Section: Games and Demos (6)
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conquestgl,conquest - Conquest game clients  


conquestgl and conquest are OpenGL and curses based clients, respectively, that are used to connect to a conquest server to play.

conquestgl [OPTIONS]...

conquest [OPTIONS]...  


Conquest is a multi-player, real-time space combat game. The object of the game is twofold. The short-range goal is to accumulate "kills" by shooting down enemy players. You get one kill point for each enemy ship shot down, plus some extra if the enemy had kills too. The major weapon used to shoot down ships is the photon torpedo.

The long-range goal is to conquer the universe for your team by taking every core planet. You take planets by killing off the enemy's armies via bombardment, and then beaming your team's armies down. When all the planets have been taken, the game ends, a new game begins, and the player who actually took the last planet gets his/her name up in lights.

The first time conquestgl or conquest is run, a directory called ~/.conquest/ will be created in your home directory. This directory cantains your 'user options' data as well as the logfile. Additionally, with conquestgl, texturesrc (.trc) files and texture image data (in ~/.conquest/img/) can be stored there. See CONQINIT.TXT for more information on what texturesrc and texture image files are.



conquestgl and conquest each take similiar options. Where an option is only suported by a paticular client, this difference will be noted. If the -s or -m options are not specified, the client will try to connect to a server running on your local host at port 1701.

Benchmark mode. When this option is specified, and playback of a previously recorded game is specified with -P, then the default playback speed will be set to the highest speed possible (no frame delay). This is really only of use for the OpenGL client, but can be specified to the curses client (conquest) as well.

It's not really much of a 'benckmark' yet as it does not currently emit any rendering statistics on exit. The will be added in the future.

Run in fullscreen mode. OpenGL client only.
-g <geometry>
Specify initial window width/height. OpenGL client only. Format is WxH (ex: 1024x768). The default is currently 1024x768.
Query the metaserver and provide a list of servers to choose from.
-M <metaserver>
Specify an alternate metaserver. The default is
-r <record file>
Record the game to <record file>.
-s <server[:port]>
Connect to server running on server port port. The default port is 1701.
-P <record file>
Play back a previously recorded game.
Disable UDP to/from the server and use TCP only. The default is to try to negotiate UDP and use it for certain conquest protocol packets. If you have problems with a server - for example, you always wind up stuck in the middle of Murisak when you enter the game, try disabling UDP with this option.

Disable sound support. If conquestgl was compiled with sound support, then this option will disable the playing of all music and effects. OpenGL client only.



This section lists the basic commands of Conquest. The next section lists the more advanced / obscure commands, and at the end of this document there is a summary list. The list is also available in the game via the h command.

To set your warp factor, just type a digit, or = for your ship's maximum warp. The ships teams have different top speeds: 8 for Cruisers, 9 for Destroyers, and 10 for Scouts.
Use + to raise your energy shields, - to lower them. Shields protect you from enemy weapons; however, it takes more fuel and heat to fly with them up.
The k command is used to set your course. You can specify your course a number of different ways: in degrees (0=east,90=north), via the arrow keys (see below), a ship number (precede it with an 's'), or a planet name. If you set course for a planet, you have the option of locking on to it by terminating the line with a TAB instead of a carriage return - then you will orbit automatically when you get there.
These two commands fire photon torpedoes. Lower case p fires one at a time, and is less useful. Upper case P fires a burst of three. When you are in the heat of battle, you will want to fire every torp you have got (nine), so you will almost always use P. You can specify the direction to fire using either degrees or the arrow keys.
Lower case d or * detonates near-by enemy torps before they get close enough to damage you. Use this command *alot*. Upper case D detonates your own torps, for instance in case you missed. Since you can only have nine torps out at a time, this can be useful.
These two commands let you fire phasers. Lower case f is used to fire one phaser blast. It takes about one second to fire phasers. Upper case F fires phasers again in the same direction.
To capture enemy planets, you first have to get rid of the enemy armies by bombarding them. Orbit the planet, type B, confirm with a TAB, and then watch your damage closely. You will continue to bombard until you type another command. When your damage gets up above 60 or 70 percent, set a warp factor and get out fast.

You cannot bomb a planet down to less than 3 armies. Once you have reduced a planet's army count to 3, you must beam down your own armies in order to kill the remaining armies and conquer the planet.

After a bombing run, you can repair your damage three times faster by going into repair mode. While repairing, your shields are down and you can't move or fire. Repairing is useful any time you are damaged. If you are in orbit about a friendly planet when you repair, you will repair even faster.
Once you have blasted a planet down to three armies, you can beam your own armies down to do hand-to-hand combat and replace them.
Use the m command to send messages. You can send to single ships (using the ship number), entire teams, (first letter of team name) or everyone ("all"). You can even send messages to GOD, but don't expect an answer. Messages to GOD will be seen be any conquest operators (CO's) who happen to be in the game.

This command is useful for bothering the experts and asking them annoying questions. It is also useful for trading insults. If you type RETURN or TAB as the target of a message, the message will be sent to the last person(s) you sent a message to.

You can get information on planets and ships with the i command. Pressing RETURN will show you the last information you asked for. Pressing TAB will show you the 'next' last information you asked for.
The only way out besides getting killed is to self-destruct. There is a 15-second time delay because it is not honorable to quit in the heat of battle. If the server has the Vacant flag enabled, then you can use the Control-Backslash key to quit immediately, leaving your ship intact. If you decide to go Vacant, be careful where you leave your ship. :)
To see which other people are currently playing Conquest, use the / command.
This command gives you a short command summary (such as the one that is found at the end of this document).


Type A to change your weapons/engines power allocations. You can either enter a new weapons allocation percentage or else type TAB to toggle between the two extremes of 30/70 and 70/30. The power allocation controls things like how powerful your weapons are, how efficient your engines are, etc.
Cloaking device. You can activate the cloaking device by typing C followed by a TAB. While the cloaking device is in operation, you are invisible, even to your teammates. However, the cloaker uses a LOT of energy - so much that you can't use your weapons while it's on. A second C will turn it off again.
Emergency distress signal. A quick way to let your team mates know that you are in trouble is by typing E followed by a TAB. Every ship on your team (except those who are at war with your team) will get a short message from you that includes information about your fuel, shields, and ship damage.
History. This command displays the list of recent Conquest players.
Use this comment to enter the options menu. From there you can configure various things like your settings and your macros.
Attempt a coup. If all of your team's armies get killed, you may think you are in deep fecal matter. Not so - you can still get some back by pulling a coup. Try it.
List Messages. Type L to review old messages that have been sent to you.
Type M to toggle your display between the short range and long range tactical displays.

When in the long range tactical display, you can use SPACE to toggle the center of the map beteen your ship and the Murisak (the sun at the center of the universe).

Pseudonym. Use this command to change your battle name.
Orbit. Use o to come into orbit around a planet (or a sun, if you want a tan). You cannot enter orbit if your speed exceeds warp 2.
Refit. If the server has enabled the Refit flag, and you have at least one kill, and you are orbiting a team owned planet, you can use this option to switch to a new ship type. Valid types are Scout (great engines, weak weapons), Destroyer (good engines, good weapons), and Cruiser (weak engines, great weapons).
Displays a list of secondary user statistics.
Tractor beams. You can use these to tow another ship, even if it is hostile. This can be fun when you are cloaked :)
Team list. Displays a list of team statistics, and information on when and who last conqered the universe.
Untractor. Disengage your tractor beams if you are towing another ship or attempt to break free of another ships tractor beam if you are being towed.
Displays a list of users and some primary statistics.
Type W to change your war and peace settings. Note that there is a 10 second delay for declaring war on another team. Also, if you do something nasty to another team such as bomb one of their planets, your war with that team becomes sticky and you may not declare peace with them until you get a new ship (by dying).
To get a list of planets, use the ? command. Planets that must be taken in order to conquer the universe are marked with a + sign.
When you type ^L, the screen is cleared and redrawn.


The easiest and quickest way to change direction is with the direction keys or the keypad if your terminal definition supports it. However, if you are prompted to enter a direction, for example to fire phasers, or set course, you can use the letters "qweadzxc" on the left-hand side of your keyboard, called "direction keys" for historical reasons. The keys are assumed to be arranged as follows (if you have a Dvorak keyboard, you are in trouble):

                    Q W E
                    Z X C

You can use them singly, e.g. 'd' would be 0 degrees, 'q' would be 135, etc. You can also use them in combination: "ed" would be halfway between 'e' and 'd', which is 22.5 degrees; "edd" is like 'e' + 'd' + 'd' / 3, or 15 degrees.  


There are several special strings you can use when setting course or getting information:

nearest enemy
nearest ship
nearest (friendly) team ship
nearest planet
nearest enemy planet
nearest friendly (repair) planet
nearest friendly class-M (fuel) planet
nearest planet with available armies (greater than 3 total armies)
nearest planet owned by your team
weakest planet not owned by your team
home planet for your team
ship N (where N is a integer number)
time of day (info only)

All of these can be abbreviated to their shortest unique string. Also, for the planets, you can type a number after the special string to specify an army threshold; that is, planets with less than that number of armies won't be considered. For example, na8 specifies the nearest planet with 8 (eight) or more armies, nf14 is the nearest fuel planet with 14 or more armies, nep1000 is the nearest non-scanned planet.

You can find info out about the second nearest object by terminating your information request with a TAB instead of a carriage return. For example, to find out about the second nearest planet type inp<TAB>.

You can't use these when firing weapons - that would be too easy.



Macros are sequences of Conquest commands that are issued when a Function Key (Fkey) or mouse button (OpenGL client only) is hit. On PC hardware, these are the F1-F12 keys. With certain emulators the Shifted F1-12 keys (F13-F24) are available too.

With the GL client, version 8.1.2f or better, support for assigning macros to mouse buttons is also provided. Modifiers like Alt, Control, and Shift can also be used with the mouse buttons. Up to 32 buttons are supported with any combination of the 3 modifiers (or no modifiers) giving you a maximum of 256 assignable mouse macros. If you have a 32 button mouse that is :)

Mouse and Key macros are defined in your ~/conquest/conquestrc file. Users can edit their macro keys from within Conquest using the (O)ptions Menu.

Here is an example for the F1 function key


Which makes my F1 key detonate enemy torps d, and fire a spread of 3 torps in the last direction I fired P\r.

The mouse only works when playing the game (in the Cockpit) and the cursor is within the viewer window in the GL client.

Three default mouse macros are provided to give you a taste, and will be saved in your conquestrc file the first time you run an 8.1.2f or better version of the client. They are:

      mouse button 0 (left): Fire phaser at <angle>
      mouse button 1 (middle): Set course to <angle>
      mouse button 2 (right): Fire Torp at <angle>

Of course you can redefine these, as well as add others. With mouse macros, a special character sequence, \a can be used to represent the angle of the cursor relative to the center of the viewer when the button was pressed.

See the mouse macro comment block in your conquestrc file for a description of the format.

There are many other interesting and useful combinations that I won't detail... After all, choosing the right macros and using them well is an important part of the strategy you employ against your opponents.



Here is a quick command reference.

                   0-9,=  set warp factor (= is 10)
                   A      change w/e allocations
                   b      beam armies
                   B      bombard a planet
                   C      cloaking device
                   d,*    detonate enemy torpedoes
                   D      detonate your own torpedoes
                   E      send emergency distress call
                   f      fire phasers
                   F      fire phasers, same direction
                   h      this
                   H      user history
                   i      information
                   I      set user options
                   k      set course
                   K      try a coup
                   L      review old messages
                   m      send a message
                   M      strategic map toggle
                   N      change your name
                   o      come into orbit
                   p      launch photon torpedoes
                   P      launch photon torpedo burst
                   Q      initiate self-destruct
                   r      refit your ship
                   R      enter repair mode
                   S      more user statistics
                   t      engage tractor beams
                   T      team list
                   u      un-engage tractor beams
                   U      user statistics
                   W      set war or peace
                   -      lower shields
                   +      raise shields
                   /      player list
                   ?      planet list
                   ^L     refresh the screen

              RETURN      get last (i)nfo.        (like 'i<RETURN>')
                 TAB      get 'next' last info.   (like 'i<TAB>')



Jon Trulson, Jeff Poskanzer  


conquestd(6), conqoper(6), conqdriv(6), conqmetad(6), conqinit(6)

See README in the conquest distribution (usually installed in <conquest install prefix>/etc/) for information and tips on how to play.

See INSTALL for instructions on unpacking, compiling, and installing conquest, as well as information on terminfo requirements (for the curses client) and other system specific issues.

See README.cygwin for information on building/using conquest on MS Windows systems.

See HISTORY for the latest news and modification history.

See CONQINIT.TXT for information on CQI, and the format of the conqinitrc and texturesrc files.  


Copyright (C)1994-2006 by Jon Trulson <> under the Artistic Version 2 License.

Original VAX/VMS Ratfor Conquest:

Copyright (C)1983-1986 by Jef Poskanzer and Craig Leres. Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that this copyright notice appear in all copies and in all supporting documentation. Jef Poskanzer and Craig Leres make no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.




This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 19:15:31 GMT, May 07, 2010