Contents of the README file
A brief description of Czarwars
Czarwars is a multi-player 'environment' game implemented as a BBS, a BBS
DOOR, and as a PCBoard DOOR. It is intended to provide a complex, yet
stable environment for long term strategy games. Although some other
games are similarly stable they frequently provide that stability through
'artificial' interference. An example of such would be having 'aliens'
regularly attack the largest player to prevent him from getting far ahead
of the others. In Czarwars such aliens are completely unnecessary -
stability is provided for by more 'natural', less arbitrary means. In
addition, there is room for many powerful players in a Czarwars game. In
any event, the human players make the game challenging enough for most
In Czarwars, unlike many other multi-player games, you can't keep a good
player down... or at least it will take quite a few players working
together to do it! The combination of a large and intricate advanced map
(up to 4000 sectors) divided into many separate galaxies enable a clever
player to make his ship quite difficult to locate. The sign market allows
a small player (who might have many enemies) to accumulate great wealth
which will survive the repeated destruction of his flagship. Also, larger
players don't have the long-range mobility of smaller players - making it
difficult for them to prowl the universe killing off small players. Large
ships don't get the same fuel economy as the smaller vessels and use more
antimatter when they warp around a pulsar. Also, black hole warps are
dangerous to fighters - making them much less friendly for those with
large fleets of fighters. In addition, hyperspace crystals - virtually a
one-way 'ticket to anywhere' - are more expensive for larger players.
The Czarwars environment supports many strategies - far more than I could
describe here. In fact, new viable strategies are formulated regularly -
a player's approach to the game is truly limited only by his imagination.
Czarwars runs on IBM (and compatible) computers with Hayes (or compatible)
modems. Before attempting to implement a BBS based on Czar Wars, be sure
to read License.txt, Czar_hlp.txt, and Czar_doc.txt. The files mentioned
are, respectively, the software license for Czar Wars, the player
instructions file, and the Sysop documentation.
NOTE: Many so-called "Hayes compatible" modems aren't actually very
compatible at all. This system has been tested only with Hayes modems.
Some other modems may work.
New as of version 3.00:
New file formats are used to conserve disk space with this version - the
amount of disk space required for the .DAT files is about 130K less than
with previous 2000 sector versions. It supports up to 250 players
rather than the 300 of earlier versions, however.
This version is not compatible with the files used in earlier versions. If
you need to convert a map file or a user file to the new format, call
the Czarwars Support BBS (904-878-7704) and download the conversion
program from the Sysop download directory (within the sysop conference).
Please note that this program is not for converting a on-going game - It
is only for converting map and player files for use in a new game.
New as of version 3.10:
This release contains major changes in the CZAR_UTL.EXE program - the
utility/edit program. This program will now automate almost all of an
initial installation of Czarwars. It will check for the presence of all
necessary data files and generate new ones if necessary. It now guides
the Sysop through the building of a new map file if none is present in
the directory where it is installed. It also allows the Sysop to install
2 new types of galaxies:
(1) a random one-way, 4-warp galaxy (each sector connects to 4 others
via one-way warps - this one is more difficult to navigate in than the
(2) a 6-warp toroidal galaxy (similar to the old 4-warp toroidal galaxy
- this one is most efficient for trading and moving)
New as of version 3.14:
This version adds 'command line doors' mode. You can now invoke Czar_pgm
as a door in the following fashion:
CZAR_PGM !2400 USER NAME
where 2400 is the 4 digit baud rate and USER NAME would be the first and
last names of the user. Positioning of the parameters is critical -
user name must always start 2 spaces after the last digit of the FOUR
digit baud rate. Use 0300 for 300 baud, 1920 for 19200, and LOCA for
local (non - modem) logons.
A new switch is now available to enable Czarwars to run in stand-alone
mode once, then exit to DOS. This may be useful for running Czarwars
from a batch file. Note that this switch has no meaning unless used
with the /M switch.
CZAR_PGM /M /1
New as of version 3.15:
Sign prices can now be set to any level. The danger of throwing off the
economic balance of the game with too-high sign prices has been removed
by making the antimatter charge of launching a sign proportional to the
The CZAR_UTL program is now capable of generating randomly formed, two-
warp galaxies. These two-way galaxies will have dead ends and complex
paths between sectors. This galaxy type more closely resembles the
hand-designed galaxies in the advanced map file.
Czarwars now supports version 14 of PCBoard in a new doors mode. The new
doors mode is invoked by running Czarwars with the /PCB14 switch as
Used in this mode with PCBoard version 14 Czarwars will calculate the
users time limit based on their time remaining from PCBoard.
New as of version 3.20:
This version adds support for 4000 sector map files. Although Czarwars is
still shipped with a 2000 sector advanced map file (registered version
only) and the map generation routine will only build 2000 sector maps, a
new option has been added to the 'map size parameter' under the
configuration menu. It allows you to make a mirror image of the bottom
2000 sectors in sectors 2001-4000. These new sectors can be left as a
reversed copy of the bottom 2000 or can be completely reorganized (with
option 17 of the CZAR_UTL.EXE program) into new galaxy structures.
This version adds the '/' (repeat) command to the menu. Also, commands
are now stored for use with the / command based on whether they contain
a semi-colon - and the last such entry is shown on the main menu (help
Pulsar warping has changed as described in 'player changes' below.
A sample batch file is now included for use with the /1 mode (exit to
DOS after each call)
The CZAR_LOG.TXT entries have been shortened wherever possible in order
to reduce the disk space requirements for this file.
Support has been added for 9600 bps modems in /M mode and /PCB14 mode.
In order to use a 9600 bps modem in stand-alone mode (/M) it should be
set to drop to the connection rate of the caller. In /PCB14 mode, it
should also work when the com port is locked at a specific speed. Since
I have no 9600 bps modems of my own I can't be sure that this will work
under all circumstances.
Other areas of the communications routines have changed as well. If you
have been successfully running 3.15 or older and have communications
problems with this version, please call my BBS and leave a comment
describing the problem. (904) 878-7704, 1200/2400, 24 hours.
In addition to the changes listed above, there are several cosmetic
changes throughout the system.
New as of version 3.25:
This release adds a chat mode - invoked by pressing the F10 function key
at any prompt. Another press of F10 disables chat mode.
A 'sysop message intercept' routine has been added so that the sysop can
read private messages without running CZAR_UTL.
I am in the process of compiling a directory of Czarwars games running in
the United States and Canada. If you're running Czarwars (either stand-
alone or as a door, registered or not), please call my BBS and fill out
the S)cript questionaire there to have your system included in the
directory. Also, if you have any suggestions for future versions, leave
me a C)omment with your suggestion when you call. Thanks!
Some recent changes to Czarwars of interest to players:
Hyperspace Crystals: If you have the money you may be offered one of
these when you port at a class 1 port. With a hyperspace crystal you
will be able to warp anywhere in the entire universe from anywhere.
Each crystal is good for only one use, however, and they get more
expensive as your ship becomes larger.
You are now informed whenever any fighter or starbase is destroyed by
fighters or 'blown up' by a player self-destructing. In the case of
starbases, you will be told who actually did it.
Spy fighters: leave fighters on guard with a 'blank' password and they
will spy for you. A single spy fighter has a 10% chance of sighting a
traveler in the sector. The chance of spotting an intruder increases
with the number of spies in the sector, up to 100% for 100+ fighters.
6 different sizes of starbases are now available, with the 5 smaller ones
upgradable to larger sizes. Also, the 5 larger ones can no longer be
destroyed by a player self-destructing in the same sector with them -
instead they may be 'damaged' - which reduces them to the next smaller
size. The sizes are as follows: Type 1=125 fighter strength, 2=250,
3=500, 4=1000, 5=2000, 6=4000
A 'repeat' command: entering the / key will replay the last command you
entered that contained a semi-colon. For example, if you were scooping
a planet at sector 5 and selling at sector 3 you might enter:
L;4;3;P;4;5. That would cause you to land, move to 3, port, move back
to sector 5. After entering that once you can now enter a / to repeat
the sequence as many times as you wish.
The advanced map file has had almost all of the intergalactic warps
removed and the sections from 501-1000 and 1-500 switched with each
other (to put the 'easy' galaxys in quadrant 1 - where beginners start
Public mail now lasts for 1 week, private mail 5 weeks - or until
The upper limit on gambling bets has been increased to 10,000 credits.
Pulsars warping has changed: more antimatter is required than in previous
version. Also, when you enter a sector containing a pulsar, you will
only be warped to another quadrant if you have enough antimatter -
otherwise, you will simply enter the sector with the pulsar.