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> Home > The Corewar Newsletters > Core Warrior > Issue #1

Issue 14                                                      January 29, 1996
______________________________________________________________________________
Core_Warrior_ is a weekly newsletter promoting the game of corewar.  Emphasis
is placed on the most active hills--currently the '94 draft hill and the
beginner hill.  Coverage will follow where ever the action is.  If you have
no clue what I'm talking about then check out these five-star internet locals
for more information:

FAQs are available by anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu as
pub/usenet/news.answers/games/corewar-faq.Z
FTP site is: ftp.csua.berkeley.edu /pub/corewar
Web pages are at:
http://www.stormking.com/~koth                  ;Stormking
http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~pizza/koth        ;Pizza
http://pauillac.inria.fr/~doligez/corewar/      ;Planar
______________________________________________________________________________
Greetings.

Another issue of the world's premier core war e-zine!

Tuc has gone insane.  He spent the weekend popping Vivarin, chasing them with
Mountain Dew, and coding like a maniac.  I copied this off the Stormking core 
war page.  It's copyrighted.  Please don't sue me.

Major changes and improvements are being made to SKI-ICWS to prepare for
the release of SKI-ICWS-II, the next generation in Koth service. There are
two major areas that this involves, the front end and the back end.

The front end is the part of the system that processes your mail and
replies back to any immediate requests such as ;status, ;help, etc. These
require no processing other than sending a file or two.

The back end is where the warriors actually do battle. ;kill gets processed
here only because by the time your warrior is ready for battle, it may have
already been pushed off the hill. ;password is associated with this for a
submission, but not for the ;newpasswd command.

Currently, all work is being done on the front end. This means that ;kill
and ;password processing is not working, and any other suggestions for
battle, like ;fight, are not being worked on.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phase I - Front End

   * Ability to add ;redcode lines to a ;status request to only get certain
     hill results - DONE
   * Addition of a ;password line in a warrior. If not given, one will be
     randomly generated for you. - DONE
   * ;newpasswd has been added to change passwords. - DONE
   * ;newredcode has been added to allow you to change the ;redcode line to
     quiet or verbose or standard - DONE
   * A ;version command has been added to see if a new version of the
     system is operational and any errors identified fixed. - DONE
   * ;url to point to a url when viewing the scores via the web - DONE
   * ;newurl to change what url you point to for those viewing on the web -
     TBD
   * (Add a NEW Function) and your idea could be here

Phase II - Back End

   * ;scores to display the last sets of scores for a hill (This is
     actually a Front-End modification, but requires Back-End work to
     support it)
   * ;fight to specifically fight one/more warriors (Front End Mod, but
     needs Back-End support for it)
   * (Add a NEW Function) and your idea could be here
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nice to haves

   * During reply of a warrior compile and being placed in the pen,
     estimate the length of time it will be before the battle is completed.
     - MEDIUM PRIORITY
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your chance to help out with suggestions/bug reports

* Enter a New Function you would like to see
* Enter a Bug Report for either SKI-ICWS or SKI-ICWS-II
______________________________________________________________________________
Hill Specs:
	 coresize: 8000
   max. processes: 8000
	 duration: after 80,000 cycles, a tie is declared.
max. entry length: 100
 minimum distance: 100
    rounds fought: 200
  instruction set: ICWS '94 Draft

Last challenge: Sun Jan 28 22:12:28 PST 1996

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  45/ 39/ 16             Frontwards v2       Steven Morrell     150     405
 2  36/ 31/ 33              Tornado 2.7e          Beppe Bezzi     140      37
 3  37/ 36/ 28               Thermite II        Robert Macrae     137     153
 4  40/ 43/ 18                Mirage 1.5        Anton Marsden     137      66
 5  21/  6/ 73              Evol Cap 6.6       John Wilkinson     136     167
 6  34/ 34/ 32                 Mason 2.0        Robert Macrae     135     288
 7  25/ 15/ 61            Impfinity v4g1               Planar     135     352
 8  38/ 41/ 21                      quiz              Schitzo     135     552
 9  33/ 31/ 36                 Torch t18              P.Kline     134     931
10  22/ 11/ 67      Hazy.Shade.Of.Winter             John K W     133      99
11  30/ 26/ 44           Jack in the box          Beppe Bezzi     133     919
12  37/ 44/ 19              blister soul              schitzo     130      39
13  19/  9/ 72         The Lime Twig 2.1             John K W     130      22
14  25/ 20/ 55                  Hector 2          Kurt Franke     130     467
15  36/ 43/ 21                  testnorm    Maurizio Vittuari     129       2
16  36/ 43/ 21                      ajax       Kafka and Kurt     129      48
17  34/ 42/ 24                Boombastic    Maurizio Vittuari     127     287
18  28/ 28/ 44                  La Bomba          Beppe Bezzi     127     547
19  24/ 21/ 55          juliet and paper M R Bremer, B. Bezzi     127     548
20  34/ 41/ 25                  daedelus                Kafka     126       1
21  27/ 29/ 43                 patroclus       Kafka and Kurt     125       7
22  17/  9/ 73               Night Train           Karl Lewin     125     439
23  27/ 30/ 43               Blue Funk 5       Steven Morrell     124     188
24  35/ 46/ 19               seventyfive         Anders Ivner     124      52
25  21/ 21/ 58                  Delusion           M R Bremer     120       6

Weekly age: 108
Average age: 265 ( 203 last week, 182 the week before )
Average score: 131 ( 135 last week, 120 the week before )

Torch is one tenacious warrior.  Many times this week, Torch has fallen into
the 20s, even 24th place for a few challenges.  But recent challenges have 
boosted it to 9th place.  How long can it ( he/she? ) survive?  Are warriors
like ships?  All female?

Reports of Blue Funk's imminent demise ( by me ) was premature.  Stones still
haven't found the glory they once knew, with Blue Funk 5, seventyfive, and
Delusion in the bottom ranks.  Impfinity is the exception.  Tornado is also
doing quite well in second place.  All that _tweaking_ gave an extra 15
challenges to the age of all the warriors 8)

Anton Marsden is a relatively new name to the '94 draft hill, as is Kafka.
Mirage 1.4 is doing quite well at 4th place utilizing a 2/3c scan/bomb 
strategy.  Hopefully the recent hints have helped some.    

The 25 warriors on the hill are represented by 14 authors.  
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's New

 7  40/ 45/ 15                Mirage 1.5        Anton Marsden     136       1
17  38/ 45/ 17               seventyfive         Anders Ivner     131       1
17  36/ 42/ 22                      ajax       Kafka and Kurt     130       1
12  23/ 12/ 65      Hazy.Shade.Of.Winter             John K W     134       1
 8  39/ 44/ 17              blister soul              schitzo     135       1
 2  38/ 32/ 30              Tornado 2.7e          Beppe Bezzi     144       1
22  23/ 22/ 55                  Delusion           M R Bremer     125       1
22  38/ 47/ 15                 patroclus                Kafka     128       1
20  34/ 41/ 25                  daedelus                Kafka     126       1
And The Lime Twig.  I don't have records for it.  Sorry JKW!
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's No More.

26   2/  5/  1                    Wraith          Kurt Franke       5       8
26  31/ 41/ 29                     jtest                Kafka     121       8
26  33/ 43/ 24               Persistence          Kurt Franke     123      12
26  34/ 45/ 21                Mirage 1.3        Anton Marsden     123      18
26   1/  2/  1             Tornado 2.3 a          Beppe Bezzi       5      57
26  26/ 25/ 49      Hazy Shade Of Winter             John K W     127      99
26  29/ 39/ 31           Time Lapse v0.1         David Boeren     120      44
26  34/ 44/ 22                    Wraith          Kurt Franke     123      33
26  36/ 46/ 19                   Harmony              P.Kline     126      91

No significant losses.  Yes I called your program insignificant.
______________________________________________________________________________
HALL OF FAME
* means the warrior is still running.

Pos    Name                  Author          Age     Strategy
 1  Torch t18              P.Kline           931 *  Bomber
 2  Iron Gate 1.5          Wayne Sheppard    926    CMP scanner
 3  Jack in the box        Beppe Bezzi       919 *  P-warrior
 4  Agony II               Stefan Strack     912    CMP scanner
 5  Blue Funk              Steven Morrell    869    Stone/ imp
 6  Thermite 1.0           Robert Macrae     802    Qscan -> bomber
 7  Blue Funk 3            Steven Morrell    766    Stone/ imp
 8  HeremScimitar          A.Ivner,P.Kline   666    Bomber
 9  myVamp v3.7            Paulsson          643    Vampire
10  Armory - A5            Wilkinson         609    P-warrior
11  Phq                    Maurizio Vittuari 589    Qscan -> replicator
12  quiz                   Schitzo           552 *  Scanner/ bomber
13  juliet and paper       Bremer & Bezzi    548 *  P-warrior
14  La Bomba               Beppe Bezzi       547 *  Qscan -> replicator
15  B-Panama X             Steven Morrell    518    Stone/ replicator
16  Hector 2               Kurt Franke       467 *  Qscan -> replicator
17  Night Train            Karl Lewin        439 *  Replicator
18  NC 94                  Wayne Sheppard    387    Stone/ imp
19  Cannonade              P.Kline           382    Stone/ imp
20  Torch t17              P.Kline           378    Bomber
21  Lucky 3                Stefan Strack     355    Stone/ imp
22  Impfinity v4g1         Damien Doligez    352 *  Stone/ imp
23  Derision               M R Bremer        351    Scanner
24  Request v2.0           Brant D. Thomsen  347    Qvamp -> vampire
25  Dragon Spear           c w blue          346    CMP scanner

Torch t18! Torch t18! Torch t18! Torch t18! Torch t18! Torch t18! Torch t18!

Paul Kline's Torch t18 claims the top spot in the '94 draft hall of fame.
Many of Kline's warriors have reigned on the standard hill and the '94 draft
hill.  Why not add one more?  Congratulations.

Karl Lewin and Planar also have warriors climbing up the ranks this week at
the expense of Leprechaun on speed.  Mason 2.0 is the next in line for 
ascension.
______________________________________________________________________________
Current Status of the Internet Pizza Server Beginner's Hill:

Hill Specs:
	 coresize: 8000
   max. processes: 8000
	 duration: after 80,000 cycles, a tie is declared.
max. entry length: 100
 minimum distance: 100
      maximum age: At age 100, warriors are retired.
    rounds fought: 200
  instruction set: ICWS '94 Draft

Last challenge: Mon Jan 29 04:43:28 PST 1996 

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  55/ 29/ 16                Mirage 1.0        Anton Marsden     180      31
 2  53/ 32/ 15 Koolaid II: The Wrath of          David Boeren     175      81
 3  37/ 13/ 50                   Breeder           J. E. Long     162       7
 4  32/ 12/ 56           New Papery v0.1          Ian Oversby     153       5
 5  44/ 39/ 17               Our Vamp v3 R Bartolome & JS Pul     149      15
 6  40/ 30/ 30                  Qwiksand       Wayne Sheppard     149      25
 7  27/  8/ 66             RingWorm_v2.5           Calvin Loh     146      70
 8  30/ 16/ 54                Water Bomb          Ian Oversby     144       6
 9  31/ 21/ 48             Spacehead 1.3     Warpi & Philemon     142      37
10  24/  9/ 68             RingWorm_v2.6           Calvin Loh     138      40
11  38/ 41/ 21                   Monitor           M R Bremer     135      59
12  35/ 37/ 28                RedPixel.2           John Lewis     133      78
13  38/ 44/ 18              Assassin XII       Andy Nevermind     133      63
14  23/ 21/ 56             Thunder V 1.0       Andy Nevermind     126      77
15  23/ 27/ 50                      Veld               Julian     118      11
16  16/ 16/ 68               SpiralTest2           Calvin Loh     117      80
17  34/ 52/ 14                Mary Janes           J. E. Long     117      26
18  11/  6/ 83              Evol Cap 6.1       John Wilkinson     116      60
19  33/ 58/  9          Our CoreClear v1 R Bartolome & JS Pul     109       4
20  18/ 30/ 52                    Veld 3               Julian     107       3
21  27/ 52/ 22          White Rose v0.14         Tomasz Radon     102      29
22  12/ 23/ 64              Spiral Again           Calvin Loh     102      69
23  12/ 23/ 64              Spiral Again           Calvin Loh     101      71
24  20/ 49/ 31        CounterMeasures V4         Chris Arguin      91       2
25  20/ 66/ 14                     Hello          Ian Oversby      74       1

Marsden holds first place with Mirage 1.0.  An update, Mirage 1.5 holds an
impressive 4th place on the '94 draft hill.  Koolaid II has had little 
trouble dominating the b-hill being near the top for the last few weeks.
J. E. Long has had a couple impressive warriors.  Breeder entered the hill at
number two and has remained in the top 5 since.
______________________________________________________________________________
The Hint 

The question has been asked many times:  is the hill getting more difficult
or does it merely cycle, with warriors being pushed off the hill only to 
regain glory at a later date?  I looked through some of the old issues of
the '94 Warrior and CoreWarrior to see what was successful a month or a year
ago.  Of course the introduction of pspace has changed the dynamics of the
game somewhat, but not many warriors are currently using it.  I choose the
following veterans--former kings--to assult the hill.

Porch Swing by Randy Graham
Rank: 19        Score: 38/ 45/ 16       131 points
Did not score decisive victory over any current warriors.  Less than 15 wins
against Evol Cap and Night Train.  Total inability to handle Die Hard type
warriors.  Marginally better than seventyfive and Blue Funk 5.  Would have
scored less if not for some beginner warriors at the bottom of the hill.  

HeremScimitar by Paul Kline
Rank: 17        Score: 37/ 45/ 18       130 points
No analysis.

nobody special by Michael Nonemacher
Rank: 19        Score: 23/ 18/ 59       128 points
Ties all papers and Impfinity.  Frontwards and Torch play even.  Mirage 
trounces it.  seventyfive scores 33% wins which means it has some decent stun
capability.  Same with Tornado.  Only scores big against Blue Funk 5.

Taking Names by Paul Kline
Rank: 25        Score: 33/ 50/ 17       116 points
Totally inadequate to deal with current replicators.  La Bomba has scores
over 50% wins as does Hector 2.  Frontwards, quiz, Tornado all score
massively.  Wins big over Mirage and ajax.

Pyramid 5.5 by Michael Constant
Rank 25         Score: 29/ 52/ 20       106 points
Gets annihlated by replicators.  Simply cannot handle TimeScape style papers.
Night Train destroys it 74% wins, 0% losses.  Evol Cap doesn't score like
Night Train at all.  Interesting.  Marginally wins against a few warriors,
big over seventyfive.


What has happened to make the hill tougher?  Replicators have been evolving
into increasingly nastier warriors.  First there was Silk Paper which 
introduced silk style replicating (obviously).  Silks split so quickly, they
are somewhat immune to stunning attempts.  Simple split/jump bombs weren't
enough to take them out.  Then J. Pohjalainen, the same author, gave us
TimeScape, which is the replicating engine used in most papers today.  Not 
only does it split faster than Silk Warrior, but leaves behind decoys to fool
scanners.  Scanners had to move to spl/spl/jmp bombs and two pass coreclears
to be effective.  Warriors that didn't have as much stunning power had to
develop multipass coreclears with multiple split passes.  Next Paul Kline
develops Die Hard, combining the TimeScape engine with imps.  Even some 
multipass clears were unable to handle it!  

What else has changed?  Many scanners didn't color core in the old days.  You
could spot a scanner by the lack of instructions in core.  Homemade Ice Cream
used this property by scanning in one direction in a small step size knowing
that the scan would either hit a decoy or the scanner itself.  Then it would
launch paper.  Many scans today are combinations bomb/scans.  Not only do 
they color core, but increase speed as well.

Stones have been the poor relation.  But they may be gaining a new emergence
with continously launching imp spirals ala Impfinity.

Some may argue that we've exhausted the possibilities of the '94 draft
instruction set with these innovations/evolutions.  Possible, but doubtful.
If you're interested in the full statistics, just send me mail at bremermr@
ecn.purdue.edu.
______________________________________________________________________________
Planar's Corner

by Stefan Strack

		    CDB tutorial, part 4

This week, we're going to cover the "mode" commands: pqueue, wqueue and
pspace. We already encountered the pqueue command in the macros covered in
part 2 and 3. The mode commands change what is being displayed and edited:
When you first enter CDB, "list" works on the core address space, that is,
"list 0,10" lists core addresses 0 through 10. We will refer to this
default mode as "core mode". After you entered, e.g. the pqueue command,
"list", "edit" will work on the process queue instead. Let's fire up
Planar's Fahrenheit from part 1 and enter these commands:


pq
@step~list 0,$

The last command steps and then lists the contents of the process queue.
Since Fahrenheit is self-splitting, you'll see two entries in the queue.
Process 0 in the process queue points to the address that is about to be
executed, process 1 is the following process. If you keep hitting <Enter>,
you can watch the process queue grow every time the SPL instruction is
executed. The process queue display is especially helpful if you need to
debug a complex multi-process warrior.  The dollar symbol in the list
command is a predefined variable that is assigned the number of the last
element and incremented as the process queue grows. (In core mode, $ is
assigned to the last core address). So if you enter

calc $+1

CDB gives you the number of processes Fahrenheit has running. There are
several examples for the use of $ in the solutions to the macro exercises
from part 3 below.

The pqueue command takes an optional numeric argument. Without it, the
process queue of the current warrior is displayed. "pqueue 1" enters
process queue mode for warrior 1, irrespective of whether it is the current
warrior. "pqueue off" returns back to core mode.

The "pspace" command makes P-space the target of the list, edit and fill
commands. Similar to "pqueue", you use an optional number argument to
select the P-space of a specific warrior. Finally, "wqueue" is useful
if you're running multi-warrior battles: it selects a "warrior queue"
display, with one line for the current process of every warrior. I won't
give any specific examples here, but check the multi-warrior macros
contained in "mw.mac". A feature of the pqueue and wqueue commands that's
useful especially in macros: when you re-enter core mode, the current
address becomes the address of the last line displayed in process or
warrior queue mode.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Solutions to exercises from part 3

> 1)The "next" macro only works for battles with one or two warriors. Modify
> it so it skips to the next round even if more than 2 warriors are loaded.

Here the original:

next= echo Advancing to next round~@pq~@f0,$~dat 0,0~@pq off~@go~@st

We'll use the "wqueue" command that we just learned about to get the number
of warriors (N=$+1), and then zero each warrior's process queue in a loop
using "pqueue N". Since the macro now exceeds the line length, we'll break
it up by using a continuation macro:

next= echo Advancing to next round~m _next
_next=@wq~@ca N=$+1~!!~@pq N~@f0,$~dat 0,0~if N=N-1 > 0~!~@pq off~@go~@st

> 2) Write a macro that steps until the number of processes of a warrior
> decreases (Hint: use the pqueue command).

Here's a version that works when exactly two warriors are running:

dying=@pq~@ca N=$~!!~@sk 1~@pq~if $<N~m _dying~@ca N=$~!
_dying=echo Process has died~@pq off~reset

Change the "sk 1" to a larger skip number for greater speed, but make sure
you use an odd number to return to the current warrior. Below the deluxe
version that uses "wq" to get the number of warriors and then "sk X" to
skip over as many executions as are needed to return to the current
warrior. This version works for any number of warriors loaded:

dying=@pq~@ca N=$~!!~@wq~@ca X=$~@sk X~@pq~if $<N~m _dying~@ca N=$~!
_dying=echo Process has died~@pq off~reset
______________________________________________________________________________
Questions?  Concerns?  Comments?  Complaints?  Mail them to people who care:
Beppe Bezzi <bezzi@iol.it>, Myer R Bremer <bremermr@ecn.purdue.edu> or
Maurizio Vittuari <pan0178@iperbole.bologna.it>
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt