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Small Games
Forum: Submit your ideas!
Last Post: Serpent Blight
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Islander 22 Now Out
Forum: The Isles PBM
Last Post: Roy Pollard
09-25-2021, 01:43 PM
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Species Log: The Most Glo...
Forum: Far Horizons: The Return
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The Ongoing Appeal of PBM
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Issue #20 - Suspense & De...
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Far Horizons Space PBeM
Forum: Games Seeking Players - File Repository - Free Downloads!
Last Post: Fungus
08-22-2021, 05:44 AM
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  Experience of solo game
Posted by: Fungus - 06-14-2021, 02:02 PM - Forum: Galac-Tac - Replies (3)

I really REALLY enjoyed working through the game mechanics via the solo game feature. The AI is pretty good (based on the automatically generated suggested orders logic, presumably) and it is certainly a surprise to see your AI enemies encroaching on 'your' space with first scout ships then fighters...

The solo game helped me understand the basic flow: a) chart uncharted systems, b) colonise them, c) shuttle the PV from the colonies back to the homeworld and use the production value to create new freighters, fighters, stations, battleships. Then repeat until you crush the enemy empires.

It was all going pretty well, but then ended abruptly on turn 89, both surprising and disappointing me - on one hand, that's a good thing (I was enjoying it), on the other hand it was frustrating: no empire had defeated another, we were all still growing (or I was anyway). Then poof! All over! Thanks for playing! The precomputed end turn had arrived.

I definitely prefer open-ended games for these reasons, but not every sandpit lends itself to open-ended play. However, this game ended prematurely (for me).

I look forward now to real games with real opponents Smile Bring it on!

It may not be apparent from the rule books, but there are very capable windows apps to help map, plan and perform turn orders. I'll include a few screenshots to summarise some of these. 

Overall: very much recommended - signup and have a play!


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  Open for a few more Players
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 05-31-2021, 03:31 PM - Forum: The Isles PBM - Replies (4)

A above - we're taking on a few more players if anyone is interested - see the-isles.com for more info and browse to Startup Materials for what you need to start playing. Note that unlike a lot of PBMs The Isles is a rules-lite hand-moderated RPG game and is quite different to the turn-card style of game that you see a lot of - Have a look at the samples etc on the website before deciding if you wish to play :-)

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Posted by: Marc - 05-21-2021, 08:57 PM - Forum: New to the site? Introduce Yourself - Replies (3)

Hello fellow gamers,

My name is Marc, a 48 year old from Holland. Have been playing MMO's back in the day and recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who had played PBM's in the past. Being interested in the concept, started digging on the web and stumbled on this forum. Since I needed something to pass time during boring night and weekend shifts at work, I signed up for The-Isles and from the get go, love every minute I spent on it Big Grin

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  Caer Point - Map Labels
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 05-21-2021, 07:09 PM - Forum: The Isles PBM - Replies (3)

I've not added labels to my maps in-game but I think I'm missing something there as they add a little more interest and make the Towns and Villages of the region more 'explorable' if you can identify places of interest. Basic example attached - This is a watch post a days walk south-west of the main town in the game


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  Species Log: Freesians
Posted by: Wilks - 05-15-2021, 11:22 PM - Forum: Far Horizons: The Return - Replies (4)

Species name: Freesian
Government name: The Corporate Authority
Government type: Corporate Oligarchy

My first transport is built.  Unfortunately, I formatted my command to build some colony units wrong.  As a result, I've got some raw materials to recycle, Economic units to spend, and an empty transport that's just itching to jump.  He has set his navigation computer for a system that is 7 parsecs away.  A whopping 7% mishap probability.  It jumps to 10% mishap on the return trip.  I don't know if I would take a job that had a 1 in 10 chance of exploding.

I decided against a third shipyard.  I think research is more important in these early turns.  My Life Support hardly accommodates anything.  I have to pretty much stumble on a perfect planet.  Using my limited production keeping 3 shipyards running, I feel, will slow down colonization.

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  PBM Scroll
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 05-12-2021, 12:05 PM - Forum: Other PBM Publications - Replies (3)

I've just taken delivery of five issues of the UK-based PBM Scroll fanzine from the early 90s. First impression is sheer shock at the superb production values of this 30 year-old zine - Second, there's a good few bits of artwork in there that look familiar across a number of PBM RPGs from the time  Dodgy - Third, there's two or three mentions of The Isles, which at the time was seriously over-subscribed I could never work out why I was getting enquiries when I wasn't advertising anywhere

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  Questions about the game Far Horizons
Posted by: GrimFinger - 05-10-2021, 06:12 AM - Forum: Far Horizons: The Return - Replies (3)

Q. With regard to increasing the size of the shipyard, does it have to be paid for all in one turn? Or can it be paid for in installments, as with the production of other things in the game?

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  GrimFinger's Far Horizon Notes To Himself: An ever-changing list of scattered data
Posted by: GrimFinger - 05-10-2021, 06:00 AM - Forum: Far Horizons: The Return - No Replies

Each producing planet will have a shipyard capacity which will limit how many ships can be built in a single
turn. The shipyard capacity of the home planet will be one when the game begins. The shipyard capacity
of a normal colony will start at zero.

The number of production orders that you issue to BUILD, CONTINUE, IBUILD, or ICONTINUE ships or
starbases may not exceed the shipyard capacity. (The IBUILD and ICONTINUE commands will be discussed
later.) For example, if you wish to issue three BUILD commands for new warships, a CONTINUE command
for a transport, and a CONTINUE command for a starbase, then the planet must have a shipyard capacity of
at least five. Orders that exceed the shipyard capacity will be ignored. Orders to build other items such as
colonist units, planetary defense units, and so on, do NOT require shipyard capacity. Only construction of
warships, transports, and starbases requires shipyard capacity.

If you wish to increase the shipyard capacity of a planet, you must issue a SHIPYARD command during
the production phase. This command will increase the number of shipyards on the planet by one. You may
only issue one SHIPYARD order per planet per turn.

The cost to build a shipyard is ten times the current manufacturing tech level.

You may not build shipyards on mining or resort colonies.



Finally, keep in mind that raw material units and production capacity must always be spent in equal
amounts. Thus, for example, if your production capacity is greater than the number of raw material units,
then the excess may not be used. Also keep in mind that unused raw material units MAY be carried over
into later turns, but that unused production capacity may NOT.



FTL Cost is the number of raw material units and production capacity needed to build a ship capable
of interstellar travel (FTL stands for “Faster-than- light”). (Note that the FTL cost is equal to the tonnage
divided by 100.)

Sub-light Cost is the number of raw material units and production capacity needed to build a ship
that is NOT capable of interstellar travel.



Any items that you may wish to build, such as ships, planetary defenses, etc. will have a “cost” of equal
amounts of raw material units and production capacity. Thus, if you wish to build a spaceship with a cost of
200, then a total of 200 raw material units will be used in its construction, and a total production capacity
of 200 will be needed to actually build it



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  Species log: The Mudballers
Posted by: Fungus - 05-09-2021, 06:56 AM - Forum: Far Horizons: The Return - Replies (14)

Mudballer history: mine it, refine it. Heat it, beat it. Make it, break it. Try it, fly it. Arm it, harm it.
Mudballer future: see above.

Species name: Mudballers
Government name: Mudballer Monarchy
Government type: Introverted Expansionist

The Mud King is coming your way, and he's carrying a shovel.

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  Species Log: The Most Glorious Giznadalu
Posted by: ronin - 05-08-2021, 10:09 PM - Forum: Far Horizons: The Return - Replies (19)

Species name: Giznadalu
Government name: The Bank of Giznad
Government type: Plutocracy

Log 1

We've been scanning the skies for centuries, assuming that there's intelligent life out there willing to engage in fair transactions that are profitable to all parties. We haven't seen any signs, though. No radio transmissions that can't be attributed to natural phenomena.

Even so, we're convinced that there are many markets out there, even if the cultures aren't sophisticated enough for wireless transmissions. Now that the faster than light engines are a success (we're able to send ships there and back without risk to cargo), we're launching out-reach crews to travel to the nearest systems and find those markets.


Player's Notes

I like the manual and I don't like the manual. There's a lot of information in there, but most of it seems like it will be useful to me only after I have a few turns experience.

There are a couple of threads in the Far Horizons group that I've been poring over. "Advice for the Uninitiated to get off to a Better Start" has been great with answers to the mechanics and "If you have no idea what to submit as orders this week..." has given me some idea of how to start.

As far as that goes, I'm playing a race of Canine Merchants (plutocracy, get it Dodgy )). We're out to assimilate the galaxy via commerce, much like the Federation in another game. Towards that end, I'm planning on building up knowledge to trade for access to systems, commerce centers to crank out the shiny baubles that all intelligent life craves, and freighters with defensive armaments.

I sent in my first order this morning; let's hope that the Creators accept it.

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