Yankee Trader

Yankee Trader

Yankee Trader, by Alan Davenport, is a "door" text-based game from the BBS era, which ran on MS-DOS BBSes. It is similar to TradeWars 2002 and was originally known as Trade Wars 1000. Each user is the commander of a starship. You travel about the galaxy using modified MUD commands (instead of moving N,S,E,W, you move to an adjacent "" number). The sectors were linked more or less randomly, with a combination of two-way links and one-way links. The object of the game, as it seems in all old door games, is to dominate the galaxy. This was accomplished by finding ports in sectors, buying commodities (ore, organics, or equipment), and transporting them to other sectors' ports and sell them (hopefully at a hefty profit -- each sector's port bought or sold each commodity for a different price, as their balance of commodities changed with trade. [ [http://www.gargoyleslanding.com/gamerules/ytinstr.html] Yankee Trader Instruction Manual] If "Port 1" had excess of "ore" (low price), but no "equipment" (high price), one could stock up on ore, take it to "Port 2" that lacks ore, but has equipment. By selling the ore, buying the equipment, and returning to "Port 1" and repeating, profit could be made. Players could create home bases as well in the form of planets, for stockpiling commodities, money, or weapons.

This tedium was made easier with macros which could be programmed in the game itself, where you could watch many such trips scroll by with each keyboard entry. The size of the galaxy was configurable by the BBS system operator, defaulting to 3000 sectors. A larger galaxy size allowed more players to effectively hide when they logged off for the day. As this was a one-player-at-a-time game, each player was limited to a certain number of "moves" per day, which could be around one hundred or in the thousands, depending on how the BBS system operator configured the game. After you were done with your "moves", you would be left sitting wherever you were -- various defenses could be set up just in case you were "found" by another player before the next day. Colonizing planets, protecting them by building massive fleets, battling with other users' planets and trade routes were also a major part of the game.

Two types of computer controlled characters, the Xannor and mercenaries, also made moves during a nightly maintenance event. In various ways these computer controlled characters add additional threats to stationary defenses and planets (stealing resources from or directly attacking them), and benefits to active players. Players who locate mercenaries can bribe them to join and players who kill Xannor receive additional charge per day and also generate sales at Earth.

* [telnet://Gargoyleslanding.com Play YANKEE TRADER on Gargoyle's Landing via telnet]

External links

* [http://www.gargoyleslanding.com/gamerules/ytinstr.html Yankee Trader Instruction Manual]
* [http://www.starflt.com/yt.html Yankee Trader v3.6 Strategy Guide]
* [telnet://tohs.dyndns.org You can play Yankee Trader on this BBS!]

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