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Hosted by Gible, the general idea of this game was that the 10 pirate players(SS) have no planets, but instead prey on the other 5 empire players to steal minerals and amass the largest treasure horde. To facilitate this a host race(pirate controller - PC) was used who "sold" ships to pirates in exchange for minerals.

Unfortunately for all involved, significant delays caused play to be abandoned and the game was never completed.

Pirate sales

Several formulas for prices were created, the final formula used was:


where A=2, B=1 and tech=lesser of 0 or the total number of tech levels needed before the item(hull/part/etc) could be created with the pirate tech levels

The pirate tech levels started at 2-1-2-1-2-4 and each level was determined by the greater of:

the average empire level rounded up or
the highest empire level minus 2

in addition pirates had to pay each of the mineral costs of producing the ships they bought.

The excel spreadsheet used to determine and advertise prices is available here


Wumpus edited the .hst file and .m files to move ALL of the homeworlds and ships, assign 11 of them to the PC,each with max pop, facts, mines, defences and a maxxed out deathstar in orbit with W13 drivers and inf/inf gates. He also assigned and placed a single scout for each pirate player at a spare planet(an anchor ship to ensure the "race" never died) and removed all other traces of the pirate players.

Setup Rules

General setup

Played on AutoHost

26hr gens until voted otherwise.

5 Empire Players

10 Pirate Players

1 Pirate Controller aka PC (Host)

Medium, Dense, No Clumping, Remapped,Pregenned

Max-mins off

Slow Tech off

AccBBS on

Random Events on

PPS off

The "end of the game" is when an Empire player wins. A Pirate winner will also be declared at this point (see below). Other minor pirate awards may also be given)

Empire players

The following restrictions applied to Empire players:

  • Banned:SS, IT, NAS & OBRM
  • CA must leave 150 pts on defenses(or 200pts on anything)
  • SD must leave 50 pts on defenses (or 100pts to anything)
  • JoaT must leave 50 pts to defenses(or 100pts to anything)
  • PC player must be set to Friend.
  • Maximum of x/x/10 or x/5/x mine settings (individual player choice)
  • A limit of one -f empire race. First racefile in first served. (AR doesn't count as -f here)
  • -M (5/15/5 mines) races may choose any race settings except SS

Pirate Players

Each pirate player started (at 2403) with the following ships:

  • 1 'Jolly Roger' - Rogue Hull, 2x Fuel Mizer, 2x Ultra-Stealth Cloak, 4x Lazer, 4x Fuel Tank, 3x Shadow Sheild, 1x Robber Baron Scanner (this stylized after the default Joat&IT Stalwart Defender design)
  • 1 'Sideways Sam' - Rogue Hull, 2x Fuel Mizer, 4x Ultra-Stealth Cloak, 6x Fuel Tank, 3x Depleted Neutronium Armor, 1x Pickpocket Scanner
  • 5 'Little Benny' - Scout Hull, 1x Fuel Mizer, 1x Fuel Tank, 1x Chameleon Scanner

In Game Rules


All players will set the PC as friend, otherwise there are no restrictions on diplomacy, any race whether Empire or Pirate may ally(or otherwise) with any player they wish. No player is to attack the PC worlds at any time. Tech or ship trading between players is encouraged, without limits. Note that the PC is the only source of SS specific parts.

Pirate Controller(PC)

The PC's sole purpose is to provide ships for Pirate players(only.) It is a 1WW SS w/IFE,ISB,UR,MA and 11 100% HW planets. The PC starbases will be armed to prevent them being enveloped by minefields and to discourage fighting at PC worlds. The locations of ALL PC worlds will be revealed to all players.

Empire players

The Empire players are essentially normal players with the added complication that they must contend(or co-operate) with the pirate players. All decisions requiring a player vote will be taken from Empire players only and require a majority of votes to win. Empire players win by the usual means, i.e. subjugating the other empire players or by majority vote. With regard to PC planets, a reasonable amount of scouting is expected, even the occasional visit, but I don't want to see tight grids of scouts/minelayers/hunters arrayed to detect and intercept everything that moves.

Pirate players

The 10 Pirate players fill all the remaining player slots and have no planets or population. Each Pirate player is granted a set of starting ships & cash(minerals) by the PC. The Pirate players win by amassing the largest "treasure hoard" by the end of the game. Each Pirate player must keep an unarmed ship stationed at a PC HW at all times. This is to prevent the race from being killed off by the game engine. All pirate players will be set to inactive on AutoHost - be sure to turn in before the PC and/or last Empire player. PC Stargates will be available for use. Assume they are 300/500 gates.

The number of Jets allowed on pirate ships was resticted to prevent early untouchable rogue designs.

An endless supply of pirates: The RB ship Jolly Roger is a king peice for pirates, should a Pirate player lose this ship, he is considered to have died in battle and his demise is broadcast to all by the PC player. His remaining ships will be deleted in space. He forfeits his place in the treasure hoarding race and his player spot may be given to another player(or he may start over). The new Pirate player is given starting ships, of a reasonably "current" tech level and must choose a new treasure planet before amassing his treasure hoard.

Treaure Hoards

Each pirate player selects a "treasure world" which they will use to collect their horde. Treasure worlds must not be inhabited by any race and may not be within the frontiers(below) Selecting a treasure world involves sending an in-game message to the PC. For the purposes of winning, only minerals on the treasure world are counted. Minerals still in freighters or owing from other players are not counted. If a pirate player wishes to change the treasure world they may do so by sending an in-game message to the PC player and is effective the turn the PC receives the message. Moving the hoard to the new planet is the responsibility of the pirate player. If a treasure planet becomes inhabited by an Empire player the pirate player forfeits his/her hoard at the discretion of the colonising Empire player and must select a new treasure planet before amassing a new hoard.

Ship Trading

Pirate players (only) may "purchase" ships from the PC for a price that is generally relative to the cost of building it. Payment is in minerals and must be made at any PC in advance. Pirate players may "trade-in" their existing ships for credit/payment equal to the minerals recovered. SS specific parts(except RB) are charged as if they were commonly available tech. Non-SS specific parts are available, but newer tech parts will be more costly and advanced tech items get very expensive. The relative availibilty(and cost) of parts is dependant on the techs available to the Empire players. Pirate players should be careful not attack other Pirate players when making their puchases at PC worlds. Upgrades to the Jolly Roger king-piece are available by trading the Jolly Roger in. Each Pirate is assigned one design slot for their exclusive use. The remain slots will be used for standard/popular designs.

Pirate vs pirate combat at PC worlds resulting in loss of minerals being used for purchase of ships.

Minerals falling to PC worlds as a result of combat, that were to be used for the purpose of purchases, will still count as payment towards those purchases. An in-game message with the purchase order must be received the same year as the battle report. Scrap from the destruction of ships is lost and will not count towards payment.

Each turn in which the Pirate tech levels change they will be broadcast to all via in-game message and the game forum post will be updated. PPS is off but these level will be roughly based on the overall current Empire tech levels. This was abandoned part-way through the game.


Within 100ly of each map edge are the frontiers and are for pirate travel/use only. The exact border of the frontiers are the 1100 & 2100 east-west and north-south lines. Within(and including) this square is empire space. eg an empire scout may legally park itself at (1100,2100),(2100,1567),(1345,1100), etc. 3 PC worlds will be in the interior. The remaining 8 will be in the frontiers. (2 on each side)

A. Empire ships accidentally entering(for whatever reason) the frontiers must immediately depart exactly N/S/E/W or via WH (or NE,NW,SE,SW) as appropriate.

B. If Empire ships do not leave immediately the turn after (A), or they destroy Pirate ships within the frontier concurrently with (A), all ships of that Empire within the frontiers must be deleted or scrapped in space. (CE could cost you more than you bargained here.)

C. All infrations will be ignored unless reported by a Pirate via email. Pirates are advised to report infractions to the Empire player concerned as well.

D. If Empire ships are not scrapped in accordance with (B) a turn will be lost - a .x file with the required action(s) will be submitted by the host. No other orders will be created and/or altered.

In short, be careful hunting near the edge, unless you're willing to lose the ships concerned.

From (D) I need mention a game rule that is a constant feature of all games I've hosted (except one). If you password your game files(arguably unnecessary now on AH), you MUST keep me informed of your current password. Failure to do so will result in your race being set to Dead/Banned until an appropiate password is forthcoming. With AH as it is, my preference is to not use a password...and I don't.

Lessons for future Pirates! games

Some of the things learned during the game include:

  • Pirates should not be allowed to buy remote miners
  • Empires should be forced to be more reliant on remote miners.

Other suggestions included:

  • allowing pirate to earn additional RB scanners by hunting each other.
  • forcing mine eff 20-25 to reduce habs and provide more minerals
  • banning HE
  • using economic formulas on the pricing to control the strength of pirates
  • having a single price value for each hull/part instead of an iron/bor/ger/extra price