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 Betreff des Beitrags: Anfänger-Guide
BeitragVerfasst: 15.10.2014 21:23 

Registriert: 18.02.2002 21:34
Beiträge: 4483
Wohnort: Hamburg
Ich habe einen netten, alten Guide für Anfänger gefunden, aber leider auf englisch.


                       a Guide for Players
                       By : Peter Wheeldon


One of the daunting tasks for a new player starting a Play By Mail
(PBM) game is the process of learning AND absorbing the rules that
you receive  with your  setup. All  to often  you find that in the
first few  turns you  fail to  recognise some  of the  more useful
actions that can give you a good start and enable you to keep pace
with the more experienced players.

The purpose of this article is to provide new and old players some
(what I  consider) useful  actions and hints that may improve your
initial start  in a  game of  Darkness of  Silverfall (DOS).  Also
included for  the beginning  player is  several turns  of one game
that I am playing.

The Turn Sequence

The first step in playing any PBM game is a clear understanding of
the turn sequence. Each turn of DOS is divided into 7 phases. Each
of these  phases is described in the Players Manual and NOTE, that
within each  phase the order that they are written is the order of
implementation. Irrespective  of which  way you  write  down  your
orders on  your return sheet, they will always be implemented in a
specific sequence.

Phase 0 : Administration and error checking.

Phase 1  : The  order of some actions in this phase are important,
       mainly for  Trading. A  Cargo ship  in a Transport that has
       just Warped  to a  Trading Planet  can Release, Unload it's
       ore, Redock  (possibly after  purchasing fuel) and then the
       Transport can Warp back to a planet to get some more ore.

Phase 2 - 4 : Movement and Combat is divided into 3 phases.

       FIRE  comes  first  and  is  the  only  guaranteed  way  of
       inflicting damage  before the  opposing ship  may move. All
       other movement  commands (MOVE, ENGAGE, STRAFE, and PURSUE)
       will move  a maximum  of 1/3 their total movement range per
       phase, over  a  small  distance  this  may  mean  the  full
       distance in  the first  phase. Ships  with MOVE  orders are
       moved before  any combat  commands and can normally get out
       of fire range of enemies (unless they move into a new enemy
       ships fire range).
       For the  remaining  combat  commands  it  is  important  to
       remember that  the smaller  faster  ships  implement  their
       command first  and that  the check for an enemy ship within
       fire range is done at the start of the command. I.E. If two
       ships are  on ENGAGE  and are  outside fire  range then the
       smaller\faster ship  will see  no enemy  ship and therefore
       move. However it's move may bring it into fire range of the
       second ship  which will  detect it and fire. Similarly, two
       ships on  STRAFE command  could have the same result except
       the second ship could then move back out of the first ships
       fire range.  So it  is quite possible for an attacking ship
       to be constantly hit without being able to return fire.
       Finally, Hyperdrive  is implemented after FIRE in phase two
       so it  is a  useful command  to try  and save  a ship (even
       though you  will have  no idea  where the  ship  will  go).
       Warpdrive is  dangerous because the ship can be fired at by
       any ships on FIRE or ENGAGE command for phases 2 and 3, and
       then again in phase 4 at its new location.

Phase 5  : Cloaking,  Building of  Ships and  Planet Defences, and
       Alliances take place AFTER combat. The implications of this
       are firstly,  new ships  can not  be  damaged  (though  the
       Monitor or Battle Station building them may be destroyed in
       which case the ships are not built). A Cloaking ship is not
       hidden from enemy ships during combat and you can not break
       an alliance and attack in the same turn.

Phase 6  : Special abilities that are gained from Points generally
       are implemented  in this  phase. There are a few exceptions
       that you  will come  across and  in most  cases there is no
       difference when the Ability is implemented.

Phase 7 : Another administration phase.

All commands  have a  validity check on them, and if it can not be
implemented then  it is  cancelled. E.G.  if a  ship  has  a  FIRE
command and  the enemy  ship selected  is initially  outside  fire
range then  the command  is cancelled  EVEN if the enemy ship then
moves into fire range in the next phase.


As with all Empire style games, this one relies on economic growth
to achieve  victory. The  economics are simple which means that it
is easy for you to calculate your Income each turn. Credits can be
obtained several ways :

Planets -  Each planet has a Population and Industry rating. These
       values are  in the range 0 to 50,000. The value of Industry
       on a  planet at  the end of a turn is the amount of Credits
       that is added to your Empires total. Your Industry value is
       affected by several things.
       Firstly, the  construction of  Ships or  Planetary Defences
       reduces your  Industry. Generally  there will only be a few
       planets   where you  will construct ships simply because of
       the initial  cost of  Monitors or  Battle  Stations.  Those
       planets that are selected need to have a good industry base
       (>30,000) to be able to sustain building for several turns.
       Secondly, the  Industry increases each turn by either 5% or
       25% dependant  on whether  the  Population  is  smaller  or
       larger. If  possible you  need to "juggle" your Population,
       especially on  your ship  construction planets, so that you
       can occasionally  get a larger Population than Industry and
       hence boost  Industry by  25% (at  the cost  of  course  of
       loosing 25%  of your  population). This  will require ships
       that can  collect population  from planets where Population
       is not really needed.

Trading -   All  planets can  have any  or all  of 5 ores on them.
       These will  either  be  in  a  stockpiled  form  (available
       immediately) or in resource form (stockpiled by mining).

       If you  have a Planet with a reasonable population and good
       resource values,  build mines. You only need 2 or 3 planets
       with 2  mines on them at any time to be able to keep a good
       supply of  saleable ore. Each of the 5 trading Planets will
       each pay a certain value of Credits for each type of ore.
       Each  Trading   Planets  price   will  vary  between  turns
       dependant on how much was sold the turn before and how much
       is currently  in stockpile. Select planets to trade at that
       have the  best price and the least number of ships above it
       so that you maximise your return.
Points -     The amount  of  damage  a  ship  does  in  combat  is
       multiplied by  either 250 (damaging other players ships) or
       500 (damaging  DLS ships). This value is then added to your
       Points total. At the end of each turn your total Points are
       added to  your Credits.  Apart from the points being useful
       to obtain  special abilities,  they  are  also  a  constant
       source of income.

Combat -     DLS will pay 500 credits for each point of damage you
       inflict on another player (as well as the 250 points). This
       is  probably   the  least   effective   income   collection

Trading income  is added  to the players budget during phase 1 and
the combat  credits are added during phases 2,3 and 4. Planets and
Points income  is not added until the end of the turn. Orders that
require income  (Build Ship,  Purchase Interceptors,  Scan Player,
Start Mine,  Build Planet  Defences) will  not work  if you do not
have enough credits.

All building,  apart from Build Mine which takes place in phase 1,
are implemented  in phase 5 so credits you obtain from Trading and
Combat can be used in your calculations for the current turn.


Part of  the enjoyment  of any  game is  figuring out  the  little
bonuses that  you can  get for  using  the  rules  to  their  best
advantage. Some  techniques become  obvious as  you play the game,
others you  may find  out from  other players  and some  you  will
stumble upon by mistake.

Not giving  too much  away, here are some things that may help you
in your  game. This list is nowhere complete (I like to keep a few
of my  tactics up  my sleeve),  and  I'm  sure  some  players  may
question their relative advantages, but they may be of some use.

There are  two ways to win the game. Both require the player to be
the first  to hold,  at the end of a turn, 15% (around 150) of all
planets. Secondly,  either all  of the DLS Battle Stations need to
have been  destroyed or the Player with the 150 planets also has a
Total Score of 5,000,000. The obvious conclusion from this is that
the number  of planets  that you  control dictates whether you win
the game  or not.  So grab as many as you can each turn (of course
without loosing to many to DLS or other players in the process).

Secondly after  turn 14  EVERYONE is  going to  start to be pulled
towards the  Black Hole,  unless DLS's  battle stations  have been
destroyed. So  try and  find them  and if  you do it is worthwhile
telling the  other players  by use of the comments section in your
returns so as a concerted effort can be made to destroy them.

Points you receive for damaging other ships are important, but try
to avoid  attacking other  players (it  can be detrimental to your
health) until  it is  necessary. Besides,  you only  get half  the
points you  do for  damage against  DLS ships.  Most DLS ships act
independently, so  it is  easy to  take them  on. One tactic is to
purposely plan  not to  totally destroy  them, only  damage  them.
DLS's actions  (as controlled  by the  computer) are to defend ANY
ship that  is being  attacked, so  by not  destroying them, others
will come  to their  aid. MORE POINTS. Be careful, you might bight
off more than you can chew.

The advantage  of points  is obvious. More points, more income and
more special  abilities, some  of which  are exceptionally  useful
like Automatic  Refueling of ALL ships each turn, increased Attack
and Defence,  increased Fire  Range, Cloaking  or Short  and  Long
Range Missiles.  Others tend not to be as useful but generally you
will use all of them at least once in a game.

Fuel is  one of  the biggest restraints in the game. Until you get
the Special  Ability, conserve  your fuel. Only move a ship if you
need to.  Those ships  you do move, make sure you have enough fuel
left to  get them back. There is nothing more infuriating as to go
to a  planet, find it has no fuel on it and not have enough to get
to a  fuel source.  Bang, one  ship out  of  action,  paying  5000
credits fleet  cost plus  its maintenance cost each turn. When you
do move to a planet that does have fuel, fill your ship up even if
its only a small amount. It may make a difference later.

Your Battle  Station and  Monitors (later  in the game) build your
ships. But  new ships  are built with NO FUEL. So the planets they
are on  will need  good reserves.  A possible  tactic is  to  send
Transports and Cargos WITH NO FUEL to Trading Planets so that they
can buy  it and  bring it  back. Besides,  you don't need fuel for

One of  the biggest  arguments that players have is "which ship is
better", and  unfortunately there  is no easy answer. Each of them
have their  specific uses  and each player tends to find different
uses that  may not  have originally  been what they where intended
for. I  have my  favorites and  tend to  stick with them. The main
combat ships I buy are Small Cruisers (good attack and defence for
the cost)  or Super  Battles (can  dish it  out and  take  a  fair

One of  the tactics I use in the middle to end of the game (mainly
because of  the cost  of the ships) is to pick a central base that
can protect  a large number of planets, put some Cruisers, Battles
and Repair  Robots on  it as  reserves and then send out marauding
fleets of  2-4 ships.  If any  of the marauders are damaged then I
return them  to my  base (while  sending out  a  replacement)  and
repair it.  This way  there is  generally at  least 1 ship able to
continue the  fight each  turn. The combat points quickly rack up.
Mobile fleets  I make  using Cruisers  and Battles  (for the  same
reason as above) and one or two Destroyers carrying Repair Robots.

Suicidals are  great one  shot wonders and can be very useful when
placed in  Transports and  Warped to  specific points (like Battle
Stations, where  they can  use the  Fire command).  But their main
disadvantage is  their Fire range, 15. Most other combat ships can
blow them up without the suicidals being able to return fire. They
become more  useful when  you receive  the  special  ability  that
improves all  your combat ships Fire Range. The ships that you can
"customise" I  tend to  not use  as they  CAN NOT be repaired. But
they still have advantages in some situations.

Taking planets  raises another  problem with  ships. Any  ship can
take a  planet (as  long as it is not cloaked), but experience has
shown that  there is  no point  in using your combat ships. One of
the most  useful commands  is the  Find Planet  (FP) especially if
there is no obvious planet within Comm Range. The FP command looks
AT ALL  planets within  the ships  movement/fuel  range  and  then
selects one  of them  to move to. The disadvantage however is that
the ship  will not fire at ANYTHING. This is a bit of a waste of a
combat ship  except if  it will  have nothing to fire at. Use your
combat ships  to take planets you KNOW of and use non combat ships
on FP.  Probes can  be exceptionally  useful because  they are not
limited in  their movement  range, they  can Warp anywhere (and it
doesn't use any fuel).

After the  first couple of turns build some probes to take planets
that are  to far away for your normal ships. They can Warp 5 times
before they  need to be repaired (assuming they do not get hit) so
they should  be able  to take  4 planets  and then  come back to a
Repair Robot.



After submitting  my Player Details, several weeks later I receive
a Setup. It contains the following information.

Standings       - Game hasn't started so they are no use.
Trading Planets - Prices of Ores and Fuel are displayed.
Planet Review   - Owned Planets, Population and Industry.
Fleet  Review   - None Listed
Ship   Review   - Fleet 1
       Super Battle, Light Cruiser, Corsair, Small Fighter,
       Small Tanker (not very useful) Small Transport,
       2 Small Cargos and a Battle Station.
       Origin Planet and report of three other planets within
       communications range.

First Turn

I've got  9 available  ships to  use and  can see 3 planets within

First thoughts :

1. I want to take as many planets in the first turn as possible.
2. Try and start some trading going, it's good income.
3. I want to see more so I'll build a ship with good
4. I build ships at my home planet so I'll need fuel for them.
5. REMEMBER to uncloak any ships I want to take Planets with.

Generally most  player's Origin  planets are  about 150-200  units
from the  closest Trading Planet. For most ships this will take at
least 6  moves for  a return  trip (and  lots of fuel). If you use
Warping it  only takes  2 turns.  To get Trading income every turn
therefore will  require 2  fleets (a  Transport and  several Cargo
Ships). However  at the  start of  the game  there are more useful
ships that  you need.  Combat ships are always useful and you will
need something to repair them. So my construction is :

    3 Small Cruisers        (good combat/cost ratio)
    Communications Box      (good comm radius)
    Repair Robot            (just in case)

Because I've  built 5  ships, the  industry on my Home Planet will
drop by 6700 (3 Small Cruisers at 1500 each, Comm Box at 1100, and
Repair Robot  at 1100). This will mean that my population will die
off at  25% at  the end  of the  turn. This in itself is not a bad
thing because if the population is bigger than the industry at the
end of  the turn then the industry will go up by 25% instead of 5%
but lets try and minimise the damage, so I'll load 6699 population
into my  Battle Station  this turn and put them back on the planet
next turn. The net effect of this is that the 6699 population will
not be  subject to  the 25% loss so I will save approximately 1670
from dying.

My 2  Cargos will  Load Ore,  Dock into the Transport and then the
Transport will  Warp to a Trading Planet, but since I will only be
warping, none  of the ships need fuel, so I'll unload it all to my
planet (that's an extra 850 available, plus I can also buy some at
the trading planet and bring it back).
I definitely want to take the 3 planets, so to maximise the chance
I'll use  Strafe commands  for my  3 combat  ships (Light Cruiser,
Fighter, Corsair)  The Super Battle I want to keep in case any DLS
ships are  in the  area. I'll put Find Planet (FP) commands on the
Scout and  Small Tanker  (hoping they  wont go to the planets that
I've already targeted and that there are no DLS ships about). This
has an  added advantage.  With the  FP command  it  will  randomly
select any planet in Movement Range. The Scout and Tanker have BIG
movement ranges so there is more chance they will not go to one of
the planets I've already targeted.

I'll build  two mines  on my home planet since I'll be trading and
I'll need  resources. My Battle Station will use an Engage command
just in  case anything  comes within range and the Scout and Small
Tanker Both need to be UNCLOAKED.

That's about  it for the first turn, apart from the Scan Ship (SS)
and Scan  Planet (SP)  commands. Since  they don't cost anything I
may as  well use  them. They  can be  very useful  because you may
happen to find the location of a Battle Station or a Origin Planet
(DLS or Player). So I'll just pick random numbers for both.

The Messages  Section can  also be  a lot  of  fun,  you  can  say
anything you  like (well  almost!) but  be careful  not to give to
much information  to other players, like you Home Planets location
or your Player Number (they may try and scan you). Always remember
"Anything you  say will  be taken down AND definitely will be used
against you, eventually".

Turn Two

Standings       - Simply shows me my value compared to the Best
                  and Worst.
Trading Planets - Shows the number of ships currently there.
Planet Review   - I own four planets.
Fleet  Review   - Five Fleets with their Total Attack and Defence
Ship   Review   - Detailing each of my 5 fleets and their

In the  standings I'm  not doing  that well. My current Credits is
about 1/3  the best,  only 4 planets compared to a best of 8, I do
have the same number of ships (15), and only 500 points (one of my
ships Strafed a DLS Tanker) compared to 8000. From past experience
however these figures are not really important at the start of the

Unfortunately events  did not occur as I had anticipated. Both the
Scout and Tanker went to the same planet (which is highly unlikely
?), and one of the 3 planets I went for was also occupied by a DLS
Small Tanker,  so neither  of us got it. My communications box has
also revealed  another 10 planets within a radius of 65 units, the
problem being  that there are also many DLS ships, 2 Dreadnoughts,
a Battle Cruiser, 2 Super Destroyers and sundry other small ships.
This presents a problem because any ships that I want to move this
turn will  have to be careful not to come within fire range of the
DLS ships (especially the BIG ones).

My tactics  now will have to change. I can't afford to simply send
single ships  to planets because they will be blown to pieces. The
3 Small  Cruisers I will send out to a planet (after loading fuel)
while moving  the Light  Cruiser to another. The Super Battle will
join up with the Fighter and Corsair at the planet DLS and I share
(the Fighter already being there). The Scout and Small Tanker will
both move  to individual  planets (hoping  that  they  don't  come
within range  of anything)!  All my  ships (including  the  Battle
Station but  excluding the  Scout and  Tanker)  will  have  Engage
The five  ships I'll  buy this  time are a second Trading Fleet to
help boost my income.

   1 Small Tanker (can hold up to size 5)
   4 Small Cargo  (the 5th I'll buy later)

I'll reload  the Population back onto my Home Planet, my Cargos at
the Trading  Planet will  Release, Unload Ore, Load Fuel, Dock and
then the Transport will Warp back Home.

Turn 3

Standings       - Simply shows me my value compared to the Best
                  and Worst.
Trading Planets - Shows the number of ships currently there.
Planet Review   - I own five planets.
Fleet  Review   - Five Fleets with their Total Attack and Defence
Ship   Review   - Detailing each of my 5 fleets and their

Again not  very promising.  My Scout  and Small  Tanker were  both
destroyed. I  put down  the wrong  planet number  for my  3  Small
Cruisers so  they have  wandered off  in the  wrong direction  and
another player has ships within my vicinity. My new Tactic will be


The main  reason that  I got drawn into the game is highlighted by
the introductory  Story in  the players  manual. Unlike most games
this one  is not  totally  oriented  towards  all  players  vining
against each  other from the outset. There is significant merit in
all players concentrating on DLS, and trying not to impose on each
other. DLS  has a  huge advantage  at the  start in  the number of
ships at  his command  and HE  HAS TO BE DEALT WITH. Space is Big,
VERY BIG.  There is  plenty to do without stepping on anyones toes
until the very endgame, and there is a good satisfaction in making
use of  the main  advantage of  PBM games  in interaction  with  a
number of players that you've never met.

In conclusion,  I rate  this game  very highly. It can provide the
novice player  great enjoyment  by giving  them sufficient time to
absorb the  rules before  it  starts  to  become  complicated.  It
provides enough  complexity to  keep  even  the  more  experienced
players on  their toes.  And it also caters to the more Militarily
oriented Wargamer by being a tactical challenge.

But don't take my word for it, TRY IT!

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Anfänger-Guide
BeitragVerfasst: 30.03.2016 21:11 

Registriert: 27.11.2003 13:59
Beiträge: 504
Wohnort: Rodgau / bei Frankfurt-Main
Cool, den werde ich nach den vielen, vielen Jahren Spielpause wohl brauchen.
Ich freue mich auf die DoS- Partie!

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