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Alpha Centauri

Page 3 of 3

Colonel Santiago's territorial blundering is probably the most difficult problem to correct, since irregular geometry is not the computer's natural forte. First, we need a decent concept of what constitutes "my territory." The working definition I chose to start with is "anything closer to one of my bases than to anybody else's on the same land mass." Therefore, it is relatively easy to compute a table showing whose territory each map square lies in. Now, to teach these guys how to tell if another faction is an immediate neighbor or someone far away.... We start at each friendly base on a continent and use our "go to" algorithm to try to find a path to each known enemy base on the land mass with one added restriction: The path cannot pass through land claimed by a faction whose territory we've agreed not to violate. If such a path can be drawn, the enemy faction is a contiguous over-land neighbor; otherwise, we need to make alternate arrangements for our assault.

So, armed with some new algorithms, let's return to Mission Year 2150.... The cagey Lady Deirdre refuses to reveal CEO Morgan's whereabouts unless I produce my files on biogenetics... eight Alpha Crawlers rumble out of the fungal forests and pull up outside my headquarters along with an ultimatum from Chairman Yang... and Colonel Santiago patches up her differences with the University in order to concentrate on expanding into my territory. Mission accomplished. Now if I can just figure out why those transport cruisers keep steaming around in circles....

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