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Home » Stars! 2.6/7 » Stars! - Must Know » Blitzing FAQ
Blitzing FAQ Wed, 11 May 2005 02:25
Micha

 

Messages: 2341
Registered: November 2002
Location: Belgium GMT +1
Link to the thread in the Academy

Not so much a new game announcement as a teaser to come start or join a blitz in #stars!
We do regularly have a Friday night and Saturday night games but you get chance to play at any other time pop in and see if you can rustle up some interest.

1) An Introduction to Blitzing

2) Setting up mIRC and using mIRC

2.1) Downloading mIRC
2.2) Initial mIRC setup
2.3) Setting up DCC file transfers
2.5) Rules of the channels

3) Using the blitz bots

3.1) What are blitz bots?
3.2) How to send commands to the blitz bots
3.3) A list of the most commonly used commands
3.4) An example of joining and playing a game

4) Blitz rules and conditions

4.1) Universe Conditions
4.2) Multi year generations
4.3) The game timer
4.4) Special rules
4.5) Handicap rules

5) Blitz strategy

5.1) General guidelines
5.2) A few sample blitz races

6) Credits

1) An introduction to blitzing
==============================

Blitzes are fast stars! games played over an Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
network. The games use multi-year generations, normally batching up 4
years until 2440, 2 years until 2460 and 1 year thereafter, and are
usually finished over the course of one night. A timer will force
generate the game 5-10 minutes after first submission. To play a game
you will need a copy of stars!, an IRC client (mIRC is recommended), a
large pot of coffee and a few spare hours of your life. The coffee is
optional.



2) Setting up mIRC
==================


2.1) Downloading mIRC

mIRC is available from many sites across the Internet, a few are listed
below:

http://www.mirc.com
http://www.mirc.org
http://www.mirc.co.uk
http://www.tucows.com
http://downloads.cnet.com
ftp://ftp.demon.net


2.2) Initial mIRC setup

After you have downloaded and installed mIRC you will first need to set
a
few basic preferences.
Run mIRC and close the pop-up splash screen.
Set the following preferences:


Connect

IRC Network : chat.freenode.net
Full Name : <Your name>
Email Address : <A contact email address>
Nickname : <The name you wish to use on IRC> (This must be shorter

than 10 letters)
Alternative : <A nickname to use if your first choice is already
taken>

Connect/Options

Reconnect on disconnection : Ticked

Connect/Local Info

On connect always get local host : Ticked
Lookup Method : Server

Connect/Identd

Enable Identd Server : Ticked
User ID : <Your nickname>

IRC

Rejoin channels on connect : Ticked


Those settings should be sufficient to allow you to allow to connect to
the Freenode IRC network and chat. Go back to the main Connect
options window and click [Connect to IRC server]. A window titled 'mIRC
Channels folder' will pop up, untick 'pop
up folder on connect' and close the window.


2.3) Setting up DCC file transfers

You will now need to set-up mIRC to handle stars file transfers
correctly. By default mIRC rejects all file transfers apart from a few
sound, text and picture formats. It will need to be configured to accept
stars files and route them to your stars! folder

Open the mIRC options dialog

DCC / Folders

Under DCC get folders click [Add]
The 'DCC get folder' will open
In the 'Save files with these extensions' box add the text
*.r?,*.r1?,*.m?,*.m1?,*.x?,*.x1?,*.h?,*.h1?,*.hst
Click the 'Into this folder' button and choose your stars folder or a
sub folder of it

Change 'DCC Ignore' to ignore only

If you feel particularly worried about security you may wish to leave
the 'DDC Ignore' type on 'Ignore Except' and add all the stars! file
type mask's (*.r? etc.) individually to the list of accepted file types.

If you have real problems setting up DCC transfers the bot RandomHost has
ftp access. Please ask in the channel for advice on using it.

2.4) Using mIRC

Firstly if you are not connected you will need to connect to a IRC
server on
the Freenode network.
Type '/server chat.freenode.net' into the text box at the bottom of mIRC
and
you should begin to connect.
Next you will need to join the chat channels that the stars! players
use. The two channels are ##Stars!, which is the main chat channel, and
#blitz, which is the channel that blitz status messages are shown in.
Use the commands '/join #blitz' and '/join ##Stars!'.

To chat in a channel just type your message in the text box with the
channel window open and hit return (Please note : #blitz is a moderated
channel, so you won't be able to chat in it. all arrangement of games
is done in ##Stars! ). To chat privately to someone double click on their
name in the nickname list and send your message in the window that
opens. To send a file right click on the recipients nickname and choose
DCC/Send, choose the file you wish to send and click [Send]

That's the bare minimum you need to know to get you started and play
blitzes. The rest you can work out for yourself or from the manual /
FAQ. A good springboard for more information is at
http://www.mirc.co.uk/irc.html,
take a look at the FAQ's there if you want to know more about mIRC.


2.5) Rules of the channels

For your own and others sanity and enjoyment some behaviour in the
channel is frowned upon. Unless you wish to be the subject of a game of
lamer ball keep the following to a minimum:

No use of colours in the chat channel
No swearing
No written abuse of other users
No flooding i.e. sending a stream of messages in a short time
No repeating i.e. don't send the same message over and over again
No Auto Away messages


3 Using the blitz bots
======================


3.1) What are blitz bots?

The blitz bots are mIRC clients running a script to automate game
creation, turn generation and distributing the files for a game of
stars! Ask in the channel for a recommended bot to use.


3.2) How to send commands to the blitz bots

The best way to send a command to a bot is to double click on its
nickname in the names list and type any commands into the private chat
window that opens. Most commands take the form
!command <gamename> (parameters)
Where <gamename> is the name of the game you are playing as shown in the
channel. If you prefer you can use the form /msg <blitzbot> !<command>
<gamename> (parameters) from any channel window.


3.3) A list of the most commonly used commands

All commands are in this format unless otherwise specified: /msg
<blitzbot> !command <gamename> (parameters)

!blitzcmds
Will give you a list of the commands for the bot.

!displayuniverse
Messages you the universe definitions for said game.

!gameinfo
Gives information about the game, timer modes, players (! turn out, .
turn in ,- player inactive), year, date created, and similar.

!joingame
Joins the named game.

!unjoingame
Will unjoin a joined game.

!resend (.xy)
Makes the bot resend your turn file to you. If you include the .xy
parameter the bot will send the universe file. Used as !resend game .xy
(note the space
between
gamename and parameter).

!inactiveplayer (player)
Equivalent to setting a race inactive on autohost - the bot will not
wait for that player, but they may still submit their turn if they wish.
If the player parameter is left out you will inactivate yourself. Only
the host can inactivate other players.

A full list of commands written by Alien can be found at

http://www.fantasycomic.com/alien/blitz.txt


3.4) An example of joining and playing a game

When a game has been organised and and a experianced player has created
the game you will see an advert of the form

<KJBot> --- <GAMENAME> Game created in #Blitz (Owner:Leon Name:Join me
Version:2.7j Timer:NORMAL)

Firstly you will need to send a !joingame GAMENAME command to the bot.

Your join of the game will be confirmed in #Blitz

Agree the game settings with the other players

Choose or create a race

When all players have joined the game the host will close the game and
you will be asked for a race file. You *MUST* use the filename requested
by the bot. Rename your race to the correct filename. Open your race to
check that the J patch bug hasn't ruined the race. After that *Open your
race to check that the J patch bug hasn't ruined the race*. DCC the race
to the bot.

The bot will confirm receiving your race in #blitz

When all race's are in the host starts the game and you will receive by
DCC the games .xy file and your first turn (.m file).

Play the turn then DCC your .x file back to the bot

When you've won the game or been ground underfoot use the
!inactiveplayer command to set yourself inactive

Gloat or cry and take your race back to the drawing board Surprised)


4) Blitz rules and conditions
=============================

4.1) Universe Conditions

Theoretically any game conditions can be used for a blitz but the bigger
the game the longer it takes, usually the game settings are optimized for speed.

Blitzes are nearly always played in Tiny universes, from sparse one
world wonderthons to packed games filled with multi-world races.
Accelerated BBS play is nearly always used. Public player scores is a
favourite as you don't have as much time for
the finer points of scouting and diplomacy.
Victory conditions are very rarely used.


4.2) Multi year generations

The game is usually played with multiple years generated for each game
turn. The default settings are

4 years per turn until year 40
2 years per turn until year 60
1 year per turn from that point


4.3) The game timer

The games are played against a timer. When the first player submits a
turn for each generation the timer will begin to count down. If the
timer reaches 0 without all players submitting then the game force
generates. The default setting for the timer is 600 seconds, 10 minutes.


4.4) Special rules

These rules are default, and only change upon agreement of players
involved.

No packets are allowed

On the subject of bugs and 'features'
See http://www.starsfaq.com/bugs.htm for an explanation of each
'feature'
Chaff > Allowed
Split Fleet Dodge > Allowed
Abuse of Battle Board Overload > Banned
Abuse of 0.2% Minimum Damage > Banned
Abuse of North/South Minefield Immunity > Banned
Abuse of East/West Speed Bump Minefield Immunity > Banned
SS Pop Steal > Banned

4.5) Handicap Rules


Recently a group have players have been trying to balance out the games
PRT's with a race wizard advantage point handicap based on PRT. This is
still a working in progress and the exact handicaps may have changed by
the time you read this so if you join a handicapped game ensure you
check with the other players. The response to these rules from regular
(some very experienced) players has been very positive so far and it is
likely that these will become a regular used rules variant.

When designing the race leave the following amount of points leftover
based on your PRT. The first 50 points leftover can be left to go to
whichever start advantage you wish.

AR 0
SS / PP 100
WM / HE 125
SD 137
IT / IS 150
JOAT 175
CA 200

In a tiny universe the WM handicap is 150

5) Blitz strategy
=================

(To be completed) Meanwhile take a look at Omnivores excellent blitz
strategy guide at

http://www.starsfaq.com/articles/SRU/art75.htm

And at Ashtur an'Vangans guide at

http://www.angelfire.com/ok/docdiggers/stars1.html

Both concentrate on different aspects of blitzing and it is worth
reading both.


5.1) General guidelines

In short think speed, any strategy where you don't plan on having won or
being unstoppable by year 50 at the latest is a loser.


5.2) A few sample blitz races

All races below are designed for non-handicaped games.

Killer Bees - Dan Neely

JOAT
IFE NRSE OBRM NAS
1/171 20%
15/9/21 3g Factories
10/3/25 Mines
Energy, Weapons, Construction Cheap.
Propulsion Normal
Electronics, Biotechnology Expensive
No start at 3

Strategy:

Build econ till turn 8
Then set research to 40res/year and field to con (will say 5 years, but
you'll get it in 4) Turn 12> queue enough privs to hold 3.5 years of
growth. 16: fill
privs and
queue another batch.
Repeat until you have enough pop to fill your HW.
Get jihad BB tech.
Kick ass


Malthus - OWK

JOAT
IFE, NRSE, OBRM, NAS
1/7 19%
15/9/16/3G Factories
10/3/16 Mines

Weapons cheap, rest expensive and Start at 4

Blitz race developed as a variation of a Jason Cawley design submitted
to the Stars! Newsgroup. Major changes from base design was left
shifting of Grav and Temp, and selection of "start @Tech 4" box.

Strategy is extremely quick scouting to find the 3-4 greens in the
galaxy followed by immediate colonization in order to out-ramp
one-world- wonders. Race will start with privateers and ability to make
scout-based minelayers in 2400 -- this has proved useful once or twice
in that minefields are not expected that early. Secondary strategy is
limiting opposition growth by engaging in a pop-drop war while economy
ramping and research is carried out.

A fairly generic and forgiving race to try out blitzing with. Has won a
few even.


mhl' - Alien

WM
CE, OBRM, NAS, RS
1/171 20%
15/7/25/3G Factories
11/3/19 Mines

Weapons cheap, rest expensive and Start at 3

An even more radical 1WW approach, built for both speed and capacity. It
can choose to churn out DDs from year 0-4, or sit still and build, both
will get it out ahead of most races barring early 1/800 -f designs and
the like, though it will bypass those fast. The resource maximum for a
world is well over 4k res,

and what it can output is then only rivaled by strong JOATs. The cheap
engines and ramscoop availability makes for mass production of cheaper
warships, coupled with the superior hulls of the WM, the BC and DN, it
can be quite a force to be reckoned with. It can start churning out
jihad BCs by the early to mid twenties. This time is likely the one
where it is the strongest, at least if there are multi planet races it
has not yet managed to kill. Considering the universe hab distribution
it is likely that it will find at least one more planet, be it severely
yellow. If that happens its edge becomes even greater.

For more speed but lesser capacity one can change the econ to 15/6/21g
11/3/20. One can also shift all habs to the far right to improve chances
of matching habs with other 1WW races, for easy access to new colonies.


6) Credits

Compiled by Leon Coles
Blitz bot commands by Alien
Proof reading and improvements by : Alric, Alien, Heinz89
Races by Dan Neely, OWK ,Alien
Blitz Strategy guide by Omnivore



(updated by Ron, to replace Starlink with Freenode)


[Updated on: Fri, 01 January 2010 10:45] by Moderator


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