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> Home > The Corewar Newsletters > The '94 Warrior > Issue #9

June 21, 1994                                                         Issue #9
______________________________________________________________________________

This newsletter covers the current status of the ICWS '94 Draft hills,
and also attempts to keep up with the latest ideas in how the new standard
will affect corewars in general.  I hope you enjoy it!

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
______________________________________________________________________________

CHANGES and CORRECTIONS:

A new version of pMARS has been released.  The latest version of pMARS now
has A-field indirection, and encourages the use of the ";assert" command
to make sure that the hill you are running your program on is adequate.
You can get it through anonymous FTP to soda.berkeley.edu.

I also owe Michael Constant an apology.  Sauron was removed (killed) by it's
owner, rather than being pushed off of the '94 draft hill -- as I stated
in the last issue of _The_'94_Warrior_.
______________________________________________________________________________

The ICWS '94 Draft Hill:

       Core size:	8000 instructions
   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 on "Pizza":
 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  45/ 34/ 21              Pyramid v5.5     Michael Constant     155      89
 2  45/ 36/ 18              Keystone t33              P.Kline     154     111
 3  40/ 27/ 33                  Torch t5              P.Kline     154       4
 4  36/ 23/ 40                    Sasami                T.Hsu     150      24
 5  38/ 34/ 27               Stimpy v2.0     Brant D. Thomsen     143      40
 6  39/ 37/ 23               Christopher       Steven Morrell     141     232
 7  30/ 19/ 51                      Aeka                T.Hsu     141       1
 8  31/ 22/ 47                 Cannonade              P.Kline     141     169
 9  39/ 38/ 23              Request v2.0     Brant D. Thomsen     141     342
10  30/ 19/ 51                 Blue Funk       Steven Morrell     140     311
11  30/ 20/ 51              Insight v1.0     Brant D. Thomsen     139      31
12  41/ 44/ 14             Iron Gate 1.5       Wayne Sheppard     138     288
13  30/ 22/ 48               B-Panama IX       Steven Morrell     138      39
14  42/ 47/ 11                  Rave 4.1        Stefan Strack     137     276
15  39/ 41/ 20               Sauron v6.0     Michael Constant     137      35
16  35/ 32/ 33                   mmfP v2           Karl Lewin     137      42
17  32/ 28/ 41                   Lucky 3        Stefan Strack     136     304
18  40/ 44/ 16              Dragon Spear             c w blue     136     344
19  30/ 24/ 46                     NC 94       Wayne Sheppard     136     324
20  38/ 42/ 20                  Aleph 0+              Jay Han     135      21

The top three programs are still Pyramid, Keystone, and Torch.  However, there
is a new entry that seems to be giving them some stiff competition.
Sasami, by T. Hsu, was submitted to the hill a few days ago, and has been
clinging to fourth place ever since.  The rest of the hill, as far as I can
tell, is total chaos.  I have a feeling that the next couple of weeks will
be really interesting -- especially as more programs are submitted that take
advantage of the latest pMARS additions.

The current ICWS '94 Draft hill on "Stormking":
 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  45/ 29/ 26               Sauron v3.6     Michael Constant     160       1
 2  41/ 27/ 32           Killer instinct         Anders Ivner     155      24
 3  36/ 21/ 43         Twimpede+/8000-d1              Jay Han     150      14
 4  44/ 38/ 17               Ntttgtstitd         Simon Hovell     150      25
 5  43/ 38/ 19              Request v2.0     Brant D. Thomsen     148      17
 6  34/ 21/ 44                   Lucky 3        Stefan Strack     147      12
 7  35/ 23/ 42                     NC II       Wayne Sheppard     147      79
 8  35/ 25/ 40               Sphinx v5.1         W. Mintardjo     145      82
 9  43/ 41/ 17            Sylvester v1.0     Brant D. Thomsen     144      61
10  29/ 19/ 53                      ttti        nandor sieben     139      35
11  32/ 26/ 42        JustTakingALookSee            J.Layland     138      78
12  31/ 24/ 45                     Snake       Wayne Sheppard     138      34
13  43/ 47/ 10                  Rave 4.1        Stefan Strack     138       7
14  39/ 40/ 21                      tiny            J.Layland     138      59
15  29/ 20/ 51                    ttti94        nandor sieben     137      30
16  39/ 42/ 19       Beholder's Eye v1.7         W. Mintardjo     137      91
17  38/ 42/ 19               Christopher       Steven Morrell     135      23
18  39/ 43/ 18                      SJ-4            J.Layland     134      28
19  37/ 43/ 20            Fast Food v2.1     Brant D. Thomsen     131      37
20  35/ 40/ 26                    pepper              P.Kline     129       6
______________________________________________________________________________

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 (Big) hill on "Pizza":
 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  50/ 34/ 16                  ivscan6b            J.Layland     165      17
 2  49/ 33/ 18             Request-55440     Brant D. Thomsen     164     153
 3  49/ 35/ 17              Pyramid v5.3     Michael Constant     163      44
 4  37/ 18/ 46                   Aleph 1              Jay Han     156      15
 5  42/ 34/ 24               Stimpy v2.0     Brant D. Thomsen     151       8
 6  36/ 27/ 37             Variation G-1              Jay Han     145     117
 7  41/ 38/ 21                   Aleph 0              Jay Han     145      16
 8  42/ 41/ 17                     Fscan              Jay Han     142       1
 9  32/ 25/ 43              NotSoBigImps        James Layland     140      13
10  38/ 37/ 25                      Lump            J.Layland     139      98
11  39/ 39/ 22                Vanity IIx        Stefan Strack     138     108
12  43/ 47/ 10                 Rave B4.1        Stefan Strack     138     114
13  32/ 27/ 41 Der Zweite Blitzkrieg - 9      Mike Nonemacher     138     115
14  31/ 25/ 43                 Blue Funk       Steven Morrell     137       7
15  42/ 46/ 12                    Squint      Mike Nonemacher     137      91
16  33/ 31/ 35                  Lucky 13        Stefan Strack     135     159
17  42/ 48/ 10                 Plasma v5       Wayne Sheppard     135      55
18  31/ 32/ 37            Sasami / 55440                T.Hsu     131       3
19  30/ 30/ 39                  Splash 1              Jay Han     130     118
20   7/  2/  0                     Fscan              Jay Han      21       2

Not too much is happening on the big hill at the moment.  I've noticed that
the intensity tends to switch between the '94 draft and the '94 experimental
hills.  Then again, perhaps it's just summer break.

The current ICWS '94 Experimental (Big) hill on "Stormking":
 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  48/ 12/ 40             Variation M-1              Jay Han     184       2
 2  46/ 30/ 24             Request-55440     Brant D. Thomsen     162      54
 3  40/ 20/ 40                  Lucky 13        Stefan Strack     161      20
 4  46/ 36/ 18                    Raiden Richard van der Brug     157       3
 5  45/ 35/ 19                Vanity IIx        Stefan Strack     155       8
 6  35/ 18/ 47              Bakers Dozen       Wayne Sheppard     153      13
 7  40/ 30/ 31               Sauron v2.4     Michael Constant     150       5
 8  30/ 15/ 55         Imperfection v2.3     Michael Constant     146      48
 9  36/ 31/ 33             Variation D-1              Jay Han     142      15
10  44/ 47/ 10                 Rave B4.1        Stefan Strack     141       9
11  42/ 46/ 12                  bigproba        nandor sieben     138      12
12  41/ 46/ 14               Dagger v7.0     Michael Constant     136      14
13  40/ 48/ 11                 The Count              Jay Han     132      44
14  27/ 23/ 50                    BigImp        Alex MacAulay     132      95
15  30/ 29/ 41         jmpWetPaper-94x-a      J.M.Pohjalainen     131       1
16  26/ 23/ 51                   BigImps        James Layland     129     114
17  31/ 35/ 34                Veeble Jr.         T. H. Davies     126      16
18  28/ 37/ 34               Industrious        Stefan Strack     119       4
19  29/ 40/ 31                 Open Arms        Stefan Strack     117       7
20  29/ 41/ 30                      Test        Stefan Strack     116       6
______________________________________________________________________________

HINTS and HELPS:

For this issue's hint, I'd like to make some suggestions about what new
abilities the A-field indirection in the latest pMARS release makes possible.
(I tried to come up with examples for each of these points, but couldn't find
any that I was really pleased with.)

Probably the most obvious benefit is the enhanced ability to store information
in the A-field of instructions.  With the increasing use of SPL #a, JMP #a,
and MOV.I #a instructions, the are an increasing number of instructions in
a program that can have their A-field used to store information.  Take a
look at your old programs and see if there isn't another DAT that you can
eliminate, or if you can now implement a SPL/DAT core-clear with that code.

Another feature that is made possible by the latest enhancements to pMARS is
that anti-vampiric code is now much easier to write.  It is no longer
necessary to extract the A-field value from an instruction, as you can now
simply use the value in that location as a pointer instead.  (Actually, I'm
not that excited about having better anti-vampiric programs, since I've grown
fond of Request over the last few months.)  I tried to take advantage of this
ability when I submitted the program Insight to the hill, but it did much
worse against vampires -- and better against several other programs -- than I
expected.

Along these same lines, I have the feeling that the latest changes to pMARS
will result in more intelligent programs.  For instance, much more information
can be found in boot-strapping code.  Instead of just being able to trace
where MOV statements point to, the SPL and JMP statements will always be
traceable as well.  I wouldn't be surprised if there is soon a warrior on the
hill that uses a quick-scanner to find bootstrapping code, then tries to
exploit any information in that code.  Now, more than ever, I think it will
become important to spend a couple of extra instructions covering up your
trail after you boot-strap.

I have no doubt that there will be some interesting changes to the hill when
using these new addressing modes becomes more common.  I have already found
myself writing programs differently to account for their effects.
______________________________________________________________________________

Looking to the Future:

I'd like to (again) encourage everyone to experiment around with the latest
additions to the pMARS language.  Remember that A-field indirection, and the
NOP and SNE instructions, have not been added to the draft of the '94
language.  It will be your input that will be used to decide, later on,
whether or not they will be.

If you have any comments or questions about the '94 hills or the '94 draft
standard that you think might be of general interest, please let me know.
Also, if there are any particular topics you would like to see covered in
future editions of _The_'94_Warrior_, please send me e-mail on that as well.

Good luck, and happy computing!
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt