BlitzFAQ aka playing blitz games over IRC by Leon Coles - 28 April 2002
From Random@jlcoles.demon.co.uk Mon Apr 29 06:29:20 2002
Updates: Added handicap rules V1
This document is intended to be a short primer to playing Stars! Blitz games over IRC. If you do not wish to see this document again then please killfile on the header X-Killfile : BlitzFAQ which will not change.
- 1 An introduction to blitzing
- 2 Setting up mIRC
- 3 Using the blitz bots
- 4 Blitz rules and conditions
- 5 Blitz strategy
- 6 Credits
An introduction to blitzing
Blitzes are fast stars! games played over an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network. The games use multi-year generations, normally batching up 4 years until 2440, 2 years until 2460 and 1 year thereafter, and are usually finished over the course of one night. A timer will force generate the game 5-10 minutes after first submission. To play a game you will need a copy of stars!, an IRC client (mIRC is recommended), a large pot of coffee and a few spare hours of your life. The coffee is optional.
Setting up mIRC
mIRC is available from many sites across the Internet, a few are listed below:
Initial mIRC setup
After you have downloaded and installed mIRC you will first need to set a few basic preferences.
Run mIRC and close the pop-up splash screen. Set the following preferences:
IRC Network : Starlink.Org Full Name : <Your name> Email Address : <A contact email address> Nickname : <The name you wish to use on IRC> (This must be shorter than 10 letters) Alternative : <A nickname to use if your first choice is already taken>
Reconnect on disconnection : Ticked
On connect always get local host : Ticked Lookup Method : Server
Enable Identd Server : Ticked User ID : <Your nickname>
Rejoin channels on connect : Ticked
Those settings should be sufficient to allow you to allow to connect to the Starlink.Org IRC network and chat. Go back to the main Connect options window and click [Connect to IRC server]. A window titled 'mIRC Channels folder' will pop up, untick 'pop up folder on connect' and close the window.
Setting up DCC file transfers
You will now need to set-up mIRC to handle stars file transfers correctly. By default mIRC rejects all file transfers apart from a few sound, text and picture formats. It will need to be configured to accept
stars files and route them to your stars! folder
Open the mIRC options dialog
DCC / Folders
Under DCC get folders click [Add] The 'DCC get folder' will open In the 'Save files with these extensions' box add the text *.r?,*.r1?,*.m?,*.m1?,*.x?,*.x1?,*.h?,*.h1?,*.hst Click the 'Into this folder' button and choose your stars folder or a
folder of it
Change 'DCC Ignore' to ignore only
If you feel particularly worried about security you may wish to leave the 'DDC Ignore' type on 'Ignore Except' and add all the stars! file type mask's (*.r? etc.) individually to the list of accepted file types.
Firstly if you are not connected you will need to connect to a IRC server on the starlink network. Type '/server irc.starlink.org' into the text box at the bottom of mIRC and you should begin to connect. Next you will need to join the chat channels that the stars! players use. The two channels are #Stars!, which is the main chat channel, and
- blitz, which is the channel that blitz status messages are shown in.
Use the commands '/join #blitz' and '/join #Stars!'.
To chat in a channel just type your message in the text box with the channel window open and hit return (Please note : #blitz is a moderated channel, so you won't be able to chat in it. all arrangement of games is done in #stars! ). To chat privately to someone double click on their name in the nickname list and send your message in the window that opens. To send a file right click on the recipients nickname and choose DCC/Send, choose the file you wish to send and click [Send]
That's the bare minimum you need to know to get you started and play blitzes. The rest you can work out for yourself or from the manual / FAQ. A good springboard for more information is at http://www.mirc.co.uk/irc.html, take a look at the FAQ's there if you want to know more about mIRC.
Rules of the channels
For your own and others sanity and enjoyment some behaviour in the channel is frowned upon. Unless you wish to be the subject of a game of lamer ball keep the following to a minimum:
No use of colours in the chat channel No swearing No written abuse of other users No flooding i.e. sending a stream of messages in a short time No repeating i.e. don't send the same message over and over again No Auto Away messages
Using the blitz bots
What are blitz bots?
The blitz bots are mIRC clients running a script to automate game creation, turn generation and distributing the files for a game of stars! The main bot in use in #stars! at this time is KJBot, kindly hosted by Chris Johnson.
How to send commands to the blitz bots
The best way to send a command to a bot is to double click on its nickname in the names list and type any commands into the private chat window that opens. Most commands take the form !command <gamename> (parameters) Where <gamename> is the name of the game you are playing as shown in the channel. If you prefer you can use the form /msg <blitzbot> !<command> <gamename> (parameters) from any channel window.
A list of the most commonly used commands
All commands are in this format unless otherwise specified: /msg <blitzbot> !command <gamename> (parameters)
!blitzcmds Will give you a list of the commands for the bot.
!displayuniverse Messages you the universe definitions for said game.
!gameinfo Gives information about the game, timer modes, players (! turn out, . turn in ,- player inactive), year, date created, and similar.
!joingame Joins the named game.
!unjoingame Will unjoin a joined game.
!resend (.xy) Makes the bot resend your turn file to you. If you include the .xy parameter the bot will send the universe file. Used as !resend game .xy (note the space between gamename and parameter).
!inactiveplayer (player) Equivalent to setting a race inactive on autohost - the bot will not wait for that player, but they may still submit their turn if they wish. If the player parameter is left out you will inactivate yourself. Only the host can inactivate other players.
A full list of commands written by Alien can be found at
An example of joining and playing a game
When a game has been organised and and a experianced player has created the game you will see an advert of the form
<KJBot> --- <GAMENAME> Game created in #Blitz (Owner:Leon Name:Join me Version:2.7j Timer:NORMAL)
Firstly you will need to send a !joingame GAMENAME command to the bot.
Your joining of the game will be confirmed in #Blitz
Agree the game settings with the other players
Choose or create a race
When all players have joined the game the host will close the game and you will be asked for a race file. You *MUST* use the filename requested by the bot. Rename your race to the correct filename. Open your race to check that the J patch bug hasn't ruined the race. After that *Open your race to check that the J patch bug hasn't ruined the race*. DCC the race to the bot.
The bot will confirm recieving your race in #blitz
When all race's are in the host starts the game and you will recieve by DCC the games .xy file and your first turn (.m file).
Play the turn then DCC your .x file back to the bot
When you've won the game or been ground underfoot use the !inactiveplayer command to set yourself inactive
Gloat or cry and take your race back to the drawing board :o)
Blitz rules and conditions
Theoretically any game conditions can be used for a blitz but the bigger the game the longer it takes, usually the game settings are optimised for speed.
Blitzes are nearly always played in Tiny universes, from sparse one world wonderthons to packed games filled with multi-world races. Accelerated BBS play is nearly always used. Public player scores is a favorite as you don't have as much time for the finer points of scouting and diplomacy. Victory conditions are very rarely used.
Multi year generations
The game is usually played with muliple years generated for each game turn. The default settings are
4 years per turn until year 40 2 years per turn until year 60 1 year per turn from that point
The game timer
The games are played against a timer. When the first player submits a turn for each generation the timer will begin to count down. If the timer reaches 0 without all players submitting then the game force generates. The default setting for the timer is 600 seconds, 10 minutes.
These rules are default, and only change upon agreement of players involved.
No packets are allowed
On the subject of bugs and 'features' See http://www.starsfaq.com/bugs.htm for an explanation of each 'feature' Chaff > Allowed Split Fleet Dodge > Allowed Abuse of Battle Board Overload > Banned Abuse of 0.2% Minimum Damage > Banned Abuse of North/South Minefield Immunity > Banned Abuse of East/West Speed Bump Minefield Immunity > Banned SS Pop Steal > Banned
Recently a group have players have been trying to balance out the games PRT's with a race wizard advantage point handicap based on PRT. This is still a working in progress and the exact handicaps may have changed by the time you read this so if you join a handicaped game ensure you check with the other players. The response to these rules from regular (some very experienced) players has been very positive so far and it is likely that these will become a regular used rules variant.
When designing the race leave the following amount of points leftover based on your PRT. The first 50 points leftover can be left to go to whichever start advantage you wish.
AR 50 SS / PP 100 WM / HE 125 SD 137 IT / IS 150 JOAT 175 CA 200
In a tiny universe the WM handicap is 150
(To be completed) Meanwhile take a look at Omnivores excellent blitz
strategy guide at
And at Ashtur an'Vangans guide at
Both concentrate on different aspects of blitzing and it is worth reading both.
In short think speed, any strategy where you don't plan on having won or
being unstoppable by year 50 at the latest is a loser.
A few sample blitz races
All races below are designed for non-handicaped games.
Killer Bees - Dan Neely
JOAT IFE NRSE OBRM NAS 1/171 20% 15/9/21 3g Factories 10/3/25 Mines Energy, Weapons, Construction Cheap. Propulsion Normal Electronics, Biotechnology Expensive No start at 3
Build econ till turn 8 Then set research to 40res/year and field to con (will say 5 years, but you'll get it in ==Turn 12> queue enough privs to hold 3.5 years of== growth. 16: fill privs and queue another batch. Repeat until you have enough pop to fill your HW. Get jihad BB tech. Kick ass
Malthus - OWK
JOAT IFE, NRSE, OBRM, NAS 1/7 19% 15/9/16/3G Factories 10/3/16 Mines
Weapons cheap, rest expensive and Start at 4
Blitz race developed as a variation of a Jason Cawley design submitted to the Stars! Newsgroup. Major changes from base design was left shifting of Grav and Temp, and selection of "start @Tech 4" box.
Strategy is extremely quick scouting to find the 3-4 greens in the galaxy followed by immediate colonization in order to out-ramp one-world- wonders. Race will start with privateers and ability to make scout-based minelayers in 2400 -- this has proved useful once or twice in that minefields are not expected that early. Secondary strategy is limiting opposition growth by engaging in a pop-drop war while economy ramping and research is carried out.
A fairly generic and forgiving race to try out blitzing with. Has won a
mèhlá' - Alien
WM CE, OBRM, NAS, RS 1/171 20% 15/7/25/3G Factories 11/3/19 Mines
Weapons cheap, rest expensive and Start at 3
An even more radical 1WW approach, built for both speed and capacity. It can choose to churn out DDs from year 0-4, or sit still and build, both will get it out ahead of most races barring early 1/800 -f designs and the like, though it will bypass those fast. The resource maximum for a world is well over 4k res,
and what it can output is then only rivalled by strong JOATs. The cheap engines and ramscoop availability makes for mass production of cheaper warships, coupled with the superior hulls of the WM, the BC and DN, it can be quite a force to be reckoned with. It can start churning out jihad BCs by the early to mid twenties. This time is likely the one where it is the strongest, at least if there are multi planet races it has not yet managed to kill. Considering the universe hab distribution it is likely that it will find at least one more planet, be it severely yellow. If that happens its edge becomes even greater.
For more speed but lesser capacity one can change the econ to 15/6/21g 11/3/20. One can also shift all habs to the far right to improve chances
of matching habs with other 1WW races, for easy access to new colonies.
Compiled by Leon Coles Blitz bot commands by Alien Proof reading and improvements by : Alric, Alien, Heinz89 Races by Dan Neely, OWK ,Alien Blitz Strategy guide by Omnivore
-- Leon Coles BlitzFAQ@jlcoles.demon.co.uk Leon in #Stars!