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Flagship

Author: Chris Holz

FLAGSHIP VERSION 3.202
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 6th, 1997
Scenario for VGA Planets Host and PHost v3.2xx.xx
Flag Ship v3.202 Copyright (C) 1996-1997 by C J Holz for Mid-Space productions.
VGA Planets is Copyright (C) 1992-1997 by Tim Wisseman

WHAT IS FLAGSHIP?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Flag Ship is a new game scenario for VGA Planets, fully titled "Capture the Flag Ship"

Each player gets a special ship they have to protect at all costs. This ship is selected by the host, but some hosts may wish their players to choose what type of ship their Flagship will be. The ship is limited by the race.

Upon losing their ship, either by destruction or capture, the player has all of their ships, planets, bases and mine fields destroyed. Which ever race captures or destroys the Flagship, may have a percentage of the planets, ships and Priority Build Points transferred to them. Methods of gaining enemy assets are: Destruction by ship, destruction by planetary or base defences, ship capture, tow capture by Crystaline or Privateers, force surrender as base, or ship transfer via the "gs#" friendly code.

The program keeps a ranking of the players, providing a reliable means for getting tournament winners.

This is supposed to be an all out ship hunt, with the idea of making players concentrate more on trying to destroy other ships, not capturing planets.

The winner need only be whoever is left playing.

The Flag Ship can be limited to a set range from any planets, or from its Home planet, or allow unlimited range.

HOW TO USE FLAGSHIP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Setting up....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The host keeps the FLAGSHIP.EXE in the same directory as the HOST.EXE

To set up the Flag Ship scenario the host executes...
C:\PLAN1> MASTER.EXE GAME1
C:\PLAN1> FLAGSHIP.EXE GAME1 /SETUP

Flagship will then select random ID for all ships. The host enters the hull type for each player, the engine type, the beam weapon type, and if applicable, the torpedo launcher type.

Each ship is created at the base with the highest tech levels. If no bases are available, then the planet with the highest colony population. So this cannot be started with the wandering tribes game as yet.

Nothing is loaded on the ships except fuel.

Next the host then enters a percent value. From 0 to 100. This is known a the "victim to victor" percent. This percent is how much of the resources a player will receive of the race they just destroyed by destroying / capturing that players' flagship. These include Ships, planets and bases and Priority Build Points. Any resources that are not transferred to the "victor" are destroyed. Mine fields are automatically destroyed.

The host can then set the method of range checking.

A. No range checking. The Flag Ship may go where ever the player's want.

B. Limited to any planet for a set range. The Flag Ship can only go so far from any planet. This is to prevent such players as the Privateers from using a Meteor Class Blockade Runner as their flagship and sending it way off the edge of the map where it cannot be seen.

C. Limited to starting planet for a set range. This compels players to go
towards other players Home Worlds to get at the flagship.

With B and C, the host enters a value for the maximum range the flagship may travel. Ships that do exceed this range are just shifted back into range with their way-point reset.

Next the Host gets a choice of how to notify the players of the ID number of the flagships at the start of the scenario

Either..
A. Only a players own Flag Ship ID is known.
B. Listing all ID's but keeping it in a random order, so players don't know which ID belongs to which player.
C. Listing all ID's and the players they belong to.

This completes the setup.

If the host wants to know the ID's, they are recorded in the FLAGSHIP.LOG file, as well as the setups s/he used.

Running the scenario under HOST....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To run the scenario under HOST 3.2xx.x, this line must be added to
the AUXHOST2.BAT file...
FLAGSHIP.EXE %1 /RUN

The %1 will pass the data directory from host to Flag Ship. If you are hosting multiple games, then you may need to create a game specific AUXHOST2.BAT and call it from the main AUXHOST2.BAT.

ie. C:\PLAN1\GAME1\AUXHOST2.BAT would contain
... other programs
FLAGSHIP.EXE %1 /RUN
... other programs

C:\PLAN1\AUXHOST2.BAT would contain
CALL %1\AUXHOST2.BAT %1

Under new host rules, the AUXHOST2.INI file would contain FLAGSHIP datapath /RUN

Running the scenario under PHOST....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Flagship does work under PHost with one exception. The "victim to victor" percent must be set to zero.

Phost has a flaw, that it does not write the generated VCR data to a local file for the host. Flagship uses that file during hosting to determine the victor in a battle.

C:\PLAN1> PHOST.EXE -1 GAME1 C:\PLAN1
C:\PLAN1> PHOST.EXE -2 GAME1 C:\PLAN1
C:\PLAN1> FLAGSHIP.EXE GAME1 /RUN
C:\PLAN1> PHOST.EXE -3 GAME1 C:\PLAN1

What Flag Ship does when "Running"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At this stage it checks all players Flag Ships. If any player's Flag Ship has been destroyed or captured, all their resources are destroyed. If a "victor to victim" percent value is set, then random ships and planets have their ownership transferred to the victor, matching the percent set.

Then remaining Flag Ship locations are checked. If a range has been set, and the range has been exceeded, the offening ship is moved directally back toward its range limit.

The FLAGSHIP.LOG is constantly updated as changes occur, so a host knows when a player will no longer have to submit their .TRN files.
THe LOG files also keeps a record of the ID's of the Flag Ships and range settings. So if a player drops out of a game, the host has a record of the Flag Ship ID for a replacement player.

Players messages
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Players will receive a message each turn stating the current ranks of all players. It also notifies the players when a change hasn't occurred.

> (-h000) <<< Flag Ship >>>
> Tournament Ranks Report
>
> 1st 1 7 8 9 10 11
> 2nd 2 6
> 3rd 3 5
> 4th 4
> 5th
> 6th
> 7th
> 8th
> 9th
> 10th
> 11th

Players will receive a message whenever a Flag Ship is "taken out", and how much resources the "victor" receives, and who was the victor.

> (-h000) <<< Flag Ship >>>
> Destruction Report
>
> Player 2's Flag Ship ID 239, has
> been destroyed by Player 6.
> As a result, 000% of the resources
> have been transferred to them. The
> remaining planets, bases, ships, and
> mine fields have been destroyed.

The victor will receive a message indicating how many new planets, bases, ships, and Priority Build Points they received from flagship they just destroyed or captured.

> (-h000) <<< Flag Ship >>>
> Distribution Report
>
> You have gained:
> 5 Planets with 1 Bases,
> 5 Ships,
> 1 Priority Build Points
> from Race 7's Flag Ship.

Files created by Flag Ship
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Only two files are created by Flag Ship.

The FLAGSHIP.HST file.
This contains the Flag Ship data, setup, and current ranking.
This file has a different name from the normal REF created by Tim Wisseman so you can use multiply scenarios at the same time.For example: Tantalus Machine + Flag Ship

The FLAGSHIP.LOG file.
This logs everything that Flag Ship does.
The initial setup.
Which planets, bases, ships, priority build points are transferred or erased.
And changes in player ranking, as players lose their Flag Ships.

CURRENT BUGS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A major bug under PHost. Phost does not store the VCR generated data during hosting. Flag Ship requires this file in determining victors for distributing resources from victims who have lost their Flag Ships. So currentally under PHost, you must play with the "Victim to Victor" percent rate set as 0.

A small bug under HOST. It only reports to the players the previous turn of Priority Build Points and Scores (number planets, ships bases etc.). Host doesn't re-check for changes in the number of planets during the AUXHOST2 phase.

SHORT HISTORY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DATE: 18-04-96

  • First conceived of scenario.

DATE: 05-05-96

  • v3.200A program completed.
  • First Beta test release for opinion of general public.

DATE: 29-05-96

  • v3.200B program completed.
  • Revised this document to make the scenario clearer.
  • Single bug, now fixed. Star bases were not erased. Fortunately Host was able to handle bug.
  • Changed comments written to log file. File could get very big.

DATE: 02-02-97

  • v3.200C program completed.
  • Been a while since the last update.
  • Finally added in boarding capture for Crystals and Privateers. Seems to work.

DATE: 22-02-97

  • v3.200D program completed.
  • Fixed bug in capture. Incorrect race number used.
  • Log now records version of FLAGSHIP used when logged.

DATE: 05-05-97

  • v3.201 program completed.
  • Found incorrect value for race sent in messages.
  • Enhanced ship capture to full recognition.

DATE: 06-06-97

  • v3.202 program completed.
  • Phost compatibility in question. PHost doesn't write VCR data!
  • Improved setup for finding starting locations. Primary search forhighest tech base, if no base, then highest colonised planet.
  • Version checking enabled, linked to automated update of previousversions of FLAGSHIP.HST.
  • Implemented multiple range option. Now three settings. None, limited to range from any planet, or limited to range from Home planet.

THANKS TO
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cliff Murphy AKA "Darkminion'HoD tlhingan DuraS Joq'" for his wonderful help with these docs and his help in beta testing with PHost.

Brian Greenstreet <brianlg@primary.net> for the idea of limiting range to the starting Homeworld of the Flag Ship.

COMMENTS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some major changes in the Flagship.HST file format. Flag Ship will automatically update old file versions, so please do not use the OLD version after using a new version.

There are no actual changes to the running of flagship for current users, so you may actually like to continue using version 3.201. This verson will only benefit users starting new games.

I'm still looking to improve Flag Ship, so PLEASE send comments.

Chris Holz <midspace@geocities.com>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 
 
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