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<H3><A NAME="s5">5. Combat</A></H3>

<P>
<P>
<H3><A NAME="ss5.1">5.1 Ratings: Attack/Defense</A>
</H3>

<P>Combat ratings in Merchant Empires are dynamic values.  They are produced using the
following formulas:<br><br>

Attack Rating = Potential Damage / 40 + Combat Drones / 50<br><br>
Defense Rating = (Shields + Armor + (Combat Drones * 3) / 100<br><br>

Potential Damage is the combined attack value of every weapon on a ship.<br>

<H3><A NAME="ss5.2">5.2 Forces</A>
</H3>
(1) Combat Drones<br>
Combat drones are small computer controlled ships that have a static attack/defensive capability.  Combat drones
that are deployed in a sector  participate in combat if an allied ship is attacking or defending.  Combat drones will also attempt to
defend allied forces in the event that they are attacked by an enemy ship.<br><br>

Every 30 ship-based combat drones will destroy 1 enemy force in ship vs forces combat.<br><br>

(2) Scout Drones<br>
Scout drones have no offensive capability.  Their sole purpose is to report to their merchant owner
on the movement of non-allied ships.  If attacked, scout drones will explode causing minor damage to the attacking
ship.<br><br>
(3) Mines<br>
Mines do not participate in ship combat.  Mines actively seek out and explode upon enemy ships that are moving
into or out of a sector.  An enemy ship that enters a sector that has been mined will be forced to defend itself
from all of that sector's mines.  The newly arrived ship will initially detonate a random number of the sector's
total mine count depending the merchant's ability to evade (a function of experience) the mines.  The ship has the
choice of: (1) leaving the sector from the original entry point and not detonating any of the remaining mines, (2) attacking the remaining mines and facing the
possibility of further mine detonations, (3) leaving the sector via an exit point that was not the original
point of entry and facing further mine detonations.
<br><br>
Mine fields can be evaded.  The chance of evasion is a flat percentage.  The percentage is determined by the size of
the mine field and the tactical defense of the evading ship.   10 mines = 20%, 20 mines = 15%, 30 mines = 10%, 40 mines = 5%.
A ship's tactical defense (TD) is added to the mine field size percentage.  So a ship with a TD of 11, entering a mine field of
size 10 would have a 33% chance of evading.  Each group of mines that belong to an individual merchant count as a separate mine field.	
<br><br>
Mine fields of 20 mines or greater can be set to be repulsionary mine fields.  Repulsionary mine fields
prevent merchants from entering a sector.  Merchants have the option of proceeding through the repulsionary force
and attacking the mine field.  If a repulsionary mine field drops below 20 mines,
it can longer function as a repulsionary mine field.

<H3><A NAME="ss5.3">5.3 Raiding Ports</A>
</H3>

<P>A successfully raided port will yield all of its goods and credits to the attacking merchants.

<H3><A NAME="ss5.4">5.4 Protection</A>
</H3>

<b>Newbie Protection</b><br><br>
New players are granted 500 newbie turns.  While these turns remain, the "Newbie" merchant:<br>
(1) Cannot attack<br>
(2) Cannot be attacked<br>
(3) Do not participate in alliance attack/defense actions<br>
(4) Will take off from a planet in the event that its defenses are destroyed and
enemy warships land.
<br><br>
Newbie protection expires after 5 days, whether your merchant has used all the newbie turns or not.
<br><br>
<b>Imperial Protection</b><br><br>
(1) designated by sectors that contain an Imperial Beacon<br>
(2) Your attack rating is less than or equal to an alignment based protected rating.<br>
Protected rating = 3 + (Alignment Div 150)<br>
(3) You are not carrying illegal (Slaves, Weapons, Narcotics) cargo.<br>

<H3><A NAME="ss5.5">5.5 Spoils</A>
</H3>

The victorious merchant in merchant vs merchant combat reaps the following rewards:<br>
(1) A percentage of the defeated merchant's experience.<br>
(2) All of the defeated merchant's credits on hand.<br>
(3) Modules of technology and weapons from the defeated merchant's ship, which are automatically placed in the victorious merchant's cargo holds.<br>

<H3><A NAME="ss5.6">5.6 Planetary Combat</A>
</H3>

<P>Only 10 merchants can engage in combat versus a planet in a single combat round.  Ship-based weapons do not do full damage to planetary shields.  The shield damage value of ship-based weapons is divided by 4.5 before being applied to planetary shields.  Ship-based forces cannot attack a planet.

<H3><A NAME="ss5.7">5.7 Participation</A>
</H3>

<P>Under preferences merchants can opt out of certain types of combat.

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