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> Home > The Corewar Newsletters > The '94 Warrior > Issue #3

March 2, 1994                                                         Issue #3
______________________________________________________________________________

The interest in the '94 standard appears to be increasing dramatically.
There has been a lot of discussion in the rec.games.corewar newsgroup
recently about the proposed standard, and a large number of entries on
the '94 hills.  Keep it up!

If you are unfamiliar with the '94 draft standard, you can learn more about
it by reading the FAQ for this newsgroup.  In addition, the program pMARS
includes a highly recommended tutorial on the new standard.  Feel free
to send me e-mail if you have any difficulty finding either of them, if you
need to have a corewar item mailed to you, or if you have any other questions.

The FAQ is available through anonymous FTP to rtfm.mit.edu, as
/pub/usenet/news.answers/games/corewar-faq.Z
______________________________________________________________________________

The ICWS '94 Draft Hill:

       Core size:	8000 instrucitons
   Max processes:	8000 per program
        Duration:	After 80,000 cycles, a tie is declared.
Max entry length:	100 instructions

The current ICWS '94 Draft hill:
 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  42/ 29/ 30           Killer instinct         Anders Ivner     154       6
 2  38/ 25/ 37                     NC II       Wayne Sheppard     151      61
 3  35/ 19/ 46                      ttti        nandor sieben     151      17
 4  37/ 25/ 38               Sphinx v5.1         W. Mintardjo     150      64
 5  35/ 20/ 45                    ttti94        nandor sieben     150      12
 6  43/ 42/ 15           Fire Storm v1.1         W. Mintardjo     145      67
 7  35/ 25/ 41                     Snake       Wayne Sheppard     145      16
 8  35/ 27/ 37        JustTakingALookSee            J.Layland     143      60
 9  40/ 42/ 18            Sylvester v1.0     Brant D. Thomsen     139      43
10  40/ 41/ 19               Ntttgtstitd         Simon Hovell     139       7
11  38/ 38/ 24               Christopher       Steven Morrell     137       5
12  40/ 42/ 18                      SJ-4            J.Layland     137      10
13  41/ 46/ 14                      Rave        Stefan Strack     136      44
14  40/ 45/ 15                    Rave 3        Stefan Strack     136      33
15  38/ 40/ 22            Fast Food v2.1     Brant D. Thomsen     135      19
16  39/ 42/ 19       Beholder's Eye v1.7         W. Mintardjo     135      73
17  37/ 41/ 23                      tiny            J.Layland     133      41
18  39/ 46/ 15                Impurge 94     Fredrik Ohrstrom     131       3
19  36/ 42/ 22                  Vanity/M        Stefan Strack     130       1
20  30/ 32/ 37                     CG IV     Brant D. Thomsen     129       2

Although there were several attempts at the hill, only one program managed
to get on successfully:  "Vanity/M", a SPL/JMP bombing B-scanner.  It
replaced "Medusa's v6".

There are several scanners on the hill, but they all seem to be stuck in
the bottom 10.  The vampires on the hill are also starting to take a real
beating.  The programs that currently tend to be doing the best are mostly
imp-spiral based, although "Killer Instinct" is a notable exception to this.
______________________________________________________________________________

The ICWS '94 Draft Experimental Hill:

       Core size:	55,440 instructions
   Max processes:	10,000 per program
        Duration:	After 500,000 cycles, a tie is declared.
Max entry length:	200 instructions

The current ICWS '94 Experimental hill:
 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  60/ 12/ 29                    BigImp        Alex MacAulay     208       8
 2  62/ 30/  8            Rave 3 (55440)        Stefan Strack     195      19
 3  55/ 19/ 26       Imperfection v1.0 X     Michael Constant     191       4
 4  53/ 26/ 21                   CG-X IV     Brant D. Thomsen     180      18
 5  58/ 38/  4           No Ties Allowed       Wayne Sheppard     178      24
 6  48/ 21/ 31                   BigImps        James Layland     174      27
 7  55/ 38/  7                        BS            J.Layland     172      26
 8  52/ 36/ 12             Dagger v6.0 X     Michael Constant     168       7
 9  40/ 35/ 25                 Iron Gate       Wayne Sheppard     145      23
10  39/ 46/ 16                 Surprise7         James Ojaste     132       6
11  38/ 45/ 17           testing testing     Fredrik Ohrstrom     132      14
12  37/ 45/ 19                Surprise71         James Ojaste     128       3
13  35/ 49/ 15                Surprise7a         James Ojaste     122       2
14  39/ 57/  4                   Tracker                 Snow     121       1
15  35/ 56/  9                 bunker t3              P.Kline     113      15
16  18/ 31/ 51               Frantic 0.9                A Lee     104      28
17  28/ 53/ 20           Road Hammer 0.3         Simon Hovell     103      25
18  29/ 58/ 13                    VJX-2a         James Ojaste     100      11
19  28/ 64/  8                     VJX-2         James Ojaste      93      12
20  24/ 67/  9                     VJX-4         James Ojaste      82      10

It looks like the experimental hill has finally filled up, and Alex MacAulay's
"BigImp" program is dominating it.  If I'm not mistaken, "BigImp" is a
standard imp-spiral/stone combination.  It looks like all your '94 programs
will still need to deal with Imps!
______________________________________________________________________________

HINTS and HELPS:

This issue's hint is brought to you by Stefan Strack.  Stefan is the driving
force behind the creation of a '94 ICWS Standard, as well as being heavily
involved in the pMARS project.  It was his tournament last fall, in fact, that
got me interested in the current '94 standard.


                Rejuvenating a Classic

In the last issue of _The_'94_Warrior_, Brant mentioned that the best
way to get familiar with ICWS'94 is to optimize an ICWS'88 warrior.
This is what I am going to do in the following. I am going to start
with a classic SPL-carpet bombing CMP-scanner, Agony 3.1, and turn it
step by step into its shorter, more efficient '94 counterpart Rave 3.

To start with, here is the code for Agony 3.1:

;redcode
;name Agony 3.1
;author Stefan Strack
;strategy Small-interval CMP scanner that bombs with a SPL 0 carpet.

CDIST   equ 12
IVAL    equ 42
FIRST   equ scan+OFFSET+IVAL
OFFSET  equ (2*IVAL)
DJNOFF  equ -431

scan    sub incr,comp
comp    cmp FIRST-CDIST,FIRST
        slt #incr-comp+CDIST+(bptr-comp)+1,comp
        djn scan,<FIRST+DJNOFF
        mov #CDIST+(bptr-comp)+1,count
        mov comp,bptr
bptr    dat #0
split   mov bomb,<bptr
count   djn split,#0
        jmn scan,scan
bomb    spl 0
        mov incr,<count
incr    dat <0-IVAL,<0-IVAL

        end comp

The first four instructions scan for enemy code, comparing 12 
instructions apart. If a difference was found, a bomb carpet is laid, 
starting 4 addresses above the B-address and ending with the 
A-address. This class of CMP-scanner wastes a lot of time bombing 
decremented addresses or decoy code, and therefore loses a lot 
against stone-type bombers. You can decrease the CMP-distance of 12 
to cut down on the time spent laying the carpet, but the scan pattern
becomes quickly sub-optimal, especially against larger warriors.
Mintardjo was able to shorten the bomb carpet without shortening the
CMP-distance by decrementing the 'cmp' instruction directly. His
warrior "Medusa's" is however one line longer than Agony, because the
pre-decrement misses bombing the B-address, which therefore has to be
bombed with a separate instruction:

;redcode
;name Medusa's v2.1
;author Mintardjo & Stefan

CDIST   equ 12
IVAL    equ 28
FIRST   equ scan-OFFSET+IVAL
OFFSET  equ 5324

scan    sub data,comp
comp    cmp FIRST-CDIST,FIRST
        slt #data-comp+CDIST+1,comp
        djn scan,<FIRST+163
        mov #CDIST-1,count
split   mov bomb,<comp
count   djn split,#0
        add #CDIST-1,comp
        jmz scan,scan-1
bomb    spl 0, <0-IVAL+1
incr    mov data, <bomb-1
        jmp incr, <0-IVAL-1
data    DAT <0-IVAL, <0-IVAL

        end comp

Here is where ICWS'94's _post_-increment comes into play: we can now
use the 'cmp' instruction as a pointer, and still bomb everything
including A- and B-address with a 2-line loop. Since the B-address is
now incremented, it must initially be lower than the A-address. So we
don't bomb our one code we now need to test the A-address with the
slt.A instruction. Adding the .F modifier to the DJN makes it both
safer (we fall thru only if both A- and B-numbers are 1) and more
effective. Finally, we dispose of the last DAT instruction by
combining the scan increments with the SPL instruction. As explained
in the first issue, SPL #n is executed like SPL 0. Here the full code:

;redcode-94
;name Rave 3
;author Stefan Strack
;strategy Carpet-bombing scanner based on Agony and Medusa's

CDIST   equ 12
IVAL    equ 42
FIRST   equ scan+OFFSET+IVAL
OFFSET  equ (2*IVAL)
DJNOFF  equ -431
BOMBLEN equ CDIST+2

        org    comp

scan    sub.f  incr,comp
comp    cmp.i  FIRST,FIRST-CDIST        ;larger number is A
        slt.a  #incr+1-comp+BOMBLEN,comp  ;compare to A-number
        djn.f  scan,<FIRST+DJNOFF       ;decrement A- and B-number
        mov.ab #BOMBLEN,count
split   mov.i  incr,>comp               ;post-increment
count   djn.b  split,#0
        sub.ab #BOMBLEN,comp
        jmz.a  scan,scan-1
incr    spl.b  #-IVAL,<-IVAL
        mov.i  1,<count

-Stefan (stst@vuse.vanderbilt.edu)
______________________________________________________________________________

Looking to the Future:

The lastest draft of the standard has been on soda.berkeley.edu for about
a month now (as /pub/corewar/incoming/icws94.0202.Z).  Take a look at it
and let the newsgroup know what you think.  There are some interesting 
additions to the former '94 draft standard, and there has been some intense
discussion in the newsgroup lately about parsing code and adding new
instructions.  Now is the time to voice your opinions!

Also, please submit your programs to the '94 hills.  We'd love to have your
best KOTH warrior on the standard '94 hill, even if it is still '88 
compliant.

If you have any comments or questions about the '94 hills or the '94
standard that you think might be of general interest, please let me know.
Good luck, and happy computing!
______________________________________________________________________________

Brant D. Thomsen, Editor	   Snail mail:	1197 E. 6290 S.
(bdthomse@peruvian.cs.utah.edu)			Salt Lake City, UT  84121
University of Utah				U.S.A.
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt