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

Issue 75                                                      2 September, 1999
_______________________________________________________________________________
Core Warrior is a newsletter promoting the game of corewar. Emphasis is placed
on the most active hills - currently the '94 draft hill, the beginner hill and
the '94 no-pspace hill. Coverage will follow where ever the action is. If you
haven't a clue what I'm talking about then check out these five-star internet
locals for more information:

FAQs are available from:
  http://www.koth.org/corewar-faq.html
  http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~anton/cw/corewar-faq.html

The ftp site and it's mirrors are at:
  ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/corewar
  ftp://ftp.inria.fr/INRIA/Projects/para/doligez/cw/mirror
  ftp://www.koth.org/corewar

pMARS itself is also available from:
  http://www.koth.org/pmars                  ;pMARS home page
  ftp://members.aol.com/ofechner/corewar     ;Fechner ftp site

Web pages are at:
  http://www.koth.org/                       ;KOTH
  http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~pizza/koth   ;Pizza
  http://para.inria.fr/~doligez/corewar      ;Planar

Newbies should check the above pages for the FAQ, language specification,
guides, and tutorials. Post questions to rec.games.corewar. All new players
are infinitely welcome!
_______________________________________________________________________________
Greetings...

This issue contains the results of the IWT and the code for Kline's
SnooPy.  The hint this issue shows how Khuong's nPaper became a warrior
which shot to KotH on the '94nop hill.  Enjoy...

-- John Metcalf
_______________________________________________________________________________
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  43.3/ 34.4/ 22.2             Recycled Bits          David Moore 152.2   97
 2  35.2/ 18.6/ 46.3                      Jade             Ben Ford 151.8   20
 3  41.4/ 34.8/ 23.8       Self-Modifying Code             Ben Ford 148.1   43
 4  45.1/ 42.4/ 12.5                     Qshot    Christian Schmidt 147.8   27
 5  41.4/ 38.0/ 20.5                   Snowman         John Metcalf 144.8   41
 6  41.9/ 39.8/ 18.3                    SnooPy              P.Kline 144.0   23
 7  29.2/ 15.6/ 55.2    Return of the Fugitive          David Moore 142.9   24
 8  34.8/ 26.9/ 38.3               Stonewashed    Christian Schmidt 142.7   37
 9  34.3/ 27.2/ 38.6           One Step Beyond         John Metcalf 141.4   58
10  41.6/ 42.0/ 16.5                    goonie          David Moore 141.2   18
11  32.4/ 24.4/ 43.1                 nPaper II        Paul-V Khuong 140.4    0
12  36.8/ 33.6/ 29.7          The Endless Knot         John Metcalf 139.9    4
13  35.5/ 31.0/ 33.5          The Stormbringer    Christian Schmidt 139.9   97
14  43.4/ 47.5/  9.1                      QHSA         Ken Espiritu 139.3    8
15  39.3/ 39.5/ 21.2                  Stranger         John Metcalf 139.2   54
16  38.2/ 37.5/ 24.3               Draken Fire             Ben Ford 138.9   55
17  38.7/ 39.3/ 22.0          death by redcode     Simon Wainwright 138.0   76
18  31.2/ 24.8/ 44.0             Slippery Eels             Ben Ford 137.6   39
19  27.7/ 18.5/ 53.7         No More Innocuous Leonardo H. Liporati 136.9   29
20  32.0/ 27.3/ 40.6                      Icen             Ben Ford 136.7   45
21  32.7/ 29.5/ 37.8            Sword'n'shield    Christian Schmidt 135.9    8
22  30.6/ 26.0/ 43.4                      EvoP         Ken Espiritu 135.2    3
23  30.7/ 26.5/ 42.8                      Exor         Ken Espiritu 134.9   12
24  38.6/ 43.2/ 18.2                   myBlur2             Paulsson 134.1    8
25  37.7/ 45.4/ 16.8           TheFlyOnTheWall    Christian Schmidt 130.0    0

Age since last issue: 25 ( 43 last issue, 16 the issue before )
Days since last issue: 37 ( 61 last issue, 44 the issue before )
Average age: 33 ( 24 last issue, 19 the issue before )
Average score: 141 ( 141 last issue, 145 the issue before )

The top 25 warriors are represented by just 10 independent authors: Ford
and Schmidt with 5 each, Metcalf with 4, Moore and Espiritu with 3 and the
remaining 5 authors with just one warrior each. ( 9 authors last issue, 11
the issue before )

The scanners are returning to the hill in new unexpected forms... MyBlur's
scan loop contains several processes to implement an airBag technique.
QHSA uses a 'quasi-1c scan' to great effect against Return of the Fugitive,
against which Moore's own 3-shot scanner (Goonie) also scores well.
_______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's New (Sorted by rank and score)

 #   %W /  %L /  %T                       Name               Author Score  Age
 1  37.8/ 32.0/ 30.2               Am I alive?    Christian Schmidt 143.6    1
 1  35.0/ 28.1/ 36.8             The Pendragon    Christian Schmidt 141.9    1
 1  28.3/ 17.6/ 54.1                      Jade             Ben Ford 139.0    1
 2  41.9/ 41.5/ 16.6                    SnooPy              P.Kline 142.3    1
 2  26.0/ 13.0/ 61.0    Return of the Fugitive          David Moore 139.1    1
 3  40.6/ 40.6/ 18.7                    goonie          David Moore 140.6    0
 7  38.2/ 39.8/ 22.0          The Endless Knot         John Metcalf 136.5    0
 8  43.2/ 48.0/  8.8                      QHSA         Ken Espiritu 138.4    0
 8  30.3/ 24.4/ 45.2                 nPaper II        Paul-V Khuong 136.3    1
12  29.4/ 26.3/ 44.3                      Exor         Ken Espiritu 132.5    1
14  38.3/ 44.2/ 17.5                   myBlur2             Paulsson 132.4    0
16  35.8/ 41.5/ 22.7              Men-An-Tol-4         John Metcalf 130.0    0
17  33.5/ 35.4/ 31.2                  Electrum         John Metcalf 131.5    1
18  28.8/ 28.4/ 42.8            Sword'n'shield    Christian Schmidt 129.2    1
20  28.8/ 26.7/ 44.5                      EvoP         Ken Espiritu 130.9    1
23  31.7/ 35.3/ 33.1       Baby One Moore Time               Phooey 128.0    1
25  34.3/ 42.7/ 23.0                     F B I         Ken Espiritu 125.8    1
25  34.7/ 47.6/ 17.7           TheFlyOnTheWall    Christian Schmidt 121.8    0

Players entering hill since last issue: 9 ( 8 last issue, 6 the issue before )
Average rank of new entries: 11 ( 9 last issue, 14 the issue before )

Schmidt and Ford both claim 1st place with their new entries.  The
Pendragon is a curious variation on the stone/imp.  Jade contains a
Q^4 -> Stone/imp which seems to be the only imp warrior immune to
Khuong's nPaper...  Moore's Fugitive returns stronger than ever.
_______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's No More (Sorted by age)

 #   %W /  %L /  %T                       Name               Author Score  Age
26  30.6/ 37.8/ 31.6              The Outsider     Simon Wainwright 123.5   51
26  34.1/ 43.0/ 22.9            Circle of Fire         John Metcalf 125.1   48
26  35.9/ 41.6/ 22.5                  WingShot             Ben Ford 130.1   41
26  34.2/ 41.6/ 24.2               Digitalis 5    Christian Schmidt 126.9   40
26  25.4/ 25.6/ 49.0 Alive and K(qu)icking Zet Leonardo H. Liporati 125.2   40
26  29.2/ 34.7/ 36.1                      Vain          Ian Oversby 123.7   36
26  25.2/ 25.4/ 49.4                     Glass             Ben Ford 124.9   32
26  31.3/ 37.7/ 30.9             Pitch Shifter    Christian Schmidt 124.9   30
26  27.2/ 33.0/ 39.8                   Icepick             Ben Ford 121.3   21
26  32.4/ 36.1/ 31.5               Am I alive?    Christian Schmidt 128.7   16
26  33.4/ 42.1/ 24.6                    Rubble              P.Kline 124.7    9
26  31.3/ 38.4/ 30.3      Serenade to a Cuckoo                  WFB 124.2    8
26  31.1/ 39.3/ 29.6                        PC                  WFB 122.9    8
26   2.0/  0.9/  1.2             The Pendragon    Christian Schmidt   7.1    6
26  30.7/ 35.9/ 33.5       Baby One Moore Time               Phooey 125.5    5
26  31.8/ 35.5/ 32.8                  Electrum         John Metcalf 128.1    3
26  32.6/ 42.1/ 25.4              Men-An-Tol-4         John Metcalf 123.1    3
26  34.3/ 43.3/ 22.4                     F B I         Ken Espiritu 125.4    2

Am I Alive? drops off the hill from KotH in 15 challenges - though not
quite quickly enough to beat Toki's 12 last issue.
_______________________________________________________________________________
94 - What's Old

 #   %W /  %L /  %T                       Name               Author Score  Age
 1  43.3/ 34.4/ 22.2             Recycled Bits          David Moore 152.2   97
13  35.5/ 31.0/ 33.5          The Stormbringer    Christian Schmidt 139.9   97
17  38.7/ 39.3/ 22.0          death by redcode     Simon Wainwright 138.0   76
 9  34.3/ 27.2/ 38.6           One Step Beyond         John Metcalf 141.4   58
16  38.2/ 37.5/ 24.3               Draken Fire             Ben Ford 138.9   55
15  39.3/ 39.5/ 21.2                  Stranger         John Metcalf 139.2   54

Recycled Bits continues to perform well.
_______________________________________________________________________________
The Extended New Hall of Fame:
* indicates 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         232    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
10  Rosebud                Beppe              218    Stone/imp
11  Newt                   Ian Oversby        216    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
12  Q^2 Miro               Anders Ivner       214    Q^2 -> Scanner/bomber
13  Instant Wolf 3.4       Edgar              205    P-warrior
14  Goldfinch              P.Kline            201    P-warrior
15  Simple v0.4b           Ian Oversby        197    QScan -> Stone/imp
16  Trident^2              John K W           195    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
17  ompega                 Steven Morrell     189    Stone/imp
18  Frogz                  Franz              172    Q^2 -> Paper
19  The Machine            Anton Marsden      164    Scanner
20  Memories               Beppe              152    Scanner
21  Vain                   Ian Oversby        147    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
22  Head or Tail           Christian Schmidt  142    Q^2 -> Paper
23  Electric Head          Anton Marsden      140    P-warrior
24  Vigor                  Ken Espiritu       138    Q^2 -> Paper
25  Fixed                  Ken Espiritu       135    Q^2 -> Paper
26  Tiberius 3.1           Franz              130    Q^2 -> Paper
27  Ultraviolet-B          Ken Espiritu       120    Q^2 -> Paper
28  obvious to those who k Robert Macrae      117    Q^2 -> Paper
29  Solomon v0.8           Ian Oversby        116    Stone and scanner
30  CC Paper 3.3           Franz              107    Q^2 -> Paper
31  mrb-test               M R Bremer         106    *Unknown*
32  T.N.T. pro             Maurizio Vittuari  105    Bomber
 =  Pulp v0.5              Ian Oversby        105    Q^2 -> Paper
34  Fugitive               David Moore        102    Q^2 -> Paper/imp
35  Vengeance              Robert Hale        101    Q^2 -> Stone/imp
36  Jack in the box II     Beppe Bezzi        100    P-warrior
 =  Fire and Ice           David Moore        100    P-warrior
38  Oblivion               Ian Sutton          99    P-warrior
39  Recycled Bits          David Moore         97*   P-warrior
 =  The Stormbringer       Christian Schmidt   97*   Q^2 -> Stone/imp
41  Silver Talon 1.2       Edgar               93    Scanner
42  Bodge 1                Robert Macrae       85    Q^2 -> Scanner
43  Inferno 2.4            Philip Kendall      84    Qscan -> Bomber
44  Test                   Anton Marsden       83    *Unknown*
 =  NCC-1701-A             Philip Kendall      83    P-warrior
46  RetroQ                 Paul Kline          82    Q^2 -> Paper
47  Tornado 4              Beppe Bezzi         78    Bomber
48  death by redcode       Simon Wainwright    76*   Q^2 -> Bomber
 =  He Scans Again         Paul Kline          76    Scanner
50  Digitalis 4            Christian Schmidt   73    Q^2 -> Clear/imp

Congratulations to Wainwright whose Death By Redcode gains him access to
the Hall of Fame.  Recycled Bits and The Stormbringer climb 9 ranks.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Current Status of the Internet Pizza Server Beginner 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  54.3/ 34.4/ 11.3                  Nuke it!     Silvio Sampietro 174.3   46
 2  44.3/ 25.3/ 30.5                        PC                  WFB 163.3   18
 3  39.1/ 19.3/ 41.6             Quickest Zeta    Leonardo Humberto 158.9   49
 4  41.9/ 29.0/ 29.1     Silken Half Life v4.0            Dale Neal 154.7   54
 5  44.6/ 36.3/ 19.1                 da mutant        Paul-V Khuong 152.9   27
 6  36.3/ 20.1/ 43.6              Quicker Zeta    Leonardo Humberto 152.6   71
 7  41.0/ 30.3/ 28.6          Silken Half Life            Dale Neal 151.7   57
 8  45.8/ 40.4/ 13.8          Nuke it! (V 0.2)     Silvio Sampietro 151.2   53
 9  43.5/ 39.2/ 17.3                 B-52 #001          A.S. Mehlos 147.8    1
10  32.4/ 22.8/ 44.8                Quick Zeta    Leonardo Humberto 142.0   76
11  37.9/ 35.7/ 26.4                 Arsonic C             P._V._K. 140.1   25
12  41.3/ 43.5/ 15.2              Neverland II         John Metcalf 139.2   17
13  37.0/ 37.5/ 25.5              FireMaster 2             P._V._K. 136.6   23
14  39.1/ 41.9/ 19.0                 Wild-Fire P_.V_.K./John Metcal 136.2   28
15  37.8/ 40.6/ 21.7             Mel the Great          Ken Hubbard 135.0   29
16  28.3/ 21.8/ 49.9            HardCore v0.2b           Simon Duff 134.7   77
17  35.8/ 38.3/ 25.9                  Red Sand          Ken Hubbard 133.2   60
18  36.7/ 40.2/ 23.2         1 shot bomber 0.1             P._V._K. 133.2   26
19  36.9/ 40.8/ 22.3        Simpsons4Ever v0.4    Maurice Fernández 133.1    3
20  36.3/ 39.6/ 24.1               Fire Master             P_.V_.K. 133.0   61
21  32.4/ 32.6/ 35.0               Radio Flyer          Ken Hubbard 132.2   32
22  24.9/ 18.9/ 56.1                   Caladan         Ingo S Kacza 131.0    2
23  40.2/ 50.1/  9.7                UltiBomber             P._V._K. 130.4   24
24  31.4/ 32.9/ 35.8            quatrefoil 133        Steve Gunnell 129.9   47
25  35.1/ 43.0/ 21.9        Simpsons4Ever v0.3    Maurice Fernández 127.2    5

Redemption retired, and Death Kiss almost made it, dropping off aged 96 :-(
Welcome to the new players - the two currently on the hill and the three or
four who haven't quite made it yet.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Current Status of the KOTH.ORG '94 No Pspace 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: 250
  instruction set: ICWS '94 Draft, excluding ldp and stp

 #  %W/ %L/ %T                      Name               Author   Score     Age
 1  39/ 21/ 41                 nPaper II        Paul-V Khuong     157       2
 2  46/ 40/ 14                  Zooom...         John Metcalf     151     138
 3  46/ 42/ 12                   aTest 4              P.Kline     151       1
 4  35/ 21/ 44                      Jade             Ben Ford     149      71
 5  36/ 25/ 38                   Omnibus         John Metcalf     148      11
 6  45/ 42/ 13 Boys are Back in Town 1.1       Philip Kendall     147     264
 7  46/ 45/ 10                      Win!          David Moore     146     237
 8  36/ 26/ 38                      Icen             Ben Ford     146      96
 9  45/ 45/ 10                     Qshot    Christian Schmidt     145       8
10  37/ 28/ 35               Ant Factory    Christian Schmidt     145      97
11  38/ 32/ 30             The Pendragon    Christian Schmidt     144      75
12  38/ 31/ 31                   Blacken          Ian Oversby     144     249
13  34/ 26/ 40                      EvoP         Ken Espiritu     142       4
14  43/ 44/ 14                    goonie          David Moore     142      64
15  39/ 37/ 25                        PC                  WFB     140      88
16  40/ 39/ 22                    Napalm         Ken Espiritu     140      51
17  41/ 41/ 18              Men-An-Tol-7         John Metcalf     140      20
18  35/ 31/ 33                  Recovery          Ian Oversby     139     262
19  39/ 41/ 19                    K5000R    Christian Schmidt     138       6
20  41/ 45/ 14                myBlur2(3)             Paulsson     137      18

In the 87 successful challenges since last issue a total of 12 warriors
have left this hill - including the warriors which held 1st, 2nd and 3rd
ranks.  Vain (age 330), The Fugitive (274), The Stormbringer (262) and
Romanian Killah (218) all perished... Khuong's nPaper dominates the hill,
see this issue's hint for more details.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Current Status of the Koenigstuhl Recursive ICWS '94 Draft Hill:

Koenigstuhl is an infinite hill similar to Planar's Mount Olympus and can
be found on Christoph C. Birk's Core War page:

  http://andromeda.ociw.edu/COREWAR/

Below we show the top 20 of a total 1066 warriors:

   1 Zooom...                    John Metcalf           174.69
   2 The Machine                 Anton Marsden          174.29
   3 Silver Talon 1.2            Edgar                  173.50
   4 Phantasm 50                 Robert Macrae          172.91
   5 Newt                        Ian Oversby            172.86
   6 Scan Man                    David van Dam          172.67
   7 Fixed                       Ken Espiritu           172.26
   8 The Question                David Moore            172.19
   9 Recovery                    Ian Oversby            171.92
  10 The Bloodhound              Ian Sutton             171.67
  11 The Stormbringer            Christian Schmidt      171.57
  12 Baseline Plus               Ken Espiritu           171.44
  13 Boys are Back in Town 1.1   Philip Kendall         171.23
  14 Alien                       Christian Schmidt      170.25
  15 Recycled Paper              Planar                 169.99
  16 Forty                       Anton Marsden          169.87
  17 Head or Tail                Christian Schmidt      168.92
  18 Digitalis 4                 Christian Schmidt      168.89
  19 Gigolo                      Core Warrior staff     168.76
  20 myBlur2                     Paulsson               167.55

Many recently published warriors hold positions in the top 20 ranks,
though Newt is still the top rating stone/imp.  Other recent entries in
the top 100 are Puddleglum (29th), WingShot (30th), Shadow (31st),
Sharkrage (47th), Icepick (49th), Digital Dragon (52nd), Burning Water
(62nd) and Z-Shot (80th).

Also to be found on the same page are the Koenigstuhl '88 Hill of which
Freight Train is the King with a lead of 13 points over 2nd place, and the
Open Hill ('94 Draft + P-Space) where Pattel's Virus recently became KotH.
_______________________________________________________________________________
The Intelligent Warrior Tournament (1999) RESULTS!

In what would later be called an amazing display of corewar programming
power, eight programmers battled it out for control of the RedOS.  In the
end only one would be crowned King.

In a tournament filled with both luck and skill, the eight Warriors would
fight over RedOS registers, attempting to enter a higher score in their
own register than their opponent could.  The fighting would be fierce and
started out with a round robin to determine who would move on to the Knock
Out rounds.  Only four would survive this grueling test.

The contestants were as follows:

;redcode-94
;name silly & slow
;author Ryan Coleman
;strategy Set my score to 7999!
;strategy set his score to 0
;strategy then spl bomb

;redcode-iwt99
;name Inconspicuous
;author John Metcalf
;strategy .8c scan -> spl carpet -> alter values

;redcode-94
;author Robert Macrae
;name   Bride of :-=
;       [or, Better Late Than Never...]
;strategy 0.66 Vamp, Decoy and Pit

;redcode
;name Reverse Vampire
;author Josh Yeager
;strategy Find RedOS, then copy self over middle of it.
;strategy Hopefully, opponent won't hit me because he thinks I'm the OS!
;strategy Also, any proccesses the OS has will be running me!

;redcode-94
;name Quick Thinking
;author Ben Ford
;strategy qscan -> HSAish scanner
;strategy
;strategy instead of bombing, qscan sets starting values for scanner
;strategy scanner based on HSA, added part to set my score properly
;strategy also never switches to dat-bombing (stun everything but me!)
;strategy
;strategy beats test warrior (and simple improvements) 80%+
;strategy better than nothing, I suppose someone could try to take
;strategy advantage of 'flaws' in the hsa engine

;redcode-94
;name Mine v0.3
;author John K Wilkinson
;strategy my entry. this is mine. hence the name.

;redcode-94
;name StupidWarrior
;author Planar

;redcode-94
;name Starving Hacker
;author David Moore
;strategy Score 1 point :-)  Optimized for single-elimination combat.

The round robin featured single combat between each competitor.  Position
was randomly assigned by a coin toss (terribly high tech.)  The chart below
shows the results of the round robin portion.


        Coleman  Metcalf  Macrae  Yeager  Ford  Wilkinson  Doligez  Moore

Coleman  X X X      0*     -1       0*    -7980     1         1      -1
Metcalf    0*     X X X    -1       0     -7980     0         0      -1
Macrae     1        1     X X X     1       1      5623       1       3
Yeager     0*       0      -1     X X X   -7980   -7998       0      -1
Ford      7980     7980    -1      7980   X X X    7980      7980    -1
Wilkinson -1        0     -5623    7998   -7980   X X X      7998    -1
Doligez   -1        0      -1       0     -7980   -7998     X X X     0
Moore      1        1      -3       1       1       1         0     X X X

* denotes a fight where the RedOS died.


Total Scores (Round Robin)

 39899    Ford           -7980    Coleman
  5631    Macrae         -7982    Metcalf
  2391    Wilkinson     -15980    Yeager
     2    Moore         -15980    Doligez


With the round robin finished we came to the four Warrior Knock Out!  As
we can see, Ben Ford's entry "Quick Thinking" is clearly the odds on
favorite having scored so highly in the round robin.  Macrae and Moore
both entered "dumber" programs that cleared core with sequential clears,
hoping to trade score for speed that might help in the Knock Out portion
of the tourney.  Wilkinson's "Mine v0.3" was a jmp stunner/scanner with
bootstrap.

The first battle was between Ben Ford's "Quick Thinking" and David Moore's
"Starving Hacker".  Ben had lost in the round robin to "Starving Hacker"
and was looking to take the battle to Moore's quicker program.
Unfortunately for Ben, Moore's attack was too fast and he fell.  Having
easily dominated the round robin, "Quick Thinking" was ironically beaten
by a quicker program.  (Note:  Ben had, in my opinion, on of the best
programs written and might had taken it all had the rules been slightly
different.)

The second battle was going to be one of the most contentious.  Macrae's
"Bride of :-=" would face third place "Mine v0.3".  The battle took four
rounds to decide as the score was a tie the first three tries.  In the
end, "Mine v0.3" was triumphant.

The stage was set for the final round:

Our MAIN EVENT...

;name Starving Hacker                   ;name Mine v0.3
;author David Moore                     ;author John K Wilkinson

The first battle lit up the screen with green and yellow pixels as the two
programs battle furiously for control of the registers.  Fighting with all
their might, they fought the first round to a tie!  The tie breaker was
decided early when Moore's "Starving Hacker" was struck squarely with a jmp
bomb from "Mine v0.3".  The rest was clean up and John K. Wilkinson's
program did this brilliantly.

The winner of the 1999 Intelligent Warrior Tournament is:

John K. Wilkinson!

Congratulations to John and thanks to all the contestants for taking the
time to code what was a hard fought battle.  I'm glad that this
competitions winner was a program of some size and that it needed a bit of
intelligence to win.  The warriors will be displayed on the website soon.

Side Note:
I welcome feedback on this tournament and what could be done to make it
more interesting for the programmers.  It was my hope to reward complexity
of strategy and it seems to have worked in most cases.  Feel free to send
me an email at <jklewis@umich.edu> or start a thread on r.g.c.

The tournament's homepage can be found at:

  http://www.concentric.net/~liminal/IWT/index.html
_______________________________________________________________________________
The Hint - Improving a Beginner's Warrior by Paul-V Khuong and John Metcalf

Once again this hint will follow the development process of a warrior.
This time the warrior is Paul's nPaper and our aim is to improve it
sufficiently to allow it to gain a place on Pizza's '94 draft hill.  Here
is the original:

;redcode-94nop
;name nPaper
;author Paul-V Khuong
;strategy Paper
;assert CORESIZE==8000

     pStep1 equ 3944
     pStep2 equ 2616
     pStep3 equ -624

     x equ -373
     y equ 1915
     z equ -287

     spl   1
     spl   1
     spl   1
pap1:spl   @0,     <pStep1
     mov   }pap1,  >pap1
pap2:spl   @0,     {pStep2
     mov   }pap2,  >pap2
     mov.i #1,     }1
     mov   {x,     <y
     mov   {pap2,  {pap3
pap3:djn.f pStep3, <z

As with most papers, nPaper is based on the typical silk replication
concept.  However, the methods of attack are particularly interesting:

1) The bomb which nPaper throws is a kind of silk-imp.  Mov.i #1,}1
   combines with the mov {x,<y line to bomb two strips of memory with
   itself.

2) Instead of the commonplace jmp pStep3, nPaper uses a rarely seen djn.f
   pStep3,<?.  Since there are 8 processes and only 6 lines to copy,
   nPaper is still effective even if a couple of proccesses happen to fall
   out of the warrior when the djn.f meets it's arch-enemy - dat 1,1.

We agreed to carry out our testing on KOTH's '94nop hill, since it returns
challenge results a little faster than Pizza.  The original version of
nPaper scores 100.32 - losing to scanners and tying against everything
else.

What we need to do is take a close look at each section of the paper and
see how it interacts with some typical opponents...

The mov.i #1,}1 silk-imp bomb which Paul has created tends to act
similarly to a standard imp while in empty core, carrying any enemy
processes executing it forward to the next section of code.  The mov.i
#1,{1 bomb of Fugitive doesn't have this disadvantage and against a-driven
imps it should help convert a few ties into wins.

As a consequence of changing to Fugitive's bomb, we need to change the
line following the bomb to mov x,<y.  Let us test this theory against the
hill...

nPaper now scores 118.61 and as expected shows an improvement against the
Stone/imps on the hill, with the exception of Jade which we suspect may
use standard b-driven imps.  Also, a small increase in score was observed
against the majority of scanners.

 #W /  #L /  #T  Opponent           #W /  #L /  #T  Opponent
 86 /  15 / 149  The Stormbringer    0 /   9 / 241  Jade
 78 /  12 / 160  The Pendragon      65 /  37 / 148  Vain
 60 /  24 / 166  Blacken            53 /  41 / 156  PC

Do the advantages of the djn.f attack outweigh the disadvantages?  Simply
replacing the djn with a jmp scores worse, 117.47.  However, jmz has been
used successfully in a number of papers (including the classics Mice and
Molerat) to determine if a pointer which should be zero has been somehow
corrupted.  Let us then try a couple of variants of this technique:

     mov   {pap2,  {pap3 ; scores 123.62
pap3:jmz.a pStep3, *0

     mov   {pap2,  <pap3 ; scores 122.76
pap3:jmz.a @0,     pStep3

A substantial improvement.  Of the two variants we tested, the former
appears to score higher by almost a point.  However, against most warriors
the two versions scored about the same.  The exception is against myBlur -
the former scores 148.4 and the latter 115.2 :-)

Having improved the attack, we now need to concentrate on ways in which
the replication mechanism might be improved...  Our first idea was to
reduce the number of processes the paper requires from 8 to 6, by
including an extra copy instruction in the first silk launcher as Macrae
describes in his text accompanying Benj's Revenge (CW64).  However, since
this scored a mere 116.25 points; it appears this technique isn't suited
to nPaper.  (Can you think why?)

Instead we opted for simply booting a second copy of the paper half way
around core for a score of 127.12.  Now let us see how much we can improve
on this score by optimizing the steps.

First the dumb brute force method was tried.  A simple program generates
copies of the paper with random constants.  These are then battled against
a small selection of warriors to see which scores the highest.  After
testing over 200 sets of constants, we had a warrior capable of scoring
127.41 points on '94nop.

An alternative approach is needed...  Perhaps we could improve the steps
by making random small tweaks to the steps we currently have.  A program
was written to change one or two constants at a time by a small multiple
of 8...  After testing over 100 tweaks, we found one which could score
128.08 on the hill.

Our final attempt at optimization proved a little more successful.  We
replaced the two bombing instructions with nops and optimized the three
replication constants using the DBF (dumb brute force) method.  Next, the
highest scoring set of pSteps were chosen and the nops were replaced with
the bombing instructions.  The bombing steps x and y were then optimized
using DBF which left us with a warrior scoring 132.88 :-)  NPaper now
scores even more spectacularly against those annoying stone/imps:

 #W /  #L /  #T  Opponent           #W /  #L /  #T  Opponent
152 /   2 /  96  The Stormbringer    2 /   4 / 244  Jade
131 /   7 / 112  The Pendragon     113 /  24 / 113  Vain
 83 /  10 / 170  Blacken            82 /  23 / 145  PC

Since nPaper is now capable of entering the lower end of both the '94nop
and '94 draft hills, we have fulfilled our original criterion.  However,
we still haven't added a qscan which is traditionally included in a paper
warriors.

>From previous experience, we know how effective mini-qscans can be.
Therefore we chose to employ a Q^3 trimmed down to scan fewer locations.
A short series of test submissions showed the score seemed to peak at 33
scans, which we can implement in 3 table entries.  We also put the unused
b-fields to use decrementing pockets of core.

;redcode-94
;name nPaper II
;author Paul-V Khuong
;strategy MiniQ^3 -> Paper
;assert CORESIZE==8000

     org qGo

     pStep1 equ 560
     pStep2 equ 2680
     pStep3 equ -1120

     x equ -3781
     y equ -2013

pGo: spl   1,      >424
     spl   1,      {761
     spl   1,      {933
     mov   {pap1,  {pBoo
pBoo:spl   pEnd+4000,{2093
pap1:spl   @pEnd,  <pStep1
     mov.i }pap1,  >pap1
pap2:spl   @0,     {pStep2
     mov.i }pap2,  >pap2
     mov.i #1,     {1
     mov   x,      <y
     mov.i {pap2,  <pap3
pap3:jmz.a @0,     pStep3
pEnd:

     a for 45
     dat   0,0
     rof

     qf equ qKil
     qs equ (qd*2)
     qd equ 107
     qi equ 7
     qr equ 11

;    -+)>] 0/1 cycles [(<+-

qGo: seq   qd+qf+qs,    qf+qs      ; 1
     jmp   qSki,        {qd+qf+qs+qi
     seq   qd+qf+6*qs,  qf+6*qs    ; B
     jmp   qFas,        {qd+qf+6*qs+qi
     seq   qd+qf+5*qs,  qf+5*qs    ; B-1
     jmp   qFas,        <qBmb
     seq   qd+qf+7*qs,  qf+7*qs    ; B+1
     jmp   qFas,        >qBmb
     seq   qd+qf+9*qs,  qf+9*qs    ; A-1
     djn   qFas,        {qFas
     seq   qd+qf+10*qs, qf+10*qs   ; A
     jmp   qFas,        {qFas

;    -+>)] 2 cycles [(<+-

     seq   qd+qf+3*qs,  qf+3*qs    ; C
     jmp   >qFas,       {qd+qf+3*qs+qi
     seq   qd+qf+2*qs,  qf+2*qs    ; C-1
     jmp   >qFas,       {qSlo
     seq   qd+qf+4*qs,  qf+4*qs    ; C+1
     jmp   >qFas,       }qSlo
     seq   qd+qf+12*qs, qf+12*qs   ; B*C-B
     jmp   qSlo,        {qSlo
     seq   qd+qf+15*qs, qf+15*qs   ; B*C-C
     jmp   qSlo,        <qBmb
     seq   qd+qf+21*qs, qf+21*qs   ; B*C+C
     jmp   qSlo,        >qBmb
     seq   qd+qf+24*qs, qf+24*qs   ; B*C+B
     jmp   qSlo,        }qSlo
     seq   qd+qf+27*qs, qf+27*qs   ; A*C-C
     djn   qSlo,        {qFas
     seq   qd+qf+30*qs, qf+30*qs   ; A*C
     jmp   qSlo,        {qFas
     sne   qd+qf+18*qs, qf+18*qs   ; B*C
     jmz.f pGo,         qd+qf+18*qs-10

qSlo:mul.ab #3,         qKil       ; C=3
qFas:mul.b qBmb,        @qSlo
qSki:sne   >3456,       @qKil
     add   #qd,         qKil
qLoo:mov   qBmb,        @qKil
qKil:mov   qBmb,        *qs
     sub   #qi,         qKil
     djn   qLoo,        #qr
     jmp   pGo,         >10        ; A=10
qBmb:dat   {qi*qr-10,   {6         ; B=6
     end

So how does our final version score?  King of the '94nop and in the top
ten on the '94 draft :-)  On entering the '94nop hill it scored 40%+ wins
against 11 of the warriors - 50%+ against 7.  However, it would not
surprise us to see a few more b-driven imps appearing on the hills...

 1  36/ 22/ 42               nPaper II        Paul-V Khuong     151       1
_______________________________________________________________________________
Extra Extra - SnooPy by Paul Kline

You may remember Alladin's Cave, onetime leader on Pizza's 94 hill.  I
thought it might still have some potential and started working on a
replacement, using the same base components and changing over to a p^3
switcher.  I really could not get it going however, the one-shot scanner
just is no longer strong enough and AC would end up carouseling the
various parts against stronger opponents.  This is one of the problems
with p-programming, if you do not have a good 'stopper' in there, you end
up rotating weaker opponents and give up way too many losses.

So I went looking for some good code, especially something that would
perform well against stone-imps and strong silks.  The modern stone-imps
seem to be structured similarly, a small stone with core wipe and a small
imp-pump that is spaced far away from the stone.  Both are hard to find by
scanning, and a core-clear takes too long to kill them together.  My
approach was to try a quick one-pass something that would stun at least
one of the parts with spl's, followed by a dclear.  That way the dclear
would have more time to do its job, and the imp-spiral would not grow too
long.

I went through a number of Torch and vamp variations, but finally settled
on a Blur attack, one scanning pass and a dclear.  It works pretty well
against stone-imps and not so well against stronger silks.  Additional
stunning would be useful but to kill s-i's you have to start dclear-ing
early, or you will not have time to kill all the spl's and the imp.

Other p-spacers can be expected to try a simple stone which is deadly
against scanners, so I added a paper component.  After much diddling I
selected a variation on an old theme of mine, which is a non-silk
replicator with a lot of imp-deadly dat-bombing.  This version kills s-i's
like Rosebud and Blue Funk about 50% of the time, but is mainly guaranteed
to at least get a tie.  It also effectively kills a class of non-looping
silk replicators.  Because they do not loop, they act like simple hopper
generators, once all the generators are dead, the hoppers are quite
vulnerable.  CC Paper is a good example.

To protect the replicator against HSA and f-scan attacks I added a Wimp,
which is just a JMP #0,#0 program that is invisible to them.

For a little more punch against certain opponents I included the one-shot
dclear component from Alladin's Cave.

SnooPy is a good all-round performer, so far no programs on the hill are
killing it badly and it is not killing anything else badly either (except
one new one :-).  Some challengers are giving up nearly 90% losses
however, which is interesting.  I think what is happening is that while
SnooPy does a 16-byte forward scan in 3 steps (actually a 10 and a 6), the
opponent is doing a backward scan with a smaller step or at a slower rate.
I described this situation in an old Push Off article and it is fatal to
the slower program.  Other than that I can not explain such a high ratio.

The p-code drives the trio on successive losses from scan to paper to
one-shot and round again.  The only variation is that if the paper gets a
tie it returns to the scanner, which works quite well when the opponent is
a replicator or imp.


;redcode-94
;name SnooPy
;author P.Kline
;assert CORESIZE == 8000
;strategy blurish scanner, paper, oneshot-clear
;strategy did i mention a wimp?

w0 EQU vBoot
w1 EQU slPaper
w2 EQU cBoot
PSTATE EQU 278

wimp      jmp    #0        ,#0     ; frustrate HSA-types, used with paper
     for 15
         dat 0,0
     rof
clGate    jmp    OsClear,OsClear-6 ; one-shot to a dat-clear
clIncr    dat    13     ,13
OsClear   add    clIncr ,clGate
          sne.x  *clGate,@clGate
          djn.f  OsClear,<-1500
clSpl     spl    #0     ,<clGate
          mov    clBomb ,>clGate
          djn.f  -1     ,>clGate
clBomb    dat    <5535  ,1-clGate
          dat    0,0
btClear   jmp    1000   ,clGate+10-btV
       for 5
          dat 0,0
       rof
think   ldp.a    #0      ,in
        ldp.a    #PSTATE ,table
        mod.ba   *in     ,table
        stp.b    *table  ,#PSTATE

                        ; S  L W T
table   jmp }0   ,0441  ; 00 1 0 0
        dat #w0  ,0154  ; 01 2 0 1 ; w0 = scanner
        dat #w0  ,0163  ; 02 3 2 1 ; w1 = paper
        dat #w0  ,0092  ; 03 4 1 2 ; w2 = one-shot/clear
        dat #w1  ,0102  ; 04 6 4 3
        dat #w2  ,0446  ; 05 6 5 5
        dat #w2  ,0362  ; 06 2 5 2
        dat #w2  ,0362  ; 07 2 5 2
        dat #w2  ,0362  ; 08 2 5 2

in      dat  0,8  ; must have non-zero b-field in the previous cell
        dat  0,7
        dat  0,9

cBoot     mov    btClear  ,btV     ; boot one-shot or scanner
vBoot
     a for 10
          mov    <btV     ,{btV
       rof
btV       jmp    vPtr+10+16*150     ,vPtr+10

       for 10
          dat 0,0
       rof

vStep     equ    16
vGate     equ    (vPtr-3)
Snoop

vPtr      mov    vScan    ,6000    ; Blur-type scanner
vNext     mov    vIncr    ,>vPtr
vScan     seq    vStep-6  ,vStep
          mov.ab vScan    ,vPtr
          add    vIncr    ,vScan
          djn    vNext    ,#7900/16
vIncr     spl    #vStep   ,#vStep
          mov    vClr     ,>vGate
          djn.f  -1       ,>vGate
vClr      dat    <2667    ,2-vGate
     for 8
         dat 0,0
     rof
slPaper  spl   wimp
         spl   1 ,{1000
         spl   1 ,{2000
         spl   1 ,{3000
p1s      mov   p1b,>8              ; imp- and stone-killing paper
p1c      mov   <p1s,<p1n           ; pretty good at killing silks too
p1n      spl   @p1n,>-1356
         mov   p1b,<p1n
         mov   p1b,<-1000
         mov   p1b,>200
         jmn.f @0,>p1s
p1b      dat   <2667,<5334

         end   think

"History has pretty well established that no program is going to last
forever, publishing accelerates the demise yet advances the game."
_______________________________________________________________________________
Questions?  Concerns?  Comments?  Complaints?  Mail them to people who care.
Beppe Bezzi <giuseppe.bezzi@galactica.it>, Philip Kendall <pak21@cam.ac.uk>,
Anton Marsden <anton@paradise.net.nz>, John Metcalf <grumpy@digitald.uk.com>
and Christian Schmidt <schmidt@chiral.apchem.nagoya-u.ac.jp>
2002-2005 corewar.info. Logo C. Schmidt