Opening Screen

[Website Index]

[INL Rulebook]

 [Chapter 1]
 > Introduction
 [Chapter 2]
 > Basic Instructions
 [Chapter 3]
 > Finer Points & Strategies
 [Chapter 4]
 > Miscellaneous Stuff
 [Chapter 5]
 > Resources
 [Chapter 6]
 > Configuration
 [Chapter 7]
 > Example .xtrekrc

 > [Beginners]
 > [Opening Screen]
 > [Help Sheet]
 > [Combat]
 > [Game Scheme]
 > [Galactic Map]
 > [General/Misc.]
 > [LPS]
 > [Planet Taking Hints]
 > [Robots]
 > [Tournaments]
 > [Tricky Moves]
 > [Terms]


[Tactical Summary]
 > [Dogfighting]
 > [Ogging]
 > [Planet Taking Guide]
 > [Ship Index]
 >> [Ship Facts]
 >> [Ship Opinions]
 >> [Assault Ships (AS)]
 >> [Battle Ships (BB)]
 >> [Cruisers (CA)]
 >> [Destroyers (DD)]
 >> [Scouts]
 >> [Starbases (SB)]

[Base Practice]


[COW Info]


[E-mail me]
 - leaf(a)real-time.com

Website hosted by:
Real Time Enterprises, Incorporated
Linux and Network Solutions

What lots of servers have as their opening screen.
See "
help-sheet" for a list of all the commands on one page


From: jch@cs.cmu.edu (Jonathan Hardwick)
Subject: Opening screen

Mouse Buttons:

  • Left- Fire Photon Torpedoes toward Mouse Cursor
  • Middle- Fire Phaser toward Mouse Cursor
  • Right- Change course toward Mouse Cursor

Other Important Commands:

  • 0-9  Set Warp Speed 0-9
    ) Set speed to warp 10
            ! Set speed to warp 11
            @ Set speed to warp 12
    % Set speed as fast as you can go!
  • c     Cloak/Uncloak Ship.  While cloaked your ship will not show up on other        players' tactical displays.  It will show up as a ?? on the Galactic display.
  • l     Lock onto object.  Sets your course to that object.  If it's a planet or a Base, you automatically dock there once you arrive.
  • T     Tractor Beam.  Pulls target toward you but uses a lot of fuel.  Useful to make sure ships that run away get killed.
  • y     Pressor Beam.  Just like Tractor, but it pushes target away.  Useful in keeping those over-agressive warships away from you.
  • s,u   Raise/lower shields.  Your shields consume fuel.  Also, your ship will only repair internal damage while shields are down.  But you are much more vulnerable when your shields are down.
  • ?     Bring up Message Review Window.  So you can see the messages. 
  • L     Bring up the Player List Window. So you can see the names behind the players numbers.
  • i,I   Get information on the player or planet nearest your mouse cursor.

How to send Messages:

  • Put your mouse cursor in the outgoing message window.  It is the lower of  the two thin one-line windows at the bottom right of the xtrek window.
  • Type the letter for who you want to send to:
            0-9, a-j   Message is sent to player of that number/letter
            t  Send to your own team
            A  Send to All (Everyone!)
            F  Send to FederationK  Send to Klingons
            R  Send to RomulansO  Send to Orions
  • Use the Esc key to cancel a message before sending it.

Tournament Mode:
Tournament mode starts you when have 4 vs 4 and the teams are not diagonally opposite (eg Fed vs Kli is no good).  You can get DI only during tournament mode, and more DI leads to promotions.  DI is a composite score based on total planets taken, armies bombed, and ships killed.  During Tournament mode ('Tmode' -- look for the little 't' among the flags) you receive no DI for attacking non-warring races, ie those races not represented by a team of 4 or more.

Your rating will be updated only during Tmode.  Ratings are derived from your planet bombing, killing (offense) and getting killed (defense) rates, normalized with respect to the average of all players.

To get plasma torpedos, get 2 kills, and refit to [DD/CA/BB].

Getting Started:

  • When you start playing Xtrek, it's probably best if you use the 'guest' login handle.
  • When you first enter the Game, hit the keys 'B' and 'V' twice each.  This makes the planets resources show up on the tactical and Galactic Maps.
  • If you are experiencing a lot of 'blink' (uneven screen updates), try setting your updates/second to a lower value.  Do this in the options window ('O' to bring it up).  Click the mouse button on the updates number until you get the number you want.  Lower updates tend to produce less blink, although they make xtrek less playable when the network is working normally.
  • Declare peace with everyone (except perhaps the current enemy race).  This way you won't be attacked by neutral planets and robots!
  • Set stay peaceful when reborn (in the options window again).  This way you won't have to redo your war settings every time you get shot down.

Hints for Beginners:

  • Watch your fuel.  When you run out, your weapons won't fire, you can't go very fast to run away, and you'll be helpless.
  • If you run out of fuel, go orbit a friendly or neutral fuel planet.  You can recognize these by the little fuel can (looks kind of like a  square) on the right side of the planet, assuming your maps show resource icons on the planets (if not, see Getting Started, above).
  • Avoid chasing ships, unless you know they are badly damaged or out of fuel.  It's very hard for you to dodge their fire, and very easy for them to dodge yours.  On the other hand, if you can get someone to chase you, waste them!
  • Learn who your enemies are.  If you shoot at friendly ships, not only do you waste fuel, but you show everyone that you are a beginner.  And many players will specifically go for beginners just for the easy kill. 
  • Change speeds a lot.  It is often useful to use high speed to get into the action quickly.  But at high speeds you will have a hard time dodging enemy torpedoes.
  • If you're not in combat, fly around with your shields down.  This enables you to repair a little damage, and you use less fuel that way.  But beware, you are very vulnerable if you are surprised.

Comments on ship choice:
Cruise speed is the fastest a ship can go and not lose fuel (with its shields down).  Combat speed is a good speed to fly the thing in battle.

  • Scouts(SC):
    These are fast fragile little things.  Good if you want to fly around the galaxy at high speed and get shot down by the first big ship that gets near.  They are very good for harassing, and bombing if there are many undefended planets with very few armies on them.  They are difficult to use to fight anyone, especially if your machine is having blink
    problems. Cruise: 8 Combat: 6
  • Destroyers(DD):
    These are similar to scouts but they are a little more tough and they have slightly more powerful weapons.  They are good to fight in if you're good at dodging and keeping            larger ships away.  Definitely the best ship for those fond of the 'Run-Away' tactic. Cruise: 7  Combat: 5
  • Assault Ships(AS):
    These ships are primarily useful in bombing and capturing planets (something that beginners should do after mastering the basics).  One of their unique features is that    they may carry 3 armies per kill their captain has.  Also, they are very tough to kill because they can take so much hull damage.  You have to plug extra torps into them 'just to be sure'.  They also can cloak fairly cheaply, to sneak in and attack planets. Cruise: 8 Combat: ?
  • Cruiser(CA):
    The standard ship.  It combines a wide variety of features, making it a good all-around ship.  It is the default ship if you don't select one. Cruise: 6 Combat: 4/5
  • Battleship(BB):
    This ship is slow and hard to maneuver.  However, it has the most firepower of any normal ship.  It is also very tough.  Since it can take a fair amount of damage while still                 dishing out a lot, it is very effective for offensive players.  This ship or the Cruiser is recommended for inexperienced players, since it need not worry so much about evasive
    maneuvers when it is in combat.  Also, it lasts longer, both in damage and fuel.       Cruise: 4  Combat: 3
  • Starbase(SB):
    These are very powerful and hard to destroy.  New players cannot play these (rank of Commander req'd).   Because they are so powerful, new players should probably avoid getting in fights with one.  It takes several players working together to destroy one!  If you see a hostile SB, you're best off running away from it.Cruise: 2Combat: 2

Strategy and the grand Scheme of things:
There's more to Xtrek than just ships flying around and blowing each other away.  The actual goal of the game is to conquer the galaxy.  As a shorter term goal, a team must conquer the planets of the other team.  This genocides the team, and all its players are forced to quit or change to a new team.

How to Conquer Planets:
Players conquer planets by first bombing the armies on enemy planets down to less than four.  Then they need to get some kills and pick up some armies from one of their own planets (you can only beam up armies if the planet has more than four armies, so you have to keep your enemies from bombing your planets!).   Once you have armies, you beam them down on to the enemy's planet.  Each of your armies destroys one of the enemy's armies, so you will need more armies to capture a planet than the planet currently has.  Usually, as a rule of thumb, it takes 5 armies to capture a planet.  Some planets are more important to capture, too.  Fuel planets are good planets to capture, because capturing them prevents the enemy from refuelling
on them.

Standard Xtrek games usually follow a pattern:

  • The game starts:
    The teams have all their planets and usually about 30 armies per planet.  So, the object in this stage is to bomb out as many of the enemies' armies as possible, while preventing them from bombing out your own.
  • The planet capturing stage:
    Most of the armies are bombed away, so the players concentrate on capturing the enemy planets.  It's kind of pointless to try to capture enemy planets while they still have a lot of armies, so this is why players don't try to capture planets until this stage.  If the enemy has lots of armies, it is very easy for them to simply recapture their planets.
  • The Desperate wait for armies:
    The players have used up most of their armies trying to take planets, so they are waiting for more to grow on their own planets so they can take the enemies'.  What few they do get often end up dying, as the ship that was carrying them is hunted down by hordes of enemy ships.
  • The Last Planet Defense:
    One of the teams has lost several of its planets.  It only has a few of the ones near its homeworld.  They don't have many armies to recapture their worlds because they don't have many worlds to grow them.  But their worlds are well defended because they come back real close to them when they die.  This stage can last for hours if the winning team isn't aggressive or well-enough organized to take those last few worlds.
  • Genocide:
    One team loses its last planet, and the cycle starts over, but with a few changes.  The team that just won has twice as many planets.  But the new team has all its planets with a lot of armies on them.  The first few minutes are a struggle to see if the new team can capture a lot of planets before all their armies are gone.

This help file courtesy of mehlhaff@ocf.Berkeley.EDU (Eric Mehlhaff)