Starting The Game
When the game starts, you start in one of 2 places, sector 1 or a random sector with a planet (Sysop configurable.) Most of the time this planet is junk and is not worth keeping. Most are in vulnerable positions, not dead ends. That makes them hard to defend, and easy for opponents to find. So you should just write down the sector number (so you can find it again even after someone else claims it) and forget about it The freebie planet sometimes has some products and/or a couple of fighters when you get it. If so, take the fighters and product, then move on.
As soon as you join the game, you want to find SD (Stardock.) In many screens, its listed on the V-Screen (V at the main command prompt.) In others, you have to hunt for it. In that case, you can drop fighters in sectors surrounding fedspace around sector 1 (Just before extern runs) The feds will remove any in the MSL’s (Major Space Lanes.) A MSL will run from 1 to SD, and another will run back the other direction. (These could be duplicate routes, but usually aren’t.) When the feds pick up your fighters, they’ll send you a msg. saying “Don’t deploy fighters in the MSL’s.” and give you the sector #. Write it down. Then deploy fighters around the MSL, to find the next sector in the route to SD. It will take a week or more, usually, to find SD this way, but its better than random chance. Once you find it, be sure to note the location you’ll come back here often.
A sample of the screen:
Trade Wars 2002 Game Configuration and Status
Initial Turns per day 750, fighters 30, credits 300, holds 20. Inactive players will be deleted after 7 days. Maximum players 200, sectors 5000, ports 3250, planets 1000 The Maximum number of Planets per sector: 5, Traders on a Corp: 5 The Stardock is located in sector 3880. Photon Missile Wave duration is 10 seconds. Ver# 2.03 running under The Major BBS. This game has been running for 90 days.
-=-=-=- Current Stats for 09/09/09 as of 05:05:02 AM -=-=-=-
3,097 ports are open for business and have a net worth of 87,722,113. 1319 planets exist in the universe, 22% have Citadels. 142 Traders (76% Good) and 50 Aliens (48% Good) are active in the game. 108,023,333 Fighters and 2,779 Armid Mines are in use throughout the Universe. 39 Corporations are in business.
While the above method works well it takes a long time to complete (days to week) It is possible to locate SD using zero-turn mapping (see “Helper Programs”). Run your 0-turn mapping program and when its done look at the sectors with 6 exit sectors this is usually a list about 20 to 30 sectors big, split the sectors up among your corpies and set paths to them trading along the way and running any pairs you may find. If you run throught the complete list of sectors with 6 exits then do 5 (about twice as many sectors) and if that still doesn’t find it do the sectors with 7 or more (only a handful of sectors). This may seem like a lot of sectors its not really and you will find not only stardock but the class 0 ports as well most times.
As soon as your find SD, you should get into a new ship. The Merchant Cruiser you started in isn’t a very good ship, so you should sell it. Buy a Merchant Freighter (in most cases) the first day of a new game. Drop off your fighters first, outside of fedspace, then you can pick them up in the new ship. After buying a ship, buy a long range scanner for it, even if its just a density scanner. Then buy as many holds as you can afford, saving about 1,500 credits to use as starting cash when you go trading.
Priorities after that:
1. Full Holds 2. Holo-scanner (includes a built in density scanner) 3. 99 fighters (you don’t need many yet) 4. Etherprobes.
When moving, always move & scan. Density scanning doesn’t cost turns, but can keep you from running into mines, etc. When you have several sectors you can move to, and no particular destination (which happens early in the game), choose sectors with a density of 100. These are usually ports, so this increases your chance of finding trade pairs. Holo-scanning is very useful when there are several unexplored sectors next to you. You can explore them all, and it only costs you one turn.
At the end of the first day you should have a choice to make whether to play EVIL or Play GOOD and should have gained a good amount of both credits and experience (unless you are still looking for stardock)