Introduction:

I am retired, my old "microgame" cardboard wargame from 1978 slithered up from the back of my mind, I dug out the old copy (that game is now released to public domain - click here), and began playing with an expansion/revision that morphed into being an entirely new game. Since local gamers all seem to be a town away from me now I wanted something I could play long-distance. Something turn based that can be interrupted anytime and resumed later.

I use Apache/PHP/MySQL (Xampp) on my laptop as a localhost development server and made the prototype game simple to install and use (including on free web hosts as much as possible with low server load, low bandwidth, no push notifications, and so forth). A mini-multiplayer server/browser game for Web (internet) or localhost (pass-and-play) or LAN (multiple devices using same router as an intranet - one computer also acts as the server).

I ran across UwAmp - this is Apache/PHP/MySQL for Windows that can run off a thumb drive without installation. Neat, I thought, almost like playing a game off a disk in the olden days. A ton of Apple and Linux users have Apache already but UwAmp is good for non-geeky Windows. Best of all, just like Xampp, it is free. (Windows 10 computers: use Task Manager to stop the w3svc service so the Apache server can use port 80 - this avoids having to modify the Apache config file.)

The Initial Installation page gives both generic server installation instructions and -- for Windows users -- how to use the UwAmp bundle for localhost and LAN play.

Mini-multiplayer on your own server for someone who owns the game. Players just need a web browser and a screen resolution of 1280x720 or better. Tested in both Explorer/Edge and Firefox (Safari and Chrome should be fine) but you want a minimum 10 inch screen size in my opinion to avoid zooming in and out a lot - things are just too small on a 7 inch screen. The entire game map is intended to display all at the same time using Home and End to jump between map and paperwork sections.

I tacked on a chat/message function so it is capable of standing alone as a web based game without requiring an external chat. Added passwords for players (players make a password for that color in that war to keep information actually hidden from other players) but kept it possible to make a shortcut already logged into a war after you join it.

So this game comes from a guy who got roped into a project just because he was retired and instead of a workshop or a bass boat he had a computer. At least it keeps me in the air conditioning and away from that big glowing ball you have in the sky half the time.

Dedications:

For my brother who loves Diplomacy
I kept the negotiation but tactics and strategy are more important here than in Diplomacy

For my friend who challenged me to justify the warp in the vertical movement system
How does the warped space inside a singularity work for that?

Finally, for the players of the original 1978 physical version of the old game:
Got the board balanced now for 2-6 players instead of 2 player or 4 players as teams for balance.
Eliminated the get stomped all over before you get to move again issue by making actions simultaneous.
No more cumbersome trade/colonize to keep the paperwork down with a computer as a secretary.




Click here for stand alone condensed rules as a .pdf file


 In the examples below the transmit buttons are disabled  

Displays

The map showing on the lobby page of the website alternates the strategic views of the six players.

That game (blue has resigned) is available to view as each of the 5 remaining players.

magenta  ,   red  ,   yellow  ,   green  ,   cyan

Entering Move Orders

This example has 2 ships in transit (orders were already transmitted).

Select a ship and its current location is starred on the map.

Ordering Movement





Planet locations and beginning colors









Wayne Mathias