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"On air. On sea. On land. Still the Internet's greatest wargame simulation."

"All the news that fits, we print."
February, 1996
Vol. 3, No. 2

In This Edition

What's New

Current Games
One new long term game started up this month.

"Playing Wargames on the Internet"
A review of a book devoted to Empire playing and strategy.

Correction: latest toolkit release author
Kevin Morgan is responsible for the current release on the PEA.

Latency Free Empire Client version 0.14
A bug fix release for the client usable on slower connections.

Winsock Empire source code released
Jonathon Butler has released his latest source for other developers.

PEA client directory reorganized
To accomodate the plethora of clients, the directory has been subdivided.

Empire Server 3 is Updated to 3.0.15
A Solaris port and major steps towards fixing "budget" are included.

Bayou Blast
was won by RedDog and Gumbo.

BugHunt III
was won by RiffRaff and CCCP.

Thematic II
was won by Jolt and RedGreen.

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New games starting up

Thematic III: The Valley
This Thematic game will be a river valley with tributaries and mountain ranges separating players. Resources are uneven and Yannick is modifying some parameters for income and firing ranges. Player placement can vary in terrain, so all players need to request what type of terrain they want. Less experience players will have priority on picks. The choices are mountain/mountain corner, mountain/sea corner, mountain side and sea side. Interested players should send the following information to
Real Name:
Country Name:
Email Address:
Userid and Machine usually played from:
Experience level (1-10 according to the PEA ranking):
Number of games played (approx.):
Where would you prefer to be placed:

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Current Games

Current Long-Term Games (
The Lunatic Fringe long-term game began since the last Empire News.

Current Blitzes (
The Howitzer and UAlberta blitzes are the best places to start learning
Empire. Some deities of long-term games also run test blitzes in the
interim. Check out the pea_pages for the latest information on game
locations and times.

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Featured Columns

"Playing Wargames on the Internet" by Rawn Shah and Jim Romine
1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp.308, US$19.95
Reviewed by Mark Ballinger

Two things stand out as obstacles to the new Empire player. First and foremost is the number of different commands available, and the seeming complexity of the game. In addition, there is the realization that the learning curve is steep, and plenty of players are out there ready to pounce on and destroy the hapless beginner. This also encompasses the mistaken belief that there are secrets to the game that really make the strong player.

The on-line info pages, the FAQ, and the generally available assistance of other players go a long way towards bringing the new player up to speed. For the game to reach the broadest audience, however, requires printed or printable information in a well organized and indexed form. "Playing Wargames on the Internet" is the first in what may turn out to be a slew of available commercial resources. The book tackles strategy and information on Empire and NetTrek. (I thumbed through but didn't really spend any time with the second part.) Although the authors provide a lot of very useful information, and the book index and command descriptions are well organized, in general it could have used some stronger editing.

A concise beginning and a description on how to acquire a client and connect to a game starts out the first two chapters. Next comes a chapter on "Concepts" and one on "Playing Strategies". These two are the heart of the book and I picked up some useful tips. The organization of the part, though, suffers the most. Topics seem to skip around, and some sub-sections could have been moved around to give the reader an idea of the game as a whole rather than as a bunch of unrelated hints. Chapter Five is made up of short descriptions of many empire commands. Obviously, the on-line info pages for commands are readily available, but the book nicely points out the utility of each one. Finally, the
authors walk the reader through an example blitz. This really should help beginning players, you may not even know what to do once a game begins.

Book projects like this don't happen overnight, and it is the authors' bad fortune that the new developments in the Empire Server could not be included. A section on some bugs in the server really doesn't apply, and some strategies such as bombing an enemy bank to below 60% will no longer achieve the described end. Soon the server development should shake out the last of the current projects, and the new clients will become available. I'm definitely looking forward to the second edition of this book, as well as others that are bound to come along.

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Drake Diedrich updates the Latency Free Empire Client.
Release 0.14 has some bug fixes. Binaries are provided for some machines, and source for others. Any sucdessful ports should be reported to

Jonathon Butler release source for Winsock Empire Client 2.0.4.
Anyone interested in taking over development can pick up the source code on the PEA (

PEA Reorganized and Mirrored.
The Client Directory ( has been subdivided to accomodate current and future clients. In addition, the entire PEA is being mirrored now at

Client Discussion Mailing List.
Subscribe to the discussion list focussing on client development by sending mail to with "subscribe" in the
message body. Approval for inclusion takes place before you receive any
mail. Catch up on archived messages by visiting the Planet Empire Archives, under Client Discussion

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The Empire2 Server
The empire server of choice. To try it out, grab the latest version from
the PEA (

The Empire3 Server
If you'd like to try running the new server (, it is
available on PEA. This is still in the experimental stage, so please stick with Empire 2 for long term games. Ville Virrankoski has been fixing the budget command and consolidating a lot of code. Ron Kuris ported the server to Solaris.

The Empire Project Home Page (
For an up to date list of the changes in the new server, connect to the
Howitzer Blitz ( and type "info Empire3".

Empire Server Discussion Mailing List
The mailing list, a forum of discussion regarding changes to the server, has been established. If you have time to help with the server project, or would like to participate in the on-going plans, send mail to with "subscribe" in the message body. There is an approval process, so any useful information about your interest in the discussion helps.

A more general mailing list is available to all coders, good players, and especially deities. Subscribe to this list to keep abreast of all coding
changes by sending mail to with subscribe" in the message body.

To subscribe to a digest, send mail to, and include in the body: "subscribe empire-list-digest".

How to Run a Game
( Before making a game announcement to, please read and heed this document.

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This Month's Winners

Bayou Blast
was won by RedDog (UUCP/IceBarbarians) and Gumbo (Cathouse/Dristonia).

BugHunt III
was won by RiffRaff (Barsoom/Lothlorien) and CCCP (CCCP/CCCP/CCCP).

Thematic II
was won by Jolt (Ionica/Mithrilien) and RedGreen (Overlord/Blighty).

         sects  eff civ  mil  shell gun pet  iron dust oil  pln ship unit money
     Jolt 364   98% 526K  12K  12K 1.4K 8.6K 188K 2.6K  17K 205  298  232   57K
 RedGreen 244   94% 274K  12K 3.6K 408  3.6K 104K 2.2K 7.1K 122   94  120   48K
AlphaneMo 159   98% 236K 8.8K 7.9K 679  4.3K  97K 3.2K 9.1K  59   89   89   51K
Plundaria 166   97% 214K 8.8K 2.1K 424  3.5K  68K 4.2K 3.6K  89  135   55  171K

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This Newsletter

Mark Ballinger is responsible for the Empire News and the Empire FAQ. If you have suggestions, corrections or announcements, please email me at

Mark Ballinger (Uesugi)

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