Fleet Action Kombat

FLAK

What is FLAK?

Fleet Action Kombat, or FLAK for short, is a multi-ship combat engine for VGA Planets, designed to be used with PHost. It was designed in a joint venture of the PHost, Planetsserver, Blutmagie and Vagabond people.

The main problem with standard one-on-one combat is that small ships cannot team up against a big ship. In FLAK, they can. For each fight, your ships will form fleets; each fleet will attack an enemy. This way, a group of medium-sized ships does have a chance against a top battleship, even if that top battleship would normally just defeat each of them one by one.

FLAK is intended to be "plug-compatible" with existing ship lists. In 1:1 combat, it attempts to mimic PVCR as close as possible. It was designed to be easy to use, for players and hosts.

Documentation

For now, detailed documentation is available in a text file:

FLAK Player Documentation

Software

Player Software

FLAK combat is different from normal combat. Your host should be giving you a separate flak<player>.dat file with each result; your VGAP client will not be able to play it. You probably also want a battle simulator that supports FLAK. Here are your options:

For Windows and Linux: PCC2/PlayVCR

PCC2 and PlayVCR have built-in support for FLAK, and therefore is your best choice for Windows or Linux. The upcoming PCC2ng also includes FLAK support.

PCC2 will display FLAK combat normally in the regular VCR interface. The simulator has a FLAK option (Options > Mode). You can play FLAK combat using PlayVCR using its internal game directory selector, or by dropping a FLAK file onto playvcr.exe.

PCC2, isometric view
PCC2, flat/top-down view

For DOS: CCBSim

CCBSim has support for FLAK built in since 1.1.21 (and before, there were separate beta builds). Use this variant if you're playing under DOS. Type a command such as

       ccbsim <game-dir> /f <player-number>

to view battles. The simulator has a FLAK option; the player offers three display modes.

CCBSim, 3-D view
CCBSim, flat/top-down view
CCBSim, isometric view

Online: PCC2 Web at PlanetsCentral

PCC2 Web and the PCC2 Web Battle Simulator also support FLAK. When playing a FLAK game, PCC2 Web will play FLAK combat normally. The simulator has a FLAK option.

PCC2 Web Battle Simulator, 3-D view

Host Software

If you wish to host your own FLAK game, you need the FLAK server. The FLAK server is a PDK-based host add-on. The source code for the FLAK server is distributed with PCC2, and can be downloaded from the PCC2 Download Page.

To use, build the flak-server binary and register it in your pconfig.src using a section such as

     % PCONTROL
     Combat = Replace *flak-server <game-dir> 

flak-server will create a flak<player>.dat file that you need to give to your players.

Note that in versions up to and including PCC2 2.0.11, flak-server erroneously writes wrong timestamps to the flak<player>.dat files, causing PCC2 to not recognize them. Players need to open them manually using PlayVCR.


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Stefan Reuther
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