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Forum: The Academy
 Topic: Disposable income
Disposable income Mon, 02 March 2020 04:44
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom


Messages: 1348
Registered: May 2008
There are more than a few guides and posts around the place that make reference to the concept of "disposable income". Some people don't entirely understand what that is, and I must confess I didn't really get it - at least in the case of AR - until relatively recently. So, I'm writing a bit about it.

What is disposable income? It's the portion of your resources (both in the strict Stars! sense and to a lesser degree minerals) that you can throw down the drain (in any of various ways) without adversely affecting your economic growth. You can do anything you like with these resources and your curve won't know the difference (unless you get invaded Razz).

So, in the strict sense, disposable income is resources you can't spend on your economy. In a slightly looser sense, it's resources you can't spend on your economy with an appreciable rate of return.

What counts as spending resources on your economy? In rough order of directness, and assuming a relatively-standard race:

*Factories (directly gives resources)
*Mines (to improve your mineral output, which improves how many factories you can build)
*Terraforming (to improve your pop growth, which improves your future resources)
*Freighters (up to the amount you need to manage your pop and - for factoried races - Germanium; this is to improve your pop growth and to improve how many factories you can build)
*Colony ships (to give valid targets for your freighters)
*Scouts (to find targets for the colony ships)
*Economic technology research (i.e. that necessary to unlock better terraforming and better freighters, up to the point at which each is sufficient for current purposes)

(Note that some of these also need minerals; those minerals aren't disposable.)

Everything you can't spend productively on any of those is disposable income. In theory, nobody has disposable income until they've maxed out their terraforming tech and have the best freighters possible at maximum miniaturisation, but the last levels of terraforming don't have an especially-high rate of return (unless you're CA) and neither does freighter research beyond "LF that can go Warp 9 with a decent load" or even "privateer that can go Warp 9 without a zillion boosters".

Of course, removing some of these from the equation will increase your fraction of disposable resources. Some examples:

*-f don't need to build factories (which also drastically reduces "economic" mineral demand and thus the need for mines)
*CA don't need to build terraforming
*IFE and HE don't need to research Prop 9 to get "good enough" freighters

And now of course we come to the trap: Alternate Reality.

It's easy to think that AR has a ton of disposable income since they have no planetary installations. It's also wrong. Here's what you can do as AR to better your economy, again in rough order of directness:

*Research Energy (directly gives resources)
*Terraforming (directly gives resources and improves pop growth)
*Colony ships (to spread your population, which directly gives resources, as well as getting more minerals)
*Bigger starbases (to improve your pop growth, which improves your future resources)
*Freighters (to manage your pop and thus improve your pop growth, as well as recycle colony-ship minerals; there's also a direct spreading effect but it's not super-huge)
*Economic tech besides Energy (unlocks terraforming and bigger starbases)
*Remote miners (to get more minerals, although AR's innate mining fulfils most of its economic needs if you're good at recycling)
*Scouts (to find targets for the colony ships)

That's a different list, but it's still quite a list, and two of them (Energy and colony ships) are extremely open-ended and can be built by any planet. In the strict sense, therefore, an AR has zero disposable income until they reach Energy 26 and have colonised every planet available. In the looser sense, they still need to colonise every planet available (Pinta-ing a red has a payback time in resources of ~3 turns + travel time with Ener

[Updated on: Mon, 02 March 2020 05:12]

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 Topic: PSA: Galaxy Scoop makes fuel at Warp 9
PSA: Galaxy Scoop makes fuel at Warp 9 Sat, 02 September 2017 21:40
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom


Messages: 1348
Registered: May 2008
There has been a statement going around (it was in the wiki, for instance) that the Galaxy Scoop doesn't actually generate fuel at Warp 9. This used to be true, but it was fixed in 2.6j/2.7j RC1; as the only versions still in use are 2.7j RC3 and 2.6j RC4, the Galaxy Scoop does indeed generate 1 mg/ly in current versions of Stars!.

I have edited the wiki article accordingly.

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 Topic: Posey excel sheet
Posey excel sheet Thu, 21 January 2010 14:38
mlaub is currently offline mlaub


Messages: 744
Registered: November 2003
Location: MN, USA
I have an addition to the "minefield" tab on the Posey sheets. I added a little calculator for single ship minefield damage.

For all you math whizzes out there, please check to make sure I did every thing right.

Also,I might add a multiple design calculator later...

http://www.fileswap.com/share/4b09e6083f35de5fb02c99091a6b48 2e/replacement-minefields.zip.html


Global Warming - A climatic change eagerly awaited by most Minnesotans.

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 Topic: Funny Bug... when the scannerless is better than the scanner!
Funny Bug... when the scannerless is better than the scanner! Sun, 17 September 2006 11:37
multilis is currently offline multilis

Lt. Commander

Messages: 789
Registered: October 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
I just looked at my turn in current game (Not Too Busy for Stars). I visited a certain AR world called Deacon, and got pop reading of 246400 from his orbital fort, thanks to a short visit by my flak!

Correction: Turn before my last reading from planet was his former IS buddy (who is dead/has dropped) with that exact pop level so likely artifact reading.

[Updated on: Sun, 17 September 2006 11:42]

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 Topic: Engine Safe Speed & Battle Speed
icon1.gif  Engine Safe Speed & Battle Speed Thu, 06 July 2006 07:20
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars


Messages: 2760
Registered: October 2004
Location: Third star to the left
Greetings, fellow space travelers, Smile

I recently dug out a few tidbits from ancient rgcs posts. Sherlock I'm posting them here for their possible interest to modders, tinkerers, and/or clone coders. Very Happy

The Battle Speed for any given engine is determined by its fuel consumption at every warp. The "Best" Speed will be the last warp *before* fuel consumption rises above 120% (as the Stars! helpfile hints). Some rgcs posts mention 125% or even higher, so tests with modded fuelusage tables would be welcome. That "ideal" warp will be used to compute Movement points in the Battleboard.

Battle Movement (for the engine alone) = (ideal_warp - 2) / 4. So, Warp6 gives 1 square of movement, and every warp above it gives another 1/4 square. The full Movement Formula (for a ship design) is outside the scope of this post. Whip

For some engines, that Battle Speed should be 10, but is only 9. Why? Because they're unsafe at warp 10. And it seems "Warp10-safety" is determined thru fuel consumption, too. Sherlock Thus, any engine that burns fuel over a 105% "safe" rate will be unsafe for Warp10 travel. The cutoff isn't clearly stated, but 108% fuel consumption makes an engine unsafe, so the margins are small.

Enjoy, Disco

So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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 Topic: Mineral depletion
Mineral depletion Wed, 25 May 2005 17:38


Messages: 1227
Registered: May 2003
Ages ago Jason Cawley wrote in RGCS newsgroup about minerals per concentration point (if mined with remote miners or 10 efficency mines):

> So my guess is it is supposed to be something like this ->
> con greater than 30 -> 12500 kT * ln (starting con/ending con)
> less than 30, greater than 3 -> 456 kT per point

Later there were made tests that from 4 to 3 and from 3 to 2 were about 1000 kT minerals and from 2 to 1 about 2000 kT of minerals.
On case the mine efficiency is not 10 then these amounts have to be multiplied with mine efficiency/10.
It seemed correct enough back then. Nod

My recent testing however shows that the logarithmic formula does not fit for concentrations above 100. There seems to be like 123 or 124 kT of minerals per point above 100. I am not sure if it was always so or only in latest patches. Confused

The maximum mineral conc possible seems to be 200 (even huge comet does not push it higher). Very Happy

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 Topic: Disengage in 8 moves
Disengage in 8 moves Wed, 24 November 2004 16:55
Staz is currently offline Staz


Messages: 514
Registered: November 2003
Location: UK
LEit mentioned to me that ships disengage after 8 moves rather than 7 as mentioned in the help file. To confirm this I fired up the game and gave it a try - the battle viewer showed my scout with tactic "Disengage in 7 moves", so I thought "phoey - what does LEit know anyway ?".

I've just looked a bit closer, and noticed that after the 1st move the scout still says "Disengage in 7 moves". After that it does count down though. So, LEit was right, and disengaging takes 8 moves. The help file and the battle viewer are wrong Smile

Jason Cawley mentioned this in rgcs on 26 Feb 1997, so it's not exactly news, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway.

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 Topic: Favorite PRT
Favorite PRT Sat, 11 September 2004 05:36
dejan is currently offline dejan

Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 25
Registered: August 2004
Location: Belgrade, Serbia, Europe,...

What is your favorite PRT[ 39 votes ]
1. HE 1 / 3%
2. SS 4 / 10%
3. WM 3 / 8%
4. CA 2 / 5%
5. IS 2 / 5%
6. PP 1 / 3%
7. SD 4 / 10%
8. IT 10 / 26%
9. AR 7 / 18%
10. JOAT 5 / 13%

regardless of which prt is the strongest one. Which one you like to play all the time.

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 Topic: Universe size info
Universe size info Sat, 23 November 2002 02:50

Lt. Commander

BlueTurbit died Oct. 20, 2011

Messages: 835
Registered: October 2002
Location: Heart of Texas
Picked this up somewhere (newsgroup?) once:

Here is the number of planets / density information for all
universes, credited to Leonard Dickens.

Number of planets in a galaxy.

These numbers are not exact, actual number of planets may vary by
1 in a tiny/sparse, or 6+ in a huge/packed

Number of stars
Small ___96____128___160___240
Medium 216____288___360___540
Huge __600____800___940___945

Edge(ly) Area(ly^2)
Tiny 400 160K
Small 800 640K
Medium 1200 1440K
Large 1600 2560K
Huge 2000 4000K

Density of stars (#stars/10000ly^2)
Sparse Normal Dense Packed
T/S/M 1.5 2.00 2.50 3.75
Large 1.5 2.00 2.50 3.55
Huge 1.5 2.00 2.35 2.36

BlueTurbit Country/Rock

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Forum: Stars! Extensions
 Topic: Modifying the universe
Modifying the universe Sat, 26 December 2020 18:47
ricks03 is currently offline ricks03

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 199
Registered: January 2012
Location: NC
What's the current (hah!) utility of choice for moving around planets (and homeworlds) before the game starts? I used to know - it's been a long time.



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 Topic: Detecting (and correcting for) the FreePop Hack
Detecting (and correcting for) the FreePop Hack Thu, 12 November 2020 17:56
ricks03 is currently offline ricks03

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 199
Registered: January 2012
Location: NC
[freepop] Hack
Using a memory editing utility it is possible to create colonists out of thin air, limited only by a players freighter capacity, with the help of a memory editor. This abuses a lack of a viability check for loading colonist from an uninhabited planet, usually you cannot load more colonists than you drop down in a turn, but a memory editor can be used to trick the user interface into believing that you had dropped down millions of colonists, and the host doesn't double check these figures. Use of this in a multiplayer game would be considered by most players to be a totally inexcusable cheating offence.

I'm working on code to detect this hack. I can now decode most of the cargo-based values, but I don't actually have the ability to reproduce the problem so I can test fixing it. I could use a bit more detail too. Is this hack done by having the .M file open, hacking memory, and then saving the turn?

Can anyone out there reproduce this hack and sent me the associated .HST, .M, and .X files after saving the turn but before turn generation? Thanks!!



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 Topic: Graphing player resources
Graphing player resources Wed, 03 June 2020 01:40
ricks03 is currently offline ricks03

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 199
Registered: January 2012
Location: NC
I tend to play with public player scores turned off, and victory conditions set that will never trigger (as we tend to use other criterion).

Was chatting with one of the players and trying to discuss where he's going wrong resource-wise, and wanted a comparison graph of resources for the game.

Well, I'd been wondering what I was going to do with my recently-mapped PlayerScoresBlock. Smile

So I've added a new standalone script to TH that you can use to create a graph of player resources. http://www.sinister.net/a9fc8576.png

Still need to clean it up a bit, but given likely no one will ever use it but me, that's probably not a problem!


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 Topic: NSA Helping to Decompile Stars!?
NSA Helping to Decompile Stars!? Wed, 06 March 2019 22:51
ricks03 is currently offline ricks03

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 199
Registered: January 2012
Location: NC
The NSA has released Ghidra, which might be of use to those decompiling Stars!

https://www.zdnet.com/article/nsa-release-ghidra-a-free-soft ware-reverse-engineering-toolkit/


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Forum: The Bar
 Topic: Requesting (yet another) replacement for Once More, Into the Breach
Requesting (yet another) replacement for Once More, Into the Breach Thu, 11 March 2021 02:39
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom


Messages: 1348
Registered: May 2008
A player has requested a replacement in Once More, Into the Breach. This is due to RL trouble; their race is doing fine.

I should note that this is a substantial time commitment; this is a Large Normal game currently at 2509 and running at 2/week, with the end probably many months away (there are still ten races in contention).

PM or email me (same username at gmail) and I will put you in touch with the current player.

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 Topic: StarsBox for macOS
StarsBox for macOS Sun, 03 January 2021 18:22
raptor is currently offline raptor

Warrant Officer
Creator of StarsWine
Created StarsWine

Messages: 134
Registered: June 2014

I put together a StarsBox package for macOS Catalina (10.15):


This package is dosbox-staging + Windows 3.11 + Stars! all wrapped together in a clickable app. If anyone uses it, please let me know; I'm interested in the performance and any bugs. I do not use macOS normally and had to use a borrowed machine to get this to work.

Note: Normally WINE (32-bit from homebrew) works quite well if you run macOS 10.14 or earlier, but macOS 10.15+ has problems as discussed here:
https://starsautohost.org/sahforum2/index.php?t=msg&th=5 670

[Updated on: Sun, 03 January 2021 18:22]

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 Topic: Discord Server for Stars!
Discord Server for Stars! Tue, 29 December 2020 03:19
Braindead is currently offline Braindead

Officer Cadet 1st Year

Messages: 227
Registered: April 2005
Location: Montana
Come, join and let's talk Stars! in real-time https://discord.gg/Ctdx7h6UZS

Also good for spontaneous blitz games.

[Updated on: Tue, 29 December 2020 23:37]

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 Topic: Game page not updating
Game page not updating Tue, 03 November 2020 02:11
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom


Messages: 1348
Registered: May 2008
I changed some settings for Once More, Into the Breach a few hours ago (notably, taking the game off hold), but the changes still aren't displayed on the game page. Indeed, said page is displaying the time 10 hours ago, a bit before I made them.

(When I went into the Host Utility to confirm that I'd actually made them, they showed up.)

If Ron could look into this, that'd be nice.

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 Topic: Recording battles, new try
Recording battles, new try Sun, 14 October 2018 19:05
Altruist is currently offline Altruist


Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
Last topics about recording Stars battles are quite a few years old and didn't really help me.

What would be a good, easy (and if possible open source) software to record Stars battles when Stars runs within a virtual xp?

I tried fraps but got error messages due to too old directx-versions. Since I am one of the few non-programers (just a peaceful wargame despising antiquarian *grin) playing Stars I haven't really a clou wether those can be even updated in a virtual xp nor wether this would really help.

[Updated on: Sun, 14 October 2018 19:05]

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 Topic: Hope for Android...
Hope for Android... Fri, 19 January 2018 10:32
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

Lt. Commander

Messages: 957
Registered: August 2012
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/19/wine_is_not_an_emul ator_3/

I've long run Stars! under WINE. If they have WINE/Android working well, then it might be nice and easy to get Stars! running there.
Bluetooth keyboard and a USB OTG mouse connection and I found it quite ok, although a bit slow to render the map - but that was a few years ago... CPUs have improved....

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 Topic: Anyone up for a Quickie?
Anyone up for a Quickie? Sun, 05 November 2017 16:08
talkingbologna is currently offline talkingbologna

Senior Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 86
Registered: November 2016
Location: 1947
Now that I've hammered when's when with this job-o-mine, I'd like to start playing again. Would anybody care for a fast game over a Saturday evening?

I was thinking a blitz with standard rules:

-Distant Starts
-No Random
-Play every 4 turns till year 40, every 2 till year 60, and every turn thereafter
-10 minutes/turn


Standard cheat disclaimer:
- Chaff
- Split Fleet Dodge
- Merge Fleets After Gating
- Mine Damage Dodge

Turns filed via GMail or something.

Edit: doesn't have to be a blitz.

[Updated on: Mon, 06 November 2017 19:31]

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 Topic: Replacement needed
Replacement needed Fri, 22 January 2016 22:43
vmanuel is currently offline vmanuel

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 186
Registered: October 2004
Location: Dallas, TX USA
I need a replacement for a player in the game I'm hosting. Well placed, one ally, many enemies. Who's up for a challenge? Email me at eyityotg at gmail com


Editor in Chief of the Kaynan Space News.
All Space, All The Time - Kaynan!

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 Topic: Facebook Page
Facebook Page Sat, 11 April 2015 13:54
GameHost is currently offline GameHost

Crewman 2nd Class

Messages: 10
Registered: July 2006
Location: USA
After a little more than a one year break in playing and hosting Stars! games, I have decided to begin again. In the process I created a group on Facebook:


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 Topic: New beginner/intermediate game reqd!
New beginner/intermediate game reqd! Fri, 11 April 2014 22:36


Messages: 1598
Registered: January 2011
Location: GMT +5.5

1 week counter to show possible players for a new game..[ 3 votes ]
1. Interested 3 / 100%

I recently sent out an email to a number of Stars! players that I've played over the years for a replacement.
I was very pleasantly surprised to see the number of players who were interested in getting their feet wet once again.

I found my replacement, but I think we could do with a new beginner/intermediate game for returning players.

I find myself missing Altruist's FA series games and I did ask him about FA9 .. so if that's going up, awesome!
If not, then someone should throw up a regular vanilla style, simple alliances type game up.

ps - I am shying away from it myself for now, I know.

[Updated on: Fri, 11 April 2014 22:40]

I know my minefields.. but I'm a chaff sweeper.
I used to curse when I got stuck in traffic... till I realised I AM traffic.

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 Topic: Replacement Player Needed
Replacement Player Needed Wed, 25 September 2013 02:45


Messages: 1112
Registered: April 2008
Location: SW3 & 10023
Email damarae1 at gmail for more details

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 Topic: Replacement needed for DD5
Replacement needed for DD5 Tue, 24 September 2013 18:07
Eagle of Fire

Lt. Commander

Messages: 809
Registered: December 2008
Location: GMT -5

I am in need for a replacement for the game DD5. I've had so many set backs from schedule problems that I'm not interested in playing this game anymore. Both because this is turning out to be the worse game I've played in this regard so far and because bad involvement is bad both for the game as a whole and my ally.

This is a no diplomacy, 2 players based team game. Because of the nature of the game I'm not open to tell any details about my race so if you are interested to take over and keep the game alive please send me a PM.

Thank you.


STARS! Wiki Fran├žais
I am on a hot streak... Literally.

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