I am now retired (and poor) and a bit bored and found out all the gamers are now a town away from me. My old "microgame" cardboard wargame from 1978 slithered up from the back of my mind and I dug out my old copy and even stumbled across the old unpublished game copyright registration (now released to public domain - click here) and began playing with an expansion/revision that ended up being an entirely new game.
I have Apache on my computer for web development use and worked on making the game simple to install on a web server and suited to even the free hosts as much as possible. Players just need a web browser while the actual owner has the game on a server - pretty much any server will do.
I ran across UwAmp later - this is Apache/PHP/MySQL for Windows that can run off a thumb drive without installation. Neat, I thought, 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.
The installation/setup page uses UwAmp on a thumb drive for a Windows computer to act as a server for localhost pass-and-play or same router LAN play with multiple devices. I made an "already setup for thumb drive server bundled package" that you just unzip and run and make a Mod password. (Windows 10 users must use Task Manager to stop the w3svc service so Apache can run.)
But the intended home of the game has always been "mini multiplayer on your own server" for someone who owns it. Players just need a web browser and a screen resolution of 1280x720 or better. Nothing for players to download. No Java, no Flash, no Push permissions.
Tacked on an ingame 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 some 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.
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 won the Captain Queeg award messing up written orders and ramming a ship in his own fleet in a miniatures battle with cannons and broadsides
at least here the worst you can do is try to move off the board or show up at the wrong place
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.