The Cabal's Secret Hideout

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TIPS:(Almost current as of v3.12 :-)











Strategy          Glossary of TW terms          Tips         Formulas

Last Updated 05/03/05.  Updates and adds are marked with an '*' -Traitor

This section is geared towards Mixed-corps (corps with both reds and blues in them)  

NOTE: Where noted with a version number, i.e. (v3.12), I have tested it with that version and it works.  If there is no version number, then I assume it still works in the latest version.  Check  for the latest version info.  You can check what version your board is either when you first connect to the TWGS server (it will briefly flash the version number when you first connect), or by selecting a game, and pressing *.  That will show you all the stats for the game, including the version number (near the will probably have to scroll up.)

1)      (v3.12)  Cloak-Tow Ė A common strategy is to have your reds cloak in fedspace.  Another common strategy is to wait for otherís reds to show up in fed.  One way to avoid this is to do a Cloak-Tow.  You can tow a cloaked ship, as long as you lock on BEFORE they exit and cloak out.  What you do is get a blue (preferably fedsafe, and in an ISS) and your red in the same sector.  Usually this is the same sector that the red was cashing in.  The Red deploys his figs in the sector, so he has zero figs on him.  The blue then locks on a tractor.  The red then picks up his figs (see aboveÖ) and cloaks out.  The blue then checks to make sure his buddyís cloak worked, and then warps into fedspace, with his red still in tow.  Then the Blue disengages the tractor, and youíre done.  Your red ends up parked in fed, with zero chance of him getting attacked. 

2)      Your Blueís turns are money too.  Never let your reds move if they donít have too.  Since the average Red running an SDT can pull in 10-13 mil a day per 1000 turns, every turn that your Red spends not cashing is costing your corp as much as 13k.  Itís far better to have your Blue Furber tow your Reds to the next location than it is to have the Reds move themselves. 

3)      Never let your reds go to SD.  If their ship needs more cloaks, probes, or whatever, have them hop out of their ship, have a blue tow their ship to SD and buy everything they need, then tow it back to them.  SD is a dangerous place, and unless youíre willing to risk losing your reds, donít let them go there.

4)    (v3.12)    Keep your extra ships (i.e. COLTís) at the SD when youíre not using them.  You can even keep them there over extern, provided you do the following:  Have a fedsafe Blue lock the ship in tow just prior to extern.  Your Blue *MUST* be logged in during extern.   So, you need one Blue per ship you want to keep, since you can only lock ONE ship in tow at a time.  In prior versions (>.46), you could keep more ships by making them personal for your blue, and having your blue stay at SD, logged in, during extern.  People were abusing this, so JP made a change so that you had to have it locked in tow.  You can also hold a ship while you are at the shipyards (So a Red could hold a ship safely, for example).  Go to the Sell Extra Ships menu, and select the ship number that you want to keep.  STAY AT THE "Still Interested" prompt until extern is OVER. (see example below)
<Shipyards> Your option (?) ? S
<Sell an old Ship>
You flag down a used ship salesperson and get ready to deal.
--< Available Ships in Orbit >--
Ship  Sect  Name               Fighters Shields Hops Type
4       3735  Held Ship Corp    0            0         0    Merchant Freighter
Choose which ship to sell (Q=Quit) 4
"Your ship is in decent shape."
"Here's what we'll offer for it":
Ship Hull Value :
Ship Holds Value :
Main Drive Value :
Computer Value :
Trade-in Value :

Still interested ?  <=== This is the prompt you want to stay at.

If you enter the stardock you still maintain a tow lock, but as soon as you enter the shipyards to sell a ship, you loose the tow.  So, you can hold a ship in tow while at dock too.  Also, you can tell which of your corpies has which ships locked in tow at dock by looking at the available ships to sell from the shipyards.  Ships that your corpies have in tow won't show up on that list.  It no longer seems to make a difference if it's a personal ship or corp.  

5)      Unmanned ships with figs on them DO NOT count towards the # of figs in the game.  You can hide your resources from the enemy by getting an Interdictor, and loading it up with figs, and parking it somewhere safe. 

6)      Until you get shielded planets, NEVER park on your planets.  Even if the enemy canít take your planets, they can still photon you and play the turn denial game.  Fedspace is the preferred parking place.  If you do park on shielded planets, remember to have at least 200 planetary shields, since it requires a minimum of 200 planetary shields (2000 ship shields) to keep the planet from being affected by photons.  If you have less than that, then the planet can still be photoned and invaded just as if it were a lv 4, and anyone on the planet will still loose turns.

7)      Have your blues be your banks, not your reds.  When your blues first sign on each day, have them get 100,001 credits, then exit and re-enter.  Your blues only get taxed once per day.  100,001 credits is the minimum taxable amount. (See Tax for detail on how taxation works.) Once they are taxed, then you can keep the cash on your fedsafe blues, and not worry about your reds cloaks failing, or getting podded in fed with 20mil on them.  Some coordination among your blues is required here, but it pays off in the long run. 

8)      If you are in the same sector as a cloaked corp member, you can still exchange cash, figs and shields from the corp menu.

9)      Citadels earn interest at 2% a day.  500 mil will make 10mil/day, like having an extra red on your team.  If you leave it alone for 35 days, you will have doubled your money.  (This is a tough call for some to make, but free money always helps in the long run.  Of course, if you got 500mil laying around, and you havenít taken over the game, then what the hellís wrong with you? :-) 

10)  When you are considering joining a game, you may want to look at the extended game settings before you leap in.  You can access these settings by hitting Ď*í at the game prompt. (i.e. after you hit Ďaí to join game A, you go to a menu that lets you hit Ďtí to play, Ďsí for settings, Ďhí for high scores, etcÖhit Ď*í instead of Ďsí to see the full settings.) See example below.
==-- Trade Wars 2002 --==

T - Play Trade Wars 2002
I - Introduction & Help
S - View Game Settings
H - High scores
X - Exit

Enter your choice: * 
<==== Enter an "*" here

11) Empty ships appear at the bottom of the Sector Display, but FIRST in the attack sequence, followed by players.  The order players appear in is dictated by the order they first signed on.  So, if you were the 5th person to join the game, you will appear 5th in the order.  You can find out the order either by paying close attention, or you can send private hails to get the order.  Start by trying to hail 'a'.  It will show you all players with the letter A in their name, and in order.  Then just keep working down the alphabet.  Then you should be able to place them in the proper order.  If someone times out during the course of a game, and a new player shows up, they will get the timed out person's slot.   See Pre-Lock

12)  COLTís and Corbo.  Your reds spend most of their lives in COLTís.  Nothing sucks worse than when an enemy pounces on one and blows it up, or even worse, captures it.  Here are a few things you can do to make it harder for the enemy to capture your colts, and possibly make them PAY for trying.  First thing you do is never have any figs on your colts!  The figs do you more good just dropped in sector as offensive, than they do on a COLT with itís crappy def odds.  Why Offensive?  Because you might catch the unwary that run around with extra photons.  Sometimes the enemy is in a hurry and won't check.  200 figs isnít going to stop anybody serious anyway.  A colt with no figs is a pain to capture.  Second, donít fill it up with shields.  We usually pick a random ODD number between 300 and 400.  Even with combat scanners, itís still a guessing game for the enemy.  Third.  Corbo.  Donít be tempted to fill them all the way with corbo, 100 to 500 units of corbo can go along way.  Odds are really good that the enemy will overestimate the # of figs to use hitting your colt, and blow it up.  The corbo just adds insult to injury, especially if you happen to pod them at the same time.  The idea is to make them think twice.

13)  Photon Timing.  (See Photons) A lot of games are now running one second photon duration.  That doesnít seem like much time, but itís plenty.  One thing to keep in mind is that the photon duration works off the SYSTEM CLOCK, and itís NOT based on when you fired it.  If you want to get the most out of your photon, then you should hit Ďtí from the computer prompt a few times to get the timing of the system clock down, then when you feel you have the timing down, fire your photon just as the system clock turns to the next second.  Otherwise, you wonít have that full second on your photon. 

14)  Speaking of photons, (See Photons) since you can fire them from the computer prompt, you can fire them from within your citadels.  Iíll leave it to your imagination as to how this could be useful. J

15)  Mobile planets make the best ships in the game.  Once you stop thinking of them for their defensive capabilities, and start thinking of them for their offensive capabilities you will be amazed at what kind of mischief you can cause with a photon firing LV 6 planet. (see 14 above)  Just keep clear of the MSLís when extern is closeÖ

16)  If the target appears too good to be true, then itís a trap.  Never go hunting the enemy 5 min before extern.  Itís easy to loose track of time.

17)  Stay focused.  Never let them draw you out with smack-talk.  Smack talk is for guys with little dicks, or losers who make up for their lack of skill and finesse by trying to verbally bully everyone.  Fed-com chatter is just fluff. Let your actions do your talking for you.  Trust no one not in your corp.  They are always lying to you. 

18)  Unless you are absolutely willing to commit 100% to keeping a blockade going, Stardock Blockades are usually a big waste of time.  Sure, you might pop a few newbies, but the amount turns/time you spend getting a good blockade going, is going to be spent by corps like ours getting our red going.  Focus on your infrastructure at the beginning, not glory kills.  Every SD blockade has its weaknesses, and a good corp will find them and exploit them and punch right through them.  The important thing with running a blockade is don't do it half-assed, or you just wasted a ton of turns and resources.  See Blockades

19)  When you are just starting out playing, avoid direct conflict or ship to ship combat.  You are much more likely to make a mistake in a running fig duel than you are in a full scale invasion when the enemy is off-line.  Any time you get podded by an enemy ship, well, thatís one less time you could have mothed their planets.  Control the resources, control space, eliminate enemy planets at every opportunity.  Planet control is the key to victory.  If they have no home, then all they can keep is whatís on their ships.  Even if they do hide figs (see tip 5), the combat odds are much worse for empty ships than planets.  Be ruthless in your hunting.  If you find their sector, photon it, then invade, then turn it to ash.  Leave nothing, not even the port.  Drop some limpets there to make sure they donít come back without you knowing about it.  Once you get more comfortable with the game, the by all means, go for ship to ship kills or on-line invasions.

20)  Speaking of limpetsÖLimpets are your friend.  They cost you no turns to deploy (since youíre there already, right?) but they cost the enemy turns to scrub them clean.  And sooner or later the enemy will make a mistake with a limpet.  I try to have 200+ sectors covered with limpets.  I try to put one in every dead end, and one in every 6 way.  Dropping them in 6 ways is fun, since you can make someone whoís blind-warping fuse. J  Limpets work, but only in quantity!  (See tip 34 for ideas on clearing limpets)

21)  Drop figs and mines and limpets everywhere.  Every sector you go into needs at least one fig and one mine.  This does a few things for ya.  One, it cuts down on the enemies ability to probe for your sectors, and the second is that the mines can slow the enemy down.  Limpets slow them down even more, since they need to scrub constantly, or risk being tracked and killed. 

22)  Need your blues to ditch alignment quick?  Attacking and killing a port gives you 50 exp, and Ė50 alignment.  Jettisoning Colonists is a quick way to loose 1 align for each collie jetted.  But you can only do that once per day, and Reds get no benefit from jetting collies, only blues.  If you really want to loose align quick, then attack colonists on one of your planets.  It burns a lot of figs, but no turns, and if you got the collies to burn, then why not?  Use a script for this, as itís time consuming.  Another quick way to loose or gain alignment is to blow up one of your corpies on a junk planet.  You will gain or loose a percentage of their alignment.  Of course, this may cause problems for your corpie, and may give you experience problems.  Usually this is done at the Stardock, so you don't have to worry about the Hazz killing your corpies pod.  Also, make sure that they are in a junk ship too, and one that carries a pod.  And finally, if you are in a mixed corp, you can have one of your corpies drop some personal figs, and you can attack them.  Have a blue drop figs if you need to loose alignment, or a red drop figs if you need to gain alignment.  See the formulas section for more detail on alignment changes from combat.

23)  Need to ditch exp fast?  If you have less than 200 align you can go to the underground, and enter the wrong password a few times, and youíll loose Ĺ your exp eventually. (usually 5 times)  Be sure to bank your cash before hand tho, since youíll loose any cash you are carrying on you in the process.  This tactic is useful during the beginning of the game, before you get your blues in ISS, and you need to keep them fedsafe.  BE SURE YOU DONíT GO BACK TO THE UNDERGROUND AFTER YOU LOOSE EXP!  Otherwise, youíll get killed.  Doing that will reset your alignment and exp to 0 however, but youíll have to wait a day to get back in.  If you have a commish, then your only good way out is CBY.  Another quick way to loose experience is to get blown up by one of your corpies on a junk planet.  You will loose a percentage of your exp.  Of course, this may cause problems for your corpie, and may give them alignment or experience issues.  Usually this is done at the Stardock, so you don't have to worry about the Hazz killing your corpies pod.  Also, make sure that they are in a junk ship too, and one that carries a pod.  One more trick if you are a Blue and you want to cheaply loose exp, without resorting to CBY, you can get rid of  33% of your exp by self podding. Block a dead end with a corp fig, put a personal scout with 1 unit of corbo in the dead end, tow in a merf with 1 fig. X-port to merf, attack the scout. You end up in a pod. X-port back to other ship in sector.

24)  Q-Cannon Settings:  Keeping out the moths.  There are two things to remember about QCís: 1) Planet #ís matter; they fire in order from lowest to highest planet #. 2) You want to have your cannons start small, and as each planet fires, you want them to do more damage.  When you are creating a sector, ideally you want to have your Lís come first, followed by your Hís.  That way, when your cannons fire, the planets that are firing last pack the biggest punch.  For example, say you have 2 Lís and 3 Hís in a sector.  Say you listened to me and your Lís are #3 & #4, while your Hís are #5, #6, and #7.  You would want to set #3ís sector cannon to about 1%, #4ís to 2%, #5ís to 3-5%, #6ís to 5-10% and #7ís to 10-15%.  These settings will keep out most of the moths, since they will die when they hit either the first or 2nd cannon, and thus preserve the fuel on your Hís for the serious invaders.  Ideally, you want your first cannon to be able to kill 15 or so fully loaded merfs before the damage drops to the point where they survive, AND you want to tune the cannons so that by the time the 3rd cannon fires, itís doing about 25k damage, the 4th cannon brings the total damage to 55-60k or so, and when the 5th fires, youíre doing a total 110k damage.  If the sysop has made ship mods, then you need to tune accordingly.  See the Formulas section for detail on how the #ís work.

25) Speaking of Q-Cannons, your ship combat odds only count against other ships and deployed figs.  Your ship's combat odds do NOT count against Mines, Q-Cannons or Nav Hazz.  If a cannon does 55k damage to your stock ISS, you are gonna be in a nice shiny pod.  

26) I have previously mentioned that Stardock isn't a safe place for Reds to go.  The Class 0 ports (Alpha Centauri and Rylos) are much safer.  While they are cleaned at extern just like Fedspace, you can drop figs, mines and even planets in the sector, so if you Red needs figs, shields or holds, go there instead, but have a blue check it out first.  (our Reds usually bring their own planet when hitting those ports.)

27) The cost of figs and shields changes daily. It's a set pattern, where the cost of shields will rise and figs will get cheaper, until a certain point, then they will reverse, and so on.  This pattern is tied to the day of the year, and NOT tied to supply and demand.  Cherokee has the formula on his site, here.  My general suggestion is to buy mostly figs, unless the price of shields is really cheap, because figs are more flexible.  But always buy the minimum shields needed for your planets to prevent photons, and always keep your ships full. (Except in the case of tip #12)

28) Don't port at a destroyed port, until the radiation clears.  You will end up podded.

29) Just because you have zero turns, it doesn't mean you can't attack or land on a planet.  This is useful to know when you have been photoned in the middle of an invasion.  You can do quite a few things with zero turns.  I suggest you get familiar with what you can and can't do.

30) When using photons to invade a planet, turn on ANSI and turn off Animation.  This will speed up your messages, and allow you to get more done within the photon wave duration.  See tip 39 for info on aborting displays and CN9 settings.

31) If you are playing on a TWGS server, when your CEO leaves the corp, the remaining player in your corp with the highest experience will become the new CEO.

32) If you blind warp to a completely empty sector, you will live 100% of the time. If ANYTHING is in the sector, you will fuse 100% of the time. This is not configurable.

33) In most games, where the Sysop doesn't make any sector warp changes, 99 times out of 100, there will be 1 one-way warp into the class 0's. There seems to be 6 warps out of them 100% of the time. And also 6 out and at least 1 1-way into dock 100% of the time. Note, some warps out of SD may be one-ways.  These extra ways in are called backdoor sectors, and if someone is running a blockade of SD, you can often bypass it by voiding all the sectors leading OUT of SD, and then trying to plot a new course to SD.  If you can still find a way in without using T-warp, then you have found a back door.  If you are a Red, then you will come to love the backdoor, since it allows you to spy on Terra or SD without being seen yourself, and so you can tell when it's safer to go there.  Also, if you're a Red, or a Blue without the alignment to t-warp directly to fed, you can use the Terra Backdoor to run collies.  Also, in a game where the Stardock is hidden, you can do a ZTM to find all the sectors with 6 ways out and 7+ ways in.  Once you get that list, then you can be relatively sure that SD is somewhere on it.  (also finds Rylos and Alpha Centauri...)

34) I just posted the following on the EISOnline Forum:
If you have a large corp, then each of you can run a partial ZTM (i.e. you do 1-1000, corpie 2 does 1001-2000, etc...) and combine them into one ZTM file. Then you check that file. Takes about 1/4 the time than doing it solo. 
Or, without going into too many details, you can figure it out if you know where Fed is, and you run a 500 or so random sector ZTM. You count the number of times each sector shows up, and that gives you a list of sectors that appear a LOT besides Fed. Then you eliminate all the sectors that are right off Fed, and that gives you a list of five to ten sectors. SD is usually within 1 or 2 hops of one of them. Of course, all this assumes that the sysop didn't move the SD. 
I've had a lot of success with this method, combined with elements of the first method. (Each corpie runs 200 to 300 sectors, and then we combine it. I check the the list and the surrounding sectors to see if any of them are 6-ways with backdoors by using voids...) But we've also had our share of complete misses. Usually five of us will run a script that does the above, and one of my corpies will run a full ZTM. If I can't find it with my method (takes less than 15 min), then I resort to the original method I talked about.

* 35) More on limpets, but this time on how to get rid of them.  The following are the known ways of cleaning off limpets from your ship:
1. Cleaning them off at Stardock or at the Class 0 ports (usually at a cost of 5K)
2. Picking up a new limpet (which may or may not solve your problem). When you pick up a new limpet, the first one falls off. You can't have more than one limpet attached to your ship at a time. A good use of this tactic is to have one of your corpies place a personal limpet in a sector, and then you can warp there and pick it up. He can verify that you have picked it up. (my corp usually has a few piles of personal limpets scattered around for this purpose...)  Also, if there are 10 limpets in a sector, and you want to cheaply clean them, you can move into the sector, and logoff. When you login again, you will pick up an new limpet, and the old one will fall off. Repeat until the limpets are gone.

* 36) If you are a Blue, and you have an ISS, as long as your alignment is not negative (zero is ok), you can move around and your ship won't get repossessed.  If it ever goes negative, even to -1, your ISS will get shot out from under you by the Feds if you move.  My advice is to x-port out of the ISS and fix your alignment asap.  It used to be that if you moved into a sector with one of your figs, the feds wouldn't be able to get you, but there has been a change.  Now, you pretty much die as soon as you move.  If you must move, move into a sector that has one of your figs there already, but don't do it too often.  Usually they get you after 2-3 moves, even when over one of your existing figs.

37) If you are robbing a port, remember that the ports really have 11% more on them than they show.  So, if the port shows 10,000 credits available, you can really rob 11,100 credits.  This is really important to remember when Megga-Robbing.  Round down when in doubt, or you will get a message about not that many creds available on the port, and have to port again (losing 1 turn).  All of this assumes you have the experience to pull it off :-)  With Megga-Robs, experience isn't a factor, so you can Megga-Rob away even if your experience is 0.

38) Once you have reduced a shielded planet to less than 200 shields, you might want to consider going back to Stardock and getting a photon.  Once a planet has less than 200 shields, then are no longer protected from photons.  This is handy when you suspect that there are more figs on the planet than you have on your ship, and the planet's Military Reaction is set high enough to pod you.  Once you take out that last shield, then the Atmospheric Q-cannon will fire at you again, and the Military Reaction kicks in and your ship may be attacked by the planets figs.  If you fire a photon first, and land before the wave duration expires, then it will suppress the Sector and Atmospheric Q-cannon fire from the planet, and you won't be attacked by the figs.  This will also kill any turns that any players may have that are in the citadel, or on the planet.  There are many reasons why you might NOT want to go get a photon too, but it's something to consider.  See Photons.

39) CN9 and aborting the display.  From the computer prompt, you press N to access the Set ANSI and misc settings menu.  Option 9 controls how much text gets spewed on to your screen.  Basically, you can toss some spaces in between your commands to block a lot of incoming filler text.  You MUST have ANSI (CN1) ON for this to work.  If you have ANSI turned off, you won't be able to abort the incoming text.  Elder Prophet came up with a really good example of this on the EIS Online forums, and I'm including it here.
"If CN9 is set to SPACE, and you are adjacent to Stardock, and you send "nsps" to move to SD and land, the result will be this:
you move to Stardock, all planets, ships, traders, aliens, federals, etc. will be displayed, and the blurb about Stardock being the single largest man-made structure... etc.

If instead you send "n s p s ", the display looks like this:
Command [TL=00:00:00]:[870] (?=Help)? : N
<Set Course to NavPoint>

Choose NavPoint (?=Help) [Q] : S

Command [TL=00:00:00]:[95] (?=Help)? : P

Enter your choice [T] ? S
Landing on Federation StarDock.

<StarDock> Where to? (?=Help)

Significantly less information is displayed.
If you have CN9 set to ANY, then ANY key will abort the display.  CN9 any will often mess up some scripts, so play around with the settings until you are comfortable.  For the most part, you will want it set to space, and then toss in spaces where necessary to remove excess text.

40) Contracts and Rewards.  You can only collect on a contract or reward if you #SD# someone.  Podding doesn't count.  You can claim a reward in the police station off of a blue player if that player had a reward placed on them while they were red.  If you are red when you kill someone, you don't get credit for it at the police station even if you go back blue.  It seems that you can collect on a reward or contract at any time after you #SD#'ed them right up until someone else #SD#'s them.  (providing you are still eligible)  Not sure what happens if they #SD# themselves before you manage to collect the reward.

* 41) V Screen Info.  When you press 'V' from the command prompt, it shows the in game stats.  There are a couple of important things to look at on the V screen, besides the game configuration stats, One is the total fighter count.  Fighters in the game counts the following: Sector Fighters, Player Planet Fighters, occupied ship fighters.  It does NOT count fighters on empty ships!  It used to count starting player figs, but that appears to be no longer the case under version 3.13.  To figure out the total number of cits in the game, multiply the total number of planets in the game by the cit%, and round up.  This works well up to about 100 planets in the game.  More than 100 planets, then this formula begins to break down, and it becomes difficult to tell exactly how many planets are in the game.

* 42) Radiation Clear.  The radiation clear (from destroyed ports, including stardock) works off a cycle, similar to the bust clearing cycle.  By default this cycle is 14 days.  What this means is that when you blow up a port, the radiation will clear on day 1of the cycle, not 14 days after you blow the port.  You can check the * screen (see tip #10 above) to see how often it clears.  Look for Radiation Lifetime=, and then based off that, and when the game banged, you can tell when the next radiation clear will happen.

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