Combat help text incorrect


The help text for combat states that ‘If two players approach an unoccupied star and are due to arrive at the same time, the ship that has traveled the shortest distance will claim the star first and will receive the defenders bonus’.

However I just reached an unclaimed star at the same time as another player, where I had travelled 1.86 ly and they had travelled 3.806 ly - and they got the defender bonus, wiping out my ships.

Bit annoying!


Are you certain they arrived at the same time? I have never seen this happen for carriers which arrive at the same time.


This is the help text that talks about two fleets arriving at an unclaimed star.

The game mechanics are that :
The carrier that traveled the least distance to arrive at the unclaimed star during the final tick will claim that star as defender. This is because it will arrive ahead of the other carrier that is farther away.

Here is an older thread.

NP2 does not run on fractional ticks, but this is one place that seems to split hairs within a tick.


I completely missed the distances in the question. That will be the issue.

Doing the calculations. In the last tick of travel the first fleet travels 1.86 % (1/3) = 0.193333 while the second fleet travels 3.806 % (1/3) = 0.193333

Well… There is probably a fractional distance which you catnot see. So there was no way of knowing who would land first.


@samirelanduk , so you are measuring total travel distance, which is not what the game rules talk about.

The help file is talking about the final tick of travel, so the distances you should be measuring will be less than 0.3333 LY.

WG are not active at an unclaimed star.


Actually @AnnanFay you got the second fleet’s math wrong.

@samirelanduk, your fleet travelled 1.86 ly, taking 6 ticks to get to the star. This means your fleet travelled 0.19333… ly on the final tick.
The other player’s fleet travelled 3.806 ly, taking 12 ticks to get to the star. This means their fleet travelled 0.13933… ly on the final tick.

Thus your fleet travelled further than the other player’s fleet on the final tick, and so they got the defender’s bonus.


@BelSon is correct.

I was wondering what @AnnanFay was saying, now I know. He was using the % sign, which is the code for Modulo.


Haha, yeah. I’m on my phone so must have missed it and didn’t notice.


This same situation happened to me and Brand in a custom game on the opening blitz a month or two ago.

I raced in to claim a critical border star with extra force, because by the way I understood the mechanics I would have gotten the defender bonus. Game said I was wrong, and I got slaughtered… :cry:

The “distance traveled” should be “total distance from the previous destination”, i.e. closest owned star (travelled from) gets the bonus. This logically makes more sense to me. Why would you grant the defender bonus to the guy actually traveling FARTHER from his last star? Seems like the bonus should go to the guy closer to the area or cluster, not the one “invading” from afar.

The math describing the “distance since last tick” above makes sense why I lost now (though I do wonder about distances when more than a couple decimal places seem to matter but we have no visibility - this matters for scanning and hyperspace range, but should be a different topic altogether). That is not how I understood it though given my reasoning above.


Think of it as distance from the target at each step. Lets say we are both sprinting towards the same location, you are 200 meters from it and I am 305m from it. We both travel at 10m per second (second = tick) towards the target but I leave 11 seconds before you. My total time to the target is 31 seconds while yours is 20 seconds. After I have traveled 11 seconds you leave and we are both 20 ticks from the target. So by your logic you should get there first. You are closer when you leave and we both take 20 ticks to travel the remaining distance.

But after 11 seconds (the time when you start moving) I am 195m away from the target while you are 200m. After 30 seconds we are both 1 tick away from the tree but I am 5m away while you are 10m away. In the last second I travel 5m and arrive first - mid way through the last tick.


Very nicely laid out scenario. Math checks out, lol.

Still logically, thinking about the game from a more abstract perpesctive. It makes no sense that the person who travels farther from their previous destination would be granted the defender bonus at a newly contested star.

In my scenario with Brand, we both reached the border star at the same tick. I purposefully stopped to grab a smaller star much closer to the contested star, because I (thought I) was using the mechanics well to my advantage, i.e. shorter hop to the contested star equals D bonus for me. Apparently not so, and that is disappointing.


It depends on the timescale. I like to think of each in game tick as being several years. So when you arrive at a star a fraction of a tick ahead of an enemy ship that’s actually several months of preparation time with which you can entrench your forces and build defences.

Each carrier is a massive habitation module - think Death Star dimensions - because of the enormous energy requirements for the engines. Traveling a little further doesn’t matter because carriers are self sufficient and grow their own food. But landing a few months before the enemy is very important.


The ‘tick’ is the atomic unit of time measurement for this game though. You can’t measure by fractions of ticks. The only thing that matters mid-tick is order of events processed, i.e. combat before research.


Also in the Triton Codex, the text is more vague and differs from the Proteus Codex. No mention of ticks. @samirelanduk’s text and example is from Triton, same as my first-hand experience.

Triton Codex:

If two players approach an unoccupied star and are due to arrive at the same time, the ship that has traveled the shortest distance will claim the star first and will receive the defenders bonus.

It only mentions “shortest distance” not “shortest distance since last tick”, hence my original interpretation of distance meaning the current flight, star to star.

Proteus Codex:

If two players approach an unoccupied star and are due to arrive at the same time, the ship that was closest to the star in the previous tick will claim the star and be the defender.

Accurately defines the code rules, though still disagree ideologically and not what I would intuitively expect. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


This rule about who claims the star is all about “which carrier arrives first”, not which departure star is nearer to the unclaimed star. So the rule is talking about which carrier is nearest to the star during the final tick of travel.


I will fix the help text up. Sorry for the confusion about this.