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.
For now, detailed documentation is available in a text file:
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 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.
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.
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.
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. The first release to write correct files is PCC2 2.0.12.