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

Issue 65                                                   6 February, 1998
______________________________________________________________________________
Core Warrior is a 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 from:
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/games/corewar-faq.Z
http://www.koth.org/corewar-faq.html

FTP site is: ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/corewar
Mirrored at: ftp://ftp.inria.fr/INRIA/Projects/para/doligez/cw/mirror
        and: ftp://www.koth.org/corewar

pMARS itself is also available from:
Stormking web pages--http://www.koth.org/pmars.html
Terry's web page--http://www.ncs.infi.net/~wtnewton/corewar/
Fechter ftp site--ftp://members.aol.com/ofechner/corewar

Web pages are at:
http://www.koth.org/                            ;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.  All new players
are infinitely welcome!

A collection of Bezzi's hints in the first issues is available at:
ftp://ftp.volftp.vol.it/pub/pc/msdos/games/solutions/bbhints.zip
______________________________________________________________________________
Hello again.

All change on the '94 Hill this week -- see below for details. Also,
don't forget the Redcode Maniacs Tournament, being run by Christian
Schmidt and myself; visit
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/5427/maniacs.htm for info.

Sorry this issue is a little short, but with Pizza being down my testing has
been somewhat curtailed :-( Thanks to Paul Kline for revealing one of the
secrets behind Alladin's Cave -- see the hint section.

-- Philip Kendall
_____________________________________________________________________________
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  42.1/ 38.0/ 20.0            The Next Baron    Christian Schmidt 146.2    2
 2  37.2/ 33.7/ 29.2              Fire and Ice          David Moore 140.6    1
 3  41.2/ 43.0/ 15.9             Alladins Cave              P.Kline 139.4   12
 4  34.0/ 29.1/ 36.9                     Fixed         Ken Espiritu 138.9   11
 5  31.5/ 24.3/ 44.2                      Newt          Ian Oversby 138.7  105
 6  32.7/ 28.0/ 39.2                      Vain          Ian Oversby 137.4   27
 7  39.5/ 42.9/ 17.6          Silver Talon 1.2                Edgar 136.1   13
 8  39.8/ 43.6/ 16.5 The Boys are Back in Town       Philip Kendall 136.1    9
 9  34.3/ 32.5/ 33.2                   Nomolos          Ian Oversby 136.0   16
10  31.7/ 27.9/ 40.5                     Vigor         Ken Espiritu 135.5   15
11  28.8/ 22.9/ 48.3            Benchmark [94]           Zul Nadzri 134.7   27
12  37.2/ 40.9/ 21.9             Electric Head        Anton Marsden 133.5  114
13  35.3/ 37.6/ 27.1                 Tornado 4          Beppe Bezzi 132.9   29
14  29.0/ 25.7/ 45.4             Ultraviolet-B         Ken Espiritu 132.3   37
15  30.5/ 28.8/ 40.7                 Vengeance          Robert Hale 132.2   62
16  31.6/ 31.2/ 37.1 obvious to those who know        Robert Macrae 132.0   63
17  29.6/ 28.0/ 42.3                 Pulp v0.5          Ian Oversby 131.2   62
18  39.7/ 49.1/ 11.2            He Scans Alone              P.Kline 130.3    4
19  30.5/ 31.2/ 38.3                     test                   JKW 129.9    1
20  31.2/ 32.7/ 36.1          traumatic smurf        bjoern guenzel 129.7    3
21  31.2/ 32.8/ 36.0            Nine Seven Six           M R Bremer 129.6  223
22  33.6/ 37.9/ 28.6               Digitalis 3    Christian Schmidt 129.2    5
23  33.3/ 37.7/ 29.0                PAN-TAU-RA    Christian Schmidt 128.8   12
24  23.3/ 18.0/ 58.7                 Metal IIa       Ivan Krajnovic 128.6    6
25  30.2/ 33.8/ 35.9 The Return of the PaperBo          Robert Hale 126.7    4

Age since last issue: 6 ( 26 last issue, 31 the issue before )
New warriors: 7  Turnover/age rate 117%
Average age: 34 ( 53 last issue, 63 the issue before )
Average score: 134 ( 142 last issue, 136 the issue before )
The top 25 warriors are represented by 15 independent authors: Oversby with 4,
Schmidt and Espiritu with 3, Kline and Hale with 2, and everyone else with
just the one.

Paul Kline's Alladin's Cave dominated the Hill at the start with a good lead,
before Schmidt came back with The New Baron to take the lead, with David
Moore's Fire and Ice close behind.  Also, this week saw the loss of by far the
oldest warrior on the hill, John K Wilkinson's Return of the Jedimp, leaving
the hill with its youngest age since its formation.
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's New

 #   %W /  %L /  %T                       Name               Author Score  Age
??  ??.?/ ??.?/ ??.?                 Metal IIa       Ivan Krajnovic ???.?    ?
16  36.0/ 38.6/ 25.5               Digitalis 3    Christian Schmidt 133.4    1
16  41.6/ 50.0/  8.4            He Scans Alone              P.Kline 133.2    0
20  31.9/ 32.8/ 35.4 The Return of the PaperBo          Robert Hale 131.0    1
??  ??.?/ ??.?/ ??.?          traumatic smurf        bjoern guenzel ???.?    ?
 1  43.9/ 37.1/ 19.1            The Next Baron    Christian Schmidt 150.7    0
 2  37.0/ 33.9/ 29.1              Fire and Ice          David Moore 140.1    0
19  30.5/ 31.2/ 38.3                     test                   JKW 129.9    1
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's No More

 #   %W /  %L /  %T                       Name               Author Score  Age
26   1.9/  2.0/ 0.0             He Scans Again              P.Kline   5.9    3
26     (killed)                      Red Baron    Christian Schmidt
26  34.0/ 41.7/24.4                     Stasis          David Moore 126.3    8
26  ??.?/ ??.?/??.?       Return Of The Jedimp             John K W ???.?  357?
26  38.2/ 52.0/ 9.8                   Memories          Beppe Bezzi 124.5   32
26  34.8/ 43.3/21.8                     HnK II       Ivan Krajnovic 126.3    8
26  ??.?/ ??.?/??.?               Head or Tail    Christian Schmidt ???.?  ???
26  35.5/ 44.8/19.7           It's not a trick    Christian Schmidt 126.2   14

If someone could confirm the ages of Jedimp and Head or Tail when they were
pushed off, that would be appreciated.
______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's Old

 #   %W /  %L /  %T                       Name               Author Score  Age
21  31.2/ 32.8/ 36.0            Nine Seven Six           M R Bremer 129.6  223
14  35.6/ 40.3/ 24.1             Electric Head        Anton Marsden 131.0  108
 5  31.5/ 24.3/ 44.2                      Newt          Ian Oversby 138.7  105

Two of the old guard (Return of the Jedimp and Head or Tail) are pushed off,
whilst Newt joins the 100+ club.
______________________________________________________________________________
OLD HALL OF FAME
* means the warrior is still active.

Pos    Name                  Author          Age     Strategy
 1  Thermite II            Robert Macrae     2262    Qscan -> bomber
 2  Impfinity v4g1         Planar            1993    Stone/ imp
 3  Jack in the box        Beppe Bezzi       1620    P-warrior
 4  Tornado 3.0            Beppe Bezzi       1567    Bomber
 5  Torch t18              P.Kline           1539    Bomber
 6  Chameleon              Myer R Bremer     1437    P-warrior
 7  Frontwards v2          Steven Morrell    1420    One shot scanner
 8  Evol Cap 6.6           John Wilkinson    1299    Imp / stone
 9  quiz                   Schitzo           1262    Scanner/ bomber
10  T.N.T.                 Maurizio Vittuari 1204    Bomber
11  Grilled Octopus v0.5   David Boeren      1154    P-warrior
12  Hazy Shade II          John Wilkinson    1102    P-warrior
13  Stepping Stone         Kurt Franke       1049    Qscan -> Vampire
14  Rosebud                Beppe Bezzi        993    Stone/ imp
15  Iron Gate 1.5          Wayne Sheppard     926    CMP scanner
16  T.N.T. pro             Maurizio Vittuari  925    Bomber
17  Agony II               Stefan Strack      912    CMP scanner
18  Barrage                Anton Marsden      876    Qscan -> replicator
19  Blue Funk              Steven Morrell     869    Stone/ imp
20  Flurry                 Anton Marsden      835    Qscan -> pwarrior
21  Thermite 1.0           Robert Macrae      802    Qscan -> bomber
22  Blue Funk 3            Steven Morrell     766    Stone/ imp
23  Night Train            Karl Lewin         755    Replicator
24  Mirage 1.5             Anton Marsden      736    Scanner/ bomber
25  Blizzard               Anton Marsden      713    Qscan -> replicator
______________________________________________________________________________
NEW HALL OF FAME
* means the warrior is still active.

Pos    Name                  Author          Age     Strategy
 1  Probe                  Anton Marsden      403    Q^2 -> Bomber
 2  Blur 2                 Anton Marsden      396    Scanner
 3  Damage Incorporated    Anton Marsden      373    Q^2 -> Bomber
 4  Return Of The Jedimp   John K W           357(?) Q^2 -> Stone/imp
 5  unrequited love        kafka              346    Q^2 -> Paper
 6  Impish v0.2            Ian Oversby        345    Stone/imp
 7  Gigolo                 Core Warrior staff 332    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
 8  Falcon v0.3            Ian Oversby        275    P-warrior
 9  Nine Seven Six         M R Bremer         223 *  Q^2 -> Stone/imp
10  Rosebud                Beppe              218    Stone/imp
11  Q^2 Miro               Anders Ivner       214    Q^2 -> Scanner/bomber
12  Instant Wolf 3.4       Edgar              205    P-warrior
13  Goldfinch              P.Kline            201    P-warrior
14  Simple v0.4b           Ian Oversby        197    QScan -> Stone/imp
15  Trident^2              John K W           195    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
16  ompega                 Steven Morrell     189    Stone/imp
17  Frogz                  Franz              172    Q^2 -> Paper
18  The Machine            Anton Marsden      164    Scanner
19  Memories               Beppe              152    Scanner
20  Head or Tail           Christian Schmidt  141(?) Q^2 -> Paper
21  Tiberius 3.1           Franz              130    Q^2 -> Paper
22  Solomon v0.8           Ian Oversby        116    Stone and scanner
23  Electric Head          Anton Marsden      108 *  P-warrior
24  CC Paper 3.3           Franz              107    Q^2 -> Paper
25  mrb-test               m r bremer         106    ?

(Ages with ? need confirming)

Nine Seven Six creeps up a place, whilst Electric Head enters and kicks
T.N.T. pro off; Newt is just outside the top 25.
______________________________________________________________________________
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  52.3/  9.8/ 37.9                 Metal IIa       Ivan Krajnovic 194.8   22
 2  52.2/ 11.7/ 36.1                  Metal II       Ivan Krajnovic 192.6   60
 3  50.2/  8.0/ 41.9                      Vain          Ian Oversby 192.4  100
 4  45.3/ 23.3/ 31.4                    HnK II       Ivan Krajnovic 167.3   94
 5  31.8/ 14.0/ 54.1                   p-U v.2         Ryan Coleman 149.6   24
 6  29.7/ 11.7/ 58.6             Moderation II       Andy Nevermind 147.7   98
 7  33.4/ 26.4/ 40.1            I.R. Baboon v1           Gene Gomez 140.4   31
 8  36.5/ 36.5/ 27.0    Voodoo Glow Skull v2.1           Gene Gomez 136.4   33
 9  33.9/ 35.8/ 30.3                  QScissor         Ryan Coleman 132.1   32
10  23.8/ 21.8/ 54.5             cascade 12,41        Steve Gunnell 125.8    1
11  20.7/ 18.1/ 61.1             Paper Test v3           Gene Gomez 123.3   52
12  36.4/ 51.1/ 12.6              Iced Creamer           Compudemon 121.7    9
13  26.0/ 31.4/ 42.7                 archangel        John K. Lewis 120.5   15
14  29.9/ 42.2/ 27.9              Tornado -1.0         George Eadon 117.5    2
15  32.6/ 49.4/ 18.0               I am EMCFDT          Compudemon  115.9   13
16  15.8/ 16.4/ 67.8                  saturn 3        Steve Gunnell 115.2   36
17  21.6/ 28.0/ 50.4             Werewolf 1.25           Compudemon 115.1   10
18  27.2/ 39.8/ 32.9                  KPO 2.02           Csaba Biro 114.6   16
19  16.7/ 28.8/ 54.5                Q-paper v1           Gene Gomez 104.6   21
20  21.5/ 43.1/ 35.3                      RTFM        John K. Lewis  99.9   17
21  15.7/ 34.2/ 50.2             qDeath v .269         Ryan Coleman  97.2   26
22  16.2/ 39.8/ 44.0          Pure Genius 1.21           Compudemon  92.5   11
23   3.9/  1.8/  2.3               Tornado 3.0                Beppe  13.9    6
24   0.2/ 92.9/  6.9                 NO v .069         Ryan Coleman   7.4    4
25   0.3/  0.3/  3.4             cascade 27,20        Steve Gunnell   4.3   14

    26.9/ 28.7/ 36.9            Top 25 Averages                     117.7   29

The very low proportion of wins on the hill (26.9%) suggests to me that a
scanner would be a good idea here. Also, I would tend to say that you learn
more about Core War by trying to write one component very well, rather than a
p-spacer; would anyone object if the b-hill were made no pspace?
______________________________________________________________________________
The Hint
(by Paul Kline)

A while back I posted a 3-line bomber which performed somewhat
better than the usual mod-4/5 version by modifying its step
one or more times during the battle.  Since that time I have
uncovered a number of these that actually dat-bomb nearly
ninety percent of core without self-destructing and use
an efficient starting step.  These are remarkably effective
against cmp-scanners and also against larger self-splitting
bombers because they have an improved ability to destroy
spl-zero instructions.  

The trick in designing these is to find an ascending or
descending sequence of steps that never leads to a self-bomb.
The initial step is somewhat flexible since you can choose the
starting bomb location and the number of bombs dropped, after
that each step will drop 4000 bombs in 12000 cycles.  Six full
steps occupy 72000 cycles, leaving one or two partial runs.

So we need a series of seven or eight sequential steps, some of
which are mod-4/5/8 or greater, and some of which are imp
numbers.  The imp numbers have to be chosen such that they
can bomb 4000 locations while leaving at least one gap of
three locations for the bomber to hide in.  In spite of these
requirements the NUM8000.DAT file reveals quite a few candidate
series.

Tesing a series amounts to choosing a starting position for the
first bomb, and the number of bombs that the first step is allowed.
Watch it run and see how long before a self-bomb.  Adjust
the starting position or number and try again.  

There must be many, many of these that I did not identify, but
here are some of them, one of which is used by Alladin's Cave.

sStep     equ    5266
Stone     mov    }1629    ,1-sStep
          sub.x  #sStep   ,-1
          jmp    -2       ,}-2

sStep     equ    4954
Stone     mov    {1601    ,1-sStep
          sub.x  #sStep   ,-1
          jmp    -2       ,}-2

sStep     equ    4154
Stone     mov    {1685    ,1-sStep
          sub.x  #sStep   ,-1
          jmp    -2       ,}-2

sStep     equ    3174
Stone     mov    {1545     ,1-sStep
          sub.x  #sStep   ,-1
          jmp    -2       ,}-2

sStep     equ    3054
Stone     mov    {1481     ,1-sStep
          sub.x  #sStep   ,-1
          jmp    -2       ,}-2

I have found these bombers to be as close to a silver bullet
against cmp-scanners as can be hoped, and since several of
those scanners have come back to the 94 Hill, this accounts
for much of the success of Alladin's Cave.  That plus the
one-shot scanner killer "CLP".  AC loses terribly to qscanning
replicators and fast bombers, but also wins 70-90% against
some good opponents.  It does not contain a HSA-type scanner
which I miss, but does include a mini one-shot that gets
some wins against replicators.

Now that Christian has replaced Red Baron with The Next Baron
AC looks a little less magical.  Red Baron gave up 90% losses
to AC, while The Next Baron only gives up 44%.

Paul Kline
______________________________________________________________________________
Questions?  Concerns?  Comments?  Complaints?  Mail them to people who care.
Authors: Beppe Bezzi <bezzi@nemo.it>,  Anton Marsden <amarsden@mcs.vuw.ac.nz>,
Christian Schmidt <schmc003@goofy.zdv.Uni-Mainz.de> and Philip Kendall
<pak21@cam.ac.uk>
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt