Game #DH15: This will be a standard DH-game and should start in late October.
Want to give one of these a try? Fill out an initial build form online!
European Players: Send email to Pagoda Games, who is officially authorized to run SFW throughout Europe! Note that Pagoda Games uses a different game list than the above.
Others: We'll run custom games for anyone with a small group wishing to play in private; if you want more information, just ask! We are also always looking for teams for Historical Games. Interested? Let us know!
Die Hard games, or DH-games, normally have 25 players, though this can be lower. These players are arranged so that no player shares a border with another. For example, if a player is in sector 11, no one will be in any of the sectors around him (00, 01, 02, 10, 12, 20, 21, or 22). Beyond that, the arrangement varies from game to game.
In a typical (full) game, there will be 100 sectors, 25 of which contain players. The others can be wild or NPC, and may be arranged in a pattern or totally at random. The occasional game will be all-wild. This status will not be known in advance. The Graveyard of Ships will appear in a normal DH-game.
Monsters appear as usual, with a nasty one in each wild sector and weaker ones in home sectors. NPCs are defended somewhat better than normal, and may fortify and build ships more frequently. In addition, some ships they build will stay put on their Home Office as garrisoned defense units.
Players start the game with 1000 EPs (plus the usual 100 from their Home Office production), but cannot request loans. Corp Numbers are scrambled, so you won't be able to tell where a person is in the game just by looking at their number. Primary races are used in the normal way, and Frax are available as a possible selection. The default build is as listed except that the "RL 999" is replaced with "PS C WG."
Specialty Ships are deactivated, so you can buy them as often as you like (they are treated as any other kind of ship). The only exception is the Seltorian Hive Ship, which remains available only once during the game.
Buy Extended is available. This is a special order, BX, which can only be issued after a BO 10 or BO PERM is in effect. It allows you to buy 10 more orders (that is, orders 21-30) for a cost of 400 EPs. Thus, if you wanted to use 30 orders in a turn, you could issue BO 10 (200 EPs) for orders 11-20 and then BX (400 more EPs for a total of 600) for orders 21-30. (This may sound expensive, but after a while you'll have the money.) The BX order is not available in other games unless that game is specifically noted as using DH-rules. The format of this order is "BX" by itself (no paramters). It is not possible to "BX 5" or "BX PERM," for example. Note: The cost of Buying Orders is double that listed in the basic rulebook; this is a recent rules update that affects all games.
Frax and Seltorians are available as special buys three times during the game each, the Frax in Y176, Y187 and Y198, and the Seltorians in Y178, Y189, and Y200. Note that this works only in DH-games; the two extra purchase opportunities do not appear in non-DH games unless otherwise noted. Note also that the Frax and Seltorians are available as a primary race option, so this feature allows you to buy them outside your primary on the appropriate turn.
The CUSS, a new race, are available only in DH-games and are described during the game. Like Frax and Seltorians, they can only be bought at certain times during the game. In a DH-game, they are available only during Y174, Y185, and Y196. Do not try to buy CUSS ships in any game other than a DH-game. Note: The Warlord's Aide will not recognize the CUSS ships as legal units. To fix this, add their ship base hulls to the Templates database. To do this, just go into that database and hit Insert, then enter the data for the FF, DD, CL, CA, and DN (see SFW News #12). Don't try to enter a class for every possible variation! You only need to make five different entries.
Free Fighters and Free PFs are available as special orders (FF and FP, respectively). The cost for these are 2500 EPs for FF and 4000 for FP, and they are available in Y184 (FF) and Y186 (FP). You will get a reminder announcement about them the turn before they are available. They work exactly like the other "free item" orders do, filling up any ship bought with a load of fighters or PFs as appropriate, but not replacing battle losses. These orders are not available in non-DH games. (Note: The Warlord's Aide will not recognize FF or FP as legal orders, but they will still work in the game.)
XFIT is available as a special ship order. This is something of a super-advanced refit/upgrade combination, increasing a ship's speed by 1 (but not above 6) and adding 20% to AF, DF, SF, and HP. The cost is 50% of the ship's base cost, is paid in EPs, and is not available until Y189. A ship must have an age of at least 10 turns before this order can be used. All improvements are cumulative with REFIT and UPGR orders. XFIT can ONLY be done at a base; you cannot use repair ships, hive ships, or anything else for this purpose. XFIT is only available in DH-games, although a certain Sector Special might make it available if you're lucky enough to find one.
There is a ship limit of 200 ships, not including decoys and logistics bases (but including WGOs). This is a limitation of the game software and cannot be circumvented.
Cheap Ship Sale: The cheap ship sale, which normally appears in Y184, does not appear in DH-games, so don't expect it or plan for it. (If you don't know about the sale, you'll find out 2 turns in advance in any game you're in, so you can worry about it then.)
The game will end at the conclusion of turn 30 (usually Y195 unless a timeshift option is in use) unless otherwise specified at least two turns in advance. The GM reserves the right to alter the end of game time factor, either to extend the game if things are unusually close, or to lower it if a winner is so plainly obvious that continuing the game is a waste of everyone's time and the players' money.
Victory Conditions are defined using a point scale. Players receive points according to this chart:
A "ship kill" is defined as one enemy ship destroyed. This can be scored by either attacking an opponent, or killing enemy ships as they attack you. Bases, decoys, and logistics bases do not count as kills, but monsters, NPCs, pirates, and dead Corps' ships do count. Because of this, it is recommended that players who are dropping out send in one final turn in which they scrap all their ships (especially near the end of the game), except those which guard sites, in order to deny their opponents easy kills.
At the end of the game (after the final turn has completed), the player with the most victory points wins. The winner receives $50 in game credit. Second place receives $25 and third place gets $10. These prizes are provided as a credit to a game account, not as a cash payout, and can never be refunded for real money.
Because of the sheer size that Corporations reach during the game, there is an additional fee for excessively long turns. Unless you use the Warlord's Aide to send in your turns electronically, you will be charged an extra $1 per page after the third page of moves/orders. This is in addition to other fees like fax-in costs. We regret having to include both these limitations in any game, but turns are just too large to do otherwise.
Note on Player Placement: While I go out of my way to arrange players in "fair" spacings in normal games (usually keeping new players well away from former game winners, for example) I won?t be doing this in DH-games. With the map arrangement, there are only two ways you can be placed (2 sectors away from someone or 4 sectors away) and there are only so many patterns possible. Complaining about how close you are to (or how far away from) your most hated enemy you are is a waste of time. If, before the game starts, you want to make a special request, I will TRY to honor it, but make no guarantees. Certain people (you know who you are) who have abused this privilege in the past should take this offer with a grain of salt.
These options MAY be used in certain DH-games, and if so, this will be announced in advance.
Timeshift: The game's starting year is shifted some number of years forward or backward in time. For example, Timeshift +5 sets the start date to Y170. All game features that are based on a year (e.g., refitting is available in Y175) appear on the year stated. In a Timeshift +10, refitting would be available at the start of the game, for example, and with Timeshift +15, you could buy PFs in your initial build.
Choose Your Event: Each turn, you get to pick the event you want to get. For a list and further rules on this procedure, see SFW News #11.
Nomad: There are no Home Offices. You build ships only at Warp Gates, and if you lose all WGs, you can never build another ship. It is impossible to kill a player completely in games like this, which is part of what makes it challenging.
Tournament: These are played in a 6x6 galaxy with 9 players, so that everyone is adjacent to everyone else. The winner is the first to control half the galaxy (18 sectors or 180 sites). The game continues until someone achieves this goal or all other players are destroyed or drop out, or until the remaining players agree on an ordered finish.
No Prospecting: Prospecting always returns zero EPs (though you can still prospect for mines in old minefields). However, all site values are doubled. There is no Graveyard of Ships.
Sector Special: Everyone begins with a Sector Special of their choice on their Home Office. For a list of specials, see SFW News #13 and SFW News #14. You must specify which one you want when you submit your build or startup request. Certain Specials may not be available depending on the game setup rules. Specials WILL cause their effects during the build, e.g., a Ship Ager will cause your starting Warp Gate to begin play 2 turns old, not 1 turn old.
Blitz: This special variant is designed for speed and ease of play. In general, you will tend to have fewer, larger fleets and not so many lone units running around (that way you don't have to try to remember every turn what they were up to). This game uses the regular DH-rules except as follows: