Exploding StarFugitives From Fate
HHT: One Team Eliminated
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, October 31, 2003 7:20:38 PM

It was all over for HHT Team 3, Naz's corp, almost before it had begun. Kemper3 [2] discovered their King planet and successfully captured it less than 2 hours after the game started.

-- 10/31/15 -- 01:49:50 AM --
Bone Collector invaded Team 3's King Castle!

(Log File).

In defiance of the rules, Naz's team did their best to make Corp 2's day miserable after their King had been captured. By the time the dust settled, Corp 3 had surrendered an oreless and creditless King to Corp 1, not Corp 2. Having gained nothing from their invasion, Kemper's team is short on resources and vulnerable to attack. Kemper has complained raucously, but there is little anyone can do about it-- Naz's team has already been Eliminated.

I apologize for the lack of updates-- I'm pretty busy.

TWLeague In Hibernation
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Saturday, October 25, 2003 2:56:41 PM

Despite a site redesign earlier this year, the TWLeague can best be described as, at this moment, in a state of hibernation. There have been no news posts in the last 50 days, and the last League game started 54 days ago and was played on a server that no longer exists. There has yet to be a replacement board member elected for Fuseblown, who disappeared at the beginning of the year. Clearly, there is a lack of interest in the League.

Jerry affirms that the league is not dead, but acknowledges that it is "not very active right now" (TWGS.org 20996). Judging from the players list, that conclusion is inescapable.

Does the community as a whole still feel the need for a player rating system? Even FPS games, such as Unreal Tournament, have player stats pages, but that information is collected automatically. Is the end result-- a numeric determination of who's the best-- worth the effort? Does the rating system really tell us anything we don't already know? I will not present my opinion on the answers to these questions herein, but rather leave the reader to decide for him/herself.

With the DNS name not up for renewal until April 2005, there is plenty of time for things to turn around.

HHT: Alexio Replaces Cherokee
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 2:25:46 PM

Alexio has been confirmed as the new Team 4 captain, in light of Cherokee's recent resignation.

Naz Removes Inappropriate Posts
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Saturday, October 18, 2003 4:47:48 PM

A quick check of recent TWGS.org activity shows that several messages, including numbers 20730, 20747, 20789 and others, have been removed. As this is a rather uncommon occurrence, I became concerned about possible censorship issues and decided to investigate. I sent an email to Nazwes Chaiwind, the board's administrator, asking for more information.

It appears that Prestone, former CEO of The GoodGuys Permacorp (of which I was a member), insulted Jerry, the administrator of Coastgames, through the use of racial slurs. That message, and all threads posted in response, have been deleted. In his response, Naz wrote that Prestone did not object to the deletion, and that,

Racial attacks don't belong on twgs.org, that is my reasoning. After talking to a lawyer about this, he said that I should just remove the thread if I don't want it there, so I did.

Since the twgs.org rules only ban illegal activity, I decided that removing the posts rather than the posters would be more appropriate until after the rules have been changed appropriately (10/18/03 3:47 PM CDT, Via Email).

It is my own, stalwart, personal opinion that Naz acted appropriately by removing Prestone's post. Personal attacks against other players, particularly those conducted in this manner, should not be tolerated. The only purpose of this post, and others of that nature, is to deal ardent psychological harm to its intended recipient. This assault with words should be taken as grievously as a physical assault.

Coincidentally, just a few hours after Prestone's first message, Oldtimer posted a notification to his website that "After some recent events and just the tiredness of the day to day running a TWGS server I am thinking about hanging it up" (Coastgames). I find it most disturbing and disheartening that Prestone's actions have threatened the Coastgames server.

HHT: Universe Increased to 10k
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2003 10:58:38 PM

By the popular consent of all captains, the HHT universe size has been increased to 10,000 sectors. Hopefully, this change will offset the 275% increase in team size from the original Chess v2 edits. A 10k universe, as opposed to an even larger one, will allow more planets to develop L4 but also prevent a total stalemate situation from occurring. As previously mentioned, the markedly expanded team size's effect on the overall playability of the game has been a concern of mine.

The StarDock Back In Action
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2003 11:05:14 PM

After one failed attempt, the Home Sector's TWGS is finally back in action. Eleq announced, "I'll do my damnest to break the mold," and paved the way for future games with new concepts (StarDock). The TWGS has been restored sans the problematic BBS front end, and response times are much improved.

The StarDock BBS was originally administered by Fuseblown, with Eleq as his co-sysop. However, Fuseblown abruptly dropped off the map and severed ties with TW at the beginning of 2003, leaving The Home Sector/The StarDock in a permanent state of limbo. Although the TWGS is operational, it appears that the telnet BBS is going the way of its dialup counterpart, surpassed by sophisticated IM programs and SMTP mailers. This trend could possibly signal the impending death of TradeWars as well.

HHT: Aliases, Aliases, and... huh!?
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, October 6, 2003 9:46:17 PM

Timborulz (Blue Adept) ignited a 22 post flame war on TWGS.org by claiming to be playing in HHT under the alias VATO LOKO who, incidentally, was the last player drafted. This announcement set off a wave of protest centered on the use of player aliases in a draft situation. Kemper3 set the tone for the debate, commenting:

What is the point of having a draft if people are going to hide who they are? (Kemper3, 20385).

Although Timborulz later retracted his original announcement as a practical joke, Kemper's point still stands. The draft system is subject to unfair manipulation by unscrupulous CEOs and experienced players who hide behind "newbie" aliases. Any use of an alias, even without the knowledge of a CEO, jeopardizes the inherently fair nature of the draft system. Use of an alias by an experienced player will cause an unfair division of the experience among the teams, with one (or more) teams gaining an advantage in experienced players.

Unfortunately, restrictions on game aliases are unenforceable at the present time. No validation method exists to ensure a player is who they say they are-- or to determine that false credentials are being presented. The draft system will be fundamentally flawed until such a verification method is established. Other areas of rule enforcement, particularly DUP account prevention, will also suffer from a lack of real-life verification.

The establishment of such "trust" via the internet is not impossible. SSL certificates that have been signed by a trusted CA (Certificate Authority) are a safe and secure way to verify the identity of the certificate holder, and a signed certificate is only $24 USD/year. However, there are those among us who do not necessarily want our real names made public, and there are others (myself included) who would balk at the necessity. It is, after all, just a game. In addition, it would be necessary for a centralized database correlating player alias(es) to real names. The person(s) in charge of this database may abuse their power as gatekeepers to the TradeWars community. Given the above, it is likely that our present, unsecure, situation will continue for the foreseeable future.

HHT: Picking Complete
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, October 5, 2003 11:18:12 PM

The Draft for HHT 2003 has been completed. For those of you who are playing (or for the merely curious), the results have been posted on the Who's Playing page. Tweety, SupG, prestone, Alexio, and Loki were the first 5 players picked. Dave, Entreri, ManOwaR, Shrouk, and VATO LOKO were the last 5. Those of you on my team should have already received your confirmation emails.

The only change currently being considered is an increase in the number of sectors to 10k. The game will start on October 31st at 12:00:01 AM EDT. (That's Oct 30 11:00:01 PM CDT).

Welcome New Members
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, October 1, 2003 8:19:21 PM

Bone Collector and LokI served with valorous distinction in BOTE 2003 as Associate Members. They have both been extended, and have accepted, a commission as permanent members in Fugitives From Fate. The corporate roster has been updated with this information. A membership offer was also extended to Alexio, but he declined, citing multiple perma membership issues. Please welcome our unlimited-turns experts, DM dealers of sudden death and destruction, Bone Collector and LokI!

No More Unenforceable Rules!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 5:09:52 PM

It is SysOp's responsibility to determine what constitutes an "enforceable" rule. However, I have found a large number of SysOps whose judgment is flawed in that respect. As previously mentioned, the TWGS environment is not designed to detect rule violations. Furthermore, it cannot tap or examine a player's other methods of communications, such as ICQ. It has no access to an end user's machine to determine what programs are being run. This creates dangerous loopholes in some rules that would allow a rule violator to escape detection by even the most attentive Op.

Read on for my non-comprehensive List of Unenforceable Rules. The reader may, at his or her choosing, assume that the SysOp is watching via a TEDIT connection.

Cbs's List of Unenforceable Rules

  1. No Scripting: The only method a SysOp has available for detecting a script running on a player's machine is the speed with which commands are received from the player in question. This is a very crude detection method. A properly set macro will, from the Op's perspective, resemble a script (in some cases). There is absolutely no way to determine the difference between an SDT macro and an SDT script, for example. Triggered event scripts are somewhat easier to recognize due to their inhumanely fast response to changing game conditions. But what if scripts have delays purposely inserted into them, reducing the speed of data transmission to a more human level, but still maintaining a definite edge over the other player? With some simple flow control, typos and backspaces can even be inserted into scripts. There would be absolutely no difference between a fast human and a script in this case.
  2. No Information Exchange: The Information Exchange rule is completely unenforceable. There are plenty of other methods of communication that do not involve TradeWars: Anything from smoke signals to fiber optic cables will suffice. In order to be enforced, this rule requires that a reporting player have some form of proof that a violation has occurred. As screen captures are easy to fake, what counts as evidence? In order to obtain proof that a violation has occurred, a user must knowingly obtain tactical information from another team-- in the process, violating the rule themselves! Anyone who reports Information Exchange will doubtless find themselves the instant enemy of the person they reported. Suffice it to say that there has never been, and never will be, any way to enforce this rule.
  3. No Resource Exchange: The clever trader can find many ways to circumvent this particular rule. Ships deliberately left in open space to be captured would appear to anyone, even an Op, to be completely non duplicitous. A staged podding in which the podee "just happened" to have 10 M credits would also appear legit. While teams can only do this for so long before the definition of "bad luck" ends and the suspicion of cheating begins, it is certainly possible to transfer a significant amount of resources this way. If the fakery appears sufficiently real (and it can), then there is absolutely no way to tell the difference between deliberate resource exchange and non deliberate resource exchange.
  4. No Mega Corping: Since Resource Exchange is the (most common) definition of Mega Corping, and Resource Exchange is Unenforceable, Mega Corping is also an unenforceable rule. It would be possible for two corps to play a game as secret allies, engaging in the occasional staged battle to keep up appearances (and to facilitate resource exchange). At a strategic moment, one corp could invade the other and assume control of their resources. Granted, this would not be as effective as a formal alliance and mega corp, but a definite edge would still be maintained over the other teams.
  5. No Account Sharing: It is impossible to detect the true point of origination of a connection on a packet-switched network (aka the Internet). A TCP connection can simply be "bounced" off of another machine, and that machine can present itself as the true originator of the connection. This technique of proxying is commonly used by spammers, and those who wish to browse anonymously. With the advent of highly reliable broadband connections, this method of misdirection by redirection is also possible for TradeWars players. While TWX has an anti-share "feature" which prohibits write access to users on different subnets, it is eminently simple for even a novice programmer to write a proxy application. Such a program could even be used to fool TWX into believing that a remote connection originated from localhost.

The above, of course, assumes that a SysOp is watching. Other rules such as bug use are partially unenforceable on the grounds that they are difficult to prove. No tool exists for the automated monitoring of connections, and as such no impartial evidence of bug use exists. Every attempt should be made to make partially enforceable rules fully enforceable. As I previously proposed, a server-side proxy could be used to assist Ops with rule enforcement.

Rules have no meaning unless they can be enforced. Relying on the "honor system" alone will place those obedient to the rules at a disadvantage to those who do not follow the rules. Some violators will escape detection, while others will not. As such, unenforceable rules perpetuate unfairness, not fairness. Unenforceable rules also make Ops appear incompetent, and may lead to players viewing them as capricious, arbitrary, or downright biased. To prevent this, SysOps should always meticulously evaluate the enforceability of their rules.

BOTE: Fugitives Resigns
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 7:48:38 PM

By a unanimous vote taken today, Fugitives From Fate decided to concede to Corp 4, acknowledging the impending victory of the Star Endeavors perma. We could not match their available ore or cashing port resources and, despite our best efforts, had been steadily losing ground in the grid war. Our lack of an L5 H doomed us in that manner.

At 3:50 PM, Corp 4 discovered our sector according to plan. We were ready, with IDCs and sector figs. A total of 4 deaths were meted out to Corp 4 before our team succumbed to inevitability: One to Reaper (Cbs228), two to Blue Adept (Alexio, quasars), and one to Angus Thermopyle (quasars). In a bizarre twist of Fate, Blue Adept's Imperial StarShip was subsequently destroyed by Captain Zyrain, eliminating BA from the game. The remaining C4 players invaded and captured our main planet, but they wouldn't have it for long. The planet was destroyed by Father Cajone at 7:14 PM, and Father Cajone became the last Fugitives team member to CBY at 7:18 PM. Sadly, I was not present to witness our final moments as I was attending class at a local community college.

Blue Adept continues to clean up on the major tournaments. Star Endeavors won USO 2003, and Blue Adept led a team to victory in Big Game 2. How much longer SE's killing spree will last is anyone's guess.

A big thank you to my team mates: Alexio, Bone Collector, Father Cajone, LokI, and Zep. We had a rough start, and I never expected to get this far. For what it's worth, we never lost a single L4+ planet to the enemy (until today), or a single player from the game due to Elimination. Two permas contributed players to this team, Fugitives and Damage Unlimited. Despite never having worked with us before, Alexio, LokI, and Bone Collector fit right in and made this team one cohesive entity. I hope to see them in more of our games. Congratulations also to Fugitives member Menudo, who played as an integral part of the Star Endeavors.

bone collector posted this universal announcement:
The Fugitives Corp hereby officially concedes to corp 4!
-- 09/23/15 -- 07:05:09 PM --
bone collector posted this universal announcement:
After our horrible start, it was an amazing display of TW by my corpies to keep
us in game, but we couldnt overcome the stellar play of SE!
-- 09/23/15 -- 07:05:56 PM --
bone collector posted this universal announcement:
Great game and we look forward to playing against you guys again, hopefully with
a better start!
-- 09/23/15 -- 07:06:48 PM --
bone collector posted this universal announcement:
I would like to say thanks to my corpies and if any of you get the chance to cor
p with these guys do so. Great game to all, even you Corp 3!

[Full logs available here after midnight.]

The Fugitives team was sponsored by The Mad Hatter. Visit a new but thriving gaming community at The Mad Hatter Enterprises.

HHT Predictions: Violent and Short
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, September 22, 2003 3:53:59 PM

The Chess v2 edits, on which HHT is based, were intended for 5 man teams, not 15. Despite its similarity to TWChess, HHT will not be the same kind of game. Mathematically, an HHT team will have sufficient turn resources to colonize 21 planets over a period of 30 days, and explore the entire universe 3 days (or so). In contrast, a TWChess team would only be able to colonize 7 planets and explore 42% of the universe given the same two time periods.

Although my math is simplistic and doesn't take into account the myriad number of factors controlling the outcome of a TW game-- such as the skill of its players-- the difference between the two figures is too extensive to be discounted completely. The end result of so much turn power being placed in a 5k universe, with 12 day L4 planets, is an outright bloodbath. Bases will be invaded before they go L4 on a regular basis. Colonizers will sit around twiddling their collective thumbs for lack of planets to colonize. Teams that cannot keep their bases will suffer a resource disadvantage, and teams that lack a grid will slowly die off as they lose the ability to hide themselves from the enemy. A fighter grid will be more important here than perhaps any other recent game (and a grid is a very important part of any game). The team that can most effectively use their turn and ore resources (which will be plentiful) will win.

Although "Big Chess" may be more suited to a 20k universe, or with other settings that do not allow for such an efficient usage of turns, we will just have to wait to find out.

UPDATE: Thursday, September 25, 2003 1:45:03 PM

Chess has 4 man teams, not 5 man. Using the same assumptions as above, and a half-and-half division, a Chess team could colonize 4 planets and explore 42% of the universe in 30 days. The point of my math still stands, however.

There does exist a planet that goes L4 in 4 days, the Draw Bridge Planet. However, since it holds less than half the colonists of a Castle/Mote Planet, and only produces figs at 3:1 (as opposed to 2:1), I did not include it in my original calculations. It would take 2.5 Draw Bridge planets to equal the colonist capacity of a single Castle/Mote Planet. Thus, the probability of any given base being discovered has been multiplied by 2.5, since you must have 2.5 times more of them. However, the increased chance of discovery is offset by the citadel times, making the Draw Bridge Planet a viable option. Of course, the loss rate will be very high, and development will still be extremely difficult.

HHT may be less of a bloodbath than I originally predicted, but it will still be a bloodbath nonetheless. Thank you Cherokee for pointing out me and my bad math.

BOTE: Corp 3 Resigns
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, September 22, 2003 12:14:34 AM

Although they put up a valiant fight, Just Coasting Through [3] suffered one too many mishaps and decided to resign from BOTE. Corp 3 is #SD#, and their planets have been captured. Two teams now remain: Star Endeavors [4], and Fugitives From Fate [6]. That's us of course.

Given the capabilities of the two teams, it seems likely that this game could end in a stalemate. If an equal grid is maintained, both teams will have plenty of space to hide in. Either team could avoid action if necessary. Further eliminations are not likely given that the available grid-defense tactics will invariably result in a pod flee. Any invasion is likely to be unenthusiastic, given the risk of elimination by deathlimit. This situation could be maintained for some time. Another method for deciding the outcome of this game may be requisite.

Hurricane Downs Trees, Power, TLTT
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2003 11:06:12 PM

T-Warriors may occasionally laugh at the weather-- be it rain, ice, or nil-visibility blizzards-- as insignificant. Who needs the great outdoors when you have a well-stocked pantry and your broadband connection? Unfortunately, hurricane Isabel has brought us a grim reminder that we have no power to "point-and-click" without electricity. As originally reported by Cherokee, The Lost Trader's Tavern (site down) has been temporarily knocked offline due to intermittent power failures caused by the relentless, mindless pummeling of the storm. Cherokee and over 2 million others have been without power due to the storm.

Never laugh at the weather. It could be you that expires, and not just a server.

Website Maintenance: Archive Rollover
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 6:00:53 PM

With a total of 45 posts since I first began archiving articles on May 16, 2003, a 348 KB collection of HTML-enriched data, my current site layout is leaving me with an impracticably large archive file. It is unfortunate that my (free) hosting provider does not have PHP/SQL access, as it would solve my archiving problem marvelously. Since I do not have this capability, however, I am forced to "roll over" my archive file every now and then to keep it manageable.

All posts before July 1st, 2003, have been moved to my older posts file, a link to which is now on the left sidebar. I have every intention of saving every post to this site, and will never remove any of them. Future archive rollovers will be performed every few months without notice posted here.

Last HHT Spot: Going... Going...
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 5:06:05 PM

With a total of 74 signups to date, there is only one spot left open for HHT 2003. If you want to play and have been procrastinating, now would be a good time to go claim it... quickly. For those of you who missed the initial sign-up: do not despair. Alternate/standby registrations are also accepted, to replace "No Show" players.

HHT combines the draft process of the Big Game with the tactics and ships of TWChess, which was voted Best Tournament, Best Edited Game, and Most Fun Game in the 6th Annual TW Awards. True to its name, the game begins on October 31st at 12:00:01 AM.

'Long time, No P
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, September 12, 2003 11:43:30 PM

John Pritchett, the Omnipotent Coding Deity of all things TradeWars, has returned from his furlough at Realm Interactive and is ready to commence work on an update release for the stable-but-buggy TWv3.11.55. JP plans to eventually trash-can v3 in favor of a rewritten, *nix-compatible version 4, which is currently still on the drawing board.

As long as the game's mechanics are not prodigiously altered, I am in complete favor of further development of the TradeWars/TWGS game. If/when v4 is released, this G3 running MacOS X may make an excellent TWGS server.

Read his post and add your suggestions here.

BOTE: Game Bug Ignites Controversy
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 12:20:54 AM

Indignation and protest echoed in the logs and FedComm channels of BOTE today, spilling over into TWGS.org, and beginning a major debate over Macahan's handling of a game bug.

The Bug: The counter variable tracking the number of days since a user was last active is only reset to zero when a user logs in. This counter variable is used to determine whether or not a user is inactive. Thus, inactivity deletion is not based on the time a user was last connected, but rather the time that user last logged in (i.e. typed the password at the prompt). Users who maintain a connection to the server for longer than the inactivity deletion period are deleted.

Nudo, of Star Endeavors [4], fell victim to this bug and was removed from the game at EXTERN on September 9th. Macahan later recreated Nudo as a starter trader. Ordinarily, there would be no fault with Macahan's actions (unless he broke with a previously established precedent). However, a statement on the BOTE website directly contradicts his actions:

No time, life resources or anything will be given back for ANY reason. (Rules).

The above statement is unambiguously clear. If Macahan was following his own guidelines, he would have never recreated Nudo. This is the centerpiece of Intrepid's (Just Coasting Through [3]) argument.

It is my opinion that Macahan should have followed his own rules. His failure to do so makes him appear capricious, relying on subjective decision-making instead of objective criteria, and invites the very debate I am now writing.

For an additional, experienced, (and, as a non-participant in BOTE, somewhat more objective) viewpoint on the matter, I contacted Silver Dragon, SysOp of USO 2003, another tournament in which the inactivity deletion bug reared its ugly head. He gave me his opinion on the matter:

I know I would feel [about being deleted], that's not how the game is supposed to work. But let's be real, it happens. And you shouldn't go back on decrees like that. (ICQ, 9/9/03 11:01 PM).

Silver also reminded me that this was a tough decision to make, and that we shouldn't be too hard on Macahan. I for one certainly do not envy his position, and had a hard time deciding for myself which side of the argument to take. I don't think any less of Macahan for his sympathies to a bug-deleted player.

But it is never a good idea to go back on one's word.

Captains Finalized for HHT '03
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2003 11:41:54 PM

With registrations for HHT 2003 flooding in, the five team captains have been finalized: <<Doctor Who>>, Kemper3, Nazwes Chaiwind, Cherokee, and yours truly, Cbs228.

This year, HHT (Haunted Halloween Tournament) teams will be chosen "Big Game" style, with CEOs taking turns choosing from a draft pool. This will ensure a (mostly) equal and competitive environment that favors no single team at the start. All interested (and properly registered) players will be placed on a team regardless of experience. 5 teams of 15 will be created, so only 75 slots are available. 51 of these slots have already been taken, so be sure to sign up soon!

HHT has been a tradition since 1999 (before I ever started playing the modern TWGS version). The tournament was founded by Space Ghost and, as the name implies, begins on October 31st at 12:00:01 AM.

BOTE: Let The Endgame Commence!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2003 9:29:04 PM

With the total annihilation of The Lost Traders Tavern [1], there are only three teams left in the race for first place: Just Coasting Through [3], and Star Endeavors [4], and us (of course). As you'll recall, Star Endeavors won USO '03 (by an overwhelming margin), and Blue Adept's Big Game 2 team picked up first place as well. Will Blue Adept go on to win yet another tournament?

With the StarDock back in action (for now) and with less than a week to go before the first Level 4's start popping up, players are gridding and colosing like mad. We have the cashflow advantage with 3 experienced reds and (unlike previous games), capable gridding players. How this game will end is anyone's guess. Three corps remain. Will a third corp overpower two fighting corps to take victory? Will teams die suddenly in massive invasions, or in a death of a thousand cuts? Or will the game turn in to a never-ending stalemate with bots, large grids, and invincible planets? It's still too early to tell, but you can bet that whatever the end is like, we'll be there.

If Bored, Improve Site
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2003 3:43:58 PM

Although I cannot offer fancy PHP, as my webhost does not support it, I can offer an RSS 2.0 distillation of our front news page. XML? RSS? What is all this?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows programs, known as news aggregators, to access content from a variety of places on the web, and assemble it all into one easy-to-read page. It also allows other site developers to easily post news from other websites without worrying about the the myriad number of formatting quirks present in HTML pages. RSS, which was originally authored by Netscape, has become an open standard and is now the web's preferred content syndication system. It is even used by Slashdot.

If you have a news aggregator or are interested in syndicating Fugitives articles (or if you just want to see my pretty XML), click the RSS 2.0 Feed link to your left. All future articles will also be posted in RSS.

Oldtimer Opens Chat System
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003 3:19:43 PM

As posted to TWGS.org message 19924 by Oldtimer:

The first build I am releasing of my the chat system I created is now up. You can go to https://www.coastgames.com/chat/ to view and use it. Please give me feed back. As the main page states I have tested several browsers and they worked for me. If they do not work for you check your settings then contact me if you can not get it to work.

I tested Oldtimer's chat system on IE 5.1 (Mac). Although it appears to work, the site's layout could certainly use some improvements. In particular, I believe more attention needs to be given to "scaleable" layouts, such as the one on this page. The Fugitives website will automatically resize itself to fit almost any screen width without the need for the user to implicitly select their monitor resolution (Go ahead, try it).

The constantly refreshing chat display is annoying, and the refresh rate is such that realtime conversations would be a bit lacking. If many users were to chat at once, the conversation might get out of order significantly. I cannot imagine what the server load would be for 50+ simultaneous users with a refresh rate of 1 second.

In closing, I believe that such a system would work better if it used either IRC (which is not an HTTP-based protocol) or a Java applet with its own client/server protocol. However, I realize that it was not Oldtimer's intention to use something that already exists, but rather code his own. As a person who writes all of my own TradeWars scripts, I can certainly applaud his effort.

Site Getting Dusty
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, August 22, 2003 2:31:10 PM

I must apologize for the lack of updates. As I previously mentioned, I have been moving (and my DSL line has yet to come with me, those lazy RBOCs), and also starting school again. Things are quite hectic around here, and I am just now beginning to see my keyboard through this endless mountain of boxes.

The Fugitives BOTE Team has acquitted themselves well while facing stalwart opposition, most notably from Corps 4 and 5. Despite this, we're still alive and definitely kicking. Some advice to our enemies: Never let your guard down for a millisecond. We are watching and waiting.

I encourage anyone not playing BOTE (or some of those who are playing and just want a log summary) to check out Timberwolf's BOTE news page. Wolf isn't playing in BOTE this year, but instead is serving solely as a news reporter. This seems to have quelled the previous accusations as to the objectiveness of his news reporting during the Big Game.

Fugitives Announces BOTE Lineup
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, August 8, 2003 9:55:25 PM

It's "full steam ahead" for BOTE 2003. The official Fugitives From Fate entry for has been made public as of today. Permanent members Cbs228, Father Cajone, and Zep are participating. For the occasion, please welcome Bone Collector, Alexio, and Loki as Associate Members for the duration of BOTE. The corporate roster and current games pages have been updated.

The Fugitives team is being sponsored by The Mad Hatter Enterprises TWGS system [Telnet Link], operated by The Mad Hatter. Click here to view our entry on the official BOTE website. We'll be ready for "anchors away" on August 16. And... okay, okay, I'll cut it out with the cheap naval metaphors.

Cbs228 is on the move!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2003 12:58:17 AM

In a quest to find more economical housing, I am moving across town on August 14. Due to the whole ILEC line-sharing nightmare, my DSL is being disconnected on August 10, and will not be reconnected until August 23 at the earliest, or August 29 at the latest. I will not be on ICQ much, and access to this website may be disrupted temporarily. Don't think this will stop me from playing BOTE, however, as I plan to have dialup access available.

Time for me to go box up some equipment.

Who is Ent._Editor? Cbs Investigates.
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2003 5:00:38 PM

In an attempt to shed some light on a carefully guarded secret, I venture into the forums of The Home Sector to reveal the identity of the elusive Ent._Editor. One of the prime suspects that has emerged in recent weeks is Col Sanders, but no one has been able to prove it. Until now. Never one to make baseless accusations, I have determined beyond a reasonable doubt that "Ent._Editor" is Col Sanders in disguise. The strength of my indictment comes from "Ent._Editor's" own IP address. Ironically enough, I obtained the address using Eleq's website.

First, it was necessary to obtain a known IP address belonging to Col Sanders. To accomplish this task, I had Timberwolf send Sanders an email. The reply had the following SMTP headers:

X-POP3-Rcpt: timberwolf (at) cz215.cybrzn.com
Received: from buede.com (mail.buede.com [])
by cz215.cybrzn.com (8.12.9/8.12.9) with ESMTP id h6OIekQV001093
for ; Thu, 24 Jul 2003 13:40:46 -0500
Received: from buede.com [] by buede.com with ESMTP
(SMTPD32-7.15) id A74110BC028E; Thu, 24 Jul 2003 13:36:49 -0500
Message-ID: <3F20272F.8050509@buede.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 14:36:31 -0400
From: Paul Buede
Reply-To: paul (at) buede.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.4)
X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: timberwolf (at) cybrzn.com
Subject: [Fwd: Re: bawk.org]
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
X-RBL-Warning: REVDNS: This E-mail was sent from a MUA/MTA
with no reverse DNS entry.
X-Declude-Sender: paul (at) buede.com []
X-Declude-Spoolname: D274110bc028ecd88.SMD
X-Note: This E-mail was scanned by Declude JunkMail (www.declude.com) for spam.

NOTICE: Headers modified for anti-spam protection. Replace "(at)" with "@".

The relevant information is in the Received headers. The top Received header was added by Timberwolf's mail server. It merely indicates that the message was received from (mail.buede.com) This is Sander's SMTP server, and this line doesn't really give us any useful information. The second Received header is what we are interested in.

Received: from buede.com [] by buede.com with ESMTP

It tells us that a mail client at the address sent the message. This is Col Sander's IP address. UPDATE (7/30/03): The ARIN database results have been removed at the request of Col Sanders due to privacy concerns, and they are unnecessary to prove that he is Ent._Editor. My mistake. END UPDATE

But obtaining this address was trivial. The real trick comes with linking it to Ent._Editor. For this task I decided to focus on The Home Sector website. As the only known hangout of Ent._Editor, I really had no other options.

Everyone at The Home Sector has an account on the YaBB forums, including Ent._Editor. I found that the YaBB system supports sending private messages, known as Instant Messages, to other users. I also discovered that, through the use of standard YaBB code (specifically, the [img]URL[/img] tag), it is possible to embed an image, from any URL I choose, into a message. Web browsers (being the obedient things they are) will automatically attempt to connect to a remote webserver to download an image embedded in an HTML file (through the use of the <IMG> tag).

If I embedded an image in a YaBB instant message designated for Ent._Editor, I could be reasonably certain that Ent._Editor's computer-- and his computer only-- would load the image. To do so it would have to open a TCP socket to the server where the image was located, giving away his IP address in the process. If I placed the image on a webserver running on my home computer, so I can access the logs, I would be able to obtain Ent._Editor's IP address quite easily. This is in fact a well known technique called "Web Bugs."

Baiting my trap, I sent Ent._Editor an Instant Message [View Screencap] with an enticing subject line, a simple body and my "bug" image. I disguised it as one of the board's own smilies, conveniently downloaded and assimilated for use.


I then waited for my trap to spring shut. Once Ent._Editor opened my message, it was too late! Any suspicions he may have had after opening the message are irrelevant, for I had already captured his IP address to my hard drive.

07/28/03	09:22:32 	OK	:gotcha.gif	971

Based on the above [View Screencap],we can conclude that, if Ent._Editor is not Col Sanders, then he is at least in control of Col Sander's network.

Give it up Col Sanders, your deception is over!

"Why did I do this," you may ask? I have revealed Ent._Editor's true alias to deprive Sanders of his anonymity. An alias is a sign that you are weak, or have something to hide. I would like to remind everyone that it is far better to keep your posts courteous and respectful, instead of flaming people anonymously. No one in this community should be afraid to post what they think, but no one should escape responsibility for what they post.

This article was brought to you by Fugitives From Fate in affiliation with TWGazette.

Date Set for BOTE
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:24:47 PM

Perhaps I gave up on BOTE too soon. Phoe6e has informed me that Macahan has in fact posted a website for BOTE 2003. The site, which went live just yesterday, is actually the BOTE 2002 page in disguise. The cross-out on the main banner says it all. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

The game has been set for August 16. Registration information has been mailed to SysOps. No word yet on the game settings-- I may well play Chess v2 instead if there is a time limit, or if Show Who's Online is set to false.

Visit the BOTE 2003 website.

The No-BOTE Blues
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003 2:53:35 PM

July 19 has come and gone, and still there has been no word from Macahan on the status of BOTE 2003. As last year's champions, Hardcoded won the privilege of running this year's BOTE. However, Hardcoded's administrator has since quit tradewars and, despite promises to return, Silver Dragon has declined to host this year's BOTE. The historical tournament has become a virtual hot-potato, as no Ops are inclined to run the game.

Despite the apparent no-show by Macahan, several teams have already formed for BOTE. To drown our "No-BOTE blues," Cherokee has proposed that the Chess v2 edits run with 6 man teams. As the traditional host of TW-Chess, Oldtimer has agreed to host the game. The website is currently accepting registrations.

Special Report: Effective Rule Enforcement for TWGS?
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2003 8:35:55 PM

TradeWars, like any game, has it's fair share of server rules. Rules differ by server, but most have similar ones: Duplicate player accounts (dupes), "spam" messages, personal harassment, and bug use are officially banned on most servers. However, the existence of a rule is not enough to prevent violations of it. For a rule to prove effective, it must be vigorously, forcefully, and consistently enforced. Unfortunately, it is extraordinarily difficult for an Op to enforce rules within the default TradeWars Game Server (TWGS) environment.

The problem is twofold. First and foremost, violations of the rules must be detected. The current system in place on most servers is an unofficial one: Users report suspected violations to the SysOp. While this system generally works, there are a few distinct disadvantages:

  • A user must recognize that a violation has occurred. This is not always as easy as it sounds. A malicious player may have an entire team of dupes, but not do anything suspicious to other users. Unless the SysOp conducts independent log reviews, the duper may not be caught.
  • The reporting user must prove wrongdoing. In the case of duping, the logs speak for themselves. But what about incidents of spamming or harassment? It is possible to forge text or even image captures without much effort. It is obvious that the only valid, unbiased, and unfalsified evidence is limited to that which is gathered by the Op. But like everyone else, SysOps are regular people: They must eat, sleep, and work just like the rest of us, and they can't always be at keys to monitor what's going on in their games.

For a solution to this problem, I look to what TradeWars players have done to ensure that things continue to run smoothly in their absence. The clever TW player will write or use bots-- which can be as simple as an anti-idle script or as complex as a threat detector/responder. I would like to propose that either SysOps, or EIS itself, create "OpBots" for rule enforcement.

There are several possibilities, but do not feel limited by what I write here:

  • Recognizing Violations: Bot programs could scan all TWGS connections, looking for violations of server rules. It would be fairly easy to implement a proxy system to scan connections: A secondary program/process would run a server socket on port 23 and forward all connections to the TWGS server. The TWGS would run on another port (With firewalls preventing users from bypassing the proxy and connecting directly to the TWGS)(BBS systems already do this). Such a system could look for excessive message sending (spam), detect duplicate accounts by IP address/subnet, and could also scan for harassing messages. Suspected violations could be recorded to a log file. The Reverend already has a script which can analyze log files and scan for duplicate accounts, but what I am proposing is much more thorough.
  • Reporting Violations: A CGI script on a web server, combined with either the proxy program example provided above, or a script to connect to the SysOp Login/TEDIT Interface, could be used to report violations. Users would enter their account name, password, and report the name of the offender as well as the suspected violation. The script would then begin silently monitoring the offender's connection, recording everything to a log file. Obviously, the programmer of such a system would have to solve the problem of recording what the offender did before the offense was reported. Using the evidence collected, the SysOp could make an informed decision based on the impartial recording made by his own machine, and not a 3rd Party. The usefulness of this system is clear for when an Op is not immediately available.

There are many concerns about implementing an OpBot, some of which I will attempt to address.

  • Punishing Offenders: An OpBot should never take action against a user without human approval. The reason for this is simple: Logic doesn't care. There is no "bending" the simple IF... THEN... ELSE logic used by programs to properly fit the circumstances. Although a machine could make an effective police officer, it could never function as a judge.
  • Privacy Concerns: Players may cry foul due to the invasive nature of OpBots, but it is important for players to recognize that their connection is already subject to scrutiny by the SysOp: The ability to monitor nodes is built in to the TWGS. Players should not consider anything done on the Game Server as "private." However, an attempt should be made by the writers of OpBots to address user privacy. Connections should never be recorded to disk without a good reason.
  • Abuse: Players should not use the OpBot to report violations without probable cause. Players who abuse the reporting capabilities of an OpBot should be punished. Additionally, players accused of rule violations should always be allowed to speak in their own defense.

The second problem to enforcing rules on a TWGS occurs once the rule violation has been detected, and the guilt of the offender has been established. How to punish the offender. The remedies available to a SysOp are usually limited to banning/deleting the offending player. But banning the offender is an ineffective solution. Most internet addresses are assigned dynamically, so all a malicious user needs to do to circumvent a ban would be to disconnect and reconnect. Banning subnets or entire address spaces is also ineffective: Innocent users may be adversely affected if they happen to share ISPs with the offender. Additionally, shell accounts can be used by offenders as a proxy, obfuscating their real address. Closed game systems, such as Coastgames, attempt to mitigate the scope of the problem by only allowing approved users to connect. But this too can be defeated, through the use of multiple email accounts and IP addresses.

Establishing someone's identity over the internet is problematic. I have considered the problem, and have determined that there is only one way to modify our current system to make it more effective. The real name of each player must be collected and verified through the use of a credit card validation system. But right away there are many, many disadvantages to implementing this that make this option downright unpalatable.

  • Privacy Concerns: Some of us may be hesitant to give out our real names, even if they are kept secret from other traders.
  • Abuse: Who should we trust with our personal information? Those in control of this authentication system will surely find some way to use it to their advantage. If a majority of the servers use this authentication system in an interconnected manner, the TradeWars community would be entirely controlled by a small group of people. This is to be avoided at all costs.
  • Monetary Costs: It would be necessary to charge money to recoup the cost of operating such a system.
  • Access for Minors: This system could not be used by persons under the age of 18.

In the end, there is simply very little we can do to punish those who violate, and persist at violating server rules. Effective enforcement can only be carried out in the real world, and that is a step that most of us would be unwilling to take.

Matrix Edits Released! Game to open Wednesday!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2003 9:22:47 PM

At long last, the game edits for The Matrix: TWGS have been released in .TWA format. You may download the file here. Unlimited license is granted for personal and/or noncommercial public use and redistribution. Please include this link to the edits in plain/text format. SysOps are encouraged to run this game on their own servers, but please read the additional edits page.

Congratulations to Corp 3 for winning The Matrix: TWGS at the Mad Hatter Enterprises [Telnet Link]. The game will reopen on Wednesday, July 16 at 11:00 PM CDT (server extern). The only change I am making is removing all startup products from the Class U ("Smith's Revenge")-- I did not intend for the U to have startup product on it. (The .TWA distribution also has this same change.) I encourage all players new to these edits to read this page.

Traitor Returns!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2003 5:40:53 AM

Traitor, maintainer of the top ranked informational website, has apparently survived his CBY; no worse for the wear. After at least one reported sighting of Traitor, I was thoroughly convinced that he could not stay away for long. On June 25, Traitor quietly returned to his role as editor for the TW-Cabal website, promising future updates.

It is eminently difficult to simply walk away from a game like TradeWars. I can personally profess that after spending thousands of hours writing and debugging 14,874 lines of code (not to mention the time spent reading and learning from the strategy materials necessary to write aforementioned code), I would not be easily persuaded to simply file it all in a drawer and give it up. With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that Traitor and many others before him decide to renounce the game for good, but then suddenly return. Let me be the first to say: Welcome back!

Res Judicata Banned!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2003 10:22:45 PM

Apparently, Timberwolf and myself are not the only two people who are most displeased with Res Judicata's recent conduct. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this does not grant any individual an immunity from their actions. With his indiscriminate flames and interminable complaints, Res deserves a measure of censure. He has crossed the line, to the point where a significant portion of the community is embarrassed with his presence. People such as Res have forced many others, such as Silver Dragon, to retire in disgust.

Oldtimer has announced that, effective at the conclusion of the Big Game, Res Judicata will be banned from the Coastgames system. It is regrettable that it should come to this. Banning someone is not an action to be taken lightly or frequently. However, I believe that this course of action is necessary, proper, and justifiable. Silver Dragon told me that he quit because, "the few ruined it for the many" (ICQ, 4/30/03). This should not, and cannot, be allowed to happen.

Rebang: The Matrix Reloads!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2003 12:49:09 AM

The Matrix: TWGS reloads on Saturday, July 5 at 11:00 PM CDT. Visit Game D at The Mad Hatter Enterprises [Telnet Link] to play. The game will open on Saturday at server extern time.

Basic Settings:

  • Gold/MBBS
  • 5,000 sectors
  • 750 turns
  • No Timelimit
  • 1.5M initial colos, 10k regeneration

The following is a list of changes from the previous release:

  • The Trace Program now has 1:1 offensive combat odds and costs 107,610 credits.
  • The Sentinel now has 10,000 fighters, costs 62,155 credits, and is used as an Escape Pod.
  • The Sentinel v2.0 is a new class based on the Sentinel. It has 30,000 figs, 8 Turns/Warp, 5 Xport range, TransWarp, 5 photons, and a Combat Scanner. It costs 263,655 credits and carries the Sentinel as its Escape Pod. It requires an Imperial Commission. All other attributes are inherited from the stock Sentinel class.
  • The Class O planet now has 2:1 organics production and 2:1 fighter production (per product unit produced). Citadel times have been cut to 12 days to L4, 24 days to L6.
Players who are unfamiliar with these edits will wish to check our archive for the complete list of edits. In addition, the game will have both ship (CC) and planet (CJ) descriptions. A .TWA file will be released some time on Friday.

Res "Bugs" Timberwolf
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2003 3:39:44 PM

Apparently, Timberwolf is fed up with Res Judicata's incessant, vexing rantings and has decided to make an example of him. Res, who on the 26th claimed that some of his Big Game corpies were being killed by game bugs, insulted Timberwolf yesterday on the Big Game logs.

Hardly being a person to sit on the sidelines while someone derides his intellect, Timberwolf gave Res something he could put on his kills page. Visit TW Gazette and see log capfiles of Res Judicata being bitten, and then squashed by "A Bug."

Fugitives Resigns Game in Protest!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2003 11:49:09 PM

-- 06/27/15 -- 01:12:05 AM --
Cbs228 posted this universal announcement:
Corp 4 Hereby Resigns in Protest of Unfair disclosure of the edits in .TWA
format only. And thank you for those extern warnings! -Cbs
-- 06/27/15 -- 01:15:15 AM --
Hoot Owl self-destructed!
-- 06/27/15 -- 01:15:44 AM --
Cbs228 self-destructed!
zep self-destructed!

We at Fugitives From Fate have resigned our corporate game at The Game BBS today. We, and I do speak for everyone who was playing, are grievously distraught at the non availability of these edits in plain/text or another human-readable format. Not all players or teams have the benefit of instantaneous access to a registered TWGS. This directly resulted in erroneous, irreversible decisions with regards to our playing strategy.

Furthermore, the unannounced restoration of the server and running of external maintenance had a devastating impact on our operations, due to the multitude of expensively equipped ships we had over dock. I do not understand why no announcement was made regarding server restoration.

We will be back!

Newsflash: Res Judicata is a Liar!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 10:58:29 PM

Res Judicata: operator of that infamous kills page, Ship Destroyed, a major flamethrower at TWGS.org, and holder of the 2003 Best Trash Talk award (by a substantial margin), has been caught in his own lie.

Who could have ever believed that Res Judicata would use his own website to distribute disinformation for the Big Game? <sarcasm>Certainly not me.</sarcasm> As Doctor Who originally pointed out, Res altered one of his kill capture files.

At one point in the file, there was a line that read:
Citadel treasury contains 166,356,165 credits.
And later on in the file, that line instead read as:
Citadel treasury contains 16,356,165 credits.
It appears that Res changed one of the lines, but forgot to change the other. It should be fairly obvious to the reader which one is which.

You may view the original page for yourself here, or view a screencap I took of the page here.

Game BBS Down, Corporate Game Suspended
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 11:04:49 PM

Our first corporate game in approximately 1 month was brought to an abrupt, indefinite halt today. Timborulz has reported that The Game BBS was brought down not by fire, flood, power outtage, nor hack attack, but rather fell victim to the careless excavations of a con de struction crew. Perhaps those lackadaisical destroyers should have called (800) 545-6005 first.

I guess I'll have to put our plans for galactic domination on hold... temporarily.

Moon Patrol at Game BBS
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 12:24:07 AM

Fugitives From Fate kicked off its latest corporate game, "Moon Patrol," at The Game BBS [telnet link] today. With the entry of some decent competition (Corp [7], They're Back!) into the game, it now merits listing here. The venerable Moon Patrol edits were originally created by Timborulz (aka Blue Adept) for the Game BBS.

Stay tuned for further updates on our progress, or check our corporate games page.

Humor: A Guide for Evil Ferrengi Overlords
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2003 8:30:03 PM

Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord, which I originally discovered at Traitor's website, is a comprehensive guide to villainy and evilness. Presently, Fugitives From Fate brings you that same compendium as it applies to the TradeWars Universe. Here are twenty things that every TradeWars Villain should know.

Things I'd Do If I Ever Became an Evil Ferrengi Overlord...

  1. My ship will not incorporate a self destruct device. Anyone stupid enough to push the big red button marked "CBY" will promptly trigger the automatic disintegrator beam.
  2. My Big Bang Doomsday Device will not have an "OFF" button or a digital countdown timer. Additionally, all of its wires shall be the same color.
  3. Rather than gloating over my inevitable victory on the Federation Comm-link, I shall simply blast my enemies to smithereens with maximum alacrity.
  4. When I imprison rebellious hoo-mons, I will keep the access card to the forcefield myself, instead of trusting it to an underling.
  5. Should I ever purchase a large holographic "EXIT" sign, I will ensure that it is placed over the door to my Disintegration Chamber instead of the actual exit.
  6. My citadel's Battle Stations alarm will not be a harsh klaxon or buzzer, which is not conductive to coherent thought. Red flashing lights are also out of the question.
  7. I will always interrogate my hoo-mon prisoners outside my base's shields, rather than inside, where they could do damage in the event of an escape.
  8. My Planetary Defense Network will be composed of computers running MacOS X, rendering me invulnerable to all hack attacks.
  9. I will never send my Rogue Mercenaries to attack in small groups, but rather use overwhelming force. If I have a super-weapon, I will use it immediately instead of waiting for my Mercenaries to be defeated.
  10. I will hire a Federation-certified consultant to ensure there are no Scout-sized holes in my defense shield, nor any undefended Exhaust Ports leading to my main reactor.
  11. Hoo-mons will not survive an assault on my base because my units cannot aim. Any of my Rogue Mercenaries whose accuracy is less than 1:1 combat odds will promptly be used for target practice.
  12. I shall have two of anything that is even marginally important. If one of my Hoo-mon prisoners steals my taser-pistol, I will have a second for my own use.
  13. My ship specifications will not be made available to the Libram Universitatus.
  14. Instead of scrawling my secret fortess's location on the walls of some bathroom stall in an obscure pictographic code, I will simply use my Secure Comm-link.
  15. My ship's EPS conduits will contain lethal laser-nets to prevent my enemies from crawling through them.
  16. I will pay my Rogue Mercenaries well, to prevent laziness and subconscious contempt. I shall compensate them doubly for every bribe they turn down.
  17. When designing a Planetary Defense Robot, I shall ensure that said robot does not have the capability to destroy my planet.
  18. When invading an enemy stronghold, I will never lead my Rogue Mercenaries' charge or seek an immediate confrontation with the enemy leader which could lead to a one-on-one fight. I will never fight battles in collapsing citadels or above active TransWarp energy conduits.
  19. At all times I will keep my quasar cannons properly grounded, and schedule tests to ensure compliance with all safety regulations. I will make sure all related electronics are UL-listed and come with money-back guarantees.
  20. From time to time, I will remember to actually listen to my trusted advisors.

Introducing... Steel Magnolia
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 11:16:22 PM

Please clap your digital hands together and welcome our newest member to Fugitives From Fate. She may be old, but if you think it's easy to knock this lady over, then you've got another thing coming. Introducing: Steel Magnolia.

Matrix: Running On Schedule
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2003 9:17:33 PM

Despite some problems with the server earlier today, The Matrix: TWGS is all set to run tonight at midnight, server time. This will occur at approximately 11:10 PM CDT due to an inaccurate clock on the server.

As promised, this version will feature planet descriptions on the CJ menu. If you like, you may view the descriptions in your web browser here. As always, the archive contains a useful table of edits. You may also wish to refer to the previous message below for a list of changes from the previous rebang. A .TWA file will be made available at this link after the game opens.

Now, go answer that phone!

"The Matrix" Ends, Reopens Soon
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2003 12:02:26 AM

Corp [1], Foundation, has taken The Matrix: TWGS by storm. In only 9 days, Sloppy, Lord Talon, Root, Masked, and Didaskalos have won the game. The Matrix: TWGS will reopen with slightly different edits on Saturday, June 14 at 11:00 PM CDT. The address is hatter.twgs.org [Telnet Link], Game D. The following things have been changed:

  • 2 million colos initially
  • 5 thousand initial ore on Matrix, 6:1 fig production
  • 2:1 figs on O
  • 175 holds on CFS
  • The Colt has TransWarp
  • 2:1 defensive odds on the Sentinel
  • Class L gets 3:1 ore, 500k max ore, 20:1 figs, 4 days to L4 with L4 maximum level

The archive has been updated with this information. For those of you who have never played this game, you will wish to review the table of edits. Hopefully, an updated .TWA will be released before the game begins. This version will also feature planet descriptions.

"So what do you need? Besides a miracle?"
"Guns. Lots of guns."

Yahoo Groups Attacked!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 10:53:23 PM

The TW2002 E-Group at Yahoo is currently under a DoS attack by parties unknown. The e-bomber has posted over 9600 bogus messages to this date. Yahoo Abuse has reviewed the server logs and has informed us of the offending IP address: According to the ARIN database, this address belongs to the Canadian provider attcanada.com. According to the NetGeo database, this address is located somewhere in the Ontario province.

SysOps and GameOps: be on the lookout for an IP address in the range to User IP addresses are visible from the "Who's Online" menu in TEDIT. While a user in this IP range may be the e-bomber, I would like to caution that it may not be the e-bomber. I would also like to discourage attacks on the offending address: This person may simply be an unwilling intermediary and not directly responsible for the attack (e.x. open proxy server or virus takeover).

If you know anything about these DoS attacks, please report them to either Space Ghost or Yahoo Abuse. Yahoo has expressed an interest in prosecuting the offenders.

Should you require technical assistance in tracing attacks on your TWGS or TWGS-related website, please contact me. I would be happy to help.

"The Matrix" Off to a Good Start
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, June 9, 2003 11:06:53 PM

The first run of The Matrix: TWGS is off to an excellent start at the Mad Hatter Enterprises. The game, edited by me, has seen a lot of action and quite a few kills. 1 turn-per-warp ships race against citadel development times as each team tries to find the other's stash of heavily colonized planets. In an ICQ message, Sloppy apprised me of his corp's situation:

Currently we possess over 100% of the figs in game [as shown on the "v" screen], and we are producing more then we know what to do with. We smashed corp 2 the other night in a Trace Program, but we are 90% sure they have a 2nd base out there. Currently we are heavily hunting zep's bases before they make it to lvl 2.

Also playing on Sloppy's corp ("Foundation" [1]) are: Root, Lord Talon, Masked, and Didaskalos.

Stay tuned for further updates and the outcome of this game. Or download the file for yourself.

Terra Changes Address
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, June 6, 2003 7:03:56 PM

Yet again, the DNS name for Phoe6e's (formerly known as Hecate) TWGS server has changed. It is now terra.twlinks.com.

In TWGS.org message 18401, Phoe6e writes:

Although I've tried to keep the website and server separate - It appears I lost track of time and didn't update terra.gotdns.org. This free service requires an update every 30 days and guess I forgot. Anyway - its time to return terra to where it belongs and since I own TWLINKS.COM and TERRA - guess its only right to put them back together.

Terra has the distinction of being one of the few servers with open, public access to TEDIT. (A notable exception is here.) This is very useful for script testing. In fact, just today I went to test something and found that the server wasn't there.

TWGazette Back Online
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, June 6, 2003 6:51:37 PM

After a change in hosting providers (originally mentioned here), Timberwolf's news site, TWGazette, is back online at its original address. Although it is incomplete, you may view the redesigned site now.

"The Matrix" Edits Released
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2003 9:58:18 PM

The .TWA file for The Matrix: TWGS has been released. You may download it here. Unlimited license is granted for electronic redistribution and use of this game on a public TWGS server. Commercial use of this file is prohibited.

The game itself starts tonight on The Mad Hatter's game server [telnet link] at 11:00 PM CDT.

Please check the table of ship edits below. I have made some changes to the ship edits! These last minute changes have also been posted to the game's daily logs.

"The Matrix: TWGS" Starts Wednesday!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, June 2, 2003 9:38:28 PM

At long last, the much anticipated The Matrix: TWGS game begins on Wednesday, June 4th at 11:00:00 PM CDT. A big thanks to The Mad Hatter for hosting the game and doing the ANSI ship descriptions for me. Telnet to hatter.twgs.org to play (game D).

For those of you with access to a TWGS, a release of The Matrix: TWGS in .TWA format is still forthcoming: I have not yet received the file. However, as promised, the ship and planet edits have been posted below (note: only differences from stock settings are shown) and the basic settings are available on the server for your perusal. Don't forget, extern is at 12:00 AM EDT (11:00 PM CDT)

Now where did I put my mirrored sunglasses?
Wait, there they are.

Ship Edits
** Need An Exit **
Escape Pod, 8:1 defensive odds, additional fighter capacity, max corb.

Phone Booth
Merchant Cruiser, 5 Turns/Warp.

Cell Phone
Scout Marauder, No G-torps.

Missile Frigate, 40 photons.

Corporate FlagShip (CEO Only), 1 photon, 45,000 figs, 175 holds, max corb.

Colonial Transport, 8 turns/warp, 8 transporter range, TransWarp

Maintenance Robot
CargoTran, 1,000,000 base cost, Imperial Commission Required, 500 experience required, 2 turns/warp, TransWarp, 255 holds, 10 fighters, 1000 shields, 2:1 defensive odds, 0.5:1 offensive odds, 500 experience points required. Designed for moving colonists.

< The One >
Interdictor Cruiser, 705,000 base cost, 200,000 fighters with 25,000 max attack, 50 holds, TransWarp, 2:1 offensive odds, combat scanner. (Interdictor generator, cannot land)

A stock Merchant Freighter.

It's An Agent!
Imperial StarShip (Imperial Commission Required), 100 holds.

Red Pill
Havoc GunStar, 1 photon, 20,000 fighters, max corb.

Trace Program
T'Khasi Orion, 1 Turn/Warp, 10,000 fighters with 10,000 max attack, 100 probes, 10 holds, 2:1 offensive odds, 1:1 defensive odds. Designed as a scout ship.

Tholian Sentinel, 62,155 base cost, 10,000 fighters, 16,000 shields, 10 turns/warp, 3:1 defensive odds (12:1 defensive guardian bonus odds).

Sentinel v2.0
Tholian Sentinel, 263,655 base cost, Imperial Commission Required, 30,000 fighters, 16,000 shields, 8 turns/warp, 3:1 defensive odds (12:1 defensive guardian bonus odds), TransWarp, 5 Xport range, Combat Scanner, 5 photons.

Planet Edits
The Construct
Class L, Faster Citadel Times: L4 in 4 days, L4 maximum level, 3:1 ore production, 500,000 max ore, 20:1 figs.

Bullet Time
Class H, 3,000,000 maximum ore, 350,000 max colonists in ore (1:1 production), L4 in 19 days, L6 in 42 days.

Trinity's Hideout
Class O, 2:1 organics, 2:1 fighters, 500,000 maximum organics colonists, L4 in 12 days, L6 in 24 days.

* The Matrix *
Class H, 1,800,000 maximum ore, 400,000 max colonists in ore, 1:1 ore production, 6:1 fig production, 5,000,000 max figs, 65,500 max shields, L4 in 10 days, L6 in 33 days, 5,000 initial ore.

Hardcoded to Return!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, June 2, 2003 1:03:34 PM

In TWGS.org message 18317, Silver Dragon writes:

Before USO 2003 Started I was pretty sure that I was done with the sysop side of Tradewars. But given that USO played out pretty well with out a single flame war in the forums my confidence was boosted.

I had hoped to return with Planet TW, but Liquid Chaos has been involved with personal stuff, which is cool so I did my own web page. I think I should be all set to relaunch this weekend.

Hope to see you all back!
Silver Dragon

In a previous message, I interviewed Silver concerning the reasons he closed his server. I, for one, am glad he has chosen to return. Welcome back Silver.

The Matrix Has You
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2003 9:21:56 PM

In honor of everyone's favorite movie, I have edited a game based on The Matrix for The Mad Hatter. The game will first run on his game server [telnet link]. A TWA file will be released as soon as it becomes available so that anyone may run the game. The game will be 5000 sectors, 750 turns, and MBBS/GOLD. There will be minor ship and planet edits. It will open within the next few days. So plug in, and answer that phone-- THE MATRIX HAS YOU!

Legal Disclaimer: The Matrix remains the intellectual property of Warner Brothers, inc. This derivative work is intended for noncommercial use only.

Fugitives Concedes Game at Alienbase
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, May 26, 2003 5:59:26 PM

Today at 5:18 PM CDT, Fugitives From Fate officially conceded game P at Alienbase [telnet link], ending a lengthy and time consuming tactical stalemate. No team was able to successfully invade the other, although Corp 10 made several attempts at us. Unfortunately, a loss of interest in the game and an absense of experienced fig gridders has led to our current state of immobilization.

Fugitives played a strongly defensive game, and did not allow any corp to take even one of our heavily colonized planets. In addition, we outlasted Res Judicata's team. Unfortunately, our offensive strategy left much to be desired, a flaw which will be rectified in future games.

Therefore, to avoid further wasting our time in a futile endeavor, we have withdrawn from this badly edited game. The corporate games page has been updated with this information.

Participating Players
Corp 1 - 3rdCorp 3 - 2ndCorp 10 - 1st
/\<<ess |)enied
Father Cajone
<<Doctor Who>>

Traitor Lives?
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 6:13:43 PM

On May 16, 2003, Traitor posted the following to his website:

I will also answer the occasional e-mail. I won't be following the fourms [sic] anymore tho. If nothing else, I'll keep tw-cabal running till the domain expires. But right now, I just can't stomach any more TW. (emph. added)

It seems that, despite whatever he says, Traitor is still around AND reading the forums. Read twgs.org Message 18113 and see for yourself:

Traitor says: 4 out of 5 pods! Check it out! Thanks to those that told me it would be a good read! Now, back to lurking.

You can't say you're walking away from TradeWars and then not do it. Or perhaps, you can never really give up TradeWars.

Big Game 2 Starts Soon
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 4:54:23 PM

Big Game 1 was an epic battle between Prestone and Space Ghost. By popular demand, Coastgames is running Big Game 2. In two days, over 120 combatants will fight on 4 different teams. Space Ghost has selected Prestone, TimboRulz (aka Blue Adept), Phoe6e (formerly known as Hecate), and Res Judicata (aka Attrition) to be the four CEOs. The teams have been selected, but there is still room for replacements.

Site Archive Now Open
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Monday, May 19, 2003 10:28:55 PM

In order to preserve past posts, I have opened an archive page for the Fugitives From Fate website. This archive will contain old posts that are not on the front news page. The front news page (this page) will display the most current 4 posts, and the archive will hold everything else.

To access the archive, use the link on the left hand side of the screen.

OT: Microsoft is Watching You!
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2003 5:18:17 PM
Off Topic Notice: This article has no relation to TradeWars or Fugitives From Fate.

I do not usually post Off Topic news, but I found something very important that everyone should know. There are those who would dismiss this as rampant paranoia, but the truth of the matter is sitting on your hard drive, right now. Your Win32 computers are currently recording your online activities in their entirety: Every URL typed, every email message sent, for all of eternity, even after you have specifically erased that information. It turns out that this information is stored in directories that are not visible from Windows, Windows Explorer, or the Find Files or Folders program, even after you have specifically set your system to display Invisible files. In fact, the only way you can see them is in True DOS mode, and even then you have to know exactly where they are. There can be only one reason for files that your OS will lie to you about their very existence: subterfuge! Consider it a veritable goldmine of personal information, a wiretap on every PC.

If you Windows OS, I encourage you to immediately visit This Page. It will give you the location of these invisible files, information on how to access them, and more importantly, how to remove them (temporarily, they come back). You can see for yourself that, indeed, Microsoft is Watching You.

Hardcoded Closes Its Ports... Forever?
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2003 12:48:33 AM

With absolutely no fanfare or noise, the host of one of the largest TW Tournaments, the United States Open (the first game in which the entire Fugitives lineup participated), pulled its plugs and closed its doors in late April. No announcements were made, and the passage of one of TW's best servers into cyber-void was not recorded.

In an ICQ interview as to the status of the Hardcoded server, Silver Dragon asserted:

just need some time off I think, the PRE USO scandal really zapped my energy, I really only went forward with the USO because I didn't want to make the rest suffer the results of children... it was all such BS I don't need that in my life, tw is a hobby, I do hobbies to enjoy myself and interact with fun and kind people, TW is losing those types fast, sad really I miss all my old TW buddies but they are gone for the same reasons I am... may leave...

Silver Dragon was considering closing down his server before the start of USO. In a message dated April 20, 2003, Silver Dragon wrote:

... that whole bull shit before USO zapped the drive right out of me, I only ran USO because I didn't want to screw the good people in TW

As the winning team for BOTE 2002, Hardcoded was to be the host for BOTE 2003. A new host for this tournament may be necessary.

Silver's departure is merely a symptom of a growing problem in the TradeWars community. In their quest to ensure victory at all costs, there are those who will sacrifice their personal honor. Perhaps we have forgotten the true meaning of this game, to the point where many of our elite are leaving, resigning, in protest. The fate of the Hardcoded server is uncertain, but Silver has vowed to return. But don't expect to see him around again until people start acting more like adults.

TWGazette Temporarily Offline
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2003 5:17:52 PM

Timberwolf's news outlet, TWGazette, is moving to a new hosting company starting tonight. Oldtimer has offered to let Timberwolf use his website for the next two weeks. Its nice to see that some little thing like lack of webhosting can't stop Timberwolf from contributing to the TW Community.

Just for fun... right?
Author: Cbs228
Posted: Friday, May 16, 2003 11:20:19 PM

There are those that are simply in awe of the T-Warrior. Secretly they must admire our near fanatical devotion. Our spouses (or any other cohabitants) will wonder why we get up at 3 A.M. to answer that alarm call. Our coworkers will think we are crazy, hacking our company's network to bypass firewalls on port 23. Our friends will just nod, smile, and tell themselves, "That guy has no life whatsoever." Just exactly what drives us to chug that 10th can of Jolt so we can shave that extra 30 ms off of our attack scripts? Have two ISPs as backups? Set up home control modules to flash the lights whenever someone hits a fig? Have our computer dial our pager/cellphone/PDA/other wireless device whenever our base is hit? What compels us to do this, and more importantly, how do we justify it?

The truth of the matter is: TradeWars is a professional sport. Ball players break bones, we break keyboards. They sweat from exertion, we sweat from adrenaline. They train long and hard, and get knocked around in the process. So do we. Every minute of every hour of every day, pro sports players are working to improve their skills and maintain their competitive edge. So do we. And TradeWars is most definitely a game played in earnest on our college campuses. In retrospect, the only real difference between us and professional sports players is this: They get paid millions, we get paid nothing.

We would like to hear from you on just what exactly motivates you to play TradeWars the way you do. (Extreme examples are encouraged.) The best responses will be posted to this site. Send us your comments now.