Version 3.0

Written by: Dave Webb

Derived from Dopewars by Matt Lee

Graphics by Michael Czarnecki (

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Players Manual


The object in SolarWars is to make money by buying and selling cargo while warping around the solar system.

You have several indicators of your current financial situation:

  • Cash- The money that you have on hand to buy and sell cargo, cargo bays, or a blaster. Carrying money is dangerous because, if you get boarded by Space pirates, they will take half of the cash you have on hand.

    Debt- This is money that you have borrowed from "The Corporation". You can borrow up to 10 times your net worth (described below). You don’t want to hold on to debt for very long as it accumulates 12.5% interest per turn.

    Savings- This is money you have deposited in the bank. The bank is the "safe" place for your money as it cannot be touched by Pirates. You earn 6.5% interest on the balance per turn. The only case in which money can be taken from your bank account by anyone but you, occurs during the IRS Audit event (described below).

    Bays- This is the number of cargo bays that you have attached to your ship. You cannot buy any more items than you have cargo bays.

    Net Worth (number below bays/Gun)

    I apologize, I never got around to adding a label for this number. This is your calculated Net Worth. It is calculated like this: (Total Items on Hand X Current Price of those items) + Cash + Savings + (Cargo Bays X 500) – Debt.

    Days- This is the number of days remaining in the game. You start out with 60 Days. You can pick up, or lose 3 days on certain events. (Described below)


    Warp- Use this button to warp to another planet. This will also increment your "days/turn" counter. In addition, you must have fuel in your cargo bays to travel. Fuel is available at every planet. The amount needed is 1 for the first hundred bays, and 1 for each additional 80 cargo bays.

    Bank- This allows you to deposit and/or withdraw funds from your bank account. If you use this while on earth, there are no surcharges. If you use this from anyplace else, there is a 30% surcharge that is removed from the transaction. For example: if you withdraw $1000 from the bank while on another planet, you will actually get $700. If you deposit $1000, only $700 will go in.


    The cargo items for sale on a planet are in the table. To buy items, touch the price of that item. To sell items, touch the quantity. You cannot buy more items that you have cargo bays. These commodities are priced as follows: 50% price fixed (regardless of location), 25% price weighted based on location, and 25% of price is random.

    The cargo is as follows:

  • Cargo Low Price High Price Low Event High Event Event Freq
    Fuel 100 ~ $1500 ~$20 ~$20,000 Low
    Dilithum 15000 ~ $29,000 ~ $1875 ~$240,000 Low
    Holos 10 ~ $100 ~ $1 ~$400 High
    Ore 1000 ~ $3000 None ~$12000 Med
    Meds 5000 ~ $12000 None ~$48000 Med
    Food 300 ~ $1200 ~$75 ~$4800 Med
    Weapons 600 ~ $2000 None ~$40000 Med
    Water 70 ~ $250 None ~$2000 High
  • To explain the chart above:

    Low price is the base price for that item. Each turn, a random multiplier is added to come out with a price for that turn

    High price is the observed highest (normal) price for that item during game play.

    Low Event is the lowest an item could go during a special event (the ~ means that it is variable). It is usually the normal random price of an item divided by a fixed number for that event.

    High Event is the observed highest price for an item during an event. I excluded some observations as occasionally, two separate events for the same item will occur during the same turn. As an example I have seen dilithum jump to over $700,000 when two dilithum events occurred on the same turn. It is a rare event to be celebrated only if you have lots of that item!

    Event Frequency is how often an event occurs for this item.

    Special Events

    There are several special events that can occur during game play:

  • Space Pirates- Space Pirates may confront you if you are carrying any cargo. You have two choices. Run is usually the better choice. The odds are better that you will get away. If you have purchased a blaster/gun while on Pluto (Cost: $10,000), you can opt to fight. There are five pirate ships total. During a fight, you each get a shot. If you get shot, you get boarded and they take half of your cash, and all of your cargo. If you destroy all five ships, the Pirates will not darken your viewscreen again for the rest of the game.

    IRS Audit- Every time you visit earth, you stand a small chance of being audited by the IRS. They will take 30% of all semi-liquid assets (cargo, cash, savings). OUCH!

    New Colony- A new colony is being built. Normally there are several items on a planet that are not for sale. When a new colony is built, all items are in demand at four times their normal prices!

    Broke Ship- You didn’t think that you could just use your ship and not maintain it did you? If you ship breaks down, it will cost you $25000 and three days of time. The $25,000 is first drawn from your cash, then your savings if you do not have enough, and finally just added to your debt if you have no cash or savings available. Interest on debt and savings is also calculated for those three days.

    Derelict- You stumble upon a derelict ship and salvage 80 cargo barges and some random cargo!

    Wormhole- Pesky things. Sometimes warping space causes this. It is good though, you pick up three more days of play time and your interest on debt is reduced by 3 days. Unfortunately, so is the interest on your savings.

    Poker- Double or Nothing. If you have at least $2,000,001 (minor bug) in cash, and you go to Neptune, you can play double or nothing. You have a 60% chance of losing. If you win, you get double your cash, cargo, and cargo bays. If you lose, you lose your cash, cargo, and your cargo bays are reset to 100. Some of our higher scores have been where a gutsy player has taken $500 million in cash and cargo and played double or nothing!

    Cargo Bays - If you have $20,000 in cash and visit Mars, you can buy 40 more cargo bays.

    Blaster- If you have $10,000 in cash and visit Pluto, you can buy a blaster to fight pirates with (once).


    I am not the best strategist however, I have noticed that if you stick to dilithum and meds, you can almost always make a lot of money.

    Note: 3/1/00 Strategy change: Because of the change in gameplay in version 3.0, you are now better off to diversify your investments. Start by visiting earth and borrowing the maximum amount you can. Buy water, food, meds, and weapons on mars and earth, and sell them on Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. Buy Ore and Dilithum on Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto and sell on Earth, Mars, and Jupiter

    In closing, I would like to thank Matt Lee for the great game (Dopewars). The source code was easy to follow and the game works very well. I changed the theme and added the special events (minus the pirates). Enjoy in good health!

    Dave Webb

    March 18, 2000

    (updated April 1, 2000 for version 3.0)