This page lists some of the more frequently asked questions from Mentor vs. Midshipmen games.
This is a multi-player game. The first five moves are made with no interaction with the other players (it's called an Accelerated Start ). After that, the other players are part of the moves. Because of this, it is necessary to wait for all the players to join and make their initial moves.
The first screen you see when you enter the game is the Home screen. In the upper right-hand corner is a box that says "Start a discussion, ask a question or send a diplomatic message". Select the box, type your question, select the "PUBLIC BOARD" button, then select "POST". Your question will go into the in-game feed, and be answered by the Mentor. Other players can see the question. The answers could either be sent on the Public Board, or directly to you, so the other players may, or may not, be able to see the answers.
In addition to getting the tech 10 bonuses for certain natives, we also let you raise your tech levels to 10 at Homeworld planets (yours and any that you might capture). In melee games, where there are 30 players (and therefore 30 Homeworlds) it can be quite helpful.
Other differences between VGAP3 and Planets.nu are documented here.
Most missions require fuel to work. If your starship is out of fuel, the odds are that it can't do the mission.
There are three possible causes for this:
It's not uncommon for these games to end with only two or three players, and the Midshipmen frequently win, even with such reduced numbers.
There are several ways to do this. All are well described in the Giving Ships Away documentation.
The Engine Shield Bonus is not enabled on any game at Planets.nu. For those of you familiar with Hosting VGAP3 games, information on the default settings at Planets.nu are available in the Default Configuration page of the documentation.
This is called a Fast Start. The Mentor vs. Midshipmen games have a 30-turn fast start, which is longer than normal. After the Fast Start completes, there will be a turn approximately every other day (three turns a week).
In the early game, the use of light beams can allow more starships to be built. In most cases, this provides more capabilities than fewer starships with high power beams.
In this game, cloaked starships, while they can be seen, can't be intercepted. This isn't a problem in most games, as cloaked starships can't be seen by non-allied players.
You can't take things from a planet that's owned by another player unless the Friendly Code of your starship matches the Friendly Code of the planet. As you're all allies, the Friendly Code is displayed when you put your mouse over a planet.
The Mentor vs. Midshipmen games are designed to train new players. Because of this, it was decided that the complexity and surprise of cloaked starships wasn't a good idea. The game is configured to allow full visibility of all starships to all players.
It should be noted that cloaking is not entirely useless. A cloaked starship can still avoid combat.
Starships need to have two engines to tow. The MDSF only has one.
The Friendly Code is used to set the order the starships are pulled into combat. This is described in the documentation on Order of Battle. More information on Friendly Codes can be found in the Friendly Code documentation.
The Midshipmen are in a Full Alliance. As a side effect of the alliance, they see the combat of all the players in that alliance.
In a Mentor vs. Midshipmen game, all the midshipmen are a team, with the purpose of defeating the Mentor. As long as the player being attacked isn't listed as "dead" or "open", you can't remove them from the team. Once the player is listed as "dead" or "open", you can treat them as though they're not a member of the team. This is done in the Diplomacy screen.
It's also possible that the starship being attacked has no fuel. If this happens, you can tow it to one of your starbases and set the Primary Orders to Force a surrender . The turn after this happens, the starship will be yours, without a fight.
Finally, if you really want a fight, you can transfer 1 KT of fuel from one of your starships to the enemy starship (possibly also locking a tow on them to keep them from running), and set the Primary Enemy of the starship you want to attack. Please note that each of your starships can only transfer to one starship of another race each turn.
Some races have advantages that make that task easier:
These are "Fixed Turn" games, 80 turns long. This means that they will end at 80 turns. If either the Mentor or the Midshipmen Team meets the "Diplomatic Planets" Win Conditions prior to turn 80, a Victory Countdown will start, and may cause the game to end prior to turn 80.
To win the game, the Midshipmen need to take all of the Mentor's planets, and capture or destroy all of the Mentor's starships, all before Turn 80,