Once upon a time in a sector two feet in front of my eyes, I tumbled down a wormhole and found a universe that was flat, the stars bright but still, and cows, worms, and iguanas lived on tiny white dots in the black. To my right, I saw a flock of birds caught in webs and a lizard eating a shoe. On my left there were many soldiers, some nearly human and others part machine. They were caught in an endless war of lies and blood. I averted my eyes.
It was then that I noticed the cricket on a rock near the path. He wore a dress shirt and a tie. As odd as it was, it was stranger still when he asked me to sit. He taught me about Space War and spoke of the Grand Queue. The wisdom of the cricket opened my mind and I decided to pass it on… to you.
On occasion, my wife and kids look over my shoulder, peek at my computer, and ask, “Why are you staring at those little dots?” They are baffled that I engage in such an antiquated computer game and perplexed why I am so captivated by images of circles. I also consider the same questions and ponder my reasons for my dedication. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll continue to play at least until I do.
Gathering military intelligence in the game of Planets
When it comes to the most important aspects of Planets strategy, most players talk about diplomacy, tactics, and economy. These skills are certainly of great importance, but in this article, I would like to suggest there is a more important talent which underlies them all: gathering information.
“War is the continuation of politics by other means.” — Clausewitz “Diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.” — Zhou Enlai
There are as many philosophies of diplomacy in this game as there are Planets players, and it takes a wise man indeed to know which is right. In the end, no one can decide for you; you must choose your own path.
There are a lot of articles out there on the mechanics of the game – how many mines you can get out of a Mk6 torpedo, how much an X-Ray Laser masses, that sort of thing. And there are several articles on good general strategies, opening gambits, the best way to defeat a Privateer ambush et cetera. But not much has been written on the big question: How do I win?
Perhaps this is because flawless generals are few; as such, it would require a good deal of arrogance to claim enough expertise to offer a definitive Continue reading →
Please note that some data may refer to earlier game versions or different host settings. Although game and strategies have advanced since the writing of this guide, the provided information is more than useful for an inspired gameplay and a good base to start from. Enjoy!
Written by: Emperor Bondservant in the Early 1990s
The Art of Diplomacy
VGA-Planets comes the closest I know to simulating what it would be like to be a commander in a full-scale war — especially considering the impact of having ten other Continue reading →
I think we all have played many kinds of war and strategy games. In all of them you try to position your units in a beneficial manner, to hold the high ground, so you have better odds to defeat your opponents.
By “strategic diplomacy” I mean the planned effort to position yourself in your game with Continue reading →
I’ve played many different PC games over the last 30 years, including “Master of Orion”, “Civilization”, “X-Com” and others. These were excellent games, but now collect dust on my bookshelf, only to be played every few years out of a sense of nostalgia. Why am I forever hooked on Planets, and what makes it different from the rest?
This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!
Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite. The top news story for today is the sudden and abrupt increase in diplomacy in the Capricorn War. We go now to ace reporter Pat Patterson, who is at the Senate Logistical Monitoring Station, just outside of the Capricorn Sector. Pat?
[scene: Pat Patterson with planetary background]
Thanks, Jim. I’m standing here just outside the Corso Lunaris monitoring base. This forest of scanners, antennae and other monitoring equipment is designed to track happenings within the Capricorn War. The signals are decoded inside that security-sealed bunker over there [points] and Continue reading →
“The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use?” — Dale Carnegie, on his book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”
In Planets as in life, true and enduring success cannot belong to a person who fails at diplomacy. In the Echo Cluster, Continue reading →