PDA

View Full Version : Stars! Play by Email Game



tofu
2006-Jan-05, 03:43 PM
Has anyone ever heard of this game, "Stars!" that you play by email?

http://www.starsfaq.com/ng_faq.htm#whatisstars

I picked up a copy years ago and I'm just now playing my second online game. It's really a unique experience, especially for people like me (and I know there are a lot of people here) who are hard-core science fiction fans.

In the first game I played, I was fighting tooth and nail right from the beginning. In this game, I am lucky enough to be out near the galaxy's edge and surrounded by friends. But the races in the core are fighting. There are three separate wars going on (that we know of, it's a big galaxy, there are probably other wars happening). Three of my allies are fighting a coalition made up of the two strongest races. It was bad at first, but they've managed to fight their way to a standstill. For the last several years, we've been discussing our counter attack plans.

Me? I've never even seen an enemy warship. Not even a scout from one of the hostile races has made it far enough from the core to enter my territory. I'm building bombers and other support ships and giving them to my allies. There is just something really cool about the fact that I'm building ships to fight a race I've never seen - only heard about. Doesn't that sound like something from a classic scifi story?

There is another race out near the edge where I am and that player has apparently quit. He hasn't submitted a turn for several years. I tried getting in touch with him, but had no luck. So it's as if his race had some kind of calamity and fell into a dark age. If he had just talked to me, I could have helped him along and he could have joined our alliance. But now it looks like his species will go extinct - steamrolled by larger and stronger races. It's a little sad. Nobody will ever know or care who he was. We wont even give a moment's pause as we take planets that used to be his.

Doodler
2006-Jan-05, 03:46 PM
I used to play one called VGA Planets that sounds very similar. Pretty good game, but it got seriously cumbersome to set up the turns in the later rounds.

eugenek
2006-Jan-05, 04:10 PM
Other than the Civilization series, Stars! is my favorite game. However, I haven't had time to play it in several years.

My favorite multiplayer game of Stars! was around 1999 and lasted more than a year! There were some serious foes in that game. Very exciting and a few times it looked like the ways of the Hamsters were soon to pass. Ah, the memories... The Daleks (WM - mostly dead), Breen (SS - dead), Holubi (?? - dead), Meridians (CA - powerful foe), Yungvarks (AR -trusted ally), Carniferns (SD - antisocial enemy we never knew much about), The Engineers (CA - pacifists), Saurians (JOAT? and natural enemy), Thasians (AR - untrustworthy and punished for it!), my Hamsters (IS) and some other race on the far reaches of the universe from the Hamsters which didn't last long enough to meet. Eleven races crammed into a Small universe. I think the game ended around 2590 with the Yungvark/Hamster alliance declared winners. However, the Meridians (#1 for much of the game) weren't going down quickly and had the game not been called it would have taken a long time to show them the error in their ways.

Ahh, I think I'll just stop answering the phone and daydream about that game....

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 05:24 PM
I do enjoy the game, and I've played online a few times (although I'm pretty sure I've lost my code by now. Hmm. Actually, maybe not. I think I still have my original disk with the code handwritten on it by one of the Jeffs.)

I think my favorite game was one in which I'd gotten really unlucky in terms of my homeworld germanium, and had built a late-blooming Claim Adjuster race.

My colony worlds got creamed by what appeared to be a next-door JOAT 50K race.

All I had time to do was throw as many people onto as many transports as I could scrouge together (three large, and a bunch of privateers), along with a few terraformers and mining ships. A single fueler and a pair of colony ships, and make a run for it.

It was a battlestar galactica style exodus. A pair of allied races a few hundred lightyears away offered me a few planets that were a good match for my people and a poor one for them, in exchange for whatever help I could offer them when I could rebuild. I made it, but it was a running firefight at times. I literally had to use my utility ships as decoys to throw off pursuit a bunch of times (carrying only enough fuel to make a single turn's jump in the opposite direction) while the fuelers kept the rest of the fleet going, mostly by planethopping over friendly planets where possible to replenish my fuel.

Titana
2006-Jan-05, 05:27 PM
That sounds fun....:p



Titana.

tofu
2006-Jan-05, 08:13 PM
a late-blooming Claim Adjuster race.

Yeah, one of the best things about the game is the infinite variability of races. In other "conquer the galaxy" you can play the humans, or you can play the insect race, or you can play the cat race, and you can customize them, but that's where it ends. In Stars! you choose primary and secondary racial traits, habitability zones, growth rates, etc etc. It literally has infinite variability, and there's no one right way. You design a race and then you adjust your play style to suite.

In the game I'm playing, one of the races doesn't build factories. There are the so-called alternate reality races that only live in space stations and never even set foot on a planet. They don't build factories either. This race however, lives on planets, mines planets, but just doesn't build factories.

It's just a really fun game. The graphics aren't great, but they don't have to be - the game itself is fun.

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 08:28 PM
The graphics are utilitarian at best, but they're pretty comfortable. Hmm. You know, I think I'm going to track down my copy and my code.

I'm wondering if there would be any interest in starting a BAUT play by email game if we can dig up our copies? Worst case, a low-tech demo game that anybody could get into?

tofu
2006-Jan-05, 09:23 PM
I'm wondering if there would be any interest in starting a BAUT play by email game if we can dig up our copies? Worst case, a low-tech demo game that anybody could get into?

The autohost still works. They are using it for the game I'm playing right now.
http://starsautohost.org/gamesnew.htm

and I actually have two serial numbers, so hopefully it would be legal for me to loan one to someone.

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 09:36 PM
The autohost still works. They are using it for the game I'm playing right now.
http://starsautohost.org/gamesnew.htm

and I actually have two serial numbers, so hopefully it would be legal for me to loan one to someone.

I'm still looking for my backup. I'm pretty sure I made one way back when. Hopefully I can find one of those old CDs.

That's cool about the autohost; worst case, I'd be happy to host 'er by hand. My time zone is convenient, especially if I ran the turns first thing in the am.

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 10:00 PM
I appear to be outta luck tonight. I can't find the original nor any of my backups of that game, although I did find one from the right period of time and a number of games I'd been playing at that time. No dice, stars wasn't on it.

I've emailed Empire Interactive to see if it's still possible to buy a code+download, even though their web site doesn't display it anymore. *crosses fingers*