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

A Wolfpack Empire Publication
"All the news that fits, we print."
March, 2004

In This Edition

What's New?

Wolfpack released Empire 4.2.13! Highlights: Map highlighting flag
(finally!), land units fortify automatically at the update, wandering
che are less predictable, and the new experimental option
ROLLOVER_AVAIL. Many a bug was squashed for making this release; if
you're bothered by this cruelty, seek professional help.

The `payoff' command is somewhat broken in this release. If you want
to run a game with trade ships, check out patch #898130 on

Ron Koenderink released WinACE 2.4.0, 2.4.1 and 2.4.2. WinACE now
supports the heavily customized St@r W@rs Empire. WinACE help now
includes the latest server info files.

Geoff Cashman, Lead Wolf and Chief Historian published a detailed
historical timeline of Empire. The history files now contain records
of more than forty games, all the way back to '82. Find this and
more at

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Links/Resources/Getting Started

Home of Wolfpack Empire :
Usenet :
More :

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New Games

Lanny Andelin announced `Newbie V', the latest in his successful
series of games designed for relative newcomers. As usual, more
experienced players are welcome, too, provided they are willing to
support the goal of the game: give the newbies a friendly opportunity
to learn the game.

For a while it looked like Newbie IV would be the last in this series,
which would have been a pity. Welcome back!

The grapevine is mumbling about `Retro Empire': latest code configured
back to the ~1990 era. No units, no infrastructure, no missions, no
nothing, and no registrations being accepted yet. A generous offer of
a patch to simulate vintage '90s network lag and splits was rudely

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Current Games

St@r W@rs Empire `Bidder's War' is running at, port
6665. It is the brainchild of Jeff Cotter.

The recently discovered `Bidders' star system is being colonized by
the six top bidder's for its secret access codes. To their surprise,
the Bidders discovered certain indigenous life forms, and some of them
don't appear to just acquiesce to being colonized... Saiph reports
the loss of several sectors to the primitives of TrojanHorse,
allegedly using giant worm-like space-faring creatures (haha; as
usual, the news lies).

Adding to The Bidders troubles, the mysterious Sith arrived, whose
language so far resisted the most advanced xenolinguistic analysis.
Countries report the capture (and execution) of numerous Sith spies,
and are now assuming the worst about the Sith's intentions.

Newsflash! Stop the presses! Lwhekk sacked Wookieland's capital!

       - = [   Empire Power Report   ] = -
      as of Mon Mar 01 22:31:44 2004

         sects  eff civ  mil  shell gun pet  iron dust oil  pln ship unit money
   Lwhekk 120   86% 158K 5.3K 675   45  2.0K  16K 4.3K 3.5K  50   60   60  230K
    Saiph  90   80% 100K 1.1K 700   90  3.4K  11K 3.4K 3.0K  30   30   10   50K
    Plorn  80   82%  78K 2.8K 250   70  3.1K 7.3K 200  550   20   20   20   60K
  Wayland  75   72%  62K 400  350   15    0   17K 2.0K 7.0K   0    9    0  125K
   Gemini  55   97%  66K 2.0K  25    5  3.0K 3.1K 2.0K 5.8K   8    6    9   50K
     Sith   5  100% 7.3K  50  450    0  950  1.4K 500  550   20    0    6   70K
TrojanHor  65   52%  48K 1.6K 750   40    0  4.5K 400  2.1K  60   60   70   50K
     Zhar  30   97%  44K 1.1K 325   25    0  4.2K 1.0K 300   40    9    0   75K
Wookielan  25   98%  15K 1.4K  21    5    0  5.2K 900  3.5K   0    9    2   45K
   Agamar  30   94%  35K 800  600    5  350  7.5K 600  1.4K  30   10   30   60K
          ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
worldwide 585   81% 611K  17K 4.2K 300   13K  77K  15K  28K 260  220  210  810K

This game is possibly the most heavily customized game in recent
Empire history. In addition to other changes to make Empire fit for
space, it introduces the concept of `alignment': units can only be
built by countries with matching alignment.

Find out more at

The Changeling Blitz is running at, port
6789. This blitz resets at 7:00pm US/Eastern (currently 00:00 UTC)
every day. Updates are enabled at 7:30pm. There is a 60 ETU update
every 10 minutes. 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 is running at, port 5678.
This blitz resets at 6:00pm US/Eastern (currently 23:00 UTC) every
Sunday. Updates are enabled at 6:30pm. There is a 48 ETU update
every hour on the hour.

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Recently Ended Games

Havok II `Designing Nations' was won by DrJellyfinger (Bungholio, who
else?) and Shakespeare. Robert Marchese was deity.

DrJellyfinger and Shakespeare declared victory after they killed
Ringworld. Frank contested, and he was dug in *deep*. That couldn't
stop the two behemoths from eliminating him, although it took a bit
longer than initially anticipated.

     - = [   Empire Power Report   ] = -
      as of Tue Feb 17 07:03:57 2004

         sects  eff civ  mil  shell gun pet  iron dust oil  pln ship unit money
      ... 190  100% 167K  13K 3.7K 390  7.7K  45K 1.4K  10K 150  410  140  1.2M
DrJellyfi 285   95% 227K  15K 8.0K 885  8.9K  43K 1.8K  18K 800  350  180  215K
Shakespea 370   94% 314K  12K 8.0K 1.0K  17K  27K 1.6K  56K 430  220  180  200K
  Thistle 200   97% 145K 9.7K 8.8K 1.0K  15K  23K 1.1K 1.9K 300  160  140   80K
unemploye  10   78% 2.7K 550  475  120    0  950   24    1    0   60    2  -11K
Ringworld   1  100% 1.0K 100   75   20  100  300    0    0    0    7    1   40K
    Frank   0    0%   0   38   14    3    0    0    0    0    0    4    0   45K
          ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
worldwide 1.1K  96% 857K  51K  29K 3.5K  49K 139K 6.0K  87K 1.7K 1.2K 630  1.8M
Find more at the game's web site
and of course at

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Clients and Player Tools

The basic Empire client can be found at and, source
as well as binaries for many platforms.

The latest version of WinACE is 2.4.2. Read the announcement at
and download from

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.

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Server and Deity Information

The current Empire server is 4.2.13. Download it from or

`payoff' is broken in 4.2.13. See

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From the Editor

Are you worried about robotic Empire players? Do they crush you in your nightmares? Isn't it a fact that computers beat >99% of all human players at chess? Would the construction of some AI robot destroy Empire as we know it?

Well, I don't think so.

First of all, chess is a deep game with complete information and simple rules, while Empire is a deep game with partial information and complicated rules. Now, that's an understatement if there ever was one! It's complex, messy, ill-defined, configurable, hackable, and changing. Humans are still far better at coping with that than computers.

Computers are successful at chess because the number of possible moves is tractable, barely, if you really know what you're doing. Well, I wouldn't at chess, but I know that the number of moves in Empire is staggering. Not only do we have more pieces on a larger board, we don't just take turns moving single pieces. And the nail in the computer's coffin: it's not one-on-one. The robot of your nightmares better does well at the Turing test, or it won't at Empire.

What computers could do, in my opinion, isn't playing Empire, it's serving as a tactical aid to a human player. Whether that would be beneficial for the game or not I don't know. And anyway, I'm not holding my breath.

Markus, a.k.a. Dorwinion

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Hint of the Month

This month you'll learn the ancient art of airfield triangulation, and
why you might wish to know about the `range' command.

Say your probing patrol gets first intercepted over sector 30,0:

1 Dummy fighter is rising to intercept!
Neophyte   Dummy       strength int odds  damage           results
f2  #51    f2  #109      5/5    46  0.50   22/24  cleared       cleared

Where is f2#109 based?

The first step is to estimate that fighter's range. For that, you
have to estimate its tech level. f2#109 had a strength of 5, so it
must have at least tech 100. If it was 100%, then it can't have more
than tech 119. That narrows down range to 12-13. Since an intercept
mission has to return to base, interception range is half of that,
namely 6.

You now know that f2#109 is based within six sectors of 30,0. Draw a
circle with range 6 around 30,0 on your map (in Empire, circles are

In fact, you know much more. You *didn't* get intercepted on your way
to 30,0, which means the base is *more* than six sectors away from
every sector on your flight path to 30,0. Say its course was straight
east. Then the base cannot be within six sectors of 28,0. Draw
another circle. All that's left is a one-sector strip running from
36,-6 through 42,0 to 36,6.

Now probe from another direction. If you're lucky, you encounter the
same plane again. That leads you another one-sector strip. The
airfield is where the two strips intersect.

When I said you know that f2#109 is based more than six sectors away
from 28,0, I lied. Dummy could have used the `range' command. In
that case you don't actually get two narrow intersecting strips, you
get two intersecting wide strips, and you can't quite pin down the
location of the base.

Missions with off-center operations points distort the plane's op-area
from a circle to the intersection of two circles. That can also help
to confuse a triangulating enemy.

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Anno of the Month

From St@r W@rs Empire:

> Announcement from POGO, (#0)  dated Mon Mar 01 23:11:59 2004
"Cursed sub band, why can't those wretched Genosians get a low-tech sub-space
asynch data link correct...can'"

Darth Dexter was having a terrible day. Broke the golden rule, he did. Never
mention (SW) Empire to Mrs. Darth Dexter.

"War is breaking out everywhere, Lwhekk, Wookieland, Saiph, TrojanHorse, and
it's only a matter of time 'till it spreads to the whole star system." said
Darth with glee. "I'm so happy!" he added, smiling behind the wheel of his
Super Star Destroyer on the way to drop off his lovely lady at work.

"You need help," said she with a very cross look that reminded him that she
definately does not approve of Empires.

Darth reckoned it'd be at least a few days before he'd be allowed to take off
his evil costume again. Dang!

Well, at least he sorted out the update times as promised...

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