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Gryphon

Author: Oleg Shvartsman

Contents:
I. Introduction.
II. Installation.
III. Operations.
IV. Quick reference chart
V. Notes.
VI. Alt Tech
VII. Shareware.
VIII Thanks.

I. Introduction.

Welcome to Gryphon!

Gryphon is a next generation, power add-on to space strategy game VGA Planets. It was written in 386 protected mode to allow me to fully exploit the architecture of newer processors and more power and more abilities than ever. Gryphon is the most feature-rich add-on to VGA Planets, providing new abilities designed for power (such as Asteroid Bases, Moving Mines, Fighter Steal, Fighter Base Assault, Antifighter Mines, Tanks and Combat Robots, Orbital Bombardment, and Warp Interdictors) and convenicence (such as Ion Control, Exchange Ships, Sell mines/defenses/Starbases, Move Natives, and Space Gambling). Never before could you have and add-on with 40 new abilities and almost 100 configurable options for balancing them against one another. With Gryphon, you will never lack an appropriate tool to rain destruction on your opponents!

There seems to be some confusion as to the proper spelling and meaning of the word Gryphon. So, just as a bit of side info:

GRYPHON: (from Fr. griffon, Lat. gryphus,and Gr. gryphon), in the natural history of the ancients, the name of an imaginary rapacious creature of the eagle species, represented with four legs, wings and a beak, -- the fore part resembling an eagle and the hinder a lion. In addition, some writers describe the tail as a serpent.

This animal, which was supposed to watch over gold mines and hidden treasrues, and to be the enemy of the horse, was consecrated to the Sun; and the ancient painters represented the chariot of the Sun as drawn by griffins.

The gryphon was said to inhabit Asiatic Scythia, where gold and precious stones were abundant; and when strangers approached to gather these the creatures leapt upon them and tore them in pieces. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

This is the doc file for Gryphon version 1.19. Gryphon will display the version number every time you run it. The host will need to check the run-time screen or the log file for details. The Gryphon program was written using 32-bit protected mode; it requires a 386 (or higher) processor and 1 meg of memory, but it allowed me to do much more in terms of the number and complexity of abilities.

Gryphon is still a work in progress; if any new abilities or changes to the existing ones come to mind that would contribute to the general "coolness" of Gryphon, I will incorporate them without prior notification (they will be included in this doc file and the changes file, though).

To search for changes, I would advise to run an appropriate file comparison utility (such as fc or diff) on the old and new copies of the doc file. There might be several changes that would not be noted in the gchanges.txt file.

You can always find the most recent version of Gryphon at http://www.deathsdoor.com/stardestroyer; if you obtained this distribution from elsewhere, please be aware that this might be an older version and there could be improvements/bug fixes/etc on the "official" site.

Starting with version 1.15, Gryphon comes Winplan-enabled, which means that Gryphon icon will appear next to Gryphon messages, and that several special abilities with area effect which naturally lend themselves to being shown on a map will be shown as UFO objects. These abilities are: Fascist Deep Space Missiles (dark green squares), Rebel Deep Space Bases (aqua squares), Interdiction fields (Bright red circles of proper radius with bright red squares inside) and Antimatter Missiles (dark green squares). Missiles will show proper warp speed and direction. In addition, there is a Windows-based config program, gwconfig, which optionally replaces regular configuration program. Gwconfig will also automatically edit aux*.ini files for you, inserting Gryphon into its proper place in auxhost run. Gwconfig.exe is free of charge for registered owners.

II. Installation.

You must install and configure the add-on to run in certain directories and skip others. If you have a multi-game, multi-directory planets universe, it would be possible to specify what directories you want Gryphon to run in and have a separate configuration for every one.

To configure Gryphon for a specific directory, type the command GCONFIG <directory-name>. The program will let you specify a variety of options and then place GRYPHON.CFG into the specified directory. If Gryphon cannot find this file when it runs, it will abort, so be sure to configure Gryphon before using it. You should run the GCONFIG just after running MASTER and before running HOST for the first time. You can re-configure GRYPHON as many times as you want. If your host program name is host.exe, use Timhost instructions. If your host name is phost.exe, use Phost instructions.

a) Timhost installation.
Unless you are running GWconfig, you must add the line "Gryphon1.exe <full-path-to-game-directory>" into your auxhost1.ini file, "Gryphon2.exe <full-path-to-game-directory>" to your auxhost2.ini file, and "GryphonB.exe <full-path-to-game-directory>" into the auxbc.ini file. Do not type the quotes. Full path means the _complete_ path to the directory, starting with the drive letter. These files must be in the VGAP GAME DATA directory, where your game data files reside. If these files do not exist, create them. If they already exist and you run other add-ons, be sure all of them are listed in mirror order, i.e. if you run Nemesis and then Gryphon in your auxhost1, run Gryphon and then Nemesis in AuxBC and auxhost2. You should put the gryphon1, gryphon2, and gryphonb.exe files into the planets program directory, where host.exe resides. Host version 3.22.8 is required, and 3.22.015 is required for Base Assault to work properly.

b) Phost installation.
This add-on will only work for Phost versions 3.2.x and higher. You should use the same instructions as for host.exe, taking particular care of running any add-ons in mirror order (if you have multiple add-ons). In addition, Gryphon supports the Timhost convention of placing alternate hull, engine, torpedo, and beam definitions into the host directory, not the game directory. Please place hullspec.dat, engspec.dat, beamspec.dat, and torpspec.dat into the same directory as phost.exe. This add-on has not been given the same amount of testing with phost as it was with host; bugs may exist or some abilities may not run. If you find something that is not working properly, please bring it to my attention and I will resolve it as soon as possible.

CONFIGURATION:
Occasionally, you may be asked to run GCONFIG <directory-name> /new. The order is important, and the space is required. That happens if you want to "forget" the old values and use built-in defaults, or if the format of the config file changes with a new version of Gryphon.

There are almost no enabled/disabled switches to abilities; instead, EVERY ability can be effectively turned off using its corresponding settings. For example, to turn off Lizard troop carriers, set the decay rate to 100. The following is the explanation of some of the options in the GCONFIG. You can press Enter to accept the default value. If you have already configured GRYPHON, the GCONFIG program will read the existing GRYPHON.CFG file and use the values in it as defaults.

NOTE: not nearly every config option is explained here; those that are not explained are, in my opinion, self-explanatory.

If you encounter a message "runtime error 003", then it means you are trying to run GCONFIG on a non-existing game directory. You have to run MASTER.EXE before running GCONFIG.

  • Team game: very important. This ability changes race specials into ship specials; ships can then be traded for specials between the races.
  • Fed Goodwill factor: up to how many tens of clans will join the Federation colony. The default is 3 = up to 30 clans.
  • Native Cryo hold capacity: this is the multiplier for cryogenic holds in Banshee class native mover. The default is 20 = 1600 clans.
  • Refit money factor: multiplier for the cost of super-refitting components in flight.
  • Lizard decay percentage: what percent of colonists in Cryogenic chambers die every turn in the Saurian.
  • Cryo hold capacity: this is the multiplier for cryogenic holds in Saurian class troop carrier. The default is 10 = 1500 clans.
  • Anti-fighter defense: the more it is, the more fighters will be destroyed during a T-Rex anti-fighter mine explosion.
  • Fascist missile sweep probability: what probability a 10-heavy-phaser ship will have to sweep an incoming missile.
  • Number of mines created: determines the minefield size. The radius is equal to the square root of the number of mines, making the default 30 ly in radius.
  • Bio missile effectiveness: what chance EACH colonist has of dying of toxin poisoning. The more it is, the more people will die.
  • Anti-fighter missile effectiveness: the higher this is, the more fighters will die following the anti-fighter missile explosion.
  • Base defense increase factor: the higher this is, the more difficulty the Coldpain troopers will have penetrating the base. 100 turns base boarding off.
  • Martial law happiness decrease: The higher this is, the more the colonists' happiness will decrease following the martial law (to prevent gambling). Set it to 0 to turn gambling off.
  • Ravius Beam effect: by how much an Onyx will raise the temperature of a remote planet (=the Onyx's fuel use).
  • Share Hyper-Moscow: set this on to allow other races to use the hyper-drive capabilities of the Moscow Class Star Escort. Set to off to allow only the Imperials to use it.
  • Probability of correct race detection by a Pawn: the probability that the cloaked ship's race reported is in fact the cloaked ship's race.
  • Cost factor of Rebel deep space bases: This is multiplier to get the mineral/money cost to build a deep space base. Multiply this factor by 10 to get the amount of minerals and money.
  • Range of DSB detection: how far the enemy ship must be in order to detect an active DSB.
  • Share Hyper-Sage: set this on to allow other races to use the hyper-drive capabilities of the Sage Class Frigate. Set to off to allow only the Rebels to use it.
  • Skill of Colonial fighter pilots: the multiplier (percentage) by which Colonial fighters are better than the defending fighters. Set it to 100 to make them just as good, to 200 to make them twice as good, and to 50 to make them twice as bad.
  • Sale of defenses/mines: How much money is received from a sale of 1 defense post or a mineral mine. You get 1 supply unit plus (by default) 50% of the original cost.
  • Sale of starbase: What percentage of the original construction+tech upgrade price is received from a sold starbase, both in minerals and money.
  • Warp factor to be slowed to by Interdictors: what is a maximum speed that an enemy ship in an Interdiction field can attain. Own ships can go two warp factors faster.

Antimatter launcher cost: how many thousands of units of minerals it would take to build a launcher. Multiply this factor by 1000 to get minerals and supplies, and by 2000 to get the money. This factor times 2000 is also used to calculate how much money a missile launch will cost. Tank and ComBot strengths: the equivalent number of colonist clans necessary to defeat a tank/ComBot. Set Tank offense and defense to 0 to disable tanks for that race; set ComBot defense to 0 to disable ComBots for that race.

Any player can use a planetary FC "GRY" to receive the list of Gryphon config options next turn in the mail. It is very similar to Planets' own "con" Friendly code. When an item is yes/no, 1 signifies yes and 0 - no or is disabled.

III. Operations and Abilities.

The following section describes the new special abilities and how to use them. Quick reference sheet follows the "long" explanation. For shortness, FC will refer to the Friendly code of the appropriate ship. Whenever I use an amount in parentheses, like (75%), that means this value is configurable in GCONFIG.

A. Federation.

1) Move Natives.
The Fed Banshee class ship can transport batches of (1600) native clans in its modified and improved version of Lizard Cryo-Hold (see below for details). With an FC of "LNR", a totally empty (except for fuel) Banshee can load and store in its cryo holds the native clans of any race excluding the amorphs (hard to catch) and the reptians (very strong family ties). The number of native clans is determined by multiplying the cargo hold of a Bashee by (20), configured capacity of Federation CryoTanks. It can then take them to any planet and unload with a FC of "UNR". Three things can occur: if the planet has no natives, the native clans will unload and populate the planet; but as a result of the move and accompanying chaos, their government decreases by 1. If there already are natives of the same race, the natives add to the already existing natives; the government is set to the lower of the two and the happiness is set to 100 as a result of happiness of the reunited clans. If there are natives of another race on the planet, nothing would happen, since natives don't live well together in VGAP.

Just be careful not to load anything (besides fuel) onto the ship while the natives are loaded, or the cryogenic units would break down and all natives would die.

NOTE: it is possible to "steal" natives from planets owned by another race, if their happiness level is lower than 80%.

2) Fed cooperation.
Seeing the kindness and the order of the Federation colonists, a variable number of natives might decide to join the Federation colony as full citizens. The happiness must be greater than 80% and the native race cannot be amorph. To stop native clans from joining, you can set your planetary FC to begin with the letter "S".

3) Superrefit in flight.
Federation starships no longer need a starbase to perform their super refit function. As long as a ship has sufficient minerals/money and FC of "UFP", the ship can do the superrefit. Set the first letter of the ship name to "E" if you want to up your engines, or "T" for torps, or "B" for beam weapons. The old parts are too bulky for storage, so they are ejected into space.

NOTE: due to some strange technological barriers <wink, wink> ships cannot raise their engines, beams and torps from tech 6 to tech 7, and engines from tech 7 to tech 8. (This is done to protect Tim's registrations). If the host desires, he can increase the money cost of the upgrade. For example, with the factor of 2 it costs twice as much money to upgrade the parts as from a base. The default value is (1).

NOTE: If you have any torps on the ship and are upgrading launchers, the torps are upgraded too, but 50% of them are disassembled to upgrade the other torps.

NOTE: This is an UPGRADE, not a new component installation. You cannot built a ship with no torp launchers and then try to add launchers using UFP. At least level 1 launchers have to be present on the ship.

4) Bonus-Refit.
This is a super-set of superrefit-in-flight. Federation ships in orbit around planets with "special" natives (human, silicon, etc.) can get their ships superrefitted up to level 10 without a base! For the normal amount of minerals and double the (money factor) (for presents to natives), FCode "UFP", the ship can do the bonus-refit. Set the first letter of the ship name to "E" if you want to upgrade your engines, or "T" for torps, or "B" for beam weapons. If you are upgrading torps, any torps presently on the ship are now useless (too low-tech) and are discarded, so transfer them to another ship or lay and scoop them as minefield.

NOTE: This is an UPGRADE, not a new component installation. You cannot built a ship with no torp launchers and then try to add launchers using UFP. At least level 1 launchers have to be present on the ship.

B. Lizards

1) Cryogenic Cargo hold.
The Lizards have developed a way to cryogenically freeze their warriors aboard a Saurian class ship and beam them out onto enemy planets or to supplement their colonists on planets. The Saurian class ship has to be empty of all cargo (besides fuel) and be orbiting a Lizard planet. With the FC of "LCH" the ship can Load its Cryo-Holds with cargo space of Saurian times (10), the default load factor. Therefore, in a default game with a standard ship list, the max load is 1500 clans; that can do a good deal of damage in Lizard hands. The clans can be unloaded normally (beam down colonists mission); in the end of the turn, other colonists will be defrosted and put into colonist quarters.

NOTE: this means only 150 clans per turn would be able to be beamed down. Every turn, (5%) of clans would die from Cryogenic storage accidents.

NOTE: You cannot use any of the "beam up minerals" functions; that would disrupt the cryo chambers and all colonists would die. NOTE: other ships cannot beam minerals to the Saurian, or the same effect would occur. You can safely beam up/transfer money and fuel.

You would get a message every turn advising of cryo-chamber status.

2) T-Rex Antifighter mines.
A T-Rex class battleship can choose to convert some of its torpedoes into mines just before battle. These mines would explode into small pieces of shrapnel and damage incoming fighters. Depending on the first letter of the FC, 'Q' will convert a quarter of torpedoes, 'H' will convert a half, 'T' will convert three fourths and 'A' will convert all of them. If the first letter of the FC is not one of these letters, no torpedoes will be converted. The more torps you use and the higher the tech level, the more mines will be created. Strength of the torpedoes can be adjusted in the GCONFIG program. This is done after movement, but before combat; you must have primary enemy set to something (anything) or kill mission for this ability to work. The formula for the percent of fighters destroyed is (FOURTH_ROOT (number_of_torps_used_squared times torp_tech_squared times config_strength)) divided by 100 per enemy ship.

Use FCode "xyz" to use this ability, where x is Q, H, T, or A for quarter, half, three quarters, and all torpedoes, y is "A" or "a", and z is "F" or "f". The case variations of the last two characters is to help avoid ships not fighting due to matching FCodes. For example:
QAf or Qaf or QAF or QaF will use 1/4 of torpedoes.

WARNING: the program does not detect if the ship is actually in combat. Do not use xAF if you aren't sure you'll fight, or you will waste torpedoes.

NOTE: to avoid xAF working two turns in a row in case a player missed his turn and forgot to reset the FCode, the ship has to be at warp factor higher than 0 to use this ability. In the end of the turn, xAF will reset warp factor to 0, so that to use it on the next turn, the player will have to manually set the warp factor.

C: The Birdmen.

1) Remote ID.
This ability is shared with the Privateers. A Skyfire class starship on an intercept mission and warp 0 can use its targeting scanners to thoroughly scan the target ship. With FC "RID", the ship will report the other ship's drivetech, number and tech of beams and torp launchers, number of torps or fighters, mission, primary enemy, damage, different kinds of cargo, fuel and the FC. The default range for both races is (162) ly.

2) Beacon-Minefields.
Birdman ships can convert their torpedoes into deep space mines and, instead of deploying them into a minefield, place a remote-response beacon on them and hide them under a small portable cloaking shield. After receiving a signal, the beacons collapse the cloaking fields and deploy the mines into regular minefields. For an added bonus, the Beacon minefields allow one mine field totally inside one another! The deploying ship must have the FC of "DBx", where x is "H" for half of torpedoes, "Q" for a quarter of torpedoes, "A" for all torpedoes, and "T" for three fourths of torpedoes. The max total amount of beacons in the universe is 100.

The minefield size is determined with standard minefield size calculation, number-of-mines=number-of-torps-used times tech-of-torps-squared. After deployment, the beacons remain linked to the ship that deployed them; when that ship uses FC "UMB", all beacons that ship has created will be converted into regular minefields. If the deploying ship is destroyed, the Birdmen must get another torpedo ship with the same id number to deploy the beacons; otherwise, the beacons will remain floating about, unclaimed. The Imperial Mig class scout can detect and destroy the beacons; see its appropriate section.

NOTE: the deploying ship may stay cloaked for the entire time!

3) Honor Device.
Birdmen have the Honor Device installed on all ships with more than 10 crewmen. See the Universal section on the Honor device for details.

4) Ship Warp Interdictor.
In addition to the universal Planetary Warp Interdictor, the Bird ships can have a Ship-based Warp Interdictor installed into the hull. Just like the Planetary Interdictor, the Ship Interdictor is installed by joining the ship with a Neutronic Refinery vessel; However, by default it is less powerful and uses less fuel than the planet-based device. To install the Interdictor device, the ship must be at the same location as a Neutronic Refinery ship and have the FC of "BWI". To engage the ship interdictor, use the ship FC of "EWI"; you must have more than (20) fuel units to use the device. When the device is engaged, all ships of all other races are slowed down to warp (4); the Birdman ships can tweak their engines to go up to two warp factors higher than the other races' ships. Therefore, the Birds within the field can go the max of warp (6).

5) Red Wind Fighter Steal.
The Birdmen share the Red Wind fighter Steal ability with the Privateers. See appropriate section for details.

D. Fascists.

1). Deep space missiles.
In their infinite pursuit of destruction, the Fascist governmen authorized its ships' captains to install long-range deep space missiles on all ships tech 6 and above. NOTE: the ships below tech 6, such as Ill Wind, will NOT be able to launch missiles. From now on, any ship with torp launchers and that is orbiting a Fascist planet will be able to launch three types of missiles: Anti-Fighter, Minefield, and Biological. Each missile costs 10 of each mineral and 20 fuel and moves at warp (7) straight toward its target, which has to be an orbit of a planet. To launch a missile, the ship has to be of tech level 6 or above, be orbiting a Fascist planet, have the necessary minerals in the cargo hold, warp factor 0 and set a waypoint to the target planet. The range of the missile is unlimited; but be aware that really long-range missiles could take a long time to get to their destinations.

The FC for Anti-Fighter missile is "LFM". This kind of missile seeks out groups of fighters. If no ships or no ships with fighter bays or no ships with fighters are found, the missile has no effect; otherwise, it separates into many small warheads, each with individual targeting capabilities. Each warhead one of four things, with random probability:

1: completely misses. It would report "ship undamaged"
2: destroys a few fighters. It would report "X fighters destroyed"
3: destroys a lot of fighters (hit a squadron on patrol). It would report "X fighters destroyed"
4: follow a group of fighters into the ship and explode in a fighter bay. In that case, a fighterbay is completely destroyed. (so now it is possible to see a Gorbie with fewer than 10 bays, for example).

NOTE: it is impossible to destroy a carrier's only fighter bay.

To launch a Biological missile, set the FC to "LBM". This missile would release bio-toxins into the planet's atmosphere and have a (15%) chance per colonist to kill him. Therefore, the effects are largely unpredictable; the missile might either have no effect or decimate the entire population, but on average it will kill 15% of the population. To launch a Minefield missile, set FC of "LMM". This missile would deploy a (900)-mine-units minefield, with a radius of (30) ly.

NOTE: the minefields can be contained entirely inside one another! I.E. you can have two minefields at [2000:2000] and not have them join together.

The missiles can be swept when they reach the target point. To attempt to destroy the missile, you must set ships' missions to mine sweep. The default chance of successfully sweeping a missile is TotalNumberOfBeamWeapon times BeamWeaponTechLevel times (100%). For example, a Biocide with 10 heavy phasers will have 10*10*(100%) or 100% chance. One Patriot with 2 Heavy Blasters will have 2*6*(100%) or 12% chance.

The planetary defense (not starbase defense) outposts also participate in this missile sweep. No special FC is required; the defenses will automatically attempt to sweep all approaching missiles. However, their effect is much smaller than that of ship-based weapons.

The damage levels are of course configurable. If the missile is detected in space (i.e. it has not yet reached its target) then a scan message is sent to the owner of the target planet every turn the missile is in flight, as well as to the missile's owner advising of its status.

A player who owns the missile can destroy it at any time using planetary FCode "Dxx", where xx is the missile's ID number. This ability is transferred to non-fascist players during team game, but with a catch: the Fascists, showing uncommon foresight, have built-in an override frequency into each missile control unit they give away in their ships. A Fascist player can "push the big red button" for any missile in flight, whether launched by him or by someone else.

2) Board Base.
The Fascists from a Coldpain class Cruiser can board a base of an enemy race. If the assault is not repelled by the base troopers(the probability of the assault being repelled is number-of-defense-posts divided by 2 minus 25% plus (25%) from the GCONFIG program), the base is damaged (25%), all base fighters are smashed, half the defense outposts are broken, and all built components (hulls, engines, beams, and launchers) are destroyed. In addition, all stored torpedoes are beamed out into space. Some Fascist crewmen are killed during the assault; since only a fully-crewed Coldpain can do the board mission, the ship must return to a base to pick up additional crew. The Coldpain have FC of "BBx", where x is anything (to prevent the capture of the ship), not be cloaked, warp 0, and not be towed.

NOTE: the damage to base is progressive; that means the first ship will damage a base to 25%, the next ship to 43%, the next to 58%, and so on. It is next to impossible to completely destroy a base by boarding it repeatedly.

E: Privateers.

1) Remote ID.
Exactly the same as Birdman feature; see Birds for details.

2) Lady Royale Gambling supervessel.
The Royale can now go to planets of other races and perform its gambling function there, with one exception: the proceeds go to the Privateers, not the planet's owner. The colonists beam up in the beginning of the turn and return in the end; they do not pay taxes and are not present to work at the factories and mines. The Royale would need the fc of "GXX" and warp 0.

The Royale cannot be towed or attempt to leave the planet: if the colonists find out the ship is no longer at the planet, they will revolt and destroy the Lady Royale. Warning: do not try to attempt the gambling mission during the ion storm. The storm may pull the Royale off the planet.

The owner of the planet may institute martial law on the planet; With the FC of "xML", where x is any character, the police and special forces would prevent the citizens from leaving. However, this would drop their happiness level by (25%) due to lost civil liberties.

NOTE: the planet cannot be taken by ground assault or space assault during the time the colonists gamble. Otherwise, the returning colonists would announce what was done to them and the invading colonists would join the colony of the old race! for Example, a Lizard colony has a Royale in orbit. On the same turn, a Fascist takes over the planet with ground assault. When the Lizard colonists return, the colony ownership would go back to Lizards, with all the Fascist troops joining the Lizard government.

3) Red Wind fighter steal.
The Red Wind class ship that belongs to either Birds or Privateers can broadcast subspace messages to enemy fighter carriers at the same location describing the beauty of the pirate way of life. This may convince a random number of fighter pilots up to (30%) to desert and join the Privateer Red Wind, or (20%) to join the Birdman Red Wind fighter team. Multiple ships can steal fighters; however, the number of fighters stolen does NOT increase with the number of ships; rather, only the capacity of fighters that can be taken away is increased. The fighters that do not find enough space will return to their "home" carrier. Stolen fighters are taken aboard Red Winds in ID number order. Cloaked carriers may not be robbed, however the Red Wind may be cloaked while robbing. Carriers on SuperSpy MAY be robbed, even if they can cloak.

The Red Wind must have fuel and use the FC "SFx", where x is any alphanumeric character (to prevent matching FC on combat ships). The mission is done during the AUXBC phase: after movement, but before combat.

NOTE: this ability cannot be given away in a team game.

F: The Cyborg.

1) Move Mines.
The Cyborg ships can order any Cyborg minefield to move up, down, left, or right on the starmap at warp (5) using the FC "MMX" and: the first three characters of the name must be the minefield's ID number. The fourth character of the name must be the direction to go, "D" for down, "U" for up, "L" for left, and "R" for right. For example, FC "MMX" and name "023D" will cause the minefield 23 to move down. The controlling ship must have the warp factor of 0.

2) Super Intercept.
Both cube ships can greatly speed up in their pursuit of an enemy vessel. Whenever the ship is intercepting an enemy and is not close enough to get to him in the regular movement phase, the ship will accelerate to twice its regular speed to cover twice as much distance burning the same amount of fuel! The cube's web/mine hit probability is halved, because the ship moves so fast the mines cannot lock on. The ship has to be undamaged, have engines of tech 8 or higher, be on an intercept mission, and have the warp factor EQUAL the engine tech level.

G: The Crystallines.

1) Move Web mine fields.
This ability is similar to the Cyborg move mines ability. The Crystalline ships can order any Crystal Web minefield to move up, down, left, or right on the starmap at warp (5) using the FC "MMX" and: the first three characters of the name must be the minefield's ID number. The fourth character of the name must be the direction to go, "D" for down, "U" for up, "L" for left, and "R" for right. For example, FC "MMX" and name "023D" will cause the web minefield 23 to move down. The controlling ship must have the warp factor of 0.

2) ComBots.
The Crystal can build ComBots to defend their planets. See the Universal abilities section on ComBots for details.

3) Ravius Beam.
The Onyx class starships have been outfitted with the Ravius Beam, designed to increase a planet's temperature at a distance. As long as the Onyx has fuel, FC of "RAV" and has a waypoint set on one of the planets, the Onyx would increase that world's temperature by (1) degree per turn, burning (1) unit of fuel.

NOTE: if the host sets the temperature increase rate to more than 1, the fuel use will increase accordingly. The range of this ability is the ship's engine tech squared times 2.

4) Honor Device.
The Opal class and the Topez class ships have Honor device installed in their hulls. See the Universal abilities section on the Honor Device for details.

5) Crystal Oscillator.
The Crystal Thunder Class Carrier has installed an Oscillator device. When engaged in the AUXBC phase (after movement, but before combat), it will destroy all fighters in the forward-facing fighter bays of the enemy carriers at the same location by inducing oscillations which shatter the fighters' sensors and central computer processor units. Exactly (33%) of all fighters of the primary enemy race are destroyed. Use the FC "OSC" to use this ability. You need at least 1 colonist clan on board the Crystal Thunder to operate the device.

NOTE: to avoid enemy ships setting FC to OSC and not fighting the Crystal Thunder, you can also use FCodes Osc, OSc, and OsC.

H. The Empire.

1) ComBots.
The Empire can build ComBots to defend their planets. See the Universal Abilities section on ComBots for details.

2) Hyper-Moscow.
Moscow class Star Escort has had a hyperdrive installed. Just like default hyperdrive-capable ships, the Moscow will burn 50 units of fuel and jump (350) light years in the direction of the waypoint. Just set the "HYP" FC and warp factor to greater than 0. NOTE: Because of the size of the ship (it is much larger than the probes) there MIGHT be a small inaccuracy in targeting (1-3 ly, at random) so do not count on exact results every time.

3) Imperial Pacification mission.
The Super Star Carrier with 100 or more fighters in its bays can instantly improve morale of any Imperial planet's natives or colonists to 69% if it drops below 69. The ship has to be at warp 0, have FC "PAC" and not be towed.

4) Mig detection of Birdman beacons.
The Mig class scouts will automatically detect and destroy all Birdman minefield beacons that are (20) ly from the ship's position at the start of the turn.

I. The Robots.

1) Cloaker Detect.
The Robotic Pawn class Baseship may detect the computer emissions of enemy cloaked vessels nearby. With the FC of "DEC" and warp factor 0, a Pawn may detect cloaked ships of all races and super-spying Birds up to (49) ly away with (50%) probability. The computer chief will also report the warp factor the ship is under, and will attempt to identify the race that owns the ship. That cannot always be accomplished, though, and in (50%) of the cases, the computer chief will report a randomly chosen race, that may or may not be the correct one. (in the other 50% of the cases, the correct race will be reported). The host may choose if the race of the cloaker receives a message about detection. NOTE: The Pawn on this mission cannot be towed.

2) Mass Drivers.
As an alternative to small/medium/large Deep space freighters, the Robots may now use Mass Drivers to transport minerals or supplies to distant planets. This requires that a ship with hull mass over 100 is stationed above the "source" planet. The ship must use the FC "MDx", where x is the mineral to transport: "M" for moly, "D" for duranium, "T" for tritanium, "N" for fuel and "S" for supplies, have more than (20) fuel, and set the waypoint to the "target" planet. The next turn, (100) units of the mineral requested would be transported over. NOTE: the target planet must be closer than (100) ly. It does not have to belong to the Robots.

J: Rebels.

1) Hyper-Sage.
Sage class Frigate ship has had a hyperdrive installed. Just like default hyper ships, the Sage will burn 50 units of fuel and jump (350) light years in the direction of the waypoint. Just set the "HYP" FC and warp factor to greater than 0. NOTE: Because of the size of the ship (it is much larger than the probes) there MIGHT be a small inaccuracy in targeting (1-3 ly, at random) so do not count on exact results every time.

2) Starbase Sabotage.
Rebel saboteurs can infiltrate the starbases of enemy races and reduce their hull, engine, and tech levels. Any Rebel ship with more than 10 crew, at warp 0 and not towed, with FC "SBx", where x is any character, can beam in a few saboteurs and if there is an area that has a tech level above 1, it will be reduced by 1 level. The area is chosen randomly among those that are above 1. NOTE: If there is a native race on that planet that originally helped to develop that technology, they will help to upgrade it back to level 10 and the mission will have no effect. For example, if there are ghipsoidal natives on a planet and the Rebel ship sabotages engines, the Ghipsoids will push the engine tech level back up to 10. If that happens, the host will have a message about it in the log file, but the Rebel player will NOT receive a mail message. The Rebel ship may not be cloaked. The Rebel ship will sustain some crew casualties during this mission. The ship must return to a "real" Rebel base (not one of the DSBs, see below) and be "fixed" before it can do a Sabotage mission again.

3) Rebel Deep Space Bases.
Rebel ships can construct and maintain Deep Space Bases on asteroids floating in deep space. They cost 10*(5) units of each mineral, supplies and money. Any Rebel ship with FC of "DSB" and the required minerals on board can build a base at any point in space, not necessarily in Rebel space. At least 1 clan of colonists must be inside the ship; they will build the base and then transfer over to administer it and work on it once built. The base cannot be built at the same location as a planet, because a sun's gravity makes the asteroids there too unstable. The builder-ship must not be cloaked, but it may be moving. The base, once built, will repair any Rebel ship at the same location instantly and at no cost and will provide 1 free torpedo per turn to every ship stationed over that base, built from materials collected from nearby asteroids.

If an enemy ship starts its turn within (25) ly from the base, it will send a subspace message to the ship's owner informing him about the base.

The radar technicians on the base will also inform the Rebels of the base's detection.

Any enemy ship with mission kill or primary enemy Rebels and possessing beam weapons can destroy the base by moving to it. The base is not armed and is unable to offer any resistance. A maximum of 100 bases can exist at any one time.

4) Honor Device.
The Sage class and the Deep Space Scout ships have Honor device installed in their hulls. See the Universal abilities section on the Honor Device for details.

K. Colonials.

1) Fighter-vs-base strike.

WARNING: this mission needs host 3.2.015 to allow for base destruction. With prior versions of host, the base will be damaged but not destroyed.

The colonial ships can send fighters to attack enemy bases. Several ships can join their fighter squadrons to attack a base at an enemy planet by using the FC "FBA", setting the warp factor to 0 and waypoint to the target planet. The attack value of an attacking fighter is 4 * (120%). The defensive value of a fighter is 4, a defense outpost is 1. Only fighters and defenses of a starbase participate in defense. The following is the algorithm used to determine the outcome of the battle:

While (there are attackers) and (there are defenders) do begin

If (random (attackers*skill-of-pilots) > random(defenders) then
increment base's damage

If (random (attackers*skill-of-pilots) > random(defenders) then
decrement defenders

If (random (attackers*skill-of-pilots) <= random (defenders) then
decrement attackers if base's damage >= 100 then kill all defenders end

If there are no defenders left then destroy the base.

The surviving fighters DO NOT RETURN from the mission.

NOTE: To prevent this ability's abuse in the end-game, it is performed in auxhost2 phase, after movement and combat.

NOTE: If the base does not exist when the fighters get to that planet, the fighters expire in space. Be sure there is a base at a target planet!

2) Ion Control.
Any Colonial ship of tech level 6 or above can now manipulate ion storms. for Ion Control, use the FC "IOC" and a ship name corresponding to the operation you want. The first character of the name is the operation code, and the 2nd and 3rd characters are the ID number of the storm, 01-50.

The following are the different operations on the storms and corresponding codes:

a) Create a storm: "N"
b) Increase the storm radius: "I"
c) Decrease a storm radius: "D"
d) Strengthen a storm: "S" (increase voltage)
e) Weaken a storm: "W" (decrease voltage)
f) Turn approximately 90 degrees clockwise: "R"
g) Turn approximately 90 degrees counterclockwise: "L".

For example, to weaken storm 17, have a ship with FC "IOC" and the name "W17". If the storm does not exist, it will be ignored on call to weaken, increase radius, or decrease radius, and created on strengthen, with random location and radius. With a call to New, a small ion disturbance will be created at the location of the calling ship.

NOTE: multiple ships can operate on one storm. For example, you could turn the storm 180 degrees, strengthen it, and increase radius, all in one turn, with 4 ships.

NOTE: to dissipate an ion storm, weaken it ("W") until it's gone.

NOTE: when creating a new storm, its ID will be the first one available, not the ID you have indicated in the name.

NOTE: Artificial ion storms will weaken slightly every turn if untended.

L. Universal Special Abilities.

1) Planetary Warp Interdictor.
All races can build a Planetary Warp Interdictor devices installed on planets. The Interdictor is installed by dismantling a Neutronic Refinery vessel and converting its parts to build the device; to install the Interdictor device, the planet must have an orbiting Neutronic Refinery ship and have the FC of "BWI". To engage the Planetary Warp Interdictor, use the ship FC of "EWI"; you must have more than (40) fuel units to use the device. When the device is engaged, all ships of all other races are slowed down to warp (4); the ships of the race that owns the device can tweak their engines to go up to two warp factor higher than the other races' ships. For example, the Birds within the field Birdman-planet-generated Interdiction field (at the beginning of the turn) can go the max of warp (6), while other ships can go up to warp (4).

2) Tanks and ComBots.
The Tanks and ComBots (Combat Robots) are additions to VGAP's weak system of ground combat. Now, in addition to using colonists to defend and attack planets, (all) the races can use tanks to defend and attack and (Crystals and Empire) can use ComBots to defend their planets. The default attack value of a tank is equal to (10) clans and a defense value is (5) clans; one tank takes up 2 cargo spaces on a ship. A Combot is equal to (50) clans on defense, and it cannot be used for offense (because they are too big to be transported on starships). Each planet can build up to square root of the population of tanks and ComBots; for example, a planet with 400 clans can build 20 tanks. 1 tank costs 10 units of all minerals and 50 MC; 1 ComBot costs 50 of each mineral and 200 MC. Use a planetary FC "B1C" to build 1 ComBot (if a race can) and "B1T" to build 1 tank. With an empty ship (excepting fuel and money) use FC "LTN" to load as many tanks as would fit into the ship from a planet; use FC "UTN" to unload tanks. If tanks are unloaded to a friendly planet, they are added to the current stock; if they are unloaded to an enemy planet, combat ensues. First, the tanks fight the ComBots (if any); then, tanks fight tanks (if any); then, tanks fight defending colonists. NOTE: during the ground combat involving these new war machines, the defending side DOES NOT get any bonuses from the colony defenses or the colonist's natural combat abilities: the inborn strength or ferocity means nothing next to tons of combat armor.

NOTE: if a ship lands assault troops to a planet, they first fight ComBots, then tanks, then colonists. WARNING: if a ship carries tanks, it CANNOT carry any other cargo (besides money). If you load anything else, all the tanks are DESTROYED.

NOTE: when landing troops, all tank landing battles are resolved before any colonists from any ships are landed.

3) Ground Bombardment.
Ships can choose not to engage the ground defense posts in combat and use orbital bombardment instead. This will allow you to capture planets with all defense posts intact and with colonists already on the planet, ready to work and pay taxes. Assault factor is determined as follows: number of colonists killed = (#-of-beams-corrected-for-damage * tech-of-beams) - number of-defense-posts (dps). NOTE: with phost, the max damage to the planet is 100. 1 factory + 1 mine are destroyed per 5 colonists killed. The ships take damage from defense outposts on planets; damage determined as number of dps minus (tech-of-engines + tech-of-beams)*2. Therefore, a ship with heavy phasers and transwarps can ignore up to 40 dps with no damage, and add 1% of damage per dp thereafter. If the planet has a base or over (100) defenses, then orbital bombardment is not allowed. There is a chance for surrender of all colonists to the race that bombards, equal to 20% plus (number-of-colonists-killed times cowardice-factor) / 125. So a ship with 10 heavy phasers bombarding a planet with 40 dps can hope for a 49% chance of survivors surrendering. All damage to ships is done before any damage to the planet, so that small ships could not bombard heavily defended planets. Damaged ships would not use all of their beams.

To initiate orbital bombardment, have a ship orbiting an enemy planet with less than (100) dps and no starbase at warp 0, FC "GRB" and not towed.

4) Antimatter Doomsday Missile.
The Antimatter DoomsDay Missile is the ultimate weapon in the VGAP universe. It is a huge missile, filled with antimatter, that moves at warp 9, cannot be swept, and that totally destroys a planet and all life and all structures on it, converts it to 100 degree desert world, destroys the starbase and all ships up to 1 ly away, and damages all ships up to 100 ly away.

Unfortunately, antimatter is very expensive and takes a long time to produce; therefore, the launcher takes (10) turns and (5000) units of every mineral and (10000) MC to build; the planet has to have more than 1000 colonists, a starbase, and FC "BAM" to start building the launcher. Every race in the galaxy gets a progress report on building from its spies.

NOTE: the launcher is destroyed whenever the planet changes ownership. Therefore, the best way to survive a missile is not let it finish building. You have to keep the first letter of the FC "B" if you want to continue building launcher; the building will be suspended if the first letter is not a "B".

After (10) turns, the launcher is built and you can launch missiles. Each missile costs (10000) MC and (1000) units of fuel; it also takes (3) turns to aim/launch. Every race in the galaxy receives a spy report on a planet preparing to launch a missile. To launch, have all the required money/fuel available and set the FC of the planet to the ID# of the planet you want to pulverize and keep it until the missile is launched. All computing resources of the world are required to move the missile and evade destruction; therefore, each planet can have a max of ONE missile in flight.

NOTE: if ownership of the planet is changed during the missile flight, both the missile and the launcher are destroyed.

5) Honor Device.
Selected ships (all Birdmen, Opal, Topez, Sage, and Deep Space Scout) have the Honor Device built into their hulls. This device will explode the ship if it is captured, damaging all ships nearby by (1) mine hit and damaging other ships of the ship's previous owner at the same location by (20) percent of a mine hit. The operation is automatic, no special FC or other requirements are necessary. For example, an Imperial task force attacks a Birdman planet with a Deth Specula in orbit (uncloaked) and a cloaked Swift Heart. If the Deth is captured, it will self-destruct, all surviving Imperial ships will get a mine hit's worth of damage, and the Swift Heart will get 20% of a mine-hit worth of damage.

6) Ship Exchange.
This ability would improve an otherwise painful process of exchanging ships under Timhost. With Gryphon ship exchange, you no longer need 3 ships, 2 turns, and clans on board; you are also protected from betrayal from the other player: if the other player does not want to give his ship, he won't get yours either.

To activate, set FCode of a ship to "EXx", where x is any character. Next turn, the next-higher-ID-numbered ship from another race with IDENTICAL FCode will be swapped with yours and FCodes of both ships will reset to QQQ. Neiter ship can be cloaked during transfer of ownership. If there are no other ships with identical ID, the exchange will not occur (you may want to see that your opponent does not set a EXx on a worthless ship, giving it away for something potentially good of yours).

7) Sell Mines/Defs/Facs/Starbases.
You can sell mines, defenses, factories and starbases on planets where you don't want them or when they run out of minerals. The FC is "SDx" for sell defenses, "SMx" for sell mines, "SFx" to sell factories, and "SSB" for sell starbase, where x is the number of units you want to sell divided by 10. For example, "SM5" will sell 50 mines.

NOTE: if the planet has less than 50, none will be sold.

NOTE: "SD0", "SM0" and "SF0" will not sell anything.

You will get back (50%) of all money and minerals and 100% of supplies back when you sell structures, and 50% of money that went into tech upgrades; however, if a planet has (for example) humanoid natives and hull tech of 10, you will not get any money for the hull tech. Sold factories will get the same amount of money as a sold mine. To prevent Birdman practical jokes (don't really need that starbase at the Birdman border, do you?), a ship of yours has to be orbiting that planet with FC "YES" for the structures to be sold.

Team game.
The host can configure Gryphon so that it uses team game rules. It is a very important config item. This ability changes all race specials into ship specials; ships can then be traded and the effect is still there. For example, with team play a Lizard player can give an T-REX to a Borg and then the Borg would be able to use the anti-fighter mines just like a Lizard. Only certain ships are transferrable: only the original, race-designed ships would do. For example, a Borg Victorious bought from the Fascists would be able to launch missiles, but a Deth Specula would not, since the Birdmen can also build that ship. Therefore you should always check before buying a ship to use a race special.

NOTE: Timhost's default ship list is used for checking.

IV. Quick Reference Sheet.

  • Move Natives: empty Banshee, LNR to load, UNR to unload. (1600) clans.
  • Cooperation: automatically, with >80% happiness.
  • Superrefit: have the money and minerals. FC UFP, first character of the name set to what you want to upgrade.
  • Cryo Cargo holds: empty Saurian, LCH to load, beam down to unload. Clans unfreeze automatically when beamed down.
  • Antifighter mines: First letter of the FC of the T-Rex determines the number of mines, if primary enemy is set.
  • Remote ID: Skyfire FC "RID", warp 0; must be in range. Birds have Honor Device on all ships.
  • Beacon minefields: any Birdman ship, deploy FC "DBx", where x is "H",
    "Q", "T", or "A"; undeploy FC "UMB".
  • Ship Warp interdictor: BWI to build, EWI to engage. 20 fuel.
  • Deep space missiles: Fascist ship over fascist planet, warp 0, FC "LBM", "LFM", "LMM" for biological, fighter, and minefield respectively. Minerals and fuel required.
  • Board Base: fully-crewed Coldpain, FC "BBx", not-cloaked, not-towed, and warp
    factor 0.
  • Gamble: Lady Royale over enemy planet, FC "GXX", unless martial law is
    declared. Do not leave the planet.
  • Bloodfang: fighter steal, FC "SFx", within 1 ly from enemy carriers. Must have enough space and fuel.
  • Move Mines: Borg, FC "MMX", first three characters of name is the ID, fourth character direction: "L", "U", "R", or "D".
  • Super Intercept: automatically on intercept of enemy, Bio or Anni.
  • Move webs: Crystals, FC "MMX", first three characters of name is the ID, fourth character direction: "L", "U", "R", or "D".
  • Ravius Beam: onyx, has fuel, FC "RAV". Crystals have ComBots. Crystals have Honor Device on Opal and Topaz.
  • Crystal Oscillator: Thunder, FC "OSC", destroys fighters on enemy carriers.
    Empire has ComBots.
  • Hyper-Moscow: just like built-in Hyperdrives, on Moscow Class Star Escort.
  • Imperial Pacification: SSCarrier, FC "PAC", increases happiness of colonists and natives to 69%. Warp 0, Not towed. Mig Scout detects and destroys Birdman beacons. Robots detect enemy cloakers. Race could be incorrect. Pawn at warp 0, not towed, FC "DEC".
  • Mass Drivers: move minerals without ships. Any ship over 100 mass, FC "MDx", where x is mineral to transport: "M", "D", "T", "S", or "N".
  • Hyper-Sage: just like built in Hyperdrive, on Sage class Frigate.
  • StarBase sabotage: decrease enemy bases' tech levels. Any rebel, not cloaked, warp 0, not towed, FC "SBx". Fully crewed.
  • Deep space bases: build "DSB", (50) minerals, supplies, and money; 1 clan; the base will fix all ships and give 1 free torp per ship per turn.
  • Honor device for rebels on Sage and Deep Space Scout.
  • Fighter-vs-base strike: any Colonial carrier with FC "FBA" can send its fighters to attack a base of an enemy. Warp 0, waypoint to target planet.
  • Ion Control: ship with hull tech 6 or higher, FC "IOC", name: first character as operation code, second and third as storm ID. Must have fuel.
  • Planetary warp interdictor: Universal. FC "BWI" to build, "EWI" to engage. must have fuel to operate. Must have Neutronic Refinery to build.
  • Tanks: to build planetary FC "B1T" for 1 tank, "B1C" for a ComBot. Ship FC "LTN" to load from planet, "UTN" to unload to planet. Defaults: 1 tank on offense = 10 colonists, on defense = 5 colonists, 1 combot on defense = 50 colonists.
  • Orbital Bombardment: FC "GRB", warp 0, not towed, over enemy planet with less than 100 defenses and no starbase.
  • Antimatter Missile: FC "BAM" to build Launcher, or target planet ID to launch. Takes multiple turns to build/launch. The ultimate weapon in the game. Must retain ownership of the planet.
  • Honor device: automatic.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me, os80308@ltu.edu. I answer 95% of all my mail within 1-2 days, even hate mail :)

V. Notes.

The Gryphon program was written using 386 protected mode. This means that Gryphon does not have a DOS 640-k memory limitation and explains why I am able to do so much :) However, you are required to have at least a 386 computer with 1 meg of extended memory. I decided to go with it because everyone and their brother now has at least a 386; if not, you can get a 386 motherboard for less than the cost of Gryphon.

BE VERY CAREFUL when assigning your ships destructive FCs. Many of them work on your own planets/ships as well as the enemy.

This add-on has been given a good amount of testing. There COULD be some bugs that escaped detection; if you find any, please e-mail me at os80308@ltu.edu and you will be the first to receive the fix!

This add-on will create a file called GRYPHON.LOG in the planets game directory and will log most (not all) GRYPHON actions there.

VI. Alt Tech

It is possible to use Gryphon with various alternate tech files out there.
However, there are some restrictions:

* Number of planets HAS to be 500.
* Number of possible hull designs HAS to be 105.
* Number of Hull tech slots HAS to be 10.
* Number of Engine, beam, and torp designs HAS to be 9.
* The map HAS to be equal to or below 4000x4000 ly in size.

If any of the above are violated, the results are unpredictable. Other than that, alt techs are OK, though some side effects may develop: for example, if an alt hull file redefines an Emerald (hull number 61) to Coldpain's slot (36) and team game is in effect, the Emerald would start boarding bases! Or, if a banshee is redesigned to have 500 cargo hold, it will hold millions of natives. You have to keep hull reassignments in mind when deciding what alt tech file to use and when configuring Gryphon.

VII. Shareware.

This add-on is being distributed as shareware. This means you will not get a full-featured program until you register. To register, send a check, cash, or money order for 10 American dollars plus a form found in the file GORDER.FRM to:

Oleg Shvartsman
29631 Westbrook Pkwy.
Southfield, MI 48076
USA

To encourage registration, this program will cease to function after turn 20 of the game. This does NOT mean you can start testing at turn 45 and continue for 20 turns; it means the FIRST 20 turns of the game, 1 to 20. In addition, a nag message will be sent to all players every turn. I am sorry about these restrictions, but I have spent well over 150 hours writing and testing Gryphon and I consider that effort is too much to waste. Other than that, all features of Gryphon are enabled.

Gwconfig, Windows-based config program, is only available for registered users.

Note about snail mail orders, especially from abroad: Since it is much less convenient than e-mail (and because I don't usually keep international stamps handy) there could be a delay in mailing you the registration, up to a week. In addition, those who register by e-mail will automatically get unlimited free updates and upgrades, but those of you who register by snail mail will either have to live without upgrades or add an extra 50 cents S&H per upgrade that you want to be sent to you to the order price.

VIII. Thanks.

Thanks go to:
Tim: everyone knows why.
Armin Trott: for hosting beta game, many ideas and a lot of help.
Martin Ederveen: for many productive discussions.
brianlg@primary.net for web server space.
cook@sos.net for the Gryphon Logo.

 

 
 
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