This article appeared in the April 1982 issue of Today, CompuServe's magazine for CIS subscribers.

10 can play interactive Decwars game

The vast and inscrutable galaxy appears tranquil, but Stormcrow knows the surface calm conceals many dangers. A check with other Federation forces confirms his fears: the Klingons have already established 10 starbases while his own human forces lag five behind.

Klingons — large, forceful creatures with round faces and evil eyes — are not the only threat to the human Federation's survival. Immense caverns of nothingness dot the skies, assuring instant death to all who fall within these black holes. An evil Romulan concealed in a cloaking device may make surprise attacks on humans and Klingons alike. And even neutral planets take pot shots at careless captains who venture to within two sectors of their locations.

Undeterred by what he hopes is a temporary setback for Federation forces, Stormcrow puts out a jaunty APB over his sub-space radio: “Tell all Stormcrow is here. Prepare to die, Empire monsters!”

Encouraged by the plucky captain's verbal swaggering, the Federation's Nimitz ship radioes back: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their planet!”


Battered Federation forces are substantially strengthened by Stormcrow's entry. His undamaged ship brings with it 5000 units of shield energy to protect it from phaser and photon torpedo hits. His as yet unimpaired photon torpedo tubes pose a serious threat to the enemy due to their 10-sector hit range. And, perhaps most important to the ailing Federation forces, his strength can be used to activate tractor beams to tow damaged ships away from danger.

A challenge to battle from an Empire ship named Jackal is put on hold while Stormcrow moves to capture a neutral planet. A transfer of materials and energy builds it into a starbase with the power to fire upon enemy ships within a five-sector range.

Meanwhile, his sub-space radio keeps Stormcrow informed of developments in other parts of the galaxy. An empire ship has built three more starbases and captured another planet. At 1000 points per base and 100 per planet, the enemy has added 3100 points to his individual score.

On the home front, the Nimitz rallies to make a deadly hit on an Empire ship, and the Demon is destroyed. “Let's party,” he declares triumphantly to Stormcrow. But before the galactic celebration can take place, the Nimitz, too, bites the stardust — the victim of a sneak attack by the Empire ship Cobra.

Designed for up to 10 players, Decwars is accessed under main menu item 2, Home Services. The first person to log onto the game chooses a Federation ship, while the next player gets an Empire ship. This alternation of ships continues so that sides are as evenly divided as possible.

Arranged in a grid of 75 by 75 sectors, Decwars' galaxy allows for freedom of movement. Ships can move from sector to sector to defend themselves and to attack enemy installations and ships.

Players are free to enter and leave the game as desired. And though death — as with the valiant Nimitz — may come as an instantaneous shock, it is a temporary fate. Destroyed ships may immediately log back into the game to begin racking up new scores in the perpetual battle between the forces of good and evil.

— by Carole Houze Gerber

This Commodore Computer ad appeared in the April 1982 issue of Today magazine.

Commodore ad

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