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GalaxyNG User Manual

Rules for Galaxy Next Generation release-5-0g
(Jan 2001)

Based on the rules for Galaxy V3.52: Copyright 1991-1992 by Russell Wallace, Copyright 1993 the Galaxy PBeM Development Group.

Maintained by Frans Slothouber (rfsber@xs4all.nl)

1 Table of Contents

01......... Table of Contents
02......... Introduction
03......... The Galaxy
03.01.......... Units
03.02.......... Names
04......... Planets
04.01.......... Industry
04.02.......... Raw Materials
04.03.......... Population
04.04.......... Colonists
04.05.......... Capital
05......... Technology
06......... Ships
06.01.......... Designing Ships
06.02.......... Building Ships
06.03.......... Groups
06.04.......... Fleets
06.05.......... Movement
06.06.......... Cargo
06.07.......... Routes
07......... Combat
07.01.......... Conquering Planets
07.02.......... War and Peace
07.03.......... Victory and Defeat
08......... Orders
08.01.......... Sending Orders
08.02.......... Advance Orders
08.03.......... Example Set of Orders
08.04.......... Order Format
08.05.......... @ [nation ...]
08.06.......... = <your real name>
08.07.......... A <nation>
08.08.......... B <group> <number of ships>
08.09.......... C <new name>
08.10.......... D <type name> <drive> <attacks> <weapons> <shields> <cargo>
08.11.......... E <type name>
08.12.......... F <nation>
08.13.......... G <group> [number of ships]
08.14.......... H <group>
08.15.......... I <group> <planet> [number of ships]
08.16.......... L <group> <cargo type> [number-of-ships] [AMOUNT <amount>]
08.17.......... M <x> <y> <size>
08.18.......... N <old planet name> <new planet name>
08.19.......... O <option>
08.20.......... P <planet> <product>
08.21.......... Q <your nation name>
08.22.......... R <origin planet> <cargo type> [destination planet]
08.23.......... S <group> <planet> [number of ships]
08.24.......... T <type name> <new name>
08.25.......... U <group> [number-of-ships] [AMOUNT <amount>]
08.26.......... V <planet>
08.27.......... W <nation>
08.28.......... X <group> [number-of-ships]
08.29.......... Y <passwd>
08.30.......... Z <new address>
08.31.......... Things to note
08.32.......... Fleet Orders
09......... Sequence of Events
10......... A few things to note
11......... Inactivity
12......... Your Turn Report
12.01.......... Your Options
12.02.......... Messages
12.03.......... Mistakes
12.04.......... Status of Players
12.05.......... Your Ship Types
12.06.......... Alien Ship Types
12.07.......... Battles
12.08.......... Battle Protocol
12.09.......... Bombings
12.10.......... Map
12.11.......... Incoming Groups
12.12.......... Your Planets
12.13.......... Ships In Production
12.14.......... Your Routes
12.15.......... Alien Planets
12.16.......... Unidentified Planets
12.17.......... Uninhabited Planets
12.18.......... Your Groups
12.19.......... Your Fleets
12.20.......... Alien Groups
12.21.......... Getting a Copy a Turn Report
13......... Hints and Tips
14......... Links to More Information

2 Introduction

Galaxy is a game of interstellar war for several players. You are the leader of your race. You start off by sharing an area of the galaxy with a number of other races and your objective is to become its sole occupant. You must provide a name by which your race will be known e.g. Mutant_Camels, Zzyaxians etc - if you have not already done this you should do it on your first turn, until then you will simply be known as Nation_5 or whatever. See "Orders" for how to change your race name.

3 The Galaxy

The area of the galaxy in which the game is played is a square area (for the sake of simplicity the third dimension is ignored) which contains a number of habitable planets (all other astronomical objects are irrelevant to the game and so are ignored). Each race starts off occupying one (or more, depending on the taste of the GM) planets. All the other planets are uninhabited. It is possible to colonize uninhabited planets and conquer planets inhabited by other races.

3.1 Units

Game units relate to real units as follows: Distances are measured in light-years. Each game unit of population represents 10 million people and each game unit of goods, raw materials etc. represents about 10 million tons. Each game turn represents about four years of time.

3.2 Names

As well as the various races, other things in the game which have names are ship types and planets. Names for all three things may be no more than 20 characters (a character is a letter, digit, or underscore). Ship types are given names by their designer. All planets only have numbers for names at the start of the game. When you colonize a planet you can change its name. You may want to change your home planet's name immediately to something more exciting e.g. from "112" to "Zzyax_Prime". (See the C command.)

4 Planets

4.1 Industry

Each inhabited planet has an industry level. This may not be greater than its population but may be less. The productive capacity of a planet is determined mostly by its industry and partly by its population. Each industry unit on a planet gives one production point, and every 4 population units over and above industry also give one production point. So at the start of the game you have one planet with industry and population of 1,000. This means you have 1,000 production points to be spend on producing whatever you choose. If your home planet had industry 500 and population 1,000 it would generate only 625 production points per turn.

Production points can be spent on producing raw materials, building spaceships, building industry units, or researching an area of technology. Planets also produce extra population, but this does not cost production points.

4.2 Raw Materials

Producing anything other than research requires raw materials as well as production points. Raw materials represent things like sheet steel, copper wire and wood and oil for conversion into plastics. Each planet may have a stockpile of raw materials and if present this will be used. If no stockpile exists, some production points will be allocated to producing raw materials.

For example, suppose you allocate production at the start of the game to building spaceships. Since you start off with no raw material stockpiles, raw materials will have to be produced in order to build the spaceships. (To build spaceships requires an amount of raw materials equal to the total size of the ships built). This is completely invisible from your point of view, the only effect it will have is that spaceship production will be somewhat lower than you would otherwise expect.

The only reason you need to know about materials at all is that some planets are better than others at producing them. Each planet has a Natural Resources attribute which indicates how rich it is in metal deposits, coal and oil etc. Planets high in Natural Resources can produce materials more cheaply. The attribute ranges from 0.1 to 10, the average being 1. Your starting planet has Natural Resources of 10, which means that each production point can produce 10 points of materials. A planet with Natural Resources of 0.1 could only produce 0.1 point of materials for every production point spent on this. So if you colonize some planets with low Natural Resources you should dedicate your planets with high Natural Resources to producing materials and ship them to the other planets.

4.3 Population

Each planet has a Size attribute which can be anything from 0 to 1,000. This is related not only to the planet's physical size but also to how much of it is mountains, desert or oceans, how suitable the climate is for agriculture etc. The planet's population can never be higher than its Size but may be lower. Your starting planet's size and population are both 1,000. A planet's population increases by 8% every turn. Population increases beyond the planet's size are converted into colonists.

4.4 Colonists

Population increases beyond a planet's size are converted into colonists. These are people stored in containers in deep freeze. Every 8 extra population units are converted into 1 unit of colonists. When colonists from a planet's stockpile are shipped to other planets which still have room for population growth, they are automatically thawed out and added to the planet's population. This is how uninhabited planets are colonized. (Note that colonist production is completely automatic, and consumes no production points.)

4.5 Capital

A planet's industry level is increased by the production of capital goods. These represent things like machine tools, computers and transport vehicles. To produce one unit of capital requires 5 production points and 1 unit of raw materials. If the planet's industry level is below its population it will then be increased by one unit. Otherwise the capital units will be stockpiled. If shipped to a planet whose industry level is below its population, that planet's industry level will be increased. This is useful for quickly building up the economy of a colony planet.

5 Technology

You start off with a technology level of 1 in each of the following areas: Drive, Weapons, Shields and Cargo. These levels can be increased by allocating production to research. It costs 5,000 production points to increase a technology level by one point, with the exception of Cargo technology. It only takes 2,500 production points to increase the Cargo technology level by one point. Fractional increases are possible and they are immediately useful e.g. if you spend 500 production points on research into Weapons, your Weapons tech level will go up by one tenth of a point and this will take effect immediately, you don't have to wait until the level goes up by a whole point.

6 Ships

6.1 Designing Ships

Galaxy allows you to design your own types of spaceships! To design a ship, you decide on a name and give numbers for the following:

Some example types are:

Name D A W S C
Drone 1 0 0 0 0
Fighter 1 1 1 1 0
Gunship 4 2 2 4 0
Destroyer 6 1 8 4 0
Cruiser 15 1 15 15 0
Battle Cruiser 30 3 10 30 0
Battleship 25 1 30 35 0
Battle Station 60 3 30 100 0
Orbital Fort 0 3 30 100 0
Space Gun 0 1 10 0 0
Freighter 8 0 0 2 10
Megafreighter 80 2 2 30 100

The Attacks number has to be a whole number, but the others can be fractional. However they must be either zero or at least 1. For example, you can have a Drive of 1.5 but not 0.5. See below for the effects of the numbers.

6.2 Building Ships

You can allocate a planet to producing a type of spaceship. The cost of a ship is equal to its mass times 10 production points. A ship without weapons has a mass of Drive + Shields + Cargo (e.g. a Freighter from the above list has a mass of 20). A ship with one attack has a mass of Drive + Weapons + Shields + Cargo. For a ship with multiple attacks, each attack beyond the first adds half the Weapons number to the ship's mass (e.g. a Gunship has a mass of 11).

Example: If your homeworld was producing Drones, and there was a stockpile of raw materials, it would produce 100 per turn. (If there was no stockpile of raw materials, it would produce slightly over 99 per turn.) However, if it was producing Battleships, it would only produce one and one-ninth per turn. After the first turn, there would be one battleship in orbit, and one one-ninth built. After the second turn there would be two battleships in orbit, and one two-ninths built.

6.3 Groups

In later stages of the game you can have hundreds or even thousands of spaceships, which would be inconvenient to handle individually. Hence spaceships are handled in groups. A group is a collection of spaceships which are all of the same type, in the same place, carrying the same quantity and type of cargo and built with the same tech levels. This last bit is important because a ship's effectiveness depends on the tech level at which it was built. Any ships without a certain type of component are recorded as having a tech level of 0 in that component e.g. unarmed ships are always recorded as having a Weapons tech level of 0 so that two otherwise equal groups of them can be merged into one. You can load an entire group of ships with cargo, send it to another planet etc. with one command. Groups can be split up, and the program will automatically merge together any identical groups after processing your orders.

6.4 Fleets

Fleets are a formed group of different types of ships. They are basically a group of groups. Fleets can be ordered to move around as a single group using the fleet orders. Fleets also do not go off on routes. Also, the speed of the fleet is the speed of the slowest group.

When a individual group is given a 'send' or 'intercept' order it is automatically removed from its current fleet if any. Also, breaking off a number of ships from a group which is part of a fleet automatically removes the broken-off group from the fleet. Loading and unloading cargo does not affect the fleet status of a group.

6.5 Movement

Spaceships are equipped with hyperspace drives whose power is equal to their Drive number multiplied by the Drive tech level at which they were built. (Ships with a Drive of zero remain forever at the planet where they were built). A ship moves a number of light years per turn equal to 20 times its drive power divided by its total mass. "Total mass" means the mass of the ship itself plus the mass of any cargo it's carrying, so transport ships move faster when empty than when full. Note that unless your Drive tech level is very high, large ships should have correspondingly large drives or they will be very slow. On the other hand the fastest ships you can possibly build (all numbers except Drive being zero in the design) can only travel at a speed of 20 times your Drive tech level.

Hyperspace travel is only possible from one concentration of mass to another, i.e. from one star system to another. A ship can only travel at maximum speed in hyperspace. When a ship enters hyperspace, no time passes for the ship or those on board; a ship in hyperspace cannot turn around, change course, or be attacked.

Detection of ships in hyperspace is a difficult business. Of course, your administrative staff will keep a record of your ships, so you will always know where they are. However, the equipment to accurately detect the position of alien ships in hyperspace requires a large staff to operate and maintain, only works from a centre of mass, and can only track ships heading to or from that centre of mass. In practical terms, this means you will only receive a report of groups of alien ships heading towards one of your planets (all of which are assumed to have hyperspace detectors), though a rough indication of the location of other ships on the map will also be given.

6.6 Cargo

The amount of cargo a ship can carry is determined by the following formula:

	cargo-technology * (cargo-number + cargo-number^2/10)

where "cargo-technology" means the cargo technology at which the ship was built, and "cargo-number" is determined in the ship design.

So, at cargo technology level 1, some examples would be:

Cargo Number Amount Carried
1 1.1
5 7.5
10 20
50 300
100 1100

At cargo technology level 2, these quantities would be doubled, and so on. Note that large freighters can carry very large quantities of cargo, but if fully loaded are likely to be slow (e.g. a fully loaded Megafreighter at drive and cargo technology 1 would have a speed of only 1.22 light years per turn).

The slow speed of heavily loaded ships can be alleviated by higher levels of cargo technology, however. At tech level 2, the mass of any cargo loaded onto a ship is only considered to be half as much as normal, for purposes of calculating ship speed and shield dilution (see "Combat" below). At tech level 3, the mass is divided by 3 and so on. So, a Freighter from the example ship types can carry 20 units of cargo at tech level 1. At tech level 2, it could carry 40 units, but these would only slow it down as much as 20 units at tech level 1; thus, a tech level 2 freighter loaded with 40 units of raw materials can travel as fast (assuming the same drive technology) as a tech level 1 freighter loaded with 20 units.

A ship may only carry one type of cargo at one time. The possible types are raw materials, capital and colonists. Cargo may be loaded onto a ship at a planet where it is available. Cargo may be unloaded onto any planet.

6.7 Routes

To move cargo between planets you can use a route instead of doing it manually. A route from planet A to B for a particular cargo type means that the computer will try to get that type of cargo from planet A to planet B using all available transport ships. So once the route is set up, any empty ships at planet A each turn will be loaded with cargo (if any of that type is present on planet A) and sent to planet B. Any ships at planet A which already are loaded with the appropriate type of cargo will also be sent to planet B. Any ships which arrive at planet B carrying that type of cargo (even if they didn't come from planet A) will be automatically unloaded.

You can set up a total of four routes from each planet that you own, one for each of the three kinds of cargo and one for empty transports which is useful for returning transports from resource consuming planets to resource producing planets. You can only set up routes from planets that you own but you can set up routes to any planet at all, so you can use them for shipping colonists to uninhabited planets. Routes are assigned transport ships in the following order of priority: colonists, capital, materials and empty transports.

7 Combat

Ships in hyperspace cannot be attacked but whenever hostile warships are present at the same planet a battle will take place. This proceeds as follows: A battle consists of a number of rounds. In each round the following steps are repeated until all ships have fired.

  1. Randomly select a ship (attacker) from all the surviving ships that have not fired yet.
  2. For each gun on the ship:
    1. Randomly select a ship (target) from all the ships of the enemies of the owner of the ship that is about to fire.
    2. Let the attacker fire on the target

Note that if a ship gets destroyed before it gets a chance to fire it will not fire.

Battle rounds continue until the battle is either a draw or a win. A battle is a draw if:

  1. there there are two or more players left that are at war with eachother.
  2. One or more players have armed ships left, but none of these ships have guns big enough to penetrate the shields of the ships of their enemies. (see below)

A battle is won if:

  1. One or more players with ships are left.
  2. All the players that are left are at peace with eachother.

The success of an attacker firing on a target is calculated as follows: The power of the attack is equal to the Weapons number multiplied by the Weapons tech level. The power of the defense is equal to the Shields number multiplied by the Shields tech level and divided by the diameter of the target ship. (A ship's diameter depends on the cube root of its total mass). This is because a large ship's shield will have a larger area to protect and so be diluted and, other things equal, weaker. A ship with numbers 8 1 8 8 0 will have only 4 times the effective shield strength of one with numbers 1 1 1 1 0, even though it has 8 times the Shields number. (It might arguably be more realistic to dilute shields as the 2/3 power of the ship mass, but this would make large ships too vulnerable.)

Note that any cargo carried adds to the total mass for purposes of shield strength calculation, as the shield generator must protect the cargo as well as the ship. Thus, the "total mass" of the ship for purposes of calculating shield strength is the same as the "total mass" for purposes of calculating speed. (This means that a freighter loaded with a given amount of cargo will have its shield strength diluted less if it has higher cargo technology.)

The numbers are calculated so that if a ship with numbers 10 1 10 10 0 fires at an identical ship, it will have a 50% chance of destroying the target. If the effective attack is four times as strong, the attack will always succeed. If the effective defense is four times as strong, the attack will always fail. The exact formula is:

  Eff_Weapons = Weapons_Mass * Weapons Tech
  Eff_Shield  = Shields_Mass * Shields Tech / mass^(1/3) * 30^(1/3)
                    
  p[kill] = (log[4](Eff_Weapons / Eff_Shield) + 1) / 2
         
  Where log[4](x)  is the log with base 4 of x, which
  can be computed with log(x)/log(4).

7.1 Conquering Planets

If an armed ship is left at one of an enemy race's planets after all fighting has been done, it will bomb the planet and wipe out 75% of the population and industry (both population and industry are reduced to 25% of their original value). The ownership of the planet goes to the race that bombed the planet. This is how you conquer planets occupied by another race.

You will ask, who gets the planet when two friendly nations have ships above the same planet? Normally this is the nations that comes first in the list with nations (as shown in the turn report). This is unfair of course, allies will like to divide the planets they conquer amongst each other. This is possible though with the V command, that allows a nations to claim a planet. You use it to indicate that you claim ownership of a planet when it is bombed. It of course only works when you have ships left above the planet when it is bombed. In case 2 or more nations claim the same planet, nobody gets ownership over the planet.

There is one other special situation. This is when after battle, both the owner of the planet, and the nation(s) that attacked the planet all have ships left, a so called standoff. This can happen when there are ships with small guns and big shields. In this case, the planet is bombed but nobody gets ownership over the planet.

7.2 War and Peace

At the start of the game you are assumed to be at war with all the other races. You may declare peace on another race at any time. This means that your ships will not fire on ships belonging to that race, nor bomb their planets. However that race will still consider itself at war with you and until they have also declared peace, their ships will still attack you. Of course, your warships will always shoot back if fired on. (Actually, the battle will be fought just as if both sides were at war with each other; being at peace puts your warships at no disadvantage in combat.) Having declared peace, you may declare war again at any stage and vice versa.

In your turn report, other races will be listed followed by their diplomatic status e.g. "Zzyaxians Peace" means that you are at peace with the Zzyaxians. However you don't know whether they are at war with you unless you encounter some of their warships! (Of course you could always ask the Zzyaxians player and take his word for it...)

7.3 Victory and Defeat

Winning a Galaxy game is simple in concept: you must have completely exterminated all other races. When a race has no planets or ships left, it is declared extinct and deleted from the database. When a game is over, the name of the winner, together with any runners-up, will be posted to rec.games.pbm.

8 Orders

8.1 Sending Orders

To enter orders for Galaxy, you should send a mail message containing the following:

  #GALAXY <gamename> <race-name> <password>
  ...orders...
  #END

The #GALAXY line should be in the body of the message, not in the subject line. It is very important to type this line correctly, as otherwise all of your orders will be discarded. Everything before the #GALAXY line or after the #END line in the message is ignored by the program.

As subject for the message use "orders" the server checks your orders and send you a forecast of what your situation will be the comming turn. Replacement sets of orders may be sent anytime before the deadline. The last set of orders received at the time of running the turn is used.

8.2 Advance Orders

If you are away for a couple of days and are not able to send in orders on those days, you can sent in advance orders. For this sent in orders with as subject, "orders <turn number>". Where the turn number indictates the turn the orders are intended for. The server will store the orders (but not check them), and use them when the turn runs.

Be careful not to change your nation name or password, right before sending in advance orders. Since then your advance orders will be rejected when the turn runs.

8.3 Example Set of Orders

Writing orders for the first time can be a daunting task, so here is an example set of orders.

  #GALAXY Jangi Nation_200 P981231231  
  ; Nation_200 and the password P981231231 are just an example,
  ; you can find the correct line at the begining of your turn 0 report.

  C Vogons         ; give your race a name
  N 67  Vogonia    ; Give your first home planet a name
                   ; notice that your home planet probably has a different
                   ; number. You can find it in the 'Your Planets'
                   ; section of the report.
  N 111 Moon       ; Give your second home planet a name
  D Probe 1 0 0 0 0  ; Design a ship
  P 67 Probe       ; Have the ship produced at the first home planet
                   ; Notice that we still use the old name of the planet
                   ; as the name change won't go in effect until the next
                   ; turn.
  P 111 DRIVE      ; Have the other planet develop Drive technology
  #END

8.4 Order Format

Each type of order is designated by giving a letter or keyword as the first non-blank character on the line. The program only checks the first letter, so you can either give a whole word or just the letter. Parameters are given after this, separated by spaces or tabs. Blank lines are permitted, as are comments; anything after a semicolon on a line is treated as a comment and ignored. (Messages (see below) are an exception; semicolons in message text are treated as part of the text rather than comments.)

The parser is not case sensitive, so all commands, names etc. may be given in upper case, lower case or a mixture of the two. However, when supplying names containing spaces, the name must be surrounded by double quotes, or else underscore characters must be used in place of spaces in the name. Examples of correct order lines:

  Send 100 "Zzyax Prime"
  send 100 zzyax_prime
  s 100 "zzyax prime"	; Attack the Zzyaxian homeworld

Examples of incorrect order lines:

  Send 100 Zzyax Prime
  s 100 "zzyax prime"	Attack the Zzyaxian homeworld

The following sections show what orders are available.

8.5 @ [nation ...]

This command sends a message to one or more other players. All lines between this line and the next one with an @ as its first non-blank character are treated as message text. The to-whom parameter should be a list of natio names separated by spaces. The message will be sent to all of these, e.g.

  @ Zzyaxians "Mutant Camels"
  You are all a bunch of raving lunatics...
  @

If no list of nations is provided (or if a nation name is provided with no space between it and the @ sign - take care to avoid this), the message will be sent to all nations. The program does not automatically sign your name, so you should sign it yourself unless you wish the message to be anonymous.

8.6 = <your real name>

Sets your real name. It is used for the Hall of Fame. If you set your real name, and are still around when the game ends you will be awarded victory points. This information is only made available to the GM and the maintainer of the Hall of Fame.

Use quotes cause your name will most likely include spaces, for instance

= "John Wayne"

8.7 A <nation>

Declare peace on another nation.

8.8 B <group> <number of ships>

Break off a number of ships from a group.

8.9 C <new name>

Change the name of your race.

8.10 D <type name> <drive> <attacks> <weapons> <shields> <cargo>

Design a new ship type with the given numbers.

8.11 E <type name>

Erase a ship type (only works if you have no ships of that type in existence or being built).

8.12 F <nation>

This gives the address of the indicated player. If there is no address, this means that that position is either not being played, or being played by the GM, or being played by someone who cannot be contacted by email.

8.13 G <group> [number of ships]

Upgrade a group of ships. The group must be at one of your planets, and must remain there during the turn long enough for the upgrade to be performed; this means that it cannot be given a Send or Intercept command that turn, though it may be automatically sent on a route, as this happens later in the turn. Ships in the group will be upgraded to the latest technology levels as of the start of the current turn (if they are already at the latest tech levels, nothing will happen). The cost of upgrading a ship is equal to a fraction of the cost of building a new one; for example, if the ship is currently at 2/3 of the latest tech levels, the cost of upgrading will be 1/3 of the cost of building a new ship. (Effectively it will be even cheaper than this, because upgrading uses no raw materials.) The exact formula for the cost is:

10 * ((1 - ship-drive-tech/current-drive-tech) * ship-drive-mass +
      (1 - ship-weapons-tech/current-weapons-tech) * ship-weapons-mass +
      (1 - ship-shields-tech/current-shields-tech) * ship-shields-mass +
      (1 - ship-cargo-tech/current-cargo-tech) * ship-cargo-mass)

If the number-of-ships parameter is given (even as 0 to explicitly specify the entire group), exactly that many ships will be upgraded, even if only enough production points are available to do a partial upgrade. If the parameter is omitted, only as many ships will be upgraded as can be fully upgraded. So if you have an expensive ship which will cost more than a full turn's production to upgrade, you must partially upgrade it the first turn, and issue another order next turn to upgrade it again. (This is different from building expensive ships, where a single production order will cause a planet to keep working until told to stop.) Production points spent on upgrading ships during a turn are deducted from that planet's production that turn.

8.14 H <group>

Call back a group. This order can be used to call back groups that have sent by mistake to a far away planet. It only works on groups that need at least 4 more turns to arrive at their destination planet. The group will return to the planet they departed from.

8.15 I <group> <planet> [number of ships]

Order your group to intercept alien ships at another planet. With this command, you specify one of your groups, and a target planet. Typically there will be an alien ship or fleet at the planet, which you want your group to attack and destroy. However if you use an ordinary "Send" order, the alien fleet may leave the target planet on the same turn, so your group would arrive to find it gone. With the Intercept order, if alien ships leave the target planet that turn, your group will be sent towards whatever planet has the largest total mass of alien ships sent to it from the target planet, except that only planets which your group can reach in no more than two turns will be considered. Otherwise your group will be sent to the target planet itself.

In the intercept case the mass of ships left at the named planet is ignored. The command only looks at the outgoing mass. So if a player has a big fleet at a planet, and send one probe from that planet, you will follow the probe.

8.16 L <group> <cargo type> [number-of-ships] [AMOUNT <amount>]

Load a specific amount cargo onto a group of ships or a number of ships in the group. The amount parameter specifies the amount loaded per ship. For any order you should make sure that you load at least 0.01 per ship, otherwise the order is refused. For instance do not try to load 1 colonists onto a group of 1000: 1 0 0 0 1 ships.

The following cargo types are available:

CAP Capital
MAT Materials
COL Colonists

8.17 M <x> <y> <size>

Change the area covered by the map on your turn report. X and Y are the coordinates of the top left corner of the map and size is the size you want covered in light years, e.g. M 10 20 50 will give you a map starting at (10,20) and 50 light years on a side. Useful for zooming in on a particular area for greater detail or zooming out again to get a wide picture. The position and size of the area covered by the map is included in your turn report.

8.18 N <old planet name> <new planet name>

Change the name of a planet that you own.

8.19 O <option>

Sets a game options. You cannot set more than one option using one O command, separate commands must be used. The following options are currently available:

Option Effect Default
Anonymous This prevents that your email address is made available to other players. On
AutoUnload Automatically unloads all cargo arriving at one of your planets. This does not work at a planet occupied by another race. On
BattleProtocol If you switch this option on you get an extra section for each battle section. This section tells you which ship fired on which ship and whether the ship survived. Can be used to analyse you battles, and some turn viewers seem to use it to make animations of the battles. Off
Compress Your turn report is compressed (zipped) before it is send. It is not always supported, so please ask the game master for information before you turn it on. Off
Gplus You will receive your turn report in the format used by Galaxy G+. A variation of Galaxy that is used in Russia. Off
GroupForecast When you orders are being checked by the orders checker, you will recieve a forecast on the position of your groups will have the next turn. On
MachineReport If you switch this option on you will receive two turn reports: one in normal format, and one in a format that is easier readable for a machine. This machine report is still in ascii and human readable though. It was coded by Chris Barbier. Off
PlanetForecast When you orders are being checked by the orders checker, you will recieve a forecast on the status that your planets will have the next turn. On
ProdTable Makes the 'Ships In Production' table be displayed. On
RoutesForecast When you orders are being checked by the orders checker, you will recieve a forecast on the routes between your planets that will exist the next turn. On
ShipTypeForecast When you orders are being checked by the orders checker, you will recieve a forecast on the ShipTypes that will be available the next turn. On
SortGroups Sorts the groups with respect to planet order. All your groups at your planets will be displayed first in planet order, then all your groups at planets belonging to other races will be displayed in orders and finally groups at unoccupied planets will be displayed. The group number will be changed so that all groups are still numbered logically. On

You can turn off options using by added a NO after the O, for instance:

  O NO sortGroups

8.20 P <planet> <product>

Set production for a planet. Every time you change production, production that was in progress is lost. So if you built a mass 400 ship at you home world, and decide to stop after 2 turns, you loose 2000 production points. The following products can be produced:

CAP Capital
MAT Materials
DRIVE Drive research
WEAPONS Weapons research
SHIELDS Shield research
CARGO Cargo bay research
type-name Ships of the named type

8.21 Q <your nation name>

Quit the game. You must provide your race name as the parameter as a safeguard to prevent Quit orders being issued accidentally.

8.22 R <origin planet> <cargo type> [destination planet]

Set a route. The following cargo types are available:

  • CAP - Capital
  • MAT - Materials
  • COL - Colonists
  • EMP - Empty transports

Specifying no destination planet indicates that an existing route should be cancelled.

8.23 S <group> <planet> [number of ships]

Send ships to a planet.

8.24 T <type name> <new name>

Change the name of a ship type.

8.25 U <group> [number-of-ships] [AMOUNT <amount>]

Unload a group's cargo onto the planet it's currently at. At the moment you unload colonist onto un uninhabited planet, you will become the owner of that planet. Capital and materials unloaded onto an uninhabited planet will sit there until someone colonizes the planet. The amount parameter specifies the amount to be unloaded per ship. This should be at least 0.01.

8.26 V <planet>

Use this command to indicate that you claim ownership of a planet. This command is of use when you and your allies jointly attack an enemy and you want to divide the captures planets among eachother (share the loot). It only works if the nation that claims the planet has armed ships left after the battle. In case one of your allies cheat, that is in case 2 or more nations claim the same planet, nobody gets the planet.

8.27 W <nation>

Declare war on another nation.

8.28 X <group> [number-of-ships]

Scraps old spacecraft. The ships are converted into raw materials which are deposited on the planet where the group is located (must be at a planet, not in hyperspace). Any cargo the ships were carrying is unloaded first. The command will not work if the ships are carrying colonists or are over an alien planet.

8.29 Y <passwd>

Sets your password to passwd.

8.30 Z <new address>

Change the address to which your reports are sent.

8.31 Things to note

All orders involving groups can take an optional last parameter giving the number of ships to be used. If this parameter is given, the indicated number of ships will be broken off into a separate group first, and the order applied only to that separate group.

Whenever a group number is required as a parameter, the keyword MAX may be used instead. This will apply the order to the group with the highest group number. This will be the most recently created group.

Keywords used as parameters to orders must be given precisely; unlike order keywords they cannot be abbreviated (nor expanded). The following keywords are used: CAP, MAT, COL, EMP, DRIVE, WEAPONS, SHIELDS, CARGO, MAX.

8.32 Fleet Orders

The following fleet orders are available:

B <group> FLEET Remove Group groupno from it's current fleet
D FLEET <fleet name> Create a fleet called fleetname
E <fleet name> Disband Fleet fleet name.
I <fleet> <planet> Intercept ships at planetname with Fleet fleetname.
J <group> <fleet> [number-of-ships] Add Group groupno to Fleet fleetname. If it is currently with another fleet it will be moved to the new fleet.
J <fleet 1> <fleet 2> Merge fleet 1 into fleet 2 leaving fleet 1 empty.
S <fleet> <planet> Send Fleet fleet to planet
T <fleet> <new fleet name> Change the name of the fleet.

The following keyword is used: FLEET

9 Sequence of Events

The following sequence of events takes place when a turn is being run:

  1. All orders except for renaming and upgrading orders (C, G, N and T) are executed.
  2. C, G, N and T orders are executed.
  3. Hostile ships fight each other.
  4. Ships bomb enemy planets.
  5. Ships, which are assigned to routes are loaded and sent into hyper space.
  6. Ships are sent on intercept orders.
  7. Ships move through hyperspace.
  8. Hostile ships fight each other again (new battles might be possible after ships emerge from hyperspace).
  9. Ships bomb enemy planets again.
  10. Production takes place.
  11. Ships, which are assigned to routes, unload their cargo..
  12. Identical groups are merged.

10 A few things to note

When orders conflict, such as two players trying to unload colonists onto an uninhabited planet simultaneously at the start of the turn, whoever is first in the list of players will have his order executed first and colonize the planet. In practice this does not happen often enough to be relevant.

A ship which takes several turns to build will be built with the tech levels available at the start of the final turn.

Because names are changed after other orders, entities which are renamed in a turn must still be referred to by their old names for the rest of that turn.

11 Inactivity

Inactivity, that is not sending in orders can cause you to be expelled from the game. You are allowed to miss a few turn, this to make sure you are not kicked out when your internet provider goes down, or if you are on holidays for a few days. However not sending in orders, (even empty orders will do), for more than a few turns is not allowed. During the first 10 turns you are not allowed to miss more than 2 turns in a row. If you do so you are expelled from the game and your empire (complete with ships and population is removed from the game). After turn 10 you are not allowed to miss more than 5 turns in a row. If you do, you are expelled from the game, your empire continues to exists however. And without a leader it will be an easy prey for other nations to feast on.

12 Your Turn Report

After each turn runs you will receive a turn report with information on the state of your nation. If you don't play in a game yet, you might want to look at some example reports at http://www.galaxyng.com/ng/example.html.

Your turn report will contain some or all of the following sections:

12.1 Your Options

A list with all the options that are available. It shows if you have switched an option on or off. To switch options on or off use the O order.

12.2 Messages

Messages from other players. You can send your own messages by using the @ command

12.3 Mistakes

Any mistakes in your orders.

12.4 Status of Players

This is the current status of all players in the game; the following information is provided:

  1. Name
  2. Drive Technology
  3. Weapons Technology
  4. Shields Technology
  5. Cargo Technology
  6. Total Population
  7. Total Industry
  8. Number of Planets Owned
  9. Diplomatic Relations

12.5 Your Ship Types

This is a list of your ship types; the following information is provided:

  1. Name
  2. Drive
  3. Attacks
  4. Weapons
  5. Shields
  6. Cargo
  7. Mass, the total mass of a ship of this type
  8. Speed, the speed of a ship of this type
  9. Def, the effective shields of a ship of this type

Mass, speed, and def, are computed for techlevels of 1,1,1,1.

12.6 Alien Ship Types

This is a description of each type of alien ship that you have come into contact with this turn; the information provided is the same as for your ship types.

12.7 Battles

This is a description of all the battles that you have fought or witnessed this turn. For each battle, a list of groups belonging to each player is given. The following information is provided:

  1. Number of Ships
  2. Ship Type
  3. Drive Technology
  4. Weapons Technology
  5. Shields Technology
  6. Cargo Technology
  7. Cargo Type (a "-" means that the group is carrying no cargo)
  8. Cargo Quantity Per Ship
  9. Ships Left (survivors after the battle)

12.8 Battle Protocol

Tels you which ships fired on which ship and whether the ship survived. You only get this when you switch on the option BattleProtocol.

12.9 Bombings

This is a list of all the planets that you have observed being bombed this turn. The following information is given:

  1. Who bombed the planet
  2. Owner
  3. Planet Name
  4. Population
  5. Industry
  6. Producing (capital, raw materials, research or ships)
  7. Capital Stockpiled
  8. Material Stockpiled
  9. Colonists Stockpiled

(Obviously, most of this data is from just *before* the planet was bombed.)

12.10 Map

This is a map of all or part of the galaxy. Symbols on the map have the following meanings:

  1. * = Your Planet
  2. o = Uninhabited Planet
  3. + = Alien Planet
  4. . = Your Ships
  5. - = Alien Ships

12.11 Incoming Groups

This is a list of all the groups of alien ships currently heading for planets owned by you. The following information is provided:

  1. Origin (which planet the group came from)
  2. Destination (which planet the group is heading towards)
  3. Distance Remaining
  4. Speed
  5. Total Mass

12.12 Your Planets

This is a list of all the planets that you own. The following information is provided:

  1. Name
  2. X Coordinate
  3. Y Coordinate
  4. Size
  5. Population
  6. Industry
  7. Natural Resources
  8. Producing (capital, raw materials, research or ships)
  9. Capital Stockpiled
  10. Material Stockpiled
  11. Colonists Stockpiled
  12. The Effective Industry

12.13 Ships In Production

This provides you will a list of ships in production with the total cost to produce such a ship (including cost to produce any materials required) and the production that has gone into producing the next one of those ships. It will be displayed as follows:

  1. Planet
  2. Ship Type
  3. Cost to Produce
  4. Production Already Used

This table is displayed when the ProdTable option is set.

12.14 Your Routes

This is a list of the routes from those of your planets which have routes defined. For each planet, the destination world is listed for the following commodities:

  1. Capital
  2. Raw Materials
  3. Colonists
  4. Empty Transports

A "-" for a particular commodity means that no route is defined from that planet for that commodity.

12.15 Alien Planets

This is a list of all those planets owned by another player, at which you have at least one ship and which you can therefore observe. The same information is provided as for your planets.

12.16 Unidentified Planets

This is a list of those planets owned by another player, which appear on your map but which you cannot observe. Only the name of the planet and the X and Y coordinates are available. (Occasionally, due to roundoff errors, a planet will appear at the edge of the map but not be listed, or vice versa.)

12.17 Uninhabited Planets

This is a list of uninhabited planets which appear on your map, or which you can observe. For all planets on the list, the name and X and Y coordinates are provided. For those planets which you can observe, the Size and Natural Resources attributes are also listed.

12.18 Your Groups

This is a list of your groups of spaceships. This will be a list of your groups which are not part of a fleet. The following information is provided:

  1. Group Number
  2. Number of Ships
  3. Ship Type
  4. Drive Technology
  5. Weapons Technology
  6. Shields Technology
  7. Cargo Technology
  8. Cargo Type (a "-" means that the group is carrying no cargo)
  9. Cargo Quantity Per Ship
  10. Destination
  11. Distance (if this is left blank, the group is at the Destination).
  12. Origin

12.19 Your Fleets

You will get a table for each fleet. The header for each fleet will be:

         'Fleet fleetname (Speed fleetspeed)'

where fleetname and fleetspeed is the fleet name and fleet speed respectively. The following information is provided:

  1. Group Number
  2. Number of Ships
  3. Ship Type
  4. Drive Technology
  5. Weapons Technology
  6. Shields Technology
  7. Cargo Technology
  8. Cargo Type (a "-" means that the group is carrying no cargo)
  9. Cargo Quantity Per Ship
  10. Destination
  11. Distance (if this is left blank, the group is at the Destination)
  12. Origin

12.20 Alien Groups

This is a list of groups of ships belonging to other players, which you can observe. The information provided is the same as for your groups except without the group numbers.

12.21 Getting a Copy a Turn Report

You can get a copy of a turn report by sending an email to the server. The message should contain one line:

#GALAXY <gamename> <race-name> <password>

As subject for the message use "report <turn number>". The server will send you a copy of the report for that turn. The copy is send to the email address you send the orders from. You can use this feature to get a copy of your report in case your ISP fails for some reason.

13 Hints and Tips

In the early stages of the game, there will be plenty of planets to spare so there will be little need to fight for territory; however, you should ensure that your homeworld is defended against sneak attacks by xenophobic aliens. You will need to devote your efforts to exploration, building up colonies, researching technology, and contacting other races with a view to forming alliances.

The map in your turn report only indicates which planets are occupied by alien races, and the total mass of any groups of alien ships in hyperspace heading for one of your planets. To learn of enemy fleets which may pose a threat to your safety, you will need to send ships to enemy planets to spy on them.

If you have an "Incoming Groups" section on your turn report, this probably means that one or more of your planets is under attack, and your first priority should be to ensure that you have an adequate defense. For each incoming group, divide the Distance by Speed to find out how many turns the group will take to reach its target world. Look at the Total Mass figure - the bigger this is, the greater the potential threat. Of course you don't know whether a very large group is a huge battleship or a fleet of small fighters or anything in between. You could also try some last-minute diplomacy: the player owning the group cannot turn it back, but he could declare peace on you, so that the group would not attack you when it did arrive.

In the later stages of the game, it is quite likely that one player will develop a dominant position and appear to be heading for victory. At this point, it is vitally important for all the other players to immediately leave aside whatever differences they may have among themselves and launch an attack on this player, because if he is given a chance to pick the others off one by one at his leisure, he is very likely to win.

14 Links to More Information

  1. http://www.galaxyng.com/ng/NonM4/gettiquite.html, Chris Orr's list of things to do and not to do in Galaxy.
  2. http://www.galaxyng.com/ng/NonM4/RefManual.html, A quick reference manual that lists all orders.
  3. http://www.galaxyng.com/ng/NonM4/FAQ.html, Galaxy FAQ.