated to true experience.
5. Cloak is 100% reliable (vs. what the docs say).
6. Permanent p-missile -- if you quit the game while a p-missile is
in effect, the q-cannon will sometimes fail until another
p-missile fired. (?unverified).
7. holds bug (stealing 365, losing -32 holds)
8. p-missiles are not affected by planetary shielding system (vs. the
information in the docs and the menu screens).
9. player kicked out of the game when blown up destroying a
planet (as if ship was destroyed; actually in *** Escape Pod ***).
10. player kicked out interrupting sector display invading Ferrengal
11. TEDIT frequently hangs when accessed directly after TW in local
mode (locking up computer).
12. game flakes out after players have more than 10-12 billion credits
13. kill-kill cycle for experience and credits
14. repetitive colonist dump
15. cost for changing name follows no reasonable pattern -- always
resets to 100 credits when player exits game
16. Repeated insults after unreasonable price -- you keep getting
"Make a real offer" stuff even when you get back to negotiating
17. Port quantities change when thrown out of port (violation of law
of conservation of matter . . . ). Evil player can use this bug
magically to "create" commodities that otherwise aren't available
(excellent for moving planets out of contested areas).
18. Allowed to steal from port under construction (bug?).
19. 5 point stealing cycle
20. Ability to protect yourself from Ferrengi by carrying 0 fighters a
many shields.
21. integer overloads on alignment (when placing large bounties and
killing many fighters), with prices at Class 0 ports and in
hardware emporium. (When carrying millions of credits, Class 0
reports that you can buy a virtually random number of fighters and
shields between 32,000 and -32,000, depending on amount and ship
22. Corporate planet scan must be done twice to get correct
23. Corporate planet scan confuses current planet record about level
of credits: makes the game think that current planet has same
credit level as the last planet on the list.
24. Quasar cannon only consumes half as much ore on atmosphere fire as
it should.
25. No way to interrupt ship catalog -- end up getting 19 ship lists.
26. Ether probe "forgets" current sector and self-destructs without
reaching objective. (Plot course, move, then fire. It'll get
mixed up virtually every time.)
27. Ether probe that cannot find target clears avoids without
prompting the user.
28. Downloading CIM information before plotting a course and doing a
port report causes game to crash.
29. "planet-busting" for experience
30. can't interrupt failed course plot (e.g., with {Esc} key); takes
up to 1.5 minutes on some systems.
31. BIGBANG forces sysop to reinsert code (bug?)
32. BIGBANG doesn't always reset aliens list, Ferrengi, or tavern
33. Getting murdered in the underground resets experience, alignment;
doesn't disturb assets. (bug?)
34. Federation-posted bounty in the log is extremely inaccurate (small
percentage of final bounty).
35. Sysop cannot cloak ships using TEDIT. (May not be a bug, but it's
*VERY* annoying.
36. Space bar aborts *display* of planet scanner, but doesn't abort
the scan. Scanners turn out to be an enormous nuisance.
37. Player penalized for not attacking an enemy when he/she is
carrying zero fighters (and cannot attack).
38. Possible to steal from port that hasn't been finished yet. This
may not be a bug, but combined with the fact that upgrading a
port under construction directly increases *quantities available
to steal* from the port, it makes the game silly sometimes.
39. Docs bug. For some strange reason, the help files suggest that it
is possible to create more than one port in a single sector.
Unless we're all missing something important, that's not so.
40. Last six characters of personal messages and corporate memos are
truncated. Quite confusing for new players.
41. Every time a player who has the rank Fleet Admiral (but who does
not have 32,000 experience) does something to earn experience
he/she gets "promoted" to Fleet Admiral again.
42. "Scan sector" from citadel rarely works, even when enemy forces
are deployed in the sector.
43. When a player is destroyed by a corbomite reaction when destroying
another ship, the name of the player/alien/Ferrengi piloting the
other ship is lost and replaced by the name of a Nebula or other
random item.
44. When a player carrying colonists is accosted by Ferrengi, his/her
amount of holds is decremented, but his/her number of holds of
colonists stays the same. (Ends up with more holdsful of items
than holds.)
45. (May be bug and may not be.) When a player tries to warp to a
distant site that is avoided (accessing the course-plotting
system), a warning system repeatedly interferes with the warp. On
the other hand, the avoids system will *NOT* warn a player about a
warp into an adjacent avoided sector. (This feature is hardest on
novice players.)
46. Mail and log items frequently scroll off a 24-line display,
despite built-in pause feature. Best guess: the counter function
miscounts three-line items as two-line items.
47. When a CEO is deleted for non-play, the corporation continues to
exist. All players can desert the corporation, and at least for a
time, the corporation continues to exist *with no members*.
48. Player can frustrate traces by the Grimy Trader by naming his/her
ship "The Merchant Marines." (bug? certainly *useful*...)
49. Player can acquire list of unexplored ports by changing ship name
to "The Merchant Marines," and doing a Trader Trace on him/herself
(again, lends itself to some *very* handy applications...).
50. Overflow in Tavern prices. When a (silly) sysop sets a very high
date, players are *paid* for asking for the Underground password
and eating and drinking in the Pub.
51. When a player is deleted from a game by the sysop, and is parked
in a citadel at the time of deletion, his/her ship is still
considered available for trade. Furthermore, if the planet is
destroyed, the message "[PLAYER NAME] GOT BLOWN UP TOO!" appears
in the log.
52. Players can neutralize the StarDock as a trading point (one solid
attack with 4,000 fighters in a BattleShip will do it), and it can
be upgraded. This element is primarily important because of the
steal-sell cycle, which evidently won't be an issue in the next
version anyway...

- by Mike Magero:

The Magic Moth Bug: ** Requires Hostile Fighters in the Sector **

1. Get a corp flag with 1500 shields and 20,000 fighters. The ship type
is unimportant but a ship with a large fighter/shield capacity will
work better.
2. Take your ship and move to the sector where the enemy planets are.
3. Enter the sector. The Q-cannons will fire. Each planet will shoot
XXXX damage points. You may have lost all of your shields. You can't
get shields back. You still have all or most of your fighters.
4. You will be given the attack, "(A,I,R)", prompt.
5. Choose the attack option, and attack with 0 fighters. You will have
killed 0 enemy fighters, but the Q-cannons will fire again.
6. You will be given the attack, "(A,I,R)", prompt.
7. Choose the Info option. Make a note of how many fighters the info
list says you have. (*NOTE* It will be different than the number the
attack prompt says you have.)
8. Do NOT let the number of fighters on the info list fall down too far,
If you do you will get blown up! The number of fighters on the info
screen should be high enough to let you get blasted again, if the info
screen does NOT show you have enough fighters to take another blast go
to step 10.
9. Ok it is time to get the Q-cannons to shoot again. Go up to step
Nnumber 5 and repeat untill you are almost out of fighters or the
Q-cannons stop shooting whichever comes first. When that happens
go to step 10.
10. You will be given the attack, "(A,I,R)", prompt.
11. Choose the attack option and attack with 1 fighter. (You can't get
this one back, so only use 1 fighter.)
12. Choose the Info option. Make a note of how many fighters the info
list says you have. (It may or may not be different than the number
the attack prompt says you have.)
13. You will have regained some (usually all) of your fighters now, except
those used up when you first entered the sector and took fire. If the
number in the info list does not match the attack prompt then go to
step 10 and repeat until the fighter counts match.

* Notes*
1. You should make sure that your ship can withstand at least two blasts
right in a row. (The first one when you come in the sector and the one
that hits when you attack the first time.)
2. Go in as strong as possible so you can milk the cannons dry before
getting your fighters back. This is not imperative but it helps ALOT.
3. Do not kill the fighters in the sector when you first come into the
sector! They are what enable you to use this bug! Hostile fighters
can be generated by leaving corp fighters and then quiting the corp.
(Assumeing you're not the CEO this method of making hostile fighters
is acceptable, if you're the CEO think twice before you quit the corp)

Final Note: You will lose and not be able to get back whatever is lost
on the first entrance into the sector. So if you have 1000 shields and
5000 fighters and it hits you for 1200 damage you will only be able
to get back up to 4800 fighters. There is no way to avoid this. Also
you will lose all shields regardless of when they were lost.

- by Janos Szamosfalvi

MAKE.MONEY.FAST (TW) = Port rejuvenation and conditioning v1.0

(I know that 2.0 beta is already out so this is a bit late)

Some of you may have noticed that trading becomes exceedingly
difficult and earnings will drop in games where the CMH bug is
widely used. Port rejuvenation is a revolutionary new method
(as far as I know) that provides a steady income for CMH users
in v1.03d while completely evading detection by TWUNBUG if used

Imagine having a port that buys 25,000 Eqp over and over again,
say, 20 times in a 100 turns game. <GRIN> No need to worry
about raped ports, ferrengi, mines, hostile fighters or Quasar
Canons, and the only time you have to leave your home sector is
when you go to buy fighters or invade your opponents' planets.

a) v1.03d or earlier TW
b) corporation with at least 2 members
c) one evil member with enough experience to steal 1 unit of Eqp.
d) ship exchange allowed
e) planet with a citadel
f) port that buys equipment, preferably far away from busy areas
g) unlocked ships
h) no AEDIT anti-CMH fix in force

Making money actually consists of three + one phases:
a) creating Eqp using by using (CEYLAD)+
b) upgrading the port (optional)
c) selling the Eqp
d) rejuvenating the port

If the prerequisites are satisfied, the very first step is to
upgrade the port as much as possible, but not over 32,760 units
of Eqp.
when you upgrade 1 unit, the port will get upgraded by 10
unit of Egp, ie: if at 100% the port buys 3000 Eqp, after
upgrading with 300 units, at 100% it will buy 6000 Eqp.
Rejuvenation becomes trickier with highly upgraded ports,
so I recommend 25,000 as the upper limit of upgrade.

Assume, you upgraded a 3000 port with 300 units and now the port
buys 3000 at 50%. (And 6000 at 100%; 6000 = MAX_Eqp) Now, create
3000 Egp using (CEYLAD)+ and sell it. Note, you *DON'T* have to
lock your holds, just get in the Eqp and sell it.

Now comes the real trick, the "rejuvenation."

Continue to create Eqp and load it, (you can also load Ore and
Org), and when you have an appropriate number of holds loaded in,
steal 1 unit of Eqp. If you're successful, you'll see that the
port now buys some negative (!!) amount of Eqp. If you had Ore
and Org on your ship, you'll see that they didn't changw, but now
you have negative amount of Eqp onboard. Land on the planet,
unload the Ore and Org there, leave the planet and jettison the
rest. (rest = negative Eqp). If you only had Eqp on board, it
will be set to the # of your real cargo holds, so no jettisoning
is necessary then.

Type C R,
If you see negative amount of Eqp on dock, REPEAT REJUVENATION:

If you see that the port buys (MAX_Eqp - 1) unit of Eqp
(5999 in our example) you're done, the port has been
successfully rejuvenated.

Now you can upgrade the port even further, if needed.
Then create the appropriate amount of Eqp using (CEYLAD)+, sell
it, then start to "rejuvenate" the port anew.

This procedure, especially the repeated CEYLAD sequence is _very_
time consuming even at 14.4kbps; however, it's superior to all
money making methods I know of in 1.03D.

1) upgrading the port too far -- if you upgrade the port over
32760 (real) units, funny things will happen and further usage
of the port may be very difficult, or impossible.

2) no equipment to steal -- if the amount on dock is in the
range of [-32768..-32768 + MAX_Eqp] you won't be able to
steal 1 unit of Eqp. Depending on the amount currently on
dock, it may take weeks until the port becomes useable again.
To avoid this, rejuvenation should be done in two steps:
First, you load your ship with less than (32768 - MAX_Eqp)
holds of combined Ore + Org + Eqp, and steal 1 unit of Eqp.
(this step can be freely subdivided into smaller ones)
Last, you load your ship with more than 32767 + ACTUAL_Eqp
on dock and steal 1 unit of Eqp. This step is very crucial
and can *NOT* be subdivided, so if you upgraded your planet
to 30,000 Eqp, you must have more than 30,000 holds of
combined Ore + Org + Eqp on your ship when you steal 1 Eqp
in the last step, otherwise you'll get stuck.

There are 3 possible port states I know of for importing ports:

a) real: buys positive amount in the range of 0..MAX_Eqp
and have some positive amount, MAX_Eqp..0 on dock

b) virtual: buys negative amount, -1..-32768 + MAX_Eqp
and have some positive amount on dock

c) reverse: buys negative amount, -32768..-32767 + Max_Eqp
and have some negative amount on dock

Probably there exists a 4th state when the port is buying
a positive amount and have some negative amount on dock, but
I have yet to encounter that state.

It's possible to steal from the port only when the port is in either
the real or in the virtual state. Reverse state is bad, very bad.

3) getting caught when stealing the 1 Eqp -- this can really
[stink] if you had, say, 10000 Ore + some Org + some Eqp
on board. (no fuel Ore for the QC) For this reason,
it's preferable to load only Eqp which can be regenerated

4) TWUNBUG, Overseer, Sysop, other players, etc. -- you can
avoid TWUNBUG if you jettison everyting from both ships
before quitting the game; Sysop -- if the local display is ON,
well, you figger it out.  :-) If you deploy 30k of fighters
in your sector, probably others won't be very eager to destroy
them to get the port report. Also, it's preferable to stop
moneymeaking after you sold your load of Eqp, so even if they
get a port report, things will look more or less normal.

-- controlled integer overflow
CMH users should know that during (CEYLAD)+ one ship will
accumulate negative amount of Eqp which is good for everything
except loading Eqp. But if you continue (CEYLAD)+ing, at one
point these holds TURN POSITIVE!! (Don't we all *LOVE* the 16
bit integer overflow?  :-) You can manipulate this switch
with the amount of holds on the other ship, and if you do this
in an appropriate way, you can easily create over 32760 holds
of Eqp on your ship before you sell them. So, you can sell
some part of, and then you can steal 1 Eqp with the remaining
Eqp on board without landing and (CEYLAD)+ing first. This can
save lots of time.
-- faster rejuvenation/equipment creation
this procedure can be speed up a little by using more ships,
(3rd teammate) but IMHO it's not worth the trouble unless
someone is a math genius, or using a non-existent term program
that does the necessary calculations on the fly.
-- I want to mention that you need to start out really Evil because when
you upgrade a port to buy 25000 EQ, your align goes up about +320.

Port rejuvenation is a difficult to use method (unlike planet
cloning) and even I botched a few ports (all but one in my
local game, though) before I perfected this method.
Capability of adding/subtracting 5 digit numbers in head, or
having a local game for practice helps a *LOT* to use this
novel way of money making properly in a real game.
Beware of pitfall #2. (reverse state port)

- by John Warfin and Mike Magero
(Retreat bug)

The retreat bug enables one to "skip over," with minimal damage, any
sectors with defenses on the way to attack a target sector (one with a
planet). Normally, one retreats to the last sector visited (even if that
sector is all the way across the universe -- as in the case of a twarp).
However, if you are surrounded on all sides by hostile ftrs and have one
such in the sector you are in, the game becomes confused and retreats you
toward the end of the nearest dead end tunnel.

If you are CEO, you prob shouldn't use this without first converting
all corp assets to personal (yours or a teammates), as when the CEO quits a
corp, that corp is dissolved and all assets are lost.

To use this technique, form a corp (if you aren't already a member of
one). Assuming you are in the (open) sector at the end of a defended dead
end tunnel, drop corp Toll ftrs in each sector immediately adjacent to you,
returning to the empty sector at the head of the tunnel. Now drop another
corp Toll ftr, quit the corp and quit the game. Return immediately and you
will be presented with the option to attack, pay or retreat. Select retreat
and you will be in the first sector of the tunnel. Any mines there will not
go off since you will be "in" the sector. Quit the game and return and you
will be again offered the attack or retreat option. Retreat and you'll be
in the NEXT sector of the tunnel. Continue this way until you've reached
the the sector with the planet.

Remember, you must leave the game and return in order to be presented
with the option to retreat. (If you keep leaving, entering and retreating,
once you've reached the end of the tunnel, you'll ping-pong between the two
sectors at the end.)

This assumes that all the hostile ftrs have been set to defensive (as
most will be). A sector in the middle with max ftrs set to offensive could
ruin your day! The (original) corp ftrs were set to Toll simply because in
testing, Toll ftrs were used and since it worked, Toll ftrs were used alw-
ays. Defensive ftrs would prob work as well, but offensive ftrs -- since
they will attack straight off and do not give the option to retreat -- will
not work for the initial setup.

Natch, use of this technique is improved any amount when a twarp cap-
able ship is used: when the next to last sector is reached, stop and attack
those ftrs, deploy a twarp ftr of your own, resupply and use the magic moth
bug on the last sector.

Since retreating deducts no moves, it is prob possible (if extremely
tedious) to use this technique to move vast distances in the game without
taking any moves.

There are no known unbugging pgms that affect either the magic moth or
the retreat bugs.

[ The planet cloning bug (v1.03 only) ]

- by Joel Downer:

2002 version 1.03 (and before) has a problem with corporate or personal
planet scans run from citadels. Running a scan from a citadel makes the
game think you're on the *last planet listed on the scan*, rather than
the planet you're actually on. Usually, this confusion is temporary.
However, if you upgrade the citadel of the planet you're on immediately
after you do the scan, you can make the confusion permanent, "cloning"
the last planet on the list and everything on it (including, most
important, the fighters and treasury). By "reconfusing" the planet and


To use this bug, you need two planets with citadels, at least one
*below* level 5 (as a level 5 citadel may not be upgraded). The bug
works best when the two planets are in the same sector so that you can
move money back and forth without spending any turns. Both planets
*must* have a citadel or upgrading *from* a citadel won't be possible.

Tip: Say you have five corporate planets. Two, in sector 50, have
level 2 citadels. One, in sector 283, has a level 4 citadel. Two, in
sector 847, have level 5 citadels. If you do a corporate planet scan
from a citadel, the game will think you're on a level 5 planet and won't
let you upgrade. The solution is to go to sector 50, claim the two
planets *personal*, and do the cloning bug there with the *personal*
planet scan. The other planets won't appear on the personal scan, so
you can do the whole thing from the same sector.

The planet that appears last on the list (either your personal or
corporate planet scan) needs to be ready for upgrade -- it must have all
the colonists and materials necessary. Let's say for future discussion
that you have *personal* planets with two level 2 citadels in the same
sector. (This strategy will work just as well with corporate
planets, we're just trying to keep things simple.) The second one on
the list has all the goods needed to go to level 3. The first planet
that appears on the list is stripped bare.

Put all your fighters on the second planet's surface, put all your money
in the second planet's treasury, and put all your shields in the shield
bank (you can do this even if the planet isn't level 5 yet). Blast off
the planet and land on the first planet. Go into the citadel, access
the computer menu, and do a personal planet scan. When you quit the
computer menu, the game will tell you that you have money on the planet
-- the exact amount you put on the second planet!

Don't get greedy and try to remove money from the treasury right away,
or it will disappear. Instead, start the *upgrade* on the planet.
Doing so starts it on its way to level 3, but it also permanently
changes the planet so that it's identical to the other planet. (The
only things that aren't "cloned" are planet number and location, if the
planets happen to be in different sectors.)

Now comes the fun part. Take all the money out of the treasury, take
the shields from the shield bank, and pick up your fighters from the
planet. Leave the planet, drop everything off on the *second* planet,
and DO THE WHOLE PROCESS AGAIN! Because you're making the first planet
on the list *think* that it's the same as the second planet (which
hasn't been upgraded), you can "start an upgrade" on the first planet as
many times as you like in a single day. If you move everything you've
got to the second planet before each upgrade, your money, fighters, and
shields grow at a geometric rate (100,000, 200,000, 400,000, 800,000,
1,600,000, 3,200,000, 6,400,000, 12,800,000, and so on...).


Be forewarned that having more than a couple billion credits on your
ship, or more than about ten billion credits on a planet, will make the
game extremely unstable. The game may even crash and prevent you from
landing on your planets. If you're going to use this bug, use it to
make a couple billion credits at a time; spend them, and *then* create
more as needed.

Other than that, this bug has precious few limitations. Using a macro,
you can go from 100 credits to about 10 billion (the most you can safely
make without risking a complete game crash) in about five minutes. You
can also use this bug to "instant-upgrade" planets from level I to level
IV, so it could be a way to create a large armadda of TransWarpable
planets; but the money is by far the most important issue. If you have
a billion credits when no one else does, you should be able to dominate
the game completely in a matter of a day or two.


If you're a sysop who wants a successful game, or a player who wants
serious competition, you will definitely want to fix this bug. Luckily,
a fix is very easy to come by. 2002103D.ZIP is an authorized update to
2002 that completely (as far as I have been able to determine) fixes the
planet cloning bug. (I have heard rumors that there is a way to clone
in 1.03d, but I have heard no confirmation or evidence, so I currently
regard those rumors as false.)

1.03d is a "drop-in" replacement that doesn't require a game reset and
adds DESQview timeslicing support to the game. It is incompatible with
older utilities that modify the .EXE's and .OVR's of the game, but
newer, 1.03d-compatible versions of these utilities are now available.

[ On the use of bugs ]

There is a "religious war" which has sprung up regarding the use of
the various bugs in TradeWars 2002. Some people call bug use "cheating,"
but think nothing of zinging about in the universe with one ftr and max
shields or running sell/steal or using any of a dozen or more other ack-
nowledged bugs. Others quote Ender Wiggins, saying, "Use what they give

Be this as it may, it is surely not improper to make reference to
these things in order that forewarned may be forearmed, at the very least.
Many otherwise inexplicable happenings can be shown to not be cases involv-
ing sysop intervention with TEDIT or AEDIT (which is true cheating), but
instead merely someone taking advantage of yet another relatively unknown
bug. Also, since about the only (semi) valid charge regarding these things
is that, by and large, they are undocumented, documenting them will, at
least in my eyes, remove this last impediment to their use.

Another justification for inclusion of this section is that TradeWars
v1.03d is such a bug laden game to start with. Some are benign and scarce-
ly noticed, others are fairly hard to deal with and others can be exploit-
ed to give the user a distinct advantage. It is hard to even discuss the
game without talking about bugs.

It should be noted that, according to popular wisdom, the ultimate
pur sang v1.03d game uses the four code patches in AEDIT (to stop the
various shield, ftr, holds overloading and CMH bugs) and three of the
checks in TWUNBUG (to stop the player #2, heir to the throne and cloaked
trader exchange bugs). AEDIT/AEXTERN also has a patch that prevents use of
the shielded planet bug by allowing the sysop to arbitrarily set the limit
of shields allowed in a planetary shield generator. Quite often the only
knowledge that there is a limit comes when the planet you thought was inv-
ulnerable is invaded, or the amt of shields you put in yesterday is not
what is there today. This "fix" is NOT recommended.

NONE of the shield, ftr, or hold overloading and CMH (CEYLAD) bugs
described here are possible in a game which uses the AEDIT code patches,
and are fairly difficult to do in game with TWUNBUG running. AEDIT prev-
ents the machinations that allow these bugs to be used -- TWUNBUG actively
penalises you if you use them. (TWUNBUG is recommended for its passive bug
preventing facility only.)

- What is the "heir to the throne" bug?

This one is not "doable" by a player, it happens to you (if the prop-
er fixes are not in place). What happens is, when a player is deleted from
the game, the next person to enter will "inherit" the old player's user
number. The bug is that the game does not properly clear the asset owner-
ship when it deletes a trader. Thus a new player to an established game may
well find that he has become heir to the previous player's assets (if any):
planets, mines, deployed ftrs.

The same thing can happen if a corp is disbanded with assets still
declared as corp -- the next corp to be formed will inherit the assets of
the corp that was just disbanded.

- What is the "player #2" bug?

This one can be annoying. Like the "heir to the throne," it cannot be
done -- it's something that is done to the first player in the game. The
first player in the game occupies spot #2. For some reason, the player
occupying this spot is subject to random drop outs of the data stored for
him: for instance, he may see the number of sectors he has explored drop
suddenly (they always seem to drop OUT, never IN). This phenomenon is refl-
ected in the affected players CIM report -- he may really "know about" a
pair of adjacent ports, say, but the game "forgets."

- What is the "cloaked trader exchange" bug?

It allows any trader to exchange with another trader when the first
trader is in the seconds' citadel and that trader is cloaked somewhere. The
prerequisites are that the target trader must have remained overnight in
the citadel at least once before. It apparantly makes no difference who the
first trader is; he can be an invader or a fellow corp member. What happens
is, when you're in a citadel, you exchange ships even though no other ships
are present. If everything is right, you'll find you are in "his" ship and
he will find himself cloaked in "your" ship when he comes back. The ships
themselves are exchanged, exactly as they would be if a legitimate exchange
had taken place.

If you are an invader, you could CEYLAD for a while, then strip his
ship down to bare metal and give it back to him. Better still, attack a
port with it and give him back an <esc> pod! <grin>

- What do the AEDIT patches do?

"Fighter/shield overload bug fix." This bug lets users get more fight-
ers and shields than their ships are supposed to carry by giving away
negative numbers of fighters and shields, to a corp member or to the shield
generator on a planet. This option will eliminate the bug by making the
negative sign meaningless to Trade Wars. Since no negative numbers are
needed except for this bug, this will have no other effects on the game

"Free extra holds bug fix." This bug allows evil players to get free
holds (even past the legal ship limits) by attempting to steal certain
3-digit numbers of products, getting busted, and getting fined a negative
number of holds. This fix limits the number of holds of product that can be
stolen to two digits, or 99. This may upset some evil players, but they can
still steal as many holds of product as they have empty holds by pressing
Enter at the prompt. As long as you don't design any ships with over, say,
300 holds (which is ludicrous) this should not trigger the bug.

"Colonist megaholds." This bug allows evil players to get imaginary
"mega" holds by loading up with colonists and getting busted, since the
colonists are not confiscated like other goods. This option changes the
code so that colonists are confiscated, and so the bug will not work.

"Corporate megaholds." This bug allows players to get large numbers of
imaginary "mega" holds using a fancy trick that involves swapping ships in
a planetary citadel and loading your holds with the <A> command for "take
all." This works because the <A> command does not go through the proper
ship-checking procedures. This bug fix simply eliminates the <A> command,
though unless you remove it from the MENUFILE.TXT file it will still appear
on the menu.

- Originally by David White:

To get and KEEP the hold bug of 32 additional holds;

1) Get busted robbing 365 holds of equ. to lose -32 holds, leaving the
ISS with 182 holds.
2) Go to Earth and get a load of 182 colonists. Your inventory should
show 150 total holds - 182 colonists. (The bug we'll be taking
advantage of is, if you were to port NOW, you wouldn't technically
lose any holds; instead, you'd be ask if you want to buy -32 of
whatever product was being sold.)
3) Before taking your colonists to your planet, stop at a sector with a
port that sells a product you DON'T PLAN ON USING ANYTIME SOON (I
usually choose Org., since I'll want Equ. for steal/selling, and Ore
for T-warping).
4) Port, choose S)teal product, and choose the product you don't plan on
using. (I'll use Org. in my examples). It'll ask "How many holds to
want to swipe [-32]?" Just steal 1 unit of Org. You'll get the usual
"Success!" message, though the Org. won't show up on your inventory.
5) Continue to your planet and drop the colonists off.

At this point, you can safely port and deal with Ore and Equ. using 182
holds. The one unit of Org. you stole earlier will keep your extra 32
holds from being lost. Especially useful, you can now steal/sell 182
holds of Equ. or Ore. (You can also continue to steal credits from
ports, transport colonists, etc. without losing the 32 holds.)

However, do NOT try to buy or steal Org. (or pick it up off your
planet) or you'll drop back to 150 holds. (Always answer 0 when it
asks "How many holds of Organics do you want to buy? [-32]?") I don't
know why, except TW thinks you have -32 holds of Org after you
stole 1 unit, and that will be ruined if you try to get more Org.
If you really want to be dealing in Org, choose another product for
step #4.

Also, do NOT try jettisoning anything. This seems to also clear out the
-32 holds of Org., leaving you with 150 empty holds.

Unfortunately, you can't rob 365 equ. and get an ADDITIONAL 32 holds. :)

- Originally by Joel Downer:

The bug that makes this trick possible is *not* the infamous holds bug,
which allows you to gain rather than lose cargo holds when you try to
steal 365 units of equipment. You can use the holds bug to load your
ship with max + 32 holds, but if you want any more, you'll actually have
to *buy* them.


To load a ship with extra holds, you must be evil. You may choose any
ship, but the best choices are the Imperial StarShip (because of
TransWarp drive and combat capabilities), the Corporate FlagShip
(because of TransWarp drive), and the Scout Marauder (because of turn
rate and combat odds). If you're using a FlagShip or Scout Marauder,
you can get a lot done with relatively little money. If you're using a
StarShip, or if you want to load *any* ship with more than 250 holds,
you'll need a great deal of money.

The best way to start is to get your ship to max + 32 using the holds
bug: let's say you're now in a FlagShip, and you now have 117 holds.
Go to Terra, and pick up a full load of 117 colonists. Now, find the
nearest port that *sells* equipment. Try to steal 364 (*yes, THREE
HUNDRED SIXTY-*FOUR*) holds of equipment. You will lose 32 cargo holds,
but, due to a bug in the game, you will still be carrying 117 colonists.
Next, find a port that sells organics (you don't want to use fuel ore,
because using fuel ore will make your ship incapable of TransWarp; you
might choose differently if you're overloading a Scout). Steal one hold
of organics (what you're actually getting is -64 holds of organics, but
don't worry about this). When you're done, you will have 53 cargo holds,
and 117 holds full of colonists, with zero empty holds. Now you can go to
Sol and buy 32 more cargo holds: doing so will leave you with 85 cargo
holds, 117 holds full of organics, and 32 *empty* holds, for a total of
149 cargo holds.

You can pick up more colonists and repeat as often as necessary. I'm
not aware of any limit on the number of cargo holds, but two warnings:
(a) the price of holds increases geometrically as you buy more and more
-- buying a thousand holds would cost millions upon millions of credits,
and (b) you need to think carefully about how many holds you can effect-
ively *use*.

The caveats about this trick are the same as for loading your ship
with max + 32: if you surrender to a Ferrengi, get busted, get blown
up, or try to buy or sell the commodity you used to "cement" your extra
holds (usually organics, sometimes fuel ore), you'll lose them. Obviously,
if you're using a heavily overloaded ship for the steal-sell cycle, you're
going to lose a great deal of money each time you get busted, because
you're going to have to repeat all the busts and repurchase all of those
holds. However, (a) with the right combinations, the risk can be *very*
worthwhile, and (b) I can think offhand of many other interesting uses for
this bug.

- by Jim Pittman:

DG> What is the CT megahold loop?

To do a proper megahold loop, a la Nightstalker, you run the <R>obbing
spree option on the TWVIEW OFFLINE to set up a closed loop of 8 ports
starting at Stardock. Then purchase a CT plus 18 holds. Hit each of the
8 ports stealing 365 eq or 660 org, getting busted for -32 holds each
time. You will then have 282 holds on your CT and can get around 750k
for it when you trade it in at Stardock. Have a teammate run a loop
before you log on again and you can do it each day.

I like to start my day in a Starmaster (or a Scout) for the turns, do
some trading, waste some aliens to rebuild exp and -align (you lose it
when you are busted so much), then when I'm down to CT turns, run my
loop. You can usually run two different loops per day with CT turns,
see how many after you have set up your loops with OFFLINE. That gives
a two man corp almost 4 million a day, depending on what they do with
the Starmaster. Then, when you sell your CT the second time (or third
if you have the turns) be sure to buy a high turns ship to start the day
tomorrow. And don't forget the cloak.

-- by Leonard Adolph:

JV> Hey, I'm new to this echo, and missed the post on the -32 holds bug...
JV> Could you explain this one to me? Thanks.

If you are able to steal (-100 alignment or lower) you can attempt to
steal 365 holds of equipment or 660 holds of organics (the amounts are a
little variable but those are the numbers I first learned and still use)
at a port that has at least that much available (usually selling the
stuff). If your experience is not so high that you could actually get
away with those amounts you will be busted, fined -32 holds and
penalized +32 alignment.

Now the good stuff. Find 7-8 ports where you can do this quickly and do
it in a brand new Colonial Transport. With 8 ports hit this way you will
end up with 32 holds more than the ship can normally hold. If you port
your holds will fall back to the maximum the ship can carry. However, if
you trade in such a ship in the Shipyards you will be paid over 700,000
credits for it. To run a complete route you will need to have your
alignment down to at least -324 before you start. You will be penalized
+32 alignment at each of the first 7 ports leaving you with the -100
needed to hit port number 8.

-- by Jim Bianchi:

One thing not mentioned above (or anywhere, for that matter) is that
it IS possible to steal product from class 0 ports. Typically there will
be only 1 or 3 holds of each product on the docks but hey, you only need
one hold to "lock in" your new holds. Next time you're evil and pull up to
a class 0 port (ANY class 0 port), hit "P." You won't be offered <R>ob as
an option, but if you hit "R" anyway, you'll be offered the familiar "rob/
steal" menu. Knowing this can make holds bugging really convenient at, say,
Terra, where you have a source of colonists (and a place to put them when
you're done with them) and a port from which you can get both the single
hold of product needed to cement in the new holds and the new holds them-

Now if I can figger a way to steal ftrs or shields..

- by John Fleming:

Here are some docs on the Corporate Mega Holds bug that I keep on file.

The Corporate Megaholds Bug

The commands from the planet meny are: CRYY...then...ACEYLD...CEYLAD
...CEYLAD...CEYLAD...etc. Some sort of citadel is required, and you'll need
another corporate member in the citadel with a ship with trade capability
that's unlocked. The initial CRYY is to leave the game with your ship un-
locked, else once you've exchanged, YOUR ship likely will be locked. After
you've done this, leave the planet and steal one hold of fuel or organics
and the holds are locked in. Don't trade any of the commodity that you use
to lock the holds in with. If you jettison cargo or surrender to a Ferrengi
the holds will disappear. I'd suggest carrying zero fighters if possible
but have carried up to 5 fighters on my Scout. Flee from the Ferrengi until
you're ready to lose the holds. You will sustain minimal damage from them.
They will block your path, however you can get around them. I have had up
to 3500 holds, but probably 32267 is possible. The amount of holds you get
is dependent on the amount of equipment you have on the planet. The bug
generates some equipment and organics can be used as well, if you're wil-
ling to lock in with fuel. You cannot sell the holds but can use them for
colonizing planets and trading.

I'd suggest starting with trading pairs that trade equipment and fuel
only trading as much as you can. Then switching hold configuration and
trading equipment and organic pairs more lightly, trading 280 to 500 holds
per trade. This will give trading pairs a chance to regenerate product
within a few days. Then Steal credits at the ports where you've traded. If
you get busted you'll lose your holds but you can CM again. Of course with
experience points you could drastically increase profits during steal sell
loops. With 5000 experience a popular formula (TWHELP Brandon Bannerman)
would allow for theft of 250 holds per turn. Also, you could sell several
thousand in one turn. The legitimate max of 85 holds per 2 turns(about 1000
per 9 turns) is increased to 2000 holds in 9 turns by stealing 250x8 holds
and selling 2000. This doubles your profits without extra turns however,
more turns are available than those allowed a Corp. Flag.

The bug is very useful for colonizing and upgrading planets. With 2450
holds you could populate two planets with 2 million colonists each and have
room for enough organics and equipment for upgrade in two trips. Of course,
Fuel is required too, which would require changing configuration or waiting

Havoc Gunstars are the ship of choice for many of the CMH users. They
have Transwarp capability with a fair turn rate. Many ships can be used,
all except the Corporate Flag or ISS. I use TWVIEW94 to identify my intend-
ed trades for a session. I'll identify about ten pairs for a trading run in
a Scout with 200 turns (100 base turn rate). So far I have not explored all
possibilitys of the CMH. This should be enough to get you started or at
least explain why those guys in the Havoc Gunstars are so rich.


Trader Name  : Enemy of the People Deadeye [Male organ]
Rank and Exp  : 7350 points, Alignment=-5306 Demonic
Times Blown Up : 1
Corp # 3, Ghost Shirt Society
Ship Name  : no really,
Ship Info  : Sverdlov BattleShip Ported=17 Kills=19
Date Built  : 04:04:02 AM Sat Feb 09, 2005
Current Sector : 635
Turns left  : 67
Total Holds  : 55 - Empty=5001
Fighters  : 7007
Shield points  : 542
Corbomite Level: 22
Cloaking Device: 2 Ether Probes  : 19
Mine Disruptors: 10
LongRange Scan : Holographic Scanner
Credits  : 81,353

Command [TL=00:52:06] (?=Help)?

This how your ship will look. Also, saw another combo of commands that I
haven't tried: ACEYLACEYLD...CEYLAD...CEYLAD...that may generate more
Equipment. You can make 1-2 million easy.

- by Ed Kammerer
(the recipe for Good Traders to 'lock in' their CMH holds)

Assuming a Trader already knows how to set up to do CMH, and is doing
CEYLAD, CEYLAD, ..., then one ship gains negative holds of EQ and one
ship gains positive holds of EQ. Usually the Trader takes all the
plus EQ and sells it from port to port.

The *minus* holds of EQ can't be sold. But THAT ship has a *positive*
number of EMPTY holds. (The ship gaining plus holds of EQ is gaining
the equal *negative* number of EMPTY holds. Call it ship 1.)

So ship 2 has minus EQ and plus EMPTY holds. If you CEYLAD enough
the minus EQ rolls over to a positive number, at the same time the
positive EMPTY holds rolls over to a minus number. The trick (bug)
is to break the mirror image of -EQ holds equalling +EMPTY holds.

Do this by using CEYLD, CEYLA, CEYLD, CEYLA, ..., (instead of CEYLAD)
such that each CEYLA you 'take <A>ll' with ship 2. The minus EQ holds
add up, by the same amount each time because ship 1 doesn't change --
ship 1 only gets used for the CEYL<D>isplay part. I usually CEYLAD
until ship 2 takes about -5000 EQ, then I change to CEYLD / CEYLA
so that ship 1 doesn't change and ship 2 takes -5000 EQ and gets
5000 EMPTY holds each time.

When EQ gets within 5000 away from 32767 (which is the rollover pt.)
STOP. Fill some EMPTY holds *first*, before doing the CEYLD CEYLA
one last time that rolls over the minus EQ to plus EQ. The plus EMPTY
holds DO NOT rollover, if you filled enough of them. For example,
I might run up to -29000 EQ and 29000 EMPTY holds, go to Terra and
pick up 4000 colonists (leaving 25000 EMPTY holds), then go back to
my citadel and add one more increment of -5000 EQ (and 5000 EMPTY's.)
Viola: 31534 EQ and 30000 EMPTY holds.

This way, when going port to port to sell the EQ, use the EMPTY holds
to buy ORG or FUEL, or shuttle colonists. A port might sell 2500 ORG
for 15,000 credits and another may buy them for 215,000. Maybe this
isn't as much profit as selling EQ that you get for free, but as long
as you're going to spend a turn to dock to sell EQ then any other
transactions you can piggy-back on the deal would surely help.

CAUTION: Don't get more than 32767 of any one item. You may want
to buy lots of FUEL for your Q-can -- don't buy more than the 32767
you can carry. Also, you have to buy or pick up SOMEthing, because
if you only sell, sell, sell you'll go over 32767 EMPTY holds.

- by Nathan Clark:

A variant of the PC bug, one which works in v1.03d, will allow you to
restock fuel on a planet as if by magic.

This bug is like the PC bug, but can be used with 1.03d. Claim a planet
with whatever product you want personal, then land on a planet and enter
<C>itadel <C>omputer <Y>list planets <Q>uit <L>eave <A>ll. If the planet
you listed has 10,000 ore the planet you're on will have 10,000 ore. You
get as much as you want by repeating the process. It works best with the
65xxx CMH's (for obvious reasons) and only works if you say <A>ll right

- by Albin Gersich:

I have recently seen a number of messages asking about the 6666 bug.
Here is the info.

The bug is related to the number of fighters on the attackers ship
when the planetary defense fighter attack routine is entered. If the
ship has 26215 or more fighters on it AND the planetary military
reaction level is anything but 0 then ALL fighters will attack, not
just the percentage the reaction is set for. If the ship has 26214
or less fighters the planetary fighters react as you would expect
with only the set percentage attacking.

The number of shields on the ship has no effect on triggering the bug,
only the number of fighters counts. You can enter the sector and start
the attack with more fighters and loose some when attacking shields or
to quasar cannon blasts, but the number that counts is how many are left
when it gets to the planetary fighter attack routine. This will happen
for all ships and for all citadels of level 2 or higher. Any non-zero
reaction level will have the bug, even 1%. Using a photon will stop the
bug because it forces the military reaction level to 0% during the wave.

Now for the real kicker... The planet will lose ALL its fighters, not
just the number required to destroy the ship. Normally when you set the
reaction level to 100% you will lose enough fighters to destroy the
attacking ship (or all of them if there are not enough) and any left
over will remain on the planet. When this bug takes effect every fighter
on the planet is gone. Even if there are 30,000 fighters on the planet,
which is more than enough at 2:1 offensive odds to take out any of the
standard TW ships with 26215 fighters, they will ALL disappear. Except
for the quasar the planet will be wide open.

I originally ran across this bug after someone told me to set the
planetary military reaction level to 1% because some funny things
happen when it is set to 0%. While doing some testing to understand
citadels I came across this bug when I was testing a level 5 and
thought it was associated with it. I have since determined the fine
details of the bug. Although a limit of 26214 is a strange number for
a bug to appear I think it is interesting that when converted to hex
it is 6666. I wonder if Gary had a devilish influence when he was
writing this part of the code.

But what if there are "unbugging" utilities in use? One of these is
TWUNBUG by Albin Gersich (the author of TWCAPD and TWASSIST). TWUNBUG is
a superb util for trapping such as the "cloaked ship exchange," the "player
#2" and the "heir to the throne" bugs, but the general consensus seems to
be that AEDIT does a much better job of dealing with the various holds and
shield/ftr overloading bugs. Whatever, here's a msg that shows how one ent-
erprising player got around TWUNBUG's holds bug checks.


> TWUNBUG will assess a holds bug usage penalty. This
> could be a warning, getting put into an escape pod,
> or getting an escape pod and locked out of the game
> for up to 5 days. It will let small usage of the holds
> bug go through but not serious usage.

I was playing in a TWUNBUG game where I used the Holds Bug as much as I
could. I would kill myself by the end of the day (stardock underground,
attack Zyrain, attack a port).

The penalty was not applied to someone with a "Ship Destroyed" status. In
this way I could avoid the penalty (kind of like what people try with the
IRS) by pushing it into the future.

I would start each day in a scout and do what I could. I had to keep every-
thing as corp material so fighters would not turn rogue.

My opponents were shocked at how many fighters a "Ship Destroyed" player
could aquire in a bug-proof TWUNBUG game.

[ Mapping the universe ]

The latest innovation in TradeWars seems to be Level Diagram generat-
ion. The excitement over this was initiated by Dan Roseen's report that
Albin Gersich had developed a utility with which he was able to 1) map 99%
of the universe, 2) correctly locate SD, and 3) correctly locate Rylos and
Alpha Centauri, all within 15 mins of logging on to a new game and without
moving from sector 1! Albin is currently refining this utility and it is
s'posedly to be released to (rather impatiently) waiting TradeWars gamers
as an "early christmas present."

- by David Myers:

SH> Ok. I was hoping it would come across on the echo
SH> eventually, but since it hasn't I'll ask. What is a
SH> level diagram? Just something people made up in my
SH> three and a half month absence to confuse me? :)

A level diagram is generated when you plot courses from
a selected sector (called a root) to all other sectors
in the universe and back again. What you end up with are
course plots (that I convert into a .SCT file), a series
of distances from your root, and a list of sectors that are
extreme to your root (i.e., not found on any path to any other

What are the advantages of a level diagram?

1) You don't have to move, and yet you can still map most
of the warps in the game.

2) multiple level diagrams increase warp coverage in the game
approximately as follows:

# LDs  % total warps
1 78-80
2 90-91
3 95-96

3) Since the vast majority of sectors on the extreme lists are
dead-ends, you get a handy list of dead-end candidates, useful
for locating planets. Alternatively, you can use this list to
hunt down your opponent's planets.

4) A level diagram generated at stardock creates a list of extreme
sectors that is the optimal list of eprobe targets to insure
100.0% coverage of the TW universe.

5) A couple LDs give enough information to locate stardock and
class 0 planets.

I've worked out a technique similar to a level diagram that I've
been calling a variable root algorithm. A variable root algorithm
increases the coverage from 80% of all warps to 93% of all warps
and does so in the same amount of time (15 min at 14.4k). So, if
I wanted to find stardock in a modern game, I wouldn't use FINDSGA;
I'd use the variable root algorithm and my program CLASSZER from
the LDTOOLS package.

A little about the history of the level diagram:

Albin Gersich announced a method to map the galaxy
to 99+% completion in 15 minutes at 14.4k, except he
followed the announcement with the comment that he
would be unable to implement such until later
(he used the phrase 'early Christmas present' at one
point). This got a number of us pretty excited,
and Woody introduced an alternative method that he
hoped would obtain about 90% of all warps called a
level diagram (this message is in the text file
MAPPING.TXT, which should be in both LDT105A and
TWFT102A). After talking about the idea *a lot*
I came up with an implementation, followed by
Woody. Pretty soon, Rick Cooney adapted his macro
package TWPLAY to Woody's routines. So the three
ways I know of to generate LDs are:

(1) via TWFT102A, which leaves you with the course
plotter information in a .SCT type format.

(2) INSTMAP.ZIP, by Woody Weaver, consisting of Telix
macros, a conversion program, and some other tools
for those who have no access to Telix and wish to
take a LD.

(3) Rick Cooney's TWPLAY13, which interfaces with

If my conversations with Rick Cooney are correct, the
latter two utilities leave you with a text capture of
CIM reports on courses.

Fred Polli says that the forthcoming Powermacs will
support a kind of LD generation.

I have a series of LD support utilities called LDTOOLS
that deal with course plotter info in .SCT format, but
not as raw captures (Someone does need to provide some
conversion programs for the raw capture people.)

- by Woody Weaver (MAPPING.TXT):

The new TWASSIST feature has piqued my mathematical curiousity. For those
who just want TW tips, space bar now. For developers or those who might be
interested in the algorithms of mapping the universe, keep going.

The problem, of course, is to generate the directed graph that is a trade
wars universe. Currently, the number of nodes in the graph is 1000, the
graph is sparse, with at most six outgoing edges and average between two and
three outgoing edges, and is mostly strongly connected (i.e. a path between
any two nodes in either direction). What we have going for us is an oracle
that will display the shortest path between two nodes. The time it takes to
get a response from the oracle is a function of the actual distance, but
appears to be more than a tenth but less than a second if the path actually

Let's talk undirected graphs, then modify things later. (In particular, for
practical results, assuming all edges are two-way is probably useful; it
doesn't solve the problem of finding the star dock, as Joel's findsga does,
but for general trading/combat issues its a good first approximation.)

The level diagram of a graph rooted at r is an ordering of the nodes of the
graph by distance from r; i.e. r, then all its neighbors, then all nodes at
distance 2 from r, then all nodes at distance three, etc. An edge (u,v) is
an external i-edge if u is at distance i from r, and v is at distance i+1;
the edge is an internal i-edge if u and v are both at distance i. (Note
that EVERY edge is either an external i-edge or internal i-edge for some i.)

Okay, here is an algorithm. The first pass is to pick up all the external
edges rooted at 1. Set a bit for each node as an extreme vertex. Set a bit
for each node as unattached, set the bit for sector 1 as attached, then run
s from 2 to 1000 with

if s is not attached,
plot the course from 1 to s
parse the course to get v0=1, - v1 - v2 - ... - vn = s
store the edge (vi, vi+1), i=0..n-1
set vi as attached, i=1..n
turn off the bit for vi as extreme, i=1..n-1.

How many course plots do we have to make? A priori, I don't have an answer;
if the graph were pathological and we were unlucky, it could be as much as
the size of the graph. Note that we have to at least attach each dead end,
this is a lower bound. Let's estimate that we have to make 500 course plots
at a 0.75 sec each, or around 7 minutes.

At this point, we have ALL the external edges. Moreover, we also know that
any edge we are missing MUST be between a pair of nodes at the same distance
from 1.

Here is some data: the format is "number at distance(internal/external edges)"

St.Marys bbs, stellar dispersion from sector 1:
1( 0/ 6) 6( 12/ 21) 14( 2/ 43) 27( 2/ 77) 51( 2/146)
97( 19/290) 177( 47/450) 233( 91/487) 198( 51/345) 112( 15/179)
50( 2/ 75) 20( 0/ 30) 9( 0/ 12) 3( 0/ 4) 1( 0/ 2)
1( 0/ 1) 0( 0/ 0) 0( 0/ 0) 0( 0/ 0) 0( 0/ 0)
There are 0 unreachable sectors, 1000 reachable sectors.
Average number of warps in reachable sectors: 2.411
Average distance to (known) sectors: 6.99

diogenes.club bbs, stellar dispersion from sector 1:
1( 0/ 6) 6( 12/ 22) 16( 2/ 49) 33( 2/102) 75( 6/221)
140( 36/393) 225( 91/512) 224( 65/436) 152( 19/245) 73( 13/110)
36( 2/ 46) 9( 0/ 17) 7( 0/ 9) 3( 0/ 3) 0( 0/ 0)
There are 0 unreachable sectors, 1000 reachable sectors.
Average number of warps in reachable sectors: 2.419
Average distance to (known) sectors: 6.51

grateful.med bbs, stellar dispersion from sector 1:
1( 0/ 6) 6( 12/ 20) 13( 2/ 35) 22( 0/ 71) 51( 10/142)
92( 10/250) 150( 43/375) 191( 66/424) 183( 63/362) 142( 22/247)
83( 10/127) 35( 2/ 57) 16( 0/ 25) 7( 0/ 9) 2( 0/ 4)
2( 0/ 2) 0( 0/ 0) 0( 0/ 0) 0( 0/ 0) 0( 0/ 0)
There are 0 unreachable sectors, 996 reachable sectors.
Average number of warps in reachable sectors: 2.406
Average distance to (known) sectors: 7.33

The numbers are pretty consistent. The point is that this is fairly effective.
For SMC, there are 243 internal edges that would be missed, 2168 external
edges, so 90% of the internal edges.

Now consider the one-way character. Just reverse the procedure! I.e. here,
we first clear all the attached bits, then plot courses back from s to 1.
We won't have to do as many course plots this time: start with all the
"extreme" sectors (since you have to do that anyway) and that will cover
everything except sectors with back doors. Just pick up the remaining, and
you will have developed the entire level diagram.

Now what is missing? The internal edges, since they won't have been seen in
any shortest course plot. Its likely that this is a sufficient place to
stop: we've used up ten or twelve minutes of bbs time, and we've got 90% of
the edges, and we certainly have a good picture of the stellar dispersion
from sector 1. (Actually, because you want to buy etherprobes at the star-
dock and fire them off from there, it might be nice to do all this from
the stardock rather than 1.) This seems to meet all the tactical issues,
and then if you fire etherprobes at all the extreme nodes and parse the
reports back, you will have a valid map (because you've passed through
every sector).

What if you don't want to spend the money on the four hundred etherprobes?
Because of one-way warps, the level diagram of the opposite directed edges
rooted at 1 will have a slightly different structure in terms of nodes at a
fixed distance, you can actually gain more negative information about where
the internal edges are *not* located. At this point, one could do two
things: as you are developing the original sector scans, build the sets of
nodes at the same distance, and then do course plots between pairs to see if
the edges exist. (These course plots would run very fast, as most of the
time the paths would be of length 1 or 2.) Alternatively, one could just
repeat the above process of generating the level diagram rooted at another
node. Now, the edge would have to be internal to both level diagrams to be
hidden; if r and s are your two nodes, and (u,v) is the hidden edge, then u,
v have to be the same distance from r *and* the same distance from s, in
*both* directions, which should be rather unlikely in these random graphs.
Probably best is a hybrid: for each level diagram rooted at r, you get a
partition of the nodes (by distance). Combining level diagrams, you simply
refine the partitions. Repeat until the size of each partition is one or
two, then directly course plot between the nodes to determine if the
internal edge exists.

Interesting. I first thought about using the silly oracle several years ago
-- it is absurd that you don't have direct information about warps, but you
can plot all of the warps leaving a node -- but didn't think very hard about
it. It easy to see that you can get a complete set of information by
plotting 1000*999 course pairs, but a million course plots is clearly a
waste of time. Albin, it was very insightful to recognize that this can be
quickly done. The other reason that I didn't write the routine is that it
would (I thought) take all the fun out of exploration.

Now, I find that exploration is rather boring, and that knowledge of the
warps is not as important as knowing the location of the ports and whether
or not the port has been visited/blocked -- i.e., the etherprobe informat-
ion. It seems to me this feature of TWASSIST is very useful and very sens-

- by Stephen Whitis

>Ok, I was hoping it would come across on the echo eventually, but since
>it hasn't I'll ask. What is a level diagram? Just something people made
>up in my three and a half month absence to confuse me? :)

New technology, the best thing to happen to utilities in a while...

TWASSIST should add support for it (I think) in the next release. INSTMAP
contains telix scripts and other support for LD's now, as does TWFT. I'm
working on something myself.

Basiclly, you pick a base sector, then run the utility to create a LD. It
plots routes from your base to every other sector and back again. For
instance, if you use 175 as the base sector, it plots courses from 175-1
175-2 175-3, etc, and the reverse paths as well. That info can be parsed
out into a CIM sector report for use in utilities like TWVIEW and TWASSIST.

One LD will give you over 80% of the warp info in a universe. Another with
a different base sector can up that to almost 90%, I think. The third would
be about 93-94 %. (I'm not sure of exact percentages, which will vary a bit
anyway. But you get the idea.) So without ever using a turn, you can locate
the deep tunnels, get good estimates on where to find stardock & the class
0's, etc.

By doing an LD from stardock, you can figure the "extreme" sectors from
stardock. Those are the sectors which, if you were to eprobe each from
stardock, you would have explored 100% of the universe, with no probes
wasted (assuming none are destroyed on the way). Saves you money and time.

- by Pierre Tourigny
(Long eprobe paths)

The plotter will not send a probe through an avoided sector. If you
avoid a sector in the path proposed by the plotter, either the target
becomes unreachable or the new path is at least as long and usually
longer. That's because the plotter finds the shortest path between two

Here's a procedure you can follow manually, if you're patient, to send
probes on long paths. Think of it as building a tunnel between the
origin and the destination. The probe is forced to take the only path
you leave for it.

a) Select a non-adjacent target sector;
b) accept the base sector in the path; the first base is the sector
where your ship is;
c) look at the path proposed between the base and the target; avoid the
sector adjacent from the base;
d) repeat step (c) until the adjacent sector is the last one left
unavoided or until the target is unreachable;
e) if the target is unreachable, clear the avoids and reenter all of
then except the last;
f) the new base is the last unavoided sector in step (d) or the newly
unavoided sector in (e);
g) repeat steps (b) to (f) until the base is adjacent to the target;
h) send the probe towards the target.

My probe launcher works nothing like this by the way. It does not have a
target when it starts plotting, only the goal of gathering as many
unexplored sectors as possible if it's in exploration mode or as many
sectors as possible if it's in monitoring mode. Also it does not
interrogate the Crai to plot courses; it uses its own plotter. It
depends on a good map of the universe. That's why such a utility
was not worth writing before ld generators became available.

[ Attacks/invasions ]

* Originally by Kris Lewis

How to calculate the minimum number of fighters to attack with:

(his ftrs) * (his odds)
(your ftrs) = -----------------------
(your odds)

Ex: If he has a Scout Marauder (2.0:1) and 200 Ftrs, and you have a
BattleShip (1.6:1), you need to attack with (250*2.0)/1.6, or 312.5 (313)
fighters. This assumes no shields on his craft and does not account for
the slight random factor in the calculations the game uses. Shields are at
2:1 odds, regardless of shiptype (I THINK. I'm sure Joel or Gary will cor-
rect me if I'm mistaken.)

Ferrengi ship's odds:
Assault Trader - 1.0:1
BattleCruiser - 1.2:1
DreadNaught - 1.4:1

Alien ship's odds are the same as player ships of the same type.

- Originally by Albin Gersich:

I have seen a lot of discussion lately about the Military Reaction
Level settings for planets and a message about the sequence of events
when invading. In many cases the messages posted had incorrect
information, probably from people who believe the doc. Below is the
sequence of events that occur when a ship enters a sector and lands on
a planet. I have posted this info before but I have revised a few of
the steps to provide a little more detail. This should answer most of
those questions about what the MRL is and what happens.

The question left is what good is a non-zero MRL? I used to size up
my competition. If they were not expert players, or at least not
experts in invading, and they travelled around in smaller ships (i.e.
StarMasters or lower fighter and shield capacity) I would consider a
non-zero MRL. The reason is I wanted to destroy their ship in the
process so they can not reload. Even though it would cost me more
fighters (2:1 odds instead of 3:1) it would also cost them a lot to
replace their ship and all it's gadgets. In addition they would
likely lose a lot of turns when they end up in an escape pod and need
to use their remaining turns to get a new ship and back to safety.
These days I am not sure I would do this. All it takes is one expert
invader in the game to mess up the plan, and the quality of my
competition has significantly increased. In addition with the bugs
known these days, in particular the ship overloading bug, it is much
harder to size up an opponent predict what is likely to happen. I
take the conservative approach. I assume the invader knows what they
are doing and when they come in to invade they will have all their
assets ready and take steps to keep from being destroyed. When they
come in it is very likely they will conquer the planet (the 1639
shields bug not withstanding). I want to make it as costly for them
as I can so I set the MRL to zero because I want all my fighters to
get the higher odds.

The sequence of events is:

When a ship enters the sector:

1: Mines detonate.

2: Quasar cannons fire at sector level. The amount of fuel
used by the cannon is determined by multiplying the fuel
ore on the planet by the sector quasar cannon percentage.
The amount of damage points the invading ship receives is
1/3 the amount of fuel used.

3: If there are fighters in the sector:
If offensive, they attack. If toll, the player may pay
the toll or attack. If defensive the player may attack.
After the toll is paid the quasar cannons fire at sector
level again. If the player attacks the fighters, after
each attack round, even if 0 fighters were used in the
attack, the quasar cannon fighters sector level. If the
player does get all the fighters in one shot and attacks
five times the quasar will fire all five times. Continue
until the toll is paid or there are no fighters in the
sector. Damage and fuel calculations for these firings
are the same as in step 2.

When the ship attempts to land:

4: If the citadel is level 5 and has at least 1 shield, the
quasar cannon fires at atmospheric level. The amount of
damage the invading ship receives is determined by multiplying
the amount of fuel ore on the planet by the atmospheric quasar
cannon percentage. The amount of fuel deducted from the
planet is equal to half the damage.

5: If the citadel is level 5 and has at least 1 shield, the
player must destroy the shields to continue. If the planet
has 1639 or more shields the invader can not get past this

6: If the citadel is level 3 or higher, the quasar cannon fires
at atmospheric level. Same damage and fuel calculations as
in step 4.

7: If the citadel is level 2 or highter, the planetary offensive
fighters attack. The number of attacking fighters is
determined by multiplying the number of fighters on the
planet by the Military Reaction Level percentage. These
fighters get 2:1 odds. If the invading ship at this point
has 26215 or more fighters AND the Military Reaction Level is
not zero, then ALL planetary fighters attack and are lost.

8: If the citadel is level 2 or highter, any fighters left on
the planet defend. The attacker must destroy them to land.
These fighters get 3:1 odds.

9: The player lands on the planet and has full access.

During a photon wave, only steps 5, 8 and 9 are in effect. All others
are nullified. If the photon wave runs out part way through the
sequence the remaining steps will be in effect.

- Originally by Albin Gersich:

If you are landing on a planet that has a military reaction of anything
other than 0%, and you don't use a photon, and you have more than 6666 Hex
(more than 26214) fighters, then the military reaction of the planet will
react at 100%. The funny thing about this is that all the fighters on the
planet will be lost while trying to destroy you, whether they were all
needed or not.

Normally only an ISS can have more than 26214 fighters, and usually they go
in during a photon wave so this bug would not come into play. With the
overloading of fighters bug any ship could have this many fighters. What
matters is how many fighters the invading ship has left after the shields
and quasar cannon. This is when the fighter attack routines go into effect.
If the ship has at least 26215 fighters and the military reaction level
is non-zero, even 1%, then ALL fighters on the planet will attack at 2:1
odds. When this happens ALL fighters will be lost. Normally only the number
of fighters that are required to destroy the ship are lost, or all of them
if there are not enough. When this bug takes effect ALL of the planetary
fighters are gone, even if there should have been some left.

Since the photon wave temporarily sets the military reaction level to 0%,
this bug will not take effect if the wave is still in effect when the plan-
etary fighter attack routine is reached.

From the planets owners point of view, you most likely would destroy his
ship so he can not reload, but your planet is now wide open and it cost you
more than it should have. From an invaders point of view this bug can foil
your plans. Even if the planet has a level 2 citadel this bug will take
effect. If you go in with a fully loaded ISS to invade a level 2 citadel
and wanted to soak off some of the fighters by landing and retreating rep-
eatedly, you will instead be destroyed.

In v1.03d any single planet can be successfully invaded -- no matter
what defenses are present -- by a fully equipped ISS.

Here's one mans method:

- by Mark Cothran:

Oh my garshies! A REAL Tactical Challenge/Thread  !!!

I know a few people that are gonna love this one from me, heck...they
think I NEVER played this game!

The Map:

JL> \ !
JL> - 874 - 149 - 280 - 691
JL> / !

MT>Sector 691 has a planet. You must make it VERY costly for an opponent to
get to it.

Always the best defense: make 'em spend money!

MT>This is how I would have STARTED this tunnel:
MT>149 - 99 mines and 5K of fighters
MT>280 - 99 mines and 5K of fighters
MT>691 - 99 mines and 30K of fighters

Sorry Michael, even with the defenses you describe, for the cost of 3
(maybe 4) Photon missles, I can basically walk right through your
defenses, and either take your planet or make you miserable...ESPECIALLY
in an ISS that has Transwarp and those 40K fighters.

SeaGul> Oh Man...Mark's on a roll again! I don't like this dude at all
SeaGul> but I gotta see what this guy's gonna say since we think he
SeaGul> don't even play no mo' .........HOW?!?

With 3 Photon missles ready to go, I T-Warp to whatever's outside 874, post a
fighter, and density scan. If it's clear, then move into 874. If it's anything
BUT 5/45, I holo-scan it to check for mines and/or planet/fighter ratios (no
idea if that planet has a cannon yet). On tunnels defended with an L3 planet
at the door, don't gamble: buy an extra ptorp and pop it in there for safety's

PRO: Realize that everytime you fire a Photon that it goes into the daily an-
nouncments as who fired-what-from-where so it's also a good way to attract all
the F-Troops to your arch-rivals doorstep if you want to fill up the logs with
"boom-splat" attacks (this will also wear down his Q-Cannons <G>). And remember:
photon missles DO blind any defensive strategy that's been set up thinking some-
ones not learning.

CON: Every F-Troop knows where your stuff is.

Now start a Photon Missle drive...you should know the duration of each missle
BEFORE you start this as even after the wave wears off, you can still sit ABOVE
an active Q-Cannon safely, as long as you don't move.

The reason I say this is that some Sysops set their durations Really Low, and
while you're fiddling with the Q-M-xxx keys, the wave's history. If you are
stuck with that trap, write a macro to shoot-and-scoot...the Soviets do.

Also know that the game docs don't work: you can sit above a sector you've
secured with a P-Missle and as long as you don't leave that sector, you can
actually read a few chapters till the BBS logs you off for inactivity. Pretty
stupid, but sometimes handy.

Okay so far? Photon Missle Drive? I'd fire Photon missles in each sector I'm
heading into with one exception: the Last. Why? I need to stop and think. You
got this far and your rival STILL doesn't know you're there, but you need a
breather...without a macro, this can be a royal "Oops!" DON'T blow it now!

SCAN the sector (density). Chances are they are cocky and in a tunnel. If you
see anything lower than 500 you've been suckered. You've been attacking a Port/
Ship/Fighter dead end. Careful! You've gotten THIS far! It could also be Mines/
fighters...play it safe:

Waste a turn: Holo-Scan it. Look closely at the planet your heading for: is it
L2 Can't shoot....but fights back.
L3 Shoots Back...can be devastating.
L4 Take it or Forget It. I'm Moving It!
L5 Well, if I got 1639 Shields: go build your own! It's mine!

Okay, see a planet? Either they're defending it to the max or you're chas-
ing an untamed ornithopod (Wild Goose Chase). Two tactics:

Cool...it's a Level 4 with a LOT of fighters and a relatively high q-cannon
Sector reaction level (IOW: anything above zero). Leave a sector q-cannon
on and it can be mothed...I'll play "tag" with my fighters/shields and wear
it down as I move in and out of your sector watching the reaction power
drop radically. Or wait a few days while all those people you ticked off moth
you down to a managable level, then invade. Or play the game against them:
invade with anything above 24,000 fighters and watch the reaction.

Or: your L4 with NO sector and 100% Atmospheric. My solution? Buster Baby... I
pop a P-Missle on you shooting that extra Missle BACK into the tunnel I came
from then moving there. DO WHAT?? Yeah..I'm yanking your chain..fire off those
mine sweepers NOW! Back into your Home sector: clear as many mines out as you
can cause I'm gonna move back in and post my own toll fighter in your space as
soon as I can. Why? Heck...I've got T-Warp! Who cares about your defenses when I
can T-Warp back and forth? See the team benefit yet? One's offense, ones def-
ense: replace your rivals' mines/fighters with friendlier stuff, to me. I've
played 2 man teams against 8 man teams and we win. You tell me what we did so
radically different.

A good teammate is a necessity! Find someone you get along with and start learn-
ing together how this game works. I've been up many an hour at 1 AM talking def-
ensive/offensive tactics with people.

- Originally by Kris Lewis:

A planetary Quasar Cannon has two firing levels, both expressed in the
percentage of stored Fuel Ore to use to power the Quasar Blast. The first,
the Sector reaction level, determines how hard a hostile will be hit for
just entering the sector. Usually this is kept fairly low, and inflicts one
battle point per three units of Ore expended. The second, the Atmosphere
reaction level, specifies how much of the remaining ore is to go into fir-
ing on one who tries to actually LAND on the planet. This shot is much more
effective, doing one battle point per unit of ore expended.

There is an oddity in that the sector firing uses all the fuel ore you exp-
ect it to, but the atmosphere shot only takes HALF the expected amount.

When invading Ferrengal with a ptorp, if you abort the sector display,
a bug will crash the game, most likely returning you to the BBS. If you used
a macro to invade, by the time you return, the ptorp wave will have run out
and you'll find yourself setting off the mines, attacked by the ftrs and be-
ing fired on by the Ferrengal qcannon.

[ Colonists ]

It's prob easiest to think in terms of holds of colonists. One hold is
one thousand people. When max prod is one million colonists, that actually
means one thousand holds. Colonists are avail on Terra, where there are
10,000 holds of them (each of 1000 people). Just remember that when the
game tells you "3,000,000 colonists are required" for the next upgrade,
you need to have 3000 HOLDS, not three million holds.

Colonists are initially avail only at Terra. As stated elsewhere, the
optimum amount is 1000 holds of colonists on each product (3000 total). If
this figure varies significantly one way or the other from this amt, prod-
uction of the associated product will decrease.

1000 holds of colonists will produce 333 holds of fuel ore and 34 ftrs
each day. It is a part of many players end game strategy to have a lot of
"farming planets" which can absorb the excess colonists as they increase,
in order to ..ah, harvest, the ftrs and fuel. After a certain point in the
game, it should no longer necessary to buy ftrs except in cases of emerg-
ency, and the fuel is handy for qcannon and twarping.

An interesting feature of planetary expansion (upgrade) is that once
an upgrade step has been initiated, all colonists and any remaining prod-
uct can be removed from the planet and the upgrade will still proceed ac-
rding to schedule.

One tactic I've heard of is for one corp member to deliberately pick
up colonists from Terra and jettison them, with the idea of so diminishing
the supply to the point where there are none left to be used for colonising
other competitive planets that may be constructed. The number of colonists
on Terra maxes out at 10000 holds; even though they DO regenerate, you'd be
surprised how easy it is to drain that number down to 0 with a CMH bugged
ship. Of course, as soon as you jettison anything, you loose your extra
holds, but hey, CMH is free, it requires no turns to do, can be done by
good as well as evil players and is fun to do besides.

At any rate, the topic of colonist increase/decrease cycles came up on
the FIDO TradeWar conference and Leonard Adolph provided this report:

- by Leonard Adolph:

I have been asked to look into the rates involved in the colonist
increase/decrease cycle.

I have found that the colonist i/d cycle is based on 30 days with the
base being the beginning of an individual game. Due to rounding and
other factors a day may be added now and then, throwing the absolute 30
day cycle off over time. The game begins with the colonist cycle on the
decrease with colonists dying off for 10 days. At the end of 10 days
colonists begin increasing and do so for 20 days.

Now the tricky part:

During the 10 day decrease cycle colonists die off at 1% the first day
and continue dying off at a sliding percentage that averages out to
about .1% change per day. That is on day two they die off at about .9%,
day three at .8%, etc. It is this sliding scale that creates periods of
seeming stability when colonists neither increase nor decrease. With
fewer colonists on a planet the stable period will be longer.

During the colonist increase cycle colonists increase from about .1% on
the first day up to a maximum of 2% twenty days later, at which time the
decrease cycle begins with a 1% loss as outlined in the previous
paragraph. The stable period of no colonist change marks the end of the
decrease cycle and the beginning of the increase cycle.

I am not absolutely positive on the 30 day base being the beginning of
an individual game. This is easily checked by others here though as my
tests were done local in a game 32 days old and in the second decrease
cycle. The colonists in my local setup will appear stable (2895 total on
a planet) on days 39 through 42 at 10:30 pm. On day 43 they will
increase by 3 and continue increasing by increasing amounts until on day
62 they will drop from 3525 to 3492. The increases and decreases are
continuous throughout the day and amounts will vary depending on the
time of day.

To run these tests I copied out all the .DAT files from my \TRADEWAR
directory and did planet scans after which I exited the game, changed
the date in DOS and re-entered to redo planet scans. I did this for
about an hour and went from day 32 through day 76 with a short break at
day 74 to run EXTERN to see if there was any effect (there wasn't).
I copied the .DAT files back in so my son can continue with his play.

Am I obsessed or what? (Is that Gary chuckling in the background?) :-)

[ Ferrengi ]

- Originally by Kris Lewis:

Ferrengal itself is usually a Level 4 planet (Level 3 Citadel - Quasar
Cannon). It is usually located in a dead end, and the Nebula name will
always be "The Ferrengi Empire". The planet itself usually STARTS with the
following: Colonists: 600 per area, 10000 Ore, some (low) amount of Organ-
ics and Equipment, 5000 Fighters, 100,000 credits in the Treasury, a Milit-
ary reaction level of 40%, and Quasar cannon levels of 30% (atmosphere) and
0% (sector).

Destroying or invading Ferrengal by itself will not prevent the Ferrengi
from regenerating. The sector defense force must also be neutralized AND
REPLACED. Once destroyed, Ferrengal will NOT regenerate. If the planet is
taken over AND the sector defense force is replaced by that of a player,
then the Ferrengi are out of the game, aside from the ships that are still
at large. Once destroyed, they will no longer regenerate. Taking the planet
and NOT deploying your own fighters in the sector is an easy way to get
every Ferrengi ship to attack you on sight, and they WILL still regenerate.

As an aside, the Ferrengi ships base the number of fighters with which to
attack you upon the number of fighters you carry. If you're being hounded,
carry a small number of or no fighters and maximum shields. You can then
pretty much ignore them.

- by Leonard Adolph:

The Ferrengi ship types are dependant on their position in the
FERRENGI.DAT file. Positions 1-20 will all be Assault Traders, 21-30
will be Battle Cruisers and 31-40 will be Dreadnaughts.

The Ferrengi ships in the Library appear when the ships in the .DAT file
appear. Thus, the Battle Cruiser appearing in the Library indicates that
at least 21 positions in the .DAT file are being used and there are that
many Ferrengi roaming around. When the Dreadnaught appears in the
library there are at least 31 Ferrengi ships in the game.

- by Leonard Adolph:

In the FERRENGI.DAT file there is room for up to 40 Ferrengi ships. Each
of those data positions has room for up to 3 grudges. If you destroy a
Ferrengi one of those grudge positions will have a number in it which
corresponds to your position in the trader data files. The actual trader
name will show up in TEDIT but that name changes as the trader name
changes. If in future another Ferrengi ship is generated in the data
position of the one you destroyed, that Ferrengi will have the grudge
against you or your replacement.

There are three ways to clear a grudge:

Delete the FERRENGI.DAT file. this is *not* done automatically when Big
Bang is run. Thus the pregrudged Ferrengi bug. Any former Ferrengi
grudges will carry over to the new game to the misfortune of whoever
happens to get the grudged trader positions.

Grudges can be cleared by a sysop using an editor (TEDIT). Unfortunately
grudges can also be placed *on* traders the same way.

The only other way a grudge can clear for a trader is if enough other
traders attack or flee from Ferrengi ships occupying the same data file
position such that they replace the original trader.

- David Pittman:

Basic setup: I used all of the defalt values for the 1.03d game
and aged the game to 100 days running extern daily. After
I entered the game for the first time to establish a user
record I used Tedit to beef up my ship for survivability.
I also used Tedit to find the locations of the Ferrengi
ships and to restock their ships as they became depleated.

Part I
Once I had located one of the Ferrengi ships I would
follow it around until it ordered me to surrender. At that
time I would flee from it. It would attack me but would
not follow me. I then re-entered the sector that the
Ferrengi was in and it ordered me to surrender again. I
repeated the flee and find again cycle over several game
days using Tedit to restock my ship and the Ferrengi's
ships with fighters and shields. I also used Tedit to see
if the Ferrengi had any grudges but it did not. I took
this through about 200 cycles.

Part II
I then lowered the number of fighters and shields on my
ship and repeated the cycle. During this type of
encounter my ship was destroyed each time I fled but no
grudge resulted from these encounters. (approx. 50 cycles)

Part III
Attacking the sector fighters in the Ferrengi home sector
resulted in no grudges against me.

Part IV
Attacking and occuping the Ferrengi home world "Ferrengal"
resulted in no grudges against me.

Part V
Attacking a ferrengi ship resulted in that ship having a
grudge against me but only that one.

Part VI
After establishing several Ferrengi grudges I put 15000
Ferrengi fighters in the Ferrengi home sector and then went
through several game days, logging on as a different player
and moved around some to cause the Ferrengi ships to move.
The process resulted in the production of several new
Ferrengi ships that had no grudges listed.

The only way that I could find to aquire a Ferrengi grudge
was to attack a Ferrengi ship. Fleeing from them,
attacking sector fighters, or invading the Ferrengi home
world did not produce any grudges.

It is generally cheaper in the long run, esp in a beginning game when
resources are tight, to surrender to a Ferrengi demanding tribute and who
takes holds and/or product. Attacking him can lead to a grudge. If you are
braced by the duty Ferrengi and holds/product are taken from you, you will
not be bothered again that day.

- by Jim Pittman

One further caution on invading Ferrengal. If you are using Powermacs to
launch your photon, do NOT abort the sector display. There is a bug <gasp>
that will kick you out of the game if you do. When you reenter the game
you will be blasted by the cannon, set off the mines, and be attacked by
any sector fighters.

[ Tips 'n tricks ]

This section is for all the interesting little bits that are important
enough to be included in such a file as this, but aren't worth a category
of their own.

- by Albin Gersich

RB> I'm curious as to how long it takes for a port which has been drained
RB> to replenish itself.

Ports will regenerate 5% in 24 hours. There is a bug where the ports
will only regenerate for a maximum of 10 days since the last time they
were visited. If a port is drained to 0 in 10 days it will be at 50%.
It will stay there if it is not visited again. If it regenerated to
30% when someone visited it then it will regenerate up to 80% 10 days
later and then stay there.

* by Leonard Adolph

Here's another little trick with large numbers of holds:

If you locked your holds with fuel ore then find you want to move large
amounts of fuel ore, you can. Unload one of the other products to get
empty holds and fill them with colonists. Now lock the holds using the
product you just emptied, put the colonists back and move your fuel
ore. A corp partner figured this one out when I asked him to restock
the quasar cannons in a game we have decided to end.

* Originally by Kris Lewis

Density scanner readings:

0 - Nothing 40 - per Trader, Alien, or Ferrengi
1 - Beacon 50 - Destroyed Starport
5 - per Fighter 100 - Starport/Stardock
20 - per Mine 500 - per Planet

Any density reading not ending in a 0, 1, 5, or 6 is a Federal.

- What are the MSLs?

The Major Space Lanes run from Terra to SD and back, from SD to Rylos
and Alpha Centauri (both class 0 ports) and back from each to SD, and from
Rylos to Alpha Centauri and back. Note that due to one way warps, the route
TO anywhere isn't necessarily the same as the route BACK. Thus, there is a
possiblity of there being eight MSLs. When the daily maintenance program
runs (usually at midnite), the Feds will destroy any ftrs or mines they
find in any of the MSLs. In v1.03d, citadels (and any sector qcannon) are
not affected in an unedited game.

The latest controversy to hit the FIDO TradeWars conference involves
the question, "is it possible to positively find a cloaked player (and
destroy him)?" The obvious answer is no. (After all, what are cloaks FOR
if not to render the user totally invisible and thus invulnerable?)

What it IS possible to do is to, using a variety of methods, such as
asking the Grimy Trader in the Tavern about a particular trader, analysing
high traffic areas, learning the habits of the target as regards favorite
places to stay for the night, plotting destroyed ftr patterns, examining
sheep entrails, and so on, to make a guess as to a cloaked players locat-
ion. Unfortunately, as in anything depending on random chance, occasionally
someone will guess that so-and-so is in such-and-such sector AND HE IS. And
yet another "urban myth" will be born about how to find a cloaked trader.

There have been put forward several schemes that sound good at first,
but do not stand up to rational analysis or empirical testing. Among these

If you suspect a player is cloaked in the sector, hit "A" to attack
him. If he's there, the game will respond as it normally does when you go
over to combat mode.

If you suspect a player is cloaked in the sector, hit "W" to tow him.
If he is really there, you'll be notified that towing a ship with ftrs on
board is not possible.

Hmm, just after I'd finally mastered move-post-scan in an evil ISS, I
gotta add two more steps to the dance: move-post-scan-attack-tow. (Parsely-
sage-rosemary-thyme.) Needless to say, neither of these work. They've been
tested on private games by people I trust and they simply DO NOT WORK.

There are three ways to determmine corp or personal ownership of a

1) When first you create it, you're asked (if you're on a corp) if this is
to be a corp or a personal planet.

2) If you invade and claim ownership, again you're asked if it is to be a
corp or a personal planet.

3) When you deposit ftrs on the surface of a planet, you're asked if they
are to be corp or personal ftrs. If you select "personal," the ownership
of the planet will also be set to personal (and any fellow corp members
won't be allowed to land without first taking out the ftrs, or shields
in the case of an L5 citadel).

- What are the port numbers and what do they mean?

These refer to the type of transaction carried on at any particular
port. There are ten port classes. Stardock itself is the only class 9 port.
The port itself in the SD sector is a bbb port. There are three class 0
ports: Sol, Rylos and Alpha Centauri, selling only holds, ftrs and shields.
("Class 0 items" are also avail at the shipyards.) The following table
shows the relationships:

class fuel org equip

1 buys buys sells (bbs)
2 buys sells buys (bsb)
3 sells buys buys (sbb)
4 sells sells buys (ssb)
5 sells buys sells (sbs)
6 buys sells sells (bss)
7 sells sells sells (sss)
8 buys buys buys (bbb)

9 StarDock -- shipyards, hardware, tavern, UG, Policia, galbank, etc.
0 Sol, Rylos, Alpha Centauri -- selling holds, ftrs, shields

- by Matt Bush
(Cloaked planet)

Ok, it's not really a cloaked planet, but it's almost as good, will
cost you only 31,000 credits, it's not a bug, and is very easy to do!

You just took over a Level 4 or Level 5 planet, but you don't have
anything to defend it with. Go to StarDock and buy a Genesis Torpedo
and an Atomic Detonator. Go into the sector and make a planet with the
exact same name. Display the sector to make sure you got the name right.
Then land on the one you just made and DESTROY it. Then move to the good
planet and TransWarp it to the sector where you want it. It might work ok
without a TransWarp. (The player may not return to check it out if he th-
inks it's gone.)

* Originally by Craig Randle

Getting something for nothing:

1 - Ported at a port, and steal ALL the equipment from it (max holds)
2 - Sell it back after haggling for awhile
3 - Buy the max holds of whatever it is selling, but instead of
haggling the price, put 0.
4 - You'll get the good ol' "Nothing is free in this universe" line..
5 - Then when you go back to steal the equipment again there will
be as more than it started with.

This could be a fast way to get a port in your home sector LOTS of
equipment, and then steal it. Why? Use it to stock planets, for

For the fun loving among you, if you find an (uncloaked) player and
fire a ptorp at him, he'll loose all his turns for that day, no matter
where he is -- FedSpace or not. Better still, if you fire a ptorp into,
say, SD, and drop carrier while the p-wave is still in effect, you'll have
created a "perpetual p-wave" that will remain in effect until extern runs.
Anyone who warps into SD will suddenly loose any remaining turns. (This
apparantly works for any sector, but it seems like an espescially droll
thing to do to SD or one of the class 0's.) Do this right after midnight
and you'll have denied use of that sector to all players for the rest of
the day. <grin>

TriCron seems to have a fascination for many. When played with ANSI
off, with a macro, at 14.4kbps, it seems an acceptable way to get creds to
purchase eprobes for the initial mapping of the universe, but otherwise it
seems a waste. I b'lieve that one of the earmarks of the relatively unskil-
led player is the amount of time he spends playing TriCron, investigating
the library, the theatre, the singles bar, the UG or FedPolice HQ at SD. Or
trying to track other players by asking ol' Grimy. Now I've investigated
all of these things, and so should you -- once. There has been a good deal
of effort expended on those animated ANSI screens (that TriCron screen is a
work of art!) and it should be appreciated. After you've seen them for the
first time, however, turn ANSI off; the display will go a LOT faster, esp
at 2400bps or below.

A recently discovered bug involves dropping carrier immediately you've
lost all the rent at TriCron. When you sign back on, you'll have all your
creds back. (You'll also have the sysop [angry] at you, but what's that next
to the 156,000 creds you needed for planetary defense? <grin>)

If you run across a hated enemy, do you blow him all the way up? No,
you tow him to a one deep dead end tunnel and install him there with, say,
100 defensive ftrs in the NEXT sector. When he logs back on, he'll be
blockaded and won't be able to move out of the sector he's in. This can be
VERY frustrating and may even lead to the target self destructing as it
appears that there is no way out of this trap. Esp if he has no one to call
on for help. If he self destructs, he looses his ship and any creds on it
and he won't be able to get back in for two days. <chortle> (Which was the
purpose of the exercise.)

If someone has found you and blockaded you with, say, 100 defensive
ftrs, take a deep breath and have a glass of ice water. No, have TWO glasses
of ice water. There is a way out, but it's gonna involve some work. First,
try to holler for help. Call someone who might be able to remove the blockad-
ing ftrs. If this is impossible, there is an alternative to self-destructing.
Notice carefully what happens when you try to move into a sector with defens-
ive ftrs and you refuse combat (you retreat). Occasionally, one of those ftrs
will follow you back. Occasionally, one of those ftrs that follows you back
will attack you. What you must do is move into the blockaded sector, then
retreat. Move, retreat. If the gods smile on you, one of those ftrs will get
lucky and blow you up and you'll start the next day in a nice ScoMar instead
of loosing two days of play and all your xp and most of your align. It'll
take a looong time, but hey. No one SAID it would be easy. Just keep moving
and retreating, moving and retreating.

For the evil twarpers out there, ALWAYS carry at least 30,001 creds
(let's make it easy and say 40,000). If you get stuck in a place you don't
want to be without twarp fuel, stop. Build a class 7 port (sss). All ports
under construction have product on the docks (the planet is only needed to
upgrade the port and allow it to open for business) and if you "P" and "R,"
you'll be able to steal more than enough fuel to get you out of there. And
since new ports are rather vulnerable, you can kill it rather easily, gain-
ing xp and neg align shift at the same time. (You prob don't want to leave
a class 7 just laying around for hostile exploitation.)

The reason for carrying 30,001 creds is due to an ..ahem, bug, in
v1.03d, which requires a player constructing a port to have MORE THAN the
amt it takes to build. I just grab 40,000 creds whenever I leave home.

For obvious reasons, this technique is only for a player in extremis:
if you are in a twarp capable ship and simply MUST get to SD, but it has
been blockaded, if you twarp directly to SD, upon arrival your ship will
become so much orbiting radioactive rubbish, but you, your <esc> pod, and
most importantly, any creds you have on hand, will be there at SD.

At this point, several scenarios suggest themselves; being at SD and
able to buy minedets, ftrs, and shields, you can easily clear a path out,
or to a port that sells fuel (if you've bought another twarp capable ship).
It should be remembered that SD typically has five or six warps, of which
only perhaps two are two way warps. Likely these will be the only ones that
have been blockaded. A scanner should help indicate the cleanest route, and
getting back out will be easy.

- by Stephen Whitis
(port destruction)

When you attack and destroy a port, the port is still there. When
you enter the sector, you'll get a message saying something about
a high radiation level. (The port is clearly marked as destroyed.)
If you try to port there, you die.

But notice that the port is *still there*. It isn't gone, it's
still in the sector. When the 14 day bust cycle rolls around, the
destroyed ports get cleared out. They won't be there any more. So
that is when you could start building new ports (assuming the game
had max ports when that one was destroyed.)

If you attempt to take a CIM report without first trading at a port or
doing a port report, the game will crash and return you to the BBS.

The practice of loading a sector to the max with planets (using gtorps)
then twarping in L4 or L5 planet(s) to make the total one (or more) than
the limit (default = five) -- and hoping the shield bugged planet in the
sector will be one of the first two destroyed -- is about the only way to
deal with a shield bugged planet. Much has been written on this subject,
most of it the sheerest balderdash. Local tests have shown that the select-
ion of which two planets are to collide is purely random and has nothing to
do with time of creation, name, number or alphabetic order. This msg shows
that even the fact of collision itself is random.

- by Leonard Adolph
(planets in collision)

In local tests I had to wait 5 days for a collision to occur in a sector
containing 10 planets. Each and every time EXTERN ran a message was
generated in the daily log concerning an overloaded sector along with
the sector number. When a collision finally occured the names of the
planets destroyed were listed in the daily log but the sector number was
not. It is obvious from this that the program is not intended to cause a
sure and immediate destruction of planets in an overloaded sector.
BTW, it took 4 days more for 2 more planets to be lost due to collision.
EXTERN was run daily.

* Originally by Kris Lewis

TransWarp drives are great turn-savers. They will take you from
wherever you are to any other sector provided that, (a) it is NOT
orphan [it must be accessible to normal drives], (b) you have at
least one fighter in it, corporate or personal, and (c) you have the
fuel to make the jump (mentioned later). It is possible to transwarp
"blind" (without a fighter in the destination sector). However, if
there is ANYTHING at all in the target sector, even a measly beacon,
your ship will be destroyed. If you really MUST go somewhere that is
without a fighter, at least use an Ether Probe and move IMMEDIATELY
after reading the probe report. Do NOT pass the command line more
than once! Aliens, Federals and Ferrengi have the opportunity to
move every time you pass the command prompt, and if one moves into
your destination sector between the last time you looked at it (in
person or by Ether Probe) and engaging the TransWarp Drive, you will
lose your ship. Note that a TransWarp move into a sector with a
fighter (yours or your corporation's, of course!) is absolutely 100%
SAFE, no matter what is in the sector. Someone may have left you some
mines or moved a Quasar Cannon'ed planet to make your stay unhealthy,
but the TransWarp itself is SAFE. Also note that the contents of
sectors to be CROSSED will affect neither "blind" nor "locked"
TransWarping. ONLY the destination sector matters. The cost is three
holds of Fuel Ore per warp you would otherwise have had to pass
through, and ONE turn, no matter the distance.

Ask the Grimy Trader about "Gary Martin."

In the game of TradeWars are many diversions -- ways to waste time and
creds. On SD, if you continually enter an invalid char, you may well get
mugged and loose most of your creds on hand. If you go into the Singles
Bar, you'll loose 'prox half of your creds. You can waste any amt of time
in the library or the theatre. As I said before, all these things should be
seen -- once. TriCron is another temptation. In Tricron you can spend just
1500 creds and win. But you could also spend, say, 25000 creds ..to win a
lousy 5500 cred jackpot? Which is why it is called a game of chance. It is
generally agreed that searching for, chasing down, and attacking Ferrengi
and aliens is a waste of time and creds that may only sometimes be justif-
ied by the align or xp shift it gives. Esp after a game has been running
for a few weeks, aliens often have large amts of corbomite on board (can
you say "OUCH?"). The bounty paid by the Federation for destruction of
Ferrengi ftrs seldom -- if ever -- will cover their replacement cost. Too,
it is possible to get on a Ferrengis' "grudge list" and have him come back
to continually attack you.

If you holoscan a previously unexplored sector, that sector will bec-
ome part of your "known universe"; data on warps and ports there will be
found in your CIM report, just as if you'd physically visited that sector
or sent an eprobe through it.

Max allowable creds in Galbank = 100000 creds. No interest (unless an
external utility pgm is used to give it). Max creds in citadel treasury =
(virtually) unlimited. Interest is 4%. Withdrawals can be made by anyone
who gets into the citadel.

When buying another ship, other things being equal, it's nearly always
best to deploy your ftrs in a sector outside SD and pick them up on the way
out with your new ship. If creds are REALLY tight, you can keep the shields
by tfring them to a corp member or to the shield generator on your citadel,
then taking them back onto your new ship. (These items don't return anyth-
ing close to full value when traded in.) Don't forget to sell any cargo you
may have before trading in your ship.

The shield generator in a citadel can be used to store shields even
though the citadel has not yet reached L5 status. (Note: if you've invaded
a hostile citadel, check the shield generator -- until the citadel reaches
L5, no indication of how many shields are contained in it is displayed; it
may well have a few shields present. Remember, 10 ship shields = one planet

An <esc> pod has one ftr and one hold (no shields) and can be traded
in at the shipyards at SD for enough to get a ScoMar and have 1000 creds
left over (to begin trading again).

For those with a spare level 5 planet and 'prox 53 billion creds just
laying about and who still feel threatened by another player/corp, here is
what to do. This is MY favorite tactic for taking out opposing L5s too. I
do it ALL the time.. <snicker>

If you get over 55 billion on a planet, then you will be locked out of that
planet and every planet in that sector regardless of what amounts of cred-
its there are on the other planets. When you try to land you will be thrown
out of the game. It's a favorite tactic for taking out level 5 planets. Put
about 53 billion on a level 5 and twarp it in there. In a day or two the
interest will make the whole sector corrupt and no one can ever land on any
planet in there. You can't even fix it with TEDIT cause it throws ya out of
that as well.

And with that inspired bit of lore firmly committed to memory, I close
this segment.

[ Reference section ]

- Citadel construction requirements:

To build a Level One citadel (basic citadel), you need:
500,000 Colonists to support the construction,
300 units of Fuel Ore,
200 units of Organics and
250 units of Equipment.
4 days to build.

To build a Level Two citadel (computer control of ftrs), you need:
1,000,000 Colonists to support the construction,
200 units of Fuel Ore,
50 units of Organics and
250 units of Equipment.
4 days to build.

To build a Level Three citadel (quasar cannon), you need:
2,000,000 Colonists to support the construction,
500 units of Fuel Ore,
250 units of Organics and
500 units of Equipment.
5 days to build.

To build a Level Four citadel (planetary twarp generator), you need:
3,000,000 Colonists to support the construction,
1,000 units of Fuel Ore,
1,200 units of Organics and
1,000 units of Equipment.
10 days to build.

To build a Level Five citadel (planetary shielding), you need:
3,000,000 Colonists to support the construction,
300 units of Fuel Ore,
400 units of Organics and
1,000 units of Equipment.
5 days to build.

Once the upgrade to the next highest level has begun, all population
and product can be removed for use elsewhere and the upgrade process will
proceed unhindered.

Below is given the report as seen from the planet menu. The planet is
shielded (and shield bugged), the populations have been adjusted for max
production and there is product and max ftrs on this planet. Note that the
military reaction is 0%. This is to prevent the "6666" bug having any ef-
fect in the event of an invasion and wasting all the ftrs. Since this plan-
et is shield bugged, there is no real need for the ftrs -- in fact, I edit-
ed them into this screen just to indicate the max nr possible on planet.
The max amt of any product on planet is 10000. The max nr of ftrs is 32000.
The max population is 6000 (2000 per prod group).

Planet #9 in sector 707: Garbanzo
Class M, Earth Type
Created by: Iago
Claimed by: Corp #1, Los Sanfrangeles Trading Co.

Item Colonists Daily Planet Ship
(1000s) Product Amount Amount
------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Fuel Ore 1000 333 10000 0
Organics 1000 142 7280 0
Equipment 1000 75 5632 0
Fighters n/a 55 32000 13027

Planet has a level 5 Citadel, treasury contains 25000000 credits.
Military reaction=0%, QCannon power=100%, AtmosLvl=50%, SectLvl=2%
-=-=-=-=-=- TransWarp power = 25 hops -=-=-=-=-=-
Planetary Defense Shielding Power Level = 1639

- The items avail in the hardware store at SD and their prices are:

! <A> Atomic Detonators ..... 15,000  !
! <B> Marker Beacons ........ 100  !
! <C> Corbomite Devices ..... 1,000  !
! <D> Cloaking Devices ...... 25,000  !
! <E> SubSpace Ether Probes . 3,000  !
! <F> Planet Scanners ....... 30,000  !
! <M> Space Mines ........... 1,000  !
! <P> Photon Missiles ....... 40,000  !
! <R> Long Range Scanners:  !
! Density scanner ... 2,000  !
! Holographic scanner ... 25,000  !
! <S> Mine Disruptors ....... 3,000  !
! <T> Genesis Torpedoes ..... 25,000  !
! <W> TransWarp Drives ...... 50,000  !
! <Y> Psychic Probes ........ 10,000  !

Alpha Centauri, Rylos and Terra are the three class 0 ports. At each
of these, holds, ftrs and shields can be purchased. The shipyards at SD
also sell class 0 items. Hold prices vary according to the number of times
you buy them for any particular ship. Ftr and shield prices move up and
down daily, with a low of 'prox 134 creds and a high of 'prox 234. When
shields are cheap, ftrs are dear and vice versa.

Building and upgrading starports is a valid way to gain pos align
points, as well as having the ports avail for trading/stealing.

! StarPort Construction  ! Initial Construction Costs  ! Import !
!----------------------------+----------------------------------! or  !
! Port Class ¦ Ore Org Equ ! Credits ! Ore ! Org ! Equ ! Days ! Export !
! 1  ! B B S  ! 39,250 ! 120 ! 120 ! 60 ! 6  ! Import !
! 2  ! B S B  ! 41,500 ! 140 ! 70 ! 140 ! 7  ! Import !
! 3  ! S B B  ! 48,000 ! 80 ! 160 ! 160 ! 8  ! Import !
! 4  ! S S B  ! 37,500 ! 50 ! 50 ! 100 ! 5  ! Export !
! 5  ! S B S  ! 34,000 ! 40 ! 80 ! 40 ! 4  ! Export !
! 6  ! B S S  ! 32,500 ! 60 ! 30 ! 30 ! 3  ! Export !
! 7  ! S S S  ! 30,000 ! 20 ! 20 ! 20 ! 2  ! Export !
! 8  ! B B B  ! 50,000 ! 200 ! 200 ! 200 ! 10  ! Import !
! 9  ! Not Available ! ------- ! --- ! --- ! --- ! ---- ! ------ !
! 0  ! Not Available ! ------- ! --- ! --- ! --- ! ---- ! ------ !
! Ports will initially produce 100 units/day in each category  !

Though ports generally require producing planets in the same sector
in order to upgrade, it should be noted that newly created ports always
have product on the docks (that can be stolen).

! Upgrade Starport Production  !
! 1 Fuel Ore, costs $250/unit  !
! 2 Organics, costs $500/unit  !
! 3 Equipment, costs $900/unit  !

These are the game specs for the planetary defenses. The first one,
military reaction, is a fairly useless one due to the "6666" bug, which can
potentially result in the loss of all ftrs on the planet with zero affect
on an invader. For this reason, the military reaction is typically set to

Military reaction level:
0 would be totally defensive, 50 would use half of the fighters on the
planet in an attack against an intruder landing on this planet and the
remaining half would drop back to defend the Citadel, 100 would use all of
the fighters in an assault on the intruder. Remember that your defensive
fighters on planet have much better odds than defensive fighters deployed
in space. If a Trader tries to blast your planet with Photon Missiles
(after blowing up the fighters you had in the sector) then the Combat
Control Computer will send this percent of your fighters into the sector
to attack.

Quasar Cannon reaction level, in the Atmosphere:
0 would be totally defensive, 50 would use half of the Fuel Ore reserve on
the planet (for each firing), and 100 would use all of the Fuel Ore remain-
ing against an enemy. Remember that the Quasar Cannon is MUCH more effect-
ive against an enemy that has entered the atmosphere of the planet.

Quasar Cannon reaction level, in the Sector:
0 would be totally defensive, 50 would use half of the Fuel Ore reserve on
the planet (for each firing), and 100 would use all of the Fuel Ore remain-
ing against an enemy. Remember that the Quasar Cannon is MUCH more effect-
ive against an enemy that has entered the atmosphere of the planet. So sho-
oting at an enemy in the sector will not do as much damage at that range.

The Quasar cannon reaction levels are much more significant. When
calculating the Atmosphere setting vs. the amt of fuel avail, remember that
due to a bug in the program, only half the expected fuel will be used to
inflict the same amt of damage. In other words, assume 1000 fuel and an
Atmospheric qcannon setting of 50%. You would expect the first atmospheric
shot to consume 500 fuel, but instead only 250 fuel will be expended, and
this will do the same amt of damage as would 500.

In the Fido TradeWar echo, several people have inquired about how to
change the colors in the menus, daily log, etc. From the archive AEDIT320
comes this list of the tilde (~) codes used by the game to generate the
colors it uses in the menus, daily logs, msgs, etc. These codes cannot be
used (for obvious reasons) in any of the game's input routines; this list
is mostly of interest to sysops who have direct control over the game it-
self. Note: If you're confused by this, or do not know how these codes are
used (or can be used), you've not the knowledge to be able to use them.

APPENDIX ONE - Color codes.

Color codes in TradeWars are imbedded in the output strings and take the
format of a tilde (~) plus a letter or number indicating the new color.

~0 -fg=bright white, bg=black
~1 -fg=cyan, bg=black
~2 -fg=yellow, bg=black
~3 -fg=magenta, bg=black
~4 -fg=bright white, bg=blue
~5 -fg=light green, bg=black
~6 -fg=blinking light red, bg=black
~7 -fg=yellow, bg=black
~8 -fg=the old fg blinking, bg=black
~9 -fg=black, bg=old fg (but dark, even if old fg was bright)
~A -fg=grey, bg=black
~B -fg=light red, bg=black
~C -fg=light green, bg=black
~D -fg=yellow, bg=black
~E -fg=light blue, bg=black
~F -fg=light magenta, bg=black
~G -fg=light cyan, bg=black
~H -fg=bright white, bg=black
~I -fg=blue, bg=white (dull white)
~J -fg=red, bg=white (dull white)
~K -fg=yellow, bg=blue
~Z -print 2 blinking red/white spaces, then bg=black
~a -fg=black, bg=black
~b -fg=red, bg=black
~c -fg=green, bg=black
~d -fg=brown, bg=black
~e -fg=blue, bg=black
~f -fg=magenta, bg=black
~g -fg=cyan, bg=black
~h -fg=white (dull white), bg=black
~i -bg=black
~j -bg=red
~k -bg=green
~l -bg=brown
~m -bg=blue
~n -bg=magenta
~o -bg=cyan
~p -bg=white (dull white)
~q -fg=blinking light blue, bg=black
~r -fg=blue, bg=black
~anything else -bg=black
You may use multiple codes in a string.

As a matter of interest, many immature people suggest entering something
of form "+++ATH0" for a beacon, planet name, or whatever. The theory is that
when an unsuspecting callers modem see's these names, it will abruptly hang up.
There are two reasons this cannot happen: 1) the input routines in the game
automatically filter out anything other than an upper or lower case alpha or
numeric char, plus a certain number of punctuation marks (and space), of which
the plus sign is not one (neither is the tilde which prevents the color codes
above from being used in names or beacons). The input routines also filter out
all ctrl chars, including the "esc" char, so ANSI keyboard reassignment routines
cannot be used; 2) virtually all Hayes compat modems have a user accessible S2
register which controls which char will be seen as the "escape code." Standard
practice seems to be to assign this to ASCII 255 which totally disables this
feature. ("S2=255")

[ Macro programs ("scripts") ]

- Jim Bianchi:

The use of macros to automate play in TradeWars is a legitimate out-
growth of the undeniable fact that computers can do repetitive tasks faster
and in most cases, more accurately and with better results, than can humans.

That's what computers are FOR, people. Taking the drudgery out of jobs
that involve large numbers of basically repeating chores. Such as triple tr-
ading for xp. Or just trading (optimising for creds). Or running the 5xp
sell/steal cycle. Or calculating the shortest route from HERE to THERE.

Some foolish people put util use in TradeWars in the same category as
TEDIT enhancement of a players' assets. I guess some people just like to be
able to say, "I lose regularly at Tradewars." I find it interesting that
most of the gripes about macro use comes from people who are at the bottom
of the c-l-v listing and likely they would be there even if no one used
utils. I have no argument with these types. Results count and, after all,
SOMEONE must loose!

What I have very strong feelings about, however, is the mindset that
looks on macro use as being "bad for the game," or that, somehow, macro
users enjoy an "unfair advantage." Olive witch is, of course, the purest
bullpucky! If you expect to be competitive in ANYTHING, be it Tradewars or
Indianapolis racing, you had best have not only the proper tools, but the
savvy to use them.

These types point out that the average newbie has no idea that these
utils exist or how to use them properly. In fact, this appears to be the
whole of their anti-macro arg. I counter with the fact that, if a newbie
has no idea of the existance of these util pgms, by definition he is not
adaquately prepared for playing. To use THIS as an excuse for limiting MY
use of these tools is lame in the extreme. Try showing up at Indianapolis
in a front engined car ..see how far you get. When you finish dead last,
holler that them other guys had an "unfair advantage."

It appears that a caller will log onto a BBS, push G for Games, see
TradeWars and think "hey, that sounds fun, I'll just try it." This is the
prototypical 'newbie.' He logs into the game and finds that everything can
be done by hand, so he presses on. Does he investigate any of the tip files
or utils? Does he even LOOK for any tip files or utils? Judging by what I
see on my own BBS, the answer in approaching 90% of the cases is NO. In
spite of the undeniable fact that the games are VERY competitive and he
keeps getting blown up. Why? I dunno. I guess that some people just think
that since they're playing a game on their computer, they already have all
that is needed.

If a person cares so little about winning that he doesn't take the
trouble to avail himself of the tip files and utils that are avail in order
to be able to win (or at least not loose so badly), quite often in spite of
prominently posted announcements regarding their availability, well, it's
no skin off my nose.

Other people have an irrationally bizzarre idea of just what can be
done using a macro, a script, or an offline util. To these macrophobes, the
use of a trading script raises the specter of an AI program that would log
in and play all one's moves, make strategic and tactical decisions, etc. If
such were possible, it would indeed tend to invalidate the game. However,
it is NOT currently possible; by the time computers grow fast enough and
powerful enough and the programming techniques evolve to the point that the
average game player could do such, TradeWars will've faded into the same
obscurity shared by Canasta and Majong.

"Unfair advantage?" It is to laugh. "Advantage," I can have. "Unfair,"
I cannot have. It is NOT the tools used. It is how tools are used. When
first I started playing, I called all around the country looking for tip
files and utils. I read all the files and set up what I thought was an
ideal mix of utils, then logged into a game, all set to show them suckers.
After all, _I_ had UTILITY PGMS! Yuh. Well, after finding myself thorough-
ly thrashed (by non-macro users, for the most part), I realised again what
I'd already known to be true: superior tools do not, of themselves, guar-
antee a superior result.

Now, it is true that utils give an advantage to one who knows how to
use them and who can appreciate their limitations. You can make more creds
in a given time period with macro's than without. But creds don't, of them-
selves guarantee you'll dominate the game. You gotta SPEND (or use) them
correctly. And no macro pgm will tell you how to do that. That's where your
strategic thinking and planning come in. Some people are just natural str-
ategic thinkers. Gonna holler that they're using an "unfair advantage" just
because they think about what they're doing?

That said, I'd like to cop out on the question "what's the best util?"
The question is simply too broad. What is the best car? I think it important
not which util or macro pgm you use, but that you learn to use what you have
effectively. There are many macro and database pgms. There are macro packages
(or scripts) for most of the currently popular DOS based communication pgms.
There is even one such script for the Amiga based Terminus communication pgm.

The FIDO TradeWars filebone sites have most of the utils and tip files
avail, as do many BBS systems throughout the country.

To get "into" proper use of these macro and util pgms would easily quint-
uple the size of this file. What I will advise is to simply get one and try it
out. Neither will I get into how each one operates. One thing I will say, how-
ever: the development of macro and util packages has totally changed TradeWars
playing, and the person who, for whatever reason, does not use one is severely
handicapping himself. Just like introduction of mid-engine cars has totally ch-
anged Indianapolis racing. And for similar reasons ..both are demonstrably bet-

[ The 5XP sell/steal cycle ]

The sell/steal cycle is a procedure whereby you sell a load of equip
to a port, steal it back, then sell it to them again. Repeat as necessary.
<grin> For those players with sufficient xp to steal 150 or 70 holds at a
time (3000xp and 1400xp respectively) the sell/steal cycle should prob be
the major source of income since it offers the greatest return for the
least effort. You use one turn to sell the equip, you use another to steal
it back. The theoretical max selling price of 150 holds of equip is 25,000
creds, but in reality, this is seldom seen. In my experience, about 22,500
creds is more commonly obtained, making each move in an (evil) ISS worth
'prox 11,250 creds.

5xp (and 2xp) is the amount of xp gain given for getting the current
price for the amt of equip you're selling spot on (100%) or nearly spot on
(99.xx%). The next segment discusses ways to calculate this "best price,"
and obtain 5xp per sale.

- Originally by Eugene Hung:

All ports have a BEST price, which will get one 5 experience points if
one bids that exact number. The best price is determined by the number of
holds, if uneven, then the best price is usually a fraction, though I am
not sure, since I always get holds in groups of 5 and 10, up to my maximum.
Some ports have just ONE best price, those are the easy ones.

Let us say one is in a StarMaster with 70 holds (the most useful ship
for robbing and attacking). Get a psychic probe to help determine the best
price. The first time, either accept the port's initial offer for no exp-
erience, or bid a little higher than what they offer. The psy-probe will
tell you how far you were off from the best price, then you steal the 70
equipment back, and use your calculator to figure out the best price and
nail it on the head for 5 exp. each time. However, most ports have more
than one best price (which I will explain). You must use a different strat-
egy for this, which is an extension of the strategy I just previously out-

Ok, so you have a psychic probe, and have just found out ONE best
price. Port again, and look carefully at the initial offer. If the offer is
within 20 credits or so of the previous time (when you sold 70 equ to them
at an absurdly low price), the best price is the same as last time, and so
you should bid your calculated best price from last time. You may be off a
credit or two, but eventually you'll figure out the best price through the
probe. Now, let us hypothesize that inital offer is substantially different
than last time (around 50-90 credits). That means the best price has MOVED.
But, after lots of testing, I discovered that the best price can only MOVE
up or down in multiples of a certain number, n. THAT NUMBER IS THE NUMBER
OF YOUR HOLDS. Thus, going back to the example, the port's best price can
fluctuate up or down multiples of 70. Knowing this, you look at the initial
offer, see whether it went up or down from last time, estimate how many
multiples of n it went up or down, and bid the best price plus 70 * roughly
how much it went up or down. This is a little confusing, so I'll illust-

Let us say the port offers 9600 credits for 70 equ. You accept the
offer, and figure out with your psy probe and calculator that the best
offer was 10199. You steal the 70 equ back. Now you port again. If the
offer still is around 9600(9580-9620), bid 10199. Voila, 5 exp. If you
continue to steal-sell, and the offer varies very little, this is a one-
price port. However, if the offer ever deviates by 50 or more, it is NOT a
one-price port. So let us say the 2nd time, the port offer 9665(65 more
than last time). Since you have 70 equ to sell, the port's best price must
have gone UP by 70 credits(since the offer went up around 70 creds). So one
bids 10269, or 10199 + 70. You steal, and port. The port offers 9510
credits, or 90 below 9600. That's around 70 below the original best price,
so you bid 10129, or 10199 -70. You steal, and port. The port now offers
9650, around 50 above 9600, so the best price is probably 70 above this
time, so it's 10269. You steal, and port. The offer is now 9385. That's
roughly 210 credits(70 * 3) below, so you bid 10199 - 210, or 9989 credits.

HOLDS. This strategy also works in other ships, such as a Corp FlagShip
with 85 (bid up or down multiples of 85 from the first figure).

There is a flaw, though. One may not estimate the number correctly. In
the previous example, what if the port offered 9635? One could not tell
whether the best price was the same, 10199, or 70 up, 10269. IN CASES OF
DOUBT, OVERBID. What I mean by that is, bid the higher figure, in this
case, 10269. If it WAS 10269, I get 5 exp. If it was 10199, the port will
raise its bid by 20-21 creds(30% of # of holds), also raising the best
price by 21 credits(30%). THE BEST PRICE CHANGES through overbids, by 30%
of the difference between the bids, towards your offer. So, let us say we
misestimated, and bid 10269. The port now offers 9655, which means we were
over by 70, so we bid 10199 + 21(30% of 70), or 10220. Bingo! Realize, if
one UNDERbids, the port will immediately accept the offer, and you will get
only TWO exp, for being 99.31% off or so. So always choose the higher
figure, when in doubt. And if you overshoot by 140, the port offer goes up
by 40 or so, so the best offer goes up by 42 credits(30% of 140), and you
should bid 98(140 -42) credits less to get the best price.

- Originally by Joel Downer:

The basic steal-sell cycle works as follows: find a port that's selling
equipment, and steal or buy 150 holds. (When you're using ports identified
with EVILPAIR.COM, it's actually smarter to buy, rather than steal, your
first load. Don't risk making a port angry with you when you may need to
buy fuel ore there the same day!)

Move to a port buying equipment -- preferably a port at 100%. Sell the
equipment for the best price you can negotiate (see the section on the
five-experience point trick, below). Now, port and *STEAL BACK THE EQUIP-
MENT YOU JUST SOLD*. Sell the equipment again, steal it, and repeat the
process until you're caught or out of turns. When you get caught, you'll
lose 13 holds (out of 150) and 10% of your experience. Sometimes you'll be
caught more often than you like, but if you steal a sensible amount (no
more than one hold per 15 experience points), you'll typically make more
than enough to compensate for the trouble.

Important: When you get caught, write down the location and the date. You
won't be able to port there for at least 14 days without getting busted
again (even if you just port to *trade*, you may get nailed). After a
couple of weeks, you can go back and work the ports again.

The five experience-point cycle works as follows. The first time you dock
at a port, accept the port's first offer for your equipment. Write down the
offer, and using a calculator and the results from your psychic probe to
calculate and round off the best price. (E.g.: first offer was 19,200;
psychic probe reports 96.69% of best. Best price = 19,200 / .9669 =
(int)19857.2 = 19857.

Steal back the equipment and dock again. If the first offer is within half
your number of holds (75 in a StarShip) of the first offer from last time
(19125 - 19275) bid the number that you calculated last time (19857). If
the offer is substantially higher or lower, adjust the best price by a
multiple of your number of holds. If the offer is 19,325 (125 higher), bid
150 higher; if the offer is 265 higher, bid 300 higher; if it's 700 higher,
bid 750 higher.

When in doubt, overbid. If the port refuses your initial offer, you can
still often get the five experience points; just understand that the best
price will *change*, by 30% of the difference between your offer and the
original best price.

Example: The port offers 19,278, and you bid 20,007. Oops! The port tries
to barter, telling you that you guessed wrong -- evidently, the best price
was still 19,857. Your error has changed the best price by 150 * .30, or 45
credits, so the *new* best price should be 19,902.

This approach will not work at every port. Some ports don't seem to have a
best price; at others, the initial estimate with the psychic probe will
actually be a few credits low or high. If you master this technique,
though, you'll be able to get five experience points on *every sale* at
many ports, and on *most sales* at many others.

Price guidelines: *very good* equipment-buying ports will pay 22,000 -
23,500 credits for 150 holds of equipment. Spending tons of turns looking
for the perfect port can end up *wasting* money, though, because every turn
in a StarShip is worth at least 9,000 credits. (What's more, tooling around
in a StarShip when evil is *dangerous*!) I'm usually content to work a port
that offers 20,000 for 150 holds, and I'll sometimes put up with ports pay-
ing as little as 19,000. Ports that only offer 16,000 - 17,000, however,
are taking things a little far... <grin>

[ Afterword ]

Iago's War Manual resulted from a need for a more-or-less centralised
file from which info could be gleaned about Tradewars 2002 v1.03d. The work
of many other individuals went into it; all I did was collate and edit in
an attempt to bring together in one place as much of the avail data as pos-

It was started at a time when I was "only an egg" playing in v1.03
games. Natch, like most newbies, I was mostly concerned with The Bugs. As
time went on and I realised that you can only CEYLAD so many times before
it starts totally loosing any meaning, I modified this file by adding to it
many tips found in the tip files and that had been passed onto me by others
or read about in the Fido and RIME TW conferences.

As I showed it to fellow corp members and other interested local play-
ers, it dawned on me that not only did many of them not know how to do a
few of the things herein mentioned, some of them weren't even aware of the
existance of these techniques. Eventually, I was prevailed upon to clean it
up and release it.

Iago's War Manual is very much NOT a "compleat guide to the game."
It's not even close. I suspect such a file would be nearly impossible to
write. Although no specific recommendations are made here, most of the
techniques presented assume an evil alignment, for the simple reason that,
all things considered, an evil player can make more creds in an otherwise
unedited game than can a good aligned player. I play to win. Ergo..

This file was written for ME. If others read it and gain something
from it, so much the better. Though it started out as a compilation of
bugs, it stopped being that long before the first public release. Even so,
v1.03d is SO bug ridden that it is exceedingly difficult to discuss most
techniques at any length at all without having to at least mention one or
another bug. Since that is the nature of the game, I make no apology for my
mention of them here. That the game of TradeWars 2002 remains so popular in
spite of these acknowledged bugs and programing anomalies says much about
the quality of play it provides.

This is likely the last revision for v1.03d, due to the *hoped for*
release of v2.0. Several other people have indicated they've started work
on a playing guide for v2.0 (even though it is still in beta as this is
being written). At this time, no "Iago" for v2.0 is planned.

May all your ports be "best price" ports..

-Jim Bianchi (Iago)

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