Thursday, 26 June 2008

Welcome sh0newars

A few days ago N. Ristic aka sh0ne joined the Corewar enthusiasts in the #corewars IRC channel and not only started learning the ropes, but created a website which will hopefully document his rise to Corewar fame.  sh0ne's page is at and is definitely worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Łukasz Grabuń's Book of Stones

Łukasz Grabuń has a small Corewar site at  Apart from a selection of useful links, Łukasz's site contains the Book of Stones which he describes as "a modest continuation to the second chapter of Steven Morell's book".

The first chapter has an analysis of Carbonite by Ian Sutton.  After describing Carbonite's bombing run and the switch to a clear, the interaction with an opponent D-Clear is examined in detail. Unfortunately, the advantage of the remote bomb and using add.ab {0,}0 in preference to add.ab -1,-1 are not mentioned.

Behemot by Michal Janeczek is discussed in the second (and final) chapter.  The article begins by introducing the airBag and incendiary bomb techniques before moving on to Behemot's inner workings and interaction with dat bombers.

What I liked:
  • The Book of Stones
Room for improvement:
  • The chapter about Carbonite doesn't mention a couple of important points

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Tales from the Digital Wilderness

Tales from the Digital Wilderness is John Metcalf's Redcode programming blog, hosted at  Emphasis is given to implementing real algorithms in Redcode such as sorting and seaching.

John uses a standard Blogger template, with a post archive and a selection of useful Corewar links in the sidebar.  Usually there are 3 to 4 posts per month.

There are two Corewar related posts.  Parallel Processes describes a useful pMARS macro and An Improved '88 Quick-scanner shows how Paul Kline's technique can be used to create a 48 instruction '88 qscan which scans 36 locations.  The remainder of the blog is devoted to algorithms.

Some posts I found particularly interesting are Comb sortStooge sort and Gnome sort which I hadn't previously heard of.  Apart from sorting, there are implementations of seaching and number theory algorithms.  A post comparing the performance of the different techniques would be an interesting addition.

What I liked:
  • A unique concept
  • The code is well written
Room for improvement:
  • For the more complex code, a detailed description would be nice
  • A few comments would make the code easier to understand

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Philip Thorne's Corewar Introduction

Philip Thorne's Corewar Introduction can be found at and has been reporting the latest tournament news since 2002.  The homepage has a handy selection of links for Corewar beginners.

What really make's Phil's site stand out is the unique content.  There are two useful tools, RSS feeds for the KOTH hills and a Redcode syntax definition for VIM.  The RSS feeds are updated daily.

Phil's Stone Analysis article has a thorough examination of 13 stones, comparing everything from speed and coverage to the type of core-clear.  Unfortunately, I didn't understand all of the figures in the table - a key would be helpful.

Finally, Phil has published a selection of warriors.  The layout here is almost perfect!  The warriors are presented in an interactive tree structure and the warrior files are displayed with syntax highlighting.

What I liked:
  • The Stone Analysis article
  • The presentation of warriors
Room for improvement:
  • A key to help interpret the Stone Analysis table

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Neo's World of Corewar

Germán Labarga completely overhauled his website a few months back with a new URL, new design and updated content. The new location is The new layout is clutter free and easy to navigate.

Neo used to pose a programming challenge in Redcode every couple of weeks, and the results from the Mini Challenges are hosted here. There's also a selection of Neo's published warriors. This section could be improved a little by including some short comments.

The highlight of the site has to be the article documenting P-Key's Development. P-Key is an adaptive switcher which won the Smart Switching tournament round.

What I liked:
  • The results from the Mini Challenges
  • The article about P-Key
Room for improvement:
  • Some brief comments on the warriors page would be nice
  • The tools page needs more links (it currently has only one)