A Wolfpack Empire Publication
"All the news that fits, we print."
In This Edition
:*: Empire News has a new editor Jeff Cotter. His autobio:
"Jeff played first played empire in the mid 1980s, while studying at Uni of Delaware. Soon after downloading the source and setting it up on one of the Elec Eng PDP-11s - and after his grad-school buddies got wise and bored of the game - he played in a national game, as "Carcinoma". Luckily, he got busted sneaking one too many trips to campus at 4 am by his girlfriend, and quit Empire all together. He started playing again in 2002 - in one Newbie and two Midship games as Dexter, in LOTR II as half of Balchoth and presently in Retro. Jeff is the developer and deity of the Star Wars Thematic Empire series (http://www.pv.unsw.edu.au/jcotter/SWE/Endor.htm). He is obsessed with economic aspects of Empire and probably couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag."
:*: Wolfpack released Empire 4.2.15 Server, fixing several critical bugs that allowed players to crash the server or worse.
Player visible changes include improved selectors, revamped 'rollover avail' rules, and a smarter survey command. Deity visible changes include further improvements to the edit command. Deities are urged to use this release for new games. More information is posted on rec.games.empire, including links to server downloads, at http://groups.google.com.au/groups?selm=864qq2hn7r.fsf%40snapper.pond.sub.org
:*: Roman M. Parparov announced the release of a major upgrade of the pei (Perl Empire Interface) Empire client. Now, completely rewritten to combine asynchronous connection together with read line capabilities.
Version 3.0.0 is a stripped down version of earlier version 2.9 with combined asynchronous connection together with read line capabilities. Plans are now in the works to recreate many of the tools found in version 2.9. It promises to be a solid foundation for further tool development and GUI implementation.
Get pei and other utilities from http://empire.tau.ac.il/~romm/emp/
|Home of Wolfpack Empire :||http://www.wolfpackempire.com/|
:*: Deities, advertise your games here. Email
email@example.com with the details.
:*: Coming soon, Star Wars Empire II --- New Byss Campaign
Deities: Jeff Cotter, Ron Koenderink, Markus Armbruster
Start Date: Early August
:*: In the works, Petting Zoo II ---
Start Date: Around the end of Retro
:*: Retro Empire
Deities: Mark Ballinger (Uesugi) and Geoff Cashman (Mithrilien)
Start Date: Friday March 26th, first update Monday, March 29th, 2004
Host/Port: retro.wolfpackempire.com / 6665
Blitz Host/Port: blitz.wolfpackempire.com / 6665
Official Deity Report:
Retro Empire is running at retro.wolfpackempire.com, port 6665. Deities are Mark Ballinger (Uesugi) and Geoff Cashman (Mithrilien). A blitz with the same configuration (except food) is running at blitz.wolfpackempire.com, port 6665.
Retro Empire is an attempt to emulate what could be called the classical age of Empire: the early '90s. No infrastructure. No missions. 24 ETUs per update. Fewer ship and plane types, and no land units. Completing a ship or plane takes several updates. Start islands are large, but resources are scarce.
Players are encouraged to telex to Diary, and some of them do. These telexes will be published after the game ends. We can hope for unique and interesting insights. We're still waiting for a good death notice.
At the last news posting, Savoia and Indeterminist had both fought off homeland invasions. Tormalin was looking at a multi-front dogpile. Golgoth was facing a homeland invasion from KingJohan.
Since then, pandatrax, Land_Of_Faa and Wonderland (the former Parpara) have each been invaded and wiped out. Golgoth and Tormalin finally succumbed too. KingJohan was the big winner, taking panda and Golgoth. Draenor took Land_Of_Faa. Pern and BlackBox put the beat-down on Wonderland. Tormalin was carved up nicely between UTOPIA, Kamoria and Aridon.
The other big news has been plague. Several countries have seen the plague. Aridon got hit the hardest, with his warehouse beginning the infection, which spread throughout his home island in two massive waves.
The tech race has continue apace. beep slipped out of the lead, and it's now a tight race between half a dozen runners. We're at early nuke tech, and missiles are not far away. This reporter is still waiting for the first yacht!
- = [ Empire Power Report ] = - as of Tue Jun 1 12:34:52 2004 sects eff civ mil shell gun pet iron dust oil food pln ship money KingJohan 339 92% 198K 6.5K 7.5K 377 3.2K 29K 1.4K 2.0K 53K 152 54 22K Draenor 255 95% 186K 5.2K 5.5K 765 6.0K 11K 3.3K 1.4K 69K 173 150 5.6K Pern 185 95% 125K 4.5K 3.4K 355 3.4K 16K 5.2K 1.6K 34K 134 91 1.7K BlackBox 175 96% 129K 4.3K 3.0K 655 1.9K 6.1K 1.2K 1.8K 35K 206 131 1.3K Kamoria 220 79% 122K 4.0K 4.2K 291 2.5K 6.7K 2.1K 1.3K 40K 182 111 2.2K TZIA 146 97% 125K 5.4K 2.6K 550 3.0K 5.6K 3.1K 520 19K 183 115 23K beep 190 76% 121K 4.0K 1.7K 441 1.3K 7.1K 1.5K 709 24K 120 90 3.3K Uruk 153 91% 123K 4.2K 3.5K 325 2.4K 6.5K 212 596 16K 208 123 1.8K UTOPIA 159 82% 97K 2.6K 1.2K 153 904 6.0K 191 606 9.3K 134 69 1.7K Zapotek 115 98% 98K 1.2K 1.0K 503 1.8K 9.3K 284 493 29K 226 51 616 Aridon 181 83% 67K 2.1K 2.8K 431 2.0K 12K 3.1K 220 47K 91 100 13K DiudeLand 120 92% 95K 5.1K 2.4K 320 1.7K 4.8K 645 343 8.1K 95 42 314 Manetheri 115 89% 91K 3.6K 2.2K 372 1.1K 3.4K 637 652 6.8K 129 46 2.1K U.S.Madis 132 81% 96K 4.1K 2.1K 302 2.2K 3.8K 318 495 21K 50 25 827 Savoia 100 100% 91K 2.2K 1.9K 485 3.3K 3.7K 279 321 15K 123 28 26K Azwhepay 100 99% 90K 3.6K 1.5K 300 824 4.9K 544 515 16K 81 29 792 Indetermi 111 88% 91K 2.3K 2.9K 337 416 2.7K 498 567 4.4K 72 58 7.0K ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- worldwide 2.8K 90% 1.9M 65K 50K 7.0K 38K 140K 24K 14K 448K 2.4K 1.3K 130K
:*: Seawolf I
Start Date: May 15th, first update Monday, March 29th, 2004
Host/Port: seawolf.juneau-lug.org / 8652
Official Deity Reports:
:*: Kelly's Empire Blitz Server
Start Date: June, 2004
Updates: 60 ETUs every 10 minutes
Host/Port: 188.8.131.52 / 6665
:*: The Changeling Blitz
Restart Cycle: Every day at 7:00 pm US/Eastern (currently 23:00 UTC)
Updates: Enabled at 7:30 pm, 60 ETUs every 10 minutes
Host/Port: blitz.wolfpackempire.com / 6789
Note that world size and some options change daily. It is up to
players to figure that out each day, but typing `version' helps.
Further surprises are possible, as Changeling runs snapshots from the
latest Wolfpack server development.
:*: The Zebra Blitz
Restart Cycle: Every Sunday at 6:00 pm US/Eastern (currently 22:00 UTC)
Updates: Enabled at 6:30 pm, 48 ETUs every 60 minutes
Host/Port: blitz.wolfpackempire.com / 5678
No games known to the Empire News ended in the previous month.
One year ago this month, Wolfpack launched its new website and it's
been lookin' good ever since. Thanks Geoff Cashman for keeping the
site up to date, as well as putting in a number of historical archives
and articles on various topics.
Some of Geoff's good work, among others:
- on the detailed historical timeline of the Empire game
- on the topic "How to Make your Game Major"
- on the topic "This Should be Easy to Code"
Pax and Armengar won Newbie II. Are you guys still around?
Markus Armbruster's Hint of the Month was on fractional range
firing. If you haven't already, dig this one up and read it.
Ten Years ago around this time, Volume 1 Number 2 of Empire News was
published (May, 1994), edited by Ken Stevens.
Coders were working on the Chainsaw 3.31 server. Thomas Ruschak, one of the original authors of the Chainsaw code, expected to finish fixing the last of the bugs in the Chainsaw code and release it sometime this summer or next fall. [Yeah, right...]
The very first Empire website ever had just been opened up. I quote the issue:
"If you have access to the World Wide Web, you can connect to Empire's
new WWW page at: http://www.engg.ksu.edu:80//empire/home.html
What's the World Wide Web? See for yourself. To quote Drake
Diedrich, 'It is way cool.'"
Finally, The Dig uncovered a dozen or so "tools" used by early Empire
players (Genus Species: Empireopiticus Playerus). However, crude and
blunt, the tools prove without a doubt that, while they walked on all
fours, these ancient players were intelligent and could probably touch
type 100 commands per minute. A typical tool that is almost taken for
granted todayuncovered name author language working? -------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 12 1994 autofeed Jim Gillogly perl yes
The Dig uncovered a cryptic passage found near the tool:
"autofeed moves food from sectors with too much to those with too little."
We've come a long way in the client tool department.
The basic Empire client can be found at
source as well as binaries for many platforms.
The latest version of WinACE is 2.4.10. Read the announcement at
and download from http://sourceforge.net/projects/winace/
The latest version of PTkEI is 1.18.1. See the PTkEI home page at
The latest version of eif is 1.3.4. See the eif home page at
The latest version of LAFE is 1.0. Get it from
or any other Debian mirror.
The latest version of pei is 3.0.0. See the pei home page at
The current Empire server is 4.2.15. Download it from
Farewell to our editor, Markus Armbruster. Thanks heaps from the wider Empire community for editing this rag for so long - you did a great job. We all looked forward to the issues, especially the Hint of the Month and your recounting of Current Games. Well done, mate.
Geoff and Markus might have miscalculated, asking the Star Wars Empire guy to edit this newsletter. He has trouble leaving well enough alone, and has on more than one occasion given the Wolfpack team the sh!ts for going walkabout with the empire server code (or at least threatening to) :-) He also has a tendency to rabbit on, just ask his co-rulers about that! Are these good qualities for an Empire News editor? We shall see.
You may have noticed two small changes to the Empire News already. Firstly, each month, I'm going to rely on Deities and contributions from rec.games.empire for snippets about games. Secondly, I've added a section called The Dig, which is a fun look back through the archives at the way things used to be in the Empire world.
A third change will be that the Hint of the Month will focus on various aspects of economy management, one of the important means to victory in Empire. Economy management can also be one of the more tedious aspects of playing a longer term game, especially when your country gets above the 250 sector mark.
Players in the first Star Wars Empire game, for example, submitted economy-related commands (move, thresh, prod, des, budget, dist, del, cen, comm, neweff) about 31% of the time, compared to 29% for military-related commands (ship, land, plane, march, fly, nav, fire, miss, retr, spy, look, llook, lretr, lrange, range, sonar). Logistics- and communications commands together accounted for about 31%, for comparison.
It's not surprising, then, that running your country's economy can seem like such a burden and yet at the same time, it cannot be neglected in competitive games. Econ can hardly be called fun, at least for most of us. How much fun can it be to move 100 lcms into your library/school, especially compared to bombing your fodder neighbor's bars (especially when s/he puts them all on one bank!)? Sanity and enjoyment of the game requires an effective approach to managing your country's econ. Therefore, the Hints section of the forthcoming baker's volume of the Empire News shall be devoted to
*booming voice* Dexter's 13 Tips for a Powerful and Sane Empire Economy *lots o' reverb*
They are to be, in not particular order and subject to change,
- Move shortcuts in WinACE
- Cost efficient Tech/Edu production
- An idle economy does your enemy's bidding
- Managing your budget Part I the spend-down phase
- Managing your budget Part II growth phase
- Growth, Growth, Growth
- Mobility is a resource, too
- Economic "Sanctions" attacking enemy economies (with guest editor, Dorwinion)
- The value of an early kill (with guest editor, Doorbell).
- Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money
- Economic SWAT protecting your economic assets
- Links to other hints and writings about Empire econ
- Classic econ opening moves
Well-seasoned players are invited, of course, to contribute to the topics as they come up, or better yet, to be a guest editor. I will give an advance synopsis each month to get those sometimes-viscous cranial fluids moving...
Jeff, a.k.a. Dexter
:*: The move command is the most heavily used command in a typical game of Empire. Stats collected from the last SW Empire game show the move command being 19% of the total player-submitted commands, more than three times the next most 'popular' command (which was 'ship').
WinACE has several very good shortcuts for moving commodities that all WinACE users should know about. They are invaluable and save considerable time.
:*: Hopscotch, or "Waypoint" Moves: When you're low on mobility and you want to get some commodities from sector A to sector B, use a Hopscotch Move. Here, you move the items one sector at a time using a little bit of mobility from each sector on the path instead of only the mobility from sector A. In WinACE, select your sector A and enter the amount of the item you want to move. Click the "Waypoints" button and then touch all (or some) of the sectors on the path from sector A to sector B. You'll see the Waypoints form filling up with sector coordinates. Click Ok in the Waypoints form when you're done, and then move the goods by clicking the "Move" button. WinACE will take care of the rest. One pitfall, don't hopscotch thru a sector with low or zero mob your goods will get stuck there! Also, don't Hopscotch Move through a plague infected sector...you will spread plague to the next sector along the way.
:*: +Amount: If you put a plus sign before the amount of commodities you want to move (when using WinACEs move form), WinACE will calculate and move the amount required to bring the sector B's final quantity of goods up to Amount.
:*: -Amount: If you put a minus sign before the amount of commodities you want to move (when using WinACEs move form), WinACE will move calculate and move the amount required to leave sector A's final quantity of goods at Amount.
Note: +Amount and Amount work perfectly with Hopscotch moves.
:*: One-to-Many Moves: When manually moving a particular item to many sectors (guns or shells for flak, for example), you can easily specify a list of destination sectors all at one time. After specifying the amount and "from" sector, place the cursor in the "to" box on WinACEs move form. Control-click all of the sectors to which you wish to move the item. Clicking a sector a second time will remove it from the list of sectors; clicking a third time adds it back to the list and so forth.
:*: Many-to-One Moves: The converse of One-to-Many Moves works in WinACE as well. This is useful, for example, when collecting up all the onesy commodities leftover from your distribution network (ie, dust or cms) into a single sector. Use control-click in the "from" box, here.
Note: +Amount and Amount work perfectly with One-to-Many and Many-to-One Moves.
:*: There are not Many-to-Many Moves, although I have used One-to-Many Moves in combination with Many-to-One Moves to move heavy goods around. Consider the problem of waging war with Mordor across his northern mountain range. Getting shells into the mountains for arty was a mobility nightmare. A solution: One-to-Many Move 4 shells into each of 10 highway sectors on the Balchoth Highway. Next, Many-to-One Move those 4 shells from each of the 10 highway sectors into the
target sector. Quick and easy 26 mouse clicks, then load, lock and fire at will.
:*: Finally, WinACE has a really good autofeed tool specifically for moving food around to sectors without enough food for the update.
:*: Next Month: Cost Effective Tech/Edu Production
Synopsis: Tech is expensive; baaad Tech. Tech lets you build better hardware and improves production efficiency; goood Tech. There is a way to get the most tech for your money (and lcm/oil/dust).
:*: Quiz question: You're desperate to get shells to the front line. How is it possible to fit 650 shells on a stock-standard cargo ship?
Deities, send nominations for Anno of the Month to
:*: This anno comes from rec.games.empire. It tickled a famous nerve
among Empire players the econ micromanagement nerve.> Announcement from GNUb, (#99) dated 2004-05-11 22:58:21 PSTworried about micromanagement??? YOU'RE PLAYING THE MOST COMPLEX
GAME KNOWN TO MAN!!! I say the more we can increase micromanagement the better... and we should add about 12 more resources along with having to micromanage the cities themselves (in a Sim City sort of way) and more food types... we should have a resource for each food group, and make sure everyone eats a balanced diet in your empire! (decrease eff for obesity) Taxes should be managed, along with city services and residential/commercial zoning ratios. We should set Mayor salaries, create massive totems of morale proclaiming the mighty power of the GNUb. I say, if you can fit all of a sector's stats on to one page WE NEED MORE VARIABLES! Citizen happiness should really make a difference, make it matter from the start... too little happiness = REVOLT & DETHRONEMENT! (cities then either defect, turn neutral, or riot and march into other sectors stirring up trouble there...RAWR!! I AM GNUb! HEAR MY SENSLESS BABBLE!!!
:*: 'Suboceana' deserves special honours for sustaining several weeks
of entertaining jabs at and puns on the Retro Empire countries. Keep
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