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STARSHIP: Invasion is a real-time space combat simulation.
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STARSHIP: Invasion is a real-time space combat simulation.
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READ21 9043 3824 deflated
STARSHIP.000 19968 8683 deflated
STARSHIP.COM 44487 22041 deflated
STARSHIP.DAT 616 108 deflated
STARSHIP.DOC 29608 8214 deflated

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Contents of the STARSHIP.DOC file


STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

By George P. Moromisato
Copyright (c) January 1987 by Thinking Machine Associates

INTRODUCTION. STARSHIP: Invasion is a real-time simulation
of starship combat at the beginnings of the Joharian Wars.
As commander of the H.I.M.S. Stinger, a fully-configured
Excalibur class starship, you must intercept an invasion
fleet and delay it as long as possible so that the rest of
the Imperial fleet may have time to prepare against it. At
the same time, you must protect the six starbases in the
quadrant which will serve as your re-fueling and repair

THE PROGRAM. The game consists of the following files:

STARSHIP.COM The actual game.
STARSHIP.000 An overlay file. (must be in same
directory as STARSHIP.COM)
STARSHIP.DAT A high score file. (if you want to
start a new record, simply delete
this file.)
READ21 Notes about the latest version

As far as I know, the game will work on an IBM PC or
compatible with a Mono Card/Color Graphics Card/EGA Card
without any problems, but I'm not sure what other machines it
will work on. The program will try to detect which card you
are using, so that any configuration is unnecessary.

PLAYING STARSHIP. Type STARSHIP at the DOS prompt to start
the program. You should see a menu line at the bottom of the
screen with several options:

F1: Help An introduction to the game.
F2: Begin Start the game.
F3: Level Change the level of difficulty.
F4: Speed Change the speed. 1: Slow 10: Fast.
F5: Sound Toggle sound on and off.
F9: Scores The current high score.
: Exit Back to DOS.

To start the game hit the F2 key. Once the screen has
been drawn, you should see something like this schematic

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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LRS -5-4-3-2-1 0 1 2 3 4 5 100 GENERATOR
o o o 000 000 000 5 5 100 # 100 ||||||||||
o o o 000 000 000 4 4 ### oooooooo
o o o 000 000 000 3 3 100 ###### 100 ||||||||||
+-----------+ 2 2 ###
]ooooo | | 1 1 100 # 100 MGe WDr SDr
]ooooo | | 0 VIEW 0 100 Shi Dam
]ooooo | | -2 -2 ]||||||||||||||||||
SrS | | -3 -3 ]ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo
LrS | | -4 -4 ]OOOOO
+-----------+ -5 -5
-5-4-3-2-1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Pha Pho AMP
+-----------+ BASES
Co-ordinates = 6, 7 Trillum = 32456 | | 1: 8,7
Sector = -10, 6 Energy output = 000000 | | 2: 7,9
Shields = 00000 | MAP | 3: 4,2

Sub-light Drv = 000 | | 4: 2,2
Warp Drv = 00000 | | 5: 5,8
| | 6: 1,9

The displays correspond to the following:

VIEW SCREEN Shows you what is around your ship.
SRS Shows you all the ships in the
LRS Shows you the contents of the
sectors adjacent to your sector in
the following format:

nnb nn is the number of
enemy ships.
b is the starbase
MAP A map of the whole Centaurus
quadrant. Each block represents a
sector. The bright blocks are
sectors with a starbase. The gray
blocks are sectors with enemy ships.
And the blinking block is the sector
the ship is in.
GENERATOR This is one of the most important
displays in the ship. The top and
bottom bars indicate how much power
the generators can provide. The
middle bar indicates the current
load on the generator.
SHIELDS The numbers around the picture of

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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the ship are current settings of the
shields. The ship picture also
indicates structural damage. If the
hull is damaged, the corresponding
spot will blink in the display.
WEAPONS The top line is the phaser
temperature bar. The middle line is
the number of photon torpedoes left.
The bottom line is the number of
anti-matter missiles left.
BASES This shows the status of the six
bases. If a base is under attack,
the corresponding number will blink.

You can give the following commands:

Move the ship within the sector.
Start warp drive. The power must
build up, but once ready, press
again to warp. Once in warp,
use the cursor keys to move around
and the space bar to end warp.

Raise every shield plate 100 units.
Raise front shield plates 100 units.
Raise rear shield plates 100 units.
Lower shields by 100 units.
All shields off.


Fire phasers. Must be followed by
a direction to fire in, or space
bar to abort.
Fire photons. Followed by direction.
Fire A/M missiles. Followed by a

If the ship is not currently under
attack, this command will repair
Engage self-destruct. To confirm,
press <#>. Any other key to abort.

MAIN GENERATOR. The main generator powers the entire ship.
The generator display, in the upper-right corner of the
screen, display two things. The bars on top and bottom
indicate the maximum capacity of the generator and the center
bar indicates the present load of the generator. If the
present load ever exceeds the maximum generating capacity,
the generator will overload. At first, an overload will only
damage the generator, but since a damaged generator will
produce less power, a chain reaction will soon occur, and the
reactor will explode.
In addition to this display, the energy board (below

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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the viewscreen) will tell you how much power is being used.
The energy output is the present load on the generator.
Under normal circumstances, the generator should be able to
handle loads of up to 18000 +/- 500, but this will drop if
the ship is damaged. Underneath, the amount of power
currently used by the shields, sub-light drive, and warp
drive is displayed.
NOTE: Most reactor explosions occur because the warp
generator was brought on-line while the generator was
already at maximum with the shields. Because the warp drive
generally requires up to 13000 units, it is important to
lower the shields (which may take up to 14000) before

SHIELDS. The mark IV Aegis shield generator has eight
separate plates each protecting a different side of the ship.
The shield/damage display shows the value at which each of
the plates is set (in the diagram, 100.) It is important to
realize that each component of the starship is in a different
location. The engines and main generator are in the back and
the weapons systems are in front. Because of this, and
because the shields can not always be kept at maximum, you
should select the shields appropiately. i.e. if you are
about to engage in a frontal attack, raise the front shields,
or if the main generator is damaged, raise the rear shields.
The shields can be set to a maximum of 999 units at the
start, but if the shield generator is damaged, this figure
could be much lower. Every hit on the ship will degrade the
maximum shield strength.
In addition to shields, this display will also show any
structural damage. If the shields are pierced, and the
ships is damaged, the figure of the ship will blink in the
damaged area.

WEAPONS. The Stinger has three types of weapons each with
its own advantages and limitations. The phaser weapon is an
single omni-directional projector with a range of five spaces
(to the edge of the viewscreen). Although there is no limit
to the number of shots it can fire, the projector gets hot
after repeated shots. The top bar in the weapons display
shows the phaser overload status. The higher it gets, the
hotter the phasers are. In general it is good to wait until
they cool down, as repeated firings will overload it and
possibly destroy the phasers.
The photon torpedoes are roughly twice as powerful as
the phasers, but they move slowly (well below the speed of
light) and in that time their target can move away. Unlike
phasers, the ship only has twenty of them. The middle bar
in the weapons display tell you how many torpedoes you have
The most powerful weapons of all are the anti-matter
pods. These weapons are ten times more powerful than
photons, but there are only five on board, and their range

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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is very limited. In general, one must be nearly next to a
ship to be in range. The last bar in the weapons display
tells you how many pods you have left.

DAMAGE DISPLAY. The indicator lights around the board (MGe,
WDr, SDr under the generator display, for instance.) will
give the damage status of all the systems. If they are
blinking, that system is damaged. If they are on, but not
blinking, then the system is destroyed.

The various systems are:
MGe main generator
WDr warp drive
SDr sub-light drive
Shi shields
Dam damage control
Pha phasers

Pho photons
AMP anti-mater pods
SrS short range scan
LrS long range scan

Damaged systems will operate, but often inefficiently.
A damaged generator will put out less power, a damaged
warp generator will take longer to build up power, etc.
If damage control is itself destroyed, the ship will be
unable to repair damage internally, and the damage displays
will be inaccurate.

WARP DRIVE. Once the warp drive is engaged it will have to
build up power to approximately 13000 units. If either the
warp drive or the main generator is damaged, it may take a
while to build up. Always watch the generator display as the
power builds up. If the power exceeds the generating
capacity, turn off the shields, or abort the warp.
Once in warp, you will see the blinking block on the
map move from quadrant to quadrant and the LR scan update.
Use the cursor keys to move the ship during warp, and press
the space bar to come out of warp-space.

DOCKING. If the ship is in the same sector as a starbase,
you may dock to re-supply or repair damages. You can not
dock with shields raised, however, and if you attempt to do
so you will be instructed to lower them. Once docked, you
will be asked if you want to repair damages. The starbase
will repair damages for a while, but if repairs take too
long, it will ask again if you want to continue with the
repairs. Repairing takes time, and the enemy ships will move
towards their targets in the meantime.

THE ENEMY. The Joharian ships will come in waves. At first
only a few fleets will appear, but soon more and more will
come. Eventually the giant Troop Carriers will appear.

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These must be destroyed if at all possible because they carry
the Ground Assault Troops necessary for an invasion of the
Inner Periphery.
There are many types of enemy ships, each progressively
more powerful than the last. Press the help key (F1) at the
main menu to see a brief description of all the different
types of ships.

There are a total of ten waves. The first 2 are
composed of only scout fleets and are fairily easy to take
on. The next 2 are more advanced strike fleets composed of
some Assassin groups. These are designed to destroy your
bases. (Level of difficulty 2 starts at the first of these
two waves.) The next 3 waves are heavier battle fleets
composed of Avengers and sometimes Star Destroyers. (Level
of difficulty 3 starts at the beginning of these three
waves.) The next 3 waves are the Main Invasion Fleets.
The fleets are often composed of at least three Star
Destroyers and numerous support ships. It is these wave
that contain the Troop Carriers.

Wave Type of Fleets
1 Scout Fleets <- First Contact
2 Scout Fleets
3 Strike Force <- Strike Force
4 Strike Force
5 Invasion Fleets <- Invasion!
6 Invasion Fleets
7 Invasion Fleets
8 Troop Carriers
9 Troop Carriers
10 Ragnarok

SCORING. Points are awarded for every ship killed as

Fighter: 5
Assault Ship: 10
Cruiser: 15
Heavy Cruiser: 25
Warship: 100
Assassin: 200
Avenger: 250
Star Destroyer: 500
Troop Carrier: 2000

In addition, every wave, you will receive a bonus for
the number of starbases left equal to 100 x (No Of Starbases
Left) x (Wave number)

Depending on which level of difficulty you start on,
you will receive a bonus if you complete your starting wave:

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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Level 1 Bonus (First Contact): 0
Level 2 Bonus (Strike Force): 2000
Level 3 Bonus (Invasion!): 7000

intimidating for the beginner because of all the displays and
maps that one has to keep track of. Admittedly, this is not
an easy game to learn, but the following strategies may help:

- I usually play with my right hand on the cursor
pad and my left hand on the important keys: Index finger
on Y (phasers), middle finger on T (photons) and little
finger on A (anti-matter pods). This may take getting use
to, and I'm not sure if it's the best way to play, but it
works for me. If you think other positions would be better,
please write me with your suggestions, I would be glad to
change the key arrangement.
- The displays to keep track of besides the main view
screen, are: the main generator display, the phaser
temperature display, and the shield display. All other
displays are not critical during combat. If you familiarize
yourself with these three displays you will be able to
keep track of all the important ship functions during
combat. Occasionally you may have to refer to the SRS
screen, especially if you are trying to avoid ships.
- As stated previously, the single greatest cause of
death for first time players is warping with full shields.
The generator can only handle a certain load, and trying to
warp while keeping the shields up will almost certainly
overload the mains, destroying the entire ship. Pay
attention to the main generator display.
- If you absolutely have to warp with shields on,
(suppose you are being attacked and you want to warp out,
but you don't want to be defenseless while the power builds
up,) then warp but keep an eye on the generator display. The
minute you see it overloading, lower the shields. Hopefully
you will warp to the safety of a starbase soon thereafter.
- Destroy the troop carriers if at all possible, they
are worth a lot of points. But if you feel that you can
not, (they are hard to kill, and can be very dangerous) then
leave them alone. The will usually not try to destroy you
or attack your starbases.
- The best way to destroy the more powerful fleets is
to destroy a few ships at a time and then warp out and
resupply. The Stinger's main advantage over the other ships
is its maneuverability in sub-light and speed in warp.
- Keep your shields as high as you dare. The greater
the shield setting, the less damage will get through. When
fighting Star Destroyers and Avengers, raise your shields to
maximum and attack them with A/M missiles and photon
torpedoes. DO NOT use your phasers while your shields are
on full, they would most certainly overload the generator.

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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TECHNICAL NOTES. More advanced players would perhaps benefit
from a more thourough and quantitative description of the
game. The following notes are only loosely arranged in
categories, and like the hints and strategies, are not
necessary to play the game, but perhaps will help to survive
to see the Troop Carriers.

Base: There is always a base consumption of
100-150 units of energy for life-support,
system power, etc.
Warp: The warp generator must build up to
at least 12000 units to warp, but often
it will be higher.
Shields: Shields take 200 units of energy for
every 100 units that each plate is
raised. Thus raising all the shields
100 units will consume 1600 units of
energy. (8 plates, 200 units per
Phasers: Phasers need about 5000 units of enery
plus a certain extra amount depending
on the temperature. (Often up to 2000
if they are near critical.)

Since the average power delivered by an undamaged
generator is 18000 units, it is clear that the
shields can not be raised to more than about 700
units per plate if phasers are to be used. Instead
of raising all the shields to 700 point, it would be
better to raise the rear shields to 999 and the
front shields to 400. That way, hits on the rear
will not damage the generator as much. NOTE: Even
at a setting of 700 per plate, the phasers will
overload the generator if they are too hot.

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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Depending on the setting of a shield plate, the
plate will absorb a certain percentage of the energy
from enemy weapons:

100 % x
90 x

80 x

70 x

60 x

50 x

40 x

30 x

20 x

10 x

0 x
| | | | | | | | | | |
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 999

Shield Setting

As you can see, there is a change in the slope of
the curve at about 300 units. The shields will
absorb 50% of the energy at 300 units, indicating
that the shields should be kept at at least 300
units. (Which corresponds to the value below
which the shield lights start flashing.)

The shields never reach 100% absorbtion. The
best is 95%.

Phasers: Cause approx. 75 units of energy on
enemy ships.
Photons: Cause approx. 150 units on enemy ships.
A/M Pods: Cause approx. 1500 units on enemy ships.

Damage inflicted varies substantially by a
factor of almost 50%.

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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Different devices are located on different parts
of the ship. The following chart locates all of
the important systems on the ships.

# WDr
Pha ###
###### SDr
Pho ###
Shi # MGe

Although the Joharian starships outnumbered
Imperial ships by almost 10 to 1 during the wars,
they lagged behind technologically in two important
respects. First of all, their warp generators were
slow and consumed a lot of power, forcing their ships
to warp a sector at a time. Second and perhaps most
important, their ships lacked any form of energy
deflector shields. The following is a basic summary
of the different Joharian ships of the era:

Ship Weapon strength Armour Notes:
phaser photon

Fighter 50 none none fast and maneuverable
Assault 100 none very light fast and maneuverable
Cruiser 50 100 light
H Cruiser 100 100 medium
Warship 150 200 heavy
Assassin 200 none light fast and maneuverable
attacks bases
Avenger none >200 very heavy torpedoes track ship
very slow
Star Dest 200 >300 very heavy torpedoes track ship
Carrier ??? none very heavy very slow
powerful phasers

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. If not for the tire-less work of the many
people who play-tested this game, Starship would still be in
version 1.0. I would especially like to thank Loren Pechtel
for extensively play-testing version 2.0 and for his
innumerable suggestions for improvement. Unbounded thanks
must also go to Ed Masterson and his friends at Worcester

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1

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Polytechnic Institute for endlessly finding "yet another
bug." And certainly I can not forget Stephen and Ray Bogusz
and their friends who had to put up with more than a few I/O
F3 errors in their games. Thanks to all.

STARSHIP: Invasion v2.1


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