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

Issue 16                                                    February 12, 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.

Hi,
being my partner Myer away for work I'm back again for second week in a row;
Myer's fans will read again theyr favourite next week, don't worry.
This week an historical event is happened, Paul Kline's Torch t18 broke the
100 wall for first time in the 94 hill history, congratulations Paul.

______________________________________________________________________________
Current Status of the Internet Pizza Server ICWS '94 Draft Hill:

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

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  43/ 31/ 26                    T.N.T.    Maurizio Vittuari     154       1
 2  38/ 28/ 34               Tornado 3.0                Beppe     149      63
 3  42/ 39/ 19                      quiz              Schitzo     144     661
 4  42/ 42/ 17                  test i7a          Beppe Bezzi     142      17
 5  29/ 16/ 55            Impfinity v4g1               Planar     141     461
 6  24/  7/ 69              Evol Cap 6.6       John Wilkinson     141     276
 7  29/ 16/ 55                   Clisson              P.Kline     141       3
 8  37/ 34/ 29               Thermite II        Robert Macrae     141     262
 9  26/ 12/ 62      Hazy.Shade.Of.Winter             John K W     141     208
10  42/ 44/ 13               seventyfive         Anders Ivner     140     161
11  35/ 29/ 36                 Torch t18              P.Kline     140    1040
12  41/ 42/ 18                Mirage 1.5        Anton Marsden     140     175
13  42/ 44/ 13             Frontwards v2       Steven Morrell     140     514
14  40/ 42/ 18                Boombastic    Maurizio Vittuari     139     396
15  39/ 41/ 20                   Harmony              P.Kline     138      44
16  41/ 45/ 14                   orestes                Kafka     137      26
17  39/ 41/ 21                  testnorm    Maurizio Vittuari     137      32
18  33/ 29/ 39                 patroclus       Kafka and Kurt     136      57
19  22/  9/ 69               Night Train           Karl Lewin     135     548
20  40/ 46/ 14          smart crow again           Karl Lewin     135      58
21  28/ 21/ 52                  Blizzard        Anton Marsden     135      11
22  32/ 30/ 38           Jack in the box          Beppe Bezzi     134    1028
23  37/ 40/ 23     Koolaid II: WoGG v2.2         David Boeren     133      66
24  28/ 23/ 48                  Hector 3          Kurt Franke     133       7
25  32/ 31/ 37                Breeder v2           J. E. Long     132     109

Results have been obtained submitting a lose all warrior, so as not to be
biased.

Weekly age: 55  
New warriors 8  Turnover/age rate 15%
Average age: 249 ( 284 last week, 265 the week before )
Average score: 139 ( 132 last week, 131 the week before )
The 25 warriors on the hill are represented by 15 authors.

The 1000 age wall is no more !! Torch t18 and Jack in the Box have passed
this magic quote for first time in the 94 hill, even if some 88 warrior
passed 2000.

Stats are more or less the same as last week, the increased average score is
due to the loss against the scorekeeping warrior; we have a younger age,
having the hill lost 3 aged veterans: La Bomba, juliet and paper, and Hector 2 
All warriors pushed off were in the bottom positions last week, apart
obviously those replaced by their authors.

Maurizio's new warrior, T.N.T. is the new King with a confortable lead over
the second from the moment it entered.

Fast bombers are still dominating, holding position 1 and 2, scanners are
still proving good as are stone imps; replicators are confined in the last
positions. 

Those with ;redcode verbose may have noticed some strange experiment made by
two authors, Paul Kline and your beloved writer, attemping the hill with
warriors unable to enter and scoring in a strange way; Paul has now showed
down with Clisson, entering the top ten, what Beppe is Planning to do nobody
knows :-)

______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's New

 1  40/ 32/ 28                    T.N.T.    Maurizio Vittuari     147       1
 3  42/ 43/ 15                  test i7a          Beppe Bezzi     140       1
 5  41/ 40/ 19                  testnorm    Maurizio Vittuari     141       1
 9  25/ 17/ 58                   Clisson              P.Kline     134       1
17  26/ 22/ 52                  Blizzard        Anton Marsden     130       1
17  38/ 47/ 16                   orestes                Kafka     129       1
18  27/ 24/ 48                  Hector 3          Kurt Franke     131       1
18  37/ 43/ 20                   Harmony              P.Kline     130       1

A new king, T.N.T., and three others new warriors in the top ten.
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's No More.

26  29/ 32/ 39                  La Bomba          Beppe Bezzi     126     650
26  23/ 25/ 51          juliet and paper M R Bremer, B. Bezzi     121     607
26  24/ 22/ 54                  Hector 2          Kurt Franke     125     561
26  34/ 46/ 20                      ajax       Kafka and Kurt     123     131
26  19/ 15/ 66         The Lime Twig 2.1             John K W     123      85
26  36/ 52/ 12                      Days             John K W     119      51
26   2/  2/  0                  testnorm    Maurizio Vittuari       5      16
26   1/  1/  1                   Harmony              P.Kline       5       2

:-(((((((((((((((((

I'm not in the mood to comment those results, just to say this is new record
of lost age in a week: 2103 (previous record 1617 on 4 December 95)
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's Old

13  31/ 30/ 39                 Torch t18              P.Kline     132    1040
22  28/ 30/ 42           Jack in the box          Beppe Bezzi     126    1028
 3  38/ 40/ 22                      quiz              Schitzo     136     661
19  18/  9/ 73               Night Train           Karl Lewin     127     548
14  38/ 46/ 16             Frontwards v2       Steven Morrell     131     514
 6  25/ 16/ 59            Impfinity v4g1               Planar     134     461
15  37/ 43/ 20                Boombastic    Maurizio Vittuari     131     396
 7  20/  7/ 72              Evol Cap 6.6       John Wilkinson     133     276
11  34/ 35/ 32               Thermite II        Robert Macrae     133     262
10  22/ 12/ 66      Hazy.Shade.Of.Winter             John K W     133     208

A new entry, the mysterious, and poetic, Hazy Shade of Winter, and three
losses, see above.
______________________________________________________________________________
HALL OF FAME
* means the warrior is still running.

Pos    Name                  Author          Age     Strategy
 1  Torch t18              P.Kline           1040 *  Bomber
 2  Jack in the box        Beppe Bezzi       1028 *  P-warrior
 3  Iron Gate 1.5          Wayne Sheppard     926    CMP scanner
 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  quiz                   Schitzo            661 *  Scanner/ bomber
10  La Bomba               Beppe Bezzi        650    Qscan -> replicator
11  myVamp v3.7            Paulsson           643    Vampire
12  Armory - A5            Wilkinson          609    P-warrior
13  juliet and paper       Bremer & Bezzi     607    P-warrior
14  Phq                    Maurizio Vittuari  589    Qscan -> replicator
15  Hector 2               Kurt Franke        561    Qscan -> replicator
16  B-Panama X             Steven Morrell     518    Stone/ replicator
17  Night Train            Karl Lewin         548 *  Replicator
18  Frontwards v2          Steven Morrell     514 *  One shot scanner
19  Impfinity v4g1         Damien Doligez     461 *  Stone/ imp
20  Boombastic             Maurizio Vittuari  396 *  Bomber
22  NC 94                  Wayne Sheppard     387    Stone/ imp
22  Cannonade              P.Kline            382    Stone/ imp
23  Torch t17              P.Kline            378    Bomber
24  Lucky 3                Stefan Strack      355    Stone/ imp
25  Derision               M R Bremer         351    Scanner
25  Request v2.0           Brant D. Thomsen   347    Qvamp -> vampire

Torch and Jack passed 1000 age, now both have a 100 advantage over the
previous leader, being 2000 next 'round number' I don't think to speak again
of them until ...
quiz and La Bomba enters the top ten even if La Bomba has finished his run,
as did juliet and paper and Hector. Vittuari's Boombastic enters in 20th spot.

______________________________________________________________________________
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

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  49/ 16/ 34               CoreWarrior           M R Bremer     183      35
 2  40/ 11/ 49                Breeder v2           J. E. Long     168      76
 3  38/ 10/ 52             silkworm v3.0         Brian Haskin     166      63
 4  34/  9/ 57                   Breeder           J. E. Long     159      86
 5  31/  5/ 64                     Test2         George Eadon     158      43
 6  31/  8/ 61           New Papery v0.1          Ian Oversby     154      84
 7  32/ 14/ 54             Paper8-IV 2.5         George Eadon     150      61
 8  43/ 42/ 15               Our Vamp v3 R Bartolome & JS Pul     144      94
 9  23/ 10/ 67             Wanderer v0.1          Ian Oversby     136      17
10  30/ 25/ 46               Yakumo v0.3         David Boeren     135      10
11  41/ 48/ 12               Veld's fist               Julian     134       9
12  23/ 14/ 63                Banshee VI       Andy Nevermind     132       1
13  39/ 46/ 14               Auntie v0.2          Ian Oversby     132      14
14  21/ 11/ 69             Thunder V 1.2       Andy Nevermind     130      75
15  31/ 33/ 35                    Szyzyg         Scott Manley     130      60
16  31/ 33/ 36                     Uvavu         Scott Manley     129      71
17  30/ 31/ 40   You Wouln't Let It Lie!         Scott Manley     128      70
18  22/ 17/ 61          AB Scanner 2.9.1         Chris Hodson     128      46
19  30/ 32/ 38                    D'arko         Scott Manley     127      50
20  28/ 36/ 36         idiot/savant v0.1         Brian Haskin     119      78
21  31/ 49/ 20               Slaver v1.1    Christoph C. Birk     114      27
22  30/ 49/ 21                      MJv5           J. E. Long     111      12
23  24/ 44/ 32                Maya v1.6c    Christoph C. Birk     105      44
24  20/ 36/ 44                beemer 1.5         Chris Hodson     104      25
25   7/ 36/ 57           Multi-Worm v1.0    Christoph C. Birk      78       2

Hill top is kept by Myer Bremer, we are waiting his return in 94, followed
by J. E. Long with a warrior that's in 94 too and Brian Haskin.

______________________________________________________________________________
The Hint 
The defence.

What is the defence ? it's using part of your resources not to damage you
enemy but to avoid it damage you; in soccer and basketball the defence is as
much important as attack is, if not more, same in Corewar even if the
scoring system gives some advantage to attack.

A defence only warrior, even if a perfect one, has no chances to make the
hill being an all ties score too low, but some form of defence is needed and
the right balance can help you score better and live longer on the hill.

Let's give a look at some forms of defence, how well they work and how much
they cost in terms of resources expended.

-------
Self splitting

If we add a spl 0 instruction on top of a stone we have some advantages:

A hit in the first or the last line don't stop it working, we accumulate
processes so as an imp spiral won't kill but only tie us, we can use a djn
stream because a process falling off it won't kill us and we can couple an
imp spiral to our bomber

This is payed somewere because:
We have larger footprint for a scanner to find and there is slight speed
reduction.

The sum of advantages is more than those of disadvanages so, in practice,
every stone is self splitting and some use even more process eating
structure to accumulate processes even faster, see Cannonade, Impfinity and
juliet storm for examples.

---
Adding imps

In 94 imps are used more for survival than for attack; adding imp spirals to
stones and replicators my get them much harder to kill for a replicator,
without reducing too much their offensive potential. The drawback is that a
stun attack on the spiral can have a negative effect on the stone, so the
number of wins is reduced.

---
Boot and decoy

Booting away from a decoy is a common form of defence against scanner, very
effective against one shoot like Frontwards and Porch Swing if you have a
good way to attack a core clear of course. There are very little negative
effects for bombers, apart the time spent booting away, but it's difficult
to make a decoy invisible to your own scanner, Agony II is the only cmp
scanner I know using this tecnique.

Some warriors now use a decoymaker instead of booting, i.e. they add at the
beginning some lines like
mov     <xx,    <yy
creating a pattern of dat 0,1 good to trigger one shot scanners; another
advantage is that, in the meantime, you drop some bombs. The drawback is
that this decoy is less effective against opponent cmp scanners, the colored
cells are not many, and that a qscan can find the decoymaker and from it
bomb the warrior too.

---
Active decoys

It's a tecnique I use from long and I always kept secret, but having Robert
published it in his warrior Mason I have to unveil my secret ;-)
There is no nedd to use dats to make your decoy, if you use spl #xx,yy
instructions instead you can sometimes manage to stun wounded silk modules
that happen to land here; the cost is nothing and you can gain a few points.
I f you like you can insert a few stp instruction, to try brainwashing a
pspacer, or even some mov -10,<3000 instruction to make your enemy create a
spl #0 carpet somewere in core; just be careful not to be here :-)

Is a good thing if you insert some $$$ 1,1 line to stop djn streams and
erase your boot pointer, a mov bomb, >xx hitting it can have devastating
effects.

---
Pspace

Should your warrior score very good against one opponent class but be
useless against another, you can switch it with something else, able to
score against your enemy; obviously using pspace has its weaknesses:
brainwash and slow startup.

---
djn defence

It's sometimes good to have a jmp clear+1 line leading your warrior; should
it be decremented by a stream it will jump to the core clear that, if well
made, will work even if decremented.

______________________________________________________________________________
Planar's Corner

Due to heavy work and study needs of mr. Damien we are sorry not to have our
favourite columnist article this week.
______________________________________________________________________________
Questions?  Concerns?  Comments?  Complaints?  Mail them to people who care:
Beppe Bezzi <bezzi@iol.it>, Myer R Bremer <bremermr@ecn.purdue.edu>
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt