Super Melee rulesets
The Ur-Quan Masters provides a networked Super Melee arena and point costs for all the ships, but no standardized rules. Thus, different groups of fans have developed different rule sets for putting together their fleets for battle. This page is an attempt to collect all such rule sets and describe them. (If you've played using rules that aren't described here, by all means add them!)
Rules that use point costs
- The standard rules on #uqm-arena: Only one ship of each type, to a maximum of 200 points. Commonly phrased "200 points no dupes".
- In a serious game or tournament you are expected to build your team before connecting, so that you can't base your ship choices on what ships are on your opponent's team.
- Some players and tournament hosts ban Thraddash, considering it unsportsmanlike (the ship has the potential to stall matches and upset balance if played to its limit.)
- Other point limits can be used, although it's less common, since too much fewer than 200 tends to lead to the outcome of the match being determined by the teams used, and too much more doesn't leave much room for choice in team design.
- The game can also be played simply with a point limit and no restriction on duplicate ships; this has fallen out of use since the result depends mostly on the teams used, especially since certain anomalous teams (such as ones with many Chmmr) are very likely to maul a "well balanced" team. A limit of two ships of each type is occasionally played.
- In order to reasonably allow more of the same ship, players can take turns picking ships rather than coming with predetermined fleets.
- Picking one ship at a time creates the strange effect of picking cheap ships first in order to have more points left to counter. A probably better way is to pick a certain number of points worth. For instance, the first player could pick at 100 points worth of ships, then the second player design his entire fleet, then the first player pick the remainder of his fleet.
- 50-100-100-100-50 is also possible, and probably leaves less room for the first player to effectively counter the opponent's entire fleet.
- "Crap Fleets" -- In order for some of the less commonly used ships to see use, some players like to play with each player designing the other player's fleet (of course, to a minimum of 200 points rather than a maximum.)
- This can be played with various point totals or allowances for duplicate ships, basically as a modification of any of the rulesets above.
- Each player designing half of each team is also possible.
- Random teams. A good random online random team generator can be found here.
- Random ship selection during melee.
- Another possible modification to any of these rules is to use the Adjusted Ship Price Mod.
- Alliance vs. Hierarchy: A match with the predetermined teams "Old Alliance Ships" and "Old Hierarchy Ships". It's an interesting match, since the creators of the game went to a great deal of effort to balance it in Star Control 1. On the other hand, it seems to favor the Alliance.
- Auction: Each player gets a pool of "points" (It doesn't really matter how many; 200 and 213 have been used) and each ship except Thraddash is auctioned off to the highest bidder. Details of the auction vary.
- The order the ships are auctioned in is arbitrary; it can be done in alphabetical order or ordered by original point cost, or in other ways.
- What happens if the two players try to bid the same amount can be ambiguous. The cleanest solution is to have the players take turns bidding, the first player to make the high bid buy the ship, and the players also take turns making the first bid on each ship.
- Sometimes a third player acts as auction master, but it isn't necessary if the rules are specified beforehand.
- 14 ships no dupes: Essentially any team you can build, as long as it doesn't have two of the same ship on it. Of course, cheap ships will rarely be played, but costly, somewhat overpriced ships (such as Chenjesu and Orz) will see play. Combining this with the "design your opponent's fleet" rule could also be interesting.
- Enemy chosen fleet: Connect to your opponent and build him a fleet worth at least 200 points.
- Point loss system: The victor is whoever loses the least amount of points, not whoever beats all the opponent's ships. So for example, if Bob destroys Bill's fleet, Bob loses 134 points and Bill loses 62 points, Bill wins. There is no limit to how many ships you can have and no points limit.
Silly rulesets (also ideas for handicap)
- Left-turning: Ships can't turn to right - only to left.
- Left-to-Right: Deploy ships to the battle in the order they are on your fleet list, starting from the left, going to the right.
- Play with extreme controllers such as a dance pad or something you've built yourself.
- Play with your left hand
- Play when drunk