Contents of the STELCON3.DOC file
Stellar Conquest ]I[
(C) 1994 Ed T. Toton III
All Rights Reserved.
If you're like me, then you probably usually just run the games you
download without reading the documentation. For that reason I made the
instructions below as brief as possible, but you should skim through it
anyway since it is chock full of details that might take you a long time
to discover yourself. Please note that I'm no technical writer, so please
bear with me.
Important Note! F1 through F3 are useful function keys! Read on!
Stellar Conquest II wasn't as much a sequel as it is a remake of the first
Stellar Conquest game I made several years ago, with many improvements.
The first one was written in Quick Basic and used EGA graphics and keyboard
input only... Stellar Conquest II introduced a flexible interface in VGA
with "clickie buttons".
Stellar Conquest III, is also a VGA-only, and "Microsoft compatable mouse"
-only strategy game for 0 to 4 human players. The game consists of 2 to 4
active players, any of which can be either human or computer controlled.
The Stellar Conquest universe is a map containing 50 stars, 4 blackholes,
and 3 wormholes.
Each player starts with one or more starbases and several ships. Your
goal is to protect your base and destroy everyone elses' base. To do this,
you must build ships. You will have the opportunity to build them to your
own specifications, within your allowed budget of course. To get more money,
build more cargo ships to do mining. You can also build combat vessels and
The ships belonging to other players will not be visible unless within
the scan range of one of yours, or under other special circumstances (such
as civilian ships (which don't appear on the map) informing your base).
TECH NOTES AND CHANGES FROM Stellar Conquest II:
Many changes abound! The "Cloak" has been renamed "Stealth", since a new
and more powerful Cloaking Device has been created. Additionally, there are
many more types of pods, which are explained in more detail further down.
Another new feature is "Flotillas" which allows you to very easily move
entire battle groups around simply by telling the leader where to go.
The game consists of over 8,900 lines of Turbo Pascal and Assembly
source code (excluding comments and remarks), including the libraries
of functions I made for use in all my games. The button interface is
designed such that except for detecting where you click in the map
area, and hiding the mouse for graphics drawing, the main program thinks
there is only a keyboard interface. The mouse routines automatically
handle animating the clicking of buttons, and simply return the
corresponding keypress when you click on a button.
I'm quite pleased with the results I've acheived with this game. I like
the idea of building ships to your own specifications so much that I
couldn't resist making another one, and the system I created for Stellar
Conquest II was pretty well balanced. But it lacked certain things.
Specifically, if was possible for multiple human players to reach a virtual
stalemate because there was a way to create a practically inpenetrable
defense. Also, the strategy was limited since all of the offense and defense
was focused on but one base per player. Now that there are multiple bases,
things have been decentralized enough to allow for more possibilities.
Additionally, the new pods I've created give the players more options
about how to deal with the enemy. Likewise, having more bases increases
your mining efficiency allowing you to have larger fleets, and the 'flotilla'
option allows you to move those fleets more easily.
All these new options combined with the superior, more powerful, and
easier to use interface makes the game much more effective than Stellar
Conquest II. I actually felt butterflies in my stomach during a test run
in which the cyan computer player wipe out the other three computer players
with a battle flotilla of 15 or 20 ships.
At the main menu you have the choice of setting the player options, which
is where you select how many players there will be, human or computer
control, and what the computer cargoship ratio is.
Select "Game" to play. Once in the game you can press ESCAPE to quit,
F1 for the game options, F2 to toggle sound on/off, and F3 to toggle
At the start of the game, you will be shown your starbase menu. At the
bottom of the screen is a picture of a spaceship. You don't own that ship,
that's there for ship construction. By using the buttons on the right of the
screen you can add and remove pods, and above it will show what effect that
has on the ship's stats, while the picture below will show what it looks
like. This is the primary function of your starbase, ship construction.
At the bottom right of the screen are 4 buttons that never change. By
clicking on "Base" you can go right back to a starbase menu. By clicking on
"UpShip" or "DnShip" you can page through the menus for all of your other
ships and bases. Clicking on "EndTurn" will end your turn, and the other
players will get to do their thing.
On the left is the map window. This is where you select destinations and
torpedo targets for your ships. Clicking on "Zoom" allows you to zoom in
on a specific region of the map. "Grid" allows you to turn the grid on and
off. Note however that the grid settings are individual to the zoomed in and
zoomed out modes, and is individualk to each player.
Pressing "Destruct" allows you to blow up your ship, if it is equipped with
explosives. The explosives will damage ANY ship adjacent to the one that
is being blown up, both enemy and friendly.
Selecting "Jettison" allows you to jettison a pod, thus decreasing the
ship's mass, thus speeding it up. This option is included so that the
ships may have the means to retreat if necessary.
Clicking on the "Repair" button allows you to repair damage to the ship if
you are within the "action zone" of your starbase (action zones are explained
further down). All of the ships damage will be repaired for a base-cost of
1500, plus 500 for the replacement of each pod that was jettisoned.
Pressing the "AutoMine" button will toggle the ship to between automine
and manual mining. Automine means it will continuously perform mining
missions independently without your needing to do anything. If you decide
to do something else with the ship later, you can toggle it back to manual
by clicking the button again. Any ship that is set to automine automatically
defaults to "Anybase" and "Anystar", but those can be overridden with the
buttons of those names, then you can place the destination cursors according
to what you need.
Selecting "Rename" let's you override the randomly generated name given
to the ship at construction.
SELECTING THE GAME:
On the game menu, you can change all sorts of settings that define how the
game will work. Most of the settings are self explanitory, so here are but
a few suggestions:
* Bases should rarely be set to speeds 3 or greater.
* It's pointless to give the starbases Torpedoes, Loaders, Jumpers,
Cloaks, Shields, and Minelayers since they have no effect (in most
cases because there is no way to turn them on). Stealth could work,
but bear in mind that it would be very difficult to find the enemy
* Make sure the players always start with at least one cargo ship, so
that they can get started on getting money.
* If the computer players seem to easy to defeat, try fighting two or
three of them teamed together, or try one-on-ones with alternate
base distributions with bases having stealth pods.
PLAYING THE GAME:
There are several nuances and details you should be aware of before playing
the game. Particularly action zones:
Action Zones are areas of space 9x9 in size (square radius 4), that
indicate the range you must be within near something to do something. For
instance, you must be within your bases action zone to repair the ship. You
must also be in the action zone of the base to off-load materials from the
cargo holds (done automatically) or in the zone of a star to mine it (also
done automatically). Likewise, you must be within a ship's action zone to
fire at it, or to see a "stealth"-equiped ship. The grey borders drawn around
the bases and stars on the "Zoom In" map show their action-zones.
On the Zoom-Out map, you will have a little green cursor. This cursor
shows the destination of your selected ship (the selected ship will be shown
in flashing color, starbases in yellow, and all other ships in their team
color). Pressing the "Mode" button will toggle which cursor you are currently
selecting locations for. Cargo ships set to "automine" have two cursors
(which are invisible at first, until you change the "anystar" and "anybase"
settings), one of which base to return to, and which star to mine. Having
the ship set to "AnyStar" allows it to mine any star, and "AnyBase" allows
it to return to any base. Ships that have a torpedo launcher also have a
red cursor, which indicates where the torpedoes will be fired.
Clicking the left mouse button on the map screens will select a new
location for the selected cursor for the selected ship. The right mouse
button allows you to select ships, scan enemy ships, and scan stars.
Ships set to Automine will have different destination cursors, as noted
above. They can only be set to point at stars or your home base, nowhere else.
If AnyStar is turned off, then the ship will mine ONLY the star that the
square cursor points to. If AnyBase is off, then the ship will return ONLY
to the base the diamond-shaped cursor points to. You will need to check on
the ship later, so that it doesn't waste time mining a star that it has
depleted. Ships set to automine will always return directly home after
filling their cargo holds, and will then head out to a star again. Setting
your ships to mine specific stars has great tactical advantages under certain
conditions. Specificially, you can make your ships avoid stars that are
gaurded by the enemy, or drain stars that are near the enemy, and so forth.
The "Zoom In" map, supports the same functions of scanning and selecting
as the "Zoom Out" map. It also has arrow buttons you can use to scroll the
view around to view other areas of the map.
In combat, each ship will move, then fire at the nearest target if there
is one, and assuming it has weapons. Since targets are chosen in this manner,
you can control, to some extent, which ships your ships fire upon simply by
positioning their destination cursors to plant them right next to the target.
Firing is done automatically.
One of the new features is "Flotillas". To create a flotilla, select a ship
to be the leader and click on it's "F-Leader" button. It should now say that
it is a leader, and it will have a distinct flotilla number. Then, select
all of the ships you wish to have in the flotilla, and click on the
"F-Number" button on them until the "Flotilla-Number:" field shows the
correct flotilla number. You should see all of the ships linked by dark grey
lines on the map (easier to see on the zoom-in map). All ships in the
flotilla will follow the leader, so you will need to tell the leader where
to go. Also, the leader will slow itself down to the speed of the slowest
ship in the group, so as not to leave anyone behind. If the flotilla leader
is destroyed, the flotilla will be disbanded and will have to be re-created.
There are a lot of new pods, as well as old ones, so they are described in
detail in the charts below, and in the section following that.
There are 3 wormholes in the game, for a total of 6 hole-openings
(2 per wormhole). These can be used to travel great distances across the
map very quickly. However you must find them first. Use scouts for this.
Also note that there are 4 blackholes in the game, and they look identical
to the wormholes! These will destroy any ship that enters. Remember, 4 black-
holes, and 6 worm-hole openings, that means any given anomaly has a 40%
chance of being deadly. Remember to build little junk ships to test them
before sending your main fleet through...
Well, that's about all that I can explain here, to understand the rest
you'll have to go play the game! Go on.. Go! What are you waiting for!?!?
Play it!! Go on! Oh yeh, read the charts first.......
Name: Hit Prob: Damage: Avg Dam:
Laser 1/2 2 1
Missile 1/3 3 1
Plasma Cannon 1/2 4 2
Torpedo 100% 3-5 4
Mine 100% 3-5 4
Name: ID: Cost: Mass:
Cargo C 500 300/700
Laser L 1000 600
Missile M 1000 600
Plasma P 2500 600
Sensor S 1200 200 Increases scan radius by 6
Shield A 800 250 Adds 4 to ship's armor factor
Stealth I 6000 1000 Ship invisible until in action zone
Bomb B 2500 1250
Targeter T 2000 250 Adds 1/12 to your hit probability.
ECM E 1200 250 Subtracts 1/12 from enemy's hit prob.
Thruster F 2300 500 Increases speed by 1 (compensates 750)
Cloak X 7000 1500 Ship invisible until it de-cloaks.
Torpedo O 4000 1000/1150
MineLayer W 3000 650/850
Jump Pod J 2000 850 Teleports ship once each.
Torp Loader K 3000 350/600 Extra Torp ammo, gives to other ships
Viper-ATC V 1500 500 Fires at up to two incoming torpedoes.
Name: Cost: Speed-increase: Accuracy-increase:
Boosters 7000 4 0
Engine-2 3000 2 0
Robot-Crew 5000 1 1/12
Ship Speed = 18 - (total_pod_mass / 250) + (boost_from_add_ons)
Ship Armor = 6 + (3 * number_of_pods)
Ship Cost = 5000 + total_pod_cost + total_add_on_cost
Scan Range = 4 + (number_of_sensors * 4)
This section explains each pod in detail, including the various nuances
and ambiguities that may not be apparent to the casual observer.
Cargo: Cargo pods are quite simple. They weigh little when
empty, and are heavy when full. Every ton of cargo
you carry translates to 1 credit of money.
Missiles, These are the main weapon types. Except for the
Lasers, difference in hit probabilities, damage ratios,
Plasma Cannons: and color, they are practically the same in terms
of the game. They do not use up ammo.
Shield/Armor: Though called both "shield" and "armor", it all means
the same thing. This type of pod simply makes it
tougher to kill your ship.
Sensor: Sensors, Scanners, various types of detection equipment.
This type of pod allows you to "see" further on the map,
and detect ships and incoming torpedoes.
Stealth: The stealth pod renders your ship invisible to all
outside of it's action zone. It can not be seen until
within weapon range.
Cloak: The Cloaking Device makes your ship invisible at ALL
ranges. However, a cloaked ship can not fire unless it
turns the cloak off. The cloak starts out turned off
anyway, and must be turned on to be used.
Bomb: Bomb pods allow you to have a nasty surprise for those
who blow up your ships, and also makes an effective
means of using "kamikaze" tactics. The radius of the
blast is (number-of-bombs/2)+1, rounded down. Keep in
mind that due to the unstable nature of bombs, they
will instantly detonate if you try to use a jump pod,
and will therefore never reach its destination.
Targeters: These miracles of science increase your odds of hitting
your targets by 1/12 each, or 1/24 when shooting at
ECM: ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) distorts the sensor
readings of enemy ships so that their chances of hitting
you decreases by 1/12 for every ECM pod you have.
Thruster: Thruster pods are addition engines which may be attached
to your ship to increase it's speed. Note however, if you
build a large ship, then add even more pods to compensate
the speed loss, you will have one MIGHTY EXPENSIVE ship.
MineLayer: Minlayers can hold up to 10 mines each. A ship equipped
with one or more of these pods will deploy one mine per
turn (if "minelaying" is turned on) until it runs out.
Mines can only be detonated by other players ships, though
your ships can get caught in the blast if nearby. An
effective means of creating a mine-sweeper (a ship that
clears away mines) would be to build a ship with large
amounts of shielding.
Torpedo-Launcher: Torpedoes are extremely long-ranged. They can be fired
at any location on the map, regardless of where the
torpedo ship is located. Torpedoes travel at speed 24,
and explode somewhere near the target (accuracy is not
something torpedoes have), and once they reach the
destination they explode in a different manner than
most other exploding things. There are gaps in the blast,
and ships can block the blast from hitting other ships.
You can take advantage of this to protect your bases.
Simply by placing ships next to the base, they can take
the brunt of the explosion. These pods can only hold
3 torpedoes, and can only fire once every 5 turns.
By using 4 launchers, you can fire 4 out of 5 turns.
Ships equiped with torpedo launchers will fire one
torpedo every turn it is capable of firing (it won't
fire if the launchers have not yet completed their load
cycle of 5 turns) until 'torpedo-firing' is turned off
or the ship runs out of ammo.
Torpedo-Loader: Loaders hold 5 torpedoes, and are less expensive than
launchers, but they can not launch the torpedoes. They
can be used for holding extra ammo, but they can also
be used to carry ammo out to your torpedo ships. Ships
with multiple launchers tend to get very slow, and it's
not practical to keep hauling them back to base to be
reloaded. Ships witch have loaders will automatically
give torpedoes to any of your torpedo ships within their
Jumper Pod: Jumpers are strange twisted and jumbled masses of coils
made of various materials, and are used to twist, fold,
and distort space. The result is the ability to teleport
the ship to any location on the map. However, the jumper
burns out in the process, and must be replaced at FULL
cost (which happens to be 2000) (as opposed to the usual
500 credit pod replacement fee + 1500 service and armor),
unless of course it is jettisoned instead of used. Of
course this works out to about the same cost for one pod,
but if you are reloading multiples of them the cost is
Viper-ATC: The Viper Anti-Torpedo-Cannon is a small array of
omnidirection laser cannons designed to track and
fire upon incoming torpedoes. Each pod may fire at
up to 2 torpedoes per turn. The V-ATC will not fire
at your torpedoes. Using the V-ATC takes a little
effort on your part, since the ship has to be positioned
such that it will be within firing range at the end of
Engine-2: The Engine-2 is a more powerful version of the normal
engine, thus allowing you to travel slightly faster
than normal (+2). Since your ships are slowed by 1 for
every 250 tons, and this pod weighs 250 tons, the speed
increase is acheived by compensating 750 tons.
Boosters: The Boosters are externally added engines witch provide
your ship with a considerable speed increase (+4).
Robot-Pod: The Robot command-module allows the ship to fly faster
(+1) since the robots don't require the same types of
safety features to be installed (such as a low-radiation
engine) as humans do. Robots are also faster to respond,
and therefore add a 1/12 to your hit probabilities in
combat (but not when shooting torpedoes). Note that use
of a Robot pod + 5 targeters is the only way to get
a 100% chance of hitting an enemy, assuming that enemy
isn't using ECM.
The following are a bunch of details that aren't made clear during the
game, as well as some hints and tips:
- Once all of the stars are depleted, one will be moved to the center of
the map and it will regenerate it's supply.
- The stealth and cloaking devices are the only pods that don't have a
cumulative effect for carrying multiples of them. It is absolutely
pointless to put more than one on a single ship, and for that reason
- Each type of pod has a limit on how many you can have on the ship.
Most pods allow you 6 each. Cloak and stealth pods allow only one,
ECM and targeters are 5, and mine and torp pods have a limit of 4,
and Viper-ATC pods are limited to 3 (with three only one in eight
torpedoes will survive).
- If you find the computer player too easy to defeat, then put yourself
against 2 or 3 of them teamed together using the Custom Game options.
- Setting the game configuration to "Bases can Fire" will equip each
starbase with one of each [standard] weapon.
- Starbases can travel through worm-holes, however they will not be
destroyed by black-holes.
- The score value displayed on the starbase menu is the value of that
particular players force with the rapair costs subtracted from each
ship (and base), plus the players money level.
- The cargo-ship ratio for the computer players determines what fraction
of their fleet will be cargo ships. Setting this to a low number will
slow down the computer players ability to replace its lost ships.
- At the bottom right of the game screen, 'cargo-ships' counts every
ship that has a cargo pod. 'Weapon-ships' however only includes the
plasma, laser, and missile equiped ships that do not have cargo pods.
(cargo and weapon equiped ships are considered armed cargo ships).
1.01 - First public release.
- Starbases don't die in black holes now.
- Starbases are no longer counted in your cargo-ship and
- Zoom-in map drawing speed increased. (you can make the maps
draw even faster if you set "See-All" under 'players' in the
F1 menu to 'yes', but that allows everyone to see everything,
and cloaks become useless).
1.02 - Using a jump pod on a ship equipped with bombs will cause the
ship to instantly detonate. This was added because several
players discovered that by jumping bomb ships into the enemy
territory, whoever found the location of the other first would
- Menu screen bug fixed.
1.03 - Attempting a jump with bombs on board will now give you a
warning instead of just simply detonating the ship.
- Occasionally the screen would get a little messed up
in clicking on a button inside a pop-up window. This has
This program is being distributed on the "shareware" concept. It is by
no means completely free. If you think the program is of use to you, or you
use it for any reasonable amount of time, please send a registration fee of
$10 (US). If you think that is rediculous, then send less (or more for that
matter). If you hate the program or found too many bugs, write me and tell
me, and include a graphic explanation (but don't be too harsh!! Heheheh). In
any event, write to:
Ed T. Toton III
7101 Talisman Lane
Columbia Md 21045
We accept cash, checks (ones that are paper, not rubber, if you catch my
meaning), or money orders. Please make sure all checks and money orders
are from US banks/postal-services, and all cash must be US legal tender.
And WHY should you register it?
1. To support my continuing efforts to bring you some level of
functional programs. If I get no cash, you get no improvements
in these programs, and I won't be encouraged to make new and
2. To get that warm glow for knowing that you supported the author
of at least one of the many shareware programs you probably use.
3. To find out if there is a newer version. All you need to do is
ask! But letters with money take priority!
4. You could be sick and demented and thus register everything you
get your hands on.
5. It's the right thing to do.
6. To get your very own registration number that will make that
"please register" screen at the end of the game go away.
Remember- Buying one of my games is more cost effective than buying one
of today's commercial game packages. A really good commercial
game will last you 20 hours of play or so, and cost you $50.
That comes out to a value of about $2.50 an hour. Most games
don't last even that, many will last only 5 or 10, and cost
$40 or more. If one of my games lasts you two hours, it's the
same ($2.50 an hour). But if you play it for more than two hours,
say 4 or 5, or even more, than you are paying significantly less
per hour. The same holds for any other program I create, as my
pricing is quite modest and reasonable. I've always been apalled
by some of the arrogance used in the pricing of shareware by
certain individuals, and I feel you should be able to obtain
software at reasonable prices as compared to the quality. I also
absolutely abhor those nasty tactics used in various programs
of crippling the software or requiring access codes to use
the extended features and so forth. You want software that WORKS
and I try to give exactly that. If you bought it from a shareware
disk vendor, that in itself does NOT mean you own your copy of the
program, it is still theft if you continue to use it without paying
for it. You are entitled to "try before you buy" only, not to use
and abuse. Please don't steal, pay for what you use.
This Program, Manual, and Data Files, are all protected by U.S. Copyright
Law (title 17 United States Code). Unauthorized reproduction, distribution
and/or sales may result in imprisonment of up to one year and fine up to
$10,000 (17 USC 506). Copyright infringers may also be subject to civil
liability. If you mess with us, we'll delete you!
The author of this program makes no warranties of any
kind, expressed or implied, as to the fitness, functionality,
effectiveness, or safety of this software and accompanying
documentation. Under no circumstances shall the author and
developer be liable for any damages incurred during or as a
result of the use of, or misuse of, or inability to use, this
software and documentation. All risk is assumed by the user,
and we hereby disclaim any implied warranties of fitness or
performance of this software. Use at your own risk.
The developer and author reserves the right to make
revisions and changes to the software and documentation without
warning at any time. Any and all changes and revisions will be
made without obligation to inform any person or persons of said
If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, criticisms, donations,
remarks, praise, or opinions, please write! I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!
(the address is listed above).
Feel free to call my BBS:
The Sorcerer's Quarters BBS
(410)-290-3752. 300 - 14400 baud,
v.32bis, v.42bis, etc..
Ed T. Toton III
Stellar Conquest III
(C) 1994 Ed T. Toton III
All Rights Reserved.
((C) includes the spelling errors)