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Ever AMTRAK'ed a
trader only to have him flee to Fed after the first plink?
Or wanted to plink a trader away from guarding his planets so you
could invade? This article
covers the conditions under which traders will and will not flee, whether
they are online or off. Please
note that this article applies to auto-flees only, pod fleeing is covered in
a separate article by Dr. Bad. All
of my tests were run using v3.13; this behavior may very well be different
in other versions.
For starters, Iíll
clear up any confusion about the Online Auto Flee (OAF) option.
key. -T) If
a trader is online and has OAF turned off, they will not flee until you pod
them, no matter what. If they
have it turned on or are offline, they will flee according to the following
If attacker fighters
> (defender fighters + defender shields) * 1.25, then they will flee.
Notice this is NOT
greater than or equal to, so if itís close, pack a few extra fighters.
There is also a very small amount of wiggle room here due to the
inherent randomness of TW combat. To
be on the safe side, have 1.3x their fighters plus shields if you want to
force a flee, or 1.2x if you donít. The
odds of the ships and the maximum capacities of fighters or shields have no
bearing on the formula; it only factors in the amounts currently on hand.
The exception to this
rule is when you are plinking a ship that is granted a Guardian bonus, like
a Tholian. Guardian ships will never flee, period. This has the
effect of making ship captures easier, but also means you canít chase them
away from planets they are guarding.
Attackers who have
active IGs will keep a trader from fleeing, as will an active PIG in sector.
The presence or status of an IG on the defending ship has no effect
on whether or not they flee.
Lack of turns will not
prevent a trader from fleeing either. Even
freshly photoned, they flee normally. If
they do have turns left, they will be subject to the normal flee penalty
implemented after v3.11.54.
Now what most people
want to know is: WHERE will they flee to?
When fleeing, the trader will move to an adjacent unblocked sector,
if any are available. The
trader will never move more than one sector.
If no adjacent sectors are unblocked, then the flee attempt will fail
and the trader will stay in sector. For
the purposes of fleeing, a sector is considered blocked if it contains any
fighters except fighters belonging to the defenderís corp, or the
defenderís personal fighters. Nothing
else makes a difference. So if
there is one specific sector you want them to flee to, put corp fighters in
every other adjacent sector before you plink them. They will flee to the one
unblocked sector Ė the one you wanted them in.
If there is one sector you do NOT want them to flee to (like Dock),
then un-fig every adjacent sector, cross your fingers and plink them.
Mines, planets, hazz, etc do not mark a sector as being blocked and are not
activated when the trader flees into the sector.
Read that again. If you
didnít grasp the implications, read it again until you do.
Thatís right: when you
flee into a sector, Armid mines, limpet mines, hazz, and quasar cannons do NOT go
off!!! They are completely
unaffected. Granted itís rare
that youíll find a planet with no fighters in sector, but if you do, you
can use this trick to sneak into the sector and ruin their day.
This is more of a novelty than anything else and depending on your
point of view could be considered a bug.
However, I think the conditions necessary for it to be implemented
and the setup work involved will mean that this is probably never used.
If anyone actually uses this in a real game, drop me an ICQ and let
Iíve covered every
condition that might effect fleeing that I could think of, but if you come
up with something else, let me know and Iíll be happy to test it and
update this article if necessary. And
before you ask, no I didnít test aliens, and no Iím not going to.
Aliens are lame. Play
against real people.
ed note: comments by Traitor are in this color.