.xX\$\$x. .x\$\$\$\$\$\$\$x. d\$\$\$\$\$\$\$\$\$\$\$ ,\$\$\$\$\$\$\$P' `P' , . \$\$\$\$\$\$P' ' .d b \$\$\$\$\$P b ,\$\$x ,\$\$x ,\$\$x ,\$\$b \$\$. Y\$\$\$\$' `\$. \$\$\$\$\$\$. \$\$\$\$\$\$ \$\$P~d\$. d\$\$\$b d d\$\$\$ `\$\$\$\$ ,\$\$ \$\$\$\$\$\$\$b \$\$\$P `\$ \$\$\$b.\$\$b `Y\$\$\$d\$d\$\$\$' . . a . a a .aa . a `\$\$\$ ,\$\$\$,\$\$' `\$\$\$ \$\$\$' ' \$\$P\$XX\$' `\$\$\$\$\$\$\$\$\$ .dP' `\$'\$ `\$'\$ , \$''\$ `\$'\$ `Y\$b ,d\$\$\$P `\$b,d\$P' `\$\$. `\$\$. , `\$\$P \$\$\$' Y \$. \$ \$ \$ Y..P \$ `\$\$\$\$\$\$\$' \$\$\$P' `\$\$b `\$\$\$P `P `\$' `Y'k. \$. \$. \$. \$\$' \$. Issue 66 8 April, 1998 ______________________________________________________________________________ Core Warrior is a newsletter promoting the game of corewar. Emphasis is placed on the most active hills--currently the '94 draft hill and the beginner hill. Coverage will follow where ever the action is. If you have no clue what I'm talking about then check out these five-star internet locals for more information: FAQs are available from: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/games/corewar-faq.Z http://www.koth.org/corewar-faq.html FTP site is: ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/corewar Mirrored at: ftp://ftp.inria.fr/INRIA/Projects/para/doligez/cw/mirror and: ftp://www.koth.org/corewar pMARS itself is also available from: Stormking web pages--http://www.koth.org/pmars.html Terry's web page--http://www.ncs.infi.net/~wtnewton/corewar/ Fechter ftp site--ftp://members.aol.com/ofechner/corewar Web pages are at: http://www.koth.org/ ;Stormking http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~pizza/koth ;Pizza http://pauillac.inria.fr/~doligez/corewar/ ;Planar Newbies should check the stormking page for the FAQ, language specification, guides, and tutorials. Post questions to rec.games.corewar. All new players are infinitely welcome! A collection of Bezzi's hints in the first issues is available at: ftp://ftp.volftp.vol.it/pub/pc/msdos/games/solutions/bbhints.zip ______________________________________________________________________________ Hello again. With Pizza being down for almost all of the time since the last issue, most of the Core War action has been taking place in the Redcode Maniacs Tournament, being run by Christian Schmidt and myself. Round 8, the penultimate round, is almost over (about 23 hours to enter from when I posted this message), and it looks like either Robert Macrae or David Moore will go on to win, but it still isn't too late to enter: see http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/5427/maniacs.htm for details. Pizza is now back up though so we can all get back to beating Alladin's Cave, a task which may be made considerably easier due to it being published further down in this issue. Thanks to Paul Kline for his code and Robert Macrae for the analysis. (and apologies for forgetting to put this in the last issue ;-( ) -- Philip Kendall _____________________________________________________________________________ Current Status of the Internet Pizza Server ICWS '94 Draft Hill: Hill Specs: coresize: 8000 max. processes: 8000 duration: after 80,000 cycles, a tie is declared. max. entry length: 100 minimum distance: 100 rounds fought: 200 instruction set: ICWS '94 Draft # %W / %L / %T Name Author Score Age 1 42.1/ 38.4/ 19.5 Diamonds and Rust Christian Schmidt 145.7 3 2 38.0/ 31.8/ 30.2 Nomolos Ian Oversby 144.1 28 3 38.7/ 35.2/ 26.1 Fire and Ice David Moore 142.3 12 4 41.2/ 42.3/ 16.5 Three Musketeers Robert Macrae 140.2 2 5 34.4/ 30.3/ 35.2 Fixed Ken Espiritu 138.6 23 6 31.9/ 25.5/ 42.6 Newt Ian Oversby 138.3 117 7 33.0/ 27.9/ 39.1 Vigor Ken Espiritu 138.1 27 8 33.3/ 29.7/ 37.0 Vain Ian Oversby 136.8 39 9 40.1/ 43.7/ 16.1 Alladins Cave P.Kline 136.6 24 10 36.9/ 37.7/ 25.4 Tornado 4 Beppe Bezzi 136.1 41 11 33.8/ 32.2/ 34.1 obvious to those who know Robert Macrae 135.3 75 12 29.2/ 23.5/ 47.3 Benchmark [94] Zul Nadzri 134.9 39 13 37.9/ 41.3/ 20.8 Electric Head Anton Marsden 134.5 126 14 39.5/ 45.2/ 15.4 The Boys are Back in Town Philip Kendall 133.8 21 15 31.9/ 30.2/ 38.0 Vengeance Robert Hale 133.5 74 16 41.8/ 50.6/ 7.6 Seven-Eleven Robert Macrae 133.0 1 17 38.7/ 44.6/ 16.8 Silver Talon 1.2 Edgar 132.8 25 18 30.5/ 28.6/ 40.9 Pulp v0.5 Ian Oversby 132.4 74 19 32.9/ 33.4/ 33.6 traumatic smurf bjoern guenzel 132.4 15 20 28.9/ 26.4/ 44.7 LeatherNeck Robert Hale 131.3 6 21 35.3/ 39.5/ 25.2 Digitalis 4 Christian Schmidt 131.2 11 22 38.2/ 45.7/ 16.1 Sharkrage Christian Schmidt 130.7 0 23 30.5/ 31.0/ 38.5 Head or Tail 1.1 Christian Schmidt 130.0 6 24 29.2/ 28.4/ 42.5 Ultraviolet-B Ken Espiritu 130.0 49 25 30.5/ 35.2/ 34.3 The Return of the PaperBo Robert Hale 125.9 16 Age since last issue: 11 ( 6 last issue, 26 the issue before ) New warriors: 7 Turnover/age rate 64% Average age: 34 ( 34 last issue, 53 the issue before ) Average score: 135 ( 134 last issue, 142 the issue before ) The top 25 warriors are represented by 13 independent authors: Oversby and Schmidt with 4 each, Hale, Espiritu and Macrae with 3 and everyone else with just one. Since the last issue, all of Fire and Ice, Nomolos, The Next Baron, Alladins Cave and Diamonds and Rust have been King. The loss of Electric Head once again gave the Hill its youngest age since formation (31). ______________________________________________________________________________ 94 - What's New # %W / %L / %T Name Author Score Age 10 36.7/ 37.6/ 25.6 Digitalis 4 Christian Schmidt 135.9 0 11 31.3/ 29.2/ 39.5 Head or Tail 1.1 Christian Schmidt 133.5 0 16 29.3/ 24.8/ 45.9 LeatherNeck Robert Hale 133.7 0 2 42.0/ 39.1/ 18.9 Diamonds and Rust Christian Schmidt 144.9 0 7 40.2/ 42.1/ 17.7 Three Musketeers Robert Macrae 138.3 1 24 40.4/ 52.0/ 7.6 Seven-Eleven Robert Macrae 128.9 1 22 38.2/ 45.7/ 16.1 Sharkrage Christian Schmidt 130.7 0 Schmidt replaces one pspacer with another to go back to King, whilst Macrae sends in two of his entries from the Redcode Maniacs Tournament. ______________________________________________________________________________ 94 - What's No More # %W / %L / %T Name Author Score Age 26 1.5/ 1.4/ 1.1 test JKW 5.5 1 26 21.5/ 17.4/ 61.1 Metal IIa Ivan Krajnovic 125.7 7 26 1.8/ 2.0/ 0.2 Digitalis 3 Christian Schmidt 5.7 6 26 38.8/ 52.4/ 8.7 He Scans Alone P.Kline 125.3 6 26 32.1/ 39.1/ 28.8 PAN-TAU-RA Christian Schmidt 125.2 17 26 29.3/ 34.4/ 36.3 Nine Seven Six M R Bremer 124.2 232 26 1.6/ 2.1/ 0.3 The Next Baron Christian Schmidt 5.2 14 For the second consecutive issue, the Hill loses its oldest warrior. ______________________________________________________________________________ 94 - What's Old # %W / %L / %T Name Author Score Age 13 37.9/ 41.3/ 20.8 Electric Head Anton Marsden 134.5 126 6 31.9/ 25.5/ 42.6 Newt Ian Oversby 138.3 117 11 33.8/ 32.2/ 34.1 obvious to those who know Robert Macrae 135.3 75 18 30.5/ 28.6/ 40.9 Pulp v0.5 Ian Oversby 132.4 74 Electric Head has been in trouble in the lower reaches of the Hill for a while now, but Newt continues to do well. ______________________________________________________________________________ OLD HALL OF FAME * means the warrior is still active. Pos Name Author Age Strategy 1 Thermite II Robert Macrae 2262 Qscan -> bomber 2 Impfinity v4g1 Planar 1993 Stone/ imp 3 Jack in the box Beppe Bezzi 1620 P-warrior 4 Tornado 3.0 Beppe Bezzi 1567 Bomber 5 Torch t18 P.Kline 1539 Bomber 6 Chameleon Myer R Bremer 1437 P-warrior 7 Frontwards v2 Steven Morrell 1420 One shot scanner 8 Evol Cap 6.6 John Wilkinson 1299 Imp / stone 9 quiz Schitzo 1262 Scanner/ bomber 10 T.N.T. Maurizio Vittuari 1204 Bomber 11 Grilled Octopus v0.5 David Boeren 1154 P-warrior 12 Hazy Shade II John Wilkinson 1102 P-warrior 13 Stepping Stone Kurt Franke 1049 Qscan -> Vampire 14 Rosebud Beppe Bezzi 993 Stone/ imp 15 Iron Gate 1.5 Wayne Sheppard 926 CMP scanner 16 T.N.T. pro Maurizio Vittuari 925 Bomber 17 Agony II Stefan Strack 912 CMP scanner 18 Barrage Anton Marsden 876 Qscan -> replicator 19 Blue Funk Steven Morrell 869 Stone/ imp 20 Flurry Anton Marsden 835 Qscan -> pwarrior 21 Thermite 1.0 Robert Macrae 802 Qscan -> bomber 22 Blue Funk 3 Steven Morrell 766 Stone/ imp 23 Night Train Karl Lewin 755 Replicator 24 Mirage 1.5 Anton Marsden 736 Scanner/ bomber 25 Blizzard Anton Marsden 713 Qscan -> replicator ______________________________________________________________________________ NEW HALL OF FAME * means the warrior is still active. Pos Name Author Age Strategy 1 Probe Anton Marsden 403 Q^2 -> Bomber 2 Blur 2 Anton Marsden 396 Scanner 3 Damage Incorporated Anton Marsden 373 Q^2 -> Bomber 4 Return Of The Jedimp John K W 357 Q^2 -> Stone/imp 5 unrequited love kafka 346 Q^2 -> Paper 6 Impish v0.2 Ian Oversby 345 Stone/imp 7 Gigolo Core Warrior staff 332 Q^2 -> Stone/imp 8 Falcon v0.3 Ian Oversby 275 P-warrior 9 Nine Seven Six M R Bremer 232 Q^2 -> Stone/imp 10 Rosebud Beppe 218 Stone/imp 11 Q^2 Miro Anders Ivner 214 Q^2 -> Scanner/bomber 12 Instant Wolf 3.4 Edgar 205 P-warrior 13 Goldfinch P.Kline 201 P-warrior 14 Simple v0.4b Ian Oversby 197 QScan -> Stone/imp 15 Trident^2 John K W 195 Q^2 -> Stone/imp 16 ompega Steven Morrell 189 Stone/imp 17 Frogz Franz 172 Q^2 -> Paper 18 The Machine Anton Marsden 164 Scanner 19 Memories Beppe 152 Scanner 20 Head or Tail Christian Schmidt 142 Q^2 -> Paper 21 Tiberius 3.1 Franz 130 Q^2 -> Paper 22 Electric Head Anton Marsden 126 * P-warrior 23 Solomon v0.8 Ian Oversby 116 Stone and scanner 24 Newt Ian Oversby 117 * Q^2 -> Stone/imp 25 CC Paper 3.3 Franz 107 Q^2 -> Paper Nine Seven Six finishes in 9th place, whilst Electric Head climbs one place to 22nd and Newt appears, forcing mrb-test out of the top 25. _____________________________________________________________________________ Current Status of the Internet Pizza Server Beginner's Hill: Hill Specs: coresize: 8000 max. processes: 8000 duration: after 80,000 cycles, a tie is declared. max. entry length: 100 minimum distance: 100 maximum age: At age 100, warriors are retired. rounds fought: 200 instruction set: ICWS '94 Draft # %W / %L / %T Name Author Score Age 1 44.2/ 9.7/ 46.1 Metal IIa Ivan Krajnovic 178.7 77 2 41.9/ 30.7/ 27.4 cute John K. Lewis 153.1 16 3 43.4/ 38.0/ 18.6 Death kiss Anders Rosendal 148.8 33 4 42.0/ 35.7/ 22.3 Incisor+ John Metcalf 148.2 1 5 37.1/ 26.2/ 36.7 Torn M. J. Pihlaja 148.1 14 6 42.2/ 37.5/ 20.3 Beescan M. J. Pihlaja 146.9 4 7 40.5/ 35.1/ 24.3 qbomber v .469 Ryan Coleman 146.0 32 8 40.4/ 37.1/ 22.5 Incisor John Metcalf 143.7 3 9 37.7/ 35.7/ 26.6 Arsonic pvk 139.7 18 10 25.0/ 17.3/ 57.7 p-U v.2 Ryan Coleman 132.8 79 11 23.8/ 18.5/ 57.7 fylle Klaus 129.0 12 12 29.6/ 34.2/ 36.2 Get A-life V2.04 Don H. McGee 125.1 9 13 30.8/ 37.3/ 31.9 Voodoo Glow Skull v2.1 Gene Gomez 124.2 88 14 25.6/ 28.0/ 46.4 I.R. Baboon v1 Gene Gomez 123.2 86 15 27.7/ 32.3/ 40.0 Gold fish P._V._K. 123.2 20 16 27.5/ 32.5/ 40.0 Gold fish P._V._K. 122.5 19 17 23.3/ 25.1/ 51.6 March 0.92c Csaba Biro 121.6 8 18 21.8/ 22.7/ 55.5 March 0.94 Csaba Biro 120.9 2 19 19.3/ 17.7/ 63.1 paperlike Anders Rosendal 120.9 30 20 20.7/ 21.8/ 57.5 Cold Company John Metcalf 119.6 21 21 24.2/ 29.3/ 46.5 cascade 9,66 Steve Gunnell 119.2 36 22 33.4/ 50.1/ 16.5 Iced Creamer Compudemon 116.6 64 23 27.6/ 40.5/ 31.9 trying my first multipass PVK 114.8 22 24 30.1/ 47.5/ 22.4 WannaChatInWarriorNames? John Metcalf 112.8 28 25 14.7/ 19.7/ 65.5 Bilbo John Metcalf 109.8 38 Krajnovic continues to thrash the rest of the Hill with his Metal IIa -- should the age limit for this hill be lowered now that Thos has removed almost all artifical ageing? Comments/suggestions to the newsgroup. _____________________________________________________________________________ The Hint - Improving a beginner's warrior Philip Kendall For this hint, I'm going to take a beginner's warrior, and see how much I can improve it. The warrior I'm going to use is qDeath v .269 by Ryan Coleman; thanks to Ryan for sharing his code. Here's the original version of the warrior: ;redcode-b verbose ;name qDeath v .269 ;author Ryan Coleman ;strategy QScan -> Scissor ;strategy v .269 modified scissor ;assert 1 ;this warrior is the prototypical 'beginner' warrior. One simply gets ;code for a q-scan and code for a scissor or paper from planar's archives ;or other sources around the net. I did improve the qscan a bit by ;switching around the order somewhat. My idea was to put the ones most ;likely to find the other warrior first. I know that odds are a warrior ;will be randomly placed in the middle of the code rather than immediately ;after or before mine. ;my strategy as far as the scissor went was that i see a lot of papers on ;the hill and a good paper should 'beat up' on them. The more I messed with ;the code for the scissor portion of the code, the more it didn't work ;I eventually gave up and submitted it 'as is'. One improvement I have done ;(in another version) was to boot the scissor away, scoring better against ;scanners. ;Well, it's obvious I'm a beginner and have a lot to learn. But one day.... ORG start QB EQU (start+400) QS EQU 200 QD EQU 100 ;COUNT EQU 6 ; _RES equ 0 ; _STR equ 1 ;dest0 equ 2200 ;dest1 equ 3740 ;dest2 equ -1278 ;range equ 933 CDIST equ 12 IVAL equ 42 FIRST equ scan+OFFSET+IVAL OFFSET equ (2*IVAL) DJNOFF equ -431 BOMBLEN equ CDIST+2 GAP EQU 15 REP EQU 6 dat 10*QS, 2*QS ; can get 21 values from this table table: dat 4*QS, 1*QS ; and can also use the initial value dat 23*QS, 3*QS ; of fnd qbomb: jmp -200,GAP qinc: dat GAP,-GAP tab: add.a table,table slow: add.ab @tab,fnd fast: add.b *tab,@slow which: sne.i datz,@fnd add.ab #QD,fnd mov.i qbomb,@fnd fnd: mov.i -GAP/2,@QB add.ba fnd,fnd mov.i qbomb,*fnd add.f qinc,fnd mov.i qbomb,@fnd djn.b -3,#REP jmp comp,}-300 start: seq.i QB+QS*13,QB+QS*13+QD jmp fast,{fast seq.i QB+QS*21,QB+QS*21+QD jmp tab,{fast seq.i QB+QS*22,QB+QS*22+QD djn.f tab,tab seq.i QB+QS*27,QB+QS*27+QD jmp tab seq.i QB+QS*28,QB+QS*28+QD jmp tab,>tab seq.i QB+QS*4,QB+QS*4+QD jmp >fast,}QB+QS*4+QD/2 seq.i QB+QS*5,QB+QS*5+QD jmp slow,}QB+QS*5+QD/2 seq.i QB+QS*6,QB+QS*6+QD jmp slow,{tab seq.i QB+QS*7,QB+QS*7+QD jmp slow,}tab seq.i QB+QS*10,QB+QS*10+QD jmp >fast,fast,>tab seq.i QB+QS*24,QB+QS*24+QD jmp slow,>tab seq.i QB+QS*17,QB+QS*17+QD jmp slow,{fast seq.i QB+QS*8,QB+QS*8+QD jmp comp count djn.b split,#0 sub.ab #BOMBLEN,comp jmn.b scan,scan bomb spl.a 0,{-1 mov.i incr, scanner as a strategy. Scanners are at there most effective early in the round, before other warriors have filled much of core with bombs, decoys, etc, and qscanning loses much of this advantage. However, qDeath does worse on both the Beginner's and '94 Hill without its qscan, so the Q^2 is obviously useful in the current climate on both hills. To finish, here's qDeath 2.2; I hope at least some of you found this useful :-) Philip Kendall ;redcode-b test ;name qDeath 2.2 ;author Ryan Coleman/Philip Kendall ;strategy QScan -> Scissor ;strategy Testing some ideas for CW 66 ;assert CORESIZE==8000 ORG start CDIST equ 12 IVAL equ 42 OFFSET equ (2*IVAL) FIRST equ scan+OFFSET+IVAL DJNOFF equ -431 BOMBLEN equ CDIST+2 gate equ (scan-3) scan sub.f incr,comp comp cmp.i FIRST,FIRST-CDIST slt.a #bomb-comp+BOMBLEN,comp djn.f scan,comp count djn.b split,#0 sub.ab #BOMBLEN,comp jmn.a scan,scan incr spl.a #-IVAL,>-IVAL clear mov.i cbomb,>gate djn.f clear,>gate cbomb dat.f >5335,(cbomb-gate+3) bomb spl.a #0,0 QB EQU (start+400) QS EQU 200 QD EQU 100 GAP EQU 15 REP EQU 6 datz equ (-CURLINE-1) dat 10*QS, 2*QS ; can get 21 values from this table table: dat 4*QS, 1*QS ; and can also use the initial value dat 23*QS, 3*QS ; of fnd qbomb: jmp -200,GAP qinc: dat GAP,-GAP tab: add.a table,table slow: add.ab @tab,fnd fast: add.b *tab,@slow which: sne.i datz,@fnd add.ab #QD,fnd mov.i qbomb,@fnd fnd: mov.i -GAP/2,@QB add.ba fnd,fnd mov.i qbomb,*fnd add.f qinc,fnd mov.i qbomb,@fnd djn.b -3,#REP jmp boot,}-300 start: seq.i QB+QS*13,QB+QS*13+QD jmp fast,{fast seq.i QB+QS*21,QB+QS*21+QD jmp tab,{fast seq.i QB+QS*22,QB+QS*22+QD djn.f tab,tab seq.i QB+QS*27,QB+QS*27+QD jmp tab seq.i QB+QS*28,QB+QS*28+QD jmp tab,>tab seq.i QB+QS*4,QB+QS*4+QD jmp >fast,}QB+QS*4+QD/2 seq.i QB+QS*5,QB+QS*5+QD jmp slow,}QB+QS*5+QD/2 seq.i QB+QS*6,QB+QS*6+QD jmp slow,{tab seq.i QB+QS*7,QB+QS*7+QD jmp slow,}tab seq.i QB+QS*10,QB+QS*10+QD jmp >fast,fast,>tab seq.i QB+QS*24,QB+QS*24+QD jmp slow,>tab seq.i QB+QS*17,QB+QS*17+QD jmp slow,{fast seq.i QB+QS*8,QB+QS*8+QD jmp r.g.c is generally free from flaming. When you *really* hate > someone, you write a suite of specialists to destroy their > warriors. Look at Alladins Cave -- Kline must hate nearly everyone > :-) But I didn't realise what I was letting myself in for. In a typically devious counterstrike, Paul asked me to review Alladin's Cave for him thus 1) saving himself about 3000 words 2) keeping me out of mischief for a week and 3) providing some harmless amusement when I fail to understand the P-engine. Oh well... Perhaps the best start is Paul's own description: Alladin's Cave began with "Curious Little Program" which revealed significant numbers of one-shots on the 94 Hill and beat them about 90%. I added to it a 3-line bomber to kill cmp- scanners about 70%, and a one-shot/dclear and one-shot spl-dat wiper to broaden the strength. Then reworked the brains for more efficiency. Lets take a look at the components in turn. CLP --- This is a highly specialised component. A slow vampire with a linear attack, 17 cells long cannot be expected to do well against any general-purpose warrior but against coreclears it is deadly. The key lies in the bombing loop, where an SNE checks the state of two fixed "Fence" cells every 4 cycles. The fences are above and below CLP so an enemy clear must overwrite one of them before it reaches CLP. When this happens, CLP copies itself away to a distant location so that it can proceed with its own leisurely vampiric coreclear. The pit contains a brainwash so I guess there were once many P- Spacers which brainwashed to a oneshot. This is no longer fashionable :-] Speed and length are not critical for this warrior since it already has virtually no chance against non-clears, but I think a couple of cells could be shaved here and there. How about a 3-cycle loop using > and { on the fang, instead of an ADD instruction? Can the pit becleaner? Gain would come from the faster boot, the smaller target offered to Quickscans and the shorter delay before the carpet built into a decoy. I'm not convinced that booting is worthwhile; a few QS kills are avoided -- but how many, given the boot takes 30 cycles to complete? Perhaps a few oneshot kills are avoided where the oneshot would otherwise scan the launch code after the fence. Both gains sound minor, but I suppose the cost is even smaller: 5 cells, and 25 cycles time wasted before the carpet starts to create the second decoy. What can go wrong against coreclears? Well, very occasionally CLP will copy itself onto its enemy. Some clears leave occasional gaps in their carpets (for example a Dclear which has a line like SPL #0, >gate) and this will give a few losses if gap falls on a fence, butboth of these problems are minor. CLP eats coreclears. Against oneshots, CLP needs some help against the scan. The first line of defence is the launch code; oneshots often use a small positive step (say 10-20) between scan locations so they are almost certain to hit the launch code, and once the clear starts CLP is safe. To protect against oneshots that make negative steps, the fangs build a carpet, which acts as a decoy following the second fence. This takes about 60 cycles to reach an effective length (about 15), so negative-step oneshots do not have long to detect CLP. Could it be worth adding a decoy-generator to reduce even this possibility? Building a oneshot which is resistant to CLP with is hard work -- I've tried with Phantasm. I see two techniques. One is to combine bombs with your scans with something like ADD #10, 2 MOV db, @1 JMZ -2, @X db DAT 0, 4000 Unfortunately, this scanner is slow to pick up Silks and the oneshot becomes significantly less effective against other warriors; tests of Phantasm using this approach dropped from about #6 to #12 on the hill as a result, though gaining over 100 points against AC. Another tack is to tune the scan step to avoid the decoys, but any such warrior would be useless against a version of CLP with slightly different constants, so this is not a general solution. Stone ----- sStep equ 4954 Stone mov {1601 ,1-sStep ; dat-bomb about 90% of core sub.x #sStep ,-1 jmp -2 ,}-2 MOV {X, Y is a conventional dwarf attack. SUB.x has the effect of stepping the Y by -sStep and X by +1, while permitting sStep to be modified by the { attack. Finally the JMP increments X so that the decrement trail grows at 0.66c. This permits the trail to over-run the stone without damage, but reduces the colouring speed because the { no longer picks up a decremented cell. With minimalist pattern bombers the step is everything. 4954 has been chosen with exquisite care, because not only this but 4953, 4952, ... 4948 all contribute to the bombing pattern -- the trail wraps around core every 12k cycles so the step is decremented 6 times. As the step changes, the pattern magically avoids hitting the stone -- this is where the exquisite care comes in :-) Most of core is bombed, but a few spaces lurk so warriors with an SPL may sometimes survive. Again this is a specialist, helpless against replicators and imps. It is acceptable against fast bombers and dwarves because it is smaller and the { trail is quite effective, but both torch and the rosebud stone beat it. Against scanners it is very strong because it colours core and, even disregarding the trail, it has a higher attack/size ratio. This component is another elegant specialist. Scanner/Bomber/D-Clear/Thing ---------------------------- So far the warrior will lose to any imp-stone and any replicator; with about 6 of each on the hill this is not an obvious recipe for success! This unusual component handles the imp-stones. Clear spl clSpl+1 ; Run clear and scan in parallel add #6667 ,clGate jmz.f -1 ,@clGate ; 0.25c scan clSpl spl #4000 ,{clGate mov clBomb ,>clGate ; 0.5c DClear djn.f -1 ,>clGate jmp -3 ; protect Dclear during scan dat {5335,12 clBomb dat {5335,12 The parallel execution of the ADD/JMZ scan with the MOV/DJN DClear maximised its resistance to DAT bombs; only a hit to the MOV instruction is certain to destroy the attack. I am not sure that JMP -3 is ideal. The good side is that when the initial, 1-process Dclear hits a 1,1 cell (which Paul thoughtfully provides in the stone boot:) it will convert into a robuster normal Dclear. OTOH, a JMP -2 would avoid a loss if the SPL is bombed. With JMP -2, clBomb should be modified to DAT {5335,13 so the 1-process Dclear will still sweep the whole of core. Health Warning: this is untested. The bomb seems to be tuned to prevent MOV #2667, *0 imps from leaping the gate. How effective a component is this? Well, the "scanner" runs rather slowly at 0.25c, but it also yanks the "carpet" along every 2 cycles. The end result of the redundancy is that the code fights much like a 2-cell, 0.25c bomber converting to a D-Clear when the JMZ finds something. Two-cell bombs are thrown 14 cells apart, which is efficient against scanners. It might be worth experimenting with other step sizes, but against bombers the scan is likely to be triggered early in any case, because a bomb will be found. To disable this component, DAT bombers have to hit the SPL or MOV instruction so it is effectively length 2 and it is very resistant to inc/dec attacks. The "Scanner"'s 0.25c attack against a length-4 dwarf is pretty much equivalent to the Dclear's 1.0c linear attack (linear attacks can only hit the first cell of an enemy, so every opponent is effectively length 1). Comparing them to a dwarves attack at 0.33, for a relative efficiency of about Scanner 0.25 / 2 : 0.33 / 4 = 1.5 : 1.0, or Dclear 1.00 / 2 : 0.33 / 1 = 1.5 : 1.0. Consequently this component should win roughly 60% of the battles against dwarves. Against fast bombers the DClear does worse because their greater length does not make them any easier for the linear attack to hit, but the scanner remains competitive. It helps that the component is rather resistant to SPL 0 bombs, which often just trigger the Dclear. Once it has flattened the bomber, it needs to kill the imp and Dclears really shine at this, though if the imp has a lot of processes it may not reach the gate. This component does well against Rosebud, but less well against Gigolo (imps too heavy to reach gate) and Impfinity (linear attach weak against the widely-spaced dwarves). Oneshot TwoPass --------------- ... which leaves the replicators. The scan step may again provide some resistance to triggering by imps. I prefer to have the scanner after the wiper because this improves performance against scanners (if they hit the used scan, they might not carpet the sweep) and to separate the two (harder to hit) but this would make the launch harder. Anyway, improving a component against warriors which are still going to beat it may be counterproductive; it is better for the engine to move on to the next specialist quickly. Optimising against Silks, I think here it is better to start the carpet further back; as it stands you often hit the last few instructions of a Silk which would delay the stun by 500+ cycles. There is some compensation, in that the copies made in this time will carry the carpet with them, but I believe the net effect should be negative. However, when I checked this by deleting the trailing JMP and adding SUB.ab #7, Sweep after the scan, it lost about 10 points against a range of papers. Hmmm... where did I leave Phantasm..? Sweep add #2671 ,#2681 ;one-shot scan jmz.f Sweep ,@Sweep ;with spl-dat wipe jmp @6 ,Sweep mov @1 ,>Sweep djn.b -2 ,{swWipe jmp swWipe ,swWipe This component beats aggressive papers like Pulp and Sad about half the time, for scores around 175 -- it is hard to do better than this without redundant copies. Against Diehard it is poor as it cannot handle the imps, but at least it draws; if it mainly lost it would expose the other components which do worse! Against Ultraviolet, it has no problem at all though I am sure Ken Espiritu is working on this. P-Logic ------- I guess I can't avoid this, but let me warn you; P-Code is not my forte. think ldp.a #0,in ; get input value load ldp.a #PSTATE,state ; load old state mod.a #STATES,state ; brainwash protection add.ba *in,state ; select correct state table store stp.a *state,load ; store new state state jmp @0 ,w1 This is a fast, flexible engine that uses two DAT tables to control performance. All that is hard-coded here is that the state transitions depend on current state and results in an additive way. The first table, dat 0,init_table-state in dat 0,loss_table-state dat 0,win_table-state dat 0,tie_table-state tells us that the second table is organised as 4 separate sub-tables covering the 4 possible results (-1/init, 0/loss, 1/win, 2/tie). In fact the win and tie tables are identical, so the same table is used twice to save space. tie_table win_table spl #wx0-win_table,w0 ; Brainwash ww1 spl #ww1-win_table,w1 ; Sweep wx1 spl #ww1-win_table,w1 spl #ww1-win_table,w1 ww0 spl #ww0-win_table,w0 ; Clear wx0 spl #ww0-win_table,w0 spl #ww0-win_table,w0 ww2 spl #ww2-win_table,w2 ; Stone spl #ww2-win_table,w2 spl #ww2-win_table,w2 ww3 spl #ww3-win_table,w3 ; Dodger spl #ww3-win_table,w3 spl #ww3-win_table,w3 loss_table spl #wx0-win_table ,w0 ; Brainwash spl #1-loss_table ,w1 ; Sweep spl #1-loss_table ,w1 spl #2-loss_table ,w0 spl #1-loss_table ,w0 ; Clear spl #1-loss_table ,w0 spl #3-loss_table ,w2 spl #1-loss_table ,w2 ; Stone spl #1-loss_table ,w2 spl #wx1-win_table ,w1 spl #1-loss_table ,w3 ; Dodger (not after first trial) init_table spl #1-loss_table ,w3 spl #wx1-win_table ,w1 This is simpler than it at first appears, honest. The .b fields contain the address of the warrior to be executed. The .a fields contain the state which is to be stored. The effect of the win/tie sub-table is that any warrior which wins or ties a battle is used again, and the state is reset to the first of the 3 states which use that warrior. The effect of the #1-loss_table entries in the loss table is that if a warrior loses the state is increased by 1, so after 3 losses in a row the next warrior is selected. To make life more interesting, the #2-, #3- and #wx1 entries mean that the first time a new warrior is used, it already has two strikes against it for the stone, or 1 for the clear and dclear, thus more quickly switching out a poorly selected warrior. Finally, CLP is never tried as a result of another component losing -- if it ever takes 3 strikes, it is out for good. It is much simpler to see all of this in cdb. Phew. Is this a good system? Well, it is very reluctant to change warriors. Partly this represents tuning against Q^2s, which will score a fair number of wins even when the right warrior is selected. CLP is only tried once because 3 running losses are implausible against its intended victims, and it gives away too many points against other warriors to try again. This will make switch-on-loss P-spacers with Oneshot/Other almost immune... hmmm. The approach of counting draws as wins may suit a set of real specialists such as this, because draws will be relatively rare, but in general I think it would be better not to change the state on draws. That way a warrior with a mediocre mix of draws and losses would be replaced fairly quickly. The current requirement of "three losses in a row" may be much rarer than "three losses before the next win". However, there are an infinity of other variations available. There is no rule, for example, which says that all components must be treated alike. The rule could be two losses for some warriors, 3 or more for the others... Of course the current scheme has been selected partly because it is very efficient in table space and p-logic, but I think the "Ignore Draws" rule could be implemented (at least approximately) with a single SLT instruction. This is untested, as is the assumption that it would be beneficial. Warrior sequence will also matter somewhat, because when fighting other P-Spacers both warriors will cycle frequently; as soon as one starts winning, the other will change warrior and changing to the *right* one may give a couple of wins before the enemy adapts in turn. Currently the sequence is Stone-Clear-DClear-Stone. Examining this engine has taught me *why* the hill can be so sensitive to start positions. With a criterion as specific as "Three losses in a row", we are relying on rather rare events to determine which warrior is picked. The difference between DLLL and LDLL will lead to a completely different warrior being fielded for in many or most subsequent rounds, so random variation plays a large role. The choice of engine is critical to the success of a warrior like this, where each component is so specialised, and I the engine could only be improved by extensive testing on the hill -- more tuning. Testing ------- I hardwired the P-Engine to select each component in turn and submitted them to the hill. This table shows the results, with P- spacers at the top. "Best" is the best component score, "AC" is the score of the complete P-Spacer, and "Effic" is the ratio of the two. Test Scores for Components and Whole Warrior CLP DClr Stone 2Pass Best AC Effic Alladins Cave 175 99 131 48 175 116 66% Electric Head 270 113 87 108 270 273 101% Nomolos 18 110 100 84 110 145 132% The Next Baron 13 161 136 82 161 129 80% Fire and Ice 10 64 22 29 64 88 138% The Boys are Bk 48 96 232 120 232 201 87% He Scans Alone 12 115 192 167 192 168 88% Pulp v0.5 0 13 52 190 190 165 87% Silver Taln 1.2 24 90 208 71 208 162 78% Stasis 38 119 176 159 176 161 91% Return of Paper 0 22 24 180 180 159 88% Ultraviolet-B 16 31 24 175 175 159 91% obvious 6 39 28 165 165 156 95% Vain 2 157 19 158 158 155 98% Digitalis 3 84 171 33 152 171 147 86% Newt 4 185 22 165 185 144 78% Metal IIa 8 152 15 136 152 140 92% PAN-TAU-RA 9 171 37 128 171 136 80% Vigor 0 40 57 150 150 131 87% Tornado 4 22 143 158 147 158 124 78% Nine Seven Six 23 152 37 158 158 115 73% Fixed 1 70 63 137 137 107 78% traumatic smurf 34 109 133 73 133 99 74% Benchmark [94] 5 112 20 95 112 96 86% Vengeance 3 122 21 129 129 95 74% There are a few surprises here. Firstly, the 2-pass is by far the most effective component. It is best in 9 cases, and close-second in another 9! It is so effective that the Dclear is reduced to a very minor role -- there are few warriors that the stone and 2-pass cannot handle between them. CLP also plays a very minor role, terrorising Alladins Cave (!) and Electric Head but otherwise useless. I suspect it has hunted its original prey into extinction. Ignoring the P-Spacers, the average efficiency is 84%. This suggests that the engine is doing a pretty good job of selecting the right component against the non-P warriors; I would be interested to know how other P-spacers compare on this measure. Against the P-spacers, the engine does pretty well except against AC (it is psyched out of CLP, and cannot re-use it) and Next Baron which has been tuned against it. Fire and Ice has been tuned in a different way, beating the individual components rather than outsmarting the engine. Conclusion ---------- This is a highly-tuned P-Spacer. It has a team of strong, specialised components and they have been selected to beat most of the warriors on the hill when it was created. The result of this tuning has been a dominant position at the top of the table. By the same token, the tuning makes it vulnerable to new warriors; for example, none of the next generation of P-spacers will brainwash into oneshots making CLP a dead weight, at least until I perfect Phantasm :) With such specialised warriors on the hill, we can expect continued rapid turnover because specialists age fast. Penultimate word goes to Paul: There are several programs that beat AC on the Hill, fast bombers and qscanning silks do very well against him. But those silks feed the scanners that AC eats so it balances out. I think I serendipitously anticipated the return of several cmp- scanners which accounts for part of the success. I don't want to write another qscanning silk just yet, so... look out hill, here comes Thermite III :-] ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ;redcode-94 ;name Alladin's Cave ;author P.Kline ;assert CORESIZE == 8000 ;strategy pswitch stone, CLP, one-shot dclear, and one-shot spl/dat wiper slStone mov clGate djn.f -1 ,>clGate jmp -3 dat {5335,12 clBomb dat {5335,12 dat 0,0 Sweep add #2671 ,#2681 ;one-shot scan jmz.f Sweep ,@Sweep ;with spl-dat wipe jmp @6 ,Sweep mov @1 ,>Sweep djn.b -2 ,{swWipe jmp swWipe ,swWipe PSTATE EQU 110 STATES EQU (loss_table-win_table) dat 0,init_table-state in dat 0,loss_table-state dat 0,win_table-state dat 0,tie_table-state think ldp.a #0,in ; get input value load ldp.a #PSTATE,state ; load old state mod.a #STATES,state ; brainwash protection add.ba *in,state ; select correct state table store stp.a *state,load ; store new state mov 0,-1 ; eliminate accidental stp's ; p-table managing four options plus bw ; note that any number of brainwash vals ; could be put in between valid values ; ; loss-table is designed to speed up ; search for best routine by skipping ; one or more trials of each program w0 EQU slClear w1 EQU slSweep w2 EQU slStone w3 EQU slDodger state jmp @0 ,w1 tie_table win_table spl #wx0-win_table,w0 ; Brainwash (zero should not happen!) ww1 spl #ww1-win_table,w1 ; Sweep wx1 spl #ww1-win_table,w1 spl #ww1-win_table,w1 ww0 spl #ww0-win_table,w0 ; Clear wx0 spl #ww0-win_table,w0 spl #ww0-win_table,w0 ww2 spl #ww2-win_table,w2 ; Stone spl #ww2-win_table,w2 spl #ww2-win_table,w2 ww3 spl #ww3-win_table,w3 ; Dodger spl #ww3-win_table,w3 spl #ww3-win_table,w3 loss_table spl #wx0-win_table ,w0 ; Brainwash spl #1-loss_table ,w1 ; Sweep spl #1-loss_table ,w1 spl #2-loss_table ,w0 spl #1-loss_table ,w0 ; Clear spl #1-loss_table ,w0 spl #3-loss_table ,w2 spl #1-loss_table ,w2 ; Stone spl #1-loss_table ,w2 spl #wx1-win_table ,w1 spl #1-loss_table ,w3 ; Dodger (never selected after first trial) init_table spl #1-loss_table ,w3 spl #wx1-win_table ,w1 slDodger mov p1-pstep pmove add preset ,psnare ; adjust snare for new base mov pb ,pescape ; set copy pointers pcopy mov >pescape ,}pescape ; make copy jmn.b -1 ,pescape ; preset jmp p1+pstep ,-p1-pstep; jump to new location psnare jmp ptrap-2000,+2000 ptrap mod.x #10 ,#1 ; allow only one process stp.ab #0 ,#0 ; complete brainwash djn.b -1 ,-1 pincr mov 1 ,-1 ; opponent dies pb dat pstep+p1-pescape,-plen end think ____________________________________________________________________________ Questions? Concerns? Comments? Complaints? Mail them to people who care. Authors: Beppe Bezzi , Anton Marsden , Christian Schmidt and Philip Kendall