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CC1NISCIOIROVNGINGED) AVMIGIHSOVANNINI APSA? IPAS K@)PRED)ISRUI MLO) PaO] NE PANS PA@) PE 
STRATEGIC SIMULATIONS INC. 


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9L 


LIMITED WARKANTY 


Strategic Simulations, Inc. (“SSI”) warrants that the diskette on which the enclosed program is 
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© 1980 by Strategic Simulations, Inc. 
All Rights Reserved. 


If you are using DOS 3.3, you 
must use a 13-sector scratch disk 
when saving data files. This disk 

must be initialized prior to use. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS 


PART I: INTRODUCTION Page 
] O General Deserintion.... 6d. die «044 CR BARRRS as 1 
ZAP LIV OTIEOIY 9, 5 Baws Ba ano aie 1 
3.0 The Battlespace, Time, Scale, and Directions... 1 
Ee a ale Se 2 | eee > 
5.0 The Weapons: Offense & Defense............... 2 
CR IS, Whe gs et vb ace hee as nd a ee ee = 
Fad Dataae TO BIS fs fie eek evden D's 1 ERR tal Fe 0 5 
PART II: KUNNING THE PROGRAM 

LO. Auditing Your Retgens  : i sass ss a ease ees 6 
20 SOUAPI A Ae... os. ee. ee ee es 6 
a) FROUER I OE EN es wcaleor ss Mee ve te os 6 


PART I: 


1.0 GENERAL DESCRIPTION 


THE WARP FACTOR is an outer space battle game involving 
starships, starbases and single-pilot attack spacecraft similar 
to those portrayed in four different television series and at least 
that many motion pictures. With this program your Apple II Plus 
computer can simulate the battle activity of up to ten separate 
space vessels at a time. For maximum realism the program 
executes move and fire orders for all ships simultaneously, 
avoiding the illogical play by turns which usually characterizes 
space-battle games. 

In a very real sense this is not a “game” at all, but a 
sophisticated space battle simulator and trainer. The ships and 
their activities have been modeled to a fine degree of detail 
including their internal structure and functions. Weapons 
crews can be given sophisticated firing commands, defensive 
screens can be reinforced selectively, and some ships can even 
make themselves invisible at times. The probability of hitting a 
target is a function of the power of the weapon, the range, the 
current effectiveness of scanners and sensors, and the speed of 
the target. In short, all critical factors of starship combat have 
been modeled in THE WARP FACTOR, and the outcome ofa battle 
depends only on a commander's grasp of tactics in deep space! 


2.0 PARTS INVENTORY 


A. Game Box 

B. Rule Book 

C. 5%" Game Disc 

D. 3 Starship Data Cards 
E. Game Selection Card 


3.0 THE BATTLESPACE, TIME, SCALE, 
AND DIKECTIONS 


Distances in space are expressed in terms of Megaklicks 
(Mk), each of which represents ten million kilometers. The battle 


Page 
ADS CO WOO. 6 ks eead eh os pea men HORA 6 
ON oak on ae estccminrsmseaaiabnaon 11 
6.0 Zyaitation of the Mttle oo aii ck os Sack inne 11 
CAD ATEN sn 5 ee oa ing We Om + OG es A 
APPENDICES 
A.O Playtester’s Notes on Starship Tactics.......... 11 
A.1 Principles of Starship Combat ................. 11 
AZ Tactics of Space Fighter Combat .. ..2.....5+.. 12 
As Boarding Enemy Ships: ca205... «sac eeiviess <i 12 
A4 Comments on Fleet Ordera’<, .. We... . 2a ie. 12 
B.O Notes on Multi-Player Scenarios ............... 13 


INTRODUCTION 


progresses in 30-second segments (called “turns”) between 
which commanders issue orders to their fleets. For the con- 
venience of the player, the program expresses ship speed in 
terms of “Mk per turn,” the number of Megaklicks the ship will 
travel in 30 seconds of simulated action. 

The “battlespace” is an empty region of interstellar space 
devoid of stars, planets, asteroids, comets or nebulae. (Hyper- 
speed maneuvering is not safe around such navigation hazards.) 
Spacecraft locations are reported by the computer in standard 
Cartesian (X,Y) coordinates, expressed as the distance in Mega- 
klicks from the center of the battlespace. (See Figure 1.) Battle is 
usually joined near the center of this empty region, near 
coordinate X = 0, Y = 0. Ships may progress roughly 1000 Mk in 


; ee 
1000 Mk 


(0,0) 
1000 Mk 





Figure 1: The battlespace is a clear region of interstellar 
space about 2000 Megaklicks across. Positions of ships are 
denoted by standard (X,Y) coordinates. Beware of interstellar 
debris around the edge of the battle area. 


any direction from this center before being destroyed by floating 
space debris. This is a distance which even the fastest starships 
cannot cover in less than twenty turns of direct flight, so it 
shouldn't trouble many players. 

Directions within the battlespace are given in standard 
360° bearings with 0° representing galactic north (see Figure 2). 
Note that in all displays galactic north is pictured at the top of 
the screen regardless of the bearing of the ship. 





Figure 2: In all displays, galactic North (0°) is always pictured 
at the top of the screen. Allcourses and bearings are defined by 
standard 360° notation from this reference. 


4.0 THE NATIONALITIES 


The program simulates the activity of ships belonging to six 
interstellar nationalities, the Alliance, the Klargon Empire, the 
Reman Marauders, Imperial Pirates, Freemen and Starbases. 


4.1 THE ALLIANCE 


The United Alliance of Planets is a loose association of more 
than a thousand inhabited planets, most of them settled by 
Earth colonists centuries before. The Alliance is dedicated to 
protecting the rights of sentient creatures throughout the 
galaxy, and in defense of these rights the member planets 
support a fleet of dreadnought and heavy cruiser starships. At 
the time of the outbreak of hostilities one of the cruisers had just 
distinguished itself by successfully returning from a five-year 
mission of exploration in galactic regions where no one had 
gone before. 


4.2 THE KLARGON EMPIRE 


The Klargons are a quarrelsome people who believe that 
their race is destined to rule the universe by virtue of their 
obvious superiority ... a superiority which is not as obvious to 
others as it is to them. They venture into space in ships bristling 
with weapons, armed for conquest. Although a Klargon dread- 
nought in battle may have twice the rate of fire of most other 
starships, enemy commanders have learned that the Klargon’s 
compulsive aggressiveness and low intelligence more than 
offset this advantage in equipment. Even so, it’s a poor com- 
mander who turns his back on a Klargon. 


4.3 THE REMAN MARAUDERS 


The Remans are a mysterious race whose ships rarely 
venture into interstellar space. When they do, however, violence 
is the inevitable result. Springing from a world in a binary star 
system, the Remans have high intellegence, superior strength in 
hand-to-hand combat, and a venerated martial tradition, but 
are handicapped by a space fleet limited to sub-light velocities. 
Even so the Reman ships can be formidable due to their 
invisibility screens and their unusually powerful homing 
torpedoes. 

At present the Remans are confined to their home solar 


system bya non-aggression treaty with the Alliance. A demilitar- 


ized zone surrounds the systems, entry into which by either side 
constitutes an act of war. (There are rumors that the Remans 
have purchased the plans of a hyperspeed drive from the 
Klargons and are equipping a limited number of their warships 
with the new type of engines.) 


4.4 STARBASES 


Scattered throughout the galaxy are independent starbases 
and outposts run by members of various nationalities. Some 
starbases are trading posts for interstellar commerce, while 
others serve as military bases for starships. Due to their immense 
size, starbases can carry tremendous amounts of armament 
and are very difficult to successfully attack and destroy. Outposts 
(second class starbases) are less formidable. Neither starbases 
nor outposts can move, although they can rotate like a carousel. 


4.5 IMPERIAL PIRATES 


The Imperial forces are a surviving splinter group of an 
empire which once flourished long ago in a distant galaxy. At the 
present time these nefarious warriors occupy themselves by 
conducting raids on Alliance freighters and small star outposts. 
Although most interstellar combat is conducted by cruiser- 
class starships, the Imperials fly small three-man and one-man 
attack spacecraft. Individually these ships are insignificant, but 
in mass attacks they can do serious damage even to ships of 
the line. 

The Imperials are especially troublesome to independent 
freighters and isolated star systems where starship protection 
is too far away for timely rescues. An interesting point about 
these raiders is that they strongly resemble humanoid robots. 
No one seems certain whether Imperial troopers are really men 
wearing battle armor or are actually cybernetic organisms! 


4.6 FREEMEN 


In response to Klargon and Imperial depredations space 
colonists have begun toarm their cargo ships and to build small 
fleets of one-man fighters for local defense. The dedicated young 
men and women who fly these fighters (with the help of robotic 
copilots) are revered as heroes on the colony worlds, where there 
is considerable competition for the few available spacecraft. (It 
helps if you have friends in high places.) Although they rarely get 
the opportunity, the Freemen love nothing more than to meeta 
flight of Imperial fighters in deep space with plenty of room fora 
dogfight. 


5.0 THE WEAPONS: OFFENSE & DEFENSE 


The space ships in THE WARP FACTOR use a variety of 
sophisticated weaponry both of an offensive and a defensive 
nature. The major characteristics of the weapons systems are 
given below. 


5.1 PHASERS 


The basic offensive weapon of most ships is a laser-like 
energy beam projector which fires instantaneously through 
hyperspace over vast distances. The energy of the beam dimin- 
ishes at ranges of 40 Mk or so, but the weapons have no 
minimum range. In fact, some starships can be instructed to 
turn their phasers on themselves (to avoid capture)! 

There are three kinds of phasers in general use. Light 
phasers are mounted as main weapons on small fighters, and as 
auxiliary weapons on some cruisers. Heavy phasers form the 
main armament of freighters, cruisers and dreadnoughts. Siege 
phasers are immense weapons utilized for starbase defense. 
Occasionally a dreadnought will be armed with a single siege 
phaser for starbase assault, too. In most cases phasers have 
limited fields of fire, dictated by ship design (you can’t shoot 
through your own hull!),One of the challenges of the game is 
coordinating the position of your ship with the fields of fire of 
your phasers to maximize your firepower against a particular 
target. (See Section 6, below, for details of phaser fields of fire.) 


5.2 PHOTON TORPEDOES 


Starbases and Alliance starships are armed with matter- 
antimatter torpedoes which are projected instantaneously 
through hyperspace against enemy ships. Although very power- 
ful, the range of these torpedoes is limited to about 20 Mk, they 
are slow to reload and they are ineffective at ranges less than 
2 Mk (because they automatically arm themselves at that 
distance from the firing vessel). At close ranges these torpedoes 
can be “overcharged,” which doubles their explosive power but 
makes them so unstable that their effective range is cut to 8 Mk 
at the most. Like phasers, torpedo projectors have restricted 
fields of fire, and usually you will have to steer your ship more or 
less toward the target before firing. 

Photon torpedoes must be charged twice before they will fire 
(in two successive turns). Charging them in subsequent turns 
keeps them ready to fire indefinitely. Failing to charge a photon 
torpedo instantly reduces its accumulated charge to zero. These 
torpedoes may only be overcharged on the second turn of 
charging. 


5.3 DISKUPTOR BOLTS 


Klargon ships do not carry photon torpedoes but use 
disruptor bolts instead. Disruptors fire packets of energy quanta 
of the fréquency best suited to break down the molecular bonds 
of starship hulls. Although disruptors are rapid-fire weapons 
with an effective range of 25 Mk or more, they do relatively little 
damage except at close range. Like photon torpedoes, disruptor 
bolts have restricted fields of fire and may be “overcharged” for 
more destructive effect at the cost of greatly decreasing their 
range. Disruptors may be fired in the same turn that they are 
first charged or overcharged. If a charged or overcharged 
disruptor is not fired it loses its charge. 


5.4 PLASMA TORPEDOES 


Reman ships are equipped with little offensive armament 
other than a plasma torpedo projector. This weapon is extremely 
slow and expensive to recharge, but it fires a homing torpedo 
which does very severe damage when it strikes an enemy ship. 
Most enemies of the Remans turn and try to outrun this torpedo 
because they know that their shields can’t stand up against it. 
Since this is a self-guided weapon the torpodo projector's field of 
fire is not of concern. Targets at all bearings from the firing ship 
may be engaged equally well. Plasma torpedoes travel 10 Mk in 
their first turn and 32 Mk in their second turn. 

Plasma torpedoes require three turns of charging before 
they can be fired. They are not stable, and must be fired in the 
third turn. If you fail to fire a plasma torpedo on the third 
charging turn, or if you fail to charge it each turn, you will lose 
the accumulated charge and have to start over again from zero. 


5.5 DRONES 


Klargon starships, Freemen vessels and some Imperials are 
armed with a limited number of “fire and forget” ship-to-ship 
missiles. These drones actively track and home in on their 
assigned target vessels, but they can be outrun and they havea 
limited fuel supply. 

There are two kinds of drones. Type 1 drones fly at 15 Mk per 
turn, persist for two turns, and are not very powerful in deton- 
ation. They are best used against small fighters. Type 2 drones fly 
at 10 Mk per turn, persist for three turns, and are twice as 
powerful as Type 1 drones. Drones may be fired at anyship which 
is, or which soon will be, within range. There are no field of fire 
considerations. 


5.6 SHIELDS 


All vessels are equipped with six defensive shields each of 
which deflects the energy of incoming weapons within a partic- 
ular 60° arc around the ship (see Figure 3). Each shield has a 
basic strength which depends on the design of the ship, and 
which can be gradually depleted by repeated enemy hits. If this 
basic strength is depleted to zero the shield falls and subsequent 
hits to that portion of the ship take effect on the hull and 
internal facilities. 





A commander may allocate energy to general shield support, 
in which case every two units of energy he allocates will deflect 
one unit of incoming weapons energy striking on any shield. He 
may also elect to reinforce a particular shield, in which case the 
energy allocated is temporarily added directly to that shield’s 
basic strength. Energy allocated to shield support and reinforce- 
ment only lasts one turn. 


5.7 TRANSPORTERS AND BOARDING PARTIES 


The starbases, outposts and larger ships are equipped with 
transporters and carry space Marine boarding parties which 
they can beam into an enemy ship in an attempt to sabotage or 
capture it. Friendly Marines can be beamed from one ship to 
another as reinforcements, too. Upon boarding a hostile vessel 
the Marines fight a bulkhead-to-bulkhead battle for key positions 
within the ship. Once committed they cannot be recalled, so 
don’t send them in lightly. (You may need them within your own 
ship as defenders)! 

Starship crew members also assist in defending their ships 
from boarding parties, but they don’t perform as well as the 
Marines. Even if the assault is not successful, the internal battle 
itself is likely to damage the vessel and degrade its performance. 

Transporters will not beam Marines through the intact 
shields of enemy ships. (Shields that are destroyed but strength- 
ened by shield support will repel transporters until the shield 
support is destroyed.) One cannot beam aboard Imperial or 
Freeman ships. The beaming ship must be positioned oppositea 
fallen shield on the target ship before beaming can be successful. 
Range and bearing of the target from the beaming ship are not 
relevant. 


5.8 SCANNERS AND SENSORS 


Scanners are intelligence gathering devices which deter- 
mine the enemy's location, course and speed. Sensors serve as 
the fire-control link between the scanners and the weapons 
systems. When all systems are operating at peak efficiency the 
scanners will locate the target, the sensors will lock the weapons 
on to it... and the target will suffer greatly! 


5.9 ELECTRONIC COUNTER-MEASURES (ECM) 

All space craft have the ability to emit electronic “noise” in 
an attempt to jam or fool enemy sensors. The more energy a 
commander allocates to ECM the more he will degrade the 
enemy's automatic tracking systems. ECM is especially important 
when enemy drones are homing in on your ship. If you use 
enough ECM they may miss! 


5.10 ELECTRONIC COUNTER- 
COUNTER-MEASURES (ECCM) 


A commander may allocate energy to ECCM in an effort to 
overcome enemy jamming and lock sensors in spite of it. The 
more energy devoted to ECCM the more likely it is that automatic 


shield #1 


Shield #2 


Shield #6 


shield #5 shield #3 


shield #4 


Figure 3: All ships possess six defensive shields, each of 
which defends one 60° arc around the ships. 


3 


tracking and firing will be successful in spite of enemy efforts to 
jam the scanners and sensors. ECCM will not help guided 
weapons (drones and plasma torpedoes) overcome ECM. 


5.11 CLOAKING DEVICE 


Reman ships possess a practical invisibility screen which 
cloaks them from detection by enemy vessels. The screen is not 
perfect, however, and enemy commanders can usually get a 
general idea of the location of the Reman vessel even though 
they can’t accurately determine the vessel's range, course or 
speed. This makes attacks on cloaked Remans difficult and 
relatively unproductive. On the other hand, the Reman ships 
cannot fire their own weapons without first turning off the 
cloaking device. 


6.0 THE SHIPS 


There are twelve kinds of ships available in THE WARP 
FACTOR: two dreadnoughts, three cruisers, a destroyer, a star- 
base, an outpost, a raider, two fighters, and a freighter. As you 
read this section please refer to your Starship Data Sheets fora 
more precise description of phaser fields of fire and other 
technical details. Figure 4 shows the ship symbols as they 
appear on the computer's monitor screen. 

This section also contains suggestions for appropriate 
ways to name the various classes of ships, included for those 
players who want to use authentic naming conventions. 


6.1 ALLIANCE DREADNOUGHT 


The Alliance heavy battleship is the ultimate instrument of 
Alliance diplomacy, capable of transporting emergency supplies 
to needy colonies, and equally capable of sterilizing planets at 
the touch of a button if necessary. So far, this necessity has 
never arisen. It carries one siege phaser and eight heavy 
phasers, seven of which can be fired forward, six to the side and 
four to the rear. It also carries four photon torpedoes which are 
fired forward, and fourteen Marine boarding parties. Most 
shields will absorb 30 units of damage without buckling, 
although the forward shield is slightly stronger. 

Powered by three warp engines, this vessel can cover 
31 Mk/turn at top speed and accelerates by 6 Mk/turn. It can 
change its heading by 176°/turn. Alliance dreadnoughts are 
usually named after political divisions of the Alliance, hence 
Terra Union, Alliance, Cygnus System, Martian Republic, Luna 
City, ¢tc 


6.2 ALLIANCE HEAVY CRUISER 


The Alliance cruiser is one of the best-known starship types 
in the galaxy due to the Alliance’s program of exploration in 
search of unknown civilizations. It is armed with six heavy 
phasers and four photon torpedoes. All of its phasers and 
torpedoes will fire forward, two phasers will bear to each side, 
but none will shoot to the rear. It carries ten boarding parties, 
and has shields which will absorb 25 units of damage each. 

The ship moves about 36 Mk/turn at top speed, accelerates 
8 Mk/turn, and can change heading by 240°/turn. Alliance 
cruisers are named after valuable personal qualities, such as 
Ambition, Intrepid, Valiant, Steadfast, Endeavor, Endurance, etc. 


6.3 KLAKRGON DRKEADNOUGHT 


The Klargon dreadnought is the ship designed to forge a 
galaxy into a submissive empire. Its armament consists of one 
siege phaser, four heavy phasers, and four light phasers, plus 
six disruptors. The disruptors and five of the phasers will fire 
forward, four phasers shoot to each side, and four fire to the 
rear. In addition, the dreadnought carries eighteen homing 
drones and twenty-four Marine boarding parties. Since this 
vessel was designed for cracking and capturing starbases, its 
front shield is unusually strong (50 units), although the 
remaining shields are more modest in strength (30 units each). 

Its three warp engines will drive it35 Mk/turn at full speed, 
accelerating 6 Mk/turn, and it can change course by up to 
240°/turn. Klargon ships are named in the gutteral Klargon 
tongue after their greatest heroes and conquests. Examples 


4 


would be Kroton, Dradnark, Grishnadrick, Marshak, and Varder. 
6.4 KLARGON CRUISER 


The Klargons’ cruiser is a highly maneuverable harrier, 
designed to be used in packs against enemy starships or 
outposts, although it is also suitable for defense against 
swarms of fighters. It is armed with nine light phasers, seven 
firing forward, eight bearing to each side, and four firing to the 
rear. It has four disruptors (firing forward), six homing drones, 
and fourteen boarding parties. Following the Klargons emphasis 
on attack, the cruisers have 30-unit shields in front (facing the 
enemy) but only 10-unit shields to the rear. 

They can change course by 304° per turn, accelerate 
8 Mk/turn, and can travel at 38 Mk/turn at top speed. These 
ships, too, are named after Klargon heroes. 


6.5 KEMAN CRUISER 


First class Reman ships are light cruisers, armed with four 
heavy phasers (pointing forward only) and a single plasma 
torpedo projector. All ships of this class carry the top-secret 
cloaking device which makes the ships invisible to enemy 
scanners. Reman ships try always to face their enemies, and 
therefore have 40-unit shields in front and 20-unit shields to 
the rear. 

Although limited by treaty to sublight velocities, intelligence 
agents have clocked Reman cruisers at speeds of 30 Mk/turn in 
some cases, accelerating by 8 Mk/turn. Their rate of turn is 
about 240° in 30 seconds. Reman cruisers are named after 
birds of prey, such as Falcon, Eagle, Osprey and Condor, 
matching their colorful warbird hull decorations. 


FNS (os eler—) 
1B) -Toreb elo bles ers S) fongelett—) 
& Heavy Cruiser & Outpost 


| 4Losdefoyey Freeman 
1B) <-Torobelejelesens Freighter 
& Cruiser & Fighter 


Reman Cruiser 
& Destroyer 


Jbeohel-ielodmcostol-yg 
& Fighter 


Multiple 
Cloaked Reman = Superimpositions 


a 1D) ge) e\- me) a Lesgel-lele) 





Figure 4: The twelve ships are denoted on the computer 
monitor by these special symbols. 


6.6 KEMAN DESTROYER 


These little ships are a source of constant irritation to the 
Alliance. Never seen to travel faster than one Mk/turn (sublight), 
they carry no phasers at all and possess so little engine power 
that they ought to be very easy to defeat. This is not the case. 
Their ability to make themselves invisible and to launch 
gigantic plasma torpedoes make them hard to hitand dangerous 
to engage. Enemy commanders approach them with extreme 
caution. 

Reman destroyers have a rate of turn of 368° in 30 seconds, 
and can reach their top speed of 1 Mk/turn almost instantly. 
Their names tend to emphasize the invisibility they rely on for 
defense ... Specter, Shimmer, Shade, and Shadow. 


6.7 STARBASE 


Starbases never move, but can be rotated at a rate of 
64°/turn. They mount a total of nine siege phasers and six 
photon torpedo launchers, all of which can be rotated to bearin 
any direction whatsoever. Fifty Marine boarding parties are 
stationed in a starbase, and the energy available to reinforce 
the six 60-unit shields is enormous. No one attacks a starbase 
without a very good reason ... and several dreadnoughts. 
Starbases are identified by number, such as Starbase 6. 


6.8 OUTPOST 


An outpost is a second-class starbase which mounts six 
siege phasers and one photon torpedo launcher. Although the 
torpedo may be fired in any direction, the phasers were added 
later in the design and do not have unobstructed fields of fire. 
No more than four phasers can be brought to bear on any 
approaching target, and along some lines of approach only two 
phasers can be fired at a time. Outposts house twelve Marine 
boarding parties, but have such limited power that they can 
rarely energize all of their weapons at once and then only if they 
don’t reinforce their 30-unit shields. 

The defense of an outpost is not an easy task. Since the 
outpost is limited to a maximum rotation speed of 64°/turn, it 
is apparent that an intelligent enemy can maneuver to minimize 
his exposure to the outpost’s phasers while attacking. Like 
Starbases, Outposts are identified unimaginatively by number, 
as in Outpost 4. 


6.9 IMPERIAL RAIDER 


An Imperial raider is a saucer-shaped heavy fighter which 
carries two forward-mounted light phasers and a disruptor bolt 
projector. It is piloted by a crew of three men (orare they robots 
after all?). It can achieve a speed of 34 Mk/turn when it needs to, 
accelerates 12 Mk/turn, and turns at a rate of 480° in 30 
seconds. Its shields are designed to withstand a uniform 3 
damage units on all sides. Unlike most spacecraft, the raiders 
carry a large bank of storage batteries, seemingly in place of 
galley and crew quarters. This has unusual effects on a raider’s 
energy allocation budget during combat. These fighters are 
designated by serial numbers like K9ARF, or 31416. The robot- 
like crews of these vessels seem to prefer arbitrary coding to 
naming. 


6.10 IMPERIAL FIGHTER 


The Imperial fighters are one-man scout ships which fire 
two light phasers to the front and carry two homing drones (one 
Type 1 for use against other fighters and one Type 2 for attacks 
on outposts and larger vessels). The fighter’s front and rear 
shields are slightly stronger than the side shields (3 units as 
opposed to 1 on the sides), a design feature which reflects the 
shoot-or-flee nature of space fighter tactics. 

An Imperial fighter makes 32 Mk/turn at top speed, accel- 
erates by 16 Mk/turn, and can turn 720° (two full circles) in 30 
seconds. An Imperial fighter is usually indentified by its pilot’s 
assigned position in the squadron’s chain of command, as First 
Lord, Second Lord, Third Lord, etc. 


6.11 FREEMEN FREIGHTER 


The Freemen freighters usually carry a crew of two to five, 
and have an unusual assymetrical design which looks like a 
cross between a saucer and a horseshoe. This is the only vessel 
in the galaxy which is designed to fight most effectively while 
running away, reflecting the prevailing combat philosophy of 
merchant spacemen. 

A Freemen freighter carries two heavy phasers which fire to 
either side, although both weapons will bear directly to the rear 
if necessary. A very unusual design feature is the heavy shield to 
the rear of the vessel (10 units as opposed to 7 elsewhere). Most 
of these ships also mount four Type 1 drones to help discourage 
fighters. ; 

A vessel such as this will travel 40 Mk/turn at top speed, 
accelerates by 12 Mk/turn, and can change course by 400° in 30 
seconds. ..which is handy if you don’t want to show your cargo 
to the port authorities. Freighters are run by colorful quasi- 
legal crews who tend to select wild and colorful names for their 
ships, like Magenta Crayon, Thunder Baby, Century Sparrow, 
and Old Crow. 


6.12 FREEMEN FIGHTER 


The one-man, one-robot Freemen fighter is almost identical 
to the Imperial fighter in performance, although its sleek, 
needle-like appearance isin contrast to the blocky design of the 
Imperial craft. The most significant difference between the two 
is the Freemen fighter’s twin Type 1 drones, suited toitsroleasa 


defender of freighters against Imperial pirates. Since Freemen 
do not usually conduct raids against outposts, they prefer to 
carry the faster Type 1 drones rather than the more powerful 
Type 2’s. 

This vessel's top speed is 32 Mk/turn, it accelerates at 
16 Mk/turn, and it can make a 720° course change within 30 
seconds. Its shields, like the Imperial fighter’s, are stronger to 
the front and rear (3 units as opposed to 1 on the sides). Freemen 
fighters are nick-named after their pilots, such as Senator, 
Hans, Slim, Star, Buck, Roger, Dushess, etc. Occasionally more 
formal designations are required in fleet actions, and temporary 
names are assigned like Blue Leader, 1 Blue, 2 Blue, etc. 


7.0 DAMAGE TO SHIPS 


When a ship is struck by enemy weapons the damage may 
occur to any of a number of facilities within the ship. The 
program reports two kinds of battle damage. General damage 
is the amount of damage done to general ship facilities. This 
kind of damage may degrade energy reserves, weapon avail- 
ability, or the function of key devices like sensors. It may also 
reflect damage to inconsequential parts of the ship such as the 
cargo holds. 

Critical damage, however, indicates destruction of vital 
facilities without which the ship cannot maintain itself in 
space. It is possible for a ship to sustain so much general 
damage to its shields, sensors and weapons that it can no 
longer contribute to the battle, but in theory it would still be 
capable of returning to a starbase for repairs. Too many critical 
hits, however, result in the total destruction of the ship. Usually 
this is the goal of enemy action. 

This distinction between general damage and critical 


_ damage explains the sometimes paradoxical status reports 


which show all phasers and torpedoes destroyed but critical 
damage still “insignificant.” It’s like a naval destroyer having its 
guns and depth charges shot away but its hull, engines and 
rudder intact. It can’t fight, but it isn’t sinking, either. On the 
other hand a destroyer might sink with all weapons intact if the 
hull was ruptured by a mine. 

The program keeps track of damage to the six shields, the 
ship’s armor (internal shields around critical equipment), 
forward and aft cargo holds, scientific and medical labs, Marine 
boarding parties, tractor beam equipment, probes, phasers, 
bridge, flag bridge, emergency bridge, auxiliary control room, 
security (brig), sensors, scanners, warp engines (port, starboard 
and midships), impulse engines, atomic power reactors, storage 
batteries, transporter, cloaking device, hangar deck, drone 
rack, torpedoes and disruptors. 

Obviously, not all ships can sustain damage in all of these 
categories! One-man fighters, for instance, contain weapons, 
engines sensors and practically nothing else! 


PART II: 


1.0 AUDITING YOUR RETURNS 


THE WARP FACTOR will usually accept single-key or two- 
key commands as soon as they are typed, without the necessity 
of pressing the RETURN button. Some commands, however, 
may require an uncertain number of keystrokes. (To set course 
you might type one key, two keys, or three keys to indicate a 
bearing of 1, 10, or 100 degrees, respectively.) In such cases the 
program will show you a flashing white cursor to prompt you to 
press RETURN when you are ready. 

For your convenience, the program has been structured to 
interpret solitary RETURNS as zeroes (Exception: see 4.3.2). In 
this way you can rapidly advance through the command dialogs 
just by pressing RETURN for options you do not wish to 
energize. Be warned, however, that there is no way to backtrack. 
Mistaken orders, even those caused by mistakenly typing 
RETURN at the wrong moment, will be executed! 


2.0 STARTING A GAME 


To play THE WARP FACTOR you start the program and then 
answer a brief series of questions which tell the computer what 
kind of game you want to play. 


2.1 KUN THE PROGRAM 


Insert the game disk into your disk drive and turn on your 
computer. THE WARP FACTOR will then automatically start 
itself. At this point you may begin a new game or continue a 
game previously saved. 


2.2 SELECT NATIONALITY 


In most cases the program will ask you to select the 
nationality you wish to play, giving you a choice of the Alliance, 
Klargon, Reman, Starbase, Imperial or Freemen. (You won't 
always have complete freedom of choice, depending on which 
scenario you choose.) Make your selection by typing the first 
two letters of the nationality. 


2.3 SELECT PASSWORD 


In the two-player mode the program will ask you fora secret 
password. When it is your turn to give orders it will demand 
your secret password to be sure that the other playerisn't trying 
to sabotage your ships! Use any short word which will be easy for 
you to remember, then press RETURN. 


2.4 SELECT AND NAME SHIPS 


When you have selected a nationality the program will ask 
how many ships you want. Type a number in the range indicated 
by the program. One or two ships are sufficient for most 
beginners. 

Then the program will ask you to tell it the class (first or 
second) of each ship, and to christen the ship with a unique 
name. You may use any name you wish (even the pilot’s name) 
but no two ships may have names beginning with the same 
initial. The program will check each name as it is entered and 
reject any which start with an initial that has already been 
taken. 


35.0 KOUTINE OF PLAY 


In THE WARP FACTOR play occurs in “turns” representing 
approximately 30 seconds of action. A turn consists of a 
command phase in which both players issue orders to all of their 
ships, and an execution phase in which the computer conducts 
movement and firing activity of all ships simultaneously. 


4.0 COMMAND PHASE 


In the command phase of the turn each player has an 
opportunity to issue orders to his ships while the other player 
discreetly maintains his distance from the computer. The 


6 


KUNNING THE PROGRAM 


computer will announce the beginning of each player’s com- 
mand phase by demanding that player's password. (In solitaire 
play no password is required.) 

Each player’s command phase is divided into a Recon 
Dialog, Allocate Energy Dialog, and Maneuver and Fire Dialog 
for each ship or fleet under his command. 


4.1 RECON DIALOG 


At the beginning of the command phase for each player the 
program will ask you: 


Do you wish to check a ship’s status (Y or N)? 


At this point you are allowed to check the status of any of your 
ships before you decide whether you wish to give fleet orders. 
After you have reviewed your ships you will be asked: 


Do you wish to give fleet orders? 


Refer to section 4. for the details of fleet orders. Once you have 
selected your fleet (or decided not to issue orders to your 
ships as a fleet) you will be presented with the following 
command menu: 


What are your orders (SD = Set Display, SC = Status Check, 
AE = Allocate Energy, IS = Identify Ship EN = End Game)? 


TheSD, SC and IS options provide you with the tactical status of 
the battle, and are explained more fully below. Do not request 
the AE (Allocate Energy) option until you are sure that you are 
ready to allocate the ship’s energy. Once embarked on the 
Allocate Energy dialog there is no choice but to finish it and no 
way to make changes later. Only type EN when you wish to end 
the game. 


4.1.1 SD (Set Display) 


This command sets the “view screen” to display the tactical 
situation. When you type SD the program will ask: 


New Origin to be centered on ship’s new position (Y or N)? 


In most cases the best thing to dois to press the Y key, which will 
center the tactical display on the current ship. If you press the N 
key or just hit RETURN you will be asked: 


New Origin’s X coordinate? 
New Origin’s Y coordinate? 


With a little experience you will be able to set the center of the 
display to any part of the battle area, but at first enter 0 and 0. 
This centers the display on the center of the battle area. The 
next question is: 


What power of magnification (—5 to 5)? 


A magnification of —5 shows a very tiny part of the battle area, 
while a magnification of 5 displays an immense field of view 
(nearly 500 Mk across). Try a magnification of 2 or3 at first and 
then experiment a little. If nothing shows up on thescreen trya 
higher number. See Figure 5 for examples. 

At the very beginning of a game the best view of the 
situation is obtained by typing SD, RETURN, RETURN, RETURN, 
1, RETURN, to these questions. This centers the display at 
coordinate.(0,0) and sets the maximum magnification that will 
still show all the ships of both sides on the screen. 


4.1.2 IS (Identify Ship) 


The IS command lets you display sensor information about 
the ships shown on the view screen. As soon as you type IS the 
image of each ship on the display screen is replaced by the 
initial of the ship’s name. (If the screen is not visible when you 
type IS the program will put you through part of the Set Display 
dialog before going on to the Identify Ship dialog). 

The program will then inquire: 


Figure 5: SET DISPLAY DIAGRAMS 
(Alliance Attack on a Starbase) 


Centered on (0,0), magnification 1. Best overall view at start 
of battle. 


Same tactical display centered on Alliance Flagship at 
indicated magnifications: 





What ship do you wish to check? 


Type the initial of the ship you are interested in, or press 
RETURN if finished. The program will present you with a 
display similar to this: 


SHIP’S NAME CLS CRS SPD RNG FSH BEARING 
TERRA UNION 1 225 10 = 4i l 47 


(Type RETURN to check another ship.) 
This display tells you the ship’s name, class (1st or 2nd), its 
course, its speed, its range from your ship, which of your shields 
is facing it, and the most direct course from your position to the 
target ship. Press the RETURN button to check another ship. 
When you are finished identifying ships press the RETURN 
button in reply to the program’s request for the next ship 
initial. The view screen will then reconvert to ship images. 


4.1.3 SC (Status Check) 


The Status Check gives you a readout of the readiness of 
your ships. First it asks: 


For which ship? 


(Press RETURN to continue.) 

Type the initial or name of the ship you want to check, followed 
by RETURN. The screen will fill with status notations (explained 
below). Press RETURN when you are ready to return to the 
command menu. The status table contains the following 
information: 

Shield: The status of each of the ship’s six shields. If the shield 
strength is zero the shield is down. 

Phaser: If the phaser is operational the display tells you what 
type of phaser it is (siege, heavy, light). If the phaser has been 
damaged you'll see a line of stars (* * * *). 

Torpedo: The numbers in this column tell you the charging 
state of each torpedo launcher. This is crucial information, 
since Alliance photon torpedoes must be charged for two 
consecutive turns before firing, and Reman plasma torpedoes 
require three charging turns. The numbers displayed in this 
readout tell you the number of charges already applied to each 
torpedo launcher. A star next to the charging state indicates 
that the torpedo is overloaded; if this column contains a line of 
stars (* * * *) the torpedo launcher has been destroyed. 
Disruptor: The disruptorcolumn replaces the torpedo column 
on some ships. A 1 indicates the disruptor is ready to fire (witha 
star indicating an overloaded state). 

Drones: Indicates the number of remaining undamaged drones. 
Sensors and Scanners: Indicates the operational efficiency of 
the tracking and fire control systems. 

Course and Speed: The current bearing and speed of the ship. 
Phaser Battery: Before phasers can be fired their batteries 
must first be energized. Once energized, the batteries will holda 
charge indefinitely until the phasers are fired. The number here 
represents the number of phasers you can fire before recharging 
the phaser batteries. Note that siege phasers use two units 
of energy. 

Engine Power: This is the total energy available from all 
operating warp engines, impulse engines, and atomic energy 
reactors. 

Number of Batteries: Some of the ship’s excess power can be 
stored in the ship’s batteries. Ships begin play with these 
batteries fully charged. If you allocate more energy than is 
available from the engines it will be drawn from the batteries. 
Whenever you allocate less energy than is available from the 
engines the excess is automatically applied to recharging the 
batteries. 

Transporter: This number tells you the current maximum 
number of boarding parties you can beam aboard an enemy 
vessel per turn. 

Damage Level: This percentage reflects the overall impact of 
enemy weapons on non-critical portions of the ship (ie., 25% 
indicates that %4 of the ship’s non-vital areas have been 
destroyed). 

Critical Level: A measure of the damage which threatens the 
survival of the ship itself. 

Friendly Marines: The number of friendly Marine boarding 
parties aboard the ship. 


8 


Enemy Marines: The number of enemy boarding parties aboard. 
Cloaking Device Operational: On Reman ships this notation 
appears if the cloaking device is operational. 


These data will provide you with the critical information you 
need prior to making your command decisions. 


4.1.4 EN (End Game) 


This command will end the game and allow the player(s) to 
determine victory levels. This command will also allow the 
player(s) to save a game for future play. 


4.2 ALLOCATE ENERGY DIALOG 


The AE command is a one-way ticket to the Allocate Energy 
dialog. Don't give this command unless you are really ready to 
allocate energy. Note that it is usually most convenient to run 
the Allocate Energy dialog immediately after displaying the 


‘status of the ship. That way you can look over the status report 


while allocating energy. 

Enter the Allocate Energy dialog by typing the AE (Allocate 
Energy) command. The program will respond with a message 
similar to this: 


Scanners on. Life Support on. 
Power Remaining = 45 
Power to Phasers (0 to 6)? 


The program automatically allocates energy to the scanners 
and life support systems, without which the crew would be 
functionally blind, deaf, and short of breath. Then it displays 
the total of the remaining engine and battery power. Lastly, it 
inquires how many units of energy you want to allocate to the 
phaser batteries, and prompts you with the minimum and 
maximum possible values. Usually it is best to keep the phasers 
fully charged. Press the “6” key and RETURN. 


NOTE: Reman ships will be asked the following before they are 
asked to allocate energy to phasers: 


Cloaking Device on (Y or N)? 


Reman ships have the option to expend one unit of energy to 
run the Cloaking Device. If the Cloaking Device is turned on 
enemy ships will be unable to determine your range, course and 
speed, and enemy fire directed at you will be severely reduced in 
effectiveness. On the other hand, you won't be able to shoot 
back at all. You must allocate one unit of energy to the Cloaking 
Device each turn or it will turn itself off automatically. That can 
be a disaster if you aren't expecting it! The next message is: 


Power Remaining = 39 
Any power to Torpedoes (Y or N)? 


(Some ships ask about disruptors instead of torpedoes.) If you 
don't want to energize the torpedoes, press RETURN. Otherwise 
press the Y key and RETURN. 


Normal load which torpedoes? 


To charge torpedo launchers for normal! firing, type the numbers 
of the appropriate launchers one after another and then press 
RETURN, such as 


1234<RETURN> 


where “<RETURN>” means to press the RETURN button. This 
command would energize torpedo launchers 1 through 4. Ifyou 
don’t want to load any torpedoes just press RETURN by itself. 


Overload which torpedoes? 


If the target is within eight Megaklicks of your ship and the 
torpedoes (or disruptors) need only one more charge before 
firing, you may “overload” them to increase their explosive 
effect. Type the numbers of the torpedoes you wish to overload 
and press RETURN. 

Note that this dialog lets you load some torpedoes for long 
distance shots and also overload others for more powerful 
close-range attacks. The same torpedo may not be both loaded 
and overloaded in the same turn. If you don’t want to overload 
any torpedoes just press RETURN by itself. 


How much energy to Shield Support? 


Type the number of energy points you wish to allocate to general 
shield support and press RETURN. For each two units of energy 
allocated the shields will deflect one unit of damage. Shield 
support applies equally to all shields, and is best used when you 
are in the middle of a complex battle and don’t really know 
which of your shields will be attacked. Otherwise it is best to 
allocate zero energy (just press RETURN). 


Do you wish to reinforce any shields? 


Each unit of energy allocated to a particular shield will deflect 
one unit of damage applied to that shield only. Usually shield 
support is best used when you are flying in to attack the enemy 
and know that any damage you sustain will hit a particular 
shield. To reinforce a shield type the Y key and RETURN. You 
will see: 


Energy to Shield #1? 


Type the number of energy units you want to allocate to 
Shield #1 and press RETURN. Then you will be asked about 
Shield #2, etc. To allocate zero energy to a shield press RETURN 
by itself. If you want to exit from the shield reinforcement dialog 
without going through all six shields just press the X key and 
RETURN. 


What speed do you wish to go? 


Enter the speed (number of Megaklicks per turn) you want the 
ship to travel, then press RETURN. The amount of energy 
needed is a function of the ship’s mass, and speed (see Energy 
Diagram). A ship can go as fast as its engine power will allow, 
but speeds in excess of 30 Mk/turn tend to be unwieldy. Note 
that the ships have limited acceleration capabilities, and no 
matter how much energy you allocate they will not exceed their 
rated acceleration. (The excess energy is lost.) Although acceler- 
ation is limited, deceleration is not. All ships can stop ona dime 
if desired. 


ENERGY DIAGRAM 
SPEED MASS 

1/2 2/3 1 4/3 
0 0 0 0 0 
l 0 0 1 l 
2 0) 0 2 3 
3 0 l 3 5 
4 1 1 4 7 
5 1 2 5 8 
6 1 2 6 10 
7 l 3 7 12 
8 2 3 8 14 
9 2 4 9 16 
10 2 4 10 17 
11 2 4 11 19 
12 3 5 12 21 
13 3 5 13 23 
14 3 6 14 24 
15 3 6 15 26 
16 4 7 16 28 
17 4 7 17 30 
18 4 8 18 32 
19 4 8 19 33 
20 5 8 20 35 
21 5 9 21 37 
22 5 9 22 39 
23 5 10 23 40 
24 6 10 24 42 
25 eee 11 25 44 
26 6 11 26 46 
27 6 12 27 48 
28 7 12 28 49 
29 7 12 29 51 
30 7 13 30 53 
31 7 13 31 55 
32 8 14 32 56 
33 8 14 33 58 
34 8 15 34 60 
35 8 15 35 62 
36 9 16 36 64 
37 9 16 37 65 
38 9 16 38 67 
39 9 17 39 69 
40 10 17 40 71 


Cross index the ship's mass with the desired speed. The result 
is the required energy. Example: A ship with mass 4/3 wants to 
go 20. The energy required for this speed would be 35. 


If you want the ship to back up, you may request a negative 

speed, although this will require half again as much energy. A 
ship may not begin its turn witha speed greater than 0 ifitis to 
move backwards (i.e., a ship must stop before moving back- 
wards). In this case the ship’s stated course will be the direction 
the bow is pointing, not the true direction of travel. To entera 
speed of zero press RETURN by itself. A ship travelling at speed 
zero has three times its normal turning rate. 
NOTE: At any point you have the option to terminate the 
allocate Energy dialog by typing X and RETURN. Zero energy 
will be allocated to all remaining facilities except batteries, 
which will be automatically recharged if there is sufficient 
energy remaining. The program will automatically terminate 
the dialog when you have allocated all available energy. 


How much ECM (0 to 6)? 


Usually you will want to allocate as much energy as you can to 
Electronic Counter-Measures because energy spent here may 
disrupt enemy fire control systems, making drones miss your 
ship and enemy sensors fail to lock. 


How much ECCM (0 to 6)? 


Electronic Counter-Counter-Measures help you overcome 
enemy ECM and lock sensors in spite of his jamming. 


Energy to transporters (0 to 3)? 


Energy allocated to the transporter represents an attempt to 
beam Marine boarding parties to another ship (one boarding 
party per unit of energy). You can beam Marines between 
friendly ships at any time, but the transporter can penetrate 
enemy ships only when aimed directly through a fallen shield. 
Otherwise the attempt fails and the allocated energy is lost. 
(The Marines are not injured by unsuccessful beaming attempts.) 
If you allocate energy to the transporter you will be asked, 


What ship is the target? 


Type the initial of the target ship and press RETURN. 
This concludes the Allocate Energy Dialog. At this point the 
program proceeds directly to the Maneuver and Fire Dialog. 


4.3 MANEUVER AND FIRE DIALOG 


When you are done allocating energy the program will, if 
necessary, ask you for some routine view screen parameters 
and then offer you this command menu: 


What are your orders (MS = Move Ship, SD = Set Display, 
IS = Identify Ship, SC = Status Check, FW = Fire Weapons)? 


The Set Display, Identify Ship and Status Check commands are 
the same as before (See above). This time, however, the Allocate 
Energy option is not available, but you can issue orders to Move 
Ships and Fire Weapons. 


4.3.1 FW (Fire Weapons) 


During each 30-second “turn” each of your ships may fire 
up to three aimed salvos using any combinations of weapons 
and targets (but a particular weapon may be fired only once per 
turn). WARNING: The FW command may only be given once 
per ship. When you enter the Fire Weapons command the 
program will ask: 


Fire which torpedoes? 


(For some ships the program asks about disruptors instead.) 
Specify the torpedoes you wish to fire in the first salvo by typing 
the number of each torpedo launcher, one after another, and 
press RETURN, like this: 

1234<RETURN> 

where “<RETURN>” means to push the RETURN button. Next, 
you will be asked: 


Fire which phasers? 


You may designate the phasers you wish to fire in the first salvo 
by typing in their numbers, just like the torpedoes, and 
pressing RETURN. 


What ship is the target? 


Type the initial of the first salvo’s target ship, then press 
RETURN. (If there is only one enemy ship this question will 
not appear.) 


Fire at (R)ange, (T)ime, or (L)ast Instant? 


This is the point where you can make some very sophisticated 
decisions about your orders to your gun crews. Somtimes a 
battle can be won or lost right here. The options are: 
(R)ange: The range option tells the individual weapon crews to 
fire as soon as the target is within the specified range. This 
command has two useful results. 

If you are firing overcharged torpedoes you must shoot 
when the range is between two and eight Megaklicks or the 
torpedoes will have no effect. (If the range is less than two Mk 
the torpedoes will hit the target without exploding. At ranges 
over 8 Mk they run out of fuel.) Setting the firing range to 8 Mk 
as you move in toward the target guarantees that the torpedoes 
will fire at the right moment. 





Figure 6: Firing at the “Last Instant” may mean: 

A) Firing at the moment of closest approach. 

B) Firing before the target leaves the area covered by your 
facing shield. 





C) Firing just before your movement causes a different one 
of your shields to face the target. 


The other use for the range command involves a trick for 
bringing your rear phasers into play. The range command puts 
the phaser crews on the alert, telling them to fire at the first 
moment that the target is within range and their weapons will 
bear on it. For instance, in an attack on an outpost you can 
instruct your phaser crews to fire at a range of 1 Mk and then 
maneuver your ship to pass directly over the outpost. When the 
ship comes within 1 Mk of the target all forward-facing phasers 
will fire. Then as you pass the outpost all rear-facing phasers 
will fire, too! 

(T)ime: Each 30-second “turn” of the battle is broken down 
into sixteen arbitrary “time units.” The time command lets you 
designate the exact moment to fire a salvo. This command lets 
you coordinate the fire of several ships to fire simultaneously 
into the same shield of the same target ship. It also lets you give 
orders to shoot immediately (time = 1) and possibly preempt 
the enemy’s attack by damaging his ship before he can fire. Ifa 
weapon cannot fire at the indicated time due to its field of fire, 
the weapon will not fire during the turn. 

(L)ast Instant: This command instructs a weapon crew to hold 
their fire until the last moment, which may mean one of three 
things (see Figure 6). 

They will hold their fire as long as the target is getting closer, 


and then fire at the exact moment when the range begins to _ 


increase again (thus firing at the closest approach). 

They will fire instantly if the target is moving in such a 
manner as to leave the area covered by your facing shield (where 
the “facing shield” is defined to be the shield which would be 
damaged if the enemy ship were to fire). 

If none of the previous events occur during the turn, the 
crews will fire their weapons on the last moment of the turn. 

When you have finished giving orders for the first salvo, the 


10 


program will ask you about the second salvo, and then the third. 
If you want to cut this short (firing less than three salvos this 
turn) just press the RETURN key twice. 

If you are commanding a vessel equipped with drones, the 
last step of the Fire Weapons dialog will be the question: 


Launch any drones (Y or N)? 
If so, press the Y key and you will see: 
What type of drone (1 or 2)? 


Type 1 drones are fast, short-lived and carry a small warhead 
(about 10 damage units). Type 2 drones are slower, long-lived 
and much more powerful (about 20 damage units). Press 1 or 2 
to launch the appropriate drone. (If you have only one type of 
drone available the program won't ask which kind to fire.) If the 
program asks you to identify the target ship type the ship’s 
initial. ; 
' The last step for Reman ships involves firing the plasma 
torpedo. If the plasma torpedo launcher is fully energized, the 
Reman commander will be asked: 


Do you wish to launch your Plasma Torpedo (Y or N)? 


Press Y to fire, N or RETURN to abort the torpedo. Remember, 
though, that plasma torpedoes must be fired when they are 
ready or you lose them and have to spend another three turns 
recharging the launcher. If there is more than one enemy ship 
you will be asked to identify the target. Type the initial of the 
target ship. 


4.3.2 MS (Move Ship) 


The MS (Move Ship) command gives you control over 
alterations in the ship’s course but not its speed. (Speed was set 
during the Allocate Energy dialog.) 

When you give Move Ship commands, it is important to 
understand that the program breaks each turn down into 
sixteen “time points,” each of them approximately equal to two 
seconds of combat time. The Move Ship dialog makes heavy use 
of these time points to express flight time between course 
changes. 

When you give the Move Ship command you will see: 


Time Pts. Course Speed Xcoord Y coord 
16 4 10 —13 —15 


What is your new course (0 to 360)? 


This display tells you that there are 16 time units left in the turn 
and that the ship is moving on a bearing of 45° at 10 Mk/turm. It 
also gives you the absolute X and Y coordinates of the ship in 
the battlespace. To enter your next desired course, type it inand 
press the RETURN key. 

NOTE: If you press RETURN without entering a new course your 
ship will continue on its old course. 


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Figure 7: This Alliance cruiser needed two successive MS 
(move ship) commands to describe this S-curve. The first MS 
command turns the ship to bearing 90° for 5 time units. The 
second command alters course to O° for six time units. At least 
one more MS commands would be required to complete the 
remaining 5 time units of the turn. 


For how many time points (1 to 16)? 

This question lets you set the duration of the ship’s flight along 
the new bearing. You can enter up to sixteen course alterations 
per turn if you like (one time point each), or you can order the 
ship to maintain the new course for the whole turn by pressing 
RETURN (sixteen time units). Be sure to remember that the 
larger ships are not very maneuverable, and may take all 16 
time units or even more to come around to your new heading. 

Each time you have defined a new course and duration the 
_ program plots the resulting position of the ship on the display 
screen and then returns you to the command menu. You will 
have to give the MS order again to give another course and 
duration command. When you do, the display will show your 
new course, speed, location and remaining time resulting from 
your previous set of orders. This lets you enter several con- 
secutive movement commands so you can see exactly where 
your ship is going and make midcourse corrections. See Figure 7 
for an example. 

WARNING!!! When you have given the movement orders for 
the sixteenth (final) time unit of the turn the command phase 
for this ship is finished! Be sure that you have given your Fire 
Weapons orders before finishing the movement orders! 

When the orders phase for the current ship is over the 
program will automatically go on to your next ship, the enemy’s 
ships, or to the execution phase. 


4.4 FLEET ORDERS 


During the orders phase of each turn a commander may 
designate certain of his ships as belonging to special “fleets,” to 
which he will issue fleet orders. Each fleet consists of a 
designated flagship and one or more subordinate ships. The 
commander issues orders to the flagship as if for an individual 
ship, and then the program automatically re-issues the same 
orders to the remaining ships within that fleet. Fleet orders 
greatly speed up issuing orders to large numbers of ships. 

In any turn a commander may elect to issue orders to 
individual ships, issue fleet orders to all ships (in one or more 
fleets), or he may assign some ships to fleets while issuing 
individual orders to the others. 

At several points within the Command Phase you will be 
asked: 


Do you wish to give Fleet Orders (Y or N)? 


If not, type N or RETURN and issue orders to individual ships as 
described above. To issue fleet orders, type Y. The computer will 
then list all available ships, assigning a number between 0 and 
9 to each. ship. It will then ask: 


Available ships: 
0 Endeavor 


1 Valiant 
2 Terra Union 
3 Intrepid 


What ships do you wish in this fleet? 


Type the number corresponding to the flagship, followed by the 
numbers of the subordinate ships and press RETURN. For 
example: 


203<RETURN> 

designates the Alliance dreadnought Terra Union (T) as the 
flagship of a fleet composed of the Endeavor (E) and the 
Intrepid (I). 

Next the program will demand orders for the flagship (Terra 
Union), and will go through the standard Allocate Energy 
dialog and Maneuver and Fire dialog for that ship. On com- 
pletion of the orders to the flagship, the program will auto- 
matically issue the same orders to the subordinate ships 
(Endeavor and Intrepid). 

If there are other ships (not in this fleet) which still require 
orders, the program will give the player the opportunity to 
define another fleet or to issue individual orders to the remain- 
ing ships. A player might define as many as four fleets (of two 
ships each) if he has that many vessels at his command. 


5.0 EXECUTION PHASE 


When the orders for all craft have been given the program 
proceeds to the execution phase. During this phase the com- 
puter moves all ships and drones gradually and simultaneously 
along their ordered courses, firing all designated weapons at 
appropriate moments. The program prints messages announc- 
ing all significant activity as it occurs, determines the extent of 
damage to each ship as it is inflicted, and then automatically 
initiates the orders phase for the next turn. 


6.0 EVALUATION OF THE BATTLE 


When one side or the other has destroyed or captured all 
enemy ships the program will end the game and rate the victor 
on his skill. In determining this rating the program takes into 
account the relative strength of the opposing forces as well as 
the outcome of the battle. Therefore, a victory of six Klargon 
dreadnoughts over a single Freemen freighter does not reflect 
much credit on the Klargon commander, but if the freighter 
had won its commander would have been covered with laurels! 
In this context it is far more glorious to capture the enemyships 
than to destroy them. This also makes it possible for a com- 
mander who is losing to deny the enemy the victory by turning 
his phasers on his own ships! Better death than dishonor! 

For a complete description of victory conditions see the 
game selection card. 


7.0 THE EPILOG 


When the game has ended the program will offer you the 
option to examine the final status of the ships. 

The status tables displayed during the Epilog of the game 
are not like the Status Check tables. The Epilog tables show the 
detailed internal breakdown of damage within each ship. The 
extent of damage is expressed in percentages where 0% means 
a device has been totally destroyed. Those entries shown as 
stars (*) instead of percentages are facilities which never did 
exist in this type of ship and therefore could not be damaged. 


APPENDICES 


A.O PLAYTESTER’S NOTES ON 
STAKSHIP TACTICS | 

The basic principles of good tactical deployment still hold 
true in space, but the nature of the offensive and defensive 
armament addsa fewwrinkles which do not occurin combat on 
land, the sea, or even in the air. Here are a few observations from 
one starship commander with several successful campaigns 
behind him... 


A.1 PRINCIPLES OF STARSHIP COMBAT 
Starship battle is nearly all offensive. There is no territory 


to defend and nowhere to run. Therefore most engagements 
tend to be aggressive fights to the finish in which one side orthe 
other is totally eliminated. The only exception occurs when 
freighters try to outrun their tormenters, but that isn’t really 
“combat.” 

The first principle of starship combat is to concentrate 
your force as much as possible. The ideal attack consists of 
maneuvering your fleet so that all of your ships can fire 
simultaneously at a single shield of asingle enemy ship, usually 
the closest one. Such an attack can destroy the target ship at 
once, especially if the enemy commander expects the attack to 
hit somewhere else. 


11 


One especially dramatic example of this principle is the 

classic Klargon “drone swarm” attack on a Starbase, recently 
adopted by the Imperial forces for attacks on Freemen outposts 
(see Figure 8). 
In this attack the assaulting ships rendezvous 29 Mk from the 
base. Once assembled they launch a swarm of Type 2 drones 
and fly directly toward the base at a speed of 10 Mk/turn using 
all available energy to reinforce their forward shields. 

In the second turn they launch another round of Type 2 
drones and continue toward the target at 10 Mk/turn. In turn 
three the Klargons launch a third round of drones, energize all 
weapons, and deliberately overfly the base to fire phasers and 
disruptors at minimum range. Performed with good fleet coordi- 
nation this attack concentrates 27 drones, 54 disruptors and 
45 phasers on the same defensive screen at the same moment 
...an onslaught which not even a Starbase can withstand. (The 
attack results in about 1000 units of damage toa single shield)! 


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Figure 8: The Klargon drone-swarm attack on a starbase. 
Nothing can stand against it. 


If you keep track of your hits on particular enemy shields it 
is possible to deliberately maneuver to hit the same shields on 
subsequent turns. It isn’t easy, but the Identify Ship routine 
tells you the heading of the enemy ship, which in turn tells you 
the orientation of its shields. With a little attention to detail you 
can damage the same shield again and again until it falls. 


The second principle of starship tactics, closely related to 
the first, is to maximize your firepower. This means to coordi- 
nate as many weapons as possible to fire in the shortest 
possible time at the shortest possible range. This is usually a 
little difficult due to the limited fields of fire of some starship 
weapons, not all of which will bear on the same target at the 
same time. Commanders quickly learn four tactical tricks 
which help them overcome this handicap: 

(1) The J-curve attack. Fly directly toward the target and fire 
all forward-facing weapons at once. Then turn sharply to one 
side and fire rear-facing weapons as they come to bear. 

(2) The Fly-by attack. Deliberately overfly the target’s position, 
firing forward weapons during the approach and rear weapons 
during the departure. 

(3) Carouselling. Spin a motionless ship or base on its axis 
and fire all weapons as they come to bear. 

(4) Threading the Needle. To maximize your own firepower 
while minimizing the enemy’s, suddenly fly your ships right 
through the center of his fleet! You will be able to shoot with all 
weaponsat the targets surrounding you, but he will only be able 
to fire the weapons which can be brought to bear on the center 
of his own formation! 

The third principle is to minimize your own damage. The 
“threading the needle” tactic does this by forcing the enemy 
ships to fire at you from all directions, denying them the 
opportunity to concentrate their fire ona single shield. Thisisa 
point where starship tactics differ sharply from classical 
experience. In space you are actually safest when in the center 
of the enemy formation because this denies him the ability to 
concentrate his firepower on individual screens! 

The enemy commander doesn’t know how badly damaged 
your ships are until they are destroyed entirely. If you have a 


12 





ship that can’t shoot effectively but can still move, order it out 
to the point position to draw fire away from your other ships. 
Turn the ship’s strongest remaining shields toward the enemy 
and reinforce them with all available energy. This makes the 
crippled ship even more resistant to damage than an intact 
ship, because the undamaged vessel cannot afford the luxury of 
devoting all energy to shields. Aship which can’t shoot anymore 
can still donate its energy to the battle by attracting enemy fire 
this way. 

Another way to limit your own damage is to execute a series 
of 90° course changes at illogical moments during each turn. 
This has the effect of spreading enemy fire over two or three of 
your shields where it might all have hit one shield otherwise. 


A.2 TACTICS OF SPACE FIGHTER COMBAT 


The tactics of fighting in very small spacecraft are a little 
different. Imperial and Freemen one-man fighters carry forward- 


‘shooting phasers and homing drones but little else. A fighter 


must fly directly toward a target in order to shoot at it with 
phasers, but the pilot must desperately avoid enemy drones. If 
the enemy launches a drone the only defense is to outrun it, but 
while you are running you can’t shoot at the fighter! This 
produces dogfights where the object is to simultaneously 
outrun and dodge the enemy drones while trying to get the 
opposing fighter in your sights for a phaser shot. It is an 
intricate and deadly ballet. 

One situation which develops in fighter engagements is a 
stern chase where an enemy fighter comes in on your tail with 
phasers blazing, but you can’t turn and fight because there’s a 
drone tracking you, too. Of course you can drop a drone with the 
enemy fighter’s name on it, but if he is going fast enough the 
drone may miss him and be unable to catch up to him again. A 
better tactic is to cut your speed to zero, use the resulting 
surplus energy to fortify your rear shield, and blast him with 
your phasers as he overshoots you! The odds are that he didn’t 
think to reinforce his rear shield... 


A.3 BOARDING ENEMY SHIPS 


Boarding enemy ships can be a risky matter, but it’s 
rewarding under the right circumstances. Starbases, capable of 
beaming 22 boarding parties per turn, can capture enemy 
ships with relatively little trouble. Remember that intraship 
combat greatly favors the defenders. The assaulting troops will 
need at least a three to one advantage in numbers in order to 
prevail over the defending Marines, and even then non-Marine 
crew members and automatic defense systems (booby traps) 
may prevent the boarders from seizing the ship. 


A.4 COMMENTS ON FLEET ORDERS 


There are drawbacks to fleet orders which require some 
experience with the ships to fully appreciate. Once you select a 
flagship you may only issue orders which are appropriate to 
that ship. The subordinate ships will then attempt to exactly 
mimic the behavior of the flagship. If the flagship is damaged, or 
is of a different design than the subordinate ships, the fleet 
orders issued from it may detract from the efficiency of the fleet 
as a whole. 

As a worst case, consider a fleet composed of a Freeman 
freighter flagship and two Freeman fighters. The ships can 
maneuver together fairly well because the fighters can easily 
outperform the freighter. Wherever the freighter goes they can 
dutifully follow. Since all ships are armed with Type 1 drones, a 
fleet order from the freighter to fire drones at one particular 
target will result in three drones aimed at that target (never at 
different targets). 

So far, so good. But if the freighter gives phaser orders the 
fleet is in trouble. The freighter’s phasers #1 and #2 fire aft, 
while the fighters’ phasers shoot forward. Fleet orders to fire 
phasers #1 and #2 at a designated target will result in some 
ships firing and others not (depending on the location of the 
target). Also, if the flagship’s phasers were damaged, no phaser 
in the fleet would be able to fire! 

Another place where you can get into trouble with fleet 
orders is by commanding the flagship to exceed the maximum 
speed of the subordinate vessels. In this case the flagship may 


outrun the fleet! It is also possible for the fleet to outrun the 
flagship if you neglect to allow for differences in acceleration! 
This means that you have to select your flagship carefully, 
and in some cases it is best to assign only identical ships to a 
fleet. Remember, the orders issued to the flagship are followed 
blindly by the fleet. 
Fleet orders require care on the part of the commander. 
Here are a few suggestions to minimize your troubles: 
Fleets of Alliance or Klargon Starships: Use undamaged 
dreadnoughts as flagships. They can easily command mixed 
fleets of cruisers and dreadnoughts if necessary. Don't put 
cruisers in command of fleets of dreadnoughts unless you want 
to hamper the dreadnoughts’ firepower. 
Keman Fleets: Keep the cruisers in separate fleets from the 
stodgy destroyers. Never mix them. 
Starbases: Try not to mix starbases and outposts in the same 
fleets. Their fields of fire are too different to coordinate well. If 
you must, make the starbase the flagship. Never assign a 
starbase to a fleet with an outpost flagship. 
Imperial Fleets: It’s best not to mix fighters in fleets with 
raiders, but it can be done if you don’t want to fire drones. Use 
the raider (1st class Imperial) as the flagship. If you usea fighter 
as a flagship in a fleet of raiders it may leave the raiders behind. 
Freeman Fleets: Never, NEVER, try to mix fighters with 
freighters! Total pandemonium results due to the radically 


CREDITS 


different phaser fields of fire. Phasers that point forward don’t 
coordinate well with phasers that point to the rear! 


B.O NOTES ON MULTI-PLAYER SCENARIOS 


Although the program is not designed for multi-player 
scenarios, it is possible to misuse it slightly and incorporate as 
many as eight players all in competition against one another. 
(May the best pilot win!) 

To do this run the two-player version of the program and 
give the “first player” up to eight identical ships, starbases or 
fighters. Then assign the “second player” exactly two ships. The 
players can each command one of “player one’s” ships, which 
are quite capable of maneuvering independently and firing on 
one another! When it is time for the “second player” to give 
commands, just allocate zero energy for everything and order 
the ships to move in random directions. The result is a two-to 
eight-way melee where it’s every pilot for himself. The last ship 
left alive is the winner. This approach is especially useful for 
two-player duels where the pilots wish to fly exactly identical 
spacecraft. 

For an unusual variation of this idea run the “Dogfight” 
scenario and let the computer command the two craft originally 
assigned to the “second player.” Then while the human players 
are fighting it out forsupremacy the computer will be moving in 
for the kill... 


Game Design and Development: Paul Murray, Bruce D. Clayton 
Starship Operation Manual: Bruce D. Clayton 
Art and Graphics: Louis Saekow Design 


Typsetting: Abracadabra Type 


Printing: A&a Printers 





You never thought your computer could be this exciting! 


13 


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