Time Wars: Space Ship edition

In Time Wars: Space Ship Edition, players have a home base in their region of space time and 3 ships. Players are eliminated if they control no bases, or if all 3 of their ships are destroyed. The winner is the last player standing.

The universe we are playing it is a hyper-cube that spans from (-10,-10,-10,-10) to (10,10,10,10) and is divided into 16 sectors.

A: (+,+,+,+)
B: (+,+,+,-)
C: (+,+,-,+)
D: (+,+,-,-)
E: (+,-,+,+)
F: (+,-,+,-)
G: (+,-,-,+)
H: (+,-,-,-)
J: (-,+,+,+)
K: (-,+,+,-)
L: (-,+,-,+)
M: (-,+,-,-)
N: (-,-,+,+)
O: (-,-,+,-)
P: (-,-,-,+)
Q: (-,-,-,-)

Players who sign up will be assigned 1 of the 16 sectors as their home region, and they will have to place their home base (which is stationary) and their 3 ships within that region — these placements will be done secretly. If a sector has no player, a base will be placed by me randomly, but no ships will defend it.

Turns will be at least daily (M-Fr), but I’ll process them as we get them. A turn will consist of one of 3 actions for each surviving ship:

Move – the ship may move up to 10 orthogonal spaces. If a ship moves through a space where a base is located, the ship immediately stops there and the player takes control of the base.
Scan – the ship may scan for another players home base or ship within 5 orthogonal moves of the ship. If found, the scan will give the direction of the base or ship from your ship.
Fire – the ship may fire a missile to explode at any integer node of the grid within 7 orthogonal moves of the ship. If there is any opponent’s ships within 6 orthogonal moves, they are destroyed.

I will do generalized reporting after each day:

Moves will not be reported unless a player takes control of a base, it which take the report will read Mountainhawk claims the base in Sector B, previously controlled by Vorian Atreides.

Scans will not be reported publicly.

All missile explosions will be reported with the location of the explosion, and if it destroyed any ships.

Each ship has 5 missiles, but automatically reloads to 5 available if it finishes in a sector where the player controls the base.

Each turn will be process in the following order:


So ships destroyed by missiles will not get to scan, and scans will tell you the ships location before any potential moves.

When you submit a MOVE:

You can submit it as MOVE (3,2,3,2) and I would move the ship 3 in the x, then 2 in the y, then 3 in the z, then 2 in the t direction. Or you could submit MOVE (2,0,0,0), (0,0,3,0), (0,2,0,0), (1,0,0,0), (0,0,0,2) and I would execute them in left to right order.

For scan, you just need to SCAN — it’s always from your ship.

For FIRE, just submit FIRE (x,y,z,t) where the target is in range.

The game will start on Wednesday, January 19th with the assignment of the sectors (assuming we have at least 4 players) and the first turn will be due 12 noon on Thursday, January 20th.

Let me know if there are questions.

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Game Status:

Status Report - end of Round 6
Ships Bases
soyleche 3 2
Vorian Atreides 2 1
Mayan Actuary 3 1
BruteForce 2 1

Public Report Round 6

Nothing to report.

Public Report Round 5

Missile explosion at 2,1,4,-7 - no ships destroyed.
Missile explosion at 7,4,3,4 - no ships destroyed.
Missile explosion at 5,5,4,-8 - no ships destroyed.

A base in Sector M that was previously unoccupied was captured by soyleche.

Public Report Round 4
Missile explosion at 5,1,5,4 - No ships destroyed.

No bases were claimed this round.

Public Report Round 3

Missile explosion at 0,0,1,-4 - No ships destroyed.

No bases were claimed this round.

Public Report Round 2

Missile Explosion at 0,0,0,0 — No Ships Destroyed

No bases were taken over this round.

Public Report Round 1

Missile Explosion at -2,-1,0,-3 — No Ships Destroyed
Missile Explosion at 0,0,0,0 — Ships Delta (VA) and Kappa (BF) destroyed!
Missile Explosion at 2,-3,7,-3 — No Ships Destroyed

No bases were taken over this round.

I’m very interested. I don’t ever have time to do this sort of thing during the day though. If it’s possible to do everything i would need to do in the evenings, I’m definitely in.

Yeah, I’ll never have a report come out one day and have a move due on the same day. If I post a report before 4pm ET, the next move will be due at noon the next day, so as long as you could check in each night after 4pm you’d be fine.

I’m Lost in Space. Unlikely I’ll try to play, but just in case (or for the benefit of those who do play):

  1. Are the players definitely assigned different regions? Or could two or more start in the same region?

  2. Is everything done on integral coordinates?

  3. Can bases and ships start on sector boundaries?

  4. Is the intent of “orthogonal” to mean that in a move you can change only one coordinate, and can change it by up to 10, and that you move in a straight line? (If that is not the intent, then you would have to specify your path, to determine of you move through a base.)

  5. Similarly for scan: does it detect only ships which match 3 of your coordinates and are within 5 of your fourth? Or would a scan from (1,2,3,4) detect a ship at (2,1,4,3) since 1+1+1+1 < 5? And a scan tells you all the ships and bases it sees?

  6. Similarly for fire: can you fire a missile to explode only at a spot that matches 3 of your coordinates and is within 7 of your fourth?

  7. Observation: these are odd missile explosions that destroy only opponents’ ships within the blast zone. OTOH, if they destroyed all ships within the blast zone it would be unwise to fire less than 7 from your location (if locations must be integers).

  8. Observation: turns processed in order received maybe creates an advantage to acting early in each round, since if you have an idea where a Vorian Atreides ship is, and it’s within range, it’s better to fire before it moves. Or even clearer, if you and Vorian Atreides each know where the other’s ship is, and you’re within range, it becomes a quick draw contest to see whose missile explodes first.

  9. Counter observation: if all your actions in a round are going to be scans, late in the round is good, as then you have a good idea the opposing ship is at the start of the next round.

  10. Stopping at bases and announcing base results creates interesting strategy. I.e., if Mountainhawk takes my base, and I have a ship lurking within firing range of it, Mountainhawk’s ship is toast if I act quickly next round. Then a round or two later I could retake my base, which would might be a short term gain if Mountainhawk had come with two ships. (Presumably Mountainhawk also knows exactly where the base is, since he would have to know where his first ship was forced to stop.)

Players will all start in separate regions.


No. Ships can obviously move/stop on sector boundaries (i.e., 1 or more coordinates are 0), but none of them can start there.

No, you can change directions in each of the ten steps, Submitting a move of (3,3,-4,0) would be ten steps, and would move you 3 in the x and y directions, -4 in the z direction, and not change your t coordinate.

No, these work the same as move. You can submit the scan location as (x,y,z,t) and as long as the absolute differences between those coordinates and the ships coordinates is 5 or less, you are fine.

Same with firing the missiles, 7 movement points essentially.

You have the technology to shield your ships from your own blast. (Real reason either I had to make the firing range too far or the missile yield too small for this to work with self-damage)

A turns happen simultaneously. Missiles will fire first, then scans, then movements.

Note that if you lose your last base, you are immediately eliminated so you can’t fire back! But it will be risky to take bases from people that have multiple bases if they have ships in firing range.

I believe that the formal term for your proposed geometry is called taxicab metric/distance (as opposed to Pythagorean metric/distance)

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And IN

Thanks! I knew there was a term for it, but couldn’t bring it to the top of my head late last night when I decided to run this.

Still Lost in Space, but with much better understanding based on your explanations.

Mainly confused about coordinates vs points. Is is true at that the end of every action (even during a round) every base and every ship is at some (a, b, c, d), all integers with absolute value <= 10, and for bases none of the integers are 0?

If that’s true, is it accurate to treat a ship or base at (e.g.) (1,2,3,4) to be at the point (1.000, 2.000, 3.000, 4.000)

If so (or even if not so, but this question would become slightly different, then my earlier question about path dependence still needs to be addressed. Suppose I start at (1,1,0,0) and move (5,5,0,0), thus to (6,6,0,0). If there is a base at (6,1,0,0) do I capture that? If first go 5 in the x direction, then 5 in the y direct, I got through (6,1,0,0). Otherwise I don’t go through that point.

The rules address capturing a base as “moving through a space where the base is located”. Maybe that’s saying that the ship moves in straight lines and its path comes sufficiently close to the base’s coordinates. Is that it?

If so, is the test strictly < 1 for each coordinate? So that a ship moving from (-1,0,1,1) to (9,0,1,1) would not capture a base at (5,-1,1,1) or one at (5,1,1,1)? (mindblown if it would capture exactly one of them, or both of them)

Mind also blown at the possibility multiple players could control the same base simultaneously, if they each submitted an appropriate move in the same round (or would only the second to submit control it, per “I’ll process them as we get them”

Despite all the questions and a sincere appreciation of your undertaking to run this, I don’t expect I’ll play.

I think that “movement” is more along the lines of teleportation than Star Trek navigation.

Or worm-hole movement.

Except for the “the ship immediately stops there and the player takes control of the base” part.

I’m not sure how to interpret this part either. I appreciate Steve’s questions.

Good point! If a player wants to specify their exact path, they could submit a series of 10 1 step moves. Otherwise the ship will move in the x direction first, then the y direction, then z, then t. If two ships end up at a base at the same time (unlikely I think), then the person that got there later in the path will control it, and the earlier ship will get pushed out one step away in a random direction.

I’ll play, and appreciate Steve’s questions.

We all start with one base, correct? So first person to lose their base is out. New controlling person now has two bases, so can lose one of them and remain in, correct?

Direction from a scan would be something like “base, located (0, +, -, -)?” More specific in distance?

Well, unless we get to 16 people, there will be unoccupied bases at the start (to be able to re-supply ships if you take a base in a new sector.)

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It’ll be like that, plus a total taxicab distance away.

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as in, re-supply the missiles on my ship right? Not as in give me more ships?

Correct, there are no new ships. You only get the 3 you start with. But if you don’t take some bases as you explore, you may find some ships on the far side of the galaxy with no missiles left.

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Trying to fully understand these. I’ll take each in turn.

Say I have a ship at (0,2,2,1) and I SCAN (0,0,0,0).

  1. What is the range of coordinates for an enemy base/ship to be located such that I get a non-empty report for this scan?
  2. Will the report differentiate between an enemy ship and an enemy base?
  3. Suppose there are two enemy objects within this scan, will the report differentiate between both objects belonging to one player vs. each object belonging to different players?
  4. Will the player’s identity be revealed in the report?

Say I have a ship at (2,2,2,1) and I FIRE (0,0,0,0).

  • All enemy ships with coordinates (a, b, c, d) such that a^2+b^2+c^2+d^2 < 40 is destroyed. [math_nerd] IMO, this seems to go contrary to other metrics employed. Seems like a "simpler" metric would be that any ship *less than* 7 taxicab units would go the way of the dodo. (Or equivalently, *less than or equal to* 6 taxicab units.) [/math_nerd]
  • Does anything happen to a base that is within blast region?
  • If my initial sector is D, then any ship that ends there will have 5 missiles on the next turn. Correct?
  • Is the playing space considered “wrap-around” (like the old asteroid screen)? That is, if I FIRE (0,0,0,8), would the effective blast area extend to blowing up a ship located at (0,0,0,-8)?