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Blood Game Etiquette

*hefty grunt as I climb up on my soap box*


This is a page that is long overdue in Stellar Crisis. Many people hold the The Guide to Stellar Crisis Etiquette as a guide to how to conduct your empire honorably in the heat of interstellar battles and mass species xenocide. As a general rule, I adhere to these guidelines and would hope that others do as well, however, there are two major exceptions to some of these rules. First, these guidelines were written before the advent of surrender and draw options that are common now. Secondly, many of these rules do not apply in a blood game. Finally there are some new guidelines that need to be discussed dealing directly with blood and cutthroat games. Most of all, I am tired of the name calling, crying, the whining and moaning that goes on, when I go to war with an trading partner - Or when I explore, and find some ones Home World while at trade, because they were to lazy to engineer themselves off.- And worst of all, the demands from some empire a third my size, that I should draw the game with them in the end, because they were "kind" enough to trade with me the whole game, therefore it would somehow be in my best interest in future games, to not nuke them and win the game.

Rules of Conduct
These are the rules that I propose, that if you follow, no one has a right to complain in any game with no alliances

Blood Game Etiquette

The draw option is for deadlocks only, it is not a replacement for allying out in Bloods.

Though temporary truces are acceptable, and even expected, you should never agree with another empire(s) to nuke the remaining player(s) then to draw the game out.

Never go into a blood game with a prearranged agreement with another empire(s) to nuke everyone else, before fighting each other.

Don't be a quitter and allow another empire to invade/nuke you uncontested

Never allow another empire in the same game to make your updates for you!

There is no such thing as backstabbing! Surprise attacks, double-teaming, and declaring war on former trading partners, is all part of the game and is acceptable play

Exploring another empire, and/or colonizing their systems, while at trade is acceptable. Stay at war with someone or close your links if you don't want this to happen

Declare war before opening links you have seen trading partners close, or links they ask you not to open

You should not give up the chance to win the game, for the opportunity to merely nuke another player

Play to win, not just to be loyal to a temporary truce. If you and another empire have a temporary truce and he will dominate the game if the truce is kept, break it. A good blood gamer knows when to be loyal and when to go to war


The draw option is for deadlocks, it is not a replacement for allying out in Bloods

Game histories should uncover this kind of conduct. There should be one winner in all blood games with few exceptions. If 2 players go after the 3rd empire and nuke him together, the 3rd empire deserves the chance of at least reminding the double teamers that they will have to fight each other soon. This could cause the former 'friends' to turn on each other when the 3rd empire is no longer an immediate threat, giving everyone a more fair chance to win a game.

Never go into a blood game with a prearranged agreement with another empire(s) to nuke everyone but each other, before fighting.

Again, its is always unfair to have an agreement outside the game, which no one else in the game is aware of. This also includes outside sources of communication when broadcast is the only in game communication available. Emails or making deals in outside games is not fair.

You should not give up the chance to win the game, for the opportunity to merely nuke another player

Everyone wants to win, and self-preservation should take president over an easy nuke. This doesn't mean, that if your situation is hopeless, that you can't take as many as you can with you, what it means is, if there are three players left, you, a slightly smaller player, and an empire about twice your size, self preservation says that you and the smaller emp should go after the bigger guy at the same time, till he's no longer a threat. If you can get a quick nuke on the smaller emp, then colonize all his worlds before the bigger can throw his weight at you, by all means, do it. If you are throwing away a chance of winning the game by attacking the smaller emp therefore giving the game, to the bigger empire, that's cowardly and not very fun for the other players. (even us bigger empires like a challenge!)

Don't cave in or allow another empire to invade/nuke you uncontested

Be proud and defiant in a blood game. If there are more players than you and the other empire, you owe it to the other players in the game to keep fighting. Broadcast the position of the enemy who is attacking you to the other players. Let them know that the player has a huge fleet on one front and is vulnerable to attack on another. Threaten the players, that if they don't help, this guy is going to be huge and crush them one by one if they don't harass him. Close off links, make them fight for every planet and every opened and explored link. Destroy their sciences if you can't touch their fleet, try to counter attack and take out a couple of their planets the same time they roll into your Home World. You can easily throw the game to your attacker if you don't give some level of resistance.

Do Not

- Surrender instead of being nuked (unless you are the last player)
- Try to seal yourself off and ruin
- Or worst of all, lower your population allow your opponent to invade you and get as much econ as possible

These tactics are unfair to other players in the game, and as long as you are still alive, there still is a chance... I was once in a game where the empire attacking me was nuked by another empire, right as he moved in to my Home World

Never allow another empire in the same game to make your updates for you!

You would think that this would be obvious, but I have had an empire update for another in a blood game twice. Once it was a very respected empire on Lysator. In an ally game, it is not that uncommon to ask an ally to update for you while you are on vacation, indisposed, in a coma ect. This is fine. It would be a problem if you asked your friend, who was in the same game but who wasn't part of the alliance, however. The person making the updates would have knowledge of all the information on the absentee players maps, including Home Worlds of other empires, builders, closed or hidden links and so on. This is information that he could not of known with his own empire alone. The same goes for bloods. You can gain map info, plus for a week or so, you can do the equivalent of double emping. You also don't have to worry about the other empire you are controlling attacking you for a period of time. It also creates a dilemma for the person doing the updating. Is it O.K. to use this information to attack the empire he was updating, when the other player returns? Most players would not, which means they don't feel right attacking that empire for the rest of the game. It's all in all unfair for others in the game.

Diplomacy in Blood Games

Aw.. now the touchy subject! There are two types of bloods, one is the type that doesn't allow for any diplomatic settings at all, and the other type allows for truce and trade, sometimes known as cutthroats. We will talk about both in turn.

There is Diplomacy in Every Game

There certainly is less chatter in blood games, and it is allot easier to be antisocial, however, all good blood gamers know there is a certain level of required cooperation in order to win. Sometimes it is unspoken, two smaller emps will team up on a bigger emp because they know it is in their best interest to do so, two emps back to back involved in conflicts on opposite fronts will not attack each other w/o even a word. In Games where broadcast is the only option, planet naming is frequently away of laying down plots, and every once in a while, when an empire is just dominating the game, a call will be made over the broadcast. "Hey! Stormer is huge! If we don't all gang up on him right away, we're done for!"

Trade Does not Equal Alliance! Backstabbing is only in Allied Games

This is by far the biggest problem in Blood Games. Eventually, unless you want to break the first rule of conduct and draw the game, everyone is going to have to fight. Trade is a great way to enforce temporary truces and to get an econ edge if you are in the middle of the map. It also allows you to fight a larger enemy together. In an allied game it is considered uncouth to go to trade with someone who you plan to go to war with, then take advantage of it, through exploration, colonization of trading partners systems, ect. In a blood game, it should be expected, because everyone is going to war eventually! There are ways to counteract friendly exploration and colonization of planets that belong to you. Use them! If I meet you in a blood game, we go to trade, then I explore the bejeepers out of you and colonize your planets, you have no one to blame but yourself. First, you should never agree to truce unless it is in your best interest, engineer off links you don't want explored i.e. your Home World and go to war with anyone who is using truce to colonize and explore you. Sometimes you can do the same to them... One of the best ways to counteract a trading partner exploring you, is to explore every inch of his territory, they will be less likely to pick a fight with you, when they know that you know where their home world is also!.

Declare war before opening links you have seen trading partners close, or links they ask you not to open

This is one of the few do nots... especially in a 3.0 game, where once the home world is found, your life is over. If you are at trade with someone, and they suddenly gate in an engineer right next to the closed link to your Homeworld... its over. The following turn they will open the link, and you will downgrade to truce, but still not be able to destroy the engineer. The second update you will be at war, but they will have explored the link beyond. The next turn or two, expect to see a huge fleet hovering over your home world. If you are going to explore for unexplored links in a trading partners systems you should go to war first.

However there have been times where I was hunting for an enemy near a trading partners borders and accidentally opened and explored his Home World. Unfortunately, he got upset and started whining, after I explored the link. If he had asked me not to open nor explore the link, I would not of done it.( Well, OK, at least not then : ) If this happens to you, at least warn the other empire not to explore the link, maybe to even close it up. If they can't afford to go to war with you just yet, they may oblige.

Don't be Loyal to a Fault

Just because you and another empire have been at trade or had an unwritten non-aggression pact, does not mean that you have to lose to prove you are loyal, honorable, or keep your word. I have had all kinds of empires tell me crap like this, when I declared war as they were about to run away with the game. Of course they want me to be loyal. In exchange for my faithful service, they may of nuke me last, instead of second to last. Don't be a chump, play to win. Honor and loyalty belongs in allied games only. On the other hand, if you do make an agreement with someone and then immediately turn on them...they will never trust you again.You can keep your word in blood games as long as you don't promise to stick with your 'buddy' for the whole game. Still, it is not backstabbing unless your allied. On the other hand, if you have been at trade, with another empire the whole game, you manage to grow to gigantic proportions, while they sit in a corner and do who knows what. After everyone but them is nuked, should you draw out with them? That is obviously their hope. I don't for this reason, if I have played a great game and conquered everyone in the game except this one tiny empire, should I not be awarded the win? I think it is unfair to ask an empire to exchange the win and the last nuke for a measly draw. I don't draw out to smaller empires and I don't expect larger empires to draw out to me.

Allying out

I believe that allying out is one of the worst features of the game. When I first started out at MKII, this how a typical ally game would go. The empires would meet up and start to ally, then to ally with each other's allies. When they hit a critical number, usually half the people in the game. they would fight whomever they met, regardless if the empire was in a corner and was not able to meet anyone else. If one of the allies of the "alliance" couldn't nuke that person on their own, the other allies would send along ships and double, triple even more the solitary empires that hadn't yet met and joined the 'cliche'. Many times in a 10 player game, there would be 5 empires allied with each other, fighting any other empire they found, regardless if the remaining 5 had a chance yet to meet each other for communication, trade and shared HQ settings. Often one or two of the 5 would be idling from the onset, so the game was very unfair. After nuking half the players in the game, The alliance would win and repeat the same tactic in another game. This is when I stopped playing alliance games. Other times, whining would be heard on the airwaves, and then all 10 players, minus any idlers would all meet, hold hands and ally out, everyone getting an easy, uncontested and unearned win.

This kind of play makes the win loss stats meaningless and completely spoiled the competitionon of the game and the fun for players like me. Fortunately no one else has duplicated the flaw of MKII by allowing a setting above alliance, shared HQ that allows allies to share exploration and stargate to each others systems. On Lugdunum I have had some good battles in ally games but still there are several games when everyone wants to ally out instead of actually playing a game.

Drawing out

Having a draw option in a game is a great idea, but should only be available in grudge games and ally games Allowing players to draw in a blood game gives rise to a new kind of 'alliance' where 2 or more blood players can team up to clear a map then draw the game so they don't have to nuke each other. This ruins the purpose of a blood game, which is, it is O.K. to have truces in the game, but sooner or later, you will have to fight everyone in the game. If you are friendly with your neighbor, in order to fight a bigger empire thats your common enemy, as soon as he is dispatched, it is war again. In multiplayer game, draw should be the way to end a game prematurely. Ahmagedon is introducing the team concept. Basically you know who is on your side and who isn't and you have to work as a team to dispatch another team, this is a great idea. As far as I understand, there is no allying out in these games, only draws if all the players agree to it. This is the way it should be.

Click here for Agt the Walkers opinions on similar topics

Why Play Blood Games?

Why would a stat loving player jump into a game where there are as many as 8-10 other empires, and only one empire can win? Statistically speaking, you would lose 7 out of 8 times in an 8 player game, a record of 10 and 80 does not seem very flashy compared to a record 60 and 20 of an alliance game player, where many games end in an ally out.

The odds are not that bad
Well first off, a good blood player knows the odds are not that bad. There is always an idler or two along with a couple of easy to nuke beginners. so in an 8 against 8 brawl the odds are at least 25% that you will win. I usually manage to win about 60% of the bloods I get involved in, depending on the server.

It's all about the Nukes
Another reason is the nukes baby! If you see someone sporting a high win to nuked ratio but has less nukes than games won, chances they are on a strict ally-allyout game diet. If you see someone with a 50 - 50 record but 2-3 times the number of nukes to wins, these guys are hardcore bloodgamers, and probably tougher in a grudge game than the nukeless winners.

Some Player just want to nuke Everyone
The final reason why bloodgames are popular, is that there are no needs for normal diplomacy. Attack who you want,you don't have to put up with obnoxious, or unhelpful allies who would broadcast live on national T.V. if you tried to back out of your alliance with them. The Etiquette Page says that some players want to nuke everyone in the game. Well that's us baby! And this is the appropriate time and place to do it without getting on everyones' nuke on site list and hear a bunch of crying as you close in for the kill. Well, at least it's suppose to be...

Jumpgates mandate either a change in etiquette or the way you play the game
What is said here applies to all blood and cutthroat games but has special meaning to those who like to play version 3.0 games with the new shiptypes. Mainly Jumpgates. Once someone explores your home world and has a jumpgate, your as good as dead in most cases. Write your will, bequeath your big ag ball to the empire that left you alone, give out the coordinates of your most hated enemies HW, but is over buddy. Your opponent sooner or later is going to send in a huge fleet over your HW and turn you into a lump of superheated, coal. If you overbuild a huge fleet in your HW to prevent the nuke, you will be picked to death on your outside worlds and you'll guzzle your tech like chocolate milk. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you prevent people from exploring your HW, even if they are at trade or truce with you.

So everyone, the next time you play stormer or another empire like me, these are the guidelines we follow in bloods. If we explore your home world at any time in a 3.0 game because you didn't feel like engineering it off, the 5 day forecast for your home world will be something like this:
Monday will be hazy and dark with 12- 20 ships rolling in from the north, followed by an brief warming trend the following day with a high around 45,000,000 C. The rest of the week will be cool, with no visible sun and with flurries of radioactive ash as a nuclear winter sets in and a new ice age arrives.
So please... engineer off your home world, in the beginning of the game!


In conclusion, blood games are an arenas for a respected empires to fight everyone in the game, make and break deals without being labeled as a backstabber. A place for the anti-social players to nuke everyone they meet, and where all empires develop skills of fighting on two or more fronts at the same time, and for everyone to develop the nuke stat at the risk of being nuked quite often yourself. If you prefer just to win, and make friends, stay with the allied games. If you want to have more nukes per game than anyone on the server, stick with the bloods.