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

Issue 18                                                    February 26, 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

Newbies should check the stormking page for the FAQ, language specification,
guides, and tutorials.  Post questions to rec.games.corewar.
______________________________________________________________________________
Greetings.

It's me again--unfortunate for you.  Bezzi threatened to fire me for the poor
job I did on the last issue.  I didn't think you could get fired from a job
you did for free.  Apparently the rules are different in Europe.

My apologies to J K Lewis for mistaking him with J K Wilkinson.  How could I
have done that?  JKL = redcode-quiet.  JKW = redcode-verbose.  Won't happen
again.  Remember the deadline for Lewis' tournament is March 5th.  Mail
entries to jklewis@umich.edu.
______________________________________________________________________________
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

Last challenge: Mon Feb 26 05:33:26 PST 1996 

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  43/ 30/ 26      Grilled Octopus v0.2         David Boeren     157      16
 2  42/ 34/ 24                 Chameleon           M R Bremer     149      10
 3  39/ 32/ 29               Thermite II        Robert Macrae     146     539
 4  38/ 30/ 32               Tornado 3.0                Beppe     145     340
 5  37/ 31/ 31                    T.N.T.    Maurizio Vittuari     143     264
 6  33/ 22/ 46                   Barrage        Anton Marsden     143      12
 7  31/ 18/ 51                   Clisson              P.Kline     143      25
 8  42/ 42/ 15                      quiz              Schitzo     142     938
 9  41/ 40/ 19             Frontwards v2       Steven Morrell     142     791
10  43/ 46/ 11                  Memories          Beppe Bezzi     139      77
11  34/ 30/ 36                Trade Wars              P.Kline     139      34
12  40/ 42/ 17                Mirage 1.5        Anton Marsden     138     452
13  43/ 48/  9                 Wild Card           M R Bremer     137      92
14  28/ 18/ 54            Impfinity v4g1               Planar     137     738
15  26/ 15/ 59      Hazy Shade Of Winter             John K W     137     167
16  29/ 22/ 49   Haziest Shade Of Winter             John K W     137       4
17  39/ 41/ 20                    Wraith          Kurt Franke     137      18
18  37/ 38/ 25                     C I A         Anders Ivner     137       1
19  34/ 32/ 33                 Torch t18              P.Kline     136    1317
20  29/ 24/ 47                      Link          Kurt Franke     134      41
21  32/ 29/ 39           Jack in the box          Beppe Bezzi     134    1305
22  23/ 12/ 66              Evol Cap 6.6       John Wilkinson     134     553
23  26/ 19/ 55                  Blizzard        Anton Marsden     132     258
24  30/ 29/ 40                 patroclus       Kafka and Kurt     131     334
25  37/ 46/ 17                      test                   me     129       2

Weekly age: 159  
New warriors 10  Turnover/age rate 6%
Average age: 333 ( 308 last week, 249 the week before )
Average score: 139 ( 139 last week, 132 the week before )
The 25 warriors on the hill are represented by 14 authors.  
( Lost Karl Lewin's Night Train )

Boeren has been nothing but dominate.  Grilled Octopus v0.1 was on top of
the hill most this week, but was strongly contested by Memories and
Frontwards v2, each claiming the number one rank for more than a few
challenges.  And then replicators Night Train and Hector 3 fell off the hill
hurting the scanners' scores and dropping them into the middle of the pack.
None the less, David started a new test series to consolidate his position.
Clisson took the top spot for awhile as testing continued, but quickly fell
to the successor--Grilled Octopus v0.2.  Since it's introduction, only
Chameleon--another new warrior--has been able to steal the lead, and for 
only one challenge.  Can his dominance continue?

This week also marks the return of pspace.  Somewhat neglected for a few
months, pspace is back with a vengence.  Is it any coincidence that bombers
started falling off the hill shortly after?  Blue Funk 5 was doing very well
at the beginning of the week, but with Boeren testing his new pspacer and
Trade Wars making it onto the hill, it was easy for Marsden's new paper
warrior to force Blue off.  seventyfive was pushed off much the same way.

With the code bloat associated with p-warriors, qscanners should score some
easy points.  Thermite has enjoyed a boost in score, and Barrage is doing
well.  I suppose we'll see the real test of booting versus decoy making as
more qscans appear to do battle.  The pspace cycle: Here we go again . . .

Vampires are attempting a comeback with Paulsson's classic myVamp seen on
the hill earlier.  Wraith has managed to cling onto the lower half of the
heap.  It's too early to tell if it has staying power.

M R Bremer (me) finally returns with Chameleon and Wild Card.  Both programs
have been ranked number one albeit for only one challenge each.  Ivner didn't
much care for the loss of seventyfive, so he's back with C I A.  And what
exactly are intelligence bombs anyway?

Lots of significant losses this week with Night Train and Boombastic falling
the farthest.  Night Train by Karl Lewin stops at 10th place in the Hall Of
Fame at an age of 755.  Maurizio Vittuari's Boombastic will rest at 21st
place at an age of 521.

Torch t17 and Jack in the box are both still alive and kicking.  Will a
pspace comeback help or hurt the dynamic duo?  Find out next week.
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's New

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  43/ 30/ 26      Grilled Octopus v0.2         David Boeren     157      16
 2  42/ 34/ 24                 Chameleon           M R Bremer     149      10
 6  33/ 22/ 46                   Barrage        Anton Marsden     143      12
11  34/ 30/ 36                Trade Wars              P.Kline     139      34
13  43/ 48/  9                 Wild Card           M R Bremer     137      92
16  29/ 22/ 49   Haziest Shade Of Winter             John K W     137       4
17  39/ 41/ 20                    Wraith          Kurt Franke     137      18
18  37/ 38/ 25                     C I A         Anders Ivner     137       1
20  29/ 24/ 47                      Link          Kurt Franke     134      41
25  37/ 46/ 17                      test                   me     129       2
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's No More.

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
26  38/ 45/ 18                      Test             J E Long     131      27
26  36/ 48/ 16                      test          Beppe Bezzi     125       3
26  33/ 45/ 22                Boombastic    Maurizio Vittuari     122     521
26   2/  2/  0                      test              P.Kline       6      23
26  36/ 50/ 14               seventyfive         Anders Ivner     122     311
26   1/  1/  1                      Blur        Anton Marsden       6      27
26  17/ 12/ 72               Night Train           Karl Lewin     121     755
26  25/ 30/ 45               Blue Funk 5       Steven Morrell     120     152
26  22/ 23/ 56                  Hector 3          Kurt Franke     120     266
26   1/  1/  2      Grilled Octopus v0.1         David Boeren       5     192
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's Old

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
19  34/ 32/ 33                 Torch t18              P.Kline     136    1317
21  32/ 29/ 39           Jack in the box          Beppe Bezzi     134    1305
 8  42/ 42/ 15                      quiz              Schitzo     142     938
 9  41/ 40/ 19             Frontwards v2       Steven Morrell     142     791
14  28/ 18/ 54            Impfinity v4g1               Planar     137     738
22  23/ 12/ 66              Evol Cap 6.6       John Wilkinson     134     553
 3  39/ 32/ 29               Thermite II        Robert Macrae     146     539
12  40/ 42/ 17                Mirage 1.5        Anton Marsden     138     452
 4  38/ 30/ 32               Tornado 3.0                Beppe     145     340
24  30/ 29/ 40                 patroclus       Kafka and Kurt     131     334
 5  37/ 31/ 31                    T.N.T.    Maurizio Vittuari     143     264
23  26/ 19/ 55                  Blizzard        Anton Marsden     132     258
______________________________________________________________________________
HALL OF FAME
* means the warrior is still running.

Pos    Name                  Author          Age     Strategy
 1  Torch t18              P.Kline           1317 *  Bomber
 2  Jack in the box        Beppe Bezzi       1305 *  P-warrior
 3  quiz                   Schitzo            938 *  Scanner/ bomber
 4  Iron Gate 1.5          Wayne Sheppard     926    CMP scanner
 5  Agony II               Stefan Strack      912    CMP scanner
 6  Blue Funk              Steven Morrell     869    Stone/ imp
 7  Thermite 1.0           Robert Macrae      802    Qscan -> bomber
 8  Frontwards v2          Steven Morrell     791 *  One shot scanner
 9  Blue Funk 3            Steven Morrell     766    Stone/ imp
10  Night Train            Karl Lewin         755    Replicator
11  Impfinity v4g1         Planar             738 *  Stone/ imp
12  HeremScimitar          A.Ivner,P.Kline    666    Bomber
13  La Bomba               Beppe Bezzi        650    Qscan -> replicator
14  myVamp v3.7            Paulsson           643    Vampire
15  Armory - A5            Wilkinson          609    P-warrior
16  juliet and paper       Bremer & Bezzi     607    P-warrior
17  Phq                    Maurizio Vittuari  589    Qscan -> replicator
18  Hector 2               Kurt Franke        561    Qscan -> replicator
19  Evol Cap 6.6           John Wilkinson     553 *  Replicator
20  Thermite II            Robert Macrae      539 *  Bomber
21  Boombastic             Maurizio Vittuari  521    Bomber
22  B-Panama X             Steven Morrell     518    Stone/ replicator
23  Mirage 1.5             Anton Marsden      452 *  Scanner/ bomber
24  NC 94                  Wayne Sheppard     387    Stone/ imp
25  Cannonade              P.Kline            382    Stone/ imp

Anton Marsden joins the ranks of the Hall of Fame replacing Torch t17.
______________________________________________________________________________
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 Feb 26 06:05:01 PST 1996 

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  52/ 14/ 34               Pretentious          Ian Oversby     191      78
 2  52/ 19/ 29                  Gluttony                  JEL     184      88
 3  58/ 33/  9            Assassin XII-b       Andy Nevermind     184      52
 4  55/ 35/ 10                      test             J E Long     176      57
 5  55/ 34/ 11               CoreWarrior           M R Bremer     175      38
 6  48/ 22/ 31                    Shabba             J E Long     174      70
 7  47/ 20/ 33      Hyakutake C/1996 B2`         Scott Manley     174      59
 8  45/ 29/ 26     Uvavu II (revistited)         Scott Manley     162      80
 9  45/ 29/ 26        Uvavu II (test 25)         Scott Manley     161      76
10  49/ 41/ 10               Paper Eater         David Boeren     157      69
11  49/ 43/  8               Assassin XI       Andy Nevermind     155      63
12  40/ 39/ 20             Swan's Lament         Chris Arguin     142      26
13  38/ 35/ 27     Jezebel's Revenge CXX       Andy Nevermind     141      67
14  41/ 43/ 16                Lenochka 3               Julian     140       7
15  44/ 49/  6               Fei-Oh v0.6         David Boeren     139      75
16  31/ 25/ 44          AB Scanner 2.9.3         Chris Hodson     138      27
17  42/ 46/ 12                    XPEH 2               Julian     138       6
18  39/ 42/ 19             Swan's Lament         Chris Arguin     136      10
19  39/ 46/ 14                      test               Julian     133       8
20  39/ 54/  7                      XPEH               Julian     123      48
21  28/ 45/ 27                  Evil Elf       Andy Nevermind     112       5
22  30/ 50/ 20      Pommes-Ketchup V1.03         S. Schroeder     110       4
23  28/ 47/ 26                  Inchworm             J E Long     109      64
24  27/ 51/ 23             Blubbi V1i.0b       bjoern guenzel     103      11
25  28/ 68/  4              A-Cluster v2            Iain Hogg      88       1

Is your only goal in life getting a warrior on the 'pro' hill?  ( If it is
you should seek professional help. )  Want to know the tricks those mensa
geniuses use to tweak their programs?  Just mail your warrior to us at Core
Warrior.  We'll attempt to point out strengths, weaknesses, and strategies
you can use to improve your core warring skills.  And requests for hints are
always welcome.
______________________________________________________________________________
The Hint

Modern replicators breed like epileptic rabbits.  Scanners need to take
extreme measures to eradicate Timescape and DieHard style papers.  The
trick is to stun them as rapidly and thoroughly as possible.  Simple spl/jmp
bombs aren't enough.  Even spl/spl/jmp bombs may be inadequate without a
multipass coreclear.  So what type of payload should a warrior deliver to
maximize stunning power?  A paper product typically employs parallel
processes to achieve replication.  I tested 6 stun bombs by executing 6
parallel processes on the first bomb instruction.  The number to total
processes after 100, 200, 300, etc. cycles was recorded and entered into
the graph below.  

#Processes
1000 +
     -                                                                    56
 900 +                                                              56
     -
 800 +                                                       5             
     -                                                       6             2
 700 +                                                5             2
     -                                                6
 600 +                                         5             2             1
     -                                         6      2             1
 500 +                                  5                    1
     -                                  6      2      1
 400 +                           56     2      1      4      4      34    34
     -                                                3      3
 300 +                    56     2      1      3
     -                    2      13     3      4
 200 +             56     13     4      4
     -            123     4
 100 +    12356    4
     -      4
   0 +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+
           100    200    300    400    500    600    700    800    900 cycles

These are the payloads delivered:

1. spl 0    2. spl 0    3. spl 0    4. spl -1    5. spl #N+1   6. spl #2, 0
   jmp -1      spl 0       spl 0       spl -1       . . .         mov -1, }-1
               jmp -2      spl 0       spl -1       mov -N, }N
                          (spl 0)     (spl -1)
The raw data:
Cycle
---
100    70         85        89 (105)     49 ( 67)     101           85
200   132        161       142 (188)     96 (128)     202          180
300   195        238       189 (265)    129 (193)     303          277
400   257        314       228 (330)    192 (252)     402          375
500   319        391       263 (393)    193 (315)     501          474
600   382        466       294 (454)    240 (378)     598          574
700   444        543       325 (513)    341 (443)     695          673
800   507        619       356 (564)    384 (504)     786          773
900   569        696       383 (617)    385 (567)     877          873
1000  632        771       414 (676)    384 (628)     974          973

Initially, the bombs were limited to 3 instructions, but the split carpets
performed so miserably I executed them with an extra instruction just to see
how much improvement it would make.  The 4 line versions are shown in
parentheses.  The graph contains the 3 line versions.

The analysis:

The spl/jmp bomb is used for a reference point.  It is not effective against
modern replicators.

The spl/spl/jmp bomb is more powerful and attacks three locations as opposed
to two.  There is little difference if the jmp instruction is the first to
execute.

The spl 0 carept is only effective if four instructions long.  However, its
performance degrades rapidly if the lead spl 0 is not the first instruction
to be executed.

The spl -1 carpet is ineffective even in the 4 instruction version.  A 5
instruction carpet with the middle split executing first generates about the
same number of processes as the spl/spl/jmp bomb.

The spl/mov bombs generate the most amount of processes.  The incendiary
bomb is the equivalent of a 6 instruction split carpet when the move is
executed.  However, sometimes the other instruction is executed reducing the
effectiveness of the bomb.  In addition, the powerful part ( the move )
attacks only one instruction.  It is very easy to miss the active part of a
silk module with this bomb.  The last spl/mov bomb is slightly less effective
in stunning capability, but is more effective overall.  If the move is the
first instruction to be executed than the bomb is the equivalent of a 6
instruction spl 0 carpet ( same as the incendiary bomb).  However, if the
spl #2 is first to execute, we get a continously expanding split carpet--
forty-three instructions long after 1000 cycles.  This could even overwrite
other silk modules.  There are some disadvantages however.  The split carpets
can color core thus distracting the scanner.  And the bomb only attacks two
instructions.

Real life test:
Wild Card is a spl/spl/jmp scanner.  At this time it is scoring around 131
points on the hill.  A similar scanner using spl/mov bombs only scored
111 points.  Changing the bombs to spl/spl/mov increased the score to 115
points, BUT the stun power of this bomber is not as good as the spl/mov.  
The double split spends more time increasing the size of the carpet and not
stunning.  The increase in the score is most likely due to the increased
coverage of the bomb.  I didn't spend any time trying to integrate the bomb
components into the executing code.  The resulting warrior is more fragile
and larger resulting in an increase in losses.  It also attacks the split
carpets.  By eliminating these problems, perhaps someone could write a more
credible, quick stunning scanner.
______________________________________________________________________________
Questions?  Concerns?  Comments?  Complaints?  Mail them to people who care:
Beppe Bezzi <bezzi@iol.it> or Myer R Bremer <bremermr@ecn.purdue.edu>
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt