Instructions for the computer-mediated Spaceships game

You will need to read the rules for the game too, to make sense of these rules and some of the game's error messages.

Fleet placement

Once you have created resp. joined a game, you must place your fleet. Do this by entering the ship type abbreviations in the text entry boxes. When you're done, say Place Fleet.

If you get the placement wrong (ie, not according to the rules) you'll get an error message; use Back in your browser to correct your mistake.

Do not reload the fleet placement screen after joining, it will not work. This is because the Join Game form changes your password, so that only one other player can join each game.

Giving orders

When you've placed your fleet you'll go into the main display, and may give your initial set of orders. Your fleet is displayed on the left, and the space you're searching for your opponent's on the right.

Initially you'll be selecting locations for strikes; select each cell on the right that you want to attack. Use the buttons at the bottom of the grids to change to selecting scans, or swapping target cells from strikes to scan and back (tickbox selected means a strike, deselected means a scan).

Cells you're currently targeting, but which you're not editing right now, show up as `x' followed by the symbol for the kind of attack: `-' for a scan, `+' for a strike, or `=' for a beam strike.

To target your beam weapon, select its button, and then tick the two endpoint target cells. (It doesn't matter if you also select the middle target cell.)

If you have remaining missiles, each missile will have a `!' in the cell to indicate the unfired missile, and a checkbox to indicate whether you want to fire it. These won't be selected by default, you must do so yourself.

If you have kamikazes available, this too will be indicated by a checkbox in the cell; by default one kamikaze will be selected in each ship (the one `closest' to the cell RED v 1).

Near the bottom of the page is a list of the available weapons, and how you've used them. Select a new weapon, or select Check/Recount, to update this information. If you have unused weapons, or are targeting more cells than you can attack, this will be indicated by sections of emphasised text (usually this shows up in bold).

End Turn

When you're satisfied with your orders, select End Turn. (We recommend you use Check/Recount first, to make sure that you're doing everything you can with your turn.)

If your opponent has already selected End Turn you'll go straight to the results/orders page for the next turn. Otherwise the game will tell you your opponent is still giving orders. You can try intermittently, or have the script pause until they're done.


A similar notation is used on both sides. `+' indicates a cell that was the target of a strike, `-' a target of a scan miss, and `=' a target of a beam strike. `!' indicates an unfired missile; if the cell was attacked, then the resulting missile explosion will destroy adjacent cells in the ship, marking them with `e'. Kamikaze deaths are indicated with `k'.

If a cell is destroyed then the ship type, or for as yet unidentified enemy ships the string `??', is shown in the cell crossed out.

Cells in your own ships made visible to the other player by scans or flashcube are indicated with an additional `S' or `F' respectively; enemy ship cells revealed by scans or flashcube just show up as the ship type or `??' (and are selected for strikes by default).

Cells in which something happened in the last turn are emphasized (ie, probably show up in bold).

Game Over

When the game finishes, you'll be told, and shown where all the ships were and what the score is.

Ship types and shapes

   Light Scout  LS  *                      Death Star    ** / **
       or                                          DS    ** / **
   Heavy Scout  HS  **
					       *** / **.    *** / *..
   Missile Destroyer  MD  ***		       *** / ...    *** / *..

   Patrol Cruiser  PC ****		       *** / .*.    ***
        or				       *** / .*.    ***
   Flying Saucer   FS  **		        	    **
    					       (choose one shape)
   Kill Cruiser  KC  ***

Results and own fleet summary table

Meaning In own grid In enemy grid
Empty cell, not targeted  
Cell contains not-yet-found ship ST ST
Unfired missile ST!
Cell from not-yet-found ship can kamikaze ST
Cell from ship, scanned ST S ??
Cell from ship, flashcubed (or if whole ship destroyed) ST F ST
Strike hit ST+ ??+
Beam strike hit ST= ??=
Cell has kamikazed STk ??k
Cell was a missile which exploded due to a strike ST!+ ??!+
Cell was destroyed by an adjacent missile explosion STe ??e
Scan miss - -
Strike miss + +
Beam strike miss = =
(When a whole ship is destroyed, `??' is always replaced by the ship type.)

Attack orders summary table

Order Selecting Strikes Selecting Scans Toggling Strikes vs. Scans Targeting Beam
No attack  
Strike x+ x+
Scan x- x-
Beam attack x= x= x=